Saturday, July 07, 2007


It was only a matter of time, but after a time it became a matter of a long time. Finally, the Red Sox bullpen blew it. Surprisingly, it was Jon Papelbon, reliever number five in number but number one in quality, who surrendered the winning run. After hitting Gary Sheffield with the first pitch in the bottom of the 13th inning, Papelbon got to two outs before giving up a double, easily scoring Sheffield.

At some point around the 11th or 12th inning, NESN put up a graphic saying that the Red Sox and Tigers were a combined 2 for 23 with runners in scoring position on the day. That about sums it up. The pitching was good, but when it wasn't the hitting was lousy enough to make up for it. Both teams left the bases loaded in extra innings, the Tigers pulling the ignominious feat twice, the Sox only once (I'm not sure which is worse).

The Red Sox scored two runs on a first inning homer by David Ortiz, and then were shut out for the next 12.2 innings. Kason Gabbard started and allowed two runs in 6.1 innings. Then came Manny Delcarmen (1.1 innings), Hideki Okajima (2.1 innings), Mike Timlin (1.1 innings, somehow), Javy Lopez (0.2 innings), and finally Papelbon.

David Ortiz was on base six times, homering, doubling, and walking four times, three times intentionally. Julio Lugo pinch ran for Dustin Pedroia and ended up batting twice and predictably going hitless in both at-bats. This dropped his batting average to a hideous .189. Mike Lowell went 0-6, Eric Hinske went 0-4 and his replacement, Jeff Bailey went 0-2. Curtis Granderson of Detroit went 0-6.

AL East: Weirdly enough, the Yankees also lost in 13 innings today, to the Angels. Every team in the division lost except Baltimore. The Red Sox remain 11 games up on Toronto and New York.

Tomorrow (Sunday): Matsuzaka tries to salvage a game from this series. Nate Robertson goes for the Tigers. Game time 1:05pm EST.

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