May 6, 2005

G28: Red Sox 2, Tigers 1

Bronson Arroyo can keep denying it, but he is the team's ace right now. Yesterday afternoon, he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finished with eight innings of three-hit ball. He struck out a season-high eight batters. David Ortiz's two-out double to deep center in the top of the ninth brought home Trot Nixon with the deciding run, as the Red Sox finished their short road trip with a 5-2 record.

Arroyo: "It was one of those games where I actually came in the clubhouse today and I was feeling [nauseated]. Before I went out there I was feeling like I was going to throw up or something. After I got done warming up in the pen, it was probably the best I felt physically all year." ... Arroyo's streak of 15 straight starts without a loss is the longest active run in the majors.

One scout at the game was quoted by the Globe: "You see a slider like that once in a blue moon. Honestly. You don't see a guy be that consistent with that pitch as often as Arroyo was. When you can throw it, or throw a breaking ball behind on the count and you trust yourself that much, that confidence is going to win you games. There's not much not to like about this kid." ... Kevin Youkilis agrees: "When he's got that sharp bite on his ball, he's deadly. He's got some of the best breaking stuff in the league."

Arroyo kept his pitch count low (only 68 through six innings) and was helped by two outstanding defensive plays in the fifth inning. Kevin Millar short-hopped a smash from Carlos Pena near the first base line and three pitches later, Jay Payton raced into the left field corner to snag Marcus Thames's fly ball. It seemed like those would be plays to look back on if Arroyo did complete the no-no, but with one out in the seventh, Carlos Guillen poked an inside breaking pitch just over the right field wall, ending the no-hitter and tying the game at 1-1.

With two outs in the ninth, Nixon's pop-up dropped into short right center and Ortiz walloped a low Urbina fastball over Nook Logan's head in center for an RBI-double. Ortiz: "I was praying just to get a hit, man. ... If I don't hit, it's like I'm stealing money. I'm just glad I got that RBI for Bronson. He pitched unbelievable, man." ... Damon: "I told [Ortiz] he doesn't want a leadoff hitter to catch him in RBI, so he's going to get going."

Keith Foulke retired Detroit's 3-4-5 hitters in order for his seventh save. ... Edgar Renteria left the game in the second inning. The ball bruised his right index finger and he thinks he'll be able to play tonight. Why was he bunting in the first place? Jason Varitek had opened the inning with a double. It didn't look like Renteria was bunting for a hit, but the situation was about as far away as you could get from a Red Sox sacrifice spot. ... Payton took over and slapped the first pitch he saw to center, which gave Boston its first run.

Jon Lieber tells Tim McCarver that before last year's ALCS Game 4, some unidentified Red Sox players "congratulated" some unidentified Yankee players on a sweep. It would help his credibility if Lieber could have put even one name to this alleged incident. ... Or maybe this was merely part of the Sox's grand psy-ops ploy to put pressure on the Yankees?

The Yankees lost to Tampa Bay (again) last night 6-2. ... The Times calls them "a collection of faded stars who have crash-landed in the basement of the American League East. ... Joe Torre called another team meeting Thursday ... at least the third meeting the Yankees have had since April 17 ... With an 11-18 record, the Yankees are on pace to go 61-101, the reverse of their record last season. The Yankees have not lost 100 games since 1912, two years before Joe DiMaggio was born."

Mike Vaccaro, Post, says the Yankees look
like an out-of-control amusement park ride, speeding off on its own misdirection, unsure of the twists and turns looming straight ahead. Each night, a fresh batch of slapstick gets thrown into the recipe. ... The Yankees are playing lousy, uninspired, stupid baseball. ...

Last night alone, Alex Rodriguez dropped a pop fly, which led directly to two D-Rays runs; Jorge Posada got caught off second base on a ground ball hit in front of him, thwarting the Yanks' last rally; an inning later when Posada threw to second base trying to catch a runner stealing, nobody covered the bag; and pitcher Chien-Ming Wang froze on a comebacker, failing to get the lead runner with men on first and second, and two runs followed. ... This isn't just a slump anymore. It's looking more and more like the start of a long, hot, empty summer. And summer doesn't even get here for another six weeks.
Whee! I am so loving this! The problems the Yankees are having have been obvious for awhile, yet they did absolutely nothing to address them over the winter. And they have very few options to deal with them now. I mean, how many pitchers can they call up from AA? Things are, in a word, Torreble.

The Mariners visit Fenway:
Tonight: Matt Clement / Jamie Moyer, 7:00
Saturday: Jeremi Gonzalez / Joel Pineiro, 7:00
Sunday: Wade Miller / Ryan Franklin, 2:00

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