Sunday, July 06, 2008
I wouldn't worry too much about Sunday night's 5-4 extra inning loss to the Yankees. They scored the tying run in the 7th by skipping 3rd base. And Gardner's game winning single was as soft as a teddy bear.
Then again, the Red Sox not only could have won this game, they SHOULD have. They've become a .500 team when leading after 6 innings, and that's not the sign of a good ballclub.
Lopez was brought into the 7th inning to get out of a jam. Last year, we'd see Okajima in this situation, but Francona has justifiably shied away from using Hideki when there are runners on.
The pinch hitting in the top of the 9th confused me. I don't know why you'd take out Lugo and replace him with Varitek. Lugo was 1 for 3 on the day. Varitek had much better numbers against Rivera, but that was the old Jason Varitek, not this new super-slumping incarnation. Right now, the only people who want to see Jason Varitek with a bat in his hands are American League pitchers.
Alex Cora also deserves some blame for the game winning single. There's no way he could have thrown Gardner out at first, but Cora MUST keep that ball in the infield. He got to it, got a glove on it, but failed.
Kevin Youkilis was caught stealing. The Red Sox were 1 for 8 in stolen base attempts this series. I don't know why they refused to give Molina credit and continually tested him.
After going 3-7 on the road trip, the Red Sox finally return home to face the Twins. Minnesota has been playing well lately, but at least the games are in Fenway. Matsuzaka faces Scott baker Monday night.
AP Photo/Kathy Willens