Friday, July 31, 2009

Boston Red Sox Play Let's Make A Deal

This just in from the Boston Globe, with my thanks. More tomorrow. The much-needed lumber gets stronger...
"Shortly before the 4 p.m. trading deadline this afternoon, the Red Sox acquired switch-hitting catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez from the Cleveland Indians for a trio of pitchers -- righthander Justin Masterson and a pair of Single A prospects, lefthander Nick Hagadone and righty Bryan Price.
The Red Sox also swapped first basemen with the Atlanta Braves, sending Adam LaRoche -- who was acquired nine days ago from the Pirates -- to the organization he began his career with in exchange for smooth-fielding Casey Kotchman. Kotchman, 26, is a .272 career hitter with limited power. He has six home runs and 41 RBIs this season.
But the major news of the day was the acquisition of Martinez, 30, a lifetime .297 hitter in six-plus major league seasons.
With the Red Sox, the switch-hitting Martinez is expected to share time at catcher with Jason Varitek while also filling in at first base and designated hitter, giving manager Terry Francona numerous lineup options. The three-time All-Star has appeared in 52 games as a catcher and 47 games at first base this season.
Martinez, who will wear No. 41 with the Sox, is batting .284 with 15 home runs and 67 RBIs this season, though he has been slumping lately, batting .240 in June and .175 in July. His best season came in 2007, when he batted .301 with 23 homers and 114 RBIs, good for seventh in the American League MVP race.
The Red Sox, who lead the American League wild-card race but trail the Yankees by 2 1/2 games in the AL East, were clearly looking to acquire a big bat in the hours before the non-waiver deadline, and Martinez may not have been their first choice.
Martinez, who is regarded as an excellent teammate, is not a strong defensive catcher, but he can handle the position. He has not made an error in 299 total chances behind the plate this year. Martinez has a .992 fielding percentage at first base. He has thrown out 21.4 percent of attempted base stealers in his career and ranks seventh in the AL with a 4.24 catcher ERA since 2005.
Originally signed by the Indians as a non-drafted free agent in 1996, he has 103 home runs and 518 RBI in 821 games with Cleveland. He leads the majors with 153 doubles and 406 RBI as a catcher since the start of the 2004 campaign and ranks among that group in batting average (3d, .296), on-base percentage (4th, .369), slugging (4th, .466) homers (tied-4th, 82), runs (5th, 324) and walks (5th, 269)."

That's all for now, folks. See ya in the morning. GO SOX!!

A Papi-Fueled Red Sox Win But A Permanent Tarnish On His Reputation

Yesterday in a day game at Fenway Park, shortly after the shocking news about Big Papi David Ortiz and his alleged use of an unnamed banned substance, it was Papi to the rescue. He hit a three run tater in the seventh inning that catapulted Boston to a comeback 8-6 victory over the Oakland A's and a four game series split. By the second inning or so, the sell-out Fenway crowd knew something was amiss. The original New York Times report, which you can read in the post just below this one, was the kind of news that travels supersonically throughout all of Red Sox Nation and the baseball world.

Papi was always vocally against the use of performance inhancing drugs of any kind. Remember his words from last February 16? Here they are...

“I know that if I test positive for using any kind of substance, I know that I’m going to disrespect my family, the game, the fans, and everybody, and I don’t want to be facing that situation. So what would I do? I won’t use it . . . you test everybody three, four times a year and that’s about it. You do what you got to do. Yeah, whatever they say. Ban them for a whole year."

He lied to us. HE LIED TO US. Papi talked to the assembled media after the game he helped to win was finished, just hours ago. Here's what he had to say...

"Today I was informed by a reporter that I was on the 2003 list of MLB players to test positive for performance-enhancing substances. This happened right before our game, and the news blindsided me.
"I want to talk about this situation and I will as soon as I have more answers. In the meantime I want to let you know how I am approaching this situation. One, I have already contacted the Players Association to confirm if this report is true. I have just been told that the report is true. Based on the way I have lived my life, I am surprised to learn I tested positive.
"Two, I will find out what I tested positive for. And, three, based on whatever I learn, I will share this information with my club and the public. You know me -- I will not hide and I will not make excuses."

I believe he will hide nothing and "come clean." Let him find out all the details and then let his adoring public know. He has said even HE doesn't know what substance was found. He ventured a guess that it might have been a non-regulated energy drink from the Dominican Republic. POPPY COCK (should that be one word?). As long as he will be forthcoming to his millions of fans, members of Red Sox Nation who called him out for a "curtain call" after his three run blast at the Fens yesterday, that's OK. I hope he will not make up insane excuses such as an "unnamed" Yankee who plays third base did. I don't think he will. I don't want the Boston Red Sox to be known as the Boston 'Roid Sox. That'll never happen.

I linked this post's title to the Boston Globe Red Sox homepage. Everything you need to know about last night's game and all about Papi is right there. Click away!

Boy oh boy, I wish I did not have to write this post in the first place. I am deeply wounded in my heart, a very vulnerable place. As always, BE WELL. Thanks.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Hello on this Wednesday, only minutes before afternoon Red Sox baseball at Fenway Park. I came across this news blurb just now from the New York Times. It's hard to believe and more will be said.

"Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, the sluggers who propelled the Boston Red Sox to end an 86-year World Series championship drought and to capture another title three years later, WERE among the roughly 100 Major League Baseball players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the results.

Baseball first tested for steroids in 2003, and the results from that season were supposed to remain anonymous. The information about Ortiz emerged through interviews with multiple lawyers and others connected to the pending litigation. The lawyers spoke anonymously because the testing information is under seal by a court order. The lawyers did not identify which drugs were detected.

Unlike Ramirez, who recently served a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy, Ortiz had not previously been linked to performance-enhancing substances."

Oh my goodness. Will this spread throughout the sports world? Don't ask me. The Sox need a win this afternon. That's all I know.

Theo, HELP!!!

The Boston Red Sox lost yet another one to the last place Oakland Athletics by a score of 8-6. Starter Brad Penny was pounded in the first inning as the visitors scored five times. That first frame lasted 20 minutes and Penny threw 37 (!!) pitches. Boston could not come back after that despite Mikey Lowell's five runs batted in. They are 3-3 on this homestand against two last place mediocre teams. To me, it's a call out to GM Theo Epstein. He should get in touch with Toronto (again?) and offer them what they want to obtain the services of Roy Doc Halladay. He would be the third part of an almost invincible trio of monumentally good starting pitchers, joining Josh Beckett and this afternoon's starter, Jon Lester, at the top of the rotation.

It might take a combination of Westmoreland, Anderson, or Buchholz and maybe Daniel Bard or Casey Kelly but Halladay would kick start this team while giving them a pitcher capable of winning ball games and going eight or nine innings consistantly. Let's face it, John Smoltz ain't ready yet, Timmy Wakefield is 42 and needs to be treated with kid gloves and Brad Penny, as we all saw last night, has more ups and downs than a first class roller coaster. We might not see Matsuzaka at all in 2009. 4pm Friday is fast appoaching, Theo Epstein. Help us! TODAY!!

It's day baseball this afternoon at Fenway Park on a late July day that promises to be hot and brutally humid. If you're going to the Fens and sitting in the sun for part or most of the game, do not forget to infuse your body with plenty of water. The pitchers, who will be sweating too, will be Gonzalez and Lester. Look for a Sox win. They are now a pitiful 4-8 since the All Star break and 3 1/2 games in back of the pinstripers. ENOUGH ALREADY!

Click on the title of this post for the latest Sox news and I'd love to read any and all of your comments. I'll respond to every one of 'em, too. As always, BE WELL.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Three Run Ninth Inning Lead Evaporates For The Red Sox...Oakland 9 Boston 8

Wow, the Boston Red Sox were enjoying a three run lead with two outs and Papelbon pitching in the top of the ninth inning. Nine times out of ten, chalk this one up in the win column. Tuesday night at Fenway Park was not one of 'em, not by a long shot. Let's take it from the top. 7-4 Sox, ninth inning, Paps pitching. Paps walked Jack Cust to start the frame and then recorded two zippy outs. YES, but it was disaster time although none of the Fenway Faithful knew it...yet. Tommy Everidge slammed a double, his FIRST major league hit. The pitch was right over the plate but hey, give him credit, he hit the ball well. 7-5 Good Guys...still two outs. Now, here's where it gets tough for a Sox fan to take. Two ground ball singles were hit to Boston shortstop Nick Green and each resulting throw was like scattered buckshot from a shotgun, way off the mark. Each errant play resulted in a run and the A's, weak as they are, won the game in the eleventh inning. Green said this after the game...

“That first one was a play nobody makes, it was just not the right decision, I should have just held onto it,” Green said. “This is stuff I have to learn from so I don’t make the mistake again.”

That's what happens when a bullpen, especially the Boston bullpen, gives up SEVEN runs from the seventh to the eleventh innings. You's simple. Papelbon had a few words to say to the assembled media...

“It’s tough, what are you going to do,” said a slightly stunned-sounding and-looking Papelbon, who suffered his third blown save of the season. “Things like that happen, it is what it is, you have to move on. Walking the leadoff hitter, regardless of what the score is, is not what I was trying to do.”

It's turn the page time, unfortunately. Boston had a chance to gain a game on the pinstripers but instead remain 2 1/2 games behind them. Tonight, there's more hopeful Fenway magic. It'll be Penny versus Anderson. The Red Sox need a win to help forget about the Tuesday night bullpen collapse. That would be the best medicine out there. THE ONLY MEDICINE.

