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Home » September 2008 Game CommentsSeptember 2008 » Morikaesu [盛り返す]

Morikaesu [盛り返す]

Game 139: September 3, 2008
Orioles 4 BS: Rocky Cherry (2)
L: Jim Miller (0-1)
63-76, 6 game losing streak
WinRed Sox 5 W: Justin Masterson (5-4) 82-57, 3 game winning streak
Highlights: The Orioles love to provide Red Sox fans with memorable games. There’s Hideo Nomo’s no-hitter on April 4, 2001, the wild card-clinching game on September 25, 2003, the remarkable Mother’s Day comeback game on May 13, 2007, and Clay Buchholz’s no-no on September 1 later that year. Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched competent innings, but his teammates staged a comeback (morikaesu in Japanese) too late for him to secure his 17th victory.

Yesterday the Red Sox notched another late-inning victory against the ill-fated Orioles. The Boston bats seemed to be sleepwalking through six innings. The crowd of 37,373 responded to the lackluster effort with equally tepid acknowledgment of the goings-on on the field; they seemed like they would rather be sitting in a 6 by 8 cubicle in front of a LCD monitor that sucks out the soul of any who gaze into it.

That’s where I was. I would have gladly traded places with any of them, even the guy in Section 23, Row 2, Seat 17.

I had Joe Castiglione and Dale Arnold to keep me company in my cozy quarters. Their virtual voices don’t take up any physical space, they just enlivened the parts of my brain that are deadened by the monotonous parts of my job.

Perhaps to the Red Sox hitters facing pitchers like Lance Cormier and Dennis Sarfate is like regular Joes such as us attending mind-numbing, unproductive meetings. “Ah, man, I’ve got the weekly Cormier thing today, better get an extra shot of espresso in my soy latte.” “Geez, the Sarfate lessons learned session is going to eat up my entire afternoon.”

But then that office renegade comes crashing through the halls. He’s brash, he’s bold, he’s got big ideas but backs up his ideals with results.

Never mind that Ozzie Guillen likened him to a jockey; on the baseball field, you don’t need to have freakish proportions to succeed.

What you need is for your eyes to transmit information to your brain to move hands such that the bat that they are holding intersects with a ball at the precise moment and angle to propel it away from the grasp of your opponents.

This is something Dustin Pedroia has been doing exceedingly well. He was the first member of the local nine to notch a hit (a single in the second inning) as well as the first to make a dent in the four-run lead the Orioles had built up (by virtue of his seventh-inning solo shot).

If Pedroia is the new kid on the block, mover and shaker type, Alex Cora is the worn about the edges veteran who is unappreciated by his colleagues but rolls up his sleeves to get the dirty work done. With the Jasons on the bases Cora bunted down the third base line, the ball so perfectly placed Castiglione gushed about it endlessly. With the bases thus loaded, Coco Crisp walked in five pitches to halve the deficit.

The new guy, Mark Kotsay, made a power play with his eighth inning triple to center that drove in David Ortiz and Pedroia to tie the score. Brown-noser, gomasuri as he would be called in Japan, which translates to someone who grinds sesame seeds for his superior in order to curry favor.

Cora showed he doesn’t hoard his expertise as Jacoby Ellsbury executed a fine bunt of his own in the bottom of the ninth. It was meant to be a sacrifice bunt, but Jim Miller’s attempt to erase Cora at third ended up bounding down the third base line.

The sweep was secured and, as a bonus, the Rays lost (it was to the Yankees, who are at this point non-entities)

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