April 26, 2008

G26: Rays 2, Red Sox 1

Red Sox - 000 010 000 - 1  5  0
Rays - 000 000 02x - 2 3 0
Alternate headline: Buchholz Fantastic; Francona Getting Dumber

A team that scores one run in nine innings will not win too many games, but it looked like it might be enough for the Red Sox on Saturday.

Buchholz had pitched seven innings of one-hit ball, with eight strikeouts. He had retired 19 of the last 20 Rays hitters and only one of those outs left the infield. But he was at 94 pitches. And MDC, Jeemer and Papelbot were ready in the pen.

Francona sent Clay out for another inning. Why? What's the point?

Buchholz struck out the first hitter, allowed a single to right and got a fly ball to center. But Iwamura crushed a 1-1 pitch to deep right field -- it was Clay's 110th pitch -- and the Rays had two runs.

And that was that. Buchholz finished with a wonderful 8-3-2-2-9 line, but Tito should have been satisfied with 7-1-0-2-7.

Remember that Red Sox management was so concerned about Buchholz's shoulder that Theo ordered Tito to remove him from his no-hitter last September if he reached 120 pitches? He threw 113 today. Against Tampa Bay in late April.

With or without your top three bullpen arms rested and ready, that decision defies common sense.

Is there something in the air in the Trop wreaking havoc with Francona's mind? Does he hallucinate when he hears a cowbell? ... He has not been himself these last two nights.

***

Clay Buchholz (4.79, 95 ERA+) / Edwin Jackson (4.63, 94 ERA+)

Amalie Benjamin, Globe:
Brandon Moss has joined the Red Sox in Tampa, and the corresponding move might be a trip to the DL for Sean Casey. ... David Ortiz was in the original Red Sox lineup, but a second lineup has been posted, and Ortiz has been scratched.
Ellsbury, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Drew, DH
Ramirez, LF
Youkilis, 1B
Crisp, CF
Varitek, C
Lowrie, 3B
Lugo, SS
Buchholz:
The thing I noticed with the Yankees, the first time I faced them, the first time through the lineup they were getting a feel for pitches I threw and the second time they saw me, that's when everybody started swinging. For the most part, teams I've pitched against this year have been basically the same way - they get a feel for pitches I throw the first time through, try to work you deep in the count. Next time they try to sit on a pitch and if they get it they're going to swing. I think [that] helps any pitcher.
Justin Masterson is the first Jamaican-born pitcher to appear in the majors (his parents were missionaries). He is also "the first Sox starter to allow two or fewer hits while lasting at least six innings in a major league debut since Billy Rohr's complete-game one-hitter at Yankee Stadium on April 14, 1967".

The Yankees (with Ian Kennedy and his 9.64 ERA and 2.29 WHIP) play in Bugland at 4 PM.

500 comments:

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Amy said...

Hey, you're right, Laura, I never thought about the great hair on all those ER regulars.

OH SHIT...Time for poor Clay to leave. DAMN. I hate that.

redsock said...

cockknocker

phil said...

Our bullpen needs the rest, though.

L-girl said...

SHIT

Patrick said...

Thanks Fankcona

Sarah Gates said...

109 pitches tonight.

Seems kind of irresponsible. But whatev.


even more so now.

L-girl said...

(Phil, thanks for trying.)

phil said...

Though in hindsight....

Amy said...

401. What do I win? I hope the game.

L-girl said...

Amy with the 401

s1c said...

Remy defending Tito, Percival up.

ish said...

Terry Francona looking a lot like Dusty Baker there...

L-girl said...

Seems kind of irresponsible.

...

Because things like that can happen.


Thanks Tito.

phil said...

Here's one.

Patrick said...

401 Amy, make a wish...

redsock said...

Not a big fan of Tito's recent pitching decisions.

Nope. Not a big fan.

L-girl said...

Should I stay or should I go?

(Hey, what a great idea for a song...)

Amy said...

Wide open there, Amy, wide open.

