Saturday, July 31, 2010

Do The Red Sox Always Lose (When They Wear Those Red Uniforms) ?

Jon Lester and Mike Cameron had tough nights and the makeshift Detroit Tigers, despite a ninth inning grand slam into the right field corner swatted by David Ortiz, defeated the Boston Red Sox by a score of 6-5. After a tremendous start five days ago against the Seattle Mariners, last night it was all or nothing at all for Lester. He collected seven strikeouts but allowed eleven (!!) base hits. That's what I said, all or nothing. We need more of the "all" and less of the "nothing." Here's the man himself with a good wrap up of his evening...

“I just didn’t execute pitches, Lineups don’t matter if you go out there and execute pitches, and I just flat-out didn’t do that tonight. It’s one of those nights, and you have them. With 30-some-odd starts a year, you are going to have some that don’t feel good. Physically I’m fine, but there was no rhythm and no balance and no execution. I go from one start where I probably had the best stuff I ever had in my life to nothing. It’s one of those nights. Turn the page and move on and try to do better in five days.”

Just about anything would be better than yesterday's BLAH start for the talented Boston lefty. He has so much left in his arm and body to help propel Boston into the 2010 playoffs. By the way, only one slim game separates the first place NY Yankees and the second place Tampa Bay Rays. It should be an exciting August and September of baseball as these two clubs (and the Red Sox?) duke it out. I don't think the Boston offense can stand the test of time, not in the AL East, not this year. Here's hoping I'm wrong.

Today at 4:10pm EDT on Fox and Fox HD, Max Sherzer will take on Daisuke Matsuzaka in a nationally televised game. When Daisuke has his control, he a tough opponent. He gets in trouble when he tries to paint the black, being too cautious in his approach to the strike zone. Pound the zone, Dice K. Every game is vital, do or die, win at all costs, so JUST DO IT!

Click on this post's title for more from Red Sox dot com, including highlights. Have a terrific Saturday and a heck of a weekend and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for popping in.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Home Cooking, The Tigers & The Trade Deadline

Well, it's Friday, July 30th and the trade deadline is coming up in less than two days. Everyone knows that the Boston Red Sox need bullpen help but this year, help will be coming from within as well as without. Pedey Pedroia is about a week away, Jason Varitek will be available roughly ten days later and Ellsbury will be back within the week, too. Already back are pitchers Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz. No bullpen help is waiting in the wings, though, but if needed, Theo will fill that void. Here's Big Papi David Ortiz...

“We’re not too far away from having those guys back and going back to what we were in the beginning."

Here's the Boston skipper, Terry Francona, on the upcoming deadline...

“I don’t think about it. We spend so much time and get consumed with what we’re supposed to get consumed with, trying to win. The stuff about the trade deadline, I haven’t given it much thought because it doesn’t help. I know Theo is out there always doing what he thinks is in our best interest. I trust that. We’re just trying to do our part.’’

Keep it going, Tito and Team Tito. Here are the pitching matchups for the three game set with Detroit at Fenway Park. The Tigers have not been playing well on the road and they should be ripe for the picking but I don't want to jinx the home team...

7/30**Friday**Armando Galarrega vs. Jon Lester
7/31**Saturday**Max Scherzer vs.Daisuke Matsuzaka
8/1**Sunday**Justin Verlander vs. Clay Buchholz

Enjoy tonight's game, click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox and as always, BE WELL. I thank you for stopping in once again. See ya...GO SOX!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Red Sox Put Holes In LA's Halos

The Boston Red Sox, playing the last game of their left coast road trip, rode to a win on the strength of a grand slam clubbed by Marco Scutaro in the eighth inning. The final score was 7-3 Boston and the jet ride back to Boston was reported as a joyous one. Why not? In his second start since returning from back woes, Josh Beckett was able to go seven full, giving up three earned runs on five hits, walking one and whiffing five. Delcarmen and Ramirez took care of the eighth and ninth, respectively. Boston manager Tito Francona had some words of praise for his ace right-hander...

“He continues to build arm strength. It’s very encouraging.’’

And here's YOUK...

“It’s all about the pitching. If we keep pitching well, we’ve got a chance. We’ll score enough runs. It was nice to finish here with a sweep against a good team. It’s going to be a wild ride, hopefully.’’

Scutaro's grand slam in the eighth inning put "the icing on the cake" just when it was needed most. They are staying within striking range in the AL East, always poised to take over Tampa Bay's position and squirm their way to October play, the best play of all. It's cooler with a hint of autumn-like air filtering through the trees here in the northeast and that suits me just fine, thank you. My goodness, it's my favorite time of the year, with baseball or without. I like it better with, however.

The team is home after a late night arrival yesterday at Logan Airport in Boston. Thankfully they have the day and night off today before they begin a three game set with the Detroit Tigers. I'll have the complete pitching match-ups in tomorrow morning's post.

Have a great Thursday, click on this post's title for more Red Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. I mean it. I'll see you soon, my friends. GO SOX.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Home, Home On The Road...SOX WIN But NESN's Ratings Fall ThroughThe Roof!

Boston Red Sox starter John Lackey looked like an eighty million dollar pitcher Tuesday night at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California. He led Boston to a 4-2 victory with a little help from his friends, Danny Bard and Jonathon Papelbon, who comprise the trustworthy part of the Red Sox bullpen. Lackey was able to pitch into the eighth inning, 7 1/3 frames to be exact, giving up two runs on seven hits, striking out four and walking only one. Bard finished the eighth and Papelbon made it official by hurling a goose- egged ninth. The final score of Lackey's tenth victory was 4-2 Good Guys. Boston manager Terry "Tito" Francona had this to say after Lackey's stellar outing...

“He was tremendous. He pitched great from the start until when he was done. I’m sure he was amped up and excited to pitch here. He has a lot left in the tank.’’

His catcher, Victor Marinez, who had the best "seat" in the house, uttered these choice words...

“This team is fighting. The pitching is making a difference.’’

That it is, VMart. I'd be very surprised if they don't overtake the Tampa Bay Rays and qualify for the playoffs via the wild card route. Frankly, I'd be shocked. It doesn't matter HOW you qualify for October play, just GET there!

Jed Lowrie (remember him?) started at second base and had a two hit night. Until Dustin Pedroia is healthy enough to return, it's great to see Jed manning part of the right side of the infield. I'd be very surprised if they don't overtake the Tampa Bay Rays and qualify for the playoffs via the wild car route. It doesn't matter HOW you qualify for October play, just GET there! They will.

This afternoon at 3:30pm EDT it'll be Josh Beckett versus Joel Pineiro in the series closer. I don't know why but most of the time it seems that the Red Sox have the Angels' number. I hope I didn't just jinx 'em. The Sox are five games behind the Rays in the wild card race and eight behind the pinstripers. They can do it, that's for sure.

In other Red Sox news, the Boston Herald has reported that NESN, the Red Sox cable television network, has suffered a drastic ratings drop. Whether it was the team's slow start or the spate of injuries they have suffered, that's NOT what's important. What is is this. A 36% drop from this time last year is a cause for concern. The New England Sports Network will not die but they're suffering savagely.

“It’s a tough season for NESN and they absolutely are going to feel it. There are going to be packages where people are getting guaranteed on ratings and audiences and if it’s not coming through then NESN’s going to have to find a way to make up those ratings - no question. . . . There’s money on the table.”

Ratings equal money. Remember that. There's a simple solution to NESN's immediate ratings plummet. Boston must win and extend their season. Easier said than done but far from impossible. I can see it now.

Enjoy this afternoon's Angels/Red Sox baseball game and click on the title of this post for more Red Sox newsd. Count on me and as always, BE WELL. See ya.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Papi's Pop, Buchholz' Arm Carry the Boston Red Sox To A Much Needed Win

Monday night in LA/Anaheim, the Boston Red Sox desperately needed a win. The Rays, 5 games in front of the Red Sox in the wild card race, won and they did it on the strength of a NO-HITTER by Matt Garza. Good for him and them. After a shaky first inning, Clay Buchholz allowed only one run in his seven innings. Hey, he was dominant! He only gave up five base hits and at one point retired 11 straight Halo batters. He had this to say after his seven inning beauty...

