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Home » Category Listing » October 2009 Game Comments

October 6, 2009


Game 162: October 4, 2009
L: Tomo Ohka (1-5)
65-97, 5 game losing streak
WinRed Sox12
W: Michael Bowden (1-1)
95-67, 4 game winning streak
Highlights: Bowden, he of the bizarre delivery, attained his first major league win in 2009 in the last game of the regular season. He entered the game after Ramon Ramirez took over following Clay Buchholz’s disastrous five-run third inning. Boston countered with five runs in the sixth inning: Jed Lowrie lofted his first grand slam in the majors and J.D. Drew launched his second homer of the game. In his six seasons as Red Sox field manager Terry Francona has a record of 95 wins or better five times.

“What a long, strange trip it’s been.” This line from the Grateful Dead song “Truckin’” is overused by a portly ESPN anchor, but it is an appropriate sentiment for 2009.


  • 8th: Rocco Baldelli inked $500,000 one-year contract. He wears 5, the first player to do so since Nomar Garciaparra.
  • 9th: Brady Penny deal ($5M for one year with $3M in incentives) officially announced.
    Mark Kotsay re-signed to a one-year $1.5M contract.
  • 10th: Takashi Saito signed for $1.5M with performance and roster bonuses.
  • 12th: Jim Rice voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his final year of eligibility.
  • 13th: John Smoltz and Red Sox reach agreement for a one-year deal.
  • 16th: Kevin Youkilis inked a four-year, $41.25M contract.
  • 20th: Jonathan Papelbon and Javier Lopez signed one-year deals to avoid arbitration.
  • 22nd: 100-year old Bill Werber, the oldest living major leaguer, passed away. He was a teammate and opponent of Babe Ruth. Disgusted by the likes of Johnny Damon he didn’t watch baseball in recent years. “They’re a grubby-looking bunch of caterwaulers,” he said.
  • 30th: Jason Varitek signed a one-year, $5M deal with 2010 mutual option.


  • 8th: Nineteen non-roster invitees announced. Of these players, Daniel Bard, Nick Green, and Josh Reddick end up making significant contributions to the Red Sox.
  • 16th: David Ortiz endorsed year-long ban for players testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.


  • 1st: Jason Bay, Javier Lopez, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and David Ortiz depart Spring Training for the World Baseball Classic.
  • 15th: Jon Lester’s five-year, $30M extension announced as official.
    Red Sox terminate negotiations with Jason Bay regarding a contract extension.
    Pedroia removed from Team USA roster due to abdominal strain.
  • 18th: Youkilis exited World Baseball Classic due to Achilles tendinitis.
    Josh Bard released.
  • 19th: George Kottaras tapped as Tim Wakefield’s catcher.
  • 23rd: Curt Schilling announced retirement from baseball.
  • 24th: Daisuke Matsuzaka named World Baseball Classic Most Valuable Player for the second time. He has garnered this honor in both tournaments played.


  • 5th: Final 25 man roster announced. Four players would not remain with the big league club: Javier Lopez and Chris Carter would eventually be designated for assignment, Brad Penny released, and Justin Masterson was traded.
  • 6th: Opening Day at Fenway postponed for a day due to rain.
  • 7th: Ted Kennedy throws the first pitch to Jim Rice.
  • 12th: Josh Beckett pitched high and tight to Bobby Abreu. Benches cleared and umpires ejected Angels players Torii Hunter and Justin Speier and Anaheim coaches Mike Scioscia and Mickey Hatcher. Beckett was punished by a six-game suspension. He appealed the suspension and had it shortened to five days.
    Jed Lowrie placed on 15-day disabled list with a left wrist sprain and Gil Velazquez is called up to replace him.
  • 15th: Matsuzaka placed on 15-day disabled list due to arm fatigue.
    Wakefield came within five outs of a no-hitter against the Athletics.
  • 17th: Elijah “Pumpsie” Green, the first African-American on the Boston Red Sox, threw out first pitch.
  • 21st: Lowrie undergoes wrist surgery.
    A strained left hamstring put Baldelli on the 15-day disabled list.
  • 23rd: Kason Gabbard returned to Red Sox from the Rangers for cash considerations.
  • 24th: Jonathan Van Every called up to back up the outfield.
  • 26th: Red Sox complete three-game series sweep of the Yankees at Fenway.
  • 30th: Van Every makes his major league pitching debut: two-third of an inning pitched, 1 hit, no earned runs, 1 walk, no strikeouts.


