|Game 75: June 18, 2008|
|Red Sox||7||W: Justin Masterson (4-1)
H: Manny Delcarmen (10)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (21)
|46-29, 2 game winning streak|
|Phillies||4||L: Kyle Kendrick (6-3)||42-32, 2 game losing streak|
|Highlights: The consonance between Phillies starting pitcher’s first and last names calls to mind a character from a comic book. Kendrick was unable to summon “Above Replacement Level Man,” however, and abandoned the mound with a mere three innings under his belt and six earned runs ballooning his earned run average. Joba Chamberlain’s start today was actually better than Masterson’s; this is the first time this has happened since I began my informal comparison of the two. It should be noted that the Padres’ offensive is as weak as Pau Gasol in the post, however.|
Four of Boston’s seven runs came on first-inning homers by J.D. Drew (a three-run shot) and Mike Lowell (a solo blast to left right after Drew’s). David Ortiz recently had his cast removed, but with key players stepping up to fill the void, the designated hitter should be able to rest and completely recover rather than be immediately pressed into action.
I do enjoy the interleague match-ups against the Phillies. Philadelphia, like Boston, is an East Coast city that has an inferiority complex from playing second fiddle to New York City. They are passionate about their sports, but unlike Boston their clubs, with the exception of the Flyers, are in a collective and long-running slump. They know when to cheer and certainly when to jeer independent of cues from the Jumbotron, setting them above the likes of Rockies adherents. They stew in their miserable futility with determination. They seem to take as much pleasure unleashing their cat calls when their team fails as they do hollering hurrays when their squad succeeds.
At least they recognize they are fortunate to have Shane Victorino prowling center and have adopted him as favorite. Victorino was born and raised on Maui where he excelled as a sprinter. The Dodgers drafted him in 1999 and was selected by the Padres in the Rule 5 draft of 2002.
While he was with the Friars he got to play 36 games in the majors but turned in a paltry .151 batting average, .232 on-base percentage, and .179 slugging. The Padres returned him to the Dodgers organization where he did not sniff the majors again.
The Phillies picked Victorino up in the 2004 Rule 5 draft. This time the peregrinating outfielder found a home and was given a chance to get into the lineup. He took that opportunity and ran with it. The way he runs, no one is going to take away his job for a long, long time.
I’ll be at tomorrow night’s game. The World Champions of basketball will be visiting the defending World Champions of baseball. I hope Gino will make an appearance on Fenway’s screen.