April 8, 2007

G6: Red Sox 3, Rangers 2

Here was one of those moments Terry Francona was talking about the other day when he said Jonathan Papelbon might be called on to put out a fire in the eighth.

Joel Pineiro was in the game, in relief of Curt Schilling (7-4-1-1-6, 102), protecting a 3-1 lead. But Pineiro walked both Gerard Laird and Ian Kinsler, and Kenny Lofton bunted for a base hit. Bases loaded, no outs. Time to Hop on Pap?

Nope. Tito called in Javier Lopez. But with lefty Frank Catalanotto due, and still up by two, it was a reasonable decision. Of course, the Rangers countered with righty Nelson Cruz, who ripped the first pitch off Kevin Youkilis's glove. Yook recovered to get a force at second, but Lofton scored and it was 3-2. Now what?

Tito brought in the Bot. Yes! Excellent call. Would he go five outs? I don't know, but this was the absolute right call to make.

Pap v. Michael Young:
Fastball 94, slightly up and in, swing and miss.
Breaking ball 87, low in dirt, ball.
Fastball 95, again slightly up and in, swing and miss.
Fastball 96, on the low, outside black, called strike three.
Pap v. Mark Teixeira:
Fastball 94, popped up to Lowell on the infield grass.
Five pitches and the fire was out.

The bottom of the ninth: Sammy Sosa fouled off a 93 fastball, then popped up a 94 fastball to Youkilis on the infield dirt. Papelbon threw four breaking balls (88-89) to Hank Blalock (sbbf) before smoking him with a rising fastball at 94. Then Brad Wilkerson swung and missed two fastballs up and out of the strike zone (both at 94) before Papelbon poured a fastball at 96 right down the middle of the plate. Wilkerson just stood there. Game over.

Padilla (7-4-3-1-4, 98) matched Schilling, but the Rangers pitcher had to face David Ortiz and G38 did not. Tiz crushed a solo home run in the first inning and then hit a two-run shot in the third to account for all three of Boston's runs.

I don't know about you, but those last two innings sure didn't feel like an April 8 game. (box)

Tito: "It's just hard to let a game get away without using Pap. I just don't want to see the game decided without him having something to say about it."


Curt Schilling / Vincente Padilla, 8 PM

Kevin Youkilis twisted his left ankle running down the line after batting in the seventh inning last night and was quickly replaced at first base by Eric Hinske. Yook is not worried: "It's nothing like a sprain or anything. I just rolled it a bit. I'll tape it up and be in there [tonight]."

Padilla allowed six runs and nine hits to the Angels in 4.2 innings on Opening Day. Texas lost 8-3. ... Manny Ramirez is 1-for-8 with four strikeouts against Padilla. JD Drew is 6-for-14 with one home run. ... Frank Catalanotto is 10-for-19 against Schilling with four doubles.


s1c said...

Cora is in the starting lineup tonight. Maybe his .385 BA against Padilla will help to jump start the bats.

redsock said...

Poor pitching for the Yankees again. They blow a 3-0 lead and lose 6-4 to the Orioles. Shemp goes on the 15-day DL.

redsock said...

Also on Saturday: Mike Timlin pitched one inning for Pawtucket, allowing one hit and one run. He will likely be activated for Tuesday's home opener.

s1c said...

The courant and herald blogs are saying that he will be examined first by the medical team, so, its not written in stone yet about the activation. Also, Dice K and Beckett have left Texas and are on their way home to Boston.

redsock said...

Tizzle is letting it Flo tonight!!!

Solo bomb in the 1st.

Two-run tater in the third.

3-1 Sox.

Jon said...

shemp lol

Suzy said...



Joe Grav said...

Well done

redsock said...

If Brandon was Saturn Nuts, Papelbon must have balls the size of the Milky Way.

God damn, he's fun to watch!

redsock said...


1.2 IP -- 5 up, 5 down -- 3K.

15 pitches, 12 strikes.

Woti-woti said...

You're right, Redsock, only April 8, but jesuz I wanted this one! Thanks for Schill, Paps and Papi for showing up, although Manny hit some balls hard. Maybe the rest of the crew just need a Fenway home-stand with some warm weather. Otherwise, ugliness lurking.

