Thursday, July 26, 2007
SOX LOSE ONE NIL, LET'S NOT GO CRAZY
In 1-0 losses, you can look at EVERY single play in the game and say "Well if this was a bit different, then we'd win." If any Red Sox batter hit a homerun in any at-bat, the game gets tied and the Sox might win. If Beckett doesn't allow the solo homerun, the game stays at 0-0. If Crisp doesn't slow down a bit rounding third, he might not get thrown out, and the Sox might have tied.
Coco's getting thrown out might have been the play of the game. There were 2 outs, Crisp was on 2nd, and Ortiz hit a soft grounder to the second baseman, who was playing deep in the overshift. He had no chance at throwing Ortiz out at first, so he threw home. With two outs, Coco was off on contact but he seemed to hesitate a bit on his way home. Victor Martinez caught Barfield's perfect throw, blocked the plate, and may or may not have tagged Crisp out. What matters, though, is that Crisp was called out.
The inning was strange from beginning to end. Cora hit a hard liner, but right at third baseman Casey Blake. Hit just a few inches away, and it's at least a single. Crisp hit the ball much more softly, but right up the middle in no man's land, so he reached on an infield single. Pedroia grounded out. Ortiz hit a very weak groundball. Now, he went 1 for 4 with this infield single being his only hit. If he had gotten a true single, into the outfield, Crisp scores easily and Boston Dirt Dogs isn't making him the goat of the century today. Or let's say Barfield hesitates, or his throw is slightly offline, or the umpire calls Crisp safe, then we aren't bitching and moaning about a hesitation.
I'm one of the most critical Red Sox fans there is. But I'm not all that mad at Coco. He screwed up and slowed down a bit. He made a mistake, let's move on. In 162 games, players will make the occasional mistake. We've all seen Coco's outfield play this season. He's a hustler out there. We've all seen him raise his average from below .200 up near .300 this season. He screwed up, let's move on to the next game.
Let's look at the real reasons we lost this game. We had 7 total baserunners. We struck out 8 times. We grounded into a double play. We had 3 runners thrown out on the basepaths. We went 4 for 27 as a team.
And give credit to Fausto Carmona. He threw a gem. Eight innings, allowed 4 hits, 2 walks, struck out 6, had 11 ground ball outs, and 4 fly outs. He beat us, it's that simple. Beckett pitched great as well. His only real mistake was the homerun. He also went 8 innings, also allowing 4 hits. He walked none and struck out 7. It was one of his best starts of the year, but it was also one of Carmona's as well.
Let's not go nuts about this game. It was a 1-0 game, which always leads to the "We could have won it if..." discussions. But let's consider the previous night's 1-0 win. We would have LOST that if...whatever.
Also, this was the first time two AL teams played 1-0 games against each other, back-to-back, since 1975.