Friday, August 18, 2006


Game 120 – Red Sox
Live Game Thread

Yankees 12, Red Sox 4

5:03 p.m.

Just a lousy game all the way around. 16 hits and 7 walks allowed by the pitching staff. 11 men left on base by the bats. 2 errors by the presumptive best defense in the American League (oh, hey, great - NOW Youkilis gets a 2-out hit). Blech. I'm too lazy to look it up, but I think the Sox are like 0-38 in games liveblogged by MLC. I think I'll grab a beer or 6 and watch tonight's effort from my couch.

4:53 p.m.

I don't think it's much a stretch to label tonight's game the most important of the season for the Sox. Tough spot in which to put Jon Lester, but if the Sox can't batter Sidney Ponson and give the youngster some breathing room, they probably don't deserve to play much October baseball. On the bright side, the Yankee position players have to be tired from all this running of the bases.

4:46 p.m.

Is there any question that A-Rod hits a grand slam here to cap things off with the Yankees up 8 in the 9th inning?

4:38 p.m.

From my keyboard to Damon's bat, as Johnny runs his RBI total to 4. Okay, for my next trick, I'm gonna turn this bullpen into a newt.

4:36 p.m.

The Gonzalez/Crisp black hole ensures that the Sox leave 2 more on base in the 8th, then Rudy Seanez bookends the abysmal pitching performance by loading the bases with none out in the 9th. Wanna bet the Yanks get to double figures here?

4:07 p.m.

Loretta doubles. Again. Papi does nothing. Again. Youkilis strands a runner in scoring position. Again. The Sox go down with a whimper. Again.

3:56 p.m.

Yanks pull their Wang out with nobody gone in the bottom of the 7th. I'm a bit surprised that they'd do so with a 5-run lead and a tired bullpen. I'm not at all surprised that I'm resigned to making terrible dick jokes.

3:47 p.m.

And the Yankees make them pay. Mike Lowell's error opened the floodgates, and on top of his bases-loaded popout makes him the primary horn-wearer this afternoon.

3:27 p.m.

With good reason. Motherfucker. You've got to, got to, got to score more than 1 run in that situation. Geekage alert - the basic run expectancy table tells us good students that the average 2nd and 3rd, no out situation yields 1.91 runs. The Sox just underachieved by what will likely be the Yankees' margin of victory. And I repeat - motherfucker.

3:26 p.m.

This. Is. Torture. Hinske is quickly becoming a legend, but Lopez can't score anyone with runners on 2nd and 3rd and none out, and now the Sox are relying on Alex Gonzalez and Coco Crisp. You'll forgive me if my confidence is a bit low.

3:10 p.m.

And the Sox are about to follow up the Yankee outburst with a meager 1-2-3. Papi sure looks impatient on the GameCenter - another 1st-pitch out.

And Manny makes me an idiot with a longball. Better claw back in a hurry, because the opportunities draw short with a rested Fruitbat in the back of the pen.

3:04 p.m.

Awesome. Kyle Snyder’s turn to face the Yankees, and he gets to start with Giambi and Rodriguez. This should be super.

Just like Johnson in the opening frame - could've been worse. Damage done, though - Yankees up 3.

2:51 p.m.

Remember that deal with the devil thing I was talking about. Ironic that the erstwhile Johnny Jesus delivered the retribution.

2:41 p.m.

Hinske. Damn. Would that he and Loretta were closer together in the lineup.

Try this on for size – the following figures represent the OPS’ against right-handed pitching for Crisp, Youkilis, Hinske, and Lowell:

.718 (with a .328 OBP)
.843 (.385 OBP)

So it stands to reason perfectly that Coco bats first and Youks, Lowell and Hinske go 5-7. Cripes, Tito, even the blind kid from Dumb n’ Dumber could figure this crap out. Youks leads off, Hinske bats 5th, Lowell 6th, and Crisp 7th or 8th.

Hey! Manufactured run. Somewhere Joe Morgan is smiling, even though the Sox should've plated more.

2:22 p.m.

Let it be said that the Sox are getting opportunities against Wang - they just aren't capitalizing. Yet.

That "yet" is for you Mike Lowell, and it applies to the entire 2nd half of the season...well, that worked like a charm.

The Sox are making an ugly deal with the devil here - Johnson's thrown 62 pitches already, and the Sox have left 6 men on base through 3 innings. This game is a microcosm of the whole season, and we're only 1/3 of the way done.

