August 27, 2005

G126: Red Sox 9, Tigers 8

Kevin Millar had a rough game in left field on Thursday. Last night, he was at first base, where, on the game's third pitch, he booted Placido Polanco's grounder for an error. Polanco took second on a passed ball, third on a fly out, and scored on Ivan Rodriguez's single. Two batters later, when Dmitri Young lined a single off Tim Wakefield's leg, it looked like another long night.

Instead, the Red Sox rallied and won their 14th straight home game. It was far from a pretty win, but it kept the East lead at 2.5 games.

Boston answered with three runs in the third, highlighted by Doug Mirabelli's double to right-center, Tony Graffanino's single (Graff had three hits, a walk, three runs scored and a RBI), and a bases-loaded walk to Manny Ramirez.

After Wakefield gave it right back in the next inning (Brandon Inge and Curtis Granderson both hit two-run home runs), the Sox scored twice in the fifth -- highlighted by Ortiz's double to right -- and four times in the sixth -- Manny had a two-run double.

Detroit tried to come back -- Jeremi Gonzalez surrendered back-to-back home runs in the seventh -- but Chad Bradford and Mike Timlin held on.

Millar needs to be benched. He hits better at Fenway (where the team will be for most of the remainder of the season) than on the road, but it would be next-to-impossible not to. Millar whiffed in his first two at-bats, both on horribly bad pitches. The first time, the ball was so far outside, he wouldn't have hit it with an oar. Add in his poor fielding and there is absolutely no excuse for not giving Roberto Petagine more playing time.

A few SoSHers think that Francona will continue to bury Petagine, because if he gets a chance to prove himself, it'll become obvious that he and Olerud should make the post-season roster and Millar should not. And Tito will not allow that to happen. I don't know if I agree, but it's certainly bizarre to see Millar in the lineup more times than not and Petagine not even given a chance to pinch-hit.

The August 14 rainout against the White Sox will be replayed Monday, September 5, at 12:05 at Fenway, giving the Sox 30 games without a day off -- August 22 to September 22. Initial reports of the White Sox agreeing to forfeit the game were wrong. ... Mark Bellhorn declined an assignment to Pawtucket and was placed on waivers.

From Chris Snow's Friday notebook in the Globe:
Manny Ramirez did not give a full effort running out an inning-ending, fifth-inning grounder Wednesday night with the bases loaded. The score was 3-1 at the time, then the Royals tied it in the bottom of the inning, then won in the 11th, 4-3. When a reporter noted that Ramirez jogged down the line, Francona said, "I don't think he jogged. I don't think that's correct. I don't agree with that at all." Francona then asked, "You think he would have beat it out? I don't, either."
To my knowledge, Snow does not write a paragraph every time a Red Sox player fails to sprint down the line. From watching replays on NESN, John Olerud, Johnny Damon and Kevin Millar have also jogged to first base on groundouts in the last two games. So why doesn't Snow tell us about these malingerers also?

David Ortiz, who missed Thursday's game (running hard to first on a play similar to Manny's, according to the Herald), doesn't understand the anti-Manny faction:
[H]e hit that ball right at the shortstop. He doesn't run like Johnny Damon. I understand that if you hustle a little more, it might make people happy, but it was going to be a double play anyway. Why are people making a big deal about it? When he does something wrong, people make a big deal out of it and [when] he does something great, they don't make a big deal out of it.
Curt Schilling says he felt fine the day after allowing six runs in five innings to the Royals:
If I go out every time from here on out and feel like I did last night, I'll win more than I lose. ... I'm not sore, my ankle feels great. I haven't felt like this since last April, before I hurt my ankle. ... I know there are a lot of people that don't want to hear it, but when I look back on it, stuff-wise, that's every bit as good as I threw the ball last year from a pure physical standpoint. Every time I needed to reach back, I felt like I did and had something extra on the ball. I had all four of my pitches. ... I'm not used to feeling that good and not pitching well.
He sounds way more positive than I felt while watching him. His next start should be on Tuesday against Tampa.

Arroyo / Douglass at 7:00.


Anonymous said...

What has Manny done to the press in Boston that causes this type of bile to be spewed his direction? Is it because he's the key to the offense that is the best in the league? Are they just haters?

I used to check BDD religiously, but have quit even going to the site anymore because all it ever seems to do is bash certain players yet praise certain players who dont produce as much and make many of the same mistakes. Sorry BDD, but if I have to chose a Manny, with his pace to 160 RBIS, who doesn't run full speed on every sharp hit ball to the SS or a Kevin Millar, who is embarassingly bad defensively and isn't producing at all offensively, well, I'll choose Manny.

L-girl said...

What has Manny done to the press in Boston that causes this type of bile to be spewed his direction?

That's an excellent question.

I don't read BDD (because he makes me sick) but anyone who praises Millar over Manny clearly has some agenda, and is more concerned with that - whatever it may be - than with the game.

JRM said...

Does anybody else feel bad for Mark Bellhorn? He isn't as solid on defense as the Red Sox need, but he has good offensive power, and he contributed significantly on occassion last year. I hope he finds a good place with another club. (How about anywhere in the NL West?)

Devine said...

I feel sorry for Mark Bellhorn, but his numbers are so down (both average and slugging) that there's just no way to justify having him on the team. He's also still #10 in the league in strikeouts despite not having played in ages.

I've also stopped going to BDD because the remarks are so inflammatory and biased.

Awful Yankee win today. 7-3 Royals in the 9th, but Jeter, Sheffield, and A-Rod (the latter two with two out) all come through in the clutch and they score five friggin' runs to win the game. It was so beautiful, and it all just turned to garbage so fast.

peter* said...

The Royals pitcher could not make a toss to 2nd base on a double play ball. That burns me up.

stankyfish said...

I was a huge Bellhorn fan coming into this season. He arguably should have gotten the 10th player last year. Unfortunately, he was stinking it up even in Pawtucket on his rehab stint -- more strikeouts than hits and walks combined? With what Graf has done since he arrived, even Francona (who seems to feel Millar deserves to hit at least as often as Petagine) couldn't find a way to put him back in the lineup.

I hope Bellhorn signs somewhere and rips it up - I'll always be thankful for what he helped accomplish last season.

stankyfish said...

I hope Bellhorn signs somewhere and rips it up

Ok, I take it back. The last thing I want to see is Bellhorn rip it up for the Skankees after signing with them today.