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Home » May 2009 Game CommentsMay 2009 » Difference


Game 25: May 3, 2009
Red Sox3
L: Brad Penny (2-1)
15-10, 1 game losing streak
W: James Shields (3-2)
H: J.P. Howell (1)
H: Dan Wheeler (3)
S: Troy Percival (3)
11-15, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: I enjoy kids doing the lineups on Sundays as much as anyone, but bringing them into the booth to do color commentary is a bit much. Oh, that was Tony Massarotti? Here I was impressed when he talked about wins and losses not necessarily indicating a pitcher’s performance. Speaking of impressive, Carl Crawford had more stolen bases in a game (six) than the Atlanta Braves have had this entire season. Crawford leads the league in steals with 17; 20 teams have less steals on the season.

Justyn Farano, an artist from the Tampa Bay area, was interviewed by Heidi Watney for a segment in the pre-game show. His work is nearly photo-realistic, but he does not merely reproduce photographs. Farano often places his main subject in front of smaller scenes of that player rendered in subdued colors, making the focus of the painting pop out from the background. During games he works in the Ted Williams Museum and fans can watch him bring players like Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz to life.

Pedroia, Ortiz, and Kevin Youkilis were very lively in the first inning. (Farano hasn’t tried to paint Youkilis yet. Too hard to find a picture that doesn’t look like it belongs in a rogues’ gallery?) The trio loaded the bases with one out. J.D. Drew lined a single into center for a run, the first of many, it would seem.

James Shields settled down, however, pitching into the eighth inning. He let Jacoby Ellsbury reach on a single, but the speedster was replaced by Pedroia on a fielder’s choice. Joe Maddon took a more conventional approach and had southpaw J.P. Howell face Ortiz. Maddon achieved the desired result: the Red Sox designated hitter grounded out.

Youkilis has been so hot it didn’t matter if Bob Gibson were on the mound — the corner infielder would get a hit. Pitted against a mere mortal such as Howell? Youkilis hit his sixth homer of the season to the deepest part of the center field, pulling his team within a run. The home bullpen would hold the lead, and this time Troy Percival didn’t injure himself while closing.

These Rays fans don’t deserve this fine of a team. When Evan Longoria reached into the stands to glove the final out of the game a fan reached up and snatched it away from him. Longoria hardly hid his disdain as he returned to his base.

Tony Massarotti told a story about Bill Mueller at Fenway. Just as Longoria did, Mueller leaned into the crowd to catch a foul ball. Unlike the Tropicana spectator, a Fenway patron got out of the way of Mueller. When Mueller came back out for the next inning he brought the fan a ball.

That is the difference between these two teams, a difference that no amount of American League East, American League, or World Series championships can bridge.

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