Gonzalez frustrated by non-call on 'quick pitch'

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Gonzalez frustrated by non-call on 'quick pitch'

BALTIMORE It was a rather fitting turn of events in the eighth inning when Adrian Gonzalez and Bobby Valentine were both ejected for complaining about a quick pitch thrown by Orioles reliever Pedro Strop.
Gonzalez grounded out to second base to lead off the eighth frame against Strop, and then started barking at home plate umpire Mike Everitt. Gonzalez put up his arms up and cameras caught him mouthing the words I wasnt ready to the ump as he trotted back to the dugout. It begs the question as to why Gonzalez swung at the pitch when he wasnt ready to hit, but he was ejected when he continued his argument from the dugout.
It was an emergency swing. It was like what happened? I just swung. I was shocked I even put it in play when it was coming in at 97 mph, said Gonzalez.
Bobby Valentine hopped up the dugout steps to take up the running dialogue with Everett, and the Sox skipper was also bounced by the home plate ump for what must have made for some interesting clubhouse conversation over the games final inning.
Valentine said that the quick pitch is a safety issue, and too many bad things could potentially happen when a guy throwing 97 mph lets loose on a batter that isnt ready in the batters box.
At the end of the day my job is to get on base and to start a rally, and that was taken away from me, said Gonzalez, who was also ejected in 2010 as a member of the Padres when he wouldnt leave home plate following a called third strike. I wouldnt say its dangerous, but he never even joined hands until he was ready to throw. If they say thats allowed then Ill never argue that, but the fact it was called a ball on Morales earlier in the year is what I was arguing.
I know I wasnt ready to hit. Thats what Im saying. I wasnt out of the batters box. But when I set up with the bat on my shoulder, and when the pitcher comes set I get in the position to hit. I was in a position where I wasnt ready to hit. They called that same play a ball on Morales earlier in the year. It needs to be universal and it cant be different with every individual.
It was a rough day for the Sox first baseman, who was fingered as one of the main culprits among a group of Red Sox players trying to undermine their manage before making a full and complete denial.
After the game Gonzalez said it was an issue of double standards. An umpire had ruled previously this season that Franklin Morales was guilty of a quick pitch and had called that pitch a ball. So the first baseman felt like that same rule should have worked in his teams favor this time around.
The reason they dont have a quick pitch is because its dangerous. Its the first time Ive seen it overused. If a hitter isnt ready and a pitch goes at his head, then hes not going to be able to get out of the way, said Valentine. Thats why they have the rule. I guess the batter has to step out of the box or drop his bat something.
With two strikes youve got to swing the bat for survival or leave it up to the umpire to ring you up with strike three. There are about seven guys that do it and Ive seen it called a ball a few times when its a no-pitch. If the hitter isnt ready then its a ball and its automatic.
So file the quick pitch as another bizarre chapter in the 2012 book of reasons and excuses as to why the Sox ended up on the losing end of the stick.

McAdam: Price not exactly hitting stride with postseason on horizon

McAdam: Price not exactly hitting stride with postseason on horizon

NEW YORK -- The division title was there for the taking Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. When you've won 11 straight and steamrolled every other team in the division, what's one more?

One too many, apparently.

The Red Sox' 6-4 defeat to the New York Yankees postponed the Champagne party for at least one night. In and of itself, that's not a huge concern. The Sox' magic number remains one with five games to play and the club's epic hot streak had to come to an end eventually.

A better night by either David -- Ortiz or Price -- might have resulted in corks popping and on-field celebrations.

Ortiz was 0-for-5 and stranded a total of seven baserunners. When he came to the plate in the top of the ninth against Tyler Clippard with two outs and two on, it almost seemed scripted.

Here was Ortiz in his final Yankee Stadium series, about to inflict one final bit of misery on the rival Yankees with a three-run homer in the top of the ninth.

Talk about drama. Talk about one more famous, final scene.

Alas, Ortiz took some feeble swings and swung through strike three for the final out. Not even Ortiz, for all his clutch performances, can conjure a game-winner on-demand every time.

A far bigger concern was the work of Price. Perhaps the best thing than can be said of him for now is that he almost certainly will not have to face the Yankees again this season, against whom he's compiled a gaudy 7.89 ERA this season.

More troubling, though, is that Price is not exactly hitting his stride as the postseason appears on the near horizon. In his last three starts combined, Price has pitched 19 1/3 innings and allowed 27 hits and 14 runs.

That isn't the line of someone at peak form at the right time. To the contrary, after a run of outings in which it again appeared Price had figured everything out, he's regressed in his last three.

Most troubling Tuesday was a repeated inability to turn back the Yankees after his team had pulled close on the scoreboard.

Price spotted the Yankees a 3-0 lead, and the Sox finally scored twice in the top of the 6th to close within one at 3-2. But Price quickly gave anther run back in the bottom of the inning.

Then the Sox scored two more times in the seventh to tie things at 4-4. . . but Price gave the two runs right back in the bottom of the inning.

"Very frustrating,'' sighed Price. "It's something I talk about all the time. It's a very big deal. And it's something I feel like I've struggled with this entire year. Whenever you're going good, it's something you're doing very well. And whenever you're going bad...you get a lead, give it right back. . . that's tough.''

It also doesn't portend well for the postseason, where Price, as you may have heard, has a spotty track record.

With some strong starts in the final few weeks, he could have reached the playoffs with both momentum and confidence.

Instead, he's got one more start -- Sunday -- to straighten things out.

Ortiz? His postseason bona fides are set.

Price, meanwhile, has no such reservoir of success upon which to draw. And starts like Tuesday's only reinforce the doubts.

 

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz goes 0-for-5 in loss to Yankees

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz goes 0-for-5 in loss to Yankees

NEW YORK -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Yankees:

 

QUOTES:

"I went 0-for-5 today, so I ain't got (anything) to talk about.'' - David Ortiz after turning around and seeing a small army of reporters waiting for him in front of his locker.

"To have a chance to clinch the division for us here (and come up sort), it's not acceptable. If my offense scores me four runs, I feel like I should be able to go out there and win.'' - David Price.

"The bottom line story to this one was (Price) mislocating within the strike zone.'' - John Farrell.

 

NOTES:

* Boston's season-best 11-game win streak was snapped with the loss.

* David Price took his first loss since Aug. 7.

* Price is 1-3 with a 7.89 ERA against the Yankees this season.

* Aaron Hill contributed his first pinch-hit homer in his career.

* Mookie Betts saw his streak of reaching base in 38 straight road games stopped.

* Dustin Pedroia posted his third straight multi-hit game.

* For the 20th time this season, Xander Bogaerts enjoyed a three-hit game.

* In his last 12 games, Andrew Benintendi has eight extra-base hits.

* Hill's pinch-hit homer was the third by the Red Sox this month.

 

STARS:

1) Tyler Austin

The rookie first baseman snapped a 4-4 tie in the seventh with a two-run homer and also added two more hits in three at-bats.

2) Gary Sanchez

The first-year catcher continues to amaze, hitting his 20th homer in only his 51st game, sending the Yanks out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning.

3) Luis Cessa

Cessa took a big step forward from his last start against the Red Sox by keeping them scoreless through the first five innings before allowing two runs in the sixth.