Bottom 1: Red Sox double their pleasure

September 24, 2008 - 12:35 pm
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The Red Sox have jumped to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first against Indians starter Fausto Carmona, a man who would seem to have few fond memories of Fenway Park. You might recall that the sinkerballer blew back-to-back saves against the Sox at Fenway on July 31-August 1, 2006 (the last hurrah for that Boston team before they spiraled out of contention), an experience that prompted Cleveland to shift him from the bullpen to the rotation. Last year, Carmona won 19 games, but got shredded in two Fenway starts in the ALCS, allowing an unsightly 11 runs in 6 innings.  The offensive attack started when Carmona gave up back-to-back doubles to Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. No shame in that - Pedroia is leading the majors with 54 doubles. His 73 extra-base hits this year are tied for the 27th most by a second baseman since 1901. Even if Pedroia produces one of his patented laser shows in the season's final five games, he stands a zero percent chance of setting the record for multi-base hits by a second sacker. Indeed, it seems hard to imagine anyone at the position ever matching the 102 extra-base hits amassed by Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby in 1922. (Hornsby hit .401 that year, his first of three .400 seasons.) Ortiz, meanwhile, flipped a double down the left-field line against Carmona. He now has 12 extra-base hits in his last 13 games. For all of the angst about Ortiz' health and performance this year, he still has an .886 OPS that would rank 13th in the American League if the Sox slugger had enough at-bats to qualify for a rate statistic. As down years go, this has been a pretty impressive one.  The Sox are still batting, having forced Carmona to throw 40 pitches thus far in the first inning. Carmona seems unlikely to purchase any souvenirs from his visit to Boston.