Wednesday, May 7, 2008

First Pitch

I’m trying to imagine what was going through the mind of Freddy Dolsi last night. He was in the bullpen, warming up to make his major league debut. Do you think he was paying attention to the batting order? Was he realizing that he was on line to face the meat of the Red Sox order? At what point did he realize that the first pitch he threw in the major leagues would be to Manny Ramirez? So, there he is on the mound. Knees probably a little wobbly, stomach a little churney, and he has to figure out how to pitch to a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. I know he was probably just thrilled to be pitching. But, you know in the back of his mind he was wishing it was Lugo at the plate, not the best right-handed hitter in a generation. Thankfully, he didn’t have to shudder for long. It was over in a second as Manny sent the first pitch of Dolsi’s career into the centerfield bleachers. Welcome to the bigs, Freddy. Do you think they got the ball back for him?

The other story of the game was the dominance of Tim Wakefield. One game after the Tigers did more walking than Nancy Sinatra, the knuckler didn’t allow a single free pass. Only two tigers were able to reach against Timmy, and only one got to second. This was just one of those nights where Wake had the feel for the ball, and could make it do whatever he wanted. Thankfully, the bats didn’t waste the effort this time. The offense has had resurgence of late. Last night started early, with three runs in the first, and Wake made it stick. Even with Coco and Cash in the line-up, the Sox won going away.

This last week, or so, the Sox have been everything we hoped they’d be. The pitching has been great. Even Dice-K was able to get the win despite a career high in walks. The offense is finally playing their part as well. Watch out American League. Going into the season, April looked scary for the Sox. The Japan Hangover was a huge fear. The schedule was inhumane, with games against NY, Cleveland, LA, and Detroit clogging it up. Add to that the fact that Lowell went down, and Papi’s been grinding and it looked pretty bleak. After all that however, here on May 7, the Sox have the best record in the league. And, it just gets easier from here.

This will be a fun season.

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