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Home » May 2012 Game CommentsMay 2012 » Dennis the Menace

Dennis the Menace

Dennis Eckersley seems to jinx games where he is engaged as a color analyst. Don Orsillo recalled an extra innings contest replete with rain delays that didn’t end until approximately three in the morning. At the top of the third Eckersley marveled at Mark Reynolds’s strikeout rate and noted that slumping slugger had yet to smack a home run this season. Seconds later the ball found the standing room only aisle on the Green Monster, tying the game 1-1.

In the bottom half of the third Adrian Gonzalez led the return volley with a long line drive single to left. Dustin Pedroia doubled but Gonzalez could only advance to third. Both runners advanced on David Ortiz’s ground out and Pedroia tagged scored on Cody Ross’s sacrifice fly. But for every advantage the local nine gained the Orioles had an answer.

The next frame commenced with Jon Lester walking Adam Jones on four pitches, which annoyed Eckersley almost as much as Baltimore’s defensive gaffes. The second least likely player on the field to triple did so — Matt Wieters’s fly ball glanced off the ideal spot on the right field padding to elude Ross. Wilson Betemit may be awkward in the outfield but at the dish he fired a line drive to center to knot the game 3-3.

Betemit’s play in left contributed to Will Middlebrooks being able to double in the fifth. The rookie, who Bobby Valentine slotted in the two-hole in his second game, tagged up on Gonzalez’s fly ball to left and scored his first major league run on Pedroia’s single. That single run lead did not hold, but at least the Red Sox bullpen wasn’t atrocious. Boston’s relievers just couldn’t match up against Charm City’s exceptional relief staff.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a channel that had salty Hall of Famers and crusty old-timers commenting on a game uncensored? Eckersley’s commentary is not only entertaining but incredibly informative, but he obviously holds back. I would drop some big iron for such a program.

Game 25: May 4, 2012 ∙ 13 innings
WinBaltimore Orioles
W: Troy Patton (1-0)
S: Jim Johnson (8)
2B: Mark Reynolds (5)
3B: Matt Wieters (1)
HR: Reynolds (1)
Boston Red Sox
BS: Vicente Padilla (1)
L: Franklin Morales (0-1)
2B: Dustin Pedroia (8), Will Middlebrooks (2)
3B: Cody Ross (1)

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