Friday, August 17, 2007

Game 121: Let’s Play 2!

I will be live blogging BOTH games today! That’s right… I will distract you at work AND at home on this fantastic double-header Friday. I will be updating inning by inning (maybe?) and I wait with bated breath for the debut of Clay Buchholz. Wait… he has a double “H” in his last name? Clay desperately needs a nickname… I vote “Butch” but I am willing to hear some other alternates. I’ll be back with more before game time.


Good morning everyone (or afternoon? I gotta stop drinking). Well, whatever time of day it is, I am more than ready for the all-day 2 game Sox explosion. However, before they can play ANYTHING the Sox need to change the roster a bit and it looks like Wily Mo is the odd man out. He has been given his walking papers to make room for Buchholz who will in turn be sent back down to AAA before the second game so Jacoby Ellsbury can start in the outfield. Now this means that new pickup Bobby Kielty might be out of luck for the time being, but he looked unready anyway. Interstingly the big problem with this move is WHAT is happening to Wily Mo. Is he DFA’ed? Has he been traded? It hasn’t been announced yet, but he is NOT in the park and his locker is empty.

ADIOS Wily Mo… I hope you get the at-bats you need, want and have been asking for. I just hope curveballs don’t make you go insane. Godspeed.

So let’s get this party started. I’ll be back with a little hair of the dog, first inning insights and thoughts on the man with the pending nickname: Clay Buchholz.

See you in 30.

First Inning:

Mmmmm. That first beer is always the smoothest. Anyway, Clay looks like he’s 12 years old. It’s Jimmy Fund Day at the ballpark and I thought Clay was gonna be one of the little kids that reads off the lineups and calls everyone “Mr.”

Clay is having trouble finding the strike zone and his first 4 pitches were balls to Figgins. Great… not like this guy can run or anything. After a popup from O-Cabs, J.D. Drew just gave me another reason to hate his guts. Vlad hit a LAZY fly ball and Drew just dropped it. No excuses, he just freaking dropped it. If Clay could shoot lasers out of his eyes, I know who he’d be looking at. Figgin scores on Andersons groundball out. He strikes out Gary “I have a contract cause I had one good catch” Mathews Jr. to end the threat. Angles got a run… but they didn’t get a hit? Gimme a break.

As for the Sox turn at the plate, Don and Jerry were JUST saying how good Lackey is when Pedroia lines one into the corner. It was going to be a double anyway but some moron touched it. DON’T TOUCH BALLS IN PLAY JERKS!! Youk struck out (weakly) but it didn’t really matter… cause Papi had the tomahawk chop and BLASTED a homer off Lackey. Then Manny singled deep, then Drew redeemed himself with a mighty triple (?!?!?!?!) and then Lowell singled him home. After Coco popped out, Belli ALMOST was a stud who hit a bomb, but settled with a DEEP RBI double. Cora doubled him home… but he comes up lame! Oh man… I hope we got enough runs cause Belli looks really hurt. If your keeping score at home, the Sox have batted around and hit for the cycle in the first inning… fun fun fun.

Almost lost in all this fun was the destiny of Wily Mo Pena. Sox just announced he is going to the Nationals for a player to be named later. I hope that player isn’t Wily Mo Pena.

Sox 6, Angels 1

Second Inning:

ANNNNND Belli is done. Tek (who might be catching BOTH games?) is now behind the plate. This could get ugly later. More bad news… the no hitter is now over as Kotchman lines a single into center. Another walk and Clay looks like he is having some location troubles. Tek and Lowell hold a mound meeting to tell him that he better throw strikes or he is getting the WORST pink belly ever. It works. He gets a big double play to end the inning.

After Ortiz gets a single through the shift, Manny steps in and has some choice words for himself or Lackey or SOMEBODY after a powerful foul ball. Lackey gets mad and puts one on his jersey. Smart move for a guy who is letting everyone hit EVERYTHING… why not put another guy on base? Drew quickly gets a single up the middle and loads the bases.

Oh man… they just showed the pizza throwing thing again on NESN. I’m laughing so hard I’m ALMOST ok that the Sox just squandered the bases loaded situation. Almost.

Sox 6, Angels 1

Third Inning:

Official word is that Belli has a strained right calf and may not be available for the second game tonight. Who knows what this really means. They might have to amputate his leg for all we know. The problem now is what do we do for a backup? Is Cora gonna catch?? Yikes.

Anyway, Clay is STILL having control issues. He’s not missing by much, but he IS missing. Seems like a nibbler type of pitcher. I hate that. One thing he does have going for him is that his location creates some awesome opportunities for double plays… and he gets another one here. Another thing he has is a nasty changeup that makes hitters looks silly when they expect a low 90’s fastball. The kid looks a little rough… but has a very high upside. Another walk to Figgins and a single to Vlad don’t amount to anything as Clay wiggles his way out of trouble.

Now, who’s this guy pitching for the Angels? He looks like Lackey and is wearing his uniform, but he actually looks like a good pitcher! Shocking! The Sox go down in order. I hope we aren’t letting these guys off the hook.

