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Home » September 2008 Game CommentsSeptember 2008 » Advent


Game 153: September 19, 2008
WinRed Sox 4 W: Manny Delcarmen (1-2)
H: Hideki Okajima (21)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (39)
90-63, 1 game winning streak
Blue Jays 3 L: Brian Tallet (1-2) 82-72, 1 game losing streak
Highlights: Paul Byrd has been stuck in a pitching rotation loop like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day. He was shelled in his September 13 outing, which prompted a SoSH poster to analyze and reveal that Byrd had been tipping his pitches.

Facing the final phase of this Sisyphean cycle, Paul Byrd stated that he had also been made aware of this tendency around the time of the All-Star Break by an opposing player. In the pre-game show Dennis Eckersley mentioned that it wasn’t odd for Byrd to be vocal about his idiosyncrasies and that he thought Byrd might be floating out this information to confound the Blue Jays’ lineup. Would he intentionally deploy a mannerism to stymie a batter? Or would he play it straight so that the opposition would have to respond to the pitch rather than to its prelude?

In the early innings it seemed that the Blue Jays would be able to decipher Byrd’s mechanisms no matter what his tactic. Scott Rolen, Gregg Zaun, and Travis Snider doubled consecutively in the second inning to put their team ahead by two runs.

A.J. Burnett responded with shutdown stuff until the fifth frame, which Jason Varitek led off with a ground ball double to left. The catcher advanced to third on Jacoby Ellsbury’s bunt single but was frozen there on Dustin Pedroia’s fielder’s choice and David Ortiz’s swinging strikeout.

Kevin Youkilis hung in against Burnett, who had been pitching like a man who planned to trigger the escape clause in his contract to pursue free agency. Youkilis singled on a fastball down the middle to plate Varitek.

A coaching visit by Brad Arnsberg didn’t set matters straight, or perhaps set them too straight: Sean Casey took a fat fastball to the left field wall, just missing a homer. Two runs scored and the Red Sox took the lead, albeit briefly.

As well as Byrd handled the meat of the lineup, it was the pesky top and bottom of the order that mustered runs against him. Joe Inglett singled up the middle and was driven in by Marco Scutaro’s gapper to left-center for the tie.

In a rare mental lapse, Ortiz was doubled off first on Youkilis’s fly ball to center in the seventh. It’s hard to keep those baserunning nuances in one’s head when your modus operandi is to put the ball over the fences.

The vaunted Blue Jays bullpen clunked through the top of the eighth. Not through spectacular offensive plays but rather through patience the Red Sox scored the go-ahead run. With one out Jason Bay ran out an infield single. Mark Kotsay and Jed Lowrie walked to load the bases and Varitek tallied an RBI with a fielder’s choice to second that could have been a double play.

The Rays defeated the Twins by a hefty 11-1, keeping the two teams lockstep in the standings. Each loss by the Blue Jays extends Yankee elimination day further into the future. In my mind I have combined this imminent event with the demise of Yankee Stadium; each feature eulogizing Stade Fasciste, whether it be on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, or MLB’s site, is opening another window on an ironic advent calendar. Yes, Virginia, there is retribution.


Always enjoy your posts. If the Sox take care of business tomorrow (Sunday), I'll watch that Yankee game with great hope for their demise coming on the same day they send off that rotten place.

Thanks for reading, Devine.

I watched the pomp(osity) and circumstance of the Yankee Stadium closing ceremonies. As my friend noted, it reminded him of Leni Riefenstahl's propaganda work for the Reich.

I will only miss it as it was the site of the Greatest Comeback in Baseball History.

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