DATE IP H R BB KFiguring the Fox affiliates would be more blatantly pro-Cleveland, I decided to take my chances with Rick Sutcliffe and Dave O'Brien at ESPN. But they too were openly rooting for Cleveland, especially after Boston took a 9-4 lead in the fifth inning.
0415 7 6 0 0 3
0420 8 3 0 1 5
What we need is a service that would offer transcripts of radio and TV broadcasts of baseball games in the same way you can order a transcript of Meet The Press or Oprah or a CNN broadcast. But who would subject themselves to listening to all that blather and typing it out? What a horrible job -- listening to hours and hours and hours of Joe Morgan, Michael Kay, Chris Berman, etc. ... I think I'd rather clean the toilets in a bus station for tips than do that.
Anyway, Cleveland did crawl back into the game, scoring three times in the bottom of the eighth -- thanks to back-to-back home runs off Alan Embree and Keith Foulke (grr!) -- to trail by only one run, 9-8.
When Johnny Damon led off the top of the ninth with a solo home run, you could hear the disappointment in the announcers' voices -- a huge deflation of mood, voices quickly changing from giddy to subdued. But then Sutcliffe cheered himself up by noting that Red Sox fans were no doubt "cringing" at the thought of having Aaron Boone up in the bottom of the ninth.
If there was any cringing going on, it was at Foulke, who despite some excellent outings in the past week still seems to think that his job is to make the score of the game "closer." Cleveland scored once and had the tying run at second with one out, but Grady Sizemore lined to right (Jay Payton managed to catch the ball over his head with a little jump) and Coco Crisp's shot to the gap in left center was run down and caught basket-style by Damon. Whew.
When Sutcliffe realized that Cleveland would not be pulling off a "stirring" comeback, he noted that even though they lost, Cleveland had successfully "depleted" the Red Sox bullpen, which would pay off for them Tuesday night. Boston which forced out Sabathia after 4.2 innings and (like Cleveland) saw four relievers apparently did not deplete the Cleveland pen.
I also remember Sutcliffe going on and on praising Grady Sizemore for beating out a ground ball that Mark Bellhorn booted for an error in the sixth inning. Sizemore was quickly erased on a double play (started by Bellhorn) but Sutcliffe couldn't stop gushing over Sizemore for his great instincts for running to first base after he hit the ball.
David Wells was not sharp. He allowed 10 hits and two walks in five innings, throwing a whopping 111 pitches. However, Wells was throwing to a strike zone that was roughly the size of a postage stamp. Another example of Sutcliffe's idiocy was his comments in the Cleveland fourth. In one breath, he rightly said that "Wells is getting squeezed" then claimed that "Wells has lost control of the strike zone."
(With CC Sabathia on the other side, last night's starters weighed close to 600 combined pounds. Could that be a record?)
Every Sock in the starting lineup got a base hit except for Kevin Millar. Manny Ramirez and Jason Varitek both hit three-run home runs. Manny had three hits, though he foolishly tried to stretch a single in the ninth and was thrown out by -- I'm not kidding -- 30-35 feet. Edgar Renteria doubled twice and Bill Mueller singled twice. It was Boston's 1,001st victory over Cleveland.
Toronto took care of Baltimore 11-2 and Tampa Bay edged the Yankees 5-4, so it was a good night. Boston moved to within two games of first place.
Arroyo / Millwood at 7:00.