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Home » August 2006 Game CommentsAugust 2006 » Mangled


Game 117: August 14, 2006
Tigers (77-41), 7
Red Sox (68-49), 4
W: Nate Robertson (11-8)
H: Joel Zumaya (25)
S: Todd Jones (32)
L: Josh Beckett (13-7)

In the Battle of Repugnant Pogonotrophy, Josh Beckett came up short. You would think that his pseudo-soul patch cum goatee would prevail, but Nate Robertson’s better grooming reigned supreme.

Perhaps it had nothing to do with coifing, but more to do with Tigers leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson smoking the first pitch of the game for a triple that dallied along the bend in the right field wall. Josh Beckett walked Craig Monroe and ceded an RBI single to Dmitri Young. By the time the third out of the top of the first was recorded, the Red Sox had spotted the visitors three runs.

Against any other team, such a deficit is conquerable. Against Detroit, however, you may as well concede defeat and hope for a series win in the next two match-ups. Which is what Terry Francona seemed to be doing when he called on Rudy Seanez to take the mound in the eighth inning. Seanez escaped the seventh unscathed but Francona pushed his luck by allowing the inconsistent righty to allowing alternating bases on balls and singles for two more runs by the Tigers.

Craig Breslow, the left-handed pitcher who was recalled from Pawtucket yesterday, pitched for an inning and two-thirds, allowed a single hit, and struck out three. Will he be the long reliever the Red Sox, with their threadbare starting rotation, so desperately require?

Twenty-one year old Joel Zumaya, despite being barely able to shave, had a Beckettesque scruff of his own. Only his whiskers were accompanied with 100 mph heat and a change of pace pitch in the high eighties. His stuff is tailor-made for the vastness of Comerica Park, but we shall see if his speed alone can continue to baffle hitters. The rookie whiz pitched two innings, allowed a run, and struck out one batter.

Kevin Youkilis, a former practioner of bizarre facial hair configurations but now fully recovered, kept his team in the game with his two-run homer in the sixth and his RBI single in the eighth. In the top of the ninth, the first baseman fought off powerful wind that pawed at Young’s pop fly in foul territory. The infielder prowled the area, making minute adjustments that allowed him to adeptly capture his prey.

DeMarlo Hale’s pimpstache failed later in the eighth. He had been doing exceptionally well avoiding media critique with sound judgment at third, but he erred last night by sending Manny Ramirez home on a line drive single by Mike Lowell to short center field. Ramirez seemed surprised that Hale wanted him to go, but when he was given the signal the left fielder did book it to the pay-station. The 8-6-2 hosing wounded the home team’s momentum. Wily Mo Peña finished the killing by whiffing, making way for Todd Jones’s modified handlebar and 31 saves.

Make that 32.


I like how you used my favorite scrabble word, "coif," and used it as a verb.

We should challenge Jonathan Papelbon to a Scrabble match. He claims he's very good at it.

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