The Sox began the week by ending their 11-game winning streak losing to the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday at the reservation. They also ended up beating Cleveland the following night and were a game out of first place behind the Toronto Blue Jays. I was in high spirits, everyone was playing well, David Ortiz was slowly producing at the plate, Jason Bay showed last minute shot after last minute shot on a nightly basis. Everything was going so great for us, then we went to Tampa.
The team that blew my mind last year and beat us in Game 7 of the ALCS, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays took three of four outscoring the Red Sox 34-11 including one shut out. Evan Longoria single handedly destroyed the Red Sox pitchers scoring six runs, bringing in ten RBI's and launching two home runs (one of them a Grand Slam). Last seasons AL Rookie of the Year could potentially be making a case to copy Dustin Pedroia and follow his rookie campaign with an MVP trophy.
The only win the Red Sox pulled out of the series against the Devil Rays was in game 3 where my boy, Tim Wakefield pitched 5+ innings and allowed 5 runs. For those of you who like the numbers, that's an ERA of 9.00! With the offense finally exploding, we were still able to hold on and win with some bullpen help. Wakefield improved to 3-1 on the season, 20-5 lifetime against Tampa and 10-3 at Tropicana Field. I'm going to start getting signatures for Tim Wakefield's name to be on the AL Cy Young ballot.
The Red Sox swept the New York Yankees in their last three game series at Fenway Park and are now playing a two game series at the New Yankee Stadium. After seeing all the highlights of home runs allowed in that park so far this season, I can't think of a better place for the Sox hitters to blow up. I'd also like to see Big Papi come flying out of his slump and start putting up some power numbers at the East Coast Coors Field. Maybe revisiting the New Yankee Stadium, where they had to dig up a Divid Ortiz jersey after construction started will help him to hit his first home run of the season.
In tonight's game, Jon Lester (1-2) will pitch against Phil Hughes (1-0). With the powerful bats of Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay, I can only fathom the amount of Jack the bartenders will be serving up over the next two days. If we can sweep the Yankees again, and Toronto drops a few, we could see ourselves in first place by the end of the week.
Thanks to Waldo Jaquith for the photo of Tim Wakefield.