Monday, May 28, 2007


Red Sox 5, Indians 3

What a crazy ending. The Sox were cruising, going into the 9th up 5-2. Papelbon came in from the pen to face the bottom three of the Indians order. This set-up ends in a Red Sox victory 99 times out of 100, but this looked like it might be that 100th time.

Paps walked the first guy on five pitches and the next guy singled on the first pitch sending the first guy to third base. So, the first guy is on third and the second guy is on first. Got it? The next guy, whom was named Josh Barfield by his parents, doubled off the wall in right center scoring one and creating a second and third situation with no outs.

So, thats where we stand. Second and third, no outs, and a two run lead about to vanish into thin air. The Indians were to send up two MVP candidates in the next three hitters to face Papelbon. The first was Grady Sizemore. Paps got him to 1-2, then after a few fouls, he popped up to Lowell at third. One out.

Next up: non-MVP candidate Casey Blake. Blake also took the count to 1-2. Then something weird happened. Papelbon threw a pitch up and in which hit Blake's hand while he was checking his swing. At first the home plate umpire ruled that Blake had been hit by the pitch and should go to first to load the bases. This brought Francona flying out of the dugout like George Brett at the pine tar game. The home plate umpire wisely consulted the first base umpire (Blake is right handed so the first base umpire has the best view) and the first base umpire ruled that Blake had swung.

Heres what I gather about the ruling. If you swing and the ball hits you, its still a strike, so if the ump said Blake swung, then he's out on a strikeout and the ball is dead. If he held up, then he was hit by the pitch and he goes to first. Fortunately for the Red Sox (and Papelbon in particular) the ump said he swung. I saw the replay and it was real close. It could have gone either way. My initial reaction upon seeing it in real time was that he swung, and the first base ump thought so too. Two down.

But, not out of the woods yet. Travis Hafner, MVP candidate number two, was up. Paps started Hafner off with two straight balls out of the zone. I thought he was going to walk him on purpose, but the third pitch was a split and Hafner swung over the top of it. 2-1. HafnerHafner. Strike three, out three, ball game. It was an impressive comeback.

In other news...

*Schilling pitched a great game tonight. The Indians have a terrific offense and Schill held them in check for the night. He gave up one run on six hits in seven innings of work while K'ing 10 and walking none. Good to see ol' Schill back in charge.

*Youkilis had two more hits, including an inside the park homer. The first since My Man Trot had one a few years ago, according to NESN.

*Trot got a warm ovation from the home fans both when he took the field in the first and then when he came up to the plate in the second. He was a classy, if brittle, player, and I always enjoyed his effort and found him easy to root for. I wish him the best of luck in Cleveland, except when they're playing the Red Sox.

*Roger "el Savior" Clemens pitched well in the minors. This should put him on track to face the Sox in Fenway next weekend. You watch though. He won't be there. Not that it would matter anyway.

AL East: Baltimore won, and so did Tampa, who came from behind in the bottom of the ninth to beat Detroit. In news you'll certainly read about in the NY papers tomorrow, the Yankees had a one hour team meeting before getting blown out by the Blue Jays 7-2. Clearly better than just getting blown out. The Red Sox lead Baltimore by 11.5, Toronto by 12.0, and both New York and Tampa by 13.5 games.

Tomorrow: The Red Sox continue their three gamer versus My Man Trot and his new Cleveland pals. Old friend Josh Beckett returns to the Fenway mound. He'll be opposed by Jeremy Sowers.


In still other news, I'm leaving tomorrow to get married this Thursday in Oregon. I live in Philadelphia, so its a trip to get out there. As such, I won't be posting here for a week or so. I should return on June 10th, and resume posting regularly soon after (for those two or three of you who actually read this).

As always, Go Sox!

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