Jered Weaver and Josh Beckett started the game by not allowing anyone to reach base until two outs in the bottom of the third. A half inning later Victor Martinez drove in Jacoby Ellsbury and Boston claimed the lead while scoring for the first time in the series just like that. It didn’t last for long, as Kendry Morales hit a game-tying sac fly in the fourth. After that fourth inning the Sox wouldn’t have a runner reach second again until the ninth.
Beckett pitched fairly well, but the seventh inning killed him. Here’s the rundown of events:
Vladimir Guerrero walked. Kendry Morales flied out to left. Howie Kendrick advanced on a stolen base to 2B. Juan Rivera grounded out to third. Maicer Izturis singled to center; Kendrick scored. Izturis advanced to 2B on a stolen base. Mike Napoli was hit by a pitch. Erick Aybar tripled; Izturis and Napoli scored. Billy Wagner enters to relieve Beckett.
All told: Boston is averaging less than a run per game. It takes at least one run to win a ballgame so you can see why this would be an inconvenience to any team. Here are the regulars’ wOBA thus far in this series:
Ellsbury .353 Pedroia .112 Martinez .200 Youkilis .157 Ortiz .000 Bay .329 Lowell .000 Drew .266 Gonzalez .223
No typos or miscalculations, two of Boston’s big bats literally have a zero wOBA. If this were an elementary school class the teacher would cancel recess because only one kid is doing his work. Youkilis is throwing spitballs at Pedroia, Drew is writing curse words on the sleeping Ortiz’ face, and Gonzalez is picking his nose in a corner. The post-season is usually the worst time for a prolonged slump, and here Boston has the makings of eight of them.
The major storyline of game three will be Scott Kazmir’s historical dominance over the Sox. For his career: 23 starts against, 130.3 innings, 138 strikeouts (9.5 per nine), 68 walks, and a 3.59 ERA.
Boston plans to counter “Kid K” with Kid Clay, or Clay Buchholz as he’s actually known.
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