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Posts Tagged ‘John Farrell’

Congratulations to Papi for reeling in his sixth Silver Slugger, a very well-deserved award indeed! Pedroia has been named the AL Defensive Player of the Year, and John is up for AL Manager of the Year.

Other than that, it’s still really early in the offseason, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens as things start heating up.

In other news, the Pats walked all over the Steelers, 55-31.  The Bruins lost to the Stars, 3-2 in a shootout but went on to beat the Panthers, 4-1, and the Leafs, 3-1.

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Oh, the glory.  Oh, the epic glory and elation.  Oh, the epic glory and elation and wonder and virtue and justice that has been delivered again to Boston this year.  I don’t even know.  I can’t even adequately verbalize the truly awesome epicness of this entire situation.  Oh, the glory.

I just have to say this.  Ladies and gentlemen, we, Red Sox Nation, are the official diehard supporters of the Boston Red Sox, the official World Series champions.

Actually, I have to say this multiple times.  THE BOSTON RED SOX JUST WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!! THE CROWN HAS RETURNED TO ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE!!!! THE UNIVERSE HAS NOW AGAIN BEEN MADE RIGHT!!!!

And again.  WE ARE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!!

Think about where we were this time last year.  We were not busy winning the World Series.  We were busy trying to deal with the pain of watching some other team win the World Series, let alone play in the World Series, let alone make it to the playoffs.  The circumstances surrounding the team were so disappointing and disillusioning so often, and we were just hoping that we could turn it around in the offseason.

After that offseason, since day one of this season, the pieces have fallen into place.  This year’s team is brand new in so many innumerable and yet vitally important ways.  And it was really a team, from the first game of Spring Training to the last game of the World Series; even through everyone said we wouldn’t amount to anything this year, a different guy was getting it done every night, and everyone was relying on everyone else to deliver their own core strengths.  The clubhouse dynamic has been healthy, and that really translated well onto the field.  So in terms of big-picture team qualities, I think this year’s team just had so much in common with past teams that have won the World Series.  And I don’t think that that’s a coincidence.

To go from worst to first, it takes a team.  A whole team.  It definitely takes a team.

This posteason hasn’t been easy.  We had our work cut out for us the whole way through.  And this is the first of our last three championships that we hadn’t been able to sweep.  It was nerve-wracking and nail-biting.  It was like that all the way down to the wire.  Of course, in the end, part of that had to do with the fact that, even though I was seeing it with my own eyes, I couldn’t quite believe it until the field was mobbed and the goggles were donned and the champagne was sprayed and the trophy was hoisted and and we won it all.  That last out was just so brutal; the seconds lasted forever, and then it was over so fast.

And we won the World Series.  This whole organization turned itself around, and we became champions of the world.  I am so proud of this organization and this city, and I am so proud to be a member of Red Sox Nation.

Alright.  Down to the monumental contest itself.  Obviously, we came home needing to win only one more game to cap the year with the greatest accolade that the Major Leagues has to offer.  Lackey got the call, and he most definitely did not disappoint.  He delivered one of the best starts this month, giving up only one run on nine hits over the course of six and two-thirds innings while walking one and striking out five.  He threw 105 pitches, two of which were wild and seventy-six of which were strikes.

But that doesn’t even tell the whole story.  He went one-two-three in the first.  He gave up two singles in the second and ended the inning with three straight outs.  He went one-two-three in the third despite giving up a single thanks to a double play.  He gave up a single and contended with a second baserunner in the fourth thanks to a fielding error by Pedroia but escaped unscathed.  He pitched around another two singles in the fifth and went one-two-three in the sixth.

His problem was the seventh.  Lackey is an incredibly fierce competitor, which is something you really, really want in a starting pitcher.  Unless they aren’t very good at letting go.  Two outs into the inning, he gave up a single, a double, and an RBI single.  That run was the Cards’ first of the night, which broke up a potential shutout.  I’ll be honest with you.  A win is a win no matter how many runs the opposition scores as long as you score more, but after having played close games against this team, I just really, really wanted the shutout.  Whatever.  We won the World Series, so in the end it doesn’t matter.

Anyway, then Lackey convinced John to leave him in but proceeded to issue a walk.  And that was it for Lackey.  But not before he received an incredibly well-deserved standing ovation.  The organization turned around, and so did he.  And earned the start last night, and he earned that standing ovation.