“In the third inning, I thought it would be another long day for the bullpen,” Buchholz said. “Fortunately, I was able to throw a couple changeups, just get the feel for it. I think the changeup brought the curve into the mix more. The fastball was good enough on both sides of the plate. The cutter was there, too.”

Big Papi David Ortiz gave his team all the power they needed, clubbing two taters (George Scott's descriptive term for a home run. How many of you remember Scottie?). Here's our resurgent Papi, just after last night's one-sided battle...

"Like I said the other day, man, you have to try to produce for our pitching,” Ortiz said. “Our pitching has been awesome lately. We just haven’t been able to score runs for them.”

Ya got that right, Papi! Late tonight, Lackey and Weaver will mash heads from the mound one-on-one. I hope the Red Sox runs keep coming and coming and...oh well, that's enough of that. I could keep going but there wouldn't be many of you still reading if I did.

Have a great Tuesday. I have to make this post a short one but if you'd like, simply click on this post's title for more Red Sox goodies. I appreciate every one of you and as always, BE WELL.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Okie Erupts In The Eighth Inning...The Red Sox Lose Again

The Boston Red Sox will not win anything with their bullpen as it stands right now. They're not standing, I'd say it's more like they're kneeling, faces eating dirt (as they should). You should read an article titled "Sox Season Statistical Anomaly Due to Poor Situational Play." It's fascinating stuff. Simply click on this post's title.

OK, I guess I have to discuss the eighth inning. Okajima relieved Bard with a man on first and nobody out. The old Okie is not the new Okie, not by a long shot. He started out giving up a single to Justin Smoak. Men were on first and second and a pivotal play was about to be. Casey Kotchman bunted to the third base side. Okajima fielded the ball cleanly and had PLENTY of time to throw the ball to Adrian Beltre to get the best out available. But nooooo. Hideki looked twice at third while Beltre pleaded with him to just THROW IT! Nope, he lobbed the ball to first and the runner was safe. Here's our third baseman...

“I was yelling for it,’’ Beltre said, adding that Okajima had enough time to make the play at third. “I don’t know why he didn’t throw it. Maybe he didn’t have a good grip or he thought he didn’t have a chance.’’

And here's the Red Sox skipper, Tito Francona...

“He looked to third, looked like he had time. Beltre got back, and it started out looking good. He didn’t make the throw to third, and we always give him the option: If you’re not sure, get an out. Then from there, I don’t know if he didn’t have a handle. It didn’t look like there was a lot of urgency. They’re trying to give you an out, and you don’t take it, a lot of times good things
don’t happen after that.’’

Even Okie's catcher had his say...

“It was kind of the bunt we were looking for. Oki fielded the ball. I thought we had a play at third base. We’ve got to get an out there, wherever it’s at, and we didn’t do it. It ended up costing us.’’

You know what it come comes down to? YES, YOU DO! Hitting. Boston is saddled with balsam wood bats.Those are the kind of lightweight bats that the very mortal TV Superman broke over his head. The Three Stooges and just about everybody, too, back in the day, used this feather-weight type of wood. Now it's light foam. So what, let's beat the Angels three straight. And then, soon, in a magic land far, far away, Pedey, VMart and Varitek will return. Until then, keep your fingers crossed. GO SOX and don't forget to click on that title. That you for stopping in.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

From Perfection To Dejection...Red Sox Lose...VMart To Be Activated

Jon Lester was perfect through five plus innings. His offerings were nastily unhittable. Jeremy Hermida was stationed in left field and he had this to say...

"I've never seen anybody that dominant. Nobody was getting a good swing against him. I said to John Lackey on the bench that I had never seen anything like that and he agreed."

Of the first 16 batters who came to the plate for Seattle, 10 went down on strikes. When Jon is on, he's the best pitcher in all of MLB. Here's Boston manager Terry Francona...

"That was as good a stuff as we've seen all season," Terry Francona said.

As I was watching, my mouth was open in amazement. But it all came apart with two outs in the sixth inning and the Good Guys up by a score of 1-0. Eric Patterson, who was playing center, was under a fly ball but it popped out of his glove. Man on base and Michael Saunders at the plate. BOOM, a two run tater and the Mariners were off to the races. It went downhill from there with Seattle scoring multiple runs in the eighth off Lester, who was still in there. My goodness Tito, take him out after seven and make up that one run difference. Instead, after eight it was 5-1 and that was the final score. Boston never scored any more runs but a 2-1 deficit is much more manageable than a four run one. The Red Sox can't afford to lose many more of these types of games. ANY TYPE OF GAMES. My goodness!

I have some good news to share. You might have heard it already but so what. It bears repeating. Victor Martinez will return to the Red Sox lineup soon, very soon. We need his bat in there most of all. He said this yesterday after catching Clay Buchholz' side session...

“I feel good. It was a good test, catching Buchholz’s session. The only thing I can say is I’m pretty close. So we’ll see how it goes today. It’s not fun at all when you’re used to playing every day and then watching your teammates playing so hard on the field. Just watching — it’s not fun at all.’’

VMart, it'll be great to see you back at and behind the plate. VMart is just one of the very missed Boston players out with injuries. Buchholz and Beckett are back...more to come. We'll see if Theo Epstein does something to bolster the bullpen before the July 31st trading deadline. The Detroit Tigers are said to be interested in Mike Lowell to fill their 4-6 week void at third base. We need bullpen help. My fingers are crossed.

Today in Seattle, Matsuzaka and Fister will face off at 4:10pm EDT in game four of this four game series. GO SOX. For all the latest details about last night's frustrating loss, simply click on the title of this post. Have a great Sunday and as always and forever, BE WELL. Thanks for popping in.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Beckett Great In Return, Red Sox Win...A "Pedey Footnote"

The Boston Herald's Tony Massorotti posed this question yesterday regarding his spate of mid-season injuries...

"So what does all of this mean? It means Beckett’s legacy in Boston is now at stake. The brilliance of 2007 never will be forgotten – nor should it be – but Beckett’s bouts with injuries and ineffectiveness have counterbalanced his achievements. The Red Sox are relying on him again now."

Hello and good morning to you. In my opinion, Josh Beckett's Boston legacy is very intact after his performance last night in Boston's 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners (why do I want to say Pilots?). In his first start since injuring his back a long, long time ago, he was able to go 5 2/3 innings and gave up only one run on five hits, walking three and whiffing five. His control was a little "off" but that's only a natural side effect caused by a player's extended absence. He should get better with each and every start at the perfect time for Boston. They're in third place in the AL East and every game counts as much as ever. The bullpen in the form of Atchison, Bard and Papelbon put up goose eggs in the last 3 1/3 innings to secure the win. Bill Hall hit the go-ahead home run and Boston won its second straight game. Today, Lester will face Pauley as the Red Sox try for their third consecutive triumph. May the force be with them.

In other Red Sox news, Dustin Pedroia will tentatively return August 6-9 for a series with the NY Yankees. To tell you the truth, that's much sooner than I had expected. With the team's permission, he will remove his protective boot about a weeks early. I hope it's a good idea. Here he is...

“The fracture’s not going to be healed for six weeks. We’re trying to push it as much as possible. My biggest thing is if it’s not healed at six weeks, I don’t think it’s going to be so bad at playing at 5 weeks. What’s a couple of days? If I’m in the boot until next Friday, and I take it off, it’s going to be pretty stiff. Physically, I won’t be able to play right away. I'm hitting fine, I feel just like I did when I was playing. So that’s my biggest thing, just seeing the ball come in. Hopefully when I’m healed, I’ll just go out there and play.”

