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Home » July 2007 Game CommentsJuly 2007 » Fireworks


Game 83: July 4, 2007
Devil Rays 5 L: Edwin Jackson (1-9) 33-50, 10 game losing streak
8-16-4 series record
WinRed Sox 7 W: Tim Wakefield (9-8)
H: Manny Delcarmen (4)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (20)
52-31, 3 game winning streak
19-7-3 series record
Highlights: Terry Francona loaded the lineup with lefties to face Jackson. Jackson was once a highly touted pitching prospect in the Dodgers system; Baseball America ranked number one in 2003 and and number three in 2004. Five innings, nine hits, and seven earned runs later, the fact that TINSTAAPP was readily apparent.

But there are such things as positional player prospects, right? Because Jacoby Ellsbury is one of the best. Yesterday he slid over to left as part of Terry Francona’s plan to overwhelm Edwin Jackson with southpaws. There was wisdom guiding this tactic:

  • WHIP vs. LHH: 2.09
    WHIP vs. RHH: 1.68
  • Slugging vs. LHH: .534
    Slugging vs. RHH: .439
  • LHH OBA: .422
    RHH OBA: .380

David Ortiz and Mike Lowell placed singles into the outfield in the fourth to set up the chance for Ellsbury to tally his first RBI in the majors. Ellsbury lifted a fly ball over the head of Dustan Mohr, ironically enough, to plate Ortiz for the go-ahead run.

Doug Mirabelli defied the splits and earned his keep with a two-out single in the same inning to drive in Mike Lowell and Ellsbury.

The Red Sox continued the onslaught in the bottom of the fifth inning but this time the heavy artillery was unleashed. Alex Cora sneaked a double past Carlos Peña and then advanced on a haywire hurl by Jackson. J.D. Drew doubled against the left field wall for his 33rd RBI of the season. Perhaps Drew, unlike Trot Nixon, will learn to go to the opposite field on breezy summer days to take advantage of such situations.

Lowell powered a homer into the third row of the Monster seats right into a perfectly positioned and gloved fan. The two-run shot seemed a luxury at the time but proved to be the difference in the game as Tim Wakefield ran into a spot of trouble in the seventh.

It started plainly enough with consecutive singles off the bats of Ty Wigginton and Raul Casanova. Mohr was dispatched in four pitches and Wakefield seemingly regained his stride. But then Akinori Iwamura also singled to load the bases and Javier Lopez was summoned to induce one of his patented inning-ending double play.

Carl Crawford had other plans.

Despite being acutely aware of Jackson’s splits against lefties, Francona was oblivious to Lopez’s. While not drastic, they do exist:

  • WHIP vs. LHH: 1.64
    WHIP vs. RHH: 1.20
  • Slugging vs. LHH: .409
    Slugging vs. RHH: .375
  • LHH OBA: .377
    RHH OBA: .359

The sidearm lefty remained in to face both Crawford and Peña and the pair of left-handers drove in runs to pull their team within two.

Lopez’s recent troubles and Hideki Okajima’s unavailability were not worrisome since Manny Delcarmen’s emergence as a reliable middle-inning go-to guy. Delcarmen struck out three in his one and one-third inning appearance to set up Jonathan Papelbon.

I think Papelbon contrives little rules for him to keep when closing out a game to keep it interesting. The prescript for this game: get three outs, at least two of them punch outs, in ten pitches or less. Cake.

As NESN cameras panned Fenway, a spirit of camaraderie fitting of the holiday was apparent for the most part. But when a bat flung from the hands of a flailing Ortiz found its way into the stands, two patrons battled tooth and nail for the memorabilia.

Not even Wally garbed in Uncle Sam duds could have brokered peace between the combatants. One fan triumphed and greedily clutched his prize to his chest. This is what makes our country great. God shed his grace on thee.


"Ellsbury lifted a fly ball over the head of Dustan Mohr, ironically enough, to plate Ortiz for the go-ahead run."

I don't really get this. Is this like "rain on your wedding day" irony? Or more like "a free ride when you've all ready paid" irony?

Ironic because just last season Dustan Mohr was patrolling center field for the Red Sox. Must I spell everything out for you?

I guess I have to, as you graduated from Northeastern.

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