4-21-2010: Two callups provide the spark over Rangers, 7-6


Wow. If anyone had told me the player of the game would be Darnell McDonald, I would’ve placed as big a bet as they would have taken. But exactly that happened last night, as McDonald hit a tying 2-run Monster Shot off of Darren Oliver, and then a walkoff single off the wall in the bottom of the 9th off Frank Francisco. Two at-bats, two critical hits. Meet the new Mr. Clutch. (I’m joking here, of course). At 31 years old, McDonald has bounced around and toiled in the minor leagues (all of them) his whole career. And don’t forget that Josh Reddick stroked a key two-run double before that, too. These guys were called up on a day when both Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury went on the DL, and a day when everyone expected them to lose. Turns out they were just what the doctor ordered to break out of this losing streak.

Speaking of David Ortiz, Terry Francona finally opted to bench him in the 7th inning, sending Mike Lowell to the plate against Oliver. The crowd responded with cheers. Ortiz had struck out twice and popped out earlier, looking pathetic doing so. Also, Lowell was 3-8 off of Oliver in his career, with two home runs. Lowell walked, but the inning ended without a score. Brian MacPherson points out that Francona helped his team’s cause at several other points in the game as well.

Other points about this game: Texas’ 9 SB set a single-game franchise record. Even Vladimir Guerrero snagged two stolen bases, and my grandmother threw him out at second the other day. They took advantage of Tim Wakefield’s slow pitches and Victor Martinez’ poor arm to the extreme. It was just plain embarrassing.

Manny Delcarmen may be getting his velocity back (he was sitting at 93-94 mph), but the guy is just wild. I don’t see any hope of him ever “getting it” at this point. He is what is, and that is NOT a high-leverage reliever.

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