3 In The 13th

What a wild night it was in Philadelphia last night. Every single position player played except all three backup catchers, George Kottaras of the Red Sox and Chris Coste along with Paul Bako of the Phillies. A total of twelve pitchers came in the game and struck out 34 batters. Jon Lester  got eleven while Joe Blanton struck out seven.

The final score was five to two but ended in the thirteenth inning when Boston scored three runs in the top of the inning and then Daniel Bard got his first major league save and Takashi Saito got his second win of the season. Youk and J.D. Drew supplied the power as each hit solo home runs off of Joe Blanton.

The lineup was a little questionable and it was not the only questionable thing Terry Francona did. Here is the line up so you can be the judge.

1- Dustin Pedroia, 2B

2- J.D. Drew, RF

3- Kevin Youkilis, 3B

4- Jason Bay, LF

5- David Ortiz, 1B

6- Jason Varitek, C

7- Jacoby Ellsbury, CF

8- Nick Green, SS

9- Jon Lester, P

Of corse playing at Citizens Bank Park there are not any DH’s so Terry Francona put David Ortiz at first base and moved Youk to third. I liked the move because Ortiz has finally broken out of his slump, hitting three home runs in six games. Ortiz though went one for three with a strikeout before being taking out of the game for Mark Kotsay in the sixth.

The other questionable thing Terry did happened in the ninth. Jonathan Papelbon needed the day off and Takashi Saito had pitched a hard earned 1.1 innings against the Yankees and Francona wanted to give him the day off even though he could have pitched in the ninth. Saito came in and got two outs in the 12th and got the win. Anyway so with Boston up by one run in the ninth Ramon Ramirez came in.

Ramirez had given up back to back home runs in his last outing against the Yankees and with Ryan Howard up Ramirez gave up another home run. Let me just say I would have never put him in. I mean sure he has been having a good year but I would have put in either Manny Delcarmen or Justin Masterson. Delcarmen last pitched Thursday and Masterson came in and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in extra, striking out three. I might have considered Daniel Bard, who later got the save that game but because he is a young kid I can understand Terry not wanting to put him in and then have him give up a home run.

Anyway Ramirez’s ERA is up to 2.10 and he has now given up four home run, seven earned runs, eighteen hits, and has walked ten in 30 innings. I really did not like the Coco Crisp trade even though I agreed he needed to go. Boston could have got a lot more for him. But I am getting off topic. Ramirez is in a slump or whatever you want to call it and before the season started I thought he should be a mop-up reliever. Maybe he should become a mop-up reliever for a little while.

Jon Lester though was the talk of the game though he gave up just two hits an earned run and walked just two. He also struck out eleven including six straight (the record is ten though in case you were wondering set by Tom Seaver) Lester got Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Raul Ibanez to strikeout twice. 

Lester has been on fire his last three starts striking out 34 going two and zero. His ERA for his last three starts has been 1.23 against the Blue Jays, Rangers, and Phillies. Lester has only walked seven batters and given up seven hits. Against teams with guys like Vernon Wells, Ian Kinsler, and Raul Ibanez.

Lester pitched seven great innings but did run into some trouble in the second. After a leadoff single for Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino doubled moving Ibanez to third with no outs. Lester then got Pedro Feliz to ground out but Ibanez scored on the play. Carlos Ruiz would ground out for the second out of the inning but Victorino would move to third. Joe Blanton though grounded out to second as the hits to Ibanez and Victorino would be the last hits he gave up.

Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jason Bay and Jacoby Ellsbury went a combined five for 23. The four of them batted just .217. They also combined for seven strikeouts. On a positive note they combined for two RBIs, scored two runs, and did not make an error along with the rest of the team. Youk also had a home run and stole a base like mentioned before. 

Dustin Pedroia did not have such a good game. Mr. MVP went zero for seven and left four runners on base. He did not strike out though. Pedroia said after the game, “I haven’t had the best at-bats, but the balls I hit hard seem to get caught. You hit stretches like that throughout the year. I’m not to concerned. We’ll get in there tomorrow and work on it.”

Even though Youk did hit a home run it was not his best game. Youk went one for five with three strikeouts. Of corse Youk had a run and a RBI. On another positive note Youk played Golden Glove defense at third and then after Mike Lowell came in he played Golden Glove defense at first.

Jason Bay who I think we can officially put into MVP talks did not have his best game either. Bay went two for five with three strikeouts. He did score the first run in the thirteenth inning and have a walk. 

Jacoby Ellsbury was playing his first game back since hurting his shoulder diving for a ball. Ellsbury did not have his best game as he went two for six with an RBI in the thirteenth inning. Ellsbury did strikeout once though. In the field he looked fine same thing running he did not steal any bases or make any diving catches but he does not need to every night. 

The Red Sox mostly played small ball to win this game. Besides Kevin Youkilis’ and J.D. Drew’s home run there were no other extra base hits in that game. The Phillies only had three extra base hits. Even though there where a total of seven runs there where only sixteen hits and eleven of those hits were singles.

Tonight Dice-K faces off against Antonio Bastardo, a young lefty who is two and zero so far this year. Tonight David Ortiz is sitting with Mike Lowell playing third and Rocco Baldelli is in right. I think the Red Sox will get an early lead and keep that lead. I also think Dice-K will pitch like his old self earning the win.

************************************************************************************************************

Mr. Epstein please just Call Up Clay already! Send down Ramon Ramirez because this guy is dominating in AAA with an ERA of 1.75 and he is 4-0! Please call him up and ohh ya this is for you.


AND VOTE FOR ANDRE ETHIER!!!!!!!!!!

Photo Credits

1-makeamemory.com

2- bostonsports.mlblogs.com

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