Stephen Ellsesser, MLB.com:
Both Lopez and closer Jonathan Papelbon were warming up in the Boston bullpen in the top of the ninth, but with Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Youkilis coming to bat in what would have been the top of the 10th inning, Francona went to Lopez.Amalie Benjamin, Globe:
Both Jonathan Papelbon and Javier Lopez were warming. The easy choice would have been the closer, at least for most teams. But Red Sox manager Terry Francona rarely uses Papelbon in tie games on the road, so Lopez it was, trying to steer last night's game against the Indians through the bottom of the ninth, to get to a 10th inning in which the Sox could come through for their 12th straight win.I know that Playoff Assassin Tito cannot rule the roost for every single game of the regular season, but Francona made not only a risky choice, but a terrible choice.
At least two better options were staring him in the face. Why not look to Manny Delcarmen, who had thrown only 11 pitches the night before? Choosing Lopez over Papelbon (it feels insane even typing that) did not put the Red Sox in the best position to win, or even in the best position to get to the tenth inning.
It would be impossible for the Red Sox to score the go-ahead run if they never got another chance to bat. Making that opportunity possible should have been Tito's main goal at that point. Instead, Francona was charting his pitching plans for the bottom of the tenth inning and, seemingly like clockwork, his poor strategy backfired.