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Home » April 2010 Game CommentsApril 2010 » Walk This Way

Walk This Way

Jon Lester seemed to have finally broken the early-season slump that plagues him every season. Although he didn’t get the W, his line of 5⅔ innings pitched, 4 hits, no earned runs, 4 walks, and 7 strikeouts is hopefully the sign that he will return his typical dominant self for the remainder of the season.

Not that facing the odious Orioles and coming away with a victory is much of an accomplishment. The Charm City cadre has the worst record in the league with just two wins to their credit. The Orioles are worse than the perennially putrid Pirates, who actually have a better winning percentage than the Red Sox.

There was a stunning synchronicity earlier this week as the Bruins won their third game and the Red Sox came back against the Rangers. It wasn’t to be last night as the Sabres took control of the match early. But the final seconds of the Celtics game ticked down as the Red Sox attempted to rally in the bottom of the seventh.

Rajon Rondo hustled for an offensive rebound and passed to Paul Pierce who sank a three for the lead, 98-95. Mark Hendrickson, a former NBA player, was on the mound when pinch hitter Darnell McDonald moved Adrian Beltre over with a sac bunt.

Dorell Wright countered with a three to tie the score with 1:30 remaining. Dwayne Wade aggravated his calf injury on a three attempt and was not on the court for the final possession of the game. During the Celtics time out with 11.7 seconds left, Matt Albers walked Bill Hall on four pitches.

As Paul Pierce lifted his arms in victory thanks to his last-second basket for the win, Marco Scutaro grounded into a double play. A verse for a Police song the juxtaposition of events was not.

Towards the end of the game Dave Tremblay was swapping out relievers as if it were September and a playoff stake were in the balance. Instead, it’s his future as the team’s skipper that is at stake. Will Ohman and Jim Johnson must not like having Tremblay as a manager; the duo took over from Matt Alberts in the eighth and notched more baserunners than outs. With two down and J.D. Drew at third Ohman intentionally walked Victor Martinez and then granted David Ortiz a free pass on four pitches.

With Beltre in the box ad hoc closer Jim Johnson couldn’t find the plate either. In five pitches the tie was broken and reliever Daniel Bard was relieved that his the game-tying two-run home run he allowed in the seventh was rendered moot.

There was a lot of talk out of the front office about run prevention but until tonight there was little evidence that the personnel acquired by them could carry out their agenda. Instead of flashing leather, however, it was lightning-fast flesh. To open the seventh, Beltre chased down Cesar Izturis’s bunt attempt, gripped it with his bare hand, and whipped the ball to first for the first out. Hall impressed in the ninth by precisely positioning himself to play Nick Markakis’s liner off the wall, snaring it with his throwing hand, and firing the ball to second to tally the second out of the inning.

Ortiz not only contributed the bases-loading walk but also his first home run of 2010. His Monster clout came in the second inning, so the designated hitter’s round-tripper was pivotal even though it didn’t come late and close. If the slugger and the lefty ace return to form after this game, Boston may well have three teams vying for championships this year.

Game 17: April 23, 2010
3L: Matt Albers (0-2)
2B: Nick Markakis (6), Matt Wieters (2)
HR: Adam Jones (2)
WinRed Sox
4H: Daniel Bard (3), Hideki Okajima (4)
BS, W: Manny Delcarmen (1, 1-1)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (4)
HR: David Ortiz (1)

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