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Home » August 2007 Game CommentsAugust 2007 » Perturbed


Game 114: August 8, 2007
WinRed Sox 9 W: Hideki Okajima (3-0)
H: Eric Gagne (3)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (26)
69-45, 1 game winning streak
24-10-4 series record
Angels 6 L: Justin Speier (1-3) 66-47, 1 game losing streak
21-12-4 series record
Highlights: The Red Sox salvaged a win from the AL West-leading Angels. Mike Lowell provided much of the firepower by doubling in three of his four at bats. Three bus loads of fans from Sonny McLean’s (with their ersatz Wally in tow) had something to cheer about.

It took six pitchers, fourteen hits, and four hours and two minutes, but Boston averted a sweep last night.

Jon Lester was hittable and ineffective, succumbing after just three and one-third innings on the mound. Nothing he could muster fooled the Angels lineup and he was knocked around for eight hits and five runs.

Julian Tavarez relieved Lester in the fourth after the lefty issued two consecutive walks. Chone Figgins converted the free baserunners into runs with an opposite field double, but not before the runners executed a double steal. An unassisted double play turned by Dustin Pedroia off the bat of former Red Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera killed the inning

The Red Sox had just secured the lead in the top of the fourth with a pair of singles and a trio of doubles authored by a partially jury-rigged lineup. With Eric Hinske unavailable due to family emergencies and David Ortiz mending his strained shoulder Manny Ramirez acted as designated hitter, Wily Mo Peña in left, J.D. Drew in center, and Brandon Moss in right.

Terry Francona’s shakeup seemed to work. In the fifth Julio Lugo and Pedroia duplicated their teammates’s effort in the fourth. Like Mike Scioscia did in the fourth, Francona called for a double steal. The ploy was successful as both runners crossed the plate to knot the score at 6-6. Francona took a page out of Scioscia’s playbook and rattled him by doing so.

Pedroia, already a key in previous innings, launched the pivotal home run off the tip of Garret Anderson’s glove in the seventh.

The mimicry and loss of the lead flustered the home team further. Coco Crisp, who took over center in the seventh to bump Peña out of the lineup and rotate Drew to right and Brandon Moss to left, reached first on a passed ball by Jeff Mathis despite striking out.

Moss got a hit with his cup of coffee at last. Perhaps due to the earlier double steal, Scioscia overreacted with runners on first and second with no out. He had Scot Shields attempt a pickoff at second that bounded into center, in effect allowing what he had attempted to avoid.

Lugo sacrificed a run in and Pedroia (yes, him again!) moved Moss over to third with a ground out. Shields hit Youkilis and then pitched so wildly to Ramirez that Moss scored. Both runs in that inning can be directly attributed to the Angels’ loss of composure.

How their disposition or lack thereof carries them into the postseason is an aspect to be closely observed.

A similar lack of sangfroid plagued Eric Gagne in his three Red Sox appearances so far. He has allowed at least two runners via hit or walk in each of his games. Perhaps Jonathan Papelbon can give him some pointers.

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