April 29, 2008

G28: Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 0

Blue Jays - 000 000 000 - 0  2  0
Red Sox - 000 000 001 - 1 5 0
Lester (8-1-0-4-6, 97) was magnificent, and was able to vary his pitches more than usual, mixing in his curve and changeup. The only hit he allowed was a leadoff single in the fifth to Overbay. On the next pitch, Stewart grounded into a double play.

Lester walked four batters, but three of them came with two outs and no one on base. The other one was a leadoff pass to Zaun in the sixth. But again, there was little harm. After Rios was caught looking, Eckstein grounded into a double play.

Even with the walks, he was around the plate all night. In a string of 11 batters -- from Stewart in the second to Lind in the fifth -- Lester threw only 11 balls. He also avoided long at-bats. Only five of his 27 batters saw more than five pitches in an at-bat, and no one saw more than seven.

I would have sent Lester out for the ninth on a short leash, but Tito went with Papelbon. Bot struck out Rios and Stairs before Rolen doubled to left-center. Wells then ripped a shot by Bot's head. It seemed headed for center field, but Pedroia dove to his right, snared the ball on a high hop, spun and fired a strike to first. It was a phenomenal play -- as eye-popping as the one he made to preserve Buchholz's no-hitter -- and it kept the game at 0-0.

For 8.2 innings, the Red Sox did as much with Halladay as the Jays did with Lester. They managed only three singles: Youkilis in the second, Brandon Moss (who took over for Drew when he left in the fourth because of a tight left quad muscle) in the fifth, and Varitek in the eighth.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Ortiz whacked a 2-0 pitch to deeeeep right field, but foul. Was Halladay -- at 106 pitches -- rattled? Perhaps. He threw two more balls to Tiz, walking him. Manny then dropped a 1-0 pitch into center, moving Ortiz to second. Francona could have pinch-run Lowrie for Flo, but with a short bench, he thought he might need Lowrie to fill in for Pedroia -- who had jammed his shoulder making the diving stop on Wells.

Youkilis looked at a ball, then lined a hit to center. Ortiz came chugging around third. Wells bobbled the ball, and there was no throw to the infield. Tiz came across the plate with the winning run, but he was limping.

It's great to see such strong starting pitching and although Boston has scored only two runs in their last 32 innings, the bats will return.

***

Roy Halladay (3.73, 113 ERA+) / Jon Lester (5.40, 83 ERA+)

Three-way tie for first in the East between Baltimore (14-11), Tampa Bay (14-11) and Boston (15-12).

The Rays and Orioles play at Camden Yards, while the Yankees host the Tigers.

262 comments:

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redsock said...

We're off hiking with the dogs, so nothing new until mid-to-late afternoon.

Patrick said...

Check yourself and your dogs for ticks when you get back.


I have a good feeling about Lester for tonight. Get this, I'm thinking he gives us 7 whole innings. I know, I know, it's a long shot.

We could use a Win right here.

redsock said...

Rios, RF
Eckstein, SS
Rolan, 3B
Wells, CF
Hill, 2B
Overbay, 1B
Stewart, DH
Lind, LF
Zahn, C

Crisp, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Ramirez, LF
Youkilis, 1B
Lowell, 3B
Drew, RF
Varitek, C
Lugo, SS

Cafardo, at 5:30:
"... the tarp is on the field. There's light rain falling ... There's hope this one gets off on time at 7:05 p.m. ... Jacoby Ellsbury has a sore groin. ... Alex Cora began his throwing program today ..."

L-girl said...

Check yourself and your dogs for ticks when you get back.

No ticks in Ontario in April.

L-girl said...

Dear Game Threaders,

I am watching the game without a computer tonight. I am enjoying a 90%-computer-free day.

Go Sox!

Your friend,
L-girl

Sarah Gates said...

Check yourself and your dogs for ticks when you get back.

This made me think of being at camp as a kid (and on through high school) because every night after evening program there would be announcements and such and one of the councelors always yelled, "Check for TICKS!" in this particular way...

Anyhow, that was a boring story (could have used a vampire) but thanks for the unexpected happy memory!

ish said...

Time for some baseball!

It's felt like winter the past 48 hours, with cold rain and hockey and basketball on TV. Time for spring again!

redsock said...

Buffyvision!

redsock said...

Buffy says we're getting a bonus right now: And they switch to YES!

Hearing Kay's voice is not a bonus!

redsock said...

and hughes gives up a one out walk and hit to left. 1st inning

Amy said...

The sun is out here in western MA. Hope the game starts soon.

It is so frigging cold here though. Not baseball weather.

redsock said...

