Friday, August 17, 2007


I was going to post once on today’s double-header with Anaheim/Los Angeles/Southern California/California/The Entire West Region Angels but theres too much to talk about. A single post could be 2,000 words long, and who wants to read that much, other than maybe Aaron Gleeman? Assuming you aren't Mr. Gleeman, I’ll try to keep this somewhat short.

The Red Sox beat the Angels 8-4 in the first game of the double-header at Fenway Park today. Phenom Clay Buchholz held his own against a mediocre Angels offense, giving up all four runs the Angels scored on the day, though only three of them were earned (if you care about such things).

Buchholz had a small case of the First Game Yips, throwing his first six pitches for balls before finally throwing one over to Orlando Cabrera. He finished up with six innings pitched and struck out five while walking three.

In his final inning, the sixth, Buchholz gave up four hits, none of which were particularly strongly hit, but all made it through or just over the infielders. This accounted for only one more Angel run because Kevin Youkilis made a nice grab of a line drive and then doubled up a runner at first to end the inning. The Angels hit into three double plays on the day.

All in all, Buchholz pitched as well as we have a right to expect. He was clearly nervous, but he overcame that and did an excellent job. He struck out several Angels with a change up that fooled them so badly they swung what looked to be six inches over the top of the pitch.

As well as Buchholz did, the real win goes to the Red Sox offense, which pounded the crap out of Angel’s starter John Lackey. Lackey gave up six runs in the first inning and was fortunate to get out of the second without any damage after the Sox loaded the bases with one out.

The Red Sox would likely a have scored at least once in that inning except third base coach Demarlo Hale held David Ortiz up as he was rounding third on a J.D. Drew single. Very smart play by Hale. Up 6-1 at the time and with one out and Lackey struggling, the Sox didn’t need the run. As such there was absolutely no need to risk Ortiz’s health on a potentially close play at the plate.

The Angels took the lead 1-0 in the first inning after J.D. Drew made a hideous error in right field. Drew made up for it by tripling in the bottom of the inning and coming around to score on Mike Lowell’s single.

Angels starter John Lackey had a mini-hissy-fit of sorts, hitting Manny Ramirez with a pitch moments after Manny yelled something out at Lackey. Manny had just fouled a pitch off and yelled something without turning to face the pitcher. I have no idea what he said, but just as Manny did that Jerry Remy stated that Manny tended to do that sometimes and Lackey probably did not appreciate it, especially in light of how things were going for him that afternoon. Manny later got hit on the hand by another Angel pitcher later in the game.

Doug Mirabelli started in place of Jason Varitek, but left the game in the first inning with a strained right calf muscle. Dougie was going from second to home and pulled up lame after coming around third. Varitek took over for Dougie, but, needing two catchers, the Sox called up AAA catcher Kevin Cash from Ottawa where the Pawtucket AAA team is right now. Cash is on a plane to Boston as I write this and will likely be the back up catcher for game two tonight. There is no word from the team as to how severe Mirabelli’s injury is and how much time he is likely to miss.

AL East: The Yankees lost last night, so the Red Sox have increased their lead to 6.0 games.

Tonight (Friday): The Red Sox play game two tonight against Anaheim. Josh Beckett goes against Ervin Santana. Game time is 7:05pm. Buchholz is on his way back to AAA, and the Globe is reporting that, despite Mirabelli’s injury, Jacoby Ellsbury is in the starting line up.

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