Red Sox - 000 321 210 - 9 16 0That one pretty much qualifies as an instant classic. Whew!
White Sox - 010 220 010 - 6 13 0
Lopez and Hansen pitching out of the bases loaded, no outs mess in the seventh (with the Sox up 8-5) was huge. The pen was put in that no-room-for-error spot because of Tito Being Tito, bringing a cooked Beckett out for the seventh and leaving him out there while he walked the #9 hitter Cintron on four pitches, gave up a single to Podsednik and issued a five-pitch walk to Iguchi.
Criticizing Francona in that instance is first-guessing. Leaving the starter in too long and also giving the bullpen no wiggle room is his MO. He has his reasons, apparently, and he's likely going to cost the Sox some more games this season, but I can't see him ever really changing his patterns.
Beckett got credit for his 11th win, but he pitched like absolute poop. He gave up three more home runs, seemingly unwilling to let his teammates enjoy a lead for more than five minutes. Scoreless in the 2nd, Dye goes deep. The Red Sox score three in the 4th to lead 3-1, Beckett gives it back in the bottom half (another Dye dinger to tie the game). Boston goes up 5-3 in the 5th, Beckett surrenders a 2-run bomb to Thome. Despite Beckett throwing only 85 pitches in six innings, it was obviously time to go to the pen.
In the 7th, Lopez struck out Thome on a 1-2 slider away. Then Hansen retired Konerko on a fly to right and Dye on a liner to shortstop. Hansen got into some trouble in the 8th on a trio of squibs and bleeders, but Papelbon came in and slammed the door.
David Ortiz has 31 home runs and 86 RBI -- the highest totals for a Red Sox player in nearly 50 years.
Question for those Fox watchers: Exactly how long did Buck and McMoron go on about Manny not playing in the All-Star Game? I got the impression from the SoSH game thread they would have been less indignant if Ramirez had killed and eaten Buck's dog.
Josh Beckett (4.59) / Freddy Garcia (4.72), 1:20 PM