18-9: Manny gets into the swing of things


Maybe we ought to call him Dice-BB. Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-2) opened the game with three consecutive walks and a hit batsman, loading the bases and setting up a five-run Seattle first inning. Luckily for him, the Red Sox rallied in the second with five runs of their own, tying it at 5-5.

After that, it was the Manny Ramirez show. Ramirez hit two dingers, raising his average to .235 and bringing his season totals to 5 HR and 17 RBI. He blasted a two-run shot to deep, deep left in the bottom of the fourth. When the Mariners tied it up in the top of the 5th, Manny hit another one over the bullpen in right center to win it.

Actually, the Red Sox did a great job at the plate, tallying 15 hits off of the Seattle staff. In his best performance of the year, Wily Mo Pena went 4-4 with a double, and we got multi-hit games from David Ortiz, Manny and Mike Lowell. The lineup also drew 4 walks.

But all that goes for nothing when you walk people and commit errors, allowing the game to stay close. We also stranded 15 baserunners. This game should not have been so close. Dice-K struggled with his control again in this one. He has faced two teams more than once so far, the Yankees and the Mariners. His stats for those two starts? 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA, with 10 hits and 9 walks in just 11 IP. I’m not panicking yet, but just keep in mind he’s a 26-year old rookie who will have to take his lumps at times just like anyone else.

J.C. Romero finished off the game for his first save, and some are saying that Jonathan Papelbon looked none too pleased in the bullpen about that. Don’t sweat it, though. I don’t think he’s lost his closer’s job just yet. Let’s just make sure his shoulder is nice and rested for this road trip.

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