|Connelly’s Top Ten: Sox Done / Celtics 50 Wins – One Playoff Round / Belichick Contract Extension||Yoan Moncada and the Red Sox||Connelly’s Top Ten: David OverPriced, Sunday Bird, Complete Games (Or Not)||Two Red Sox Players Considered Serious MVP Candidates|
Yikes, what an ugly weekend it has been for baseball. While the Bruins and Celtics won their games indoors on Saturday, the Red Sox managed to lose two games outdoors in the rain at Fenway Park.
In the first “game,” play resumed in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied 1-1. The struggling David Ortiz nearly ended the game with a blast that went foul in left field to lead off the ninth. The game remained tied when the Red Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 11th. Ortiz grounded into a fielder’s choice (with the out recorded at home plate), and Adrian Beltre grounded into a double play (third to first) to end the inning and the threat.
Pat Burrell slammed a two-run HR in the top of the 12th off Manny Delcarmen to give the Rays the 3-1 lead and win in Game 1. Later in the night, Burrell was the hero again, hitting a three-run double in the first inning after Mike Cameron’s ugly error to give the Rays a 4-0 lead. Tampa Bay never looked back, and survived a late scare to beat the Sox 6-5 in the second game.
Daniel Bard pitched two hitless innings in “relief” of Jonathan Papelbon, who was unavailable for the day after the birth of his son earlier on Saturday (welcome to Gunner Robert Papelbon!). Papelbon had closed out the top of the ninth on Friday night by striking out B.J. Upton.
Pedroia finished with two more hits and a home run on Saturday night to raise his season batting average to .378. He now leads the Red Sox with five HRs and 12 RBI through 11 games.
Had third base coach Tim Bogar not made the stupid to decision to send Kevin Youkilis around third base on a David Ortiz double with no outs, the Red Sox would have had men on second and third with no outs instead of a man on second with one out. Bogar’s blunder may have cost the Sox a run (and subsequently the game).
Cameron, meanwhile, was the goat of Game 2. His ridiculous error (the ball was lined toward him, but hit the top of his glove instead) cost the Red Sox a precious out, and Pat Burrell made them pay with his bases-clearing double off Clay Buchholz (who pitched well after that shaky first inning).
“We had a great opportunity,” Boston manager Terry Francona said of Boston’s opportunity with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 1. “We couldn’t get a better opportunity.”
W: Lance Cormier (2-0)
L: Manny Delcarmen (0-1)
S: Rafael Soriano (3)
W: James Shields (1-0)
L: Clay Buchholz (1-1)
S: Rafael Soriano (4)