2:17 p.m.

They just closed the SoSH Game Thread to the public. Effers. I guess it serves me right for losing my password.

Mark Loretta’s doing his part – 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles. Patience, Papi.

1:56 p.m.

A co-worker interrupted right in the middle of Youks’ 1st-inning at-bat. Since the score is now 1-0 entering the top of the 3rd, I’m assuming he got out.

Whit – thanks for the color commentary. Now go find the Sox some runs.

1:37 p.m.

True fact: Chien-Ming Wang has pitched 161.1 innings in 2006 after never going more than 150 in his career. He's also got the lowest K/9 ratio of any pitcher in the major leagues. Conclusion: those 2 first-pitch outs the Sox just made are brilliant baseball.

1:28 p.m.

Well slap my ass and call me Sally. Johnson limits the damage. Fools' gold, or harbinger of things to come?

1:25 p.m.

The SoSH server is going to crash any moment now. The natives are quite restless. Full count on A-Rod here - the ensuing 3-run homer is soooo predictable.

1:19 p.m.

Yep. That’s Jason Johnson showing his Jason Johnsonness. 1-0 Yanks on a Damon triple and a Jeter single. It’s gonna be a looooong afternoon – and I haven’t even started with the Wang/Johnson jokes.

1:06 p.m.

I can already tell it’s going to be torture watching this thing unfold via the MLB Gamecenter. Damn you 40-hour workweek.

12:49 p.m.

As noted in the comments below, the assembled brain trust here at MLC is looking at a Craig Wilson vs. Manny Delcarmen deathmatch for all the marbles. Which means that Papi will probably take Rivera deep to win the game.

Game 1 prediction, and there's not much the Sox can do about it: Yankees get to Johnson early and often, but Tito leaves him in to take the pounding because the Sox are sending him to Pawtucket after the game to add Keith Foulke to the roster. Johnson saves the bullpen, but gives up 8 earned in 6 innings. Wang's moderately better, and the Yankees prevail, 10-5.

If, and it's a big if, the Sox can get into the Yankee bullpen early in the first game today, it could be a long series for the Yankee staff after the Orioles made their long arms throw a bunch yesterday.

11: 17 a.m.

Here are the starting lineups for today’s first game:


1. Coco Crisp, CF

2. Mark Loretta, 2B

3. David Ortiz, DH

4. Manny Ramirez, LF

5. Kevin Youkilis, 1B

6. Mike Lowell, 3B

7. Eric Hinske, RF

8. Javy Lopez, C

9. Alex Gonzalez, SS

New York

1. Johnny Damon, CF

2. Derek Jeter, SS

3. Bobby Abreu, RF

4. Jason Giambi, DH

5. Alex Rodriguez, 3B

6. Robinson Cano, 2B

7. Jorge Posada, C

8. Craig Wilson, 1B

9. Melky Cabrera, LF

Must resist urge to club Coco Crisp. Not his fault that the manager keeps ignoring fundamental wisdom and pushing Kevin Youkilis down in the order. Not the manager’s fault that nobody (other than the missing Wily Mo Pena) in the lineup after the No. 4 slot has a slugging percentage that would make you more than mildly intoxicated were it your blood alcohol content.

Eric Hinske gets his first start in a Sox uniform after coming over from Toronto. Intruguing, as he hits righties with some aplomb.

I wonder if Johnny Damon’s gonna cry again when he gets booed to lead off the game.

Jesus, that Yankee lineup is right scary.

10:45 a.m.

Since there’s no realistic expectation that I’m going to get anything remotely productive accomplished today, figured I’d belly up to the bar and order a tall shot of liveblogging. Today might be reason enough for Whit and I to examine the podcasting phenomenon – while my voice is almost certainly 3 octaves too high for public consumption, though still huskier than Bill Simmons’, the animation and profanity is bound to be entertainment for the masses. (Man, try to diagram that last sentence. I’m reading the new Cormac MacCarthy book, No Country for Old Men, and am pained to note that he would’ve squeezed 7 crisp, weighted sentences out of the number of words I just vomited onto the page.)

On the good omen side, today’s a major Jimmy Fund telethon on Boston radio station WEEI. On the negative side of the ledger, Jason Johnson is still starting for the Sox.

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