It's probably a little silly to question Red Sox Manager Terry Francona these days given the unprecedented success the franchise has seen since he took over before the 2004 season. But he came dangerously close to resembling former field boss Grady Little during Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
It was Little, of course, who waited too long to remove a tired and at that point ineffective Pedro Martinez during Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. The Yankees rallied, and Little was fired.
But last night it was Francona who stuck with his starter too long. Daisuke Matsuzaka, who pitched beautifully between the second and sixth innings, had just worked out of first-and-third, no-out situation in the top of the seventh inning. He had thrown 107 pitches, 27 of which came in a ridiculous first inning when he walked the bases loaded but still managed to get out of it. The Red Sox held a tenuous 2-0 lead and it was at that point that Francona should have pulled his starter. He didn't.
Bad move. Or should I say non-move? Dice-K gave up a pair of singles within his first eight pitches of the eighth inning. Francona summoned Hideki Okajima from the bullpen, and Okajima received a huge break when the Rays' Carlos Pena swung at a 3-0 pitch and flied out to short right field. Rookie Justin Masterson was then called upon and induced a double-play ball by Evan Longoria, saving the game for the Red Sox and saving Francona from some unfair comparisons.
Posted by: PTBNL | October 11, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: PTBNL | October 11, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: natsfan1a | October 12, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.