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Posts Tagged ‘Allen Webster’

Well, that’s a wrap! That, my friends, is officially a wrap.  The 2013 regular baseball season is now over.  That’s it.  We finish with a record of ninety-seven and sixty-five.  That’s good for a winning percentage of .599, which is the best in the American League and tied with the Cards for the best in the Majors.

Look at how far we’ve come.  New manager, new players, new team.  And new record.  Better record.  Look at how far we’ve come.  Look at all the changes we’ve made and the transitions we’ve gone through.  And we made it on the other side.  Not to say I told you so, but I knew good things were in store for us from the very beginning.  And in this particular case I’m so psyched I’m right.

We ended the season, unfortunately, with a loss.  But the pitching staff got some last-minute work in while Lackey got the day off, which is good.  Webster pitched three shutout innings to start us off.  Doubront took over in the fourth but got into trouble in the fifth.  He gave up two singles followed by a strikeout and a walk to load the bases.  A double, a single, a walk, and a single ended up scoring five runs.

Then it was De La Rosa’s turn.  He ended the inning and gave up a single in the sixth.  Dempster took over and gave up a double, a wild pitch that scored a run, and a groundout.  Dempster came on and, while ending the inning, also gave up an RBI double.  Breslow pitched the seventh, and Uehara pitched the eighth.

The game started very nicely with a solo shot on the fourth pitch, courtesy of Ellsbury.  It was his third cutter of the at-bat, and all four pitches were about the same speed.  But he hit this one beyond the fence in right center field.  And he looked comfortable doing it, too.  It’s his third leadoff shot this year and tenth of his career, which is a new club record!

After Bogaerts struck out, Papi singled and then scored on a groundout by Carp.  With one out in the second, John McDonald singled, and Quintin Berry went yard on a changeup to right.  So the pitchers were taking this opportunity to get their work in, and so was the bench.  Which, as we all know, is very important.  Salty singled and scored on a single by Ellsbury in the fourth.  And Papi singled and scored on a single by Napoli in the ninth.

So we lost, 7-6.  But that’s so opposite of everything we’ve accomplished this year.  I’m so proud of us.  Now, this moment is really all about us.  But I want to say one thing.  The New York Yankees will be missing the playoffs this year.  Wow.  Life is good.

Okay.  So.  The whole team gets the day off on Monday, when the Rays and Rangers play for the final Wild Card spot.  Whoever wins will play Cleveland.  Then the division series will start on Friday.  The first two games will be at home, followed by a day off, then two games away, and then the last game would be back at home.

Oh, man, it’s good to be back.  Let’s get this done.

In other news, the Pats bested the Falcons, 30-23.

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We started our series against the Yankees on Friday, and we’ve won it.  That is, the least way we can describe it is having won it.  Because really, we swept it.  It was just one of the most beautiful things to see.  Sweeping the Yankees? Yes, please.

Friday’s game was a game of bookends, so to speak.  We won, 8-4, because we scored four runs in the first and four runs in the eighth and no runs in between.  In the first, Pedroia singled, Victorino flied out, Papi doubled, Pedroia scored on a groundout by Carp, Papi scored on a single by Nava, Salty walked, and Nava and Salty both scored on a double by Drew.  But the eighth, I have to say, was my favorite.  Victorino singled, Papi got hit, and Gomes walked to load the bases.  Nava struck out.  And then it was Salty’s turn.  He took a changeup for a strike.  And then he got a fastball that looked really good.  For him.  Not for the pitcher.  The pitcher didn’t stand a chance.  Salty uncorked a massive swing on that ball and sent it beyond the right field fence for a grand slam.  It was epic.  And it came against the Yankees.  That’s about as good as it gets.

Meanwhile, Lackey gave up four runs on seven hits in six and one-third innings.  He gave up no walks and struck out three.  Lackey gave up a solo shot to lead off the third.  Then he gave up one run on a double-sac fly combination in the sixth.  He had the bases loaded with two out in the seventh thanks to two singles and a walk, and he gave up a two-run double that obviously could have been much worse.  Workman got the last out of the seventh, Tazawa pitched the eighth, and Uehara pitched the ninth.

