April 13, 2007

G9: Red Sox 10, Angels 1

And that is how you manage a baseball game. Brilliant move by Terry Francona bringing in Jonathan Papelbon with one out in the 8th. With a 4-1 lead, but Vladimir Guerrero at the plate as the tying run, it's crunch time. Go with your best right then and there.

And the Bot just smoked Vlad. Four fastballs -- three fouls and a whiff -- at 94, 94, 96 and 97. Then he got called a strike on Anderson before Mrs. Garrett lined out to Manny. Just a great, great feeling -- to see Papelbon in action, hear the roar of the crowd, watch the Angels being simply overmatched, and to know Tito is managing as if it's October 2004, i.e., like a genius.

With the lead safe, I wondered if Tito would bring in Mike Timlin for the ninth with the three-run lead and save Papelbon's arm for more dire circumstances, possibly tomorrow. Maybe he'd let Pap get the first out.

Boston sent ten men to the plate in the home half of the 8th and scored six times. So there was no thinking involved. Timlin retired the Angels in order on eight pitches.

(I'm more giddy about Francona than Papelbon tonight, because Tito's decisions will affect more games than Pap pitches in. I kind of wish the Sox didn't blow it open. When it was 6-1, I was sure Timlin had the 9th. I would like to have seen what Francona did if the lead had stayed at 4-1.)

Three cheers for Doug Mirabelli for getting the Red Sox on the board and tying the game at 1-1 with a home run in the 5th. He also singled in a run in the 6th. He has now reached his quota for pre-All-Star Game hits.

***

John Lackey / Tim Wakefield, 7 PM

First of four against the Angels.

In Wakefield's 11 losses last year, his teammates scored a total of six runs. Six. When Wakefield pitched in Texas last week, the Sox were shut out 2-0. Score the man some runs, dammit!

Manny Ramirez is 9-for-18 against Lackey, with three doubles, four homers and 11 RBIs. David Ortiz is 7-for-20 (.350).

Vladimir Guerrero -- batting .405 this season (15-for-37) -- is 6-for-13 with four homers against Wakefield, while Garret Anderson is hitting .316 in 57 career at-bats.

14 comments:

9casey said...

Hats off to Tito....Great move......Maybe the best player in baseball and the kid strikes him out with the game on the line in the 8th with one out......outstanding.......

There are not to many managers who would do that , let alone do that in April....

Pabelpon maybe and proablly is the the glue that keeps this team together....

Is it just me or does he give you that feeling like your 13 and actually playing in the game...

And I watched it on gameday....

redsock said...

I had gameday and mlbtv at work. ... Just a great, great, great game!

Maybe Paplebon really IS as good as he was last year. Gulp.

Great job by Wakefield, also.

9casey said...

redsock said...
Maybe Paplebon really IS as good as he was last year. Gulp.

He maybe

The kid has something extra and he ain't afraid to use it....

Imagine playing a 10 inning in 2 hours and 14 minutes and Halladay going the distance for the win and only 107 pitches and also only 2 strikeouts..

Andy said...

The last two times I saw Pap I was enthralled. I hang on every pitch. I know most of the excitement right now is the love of the team and whomever they throw on the field. But, there is a part of me that sees Papelbon as a future hall of famer. A Mariano in the making. We are watching history as he comes to the mound and intimidates hitters that have been playing much longer and have faced much more acclaimed pitching. What if? What if he started this year? Wow.

s1c said...

Not really relevant to last nights game, but am wondering what you think? If the player has the following stats in his career would someone explain to me why he would not be batting 2nd in on this team.

BO AB Hit HR Rbi BA OBP Slug
#2 523 163 14 63 .312 .357 .480
#8 192 53 7 35 .276 .327 .443

Oh, yeah those are the lifetime #'s for Coco when batting 2nd and 8th in the order.

As for Papel-bot, I think I am just goint to add a WOW label to the blog for every time he does one of those 2 outs on 5 or 6 pitch outings.

redsock said...

If the player has the following stats in his career would someone explain to me why he would not be batting 2nd in on this team.

Here's my quick explanation (which may or may not be valid):

Still a small sample size. Also, when did he get those AB in each spot? Early in his career? Recovering from an injury or even soreness? Did Cleveland's lineup necessitate he bat 2nd during his best seasons? Etc.

Also, .357 isn't all that great an OBP. Yook was .381 last year, even with his September slump. Lugo was .362 in 2005 and .373 during his time in Tampa last year.

And the 2007 Coco still isn't the Coco we knew from Cleveland. If he was on top of his game, then maybe it would be a good idea to have him and Yook up there. But not now.

(I'd rather have Crisp 7th and Tek 8th.)

Jere said...

I was there last night. Really fun. The whole park (in my mind) thought of redsock as Tito did the managing in the eighth and got us the win.

9casey said...

s1c said...

If the player has the following stats in his career would someone explain to me why he would not be batting 2nd in on this team.


If you have guys like Hafner and Martinez , Ortiz, and Ramirez behind you......your stats especilly like a guy like Crisp whose ability to beat is far less than anyone of those guys your avg. and everything else will and should be higher....

L-girl said...

The whole park (in my mind) thought of redsock as Tito did the managing in the eighth and got us the win.

Wouldn't that be cool?? So glad you were there, Jere.

I heart Jonathan Papelbon. I love love love him. It is clearly my destiny to love a great closer.

s1c said...

The difference between Youkilis OBA batting in the 2nd spot and Crisps average is .001 in favor of Crisp. As for when in his career, they are both young players. This is Crisp's fifth full year and Youkilis's second full year. The numbers are what the numbers are.

As for if Hafner etc batting behind, the numbers should be higher? They are the same as Youkilis's or better. My point is for this team Coco should be batting 2nd not Youkilis because that is where Coco does better (plus he is a fastball hitter).

9casey said...

s1c , In your mind who do you think is a better hitter, all-around?

s1c said...

Youkilis is the better hitter all around and if you look at his numbers he is fairly consistent no matter what position he hits in the line up. My point is that Coco sucks in the bottom of the lineup (and in the leadoff), but if you have someone batting in front of him with some speed, thereby almost guaranteeing that he will see fast balls and he is a better hitter in that spot of the lineup then you need to move him there. Plus Youkilis is going to hit into a ton of double plays, Coco will not.

Actually, I want Youkilis batting 6th, Lowell in the 7th (where he excels) and Tek in the 8th spot.

9casey said...

Coco's days are numbered......I wouldn't be suprised to see this weekend against the yankees........Drew in center and Pena in left.....

s1c said...

Could be, except if that happens expect the offense to still struggle and the defense will be much worse. Call me crazy but I like outfielders who can catch the ball, not ones who come with cement gloves. Also, have you seen Pena try to hit breaking balls? He is only an upgrade in the HR department.