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Home » September 2006 Game CommentsSeptember 2006 » Traject


Game 150: September 17, 2006
Red Sox (81-69), 5
Yankees (90-59), 4
W: Javier Lopez (1-0)
S: Mike Timlin (8)
H: Scott Proctor (23)
BS: Mike Myers (1)
L: Kyle Farnsworth (3-5)

The end of Derek Jeter’s hit streak won’t get as much publicity as its much-hyped progress. Neither will Javier Lopez’s first win in a Red Sox uniform. But it’s those tiny bits of optimism that combine to blot out the idiotic jumble that passes for Joe Morgan’s commentary.

In the second inning, Morgan said that Mike Mussina forced Dustin Pedroia to crush a pitch in a Kevin Millar-like fashion. I don’t suppose it had anything to do with Pedroia’s out-sized stride, his swing, the muscles that propel the bat through the zone. Mussina must be telepathically moving Pedroia’s body to do his bidding. Those damn Yankees.

Morgan’s assertion that Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui’s swings were similar because they both are products of the Japan League was ludicrous. The players’ only true commonality is that they are both Japanese, which Morgan seems to believe intrinsically affects how they handle the bat. I wonder if he and Dusty Baker get together to discuss how to best use players based on their racial characteristics.

The Red Sox mustered runs early and late to salvage some dignity in this wayward season. Trot Nixon dispatched his eighth homer of the season in the second with Mike Lowell, who had doubled (what else?) to lead off the inning.

It wasn’t until the eighth inning that the visitors would come home again. A single off the bat of Mark Loretta skipped along the left field line to begin the rally.

Old acquaintance Mike Myers clambered onto the hill and slung cautiously to David Ortiz, walking him on four pitches. Lowell’s bloop to shallow right fooled Ortiz. It seemed that one of the three Yankees in pursuit would nab the ball in time, but instead it landed safely in their midst. Meanwhile, Ortiz was lingering in no-man’s land and was out at second because of ball’s unexpected drop.

Jason Varitek singled up the middle to score Loretta. Myers then hit Doug Mirabelli to fill the bases. I know Mirabelli is a big target, but part of me likes to think that the Red Sox part of Myers was emanant.

By the way, I can’t figure out if Eric Hinske pinch running for Mirabelli is insulting to one, the other, or both.

I was almost fully convinced of Myers’s true allegiance when his wild pitch to Pedroia allowed the tying run to score.

Wily Mo Peña doubled to right to leadoff the ninth. Alex Cora ran for him, and not only did he proceed to third thanks to Coco Crisp’s bunt, but Crisp found himself safe at first thanks to Jorge Posada’s off-target throw. Perhaps Myers has been recruiting.

Although Loretta’s fly to center was shallow, it was caught by Bernie Williams, easily allowing Cora to grant his team the lead. Crisp swiped second, but Kyle Farnsworth had something to prove and went after Ortiz despite first base being open.

This surprised Posada, who was unable to block the pitch that Ortiz had vainly swung at. Unable... or perhaps, unwilling?

One-run victories usually require a few defensive highlights, and this game was no exception.

Melky Cabrera was caught off his guard in the fifth. The Yankees could have sparked a two-out rally if Kevin Jarvis hadn’t picked off the outfielder for the final out.

Crisp made a superlative snag in the eighth. Jason Giambi led off with a single that broke the shift. Had the Red Sox center fielder not snared Posada’s fly ball, the home team would have regained the lead right after Boston had tied the game. Loretta then fielded Robinson Cano’s grounder, tagged out rookie pinch runner Kevin Thompson, and relayed to first in one smooth inning-killing motion.

Mike Timlin was brought in to finish the ninth and Alex Rodriguez pinch hit in a key situation, showing that even in the most futile circumstances someone will lapse into further fruitlessness. Thankfully for the Red Sox, it was Rodriguez who came up short.

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