5-5: Sox outslug Detroit, 12-6

Yesterday was Japanese Day at Fenway. The AP writes that two ninjas sparred as part of the festivities. Uh, that looks more like kendo to me. A 10-second trip to Wikipedia could have avoided that cultural faux pas

Mike Lowell was sent to the 15-day DL yesterday with a sprained thumb, and Jed Lowrie was called up from Pawtucket. Kevin Youkilis got the start at third again, but expect to see Lowrie log some significant time there over the next two weeks. Losing Lowell should be significantly less painful because of the presence of Lowrie, who has a solid glove and a good arm. Adding his right-handed bat is strategically useful as well.

Tim Wakefield (1-0) went a gutsy five innings, throwing a 108 pitches, and just 61 for strikes. Wakefield finished with two runs (one earned) on 3 hits and 5 walks, with 5 strikeouts. His knuckler was dancing all over the place because of a crosswind throughout the game. He struggled a bit with control in the top of the 3rd, giving up a walk, a hit batter, and another walk to load them up with one out for Miguel Cabrera. Good thing MCab looked totally clueless against the knuckler and struck out, then Carlos Guillen hit a pop fly to end the threat. Kevin Cash did a very good job trapping some pitches that bounced way outside. Even if he doesn’t always look pretty doing it, he can catch the knuckler. Of course, his errant throw in the top of the 4th cost the Sox a run, maybe two.

The bullpen was good, with the exception of Julian Tavarez. Coming in for the 8th inning in what should have been an easy mopup job, he struggled with his command, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits and two walks before even recording an out. Jonathan Papelbon had to come in and close out that inning, and also pitched the 9th for his 3rd save. Manny Delcarmen got burned on another changeup, this time to Magglio Ordonez. Maybe he shouldn’t throw that pitch as often. What about adding a splitter/cutter to his repertoire instead?

The lineup was excellent today, with most of the production coming late against that weak Tigers bullpen. The guys posted 13 hits and drew 9 walks in total, with J.D. Drew going 3-3 with a walk, two runs scored and 2 RBI. Coco Crisp also reached base four times in 5 PA, though I’m still not impressed with his at-bats. He’s up there guessing, and it ain’t pretty. It was nice to see Jacoby Ellsbury draw his third walk in the last two games; that’s exactly what the front office likes to see from its young players, even if the hitting hasn’t come around yet.

Youk certainly looks good at the hot corner, despite not having played there for about two years. In the 1st, he barehanded a ball that deflected off the bag, then threw out the runner. His throwing motion looks a little unusual to me; he cocks his arm with the ball by his ear, pauses, then throws to first, probably for accuracy’s sake. But he was smooth and steady out there. Sean Casey deserves some recognition for some nice picks over at first base last night as well. See? That first error was just a fluke.

Paul Kenyon reports that Mike Timlin is ready to return, and will be activated tomorrow. I’d be shocked and dismayed if the Sox cut David Aardsma over Bryan Corey, considering his younger age and superior stuff.


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