During last night’s 15-inning endurance test at Yankee Stadium, there appeared to be a chance that, at the very least, Red Sox skipper Terry Francona was going to have to figure out which position player he would have had to turn to. The NEW YORK TIMES reports that players such as Evan Longoria and game MVP J.D. Drew were ready to hit the mound.
(Not like he didn’t earn the MVP, but pitching would be icing.)
The AL manager had promised the Devil Rays that Scott Kazmir was not going to be overworked; in fact, he didn’t want to use Kazmir at all.
But Francona burned through all his position subs by the 9th inning and his last pitcher prior to Kazmir was Orioles closer George Sherrill, who threw three innings of shutout ball. Kazmir wound up having to throw 14 pitches to get through the top of the 15th, but it’s fairly clear he would have been finished after that.
Drew said he could tell that Francona and his staff were struggling with their pitching options as the game went on. Longoria said he would have been a natural choice, because he was already in the designated hitter’s spot. And Drew would have raised no objections if Francona had asked.
“If he would have told me to do it, that’s what I would have done,” said Drew, who was named most valuable player for going 2 for 4 with a two-run homer. “I would have thrown some stuff up there. I got a little sneaky stuff here and there. I don’t know if I would have got anybody out, but ….”
Rockies manager Clint Hurdle did a better job managing the arms stockpile for the NL, having three arms available to the end, when Brad Lidge gave up the winning sac fly. Sadly, Hurdle’s quality handling of the pen denied us the amusing possibility of seeing if Dan Uggla could botch the game in another manner.