Friday, April 22, 2005

Game 16

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 1, Baltimore Orioles 0

AIM conversation yesterday afternoon:

Robin (4:04:49 PM): but I have yet to trust Clement...
Eric (4:05:13 PM): he looked pretty good last outting
Robin (4:06:13 PM): i know... but these O-birds are swinging big lumber and he is a fenesse groundball pitcher ... and Camden Yards is a bandbox
Eric (4:06:29 PM): hmm
Eric (4:06:32 PM): could be deadly
Robin (4:07:12 PM): if he keeps the ball low and out of the sweetspots... AND he doesnt walk to many people... he will be fine

Oh we of little faith. Last time the Sox pulled back to back shuttout was April 25 - 29 of last year, when they had three in a row (lest we get too cocky), but the '05 team is certainly well on its way, as Clement and Foulke combined, much as Wells and Neal did last night, for a pitching gem. The main differences from last night: first, Lopez did (essentially) as well; the only run scored was unearned, after Millar scored from third on a Ramon Vasquez groundball to second. The man just knows how to pitch to the Sox: five hits, three walks and only one run with six strikeouts over eight innings. Second, as Robin mentioned, Clement is a finesse pitcher, with eight hits to go with seven strikeouts over eight innings. It seemed, though, like every time he gave up a hit, he'd get an out to go with it and the Orioles would end up leaving runners on first or second. He was also helped by a play at home in the fourth, when Rafael Palmiero was thrown out trying to score from third on a Jay Gibbons double to the right field corner. Nixon dug the ball out, fired the ball in to Millar, who relayed the ball perfectly to Varitek for the tag out. Sweeeeeeet.

There was another close play in the eighth, when Tejada beat out a tag from Millar at first. The ball was grounded in on the infield and Millar fielded it, but instead of flipping directly to Clement for the third out, Kevin dived after Tejada, who skidded out of the way. Millar claimed he taged Tejada's foot, but it looks like from the replay he missed and in any case, the umpire can't see that angle. Clement then went after Sosa with a cutter and the slugger smacked a grounder back to the mound for the final out. Then, in the top of the ninth, Tejada and Sosa robbed Millar and Renteria of hits with excellent stops and kept the game close.

Tonight is a Wakefield and Kazimir rematch, this time in Tampa Bay for the start of a three game series. The Ray Killer looks to improve his record to twelve and one (and hopefully pick up another shut out?) and further consolidate the Sox one game lead in the AL East. GO SOX!!!