Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sox Lose To Effing Indians Again

More Frustration Nation tonight. We should have had more than a 1-run lead in this game. In the 4th, down 1-0, with the bases loaded and no outs, Gonzalez doubled off the wall. Ellsbury scored, and despite that Pedroia was only a few feet behind Crawford as they rounded third, Carl was very safe while Dustin was very out. It was an odd play as the Red Sox actually had three baserunners between third and home at the same time:

It would have been nearly impossible for the third base coach to tell Craw to go and Ped to stay with one hand motion. Had we been able to hold Dustin up, it would have been 2nd and 3rd and no outs and two runs in. Instead, man on second, one out. We couldn't get the man home, and it stayed 2-1.

With the help of a Morales balk, Cleveland tied it in the 5th. Ellsbury led off the 6th with a double though...but he was out trying to stretch. We wouldn't get another guy on base until two outs in the 9th.

The Tribe ended up scoring the go-ahead run in an inning where they got no hits. They added single runs in the 7th and 8th. 5-2 Cleveland, final.

(Edited2add: I left out the most frustrating part of all: Lillibridge was Babe Ruth for Cleveland, hitting a single, double, and homer. Who says we got nothing for Youk?!)

That team broke an eleven-game losing streak the game before this series, and now they've taken 2 of the first 3 against us. This crap is really pissing me off.

Oh, and Yankees, I know you've been on an 8-year quest to try to obtain every member of the 2004 Red Sox, but you're gonna have to face it eventually. It happened and it's never going away. (I had a funny memory when writing that. I was at opening day at Yankee Stadium in 2005, and some Yankee fan, upon hearing a Sox fan talk about the fortunate events of the previous October, said, "oh, you wanna talk about the past? Let's talk about 26 championships (etc., etc.)." I love it. Saying "1918" 80+ years later was fine for them, but suddenly the mention of literally the most recent game the Yankees had played was off limits because it was "the past." Classic.

Conehead Statement

Above, David Cone tells us how Derek Jeter is responsible for the Yankees' new stadium.

Wrist Wars

When Middlebrooks got hit by that pitch, I thought to myself: Well, if he has a broken wrist, the consolation would be that he just showed A-Rod how an adult handles getting a broken wrist.

And that appears to be the case. Maybe my next contest should be "predict who goes on the DL next" at this point.

Friday, August 10, 2012

HH Hooray

What a job by Buchholz tonight. Hopefully the people who said he was a question mark despite being one of the best pitchers in the A.L. two years ago and then being injured last year have been paying attention lately. He had a rough start this season but he's had a 2.21 ERA over his last 10 games. Complete game tonight. Two hits. One earned run.

Cody had a dong for us, which seemed to smack right off one of the center field cameramen, but NESN didn't seem to find it that interesting.

Middlebrooks got nailed in the hand with a pitch. He better be okay.

3-2 win. The really, really hot stretch has to start right now.

The Scorin' Commission's Findings On The Crawford/Ciriaco Abomination

This play ate at my insides last night. We had the tying run on second with nobody out. Ells strikes out, and Crawford hits a grounder in front of Ciriaco that he tries to go to third on, gets in a rundown, is tagged out, and they throw to second to nail Crawford to end the inning. I blame Pedro for running, but I wasn't sure--did he do the right thing in the rundown? It seemed like he tried to stay in it as long as he could--on that last part he was running toward third, didn't want to run into a tag, so he stopped, only to see the guy behind him hadn't thrown. He's tagged out, the guy whips around and starts to throw simultaneously, putting the ball exactly where it needs to go to get Crawford. Then they showed Carl's run from home to second and he was slowing up and almost stayed at first even. I really wanted to know what was going on with Pedro as I was watching Carl, so I took both replays, played them at slow speed (the fact that they start and end at the same time means they are in sync--NESN had played both of these at real speed and I slowed both down with my DVR), and put them next to each other. (Ignore the various real-life noises you hear in the background.)

0:17: The third baseman has received the throw from the shortstop. Crawford turns away from the play at this point, thinking Ciriaco's about to be tagged out and therefore Carl can't do anything but get to first and stay there.

0:20: As Ciriaco is being chased back toward second, Crawford looks back up at the play, a few steps from first. He is still thinking only about getting to first.

0:25: The second baseman is about to retrieve the second throw, and Ciriaco is just making his cut to go back toward third. (Back, and to the left. Back, and to the left.) Carl has just reached first and has slightly rounded it in a jog and is watching the play develop.

