It’s a big one…

We need a win tonight, as a team and as Red Sox Nation. The Yanks didn’t look too bad against the Marlins last night, and our division lead is slim once again. It seems that although we have won a lot of games, we have always allowed our division rivals to creep back into the playoff picture. It shouldn’t even be realistic for the Yankees to be 2 games behind us. But so much is in turmoil right now for the Sox that it’s really no surprise things have turned out the way they are. We are the losers of 2 straight, and this comes right after 4 straight very good series, including a sweep of the Tigers and taking 2/3 vs. the first place Phillies. AJ Burnett is on the mound for NY tonight; I guess he’s their second best pitcher right now. His ERA is still hovering around 4.50, so we can hope for the Marlins to get ahead early so that Girardi is forced to turn it over to his not so great bullpen.

But we can’t just focus on the Yankees side of this one. Over here in Beantown we need a win, or else the Yankee’s loss I’m hoping for won’t mean anything. I can’t say I want to hammer Derek Lowe; after all he was our ’04 playoff hero and is still one of my favorite players. Many of the Sox players that were teammates of his still admire him a great deal, but that can’t get in the way of the game. I have to say I’m hoping for a 1 run, 2 run game that we can win without too much trouble, but that won’t thoroughly embarass our old friend D-Lowe.

The division lead is the obvious reason we need a win (and the Yankees need a loss), but there is also the great worries and confusion about what to do with Matsuzaka, how we’ll deal with Bucholz and Smoltz (who I think both deserve a spot in either our rotation or our bullpen). Who would have thought we’d end up with too much pitching? Aside from the pitching woes, though, our offense hasn’t exactly been stellar either lately. In the past week we’re batting about 6 points lower than our season avg., and it’s showing. Just as Big Papi starts rebounding from his season-long slump, he goes 4-13 in the last week, which, although good, is lower than the weeks before. His avg. is back under the mendoza line at a disappointing .198. At least our man J-Bay is still producing. He got the only 2 hits of the ballgame yesterday and is still a front runner for AL MVP.

So let’s sum it up. All I need for tonight to be fully at peace with baseball is:

-a 1 run or 2 run victory for the Sox

-a loss for the Yankees

-Big Papi to have a huge rebound game

-Jason Bay to have some offensive support

-and a loss for any other AL East teams would be nice

So let’s go out there and make it happen…Go Sox!








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