02 May 2006

Double Play Depth: Everything's Coming Up Red Sox; Beat Yankees, 7-3

This was not the column I had hoped to write today.

With the Yankees facing the Red Sox for the first time this season, I hadn't planned on commenting on the game at all, but I promised Ben Kabak that I'd post something, and it seems silly for Double Play Depth to remain silent on this matter while Firebrand unabashedly gloats for all to read.

Of course, Evan and his compatriots in Red Sox Nation actually have something to gloat about, unlike those of us who have sworn allegiance to the Evil Empire, as the Red Sox won the first match of these division rivals' 19-game season series, 7-3.

This game, like much of the Boston-New York rivalry, was nothing if not dramatic. Knuckleballer RHP Tim Wakefield started for Boston, entering the game with only a 1-4 record and a 3.90 ERA in his first five starts. The Boston front office did everything they could to help Wakefield succeed tonight, which started by acquiring former Knuckle Kaddy Doug "Get In!" Mirabelli from the San Diego Padres, to whom they had traded him for 2B Mark Loretta in the off-season. (Josh Bard, Mirabelli's successor in the role of Guy Who Retrieves Wakefield's Pitches Before They Get to Harvard Square, had already allowed ten passed balls this season in the six games he'd caught for Wakefield.) Mirabelli literally had to be escorted from Logan Airport to Fenway Park to make sure he got there on time, as his plane from the Left Coast only arrived at 6:48PM, and the first pitch of the game was at 7:13. I bet most Boston commuters wish they could get through the city to work in 25 minutes.

With his old caddy back, Wakefield went seven hard-fought innings, allowing three runs on three walks and four hits with only two strikeouts. On a cold, windy night, Wakefield's knuckeball wasn't "knuckling" as it does in milder environments, and so four of every ten pitches were out of the strikezone, but that wind also helped keep a couple of hard-hit balls in the park, and the Yankees could ultimately do little with his offerings.

Another Knuckle Sandwich for the Yankees, the only thing on the menu at the Wakefield Cafe. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Read the rest at Double Play Depth...

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