That's exactly what we need, Pedey. WE NEED YOU IN THERE EVERY DAY. On that bright note, I'll say this...have a great Saturday and a terrific weekend. Click on this post's title for more on Beckett's strong return and as always, BE WELL. Thanks.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lackey Pitches Well But Delcarmen & Paps Blow It...Sox Win In 13 Innings 8-5

This one should have been a lot easier but it was not to be. Yes, the Boston Red Sox defeated the at-home Seattle Mariners by a score of 8-6 Thursday night but the Mariners scored five runs in the ninth inning to knot the game at six. John Lackey had what most would call his best start of the season, going eight full innings and giving up one little run on two hits. He flirted with a no hitter but the "bullpen," if you want to call it that, in the form of Delcarman and Papelbon allowed the game to be tied at six after regulation play. But Bard, Okajima and Ramirez (!) put up goose eggs in the last four innings, allowing the Sox to score two in the thirteenth to pull it out. By that time I was a little flabbergasted, to say the least. Boston manager Terry Francona summed his team's efforts perfectly...

"That’s a tough way to win but we did. It’s been a long night."

Tito hit the nail squarely on the head. What was a breeze turned into a ninth inning devastating category five hurricane. I'll tell you one thing...Manny Delcarmen is one of the most inconsistent hurlers on the team, bar none. And that's enough about this infuriating Boston win. Here are the pitching match-ups for the rest of this four game set...

Fri. 23 at Sea 10:10pm ET**NESN/Fox NW*** Beckett (1-1) vs. Vargas ( 4-6)
Sat. 24 at Sea 10:10 PM ET** NESN/FxNW*** Lester (11-4) vs. Pauley (0-2)
Sun. 25 at Sea 4:10 PM ET** NESN/FxNW*** Matsuzaka (7-3) vs. Fister (3-6)

We haven't seen Josh Beckett in quite a while and a successful return tonight would do wonders for the psyche of the team. Goddnes knows, they need allthe help they can get. And more.

You can click on this post's title for more on last night's topsy-turvey contest, have a great weekend and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you soon.Go Josh, GO SOX. JUST DO IT!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Red Still Listless On Left Coast. Another Loss To The A's

The Boston Red Sox remained in Oakland and lost yet another game to the lowly A's by a score of 6-4. Clay Buchholz started the contest but could only go four plus innings, allowing five runs on six hits. He gave up 2 long balls and, in a word, looked rusty. Here is the Sox manager, Terry Francona, on exactly that subject...

“I thought he looked like he had a little rust,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He left a couple of fastballs over (the plate) that really did a lot of damage. We got him up to (87) pitches, which is good, because hopefully we can build off of that."

I agree completely. He looked uncomfortable on the mound and it seemed like his mechanics were a tad off. He'll get it together soon. He'd better. Boston cannot afford to lose any more ground in the AL East. Having Josh Beckett going Friday will be a tremendous shot in the arm for the team. Soon, all five starters will again get used to working every five days, Their rhythm will return and they will win. Just ask Bill Hall...

“It’s pretty frustrating,’’ Hall said. “It’s frustrating for the team. It’s frustrating for me. We all know we can play better than this. We’re just not catching a lot of breaks right now. It’s just another point in the season where things aren’t going well for us. Hopefully it turns around soon. We don’t want to start pressing like we did earlier in the season. We’re still playing pretty good baseball, we’re just not catching a lot of breaks. Hopefully it turns around. Hopefully we can make it turn around pretty fast.’’

Today at 4:10pm EDT, Fister will face Matsuzaka, who was quite good in his last start, as the Sox open a four game stand at the cavernous Safeco Field against the Seattle Mariners. The ballpark is NOT conducive to hitting the long ball with its huge outfield expanses. This is close to a "must win" game for the Sox. They have to start to make a run and do it soon. It'll take a couple of starts for Buchholz and Beckett to get the stuff together but that's only natural.

I hope your Thursday will be a good one. You can click on this post's title for more great stuff on the Boston Red Sox and as always and forever, BE WELL. Make a point of it. Thanks for stopping in.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm Going Down, Down, Down, Down

This post's title explains what the Boston Red Sox are busy doing right now. They're drowning with periods of treading water. Sure, I know they are a very injured ball club and two fifths (not counting Wakes, who is bullpen bound) of their premiere pitching rotation has been injured but that will change today. Clay Buchholz is ready to go late night tonight and Josh Beckett will toe the rubber Thursday. That gives the Sox a rotation of Lester, Beckett, Lackey, Buchholz and Matsuzaka. Looks good, doesn't it? Now all they need to do is score 5 runs per game, or somwhere near that. They lost to Oakland by an eleven inning 5-4 score last night. The Red Sox jumped out to a 4-0 lead behind Tim Wakefield but couldn't hold it. A four run third inning did him and his team in once again. That might be Timmy's last start...for now.

It's Buchholz versus Gonzales tonight in Oakland. I'd love to see a great Buchholz start. Thanks for stopping in and as always, BE WELL. I left a treat for you when you click on this post's title. I've run it twice before but because of all the feedback, let's go for three. Click on the title and bookmark the site. It's a must. Bye now.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dice Takes The Ball...And Wins The Game For The Boston Red Sox

Daisuke Matsuzaka only surrendered two hits and one run during Monday night's game in LA going into the seventh inning. He was tremendous and the faithful duo of Bard and Papelbon nailed down game one of this this west coast trip. Boston manager Terry Francona had these glowing words about his pitcher with a checkered health past...

“He looked to me real sharp right from the beginning, I think that was real obvious. That was real crisp. There was a lot of power to his pitches and he was down when he wanted to be. He misfired a couple of times but that was pretty good stuff. He was tremendous. First-pitch strikes, 19 of 24. Power to his pitches, slider, cutter. Two walks. He made a mistake to Davis, other than that, he was really good.’’

Matsuzaka gave up only two hits, the second knocking him out of the game with two outs in the seventh. Bard and Paps made sure this game was in the victory column for the team from New England, USA. Here's our third baaseman...

“Huge win for us to start this trip,’’ Adrian Beltre said. “This whole West Coast trip is big for us. We haven’t played the best we can the last 10 to 15 games, so it’s better to start the road trip in a good way.’’

If you took a glance at the box score, remember that Matsuzaka has had more than his share of first inning troubles. It was a sticking point for his pitching coach, John Farrell...

“Three starts ago, recognizing that there was some first-inning struggles, felt like it might be worth changing up how much throwing he did at 6:15 basically for a 7:15 game with about a 12- or 14-minute cool-down period. At that time it seemed like it took him a full inning to really kind of get into the rhythm of the game. So he went back to a pregame routine that was reminiscent of 2007, and it’s allowed him to throw early in the day, not as many throws in total long-toss and bullpen work leading up to the start of the game. His warm-ups end about seven or eight minutes prior to the game, so it’s allowed him to maintain a rhythm that he develops in the bullpen warming up and carries into the game. He’s had some very good results of late.’’

Daisuke sure looked great on the mound. He was down in the zone, walking only two, and was in complete control until he started to tire in the seventh. It was still a very close game at 2-1 because the Red Sox still can't hit themselves out of a paper bag. I hate to say it, I know their lineup is decimated BUT IT'S TRUE! This was a great start to the road trip.

You can click on this post's title for more on the game. It's more late night action tonight with Wakefield facing Braden, two hurlers with losing records. Timmy want to flush that last hideous start out of his and everyone's mind. I hope he can do it. AThanks for stopping in, don't be a stranger and as always, BE WELL.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Red Sox Vaporizing In AL East

I've never in all my days called a season for the Boston Red Sox until the end of August. I don't know how to tell you this but I'll try anyways. With all their injuries and a suddenly less than effective pitching staff, starting & bullpen, I think they're going to finish third behind the Rays and the pinstripers. I LOVE THE BOSTON RED SOX but for obvious reasons I have to call the season before this month of July ends. We'll see what they will do by then. One missing piece of the Boston puzzle will return to action Friday pitching at Safeco Field. YES! Josh Beckett. Clay Buchholz will start on Wednesday and, most likely, Tim Wakefield will join the bullpen long-relief corps.

