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Home » July 2008 Game CommentsJuly 2008 » Smörgåsbord


Game 94: July 9, 2008
Twins 5 L: Livan Hernandez (9-6) 50-41, 3 game losing streak
WinRed Sox 18 W: Josh Beckett (9-5)
H: Javier Lopez (9)
H: Craig Hansen (7)
55-39, 3 game winning streak
Highlights: The only Red Sox player not to get a hit or run yesterday was pinch runner Jeff Bailey. Boston attained their highest run total of the season thus far.

The numbers were staggering. Crooked numbers littered the H column just as Brian Bass’s shards of self-esteem are scattered around the mound in Fenway.

The recounting of slugfests are often boring to write. Every inning is peppered with action making it hard to extract the flavor of the game. This game was different thanks to a few oddball seasonings tossed in to lend a unique taste to this smörgåsbord of scores.

From the start Josh Beckett wasn’t at his sharpest but neither was Denard Span. Perhaps Span’s looting of Red Sox hits to right field began to weigh on his conscience: he was caught stealing after earning a free pass. Despite the gift out, however, the Twins would score three runs in the first inning.

Beckett had some latitude because of the hurler (using the term loosely) opposing him. Livan Hernandez’s fastball is slower than Beckett’s change-up and the Twins starter’s change-up is slower than Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball. His combination of slow and slower was a key ingredient to the four-course third inning. Manny Ramirez doubled to right-center to plate a runner and Lowell followed up with a single to left-center to score two more.

Hernandez loped leisurely to the backstop to back up Span’s throw to home. His pace was as slow as his pitches, allowing Lowell to advance to third. Sean Casey starched a single into center and Lowell represented the go-ahead run of the game.

Hernandez provided a few more snacks in the form of two more runs in the fifth. Ramirez doubled again, just missing a homer into the Monster seats, to drive in a run and was in turn driven in by Casey.

It was in the seventh where the flaming dessert was presented with a grandiose flourish. Span seemingly came up with a triple play-sparking snag of Jason Varitek’s gentle liner to center. Lowell tagged up for a run, but Casey and Varitek both saw that Span trapped the ball and advanced at their peril.

Second base umpire Greg Gibson signaled an out when Span relayed the ball to Alexi Casilla, which would have meant a triple play. After a conference, the call was reversed and the Red Sox had runners at the corners with none out.

The gorging that followed made Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut seem anorexic.

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