Efforts clouded by tough conditions

May, 19, 2011
BOSTON -- The intensity of the rain slowly cranked up, until finally a 26-minute delay was called. A thick fog rolled through. The mound -- like seemingly everything else on Yawkey Way on Wednesday night -- was cold, firm and damp.

“You saw on fly balls, they’re tough to read,” Tigers starter Phil Coke said. “[Mike] Cameron almost lost one. [Brennan] Boesch almost lost one. It’s slicing and the winds knocking them down. All the super heavy fog smacking you in the face while trying to find a baseball, it’s tough conditions on everybody. So you just try not to let it get it to you.”

And in Tigers reliever Daniel Schlereth’s eyes, “Everyone else dealt with it pretty well except for me. That can’t be an excuse, the conditions are the conditions.”

Forgive the seldom-used Tigers reliever if he seemed a little downtrodden after what his manager called “a tremendous game” filled with “great pitching by both sides.” The 25-year-old lefty came in to replace Ryan Perry with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, and promptly did the last thing Leyland wanted to see -- gave up a 3-2 walk to Carl Crawford. Then on the next at-bat, he tossed up a 2-1, 90-miles-per-hour high fastball to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, which he promptly launched off the Green Monster to send Crawford home standing up.

And after two near-beanballs on Jacoby Ellsbury in the next at bat, that was it for Schelereth.

“If that’s down, that was belt-high,” Schlereth said of the pitch to Saltalamacchia. “My grandmother could hit that pitch. That’s just a bad spot. I wanted to get that one down obviously, but I made a mistake.”

Leyland, who met with Schlereth on the mound before the Crawford at-bat, noted some rust could have contributed to the situation.

“[I told him] just don’t get caught between Crawford stealing and the hitter,” Leyland said. “It looked to me like he tried to be a little quick, and he left it out, which is kind of a mistake. But that’s the way it happens. He hadn’t been out there for a while.”
Brendan C. Hall joined ESPNBoston.com as a high schools reporter/editor in May 2010, after four years covering high schools for The Boston Globe. The Westminster, Mass. native also served on the Globe's Bruins beat in 2009.



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?