And they did. The Sox amassed a ridiculous 18 hits and scored eight runs despite going 3 for 19 with runners in scoring position.
But their pitching managed to out-stink Oakland’s. Tim Wakefield and four relievers allowed nine runs.
The Sox won the series, they move on. One loss given how they have been playing lately is no big deal.
But Wakefield has a 6.02 ERA now and has been blown up in his last two starts, giving up 15 runs on 20 hits over 9.2 innings. With Josh Beckett out for a while with his bad back, Wakefield has what he wants and is in the rotation.
But how much rope will he get? The original plan hatched by the Sox was for Wakefield to be a spot starter, not go every five days. Boof Bonser’s rehab ends June 6 and the Sox will either have to add him to the roster or release him as he is out of options.
Felix Doubront also is making a nice case for himself. He has allowed one run over 11.2 innings since being promoted to Pawtucket and on the season has a 2.14 ERA over 54.2 innings.
The Sox could have an interesting choice on their hands.
Meanwhile, I spent much of the day working on a story for tomorrow’s newspaper on the blown call in the perfect game and Bud Selig’s decision not to reverse it.
Terry Francona and Theo Epstein didn’t want to see the call overturned, saying it would create more trouble for the game.
“I don’t see how baseball can let that happen,” Epstein said. “Then every time a team loses a game on a blown call, there’s going to be no good reason why that can’t be overturned as well. It’s a slippery slope. It would fundamentally change the nature of the game. I don’t think you can do that, unfortunately.”
Most of the Sox pitchers agreed with that notion. Clay Buchholz, however, wanted Selig to change the call and give Armando Galarraga the perfect game.
“As blatant as it was, the commissioner needed to fix it,” said Buchholz, who threw a no-hitter in 2007. “It’s history. It’s not like he was throwing a shutout and a call got blown. That’s a historic moment. To me, that is the time he needs to step in.”
I can see Clay’s side of things. But I agree with the slippery slope idea more. Give Galarraga the perfect game and then every blown call will become an issue that lasts for days. That’s not what the game needs.
What do you think about all this? Toss in your comments.
That’s it for tonight. Thanks for reading.