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Home » August 2006 Game CommentsAugust 2006 » Rebound



Rochester vs. Pawtucket
Red Wings (75-60), 4
Red Sox (65-70), 5
L: Beau Kemp (7-4)
W: Craig Breslow (7-1)
S: Jermaine Van Buren (15)

In general, they were bigger (if you don’t include Willie Harris), older (Quinton McCracken was born in 1970), and stronger (two players, one from each team, hit home runs) than their Class A counterparts.

Some of them had already played on this inviolable ground, so the field trip to Fenway may have vexed them. They may well feel that it shouldn’t be some special event that brings them back to this particular diamond.

For those who had been recently denied the chance to play in a major league park with a major league team, it was a chance to show that they didn’t deserve to be demoted.

Lenny DiNardo started the game despite the scuttlebutt that Chris Smith was tapped for the honor. The Boston Red Sox are probably looking to shore up their flagging rotation and the nod for DiNardo was probably to gauge if he could help the big league team. The lefty’s first inning saw him ill at ease; he pitched behind to all four batters he faced and allowed a leadoff single.

By the next two innings, however, the peripatetic reliever settled significantly. He pared down his ERA to something less than infinite, struck out two, and walked none.

Smith, who replaced DiNardo in the fourth, however, seemed shaky and yielded the first runs to Rochester via a home run to Kevin West with Chris Heintz on the bench.

The Pawsox responded in the home half of the sixth. First-round draft pick David Murphy grounded into a double play with Harris on third and Carlos Peña on first and no out, enabling the tying run to cross the plate. Jeff Bailey’s two-out single kept the inning going, and Ron Calloway, who had driven in the home team’s first run in the fourth, followed up with an RBI double for the go-ahead run.

As he did to get himself demoted, Craig Hansen gave up the lead almost immediately. Former Red Sox farmhand Shawn Wooten, with his fly ball over the head of Bailey and speedy pinch runner Andres Torres at first, was the culprit.

Craig Breslow, the Pawsox pitcher in the eighth, would also give up an RBI single. Tigers first baseman Garrett Jones gave his team the lead.

Unlike their major league brethren, the Triple-A’s offense proved up to the task of a comeback win. In the bottom of the eighth, Harris dropped a single into shallow right field. Peña, the recipient of the second-loudest laudation of the day, launched a Papi-like longjack into the bleachers abutting the home bullpen.

Jermaine Van Buren made quick work of the first two batters he faced in the ninth, Wooten in particular. The backstop struck out on three pitches. Crafty McCracken worked a walk and Tommy Watkins put up a nine-pitch battle before flying out to left for the final out.

There were less between-inning shenanigans and freebies compared to the Lowell game, probably because those firework shows cost a pretty penny. For some reason, the public address announcer repeatedly called the left field corner the “Yaz Corner,” something I had never heard before. Was there some official memorializing of the area I missed? Is “where Duffy’s Cliff used to be” too long?

I mentioned I had pavilion seats for this game. Just as it was the first time for some of the players to play on the venerable field, this was my first time in this newly-constructed section. There are many peculiarities of the upper deck-like structure I will share in an upcoming post.



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