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6/2/07 Vs. NY…. Again.

June 3, 2007

Let’s see, I sucked, we still won. That about cover it? Check back next week…

 

Seriously, I did suck and we still won but it was another grind it out, use the whole bullpen and both offenses had their way for most of the day, until our pen got in the act.

 

Nothing out of the ordinary warming up. Felt fine. Knowing how hot and humid it had been and was going to be the focus on a day like today is staying hydrated and trying to keep your guys in the dugout as much as possible. Long innings can wear the every day guys out fast on a day like today.

 

No Giambi, no Damon in the lineup today. Regardless of who fills in you always want to take advantage of lineups missing key players, somehow it finds a way to really work or really bite you in the ass. Today it was the latter.

 

Given the fact that the work John and I are putting in and the fact that a lot of things fell into place the last start it’s hard not to think that everythings fixed after a game like that. Unfortunately it usually never works that way either. Making the changes we’ve made and the adjustments, is an ongoing process. The only positive to come out of it is that I didn’t do much of anything today, and continue to be horribly inconsistent, but we are finding ways to win on the days I pitch, which is huge.

 

So the game starts, Phil Cuzzi behind home plate. Phil’s nothing if he’s not consistent. I don’t think he ever gets too wide but he calls the corners very consistently regardless of the count or inning.

 

Bobby starts the game off squaring up a back door slider that ends up in an F-7 as Demarlo has the outfield positioned perfectly. Derek fights a few two seamers off and when I try to get back in there to finish the AB I leave the ball more on the plate than I’d like and he hammers a ball off the monster for a double. Matsui gets jammed on a first pitch fastball in to right for the second out. Alex swings and misses at two fastballs that were supposed to be in but I miss to the extreme with both, one middle out and one middle up. The AB ends when he chases a split for strike three. The first two strike split of the day and it is in a perfect spot and moves late, should have been a good sign.

 

Posada leads off the second grounding out to Dustin on a back door slider. Ball came back over the plate more than it was supposed to but no harm, no foul. Cano hits a first pitch fastball away to Mike for the second out and I am close to a quick easy inning if I can get Cabrera. He ends up working the count to 3-2 and I make a bad choice and bad pitch. The only part of the park he can do damage in Fenway is down the right field line, every place else, if he gets a hit, is still salvageable but I go in with another fastball, and it was in enough for what I was after, and he hits a ball down the right field line that puts them up 1-0. Doug hits a two strike split that stayed up in the zone to center for a single on a two strike pitch to further extend the inning. Nieves swings at the first pitch and flies to right to end the inning.

 

Bobby starts off the third by lining a cutter in that was supposed to be down around his feet but instead was up at his chest. Miscommunication here as Tek wanted it down and I didn’t get it. Derek nullifies the mistake by hitting a slider away to Julio that he and Dustin turn into a great 4-6-3. We work Matsui first pitch curve ball, backdoor, for strike one, then run the count a bit deeper and get him looking at a fastball away for the last out.

 

Alex leads off the fourth grounding out to
Lugo on a slider. Posada works a deep count and even through the shift manages to get the ball into right field. He’s swinging the bat as well as I have ever seen him. He’s squaring the ball up consistently and on a variety of pitches. This was a backdoor slider that slid back over the plate a bit too much. Cano grounds to second on a first pitch cutter in for the second out. Cabrera continues his best Damon impression by hitting a split that stayed up to right for another single. We end up getting Doug to fly to center to end the inning and keep it 1-1.

 

During the bottom of the inning Jerry Crawford calls the tarp out as it starts to rain pretty hard. They know it’s not going to last so I am guessing they are trying to avoid us playing in weather that can change the game, if we don’t have to.

 

We sit for about a half hour and at first it’s not really a bad thing given how humid it was. I don’t know how Mike felt but I threw a bit in the tunnel towards the end of the delay and then I was allowed to warm up until I was ready to start the fifth. Not sure why but I just never got loose.

 

I was fortunate enough to start the fifth with a clean slate whereas Mike had to com e back out to 2nd and third no outs. We get two out of it and are now up 3-1.

 

Nieves grounds back to me to start the inning, and Bobby lines another single to left field on a slider away. We get Derek to hit into a 5-4-3 that Mike makes a great feed, and Dustin a great turn on, to end the inning. I was pretty fired up to get out of the inning as fast as we did because nothing felt right.

