Sunday, July 15, 2007


Crappy loss by the Red Sox today. Many sabermetricians use the term "unlucky" to describe a situation where the outcome was not as good as the peripherals would lead you to expect. Although I dislike that term, it describes exactly the Red Sox loss to the Blue Jays today.

Eleven hits, including three doubles, and who knows how many balls hit right on the screws that went directly to fielders, and still Boston could only muster one measly run scored. It is genuinely difficult to have twelve base-runners over the course of a nine inning game and only end up with one run, but the Red Sox managed it.

You hate to split a four game series at home, especially with an inferior opponent, yet thats just what the Sox did. Whats more, they had the pitching match up set in their favor, and were unable to take advantage of if. It cost them a game in the standings and the difference between a good start to the second half and a lousy one. If the Sox are going to keep playing .500 ball the rest of the way, it doesn't matter if the Yankees catch them or not because they aren't going to win crap in the playoffs.

In the ninth inning, there was a bit more bad news, as neither Jason Varitek nor J.D. Drew pinch hit for Doug Mirabelli. Either, 1) both are hurt and physically couldn't hit, in which case the Red Sox are in some trouble, especially if Varitek is injured, or 2) Terry Francona was in the can and didn't come out in time to make the switch.

Francona is a very smart guy and has managed the Red Sox just about perfectly this season, so I suspect there is more going on here than meets the eye. But just in case there isn't, there is no way (other than injury) that Mirabelli should have had a bat in his hand in the ninth inning down by one run with two outs left in the game. I know he was 2-2 against Accardo and had hit a double earlier that day. Doesn't matter. I imagine we'll find out more about this later.

In the lone bit of good news, Beckett pitched a gem, striking out eight in eight innings. He held the Jays scoreless except for one little hiccup in the second inning. After getting the first two hitters out, Beckett allowed back to back doubles and then a single. That was all the scoring the "lucky" Blue Jays would need.

AL East: The Yankees came back and narrowly beat Tampa 7-6. Baltimore beat Chicago. The Red Sox are now 9.0 games ahead of New York, 10.0 ahead of Toronto, 14.0 ahead of Baltimore, and still 20.0 ahead of surging Tampa. Oooh! Look out.

Tomorrow (Monday): The Kansas City Royals visit Fenway and the Red Sox better not take them lightly. Since June the Royals are 20-16, which is a better record than the Red Sox have during that time.

Kason Gabbard starts for Boston. He's opposed by Brian Bannister, who has done a decent impression of a #4 or #5 starter for K.C. this season. Of course, he's done it as their #2 starter. Game time 7:05.

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