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Bombed in Boston

(July 27)

Short take:  Just a wee bit flat

The emotional roller coaster Sox Fans have suffered through all season appeared to finally infect the Sox Clubhouse, too.  Friday night they were playing the first game of a weekend series in Boston after an emotional farewell in Cleveland with traded teammate James Baldwin who traveled west to join the Dodgers.  Can their flat effort be at all explained by the distractions of the past 24 hours?  Who knows.  Sox lose big 9-5.

Kip Wells' fourth pitch of the night was rifled straight back to the mound deflected off his body, but which he retrieved and got the out.  Were visions of Mo Vaughn's shot at the end of spring training, 2000 dancing in his mind after that?  That shot bruised Wells and some say cause him to change his aggressive approach to the plate.  The result then was a mediocre first-half and a return to the minor leagues.

Whether Kip was unhinged or Boston was simply red-hot, Wells didn't get the next two outs until eleven batters had rapped out eight hits and seven runs.  With four members of his bullpen chewing up a full nine innings in Cleveland yesterday, Jerry Manuel had little choice but keep Wells in the game.  He was finally lifted in the fifth inning after allowing eight runs and ten hits.

Meanwhile Sox hitters made Bret Saberhagen look like a Cy Young candidate, pitching in his first game since 1999.  Royce Clayton lead-off solo homer in the sixth inning was only the second hit by the Sox in the game.  A two-out rally in the ninth inning started by Ray Durham's double and Jose Valentin's rbi double made the final score a bit less embarrassing.

The sole highlight of the game was the pitching of Dan Wright.  Just called up from Birmingham, Wright was greeted with a homerun ball on his second pitch but went on to get nine outs without a hit the remainder of the way.

It's a long way to April.  Dan Wright figures to get a lot of opportunities to shine. 

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Dan Wright

Greeted to the major leagues with a homerun on his second pitched ball, Wright has presence enough to suck it up and pitch 3.0 innings of hitless and scoreless baseball.  Good for him.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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