The theme for this edition of Five Minute Musings is "Things I loved last night" (yes, yes... "That's what she said").
1. Starting pitching: Though we had $68 million dollar man Josh Beckett going for us, I had essentially conceded the game before it started, due to the fact that the Royals had Mr. Cy Young himself, Zack Greinke, warming up in the next bullpen. Despite Don and Jerry's stat that Greinke gave up just two runs all season in the fifth inning last year, he gave up back to back homers to, of all people, Jeremy Hermida and Jason Varitek. And speaking of...
2. Bench players: Honestly, when I saw the lineup included Varitek, Hermida, and Lowell, it looked to me like Tito was conceding the game, as well. However, all three men acquitted themselves admirably. Hermida bashed his first ever homer in a Sox uniform, to tie the game in the fifth inning, while the much maligned Captain homered TWICE, including the initial go-ahead run, and Lowell went 1-for-4 with some plays in the field.
3. The Sox bullpen: After meltdowns in the last few games, the bullpen crew finally got back on track, as Hideki Okajima and Ramon Ramirez each pitched a scoreless inning of relief last night. I have to admit, I was thisclose to writing a post bashing the bullpen yesterday afternoon. I'm glad I abstained.
4. MORE home runs: Kevin Youkilis notched his first homer of the young season, while Dustin Pedroia went yard for the first time since the Opener. Youk's homer led off the eighth inning, while Pedey's came in the ninth, with Ellsbury on base. Pedroia's was particularly impressive, as it came after he was nailed by a Greinke fastball in the fifth inning.
5. The Royals' bullpen: This might sound mean, but I LOVE the sight of someone warming for the Royals (with the possible exception of closer Soria). I Tweeted the following thought during Friday's contest: "I love the Royals bullpen. This is beyond infatuation. This is BEYOND BASEBALL." Yes, it's a bad play on the MLB ads, but it's true all the same. Let's see if we can get back into that pen this afternoon, shall we?