Thanks for stopping by on this Hump Day Wednesday. You can click on this post's title for more Sox news and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you...soon. Leave a comment if you'd like...I'll respond to every one.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Number 14...Our Jim Ed Rice

Yes, Jim Ed Rice joins the Red Sox immortals. Number 14 is in our hearts for all to see. FOREVER.

I'll have more tomorrow about our number 14 and Daisuke Matsuzaka's recent complaints blaming the Red Sox for his shoulder woes. WAH-WAH (idiot).

Thanks Jim Ed.

Perfect 10s...Boston 8 Oakland 3

7.0 8 3 3 1 10 0 30 103

That's Josh Beckett's pitching line for Monday night's Fenway Park game against the A's. HE IS UNDEFEATED IN HIS FIRST 10 STARTS AT THE FENS IN 2009. Not bad, Josh. And we can make it a pair of 10s as last night he struck out 10 A's batters to lead his team to a resounding 8-3 Boston victory. Beckett's curveball was simply amazing and he used both sides of the plate to baffle the Athletics. And newcomer Adam LaRoche, who manned first base last night with Mikey Lowell again sitting out, continued his torrid hitting with a pair a doubles. He is the new Fenway favorite, much like leftfielder Jason Bay was when he first arrived. Adam had a few words to say after the game...

“When you see this, and how this atmosphere gives you like a new life almost, it just really energizes you,’’ LaRoche said. “I kind of, in some ways, feel like a rookie again with the energy of these guys, the excitement. It’s fun to come to the field.’’

His infield mate Pedey Pedroia added this...

“It’s tough coming in a new place,’’ Dustin Pedroia said. “Just like Jason did, Adam’s swinging the bat well. He’s a great guy. He’s been great in the clubhouse. We’re happy to have him here.’’

Keep it going, Adam. You've been helping the team to put some much-needed crooked numbers on the scoreboard. That coupled with a dominating performance by the ace made for a comfortable Red Sox victory. And talking about Josh, here he is...

“We had a game plan and we stuck to it, and Tek deserves a lot of credit for that,” Beckett said. “I thought Tek and I did a really good job. I think each day is a new day for me,” Beckett said. “As far as starts go, just developing a routine and sticking to it helps me carry one start over to the next. You don’t have all that downtime to either dwell on what happened or let things go to your head.”

Hey Josh, keep doing what you've been doing and the Sox will be OK. To my Constant Readers, I thank you for stopping by and we'll leave it to Clay Buchholz to chalk another one up in the win column. I'd love to read your comments and if you click on this post's title, you'll be transported to the Sports Illustrated Red Sox page. POOF...just like that. As always, BE WELL. I'll see you...soon.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Smoltz Takes Another Beating. Boston Offense Still Sputtering...Orioles 6 Red Sox 2

John Smoltz tried and failed once again to hold an opposing team's hitters at bay and the Sox offense continued to be stymied by rookie pitchers. My goodness, it's happened SIX times in the past month. Boston has scored more than three runs in only two of the nine games since the All Star break...UNACCEPTABLE. First up is Smoltz. Hitters are waiting for him to throw a strike and they're not swinging at pitches out of the zone, especially his rising fastball that ends up high, just out of the zone. No chasing, no success. He said this after game's end...

“No matter what I say today, it’s not going to matter,’’ John Smoltz said, with a half sigh, half release of anger. “When you give up six runs, no matter what you say or feel like, it’s irrelevant when the results are the way they are. Me saying I had good stuff and I felt great is irrelevant. I’m a fighter, and I came over here because I know the expectation is high and right now my frustration is that it looks like I’m not delivering. That will change one way or the other, I can promise you that. I work at it pretty hard. I’m not a guy that has a ton of anger on the field or off the field, but I’m grinding.’’

Boston manager Terry Francona voiced his support of Smoltz...

“I’ve certainly been wrong before,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “I don’t think we’re wrong this time. It’s going to work. I really believe that. The results certainly haven’t been what we’ve wanted so far. I think he’s going to be just fine.’’

The Boston offense managed only two runs on six measley a rookie pitcher, who pitched into the eighth inning. I do not get it. This is what Jason Bay and Big Papi had to say after a frustrating Fenway afternoon of baseball..

“We have to give those pitchers credit because they’re doing their jobs,” left fielder Jason Bay said. “But at the same time, we’re a better hitting ballclub than this.”

“We’ve just got to keep playing,” designated hitter David Ortiz said. “There’s nothing you can do about it. We took a lot of good swings today and nothing happened.”

When a team, any team, averages 2.78 runs per game, good things will NOT follow in their footsteps. We all know that and I'm sure our Red Sox hitters are doing everything in their power to correct the problem(s). Until they do, it's tough for all of us. It really is.

Here are the pitching matchups for the four game Fenway Park series with the beatable Oakland A's...

7/27/2009 Oak 7:10 PM ET NESN Beckett (11-4) vs. Cahill (6-8)
7/28/2009 Oak 7:10 PM ET NESN Buchholz (1-1) vs. Mazzaro (2-7)
7/29/2009 Oak 7:10 PM ET NESN Penny (7-4) vs. Anderson (5-8)
7/30/2009 Oak 1:35 PM ET NESN Lester (9-7) vs. Gonzalez (2-2)

Have a great Monday as we plunge headlong into a new week, the last one of July. Summer is half over...already. You can click on this post's title for more Sox news and a full video of the Jim Ed Rice Hall of Fame induction speech. I know you'll enjoy it. Click on that title. I'll see ya...soon.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lester Pitching And Papi Power Fuel Another Red Sox Win...Jim Ed Rice To Be Inducted Into Hall Of Fame TODAY

A crooked number, what do you know about that! On the strength of a Big Papi first inning home run and a powerful 7 1/3 innings from nine game winner Jon Lester, the Boston Red Sox made it two in a row over the hapless Baltimore Orioles. It sure was great to see that early three run shot. Here's the man himself...

“Our pitching’s been doing good, so we need to do some damage,’’ said David Ortiz, whose three-run, first-inning homer took the pressure to be perfect away from Lester. “That’s the only way, producing. We need to produce for our pitching. That’s the only way you’re going to win games. We’re dealing with New York playing good now. So we’ve got to bring it.’’

So Boston gains a game in the standings and is now only 1 1/2 games behind the NY Yankees. Considering the way the pinstripers have been playing since the All Star break, that ain't bad at all. But the big news today is the 1:30pm EDT Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Our very own Jim Ed Rice will have his day in the sun and I'll be watching. Television coverage begins at 12:30pm EDT on the MLB channel, so you're going to need cable TV in order to see it. We receive the MLB channel on two different feeds, one standard and one high definition, so I'm all set. I hope you are, too.

Enjoy your Sunday, I know Jim Ed will. As always, be well. Don't forget to click on this post's title for the Boston Globe's Red Sox homepage which has complete coverage of last night's Sox game and today's baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, which will be moving and very rememorable. I can't wait. See ya...soon. Enjoy your Sunday. Your comments are always welcome.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Red Sox Break Their Winning Streak But Still Don't End Their Batting Woes...Boston 3 Baltimore 1

OK, OK, it's OK. The Boston Red Sox finally broke their five game skid with a light hitting 3-1 victory over the last place Baltimore Orioles. They did it with great pitching. Starter Brad Penny pitched his finest game in a Boston uniform and the bullpen took over in the seventh and put up goose eggs to end it. The team hasn't come out of their lumber slump YET but the great start by Penny was good enough. Here's what his catcher had to say...

“We have to find ways to win. We haven’t really gotten rolling offensively,” said Varitek. “We weren’t able to hit the ball all over the ballpark tonight, but we were still able to grind out a win.”

Brad Penny pitched well and his team scored enough runs to win the game...barely. Brad was able to go six and a third innings and allowed that one earned run on five hits, uncharacteristically walking nobody and whiffing five. Good job, Brad. The Boston 'pen took over from there and blanked the Birdies the rest of the way although closer Jonathon Papelbon made it interesting in the ninth. He loaded the bases on two singles and a walk but literally blew away the final two batters for the victory and his 25th save. Here's Red Sox manager Terry Francona talking about his starting pitcher of the day, Mr. Brad Penny...

“Tonight, as good as he felt, he didn’t get carried away with how good he felt and he still pitched,” said Francona of Penny. “And that’s a real good combination. He felt good about himself, the ball came out good, he was aggressive.”

As almost always, Tito nailed that reply. And tonight, there is more Fenway NIGHT baseball with Guthrie ready to face Lester. Let's try to START a winning streak to keep pace or overtake those white-hot pinstripers. Gametime is shortly after 7pm EDT on NESN, NESN HD and all the usual radio suspects. You can click on this post's title for more Sox stuff and your comments would be great. As always, BE WELL. I mean that!! GO SOX.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Will Fenway be Friendly? We'll Find Out

The Boston Red Sox are back at Fenway Park starting tonight at 7:10pm EDT. They'll be playing the Baltimore Orioles tonight, Saturday and Sunday and all of Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International hope they can find their hitting shoes. It's almost as if they're using a Wii controller in their hands instead of real lumber. But I KNOW they will start to bash the ball soon. JD Drew and Big Papi David Ortiz spoke about exactly that...

“I think you do press at a certain point. It’s frustrating for us,” Drew said. “For myself, it’s been one tough swing after another. The thing is you don’t want to press, but there comes a point when you get some pitches to hit and you hit them hard and get nothing to show for it . . .what can you do?”

