July 24, 2010

G98: Mariners 5, Red Sox 1

Red Sox  - 000 100 000 - 1  5  1
Mariners - 000 002 03x - 5 4 1
Lester retired the first 16 batters and finished his night with a career-high 13 strikeouts, but he was ineffective in the eighth inning and Terry Francona left him out on the mound far beyond any common sense. Lester (7.2-4-5-1-13) threw a season-high 124 pitches.

For me, this was the most infuriating loss of the season. Losses affect us in different ways. Some can be shrugged off -- everything goes according to plan, but the players are human so there will be poorly located pitches, strikeouts, bad hops, whatever. Others can be stunning (literally) or demoralizing, while others provoke anger.

I haven't been this pissed off while a game unraveled in a very long time. With games like the ninth-inning meltdown last Thursday, there is a helpless -- "why is this happening and will it stop anytime soon?" -- feeling, where everything is in its place, but things do not go well.

Tonight was a game where Francona's decisions seemed to run counter to what he almost always does. When we see the exact opposite of what we have come to know (and respect) about this team occurring, that's when the blood boils.

Lester trailed 2-1, but had allowed only one hit through the first seven innings. Milton Bradley tripled to right-center on pitch #104, but Lester came back to strike out Josh Bard for the 13th K. After a visit from John Farrell, the infield was playing for a possible squeeze -- and that's exactly what happened. Jack Wilson put down a perfect bunt on a 1-1 pitch that was at forehead height -- he even had to hop a little to make good contact. The bunt was too far out in front of the plate for Kevin Cash to field and Lester's only play was to first. Seattle led 3-1. Here is where I would have pulled Lester.

Michael Saunders ran the count full, then lined a single off what looked like Lester's left foot. Tito and the trainer came out, but Lester waved them away. He seemed fine. The injury visit did not count as a trip to the mound, but it was the ideal time to make a move. Manny Delcarmen had been warming up. But Francona left Lester in.

He walked Ichiro on five pitches -- now, Tito? -- then gave up a first-pitch double down the right field line to Chone Figgins. It was now 4-1 and Seattle had runners on second and third.

Finally, in came Delcarmen. He walked Franklin Gutierrez to load the bases, then hit Jose Lopez to force in a run. (He had allowed his last six batters to reach base.) After ball 1 to Justin Smoak, Farrell came back out to chat. MDC's next pitch was crushed to deep right and J.D. Drew caught it maybe 5-7 feet from the wall. A grand slam would not have surprised me in the least.

Why did Francona leave Lester in so long? And if he was so wary of using Delcarmen, then why get him up at all? [Maybe he offered some reasons in his post-game comments.]

Adding to the frustration was the fact that the Yankees had lost to the Royals 7-4. The recent inability to gain any ground in the East has been annoying:
Sun 0718: Yankees win 9-5, Red Sox lose 4-2
Mon 0719: Yankees off, Red Sox win 2-1
Tue 0720: Yankees lose 10-2, Sox lose 5-4 (10)
Wed 0721: Yankees win 10-6, Red Sox lose 6-4
Thu 0722: Yankees win 10-4, Red Sox win 8-6 (13)
Fri 0723: Yankees win 7-1, Red Sox win 2-1
Sat 0724: Yankees lose 7-4, Red Sox lose 5-1
So the Sox lost ground on two days, missed two opportunities to gain ground, and treaded water on two days. The only time they cut into the lead was on an off day for New York.

And so Boston remains 7 GB, while the Rays beat Cleveland 6-3 are are 3 GB.
Example
Jon Lester / David Pauley
Scutaro, SS
Patterson, CF
Ortiz, DH
Youkilis, 1B
Beltre, 3B
Drew, RF
Hermida, LF
Lowrie, 2B
Cash, C
Pauley has pitched only 15 innings for the Mariners this year, three relief appearances followed by two starts. He appears to play in the majors in even-numbered years only, as his other time in with bigs was with Boston in 2006 and 2008.

And:
Royals/Yankees, 1 PM
Rays/Spiders, 7 PM
Example
July 24:

1901 - The Pirates, playing at home, score in all eight innings and beat the Reds 11-2 (112 212 11x).

1979 - Carl Yastrzemski becomes the 18th major leaguer and seventh in AL history to hit 400 home runs.

1983 - Ye Olde Pine Tar Game.

1999 - With Laura and I in attendance at Tiger Stadium, the Red Sox defeat the Tigers 11-4. Boston clubs seven home runs, with Trot Nixon hitting three.

