Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bullpen Implodes To Ruin Lester's Great Outing (55-56)

Lester started with 5 shutout innings
This game was so close for the longest time as it appeared that it was going to be extremely low scoring. However, the Rangers (and to some degree, the Red Sox) turned it on late to prevent it from being a low-scoring game. Neither team scored through the first five innings as Jon Lester (5-9, 5.39) and Ryan Dempster (5-5, 2.82) were really holding the opposition in check. However, as the sixth inning dawned, so did the scoring-- starting with a leadoff double by David Murphy. They scored their first run on a bloop single to left by Ian Kinsler. Later in the inning, Kinsler would score on a similar hit to right field by Josh Hamilton. That was it for the sixth, but they kept right on going in the seventh, putting runners at the corners with one out. One would score on a sacrifice fly by David Murphy and after walking Mike Olt, Lester was removed from the game.

Middlebrooks had a pinch-hit
three-run home run
Mark Melancon came in and promptly allowed an RBI single for Ian Kinsler to make it 4-0 before getting out of the inning. The Red Sox finally got a rally of sorts going in the bottom of the seventh inning-- putting runners at first and second for Nick Punto. However, Punto was pinch-hit for and Will Middlebrooks came into the game. On the first pitch, he saw, Middlebrooks took a Robbie Ross slider and sent it over the monster for a three-run homer to cut it to 4-3. However, the Rangers just kept going in the eighth, starting with a leadoff walk to Josh Hamilton. Hamilton would eventually score on a single to right field by Nelson Cruz, but that would be all for inning. It wouldn't be all for the game though, as Craig Gentry scored on an Elvis Andrus single in the ninth to make it 6-3. Joe Nathan shut the Red Sox down in the ninth and the game was over by a score on 6-3.

Bright Spots:
Dustin Pedroia- 1-3, 1 BB
Cody Ross- 2-4, 2 2B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- 2-4, 1 R
Will Middlebrooks- 1-1, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI

Dull Spots:
Mark Melancon- 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Craig Breslow- 0.1 IP, 1 R
Jacoby Ellsbury- 0-4, 1 K
Mike Aviles- 0-4, 3 LOB
Ryan Kalish- 0-4, 2 K, 2 LOB
Nick Punto- 0-2, 1 K

Player of the Game:
Will Middlebrooks- Who knows what would have happened if Middlebrooks had started over Nick Punto, as he hit a three-run shot in his only at bat-- he is now .292/14/51.

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