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Home » April 2007 Game CommentsApril 2007 » Yo-yo


Game 5: April 7, 2007
Red Sox 4 L: Julian Tavarez (0-1) 2-3, 2 game losing streak
1-1-0 series record
WinRangers 8 W: Kevin Millwood (1-1)
H: Ron Mahay (1)
2-3, 2 game winning streak
1-1-0 series record
Highlights: Julian Tavarez montage to “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel,” a song by Tavares. The band was founded by five New Bedford brothers in 1964 and signed their first record deal in 1973. Tavarez, the pitcher, is nicknamed “Yo-yo.”

Well, at least the Red Sox weren’t shut out.

Kevin Youkilis seemed to relish calling off Tavarez when grounders come to him. On every ball to first Youkilis raised his hand to the enthusiastic Tavarez. “Got it, Yo-yo.” “It’s mine, dude.” The lanky pitcher did have rookie second baseman Dustin Pedroia to orchestrate, and he never failed to do so with each ground ball.

The first inning showed promise after Julio Lugo struck out on four pitches. Youkilis and David Ortiz lined nearly duplicate singles into center field. Youkilis advanced on Manny Ramirez’s force out to short, leaving runners at the corners for J.D. Drew. Drew lofted a fly ball to shallow left, scoring Youkilis. Even though Ramirez was off on contact, he become the last out of the inning at third, which is, as every little leaguer knows, a no-no.

The top of the second inning featured a play that in my living memory recall the Red Sox ever trying: a double steal. With two out, Coco Crisp advanced to second by thievery only to have Dustin Pedroia take first on a free pass. There must have been some sort of super-secret code between players who man the middle of the field, because the next thing you know Crisp and Pedroia attempted a double steal on the first pitch to Lugo.

Lugo foiled the multiple theft attempt by fouling off a pitch, perhaps jealous of the sudden brotherhood between his two teammates. On the next pitch the shortstop shot a single up the middle to plate the center fielder. Millwood issued another walk, this time to Youkilis, loading the bases for Ortiz. The Texas pitcher was let off the hook, however, as Ortiz rapped a grounder right back to the mound for the final out of the second.

Two more runs trickled in late in the game for the Red Sox. Jason Varitek showed signs of life at last with a gap double to drive in Drew in the sixth. It was the veteran catcher’s first extra base hit and second hit in the 14 at bats he’s accumulated so far in 2007. Ramirez drove in Lugo in the eighth with a single to center; it was the left fielder’s second RBI of the young season.

The Rangers offense surged in the third and sixth innings, scoring four runs in each. It could have been a monumental blowout if Tavarez wasn’t able to pitch out of a bases loaded jan in the second inning, so it was more like an island in the middle of a cul de sac maintained by a local real estate agency sort of defeat.

The third inning featured a misplay in right by Drew on Michael Young’s shot that bounded down the right field line deep into the corner. Drew was unable to dig out the ball quickly and his throw skittered past two cutoff men before weakly nestling into Varitek’s glove about a half a dozen feet from home. By the time the backtstop lept back to the plate, Young was sliding for the tying run. The bases filled with Rangers once more, Ramirez chose to play Nelson Cruz’s liner on a hop rather than risk the dive that could allow the ball to slip by him and two more runs would score.

In the sixth the Rangers batted around, facing a troika of Boston bullpen pitchers: Kyle Snyder, J.C. Romero, and Brendan Donnelly. As demonstrated by the triumvirates of the Roman empire, power wielded by three individuals might be convenient at first but usually degenerates into utter chaos, or, at the very least, two-run homers by Sammy Sosa.

Curt Schilling takes the mound this evening to answer the questions about the team and himself that are already galling the minds of the impatient Red Sox fans. Speaking of galling, the game is on ESPN.

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