Hit me, I can take it.

As long as we can come back and win this game. I am tired of losing already.

Jere said...

I hate going from being 4 outs away from a win to being 3 outs away from a loss

phil said...

That homerun was worth .601 WPA.

Sarah Gates said...

401 Amy, make a wish...

And it had better be a wish for some RUNS.

Patrick said...

wowzer. That non-call on the Navarro strikeout looming large.

L-girl said...

I better not comment on that picture. Where's Andy when you need him?

Amy said...

I am wishing for Tek to drive in three runs when he gets up to bat in the next half inning.

Patrick said...

Who wants a tie and 11+ innings?

redsock said...

yook
ococ
tek

s1c said...

Magic 8-ball, will the Sox win?

As I see it, yes

hit me

Amy, word on the street is that dinosaurs look young to you!

L-girl said...

I want a win in 9. I have to go home.

Amy said...

LOL, Laura. I just took a look at that photo.

ish said...

The thing I don't like is how Tito keeps telling people, we want to put guys in a position to succeed. Clay Buchholz has thrown 7 innings, allowing 1 hit, 0 runs, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts. On his way to a win. 94 pitches.

Now, his line is 8 innings, 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts (correct me if I'm wrong)... and Buchholz is walking around in the dugout, in disbelief of what just happened.

phil said...

Go for it, Laura.

redsock said...

It's about time someone posts a decent pic of JM. Jeez.

so what'll it be...

sweaty dong?
crispy dong?
... umm
tekky dong?

L-girl said...

Amy, word on the street is that dinosaurs look young to you!

LOL

You know, the way Amy always talks about her age, I thought she was like 68 or 70. Turns out she's all of 6 years older than me. Big whoop. ;)

Amy said...

S1C, last dinosaur I saw was Timlin, and he did not look young to me.

(Smile, Jere, I am just teasing. Sort of. ) :)

Patrick said...

We're gonna need a montage! A gay sports montage!

L-girl said...

Go for it, Laura.

I might embarrass Allan.

redsock said...

ish has motherfucking bingo.

phil said...

We miss you, Youk. Get well soon.

Amy said...

Well, so Tek has to drive in 2. Two will do it.

L-girl said...

Dongtek?

Amy said...

OK, so Tek has to tie the game. That's enough.

Patrick said...

I want the quadzilla dong!

redsock said...

hacktastic --2 outs.

Jere said...

Gimme a dong, Tek.

Amy said...

I didn't bring up my age this time. Just said Buchholz looked young. S1C then made it about MY age!

Amy said...

I want a Tek dong.

Amy said...

What is with the cow bells??

L-girl said...

Amy, I meant in general re your age. You always said you were the oldest one here, I thought you had to be 10, 15 years older than me. But no. Not very much older at all. :)

phil said...

So when did the Rays get quality relief pitching, anyway?

L-girl said...

cow bell day at the trop

redsock said...

are the rays gonna leap around like they won the world series again tonight?

ish said...

What is with the cow bells??

Cowbell night. First TEN THOUSAND fans through the door got a cowbell.

L-girl said...

I friggin hope they got quality relief pitching. Or else we just suck.

Jere said...

full count

Amy said...

Full count. Hmmmm.

L-girl said...

first 10,000 fans in RAYS gear! :)

Sarah Gates said...

Well that was a let down.

Jere said...

man that is crappy

phil said...

Shit.

L-girl said...

i hate baseball

Amy said...

Oh, Fongool. We lost again?? Poor Buchholz.

What's with Francona? Why didn't he bring in Oki or Pap?

ish said...

The water is clean.

Another loss in the Other 1/3 column.

s1c said...

Fragging 4 in a fucking row. Lost 2 series in a row also.

Fragging kidding me.

Patrick said...

Yikes, change my undies. Long skid...

L-girl said...

i'm outta here.

fucking game.

see you all in the morrow.

ish said...

first 10,000 fans in RAYS gear! :)

That makes more sense. So, they must have 8,000 or so of those cowbells lying around.

