Saturday, May 31, 2008
As expected, J.D. is still out.
Dice-K: His MRI revealed "no structural changes" so the Sox are being cautious and placing him on the 15-Day DL. Incidents like this and the abundace of pitching will make Boston consider a 6 man rotation for the second half.
J.D. Drew: He was scratched from the starting lineup yesterday due to vertigo. He woke up and felt the hotel room was spinning, he tried to go back to sleep but it did not go away. Is it really vertigo or a case of having a few too many martinis at the hotel bar? There is a chance he will be back today but J.D. is not one to rush back from any kind of injury.
Friday, May 30, 2008
With the score deadlocked at 2 and a runner on second in the bottom of the 12th, Kevin Millar hit a grounder to Lugo. Julio bobbled the ball but was able to still throw out Millar because he was not running hard on the play. If Millar had hustled there would have been a runner at third with 1 out. After an intentional walk, the next batter hit a long fly ball for the third out, the hit would have been more than deep enough for the game winning sac fly had there been only 1 out. Lugo was saved from an error that would have cost the Sox the game and had the message boards humming with some ugly words about the shortstop. The Sox were able to take the lead in the top of the 13th when Manny reached on an error and advanced to second on the bad throw. Lowell drove him in with a single. A few more base hits gave the Sox a 3 run lead and it was all Papelbon in the bottom of the inning to pick up the save. This might have been just the thing that was needed to get the Sox out of the funk. Millar still knows how to get Boston to Cowboy Up!
Sox Win 5-2 BOX SCORE
Daisuke Matsuzaka has been placed on the DL with a "mild rotator cuff strain." With the abundance of pitching in the organization the injury should only be a minor speed bump for the Sox.
Youk is back and Cora is in for Lugo at short.
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF |
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B|
|David Ortiz, DH|
|Manny Ramirez, LF|
|Mike Lowell, 3B|
|Kevin Youkilis, 1B|
|J.D. Drew, RF|
|Jason Varitek, C |
|Alex Cora, SS|
Josh Beckett SP
Jeff Bailey has been asked to join the Red Sox in Baltimore for the series that begins tonight. This move signals that Dice-K will likely be heading to the 15-Day DL today but the results of his MRI have yet to be made public. Bailey can play first or outfield but he will most likely be used as a pinch hitter in the upcoming series. He has been very hot for the PawSox lately hitting 13 home runs in May including 2 yesterday.
This season MLB will honor Negro League Players that never had a chance to play in Major League Baseball by having each team draft a Negro Leaguer with their first pick in the 2008 draft. The Boston Red Sox will choose pitcher Jim Colzie with their pick.
Manny turns 36 today and should have a good chance of hitting career home run #500 in Baltimore. ESPN has a new page in honor of the occasion with links to everything Manny.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Justin Masterson made his AAA debut tonight against the Scranton Yankees. He went 6 innings earning the win while giving up 2 runs (1 earned) striking out 4 and walking one. Masterson is widely believed to be the pitcher who will start in Dice-K's spot if he cannot go. The PawSox beat the AAA affiliate of the Yankees 5-2.
Besides forgetting how to pitch this year, it seems Julain Tavarez also forgot to bring his World Series ring with him when he was designated for assignment by the Sox. Tavarez told the Capital Times he left the ring in his locker and that the Sox are going to mail it to him. He also told the Times, "I'm looking forward to doing my job and get a 'W' so I can get to October." It seems that Tavarez also forgot he is now playing with Milwaukee.
Daisuke Matsuzaka is auctioning off Sushi dinner for charity on ebay. From the ebay description: "Japanese sensation and Red Sox ace Dice-K and his wife, Tomoyo, will join you and three friendsfor dinner at the renowned Japanese restaurant, HARU, in Boston. You'll enjoy the company of one of the world's greatest sports stars along with the finest food and service - all in your own private dining room. (A translator will be provided)" The leading bid is now $10,100 but the reserve has not been met. The proceeds of the auction will go to the charity Good Sports.
Dice-K may have plenty of time to eat sushi now that he is injured and will not be pitching for a while. He is having an MRI in Boston tomorrow to further diagnose what the Red Sox originally reported as "shoulder fatigue."
