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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Bellino’

It sure was nice to remember what winning feels like, even if we barely won.  A win is a win, so I guess it really doesn’t matter whether we barely won or not.  Obviously it matters in the long run as reflective of the team’s overall health in terms of performance, but that’s a whole other story.  Still, it’s nice.

Doubront gave up four runs on six hits over five innings while walking two and striking out seven.  He was the victim of the one bad inning, that ever-present nemesis that always seems to rear its ugly head at the worst possible time.  Although, if you think about it, every moment is the last possible moment.  The Royals scored four runs in the fourth; after securing the inning’s first two outs, he gave up three straight singles, the last of which plated a run.  And then he gave up a three-run home run.  Just like that.  Then he sailed right through the fifth and was replaced by Pedro Beato for the sixth, seventh, and eighth.

Beato allowed two singles and a walk in the eighth and was then replaced by Breslow, who gave up two runs.  Melancon pitched the ninth.

Fortunately, we didn’t just sit on our laurels at the plate.  Gomez walked and scored on a double by Aviles in the second.  Ciriaco hit a huge solo shot out toward the Monster on his second pitch of the at-bat, a slider.  Then Ellsbury singled and scored on a single by Loney.  Gomez led off the sixth by getting on thanks to an error and then scored on a single by Ellsbury, thanks also to a deflection.  We kept on in the seventh; Ross singled, Loney grounded out, Lavarnway singled, Gomez walked to load the bases, Aviles struck out, an error put Posednik on and another run on the board, and then Ciriaco singled in another run.  And then Pedroia led off the eighth with a solo shot on his second pitch; both were ninety-one mile-per-hour fastballs, except that he took the first one for a ball and the second one he absolutely destroyed in true Pedroia fashion.

And we can even give Bobby V. substantial points in this one.  He was ejected in the fifth for calling out first place umpire Dan Bellino, who said that Pedroia was out at first after grounding to third.  Except that Pedroia wasn’t out by a mile.  First of all, the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag, and secondly, that didn’t even matter at all because Pedroia had any throw beat no matter what.  And the fact that Bellino got that call wrong is not only infuriating but also embarrassing and unjust.  It’s a good thing we won.

The final score was 8-6.  Aviles and Ross both went two for four, Pedroia and Ellsbury went two for five, and Ciriaco went three for five.  It was awesome.

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Again, the teams were fairly evenly matched.  Fortunately, we came out on top this time.  The final score was 5-3, but a lead is a lead, and whoever holds on gets the W.  I n this particular case, we almost didn’t, but in the end the day was ours.  It was another combined team effort, which are really the best efforts for any ballclub.

Doubront’s start was short.  He lasted only five and two-thirds innings because he was inefficient as usual; he threw ninety-seven pitches.  He gave up two runs, only one of them earned, on six hits, while walking four and striking out seven.  The first one was the unearned one; in the third, BJ Upton reached base on catcher interference and went on to score.  His other run was the result of a single-advancing groundout-single combination.  He was taken out in the fifth after securing the inning’s first two outs followed by giving up a single and a double.

Hill ensured that the inning ended without incident.  Atchison came on for the seventh and was replaced after the first out by Miller, who was replaced after the second out by Padilla, who ended the inning.  He began the eighth with a strikeout but then allowed a double and hit a batter.  He then got a force out and was taken out in favor of Aceves, who allowed a single that brought home one of his inherited runners.  Fortunately, he got through the ninth unscathed and picked up a save, while Doubront was given the win.

We loaded the bases in the first with two singles and a hit batsman; Ross drew a walk to plate our first run.  Byrd led off the second with a solo shot on a ninety-six mile-per-hour fastball on a full count to left field.  It was his first home run since September, and he flew around the bases like he was in a hurry to get back to the dugout.  Seriously, I don’t recall seeing anyone race around the bases after a home run knowing that it was a home run.  Not wanting to be left out of the home run action, Ross hit a solo shot of his own to center field with two out in the third on the third pitch of the at-bat.  It was Ross who provided the runs we needed to win in the eighth; Pedroia singled, Papi walked, and two outs later, Ross singled in both of them.

And now for a little drama.  Aviles was ejected after arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Dan Bellino following his called strikeout to end the seventh.  It was one of the more aggressive balls-and-strikes arguments I’ve seen in a long time.  I mean, Aviles was really in his face and verbally going at it.  It wasn’t pretty.

We collected seven hits, only two of which, the homers, were for extra bases.  Predictably, Ross batted in all but one of our runs and had one of two multi-hit performances, the other belonging to Pedroia.  And believe it or not, in all its appearances in the last five games, which have amounted to fourteen and one-third innings, the bullpen has allowed only one run.  If the bullpen keeps this up, we might actually go somewhere!

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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.

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