Amy said...

Cowbells at the Trop? OK, if they say so. I don't associate cows with Florida or with Rays. Whatever. I hate them.

redsock said...

And that, my dear Clay, is what happens when your manager has his head up his ass.

Sarah Gates said...

Good night gang, I've got to go pick up Dave in the wee hours. I'll miss tomorrow's game, but Joshie's going to come through like the stopper he is.

ish said...

I will tell you though... the Red Sox only scored 1 run, and gave up 2 runs in 8 innings. Most nights you're going to lose when you only score 1 run, and most nights you'll win when you only allow 2.

That's bout it from the bright side.

And Buchholz was BRILLIANT for 7 2/3.

redsock said...

You know what they say, a manager can't do a whole lot to win a game on his own, but he can do plenty to lose one.

Jack Marshall said...

Can't blame anybody for that one. Clay was great; I wouldn't lift him. Jackson can be tough. Just a loss. But great things on the horizon for Buchholtz.

nixon33 said...

un-fucking-believable.

i thought for sure tito was going to give him the 8th until someone got on. After the runner reached with a base hit, i said OUTLOUD "Ok Tito come get him".
shit. all for naught.
im in disbelief at the moment.

redsock said...

Can't blame anybody for that one.

I am speechless.

I am without speech.

Jack Marshall said...

It's hindsight bias, plain and simple. You say "what's the point"...what's the point of leaving in a pitcher who's pitching great? The point is that the next guy may not be pitching so great, that's the point. Buchholtz's pitches looked as good in the 8th as in the 5th. He just made a mistake that got hit.

Hindsight bias. If Buchholtz gets out of the 8th and Pap closes down the 9th, nobody would criticize Francona, and rightly so. If a decision isn't dumb when it's made, it doesn't become dumb because of unpredicatble events. The decision to leave in any pitcher who's pitching that well is never dumb, no matter who's fresh in the pen.

In this case, you're being unfair to Francona.

L-girl said...

Can't blame anybody for that one.

Maybe YOU can't.

redsock said...

Hindsight, my ass.

I am well aware that you judge a move at the time it's made, not after the results are in.

Tito should have gone to the pen in the 8th. And I said so before Clay when out for the 8th.

See my comments at 9:26 and 9:30.

Andy said...

I only leave HH is for his shutout. He was finished after that first hit in the 8th.

L-girl said...

Re hindsight, if you read the game thread, we were all wondering why Buchholz was still in there, calling for Tito to take him out as any good manager would have done.

Jack, you're not talking to baseball novices here. Give us more credit than that.

The decision to leave in any pitcher who's pitching that well is never dumb

Never? You believe that?

nixon33 said...

amen, l-girl and redsock.

9casey said...

I beleive I asked in the at the end ot the 7th if anyone thought Clay was coming back out.......and overwhlemingly ..the point was why bother he pitched great move it down the line :Jeemer and Bot....

I couldn't watch rock city wb staples extra innings extra extra..

I was sick to my stomach....

Two games in a row . this one more confusing that first one , by far.....

9casey said...

I don't think argument should be abot pitchcount ...more about Jeemer and Bot you have trusted for a quite awhile and its what they do.....if the game was 4-3 he would have pulled him in the 6th....

ish said...

HH:

"He hit a good pitch, man. When I let it go, I thought he was either going to take it or swing over it, but he was sitting all over it. Hats off to him. I threw a pitcher's pitch and he hit it."

L-girl said...

and overwhlemingly ..the point was why bother he pitched great move it down the line :Jeemer and Bot....

Overwhelmingly people wanted him to stay in? Not in the game thread I was in. I thought we were all waiting for Jemmer and Bot. I sure was.

redsock said...

Clay at 87 pitches thru 6. As he starts the 7th, Jeemer and MDC are wamring up. If Tito is sticking with HH, why warm these guys up? Why?

"Oh, so if Clay gets into trouble, Tito can go to the pen."

