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Home » May 2009 Game CommentsMay 2009 » Regain


Game 37: May 16, 2009
WinRed Sox5
W: Josh Beckett (4-2)
H: Hideki Okajima (6)
H: Ramon Ramirez (6)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (10)
22-15, 1 game winning streak
L: Garrett Olson (0-1)
17-20, 1 game losing streak
Highlights: Jon Lester gave a Tim Tebow-like speech after his series-opening loss Friday night. “I can promise you that there hasn’t been a pitcher who has worked harder than I have from the beginning of the season, and there won’t be a pitcher for the remainder of the season who will work as hard as I will to get back to where I’ve been in the past.” And like Tebow, Lester inspired the men around him. Beckett had his first seven-inning outing since Opening Day.

Josh Beckett struck out only five and walked three batters, but it was an encouraging outing from a rotation that has taken its lumps. The only earned runs Beckett relinquished came on a home run to Yuniesky Betancourt with a man on base in the second inning. Hitting two-run bombs was the trendy thing to do yesterday evening — Jason Bay did it in the first and Jason Varitek did the same in the second.

The Mariners’ only other run came as a result of Julio Lugo’s throwing error to kick off the home half of the fourth. As Russell Branyan’s double skipped down the left field line Adrian Beltre barreled around the bases, bringing his team within a run. Jeff Bailey would get that run back with a leadoff four-bagger in the top of the fifth.

The triad of Hideki Okajima, Ramon Ramirez, and Jonathan Papelbon form an extraordinary set of relief arms. If a starter can get to the sixth or seventh with the lead, the Red Sox will most likely come away with the victory.

It helped that Mike Lowell was his Gold Glove self at the hot corner. He snagged Betancourt’s blistering liner for the first out of the seventh. With Branyan on second thanks to a two-out double in the eighth, Lowell smothered sophomore Wladimir Balentien’s grounder and threw un-Lugo-like to first for the final out of the inning.

Dave Roberts has taken well to the game booth. He works well with Don Orsillo, facilely mixing analysis and anecdotes. Dennis Eckersley has cornered the market on colorful language, but Roberts has an easy-going and pleasant on-air persona (which isn't that different from his off-air personality).

Brian Daubach looks less comfortable than Jim Rice on camera, which is saying something. Daubach reminds me of Albert Brooks’s character on Broadcast News without the flop sweat and wit. Perhaps with time he’ll loosen up and show some of his character.

Speaking of Rice, the former left fielder got a tour of Hall of Fame on Friday. This article revealed that the most feared hitter of his time eased the stress during induction announcements by following a soap opera. Tom Caron might be tempted to tease Rice about it, but that broadcaster’s desk is not that big and the slugger’s reach could easily bridge the distance between them.

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