I'm getting prepped to watch the first game of the series. TV coverage begins at 7:00pm on NipponTV (channel 4 in Tokyo). Perhaps I'll live blog this game as I watch. If I do, I'll do it through this entry...
7:01pm: Here we go... Shots of Matsuzaka throwing in the bullpen. I think the opening title mentioned something about "The Monster" adding a new page to history. I'm DVR'ing the game so I can go back and get the actual title they used later. Needless to say, the English was pretty bad...
7:05pm: Former Japanese PM Mori Yoshiro threw out the first pitch.
7:07pm: Ex-Mariner Shigetoshi Hasegawa is in the booth as a guest commentator...
7:08pm: 27-year-old righty Joe Blanton on the mound warming for the A's...
7:10pm: (Top 1st) First pitch hits the inner lower portion of the strike zone. Catcher throws the ball over to the Oakland dugout. Game is officially underway. Pedroia takes the second pitch up the middle for a single. Youklis into the box. Hot shot to third, bobbled, throw to first... ...in time, Pedroia to second. Ortiz digs in with a runner on second and one out... High pop towards third... Grabbed by Hannahan for the second out of the inning. Ramirez now batting. High fly ball down the right field line... ...caught by Buck in foul territory.
7:17pm: (Bottom 1st) Matsuzaka warming... Buck steps in against Matsuzaka... First pitch swinging... ...grounder to second, toss to first, one out. 1 pitch, 1 out. Looked like a fastball down. Ellis steps in... Second pitch, fastball swung on and drilled to left center... Going, going, gone! Ellis with a solo shot. Matsuzaka's pitches look pretty flat right now... Barton in the box now.. First two pitches were out of the zone and in. Looks like he's overthrowing a bit now... Barton ends up taking a walk on 5 pitches. 1 out, man on first, Cust to the plate. So far, 10 pitches and only three for strikes. Cust works the count to 2-2 and gets hit in the foot. 1 out, men on first and second. Brown now up to bat. Matsuzaka continues to have trouble throwing the ball. Wild pitch by Matsuzaka advances the runners... 1 out, men on second and third. Brown takes the count to 3-1... ...Ball 4, bases are now loaded for Crosby. 20 pitches, 7 for strikes. 1-2 pitch to Crosby... ... Oh... Outside corner looked good, but 2-2... Weak dribbler toward third... Matsuzaka comes in and grabs the ball bare-handed, throw to first... Out at first. Nice play by Matsuzaka. Barton scores, men on second and third, 2 outs. Hannahan now up to bat... 3-2 count... Foul tip in the Varitek's glove, strike 3. 30 pitches for Matsuzaka...
End of the first, Oakland up 2-0.
7:35pm (Top 2nd): Lowell gets on with a single. Moss up to bat. He hits a bounder up the middle, grabbed by Ellis, flip to Crobsy, no throw to first. 1 out. Varitek to the box. 92mph fastball from Blanton in for a strike... Varitek grounder to short, throw over to Ellis, on to first, double play. End of the inning.
7:41pm (Bot 2nd): first pitch swinging, single for Suzuki. Sweeney into the box. Sweeney skies it to right... Caught by Moss for the first out. Buck steps in, runner on first, 1 out. 3-2 count... Suzuki running... Swung on and missed, throw down to second... Throw goes high, not in time. Ellis in the box, 2 outs with a runner on second. 0-2 pitch... Way outside. 46 pitches, 24 for strikes. 1-2 pitch... Bouncer in the dirt, blocked by Varitek. 2-2 pitch, way outside. 3-2 pitch... Ball 4, Ellis to first. Runners on first and second with 2 out. Barton up to bat. 52 pitches, 25 for strikes. 3-1 pitch... Fouled to right. 3-2 pitch... Low, ball 4. Bases are juiced for Cust. Mound visit by Farrell... Down the pipe, strike 1. 0-1 pitch... Takes something off, swung on and missed. 0-2 pitch... Change up... Looked like a strike, but called a ball. 1-2 pitch... Fouled away. 59 pitches, 29 strikes. 1-2 pitch... Nips the inside corner, strike three! Cust leaves the bases loaded.
