With the Phillies win and the Giants loss last night, San Francisco fell BEHIND the Phils for the Wild Card hunt.
The Giants need to bear down and get into a winning streak, and I think it might be time to do something that would have been unimaginable just a few months ago:
I think the Giants should skip Tim Lincecum’s next start.
Yup… it’s come to this.
Yes yes I know he only let up one run after the three run first inning bomb to Adam LaRoche… but he’s down to 11-9 and frankly is pitching like a SUB .500 pitcher.
Last week my dad said to me they should skip Lincecum’s start and I thought he was doing a knee jerk reaction to a loss to St. Louis.
But lock down aces need to throw better than 6 innings, 4 runs, 4 walks.
Lock down aces don’t go on legit 5 game losing streaks.
I’m not talking about someone like Cole Hamels having a massive run of bad luck.
Lincecum is pitching BADLY.
And the great irony is he could be the person who keeps the Giants OUT of the playoffs after assuming all year that he would be the person to get them INTO October.
I say skip a start… something is messed up in his head and he needs to get his thinking straight.
It’s tough to do when you can’t shake a losing streak.
Maybe he should call Bengie Molina.
I’ve seen many blown saves in my day.
And many of them have been by Brad Lidge… but tonight’s was a doozy, even by his breath taking standards.
The Phillies can beat the Padres and gain a game on the Giants and pick up a game on Atlanta. Oswalt was on fire… so naturally the ball was handed to Lidge.
And the inning went as expected… lead off single, runners moved up…
Then came the back to back whammies.
With 2 outs and a 1 run lead in the bottom of the 9th and an 0-2 count he HIT Ryan Ludwick to load the bases.
That’s awful. But I saw Calvin Schraldi hit Brian Downing with an 0-2 pitch with the bases loaded and a 1 run lead in the bottom of the 9th to tie a PLAYOFF game in 1986.
So Brad Lidge would have to raise his game to impress me with a blown save tonight.
Ohh he was up to the task.
With the bases loaded, a 1 run lead, 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th and an 0-2 count to Chase Headley… HE BALKS IN THE TYING RUN!
I’ve never seen that in a game between two playoff contenders.
Literally saying “We’re going to win the game… eh, let’s keep playing.”
So with a day game after a night game, the Phillies have to go deep into their pen in an extra innings game and the wonderful pitching duel between Roy Oswalt and Mat Latos is in the garbage.
All because Brad Lidge BALKED in the tying run.
Oh man… Brad Lidge’s deal with Satan is getting worse and worse.
It was a matchup of two Cy Young contenders… and the Red Sox desperate to climb back into the land of relevance.
And as I wrote before, tonight was a must win for the Red Sox… and they did.
They won with power, Lester shutting them down and Papelbon striking out the side. (Don’t tell me you didn’t have images of Dan Johnson’s 2008 homer off of Papelbon dancing in your head when he came up.)
And Lester out duels Price.
Suddenly the Sox aren’t dead.
I’m not saying they are in striking distance yet… but it is suddenly getting interesting.
Let’s update the tally.
DODGED A BULLET GAMES – 45
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.)
June 8 – 3-2 win at Cleveland. (With Papelbon unavailable, Okajima, Ramirez and Bard hang on to make a winner out of Wakefield.)
June 19 – 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.)
June 20 – 2-0 win against the Dodgers. (Dodgers blow an early bases loaded scoring opportunity and allow Buchholz to settle down for the win.)
June 24 – 13-11 win in Colorado. (The bullpen lets up 9 runs in 5 innings, but Pedroia homers 3 times including with 2 outs in the 10th to win a wild and stupid game.)
June 26 – 4-2 win in San Francisco. (An injury running the bases takes Buchholz out in the second, but the bullpen and Mike Cameron’s bat and glove win the game.)
July 2 – 3-2 win against the Orioles. (Wakefield gets the win and J.D. Drew homers twice, but it is Nava’s 2 out 8th inning bloop that landed between three fielders that breaks the tie.)
July 11 – 3-2 win in Toronto. (Jesse Litch took a no hitter into the 6th but back to back homers by McDonald and Big Papi win the game.)
July 17 – 3-2 win against Texas. (Youk ties the game in the 9th off of Cliff Lee and wins it in the 11th with a sacrifuce fly)
July 19 – 2-1 win at Oakland. (Beltre homers and Dice-K holds on to the win.)
July 22 – 8-6 win at Seattle. (Lackey lost a no hit bid in the 8th and the Mariners scored 5 in the 9th to tie before the Sox won in 13)
July 23 – 2-1 win at Seattle. (Bill Hall’s barely fair homer gives the Sox the win on Beckett’s return.)
July 26 – 6-3 win in Anaheim. (Papi homers twice and Buccholz and Papelbon each wiggle out of jams to get the win.)
