September 21, 2005

G151: Red Sox 15, Devil Rays 2

No better time for a laugher. Check out what our starting 3-4-5-6 hitters did:
        AB  R  H BI
Ortiz 5 4 4 4
Manny 4 4 4 3
Nixon 6 4 4 3
Varitek 5 0 4 2
Four batters getting four hits in one game tied an American League record. The Sox last did it on June 8, 1950, against the St. Louis Browns.

Ortiz hit long home runs in his first two at-bats (in the first inning, he and Manny went back-to-back for the first time this season). Ortiz also crushed his first one after the annoying Tampa Heckler had spewed only about three words! What Ortiz is doing is simply ridiculous at this point. I wasn't quite four years old in 1967, but older SoSHers say they haven't seen anything like this since Yaz during The Impossible Dream (and #8 was doing it in the field also).

After a triple in the fifth, Trot Nixon had a shot at the cycle, but he singled and flew to left. John Olerud singled and walked three times, and Alex Cora, after ending two consecutive innings with the bases loaded, knocked in two runs with a seventh-inning single. ... Fifteen runs on twenty-one hits and five walks against four hapless pitchers.

Nearly lost in the noise of the bats -- but no less important -- was Curt Schilling (7-6-2-1-7). A few Game Threaders were furious at Francona for leaving Schilling in during an obvious rout. I was not. If there was ever a chance for Schilling to stretch himself out a little, work on some pitches, do whatever he might need to do before the playoffs, it was last night, with a 13-run lead. He threw 110 pitches in seven innings before letting Manny Delcarmen and Lenny DiNardo finish up.

Hanley Ramirez (#60) made his debut, fielding a routine grounder to start the seventh and getting called out on strikes in the eighth. After fouling off four pitches, he clearly checked his swing on what should have been ball four. But Bruce Froemming called him out. Remy figured the umpire "has had just about enough of this game."

Great. So at the umpire's discretion, he can disregard the rules to end the game sooner. I hate that shit -- and it's surprising that it's tolerated so completely. You can't go two games without an announcer saying so-and-so's strike zone tonight is wide or tall or whatever, or noting how it obviously changes depending on the inning or who is on the mound. ... How about all the umpires call pitches according to the rule book and make their calls on the bases on whether the player is out or safe, not whether he's a future Hall of Famer or a rookie.

Since there have been comments about Johnny Damon's fielding skills, I would be remiss in not pointing out that Carl Crawford scored from second base on a sacrifice fly to center in the third inning. The ball was hit to the track and Crawford is very fast, but this was embarrassing. After Damon caught the ball, he drifted back three or four steps and banged up against the wall, then heaved the ball in. He has done that often this season and it has been completely unnecessary each and every time. It is only for show. And this time, it wasted valuable time, as Crawford never slowed down sprinting around third.

After leading 10-3, the Yankees again had to rely on Mariano Rivera to preserve a 12-9 victory against the Orioles. The standings remain the same: Sox over Yanks by .5, New York .5 behind Cleveland.

Tonight: Johnson / Lopez in New York and Wakefield / Kazmir in Tampa, both at 7:00.


Kyle said...

It's a shame we have complained about Johnny's play. It is slightly embarrasing for a runner to score from 2nd on a sac fly. How can we fault Johnny though?

Can I see Hanley in CF next year?? Hmm...

Anonymous said...

Also important to note regarding Schill's long outing is that it came on the heels of two straight games in which the bullpen threw a combined 13 innings. The pen needed the rest; I couldn't really have complained much if Tito sent Schill out to start the 8th either.

Kyle said...

Yeah, but you can complain NOW for FranCOMA's awful managing. Yet another one he threw away.

Anonymous said...

Mark me down with Kyle. Timlin has been poor all year when brought in mid-inning, while Wakefield was about to face two batters he had handled well all game. I had a bad feeling about this one, with all the line drives hit right at Devil Ray fielders (I counted six...amazing.) Francona's fatal flaw is a complete lack of imagination.
If Timlin is going to close, he has to start the inning. Period. It was obvious two months ago, and Terry still hasn't figured it out.

Anonymous said...

I feel like I want to cry. Is this really how the epilogue to last year's miracle has to be written?

I have stood at the abyss known as ALCS Game 3, 2004...there's still 10 games left and anything can happen. But right now...this sucks. This really, really sucks.

Is it 2006 yet?