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Home » September 2007 Game CommentsSeptember 2007 » Emergent


Game 137: September 2, 2007
Orioles 2 L: Daniel Cabrera (9-14) 59-76, 2 game losing streak
17-25-2 series record
WinRed Sox 3 W: Jon Lester (3-0)
H: Javier Lopez (11)
H: Hideki Okajima (25)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (31)
82-55, 2 game winning streak
28-12-5 series record
Magic number: 20
Highlights: The Walpole Little Leaguers took the field and stood with their major league counterparts during the presentation of the anthem. Insert Dustin Pedroia joke here. I was inspired by Pedroia’s play in Saturday’s game and created this avatar (features adult language). David Ortiz’s swipe in the fifth gave him his highest single season stolen base total: three.

What better way to follow up a no-hitter but with a taut pitchers’ duel in the waning days of summer?

Jon Lester stepped up with six innings of competent work: six hits, two earned runs, four walks, and one strikeout. A solo homer off the bat of Ramon Hernandez in the seventh knocked the southpaw out of the game, but a trio of bullpen arms staved off the vengeful Orioles.

As neither the local nine’s starting pitching or hitting were stellar, it was up to the defense and relievers to step up and make pivotal plays to secure the victory for the game and series.

With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth J.D. Drew snagged Hernandez’s fly ball to shallow right on the run. Drew took that momentum to power a throw to the waiting Kevin Cash. The relay was money in the bank: Miguel Tejada slid into a rally-killing out at the plate.

Jacoby Ellsbury out-Crisped the usual middle outfielder with a stunning lunge on Jay Payton’s fly ball to shallow center for the final out of the fifth.

Hideki Okajima’s new theme song was unveiled in the eighth. The tune inspired him to tamp down an insurgent rally. Nick Markakis led off with a double that battered the scoreboard to ricochet away from Brandon Moss and then advanced to third on a ground out.

A single sac fly would have tied the game, but Okajima got ahead of both Kevin Millar and Aubrey Huff with first pitch strikes. Neither could solve the Oki Doki conundrum.

In the ninth Terry Francona replaced Moss in left with Ellsbury, who slid over from center in favor of Coco Crisp. Francona found it prudent to place his two best defensive outfielders behind Jonathan Papelbon. Who else but Hernandez made another bid for a hit into center; but for Ellsbury and Crisp he would have been 3-for-4.

All three runs were scored by products of the Red Sox system. Dustin Pedroia led off the first and fifth innings with hits and came around both times. Ellsbury knocked his first circuit clout into the Red Sox bullpen and in an incident more shocking than David Ortiz’s stolen base, Mike Timlin didn’t cradle the ball in a towel but barehanded it before it bounded into the bleachers.

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