Oct 27, 2013, 11:53 PM EST
ST. LOUIS — A start from a broken pitcher that went way better than anyone might have guessed. A three-run homer from the most unlikely of men. On a night when the smart money was lining up against the Boston Red Sox, the storylines didn’t go the way they were supposed to go, resulting in a 4-2 Red Sox win and a series that is now tied at two games a piece.
About those pesky storylines:
- Clay Buchholz‘s arm was supposed to be 87% Nutella and jelly swirl — and maybe it was given his decreased velocity — but he somehow made it through four innings allowing only a single unearned run. The over/under on columns describing his performance as “gutsy” tomorrow morning is approximately six gabillion. And I’m taking the over.
- The ground ball specialist Seth Maness was called in to bail out Lance Lynn with two out and runners on in the sixth inning, on a night when home plate umpire Paul Emmel was calling low, low strikes. He’s supposed to induce a worm burner but he left a sinker high. Oops.
- That high sinker was delivered to The Totally Ineffective Jonny Gomes, who was supposed to be pumping one of the handles on the two-man handcar bound for oblivion with Jarrod Saltalamacchia as Game 4 commenced. But thanks to back tightness Shane Victorino was pulled, forcing Gomes into the game. Naturally, he hit a three-run homer.
But more than anything, The Red Sox, who walked off the field with their heads hanging low after Saturday night’s crazy loss, were supposed to be demoralized and broken. So much for that storyline too. And make that strike 937 against the idea that momentum is a thing in baseball.
What is a thing? David Ortiz knocking three hits and a walk, putting him at 8 for 11 this World Series and at .430+ in World Series play over his career. He didn’t knock in any runs tonight but he scored two and, Jonny Gomes’ heroics notwithstanding, is carrying this Red Sox team offensively.
Also a thing: John Farrell learning from his mistakes from Saturday night and not sticking with guys too long. Pulling Buchholz when he did. Pinch running for Ortiz when he got on base for the fourth time and using Mike Napoli as his defensive replacement. Not that he went fully conventional. He brought John Lackey in to pitch relief in the eighth. It was his first work from the pen in nine years. The performance was a bit shaky thanks to some bad defense behind him, but it ended up not killing him.
Those were just details, though. The important thing is that, on a night when a loss would have likely killed the Sox’ hope at winning this World Series, they gathered themselves together in businesslike fashion and delivered the sort of win that teams who aren’t upset, rattled or demoralized deliver. “We haven’t lost four games in a row all year,” their actions seemed to say tonight, “so we certainly weren’t going to lose four straight in the World Series.” A World Series that is now tied 2-2. And that is now guaranteed to head back to Fenway Park for a Game 6 on Wednesday night.
But first a Game 5 in St. Louis on Monday. In a series that refuses to follow a script.
Dec 11, 2013, 6:30 PM EST
After pulling off a three-way trade yesterday to land slugger Mark Trumbo, the Diamondbacks are currently looking for an impact starting pitcher via free agency and trade. And FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that they have one name at the top of their list. Sources: #DBacks' No. 1 target is Tanaka. Continue to explore trades,…
Dec 11, 2013, 6:16 PM EST
Yesterday I ranked major league managers by handsomeness. Ron Gardenhire came in at number 28, unfortunately. Couldn’t be helped. It’s just science. Well, his inner beauty is off-the-charts, because here he is, quite pleased, about his ranking: I do not know if Clint Hurdle (30) and Ron Washington (29) feel the same way and, frankly,…
Dec 11, 2013, 5:47 PM EST
You may have heard … it looks like the New York Yankees will retire Joe Torre’s number. That is absolutely the right thing to do — heck Billy Martin’s number is retired — and it brings us just a little big closer to one of the cooler number things in sports: Very soon the first…
Dec 11, 2013, 5:37 PM EST
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL — Joe Torre just addressed the media at the Winter Meetings to announce the latest developments on instant replay. The latest: not many developments. Torre said that the matter was discussed at length with managers and general managers here this morning and that, while the league has given general approval of…
Dec 11, 2013, 5:27 PM EST
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Mets have agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with Bartolo Colon. Colon going from out of baseball in 2010 to throwing 507 innings with a 3.32 ERA over the past three seasons is a remarkable story, especially considering he was 38 years old when the comeback began.…
Dec 11, 2013, 5:17 PM EST
No doubt feeling pretty bullet proof after fixing Francisco Liriano the Pirates and pitching coach Ray Searage have taken on any even bigger reclamation projection in Edinson Volquez. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Volquez has agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal, which is pretty nice money for someone coming off a 5.71 ERA.…
Dec 11, 2013, 5:10 PM EST
