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Home » August 2013 Game CommentsAugust 2013 » Plunk Drunk

Plunk Drunk

All weekend I was wondering if a Red Sox hurler would take it upon himself to drill Alex Rodriguez. After 19 innings with nary a graze the first pitch Ryan Dempster delivered to the Yankees third baseman missed the batter’s legs. The next two pitches were inside and had Rodriguez lurching away. The fourth pitch found its target and Rodriguez’s ribcage will carry reminders of this encounter.

The expression on Rodriguez’s face was a weak attempt at passivity, but I saw behind his eyes was fear. He was afraid his teammates wouldn’t leave the dugout and bullpen to back him up.

He needn’t have worried. By the time home plate umpire Brian O’Nora sprang up to warn the benches his teammates got to their feet to show support for him. He took his base docilely, very unlike the 2004 game where he would have chirped all the way to first had Jason Varitek not demonstrated the virtue of silence.

I think he was so relieved his comrades showed up for him that he forgot that he should be angry at the situation. Joe Girardi was plenty mad for the both of them. The Yankees skipper nearly clocked O’Nora as he demonstratively argued that Dempster should be ejected.

Although I thought Dempster chose his time to make a point poorly (the second inning with the score a scant 2-0 in his team’s favor), I can’t deny how satisfying it was to see Rodriguez whirl away in pain and his face awash with despair that he was truly alone. There aren’t enough at bats left in the year for Rodriguez and the other violators of the performance enhancing drug policy to give back the statistics they unfairly accrued, the dollars they gained from those ill-gotten statistics, the jobs they stole from players who didn’t use, the kids they influenced into thinking PEDs can’t be that bad… and on and on it goes.

I also can’t help but think how that game in 2004 ended for the Red Sox and how it propelled them for the rest of the season. The Yankees tied the game in that second inning. Rodriguez broke the 2-2 tie in the with a ground out to short. He then led off the sixth with a home run to dead center.

The Yankees loaded the bases on Dempster and Brett Gardner emptied them with a triple to the wall of the Red Sox bullpen for the lead. “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Game 126: August 18, 2013
WinNew York Yankees
9 W: CC Sabathia (11-10)
H: Shawn Kelley (7), Boone Logan (8), David Robertson (29)
S: Mariano Rivera (36)
2B: Robinson Cano (24), Curtis Granderson (4)
3B: Brett Gardner (7)
HR: Alex Rodriguez (2)
Boston Red Sox
6 L: Ryan Dempster (6-9)
BS: Drake Britton (2)
2B: Shane Victorino (19), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (33), David Ortiz (28), Will Middlebrooks (16)
HR: Middlebrooks (10)

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