I keep hearing and reading complaints to the effect of, "Why did Francoma bring Clement in for the 4th?!?" Okay, maybe it wasn't the best decision in the world, but...I mean, did these people actually watch the game? Or, you know, actually look at the final score? The Red Sox lost by 12. Let's just say Clement was pulled after 3 IP. And somehow the bullpen magically becomes really really good and pitches 6 innings of shutout baseball. So then what -- the final score is 6-2, and the Red Sox still lose. No, the simple fact is, the hitting sucked. They made Contreras look like...well, the Contreras that the Yankees thought they were getting back in 2003. (Once again, proof that Mel Stottlemyre is a terrible, terrible pitching coach.) The way Manny and Damon and everyone else looked lost at the plate -- it's reasonable to assume they flat-out told Francona the guy was unhittable (and the huge strike zone didn't help). And so Francona assumed -- correctly -- that a 4-run lead was in fact insurmountable, and so wanted to keep Clement in the game, to save the bullpen.
If anyone here wants to argue that Tito did in fact blow it with his decision, I'd love to hear it. (Please, no "we had him on the ropes the previous half inning" arguments. Crede made a huge error, and even after the runs were scored, Contreras needed just 10 pitches to get three outs. He was still very much on his game.)
Anyway, no matter what Boston loses by, 14-2 or 6-2 or 5-4 (remember Game 1 in 2003? ugh...), they're only down 0-1. A win today ties it, after two on the road. Let's go Wells! Let's go...entire lineup!