Category Listing
Monthly Archive
Baseball Reference
Red Sox Links

Recent Posts
Recent Comments
Essential Empy

Home » April 2007 Game CommentsApril 2007 » Breakout


Game 9: April 13, 2007
Angels 1 L: John Lackey (2-1) 6-5, 2 game losing streak
1-1-1 series record
WinRed Sox 10 W: Tim Wakefield (1-1)
H: Brendan Donnelly (1)
H: Jonathan Papelbon (1)
5-4, 1 game winning streak
1-1-0 series record
Highlights: Tim Wakefield’s sparkling seven innings of work was supported by his offense (at last). Jonathan Papelbon’s six pitches of pure dominance coupled with Manny Ramirez’s snag of Garret Anderson’s line drive slammed the door on the Angels in the eighth. Terry Francona’s use of the bullpen deviated from slapdashery of last season.

Orlando Cabrera still makes me smile. Prior to the game he was interviewed by an unusually well-prepared Tina Cervasio. She asked the Angels shortstop to grade the Ortiz/Matsuzaka handshake. Cabrera deigned to do so at first, stating that anything that Papi could invent would be beyond reproach, but after Cervasio demonstrated the moves Cabrera did hint that the particular combination had been done before.

I suspect Wakefield despises NESN’s “Elder Statesman” moniker. To be associated with one of T.S. Eliot’s lesser works probably grates. At least “The Wasteland” would more accurately describe how the Red Sox offense typically produces with Wakefield on the mound.

For four innings it seemed that the offensive rut that began Wednesday against Felix Hernandez would carry over into the series against the Angels. But then Doug Mirabelli tied the game with his solo shot into the home bullpen, where the ball was deftly caught by Mike Timlin. Julio Lugo doubled to the right field corner curve and was driven in by Ortiz’s single for the lead.

The home club added two more runs, one each in the sixth and seventh. But the three-run margin for the Red Sox proved itself vulnerable in the top of the eighth.

Maicer Izturis led off by singling and then advancing on a throwing error by Mike Lowell. With a runner in scoring position Terry Francona immediately pulled Wakefield in favor of Brendan Donnelly. The goggled reliever induced a ground out off the bat of Gary Matthews, Jr. but hit Cabrera with a pitch.

The game hung in the balance with runners at the corners, one out, and the tying run at the plate. Francona sensed this and tipped the scale into his team’s favor by summoning Jonathan Papelbon.

Francona’s timely decision was overshadowed by his team’s offensive explosion in the bottom of the eighth. However, had the Angels tied or narrowed the gap in the top of the eighth, Mike Scioscia may have called on his own relief ace, Francisco Rodriguez.

I think the Francona of 2006 probably would have brought out Timlin in the eighth and stuck by him until the lead was lost. The Francona of 2007 has a few more reliable options out of the bullpen and seem to better recognize in-game situations, such as the strength of opposition’s bullpen and the run margin.

In the pre-game show, much was made of the Yankees’ reduction of the advance scouting department in favor of video scouting while the Red Sox bolstered their own advanced scouting staff. Furthermore, Tom Caron and Nick Cafardo discussed how players from NPB rely heavily on data gleaned from scouts. During the course of the season it should prove compelling which teams’ strategy prevails.

Post a comment

« 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.