The Red Sox, who lost by a score of 4-2 yesterday to the Rangers, didn't give starter Jon Lester much if any run support. In addition to the pitching problems they're experiencing, they haven't been able to hit their way out of a paper bag. Are they using whiffle ball bats? Boston goes to the left coast to start a ten game set, first with four at Oakland and then three each at Seattle and LAA. Here are the upcoming pitching match-ups for the Oakland series...

Mon. 19 at Oak 10:05 PM ET NESN/CSCA*** Matsuzaka (6-3) vs. Sheets (4-8)
Tue. 20 at Oak 10:05 PM ET NESN/CSCA*** Wakefield (3-8) vs. Braden (4-7)
Wed. 21 at Oak 3:35 PM ET NESN/CSCA*** Buchholz (10-4) vs. Gonzalez (8-6)
Thu. 22 at Sea 10:10 PM ET NESN/FxNW*** Lackey (9-5) vs. Rowland-Smith (1-9)

Let me reiterate. I love this team and I will never give up on them. But the evidence is so overwhelming, the holes so apparent that I have to think about their chances for post season play. Right now? 1 in 5. Have a great Friday, click on this post's title and as always, BE WELL.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Good News On Buchholz

This is from the Associated Press...

"The Red Sox are about to get one of their injured stars back. Boston manager Terry Francona said Saturday that All-Star pitcher Clay Buchholz, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring, will start Wednesday in Oakland.

Buchholz, who is 10-4 with a 2.45 ERA in 15 starts this season, was hurt running the bases in San Francisco on June 26. He went to the All-Star game Tuesday, but was unavailable to pitch. The right-hander tossed 3 2-3 innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket at Syracuse on Friday.

"Being out for three weeks, getting back on the mound felt good," Buchholz said Saturday. "I felt like I got my velocity back. That's what I went out there to do."

Now it's on to the return of Josh Beckett. Yes, our five man rotation with Wakefield waiting for emergency starts was just how it was originally planned.

YOUK Does It All In 3-2 Boston Win

Boston beat the Texas Rangers and their ace, Cliff Lee, by a score of 3-2 and it was all because of Kevin Youkilis and good starting and bullpen pitching by Delcarmen, Bard and Papelbon. Seeing an effective Manny Delcarmen, just returned from the DL, was sweet indeed. This was a must game for the Red Sox and to do it in comeback, 11 inning style was SO nice to witness.

Cliff Lee was spinning a beauty and that's an understatement. Going into the ninth inning, he had 2-1 lead and had retired 22 of the previous 23 batters. But then Kevin Youkilis started his heroics. He tied it at two with a double in the ninth and with the help of sparkling relief pitching, won it in the eleventh with a sacrifice fly. Here's the man himself...

“I had the same approach all game. I was comfortable. I felt good. You have to stick to what you do and try not to do too much. I just tried to get a good pitch to hit and I was fortunate to get one.’’

And the Rangers manager, Ron Washington...

“Youkilis is just something else. This guy constantly rises to occasions."

David Ortiz might have said the most with the least. Here he is...

“He’s a bad man.’’

YES! Kevin Youkilis has been clutch all season long. And after Papi's microscopic April, he has been phenomenal. Where would we be without him? He and Youk are a much-needed punch to the Red Sox lineup. Today's Fenway Park game, the last one for a long while, will be an afternoon affair. Boston will try to attain a split against Texas with their ace, Jon Lester, ready to face the Ranger's Wilson. It will be perfect weather for baseball in Boston this afternoon with sunshine and temperatures in the upper 80s with medium humidity. Wow!

Have a terrific Sunday, click on this post's title for more on last night's action and as always, BE WELL. GO SOX!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Beckett & Buchholz...WE NEED YOU!

For the second straight Fenway Park game, the Texas Rangers scored seven or more runs on their way to an 8-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox in an error-filled and emotionless game. Felix Dubront pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on seven hits, walking two and whiffing (with his cutter) five. He discombobulated in the fifth inning, however, with the help of reliever Fernando Cabrera, who departed the club after his uninspiring outing. Bye-bye Felix. They combined to give up five runs in that frame with a critical error by Dubront, throwing the ball into centerfield, fueling the Rangers' fire. Quite simply, the Red Sox need Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz back NOW. Expect Wakefield to take a seat in the bullpen and Dubront to head for the bullpen (maybe). It must be done because Boston is now 6 1/2 games behind the NY Yankees. Things look bleak at the moment. I don't like bleak at all. Not one bit.

At 7:10pm EDT tonight in Boston, Lackey and Lee will face off in game three. Boston needs two quick wins before they emabark on a ten game west coast road trip with Oakland, LA and Seattle as the usual suspects. Have a great weekend. It seems that the only staggering aspect about the recent and upcoming weather here in north central Connecticut is the jungle-like humidity. Thank goodness for air conditioning. As always, BE WELL. Stay cool. See ya soon.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Can You Believe This??

This is from the Friday NY Daily News. Bob Sheppard was a legend. And then this?? Read on...

"At Bob Sheppard's last Mass Thursday, his friends and family were reminded what it was like to be in the presence of "a good and decent man" who, as a husband, father, athlete, wartime naval officer, teacher and public address announcer, lived about the most perfect life, for 99 years, as anyone God ever placed on this Earth.
It was just too bad that not a single player whose name Sheppard introduced, ever so properly and eloquently, over 57 years as the Yankees' P.A. announcer, was among those paying their final respects to the "Voice of God." Even if one player - certainly one among the former players employed by the team for this very purpose - would have shown up, it would have provided the touch of class George Steinbrenner always made sure to exhibit in these circumstances."

GEORGE would NEVER have permitted something like this. Shame on those pinstripers who snubbed "the voice of God's" goodbye to this good Earth. We all know that he will be missed.

Wakefield Shot Dead By Rangers

The Boston Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield was folded, spindled and mutilated in his two innings down at Arlington, Texas Thursday night against the Rangers, losing by a score of 7-2. Six runs alone came across in the very first inning. Wake's woeful stats in two innings were seven runs on eight hits. He walked one, struck out two and gave up one four-bagger. Here's the up & down Mr. Wakefield himself...

"I'm as dumbfounded as anybody else. I felt like I had some of the best stuff I had all year coming out of the bullpen, but I just didn't have it tonight. Talking to pitching coach John Farrell after the game, he felt like I had some of the best stuff I’ve had all year coming out of the bullpen. It was just one of those nights. They were very aggressive, they were swinging early, and obviously I didn’t have the depth or the movement on the pitch that I needed to get them out.

And the Red Sox skipper, Terry Francona...

"They strung together a bunch of hits," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He came out in the third and it looked like it was going to be another tough inning so I had to go get him."

A flat and flutter-less knuckleball spells doom for the team with that starter. To tell you the truth, and I almost always do, I turned off the game on NESN after the sixth inning. I guarantee every one of you that people bailed even earlier. It was a case of "hanging in there," and I could hang no longer. It wasn't a great way to resume after the All Star game but we have three more chances to win before we take to the skies on a westward journey. On the mound today will be Lee and Doubrant. Doub looked OK in his last start. He's a lefty, which only helps.

Today's game starts at 7:10pm EDT. I hope you enjoy it AND your upcoming weekend. Click on this post's title for a little of everything, including the GOOD NEWS about Josh Beckett, and as always, BE WELL. Click away!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Red Sox News & Notes

Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz will make one start at Triple A Pawtucket, three or four innings, before coming back to the big club. Terry Francona said it's just a case of being cautious. Here's Tito...

"The thought was by that time it's like he's pitched one inning in about 20-something days," Francona said. "That's not very realistic that he's going to get very deep into the game, so the more we thought about it, the more we talked to him, I think we're all in agreement to go pitch three or four innings, shake the rust off, make sure he's OK."

