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Home » May 2007 Game CommentsMay 2007 » Turnabout


Game 29: May 5, 2007
Red Sox 1 L: Julian Tavarez (1-3) 19-10, 1 game losing streak
7-2-2 series record
WinTwins 2 W: Johan Santana (4-2)
H: Matt Guerrier (2)
H: Jesse Crain (6)
H: Pat Neshek (2)
S: Joe Nathan (8)
16-14, 1 game winning streak
3-4-3 series record
Highlights: Tavarez was more ace-like than Santana, but he failed to tally his second win. The fifth starter pitched six innings and struck out seven; only four other times has he whiffed the same or greater number of batters. Joel Piñeiro tacked on two perfect innings in relief. The Red Sox batters were dormant, however, leaving 12 men stranded.

No one, not even the most optimistic fan, expected the Red Sox had a chance of winning this game. Going into the contest our highest goal was not to be the victim of one of Johan Santana’s patented double-digit strikeout clinics.

Santana was not his usual self, however, and the Boston lineup forced him to throw strenuous innings. The pitch count for each of his five innings in order: 30, 11, 13, 32, and 14. The Cy Young winner also walked three, tying his game-high mark this season.

In the fourth Santana threw two wild pitches to Dustin Pedroia, allowing Wily Mo Peña to stampede into scoring position. The pocket-sized second baseman would double down the left field line, his flyer bouncing fair before leaping into the stands.

It would be the only run of the game for the visitors, however. They were stifled not by Santana but by the Twins’ defense and their own lack of clutch hitting.

The Red Sox had the bases loaded in the first inning with two out, Santana showing early signs that he was not on his game. Nick Punto bailed out his twirler with his diamond-cutting throw from the knees to nail Mike Lowell at the plate.

The next inning Santana was on the ropes again. Jason Varitek had led off with a single and Pedroia blooped a single just over his counterpart Luis Castillo’s head. Julio Lugo sharply rapped the second pitch he saw, but it was an at ’em ball to Justin Morneau and another rally abruptly ceased.

The Twins’ only runs came in the bottom of the second frame. Peña played a Morneau fly into a double, eventually scoring when some combination of Twins named “Jason” drove him in. Minnesota had four players with this given name at the dish last night, Kubel, Tyner, and Bartlett, and they all bat in the bottom half of the order. Forgive me if I can’t keep them straight.

Does third base coach Scott Ullger can confound them with vague baserunning directions? “Run, Jason, run! No, not you! You!”

Today our ace goes up against Sidney Ponson. I’ll eat my hat if the Red Sox don’t wrest this series away from the home team. That is, if Ponson hasn’t already noshed it.

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