Happy Birthday, America: Sox-Rays Gamer II

The U.S. is 230 years old today, quite impressive considering the odds the country faced at the time it was born, and the turbulence surrounding the failed government of the country’s first 20 years. Several things are synonymous with America, but baseball is right there at the top — maybe right behind apple pie. It is the national pasttime after all, born soon after the Revolution, professionally organized in the ashes of the Civil War and kept alive as a morale booster during World War I.

The Sox look to win on Independence Day for the first time since 2003, facing the Devil Rays again, and their chances look good because the guy on the mound’s name doesn’t rhyme with "Shlazmir." Can the Sox pull off their 15th win in 17 games? Can Alex Gonzalez maintain his league-high 12-game hitting streak? Will Curt Schilling go out and pitch a no-hitter just to spite Ozzie Guillen, who selected four less-deserving pitchers (Redman, Zito, Buehrle, Jenks) to the All-Star team?

Comments here for those with nothing better to do with your day off than to watch baseball and chat about it with strangers on the Internet.

45 comments… add one
  • I think Zito is more deserving that Schilling, fwiw.

    MPI July 4, 2006, 4:09 pm
  • BTW, accidentally added an “I” to my name there.

    MP July 4, 2006, 4:10 pm
  • Zito’s not having a bad year, but he’s only got a marginally better ERA and is worse in WHIP, K/BB and W-L (which of course is way too defense- and bullpen-reliant yet seems to be what is looked at most heavily in these types of discussions, so it’s worth mentioning)…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:18 pm
  • Off to a good start with Youk garnering the leadoff single…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:20 pm
  • We need a good showing to overlook yesterday’s disaster.

    Rob July 4, 2006, 4:22 pm
  • Three straight flyouts end it :-p

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:23 pm
  • I’m here
    I’m at work though, watching on my ESPN mobile phone and commenting here since I get no video at work haha
    and it looks like theystranded youk :(

    TheTree1918 July 4, 2006, 4:23 pm
  • Well, we ran up against a good pitcher… Not much to be said about that… Now if we get two-hit by Fossum today, I’ll be pissed…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:25 pm
  • The ESPN GameCast made my hart jump three straight times… All flyouts, unless they’re popups, look like potential home runs…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:26 pm
  • No-hitter’s gone, first-pitch double by Lugo. Could start the game off a little better than that, Curt…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:28 pm
  • Strikes out Crawford though… Baldelli crushes one to the deepest part of the park, long flyout advances Lugo to third…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:29 pm
  • Ks Huff to end it.

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:31 pm
  • Trot with the two-out single…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:38 pm
  • Kapler, filling in for Crisp in center, gets another single… 2/2 for Wade Bo– I mean, Alex Gonzalez…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:39 pm
  • Bah, AGon can;’t take advantage of the dropped foul and strikes out…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:42 pm
  • this always happens with fossum. we never seem to hit him hard.
    the GER / ITA is down to the wire and getting chippy. 0-0 in the 41’st

    sf rod July 4, 2006, 4:43 pm
  • Quick, 1-2-3 for Schill, with 2 Ks…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:49 pm
  • All-Star M-Lor walks, and Fossum is over 50 pitches and he’s not even through the third…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:54 pm
  • Papi really struggles against these Tampa lefties… He Ks…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 4:57 pm
  • youk has been striking out more often of late. wonder if JT make find his way back to the big leagues to spell him a bit. this is the most action he’s had in three years due to sitting on the big clubs bench between pawtucket trips. ortiz could spend some time at first in my estimation.

    sf rod July 4, 2006, 4:57 pm
  • Two on for Tek, who strikes out… He hurts us by being there… Fossum threw around Manny knowing he had a better shor in Tek… If Lowell or Trot or even Kapler had been there, Fossum might have had to actually throw a pitch in the strike zone…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 5:02 pm
  • Youk has been striking out all year long though… I’ve kept waiting for his K rate to slow down, but it doesn’t look like it has. I don’t know whether he’s actually been striking out even moe frequently of late, but it seems to be a function of being a bit more aggressive, being in the leadoff spot and all. I’ll trade the extra Ks for the 20 HR he’s projected to hit this year though…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 5:08 pm
  • Ahhh, Curt! Two-run homer, 2-0 Tampa… Between Schilling and Beckett, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sox are among the league leaders in HR allowed..

