Boy, that game had everything a baseball fan could want, other than a Jay's win, of course. Lots and lots to talk about, as the 430 comments in the game thread attest to. I guess as always, ought to start with the rant....
Who the hell decided to open the roof after the Sox get 4 runs in the third?? I mean...Pedroia hits a three run homer a high fly that just carried over the left field wall. Had the roof been open before that there is no way that clears the wall. But after the inning and we are down by two and need the offense, they open it. And why in the middle of the inning. If it has to be opened, shouldn't it be done at the start of an inning so both teams pay with the same conditions? Or since we are the home team can't we use it a bit to our advantage by keeping it closed when we are trailing. If it was someone on the Jay's payroll that decided to open it, can we, if not just fire him, beat on him for a few hours.
How many deep outs did we hit into after this? I think there were 5 deep outs that had the roof stayed closed....well you never know. Rios' fly to the wall that Bay caught about two feet from the top of the fence, in the 10th, clearly would have been out.
Another frigging awful fun moment of the game of the game was the 6th when with Wells on second and Stairs (intentionally walked, why would you intentionally walk Stairs the way he is swinging the bat?) Barajas doubled down the right field line. Wells scored easy and when Bay's throw went over the cutoff man, Stairs chugged (ok, you figure a word for how Matt runs) home. The throw beat him home but the tag clearly came after Stairs had touched home. Terrible call. Now we were up by 1 run but 2 runs would have been that much better. It wasn't a bad idea to send Stairs home as Mac was up next and with 2 out it was reasonable to send him.
To give more to talk to debate, after the 6th, when the Jays just picked up the 1 run lead, Cito sent AJ back out to pitch the 7th. He had thrown 95 pitches in the first 6 innings. Cito won't pull a pitcher with who has thrown less than 100 pitches. I dislike managers that have rigid rules like that, but then it didn't seem like a bad idea at the time. But then he gave up a home run to the first batter, Coco Crisp, to tie the game. The fun of baseball isn't so much the moments of action; it is the moments in between where you debate what could/should happen.
Other interesting moments....Downs pitched a great 8th and 9th inning. Could he go one more? Downs has gone three innings before. We have an off day tomorrow. Ryan pitched a quick 10th, going three up three down on 9 pitches. Could he have gone one more? League came in in the 11th and gave up a home run to Jed Lowrie. Yep that's right, we gave up home runs to Pedroia, Crisp and Lowie, the midgets beat us!
Jays of the Day? Vernon Wells (.444 WPA), Downs (.253) and Ryan (.143). Suckage Jay? Just about everyone else, topping the list is whoever the idiot is that opened the roof. The home plate umpire gets a nod too for blowing that call on Stairs and having a strike zone that reached to the batters eyeballs at time. Among the players League (-.291 WPA), AJ (-.224), Lind (-.205, 0 for 5 but he did hit the ball hard several times and had a good at bat with Wells on first in the 11th, that lasted 8 pitches before he chased a pitch off the plate and pulled it to second), Inglett (-.163, another 0 for 5) Bautista (-.161, only 0 for 2 but at important moments) and Mac (-.136, 0 for 4).
After an off day tomorrow we play three in Tampa Bay. With how we've done against the Rays this season this could be the end of meaningful baseball for the year. But then if we take 3 of three and the way we are playing it is posible. My goal is to finish in front of the Yankees but if we also finish in front of the Sox and Rays too, so much the better.