Posts Tagged ‘Brandon Snyder’

Welcome to Boston, Jake Peavy! His debut in a Boston uniform was could not have gone better.  What a fierce competitor.  If there’s one thing I was expecting from Peavy, it was hunger.  For all his accomplishments, he’s only gone to the postseason twice.  He’s got stamina, endurance, drive, and skills.  Frankly, I’m psyched.

He gave up a solo shot to lead off the fourth.  After giving up a single to lead off the eighth, he was replaced by Breslow.  But, I mean, it’s pretty hard to pitch better than that.  Seven and one-third innings of one-run ball with only four hits and four walks, plus seven strikeouts, is truly awesome.  Especially since the only run he allowed scored thanks to a single mistake.  He was brutally efficient as well, throwing ninety-nine pitches.

With one out in the fifth, Ellsbury hit a solo shot to tie the game at one.  We broke that tie in the seventh.  Drew, Snyder, and Ellsbury led it off with back-to-back-to-back singles.  Ellsbury’s single scored one, and a sac fly by Victorino scored another.

Meanwhile, in the eighth, Breslow did not take a page from Peavy’s book.  He hit a batter and gave up another single to load the bases.  Tazawa came on and gave up an RBI single that could have been worse if we hadn’t secured an out in the process by throwing a runner out at home.  In the bottom of the inning, Napoli led off with a walk, Gomes struck out, and Salty went yard on his second pitch to right.  It’s really fun to watch Salty hit home runs.  Because he’s huge, and it just seems so easy.

So the final score was actually 5-2.  All around I’d say it was an excellent game.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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A good, old-fashioned pitcher’s duel is a great game to play, except when you lose.  Then it’s not so great.  Man, that was tough.  We were evenly matched, and we just scored a few runs too few.

Doubront pitched five solid innings, giving up two runs on eight hits while walking three and striking out four.  He gave up a run in the fourth thanks to a single-double combination and a deflection by Napoli.  His other run scored in the fifth, thanks to a double, a single, and then a force out.

De La Torre pitched the sixth and issued a walk in the seventh, after which Britton came on and ended the inning.  Uehara took over in the ninth.

As far as our offense is concerned, I thought we might actually get shut out again.  It was looking that way until the sixth, when Snyder put us on the board with our first run and second hit of the night, a solo shot to right.

And then, there was the bottom of the eighth.  Gomes led it off by striking out, and then the Rays finally made a pitching change.  Lavarnway doubled, and Nava came in to pinch-run.  Drew doubled, and Nava moved to third.  And then Snyder hit a fly ball to left.  It was the perfect sac-fly situation.  Nava would score, the game would be tied, and then we could win it in extras.

Nava slid into home plate feet first, and his foot reached the plate before he was tagged, meaning that he was safe.  Except that, at the time, home plate umpire Jerry Meals called him out.  He ruled that it was a double play.

I couldn’t believe it.  The entire team knew he was safe.  The entire crowd knew he was safe.  The entire radio and television audience knew he was safe.  And, in fact, the entire umpiring crew believed he was safe; Meals corrected himself after the game, saying himself that it was a bad call.  But that doesn’t mean much when you’ve already lost.  John got ejected in the process.  It was aweful.  I just couldn’t believe that that call was botched.  Nava was clearly and so obviously safe.  How do you mess something like that up? I mean, maybe if you’re not paying attention and you’re watching a completely different ballgame.  Then I can see that as a possibility.  But if that’s the case, then you really shouldn’t be umpiring in the first place.  Unbelievable.

2-1.  That was a really tough one to lose.

Boston Globe Staff/Jim Davis

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This was a good, old-fashioned, keep-your-head down, grind-it-out win.  It didn’t come easily.  And we spent a good amount of time tied at two.  But it doesn’t matter where you win or how you win as long as you win in the end.  And if that’s your attitude, it allows you to do things like turn on the power late in the game and string some small ball together to score more runs.  Games like this prove that we have the ability to win in every way.

Napoli and Synder both flied out in the second, but en route, Gomes walked, Nava singled, and both scored on a single by Salty with a little help from a fielding error.

We didn’t score again until the seventh inning, and by that time, the Angels had already tied it up at two.  Doubront gave up a triple to lead off the third, and that triple turned into a run on a double play.  Admittedly, if you have to allow a run, that’s the way to do it.  The same obviously can not be said for giving up a solo shot to lead off the fourth.

That was the last time the Angels were on an even footing with us.  Victorino singled to lead off the seventh and scored two outs later thanks to another fielding error.  Nava doubled to lead off the eighth, and Papi came in to pinch-hit for Snyder.  This is a classic example of illustrating why the phenomenon of the pinch-hitter exists.  Sometimes you don’t see it because, in the end, it doesn’t make that much of a difference.  But you really never know.  Papi took a fastball for a strike but got a splitter that missed.  Obviously we couldn’t have known that the splitter would miss.  But we knew that, if it did, we wanted someone in there who would really take the most advantage possible of the opportunity.  And that’s basically what a two-run shot to right field did.

Breslow had been replaced two outs and one double into the seventh by Breslow, who pitched through the last out of the seventh and the first out of the eighth, when he was replaced by Tazawa.  Tazawa finished the eighth, and Uehara pitched the ninth.

Speaking of which, two outs into the ninth, we weren’t done.  At least Napoli wasn’t done.  He was fed a steady diet of ninety-five mile-per-hour four-seam fastballs but wanted some power action and hit a solo shot all the way out to center.

We picked up thirteen hits to their seven and six runs to their two.  It wasn’t one of those wins that came easily.  We had to fight for this one.  But fight we did, and we earned it.

Getty Images

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John Lackey, ladies and gentlemen! I don’t know what happened.  I don’t know what he changed or what he didn’t.  I don’t know what snapped.  I don’t know.  Maybe it was just the tone set by the fact that he was in unbelievable shape during Spring Training.  Maybe, in the time-honored Boston tradition, it was just the beard.  But whatever it was, I’m glad it did.  The Lackey that we have seen lately is completely unlike the Lackey that we have been used to seeing.  If you ask me, it’s been long overdue.  I’m glad he’s back.

Lackey is pretty much back.  It’s phenomenal.  I mean, obviously it’s Interleague, so we do have an advantage anyway, but Lackey basically beasted the Padres.  He had a one-two-three first.  He gave up a double in the second, a single in the third, a double in the fourth, and a double and a single in the fifth.  He had a one-two-three sixth and allowed his only blemish in the seventh.  It was the first at-bat and 2-2 count thanks to four fouls.  He threw a cutter, two changeups, another cutter, two four-seams, and finally a curveball.  But he missed, and he gave up a solo shot.  He gave up a walk in the eighth, and that was it.

So, to sum up, Lackey tossed eight innings of one-run ball.  He gave up six innings, one walk, and six strikeouts.  That’s basically as good as it gets.  One more inning, and he would have gone the distance.  And he threw only 103 pitches.  That’s efficiency if I’ve ever seen it! I don’t know what Lackey did to change, but whatever it is, I like it.

We provided some backup in the fourth.  Papi singled, Napoli walked, Gomes struck out, and Salty walked to load the bases.  Snyder then hit a bases-clearing double but was out at third.  Gomes doubled to lead off the sixth and scored on a single by Iglesias.

Uehara had a one-two-three ninth, and that was it.  We won, 4-1.

Boston Globe Staff/Jim Davis

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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.

AP Photo

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