Make Everyone Keep Pace: Jays-Sox Gamer XII

Despite Daisuke Matsuzaka’s extremely shaky effort last night, in which he channeled a certain Texas flamethrower (not Roger) circa 2006, the Sox emerged victorious.  This was due to the emergence of some big hitting, primarily a clutch hit from Jason Varitek in the sixth inning after Dice-K coughed up a three run lead.  Matsuzaka struggled with his command, and though at times he got out of jam with beautiful pitches, the theme for the night was a basic lack of control, with hitters jumping over fat pitches on the opposite side of the dish from where they were supposed to terminate.  Troy Glaus hit a monster smash over…the monster, and Aaron Hill did the same.  The night reminded us very much of last year, and today’s starter, who we alluded to in the opening: Josh Beckett.  Beckett looks to extend his fantastic year into the second half, making his first post-ASB appearance.  Today’s game is a big one: the Sox need to establish themselves in the second half with a series win, they need to force their division rivals to play flawlessly to gain ground.  The contest kicks off at 2:05 EST, so use this as your game thread for all commentary.  Terry Francona’s "we’ve got a split guaranteed and our ace on the mound, I think I’ll play most of the scrubs" lineup after the jump.

Toronto:
1. Reed Johnson, left field
2. Alex Rios, right field
3. Vernon Wells, center field
4. Matt Stairs, designated hitter
5. Troy Glaus, third base
6. Lyle Overbay, first base
7. Aaron Hill, second base
8. Royce Clayton, shortstop
9. Jason Phillips, catcher

SP: Jesse Litsch

Boston
1. Coco Crisp, center field
2. Alex Cora, second base
3. David Ortiz, designated hitter
4. Manny Ramirez, left field
5. Kevin Youkilis, first base
6. Mike Lowell, third base
7. Eric Hinske, right field
8. Doug Mirabelli, catcher
9. Julio Lugo, shortstop

SP: Josh Beckett

118 comments… add one
  • For the record, Drew is still hurt, Tek got banged around last night, and Pedroia apparently needs a day off.
    I hate days like this.

    SF July 15, 2007, 1:36 pm
  • Didnt Pedroia just hav 3 days off? Geeze go Tito -_-

    TJ July 15, 2007, 1:46 pm
  • Supposedly Pedroia had the flu over the ASB, so he’s not feeling great.

    SF July 15, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • OHHHH forget that Tito Comment Im loving him now…
    Scott Boras said he would like Matsuzaka’s pitch count to be closer to 100 then to 120 (Wonder what Daisuke thinks about that lol)
    Francona resonded today sayng “You know what, I’ve got a lot of respect for Scott, I really do. But he can run the pitching when he lets me run the contracts, how’s that? Is tha a fair tradeoff?”

    TJ July 15, 2007, 1:50 pm
  • Does anyone know what is wrong with Drew?

    John - YF (Trisk) July 15, 2007, 2:07 pm
  • To the surprise of precisely no one, Drew tweaked a hammy the other night.

    Ayuh - SF July 15, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • Just a precaution John. Globe (I think it was.. I read it at 3am) said he should be back in the lineup on Monday

    Dionysus July 15, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • And TJ… that quote is AWESOME. I love seeing Scott put in his place. He’s getting way too uppity – first telling us how the World Series should be 9 games and now how many pitches Matsuzaka can throw.. your a freakin’ AGENT. A Suit. A money man. You don’t know jack about the game.
    Jerk.

    Dionysus July 15, 2007, 2:14 pm
  • Figures, in a matter of a week I traded for Drew and Papi…Drew goes down and Papi reveals this knee injury. It’s the baseball god’s way of saying all have Yankees on your team! LOL

    John - YF (Trisk) July 15, 2007, 2:16 pm
  • Beckett clean through the 1st.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 2:16 pm
  • I (along with my girlfriend) went to the Mets-Reds game yesterday (no real investment, though I was kinda rooting for the Mets as an NYC resident). Fun, though as usual, there were assbags sitting nearby. I left in the 8th after the Mets scored the go-ahead run, and after seeing the Sox score go from 4-1 Sox to 4-4 to 9-4 Sox in a matter of a half-hour (?) on the electronic scoreboard. I pumped my fist and said to myself, “Must have been a homer” after seeing it jump to 6-4. Pretty nice night, getting to see Shea before it’s decimated and all that.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 2:20 pm
  • God this Sox lineup makes me vomit. Vomit blood.
    I want my Droid. He’s one of my binkiess!