 

Regardless of how the sixth went and how I felt I still had more than enough ‘stuff’ to make pitches and get outs. I certainly wasn’t tired. That being said I didn’t. I start the inning by laying a fastball middle, middle and Matsui lines it to right for a single. I had Alex in multiple counts to make a pitch and never did it, ending up walking him on back to back splits, both real good pitches that he managed to lay off of, to put runners on 1st and 2nd. My day ends after an AB that, had I made the pitch, could have turned out vastly different. I get to 2-1 on Posada and throw a split that ‘hangs’ a bit, but is still down in the zone, for strike two. Generally I can follow a split that stays up like that with an even better one at the bottom of the zone, or in the dirt, for the simple fact that usually I can feel the mistake on the previous pitch and make the correction on the next one. This time I didn’t. I threw a split, almost exactly like the previous one, and he didn’t try to do too much, just dropped the head of the bat on the ball and voila! Into our bullpen and a 2 run lead is now a 1 run deficit.

 

Hard to describe that sinking into the pit of your stomach feeling you get as you watch a ball heading out, but hold some small sliver of hope that it won’t get there.

 

I could throw a million and one harsh comments and reviews on the outing, but at the end of the day we did what we had to do. Our bullpen clutched up and our offense ground it out.

 

These games, these series, always seem to be battles of attrition for both teams pitching staffs. Our offenses are so alike in some ways, especially when it comes to running up pitch counts and wearing down bullpens.

 

You know going in as a starting pitcher that they are going to try and work counts early, so you try to get ahead and force AB’s to get over with quality strikes. If you don’t do that they either drive you out of the game with 100 pitches after 5, or hammer bad pitches in the zone.

 

All that being said it was a win, and regardless of how, why when and where, that’s all that matters. I’ll continue to grind this thing out and make the changes I have to make but the bottom line is I lack the one thing you have to have from your starters and that’s consistency. Something I’ve always felt I had, I’m now looking for.

132 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2007 4:50 pm

    Schill, you had me on the edge of my seat today, even with out the no-no, your rock, lots of manlove from Malach the Merciless.

  2. June 7, 2007 4:52 pm

    SO CLOSE, Curt. As a native Houstonian, I was rooting for you to finish the no-hitter.

    Great game, bro.

  3. thedoctorx permalink
    June 7, 2007 4:54 pm

    Congrats on what “shoulda” been a no-hitter! I guess you took advice from posters telling you to pitch better? :D

    Seriously! Congratulations considering how good Oakland had played this series, to win with ONE run from Big Papi in the first inning. I wanted you–as I am sure every RS fan–to preserve a no-hitter, but my biggest fear was them getting the win. One run against this team is not insurance, at least these past three games.

    However, you kept your composure, saved the win, ended the slump! Now if the MFYs and Toronto lose, it is a good day!

    Go get Arizona!

    –J.D.

  4. theotherm permalink
    June 7, 2007 4:55 pm

    WOW!!!!!! GREAT GAME, you were awesome…THANKS!!!!!!

  5. June 7, 2007 5:12 pm

    ghost of ben davis.

  6. jmannin6 permalink
    June 7, 2007 5:44 pm

    Hey Curt:

    If you would like the address of my former friend that had the you know what to send me a text about the no-no with one out to go I will oblige. Great game.

  7. neffsox permalink
    June 7, 2007 7:27 pm

    nice 1 hitter tonight Schill, you rocked

  8. June 7, 2007 7:56 pm

    Mr. Curt Schilling, you’re my favorite pitcher.

  9. metaljaybird permalink
    June 7, 2007 8:31 pm

    Schilling,

    You pitched a gem of a game. Congratulations!

    MJB

  10. 1creativemind permalink
    June 7, 2007 8:39 pm

    BRILLIANT performance against the A’s today, Curt! WOW! This could not have come at a better time for yourself or your team. Keep it up brotha.

  11. msalmonsen permalink
    June 7, 2007 9:24 pm

    Hey Schill,

    Congrats on your almost-no! It was a thrilling game to be at! So here’s the question, and I’d like you to answer it honestly, if you could. How mad at you were Lugo after he messed up fielding that ball? We were sitting in center and saw that look you gave him. Come on. Admit it. You were pissed, weren’t you?

