Chess Match: Moves loom large
Francona's decision to walk Torii to face Vlad bites Boston
BOSTON -- Every gripping game invites review and managerial decisions.Red Sox manager Terry Francona made the biggest decision of the game in the ninth inning in a 7-6 loss to Angels in Game 3 on Sunday afternoon. This is Boston. This is a decision they'll be reviewing for a while.
The intentional walk
The situation: Bottom of the ninth. Two outs. Runners at second and third. Red Sox lead, 6-5. Need one more out. Torii Hunter up. Vladimir Guerrero on deck. Jonathan Papelbon on the mound.
The outcome: Guerrero lined a single to center to drive home two runs and give the Angels the lead.
The analysis: "It's tough to walk the bases loaded. But Pap throws strikes and he had had a lot of success against Guerrero." -- Francona
The situation: Angels outfielder Juan Rivera lined a two-run single with two out in the bottom of the eighth off Papelbon, making it a 5-4 game.
The analysis: "I thought throughout the whole game we did a good job of trying to put pressure on them offensively. -- Scioscia
Bringing in Bard
The situation: Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz, holding a 5-1 lead, loaded the bases in the top of the sixth when Hunter led off with a double, Guerrero reached on an infield single and Kendry Morales walked.
The outcome: Bard, after running the count full, got Rivera to hit a grounder to third baseman Mike Lowell that was turned into a double play. A run scored but Bard then retired Maicer Izturis on a popup to shortstop to end the inning.
The analysis: "I thought Buchholz pitched very well. I thought that inning he started thinking about some other things. It was probably time to get him out of there. Bard came in there and did a great job, limiting the damage." -- Francona
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.