Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Game 143 at the Rogers Centre

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Well stadium #20 finishes off the AL East - and Toronto, with the roof open is a fine place to watch a game, particularly with the CN Tower (or La Tour Nationale Du Canada for any French readers) looming over your right shoulder.

The announced attendance was 24,000+, but the presence in town of U2, combined with the Toronto Film Festival made the Centre (and for American readers, the pesky Canadians want to spell Centre the British way, not a simple, and repeated spelling error on my behalf) seem very empty - particularly by the time that free baseball started.

Last night's game was a frustrating Red Sox experience - again making Ted Lilly seem Cy Young worthy, but taking a patient approach to at least get him out of the game earlier than in previous appearances. Ortiz's first shot was huge, Manny's 2 run bomb was monstrous (Jays fans around me were discussing whether they had seen longer to CF) and Ortiz's second shot was long and sweet... but...

Arroyo struggled all night - not much damage, but a couple of key (and one 'lucky') double plays had really helped. The bullpen was as rested as it has been in a long time - the Sox starter's recent run has given us more hope for the post-season, but it hasn't given the post September expanded pen much work to do. So... I think Francona should have taken Bronson out after 6 to give our pen the work, and to give them a clean start - three innings work with a 5 run lead... instead, they were always working behind, and when Timlin started ball, ball I remarked in downbeat fashion... this is going to be ugly... Papelbon's 3 innings were very impressive, and if he could become a reliable set up man that could get us through the 7th / 8th, the Sox could be in a much healthier position.

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