  • 5th: Red Sox complete two-game sweep of Yankees in the Bronx.
  • 6th: Jerry Remy takes leave of absence to recover from lung cancer.
  • 7th: Boston score 12 runs without an out against Cleveland, setting an American League record and tying the National League mark.
  • 8th: Dom DiMaggio passes away at age 92.
  • 12th: Youkilis placed on 15-day disabled list retroactively to May 5 with an oblique strain.
  • 13th: Daniel Bard makes major league debut against the Angels: two innings pitched, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout.
  • 21st: Jacoby Ellsbury ties major league single-game putout record with 12; the final putout was the last out of the game.
  • 23rd: First use of umpire review at Fenway confirms Mets catcher Omir Santos’s home run.
  • 27th: Boston tied modern-day record of six wild pitches in a single game in a loss to the Twins. Matsuzaka had four; Manny Delcarmen and Masterson had one apiece.
  • 28th: Terry Francona attended to by emergency medical personnel after being ejected in the seventh inning in a game at the Metrodome. The 50-year old did not require any further treatment.

June through October to follow.

October 5, 2009


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.

October 3, 2009

Zenerarumanējā [ゼネラルマネージャー]

Game 160: October 2, 2009
L: Carlos Carrasco (0-4)
65-95, 3 game losing streak
WinRed Sox6
W: Daisuke Matsuzaka (4-6)
H: Billy Wagner (6)
H: Ramon Ramirez (12)
93-67, 2 game winning streak
Highlights: The Japanese borrowed the English term “general manager” and use it to describe their Theo Epsteins and Dave Dombrowskis. Usually they abbreviate it as “GM,” using the Roman majuscules as we do. Two MLB general managers were recently fired: Kevin Towers (formerly of the Padres) and J.P. Ricciardi (Toronto as of late).

If Rogers Communications, the corporation that owns the Blue Jays, have smart leadership they would hire Kevin Towers. Similarly, if the Padres wanted to reinvigorate their franchise they would nab Kim Ng.

The San Diego club was dumb enough to axe one of the most talented baseball executives in the majors in Towers even though he followed former owner John Moores’s directives to slash payroll because of his rancorous divorce. Moores had to sell his stake in the team to Jeff Moorad because of the marital split. It seems unlikely that the Moorad Group would risk further controversy by hiring the first female general manager in history.

Theo Epstein’s hiring was somewhat controversial because he was the youngest person hired for such a position at the time. Two world championships later it seems silly to think that his age was ever a factor; hopefully the same will be true for Ng.

Another stanza in the epic of Daisuke Matsuzaka was written and it was more pleasant than previous strophes. The starter’s line (6 innings pitched, 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 3 walks, and 7 strikeouts) was respectable, but this was against a team that has virtually nothing to play for. The Angels, inspired by the memory of Nick Adenhart, will not be such pushovers.

Alex Gonzalez was hit by a pitch by Jeremy Sowers in the third and Kerry Wood finished the shortstop off in the eighth. The 93 MPH fastball struck Gonzalez’s right wrist, the force from the pitch as strong as the punch in the stomach felt by Red Sox fans seeing the impact. Radiographs came back negative, ensuring that Boston’s bottom of the order spark plug and defensive wiz will be able to make the playoffs.


Game 159: October 1, 2009
L: Carlos Carrasco (0-4)
65-94, 2 game losing streak
WinRed Sox3
W: Jon Lester (15-8)
H: Daniel Bard (13)
H: Billy Wagner (5)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (38)
92-67, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: A win, a very palpable win. MLB.com now has a Game Pulse section on its Gameday Wrap tab which tracks the amount of Twitter traffic tagged with #redsox and #indians.

Eric Wedge tweets from the Cleveland dugout:

@terryfrancona do u need new bench coach if Millsy takes my job? Call me.

@AmalieBenjamin any word on openings with Os or Stros?

I def won’t miss visitors clubhouse at Fenway--so small

Always glaze over when the umps tell me the ground rules here, esp Randa“zzz”o

Damn Ellsbury is fast, just looked down to check email and suddenly he’s on third

Shoulda had Carlos join the club and plunk Youk

Marte Mota & Shoppach for Crisp, Bard the catcher & Riske then Crisp flipped for Ramirez. Advantage: Push

@MShapiroIndiansGM Masterson Hagadone & Price for VMart. Advantage: Theo (yeah, I said it!)

Another VMart extra base hit... and it’s me that gets canned and not Shapiro for trading him

How did Papi get around on that? And Youk was safe at third? #FML

Jon Lester is throwing a no-hitter! #redsox #jinx

@MikeBrewCrewBrantley nice hit, thx! but you still haven’t changed your twitter handle?

@lonniesoloff wtf how bad is Carlos’ knee? One more thing to get blamed for.

@JensenLewisNotClueless That was nails, nice getting out of 4th w/o a run!!!

@MShapiroIndiansGM Do you know a tow truck service that can get this bus off my back?

Terry Fracona’s tweets:


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