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April 19, 2014

Goofus & Gallant

On the very first pitch of the game Nick Markakis laced the ball to left field. Third base umpire Will Little ruled the ball fair. Multiple replays showed that the ball was foul. John Farrell challenged the call

Goofus umpiring crew in MLB headquarters upheld the call and Markakis tallied a double.

In the eighth inning Brock Holt knocked the ball to Steve Lombardozzi. First base umpire Mark Carlson called Holt out. Replays showed that Holt got to the first base bag a split second before the ball reached Chris Davis’s glove.

Gallant umpiring crew in MLB headquarters overruled Carlson’s call and Holt was safe at first.

Goofuses on the Red Sox side were John Lackey (5⅓ innings pitched, 6 earned runs, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts) and the Red Sox lineup with runners in scoring position (5-for-15).

Game 17: April 18, 2014
WinBaltimore Orioles
8-7
8 W: Chris Tillman (2-1)
H: Brian Matusz (2)
S: Darren O’Day (1)
2B: Nick Markakis – 2 (3), Jonathan Schoop – 2 (6)
Boston Red Sox
7-10
4 L: John Lackey (2-2)
2B: Mike Carp (2), Daniel Nava (3), Mike Napoli (3)

April 18, 2014

Glove for Sale, (Nothing But) Flowers

Chris Sales’s perfect game would have ended abruptly with just two down in the first inning were it not for Adam Eaton’s glove. Eaton’s leaping catch of David Ortiz’s line drive shot just above the center field fence was reminiscent of Mike Trout or, if you prefer to go old school, Andruw Jones. Even Ortiz gazed on in admiration.

From that point Sale only allowed two baserunners: David Ross walked in the second and Xander Bogaerts was hit by a pitch in the fourth. Perhaps Bogaerts took the plunking personally as he delivered the end of the no-hitter via air mail with two down in the sixth. Alejandro De Aza had no chance to snare Bogaerts’s blast to left field.

Jon Lester carried a perfect game into the sixth. Once again Bogaerts was pivotal to the play as Tyler Flowers sent a single just out of reach past the shortstop. Leury Garcia proved a better hitter than reliever and laced a ground-rule double to right. Eaton, hero of the first inning, tapped the ball through Mike Napoli’s dive but it was seized by Dustin Pedroia. Lester couldn’t beat Eaton to the bag and the score was tied 1-1.

In the seventh Chicago’s third base coach Joe McEwing sent Adam Dunn from first all the way home on De Aza’s double to the right field wall. Daniel Nava took a while herding the ball in the corner so he had to hit his cutoff man perfectly. Pedroia got the ball home on two bounces, requiring Ross to pick it before tagging Dunn. Dunn was done, and McEwing might be as well.

The Red Sox didn’t need to face an infielder to score runs late in the game. In the ninth Ross doubled in the Mikes, Napoli and Carp, who both singled off Ronald Belisario. Pinch-hitting Carp finally worked this season. President Obama said, “May the best Sox win!” Perhaps they did.

You can own your own animal print bathrobe courtesy of Kimpton Hotels. That giraffe robe looks rather fetching.

Game 16: April 17, 2014
WinBoston Red Sox
7-9
3 W: Jon Lester (2-2)
S: Koji Uehara (3)
2B: David Ross (2)
HR: Xander Bogaerts
Chicago White Sox
8-8
1 L: Ronald Belisario (1-2)
2B: Leury Garcia (2), Alejandro De Aza (2)

April 17, 2014

When Leury Met Jackie

After fourteen innings of baseball you begin to see things. Visions of flightless foul and faux fruit flitted across my television screen.

I imagined Ken Harrelson frozen in carbonite like Han Solo.

I even dreamed that the Red Sox only managed to win a game because Robin Ventura is so terrible at managing a bullpen that only a utility infielder was available to pitch. It was only then that the Red Sox managed to get the ball out of the infield. Jackie Bradley, Jr.’s line drive to right off Leury Garcia plated two runs that proved to be the winning scores.

Wait, that last thing actually happened? Geez, next you’ll tell me that golden boy prospect Xander Bogaerts made a racy tweet that prompted him to delete his Twitter account.

Oh.

