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Home » July 2009 Game CommentsJuly 2009 » Interfere


Game 91: July 19, 2009
Red Sox1
L: Jon Lester (8-7)
55-36, 2 game losing streak
WinBlue Jays3
W: Roy Halladay (11-3)46-47, 2 game winning streak
Highlights: A few days ago I asserted that we didn't need Halladay. Today he made a resounding case for the Cy Young award, but I still maintain that what the Red Sox need for the stretch run is another bat. Four complete games, ERA under three, and 113 strikeouts are nice, but don’t put runs on the board.

Against any other pitcher Jon Lester likely would have notched his ninth win, but Roy Halladay stifled Boston’s rotation for nine innings, allowing six hits and one earned run while striking out seven. The Red Sox got to Halladay early with Dustin Pedroia bouncing a single off the pitcher and Kevin Youkilis following up with a bounding double past Scott Rolen.

David Ortiz sac flined (half fly, half liner) to right to drive in Pedroia. That was the beginning and end of the story on the offensive side of the ball for the visitors.

Rod Barajas, Blue Jays catcher and multi-year winner of Best Porn Star Name, drove in all three of the home team’s runs. His second inning double drove in two hitters that Lester walked and in the sixth he sacrificed in Lyle Overbay.

On the defensive side the Red Sox had a couple of gems. Jason Varitek sprinted to the threshold of the Blue Jays’ dugout to snare Kevin Millar’s foul pop up on the slide.

With a runner at the keystone sack and two out, Rolen fouled a pitch off that seemed destined to bounce into the left field stands. Jason Bay dashed into foul territory, gloved the ball, and jounced off the wall without dropping the ball, all while deftly avoiding the outstretched arms of a few Blue Jays fans.

For the first time Jim Kaat or I can remember umpire’s interference was called. Under the definition for interference the MLB rulebook states:

(c) Umpire’s interference occurs (1) When an umpire hinders, impedes or prevents a catcher’s throw attempting to prevent a stolen base, or (2) When a fair ball touches an umpire on fair territory before passing a fielder.

If there is any interference, the rules say, “In the event the batter-runner has not reached first base, all runners shall return to the base last occupied at the time of the pitch.”

In the sixth, Eric Cooper ruled that he had thwarted Varitek’s throw to second to gun down Alex Rios and sent the outfielder back to first. Lester politely declined to note that that Varitek’s tosses across the diamond typically appear hindered or impeded. The rare invocation was rendered moot when Rios purloined second a few pitches later.

At least the Milk Room Mustang Little League team got to learn a little-used rule.

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