On the mean streets of Baltimore.
I'll do what I can to help y'all. But, the game's out there, and it's play or get played. That simple.
J. Lugo SS
D. Pedroia 2B
K. Youkilis 3B
J. Bay LF
D. Ortiz DH
J. Varitek C
R. Baldelli RF
J. Ellsbury CF
J. Bailey 1B
Smoltz, (0-1, 9.00)
B. Roberts 2B
A. Jones CF
N. Markakis RF
A. Huff 1B
N. Reimold LF
L. Scott DH
M. Mora 3B
M. Wieters C
R. Andino SS
Hill, (3-2, 6.03)
John Smoltz vs. Milton's Own Rich Hill tonight.
Fan Favorite Julio Lugo gets the start tonight, and will lead off. And starts things off with a base hit to left! This is going to be Julio Lugo Night, I can tell.
Pedroia is next, but he can only foul out. Youkilis is up third. Lugo, clearly on a mission, steals second! Youks shows his excitement by bashing a shot to deep center, and it's gone, a two-run homer! Lugo ignites the rally!
Bay is next, and grounds out to third. But Ortiz keeps the inning going, clearly inspired by Lugo, by belting a double to deep center! Hill, obviously rattled by Lugo, proceeds to walk Varitek on 4 pitches. Rocco Baldelli has a chance to break the game wide open, but Hill snags his sharp grounder up the middle and throws him out at first to end the damages.
2-0 Julio Lugo's Red Sox after half an inning.
Brian (Not Bip) Roberts leads off for Baltimore, and on pretty much the same exact play that ended Boston's inning, he hits one up the middle, grabbed by the pitcher, who throws to first for the out.
Adam (Not Pacman) Jones is next. Smoltz fans him on four pitches, getting him to wave at a fastball on the low outside corner. "This guy can paint," notes Eck.
Nick (Not Mark Acres) Markakis follows. and Smoltz punks him out on four pitches as well, catching him looking at a fastball to end the inning. 2-0 good guys after one.
Ellsbury tries a drag bunt down the first base line, but Hill gets off the hill quickly to grab it and flip to first just in time to get Jacoby.
Jeff Bailey steps in, fresh from the Pawtucket shuttle, as he replaces the disabled (differently abled?) Mike Lowell. Bailey draws a walk, bringing up the top of the order, one Julio Lugo. Coolio smacks a grounder up the middle, past a diving Roberts, for a base hit. 2-2 for Lugo so far. Bailey holds second.
Hill falls behind Pedroia 2-1. Eck: "Rich Hill is scuffling right now, doesn't really know what he's doing on the mound." NESN cruelly taunts Hill by cutting to a shot of Jon Lester, dimiinishing Hill in comparison. Pedroia gets hold of the next offering and smashes it to the left center gap, Bailey scores, and Lugo dashes all the way around from first to make it 4-0.
Pedroia steals third without a throw, his 14th steal of the year. Eck: "Kind of embarrassing for Rich Hill right here, kind of falling asleep." Hill battles back to whiff Youkilis, out on a foul-tip into the catcher's mitt.
Bay will try to make up for Youkilis not getting the runner in from third with less than 2 out. Hill gets ahead 1-2, then misses with 2 pitches. Bay bounces one to deep third. Mora grabs it, and his long throw across the diamond barely gets the hustling Bay at first for the third out. So close to another run, but Hill escapes. 4-0 Sox after one and a half.
Grand Ole Aubrey Huff leads off for the O's, and Smoltz gets ahead 0-2, then induces a chopper to Pedroia, who handles it easily for the first out. Nolan "Two Last Names" Reimold follows with a routine flyout to Bay in left for the second out.
Luke "Two First Names" Scott gets ahead 3-0. Smoltz battles back to a full count, then walks him on a splitter off the outside corner. Melvin Mora is up next. He hits one pretty well to right, but it dies on the track and Baldelli grabs it for the out. When the ball in the sky, drops short on the fly, that's a Mora. 4-0 Sox after 2.
Adam Jones has been taken out of the game for Baltimore, "for precautionary reasons." Felix Pie takes over. Mmm, Pie.
Ortiz will start the third for Boston. Hill drops down with a sidearm pitch, and Ortiz chases it, fanning for the first out. Varitek rolls a grounder to Roberts for the second out. And Baldelli skies one to Pie (pronounced P.A., not pie) to end the inning. Still 4-0 Sox.
Catching phenom Matt Weiters starts things for Baltimore by driving one to deep left. Bay goes back on the warning track, at the wall, reaches up and makes the catch, right near the top of the fence.