I agree with the skipper. Adrian Beltre will NOT go on the DL list. Good news...finally! Now, Texas invades Fenway Park before an extended road trip. Here are the scheduled pitching match-ups...

7/15 Hunter vs. Wakefield
7/16 Doubrant vs. Lewis
7/16 Lackey vs. Lee
7/17 Lester vs. Wilson

Let's start off the second half right by putting together a winning streak right off the bat. Click on this post's title to be zapped to more Red Sox info and as always, BE WELL.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My First Ever Post With My New IMAC

Yes, after five years, I bought a new computer. It's an IMAC with a 21" HD widescreen and my breath has been taken away! I hope I get it back. My "former" Apple was an antique from 2005. It wouldn't even run YOUTUBE!
I'll be back in the morning with all things Red Sox as we continue the 2010 season. Hasta manana.

National League Breaks 13 Year All Star Jinx

Yes, the National League beat the American League by a score of 3-1 Tuesday night in California. It was Brian McCann's seventh inning three run double that gave the NL team all they needed. Heck, they were bound to win SOMETIME! Big Papi, who was thrown out at second on a fielder's choice, had this to say on the game...

“It happens. That’s a major league baseball team, too. You play to win, but if they win, what can you do about it?”

You go home, that's what you do. No one was hurt, the late George Steinbrenner was suitably honored and everybdy had a jolly good time. All Star Game 2010 is in the books and I hope you enjoyed watching it. Me? I fell asleep early. It was going to be a hard day's night, as Ringo said a long, long time ago in a world far, far away, so I missed the festivities. My dreams were color and 3D!

Real baseball starts up again tomorrow. Until then, I'll see you. Click on the title of this post for more All Star stuff and as always, BE WELL.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Most Boston Red Sox fans detested him. I disliked him but I knew he was good for the game of baseball. He celebrated his 80th birthday at his very own Yankee Stadium just a few short day ago. The cause of his death today was a sudden and massive heart attack. Here is the latest plus his family's statement, just now from the NY Daily News...

"George Steinbrenner, a towering and intimidating figure who dominated the New York sports scene for 35 years, winning 11 American League pennants and seven world championships as owner of the Yankees, in and around two suspensions from baseball and multiple feuds and firings, died Tuesday morning in Tampa after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 80.
"The Boss" - as he was so aptly named by Daily News columnist Mike Lupica, his longtime antagonist - died at around 6:30 a.m. He had been suffering from failing health, the result of a series of strokes, for the past few years.
His family released a statement Tuesday morning. "It is with profound sadness that the family of George M. Steinbrenner III announces his passing," the statement said. "He was an incredible and charitable man. First and foremost he was devoted to his entire family - his beloved wife, Joan; his sisters, Susan Norpell and Judy Kamm, his children, Hank, Jennifer, Jessica and Hal; and all his grandchildren. He was a visionary and a giant in the world of sports. He took a great but struggling franchise and turned it into a champion again."

YES, he will be missed. Rest in peace, George. Ya did good. Click on this post's title for Mike Lupika's column. As always, BE WELL. One more time, George steals the headlines on ALL Star Day.

Big Papi Power Wins HR Derby...Beltre/Girardi Confusion

Big Papi David Ortiz did something Monday night he's always wanted to do. He won the All Star Home Run Derby. He and Hanley Ramirez were tied at the top going into the third round but that round belonged to Papi. Ramirez clubbed five taters but Big Papi outdid him with a double figure total, only the second player in history to hit double figures in the final round. Yankee bench coach and Papi friend Tony Pena pitched to him. Here's Papi...

“It was unbelievable. Tony Pena, he’s got great mechanics. I saw him before we played the Yankees and saw him throwing batting practice. As soon as I found out he was going to be here I said, ‘Tony can you pitch to me?’ He was like, ‘No problem. I’m going to throw to Nick Swisher, but I’m going to throw for you. We are here for the fans. It’s not a Yankees-Red Sox thing, so let’s do it.’

And Papi's fellow ballplayers all love and respect him. Here's Torii Hunter...

“You have to know what’s in his heart and you have to understand how much pride he has. He’s too young to be done,’’ Hunter said. “You could see he still had bat speed and that he just needed to work out some mechanics at the plate.’’

We love you Big Papi, we really do. Now, on to the confusion between Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre and AL manager, Joe Girardi. To be kind, AL manager Joe Girardi "misspoke."

Quite simply, Girardi made a very public boo boo. Leave it to a pinstriper to do that. Sorry, I don't like the Yankees, I DETEST them. He told the assembled media that Beltre had been replaced by Texas' Michael Young. After Beltre consulted with All Star officials, it was said that it's all up to Adrian Beltre. Great job, Joe, throwing one of your players "under" the bus. Idiot.

I hope you enjoy the All Star Game tonight. I usually watch the first few innings before calling it a night. It's on too darn late! Click on this post's title for more on Papi and Beltre and as always, BE WELL. Thank you for being here. The precious few who still stop in daily, well, they're very special to me. They always will be.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shadows & Light...Red Sox Win

The Toronto Blue Jays play in the Rogers Centre, which has a retractable roof. Sunday, it didn't want to open fully so the Jays decided to leave it "mostly" open. This caused an infield shadow that thoroughly benefited the pitchers. Daisuke Matsuzaka went six shutout innings and Jays starter Jesse Litsch bettered that by taking a no-hitter into the sixth. As Red Sox skipper Terry Francona said...

“It was a great day to pitch. With the shadow where it was, it was so hard to see. You’d see half the ball.’’

I watched the game before Nadia and I left for the Hartford fireworks and he's NOT kidding! The pitches came out of darkness and virtually appeared in front of the batter. But back to back taters hit by Darnell Mcdonald (a two run shot) and All Star game bound David Ortiz gave Boston the three runs it needed in the sixth. Danny Bard pitched two perfect innings and Jonathon Papelbon earned his twentieth save of the season. It was a great way to end the first "half" of the season. We're actually a little farther along than that but that's the general consensus. Now Theo must address the bullpen problems. More on that in the days to come.

In other Red Sox news, Boston third baseman Adrian Beltre, nursing a sore hamstring, might or might not play in his first All Star game. He said this about that...

“So far, I’m playing, for now. I don’t want to risk anything. If I don’t feel good, I won’t play. It’s the All-Star Game, but I don’t want to screw up the season for a couple of at-bats in an exhibition game. I’ll be cautious on that.”

Please be cautious, Adrian. The Sox resume play on Thursday but I'll be here every day until then with a little of this and a tad of that. You can click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for being here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

RED SOX Win 3-2

Daisuke Matsuzaka was great for six innings, and then came BARD. He pitched goose egged seventh and eighth innings and Paps took care of the ninth. Two hours thirty two minutes total. More in the morning but now back to the World Cup.

" Five Run" Lackey And Awful Boston Bullpen Contribute To Another Boston Loss

It's easy too see why the Boston Red Sox came up short in Toronto Saturday afternoon. It's as simple as "A-B-C." Let's see, "A." JOHN LACKEY. He has been mediocre in almost every one of his starts. Five runs per game given up seems to be the norm and THAT JUST WILL NOT DO! Believe it or not, he has a 9-5 record but his team is 9-9 when he starts a game. Why? Let him tell you...

“It’s been a mixture of things,’’ Lackey said. “Command definitely hasn’t been quite as good. Some other things, too. Honestly, this is the first kind of rough start I’ve had in a month in a half. I’m pretty happy with the way I’ve been throwing the ball. I’m ready for a break."

I just want to say that Lackey's third to last last statement in the above quote is pure bullsh*t. "This is the FIRST kind of rough start...??" No it isn't, John. Get real. You're being paid more than eighty million smackers for excellence. I've yet to see it. Sox skipper Terry Francona was more realistic...

“He always battles; he always competes. But it was a tough day for him. You could see him fighting it all day.’’

