Red Sox - 000 021 100 - 4 6 0 Twins - 200 001 000 - 3 6 0David Ortiz's 40-foot infield hit with the bases loaded in the seventh brought in what ended up as the deciding run. Flo squibbed Phil Dumatrait's 0-1 pitch towards the first base line. Dumatrait went for the ball, got his bare hand on it, but then seemed to trip and fall forward. The ball ended up on the grass behind him, and Dustin Pedroia scored from third.
The Twins had Joe Mauer at second with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Franklin Morales struck out Jason Kubel and Daniel Bard retired Jim Thome on a grounder to short. Bard pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Jonathan Papelbon needed only seven pitches to pitch a perfect ninth.
Minnesota scored twice in the first inning as Eric Bedard (5-3-2-4-6, 90) was charged with four walks. Home plate umpire Tim McClelland was squeezing Bedard as though the Boston lefty had defiled his daughter or run over his dog (or defiled his dog and run over his daughter). Actually, Bedard was not simply being squeezed; McClelland seemed to have absolutely no concept of the strike zone. ... Jesus, even the Twins announcers were raising their eyebrows at McClelland's shitty calls.
It's quite possible Bedard would not have walked anyone if he had been allowed to pitch to a rule book strike zone. Looking at Brooks's f/x site for the inning, Bedard could have possibly retired the side in order.
Ben Revere walked on a 3-1 pitch which should have been strike two:
McClelland blew pitch #1, meaning that Mauer should have been called out on strikes on pitch #5. But Mauer ended up singled on pitch #6:
Michael Cuddyer hit a sac fly on 0-1 and drove in a run. 1-0, Twins.
Kubel drew a full-count walk, but he should have been called out on strikes on either pitch #3 or pitch #6:
Thome walked on four pitches, but pitch #3 was a strike:
Valencia fouled off two pitches and then struck out swinging for the second out, so McClelland was not given an opportunity to fuck anything up.
Delmon Young walked on six pitches, bringing in the Twins' second run. McClelland made two bad calls. Young should have been called out on strikes on what McClelland says was ball 4:
Bedard faced eight batters in the inning and recorded (according to f/x) six outs. The human element -- my fuckin' ass.
I hope McClelland had a shit ton of money riding on the Twins tonight, because despite his sack full of early Xmas gifts for the home team, the Red Sox still won the game.
If McClelland is unable to call, or refuses to call, the strike zone as mandated by MLB's rules, then fire his fuckin' ass and get someone else in there who will do a proper job. Players are expected to follow the rules. Right? Why not the umpires?
Boston tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth off Liriano (6-4-3-7-4, 109) when Jason Varitek walked and Darnell McDonald donged into the second deck to left-center. In the sixth, after walks to Jed Lowrie and Carl Crawford, Varitek singled to left to give the Sox a 3-2 lead. (Matt Albers gave back that run in the home half of the sixth.)
Adrian Gonzalez singled, doubled, and walked; McDonald singled and homered; Varitek and Ortiz both singled and walked and had an RBI; and Pedroia walked three times.
The Yankees lost to the Angels 6-4. Losing pitcher Mariano Rivera gave up a two-run homer to Bobby Abreu in the top of the ninth and Curtis Granderson was picked off first base to end the game. Boston is now 2.5 GA in the East.
Erik Bedard / Francisco Liriano
Bedard makes his second start for Boston. On May 25, when he was with the Mariners, he pitched six shutout innings at Minnesota.
Chris Singleton and Bedard were teammates in Baltimore and Singleton, now working for ESPN, countered some of the idiocy about the pitcher's mindset and ability to thrive in an intense baseball town like Boston.
Erik to me is a tough kid ... The one thing about him, I think he has the mindset and the mentality to be able to pitch in Boston. It is not an easy place to play whether you pitch or hit, I think he is a matter-of-fact type of guy, to the point. ... [B]eing in the atmosphere that he is in, if he can get that knee 100 percent healthy it will be a boost.Dustin Pedroia (6-for-10) and Kevin Youkilis (4-for-11; 3 doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBI) have destroyed Liriano in the past. ... Twins vs Bedard here.
Peter Abraham, Globe: "Here's the cover of the new Sports Illustrated. Poor Terry Francona is never going to hear the end of this."
MFY (1.5 GB): Angels/Yankees at 7 PM.