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Home » May 2009 Game CommentsMay 2009 » Repetitive


Game 50: May 30, 2009
Red Sox3
L: Ramon Ramirez (4-2)
28-22, 2 game losing streak
WinBlue Jays
W: Brian Tallet (3-3)
H: Brandon League (3)
S: Scott Downs (7)
29-23, 2 game winning streak
Highlights: The first two games of this series have been like Groundhog Day in baseball format. Seven innings pitched by the Blue Jays starter? Check. Eighth inning with one strikeout by League? Check. Perfect save by Downs? Check. Jason Varitek didn’t homer twice, but Rocco Baldelli smashed his second home run of the season with Varitek on base.

Unfortunately, Rocco Baldelli didn’t complete the game. In the fifth he slid into the wall bordering the right field stands in pursuit of Aaron Hill’s fly ball into foul territory and banged up his surgically-repaired knee, but x-rays came back negative. Too bad; I was looking forward to another withering glance from Baldelli to Jacoby Ellsbury should the latter attempt to poach a put-out as he did in the fourth inning.

Baldelli was ball-hawking in center before Ellsbury was drafted by the Red Sox. I wonder, as Baldelli probably wonders, what might have been if his career hadn’t been waylaid by injury and illness. I think if he fully recovers that the former Ray will be a better player than Ellsbury.

Toronto has a tenuous hold on matters practical and sartorial. Yesterday the roof was open with the sun drenching the field. Accordingly, the Blue Jays wore their alternate home jerseys, which are black. The stadium crew closed the roof in the fifth because of the threat of a few raindrops.

Rance Mulliniks dialed back his commentary for the middle game of the series and sprinkled in anecdotes to ease the tedium. “I would actually hear something creative and funny and you had to laugh along with them,” admitted Mulliniks about hecklers. As a rookie Mulliniks had braces. In Arlington, Texas, a fan mocked him with a draw, “Hey 18, you get AM/FM with them braces?”

For tips on how to deal with hecklers, look no further than Vernon Wells. In 2007, the center fielder somewhat placated a slew of unruly Indians fans with a ball. The ball, however, carried an amusing message to his antagonists.

Brad Penny’s pitching reminds me of John Burkett but with a few ticks on the radar gun remaining. He is a candidate to get shelled: he gave up 10 hits and eight of his 12 outs were fly ball outs. But when, not if, the wheels start to come off, Clay Buchholz and John Smoltz will be ready with engines revving.

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