August 1, 2006


Slugger Ortiz Rescues Red Sox Again: Red Sox 9, Indians 8 (Howard Ulman, 8/01/06, Associated Press)

No matter how dire the situation appears for the Red Sox, there's always Big Papi.

David Ortiz did it again Monday night, hitting a game-ending, three-run homer in the ninth inning to give Boston a 9-8 win over the Cleveland Indians that kept the Red Sox in sole possession of first place in the AL East.

"The whole inning we're just thinking, let's just get David to the plate," manager Terry Francona said.

Ortiz, who also hit a solo homer in the third, got his second game-ending hit in three days and fifth of the year. It was his 12th in four seasons with Boston, most in the majors during that span. He leads the big leagues with 37 home runs and 105 RBIs, and he tied a club record with 14 homers in a month.

"You've got to do what you've got to do," Ortiz said.

The best thing to happen to the Sox at the trading deadline this year may be the injuries to Nixon & Varitek.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 1, 2006 1:52 PM

You can really tell how much things in Boston have changed since '04 by the fact that the crowd applauded Wells after he was yanked. Three years ago he would have been hung -- in effigy if lucky and fast.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 1, 2006 1:56 PM

Good lord that Sizemore is fast and Hafner is like a cobra at the plate.

Fast, young and strong is a good way to build a team.

Posted by: Pepys at August 1, 2006 2:00 PM

What a beautiful Monday evening. Got to the bottom of the 9th and hollered to get the kids come downstairs and watch. I had to explain to my daughter that watching Big Papi yard the "walk-off homerun" isn't just a play they send in from the sidelines in football; it's history in the making.

Posted by: John Resnick at August 1, 2006 2:09 PM


A part of me thinks the White Sox recent run is punishment by the baseball gods inflicted on Ozzie for leaving Hafner off the all-star team.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at August 1, 2006 3:10 PM

No it's punishment Ozzie inflicted on his starters and the failure to address an awful bullpen.

If Thome's injury is serious the Tribe may catch them though.....

Posted by: oj at August 1, 2006 3:17 PM

I can see why Nixon's injury may help as it got Wily Mo onto the field, but what good is Varitek's injury?

Posted by: pj at August 1, 2006 3:39 PM

Ozzie has a lot to atone for. Doing Hafner was bad, but ruining arms for no good reason is unforgivable. Dusty baker is another one with some serious Karma to work off over that.

Posted by: Pepys at August 1, 2006 3:46 PM

Varitek is terrible offensively at this point and has always been a defensive disaster and bad game caller. Getting him out of there will lower Beckett's ERA by a point and a half.

Posted by: oj at August 1, 2006 4:12 PM

Here's the question though, the game where the Cubs really crushed Wood was perhaps the best single game ever thrown by a human being (Pedro's 18k, one-hitter against the Yanks being the only competition): could you have pulled him if you were managing?

Posted by: oj at August 1, 2006 4:15 PM

If I had used him correctly up until that point, no. If I had used him up, yes. So, if I were managing at that point, I'd happily pull him.

I have different opinions about boxing though. I saw the Chavez v Taylor fight and believe it was worth it for Taylor even though it utterly ruined him. But boxing is about the trade off between health and glory in a way baseball is not.

Posted by: Pepys at August 1, 2006 4:24 PM

Beauty is its own reward.

Posted by: oj at August 1, 2006 4:40 PM

Dusty wasn't Wood's manager when he threw the 20 strikeout game, Jim Riggleman was. The Cubs were ruining good young arms long before Dusty arrived. Jeremy Gonzalez and Aumary Telmarco come to mind. Dontrelle was lucky he got out of Dodge.

One odd stat. In the four 20 strikeout games in MLB history (Clemens twice, Wood & R. Johnson) there were no walks. Now that's power and control.

Posted by: jeff at August 1, 2006 5:03 PM

I saw Roger's two and Woods' and there was no comparison in terms of unhittability. Wood was throwing a slider that was so tightly wrapped and broke so sharply that there was no way you could hit it or a human armn could throw it for long. Pedro's one-hitter, though he "only" had 18k's was scary too.

Posted by: oj at August 1, 2006 5:12 PM