Alexander Martinez caught two home runs in one game at Yankee Stadium last year, the first was Matsui's 100th as a Yankee. He exchanged the historic ball in a deal for a bat, an autographed ball from Matsui, and 15 tickets to this year's All-Star Game. He received the first two items but says the Yankees are denying him the 15 tickets and say they never made the deal. Typical behavior from the Evil Empire, earlier this season they flaked on a deal with some school kids.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tim Wakefield pitched a great game with 8 K's and no walks. He went 8 innings giving up only 1 run on a solo homer. Once again the Red Sox bats were ice cold; for the second time this road trip they have been blanked, this time managing just 2 hits. They had a chance in the 9th when Manny and Casey both walked but Coco failed to get the go ahead hit and ended the game with a weak grounder. The Red Sox have now lost 5 of the 6 games on this road trip and are a game and a half behind the Rays in the division. At least the C's won tonight.
Sox Lose 1-0 BOX SCORE
The ProJo is reporting that Justin Masterson's debut with the PawSox has been moved up from Sunday to tomorrow. Buchholz is scheduled to pitch on Friday which will make him unavailable for Dice-K's start if he can't go. There are two possible explanations for this; either Masterson is going to make his third start for the Red Sox next week or the injury to Dice-K is not that serious and he will be ready to go. My money is on Masterson making the start.
Youk is still out with the hand injury and Drew has the night off.
Jacoby Ellsbury, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Mike Lowell, 3B
Sean Casey, 1B
Coco Crisp, CF
Kevin Cash, C
Julio Lugo, SS
Tim Wakefield, SP
When you take a close look at some stats this season there are a few troubling signs. Youk is the only starter who is batting over .300 (.306). But the more troubling stat is Walk Percentage. Last season Ortiz, Youk, Manny, J.D. Drew, Hinske and Tek all had a walk percentage above 10%. This season only Ortiz, Ellsbury and Lowell have a BB% over 10 (each is at 12%). Last season Tek was the only starter with a K% above 20%. This season Manny, Tek, and Drew are all above 20% K-rate. Cash, even though he is not a starter, is at 30%. The Red Sox are swinging a little more freely this season and the blame has to be put squarely with hitting coach Dave Magadan. Don't get me wrong, the Sox are an excellent offensive team, they just need to tighten up a bit and it is Magadan's job to get them to do it.
Things have been rough for Bobby Kielty since he hit the game winning home run in Game 4 of the 2007 World Series. He chose to accept a spot with the PawSox after he was cut from the Red Sox at the start of the season in the hope that he could be back with the big club sometime this season. Much of the landscape has changed since he reported to Pawtucket; there is now a good chance that Coco will not be traded, and Brandon Moss and Jonathan Van Every have emerged as a good options when another outfielder is needed in Boston. Shortly after the season began Bobby Kielty went on the minor league DL after having surgery on his hand, missing a time when he would have been called up. He made his first of 2 rehab starts last night for the Single A Lancaster going 0-2. If Kielty is going to get back to Boston this season he needs Coco to be traded and he needs to beat out Moss and Van Every for the fourth outfielder spot. Injuries are bound to happen so I wouldn't count out Kielty but it is going to be a big test for him to find a way back into the limelight.
What at first seemed to be a hip injury is now reported as "shoulder fatigue." Tito said they were going to ice his shoulder an reevaluate it later today. If he misses his next start the Red Sox can call up Clay Buchholz who is eligible to come off of the DL.
After Manny tied the game with a 3 run homer in the 6th the game stayed even until the bottom of the 9th. Timlin came in to replace Okajima and gave up a lead-off infield single to Balentien. He was successfully bunted over to second. Reed grounded out for the second out and Balentien advanced to third. Ichiro was intentionally walked and was allowed to take second. Lopez came up and in a 1-2 count, hit a line drive past the diving glove of Lowell to send in the winning run.
Sox Lose 3-2 BOX SCORE
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Julio Lugo was tossed in a rare ejection of a player in the field after arguing with the third base umpire over a checked swing. Tito got heated and involved in the argument before he was also tossed. Cora is in at short and Mills will manage the rest of the game.
Dice-K was holding his side as if he had pulled a muscle after a throw to first when he fielded a ground ball. He threw a few warm ups at the start of the 5th but could not continue. He left the game with the M's leading 3-0. He may have injured his side earlier when he stretched for an errant throw by Casey while covering first.
Youk is still out with the hand injury.
The most recent update of All-Star voting favors several players on the Red Sox. If the voting ended today: Youk, Tek, Pedroia, Manny, and Ortiz would all be starters. Judging by the road record of the Sox, the All-Star game could be very important to ensure home field in the World Series.
