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Home » September 2009 Game CommentsSeptember 2009 » Crucial


Game 136: September 6, 2009
WinRed Sox6
W: Jon Lester (12-7)
H: Billy Wagner (2)
H: Daniel Bard (9)
79-57, 1 game winning streak
White Sox
L: John Danks (12-9)
68-70, 1 game losing streak
Highlights: Lester notched his 200th strikeout against Alex Ramirez. The southpaw’s season thus far ranks 16th in ERA+ amongst left-handed Red Sox starters.

Where would this team be without Victor Martinez? While his three-run roundtripper in the ninth would prove superfluous, his presence in the lineup is anything but. Acquiring a switch-hitting middle-of-the-order bat who can play both catcher and first has given Terry Francona tremendous flexibility.

Francona made an odd lineup decision, however. With tough southpaw John Danks on the mound he opted to keep David Ortiz as designated hitter rather than swap in Mike Lowell. The White Sox rotation features back-to-back premier lefties and carbon-copying the lineup card is anathema to Francona since he makes it a point to give his players days off, particularly near the end the season. So we had yet another strange September batting order.

It clicked in the the fourth. Mike Lowell homered with Jason Bay on base. Bay singled in the next inning to drive in Jacoby Ellsbury.

On the other side of the ball Dustin Pedroia made a crucial, game-changing play in the first. He chased down Paul Konerko’s flare all the way to right field. He then turned and arced the ball straight into Alex Gonzalez’s awaiting glove to catch Scott Podsednik off the sack. With that play what could have been two men on, no out, and a run scored turned into one man at first with two out.

Pedroia didn’t show the best baserunning instincts in the fifth, however. He bunted towards first, forcing Paul Konerko to come off the bag to field. Konerko flipped to Danks and the race to first was on. Pedroia slid head first, perhaps to avoid a potential tag. The maneuver reduced his speed (for want of a better word) and his short stature didn’t help him to reach the bag any sooner. Like a father defending his kid in Little League Francona came out to defend Pedroia.

The coach must have felt a little bad for drafting Matt Forte away from his second baseman.

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