Top of the 8th, game tied 4-4, men on first and second, two out: Big Sloppy strikes out on a 3-2 pitch.
Everyone wants to feel bad for Ortiz. They wonder why Francona waited until his formerly known as "clutch" hitter was almost to the batter's box before pinch hitting Lowell for him in Wednesday night's Toronto game. How Francona didn't tell Ortiz he was being pinch hit for sooner to avoid the embarrasingly long walk back to the dug out. Well, answer this: How else do you send a message to the "D.H." who you already pinch hit for once this year? Ortiz didn't learn anything from that experience, apparently. He's approaching the point where his batting average just might fall below his I.Q.
And despite every opportunity for redemption, Big Sloppy continues to take late swings on bad balls that make him look older and slower than dear Mike Lowell, with his salt and pepper hair and surgically repaired hip. I'm not going to say Lowell would have drawn a walk in Ortiz's place, the way he did in Toronto...that's for the Baseball Gods to decide. No, I will say that if Lowell did strike out, he still wouldn't look as bad as Ortiz did.