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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Van Every (Jonathan)”

Fatboy Versus Slim

How badly could a game have gone to prefer that it ended in the fifth inning with the score 6-3 in favor of the Yankees instead of playing out the full nine? How about Mark Teixeira, who chose the Yankees over the Red Sox, blasting two more home runs in the late innings? Not that the third longball should count since it came off Jonathan Van Every. How about the fact that Terry Francona even sent Van Every to the mound, the first position player to pitch in a Red Sox/Yankees game ever? The concept of run prevention was assiduously applied, but not to Yankees’ offense. The local nine scored in a single inning. Darnell McDonald, one of the few bright chapters in the otherwise dreary tome of the Red Sox’s season thus far, knocked a solo homer with one out in the third. C.C. Sabathia then induced a fly ball out off the bat of Marco Scutaro. With two out in the inning and a slim one-run lead, Sabathia sought revenge for his teammates who were hit by Josh Beckett in the series opener. Sabathia ignored the fact that no one in their right minds thought Beckett was intentionally...

Batting Practice in Baltimore

Daisuke Matsuzaka returned to the major league mound with decidedly mixed results. After he allowed Nick Markakis to drive in Adam Jones in the first inning he didn’t allow another hit until 12 batters later. Ty Wigginton’s fifth-inning line drive home run blasted opened the Orioles’ offensive floodgates. Terry Francona probably should have started warming a pitcher at that moment, but Matsuzaka faced the next seven batters, only managed one out, and surrendered a three-run homer to Matt Wieters. By the time Tim Wakefield was ready to relieve Matsuzaka six runs had scored. Wakefield’s sixth inning eerily resembled Matsuzaka’s. The knuckleballer allowed Wigginton to launch a solo shot and Nick Markakis lofted a home run over the daunting scoreboard in right with two runners on. Although Boston’s pitching proved lacking, David Ortiz’s two home runs are hopeful harbingers of the slugger’s return to form. For a team whose calling cards were supposed to be pitching and defense, the Red Sox have been benefiting from production from unexpected corners, such as Jonathan Van Every’s third-inning solo four-bagger. In top of the seventh Victor Martinez drove in two runs and Kevin Youkilis smacked a two-run homer to left. The four-run rally coincided...

Ailing

Game 28: May 6, 2009 Indians9W: Carl Pavano (2-3)S: Aaron Laffey (1)11-17, 1 game winning streak Red Sox2L: Justin Masterson (2-2)17-11, 1 game losing streak Highlights: I must have missed the announcement about the medical breakthrough that allows doctors to surgically excise suck from pitchers. Pavano seems to have underwent the procedure. The Red Sox should see about having Brad Penny submit to the same operation. For the entirety of the game I was on a train wending its way across the Eastern Seaboard. The tracks from Penn Station to South Station carried me from the empire and its possessions back home to the nation.One of my friends sent me text updates on the game. I felt my mobile phone vibrate and I opened it excitedly, hoping to read about yet another Jason Bay homer. Instead, it was a fifth inning update about Victor Martinez’s two-run double. My phone battery was running low at that point and I was worried about missing a home team comeback.I didn’t need to fret.I also don’t worry about Manny Ramirez’s 50-game suspension. It is tempting to look for some sort of parable that somehow makes cohesive narrative of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. A few...

Everyman

Game 21: April 29, 2009 ∙ 10 innings Red Sox6W: Hideki Okajima (2-0)S: Jonathan Papelbon (6)14-7, 1 game winning streak Indians5H: Rafael Perez (2)H: Rafael Betancourt (3)BS, L: Jensen Lewis (3, 2-3)8-14, 1 game losing streak Highlights: Everyman. Variant form: everyman. Noun: An ordinary person, representative of the human race. The clock is ticking for Jonathan Van Every. He was drafted in the 29th round of the 2000 amateur draft by the Indians. As the 876th overall pick, it was unlikely Van Every would have made it into a major league stadium as anything other than a spectator. He kicked around the Cleveland system for seven years, the most precious years of his baseball career piling up like the grains of sand in an hourglass.If you haven’t made the bigs by the time the team that drafted you no longer holds your rights, it’s usually time to polish the resume and see if the interview suit fits. This is where Van Every found himself at the end of the 2007 season. But instead of packing away his baseball gear, he signed with the Red Sox as a minor league free agent on December 1.He had a solid year in 2008...


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