WP/PB puts runners at 2/3. Magglio hits a singking liner than damon cant get to, then he stumbles around. even while waiting to see if it was caught, the guy on second scored standing up!!!!

det 2-0.

Amy said...

Looks like last year's lineup tonight. Hope that means we play like last year.

Amy said...

Sarah, I liked your tick story.

We saw our first ticks last Friday out here. I am sure they are already all over the Cape. Bought the dog's tick collar and flea meds this week also.

redsock said...

strikes, jon, strikes.

Amy said...

Finally a damn strike.

Amy said...

1-2-3

redsock said...

nice recovery against rios and a 1-2-3 inning!!

now how's about we get an early run or 7?

Zenslinger said...

Ahhh. 1-2-3 first from Lester.

Who had that nice feeling about him tonight?

ish said...

40° outside here. Still cloudy and dreary. Maybe some light rain. Glad to see it's not raining in Boston, though.

Zenslinger said...

This Halladay complete game streak cannot go on. I mean, it probably wouldn't anyway in this weather, but...he's coming down to Earth tonight.

ish said...

Actually, Zen, it can go on. He can pitch eight innings and lose.

I'll take that.

Amy said...

Hope you are right, Zen. He looks pretty good right now.

Amy said...

Has he pitched anything but a strike yet? Sheesh.

Amy said...

harumph

ish said...

Two balls. Heh.

Jake of All Trades said...

At least we seem to be taking first pitches in an effort to get the pitch count up. Seems that so far this season there's been a lot more swinging at the first pitch than I recall in recent Sox memory.

Amy said...

Lowell seems to be throwing fine.

Amy said...

lester won that battle!

9casey said...

Amy said...
Lowell seems to be throwing fine.

I believe he hurt his left thumb

Amy said...

Well, he still is throwing fine. :)

ish said...

Western sky has turned red here.

Zenslinger said...

Can anyone comment on ball four to Overbay? Controversial?

ish said...

Manny's going to be in an ESPN Sportscenter commercial. He said he sits at a desk and eats his lunch.

Zenslinger said...

Yooook! Makes him throw some pitches *and* singles!

No DP...no DP...

Amy said...

Note: Jerry also got the right and left mixed up.

Jere said...

Just got home and my NESN is a black screen. I have RCN, anyone else having this problem?

Amy said...

Not a pretty one, but he got there!

Amy said...

No, Jere, NESN working fine out here in the sticks.

Jere said...

ish wasn't kidding about the sky. Like it was on fire, and the Pru had a pink side...

Sarah Gates said...

I love me some Greek God of... Stolen Bases?

Jere said...

FOrtunately we've got Comcast on the other side of the apartment. Gotta go plug in the cable over there... no living room baseball tonight I guess.

Zenslinger said...

Hughes woes continue. Cano tied the game at 2, but Detroit starts the third with a Granderson HR and a Polanco GR 2B.

Sarah Gates said...

Wait Jere - you have TWO cable companies IN YOUR HOUSE? Just one makes me a little crazy!

Zenslinger said...

I think Lester has again decided he's going to throw strikes no matter what.

Amy said...

1-2-3 again! Good for Lester!

Sarah Gates said...

bada-bing! Nice 1-2-3.

ish said...

First 3 out of the way for Lester. He looks very, very sharp the first time through the order. Let's see how he fares the second time. He's throwing his pitches for strikes. He's staying on the corners, but he's not nibbling. He's going right after them. Very good sign.

Amy said...

That was awfully quick.

ish said...

But, of course, Halladay is matching Lester pitch for pitch. I actually think Halladay is pitching better than Lester. But either way, we could be in for an old fashioned pitcher's duel. Not going to make the Red Sox offense feel any better.

redsock said...

good lester summary, ish.

halladay's curve: !!

ococ looked a bit safe there.

ish said...

Brandom Moss has replaced Drew in right field. Rut roh.

Sarah Gates said...

What did Lowell just say? Anyone watching NESN good at lip reading?

Amy said...

Lowell fielding well despite the LEFT thumb injury.

Better, 9casey?

Sarah Gates said...

Haha - Youk looked like he was going to climb the railing there.

ish said...

What did Lowell just say? Anyone watching NESN good at lip reading?

I didn't see.

redsock said...

det 5, mfy 2 (b3)

and in the true battle for 1st in the east:
bal 3, tb 0 (b3)

ish said...

So weird sounding.

"Battle for the top spot in the AL East - the Orioles are leading the Rays 3-0 after 3 at Camden Yards."

Jere said...