Saturday’s win was more modest, but it was a win nonetheless.  5-1 is a pretty satisfying score.  And Lester was, without a doubt, the star of the show.  He pitched a full eight innings of one-run ball and gave up only three hits and two walks while striking out five.  He threw 116 pitches, eighty of which were strikes.  He went one-two-three in his first three innings and gave up his only run in the fourth because he gave up a triple to lead it off, and it turned into a run on a groundout.  So even in the inning during which the one blemish of his performance occurred, he still managed to derive an out from it.  He ended up facing five in the fourth due to a walk, and he faced four in the fifth and sixth.  He went one-two-three in the seventh and issued another walk in the eighth.  Yeah.  Master.  Morales pitched the ninth.

So it was really, really nice that we gave him run support.  Napoli led off the second with a single and scored on a groundout by Middlebrooks.  Pedroia led off the third with a single and scored on a double by Papi, who scored on a single by Gomes.  Ross led off the fourth with a single and scored on a single by Victorino.  And Napoli led off the fifth with a walk and scored on a sac fly by Nava.  Clearly the leadoff was very good for us.

And last but not least, we won yesterday by a score of 9-2.  In a way, it was a fitting way to contribute to the roast of Mariano Rivera, which, if I may say so, was hilarious and seemed to be taken in the correct stride by all.  The Yanks probably thought they had Buchholz when they were the first to score.  It was only one run in the first, but scoring in the first inning can do a lot to boost your confidence.  But it was one of those earned unearned runs; Buchholz issued a walk and then himself made a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, and then the runner scored on a groundout.  So it was Buchholz who made his own fielding error, so it’s kind of funny to call that unearned.  All told, he gave up just the one run on two hits in six innings, walking four and striking out three.  Thornton pitched the seventh, Breslow pitched the eighth, and Webster pitched the ninth, during which he gave up a run thanks to a walk-single combination that, in the grand scheme of things, really didn’t matter at all.

Fortunately, we too scored in the first inning.  But we scored more.  Pedroia grounded out, and then Nava doubled and scored on a single by Papi, who moved to second on a wild pitch.  And then Napoli lit up the place with a two-run shot all the way to deep, deep center field.  And we added insurance in one of the coolest ways possible in the fourth.  Napoli walked to lead off but was out in a force by Salty.  Salty moved to second on a passed ball and third on a groundout by Drew, and then Bogaerts walked.  So we had runners at the corners.  And then it was Bradley’s turn to bat.  And suddenly, cool as ice, Salty just slides on into home.  Yes.  That’s right.  Jarrod Saltalamacchia stole home.  It was epically awesome.  It was so polished and clean, like he does it all the time.  I’m telling you, he timed it perfectly, and there was nothing the Yanks could do about it.  It was absolutely perfect.  He nailed it right on.  Wow.  It was awesome.  And we weren’t even done.  In the fifth, after Pedroia walked, Nava doubled, and Papi walked intentionally, Carp got hit by a pitch, and with nowhere to go, Pedroia just had to score.  In the sixth, Bogaerts doubled and Pedroia walked, and each scored on a single, the first by Nava and the second by Papi.  In the seventh, Bogaerts singled, Bradley got hit, and both scored on a single by Pedroia.

In other news, the Pats are really starting the regular season off right, having secured another win, albeit a close one, against the Jets, 13-10.

Boston Globe Staff/Jim Davis

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Never believing that you’re out of a game is a very valuable skill.  It makes you able to make sure hat you’re never out of a game.  It would have been easier last night for us to just assume that we wouldn’t be able to score enough runs to keep a lead going.  But then we wouldn’t have won big.

Allen Webster had a terrible night.  And when I say terrible,  I mean terrible.  It was, well, terrible.  In the first, he gave up a single and then a two-run shot.  In the second, he loaded the bases with a single and two walks and then cleared them with a double.  In the third he gave up a solo shot, a single, and a lineout before being replaced by Aceves, who gave up a triple that allowed his inherited runner to score.

