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Home » 2007 PostseasonOctober 2007 » Daten [打点]

Daten [打点]

World Series Game 3: October 27, 2007
WinRed Sox 10 W: Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-1)
H: Mike Timlin (1)
H: Hideki Okajima (3)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (3)
ALDS: 3-0
ALCS: 4-3
World Series: 3-0
Rockies 5 L: Josh Fogg (0-1) NLDS: 3-0
NLCS: 4-0
World Series: 0-3
Highlights: While watching the game I replaced the Rockies fans’ “Tulo” chant with “Lugo,” and I didn’t even need a Jumbotron to tell me when to do so. Not only did Lugo go 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs but he played a stellar game at short. In the fifth Colorado had the makings of a rally with men on first and second and one out. Lugo ranged to his right on Kazuo Matsui’s ground ball and snagged it in between hops, using his momentum towards third to shovel the ball to Mike Lowell to erase the lead runner. With two runs plated and more threatening, Lugo elevated on pinch hitter Jeff Baker’s line drive to end the inning and preserve the lead.

So far this series there has been a drubbing and a duel. Last night’s tilt became a nail-biter before devolving into another rout. The Rockies may not have delivered the highest quality of competition but at least the ways they proffer their defeats have been myriad.

Starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka earned the first RBIs (or daten, in Japanese) by a Japanese pitcher in the World Series. His poke between second and third in the third plated two runners. Clint Hurdle afforded Josh Fogg a small amount of pride by not pulling his starter after a hit by a pitcher, but did not hesitate in yanking the so-called Dragon Slayer when Jacoby Ellsbury doubled toward the futilely diving Cory Sullivan. At that point Matsuzaka had more World Series RBIs than the entire Rockies lineup.

“He Ichiro!” exclaimed Royce Clayton.

Matsuzaka also became the first hurler from his country to win a game in a Fall Classic, and did so with the most confident bearing seen from him during this postseason run. Jason Varitek at last eschewed using all five fingers to call pitches and had Matsuzaka pound the zone with precise fastballs.

Pitching to contact prompted a display of starter’s defensive aptitude. He knocked down Matt Holliday’s fierce grounder with his crimson glove then swiftly pivoted to the keystone sack. Matsui was trapped in a surgical rundown by Dustin Pedroia and Mike Lowell.

At end of five and one-third innings, it was clear Matsuzaka does indeed rise to the magnitude of the occasion and compiled his best October outing: three hits, two earned runs, three walks, and five strikeouts. The two runs were walks that Javier Lopez converted into runs into the sixth.

The balance that Matsuzaka showed amongst the realms of hitting, pitching, and fielding is in microcosm the balance of the Red Sox themselves. Where one reliever may come up short on the mound, another picks him up. If the heart of the lineup doesn’t produce, the top and bottom shore up the difference. This is why Terry Francona can weave through his roster with intricate double switches unconcerned that decisions would fray the symmetry of the whole.

Spurred on by the derivative towel spinning and formulaic Jumbotron-prompted cheers, the Rockies drew within a single run in the seventh. Mike Timlin salvaged the sixth but required the same of Hideki Okajima when the right-hander allowed a base hit bunt by Kazuo Matsui and a eighteen-hopper up the middle off the bat of Troy Tulowitzki.

Perhaps Okajima’s pickoff attempt with Holliday in the box enraged the slugger, reminding the left fielder of his ignominious performance in Game 2. Or perhaps at last the MVP candidate returned to his pre-World Series levels of production. Whatever the reason, not even these dabbling fans needed the scoreboard to tell them that a three-run homer to dead center was a good thing for their team and the stadium erupted into unrestrained exuberance.

While the crowd was agog to be so tantalizingly close to the lead, Okajima, with marked sang-froid, remained in the game. A center of calm in the maelstrom of towels and tumult, the southpaw struck out two batters and induced a lifeless ground out off the bat of Yorvit Torrealba for the final out of the inning.

Places like Coors and Jacobs augment the festivities with fireworks while Boston carries their own wherever they go. In response to the home team’s rally, Lugo took a free pass and Coco Crisp blooped a single over Tulowitzki’s glove into center field.

Fledgling players Pedroia and Ellsbury displayed dual pyrotechnics with consecutive doubles. When the smoke had cleared, three more runs for the visitors sparkled on the scoreboard.

Lowell, accompanied by Alex Cora and Lugo, then put on a clinic in National League ball for all gathered. He singled to center, advanced to second on a Cora’s bunt, swiped third, and cross home on Varitek’s sacrifice fly.

Versatile, balanced, motivated... and on their way to their second World Championship in four years. Not even the inevitable disparaging column by Dan Shaughnessy on Manny Ramirez’s bolt for and low-five of home in the third can yellow this postseason’s scrapbook.

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