Four Real? Is anyone awake? Red Sox vs Angels 7-6-13
Pete Lepak RedSoxLife Staff Writer
I had the whole article written by the eighth inning. I knew this game was over, and as it approached 2am, my eyes began to get heavy as I waited for the game to end. Unfortunately for the Red Sox and Ryan Dempster, Boston blew their 4 run lead in the ninth and lost it in the 11th. While Dempster pitched well enough for the win, his bullpen imploded and gave up 6 runs in the last three innings of the game. Here are the five at bats that changed the game:
1) Early Bird Gets the Worm This year's Sox love to score early. Jacoby Ellsbury looks healthy and has been on a tear of late, and he gets the game started with a single. With two outs, David Ortiz hits a weak grounder to third base but it's so slow, he and Ellsbury reach without a problem. With Mike Napoli up, Ellsbury takes off for third base on the pitch, and catcher Chris Ianetta throws behind third baseman Brendan Harris. The ball rolls into the outfield and Ellsbury scurries home for a 1-0 Red Sox lead.
2) Poor Choices In the top of the fourth inning, pitcher Jerome Williams got himself into some trouble. He lost Mike Napoli to a full count walk, then gave up a left field single to Daniel Nava. Left fielder JB Shuck failed to charge the ball and Napoli took off for third, beating the throw by a hair. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hits a 2-2 fastball that is down and away, and he takes it into the left field gap to score both men. Brock Holt is up next, and he hits a harmless ball to first baseman Albert Pujols. Pujols chooses to throw to third, but the chucks it short and it makes everyone safe. Jose Iglesias then hits an RBI single to Erick Aybar's right side to chase Williams. When the inning ends, Boston takes a 5-3 lead. The Angels did not make any errors this inning, but it's clear that their poor choices in the field cost them runs, and when you play a team with a lot of offense, you can't afford to give them any free outs.
3) Speed kills, but so does a good arm. The fifth and sixth innings were very good to Sox right fielder Shane Victorino. He guns down JB Shuck trying to tag up from second in the bottom of the fifth inning, his team leading 6th outfield assist of the year, then he triples down the right field line with one out in the sixth. Teammate Dustin Pedroia then singles up the middle to score Victorino and put the Sox up 6-3.
4) THUD. The Angels looked dead going into the ninth inning, but Alex Wilson loaded the bases and then Koji Uehara gave up two singles to score three runs. With a slim 7-6 Sox lead and men at the corners, Howie Kendrick rolls a sweak grounder to third baseman Brandon Synder. Synder throws without setting his feet and the ball sails over Dustin Pedroia's head. The tying run scores and this game is going into extra innings! 7-7.
5) The game is funny Josh Hamilton was 0 for 4 with a costly error earlier in the game, but he came up with a man on in the 11th and cracked a homerun off of Craig Breslow to give the Angels a walk-off win, 7-5, and send the Sox home with a horrible loss. Hamilton looked awful in the field, but baseball can be a funny game sometimes. All you need is one key moment and the hope is that everyone will forget your downfalls. But then again, that's why you only need to be successful 3 out of 10 times at bat to be a talented player.
Tomorrow, John Lackey goes against Jered Weaver at 8:05pm EST at Angel Stadium.