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Home » May 2007 Game CommentsMay 2007 » Jinx


Game 26: May 2, 2007
Athletics 4 BS, L: Jay Marshall (1, 1-1) 13-14, 1 game losing streak
3-5-2 series record
WinRed Sox 6 W: Josh Beckett (6-0)
H: Hideki Okajima (7)
S: Mike Timlin (1)
17-9, 1 game winning streak
6-2-2 series record
Highlights: Beckett dazzled with seven innings of seven-strikeout ball. He had a no-hitter going into the fifth, which, despite what my friends said, I did not jinx. Okajima notched his seventh hold and Timlin his first save. Alex Cora, Baseball Genius, started instead of Dustin Pedroia. Cora drove in two runs, more than the rookies has in 58 at bats.

The reward Sox Pax purchasers get for suffering through a few April games are nearly perfect May days where Josh Beckett puts hitters into a daze. The young northpaw extended his win streak to a career-best six games. He joined former Red Sox greats such as Roger Clemens and Luis Tiant (who had two half-dozen runs in a row) and current staff member Tim Wakefield. Going by the data in Baseball Reference Play Index, which goes back to 1957, listed the knuckleballer as the holder of the longest streak at 10.

While Beckett threw between inning warm up pitches, I noted to my friends that Beckett was pitching very well, as in there had been no Oakland baserunners. Believers in jinxing blamed me for Mike Piazza’s leadoff single in the fifth. Until then, Beckett had retired each batter in order. The grounder bounded into center field as I weathered the withering glares from two of my friends. Well, they should be happy (and a bit frightened) to know that since I control the destinies of others with my mere thoughts, in the very next inning I commanded Mike Lowell’s movements, making him dash to third with Piazza. My powers were too potent, as I knocked Piazza out of action with a separated shoulder for the next month.

For the second time in as many games, Coco Crisp made a stunning play to staunch an Athletic rally. In the ninth with one on and one out, Crisp sprinted into shallow center to seize a quickly falling liner off the bat of Jason Kendall. The ball hawk has said he’d rather execute a game-winning catch than a game-winning hit and has lived by that quote.

To contrast, Oakland’s outfielders, perhaps enthralled by my supposed hexes, were ungainly at best. In the fourth Ryan Langerhans too casually handled a Crisp fly that popped out after nestling square in the pocket of the glove.

Danny Putman coughed up a routine liner by the hopefully recovered J.D. Drew in the eighth. As the ball dribbled by him Drew advanced all the way to third. David Ortiz was called out at home, so at least the cutoff man Mark Ellis did his job.

Ortiz had a double to the opposite field in the first inning, rendering the shift useless. It seems he’s had his share of bloops and bleeders to left. Perhaps it’s purposeful and Ortiz is looking to add yet more weapons to his deadly set of tools. Even though it’s odd not to have not written about spectacular slams into the bleachers for a few days, if the reason is because such production has been eclipsed by brilliant pitching, there’s no reason to vex the lineup. There’s not many synonyms I haven’t already used for “home run.” With Ortiz and Manny Ramirez on the team, I’ve exhausted my supply three times over.

Pictures from this series as well as tonight’s game should eventually be posted. Since my sorcery doesn’t extend to computer hardware, my home computer has been beset with my ill-considered efforts to upgrade my own RAM. Last night I got a picture of Langerhans dejectedly patrolling center after his error and today I just found out he was traded to the Nationals for Chris Snelling. I can say I saw the entirety of Langerhans’s Oakland career in person. Both games.

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