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Posts Tagged ‘Angel Hernandez’

Simply put, a knuckleball pitcher either has it or doesn’t have it.  Yesterday, Wake didn’t have it.

That’s a pretty simple statement, but when you lose to the Twins for the first time at Fenway since 2007, what can you say? For the second straight night, we basically had nothing.

He took the loss.  He allowed eight runs, six earned, on nine hits.  Wake walked four and struck out only one.  He gave up a solo home run in the first inning.

The second inning was quite the interesting one.  Michael Cuddyer led off with a walk, Danny Valencia singled, and Ben Revere singled to load the bases.  Then Drew Butera flew out and Alexi Casilla struck out swinging.  Right when it looked like we were about to get out of the inning, Denard Span singled in two runs.  Then home plate umpire Angel Hernandez called a balk on Wake that allowed another run to score.  He called the balk because he thought that Wake didn’t finish his move to third; he stepped toward third in order to fake a throw but threw to first instead; in that situation, you would have to actually make the fake throw to third and have the third baseman fire to first.  Wake, meanwhile, thought that it was just a routine pickoff at first.  Tito came out to argue the call; naturally he was ejected.  Then third base umpire Joe West intervened, and then Tito got really angry.  Joe West will probably get in trouble for putting his hands on Tito.  Good, because first of all he put his hands on Tito, and secondly that balk scored a run and started what would end up being a three-run rally.

Wake was pulled after giving up two runs on a double in the fifth after having recorded one out.

He was replaced by Aceves, who replaced Atchison, who was sent down.  Upon entering the inning, Aceves allowed both of his inherited runners to score on a fielding error by Lowrie, the first of two errors he’d make on the day.  He also allowed a runner of his own to score.  At least he got through the rest of the game.  By the time the sixth inning rolled around, the two teams had already posted the final score: 9-2.

Our two runs were scored via the solo shot.  First it was Drew in the second inning with one out.  He’d been fed a steady diet of sinkers in that at-bat and worked the count full; he took the first one for a ball, then a strike, then a ball, then a strike, then a ball, then a shot behind the Pesky Pole.  Then it was Gonzalez in the fourth inning with none out.  He took a sinker for a ball and fouled off another before sending a slider into the Monster seats.  Together, those two home runs brought us within two.  We were right in it.  And then we gave all the momentum back to the Twins, and they put up a four-spot in the fifth and one more in the sixth for good measure.

Ellsbury went two for four; that was it for multi-hit games.  We collected seven hits, left four on base, and went 0 for 2 with runners in scoring position.

I can not believe the Twins used us to break their winning streak.  That’s really bad.  I mean, when I said we need to play better, I was serious.  We need to play better.  Immediately.  We need to win this series, and we should be able to do it.  With Jenks on the DL with a right bicep cramp that apparently started a week ago (figures), our relievers can actually be expected to get the job done.  And Dice-K, whose elbow has been okayed, will start on Sunday.  (Beckett will pitch on Monday to allow Lester to pitch Tuesday on extra rest.) Our starter needs to deliver.  Our offense needs to deliver.  And our defense needs to deliver.  Seriously.  We can’t keep playing like this.

In other news, the Bruins have made quick work of the Flyers.  We won last night, 5-1! A sweep! We scored once in the first and four more in the third.  Milan Lucic scored twice.  On to the Lightning.

Boston Globe Staff/John Tlumacki
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Tuesday’s game was rained out, so we played a double-header yesterday.  We split, so standings-wise, it’s like we didn’t play at all.

Beckett started first.  As it turns out, we barely eked out a win.  Beckett was phenomenal through six; in that time, he shut out and one-hit the Mariners while striking out six.  He handled the lefties with his two-seam and used his breaking ball.  Meanwhile, we tabbed a four-spot in the bottom of the inning.  Beltre singled in Scutaro, V-Mart scored on Lowell’s sac fly, and Nava hit a two-run single in a beautiful at-bat during which he totally had Pauley’s number.  He was sitting on the corners, and that’s what he got.  Then Beckett almost squandered everything by giving up three runs in the seventh before he left, having recorded only one out.  That makes his line three runs on four hits, two of which were homers, with a walk and seven K’s over six and a third innings.  And he is very, very lucky that the offense pulled it together in the sixth and that McDonald provided some insurance in the eighth with an RBI single.  We ended up winning, 5-3.  Beckett’s best pitches were his changeup and his cutter, which is always a problem if you’re talking about a fastball pitcher who depends mostly on his power.  Both of his fastballs only got up to ninety-three miles per hour.  He was his usual aggressive self, but I’m not a fan of this one bad inning business.  I’m telling you, we were very lucky that the offense was able to do that damage in the sixth.  He picked up the win, which still makes him undefeated against the Mariners this season.  He has a 2.04 ERA and thirty-nine K’s in those six starts since coming to Boston.  Bard took care of business, followed by Paps who notched yet another save.

Dice-K’s back was sore, so Lester’s start was rescheduled from yesterday afternoon so he could take Dice-K’s spot in the rotation, and Wake was given two hours’ notice before he took the mound yesterday.  I give Wake a lot of credit for his performance as someone who was given two hours to prepare for something he hasn’t done in a long time.  He tossed one out shy of six innings, he gave up four runs, three earned and one thanks to his own throwing error, on eight hits, walked none, and struck out two.  He took the loss.  But his pitches were thrown well, he located his knuckleball about as well as anyone can locate a knuckleball, and he gets an E for Effort.  Atchison, Delcarmen, and Doubront collectively shut out Seattle.  Kalish doubled, moved to third on the first of two errors that Wilson would make, and scored on a wild pitch.  Drew hit a solo home run to center on a full-count fastball down the middle.  V-Mart did some nice glove work.  But we lost, 4-2.  It wasn’t exactly helpful that we also lost Beltre.  In the second, Beltre struck out looking, complained to home plate umpire Dan Bellino about it, and razzed Hernandez about it in the third while he was on his way to third base and Hernandez was in the dugout.  According to Beltre, he bet Hernandez before the game that he’d hit a home run, and Hernandez bet Beltre that he’d strike him out three times.  When Beltre took his position, he wasn’t happy and may have also said something to Bellino, who ejected him for only the second time in his career.  Naturally Tito, as well as the entirety of Red Sox Nation, was very incensed, so he went out to demand an explanation.  He talked to Bellino, who ejected him also, and then second base umpire Angel Hernandez got in the way, so he never really got the explanation he was looking for.

I’ve never seen that before.  Beltre and Hernandez had what Beltre said and what appeared to be a perfectly normal and benign razzing session between friends, although I will admit that he didn’t look too happy, and he got tossed for it.  That’s very strange.  And it was early enough in the game that it’s entirely possible that we lost the game because we lost Beltre.  No one can know who would have won that bet, but the umps took away our opportunity to find out and move up in the standings, which is something we desperately need to start doing.  I couldn’t believe it.  I still can’t believe it.  I think it was just a big misunderstanding.  Given Beltre’s track record, I don’t think that what he said could’ve really been that bad.  And Bellino is a young umpire.  Maybe he was just trigger-happy.

Now we turn up the heat.  We are about to play the most important series of the season to date.  We have the day off today to rest up and get zoned in, and we’re off to Tampa Bay for three games.  It is absolutely and ridiculously essential that we win.  We must win.  We absolutely, positively must win.  There’s nothing else to it.  We have our three most consistent pitchers going: Lester on Friday, Buchholz on Saturday, and Lackey on Sunday.  It’s time to play our game.  We need this.  So let’s get it.

AP Photo

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