Saturday, April 28, 2007
The Red Sox had a sweeping week in which they were swept by Toronto, then went to Baltimore and beat the Orioles in 2 in the first meeting between the two teams.
On Monday, the Sox fell to the Jays 7-3. Wakefield pitched well enough to win, but once again found his supporting cast was lacking. The Sox only managed to put up 3 runs, made 2 errors behind Tim (which resulted in an unearned run), and the bullpen allowed 3 more Blue Jays scores.
The Sox managed 8 hits and 4 walks, but only one of those hits was for extra bases. The Sox left 10 men on base, 6 of whom were in scoring position. Lugo, Youkilis, Ortiz, and Ramirez went a combined 1 for 19.
The Man of the Game for Monday's 7-3 loss was Aaron Hill. He went 4 for 5 with a pair of doubles, a game sealing 2 run homer, 2 RBI, and 3 runs scored.
Honorable Mentions go to:
Vernon Wells: 2/4, 2B, 3B, BB, 3 runs, SB
Frank Thomas: 2/4, HR, 2 RBI, run, BB
Jason Frasor: 1.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, K
The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Wakefield: 0.2 - 6 IP, 3 ER, 4 R
Pineiro: 0.1 - 1.1 IP, 3 H, ER
Romero: 0.1 - inherited runner scored
Timlin: 0.1 - IP, 2 ER
Lugo: 0.2 - 0 for 5, 6 LOB, K
Youkilis: 0.1 - 1 for 5, 4 LOB (3 in scoring position with 2 outs)
Ortiz: 0.1 - 0 for 4
Ramirez: 0.1 - 0 for 5, 2 K
The Sox looked even worse on Tuesday night in a 10-3 pounding. This was probably the worst game the Sox have played this year. We only managed 5 baserunners, and although 3 of them scored, we still had fewer baserunners than the Blue Jays had runs. Also, Toronto managed to get 17 men on base.
Tavarez once again was the weakest link in our rotation. He allowed 7 hits and 6 runs in 4.2 IP. Two of those hits were doubles, one was a homer. Julian also walked a batter and hit a batter.
Five Red Sox starters went hitless at the plate. We only managed 5 hits, and Lowell's solo homer was the only extra base hit. We also saw the first errors of the season from Manny, Pena, Varitek, and Hinske.
Just an absolutely abysmal loss. Bad pitching, bad offense, bad defense. A good team loss with blame spread all around.
The Man of the Game was Vernon Wells who went 4 for 5 with a homer, 3 RBI, 4 runs scored, and a stolen base. He's become a Sox nemesis these past few years.
Roy Halladay: 8 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 10 K
Frank Thomas: 2/4, 2B, 3 RBI
Julio Lugo: 2/3, 2 runs, 2 SB
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's the Bitch-Goat:
Tavarez: 0.4 - 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 H
Pena: 0.2 - 0 for 3, 2 K, Error
Ramirez: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 2 LOB
Drew: 0.1 - 0 for 4
Varitek: 0.2 - 0 for 3, 3 LOB, Error
The Sox flew down to Baltimore to play the 2nd place Orioles. Weird saying that so deep into the season.
Schilling was coming off a less than stellar outing against New York, but he was able to give us one of the best performances of the season. Thanks to poor pitching, the Sox were able to get 19 men on base. Although 12 of them were left stranded, 6 of them came home, which was enough to win the game.
Some controversy emerged from this game as Gary Thorne, a broadcaster for Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and a broadcaster for many NHL games in the past, claimed that Doug Mirabelli told him that Schilling's stockings in the 2004 ALCS and World Series were painted red, not turned red by blood seeping out of Curt's ankle.
This story was particularly interesting to me because I'd have to change the name of my blog to Boston Paint Sox.
Doug Mirabelli politely denied this allegation by saying:
"What? Are you kidding me? He's fucking lying."
Theo Epstein had an equally priceless quote regarding the bloody sock fiasco:
"I couldn't give two shits about what was on his sock, I care that we won the game. The rest, and Gary Thorne, is just noise."
Schilling, being Schilling, threw a nutty on his blog and ripped apart Thorne. Thorne, to his credit, said he talked to Mirabelli the next day and admitted that he misheard/misinterpreted something that was said in jest. But, of course, Curt can't let ANYTHING go and is probably still grumbling about this right now in New York.
Anyway, back to the game. The Sox had a good team effort and won. One interesting point to mention is that Manny Ramirez had a 1 for 4 night, which RAISED his average to .200. When will it be time to worry about Manny not hitting? When/If we start losing, people will start noticing this and talking about it more.
The Man of the Game was Curt "DuPont Red 47" Schilling who allowed 1 earned run in 7 innings.
Kevin Youkilis: 3/4, 2B, 3 runs scored, BB
Alex Cora: 2/4 HR
David Ortiz: 2/3, 2 BB, 2 runs, RBI
The Sox offense was less impressive in Thursday's 5-2 win over Baltimore. Despite Beckett's brilliant pitching, the team was down 2-1 until the 8th inning. They had squandered many opportunities and it appeared as though we were headed toward a very disappointing loss.
but, the Sox had gotten Adam Loewen's pitch count up and gotten him out of the game after 6 innings of work. The Orioles have an expensive bullpen that looks very good on paper. They have Chris Ray, who recorded 33 saves last season. Danys Baez, who has 111 career saves, 38 career holds, and a 3.78 career ERA. Jamie "Dynomite" Walker who had a great year with Detroit last season. Former Athletic Chad Bradford who has a 3.35 career ERA. They have an impressive bullpen. But the Sox got to it.
Manny led off the top of the 8th with a walk. Drew flew out, then closer Chris Ray came in for an attempt at a long save. Lowell hit a ground rule double to put the tying run on 3rd and the go ahead run at 2nd. Varitek was intentionally walked to load the bases. Then Wilfredo Modesto Pena, who had hit the ball very well in the game, stepped to the plate.
Wily Mo is Pedro Cerano from Major League. He can slam a fastball, can't hit breaking pitches. So it's imperative that Pena gets ahead of the count to get fastballs. He took a slider to begin the at-bat, then checked his swing on a called strike. He then took another slider for a ball. Ray had given Pena three pitches, all low and away. But the count was 2-1. With the bases loaded, Ray didn't want to fall behind to 3-1 so he threw a fastball over the heart of the plate. Pena didn't miss it at all. The ball was crushed to left-center and landed in the Red Sox bullpen (which is behind the Orioles pen) for a grand slam.
Beckett pitched the bottom of the inning, then Papelbon pitched a hitless 9th. Beckett probably could have gone the full 9 innings. His pitch count was at 100 when he left. If Curt Schilling was at 100 pitches after 8, Francona would probably let him take the mound for the 9th. Rather, Curt Schilling would DEMAND to take the mound for the 9th. but Papelbon did need some work, so it worked out.
Man of the Game was Josh Beckett who went 8 innings, allowing 2 runs, scattering 8 hits, and walking none. He hasn't been walking too many batters this season, nor has he allowed too many homeruns. He is MLB's first 5 game winner of the year.
Wily Mo Pena: 2/4, 2B, Grand Slam, 4 RBI, also had a hard hit out
Adam Loewen: 6 IP, ER
The Sox left Baltimore with a 3 game lead in the division.