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Home » June 2009 Game CommentsJune 2009 » Apples


Game 63: June 14, 2009
Red Sox6
L: Josh Beckett (7-3)
38-25, 1 game losing streak
W: Chan Ho Park (3-1)
36-25, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: The Phillies turned the tables on the Red Sox yesterday, avoiding a sweep with an outburst of eleven runs. Terry Francona cobbled together a lineup sans J.D. Drew (much to his relief), Dustin Pedroia, and Jason Varitek, but Beckett made up for those gaps with a game-tying homer in the sixth. Don Orsillo commented on Beckett’s angry swing, which seemed to say, “How about them apples?” Dave Roberts’s classic reply: “I like apples.” The unlikely pair of Rocco Baldelli and Nick Green had back-to-back apples in the second.

Even with the staff ace on the bump a good team can only keep another good team down for so long. And a good player like Jimmy Rollins will rarely be held hitless for an entire series. He broke the tie in the seventh with a leadoff home run.

Rollins was happy enough after his four-bagger, but the shortstop flared up in the dugout after his fifth-inning RBI ground out. Even though he brought his team within two runs of the opposition he acted as if he didn’t do anything positive. It was reminiscent Kevin Youkilis’s selfish behavior of seasons past. Rollins might be a former MVP but that doesn’t mean he has to act like Alex Rodriguez.

Starter Josh Beckett was off-kilter and the defense behind didn’t help either.

Playing short isn’t easy, even when a player of Mike Lowell’s prowess assumes it temporarily for the shift, as he did in the fifth with Chase Utley in the box. Lowell fielded Utley’s grounder easily enough but sent the ball into the bullpen, allowing Utley to take second and Victorino to advance to third. Ryan Howard then starched a double to the right field wall for the lead.

In the seventh Shane Victorino scored on Julio Lugo’s errant throw to first. It wasn’t completely Lugo’s fault as Utley broke up the double play attempt, but Boston’s shortstop should have prudently pocketed the ball instead of going for the twin killing.

They say that pitchers have the advantage in full daylight, but whatever benefit the sunlight might grant eluded the Red Sox relievers. In the seventh Daniel Bard relieved Josh Beckett, in the loosest sense of the word. Bard intentionally walked backstop Chris Coste to load the bases and get to the pitcher, and then proceeded to walk Chan Ho Park on four pitches to plate a run.

Takashi Saito took over for Bard but was just as ineffective. Saito nailed Rollins with his first pitch (which might have made some of his Phillies teammates smirk) and then walked Victorino with just four pitches.

It was just one of those day games that got away.

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