Salt defeats Rain

Good for Salty! (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission)

I keep replaying that Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit over in my mind.  I wasn’t at Fenway last night, but I imagine many who were weren’t thinking he’d be the one to get them home just a little sooner.

An almost half an hour rain delay near the tail end of a game that at some points you couldn’t see the dugouts, wasn’t what people were hoping for.  Especially with the score being 0-0.  But the Red Sox came through and won 1-0.  The weather wasn’t pretty but the pitching was.  I won’t be complaining about that.

It’s interesting to me that the Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers have the exact record this morning, yet the Red Sox are only two and a half games out of first place (in third place, a half game behind the Yankees) and the Tigers are five games out of first, yet in second place in their division.  Ah, baseball, how you mock us sometimes.

Heidi Watney said something interesting last night that I might have already heard but had forgotten:  She said the general rule of thumb is that a pitcher will need the same amount of time to rehab as he had time without throwing.  So, theoretically, if Daisuke Matsuzaka doesn’t pick up a ball for two weeks, that’s four weeks we won’t be seeing him on the mound at Fenway.  Except Terry Francona doesn’t think Daisuke will be able to start throwing after his two weeks on the DL…so that pushes him back even more than one would expect.  Gabe Lacques of USA Today speculates that Daisuke might need Tommy John surgery.  I can’t decide if he’s jumping a tremendous gun here or he knows what he’s talking about.  It’s a huge jump from “elbow soreness” to “Tommy John surgery” but when it comes to the Boston Red Sox I suppose nothing is too panicky when you want to worry the fans.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for reasons to think the universe isn’t against the team, look at last night’s game.  Before that rain delay, Clay Buchholz, who pitched a great game but threw a lot of pitches, was taken out and Daniel Bard was in (he threw one pitch before they called for the tarp).  Phil Coke, Detroit’s starter, was still in the game, having only thrown 78 pitches through seven innings (compared to Clay’s 127).  Coke and Buchholz were throwing similar games but because of pitch count we most certainly would have seen Coke again in the 8th.  Then the sky opened up and began to pour rain down on Fenway. (Watching the game on NESN last night felt like watching an old black and white movie on a very old television.  It was tough to determine from my cozy spot at home when the rain really began and when it was “just” foggy out there.)  About a half an hour later, Jim Leyland had made the decision to not send out Coke and brought in Ryan Perry for the 8th.  Perry got the first two outs and Leyland went to Daniel Schlereth who walked Carl Crawford, gave up and RBI double to Saltalamacchia and hit Jacoby Ellsbury before being relieved by Al Alburquerque who got the third out.  That’s one heck of an inning courtesy of the rain and Leyland not wanting to bring his starter back out.

I want to mention Jacoby getting hit. Less than a handful of Tigers fans mentioned they thought it was “payback” for Clay hitting two batters last night.  One even suggested it might be the start of a rivalry between the two teams.  I don’t get any of this.  There was no reason for Clay to purposely hit anyone last night, so why would a team retaliate for what were obvious mistakes?  My other question is, even if you feel like you have to retaliate just so you show the opposing team you’re not down with watching your guys get plunked, would you do it in such a tight game right after you gave up (what would end up being) the game-winning RBI?  I think it’s more likely Schlereth was frustrated by how his inning was going and got sloppy.  But who knows?  Maybe it was on purpose?  If it was, that’s very stupid baseball.

I hear birds singing and can actually see without a window of fog between me and the outside world, but it still is gray and chilly out there.  Those who have been to Fenway this week have earned some stripes, I have to admit, and you’ll be earning your way a little more tonight.  June is not so far away (as long as Armageddon doesn’t come this weekend) and soon we’ll be complaining about how hot it was at the park!

Ooh…and a reminder: Today is the last day you can register for the private tour of Fenway Park! Click here to sign up for the chance to win. You have until 6 o’clock tonight! Good luck!

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