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Home » August 2006 Game CommentsAugust 2006 » Kindle


Game 114: August 11, 2006
Orioles (51-65), 2
Red Sox (66-48), 9
L: Adam Loewen (2-4)
W: David Wells (1-2)

For five long games we have not heard the stifled giggles of Don Orsillo courtesy of Jerry Remy’s gibes. Mirth in the broadcast booth over bobbleheads is an indication of a blowout, as is the replacement of Manny Ramirez in left by Wily Mo Peña, who slid over from right field with the defensive insertion of Gabe Kapler in the top of the seventh inning. The neat thing about the upcoming NESN bobbledesk set is that Orsillo’s head didn’t even need to scaled up.

David Wells proved the savior Curt Schilling wasn’t in the final game of the road series. It was partially the result of the veteran southpaw’s precise location, but also because Terry Francona realized that it’s probably not a good idea to keep 40-ish guys on the mound for eight innings. Wells electrified the crowd with his two consecutive strikeouts in six pitches to begin the game. He would not allow a run until the seventh inning, striking out four and walking only one.

Wells had the benefit of an early lead. Coco Crisp led off with first with a bleeder past Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts and scored when Miguel Tejada failed to glove a line drive by Manny Ramirez. Baltimore should have been out of the inning with a double play, but the visiting shortstop couldn’t palm the dart. In a bit of homefield scoring, Tejada’s error was converted to a base hit to extend Ramirez’s streak to 26 games. For anyone questioning the validity of the streak, Ramirez did have another solid RBI ground ball single up the middle during the scoring outbreak in the third inning.

The player of the game, however, had to be Mike Lowell. In the first inning the third baseman was spun around in the box and beaned in the head by rookie pitcher Adam Loewen to load the bases. Despite the scare, Lowell remained in the game and excelled. In the top of the third he fell into the first row box seats in pursuit of Nick Markakis’s pop fly. Not only did he corral the ball, but did so after tumbling into the laps of a Yankee and Met fan. How did they get such great seats? In his next plate appearance, Lowell singled to generate a run and stole third base.

Loewen appeared shell-shocked after hitting Lowell in the melon and was hesitant to pitch inside to righties the rest of the evening. The rookie began the third by walking Mark Loretta and David Ortiz, throwing only a single strike to the two batters. He would be replaced only after relinquishing RBI singles to Ramirez, Lowell, and Peña.

Rodrigo Lopez would provide no relief to the Orioles. He allowed RBI singles to Javy Lopez and Loretta. Alex Gonzalez shot a ground ball through the infield with enough force to carom about the left field corner for an RBI triple.

In the sixth inning Ortiz-san doubled to deep right and assumed the crane pose popularized by Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid. Everyone was deeply touched by Ortiz’s expression of sympathy for Wily Crow Peña at the keystone sack.

Kyle Snyder may have found his bullpen role as the middle reliever. In his two innings of work, Snyder struck out two, walked one, and gave up a homer. It was to the formerly maligned Corey Patterson, but it should be noted that the outfielder has improved his on-base and power ratios this season.

As they were for Abe Vigoda, reports of the Red Sox demise have been greatly exaggerated. ESPN probably won’t air retractions, showing they have less journalistic integrity than People magazine.

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