I have mixed feelings about the 9:05 starts the Sox have on the West Coast. It usually means that I go a week without a good nights sleep. But on the plus side it is one of the few opportunities I have to watch a game from start to finish.
I guess it's only worthwhile when they win. And about the worst possible outcome would be for the Sox to lose in extra innings, which they they did last night, 4-3. But since I stayed up to watch I guess I'll share my thoughts:
I was not too happy to see Guillen give a day off to three starters last night: Dye, Crede, and Podsednik. I just don't see the point on the first day of the road trip. That's a pretty huge dropoff on both sides of the ball.
Garland pitched okay, and I'm not going to complain about 3 run in 8 innings. I thought Joe Cowley was off the mark today in the Sun Times, blasting Garland for not holding a 2-1 lead and giving up a homer in the eighth. The tying run scored on a weak liner off the end of Ichiro's bat. The homer was certainly on a bad pitch, but the offense gave him no room for error. If the Sox had all their starters in, Garland's effort would have been good enough for the W.
I also thought the home plate umpire did a horrible job last night. Moyer owned the corners all night and got the benefit of many borderline calls. The ump also seemed to make a number of "payback" calls against the Sox. After Mackowiak rolled his eyes at the ump after getting a called third strike, the umpire called a strike on the very next pitch to Brian Anderson that was barely off the ground.
Then later in the game Pierzynski must have made a comment to the umpire after a pitch down the middle from Cotts was called a ball. The umpire came out to clean home plate and you could see him talking to Pierzynski. The next pitch was again down the middle and again called a ball.
I thought the umpire was fair to Garland, but the large strike zone he gave to Moyer probably cost the Sox a couple of runs.
Both Pollitte and Cotts looked good out of the bullpen last night. McCarthy wasn't hit too hard in giving up the winning run. But a couple of singles can hurt your catcher can't throw out any basestealers.
Even though the Sox lost, Anderon's game tying home run with 2 out and 2 strikes in the ninth was huge. While it did cost me an extra 45 minutes of sleep, it was a great moment to watch.