Near No-No’s By Boston Pitchers!
What a week it’s been for the Boston Red Sox pitchers. The pitching staff has been looking sharp, and I mean all aspects of the staff. From their starting pitchers (Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield), to the middle relief (Daniel Bard, Takashi Saito and Ramon Ramirez), their set up men and finally the closer Jonathan Papelbon. The only not so great performance came from Friday nights starter Brad Penny vs the Texas Rangers. Penny actually tossed a good game and if you just minus that one bad inning (5th), he most likely would have won the game.
And making things even sweeter for the Sox, were the two near no-no’s by Boston pitchers! As Beckett and Jon Lester both came close this week. Actually in the past 72 hours they both had no hitters going into the seventh innings in their games, before they were broken up.
Beckett’s came on Wednesday night vs the Detroit Tigers in the Sox10-5 victory. He saw his near no-no broken up with a clean hit off the bat of Curtis Granderson who singled to right with two outs. Beckett went 7 2/3 innings giving up 2 hits, and 3 runs. While he walked only 2 batters and struck out 9 in gaining his 6th victory of the season.
Which brings us to Lester and his performance this evening vs the Rangers at Fenway Park. Lester who already has a no hitter on his brief baseball resume (May 2008) came close again as he not only had a no hitter in the works, but also a perfect game. With one out in the top of the seventh up to the plate stepped shortstop Michael Young and with one swing of his bat, Lester’s no-no was history. Young doubled on a line drive hit to center-field for the first off only two hits allowed by Lester on the night.
Lester finished the complete game and evened his record on the season to 5-5, with the 8-1 victory. His final stats for the evening were impressive as he tossed 107 pitches in going the distance for the Sox. He ended the game allowing only 2 hits, 1 run, while walking 2 batters and striking out 11 Rangers on the night. Plus he sent the Fenway faithful home early as the game wrapped up in under 2 and a half hours, much to the delight of Red Sox Nation.
Congratulations go out to both Beckett and Lester on their outstanding performances this week. Things are looking good for the Soxas they move closer to their date with the dreaded New York Yankees. The Yankees who arrive for a three game series beginning Tuesday next week at Fenway. LET’S GO SOX!