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Home » May 2009 Game CommentsMay 2009 » Stranding


Game 35: May 14, 2009 ∙ 12 innings
Red Sox4
L: Manny Delcarmen (1-1)
21-14, 2 game losing streak
BS: Scot Shields (2)
W: Jason Bulger (1-1)
18-15, 2 game winning streak
Highlights: How do you know it’s getaway day? When Darren Oliver strikes out the side.

The Red Sox lost their extra innings affair just in time for me to have a little nosh and switch over to the Celtics. The green team seemed to have the game in hand, so I switched over to the Bruins.

There’s something about playoff hockey that grabs you by the throat and won’t let you go. Football plods along four downs at a time and basketball, while more free-flowing, is marred by momentum-draining intentional fouls and free throws. Possession is nine-tenths of the law — but not in hockey. The puck can slide like your grandma’s Impala on an unsalted street. In a quicksilver second it passes from one team to the other then into the goal for a gut-wrenching loss.

That it was Scott Walker who scored the winning goal for the Hurricanes wasn’t salt in the wound, it was fluoroantimonic acid in a sucking chest wound. Imagine steroid user Alex Rodriguez hitting the winning home run off Jonathan Papelbon in the 11th inning of the seventh game of the 2009 ALCS. Imagine Shawne Merriman intercepting Tom Brady in overtime and running 38 yards for the touchdown in the AFC Championship Game. Imagine Kobe Bryant flying from a court of law to the parquet of the Garden to hit the winning three-pointer with 0.3 seconds left on the clock.

Walker should have not even been on the ice. He was the one that bashed Aaron Ward’s face without provocation. Instead of spending time on the bench he paid a fine. Congratulations to Carolina for their $2,500 price tag on advancing in the playoffs.

This is supposed to be about the Red Sox, right? Sorry.

What an odd game of reversals. Jacoby Ellsbury bungled an attempt on Bobby Abreu’s fly ball in the eighth. The catchable ball turned into a triple. Torii Hunter lofted a ball that Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and J.D. Drew converged to a single point to catch, but it was Drew who came up with the ball. Drew had the best arm and angle of the three, unfortunately for Abreu. The Angels’ right fielder was out at home on a unusual 9-2 double play.

A visiting player be able to make a play easier than a home town hero? Mike Lowell calmly made the first out of the sixth inning by reaching out of the park over the railing. Kendry Morales tried to make a similar play in the ninth on Jeff Bailey’s pop out in to the first rows of the seats behind first. Those monkey-mad Angels fans got in his way, however, and Morales came up empty. Not that Bailey would get the benefit of the doubt by home plate umpire Bill Miller. If Drew and David Ortiz didn’t get a few inches leeway, an unestablished player like Bailey doesn’t have a chance.

Of Miller’s 11 called strike threes, 10 were against the Red Sox. Terry Francona was ejected in the 10th inning for arguing balls and strikes. That’s one way of avoiding the sight of Ortiz stranding a dozen men.

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