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Home » July 2008 Game CommentsJuly 2008 » Pyrotechnics


Game 89: July 4, 2008
WinRed Sox 6 W: Josh Beckett (8-5)
H: Hideki Okajima (16)
H: Manny Delcarmen (12)
H: Javier Lopez (8)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (25)
52-37, 2 game winning streak
Yankees 4 L: Darrell Rasner (4-7) 45-42, 2 game losing streak
Highlights: The score should actually be 6-3, but third base umpire Wally Bell officiated as if he were wearing a Wally mascot costume. Coco Crisp came up with Derek Jeter’s swiftly falling fly ball in the ninth but the catch was adjudged a trap, giving the Yankees a run and Jeter a gift extra base hit. At least George Steinbrenner had four runs to celebrate his July 4th birthday.

It looked to be one of those kinds of games when the Red Sox failed to score in the first inning with one out. Mike Lowell popped out to the ridiculously mustachioed Jason Giambi for the second out and Kevin Youkilis peppered a shot straight into Derek Jeter’s glove.

The Yankees jumped ahead on first inning doubles by Johnny Damon and Alex Rodriguez. The home team looked less listless than they did Thursday: Bobby Abreu motored from first to score on Rodriguez’s double and the Yankees’ third baseman advanced to third as the attempted hosing of Abreu dribbled past both Jason Varitek and Josh Beckett.

But rookie Darrell Rasner couldn’t carry the fire that Joe Girardi’s closed-door meeting on Thursday evening presumable sparked. In the third he let Jacoby Ellsbury reach on a bunt single and Dustin Pedroia looped a single into left. J.D. Drew advanced the pair of runners with a ground ball to the Mustache and Manny Ramirez was unintentionally intentionally walked to load the bases.

Lowell reached out to a pitch outside to sacrifice in Ellsbury; the Red Sox third baseman’s ball settled uneventfully in Damon’s glove. But Youkilis’s subsequent fly found itself in far more peculiar circumstances.

Damon retreated to the left field wall which is padded save for the viewing windows. He leaped up to snowball the lofting ball but his impact jarred it out of his glove and onto the top of the wall. There it sat ensconced for what seemed an eternity until either the reverberation from Damon’s collision or the helpful nudging of a fan knocked it from its perch.

Youkilis tied the game with an assist from his former teammate. Damon left the game with a contused and sprained left shoulder.

Lowell gave no opportunity for replacement left fielder Brett Gardner to make a play on what would be the game-winning home run in the fifth. Pedroia and Ramirez crossed the plate and celebrated Lowell’s fireworks with him.

Despite Beckett not having his strikeout stuff the Yankees were limited to four hits and three actual runs. Boston’s bullpen seemed to have righted their previously listing galleon. The marauding relievers’ three innings of shutout ball helped secure at least a series split.

It is striking how different the Red Sox are playing against the Yankees compared to the Rays. The stronger part of Boston’s rotation have taken the mound, but in this long weekend series so far the lineup has stroked the timely hit and the bullpen has been lights out when called upon. The true rivalry in the AL East, based on current talent rather than reputation, has been defined.

Perhaps Joe Girardi had better time his meetings so that a rookie with a losing record isn’t on the mound the following day. Maybe he had another meeting with after yesterday’s game with the reanimated (well, as much as one can revitalize his deathly pallor) Mike Mussina scheduled to start.

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