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Home » June 2010 Game CommentsJune 2010 » To the Victor Goes the Spoils

To the Victor Goes the Spoils

Victor Martinez used the Oakland pitching staff as his personal batting practice pitchers, going 5-for-5 with four doubles and two runs batted in. In the fifth the backstop doubled off the left field wall and was driven in by Adrian Beltre’s three- run home run off the wall behind the first row of the Monster seats. Martinez’s ground-rule double to the center field bleachers in the sixth broke the 4-4 tie.

The Athletics jumped out to a 4-0 lead, a lead that would have seemed insurmountable in April. But the Red Sox offense jolted to life, bailing out their starter. John Lackey pitched a sloppy six innings: 12 hits, 4 earned runs, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts.

Two players, Kurt Suzuki and Bill Hall, knocked in their first triples of the season. Suzuki’s third-inning hit was actually at best a double but was converted to a triple thanks to Darnell McDonald’s ill-advised diving attempt at a spectacular catch in center. Hall’s seventh-inning shot ricocheted high off the deepest part of the left field wall and then caromed over center fielder Rajai Davis’s head into the triangle. Had it been someone with Davis’s speed running the bases instead of Hall it could have been an inside-the-parker, but Hall settled for an RBI triple that plated J.D. Drew for an insurance run.

Even though the Athletics are in first place in their division I can’t help but feel sorry for them. Billy Beane has a talented young rotation in the works with Gio Gonzalez, Brett Anderson, and Trevor Cahill. Rounding out the staff are Dallas Braden who, perfect game notwithstanding, is a serviceable starter and Ben Sheets, whose one-year $10 million deal is a stopgap until the young starters can carry the team.

Oakland is poised to replicate the success they had with Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito, but that success will again be limited by the ownership’s allotted payroll. In the wake of Dan Duqette the Red Sox courted and nearly acquired Beane as general manager. Beane got cold feet at the last second, spurning the new ownership and citing family reasons for his refusal. Who knows what Beane could have achieved with the financial resources of the Red Sox, but he seemed hesitant to take on the challenge.

Instead the Red Sox hired Theo Epstein, who at the time was the youngest general manager in history. The rest is history.

Game 53: June 1, 2010
4L: Tyson Ross (1-4)
BS: Craig Breslow
2B: Kevin Kouzmanoff (10), Gabe Gross (4), Ryan Sweeney (10), Mark Ellis (4), Kurt Suzuki (6)
3B: Kurt Suzuki (1)
HR: Daric Barton (4)
WinRed Sox
9W: John Lackey (6-3)
H: Manny Delcarmen (5), Daniel Bard (11)
2B: Victor Martinez – 4 (15), Dustin Pedroia (16)
3B: Bill Hall (1)
HR: Adrian Beltre (6)

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