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Home » June 2009 Game CommentsJune 2009 » Recur


Game 72: June 25, 2009
Red Sox3
L: John Smoltz (0-1)
44-28, 1 game losing streak
W: Jordan Zimmermann (3-3)
21-49, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: The Zimmermen(n) had me confused last night, particularly with this pitcher hitting situation. I wish the National League fuddy-duddies would adopt the designated hitter already.

The success or failure of Heidi Watney’s “Opposite Field” segment all hinges upon the interviewee. Last night Julian Tavarez answered a few questions and I realized how much I miss his personality. He also said he loves and misses us, that he was rooting for Boston during the playoffs last year, and even hopes the Red Sox go all the way this year.

While Tavarez didn’t say so explicitly, there is a chasm of difference between playing for the floundering Nationals franchise and the continually contending Red Sox club. The reborn team can only hope that the similarly-surnamed young stars, Ryan and Jordan, are still around by the time the premium prospects they draft now can contribute at the major league level within the next few years.

Provided they sign the talent they draft. The Nationals failed to sign their first pick of the 2008 draft, Aaron Crow. That was under Jim Bowden’s regime, however, so perhaps negotiations to secure Stephen Strasburg, the first pick of the 2009 draft, will go smoother under new management. As for the player’s agent, well, we all know how reasonable Scott Boras can be.

With some luck, the 2012 Nationals could be the 2008 Rays, but I think they just don’t have the critical mass of young talent on the cusp to suddenly blossom as Tampa Bay did. It took the AL East upstarts 11 years to right the ship; the Nationals might be on the same course to success.

Who had June 25 down for the Nick Johnson injury pool? Perhaps John Smoltz, who nailed the injury-prone first baseman in the shin. Dave Roberts provided his first Dave-ism in response to this incident, mentioning that Johnson’s rapidly-swelling contusion was called a “shinburger” in the business. Would you like your shinburger with or without cheese? I’ll take it with cheese, but no hair, please.

Smoltz vacillated between terrible and terrific in his Red Sox debut: 5 innings pitched, 5 runs (all earned), 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts. I predict he’ll fall smack dab between Curt Schilling and Bartolo Colon on the veteran pitcher reclamation scale.

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