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5/17/07 vs Detroit

May 18, 2007

A good ending to a real good day. Julian, Oki, and Paps were phenomenal in game 1 and with Erik Hinske in the field and at the plate, combined with yet another stellar performance by the pen, we do the improbable and sweep a double header. I still think it’s one of the hardest things to do during a season regardless of who you are playing. 

Weather turned nasty the last few days and it’s early April in Fenway all over again. Seems that most times it gets cold and windy around here the wind tends to blow in from right. Certainly the case in game two and that would turn out to be a big deal.

Felt really good in the bullpen, better than I have in awhile. Fastball command was better for sure and it was something John and I had really focused on over the past 5 days.

First pitch of the game and there’s a runner on second…. Fastball middle away that Granderson flies to left center on and the ball drops in for a double. I would have bet big money that ball was being caught but it really didn’t hit me that the wind was severely affecting fly balls as much as it was until an inning or two later.

We then get ahead of Polanco 0-2. After a miss we come in and instead of making something happen I hit him. Sheff takes a fastball in for strike one, then fouls another fastball in to go 0-2. I throw a split that I know he’s not going to offer at and he then fouls off a slider and a fastball away to keep it 1-2. Tek goes front door slider, which I wasn’t expecting, and it comes back over the inside corner to freeze him for strike three.

I miss badly to Maglio to go 3-0, then come back to make it a full count and just miss with a fastball to load the bases with my first of four walks on the day. Bruce Dreckman had the plate today and I have not had him in a long time. What I had on him turned out to be real close as he was consistent pretty much all day long. Nothing really off the plate to either side and more high strikes than low ones. All in all I’d love to blame any of the four walks on him missing pitches but he didn’t.

I then go 3-0 on Carlos Guillen, missing badly with all three pitches. We get the count back to full and get him to swing and miss on a 3-2 fastball away.

Sean Casey (arguably the nicest human being walking this planet) takes a fastball middle for strike one. I miss in with a cutter, and anther ball puts the count at 2-1. Tek calls fastball in, good call imo, and I haven’t seen the replay yet but I thought I got it in. Either way Sean absolutely crushes the pitch. Off the bat I am thinking grand slam. Almost immediately followed by the realization that it’s extremely bad hitting weather and the wind is howling in from right field. Eric gets to the wall and comes in a step to make the catch and end the inning.

I’d like to see some stats on how many times, prior to this year, I’ve gone 3-0 on hitters as compared to this year. I can’t remember anything even remotely close to what’s happened so far. It takes me 30 pitches to get out of the first and only the weather has kept this game 0-0.

Second inning starts off with Marcus Thames running up an 8 pitch AB that ends with a pop up to first. I start Rabelo off with a curve ball strike, followed by a curve ball down that he chases for strike two. I throw a split that is popped up to right, and on the replay I can see him toss his bat, mad about the result. I know about a millisecond later that things aren’t looking good as Eric is chasing the ball back towards the infield. The ball drops in for a single. Inge goes down on a 1-2 split for the second out.

I then throw 8 balls in the next 9 pitches to load the bases. When someone as aggressive as Polanco is not even offering at balls I know my command is lacking in a big way. Two innings, now 53 pitches in, and the bases are drunk for
Sheffield. The numbers over our career might give me an edge statistically but
Gary is absolutely one of the top 5 hitters I’ve ever faced. The power and average are one thing, but the fact that he strikes out so few times per at bat is something I’ve never been able to figure out. He’s got the violent setup and bat waggle, and a swing that is anything but soft, yet he can make contact and drive just about any pitch as well as anyone I’ve ever faced. I’ll take the power guys, and the average guys, if you know the areas you can make them swing and miss. He doesn’t have one spot in any zone that you know he can’t handle.

For the second AB in row we get him looking at a fastball in for a strike. Tek calls for a split which we end up getting down in the zone and Sheff grounds to Mike at 3rd to end the inning.

Two innings, six baserunners, 55 pitches. I’m not getting through four at this pace and I am walking the tightrope in limiting damage.

