Red Sox Extras is a postgame feature providing analysis for each game. Boston defeated the Seattle Mariners, 5-0, on Tuesday afternoon at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.
Earlier this season, the Sox took what should have been a day of note--the celebrations for Fenway Park's 100th birthday--and turned it into a sad occasion by losing to the Yankees.
On Tuesday, they took another deserving day, with Tim Wakefield returning to Fenway Park and throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to none other than Doug Mirabelli, and provided an on-field product that lived up to the pre-game ceremonies.
It was just the latest in a line of impressive games by the Sox that suddenly has them looking like a legitimate baseball team again, not one struggling beneath the weight of a failed 2011 campaign.
Josh Beckett was about as good as he could possibly be on an afternoon where he needed to be at his absolute best to put his debacle against the Indians behind him. The golf jokes and calls for his head will certainly be quieter, if perhaps not gone entirely, after a seven inning domination of the Mariners, including three perfect innings to start the game and an impressive nine strikeouts. That Beckett should return at this level is perhaps not so terrible surprising--though his ERA is large, he's either been very good, or very bad this year. Never in-between.
The offense, while not explosive, did what it needed to do. They worked strong at bats, building Blake Beavan's pitch count early, and then scored early enough to give Beckett first an early lead, and then a comfortable one. Especially impressive was David Ortiz, who hit his eighth homer of the year to give the Sox their first run and then actually bunted his way to first and scored later on.
It bears mentioning that even Bobby Valentine had a good day, not making the mistake of waiting too long to start looking towards the bullpen. With Beckett tiring in the seventh, losing some velocity and getting hit harder than he had all day, Valentine had someone warming in the pen so that he wouldn't be left high-and-dry with a crisis underway. It's a good sign for a manager who has too often been guilty of a slow hook.
The Sox will start a two-game series Wednesday, as they face the Rays in Tampa Bay.
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|Boston Red Sox||0||0||1||2||1||0||0||1||X||5||9||0|
|WP: Josh Beckett (3 - 4)
LP: Blake Beavan (1 - 4)