The inclement weather gave us a spontaneous day off, although the game was postponed, so we’ll have to make it up later. Speaking of which, that is also what we did today. It turns out that the extra off day was right on time; making up a game previously rescheduled, we had a twin bill.
We lost the opener. Doubront took the loss but Morales didn’t help any. Doubront gave up only three runs in six innings of work; that’s a quality start. None of the runs scored via the long ball, which means that they were not the products of isolated mistakes. However, Doubront by no means had a bad day. He actually looked pretty good. And if the Angels had been held to three runs, then all else being equal, we would have walked away the victors.
Morales, however, gave up four runs in the seventh inning alone. Not counting the outs, he gave up a double, an intentional walk, an RBI double, another walk that loaded the bases, and two consecutive walks that both walked in runs and re-loaded the bases each time. Then he was lifted for Mortensen, who gave up a single that allowed one of his inherited runners to score. It was awful. Morales could not find the strike zone at any time. His terrible performance made the two outs that he managed to record look like accidents. Mortensen pitched until he allowed two singles and a popup in the ninth, when Miller took over. Miller gave up a walk to load the bases, which was obviously the theme of our relief corps’s performance. One force out later, he walked in a run of his own, and a fielding error by Napoli resulted in the Angels’ last run of the morning.
Carp hit a solo shot to lead off the fourth for our first run of the day. Two outs later, Ellsbury walked, stole second, and scored on a single by Nava. We were still fighting even in the ninth inning; we hit three straight singles with two out plus a double that scored a total of two runs. But it wasn’t enough, and we lost, 9-5.
The nightcap got off to an auspicious start. Victorino singled to lead off the first and scored on a double by Gomes, who scored on a double by Pedroia. The next inning, Gomes singled and scored on a double by Papi. The nightcap then continued just as auspiciously; Iglesias led off the sixth with a single and scored two outs later on a single by Pedroia. And it all cleared when Papi homered for two more runs.
Buchholz gave up his first run in the third thanks to a double-single combination. He gave up his second run in the sixth thanks to a double and a sac fly. And that was it for him. Breslow and Tazawa finished the game, and the final score was 7-2. So we split. I would have preferred we sweep, but we’ll take what we can get.
Now that’s what I call quick work. The Penguins never saw it coming. It was a clean sweep, culminating in a one-zip win. That would be twenty-six saves for Tuuka Rask and some timely heroics by Adam McQuaid. The Eastern Conference is now officially in the bag.