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Home » September 2008 Game CommentsSeptember 2008 » Dissension


Game 152: September 17, 2008
Red Sox 3 L: Tim Wakefield (9-11) 89-63, 2 game losing streak
WinRays 10 W: Grant Balfour (5-2) 90-60, 2 game winning streak
Highlights: Dissension abounded on and off the field. Thought and deed were divergent; the harder Wakefield tried to stymie the Rays lineup the more they hit, the more the visiting batters attempted to hit the less they made contact (except for David Ortiz), the less the defense endeavored to make errors the more they bungled plays.

For the past few games Jerry Remy has stated that the Red Sox have the best defense in the American League according to fielding percentage (a questionable statistic, to be sure, but seems to be the method the MLB uses to rate defensive skill). Last night was a blooper reel played out live, particularly by the pitchers. In the third Devern Hansack tossed the ball into center field when attempting to pick off Willie Aybar from second base.

Later in that inning Javier Lopez played Gabe Gross’s soft liner to the side and allowed Gross to get on base. Either homerism or sympathy took over in the fourth when David Aardsma and the entire infield failed to nab a high pop-up that landed behind the mound off the bat of Aybar. Initially tallied as an error, the scorer changed the call to a hit.

His team doing as badly as his shoulder, Curt Schilling entered the fray with criticisms of former Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez. The pitcher spouted off on WEEI on September 17:

The guy got to dress in a locker away from the team for seven years. And then [when] he’s on this crusade to get out of here, all of a sudden he’s in the locker room every day, voicing his displeasure without even having to play the game that night.

The team could have done with the .390/.480/.720 and 14 home runs Ramirez has turned in thus far with the Dodgers. David Ortiz tried to do it on his own: Boston’s designated hitter was responsible for all three of his team’s runs, and he scored them dramatically with four-baggers.

But Tim Wakefield’s sluggish start in which he lasted just two and one-third innings while yielding six hits (three of them homers) proved too much to overcome, just as the Rays’ lead in the AL East may prove insurmountable with just 10 games remaining.

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