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Home » July 2010 Game CommentsJuly 2010 » Sanshabontai [三者凡退]

Sanshabontai [三者凡退]

Daisuke Matsuzaka had four sanshabontai, Japanese for 1-2-3 inning. The first two ideograms represents the concept of three people and the final two mean a baseball out.

Oakland isn’t an offensive powerhouse by any means; the team is seventh in the American League in team batting average (.262), tenth in on-base percentage (.324), and twelfth in slugging percentage (.384). Still, it was heartening to see Matsuzaka have a completely clean first inning, permit only four baserunners (two hits and two walks), allow only a single run, and strike out six over 6⅔ innings.

Boston’s pitching had to be on point as the lineup mustered a mere two runs against an extremely lucky Ben Sheets. In the fourth David Ortiz arced a sacrifice fly to center to plate Eric Patterson, who led off the frame with a triple against his former club. To avoid running on his still-gimpy leg, Adrian Beltre homered into the left field bleacher seats for the lead.

There could have been more runs by the visitors if Kevin Youkilis didn’t violate a fundamental rule of baseball in the sixth. He worked the walk with two outs but then tried to reach third on Beltre’s single to right.

Little League coaches across New England could use Youkilis’s misplay as an example, but the gaffe happened after their players’ bedtimes, as well as mine. When Daniel Bard allowed a hit and a walk I was simultaneously worried about the score as well as being able to stay up for the rest of the game and, heaven forefend, extra innings. Jonathan Papelbon turned in a sanshabontai of his own in the ninth so I could slip into sleep with the strains of the Standells in my mind.

Game 93: July 19, 2010
WinRed Sox
2W: Daisuke Matsuzaka (7-3)
H: Daniel Bard (20)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (21)
3B: Eric Patterson (4)
HR: Adrian Beltre (15)
1L: Ben Sheets (4-9)
2B: Mark Ellis (9)
HR: Rajai David (4)

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