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Welcome to the AL

Posted by Charles P. Pierce  July 26, 2010 04:00 PM

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Well, Dan Haren's getting to Mickey's childhood home just in time to pitch against the Red Sox. You have to love a 29-year old pitcher who's already been involved in two trades involving 13 players and already is on his fourth team. From here, though, this looks like a swindle for the Anaheims, if only because they got precisely what they needed at precisely the correct time to do so, what with Scott Kazmir's being out and all. The way things are running for the Red Sox, Haren will immediately rediscover what made him an All Star three times.

The trip's been an utter disaster -- except for that brief period in which it looked like the Mariners might beat each other to a pulp, allowing the Sox to escape the ballpark with a forfeit. Jon Lester pitched the best game of his career, including his no-hitter, and lost. Daisuke Matsuzaka walked one too many men, but it was another solid third-spot-in-the-rotation performance that should have been good enough, except that the offense went vaporous again and Hideki Okajima re-ignited the debate over whether or not major-league hitters have figured him out or whether he's just lost it for good.

(I'm with Terry Francona here. Daniel Bard has thrown too many innings to have been tossed into yesterday's game. The manager's not wrong in expecting Okajima to rise to that situation.)

The worst thing now is that, at its beginnings, the road trip set itself up as well as a vital 10-game, West Coast road trip could be set up. Oakland and Seattle came first, so Boston could have built some lovely momentum going into the tougher series with the Angels. Now, having given away at least three games they could have won, they pretty much need a sweep to avoid catastrophe. And Dan Haren gets his American League reintroduction against a team that scored 13 runs in over a week. Nice.

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