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Home » August 2006 Game CommentsAugust 2006 » Tenuous


Game 129: August 26, 2006
Red Sox (71-58), 3
Mariners (60-69), 4
BS, L: Mike Timlin (6, 5-4)
W: J.J. Putz (3-1)

Yet another quality start by a Red Sox pitcher trifled by Mike Timlin. I wonder if David Wells even bothered to stay in the dugout after his seven innings of work. Wells gave up eight hits, including the tying home run to shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt in the seventh inning.

It was a tenuous and hard-fought lead to have lost. Coco Crisp lined his seventh roundtripper of the season in the third and Mark Loretta willed a two-out ground ball single up the middle to plate Gabe Kapler.

After the Mariners evened the score in seventh, Boston briefly held the lead in the top of the eighth. After Rafael Soriano notched two easy outs, retread manager Mike Hargrove played the lefty-lefty match-up and inserted George Sherrill to face David Ortiz.

The splits were not borne out, however, as the Red Sox designated hitter smacked the 0-2 pitch to the opposite field for a double. With first open, Hargrove intentionally walked Manny Ramirez but kept Sherrill in to face Mike Lowell, who pulled a single deep enough to plate the lead runner.

If only Ramirez not been called out at third after Ortiz put up the go-ahead run, the Red Sox could have scored more.

If only Ramirez had slid into third, a questionable call could have been avoided.

If only the Red Sox only scored more, Timlin’s earned run parades, now an all-too-routine occurrence, would march the basepaths with less assurance. The macerated middle reliever surrendered the tying run (a homer by Adrian Beltre) and the go-ahead score (Ben Broussard’s sacrifice fly to plate Raul Ibanez) for his sixth blown save of the season.

If. The word can drive you mad. At least we can say, “If 2004 hadn’t happened, we’d be much more upset than we are now.”

The closeness of games have rendered the Red Sox’s margin of error minuscule; five of the last six games have been decided by a single run. But, had Boston been a shade luckier and better, these close losses could have been wins. When our injured mainstays return and are supplemented by September call-ups, it’s highly likely these games will fall our way.

If it still matters.

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