Well, the Sox didn’t win 15 in a row during my vacation, as I requested, but they did take 14 out of 15, so no complaints here. They did win 12 in a row, longest since August of their last division-winning year (as you can see, the Herald’s back page (above) was predictably cocky after win No. 11 in 1995).
Incidentally, just one player has been on both Boston teams that won 12 straight — Tim Wakefield:
- 1995: 3-0 (three starts), 22.2 IP, 7 BB, 10 K, 1.99 ERA (14-1 record at end of streak)
- 2006: 1-0 (two starts), 12 IP, 3 BB, 8 K, 3.00 ERA (5-8 record at end of streak)
In honor of the streak, here are 12 thoughts I had while using a combination of hotel cable, USA Today box scores and text-message score alerts to make it through the week:
(Photo above courtesy of my former dorky self, who as a 13-year-old, clipped and pasted every Red Sox-related newspaper article I could find for three years, starting with the 1995 season).
- We hear Coco Crisp is looking to legally change his last name to
Kent. Unfortunately for him, Superman is already taken, having been
bestowed by Jerry Ttupiano on Daid Ortiz.
- Speaking of Ortiz, what else can be said about the big guy? Let’s
look at it this way: ARod hit a game-winning, two-run homer in extra
innings to win a game for the Yanks, and he still wasn’t as clutch as Papi last week.
- Let me see if I’ve got this straight: Jason Giambi ("roided-up
ape") and ARod (‘yankee slapper") are the two most recent inductions
into True Yankeedom. In the absence of postseason success, being a
"true Yankee" apparently means being a poor cheater.
- The Arizona Republic actually does have a very good baseball page.
- USA Today remains the best paper for out-of-town baseball
coverage. Detailed box scores, summaries of every game, league leaders.
Good, easy-to-read format. A+
- I like Jon Lester. A lot. It’s fun seeing him get out of bases
loaded situations. But how long can he create those situations and
remain relatively unscathed?
- A .933 winning percentage can obscure a lot of faults — like the
continuing struggles of See-ya-nez and the Fruitbat, who took wins away
from Wakefield and Lester respectively before Papi and Cora/Kapler
rescued the games.
- The Sox should be thanking the schedulemakers for their 12-game
streak, which would not have been possible without off days to remove
the fifth spot in the rotation. Jason Johnson reminded us in Game 13
that yes, Theo, we need another starter.
- Yet another overhyped team came to New York and Boston and left with tail between legs. Welcome to a real division, Mets.
- Curt Schilling (and, to a lesser extent, Mike Lowell) not being
an All-Star this year is a travesty. Mark Buehrle is a good pitcher,
but his credentials weren’t what got him to Pittsburgh this year —
it’s being managed by Fruitbat Sr., AL skipper Ozzie Guillen.
- The Grand Canyon is indeed all it’s cracked up to be, but if
you’re looking for surprising beauty in the American Southwest, check
out the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest. Very impressive.
- Has anyone ever seen the Sox play this well pre-All-Star break in
recent years? I know the rap has always been "play well ’til
September." but the 95 team was mediocre until right before the break
and whipped off the 12 straight in August. In 96 and 97, the Sox posted
the best post-break records, but their poor pre-break showings kept
them from the Wild Card. 2004 famously was lost until the trade