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Home » August 2007 Game CommentsAugust 2007 » Halved


Game 124: August 19, 2007
WinAngels 3 W: Joe Saunders (7-1)
H: Justin Speier (15)
S: Francisco Rodriguez (31)
72-51, 1 game winning streak
22-13-5 series record
Red Sox 1 L: Julian Tavarez (6-9) 74-50, 1 game losing streak
25-11-5 series record
Highlights: The Red Sox are now 1-1 when wearing the alternate red jerseys. Saunders is undefeated this season against Boston, whose batters scraped together a single run only after relievers took the hill. In turn, the Angels only produced two runs against a spot starter. The cameraman for the jumbotron, Keith Packry (?) demonstrated more fielding prowess in the fifth than Wily Mo Peña did in 157 games.

Who would have expected a pitchers’ duel on Sunday? The home team had swingman Julian Tavarez starting while the visitors glided in under the auspices of Joe Saunders. Just 12 days prior Saunders held on for a win against the Red Sox in Anaheim because of a potent offensive outburst.

Familiarity did not breed contempt as Boston batters conscripted six hits against the opposing starter. Not one of those strokes were for extra bases, although Mike Lowell’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth with two on and two out rattled the scoreboard in left to shatter the shutout.

Kevin Cash made his Red Sox debut as the backup backstop and went 0-for-3. His last MLB appearance was on July 19, 2005 against the Red Sox at Fenway, so the lack of success can be attributed to a touch of rust. By the seventh the rhythm of the game infused him and he caught Maicer Izturis attempting to swipe second. He couldn’t anticipate Kyle Snyder’s wild pitch to Robb Quinlan, however, and Kotchman crossed home to take back the run stolen from him.

Bobby Kielty had more of an impact in the game than Cash, literally and figuratively. The outfielder collided against the right field wall to rob Casey Kotchman of a homer in the first. His reaction was so subdued it was difficult to tell if he had made the out or not. Kielty was so winded by the impact he didn’t raise his arms in triumph but remained hunched over while trying to regain his breath and was still restrained as he ambled toward the dugout.

The former Minnesota, Toronto, and Oakland player was born and raised in California but his father is a product of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Perhaps he has finally found a home in his father’s former stomping ground. He seemed at ease despite the press of fans’ expectations; he was the first Red Sox player to notch a hit in the game and ended with a 2-for-3 showing.

If the playoffs include a go-around between these two teams, expect the atmosphere to be even more tense than usual. Orlando Cabrera stepped toward the mound after Julian Tavarez grazed his uniform with a pitch inside in the third inning. The dugouts emptied but there wasn’t anything resembling a scuffle let alone a full-fledged donnybrook.

In the post-game press conference Tavarez did say he didn’t appreciate Cabrera looking in pilfer signs between the catcher and pitcher and told him such. Cabrera thought the inside pitch was retaliation for his chicanery.

We all know the truth: Vladimir isn’t as cuddly as Manny Ramirez and Cabrera still pines for the daily dose of Manny Love that Tavarez receives.

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