    Dionysus July 15, 2007, 2:20 pm
  • Manny Ortez with back to back singles. 1/3, 2 down. Come on, YOOK.

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:24 pm
  • WEAK SAUCE on the Manny swings on 3-0 and 3-1.
    Then he singles down the 3rd base line (as it bounces off the wall left of the line). Papi to 3rd.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 2:24 pm
  • Yuck. Weak pop to right-center, Youk.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 2:24 pm
  • Youk, puke.
    On to the second, no score.

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • We needed some runs there. I mean… Hinske, Mirabelli, and Lugo are the bottom of our lineup tonight.
    Thats worse than the Royals!

    Dionysus July 15, 2007, 2:27 pm
  • I agree, BTW, SF, that the Sox MUST win this series. Establish precedence and demand perfection from the AL East competitors.
    Josh Beckett agrees: K’s Matt Stairs.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 2:28 pm
  • Come on, Dio, Lugo’s on a TEAR! He has successfully become my SLFRS, opening an extremely large lead on, of course, Wily Mo Pena.

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:28 pm
  • I asgree as well. We need to be dominate on this homestand, in fact.

    Dionysus July 15, 2007, 2:29 pm
  • The Rays leave two on in the second, following the same situation in the first. Moose and the Yanks lucky to be down 3-0, it could easily be four or five runs.

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:29 pm
  • Beckett is spotting pitches great on the outside corner, particularly up and away.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 2:30 pm
  • ****! Overbay doubles, 2 outs

    Dionysus July 15, 2007, 2:31 pm
  • Ugh, did Crisp lose that ball in the sun?

    Devine July 15, 2007, 2:31 pm
  • Oh crap.

    Dionysus July 15, 2007, 2:33 pm
  • Ball was crushed to left. 1-0 Jays.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 2:33 pm
  • We are so gonna lose this game. I have house work to do.. good day folks.

    Dionysus July 15, 2007, 2:33 pm
  • Fantastic…

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:33 pm
  • Devine, it looked to me like he knew it was over his head, and he was trying to decoy the runner into letting up. Remy says that’s a possibility as well.

    Ayuh - SF July 15, 2007, 2:33 pm
  • Awwwww, single to right and it’s 2-0.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 2:34 pm
  • Does Aaron Hill hit like .250 against everyone else, and like .800 against the Sox, or does it just seem that way?

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:34 pm
  • Good point, Ayuh/Remy.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 2:35 pm
  • Way to show up, Josh. Royce f*cking Clayton? Are you SERIOUS?

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:35 pm
  • Dio, you give up on games quickly.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 2:36 pm
  • Glad to know that we won’t be using our bullpen today…
    This season has all the signs of potential disappointment: underachieving stars, weakening starters, injuries, etc. Not happy about this right now.

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:37 pm
  • It was a nice curveball for the last strikeout, but the damage is definitely done.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 2:37 pm
  • F*ck, that DP really takes the air out of my sails after the leadoff baserunner.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 2:41 pm
  • I hate these surrender lineups. They make me want to throw something very breakable.
    Honestly, I can’t wait for a team without Mirabelli and Pena.

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:42 pm
  • The Rays now have eight hits in 2.2 innings, three runs, and steaming pile of “should have been up by a six-spot but are only up three” on the scoreboard

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • OK, quick inning from Josh there. The top of the order (oh, and Lugo) need to get it going here.

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:48 pm
  • Coco and Lugo single consecutively. Here we go…

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:53 pm
  • Wow, pathetic. Seriously, utterly, f*cking pathetic. Can Alex Cora go away too?

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:55 pm
  • Why do you BUNT YOURSELF OUT OF A POSSIBLE BIG INNING? Tito should be tasered.

