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Home » May 2008 Game CommentsMay 2008 » Abrupt


Game 38: May 9, 2008
Red Sox 6 H: David Aardsma (2)
H: Hideki Okajima (8)
BS, L: Jonathan Papelbon (2, 2-2)
23-15, 1 game losing streak
WinTwins 7 W: Jesse Crain (1-1) 18-16, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: If this were a softball game, Jon Lester would have his third win and Okajima his second save. But the rules of hardball require nine innings and for the second time this season (not to mention the second in the past three days) Boston lost hold of a victory in the final frame of the game.

Near-disasters at first base abounded last night. In the top of the first Justin Morneau had to come off the bag and reach across to tag a hurtling Dustin Pedroia thanks to third baseman Matt Tolbert’s off-target toss. Kevin Youkilis struck out in the second inning but was safe at first since Joe Mauer couldn’t find the ball and then couldn’t find Morneau’s glove.

The most harrowing incident came in the third inning. Morneau’s bat exploded upon impact causing Jon Lester to protect his eyes from the splintering rod. Lester recovered just in time to see that he had to cover first. The southpaw sprinted to first, ensured his foot was on the bag, and then gloved Youkilis’s relay just before Morneau’s headfirst slide. At first Lester seemed to have been injured on the effort, but the lefty threw a few practice pitches and was fit enough to continue. In fact, Lester lasted long enough to secure a decision.

Rookie standout Carlos Gomez demonstrated that while he is a terror on the basepaths he doesn’t yet have the polish to deal with them as an outfielder. He came up throwing on Jason Varitek’s single but his cannon was errant. The throw hit J.D. Drew in the back and had Boof Bonser not been backing up the play Gomez’s error would have also cost a run rather than just Varitek taking an additional base.

The visiting Red Sox trailed in until the fifth inning. Pedroia led off with an infield single, David Ortiz walked, and Manny Ramirez loaded the bases with a liner to center. Delmon Young played Mike Lowell’s fly ball to left badly allowing both Pedroia and Ortiz to score, bringing the score to 5-4 in favor of the Twins.

Since Ramirez advanced to third on Lowell’s two-bagger he was in position to tie the game on Youkilis’s ground out. Lowell replaced Ramirez at third and scored easily on Juan Rincon’s wild pitch to Drew.

So many times Boston had held on to win one-run games (7-3 until this game). As David Aardsma and Hideki Okajima shutout the Twins until the bottom of the ninth, a rebound from the dispiriting last-minute loss to the Tigers seemed to be in the offing. After all, Jonathan Papelbon would take the hill with 6-5 lead and the bottom of the order due to hit.

But hit they did. Young singled, was bunted over by Tolbert, and swiped third with Gomez at bat. Papelbon walked Gomez on six pitches, a surprising event given Papelbon’s command and Gomez’s aggression.

Mike Lamb couldn’t catch up to Papelbon’s pure heat but was able to get around on a fastball that had a bit taken off of it. As the ball looped into left the Twins swarmed home to greet Young and then flocked towards first to pile on Lamb.

At least Boof Bonser didn’t get the win. Anyone who purposefully changes his name to “Boof” doesn’t deserve such an honor.

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