Well, it's a 1-0 game, so if that's the case, then Tito's going to need a quick trigger or else -- because it can be 1-1 with guys on base or 2-1 very quickly.

Clay gets a 1-2-3 7th and is at 94 pitches. Same deal with the 8th -- but now Jeemer and Bot are warming up. If Tito is not planning to use them, why warm them up?

Tito goofed and stayed too long with Clay. Maybe you let Wake or Schilling go 100+, but considering this organization's strict procedures with young pitchers and innings/pitch count, letting him throw 113 pitches when -- yes he was pitching great -- there is little or no reason to extend him -- is foolish.

There is game management -- but there is also season management. And Tito, who is usually so great at season management, effed up.

And now Bot, who hasn't pitched since Tuesday, will have to work today to not get rusty -- though the score may be Tampa 7-3. Better he gets his work in when he's trying to close out a game.

Nope, Tito should have clapped Clay on the shoulder, said thanks for an amazing 7 innings, and now we're going to the well-rested Jeemer and Bot (with MDC also out there).

redsock said...

L: Pretty sure Casey is agreeing with you. It was time to move it along and go to the pen.

Yeah: worse decision here, yet I got more pissed about the first one. Maybe because it went on for multiple innings.

ish said...

1:40 today we turn the page.

L-girl said...

We turn the page, but these issues are always with us.

Disagreeing about these sorts of things is part of the game.

9Casey, sorry, I misread you! Thanks, Allan.

Jack Marshall said...

You guys are amazing.
Remember Guthrie last season? Pulling him probably helped get the Orioles manager fired. Which have you seen more: a pitcher who is breezing getting his game lost because "modern baseball" dictates that you entrust your 9th to a closer even when the starter has shown no signs that he's lost it, or a case like last night, when a player who hasn't had a home run all year catches a mistake that turns the game around in the middle of a brilliant performance?

If we're talking the 9th, sure, I'll concede that when Papelbon, Rivera or Nathan is your closer, you pat Buchholtz on the back and say, "You're done." But as good as he is, Okajima is not Papelbon---if someone dings him, people are going to be all over Francona for lifting a pitcher who was still throwing extremely well. And with justification.

He was tiring---well, naturally. So what--all pitchers show some signs of tiring after the 4th or 5th. I guess you are of the opinion that no pitcher should ever be permitted to pitch more than 7 innings in a 1-0 (and by extension, 2-1,3-2...) game if there is a fresh arm in the bull pen. Really? Just last week you were decrying the failure of Sox pitchers to last 7 innings. Wow---pretty narrow range there: you stink if you don't go more than six, but the manager is an idiot if you go more than 7.

There are at least 6 good reasons to leave Buchholtz in:

1) The Rays hadn't hit him at all.
2) He showed last year that he could pitch a complete game.
3) He's a better pitcher than Okajima.
4) Okajima hasn't been exactly unhittable this season, especially lately.
5)It was the weakest part of the jays line-up, not the sluggers.
6) Even after the single, the runner on first wasn't a burner--the worst likely scenario would be two outs and men on second and third.

I detest the automatic pull when a pitcher, starter or reliever, has been dominant through the last inning. I think it's a decision that is too often driven by a manager's fear of exactly the knee-jerk reaction I read here. It didn't work. But it was not a bad move.

Jack Marshall said...

Addenda: from the Globe this morning:

Reason 7: "Iwamura...lined a changeup to the track in center in the third inning - the only fair ball hit in the air by the Rays for seven innings..."

Reason 8: "I felt I was getting stronger as the game went on, I felt my location was getting better, and I started incorporating my slider later in the game, another pitch added," said Buchholz.

Edes: "It was hard to quarrel with that decision, until Iwamura sent one over the fence."

Thanks, Gordon. Exactly.

redsock said...

Jack: From your comments, you clearly are not understanding what I'm saying.

I'm taking Clay's age, the Sox's concern for his shoulder, the calendar, how very well-rested the bullpen was, etc., into account.

