April 21, 2007

G16: Red Sox 7, Yankees 5

Yankees - 220 000 100 - 5 9 0
Red Sox - 220 300 00x - 7 13 1
Redsox.com wrap and box here.

Terry Francona had shown that he understands that he may need his closer in the 8th inning rather than hooking his wagon to a lesser arm and "saving" Papelbon for the 9th. But what would Tito do if the game was on the line in the 7th inning? Is he truly on board with Jamesian bullpen usage?

David Ortiz's three-run home run in the 4th inning gave Boston a 7-4 lead that Josh Beckett carried into the 7th. He needed only five pitches to retire Nieves and Cabrera, but he gave up a single to Jeter. Abreu was up and if he got on, it would bring Slappy to the plate as the potential tying run. (Okajim and Donnelly had been up for a little bit.) Beckett pitched carefully to Abreu, but walked him (bcbfbb).

I'm cool with leaving Beckett (at 102 pitches) in to face Slappy (2-for-12 against him with 0 HR and 3 K). Ball 1, then two low pitches, one called a strike, the other a ball. Then Rodriguez lined a single to right, bringing Abreu home.

There was no sign of Papelbon through any of this. If the Slappy AB wasn't the most important point of the game, then Giambi at the plate right now was.

And in came Okajima. Giambi (bsbc) struck out swinging.

Okajima got Cano to start the 8th, then Timlin retired Phelps and Thompson on pop-ups. Papelbon took the 9th: PH Damon (bcfbbf) 6-3, Cabrera (bbb) walked, Jeter (bscbb) struck out swinging (Snuffer hitting 98 a couple of times), Abreu (f) flied out to center.

So Francona did not go to his best arm at the highest-leverage moment in the game, but he did hand the ball to Okajima. I'm guessing, but it seems like Francona believes that Okajima is the 2nd best pitcher in the bullpen. He got the call to save the game last night and he was brought in with the tying runs aboard today.

He didn't use Papelbon until the 9th, but recent evidence shows that Tito understands and is applying intelligent and progressive thought to his bullpen choices. This makes me very happy.

***

Jeff Karstens (3.80 in 2006) / Josh Beckett (1.50, 0.833), 4 PM

Karstens comes off the disabled list (right elbow tightness) to make his 2007 debut.

28 comments:

JimLoomis said...

Yesterday's delicious score: Sox 7, Yankees 6.
This morning, buried in a Globe column, is an item noting that yesterday was also the 95th anniversary of the first game played in Fenway Park. It was the Red Sox vs. The New York Highlanders, now the Yankees. The score? Boston 7, New York 6. How about THAT!

s1c said...

Here is hoping that the new and improved Beckett shows up today. None of that 9+ ERA to these guys today.

Sean said...

Current ERA against the Yankees: 18.00

Not the best of starts, Josh.

redsock said...

I'm liking this new Coco!

Two singles (one beating out a bunt that rolled half way to the mound), stolen base, two runs scored.

5-4 Sox in the 4th.

s1c said...

PAPPPPPIIIIIIIII

s1c said...

Sorry, I just had to get that out of my system. Lets see if Beckett can keep the meat of the order off the bases and preserve this lead.

jazzpiano8 said...

GO PAPI! Crisp and Cora - the new super tag team - I love how we are all about small and big ball right now. oh yeah. beckett will get it under control. some of those four runs were cheap.

redsock said...

Beckett doing better.

After Slappy's double to lead off the third, he's retired 9 in a row -- on a total of only 29 pitches (only one ball to outfield).

8 pitches in each of the 5th and 6th innings.

redsock said...

Yankee starters averaging 5.07 IP per start -- 2nd worst in MLB

Karstens goes 4.1 today.

s1c said...

Beckett is cruising right now but don't get cocky! There is still 12 more outs to go.

redsock said...

Tying runs on in the 7th -- most important moment of the game -- gotta snuff 'em out -- no hint of Papelbon.

