Thursday, July 30, 2009

In running: Oakland @ Boston 30th July Thursday night

The night it all went wrong

And so it begins. MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT of the New York Times explodes into the headlines with a piece that absolutely reeks of Schadenfreude, declaring that both Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz are on that infamous 'Positives' list from 2003.



Of course, as he blares his trumpets loudly, kind of conveniently forgets that a reasonably prominent player on the current New York Yankee squad is absolutely knee deep in Roid allegations.



Crazy times.

Seems like a good opportunity to do a running commentary on tonight's Red Sox game, nay?

Top of the first
Oakland 0 Boston 0
Steroid references: 0

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 64%

I can't go higher than 64% as we start proceedings. Just doesn't feel right. Maybe a little Johnny Lester can boost that as the evening progresses.

The O-Dog (Cabrera) and Nomah' batting 2/3 against the Sox. Just to add to the general carnival atmosphere for this evening's show. Could this get any more bizzaro?

Strike one and we're instantly up to 65%.
When Lester throws strikes the Sox are pretty much unbeatable, when he is on the mound.

Something tells me we will not see a five run first tonight. At least not for Oakland anyway.

As Kennedy grounds out, I wonder, is this the single most important game of the Red Sox season so far? With the journalistic vultures circling, will the Sox come together and get a big win, or will they fall apart a little bit more?

Commentary team hasn't said a single word about today's allegations as yet. Is the Internet turned on in Boston?

Nomah, ah yes, Nomah. Just looks so odd. Lazy liner to Dusty P and the half inning is over.

Bottom of the first
Oakland 0 Boston 0
Steroid references: 0

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 67%

So how about that, not ONE steroid reference in the top half. Will there be an audible gasp when the commentary booth finds out what's going on? Or are they deliberately ignoring it?

Gonzalez going for the A's tonight, last time out the kid beat the Yankees. I see.

Jacoby lines out to start Boston off. Gonzalez pumps strike one in on Dusty P and he hasn't thrown a ball as yet.

Throw strikes, young pitchers!

Dusty P grounds out and still, still, the young A's starter has yet to throw a ball.

First ball doesn't come to half way through Youk's AB, who consequently grounds out. ugly bottom half of the inning. This will be reflected in my running happiness with season percentage, don't you worry.


Top of the second
Oakland 0 Boston 0
Steroid references: 0

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 61%

We're into the second and not one 'roid reference yet! Who'da thunk it?

Jack Cust batting .091 against Lester. In a considerable amount of at bats it should be noted. Make that .090. Why would you even put him in the lineup?

Actually, bad sign for Boston that the A's are wheeling out stacks of rookies and Boston still can't beat them. Happiness percentage will indeed reflect this next half inning.

A 1-2-3 top of the second for Johnny L. This game has a snappy feel about it. Snappy, snappy.


Bottom of the second
Oakland 0 Boston 0
Steroid references: 0

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 60%


I have a sneaky feeling they are going to completely ignore the whole 'roids thing, just seems like the boys in the commentary booth are going out of their way to talk about anything but.

Ball four, Jason Bay makes his way down to first.

Uh oh, uh oh, here we go!! Monsignor Orsillo comes right out and says it. Dishes it like it's the nine O'Clock news. Big Papi does NOT look too upset about this, as he slaps a wall ball double to right. The Fenway crowd let him know how they feel about the Yankees leaning New York Times reporting. Huge ovation for the double.

Orsillo comes right out and asks why are we only getting these names one at a time?

Pretty decent question.

Lowell strikes out. One way, runners on second and third.

You have to really watch JD Drew work an at bat to appreciate his value. He works a really nice walk, nice as he laid off a couple of tough pitches. Bases loaded one away. Up comes the Captain, Mr Varitek. Personally I like Tek from the right side, I would need to see the stats but my gut feeling is his numbers certainly 'feel' better from the right side of the dish.

