Saturday, April 14, 2007
Nice win by the Sox today, but the pessimist in me is thinking, we had Curt Schilling on the mound against Hector Carrasco, we're supposed to win. But there's a lot of pessimist in me. I'd say I'm 90% full of pessimism. But the pessimist in me would say I'm 10% empty.
I think I just set a record for the most times anyone has used "pessimist" or a form of the word in a single paragraph.
Great pitching from Schilling today. And great hitting from most of the lineup. We had a few breaks with the Matthews error, and the Wild Pitch resulting in our first 3 runs, but Carrasco wasn't throwing strikes, and Schilling was plowing through the Angels' lineup, so we were going to win anyway. We squandered a few early opportunities, but kept plugging away and put up 8 runs.
It seems like Ortiz might be breaking out of his slump, which is good because it was close to becoming a funk, not just a slump. He went 2 for 4 with an RBI single and a 3 run homer. He also walked.
Eric Hinske had a fine day, too. He was 2 for 3 with 2 walks, a triple, and 3 runs scored. You know, Hinske can play the outfield, and he can hit. Coco Crisp can play the outfield, but can't hit. Maybe it's time to try Hinske in right-field a bit, move Drew to center, and give Coco a rest. Trotting back to the dugout after all those pop outs and strikeouts must be wearing down Coco's legs.
Speaking of Crisp, he went 0 for 3, dropping his average to .111. Pedro Martinez hit .111 for the Expos in 1995, let's hope Coco can top that.
I know I seem to be getting on Crisp a lot, even after we've scored 18 runs in 2 games, but I'm not getting on him. I'm getting on Francona for keeping him in the lineup. The guy's just not hitting right now.
Back to positivity. Varitek had a good day, even though the numbers don't show it. He only went 1 for 4, but had two very hard hit line drives that weren't hits. One was the Matthews error, and one was an outright robbery by Izturis on a sharp liner down the left field line.
Why did Curt go 8 innings? I know he was cruising, and his pitch count was low, and we were only up by 5, and our bullpen sucks, but it seemed like this was a great opportunity to give him the rest of the afternoon off. He's 40 years old, and there aren't very many innings left in that right arm. Why not save him, just a little bit?
How sad is it that one of our set-up pitchers is also our mop up guy to come in and pitch the 9th with an 8 run lead?
I love when Sox games are on TV in New York, but it's always bittersweet, because I either have to listen to the Yankee propagandists on YES!, Joe Morgan's ineptitude on ESPN, or Tim McCarver's idiocy on Fox.
Fox is by far the worst of them all. Not only do you get McCarver saying things like "This is a quiet croud, and even if they're playing the Angels, they want to see the Sox ahead in the game." Wow, remarkable. Or how about "A lot of pitchers worry about first pitch hits, but I'd be more worried about hits on 1-0, 2-0, and 3-1 counts, because that's when the pitches are predictable." I think what he meant to say was "I'd be more concerned with throwing first pitch strikes and getting ahead in the count." Another classic moment was when he said David Ortiz hit two homers off "Juan Padilla" last Sunday. Juan Padilla is a reliever for the Mets who is on the DL and is about to undergo elbow surgery. Ortiz is 0 for 1 against Juan Padilla, lifetime. I'm pretty sure Timmy meant to say Vicente Padilla. Another great moment in broadcasting was when he called Julio Lugo "Cabrera." Must be Julio's new nickname.
But anyway, the worst part of watching games on Fox is the quick cuts to different shots around the ballpark. I'm a film student, and I've taken a few film theory classes, so I've been trained to notice this stuff. In between pitches, Fox goes crazy with the camera angles. We'll have a close-up on the pitcher, close-up on the batter, shot of the guy on base, shot of the entire field from behind home plate, shot of the manager, shot of the on deck hitter, close-up of the hitter, close-up of the pitcher, split screen shot of the pitcher and baserunner, shot of some fan in the stands, close-up of the pitcher in his wind up, then shot from center field of the pitch. This is no exaggeration. Just watch a game on Fox and you'll see sequences like this repeated over and over and over.
Fox is trying to create tension and conflict. But the tension and conflict is already there. If you have an interest in the game, you'll feel the tension as you wait for the pitch. In fact, keeping the camera angle in one place, like the camera in center-field, can create even more tension. Just watch a spaghetti western like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, or Once Upon a Time in the West. In the big showdown scenes, there are few cuts and the camera rarely moves. It creates a lot of tension.
Tim Timmons had one of the worst umpiring performances behind the plate I've seen in quite a while. How is it that Hector Carrasco, who threw 41 balls and 38 strikes, was getting borderline calls at the knees, at the belt, and on the corners; but Curt Schilling, who was throwing strikes, couldn't get a call on the corner all afternoon?
OK, did anybody else see this? JD Drew catches a fly ball to end the 8th inning, then gives the ball to a fan. Fox shows a shot of Schilling trotting to the dugout, then goes back to the fan who got the ball from Drew. The fan is in the middle of flipping off some kid sitting two seats to his right. Classic moment right there. I can just imagine the conversation going on out there. "[expletive] off, kid, this is my [expletive] ball."
Man of the Game is Curt Schilling. He went 8 very strong innings, scattering 4 hits and a walk. He allowed 0 runs, threw 106 pitches, 68 of which were strikes. He's looking good, folks. Only one of those hits was for extra bases.
Curt allowed 5 total base-runners. Kendrick in the 3rd reached on a single and was left at 1st. Cabrera singled in the 4th and moved to 2nd on a ground out, but was stranded there. Kendrick singled in the 5th and was stranded on 1st. Cabrera doubled in the 6th and was stranded there. Kendrick walked in the 7th and was left on 1st.
No Angel ever reached 3rd base in this game. I guess that's why they're Angels.
David Ortiz: 2/4, HR, 4 RBI, R, BB
Eric Hinske: 2/3, 3B, 3 R, 2 BB
Howie Kendrick: 2/2, BB, SB
Ervin Santana against Josh Beckett tomorrow afternoon IF the weather allows.