Red Sox - 010 204 001 - 8 10 0
Phillies - 000 000 003 - 3 8 2
Wakefield: 8.0-5-1-2-1, 112Career Red Sox Win #176 for Wakefield. 17 more to go!
Halladay: 5.2-8-7-2-1, 99
Halladay was the victim of poor fielding in the early innings. In the second, Shane Victorino leapt at the wall in right center and had Kevin Youkilis's fly ball land in and then fall out of his glove. It was scored a triple. J.D. Drew's grounder to first gave Boston a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth, the Sox loaded the bases with one out and Adrian Beltre hit a routine grounder to Greg Dobbs at third. What should have been an inning-ending double play ended up rolling under Dobbs's glove, between his legs, and into left field. Two runs scored.
Halladay's control slipped in the sixth. He left several pitches up in the strike zone and the Red Sox pounced on just about all of them. Yook crushed a hanging curve* for a dong to start the inning (4-0). Drew doubled, Beltre singled, Marco Scutaro singled (5-0), and Jacoby Ellsbury singled (7-0).
* Youkilis saw 26 pitches in his first four PA (4-6-8-8). He flew out on the first pitch in the 9th.
Ellsbury's grounder up the middle was gloved by Phillies shortstop Juan Castro, who then whirled and fired the ball to third base, thinking he might catch Scutaro off-guard getting back to the base. Scutaro, however, had not stopped running from second, and he was halfway home already. Dobbs took the throw, but could do nothing. The score was 7-0 and Halladay was on his way to the showers.
Wakefield allowed only one runner past second base (Chase Utley's triple in the sixth). Only six of Wakefield's 24 outs were on the ground; the Phillies had six infield or foul pop-ups. With Wakefield at 102 pitches, Ramon Ramirez was told to finish it up. Ram2 allowed back-to-back doubles right away (8-1) and, with two outs, gave up a two-run home run to pinch-hitter Ross Gload (8-3).
The win put Red Sox at 24-21, three games over .500 for the first time this year. The Rays beat the Astros 10-6, so Boston remains 8.5 GB. The Blue Jays beat the Diamondbacks 12-4 and the Mets held off the Yankees 6-4. New York is 6 GB and Toronto is 7 GB.
Tim Wakefield / Roy Halladay
Mr. Halladay seems to be thriving in the National League*. Nine starts, 1.64 ERA, lowest BB/9 in the league. Four of the nine starts have been complete games (he has more CG than every one of the other 29 MLB teams). And he has been at his best when runners are on base:Ellsbury, CF
AVG OBP SLG OPS* Though he's no Ubaldo Jimenez!
Empty .291 .305 .391 .696
Men On .181 .232 .241 .473
RATS .138 .219 .231 .450
Peter Abraham notes that Halladay has thrown 118+ pitches in each of his last four starts, including 132 against Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Looking at pitches thrown in the first nine starts of a season, 2010 tops Halladay's career (1,006 in 70.1 innings). Maybe he'll be tired today.
Rays / Astros, 2 PM
Blue Jays / Diamondbacks, 4 PM
Yankees / Mets, 8 PM
On this date in 1901, the White Sox chose to intentionally walk Philadelphia's Nap Lajoie (who would finish the year with a .426 batting average) with the bases loaded. It has happened six times in MLB history.