August 13, 2006

G116: Red Sox 11, Orioles 9

It must be pennant-race time. I had that feeling in my stomach for the first time this season. (I should be a wreck on Friday.)

Jonathan Papelbon, after pitching two innings and throwing 24 pitches yesterday, was needed for two outs in the ninth inning today. He ended up facing five batters and throwing 31 pitches (16 strikes and 15 balls).

Craig Hansen, with a 11-7 cushion, allowed singles to two of the first three Baltimore batters. Papelbon had Corey Patterson struck out, but was squeezed on what were called balls 1 and 4, so it was a walk and the bases were loaded.

Kevin Millar hit a double play grounder to shortstop, which should have ended the game, but Alex Cora brought his glove up a bit too fast and it rolled into short left field for an error. 11-8, bases loaded.

Papelbon fell behind Nick Markakis 3-1 before coming back to strike him out on a 95 mph fastball. Papelbon fell behind 3-0 to Brian Roberts -- Remy said he hasn't had this much problem with his control all year -- and ended up walking him to force in a run. 11-9, bases loaded.

Melvin Mora battled through a nine-pitch at-bat, fouling off three pitches, before grounding hard to third. Mike Lowell backhanded the ball, spun around and threw a bullet to first. Game over. Whew!

Lowell also hit a first-inning grand slam. Kevin Youkils hit a three-run shot in the seventh and Doug Mirabelli added a solo blast in the eighth (the Stud has hit a bomb in three straight games).

Manny Ramirez's 27-game hitting streak is over. He was in the on-deck circle when Youkilis made the final out in the eighth. Manny walked and scored in the first, flew to deep right to end the third, lined out to shortstop to open the fifth (Tejada made a fantastic diving catch to his left), and reached on an error by the pitcher in the seventh. It was a little squib to the first base side of the mound that was spinning wildly. When Todd Williams touched it, it darted off in another direction; then he tossed it wildly to first.

The Yankees lost 5-3, so the East lead is down to one game.


Daniel Cabrera (4.95) / Jon Lester (3.86), 2 PM

Roberts, 2B     Crisp, CF
Mora, 3B Loretta, 2B
Tejada, SS Youkilis, 1B
Conine, LF Ramirez, DH
Gibbons, DH Pena, LF
Hernandez, C Lowell, 3B
Patterson, CF Cora, SS
Millar, 1B Kapler, RF
Markakis, RF Mirabelli, C
Wily #5! ... And Tito assures us that Ortiz is just getting a rest before the games with the Tigers and Yankees.


brian said...

Well a sweep is a sweep. We needed those 3 wins badly. Hansen didn't cost us the game today, but could tomorrow with Papelbon now unavailable.

Our pitching is going to have to step it up still. Friday's DH has disaster potential with Lester and Johnson being our starters.

Beckett and Schill each have 2 big starts this week. 4-0 would be a huge statement.

laura k said...

Well a sweep is a sweep.

A sweep, and we picked up two whole games. That's big. The bats seem to have woken up.

Our pitching has to step up, but NYY pitching is highly suspect, too.

allan said...

Now let's hope the Orioles play the Chokers tough, too.

I guess Timlin's the closer tomorrow, if necessary.

laura k said...

(I should be a wreck on Friday.)

We'd better hope no one from works reads this blog. :)

Desert Sox said...

Okay, the first thing I want to say is, while I was cheering Manny's streak and was happy he kept tacking on hits, I have to say at the end there I really think it became a distraction for Manny... We do not need any distractions for Manny...
I'm glad to see it go.

Secondly, WTF was that? What happened today on that field?

Our bestest and brightest took the mound today against a really disfuctional O's unit that has managed 1 win against the Sox this season.

We won alright, barely... It took a fine play on a bases loaded shot up the third base line by the Grand Slam producer himself to end the game. Who knows how it ends if Lowell doesn't make that play.

Lester, Snyder, Manny D, Hansen Paps...
Not a one truly pitched effectively, Manny did have one stellar inning... but in any case they all scuffled.

The bats did their job today, but it was almost not enough.

This sweep in the way it was accomplished created more questions than answers.

With the Detroit Tigers coming to Fenway after a dismal sweep at the hands of the resurgent White Sox and the Yankees for 5 at the end of the week, well... lets just say after witnessing these Sox pitchers stumbling through this game... My sense of dread is palpable

Jack Marshall said...

Inexcusable for Tito not to have Gonzales at short in the 9th....a real Johnny Mac '86 throwback. Not because Cora's bad, but because there's no reason not to have your best defensive alignment when you're up four. A really lazy move, and let's hope he learns from it.

Meanwhile, DS, only a Red Sox fan could manage a sense of dread after a three game sweep. Relax...the offense looks like it's ready to go on a tear, Wells is back on track, and Foulke will help. Wkae is maybe a week away, and the Yankees are due for some stumbling. It will be a fun week.

Peter N said...

E6 yesterday killed me, but Cora has been great. To replace him for Gonzo would have done more harm than good. But we won, even if the 9th took 2 weeks to play.

Jack Marshall said...

Why more harm than good? I just don't get that logic at all, though it's vintage Francona. Cora's a pro, and he knows who's the better shortstop, I bed. "More harm than good" would be losing a game because you don't have your best fileders out there.