Leave it to the Red Sox to throw cash at the problem… actually its minor league catcher Kevin Cash who is being flown in and might get the same police escort/red carpet treatment Belli got last year. I hope he gets to Fenway in time or we might be looking at emergency catcher Alex Cora… yikes!
So Beckett will have to deal with a replacement backstop as he goes for the double-header sweep. I hope he can keep his winning ways as he faces underachieving Ervin Santana. I’ll be typing live (sorta?) as the game progresses so drop me a line in the comments.
I’ll be back for the first pitch.
Some breaking news! Ellsbury will be starting in center tonight and leading off, while replacement catcher Kevin Cash won’t be in the clubhouse till about an hour after the first pitch. As of right now it’s going to be Tek starting behind the plate but he may be relieved by Cash as the game progresses. This also pushes Wakefield’s start back to Monday (so he can go back to owning Tampa) and Tavarez will be going Sunday. So it’s kinda a whirlwind of activity as the Sox try to make the best of a bad situation. Hopefully the Sox only lose Belli for two of Wakefield’s starts. Any more and it could mean a slide for our favorite knuckleballer.
A different lineup in the nightcap. Coco, Youk and Cora are sitting for Ellsbury, Hinske and Lugo respectively. To celebrate his return to the lineup, Lugo flubs O-Cabs ground ball that was hit right to him. Welcome back. Maybe he can redeem himself like Drew did in game one. No problem though as Beckett climbed his way out of the mess.
Santana didn’t have much problem dropping the Sox in order. I hope we didn’t use all our runs in the first game.
Sox 0, Angels 0
This could be a quick game if it wasn’t for all the pitches Beckett is using. He seems to be at a full count to ever batter he faces. Angels go down in order though.
Santana is just as quick and a little more economical. Sox go 1,2,3 and seem to have lost any momentum they had from game one. No hits, no base runners.
Sox 0, Angels 0
Beckett breaks down. It looked like he was on the verge with all the pitches he was using, but the levee finally burst with a single by O-Cabs and the RBI double from Vlad. Only one run, but he’s already threw 51 pitches through only 3 innings. Not a good sign.
Nothing doing on the Sox end however. Tek (fly out), Hinske (K) and Lugo (K) go down like blades of grass to a weed whacker. Something needs to happen soon or Santana is going to pitch a complete game without breaking a sweat. In fact… he’s pitching a NO HITTER!!!
Sox 0, Angels 1
Gary Mathews goes down swinging as Beckett regains his composure. Only took 6 pitches to retire the Angels bats this time. NESN was in the middle of an interview with a cancer survivor and wasn’t able to show the last out of the inning cause it only took one pitch. This game is FLYING by. I won’t even be drunk by the time this is done.
It’s ugly when the most time consuming moment in this half of the inning was when Ortiz went down on one knee. He is obviously hurting and I was shocked to see him stay in the game. He struck out anyway. Did I mention that Santana is pitching a NO HITTER? Actually, it’s a PERFECT GAME at this point. Wow… a PERFECT GAME.
Sox 0, Angels 1
Lugo flubbed another one. Not an error but well within his reach when he dove for it. Instead it went into center field. Not a problem as Beckett gets a popup and then 2 K’s to end it. O-Cabs looked VERY silly taking his last strike on the outside of the plate.
OH! A chink in the armor! After Manny grounded out, Drew floated a single into shallow right. Total bloop hit that didn’t really lead to anywhere. Santana gets Lowell to pop out and Tek struck out swinging. This… is… sad…
Sox 0, Angels 1
AHHHHH Lugo did it again! This WAS an error as he boots a hard hit grounder from Vlad to lead off the inning. I want to set him on FIRE. Singles from Anderson and Izturis lead to another run and my fists to clench as pound my computer desk. Beckett is still dealing and K’s Mathews, Quinlan and Budde, but the damage already done… done by LUGO…
And now Lugo with some redemption! He doubles to deeeeep center back by the triangle. Now all he needs is two more hits to make up for all his mistakes today. I’m not holding my breath. But guess what? He never left second base. This squander business is really getting old.
