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Home » July 2009 Game CommentsJuly 2009 » Memorable


Game 84: July 8, 2009
L: Trevor Cahill (5-8)
35-48, 2 game losing streak
WinRed Sox5
W: Tim Wakefield (11-3)
H: Manny Delcarmen (4)
H: Hideki Okajima (16)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (22)
51-33, 2 game winning streak
Highlights: Documentarian Ken Burns appeared on the pre-game show and talked about how his watershed series Baseball is going into extras. The Tenth Inning will chronicle the sport from 1994 to 2008. Although he was born in Brooklyn, he currently lives in New Hampshire and spoke as if Boston is his favorite team. The episode will explore 2004, bookended by the 1994 strike and the closing of Yankee Stadium.

The spirit of 2004 returned in the bottom of the sixth. David Ortiz crushed Trevor Cahill’s middle-in offering to the gap between the right field grandstand and the bleachers to break the 1-1 tie. As Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis crossed home plate and lingered there to high-five Ortiz, visions of 2004 and 2007 shimmered in my mind like the flashbulbs that glint with the designated hitter’s at bats. Sometime in the last few weeks the cheers for Papi changed in timbre from desperate encouragement to delighted enjoyment.

Ortiz’s contributions didn’t end there. In the seventh, his ground out to Mark Ellis plated the run that proved to be the difference in the game.

Jonathan Papelbon vacillates between brilliant and appalling game to game, inning to inning. This season the “A” on Oakland’s caps better stands for “anemic” than “athletic,” but you couldn’t tell that the way the got to the Red Sox closer. Adam Kennedy led off with a base on balls and Orlando Cabrera followed up with a single to left that had enough altitude to advance Kennedy to third.

Oakland’s puny production prompted them to trade for Scott Hairston. The move paid off quickly: the center fielder pinch ran in the first game and scored a run, homered in the second game, and lofted a sacrifice fly in last night’s game, pulling his team to within a run. The wind was Papelbon’s friend, keeping Hairston’s fly ball in play.

Not wanting to risk the lead to the gusts, Papelbon went after Matt Holliday for the swinging strikeout. Kurt Suzuki mustered a single up the middle, putting two men on with two out. Jack Cust, the poor man’s Adam Dunn, struck out on five pitches.

Tim Wakefield will be flying to St. Louis in style. Last night he cemented his All-Star credentials if anyone had any doubt of his worthiness of the honor; he was the first American League pitcher to 11 wins and struck out a season-high eight batters. Oakland shortstop Cabrera wasn’t inventing a new handshake in the opponents’ dugout, he was demonstrating how Wakefield’s elusive pitch darts through the zone.

Add two more Eckisms to the list. A “dewdrop in” (or is it “do drop in”?) is curveball that is way off-speed and has to be accompanied by a sound effect: “doot.” “Powder river” is a synonym for gas, an overpowering fastball.

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