Congratulations to Papi, Pedroia, and Buchholz, who are all going to the All-Star Game! Obviously they’ve earned it. I know they’ll do what they can to help the American League bring it home this year. And I hope that we’ll be the ones reaping the benefits in several months. And I hope that we’ll pitch better than we did last night so we can get there. Specifically, I hope the relief corps doesn’t make a habit of blowing four-run leads.
Ellsbury singled on the second pitch of the game and proceeded to lay out a textbook example of what manufacturing a run means. Two outs later, he moved to second on a single by Papi and then stole third, thereby inducing a throwing error that allowed him to score. Jacoby Ellsbury is the quintessential baserunner: smart, adaptive, quick-thinking, attentive, and of course as fast as it gets. Nava singled to lead off the second and scored on a sac fly by Brock Holt.
Dempster tied the game at two in the second. He gave up a solo shot to lead it off and then induced a flyout. But then he gave up a single that he turned into a double by making a throwing error, and then let it turn into a run on another single. He gave up another solo shot to lead off the third.
But fortunately we had an answer to that. Make that a tying answer, a go-ahead answer, and an answer to spare. Napoli walked to lead off the inning, Nava doubled, and Salty cleared the bases with a double. Holt reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners, and Salty scored on a single by Iglesias. With one out in the sixth, Ellsbury tripled and scored on a single by Pedroia. And Pedroia led off the eighth with a single and scored on a double by Nava.
Heading into the ninth inning, the score was 7-3. Dempster had given up just the three runs and was replaced by Miller a walk and a strikeout into the seventh. Miller gave up a single and was replaced by Bailey, who actually induced a double play and managed to get through the eighth inning without incident. Ironically, the trouble with the relief corps started only after Bailey was taken out.
Wilson was put on for the ninth. He got the first out with a strikeout, gave up a single, got the second out with a flyout, gave up another single, and hit a batter to load the bases. Uehara came on, and obviously what we needed in that situation was an out. We would have done well with an out of any kind. The bases were loaded, but there were already two out. All we needed was one more.
Eventually, Uehara did strike out a batter to end the inning. But not before he allowed multiple scoring plays. He gave up two consecutive singles that scored a combined total of three runs. Then Snyder made a throwing error on a force attempt, which let the tying run score. So I guess technically if the damage had stopped with those two RBI singles, we still could have won the game within nine innings by one run.
We ended up playing eleven and didn’t have much of a fight to show for it. We went down in order in the tenth with three strikeouts and the eleventh with two groundouts and a popout. Breslow pitched a solid tenth, but after securing the first out in the eleventh, he gave up a single followed by a home run. It was the first and last pitch of the at-bat, a bad slider. So after all that baseball, which started late to begin with, the Angels won, 9-7.