Saturday, July 09, 2005

Game 85: How a Game is Won

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 7, Baltimore Orioles 2

Before the broadcast last night, the MASN broadcasters were gloating about Baltmore's abbreviated win in Game 83, saying that "with a win tonight, Baltimore would be two games behind first place Boston." Of course, they didn't take Arroyo and the usual crushers into account: Damon: four for five with a walk, extended his hit streak to 23 games; Ortiz: two for two with three walks; Manny: two for five with a walk; Arroyo: seven and two thirds innings, six hits, two runs, two walks, three strikeouts. Jeremi "Gonzo" Gonzalez pitched a near perfect inning (one hit, one run) and Embree got the last out without trouble in the ninth. The MASN people also glossed over Sidney Ponson and his .300+ opposing batting average - and the fact that Big Papi hits over .400 against him. Ortiz then went on to knock in two of the seven runs, hitting an RBI single and a sacrifice fly and scored a run himself. Suffice it to say that when the Orioles saw a real team for nine innings, they didn't do as well. Also, even if the Sox lose the rest of the series, they'll still be in first for the All Star Break.

Thanks to The Joy of Sox, who's been The Man for news updates the past few days, for these tasty tidbits:
  • The flareup over Schilling's closer role from the past few days has not only settled down, but was blown out of proportion in the first place, says both Terry Francona and Trot Nixon. Tim McCarver and Joe Buck also spoke to Tito during today's broadcast and the Sox skipper reiterated what he told reporters: the media made a bigger deal of Johnny Damon's reaction to Schilling as the new closer than Johnny did and Kevin Millar never actually said he wanted to be traded. My guess is that with all of the tension surrounding the departures of Ramon Vasquez and Jay Payton, players got jumpy and reporters got even jumpier.
  • Keith Foulke now regrets not having surgery after the club recommended he do so at the start of Spring Training. Foulke says he felt fine at the time and therefore elected not to go under the knife. In a way, the entire incident makes him sounds a lot like Pedro: someone else has to think for him about when to take the ball away and when to make him sit down and get help with his injuries, because he's too competitive to do it himself. Jerry Manuel, Foulke's coach in Chicago, talks in the article about how Keith always needs to feel like he's throwing the perfect pitches and gets frustrated and makes mistakes when he's not. Clearly, being such a control freak works well when Foulke's on, but can be twice as problematic when he's off.
  • As expected, Gabe Kapler, designated for assignment by the Yomiuri Giants, will be returning from Japan after he clears waivers on the fifteenth. Once he returns to the States, The Great Jewish Hope will be able to negotiate with all 30 major league teams, but clearly he's expected to come back to the Red Sox. His return would put the Sox back up to the full complement of utility players from last year.
The Sox lost today, but I'll be back to summarize that bit of fun later. GO SOX!!!

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