May 25, 2005

G44: Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 6

... in which Reed Johnson accounts for Toronto's last five runs, including a walk-off bomb off Alan Embree in the bottom of the ninth.

Re Tito's bullpen management: Why not Mantei after the four-pitch walk to McDonald? ... Embree (who may have been a bit rusty, not having pitched since last Tuesday) is more than a LOOGY, so his job description includes getting righties out. Francona was probably keeping Embree in to pitch to Hinske, but the Hombre never got past Johnson.

This game made crystal clear what winning the World Series has done to me. It makes the frustration, annoyance and post-loss fuming much less intense. I still watch every game, keep score, talk back to the players, etc., but when the game is over -- speaking of losses only -- I don't keep replaying parts in my head, agonizing about what should have been done or what could have been.

(Though Mueller's poor baserunning off third base and Ortiz's pseudo-slide into home -- both in the third inning (in which every batter reached base) -- could have changed the outcome of this one.)

Losses like this are annoying as hell -- even though there was no real head-scratching managerial boner this time around -- but I find that even ten minutes after EI shuts off (Good Night!), I've moved on. ... Which may be why I'm offering less analysis (compared to last year) and more media/blog recaps -- at least that's my impression from the inside.

Outside of allowing the cycle in the fourth inning, Wells did alright. ... Mueller was drilled in the left foot in the ninth and was in a lot of pain. He was putting weight on it walking through the dugout, so hopefully, it isn't serious.

Tito continues to hit Renteria in the #2 spot. Edgar went 2-for-4, including a triple leading off the eighth. Is Francona being stubborn, refusing to move Renteria down in the order so as not to be portrayed as kowtowing to the boo-birds and talk radio yahoos? Whether it's the right move or not -- I'd move him to #7 or so -- it seems like Francona's sticking with this lineup as a vote of confidence.

Though if Mueller is out for a day or two, Youkilis can hit second and Renteria can be moved down to #7, with Millar at #8 (... or #10 or #11).

Arroyo / Lilly at 7:00.

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