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Red Sox Vs. Twins: Darnell McDonald Ties Game At 2-2 After Shaky First Frame

The Red Sox and Twins are stuck in a 2-2 tie after Darnell McDonald's fifth-inning homer.

The homer had to bring the Red Sox back from a two-run deficit thanks largely to a four-walk first from Erik Bedard that can be accredited to this terrible strike zone:

Zoneplot

(Image from BrooksBaseball.net, with data gathered from MLB's own PitchF/X system)

Green is a ball, red is a strike. A triangle means Bedard was on the mound, a square means it was a Liriano pitch. As you can see, it's hardly been fair.

With at least five strikes being called balls in the first, Bedard had difficulty keeping runners off of the basepaths. Loading the bases with one out and a run already in, Bedard battled back to stike out Danny Valencia, but a nasty, perfectly placed two-seamer to Delmon Young was not perfect enough for Tim McClelland, who awarded the Twins the base and the run. The pitch in question is the green triangle you see planted just inside the line halfway up the left-hand side of the box. Clearly a strike

Bedard has managed to work around the small zone for the last four innings, holding the Twins scoreless and giving the Sox a chance to get back in this, which they did in the fifth. Surprisingly, it came from the bottom of the order, with Jason Varitek drawing a leadoff walk, and making Liriano pay for hanging a slider in his wheelhouse, sending an upper-deck homer into left field to make it 2-all.

The small zone has forced both pitchers' counts up around 90, so it's possible neither one is long for the game. If so, the Sox will get to face off against the game's worst bullpen.