I think to some degree he's fought all season. Every one of us hope he can turn it around before Boston is out of the race. Faith, I guess, is what it takes.

Now we come to "B," the bullpen. Here is the pitching summary from yesterday's game. Lackey gave up seven (!!) runs but the bullpen, in much more delicate situations, always seem to give up one or two. Take a look...

John Lackey 4.2 *** 8*** 7*** 7*** 6
Scott Atchison 1.0*** 0*** 0*** 0*** 0
Dustin Richardson 0.2*** 1*** 1*** 1*** 0
Ramon Ramirez 1.2*** 2*** 1*** 1*** 0*** 0*** 1

So the score was Lackey seven (in less than five innings (!!) and 'pen two. Bad on both fronts. Theo has his work cut out for him because before the trading deadline on July 31st, he needs to acquire another two 'pen guys. Bard and Papelbon are just not enough!

And lastly, here's "C." INJURIES. I know, I know, they happen but I've never seen this many guys down, some seriously, at the same time. The only thing the team can do is treat the players and wait for those bones to heal. This is a very tough time for the Red Sox and they need our support. They have mine. Always.

Today it will be Matsuzaka (find the darn plate, Daisuke!) versus Litsch. The Sox need this one. Heck they need a lot more than that. The All Star break starts after the last pitch is thrown so those who are healthy and NOT going to the game will get a nice rest. Have a great Sunday, click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for being here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Lumber Fest For The Boston Red Sox

14-3 Boston Red Sox over the Toronto Blue Jays. I like that score. No worries, no pacing or no nothing but smiles and Friday night enjoyment. Jon Lester was in total command, going six innings with a huge lead and giving up two runs (in his last inning) on four hits. He walked two are whiffed six. He's great. It was just the kind of game the team needed after four straight losses. Here's the Boston skipper, Terry "Tito" Francona, who won his 900th game last night...

“We kind of needed that. Playing with a lead was really good for us tonight. We had a tough series. I know we kind of move on, but it was nice to let everybody relax a little bit and have a little bit of success.’’

And here's Youk, who will be able to rest his ankle during the All Star game. That's a blessing. You see, there's a little good in just about everything...

“We’re not trying to keep afloat, we’re trying to win. There’s no trying to hold down the fort. It’s not like that. We’re trying to go out and beat the opposition. There’s no trying to take two out of three. We’re trying to win every game.’’

That's the spirit of winning baseball and right now Boston cannot afford to fall further back in the AL East standings. Bill Hall was the hitting star of the night with four hits including two doubles and a home run. Mike Cameron showed all of us that he's not hurting anymore, too, with a multiple-hit game including a home run. And today, Boston will try to make it two in a row with "five-runs-per-game" John Lackey going against the 5-6 Morrow. May the force be with them. Oh yes, in not so good news, Victor Martinez' thumb is taking a lot longer to heal than the original estimates predicted. He'll have it examined any day now along with Pedey Pedroia and Jason Varitek to determine exactly where the healing process is for each of them.

You can click on this post's title for more Sox news circa Sports Illustrated and I wish you the very best of weekends. Thanks for stopping in to my little corner of the "blue nowhere" and as always, BE WELL. Oh, I almost forgot. I ordered a new computer from the Mac store to replace this five year old antique. It's an IMAC with a 21" diagonal wide screen and just about all the bells and whistles. I'll tell you more about it when it arrives at my door and I have it hooked up. I can't wait. See ya.

Friday, July 09, 2010

A Three Game Set & Then The All Star Game

Hello and good morning on this warm and humid early Friday morning here in north central Connecticut. My goodness, Nick Swisher beat out our very own Kevin Youkilis for the final AL All Star berth in the closest vote ever. The NY voters must have been out in force because if you compare the player's statistics, the IS no comparison. Take a look...

Youkilis***.292***17 HR***55 RBIs
Swisher***.298***14 HR***48 RBIs

I'll take Youk in a heartbeat, offensively AND defensively. But the "voters" have spoken and that's the way it goes. Hard to believe, isn't it? New York over Boston yet again. But the Sox must concentrate on winning all three of the upcoming Canadian games because they're falling behind in the AL East.

In Boston Red Sox good news (for a change), Jacoby Ellsbury will be joining the team up in Toronto tonight. He might not play but he's feeling so much better. His "homecoming" away from home will be an emotional recharge for the team, part one of the DL puzzle that confounds all of us in Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International. More news...the Sox are looking for bullpen help. Other than the closer, Jonathon Papelbon and the exceptional set-up man, Danny Bard, there's an empty void when it comes to late inning help. The bullpen ERA is 4.83, second-worst in the American League. They've allowed runs to score in five of the last six games. They have a league-high 13 blown saves. All in all, other than Paps and Bard, THEY SUCK! C'mon Theo, the trade deadline is July 31st. It's coming up fast. Here are the pitching match-ups for the three game set up in Canada...

Friday 7/9/2010 at Tor 7:07 PM ET NESN/RSN*** Lester (10-3) vs. Romero (6-5)
Saturday 7/10/2010 at Tor 1:07 PM ET NESN/RSN*** Lackey (9-4) vs. Morrow (5-6)
Sunday 7/11/2010 at Tor 1:07 PM ET NESN/RSN*** Matsuzaka (5-3) vs. Litsch (0-3)

Oh boy, Matsuzaka again. I don't know if I'll be able to watch his quest to find the plate Sunday afternoon but I'm sure he's aware that he's on the brink of leaving the rotation once Josh Beckett gets back in a couple of weeks. Hey Daisuke. Yes, you! Please don't throw 100 plus pitches in the first five innings. The plate is that white thing in the batter's box, right in front of your catcher. Aim for it, low, inside or outside black.

That's it for today. You can click on this post's title for more on our Red Sox and as always, BE WELL. I thank you for stopping by. I really do. Readership is down but I'm not. I'll keep on doing what I do fairly well. FAITH. GO SOX. And keep going. Shine on and on and on and on.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Helter Skelter...Red Sox Swept By Rays

"They're wounded right now and you really do want to be able to take advantage of that moment, obviously. Nevertheless, they also are solaced by the fact they aren't at full strength. It's always a rationalization process. From our perspective, they weren't at full strength, and to be able to win these three games is very important."

"This was a disappointing three days as far as getting wins. We ask our guys to try their best, do their best and that's exactly what they're doing. We'll keep battling. This is actually kind of a fun group right now. It's a good group to work with. We'll figure it out."

The Boston Red Sox are more like a Triple A group, but the skipper has to do what he has to do. It's sad. The Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon gave us the first quote, Red Sox skipper Terry "Tito" Francona the second. While Terry says it's a fun group to work with, makeshift and all, right now they're in a four game losing streak. Last night, they lost their third straight to the Rays by a score of 6-4 although they out hit the Florida team 11-5. Wakes was not as effective in the Tampa Dome as he usually is, not at all, going 5 2/3 innings and giving up all six runs on only four hits. He walked six (!!!) and whiffed three. It was far from his best performance when his team needed it most. Face it, Boston is hurting big time.

In better news, Kevin Youkilis was back in the lineup after a Tuesday night ankle flare up, a cramp of some kind. He did have the trainers work on the ankle in the dugout at times and near the end of the game, he limped off the field. Boy, we can't lose him!

Next stop will be Toronto for three after a day off today. After that will be the All Star break. Here's everything you need to know...

