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Home » August 2010 Game CommentsAugust 2010 » These Go to Eleven

These Go to Eleven

Daisuke Matsuzaka and Victor Martinez seemed to be working together much better than they did during Matsuzaka’s streak of troubles. The battery fought through the Blue Jays’ three-run rally in the sixth to turn in two shutout, 1-2-3 innings, keeping the score knotted 4-4. Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon combined for three scoreless innings to get to the home half of the eleventh.

Jed Lowrie, when not re-reading political theory classics introduced to him as a political science major at Stanford such as On the Social Contract or A Theory of Justice, hits game-winning home runs in extra-innings games in his spare time. No offense to Lowrie, but if you put him in street clothes he would be high on the list of least likely to be identified as a professional athlete. Like other political science majors, he should be bringing a senator some coffee or toiling away on an obscure blog.

But Lowrie can swing a bat, throw leather around the diamond, and avoid slipping on home plate after launching a walk-off four-bagger and thereby suffering a season-ending injury, so he can avoid lackey tasks and carpal tunnel syndrome for a while. He’ll still have to deal with dirty looks from John Lackey, however.

Imagine if it were Lackey on the mound instead of Papelbon when Lowrie dropped a foul pop-up that would have been the final out of the eleventh?

Martinez is obsessed with touching Adrian Beltre’s head. Even as his teammates feted Lowrie at home the Red Sox catcher took the opportunity to stalk Beltre from behind. Before Beltre could unleash a celebratory pummeling upon Lowrie Martinez accosted him with multiple head rubs. Martinez was the recipient of the drubbing instead.

Catchers are at least inured to physical contact. Lyle Overbay tried to tie the game in the fourth on John McDonald’s double to center field. Another McDonald, Darnell, possesses a stronger throwing arm than Jacoby Ellsbury and was able to get the ball to Yamaico Navarro in fewer than a dozen hops. Navarro fired home to Martinez, who blocked the plate in the face of Overbay’s charge. Martinez held on to the ball and the score was 2-1 instead of 2-2 and the third out was tallied. Without this play, the game would have ended in regulation.

If that doesn’t earn you unfettered access to Beltre’s noggin I don’t know what does.

Game 124: August 21, 2010 ∙ 11 innings
Blue Jays
4L: Casey Janssen (4-2)
2B: John Buck (22), John McDonald (8), Vernon Wells (37)
HR: Lyle Overbay (16)
WinRed Sox
5W: Jonathan Papelbon (5-5)
2B: Marco Scutaro (31)
HR: Jed Lowrie (3)

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