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Home » June 2009 Game CommentsJune 2009 » Sellout


Game 65: June 17, 2009
L: Andrew Miller (2-3)
32-35, 2 game losing streak
WinRed Sox6
W: Brad Penny (6-2)
H: Justin Masterson (3)
H: Hideki Okajima (12)
40-25, 2 game winning streak
Highlights: The 38,196 fans at Fenway were feted by the Boston Red Sox for 500 straight sold out games. The streak started on May 15, 2003 in a game against the Rangers that featured an eighth inning comeback win. There have been 175 players rostered since that day. David Ortiz played in the most games (449) and hit the most homers (109). Tim Wakefield had the most wins with 49, appropriately enough. Penny added to the festivities by delivering his 100th win, soldiering through a Jeremy Hermida comebacker in the first that nearly took his heard off.

Putting a dampener on the merriment was official scorer Charles Scoggins’s ruling that Jacoby Ellsbury erred on Jorge Cantu’s fly ball to left-center. Most other center fielders don’t have the wheels to get to the ball to have the chance to miss the catch, and for that reason Ellsbury’s streak of 232 games and 554 chances ended in the first inning. I’ve written about Scoggins before and I respect his acumen, but I think in this particular situation he is wrong. The Red Sox asked him to review the play and he didn’t change his mind. Fortunately it is not within Scoggins’s purview to take away Ellsbury’s seventh-inning home run.

Joining Scoggins in a spate of poor judgment was home plate umpire Jerry Crawford. Dennis Eckersley noted that Crawford was missing the low strike and called the outside corner inconsistently.

Despite the moving strike zone, Brad Penny battled through five innings with a line of 3 hits, 1 unearned run, 4 walks, and 3 strikeouts. He got more than enough support from the offense and the bullpen.

David Ortiz doubled, drew two walks, and scored all three times he was on base. His pal Mini-Me broke out of his slump; the Red Sox second baseman went 3-for-5, drove in three runs, and pulled his batting average back up above .300. Rocco Baldelli is a force off the bench; the platooning outfielder went 2-for-3 with a run scored and a run batted in.

Whatever was ailing Ortiz now seems to have affected Kevin Youkilis. The first baseman has looked lost at the plate and has struck out at an uncharacteristic rate. In April his OBP was .505, in May it went down to .441, and thus far in June it is .391.

Penny threw 100 pitches over five innings and needed four relievers to bail him out, and yet there was not an iota of the vitriol that is heaped upon Daisuke Matsuzaka when he does the same.

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