7:55pm (Top 3rd): Ellsbury into the box... Strike three, caught looking. Blanton seems to have good control of his pitches right now. Lugo up to bat... First pitch swinging... Dunks into center for a single. Pedroia now up to bat. Skied to right-center... Caught by Sweeney. 2 outs. Youkilis steps into the box. 3-1 to Youkilis... Hot shot to third... Hannahan dives, makes the grab, throw to first... SAFE! Runner on first and second, 2 out, Ortiz up to bat. 1-1 pitch... Sails high, ball 2. Blanton appears to be overthrowing a bit. 1-2 pitch... Nailed... But the infield shift is on, Ellis is right there, grabs the ball on one bound, throws to first, inning over.
8:12pm (Bot 3rd): Brown into the box... First pitch swinging, popped to the infield, grabbed by Youkilis. One out. Crosby now batting. 1-2 pitch... Broken bat, come backer to the mound... Fielded cleanly by Matsuzaka, throw to first, 2 outs. 5 pitches, 2 outs. Hannahan to the plate. 3-2 pitch... 91mph fastball fouled away... 3-1 pitch... Low, ball four. Suzuki up to bat. 2-0 pitch... 74 pitches, 37 strikes. Lined to short... Leaping grab by Lugo for the third out of the inning.
8:20pm (Top 4th): Ramirez into the box... 2-1 pitch... Skied to right, caught by Buck, 1 down. Lowell to the plate. 3-2 pitch... Drilled to center... Sweeney backing up... Makes the catch, 2 outs. Moss up to bat... ...hits a grounder to first, Barton grabs it, steps on the bag, 3 outs, end of the inning.
8:27pm (Bot 4th): Sweeney up to bat... 2-0 pitch... High fly ball hit to left... Caught by Ramirez, 1 down. Some movement in the pen... Snyder is warming in the pen. Buck batting... 0-2 pitch... Strike three, catches the upper portion of the zone. 2 outs. Ellis now batting... 0-1 pitch... Broken bat grounder to second, throw over to first, three outs, end of the inning.
8:33pm (Top 5th): Varitek into the box... 1-2 pitch... Swung on and missed, strike three. 1 out. Ellsbury now batting. 3-2 pitch... Grounder to first, toss to Blanton, 2 outs. Lugo now at the plate. 1-1 pitch... Jammed inside, grounder to short, throw over to first, 3 outs. End of the inning.
8:41pm (Bot 5th): Barton into the box... 1-2 pitch... Swung on and missed, strike three. 1 out. Cust now batting. 1-2 pitch... 90 pitches, 49 strikes... Low and away, ball 2. 2-2 pitch, swung on and missed, strike 3. 2 outs. Brown steps into the box. 2-0 pitch... Hot shot to third, picked by Lowell, throw to first, in time. 3 outs, end of the inning. 95 pitches for Matsuzaka.
8:49pm (Top 6th): Pedroia into the box... 2-1 pitch... Drilled to right... Buck jumps, can't make the grab... Ball hits off the wall, Pedroia into second with a double. Youkilis steps into the box... 3-0 pitch... Ball 4, Youkilis to first. Runners on first and second, no out. Ortiz up to bat. First pitch, ball. Visit to the mound by Young. 1-0 pitch... Low, ball 2. 2-0 pitch, fouled away. 2-1 pitch, drilled foul. 2-2 pitch, bounced in the dirt. 3-2 pitch, grounded foul. 3-2 pitch, high fly ball in foul territory... Hannahan grabs it, 1 out. Manny now batting. First pitch swinging... Hammered down the left field line... Pedroia and Youkilis score... Manny to second. Game tied, 2 all. Lowell now batting... 3-2 pitch... Swung on and missed. 2 outs. Moss batting... Single to right, Manny scores. Moss to second on the throw home. Blanton is being lifted - 95 pitches, 58 strikes. Red Sox up, 3-2.
9:04pm: Embree in... Varitek into the box... 0-2 pitch... Wow... Looked like strike three on the inside corner, but apparently is was wide. 3-2 pitch... Check swing, foul-tip into the catcher's glove, strike 3. Inning over.
Red Sox score 3 runs to take the lead.
9:10pm (Bot 6th): Snyder is now pitching for the Red Sox... Crosby into the box... 1-1 pitch... Bounder up the middle for a single. Runner on first, no out. Hannahan now batting. 1-0 pitch... Deep fly to right... Going, going... It's outta here! Hannahan drills a 1-0 pitch for a 2-run homer. Oakland re-takes the lead, 4-3. Suzuki at the plate. 0-2 pitch... Swung on and tipped into Varitek's glove, strike 3. 1 out... Sweeney now batting. First pitch swinging, broken bat grounder to second, throw over to Youkilis, 2 outs. Buck steps in. 3-1 pitch... High pop up... Caught for the third out. Inning over.
