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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cowboy Joe West: ruining baseball one game at a time

The Boston Red Sox have enough problems on their own without worrying about the biggest clown umpire in MLB.

This does not excuse the fact that they would have lost anyway last night to the Twins but West had to be front and center as usual in Minnesota's (12-18) series-opening 9-2 beatdown of the Red Sox (14-18) at Fenway Park.

Boston manager Terry Francona got ejected in the second inning after arguing a balk call on starter Tim Wakefield (4.1 innings, 9 hits, 8 runs, 6 earned, 4 walks, 1 strikeout) by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez. Francona went to argue with Hernandez but West planted himself in between the two and even bumped him a few times. It was a strange scene especially considering Francona rarely gets thrown out. Tito was more heated than I think I've ever seen before.

After Wakefield (0-1) had pitched so well on Sunday against the Mariners (the game I was at), he predictably came down to earth in a big way against a Minnesota lineup that was more like a Triple A team.

Somebody named Trevor Plouffe led the Twins with three runs, two hits, an RBI and a walk. Another nobody called Danny Valenica had two runs, two hits and two RBIs while Denard Span (2 hits, 2 RBIs) and Michael Cuddyer (2 runs, 2 hits) also had good games.

Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 15 games but he was the only Red Sox with multiple hits (2).

Twins starter Scott Baker (2-2) went eight innings, allowing seven hits, two earned runs, one walk and eight strikeouts.

Plouffe got the party started for Minnesota with a solo homer off Wakefield in the top of the first. Span made it 3-0 with a two-run single in the second and then Ben Revere (haha really?) scored on Wakefield's disputed balk for a 4-0 Twins lead.

J.D. Drew got Boston on the board with a solo home run in the second and Adrian Gonzalez followed suit with a solo homer in the fourth which cut it to 4-2 Minnesota.

Valencia cranked a two-run double in the fifth and Drew Butera scored on Jed Lowrie's error. To end it, Plouffe scored on a balk by Red Sox reliever Alfredo Aceves (4.2 innings, 3 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts).

Brian Duensing faces Clay Buchholz this afternoon. Buchholz is due for a solid start since he's been so shaky so far this season.

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