Two Red Sox Fans React During the Later Innings of Last Night’s Game


Fenway has never seen a game like this:

  • 36 total runs, tying a 58-year-old American League record.
  • 37 total hits
  • 101 total plate appearances
  • 55 total baserunners, most at Fenway Park in the Retrosheet Era.
  • 400 total pitches
  • Red Sox 1-4 hitters: 12 for 19, 14 runs, 4 HR, 14 RBI
  • Rangers 3-6 hitters: 11 for 20, 12 runs, 0 HR, 7 RBI
  • 22 total batters, of which 20 reached base, including all 18 starters
  • Twenty different baserunners
  • Runs scored by 16 different players
  • 12 multihit games
  • 10 batters with at least two runs, six with at least three, and three with at least four
  • 21 combined total bases in the fifth inning
  • Combined starting pitcher game scores of 10, lowest at Fenway in the Retrosheet Era.
  • Scott Feldman game score of 1: Worst by a Boston opponent since 2003.
  • And, of course, two home runs and 6 RBI by David Ortiz in the first inning — tying the AL record for each in one inning.

Nearly all of these stats are just shy of a series of American League records.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • I couldn’t watch anymore, I had to turn the game off at the end of the 7th. Check out the fangraph of the game – pretty wild.

    dw (sf) August 13, 2008, 7:57 am
  • nothing like a good ol’ fashioned hitters’ duel…

    dc August 13, 2008, 8:29 am
  • I swear it was a “Which pitching staff can lose the game first?” competition.

    Atheose August 13, 2008, 8:58 am
  • yep ath, gave new meaning to the “ain’t over ’til it’s over” yogi-gem…

    dc August 13, 2008, 9:04 am
  • I’m just glad they won. That game had “L” written all over it, and would have started a tidal wave of “is this team tough enough to make/excel in the playoffs?” blah blah blah. Also not that there was any doubt, but I love how Youk is such a bad-ass. The guy gets HBP like every other night, Ks twice in the first, then comes back to hit 2 dingers, the second of which ended the craziness.

    DUFF - SF August 13, 2008, 9:10 am
  • It’s amazing. The Sox pulled out two really encouraging wins in two games — one in which they ran into a tough pitcher, and the other in which their own pitchers had nothing.
    I wasn’t at all thrilled with Tito’s managing there. He left Zink in way too long, even accounting for the extra wiggle room they had, and the decision not to use Masterson blew my mind. I know he had just pitched, but desperate times…
    At any rate, Paul Byrd must be thrilled — he can’t possibly do worse than that.

    Paul SF August 13, 2008, 9:35 am
  • This is the big difference between the Sox and Yanks right now…you guys are never dead. You guys rally, play hard, don’t get down, etc. I believe it’s called being clutch???

    krueg August 13, 2008, 10:36 am
  • …well really the last few years actually.

    krueg August 13, 2008, 10:37 am
  • There’s no such thing as clutch, only small sample sizes.

    Ben (YF) August 13, 2008, 11:10 am
  • Call it what you will, but Youk did hit that home run last night, that’s all I know.
    Crazy night of sports, so tired today.

    LocklandSF August 13, 2008, 11:18 am
  • And A-Rod hit his.
    Compare Jeter’s regular season vs. post-season numbers. Identical.

    Ben (YF) August 13, 2008, 11:25 am
  • I know that game must have been frustrating as hell to watch (I happened to call a friend in Boston while I was still under the impression that the 10-0 lead was holding, and she described it as a “train wreck”), but it’s kind of exhilarating to think about in retrospect. It isn’t just the 19 runs, but the fact that the extended Texas rally didn’t rattle the Sox to the point that they couldn’t keep up. I’m sure I wouldn’t feel this confident if I actually had to watch the game (when you give up 17 runs, there are obviously some problems) but I feel even better about the Sox going forward than I did before yesterday.

    FenSheaParkway August 13, 2008, 11:28 am
  • I don’t feel confident at all about the relief pitchers the sox have. The only one that didn’t get up was Timlin (him just getting up in the Pen probably would have been an automatic homerun by whomever the Rangers had up to bat). It’s a good thing the Rangers pitching stinks!

    dw (sf) August 13, 2008, 11:35 am
  • Compare Jeter’s regular season vs. post-season numbers. Identical
    I was under the impression that it’s not exactly what the numbers were, but at what point in the game they took place.
    Jeter, in the seventh inning with a RISP in the regular season v. the same exact situation in the post season.
    I don’t know the numbers, but I would venture a guess that he’s not the same.

    Brad August 13, 2008, 11:37 am
  • I keep trying to tell you guys that we’ll be just fine.

    Brad August 13, 2008, 11:38 am
  • What does Derek Jeter have to do with this conversation? As for no such thing as clutch, even Bill James will disagree with your certainty there, Ben.

