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Posts Tagged ‘Jose Iglesias’

Congratulations to Big Papi, who now holds the Major League record for most hits by a designated hitter! We all knew this day was coming, so there’s no surprise here.  It would have been nice to have had it happen at home, but Seattle was a good place, too.  After all, the Mariners did sign him when he was still in the Dominican Republic.  It’s not their fault he’s not currently wearing their uniform.  Oh, wait.  It is.

Through the first three, it was all us, almost all the time.  Papi doubled, Napoli walked, and Nava got hit in the second.  Then Salty and Iglesias both hit sac flies that scored two.  Not exactly a great response in a bases-loaded situation, but better than nothing.  With two out in the third, Pedroia walked, and Papi smashed a home run.  With two out in the fourth, Ellsbury doubled and scored on a single by Victorino.  And then Salty and Iglesias hit back-to-back singles to lead off the sixth, Holt grounded into a force out, and we executed four straight scoring plays: Ellsbury and Victorino both singled, Pedroia reached on a force attempt thanks to a throwing error, and Papi hit a sac fly.

We even took it down to the wire.  Nava and Salty led off the ninth with back-to-back walks; eventually Nava scored on a wild pitch and Salty scored on a single by Carp.

And now for the pitching.  Felix Doubront, ladies and gentlemen! His outing was almost impeccable.  He pitched seven innings of one-run ball that were almost seven innings of shutout ball had it not been for the double-single combination in the seventh initiated by, of all people, Jason Bay.  The greatest number of batters he faced in an inning was five, and that was only twice.  He threw 107 pitches, sixty-six of which were strikes, and his command and control were evident throughout.

It would have been quite nice to win, 11-1.  But Brandon Workman came on for the eighth and gave up a solo shot and three doubles for a total of three runs.  So we won, 11-4, instead.

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Never believing that you’re out of a game is a very valuable skill.  It makes you able to make sure hat you’re never out of a game.  It would have been easier last night for us to just assume that we wouldn’t be able to score enough runs to keep a lead going.  But then we wouldn’t have won big.

Allen Webster had a terrible night.  And when I say terrible,  I mean terrible.  It was, well, terrible.  In the first, he gave up a single and then a two-run shot.  In the second, he loaded the bases with a single and two walks and then cleared them with a double.  In the third he gave up a solo shot, a single, and a lineout before being replaced by Aceves, who gave up a triple that allowed his inherited runner to score.

So Webster gave up seven runs in less than three innings.  Ouch.  At the time, he was exceedingly fortunate that he had excellent run support.  Somehow, we managed to survive his implosion by scoring enough runs to generate a one-run lead.

Papi led off the second with a solo shot, but the really big inning was the third, during which we scored five runs.  Nava lined out, Victorino singled, and Pedroia smacked a two-run shot.  Papi doubled, and Napoli smacked a two-run shot.  Salty doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch during Iglesias’s at-bat, and scored on Holt’s sac fly.  Nava got hit in the fourth and scored on a single by Pedroia, and Bradley hit a solo shot in the fifth.

Breslow came on for the fourth and stayed for the fifth and an out and a double in the sixth.  Then it was Bailey’s turn.  He finished the sixth and pitched through the seventh.  Tazawa gave up a single that turned into a run on a groundout in the eighth.

That run would have tied the game at eight had it not been for some clutch hitting in the top of the frame.  Victorino appropriately led it off with a solo shot.  Then Pedroia lined out, Papi singled, Napoli struck out, Salty walked intentionally, and then Iglesias and Holt each singled in a run.  And Uehara pitched the ninth.

So, in total, that’s sixteen hits, three doubles, and a whopping five home runs! The score, thanks to our resilient attitude, was 11-8.

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Baseball is so unpredictable.  That can be either good or bad.  It can be good when you’re on the positive receiving end of the unpredictability.  It’s not so great, though, when you start the game off thinking you’re still in it, only to spend the entire second half of it being dominated by the competition.

Lester started out on the right foot and fired three shutout innings out of the gate.  But he ran into a little trouble in the fourth.  He gave up two singles to lead it off, and one out later, he gave up a double and then two consecutive walks, the first of which loaded the bases and the second of which resulted in another run.  It was pretty humiliating.

But arguably not as humiliating as squandering a perfectly good tie.  Those two runs put us in a two-run hole because we hadn’t scored yet.  We did, however, have an answer in the top of the fifth.  Iglesias got hit, Holt singled to put runners at the corners, and then Nava singled in Iglesias and Holt scored on a wild pitch.  But Lester returned the lead to Seattle by giving up a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the frame.