Third inning starts with Magglio popping a fly ball to right that I know is trouble off the bat. He doesn’t hit it good enough to get it to deeper RF and get caught, instead he hits a 2-1 slider just inside the line to right for a double. Now 7 baserunners and the only hard hit ball up to this point was the last out of the first inning. We quickly get Guillen into an 0-2 hole and Tek calls curve ball. Not what I was expecting but the perfect call in this spot if I can bounce it. I don’t. I am not sure how up it was, but it was enough as he hits a ground rule double to deep right and ties the game at one.

I need to manage the game in a hurry. We get Sean to ground to short on a 1-1 split and
Thames goes down swinging on an 0-2 fastball away for the second out. Youk fields Rabelo’s grounder on an 0-1 split and we somehow manage to get through this one giving up just the single run.

The first pitch of the fourth was the one sitting on my brain as I was taken out of the game after the sixth. I’ve had pretty decent success up to this point with Brandon Inge and I am not sure why I did what I did. In the end when I went back to look at it, it didn’t matter what the call was because I threw the pitch knee high in the middle of the plate and he can hit fastballs with anyone. He crushed it to left and the ball just inched over the top of the monster to hit the little railing on top. Unfortunately the umpires convened and got the call right. I was thinking about arguing but realized it would be pointless and probably stupid to argue a call that went against us, even if they got it right.

Granderson runs a full count and Tek calls fastball in, and we make the pitch to get the first out. Polanco hits an inside cutter down the line at third for a double on a 2-2 pitch. Not sure why the hell I can’t be giving up lousy singles but that’s just not happening. Sheff fouls off a cutter in, takes a slider for a ball and then pops a fastball middle away to Tek for the second out. Ordonez takes a strike, fouls a split and then hits a fastball in to center to end the inning.

Holy crap. Four innings, 88 pitches.

Guillen starts the fifth off with another extra base hit. I leave a fastball over the heart of the plate and he lines a double to right center. Sean makes the first out on an 0-2 split that ends up an F-9. He hits it good enough to get the runner to third which was the one thing I was trying to prevent. Pop up, grounder to the left side, K, anything but a ball that advances the runner. Now I need a pop up, K or something that will keep Guillen at third. Fortunately he grounds a 1-1 split to Mike who comes home and after a few throws back and forth we get Guillen out.

What happens next is a highlight play that I think we’ll be watching 15 years from now on every baseball highlight film ever made from this day forward. Rabelo takes a split for ball one and then hits a hanging 1-0 split hard and far down the right field line. My only hope when I saw the ball in mid flight was that it stayed in the park. When I realized it was going to I was hoping it would bounce into the stands. I never in a million years saw Eric catching that ball. By far one of the best catches anyone will ever make and in the end I think it was the play that won this game for us on the defensive side of the ball.

The sixth starts with the sixth 3 ball count to a hitter. Inge runs the count full and ends up swinging through a 3-2 fastball away. Another double on a 1-0 fastball puts Granderson at second and then I issue my fourth walk of the game. I know I am well over 100 pitches and very close to getting yanked from this game if I don’t make some pitches real quick. John comes out, and says pretty much exactly what I needed to hear. We go 0-2 on Sheff and get a fly ball to right for the second out and end up getting Magglio to ground to second on a 2-2 fastball away to end the inning.

Our half of the sixth sees us tie the game after Alex has another fantastic AB and beats out an infield single and then Eric caps off his day by crushing a ball off Ledezma over our bullpen.

After I came out it was Donnelly to Lopez to Okajima for a lights out last three and a sweep.

This game was probably as weird and as frustrating as any game I’ve thrown in the last four years. So many odd and little things happened but in the end we hang on so it makes these next four days go by a lot smoother.

Next up is
Atlanta for the weekend and then on to Yankee stadium. Should be an interesting 6 day stretch for us.

121 Comments leave one →
  1. b4andbeyond permalink
    May 21, 2007 9:00 am

    What a week! First I could only read, not post. Then I fell in love with a new Mac. Mac people do that. Sort of like being part of the Red Sox Nation. And there was all that rain! It messed up watching the red and green balls. None to watch!

    Now I can say I love the way Curt manages to have a winning spirit when his game does not go according to plan. And I agree, he would have fit in very well with Sandy and Don! He also does his share to create the present Sox team spirit. IMO the blog even helps witihi that. Thinking together makes it possible to go to great places together. And to get world series rings!

