Posts Tagged ‘Brock Holt’

A loss to the Yankees is, without a doubt, my least favorite type of loss.  A slugfest loss to the Yankees is my least favorite type of loss to the Yankees.  I just really, really, really hate losing to the Yankees.  And we didn’t have to, either.  But when your starting pitcher makes that many mistakes, it’s kind of unavoidable in the end.

It was a complete and total disaster.  Doubront gave up his first run in the first thanks to a single-single combination.  In the bottom of the inning, we went down in order.  In the second, he issued a walk and, one out later, a two-run home run.  In the bottom of the inning, we went down in order.  In the third, he gave up a single, and another runner reached on a force attempt thanks to a fielding error by Drew, and then Doubront gave up a three-run home run.  And the only thing that kept us from going down in order in the bottom of the inning was a single by Middlebrooks that led nowhere.

With two out in the fourth, Doubront gave up another run after a triple-single combination.  And in the bottom of the inning, we finally got on the board.  Pedroia singled, and then there was a deflection and a fielding error put him at second, and he scored on a single by Gomes after Papi struck out.

De La Rosa relieved Doubront for the fifth, and he also pitched the sixth; neither team scored during those two innings.  After he hit a batter and induced a lineout in the seventh, he was replaced by Morales, who finished the inning.  In the bottom of the seventh, Pedroia ended up at second thanks to a throwing error and scored on a single by Papi.  Then Gomes grounded out, Drew doubled, Napoli walked, and Drew scored on a single by Salty.  That was probably our most promising point in the game up to that time at which we had the most opportunity to really make a dent in the deficit.  And Carp came up to pinch-hit for Middlebrooks, and he got hit by a pitch.  Except that home plate umpire Bill Welke called him back after he was already on his way to first base, even though Carp was obviously correct.  Then, with a full count, after five pitches, Carp took a slider for what he thought was a ball, since it was a ball.  But again, Welke made a call that was questionable at absolute best when he decided that Carp had struck out.  Carp doesn’t usually lose it, but this time he lost it.  I mean, his batting helmet came off, and he was really getting animated.  And I’m pretty sure that everyone except Welke knew exactly why.  It was because Welke was wrong.

Neither team scored in the eighth, and Britton came on for the ninth.  Before the ninth, we were down by four, and with a solid rally, we could perhaps have scored enough runs to come back.  Instead, Britton made it even worse.  Britton nailed down the inning’s first out with a strikeout but then gave up two consecutive singles.  After another strikeout, he gave up three consecutive singles that scored one run each.

In the bottom of the ninth, Gomes flied out, Drew singled, Napoli doubled, Salty flied out, and Holt, who came in to replace Carp earlier, walked to load the bases.  It was an absolutely golden opportunity.  But, appropriately enough, Ellsbury grounded out to end the inning and the game, and the final score was an insufferably humiliating 10-3.  In front of Fenway’s largest crowd of the season.  To say it was awful would basically be the understatement of understatements.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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It’s great to string wins together.  I remember a time when it felt like it was difficult to win after a slugfest, almost as if we’d used up all of our offensive production.  It certainly didn’t feel like that yesterday.  Yesterday it felt like we were just as much in control of the game as we were ever going to be.  In the ninth inning, that is.  That’s when Drew got it done.

In the second, Gomes walked and scored on a groundout by Holt.  After Victorino grounded out to lead off the third, Pedroia and Papi both singled, and Pedroia scored when Carp grounded into a double play to end the frame.  Pedroia and Papi led off with two consecutive lineouts in the seventh, and then Carp singled and Gomes hit a wallop of a home run on the second pitch of his at-bat to bring us within one run.

Dempster had smooth sailing in the first and second but ran into trouble in the third.  After securing the inning’s first out, he gave up a double followed by a home run.  He had smooth sailing again in the fourth and fifth but ran into more trouble in the sixth.  He gave up a double, a wild pitch, a strikeout, and then three consecutive scoring plays: a single, a double, and a sac fly.  And a deflection by Holt.  And those resulted in three runs.

We finally got a lead in the ninth, and we kept it.  Papi singled, and Britton came in to pinch-run.  Carp lined out, Gomes walked, and Drew smacked a three-run shot on a curveball.

Tazawa pitched the seventh and eighth, and Uehara pitched the ninth.  The final score was 7-5!

