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.