Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

I think Papelbon's plan is to scare us into submission

Because, ultimately, that's all that matters, right?

Because, ultimately, that's all that matters, right?

How is it possible that it seemed almost more painful to watch them win last night than it was watching them lose the night before?

The game started late and ran four hours (four hours and nine minutes to be exact).  Jonathan Papelbon through 28…TWENTY EIGHT pitches in the ninth inning and still got the save.  On the post-game show on NESN, Dennis Eckersley made the remark that he was surprised Papelbon didn’t celebrate that swinging strike out to end the game (Eck said he would have) but, really, at that point I’m guessing Paps just wanted to go pass out…although my adrenaline was so high that I was up until around 3am.

(As an aside, as I write this I just turned on “Breakfast with the Sox’ and it’s the 6th inning and Youk just hit his home run to make it 5-1…Don’t be too sad, CC, none of the rest of the game will really be  your fault.)

Okay I mentioned last night that I probably wouldn’t write about this but how can I not, really?  As most folks know by now, last night’s game was played under protest by the Yankees when John Farrell came out to the mound to talk to Josh Beckett, was told he was hurt and motioned to the bullpen before telling the ump and motioning for the trainer.  This is against the rules.  So Joe Girardi protested because this meant Manny Delcarmen would get unlimited warm up time instead of the 8 pitches he’d normally get for coming into a game.  While Girardi argued his point…MDC took 18 pitches.  Did no one think to tell him not to throw?  (Not that I’m complaining!)  It seems ridiculous to me that you are arguing a guy shouldn’t be allowed warm up pitches while he is right next to you throwing freaking warm up pitches.  At this point in the game, the score was 5-0 Yankees with two outs and a man on second.

Now, I really do get you want to follow the rules and Farrell either knowingly thumbed his nose at them or just had a brain cramp (which I think is more likely as his brain was probably exploding at the idea of Beckett still or again being hurt) but according to Jerry Remy, a protest will be upheld if the league determines that the infraction would have been a factor in the outcome of the game.  If the roles were reversed I don’t know how I’d feel.  Of course I want my manager to do what he can but for me, the specific situation of the score being 5-0 is what made it a little mind boggling to me.  Much like many things, I take it on a case by case basis and in this case it just seemed like grandstanding to me.  I get when protesting might work but being up by that margin with your ace on the mound really doesn’t seem to be one of those times.

They were up 5-0 with two outs and a man on and Manny Delcarmen came in and got possibly their hottest hitter (Francisco Cervelli) to fly out to Bill Hall on two pitches.  Now Girardi had to protest before Manny through his first pitch so he had no idea Many would only throw 2 pitches and Cervelli would fly out – I get that – but I’d like to know how he possibly thought bringing MDC into a 5-0 game would affect the outcome of it.  I don’t think he did.  I just think he was being a jackass (and his comments after the game where he said he wasn’t saying that Beckett wasn’t…when that’s exactly what he was saying…annoyed me even more).  I had some colorful words for Joe last night and while, again, I get that in theory you protest because you feel you’ve been wronged and it is going to adversely affect you for the game, that certainly wasn’t the point last night.  Shame on Joe for giving us more of his theatrics.  As I wrote last night, I hope the Baseball Gods were watching (given how it ended maybe they were) and the Yanks become a huge disappointment to him.  Letting the Red Sox crawl back two nights in a row (even though they couldn’t hold on Monday) and having Mariano Rivera pretty much collapse two games in a row (Sunday with giving up the Grand Slam against Minnesota being the other time) might be an indication that it’s already happening.  (I found it interesting that Beckett mentioned how bad the mound was in his post-game presser and CC, who got to throw extra pitches when he came back out after MDC, got the mound cleaned for him before he took it.  I’m not ready to sign on to the theory that Josh wasn’t genuinely hurt in some way.)

But I didn’t come here to write about the Yankees 🙂  While I am happy, nay, delighted about the outcome of last night’s game I’m not so happy at what cost it might have come.  Beckett and Drew both were out of the game with whatever they got taken out for and that’s never good.  A pitcher who needs to get “right” and our only original starting outfielder.  An outfield rotating Hermida,  McDonald, Hall and Van Every doesn’t exactly evoke thoughts of a winning streak.   As far as Beckett goes, I’ve written this before. I’m getting to the point where I WANT him to be hurt because you can fix hurt.  The bigger concern really is that he ISN’T hurt because the alternative genuinely sucks.

