So if you read this blog long enough, or even once or twice, it won't take long to realize that I'm a pretty big Red Sox fan. The team made a nice comeback tonight, but I want to point out something that may have been lost in all the celebrating.
Let's replay the inning, keeping in mind that I like to consider myself a very realistic baseball fan. OK, here we go: Wily Mo leads off the inning. Here's a guy who can probably hit a breaking ball as well as I can. This Cleveland pitcher, Carmona, throws a bunch of off-speed pitches way out of the strike zone and Pena Ks. Next up is Coco Crisp, who also doesn't have great discipline. He Ks on balls far out of the strike zone, too.
We've now established this guy can't throw strikes, but Sox hitters are getting themselves out. Dougie (who's only useful when he's catching his buddy, Little Timmy) luckily gets hit with a pitch. Alex Gonzalez also gets hit with a pitch. First and second, two out.
Next up is Kevin Youkilis, the first batter of the inning who actually knows how to take a pitch. What does he do? The Greek God of Walks walks. Bases loaded and this pitcher hasn't thrown strikes consistently yet. First pitch to Mark Loretta: the ball almost hits him. If he let it graze his arm, it's a tie game. On the next pitch, Loretta actually swings and hits the Monster, winning the game.
So what's there to complain about, right? Well, let's say that ball doesn't hit the Monster and ends up being a fly ball to left, which it would have been in any other stadium besides Fenway. If that’s what goes down, Loretta gets booed off the field, and really will be booed for the rest of the season.
He could have let a ball hit him and tied the game, and then he goes and swings at a 1-0 pitch from a guy who can't throw strikes, with the bases loaded, and David Ortiz on deck. Everyone I watched the game with swore that if he didn’t take a pitch, they would vomit.
Let's just say Loretta's quite lucky he won the game ... as are the Red Sox, really.