Sunday, April 16, 2006

Through a bit of good fortune, I managed to score three good seats to the Sox-Mariners game at Fenway this afternoon. Section 22 of the grandstand behind home plate, no poles or other obstructions. It was a nice day - low '60s and sunny for the most part, so the kids and I took the T into Fenway for the afternoon. Topping things off, Ichiro is J.'s favorite player so he was very excited.

It happened that this was my second Josh Beckett sighting in a week, and he was even more impressive than he was on Opening Day. No first inning woes this time - he was well into the third inning by the time he threw the 36 pitches he needed to complete the first on Tuesday. He gave up two runs, one earned in seven innings before giving way to the bullpen - say it with me - Timlin in the 8th, Papelbon in the 9th for two innings of scoreless relief. Papelbon racked up his league leading 6th save as the Sox took the third game of the series.

There were a couple of concerns, however. The offense continues to sputter as the Sox only scored 5 runs against Seattle in the series. Manny still looks kind of lost up at the plate, although he did hit a ball hard late in the game that Adrian Beltre couldn't handle at 3rd. It seems that the lack of a Johnny Damon/Coco Crisp type catalyst at the top of the order is hurthing things. The other issue is Wily Mo Pena's defense (or lack thereof). He butchered a Jose Lopez line drive to him in right this afternoon into a triple that drove in one of the Mariners two runs. Lopez ended up scoring the other. I like Wily Mo's potential, but he has got to kill himself working on his defense if he is ever going to become a consistent player. As he is, he looks like the second coming of Dick Stuart.

In any event, we had a great day at the ballpark watching a great win by the Sox.


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