April 10, 2007

G7: Red Sox 14, Mariners 3

The Red Sox offense scored early and often (first 5 innings: 431 32), but the big story was the brilliance of Josh Beckett. He faced 23 batters over seven innings -- only five of them hit the ball out of the infield. (box)

Beckett had total command of his fastball, curve and change from the outset and turned in a dominating performance (7-2-1-0-8, 83). He struck out Ichiro swinging three times, all on fastballs away. His only hiccup was two hits to begin the third: Johjima's single to left and Betancourt's double to right (a run scored on an infield grounder). No other Mariner reached base in the first seven innings.

Meanwhile, the Jeff Weaver Face (2-7-7-2-1, 70) was out in force for two innings. The Sox then battered Jake Woods (2-4-4-3-0, 56) and Brandon Marrow (1-1-2-2-0, 26) and led 13-1 after five innings. Six Seattle pitchers threw 196 pitches in eight innings.

Pitches seen:
Seattle -  16 11 18    8  7 12   11  6 22  - 120
Boston - 47 23 26 30 26 14 16 14 x - 196
Bats: Lugo singled, doubled, walked twice and scored twice -- in four innings. Youkilis doubled twice and singled. Ortiz singled, walked and scored twice. Ramirez singled and walked. Drew homered, scored twice and drove in three. Lowell doubled, knocked in two and scored twice. Varitek singled twice, doubled and knocked in three. Crisp had two RBI. Hinske, who subbed for Manny in the 5th, walked, doubled and scored twice.

It was the most runs the Red Sox have scored in a Fenway opener since beating the Yankees 15-5 on April 6, 1973.

Brendan Donnelly relieved Beckett in the 8th. He fanned Jose Guillen on three pitches and must have said something because Guillen started yapping back and both benches and bullpens emptied. BD may have grabbed his crotch a la DLowe; it was hard to tell from the replays, but Guillen did yell "What the fuck are you talking about?"

It was the first time the two players had faced each other, but there is a back story. Guillen was the guy who alerted Nationals manager Frank Robinson to the pine tar on Donnelly's glove last year. (Thanks, Jere.) Don Orsillo noted that when Guillen and BD were teammates in Anaheim in 2004, after Guillen was hit by a pitch, none of the Angels pitchers retaliated. Guillen was annoyed and BD was not pleased at his comments.

After Donnelly plunked Johjima with a 1-1 fastball in the left thigh, he was ejected. Home plate ump Phil Cuzzi was apparently the only guy in Massachusetts who thought that was deliberate.

Okajima finished the inning and Timlin pitched the ninth. He allowed a leadoff single, a two-out walk and a two-run scoring double to Sexson before closing it out.

A very plesant 3:06. Next, it's Matsuzaka, Ichiro and King Felix tomorrow night!

(In the opening ceremonies, Dice and Papelbon received the loudest ovations. Ian Browne writes: "Johnny Pesky got such a loud hand that he appeared to be on the verge of tears as he stood on the first-base line". ... Browne also quotes Tito on when it is appropriate to use Papelbon in the eighth inning: "When we're getting ready to lose.")


Jeff Weaver / Josh Beckett, 2 PM

Fenway Park's 96th Opening Day!

Weaver returns to the AL and makes his 2007 debut.

Update: Mike Timlin was activated and Javier Lopez was sent to Pawtucket. ... Wily Mo Pena will probably start on Thursday. ... RHP J.D. Durbin, claimed on waivers from the Diamondbacks yesterday, will be designated for assignment. If he clears waivers (in 10 days), he'll go to Pawtucket.

Papelbon: "When I was in spring training, starting every fifth day, I was dying a slow death. Once I got a taste of what it was like last year, closing a lead, there was no turning back."


allan said...

Weaver needed 20 minutes and 47 pitches to finish the first.

The Sox bat around. Four hits and two walks = 4-0 lead against the former Bronx Bonger.

Beckett has retired the first 6 Mariners on 27 pitches.

Zenslinger said...

Replacements to rest starters begin in the fifth. After Varitek makes it 13-1 with an RBI double, why not take him out?

Beckett is at 1ER in 5.2 with 6K (including 3 to Ichiro). But he started last season with two dazzling starts as well.

If this game had not come through on MLB.tv, I would have hit the roof -- I've barely been able to watch anything since spring training. Feed just doesn't connect (not blackout issues).

Jere said...

Extra Innings free preview, if you've got digital cable.


s1c said...

How about we save some runs for the next two days guys. Let's not use up our allotment. Hinske just scores on a SF in 7th. Good hustle

Jere said...


Don't Rem and Don have Google?

9casey said...

That was fun!

Jere , they blacked mo out on the mlb ei as well

s1c said...

Guillen is a jerk, Donnelly did the "Adjust the cup" while looking at him. Also it was obvious while watching the replay of Guillen walking down the line (yes he walked half way to third), he was looking for something to b**** about. Also, watched extra innings and they showed Donnelly's press crush, evidently this goes back to the minor leagues. Sometimes I wish for the Bob Gibson days, when a player knew when he was being disrepected vs intimadated. Still, made for something to talk about over the last 1 2/3 innings.

Jere said...

9C--I knew you would be, as you're in ScrewedZone. I was just telling zs since he said his issues were not blackout-related.

Redsock--You're welcome. I'm sure some more non-Red Sox-or- Yankees-related-baseball person knew about that right away, I just thought to Google the two names right when it happened.