NOTE: This was an interesting experiment in liveblogging by only using a partially-updated box score and info that could be found on the internets. While diverting in its own way, this experiment is not likely to be repeated. D’oh.

So, my UmpBumping friends, I’m sitting here in my cube refreshing the box score of this Mets-Red Sox spring training game, and despite my own low expectations, I’m starting to get pretty excited.

Johan Santana has struck out 4 in 3 innings of work and has allowed two hits.

Jon Lester has struck out 4 in 2 and a third, and has walked one and allowed one hit.

The game is scoreless. As stuff happens, I’ll update.

Looks like the one hit the Red Sox have managed to get off Santana is from Ellsbury. I’m glad about that, because Ellsbury got off to a slow start this spring—his 1 for 16 drought sending Red Sox Nation into a premature tizzy—but showed signs of life on Saturday, going three-for-five with a round tripper. I hope today’s hit off Santana is evidence that the slump is truly banished.

And Lester logs a fifth strikout! Hottttt.

Okay, Santana just gave up his second hit—to Red Sox minor league OF Chris Carter.

Well, so much for that. Santana has come out after 4 full IP. Boo! I wanted my pitchers’ duel!

The game is scoreless in the bottom of the fifth. I know it doesn’t reeeaaally matter, but I’d like the Red Sox to win this one. They haven’t done well this spring, and I’d like them to start the season strong. They’ve left 8 men on base today (the Mets helping them out with an error), though, so that’s not a good sign.

Here’s the injury report for both teams:

Carlos Beltran is playing his first spring game for the Mets today after offseason surgery on both knees. Carlos Delgado is also back in the lineup after a hip problem.

As for other Red Sox injuries, Coco Crisp remains out with a left groin issue, and Julio Lugo may be out longer than expected with his sore back. Lugo was examined Sunday by Dr. Thomas Gill and he needs a few more days, according to Terry Francona.

Carter and Ellsbury now have two hits apiece—the rest of the Sox lineup, nada. The Sox have now left 10 men on base, according to the box score I’m reading, but even with the error by the Mets, I am not quite sure how that is possible. The Mets have given up no walks. I hate stupid online game widgets!!! I want to be sitting at home on the couch, watching this on telly.

Lester has also come out, also after 4 IP. Okajima is in.

Oh, okay. I’m a dumbass. This widget isn’t adding up the total men left on base—it’s adding up how many men were left on base by each hitter. So if there are two on and no out, and the next three guys all go down swinging, that is being counted as six LOB. That’s not how my daddy taught me to fill out my scorecard, but okay.

Okajima threw a scoreless inning. No hits, no walks, no K’s.

One thing to watch this year with Lester is his walk rate. In 2006, he threw 81.3 innings in the majors and walked 43 guys. In 07, he threw 63.0 regular-season innings and walked 31 guys. Those rates are way too high—he’s walking a guy every other inning! It was no different in the postseason—9.1 innings of work and four walks. Lester does strike out plenty of guys (he had 8 in the postseason, while his ’06 K/9 of 6.64 improved last year to 7.14), but as long as he keeps issuing free passes, he won’t post the sort of healthy K/BB rate he needs to be the pitcher he can be. Obviously, today’s 5K, 1BB performance is just one good day at the office, but it’s a hopeful sign for Sox fans.

Looks like Okajima threw in a second inning of good work—a strikeout and one hit. Still scoreless!

So far the only Mets to get any hits are Brady Clark and David Wright. This means that of the 26 players from both teams to come to the plate, only four have done any hitting in this game.

After two innings of work, Wise is out. Feliciano is in for the Mets.

Port St. Lucie seems to have been invaded by Sox-loving snowbirds:

The Mets are expecting a record crowd for Monday afternoon’s game against the World Series Champions. All the seats are taken and all the tables by the Island Girl Tiki Bar have been sold. No room on the grass berm, either, and I’d venture to say that Mets fans are going to be grossly outnumbered. The only space might be for wheelchairs, I was told, so good luck with that.

In his first day back from injury, Carlos Delgado had two at-bats and two strikeouts. Also coming back today was Carlos Beltran. In two at-bats, he left two men on base.

Feliciano turned in an inning of scoreless work. In the bottom of the seventh, this game is still goose eggs, folks!

Javier Lopez is now pitching for Boston. He’s a debonair lefty who is not to be confused with that “other” Javy Lopez. It was occasionally confusing when both were briefly on the Sox.

Lopez struck out one and gave up one hit in one inning of work. The Mets and Red Sox now each have four hits.

Boston seems to be leaving their lineup mostly intact—Kottaras came in for Varitek after the Captain got three at-bats, but that’s it. The Mets, by contrast, have used 16 players so far—and took out one shortstop named Reyes for another shortstop named Reyes! How many of those guys do they have hidden away in Queens?

Collazo pitching for New York, and the Mets have just made their second error of the game.

And Paul and I are not the only freaks in the baseball-loving world! Jessica at MVN is also live-blogging this game. Hooah! She has the edge, because she’s actually watching the game, whereas I am just pretending to watch it by keeping my eye on the updating-every-30-seconds box score. I suppose if I stare at the pattern on my cubicle wall long enough, 3-D ballplayers might emerge…

The error doesn’t hurt New York, as it’s now the bottom of the 8th and it’s still scoreless. It’s beginning to look like this game may end in a tie. I hate ties.

