Those were the words of Rays TV announcer Dwayne Staats as the game went away to break after a disastrous 7th inning for the Rays. James Shields started the inning by getting Carlos Quentin to pop out and then struck out Chris Getz. He then walked Gordon Beckham and Joe Maddon pulled him after that 116th pitch. Randy Choate came in to get Scott Podsednik out who hit a high chopper over the pitcher’s mound that Bartlett tried to complete but threw the ball wide (and late) putting runners on 2nd and 3rd. Chad Bradford was brought on to face Alexei Ramirez but his back flared up during warmups and he was pulled without even throwing a pitch and was replaced by Dan Wheeler. This is where the fun began.
Wheeler’s first pitch to Ramirez was the red square you see called as strike one in the image at the top of this story. His second pitch was the pitch you see Ramirez chasing in the image above. After throwing two balls, Wheeler throws the pitch that I highlighted in the image above. A pitch that is the exact same height as the 1st pitch in the at bat that was called a strike and right over the heart of the plate – and it was called ball 3. Ramirez skulled Wheeler’s next pitch that B.J. Upton misplayed into a triple allowing the tying runs to score and a Jermaine Dye single to center brought in the eventual game-winning run.
This one can’t be put on the pitching, or the offense. You can put some blame on Jason Bartlett for not putting that ball in his pocket rather than throwing it or B.J. Upton for misreading a ball, but Laz Diaz needs to man up and admit he gave the White Sox offense a 4th out in this game at a critical juncture that gave the White Sox a win.