Friday, July 10, 2009

Lester Takes it to the Royals, Again

Game Date: July 10, 2009
Kansas City @ Boston
Red Sox 1, Royals 0 / Box Score
WP: Lester (8-6), LP: Bannister (6-7), SV: Papelbon (23)
KC Home Runs: None
Royals Record: 37-49 / Record in July 4-6

Three things about this game:

  • Brian Bannister’s cutter was a thing of beauty. He ran it in against lefties and away to righties and the Red Sox had a hard time hitting it. He even took a no-hitter into the fifth inning. But he left a change up up in the zone to Dustin Pedroia and he made him pay for it with a line drive off the Monster to drive in the only run of the game. You have to feel for Banny after pitching so well but still getting the loss. Such is life as a starter for the Kansas City Royals.

  • Mark Teahen can not put himself in a situation to get thrown out at second base trying to tag up with one out considering that Jose Guillen moved up to third on the same play in a scoreless game in the seventh inning. The double play would have still been in order with John Buck coming up, but you’ve got to give him a chance to get Guillen home. Teahen doesn’t make many base running mistakes, but this one was huge. And what in the world was Hillman doing by allowing Olivo to swing away anyway with guys on first and second and no outs? I know he’s not a small ball kind of guy, but it’s a scoreless game and Tim Lester owns us. Seems to me that you’ve got call for a bunt, even if Olivo is at the plate.

  • What was Ryan Freel thinking in the eighth inning, with the game still scoreless, when he watched three straight pitches rather than attempting to lay down a sacrifice bunt like he did on the first pitch he fouled off? Alberto Callaspo led off the inning with a walk and Freel followed him. The only thing that made sense was that he missed a sign or didn’t understand the sign because surely Hillman wouldn’t have taken the bunt sign off with only one strike, would he? Afterward Freel said this: “I got confused and screwed that up. I’d have bunted on the third pitch if I knew; I’m not afraid to bunt with two strikes, but I just screwed it up, so you can blame the whole thing on me.” At least he took responsibility.

Tomorrow night, Gil Meche (4-8, 4.14) will go up against John Smoltz (0-2, 6.60). Meche is 5-2 in his career against the Red Sox with a 3.62 ERA in 59.2 IP. Smoltz is 0-0 against the Royals with a 0.00 ERA in 1.0 IP.

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