2004 - JoS:
Today's game had it all -- a brawl featuring A-Rod and Varitek, 4 Red Sox errors (including 3 on three consecutive plays), New York taking a quick 3-0 lead, Boston coming back 4-3 (with 4 hits on four consecutive pitches in the 4th), Tito getting ejected, blowing the lead and trailing 9-4, cutting the gap to 9-8, falling back 10-8, and then winning the game 11-10 with a 2-run Mueller home run off Rivera in the 9th. ... And two perfect innings from Ramiro Mendoza. ...

This game could really turn this team around. They played hard Friday, but fell short. Today, they stormed right back after both the fight and the Yankees' 6-run 6th and puts several runs on the board. ... I'm ready for a 20-4 run. I believe! How about you?
It took a little while to get going -- this game was not the instant spark it is remembered as (Boston went 7-6 over their next 13 games) -- but from August 10 to September 4, the Red Sox were 20-4!

105 comments:

redsock said...

KCR - 20
MFY - 0

Both runs off Mitre are unearned.

E: Posada (5, missed catch)

Gee, there's a surprise.

Zenslinger said...

6-1 now. Hope KC can hang in there.

Last night was a fun game. Great to see Papelbon close it out successfully. Too much beer, though.

L-girl said...

What a trip down memory lane! Ye Olde Pine Tarre Gamme, the bittersweet 1999 rustbelt road trip, and The Brawl. Nice.

SoSock said...

The MLB site reports "With KC IN CONTROL....A-Rod eyes milestone".
A 3-run lead with 3 innings to go and KC's pen against the Yanks, I don't think that qualifies as "in control".

But let's hope

redsock said...

KCR - 201 310
MFY - 000 220

redsock said...

KCR - 201 310 000 - 7 8 0
MFY - 000 220 000 - 4 9 1

Cake.

SoSock said...

yay! Time to pick up a game!

And what a nice thing to come home to last night. Pretty respectable outing by Beckett first time back. And Atchison has quietly started to become somewhat consistent in the middle relief spot, which has been a real sore spot this year.
If he can deliver a good inning or inning and a half on a regular basis, with Bard doing his superman act and Pap starting to warm up, well, I'm feeling good about my seat on the bus!

Ish said...

Beer league softball on ESPN... Just saw a guy bark at himself for hitting a home run. I guess they have limits to how many home runs you can hit.

Canada is leading the US 25-20 in the bottom of the 4th.

Ish said...

Okay, so you're only allowed to hit 10 home runs and then each ball hit out of the park is an out.

The pitcher for Canada is wearing a face mask.

Ish said...

I expect to see Matt Stairs in this league when he's done in MLB.

redsock said...

Suzuki, RF
Figgins, 2B
Gutierrez, CF
Lopez, 3B
Smoak, 1B
Bradley, DH
Bard, C
Ja. Wilson, SS
Saunders, LF

redsock said...

PA notes the Red Sox have not won three games in a row since June 26-29.

L
W W
L L L L
W
L
W
L L
W
L
W
L L
W W

redsock said...

Canada is leading the US 25-20 in the bottom of the 4th.

They gotta be scoring in every inning...

Go Canada!

redsock said...

FKR - 000 0
CLE - 120 0

Mets and Dodgers 2-2 after 12. LA has used 9 pitchers already (7 for the Mets).

9casey said...

I believe with the lack of confidence in Jonathan Papelbon, and the quick demise of Keith Foulke in Boston. Has alot to do with Mariaon Rivera and the pedestal he has been put in . We tend to look at closer who should never blow a game, never have baserunners, and when he comes into the game , it should be over.

Pap has 22 saves good for 4th in the AL, everyone with 20 saves or more has blown at leat 2 games, besides one, Jose Valverde has blown 1, Pap has blown 4, Pap of those guys with 20 or more saves is fifth in WHIP out of ten.

Point being, we have all seen Mo blow games, big games, and Pap as well, it is a tough job, one Pap volunteered for, when no else would do it. I am just asking to have a little faith in him because some of you may get what you wish for. And sit there and wish we still had Bot.....

redsock said...

9c, you are absolutely right.

Yankee fans are gonna get a hard dose of that reality when FB retires.

(Or if he ever retires; he may be a robot...)

L-girl said...

I expect to see Matt Stairs in this league when he's done in MLB.

Good call. Perfect.

L-girl said...