AP Photo

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When a pitcher is in complete command and control of the game, it’s a beautiful thing.  The pitcher sets the tone of how the action will proceed, and when a pitcher smells a win and locks onto it, you know you’ve got some fun on your hands.

This is as stellar as I have ever seen Doubront.  Seriously.  He usually faced the minimum each inning, sometimes facing four and one time facing five in the seventh, his last inning.  That’s right.  He pitched seven shutout innings.  He had the D-backs’ numbers throughout the whole thing.  Their lineup had nothing on him.  They stood there and looked like they had absolutely no idea what they were doing.

Thornton and Britton preserved the shutout in the eighth, as did Uehara in the ninth.

Drew and Holt led off the fifth with back-to-back singles, and both ended up scoring thanks to a sac fly by Ellsbury and a double by Pedroia.  Salty and Drew led off the sixth with back-to-back singles, and both ended up scoring on back-to-back singles by Ellsbury and Victorino.  Those runs made the final score four-zip.

Boston Globe Staff/Jim Davis

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There was no miracle in the cards for us yesterday.  We scored the same amount of runs during the entire game that we scored on Thursday in the ninth inning alone.  And it wasn’t enough.  I have to say that it was Lester’s fault.  We shouldn’t have to be in a situation where six runs is not enough.

I really thought that Lester was starting to turn the corner.  His last few starts have been less mediocre than usual.  And then he goes and tanks like this.  He gave up six runs on eleven hits over four and one-third innings.  He didn’t walk anybody, and he did strike out six, but that doesn’t change the fact that he exited very early because he just didn’t have any control.

It started early.  He got his first batter to line out, but then he gave up a single followed by a home run.  He didn’t allow any runs in the second, but after striking out his first batter in the third, he gave up a double followed by an RBI single.  He went one-two-three in the fourth, his best inning.  The fifth inning was really bad though.  He gave up a double, induced a groundout, and then allowed three consecutive scoring plays: two doubles and a single that scored three runs total.

That was when Thornton came on and ended the inning.  He also pitched the sixth.  Beato gave up a solo shot to lead off the seventh that managed to withstand review.  He and Tazawa combined for a one-two-three eighth and a solid ninth.

The offense put up a great fight, I have to say.  Ellsbury led off the first with a triple, and two outs later, Papi went yard on his first pitch of the game.  He hit it all the way to center field, and it was huge and awesome.  We kept it up in the second; Nava reached on a throwing error, Salty doubled, and then Drew and Holt both hit back-to-back sac flies that scored two.  We went down in order in the third, and we had the bases loaded in the fourth with one out, but the inning ended with nothing to show for the opportunity.  We went down in order in the fifth again, and in the sixth we had a repeat performance of the first.  Napoli singled, and two outs later, Drew went yard on his second pitch of the at-bat, also hit all the way to center field.

And that was it.  We lost by a score of 7-6.  That’s a tough one to lose.  We really mixed it up, using a combination of both the long ball and the small ball to put together solid run support for Lester.  But it really just wasn’t enough.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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Fifteen innings.  Wow.  How exhausting was that? The game exceeded five hours.  We’ve gone into extras during a decent number of games this year, but fifteen innings? We had the lead during the regular nine, and it was really awesome to finish the night that way.  But even more awesome was winning a game that lasted for fifteen innings.  Can you imagine if we’d lost this one? It would have been completely and totally devastating.  We didn’t have a lot to do to win; all we had to do was score one run.  It’s exciting to win, it’s awesome to win, it’s exhilarating to win, but especially in this particular situation, it’s also a huge relief to win.

That would be a quality start from Lackey.  Three runs on eight hits while walking only one and striking out six over seven innings.  That is a strong, lengthy, efficient start; he threw ninety-five pitches, seventy-one of which were strikes.  He faced the minimum through three and then a single, a steal, and a double led to Seattle’s first run in the fourth.  En route to securing the first out of the sixth, he loaded the bases thanks to two singles and a walk.  That opportunity produced two runs thanks to a sac fly, which at least provided another out, and a single.  The seventh inning was the only one during which Seattle did not sure, during which Lackey did not also face the minimum.

Thanks to three straight singles in the bottom of the first, we had the bases loaded with nobody out.  But Papi grounded into a double play.  Then Napoli walked, and Salty ended the inning by lining out.  It was a complete disappointment.  But we took a one-run lead when we scored twice in the fifth.  Brock Holt doubled, Ellsbury reached on a fielding error, and Victorino reached and Holt scored on another fielding error.  Ellsbury was able to score on Pedroia’s grounder.

