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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Delcarmen (Manny)”

White Flag

Theo Epstein got into the spirit of the election year and gave some serious spin to the trading of Manny Delcarmen to the Rockies for minor league pitcher Chris Balcom-Miller. The Red Sox general manager said the move wasn’t a white flag of surrender, like how the furor over the Islamic center in lower Manhattan (a.k.a “the Ground Zero mosque”) isn’t about hypocrisy and hatred. To be certain, Delcarmen has been pitching so terribly that removing him from the bullpen is a net positive, but since there was no major league piece coming in return clearly the team is geared to improving its future rather bolstering its current state. I should have been accepting of the team’s playoff chances when Kevin Youkilis went down and further inured myself to the inevitable course the season was taking when Dustin Pedroia succumbed to his foot injury, but these are the post-2004 Red Sox! Roaring back against the Yankees and also against Cleveland in 2007 has just unrealistically inflated my expectations of the franchise. Recalling how emotional Nomar Garciaparra was about getting traded I can only imagine Delcarmen’s reaction. Nomar grew up as a baseball player in Boston just like Manny, but the...

Frame Thy Fearful Symmetry

I had foreseen the inevitability of David Ortiz’s grand slam. The set-up was all too perfect: the score was 6-1 in favor of the visitors, an erratic closer walked three batters in succession, and the personification of clutch crouched in the box. However, I had also envisaged the local nine coming up short in the bottom of the ninth. It was the story of 2010 writ small: inconsistent pitching allowing just enough runs so that the sputtering offense couldn’t overcome the deficit. To be sure there are individual flashes of brilliance like Ortiz’s grand slam, a number of near no-hitters and perfect games, and a treasure chest of defensive gems. From the start of 2010 the team was never at full strength and yet they were within a stone’s throw of leading the AL East for most of the season. The losses of Dustin Pedroia and Victor Martinez to injury were almost contemporaneous with their team coming within a half-game of first place in the division. Since then the Red Sox have not been able to keep pace with the Yankees or Rays. In an odd season one of the most bizarre plays unfolded in the first. Martinez dropped strike...

Simmering Southpaw

Jon Lester was hot in at least two senses of the word. The lefty carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, striking out 10 batters until that frame, and was literally unhittable. With one out Lester induced an easy fly ball off the bat of Jack Wilson to center, or so he thought. As he overran the ball slightly, Eric Patterson didn’t field the ball face-on but rather reached back to glove it. The sphere glanced off the leather and trickled away from the center fielder. Lester didn’t display John Lackey levels of emotion, but the fact the Lester even betrayed a twinge of disappointment was surprising for him. Michael Saunders shattered the no-hit bid and Boston’s lead right after Patterson’s mishap with a resounding four-bagger to right. With recent extra inning and one-run games tapping the bullpen dry, Terry Francona had to stay with Lester as long as possible. Milton Bradley led off the eighth with a triple and Lester stayed in the game. Shortstop Wilson reached up to flawlessly execute the suicide squeeze to score Bradley and Lester was still on the mound. Saunders soundly smacked Lester’s leg with a smoking infield single and Ichiro Suzuki walked...

Manny’s Meatballs and Ribeyes by Ramon

The languorous torture of Daisuke Matsuzaka’s first inning would have been more bearable if I weren’t suffering from a lingering cold. In the time it took the Red Sox starter to load the bases I went through a half dozen tissues. By the time the Rays leadoff hitter Ben Zobrist lined a single into center to plate two runs in the fourth, the Theraflu Nighttime had unentwined the last tendrils of thought tethering me to consciousness. Did I imagine Kevin Youkilis flinging the ball right at home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi in a vain attempt to cut down Kelly Shoppach? According to my medication-addled notes, that actually happened. I was thankfully tucked away when Manny Delcarmen and Ramon Ramirez joined forces to serve their guests a generous helping of batting practice. The six runs they surrendered put the game out of reach of the local nine. Delcarmen was put on the fifteen-day disabled list with a right forearm strain after the game. Matt Garza, unlike the other aces the Red Sox recently humbled, lived up to his billing. Although he had three earned runs in his tally, two of those came when David Ortiz doubled off Randy Choate to drive...

Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation Extravaganza

Or as Dustin Pedroia calls it, “laser show.” Ramon Ramirez took a head-clearing stroll through the forests of center field in the first inning. He must have known the bullpen would be in for a busy evening after witnessing Daisuke Matsuzaka’s laborious first inning in which he faced eight batters but still allowed just two runs. The Red Sox starter lasted only five innings mainly because of his strenuous first frame. Manny Delcarmen took the mound in the sixth with his team leading 6-2 and proceeded to load the bases and fail to get an out. Hideki Okajima allowed all three of Delcarmen’s runners score; the third run charged to his teammate’s tab came when he failed to cover first quickly enough on Miguel Olivo’s grounder to David Ortiz. What should have been the third out became a bases-loading single. With the score 6-5 Ian Stewart golfed a single to shallow center to plate two runners for the lead. The visiting lineup took their pent-up frustration from the previous two games out on the Rockies relief corps, scoring three runs in the seventh for the lead. Pedroia hit his second homer in the eighth for a pair of insurance runs,...

