UFH alum Mike Lowell showed true grit last night. Just two innings after getting hit in the head by a fastball (and sending Sox fans everywhere into cardiac arrest), Lowell dove into the stands to catch a foul pop. (See video of both here.) After Lowell tumbled over the left field wall, fans had to hold their breath for a moment—but then, Lowell’s arm rose up from out of the bosom of the seats, clad in white samite, mystic, wonderful, holding the ball!
In the bottom of the inning, Lowell hit a single (scoring a run), advanced to second when Wily Mo singled, stole third, and scored on the next pitch. Oh yeah, he also extended his errorless streak to 65 games.
Everyone in the lineup had at least one hit. Mark Loretta had three. Javy Lopez, whose bat was cold when he first joined the team, had two. Manny Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 26 games, and Wily Mo, not known for his defense, threw a runner out at the plate. David Wells had good control and pitched solidly—got out of some jams, and didn’t let a run score until the 7th. Even the surprisingly agile David Ortiz threw in a Praying Mantis, after legging out a double and then whirling out of the way of the throw to second. (Watch yourself!) The Yankees lost, so the Red Sox are now two games back instead of three.
Not a moment too soon, sports fans. Not a moment too soon. The Sox limped home (at 6 am yesterday morning) after an unspeakably bad road trip (dropping two of three to the Devil Rays and getting swept by the Royals—swept by the ROYALS). We’d lost five in a row. Half the team is still on the DL. But bring our boys home to the confines and see what happens! Here’s hoping we can beat up on the Orioles (against whom Boston is 9-1 this season) today and tomorrow. Because then we’ve got three against the Tigers and five (count ‘em) against the Yankees before heading West for another left-coast road trip. If ever there was a time to strap on a set, that time was last night.
The Sox hadn’t won a game by more than a run since July 25. And in all five games of their recent losing streak, they’d blown leads. Boston was looking for a turning point coming into this homestand, and Mike Lowell’s performance last night might just be it. ”I figured since my head hurt, maybe I could ruin my legs,” joked Lowell, “And since my feet hurt, I’d try to get the middle of my body just to make it a whole thing.”
On a more serious note, he added, “I think we understand this is a very important time in our season…I think we had to make a conscious effort to make a statement that we’re not going to fold.”
Loud and clear, Mike. Loud and clear.