Even though I’m grossly agitated at the perception of this being a World Series preview for numerous reasons, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to ramble on about Sox/Phillies.
TONIGHT’S PITCHERS: JOSH BECKETT (BOS) VS. CLIFF LEE (PHI)
7:02 – The storyline heading into this series is pretty simple. The Red Sox can hit…the Phillies can pitch.
7:04 – Reason #5343 this series isn’t a World Series preview: Darnell McDonald is batting fifth for the Red Sox tonight. If he bats fifth for the Red Sox in a World Series game at Fenway Park, Citizens Bank Park, or Chews Elementary School, I’ll sell my home.
TOP OF THE 1ST
7:10 – Cliff Lee throws five pitches to retire Boston and slices through Ellsbury, Pedroia, and hired gun Adrian Gonzalez with ease.
BOTTOM OF THE FIRST
7:15 – Jimmy Rollins christens the bottom of the first by swinging at the first pitch as per usual. While Jason Varitek doesn’t catch up to it, Rollins doesn’t disappoint by flying out to center. Ugh.
7:18 – You always know when Chase Utley messes up at the plate. Once he makes contact, his head stays down. He flies out to end the inning. Lame. An easy frame for Beckett.
END OF THE FIRST: NO SCORE
TOP OF THE 2ND
7:22 – Oh lord. A four pitch walk by Lee to Kevin Youkilis. Although, I’m not worried that Darnell McDonald is going to bang one off the wall for a double. He’s hitting a cool .109.
7:23 – McDonald strikes out looking in what feels like 20 seconds. He has the nerve to argue. If you bat .109, I’m pretty sure it’s not the umpire’s fault.
7:25 – Mike Cameron is behind in the count 0-2. Odds are he will not make it past four pitches.
7:26 – Nope…strikes out looking. Sox waste a leadoff walk. No small ball in Boston.
7:27 – While we have a moment, let’s take a look at one of the great moments in Boston vs. Philadelphia sports history:
BOTTOM OF THE 2ND
7:30 – Tired of folks whining about his inability to hit opposite field, Ryan Howard laces a single to left field.
7:33 – Somehow Marco Scutaro gets in the hole between shortstop and third to cut down Howard at second. Here comes Ibanez, who is likely to get pure gas from Beckett.
7:36 – Beckett’s smoke display is interrupted by a poor pickoff attempt at first which allows Shane Victorino to reach second base.
7:37 – Yep, Ibanez got the gas face. Two out.
7:39 – Domonic Brown jacks, rips, sautees, and skewers a ball to center for a two-run homer to give the Phils a lead.
END OF 2: PHILLIES 2, RED SOX 0
TOP OF 3RD
7:46 – TV just showed Beckett’s two homers at CBP…bombs off of Brett Myers and JA Happ. Remember them?
7:49 – Clifford the Cat runs his scoreless innings streak to 26 with another easy inning. If the Red Sox top three hitters can’t generate anything, they’re in for a long night.
7:50 – Here’s that Bird/Doc fight. Barkley and Malone were awesome in this spot. They held Bird for Doc to clock him.
BOTTOM OF THE 3RD
7:56 – Lee just missed out on an infield hit but J-Roll earns a one-out walk.
7:57 – J-Roll steals second…but Utley swings…and yes, head down again. Fly out. Threat disabled.
END OF 3: PHILLIES 2, RED SOX 0
8:04 – Too bad this wasn’t a weekend series. Otherwise, the tailgating scene at Citizens Bank Park would have resembled this:
8:06 – Second time through for the top of the order. Let’s see if Boston makes adjustments. I mean, one would think they would since this is the greatest offense in baseball since the ’27 Yankees.
8:13 – Nope. No adjustments.
BOTTOM OF THE 4TH
8:16 – I’m guessing from a Philly perspective its inappropriate to splice in a clip of Super Bowl XXXIX?
8:17 – Sarge is the voice of reason on TV, stating that this is not a World Series preview…much is to be decided still. You know life is just fine when Sarge is a voice of logic. Anyhow, Beckett retires Phils with ease.
