Sunday, May 27, 2007

Red Sox 07 Game 48 Recap


W: T. Wakefield (5-5, 3.36); L: V. Padilla (2-7, 5.77); SV: J. Papelbon (12)
HR: None.
  • Hero - Coco Crisp
  • Goat - Joaquim Benoit

Inning run downs

A very good game by the Sox last night. Wakefield started strong in the first inning by getting two ground outs to Lugo and K'ing Teixeira after Padilla had retired the Sox in order in the top of the inning.

The second inning saw the first of Manny's four hits as he singled right, but J.D. Drew, Lowell and Crisp were unable to take advantage of the situation by hitting into a force, pop up and grounding out to short. Wakefield was unable to match that by giving up a double to Sosa to start the inning and after getting Sox nemesis Catalanotto to strike out allowed a single to Byrd scoring Sosa from second base.

Sosa with a good throw might of been out at the plate but in the first of two challenges to Manny's arm, his throw was wide of home plate. After striking out Kinsler, Byrd was caught trying to steal second due to a pitch out. Right call at the right time, so the damage was minimized in the inning.

Both pitchers had 1-2-3 innings in the third. Padilla struck out Mirabelli (on a pitch he thought was to low) followed by a Cora ground out to second and a Lugo pop fly to Byrd in left. Wakefield got pop outs to Manny, Drew and Lowell to keep the score cloes going into the fourth.

The top of the fourth saw Youkilis extend his hitting streak to 18 as he doubled to left, it was at this point that the Ranger pitchers started falling behind to the Sox batters. Ortiz and Manny walked loading the bases for Drew. For the year Drew was 1 for 5 with a runner on third and less than two outs knocking in 4 runs though.

Unfortunately, his slump stayed in place as he hit a grounder to first. Fortunately for the Sox, Teixeira went for the double play by throwing to second while the Pitcher covered first base. As is so often the case, the pitcher was not able to catch the wild toss by Young and the ball sailed into the dugout allowing two runs to score. Drew was stranded at second by Lowell and Creip as they popped out to center and grounded out first. Still you like it when a team can come from behind by scoring two runs on only one hit.

The bottom of the fourth saw Wakefield retire the rangers 1-2-3 again, the third time in the first four innings. Padilla was also smoking as he retired the Sox hitters in the top of the fifth in 1-2-3 fashion.

The fifth inning became the fly in the ointment for Wake as he hit Catalanotto on an 0-1 pitch that Mr. nemesis seemed to lean into and emphasised the hitting by waving his hand wildly. A pop up by Byrd was followed by a single from Kinsler and the Sox were definitely looking at trouble.

Laird followed Kinsler's single by doubling to left and both runners scored due to the ball hitting the ball girl and her stool and dying along the wall. Franco came out to argue but it was to no avail. Vasquez followed with a line drive single to right field but Laird had to hold up as Cora made a play for the ball. First and third with only one out saw Lofton hit a fly ball to Manny in left. Though the ball was not hit very deep Manny again was wide of the plate allowing Laird to score. Disaster was lurking around the corner but once again Wakefield made a good pitch and got a ground out by Young to end the inning. To put it mildly, the inning sucked.

There is a reason though why the Rangers have the second worst ERA in the league. In the sixth it became obvious. Youkilis again got things rolling by singling to center. After a well hit ball by Ortiz was caught at the 399 foot mark in right center field, Manny got his second hit of the game, a line drive triple that landed just fair and died at the base of the right field wall. Youkilis scored from first and Manny tried to do a Pete Rose impression with his slide into third, but looked more like a belly flop as he over slid the bag. Fortunately it took forever for Sosa to retrieve the ball and there was no play at third.

On the second pitch to Drew, Padilla uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Manny to score and the game was tied at 4-4. Three pitches later Drew was trotting to first on another walk issued by the Rangers. Lowell followed the walk by singling to left field and Washington came out to the mound to replace Padilla with Benoit.

A quick look at past history showed that Crisp was 0 for 6 against Benoit, with Mirabelli being 0 for 2 and Cora 1 for 6. At the time this looked like a good move by Washington but Coco on the second pitch hit a scorcher to center scoring Drew with the go ahead run. Mirabelli then defied the odds by drawing a walk to load the bases for the first time in the inning.

With the bases loaded Cora hit a sacrifice fly to Lofton and the Sox were up by two. Lugo then drew a walk to load the bases for the second time in the inning. After falling behind 1 - 2, Youkilis was able to draw an rbi walk to get the final run. After another out by Ortiz, the Sox went to the bottom of the sixth leading seven to four.

After a 30+ minute wait and with some runs to work with for once, Wakefield returned to his 1-2-3 ways in the sixth inning. A lead off double in the seventh by Manny was wasted as Drew walked, Lowell struck out, Crisp flied out and Mirabelli struck out to end the top of the seventh. Again Wakefield put down the side in order and the Sox had reached the strength of the team area of the game. This team has been dominant after seven innings in the Bull-pen with Okajima and Papelbon finishing off games.

After the Rangers put down the Sox in the top of the eighth, thanks to a double play grounder by Youkilis, Francona surprised me by going to Javier Lopez instead of Okajima. The strategy was not successful as Vazquez drew a lead off walk. With the pinch hitter Diaz coming up to the plate, Francona summoned Donnelly from the pen.

In a quick and smooth outing Donnelly faced three batters and got three outs and it was to the top of the ninth for the Sox. Would Manny get his home run to complete the cycle?

Unfortunately for Manny no his fourth hit of the game was another single after Ortiz had hit another ground ball. Drew quickly drew a walk for his third free pass of the game. Again though the Rangers killed the rally by getting a pop up from Lowell and a K from Coco and it was off to the bottom of the ninth with Papel-bot coming into the game.

The ninth brought some excitement though as Sosa reached on an error by Lugo. Papel-bot bore down though and got Catalanotto to fly out to left and Byrd to fly out to Crisp in center field. Kinsler got his second hit of the night to right field though and the tying run was at the plate in the body of Laird. Three quick pitches though and the game was over as Crisp tracked down the ball in deep center field for the final out. Red Sox win and have once again won another road series. The last pitch by Papel-bot, his fifteenth, registered 95.4 mph.

Today its Sexy Lips vs Loe at 3:05. Pull up a chair and crack open a cold one as the boys in red go for the sweep.


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