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Home » September 2006 Game CommentsSeptember 2006 » Regnant


Game 148: September 16, 2006
Red Sox (79-69), 5
Yankees (90-57), 7
BS: Craig Hansen (1)
L: Craig Breslow (0-2)
W: Scott Proctor (6-4)
S: Kyle Farnsworth (5)

Fortunately the night half of the doubleheader was covered by NESN. Still, you know the state of the Red Sox is dire when, in a weekend of back-to-back games the major news is about the status of a player next year.

Just two saves shy of the rookie record for saves, Jonathan Papelbon revealed that not only will he most likely be shut down for this season but that he will likely be a starter in 2007. Given Papelbon’s repertoire and talent, I believe that he will be more valuable as a starter. Papelbon’s arsenal is too vast to be squandered in a relief role. With questions about Jon Lester and Matt Clement, it should a given that Papelbon will get the nod every fifth day.

Closers come to their roles because they cannot vary their approach to hitters--they are effective in small doses. Furthermore, closers are useful only when their starters and middle relievers can get them to the ninth.

Somehow Julian Tavarez managed to change my mind about him. Early on this season I had categorized him with the likes of Rudy Seanez, but such an estimation was unfounded.

Tavarez had a defensive dazzler in the second. With Jorge Posada at third, the pitcher gloved Aaron Guiel’s grounder between his legs, looked back Posada, and underhanded to Kevin Youkilis for the out.

Although the Red Sox starter lasted only five innings and relinquished four earned runs and four walks while striking out only two, Randy Johnson proved likewise vulnerable.

The chink in Johnson’s armor was, of all people, Alex Gonzalez. In a manner reminiscent of how Pedro Martinez was tormented by Enrique Wilson, Gonzalez was two for four with two RBIs.

One of Gonzalez’s hits was an RBI double in the third. Dustin Pedroia, who had also mustered a double off the lanky lefty, scored. In turn Youkilis doubled to plate Gonzalez for the lead.

The advantage would not stay with the visitors for long, however. Bernie Williams, showing signs of life in the fourth, launched a two-RBI double to left field to tie the game.

Coco Crisp knocked Johnson out of sixth with a two-RBI ground-rule double of his own with the bases loaded. But Craig Hansen, in his first appearance at Yankee Stadium, blew the lead in the bottom of the same frame.

I will credit Derek Jeter for extending his hit streak and as well as for his bravery in the seventh. The Yankees shortstop faced the onslaught of Wily Mo Peña sliding into second in his attempt to turn a double play, something most infielders would avoid. In that same inning, Alex Rodriguez wanly attempting to nab Trot Nixon’s pop out in the first row of the seats. A floozy actually grasped his arm and tried to get a friend to take a picture of her with the third baseman.

I <3 New York.

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