  2. soxfan07 permalink
    May 21, 2007 10:17 am

    I really wish Beckett didn’t get hurt, that guy sucked(Hansack). Terry couldn’t find anybody else from Pawtucket? Well we won the series and thats okay with me but I’m looking forward to the Yankees game tonight.

  3. luvmyfamily permalink
    May 21, 2007 2:04 pm

    Hey Curt, thanks being willing to speak your mind…. I am so tired of the foolishness of ludicris sports idioms and 10 second sound bytes…

    Congrats to you & your family for supporting th ALS ride… I know the pain it causes, and am proud to see you and your family standing tall to try to make a difference…
    W Carter

  4. delante permalink
    May 21, 2007 3:01 pm

    Hey, want to comment directly to a place where your comments can be heard by all the sportswriters you love to hate?

    Just send an e-mail to webmaster@sportsjournalists.com. That’ll get your comments routed to the right place!

  5. brooks19 permalink
    May 21, 2007 3:45 pm

    Hey Schil,

    I have followed you since that awesome run in 1993 that led to a World Series appearance for the Phils. I saw you pitch game 1 in the 2001 WS in the BOB and enjoyed your run in 2004 with the BoSox. This blog is awesome and hopefully blazes a trail for more ball players to chronicle their thought process towards the game. I think you have made a strong enough case for yourself that if you reach the 240-250 win range their is no way they can keep you out of the Hall. Keep the competitive fire burning my man.

    Brooks

    P.S. Was always hoping you and Randy would’ve faced each other while he was in pinstripes.

  6. dannybonaduce permalink
    May 22, 2007 3:03 am

    hey there curt,

    I was researching your bio and could not find what school you received your degree from after you attended Yavapai Junior College. When one is sharing political views and opinions as much as you it is beneficial to the listeners to weigh in your education level and where the education was received. If you only have junior college level education then in the future could you direct your opinions to high school level eductated and GED level and below specifically? The rest of us will then know to seek advice from someone actually more qualified than ourselves. Many Thanks,

    Danny Bona2

  7. doza13 permalink
    May 23, 2007 7:55 am

    Please put A-Rod on his ass today.

    He deserves it after picking on a guy 7 inches shorter and several lbs lighter.

  8. b4andbeyond permalink
    May 23, 2007 9:31 am

    Brilliant Bona2! You seem to equate intelligence with the possession of knowledge gained in the artificial setting of a formal classroom! I believe Woodrow Wilson had a PhD. By your reasoning, many of the other presidents were not qualified to be in governance, except perhaps as high school superintendents.

    Be that as it may, let’s concentrate today on this great team and its ability to focus as one on the goal of winning. No doubt we have someone on the mound who has mastered the science of pitching and moved on to the art of it. If he can do that in one field, it is possible he has the intelligence to do it in others. Perhaps he already has. Good luck tonight, Curt!

  9. Captain Redbeard permalink
    May 23, 2007 11:11 am

    Curt,

    After a play like last night where A-Rod slides in and throws an elbow at Pedroia, is there talk in the dugout/clubhouse about retaliation the next day? It seems like from the Herald article that Pedroia wasn’t too pleased, especially after looking at the replay.

    Captain Redbeard

  10. aimcifer permalink
    May 23, 2007 12:05 pm

    Good luck tonight against the Yankees! GO SOX!

  11. mikecahill permalink
    May 23, 2007 12:07 pm

    Hi Curt! Wednesday afternoon before your start tonight. Just curious to see if you’ve decided which at-bat you were going to plunk ARod tonight in retaliation for that cheap elbow to Pedroia yesterday? I’m thinking it might as well be the first one, especially if we’re able to score a couple runs in the top of the inning. A nice fastball to the ribcage would work and send the right message, I think. A bench-clearing brawl ought to solidify the team chemistry which already seems tighter than I can remember since 2004. I’ll really appreciate your turning his petulant little whiny smirk into a wince of pain… no matter how brief, it’ll still be sweet for the Nation!

