62-40: Manny, Wily Mo power a wild win

Wow, were these really the same two teams that just swapped 1-0 victories at the Jake? Tonight’s game was a 14-9 slugfest that, thanks to Manny Ramirez and Wily Mo Pena, the Red Sox walked away from as winners. Boston scored in every inning except the first, sixth and ninth innings off of four different Cleveland pitchers.

Rookie Kason Gabbard, fresh off two starts in which he allowed just one run in 16 innings, got 13 of the first 14 hitters out, but simply imploded in the fifth inning. If you thought Daisuke Matsuzaka lost his control at times in games, you should have seen this. Handed a 9-1 lead, Gabbard just could not find the plate, and walked three, allowed three hits and hit Travis Hafner with the bases loaded to force in the fourth run of the inning. Why did the Sox wait so long before making Jon Lester the number 5 guy? Because young pitchers go through things like this. With a 9-1 lead, it’s not disastrous, but in a close game, it’s a death knell for the team.

Julian Tavarez (6-8) came out of the bullpen and pitched 2 1/3 innings. It should have been 2 1/3 scoreless innings, but a Julio Lugo throwing error in the seventh led to another four-run inning (all unearned) for the Indians, most of the runs scoring on a three-run shot by Ryan Garko. Hideki Okajima and Javier Lopez each pitched a scoreless inning for the Sox, making short work of Cleveland.

The lineup drew four walks and posted 17 hits on the night. Everyone who played got a hit except Kevin Youkilis, who is still in an offensive funk. There were a lot of multi-hit games, but almost all of the damage was done by two guys, who accounted for all six extra base hits.

Manny came into this game locked in. He has a comfort level, having played at Jacobs Field for many years early in his career, and he continues to own Cliff Lee (5-8). He hit the first pitch he saw some 481 feet to dead center, the third longest home run ever at Jacobs field. Then he took the second pitch he saw down the left field line for an RBI double. Then he knocked a two-run shot in the eighth inning. In all, Manny went 3-4 with four runs and four RBI, a monster game. He’s up to 16 HR and 64 RBI on the year, and is now on pace for 27 HR and 103 RBI. I’ll bet you that he easily surpasses those numbers by the time this is all over.

Not to be outdone, Wily Mo Pena crushed a line drive to left center in the seventh for his fifth home run, and first since June 4 at Oakland. I do believe that the ball left a permanent indentation in the bleachers out there, as he totally scorched that belt-high fastball, catching it out on the fat part of the barrel. He also had an RBI double in the fifth, a double in the ninth and a single before that, to go 4-5 on the night with four RBI. That’s some scary potential to trade away, but remember that the guy is hitting .219 for the year. Hopefully this game will inspire some club to pony up a good player in return for Wily Mo.

Did you see Josh Barfield‘s diving grab and throw to get Lugo? I don’t know how he generated any momentum for that throw, but that was a great defensive play.


One Response to 62-40: Manny, Wily Mo power a wild win

  1. Pingback: 69-45: Sox rally late, salvage one game against the Halos « Red Sox Talk

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