Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Game 44: Everybody Blew It

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 6, Toronto Blue Jays 9

If the Sox offence was a chick... and she was pulling things this much.. she would need a towel for the mess I leave on her face.

I would say that the Embedded Yankee struck again, but he wasn't the entire cause of the problem. Nor is it just Mike Timlin's fault for blowing a save by giving up a home run to Reed Johnson, nor all Alan Embree's fault for allowing the same hitter to hit a three run walkoff homerun two innings later. It was, all in all, a pretty crappy game for the Sox.

The Embedded Yankee, who pitched well for the first three innings, ran into a hiccup in the fourth, giving up four runs, blowing the 3 - 0 lead the offense had given him. He settled down for his last two innings, but the damage was done. I think Surviving Grady puts it a bit better than I did, but basically, he sucked.

Once again, clutch hitting did not come through: only four men left on base, but another two double plays. Dale Sveum got into the act too, sending Ortiz home on a close play that led to the Boston DH being tagged out. There's no video replay up that I can find and though Joe and Jerry claimed he was safe, I still don't get
why Sveum is playing with runners like he does, especially when the Sox have such difficulty getting men in scoring position to score. And it's not like David is a particularly fast runner, either, so why take the risk? Does Sveum assume that the Sox wouldn't bat Ortiz in and thus he must send the man on, despite the enormous risk of being gunned down? Doesn't such behavior only encourage lack of scoring by the Red Sox, because it takes away outs? I frequently wonder why he still has his job.

While we're at it, we have to blame Francona too, of course. The Sox had a day off yesterday and made no use of their bullpen on Sunday for Clement's complete game...and yet Alan Embree, left-handed specialist, was out there pitching to righties. Mantei or Halama are perfectly viable options for situations like Reed Johnson, but Francona still chose to go with a left-handed pitcher, against whom lefties are hitting .182, while righties are hitting .262 and have about 250 points higher in OPS. Mantei especially would have been a good option; his splits of .118 average and .378 OPS against righties are so good as to make him a right-handed specialist. Bring Mantei in to face Zaun, Hudson and McDonald and you're out of the inning.

El Guapo's Ghost has run numbers and determined that not only will Renteria start hitting better for the Sox as the season goes along, but that his career numbers as a whole are on the rise. He did smack a triple last night against the starter Bush, but he's still three for his last seventeen with a walk. The book is still out on him, his .245 batting average, eight errors and $40 million contract, but I hope he'll start pulling out his old numbers shortly. As Cla Meredith recently proved, young players like Hanley Ramirez aren't majors bound any time soon.

Miserable day in New York today, but Robin and I are making the pilgrimage to The Hairy Monk for another shot at the big screens and Bronson Arroyo versus Ted Lilly. Hopefully he remembers his ID this time...GO SOX!!!