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Home » May 2010 Game CommentsMay 2010 » Angel in the Outfield

Angel in the Outfield

Gauging the trajectory of a fly ball with a thirty-seven foot, two inch wall getting closer with every stride isn’t easy. Just ask Juan Rivera, left fielder for the Angels. His home field is a fairly conventional one; in Anaheim the only opportunity for distraction is if he imagines himself traversing the boulders in center field or refines his plans for a raft accurate to the scale of the fountains to send some Lego minifigs to their certain doom.

Rivera ran a puzzled path to Jeremy Hermida’s fly ball to the warning track in the eighth. Even Lastings Milledge, who had a horrific experience in left a few years ago, was dumbfounded by Rivera’s route. The bases emptied as Rivera filled with shame. The three Red Sox runs broke the 1-1 stalemate.

Boston capitalized on a bases-loaded situation after Anaheim squandered the same in the top half of the eighth. After his hitters strung together consecutive singles Mike Scioscia couldn’t help himself and put in the call to Brandon Wood to sacrifice bunt the runners over.

Somewhere in that gentle night Earl Weaver had not so gentle words on that strategy. Sure enough, Bobby Abreu grounded out to Dustin Pedroia who chased down Erick Aybar for the second out and shoveled the ball to Kevin Youkilis for the final out.

That was not the only notable double play, however. David Ortiz grounded into twin killings in two crucial situations. He ended a potential early offensive strike in the third inning, wasting Victor Martinez’s leadoff single. In the eighth he tapped a 2-0 pitch to Howie Kendrick with the bases loaded and none out.

Even with Jon Lester’s return to ace form (8 innings pitched, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walked, 5 strikeouts), NESN will find another topic to vent their discontent. Night after night NESN puts up polls designed to milk the manufactured designated hitter controversy between Mike Lowell and Ortiz. The tedium is only broken up by a Daisuke Matsuzaka start, which will inevitably prompt a Matsuzaka versus Tim Wakefield survey.

I’m not calling upon NESN to trumpet every Red Sox player in a YES-like fashion with hagiographic overtones, but to pander to every negative story makes me think that Dan Shaugnessy is moonlighting for the television station. Perhaps Heidi Watney was not the only NESN employee suffering from a concussion, as someone in the station has forgotten what it means to cover the team fairly.

Game 27: May 4, 2010
1L: Kevin Jepsen (0-1)
2B: Torii Hunter (11), Mike Napoli (3)
WinRed Sox
5W: Jon Lester (2-2)
2B: Marco Scutaro – 2 (5), J.D. Drew (6), Dustin Pedroia (9), Jeremy Hermida (4), Mike Lowell (5)

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