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Home » July 2005 Game CommentsJuly 2005 » Falter


Game 88: July 14, 2005
Yankees (47-40), 8
Red Sox (49-39), 6
W: Tom Gordon (3-3)
S: Mariano Rivera (21)

BS: Mike Timlin (3)
L: Curt Schilling (1-3)

The night started off with the raffle winners getting their Red Sox World Series rings. We know your names, where you live, and what you lool like. So very tempting to say, track them down, beg and plead for that precious piece of history, and change your name to whatever is engraved on the side.

Manny Ramirez pulled off the decoy of the year in the 1st inning. He executed his deceptive loping hook side so that Robinson Cano thought he could stretch out a triple. Thus lured, Ramirez used his lethal quick release technique to transform Cano’s greed into an out at third. Ramirez racked up his 11th assist of the season.

The home half of the 1st inning was riveting. So exciting, in fact, that Andrew of 12eight, with whom I was instant messengering, decided to end every phrase with exclamation marks. Johnny Damon led off with a looping fly ball to right to extend his hitting streak to 26 games! Renteria sacrificed bunted Damon to third! Then Ortiz’s ground ball single gets past the shift and Damon scored! Ramirez worked a walk, setting up Trot Nixon’s 3-run homer! (Note: Using more than one exclamation point in a paragraph makes one seem like an earnest 4-year old talking about her day at the zoo; this technique should be used sparingly. But this inning warranted it!)

The Yankees responded with home runs by Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams in the 2nd inning, quickly closing the gap. The tone of the evening was set, a continual dialogue of switching leads and breaking ties.

At this point in the game, Jerry Remy mentioned that he asked Dale Sveum about the balls used for the Home Run Derby. Sveum said they felt smaller and harder than regulation balls. My illusions are shattered.

Speaking of Sveum, he nearly botched Nixon’s progress around the bases in the 3rd inning. Trot reached first base by going opposite field off the wall. On Millar’s double, Nixon was nearly sent to home by the inconsistent third base coach. Sveum put up the stop sign in time for Nixon stay alive, but the right fielder looked peeved. Then again, he always looks like that.

Bill Mueller made a nice catch for 1st out of the 6th inning on Williams’s foul ball. Then Mueller made a diving grab of Jeter’s hit, but the throw took a bounce on the infield and flew into the dugout. I don’t tend to play Second-Guess Sally, but I think the ball was catchable and would have been snared if John Olerud were in the game. Still, it was named a throwing error on Mueller.

Chad Bradford and Mike Myers warming in the bullpen inspired laughter from me. Who made these seating arrangements? Why do they always put a lefty right in the middle of the table? He drank my water, too. Bradford’s 7th inning debut started off with him making Gary Sheffield look silly and grounding out on the fourth pitch. Terry Francona demonstrated commendable judgment by pulling Bradford immediately after he walked Alex Rodriguez on four balls. The only problem was that he went to Alan Embree.

Nixon made an outstanding catch of Matsui’s hit to right field off of Embree, and he somehow induced a ground out from Giambi, which is rare for Embree, king of long fly ball outs. But I must trot out Second-Guess Sally again, because I was utterly dumbfounded as to why we didn’t hear the opening bars of “Black Betty” at the top of the 8th because Embree stayed in the game. Instead, Jorge Posada (This season, .310 BA against LHP, .240 BA versus RHP, and .250 BA facing Embree) leads off with a double off and Tony Womack pinch runs. The Yankees tie the score again on a Ruben Sierra double to right field.

Curt Schilling entered in the 9th, goateed, but only to be made the goat. Sheffield led off with a double and Rodriguez homered to the deepest part of the park to take and never relinquish the lead. The night when exclamation points turned into question marks. Will the Schilling bullpen experiment yield better results in the future? Whither Embree? Does the pinch hitting of Olerud for Mark Bellhorn signify some changes afoot?

I’ll be at tonight’s game in person, with more than a little anxiety, even though the opposition is starting Tim Redding, who has an ERA of 9.10.

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