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Home » May 2008 Game CommentsMay 2008 » Masterly


Game 48: May 20, 2008
Royals 1 L: Gil Meche (3-6) 21-24, 2 game losing streak
WinRed Sox 2 W: Justin Masterson (1-0)
H: Javier Lopez (5)
H: Manny Delcarmen (6)
H: Hideki Okajima (10)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (13)
29-19, 5 game winning streak
Highlights: Alex Gordon dismissed any possibility of a no-hitter by smacking a two-out double to the left field corner in the first inning, which was very thoughtful of him as we didn’t need another nine innings of drama. Masterson was workman-like in his six and one-third innings of work and struck out more batters than he walked by a margin of five to three. The one run marring his ERA was allowed by Manny Delcarmen on a John Buck single up the middle in the seventh. Okajima worked himself into a bases-loaded mess in the eighth, but Papelbon was able to tidy up the place, striking out three of the four batters he faced.

Jerry Remy and Jeff Van Gundy are the ideal color analysts of their respective sports. Both provide sharp in-game interpretation while interlacing anecdotes from their lives in the sport in meaningful ways. Unlike Joe Morgan who believes that his Hall of Fame credentials grants him carte blanche to muddle through Sundays with nary a whit of insight, watching a game with Remdawg and JVG will always be entertaining no matter the game situation. I feel more comfortable saying this now that Remy has toned down mentioning his commercial endeavors.

The Red Sox game was as much a meditation on what Jon Lester had achieved Monday evening as it was an actual game. Remy talked about the 10 no-hitters he had witnessed, five as a broadcaster and five as a player. For only one was he a player on the winning side: June 1, 1975 with the Kevin Bacon of no-hitters, Nolan Ryan.

Remy was wistful as he recalled a no-hitter he broke up with two out in the ninth on May 26, 1976. Ken Brett had carried his no-no that far only to lose it on a ground ball single to third baseman Jorge Orta that Remy said could have and probably should have been scored an error.

Brett came out for the tenth and allowed another single but no runs. Don Kirkwood started for the Angels and gave up seven hits over 10 innings and shut down the White Sox until Bucky Dent hit an RBI single in the eleventh.

Since the game went into extras, it wouldn’t have even counted as a no-hitter unless Brett pitched for however many innings the game lasted. How bizarre that changing the definitions of no-hitter and perfect game penalizes pitchers of the past who were actually able to endure more than nine innings of punishment.

Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and Mike Breen, the ESPN NBA crew, were at the no-hitter. Jackson whined about a female fan who rolled her eyes at him because he was wearing a New York Mets cap and a Dodgers jacket. I’m sure that elicited an eye-roll from JVG.

Much like Remy, the petite basketball coach brings keen observation and insider knowledge to his analysis but doesn’t detract from the action. Van Gundy’ opposite member would be the bloviating Doug Collins, who must lack the human need to breathe while speaking.

Neither does Van Gundy doesn’t have the obsequiousness of Bill Walton, who can turn a clever phrase but gets lost in his overly effusive paeons of praise. Van Gundy has shown he is not adverse to calling out NBA officials, alleged superstars, and his co-hosts on their iniquities while not shying away from his own. He made the Celtics’ 88-79 win over the Pistons in the Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals all the more enjoyable. Verbally he is much like the immortal image of him clutching on to Alonzo Mourning’s leg with determination: amusing yet compelling in his verve.

Round it out with a guest appearance by Lenny Clarke and already you have the makings of something infinitely more diverting than “The Best Damn Sports Show Period” and its ilk.

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