Record: 56-55. Pace: 82-80. Change: 0
The offense struggled against Pedro Martinez.... er I mean Felix Doubront. McCarthy thew only 4.1 innings because of a high pitch count, but looked good until the 5th when he gave up 2 runs. The bullpen was good again except for Josh Collmenter who also gave up two runs. In the end, Doubront was too much for the Diamondbacks to handle and some "gritty" runs by the Red Sox lead to a 0-4 victory by the Red Sox.
It was a cloudy day leading to times where the first pitch was in the sun, the 2nd was in shade, and the 3rd was back in the sun. Gibby was up to his old antics again, putting AJ in lead off against a lefty while having both catchers in the lineup, and Martin batting cleanup. We can't blame him for wanting to keep Nieves's bat in the lineup and Martin (hitting .265 to start the game) has been doing well in the 4 hole.
But if the first inning was an omen, it wasn't good. AJ struck out, Aaron flew out to center, Goldie got on with a bouncing base hit over the pitcher, and Martin just grounded to 2nd. Kind of a typical inning for the DBacks this year.
Brandon started off by getting Ellsbury to ground to second, Victorino struck out swinging, and Pedroia walked. Then some drama as Ortiz hit a screaming fly to Parra and our star right fielder clanked it off his mitt because of some knuckling action according to Gerardo. Luckily Pedroia could only advance to 3rd. Brandon would end it by striking out Mike Napoli but had 27 pitches at the end of the inning. 0-0
Cody would bat lead off in the second inning and promptly hit a single to center. Nieves ground into a double play at 3rd. Then Parra tried to get another bunt double on the first pitch but Pedroia had it covered to end the top of the inning.
BTW, knock knock.. who's there... Queen.... Queen who... Queen my dishes please.
To start the bottom of the 2nd McCarthy would stretch Mike Carp to a full count, but get the strikeout. Salty (I don't feel like typing his whole name) would then get a walk on yet another full count, and Drewwwwwwwwwwww would ground into a double play that could have easily been a single had it not been for a stellar grab by Aaron Hill. 0-0
Tuffy lead off the third with a fly to left. Didi would face a left hander again and get more of the same. He struck out to improve his streak to 5 in a row. AJ would come back up for his 2nd turn at bat. Shane Vicroino made an amazing try for a fly ball in the stands but it clanked off his mitt. After some limping around and concern in the Sox duggout for the fly'n Hawaii'n they threw another pitch to AJ which was promptly grounded to second.
Brandon was starting off the bottom of the third with 44 pitches in the game, needing to get some quick outs. He struck out Holt to start the inning on a borderline high strike. Ellsbury would fly to Cody in left, and Victorino leaned over the plate just enough to get hit by the pitch. Some might call it a veteran move, others might call it a b___ch move, but there he was standing on first with no umpire about to call him out in Boston for fear of a flying pizza slices. In the meantime Brandon would go to 62 pitches in the game as Pedroia grounded hard to Prado who made a strong throw to Goldie for the final out of the inning. MLB Gameday decided that this game ended after that, and there was no more reason to show any more pitches after the first strike to Ellsbury. Can you say, East coast bias?
Hill lead off the 4th and flied to center. Goldie hit a screamer to Victorino who charged in on it for the grab. Then Martin showed us he can still hit to opposite field and got the ball down where Goldie couldn't. With Prado standing on first, the golden boy came to the plate. With two outs Cody would watch as strike three caught the inner half of the plate, ending the top of the 4th. Since Gameday still wasn't working, I couldn't tell just how much of the corner of the plate it got, but it seemed like Cody might have gotten a bad call.
Brandons pitch count would keep climbing as Big Pappi would hit a big fly right to the edge of the warning track in left field where Cody caught it reaching back with his right hand for the Green Monster to make sure he had enough room. Mike Carp hit a single back up the box to get on first. Salty would hit one to Hill who lazily threw over to Goldie for out number 3. Still 0-0.
