Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Sox knocked in the head by Angels 4-2
Last Night's Umpiring Crew: F--
There were four game changing calls in this game, one was correct, one was borderline, one was probably incorrect and one was definitely incorrect. Every one of them went against the Red Sox. The correct call was Brandon Moss bobbling a routine fly to right before making the catch, the runner had the right to go as soon as the outfielder made contact with the ball, even with a clean catch Moss had no chance of causing a play at the plate and the fourth run for the Angels scored. The borderline call was concerning Manny Ramirez's check swing. The home plate umpire called strike insisting that Manny was not able to check his swing and then refused a second opinion at Manny's request. Looking at the replay this call could have gone either way and a second opinion would have been appreciated, Manny was upset about the call and made the stupid move to argue balls and strikes with the umpire and got himself ejected from the game. With Eric Hinske on bereavement leave the replacement was a rookie from Pawtucket named Brandon Moss who obviously didn't expect to play in this game and looked to be scared shitless to be playing in the majors. The game would end on a strikeout of Moss with two men on base, I can't say things would have turned out much differently if Manny Ramirez had been at the plate, but I would have liked our chances. The "probably wrong" call refers to the foul ball that on replay seemed to land just to the left of the third base line and no chalk dust was kicked up by the impact, suggesting it did not hit the line and was a foul ball. This was called a fair ball and would turn into a double and would close out the night for Curt Schilling trailing 3-2 in the 7th with no outs and a man on second. Two sacrifices would be adequate to advance the runner against Tavarez and pad the lead making it 4-2 and close the book on Schilling. The" absolutely wrong" call came in the top of the eighth. Mike Lowell was up to bat with two men on base and no outs, a rally seemed imminent. Mike Lowell hit a foul tip and the home plate umpire ruled this to have been caught by the catcher and called a strikeout. The third base umpire would confirm this call. On replay there is no doubt that the ball hit the ground before bouncing into the catcher's mitt. The would be rally did not yield any runs. I was very upset by the quality of the umpiring in this game and think it very well could have cost the Red Sox the game.
Sox Pitching: B-
I really thought Schilling pitched well all things considered. He looked very strong up until the fourth when he seemed to jam his index finger trying to knock down a bouncing ball from Vlad Guerrero with his bare hand. He got into some trouble that inning giving up a double to Matthews and then giving up the big hit to Kotchman to score two runs and tie the game. He resumed his earlier form after that retiring the next two batters and then cruising for the next two innings. He got into trouble again in the 7th by allowing a solo HR to start the inning and then allowing the double to Mathis that didn't look quite so much like a double as it did a foul ball. Tavarez did his best with the situation as the angels put up two consecutive sacrifices to score Mathis. He would then give up a double, intentionally walk Vlad Guerrero and struck out Anderson to end the inning. Mike Timlin followed up with a 1-2-3 eighth inning, not bad for an old man just off the DL.
Sox Batting: C-
Heroes: Kevin Youkilis (2 for 4, 1 BB, 2 RBI), JD Drew (3 for 4)
Goats: Manny Ramirez (0 for 2, Ejected in 4th), David Ortiz (0 for 4, 1 BB), Jason Varitek (0 for 4), Coco Crisp (0 for 4)
As you can see, there was plenty of dead weight in the sox lineup tonight. A 3 for 4 performance from JD Drew was wasted yielding no runs or RBI's on the night. Thanks to a walk to Pedroia from Weaver, Kevin Youkilis was able to post the only two runs of this game on a Homer. The good scoring opportunities were few and they were only able to capitalize on one. With four lineup spots going 0 for 4 on the night (Moss went 0 for 2 filling in for Manny) it's not surprising that the sox had trouble putting up runs.