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Home » August 2007 Game CommentsAugust 2007 » Gihi [犠飛]

Gihi [犠飛]

Game 115: August 10, 2007
Red Sox 5 BS, L: Hideki Okajima (1, 3-1) 69-46, 1 game losing streak
24-10-4 series record
WinOrioles 6 W: Jim Hoey (1-0) 53-61, 1 game winning streak
15-20-2 series record
Highlights: The Mother’s Day miracle was avenged in the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings. To say Eric Gagne was ineffective is like saying Sagarmatha (Everest to you and me) is a somewhat sizable hill. Okajima had his first loss and blown save because of Nick Markakis’s gihi [犠飛], what we would call a sacrifice fly. The kanji used are quite literal; the first means sacrifice and the second means fly in the baseball sense.

Exactly one-eighteenth of this game was enjoyable. The Red Sox offense sparked to life even after Kevin Youkilis’s leadoff strikeout. It was the final glimpse of Bedard’s dominance for the evening. He managed seven punchouts despite C.B. Bucknor’s ever-transforming strike zone. Bedard was openly disdainful of the umpire’s decrees.

Daisuke Matsuzaka also struck out seven but did not outwardly display contempt for Bucknor. Perhaps he was following the Japanese saying deru kugi wa utareru [出る釘は打たれる], which translates as “the nail that sticks out will be hammered down.”

Back to the one-eighteenth part of goodness: with one out Mike Lowell walked and Jason Varitek singled to left. Coco Crisp then nubbed a grounder to shortstop Miguel Tejada who shoveled the ball to Melvin Mora despite an initial bobble.

Wily Mo Peña grounded a single past the mound to shatter the shutout, tie the score, and knock Bedard out of the game. The Orioles starter glared at Bucknor as he was pulled as he thought he had Peña struck out on a pitch Bucknor called a ball.

The floodgates opened as the Boston lineup knocked four consecutive singles off the Orioles bullpen. The base hits were as varied as the home plate umpire’s pitch judgment, from Julio Lugo’s bunt to Manny Ramirez’s rocket to left. By the middle of the eighth the visitors had what seemed to be a commanding lead and Camden Yards converted into Fenway South.

Unfortunately the other seventeen-eighteenths of the match-up also count.

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