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Home » August 2007 Game CommentsAugust 2007 » Flutter


Game 130: August 25, 2007
WinRed Sox 14 W: Tim Wakefield (16-10) 79-51, 3 game winning streak
27-11-5 series record
White Sox 2 L: Mark Buehrle (9-9) 56-73, 4 game losing streak
16-22-3 series record
Highlights: In yet another encouraging blowout, Red Sox batters scored two touchdowns not with the longball but rather with a relentless torrent of singles and doubles. The White Sox did not help their cause by dolling out ten free passes. Boston has batted around 35 times in 2007.

Bobby Kielty, the new guy, got stuck with reading the lineups. As a recent addition he doesn’t even know everyone’s nicknames and probably no one has given him any endearing sobriquet. He recited the lineup rather blandly, like how new hires in meetings act obsequiously and inoffensively. “Read the lineups for today? Right away, Mr. Vasgersian.”

But even Kielty wouldn’t play the toady to former Yankee Joe Girardi, who seemed oblivious to the fact he was on the Fox national broadcast, not his usual YES gig, yesterday.

The first thing Girardi brought up was Chicago’s sweep of the Red Sox in the ALDS two years ago. Although I alluded to 2005, it was more to demonstrate how far the White Sox have fallen. Girardi cited the series as proof that the South Siders win when it counts. At one point he talked about the rowdy home crowds at Fenway and attributed it to the large number of colleges in the area.

The fact that college students leave Boston in the summer eluded Girardi.

When Kielty just missed a home run in the eighth, Girardi’s take on the play was that rookie center fielder Jerry Owens just missed a great play.

Girardi also insisted on calling players known to him by their diminutives; it was always “Mikey Lowell,” never “Mike Lowell.” Aside from the fact that Lowell looks about 50 years old, the usage shattered any semblance of objectivity.

Oh, right. It is Fox. My expectations should be lower.

One of my all-time favorite sound clips did happen on Fox, however. Lou Piniella, while between managing gigs, provided color commentary along with Tim McCarver and called him Timmy.

Our Tim, Tim Wakefield, will never win the Cy Young. The last time he received votes for the award was in 1995, the first year he won 16 games. Since then he’s had seven seasons with ten or more wins. He’s weathered four managers to break in a fifth and witnessed an ownership change. And still he is viewed askance by the Cy Young voting establishment. He is portrayed as a quaint anachronism, someone nice to have around to remind us of simpler times.

But conventional pitching, quite simply, shreds the human anatomy. It is a repeated act of abuse played over thousands of times over every fifth day. For traditional pitchers, tendons tear, muscles rip, cartilage frays. Meanwhile, Wakefield, age 41, floats on. He’s nice to have around because he wins.

The Red Sox recognize the value of this brand of pitcher. Charlie Zink and John Barnes, two minor league butterfly ball twirlers, have bounced between Double and Triple A while honing their craft.

The only runs Chicago managed to put on the board came off Kyle Snyder in the eighth. “Pauly” Konerko knocked out a two-run four-bagger.

Trotting out Javier Lopez in the ninth to close out the game was a bit of a taunt. The White Sox bullpen is in havoc and David Riske, whom Ken Williams received in return for Lopez, is long gone from his roster.

Much is made of Theo Epstein’s inability to construct a relief corps, but Williams’s attempt has seen decidedly worse results this year. Like the path of the trajectory of the knuckleball, middle relief effectiveness is as unpredictable.

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