I absolutely hate Red Sox/Yankees games.  Unless it is an absolute blow out on the side of the Red Sox, they aren’t fun.  They’re stressful and then the added circus that the media surround them with and feeds to us makes it even worse.  I become anxious and angry and annoyed and just all-around crazed during these series.  So I would like to thank the Baseball Gods (or in this case the computer that schedules the season) for giving us only a two game series this time around.  I don’t like the way I feel when these games are being played.  I’m just happy to be done with them until August.  Now we can focus on their games and not on how the Sox are doing against the Yanks.  (People seem to happily forget that both the Rays and the Blue Jays are ahead of the Sox too.  Small steps, people.  I’m just happy they’ll be taking those steps away from the Bronx.)

Seven of our nine starters got hits last night.  Three of them had two.  The five pitchers who followed Beckett gave up only three hits and one run (Paps in the ninth, ready to make me cry, he was!).  Even if you aren’t counting the win, there was a lot of good to get out of last night to go with the bad.  This team is definitely showing signs of life even if they’re trying to kill us while doing it.

Tonight Clay Buchholz takes the mound for us against Scott Baker and the Twins.  Weather-wise, it is a perfectly miserable day.  I think Clay can has it i him to make us forget the weather and keep this winning stuff going.

Special thanks, once again, to all the folks stopping by for the chat.  We’re five for five and the pressure is now on us to keep it up!

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May 19, 2010 - Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. First let me make it very clear – I don’t like Girardi – it’s not even close, but you really don’t think his protest was legit? He knows at that point that 5-0 is not safe. It was proven before his protest and after his protest. Had MDC taken only 8 warmups maybe he throws a bad pitch that allows a hit and an rbi; and the floodgates open to put the game really out of reach. Nobody knows if it would have changed things or what would have happened. Of course, I still hope the protest will be dismissed.

    I also really think if the shoe was on the other foot, you would not be ok with it – probably yelling CHEAT as loud as others.

    Comment by Sharpie | May 19, 2010 | Reply

  2. I think complaining was legit…the protest was nothing but show.

    And since I don’t really consider what happened cheating you really couldn’t be more wrong about what you think my reaction would be.

    What I will give you is this…I don’t like Girardi and last night did nothing to change that
    🙂

    Comment by cyn | May 19, 2010 | Reply

  3. Welll…on this one I make a distinction between what I would do and what I think professionally appropriate for Girardi to have done. I can see that the pitcher was hurt and the reliever should have the extra warm-up pitches approrpiate to emergency entry into the game, and the fact that the order of the coach’s gestures was backwards does not change the essentials of the situation. But I think Girardi was perfectly within his rights as a manager to make an official protest. I don’t think that protest should be upheld, but I have no quarrel with his making it. From what he could see from his vantagepoint on the field, the opposing coaching staff did not observe the order of statement and gesture mandated by the rules. His job is to help his club to win ballgames, and if his protest prevented the offosing team’s emergency reliever from getting enough warm-up pitches to be prepared for his first batter, Girardi would have significantly improved his club’s chance to win. The score at the time doesn’t strike me as particularly relevant, not just because Yankees/Sox contests so often have been violently see-saw affairs that a five run lead is definitely NOT a safe margin, but because the imperative to do whatever you legally can do to aid your team applies to the manager 24/7 throughout the season. So them’s my thoughts. (Big deal, Elaine!)

    Comment by Elaine Apthorp | May 19, 2010 | Reply

  4. First things first… Girardi.

    How can a guy be so focused on what’s happening on the field relative to procedural issues, yet fail so badly at aligning his outfield?

    Paplebon.

    Last season I quit tracking his pitches thrown at around August. The point of the exercise was the noticeable rise that might lead to arm exhaustion toward the end of the season, specifically the playoffs. His command is erratic, and his pitch counts again are not closer like. While his saves opportunity and saves ratios look okay, his peripherals are not.

    Now here’s a totally wacky thought. If the Sox continue to play schizophrenic baseball up to trade deadline, and have no real chance for post season play, and the Adventures of Paplebon continue, what would you say if trading Papelbon were on the radar screen?

    Comment by Tru | May 19, 2010 | Reply

    • I like Paps. Having written that…I’m not attached enough to be “worried” if they decide to use him as trade bait. I’m on record as being pleased the Sox haven’t caved and given him that long-term contract just yet.

      And, Elaine, it is a big deal! I enjoy reading what other folks think!

      Comment by Cyn | May 19, 2010 | Reply


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