Game 77: June 29, 2005
Indians (41-35), 2
Red Sox (45-32), 5
L: Scott Elarton (4-3)
W: Tim Wakefield (7-6)
H: Matt Mantei (8)
S: Mike Timlin (1)
A day game, which means I listened to Gameday Audio and was tethered to my desk by my iPod earbuds. (Earbuds? So, sound flowers into my head? Or my brain gets high on noise?) Radio play-by-play has its merits, but I don’t count getting “truped” as one of them. The bad jokes I don’t mind; as a fellow trafficker in this illicit substance, I’m all for puns and punchlines my favorite uncle would find dated. Rather, it’s the deceptive fly ball calls, eliciting either joy and dread depending on who’s at bat (something I’m not always completely sure of because I do try and get some work accomplished), that get to me.
Jerry Trupiano had a classic line about Doug Mirabelli: “He has deceptive speed... he’s slower than he looks.” Mirabelli went to first after he was hit by a pitch in the 3rd inning. While Johnny Damon was at the plate, Elarton actually threw a pickoff to first base. Recall that Mirabelli was at first. He’s slower than cooking 8 pounds of pork for kalua pig in a Crockpot (trust me, that’s slow).
The game wended its way through my afternoon. Despite losing the first 2 match-ups, I still felt fairly confident. Victor Martinez, the new Red Sox killer, or Frank Catalanotto Version 2, hit a homer in the 6th inning, breaking the tie and rendering the score 2-1.
Outlook politely notified me with its insipid tone that I had an e-mail. This is what I received from a Yankee fan at 2:56 PM:
Getting swept by the Indians at home?? At least that's how it looks at them [sic] moment ... Perhaps it's time to turn the Orioles/Red Sox reversible shirt back to the Red Sox side (even though it probably spirited the Os into winning last night).
Immediately after I read the note, Mirabelli hit a 2-run home run to take the lead in the 6th. He broke the tie accomplished by Ramirez and Nixon’s back-to-back doubles. Mark “The Hornicator” Bellhorn, not to be outdone by the dual two-baggers, hit a home run of his own after Mirabelli. I think this Yankee should send me more taunting e-mails when the Red Sox trail. The baseball gods are pleased to reward those who must suffer the barbs of their nemeses.
The 6th inning and a bitter Yankee fan’s e-mail was all that Wakefield needed to win his 7 inning, 5 hit, 2 earned run, 4 walk, 3 strikeout outing. He gave up 2 homers, one to Casey Blake in the 5th and another to the catcher Martinez in the 6th. Timlin earned his first, and perhaps not last, save of the season. Ship Foulke off to Alabama again, and send Mantei and Miller this time, too. The Red Sox will be the American League East champions if these three perform as they are expected to.
Special thanks to Andrew for providing the title for this post and reminding me that Mark Alaimo portrayed a weirdly goateed Cardassian in Star Trek: The Next Generation.