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:55 pm
  • Just got home and see the lineup and get sick to my stomach. The last way Tito could have waved the flag was to have sat Beckett and started Piniero.

    Rob July 15, 2007, 2:57 pm
  • Not only does Alex Cora suck, but he also looks just like Jorge Posada. Get him off the team.

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:57 pm
  • Why not just let Cora swing away and try a double steal, or a hit and run, or something? Why DONATE an out, and, as happened, set up a double play? Terrible strategy – there’s no upside.

    SF July 15, 2007, 2:58 pm
  • SF, could Cora be edging out Lugo for 2nd LFRS???

    Ayuh - SF July 15, 2007, 2:59 pm
  • But I agree with you about the bunt, SF- I hate it, with the exception of late innings when you need to tie or take a lead.
    As Earl Weaver said, “when you play for one run, that’s all you’re gonna get.”

    Ayuh - SF July 15, 2007, 3:00 pm
  • Cora isn’t being paid $36M, so no. It’s more on Tito: WHY IS CORA HITTING SECOND? He’s hitting like .200 in his last 100PA, I mean, he’s a TERRIBLE hitter, and Fracona seems to only remember his first three or four weeks, and not his career. It’s more bad managing than anything else.

    SF July 15, 2007, 3:00 pm
  • Games like this (so far) are why I’m not hopping on the “Hooray, the 2nd half is a party !” bandwagon. This seems an extraordinarily foolish sentiment, given the mediocrity we’ve seen this team be capable of, and the rather flimsy rotation once you get past the first two guys (and even they’re not guarantees). Plus, I’ve been wary of the Yankees for too long to think they’re gone.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 3:02 pm
  • Seriously, why is Cora hitting second? There’s NO logical explanation for this, NONE. It’s like a four-year-old decided the lineups today, or a game of darts, or a bottle of whiskey. Cora shouldn’t even be hitting ahead of Lugo at this point, based on Lugo’s last few weeks. What a horrid managing decision.

    SF July 15, 2007, 3:04 pm
  • Tito placed Cora second in the lineup because the Psychic Friends Hotline said he would have a good game.

    Rob July 15, 2007, 3:08 pm
  • well, that was quick. Litsch through to the sixth, thanks to next inning’s minor league three.

    SF July 15, 2007, 3:10 pm
  • Now Beckett gives up a double to a .210 hitting #9 hitter.
    Can we PLEASE STOP PLAYING .500 BASEBALL AT SOME POINT?!

    SF July 15, 2007, 3:13 pm
  • Well, I’m gonna go back to work for awhile, I s’pose. Good luck. Go Sox. Jesus.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 3:14 pm
  • Each series the Sox play you think “man, we’re DEFINITELY better than them”, and then you look up and you’ve gotten swept by the Mariners, by the Tigers, you’ve lost the last two series to the lowly Yankees, you’re on track to split at home against a weak Blue Jays team, you just split at home with the Rangers, and you think, jeez, are the Rays the ONLY team we can actually beat? And you also wonder, how can everyone be so damn upbeat about this team’s chances, long run, if this is what they do once the season hits full stride?

    SF July 15, 2007, 3:17 pm
  • “if this is what they do once the season hits full stride?”
    Not sure SF. I guess everyone is hoping for a return to what the beginning of the season was showing. We managed to win one run games and the starters went deep. Seems like lately we have finally started to get our fair share of bumps and bruises and just can’t seem to get any form of cohesion through the lineup 1-9.

    Rob July 15, 2007, 3:23 pm
  • Beckett thru five, given up two runs. Of course, the Sox’ bats (and their braindead, at least today, skipper) forcing him to throw a shutout.
    I am about to head out, I have far better things to do on a Sunday afternoon than sit around and have a baseball team sour my day in real time.

    SF July 15, 2007, 3:26 pm
  • Hinske strikes out.

    Rob July 15, 2007, 3:28 pm
  • Hinske strikes out.
    The Sox should have just asked the ump if they could have left Beckett out for three more outs, and just skipped ahead three batters in their lineup for the sixth inning. What a useless lineup.

