June 10, 2012

G60: Nationals 4, Red Sox 3

Nationals - 100 000 201 - 4  7  0
Red Sox   - 001 100 100 - 3  8  0
Alternate Post Title: Umpire Alan Porter Is A Disgrace

Alfredo Aceves had pretty clearly struck out Roger Bernadina to end the top of the ninth inning (#4). But home plate umpire Alan Porter - who had a very pitcher-friendly strike zone (as opposed to a rules-friendly zone) all afternoon - suddenly had some sort of paralysis in his right arm. On what was an 0-4 count, Bernadina smacked a high fastball to right for a double, scoring Bryce Harper with what turned out to be the winning run.

In the bottom of the ninth, with two outs and Mike Aviles on first base, Porter called a strike on Dustin Pedroia that was outside (#3). Indeed, it was clearly further outside than either of the two pitches that Aceves had thrown a few minutes earlier.

Bobby Valentine went nuts in the dugout and was promptly ejected, and then stormed out to scream "motherfucker" in Porter's face for awhile, to the delight of the crowd. (Valentine continued ripping the umpires in his post-game interview.) Pedroia, knowing he had to swing at anything or risk being rung up, fouled off another ball (#4) and swung and missed on a pitch in the dirt (#5) to end the game and give the Nationals, whose pitchers don't need any extra help from the men in blue, a three-game sweep.

The game is simple. Throw over the plate, call it a strike. Don't throw it over the plate, call it a ball. It's simple. That's all anybody asks.
Letting Lester (7-6-3-2-9, 107) begin the seventh (at 92 pitches) was fine, but when he allowed two singles on his first two pitches, it was time to get the pen up in a hurry. Andrew Miller was warming while Lester got the next two Nats. Then Espinsoa doubled off the Wall, just out of the reach of a leaping Darnell McDonald. That turned a 2-1 Boston lead into a 2-3 deficit.

The Red Sox came storming back after the stretch. Ryan Sweeney and Nick Punto both singled. McDonald bunted them over, and Sweeney scored on Scott Podsednik's grounder to shortstop.

David Ortiz lined his 14th home run over the visitors bullpen in the fourth inning. Ortiz also singled and doubled.

Boston dropped to 29-31 (6 GB). They start a three-game set with the Miami Marlins tomorrow night.
Jordan Zimmermann / Jon Lester
Nava, LF Podsednik, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Gonzalez, 1B
Ortiz, DH
Saltalamacchia, C
Middlebrooks, 3B
Sweeney, RF
Podsednik, CF Punto, SS
Punto, SS McDonald, LF
Lester has a 6.75 ERA in his last four starts, with a .927 opponents' OPS. He has allowed at least four runs in five of his last six starts.

Zimmermann has pitched at least six innings in all 11 of his starts this season.


9casey said...

You have to wonder why Matt Barnes is still in single a after going 6-1 with a 0.93 era . He is 22 and a college draft pick...

Jere said...

"You have to wonder why Matt Barnes is still in single a after going 6-1 with a 0.93 era . He is 22 and a college draft pick..."

And he's from a town right near my hometown! (Bethel, CT--where Thurston Moore went to HS) He grew up a Yankee fan there. I'm sure 9c knows all this....

Maxwell Horse said...

In the post-game Valentine is pretty blatantly ripping the umpires. I kind of like it. He says the Nationals pitchers were good, but they also got the calls, which is my opinion as well. I like seeing Valentine genuinely angry because it's like the only time his behavior doesn't seem self-aware.

I'm also kind of sick of seeing Tom Caron and Gammons worshipping the Nationals players. You can praise them, sure, but Jesus, remember who your audience is.

mattymatty said...

The Nationals played well and you can't lose a game on one call. There are too many throughout a game. But holy crap that ninth inning was a massive load of feces. Aceves threw four strikes to Bernadina, one of which was called. He hit the inside of the middle of the plate (if that makes any sense) with two strikes and it as called a ball. Then next pitch is hit for a triple. That last pitch is on Avceves. You can't give up a triple in that situation to a crappy hitter like Bernadina, but it just shouldn't have ever got to that point. Bernadina should've been sitting on his butt after watching strike three and the Red Sox should've been hitting in a tie game.

I'm so so so so angry and frustrated right now.

Patrick said...

Alan, excellent post game write ups as usual. When I miss a game, there is no place I'd rather get the recap than right here.

9casey said...

How many closers in thethe league would pitch around a 19 yr old kid?

allan said...

It shouldn't need to be said (because I say it all the fucking time) but because some people are fucking idiots: Porter blew calls that helped the Sox. Those were fucked up, too. The players should decide the outcome of the game.

If The Red Sox lose, then they lose. At least they'd lose on the field through the direct actions of the players - and not an umpire who refuses (or is unable) to follow the rules of the game.