August 6, 2011
Here’s a great game from not exactly the greatest time period in Red Sox history.
It’s an August game during the great collapse of 2011. Of course, it wasn’t so much a collapse as it was an underestimation of injuries. But, that’s a story for another time.
In this game we see the Red Sox are hosting the New York Yankees. As they might say, you can throw out the standings when these two teams meet. The game was started by John Lackey, as he was struggling through the worst season any starter has ever had. Of course, we all found out later he was battling through a significant arm injury at the time. I bet some people regret booing him. But, in this game, he did OK. He ended up with a quality start, even if it was just barely. With the runs the Sox offense was putting up, he gave the team all it needed. Heck, the game was so well in hand, that the Sox tossed Wheeler out there for an inning!
So, how about that offense? It took them a couple innings to get going. After all, they were facing C.C. Sabathia…when he was good. But, once they got going they exploded. Amazingly, Sabathia stayed in the game for six innings. That’s one of the reasons I always dislike the term “innings eater.” While I can grasp the value of a guy who can save the bullpen in a blowout, is pitching six innings while giving up seven runs something to celebrate?
Take a look at that line-up, will you? Some blasts from the past in there. Not sure which is weirder to me, a line-up with Crawford and Gonzalez in it, or one where Ortiz is batting fifth.
So, who was the player of the game? I really really really want to give it to Carl Crawford. Basically, just so I can say the player of the game was Carl Crawford. And, he actually deserves it. 4-4 with three runs scored. On most days that would be an easy choice. But, at the top of the order, Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-4 with six RBI. Yup, this was Ellsbury’s lone MVP-type season. But, even for him that year, this was a special game.
The goat? Speaking of things I didn’t think I’d ever say…I have to hang the horns on David Ortiz. Yup. You heard me. Ortiz was the only person on the Sox not to reach base, and the only starter without a hit. Maybe it’s because Aviles was protecting him.
But, of course, none of that mattered. Lackey stepped up to the challenge, the offense piled up the runs, and the Red Sox cruised their way to victory.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.