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Home » September 2007 Game CommentsSeptember 2007 » Mettle


Game 153: September 19, 2007
Red Sox 1 L: Clay Buchholz (3-1) 90-63, 4 game losing streak
31-14-5 series record
Divisional magic number: 9
Postseason magic number: 3
WinBlue Jays 6 W: Jesse Litsch (6-9)
H: Casey Janssen (24)
H: Scott Downs (22)
S: Jeremy Accardo (28)
77-75, 3 game winning streak
22-20-7 series record
Highlights: Buchholz looked sharp for the first four innings of his third major league start. Rookie magic was replaced with rookie mishaps in the fifth, however, as Gregg “Superfluous G” Zaun led off with a double. Adam Lind and Russ Adams followed with consecutive singles to tie the game. The lanky starter panicked when Ray Olmedo bunted, flailing an errant toss to Mike Lowell.

Fortunately, Bobby Kielty backed up the play in foul territory and relayed the ball back to Mike Lowell. Rather than immediately returning the ball back to the pitcher, the third baseman tarried around third base, shoulders slumped, feigning dejection. In the split second Russ Adams lifted his foot off the sack Lowell swatted him with his glove, ball still ensconced within.

Joe West was on top of the play and immediately called Adams out. It was the second pseudo-hidden ball trick turned this season, the first was turned by Julio Lugo against rookie Diamondback Alberto Callaspo on June 8.

The lesson is to never take anything for granted.

One would think this is a lesson Lugo would know since it was he who victimized that unwitting tyro in Arizona, but the veteran shortstop had a lapse of his own last night in the seventh inning. While running out what appeared to be a routine grounder to his counterpart, Lugo let up. Ray Olmedo flubbed the play momentarily; the span of time where Lugo decelerated equaled the amount of time granted by the gaffe.

If Lugo were safe, Jacoby Ellsbury would have scored a run to tie the game and the frame would have continued.

Red Sox fans worldwide are panicked now that the margin between their team and the Yankees is the slimmest since April. I doubt the Red Sox players themselves are astonished by their rivals’ rebound; they were probably more astounded by New York’s long period of mediocrity.

Adherents to Boston baseball had all but declared the Bronx Bromides dead and buried in August. Carlos Camejo can attest, however, that things are not always what they seem.

Camejo was cruising along a Venezuelan highway placidly – until he got into an accident. He was wheeled to the hospital, pronounced dead, and slated for an autopsy.

He awoke to searing pain on his face as a coroner’s scalpel incised his face to begin the postmortem. He, like the Yankees, was not dead.

In the aftermath of being swept by the Blue Jays, many a Red Sox message board are overflowing with premature proclamations of the demise of their team. The division title is in jeopardy, but the postseason probability remains high.

For the sake of Camejo, forego composing witty or profound epitaphs for the 2007 season for any of the remaining contenders. This is where we see who has the mettle for the stretch run.

The anguish of this sweep could be what jolts the Red Sox out of their recent descent. Won’t the medical examiner-wannabes be shocked when their subject sits bolt upright on the morgue slab, poised for a postseason surge?

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