Wednesday, July 16, 2008

While You Were Sleeping....

J.D. Poo Drew continued his 2008 F--k You Dave For Being A Hater Tour by going 2-4 with a HUGE 2-run home run and picking up the All-Star Game MVP award, as well as home field advantage for the AL in the World Series. Which occurred at approximately 4:45 in the morning, sometime in the 974th inning.

Well... at least Bud didn't declare a tie, right?

In a loooooong, looooooong snoozefest that had AL manager Terry Francona seriously considering (a) whether he could get away with blowing out Scott Kasmir's arm by leaving him in for 140 pitches and/or (b) whether it was too late to activate Eck and Goose Gossage for the game, the game finally ended when Michael Young (the Texas shortstop, not the former host of "Kids Are People Too") drove in Home Run Derby champion Josh Hamilton... er, Justin Morneau with a sac fly in the bottom of the 15th off of Phillies closer Brad Lidge. The big hits, though, came from Drew, whose 2-run homer off of Edinson Volquez tied the game in the 7th, and from Evan "Future Mrs. Rick Ankiel's Future Lover On The Side" Longoria, whose double in the 9th off of Mets (and former Phillies) closer Billy Wagner erased the one-run lead that the NL had taken off of Cinco Ocho, a.k.a Not Mariano Rivera.

Yeah.... Jon-boy had kind of a bad trip. Is it just me, or is Paps looking... um.... totally non-dominant in the past couple of weeks? I've seen too many recent Papeloutings where he gives up bad hits on poorly-placed fastballs, or tails off after getting two outs. It's starting to unnerve me. Paps does not have a non-fastball out pitch, and if he starts to lose speed and/or movement on his heater, we could be looking at Calvin Schiraldi Jr. before we know it.

In other Sox All-Star news, everyone else -- Ramirez, Pedroia, Youkilis, and very late substitute Jason Varitek -- combined to go 0-5.

After we all endure the Longest Day of the Year today, the Sox are off on their annual West Coast March of Death -- the inevitable late July / early August trek to some combination of Anaheim, Seattle, and Oakland (this year, it's the first two) that has often been the rock upon which divisional title hopes have been dashed. The clash with the AL-West-leading Angels, who are shockingly injury-free by their standards (I think only about 33% of the roster is on the DL), will be a real litmus test for this team. And hopefully sometime after the team returns to Fenway at the end of the month (for games against the Yankees and Angels), David Ortiz will have completed his minor league rehab and will be good to go. But we'll see. If that damn bullpen doesn't straighten itself out soon, baaaad things could happen. Baaaaaad thiiiiiings.

Bonus strange but true fact: Including tomorrow, the Sox have 8 of the remaining 11 Thursdays in the season off.

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