Sunday, May 22, 2005

Ex-Boston Braves @ Boston Red Sox

In a battle of generations, 39-year-old knuckleballer Tim Wakefield faces off against 21-year-old Kyle Davies. I have never heard of this guy, but he has a better ERA than Wakefield. 0.00 against 3.61 :). So obviously, he's a rookie making his first major league start. Another clash of generations takes places at DH. 29-year-old David Ortiz isn't exactly young, but he looks like a rookie if you see that Atlanta counters with 46-year-old Julio Franco.
Another interesting thing to watch is Jason Varitek catching tonight. Usually, Doug Mirabelli is Wakefield's catcher, but he is on the DL. It will be interesting to see if Varitek can handle the knuckler. I expect at least 5 wild pitches/passed balls tonight.

The Game

- Furcal leads off and reaches on an error by Renteria. After Trot Nixon goes into the stands to catch a foul ball (which means he will win a gold glove this year!), Furcal steals 2nd and could have been out if Renteria had hold on to the baseball.
- Chipper Jones walks and Adam LaRoche hits a long fly ball to right, but Trot Nixon makes a great running catch at the bullpen wall (Hey, I was only joking with the gold glove).
- Wakefield knuckles one over the plate for strike three to Andruw Jones. Inning over.
- Davies starts with a strike, but runs out of luck quickly as Damon singles to lead thing off.
- There is wild pitch number one, but it's thrown by Davies, not Wakefield. Damon to third.
- Renteria flies out to right and Mondesi throws a bullet to third, but Damon makes it anyway. So Mondesi has at least one skill, even if it's not hitting. Maybe he should try to pitch? I means, he's playing in Atlanta.
- David Ortiz strikes out on a breaking ball and naturally disagrees. A long stare from the home plate umpire convinces him.
- Manny Ramirez has looked terrible in most games I watched on TV so far this year. I think he is just not motivated. This time, he flies out on a decent line drive to Mondesi.
- Switch-hitter Estrada hits right handed against Wakefield, but it doesn't help him as he flies out to right.
-
The best 46-year-old hitter in baseball history flies out to Damon, followed by a pop up by Brian Jordan.
- 2005 gold glover Trot Nixon flies out to center, Varitek grounds out and Millar pops out and we're already in the 3rd.
- Tim Wakefield throws less knuckleballs than usually because Varitek is not really comfortable catching them. After Wakefield strikes out Mondesi, he falls behind 3-0 to Furcal and then challenges him with a 78mph hea..., ah, somewhat fastball. He walks him with the next pitch anyway.
- Nearly the first passed ball, but Varitek can keep it under control. Two pitches and Furcal hasn't attempted to steal yet? Wakefield and Varitek seem to think the same way as I do. They pitch out and get Furcal on a close play.
- Marcus giles doubles on a fly ball to right field that gets past Nixon (that might cost him his gold glove). Chipper Jones brings him home with a single to left. 1-0 Braves
- LaRoche ends the inning with a fly ball to Damon
- Bill Mueller treats his knees with a walk to first to lead of the bottom of the 3th and Mark Bellhorn does what he does best, he strikes out.
- Damon singles up the middle, but Renteria strikes out and Ortiz grounds out to end the inning.
- Andruw Jones can't find the knuckler and strikes out the second time tonight, so does Estrada. But Franco demonstrates the virtues of age as he's patient and works a walk, followed by a single to left by 39-year-old Jordan.
- 34-year-old young gun Mondesi advances both oldies two bases with a double. 2-0 Braves
- Furcal flies out to shallow center to end the two-out-rally.
- Davies strikes out Ramirez on three pitches, then throws three straight balls to Nixon, then three strikes again. He walks the next batter Varitek and allows a single to Millar, but Mueller grounds out on the first pitch to end the inning.
- Giles starts the 5th inning with a ground rule double and Jones bloops a single to left to put runners on the corners. Giles scores on a timely wild pitch and Chipper goes to 2nd. Still no outs.
- LaRoche walks on four pitches and the Red Sox are lucky that the runners don't go as the balls gets away from Varitek for a moment. Wakefield strikes out Andruw Jones, but gives up a single to Estrada, scoring Chipper. It doesn't get any better as Franco doubles to score LaRoche. The Red Sox finally get the second out on the sac fly by Jordan. Mondesi pops up to end the pain for this inning. 6-0 Braves
- Bellhorn flies out, Damon walks and Renteria strikes out, but Ortiz singles to put runners at the corners with two outs and Ramirez at the plate. Now would be the right time to prove me wrong and hit one over the green monster. Davies strikes him out to get out of the jam.
- Halama relieves Wakefield and get Furcal to hit a ground ball to short, but Furcal reaches on a throwing error by Renteria. Furcal gets to 2nd on a wild pitch. Giles grounds to 3rd and Bill Mueller throws the baseball into the seats behind first base. Maybe this is Millar's fault after all? He's just not a good target.
- Jones flies out to right and Giles goes to third. Now, Boston brings the infield in. Do they really think they can still win this? We'll see.
- LaRoche grounds out to Millar and does the job himself, keeping Giles at 3rd. Halams strikes out Jones and escapes without and earned run. Still 7-0 Braves
- Jorge Sosa relieves Davies and he prompty walks Nixon and gives up a single to Varitek and the Red Sox have runners on first and second with nobody out.
- The runners advance on a wild pitch and the Red Sox are finally on the board as Millar fights off a 1-2 pitch to right field for a single and an RBI.
- Bill Mueller also picks up an RBI, but a costly one as he grounds into a double play. Bellhorn makes the third out as he pops up. 7-2 Braves

- And then my internet connection broke down and it took me until noon today to fix it. :(

The Red Sox added a run in the 7th and two more in the 9th, while Halama and Mantei held the Braves down. But tying run Varitek flied out to end the 9th and the Red Sox lost by the final score of 5-7.

The rubber game of the series will be played at 2.05 with Smoltz and Clement on the mound. I hope my connection stays alive tonight!

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