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Home » August 2005 Game CommentsAugust 2005 » Brobdingnagian


Game 123: August 23, 2005
Red Sox (72-51), 5
Royals (40-83), 2
W: David Wells (10-6)
L: Zack Greinke (3-15)

Trot Nixon had his first at bat since July 26th, that fateful day when both he and Matt Clement were injured. Who would have thought then that recovering from potential head trauma would be quicker than a strained oblique muscle, but such is the nature of soft tissue injuries. I hope we aren’t seeing the onset of aging left-handed slugger injury syndrome, so poignantly demonstrated by Jim Thome, Garret Anderson, and Ken Griffey, Jr. Nixon went 1 for 4 with an RBI and a strikeout, reclaiming his place in the fifth spot that both Jason Varitek and John Olerud had ably filled in his absence. There were others that tried to bat fifth, but they did not acquit themselves as well, and since they were understandably not in the lineup, they will remain unnamed.

Despite illness, Wells shut out the Royals through 5 innings with a line of 5 hits, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts. Jeremi Gonzalez continued his impressive string of middle relief showings, pitching for 3 no-hit innings, striking out 3 and walking only Chip Ambres, his former teammate.

Greinke pitched perfectly until the second batter of the 3rd inning, when Bill Mueller lined down the left field line for a one-out double. After Graffanino flied out to center, a cavalcade of hits followed. Johnny Damon arched a fly ball over Terrence Long to score Mueller, then Edgar Renteria lined his single into shallow left. Dale Sveum decided to test Long’s arm by sending Damon, who scored despite a close play. The Red Sox shortstop advanced to second base on the off-target throw, well positioned to score on David Ortiz’s line drive double to center field. Were you half-hoping for another bunt? Me neither.

Boston quelled the Royals’ hopes for an extra base hit in the home half of the 5th inning with a Manny Ramirez assist, his 13th of the season. It was an all-time classic deke: Ramirez slid to miss Long’s hit to left field. Convinced he could advance safely, Long broke for second, not seeing that Ramirez had quickly recovered to throw out his Kansas City counterpart to end the inning.

We are witnessing the Paul Quantrillification of Timlin before our very eyes. His 63 appearances lead pitchers in the AL, edging out Tom Gordon (who used to be a starter in Kansas City) by a single game. Timlin did get the final 3 outs of the game, but not without permitting 2 runs as well as initiating a spate of drama in the form of the tying run reaching the plate. If there is anyone reading this who happens to know Terry Francona, could you please convey the message that this abuse must stop? Send him video of Ortiz hitting a home run off of Quantrill in the 12th inning of Game 4 if necessary, superimposing the face of Timlin. I’m mortally serious about this.

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