Robert Andino follows by smacking the first pitch into left for a hit. Smoltz appearing a little more vincible all of a sudden. Roberts is next, and smacks one to deep left, but Bay is able to grab it easily on the edge of the track for the second out.
Felix Pie follows by ripping a gapper to right center. Baldelli slides to make the stop and cut the ball off, but the ball squirts out of his glove as he stands up, and Andino comes racing all the way around from first to score the first run for Baltimore. Pie hustles all the way to third on the play.
The dangerous Nick Markakis ends the threat by fouling out to Varitek. 4-1 Boston after 3.
Ellsbury steps in, and he smashes a rocket to right center field, way over the fence for a leadoff home run. Eck: "He's not gonna hit a ball any better than that. This ball was smoked, he thought he was Willie McCovey." 5-1 Sox.
Bailey hits a roller down the third base line, Mora charges, barehands it, and throws to first on the run, but too late to get Bailey.
Up next is Julio Lugo. Alas, it seems like Julio Lugo Night may be over, as Coolio whiffs for the first out.
Pedroia hits another bouncer to deep third, and Mora bobbles it. He throws to first, but it's offline and late, Pedroia is safe on on infield hit. Now it's ruled an error. Hit, error-- pretty much the same, Mora less. Youkilis knocks a double down the line in left, Bailey scores, and it's now 6-1 Red Sox.
The struggling Hill now intentionally walks Bay to load the bases and get to Ortiz. Ortiz responds to the insult by looping a soft single to shallow left, scoring Pedroia. Dave Tremblay finally emerges from the Orioles dugout to put Hill out of his misery. Pitching change.
Matt Albers comes in from the bullpen to face Varitek with the bases loaded. He's firing blazing fastballs, but not with much command.
One comes sizzling up near Varitek's head, but just misses him. But the ump says it nicked his uniform, even though it didn't, and Varitek heads to first, forcing in another run, this one totally undeserved. Tremblay comes back out to yell fruitlessly at the ump, but it's not going to change anything, it's still 8-1 Boston.
Baldelli steps in with the bases still loaded, and still only one out. Albers catches him looking for the second out. Ellsbury comes up as the rain starts to fall. This is still not an official game, of course.
Ellsbury slashes a base hit into right, scoring another run, with Ortiz holding third. Hmm, with the rain starting it really wouldn't be a bad time to make a quick out.
And Bailey obliges, grounding out to Andino on the first pitch to end the inning. Let the countdown to an "official game" begin.
9-1 Sox after three and a half.
Will the Orioles stall and hope for rain? Huff Daddy starts things by grounding out to Pedroia, bringing up young Reimold. Reimold dumps a hit into shallow right center. Luke Scott is next, and he chops one to Pedroia, who grabs it, whirls and fires to Lugo. Coolio turns the DP just like a real shortstop, his throw nipping Scott at first to end the inning. 9-1 Boston after 4.
Lugo leads off the inning by grounding out to Andino, who makes a nice backhanded stop. Pedroia follows by also grounding out to Andino, who makes another nice stop.
Youks is next, and he goes along with the crowd and smacks another one to Andino, but he can't get this one, the ball squirting out of his glove after he ranges over past the bag. Youkilis is safe with the infield hit. The Sox have gone Andino, Andino, Andino, and? As the rain pours down in sheets, buckets, cats and dogs, Bay fans on an Uncle Albers fastball to end the inning. 9-1 Boston in the fifth.
The tarp is on the field, the game is delayed. With the Red Sox leading 9-1 in the fifth. Two weeks ago, they lost a rain-shortened game 1-0. It would be exceptionally cruel to have this one washed out, especially after that utter fiasco. The rain is really pouring down now.
Update: The game should resume at approximately 9:50 PM. Hard luck for Smoltz, though, as he's done for the night, and can't get the win, even ith the 9-1 lead.
Masterson will be taking over.
And the game will resume very soon, Masterson is warming on the mound.
And after the 1:11 rain delay, Mora steps in, and the game resumes! He quickly grounds out to Lugo, one down in the fifth.
Masterson quickly blows away Weiters, getting him to chase a sinker that just plummets as it reaches the plate.
Andino is next. Now that the rain can't save them, the Orioles aren't wasting any time swinging at pitches. Andino hacks at the first four pitches he sees, fouling the last two. And then swings at another, which he misses, fanning for the third out. Now the game is officially official! 9-1 Sox after 5.
Mark Hendrickson is in to pitch for Baltimore. He's 6'10, "Randy Johnson without the cheese," as Eckersley puts it in his inimitable way. Ortiz stands in against the tall lefty and smacks one up the middle. But Andino is playing on the far side of second base, so it's right at him, and he makes the play with ease.
