Posts Tagged ‘Jarrod Saltalmacchia’

Alright.  That’s the way to play.  We jumped out early and never looked back, and I mean never looked back.  Even in the fifth, which was our hugely colossal inning at the plate, the game had already essentially been blown open.  It was just amazing to watch.  We were so dominant that we looked like a completely different team than the one that loses in every way, on every day of the week, with every hitter, behind every pitcher, and by every final score that you could possibly imagine.  That team didn’t show up to the field yesterday.  Yesterday we were different.  In a good way.  We need to see much more of that.

In a rare occurrence, both the hitters and the pitchers deserve the spotlight, but I’ll start with the hitters first since they began the game for us because we were away.  Ellsbury grounded out, which should not at all have been an indication to the Indians of how yesterday’s game was about to go down.  Crawford doubled after that and scored on a double by Pedroia, who scored on a home run by Gonzalez, which he smashed to right field like it was the easiest and most natural thing in the world, like he gets up there and does it in every single at-bat, like it was no big deal and anyone who isn’t doing it has something wrong with him.

Lester began his start by giving up two straight singles, one of which turned into a run one out later on a sac fly.  But we got it back and more in the second, when Aviles and Ellsbury both singled and scored on a double by Crawford.  Neither team scored from the bottom of the second through the bottom of the third.  Aviles led off the fourth by getting hit, and then he scored on a single by Shoppach.  That was when the Indians thought that, maybe if they made a pitching change, their fate for yesterday’s game, which I assume they had begun to sense, would change.

It most certainly did not.  Lester went one-two-three in the bottom of the fourth, and then we scored eight runs in the fifth.  You read right.  That’s eight runs in the fifth inning alone.  We scored more runs in that inning than we often have scored throughout whole games this year.  We scored more runs in that inning than we often have scored throughout several games this year during particularly bad stretches.  And just like that we scored eight runs.  Like it was the easiest and most natural thing in the world, like we get up there and do this in every game, like it was no big deal and any team that isn’t doing it has something wrong with it.

Pedroia singled, Gonzalez walked, Pedroia scored on a single by Ross, Gonzalez scored on a single by Salty, Aviles walked, Ross scored on a sac fly by Danny Valencia, Shoppach struck out for the first out of the inning by which point we had already scored three runs, Salty and Aviles both scored on a double by Ellsbury, Ellsbury scored on a double by Crawford, the Indians made a pitching change that made absolutely no difference, Pedroia walked, Crawford and Pedroia both scored on a double by Gonzalez, Ross walked, Gonzalez and Ross both moved up a base thanks to a passed ball, and then the inning ended when Salty flied out.

Neither team scored for the rest of the game.  It was like we were sated and they were stunned and had absolutely no idea what to do and couldn’t make any sort of move whatsoever.  Lester, for his part, was brilliant.  He pitched six innings and gave up just the one run on three hits while walking two and striking out a grand total of twelve! No pitcher in our uniform has struck out that many since the last time Lester struck out twelve, and that was back in 2010.  I’m telling you, it’s so good to see that double-digit number in his K column again.  That’s been way too rare a sight this season.  Eight of the strikeouts were swinging, and four were called.  You better believe that his cut fastball was as nasty as I’ve ever seen it and was playing tricks on the hitters all afternoon long.  It was glorious.  It was vintage Lester and reminded me of all the goodness to which we unfortunately haven’t been privy this season.

Tazawa pitched the seventh, Mortensen pitched the eighth, and Aceves pitched the ninth.  Lester picked up the win.

All told, we put up sixteen hits.  Half of those were for extra bases.  Five members of our starting nine had multi-hit performances, and only one went hitless: Valencia, who still brought in a run with a sac fly.  Ellsbury went two for five, Pedroia and Gonzalez went two for three, Crawford went three for four with three doubles, and Aviles had a perfect day at the plate with a three-for-three performance.

The final score? 14-1.  They had nothing on us all day long.

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I hope it doesn’t take Wake as long to get win number 201 as it did for him to get win number two hundred.  We lost the opener.  Wake gave up five runs, three earned, on five hits, including a two run shot with one out in the third.  There was a missed catch and a wild pitch in the first and a fielding error in the fifth.  He walked five, struck out four, lasted four innings, and threw eighty-two pitches, forty-seven of which were strikes.  Albers gave up another run before Atchison and Andrew Miller finished the game scoreless, Atchison having had to leave with a groin problem.

Ellsbury led off the fourth with a homer on a fastball to right center field.  It was a power blast.  He homered again in the sixth with one out on a sinker into the second deck in right field.  He is now the first player ever to achieve thirty-thirty in a single season.  That was the extent of our offense.  Ellsbury was our offense.  He went three for four; those three hits from him matched the total for the rest of the team combined.  But as we know, a team can not live on one man alone, which was proven by the final score of 6-2.

The nightcap lasted fourteen innings.  If we didn’t win it, it would have crushed me.  The very last thing we would have needed when we’re down and out with pitching, fielding, hitting, injuries, and standings was to play fourteen innings only to lose at the very end to the Yankees.  Thanks to Ellsbury, crisis averted.

It was Lackey of all people who broke the cycle and gave us our first quality start in a while.  Lackey gave up four runs, three earned, on five hits.  You can thank Tek and his throwing error in the first for that unearned run, which helped the Yanks put up a three-spot.  Lackey walked three and struck out four.  He threw eighty-six pitches, fifty-seven of which were strikes.  He was replaced by Aceves after allowing a single to start the seventh.  May I say that this is probably the most efficient I’ve ever seen him.  Most of the time, he’s thrown at least a hundred pitches by the time the seventh inning rolls around.  He kept his hit count down, which obviously helped a lot.  And the offense should have easily scored at least four runs.

We didn’t get on the board until the fifth, when Lowrie tripled and scored on a single by Drew, who’s back in action.  Crawford led off the sixth with a single and scored on a groundout by Gonzalez.  Lowrie led off the seventh with a double, and then back-to-back hits, a double for Scutaro and single for Tek, brought in two and gave us a one-run lead.

Aceves received a blown save for allowing his inherited runner to score and tie the game at four.  Then Bard, who issued two intentional walks in the ninth but ended the inning on a strikeout, and Paps, who threw twenty-two of twenty-nine pitches for strikes, held the fort for three-plus innings.  Morales pitched two scoreless frames and picked up the win; Doubront got the save.

We had one on in the eighth and two on in the ninth.  We had one on in the tenth and went down in order in the eleventh.  We had one on in the twelfth and thirteenth.  Let’s not forget that, also in the thirteenth, Pedroia picked a ball and fired from his knees to first for the first out of the inning, if he didn’t do that, we could have had a different outcome.

Aviles led off the fourteenth with a flyout.  McDonald came in to pinch-hit for Drew and singled.  Scutaro worked a seven- pitch walk.  Salty flied out.  Then Ellsbury took a curveball for a ball.

And then he smacked a three-run shot on a fastball into the bullpen.  It was exactly what we needed, exactly when we needed it.  That was the final score right there.  7-4  What a relief.

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