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Home » August 2009 Game CommentsAugust 2009 » Renewal


Game 122: August 22, 2009
L: A.J. Burnett (10-7)
77-46, 1 game losing streak
WinRed Sox14
W: Junichi Tazawa (2-2)
70-52, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: Happy 70th birthday, Carl Yastrzemski; yesterday’s rout was quite the way to celebrate. I can’t help but wonder, though: if Terry Francona had not surrendered Friday’s game in the sixth inning could they have made a comeback?

Yesterday the Red Sox stormed back from the shellacking they took in the series opener. Kevin Youkilis went 3-for-5 with two homers. David Ortiz lofted his 20th quadrangular in the fifth, prompting A.J. Burnett to launch into a Hamlet-like soliloquy: “Why, why, why, why would you do that, why?” Allowing Ortiz to smash an opposite-field four-bagger must have been discouraging, but Burnett should have known he was in for a rough outing when Alex Gonzalez went deep in second.

Brad Penny has had exactly two outings in which he pitched as well as Junichi Tazawa did yesterday, which are two more than I thought he would have. The Yankees were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, including four fruitless at bats with runners at third base. In the sixth he had runners on the corners with one out. Both Robinson Cano and Eric Hinske had reached on consecutive singles, and Hinske’s was well-struck off the wall.

The lead was 9-0 and accordingly Tazawa didn’t give Melky Cabrera anything near the middle of the plate. The overly anxious outfielder rolled over on a curveball, tapping out into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.

Tazawa is somewhat reminiscent of Bronson Arroyo; both are right-handed pitchers that do not overwhelm with power but rather rely on location. Curt Schilling once said Arroyo had “balls the size of Saturn.” In Japanese folklore there is a creature known as the tanuki depicted with pendulous anatomy. If Tazawa continues to showcase his dauntless spirit in future outings, there is a potential nickname for him.

For a Fox broadcast it wasn’t anywhere as annoying as it could have been. The massive numbers Boston put up early closed most of the available avenues the Fox crew had to transform the afternoon contest into a Yankeeography. Tim McCarver called the Red Sox the White Sox once and Kenny Albert mistook Nick Green for Rocco Baldelli, but those peccadilloes will likely pale in comparison to the full-scale assault on logic that Joe Morgan will unleash for tonight’s game, the rubber match of the series.

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