April 16, 2013

G13: Red Sox 7, Cleveland 2

Red Sox   - 070 000 000 - 7  6  0
Cleveland - 010 010 000 - 2  6  0
Boston sent 11 men to the plate in the second inning, scoring seven times on three hits and five walks. That was more than enough offense for Doubront (5-4-2-4-7, 104) and relievers Clayton Mortensen and Alex Wilson.

Jiminez (1.2-2-7-5-1, 59) had a quick first inning, but did not make it out of the second despite throwing 44 pitches. Mike Napoli doubled to right-center and Will Middlebrooks walked. After Daniel Nava struck out, Jonny Gomes walked to load the bases and David Ross walked to force in a run. Pedro Ciriaco made it 2-0 with a line drive sacrifice fly to right.

Jacoby Ellsbury followed with an RBI single. Ellsbury stole second base on the first pitch to Shane Victorino, who walked, reloading the bases. Dustin Pedroia walked, bringing in another run - and ending Jiminez's night. Napoli then tagged reliever Cody Allen for his second double of the inning, clearing the bases, and giving Boston a 7-0 lead.

The Red Sox could do nothing with Cleveland's bullpen, as a quarter of relievers struck out 15 batters in 7.1 innings. Boston batters struck out 16 times and drew nine walks - totals they have never had together in a game since (at least) 1916.

Doubront's outing was cut short because of a high pitch count (13-23-23 15-30 in his five innings). But Boston's streak of starting pitchers allowing three runs or fewer remained intact - covering all 13 games this season. Red Sox starters have allowed two earned runs or fewer in the last nine games.

Gomes reached base four times, with a single and three walks. Nava struck out in all four of his plate appearances; he was pinch-hit for in the ninth by Mike Carp, who struck out.

Home plate Laz Diaz showed why he is one of the worst umpires in major league baseball. In the first two innings, his pathetic attempts to correctly call balls and strikes were essentially a coin flip. High pitches out of the zone were called strikes, and then pitches that came in lower than those were called balls. He judged numerous pitches well outside the zone as strikes. Is Diaz Exhibit A in the fans' demand for robot umps? I don't know (he might be), but he is mentioned prominently in the brief.

I could show many different examples of Diaz's incompetence, but I'll limit it to one - and an instance where Doubront and the Red Sox received two gifts. Five pitches clearly out of the strike zone (3 and 5 overlap) to Drew Stubbs in the bottom of the first inning, and the count is 3-2.

Felix Doubront / Ubaldo Jimenez
Ellsbury, CF
Victorino, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Napoli, 1B
Middlebrooks, 3B
Nava, LF
Gomes, DH
Ross, C
Ciriaco, SS
Joel Hanrahan (right hamstring strain) has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. Knuckleballer Steven Wright has been called up.

Hanrahan hurt himself during the second game of the season, against the Yankees.
It's kind of been there every game. It's just progressively gotten a little worse. It's something if I keep running out there and trying to do it I'll hurt myself more and hurt the rest of the team.
The rest of this series:
Wednesday: Alfredo Aceves / Justin Masterson
Thursday: Jon Lester / Zach McAllister
The Globe's Peter Abraham notes that this will be the first game the Red Sox have played against a Terry Francona-managed team since the Phillies beat Boston 6-5 in 12 innings on June 4, 2000. (Curt Schilling started that game for Philadelphia.)


matthew said...

Re: Laz Diaz. On the WEEI broadcast, O'Brien (I believe) was labeled one of the best balls-strikes umps in all of baseball. I lol'ed.

matthew said...

Egads. Just re-read that comment. Should have read "O'Brien labeled Diaz one of..."

allan said...

I recall reading that Diaz was consistently voted by the players as one of the worst umps in MLB.

matthew said...

I trust next to nothing that comes out of OB's mouth.