Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Red Sox 07 Game 26 Recap



  • Hero - Beckett for going seven strong innings and once the team came from behind in the sixth and took the lead (ninth time this season?) shutting down the A's. Of course this being Beckett it wasn't as easy as it sounds, when with two outs he walked two batters prompting a visit by Farrel. Then he ended the inning with another K to get out of the jam.
  • Goat - J Marshall of the Oakland A's. After Gaudin started off the sixth by allowing a single by Varitek, Marshall relieved in a hold situation and on a 2 - 1 count gave up a double to left field to start the winning rally.

The first two innings were scoreless as Gaudin and Josh both pitched effectively. The Sox once again though wasted chances as in the first David Ortiz got a two out double, but Gaudin got Manny to fly out to center. In the second Drew and Lowell hit fly balls to center. Again with two outs Boston got a runner on base as Varitek hit a ball up the middle that Ellis was able to reach, but with his momentum taking him into the outfield Tek was able to beat the throw to first. Coco then hit a single to left past the drawn in Chavez. Once again though with RISP, the Sox failed to come through.

Beckett was cruising along as he set the A's down in order on eight pitches in the first and went 1-2-3 in the second on 10 pitches. The third inning was almost as easy as the first two as again the A's went down 1-2-3. Through 3 innings he had thrown 30 pitches and had 2 k's both looking. It was obvious that Beckett was in control of his pitches. His curve was the knee buckling type and he was able to spot his fast ball on the corners with consistency.

The Sox finally broke through in the bottom of the third. Lugo led the inning off by drawing a walk which quickly became a double as on the first pitch he stole second. With Lugo running Youkilis hit a ground ball to SS in which it appeared that Julio's cutting in front of Crosby allowed Youk to beat the throw to first. Runners on the corners and no outs with Big Papi coming to the plate, but once again the Sox failed to get a hit with RISP as David hit a ground ball to second and was able to beat the throw to first allowing him to get the RBI. Sox were now 0 - 3 RISP for the game.

Still, with Manny beating out an infield single followed by a balk by Gaudin, when he dropped the ball while standing on the rubber, there was a good chance to add on more runs and possibly knock Gaudin out of the game. The A's pitcher was dealing though as he got Drew to strike out on a nasty off speed pitch followed by last out Lowell living up to the name with another swinging strike out. The Sox were now 0 - 5 RISP.

Beckett now had a lead and once again he pitched a very efficient inning. Once again the A's went down 1-2-3 on nine pitches. Beckett now had no hits through 4 innings and on a total of 38 pitches (27 strikes).

In the bottom of the fourth the Sox added another run, when with one out Crisp hit a line drive to center fielder Langerhans that was misplayed (Langerhans stint with the A's would be a short three games as the A's announced a trade after the game) allowing Coco to reach second. After a fly ball to right Lugo singled scoring Crisp. The Sox were 1 - 7 RISP. A walk to Youkilis brought Ortiz up and on the first pitch Papi grounded to the 2b who was playing the shift in shallow right. 1 - 8 RISP.

The top of the fifth Beckett finally ran into trouble facing six batters. A lead off single by Piazza, a double by Johnson (Piazza to third), followed by two strike outs. Then on a 1 - 0 pitch to Kendall he gave up the RBI single scoring both runners. The damage was limited though as he got Langerhans to ground out.

Drew must still be feeling under the weather or the A's middle infielders are better than I thought. As after a single by Manny, J.D. hit into a double play. This was his second this year in 83 AB's. For his career he hits into one every 74.32 AB's.

The A's took the lead in the sixth inning even though Beckett only threw 13 pitches. A single, K, Foul out, Single and an RBI single by Johnson placed the A's up by one. The final out was made on a ground ball to deep third, but Lowell raced toward the bag tagging Piazza and in the collision injuring Mike, Mike Piazza that is, after the game we would learn that Piazza is out for 4 - 6 weeks. That would be the last gasp for the A's against Beckett though.

The Sox came roaring back in the bottom of the sixth. A single by Varitek chased Gaudin and brought in rookie J Marshall. Coco put his fourth pitch down the left field line bringing up Mr. Alex Cora, utility player extraordinaire. Down 1 - 2 Cora flicked his bat getting a ground out to Crosby and moving Coco to third. Four pitches later Lugo hit a deep fly ball to Putnam in right scoring Coco. That would end the scoring, even though the Sox would load the bases on a HBP (Youkilis), and walks to Ortiz and Manny. 0 - 2 with RISP making the Sox 1 - 11 for the night.

In the seventh Beckett had some two out trouble by walking two batters on 14 pitches (nine to Langerhans). Once again though he was able to escape by getting Ellis looking for his seventh and last strike out.

The rest of the night was pretty much normal and went according to Plan. Okajima came on in the eighth and faced the minimum number thanks to a double play ball after Chavez walked to lead off the inning. Timlin did give up a run on an RBI single by Todd Walker and was saved from more trouble by another sparkling catch in center field.

Red Sox win, Red Sox win!

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