Oakland scores 2 runs to re-gain the lead.
9:19pm (Top 7th): Embree still pitching... Ellsbury steps in... 1-2 pitch... 94mph fastball lined over the shortstop... Runner on first, no out. Lugo now batting. Grounder to Ellis, throw over to Crosby, on to first, double play. Pedroia up to bat. 0-1 pitch... Chopper back to the mound, Embree fields, fires... Out at first. 3 up, 3 down.
9:26pm (Bot 7th): A peak into the NESN and ESPN booths... Ellis into the batters box. 1-0 pitch... Skied to deep center... Caught by Ellsbury for the first out. Francona to the mound and hooks Snyder. Lopez jogs in...
9:30pm: Barton up to bat. 1-1 count... Lined to first, caught by Youkilis for the second out of the inning. Foulke warming in the Oakland bullpen. Cust now batting. 3-2 pitch... Hits the corner low and away, strike 3. Inning over.
9:35pm (Top 8th): Foulke is in. Youkilis in the box. 1-2 pitch... Drilled to center... Sweeney retreats... Makes the grab for the first out. Ortiz now up to bat. 3-2 pitch... Fly ball to left field, caught by Brown, 2 outs. Manny into the box. 2-2 pitch... On the outside corner, strike 3. Inning over.
9:45pm (Bot 8th): Street warming in the pen for Oakland. Ex-Yomiuri Giant Corey on the mound for the Red Sox. Brown batting. 2-1 pitch... Hit to deep center... Ellsbury leaps... And makes the catch! 1 out. Crosby now up to bat. 1-2 pitch... Hit into the ground in front of home... Varitek grabs the ball, throws to first, in time for the second out of the inning. Hannahan steps in... First pitch swinging... Back to the mound, fielded by Corey, throw over to first in time... Inning over.
9:52pm (Top 9th): Okajima warming in the pen for the Red Sox. Street in for Oakland. Lowell up to bat. 1-0 pitch. Skied to center, Sweeney comes in and makes the play, 1 out. Mos into the box. 2-2 pitch... Fly to right... Back goes Buck... Looking up... Homerun Moss! Scored tied at 4. Varitek up to bat. 2-2 pitch... Swung on and missed, strike 3. 2 outs. Ellsbury now batting. 1-0 pitch... Drilled down the right field line... Foul. 1-1 pitch... Fly to left, caught by Brown for the final out of the inning.
The Red Sox score a run to the knot the game up at 4.
10:00pm (Bot 9th): No commercial break. Okajima in for the Red Sox... Crowd is going crazy. Warming up on the mound...
10:03pm: Suzuki at the plate. First pitch... In for a strike. 0-1 pitch... Swung on and missed. 0-2 pitch... Chopped foul. 0-2 pitch... Low. 1-2 pitch... Fastball swung on and missed, strike three. 1 out. Pinch hitter Mike Sweeney now batting. 3-0 pitch... Low and outside, ball 4. Sweeney to first, 1 out. Pinch runner Fiorentino in for Sweeney. Buck to the plate. 1-2 pitch... Skied to center... Ellsbury drifting back and makes the catch at the lip of the warning track. Ellis is now up to bat. 3-2 pitch... Bounder back up the box... Okajima fields, throws to first, 3 outs. Inning over.
uh-oh... The announcers just mentioned that they intend to break the broadcast at 10:30pm...
10:17pm (Top 10th): Lugo leads off the inning... 1-2 pitch... Grounder to right, fielded by Hannahan, throw over to first... Barton can't picked it, Lugo safe at first. Pedroia up to bat. Bunt towards first... Barton fields, tosses to first, 1 out, Lugo to second. Youkilis is now batting. 1-2 pitch...
Gah! And they end the broadcast...
11:01pm: Just saw the news... Manny with the game-winning RBI in the top of the 10th when he drilled a 2-run double to center. Oakland managed to score a run in their half of the 10th, but Suzuki couldn't keept he rally going. Red Sox beat the A's 6-5.
Nice game to start the season.