Unfortunately, that was nothing compared to what happened in the sixth.  Lester gave up two consecutive singles to lead it off and was replaced by Wilson.  But Wilson gave up a double and Nava made a fielding error that allowed both inherited runners to score.  Two outs later, Wilson gave up a single that allowed his own runner to score.

It only got worse from there.  Wilson issued a walk to lead off the seventh; he helped things along with a wild pitch followed by a double.  De La Torre relieved him and got the inning’s second out but then issued three consecutive scoring plays: a double, a single, and another double.  Three runs scored on De La Torre’s watch.

The Mariners found themselves up by eight runs at that point.  Clearly, if we were going to get ourselves back in this game, we didn’t have a lot of time to do it.

The Mariners made a pitching change in the eighth, and Pedroia singled, Lavarnway flied out, and Napoli and Salty bookended Carp’s groundout with RBI doubles.  But it was way too little, way too late.  In the eighth, thanks to a hit batsman and two walks, Seattle had the bases loaded, and a groundout was all it took to the drive the point home.

Lester had another mediocre start.  He gave up five runs, and the relievers each gave up three.  We lost, 11-4.

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Congratulations to Papi, Pedroia, and Buchholz, who are all going to the All-Star Game! Obviously they’ve earned it.  I know they’ll do what they can to help the American League bring it home this year.  And I hope that we’ll be the ones reaping the benefits in several months.  And I hope that we’ll pitch better than we did last night so we can get there.  Specifically, I hope the relief corps doesn’t make a habit of blowing four-run leads.

Ellsbury singled on the second pitch of the game and proceeded to lay out a textbook example of what manufacturing a run means.  Two outs later, he moved to second on a single by Papi and then stole third, thereby inducing a throwing error that allowed him to score.  Jacoby Ellsbury is the quintessential baserunner: smart, adaptive, quick-thinking, attentive, and of course as fast as it gets.  Nava singled to lead off the second and scored on a sac fly by Brock Holt.

Dempster tied the game at two in the second.  He gave up a solo shot to lead it off and then induced a flyout.  But then he gave up a single that he turned into a double by making a throwing error, and then let it turn into a run on another single.  He gave up another solo shot to lead off the third.

But fortunately we had an answer to that.  Make that a tying answer, a go-ahead answer, and an answer to spare.  Napoli walked to lead off the inning, Nava doubled, and Salty cleared the bases with a double.  Holt reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners, and Salty scored on a single by Iglesias.  With one out in the sixth, Ellsbury tripled and scored on a single by Pedroia.  And Pedroia led off the eighth with a single and scored on a double by Nava.

Heading into the ninth inning, the score was 7-3.  Dempster had given up just the three runs and was replaced by Miller a walk and a strikeout into the seventh.  Miller gave up a single and was replaced by Bailey, who actually induced a double play and managed to get through the eighth inning without incident.  Ironically, the trouble with the relief corps started only after Bailey was taken out.

Wilson was put on for the ninth.  He got the first out with a strikeout, gave up a single, got the second out with a flyout, gave up another single, and hit a batter to load the bases.  Uehara came on, and obviously what we needed in that situation was an out.  We would have done well with an out of any kind.  The bases were loaded, but there were already two out.  All we needed was one more.

Eventually, Uehara did strike out a batter to end the inning.  But not before he allowed multiple scoring plays.  He gave up two consecutive singles that scored a combined total of three runs.  Then Snyder made a throwing error on a force attempt, which let the tying run score.  So I guess technically if the damage had stopped with those two RBI singles, we still could have won the game within nine innings by one run.

We ended up playing eleven and didn’t have much of a fight to show for it.  We went down in order in the tenth with three strikeouts and the eleventh with two groundouts and a popout.  Breslow pitched a solid tenth, but after securing the first out in the eleventh, he gave up a single followed by a home run.  It was the first and last pitch of the at-bat, a bad slider.  So after all that baseball, which started late to begin with, the Angels won, 9-7.

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There are few better ways to celebrate the Fourth of July than kicking back, relaxing, and taking in a textbook specimen of the national pastime.  I especially appreciated the victory, because losing would have really put a damper on the festive spirit.  I love baseball on the Fourth of July.  It would have been even better to have seen the national pastime played in America’s Most Beloved Ballpark, but the schedule is the schedule.  It was a great game anyway.

Webster got the nod to start and did a great job.  He gave up two runs on five hits over six innings with four walks and as many strikeouts.  He walked Pedro Ciriaco of all people to lead off the third, and he eventually scored on a sac fly.  He gave up his other run in the fifth thanks to a double-single combination.  And he ended his start on a fantastic one-two-three note.

