Sunday, August 5, 2007
Sox pull out slim victory in Seattle 4-3
The sox managed to snap their Safeco field losing streak in a shaky 4-3 victory over Seattle tonight. DiceK's stats don't really give the whole story (7 IP 2 ER 6 H 2 BB 10 K). DiceK got into trouble numerous times and was often assisted by double plays and some generous strike calls. It also didn't hurt that both of the runs he gave up came on solo home runs. In the bottom of the 3rd he managed to escape from a one out bases loaded jam completely unscathed. The very next inning he faced men at the corners with one out and was able to successfully induce the double play to get out of the inning. In the sixth inning he hit the first batter and walked the second but somehow managed to retire the next 3 batters to get out of the inning (2 by way of the K). Gagne came in to pitch the eighth inning and I had Deja Vu from Gagne's previous appearance at Fenway. Gagne entered the game with a lead, quickly retired the first two batters and then got into some trouble. Gagne gave up a single, then a double to cut the lead down to one, then ANOTHER double to put men at second and third with the red hot Betancourt coming up to bat. Fortunately for Gagne, Betancourt grounded right back to Gagne to end the inning with the sox lead intact. Paps seemed to be following Gagne's lead. He struck out both Vidro and Ichiro to start the inning and then got himself into trouble. With two outs and a one run lead he walked the next two batters as the Seattle faithful kept their fingers crossed for a bottom of the ninth rally. In incredibly anti-climactic fashion the following batter hit a pop fly into foul territory and Varitek made the game ending catch. I find it amazing that in a game where Red Sox pitching put up 13 K's they could still manage to look so shaky.
The pitching staff on a whole gets a C-: Barely adequate performances all around, got the job done, but this game looked really sloppy and was often one hit away from a loss.
The sox offense was reasonably well rounded with Coco Crisp and Dustin Pedroia being the only two in the lineup to go hitless. Youkilis, Ortiz and Lugo would all got two hits on the day. Jason Varitek's double to left would bring in Ortiz and Manny from second and first base to give the 2-1 lead in the fourth. Ortiz, Manny and Youk would also string together some hits in the 6th to add two more.
The Sox offense gets a B-: They managed to set up Daisuke with a decent lead and the bullpen was just able to hang on. They looked pretty sad in Ryan Rowland-Smith 1 2/3 IP putting up only one hit and with Rowland-Smith striking out 4 of the 6 batters he faced. He's a rookie, constantly going back and forth between the minors and the big league this season, we touched him up for two runs in his only other inning of work against up back on June 25th. That said the plate umpire didn't seem to be hitter friendly with some questionable strike calls that drew some angry responses from both sides.
Taking two out of three from the Mariners in their home ballpark to end the season series would be a nice sendoff as we may likely see them again in the playoffs.