Here's Big Papi...

“Gotta keep on playing, bro,” said David Ortiz. “Can’t give up now. It’s crazy, man, especially for a team as capable of hitting as this team. Things are not happening. That’s baseball.”

And here are the pitching matchups for the three game series with the Baltimore Orioles...

Friday...Penny (6-4) vs. Bergesen 7:10pm EDT
Saturday...Lester (8-7) vs. Guthrie (7-8) 7:10pm EDT
Sunday...Smoltz (1-3) vs. Hernandez (2-2) 1:35pm EDT

We need to sweep 'em but I'll take two out of three as a last resort, I guess. Have a great Friday and a terrific weekend. You can click on this post's title for a Jim Ed Rice quiz from the Boston Globe. He'll be inducted into the Hall Of Fame on Sunday and his number 14 will be retired at Fenway Park soon after.

As always, BE WELL. I'll see you soon. Let's hope the Sox put up many weekend crooked numbers on that great Fenway Park scoreboad. No goose eggs on the bottom half, PLEASE!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Red Sox Hitting Woes Continue And Continue And...Texas 3 Boston 1

Six base hits, two by Big Papi David Ortiz, two by Dustin Pedey Pedroia and one each from Jason Varitek and one, a home run, from Nick Green...that was it for the Boston Red Sox Wednesday night. The losing streak has climbed to five and they have lost five games in the standings to the hated pinstripers. The Sox right now are two games back in the AL East with an off day today. They jetted home last night and Pedey Pedroia had this to say about the six game road trip, a 1-5 one.

“We were terrible this road trip,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “I mean we stunk. There’s no way around it. It’s unacceptable. We’ve got to do a better job. We’re not putting anything together,” Pedroia lamented. “When a guy gets on, it’s with two outs. We can’t get that big hit.”

JD Drew had his own dismal assessment...

“For the team, I know it’s been frustrating. It’s just accumulated. A lot of guys haven’t gotten hits.”

And what say you, Tito Francona, who usually hits the nail on the head...

“Unfortunately, from where we stand, it’s the same story it’s been for the last few days,” manager Terry Francona said. “We’re just collectively not putting any runs on the board. We got a Nick Green solo homer, and that’s all we have to show. That’s a hard way to win."

Home cooking and Fenway Park baseball may be all that's needed to stop this July swoon. We have to hope so. Clay Buchholz, who will be in the starting rotation for 10 days or so until Timmy Wakefield's back feels better, was only able to go four innings and threw an incredibly high ninety pitches in that short span. He was doing it with only two pitches...for some reason he did not have a curveball. LITERALLY! I don't understand it but I understand this...Boston had better find their bats or go get some new ones. Geez!

Next up are three games with Oakland and four against the Orioles. Home cooking will never taste so good. I'll have the pitching matchups first thing in the morning. Oh, Julio Lugo is offically gone, traded to the Cardinals for Chris Duncan. May I say, umm, good riddance. There are more trades and deals to come before this festive month of July ends. You can click on the title of this post for more of the sordid details of this five game slide and as always, BE WELL.

We will put Howard Cronkite to rest today so I will close with this. And that's the way it is, Thursday, July 23, 2009. Rest in eternal peace, Mr. Cronkite. You will always be remembered by every one of us on this beautiful blue ball that we call the Earth, our home.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Red Sox Make A Deal...A Small One

This is from ESPN dot com, just now...

"The Boston Red Sox added one of the Pittsburgh Pirates' middle-of-the-order hitters for the second time in as many seasons, acquiring first baseman Adam LaRoche on Wednesday for two mid-level prospects. This deal has been on the table for three weeks, and after Boston lost its fourth straight Tuesday and declined to trade Clay Buchholz for Victor Martinez, the Red Sox took Adam LaRoche."

"The Red Sox will work LaRoche, Mike Lowell and David Ortiz in the 1B, DH and 3B spots, with Kevin Youkilis moving back and forth between first and third. Boston's team OPS has declined every month, and in the last four years, LaRoche's second-half OPS is .938."

It's a good thing the Sox did NOT trade tonight's starter, Clay Buchholz. Are there more trades to come before July 31st trading deadline? I'm sure of that. GO SOX...tonight. The lumber must awaken. Please.

Red Sox Skidding, Wakefield 15 day DL-ing, Buchholz Returning...Texas 4 Boston 2

First things first. Tuesday night in Arlington, the slumbering Rip Van Winkle-like Boston lumber mustered only five base hits and two runs. This a a teamwide batting slump that seems to come around at some point every single season. Josh Beckett was the starter and the loser, going the full eight innings and allowing four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out seven. That wasn't good enough, however, as the Red Sox offense continued its unscheduled vacation. The team is now in second place, one game behind the pinstripers. Big Papi, who had one of the Boston hits but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double, had this to say after the game...

“I ain’t got a lot to talk about tonight, guys,’’ J.D. Drew said. He walked away. David Ortiz had slightly more. “I ain’t got anything to say,’’ Ortiz said. “What am I going to say? We’ve got to hit,’’ said Ortiz, stating the obvious. “It happens. It’s not always going to be roses and flowers. We go through this every year. We’re going to be to the point that we’re going to get out of it.’’

Papi hit the nail on the head. Case closed, page turned. Now on to the sobering news about the soon to be 43 year old pitcher, Timmy Wakefield. He has been put on the 15 day DL and will be eligible to return to the rotation on August 2nd. It turns out his back unexpectedly tightened up on him on the team's flight to Toronto and after a simulated game up there, it simply didn't go away. Wakes said this to the assembled media who were anxious to hear him...

“I don’t know how it came on,’’ Wakefield said. “I felt the little twinge on Friday on my way to Toronto and then I had a lot of work to do that day, threw a simulated game, and I felt fine. Afterwards, it just tightened up on me. Trying to make it get better, I’m getting treatment every day. It just doesn’t seem to be going away right now. So the smart thing to do team-wise is DL me, make sure I’m healthy. Because if I go out there and try to pitch and only go two or three innings, I’m affecting everybody else in this clubhouse, and I don’t want to do that.’’

He's hurting, so this is a good move. Boston has an ace up their sleeve when they can have a guy like Clay Buchholz ready to step in and shine. He'll start tonight in Texas and try his mighty best to end this losing skid. Seriously, I don't know if he EVER will return to Pawtucket. It's just one of those feelings of mine with the trade deadline fast approaching (hint...Penny). Time will tell. The Sox desperately need a win tonight. Let's hope that happens.

Thanks for stopping in yet again and just click on this post's title for SI's summary of the latest Boston Red Sox news from all sources. As always, BE WELL. See ya.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Smoltz Smoked By 6th Inning Home Run Barrage...Texas 6 Boston 3

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are in a flat-footed tie with identical records of 55-37 after Boston lost for a third straight time, 6-3 to Texas. Starting pitcher John Smoltz was cruising until the sixth inning when he served up three taters and five runs. The balls were crushed and his demise was sudden, too sudden, brutally real. He ended up pitching five and two thirds innings and giving up six runs on nine hits. He whiffed five and walked three. The bullpen put up a string of goose eggs but it was far too late for the anemic Sox lumber. The thing that gets me was that everything was going SO well until that fateful sixth. Here's what his catcher had to say, optimistic words, to say the least...

“He’s still playing catch-up quite a bit,” catcher Jason Varitek said of Smoltz, “not only with his health, but with the game. I firmly believe that. Everybody’s in their stride in the middle of the season and he’s not. Those days are ahead of him. He’s still continuing to get his baseball feel and his baseball strength.”

And the Boston pitching coach contributed this...

“I think it’s just a matter of consistent execution in certain spots,” pitching coach John Farrell said. “The know-how is there. Through consistent repetition, executing a game plan is going to continue to play itself out. It’s just so happened tonight that the sixth inning took on a life of its own.”

A Frankenstein-like life, that's for sure, ugly and demented. It wasn't pretty to watch and the Sox MUST win tonight or they might lose their fragile handhold on a share of first place in the American League East. But that's baseball...smiles mixed with frowns and sadness or much like life itself. I think it'll get better. Boston is a deep and talented club.

It's up to the Boston ace, Josh Beckett, to end this losing streak. HE WILL. I just KNOW it. Until tomorrow, BE WELL. Click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox. Have a great Tuesday and thanks for stopping in.

I'll leave you with this thought. The Yankees might have their eyes and Steinbrenners' (Hal and Hankie) wallets on Roy "Doc" Halladay. We'll see. Yes, we will. Your comments would be great.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Red Sox Beaten By The Best...Toronto 3 Boston 1

Boston was whupped, whipped and beaten by the Jays Sunday afternoon up in Toronto for all the right reasons. The compliments from the Red Sox players and coaches about Toronto starting pitcher Roy Halladay were unanimously positive. Take a look at what manager Terry Francona had to say after the complete game effort...

“Wow,’’ Boston manager Terry Francona said. “Kind of stand by the statement I made the other day. I thought they should have traded him the other day, and to a National League team. You don’t tip your hat during a game because you want to beat him. But that was pretty good pitching.’’

Doc Halladay pounded all parts of the strike zone with a variety of pitches, baffling Boston, who managed one first inning run. But that was it...they were shut down from there. Finis. Caput. Bye bye Canada.

Jon Lester pitched well enough to win most games but two walks and a dinky double gave Doc all the runs he needed. It's turn the page time and on to Texas. GO SOX.