Then Tazawa ended the inning.  Workman came out for the eighth and mowed right through, going one-two-three in the inning.  And then I could taste it.  I could just feel that glory about to wash over this great city.  A city that’s been through a lot this year, and a team that’s helped everyone get through it.

The epic awesomeness was supplemented by offense.  Obviously.  Because without hitting and scoring, you can’t even win a single game, let along a World Series.  Whoever hunkered down for a long night after two scoreless innings looked really, really incorrect really fast.

We scored three runs in the third and another three in the fourth.

Ellsbury singled to lead off the third and moved to second on a groundout by Pedroia.  Papi walked intentionally, Napoli struck out, and Gomes got hit to load the bases.  Victorino yet again came up with the big hit, clearing the bases with one swing.

Then Drew homered on the first pitch of the fourth.  It was a fastball clocked at ninety-one miles per hour, and he powered that ball out of the park in right center.  It was epic.  It was also the lone power display of the night.  So in this game we had some of everything: small ball, long ball, and most importantly, everything else.

Ross struck out, Ellsbury doubled and moved to third on a flyout by Pedroia, and Papi walked intentionally again.  Then Napoli singled in Ellsbury, Gomes walked to load the bases, and Victorino singled in Papi.

And that was it.  Six runs in two innings.  We couldn’t have known this at the time, but the game was won after we scored our second run in the third.

And then Uehara came on for the ninth.  And he recorded the first out.  And the second out.  And the third out.  It was happening right in front of me and it was something so beautiful and incredible to see, and I couldn’t believe it.  And yet simultaneously I could, because I knew that this is where we were, in Boston, at the end of October.  Right here.  Right now.

And then it was over.  And the field was full.  And we won.  We won it all.  And The Standells played, because now Boston is everyone’s home.

The final score was 6-1.

It was the first time we won the World Series at home in ninety-five years.  The last time? 1918.  Against the Cubs.  The first time we won the World Series since? 2004.  The team we played? The St. Louis Cardinals.  Coincidence? I think not.

Again, I point out the glory.  The sheer beauty of the thing and the glory, glory, glory that is Boston’s this year.  The glory that belongs to every single player, and coach, and manager of course, and staff member, and brass of this illustrious organization.  The glory that belongs to Big Papi, the official World Series MVP, and to everyone who was a part of this win.  The glory that belongs to each and every beard, real or fake, that’s been feared.  The glory that belongs to each and every rally cap that’s been turned upside-down.  The glory that belongs to the people of Boston after having endured such tragedy this year.  The glory that belongs to Red Sox Nation the world over, because the World Series is ours.  I think I speak for all of Red Sox Nation when I congratulate ourselves on a truly incredible journey that has brought us to the end of a truly incredible year.

WE DID IT!!!!

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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This was one of those games that ended in an infuriating way because of an infuriating call.  It happens sometimes.  But technically, it shouldn’t happen at all.  That’s the infuriating part.  It’s completely avoidable, and yet somehow there is always some team that gets hurt.  Honestly, I don’t really mind if that particular team happens to be an adversary of ours.  But when it happens to you, you just know that there is no justice.

We have seen better from Doubront, especially lately.  But this really wasn’t that bad.  He pitched five innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits.  He walked four and struck out two.  Doubront led off his performance inauspiciously with two walks followed by an RBI double and an RBI groundout.  He gave up two singles and a double in the second, and a run scored on a passed ball.  He had a one-two-three third and a damage-free fourth and another one-two-three inning in the fifth.

Through the fifth, we were in the lead by one, having scored four runs.  Napoli led off the first with a single, Carp flied out, Drew walked, and Lavarnway singled in Napoli.  Drew later scored on a sac fly by Ellsbury.  That tied the game at two.  Pedroia led off the third with a single and scored on a groundout by Napoli to retie the game at three.  And we were winning after Lavarnway led off the fourth with a walk and scored on a groundout by Victorino.

We didn’t score in the sixth, and Tazawa made sure that they didn’t either.  We didn’t score in the seventh, but the same can not be said of the Tigers.  Obviously.  Because Bailey came out to pitch, and what has he done lately? He’s helped all of our opponents way more than he’s helped us, that’s for sure.  Yesterday was no different.  He gave up a single, secured the inning’s first out, gave up another single, and was then replaced by Miller.

