Sunday, August 13, 2006

Live Look-In: Sox-Orioles

We're in the bottom of the 8th at Fenway on a sunny Sunday - Sox have an 11-7 lead, as Doug Mirabelli just hit a home run to straightaway center. That makes it three straight games with a homer for Mirabelli and I have to say, I love watching his home run trot. I can't even describe it. Youkilis just made the last out in the inning -- Manny's hitting streak is probably over at 27 as we head to the top of the 9th.

Hansen stays in for the 9th to try to seal the deal and the sweep. Yanks have already gone down to the Angels, 5-3, in the Bronx. The Angels have NY's number - for some reason, they're a matchup nightmare for Joe Torre's band of courageous, gutsy warriors. A fan just ran on the field, and though we can't watch on TV, was tackled pretty nicely by a Fenway security guard. Orioles have men on first and second with 1 out, and Francona just brought in Papelbon. Despite his recent troubles, Papelbon's ERA is a ridiculous 0.91.

Pap walks Corey Patterson, and now the Orioles have the bases loaded for... well, wouldn't you know... Kevin Millar. The Cowboy gets a chance to inflict some revenge on his former employers. He likes the fastball, and we know Papelbon likes throwing his. 1-1 count. Millar hits a grounder to short - a surefire double play ball just like old times - and it's booted by Cora. It's now 11-8 with the bases still juiced. Nick Markakis up, who's had a pretty good day. Tough break for the Sox. Full count on Markakis, and Papelbon whiffs him. Huge out! Now he's gotta deal with Brian Roberts. Pap's thrown 20 pitches in the 9th so far. 3-0 count now on Roberts, with Melvin Mora This, Mora That waiting on deck. And Papelbon walks in a run, making it 11-9. A struggle for the young closer right now, who can't seem to find the plate. He goes to another full count on Mora with his 28th pitch of the inning. The announcers just let us know that this is the most pitches Pap has thrown in back-to-back appearances all season long - not a good thing with the Tigers coming to town tomorrow night. Mora keeps fouling 'em off. The fans are standing - they want to go home happy. The sneer from Papelbon, the pitch, and it's a groundball to third - stopped nicely by Mike Lowell with a little pirouette, and he's out at first. Game over. Whew.

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