|Game 130: August 30, 2009|
|Blue Jays||0||L: Roy Halladay (13-8)||58-70, 3 game losing streak|
|Red Sox||7||W: Paul Byrd (1-0)||76-54, 3 game winning streak|
| Highlights: With each passing start Halladay reduces his trade value. Since August 19 the Blue Jays starter hasn’t won, hasn’t pitched beyond six innings, and hasn’t kept the opposition under three runs.|
The local nine scored a run in each of the first four innings and each run was different, like a snowflake.
Victor Martinez and Kevin Youkilis had mirror-image doubles in the first. Martinez’s skipped down the right field line and Youkilis’s cavorted down the left.
For the second run Rocco Baldelli skipped the preliminaries and led off the inning with a towering home run off the Sports Authority sign.
The next two runs were of a National League flair. Dustin Pedroia doubled off the wall, advanced on Martinez’s ground out to first, and scored on Youkilis’s sacrifice fly to center.
J.D. Drew led off the fourth with a humpback single to right and advanced to second on Varitek’s ground out. Drew took a great secondary lead and Alex Gonzalez’s soft fly ball to shallow right hung up long enough for Drew to slide across home safely. Rod Barajas tried to block the plate as Varitek did in Friday’s game but was as porous as Fenway’s drainage system.
In the seventh the Red Sox mixed station-to-station and small ball and the Blue Jays added a misplay into the mix. Gonzalez knocked a double off the wall and Ellsbury bunted safely with english in front of the plate. Pedroia starched the ball back to Shawn Camp. Camp can throw over a 17-inch plate but missed John McDonald, considerably wider than 17 inches, in his attempt to throw out Gonzalez. Two runs scored on the error. Pedroia scored from second on Youkilis’s resounding double off the wall.
As the Yankees have a their own performance-enhancing drug abuser in androstenedione user Sergio Mitre, so the Red Sox have Paul Byrd, who was cited in the Mitchell Report for human growth hormone use. Byrd wasn’t anywhere in the Red Sox organization’s rotation plans in April.
At this point the season Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Tim Wakefield were supposed to be locked in and the fifth spot would go to the most effective amongst Clay Buchholz, Brad Penny, and John Smoltz. As Robert Burns wrote, “The best laid scheme o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.” So Byrd was brought to replenish the ever-eroding starting pitching staff.
Byrd’s return migration was a surprisingly spry six innings of shutout ball: 3 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout. What he lacked in strikeout power was supplied by Red Sox debutante Billy Wagner, who allowed Adam Lind to double but struck out the side.
Whether it be Boston’s superiority or Toronto’s lethargy, a win is a win. The series sweep stands the team in good stead with Tampa Bay next on the dance card, or should I say fight card?