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Home » June 2010 Game CommentsJune 2010 » All Too Human

All Too Human

Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies. — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human

Prior to tonight the only thing I knew about Jim Joyce was that he would make rather dramatic strike calls when working home plate. From now on he will forever be known as the umpire that blew the call on what should have been the final out of a perfect game by Armando Galarraga.

There is no reprieve or no method of appeal for those aggrieved by an incorrect call. Chuck Klonke, the official scorer who ruled Jason Donald’s nubber to Miguel Cabrera a hit, has 24 hours to change his determination of the play and give Galarraga a no-hitter, but that would be like makeup over an imperfection on the face of baseball.

Many other sports use technology in crucial situations but baseball steadfastly clings to its ever-disintegrating tradition. But it is not just the governing bodies of national pastime’s fault. Joyce could have corrected his call seconds after he made it. Or if he didn’t want to appear as if he were capitulating to Miguel Cabrera’s remonstrations, he could have convened the crew or asked another umpire for help and then rectify his decision. But Joyce’s obstinate stance is the same as every other MLB umpire’s: stand by a call with conviction and never concede.

In his second start after his no-hit bid Daisuke Matsuzaka’s first inning performance showed that he was all too human. After a rough opening frame, however, the starter along with Daniel Bard shut out the Athletics. Jonathan Papelbon allowed a solo shot to a pinch-hitting Kevin Kouzmanoff in the ninth, but the Red Sox kept their advantage.

Home team run support came early: Marco Scutaro led off the bottom half of the first frame with a single, David Ortiz doubled off the wall over Gabe Gross’s head, and Kevin Youkilis drove them both in with singled roped to center.

Darnell McDonald led off the fifth with a double high off the left field wall that just missed being a home run. Both Scutaro and Dustin Pedroia failed to advanced the runner, but Ortiz blasted the ball into the right field seats for the lead. Pedroia tacked on an insurance run in the seventh with an RBI double lasered down the left field line. Then, for the first time this season, the opposing manager signaled four fingers to his battery.

When the designated hitter was intentionally walked I could almost see the change in Ortiz’s mien. For so many years he played with exceptional clutch capability. While he may never attain those heights again, witnessing just a hint of his superhuman flair was a sight to behold.

Game 54: June 2, 2010
4L: Ben Sheets (2-4)
2B: Daric Barton (15), Ryan Sweeney (11)
HR: Kurt Suzuki (5), Kevin Kouzmanoff (4)
WinRed Sox
6W: Daisuke Matsuzaka (4-2)
H: Daniel Bard (12)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (13)
2B: David Ortiz (10), Darnell McDonald (6), Marco Scutaro (11), Dustin Pedroia (17)
3B: J.D. Drew (1)
HR: David Ortiz (12)

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