One of my baseball watching 'themes' is the unique event(s) seen at a ballpark on a given night. You could witness a magnificent catch, a bonehead baserunning play or other mental error, or anything in-between.
Tonight's contest against the Royals didn't disappoint from that standpoint. One of the Sox 'Ironmen', Tim Wakefield, had to leave with an injury. Doug Mirabelli had a game-tieing homerun, after the umpire missed an obvious ball four. David Ortiz stole a base. Willie Harris narrowly scored on a sac fly after Jerry Remy questioned the move, qualifying it with the potential difference on a short sacrifice fly. Julian Tavarez didn't pitch. Enough about that.
The Sox struggled offensively against a pitcher they hadn't seen before. At least I don't think they'd seen him before. The production has diminished at the top. Coming into tonight's game, Kevin Youkilis was seventh in the AL in walks, yet had only hit .118 in the last four games. Mark Loretta had hit only .214.
Tiring. Do we want to hear about how Doug (i before e) Mientkiewicz still feels slighted over a baseball? World War III or not, tsunamis in the Far East, the furor over a souvenir seems just a tad misplaced. So Doug was going to put his children through college with the ball. Crikey Doug, how many children you got? You aren't Melvin Mora. Coming into the season, Minky had made a paltry 8.3 million dollars in the past three seasons, with 305 hits, 28 homers, and 129 RBI. ESPN.com says that Minky is scraping by on $1.850,000 this season. They should make a new crime, Grand Theft Oughtta to cover that one. Maybe he should ask for his salary in yuan, to cover the currency depreciation.
The youngsters continue to progress out of the pen, with Delcarmen, Hansen, and Papelbon doing the job tonight, along with the venerable Mike Timlin who got the win. In his last ten appearances, Little Manny had lowered his ERA from 5.06 to 3.16, with 14 K and 2 walks. Hansen lowered his ERA from 7.36 to 4.50, with 2 walks and 9 strikeouts. And Papelbon continued to be Papelbon, with his 27th save and ERA from 'The Running Man', almost SUBZERO.
They say that you can lose a pennant in April. Well, you can also lose it in July, and losing to Kansas City tonight would have sent many of the Nation scurrying for their antacids.