Sarah--yes, 2 cables. I've complained my whole life about cable companies always having a monopoly in any given town. But now I'm in a town where you can choose between two. And in one room we pick up the one we don't have. That one's free, wink wink.

Sarah Gates said...

Yeah, Ish, pretty darn peculiar.

redsock said...

buffy says although manny looks "disinterested at the ball park, almost childlike" -- he actually works very hard at his craft.

why can't buffy (or anyone else) simply say manny works hard? why does he have to spew the MUMS BS first? it only keeps the lie going.

Sarah Gates said...

Ah! That's excellent, Jere.

Unlike that inning.

Jere said...

Hughes in 2008 up to this moment:

24 IP, 23 ER

Amy said...

MUMS, Allan? What's that mean? Should I check the glossary?

redsock said...

made
up
manny
shit

Amy said...

Thanks. Never would have guessed that one.

Sarah Gates said...

Oh well done! I didn't even have time to say anything about the hit before it was erased.

redsock said...

Hughes in 2008 up to this moment:

24 IP, 23 ER


but but but they already gave him the cy young award ...

ish said...

Drew: tightness in his left quad.

Jere said...

Kenny Rogers gets the 1st 2 out, then walks the bases loaded. Then gets the 3rd out.

ish said...

Swinging bunt! Moss shows some good speed.

Jere said...

Moss gathered no himself on that one.

Sarah Gates said...

Yay! SOMEONE on a base! Thanks Moss-man!

ish said...

Kenny Rogers gets the 1st 2 out, then walks the bases loaded. Then gets the 3rd out.

Heh. At least he got that third out.

Amy said...

Can we score some runs? It would be SO nice.

Amy said...

This may be the fastest game in a long time. More than half done in a little over an hour.

ish said...

Let's start with an extra-base hit. We only had one of those in the past four games.

ish said...

One of those little problems about letting go a star player from your team early in the season?

There have already been 10,000 Frank Thomas bobble-head dolls made for the Blue Jays. Oops.

Jere said...

another IP, another ER for Phil.

ish said...

That was a character pitch right there! The game has slowed down for Lester, having a man on first base. Goes to a full count, and any other start, he'd issue ball four. This time, he pumps a fastball through for strike three.

redsock said...

plus it was a K of god's gift to baseball (as the tor media believes) -- alex rios. who never ever makes an out.

ish said...

Psst. Jon, the guy on first is their catcher.

Patrick said...

No ticks in Ontario in April.

Seriously? I can't go for a walk with my dog without finding at least 5 ticks on me already this year. It's pretty ridiculous, really.

I know this is a way late response, but I'm just getting in.

Jere said...

Great job, Wicked Lester!

Amy said...

DP! OK, get some hits, some runs.

ish said...

Lester gets another DP! This is just too easy for a Houdini.

redsock said...

buffy was saying after the 4 pitch walk to "zauny" that maybe this was lester's fall-apart inning.

then he fans the mighty rios and gets gritty mcdirtstein to gidp.

eff you buffy!

(and pat tabler is a moe-ron!)

Amy said...

Patrick, we are seeing ticks here also earlier than I remember.

Guess ticks have not moved to Canada yet.

Jere said...

I spoke too soon--Hughes doesn't make it through that inning. 3.2 IP tonight, which is basically Phil's average this year in 7 starts.

Patrick said...

For all those concerned about the Red Sox rotation, let me show you
exhibit A

and

exhibit B


'nuff said.

Patrick said...

Guess ticks have not moved to Canada yet.

yet another reason to move north.

Jere said...

trying to wear down Eckstein tonight. Scrap-a-dope.

Amy said...

yet another reason to move north

Maybe we should ask Laura to blog about this? :)

ish said...

Guess ticks have not moved to Canada yet.

If they do, they might want to check out L's blog for some help on the big move.

redsock said...

she has dozed off on the couch, actually!

Sarah Gates said...

I'm getting really tired of seeing that same ground out.

ish said...

Jeez.

6-3
6-3
6-3

Eckstein's gonna feel it in the morning.

Amy said...

Yuck, 1 2 3 we go.

ish said...

she has dozed off on the couch, actually!

That's the downside of a pitcher's duel.

redsock said...

eckstein is not strong enough to throw a bullet to first -- he's got to almost wind up and then throw a sort of rainbow to get the ball to first.

Amy said...

Must have been quite a hike! I guess you didn't get all the rain we got here today.

redsock said...

rolen with the millar job to left.

Jere said...

"middle in"

ish said...

13 of 22 batters - 1st pitch strike from Lester.

Sarah Gates said...

