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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Carp’

That’s the thing about this game.  You never really know how it’s going to turn out.  We started out behind, but then we tied it up and scored an insurance run.  And that insurance run was actually the winning run, as it turns out.  All it took was one extra run and a solid pitching performance, and there you go.

Lackey turned in his latest solid start: three runs on seven hits, one walk, and four strikeouts over seven and a third innings.  Fortunately, we managed to tie it up and then take the lead.

He secured the game’s first out but then gave up the game’s first run thanks to a single-double combination.  He issued a walk to lead off the third, and one out later, he gave up a home run.  He also gave up a solo shot to lead off the sixth.  After inducing a popout to lead off the eighth, Breslow came in and completed the eighth.  Uehara got a save for his work in the ninth.

We got on the board in the third.  Drew led off with a walk and scored on a single by Victorino.  Drew led off the seventh with a single, Bogaerts lined out, Ellsbury singled, Victorino lined out, and Drew and Ellsbury both scored on a single by Pedroia.  Two outs into the eighth, Salty doubled and scored on a single by Carp.  

It was just a single.  And Carp wasn’t even starting.  He came in to pinch-hit.  He came in to pinch-hit and laid down a perfect single at the perfect time.  It’s funny how that works out.  So we ended up winning, 4-3.

Boston Globe Staff/Jim Davis
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Oh, the shame.  Oh, the humiliation.  It’s bad enough when you put up a fight and lose.  It’s worse when you put up a fight and lose in extras.  It’s even worse when you have to put up a fight at all because the relief corps squandered your lead.  But to retain a very tight lead after a stellar start, to not score enough runs to make a late-inning dent seem like nothing, and ten to lose in a walkoff with no fight at all? It doesn’t get much worse than that.

It didn’t take us long to get ahead, even if we didn’t get ahead by much.  Ellsbury hit the second pitch of the game for a single and later scored on a sac fly by Carp.  Then, Victorino homered on the sixth pitch of the third inning, rocketing it beyond the left field fence for a huge solo shot.

It turned out that those were the only runs we’d score all game.  Meanwhile, Peavy turned out the lights on the Giants through four; he gave up his first run in the fifth when he gave up a single followed by a triple.  After a truly stellar start, he was replaced by Breslow with one on and two out in the sixth.  Breslow finished the sixth and pitched the seventh, and Tazawa came on for the eighth.  After securing the inning’s first out, he gave up two consecutive singles and a sac fly, allowing the Giants to tie it at two.

We went down in order in the ninth, but the Giants did not.  Morales came on, and en route to obtaining the first two outs, he loaded the bases thanks to a single, a walk, and a hit batsman.  So when Marco Scutaro of all people received four straight balls, there was no room for him on the bases.

Brayan Villareal had come on for the last at-bat, so the scoring play actually occurred under his watch.  But Tazawa received a blown save, and Morales received the loss, which I think is more than fair.

Yes.  The Giants won in the most humiliating way possible for the opposition: the literal walkoff.

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Now , that’s more like it! If a loss to the Yanks is my least favorite loss, then obviously a win over the Yanks is my most favorite win.  And this one was sweet! It was modest enough to show that we don’t necessarily have to be flashy and slug it out to make it happen, but it was decisive enough to show that we could if we really wanted to.  Ultimately, I particularly enjoyed that it showed that we are just better.

It would have been difficult for Lackey to do a better job.  He was just one out shy of pitching seven innings, and he only gave up one run.  He allowed six hits and three walks and only had one strikeout to his credit, but he got the job done anyway.  He threw 103 pitches, so he was pretty efficient, but mostly it was just a matter of his command and control, which were in high gear.  Scoring opportunity or no scoring opportunity, the Yanks couldn’t do much with his stuff.

He went one-two-three in the first and was almost in trouble in the second, during which he gave up two singles and two walks.  But thanks to a timely and well-executed double play and a flyout, he escaped unscathed.  He went one-two-three in the third and gave up two more singles in the fourth.  In the fifth, he gave up a single, a double, and three straight groundouts, the second of which ended up scoring his only run.  But, as I’ve said, if you have to allow a run, it’s always better if you manage to get an out in the process.  He went one-two-three in the sixth, and he was taken out of the seventh after he allowed a walk, a double play, and a hit batsman.

Breslow took over and ended the inning, and he and Tazawa combined to pitch the eighth.

Meanwhile, we had at least one baserunner during each of the first three innings, but we didn’t score until the fourth, which Papi led off with a double followed by a single by Carp and a strikeout by Nava.  Then Drew reached on a force attempt thanks to a throwing error, and Papi scored.  Carp and Drew executed a double steal, Salty struck out, and Middlebrooks and Ellsbury hit back-to-back singles, scoring one run each.  We went down in order in the fifth but turned it on again in the sixth, which Nava led off with a double.  After Drew grounded out, Nava scored on a single by Salty, who scored on a double by Ellsbury with a little help from a throwing error.  Pedroia led off the seventh by popping out, by Papi smacked a solo shot way deep, all the way out to center field, on a full-count changeup.

We had the bases loaded with two out in the eighth, but we didn’t score.  Uehara pitched a solid ninth.  And that’s how we beat the Yanks, 6-1.  As I said, it was sweet.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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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.

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It’s great to string wins together.  I remember a time when it felt like it was difficult to win after a slugfest, almost as if we’d used up all of our offensive production.  It certainly didn’t feel like that yesterday.  Yesterday it felt like we were just as much in control of the game as we were ever going to be.  In the ninth inning, that is.  That’s when Drew got it done.

In the second, Gomes walked and scored on a groundout by Holt.  After Victorino grounded out to lead off the third, Pedroia and Papi both singled, and Pedroia scored when Carp grounded into a double play to end the frame.  Pedroia and Papi led off with two consecutive lineouts in the seventh, and then Carp singled and Gomes hit a wallop of a home run on the second pitch of his at-bat to bring us within one run.

Dempster had smooth sailing in the first and second but ran into trouble in the third.  After securing the inning’s first out, he gave up a double followed by a home run.  He had smooth sailing again in the fourth and fifth but ran into more trouble in the sixth.  He gave up a double, a wild pitch, a strikeout, and then three consecutive scoring plays: a single, a double, and a sac fly.  And a deflection by Holt.  And those resulted in three runs.

We finally got a lead in the ninth, and we kept it.  Papi singled, and Britton came in to pinch-run.  Carp lined out, Gomes walked, and Drew smacked a three-run shot on a curveball.

Tazawa pitched the seventh and eighth, and Uehara pitched the ninth.  The final score was 7-5!

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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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