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Home » October 2009 Game CommentsOctober 2009 » Backstops


Game 161: October 3, 2009
L: Aaron Laffey (7-9)
65-96, 4 game losing streak
WinRed Sox11
W: Josh Beckett (17-6)
94-67, 3 game winning streak
Highlights: Beckett allowed four runs but none were by way of the longball. Cleveland is middle of the pack for team home runs, tied for 14th with the Cubs with 161 dingers, so it’s not a completely puny team.

Commentators always say that managers would prefer that their pitchers give up grand slams than bases-loaded walks. When asked if he shared this opinion regarding the second-inning grand slam relinquished to former Indians catcher Victor Martinez, Eric Wedge said that he typically goes with a 3-iron instead of a 5-wood on drives of about 200 yards. He then quickly retracted his statement and said that since Carlos Carrasco was a young pitcher he could rebound from such a setback.

When Wedge was informed that it was Aaron Laffey that surrendered the four-run circuit clout, the Cleveland skipper shrugged and continued to work on his sudoku.

Martinez’s homer came two balls after he had popped a ball foul to the top of the Red Sox dugout stairs. Former Braves prospect and Red Sox jetsam Andy Marte gloved it but didn’t cover it with his free hand for fear of losing his balance and toppling down the steps. The opposite field shot broke the 4-4 tie and capped off the seven-run rally in the bottom of the second.

One wouldn’t think a meaningless eighth-inning homer to render the score 11-6 would engender a curtain call, but that is exactly what happened when Dusty Brown knocked Mike Gosling’s 1-0 change-up into the Monster seats. Terry Francona couldn’t or perhaps wouldn’t give him the silent treatment; the manager waited on the dugout steps to congratulate the longtime farmhand.

Brown’s teammates desperately tried to stifle their excitement, looking anywhere but at his beaming face. After just a few seconds they broke the quiet and gathered around the exultant Brown. Those fans who stayed despite the score called the backstop out of the dugout for curtain call eight years in the making.

There are few times when a game-winning granny is overshadowed by a late inning tack-on shot; last night was one of those times.

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