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Home » July 2006 Game CommentsJuly 2006 » Rocked


Game 85: July 8, 2006
Red Sox (53-32), 9
White Sox (56-31), 6
W: Josh Beckett (11-4)
H: Javier Lopez (4)
H: Craig Hansen (3)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (26)
L: David Riske (0-2)

Just about a month ago relievers David Riske and Javier Lopez were swapped between the two teams surnamed Sox. Although Riske’s ERA for the month of July (3.86) is better than Lopez’s (7.71), yesterday Lopez made a pivotal one-third of an inning appearance to help his team win.

Josh Beckett had pitched six innings, at times brilliantly but on occasion recklessly. He relinquished three homers, two to fellow World Series MVP Jermaine Dye. To commence the seventh inning he walked two batters and allowed another to single to load the bases. With lefty slugger Jim Thome at the dish, Lopez was brought in to staunch the bleeding and did so with a surgeon’s precision. Craig Hansen put the finishing touches on the operation by stitching together the final two outs of the seventh, although the rookie reliever did allow a run to score in the eighth. Jonathan Papelbon was electric as usual, allowing no hits in his one and one-third innings appearance to nail down his 26th save of the season.

I caught a portion of the Chicago White Sox postgame show that said Papelbon was “just like our Bobby Jenks.” The two closers are tied in the number of saves, but Jenks’s 2.56 ERA, while excellent, isn’t “just like” Papelbon’s 0.41 ERA. To placate the offended sensibilities of White Sox fans over their series loss, highlights from the 2005 ALDS sweep over Boston were in high rotation.

Riske pitched two-thirds of an inning in the sixth and allowed the game-winning run to score. He ignobly walked Alex Cora after attaining two outs. With the score knotted at five runs apiece and knowing that Jenks loomed in the bullpen ready to shut down his team, Terry Francona had Cora steal to get into scoring position. Kevin Youkilis drove the shortstop in with a liner to left field.

With their second win against the White Sox, Boston guaranteed that they will go into the All-Star break with a series win under their belt. If there’s any team and fan base that needs ego deflation it would be the Pale Hose, and the Red Sox may just be the team to do so.


Paps is in a league of his own when it comes to ERA. He hasn't given up a run on the road! A win today would be sweet, Joanna.

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