Game 162: October 1, 2006
Orioles (70-92), 0
Red Sox (86-76), 9
L: Hayden Penn (0-4)
W: Devern Hansack (1-1)
5 innings; completed early due to rain
There won’t be the kind of October baseball we’ve been accustomed to these past three years.
But there will be Red Sox, or potential Red Sox players, on the diamond in October.
Halfway across the Pacific there is the rejuvenated Hawaii Winter Baseball league. Sea Dogs Manager Todd Claus, this year’s Double-A Manager of the Year, will lead a team comprised of prospects from the Diamondbacks, Padres, Rangers, Red Sox, Royals and Yankees as well as youngsters from the Yakult Swallows and Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball league. Jeff Corsaletti, John Otness, and Ryan Phillips will take Hans L’Orange Field in Waipahu, a former plantation town.
On the outskirts of the Sonora Desert the Arizona Fall League will begin on October 10th. The Peoria Javelinas will feature quite a few standout Red Sox farm hands: Dustin Brown, Jacoby Ellsbury, Barry Hertzler, Kyle Jackson, David Pauley, and Chad Spann.
The one game the Red Sox played in October lasted only five innings because of the weather. It seemed to encapsulate the season on a small scale, with forces beyond human control predominating the proceedings. Injuries rained down on the squad and the downpour brought a merciful end to the season.
The scoring started early in the game with a majestic Mike Lowell three-run homer off the Coke bottles. In my head I imagined the bottle breaking open and showering the masses with carbonated beverage goodness.
In the third, the home team loaded the bases for Carlos Peña. Rookie pitcher Hayden Penn, unnerved despite having two outs on the board, walked the first baseman for another run. Gabe Kapler doubled down the left field line to empty the bases to render the score 7-0 just as the Patriots’ 2006 first round draft pick Laurence Maroney scored a touchdown against the Bengals.
Two other unlikely players launched home runs: Mark Loretta lofted his fifth of the season in the fourth and Eric Hinske propelled his first and perhaps only roundtripper in a Red Sox uniform in the fifth.
David Ortiz walked in the fourth. The designated hitter is the AL leader in homers (54) and walks (119), a near-perfect balance of power and patience but with a dash of walk-off panache. Doug Mirabelli pinch ran for Ortiz, giving the fans a chance to say farewell to the player who is their MVP.
Devern Hansack pitched all five innings and didn’t allow a hit. He walked a single batter and struck out six. Nature conspired against him, however, and the chance at a no-hitter was not in the offing.
Terry Francona understood the import of the fifth. He pulled Loretta and replaced the second baseman with Dustin Pedroia, who will most likely be the starter in that middle infield position. With two out and the rain drenching the park, Trot Nixon departed from the field, perhaps for his final time as the starting right fielder. David Murphy took position on the patch on the turf well-worn by Nixon’s cleats.
It won’t rain all the time
The sky won’t fall forever
And though the night seems long
Your tears won’t fall forever
Jane Siberry, “It Can’t Rain All the Time”