Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Everytime these two teams face each other, the game typically comes down to one or two moments. If you ask me, this game came down to two moments. The first was the bottom of the 3rd in which the Sox had a great opportunity to put up a crooked number and instead put up a straight one. The second was when Francona decided to leave Schilling in the game to pitch the 6th and not have anyone warming up in case he didn't have it.
The Red Sox 3rd inning started off pretty nicely. If you look at it, it seems impossible that the Sox only got a single run from it. Wright walked 3 batters and gave up a double. He had to navigate through the heart of the Red Sox order as well. Here are a few reasons why I think the Sox failed to put up a sufficient amount of runs:
1. The inning started with lackluster hitter Ramo Vazquez doing what he did best, failing at the plate. A bit more on this later
2. David Ortiz swinging at a bad pitch with loaded bases and a 3-1 count. It may have been ball 4 and a run would have scored, it may have been a strike and DO would get another pitch to hit, it DEFINATELY was not a good pitch to drive and knock in several runs. If it were Mueller or Damon who hit the ball, that would be one thing, but Ortiz is the RBI man on the team along with Ramirez, he needed to be more selective there.
3. Edgar Renteria still thinks he is a pull hitter. He NEEDS to push it the other way. He is not a pull hitter.
Francona made some interesting decisions in this game. I don't know why he would sit down Bellhorn after an off day. This was a divisional game against an opponent that always plays us close and tough. Small things seem to always make a difference in these games. I don't know how anyone could justify the argument that Ramon Vazquez could help the team win more than Mark Bellhorn.
Why did Schilling go out to pitch the 6th? Not only is it early April, not only is it Schilling's first start, not only did Schilling miss most of Spring Training, but he is hurt! He was 91 pitches deep against one of the best offenses in baseball. He had done enough. The bullpen was rested with Wakefield's performance on Monday and yesterday's off day. Even if he did leave in Schilling, why didn't he have someone already warming up in the bullpen? Schilling looked done at the end of the 5th. Why not have some insurance in case the gamble didn't work out?
The Man of the Game is Bernie Williams who went 3 for 4 with a homer, and a double. He also made a few plays in the outfield.
The Bich-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Francona: 0.5 - Let Schilling pitch way too long
Schilling: 0.2 - Should have been lifted but was on the mound when the winning runs were allowed
Vazquez: 0.2 - Complete hole in the 9 spot, 0 for 3, K, 2 LOB
Ortiz: 0.1 - 0 for 3 with a weak SAC Fly, should have produced more.
Arroyo faces Johnson in the rubber game tommorow.
The Celtics got another step closer to a division title by beating the Bucks 111-108 tonight in Milwaukee. Two more wins and they clinch the Atlantic Division and the 3 seed in the playoffs.