Terry Francona didn't exactly give Ramon Ramirez favorable circumstances when he summoned him from the Fenway Park bullpen for the first time. Ramirez is far, far better against righties than lefties -- righties have hit .198 off him in his career, while lefties hit .283 -- and Francona called on him to face Akinori Iwamura (lefty), Jason Bartlett (righty) and Carl Crawford (lefty).
Predictably, Ramirez looked sensational against Bartlett and serviceable against the other two. Iwamura flied to center and Crawford flied to right; Bartlett, on the other hand, looked silly swinging at a 94-mile-an-hour fastball at his eyes.
(Here's the dilemma: Do we make it sound more dramatic by pointing out that he struck out the Most Valuable Player of the American League champions, or do we make it sound less dramatic by pointing out that Bartlett isn't, at all, in any way, a good hitter?)
Jason Varitek sure is hitting the ball hard tonight, isn't he?
Give Bob Davidson points for consistency. If the pitch doesn't hit the dirt, he's not going to call it low. It's like he gets bonus points sfor degree of difficulty. (As in: It's more difficult to call a strike if it isn't really a strike.)
Jed Lowrie just struck out on a pitch below his knees -- just like Jason Bay did in the sixth and just like David Ortiz did in the third. At a certain point, the Red Sox have to make that adjustment, don't they?