  12. pennstater89 permalink
    June 7, 2007 10:09 pm

    Curt,
    I couldn’t wait until you posted. CONGRATS ON THE ONE HITTER! I was driving to a meeting and actually pulled off the road to listen to the bottom of the 9th. I am so proud of you – RED SOX NATION IS PROUD OF YOU!

    Amy in NJ

  13. syphax permalink
    June 7, 2007 10:58 pm

    Can’t wait for your post on today’s (A’s) game- thanks for being the stopper, and I hope you get a no-no or better one of these days…

  14. plaidlemur permalink
    June 7, 2007 11:53 pm

    Hey Curt, watched your game today against the A’s, and holy smokes, am I glad I didn’t do any work! That was a pleasure to watch, and although the ending wasn’t something out of a movie (well, maybe some Shakespearean tragedy, lol), it was an absolute gem.
    I was most impressed by your composure after the game, that was nice to see, how you put it in perspective right away.

    A 1 hitter is magnificent!

    Go Sox!

  15. jillydreadful permalink
    June 7, 2007 11:58 pm

    You pitched magnificently today. That has to make up for the day you sucked. ;)

  16. June 8, 2007 1:07 am

    Man… you were great. not bad, you are a ledgend, el Kurt. viva Ku-ret.

  17. schiezainc permalink
    June 8, 2007 1:43 am

    Wow, Curt, man, that must have sucked. I don’t know if there could be a worse feeling in baseball when you’re a pitcher during the regular season.

    Good luck for the rest of the season, and way to prove that you’ve still got it man.

    ~Paul J. Spetrini

  18. chowdaguy permalink
    June 8, 2007 6:04 am

    How do you define “ACE”. How bout a 1 hit, 1-0, shutout following four consecutive losses to when your team is scuffling for runs!!!!!!

    Grats Curt!! Another gutsy effort.

    Chowda

  19. noxintort permalink
    June 8, 2007 7:50 am

    Absolutely true Chowda.

    Curt, you deserve to be associated with having gotten a no-hitter (or perfect game) as much as any pitcher out there. It’s unfortunate that you didn’t get it, but in the end, you showed a TON of gut out there, winning a game with only 1 run of support.

    The offense will come around again, but in the meantime, it feels GREAT to win a game only scoring a run. You showed poise and gut after the Shannon Stewart hit to finish off the game. I respect that greatly.

    Nice work!

  20. tarpwn3d permalink
    June 8, 2007 8:06 am

    FROM THE NYT

    Until Boston’s Curt Schilling lost a no-hitter Thursday with two outs in the ninth inning at Oakland, the Yankees’ Mike Mussina had the dubious distinction of being the last pitcher to come so close to a no-hitter without getting it.

    The Yankees watched the end of Schilling’s game in the clubhouse Thursday afternoon. When Shannon Stewart broke up the no-hitter, the room erupted in cheers, players bursting from their seats and shouting.

    After the Yankees’ 10-3 victory over the White Sox, I kidded with Mussina and asked if he’d send a telegram to Schilling. Mussina, whose perfect game was ruined by Carl Everett on Sept. 2, 2001, sneered. “What?” he cried. “He didn’t get to one strike away!” Then a few of the writers suggested Mussina post on Schilling’s blog. He smiled, I think.

    —Now I understand why you have “ruled out” the Yankees as a Free Agency destination. They truly hate you. I was at the game with two die-hard Yankee fans and they were both rooting FOR the no-no in the 9th.

  21. gcanceko permalink
    June 8, 2007 8:19 am

    Congrats on the one-hitter! It was a great game, great effort.

    AWESOME! We heard it in Vermont.

  22. b4andbeyond permalink
    June 8, 2007 9:11 am

    Come on Curt! Celebrate with us! We love to share your joy as well as the rest.

  23. happybooker99 permalink
    June 8, 2007 10:03 am

    Easier entry for the game on the 7th.

    “I didn’t suck. We won.”

    Nice job.

  24. pattijor permalink
    June 8, 2007 10:19 am

    CURT,

    YOU CHOKED. WHY OH WHY, AT 8 2/3 , WHEN IT’S ALL MENTAL, WOULD YOU NOT GO W/ THE SMARTEST CATCHER IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES? MY GRANDMOTHER COULD HAVE HIT THAT FASTBALL.