Delayed Delivery

The last thing Tim Bogar wanted was his name to be uttered in the same breath as Wendell Kim and Dale Sveum. With the score knotted at one run a piece in the bottom of the sixth, Kevin Youkilis on first, no outs, and the crowd feverishly chanting “Papi,” Bogar sent his first baseman home on David Ortiz’s ringing double down the left field line. Return to sender, address unknown. No such number, no such zone. Fortunately other deliveries went well. Josh Beckett has steadily improved since his season-opening clunker, turning in a sparking 7 innings pitched, 4 hits, 1 earned run, 1 base on balls, and 8 strikeouts. Jonathan Papelbon not only pitched a near-perfect ninth before the game was suspended (only allowing a single runner to reach on a walk), but he and his wife Ashley welcomed their second child (Gunner Robert weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and measured 21 inches, or a tad bigger than Mike Cameron’s kidney stone must have felt). Ortiz led off the ninth tonight and the chants returned. He nearly won the game with a fly ball to the right that had the distance but was pulled foul. In the eleventh he took...


Game 150: September 22, 2009 Red Sox1L: Paul Byrd (1-2)89-61, 2 game losing streak Royals5W: Zack Greinke (15-8)S: Joakim Soria (28)63-88, 3 game winning streak Highlights: The Red Sox batters mustered only two hits against Greinke. One of them was Victor Martinez sixth inning single with one out, extending the catcher’s hitting streak to 21 games. He also drove in the visiting team’s only run of game with an RBI ground out to first, scoring Jacoby Ellsbury.Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is now up to 64 steals. Not to be outdone, Dustin Pedroia swiped his 19th bag, bringing him within one of his career high total of 20. The second baseman also walked twice and got the only other Red Sox hit of the game, a one-out double in first. Victor Martinez’s RBI was his 101st, second only to Jason Bay’s mark of 113. Manny Delcarmen had his first scoreless inning since September 16. He took the mound with ducks on the pond and two out and induced a fly ball out to center off the bat of Mark Teahen. In this game only individual accomplishments can be highlighted for Boston, which dropped its second game to the woebegone...


Game 149: September 21, 2009 Red Sox9BS, L: Daniel Bard (3, 2-2)89-60, 1 game losing streak Royals12W: Yasuhiko Yabuta (2-1)H: Jamey Wright (12)S: Joakim Soria (27)62-88, 2 game winning streak Highlights: I’m on vacation in Nevada and the Red Sox relievers decided to take leave of their duties as well. From the Royals’ bullpen only Yasuhiko Yabuta allowed the Red Sox to score, and it was because of a wild pitch, not a hit. Yabuta’s family name is made up of two characters: 薮田. The first means thicket, brush, underbush, or grove and the second is the ubiquitous rice paddy ideogram. Yasuhiko [安彦] means peaceful boy or lad. Yasui, the adjective from which Yabuta’s given name is derived, is a difficult word for English speakers to learn because it has three different meanings depending on symbol and context: cheap, peaceful, or easy. Tim Wakefield must shoulder his share of the blame for this loss as well. With a 8-2 lead the knuckleballer let the Royals back into the game with a three-run homer authored by Mike Jacobs. Although the Royals have a similar win-loss record to the Orioles, the former played with ardor while the latter with apathy. Undaunted by...


Game 104: August 2, 2009 Red Sox18W: Manny Delcarmen (4-2)62-42, 4 game winning streak Orioles10L: Jason Berken (1-9)44-60, 3 game losing streak Highlights: The Red Sox were to runs what Augustus Gloop was to food, what Keith Richards was to illicit substances, what Yankees are to entitlement. Enough was never enough. Victor Martinez led the team in hits, going 5-for-6 with 4 RBIs and a run scored. How arbitrary is it that a starting pitcher has to stay in the game for 15 outs to be in line for the win? Not that Clay Buchholz (4 innings pitched, 9 hits, 7 earned runs, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, and 2 home runs allowed) deserved the win, but the conventions of scoring require that someone get assigned a W. Despite the fact that Takashi Saito pitched for more outs (two scoreless innings compared to Manny Delcarmen’s 1⅔ and Ramon Ramirez’s 1⅓ innings), allowed less hits than Ramirez, and didn’t permit a run as Delcarmen did, Delcarmen was adjudged to be to be the winner.But players need statistics to shoot for so they can argue their case before an arbitration panel. When Don Orsillo complimented Dave Roberts on how he stole runs from...

Gambatte [頑張って]

Game 90: July 14, 2007 Blue Jays 4 L: Dustin McGowan (5-5) 44-46, 1 game losing streak13-11-4 series record Red Sox 9 W: Daisuke Matsuzaka (11-6) 55-35, 1 game winning streak19-8-3 series record Highlights: The first kanji 頑 means stubborn, foolish, or firmly and the second 張 translates to lengthen or stretch. The final two characters transform the word into a te verb form which has no tense of its own and is used to join the word to other verbs or words, a common example being kudasai (please) to turn the phrase into a polite request. Gambatte has become a set expression that means “Don’t give up” or “Hang in there.” Matsuzaka-senshu gambatte! Manny Delcarmen struck out four in two innings and Hideki Okajima finished frames to assure at least a split in this four-game series. Despite the second rough outing in a row, Daisuke Matsuzaka persevered to tally his eleventh win of 2007. In each of his six innings of toil he had at least one baserunner and he struck out only two. Out of sync with his windup, he even resorted to pitching from the stretch with no men on base. The two free passes he...


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