April 7, 2001
OK. What do we have here? It appears that a steady balanced attack led the Red Sox to victory. Nothing special, nothing too exciting. They simply worked their way to the win. It take a lot of games like this to make a good season.
The pitcher’s box lists Paxton Crawford first. Paxton just turned 36 last month, but in this game he was an up and coming 23-year old. He was definitely showing something to give Red Sox fans hope. He went seven innings on the day, striking out nine Devil Rays. Not a bad game at all. How did the line-up support Crawford?
The long ball played a big part in the game. After the Devil Rays took an early lead in the second, Trot Nixon answered with a two run homer in the bottom half. Shea Hillenbrand added the eventual game winner in the fourth on a solo shot.
I love the eighth inning. Daubach reaches on a third strike wild pitch. He goes to second on a walk to Lewis. Offerman hits a DP ball, but the shortstop miffs the throw. With the bases loaded, Everett hits a grounder to first, where they gun down Dauber at the plate. When Ramirez strikes out, the Red Sox complete the weirdest inning in which nothing happens. Classic Devil Rays.
The hero of the game? Let’s give it to Nixon. His home run really helped the Sox get their groove on. The goat? Amazingly, every Red Sox starter got at least one hit. So, let’s put the horns on Jose Offerman. His 1-5 performance could have been a killer from the second spot in the order.
But, it wasn’t. The kid kept the Devil Rays at bay. The offence did everything it needed to in order to score runs, and pull out the game.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.