Tagged: Kevin Youkilis

11 Straight Wins, and 4 Straight Change Ups

More evidence that the Red Sox “own” the Angels mentally: K-Rod
throwing four consecutive change-ups to J.D. Drew when: a) K-Rod’s
fastball is devastating, and b) J.D. Drew has played irregularly over
the last month, has a stiff back, and should, theoretically, not have
his timing at 100%. When K-Rod is AFRAID to throw his fastball to J.D.
Drew with the go-ahead run on second base, a Red Sox win is a foregone
conclusion. It’s like hoisting a white flag.

Now, I wouldn’t be saying this if K-Rod had an off-speed pitch as
baffling as, say, Trevor Hoffman’s change up. But his change up is
simply above-average, and he pinned his team’s hopes on that pitch.

I find this as incomprehensible as Mike Scoscia not pinch hitting
for Howie Kendrick in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. The guy is
clearly psyched-out at the plate and has no chance of getting a big hit
in this series. You can see it in his eyes. He doesn’t think he belongs
here. He has watched several fastballs buzz down the center of the
strike zone without swinging, and has waved his bat at pitches that
aren’t close. Advantage: Boston.

Red Sox fans’ reaction to the fly ball hit by J.D. Drew that turned
out to be a two-run homer on Friday night was the SAME as the crowd’s
reaction to the fly ball hit by J.D. Drew that turned out to be a grand
slam in last year’s postseason. Off the bat, it looked like a routine
fly ball, and even as the outfielder went back, back, back, we still
expected it to be caught. Then, suddenly, it was in the seats, and it
took literally a full second to believe our eyes – on BOTH home runs.
J.D. Drew is truly the king of the “shocker home run” — shocking
because of their timing, and shocking because of the rocket launchers
that seem to kick in when the baseballs reach the apex of their flight.
They just keep going, going, going…. gone!

How valuable is Kevin Youkilis? He moved over to third base to take
the spot vacated by the injured Mike Lowell and proceeded to make TWO
stellar plays at third base — a barehanded, running, Mike Schmidt-type
stab of a grounder followed by a rocket throw to first base, and a
long-armed, reach-over-the-railing catch of a pop-up that was ticketed
for the camera dugout to make the peunultimate out of the game.

It’s difficult to imagine how diehard Cubs fans feel today…..
because it brings back a memory that I really don’t like to relive….


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