I’ll Take It

I was disappointed with Curt Schilling’s performance Friday night. He was having reasonable success with his curve, but twice tonight he got taken to town on his fastball by Alex Rodriguez. Granted, A-Rod is in a zone right now. Check that, he is on an unprecedented tear right now, but Schilling and Varitek have to know that A-Rod is going to hit a fairly straight fastball over everything.

 

With my "The Sky is Falling" attitude always present, I have to say this win was nice. The things that surprised me:

 

– Mariano Rivera not throwing dominantly.
– Coco Crisp hitting a 2-run triple.
– Curt Schilling didn’t put a fastball under A-Rod’s chin
– Hideki Okajima getting the save.

 

Kudos to Okajima for getting the win and for appearing genuinely happy to be pitching for the Red Sox and against the Yankees (see the post-game mound congratulations session). Okajima doesn’t have anything overpowering, but he has a few things working in his favor, he has a very good change, split and when throws, he is actually looking at the ground, not the batter. That will keep any batter on his toes.

 

I have no idea why the Red Sox never pitched A-Rod inside. Not just on the inside corner, but rather, at him. I’m not saying the Red Sox needed to bean A-Rod (head shot), but as Peter suggested earlier on Friday (actually, Peter said he wouldn’t be surprised if Schilling put one in A-Rod’s ear, I assume that was some hyperbole), I think some inside heat is a good idea. Why let A-Rod get comfortable?

 

Crisp’s triple was completely unexpected. That is bad news because Crisp has been a good hitter in the past, but hasn’t done much in the past 12 months. If Crisp can get his mojo back and hit for average, ok OBP and be a terror on the bases, the Red Sox, and their fans, will be thrilled.

 

Lastly, the comeback we saw Friday was largely due to an ineffective Mariano Rivera. If he threw a cut-fastball (his bread and butter pitch), I didn’t see it. His pitches lacked snap, pizzaz, moxie, spunk, beefiness, clout, kick, muscle, power, punch, robustness, steam, stank, thew, vigor (yes, I did check dictionary.com’s thesaurus section for help on that one…notice how the last few are alphabetized). Thank goodness as a Rivera on his game is tough to beat.

 

Friday’s game was my biggest concern as Andy Pettitte is a proven pitcher. Not to take anything away from the Jeff Karstens and Chase Wright, but Pettitte knows how to win and has won 187 times thus far.

 

It is just April, but it feels good to take the all-time lead in the Yankees/Red Sox match-up at Fenway. Actually it doesn’t. I’m modern and only care about the here and now! Win now!

 

Beckett vs. Karstens Saturday (3:55 pm start on Fox)
Matsuzaka vs. Wright on Sunday (8:05pm start on ESPN)

 

P.S. Step up and give me your take on this game and the YankeesRedSox series in the comments section.