The Angels teed off on him: the first 15 batters collected nine hits (two singles, three doubles, one triple and three home runs). Thanks to some truly stupid base-running and questionable fielding decisions when the Red Sox were batting, Los Angeles led by only 6-1 after three innings.
Schilling settled down after that, allowing only an infield single to the next eight Angels. Through five innings, he had thrown 87 pitches.
In the bottom of the fifth, Boston finally started to hit Lackey's breaking stuff. Alex Gonzalez singled, Kevin Youkilis flied out to right-center, Alex Cora doubled, David Ortiz doubled (6-3), Manny Ramirez lined out to center and Wily Mo Pena doubled (6-4). (Pena had replaced Trot Nixon, who suffered an "upper right arm strain" on an awkward swing in the third. I was seriously Truped on WMP's double. He hit it towards the end of the bat which shattered, but it had more height than distance and banged off the Wall.
Jason Varitek walked on four pitches and the go-ahead run came at the plate. On an inside 0-2 pitch, Lackey appeared to hit Mike Lowell on the arm. But home plate umpire Kerwin Danley said no, Lowell and Tito complained, before Lowell struck out on the next pitch, ending the inning.
At that point, trailing only 6-4 with four innings to go, Terry Francona pulled Schilling. (Was he hurt? Tired? It seemed like a quick hook.) So Tito decided to bring in ... Jermaine Van Buren, who had pitched only once since being recalled way back on July 18. One game in 12 days. Bad choice, Tito.
Now I'm no fan of the Gruesome Twosome, but Rudy Seanez has been pitching better lately, albeit with huge leads. And if you are going to go with either Seanez or Julian Tavarez -- and that still seemed fine, considering who went yesterday, Delcarmen's possible unavailability and Wells going tomorrow -- it's best to do at the start of an inning.
So in comes JVB, who promptly gives up three singles, a walk and a loud line drive out to center (Coco made a diving catch in right-center and had a double play at first, but made a wild throw and the runner got back). One run is in and the bases are loaded. Tavarez comes in and, naturally, allows all three inherited runners to score. 10-4.
P.S. Tavarez started the seventh and retired the Angels in order on 12 pitches. Seanez turned in a perfect eighth and, although he allowed two singles, a scoreless ninth.
P.P.S. Has Vlad's moon shot come down yet?
John Lackey (2.89) / Curt Schilling (3.60), 8 PM
Terry Francona says it's simply a coincidence that Mark Loretta gets the night off on the day before the trade deadline.
Lackey has gone 4-1, 1.69, with 44 strikeouts and nine walks in July. However, the Angels are 0-8 against the Red Sox when he pitches.Figgins, CF Youkilis, 1B
Izturis, 3B Cora, 2B
Cabrera, SS Ortiz, DH
Guerrero, RF Ramirez, LF
Anderson, LF Nixon, RF
Rivera, DH Varitek, C
Kendrick, 1B Lowell, 3B
Napoli, C Crisp, CF
Kennedy, 2B Gonzalez, SS
The Red Sox are 17-5 this year when Schilling starts. He is 8-0, 2.71 ERA at Fenway. ... In addition to having a season-high 14-game hitting streak, Manny Ramirez is 8-for-15 (.533) with four home runs and 10 RBIs against Lackey.