Wednesday, May 24, 2006

In Game Blog - Rubber Game - Sox - New York

Every sport has 'special' games, departures from the monolithic normality of the endless seasons. Tonight you can only expect Rod Serling to emerge from the Twilight Zone.

Only a few days ago, Manny Ramirez had 8 homers and not many hit with customary authority. Now he's at eleven, with one reminiscent of a pair of Larry Hisle shots I saw from the bleachers when Hisle was with the Brewers.

Matt Clement is the baseball equivalent of a trailer park to a hurricane, a baseball magnet. Clement seemed in control until he got hit by a line drive, and then the edge came off the slider and the Bombers put up a crooked number (4).

Meanwhile, Kevin ("not enough power") drilled his fifth homer of the year against RJ. Regardless of the outcome, Johnson, at age 43 is not the man he used to be. But he has a better haircut.

Manny Ramirez showed us the enthusiasm of a dog riding in a car with his head out the window as he rumbled in from second on a single, nearly flattening Demarlo Hale. Manny looks very happy right now. I can't speak for everyone, but I enjoy seeing ballplayers who actually seem to enjoy playing a child's game.

Who can't marvel at A-Gone at shortstop? He nearly turns over a miraculous double play and then, even though he fanned, took Johnson to 11 pitches in a third inning at bat.

Sheffield just menaces the Sox at the plate. He doesn't get cheated on any swing. I'd pitch him inside...at least that way you don't get hit with a shot through the box.

Matt Clement has 81 pitches in the fourth inning. The whole subject of pitch counts fascinates me. I remember a game in high school where I had a shutout, giving up 6 hits, 6 walks, and 9 strikeouts. How many pitches do you have to throw to do that. At least 21 batters for outs, 12 reached base. Probably an average of at least 5 pitches on the strikeouts, 5.5 on the walks, and lets presume 3.5 for the others (6 hits, 12 non-strikeouts). That's 9 x 6 plus 5.5 x 6 plus 18 x 3.5. That's 150.

Which reminds me of something attributed to an aging Lefty Grove who was told he wasn't throwing as hard. He replied, "I'm throwing as hard as ever, it just doesn't go as fast."

How about those Tigers? Who would've thought Mike Maroth would become Mike Maroth?

Big Papi doesn't look that comfortable against RJ. I hope he proves me wrong. Unfortunately, no.

DiNardo on the DL. There is a God.

VanBuren up. He's our "Jermaine" Man.

Jacoby Ellsbury with two more stolen bases tonight (11). Also hitting .321. How do you know when he's ready for Portland.

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