It was nice to finally get a couple of wins in Seattle. The losing streak there was an aberration but it?s one of those things that builds on itself. It?s not very significant in the longterm but it?s something everyone focuses on for a couple days. Much better to put it to rest.
The win on Saturday was huge, then to win again Sunday and take the series was even bigger. Plus, our bats seemed to come alive. It was good to break the streak and win the series.
This is our final West Coast trip of the regular season. It seems early but that?s the way it works out on the schedule. We spent a lot of time out here in June, including some Interleague play. Now we won?t have any of those three-hour time zone changes for a while, which is always welcome.
After this series, I think Chicago is the furthest West we?ll be until postseason. It?s a fun city that I look forward to visiting every year, anyway. A lot of us love to go there. Personally, I have a lot of family and friends I like to meet when we got to Chicago. Most of my friends, for whatever reason, have ended up in Chicago.
One drawback about this particular West Coast trip is that we don?t get to Oakland, where I could have stopped at my brother?s restaurant ? Maverick. It?s a small place on 17th Street in the Mission District of San Francisco. Scott is a serious chef. He trained at Johnson & Wales University, which is a pretty renowned culinary institute in Providence, RI.
Maverick has been getting great reviews, too. I think one of the magazines out, maybe San Francisco Magazine, recently rated them as having the best brunch in San Francisco. He?s doing a great job out there and now I think he?s in a position where he needs to add seating space.
We don?t want it to get too big. We?d like to get the seating up to about 80 people. If it gets too big, then it loses a little bit of its appeal. It?s a nice little place where people who like nice restaurants go to have a well-cooked meal and a glass of wine in a friendly environment. People scout out places like Maverick.
When I go, he opens up for lunch, which he doesn?t normally do. He?ll cook some barbeque and his famous fried chicken for me. The crab cakes and the fried green tomatoes are pretty popular, too. Maverick primarily serves updated American classics. Everything?s got a new twist.
Getting back to baseball, picking up Eric Gagne at the trade deadline is the big news around our clubhouse the last few days. Having a guy like that is a nice addition for an already outstanding bullpen. He?s one of the game?s great relief pitchers and when you consider we already have guys like Jon Papelbon and Hideki Okajima, it will take a little more burden away from the starting staff.
None of our starters are going to be in a situation where they have to pitch seven or eight innings. Our guys are strong enough to pitch that seventh or eighth inning, but why add that strain and let the pitch counts go up if you don?t have to? The decision-making gets a little easier with that level of depth, too.
There?s something to be said for being strong and well rested in the final two months of the season. Our objective isn?t to just get to the playoffs; we want to be in position to advance in the playoffs. My first two seasons with the Red Sox we made it to the playoffs and my first year we won the World Series, so last year was kind of disappointing for us. We?re a team that?s build to win a World Series every year and to not even reach the postseason was difficult for all of us. We have an opportunity to correct things this year.
It?s been an exciting week or so and I haven?t even mentioned Kevin Garnett coming to the Celtics. The city was buzzing before we left for Seattle. The Red Sox are No. 1 but this is a huge sports town and the Boston Celtics are an icon franchise, too. People love their sports teams in Boston year-round, whether it?s the Sox, the Celtics, the Patriots or the Bruins.
It?s fun for us players to see the Celtics putting together such an exciting team, too. When we go into Boston for off-season dinners and charity events, we can?t wait to go see them play. I?ll be very interested to see how Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Garnett play together on a regular basis.
Posted by MLB.com during the game on Youk’s behalf…