Thursday, May 04, 2006
Why can't we beat the Blue Jays? We finally get to Roy Haladay, but at the same time the Jays get 4 off Beckett and get him out after 5 innings, then they get to our previously perfect closer.
The Sox lost last night because it wasn't an all around team effort. Some players had fabulous performances (Manny, Varitek, Lowell, Pena, and Timlin) but we also had some bad performances (Beckett, Foulke, Papelbon, Youkilis, Loretta, and Ortiz).
Youkilis, Loretta, and Ortiz combined for an 0 for 14 night. The only time one of them got on base was when Youkilis walked. Manny went 3 for 4 without a single RBI because these three guys weren't getting on base in front of him. The back end of the lineup was great with the 4 thru 8 hitters combining for a 12 for 22 with a pair of doubles. Had the 1 thru 3 guys gotten on base, or if we had a better #9 hitter, we would have scored 4 or 5 runs more.
And can we move Mike Lowell up in the lineup already? The guy's batting .326 with 11 doubles. Varitek is batting .260 with 6 extra basehits total. Moving Lowell up would allow us to capitalize on his power. As it is right now, if the #8 hitter doesn't knock him in after he gets on, he won't score because Gonzalez is a hole at the end of the lineup. Move him up and allow him to knock in Manny and Nixon, then get knocked in by Varitek and Pena.
Are we going to explore other options other than Loretta in the #2 spot in the lineup. I think when Coco comes back, Youkilis should be the #2 hitter. Loretta and his .207 average and .267 OBP is killing us at the top of the lineup. Just look at the numbers, every 25 plate appearances, he's recording 18 outs. He's not striking out a lot, but nor is he walking that much (8 BBs, 8 Ks). He also isn't working the count that much. He sees an average of 3.78 pitches per plate appearance. Youkilis, for instance, sees 4.35. That doesn't sound like much, but that adds up over the course of a game.
The pitching is to blame for this one, as well. You score 6 runs, you should win the game. Beckett has fallen considerably from his first 3 starts. He could only give us 5 innings of work, and allowed 4 runs in those 5 innings.
Tavarez was shaky but was saved by Foulke in the 6th. Then Foulke fell apart in the 7th. It seems like when Foulke has to start another inning, he looks a little bit off. Hillenbrand hit a 2 run shot off of him to give the Blue Jays a 6-5 lead.
Timlin was good enough to pitch a scoreless 8th which allowed Mike Lowell to tie it with an RBI single, knocking in Tek. The Sox could have had more after Pena singled, but Gonzalez popped up a bunt, Youkilis grounded into a fielder's choice, then Loretta struck out.
The Sox went to Papelbon in the 9th. Being a tied home game in the 9th with no chance of there being a Save situation in the game, this made sense. However, it says a lot about our middle relief that Francona didn't trust them to pitch.
Overbay led off with a single, Hillenbrand lined out, then Zaun singled. Russ Adams hit a double to knock in the go ahead run. It was the first run Papelbon has allowed all season. His ERA is still an impressive 0.55.
The good news from the inning was that Papelbon stayed settled. He induced a pop up then an inning ending ground out. He gave up the go ahead run, but he kept the Sox as much in the game as possible after doing so.
The Red Sox were given an opportunity by the Blue Jays in the bottom of the 9th. Ortiz and Manny were retired. Mohr struck out but reached 1st on a passed ball. Harris came in and stole 2nd, and got to 3rd on a Zaun throwing error on the play. Varitek just had to hit a single anywhere to tie it up, but he struck out on three pitches.
The Man of the Game is Lyle Overbay who went 4 for 4, with a double, an RBI, 2 runs scored, and a walk. It was his single that sparked the Toronto rally in the 9th.
Beckett: 0.3 - 5 IP, 4 ER
Foulke: 0.2 - IP, 2 ER
Papelbon: 0.2 - IP, ER
Youkilis: 0.1 - 0 for 4
Loretta: 0.1 - 0 for 5
Ortiz: 0.1 - 0 for 5
Towers vs. Clement tonight to end the two game series.