As if on cue, Tek slaps the ball to right, and Bay scores, Sox one up.

This Gonzalez guy does not look super sharp. His curve isn't really biting. He only throws 90 and seems to only have two pitches. Meanwhile Nick Green looks like he is facing Nolan Ryan, as he strikes out on a poor pitch in the dirt. Green is so all or nothing. In this case, nothing.

Bottom of the second and the Sox are already back to the top of the order. Jacoby strikes out, and the inning is over. One run is not a fantastic return for all that effort. No Sir.


Top of the third
Oakland 0 Boston 1
Steroid references: 3

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 64%


Man I could murder a Pizza.

Oh boy, beautiful catch by Jacoby in centre. Montgomery describes the Sox outfielder as 'diseased with speed'. Nice work. Great catch anyway for the first out.

Lester is abusing the strike zone, two quick outs. He is such a different pitcher when he just attacks the zone.

Powell, the A's catcher hits what should have been an easy double, but is so slow the Sox nearly get him at second. I would even fancy my own chances racing that guy. Not Chris Foy though. He would lose. Yes, even to the A's portly catcher.

Single to right, the catcher only makes it to third, so the Sox kinda sorta catch something approaching a break. Lester needs to bear down and get this out.

Phew. Beautiful play by Pedroia off the bat of the O-Dog Cabrera to get the final out. Phew.


Bottom of the third
Oakland 0 Boston 1
Steroid references: stuck at 3

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 67%


Pedroia's play looks even better on replay. And guess who is up first? That's right, Dusty P. He, however, strikes out. That's four little Red Sox with 'K's attached to their name so far on the scorecard. To a guy with two pitches. Who can't break 91 on the radar gun. I shall now inflict pain on myself.

Youk singles up the middle, under the glove of the O-Dog. Bay strikes out on a pitch in the dirt, that's 5 Red Sox K's. Just ugly. The guy only has two pitches! You have a, wait for it, eh, 50% chance of guessing right!

Ortiz grounds out and we go to the fourth.

Top of the fourth
Oakland 0 Boston 1
Steroid references: Jammed stuck at 3

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 66%


Oh Nomah. Wherefore art thou Nomah. You know what, he really hasn't change much. That stance is the exact same.

Nomah reaches on an infield single and it is brought to our attention that Lester has, to this point, not had a 'K', a strikeout.

That's pretty odd alright in fairness.

Funnily enough he then gets Cust swinging for K numero uno.

Beautiful double play and Boston sneak out of the inning after the lead off single by the Prodigal Son.

Bottom of the fourth
Oakland 0 Boston 1
Steroid references: Jammed, tight, stuck at 3

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 69%


We might break 70% on the Happiness scale with the way Lester is pitching. Maybe. We'll see.

JD Drew singles with one away. I think you can say the slump is over. We can, right? He is slapping the ball around like a crazy guy.

V-Tek drives one to left that just kind of, well, dies, and ends up being a fly out. Up comes the over matched Tricky Nicky Green. This half inning is not going to end well.

Watch, watch....watch....

There it is. Ugly, ugly strikeout and the half inning is very, very predictably over.

Paging Mr Lowrie...

Top of the fifth
Oakland 0 Boston 1
Steroid references: Wedged in, Jammed-tight, stuck at 3

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 65%


Lester is not getting much run support lately now is he? He is pitching better than his record shows.


Two super quick outs, Lester is pitching economically, followed by a cheeky two out double by Ryan Sweeney that Bay played horribly, he looked liked Manny Ramirez out there. Minus the dreads.

Lester picks up the corner of the plate for his second strikeout of the game and the half inning is over. Time to wake those freakin bats up, fellas!

Bottom of the fifth
Oakland 0 Boston 1
Steroid references: Wedged in, glued, Jammed-tight, stuck at 3

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 68%


This guy any good?