Here’s what Jessica, with her eyes and her TV, had to say about Lester’s form:

Jon Lester is starting for the Red Sox this afternoon, and he looks pretty nasty so far. Good slider, hitting 91 on the notoriously slow SNY spring-training gun.

Hot. Tttt.

Though apparently, according to Jessica, with her ears, the ST announcers are just as dumb as the regular season ones:

Keith, Gary and Kevin are discussing the idea that the Red Sox offer for Santana was still on the table when Minnesota traded him to the Mets.

Of course it was still technically on the table. The Red Sox FO wasn’t dumb like the Yankees, setting arbitrary deadlines and pulling away like some petty coquette.

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah nothing is happening?! Why is the box score not refreshing?! Jessica’s now gone quiet on me, too. Does this mean something exciting is going on? Does this mean something is happening that I, trapped in this gray box, cannot see?!?!

GAAAAH THE ANSWER WAS YES! Mets score 1 run.

This is pathetic. I had a premonition when I read earlier that Craig Hansen was going to be available for this game that he would be the weak link. Hansen came in and promptly gave up what looks to be a solo home run. One hit, one run, one earned run. That’s gotta be an HR, right?*

For what it’s worth, Craig Stupidhead Hansen also got a K. Thanks for nuthin! Random note: this is the prospect who was supposed to be our new closer. Once he was “ready,” Paps was supposed to go back to the rotation. But in light of Papelbon’s transient subluxation and stated desire to close, the Sox FO started to hope Hansen could be a set-up man. For my money, I’m glad we have Okajima. Now it’s true that the 6’5″ righty is only 24, but still…we’ve been waiting for this guy to be “ready” for nearly three years now.

Stokes now pitching for the Mets.

Other stuff: one DP in the game, coming off of the bat of Beltran and ending up in the glove of Ginter (who?!), who tossed it to Cora, and thence to Youkilis. Not a good day for the big boppers in the Mets lineup.

RUN FOR THE RED SOX! Looks line another solo homer, off of Stokes this time. Aaaaand we’re all knotted up at 1.

Wait, wait, I was wrong. I don’t think it was a solo homer. Looks like Kottaras got a hit and then a pinch runner came in—guy by the name of Khoury. Him I’ve heard of, at least. But so far, the box score hasn’t updated enough for me to know how Khoury got home. Why can’t they just update the whole thing at once?!

After 4 ABs, Ellsbury comes out. And Carter came out for Thurston, previously. So it looks like the Red Sox are going to their Spring Training rotisserie roster at last. Jed Lowrie, a Sox prospect who may make his MLB debut this year if Lugo struggles or gets hurt, went 0 for 4. Box score is showing that he got picked off at first base, too—maybe he got on by one of those errors?—so it’s not a good day for the kid.

Oh, and in case you are curious—the Mets’ errors were made by Clark and Murphy.

And yet again, my ever-updating page is giving me nothing. I will keep my fingers crossed. This will make it hard to type.

Meanwhile, this just in—Red Sox ace Josh Beckett is now unsure if he’ll be ready by Opening Day. Oh, brother.

Sox end the inning leaving another man on base. As far as I can tell, they must have sac-flied Khoury home because I can see no evidence of him advancing in the rest of the box score. I’ve never tried to liveblog just by box score before, and I have to say, this may be the last time I do so.

Breslow pitching for the Sox. Gives up a walk.

Ah, okay, I see it now—it was Moss who sac-flied Khoury home. No clue how he got to third, though.

Breslow gets out of the inning. Can it be—are we really going to the top of the 10th? In spring training?!

Seems to be that we’ve now gone through the bottom of the 10th too, with a guy named Gronkiewicz pitching for Boston. Curiouser and curiouser.

And, okay, I guess the game is over for real this time….oddly unsatisfying. Anyway, thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you again when the games matter!

* Wrong:

After seven innings of futility against Red Sox pitching, the Mets finally broke through when infielder Argenis Reyes hit a ground ball just softly enough to score Angel Pagan from third base. Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado, each returning from injury, finished a combined 0-for-5.

5 Responses to “Surreptitious Red Sox-Mets liveblogging”

  1. Paul Moro says:

    Sarah, I’ve never seen anyone live blog a Spring Training game. I’d make fun of you, but I’m reading it intently. So… What does that say about us?

  2. Sarah Green says:

    It says: we are baseball-loving freaks! But that’s okay. UmpBump is a nurturing, welcoming place for people like us.

  3. I’m one of the crazies enjoying this liveblogging. I am surreptitiously hitting F5 as much as possible.

  4. Nice work, between you and Jessica, I can follow my Mets without having to see it through the Prism of Jerry Remdog , Joe Castiglione or any other member of pink hat nation.

    Go Mets and keep up the good work

  5. Sarah Green says:

    Frank, I hate to break it to you, but I am a Red Sox fan. I wear a jungle camo hat, though.

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