  12. harvard4point0 permalink
    May 23, 2007 12:14 pm

    Hey Curt- Are you gonna throw at a-rod for his cheap-shot on pedroia last night?

  13. sox4life88 permalink
    May 23, 2007 12:44 pm

    yea it was a good day for baseball and it was good to get the win the trigers are a good team your pitch count was up there after the fourth but thats ok thats why we have a good bullpen your one of the best on the team and we have one of the best bullpens out there its only one gamr and i thought you pitched good and it will be a good series against the braves

  14. theotherm permalink
    May 23, 2007 1:40 pm

    Just want to wish you good luck tonight! Hope by the time you read this tomorrow the Sox are 11.5 games up!

  15. redsoxfan95 permalink
    May 23, 2007 4:49 pm

    hey curt its me the nigh you pitch against i highly doubt you will get this in time but please nail A-rod right in the head. he slid in to second but then acted like he ACCIDENTLY ran into pedrioa or something like that. and in 04 he slaped the ball out of arryos glove. he plays dirty and hatte him i hope he never comes to the sox.

    good luck curt!

  16. barefoott4 permalink
    May 23, 2007 6:38 pm

    Nice Pick-off in the game I’m watching (5/23). That is all.

  17. May 23, 2007 8:21 pm

    Dear Mr. Schilling
    I want to inform you that your site is terrific! I love how you disect the games and how you personalize every players at bat. I love reading about the chemistry you and Jason Varitek have. Also, i would like you to add an about me section to this site. I have not heard of one player that came from Alaska. I would like to know how you became intersted in baseball and how life was living up there. And i would like to know the road you took to become one of the greatest major league pictures of this decade. If you do not want to post this online (cause of all the wackos) you could email me at tmredsox3@aol.com. I know you are a busy man and your schedule is grueling so I wanat to thank you for your time. I just want to congratulate you on a great season so far and keep up the good work. I will be the first one in line for the new 2007 Boston Red Sox World Series Champions shirt!
    GO SOX!
    sincerely, Tommy

  18. shecky12 permalink
    May 23, 2007 9:48 pm

    Curt, first time here. I have been a Sox fan all my life but unfortunately I have also lived my entire life in upstate NY. It is funny how the NY media spins your comments about Roger (sellout) Clemens as disrespectful but Kyle Farnsworth(less)s comments get a brief mention and then swept away. Being a sox fan in NY has its disadvantages. I just finished watching NY game 5/23. Two tough outings in a row for you where they got to you early. Not your m.o. Usually you start strong. What do you think is contributing to your recent struggles. Sox need you strong and dominant.

  19. khofuswiftclaw permalink
    May 23, 2007 10:34 pm

    Hey, Curt.

    I’m a Yankees fan and a Liberal, so i suppose we’re kinda at odds.

    But I have one question for you.

    Do you still play Everquest?

    I believe i read that you were either a monk or a ranger at start. I happened to play a monk for many (6) years.

  20. milmascaras permalink
    May 23, 2007 10:52 pm

    I can’t wait to hear what you will be ranting or writing about in the next ‘blog’. Loved your facial expression while wiping your face after giving up Matsui’s homerun.

    dannybonaduce had a great post (above)

    106 dannybonaduce
    hey there curt,

    I was researching your bio and could not find what school you received your degree from after you attended Yavapai Junior College. When one is sharing political views and opinions as much as you it is beneficial to the listeners to weigh in your education level and where the education was received. If you only have junior college level education then in the future could you direct your opinions to high school level eductated and GED level and below specifically? The rest of us will then know to seek advice from someone actually more qualified than ourselves. Many Thanks,

    Danny Bona2

  21. bish6364 permalink
    May 24, 2007 3:41 pm

    “Intelligence is a moral category.”
    Theodor Adorno

    Hmmmm… maybe some of you guys don’t know how to measure intelligence – trust me, it is not “your education level and where the education was received…” Spend some time with the “highly educated” as I do and am, and you will concur…

    So you go… “seek advice from someone actually more qualified than ourselves.” Shouldn’t be too hard for you to do.

    As for me, I will take Curt’s heart and intelligence any day — He’s a thinker and a reader, and he has heart, humility and compassion.

    You go, Curt….

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