Words really don't do justice to the experience of this game. So I'm going to tell the story of the Rangers-Sox contest on August 12th with as many pictures as possible.
Scott Feldman, starter for the Texas Rangers has an epically bad first inning inning, allowing 10 Runs, including two 3-run home runs by David Ortiz.
On the mound for the Sox was Charlie Zink, the 28-year-old knuckleballer who has spent six years in the minors. Zink was effective through four, giving up 2 runs in the second inning, while the Red Sox scored another 2 runs in the third, offering him a 12-2. Then the 5th inning came around...
The Rangers swarmed all over Zink. He gave up four doubles, two singles, and a wild pitch, retiring only one batter. So Tito turned to our trusty, stalwart middle relief corps of Javier Lopez and David Aarsdma. They got the final two outs, and it only cost us four more runs. Sox 12, Rangers 10.
Ortiz and Youk finished off the 5th with a bang, combining for two runs (Ortiz, Double, Youk, HR). Sox 14, Rangers 10. Sadly, Aarsdma had more gas in the tank, which he poured onto the inferno engulfing Fenway...
Starting the 6th, he gave up a walk, two singles, and a run, without retiring anyone. Aardsma's replacement, Manny Delcarmen, was almost as bad. By the end of the inning, it was Rangers 15, Sox 14.
Both teams added solo runs in the 7th. By the 8th it was Rangers 16, Sox 15. Hideki Okajima pitched a rare perfect inning (rare for the game, not for him). Still the Sox were trailing heading into the bottom of the inning. What would the combination of our 8, 9, and 1 hitters and Rangers reliever Frank Francisco produce?
Following Crisp's fly out, pinch hitter Jacoby Ellsbury walked. Drew flew out, but Dustin Pedroia crushed a double to left, scoring Tacoby. Rangers manager Ron Washington called for Ortiz to be intentionally walked, which made Youkilis' 2-out, 3-run home run all the more productive. 19-16 Sox.
The Rangers didn't go quietly. They squeezed across another run in the 9th off Jonathan Papelbon, but it was too little and too late. Sox win, 19-17.
Kevin Youkilis + David Ortiz = 4 HR, 1 Double, 11 Runs batted in.
If this game were a movie, the director would be Michael Bay and the entire budget would go to pyrotechnics. That said, the only thing keeping it down on the list was that nobody on our team, outside of Okajima-san, pitched well. Also, Zink's debut sucked, and he showed, at least to me, that he is never going to make it in the bigs. A game where you score 10 runs in the first inning should be an easy win, not a mortal struggle. Stay tuned for more of OTM's Top 10, and answer the poll!