0:27: Carl sees Pedro headed toward third as the second baseman chases after him with the ball. This is the moment Crawford decides to make a break for second. (He is still very close to first.)

0:35: Ciriaco has been chased down and is tagged. Carl has taken 8 running steps toward second, while watching the rundown.

0:38: The guy has made the tag and has turned and is about to throw and at 0:42 the perfect throw is received and the tag is made on Carl.

I don't blame Carl once he started to run to second. Once you get halfway, you've gotta go for it. And as he was hitting that point, he thought another throw would be made to third (and maybe more). Instead, the tag is made and the fielder is quickly turning around to gun him out. (Still, had Pedro kept running toward third causing one more throw to be made, the third baseman could have caught, tagged, and gunned to second, still getting Carl.)

However, I do blame Carl for not thinking ahead. As soon as you see the throw isn't going to first on a grounder, ASSUME there will be a rundown and sprint your ass down the line, prepared to round the bag. Had he been running the whole time, he makes it to second easily. They're not gonna forget about the guy between second and third to throw you out, so you have nothing to worry about. (If they do, you've won as the lead runner is now safe anyway.) Even with the slow-down and turn-away he did before he reached first, had he turned the jets on right when he looked back up (when it was totally clear there was a rundown going on), he still would have been safe.

So take what you will from that. Also remember all times listed above are based on a play going in slow motion. The one thing that stinks about the slo-mo is you can't fully tell how hard Carl is running at various times, though you can use visual context....

Taking Your Mind Off It

Pretty sickening, the loss tonight that could have been a win. Instead of reading more about it, why don't you listen to John Sterling screwing up an easy call to cheer you up?

Actually I will mention one play from the game. Remember the ball that hit Aviles's glove and went into left field for a "single"? Why didn't Don and Remy at least consider that Aviles should have had the ball and at least gotten the out at second? Or maybe wonder if it would be called a hit or an error? Maybe they're so used to everything being scored a hit in 2012 they just don't care. It's bad enough that the player isn't held accountable for effing up--but the announcers should do what the scorers don't: let the audience know that the play should have been made. This wasn't a case where he dove as far as he could and the ball skimmed off his glove. It was a guy purposely making a backhand stab at a ball and missing it, having it go off his glove. And all Don can say is "under the glove!" (wrong) and all the former MLB infielder Remy can say is "off the glove out to left field," as if that's acceptable! It was a key play, too. And Aviles proved he could make a harder play in the same spot a few minutes later. Getting to the ball, gloving it, then getting the one out at second.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

The Producers, Volume 4

If you can't see video, well, just watch it later. (I think you know what happens anyway....)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Comedy Bang Squared

Are you people into that show "Comedy Bang! Bang!"? It started out as a podcast which I terribly missed out on, and now it's a show on IFC. It was one of those shows that had me at hola, as the first commercials for it reminded me of Pee-Wee's Playhouse and showed a bunch of guest stars that were my kind of people. I liked the host, Scott Aukerman, right away, and a few shows into the season I found out that he had written for and was occasionally on Mr. Show. Which makes total sense. CBB is a half-scripted, half ad-libbed fake talk show with skits. It's off the wall, but not so far off said wall to the point where the distance from the wall is the most important thing. And since Aukerman has been in the comedy "biz" for so long, he's able to get great guests. (Check out who they've had so far.) This Friday I'm psyched for a Jere-rific lineup: Weird Al, David Cross, and Tenacious D. There's a show, that's a show. And Reggie Watts is the "band leader." I never understood this guy until now. I always knew he did quirky little songs, but I didn't find his schtick too impressive. But now I do. His sense of humor fits right into this gig.

I give CBB 76 Gedmans out of 80.

Sox Now (Done)

End game update: Texas scores 1 in the 9th. We get a 1-out double but Middlebrooks and Lavarnway strike out, and we lose, 10 to effing 9.

Bottom 7 update, 4:14 p.m.: Texas had made it 9-5, but the Sox have stormed back! Middlebrooks just hit a 3-run dong to tie it at 9!

Top 6 update: We had cut it to 6-5, but Beckett gives up his third dong of the day, and Texas has its 3rd 3-run lead of the day, 8-5.

Beckett gave up 3 in the first but settled down. Boston got 2 back in the bottom half and later tied in on a Ross dong. But Josh just gave up a solo shot, the first homer he's allowed since May 10th, so Texas leads 4-3 in the 5th. (And seconds later Hamilton hits a 2-run home run. 6-3 Rangers.)

