The Baseball Desert

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Extra Innings Extra

If you were looking for proof that there is a god - in baseball, at least - then you need look no further than today's game at Fenway.

Exhibit A: Sixth inning, two outs, Sox down by four and Manny - hitless on the day and with his 26-game hitting streak on the line - at the plate. Instead of going after a pitch to try to extend the streak, he battles Chris Britton over 11 pitches to work a walk, which sets up Wily Mo's two-run double and then gives Mrabelli the chance to tie the game with his two-run home run.

Exhibit B: One out, top of the ninth. Brandon Fahy tries to stretch a double into a triple and becomes the victim of Manny's seventh outfield assist of the season. Instead of a man on third with one out, the Orioles suddenly have two out with no-one on. Cue extra innings.

Exhbit C: Bottom of the tenth. Bruce Chen walks the first two hitters he faces, which brngs up Manny for an unexpected fifth at-bat. Manny takes a called strike and then pokes the next pitch into left field, where it's bobbled by Brandon Fahy. Streak extended, ballgame over. Baseball gods smile and take a bow.

The only way that the afternoon could have ended better would have been if Fahy had fielded the ball cleanly to hold Kapler at third and then after two outs Wily Mo had singled home the winning run to complete the cycle, but even I am not foolish enough to ask the gods for that kind of ending. Not yet, anyway - we need to save some good karma for next week's series against the Yankees...