April 18, 2006

G14: Red Sox 7, Devil Rays 4

Devil Rays - 000 000 220 - 4 11 0
Red Sox - 001 000 33x - 7 11 0
In which Manny Ramirez's first extra-base hit of the season gives Boston a 1-0 lead, and Matt Clement pitches six near-perfect innings before quickly losing the lead in the seventh, and Ramirez's second and third RBI of the night (behind an opposite field double from David Ortiz) put Boston back in front 4-2, and Terry Francona makes an inexplicably delayed call to the bullpen, and Mike Timlin throws away the lead on back-to-back doubles before bearing down with a man on third and one out and maintaining the 4-4 tie, and clutch hits from Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis and Mark Loretta give the Sox a 7-4 lead in the 8th, and Jonathan Papelbon is tested for the first time this season, throwing a whopping 34 pitches to six batters in the ninth inning, allowing a single and two walks, before a sprinting Adam Stern gambles in short center field and dives and gloves the final out, the ball secure in his glove only an inch or two off the Fenway grass to preserve the win.

Maybe I should pay more attention to the second-place Orioles, but ... down the road from Redsock Manor, at the Skydome, the Yankees gave Randy Johnson a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning, before the Big Ugly allowed seven runs in three innings to the Blue Jays, who won the game 10-5, pushing New York (6-7) into the East cellar, 3½ games behind Boston.

Oh, Baltimore lost to Cleveland 15-1.




Jack Marshall said...

-Can't blame Clement for losing the lead: Timlin did.
-Youk is officially my new favorite player. What an improvement over Millar...I'd almost like to see him stay in the #1 slot permanently.
-Assuming Stern goes down when Coco returns, I'll miss him.
-For a wild swinger, Wily Mo is surprisingly disciplined at the plate.Having him bat in front of Gonzalez is dumb line-up making by Tito: why would anyone throw him a strike?
-Hmmmm...The open slot in the rotation sure makes the Clemens option look attractive, doesn't it?
-Gammons now says that Beckett might win 25 games. How does that precition square with his picking NY and Toronto to finish in front of the Sox?

Zenslinger said...

Papelbon may have earned a bad outing without nessitating anyone's get concerned about him, but I wouldn't be too concerned anyway. The single was a blooper and the walks were tough ones to good hitters. Cantu was very tenacious as well, though he got him. Lee and Gomes really hung in there and battled for their BB's. Then the only well-hit ball ended up in Stern's glove...my god, it was close. I thought he trapped it at first -- the replay was just incredible to watch.

For once the Red Sox minority contingent in my local bar outnumbered the Yanks fans, who were quiet by the time I got there. It was great to hear some "Yoooouk"s out here in San Francisco.

andy22 said...

my newly christened RedSox wife and
I watched the game on the gameday stat thing and listened to the live feed and oh my god two days in a row we were pressed against the computer screen. we need to spring for the MLBTV thing. With coco out of the lineup and manny not hitting homers, how do we still win? well there is no curse and there is nothing else holding us back this year.

stefan said...

You could make a good argument for keeping Youk leading off - he's hitting just as well as Crisp. Crisp/Youk hitting 1/2 is also intriguing.

And yes, great catch, but I won't miss Stern's appearances at the plate, where he's batting .188/.235/.250.

After a brief five-inning outing against the Royals, and getting positively shelled by the Jays, is it too soon to say that the Big Unit's hit a wall? The Yankees need another starting pitcher, too (even if RJ does stay healthy and effective) - could be quite a bidding war over Clemens or whoever else is available.

Peter N said...

Youk batting 5th behind Papi/Manny sounds good when we get the human rocket ship who actually hovers two millimeters above the ground while standing still sounds good. And I'm talking Coco there. And wow, that game summary was ONE sentence. Yeah, I noticed.

redsock said...

1. Yeah, I don't blame Clement. I blame Tito 100%. Just a bonehead move sending him out for the 8th. Timlin might still have sucked, but I wouldn't have disagreed with the move.

2. Yook's defense at first has been amazing. Even being average would be an improvement over Millar, but he's been fun to watch over there.

3. And Manny has been great in LF. Several times he's held runners to first by bare-handing balls off the wall. He may not quite be Yaz out there, but it's great to see opposing runners suddenly stop and retreat back to first.

4. I wouldn't mind seeing Crisp in the 5th hole when he comes back, but I doubt that will happen. Yook will likely go back to the 8 spot and provide more oomph down there than we have now.

5. No Clemens. Please. No!

6. The curse never existed. It was invented by a hack sportswriter to sell his less-than-factual book.

7. Off doing errands today, so it's unlikely I'll post much before the game.

Jack Marshall said...

Redsock: Yes, Manny has been great in left so far. When he's paying attention I would call him generally above average EXCEPT that he's so slow afoot and so often gets a late jump that he just never gets to balls that even Mike Greenwell would have run down...some of his more spectacular plays would be routine for an outfielder who could run. But one can't fault his Wall play, and his arm is very accurate.

Jere said...

Stefan--Please don't judge Stern's batting on 12 ABs. The guy can hit.

Devine said...

Yeah, I'm kinda waiting for the first Manny fuck-up myself, even as I enjoy the "Oooooops, back to first" motions of opposing baserunners.

Sadly, I'm also waiting for the first Manny homer. He's been warming up pretty good the last couple of games, though.

Liked Clement not totally screwing up after three straight XBH to begin the 7th, especially the heads-up put-out on the guy stuck between 2nd and 3rd. Totally mystified as to why he came out for the 8th, though.

I wish they'd put Crisp in the five-slot, too. He's prone to hitting and not walking, which makes sense for a five-hitter on this team, right? Since some combination of Youk, Loretta, Ortiz, and Manny will probably get on base in front of him, I mean.

redsock said...

I love Manny, as you all know, and can live with him in left, but I will admit that on a lot of often-routine fly balls I still hold my breath even though he seems camped securely underneath it. Too many past plays where the ball has gone doink off his glove.

He is using two hands all the time now, which is nice. And he was fingerpointing last night. I think that is a good sign.

And Crisp at #5 could still run, and maybe gain a base in front of the weaker bats at the bottom of the lineup. He'd probably run just as much or more than at leadoff.

suzy lux said...

what other strategy could francona (my dad calls him frankenwitch) have had with sending clement out there in the 8th?
that was the most puzzling thing about the game, and sort of reminded me of...things ;/

i like to think he's not a bonehead and that he had some strategy, but it's like clement doesn't seem to be a 7th innning pitcher, let alone taking us into the 8th.