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Home » May 2006 Game CommentsMay 2006 » Mazed


Game 44: May 24, 2006
Yankees (26-19), 8
Red Sox (26-18), 6
W: Randy Johnson (6-4)
H: Scott Erickson (1)
H: Mike Myers (5)
H: Scott Proctor (5)
H: Kyle Farnsworth (6)
S: Mariano Rivera (10)
L: Matt Clement (4-4)

Matt Clement’s pitching performance last night seemed more like a promotional stunt for his upcoming movie, The Three Faces of Matt. It’s a heart-rending story of a mousy major league pitcher with multiple personalities. His slider can be unhittable as Billy Wagner’s, but his slider can also be as hittable as Billy Wagner’s. Under duress, Clement may transform into a Rick Ankiel-like basket case.

Clement’s rhythm was thrown when he was struck by Bernie Williams’s sharp liner to his leg in the second inning. He had started the inning by inducing consecutive ground outs to Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez, but then walked Robinson Cano just before the Williams hit. Terrence Long then got a free pass to load the bases. With the count an even 2-2, Clement hit backup catcher Kelly Stinnett to score Cano. Clement further unraveled by yielding consecutive run-producing hits to Melky Cabrera and Derek Jeter. By the time the carnage was done, the score was tied 4-4.

Manny Ramirez’s bat kept the Red Sox in the game. He hit a two-run homer in the first and a solo shot in the seventh. Ramirez tried to use Josh Beckett as a replacement hug for Kevin Millar, but Beckett doesn’t seem to have the same squeezability factor. He also ran through DeMarlo Hale’s stop sign in the third inning to score what was then the go-ahead run. Hey, you’re not a real celebrity until you can get away with running a red light.

Ramirez was joined by Kevin Youkilis, who launched a two-run, two-out homer in the second inning that didn’t go quite as far as the Red Sox left fielder’s but was just as productive.

Boston couldn’t string enough hits in row against Randy Johnson, despite his ever-diminishing effectiveness. The gawky southpaw pitched five innings and generated a line of nine hits, five earned runs, two walks, eight strikeouts, and two roundtrippers--and still got the win. He’ll have to thank his cast of thousands in the bullpen that helped hold the Yankees lead. I missed their names in the credits crawl; they should petition the MLBPA to be on-screen longer.

David Ortiz struck out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded. Time to get his clutch checked--I don’t think the warranty has expired yet. Mariano Rivera retired the Red Sox batters in order on 13 pitches in the ninth, sealing the series win for the Bronxites. Boston still leads the AL East by half a game, but failed to put further distance between the crowded upper echelon of the division.

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