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Home » May 2008 Game CommentsMay 2008 » Stimulated


Game 54: May 26, 2008
WinRed Sox 5 W: Bartolo Colon (2-0) 32-22, 1 game winning streak
Mariners 3 L: Felix Hernandez (2-5) 18-34, 7 game losing streak
Highlights: The first image I see when I switched over to NESN is Bartolo Colon drinking some Starbucks. There was also a carafe in the dugout with more java readily available. But all the caffeine in the world couldn’t energize the flagging Mariners and their poor record, which is the worst in the majors. David Ortiz homered in the fourth right about the same time Rasheed Wallace got his fifth foul. The former event helped lead the team to victory while the latter was yet another advantage that the Celtics failed to capitalize on in their Game 4 loss.

Felix Hernandez need not sign up for Weight Watchers; looking across the field at Bartolo Colon should be deterrent enough for the younger pitcher to win his battle against weight gain. Although Hernandez’s career is on the ascent while Colon attempts to relaunch his own, it was the visiting pitcher who triumphed last night thanks to a late inning offensive flareup.

Jason Varitek wore camouflage gear in honor of Memorial Day, looking a bit like the Decepticon Armorhide (the tank version with desert paint scheme, not the blue semi). Galvanized by his burly appearance behind the plate, the backstop carried that swagger into the batter’s box. The catcher stood firm in the box in the eighth with the bases jammed and two out, fouling off multiple pitches but then standing pat to take a walk to push the fourth and final run of the inning across home.

Jerry Remy mentioned the lush grass of the infield repeatedly and how it dampens the speed of ground balls. Given the swiftness of Ichiro Suzuki and the defensive excellence of Yuniesky Betancourt and Jose Lopez, such a strategic tailoring of Safeco’s diamond makes perfect sense. The sharp groundskeeping strategy stands in stark contrast to Bill Bavasi’s front office moves. Anyone who signs Carlos Silva to a four year, $48M contract does not stand to keep his job for very much longer.

Until that day the one thing Mariners fans can enjoy is Gold Glove-caliber play up the middle. Betancourt slid for a diving grab of Jacoby Ellsbury’s first-inning blooper, impinging on Adrian Beltre’s territory. In the fifth Suzuki dashed to the wall and made an over-the-shoulder basket catch of Varitek’s fly for the second out of the inning and snazzily kept his cap on while recoiling off the wall.

There wasn’t anyone in the area to high five, however.

Dustin Pedroia added another clip to his highlight reel in the third by robbing his second base counterpart Lopez of a base hit with his diving stop. Pedroia had the favor returned in the ninth when Beltre snatched his sharp grounder, got the force at third as his lunge took him to the bag, then fired across the field for the twin killing, 5-3 (coincidentally, Pedroia’s height).

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