Nieves would lead off the 5th and promptly hit another single (he would go 1 for 4 in the game). Parra hit another of his deep flies to center for yet another out. Seems like Parra is trying to hit everything hard to get out of his funk and just hitting catchable fly balls now days. Tuffy came up with 1 out and a runner on. Tuffy would hit a liner straight to Holt who caught it. That unfortunately left Nieves high and dry between first and second base. A throw over to first completed the double play. 0-0
MLB Gameday would finally catch up with the game so I could watch a bit more closely as McCarthy started off the inning with 77 pitches. Drewwwww promptly hit a single on the second pitch to right field through the gap between first and second. The hit and run was on as Brock hit another single to right field. That put runners in first and third with no outs. Drew would score on an Ellsbury fly to Pollock in Center. Victorino for the second time in a row would bat from the right side against a right handed McCarthy. Speculation is that Shane was a bit hurt after his leap into the seats back in the 3rd.
Victorino hit a single back up the middle which put runners on 1st and 3rd again. Victorino's hit whizzed by Brandon's head giving everyone flashes of his major injury when he was struck in the head by a comebacker that nearly ended his career. Wil Harris started to get warmed up in the pen as Brandon would face Pedroia with 85 pitches so far on the day. Pedroia was continually fouling off good pitches causing Brandons pitch count to continue climbing. Finaly on the 8th pitch Pedroia would hit a double down the left field line scoring one run. Cody made a good play on the ball to keep the Victorino at third.
Since first base was open, they walked Ortiz to load the bases, then brought in Wil Harris to try and get out of the inning. Mike Napoli would hit a very high infield fly to Goldie keeping the runners in their position, and Carp would nearly get a Texas leaguer to land behind Prado, but Prado made a good running grab to end the inning. Another good outing by Harris. 0-2 Sox.
Didi would lead off the 6th inning and get to a full count before hitting a roller to first for an easy out. AJ came up and hit a strong line drive but it was right at Mike Carp who took two steps back for out #2. Aaron Hill would strike out on a check swing to the 5th pitch of the at bat for out number 3. 0-2 Sox.
Josh Collmenter would come in for relief of Harris and give up a soft single to Ellsbury over Didi's head into center field. Drewwwwwww would get his 3rd at bat against the tomahawk thrower and fist another hit to left just out of reach of Didi. Now with runners on first and second Brock Holt would come to the plate and put a first pitch bunt down to move the runners. Gerardo looked like he would catch an easy fly ball but lost it in the sun costing them another run. Oddly Gerardo wasn't wearing any sunglasses which no doubt contributed to the missed opportunity. Drew and everyone else watching the game, thought Gerardo was going to make an easy grab so he stayed on 2nd. However Ellsbury scored easily.
Shane Victorino hit another single up the middle and AJ's throw went to about where Matt Williams usually stands when he's waving runners in. This allowed Drew to score fairly easily and with no play at the plate. Collmenter would walk Pedroia to load the bases with 1 out and bring up David Ortiz. Time for the left handed specialist to try and make it 3 for 3 against Ortiz. Thatcher would prove to be a great acquisition at least for this game getting Big Pappi out on 3 straight pitches, and causing Mike Napoli to pop up to center on the very next pitch leaving the game at 0-4 Sox.
Going into the top of the 7th inning, Felix Doubront had thrown exactly 70 pitches, 44 for strikes. Goldie lead off the inning and got ahead in the count to a 3-1 count. Since Goldie is Goldie and doesn't take anything for granted, when he hit a bouncer to 3rd baseman Holt who had trouble corralling it, Goldie managed to beat the throw. They gave Holt an error but Goldie's hustle was no doubt the reason he was safe. After throwing 3 straight balls to Prado, Doubront looked to have pulled something but they left him in. Then on a 3-1 count Prado hit a fly to center that nearly caused a collision between Ellsbury and Pedroia.