Here are the all important pitching matchups for the upcoming three game set. The games will start at 8:07pm EDT and the pitchers that will try to battle their team to a victory times three are...

Tuesday night...John Smoltz vs. Millwood
Wednesday night...Josh Beckett vs. Tommy Hunter
Thursday night...Tim Wakefield vs. Padilla

GO SOX. You can click on the title of this post for more Sox news and coverage. Thanks for being here, my Constant Readers. See you soon. That's a promise.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Was It Brad Penny Or A Wooden Nickel? Toronto Blue Jays 6 Boston Red Sox 2

Brad Penny, who had a streak of six straight games in which he allowed three runs or less broken, was all over the place in terms of pitch location and the Toronto Blue Jays took advantage of it to earn a 6-2 victory over the visiting Red Sox. Boston manager Terry "Tito" Fracona put it this way...

“I thought he left some pitches up, especially his breaking ball,’’ Francona said. “Fourth inning, he got to two outs, left a breaking ball up to Jose Bautista. It was a big hit in the game. One fastball to Adam Lind . . . but it just seemed like every time he left an offspeed pitch up, they hit it or they made him pay for it. We’re in a game where we’re not able to do much offensively. Had chances, had runners. Just couldn’t do much with it. When they spread it out, it made it a lot tougher for us.’’

Penny was only able to go six innings, allowing those six runs on eight hits, walking one and whiffing three. His start came on the heels of Clay Buchholz' stellar performance on Friday. I ask you this...who should be where? Food for thought. The Boston 'pen, in the form of Justin Masterson and Ramon Ramirez, was perfect for the last three frames but the Sox could do nothing against the Jays' starter, Marc Rzepcznski (say that three times fast) and the home team prevailed. But today's another day, a day in which the Good Guys will face one of the best hurlers in all of baseball. His name? Roy "Doc" Halladay. He knows how to pitch...I'm sure you all know. Hoping to match him will be our very own Jon Lester, who is also one of the best pitchers around. There are still swirling rumors that the Sox might try to obtain Halladay in a trade. I SAY because Clay Buchholz would have to be included in any kind of deal. I'd like to see him in the Red Sox starting rotation and Brad Penny demoted to the bullpen, if not traded in a deal of some sort. CLAY IS A KEEPER. NOW!

Enjoy the pitching matchup today. I'll also be keeping an eye on Tom Watson's quest to become the oldest player ever to win one of golf's majors. GO TOM! He has led every round. ABC and ABC HD will televise the final round of the British Open starting at 8am EDT with TNT and TNT HD kicking it off at 6am EDT.

Thanks for stopping in once again and click on this post's title for more on our Boston Red Sox. As always, BE WELL. And that's the way it is, Sunday, July 19th, 2009 (thanks Uncle Walter). See you...soon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Buchholz A One Game Wonder. Lugo Gonzo. CRONKITE DEAD 1916-2009...Boston 4 Toronto 1

Clay Buchholz shined in a spot start Friday night up in Toronto. For those of you who were able to see the game, you know this guy IS ready for primetime, but last night after the game he was trying to find a Saturday flight back to Pawtucket. He pitched five and two third innings, giving up that lone run on only four hits while striking out three and walking three. He threw 103 pitches. The bullpen took over with two outs in the sixth and put up goose eggs. Daniel Bard, who keeps getting better and better, Hideki Okajima and Jonathon Papelbon, who earned his 24th save, looked rested and ready, and it showed. Kevin Youkilis, whose first inning two run tater gave Buchholz all the runs he and the 'pen would need, said this after the game concluded...

“It was huge for Buchholz and good for us to get a ‘W’ here in the first game of a series,” said first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who drilled a two-run homer in the top of the first to provide Buchholz with some early run support. “It’s good to come back and get something positive done.”

Red Sox manager Tito Francona summed up the game perfectly...

“You come back sometimes from the All Star break and you’re a step slower,” said Terry Francona. “But we looked crisp and a lot of that was because Buck came out and pitched good. Plus, we had some timely hitting. We talked about this, and having Buck pitch, I think it worked out as well as we could have hoped.”

Clay mixed up his pitches deftly and took advantage of the Jays sluggers with a collection of fastballs, breaking balls and a DEVASTATING changeup. As he said, he took it one pitch at a time and by all means he should be in the Boston starting rotation. By year's end, he most likely will.

Theo Epstein ended the much overpaid Boston Red Sox career of Julio Lugo by designating him for reassignment. The club is willing to eat more than ten million dollars in unpaid salary and will be looking for a new everyday shortstop during the offseason, if not sooner. The error prone Lugo had this to say...

“When you see a good looking girl, you get married and sometimes things don’t work out,” Lugo said. “I gave it my best and unfortunately things didn’t work out. This is the best for both parties. I wanted it to work out but it didn’t. I’m not satisfied with the way it worked out,” said Lugo, explaining that the Red Sox “treated me good” during his time with the club. “I wanted to play. I wanted to play good. I wanted to play right here with the Red Sox."

Julio, you DIDN'T "play good." You made way too many unforced throwing errors. See ya later, alligator. You'll catch on with another team...don't worry.

Lastly, the country lost an American hero yesterday when Walter Cronkite, longtime CBS newsman and "the most trusted man in America," lost his battle with cerebral vascular disease. He was surrounded by his family when he passed to the anchor desk in the sky. He was 92. Walter, you WILL be missed.

I hope your weekend will be a terrific one. Simply click on this post's title for more Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. And that's the way it is, Saturday July 18, 2009.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Let's Play Ball!

The Boston Red Sox open the second "half" of the 2009 baseball season tonight up in Canada. This time around we will not miss Roy "Doc" Halladay. Here are the all-important pitching matchups...

Clay Buchholz vs. Ricky Romero (7-3, 3.00 ERA) tonight
Brad Penny (6-3, 4.71) vs. Brian Tallet (5-6, 4.95) Saturday
Jon Lester (8-6, 3.87) vs. Roy Halladay (10-3, 2.85) Sunday

That's right, you read correctly...Clay Buchholz will make the start for the Sox. Why? Maybe Boston is shopping him in a package to obtain Doc. Totonto is said to be willing to listen to offers, high value ones at that. And Buchholz pitched very well during his stay over in Pawtucket. He was 7-2 with a sparking ERA of 2.36. Bring it on, Clay! Here he is...

“It’s an opportunity that I’ve been waiting for all year,” said Buchholz. “It’s definitely good to get back up here and pitch in a big league park. Pitching in Triple A was not where I wanted to be, but the things that have gone on in this organization, with the pitching staff being one of the best in the league, it’s hard to get a spot start in here. But I’m real excited that I get to come out here and pitch and I thank the Red Sox for giving me an opportunity. I’m ready to go. I’ve prepared for it for a good while now. Maybe the first couple of pitches I’ll be excited,” he said. “But after that, that’s how these guys stay in the game forever - because they control their emotions and everything else. I’m sure the adrenaline will be running, but you have to learn how to learn how to deal with that. I’ve been here before and I’m not going to be nearly as amped as I was a couple of years ago.”

His manager, Terry Francona, said this...

“I think the hope is he is amped up and goes out and pitches great,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “I think he’ll be OK. It’s not like he had to go introduce himself. I think it’s a really good opportunity for him and the ballclub.”

I hope to see great things from Clay tonight at 7:07pm EDT. The Saturday and Sunday games will begin at 1:07pm EDT. I wish you all a great Friday and a wonderful weekend. Go Clay. GO SOX. And as always, BE WELL. Click on this post's title for more on the Sox. Your comments are always welcome and always answered. Thanks. See ya.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Baseball Season Resumes Tomorrow

Today, Thursday, is the last day of the All Star break. Where exactly do the Boston Red Sox stand with 75 games remaining in their 2009 season? Their record of 54-34 is the best in the American League, but with those 75 games left until postseason play, a closer look at the team is warranted.

The starting rotation is anchored by two of the best in baseball, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester. So far, so good. Tim Wakefield has been a revelation, but the big question is this...can he keep up this blistering pace for two and a half more months. Brad Penny hasn't pitched many more innings than he did last year. John Smoltz, who has yet to go more than five innings, is a work in progress but a guy I expect second half wonders from. I really do. Clay Buchholz, who will start Friday night in Toronto, is waiting in the wings. If the Sox deem it necessary, they will go to a 6 man rotation to give the starters more rest in the latter part of the season. Josh Beckett will NOT be happy about that...he wants the ball every fifth day, no ifs, ands or buts. He'll get over it IF, and that's a huge if, Boston decides to take that route. Will they go after Halladay? Nobody knows but the trade deadline is coming up soon.

I think the bullpen, which still has the lowest ERA of all of 'em in the American league, is fatigued. I'm fairly certain that the four days off will help immensely. With Bay, Drew, Jacoby and Rocco in the outfield, we're in good shape, but an injury of any kind could change everything. Let's hope that doesn't occur. The left side of the infield remains iffy, with shortstop play hit and miss and Mike Lowell just ready to return after his hip refurbishment. Pedey is the best at second and so is Youk at first, IF he can go back there.

My goodness, time flies. I'll be back later today or first thing in the morning with the conclusion to this rambling (not?) team diagnosis. Have a great Thursday as we continue our slide towards the weekend and as always, BE WELL. You can click on the title of this post for more Sox stuff and your comments are ALWAYS welcome. See ya.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2009 All Star Game...AL 4 NL 3. A Must See Ted Williams Special, Tonight On HBO And HBO HD

The 2009 American League All Stars defeated the National League All Star team yet again, securing the home field advantage for the upcoming World Series. That's not a big deal unless the series goes seven games, however. Here is the entire box score. By the way, Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield did not see action, which is fine with me. Jonathon Papelbon won the game and pitched a scoreless seventh inning with the help of a circus outfield catch by Carl Crawford. Here you go...

