Red Sox 4, Athletics 0
It took nearly half a day, but the Red Sox and three long rain delays, but the Sox and Athletics somehow managed to fit both games in Saturday afternoon, with the Sox taking both ends of the doubleheader.
While the first game featured a torrid offensive attack from Boston, the second was a more muted affair, perhaps the result of having already played one long game in the cold and wet.
What was not lacking was a quick start. While the Sox went down in order in the first, Dustin Pedroia worked a nine-pitch at bat, ultimately providing a leadoff double. Two pitches later, and David Ortiz deposited a fastball from Graham Godfrey into the Monster seats for a two-run homer, giving the Sox the early lead.
Erik Bedard, meanwhile, had struggled with his control and a tight zone through the first two frames, escaping a bases loaded situation in the first and stranding another two baserunners in the second. He would turn it on, however, for what would turn out to be the second half of his outing, striking out three batters in a pair of 1-2-3 innings. With the Sox adding another run in the fourth, he seemed to be in good position for his first win with Boston.
Then came the rain (again), and Bedard's night was suddenly over before he could pitch the fifth. After the delay was over, professional win poacher Alfredo Aceves came in and did it again, albeit in his usual deserving fashion, throwing three innings of shutout ball allowing just one walk in the process. The Sox tacked on another score in the sixth, and turned the ball over to Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon to do their usual thing, closing out the doubleheader.
With the Yankees games postponed by Irene, the Sox have a two-game lead in the AL East--at least for today. They'll have a good chance to dry off, rest, and reset for Tuesday, when those very same New Yorkers come to town.
Three For The Road
The handling of today's weather by the MLB and umpires demands some scrutiny. From the decision to restart the first game in the rain for one inning, to the refusal to call the first match, and the ultimate decision to continue the second match past the fifth inning, one wonders who really benefits.
It's not the teams--they risked their health just by playing in those conditions. The fans were put through the usual push-and-pull of lengthy rain delays, and even though the devoted few were rewarded for their perseverance, one wonders if they would have complained should the games have been called without the hours of waiting. So who wins? The MLB with its strict adherence to rules that didn't end up making any sense given the circumstances. If natural disasters can't provide an exception, what can?
Since losing the boot, David Ortiz is 11-for-20 with four doubles, three homers, and a walk. Eye drops of 2009, meet walking boot of 2011.
Bad umpires, bad defense, bad offense, and now an act of God. Erik Bedard can't buy a win right now, which is a shame since it lets guys like Michael Kay go on about how much of a disappointment the largely impressive Bedard has been.
Oh well, if he gets his first win in the postseason, nobody will complain.
Red Sox MVP -- David Ortiz
We already went over his recent contributions above, but that includes a 3-for-4 performance with a home run that led the Sox to Saturday's second victory.
Up Next -- Tuesday, August 30 vs. New York Yankees | John Lackey (12-9, 5.98 ERA) vs. TBD
The Red Sox will be fresh, the Yankees tired after their own series of three games in two days. The Sox have their pitching rotation in order, the Yankees will have to cobble together what they can for three games. The Sox have a 10-2 record against the Yankees so far, the Yankees--well, you get the picture. It's looking good for Boston.