Category Listing
Monthly Archive
Baseball Reference
Red Sox Links

Recent Posts
Recent Comments
Essential Empy

Home » July 2010 Game CommentsJuly 2010 » Dr. Strangeglove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Team

Dr. Strangeglove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Team

John Lackey denied the Mariners his essence, carrying a no-hitter into the eighth. Of all batters to break up the bid it had to be Josh Bard, the former Red Sox catcher who was part of the ill-fated 2006 squad. He was part of the Coco Crisp trade, another player that has found himself on a West Coast club.

It wasn’t a cheap hit but a soundly hit line drive single to right. Jack Wilson followed with a ground ball single, but Lackey exited the inning unscathed. The disturbing pattern of bunches of hits would continue with Manny Delcarmen.

Delcarmen faced four batters but failed to get an out. Light-hitting Franklin Gutierrez, with Chone Figgins on first, knocked a two-run homer into the left field seats just above the Fenway-like manual scoreboard. How the colors on Lackey’s face must have changed as the game went from a no-hitter to a 6-3 affair. After Gutierrez’s dinger came another improbable event: a walk by Jose Lopez, a batter who has 16 walks in 383 at bats this season.

What followed wasn’t so rare, unfortunately. Marco Scutaro Merkin Muffleyed Milton Bradley’s batted ball, turning a double play into two men on with none out. Jonathan Papelbon surely would save his team from extra frames, particularly since the Mariners are even worse than the Athletics offensively.

Striking out rookie Justin Smoak proved easy enough for Papelbon, but another former Red Sox player, Casey Kotchman, cued a double down the first base line to plate Lopez. Again the backstop Bard was a thorn in a Boston pitcher’s side, working a walk after falling behind in the count 1-2.

With the bases thus loaded and the game in the balance Papelbon and Wilson faced off in an epic eight-pitch showdown. Papelbon induced what seemed to be a double play with Scutaro sure-handedly fielding the ball this time. In his haste, however, Bill Hall fired off-target and the Mariners tied the score. This made Red Sox fans long for a drink of pure grain alcohol and rain water.

The next four innings pitched by Daniel Bard, Hideki Okajima, and Ramon Ramirez were amongst the guttiest bullpen performances this season so far. Especially Okajima, who got out of the 12th inning despite allowing the first two batters to reach on singles. But the visiting batters were similarly stifled, including a perfect outing by yet another former Red Sox player, David Aardsma.

The top half of the thirteenth was unlucky for Adrian Beltre, who just missed a home run to left field with Kevin Youkilis on base. Mike Cameron worked a five-pitch walk after going 1-for-5 with three whiffs, another remarkable in-game turnaround. But Eric Patterson’s two-run double to the left-center gap was a career reversal: it was just the utility man’s second extra base hit off a southpaw.

This season has seen an unimaginable number of injuries, the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face. With key players sidelined, unforeseen heroes, like Okajima and Patterson in this game, will come to light. As the Rays and Yankees have been both good and lucky, the Red Sox may never catch up to the American League East leaders. Instead of agonizing over the standings it’s time to savor comebacks such as this in and of themselves. As the injured players return, I have no other expectation other than that they continue to persevere.

We’ll meet again
Don’t know where, don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day…
Game 96: July 22, 2010 ∙ 13 innings
WinRed Sox
8BS: Jonathan Papelbon (4)
W: Hideki Okajima (3-2)
S: Ramon Ramirez (2)
2B: Mike Cameron (10), Eric Patterson (7)
HR: Bill Hall (9), J.D. Drew (12), Marco Scutaro (5)
6L: Garrett Olson (0-3)
2B: Casey Kotchman (11)
HR: Franklin Gutierrez (9)

Post a comment

« Top « Home » Category ListingMonthly Archive


RSS Feed



  • Visitors to EE since November 2004
  • Boston Phoenix Best of ’06
    Phoenix Best
  • Blog contents, images, and design
    © 2004-2015 by Joanna J.M. Hicks.
    All Rights Reserved.
    Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.