Ellsbury managed to catch it just over Pedroia's head. Golden Boy Cody Ross came up and rolled one into left field putting runners on 1st and 2nd. Nieves got to a favorable count of 3-0 before swinging at ball four on a 3-2 count. Parra would come up going 0-2 so far for the day. Despite hitting it well back up the box on a 1-2 count, Drew was able to snag Parra's hit on the run and throw Parra out at 1st to get out of the inning. 0-4 Sox.
Thatcher would come back out to pitch for the DBacks in the bottom of the 7th and get Jonny Gomes on a swinging strike 3. Salty would come up to bat and give everyone a reason to cheer when he popped one up to Parra who was fighting the sun again. But this time everyone was Bronx cheering Parra who this time made the snag and recorded out number 2. Both Stephen Drew and Brock Holt would walk on 5 pitches. That would force Gibson to get Heath Bell out of the bullpen. Heath came out and gave us yet another good showing striking out the first batter he faced. 0-4 Sox.
Tuffy would lead off in the 8th and get a single to the opposite field. Didi, facing another left hander in Thornton, fouled the 4th pitch off. Thornton appeared to be injured after the pitch and had to be replaced by Drake Britton. Britton got Didi to strike out on yet another ball 4 up in the zone. For some reason Didi doesn't seem to know how to lay off the high fastball. AJ would then come in with a runner on first and one out. AJ hit a nice single to left past the short stop to put runners on first and second. Could we see another late inning rally from these Diamondbacks? It would be up to Aaron Hill and Paul Goldschmidt to make it happen. Unfortunately Hill hit a high fly ball to right for Victorino for out number 2, and Goldschmidt hit a one hopper back to the pitcher to end the top of the inning. 0-4 Sox.
Shane Victorino would prove once again that as long as you turn your back to the pitcher, you can stick out any body part you want to get hit by a pitch and it's perfectly legit. Even if Heath Bells curve was nearly a strike. A small brush of his lead arm put him on first for Pedroia. Pedroia would ground to second and advance the "veteran" Victorino to 2nd. Big Pappi would get his chance at Heath Bell and hit a very high pop fly into the shift. Any number of 5 guys had a chance at the ball but Pollock ended up being the one to catch it. 2 down. Mike Napoli came up to bat and made us all wonder where this Heath Bell has been all year. Bell was placing his fastball on the corners and struck Napoli out swinging. 0-4 Sox. One last chance.
Prado hit a single to short center that probably should have been caught, but due to some laziness on the Sox part dropped in. Kinda funny to watch the right fielder throw it to the cut off man 3 feet away. Cody Ross, in his last bat at Fenway, would strike out on 4 pitches. Wil Nieves would come to bat and hit the first pitch to deep right field, but the center fielder would come all the way over and snag it for out #2 in front of the bullpen. Down to our last out, Gerardo came to bat and quickly got down 0-2. Parra managed to lay off two balls down in the dirt but would ground out to 2nd base to end the game.
Comment of the Day goes to asteroid who had this to say early in the game:
I like Prado's sunglasses
Even if they make him look like a horsefly.
The Diamondbacks are back home on Tuesday to face the
Bells and whistles
Fangdango led the commenters, ahead of JoeCB1991 and asteroid. Also taking part this afternoon were: 5thStarter, AF DBacks Fanatic, AzRattler, Circa4life, Clefo, Edwong81, FatBoysEatMeat, GODSCHMIDT, GuruB, Jim McLennan, Marc Fournier, Rockkstarr12, TC89, TolkienBard, Xipooo, Zavada's Moustache, azshadowwalker, cheese1213, coldblueAZ, cole8865, hotclaws, onedotfive, preston.salisbury, rd33, soco, txzona, and xmet. Thanks to Xipooo for the recap: as he noted, it's back to Arizona for us after the off-day on Monday, with the Rays coming to town for a two-game set.