Game 15: April 16, 2014 ∙ 14 innings
WinBoston Red Sox
6-9
6 BS: Edward Mujica (1)
W: Chris Capuano (1-0)
S: Burke Badenhop (1)
2B: Dustin Pedroia (4), Jackie Bradley Jr. (3)
Chicago White Sox
8-7
4 H: Ronald Belisario (2), Donnie Veal (2), Maikel Cleto (4)
BS: Matt Lindstrom (3)
L: Leury Garcia (0-1)
HR: Alexei Ramirez (4)

April 16, 2014

Bogey

There were only two things that weren’t annoying about last night’s contest between the two Sox teams. One was Chicago players, like Dayan Viciedo below, wearing B strong t-shirts to memorialize the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. The other was the donning of 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, who 67 years ago broke the color barrier in baseball.

Robin Ventura contested Cory Blaser’s call that Jose Abreu was out at first in the second inning. After the review the call stood even though there was at least one angle that showed Mike Napoli took his foot off the bag. The missed called proved particularly costly as Adam Dunn clouted a home run right after.

As if the ailments and injuries of Shane Victorino, Will Middlebrooks, Dustin Pedroia, and Koji Uehara weren’t enough, Napoli dislocated his left ring finger when he slid into second base in the ninth. His sacrifice was for naught as the Red Sox failed to score with two runners on in the top of the ninth. Mike Carp came in as pinch hitter. The replacement first baseman tapped the first pitch out to reliever Daniel Webb for Boston’s final out.

A.J. Pierzynski received a fine ovation from fans of the Pale Hose in his second inning at bat. By the time the ninth rolled around he was wearing out his welcome. He caught Donnie Veal’s pitch between his elbow in ribs, which could be interpreted as not making an effort to get out of the way of the ball.

Chris Capuano inherited a two on, two-out situation from Burke Badenhop and loaded the bases by walking Alexei Ramirez. With the bases loaded Marcus Semien grounded to Xander Bogaerts. The shortstop threw short to Carp, who couldn’t pick the throw.

Badenhop was deservedly tagged with the loss. Webb got the win for Chicago with a single pitch.

Game 14: April 15, 2014
Boston Red Sox
5-9
1 L: Burke Badenhop (0-2)
HR: Daniel Nava (2)
WinChicago White Sox
8-6
2 W: Daniel Webb (1-0)
2B: Dayan Viciedo (4)
HR: Adam Dunn (3)

April 14, 2014

Replay Dismay

John Farrell went from calm dissent against replay to outright animosity. “It’s hard to have any faith in the system,” he said. “As much as they’re trying to help the human element, it seems like it’s added the human element at a different level.”

Farrell was ejected in the fourth inning for questioning the umpire crew’s reversal of a call. With runners at first and third Francisco Cervelli knocked the ball to Ryan Roberts who tossed the ball to Jonathan Herrera to start the double play. Cervelli appeared to touch the first base bag at the same time Mike Napoli received the ball from Herrera, so much so that first base umpire Bob Davidson called a double play.

Cervelli injured himself on the play. The game stopped for the injury and in the meantime Joe Girardi challenged the call. The double play was reversed. Brian McCann scored and Ichiro Suzuki replaced Cervelli on the basepaths. The score was updated to 3-1. In the eighth inning Suzuki made a remarkable catch on David Ortiz’s fly ball to right, so instead of a double play the reversal doubly benefitted the home team.

The Sports Lip Reader deciphered Farrell’s comments upon his ejection: “Go shove it up your ass!” and “Way to f*** that up too!

John Hirshbeck’s crew did get the double play call in the first correct. Jacoby Ellsbury attempted to tag up on Alfonso Soriano’s fly ball out to Jackie Bradley, Jr. Ryan Roberts tagged Ellsbury out at third before Carlos Beltran touched home. The Yankees center fielder seemed amazed that his counterpart could get the ball past second base with accuracy.

We got a glimpse of the Yankees’ spray charts. Here’s why nearly every player gets some sort of shift put on when he’s at bat.

Here’s the Yankee Stadium organist, Paul Cartier. He replaced Eddie Layton, who passed away the day after Christmas in 2004. Pedro Martinez isn’t pitching any longer so Cartier can’t start a rousing rendition of the ubiquitous Stade Fasciste chant “Who's Your Daddy?” He didn’t even go for a few bars of “Hit the Road Jack” when Farrell was ejected.

Game 13: April 13, 2014
Boston Red Sox
5-8
2 L: Felix Doubront (1-2)
2B: Mike Napoli (2)
HR: Napoli (3)
WinNew York Yankees
7-6
3 W: Ivan Nova (2-1)
H: Matt Thornton (4), David Phelps (2)
S: Shawn Kelly (3)
2B: Jacoby Ellsbury (4), Brian McCann (1), Carlos Beltran (5)
HR: Beltran (3)

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