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Home » April 2009 Game CommentsApril 2009 » Green


Game 10: April 17, 2009
Orioles8L: Danys Baez (0-1)6-4, 2 game losing streak
WinRed Sox10W: Ramon Ramirez (1-0)
H: Hideki Okajima (1)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (3)
4-6, 2 game winning streak
Highlights: No lead is safe in Fenway, particularly if your name is Jeremy Guthrie. The Orioles pitcher was the victim of the 2007 Mother’s Day Miracle (or Massacre, from his point of view). Last night he and his bullpen failed to hold a seven-run lead, breaking the curse of the alternate jerseys. Corner outfielders Jason Bay and J.D. Drew both smashed four-baggers into the visitors’ bullpen, countering Nick Markakis’s 5 RBI evening.

Who did Brady Penny remind you more of, Carl Pavano (rocked by the Rangers on April 9th of this year for 9 earned runs and 2 home runs) or Jeff Suppan (7 earned runs and 3 homers in his August 5, 2003 Fenway start against the Angels)? Theo Epstein and his staff know full well how National League pitchers have difficulty adapting to the American League, but they had success bringing over Curt Schilling. But Penny is no Schilling, no matter what conversion rate you use.

Fridays mean alternate jerseys. Last night was the first time the hanging sox were coupled with the alternate home jerseys. For traditionalists, the new cap’s debut went over as well as Penny’s first home start.

Two Greens impressed me last night. Pumpsie visited the booth in the bottom of the fourth and shared his recollections of his days as a Red Sox player. On July 21, 1959 Green pinch ran and played short for the Red Sox at the old Comiskey Park to become the first African-American on Boston’s roster, which was the last team to integrate.

“Hey, that was terrible,” Pumpsie Green chuckled about his ceremonial first pitch. What was also terrible was the systematic bigotry that held back the Red Sox from breaking the color barrier for more than a decade after Jackie Robinson’s debut. If there is some sort of karmic force in the universe, I do believe that John W. Henry’s commitment to undo the wrongs of the owners that preceded him has brought his team the success on the field that we enjoy now.

The other Green to make his mark was Nick. He ended the visitor half of the fourth with yet another outstanding play. The Orioles had already gotten a run in the inning and Nick Markakis was camped out on third, ready to increase the then three-run lead. Green ensnared Luke Scott’s grounder behind second before it crept into the outfield and then twirled dervish-like to fire to first.

Green’s calling card isn’t his offensive skills, but in the fifth he tied the game with a two-run double off the center field wall. Makes one appreciate the greenery.

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