June 13, 2006


Unbelievable pitching duel at the Metrodome tonight, with Johann Santana throwing a dominating change-up for strikeouts and Schilling forcing grounders, followed by each team's closer. Then they got into the middle relievers and it got ugly. Two questions: (1) Why doesn't Santana move to the first base side of the rubber against lefties?; (2) Why Tavarez in a save situation when Delcarmen has been your best reliever other than Papelbon lately?

Aces go 1-on-1: Schill, Santana duel (Karen Guregian, 6/14/06, Boston Herald)

The way Johan Santana was striking out Red Sox batters last night, memories of two historic pitching performances by Roger Clemens came to mind.

Curt Schilling?

He wasn’t nearly as dazzling, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t as effective as the Twins southpaw. He just mowed down batters in a different way.

The two aces certainly lived up to all the hype surrounding their duel. Neither was involved in the decision, with the Twins winning 5-2, coming back from a 2-1 deficit in the bottom of the 12th on a grand slam by Jason Kubel off Julian Tavarez.

Santana (6-4) surrendered just one run on five hits in eight innings. He struck out 13 including 11 in the first five innings. When Clemens twice set the major league record of 20 strikeouts, he fanned 12 through five innings.

Only two lefties in history have struck out more Sox during a game. Randy Johnson fanned 15 in eight innings while pitching for Seattle in 1998, and Detroit’s Mickey Lolich struck out 15 in nine innings in ’72.

Santana’s only mistake was a seventh-inning changeup to Jason Varitek, who sent it over the wall in left-center field for a 1-0 lead. Schilling, meanwhile, had pitched flawlessly to that point, but gave the run back in the bottom of the inning, surrendering a homer to Michael Cuddyer.

The Sox ace left after eight innings, giving up just the one run on six hits. He had thrown just 91 pitches, but was spent.

The funny thing is, neither would have been a homerun at Fenway.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 13, 2006 11:38 PM

Why is Coco Chanel leading off instead of the Greek God of Walks, who's been hitting 7th? It's like a little present from Francona to all Yankee fans day after day after day.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 14, 2006 12:31 AM

The answer is they believe Crisp's base-stealing ability disrupts the pitcher and helps Loretta get hits in front of Ortiz and Manny. Of course, Crisp has to get on for that to be true.

For whatever reason, Francona hasn't gained confidence in Delcarmen yet. And he hasn't necessarily earned it, with an ERA of 5.23, except that so many other relievers are pitching worse.

With Foulke on the DL and Tavarez with a June ERA of 11.37, Francona will have to decide who he trusts among Seanez and Riske on the one hand and Delcarmen, Van Buren, and Hansen on the other.

Posted by: pj at June 14, 2006 5:50 AM


I think it's just another case of managers loving small-ball because it makes them look clever. At least he's wrangled enough playing time that not even the Sox can ignore him anymore; leaving him languishing in AAA last year was madness.

Posted by: Mike Earl at June 14, 2006 12:47 PM

Go Blue Jays!

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 14, 2006 8:38 PM

The Tigers still have the best record in baseball! This is the true meaning of fitzmas!

Posted by: Dave W at June 15, 2006 2:51 AM
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