Varitek next, batting from the right side against Randy Johnson Without the Cheese, or RJWC. He can do nothing with Hendrickson. And neither can Baldelli, who ends yet another inning. Still 9-1, midway through 6.
Masterson still out there, and gets Roberts for the first out. Felix "PA, not Pie" Pie is next, and after Masterson gets him, the entire Red Sox team starts walking off the field, thinking the inning is over. They don't just walk a couple of steps, the entire infield and Masterson go all the way into the dugout, then have to come back out onto the field.
Not yet, boys, you need three outs in this league. No worries as Masterson gets out of it. Still 9-1 Boston, after 6.
Ellsbury grounds one up the middle, but Andino is there again, and makes another off-balance throw to get Ellsbury.
Beetle Bailey walks up to he plate to face RJWC, and he bashes one to deep right. Markakis leaps for it, but can't get it. The ball caroms off the wall, and Bailey lumbers into third with a stand-up triple. Lugo follows, with a chance for an RBI on Julio Lugo Night. But he fans, his special night going down the drain in the pouring rain.
Pedroia steps in. After ball one, Tremblay pops out of the dugout, needing to yell about something to someone somewhere. Home plate ump Tony Randazzo indulges him for a while, figuring it's not worth it to throw him out of this game, that would be letting him off easy. The baseball continues, and Pedroia smacks a single to center, scoring Bailey, as the pummeling continues.
Youkilis follows with an easy bounce-out to Mora, to end the inning. 10-1 Sox, midway through the 7th.
Grand Ole Aubrey leads off again. Kottaras now in to catch for Boston. Huff cracks a base hit off Masterson, and Reimold follows by hitting a squibber just out of the reach of the diving Pedroia for another hit.
2 on, 0 out for Luke Scott. He drills a shot to deep right, that clangs off the top of the fence, just missing a home run. Huff waltzes home, cutting the lead to 8. Still two on with still no one out.
No Mora no more, as Oscar Salazar pinch hits. And he crushes one to deep left, way out, a three-run home run! And suddenly the 10-1 lead is now 10-5 with STILL no one out. John Farrell comes out to the mound to ask Masterson, like, why are you sucking all of a sudden, dude?
Masterson stays in, and Weiters tees off and smashes a single to center. Masterson has totally lost it. Here comes Francona finally to yank him. Pitching Change.
Did Masterson fall apart because of the walking-off-the-field-with-only-two-outs thing? Was he totally lost without Varitek behind the plate to call his pitches? Is he strictly a two-inning pitcher? Is it Lugo's fault somehow? Who knows.
Anyway, Manny Delcarmen is in to face Andino, who grounds one up the middle that Pedroia gets to, behind the bag. He runs to the base for the out, but his throw to first is late. One out in the 7th. Roberts follows with yet another roller to Pedroia, who can only get the batter at first, the runner moving up to second.
That brings up Felix P.A., who flares a single into shallow center, scoring Andino. It's 10-6 now, and getting really annoying. That's going to be it for MDC. Pitching Change.
Okajeemer is in to try to put out the fire.
But he can't, as Nick Mark Acres flares a hit to shallow center, Pie scooting to third. Now the Orioles have batted around, cleanup hitter Aubrey Huff is up, and the tying run is on the on-deck circle. Huff cracks a liner toward center, but Pedroia leaps, reaching his glove way over his head, at least five feet off the ground, and snares it to finally end the inning. Go ahead and call this game over anytime you want, umps. 10-6 Boston.
Somehow it's only the top of the 8th, and somehow the Sox only lead by 4 runs. Bay grounds out, then Ortiz walks. Kottaras grounds one that Hendickson snags. RJWC throws to second to get the lead runner, but Kottaras beats the relay to first to keep the inning alive.
Rally Killin' Rocco is next. This time he keeps things going, lining a base hit up the middle, bringing up Ellsbury. Jacoby grounds one past Hendrickson, into center field! Kottaras, off with the crack of the bat, should easily score from second. But he runs like a catcher-- a slow catcher-- possibly a slow catcher who isn't running very hard-- so Pie's tasty throw from the outfield beats him to the plate and he's tagged out, ending the inning. 10-6 Boston.
Reimold leads off the inning by lining a single to left. Scott follows with a long drive to deep right, that luckily hits the very top of the wall, and he cruises into second with a double. Runners on second and third, no one out, the tying run on deck.
Oscar Salazar is up again-- didn't he just hit a three-run homer like five minutes ago?
The Orioles probably would have just given up during the rain delay if the rules offered them that option. But they weren't allowed to. Instead, they're back in the game in the 8th.
This game has turned horrible. I pity anyone still reading this blog.
