August 11, 2006

Limping Home

The quick six-game road trip against the Devil Rays and Royals looked like a breeze before coming home to battle the Tigers and Yankees. Not so, Boston. Instead, the Red Sox have limped home after going 1-5. They are three games behind the Yankees in the East and two games behind the White Sox for the wild card.

Boston has gone 4-10 in their last 14 games, and three of those wins came on walk-off hits from Ortiz (2) and Loretta (1). The fourth victory was a 3-2 game in Tampa, in which the Sox battled back and took the lead in the eighth inning.

Last night, Curt Schilling (7.1-11-5-2-7, 107) allowed 1 single, 9 doubles and 1 home run (the single was the last KC hit of the night?!). The 10 extra-base hits allowed tied the AL record set by Washington's Dale Gear in 1901 and tied by Cleveland's Luis Tiant against the Red Sox in 1969. It was the most extra-base hits by Red Sox pitcher since Bill Monbouquette gave up eight to the Yankees on June 11, 1964. It was also the third time in his last five starts that Schilling has surrendered at least 10 hits.

Boston grabbed a 4-2 lead on a long three-run home run from Wily Mo Pena in the top of the seventh. (Digression: In his last 10 starts since June 19, Bronson Arroyo is 0-5 with a 5.29 ERA. He has allowed 11 home runs in his last five outings. He went back to his cornrows yesterday in his 10th attempt to get his 10th win of the year. It didn't work.)

Armed with a lead, Schilling came out and retired the Royals in order in the seventh on only eight pitches. He had thrown 89 to that point and it seemed like he could go the distance. In the eighth, Schilling got the first out, then gave up doubles to Sweeney and Teahen, a walk to Brown and another double to Sanders. That tied the game at 4-4. Shealy followed with a single -- the 5th straight Royal to reach base -- and Kansas City regained the lead for good. ... Lowell, Kapler and Cora went down in order in the top of the ninth.

Schilling said "It happened so fast. ...
I was so fired up going into that eighth inning. I knew I was in control. I got that first out, and even though it would have been a bad trip at 2-4, it's still a win going home, and everything felt fine. ... [I]f we want to play baseball instead of golf in October, we're going to have to pitch better. ... I gave the game away. I gave a game away we should have won ... I don't know that there's any in-depth explanation.
Manny Ramirez singled on the first pitch he saw in the first inning, extending his hitting streak to 25 games and tying George Metkovich (1944) and Wade Boggs (1987) for the seventh-longest streak in team history. It is also the longest streak in the American League this season and the longest by a Boston player since Johnny Damon had a 29-game streak in 2005. ... If Keith Foulke is activated today, Corky Miller will likely be sent to Pawtucket, once again giving the team 13 pitchers.

More Schilling, on dealing with the absence of injured players:
The Yankees found a way to do it, day in and day out and, like I said, if we want to play in October, we better find a way to do it too, starting tomorrow.
I looked at the Yankees schedule. They have had their own rough patches. They went 3-6 from May 14 to 22 (and they allowed 13 runs in one of those wins) and 3-8 (including four straight losses) from June 8-19. They lost 4 of 5 from July 19-23. And they have lost 2 of their last 3 games. ... They begin a four-game set (Friday-Monday) at home against the Angels, then host the Orioles for three more before next Friday's doubleheader at Fenway.


Jack Marshall said...

1. You know it's a slump when your strengths do you in...Schilling, Papelbon, Timlin, the defense. As long as the team doesn't dig too big a hole, it will come roaring back. But this really, really, is hard to watch.
2. Just because the Sox won in '04 doesn't excuse us from remembering the essential character of the team from time immemorial. Nothing ever comes easy for the Boston Red Sox. If they are to win, they must do it in the most harrowing way possible.
3) By the end of this season, nobody will be claiming that Arroyo for Wily Mo was a bad deal. I just wish he had been up in the 9th last night.
4) GREAT comment on Bill Reynolds, Redsock.

Peter N said...

And Yo-Yo Bronson, once the NL teams have seen him twice, is having a real tough time. But even as a .500 pitcher, we miss his every 5 day appearance.

Josh said...

Was "Not so, Boston" a clever allusion to the Roger Angell piece on the 1986 World Series, or just a coincidence?

Desert Sox said...

On a more pleasant note than that of the State of Red Sox Nation and the Red Sox as a team...

Okay, can I just say: Everyone jumping on the Wily Mo Pena bandwagon after alla crap I heard about the poor guy on limited playing time...early on... you guys can just kiss my asprin.

Conversely, all of you guys that thought, like me, that the Wily Mo trade was great, right from the get go, despite Bronson's great start...

...ain't it great to say I just KNEW he was going to be grrreat for us?
And he'll get better yet, by far, you watch.

The fact that WMP has more HRs than Trot Nixon in limited playing time and in HALF of Nixon's '06 at bats while posting a BA well above .300
... well it makes me giddy for a Manny, Papi, Wily Mo murders row. When Tito Francoma wakes up we will have it, too.

The truth is, Arroyo never seemed like much more than an adequate pitcher, at any time during his stay with the Red Sox, his potential... it always seemed that it was on the verge of arriving, going to be seen.

Do I wish we had him now? Sure I do, I mean he is a career .500 pitcher, but he at least eats up innings, something we sorely have need of...

Even if Bronson had continued his winning ways this season, I would never trade back Wily Mo for him... but hey, now that it looks like Arroyo's star has crashed to earth, you think the Red's would take Trot in trade for Bronson? I'd do that in a heartbeat!

Too bad, it's past the deadline...

allan said...

Was "Not so, Boston" a clever allusion to the Roger Angell piece on the 1986 World Series, or just a coincidence?

I wouldn't call it clever, but yes.

Sadly, a brillant (though short) palindrome.