    Paul SF August 13, 2008, 11:42 am
  • Then you’re back to small samples again – small sets of individual at-bats.
    Would anyone argue that post-season games don’t come with more pressure? It’s certainly been the line used against A-Rod.
    If clutch exists then surely someone can explain how Jeter goes from a .950 OPS in division series to a .744 OPS in league series to a .809 OPS in the world series. All small samples by themselves. Average them together? You get Jeter’s identical regular series career line.
    Clutch makes for good stories. But it doesn’t exist.

    Ben (YF) August 13, 2008, 11:46 am
  • Derek Jeter is an example. Papi works too, but he has many fewer post-season at-bats.
    I thought James hasn’t affirmed clutch, but rather has pointed out that some players don’t perform at their career lines in certain situations. That’s not performing better – it’s simply performing as expected. Big difference.

    Ben (YF) August 13, 2008, 11:54 am
  • so the close and late statistics mean nothing? Papi’s 2004 performance was pretty clutch to my way of thinking.

    dw (sf) August 13, 2008, 11:54 am
  • I can’t agree with that Ben…you either come through or you don’t. That’s clutch anyway you want to slice it…

    krueg August 13, 2008, 11:58 am
  • Because logic states that the team he faces in the LCS will be better than the team he faced in the LDS? And maybe because the National League sucks he does well in WS? David Ortiz has a similar shift:
    LDS: 1.038 OPS
    LCS: 0.981 OPS
    WS : 1.012 OPS

    Atheose August 13, 2008, 12:00 pm
  • I didn’t stop watching, but had to stop blogging. I couldn’t take the requisite verbalization of my shifting emotions during the game last night, it was like posting here magnified the frustration to the point where I was getting pretty surly with my wife, all over a blown ten run lead. Glad I stuck it out, but with the Texas bullpen it wasn’t hard to see the Sox eventually scoring more than the dozen they had when it all started going to piss. What a screwy game, one of the worst displays of pitching and defense (and managing, secondarily) that I have ever seen. With a desired result, no less.

    SF August 13, 2008, 1:21 pm
  • “…one of the worst displays of pitching and defense (and managing, secondarily) that I have ever seen.”
    I was under the impression you had been watching some Yankee games this year??? :)

    krueg August 13, 2008, 1:26 pm
  • Rolling a 6 on a dice when you need it is not “clutch” – lucky at best.
    Not drawing the parallel, but killing the “I can’t agree with that Ben…you either come through or you don’t. That’s clutch anyway you want to slice it…”

    Lar August 13, 2008, 1:45 pm
  • when some guy’s are better at rolling 6’s, you rather have those guy’s rolling the dice when you need a 6.

    sf rod August 13, 2008, 2:03 pm
  • Lar: Having the hand eye-coordination to hit a baseballis a skill, rolling dice is pure chance. Not a valid comparison compadre…

    krueg August 13, 2008, 2:36 pm
  • James thinks he doesn’t know, but that there are definitely people who perform better over long periods in so-called “clutch” situations, Ortiz being one of them.
    I’m not of the mind to believe that clutch hitting is a skill, or that someone is inherently unclutch. I do think it’s mostly luck — extreme variations caused by small samples. But I also watched the 2004 postseason, followed by the 2007 postseason, and it is very hard for me to simply dismiss the idea of a clutch performer having watched David Ortiz and Josh Beckett deliver incredibly clutch performances.

    Paul SF August 13, 2008, 2:52 pm
  • Another fun stat: In 101 plate appearances against 400 pitches, the teams combined to swing and miss just 26 times.

    Paul SF August 13, 2008, 3:01 pm
  • I don’t know how you guys can call it luck or chance???? Are we watching the same game???

    krueg August 13, 2008, 3:35 pm
  • It isn’t luck or chance in the same way that rolling a die is (though the analogy isn’t as bad as it sounds). I think about chance as it pertains to Baseball this way: You can write 200 hits a year for Ichiro in pen. But you have to use pencil if you want to guess when he hits them. The distribution of the hits is chance; the talent to get them is not.

    FenSheaParkway August 13, 2008, 4:36 pm
  • FSP has it exactly right. A fair batted ball will almost invariably fall for a hit 30 percent of the time, unless it’s a home run. So the talent is in hitting more line drives (which fall in for hits more often) and more home runs, as well as drawing more walks and seeing more pitches. But once the ball’s in the air, or on the ground, neither the pitcher nor the hitter has enough talent to will it into a hit or out.
    How many times do you see screamers hit right at a defender but little squibblers die on the line for a hit? Baseball’s a lot more about luck than people realize.

