Red Sox Short Hops: Game 4
Bullpen unable to keep it close after Wakefield departs
CLEVELAND -- Fielding Boston's 7-3 Game 4 loss to Cleveland on a short hop.In < 25 words ...
The Indians sent Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield to the showers in the fifth inning, and Boston's bullpen imploded upon his exit. Frozen moment
Indians second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera popped up in the fifth inning, sending a one-out offering from Wakefield into foul territory down the right-field line. Boston first baseman Kevin Youkilis tracked down the baseball, but he bobbled and then dropped it, giving Cabrera new life in the form of a harmless foul ball. Cabrera singled and the Indians cruised to a seven-run inning. Big number
3 -- Youkilis, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez connected for consecutive home runs for Boston in the sixth inning, only the second time in postseason history teammates went back-to-back-to-back. Game balls
Ramirez unloaded on a 3-2 pitch from Jensen Lewis in the sixth, sending the baseball rocketing over the center-field wall for a third straight homer for the Red Sox. Ramirez stood and admired the blast, which was his record 24th career postseason moonshot. Unfortunately for Boston, Ramirez's homer came too late.
Cleveland starter Paul Byrd spun five shutout innings before running into Youkilis in the sixth. Boston's first baseman lifted an 0-2 fastball from Byrd deep to left field for a home run to lead off the frame, marking Youkilis' first RBI of the series. Youkilis added a single in the third inning and he's hitting .400 (6-for-15) in the past four games.
For four innings, Boston manager Terry Francona looked like a genius for sticking with Wakefield as the Game 4 starter. Wakefield didn't allow a hit to the first 13 batters he faced and the knuckleballer turned in four shutout frames to open the game. In the fifth, Wakefield gave up a homer to Casey Blake, was charged with five runs on four hits, and was pulled after 4 2/3 innings.
Sense of October
Plenty of Boston fans have infiltrated Jacobs Field during this series against the Indians. The members of Red Sox Nation are most noticeable when Youkilis steps into the batter's box. The outnumbered Beantown backers bring a little taste of Fenway Park by bellowing out "Yooouuuuk!" every time the first baseman strolls to the plate.
4 AB, 1 H, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R
Comment: Ortiz continued his torried postseason pace and is now hitting .385 (5-for-13) in the past four contests.
1/3 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
Comment: The floodgates flew open when Delcarmen yielded a three-run homer to Cleveland's Jhonny Peralta in the fifth.
"We've got to win Thursday -- that's the bottom line. If we don't, we're going home. We've got the right guy on the mound that day and hopefully we can continue this in Boston."
The Red Sox will turn to their ace in a must-win Game 5 against the Indians on Thursday at The Jake. Boston right-hander Josh Beckett will square off against fellow American League Cy Young Award contender C.C. Sabathia.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.