    I think Terry jinxed you when he warmed up Papelbon.

    What more do they need to offer you a deal? The fans love you. The blabber mouths on EEI and ESPN don’t speak for us.

  25. Brock Landers permalink
    June 8, 2007 11:57 am

    Sorry about the no no. I think even Yankee fans were rooting for it. Always a great piece of history when someone can perform that feat. Best of luck on the next go.

  26. believeagain07 permalink
    June 8, 2007 12:53 pm

    God Bless Curt Schilling, the pitching, control of the game, no walks, (no runs Red Sox – but, thanks again David O. , bless you), but I really was impressed by Curt Schilling, the man on the mound, did it – wanted it – he was totally psyched – only to end up with an exceptional game – WIN, and he cared more about the win than he did the no-hitter. My question to Curt is this – actually speaking – does that “hitter” really want to hit that ball – I would at 9 innings, 2 outs – absolutely strike out, i know that’s not right- BUT come on – you had a lifetime achievement – could he skip the freakin hit this time. Come on. I know – it’s a man thing, but oh my God, when he hit that – not just Red Sox Nation, but most of the world cried a tear for you – MAGNIFICENT 40-year-old MAJOR LEAGUE GREAT – HALL OF FAMER – MR CURT SCHILLING. It really was a perfect game as far as YOU were concerned.
    GREAT, GREAT, SPECTACULAR WORK CURT. SUPERB! Stat update to consider: had it not been for the error, the same batter would never have reached the plate to hit in the 9th. Hate to be a downer, but anywaz YOUR game was a PERFECT GAME and thank you so much from BASEBALL NATION. We all enjoyed and cheered IT and LIVED IT. SPECTACULAR PITCHING!!!!!!

  27. schillingsdivagirl permalink
    June 8, 2007 1:42 pm

    Curt,
    congrats on your win yesterday! I was able to see some of the afternoon game you gotta feel great today after yesterday’s outing! wow I was so thrilled for ya and you still rock on the mound!!! Looking forward to Josh tonight! congrats again!

  28. loisrgriswold permalink
    June 8, 2007 7:58 pm

    Dear Curt,
    Keep up the excellent work … enjoy your family, too. You are part of a wonderful TEAM and I’m proud of you and everyone on the TEAM…thank you to you Curt, and to all of “the boys” for every kindness to me…
    Lois (“Mom”)

  29. redsoxgirl07 permalink
    June 8, 2007 8:02 pm

    curt i watched u almost pitch a no hitter and wanted to congratulate you on a great game..good job curt!

  30. skinnyman2007 permalink
    June 8, 2007 9:24 pm

    Curt what do you think about the two draft picks the Red Sox made? Do you like the two draft picks the Red Sox made and why are they good draft picks?

    Jeff

  31. bish6364 permalink
    June 9, 2007 12:14 am

    Hi, Schill,
    Oh, Man, what a game!!! 40 years old indeed!!!
    You were brilliant and I loved every minute of it until that pitch. It was a heartbreaker, no doubt, but I was so worried about a sweep, that it was just so awesome to see you STOP the A’s. And stop them you did.

    You were the ultimate team player, staying focused on that one run margin and throwing like the ace you are. You got us out of Oakland with a win. It was feeling like the Bermuda Triangle in that park, and it was so nice to be in Arizona tonight!!! Great game tonight, obviously, and I was so happy to see Drew look so good and look like he really was a member of the team.

    You have such leadership impact, Curt, in the dugout, clubhouse or on the mound. That may sound corny, but I really think you make that kind of difference, even when someone else is pitching. I love how you race out of the dugout to congratulate everyone when you don’t even pitch.

    I wore my Schilling shirt during your game and prayed you would get us a win — thanks for coming through!!!

    See you at the ballpark on Tuesday, right behind home plate.
    MA

  32. historyfan permalink
    June 9, 2007 1:33 pm

    Curt, could you pass along to Tek that I think its safe to say that working ARod on the outside corner might not be a great idea.. He seems to have figured out how to handle that pretty well, but some of the down and in stuff tied him up in knots :)

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