Wild Card lead swells to

Wild Card lead swells to 2.5, playoff tickets go on sale on Friday. Bob Hohler says last night was another edition of the “Dominican Destroyers” with Pedro and Ortiz leading the Sox to victory. David Heuschkel looks at Pedro’s 100th win with the Red Sox, a complete game. Steven Krasner says the gaudy offensive numbers the Red Sox have put up this season, Pedro is the key to Boston doing anything in the playoffs. Jeff Horrigan says Pedro is making a statement to the Cy Young voters. He records Pedro flipping the game ball to John Henry, who called him a “sweetheart” and returned the ball to Pedro, who was unaware of the win being his 100th with the Sox. Kevin Gray looks at all the moves paying off for Grady last night. Alex Speier looks at the great theatre that was Pedro’s 100th win with the Sox. He also notes Pedro’s tendency to tire out with high pitch counts:

Instead, when he stretches past the 105-pitch mark, as he did in his 121-pitch performance last night, Martinez becomes less than ordinary. Batters suddenly tag him at a .370 clip, getting on base with frightening frequency (.419 OBP) and with Wall-banging clout (.444 slugging percentage).

Speier notes those are worse numbers than any member of the Red Sox bullpen, including Mendoza. Tony Massarotti says Pedro is turning it up and right on schedule for baseball in October. Dan Shaughnessy looks a complimentary look at Pedro while still getting in the obligatory little shots at the “Dominican Diva”. Lenny Megliola, like many of us, just wants to go ahead and put the Sox in the playoffs already. Michael Silverman says Manny might be a lock to win his second straight AL Batting title. Shira Springer looks at another huge hit from David Ortiz. Silverman also takes a look at that huge clutch hit from Ortiz. Peter May looks at how Grady’s unique move of swapping Nomar and Walker in the batting order paid off last night. Karen Guregian chats with Lou Piniella about the chances this Sox squad has to win it all, compares it to the ’78 team, and can’t help but mention Bucky Dent. He does say though that this team has what it takes to win it all. Howard Bryant has a pay column in the Herald where he looks at what he describes as apathy in the stands at Fenway, the quality of opponents, he says is a factor in this. He also looks at Grady’s contract, (Pick it up, he says.) Sports and entertainment industries becoming increasingly melded, the lack of spoilers in baseball races, and Ron Burton Sr. The Inside Track has word of the Yankees’ Enrique Wilson settling a paternity suit in Boston, and a photo of Manny with his wife, whom I had not seen before. Hohler’s notebook discusses the possibility of easing Trot Nixon into the lineup as a DH. Horrigan’s notebook also looks at Nixon, who may pinch hit tonight. Krasner’s notebook says Cy Young voters should not dismiss Pedro. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at a start at first for Andy Abad.

Bob Ryan says we still don’t know anything about this current Patriots squad. Michael Felger, in his Patriots Insider this week looks at the very slow development of Jets rookie Dewayne Robertson, Terry Glenn, Curtis Martin and just how bad Antowain Smith has been. Christopher Price looks at the Jets hoping to extend their five-year winning streak at Foxboro. Michael Smith looks at how the Patriots will try to implement their game plan against the Jets, likely without Rosevelt Colvin. Rich Thompson looks at how Bobby Hamilton just keeps on going. Jim Baker looks at Willie McGinest, who will have a big part of filling in for Colvin. Jonathan Comey says Bills fans shouldn’t be getting fitted for their replica Super Bowl rings just yet. Jim Donaldson is sick of the talking heads on the air and the stupid things they say. Pot. Kettle. Black. Alan Greenberg says there is still no definitive word on Colvin. Football Outsiders provides the week two NFL Efficiency Ratings, with some related notes.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at a roster longshot hoping to stick with the Bruins. Stephen Harris looks at the goalie competition. Joe McDonald looks at Andrew Raycroft, making a strong pitch to be Felix Potvin’s backup. Dupont also reports on Joe Thornton getting back onto the ice. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at 18 year old Patrice Bergeron, trying to make an impression. Harris’ notebook looks at Thornton. McDonald’s notebook looks at yesterday’s intrasquad scrimmage.

Bob Halloran looks at the demise of the WUSA, noting he doesn’t watch women’s sports.

If you’re in Connecticut or near the Springfield affiliate and looking for a WEEI alternative in the afternoon, on The Jax Show, Bill Simmons will be a guest. Sean McAdam will talk some Red Sox baseball too, as they face the fight to the finish for the AL Wild Card. Plus Bob Halloran from WCVB in Boston will be “Halloran At You” about why men are smarter than women – tongue firmly in cheek, of course. The show starts at 4:00.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ESPN has Marlins/Phillies at 7:00 and Diamondbacks/Dodgers at 10:00. ESPN2 has White Sox/Twins at 8:00.

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