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL — Joe Torre and Sandy Alderson just announced that the MLB Rules Committee has voted to outlaw collisions at home plate. The decision is now subject to approval by the players. If the players do not approve the rule change it will not go into effect in 2014, but MLB would…
Dec 11, 2013, 5:00 PM EST
That’s all I can assume he’s doing here anyway, when he was presumably asked if the Phillies might pursue Matt Garza and Ruben Amaro talked up his incumbent pitcher Kyle Kendrick: Amaro: “Kendrick has 64 wins. You know how many wins Garza has? 67.” — Matt Gelb (@magelb) December 11, 2013 A second possibility:…
Dec 11, 2013, 4:51 PM EST
Houston picked up some pitching help, getting right-hander Anthony Bass from San Diego for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Bass had a 4.08 ERA in 187 innings for the Padres, making 18 starts and 57 relief appearances, but he’s gotten progressively worse following a very strong 2011 debut with shoulder problems…
Dec 11, 2013, 4:38 PM EST
And no, this is not a continued riff on my managerial handsomeness rankings. I mean, yes, the guy is an absolute dreamboat, but I actually sat through his press availability here at the Winter Meetings a few minutes ago and I cam away impressed for baseball reasons as well. It’s hard to put a finger…
Dec 11, 2013, 4:00 PM EST
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports on a big, big sales job: The club also continues to look to move closer Jonathan Papelbon. “They’re selling the [crap] out of him,” a representative from one club said. He’s owed $26 million over the next two seasons and, though the Phillies are reportedly willing to eat salary, no one…
Dec 11, 2013, 3:47 PM EST
Adam Kennedy is going to attempt a comeback at age 38, according to Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. Kennedy sat out this year despite hitting .262 with a decent .702 OPS in 86 games for the Dodgers in 2012. Adams reports that he’ll work out for teams next month in the hopes of landing…
Dec 11, 2013, 3:29 PM EST
The Brewers used to have Corey Hart at first base and tried to bring him back. Then they were rumored to be into Logan Morrison. The Mariners jumped in front of them on both counts because, apparently, they want all of the first baseman. Heck, they now have both of those guys and Justin Smoak.…
Dec 11, 2013, 3:05 PM EST
Not satisfied with adding Corey Hart to the lineup today the Mariners have also acquired Logan Morrison from the Marlins for right-hander Carter Capps, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Morrison has been mostly injured and ineffective for the past two seasons, hitting just .236 with a .708 OPS in 178 total games,…
Dec 11, 2013, 2:45 PM EST
Corey Hart had an offer on the table to return to the Brewers following an injury wrecked season, but Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that he’s headed to the Mariners on a one-year deal. Hart missed all of this year, so it’s hard to guess where he’s at physically, but during the previous three seasons…
Dec 11, 2013, 2:35 PM EST
I was on SportsDash right before Francona today. So that means NBC Sports Network is THE network for bald dudes who live in Ohio:
Dec 11, 2013, 2:14 PM EST
Washington has been linked to basically every possible left-handed reliever all offseason and the Nationals finally snagged one, acquiring Jerry Blevins from the A’s for minor-league outfielder Billy Burns. Blevins was expendable because of Oakland’s impressive bullpen depth, but he’s been much more than a strict southpaw specialist with a 2.81 ERA and 132 strikeouts…
Dec 11, 2013, 2:00 PM EST
WSB News in Atlanta has learned that a group called the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots are going to sue the Cobb County Commission within ten days in an effort to block the expenditure of taxpayer dollars for the Braves new ballpark. The idea, the Tea Party Patriots, say, is that it’s illegal for public money to…
Dec 11, 2013, 1:50 PM EST
18.6 million people just watched “The Sound Of Music Live” on NBC–including one blogger who did so under heavy duress–so musicals are hot right now! And what better story for musical adaptation than “Bull Durham.” I mean, I guess: Producers of a new musical version plan to stage their show at the Alliance Theatre in…
Dec 11, 2013, 1:30 PM EST
Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle was one of the 16 members of the Veteran’s Committee this year, and he voted on the Hall of Fame earlier this week. Today he has a column about that process and it’s pretty eye-opening. The first part: how sworn to silence the committee members are. Jenkins talks…
- Mets sign 40-year-old Bartolo Colon for two years, $20 million 13
- MLB rules committee decides to eliminate collisions at home plate 17
- Mariners sign Corey Hart to incentive-laden deal 27
- David Price would not consider an extension with the Mariners if he’s traded there 33
- Media paying for athlete interviews? Not likely. But watch this stuff closely anyway. 20
- Robinson Cano agrees to $240 million deal with Mariners (260)
- Report: Mariners willing to offer Robinson Cano a 10-year, $240 million deal (143)
- Report: Yankees have agreed to a three-year deal with Carlos Beltran (125)
- Brett Gardner is drawing “significant” trade interest (113)
- Managers, GMs to meet today to discuss the abolition of home plate collisions (113)