Twins official scorer Stew Thornley granted Craig Breslow the win in this blowout. Usually the pitcher who assumes the mound after the starter gets the win, but Clayton Mortensen’s two-thirds of an inning with two hits and a walk wasn’t as effective as Breslow’s 1⅔ innings with one hit and a base on balls. Thus Thornley was able to use his discretion and did so wisely.
This judgment seems fairer than Alex Wilson’s two-pitch win from Friday’s game. Andrew Miller had preceded Wilson with 1⅔ innings of perfect pitching with three strikeouts. But that ruling had to do with when the Red Sox scored and the pitcher of record definition and cannot be attributed to the scorer’s decision.
Thornley shares the official scorer responsibility with Gregg Wong. Wong taught Twins blogger Tracy Perlman how to keep score. It’s a hobby for some, like me, but as the guardian of the statistics that the MLB compiles it is essential to the history of the sport. Last year Thornley, Wong, and the official scorer for the Nationals, David Vincent, were in a SABR panel moderated by Kevin Hennessy.
This game lasted almost four hours, as long as the typical Red Sox-Yankees tilt. I give credit to Thornley for being attentive throughout the contest. Aaron Gleeman tweeted, “On my death bed I’m going to think about the fact that I watched every second of this Twins-Red Sox game on a Saturday night.”
Two things scorers can’t gauge are artistic merit and impact collision. In the bottom of the sixth inning Aaron Hicks popped up to Dustin Pedroia, who was shaded all the way behind first base. Pedroia made the catch with his back to home.
While the second baseman gathered the ball the 6'1", 220-pound Ryan Doumit lumbered to home plate to try to score. Ryan Lavarnway, who is 6'4" and 225 pounds, received the relay from Pedroia and calmly blocked the plate. Doumit couldn’t knock the ball out of Lavarnway’s mitt and the Red Sox ended the sixth with a sequence that is blandly notated as a 4-2 double play. Mostly it’s the numbers, but that twin killing was about the blending of style and grit.
|Game 43: May 18, 2013|
|Boston Red Sox
||W: Craig Breslow (1-0)|
S: Koji Uehara (1)
|2B: Jonny Gomes (4), Dustin Pedroia (11)|
HR: David Ortiz – 2 (7), Daniel Nava (6)
||L: Scott Diamond (3-4)|
|2B: Josh Willingham (9), Joe Mauer (17), Ryan Doumit (9)|