Matt Clement has been amazing this season and that continued today. The bats came alive too. Bill Mueller continued his hitting going 2 for 2 with a pair of RBI. Jay Payton continues to prove why he deserves at least a little bit more playing time with his 2 for 3 day. Nixon did well in the leadoff spot going 2 for 4. With no Johnny Damon, and no Manny Ramirez, and Trot Nixon starting on the bench, the Sox put together 8 runs.
This was the type of game to bring Embree, Mantei, and Halama. not yesterday.
Clement was absolutely the Man of the Game. He went 7 scoreless allowing only 3 hits and a solitary walk. He struck out 9.
The Red Sox fly out to Cleveland to begin a short, 6 game road trip to nearby cities. Wells faces Sabathia on Monday. Arroyo goes against the struggling Kevin Millwood Tuesday night. Wade Miller goes against 8-3 Cliff Lee on Wednesday. Then its on to Philly and back home again.
From now until August 5, the Red Sox will play two series at home, then two on the road, then two at home, et cetera. The schedule this year is really poorly made.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
This was one of those typical Red Sox losses. An unfamiliar pitching staff that shuts us down, and a bullpen that crumbles. Throw in some questionable decisions by the manager and you've got yourself a Boston Red Sox loss.
I'm going to start with the pitching. Embree, Mantei, and Halama are not dependable pitchers. They aren't the guys you want to have in a 0-0 games unless no-one else is available. Theo needs to find replacements for these guys and Tito needs to stop using these guys in big situations. Francona's logic for bringing in Embree to a 0-0 game in the 8th: "I wanted to give him some work." Well, have him work in the bullpen though. Why would you use a pitcher with a 7.00 ERA in the 8th inning of a tied game? At first I thought maybe Francona was thinking that this game might go extras so he needed to get the most out of his entire bullpen. Then Embree was pulled after hitting a guy and getting 1 out from a sacrifice.
Francona went from Embree (7.00 ERA at the start of the game) to Mantei (5.64 ERA). A small improvement but not exactly that great of a pitcher to go out there in a 0-0 game in the 8th inning with the go ahead run in scoring position and 1 out. Mantei, of course gave up the double that gave the Pirates the lead. Humberto Cota, who got the double, is batting .260 this season. Mantei walked Jack Wilson and then Francona's brain returned as he replaced Mantei with Myers. Myers, who along with Timlin has been dependable, got a fly out which ended the inning.
The next inning, in a 1-0 game, in the 9th inning, against the top of the Pirates lineup, Francona decided to use John Halama. John F----- Halama? Why? Why not Timlin? Why not Myers? Why not even Foulke? Why would you use the frigging mop up guy in a 1-0 game? Here is what Halama allowed:
Base on balls
Single, run scored
Hit by pitch
Bases loaded fielder's choice (if not for a great paly by Bellhorn, the game would have been 3-0)
Going along with the bullpen's ineffectiveness and Francona's confusing moves, the offense was terrible. Only Payton had 2 hits. The Red Sox 1-5 hitters went a combined 3 for 19 (.158) Edgar Renteria has his typical 1 for 4 day with a single and an error. This guy, who was highly touted for his defense, has 12 errors. Edgar is 2nd in Major League Baseball in the Errors category.
The Man of the Game is Humberto Cota who went 3 for 5 with 2 singles and a double. His double turned out to be the game winning hit. He also caught a shutout.
The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Embree: 0.2 - 0.1 IP, ER
Mantei: 0.2 - 0.1 IP, inherited runner scored
Halama: 0.1 - IP, ER
Francona: 0.2 - Weird decisions
Millar: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 5 LOB
Damon: 0.1 - 1 for 5, 4 LOB
Bellhorn: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 3 LOB
The Orioles beat the Rockies 7-2, the Yankees beat the Cubs 8-1.
Kip Wells vs. Matt Clement in what could be a good pitcher's duel. The Sox have seen more of former White Sox pitcher Kip Wells than any other starter in this series. Renteria is 6 for 20 with a HR. Bellhorn is 4 for 10. Ortiz is 3 for 12. Damon is 1 for 8. The Pirates have seen a good amount of Clement but only Tike Redman has great numbers against him. He's 6 for 13 with a couple of doubles. I wouldn't be shocked if Ramirez didn't start considering it is a day game after a night game.