Thursday, July 10, 2008

Red Sox Offense Explodes to Sweep Twins

Now, that's entertainment! As crazy as the final 18-5 score is, this was actually a tough, close game until the bottom of the 7th inning came around. Josh Beckett had a rough start, giving up 3 runs in the first inning, but settled down to hold the Twins scoreless until the 6th inning. By the 6th, Beckett's pitch count was getting too high, and when he started off the inning by giving up a solo home run followed by a double, Terry Francona gave him the hook. The Sox had put 6 runs on the board, but Javier Lopez gave up an RBI single to score that run from second, and the Twins pulled to within 6-5.

Denard Span Traps the BallBy the bottom of the 7th, the Sox were holding on to, what felt like, a 7-5 lead, but it was a strange day and it seemed like anything could happen, and it pretty much did. The bottom of the 7th started off with Mike Lowell walking, followed by a ground rule double by Sean Casey to put runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Then, Jason Varitek hits a sinking line drive to center field, and Denard Span dove to make the catch. The ball ends up in his glove, and the initial ruling is that the ball was caught for an out. Both runners had taken off, and the Twins tagged both bases for what appeared to be an inning ending triple play. It should not have been a triple play as it appeared that Lowell had tagged up before running home. However, the umpires conferred on the play, and reversed the initial call, ruling that the ball had hit the ground and bounced into the glove. Replays confirmed the ruling was correct, and the Sox caught a break that the umpires were willing to confer and get the call right. Had the umpire stubbornly decided to stick with the initial ruling, we would have headed to the 8th inning of a close game.

Gardenhire Disagrees with the UmpInstead, here's what happened to the Twins. Have you ever been working out in the yard on a hot summer day and find yourself hot, sweaty, and dying of thirst? So, you go over to the water hose and point the end at your face and then spin the valve to turn on the water. At first, nothing happens, and you realize there is a kink in the hose. So, you straighten out the kink, and suddenly the water erupts from the hose, drenching you from head to toe and the surprise of the blast causes you to stumble and fall on your butt, right in the rapidly filling puddle around you! Well, that's pretty much what happened to the Twins right there. Reversing the triple play call was the same as fixing the kink in the hose.

By the time the Twins got the water turned back off, the Sox had scored 7 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning, increasing their lead to 14-5. Another 4 runs in the 8th just added insult to injury leading to a final score of 18-5. It was as if the Sox offense had been trapped but bursting to get free. Once it broke free, there was no stopping it. Every single starter in the Sox lineup had at least 2 hits (except for Brandon Moss who only had one), every single starter scored at least once, and every starter (other than Moss) drove in at least one run. Geez, what the heck was with Moss, is he in some kind of slump or something? Even Kevin Cash belted a solo home run pinch hitting for Varitek to lead off the 8th inning.

Things were so easy for the Sox, that Manny Ramirez had to take a break and call all of his friends and tell them to turn the game on and check it out (this is an actual game photo)!

With the Yankees beating the Rays again yesterday, the Sox are now a mere 2 games behind the Rays for first place. The Sox get a day off today to rest their exhausted swinging muscles, before hosting the Orioles for a three game series at Fenway. Clay Buchholz will be recalled to start that series off. It will be interesting to see if we can notice any difference in his delivery, or pitch selection, after working on improving things down in Pawtucket. If the Sox can keep their momentum going, they should be in good position heading in to the All Star break.

(Photos Courtesy of Boston.Com)


Suldog said...

I'm sorry. I just can not get mad at Manny. He does some jackass things, but he's just so full of the joy one should have playing a boy's game. He's a real treasure, IMHO.

Rooster said...

I'm not mad at him either - he's just a goofball. Talking on the phone inside the Monster while a pitching change is going on? LOL!

Fenway West said...

That's the kind of stuff that makes everyone appreciate Manny and forgive his bad behavior. Those type of wins are always fun, especially going into an off day.

Rooster said...

FW - good point - perfect timing for a happy win. Let's hope it carries over to the Orioles series. Manny is just a goofball - too funny.

Peter N said...

Wow..I like the "kink in the hose" analogy. Brilliant.
My goodness! Or as Ned Martin would have said...."MERCY!"
Great job, my blog friend. GO Sox..2 of 3 from those Birds.

wicked pissa dude said...

So we dropped the first one to the Orioles? That's pathetic. The only player of any value on that team is Kevin Millar and it's not for his bat. GO SOX!!

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