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Home » July 2008 Game CommentsJuly 2008 » Swap


Game 98: July 18, 2008
Red Sox 3 L: Clay Buchholz (2-5) 57-41, 1 game losing streak
WinAngels 11 W: John Lackey (7-2) 58-38, 3 game winning streak
Highlights: Buchholz got into trouble early. Consecutive doubles by Casey Kotchman and Maicer Izturis were followed by RBI singles authored by Vladimir Guerrero and Garret Anderson. The latter had a superlative 4-for-5 outing with five RBIs and a solo shot in the fourth. Not only does Los Angeles have doctors that can make your face and body look younger but apparently specialists that can make you play younger, at least for one night. The regular season Angels are their usual ascendant selves, but we know how the tables turn in the postseason.

Clay Buchholz’s problem is perhaps he is too young. As bright as his future may be, his present has fell short of perhaps unfair expectations. For the fourth straight outing Buchholz surrendered four or more earned runs and lasted less than six innings.

For the Red Sox most of the action happened off the field. In the pre-game show Gordon Edes refuted Bob Lobel’s report (as posted by Steve Silva) that Manny Ramirez’s fine for his assault of Jack McCormick was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as Ramirez’s retaliation for the fine was to take three straight strikes from Mariano Rivera in the July 6 game at Yankee Stadium.

The many facets of Manny were on display in the game as well. In the third he launched a missile to the opposite field seats to tie the game in the fourth. His 19th homer of the year added on to Kevin Youkilis’s two-run longball in the second.

Just as Ramirez is adept at making breath-taking shots he is capable of side-splitting blunders. In the bottom of the sixth Ramirez slid after Maicer Izturis’s loopy fly ball and missed by the length of at least two of his dreadlocks. He then tumbled backwards over the ball and made a Twister-like move to get it out from under him. By the time it got back to the infield Izturis stood safely at third.

The three runs by Boston fell well short of keeping Boston in the game. The Angels’ offense came alive, tying their season-high run total of 11, a mark they last made on July 11 to win against the Rangers.

This loss and the Tampa Bay’s come-from-behind win had the dueling teams switch places in the AL East standings. Will superstar egos and the resulting media fallout hobble the Red Sox or will the greenhorn Rays stumble because of lack of veteran leadership?

For Boston there is hope on the horizon with David Ortiz’s successful steps towards returning to the majors (and whose presence will likely ease Ramirez’s attitude problems), but without a trade the Rays will be a youthful hodgepodge of talent without a core presence to stabilize them.

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