Monday, August 14, 2006

Game 117: Not Quite Good Enough

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 4, Detroit Tigers 7

Unfortunately, this one was a lot closer than it looks. In the bottom of the eighth, after a couple of close calls against starter Nate Robertson, the Sox finally got to a Tigers pitcher: reliever Joel Zumaya. Loretta, Manny, Youkilis and Lowell all hit singles; Loretta scored on the Youkilis play, but Manny met the ball (and the out) at home when he tried to score off of Lowell’s hit to center. It was a key out, as Wily Mo struck out to end the inning and kill the rally, but it’s also one of the thankfully very few times that DeMarlo Hale has screwed up a call this year. In the scheme of things, of course, that’s great: you don’t want to hear about how your third base coach is doing, or how he once against sent a runner to certain doom at home. Unfortunately, in this case, Manny was out about two miles away from home and it probably cost Boston the game. Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the third base coach gets you. I’m not going to hold it against Hale, though; he’s got a few free passes left.

The other item of the evening that put the game permanently out of reach? Rudy Seanez’s second inning on the mound. After another subpar Beckett performance, Seanez came in to eat some innings/keep Boston in the game/not suck and he managed to do all three in the seventh, his first inning of work: no runs, side in order, nasty breaking stuff making the hitters looked foolish. Second inning, not so much: after Guillen grounded out to start the inning, Francona let Seanez stick around (although really, what choice did he have with the way the bullpen has worked recently) until he had loaded the bases and given up two runs on a single to Vance Wilson. Fortunately, Craig Breslow was as effective today as he was against Oakland a month ago, going an inning and two thirds without any further damage. Not that it was enough, mind you, but I’m looking for a bright spot here.

Tomorrow night: Schilling versus Bonderman for game two. Let’s nip this little Tigers rally in the bud, shall we? GO SOX!!!