Sunday, June 22, 2008

Red Sox 2008 Game 78 Recap


Press PassBox Score Play - by - PlayGame Recap
St. Louis00000200100003160
Boston00000012000025 130

W: J. Lopez (2-0) L: M. Parisi (0-3)
HR ➢ ➢ Bos: K. Youkilis 2 (13)

✫ 1st star - J. Lester - 7 1/3 innings of two run ball Kevin Youkilis for ending it in the 13th with a bomb.
✫✫ 2nd star - Kevin Youkilis - for ending it in the 13th with a bomb.
✫✫✫ 3rd star - J.D. Drew - a strike to Varitek in the 13th keeps the game tied.
⋔ Pitchfork - The offense - A lead off double in the 10th, 11th, and 12th resulted in bupkis.

Game thoughts!

I have to admit that Jonathan Tyler Lester is making me look bad for placing him in the 3 or 4-starter category. After today's game he is now seventh in the AL with a 3.13 ERA. Not bad, not bad at all for the young left handed pitcher.

Game was delayed for almost an hour and then became a pitching duel. Lester started the game by facing only seventeen batters in five innings with the help of two double plays. He did not run into any trouble until the sixth inning when the Cardinals got back-to-back doubles and a one out single to plate their first two runs.

Pineiro was just as good though as he went into the eighth inning. The only runs he allowed were a seventh inning home run by Youkilis with two outs and he was relieved by Perez in the eighth after Crisp tripled to center field on a ball that Ankiel slipped and fell on while pursing to open the inning.

Perez immediately gave up a sacrifice fly to Lugo to tie the game. After an Ellsbury ground out, Pedroia then singled and stole second, Drew walked, Manny walked and then Lowell walked to force in the second run of the inning and the Sox were finally in the lead 3-2. All three walks came on fourteen pitches with Ramirez and Lowell walking on four straight pitches. Those were the first walks of the game for the Sox.

One run lead going into the bottom of the ninth and Papelbon, who hadn't pitched since the 18th, rested in the pen and I am feeling pretty good. After the bot struck out Ankiel on three swinging strikes and then on four pitches strikes out the hard to strike out Molina I am really feeling pretty good about this game. Then disaster struck.

After throwing seven straight strikes, Jonathon threw four straight balls to walk Duncan. Ok, the winning run, Adam Kennedy, is at the plate so no big deal especially when bot gets to 0-2 on Kennedy with his first two pitches. Only, Kennedy fouled off the next two pitches then hit a ball deep to center field that Coco could not track down (I think he lost the ball in the clouds, possibly what happened to Ankiel also) and bounced off the wall scoring Duncan from first base. This game became the fourth blown save of the year for Papelbon.

The rest of the game was part anxiety and part frustration.

Okajima gave up a bloop single and a walk in the tenth, but escaped trouble by getting a pop up and a strike out of Ankiel. Of course the Sox couldn't take advantage of the lead off double in the bottom of the tenth so anxiety (Okajima) was followed by frustration. Game should have been over but was going to the eleventh inning.

Molina started the eleventh with a single off the wall and Kennedy singled to right with one out. Edge of the seat time once again. After Schumaker flied out to Coco, Aaron Miles loaded the bases on a swinging bunt. I was ready for the blindfold and the cigarette, especially when Terry Francona strode out to the mound calling for Hansen. Three pitches later it was Hansen striding to the dugout and the game was still tied. Only, once again, the Sox could not take advantage of a lead off double (this time by Lowell). Anxiety, frustration, same song, second verse, could get better but going to get worse.

The twelfth saw Hansen retire Glaus, Stavinoha and Ankiel in a one, two, three inning and when Pedroia lead off with a ground rule double I thought the game was about to be over, except the fates wanted more frustration. On the first pitch Drew hits a broken bat line drive that Villone was able to graze and Pedroia was thrown out at third. Two pitches later Sean Casey hit into an inning ending double play and frustration followed. On to the thirteenth inning we went.

After Hansen got Molina to pop out to Youkilis, Francona went to the pen. Don't ask me why he did that, because I don't have a fragging clue. Hansen had been mowing them down and Francona went for the left versus left match up instead of sticking with the hot hand.

Immediately, it looked like it was going to come back to haunt the Sox as Duncan doubled off the wall and two pitches later Kennedy singled to right field. It was on this play that J.D. earned his star for this game.

Charging the ball, he quickly transferred it from the glove to his hand and threw a one-hop strike to Varitek in enough time for Jason to gather himself for the impending collision. Duncan was out by 10 feet and two pitches later the Sox were out of the inning and racing into the dug out. Another extra inning another anxiety attack, by now I was praying for the Sox to get put this game in the win column.

For the fourth straight inning, the Sox had the lead off batter reach base as Lowell singled to left field on the first pitch. Maybe the key to this game was don't hit doubles as five pitches later Youkilis earned his star by depositing the ball into the monster seats. Finally, the Sox were able to close the deal.

The water was dirty!

Factoid - Talk about having someones number - J.D. Drew versus the Cardinals was batting .169 / .290 / .339 going into this game. Needless to say, his 0 for 5 today just makes those numbers even worse.

♊ - Then don't strain your brain trying. Might break something.

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