Category Listing
Monthly Archive
Baseball Reference
Red Sox Links

Recent Posts
Recent Comments
Essential Empy

Home » September 2005 Game CommentsSeptember 2005 » Impetuous


Game 157: September 27, 2005
Blue Jays (77-80), 7
Red Sox (92-65), 5
W: Jason Frasor (3-5)
H: Justin Speier (11)
H: Scott Schoeneweis (21)
S: Miguel Batista (31)
L: Chad Bradford (2-1)

Tied for the lead in the division
Tied for the wild card

1 game losing streak

The 3rd inning could have been more productive than it ultimately was. Tony Graffanino began the action with a well-placed singled that floated over the head of the alienesque Gustavo Chacin and bounded up the middle. Graffanino progressed to third base on Johnny Damon’s ground ball double that knocked around the left field corner. Both runners scored when the suddenly scorching Edgar Renteria launched a fly ball double that caught the top of the Monster. The heavy lumber-bearing part of the lineup went strangely silent: both David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez had singles this inning. These turned out to be their only hits of the evening and the Red Sox exited the inning with only a 3-run lead.

Gregg Zaun continued to be his infuriating self with a 2-run homer in the 4th and his extra “g.” (That extra “g” riles me.) It was a cheap jack just past Pesky Pole and it was the only home run Curt Schilling allowed in this game. Since he left the game in the 7th with the score tied, he wasn’t part of the decision. His 10 hit, 5 earned run, 1 walk, and 8 strikeout line seems to be an indication that he is not quite playoff-ready.

The Red Sox batters continued to show their competence at the plate. Bill Mueller led off with an infield single in the bottom of the 4th inning. Trot Nixon followed up with a liner to Frank Catalanotto, who lost sight of the ball in the lights. I’ve so rarely seen such a thing from Catalanotto; it was oddly refreshing to see him nonplussed on a play. With runners on second and third and 1 out, Damon lined a single to the beset Catalanotto to drive in Mueller. Renteria did likewise, going to the opposite field to plate Nixon.

In the top of the 7th, Schilling faced the same situation that Jonathan Papelbon did in the day game: Blue Jays at first and third with 1 out with Vernon Wells at the plate. In his case, however, Wells lined an RBI single up the middle to tie the game. It would be hilarious if Papelbon went up to Schilling and said something like, “Hey, here’s what I did in that situation.” Mike Myers was sent in to face Corey Koskie and promptly walked him.

I thought Second-Guess Sally wouldn’t make such a quick reappearance. But lo and behold, here she is again to question Terry Francona’s bullpen tactics. For seemingly sentimental reasons Schilling came into the 7th inning to face the top of the Torontonian lineup. One would think that the field manager would have pulled his inconsistent starter when 9-hole hitter Aaron Hill managed to single. But no. It would be a real confidence booster if Schilling were left in to face Catalanotto and Wells, especially since their OBP is .526 and .444 against the veteran righty, respectively.

Chad Bradford escaped by a stitch of a baseball seam when he was left in to close out the 7th inning against lefty Eric Hinske and was brought out to start the 8th inning as well. Francona must think that Bradford had suddenly acquired the wherewithal to be a full-fledged middle reliever overnight. Who else but the heir presumptive to the title of “Red Sox killer” Zaun to walk to lead off the inning?

Also, Francona has a very different understanding of the term “tight spots,” because he seems to think that runners at second and third with 1 out in a tie game is not a precarious situation. The stage was set for Craig Hansen’s Fenway Park debut in the 8th inning, and what could be a circumstance of greater tautness? Only if the bases were juiced with no out, I suppose. “Calm down, rookie, and get yourself out of this one,” Francona seemed to be saying to Hansen. One wonders about his methodology for teaching his children how to swim; I doubt it involves waterwings. Russ Adams only saw two pitches before he was able to loft a sacrifice fly to right field to score Zaun and grant Toronto the lead. Hansen settled down to induce Koskie to fly out to center but only after loading the bases by allowing a single to Catalanotto and walking Wells.

The Blue Jays added an insurance run in the 9th. Shea Hillenbrand walked on four Chad Harville pitches after having struck out seven times in the course of play yesterday. We’re all familiar with Hillenbrand, who has 26 bases on balls this season, so we are all well aware of how incredible this occurrence is. A wall ball double by Hinske placed Hillenbrand at third, enabling Hill’s sacrifice fly to right to widen the lead to 2 runs.

Meanwhile, the Yankees played the longest 9-inning game this season at 4 hours, 16 minutes in their 17-9 loss to the Orioles. One consolation is that the New York City club had to plow through eight pitchers in their rout. The Indians were also upset by the Devil Rays, 5-4. Ground was neither lost nor gained, but this is well-worn terrain they’ve seen before. Do they have the reserve of strength to pass through this territory again? Do we?


Tito's bullpen management drives me insane. It's like he fixates on one need (Starter must get through the 7th because it's a double header) to the exclusion of all other facts. Namely that Schilling was struggling, had a bad history against the top of Toronto's order, and that bringing in relief pitchers with runners on is a recipe for disaster. A manager's job is to put his players in a position to succeed. Tito puts his pitchers in position to fail far too often.

The hardest thing to do is sweep a doubleheader. Considering that Papelbon and Timlin were both used in the daycap, I kinda had a feeling that this nightgame wouldn't be too pretty.

« Top « Home » Category ListingMonthly Archive


RSS Feed



  • Visitors to EE since November 2004
  • Boston Phoenix Best of ’06
    Phoenix Best
  • Blog contents, images, and design
    © 2004-2015 by Joanna J.M. Hicks.
    All Rights Reserved.
    Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.