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White Sox run out of pitchers, hand Red Sox win in 14th

Apr 17, 2014, 2:21 AM EDT

Leury Garcia Leury Garcia

White Sox manager Robin Ventura used four pitchers to get through the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Red Sox. In retrospect, he sure wishes he saved one or two of them for the 14th inning.

Not willing to extend Daniel Webb past three innings and 59 pitches, Ventura turned to Leury Garcia for the 14th against the Red Sox and saw his infielder give up two runs in what turned into a 6-4 loss.

Garcia hit 88 mph on his first pitch and actually got two quick outs with Grady Sizemore and A.J. Pierzynski hacking away. Daniel Nava and Jonathan Herrera were smarter and waited out Garcia, whose velocity quickly waned. After those two walks, Jackie Bradley Jr. pulled a liner down to the right-field line for a decisive two-run double. Dustin Pedroia then grounded out to finish the inning.

Other points of interest from the game:

  • The Red Sox were the victims the last time a position player won a game; the Orioles’ Chris Davis beat them with scoreless 16th and 17th innings in a game on May 6, 2012.
  • The Red Sox opened the top of the first with three straight hits… and then didn’t have another one until the ninth. Following Xander Bogaerts‘ RBI single, John Danks pitched six hitless innings, and none of the White Sox first five relievers gave up hits.
  • That run the Red Sox scored was their first in the first inning this year.
  • That four-pitcher eighth inning went like this: Scott Downs walked David Ortiz was replaced. Jacob Petricka walked Jonny Gomes and was replaced. Donnie Veal came in and got a ground out, a sac fly that reduced the White Sox’s lead from two runs to one and then issued a walk. Maikel Cleto came in then and issued another walk to lead the bases before getting Bradley to pop up to end the frame. So, four walks and one run for the Red Sox.
  • That would have seemingly set up Matt Lindstrom to pitch the ninth with a 3-2 lead. The White Sox, though, are already revisiting the closer situation in light of two early blown saves from Lindstrom. Therefore, Cleto stayed in and was set to get a chance to finish it out. Except Cleto walked the first two batters in the ninth. The second of those walks, to Bogaerts, consisted of exactly two pitches outside of the strike zone.
  • Lindstrom took over then, leaving him with what might have been the toughest save chance any closer will see this season: one-run lead, two on, none out and David Ortiz at the plate. Lindstrom got Ortiz, but Jonny Gomes hit a slow roller that went as an infield single and Sizemore followed with a sac fly, tying the game. Lindstrom went on to preserve the tie from there and he stayed in and pitched a scoreless 10th, yet all he got was a blown save for his trouble.
  • To clarify: Cleto got a hold despite retiring one of four hitters he faced and giving up a run, and Lindstrom was charged with a blown save despite retiring six of seven hitters and not giving up a run.
  • Pedroia had two hits and two walks as Boston’s leadoff man in his return to the lineup. He scored three times, which matches the total the team scored in the two games he missed with a sore wrist.
  1. Earnest Christian - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:59 AM

    Reblogged this on The OpinioNation | Sports and Pop Culture.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      Earnest Christian, oh, the time has come for you to say something constructive.

    • Wesley Clark - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      I would be much more inclined to read your blog if your user name was Sister Christian.

      • mjames1229 - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        The time has come…

    • raybrower - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      I was here, on a blog, and thought “this would be waaay better if someone re-blogged it to a whole different blog” and then BAM. You did it.

  2. cktai - Apr 17, 2014 at 6:18 AM

    Kudos to Cleto on avoiding that elusive hold-and-loss

  3. jrbdmb - Apr 17, 2014 at 6:26 AM

    Makes me wonder if Cleto would do better throwing 94 – 95 and putting it over the plate vs. throwing 98 gas but having no idea where it will end up.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:39 AM

      Control is ALWAYS preferred over velocity, unfortunately it’s not as simple as deciding to take 3 mph off your pitch and you magically get pinpoint accuracy. Otherwise everyone would do it.

      • paperlions - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:43 AM

        Yeah, control has always been a problem for Cleto. He just manage to be a wild pitcher that was easier to hit.

  4. DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Pffff! This guy is no Wilson Valdez!

  5. yyyass - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Overmanagement and psuedoscience. Like 59 pitches is some magical number that his arm can’t exceed. And four pitchers in one inning? The coach earned that loss.

    • dan1111 - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      I agree about the four pitchers in one inning, but 59 pitches is a lot for a reliever to throw. It’s just one game in April; no need to take needless risks.

  6. aceshigh11 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    The FIRST time the Red Sox have scored in the first this year??

    Man, these guys are playing like complete garbage. Get it together already.

  7. 18thstreet - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    I think this summed it up beautifully:

  8. ez4u2sa - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Red Sox have been hammered by injuries since week one. The Yankees and Rays have had issues as well. As a result the AL East is totally out of focus after two weeks. It may take another month but these three teams will eventually rise to the top.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      For the Sox, it’s not just injuries. There’s a real concern (for me) about what kind of pitchers Felix Doubront and Jake Peavy are. (I think we have a better sense of the others.) Who know what happens with Clay Bucholz?

      My guess is that the offense and bullpen are and will be fine. But I think this Red Sox team tops out at 88 wins. Heck, that could be enough to win the AL East. But it doesn’t look like a great team to me.

      • Jack Marshall - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        Huh? Have you watched Peavy this season? Last season? His career? He’s a solid, experienced, healthy veteran former ace who no longer has a dominating fastball and get by on what he’s learned. What more to you want to know? Doubront obviously has great stuff, and needs to get his head straightened out sometimes. There’s no mystery with either of them.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        All reasonable points, Jack. (And, no, before Peavy got the AL, I don’t think I ever saw him pitch. He’s not the same guy anyway, so I’m not sure it matters.)

        I mean, I act as though there’s certainty anywhere. I just have bigger questions about Peavy and Doubront (and Clay’s injury risks) than the other starters. The kids in AAA would present different questions.

      • dan1111 - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        It’s early. Yes, there is some risk with the Red Sox rotation, but there is also a lot of upside in that group. While it wouldn’t be shocking if they end up with 88 wins, that is definitely not their ceiling.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        I think I just land on the pessimistic side of things. So much went right last year — much of which I was positive were going to go wrong (hello, Shane; hello, Napoli; hello, Lackey) that I’m not positive that 2013 even happened.

        Every little thing may yet be alright. It just doesn’t feel like it’s going to. And that’s okay. I’m not complaining.

    • Jack Marshall - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      It’s obviously Bobby Valentine’s fault.

  9. jerze2387 - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Moves like that by ventura are the exact reason why pauly is in that “3rd 1st baseman/futuremanager transition” role this year.

  10. moogro - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    I watched this. The Whites blew it in the 8th with that reliever management. It was a matter of time then.

    If any accounting system were as opaque and weird as MLB’s, it be overhauled. Strangely, lots of fans like it and even defend it.

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