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Home » September 2009 Game CommentsSeptember 2009 » Better


Game 147: September 19, 2009
WinRed Sox11
W: Jon Lester (14-8)
H: Billy Wagner (4)
88-59, 2 game winning streak
L: Matt Albers (2-6)
60-88, 3 game losing streak
Highlights: Victor Martinez took all the tension out of extending his hitting streak by launching a line drive to the right field wall with two out in the first. He was stranded and didn’t get another hit the rest of the game, but the rest of the lineup stepped up.

Jon Lester had a middling outing by his standards: 6 inning pitched, 10 hits, 3 earned runs, no walks, and 4 strikeouts with two home runs surrendered. The two circuit clouts came at key points in the game, another unusual occurrence in a start by Lester. But a mediocre Lester is better than the best of the David Hernandezes of the world.

Ty Wigginton’s blast tied the game in the bottom of the second. The Orioles utility man is one of those rare hitters who can hit consistently well again Lester. The ball rocketed over the left field fences above Josh Reddick’s glove. The Red Sox rookie Reddick had homered to right with J.D. Drew on base to take a short-lived lead.

There was something truly amiss with Lester when Melvin Mora touched up Lester for a homer in the fourth to give the home team a lead. But the southpaw remained on the mound long enough to be the pitcher of record.

David Ortiz led off the sixth by legging out a double to the right field wall. The hit was similar to Victor Martinez’s first inning single, but Ortiz tempted Nick Markakis to fire his cannon arm for an assist at the keystone sack. Martinez was just trying to get on base given the two-out situation early in the game, while Ortiz risked more since Boston was trailing by one, had none out in the inning, and the game was at the end of the middle third.

The Red Sox tied the game simply but not spectacularly: Drew’s ground out to Wigginton advanced Ortiz to third and Mike Lowell’s line drive single to left plated the designated hitter.

Dennis Eckersley talked about how much he liked Dave Trembley because he speaks his mind. This is the first I have heard of anything about Trembley’s personality so I was a little surprised that he had one. The problem is that the Orioles are irrelevant so no one listens, unlike in say, Chicago, where Ozzie Guillen’s every utterance causes an avalanche of coverage.

After he stuck with starter Hernandez long enough to sustain a 3-3 tie, Trembley tried to extract some sort of advantage from his fully-stocked bullpen. Matt Albers proved unfit to the task.

Dustin Pedroia led off the seventh by starching a single to left and then swiped second unnoticed. He’s diminutive, but he’s not so small that Albers should overlook him, especially since he represented the go-ahead run.

Martinez poked a productive ground out to another pint-sized second baseman, advancing Pedroia to third. Kevin Youkilis, Drew, and Mike Lowell provided singles while Ortiz doubled; the quartet of hits not only secured the lead but doubled the Red Sox run total.

The eighth was another gaudy offensive inning; the visitors notched five runs thanks to Bob McCrory. The inning showcased Drew’s three-run longball and Brian Anderson’s follow-up homer. Even Trembley knows that when Anderson takes your pitcher deep it’s time for a pitching change.

Terry Francona showed remarkable restraint with Manny Delcarmen as he allowed back-to-back home runs to Wigginton and Felix Pie in the ninth. The Red Sox skipper didn’t flinch when Delcarmen then allowed backup catcher a base on balls. But when Jeff Fiorentino, who had but 13 walks in 116 at bats, got a free pass, Francona called on Ramon Ramirez.

Ramirez induced a quick pop out to short off the bat of Michael Aubrey but then walked Cesar Izturis to load the bases. The tying run was in the hole with Rookie of the Year candidate Matt Wieters in the box. While Wieters is good, potentially great, on Saturday Ramirez was just better. Six, four, three, float like a butterfly sting like a bee.

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