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Home » April 2007 Game CommentsApril 2007 » Feeble


Game 4: April 6, 2007
Red Sox 0 L: Tim Wakefield (0-1) 2-2, 1 game losing streak
1-0-0 series record
WinRangers 2 W: Robinson Tejeda (1-0)
H: Joaquin Benoit (1)
S: Akinori Otsuka (1)
1-3, 1 game winning streak
0-1-0 series record
Highlights: Coco Crisp hit his first extra base hit this season; a double to left in the fifth inning. Hideki Okajima and Kyle Snyder combined for a hitless seventh and eighth inning. The Red Sox were shut out for the first time this season. MLB’s Gameday is spectacular when you’re stuck at work.

The Red Sox are like a touring megaband this season. Tom Hicks and David Glass must be leaping into mountains of gold coins, Scrooge McDuck-style, given the enthusiastic crowds that follow the Boston club wherever they perform.

The Boston batters didn’t provide much of a show, though. Their patience seemed to evaporate in the Texas heat. Tejeda threw just 77 pitches in seven innings while Wakefield had 96 through six.

Coco Crisp, J.D. Drew, and Manny Ramirez were the only hitters who reached base through contact. Crisp and Ramirez also finagled free passes from Texas hurlers, along with Julio Lugo and Kevin Youkilis. With a muster of seven baserunners, it would take a near-perfect and lucky show by the Red Sox to continue their two-game winning streak.

Wakefield pitched solidly but not perfectly and luck was not on his side. In the first inning Sammy Sosa drove in Michael Young with a bloop hit that glanced off his bat as he was attempting to check his swing.

The only other glimpse of offense came in the second. The leadoff hitter of that inning reached on a fielding error by Dustin Pedroia. Rather than rookie nerves, the gaffe seemed to be a result of an unexpected hop. Wilkerson swiped second and scored on a single to left by Gerald Laird. Wilkerson was very nearly just another notch in the defensive belt of Ramirez, who can relay to home with surprising speed and accuracy. Doug Mirabelli was unable to corral the ball, however, and the only other run of the game crossed the plate.

Ramirez did have another chance to flash his fielding prowess. Beginning in shallow left and ending on the warning track, the left fielder snared former teammate Kenny Lofton’s fly ball on the run to kill the seventh inning.

When the game isn’t terribly inspiring, I feel obligated to mention something that is. The enhancements made to MLB Gameday are simply remarkable. In addition to placement of the pitches, the latest release now includes pitch speed, break in inches, and a metric called PFX I don’t understand and haven’t been able to find out a definition for, but I suspect it is horizontal break. The next thing they need to incorporate is the trajectory of hit balls, not just the point where the ball ends. Also, the “Field” graphic does not change with the selection of the “Strike Zone” graphic, something that I have always found annoying. Perhaps I can make a suggestion for that enhancement at the Gameday blog.

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