So Webster gave up seven runs in less than three innings.  Ouch.  At the time, he was exceedingly fortunate that he had excellent run support.  Somehow, we managed to survive his implosion by scoring enough runs to generate a one-run lead.

Papi led off the second with a solo shot, but the really big inning was the third, during which we scored five runs.  Nava lined out, Victorino singled, and Pedroia smacked a two-run shot.  Papi doubled, and Napoli smacked a two-run shot.  Salty doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch during Iglesias’s at-bat, and scored on Holt’s sac fly.  Nava got hit in the fourth and scored on a single by Pedroia, and Bradley hit a solo shot in the fifth.

Breslow came on for the fourth and stayed for the fifth and an out and a double in the sixth.  Then it was Bailey’s turn.  He finished the sixth and pitched through the seventh.  Tazawa gave up a single that turned into a run on a groundout in the eighth.

That run would have tied the game at eight had it not been for some clutch hitting in the top of the frame.  Victorino appropriately led it off with a solo shot.  Then Pedroia lined out, Papi singled, Napoli struck out, Salty walked intentionally, and then Iglesias and Holt each singled in a run.  And Uehara pitched the ninth.

So, in total, that’s sixteen hits, three doubles, and a whopping five home runs! The score, thanks to our resilient attitude, was 11-8.

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There are few better ways to celebrate the Fourth of July than kicking back, relaxing, and taking in a textbook specimen of the national pastime.  I especially appreciated the victory, because losing would have really put a damper on the festive spirit.  I love baseball on the Fourth of July.  It would have been even better to have seen the national pastime played in America’s Most Beloved Ballpark, but the schedule is the schedule.  It was a great game anyway.

Webster got the nod to start and did a great job.  He gave up two runs on five hits over six innings with four walks and as many strikeouts.  He walked Pedro Ciriaco of all people to lead off the third, and he eventually scored on a sac fly.  He gave up his other run in the fifth thanks to a double-single combination.  And he ended his start on a fantastic one-two-three note.

Just as great as Webster’s start was the collective performance of our relievers, who pitched four shutout innings to hold the Padres at two runs.  Bailey got the seventh and miraculously sent down the three hitters he faced.  Wilson pitched the eighth and got the first out of the ninth before Breslow took over.

In the meantime, we didn’t waste time putting ourselves on top.  Ellsbury singled to lead off the first, and then Victorino and Pedroia hit back-to-back doubles, the latter of which scored two.  With one out in the second, Snyder hit a solo shot to right center field.  Napoli led off the fourth with a single and scored on a double by Iglesias.  Pedroia led off the fifth with a single but got caught stealing second; Napoli doubled and scored on a single by Gomes.  Lavarnway, Iglesias, and Ellsbury led off the sixth with back-to-back-to-back singles.  Two outs later, Iglesias and Ellsbury scored on a single by Papi.  And last but not least, Ellsbury led off the eighth with a solo shot to right.

The final score was 8-2.  And that’s the sweep!

Boston Globe Staff/Matthew J. Lee

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It was fun while it lasted.  You can’t win them all, but it sure would be nice to string some together.

Allen Webster got the start and had quite the rocky first inning.  He gave up two singles and a walk followed by a strikeout.  Then he gave up a grand slam.  I don’t know what’s worse: walking in a run or making a massive mistake in the worst possible situation.  Either way, the Tigers scored four runs on one swing.  He settled down after that; even the run he gave up in the fifth thanks to a single-single combination wouldn’t have been so bad had it not compounded the fact that we were already losing.

He was replaced one out into the sixth by Morales.  But Morales also proceeded to have an initial breakdown.  He issued a walk, and then an RBI double, and then an RBI single.  And like Webster, he also settled down after that.

Until the seventh.  That was when he issued a walk, admittedly followed by two strikeouts, but then also allowed a home run.  He was replaced by Alex Wilson, who ended the seventh fine but then loaded the bases with a walk and two singles in the ninth.  At least he got a double play out of it, but also allowed a run.  Honestly, if you have to allow a run in a bases-loaded situation, that is most definitely the way to do it.

