Seventeen final thoughts after the Red Sox made it seven wins in the last eight games against the Indians at Fenway Park.
1. Indians manager Terry Francona was ready for the question on whether he considered intentionally walking David Ortiz in the fifth inning, when Ortiz hit a two-run home run to deep center field off right-hander Josh Tomlin that gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead.
2. “No,” Francona said. “I wanted to make sure we knew what we were going to do. Going into that at bat he was 0 for 10 (vs. Tomlin). I know what David can do and I’ve seen him do it. (Mike) Napoli hit the next ball off the wall. It’s hard to get them out.”
3. Tomlin said he was also aware of his career numbers vs. Ortiz. Pitching coach Mickey Callaway visited the mound before Ortiz batted and the infielders crowded around to make sure they knew the plan.
4. “It was a conversation of ‘We can get this guy. We can attack this guy, but attack him in a smart way,’” Tomlin said. “I made a mistake and great hitters like that make you pay.”
5. Tomlin said on his first pitch, a strike, he was “trying to get him conscious of the inside part of the plate and then go away. I made him conscious that first pitch, then tried to go away for a ball off the plate and it just kind of cut back over the middle of the plate and he put a good swing on it. That kind of changed the outlook of the game after that.”
6. Tomlin was by no means overconfident against Ortiz. “He’s still a good hitter. Just because I’ve had success against him in the past doesn’t mean I’m trying to go up there and just lollipop stuff in there and let him hit it,” Tomlin said. “I tried to make a quality pitch and just cut the ball off a little bit and it leaked back over the middle of the plate.”
7. Tomlin said his goal was to outlast Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester. But Tomlin departed after 5 2/3 innings, throwing 107 pitches and giving up four runs (three earned) on nine hits. Lester went 7 2/3 and allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits.
8. “As always he battled,” Francona said of Tomlin. “He made some mistakes over the plate that he paid for. They hit some balls hard at people that we made some pretty good plays, Carlos (Santana) turned a double play. But the mistakes he made, unfortunately he paid for them with runs. But he always battles. Because of getting deep in counts, you start getting up over 100 (pitches) in the fifth, sixth, you’re giving hitters a lot of looks, so you’ve got to be perfect.”
9. The Red Sox also benefited from some stellar plays by the outfielders. None was better than center fielder Bradley’s catch against the wall in the seventh inning on a ball hit by Michael Bourn. Bradley snagged it, then threw to first before Mike Aviles could get back to the bag for a inning-ending double play. Right fielder Grady Sizemore closed out the fifth inning when he jumped onto the short wall down the first base line to get a foul ball off the bat of Aviles.
10. “That was a heckuva play because he broke in. I didn’t think he had any chance to catch that ball,” Francona said of Bradley’s play. As for Sizemore’s, Francona said, ”That ball almost came back fair. He almost overran it. That’s a tough wall to play and he almost overran it.”
11. The Indians had a role for left-handed reliever Nick Hagadone, with the emphasis on had.
12. Francona said he thought it was “the perfect situation” for Hagadone when he brought him in in the sixth inning to relieve Tomlin. Jonathan Herrera was on third base with two out and the No. 9 hitter, left-handed batter Bradley was at bat. But Hagadone walked Bradley on four pitches, then gave up a two-run double to Brock Holt that sealed the Indians’ fate.
13. “It worked about as bad … that’s not how we drew it up,” Francona said.
14. Francona needs a reliever to pitch before Bryan Shaw and closer Cody Allen and he thought Hagadone could be the guy. In his first two appearances against the Red Sox after being called up from Triple-A Columbus on June 2, Hagadone struck out four in two innings. He got the win on June 3, pitching 1 1/3 innings and allowing one hit. But Friday at Texas he walked the only batter he faced. On Tuesday at Kansas City he faced three batters and allowed two hits, one a home run. Then came Thursday.
15. “You wanted him to build off what he had done in Triple-A and his first couple outings here because we need to find a way to get to Shaw and Cody,” Francona said. “We can’t pitch those guys every night that early. He walked Bradley and then ran the count full to Holt where he could get a good enough swing and hit that double.”
16. Hagadone was well aware of what he’d failed to do. Asked if he felt the same in his most recent outings, he said, “Not really. I think that shows. I haven’t gotten anybody out in like a week, so it’s obviously not the same.” When it was suggested that perhaps something had changed, with the implication it might be mechanical, Hagadone said, “If I had that answer I wouldn’t be pitching like this. I don’t know.”
17. Hagadone’s young daughter ran into his arms when he left the clubhouse, which surely put the night in perspective. But it’s not likely the Indians will give him many more chances -- if any -- at this point in the season.