7/9/2010 at Tor 7:07 PM ET NESN/RSN*** Lester (10-3) vs. Romero (6-5)
7/10/2010 at Tor 1:07 PM ET NESN/RSN*** Lackey (9-4) vs. Morrow (5-6)
7/11/2010 at Tor 1:07 PM ET NESN/RSN*** Matsuzaka (5-3) vs. Litsch (0-3)

Have a great Thursday and GO SOX. As always, BE WELL.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Red Sox Spiraling In The Wrong Direction Going Into All Star Break

Tuesday night down in Florida, the Red Sox had another injury scare, this time with Kevin Youkilis. But the injury to his ankle was deemed not to be serious. Phew! By the way, Boston lost to Tampa Bay by a score of 3-2. A tough loss. In other injury news, and unfortunately, there is plenty of it, Josh Beckett felt great, using all of his pitches yesterday in a simulated game. Here's the blub from the Boston Globe's Extra Bases...
Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff July 6, 2010 05:17 PM

"Just spoke to Josh Beckett, who said he felt great on the mound today.
"I had good stuff today, that's what we're trying to get to," he said. "I think we're in a good spot now."
As for his back, "I don't feel anything any more. The time off did what it was supposed to do."
The plan is for him to make two more rehab starts. The first would be Sunday at Pawtucket. If Beckett starts again July 16, his first game back with the Sox could be as early as July 21 in Oakland."
That's only two weeks away! Now that's great news. Maybe the title of my yesterday's post WILL come true. I sure hope it does. Bye Daisuke, hello Josh.

But the injuries continue. After Youk had to leave the game, the Rays walked Big Papi four times because Youk was not batting behind him. Needless to say, Niuman Romero, who took Youk's place in the lineup, failed to advance a runner all night. HELLO NIUMAN. With Kevin, yeah, it would have been different. Youk will be back very soon, if not tonight. Count on it. Here's Papi on the injury bug turned into an epidemic...

“I’ve been playing this game for so long. I have never seen anything like this,’’ David Ortiz said after the Sox lost their third straight. “We go through injuries every year but what I’m seeing right now is just like a curse.’’

I've never seen anything like this either, not at one time. We have to try and stay close in the AL East until some or all of the players return. Then we have to burn the league with talent and smart baseball. At full strength, we have the talent, power and team will to do just that.

I must leave you now for a Doctor's appointment, a routine check up. I'll be back later. Thanks for popping in.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Daisuke Matsuzaka Banished To Bullpen...Beckett To Take His Place

Theo Epstein recently approached the powers-that-be and told them that the Boston Red Sox bullpen needs a ton of help. Well, the first step in improving the 'pen AND the rotation was taken today when Josh Beckett was called up to the big club after his successful rehabilitation starts and Matsuzaka was removed from the rotation to make room for him. Epstein also plans to acquire a couple relievers who can be more effective than the washed up Ramon Ramirez. Good riddance to Dice K. He was, at least this year, a complete bust who was tough to watch as he tried unsuccessfully to find the plate. My goodness!

Good morning from Peter on Tuesday, the day after a horrid job by the Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Of course, the above paragraph was fiction which might possibly come true after the All Star break. It better! If it does, it couldn't happen soon enough. It's gotten to the point that I almost do not want to watch a game Daisuke starts. That won't change. I promise you. Boston lost to the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 6-5. Matsuzaka, soon (I hope) to be out of the rotation, needed 112 (!!) pitches to go five plus innings. Include two huge mental errors in the mix, too. He, with a little help from another gem of a pitcher, Ramon Ramirez, blew a 5-1 lead to lose the game.
To put it bluntly, they both suck and with Matsuzaka in the rotation and Ramirez in the bullpen, the Red Sox will go nowhere. Period. I don't think Matsuzaka even KNOWS where the fuc*ing plate is.

I'm sick to my stomach just thinking about last night so I'm going to wrap this up. If you click on this post's title you'll be directed to a great article about the travails of Daisuke from the Boston Herald. Remember, BE SAFE. I hope you had a great 4th.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Six Red Sox Named To All Star Team...Boston Stinky In Loss To Baltimore

Clay Buchholz (DL), Jon Lester, Adrian Beltre, Victor Martinez (DL), David Ortiz, and Dustin Pedroia (DL) are your 2010 Boston Red Sox All Star team members. Kevn Youkilis, who deserves to be there, is one of the players whose chance of being on the team is still up to the fans (VOTE!!). Vote multiple times! The Yankees also had six players elected to play in the upcoming game. To no one's surprise, the Twins Joe Mauer was the leading vote getter. Hey, he deserves it. If you saw the "DL" next to Clay Buchholz' name above, I didn't make a mistake. The team will place him there Tuesday retroactive to June 27, making him eligible to return on July 15th. News before it happens, right here. My congratulations go out to the Boston six...hopefully seven with Youk in the fray. Now, on to the bad news from yesterday.

Sunday, July 4th, 2010 was far from a good day for the Sox at Fenway Park on getaway day. They lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the series finale by a score of 6-1. John Lackey gave up three earned runs, four earned in all on eight hits, walking one and striking out seven. Richardson finished the eighth and Scott Atchison allowed two runs in the ninth. The offense? They only had three hits off of Orioles starter Brian Matusz, who had previously lost nine decisions in a row. He dominated Boston for seven innngs and held them scoreless and allowed only two hits. But Lackey wasn't bad, he just didn't have an offense behind him. Here's the Red Sox skipper, Tito Francona...

“I thought today was the best stuff he’s had all year. His breaking ball was down and he finished with his fastball.”

Errors did not help Boston's chances but it all came down to Matusz, a lefty who put it all together yesterday. Boston completed yet another AL series victory but they fell to 1 1/2 games in back of the pinstripers. They start a series with the Tampa Bay Rays tonight down in the Sunshine State. Here are the pitching match-ups. Notice that Clay Buchholz will NOT be pitching Tuesday. Here you go...

7/5/2010 at TB ***7:10 PM ET ESPN/SUN*** Matsuzaka (5-3) vs. Garza (9-5)
7/6/2010 at TB ***7:10 PM ET NESN/SUN *** Doubront (1-0) vs. Niemann (6-2)
7/7/2010 at TB ***7:10 PM ET NESN/SUN ***Wakefield (3-6) vs. Price (11-4)

Doubront is a lefty call up who won his only 2010 Red Sox start. We wish him luck tomorrow. And that's a wrap for today, July 5th, 2010, a holiday for all of us. Be safe on those roads, click on the title for more All Star news and as always, BE WELL. See ya.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Orioles Bomb Red Sox

This is from the Boston Globe. I'll have a full wrap Monday morning.

BOSTON—"Brian Matusz pitched shutout ball for seven innings and the Baltimore Orioles picked up a rare win at Fenway Park, beating the Boston Red Sox 6-1 Sunday.
The victory was just the Orioles' third in their last 20 games at Fenway. Cesar Izturis and Nick Markakis each had three hits for Baltimore, which posted its major league-worst ninth road win.
Kevin Youkilis homered for the Red Sox, who lost for only the fifth time in 17 games.
Matusz (3-9) held the Red Sox to two hits -- in the third and fourth innings -- walked three and stuck out seven in earning his first win since April 18. He had lost his last nine decisions.
John Lackey (9-4) gave up for runs -- three earned -- in 7 1-3 innings. He struck out seven and walked one.
The Orioles broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the fourth against Lackey. Markakis doubled, advanced on Ty Wigginton's bouncer to second and scored on a wild pitch. Scott Moore added an RBI single.
Baltimore chased Lackey in the eighth with two more runs. Miguel Tejada doubled leading off and scored on Wigginton's bouncer to short. Wigginton reached on the play on Marco Scutaro's throwing error. Adam Jones, the last batter Lackey faced, had a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.
The Orioles added two in the ninth against reliever Scott Atchison."


Lester Bolsters His All Star Chances

The Boston Red Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles by a lopsided score of 9-3. Two of those runs came off Robert Manuel with a little help from Ramon Ramirez. John Lester, the Boston starter, was magnificent. He went seven innings and allowed one little run on five hits, walking one and striking out seven. He has NEVER lost to the lowly O's. His record improved to 10-3 with a great ERA of 2.75. He is solid and he WILL be on the All Star team, which will be announced today. Look for Clay Buchholz and Big Papi to be on the team, too. Youk should be. Here's Jon on that very subject...

"It would be nice. Never been, would like to go,’’ he said. “If I end up going, that’s awesome. I’ll be very excited. It’ll be an honor.’’

