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Home » April 2008 Game CommentsApril 2008 » Develop


Game 28: April 29, 2008
Blue Jays 0 L: Roy Halladay (2-4)
11-16, 1 game losing streak
WinRed Sox 1 W: Jonathan Papelbon (1-0) 16-12, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: Halladay has pitched four consecutive complete games and has lost the most recent three. Terry Francona let his starter leave the game on a high note and had Papelbon embarrass the top of the Blue Jays’ order. In contrast, John Gibbons let Halladay pitch in the bottom of the ninth. The ace struggled to hurl first-pitch strikes even though he got the first two batters out. David Ortiz proved patient at the plate, Manny Ramirez clubbed a single to center, and Kevin Youkilis smashed an RBI single to Vernon Wells to cap off the Red Sox’s first walk-off win this season. And it could have been avoided if Gibbons better managed his bullpen.

Don’t you hate it when a favorite restaurant of yours falls under new management and all the familiar tasty dishes you once enjoyed are radically altered into something unrecognizable to your taste buds? Men Tei Noodle Cafe on Hereford Street was one of my beloved pre- and post-game eateries, but last night I went there and since my last visit the gyoza had metamorphosed into a size, shape, and most importantly taste inconsistent with what should be heavenly fried bundles of porky goodness.

The ramen I ordered was fine but the bowl seemed smaller than I recalled, but any hot soup would have happily made its way into my gullet given the weather. So, with a mixture of warmth and disappointment in my belly I made my way from the Hynes Convention Center area to Fenway, a gelid wind whipping about flecks of rain that no umbrella could stymie.

I waited for my friend near the Ted Williams statue. Watching people look at something is revealing. Some approached the monument timid and awestruck, others arranging their appearance so that they would appear comely in a photograph with the object, still others stalked by without any appreciation for it other than it being a convenient item to put out their cigarette on.

The best person to bring with you to on a game on a chilly night is a someone from the Midwest. Not only do they have great tips on how to beat the cold but they will be kind enough to treat you to cocoa, coffee, and outstanding baseball conversation. Especially if he is as embroiled as you are in the intricacies of several fantasy baseball leagues.

For who else but a fantasy baseball buff or Red Sox devotee (as we both are) would know of Jon Lester’s maddening habit of nibbling like a Hollywood starlet at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party? The anorexic Lester was not on the mound on Tuesday evening. In his place was a man prepared but not overly prepared to face a former Cy Young award winner.

Lester had his best outing of the season and career so far but did not figure into the decision. The migrating Blue Jays are susceptible to left-handed pitchers and proved this by allowing Lester to only 97 times over eight innings. Lester struck out six, walked four, and allowed a single hit.

Despite the discomfort of the less-than-ideal conditions, Lester staunched his team’s five-game losing streak. Of course, the lefty has dealt with greater discomforts than a rainy night on the hill.

In the bildungsroman of Jon Lester the man, a game such as this may not even be a chapter or even a page. But in the novel-in-progress of Lester’s development as a pitcher, last night’s game may be the pivotal chapter.

(Photos from last night’s game to be posted later this evening.)

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