Well this was a game that the Red Sox did everything in their power to lose.
They started the game with Bill Hall in right field, and he played right field like a mediocre back up second baseman.
They made 4 errors altogether, blew a late lead for Wakefield, let Manny homer, botched a 9th inning bunt play and had Dustin Pedroia swinging at everything in creation with 2 outs in the 9th.
But the Dodgers had a “let’s lose this game” strategy. It was called “chuck it down the heart of the plate.”
Vincente Padilla threw a fat pitch 3-0 to Victor Martinez thinking he had the “take sign” and not the “swing away and club a 2 run homer” sign.
But more bizarrely, Broxton had 2 check swing strikes with 2 outs in the 9th inning of a tie game on Dustin Pedroia who looked like he would swing at a throw to first base.
So what did he do with a 1-2 count? Throw it up to see if he’d take a hack at it? Throw it down to see if he couldn’t resist?
Nope… he chucked it down the heart of the plate. Charley Steiner and Rick Monday couldn’t believe it on the radio broadcast and I couldn’t have been happier.
Thank you very much for the win, Mr. Broxton.
How appropriate that the Red Sox with dodge a bullet from the Dodgers?
Let’s update the tally.
DODGED A BULLET GAMES – 21
April 4 – 9-7 win against Yankees (On Opening Night, the Red Sox overcome a 5-1 Yankee lead with a game tying HR by Pedroia and a go ahead passed ball.)
April 10 – 8-3 win against Kansas City (Beckett out pitches Zack Greinke and nearly gets decapitated by a line drive.)
April 14 – 6-3 win in Minnesota. (Okajima gets Morneau to pop up with the bases loaded in the 7th and Papelbon wiggled out of a 9th inning jam.)
April 20 – 7-6 win against Texas. (Darnell McDonald introduces himself to Boston with an 8th inning game tying homer and a walk off hit in the 9th.)
April 21 – 8-7 win against Texas. (The Red Sox were down 4-0 early only to win it on Youk’s 2 out 11th inning double.)
April 23 – 4-3 win against Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 3-0 lead but win it on Adrian Beltre’s bases loaded walk.)
April 24 – 7-6 win against Baltimore. (The Red Sox score 6 in the 7th and hold off a late Baltimore comeback attempt.)
April 26 – 13-12 win at Toronto. (The Sox blow an early 5-0 lead but hang on for dear life in a slugfest.)
April 27 – 2-1 win at Toronto. (Buchholz holds the Jays down for 8 but it takes a bases loaded walk in the 8th to go ahead.)
April 28 – 2-0 win at Toronto. (Daniel Bard wiggles out of trouble in the 8th to help Lester shut down the Blue Jays and finish the sweep.)
May 4 – 5-1 win against the Angels. (Juan Rivera misplays Jeremy Hermedia’s 2 out flyball into a 3 run game winning double)
May 5 – 3-1 win against the Angels. (Papi and Beltre homer and the Sox hang on despite squandering many potential rallies.)
May 6 – 11-6 win against the Angels. (Dice-K puts the Red Sox in a 4-0 hole before they even bat. The Sox bats respond.)
May 10 – 7-6 win against the Blue Jays. (Sox blow an early 2-0 lead, take advantage of some errors and hang on.)
May 18 – 7-5 win in New York. (Sox climb back from a 5-1 hole. A day after hitting a walk off homer, Marcus Thames drops a fly ball to start the winning rally for the Sox.)
May 25 – 2-0 win in Tampa. (Big Papi supplies all the offense as Papelbon wiggles out of a 9th inning jam.)
May 29 – 1-0 win against Kansas City. (Zack Greinke holds the Sox to one run, but they make it stick)
June 1 – 9-4 win against Oakland. (Lackey puts the Sox in a 4-0 hole but Victor Martinez goes 5-5 and the Sox score 9 runs late.)
June 2 – 6-4 win against Oakland. (Dice-K puts the Sox in a 3-0 hole before they come to bat, but come back thanks to Papi’s homer.)
– 3-2 win at Cleveland. (With Papelbon unavailable, Okajima, Ramirez and Bard hang on to make a winner out of Wakefield.)
– 5-4 win against the Dodgers. (Sox make 4 errors, blow a late lead and let Manny homer, but they win it in the bottom of the 9th on a Pedroia single.)
TEETH GRINDER GAMES – 19
– 6-4 loss against the Yankees. (Scutaro’s error leads to the winning run.)April 7
– 3-1 loss against the Yankees. (Sox leave the winning run on in the 9th only to lose on Granderson’s 10th inning homer)April 9
– 4-3 loss in Kansas City. (Bard coughs up the lead, denying Wakefield a win.)April 17
– 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Sox can’t score with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 11th… lost it in the 12th.)April 17
– 6-5 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Red Sox comeback falls a run short, leaving two on in the 8th)April 25
– 7-6 loss to Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 4-1 lead, leave the winning run on second in the 9th, let up 3 in the 10th and could only score 2 in the bottom of the 10th)April 30
– 5-4 loss in Baltimore. (Tejada ties the game with a 2 out 8th inning homer and wins it with a bloop in the 10th)May 1
– 12-9 loss in Baltimore. (Dice-K and Wakes get pounded, wasting 2 homers from Ortiz and an early 4-1 lead.)May 2
– 3-2 loss in Baltimore. (Varitek is thrown at home trying to score with 2 outs in the 8th. Sox get swept in the 10th.May 12
– 3-2 loss against the Blue Jays. (The Sox rally in the 9th comes up a run short and Kevin Gregg gets an ugly save.)May 15
– 7-6 loss in Detroit. (The Sox blow a 6-1 lead and lose it on a 2 out bases loaded walk in the 12th.)May 17
– 11-9 loss in New York. (The Sox come all the way back from a 5-0 first inning hole to take a 9-7 lead in the 9th… but Papelbon lets up a 2 run game tying shot to A-Rod and a 2 run walk off shot to Marcus Thames.)May 21
– 5-1 loss in Philadelphia. (Big Papi’s bid for a game tying 9th inning grand slam is caught at the warning track.)May 27
loss to Kansas City. (Dice-K walks the go ahead run in and lets another score on a wild pitch as the Royals no name bullpen shut down the Hot Sox.)May 28
– 12-5 loss to Kansas City. (Sox blow a 3-0 first inning lead to be blown out in Fenway.)June 3
– 9-8 loss to Oakland. (Sox lose a slugfest where two Boston runners are thrown out at home.)
June 6 – 4-3 loss in Baltimore. (Sox rally to tie the game in the 9th only to lose it on a small ball rally in the 11th.)
– 8-7 loss in Cleveland. (Sox blow an early 5-0 lead and then after rallying in the 9th to take the lead coughed it up with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th)June 13
– 5-3 loss to Philadelphia. (Sox 9th inning rally comes up short)
Back up to +2.
And oh yeah, the Red Sox are STILL tied with the Yankees and the Rays for the most wins in baseball.
Clay for the sweep tonight.
Maybe those “Beat L.A.” shirts can come in handy.