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Home » August 2005 Game CommentsAugust 2005 » Infernal


Game 119: August 18, 2005
Red Sox (69-50), 4
Angels (70-51), 13
L: Tim Wakefield (12-10)
W: Bartolo Colon (16-6)

Circle 1, Limbo: Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon collided in the outfield, neither one of them getting a glove on an utterly catchable ball hit by our old friend Orlando Cabrera with 1 out for a double. Cabrera remained stranded to end the inning.

Circle 2, Lust: Designated hitter Casey Kotchman hit a home run on a 3-1 fastball to right field. The fireworks symbolize the desire that Angels players have for a fan base that actually understands baseball and doesn’t need cues from the ring of signs around the stadium to know how to react.

Circle 3, Gluttony: For a perfect picture of indulgence, see Bartolo Colon. Cerberus isn’t around to turn him into kibble, however.

Circle 4, Avarice: Arte Moreno, owner of the Angels, covets the Dodgers’ market share and has made every effort to lure fans to his stadium, including redundantly renaming his franchise. Is that Moreno futilely moving the boulders in the center field panorama? In the 4th inning, Bill Mueller made an exceptional catch to stop Juan Rivera’s ball from hurtling along the third base line, but as with most of his efforts after particularly outstanding catches lately, the throw was askew. It pulled Kevin Millar off first base to allow Juan Rivera a single. Wakefield recovered to strike out Steve Finley and force a ground out from Adam Kennedy, stranding runners at the corners.

Circle 5, Wrath and Sloth: Cabrera, who has only 4 errors this season, walked to get on base and then stole second base. His replacement Edgar Renteria mishandled Doug Mirabelli’s check throw and the Angels shortstop then advanced to third base. Ramirez muffed Darin Erstad’s hit to left by failing to back off the bounding ball that proceeded to roll all the way to the wall. After Guerrero was intentionally walked for a second time, Molina golfed a low pitch through the infield towards right, scoring Erstad. Kotchman drilled a hit that ricocheted off Wakefield’s right ankle and the knuckleballer had to leave the game. Wakefield did depart under his own power. Mike Myers took the mound and was promptly shelled by Juan Rivera for a 3-run home run. The Angels score an ominously symbolic 6 runs in the inning.

Circle 6, Heretics: Who else to represent the heretics but the dissidently named Chone Figgins, who led off with a double and looked less outclassed than he did in last year’s ALDS. Figgins eventually scored after being advanced on ground outs by Cabrera and Erstad. Myers somehow struck out Guerrero to end the inning, flying in the face of accepted wisdom.

Circle 7, The Violent: This circle was tailor-made for me. Give me some marshmallows and I’ll make s’mores in my personal gyre. This game made me as violent as when I see the McDonald’s poetry slam or Coke 1970s retread teaching the world to chill commercials. The Red Sox whittled away at the Angels’ lead, scoring 3 runs with 2 outs. Ramirez laced a ground-rule double to right field on a 1-2 pitch, followed by four straight singles by Millar, Mueller, Mirabelli, and Gabe Kapler. Terry Francona brought out Mike Remlinger to hurl, which is what the lefty makes me want to do when I see him on the mound. He allowed a leadoff single by Molina. Rivera’s grounder up the middle evaded Renteria’s glove, leaving Remlinger with runners on first and second with 1 out. He then walked Finley on 4 pitches to load the bases. Adam Kennedy flied out to Ramirez, but Figgins followed with a 2-run single that sprung past a diving Tony Graffanino.

Circle 8, Malebolge (for the Fraudulent): Typifying a fraud is Remlinger disguising himself as a major league pitcher, when, in reality, he’s both Billy Bob Thornton and John Ratzenberger. Think about it, you’ve never seen them in the same place have you?

Circle 9, The Traitorous: Tonight, the whole team belonged here. There were flashes of radiance: Mueller who hit a home run in the 9th and Adam Stern’s snatch in center of Erstad’s fly ball in the 8th stand out in particular. Neither of these things ultimately mattered to the outcome of the game, but they did make it more bearable. Fittingly, Anaheim ended the game with 13 runs. The Red Sox had 4, which is an ill omen in Japan because one of the pronunciations for “four” (shi) is a homophone for “death.”

Hopefully tonight the game will be a little less hellish and a bit more divine.

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