NESN Misses Kid Getting Hit In Face

From Monday night's game:

Recap if you can't see video: Boy hit with foul ball; game delayed; Don/Jerry/producers have no idea that it happened or why the game is delayed; silence.

Be Cool Or Be Cast Out

The division standings on July 18th, which was pretty much the Yanks' high-water mark:

NY -
Bal 10
Bos 10.5
TB 10.5
Tor 12.5

And here they are right now:

NY -
Bal 4.5
TB 6
Bos 9
Tor 10

Terribly, the Red Sox have gained the least ground over that time, but I'm glad to see the pressure being put on the Yankees. They've got a real shot of blowing this!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Win Streak Over

Lester was doing fine tonight until the 6th when he finally gave up 2 runs. Which blew goats because our offense had zero runs off Dempster at the time, despite getting a bunch of runners on in the first two innings. Crawford really cost us by walking off second base with his head down and getting easily picked off. (Too bad NESN completely missed the play and had to scrounge up some surveillance video for a replay.) Texas added two more in the 7th inning to make it 4-0.

Middlebrooks hit a 3-run, pinch-hit dong in the 7th to close it to 4-3, but the Rangers added one each in the 8th and 9th for the 6-3 win. Since Will's dong just cleared the Monster, Orsillo noted that "here at Fenway, you can't reach over the red line." I have done it personally. Here's a shot I took in 2008 reaching out over. Still, I think the Brooks homer was gonna slam off the top of the Wall even if those guys didn't grab it.

Pedroia really got screwed on that check swing call. I love that in the next inning in the field, he turns to the same ump asking why Murphy's HBP wasn't a swing. Of course, that's the third base ump's call anyway, but I think it's funny that Dustin did that. And I knew right away that's what was going on, didn't have to wait for Remy to figure it out.

The Yanks were down 6-3 going to the 9th, and Valverde was not on at all. NY closed it to 6-5 and had 2nd and 3rd, before the Tigers finally wrap it up. Always nice to see the Yankees have an "almost win but still lose" game.

So NESN now has blimp shots every night. Real ones. I like to think that me blowing the lid off their false overhead scenes led to Don and Remy noticing and therefore NESN being pressured to stop with the fakery. Either that or the people in charge of the Hood blimp are the same ones who were in charge of the "milk bottle" that used to be on the right field roof, and it took them this long to get the thing running. I'm still waiting for milk to shoot out of that thing. Maybe it's doing it in a Dempster somewhere.

Oh, and "my boy" Mike Olt started for the Rangers tonight! My mom is friends with his grandma, and we've been following him as he went up through the ranks. You may have heard Don talking about his Connecticut roots tonight. Nice job, Olt.

Monday, August 06, 2012

[Yu-Related Pun About Red Sox Beating Rangers]

My mom and niece were at Fenway tonight. They had great seats (using the "didn't actually have good seats" method), got to check out Yu Darvish, and most importantly saw a 9-2 Red Sox win. They also passed Dustin Pedroia on the sidewalk after the game. Photo to come, hopefully.

For the first time in a while, Cook pitched well the whole time he was in, giving up just 1 run in 7 innings. And the offense pounded out 14 hits, including 8 doubles--Pedroia had 3 and Crawford and Ellsbury had 2 each.

We're back to .500. If we don't go above .500 and leave it way behind us soon, I'm gonna be pissed. So hopefully the awesomeness that we keep seeing peeks of has begun.

Unbelievably, Mike Napoli went 0 for 4! Mark this day.

Look for Mike Olt in this series. He's a family friend (we'll just go ahead and say) and we've been following his Fall League and minor league career. He quickly made it to the majors, having been called up by the Rangers the other day.

Missing Stuff

This weekend I was in Cape May. Only right now am I reading what happened to the Red Sox on Saturday. I got to see the shitty Friday night game at Chan's apartment in NYC on The next day I was boogie boarding up a storm with my friends Brian and Jen and at the end of the night I had ESPN on just to get the score, and I saw "[something something] Leaves Red Sox Reeling." I then saw it was a 6-4 loss and figured it was just a "normal" loss, albeit our third in a row to the crappy Twins. I know now it was a "winning with 2 outs in the goddamn 9th but still lose" game. From what I read on Joy of Sox, I'm glad I missed that one. Sunday, more boarding, and at the end of the night I got back to NYC and saw we got a win to salvage one out of four.

But the standings don't look too much different than they did before the weekend, so we've still got a shot at this.

Tonight the Rangers come in and we face Yu in game one.

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