Wednesday, August 01, 2007

ANTI-CLIMACTIC END TO BIG DAY


After acquiring Eric Gagne from the Rangers, the Red Sox opened their short homestand against the Orioles with a disappointing 5-3 loss.

Ortiz hit two homeruns, but that was all the offensive production we were going to get. Beckett went 8 but allowed 9 hits and 5 runs. A good number of those hits were soft little crap-hits, most notably Kevin Millar's little nubber up the middle in the 3rd that scored 2 runs.

The lack of offense lost this game. Bedard's pitched well this season so give him some credit. If you take out David Ortiz's 3 for 4, the Red Sox had 1 hit. One hit! We did manage to work 6 walks, but we left 8 men on base.

There was one major play that may or may not have had an effect on the game's outcome. The Sox loaded the bases in the 4th without the benefit of a hit (2 walks, 1 HBP). After Wily Mo struck out, there were 2 down. Julio Lugo took a 3-2 pitch that looked to be below the knees. He looked at ball 4, but he heard "strike three" from umpire Jim Joyce, and the inning was over.

If the pitch is called correctly as ball 4, the Sox score a run to make it 4-3, and Dustin Pedroia comes up with the bases loaded and 2 outs instead of leading off the bottom of the 5th.

After making the deal for Eric Gagne, and choosing not to overpay for Jermaine Dye, you just knew that there would be a situation that would've been perfect for Dye. You can just feel these moments coming. You can anticipate the overreacting morons at Boston Dirt Dogs getting some stupid headline about Johnny Damon, or Hanley Ramirez ready to go.

In the bottom of the 9th, the Red Sox had a runner on 1st, 1 out, and Eric Hinske at the plate. The Orioles brought in the lefty Walker to face Hinske. The only right handed bat the Sox had on the bench was Mirabelli. It would have been a perfect time to pinch hit Dye for Hinske. But Hinske was able to work a walk and continue the inning. Lugo nearly grounded out into a double play, but the O's weren't able to turn it in time. Pedroia then hit the first pitch he saw for a weak groundout and the game was over.

The Red Sox continue to fail when trailing in the 9th inning. Ninth inning victories are fun to watch, they build a lot of momentum for the team, and they feel like stolen wins.

SCHILLING LOOKS GOOD IN THIRD REHAB START
What would have happened if Schilling had pitched poorly in his rehab start last night? What would have happened had Schilling reinjured his arm? The Zakim Bridge would have collapsed from pedestrian traffic as Sox fans lined up to jump. We would have lost Gabbard AND Schilling on the same day. It would have turned a great day for Boston sports into a horrible day.

Schilling went 7 innings, and threw 77 pitches. 60 of those pitches were for strikes. He allowed 4 hits, and struck out 4. He will be returning to the rotation on either August 5th or 6th, so either against the Mariners or the Angels.

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