Ellsbury and Victorino singled to start the game.  Ellsbury scored on Pedroia’s double play, and then Papi hit a massive solo shot on a fastball that ended up beyond the right field fence.  It was a great display of scoring runs humbly and not-so-humbly.  But by the time the ninth inning started, we were already down by eight.  The best we did was shrink that deficit down to seven.  Papi singled but was out in a fielder’s choice; it was Carp who scored on a single by Salty.  So we lost, 10-3.

In other news, the Bruins find themselves in a bad position.  We lost last night, 3-1, and now we’re one game behind in the series.  Obviously, to put it extremely mildly, this is not good.  We need to win.  Now.  We need to wrap this up and get the cup back.

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Boy, things against the Twins have gone from good to bad to worse.

Allen Webster started, and it was not pretty.  At no point did he possess even a modicum of command or control.  He struck out the first batter he faced but then issued two consecutive walks, an RBI double, a successful sac fly, and a two-run home run.  He gave up a solo shot to lead off the second.  He then issued a walk, gave up a double, and got the inning’s first out.  After that came another successful sac fly and another RBI double.

John had no other choice.  He had to take Wilson out, but the bullpen has been overworked lately.  He didn’t have anyone else to turn to.  So he turned to a starter.  Doubront relieved Wilson, but he was not an improvement.  He issued a walk and gave up two singles and a double that resulted in four runs total.  Only one of those was inherited and therefore attributed to Wilson.

Doubront gave up a single in the third but no runs scored.  He wasn’t so lucky in the fourth.  He gave up two singles and a walk that loaded the bases.  He was fortunate to escape that jam with only one run scoring, which at least resulted from a double play.  He gave up a double to lead off the fifth; two outs later, he gave up an RBI single followed by another single and an RBI double.  Amazingly, he had a one-two-three sixth and gave up two singles after a runner got on base thanks to a throwing error by Ciriaco, all without allowing any runs in the seventh.

I suppose we tried our best to hold our own in this one.  It wasn’t a slugfest for us, but we did score a quantity of runs that I would deem sufficient to win any ballgame.  Any pitcher should be able to win with the number of runs that we scored, and the fact that we didn’t shows that the pitchers really dropped the ball this time.  Miller pitched the best inning of the game: the eighth, in which the Twins went down in order on three strikeouts, two swinging and one looking.  Tazawa came on for the ninth and ended the game similarly to how it started: with runs.  He gave up two consecutive singles and hit a batter to load the bases.  And then he gave up a successful sac fly.  Okay, so it was only one run, but still.

Ellsbury struck out to open the first, but Victorino and Pedroia then hit back-to-back singles.  Papi struck out, and Napoli walked to load the bases.  And then something really amazing happened.  It was something so beautiful and so rare that you need to watch replays of it to convince yourself that it really happened but also just to see it again.  Oh, man, it was awesome.  It was awesome, awesome, awesome.  Gomes stepped up to the plate and took a slider for a ball.  Then he got a four-seam at ninety miles per hour that he really, really liked.  He laid into it with all he had.  The ball sailed beyond the Monster, and Gomes sailed right into a mob waiting at home plate.  Ladies and gentlemen, Jonny Gomes hit a grand slam.

And then Salty doubled and scored on a single by Drew.  And that was the first inning.  We scored a grand total of five runs on two swings, and of course we scored four of those on only one swing.  I maintain that we should be able to win a game in which we hit a grand slam.  We deserve to win any game in which we hit a grand slam.  That’s the sad part.  We’d have had to score the equivalent of at least three grand slams to win this one.

With two out in the second, Victorino hit a solo shot.  The count was 2-0, and he got a four-seam that he liked as well, which he also hit beyond the Monster.

Other than that, Salty singled in the third, Ciriaco and Ellsbury worked back-to-back walks to lead off the fourth, Napoli singled to lead off the fifth, and we went down in order in the sixth.  Pedroia and Napoli both singled in the seventh, and a sac fly by Gomes brought Pedroia home.  We had a repeat performance in the eighth; Drew and Ciriaco both singled, and a sac fly by Nava brought Drew home.  Needless to say, we went down in order in the ninth.

