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Posts Tagged ‘Drake Britton’

So we lost the series after all.  This was a tough one to lose, and not just because losing this game meant losing a four-game series.  It was a tough one to lose because of that but also because we really battled to hold on.  Lackey pulled it together, Britton kept it together, and the hitters did a nice job of putting us back in it.  I really thought we’d be able to turn it around, but for the last third of the game, we were pretty much silent.

Lackey pitched seven innings and gave up four runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out five.  His first run scored in the first, when he gave up two walks and a single.  He gave up two more in the second thanks to a double and two singles.  And he gave up a solo shot with one out in the third.  But he went one-two-three in the fourth, fifth, and seventh, and he faced five batters in the sixth.  So he did settle down.  It was just too late.  But I give him a lot of credit for reigning it in, gaining control, and grinding it out.  You could tell that this one didn’t come easily.  And I just wish we would have won, first of all because winning is a fun and important thing to do, and secondly because we should have been able to do so.  Britton came on for the eighth and kept the score as it was.

After all, we were the ones who scored first.  Victorino doubled and later scored on a throwing error.  The Royals scored all of their runs before we scored again.  In the sixth, Nava singled, Drew doubled, and both scored on a single by Lavarnway.

And we failed to get another rally going after that.  Ultimately, we lost, 4-3.

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Well, Britton certainly deserved the blown save as well as the loss he thoroughly earned.  He pitched absolutely horribly.  And though Peavy’s final line reported six runs on ten hits with two home runs over the course of five innings, a number of those runs actually scored on Britton’s watch.  So yes, they were inherited runners, and yes, if Peavy hadn’t let them get on base, then they wouldn’t have scored.  But it’s also true that we depend on our relief pitchers to enter difficult situations and get us out of them unscathed.  And Britton basically did the exact opposite of that.

We scored first.  In the first.  With one out, Victorino singled and eventually scored on a single by Nava.

Peavy gave up a solo shot to lead off the second, and he gave up another run thanks to a single-single combination.  We took back the lead in the third when homered to center in the third with one out, and then Napoli got hit and scored on a double by Salty.  But Peavy caused a tie at three in the bottom of the third when he gave up another solo shot.

And we took the lead back again when Pedroia and Papi hit back-to-back singles and scored on a double by Napoli.

And we gave it up again in the sixth.  To be more specific, Peavy gave it up again in the sixth.  He gave up three consecutive singles and a walk, and one run scored en route.  And then Britton came on.  He issued a walk and induced a popout and a sac fly and gave up a single, and three more runs scored.  Then Beato came on and gave up a double and a single, and two more runs scored.

And then no other runs scored.  Breslow relieved Beato for the eighth.  The damage had been done; the Royals scored six runs in the sixth inning alone.  And with a final score of 9-6, we lost.

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Last night was ridiculous.  We scored as many runs as we collected hits: fifteen.  Six of those were for extra bases.  Three of those were home runs, and two of those belonged to Ellsbury, who also had two walks and three RBIs to his credit.  We also walked nine times.  Only one member of the starting nine, Carp, failed to reach base, and even he managed to at least bat in a run.  Only two of our seven batters who had hits had only one hit: Drew and Lavarnway.  Ellsbury, Pedroia, and Gomes each had two hits, Victorino had three, and Papi went a perfect four for four at the plate.  Yeah.  Huge.

Wright got the nod to start this one.  And he didn’t waste any time dropping the ball.  He issued a walk that turned into a triple after a steal and a passed ball.  Then he hit a batter, and then there was another passed ball.  And then there was yet another passed ball that actually scored a run this time.  Then he got a strikeout, and there was another RBI passed ball.  Then he gave up a single, issued another walk, gave a wild pitch to load the bases, and induced a groundout that also scored another run.  And then, finally, the inning was over.

Workman came on for the second, but his beginning didn’t really go much better.  The second began with a strikeout, and then he gave up a single and a two-run home run.  Two outs into the third, he gave up a solo shot.  He also gave up a run in the fourth thanks to a triple-single combination.  He also got into trouble in the sixth.  After securing the inning’s first out, he gave up four consecutive singles and a groundout that, taken together, resulted in two runs.

Workman was replaced by Britton just in time to end the inning with a strikeout.  He had a one-two-three seventh, and he gave up a solo shot in the eighth.  De La Rosa had a one-two-three ninth.

We went down in order in the first and second and got on the board in the third.  Drew singled, Lavarnway struck out, Holt grounded into a force out, and Ellsbury went hard on a fastball.  One more baserunner and it would have been a grand slam.  But it was quite the homer.  All the way to right center field.  Lots of power.

But we got ourselves a lead after scoring five runs in the fifth! Ellsbury walked and scored on a double by Victorino, plus a fielding error.  Then Pedroia doubled in Victorino.  Papi singled, Napoli struck out, Pedroia scored on a groundout by Carp, Papi moved to third on a wild pitch, Drew walked, and Lavarnway doubled in both Papi and Drew.  Five runs.  Done.

The sixth inning was a repeat performance.  We yet again went through the full nine, and we yet again scored five runs! In two innings alone, we scored more runs than we usually score in whole games! The sixth even started with a walk by Ellsbury, just like the fifth.  Then Victorino singled, Pedroia singled in Ellsbury, Papi singled in Victorino with a little help from a throwing error, Napoli was out on a fielder’s choice, and then Gomes hit the second pitch of his at-bat out to left field for a three-run shot.

Ellsbury, who was all over the map offensively last night, led off the seventh with a solo shot to right.  Victorino walked, Pedroia popped out, and then Papi and Napoli worked back-to-back walks.  And Victorino scored on a single by Gomes.

So the pitching was actually pretty messy, when everything was said and done.  Fortunately, our hitters had an enormously huge night.  The final score, if you can believe it, was 15-10.  So it’s bad that the Astros had a slugfest, but it’s good that we had an even bigger one on the same night.  I’m glad we won this one.  It was pretty awesome to watch us score runs in every conceivable way.

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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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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.

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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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There’s hardly anything to report when we get shut out.  Basically, the bottom line is always about the same: our pitching was mediocre and we didn’t score any runs.

Lackey has been pitching really well these days, but yesterday was not one of those days.  Two outs into the first, he gave up a single followed by a two-run home run.  He gave up another run in the third thanks to a triple-single combination.  And he gave up a solo shot with two out in the fifth and another one with one out in the seventh.

After that he was replaced by Britton.  One out into the eighth, he was replaced by De La Torre, who gave up a solo shot one out later.

Meanwhile, we were busy doing absolutely nothing.  We were shut out and collected a grand total of four hits.  So we lost, six-zip.

SF Gate

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