Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ugly Losses, Ugly Win

Well coming in to the Metrodome, the Sox had put together a rather nice 8 game winning streak, even if 5 of those wins came against the two weakest teams in the AL - 6 of the wins were earned by the starter, 6 of the games saw the offense contribute at least 6 runs.

And then this weekend... I really don't remember the Sox playing great baseball in recent years at the 'Dome, and a look back at the record shows that you have to go back to 2000 to find the Sox winning a series in the Twin Cities (and just to show American readers that things are tough for us UK baseball fans, it took me a long time to work out why the Twins wore that TC logo), and that was a four game sweep in the last season before the unbalanced schedule was introduced.

Friday night's game started with Sox falling behind on some ugly defensive plays - the team was only 'awarded' two errors (there was some pretty generous scoring by the official scorer all weekend), but Damon misplayed the first hit by the Twins into a triple, then Bronson Arroyo inexplicably through to second to start an inning ending double play, when the easy throw was to home... and that doesn't account for the fact that his throw never went within reachable distance of second base... and allowed three runs to score. In the 4th inning Bill Mueller was charged with a throwing error that started another big inning for a Twins team that has been struggling for runs all season - at least we now know the cure, they don't need an extra bat in the lineup, they just need a few extra outs!

Saturday's game was a real laugher... if you are a Twins fan or, based on the IM's I received, Yankee fan. In the bottom of the 9th, having wasted a 3 run lead against the current Cy Young holder, another 2 errors, although Michael Cuddyer was generously awarded a base hit on his lead-off single, before reaching second on Mueller's throwing error (there is a theme - generous scoring decision, Mueller throwing error). And then the winning run trotted home on Mike Timlin's error - fielding Nick Punto's sacrifice bunt and throwing it wildly past 1st - the good old walk-off throwing error.

And then today - a win, no complaints here - but an ugly win at that. More throwing errors, more generous scoring decisions, walking in runs in the ninth when you have a 5 run lead... not pretty. My favorite play of the afternoon though was David Ortiz's home run to center-right - you mean you don't see that home run in the box score or your fantasy totals? Well it hit off the "baggie", or advert as you and I might know it, about a foot to the right and below the edge that would have signified a real home run - crazy field configuration - maybe that is why the Twins released David all those years ago - they missed his home run power by failing to account for doubles to the "baggie" that would be HR's in any other park! (Can you believe that a Sox fan has the gall to complain about the "baggie" when his team plays 81 games in a park that has the ultimate baggie?)

And now that I have typed all that I have to confess, I lied... I am sorry... my favorite play of the afternoon actually involved Shannon Stewart, just another example of people jumping on the Manny bandwagon - that was just Shannon being Manny!

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