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Home » July 2009 Game CommentsJuly 2009 » Re-sign


Game 83: July 7, 2009
L: Dana Eveland (1-3)
35-47, 1 game losing streak
WinRed Sox5
W: Josh Beckett (10-3)
H: Hideki Okajima (15)
H: Justin Masterson (6)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (21)
50-33, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: On July 18, 2006 Beckett signed a 3-year, $30M extension, a personnel move that has paid huge dividends. Since then he’s been selected as an All-Star twice, won the ALCS MVP once, and anchored the rotation for two playoff runs. Any other starter would consider this an outstanding performance but his 6⅔ innings with 6 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts had Beckett yelling at himself in the dugout.

If only Jason Bay would sign a mid-season deal like Josh Beckett did two years ago. The left fielder blasted his 20th home run just to the left of the stanchion furthest from home plate to tie the game. The solid slugger is on pace for 40 home runs and 142 RBIs. Not only is he the engine of the Red Sox offense but he can even steal a base or two, as he did in the third and seventh innings.

Bay might be a bit preoccupied with the upcoming Midsummer Classic festivities, but hopefully he and his agent Joe Urbon will find a couple of hours with Theo Epstein to finalize a contract.

I thought Tina Cervasio had awkward interview moments, but Heidi Watney topped her predecessor by asking Aaron Bates, “I saw you go shake Josh Beckett's hand after the game. He can sometimes not be the friendliest guy of the bunch. What was that like?”

Bates paused, probably hoping that Ashton Kutcher would come out from behind a potted plant. But no, that was an actual question. Bates fielded it as well as he picked Nick Green’s throw to complete the put out of Scott Hairston to lead off the fourth inning, answering in a way that portrayed his teammate in nothing but a positive light.

The rookie first baseman has a good mitt and isn’t a public relations disaster. Now all he has to do is hit: Bates is 0-for-6 with 4 strikeouts in two games.

The bullpen brigade of the Yawkey Way Rescue Squad played its part. Hideki Okajima bailed Beckett out of a two-on, two-out jam to end the seventh and Justin Masterson chipped in with a perfect eighth. Kurt Suzuki dropped a single on Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth, but the All-Star closer punched out the the side.

Like Bay himself, this win wasn’t an exhilarating, dramatic spectacle. Solid, well-balanced, steady: things fans yearn for after seeing what our former left fielder is up to in Queens.

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