    Paul SF August 13, 2008, 4:53 pm
  • There is also this…
    How many times do you hear the media/broadcasters say things like, “he was really trying to pull it down the line there to get it past XXXX who was playing pretty far off the bag.”
    Or something like that the gives the impression that in a certain at bat, the player was intending to hit the ball to a specific spot in fair territory.
    Doesn’t happen. That’s why you always here players say, “I was just looking for a ball I could drive.”
    In the history of baseball maybe a few people are exceptions to this rule, but 99.9% of the time they are all just looking to make solid contact with the ball, they have no clue where it’s going.

    LocklandSF August 13, 2008, 5:03 pm
  • I tried explaining this concept to someone who’s sort of learning the ropes with being a Baseball fan. The mixture of disappointment and confusion on their face made me wish I had just kept my mouth shut. I’d forgotten how disconcerting it is to think that a player can’t always just will himself to succeed.

    FenSheaParkway August 13, 2008, 5:10 pm
  • Didn’t see this already posted – Lowell is on the DL. Yuck

    rootbeerfloat August 13, 2008, 5:38 pm
  • i hear what you all are saying with regards to luck, but when patterns establish themselves it’s hard to deny reasons for that pattern. it cannot rest solely on luck. last nites homer by a-rod was his first hit to put the yankees ahead after the 7th inning all year. if it really all comes down to probabilities, he’s doing an amazing job at counteracting the likelihood of potential events.

    sf rod August 13, 2008, 5:51 pm
  • I agree, sf rod. Rodriguez is a baffling case. It doesn’t *all* come down to probabilities. It comes down to probabilities as much as probability would suggest it would, if that makes sense. There are rules, exceptions, and exceptions to the exception. Outliers, and all that.
    Lowell may be out, but I haven’t seen a lot of chatter around here about the Rays missing Longoria until September, and Crawford for maybe the year. Kind of a big deal, no?

    FenSheaParkway August 13, 2008, 6:04 pm
  • Well, you cannot discount the human factor. I think those who digest solely statistical information without recognizing that are not fully appreciating the complexity of the game. Choking and rising to the occasion must happen in baseball because they happen in life. People freeze up, or people come through when you least expect them to. It’s the idea that such actions are repeatable that I find flawed.
    But I return to the Ortiz and Beckett cases. They elevated their already-spectacular performances more than once in multiple years in do-or-die situations. They seem to have somehow mastered the repeatability of clutch performance.
    So I won’t say that clutch doesn’t exist. Just that, if it exists, it’s rare and probably will never be quantifiable. But, people being people, you just can’t flatly say with certainty what can or cannot happen.

    Paul SF August 13, 2008, 6:05 pm
  • Didn’t see this already posted – Lowell is on the DL. Yuck
    Maybe not yuck. He’s been hideous for almost 45 days, well below replacement. If Casey and Youk can stay healthy and if Casey can be replacement value, the Sox may in fact be better off than with Lowell playing day-in, day-out with his hip injury and now this oblique thing. Certainly you’d rather have a healthy Lowell over anything else, but he hasn’t been healthy for weeks and he’s been playing like it.

    SF August 13, 2008, 6:15 pm
  • I felt the same way about clutch with Jeter and in the 2001 Series with Tino and Brosius. They all looked for pitches they could drive. But Tino and Brosius were actually worse in the post-season in their careers than during the regular season. No clutch there either, just memorable homeruns.
    Papi in 2004 was amazing; regular season and post-season. But in 2005 and 2007, he was back to his normal self. His post-season numbers are skewed by his getting most of his at-bats there during his absolute peak. James is seeing something because he’s too close to the situation. Across his career, Papi’s “clutch” stats barely move from his overall career averages.
    As for the variance between types of post-season series, my point was that it’s all noise due to too few at-bats. That’s especially true of the small range for Papi (.057 OPS). There might be something to the quality of pitching argument with Jeter (range from .744 OPS to .950 OPS = .206 or four times as much movement) but then he was terrible last year in the division series.
    I agree completely with the discussion of luck. Players are who they are based on their talent. The more opportunities they have the more the luck balances out and that becomes apparent.

    Ben (YF) August 13, 2008, 6:24 pm
  • How many at-bats has A-Rod had in those situations this year? Why did he perform last year but not this year? If you can’t explain that, then luck is just as good an explanation as any.
    If Ortiz and Beckett have mastered repeatability, what’s happened this year?
    With events being random, you can never say what will happen, not even crossing the street.

    Ben (YF) August 13, 2008, 6:36 pm
  • Totally different topic: why is it that we’ve needed dire injuries to our (permanently) sucking shortstop and (temporarily) sucking third baseman to get the best lineup out there? If Lugo and Lowell weren’t hurting, Tito would still be trotting them out there to be murderized daily. (I pray that he leaves Lowrie out there when Lugo’s back…there’s no justifiable way to put him back in the lineup…RIGHT?!)
    Lucky injuries, we haz them. (At least, I think Casey right now will be better than Lowell right now, though not on defense, but I still think it’s a net gain.)

    Devine August 13, 2008, 6:42 pm