A SAD END TO A
wins Game #1 with
a 9th inning walk-off homer
June 11, 2006 ...
In today's first game, David Ortiz came up with runners at first and
second and Manny Ramirez on-deck. Buck Showalter, the Rangers'
manager, elected to have right-handed closer Akinori Otsuka pitch to
Ortiz rather than load the bases for Ramirez, who had homered in the
second inning and has been red hot (.339 with 9 homers, 22 RBIs in
his last 17 games). Otsuka got ahead, 0 and 2. The decision looked
good until Ortiz sent Fenway into a frenzy, striking a blast into the
right-field bleachers for a walkoff 5-4 victory. Showalter didn't
look so smart, but when you have Manny Ramirez hitting behind Big
Papi, that's someone really special right there. It's hard to pitch
to Manny any time in that situation.
Ortiz, whose last walkoff homer came Sept. 6 against the Angels' Scot Shields,
claimed it never crossed his mind that Showalter might not pitch to him. He
feels he hasn't given the opposition reason to give him Bonds-like respect.
Maybe Ortiz, who collected two more hits in Game 2, showed them.
Otherwise, there were three other issues of note in Game 1. One was the
performance of Josh Beckett, who couldn't get out of the sixth, allowing four
runs overall, including a two-run homer by Kevin Mench that broke a 2-2
deadlock. Beckett, who remained unbeaten at Fenway, allowed his 17th homer and
first at home. Beckett thanked Ortiz for bailing him out, but credit should also
go to Manny Delcarmen, who earned his first major league win by allowing just
There was far less intrigue in the nightcap as David Pauley allowed five runs in
the first two innings, setting the stage for 13-6 loss to former friend John
Wasdin. The end result of the split is a 1-game lead over the Yankees in the AL
Pauley got the nod in Game 2 after Matt Clement was given more time to rest his
cramping right biceps. The young righty had been skipped in the rotation for Jon
Lester after limiting the Yankees to two runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings in
a 2-1 loss last Tuesday in New York.
Pauley got two batters into the sixth inning before Julian Tavarez took over.
The Sox scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth off Wasdin. Nixon, J.T.
Snow, Doug Mirabelli, and pinch hitter Kevin Youkilis all knocked in runs to
pull to within 6-4, but the Sox bullpen couldn't maintain the status quo. As
good as the bullpen was in Game 1 (3 2/ 3 scoreless innings), it was that bad in
Game 2 as Tavarez and Rudy Seanez allowed three runs to score as Texas stretched
its lead to 9- 4.
Mike Lowell's RBI double in the seventh cut the deficit to four, but that was as
close as the Sox would get as Keith Foulke, despite having decent velocity, blew
up in the eighth, allowing three runs on three hits and a wild pitch, and
another run in the ninth.
Clement has felt in his right biceps has gradually decreased, but not enough for
him to make what was his scheduled start in the second game. Clement first felt
the spasms, which he referred to as a "dead arm", at the end of his 3 1/3-inning
start in Toronto May 29. He was able to work vigorously on his mechanics and
pitched well over six innings in an 8-3 win at Detroit June 4. But the cramping
started again after that start.
seems to be working through a hamstring problem without having to miss any time.
He went 0 for 4 in Game 1, including a warning-track fly out to right-center,
then went 2 for 5 with an RBI double in Game 2. Kevin Youkilis was 0 for 13 as
a pinch hitter before his RBI single in the sixth inning of Game 2. Youkilis
stayed in to play left field in place of Willie Harris, who was filling in for
the red-hot Manny Ramirez. Coco Crisp is hitting .324 (11 for 34) over his
seven-game hitting streak.