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Home » August 2007 Game CommentsAugust 2007 » Idolatry


Game 133: August 29, 2007
Red Sox 3 L: Josh Beckett (16-6) 80-53, 2 game losing streak
27-12-5 series record
WinYankees 4 W: Roger Clemens (6-5)
H: Luis Vizcaino (10)
H: Kyle Farnsworth (13)
S: Mariano Rivera (22)
74-59, 2 game winning streak
22-19-2 series record
Highlights: David Ortiz’s shoulders are broad but they can only carry his team so far. He homered in the sixth to break up the no-hitter and shutout in one fell swoop. Kevin Youkilis shared the load with his two-run longball in the eighth, drawing the Red Sox within one run, but no others partook of the burden. Kudos to the Yankee fans for changing their “Boston sucks” mantra to “Red Sox suck.”

“The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the Master.”
— Darth Vader, Star Wars

Unlike Darth Vader, this time Josh Beckett did not capitulate to the dark side and strike down his idol, Roger Clemens. The wiser, calmer Beckett returned to the scene of his World Series triumph, his face less boyish and his approach more studied.

If only the lineup supporting him showed the same deliberation with their at bats. Against Clemens they compiled just two hits. There were some loud outs and at ’em balls, but seven times they grounded bootlessly to infielders.

The Yankees excised 13 hits from Beckett, a career high for him, but only converted that gaudy total to four runs. One baserunning mistake was particularly memorable as it involved redoubtable Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees third baseman rounded first too wide and retreated too late to the bag and was erased by a 7-4-3 relay. Hideki Matsui tripled past an ill-advised dive by Coco Crisp right after the blunder.

In the fifth Jason Varitek and Beckett miscommunicated on a three-foot grounder off the bat of Bobby Abreu, permitting a one on, one out scenario. Rodriguez grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Rodriguez redeemed a run and himself in the seventh with a solo jack to left on an otherwise decent curveball off Beckett’s fingertips. This was, of course, the prelude to another redundant curtain call.

Terry Francona may have left his starter in a shade too long, stretching him to save the bullpen for....

For what exactly? Hideki Okajima warmed twice in Tuesday night’s tilt but never took the hill and the same routine played out last night. As it turned out, Javier Lopez didn’t record an out but Mike Timlin secured the final one and one-third inning flawlessly. The tactic was successful but puzzling nonetheless.

Often there is greater pleasure in denying your adversary his fondest desire rather than enjoying one’s favorable circumstance. Of course anyone would take one loss for a six-game lead in the division. Which is where the Red Sox are. Still.

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