The Gem That No One Witnessed
It’s completely understandable and justifiable that the Red Sox game was pushed to the back burner last night, but it’s a shame that Josh Beckett’s outstanding performance went largely unnoticed. He allowed only one baserunner, and that was on a weak dribbler down the third base line by Rays shortstop Reid Brignac. The word “dominant” doesn’t begin to describe his mastery of the Tampa Bay lineup.
It took Beckett only 96 pitches to shut out the Rays. Pete Abraham described his performance as one of the best games he’s ever seen pitched.
Top 5 Heroes
||3-run homer in 7th (only RBIs in game)
||2 for 4, run scored
||1 for 3
||0 for 3, walk
Notice the negative WPA from the bottom two guys on this list? That’s a first for me; never before in a win have I seen any of the top five performers actually detracting from the game (at least, not since I’ve been doing this). It really underscores how crucial Beckett’s performance was. The Red Sox offense wasn’t able to do much against Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson, aside from the clutch 3-run home run from Kevin Youkilis.
Jed Lowrie continues to plummet from the lofty heights he reached early in the season. After another 0 for 3 performance, he’s down to .220/.287/.315 since May 1st.
Quote of the Day
“It’s a bloodbath”
- Dustin Pedroia, watching the Boston Bruins score their third goal during their Stanley Cup clinching victory
- Low A – It wasn’t really an eventful day in the minor leagues, but an interesting prospect did go 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored for the Greenville Drive. Xander Bogaerts, a tall, lanky shortstop signed as an international free agent out of Aruba, is getting his first taste of American pro ball after he excelled in the Dominican Summer League last year.
Ever since I’ve been old enough to form coherent thoughts, I’ve been a compulsive Red Sox fan. This fandom has spanned some good times, but also some very bad times. Over this 25-year period, I’ve seen the fan base increase exponentially, and the increase includes lots of people who aren’t quite as knowledgeable about the game as I am (naturally, a new fan will not be quite as up-to-speed on the sport as an old one).
Although I’m sometimes annoyed by the difficulty in acquiring Red Sox tickets these days due to increased demand, I’ve always embraced new fans. Personally, I could never understand the old-timers who were xenophobic towards people who just began to notice the experience that is Red Sox Baseball. You have to look at the big picture. The “Pink Hats” spend money, they increase ratings, they provide an incentive for ownership to spend that extra million or two on the team. Why would that ever be a bad thing, from a fan’s perspective?
The reason I say that is this: I’m a Bruins Pink Hat. During the playoffs, I would get to the bar extra early just to get a stool for the game, yet I couldn’t pronounce “Paille”. Until a few weeks ago, I did not know the name of the guy who siang the National Anthem at the Garden. The bottom line is: I don’t know shit about the Bruins, and I didn’t give a shit about the Bruins until maybe 14 months ago. All I know is, I’ve enjoyed the hell out of watching them recently.
So, yes, I’ll probably show more interest to the team now that they’ve encountered success. As a follower of the Golden Rule, I hope I won’t be looked at with too much disdain.
Congrats to those of you who have been a fan for years. I went through a similar experience 7 years ago, and I’m happy that the ecstasy of that type of moment can be shared with others.