W: Papelbon (1-0) L: Bell (0-1) S: Rivera (1)

AL All-Stars
I. Suzuki, RF 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .333 .333 .333
E. Jackson, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
J. Morneau, 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
D. Jeter, SS 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .333 .000
J. Bartlett, SS 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
J. Mauer, C 3 1 1 1 2 0 0 .333 .333 .667
C. Granderson 1 1 1 0 3 0 0 1.000 1.000
M. Teixeira, 1B 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
V. Martinez,C 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 - 1.000 -
J. Bay, LF 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 .500 .500 .500
A. Jones, RF 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
J. Hamilton, CF 3 0 1 1 1 0 0 .333 .333 .333
F. Hernandes 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
J. Papelbon, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
K. Youkilis 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000
J. Nathan, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
M. Rivera, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
M. Young, 3B 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .333 .333 .333
B. Zobrist, PH-2B 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
A. Hill, 2B 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
B. Inge, 3B 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
R. Halladay, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
M. Buehrle, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
Z. Greinke, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
C. Crawford, PH-LF 3 0 1 0 1 0 1 .333 .333 .333
Totals 34 4 8 3 11 1 3 - - -

NL All-Stars
H. Ramirez, SS 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
T. Hoffman, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
A. Gonzalez, 1B 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 - 1.000 -
C. Utley, 2B 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
O. Hudson, PH-2B 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 .500 .500 .500
A. Pujols, 1B 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
F. Cordero, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
H. Bell, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
R. Howard, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
F. Rodriguez, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
R. Braun, RF-LF 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
J. Upton, PH-LF 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
R. Ibanez, LF 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
B. Hawpe, RF 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
D. Wright, 3B 2 1 1 0 1 0 1 .500 .500 .500
C. Billingsley, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
M. Tejada, SS 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
S. Victorino, CF 2 1 1 0 1 0 1 .500 .500 .500
J. Werth, CF 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
Y. Molina, C 2 1 1 1 1 0 0 .500 .500 .500
B. McCann, PH-C 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
T. Lincecum, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
P. Fielder, PH 1 0 1 1 2 0 0 1.000 1.000 2.000
R. Franklin, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
D. Haren, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - - -
R. Zimmerman, 3B 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Totals 32 3 5 2 6 1 5 - - -

2B: ALS 1, J. Mauer (1). NLS 1, P. Fielder (1).
3B: ALS 1, C. Granderson (1).

AL All-Stars
R. Halladay 2.0 4 3 2 0 0 0 10 35 12 - 23 9.00 .400
M. Buehrle 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 2 - 7 0.00 .000
Z. Greinke 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 10 2 - 8 0.00 .000
E. Jackson 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 4 0 - 4 0.00 .000
F. Hernandez 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 4 - 4 0.00 .000
J. Papelbon (W 1-0) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 10 3 - 7 0.00 .000
J. Nathan (Hld 1) 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 5 19 8 - 11 0.00 .250
M. Rivera (S 1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 13 5 - 8 0.00 .000

NL All-Stars
T. Lincecum 2.0 2 2 1 0 1 0 10 35 13 - 22 4.50 .222
R. Franklin 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 2 - 7 0.00 .000
D. Haren 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 12 5 - 7 0.00 .250
C. Billingsley 1.0 2 1 1 0 0 0 5 21 6 - 15 9.00 .400
T. Hoffman 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 0 - 5 0.00 .333
F. Cordero 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 4 - 5 0.00 .000
H. Bell (L 0-1) 1.0 2 1 1 1 1 0 6 21 8 - 13 9.00 .500
F. Rodriguez 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 6 1 - 5 0.00 .000

Errors: ALS 1, J. Hamilton (1). NLS 1, A. Pujols (1).
Double Plays: NLS 1 (Utley to Tejada to Pujols).
Stolen Bases: NLS 1, O. Hudson (1).
Hit by Pitch: ALS, D. Jeter by T. Lincecum.

Umpires: HP--DeMuth, 1B--Gorman, 2B--Kellogg, 3B--Hernandez, LF--Timmons, RF--Nauert.
Time: 2:31
Attendance - 46,760

If you are able to receive HBO and HBO HD, tune in at 9:30pm EDT tonight for a 74 minute look at the career and life of Ted Williams. You can click on the title of this post to be zapped to an article about that stunning documentary from the always reliable Boston Herald. Their only complaint was that the film could have been a little bit longer, but it's filled with historic footage and game highlights. I already have my HD DVR ready to go. DON'T MISS IT!

Have a great Hump Day Wednesday and as always, BE WELL. Please don't forget to click on this post's title for the Ted Williams documentary info. See ya...soon, if not before.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All Star Game Lineups...and more Halladay

It's that time of the year again...the All Star Break. The game coverage will begin at 8pm EDT and be televised on Fox and Fox HD. Here are the just announced starting lineups...

The National League's manager Charlie Manuel's National League starting lineup is...

1. Hanley Ramirez, SS
2. Chase Utley, 2B
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Ryan Braun, RF
5. Raul Ibanez, LF
6. David Wright, 3B
7. Shane Victorino, CF
8. Yadier Molina, C
9. Tim Lincecum, SP

The American League manager, Joe Maddon, announced these gifted players to start tonight...

1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Mark Teixeira, 1B
**5. Jason Bay, LF**
6. Josh Hamilton, CF
7. Evan Longoria, 3B
8. Aaron Hill, 2B
9. Roy Halladay, SP

Enjoy the festivities. Remember, the winning team will be the home team for the 2009 World Series, much to the delight and dismay of baseball fans the world over. I, for one, would rather see the home team advantage be awarded to the team with the best record in the regular season, but that's just one guy's opinion. What do you think? I'd love to hear from you.

The starting pitchers...Roy "Doc" Halladay of the (for now) Toronto Blue Jays for the American League versus Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants pitching for the National League. This should be a good one.

No matter what they say, the Toronto Blue Jays are interested in obtaining players in a trade for one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, Doc Halladay. Here's part of what the man himself had to say yesterday...

"I enjoy being in Toronto...where I've spent all of my career. As a player there's that will to win and do it in October. I would like that chance. I'm not saying it won't be Toronto. What's best for the organization ... but it has been tough because I enjoy Toronto so much. You'd like to be three games up and not have to deal with this," Halladay said.

As for being the American League starting pitcher, he said this...

"I'm obviously very honored. It's a special experience. I'm glad I wasn't the one deciding on who was gonna start. I don't know if it was because Tampa has beaten me five or six times in the last year. I'm extremely excited. A highlight moment in my career."

Did you catch that "three games up" comment? Rings a bell, doesn't it? Boston right now is three games up on the pinstipers. HMMM. I'll leave that one alone right now but remind you that Clay Buchholz will be pitching Friday night for the Red Sox IN Toronto. Subliminal in-person advertising by Theo and company?? My comments will have to wait.

That's it for this beautiful Tuesday, All Star game day. Enjoy everything and I'll see you soon. Click on the title of this post for more on the game and as always, BE WELL. Thanks.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Josh Beckett STUNS Royals...Boston 6 KC 0

The Kansas City Royals didn't stand a chance against a dominatingly effective Josh Beckett as the Boston Red Sox rolled to their third straight victory against that hapless and helpless club. Beckett pitched a complete game shutout, allowing only three hits, striking out seven and walking absolutely nobody. He improved his record to 11-3 and if the AL Cy Young award was given out now, he would be the winner, hands down. Since May 5th, he is 9-1 with a sparkling ERA of 2.13. Quite simply, he is our ace. Sox manager Terry Francona had these words to say...

"He attacked the strike zone with a fastball and it was very obvious they wanted to hit his fastball,” Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He worked ahead and stayed out of the middle. . . . He was so good today. That was fun to watch. I don’t think it’s a coincidence when Beckett and Jon Lester start getting deep in games, that makes us a better team,” Francona said. “Beckett’s ERA has gone from what it was the first month to now. He’s been the Beckett that we’ve come to appreciate. That’s a good guy to lean on.”

The man himself said this...

“I’m making pitches when I need to,” Beckett said after recording his second shutout in five outings. “To not give up runs to big league hitters, that’s what you have to do. You have to make pitches when you’re in those situations.”

It was a truly entertaining and fun game to watch and a future star who goes by the name of Aaron Bates was called up from Pawtucket to play first base. He responded by bashing three hits, including two doubles. He had a few words for the media after the last game before the All Star break concluded...

"We have an unbelievable minor league staff and they do a good job of preparing guys and picking players that can help out,” Bates said. “I was honored that they thought I could help out for a while. You just try and learn as much as you can and off the field stay out of everybody’s way. You try and be a sponge as much as possible. There are a lot of great players up here and you try and learn as much as possible.”

Sponge away, Aaron! In other Red Sox news, Mike Lowell will be activated within a week so we might not see Bates for a while and none other than Clay Buchholz has been named as Friday's starter against the Toronto Blue Jays up in Canada. Is he being showcased as part of a trade for Roy "Doc" Halladay? Who knows? I hope he'll do well. He had a great first half pitching for Pawtucket, going 7-2.

