Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Offensive Explosion

On the menu tonight for the Red Sox: first, a nice appetizer courtesy of David Ortiz defying human life with another monster shot, followed immediately by a side salad of Manny Ramirez back-to-back, the main course featuring more long balls and, to top it off, a dessert filled with a four hit night for the Cap’N and Dr. Dirt Dog. Definitely the right ingredients for a blowout win in the Trop. Nothing like taking a piece of the Devil Rays and smearing it all over their faces, wiping those slick grins off the rookies faces and showing them who’s still boss in the division. The offense wakes up from their brief nap at an opportune time. Final Score: 15-2.

Ortiz: 4-5, 2 HR, 4 runs, 4 RBI
Ramirez: 4-4, 2 HR, 4 runs, 3 RBI
Varitek: 4-5, 2 RBI
Nixon: 4-6, 4 runs, 3 RBI

I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in.

Any more great news, you might ask? Curt Schilling, who showed us that with a little run support, anything is possible. Even (gasp) a win. Exactly what we could have asked from Schilling tonight. Seven solid innings, seven strikeouts, making Devil Rays hitters look impatient and silly late in the game once he settled in. You can’t prove much from a blowout like that, but at least Schill kept that lineup in tact for the first couple innings while our offense brought out the whips.

More on David Ortiz now, who is quickly making me think twice about the vow I took earlier in life that a DH should never win MVP. I’m not much for interleague or the DH, but if the Sox somehow scrape out this division in the last weekend, Ortiz has to be the obvious choice. I don’t care anymore if he can’t field if his life depended on it, or that he steals a base once in a green moon. The guy got the Sox jump-started tonight like he’s done so often, blasted another in the third, and just to make things exciting, brought his average over .300.

If you look at Ortiz’s statistics, this MVP year has been slowly building up for a while now. In 2000, Ortiz hit ten home runs, followed by 18, 20, then 31 with the Sox in 2003, 41 last year and now 46 dingers, a career high, and moving towards Jimmie Foxx for that single season Sox record. Primarily a bust with Minnesota, Theo took a chance to an injury prone guy that was good in the clubhouse, but never delivered on the field. As it appears now, Theo made the best free agent signing in recent memory. From his 2003 breakout year, to the 2004 heroics and the ring, now in 2005 with his MVP numbers, his career can be defined as “climbing the ladder”. At the very least.

(By the way, did anyone see the Devil Rays try to copy the Red Sox hugs after Cantu hit his home run in the first inning? Cantu approached Hall on the bench, they stared at each other for a second, then actually hugged for way too long to be comfortable, then gave another awkward stare and hit each other in the chin. The NESN cameras went back and Cantu was doing some fake seizure type handshake with another player. I like the effort guys, but I haven’t laughed harder since I found out there was a pitcher named J.J. Putz.)

Varitek’s brief hibernation is over. Trot’s frustration is over. Manny made Seth McClung look like Blaine Neal with two big time home runs. It was a complete total effort from everyone on the team tonight, and it feels really good to get back in a winning groove again. Let’s just hope we didn’t spend all the runs tonight, and have some ammo to beat these guys again. And one more thing. May the Yankees lose sometime in the near future.


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