Toronto 12-9. That was one strange game. Trailing 7-1, tying it up 7-7, falling back again, having Manny K as the tying run with the bases loaded in the 8th. ... But first, ack, what a lineup. Grady apparently wanted to rest the regulars before the Yankees series and get righties in against Hendrickson, but the Red Sox already have Thursday off. And with Boston, Oakland and Seattle having identical records, every game counts.
I see little reason for having Mirabelli in for Varitek. The "personal catcher for Wakefield" nonsense has to stop and contrary to history, Mirabelli has been absolutely useless against lefties this year (.464 OPS). And why is the best defensive first baseman (McCarthy) playing LF? Ortiz is too hot to sit; benching him reminds me of when Jimy would sit a player who was 4-for-5 the night before. ... Damon was out because he was sore after banging into the wall making a catch on Monday. The Corpse of Todd Walker was 4-for-10 against Hendrickson and Mirabelli was 3-for-4 so maybe Gump was mesmerized by those meaningful stats (cough) ... But then McCarty hits a 2B and HR in his 2 AB and Belly goes 2-for-2 and is now 5-for-6 v Hendrickson! So the blind squirrel found a couple of nuts.
Gump once again showed he is allergic to any form of confrontation. A horrible obstruction call gave back a Toronto run in the second inning that had been thrown out at the plate. Hinske, on first, was running on the pitch and Nomar was coming over to cover the bag. Hinske dodged the ball hit past him into right field and as he rounded second, Nomar jumped back out of the way. There was no contact and Hinske never slowed or stumbled. He did, however, try to score and was thrown out 9-6-2. Nomar argued the call right away, which was made by the first base ump, who was out of position. Gump came out of the dugout, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, but apparently kept his mouth shut. NESN's cameras didn't show him during the argument at all.
Even giving Wakefield as much rope as possible, Gump still managed to leave him in two batters too many in the 4th. Seriously, Little should trademark that move; that way, when any manager has a similar slow hook, Grady can make some extra bucks. ... Phelps doubled, Hinske doubled, Johnson grounded out and Hudson doubled. THAT was the time to pull Wakefield -- he had nothing pretty much all night. But Gump sends Wallace out to chat. Bordick singles to center. Gump sits on his hands. Catalanotto, who had pounded an 2-run HR in the previous inning, doubles. Then Gump comes out. Shitty, clueless, brain-dead managing. Textbook Gump.
And in the bottom half of the inning, 7 straight Boston batters reach base, so what does Gump do? He decides to give the Blue Jays an out by having Walker bunt. Theo can Gump-proof the roster as much as humanly possible (and he has), but as long as Gump is allowed to loiter in the dugout, he'll keep throwing wrenches into the offensive machinery.
In the papers: Boston is looking at Mike Bordick or Frank Catalanotto; Red Sox management would like the whole Hurricane Pedro mess to blow over; the Providence Journal continues its extensive series on the changing demographics and culture of baseball; a microstudy of last week's loss w/17 LOB; almost the entire Portland Beavers PCL is suspended for chasing a fan; long interview of J.P. Ricciardi from a Blue Jays blog; finally, Halladay v. Burkett tonight.