I believe with the lack of confidence in Jonathan Papelbon, and the quick demise of Keith Foulke in Boston. Has alot to do with Mariaon Rivera and the pedestal he has been put in . We tend to look at closer who should never blow a game, never have baserunners, and when he comes into the game , it should be over.

Yes. Totally.

Because our historic rivals have had The Greatest Closer Ever for so long, our standards are all out of whack.

If we took Mariano out of the mix, what does a good (normal human) closer look like?

9casey said...

Would it kill blogger to give me a spell check........:)

Ish said...

One reality we're facing is closers just don't have a long shelf life, and Mariano Rivera is an anomaly.

redsock said...

FKR - 000 032 100 - 6 8 0
CLE - 120 000 000 - 3 4 1

redsock said...

Pauley called up from Ta-comb-err.

redsock said...

Heh, nice swing, I.S.!

redsock said...

nice hustle, chone.

redsock said...

GDGD says Figgins was out 2U on batter interference.

redsock said...

bardballa!

Amy said...

Gee, I may get a couple of innings in a game thread tonight. It's been tough the last week with my whole family around and not likely to be back in one again this week either.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Amy said...

I hear you, 9Casey, but I still hate Papelbon. ;)

Amy said...

Lester looking very sharp.

redsock said...

amy, you missed a great game on thursday!

RedSoxDiehard said...

Dear Red Sox,

This is David Pauley!

Thank you,
RSD

Amy said...

Which was the Thursday game? I know---I could go look it up. I actually watched some part of most of the games, just couldn't game thread.

I can't believe it's the anniversary of the Tek-ARod game. One of my favorites, as you might imagine.

Amy said...

Oh, the Beckett game. Yes, I saw some of it. Beckett looked good. Fortunately I was asleep by the time Papelbon gave up the double so you didn't have to hear me screaming.

redsock said...

the double was only one of maybe 7-8 things that inning that would have had you cursing a blue streak.

redsock said...

did remy say ellsbury began a rehab stint today?

and if he did, is it true?

redsock said...

Lester: "Hey, Lackey, you big-chinned doofus, I'll show you how it's done."

RedSoxDiehard said...

Think Lester and Pauley will go out for pizza after the game?

Amy said...

Yes, I read the description. Glad I was asleep.

And there I will be going again now (to sleep). I look forward to a game that starts at 7 pm Eastern time.

redsock said...

Globe says LBJ tentatively scheduled to play in the GCL on Monday (DH) and Tuesday (OF).

Lowell went 4 for 4 with Paw today.

Amy said...

OK, Papi!! Show them how to do it!

redsock said...

GRILLED DONG SANDWICH!

RedSoxDiehard said...

Papi!!!

Glad he got my memo!

redsock said...

Dear RSDH:

I know.

Love,
Ortiz

redsock said...

Sounds like Victor could be back Monday.

Ish said...

So nice to see the lineup looking stronger with guys coming back. All of a sudden you have Ortiz, Yook, Beltre, Drew, Her Meter, and the Jedi in a row.

Ish said...

I heard from Twitter somewhere (one of the writers) that Ellsbury was going to start rehabbing with GFL then play with Pawtucket some.

RedSoxDiehard said...

8K already!

Ish said...

Lester has it all going on for him tonight.

L-girl said...

Hmm. Just got home. Lots of zeros. The Seattle announcers said the magic words, but they are powerless against our Cancer Boy.

Ish said...

What has Jon Lester not allowed so far?

A fly ball.

9casey said...

Lou Merloni, said on the Baseball Show today, that Drew REFUSES to play against tough lefthanders. Does anyone know if there is any truth to this?

redsock said...

Lou Merloni, said on the Baseball Show today, that Drew REFUSES to play against tough lefthanders. Does anyone know if there is any truth to this?

OH JESUS CHRIST.

It seems to be a media rule that we have to have at least one person refusing to face certain pitchers. Before Drew, it was MBM.

(At least Mockery put his name to the charge.)

9casey said...

Yeah he just said it, then mentioned how Papi will face tough lefties.........and no one ever called him on it...I actually had to rewind it to make sure I heard him correctlly..

redsock said...

He often sits against tough lefties -- because he can't hit lefties at well. And there is often someone on the bench who can -- so that fucking guy plays.

But he has not missed many games this year (only 10). Go see who was pitching when he sat -- but also be aware of other stuff about his neck/back (although that may be all lies, I suppose).

L-girl said...

OMG Lester OMG

redsock said...

