Category Listing
Monthly Archive
Baseball Reference
Red Sox Links

Recent Posts
Recent Comments
Essential Empy

Home » May 2007 Game CommentsMay 2007 » Dameoshi [駄目押し]

Dameoshi [駄目押し]

Game 41: May 19, 2007
Braves 3 L: Anthony Lerew (0-2) 25-17, 3 game losing streak
9-2-3 series record
WinRed Sox 13 W: Daisuke Matsuzaka (6-2) 29-12, 3 game winning streak
11-2-2 series record
Highlights: Matsuzaka came close to notching his second complete game with a sturdy line of eight innings, nine hits, three earned runs, no walks, and six strikeouts. Mike Lowell launched his sixth career grand slam in the fifth with the score 3-0, adding more than enough dameoshi, or insurance runs. Dame (pronounced with two syllables: dah-may) originates from the game of go and refers to placing a piece that won’t add to a player’s points but does keep that player’s position safe. Lowell has been excelling with a 10-game hitting streak, but he has yet to execute the hidden ball trick in a Red Sox uniform.

Of the Red Sox player t-shirts on the remainder rack at the Souvenir Store, Edgar Renteria’s 3 or 16 are the most distant and dusty reminders of the shortstops sought after to plug the infield hole. Renteria’s brief stint as a Red Sox player in 2005 marked one of his worst years both hitting and fielding.

Yesterday Renteria made his first appearance at Fenway since being traded to the Atlanta Braves after the 2005 season. He seemed more at ease in the National League and accustomed to the lower profile playing for the Braves affords him; 2007 is shaping up to be the best year of his career.

Shades of his former self surfaced in the sixth. The Braves shortstop bobbled a grounder pushed off the bat of Dustin Pedroia and made a turbulent toss to third that Chipper Jones couldn’t contain. Pedroia advanced to second on the error and scored, along with Coco Crisp, on Julio Lugo’s line drive double to the gap in left-center.

In the Renteria trade the Red Sox acquired Andy Marte. Marte, along with Guillermo Mota and Kelly Shoppach, was flipped to Cleveland for Coco Crisp, Josh Bard, and David Riske. While Crisp has had injury woes and offensive outages, Marte hasn’t been setting the world on fire in Cleveland and just recently came off the disabled list this season. Bard was part of the panicked reacquisition of Doug Mirabelli last May, but Riske did bring Javier Lopez to Boston. Lopez has proved a steadfast bullpen arm with the flexibility of having options.

The book isn’t closed on the various and sundry player transactions made post-2004, but with Boston winning at a .700 clip, there’s not much to regret.

Lugo set the tone early with his first inning homer into Monster seats. Kevin Youkilis smoked a two-run jack into the batter’s eye in the second that was just a smidgen shorter than his previous shot to that region. With the bases loaded in the fifth, Mike Lowell impressively lofted his grannie over the wall. Wily Mo Peña blew away the others with his moonshot that dinged more than one car sitting in the Lansdowne Street parking lot.

In addition to his Rookie of the Year bid, Daisuke Matsuzaka made a case for the Gold Glove award in the second. With Jeff Francoeur at first, Matsuzaka induced a ground ball off the hot-hitting Scott Thorman. Youkilis played up to the ball and slung it to Lugo. With Francoeur bearing down hard, Lugo had just enough time to hurl it to first but not accurately. Matsuzaka vaulted to snag the toss and swiped Thorman just before his foot came down on the first base sack. The rookie pitcher also deftly fielded a sharp Andruw Jones comebacker in the seventh.

If the Gold Glove were awarded on style rather than just reputation, Crisp should be in the running as well. In the fifth the center fielder made a Willie Mays-like catch (an over-used analogy, I know) of Thorman’s fly to deep center. Perennial Gold Glove center fielder Jones mirrored that play in the sixth, foiling Jason Varitek. The Boston backstop was the only Red Sox starting player without a hit.

Manny Ramirez undeservedly takes heat for his fielding, but he has a knack for understanding an outfield as outlandish as he is. Matt Diaz learned this firsthand when he tried to stretch his lines shot off the wall from a single into a double. The Braves designated hitter was hosed by Ramirez’s patented quick trigger action to the infield. Replay showed that Diaz might have been safe, but like so many runners unfamiliar with Fenway, the play was much closer than they imagined.

As we shall see, the Red Sox should have saved some runs for the second half of the doubleheader. But even if they had, it still wouldn’t be enough.

Post a comment

« Top « Home » Category ListingMonthly Archive


RSS Feed



  • Visitors to EE since November 2004
  • Boston Phoenix Best of ’06
    Phoenix Best
  • Blog contents, images, and design
    © 2004-2015 by Joanna J.M. Hicks.
    All Rights Reserved.
    Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.