Back to the Bronx
Last week was a tease. One Red Sox-Yankees game to get everyone’s juices flowing, then a rainout, then the Yankees leave town.
Here we go again, back to New York, with Beckett pitching at Yankee Stadium for the first time since his epic performance in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series. That night is one that stands out for all baseball fans. This kid was on three days rest, and his old school manager Jack McKeon threw him out there for nine innings, and all Beckett did was pitch the game of his life to close down Yankee Stadium for the season.
At the time, it looked like Beckett’s coming out party. Instead, it was a little preview of what this man can do when he puts it all together, only circumstances have combined to prevent him from doing it on a consistent basis. Blisters, bad market in South Florida, little nags here and there, perhaps some inconsistency on Beckett’s part.
Perhaps being right in the thick of this Red Sox-Yankees thing, and pitching in Boston in general, brings Beckett to that peak he was at in Oct., 2003 more often. Beckett against Randy Johnson is going to be something. Can you have a baseball game with more sizzle in May than this one?
The other matchups are both pretty appealing also. Two old warriors in Schilling and Mussina. Talk about guys who know how to pitch. Both of them have looked rejuvenated this year. Then you have Wakefield and Chacon. Wake has pitched some of his best games in Yankee Stadium the last three years and Chacon is still a bit of an unknown in the context of this rivalry. Can he get it done against the Red Sox on a consistent basis?
The homestand was big for the Red Sox, particularly for Wily Mo Pena and Mike Lowell. These guys brought thump to the bottom of the batting order and gave the team better balance than they’ve had all year.
Also, Mark Loretta took some great swings today. That is a very good sign. And what can you say about Youkilis? The man is always on base. What should they do with the lineup when Coco comes back? Would you hit Youkilis second and move Loretta toward the bottom of the order, or would you go Coco-Loretta and Youk eighth like it was earlier in the year.
I’m curious to see what everyone has to say about that.