Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gonzo and the Red Sox Complete Comeback With Walk-Off

                                               Sports Illustrated

Red Sox 8 Orioles 7
Winning Pitcher: Alfredo Aceves (1-0)
Losing Pitcher: Kevin Gregg (0-1)

Looking to go above the .500 mark for the first time in 2011, the Red Sox turned to Daisuke Matsuzaka, whose start exemplifies your average Dice-K start. It started off rough from the very first pitch, which Brian Roberts lined right back and Matsuzaka's chest. The pitcher was able to stay in the game, however, and ended up giving up two runs on two hits and three walks in a tough first inning. The Red Sox would load the bases in the bottom of the inning, but failed to score. Fast forward to the fifth, and Dice-K would be pulled after 4.1 innings, allowing five runs on five hits and seven walks, while striking out just two. On the other side, Baltimore got a very solid start from Chris Tillman (5 IP 0 R 5 H 3 BB 2 K). However, the Red Sox were able to get to the Orioles' bullpen. Entering the bottom of the 6th, the Red Sox trailed 6-0, and Tillman was being relieved by Mike Gonzalez. The Sox started the inning with four straight reaching base, with the help from a couple of errors from the O's, and scored two runs before Gonzalez was was pulled from the game. By the end of the inning, the Red Sox cut the deficit to just one run, behind RBIs from Lowrie, Varitek, Gonzalez and Youkilis. Mark Reynolds led the top of the 7th off with a home run off of Alfredo Aceves to double the Orioles' lead. After Varitek got another RBI in the 7th, Boston entered the bottom of the 9th against Baltimore closer Kevin Gregg trailing by a run. With one out, Jacoby Ellsbury walked. Dustin Pedroia then followed with a brilliant at-bat, which eventually ended with a walk to give big Adrian Gonzalez a chance. He didn't disappoint, sending Gregg's pitch off the Monster to drive in both Ellsbury and Pedey, and the Red Sox are enjoying a winning record for the first time all year.

News and Notes
  • Before the game, the Red Sox announced that they were sending the struggling John Lackey to the 15-day DL with a strained right elbow. It is very likely that this is just a ploy to give the stumbling starter a break. Lackey has posted a 8.01 ERA thus far this year, and is clearly not alright. As some may know, his wife is going through treatment for breast cancer (and our thoughts go out to him and his family), and it seems to be affecting him. After his last start, he said "Everything in my life sucks right now." The Red Sox made the right move giving him a couple weeks to get everything all set. There was no point in sending him out there a few more times to continue to get shelled.

  • Varitek showed some offensive presence in tonight's game, which has been extremely rare out of the catching position all year for the Sox. After Saltalamacchia homered in Sunday night's game in New York, 'Tek came through with 2-5 night with 2 RBIs and a run scored. His second RBI was enormous for the Sox, as it cut their deficit to one with two innings to go. 

The Red Sox and Orioles finish their quick two game series at Fenway tomorrow night at 7:10 PM ET. Boston will send Tim Wakefield (0-1 5.40) to the mound, in place of John Lackey, against Baltimore's young stud Zach Britton (5-2 2.42).   

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