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Home » June 2007 Game CommentsJune 2007 » Collide


Game 54: June 2, 2007
Yankees 6 L: Scott Proctor (0-3) 23-30, 1 game losing streak
5-11-2 series record
WinRed Sox 11 W: Hideki Okajima (1-0) 37-17, 1 game winning streak
14-3-2 series record
Highlights: Mike Lowell plowed over Robinson Cano on the basepaths in the fourth in an attempt to break up a double play. In no way is this in the same neighborhood as his counterpart’s recent antics as it it neither bush league or illegal. Lowell drove in the first go-ahead run prior to the body check. Lowell also homered in the sixth and Jason Varitek followed suit with a bomb into the batter’s eye for the tie. The Yankees lost the lead three times in the course of this game.

Reggie Jackson was on the field to introduce the Yankee lineup for Fox. His sycophantic roll call stood in stark contrast to Julian Tavarez. The fifth starter made up names for some of his teammates: Jason Varita, Kevin Youkilik, and Coco Crip. Perhaps he was stunned to see Dustin Pedroia batting in the two-hole, which was the highest in the order the second baseman has started the game.

After Jackson’s moment of fawning, Joe Buck thanked him and commented that the broadcast didn’t need him and Tim McCarver anymore. If only Buck meant that literally.

McCarver insisted that Pedroia considered sticking his elbow over the plate (sound familiar?) so that he would be hit by Mike Mussina’s breaking pitch inside. This would not be the only instance of telepathy the broadcasting duo would demonstrate.

Buck proceeded to relate the entire conversation between between home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi and Mussina. According to Buck, the gist of their conversation was that Cuzzi would let Mussina pitch inside and that if the gutless Pedroia took that pitch on the arm Cuzzi wouldn’t let the rookie take first. Buck is the Yankee Whisperer.

Perhaps Buck can calm Alex Rodriguez. The third baseman gloved the final out off Pedroia’s bat in foul territory in the third and pointedly took it with him into the dugout rather than throw it into the crowd as he did on Friday.

The Fox pair did have an amusing moment with Terry Francona. Francona explained that the double, sac bunt, and RBI ground out in the third did not represent a fundamental shift in philosophy but just a change in personnel. Meanwhile, David Ortiz mugged for the camera behind his manager. When told of Ortiz’s indiscretion, Terry Francona stated simply but playfully, “I’ll knock him on his ass.”

Curt Schilling started the second inning inducing two easy ground outs but then surrendered a homer to Melky Cabrera. A slow motion closeup of his delivery showed that Schilling does not shave his arms like Roger Clemens. Did he learn nothing from his pitching guru?

The Red Sox starter was steady until the sixth inning. He gave up a single to Hideki Matsui and then walked Rodriguez. With one swing, Jorge Posada granted his team the lead and knocked Schilling out of the game.

Javier Lopez was not his typical self, either. Cabrera doubled and Doug Mientkiewicz singled in the air for another run before Lopez threw a double play ball to Wil Nieves to end the inning. Joel Piñeiro took over in the seventh after Lopez whiffed Bobby Abreu and unfortunately the righty reverted to his usual form. Derek Jeter homered into the Monster seats for the lead.

Piñeiro generously set up the win for Hideki Okajima. It was the one pitching statistic he didn’t have and the his team gave it to him with a tremendous seventh inning, although the Yankees provided the decorative wrapping and gift ribbon.

Ortiz lofted a fly ball into right for a deep double. Dwight Evans or even Trot Nixon would have snagged it but Abreu dithered because of the wall. Manny Ramirez was intentionally walked by Scott Proctor, whose pitch outs were thrown as Tim Wakefield’s fastball.

Still scarred from last night, Proctor couldn’t get anywhere near the strike zone let alone pitch inside to Kevin Youkilis, who walked on four pitches to load the bases.

Lowell nubbed a grounder to second. Cano’s relay to Jeter pulled the shortstop high and away from the sack so Jeter twirled to throw to first. Jeter’s throw was also off the mark but low so that Mientkiewicz had to lean down to glove it, his posture bringing his head directly into the path of Lowell’s full-speed stride. Two runs scored and Lowell advanced to second on his second collision, this one unintentional.

The Yankees gave Varitek the four-finger salute so that Proctor could face Wily Mo Peña, who the reliever struck out easily the previous inning. This time Peña made contact right to Jeter for what should have been a room service double play. Instead the ball trickled away from Jeter’s glove after he made the initial stop and all three runners were safe. This error didn’t make the highlight reel entitled “Sox’s five-run seventh,” oddly enough.

Crisp blooped an RBI single to shallow center. McCarver had one moment of clarity and showed that because Rodriguez didn’t cover third base and Proctor didn’t cover home the Yankees muffed the opportunity for an out at those stations.

Brian Bruney relieved Proctor, the latter looking as if he needed an appointment with one of Rodriguez’s therapists. Bruney relinquished two more runs before Mike Myers was brought in to neutralize Ortiz. For the second time in as many games this tactic actually worked. Jonthan Papelbon got in some work in the top of the ninth since his last appearance was four days ago on May 28.

The Red Sox avoided a sweep at home and look to take the rubber game tonight. The television schedule this series prepares fans for increasingly annoying broadcasters in my mind. I actually like Jon Miller, but Joe Morgan alone trumps Buck and McCarver.


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