Beautiful day in Boston by the looks of it. We are actually not getting a summer at all in Dublin. Apparently we do not deserve one. It's just grey day after grey day in repetition. Nice lead off walk worked by Jacoby. If he can add 15-20 walks a season to his repertoire he will be one of the premiere lead off guys in Major League Ball.

Of course Jacoby then gets picked off. The bright start to the inning erased like so many Death Stars. Dusty-P flies out to centre and there is two away faster than you can say 'Release all those 100 names and lets get it done and dusted!' Youk strikes out before I can even finish typing this. That was one quick half inning.

Top of the sixth
Oakland 0 Boston 1
Steroid references: Wedged in, glued, Jammed-tight, stalled, stuck at 3

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 62%


6% drop there down to the horrifically fast half inning.

The first out of the inning on the first pitch. Very quick game so far. Just when I say that Lester walks the O-Dog for his first free pass of the afternoon, or, if you are in Ireland, evening.

Nomah does some damage to his old team with a slap single to right, the O-Dog makes it to third on the play.

Lester up to 80 pitches in the sixth. He seems to have Cust struck out on a heater inside but the blue rewards Cust for putting his bat on his shoulder and he walks on the next pitch. Bases loaded. Fly ball to right, two away but the O-Dog scores the game tying run.

See guys, one run is not going to do it.

Lowell chases after a pop up over by the third base wall, and looks about as agile as a disabled Elephant.

This comes back to haunt the Sox as Bobby Crosby slaps a crappy little seeing-eye single and Nomah scores from third, the A's are now 2-1 up and looking at a series win against the home town Sox.

Essential, completely essential, Lester gets out of this little spell.

Question, do the two runs get attributed to the umpire, seeing as he chose to reward the A's batter for leaving his bat on his shoulder a few batters earlier? Do I sound bitter?

Unbelievably bush league cheap little bloop rubbish single to centre and Oakland are now 4-1 up. Thanks blue. All these runs can be directly attributed to the umpire. Every single one of them. They should actually showed up as unearned in the score card, that was such a horrible call on the non-strikeout call earlier in the inning. Nice job, blue.

Obviously, this is the kind of thing that happens when things are going bad. You don't get the calls and the little Texas Leaguers fall in. Of course, it is true, you make your own luck. Still though, thanks Blue!

Lester looks absolutely axhausted at this stage. Many Sox fans are starting to say that Sox manager Tito Francona is leaving his starters in too long, for example, 72 year old John Smoltz. Not this time, Tito pops out of the dugout after Lester's third walk of the inning, calling on Manny Delcarmen. Pitching change from Fenway Park. Brought to you by 'For God sake, the A's, really?'

Delcarmen's first pitch is completely down the pipe, and the blue flinches but won't call it. Good stuff. Apparently the 38,000 odd that entered Fenway Park today did so entirely to see his fat ignorant ass working the plate. That's why they forked out the $60.

Delcarmen does eventually right the ship. However, the damage, as they say, has already been done.

Bottom of the sixth
Oakland 4 Boston 1
Steroid references: Still completely Wedged in, glued, Jammed-tight, stalled, stuck at 3
. No mention at all lately.
Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 54%


You know what, I can't take this all night, so, I will tell you what, if the Sox don't score here, as Cartman would say, screw you guys, I'm going home!

Low pitch for strike three, the blue has no problem calling Bay out on a borderline pitch. No flinching there, calls it right away. Call it both ways, douche bag. I tell ya', this little game we like so much can certainly infuriate a guy in a hurry, no?

Ortiz walks. Runner on. Is Green up soon? If so, inning over double play on the way. Lowell is in actual fact the next batter. Wild pitch and Big Papi is down to second base. Green, when he gets up, will have to settle for striking out. Unless he finds a way to line into an inning ending double play, perhaps?

Well how about that. I guess we are in business for another inning. Lowell drops a soft double to right and Ortiz wobbles home to make it 2-4. Oakland do not hang around, going straight to the 'pen.