Patrick, I don't think anyone's especially concerned about the rotation right now. With some hitting happening, this last weekend would have looked very different.

Amy said...

Lester is an entirely different pitcher tonight. Amazing.

It is nice to see how well our starters are doing now.

Amy said...

Of course, then he walks someone on four pitches. I should have kept my mouth shut.

redsock said...

3 of lester's 4 BB have come with 2 outs and no one on.

Patrick said...

Sarah, I think you'd be surprised about what some sports people have been saying this past month about the Sox.

Patrick said...

God damn! That's a bona fide quality start for Lester. He may be back, but whatever else happens, he's done the job!

ish said...

He's got shades of the recent Lester, like with that 4 pitch walk.

But then he just gets out of it.

Best swing right there. Allan - Is this the best you've seen of Lester that you can remember? Not that he's done with his outing yet. But he's pitched seven.

redsock said...

lester: 12-20-10 12-8-14 11 - 87

halladay at 71 thru 6.

Amy said...

John Farrell must have given him so good advice about the whole nibbling thing.

Sarah Gates said...

Fair point Patrick - that's why I don't listen to so many sports people! Most of the folks here at Joy Nation are happy with the pitching situation, that's all I was saying. I'd much rather have killer pitching hampered by slow bats than the other way around, because the bats are going to come back, but mediocre pitching is just mediocre pitching.

ish said...

It just seems like if anyone can hit a dong tonight against Halladay, it'll be Manny.

redsock said...

gotta be up there. even the walks -- he's been around the zone, like masterson was the other day.

no complaints about lester at all tonight.

let's get a mbm bomb and win it 1-0.

Patrick said...

All we need is dong!

ish said...

John Farrell must have given him so good advice about the whole nibbling thing.

Very good rhythm tonight, as well. Except with men on.

ish said...

That was nasty.

ish said...

ha ha ha moment from Dave O'Brien...

"I feel like I've grounded to short three times tonight."

redsock said...

starters had been disappointing until recently. too many BB and too few innings.

nibbling -- haven't people been telling lester to not nibble for years? if he can do this for 2-3 more starts in a row, i'll be thrilled. i'm afraid he'll regress next time out.

Sarah Gates said...

I want some sweaty dong!

Amy said...

A sweaty dong would be welcomed here.

Amy said...

Haha, Sarah. Good synchronization there.

ish said...

I wouldn't even mind getting splashed by his sweaty dong.

Amy said...

Eww, Ish, that is one gross image.

Sarah Gates said...

I'm with O'Brian - I'm starting to think my neighbor's CAT has grounded to short a few times.

ish said...

Eww, Ish, that is one gross image.

Anything to snap this losing streak.

Patrick said...

I'm glad my Phil Huges draft pick was a disaster.

Sarah Gates said...

Leave it to Ish to take that one a little too far.

Amy said...

Seven innings in under two hours. Scary fast.

redsock said...

hughes must be spending too much time online with his little internet buddies.

Sarah Gates said...

I HATE this CT lottery bobblehead commercial. It's a bad idea, and poorly executed.

redsock said...

jeemer / mdc up

ish said...

Leave it to Ish to take that one a little too far.

Well, Andy's not here, so I was just filling in.

/andy

Sarah Gates said...

hughes must be spending too much time online with his little internet buddies.

Hey! I resemble that remark!

Amy said...

Lester still there. I hope Francona is keeping his eyes open this time and has the hook ready.

Patrick said...

It feels like there is no color man on the Toronto sports radio station. They are telling the game pretty monotone.

redsock said...

it is also a near exact quote from what CHB said about curt when he was pitching poorly in 05 & 06.

Amy said...

Nice one!

ish said...

Lester still there. I hope Francona is keeping his eyes open this time and has the hook ready.

Tonight I feel different than when Clay was in there. The pitch count is very favorable. Lester's got some more experience, and he is DEALING.

ish said...

Castig thinks that might be the best he's seen of Lester.

At this rate, he could come out for the 9th.

Big inning here for the Sox offense. Halladay will pitch into the 10th if it stays this way.

Amy said...

Can't we get a win for this performance? It would be terrible to waste three great starts in a row by our pitchers.

Patrick said...

I feel the same with Ish. Clay is still a youngin to be babied. Lester needs to get salty.

Jere said...

Sarah, I see you're in the home of Doris!

Too bad Pedroia mistimed that jump or it'd be a no-hitter. At least I think he mistimed it, I don't remember them showing a replay.

redsock said...

lester doin' it!

at 97 now -- tor has top of the order up. let him start the 9th? or let him go out on a high note and go to the incredibly well-rested pen?

i say let him pitch with a short leash.

