Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Miller’

Victorino’s thumb surgery was successful, and he should be good to go for Spring Training.  Andrew Miller’s looking forward to starting the season without a hitch as well.  We traded Franklin Morales and farm pitcher Chris Martin to the Rockies for infielder Jonathan Herrera.  And we signed Shunsuke Watanabe, a veteran submariner from Japan.

In other news, the B’s shut out the Flames and lost to the Sabres this week.

I’ll be taking a break of about two weeks.  I think we’re all looking forward to seeing the team take shape.

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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.

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Walkoffs are awesome.  That is a fact.  I am a fan of the walkoff, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen one like this.  I would not want to be on the receiving end of one of these.  No, I would not.  For the Jays, there is no question that this was absolutely and completely humiliating.  It was completely avoidable, and yet it happened anyway and, in retrospect of course, there was nothing they could do about it.  It happens sometimes; that’s the nature of the game.  But I would not want to be Toronto right now.

Napoli and Nava led off the second with back-to-back singles.  Napoli scored on a double by Lavarnway, and he and Nava both scored on a double by Brandon Snyder.

In the fourth, Dempster gave up three singles, a walk, and a groundout that resulted in two runs scoring.

Ellsbury singled and scored on a double by Gomes in the fifth.

Breslow came on for Dempster with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth but got through it.  He gave up a solo shot to lead off the seventh; Wilson and Miller both pitched that inning.  Uehara came on in the ninth and gave up a solo shot that tied the game at four.

The Jays made a pitching change for the bottom of the ninth.  Iglesias grounded out, and then Snyder singled and Ellsbury walked.  Jonathan Diaz came in to pinch-run for Snyder, and the Jays made another pitching change.

I don’t know about you, but I was getting ready to settle in for a long night.  It just felt like one of those times when it was pretty unlikely for any late-inning heroics.

And, in fact, I was right.  There weren’t any.  There was just a late-inning mistake.

Adam Lind was out with a back injury, so Josh Thole, a catcher, had to step in at first.  Victorino stepped up to the plate and hit a ground ball.  But since the Jays’ first baseman was unused to playing first, the ball went off his glove, and Diaz scored from second base.

And so it was a 5-4 walkoff.  No heroics.  Just paying attention with the opposition made mistakes.

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We scored seven runs yesterday too.  Except we didn’t score them all in one inning.  We decided to spread them out this time.  The game was basically still decided during one inning, but this time it was two runs that made the difference, not seven all at once.  Even so, it’s fun to watch us hit in the clutch.

In the second, Napoli walked, Nava singled, and both scored on a double by Drew.  Ellsbury led off the second with a single and scored on a single by Napoli.  With one out in the fourth, Drew doubled but had to be replaced by Brandon Snyder; Iglesias singled, and they both scored on a single by Ellsbury.

And last but most certainly not least, there was the seventh inning, without which we would have lost, all else being equal.  Victorino and Pedroia led it off with back-to-back singles.  Papi struck out, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch, which didn’t matter in the long run because Napoli walked.  Gomes came in to pinch-hit for Nava and singled in the go-ahead run.  With the bases still loaded, the Jays made a pitching change but promptly walked Salty to give us insurance.

Webster took the mound to start last night.  Three of the four runs he allowed scored in the fifth.  He gave up a single and issued a walk, followed by a force out and then two consecutive RBI singles followed by a successful sac fly.  He repeated the single-sac fly combination in the sixth.

Bailey came out for the seventh.  At that point, we were leading the Jays by one.  You know where this is going.  With two out, Bailey made a big mistake and gave up a solo shot, tying the game.

He was replaced by Miller after that.  Miller pitched the eighth, and Uehara pitched the ninth.  So Webster got a no-decision, Bailey got a blown save, Miller got the win, and Uehara got the save.

Because fortunately we managed to pull off a 7-5 win.

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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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Well, look at that.  Not only did we win.  Not only did we win within nine innings.  But we won within nine innings after having scored enough runs to have won this game plus perhaps a few of the close ones we’ve missed recently.  It just feels like it’s been a long time since we’ve scored this many runs.  And looked comfortable doing it.  To the point where it seemed easy, like we do this every time out.  I feel like every once in a while you need a game like that to remind you what it feels like and how easily it really does come to you.