Sox 6, Angels 1

Fourth Inning:

Wow… Gary Mathews has NO answer for Clay’s changeup. It’s just a nasty pitch that fooled the overrated outfielder for the second time today. A double from Kotchman spoils the perfect inning, but Clay is unfazed. If his wildness today is just nerves then this guy is gonna be really good. His fastball, curve, slider and changeup all look like major league stuff.

Reports of Youk’s demise were false indeed as he gets in on the hit parade and singles into center to start off the top of the fourth. Then something I never seen occurred. After Papi and Manny pop up, Drew hits a soft single to Vlad in right. Vlad quickly throws into third to try to get Youk… and he gets him alright… gets him right in the shoulder. The ball bounces into the dugout and Youk is given home plate and Drew stands on third. Really weird way to get a run. Whatever, I’ll take it.

Sox 7, Angels 1

Fifth Inning:

Clay seems to be coming apart a bit. Single, single, single, single and the Angels get 2 more runs on the board before I get a chance to open another beer. He struck out Willits to start the inning, but has looked like a T-ball pitcher since then. Thankfully Gary Mathews Jr. is his bitch and lines into a prefect double play to end the inning.

Awww… Lackey is cut loose and Chris Bootcheck gets the mound and mop-up duty. Coco greets the new pitcher with a single into left and now every Sox starter has a hit in this game. Little stats like that are why I get up in the morning. Coco moves to second on a questionable balk from Bootcheck, but the Sox can’t manage to get him home. I hope the bats wake back up because I have the feeling we are going to need some more runs in this one.

Sox 7, Angels 3

Sixth Inning:

Clay (82 pitches) is still in but Oki is now warming. Kotchman (kinda owns this kid) doubles and Aybar bunts him over to third (nice slide to first from Youk to beat Aybar). Sac fly plates Kotchman and I’m stating to get pissed. The Angels freaking small ball makes me sick to my ass. Just hit the ball like a normal team and pick a city to call your own while you’re at it. Can you imagine the Harford Red Sox of Boston? Yeah… it sounds stupid. Willits strikes out and that should be the end for Buchholz. His line is a solid 6 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned, 3 BB and 5 K. Good job kid.

Eliza Dushku in the booth with Don and Jerry. Sooooooo hot. She’s talking about cancer and the Jimmy Fund (good cause… call the telethon line at 1-877-738-1234), but wow… really hot. Watching Don and Jerry flirt (LOL) is just distracting enough to almost miss Youk and Ortiz go down quickly. Manny singles, but is left on when Drew lines out. Mmmm Eliza Dushku…. but she's dating Brad Penny? Ewwww.

Sox 7, Angels 4

Seventh Inning:

Oki is in and Oki is freaking amazing. 2 K’s (made O-Cabs look BAD with an Oki-dokie) and the first 1,2,3 inning of the day for the Sox. We need to see this guy in the 8th. I am calling it right now… he MUST pitch the 8th inning. He only threw 10 pitches! Don’t screw this up Francona.

Bootcheck is back for a 3rd inning. The more I look at this guy, the more I realize his name is stupid. I guess his family comes from a long line of cobblers. Well shoemakers or not… he shuts the Sox down in order. Somebody tell Don and Jerry. They were too busy laughing about losing Bill Simmons registration for Sox Nation President to watch the game. I haven’t really commented on the whole President of Sox Nation thing… because I don’t care! It’s a marketing thing and a silly one at that. Great… now I sound like a stick in the mud. Damn you Sox Nation.

Sox 7, Angels 4

Eighth Inning:

YES! Oki is back! And he gives up a lead off single? Whoops… my bad. After a pop out, Kotchman gets his 4th hit today and now the tying run is at the plate. Oki gets Aybar swinging and then Francona goes to Papelbon for the 4 out save. Well, he got the first one with no problem. It only took 2 pitches to get pinch hitter Izturis to pop out and to get me to spill a beer with a yelp of joy.

Angels switch things up with pitcher Greg Jones. Good thing too cause we couldn’t touch Jackboot or whatever his name was. Pedroia is particularly thankful cause he takes Jones deep with a big ‘ol swing over the Monster. Then he couldn’t find the plate. Walked Youk and hit Manny (not intentional), but reclaimed his composure and K’ed Drew. They got the one run, but I think Francona is still gonna stay with Paps to close it out.

Sox 8, Angels 4

Ninth Inning:

Jerry Remy just called out Bill Clinton and Kevin Garnet for not getting anyone in Arkansas or Minnesota to call in and donate to the Jimmy Fund. That was a little surreal. Anyway, Papelbon hasn’t been donating money… he IS money. He K’ed Willits then punched out Figgins on a nasty pitch on the outside corner. O-Cab singled to Manny, but Vlad pops out to the triangle to end it.

So a good win for the Sox and the first for Clay Buchholz. Still working on a nickname for this guy. So far “Butch”, “Buck”, “Clay” and “Double H” are on the board, but I am willing to hear others.

Next game starts at 7, so I am gonna take a little break. This got kinda long so I’ll split the second game into another post. Great job taking the first one guys… I want to see Beckett go 8 strong in the second match-up so our bullpen isn’t too taxed. Hopefully we will have more info on the catcher situation soon. I would really hate to see Tek catch both games… but what are the other options? See you at 7.

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 8, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4