Tomorrow I'll have an overview of the first 88 games of the 2009 season. I like what I do you, I hope. Click on the title of this post for all the glowing news about Josh and as always, BE WELL. Enjoy your Monday. Thanks for popping in, my Constant Readers (thank you Stephen). See ya..

Sunday, July 12, 2009


54-34. That's the "first half" record for the first place Boston Red Sox heading into Tuesday's All Star game. They're 2 1/2 games ahead of the NY Yankees, who are still playing (and losing) on the left coast. Josh "Baseball" Beckett garnered his 12th victory to join Tim Wakefield in the double win column.

I'll have a complete wrap of the game first thing Monday morning. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Thanks.

Smoltz Sharp & Bard Stops The Bleeding...Boston 15 KC 9

It wasn't easy, not the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals. Once ahead by a lopsided score of 9-1, three relievers combined to give up seven runs to those light-hitting Royals. But Daniel Bard, who has a remarkable run of retiring twenty two consecutive batters and not allowing a single base runner in 6 1/3 innings, literally saved the day. They now lead the AL East by two full games after the pinstripers blew another one. Good for them (ha-ha). Boston extended their slim lead by scoring three runs in both the eighth and ninth innings, perserving the first win in a Red Sox uniform for John Smoltz. Smoltzie was able to go five innings and allowed only four hits and one run. He whiffed seven and walked one. If THIS is the Smoltz we'll see in the second half, we're in good shape. HOWEVER, the bullpen has been in a "slump," but I know the All Star break will bring them back to life. I really do. Jason Bay summed up Boston's recent outings...

“We haven’t played our best, and here we are with a decent record,’’ Bay said. “It hasn’t been easy in a lot of games, but we’re still winning them.’’

You know, he's exactly right. John Smoltz talked a little about Daniel Bard...

“I think the last five outings have been as good as anybody can be,’’ Smoltz said. “What he did today to a couple batters was really unfair. All they could do was walk back to the dugout and say I got beat on three great pitches.’

Thank you Daniel Bard. We'll be seeing you soon and for many seasons to come. This afternoon at Fenway Park, in what will be a sunny and delightful day, the Royals and the Sox tangle once again, with Boston trying to end the first half of the season with yet another series victory. It'll be Bruce Chen ready to face our ace, Josh Beckett.

Enjoy your Sunday on what promises to be a beautiful day here in Southern New England as everybody awaits the much anticipated arrival of native Connecticut corn and luscious tomatoes. YUM! The corn should be pickable this coming week and tomatoes arrive by mid-August.

Don't forget, you can click on this post's title for more Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. See you soon. I'd love to read and respond to some of your comments. Thanks.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jon Lester Has The KC Royals' Number...Boston 1 KC 0

Jon Lester is quite simply white hot, on fire in every way imaginable. In his last eight starts, no team has scored more than three runs off him and he has a 5-1 record with a ridiculous ERA of 1.48 and 69 strikeouts in only 54 innings. Wow! What a perfect complement to Josh Beckett. The best one-two punch in baseball? Quite possibly.

Last night at Fenway Park, he threw eight shutout innings without allowing a Royals runner to get anywhere near the plate in Boston's 1-0 win, a victory that gave them sole possesion of first place coupled with the Yankee loss. He routinely hit 97 MPH on his fastball and collected eight strikeouts. His manager, Terry Francona, had this to say about his young star...

“Lester’s grown into being that guy,” said manager Terry Francona. “I think we’ve always seen that. He understood what was going on there. There wasn’t going to be a whole lot of offense. Bannister was keeping us in knots.”

Here's Jon himself...

“I think my stuff is a lot better, velocity-wise, command-wise,” he said. “In May of last year, I was throwing 91-92, or maybe 93-94 if I got on it. Obviously this year I’m a little stronger and further away from treatment. It seems like the further and further I get, the better I feel.”

And who better to speak than the guy who does the catching and calls the pitches...

“He’s a boy growing into a man,” Varitek said. “He’s done that over the last few years. Just look at him. He’s a big boy. He’s a big freaking boy. After he had battled through what he had battled through three years ago, he’s gotten a lot stronger and grown into his frame.”

An eighth inning double by Dustin Pedroia and a possible game-saving catch and throw double play by Rocco Baldelli, who came in to play center after Jacoby Ellsbury was tossed from the game for arguing a close call at the plate, a call that the umpire blew, pure and simple, were essential parts of this sweet Red Sox victory. They are in sole possession of first place after Jaba the Yankee imploded last night. Boy, the pinstripers could utilize him much more effectively in their beleagured bullpen but I won't say anything. There are two games left before the much-needed All Star break and I think Boston will win 'em both. This afternoon it'll be Gil Meche facing John Smoltz, who will be fervently trying to avoid the big inning. One of these starts, he going to put it ALL together for six or seven innings and Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International will rejoice.

I hope every one of you has a wonderful weekend. You can click on the title of this post for more on the Boston Red Sox. I'll see you soon and as always, BE WELL.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Usually Punchless Royals Beat Up On Boston At Fenway Park By A Score Of 8-6

This one should have been easy. The Boston Red Sox jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the usually lumberless KC Royals but they could not hold the lead and ended up on the short end of an 8-6 tilt. Starter Brad Penny labored, throwing 97 pitches in only five innings while giving up three runs. With the score 5-3 Good Guys, the Sox bullpen took over in the sixth and Manny Delcarmen surrendered two more runs and, with the "help" of Justin Masterson, the score was 7-5 by the time Ramon Ramirez came in to pitch the seventh and two thirds of the eighth. He ALSO allowed a runner to touch the plate. Daniel Bard, throwing nasty strikes, finished the game untouched but the damage was done and the lead proved to be insurmountable. On the brighter side, Pedey Pedroia, who MIGHT miss the All Star game to be with his wife in her final months of a difficult pregnancy, had another three hit game and Kevin Youkilis smacked the ball solidly, good signs that he is emerging from his mini-funk. But the bullpen, who did not lose a single game between May 29th all the way to June 30th, has lost four of the last nine contests. The All Star break will do them a world of good. Jonathon Papelbon is the only member of the Boston 'pen that will be going to the game and that's just fine with me. Brad Penny had a few thoughts after his pitch-laden performance...

“My job as a starter is to go more than five innings,” said Penny, who allowed the Royals back into the game by surrendering three runs in the fourth. “We have a great bullpen. Nine times out of 10, it’s going to work out.”

Well, it didn't. Red Sox skipper Tito Francona talked about his usually reliable relief squad after the game...

“We go to Masterson and he made a real good pitch on Freel that falls,’’ said the manager. “That to me is a big pitch. He hit it in no man’s land. And then they get a homer. Let’s talk about the bullpen tonight,’ he said. “Our bullpen gave up some runs. When you look for four innings of relief, that can happen. I thought Bard was tremendous [three strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings]. Ramon Ramirez threw a lot of pitches. We’re trying to stay away from Paps until we feel like we’re going to get back into the game.’’

Sure, Tito, anything can and WILL happen in this fickle game we all know as baseball, the game we love. But there's always a tomorrow, at least in the middle of July. Tonight, shortly after 7pm EDT at that gem we call Fenway Park, it will be Brian Bannister facing Jon Lester. Lester, Smoltz and Beckett will be starting the last three games with the crowned ones before the All Star doesn't get much better than that. One of these nights, Smoltzie is going to put it all together and throw a wonderful seven innings. I know, I can see it in my head (among too many other things). Until then, I'm happy you were able to pop in and I want to remind you to simply click on the title of this very post for more Red Sox comings and goings.

As always, BE WELL! It's me and to you. I'll be seeing you. Oh, I'm looking forward to reading a few comments. Hasta manana, if not before.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Eleventh Heaven For Wakefield With Papi and Pedey Power...Boston 5 Oakland 4

Big Papi is back...there are no ifs, ands or buts about it. His three-run tater and seventh inning game winning RBI propelled the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 win over the visiting Oakland A's. It was another three game series conquest for the first place Red Sox. Papi said this after the game...

“It’s good. It puts you in a good mood for the second half. The second half is what matters for real,” Ortiz said. “I don’t see a team that played good in the first half, and in the second half that is not even close to being in the playoffs. The most important thing for this ballclub through the years I’ve been here is to look forward to winning games in the second half so we can go to the playoffs.”

Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima and Jonathon Papelbon took care of the last three innings after Wakefield's six but Paps labored yet again, throw thirty pitches and giving up a run. Boston manager Terry "Tito" Francona spoke about his closer after the game...

"The thing I've noticed a little bit is command," manager Terry Francona said. "A first-hitter walk in the ninth is not what you're looking for, and it's something you don't see too much. But he is one of the few guys, Mariano Rivera, there's a few — the really good ones — who can pitch out of innings when it's not perfect. It's been hard at times," Francona said. "This league is hard. I don't know that you go out every year and just have eight walks. But he's OK."

OK, but not the same overpowering Paps we know and love. Most likely he won't pitch tonight against the Kansas City Royals, but you never know. Here are the pitching matchups for the final four game series before the All Star break...

Luke Hochevar (4-3, 5.08) vs. Brad Penny (6-3, 4.67) tonight
Brian Bannister (6-6, 3.87) vs. Jon Lester (7-6, 4.16) Friday
Gil Meche (4-8, 4.14) vs. John Smoltz (0-2, 6.60) Saturday
Bruce Chen (0-3, 6.88) vs. Josh Beckett (10-3, 3.62) Sunday

That's a wrap for this gloomy (so far) Thursday. I hope you'll have a great day and I look forward to any and all of your comments. As always, BE WELL. I'll be back. Oh, click on the title for more Sox stuff.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Bay Powers And Beckett Pitches The Red Sox To Victory Over The A's...5-2 Boston

Jason Bay had a home run and two hits and Josh Beckett continued his savior role and pitch the Boston Red Sox to a 5-2 victory over the Oakland A's. In all, he was able to go a dominant 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits, walking two and whiffing four. He IS the Boston Red Sox ace. His manager and teammate Jason Varitek had this praise...