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 5:09 pm
  • That was a nice, fat, hanging pitch belt high right over the plate. Nice, Schilling. Just like Beckett. We better not drop a series to the damn Devil Rays.

    Tom sf July 4, 2006, 5:11 pm
  • Schilling hits Baldelli nbefore inducing the flyout… Didn’t see the pitch, but GameCast showed it very high and tight. Something intentional, perhaps?

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 5:15 pm
  • Now we need to actually hit Fossum like the slightly-above-average pitcher he is…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 5:16 pm
  • GABE! Home run cuts the deficit in half!

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 5:21 pm
  • Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…. Curt gives it right back. Home run to Gomes…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 5:26 pm
  • goooooooooooooooooooool. italy up 2-0 in the extra frame. two quick goals.

    sf rod July 4, 2006, 5:28 pm
  • I don’t understand why Varitek is hitting 5th again. It’s not like the Sox haven’t been hitting well, and Tek has continued to suck, so why has Tito decided we need an offensive black hole hitting behind Papi and Manny. If he wants to move Tek around, maybe he should bat 9th.
    BTW, for anyone who cares, Italy just scored TWICE in 2 minutes around 30 minutes into overtime. They are having mucho kisses, and the Germans are crying. Italy wins 2-0 and advances to the finals.

    Tom sf July 4, 2006, 5:30 pm
  • So the Italians have managed to do against a talented team what the Sox have been unable to do against a last-place team — score twice in rapid succession…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 5:38 pm
  • Fossum out with 100 pitches through five… Former Sock Chad Harville gives up singles to Manny and Tek… Let’s get the rally goin boys!

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 5:58 pm
  • GABE AGAIN! Single scores Tek, runners on second/third on the throw!

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 6:06 pm
  • Schilling with 7Ks through 6 and zero walks, just six hits. Once again, without the homers, his line would be amazing…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 6:16 pm
  • were those two foul pop up’s in the same place? f—.

    sf rod July 4, 2006, 6:20 pm
  • wow. papi strikes again.

    sf rod July 4, 2006, 6:21 pm
  • PAPI!!!! Ties it with the blast!!

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 6:21 pm
  • isn’t papi’s middle name americano or something? how fitting on our nations birthday. wasn’t a-rod confused on his nationality around the WBC experiment?

    sf rod July 4, 2006, 6:29 pm
  • Man, the top of our rotation gives up the long ball pretty often.

    Devine July 4, 2006, 6:32 pm
  • On a positive note…Cle 4…NYY 1

    Rob July 4, 2006, 6:39 pm
  • i hate Ty Wigginton like i hate vernon wells.

    sf rod July 4, 2006, 6:41 pm
  • Now a lead off double. We really have not been making this easy on ourselves.

    Rob July 4, 2006, 6:50 pm
  • Game over (practically). 8-3 Devil Rays. One out. Disastrous ending.

    Devine July 4, 2006, 6:58 pm
  • Yanks losing 7-1. This game went from bad to really bad fast. Timlin comes in and blows up. Amazing that we win 12 games in a row and then lose the first two to TB. Really says how bad the NL is and how decent our cellar teams in the AL are. Doesn’t help that we just implode though either.

    Rob July 4, 2006, 7:20 pm
  • Timlin really cost us the win here… Sox come back with 3 in the 9th thanks to Manny’s home run, but when Timlin comes on in the eighth nd gives up five, that’s hard to rally from… Even so, maybe we could have extended the rally with someone other than Tek batting fifth. Yet again, this lineup bites us…
    At any rate, what really cost us this game was Schilling’s continuing problems with home-un balls on the road and Timlin’s eighth-nning imlosion. Coulda won this game, didn’t. Thank goodness the Yanks are losing big…

    Paul SF July 4, 2006, 7:28 pm

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