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Home » May 2006 Game CommentsMay 2006 » Besom


Game 48: May 28, 2006
Devil Rays (21-30), 4
Red Sox (30-18), 5
L: Mark Hendrickson (3-5)
W: Tim Wakefield (4-6)
S: Julian Tavarez (1)

The Red Sox honored all 600,000 or so inhabitants of Vermont with their very own day yesterday. Vermont is the second least-populated state in the United States and is 43rd in land area. The Green Mountain State’s motto is “Freedom and Unity.” The Red Sox bullpen was in tune with the “freedom” part, as they passed out five free passes in the last inning. But work needs to be done on the “unity” aspect; apparently Julian Tavarez was so jealous of Keith Foulke cozening his phone shtick and Jonathan Papelbon’s saves he machinated the ninth inning so that he could get his first save of the season. Just 17 more to go to tie Papelbon.

The home team was in line to record its first shutout of the season until the last inning. Rudy Seanez allowed Jonny Gomes to take first on a base on balls. Seanez struck out Ty Wigginton and induced a line drive out from Russell Branyan. An end to a leisurely Sunday game seemed to be in hand.

Seanez had other ideas as he walked the next two batters to load the bases. Perhaps he was complicit in Tavarez’s campaign to get a save.

The slim northpaw entered the game with the bases juiced and two outs to face pinch hitter Greg Norton. Tavarez did get a strikeout but Doug Mirabelli was unable to glove the ball. Gomes scored, Norton took first, and the inning continued.

Tavarez fell behind the next two batters 3-0 and was gifted strike calls for his fourth pitches. Both his old friend Joey Gathright and Julio Lugo walked on their fifth pitches, however, tallying a run each to bring their team to within two runs of their opposition.

Carl Crawford singled to Willie Harris in left to plate Norton, but Gathright laid too much trust in his speed and was gunned out at home plate in his attempt to turn in the tying run.

The last minute dramatics nearly effaced one of Tim Wakefield’s best outings of the season: eight innings pitched, five hits, no runs, one walk, and four strikeouts. Mark Loretta also had an outstanding effort with his two hits and three RBIs. But what else do you expect from a member of the esteemed YoLoGoLoVa infield that Jerry Remy devised? Alex Gonzalez turned a radiant relay to Kevin Youkilis on a Josh Paul ground out in the fifth inning. Youkilis was particularly limber on the play, needing to execute a near-complete split.

Trot Nixon also demonstrated defensive adroitness in the second with his nifty catch of Travis Lee’s deep fly ball to right field just in front of the short wall. The Devil Rays were not the only ones to be gifted with a run with the bases loaded--Nixon did the same in the fourth inning. It was the third time Nixon accomplished this in 2006 and the sixth time for a Red Sox player this season. Special thanks to Don Orsillo for this statistic, although, like Remy, I do disagree with him on the Santana defense.

Just looking at the other AL East infields, how can any of them can suit “Oye Como Va” any better is beyond me.

  • Blue Jays: Bengie Molina, Lyle Overbay, Aaron Hill, Russ Adams, and Troy Glaus
    MoORoTroyAh: Nah.
  • Devil Rays: Toby Hall, Travis Lee, Ty Wigginton, Julio Lugo, and Aubrey Huff
    ToTroWoGoHa: I had to do a lot of adjustments and it’s not even close.
  • Orioles: Ramon Hernandez, Jeff Conine, Brian Roberts, Miguel Tejada, and Melvin Mora
    MonConRoMoDa: Hmm, there is a possible match here.
  • Yankees: Jorge Posada, Jason Giambi, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez
    PoGoNoJoRod: Just slightly better than Bernie William’s musicianship.

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