“He enjoys that responsibility,’’ Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He’s one of the best,’’ Francona said. “He’s fearless. Our guys look up to him. He’s really grown into it.’’

“He’s been our bulldog,’’ catcher Jason Varitek said. “When he’s healthy, he can really do harm with a baseball.’’

What say you, All Star Jason Bay...

"It must be tough for a pitcher, you have to wait five days for a chance, and you feel like you’ve got some gas left when they say you’re done. I think that’s what makes him - he has the stuff and the mentality. In the course of baseball, you have guys who have stuff and not the mentality and vice versa. He’s got the perfect amount of both of them.”

Oakland manager Bob Geren realized that the Red Sox were playing, especially pitching, at a different level last night.

“Beckett’s definitely one of the elite pitchers in the league and he was throwing up to 97 miles an hour with some movement,” said Geren. “He didn’t make too many mistakes, I guess, is the easiest way to put it. He really didn’t.”

Thanks Josh and keep it up. At the near-halfway part of the season, just before the All Star break, you're halfway to a 20 win season. Can you say Cy? We'll see but it's SO great to see you trot out to the mound every five days. See you on Sunday for the last game before the All Star break. Oh, there are rumors that the Toronto Blue Jays MIGHT be willing to trade their ace, "Doc" Halladay, but I'll leave that one alone...for a while.

Thanks again for stopping in and your comments are always welcome and always answered. Please click on this post's title for more Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. I mean that. See ya.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Nomar Returns to Fenway but Oakland's Anderson Blanks The Sox Completely...Oakland 6 Boston 0

After a rousing standing ovation in the second inning for Nomar Garciaparra by the Fenway Faithful, it was back to work time for John Smoltz and his teammates. That work did not go well for the righthander. He gave up four runs in the fourth inning and that was more than enough for A's starter Brett Anderson, who threw a complete game shutout, allowing only two hits, walking two and striking out nine. Granted, right now the Sox are playing with a depleted lineup but Anderson was spectacular. It was that fourth inning meltdown by Smoltz that effectively ended the game. He said this...

“I felt like I was going to keep putting zeroes up. I enjoy pitching here,” Smoltz said. “In the fourth inning, everything happened pretty fast. It was like ‘Wow, all right, that’s over with. Let’s try to keep it at one run. I felt in control, I threw the ball really well and didn’t have much to show for it tonight,” Smoltz said. “And as mad as I get, I have to make sure to realize that I’m making a lot of progress even though the results don’t look like that.”

The Fenway Park fans and those in the city of Boston showed some real class to Nomar considering his behavior before the club jettisoned him. Remember, he was the closest thing to a Fenway god during his playing times. A wet-eyed Garciaparra had this to say before his team's victory.

“I love ’em,’’ a teary Garciaparra said before the game when asked about Sox fans. “I don’t know how else to put it. I love the way they treated me the whole time I was here. It’s emotional. When I was gone - Boston fans are everywhere and I can’t tell you how many times I heard ‘Thank you. Appreciate everything you did.’ And I can’t tell them what that meant to me. I can’t believe the wonderful experiences that I’ve had here and it’s all because of them.’’

Thanks Nomar, thank you very much. You played your heart out here until, for some reason or reasons, you grew uncomfortable with the intense media scrutiny. It comes with the territory, however. Good luck to you in the future...I mean it. We all do.

Tonight, the Sox, one game ahead of the Yankess, will try to win a game with their ace Josh Beckett ready to go against Dallas Braden. May the force be with him...he was just so-so in his last start and when that happens, he usually bounces back with brilliance. Go Josh. GO SOX.

Have a wonderful Tuesday as the world's eyes will be focused on the California city of Los Angeles. All the major networks will have their lenses there, too, with coverage, complete coverage, starting at 1pm EDT of the Michael Jackson Memorial service, a service that will be filled with music. That was his life. Gone too soon. I'll be watching, on NBC HD.

Oh, I almost forgot, you can click on the title of this post for more Sox coverage, from everywhere. As always, BE WELL, be safe, be happy. I'll see you soon. That's a promise.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Eighth Inning Fireworks Ignite The Red Sox...Boston 8 Seattle 4

It took a while Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park but the Boston Red Sox caught two out lightning by scoring five runs on their way to an 8-4 victory over the visiting Seattle Mariners. Big Papi David Ortiz collected two hits and clobbered another home run and his teammates Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury chipped in with three hits and two hits respectively. It seems that Pedey is heating up. He said this after the game ended...

“To be honest with you, the best I’ve swung the bat all year was today,” he said. “It feels like I really haven’t felt good up there more than one time. I have a good at-bat, then the next one’s not so good. But that happens. I’m kind of a streaky hitter. When I get going, you guys have seen what happens. We’ll keep it rolling.”

And here's what leftfielder Jason Bay, like Pedey an All Star starter, had to say...

“For him to go out and have a game like that and then to see us score runs, that’s a coincidence, maybe. But maybe not,” said outfielder Jason Bay in praise of Pedroia’s table-setting abilities. “You get three hits a day from him, that’s going to put us in a pretty good spot. What he did last year was almost otherworldly. It seemed like three or four hits were the norm. He probably hasn’t played his best baseball yet, and that’s scary.”

Scare me, Pedey. Scare the heck out of me all season long. Jon Lester, the victim of a Pedroia error that led to three unearned runs, gave up only one earned run in 6 2/3 innings. Justin Masterson finished that frame and goose egged Seattle in the eighth and Okie finished them off in the ninth. A good day was guaranteed for all.

The Oakland A's, complete with old friend Nomar Garciapara, invade Fenway for a three game series that starts tonight. Here are the pitching matchups. They look darn good to me...

Brett Anderson (4-7, 5.45 ERA) vs. John Smoltz (0-1, 6.00) tonight
Dallas Braden (6-7, 3.13) vs. Josh Beckett (9-3, 3.67) Tuesday
Trevor Cahill (5-7, 4.55) vs. Tim Wakefield (10-3, 4.30) Wednesday

So there you go. All three Fenway Park games will begin shortly after 7:00pm EDT. Do you smell sweep? I hope so. GO SOX!

You can click on this post's title for more on the All Star selections and just about everything Red Sox. I'd love to read and respond to your comments, too. I had a close call with low blood sugar (Type 1 Diabetes) last night but my girlfriend saved the day by giving me Instant Glucose and calling 911. I owe it all to her and I'm still here to bother you with my morning words. EVERY MORNING. She's the best. You are, too.

Enjoy your Monday and as always, BE WELL.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

SIX Boston Red Sox Players WILL Play In The All Star Game...Sox Win 8-4

Hello on this Sunday afternoon. The Boston Red Sox again find themselves behind by a run against the Seattle Mariners (who??), but there is good news just announced. My thanks go to Boston dot com...

"Six Red Sox were named this afternoon to the 2009 American League All-Star team, including 17-year veteran Tim Wakefield for the first time.
Mark Teixeira beat out Kevin Youkilis at first base as a starter, but Youkilis made the game as a reserve. Dustin Pedroia edged Ian Kinsler for the spot at second base in a close vote. Jason Bay, as expected, will start in the outfield. Jonathan Papelbon and Josh Beckett made the game as well as reserves.
The fan voting at both first base and second base proved to be the most interesting to Red Sox fans. At first, the Yankees' Mark Teixeira came back to narrowly edge Youkilis in the voting. On June 30, just two days before the end of fan balloting, Youkilis (1,915,303) had pulled ahead of Teixeira (1,875,256) by 40,047 votes. The week before Teixeira led Youk by a margin of 35,632 votes. In the prior week's update, Youkilis held a slim lead over Teixeira (1,315 votes). The week before that, Youkilis trailed Teixeira by 1,209 votes.
At second base, reigning AL MVP Pedroia (2,163,270) had closed the gap significantly on the Rangers’ Ian Kinsler, trailing by just 6,830 votes of more than 2 million votes cast for each player. Pedroia narrowly edged out Kinsler in the final voting.\
Bay, who will make his first All-Star start for the American League after being named an NL starting outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates three years ago, ran away with the fan voting among AL outfielders. He'll be joined in St. Louis by Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki and Texas' Josh Hamilton.
But the story of the day might have been Wakefield, who made his first All-Star team in 17 seasons in the majors. Wakefield (10-3, 4.30 ERA, 53 strikeouts) was chosen as a reserve by Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, who will manage the AL team in St. Louis on July 14. In his last outing, Wakefield pitched eight innings against the Mariners Friday, yielding five runs on 10 hits en route to a no-decision.
Papelbon (20 saves, 1,75 ERA) will be making his fourth All-Star appearance in four years with the Red Sox, while Beckett will be making his second All-Star appearance since coming to Boston. Pedroia and Youkilis both made the team last season."

GO's close at 3:48pm EDT. BUT NOT ANY MORE! A big 7th inning puts the Good Guys up by a score of 8-4. It's a final score..SOX WIN!!!!!

