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Home » July 2009 Game CommentsJuly 2009 » Hundredth


Game 88: July 12, 2009
L: Bruce Chen (0-4)
37-51, 3 game losing streak
WinRed Sox6
W: Josh Beckett (11-3)
54-34, 3 game winning streak
Highlights: In 2004, the Red Sox were 48-38 at the break with a .558 winning percentage; after the break they increased their win rate by 10% and went 50-26. They were 8-8 in the games after the All-Star game to the trade deadline, a mediocre showing that prompted the trade of Nomar Garciaparra. In 2007, Boston went 53-34 for a .609 winning percentage but dropped to .573 with a record of 43-32 after the Midsummer Classic. That season the Red Sox traded Joel Pineiro to the Cardinals for a player to be named later and acquired Eric Gagne to shore up the bullpen.

As my grandpa would say in pidgin, “If no stay broke, no fix um.”

The only weak spot that needs shoring up, in my opinion, is the hot corner due to Mike Lowell’s questionable hip. Kevin Youkilis fills in nicely, but that leaves Mark Kotsay, the Pawtucket first baseman du jour, and Rocco Baldelli (as a last resort) covering first base, a position that is a premium offensive spot for most teams.

There’s no need to trade Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie, Lars Anderson, Jose Iglesias, Theo Epstein’s son, and a player to be named later for one and a half seasons of Roy Halladay. J.P. Ricciardi may not be the most successful general manager but he isn’t dim enough to trade his most valuable asset to a team in his division, no matter what the return is. On the other side of the table, Epstein is a successful general manager and he isn’t desperate or foolish enough to meet Ricciardi’s demands.

For all his accomplishments, Halladay has no postseason track record. Josh Beckett does.The way he pitched yesterday, Beckett looked as if he could start all five games of the ALDS (three, if the Angels win their division). For his 100th win, the fireballer went the distance and gave his bullpen a long break. The All-Star threw a mere 94 pitches, yielding three hits, no walks, and seven strikeouts.

Kansas City didn’t knock a ball in play until the fourth inning with David DeJesus’s double down the first base line. The ball girl on the right side of the field did her best to fool first base umpire Bill Miller into thinking the ball was foul by trying to field the ball.

Dustin Pedroia, Youkilis, Baldelli, and Aaron Bates all had multiple hits. Bates’s bat came to life after a slow start: the first baseman went 3-for-4 with two doubles.

Not playing everyday has dulled Baldelli’s baserunning skills. The platoon player charged for home on Jacoby Ellsbury’s nubber to the pitcher and became the second out of the second inning instead of a run. At least he drew the play out long enough for Bates to advance to third base.

Recall that Baldelli turned an odd 8-4 double play in the second game of the series to kill a Royals rally. The outfielder had the tables turned on him in the bottom of the eighth when he tagged up on Nick Green’s fly ball to center and was out at third before Jason Bay came home.

Playing against the hapless Royals for four games has started to rub off on the Red Sox. The All-Star break came just in time.

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