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Home » May 2010 Game CommentsMay 2010 » I Would Walk Two-Thousand Miles

I Would Walk Two-Thousand Miles

The controversy over home plate umpire Dale Scott’s wide zone made me wonder how many of Tim Wakefield’s 2,002 strikeouts were granted by the benefit of an umpire’s urgency to catch a plane, void his bladder, have a nosh, or, since this is a knuckleballer we’re talking about, just the plain inability to track the fluttering pitch.

With fifteen years with the Red Sox under his belt and forty-three years showing in his beard, Wakefield is the picture of amenability and longevity. Need a long reliever? A spot start? A closer? A starter? Well, you know he’s gonna be, he’s gonna be the man who’s on the mound for you.

The crisp afternoon air reflected the brisk play of the starters. Wakefield and Shaun Marcum switched off 1-2-3 innings until the bottom of the second. Kevin Youkilis led off the bottom half of that inning with a leadoff walk. That was the last base on balls to be called in the Red Sox’s favor. Since a baserunner led to scoring opportunities and therefore lengthier at bats, umpire Scott immediately reverted to calling pitches half a foot off the black strikes. J.D. Drew had particular reason to complain as he had two called strikes against him, but batters that struck out swinging were prompted to flail at anything near the plate because of Scott’s generous zone.

David Ortiz vociferously objected to being called out on a fastball that was outside of the 02215 zip code. Scott didn’t eject Ortiz but was in his rights to do so, but when Terry Francona came out to dispute a called first strike against Adrian Beltre the Red Sox skipper got the hook faster than Brandon Morrow. The two-out, bottom of the ninth ejection was largely a symbolic protest for an entire game of poor calls at the plate.

I wanted the Red Sox to score and tie not just because I’m a fan of the team but I wanted to see the game go just as many innings as it took for the umpiring crew to miss whatever appointment they had. Since the Red Sox have an off day tomorrow anyway it wouldn’t have put them too out of sorts.

Despite the disappointing loss, Boston’s 10-game homestand resulted in seven wins. They are above .500 and made up one game in the gap between them and third-place Toronto.

It doesn’t seem like much to brag about, but it’s a much better result than the Bruins’ recent spate of losses. This Friday the Bruins might become the flip side of the 2004 Red Sox and lose a seven-game series after taking a three-game lead.

Game 35: May 12, 2010
WinBlue Jays
3W: Shaun Marcum (2-1)
H: Scott Downs (9)
S: Kevin Gregg (10)
2B: Lyle Overbay (7), Travis Snider (10)
HR: Travis Snider (5)
Red Sox
2L: Tim Wakefield (0-2)
2B: J.D. Drew (8)

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