But Miller gave up a single to load the bases, and then recorded a strikeout.  But then he did something really awful.  Perhaps just as embarrassing as walking in a run is hitting in a run.  By that I mean that Bailey hit a batter with the bases loaded, so he practically handed Detroit a free run.  Admittedly, with the bases loaded, the damage could have done far worse, but that’s not the point.  The point is that pitchers should have control that is far better than a lack of control that would allow a situation in which a hit batsman facilitates a run scoring.

We didn’t score in the eighth.  The Tigers led off the bottom of the eighth with what was obviously a fly ball.  One up, one down.  Nava caught it.  And he put his hand in his glove to get the ball to throw it in.  And then somehow second-base umpire Mike DiMuro made the absurdly ridiculous call that Nava had dropped the ball.  John came out to argue and rightly so.  He ended up getting ejected for the first time this year, but not before it was obvious to all that the ball was caught.  That was an out.  I don’t know which baseball game DiMuro was watching, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t ours.

To make matters even worse, Bailey made a throwing error, so what should have been the second out of the inning resulted in a situation with two men on base.  Miller then loaded the bases again with a walk.  He was pulled in favor of Wilson, who gave up a sac fly that brought in one run and an intentional walk.  Breslow came on and gave up a two-run single.

Pedroia led off the ninth with a single and scored on a double by Gomes, but by then the damage had already been done.  And we lost, 7-5.  If not for that completely botched eighth, it’s entirely possible and perhaps even probable that the game would have ended differently.

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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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The game lasted three hours and one minute.  When a game is short, it’s either really good and really bad.  Usually, it’s really good for one team and really bad for the other team.

Dempster gave a great start.  He was the victim of some errors, but overall he made a great start.  He pitched seven innings, which is longer than usual for him.  He gave up four runs, only two of which were earned, on five hits.  He walked only one and struck out eight.  Disregarding the unearned runs and accounting for the number of innings, the lack of walks, and the abundant strikeouts, it was one of his best starts this year.

He had a one-two-three first.  A single was his only blemish in the second.  He had a one-two-three third.  He gave up a single and issued a walk in the fourth.  The trouble started in the fifth.  He gave up a double and then balked.  He induced a popout that was more trouble than it was worth; Middlebrooks caught it in foul territory, but he collided with Ross en route.  It was so bad that the two of them had to leave the game; Ross had an injured leg, and Middlebrooks had an injured side.  It was truly, truly painful to watch too.  But what a catch.  Seriously, what a catch.  And Dempster allowed a single that Drew deflected and that scored a run.

He had a one-two-three sixth, and he gave up a solo shot in the seventh.  It was reviewed but ended up standing.  But it was close.  Really, really close.

Dempster had two baserunners reach in the eighth on errors.  Both were fielding errors by Ciriaco.  That was when Dempster was replaced by Breslow, who gave up a double, a walk, and two singles.  The latter two singles were both responsible for loading the bases.  Four runs scored on Breslow’s watch; the first two were attributed to Dempster because they were scored by inherited runners, and those were the ones that were unearned, although one of Wilson’s own runs was also unearned.  Wilson replaced Breslow and induced a force out; the runner was out at home, but that didn’t stop another runner from scoring.  Salty tried to make it a double play by firing to first, but supposedly the ball hit the runner.  John came out to argue; he wasn’t ejected, but his argument wasn’t accepted.  Wilson ended the inning shortly thereafter.  Other than a walk issued in the ninth, Wilson was right on.

Meanwhile, our hitters were doing absolutely nothing.  It was like all their strength was sapped by the walkoff win, and they had nothing left.  We mustered a grand total of four hits all night.  Ellsbury singled to lead off the first, Papi singled to lead off the second, Drew singled to lead off the third, and Salty homered beyond the Monster.  Ellsbury and Pedroia both walked in the ninth.  So all of that means a few things.  First of all, without those four hits, we would have been no-hit.  Secondly, without Salty’s homer, we would have been shut out.  Thirdly, because Ellsbury walked after Salty’s home run and because Pedroia walked after Ellsbury was thrown out in a double play, at no point during the entire game did we have a single baserunner in scoring position.

Lastly, it means that we lost, 6-1.

Boston Globe Staff/Matthew J. Lee

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