Thousands of readers have been waiting for the start of the EphBlog’s diary series. Your wait is over. Although there are still details to work out, our first dairy series — Derek Catsam’s ’93 chronicle of his year as a Red Sox fan — starts today. Of course, Derek has been keeping this record all season, but we’ll start off with yesterday’s entry.

Again, the purpose of the diary series is to provide a forum at which Eph readers can read Eph writers. It will also serve, I hope, to highlight the great diversity of views and experiences in the world of the Ephs.

Thursday, June 17, 2004: Redemption comes in many forms, some large and some small. In the grand scheme of a long season, today’s redemption will probably go down as a small one, but it felt pretty big.

There is no ideal Platonic form when it comes to a baseball game. But if there were this one came pretty close. DLowe came up big, going seven innings in heavy rains, giving up four hits and four walks, no runs, and three strikeouts. Perhaps most important, in Colorado’s thin air, 17 of the balls in play off of Lowe were ground balls, meaning that his sinker was at its peak form. Of twenty one outs, twenty were either groundouts or strikeouts, with the last being a fly out. If Lowe is pitching like that, and this is his second consecutive stellar outing in a row, he has pitched 14 innings of shutout ball, so we have reason to believe that he will, we suddenly have what is arguably the best pitching staff in baseball. In Lowe’s 100th career start he was the central player in only the 25th shutout in the history of Coors Field. Scott Williamson cam! e in and pitched the eighth – his return has been less heralded than Trot’s and Nomar’s, but in returning he also gives us our preferred relief rotation. DiNardo pitched the ninth.

And a pitching staff that gets eleven runs has a lot of room for error. For most of interleague play we have scuffled. Not today. Ortiz had a career high five ribbies, one on a shot of a home run in the 7th with one on. Reese continued to solidify himself as a fan favorite by driving in two, Bellhorn also drove two in, and McCarty and Varitek each pushed one across. Nomar went three for five with a triple, and Trot went 2 for 3, though apparently he was limping quite a bit, revealing that we need to be careful with him and his balky quad.

So it was a good day in Denver. It was an afternoon game, so they were able to get away for their trip to San Francisco, which should be a good matchup. The pitching was sterling, and the Derek Lowe reclamation project continues apace, and the offense revealed flashes of last year’s wallbangers with a lineup that no longer resembles a spring training split squad game (Cesar Crespo sightings should be mercifully infrequent). Losing a series to the Rockies is unacceptable, but we salvaged a win, and it looks like my prediction about Schilling was wrong, that he will be ok. At least until the next start. Somehow it seems appropriate that after such a good win there would still be some anxiety.

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