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Home » August 2005 Game CommentsAugust 2005 » Stockings


Game 114: August 12, 2005
White Sox (74-40), 8
Red Sox (67-47), 9
L: Mark Buehrle (13-5)
W: Chad Bradford (1-0)
H: Mike Myers (7)
H: Mike Timlin (23)

Let’s start from the end and work backwards for a change. The Red Sox need a bona fide closer. If any other pitcher gave up home runs the way Curt Schilling did last night, his services would have been listed on eBay in a sham auction by now. But it’s Schilling, hero from last year’s postseason, he of the red sock, the great white hope of New England baseball fans, and therefore beyond reproach. Fortunately for him, he was saved from a blown game because of David Ortiz. Although he gave up 2-out home runs to Tadahito Iguchi and Paul Konerko in the 9th to allow the White Sox to claw within 1 run, Schilling was able to strike out Aaron Rowand to end the game.

The Ortiz 3-run home run in the 8th to straight away center field seemed superfluous at the time. But with Schilling’s shaky late innings, I will no longer take any additional runs for granted. Ortiz hit the first homer that rookie Bobby Jenks has given up in 14 innings of major league ball. Somebody feed Ortiz some applesauce!

The 7th inning was Cobalt time. Ortiz homered over the Monster on the 98th pitch to give the Red Sox the lead; so tantalizingly close! Buehrle looked sad because someone won’t have the chance to win a car. Manny Ramirez reached on an infield miscue between Konerko and Iguchi, and Jason Varitek advanced him by lining a single to center field. Kevin Millar stifled the potential rally by grounding into a 5-4-3 double play and Tony Graffanino finished it off by grounding out.

Varitek hit a 2-run home run with 1 out in the 5th inning to tie the game and ate applesauce in the dugout afterward. Perhaps one needs to take the lead with a homer in order to have someone else feed you the treat. Nonetheless, homership has it rewards.

Rising to the occasion of playing the best defensive team of league according to number of errors and fielding percentage, in general the Red Sox fielded better than recent outings. Bill Mueller got to the edge of the White Sox dugout for a near catch of a Joe Crede foul ball for first out of the 4th inning, but White Sox third baseman flied out to Gabe Kapler in right field on the very next pitch. Damon shave iced Scott Podsednik’s fly ball for the 2nd out.

Millar’s hit an opposite field single with 1 out in the 4th, and was almost thrown out at first after rounding the bag a bit too widely. His blazing speed saved him, however. Graffanino singled to right as well, showing that Boston would take the strikes that Buehrle would give them and go with his pitches rather than get pull-crazy. The strategy worked. Crede missed a foul ball, thrown off trajectory by the wind, hit by Mueller. That out would have meant 2 out with runners on first and second, but instead Mueller walked to load the bases with 1 out. Kapler drove in 1 run, but disappointingly it was the only score of the inning. Damon grounded into a fielder’s choice that hosed Graffanino at home. Then Juan Uribe caught Renteria’s liner to end the threat. Uribe should definitely get more acknowledgment than he does; he plays defense like Renteria used to when he was with the Cardinals.

Buehrle had a no-hitter until the 3rd inning, when Mueller lined a single to center field with the count full, extending Mueller’s hitting streak to 8 games. Edgar Renteria arched another full count pitch for a wall ball double. Ortiz drove in 2 runs with his double to right field with 2 out. Put that on the board. He gone.

And to think this all started with a Ramirez error in the 1st inning that led to 2 runs. Revoke a vote for him in the Gold Glove if you like, but I’ll take a series-opening win against the league-leading White Sox, if only to shut up Hawk Harrelson.

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