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Home » September 2009 Game CommentsSeptember 2009 » Prelude


Game 153: September 25, 2009
Red Sox5
L: Jon Lester (14-8)
91-62, 1 game losing streak
W: Joba Chamberlain (9-6)
98-56, 3 game winning streak
Highlights: Though both possess abundant talent there is a marked difference in temperament between Lester and Chamberlain. Lester is confident without the taint of conceit while Chamberlain is brash without a trace of modesty. A synonym for left is sinister, a relic from the days when left-handedness was considered inherently evil. We now know that being associated with the Yankees is far more malevolent.

How the Yankees Ruined My Vacation, Part One: Instead of enjoying a dazzlingly sunny day poolside or recklessly chasing money through every sort of gambling imaginable I holed myself up in a gloomy hotel room and logged onto MLB.tv for this game.

I had entertained thoughts of Boston avoiding another sweep at Nouveau Stade Fasciste or perhaps even making a late season run for the division. Instead I got to follow along with a choppy broadcast while Jon Lester writhed on the ground for several tense moments in the third inning. When Melky Cabrera’s grounder ricocheted off what I thought was Jon Lester’s knee my own knees nearly buckled. Losing Lester for the postseason would significantly diminish the Red Sox’s chance for another title. Although the southpaw was knocked out of the game, x-rays were negative.

Other negatives were Boston batters’ failure to take advantage of Joba Chanberlain’s 90-pitch limit, the Red Sox relief crew’s inability to keep the game in reach, and the Yankees record-setting thievery with seven swipes, the most ever by a team from the Bronx against the Red Sox.

Two deadline additions to the team made positive contributions. Victor Martinez broke up Chamberlain’s no-no 4⅔ innings into the game and extended his hitting streak to 24 games in the most dramatic way possible. His home run ball cleared the fences, caromed off the bullpen glass, and then rolled up to the practice mound near other balls like a world-class golf shot.

Alex Gonzalez reached Jeterian heights of shortstop greatness in the bottom of the second. The Red Sox shortstop rapidly changed course on Johnny Damon’s grounder up the middle. Gonzalez’s shift in momentum required him to spin back towards home in order to stay close enough to second base. After completing the gyration, Gonzalez dove headfirst to the keystone sack to not only beat Derek Jeter but avoid his spikes.

That play alone was worth missing a few rays of sunshine even if the entirety of the game was anticlimactic.

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