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Saturday, October 2, 2010

The fat lady sang

Well, it certainly was fun making the Yankees squirm until their 158th game of the 2010 season. I’ll revisit the 2010 highlights and lowlights later, but for now I will stick with tonight’s game.

John Lackey, despite having a pitch count just a wee bit on the high side (108 over 6 IP, 18 pitches average per inning), struck out 5 White Sox and doled out just 3 hits, 2 walks and 2 runs, and left the game with a 4-2 lead. I’m sure the news of first the Rays winning, and then the Yankees winning must have felt like a good swift kick in areas where one should ought not ever receive. The Red Sox bullpen, an area I’m sure will receive close scrutiny and a complete overhaul over this winter, gave up 1 run in each of the final 3 innings of this game. Scott Atchison ran out of gas this season a couple of weeks early. It had been looking like he might be around in 2011, but in his last couple of innings he’s pitched have been horrible, including tonight’s. He faced only 2 batters to start off the 7th inning, giving up 2 hits and a run, with a wild pitch thrown in there, too. Hill finished that inning. The runner that scored was Atchison’s bag o’ crap that was handed over to him, but that inherited runner scored.

Bard had an uncharacteristic appearance, 1 hit, 2 walks, 1 run, and a blown save. Bard reached deep against Manny. While Manny has been having an off year, to say the least, he can still be a monster with the bat. He finally drew a walk on the 11th pitch he saw from Bard, 10 of them over 98 mph, 4 of them hitting the century mark.

Michael Bowden induced a ground out, allowed a single, and a fly out before being lifted for Dustin Richardson. Richardson walked the only man he faced at the plate, Bowden ended up with the loss. Matt Fox gave up the last run of the game, giving up a single driving in Bowden’s man on base.

Edwin Jackson went 7 innings giving up 7 hits, 1 walk, 4 runs (3 earned, 2 home runs), and fanned 6 Red Sox. Any time you go 7 innings and limit the Red Sox to 4 runs should be considered a very good performance. The Red Sox stroked 9 hits, the 2 aforementioned home runs being solo shots from Drew and Ortiz. Ortiz had 3 hits, Beltre and Lowrie, 2 each. All the hits, runs, and RBI’s came from the middle of the order: Drew, Martinez, Ortiz, Beltre, and Lowrie; perhaps making statements of their worth for the following season.

I kept an eye on the Yankees and Rays games, and each of those 2 teams had only scored 3 runs after 4.5 innings. There certainly was a chance that the Orioles and the Blue Jays could overcome those slim leads. But first one, then the other, were defeated by their AL East opponents, sealing the fate of the Red Sox. The Red Sox need only win 3 of their last 5 games to finish the season with at least 90 wins.

Sox 4 Sox 5 BOX SCORE

Manny v. Bard, 8th inning. He doesn't hit 105 mph, but he does reach 100.
(Click on graphic to make it larger.)

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