END OF THE 4TH: PHILLIES 2, RED SOX 0
TOP OF THE 5TH
8:23 – How is Jason Varitek still a viable offensive option for Boston? I feel like they’ve tried to off him for the better part of three seasons.
8:24 – Cliff Lee runs his scoreless innings streak to 28. Telling you…Boston’s 5-9 tonight is Death Valley. I’ll sign to face a .109 five-hole hitter any day of the week.
BOTTOM OF THE 5TH
8:30 – Looks like Dom Brown has his big boy pants on after lacing an opposite field double to left. Chooch moves him to third via a sac fly.
8:31 – Sensing they can’t hit Lee with a door at this point, Boston plays the infield in to cut off run number three.
8:33 – Cliff is 3 for 9 with runners in scoring position, which stays intact after hits a sac fly rope to left. Dom Brown scores.
END OF 5TH: PHILLIES 3, RED SOX 0
8:36 – In between innings, Beckett starts screaming at home plate umpire Derryl Cousins over pitches to Dom Brown (?). Whatever.
8:37 – Finally, Boston comes up with a hit. Bunt time.
8:38 – Beckett is unable to lay down a bunt twice and eventually grounds into a 6-3 double play. I’m guessing he’ll find time to wrap Cousins’s home in toilet paper during the offseason. Also, he didn’t run hard or drop his bat. Weak sauce.
BOTTOM OF THE 6TH
8:41 – Maybe Beckett should try this DVD during the All-Star break:
8:44 – A bunt from The Captain moves Polanco along to second. Yep, another hit and we’ll get closer to another meltdown.
8:50 – VIC! Shane Victorino goes yard. The two-run blast gives the Phils a 5-0 advantage. Beckett is going to critically injure a Gatorade bucket or three.
END OF 6TH: PHILLIES 5, RED SOX 0
TOP OF THE 7TH
8:56 – Beckett’s manager really needs to be Wally Backman. They would have awesome dugout chemistry.
9:00 – Lee loses his spot a bit but a double play ends the inning. Good times.
BOTTOM OF THE 7TH
9:02 – No more Beckett jokes. He’s gone. Tito looks concerned from the dugout.
9:08 – Franklin Morales restores order which reminds me to make a point. Phillies need another arm for the bullpen over a right-handed bat. They have a core of relievers that are at least 30 years old. Nasty wins in October not 86 mile per hour fastballs. Just ask Mitch Williams.
END OF THE 7TH: PHILLIES 5, RED SOX 0
TOP OF THE 8TH
9:15 – After an unlikely leadoff double by Darnell McDonald, Rollins makes the defensive play of the night by cutting off a potential single and throwing out Jason Varitek.
9:19 – No David Ortiz thus far because of the NL rules and nowhere for Papi to play but he’s in the on deck circle.
9:20 – Ortiz’s at-bat must wait since Lee forces Marco Scutaro to ground out to Polanco. Cliff Lee is awesome, in case you didn’t know that already.
BOTTOM OF THE 8TH
9:24 – By the way, Lee’s scoreless innings streak runs to 31.
9:25 – What is a blog without a Dick Dietz reference?
9:31 – It would be impossible for Dick Dietz to break up the Hershiser scoreless innings streak. After all, he last played in the early 70s. Sorry Wheels.
END OF 8TH: PHILLIES 5, RED SOX 0
TOP OF THE 9TH
9:41 – Lee is on his way to a fourth shutout this season and third in a row.
9:44 – Two outs….Clifton is ready to land this plane…
9:45 – Yep, those are my Phillies. Game over.
GAME OVER: PHILLIES 5, RED SOX 0
Well, any night you can post five runs without your major stars playing a big role, that’s a plus.
You what a bigger plus is though? Cliff Lee.
He has allowed one earned run in 42 innings this month and ran his record to 5-0 during June.
I’m not drinking this “World Series Preview” Kool-Aid because neither team is whole but the Phillies are going to be pretty tough to deal with in the National League.
Goodnight and good blogging.