Thursday, May 11, 2006
This game was much closer than the 5-3 score suggests. It also didn't have to be so close. The Red Sox going 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position, had two homeruns robbed by Yankee outfielders, and what would have been an RBI single down the third base line had the umpire gotten the call right all contributed to the Sox only putting up 5. Thanks to Wakefield, Timlin, Foulke, and Papelbon, those 5 runs stood up.
If you think watching the Sox leave 15 men on base is painful, try listening to them do it on WCBS. My God John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman SUCK! Everything that every Yankee did was qualified by the word "great." When we took a 4-3 lead, it wasn't a solid piece of hitting and good hustle by Loretta, it was a great play by Jeter and Cairo. I kid you not, they spent the next 2 innings praising Jeter and Cairo for the Loretta single. They also used the term "consummate professional" to describe Hideki Matsui about 15 times. I'm not even joking, 15 might be a low estimate for that.
Anyways, the Sox won 5-3, but things were pretty bleak for most of the game. The Sox started the game with 2 on and 2 out. Matsui had to leave the game with a broken wrist he injured on an attempted play on a Loretta fly ball. The Sox squandered that opportunity.
The Yankees retaliated to our lack of offense with a 2 run single by Jorge Posada. The Sox got one back thanks mostly to Loretta who doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a groundout. Lowell was robbed with 2 outs by Bubba Crosby, who moved over to left when Matsui left the game. Lowell would have had a go ahead homerun, instead it was out #3 of the inning.
In the 4th, the Sox were robbed again. Pena doubled, then Damon robbed Mirabelli of at least a double and possibly a homer with a leaping grab. Pena moved to third on the play. The Sox hit a groundball down the third base line that was called foul. A-Rod had knocked it down but couldn't come up with it cleanly. It was a fair ball, but the umpire's ruling stood. The play would have scored Mirabelli easily.
Jeter had an RBI single in the bottom of the inning to make it 3-1. In the 5th, the Sox threatened but failed. However, they knocked Chacon out of the game and got into that juicy Yankees bullpen with 2 outs in the 5th.
The Sox got their first hit with runners in scoring position in the 6th when Loretta knocked in Gonzalez with a single to make the game 3-2. The Sox failed to get any more in the inning.
Throughout the game, I felt that eventually we'd string enough hits together to knock in some runs. So long as our pitching kept New York at 3 runs, we'd win the game somehow. I was right. I enjoy being right.
Pena struck out to begin the 7th, then Mirabelli singled. Gonzalez hit a freak ground rule double. Youkilis hit a soft liner. With 2 down, Loretta hit a ground ball to Jeter's right. Jeter did a good job to stop it and throw it, but the throw was a little off. Cairo still caught it off the bag and while trying to apply the tag the ball was knocked out. Rodriguez should note that Loretta did not use a purse slap to knock the ball out. Two runs scored and the Sox were up 4-3.
Timlin pitched around a Jeter single in the 7th. Foulke got 2 in the 8th, then Papelbon struck out Cairo in a lengthy at-bat to end the inning. The Sox added an insurance run off Rivera in the 9th. Papelbon pitched around a Jeter walk to record his 13th save in as many opportunities.
Ball game over. Red Sox win. THAAAAAAAAAAA RED SOX WIN!!!
The Man of the Game is Bubba Crosby. He went 2 for 4 at the plate with a triple that was a few inches from being a homerun. He also stole a base which allowed him to score a run. He also robbed Mike Lowell of a go ahead homerun.
The Sox come back to Fenway to possibly play the Rangers if it isn't raining too much.
Julian Tavarez has an ERA of 4.61. Rudy Seanez has an ERA of 8.03. Manny Delcarmen had an ERA of 9.82. David Riske has an ERA of 18.00. Mike Holtz has an ERA of 27.00. The Red Sox bullpen is comprised of Papelbon, Timlin, Foulke, then three walking question marks.
Tavarez's ERA is misleading. There have been several outings in which he's entered the game, given up some baserunners, then left to be saved by Timlin or Foulke. In 13.2 innings (1.54 WHIP), he's allowed 16 hits, and 5 walks. Three of those 16 hits were homeruns. Opponents are slugging .588 against him.
The mid-relief isn't good. It is actually somewhat bad. However, the situation is not one that requires panic or a roster move.
Right now, Seanez, Tavarez, and Holtz are the middle relievers. But, we have two pitchers on the DL. Riske is rehabbing his way back to health and will probably replace Holtz on the roster. When/if Wells returns, DiNardo will return to the bullpen and push out Seanez. If (and that is a massive IF) we get Clemens, that will push Wells out of the rotation (possibly into the bullpen) and would totally alter the construction of our pitching staff.
Then there are the minor leaguers that will be coming up near the end of the season. Jon Lester will probably find his way into the Red Sox bullpen. Craig Hansen made it last year and is lighting it up in Portland with 11 innings, 12 strikeouts, 1 earned run in 5 appearances. Delcarmen pitched poorly with us in his short stint, but he might turn it around by the end of the season. Abe Alvarez is on the verge in AAA Pawtucket. And Edgar Martinez has 3 saves, and 2 holds in 11 appearances with an ERA of 1.69 in 16 innings with 18 strikeouts.
In short, the middle relief situation is not a major problem and it will probably solve itself as players come off the DL and minor leaguers come up to the majors. Middle-relief is also one of the easiest spots on the roster to fill via trades. We could give up some low level prospects for an old reliever and do small moves like that to plug the gaps.