    SF July 15, 2007, 3:30 pm
  • And Mirabelli doubles, promptly.

    SF July 15, 2007, 3:30 pm
  • “And Mirabelli doubles, promptly.”
    And promptly stranded.

    Rob July 15, 2007, 3:38 pm
  • It’s starting to simmer. Ortiz doubles Cora in after Cora’s double. Up comes Manny with none out.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 3:51 pm
  • Manny pops up, then Youk walks.
    I always hate the thought of the DP in this situation, but I’m feeling decent about Lowell’s chances. Let’s see how that turns out.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 3:57 pm
  • Popped up again. Not feeling good about Hinske…but as we have seen, that might be a good thing.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 3:59 pm
  • thanks dale.

    sf rod July 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • Ouch, Papi out at home to end the inning. That stinks.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • One run on nine hits against a rookie with a 6.00 ERA.
    Time for everybody to face the music: we’re not a great team.

    SF July 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • Ugh. Hinske actually makes good contact on a ball today – wasted.

    QuoSF July 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
  • SF…the ’04 Sox played this bad for longer. I’m still hopeful about this team, but I think the Tigers, for instance, are certainly better.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:03 pm
  • Good point, Devine. This may not be a great team, but it’s certainly one of the top 3 in the league.

    Ayuh - SF July 15, 2007, 4:05 pm
  • SF…the ’04 Sox played this bad for longer.
    Yeah, and that team, the one that played that badly, wouldn’t have won ANYTHING. The team that turned it on was somewhat different from the one that frustrated us, if I remember correctly.

    SF July 15, 2007, 4:07 pm
  • Beckett is about the only one who has done his job today, going 7, giving up two runs, and deserves better than the loss for which he’s on the hook.

    SF July 15, 2007, 4:08 pm
  • carlos pena puts the d-rays up 5-4 on a crushed 2 run job off villone.

    sf rod July 15, 2007, 4:08 pm
  • SF, there’s a trade deadline looming. It could (under the right circumstances) provide another kickstart, like it did in ’04, no?
    I still say this team is pretty good, just can’t seem to hit when it’s s’posed to recently.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:08 pm
  • SF- if this is such a mediocre team, who is better?

    Ayuh - SF July 15, 2007, 4:09 pm
  • Don’t get me wrong: I like the team. I think they are a good team. But I think this trend of mediocrity isn’t an anomaly – it’s a symptom of a flawed team, one that isn’t truly “great”, or a lock for anything. They have holes, and they appear to me to be, if not imminently fatal, at least very serious.

    SF July 15, 2007, 4:09 pm
  • Beckett has pitched well today: 2 runs/6 hits in 7 innings, 7 Ks and just one walk… Who knows, at 97 pitches he may even come out for all or part of the 8th.
    Anyway, he deserves to get his 13th win, but the Sox just aren’t getting the runs home… 10 baserunners but just one run.

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:10 pm
  • sf- that ’04 team also took the whole year to find themselves. lowe was awful all year long and threw the switch in the playoffs. same with foulke. that bench was kapler/crespo/dominique/daubach/mcarty…..this teams better. they just need to find an identity like that team did.

    sf rod July 15, 2007, 4:14 pm
  • Lugo’s out was hit pretty well; he does seem to be a lot better even when he’s making outs (usually) recently.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:14 pm
  • Granted, this club has holes. I don’t see where those holes are a whole lot worse than any other teams- the starting pitching has been solid to good, the pen is very good, offense has been decent (despite JL’s woes). The only weakness I see is a lack of production off the bench. Look at the other teams out there- ALL of them have weaknesses that are more pronounced than that.
    So this team isn’t a “lock for anything”. Well, I can live with that. They have good pitching, decent hitting, and they’ve got the best record in baseball.

    Ayuh - SF July 15, 2007, 4:15 pm
  • This is almost surely fan projection… but since building a huge A.L. East lead, the Sox seem like scoreboard-watchers…
    When the Yankees are down (as they are now to TB in the 8th), it feels like the Sox often go slack, as if the players are thinking: “Hey, we’re not going to lose anything in the standings to New York, so what’s the big deal? We’re up 10.”
    (Of course, Toronto is as close as the Yankees, but even so I don’t know anyone who is thinking, “Gee, the Sox better not collapse because Toronto might catch up.” That’s not fair, but…)
    (Crisp singles, two out.)

