Red Sox - 220 000 000 - 4 5 0The night started well. Nine pitches into the game, Boston had a 2-0 lead, thanks to Jason Bay's 10th home run of the year. In the second, after Palmer issued two full-count walks and Nick Green doubled and Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out, the Red Sox led 4-0.
Angels - 005 111 00x - 8 14 0
After that, only one Boston hitter reached base. Bay singled with one out in the third and was immediately erased on a double play. Palmer (9-5-4-2-8, 109) retired 22 of the last 23 batters he faced, striking out five of the final seven. (It's been awhile since we complained about a relative unknown pitcher shutting down the Sox.)
The Angels sent ten men to the plate against Wakefield (4.2-11-7-3-2, 91) in the third. The first five reached base and scored, with Mike Napoli's three-run dong being the big blow.
Daniel Bard (#60) made his major league debut in the sixth inning, relieving Hunter Jones with runners at second and third and no outs. He struck out Napoli on three high fastballs (96, 96, 98), gave up a sacrifice fly, then got a grounder to end the inning. In the seventh, he was touched for a single and walk, but showed poise and pitched out of trouble. His line: 2-2-0-1-1, 38 (charts).
He looked great. All of his pitches were around the plate -- in the seventh inning, he had the Angels left-handed hitters Erick Aybar and Chone Figgins swinging defensively and fouling balls off to the third base side -- and it was amazing to see 98 mph heaters come out of such a smooth and easy delivery.
Tim Wakefield (2.92, 170 ERA+) / Matt Palmer (3.06, 157 ERA+)
Palmer has made six major league starts, three with the Giants last season (8.53 ERA in 12.2 innings) and three so far in 2009 with the Angels.
MLB.com says that Palmer continues "to baffle hitters with the movement on his cut fastball and sinker while mixing in off-speed stuff. ... he feels he has found a new approach by improving his mechanics and getting a more direct path to home plate."
How often does David Ortiz think about having hit no home runs in 146 plate appearances?
Every day. Every day. Sleeping. Eating. Having breakfast. It's bad. You've got guys around the league that don't even have home run swings and they're hitting home runs like crazy. You think about it. You think, whoa, what's up?Also: Yankees/Blue Jays at 7.