When the Mariners scored twice in the sixth, they took a one-run lead of their own, which we promptly countered by scoring another two runs in the seventh, both of which came courtesy of Pedroia, who unleashed on a sinker.  He was thrown six pitches in that at-bat; the fourth one was a slider, which he took for a ball, and the rest were sinkers.  The count was full.  And he turned on the laser show yet again.  After Victorino had already singled, that is.  So we scored two runs on one swing.

Tazawa came on for the eighth and gave up a solo shot with one out.  That was the tying run.  It was awful.  We had a one-run lead, which was obviously more fragile than we thought.  I mean, you’re supposed to bring in the reliever to preserve a lead, not to squander it.

Uehara pitched the ninth and tenth.  Thornton pitched the eleventh.  Breslow pitched the twelfth and thirteenth.  Britton pitched the fourteenth and fifteenth.

Yes.  Fifteen innings.  It ended as humbly as it started.  Pedroia walked and moved to second on a groundout by Papi.  Napoli was walked intentionally, Salty struck out, and Gomes walked.  So we had the bases loaded with two out.  And it was the best score we had in, well, hours.

Drew was up.  He took a slider for a ball, a sinker for a strike, and a slider for a ball.  And then he got another sinker.  The Mariners had not always had good luck with sinkers last night.  And Drew got one, and all he did was single.  He just hit a single.  That’s all.  But the bases were loaded.  Pedroia scored.  Cue mob.  End game.  5-4.

AP Photo

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Make no mistake, folks.  We did not just play the Oakland A’s.  We played the Green Sox.  I know I’ve said this before, but every once in a while I just wonder at how true it is.  Every so often, we notice that there’s a particular team that absorbs several guys who used to play for us.  There was a time in the recent past when the Dodgers could be thought of as the Blue Sox.  The A’s now fit that bill.

This was kind of a quiet one.  No big heroics.  No extra-inning comebacks.  Just grinding through.  We seem to be doing a lot of that lately.

We scored first and put the A’s in an early two-run hole.  Napoli singled and moved to second on a throwing error.  Nava got hit.  Salty’s flyout put both runners in scoring position.  Iglesias flied out.  And both runners scored on Holt’s single; the associated throwing error was a nice touch.

Unfortunately, there weren’t that many scoring chances after that, and the ones we did have weren’t maximized.  Which is unfortunate because Lackey, who sailed pretty smoothly through four, allowed the A’s to score in the fifth and tie it in the sixth.  First he gave up a run thanks to a single-double combination.  Then he gave up a leadoff solo shot to, of all people, Jed Lowrie.

The rest of the time, as usual of late Lackey was fantastic.  He was weaving right through the batting order with no major trouble at all.  Those two runs were the only ones he relinquished, 

He left the game honored with the win.  We put it away in the eighth inning.  Iglesias singled, two outs later Victorino got hit, and both scored on a single by Pedroia.  Bailey pitched the eighth, Uehara pitched the ninth, and the final score was 4-2.

AP Photo

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That was a great game.  We didn’t keep it to nine, but we did trade run for run with the Mariners.  I would have loved to watch us win decisively, but I give us a lot of credit for keeping ourselves in it.  There’s something really satisfying about keeping your head down and grinding through it.  Because, at the end of the day, you know that you made this one happen.

Ellsbury led off the game with a solo shot.  Papi walked to lead off the fourth, and Carp got hit.  Holt, Iglesias, and Ellsbury hit back-to-back-to-back singles in the fourth, scoring three.  Pedroia singled, Papi walked, and Gomes singled to load the bases with nobody out in the fifth, and a sac fly and two singles scored three.

Dempster gave up a solo shot to lead off the second.  Two flyouts, a single, a wild pitch, a fielding error, a double, and a single later, two more runs scored.  He gave up another run on a walk-single combination in the third.  He gave up four singles over the course of the fourth, resulting in two runs.  The latter was a runner inherited by Steven Wright, who came on for relief.  But he ended up pitching the rest of the game phenomenally well.

The game started with a bang but ended pretty casually.  Lavarnway led off the tenth with a walk, and we made the Mariners pay.  Bradley came on to pinch-run, moved to second on a sac fly by Holt, and later scored on a single by Nava.  And Uehara pitched a one-two-three ninth.

And that’s a wrap.  We won, 8-7, in ten but we used only two pitches.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.

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