Lou Gehrig's Farewell Speech...July 4th, 1939

The Boston Red Sox, seemingly lifeless, listless and lumberless, couldn't get the big hit and fell to the Seattle Mariners by a score of 3-2. Brad Penny again was the hard-luck loser and Boston will lose its first three game series in almost a month. Jon Lester will try to capture game three today at Fenway at 1:35pm EDT but right now I'd like to turn to an important piece of baseball history.

Yesterday, July 4th, 2009 marked the 70th anninversary of Lou Gehrig's farewell speech. He was suffering from ALS, now more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a debilitating malady, always fatal, that robs you of any muscle control and eventually will take away everything you need to live, your mind sound but your body worthless. May I suggest that you pick up a book about his life and his career. It's called THE LUCKIEST MAN. A better baseball book has NEVER been written...I know, I've read it twice. I cry every time, too. He spoke in front of a packed Yankee Stadium throng with many of his 1927 teammates tearfully watching. Here are his immortal words, words that will live forever, far longer than any of us...

"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this Earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I'm lucky. Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball's greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky.

When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift — that's something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies — that's something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter — that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body — it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed — that's the finest I know.

So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for."

Lou Gehrig passed away not long after that impassioned speech...far too soon in an awful and unimaginable way. Please go to Amazon dot com or your local bookstore and pick up a copy of THE LUCKIEST MAN. You will never forget it. That's a promise, from me to you.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend and as always, BE WELL.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Tim Wakefield Sets The Boston Red Sox Starting Pitching Apearance Record In A Losing Cause...Seattle 7 Boston 6

One foot, one darn foot and Nick Green's eighth inning wall-banging double would have carried OVER the Wall and into the seats, putting the Red Sox ahead by a run with Papelbon ready for the ninth instead of tying the game, a game that the Boston Red Sox were defeated by the Seattle Mariners by a score of 7-6 in eleven innings. Instead, Nick's double plated two and led to extra innings. IT ALMOST WENT OUT, but almost isn't good enough in baseball or anything. Nick said this after the game ended...

“I was hoping, but I hit it too high,” he said. “It stinks, because it would have been the ballgame. At least I hit it decent enough to tie the game.”

The Red Sox ended up losing in eleven innings when a Ramon Ramirez pitch, a changeup that he left up in the strike zone, was belted into the rightfield corner by Woodward. RR explained...

“I was trying to throw a changeup down and I left it up and he hit it,” Ramirez said. “That happens in this game. One mistake. Every time I go out there I give it 100 percent, but sometimes things happen.”

Tim Wakefield set the Boston Red Sox record by appearing in his 383rd start, more than any Sox pitcher in history. He also had a few words to say after his quest for his eleventh win went by the boards...

“It was a pretty special night for me tonight,’’ Wakefield said. “It means I’ve been here a long time and been given the opportunity and been blessed to be healthy for as long as I have,’’ Wakefield said. “The organization has been giving me the ball this long. And I’m very, very thankful for that.’’

We all love Timmy but he didn't have enough on this particular night. Coupled with the Yankees victory, what once was a five game lead in the AL East is down to two. Hey, don't worry, Boston is a solid team, top to bottom and in between. And there will be afternoon baseball at Fenway today when Brad Penny will face the lefty Garrett Olson. I think they'll win the next two and earn another series victory. Jon Lester, untouchable as of late, will toe the rubber on Sunday so it's up to Mr. Penny.

I want to wish every one of you a happy and healthy Fourth of July Independance Day holiday as our country celebrates another anniversary. Be safe and as always, BE WELL. Click on the title of this post for more details about last night and leave a comment if you can. I'll see you soon...that's a promise. Buckle up!

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Mariners Sail Into Town...Daisuke Going To Ft. Myers For Conditioning

First up on this sunny (finally) Friday morning, the Seattle Mariners, fresh off an 8-4 drubbing of CC Sabathia and his pinstriped teammates, invade Fenway Park for the three game holiday weekend. Tim Wakefield will start tonight for the BoSox in what will be his final appearance before the Major League NL and AL All Stars will be selected and announced. Right now he has a nifty record of 10-3 with an ERA of 4.18. If he can get that ERA down below 4.00, he stands as an easy pick. Timmy said this recently...

"It would be huge,” Wakefield said recently. “That would really be an honor, just to add to the list of things I've accomplished in my career,” Wakefield said.

His manager, Terry "Tito" Francona, gushed this...

“He’s one of the most consistent starters in the league,” manager Terry Francona said recently, “with an inconsistent pitch.”

In other Sox news, the ailing Daisuke Matsuzaka will travel to the Red Sox complex in Fort Myers, Florida to begin a shoulder stengthening and conditioning program. He and the team want him to be back later this summer even if Boston has a solid five man rotation. I really hope that in the future he will not ruin half of his season by pitching in the World Baseball Classic. Is that selfish of me? NO WAY. The Red Sox are paying him millions of dollars every year. The WBC should not be scheduled during MLB spring training in the first place. OK, enough about that. I went off on a tangent, I guess. Sometimes, it's easy.

The Red Sox are 12-3 in Wake's 15 starts, easily the best stat of the entire starting pitching roster so far. We wish him all the luck in the world tonight and every afternoon and night. If he can keep his dancing pitches fluttering THROUGH the strike zone, he will baffle the opposing hitters once again. GO TIMMY!!

Here are the pitching matchups for the weekend series against the left coast Mariners. Beware of Friday night's Seattle starter, Felix Hernandez. He's one tough cookie...

Hernandez (8-3) vs. Wakefield (10-3) Friday at 7:10pm EDT
Olson (3-2) vs. Penny (6-3) Saturday at 1:05pm EDT
Morrow (0-3) vs. Lester (7-6) Sunday at 1:35pm EDT

I want to wish every one of my Constant Readers a healthy and happy Fourth of July weekend. Have fun, safe fun and as always, BE WELL. Your comments are so welcome and I'll respond to each and every one of 'em. Click on the title of this post for more Sox stuff. Bye.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Warm...Boston 6 Baltimore 5

The Boston Red Sox earned revenge after their agonizing Tuesday night surprise defeat with a resounding comeback 6-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. They recovered from a 5-1 deficit with 4 runs in the ninth and the winning run in the 11th. The Sox, in the ninth, were down to their final out but a bases loaded base hit by Rocco Baldelli plated two and tied the game. Baldelli said this after the game...

“I was just looking for something out over the plate,” Baldelli said. “I got a fastball and it got in on me a little bit and I just tried to stay inside on it. They obviously are in their clubhouse thinking they should have won this game. It was nice to come back and get that one.”

In the 11th, Julio Lugo's base hit pushed the winning run across the plate and in the botton of that 11th frame, Jonathon Papelbon earned his 133rd save, most ever by a Red Sox pitcher, with a 1-2-3 inning. Hooray!!

Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona had this to say after the game...

“I guess, at the end of the year, they sort of seem like they even out - and they probably do. We needed to move on from the previous night and the easiest way to move on is to win.”

Daniel Bard, Ramon Ramirez, who earned the win and Paps put up beautiful goose eggs and the Sox were able to go back to Boston happy and contended, another series win under their belts. SWEET.

2008 AL MVP Pedey Pedroia had three words for Red Sox Nation and the Orioles...

“We’re even now,” said Pedroia, smiling.

Yes, we are, and the lead over the pinstripers stays at 2 1/2. It's a day off today before the Mariners sail into town. So enjoy your Thursday. I'll be watching the one hour Red Sox game recap on NESN HD this morning to relive the joy. You can click on this post's title for more and as always, BE WELL. See ya.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Tit For Tat...Boston 6 Baltimore 5

The Red Sox stage their own comeback win. I'll have a full wrap first thing in the morning.

It Ain't Over 'Till It's Over...Red Sox Bullpen Implosion Leads To A Baltimore 11-10 Win

A quick turn of the page is sorely needed as the Boston Red Sox, who had a nine to one lead after four full innings and a ten to one lead after six and a half, lost their Tuesday night game by a score of 11-10. A rain delay prevented an effective John Smoltz from pitching more than four innings. He was great and proved that he belongs in this rotation. That's the good news. The bad news? OK, here you go. The Orioles scored five runs in the seventh and five runs in the eighth and their bullpen made that slim 11-10 lead stand up for as long as it took to win the ballgame. Holy you-know-what! Boston manager Tito Francona and closer Jonathon Papelbon had these choice words after the demoralizing defeat...

“We just had no answer,” manager Terry Francona said of his bullpen. "We went through just about everybody. That was as bad as we’ve seen. We couldn’t get anybody out.”

“We pretty much imploded,” said Jonathan Papelbon. "I can’t think of any better word to use; it’s just what happened. We went through just about everybody. . . . That was as bad as we’ve seen. We couldn’t get anybody out.”

Justin Masterson was effective for two innings and then he just lost his cool, or his location. It only got worse as Okie, Saito and Papelbon completed the fiasco. It was the biggest comeback by the Orioles since 1956 and the worst stumble by Boston since a game against Toronto in 1989. That's why I opened this post with the words "turn the page."

There WILL be baseball this afternoon at Camden Yards as the Red Sox and the Orioles close out this three game series and finally end their road trip. Home cooking will never taste as good. It'll be Josh Beckett versus Brad Bergesen at 1:35pm EDT. A win will certainly erase the sour taste in the mouths of every Boston player and coach and we have the right guy on the mound to do it. GO SOX.

Click on the title of this post for more of the sordid Tuesday night Red Sox details and as always, BE WELL. Leave a comment if you can. I'll respond to each and every one. I'll be seeing you...really soon.