Tito going with Okajima.

redsock said...

Okajima Ks Giambi!!!

7-5 at mid-7th.

s1c said...

Okajima is no longer in the dark. He is the man! Timlin to come in the eighth?

redsock said...

Timlin in with 1 out in 8th.

Hopefully, the old man can creak his way through the 8 and 9 spots.

redsock said...

7 and 8 hitters -- sorry.

The Bot is up.

redsock said...

Two pop-ups for Timlin: Lugo in short LCF and Yook on the infield grass.

redsock said...

Good work by Timlin.

It means Snuffer will face the 9-1-2 batters: Neives, Milk Dud and CI.

redsock said...

Damon will PH for Neives against Snuffer.

s1c said...

Papel-bot saves the day. Big strike out on Jeter. Another series won by the good guys.

Woti-woti said...

Snuffer tells ARod he'll see him tomorrow. Sleep tight, Alex. Nice stress-free appearance from Timlin. I think Manny is ready to greet Mr. Wright with a couple of chasers.

9casey said...

Youk showed today why he is the 2 hitter, not so much the 2 hitter but the guy who hits before Ortiz....Huge walk ....... That walk Changed the whole game.....And then Papi did what Papi does.....

L-girl said...

I love The Jeemer, too!

What a great game. Tomorrow we go for the sweep!!

9casey said...

Redsock said:
So Francona did not go to his best arm at the highest-leverage moment in the game, but he did hand the ball to Okajima.

I think that was more about the lefty-lefty matchup...

I never thought he should bring Pap in that situation , actually never crossed my mind....

Sooner or later he has to trust somebody else in that situation, i.e. .last night......

My buddy is a yankee fan and also a high school softball coach, and he lost a tough one last night......He calls this morning and tells me he doens't feel as bad after watching Torre manage that game last night.....He mentioned Tito managed the game like it was April 20th not October 20th.he also asked how many games does Rivera have to blow to the red sox in the 8th inning at Fenway until Torre relizes it doesn't work.....

I could just concur

s1c said...

Would be happier if our starters weren't giving up 5 runs against these guys but as long as the team keeps putting up W's who am I to complain.

Not sure if you guys saw the Okajima interview at boston.com . I particulary liked this part of it:
"Then you faced red-hot A-Rod. What were you thinking?
I was thinking, I can't let him hit a home run."

Yaz-Tex said...

4.0, 2.55 ERA through 4 starts? Here's hoping that we've seen the last of Josh LaLoosh, and the long-awited evolution of Beckett from pea-brained thrower to a more prescient pitcher.

He deserved a better fate in the 7th; even that dipshit McCarver commented that Beckett was squeezed by Davidson on the tailing inside fastball he threw to Slappy on B3 that should have been a K looking. How does he not get that pitch?!

What John Farrell has done with Beckett (at least in the short term) is nothing short of impressive. While you always have to give credit to Tek for the way he manages a game, Beckett's new-found willingness to throw the breaking ball in what a year ago would have been soley fastball counts is a wondrous sight to see.

As redsock once opined on Wade Miller, the movement on some of Nuke's curveballs has been absolutely pornographic. He seems to have found some brains to go along with his cojones, a formidable combination with an arm that powerful.

If success breeds confidence, and confidence in turn breeds success, let's hope Beckett sticks with this early season plan. If so, the contributions of John Farrell could end up transcending those of any of the on-field acquisitions that the team made over the winter.

Matsuzaka today - HAI!!

Jere said...

But if he goes in the seventh, what's next? The 6th? The 5th? 84th St? Mexico? 83rd St? ha. I'm off to see Dice vs. Slappy & friends...

redsock said...

But if he goes in the seventh, what's next? The 6th? The 5th?

Any earlier than the 7th means the Red Sox would have three innings of hitting left. The critical moment of the game usually would not come in innings 1-6. Not close enough to the end of the game.

Jere said...

Was all a joke, done to use the Seinfeld line.