Jonathan Papelbon doesn’t lead the league in blown saves. But for some reason, it always feels like a bigger deal when he blows one than when someone else does. And he blew another one today, giving Toronto a victory over Boston.
John Lackey was cruising throughout most of the game. He had thrown only around 90 pitches in eight innings, giving up two runs. Having him come back out for the ninth was a defensible move by Tito. Big series against the Rangers coming up, best to have the pen rested if possible. Unfortunately, Lackey gave up a leadoff homer to Jose Bautista. That made it 5-3, Sox, so Francona made the call to the pen.
Papelbon: Vernon Wells double and an Adam Lind RBI single, 5-4. DeWayne Wise pinch runs for Lind and steals second and an Aaron Hill infield single gets him to third. After a strikeout, came the big hit. Check out the video here, because I can’t do it justice.
Ahem. That tied it up, Daniel Bard came in to relieve Paps and a Fred Lewis sacrifice fly later the ballgame was over.
Just an absolutely demoralizing loss for the Sox. One that, should they fall just short of the playoffs this year, will come back to haunt them, I’m sure.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.
And then there was one. One player from the 2008 World Series champs, that is. Ryan Howard likely isn’t going anywhere so he’ll be the last one to turn the lights off, but today Carlo Ruiz bid adieu to the Phillies following his trade to Los Angeles.
Lost in all of the emotions the Dodgers are reported to be feeling about A.J. Ellis leaving is the fact that Ruiz was one of the most beloved Phillies players ever, by both his teammates and their fans. Yesterday Roy Halladay penned a heartfelt goodbye to Ruiz, suggesting that he was every bit as essential to his and the Phillies’ success as Ellis has been to Clayton Kershaw (and in pure baseball production, obviously, quite more).
Today Chooch left a message for his now former teammates: