Category Listing
Monthly Archive
Baseball Reference
Red Sox Links

Recent Posts
Recent Comments
Essential Empy

Home » June 2007 Game CommentsJune 2007 » Gunfight


Game 78: June 29, 2007
Rangers 1 L: Jamey Wright (1-2) 32-47, 2 game losing streak
9-15-2 series record
WinRed Sox 2 W: Tim Wakefield (8-8)
H: Manny Delcarmen (3)
H: Hideki Okajima (13)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (19)
49-29, 1 game winning streak
18-7-2 series record
Highlights: Doug Mirabelli (I keep typing “Dough” instead of “Doug” for some reason) is a non-entity at the plate but threw a seed to first base to nail Sammy Sosa for the first out of the sixth. Sosa had swung for the third strike but the ball evaded the backstop’s mitt.

Jonathan Papelbon was angry in the ninth inning. Not George Brett pine tar incident level rage, but close.

He had just secured two outs: the closer struck out Adam Melhuse on three vicious pitches and then cajoled Ramon Vazquez to propel a loud out to J.D. Drew.

Papelbon got ahead of Kenny Lofton 0-2 but the lanky veteran outfielder worked the count full, battling for nine pitches. On that ninth pitch Lofton punched weakly to Kevin Youkilis, who gloved and relayed to Papelbon.

The relief ace thought he beat Lofton to the sack and got into it with first base umpire Mike Reilly. Fortunately Dustin Pedroia was there to diffuse the situation and Papelbon wasn’t ejected.

Lofton swiped another bag in the ninth, granting him a 4-for-4 line with matching stolen bases for each single. That left first base open for Jerry Hairston, Jr., who acquired it painfully with mid-90s cheese deflecting off his arm.

With the tying run on the basepaths Papelbon and Michael Young faced off in an epic struggle. Young fouled off pitch after pitch. A fragment of concern wedged in my mind delved a bit deeper: Was Papelbon gassed from his five-out appearance Wednesday combined with tonight’s work? Did the incident at first knock him out of focus?

My worries evaporated when home plate umpire Andy Fletcher called Young out to end the game and the three-game losing skid.

Hideki Okajima contributed a medley of outs in the eighth: ground out to short by Victor Diaz, punch out looking by Marlon Byrd, and fly out to left by Brad Wilkerson. The set-up man’s outs are as varied as his repertoire.

Manny Delcarmen reversed his downward trend in the seventh in a pivotal spot. He inherited two baserunners with two out from Tim Wakefield and walked Young to jam the bases. Mike Lowell trotted over to give the reliever some encouragement; whatever was said worked. Unfazed while facing a 600-homer slugger, Delcarmen struck out Sammy Sosa swinging.

The relief pitching heroics and Wakefield’s ninth quality start would have gone to waste had Manny Ramirez not been hit by Jamey Wright in the fourth. Unlike the pitch Hairston took, Ramirez was the mole to Wright’s listless mole-whacking mallet. Ramirez advanced on J.D. Drew’s ground-rule double and scored on Wily Mo Peña’s single deep in the hole.

Ramirez’s hustle down the first was a deciding factor in the fifth. Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz advanced to third and second respectively on a wild pitch to the Red Sox left fielder. With his sharp tapper ricocheting off Wright to the third baseman, Ramirez was out of the box quickly. He was fast enough that Vazquez went for the tag of Ortiz rather than the throw across the diamond. A hair before the tag Youkilis touched home for the go-ahead run.

The Red Sox are now 14-8 in one-run games, 17-11 in series openers, and 23-12 at home. Welcome home.

Post a comment

« Top « Home » Category ListingMonthly Archive


RSS Feed



  • Visitors to EE since November 2004
  • Boston Phoenix Best of ’06
    Phoenix Best
  • Blog contents, images, and design
    © 2004-2015 by Joanna J.M. Hicks.
    All Rights Reserved.
    Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.