Amy said...

Ish, I just meant let's not wait til he starts letting men on base (though Clay actually never did).

Sarah Gates said...

Oh yeah! I'd forgotten about that CHB quote. (I work very hard at ignoring him, and forgetting anything I'm not quick enough to ignore!)

Amy said...

If the score remains tied, I guess I would Lester in, just to save the pen for extra innings. But if we go ahead, bring in Pap?

redsock said...

or let's get 2 runs and then have the pen shut the door.

ish said...

Ish, I just meant let's not wait til he starts letting men on base (though Clay actually never did).

Oh yeah, no doubt. Remember, Clay got the first two in the 8th as well. Then he gave up that hit, then the dong.

Somehow this feels different. But the same. 97 pitches for Lester. I wonder if we'll see him in the 9th.

Patrick said...

Casey who?

Amy said...

that should have said LEAVE Lester in

Amy said...

Two down in the 8th...isn't this our big moment?

Amy said...

TEK! Will it be the magical 8th?

Sarah Gates said...

There's our Tek, Amy!

redsock said...

first of all -- this game is in the crapper.

ish said...

If the Sox score, I'd bring in Pap. If they don't, I'd leave Lester in.

But Papelbon's still warming in the bullpen. Like he's coming in either way.

A gap shot could score the run. Do you hear me, Sl├╝go?

ish said...

It's certainly another one of those "Other 1/3" games.

Amy said...

Come on, Lugo. Let's get on the scoreboard.

ish said...

Ooof. Another nasty curve.

And on we go.

redsock said...

ish, we're gonna hit the full "other 1/3" by mid-june!

ish said...

ish, we're gonna hit the full "other 1/3" by mid-june!

Sure feels that way, doesn't it?

Pap's in.

redsock said...

BOT

redsock said...

shut 'em down and walk off with a flo dong.

ish said...

Thing that was great about Lester is how he scattered those 4 walks and the hit. He was never in a jam.

Patrick said...

Tito thinking 'Tiz is due to walkoff. I'm thinking 'Tiz is due to walkoff.

Set him up, Pap.

Jere said...

Too bad we couldn't get him the W. But a great job by Wicked Sid tonight.

Amy said...

At the risk of being annoying, I will ask...what Other 1/3?

ish said...

Guten Morgen.
Guten Tag.
Gute Nacht.

Patrick said...

Bot'd

Amy said...

Yeah, the W/L record so far tells nothing about how our pitching has been. We have won with mediocre starts and lost with great starts.

ish said...

At the risk of being annoying, I will ask...what Other 1/3?

Well, they say in a season, you win a third, and you lose a third. Then, there's the "Other third", which can go either way, and which usually decide the standings.

Amy said...

Thanks, Ish, never heard that one. Or heard it and forgot it!

Amy said...

Nice K!

s1c said...

John Lester was the man tonight!!!

Patrick said...

The blue jays announcer on Pap's slider after his fastball, "its the great equalizer, in fact its worse than that: It's illegal."

ish said...

First extra base hit of the night.

Shut it down, Bot.

Amy said...

Shit.

ish said...

He was sitting on that high fastball. The ball was headed straight for Tek's glove.

Sarah Gates said...

Unusual that the first man to make it to second would do it off of bot.

ish said...

FUCK YEAH!!!!!!

Amy said...

FUCK YEAH!!

redsock said...

HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!!!!!

redsock said...

i did NOT think that was playable.

Patrick said...

P diddy!

Amy said...

That was one sweet play. And likely saved the game. At least for now.

SCORE A FUCKING RUN.

ish said...

HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!!!!!

Yeah!!!

Jere said...

I'll gladly trade him catching the other ball to keep the no-hitter intact for that play right there!

Sarah Gates said...

Time for that dong I've been lusting after.

Patrick said...

O boy! Maybe FY can finish this by himself.

redsock said...

FY Dong?

Jere said...

Now how about FY wins it with a dong

ish said...

Did that ball glance off of Bot's head? I think it changed direction off his head slightly enough to get it just that little bit more towards FY.

Jere said...

Now how about FY wins it with a dong

Amy said...

I say Pedroia wins the game for us twice. In the field and at the bat.

ish said...

Time for God.

Jere said...

I don't think it touched Pap.

If things go right here, it's Pap with the win and Dustin with the save.

Amy said...

Guess we are all on the same page.

But not to be.

Has to be Ortiz.... please.

ish said...

Flo has 5 career dongs off of Halladay.

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