The Sox won a good one last night. They actually played one of their best games of the year coming off what was one of the worst games of the year. Ramirez hit two bombs that were all the way out of Fenway. They managed 3 other runs on 10 hits and played error free which was great since they had committed 10 errors in the last 3 games. Benintendi also went 2-4, as did Moreland, so that was encouraging. Betts also came up with a big two run double in the 8th that all but sealed the victory. All in all, it was a well played game with outstanding pitching from Sale, as usual. He went 8 innings giving up 2 runs on 3 hits. The final was 5-2.
I think I should say something about the back and forth payback situation that is going on between the two teams right now. It all started with what looked like a dirty slide by Machado into Pedroia that put Petey out for several games. The slide certainly looked dirty, despite what the baseball pundits say and the show that Machado put on after it. So the Red Sox responded with a high and tight pitch that I don’t believe Barnes was aiming at his head. That cost Matt four games in suspension. It has gone on from there, but I don’t believe, as so many are saying, that the Red Sox are the bad guys in this whole thing. Sure, they are obviously retaliating when they throw behind Machado, but when the Orioles do the same and actually hit Mookie Betts with a 95 mph fast ball and make Benintendi duck out of the way of a ball at his head, they try to convince us that they were not intentional. I don’t believe it for a minute. The Orioles are responding in turn to what the Red Sox are doing and may have started the whole thing with a dirty slide.
Whether or not he intentionally injured Pedroia is not the issue. It was a bad slide that put his cleat into a rivals knee and he had no cause to slide with his foot elevated over the bag. He was out on the play because his right foot was over the bag. He certainly wasn’t trying to slide safely into second or his foot would not have been in the air. It was a dirty slide and there can be no doubt about it, despite the way the press is trying to cover up for Machado and the Orioles.
What the Umpires should do for the next two games is warn everybody that they are not going to tolerate any shenanigans from either side. That hopefully will put an end to this back and forth that could last all season otherwise. The teams need to get back to playing the game and forget about making any more statements. Come on guys, this is baseball, let’s get on with it. The Umpires should ensure that it does not continue tonight.
So, we should have another good game tonight. Let’s hope the Sox can continue to play as they did last night with Pameranz on the mound. He will not be as good as Sale, but if he pitches well, can get the win for the Sox. That’s provided they hit well again, which is perhaps a big if. They have done it for one game in the past and then fallen right back into their scoreless innings streaks. They scored early last night and that is what they need to do. Not wait till the 8th to score at all like they did the night before that.
Well, we are 14-12. Still something we can build on. If we can take the next two from the O’s we will be begin that process. If not, we still have a long way to go in the season and the winning might start soon anyway (let’s hope so). So, we just need to keep plodding along and try to move forward from here. We are still 2.5 games back and nowhere to go but up, we hope. Anyway, Go Sox!