Friday, July 20, 2007


In the first inning J.D. Drew came up with two on and two down. This is exactly the type of situation that the Red Sox have not been hitting in during their Streak of Suckitude. J. D. Drew to the rescue! Drew hits a line drive that juuuuust clears the top of the Green Monster in left. Hooray! 3-0, Boston!

Except, no!

Home plate umpire, Stinky McNugget* called it in play (i.e. not a homer) and, as Manny Ramirez was tagged out on the way home, declared the inning over. Terry Francona came out to argue the call, hoping that one of the umpires had actually seen the play and the tell-tale carom correctly.

The umps convened to discuss it. Either none of them had seen it or McNugget was so sure of his (incorrect) call that he over-ruled the other umps, because they didn't reverse the ruling (i.e. its not a homer). This meant the inning was over and instead of the three runs that the Red Sox had earned, the Sox had only one.

It would have been easy to fold at this point. Things weren't going the Sox way, and this was just another data point to add to the huge stack pointing in that direction. But, despite this calamitous development, the Red Sox and especially Josh Beckett managed to keep it together.

Beckett did give up a three run homer on a fastball Jim Thome crushed to straight away center field, but that was the extent of the damage. Beckett kept the score down by striking out ten in six innings of work. Hideki Okajima, Mike Timlin, and Joel Pineiro closed out the game.

Pineiro's appearance was possible thanks to Julio Lugo's grand slam homer, which took the score from 6-3 to 10-3. Yes. You read that right. Julio Lugo hit a grand slam homer. Hard to believe, huh? Seriously, he did. I swear. Still don't believe it?

Julio Lugo hit a grand slam homer.

How about now...? Yeah... me neither.

In any case, it happened. I saw it with my own eyes. Its right up there with having high tea with a sasquatch, coming face to face with a grizzly bear, slapping it in the face and having it run home whimpering, or enjoying a speech by George W. Bush. Its the type of massively improbable event that you'll tell your grandkids one day...

Grandpa: Jimmy, did I ever tell you about the time I saw Julio Lugo hit a grand slam homer?
Ralph: My name is Ralph, and yes, you did. Almost as many times as you told me about that one speech by President Bush.
Grandpa: Yeah, I don't know what it was that day, Jimmy...
Ralph: ...Ralph.
Grandpa: ...Ralph, but Dubya was actually making sense. Must have been all that cough medicine I'd drunk. Come to think of it, as I recall, he was wearing a purple hat and no pants...
Ralph: Mom! Grandpa's drooling again!


The Red Sox actually held a team meeting for ten minutes before the ballgame. Its good to hear that the team is concerned about their recent results, but in all likelihood the missed home run call will have a much larger baring on their season.

AL East: The Yankees got smizzity-smoked by Tampa, 14-4. Toronto got beat by Seattle. Baltimore's game is not finished as of this writing (they are currently leading 6-1 in the 6th). The Red Sox increase their lead back to 8.0 games over New York, 11.0 over Toronto, a lot over Baltimore (or a lot and a half if Baltimore loses), and even more over Tampa.

Tomorrow (Saturday): The Red Sox try to drag their win streak kicking and screaming to two games by winning game three of the four game series versus the Chicago White Sox. Kason Gabbard reprises his role as Cy Young while Jon Danks plays the part of the villainous Rekeesha the She-Sausage. Since the game is on national TV, game time will be 3:55pm EST.

Editor's Note: Actually Tim McClellan

UPDATE: While trying unsuccessfully to stretch a single into a double,
David Ortiz hurt his shoulder sliding into second base. Terry Francona says he may miss the game tomorrow. Check out the Globe for coverage. For now, the little bit of information they have is here.

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