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.