I have said this before but Hughes is frustrating for me to watch as he misses so many spots and he is out of position as he pitches. He also threw away an easy DP ball leading to all his runs being unearned. His total line was good, but he still allowed 4 runs and the HR was his fault regardless if it was unearned because of his own error. The pitch to Pedroia missed by the full plate and cost us 3 runs. Also, he barely threw his curve ball and his fastball was only 91 most of the day so he really didn’t have much. His change was a little better though.
Russell Martin – He made a fantastic catch on a pop up in the torrential down pour that was almost by the pitchers mound that nobody else saw. That play is so hard for a catcher because the ball is coming down with a lot of spin so it moves toward 2nd base. He stayed with it and made a tremendous play. He also homered to RF. Then he also had a horrible AB with 1st and 3rd and 1 out with the score tied. The pitcher was throwing him nothing but breaking balls. After missing with 2 away, he hung one for a strike and then missed again low and away. On the 3-1 count Martin swung at a pitch way off the plate and in the dirt. I have no idea what he was thinking as he waved at that pitch that was just like all the others he didn’t swing, in fact it was worse. Then he waved at ball 4 again to strike out. Horrible AB!
Nix picked him up serving a single out to RF for our only non HR RBI.
In the 5th, Jeter had a cat and mouse AB with their pitcher where both players were slowing up the game. On the 6th pitch of the AB Jeter deposited a curve ball for a solo HR. The AB was 2.5 minutes long which is pretty long for a 2 out and nobody on base AB and only 6 pitches. It was his 250th HR...congrats to Jeter on yet another milestone on an amazing career. His 250 HR's combined with 3,000 hits, 1,200 RBI, and 300 steals have only been done by one other player, Willie Mays.
Early in the game, their pitcher balked when Jeter was on 1st. Not only did he break the plane of the pitching rubber, he broke the 45 degree angle that you must step toward first. The umps missed a blatant balk there. Also, I am really glad they are getting rid of the fake to 3rd and then go back to 1st play...it is not good.
Ichiro – I have said that I always thought he was overrated. I never said he wasn’t very good and valuable, but I never thought of him as an elite player because his career OPS was an only decent .783. Taking his SB’s into account his OPS was a pretty good .813. His defense was excellent but while his throwing arm is strong, I hate all the extra steps he takes (I am not sure if he always did that, but if he did his overall throw is average at best). People were always talking about him leading the league in hits, but he also led the league in AB’s every one of the years he led the league in hits, except one. He didn’t walk much so he had a lot of AB’s. Good player, yes and he did have 2 excellent years, but he was usually in the top 20 for MVP voting for his first 10 years and I only saw that for 3 years. Anyway, not to disparage him too much because we need him now and if he can give us a .750 OPS and some speed and defense that is what we need. Some people see Gardner in him, but Gardner over the last 2+ years has been a better all around player than Ichiro.
I brought up Ichiro because he had an AB like Martin that frustrated me. After the Nix single to make the score 5-4, Ichiro was up with 1st and 3rd and 2 outs. With a 2-0 count on him he tried to bunt for a hit. I couldn’t see what the defense was doing, but this was a very odd choice with the count in his favor. He then took a very hittable hanging curve before swing at a ball in the dirt to strike out. Bad!
Robertson had the toughest battle in the 8th as he faced the heart of the lineup. After he did his job, Soriano had a cake walk in the 9th. The bottom of the Sox lineup is very weak.
Let’s bury the Red Sox this weekend as they are barely alive.