Red Sox Record for the Week of September 21: 2-5
The Red Sox got off to such a hot start in September that there was bound to be a let down at some point. Last week was it, as they lost five of its seven games and with last night’s 11-5 loss to Toronto at Fenway, six of its last eight, with six games left in the regular season.
It’s not for lack of trying though, but lack of meaningful games, as Boston has known for a while now that it, and not the slumping Texas Rangers were eventually going to get the AL Wild Card spot. Therefore, manager Terry Francona has been giving regulars more rest time than usual lately and setting up his pitching staff for the postseason. The Sox are one win or one Texas loss away from getting there for the third season in a row as I write this. Until then, here’s a quick wrap up of the week that was in Red Sox Nation.
We’re Not In Kansas City Anymore
The Sox split its four games (2-2) against the Kansas City Royals last Monday-Thursday, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. They had the game won Monday in Tim Wakefield’s start but the bullpen blew it in a 12-9 loss. More on that later. Tuesday, as predicted in last week’s Dead Red column, Royals ace Zack Greinke overmatched Paul Byrd in a 5-1 win over Boston. In so doing, he picked up his 15th win (to go with 8 losses) on his quest for the Cy Young Award, which he deserves no matter what his win/loss record is or who he plays for. His incredible 2.06 ERA should be enough to win it. An ironic note: Greinke became the first Royals pitcher since Paul Byrd in 2002 to win at least 15 games. He won his 16th vs. Minnesota on Sunday.
Last Wednesday, the Sox not only won its 90th game for the fifth season under Francona, they sent a message to the baseball world by having Victor Martinez catch Josh Beckett instead of Jason Varitek, who has completely lost it at the plate. The first time those two paired up August 18 in Toronto, it was a last-minute decision as Tek came down with severe neck pain. Beckett gave up seven earned runs. This time, in six innings, he gave up 12 hits, just two runs and K’d seven while picking up his 16th win as the Sox won 9-2. That success, even against the Royals, likely means those two will pair up for the postseason as well. And it is the right thing to do.