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Home » July 2005 Game CommentsJuly 2005 » Overcome


Game 100: July 26, 2005
Red Sox (55-45), 10
Devil Rays (36-65), 9
W: Curt Schilling (3-4)
BS: Trever Miller (2)
H: Joe Borowski (7)
BS, L: Danys Baez (7, 5-3)
10 innings

This match-up was like two games in one. The gamut of emotions experienced ranged from the horror of seeing Matt Clement’s injury to the jubilation of the Boston players after keeping themselves in the game for their fallen ace.

Mark Hendrickson, Tampa Bay’s starter, went into the game with a 6.82 ERA. In the 3 innings he pitched he gave up 5 earned runs, including a 2-run home run in the 1st by Manny Ramirez, who was the object of a Sports Illustrated article released earlier in the day. Written by Tom Verducci, the article will be in the August 1st issue of SI and it claims that the left fielder is unhappy in Boston because of his lack of privacy and wants to be traded. When Terry Francona was asked about this piece, he said that he was “happy enough to drive in 90 runs.” Francona took his usual tack of focusing on what happens between the lines rather than outside of them.

The third inning was a nightmare for pitchers on both sides and the Red Sox in particular. Johnny Damon led off with a double to right field and proceeded to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Edgar Renteria. Designated hitter Doug Mirabelli singled to left to drive in Damon. Speedster Mirabelli booked it from first to third on Ramirez’s single to the opposite field, and Jason Varitek walked to load the bases. Kevin Millar got in on the action with an RBI single to left that advanced Ramirez and Varitek.

Trot Nixon then injured himself on a swing which found him clutching his back and bending over in pain. Diagnosed as a strained left oblique muscle, it is likely he will be unable to play for an extended duration. Hendrickson struck out the pinch batter Adam Hyzdu, but uncorked a wild pitch with Bill Mueller at the plate that scored Ramirez. He hung on to induce a pop out to end the inning.

Clement had runners at the corners and one out when Carl Crawford smoked the first pitch directly back to the mound, bounding off of Clement’s head. What viewers couldn’t see was that he was conscious and coherent after the impact because the cameras stayed a judicious distance from the pitcher. After a night of observation, Clement will be re-evaluated at Bayfront Medical Center. Tom Gill, Red Sox medical director, stated that the starter’s prognosis is good since he had never lost consciousness and his CT was negative.

Submariner Chad Bradford entered the game and gave up a single to Julio Lugo to load the bases. After striking out Jorge Cantu on three pitches, the right-handed reliever gave up a grand slam to Aubrey Huff, who has established himself as a Red Sox killer in this series. The Clement incident and the almost immediate tying of the game cast a pall over the Red Sox.

Mike Myers threw a gutsy and perfect two innings until he gave up a led off double to Huff in the 6th inning. Jeremi Gonzalez entered for the next two innings and yielded 2 earned runs in the 7th inning to relinquish the lead.

The major league debut of Manny Delcarmen in the 8th inning was sparkling. With the score 8-6, he struck out his first batter, designated hitter Jonny Gomes (any relation to Jhonny Peralta?) and made the next two, Travis Lee and Alex Gonzalez, ground out. Big things seem to be in store for the local kid, whether it be with the Red Sox or another major league team.

By sheer force of will Varitek homered to center in the top of the 9th to tenuously draw the team back into the game. Millar singled to center and was pulled for pinchrunner Adam Stern, who we hoped wouldn’t pull a Stern (previously known as a Suppan) and get thrown out while on base. John Olerud lined to center for a single, bringing Mueller to the plate in situations where he shines most: with men on. True to form, Mueller doubled to right field to plate Stern. Sadly Dale Sveum was similarly predictable, waving in Olerud, who was thrown out at home on a bang [long pause] bang play.

Schilling was steady in the 9th inning at first, getting the first two batters to ground out and strikeout. But then Lugo got on base with a single to center, a frightful sight given his speed. Damon’s legs and glove were given at test with the very next batter, second baseman Cantu, who hit it as far as you can in Tropicana Field without getting a home run.

Then, as so often happens, Damon led off with a first pitch home run in the 10th, giving Boston the lead. Insurance agent Varitek added another run with a double to score Renteria.

The bottom of the 10th did not go as smoothly for Schilling, who let Damon Hollins on with one out and who would eventually score when Lee drove him in with a double to left. The veteran converted starter then walked Gonzalez on four straight balls, permitting the go-ahead run to bat. Gonzalez was pulled for pinch runner Nick Green. Gathright grounded to Olerud, who, instead of throwing to first base to try and catch the quick center fielder, smartly threw to Renteria at second base for the force out Green, ending the game.

A strange game, perhaps a turning point for the season. The Red Sox rebounded for a win, but will the accumulated injuries spur changes for good or ill?

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