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Home » May 2009 Game CommentsMay 2009 » Swept


Game 41: May 21, 2009
Blue Jays
L: Robert Ray (1-2)
27-17, 3 game losing streak
WinRed Sox5
W: Jon Lester (3-4)
25-16, 3 game winning streak
Highlights: Lester turned in his first quality start since his May 4 outing against the Yankees. Blue Jays batters mustered eight hits against him, but the only extra base hit came off the bat of Vernon Wells in the third. In the first inning Lester let one fly when Alex Rios called time out. Dennis Eckersley said that pitchers are coached to do so but that it’s hard for them to do so because they are so focused on pounding the zone.

Speaking of pounding, Jason Bay has been a behemoth at the plate. The left fielder powered an opposite field homer off the top of the Red Sox bullpen’s wall with Kevin Youkilis on first. The two-run shot added to David Ortiz’s RBI ground out that plated Jacoby Ellsbury. Ortiz was the first guy in the dugout to high five Bay. It’s nice to see Papi smile again.

So much for the beasts of the east Toronto Blue Jays. A couple of series before squaring off against the Red Sox Toronto played against the Yankees and lost the three-game series. Toronto’s hot start reminded me of the surging Orioles of seasons past.

I wonder if Vernon Wells regrets signing his long-term deal that keeps him with Toronto until 2014. He has an option he can exercise in 2011. By 2010 Roy Halladay could be gone should the pitcher decide to test the free agent market. There must have been annoyance when Wells threw in the ball to the keystone sack to hose Dustin Pedroia. The Red Sox second baseman showed that his lightning-quick reflexes not only help him when batting but also when eluding tags; he nimbly moved his hand away from Marco Scutaro’s tag to get reach second safely. Second basemen must vex Wells; his own second baseman, Aaron Hill, is a racist (link to a Wells interview where the outfielder displays his wry wit).

The Red Sox have a 25-year old MVP-caliber player anchoring their middle infield, but the Blue Jays are no slouches in this department. They have extended Hill to 2011. While Pedroia broke out at 24, Hill is having a similarly productive season at age 27.

McGreevy’s 3rd Base Saloon, America’s first sports bar and the stop before home, now serves a 1.9 pound monstrosity called the Big Mouth Beckett burger. I like the irony of the name; for the stuff that he has, Beckett could have a lot bigger mouth than he does. But were he to run his mouth, he’d back it up, no doubt.

Part of the sale proceeds goes to Beckett’s charitable foundation, so chow down. Ken Casey, co-founder of McGreevy’s and a member of the Dropkick Murphys, visited the booth and mentioned that it’s not all meat since it’s garnished with 11 ounces of lettuce. “So it’s good for you,” cracked Eckersley. A Dropkick Murphys roadie made a bet that he could finish the Big Mouth. If he lost, he’d have to work the rest of the tour in his underwear. There was no word on the outcome. He could have made a deal with the scoreboard operators and have them help him hide the remnants; those behind the scenes guys know all the secrets of places.

But where did first base umpire John Hirschbeck hide his sense of vision? In the fifth he called Julio Lugo safe at first on Marco Scutaro’s off-target throw. Hirschbeck asserted the Kevin Millar lifted his foot off the bag. Replays showed that Millar held his toe down and that Lugo never stepped on the sack. Lugo was erased on Ellsbury’s ground ball to Millar. That fielder’s choice led to an RBI for Pedroia, but thankfully that ill-gotten run did not impact the outcome of the game.

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