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Home » April 2006 Game CommentsApril 2006 » Scavenge


Game 19: April 23, 2006
Red Sox (12-7), 6
Blue Jays (9-8), 3
W: Matt Clement (2-1)
H: Keith Foulke (2)
H: Mike Timlin (5)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (8)
L: Josh Towers (0-4)

Josh Towers has yet to win a game this season. In the four games he has started he has given up at least four earned runs; in his two-inning effort against the White Sox on April 16th he had five earned runs. Suffice to say, Towers is not an elite American League pitcher.

But if the option is to fall in a series sweep, you take any advantage you can. A first inning score like the two-run homer David Ortiz provided helps. So does Mike Lowell piercing the infield defense to drive in Manny Ramirez, who reached on a broken bat grounder up the middle. Ramirez was so looking forward to getting into the dugout to hug Ortiz or eat applesauce he didn’t slide into home but dashed right on top of it.

In the top of the third, Kevin Youkilis turned his first 3-6-3 double play. Frank Catalanotto, in a departure from his usual role of Red Sox killer, grounded sharply to Youkilis. The converted first baseman threw the ball to Alex Gonzalez so that it led him up and away from the sliding Russ Adams. Youkilis then returned to the bag in perfect position to field the final toss for the final out of the inning. And to think I had my doubts about Youkilis transitioning to first.

There were quite a few quirky things about this game:

  • In the fourth inning, Lowell threw erratically, missing his target Youkilis. For a Gold Glover like Lowell, it should have been a routine ground out to third and throw to first to seat Vernon Wells. After inducing a fly out from Troy Glaus, Clement walked Lyle Overbay to give Gregg Zaun the chance to take over Catalanotto’s function. Of course Zaun took full advantage by jacking a three-run roundtripper into the stands of center field. It was Zaun’s second homer of season; not bad for a guy who has only made six starts.
  • With one out and third baseman Glaus positioned deep, Jason Varitek attempted to bunt for a base hit in the fifth inning. He advance the runners but also tallied the second out. Lowell was intentionally walked to load the bases and Willie Harris grounded out to end the potential rally.
  • Zaun doesn’t fully relish his stint as Red Sox gadfly. With the bases loaded in the fifth, the backup catcher flied out to deep right field, just in front of the luminescent scoreboard walls of Rogers Centre.
  • Ortiz bunted for a single in the sixth inning in response to the overshift. The bases would eventually be clogged with Red Sox runners, but Trot Nixon missed his chance for a grand slam after grounding Scott Schoeneweis’s pitch Overbay.
  • Keith Foulke pitched a perfect one and two-thirds innings and struck out Adams, Wells, and Glaus in the process.
  • Gonzalez finagled a walk out of Vinnie Chulk to lead off the eight. The second baseman and Youkilis combined for a hit and run. Perched at third, Gonzalez scored easily on Mark Loretta’s liner to center.
  • The Red Sox scored in the ninth on a Lowell double, which isn’t so unusual. What is odd in this inning is that Harris walked on four pitches and Youkilis struck out.
  • Jonathan Papelbon allowed singles to Adams and Catalanotto to commence the ninth. He bore down to strike out Vernon Wells on six pitches and then induced Glaus to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.

Tomorrow Boston has its first series against the powerhouse Cleveland Indians. The probable pitchers, Jake Westbrook, Cliff Lee, and Paul Byrd, have combined for a 5-5 record, but we all know that win/loss records for pitchers can be deceiving. Cleveland is 10-9 and boasts the one of the more fierce lineups in the majors.


Glad to read that Ortiz bunted his way on against the overshift and that Foulke had a good outing.

OK, I get it, I shouldn't have drafted Josh Towers. Sheesh.

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