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Home » August 2006 Game CommentsAugust 2006 » Railroaded


Game 107: August 3, 2006
Indians (47-60), 7
Red Sox (64-43), 6
W: Jake Westbrook (8-7)
S: Jason Davis (1)
L: Josh Beckett (13-6)

Sadly, not only did the Red Sox lose last night’s game and consequently their position as the leader of the AL East, but it was confirmed by Jeff Horrigan of the Boston Herald that the baserunning grackle from Tuesday’s game was killed by a hawk. There were rumors of this posted on SoSH on Wednesday.

As soon as Wily Crow Peña’s feathers were removed from the field the Red Sox replaced him with another (former) bird, Javy Lopez. The 35-year old catcher might become the full-time backstop due to Jason Varitek’s recent knee injury and surgery. It won’t be difficult to tell Javy from Javier Lopez; the former is the one with the rollator.

Last night was all the more tormenting because throughout the evening David Ortiz had crushed pitches that would have been roundtrippers had the wind been in his favor. Manny Ramirez also had a long fly ball out in the ninth that could have tied the game.

After an effective first five innings during which he allowed just a single earned rum (a home run to the despicable Aaron Boone, who had the audacity to assail the Fisk Pole), Josh Beckett collapsed in the sixth. He relinquished singles and homers in an unfortunate pattern, enabling a two-run lead devolve into a four-run deficit. Shin-Soo Choo, who was slugging .182 this season, was able to propel the ball into the bleachers above the home bullpen in the with ducks on the pond for his third major league four-bagger.

Beckett continued to raise concerns because of his tendency to surrender the longball. It seems that he is stubbornly adhering to his fast but ruler-straight fastball and doesn’t always have the confidence that he can hurl his curveball for strikes. The young righty can’t expect to blow away AL hitters with his heater because even though it is hard it doesn’t have natural movement and he doesn’t have a slow enough change-up to baffle batters. If Varitek is able to hobble around and beat some sense into Beckett’s brain with his cane while he’s on the mend, he should take the initiative and do so.

The home team countered in the bottom half of the sixth by loading the bases with no outs. Ken Huckaby grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to plate Peña and Kevin Youkilis singled to notch his second RBI of the evening. The Red Sox first baseman brought his team within a single run in the eighth with his sacrifice fly, but Boston was unable to overcome the breach.

Huckaby did tally his first hit as a Red Sox player with a ground ball single in the fourth. So, he does have uses beyond dislocating Derek Jeter’s shoulder, but that should be his primary function.

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