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Home » June 2008 Game CommentsJune 2008 » Slammed


Game 65: June 7, 2008
Mariners 3 L: Miguel Batista (3-7) 22-40, 1 game losing streak
WinRed Sox 11 W: Tim Wakefield (4-4) 39-26, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: The baseball deities, unimpressed that an official scorer had attempted to avert the end of Kevin Youkilis’s errorless streak at first, ensured that the first baseman’s run came to end as it should have the game before. For 238 games and 2,002 attempts Youkilis was flawless, but the spell that had lasted since July 4, 2006 came to an abrupt end in the ninth when Alex Cora’s relay toss dropped from Youkilis’s glove to the red earth.

At some point in this series there should be a split screen comparison of Jacoby Ellsbury and Ichiro Suzuki. One sequence would juxtapose both speedsters coming out of the box and the other would time them from first to second on a steal. I think these sprinters would be within hundredths of a second of each other even though ten years separate them in age. They say speed is one of the first things to leave a player as they advance in years, but in this string of games Suzuki has shown nothing of the sort.

And that is why fielders panic when any ball off the Mariner center fielder’s bat wends its way to them. The milliseconds it took for Kevin Cash and Tim Wakefield to decide which of them should pounce on Suzuki’s first-inning dribbler was the slice of time needed for Ichiro to reach first to begin the game.

Suzuki bunted for an infield single to become the second baserunner in the third. Again Wakefield charged the ball to try to keep Suzuki off the basepaths but to no avail. The visitors tallied two runs that inning but would not score again until the ninth.

Four Red Sox players drove in two runs each; those eight runs were the difference in the teams’ score yesterday, just like in the first game of the series. Two of those runs stood out amongst the offensive orgy: Manny Ramirez’s and J.D. Drew’s homers.

Ramirez devoured Miguel Batista’s meaty slider in the first inning, sending the projectile over the left field wall and into the overpriced parking lot on Lansdowne. He improved upon Drew’s triple to left-center that escaped Suzuki’s glove and bounded about the warning track.

Drew’s homer was equally impressive even though stayed within Fenway’s boundaries. He caromed the ball off the wall to the right of the yellow line with his signature effortless swing.

Drew has slipped into the three-hole with surprising ease, turning in a scorching 10-for-17 since David Ortiz’s trip to the disabled list on June 3. Thus protected by Ramirez Drew has hit two bombs, walked five times, and has yet to strikeout. Perhaps pitchers and scouts will educate themselves and realize that Drew has adequately covered for Ortiz’s absence and pitch to him accordingly.

As for the Fox broadcast I have few complaints because Tim McCarver was not in the booth and no Red Sox fan could fault Mark Grace. Grace even mentioned that when the World Champion Diamondbacks visited Boston in 2002 every where they went the red carpet was unfurled for them.

Fox did miss some moments of on-field action and inexplicably cut away to the Royals-Yankees game. Since this was the most exciting battle between two last-place teams with records wavering around .500 ever contested and Fox wanted to be sure baseball fans across the country could witness it live.

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