Sox 0, Angels 2
Beckett still in and pitching as best he can. It’s really been the defense and bats that have let him down in this one. Angels go in order and Lugo was even able to cleanly field a hard hit shot by O-Cabs to end the inning. Give him the slow clap. Beckett is now over 100 pitches so this might have been his last inning. He should have got a win today, but I don’t think it’s in the cards.
Papi with a leadoff single, Drew with a double and things are looking bright. Santana seems to be weakening… and he’s pulled by Scioscia. I’m not sure the Sox are going to get anywhere with this Angels bullpen. Lowell gets a sacrifice off reliever Speier to get Papi in… some sunlight… but Drew is stranded in scoring position. We needed to break that open and it didn’t happen. Closer, but still looking bleak.
Sox 1, Angels 2
As the rain starts to fall Delcarman comes in and MDC wastes NO time in giving up a triple to Vlad. Jacoby could have fielded this better… but NOT a good showing for MDC. One sac fly later and Vlad is in. There goes that daylight. Mathews follows that showing with a solo shot and in JUST 5 PITCHES the lead is extended by 2. This is a disaster. Beckett final line was 7 innings, 5 hits, 1 ER and 8 K. Oh and he’s on the hook for the loss. What a mess.
Scott Shields is now in pitching to the bottom of the order. I’m not saying I don’t have faith… but I’m not too hopeful. After a Hinske K, Lugo manages a walk and so does Ellsbury as Shields begins to lose his control. Then Pedroia lines one into left to load the bases… for Big Papi… the hurting Big Papi. Hoo boy. But before that drama, Scioscia goes and gets K-Rod to try and end the threat. I’m chewing my nails here. Crazy wild pitch scores Lugo from third and all the other runners move up… AND PAPI TIES IT!!! Big double to the wall and BOOM 4-4!! Wow! THEN MANNY!!!! RIGHT IN THE GARAGE!!! SOX LEAD!!! We couldn’t get to the bad starter so we take on the better than solid bullpen? I don’t get it at all! But I LOVE IT!
Sox 5, Angels 4
Holy crap am I nervous. The whole infield and outfield has been switched, Coco in center, Jacoby in left, Cora at second and Youk at first. Also… Gagne in pitching. BIG FREAKING GULP. Paps saved the first game so our closer mark 2 is tapped to finish off this one. Given his up and down performance lately (mostly down) I think Sox Nation should be understandably on edge. After about 10,000 pitches, pinch hitter Willits flies to center. That didn’t help my nerves much. Next up is Kotchman who KILLED in the first game and he walks on 5 pitches... it’s maddening. Figgins takes another dozen or so pitches and then lines one into left leaving runners on the corners. When O-Cabs lines a single into right… I’m not even surprised. This is only his 2nd actual blown save, but it’s the 3rd time in less than 7 games he screwed the Sox out of a win. Vlad lines a double to the wall… I can barely type right now. I have never been so mad in my life. 3 runs and still only one out. Where is Francona? Does he need someone to wake him up so the game can end? It’s LUCK that they get Anderson and then double the sleepy Vlad off second. Gagne is a joke… a total freak-show disaster. The bearded fool.
Crest fallen, the Sox look limp at the plate. Tek ground out weakly and then Youk is rung up on an AWFUL non-foul call (the ball obviously hit the bat) and Francona wakes up just in time to get tossed from the game… Youk too. They are as mad as me… but decorum says you can’t yell at your reliever so they pick on the ump. Call it displaced rage. I want Lugo to strike out and end this miserable disaster and he can’t even do THAT right. On the 8th pitch of the at-bat he lines one right to Mathews in center… ballgame.
This loss brought to you by Lugo, Delcarman and of course Eric Gagne. Call him a loser, call him washed up or call him a Yankee spy, but whatever you call him… make sure it’s not when the game is on the line. Thanks for sticking around those who read this mess… I’m gonna go kick a puppy.
Final Score: Boston Red Sox 5, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 7