In the end, we lost by the ugly score of 15-8.  No baseball team should lose after scoring eight runs, and yet despite those eight runs, twelve hits, and four walks, we lost to a team that scored almost twice as many runs as we scored.  We batted .300 with runners in scoring position, four of our hits were for extra bases, and let’s not forget about the grand slam.  But when your pitching staff gives up fifteen runs on twenty hits, there’s really not much you can do about that; eight runs should always be considered sufficient, and if we’d happened to score more than fifteen runs, then that’s just great.  But it shouldn’t have to be essential.

In other news, the B’s beat the Leafs, 4-3.  We now lead the series, 3-1.

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It’s always nice to sweep a twin bill.  I bet the Royals are having just a grand old time of it.  It was both exhausting and awful.

Ryan Dempster gave a great start in the opener.  He gave up four runs on six hits while walking three and striking out eight over the course of seven innings.  I would have preferred he’d given up less runs, though, because we didn’t score enough to make up for that damage.

Dempster gave up a solo shot in the first, but we moved ahead in the bottom of the frame.  After Ellsbury popped out to lead it off, Nava, Pedroia, and Papi hit back-to-back-to-back singles that scored one and a groundout that brought home another.  Those were the only two runs we’d score that morning.  The Royals, meanwhile, were not done. Dempster gave up two consecutive singles in the fourth; a double brought in their third run, and another single two strikeouts later brought in the last run of the game.  Mortensen pitched the eighth, and Alex Wilson pitched the ninth.  The final score was 4-2.

Allen Webster got the nod to start the nightcap.  It was a decent start.  The important thing is that we put ourselves in a position to win.  He gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits while walking one and striking out five.  He gave up a double on his first pitch of the game, and then he gave up a single that resulted in a run thanks to Ciriaco’s throwing error.  Webster was great in the second, third, and fourth.  But then he gave up two solo shots in the fifth: strikeout, solo shot, strikeout, solo shot, groundout.  Tazawa came on for the seventh.

We were a run behind by the time the second inning rolled around, but we quickly took the lead.  Napoli worked a 2-1 count to lead off the second and then got an eighty-four mile-per-hour slider.  He crushed it.  Over the Monster in left.  Watching him hit home runs is a beautiful thing; it looks so natural, like it’s the easiest thing in the world.  It’s absolutely fantastic.  Salty worked a five-pitch walk after that and scored on a double by Carp.

We added another run in the third.  Ellsbury opened the inning with a double, moved to third on a groundout by Nava, and scored on a single by Pedroia.  The rest of the inning could have seen the rally go on, but it was a complete and total mess.  Pedroia got caught stealing second base, thrown out by who but George Kottaras.  Then Napoli doubled, and Salty singled.  And then the ball was deflected by the first baseman, and Napoli tried to score but was out at home, and that was the end of that.

In the bottom of the fifth, the game was tied at three, but we scored the winning run yet again.  Ellsbury lined out, but then Nava walked, Pedroia singled, and Napoli singled in Nava.  Napoli moved to second on a passed ball, but Salty struck out and Middlebrooks grounded out, killing any rally that would have arisen.

It was all going so well.  Neither team scored after the fifth, and the fifth had left us on top by one.  But Tazawa handed the ball to Uehara in the eighth, and unfortunately he brought the badness on a day when we hadn’t scored enough runs to absorb it.  He got the first two outs of the inning but then gave up a solo shot to tie it at four.  It stayed like that through the ninth, when Bailey pitched.  Then Miller came on for the tenth.  He induced a strikeout for the first out of the inning but then gave up a single and a walk.  He got another strikeout but gave up another single to load the bases.  And then he did the one thing that we love to see opposing pitchers do.  He allowed the winning run in extra innings in the worst and most embarrassing possible way.  He walked it in.  Four pitches.  It was a completely and therefore appropriately disappointing to the end of a sweepingly awful day.  Pun most definitely intended.

In other news, the Bruins shut out the Panthers, three-zip.

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