95-65: Clinched

A very strong performance by Daisuke Matsuzaka (15-12) last night, coupled with a power explosion from David Ortiz led to a 5-2 victory over the Twins last night. Put that together that with an extra-inning win by Baltimore over the Yankees, and we are the new AL East Champions! It’s the first time the Yankees have failed to win it since 1995, and I say it signals a changing of the guard in the AL East. Congratulations, guys! You really deserve it after your red hot start and hanging on through slumps, injuries, and all sorts of criticism.

Dice-K went eight strong on 119 pitches to get win number 15. That was the best I’ve seen his windup and fastball in a long time. He seemed more relaxed, and was just letting it fly instead of trying to hit the exact spot every time. Minnesota was held scoreless until the 7th inning. His ERA ends at 4.40 on the year, but I’d say that’s kind of misleading because he had so many starts where he pitched deep and allowed fewer than 2 runs (kind of like last night). Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he became a top starter next season for the BoSox.

Big Papi is really turning it on at just the right time. The past 7 days, he’s hitting a monstrous .565/.655/1.130/1.785 with 3 HR, and in September his line stands at .388/.514/.800/1.314 with 8 HR and 26 RBI. He’s making a strong push to overtake Mike Lowell in RBI this season (Ortiz has 117 to Lowell’s 118). In fact, Papi’s second half is looking pretty incredible at .348/.455/.684/1.139 with 20 HR and 64 RBI. Those are peak Barry Bonds numbers there, friends. Nobody wants to pitch to Big Papi right now, and that’s just the way we want it for the postseason.

Jonathan Papelbon finished off the Twins on just 6 pitches last night for his 37th save. Looks like they were trying to take a page out of the Yankees’ playbook and be aggressive with him, but you gotta have the bats to do that, guys.

Let’s see about our playoff preparedness here: The rotation is looking pretty sharp, the bullpen is getting better (or at least Hideki Okajima is), and the lineup is pretty healthy except for Manny Ramirez, Coco Crisp and Kevin Youkilis. Jason Varitek could be more rested, so I’d start Doug Mirabelli and Kevin Cash for the remaining games. In fact, we can play all our subs the next two games, and rest up for next week. I can’t wait.


2 Responses to 95-65: Clinched

  1. Pat says:

    Tonight was J.D.’s night of redemtion. I think finally people will begin to notice he has been on fire, and if worthy of respect (I hope so anyways).

    With the east, and the best record in our hands, I think everyone who needs it should take the day off tomorrow.

    I’ll be going to Fenway tomorrow, and I hope to see Davern Hansack pitching. I would be upset if Shilling pitched.

  2. donchoi says:

    If you’re interested in seeing what the celebration was like, check out this Youtube video:

    Papelbon is hilarious.

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