Winger's tendency to give up the gopher ball
was a bit erratic early in his career, but the general trend line shows it increasing with age.
One of his main problems has been the gopher ball
. He has given up 15 in his 19 career starts, nine in nine starts this season.
Gomes hit his off Joel Peralta, who walked Nava to begin the inning, then threw the gopher ball
on his first pitch to Gomes.
His earned run average is 1.54, he has stranded 14 of 21 inherited runners, has walked only five compared to 35 strikeouts, and on a staff that has been tormented by the gopher ball
, Tazawa has allowed just one home run in 35 innings.
Yesterday, knowing how the Sox' pitching staff has been giving up first-inning runs and putting the team in a hole, he threw a gopher ball
to Brett Lawrie on the first pitch of the game.
The gopher ball
was the last pitch Atchison threw, with Mark Melancon coming on in relief.
The home run Albers gave up to Jason Kipnis in the ninth was just his second gopher ball
of the season, and first at Fenway.
He went 42 innings before allowing a gopher ball
"It was supposed to be a fastball down and away," Beckett said of the gopher ball
, "and it caught the middle of the plate.