The game just opened and I’m watching to see if the Rockies can shake off last night. Even before the ball hits Willy Tavares in his left hand I see something different. The Rox are carrying themselves differently. Now with a runner on first just how long is he going to stay there?
Matsui fights off about 8 pitches before going gently into the night and then it happens. Between Willy Tavaras and Matt Holliday the Rockies push the Sox. A hard grounder which Lowell can’t handle plus Tavaras’ speed and a bad throw leaves the Rox with 2 runners in scoring position. A grounder by Helton and the Coloradans have their first lead of the series. That’s all they can accomplish, but Schilling threw a lot of pitches. 1-0.
Jimenez puts the Rockies down 1-2-3. The Rockies lose a single to a double play, and then the action slows. Jimenez looks really good but Schilling isn’t far off. In the bottom of the third, a couple of walks by Ubaldo Jimenez offer the Sox a chance, but it comes to naught. They roll in the fourth as Mike Lowell generates a run. You can feel the tension build in the stands. The Rockies’ world could come tumbling down with an at bat by Ellsbury. Seem a lot to ask of a kid but he works a smart walk. With Drew on third, Lugo lines a wicked foul, then Ellsbury steals and Lugo need to drop from a head high pitch. Jimenez seems a little wild but he dodges the bullet once again on a grounder to Helton.
The Red Sox get their second hit of the evening in the fifth as Manny knocks a two out single to left after a David Ortiz walk. Mike Lowell gets a chance and delivers a double to left. The Sox take a lead 2-1. You could feel it happening - and that’s all for Jimenez.
Affeldt comes in and the wheels are on the verge of falling off. A 3-1 count to J.D. Drew. One missed pitch and the bases are loaded. Now it’s Varitek and the Rox switch pitchers again - Herges gets the call and forces a fly out to left.
The sixth is Schilling’s time to struggle. After a quick out he gives up a single and a walk and with two men on base he’s done. A fan waves a sign reading “Thanks Curt” with a picture of the bloody sock in 2004. As Francona takes the ball we realize that we might have seen the final pitch of Schill’s career. Fenway goes somewhat quiet as Okajima takes the mound and Garrett Atkins strides to the plate - is the roof about to fall in? Nope. Okajima does the job masterfully.
The Sox threaten again in the seventh - the Rockies once again dodge a bullet. But now the Rox only have six outs left to work with.
And threaten they do. Holliday just reached on an infield hit with two out. Helton’s up. I can’t believe it. Papelbon just picked off Holliday!!! What was he thinking?! I can’t help but think he was going to run, but another opportunity was wasted.
A strange play starts the Sox eighth as Lugo is called out after getting hit out of the batters box. Corpas comes in to wrap up the Sox but now the Rox just have three outs left to play with.
And Papelbon mows them down. The Red Sox are firmly in command. It’ll be interesting to see what happens at Coors.
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