I'll cop to the fact that I didn't watch nearly as much of this game as I wanted. Bathing kids, putting them to bed, setting up the guest room, filling plastic eggs, welcoming the guest, putting baskets together, moving laundry, and putting out dad-tax'd chocolate took some priority. But don't worry about me! I've got a life, and soon will be out saluting a buddy at a local taproom as he breaks his Lenten fast. In the background hummed the radio, the TV on downstairs, so I have the general themes. But I'll need help from the crowd to discuss the finer points of the game, so fire away in the comments.
Here are my takeaways:
- Charlie Manuel is sadly convinced that the team can't hit at all. Otherwise, how else to explain the first inning bunt by Jimmy Rollins (mitigating factor: it did net a run) and the odd handling of pinch hitters (Laynce Nix bunting- this time unsuccessfully - in the 9th; Jim Thome batting for John Mayberry later in the inning)? On the one hand, Manuel's not wrong. On the other hand, I worry that managing this team like it's the Go-Go Sox will make a team that otherwise scored runs just fine the last half of 2011 start to believe that it is the Go-Go Sox.
- Cliff Lee was fine. Bummer that he uncorked a wild pitch - his first since, oh, 2010 - with two outs in the 6th to allow the Pirates to tie the game. Walked two, struck out four, and threw 99 pitches in 6 innings.
- Rod Barajas facing Joe Blanton in a tie game to lead off the 10th in retrospect was probably bound to happen exactly in the way that it happened. The only twist tonight was that his shot missed being a walk-off home run by 6 inches or so, so we had to twist through another four batters before Alex Presley slapped a ground ball to the left side that was out of the reach of Polanco, fielded by Rollins, and then was just a tick late to Ty Wigginton's glove. Ballgame.
- Freddy Galvis sure can pick 'em! But he kinda has trouble with the hitting.