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Home » September 2006 Game CommentsSeptember 2006 » Eliminate


Game 155: September 23, 2006
Red Sox (83-72), 3
Blue Jays (81-73), 5
L: Devern Hansack (0-1)
W: A.J. Burnett (9-8)
H: Justin Speier (23)
S: B.J. Ryan (35)

Eliminate. In limine. Limitation. Ill. Illuminate.

It was going to happen. It was unavoidable. But it doesn’t make it any easier.

Baseball doesn’t use clocks, but since the sweep by the Yankees the games have ticked by with the ever-mounting inevitability that this would not be the year.

Oddly enough, I enjoyed this season more than last year. Wearing the luxuriant mantle of defending World Champions was cumbersome, distracting, heavily embroidered with the filament of past glory. They said they were going to turn the page, but they didn’t.

To be certain, there instances of keeping around the 2004 for old times’ sake; Gabe Kapler and Mike Timlin spring to mind. In the most extreme example, Doug Mirabelli was whisked from San Diego in a futile effort to rekindle the spark of two seasons ago.

But it was also a time for the emergence of a new team philosophy. For once, Boston would field a team that would lead the AL in fielding percentage. It was less raucous and had more polish, but still had the internal talent to give a few youngsters a taste of the major leagues.

Devern Hansack isn’t exactly young at 28, but he made his major league debut yesterday. Who would have thought that on the day the Red Sox faced elimination they would place a rookie on the mound?

Hansack distinguished himself in the Eastern League championship series, during which he pitched the bookend games. Yesterday he lasted five innings with a line of six hits, three hits, three earned runs, no walks, two strikeouts, and two home runs. Most impressively, he rebounded after relinquishing giving up back-to-back longballs in the fourth to Lyle Overbay and Troy Glaus with one out.

A.J. Burnett turned in an outstanding seven-inning performance for his ninth win on the season. If it weren’t for his injury, one wonders if the Red Sox would have been better off bidding for his services rather than trading away Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez for Josh Beckett.

For my game notes, follow the link below.

top 1st: Dustin Pedroia leadoff homer
David Ortiz set off an alarm!

bottom 1st: Kevin Youkilis with running catch to kill the inning

bottom 3rd: Hansack first ML K off Alex Rios

bottom 4th: Lyle Overbay tied game with homer
Troy Glaus with another four-bagger

top 5th: With Gonzalez at the dish, Gregg Zaun caught foul tip and then dropped on transfer

top 6th: Glaus made excellent play on Ortiz on line drive tailing away from him for the first out (shift was on)
Mike Lowell reached on error; Overbay unable to glove the low throw
Nixon’s fly ball bounced off Vernon Wells’s glove; amazing that he actually did have a play on it

bottom 6th: Frank Catalanotto leadoff double; hustled out of the box
Blue Jays retake the lead
Terry Francona ejected after arguing the call against Pedroia for coming off second base early

top 7th: Gabe Kapler PR for Hinske
Manny Ramirez PH for Gonzalez
Cora PR for Ramirez, who walked

bottom 8th: Blue Jays made some space

top 9th: Ortiz RBI

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