Friday, June 10, 2005

Game 60: Lost in the Ivy

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 6, Chicago Cubs 14

It was not a pleasant first visit to Wrigley for the Sox or us, the fans. Arroyo slipped from the second inning, Halama and Embree didn't have much of value to offer and for the most part, Greg Maddux was the unhittable Greg Maddux. By the sixth, with his win pretty much assured, Maddux could start really challenging hitters and gave up the first of two homeruns that David Ortiz hit today, but neither he nor his relief had much to worry about from the Sox offense.

It's the bottom of the seventh inning, the Cubs are up 11 - 3...and Francona pulls another one of his "I've given up on the game" moves. He takes out Varitek, who was 2 for 3 on the day and puts in Ramon Vasquez, takes out Renteria, who was 1 for 4 with an RBI and puts in Kelly Shoppach...and puts in Alan Embree, in whom he seems to have far too much faith. Either that, or he's punishing the guy by putting him into situations where innings need to be wasted. Even if that's the case, why take out good offense (especially Tek) for second stringers who haven't really shown much value? Vasquez didn't get any hits, Shoppach struck out twice and the Cubs teed off on Embree, who gave up three runs on five hits in one inning. The Sox don't play again until tomorrow afternoon, so there's no "early game" excuse. There were no reported injuries. It's not like the Sox have a terrible offense - with the pitching staff (especially the relief corps) struggling the way it has been lately, that offense should be encouraged to get runs back. It just doesn't make much sense to me.

Tomorrow afternoon it's Wade Miller versus Carlos Zambrano (the good Zambrano, as I've called him in the past), with Miller hoping to get the Sox back on track. Hopefully this weekend will not end up with Boston limping back home to Fenway after this difficult stretch of games. GO SOX!!!