9casey said...

redsock said...

God damn, he's fun to watch!

That's exactly it..

Woti-woti said...
. Otherwise, ugliness lurking.

Be positive my friend......You sound like the Boston media..

redsock said...

Otherwise, ugliness lurking.

Be positive my friend......You sound like the Boston media..

I think he meant the ugliness lurking WAS the media.

Edward Lee said...

Well played by Francona tonight.

Now if he can just learn to avoid bringing in Pineiro during a tight game, we'll be all set.

redsock said...

I have to say again that Francona managed those two innings perfectly. Just wonderful to see!

If anyone had taken Pap deep or if he had lost the game, I still would have praised Tito. Bringing him in in the 8th was 100% correct. (Having tomorrow off just made it more obvious.)

And Drew keeps hitting!

Woti-woti said...

Yes, that's exactly what I meant, ugliness IS the Boston media. Yeah, how could I forget Drew. He's a ballplayer. Wouldn't surprise me if he was thinking on that steal of third that maybe it was time to stop screwing around and either make something happen or get Pap back out there quick.

MikeT9485 said...

Did Joe Morgan make it clear enough that Cora was "not out of the batters box" on that foul ball? I think he said that phrase about 9 times in a 2 minute span. He makes my ears bleed.

Glad to see Papi get his stroke back tonight. Paplebon was amazing. I was pissed that Drew inexplicably attempted to take third with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. He was already in scoring position and running on contact. Just a terrible decision.

9casey said...

Woti-woti said...
Yes, that's exactly what I meant, ugliness IS the Boston media.

Sorry woti....

Wouldn't surprise me if he was thinking on that steal of third that maybe it was time to stop screwing around and either make something happen or get Pap back out there quick.

I hate to be the negative one ...but that is a terrible base running mistake with 2 outs.......

M. Murphy said...

Papelbon got 5 outs--3 by strikeout--with 15 pitches. That was a pretty damn impressive save. And he was super fired-up about it. Supreme bad-ass.


Sean said...

redsox.com RIGHT NOW (12:09 Eastern) 4.11 tix on sale! Just got 4 3rd row from the field!

s1c said...

3 Star game by Papi, Papelbon and #38. Let us hope that getting to Fenway will heat up the bats.

Zenslinger said...

It was niiiiiice.

Ax to the Road said...

I almost threw up Easter dinner when ESPN came back from commercial to show Joel Pinata on the mound to for the eighth. As a long-time Sox fan who's lived in the Northwest for the past 10 years, I know all too well how bad this guy is. I lost some respect for Theo and the crew the day they actually committed millions to Joel Freakin Pinata! Well, fortunately Paps saved the day and Tito now has first-hand experience as to how useless Pinata is. Donnelly is the only former AL West setup man currently on the squad who should ever pitch in a meaningful situation.

Jere said...

Pap was just awesome tonight. But redsock, there's still the issue of the arm--meaning, same situation, but in a September Yankee series, with another game tomorrow. Do you get those two outs in the eighth, and then go with somebody else in the ninth, possibly still with just a one-run lead?

It's all very interesting. Tito ended up being in your hypothetical situation from before--and he split the difference between what you and I said he should. He brought him n when he was needed most like you said, but he waited as long as he could, AND said injury be damned, letting him go the ninth, like I said. Maybe we could co-manage this team--have they contacted you yet? (heh, that one's for you, 9casey)

redsock said...

AND said injury be damned, letting him go the ninth, like I said.

He threw only 5 pitches to get the 2 outs in the 8th, so he damn well better start the 9th.

15 pitches is fine. I remember there were some starts towards the end last year where he was at 30+. Not good.

But by September, we'll have a 10 game lead, so don't worry! :>)

Jere said...

Yeah, I guess number of pitches in the eighth is a key factor in the decision.

Let's shoot for 15 games up by then, what do you say?

Eric said...

The five pitches was definitely the deciding factor; Tito, like the rest of the Red Sox management, knows they'd never hear the end of it from all of us if they blew out Paps arm.

Papi seems to once again be the awesomely weird exception to the rule, because power hitters aren't getting it done (for the most part) right now. I think the cold across the country is to blame for the slow start.