Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Some game notes on the Red Sox 4-0 win in Atlanta:

* The Red Sox got jobbed really badly in the top of the second inning. After a Kevin Youkilis single, Jason Varitek grounded into a double play. Except replay showed that both Youkilis at second and Varitek at first were safe! In retrospect it wasn't even that close. The ever sucky Edgar Renteria fielded the ball at shortstop and decided to take it himself to second, but he clearly threw the ball to first before actually stepping on second base, thus Youk should have been safe. Renteria's early throw to first bounced in the dirt allowing Varitek to beat the throw by a step. Still, both were called out. I can see missing one call, but missing two calls on one play like that is inexcusable. What should have been a first and second situation with one out for Boston was unceremoniously squelched by terrible umping.

* When exactly did Lenny Harris learn how to hit?

* Later another errant throw and a good call by the first base umpire resulted in what should have been the second error on Renteria, but was officially the first.

* After reaching on the error by Renteria, Drew was thrown out at second when Francona inexplicably called for a hit-and-run play. Of course, the next batter was Big Papi, who hit a homer.

* Interesting call by Bobby Cox in the top of the fourth. With runners on second and third and two outs Cox elected to intentionally walk Jason Varitek and load the bases to get to Coco Crisp. Varitek has been anemic recently, and Crisp hit two homers yesterday. As has been the case so often in the past 15 years, Cox was right and Crisp grounded out weakly to second.

* In the top of the third inning, Tim Hudson set the Red Sox down in order on eight pitches. In the bottom of the fourth, Josh Beckett set the Braves down in order on six pitches.

* Francona wisely elected to start Alex Cora instead of Julio "the Human out" Lugo. Cora managed a triple, scored a run and had an RBI fly ball to score Varitek.

* Josh Beckett roped a double in the top of the fifth inning to score Cora after his triple, and then came around to score on Dustin Pedroia's single.

* Someone should ask Cora how he knew that Coco Crisp would catch the ball when he laid out to get Tim Hudson's drive in the bottom of the fifth. Watch the replay and you can see Cora putting his arm in the air to celebrate a great catch before Crisp even left his feet to catch the ball.

* Bad luck for the Red Sox that the rain delay came when it did and lasted as long as it did. Beckett was rolling through the Braves lineup, but no manager who wants to keep his job sends his 27 year old ace back out after a fifty minute rain delay.

Beckett only threw 88 pitches through six innings, striking out three, walking two, and giving up only four hits. Instead of Beckett sucking up two more innings, Francona went with Snyder, Okajima and Papelbon, his three best bullpen pitchers for the final three innings. This means likely only the already over-worked Okajima will be available for the rubber match tomorrow. Although Papelbon only threw ten pitches in the ninth.

AL East: Toronto got smoked by the Dodgers, 10-1. As of this writing, the Yankees, Rays, and O's games are still in progress. Thus the Sox lead New York and the rest of the division by 8.5 games. [edit: Colorado beat the Yankees 3-1. The Red Sox lead them and the division by 9.0 games.]

Tomorrow (Wednesday): His Craziness, Julian Tavarez takes the mound to try and win the series for the Sox. Someone named Buddy Carlyle goes for Atlanta. Game time 7:35pm.

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