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Home » July 2006 Game CommentsJuly 2006 » Angled


Game 79: July 2, 2006
Red Sox (50-29), 4
Marlins (35-43), 3
BS: Julian Tavarez (2)
W: Mike Timlin (4-0)
H: Manny Delcarmen (4)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (25)
L: Randy Messenger (1-4)

Josh Johnson, the Marlins’ starter, was in competition earlier this season for a spot in the Marlins’ bullpen with Scott Olsen and supplanted the contender by the end of spring training. He was successful enough in the bullpen that by May he bumped Jason Vargas from the fifth spot in the rotation. Since his promotion, Johnson has been invaluable to Florida’s recent hot streak by winning six and losing only two of his last 11 starts. Much like Jon Lester, Johnson has brought a youthful dynamism to his team. Johnson did allow three home runs (to Kevin Youkilis, Jason Varitek, and David Ortiz in consecutive innings), but all were solo shots. He ended with a line of seven innings, four hits, four walks, and five strikeouts.

His opposite number on the Red Sox lasted just five innings and also gave up a solo homer in the first inning. Lester’s brief outing was due mainly to his nerve-wracking second inning where he permitted a bases loaded situation. But three fly outs later, all to formidable hitters (Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, and Miguel Cabrera), he left the inning unscathed and didn’t allow another run until the fifth.

Julian Tavarez regressed to the mean in the seventh. He threw three straight balls to Cabrera to lead off the inning and paid the price for his lack of precision with a dinger that knotted the game and deprived Lester of a win. Terry Francona gave just enough rope to Tavarez to walk Josh Willingham. Mike Timlin nearly hung himself with that extra slack and Youkilis added a nail to the gallows himself with a fielding error that led to another bases loaded scenario, but Timlin induced a pair of pop flys to stay the executioner’s hand.

As with previous games where the score was close or tied late in the game, the Red Sox manufactured a run in the eighth to take the lead. Jerry Remy’s idol, Alex Cora, reached on an error to commence the inning and advanced to third with his super-duper, heads up, cracker jack base running on Gabe Kapler’s follow-up single. The tiptop shortstop tagged up with matchless grace on Mark Loretta’s sacrifice fly to secure his team the lead.

Manny Delcarmen made his case to replace Rudy Seanez with his two-thirds innings of perfect relief. It’s not so difficult a case to make; if Delcarmen only allowed three runs to score it could still be a compelling argument. Phenom and propagator of peace Jonathan Papelbon allowed a single baserunner on a base on balls before hammering down his 25th save of the season. He was obviously giving a shout out to Matt of NU50 who celebrated his quarter-century on Sunday and who swears that he bought his Papelbon player t-shirt months before all of the bandwagoners did.


I totally bought mine in March, suckers! It would have been sooner, but I quite literally bought the first Papelbon player tee I saw. Of course, I just got another one yesterday for my birthday, but the new one is a Sea Dogs Papelbon player tee. So now, I can fake being way ahead of the curve.

I was hoping for an Ellsbury, but I guess they didn't have one.

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