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Monday, May 2, 2011
Carl Crawford plays for the Red Sox?
Don't ask me what happened in the month of April, his first with the Boston Red Sox, but Carl Crawford hopefully turned the page yesterday on May 1 as he delivered a 3-2 walkoff win over the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.
Crawford's (2 hits) RBI single in the bottom of the ninth ensured that the Red Sox (12-15) wouldn't be swept by the Mariners (13-16). Bigger picture, maybe it'll spark some life in the former All-Star and stud with the Rays who is currently hitting .168 and batting eighth for Boston.
On a personal level, it was my first Red Sox game of the 2011 season and I'd like to note that makes two games in a row that I've seen a walkoff win (last July 31 as well) for the home team after not seeing one previously in my life. Baseball!
It was truly bizarro day as for almost six innings, Tim Wakefield was slightly better than 2010 Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez. Thankfully, Bobby Jenks came on for Wakefield in the sixth and cost him a win by coughing up a 2-0 lead by giving up a hit and three walks.
Hernandez went seven innings, allowing six hits, two earned runs, one walk and 10 strikeouts. He didn't factor into the decision despite throwing 111 pitches and getting into a groove late in his outing. More so than almost anyone in baseball, you have to feel bad for Hernandez (to a certain extent) since he's temporarily stuck on a team with a pathetic offense and just an awful 25-man roster.
Called into duty when Clay Buchholz contracted a virus, Wakefield made his first spot start of the season and it was a real good one. He went 5.2 innings, allowing three hits, one earned run, one walk and three strikeouts.
David Ortiz gave Boston a 2-0 lead with an RBI double off the Monster in the bottom of the third. Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia (2 hits) scored on the play.
Seattle tied it up in the top of the sixth as Jenks walked Jack Cust and then Luis Rodriguez with the bases loaded.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Jed Lowrie hit a routine fly ball to right that Ichiro Suzuki lost in the sun. The baseball hit him and Lowrie was able to advance to third on that gift. Marco Scutaro grounded out on the next pitch for the second out but Crawford finally came through with the big hit (which I called, pats self on back).
The unsung heroes for the Red Sox yesterday were Matt Albers and Jonathan Papelbon. Albers pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth with one strikeout. Papelbon (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth with a strikeout in only seven pitches.
The Los Angeles Angels come to Fenway with four games this week, starting tonight as Buchholz pitches against Jered Weaver (who has an ERA of 0.99 but also had his start moved back due to illness). Who's medicine worked better? The world will found out tonight.