Friday, April 27, 2007

GAME TWENTY: Mighty Casey has...hit a grand slam?

Wily Mo Pena, who I still believe could have a very good future ahead of him and currently in his 11th season at age 25, has been the ultimate Three True Outcomes hitter so far this young season. It's either HOME RUN (or extra base hit), WALK (not that frequently) or STRIKE OUT (very, very frequently, in the midst of a .150 start), with a few token accidental singles thrown in for fun. He is a mighty, mighty man who could probably lift David Ortiz, and if necessary, break his back over his knee; we'll hope it never comes to this.

Until yesterday. 8th inning, three on, O's closer Chris Ray (who had a rough time against the Yankees a few series ago in giving up an entire ninth inning rally with two outs, including A-Rod's first walkoff of the year) on the mound, showing just how badly the Orioles wanted this game. Wily Mo's up because Jason Varitek was IBB'd to a vacant first base.

Fastball; Ray's best pitch, Wily Mo's favorite pitch. Straight ball, he hit very good, curve ball, bats are afraid. Is very bad to throw Wily Mo a fastball that catches the plate. (Insert more Major League quotes here.)

The bat and the ball collide in mid-air. BANG.

(Waiting for ball to land.)

(Still waiting.)

(Forget it. Grand slam. Sox take first lead of the game, and hold it.)

Beckett is 1/4 of the way to 20 wins, Boston's the best in the bigs, and the Yankees made Kei Igawa the majors' highest paid long reliever for now. When Jeff Karstens is taking your place in the rotation, you know things are going badly. Steinbrenner's gonna pull some old school Steinbrenner shit soon. Unearth the corpse of Billy Martin, stat. Shame the Yankees might line up Wang and Pettite and no one else, as today's rain might shorten this series to two games.

Reclusive millionaire Howard Phillip Hughes looked like a rookie pitcher yesterday. No real judgments worth making here. This is also the last time I will use that nickname on young Phil because I'm afraid I could become Chris Berman at any minute, and I don't want to be annoying and overweight even if I'd love to be overpaid.

One door to close: Gary Thorne= moron.

By the way, Willy Mo's brute strength could come in handy if the Red Sox ever take full vengeance for Bill "Spaceman" Lee. (Note: break Chien-Ming Wang's arm; taking out Hughes before he's shown anything is cruel, and possibly unnecessary.) We really do have to right the score for the original Rocket Man. At the same time, it's almost cool to imagine a time when baseball brawls got so big, you could intentionally wound your opponent. Manny should keep a shiv in one of his red dreadlocks.

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