posted at 7/30/2012 1:33 AM EDT
In the 8th with 2 out and a one-run lead, Miller/Salty opt for the fastball to set up Jones for another slider. They probably think he's looking for the slider, since Miller has been throwing great ones. That's the point. Why waste a pitch to set him up? The way the slider was working, come right back with it. Jones was sitting dead red, and doubles. Questionable pitch call.
Aceves comes in to face Martin. He represents the winning run. Even though he's already hit a homer, it was against a lefty who does not throw as hard as does Aceves. Martin probably figures Miller/Salty will come right after him and try to overpower him rather than risk putting the winning run on base. Martin is sitting dead red, and gets a hittable FB on the first pitch. Game tied. IMO, a breaking ball would have been a better choice. Questionable pitch call.
Once again Salty comes to the plate against a righthand pitcher with the game on the line -- in that Mickey Mouse ballpark. The book on Salty no doubt still reads "will chase." Robertson does not want to give Salty anything near a pitch that might end up in the stands. It looked to me as though Martin/Robertson were trying to get Salty to chase high FB's off the plate, and then, on 2 strikes finish him off with a curve in the dirt, also chased. But Salty didn't bite. So Martin/Robertson never got to the deuce in the dirt. Salty on first. No pinch runner? C'mon. I think the Sox elect to leave Salty in the game for defense
( no howls, please, I'm guessing what the Sox were thinking ) and because he and Aceves are joined at the hip. It hasn't always worked. My guess is that BV decided to stick with that battery in that park in that game in crisis mode. No Morales either against Ibanez. BV has made many shrewd bullpen moves this season. This time he ( ? ) sticks with what he considers his first team. Besides, he ( ? ) fears that Aviles might kill McClure right there on the mound if a hook is shown. Aviles wanted that game. He's crazy fearless. A gamble paid off. Maybe the bench coach made the calls or left it up to McClure during the visit to the mound. But ejected managers have been known to lurk and whisper. Who knows?
Actually, I think the Sox were a little lucky that Ibanez didn't park one of the those FB's in the stands. Maybe the killer curve should have been called one pitch earlier. But, after all, Aceves did not groove a FB to Ibanez. He jammed him. Still risky with that Little League RF.
Those last three innings were nail-biters.
All"s well ....