The important thing for me was, I didn't get caught up in what he was doing. That might not have been the case in the past. He was dominating so quickly, so thoroughly, you can get caught up in the game like that. I had to stay with what we planned on doing ... and not match him strikeout for strikeout, No. 1 because I couldn't, and No. 2, then I'd have to pitch a way that doesn't work for me.Santana struck out the first five Red Sox batters; through five innings, he had 11 Ks. Only two lefties have struck out more Sox in a game. Randy Johnson (Seattle) fanned 15 in eight innings in 1998 and Mickey Lolich (Detroit) struck out 15 in nine innings in 1972. ... Twins fan and blogger Seth Stohs offers a detailed analysis of both Schilling and Santana, which pitches they threw, in what counts, and at different times through the order. Very interesting stuff.
Despite the loss, it was one hell of a game (more of my comments are in the G62 post). There were several great plays in the field from the Sox, especially Kevin Youkilis's throw to third on a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the ninth to nab Luis Castillo, who had greeted Jonathan Papelbon with a double. Lew Ford stupidly bunted down the first base line (if he had bunted towards third, he would have had Lowell come in and field the ball and left third base open for Castillo.) ... Torii Hunter made a similarly dumb move, trying to steal third in the fifth; he was easily thrown out on an inning-ending K2-5 double play.
A great catch from Manny Ramirez (after losing a line drive in the lights) to end the eighth, with a man on second was matched by Hunter, who leapt and reached behind his head on a Ramirez liner in the eleventh. ... Nick Punto's nifty dive and flip to second for a force play in the 12th kept the Sox from scoring more than one run.
In New York, the Yankees beat Cleveland 1-0 in another pitchers duel and are now tied with the Red Sox for first place. Toronto is two games out.
Apparently, Keith Foulke was more injured that he was telling Red Sox management. Francona "I think this has been bothering more than he let on for a while. To their credit, they try to pitch through a lot of things. ... He didn't say anything to anybody."
Notes: Trot Nixon is hitting .522 (12-for-23) in his past six games. ... Jonathan Papelbon (0.28 ERA) has now pitched 16 consecutive scoreless innings. ... Gabe Kapler is expected to remain with the PawSox for at least a week or two. ... Wily Mo Pena was scheduled to have his stitches removed from his left wrist yesterday.
Kevin Millar, whose Orioles were in Minnesota last weekend, left a present for Francona: a bag of dog shit. Tito: "I called him back and said, 'Any chance you had of ever coming back here just went right down the toilet with that bag.' The poop reminded me of how well he hit in '05." ... Alright, I added that last sentence.
Karen Guregian has a great story on Manny Ramirez taking a 8:00 AM flight to Minneapolis yesterday. Fans at Logan and on the plane -- especially, Bill Barton, who found Manny sitting next to him in first class -- were pleasantly surprised. Guregian: "As Barton found out, if you sit down for a casual chat with Ramirez, he's warm and friendly, and contrary to speculation, seems happy and content to still be in Boston. He'll proudly talk about his kids, especially how much his eldest son Manny enjoys baseball."