Here’s how hard it was raining (and still is) at Fenway Park: Tigers manager Jim Leyland offered no complaint about the game being called in the sixth inning despite his team having the bases loaded and two outs in a 4-1 game.
“You got the bases loaded and you’re a little bit excited because you got a shot, but the umpires do the best they can with that stuff,” Leyland said
“We had been playing in some pretty heavy rain and I think [umpire crew chief Jerry Layne] just decided at that point he needed to stop it and he gave it a good shot to try to get it in, but from what I hear it wasn’t supposed to stop raining around 1 or 1:30. So certainly to call the game at this point was the right call. So be it.”
“Unique,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “I don’t think it’s ever happened before. That’s why we come out, to find something new in this great game of baseball.”
It probably actually has happened before. But the Red Sox won’t argue with the details. They have won four straight, their longest streak since winning five in a row from June 16-21.
“We’ve made some progress the last few days,” Will Middlebrooks said.
On a night when Josh Beckett left the game in the third inning with a back injury, Clayton Mortensen won the game in relief after being called up from Triple A Pawtucket earlier in the day. Justin Verlander (12-6) took the loss, allowing all four runs on six hits.
Beyond the victory, the story of this game was Beckett.
He retired the first eight batters he faced and appeared en route to a strong performance.
His run ended when Omar Infante reached on an infield single. With the rain picking up in intensity, Beckett hit Austin Jackson with a pitch, a 3-and-2 changeup that brushed his jersey. Quintin Berry then walked to load the bases.
Miguel Cabrera was next and Beckett walked him on five pitches to force in a run. The righthander then motioned to the dugout.
Pitching coach Bob McClure and assistant athletic trainer Brad Pearson came to the mound, joined a minute later by Valentine.
Beckett was taken out of the game with what the team said was a lower back spasm. He was loudly booed by the crowd as he walked slowly back to the dugout.
“It is what it is,” Beckett said when asked about the harsh reaction of the crowd to his injury.
Beckett had no other reaction to the booing, but admitted he noticed it.
“Yeah, you always do,” he said.
Valentine, who was talking to the other players on the field at the time, did not realize until later that Beckett had been booed.
“I don’t think he deserved a boo at all,” Valentine said. “Those who were booing will probably take it back today when they figure out what the situation was.”
Beckett said his back “locked up” on him pitching out of the stretch on the slippery mound out if the stretch. Verlander also mentioned that throwing out the stretch was difficult and that he slipped a few times.
“We’ll take it day-by-day and see how he feels tomorrow and in between,” Valentine said.
Beckett was on the disabled list for nearly two months in 2010 with a back injury that was aggravated while pitching on a wet mound at Yankee Stadium. Beckett also missed a start earlier this season with a strained muscle in his back.