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Home » August 2007 Game CommentsAugust 2007 » Hallowed


Game 108: August 2, 2007
Orioles 4 L: Rob Bell (3-2)
50-57, 2 game losing streak
14-19-2 series record
WinRed Sox 7 W: Tim Wakefield (13-9) 66-42, 2 game winning streak
23-9-4 series record
Highlights: A day game, a knuckleballer, a tribute to a Hall of Famer. Yesterday was redolent of old-time baseball.

Even the voices of Joe Castiglione and Dave O’Brien (not Glenn Geffner, thankfully) were reminiscent of a bygone time... even though I was listening to them via streaming audio over the internet.

Robert “Bobby” Pershing Doerr was driven to the pole named after his friend, Johnny Pesky, who was also in the vintage Cadillac whose color echoed the walls of Fenway. Dom DiMaggio and Dave Boo Ferris rounded out the quartet, gathered together to remember the good old days.

Doerr autographed the pole and the car trundled towards the mound for him to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. It was just 60 years ago that the first Bobby Doerr Day was celebrated. Fittingly just a few days after the weekend after the induction of Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. another Hall of Famer was honored.

A new generation of fans could gaze upon Doerr, who wore jersey number “1” and is one of 17 second baseman to have a plaque in Cooperstown. He was inducted in 1986, when Dustin Pedroia was about to turn three years old.

A connection between the middle infielders crosses time and place; Doerr watches every Red Sox game and enjoys what Pedroia brings to the game.

The current second baseman came through for his admirer with a 2-for-3 showing, two RBIs, and two walks. Pedroia doubled in the midst of the seventh-inning outburst, his liner rapidly falling so that Nick Markakis only managed to parry the ball off his glove into his face. The ricochets were such the distraction that not only did Alex Cora score but so did Doug Mirabelli... from second base, no less! It was Pedroia’s atonement for whiffing in the second with the bases jammed.

Earlier in the seventh Mirabelli drove in Coco Crisp with a looping single to center to give his team the lead. He had cost the team the go-ahead run the inning before when he tagged up off third too early on a sacrifice fly attempt arced by David Ortiz to the warning track, re-tagged, and then was hosed at home by Markakis by way of Miguel Tejada to Paul Bako, concluding the inning.

Eric Hinske and the backstop homered in the fourth, but the Orioles roared back in the fifth to knot the game at three. Those were the only runs Tim Wakefield surrendered in his seven innings, during which he walked one batter and struck out five.

To the delight of fans who remembered Jay Payton’s truculence in 2005 (and probably Terry Francona), the outfielder had a rough go of it in left field. He misjudged batted balls by Ortiz and Manny Ramirez leading to a run.

The antithesis to Payton’s fits was Crisp’s elegance in center. Crisp trotted in reverse and hopped to rob Payton of a hit in the fourth. In the seventh the center fielder made a more remarkable play: he drifted toward the deepest part of center field wall and flawlessly timed a leaping reception of a Jay Gibbons fly ball. The jump was so high it brought his head above the wall’s padding.

Eric Gagne made his debut in less than familiar surroundings but in what once was a customary inning for him. After striking out two Aubrey Huff siloed a ground-rule double that dropped between Mike Lowell and Cora near the right field stands. The trajectory and placement of the ball would have been a pop out in any other park. Payton mustered a ground ball single right but it was for naught as Gibbons flied out to left to end the game and the series.

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