At least now, we have easy access to data. Should be easy to investigate.

he did not play in G:
18
33
48
63
70, 71, 72, 73
75
79

(Outside of that 10-game stretch (when he was out with a right hamstring issue), he has missed only 4 games. On the surface, it does not seem like he is ducking anything.)

L-girl said...

I can't thread anymore but I'm going to try to stay awake for the whole game. I somehow did last night. Must be too much caffeine.

redsock said...

Wish I had a quote from the show.

Ish said...

Lefty in the game. Surprised Drew's still playing.

Zenslinger said...

I'm liking the zeroes.

redsock said...

well, he faced seddon.

Ish said...

Not often do I get nervous in the 6th inning.

RedSoxDiehard said...

Don, hush. Don't make me mute you.

redsock said...

What a flithy beast.

RedSoxDiehard said...

Damn it! Call it an error!

L-girl said...

OMG Patterson OMG

That's what we get for having a AAA OF.

redsock said...

i missed the play.

redsock said...

can they give lester an error on that one?

RedSoxDiehard said...

This is all Patterson's fault

Ish said...

This is where John Mayer would say, "AND THAT HAPPENED."

RedSoxDiehard said...

Dear Red Sox,

This is not David Pauley.

Thank you,
RSD

redsock said...

okay, back from some transcription -- time to score two runs.

redsock said...

9casey - do you know about when in the show merloni said that about drew?

redsock said...

fuck you and your equidistant catch.

redsock said...

get up - yook feels like being a sweat machine.

SoSock said...

Lester has sure as hell done his part. Where the hell is our offense?

redsock said...

Haunt these fuckers, Beltre!

RedSoxDiehard said...

Let's hope their error has the same result as ours...

SoSock said...

I like seeing the "in play, no out"!
Hope it says "run(s)" next time

SoSock said...

Damn. Beltre didn't waste any time dashing that chance

redsock said...

guess it's up to drew to tie it up, if he hasn't already left the park.

redsock said...

aaaardvark up

redsock said...

stumble around second, but he also was merely crusing between first and second.

redsock said...

a third run would not be good. gotta houdini this bastard.

redsock said...

ooooh - mdc up.

whoopie.

redsock said...

wtf ump?

redsock said...

lester - career-high 13 K

redsock said...

how did he bunt that so well?

SoSock said...

It's time

redsock said...

thought tito would get him there.

redsock said...

that saunders single was the key, plus he got hit with it. hook time.

Q: is lester at 120+ pitches > mdc?

redsock said...

SEE DON?

THAT'S WHY WIN-LOSS IS DUMB.





(no, he does not see)

redsock said...

how fuckin' ready does he need to be?

this is just dumb - if they distrust mdc that much, don't even get him up.

fuck this shit.
fuck you tito
fuck you farrell.

SoSock said...

Tito really hung Lester out to dry there

redsock said...

and we are far enough behind at this point that mdc will feel no pressure and get the quick out.

tito has really pissed me off.

SoSock said...

Someone else should have started this inning. If not started, they should have been up and going as soon as Bradley tripled. I don't bitch much about Tito, but this time he fucked up.

redsock said...

with stunning hindsight, don and jerry now say the patterson E changed the momentum of the game -- without a doubt.

so they are really saying that lester is not tough enough to look beyond a fielding error and pitch to a shitty hitting team like seattle.

pretty fucking damning statement about lester, then, though they seem clueless that that's what they are doing.

redsock said...

... and mdc keeps screwing the pooch.

redsock said...

hey, mdc, the trading deadline is a week away.

just sayin' ...

redsock said...

i'm feeling some serious anger at this game. i haven't had this in a long time.

Ish said...

I'm having similar feeling tonight, too. I haven't been so emotionally charged by a game in a while.

SoSock said...

After the other night when MDC faced 4 batters, got no one out, and they all scored, and on a night when we could gain a game on the MFY, wh the hell would you put him back in there to screw up what has been a great start by Lester?
A little anger is not out of line at all. I'm pissed.

redsock said...

and again with the "momentum changed" garbage from idiot remy

BULLSHIT!

SoSock said...

And there you go. Clean water in the northwest. A damn sorry way to support a damn good outing by your most reliable pitcher.

Ish said...

I keep hearing people say "Well at least Lester had a good game." "Lester was awesome!" "Jon Lester pitched a gem!"

He had special stuff, yes, and he was magnificent through 7 innings besides one mistake, but he's not going to look back at this and think, "I pitched a great game."

To his defense, of course, he was left out there far too long. It'd have been a tough-luck, no-run support loss if he had been done after 7, or pulled shortly into the 8th.