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Home » May 2008 Game CommentsMay 2008 » Brink


Game 40: May 11, 2008
Red Sox 8 L: Tim Wakefield (3-2) 24-16, 1 game losing streak
WinTwins 9 W: Nick Blackburn (3-2)
H: Dennys Reyes (4)
S: Joe Nathan (12)
19-17, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: It’s better to get close to a goal and fail rather than never having been in reach of it. Or so I keep telling myself. David Ortiz, puffing out his chest and displaying his formidable biceps, goofed off behind Terry Francona during the in-game interview in the midst of the fourth inning. Something tells me Ron Gardenhire wouldn’t countenance such behavior. My favorite part is how Ortiz turned away and whistled when Francona looked back over his shoulder, the designated hitter attempting to appear as if he were innocent any wrongdoing.

In terms of drama this was one of the best games of the season so far, but unfortunately it was dulled by the plodding commentary of Joe Morgan. Just as I developed a filter when I was 16-years old that made me oblivious to my mother’s voice, I am immune to Morgan’s prattle.

I was surprised how easily I could reestablish the mom filter. I called her right before the game but must confess I did tune out towards the end of the conversation.

Only my mom would need careful hand-holding when setting up a Mac. Or would need to recount in exquisite detail the terrible tragedy that befell her when she lost the bidding for an item on eBay. And then cap it off with an intricate telling of the menu she had planned for Grandma.

I miss her dearly, but all the talk of the foods I wouldn’t be enjoying began to verge on Morgan-level annoying. “Mom, Wakefield is pitching. I have to go now or by the time you are finished with this story he will be done pitching.” She laughed and bothered me for grandchildren before we said goodbye.

I switched over to ESPN just in time to see that Nick Blackburn has Joe Mauer sideburns. The power of the sideburns carried him through six innings with five strikeouts but also walked one, surrendered nine hits, and allowed four earned runs. In the third Blackburn came down with a case of the yips and put Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia on by hitting them.

Michael Cuddyer didn’t know whether to come in or back up for David Ortiz’s rapidly descending liner and thus caught in indecision allowed the bases to be loaded with visiting hitters. But only Mike Lowell launched the ball out of the infield for a run; Kevin Youkilis smoked an atom ball to third and J.D. Drew sent a gentle shot directly into Adam Everett’s glove.

Had more runs scored perhaps we would be celebrating another Mother’s Day Miracle like we had last May. If Tim Wakefield had not come undone in the second inning to yield five runs, including home runs by part-timer Craig Monroe and the spray hitter Everett, that ninth-inning rally would not have come up just short. If Mike Timlin didn’t allow a second homer to Monroe in the seventh, the Red Sox would have tied in the ninth.

I was stunned that Everett was able to get the ball over the wall. As I watched Ellsbury’s slightly mistimed leap I imagined Manny Ramirez making the play, as that would be one of those unlikely snares that the slugging left fielder is wont to make.

Another improbable hitter slugged his second homer in as many nights. Coco Crisp slipped a longball down the baggie with Drew on base and two out in the seventh. Crisp had been the catalyst in the three-run fourth with his leadoff triple that jounced off the rippling obstacle in right field.

Carlos Gomez should be discomfited that a visiting rookie played a better outfield than he. Ellsbury reeled in what seemed to be a surefire hit off the bat of Mauer to close out the eighth inning. In contrast Gomez was turned around in pursuit of Drew’s fly ball to dead center, allowing his opponents to pull within two scores.

I was right about Wakefield’s outing being short but for the wrong reason. Julian Tavarez pitched one and one-third inning of relief, for want of a better word. Today the slim mop-up man was designated for assignment to make room for the healed Sean Casey, the one guy who would actually feel badly for Tavarez’s plight.

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