Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Blown Opportunity For First Place...Tampa Bay 5 Boston 4

This one was tough to take in the ninth inning. Jason Bay had hit a two run tie-breaking home run in the eighth inning to make the score 4-3 Red Sox. But Jonathon Papelbon, who had only four blown saves in his last 40 chances, added one BS to that total. Pitching for the third consecutive day, his fastball, the pitch he relied on yesterday, lacked movement of any kind, making each one that found the strike zone eminently hittable. And the Rays hit 'em. A home run and two one out doubles plated two runs and the Red Sox couldn't do anything in the bottom of the ninth. It was a well deserved loss for Paps and put his team 1 1/2 games in back of the frontrunners. Here's what he had to say after his embarassing outing...

“There’s a human factor involved, and we are all human and we are going to make mistakes,” Papelbon said. “I am human and I didn’t make my pitches where I wanted to tonight. For me, it was just mislocated fastballs and fastballs that weren’t crisp at home plate and didn’t have much life on them,” Papelbon said.

Paps is right...we're ALL human and blown saves are a part of the game, but again, this one was tough to take. It wasn't a day at the beach either for Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka. He was only able to go five innings because his control was off. I guess we all know by now that that's typical of him. He allowed 3 runs on 8 hits but walked 4 and threw 102 pitches in that short span. That works out to more than 20 pitches per inning, and that's simply not acceptable. The middle relief was fine until the Red Sox had gone ahead and Paps came in to try and get the final 3 outs. BUT NOOOO. Turn the page time for sure. RIGHT NOW!

Tonight, the Sox can get to within 1/2 game yet again, and they will have their ace, Josh Beckett, on the Fenway mound. So we're in good hands. He'll be opposed by the Rays' Andy Sonnanstine. May the better team (us) win! You can click on the title of this post for all the details about last night's sad ending, and remember this...the tough Toronto Blue Jays come into town for a four game set starting on Friday. Roy Halladay might pitch on short rest Sunday, but that's up to the Jays. If I were making that decision and my team was completely out of it, I wouldn't risk my ace's health. But that's just my opinion. Thanks for stopping in, comments are welcome, and as always, BE WELL. And don't forget to turn that page. It's a new day today, and first pitch time will be at 7:05pm EDT. Enjoy your Hump Day Wednesday.

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