Oh man, this one hurt. You remember the first game in Oakland where we lost it in the bottom of the 9th? Yeah, it’s like that.
Kevin Millwood started off the night by throwing 5 2/3 scoreless innings, but the Sox really wore out his arm in the process. He just had to throw too many pitches. Millie came out of the game immediately after walking Mike Lowell in the 6th inning, with the score in the Rangers’ favor at 2-0. [Back in the 1st inning, Omar Vizquel got a lead-off walk, and Michael Young came up behind him to hit a dinger, giving the Rangers their 2 runs.] Millie had already gotten the first 2 outs of the inning, but he knew he just couldn’t get that third out.
So Wash took Millwood out and brought Eddie Guardado in from the ‘pen to face David Ortiz with a man on 1st base. Eddie and Big Papi are really good friends off the field, going back to when they both played for the Minnesota Twins from 1997-2002. And unfortunately, as Papi is known to do, he hit one out of the park, tying up the score at 2-2.
That was the first sign of trouble.
It didn’t seem like the Rangers had too much to worry about, though. In the bottom of the 6th, Marlon Byrd hit a double that was immediately followed up by a single from Andruw Jones, allowing Marlon to score. And so the Rangers took the lead again, 3-2. They also manufactured another run in the 7th, taking full advantage of Taylor Teagarden’s walk. Elvis Andrus bunted Taylor to 2nd base, then Omar Vizquel singled to allow Taylor to get to 3rd base. Next Michael Young got a pop fly, allowing Teagarden to score. So the Rangers went into the top of the 9th inning leading the Red Sox 4-2. Two runs is a pretty comfortable lead, right?
Frank Francisco, our closer, came in to pitch the 9th inning. This gave me no reason to worry, since Frankie Frank normally does a solid job in these situations. I mean, that’s why he’s our closer, right? Because he can come in during a close game and keep the other team from scoring. Oh, Frankie! What am I gonna do with you, m’boy? First David Ortiz hit a double, then Jason Varitek got a single, moving Papi to 3rd base. Next Jacoby Ellsbury got a single, allowing Ortiz to score and moving Varitek to 2nd. That brought the score to 4-3.
They brought in rookie pitcher Clay Buchholtz as a pinch runner to replace Varitek on 2nd base, and Frankie struck out the next batter. Okay, good, one out. Then Dustin Pedroia came to the plate and bounced a double to left fielder David Murphy. Luckily Murph is a superb ballplayer, and Clay Buchholtz doesn’t have much experience with running the bases. Murphy was able to hit the cut-off man, Michael Young, with no problem, and Michael whipped around to fire the ball to Taylor Teagarden at home plate. And Clay Buchholtz was tagged out a home!! What a beautiful play! Now there were 2 outs in the inning. If Frankie had been able to get the next batter out, then we still could have won the game right there.
No such luck.
Victor Martinez came up to bat next, and he hit a double, allowing both Ellsbury and Pedroia to score. So now the score was 5-4 in favor of the Sox. If it had ended there, we might have been able to come back in the bottom of the 9th to tie it up.
But it didn’t end there.
Next Jason Bay singled, scoring Victor Martinez. 6-4 Sox. Freakin’ A, have they batted around in this inning yet?? Will the runs ever stop?? Then J.D. Drew came to the plate, and he knocked one out of the park, bringing the score to 8-4. After Drew’s homer, Wash finally took Frankie out of the game and brought in Jason Jennings to get the final out. So the Rangers went into the bottom of the 9th inning knowing that they would have to score at least 4 runs to have a chance at winning the game. And that was just too big a defecit for the Rangers to overcome. So we lost the game 8-4. Sad day.
I’m not going to talk about “tomorrow’s pitching matchup” because I’m a little late getting this summary out and they’ve already played the next game. I won’t keep you in suspense… we won!!! But it’s too late to post that game summary too. It’s already 1 am, and I need to go to bed. Tomorrow’s game is a 1:05 p.m. start time, so I’ll try to get the next game summary out tomorrow morning (well, I guess technically it would be this morning, since it’s after midnight). Anyway, I’m off to bed, so I’ll leave you with a little CD to lift your spirits…
My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband, Chris Davis
Days since CD has been in the majors: 41