Just as great as Webster’s start was the collective performance of our relievers, who pitched four shutout innings to hold the Padres at two runs.  Bailey got the seventh and miraculously sent down the three hitters he faced.  Wilson pitched the eighth and got the first out of the ninth before Breslow took over.

In the meantime, we didn’t waste time putting ourselves on top.  Ellsbury singled to lead off the first, and then Victorino and Pedroia hit back-to-back doubles, the latter of which scored two.  With one out in the second, Snyder hit a solo shot to right center field.  Napoli led off the fourth with a single and scored on a double by Iglesias.  Pedroia led off the fifth with a single but got caught stealing second; Napoli doubled and scored on a single by Gomes.  Lavarnway, Iglesias, and Ellsbury led off the sixth with back-to-back-to-back singles.  Two outs later, Iglesias and Ellsbury scored on a single by Papi.  And last but not least, Ellsbury led off the eighth with a solo shot to right.

The final score was 8-2.  And that’s the sweep!

Boston Globe Staff/Matthew J. Lee

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John Lackey, ladies and gentlemen! I don’t know what happened.  I don’t know what he changed or what he didn’t.  I don’t know what snapped.  I don’t know.  Maybe it was just the tone set by the fact that he was in unbelievable shape during Spring Training.  Maybe, in the time-honored Boston tradition, it was just the beard.  But whatever it was, I’m glad it did.  The Lackey that we have seen lately is completely unlike the Lackey that we have been used to seeing.  If you ask me, it’s been long overdue.  I’m glad he’s back.

Lackey is pretty much back.  It’s phenomenal.  I mean, obviously it’s Interleague, so we do have an advantage anyway, but Lackey basically beasted the Padres.  He had a one-two-three first.  He gave up a double in the second, a single in the third, a double in the fourth, and a double and a single in the fifth.  He had a one-two-three sixth and allowed his only blemish in the seventh.  It was the first at-bat and 2-2 count thanks to four fouls.  He threw a cutter, two changeups, another cutter, two four-seams, and finally a curveball.  But he missed, and he gave up a solo shot.  He gave up a walk in the eighth, and that was it.

So, to sum up, Lackey tossed eight innings of one-run ball.  He gave up six innings, one walk, and six strikeouts.  That’s basically as good as it gets.  One more inning, and he would have gone the distance.  And he threw only 103 pitches.  That’s efficiency if I’ve ever seen it! I don’t know what Lackey did to change, but whatever it is, I like it.

We provided some backup in the fourth.  Papi singled, Napoli walked, Gomes struck out, and Salty walked to load the bases.  Snyder then hit a bases-clearing double but was out at third.  Gomes doubled to lead off the sixth and scored on a single by Iglesias.

Uehara had a one-two-three ninth, and that was it.  We won, 4-1.

Boston Globe Staff/Jim Davis

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Our winning streak stops at four.  I don’t know about you, but I miss the earlier days of the season when all we had to do to win was basically just show up.  Now it just seems like winning doesn’t come as easily, like we’re kind of uncomfortable.  We can’t put together a lengthy winning streak of note, and it’s harder to chalk our losses up to the nature of the game.  It’s true that you can’t necessarily win them all, but it’s also true that you shouldn’t have to lose just because the rotation or the bullpen or the hitters failed in some way.  And of course it never helps when fielding is involved.

Doubront gave up a walk and then an RBI single in the first, and he gave up a solo shot to lead off the sixth.  Wilson replaced him one walk and one flyout into the seventh.  Wilson took care of the rest of the seventh just fine.

So as you can see, Doubront was not the problem.  He gave up two runs on five hits over the course of six and one-third innings.  He walked three, struck out six, and did just fine.  He looked fairly comfortable, and he put us in a position to win.

Unfortunately, we scored as many runs as Doubront gave up: two.  Both of which we scored in the seventh.  The Jays had made a pitching change.  Salty and Iglesias hit back-to-back singles.  Salty moved to third on a throwing error but was out at home on a fielder’s choice by Jonathan Diaz.  The Jays made another pitching change and Ellsbury singled to load the bases.  And then Victorino singled in both Iglesias and Diaz.

Admittedly, that is not the strongest response that one would hope for in a bases-loaded situation.  But thanks to both Doubront and Wilson, that modest response ended up tying the game at two.

So the fact that we lost can’t be pinned on the offense alone.  It would have been nice to score more runs, obviously.  But is it not the job of the relief corps to be able to handle these kinds of situations?

Tazawa gave up a single followed by a two-run home run in the eighth.  And Breslow gave up a single that turned into a run on another single in the ninth, followed by a run that scored on a fielding error.

And so we ended up losing, 6-2.  The relief corps let the Jays get back on top, and we didn’t counter with any damage.

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