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Home » May 2008 Game CommentsMay 2008 » Kokushi [酷使]

Kokushi [酷使]

Game 55: May 27, 2008
Red Sox 3 L: Mike Timlin (2-3) 32-23, 1 game losing streak
WinMariners 4 W: J.J. Putz (2-2) 19-34, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: Kokushi means exploitation, overuse, and abuse. Daisuke Matsuzaka left last night’s game after four innings due to shoulder fatigue. Rany Jazayerli devised the Pitcher Abuse Point (PAP) statistic to gauge the abuse of arms. Not only did Matsuzaka edge Josh Beckett to lead the Red Sox in innings pitched last year but he lead the league in PAP in 2007. Are they paying now for overworking the starter last year?

When Ichiro Suzuki led off the game with a double down the third baseline it was inevitable that the Mariners would take an early lead even with the hapless bats following the center-fielding star. Daisuke Matsuzaka obliged the home team by trying to erase Suzuki at third on Jose Lopez’s sacrifice bunt attempt that only resulted in runners at the corners with none out. Another Jose, Vidro, would drive Suzuki in by grounding into a force out and Raul Ibanez would plate Lopez.

Suzuki led off the third with a single, swiped second, and advanced to third on Sean Casey’s throwing error. The first baseman’s toss to Matsuzaka sent the pitcher sprawling to the turf, something that couldn’t have helped the hurler’s health. David Aardsma took the mound in relief of Matsuzaka in the fifth.

Julio Lugo must have wanted to hang out with Matsuzaka because he got himself ejected by third base umpire Angel Hernandez in the fifth. The abrupt ejection prompted Terry Francona to confront Hernandez and get the rationale behind the official’s dismissal of his shortstop.

The conversation escalated rapidly and Francona was also sent to the clubhouse. He either wasn’t satisfied with Hernandez’s elucidation or was looking forward to a rousing cribbage match against Lugo. (Francona can’t play against Lugo as often as he would like because Dustin Pedroia gets jealous.)

With one strapping blast in the sixth Manny Ramirez tied the game and inched closer to becoming the 24th member of the 500th homer club. It makes one wonder if Ramirez selected his number wittingly.

The Mariners eventually prevailed with Lopez’s liner off Mike Timlin to plate rookie Wladimir Balentien in the ninth. Seattle celebrated as if they had won the World Series when just moments before Yuniesky Betancourt was throwing a tantrum, his bat, and his helmet in the dugout when John McLaren elected to pinch hit Jeremy Reed in his shortstop’s place.

There’s just too much readily available caffeine in that park.

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