July 27 – 4-2 win in Anaheim. (Jed Lowrie’s 2 run 7th inning double gives the Sox the lead and makes a winner out of John Lackey. )
July 28 – 7-3 win in Anaheim. (Youk ties the game in the 7th with a homer and Scutaro wins it with an 8th inning grand slam to sweep the Angels.)
July 31 – 5-4 win against Detrout. (Big Papi hits a 3 run walk off double to crush the Tigers in the 9th.)
August 1 – 4-3 win against Detroit. (Sox blow a 3 run 9th inning lead but the Tigers throw away a 9th inning sacrifice bunt to give the Sox the win.
August 3 – 3-1 win against Cleveland. (Lowell homers on his first pitch back and plays sparkling defense to preserve the win.)
August 6 – 6-3 win in Yankee Stadium. (Cervelli drops an easy pop up, setting up the winning rally for the Sox.)
August 9 – 2-1 win in Yankees Stadium. (Marcus Thames’ bid for a game tying homer hits the top of the wall as Lester, Bard and Papelbon hold on for the win.)
August 10 – 7-5 win in Toronto. (The Sox blow a late lead but Mike Lowell puts them on top for good with an 8th inning homer.)
August 14 – 3-1 win in Texas. (Lester wiggles out of jams and a botched hit and run play kills a potential 9th inning Texas rally.)
August 18 – 7-5 win against the Angels. (The Sox fell behind 5-2, but came back with Beltre’s homer, a wild pitch, a hit by pitch and some great Nava defense)
August 21 – 5-4 win against Toronto. (Jed Lowrie hits a walk off 11th inning homer, masking a come back rally by the Jays against Dice-K.)
August 23 – 6-3 win against Seattle. (Scuatro drives in the go ahead runs and Lackey throws a gritty 8 innings)
August 25 – 5-3 win against Seattle. (Beckett throws a shutout into the 7th and the Sox rally for 4 in the 6th in the rain and fog, including a strange RBI single off the pitcher by Beltre.)
August 27 – 3-1 win at Tampa Bay. (Victor Martinez homers twice and Papelbon wiggles out of a 9th inning jam as Lester out duels David Price.)
TEETH GRINDER GAMES – 37
April 6 – 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 – 4-3 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.)
June 10 – 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)
June 22 – 2-1 loss in Colorado. (The Sox waste a solid Lester start and twice leave the bases loaded.)
June 23 – 8-6 loss in Colorado. (The Sox batter Ubaldo Jimenez around but Papelbon lets up 2 homers in the 9th to lose it.)
June 25 – 5-4 loss in San Francisco. (The Sox strand 11 runners in the last 4 innings wasting a solid Wakefield performance.)
July 5 – 6-5 loss in Tampa Bay. (Sox spoil a 5-1 lead and 2 homers by Eric Patterson when Dice-K and the bullpen couldn’t hold down the Rays.)
July 6 – 3-2 loss in Tampa Bay. (Sox bats go dead and Kevin Youkilis goes down to injury.)
July 7 – 6-4 loss in Tampa Bay. (Matt Garza comes out of the pen, shuts down a late rally as the Rays sweep the Sox.)
July 10 – 9-5 loss in Toronto. (The Sox give Lackey an early 5-3 lead that he couldn’t hold.)
July 18 – 4-2 loss to the Rangers. (Lester loses a rare game at home that included a Rangers steal of home.) July 20 – 5-4 loss in Oakland. (The Sox go up 4-0 after 2 but don’t score again and lose it in the 10th)
July 21 – 6-4 loss in Oakland. (Buchholz can’t hold on to an early lead as the Sox lose the series.)
July 24 – 5-1 loss in Seattle. (Lester’s perfect game is foiled and the Red Sox bats die.)
July 25 – 4-2 loss in Seattle. (Okajima misplays a sacrifice bunt and the Mariners rally in the 8th to win.)
July 30 – 6-5 loss to Detroit. (Papi’s grand slam makes it a 1 run game in the 9th but Cameron strikes out looking with the winning runs on base.)
August 2 – 6-5 loss to Cleveland. (Beltre drives in 5 runs by himself but the Red Sox leave the tying run on base with Big Papi on deck.)
August 12 – 6-5 loss in Toronto. (The Jays score 4 in the 9th inning to avoid the sweep.)
August 13 – 10-9 loss in Texas. (Beckett can’t hold an early 8-1 lead as the Sox lose in 11.)
August 15 – 7-3 loss in Texas. (Young’s homer breaks open a tight game.)
August 25 – 4-2 loss to Seattle. (The Sox knock out King Felix but can’t score on the bullpen.)
And Buchholz up tomorrow.
We need to win this series to keep hope alive.
Win tomorrow and we’ll have dreams of a sweep.
One game at a time.