I see this several times a season. An ill-fated opposing runner thinks that he can catch Manny Ramirez day dreaming only to find himself gunned down. Saturday's game provided another example of why you can't sleep on Manny's arm, and it came at a critical point in Saturday's 12-4 victory over the Rays.
The Sox were trying to hang on to a 5-3 lead in the top of the fourth. Josh Beckett looked like he was sucking wind as he proceeded to load the bases with one out. Nathan Haynes lined out to Manny. Carlos Pena tagged and tried to score, but Manny's quick release one hopped the ball perfectly to the third base side of home plate. Pena was out by at least two steps. Inning over. The first two pitches in the Sox half of the fourth resulted in a double for Pedroia and a double for Ortiz scoring Dustin. Those hits completed just about the best sequence of events I've witnessed this season. After that Josh settled down, and the Red Sox outscored the Rays 6-1 over the next 5 innings.
Sunday's game completed the sweep and a pretty great weekend for the Sox. Jon Lester put together his second solid start in a row. I think he will come along a lot faster than the other young pitchers in the Sawks/Yanks mix. He has more experience, and if not for being derailed by cancer treatment, he would already be a firmly entrenched starter.
It will be curious to see what Curt Schilling's possible return later in the year will do. I guess the more arms, the better. He can mentor Buchholz and Lester. But I don't want the Sox to flinch in their commitment to the young pitching. I also wouldn't want Curt's presence to disrupt any good chemistry the team may have going at that point. Although, he could help bolster the bullpen later in the year as he's done in the past. I'm looking at you Manny Delcarmen.