5.31.11 Pawtucket Red Sox v Norfolk Tides - Not much will come easy

Pawtucket wins 5-4 in 11 innings. Tides righty reliever Todd Worrell takes the loss, blowing the save and giving up the game winning hit to Tony Thomas.

Starting for Pawtucket last night was former Angels ace John Lackey. Lackey pitched his way into the sixth inning, giving up one run (a home run by center fielder Matt Angle) on three hits. Lackey threw a lot of strikes, got some strikeouts, didn't walk anyone. He was replaced in the sixth by Brandon Duckworth, who's normally great but not last night. Duckworth's first opponent was Brandon Snyder, who singled. Not a huge concern with two outs, but Josh Bell got a hold of one right after that, home run. POW. Tie game.

Tides starter Michael Ballard pitched seven innings. Pawtucket didn't get to him until the fourth, when Luis Exposito hit a two-run homer. The Red Sox scored their third run off the handsome lefty in the fifth inning, thanks to Lin and Thomas getting on base for a productive groundout by Darnell McDonald, who is never a visitor in his own home.

Ballard's eighth inning replacement was the classic Alberto Castillo. Castillo was great, three scoreless innings with no hits. Castillo struck out four batters, too. Things did not look good for the Pawtuckets and I did not think they could win.

Top of the 11th, Duckworth still going. Matt Angle, being a dick, led things off with a double to left, where Matt Sheely was fielding. Well, I don't know what happened but next thing I know Sheely's being removed from the game. Poor Matt Sheely, who never said anything bad about anyone and just wants to play ball and be happy. What did you do, Matt Angle?

Enter Nate Spears, who I hope gave Angle a dirty look on his way to the outfield. Left fielder Tyler Henson hit a ground ball and reached on a fielder's choice. Somehow, Matt Angle was safe at third, although it looked pretty close. Damn it! First baseman Brandon Snyder hit an RBI single, Tides pull ahead 4-3, son of a bitch.

So finally Hideki Okajima enters the game and you know he's a roughneck. Okajima dispatched the next three dudes and that's still cool, even if it's triple-A. I wish he would stay on the PawSox forever. I should want to cook Okajima a simple dinner if he truly accepts the offer, but not if I sense that he accepts it telepathically.

Eleventh inning and Daniel Nava got the devil in him. What's this? A home run? Tied again! Dlugach singled and Luis Exposito grounded into a double play... No, he didn't! Error by Nick Green at second! Two on and no outs!

Jose Iglesias, bless his heart, moved everyone over with a sac bunt. I thought Nate Spears would do something dazzling, but of course he got the IBB. Lin flew out and it really looked like the game would continue and ultimately end in a loss, but Tony Thomas is stuffed with offensive surprises. Thomas lined to left. Dlugach scores. Everyone was happy, running. Walk-off wins are the sweetest dessert.

Okajima gets the win for Pawtucket, not like he cares.

i guess i won't sleep:
1. Tony Thomas, 3-6 last night. Darnell McDonald was hit by a pitch. For Norfolk, Brandon Snyder went 3-5. Rhyne Hughes struck out four times.
2. Michael Ballard's a local guy, probably enjoys HRT. His story is Human Interest! Heartwarming!
3. "With Coello dfa'd, here's Tony Thomas line for Pawtucket:

2011 24 Pawtucket IL AAA BOS 40 162 141 .213 .296 .390 .686

Universal Entropy, nothing accomplished...and then there was the cold vacuum of empty space." - posted by "Cubster" on 'The Cub Reporter'

Tonight! Kevin Millwood. Hang on... This is crazy. Kevin Millwood is going to the Pawtucket Red Sox' starting pitcher tonight. I am sorry that I will have to miss this, because it's REALLY WEIRD. Kevin Millwood, of all things.

Oh, wait, one more thing. In the eleventh inning, when Tony Thomas was at-bat with two outs and the bases loaded, Ronald Bermudez was on deck. WHY?! There was no chance of him getting an at-bat in the inning, because Thomas was either going to get the final out or a walk-off win. Was it just a formality? Can someone figure this out and get back to me?


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