Saturday, August 15, 2009

Did Francisco's Blown Save End Texas Rangers Playoff Hopes?

The Texas Rangers were in command! You could feel it in the air that once again they were going to take down the mighty Boston Red Sox. The stage was set and Rangers leading in the 9th with a score of 4-2 bring in Frank Francisco and you could just tell by his look or demeanor, just something about him that the 9th was going to end in disaster.

There was hit after hit after hit and the Red Sox scored one run, but still the Rangers seemed destined to win getting an out here and there, balls seemed to at least bounce their way like when Buchholz, a starting pitcher, that was brought in to pinch run because of his speed hesitated between second and third base when Texas left fielder David Murphy leaped to try to catch Pedroia’s drive at the wall.

Murphy hit Michael Young with a relay throw and Young’s relay beat a sliding Buchholz. The Red Sox ended up with runners at second and third, and that brought Victor Martinez to the plate for the Red Sox.

The Red Sox now trailing 4-3 were down to their last strike when Martinez ripped a pitch from Francisco into the right-field corner, scoring Ellsbury and Pedroia. Martinez said “I saw three pitches and finally got a fastball right down the middle and I got a good swing at it,”
Then the route was really on. Boston finished off Francisco with Jason Bay’s RBI single and an exclamation point when J.D. Drew blasted a two run homer.

Francisco (2-2), blew his third save in 19 chances, gave up seven hits and six runs. “I don’t want anyone at my locker so beat it,” Francisco said. It was the first time he’s allowed more than four hits or four runs in 203 major league appearances.

The Rangers when leading after eight innings at home had won 72 straight games. Dating back to September 2007.

Why oh why do we continue to put this guy back in the closers role? He has not proven himself effective since coming off the DL and now is not the time to give him a chance to work it out. I am not saying Francisco is a bad pitcher but right now, today, at this moment he is not a closer. He would make a good reliever where you have more control but he does not have that killer instinct that you need as a closer.

No one fears Frank Francisco.

The Boston Red Sox win extended their lead over Texas in the wild card to 1 1/2 games. What we have to hope is that the Rangers are not affected mentally by this loss! Games like this can change an entire season.

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