No home run for Salazar this time, instead he squibs a roller in front of home plate. Kottaras is out quickly to pick it up, but for some reason he doesn't throw the hitter out at first, he just holds the ball and watches him run to first. Infield single to the catcher. Kottaras has been horrible tonight, from pitch calling to hitting, to getting thrown out at the plate when he should've scored easily, and now this.
The runners hold, so the bases are loaded, and future Superstar Matt Weiters steps in as the tying run at the plate. Still nobody out.
Weiters flares a hit to left, scoring a run, as the nightmare continues. 10-7 now, tying runs on base, no one out. That's 11 Orioles hits in the last inning-plus. 11!
Ty Wigginton comes up to pinch hit. Francona comes out to yank Okajima, hoping to find one reliever who can get some outs tonight. Saito will come in. Pitching Change.
Saito falls behind Wigginton 2-0, then gets a strike, then another. The next pitch is in the dirt, full count. Bases loaded, no one out. Top of the order following. You gonna make this a tie, Ty?
Wiggginton drills a shot to deep right, Baldelli runs back near the wall-- he jumps too soon, but he still catches it, barely! One of the many baserunners tags and scores, now it's 10-8.
Roberts up, runners on the corners. Saito gets ahead 0-2, then misses with 2 pitches. A home run here makes this the worst regular season baseball game of all time. There's no homer-- just a double smacked down the left field line, dammit. ANOTHER run scores, it's 10-9. Still only one out. Eckersley on Saito's last pitch: "just an awful breaking ball."
Francona out AGAIN, this time to bring in Papelbon. Yes, it's come to this, a 10-1 lead is almost gone and we need Papelbon to get five outs with a one-run lead and two runners already on base. This is an utter disaster. Pitching change AGAIN.
Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie is in to pinch-run for Weiters at second, as that would be the tying run. Felix Pie stands in against Papelbon. Baltimore with 12 hits now in the last inning and a third. Papelbon fires a heater past Pie, fanning him for the second out! Markakis now up, for I think the fourth time this inning. Will he be worn out from running the bases?
NO. He crushes a shot to deep left, off the wall, TWO RUNS SCORE, AND THE ORIOLES HAVE COME BACK FROM A 10-1 DEFICIT TO TAKE THE LEAD, Markakis goes all the way to third, and this is now officially the worst regular season game in baseball history.
What a disgrace. Hmm, do you think the Red Sox might have checked out mentally during that rain delay? Maybe they should all run off the field again now with two outs. They should have just gone home the last time they did that.
Some other guy comes up for Baltimore, it doesn't really matter who. Papelbon walks him. Reimold up again, as the Orioles have batted around in two consecutive innings. This time he flies out, in a hurry to get this win in the books. 11-10 Orioles, in the worst bullpen meltdown I think I have ever seen in my life.
Will the Red Sox go down meekly, or will they score a run to let the Orioles hitters have more fun in the 9th? Ty Wigginton, who resembles an offensive lineman, is now playing shortstop for the Orioles. Greg Zaun is catching, George Sherrill is pitching. They could probably put Wild Bill Hagy in center field too, for all the difference it makes. Unless they put in Eric Gagne to pitch, this one is over.
Jeff Bailey leads off for the Red Sox. On a 3-2 pitch, he lines a single to left. Nick Green comes in to pinch run. And he almost gets picked off! He's safe, but it's really looking like the Sox aren't done embarrassing themselves tonight.
And now here's the poster boy for Red Sox embarrassment, Julio Lugo. He tries to bunt, but pops it high and way foul. He waves at the next pitch, and is down 0-2.
(Announcers always say someone is "quickly" down 0-2, which is dumb, the only way you can be down 0-2 in the count is if the first two pitches are strikes, there's no way to do that quicker or slower, it's always two pitches.) And Lugo whiffs, called out on a pitch over the heart of the plate. Not done embarrassing himself, he whines to the ump about the obvious call. Hey, this really has turned into a Julio Lugo of a night after all!
Pedroia is next. He is quickly down 0-2, of course. He skies a routine fly to right for the second out. One out away from a horrible, humiliating loss, one of the worst ever.
Youkilis is the next hitter. The Orioles fans are going crazy, joyously chanting "Let's Go, O's!" And Youkilis is quickly down 0-2.
One strike away for Baltimore. After Sherrill wastes one, he hits Youkilis in the elbow with the next pitch. Two runners on, hopefully Youkilis isn't injured in this disgrace of a game. He'll stay in to run.
Bay is next, 0-9 in this series so far. And of course, he is quickly down 0-2.
And after a waste pitch, Bay whiffs, RED SOX LOSE.
Horrible, horrible loss. NESN is now legally barred from ever showing the "Mother's Day Miracle" game ever again. I hate baseball.