We disagree. Fine.

But please stop with the "hindsight" stuff.

redsock said...

You guys are amazing.
Remember Guthrie last season?


Please.

Guthrie was 85 pitches thru 8. And the score was 5-0.

Clay was at 94 thru 7. And the score was 1-0.

You got any examples that are actually similar?

redsock said...

Wanna know what I am annoyed about?

Hint: It's not the dong.

It's Tito letting 23-year-old Clay Buchholz -- a young kid the team was going to pull IN THE 9TH INNING OF A NO-HITTER AT FENWAY PARK last season because of a high pitch count and concern about his shoulder -- go another inning after already throwing 94 pitches.

Was it against the Yankees in a September pennant race game? No. It was against the fucking Rays in mid-to-late April.

I don't give a fuck what the score was or how well he was pitching.

113 pitches for Buchholz on April 26 is fucking stupid. I know Tito won't continue this throughout the season, but it's Dusty-Baker-ruining-Kerry-Wood's-career stupid.

redsock said...

Last thing.

Jack wrote:
Wow---pretty narrow range there: you stink if you don't go more than six, but the manager is an idiot if you go more than 7.

Disagree with me all you want. That's cool.

But do not act like I'm saying shit I'm not saying.

I never said anything like this -- and it is not a logical extension of what I did say.

I will not presume to know if you are truly aware of that.

9casey said...

L-girl said...
9Casey, sorry, I misread you! Thanks, Allan.


Sometime that happens with me......No problem...

When I asked the question in the 7th I specifcally wanted Redsock's answer.....I thought no way Tito was going to the same on two different nights......He(redsock) was cosistent with his strategy 2 nights in a row , sad part, so was Tito...

Jack Marshall said...

No, I'm not aware of that, and I'd love a clarification. I agree that 7 innings is the benchmark of a fully effective starting pitching performance. Given that, I don't understand how 8 innings becomes risky or excessive when a pitcher is going well.

Talk about bad analogies---the whole point of protecting CB during the no-hitter was that it was at the END of the season, and he had thrown a lot of pitches, more than he ever had before. That's completely different from NOW, early in the year. Kerry Wood, Saberhagen, Gooden, Valenzuala, all the young pitchers blown out by high pitch counts, were throwing 130-140 pitches start after start One 113 pitch outing early in the season isn't going to hurt any young pitcher unless he's already hurt. Look at Clemens' early games.

Jack Marshall said...

And finally---I'm sorry the reference to "Hindsight bias" annoys you, Allan...it s pretty universal phenomenon that we all are subject to. If you really believe that you would be as vociferous about the wrongness of Tito's decision to leave in Buchholtz to pitch the 8th had he breezed through it and the Sox had picked up a 1-0 win, then I humbly pronounce you immune, and apologize for thinking otherwise.

redsock said...

If you really believe that you would ...

All ya gotta do is read what I wrote during that part of the game.

(And everything since then.)

redsock said...

and apologize for thinking otherwise

You know there have been plenty of times when Francona has done something I think is a mistake and it has worked out good for the Sox -- and I still think it's dumb.

LIKE FRIDAY'S GAME!!

TWO DAYS AGO!!!!!

I mean ... Fuckin' A?!?

(It worked out good for a few innings anyway. Still dumb. I figured Tito would see he dodged a big bullet and go to a better pitcher.)

And it works the other way. A good decision that backfires is still a good decision. That's been my (consistent and clear, I thought) POV for 5 years on this blog.

redsock said...

Talk about bad analogies---the whole point of protecting CB during the no-hitter was that it was at the END of the season, and he had thrown a lot of pitches, more than he ever had before. That's completely different from NOW, early in the year.

I can speak only for myself, but I want Buchholz pitching in October -- at the END of this season.

"But he was pitching good!"

Yes! He was! He's a good pitcher! So?

He has a innings limit this season. We all know that. Why run it up any more than you have to -- especially when your two best bullpen arm need work to stay fresh?

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