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Home » June 2009 Game CommentsJune 2009 » Bostonians


Game 73: June 26, 2009
WinRed Sox4
W: Josh Beckett (9-3)
45-28, 1 game winning streak
L: Jair Jurrjens (5-6)
34-39, 3 game losing streak
Highlights: Every series against Braves brings announcers the opportunity to speak of the Atlanta dynasty of the 90s to the early aughts. In that same period the Florida Marlins won two World Series. I’d take two championships over being just good enough to fail in the NLDS or NLCS repeatedly.

Josh Beckett didn’t just slap down the Braves (to the tune of 7 innings, 6 hits, no runs, no walks, and 6 strikeouts) but also Heidi Watney in the post-game interview.

Watney asked a question to which Beckett replied, “You missed that question already, Heidi.” Is Jason Varitek still dating Watney? If so, Beckett better hope his catcher doesn’t cross him up the next time they share the field.

Sorry, NESN, but putting a microphone on Nick Green is like following a certified public accountant on the job. Let Green’s bat and glove do the talking. In the seventh the shortstop chased down Diory Hernandez’s grounder and hurriedly set himself to relay to Mark Kotsay’s outstretched glove. Green worked the walk to lead off the next inning, moved to second on Julio Lugo’s sacrifice bunt, and then scored on newly-shorn Dustin Pedroia’s gutshot single. While Green didn’t notch a hit or RBI, his consistent play in the hole kept the Braves at bay no matter how often their fans invoked their montonous war cry.

Credit is due to the Braves fans, however, as they at least had critical mass to attempt to over the chants of the traveling Red Sox contingent. The stereotyped and derivative tomahawk chop isn’t terribly intimidating, however.

Jair Jurrjens is from the same town in the Netherlands Antilles as Andruw Jones and is the first pitcher from Curaçao to pitch in the majors. The former Detroit prospect came over to the Braves with Gorkys Hernandez for Edgar Renteria in October 2007. Given Dontrelle Willis’s struggles, the Tigers likely regret trading away Jurrjens, who may have ace or number two potential.

The Braves pitcher held the opposition scoreless until the fifth when the reinvigorated David Ortiz sent the ball sailing over the fences. Pedroia led off the next inning that he chopped off home plate, dropped between Chipper Jones and the shortstop Hernandez, and stopped at second with a double. The second baseman’s antics at the keystone sack perturbed Jurrjens, inducing a balk. J.D. Drew plated Pedroia with a ground out to second for an insurance run.

Bobby Cox demonstrated remarkable faith in Jurrjens, allowing him pitch the eighth despite a leadoff base on balls. Again Jurrjens balked with Pedroia on second but this time the former MVP scored on a passed ball with Kevin Youkilis at bat. Folly was not limited to Atlanta’s side: Youkilis tried to advance to second while the infield responded to Pedroia's dash and was run down.

We thought Hideki Okajima’s head movement was unnerving, but Mike Gonzalez’s gyrations are in a class by themselves. Jacoby Ellsbury had a pitch sail 10 feet behind and then was rocked into swinging under a hanging slider for a strikeout. Mike Gonzalez turned down the appropriate and striking nickname “The Cobra” in favor of “Gonzo.”

Just like a Brave to go for the mundane.

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