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Home » August 2009 Game CommentsAugust 2009 » Soar


Game 119: August 19, 2009
WinRed Sox6
W: Clay Buchholz (2-3)
68-51, 2 game winning streak
Blue Jays
L: Roy Halladay (13-6)
55-63, 4 game losing streak
Highlights: Each Buchholz start makes me want to go back in time and unsign John Smoltz. It’s easy to mock Terry Francona and his love affair with veterans well beyond their expiration date (I’m looking your way, Kevin Millar and Mike Timlin), but someone in the Red Sox organization was overly enamored with Smoltz this season.

Clay Buchholz was nearly beheaded by Aaron Hill’s comebacker. Unlike Hiroki Kuroda, who was knocked in the noggin by Rusty Ryal’s liner, Buchholz was able to avoid the tower-buzzing shot. The near miss seemed to energize the Red Sox starter, as if opposing Cy Young candidate Roy Halladay wasn’t invigorating enough. For six innings Buchholz kept the damage to one run, which was tallied by Vernon Wells in the fourth with his RBI single to plate Hill.

Buchholz didn’t have the no-hit stuff that Frank Viola brought to the bump on September 30, 1992 in the SkyDome. Viola was on the Red Sox and faced off against David Cone, carrying his no-hitter into the ninth. One-hole hitter Devon White knocked the ball off the Astroturf for a leadoff single, ending Sweet Music’s virtuoso performance. Catcher Tony Pena punched Viola in the chest after the game, upset that he lost his chance to catch a no-no.

Viola was in Ford C. Frick form in the bottom of the sixth; he opined on baseball controversies past and present. He is anti-World Baseball Classic, against the All-Star Game determining home field advantage for the World Series, doesn’t oppose the DH but thinks it should be done the same way in both leagues, and dislikes interleague.

“Major League Baseball is on line one,” jested Don Orsillo.

He didn’t divulge his stance on the wild card but since this is the most likely way the Red Sox will make the playoffs he’s probably in favor of it.

David Ortiz was taunted in the second inning. He responded with his 19th homer of the season. Jason Bay and Victor Martinez chipped in with circuit clouts of their own.

How dull these home run trots were when compared to Kevin Youkilis’s basepath adventures. The goateed one reached first when Lyle Overbay failed to tag him, out of position because of Hill’s throw awry. Youkilis swiped second but overshot the bag. Edwin Encarnacion should have had his quarry dead to rights but Youkilis scrambled back to the sack while Encarnacion bobbled the ball.

Youkilis got hit by a pitch in the ninth, as usual. He enjoyed a small measure of revenge by beating out a rundown between second and third.

Most of the Blue Jays were checked out, probably thinking about their next round of golf rather than the game. With Alex Rios’s departure, J.P. Ricciardi’s failure to sign first round supplemental pick James Paxton, and Halladay’s expiring contract, good baseball may soon become extinct north of the border.

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