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Home » May 2007 Game CommentsMay 2007 » Driven


Game 48: May 26, 2007
WinRed Sox 7 W: Tim Wakefield (5-5)
H: Brendan Donnelly (5)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (12)
33-15, 2 game winning streak
13-3-2 series record
Rangers 4 L: Vicente Padilla (2-7) 18-31, 4 game losing streak
4-11-2 series record
Highlights: Kevin Youkilis remained unstoppable. He leads the American League in multi-hit games with 22 and has an 18-game hitting streak. Papelbon secured his 12th save and has a 1.47 ERA.

I didn’t witness the first four innings of this because I went to Pawtucket to catch the Triple A affiliate against the Syracuse Sky Chiefs (more on that affair later). The McCoy crew showed the NESN broadcast at the bottom of the fourth, reassuringly displaying proof that Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball was as baffling as ever.

By the time I made it to my car and changed the station to WEEI (which sounds so much better in FM) the Rangers had something going in the bottom of the fifth. Frank Catalanotto was plunked. I don’t blame Wakefield whatsoever, I would have done the same to that irksome batter, especially since he homered in the first game of the series. Feel the wraith of a 70 MPH knuckler!

After Marlon Byrd popped out in foul territory, Ian Kinsler darted a single into left. Gerald Laird propelled the ball to left, the ball dying as it may have hit the ball girl seated right before the dog leg bend of the wall. Terry Francona came out to discuss the ruling, but just as Jason Varitek’s ball came to rest at the same spot on the other side of the field remained live for his sixth inning triple last night, so did Laird’s for a double. The ball girl or boy and their associated paraphernalia are in play, and I’m not talking about their marital status.

The Red Sox took back the lead with ferocity. By the time I exited 95 North for 93 North, Kevin Youkilis had singled to leadoff the sixth. Manny Ramirez tripled to right to drive in Youkilis and then tied the score on Vincente Padilla’s wild pitch to J.D. Drew.

Drew walked, but Ron Washington had little choice but to stay with Padilla as long as he could since he had to use four bullpen arms in Friday night’s losing effort. Mike Lowell shot a liner into left for a single and the Rangers starter was finally pulled with two runners to his name lingering on base.

Joaquin Benoit’s name isn’t pronounced as it is spelled parce qu’il est français, hunh hunh hunh. And just like the French, Benoit surrendered in the face of even the least menacing of threats. Coco Crisp nudged a single up the middle that second base umpire Mark Carlson had to dodge. Drew traversed home for the go-ahead run while Lowell and Crisp advanced to third and second respectively, taking advantage of Kenny Lofton’s weakened arm.

Glenn Geffner helpfully spelled Benoit’s last name so that his radio audience wouldn’t think he was talking about a random reliever named Ben Wah. Geffner was grasping for material as Benoit was glacially slow between pitches and wasn’t throwing heat to boot. The reliever walked Doug Mirabelli to load the bases. Boston tacked on a pair of insurance runs with Alex Cora’s sacrifice fly and consecutive free passes to Julio Lugo and Youkilis. It was the 14th time the Red Sox batted around this season.

I had lost reception of the game as I passed through Ted Williams Tunnel, ironically enough. With his bias against pitchers, perhaps Williams was shielding me from the lack of hitting in the final third of the game.

Nailing down the series washed away some of my disappointment over the Paw Sox’s loss. Although a series sweep would be sweet, leading the division by 11 games cleanses away the rest of my chagrin.

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