Pitchers & Catchers Report to Ft. Myers

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Night of Lost Ground

I missed the majority of last night's Red Sox game in St. Pete due to my Saturday softball game. I follow the game on my cell, but I managed to get home with the Sox batting in the top of the 10th.

Victor Martinez had just gotten on base after selling to the ump he got hit by a pitch. I had the Rays broadcast, and as usual, they did their usual whining how the Rays were getting screwed by the umps. Kevin Kennedy was moaning about how the umps should be "embarrassed" by that call. And how would he have reacted had one of the Rays done the exact same thing and gotten first base?

Screw them, I went to my radio. And just in time to listen to Dan Johnson hit a home run off Scott Atchison to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 win.

I caught the highlights and saw Ryan Kalish's circus catch in center, and J.D. Drew's catch in foul territory that allowed Carlos Pena to score the tying run in the 7th. I honestly can't blame Drew for getting the out, as you never know what could happen should he let the ball go. What if the batter (Matt Joyce) hit a home run on the next pitch? There's no way to know, but unless the game's tied in the bottom of ninth with less than two outs, you should catch it.

Victor Martinez hit another homer in the 8th to untie it, and he had four hits on the night. But Terry Francona probably stayed with Clay Buchholz too long, as he gave up a tying home run to B.J. Upton to lead off the 8th. Buchholz was superb though, allowing just a run on three hits in seven innings. He continues to be a strong candidate for the Cy Young Award.

Hideki Okajima was reactivated last night and Michael Bowden was optioned to Pawtucket.

John Lackey takes the mound tonight in what you might call a rather critical game in this Red Sox season, against James (When Was The Last Time I Pitched a Big Game?) Shields, which will be the Sunday night game tonight. New York won last night, so the Red Sox lost ground everywhere, and now trail by 5 1/2 games in both the East and the Wild Card.

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