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Home » September 2005 Game CommentsSeptember 2005 » Venerable


Game 132: September 1, 2005
Devil Rays (55-80), 4
Red Sox (78-54), 7
L: Doug Waechter (5-9)
W: Bronson Arroyo (11-9)
H: Jonathan Papelbon (1)
S: Mike Timlin (5)

3.5 games ahead in the division
5 game winning streak

Reality check: These are the same Devil Rays that swept the Angels and Rangers in recent series? And beat the Yankees 2 out of 3 games? Just making sure, because the Red Sox just swept them. Also, a win streak does much to soothe the dyspepsic souls of Boston fans, as there was nary a peep about Manny Ramirez getting a day off today.

Arroyo followed the same pattern as Clement and Wakefield by giving Tampa Bay the early lead. In the 2nd inning Jonny Gomes homered with Aubrey Huff on base and Travis Lee did exactly the same in the 4th to give his team the 4-2 lead.

The respected John Olerud hit a 2-run round-tripper in the 2nd inning with his first base doppelganger Kevin Millar on base. With Trot Nixon and Jason Varitek on base in the 6th, Olerud hit another home run into right field, just as soaring and majestic as a David Ortiz production. The mellifluous swing of the Red Sox first baseman also lined a ground-rule double in the 8th to the opposite field.

The 5th inning was particularly pivotal. After giving up a single to Jorge Cantu and a double to Huff, Terry Francona called for Travis Lee to be intentionally walked to load the bases with 2 out. Arroyo took his chances with Nick Green. With the count full, Arroyo threw a gutsy curve that struck out the Devil Rays second baseman looking. Arroyo completed the evening with 7 innings pitched, 9 hits, 4 earned runs, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts.

Edgar Renteria got an RBI of his own in the home half of the 5th. Jerry Remy highlighted Alex Cora’s smart base running in this inning. After reaching first on what was deemed an error on Cantu, Cora sprinted to third after having to hesitate on Johnny Damon’s single as it bounded across his path. Because of this aggressiveness, Cora was in position to tag on his double play partner’s sacrifice fly to center field.

I agree with Remy when he said that the acquisition of Cora and Tony Graffanino will be key to the push for the postseason. I also submit that if Papelbon and Timlin are able to perform as they did in this game, we might have the proper tandem to shut down opponents in the late innings. Papelbon struck out the side in the 8th inning facing batters occupying the 5th through 8th spots, although he did not get an out in the 9th inning and gave up back-to-back singles. Timlin worked out of the 2 on, no out jam Papelbon put him in, dispelling for the moment the myth that Timlin pitches badly when inheriting batters.

During the course of the game, NESN showed Alejandro Machado in the dugout, one of the September call-ups. Machado is a utility infielder that also took some turns in the outfield recently. I saw him play at Pawtucket earlier this season and I hope that Red Sox fans will be able to see this sparkplug in action soon. The other call-up was Matt Perisho, a situational southpaw pitcher. Keith Foulke was activated from the disabled list. Chad Harville, a right-handed pitcher claimed off of waivers from Houston, also joined the roster. Future anticipated additions are Lenny DiNardo and Manny Delcarmen, as well as Craig Hansen and Kelly Shoppach should the latter two mend in time.

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