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Home » September 2005 Game CommentsSeptember 2005 » Merely


Game 139: September 8, 2005
Angels (78-61), 3
Red Sox (82-57), 0
W: Paul Byrd (11-9)
H: Scot Shields (29)
S: Francisco Rodriguez (35)
L: Matt Clement (13-4)

4 games ahead in the division
1 game losing streak

Hey, Paul, he had a ball. Seven innings of shutout pitching, allowing only 4 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts, can do that for you. Similar to his August 21st outing, Byrd began giving up hits and losing his command in the 8th inning, so much so that he was pulled from the 8th inning.

Kevin Millar led off the 8th with a fly ball double that winged over Chone Figgins’s head and Bill Mueller walked. With no outs, Manny Ramirez pinch hit for Tony Graffanino and Byrd was replaced by Shields. Ramirez fell behind in the count and never seemed at ease at the plate. He watched the 6th pitch to strike out. Johnny Damon walked to load the bases, but Shields managed to redeem himself of his loss just a few nights ago. The Angels reliever struck out both Edgar Renteria and David Ortiz to end the threat.

Francisco Rodriguez was far from his dominant self in the 9th inning. Despite striking out the side, he allowed Trot Nixon on base with a single lined to center field and walked Jason Varitek and Mueller to load the bases. Terry Francona did a sort of reverse Cla Meredith move by pinch hitting Roberto Petagine with 2 out and the bases loaded even though the bench player hadn’t seen action since August 29th.

Admittedly, I pay less attention to umpires when they blow calls in Boston’s favor. Mike Scioscia and Angels batting coach Mickey Hatcher were both ejected in the middle of the 4th inning because they vehemently disagreed with Larry Young’s ruling that Orlando Cabrera had left the second base bag early when tagging up. Slow motion split-screen replay showed that Young erred.

This miscall somewhat marred Nixon’s stupendous catch of Garret Anderson’s fly ball near the right field stands. Nixon lunged into the wall as he nabbed the ball on the backhand. Interestingly, when a runner tags up early on a caught fly ball it is scored as a double play.

Had Clement gotten his usual run support he would have walked away with his 14th win. The Red Sox started lasted 6.2 innings with 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts. Four pitchers from the Boston bullpen combined for 2.1 innings of 2-hit shutout ball to keep their team in the game. Keith Foulke weathered a 9-pitch at bat against Bengie Molina to begin the 9th inning but eventually struck out his foe. The recovering closer gave up a ground-rule double as well as a walk, but no runs were allowed.

The fourth shutout of the season for the Red Sox resulted in a disappointing end to the Angels series. However, the team goes into the Bronx with a strong 10-4 homestand under their belt and a 4-game lead in the division.

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