Red Sox - 000 000 000 - 0 4 0 Spiders - 000 000 01x - 1 3 0After Lester's day was done (7-3-0-3-9, 109), Cleveland scored the game's only run in the eighth off Daniel Bard. Adam ".294 Career OBP" Everett walked and, while Bard fell behind Orlando Cabrera 2-0, stole second. Cabrera bunted him to third, and Asdrubal Cabrera dropped down a suicide squeeze to bring in the run.
Down to their final out against Chris Perez in the ninth, David Ortiz walked and Darnell McDonald pinch-ran. J.D. Drew lined the first pitch back to Perez, and the ball caromed off his leg towards Everett at third. Everett had no play on Drew, and it looked as if the Red Sox would have something resembling a last-minute rally.
But McDonald had rounded second too aggressively, and when he tried to get back, he slipped a bit. Everett whipped the ball to Orlanda Cabrera and McDonald was tagged out before he could get his hand back on the bag.
I'm trying to be aggressive. I'm trying to make them make the throw, lost my footing out there and just got caught in no-man's land. I was just trying to be aggressive and make them make the throw to first base.Scoring opportunities were scarce against Lester and Carmona (7-2-0-2-4, 109). A Boston rally in the third was thwarted by a blown call at second base. With one out, Marco Scutaro walked and Jacoby Ellsbury singled. Carl Crawford grounded to first and Matt LaPorta's wide throw to second pulled A. Cabrera's foot off the bag. However, umpire Dan Iassogna said that Cabrera was able to tag Ellsbury's leg in time. Replayed showed that LBJ was safe. So instead of bases loaded/one out, the Sox had first and third/two outs. Dustin Pedroia flied to deepish center to end the inning.
In the eighth, Scutaro singled and Ellsbury walked. Facing Rafael Perez, Crawford grounded to third, moving the runners to second and third, and Pedroia grounded out to the pitcher.
The outside half of home plate umpire Jerry Meals's strike zone was inconsistent all day, and his rulings on what constituted a strike seemed to favour Carmona. In the fourth, Ortiz took two outside pitches in the exact same spot. One was called a ball (for a full count) and the next one was called strike three. That inconsistency became doubly annoying a few minutes later, when in the home half of the inning, Meals ruled a similar 3-2 pitch to Carlos Santana was ball 4. And Meals did not call two other outside-edge pitches strikes to LaPorta to begin the fifth. So LaPorta ended up walking on what was most likely a 1-3 pitch.
[Update: I looked at the f/x data for those three AB. For Otiz, the 5th pitch (ball 3) was outside and the 6th pitch (strike 3) was on the corner. Ball 3 to Santana was a hair off the corner; a borderline pitch. And the first and third pitches to LaPorta were not too far out of the zone, but, according to the data, they were outside. Cumulative data shows neither pitcher receiving a significant advantage.]
The Red Sox will open Fenway Park tomorrow afternoon against the Yankees (4-2).
Jon Lester / Fausto Carmona
Lester hopes to bounce back from a bad Opening Day start (5.1-6-5-1-0, 88; 3 HR allowed) in Texas, though compared to the shellacking the White Sox gave Carmona (3-11-10-1-5, 88), he was nearly lights out.
Winless First Finish Start 25 Gms 1905 0-6 10-15 78- 74 1927 0-6 8-17 51-103 1945 0-8 10-15 71- 83 1966 0-5 7-18 72- 90 1996 0-5 6-19 85- 77