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Home » May 2007 Game CommentsMay 2007 » Dauntless

Dauntless

Game 43: May 20, 2007
Braves 3 L: Tim Hudson (5-2) 26-18, 1 game losing streak
9-3-3 series record
WinRed Sox 6 W: Kason Gabbard (1-0)
H: Javier Lopez (4)
30-13, 1 game winning streak
12-2-2 series record
Highlights: The Red Sox are 1-0 wearing the alternate red jerseys and are 6-0 on Sundays. Gabbard displayed a formidable arsenal of pitches, striking out seven and reversing the tables on what so often happens to the Red Sox. Instead of Boston facing the conundrum of a young unknown lefty, the home team deployed a secret weapon of their own. Gabbard was optioned after the game and Manny Delcarmen was called up to shore up the bullpen for the impending series against the Yankees. Hideki Okajima in the eighth, Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth, and keep the faith.

The baseball team owners approved the sale of the Atlanta Braves from Time Warner to Liberty Media Corporation on May 17. The deal was approved the night before to forestall an impending tax law change. With the change in ownership comes the promise that Hank Aaron will play a more prominent role in franchise operations.

Perusing Liberty Media’s website doesn’t give much insight as to exactly what the company produces because it is something akin to a shell corporation than a true business interest. Liberty Media has two tracking stocks, Liberty Interactive and Liberty Capital, that hold interests in larger concerns, such as QVC, Expedia, Starz, News Corporation, and, lo and behold, Time Warner. Liberty Media bought the Braves with the 68.5 million Time Warner shares it held. In return Liberty Media gets the newly-created Times Warner subsidiary that will hold the team, Leisure Arts, and $960M in cash.

Greg Maffei is one of those recyclable captains of industry who land on their Prada-shod feet when the rank and file of the companies he ran are laid off in the name of bookkeeping. Just as you wonder how guys like Mike Hargrove and Charlie Manuel keep getting jobs, you’ll see men like Maffei leapfrog from Expedia to Microsoft to Oracle, lining the pockets of his bespoke suit with each new foray.

Hopefully it’s not just corporate lip service Maffei is paying when he says that Aaron will play a larger role in the team’s operations. What the Hall of Famer will bring is a face, a heart, a soul, an ideal to an otherwise bloodless business transfer. Aaron has met with Bud Selig and, although his role in the league doesn’t have a title, he is determined to make “baseball a more diverse sport.”

At least it’s already more than a bit diverse than the boardrooms of the Fortune 500.

The things you learn during a two and a half hour rain delay....

Kason Gabbard learned quickly that rookies don’t get calls. If he were named Tom Glavine, he may have summed strikeouts in the double digits. Gabbard lasted for five innings with a line of 6 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk, and 7 whiffs. He carried a no-hitter into the fourth; with two out, Jeff Francoeur on a bloop fly to right. Pitching with the early lead granted him the chutzpah to face one of the National League’s better lineups.

With the bases packed in the first and two out in the first, Jason Varitek tripled down the right field line to tidy the basepaths. Next Eric Hinske rapped a grounder past second baseman Martin Prado to plate his captain.

The crowd, which had two and half hours worth of imbibition, was completely free of inhibition. A mocking chant of Tim Hudson’s surname rang through the brumous air. Welcome back to the American League; I’m sure he hasn’t missed it.

David Ortiz added to his RBI total in the second with a grounder to Chris Woodward that had Prado bobbled on the transfer.

In the fifth, Kevin Youkilis racked up his sixth home run of the season. The solo shot came with none out and no one on, shouldering itself between the first row spectators near Pesky’s Pole. It might be the shortest home run possible in the majors, but they all count the same.

The Red Sox moundmen kept the Braves off the board until the sixth. Chipper Jones led off with a single and the red-hot Francoeur laced a ground-rule double into the bullpens. Gabbard was relieved by Brendan Donnelly who promptly relinquished a looping single to the opposite field off the bat of Matt Diaz.

Donnelly struck out Andruw Jones (but then again, who didn’t) and then gave consecutive free passes to Brian McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

That entire sequence could have been avoided had Terry Francona called on Javier Lopez, a ground ball out-producing machine. Scott Thorman turned over on Lopez’s second pitch and a 3-6-1 double play ended the threat.

Diaz snagged a short fly from Alex Cora’s bat in the bottom of the sixth, colliding with the wall that parallels the left field line in that minute strip of foul territory. Not to be outdone, Manny Ramirez backhanded Chipper’s pop fly in the same area, completing the catch despite a shower of beer.

Andruw Jones ended the day with five strikeouts, also known as the platinum sombrero or Olympic rings. Enjoy this list courtesy of Baseball Reference Play Index of other batters that have struck out five or more times in a single game.

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