Schill regains heat
I have to admit, i was very curious to see how Curt Schilling was going to pitch Monday night. Let’s face it, he had looked mighty ordinary in his last three starts. Combine that with his less than spectacular second half last season and it was only fair to wonder if, well, the aging process was getting the best of the big righty.
But the thing about the great competitors — and Schilling is definitely one of them — is that they just keep searching until they find some answers. It sounds like Schilling had worked overtime with pitching coach John Farrell leading up to this start. The result was Schilling having his best fastball in weeks, and, according to the pitcher himself, his best splitter in years. A large number of Schilling’s 10 K’s came on diving splits. It was definitely a good momentum boost for Schilling goingi into the Sunday night game against the Yankees.
Speaking of the Yankees, how in the world are they 13 1/2 games back? Roger Clemens must feel like he’s returning to a lost cause. Sure you can’t rule out the Yankees coming back. Just look at 1978 as a reference point. But I don’t see this Red Sox team squandering such a big lead with their pitching as good as it is.
Papelbon started out rusty in the ninth last night, but was good when he needed to be. The radar gun reading on his last pitch of the game? 97-MPH. It blew right by Hafner.
As if there wasn’t enough going on between Schilling and Papelbon and Trot coming back, the red-hot Youkilis put the ball in the perfect spot for an inside the park homer. What is the most exciting inside the park homer you all have ever seen? I’d take Pokey Reese’s in May, 2004 against the Royals. That was a photo finish with Pokey sliding in safely with a cloud of dirt following him.
Beckett is back tonight. For those who wondered if the Red Sox would cool off while he was out, consider that they boosted their lead from eight games to 11 1/2 during his DL stint.
Times are good right now for the Sox.