In From Right, The Wind Keeps Kansas City Royals In The Game..Kansas City 4 Boston 3
The wind was blowing in from right at the start of the game and might have cost Boston a walk-off win. It was the bottom of the ninth and KC was up by a run at 4-3. Carl Crawford strode to the plate to pinch hit. He hit a high, HIGH fly ball that carried until it got to the warning track. I remember thinking that the ball was lofted so high, when it comes down it will land in the stands. But nooo. Jeff Francoeur takes up the story. After all, he's the one who caught it...
"I thought that ball was gone, I really did. I put my head down and just started running back as hard as I could. If there's no breeze, I think that ball's got a shot. I was going full-speed into the stands, because that's the kind of wall you can reach over.
Good thing there's no Green Monster in right field or we'd be talking about a 5-4 Red Sox win."
If there was a wall there a la in left field, I think the ball would have scraped that wall on its descent. A home run wasn't in the cards even with the preceding scenario. But still, so close and yet so far but I'll tell you something. I was three feet off the ground celebrating, a joyous time which ended abruptly when the ball landed in Jeff's glove. I swear 75 % of the Fenway Fanatics and most of the NESN audience, including Orsillo and RemDog, thought it was going out. But Royals starter Luke Hochevar out pitched Josh Beckett, who had one bad inning by giving up four runs in the fourth inning. Hochevar took over and made the 4-2 lead hold up.
Boston's hottest hitter, Justin Pedey Pedroia, upped his hitting streak to 25 games with a home run to pull us to within one run but with Crawford's ball knocked down by the wind, they couldn't score that elusive run number four. Here's Josh Beckett with a comment about the hotter-than-hell Pedey...
"I feel good every time the guy comes up to the plate right now. He's hitting almost .400 in this hitting streak and a lot of it is damage. It's not like he's getting his infield hit and calling it a day. He's hitting a double or a homer."
Hey Josh, how about YOUR effort...
"Sometimes you make good pitches and they get hit. Sometimes you make terrible pitches and they hit them at guys. That's kind of the story of today, with the exception of the one inning."
The thing is, Beckett was pitching a vintage Beckett game for the first three frames and then, uncharacteristically, he walked a couple, gave up some base hits and suddenly KC was on the board with four. I had changed the television channel for ten minutes to check on something. I remember reading on Lauren's blog (Too Soxy For My Shirt, on my link list second one from the top...it's too funny and knowledgable) that the Royals had scored and I thought she was kidding. But then I thought to myself..."Lauren doesn't make up things about her beloved Sox." Sure enough, I tuned back to NESN and instead of 2-0 Sox it was 4-2 Royals. Blame that inning partially on me. But the lack of Boston's offensive exploits on this warm and beautiful day was all because of Royal pitching. I know it's hard to believe but it's true. Hocevar and his relievers stuffed us. Splitting four games with a team like KC is not acceptable, not the way the Red Sox have been playing. The Yankees were idle so we're 2 1/2 games up in the AL East.
The team is already in Chicago preparing for a three game series with the tough Pale Hose that begins tonight. At the same time, the Yankees have an easy assignment...that would be to play a series with Baltimore. That's the way the MLB schedule worked out. Here are the game pitching match-ups for you...
Fri. 29 at CWS 8:10 PM ET** NESN/CSN** T. Wakefield (6-3) vs. G. Floyd (8-9)
Sat. 30 at CWS 7:10 PM ET** NESN/WGN** J. Lester (10-4) vs. P. Humber (8-6)
Sun. 31 at CWS 2:10 PM ET** TBS/CSN **A. Miller (4-1) vs. M. Buehrle (8-5)
Finally, I'd like to wish you a great Friday and a terrific weekend coming up. If you'd like to click on this post's title, you'll be able to see Crawford's high and long shot as well as Beckett's disastrous fourth. Give it a look and as always, BE WELL. See you tomorrow morning if not sooner. Right now, Boston's tentacles are all over the place out there searching for that one player deemed good enough to make a deal for. I'm not saying that's going to happen but you never know. The trading deadline is just about upon us.