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Home » August 2005 Game CommentsAugust 2005 » Exposed


Game 116: August 15, 2005
Red Sox (68-48), 6
Tigers (56-61), 7
H: Mike Timlin (24)
H: Chad Bradford (5)
BS, L: Curt Schilling (2, 4-5)
W: Jamie Walker (4-3)

Johnny Damon looked awkward playing the vast center field of Comerica Park. In the 1st inning he went back on a fly ball hit by Chris Shelton and leaped at the wall trying to snare the ball. He landed without it, however, looking perplexedly at the warning track dirt and his fallen cap. Gabe Kapler gathered the carom and threw it back in the infield, but Shelton already ran out a triple. The Red Sox center fielder also seemed to give up on Dmitri Young’s blast in the 9th inning. Although it was unlikely that he would have caught it, it wasn’t implausible for him to reach it more quickly, enabling him to possibly make a better throw to third base to at least contest the triple by the lumbering Young.

The game started promisingly enough; Manny Ramirez led off the 2nd inning with what appeared to be a leisurely double, until his counterpart Craig Monroe decided to press him by throwing the ball to second. Ramirez raised his arms up after touching the bag, gesturing to Monroe as if to say, “What the dealio with that?” Ramirez reached third on Jason Varitek’s grounder to first, and then Roberto Petagine walked to position runners at the corners. Bill Mueller lofted a ball to center deep enough to score Ramirez. Alex Cora then jacked a home run to right field and all things seemed possible. This was true, however, for both teams.

The Tigers came lunging back in their half of the 2nd inning, and Arroyo fell apart. Monroe led off with a single to left followed in short order by Brandon Inge’s single to center. The Red Sox outfielders seemed to be unable to gauge exactly where to position themselves, coming up short on fly balls hit by light hitters while permitting longer shots by power sluggers to careen overhead. Omar Infante drove in both runners with his double to left, and Arroyo still had not gotten an out. Infante reached third on a sacrifice bunt, but was stranded by the next two batters. Detroit carried their momentum into the third inning, where Shelton led off with a liner to left that bounded into the stands for a ground-rule double. After advancing to third on a grounder, Shelton was plated by Magglio Ordóñez with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Two streakers took the field in the 6th inning. This is what you get when you play “Centerfold” during pauses of the game. The NESN camera crew have a special talent for selecting people from the crowd that convey exactly what is happening on the field, regardless of the event. One young mother held her younger daughter in her lap, covering her eyes, but laughed along with her older daughter at the spectacle. Mike Myers and other members of the bullpen watched enrapt. Don Orsillo barely managed to utter his favorite count after the incident, a giggle-wracked “The 2-2!” somehow escaped from his lips. Jerry Remy said that this act topped naked cartwheels along the base lines in Oakland. In the clip of the year, a woman took a picture of one handcuffed streaker as he was led up the aisle and off the field.

Despite the disappointing end, two plays by my two favorite players should be mentioned. In the 7th, David Ortiz hit a home run into right field, which happened to be his league-leading 18th homer on the road. Mueller made a great play in the 7th by nabbing Infante’s grounder that minced along the third base line. The third baseman had to make a split-second decision to either try to let the waffling ball go foul or go for the assist, and he chose wisely.

What made this loss most frustrating was that the Red Sox had ample opportunity to widen the lead on multiple occasions. The 4th inning could have been more fruitful; despite 2 leadoff walks and Mueller extending his hit streak to 10 games Boston only scored a single run. The 5th inning was futile beyond belief; how could such a potent offense only get one run after loading the bases with one out? When your first baseman grounds into a 3-2-3 double play, that’s how.

Schilling gave up a leadoff single to Placido Polanco and then a triple to Dmitri Young to score Polanco. Still a one-run game with the gutsy Schilling on the mound, the team would be okay, right? After all, these are the Tigers and these are the World Champions. But we got nooked when Nook Logan pinch ran for Young. Logan’s speed wasn’t even required since Ordóñez drove in Logan with a line drive to left for Schilling’s second blown save of the season. With 2 out, 2 runners on, and the count 0-2, Schilling relinquished the game to a utility player named John McDonald.


"Although it was unlikely that he (Johnny Damon)would have caught it, it wasn’t implausible for him to reach it more quickly, enabling him to possibly make a better throw to third base to at least contest the triple by the lumbering Young."

Which Johnny Damon would this be? A Johnny Damon that can make a good throw? I am not familiar with this creature.

I knew those non-runs in the 5th would come back and bite us in the heinie. When BADford gave up that one run, it was too close for a tired looking, locationless Schill.

That Damon comment was wishful thinking on my part. Looking back, Damon has had 2 outfield assists this season, and I am sure they are of the "Oh, that's Damon out in CF, I'm risking it because there's no way his noodle arm will get a ball back into the infield" variety. For some reason I'm thinking one was against the Angels. I can't believe I didn't chronicle both assists, as they would have been up there with a Wade Miller 1-2-3 first inning or Kevin Millar homer to right field.

See Chad. See Chad pitch. Chad makes Red Sox fans sad. Bad, Chad, bad.

But the thing is even with Johnny's poor arm and his late recovery to the ball, he still got it in to the infield quick enough that if it had been on target the play would have been close. It was his giving up on the play that lead to the triple. I doubt DY (as FSN Detroit kept referring to him) would have made the attempt at third if Damon already had the ball in his glove when he was rounding second.

I am kind of surprised that Chadford is getting singled out here more than Schilling, who has now given up 7 runs in his last 3.1 IP IIRC, for an ERA of about 20. Bradford's performance led to 1 run, which in my mind was not such a big deal, and besides, he gives up ground balls, and some of them are going to get past the infielders. Schilling is supposed to throw a split that gets by people like backup shortstops, but instead he got pounded hard by the majority of the batters he faced. That performance was reminiscent of Foulke just before he was DLed.

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