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:17 pm
  • Oh, so Pedroia’s good to play now, is he?

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:17 pm
  • This ump is calling pitches WAY inside to righties.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:18 pm
  • Well…at least Papi and Manny are leading off the 8th…though that’s not as comforting a thought as it used to be.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:20 pm
  • DPed grounds out, 7th over. Wonder if Beckett comes back out…

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:20 pm
  • He does indeed.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:22 pm
  • The Yankees just tied it up (off Fossum, a player I was very glad to see the Sox get rid of); so here’s a test of the scoreboard-watching theory…

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:22 pm
  • Beckett back, good, with a quick inning he may get a chance to win this…

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:23 pm
  • Yanks go up 6-5 in the top of the 8th now.

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:25 pm
  • Even if this is Beckett’s last inning, if the Sox get 2 runs in the 8th, he’ll get the win.

    Ayuh - SF July 15, 2007, 4:25 pm
  • K#8 for J.B.

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:25 pm
  • Big moment here. 1st and 2nd, 2 out, after the walk to Overbay.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:29 pm
  • Well done, Beckett. I’m sorry if you don’t get the win.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:32 pm
  • 7-5 Yanks; meanwhile, Beckett escapes the 8th. MannyOrtez coming up to get him the win.

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:33 pm
  • Ortiz Ks. Pitching change.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:38 pm
  • Manny singles.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:40 pm
  • Well, there’s that inning and the best chance at winning this game. Goddamnit.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:44 pm
  • Inning over, no win for Bex, even if the Sox come back in the 9th.
    The trifecta is due up: Hinske/Belli/Loogo.

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:46 pm
  • 11 hits and 1 run. Man.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:47 pm
  • TB closed the gap to 1 run, now in the 9th inning vs. NY…

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:47 pm
  • Oh, and Timlin comes in.

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:47 pm
  • Leadoff Jay reaches 1st.

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:49 pm
  • Caught stealing, biooooooootch. 1 out.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:50 pm
  • But hey, Belli throws him out at 2nd… Then Phillips makes the 2nd out, 5-3. There is hope!

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:51 pm
  • What a play, Lowell!

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:51 pm
  • Blown hit and run by the Jays- the runner looked back at home as if to say “you made me get thrown out by THAT guy??”

    Ayuh - SF July 15, 2007, 4:51 pm
  • The crowd is still in it. That’s nice.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:53 pm
  • To the last of the 9th.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:53 pm
  • Long fly-out to Crisp, 3 outs to rescue this game. Pinchhitters?

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:54 pm
  • 1 out. Come on, some drama, dammit. A baserunner. Something.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:58 pm
  • Are Drew and Varitek dying or something? Don’t really know why you wouldn’t have them try rather than, say, Hinske and Mirabelli.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:59 pm
  • That’s 2. Lugo.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 4:59 pm
  • The Rays are threatening in the bottom of the ninth… 7-6 Yankees, but TB has runners on 1st and 2nd, no outs.

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 4:59 pm
  • Sox lose. F*ck baseball.

    Devine July 15, 2007, 5:01 pm
  • TB squanders the chance for a walk-off win, Yankees back in single digits in the standings.

    Hudson July 15, 2007, 5:05 pm
  • How utterly disappointing today was. The hits were there, however the team lacks clutch hitting to knock the runs in.

    Rob July 15, 2007, 5:35 pm
  • A thoroughly disheartening loss. Even a 3-2 win would have meant a series win and kept the momentum rolling after three good games from the offense. Instead, this team feels like it’s stuck in neutral — just like it was before the break.
    I think I’ll take a 24-hour break or so from the Sox. I feel bad about feeling this bad about a first-place team, but we haven’t been playing like a first-place team for SIX weeks. That wears on you. Maybe I’ll feel better after a little break.

    Paul SF July 15, 2007, 10:54 pm

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