And the Sox shortstop, Marco Scutaro...

“If he’s not an All-Star, who is?’’ Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro said. “I can’t believe he hasn’t been before. That guy has been one of the best pitchers in the game for a while now.’’

The Red Sox have the same exact record as they did last year at the halfway point of the season (49-32). Not bad for a team decimated by injury. The team has come together under adversity unbelievably well and THEY NEVER GIVE UP. Here's Jon Lester once more...

“It’s what we’ve been telling you since the beginning of the season -- we’re going to fight, we’re not going to just lay down and let everybody beat us up,” Lester said. “Obviously we’re going to go out there and battle and hopefully put some games in the win column. We’ve been able to do that.”

They sure have! On the offensive side, Big Papi David Ortiz (All Star stats) and JD Drew each had three hits and Kevin Youkilis drove in three runners, two on a mammoth tater off the billboard high above the outfield crowd. The Sox are an exciting team to watch and are playing on all cylinders every game. And this afternoon is the series finale which pits John Lackey against Matusz, who has lost nine straight decisions. Let's make it ten! Boston holds 1/2 game behind the Yankees. They will not need a fifth starter until Tuesday, giving manager Terry Francona more flexibility. The more the merrier.

Have a great Sunday and a terrific 4th of july. You can click on this post's title for more on our resilient Red Sox and as always, BE WELL. Be careful out there!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Boston's Wakefield Makes Quick Work Of The Orioles

Two hours and seven minutes. That's all it took to complete the Boston victory. The Boston Red Sox defeated the woeful Baltimore Orioles by a score of 3-2. Wakefield needed only 96 pitches in his eight innings before Jonathon Papelbon threw a goose egg ninth. He allowed two earned runs, walked one and whiffed four. Not bad for an "old" man. Here's Timmy...

“I felt fresh even after eight innings,” Wakefield said. “I was ready to go the ninth and maybe even the 10th if necessary. But Nava got the bloop single and we were able to push a run across and hand the game over to Paps. I like to pitch fast, I like to work fast,” he said. “Their guy (Brad Bergesen) that started tonight was working extremely fast, too. So the pace of game was great for both sides.”

And his (and the staff's) catcher, Kevin Cash, had this to say...

“I think we threw two breaking balls and two fastballs, and everything else was knuckleballs,” Cash said. “I’ve said it every time I’ve caught him. If Wake gets ahead of a hitter, he’s going to have a good night.”

And get ahead he did, consistently. Daniel Nava drove in the winning run and that brought on Paps for the one inning save. Coupled with the YANKEES LOSS, the Red Sox are just one half game back of the pinstripers. They are bonding together as a team despite the injury epidemic. Here is Kevin Youkilis on that very subject...

“I know I’m not going to roll over in bed because some guys are hurt,’’ first baseman Kevin Youkilis said. “We have a lot of guys who want to play and keep playing and we have guys who are hungry to come in and play well. You have to go out there and play hard and good things will happen.’’

I'm proud of this 2010 version of the Boston Red Sox and I can't wait until they're back at full strength. Tonight, another game at Camden Yards, with Lester (9-3) vs. Guthrie (3-9). I like our chances and if the Yankees lose, well, you do the math. Some things are best left unsaid until they happen.

At 9am EDT this morning I'll be watching the Wimbledon women's final and I'll be rooting for Serena Williams. Have a great Saturday and a wonderful 4th of July. Click on this post's title for more Sox news from last night and as always, BE WELL.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?? 'Tek Out!

The DL list is growing for the Boston Red Sox in almost unheard of proportions. It was disclosed yesterday (Thursday) that Jason Varitek, who took over the starting catching job after Victor Martinez went on the DL, has a BROKEN FOOT and will be out 6 weeks. Manny Delcarmen was also placed on the already too crowded DL list with elbow soreness. When it rains, it pours but I've never seen it pour like this. Holy you-know-what! The recently acquired Kevin Cash, who used to be a Wakefield-only catcher for the Sox, will man the plate. Last year with the Astros, he hit a "hefty" .204 with a pair of taters and a whopping 4 RBIs. I'm sorry if I sound a little bitter but this injury epidemic is getting ridiculous. Boston now has 10 (!!) players on the DL. If they survive this and ever come back to full strength, well, the AL East might be their oyster. But until then they must be careful not to drop in the standings...too much. Team unity...that's what's needed and that's what we've had. A little bit of faith, too. A lot of it, in fact.

The Red Sox begin a three game Fenway set with the Baltimore Orioles. After that, only 4 of their next 25 games will be at home. That's tough but a baseball season is long and tough, physically and emotionally. Here are the pitching match-ups...

7/2/2010 **Bal 7:10 PM ET MASN/NESN *** Wakefield (2-6) vs. Bergesen (3-4)
7/3/2010 **Bal 7:10 PM ET MASN/NESN *** Lester (9-3) vs. Guthrie (3-9)
7/4/2010 **Bal 1:35 PM ET MASN/NESN *** Lackey (9-3) vs. Matusz (2-9)

The 'Tek news took me by complete surprise. One catcher down, two catchers down. My goodness. Click on the title of this post for more of this dreadful news, have a great 4th of July weekend, be careful on the roads and as always, BE WELL. BE SAFE. EAT AND HAVE FUN. Nadia and I started a great garden with two kinds of tomatoes, two kinds of lettuce, peppers (three kinds) and many other edible treats that escape my mind. Oh, a ton of basil, too. Nads is the one with the green thumb! I'll see you soon and enough with the injuries!! PLEASE! Bye.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Matsuzaka Throws Excess Of Pitches But The Bullpen Blows It...Manny Delcarmen Has Elbow Problem...Sox Lose To Rays

OK, this one was ugly. Although Boston Red sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka kept his team "in the game", he threw way too many pitches. In all, he went 6 innings and allowed 3 runs, walking 4 (!!) and whiffing 7. The only problem was this. He threw 80-something pitches in the first 3 innings! In all, his pitch count was 111. Atchison took care of the 7th but then the Tampa Bay Rays exploded against 2 relievers, Manny Delcarmen (more later) and Ramon "up & down" Ramirez. The final score was Rays 9 Sox 4. The Yankees, still in first place by a game, were losing big and Boston knew a tie would put them atop the AL East with the pinstripers. Not bad for a team that not too long ago was 8 games back. And the scoreboard loomed large for every Red Sox player to see. Here's Mike Cameron...

“About the sixth inning I did glance over there and saw that score,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Damn, they’re losing 7-0.’ I’m right there in center field, so all I have to do is turn my head. But anyone who says they didn’t notice it, well, I don’t know about that.”

So first place was not to be and now Manny Delcarmen, who faced 5 batters and failed to record an out, disclosed his pitching elbow has been hurting. He had Tommy John surgery in 2003 and manager Terry Francona said he would be evaluated soon. Imagine what this team could do at full strength. I guess we'll just have to imagine for a while. Delcarmen was asked what's troubling him...

"My elbow, a little bit," Delcarmen said. "I think it's something in my forearm. It's been for like a week. It's been getting better every day, just having a little trouble getting extension on the ball. So I'm going to see how the day off goes, and see how I feel on Friday."

Last night, that lack of extension caused his pitches to lose their "bite." Without it, you get hit, and that's what happened. But tonight's another night as they start a 3 game series with the Orioles. The Sox must take advantage of that and win all 3 games. Here are the game essentials...

7/2/2010 **Bal 7:10 PM ET MASN/NESN *** Wakefield (2-6) vs. Bergesen (3-4)
7/3/2010 **Bal 7:10 PM ET MASN/NESN *** Lester (9-3) vs. Guthrie (3-9)
7/4/2010 **Bal 1:35 PM ET MASN/NESN *** Lackey (9-3) vs. Matusz (2-9)

That's a wrap for this Friday as we start the 4th of July weekend. Be careful on the highways and byways, click on this post's title for more Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. Happy 4th.