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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Musings after two in the Bronx 

Obviously, Tuesday night's game was very enjoyable. The Yankees made mistakes and the Sox capitalized on them all. That's what good teams do. The bottom of the order, Dustan Mohr and Alex Gonzalez, had me throwing a fit prior to the game. Sure enough, they went a combined 3-for-5, with 3 RBI and 5 runs scored. Hey, I can't be perfect.

Loretta's bat really seems to be coming around, with 3 hits on Tuesday and 2 more on Wednesday. So much for Ortiz' slump, too, as he's gone 5-8 so far in the series. And speaking of Ortiz, did anyone happen to see Lenn Robbins' follow-up article to The Post's Mike Vaccaro's piece on backing Ortiz off of the plate? Here's a small taste of this absolute abortion of an article:

"Mike Vaccaro rattled Boston slugger David Ortiz, his manager, and teammates with his well-thought-out column yesterday in which he said it's time for the Yankees pitchers to make Big Papi uncomfortable at the plate."

You really can't make this stuff up. Lenn must have been grabbing leftovers from the fridge as Big Papi reached base in each of his first three times at bat, scored twice, and crushed a gap-shot double that knocked the Unit out of the game. Francona and the rest of the club were clearly bewildered as well. Aside from filling out the lineup card, did Tito even need to be at this game? Seriously.

As for Wednesday night's game, things just weren't as peachy. First off, Willie Harris should not be starting games, nevermind games versus the Yankees. He's a pinch-runner and defensive replacement in blowouts. If you're going to keep him in the roster, these are his two roles. He doesn't swing the bat. He's now batting below .100. Need I say more?

Also gotta love how both pitcher/catcher mound conferences led to absolute bombs.

First, Posada decides to trot out and chat up Mussina after Ortiz had already fouled off about five of Moose's curveballs. Obviously, Ortiz is going to be sitting dead-red on the next pitch. Posada returns to the plate and sets up over the inside corner of the plate. My roommate and I immediately look at one another and laugh. Two seconds later, that baseball was sitting in the right field upper deck. Did Mussina and Posada honestly think they were going to get that pitch past Big Papi? Oh yeah, good work Mike Vaccaro. Clearly Ortiz is still feeling the aftershocks of your masterful piece.

Next, in the fifth, Schilling got behind in the count versus Alex Rodriguez. Varitek strolled out to calm Schill down and tried to get him to throw strikes. Sure enough, Schill comes with the fastball and A-Rod serves it over the left field wall.

Moral of the story -- don't throw fastballs following a mound meeting. At this point, you're obviously pressing, and a smart hitter is going to know you're likely to hum a heater over the plate to get back in the groove. You might be able to pull this act with the Alex Gonzalez's of the world, but you're not going to trick Big Papi or A-Rod, so don't even try.

I'm getting tired, so rather than continuing my recap, I'm going to form the rest of this post in the vein of NESN's most recent advertising blunder.

"Willie Harris and Alex Gonzalez in the same lineup? C'mon. Wait, are you serious? You are? Get me a barf bag."

"Throw Wakefield in there, and they're unstoppable!" (This one is just too ridiculous for mockery).

"Randy Johnson? He's so intense on the mound! Oh wait, no he isn't. He looked practically catatonic as he walked off the field on Tuesday."

"Did you see that catch Melky made?! No? Me neither."

"And then you've got Bernie...being Bernie."

Harris got the first Sox hit of the year against Fruitbat tonight. Way to go Willie.

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