Victorino hit a solo shot on the game’s sixth pitch; clearly we weren’t wasting any time.  Ellsbury singled and then scored on a groundout by Pedroia in the second.

Three singles in the second yielded one run for Detroit.

Fortunately, it only got better from there.

We had a four-run forth.  With one out, Salty, Drew, and Iglesias hit back-to-back-to-back singles.  Ellsbury doubled in two, and then Iglesias and Ellsbury himself scored on a single by Victorino.

Detroit pulled within one with a four-fun fifth thanks to a solo shot and then a three-run home run.  But Iglesias tripled and scored in the sixth on a single by Victorino to double our lead.  Salty led off the eighth with a walk; Drew followed it with a double, and one out later, Ellsbury walked intentionally to load the bases.  Then Salty scored on a fielder’s choice, and one out after that, Drew scored on a wild pitch.

We scored our tenth and final run in the ninth; Drew singled and came home on a single by Iglesias with a little help from a fielding error.

It was actually the Tigers who had the last laugh.  The ninth was Miller’s responsibility, and he issued a walk, gave up a single, and then let a run score on a force out.  At least he got a run out of it.

Lester had yet another mediocre performance, exiting two outs into the sixth after having given up five runs on nine hits, two of which were those home runs.  He struck out three but issued three walks.  He was succeeded by Tazawa, followed by Breslow.

In the long run, it obviously made absolutely no difference.  We won, 10-6.  Usually that kind of score is indicative of a slugfest, but I really appreciated the fact that we got this done with the long ball just as well as the small ball.

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Wow, what a long day.  A doubleheader plus a rain delay say we played a lot of baseball yesterday.  Fortunately, we came away with the sweep.  One day.  Two games.  Two wins.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  And we won both within nine innings to boot!

Ellsbury doubled in the first and scored on a sac fly by Pedroia.  Ellsbury and Victorino led off the third with back-to-back singles; both scored on a single by Papi.  With one out in the fifth, Victorino reached on a throwing error and scored on a single by Papi.  Ellsbury tripled in the seventh and scored on a triple by Victorino.

I’ve said this many times before, but for someone who doesn’t see regular pitching time as a starter, he sure did look like a great starter up there.  Aceves pitched five innings of one-run ball.  He gave up three hits and three walks while striking out two.  He issued two consecutive walks in the second, and then one of them turned into a run thanks to a single.  Other than that, he was solid.

Tazawa pitched the sixth, Miller pitched the seventh, Uehara pitched the eighth, and Breslow pitched the ninth.  We won the opener, 5-1.

Nava began the nightcap with a bang, hitting a solo shot with one out in the seventh past the fence in right center field; it was a bad slider.  And Doubront managed to completely top himself.  This, by far, is probably the best start that I have seen from him.  Ever.  Seriously.  The likes of Lester and Buchholz would be fortunate to have a start that comes close to how good this was.  I saw it with my own eyes, and I am still marveling at it.  He looked absolutely spectacular.  And the best part about it was that he looked like it was just a walk in the park.  Felix Doubront held onto a one-run lead in a one-zip game.

Eight shutout innings.  If he had pitched one more inning and not given up three hits, he actually would have had himself a perfect game.  It was absolutely amazing.  In fact, Doubront should have continued pitching.  Bailey came in, and what happens? He gives up a solo shot on his second pitch, tying it up at one.  It was absolutely cruel.

Because in the bottom of the ninth, Nava walked, and Gomes hit a whopping homer toward the Monster on the only pitch of his at-bat.  It was a walkoff.  There was a mob at the plate.  It was a thing of beauty.

Except for the fact that Bailey was credited with both the blown save and the 3-1 win.  The injustice in that is epic.  Bailey was the one who put us in the position of needing a walkoff in the first place.  And as fun as it turned out to be to watch Gomes seal the deal, it should not have been necessary.  And Doubront, who would have been perfectly happy winning a one-zip game, now has no decision to show for it.

In other news, the Bruins lead the series, two to one, thanks to a two-zip win!

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