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Home » September 2007 Game CommentsSeptember 2007 » Sniped


Game 158: September 26, 2007
Athletics 6 L: Jerry Blevins (0-1) 75-84, 3 game losing streak
22-24-4 series record
WinRed Sox 11 W: Mike Timlin (2-1) 94-64, 2 game winning streak
33-14-5 series record
Divisional magic number: 2
Highlights: Through the magic of Jerevision I learned that I made my regional cable network debut last night. Please, no autographs. Talk to my people; they can give you an address where you can order an official autographed 8x10 glossy.

Jon Lester’s outing wavered between brilliant and banal. He fell one short of his career mark of 10 for strikeouts in a game but also relinquished two home runs. In my mind he is neck and neck to get a playoff start with Tim Wakefield, but the latter has the edge in experience. Perhaps the best route is to consider them a starting dyad with the knuckleballer getting the first part of the game. That would hopefully render the southpaw’s arsenal all the more effective given the different angle of attack and velocity change.

The Red Sox batters bailed out the spotty pitching with potent offensive bombardments. Manny Ramirez’s reinsertion into the lineup, even in the second spot, sent a jolt of electricity through the batting order. The left fielder knocked in three sound singles and walked; after this base on balls in the sixth Brandon Moss replaced him as a pinch runner.

Dustin Pedroia all but nailed down Rookie of the Year honors with his 3-for-5 showing. His leadoff longball into the second row of the Monster seats sundered the 5-5 tie. His shot fractured the fragile remnants of Oakland’s pitching and defense.

Next Ramirez finagled a base on balls and Brandon Moss replaced him as a pinch runner. David Ortiz powered a fly ball off the left field wall that was far enough to get him to second but close enough to trammel Moss at third.

Who else but Mike Lowell would bring the two runners home, his single just missing the top of the Monster. The third baseman is the new single-season RBI leader for Red Sox playing the hot corner. He had already driven in three runs in the third and fourth innings. His fourth inning RBI single was distressing; he barreled down the first base line to beat the throw to first and came up hobbling. Visions of Eric Hinske and Kevin Youkilis at the corners thankfully dissipated as Lowell waved off the trainers and remained in the game.

To see how even seemingly minute defense substitutions can impact the game one need only look so far as Nick Swisher in center. Pressed into service due to the injuries to Travis Buck and Mark Kotsay, Swisher does not fit the lithe and limber profile of the typical middle ball hawk.

He went back on a can of corn off J.D. Drew’s bat, ball inevitably trailing into his glove. From my vantage point in front row of the center field bleachers he receded from view. Instinctively I stood up to peer over the wall to see what should have been the first out of the inning.

Instead I saw the ball slant away from Swisher’s glove to hit the warning track and bounce nearly as high as the wall.

Polite Heckler™ Matt was on hand to advise the hapless Oakland outfielder. Bob Geren pulled Jerry Blevins right after the miscue. “Nick! He’s not pulling that pitcher because he’s doing badly. It’s because he’s embarrassed for you.”

For once in the Polite Hecker’s life his quarry acknowledged the jibe. Swisher looked up at him and smiled. Thus encouraged, Matt followed with, “Nick! It’s okay! I don’t think anyone noticed.” During the warm-up pitches, Swisher was also counseled to visit mlb.com and peruse the instructional videos put forth by Harold Reynolds. This last rejoinder elicited another smirk from the outfielder, laughter from the bleachers, and a visit by the usher.

Because of the warning, an audience of only one was privy to the final barb. “I was going to invite Nick out for drinks after the game,” grinned Matt. “I invented a drink called the ‘Nick Swisher.’ The bartender would make the drink and then throw it over the patron’s head.”

Terrible posture, Empy. Matt has his thinking cap on.

Screen capture courtesy of A Red Sox Fan from Pinstripe Territory.


This may be your New England regional sports channel debut, but it isn't your actual regional sports channel television debut. Or have you all ready forgotten about the time you were "circled by Bert" for all the Midwest to see.

Good job by Jere. Congrats, Joanna. You gotta love the great catch our buddy Jere made!

Never knew you were "circled by Bert." Something to tell the grandkids about one day.

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