On a side note, Boston were 1-4 to win this game. The bookies do not seem to have adjusted for the Sox poor play as of late. If you are a Yankee fan who frequently backs against Boston, well, you are making up some money right at this juncture.

JD hits a deep fly ball to right centre, too high, however, two away. Then the Captain strikes. V-Tek knocks a nice hard single to right and suddenly it is 3-4. Tito is completely on to the whole Nick Green thing and pinch hits for him, with Mr Adam La Roche.

La Roche pops up, Green would have struck out, same difference in the end though.


Top o' seven
Oakland 4 Boston 3
Steroid references: Still completely Wedged in, glued, Jammed-tight, stalled, stuck at 3
. No mention at all lately. Nada. Zip.
Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 53%


A deal is a deal is a deal, I'll stay and see if the Sox can get one in the seventh. This game just slowed right on down. It was on a pace to be a speedy little nifty affair, and has now ground down to a painfully slow event.

Delcarmen against Nomah to start things off in seventh. Nomah wins, and its a three hit night for him. One out single. The A's bring in a pinch runner, and Nomah gets a nice little ovation as he trots away.

The pinch runner comes home on a two out single. I start warming up my Cartman impression. You are going to hear it if the Sox don't get one in the bottom of the inning. Ground ball. Half inning over.

Bottom o' seven
Oakland 5 Boston 3
Steroid references: Still completely Wedged in, glued, Jammed-tight, stalled, stuck at 3
. No mention at all lately. Nada. Zip.
Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 49%


Lead off walk to Jacoby. You may have to read a little longer yet. Or maybe not. Pedroia into a double play. Or maybe still, Youk bloop single to right. Maybe yet, Bay walk. Ortiz up, two on, two out. Didn't he used to pop the ball out of the yard in this situation?

Woah.

The big man strikes. There we go. Three run jack, Sox suddenly take the lead 6-5 just like that.

Now that was enjoyable to watch. 6-5 Sox at the end of seven.

Top o' 8
Oakland 5 Boston 6
Steroid references: We're up to 4, kind of. It is 'hinted' at.

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 72% (Is that the turn-around?)


Phew. That was some jack. Now the Sox 'pen has to do its job.


Danny Bard, in the game, him and his triple figure fast ball. Easy cheese they call it.

Check out the radar. Half inning over before I could even finish making that picture.

Bottom o' 8
Oakland 5 Boston 6
Steroid references: We're up to 4, kind of. It is 'hinted' at.

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 74% (Is that the turn-around?)


That Danny Bard would make you feel good about the Sox 'pen. Yikes. Hey, I am no longer as mad at the blue, that's good news, right? JD Drew line drive double to right. Runner on second nobody outski. Godo start to the seond part of this late inning. The Captain strikes, third hit of the day, 7-5 Red Sox. This has the makings of a season changing come back. Great job by Jed Lowrie moving V-Tek over to third base while grounding out. Once Lowrie is fully fit we could see a newly energized Red Stockings lineup. The young man can swing the maple. Jacoby makes it all worthwile by skying a sacrifice fly to right, Lowrie can get a half assist there, 8-5 Sox.

Top o' 9
Oakland 5 Boston 8
Steroid references: Sticking at a very low 4. The over/under was 9.5

Extent to which I am content with the Red Sox 2009 season expressed as a percentage; 82% (Is this the turn-around?)


Okay now a nice easy inning for Papelboner and we're laughin'. With one away the former Red Sox short-stop the O-Dog slaps a single to right. Here's hoping Papelboner manages to slam the door. Some radar gun readings. 99. 98. 94. 99. Papelboner is lively tonight.



Two away. 99mph. Gosh. His arm looks crazy active. Throwing easy cheese. Inning over. So there it is. Thrilling game in the end. Will this be the one that spins the Sox season back on its axis? We shall see. In the meantime...



Screw you guys, I'm going home!


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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
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A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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