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Home » September 2008 Game CommentsSeptember 2008 » Duelists


Game 149: September 14, 2008
Blue Jays 3 L: Roy Halladay (18-11) 80-70, 2 game losing streak
WinRed Sox 4 W: Jon Lester (15-5)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (38)
88-61, 2 game winning streak
Highlights: When Jose Bautista deposited a fastball into the Monster seats in the first inning, it seemed like it might be one of those days for Lester. That would be the only run he relinquished, however. Lester out-dueled and outlasted Roy Halladay in a pivotal game; while the Blue Jays’ ace gave up three runs over seven innings the Red Sox southpaw shut down Toronto for the remainder of his eight-inning outing.

Against a formidable hurler such as Roy Halladay the Red Sox resorted to small ball tactics early. Jacoby Ellsbury singled up the gut and swiped second on the first pitch to Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia sac bunted the swift outfielder over and David Ortiz grounded out to second to tie the game.

Jason Bay continued to wipe memories of Manny Ramirez away, this time with a deep double to lead off the second inning. The ball caromed off the left field wall oddly, making Vernon Wells look like a puppy chasing his tail as he pursued it. The backstop Jason pushed Bay along with a ground out to second.

With men in scoring position Halladay bears down, as witnessed by opponent’s batting average of .212. Alex Cora was easily dispatched via strikeout.

Not even Halladay could contain hot-hitting Coco Crisp, however. With two outs and runners in scoring position batters hit only .150 against Halladay. Crisp broke the trend with a seeing-eye single between first and second for the lead.

The Red Sox would not only maintain this lead deep into the game but added on what would be necessary insurance runs. Crisp drove in another RBI single in the seventh with two out, this time a ringing single to left drawn by the gravitational pull of Kevin Mench’s head.

Alex Rios, who so generously grants extra base hits to Boston players, misplayed Ortiz’s line shot to right in the eighth into a triple. Kevin Youkilis lofted a sacrifice fly to center as soon as practicable so that Ortiz could get into the dugout for oxygen.

Everyone in the park soon wished they had their own tanks of the life-giving gas with Jonathan Papelbon on the mound for yet another tenuous save. A double and two singles were smacked in succession; had the Red Sox not gotten a favorable call by second base umpire Doug Eddings on Lyle Overbay’s slide into second, the game would have gone into the bottom of the ninth and possibly beyond.

Boston accepted the gift out graciously and Toronto added to the generous gesture with meek ground outs by Scott Rolen (which did score a run) and Gregg Zaun.

We’ve leveled the score with the Blue Jays; the Rays and their vexing cowbell-toting devotees are next. I want to see more Red Sox fans than Raymonds-come-latelys in the Trop. Make it happen, Red Sox Nation.

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