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Home » September 2009 Game CommentsSeptember 2009 » Fundamentals


Game 133: September 3, 2009
WinRed Sox6
W: Clay Buchholz (4-3)
H: Billy Wagner (1)
H: Daniel Bard (8)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (33)
78-55, 1 game winning streak
L: David Price (7-3)
72-61, 1 game losing streak
Highlights: What’s with Heidi Watney’s in-game “interview” with a certain furniture chain’s owner in the fourth inning? Are Mike Lowell’s at bats really that boring? I hope that whatever fee he paid (it better not have been free advertising) goes to hire NESN employees that don’t think pre- or post-game segments should have dance sequences or rapping.

The funny thing about Tropicana Field is that it used to be more lively when Red Sox fans ruled the roost. But with the Rays’ playoff debut came the cowbell crew, which chased off all the true fans of baseball. The Johnny-come-latelys have gotten up and left of late, leaving behind that husk of a stadium almost bereft of bona fide baseball.

You can still hear scattered cheers of “Youk,” particularly when the third baseman has a 3-for-5 night. Kevin Youkilis scored the first second of the game, crossing home right after Victor Martinez on Jason Bay’s double.

Even the official scorer in St. Petersburg might be a fan of Youk. Instead of hanging Gabe Gross with the error he deserved in the third he gave Youkilis a double. Gross charged the fliner and not only failed to get leather on it but didn’t even touch it. B.J. Upton had to chase it down from center.

Upton preferred that chore over what happened in the fifth. He and Carl Crawford collided when both pursued Dustin Pedroia’s fly ball; Upton left the game with an ankle strain. At the Trop they have real dirt along the basepaths but they skimp on the warning track, which is just dirt-colored FieldTurf.

In the eighth Daniel Bard gave up one of his deep, Trupey fly balls off Ben Zobrist’s bat. Jacoby Ellsbury called for it and Bay stopped his pursuit. Take notes, Carl.

Joe Maddon showed remarkable restraint and used a mere four pitchers in his losing cause. Chad Bradford is to Maddon as Joe Torre was to Scott Proctor: the side-arm hurler pitched in every game of the series.

With the way Maddon burns through his bullpen I wonder if they will ever make it back to the postseason. Terry Francona is not perfect but he knows enough not to wear out his players in the waning months of the season.

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