The fact this game went just two hours, seven minutes — when’s the last time the Red Sox played one of those? — was a clear testament to just how quickly Ricky Nolasco and John Lackey were working tonight, a fairly common trait among pitchers who are in the proverbial zone and dominating the other team’s lineup as both of these guys were.
In fact, on the subject of the two-run homer, Hanley Ramirez said Lackey actually tried to quickpitch him, Ramirez adding that he had no idea what the pitch was that he lined over the centerfield wall, which Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury vainly tried to climb in an effort to catch an uncatchable ball.
“He tried to quickpitch me, and I just got my foot down,” Ramirez said. “I made a good swing, and I got lucky. It went out. He had great stuff tonight, and we just kept fighting until he made a mistake. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we ended up with a win.”
Ramirez is hitting .348, which would lead the National League if he had enough plate appearances to qualify (he never will because he missed too much time with injuries), and that plus his 13 homers, 42 RBI and .395 on-base percentage make you wonder what kind of numbers he would be putting up right now if only he had managed to stay healthy all year. As it is, he is performing so well that Dodgers controlling owner Mark Walter told the Los Angeles Times today that he would be interesting in discussing a contract extension with Ramirez this winter — despite the fact Ramirez already is signed for next season at a base salary of $16 million.
First, though, the Dodgers have more immediate business to take care of. And even if we’ll never know what kind of numbers a healthy Ramirez would’ve had over a full year, the important thing is he is healthy now, and presumably, he will be healthy in the playoffs. He is giving the Dodgers exactly what they expected, and presumably, he will then, too.
By the way, the photo accompanying this post has nothing to do with the post itself. It’s a picture of the absolutely breathtaking sunrise I happened to see over northern Florida on my pre-dawn flight from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta this morning. This photo was taken at approximately 6:30 a.m. EASTERN time, so do the math and you will figure out how long I have actually been up. Thank goodness for Starbucks Pike Place Roast, that’s all I can say.
Good night, everyone. Sleep fast, because there is a day game tomorrow.