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Posts Tagged ‘Lenny Clarke’

Wake really needed this one.  He knew it, the team new it, we knew it.  But he ended up with a no-decision.  It was good and bad.  When he pitched well, he pitched really well.  The knuckleball was dancing and everything.  But when he pitched badly, he really pitched badly.  But that’s how it works.  Sometimes it moves, sometimes it doesn’t, and it fluctuates even within a game.  So you never know, really.  Compared to some of the outings he’s had in the past, this was excellent, but compared to the way he’s been pitching lately, you scratch your head and wonder where this came from.  He pitched eight innings but gave up five runs on ten hits.  He struck out three and didn’t walk anybody, but three of the runs he gave up were due entirely to the long ball.  So good and bad as always with Wake.

In theory, this complicates his All-Star fate.  If he won last night, it would’ve been a lock.  He would’ve already been packing his bags.  In practice, it might not be as bad.  For one thing, he didn’t actually lose.  We were tied, 5-5, through ten.  After Wakefield left, Delcarmen and Paps held the fort.  Then Ramon Ramirez allowed two runs in the top of the eleventh, and we only scored one in the bottom.  So the final was 7-6.  Ramirez took the loss, as he should.  And it’s not like the Mariners lit Wakefield up.  There was no slugfest, really.  So it wasn’t great but it could’ve been a whole lot worse.

And the rest of the team knew exactly how important this was and put up a fight until the bitter end.  Even if Felix Hernandez’s changeup alone is ninety miles per hour, which is just obscsene.  For some reason, it looked like every other ball was heading for the Fisk pole.  Drew went two for six with a solo homer in the seventh.  First pitch he saw in that at-bat and he went for it.  Boy, did he go for it.  A ninety-six mile-per-hour fastball and it ended up over center field.  Drew has made constructive contact on the first pitch twenty-seven times this year, and for those he’s batting .308 with three home runs.  Pedroia hit and scored.  Ortiz walked and scored.  Bay hit, walked, scored, and plated one for an RBI.  And he’s a United States citizen.  Congratulations! Great timing, too, with the Fourth of July.  Kotsay went two for five with a run, and he’s turning out to be quite the player.  The key is his versatility; he plays outfield, he plays first base, and he’s really maximizing his playing time and getting more hits.  He improves every time he’s out there.  Ellsbury hit and stole, as usual.  Green went two for two, plated two, and walked once.  And George Kottaras, who lately proves every time he plays that Theo Epstein was absolutely right to tap him for the job, went two for five.  He hit a solo home run in the eleventh inning.  He was responsible for that late-game run.  And you have to give him a lot of credit for that.

Sean Casey joined Don Orsillo in the booth today, which was great.  Casey has quite the personality.  Affable guy.  Talkative.  And then Lenny Clarke came and made it interesting, as always.  So it was very entertaining.  After having fluid removed and an injection put into his right hip, Mikey Lowell says he feels great.  And he’s got a sense of humor about it too, which is what you want to see from someone chomping at the bit to get back in the field:

I figure we took the junk out and put good stuff in so we had a good oil change.

Dice-K is headed to Florida on Monday to start a Spring Training-esque strengthening program, which pretty much officially affirms that it’s all the World Baseball Classic’s fault.  If he’d participated in Spring Training with everyone else, he wouldn’t be having these problems.  Looks like the construction on the Twins’ new home, Target Field, is coming along nicely.  It’s actually got natural grass.  And a draft of next year’s schedule sees the Red Sox playing the Twins in their home opener.  I’d hate to see them lose their first game at the new field, but hey, we can’t help being that good.

Happy Fourth of July! And to celebrate Independence Day, Brad Penny will take the mound against Garrett Olson.  Penny’s turned out to be one of the most consistent pitchers on our staff.  With consistently short outings.  Which is another reason to appreciate Wakefield’s eight innings of work last night, even if we did end up going into extras, which was also a good thing because it showed we weren’t ready to lose.  Anyway, because Penny’s outings are short, he needs all the run support he can get, and Olson will probably help us out with that.  Should be a good game.

AP Photo
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