August 3, 2006

G107: Cleveland 7, Red Sox 6

Josh "Gopher" Beckett strikes again. Boston held a 3-1 lead after two innings, but Beckett couldn't keep the ball in the park. He allowed at least three home runs in a start for the sixth time this season (he's given up 31 homers altogether this year). (Box)

The first shot was from Aaron Boone -- who wasn't much booed either when he stepped into the batter's box or when he drilled the first pitch off the left field pole for a home run (wtf is wrong with you, Fenway fans?) -- then it was Travis Hafner (two-run) and Shin-Soo Choo (grand slam) in the sixth. Beckett (6-11-7-0-3, 88) allowed seven consecutive hits in that sixth inning. The Sox were in a 7-3 hole.

But they came right back -- as quickly as possible -- in the bottom of the sixth. Jake Westbrook's first three pitches were hit for singles (Wily Mo Pena, Coco Crisp, and Alex Gonzalez). Ken Huckaby did the one thing I told him not to do, hit into a double play. That scored one run and Kevin Youkilis's single brought in another, but Boston still trailed 7-5.

The Red Sox rallied in the 8th against Westbrook. Crisp and Gonzalez singled and pinch-hitter Alex Cora bunted them to second and third. Youkilis's sac fly made the score 7-6, but that was as close as Boston could get. Mark Loretta flied to center to end the 8th. And in the 9th, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez both flew out to right, and Doug Mirabelli fouled out to the catcher.

Westbrook (8-15-6-1-1, 118) allowed the most hits in one game of any pitcher in the major leagues this year.

Manny extended his hitting streak to 19 games. ... Youkilis, Crisp and Gonzalez each had three hits. ... And Craig Hansen pitched out of a one out, bases loaded jam in the seventh, getting Casey Blake to hit into a 6-4-3 DP.

And for the second time this series, Canada's Sportsnet carried the NESN broadcast. ?!?! This also happened on Monday night, when the Blue Jays were off. I was suffering with ESPN, but when Laura came home from work in the eighth inning and turned on the other TV, she quickly yelled down "NESN's on!" Why, I don't know. But we got to hear Orsillo nearly have a stroke when Papi hit his game-winning blast.

And since the Jays had "played" this afternoon - thanks, Toronto! -- I checked out channel 22 again. And sure enough, there was Don and Jerry. So I quickly bid adieu to ESPN's Gary Thorne and Buck "Nasal" Martinez. ... Sportsnet, I don't know why you're carrying NESN, but keep it up. Hell, bump a few Jays games. They're out of the race anyway.


Gordon Edes of the Globe says the Sox have deal in place for Baltimore catcher Javier Lopez. ... Tonight, though, Ken ".207 in Pawtucket" Huckaby gets his first start tonight; he's batting 9th.

Jake Westbrook (4.31) / Josh Beckett (4.76), 7 PM

Beckett allowed four hits, four walks and three runs in six innings in his last start, against the Angels on Saturday. He is 6-1 with a 3.22 ERA at Fenway Park this season. ... In his last two starts, against the Twins and Mariners, Westbrook has allowed a total of only five earned runs in 14 innings. But Cleveland has lost both games, both by a 3-1 score.

The Yankees beat Toronto this afternoon 8-1, dropping the Blue Jays 8.5 games out of first.


thatdietcokegirl said...

looks like the jays have folded since the hillenbrand fiasco.

Eric said...

guess the ship really was sinking.

thatdietcokegirl said...

uh. beckett just gave up 7 runs on six hits in a row.

unbelievable. that cannot be real. i refuse to believe he couldn't help that from happening, wtf.

correction: 7 hits in a row.

thatdietcokegirl said...

sorry, 6 runs.


god, so pissed.

but we have the bases loaded now, with no outs.


Beth said...

beckett kinda *looks* like a gopher, too.

Jim said...

Beckett's act is old. Either he's stubborn or dim-witted. What part of "sitting on fastball" does he not understand? Sox have been around .500 since AS break, if they win tonite and play .500 rest of way, are 92 wins enough for Wild Card?

Anonymous said...

Jackie MacMullan speaks the truth in today's Globe:

"When Beckett gets in trouble, he rears back and relies on the heat. Yet he often lacks the command at those critical junctures, preventing him from discerning a good strike from a bad one. And, without a consistent offspeed pitch, teams just sit and wait for the fastball. If Beckett doesn't locate it properly, like last night, those mistakes become deal-breakers."

31 HRs given up to-date this season (!) by Nuke, 5 more than the next closest member of the MLB Rod & Gopher Club (Ellarton; KC). I keep wondering when Beckett will finally decide he needs a new approach than the dead red, and when he'll sidle up to Schill (or Nipper) for a honest chat about what it takes to pitch in this league.

Every game counts, as the old saw goes, and G107 counted no more or less than G001, G162 or all points in between. However, with the back end of the roation in tatters, Beckett's role as the "1-A" starter could not be more critical to the stretch drive of a team that did nothing to improve its pitching prior to the deadline.

Though the Crash Davis doctrine specifically addresses the perils of too cerebral an approach on the mound ("...don't think out there, Meat - you'll only hurt the team..."), the staggering numbers of HRs allowed by Beckett dictate that he must come up with a new approach other than relying solely on the #1.

Someone once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing time after time yet expecting a different result. With 9-10 starts left in 2006, let's hope that Beckett can find - and keep - his wits about him before it's too late.

Jere said...

I heard the boos for Boone. It wasn't "go out of your way to boo" boos but it was definitely boos. Even as he rounded the bases on his HR, they booed, which is kind of rare. And they cheered when he almost got drilled in his tiny head by a pitch.

allan said...

I expected more. Though he was at Fenway (June 27-28-29) last year (1-for-11, HR), so maybe most fans are content now to ignore him as the dust speck on history that he is.

thatdietcokegirl said...

^^yep. he is a rat. (his whole family are rats)

i really don't care what jackie macmullan says about it. within 3-4 minutes joshy gave up 6 runs on a 2-run homer and a grand slam. 7 hits in a row. not one visit by catcher, manager or pitching coach. that is just, absurd.
his pitch count was low, he hadn't walked anyone, he wasn't having control problems; through six. the only jam he'd gotten into was in the 4th when the bases were loaded with one out and he got the dp to get out of the inning. other than that, virtually every inning was 1-2-3, with a single and a solo homer squeezed in between two different innings.

it happened, but i don't accept it.

Jack Marshall said...

Suzy: You put your finger on what was especially amazing about Beckett's meltdown. NO visits from the catcher? This isn't an example of missing Varitek, this is incompetence. LITTLE LEAGUE catchers are told to visit the mound in these situations. Where was Nipper? It's not as if we don't know Beckett has this pattern. Where was help in the bullpen? Many managers would lift a starter after a 5 hit, 2-run sequence...FRancona didn't even have anyone warming. Beckett's obviously accountable for his own lousy performance, but he had less than major league support.