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Home » June 2008 Game CommentsJune 2008 » Crimson


Game 70: June 13, 2008
Red Sox 1 L: Justin Masterson (3-1) 42-28, 1 game losing streak
WinReds 3 W: Aaron Harang (3-9)
H: Jared Burton (6)
S: Francisco Cordero (13)
33-36, 2 game winning streak
Highlights: The Red Sox played in Cincinnati for the first time since the 1975 World Series. That series alternated between Fenway Park and Riverfront Stadium. Although the Reds are the oldest club in the majors, the team broke with tradition and was the first home field using AstroTurf. It was disconcerting to watch replays of that fabled series as one venue was replete with oldtime baseball charm and the other was a sterile duplicate of many other multipurpose stadia erected in that era.

Great American Ball Park is a vast improvement over its generic predecessor, although its dimensions make it an all too cozy place for both established sluggers like Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey, Jr. as well as the blossoming boomer Jay Bruce. Ballparks.com lists the following boundaries: left field foul pole: 328 feet; left field power alley: 379 feet; center field: 404 feet; right field power alley: 370 feet; right field foul pole: 325 feet; backstop: 55 feet.

The space couldn’t contain Bruce’s leadoff homer that cleared the eight-foot tall wall in right to settle a couple of rows into the stands. The park’s petite proportions definitely couldn’t hold Dunn’s line drive four-bagger in the fourth; a line shot that found the right-center stands with breathtaking speed. It didn’t take away the air from Dunn’s lungs, however: he nonchalantly blew a bubble as he rounded the bases.

Against the Reds’ ace by reputation if not results the Red Sox scrapped together just a single run. Jacoby Ellsbury legged out a double to start the fourth frame and was driven in by a Manny Ramirez single. There were no other extra base hits for Boston.

Another effective outing was turned in by unhyped rookie starter Justin Masterson while the supposed savior of the Yankees Joba Chamberlain finally pitched over the minimum for a decision:

  • Masterson: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 2 HR, L
  • Chamberlain: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 0 HR, ND

Not only do these teams share the history of being part of one of the greatest World Series, but they share name origins. The Cincinnati Red Stockings, unrelated to the present-day franchise, became the first openly professional baseball team in 1869. Owner John I. Taylor decreed the Boston club’s first official nickname in 1908, calling his team the Red Sox after the pioneering team based in Ohio. Oddly enough, the first professional team in Boston was started by Harry Wright, who owned the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The team that would become the Boston Braves was originally known as the Boston Red Stockings.

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