18 July 2004

BOS 6, ANA 2

WP- Curt Schilling (12-4)
LP- John Lackey (7-9)
HR- D Ortiz (25), G Kapler (3), B Molina (6)

It didn't look good. Manny was out, and Remy was saying something about a power struggle between he and Francona over playing LF or DH. All of it was speculation, but unnerving nonetheless.

John Lackey, topping out at 6 Ks in a game this season, had 7 through 5 and was cruising, surrending no walks and only 2 hits. Worse more, Schilling was dominating save for a bad curveball that was crushed by Bengi Molina giving Anaheim a 1-0 lead.

But in the 6th, we broke out and saved the series from complete disaster- here is the inning log for the top of the 6th:

-Top of the 6th inning
-G Kapler flied out to center.
-J Damon walked.
-M Bellhorn singled to right, J Damon to second.
-D Ortiz homered to right, J Damon and M Bellhorn scored.
-N Garciaparra hit by pitch.
-T Nixon singled to right center, N Garciaparra to second.
-J Varitek grounded out to first, N Garciaparra to third, T Nixon to second.
-B Mueller intentionally walked.
-D McCarty grounded into fielder's choice to third, T Nixon out at third.

3 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors
Boston 3, Anaheim 1

Ortiz' HR seems small in typeface, but it was HUGE. Lackey seemed to be dominating to that point (though the walk to Damon and Bellhorn's single began to suggest otherwise), and David putting us up by 3 was a great shot in the arm.

It's also worth calling attention to the hit batter in the 6th inning. Lackey lost his footing on the mound and hit Nomar right after Ortiz' HR. The umpire warned both pitchers in a bout of extreme foolishness, taking away the inside part of the plate. Schilling had done nothing to warrant this, much less Lackey, who's last interest was to put yet another runner on in a close game in the 6th. In the 8th inning, Schilling hit Molina in the side (after the catcher had taken him deep earlier). Scioscia rightly wondered why his pitcher was warned and Schilling was not subsequently tossed for what at least appeared to have been intentional (at least judging by the criteria that would have Lackey warned). Scioscia was then thrown from the game. For the record- this umpiring crew, Matt Hollowell in particular, needs to be reevaluated. Scioscia was 100% correct in both arguments.

Back to the game- the Sox followed with this 7th inning off Scott Shields and John Lackey (why was Lackey brought back out, exactly?

BOSTON 7TH-Top of the 7th inning
-G Kapler homered to center.
-J Damon doubled to left.
-S Shields relieved J Lackey.
-M Bellhorn fouled out to third.
-D Ortiz singled to deep right, J Damon scored, D Ortiz to second advancing on throw.
-N Garciaparra tripled to deep right, D Ortiz scored.
-T Nixon struck out swinging.
-J Varitek grounded out to second.

3 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors
Boston 6, Anaheim 1

We needed a win out of such a solid Schilling performance, one made without the help of his heretofore necessary Marcaine ankle injections. Hopefully a two day trip to Seattle results in a sweep, as they are a team we desperately need to beat up on. The trades will come if they come- but the Sox really need to attend to the following areas:
  • Kevin Millar replacement

  • Derek Lowe replacement

  • Eddie Guardado!

  • The most sensible and attractive trade possiblity it would seem to be is the Lowe-for-Millwood swap. Lowe would get a change of scenery and a new pitching coach (sort of), and Kevin Millwood would be relieved of the top spot in a rotation, something he hasn't handled well. I like the idea. They're both FA to be, and their respective teams are definitely not going to resign them... so what's the hold up?

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