Posts Tagged ‘Felix Doubront’

We pulled out all the stops for this one.  The Monster in particular had a very busy night what with all the long balls coming at it.  That was awesome.  Home runs were not hard to come by, and admittedly they usually result when a pitcher misses his mark, but you need good hitters to spot those mistakes, and we were most definitely on watch.

Doubront cruised through the first two.  In the third he gave up two singles and hit a batter to load the bases, and then he walked in a run and gave up a successful sac fly.

And that inning was literally his only blemish.  He didn’t go the distance, but he looked really sharp.  He didn’t face more than four batters in an inning during the rest of his start.  He gave up just those two runs on four hits while walking one and striking out seven overall during his start.

He was replaced in the seventh by Thornton, and Britton pitched the eighth and ninth.

But we scored more.  In the first, Victorino walked and scored on a sac fly by Papi.  We went down in order in the second, but we were back at it in the third.  Middlebrooks led it off with a single, and after Ellsbury flied out, Victorino unleashed on a four-seam on a 3-1 count.  The ball sailed toward the Monster, and we had ourselves two more runs.  The four was our big frame, though.  We scored five runs in the fourth.  Napoli led it off with another home run on another four-seam toward the Monster yet again.  Then Salty singled, Drew walked, Middlebrooks struck out, Ellsbury singled which led to Drew being thrown out at third, and Victorino got hit, which loaded the bases.  Salty and Ellsbury both scored on a double by Pedroia, Papi walked intentionally, and Gomes doubled in Victorino and Pedroia.

We didn’t even skip a beat and scored three runs in the fifth.  The Orioles picked up two outs in the process, but Drew walked, Ellsbury singled, and then Victorino went yard again on the second pitch of his at-bat, a slider this time.  Also toward the Monster.  I’m sensing a theme.

We took a break in the sixth before Middlebrooks singled, Ellsbury doubled, and both scored on a double by Victorino in the seventh.

And that was a wrap! The final score was 13-2.

Boston Globe Staff/Jim Davis

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We just scored enough runs to have won several baseball games, let alone one.  I mean, we buried the Giants.  We buried them under a whole mountain of runs.  We played the small ball, and we played the long ball, and we won.  And we won big.

I’ll start by saying this.  We did not score in the first, the fifth, the sixth, and the ninth.

Gomes struck out to lead off the second, Salty walked, Drew flied out, and Middlebrooks homered on his second pitch of the game, a cutter.  He sent the ball beyond the left field fence.  It was huge.

Ellsbury and Victorino hit back-to-back singles to lead off the third.  Ellsbury scored on a double by Pedroia, Papi struck out, and Victorino and Pedroia both scored on a single by Papi.

Middlebrooks led off the fourth with a walk and scored on a double by Victorino.

Ellsbury led off the seventh with a single, Victorino flied out, Pedroia doubled, Napoli struck out, and Gomes walked to load the bases.  Salty singled in both Ellsbury and Pedroia.  And it’s a shame that the bases had been partially cleared, because Drew ripped a curveball beyond the right field fence.  Three runs on one swing, and five runs in the inning.  Easy.

Nava reached on a fielding error in the eighth by who but Marco Scutaro, and he scored when Xavier Bogaerts reached on a force.

Meanwhile, Doubront had it turned on all the way up throughout the whole start and was one inning shy of going the distance.  He pitched eight innings of one-run ball; he walked one, struck out three, and gave up five hits.  He gave up a solo shot with one out in the second; that was his only mistake.  He got the win, and Uehara closed it out.

The final score, ladies and gentlemen, was 12-1.

Getty Images

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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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I think the relief corps and Middlebrooks deserve some serious recognition, because without their super-solid performances, the best we could have hoped for was to avoid being swept in a four-game series.  Instead, we walked away yesterday with a well-earned win.  The relievers supplied the pitching we needed to preserve the lead that Middlebrooks had prominently helped to create.  It was just a great game all around, but I have to say that those two aspects of it were really impressive.

Doubront gave up three runs on six hits in four innings.  But really he gave up all of those runs in the fifth inning.  So he had one bad inning, or rather less than one bad inning, before he was pulled.  Before that, he was really great.  But in the fifth, he gave up a walk and two consecutive doubles and a single before Workman relieved him, and after striking out his first batter, he gave up an RBI single.

He and Breslow teamed up to pitch a one-two-three sixth.  Tazawa pitched the seventh and eighth, and Uehara pitched the ninth.  So if not for that one bad less-than-one inning, we would have shut out the Royals.  But the main point is that the pitching was better than the numbers suggested after the game was over.  The relief corps certainly did an excellent job of holding it together; in the process, Workman picked up a well-deserved win and Uehara pitched up a well-deserved save.

At the time, those three runs brought the Royals within one.  We had scored four runs in the fourth.  Carp walked to start the rally, and after Napoli struck out, Salty singled, Drew doubled in Carp with a little help from a deflection, Middlebrooks singled in Salty and Drew, and Ellsbury singled in Middlebrooks.  With two out in the sixth, it was again Middlebrooks who figured prominently offensively; he singled and scored on a double by Ellsbury to add some insurance.

So the final score, thanks in large part to the brilliance, both at the plate and on the basepaths, of Middlebrooks, was 5-3.  If we win today, we can split the series.

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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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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We lost again.  But we weren’t shut out, and that’s something to be happy about.  I’m glad we at least were able to put a run on the board.  A loss is a loss, but dignity is also important.  But perhaps more important is winning, especially against the Rays.  Have you seen the standings lately?

Technically, Doubront had a good day.  If he’d had the run support that Lester had, we would have won again.  He gave up three runs in over six innings, and all of them occurred in the third inning alone.  So he had one bad inning in the middle of several really great ones.

He induced a groundout for the first out of the inning but then gave up two consecutive singles and a sac bunt.  He gave up a single that scored two and a sac fly that scored one.  Other than that, he really didn’t do much to complain about.  In fact, other than that one bad inning, he was pretty solid.

Two outs and a walk into the seventh, Doubront was relieved by Beato, who ended the inning and picked up the first out of the eighth followed by giving up a single.  Then Thornton came out and got the second out but gave up two consecutive singles after that, scoring two more runs.  Britton pitched the ninth.

All of this looked a lot worse than it could have been because we scored only one run.  That’s right.  Only one run separated us from being shut out again.  Napoli hit a solo shot with one out in the seventh.  It was the second pitch of the at-bat, a fastball clocked at ninety-five miles per hour hit toward the Monster.  And it was awesome, because home runs are always awesome and because, after spending most of the game in shutout mode, it was a huge relief to at least get on the board.  But it also meant that the reason we scored was that Tampa Bay made a mistake.  It wasn’t like we manufactured the run.  Napoli recognized a bad pitch when he saw it.  And that’s great, because that’s certainly something that leads to runs, which Napoli’s home run proves.  But it also indicates that we weren’t really able to break through Tampa Bay’s pitching.

Thankfully, we had ourselves a few hits, but we still collected less than half the number of Tampa Bay’s hits and lost, 5-1.

AP Photo

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