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Home » September 2006 Game CommentsSeptember 2006 » Seize


Game 149: September 17, 2006
Red Sox (80-69), 6
Yankees (90-58), 3
W: Brian Corey (2-1)
H: Keith Foulke (12)
S: Mike Timlin (7)
L: Ron Villone (3-3)

The Red Sox’s first round draft pick of 2003, David Murphy, mashed his first major league homer to begin the game. Meanwhile, the Yankees’ 2003 pick, Eric Duncan, a third baseman, is blocked by Alex Rodriguez gargantuan contract. Duncan has been taking turns at first base, but the opposite corner isn’t exactly bereft of talent internally. If I were a young prospect, I would think twice about signing on with the Gotham maulers. Who knows when your path to the majors will be barricaded by yet another blockbuster acquisition?

The Yankees took the lead in the third on the strength of Johnny Damon and Melky Cabrera’s back-to-back doubles. Cabrera was driven in by Robinson Cano’s liner to left. The home team continued their assault in the fourth with three successive singles to jam the bases. Kyle Snyder pitched with tremendous aplomb, induced a fly ball from Tampa Bay refugee Nick Green and struck out Sal Fasano and Damon.

Snyder showed again those glimpses of near-brilliance that may prompt Boston to sign him to a short-term deal for 2007. But when Snyder is on the schneid, it can be horrendous. On Sunday he lasted five innings while giving up seven hits, two earned runs, and a single base on balls. He struck out seven, including those pivotal whiffs in the fourth. Bob Tewksbury would have pointed to this inning as the key pitching moment when the game was won.

David Ortiz tied the game in the sixth with his 49th four-bagger of the season, bringing him to within one home run of tying Jimmie Foxx’s franchise record. As they have throughout the series, the herd regaled the Red Sox designated hitter with their monotonous lowing.

I guess the check to the baseball officials’ office hadn’t cleared yet, because the visiting team was the beneficiary of a questionable call by first base umpire Mike Estabrook in the seventh inning. Pinch runner Coco Crisp could have been called out for leaving the basepaths when he evaded Craig Wilson’s tag, but instead twisted his way back to first.

Mark Loretta pinch hit for Murphy and after an epic ten-pitch standoff, including four pickoff attempts, made his way to first on a free pass from Ron Villone. Following in fellow greenhorn Murphy’s stead, Dustin Pedroia doubled in the go-ahead runs. Ortiz was then intentionally walked.

Not to be outdone by the new arrivals, Kevin Youkilis arced a bases-clearing double into center field. The mission to avoid seeing Yankees perfunctorily celebrating was successful and the Red Sox’ partial recovery of dignity was almost complete.

As an aside, Pedroia was the Red Sox’s second round draft pick in 2004. The Yankees’ second round pick, right-handed pitcher Brett Smith, seems far from professional glory and is eclipsed by phenom Philip Hughes.

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