As we hit the unofficial start of summer there is a strange name hanging around at the top of the A.L. East; the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays are not just top in the East, they have the best winning percentage in all of baseball! When you look at the history of the Rays it is more surprising how bad they have been with all of the early draft picks they have had. The Marlins and D-Backs have both won it all in their short histories but the Rays have never come close. Why then are they doing well this year? Tampa's pitching has been getting better each year; this year they have 2 pitchers that any team would like for numbers one and two in their rotation. James Shields has an ERA of 3.38 with 52 strikeouts, Scott Kazmir has an ERA of 1.50 in his 5 starts since coming off of the DL. The Rays have some great all around players like Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton and they are getting production from guys like Jonny Gomes. The Rays are going to fade at some point this season and I think they will be competing with Toronto for third place in the A.L. East (Sox will win the division and Yanks will get the wildcard.) However, the Rays are going to keep getting better and will be a contender in '09 and beyond.
In what started out looking like a carbon copy of a game in the Oakland series ended up being a pretty good win for the Sox. Felix Hernandez had a perfect game going into the 4th before Big Papi hit his second home run in 2 days. Colon was cruising with a 3 hitter into the 6th before he got into some trouble but was able to get out of it only giving up 1 run. In the 8th the Sox took the lead with a Pedroia double. A few more hits and a walked in run gave the Sox a 5-1 lead and gave Colon a chance for his second win. Okajima kept them of the board in the 8th and Papelbon came in for the 9th. Paps almost let them back into the game facing 6 batters in the inning and giving up 2 runs before getting the last out. The road winning streak is now at 1.
Sox Win 5-3 BOX SCORE
Monday, May 26, 2008
Youk was a late scratch because of pain to his right hand. He is day to day.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Mike Lowell, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Sean Casey 1B
Julio Lugo, SS
Bartolo Colon SP
7 Games. That is how many road losses in a row the Sox have and it is also the number the Mariners are trying to avoid for consecutive losses. There is not another team that Boston would have a better chance of ending their road losing streak as Seattle. The Mariners are coming off a sweep in the Bronx yesterday and even though they are the home team, they will be the ones who are jet-lagged. Bartolo Colon knows this team well; he is 12-10 against them in 26 career starts. Red Sox Nation will be well represented in the Pacific Northwest as usual and Manny is overdue for a home run. If the Moose doesn't run over any players the Sox should get back on track tonight.
Geremi Gonzalez was killed by lightning yesterday on a beach in Venezuela. He pitched for the Red Sox in 2005 and made appearances in 28 games.
After declining to report to the PawSox and becoming a free agent, it looks like Julian Tavarez has found work with a big league club. The Brewers will sign Tavarez after he passes a physical today and activate him tomorrow for the Atlanta game. He will join the Brewers pen. You would think after making the mistake of picking up a Red Sox reject (Gagne) the Brewers would not go down the same road again. I think Tavarez could be a decent starter for a National League club but he is not much of an asset in the pen.
The Boston Herald is reporting that between 500-1000 residents of Madras, Oregon will be making the trek to Safeco to see their local hero playing in the majors. Jacoby was looking forward to it:
“I can’t put a number on it, but there are going to be a ton. I’ve heard that a lot of people will be coming up from Oregon, not just (Madras). It will be the first (time) a lot of them will get to see me play professionally. It will be nice to see everybody."
There is a chance that Coco may get the start tonight but Jacoby should see some late inning action as long as the Sox are in the game.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Clay Buchholz went four innings today in the PawSox 11-1 win. In the outing he gave up 3 hits including a double and a triple and 1 earned run. He struck out 3 and walked 2. It was a solid outing but nothing to make the Sox rush to put him back in the rotation. His replacement Bartolo Colon will make his second start for the Red Sox tomorrow night against the slumping Mariners.
The clouds gave way to a beautiful sunny day in the East Bay but the Red Sox road woes continued. Boston jumped to an early lead when Big Papi hit one deep to right but Lester quickly gave one run back in the bottom of the inning. Manny's night of rest helped as he went 3-4 at the plate today but #499 still eludes him (so did a fly ball to left). Sox fans were well represented at the game today but there was not much to cheer about. The Red Sox leave the Bay Area for Seattle no longer atop the A.L. East and with the Yankees showing up in the rear view mirror.
Sox lose 6-3 BOX SCORE
Jon Lester may need to throw another no-hitter if the Red Sox want to avoid a sweep today in Oakland. There is no trip to Japan to blame for the lack of hitting this time, it is time for the Sox to start hitting on the road. At last night's game I would say that about half of the crowd was Red Sox fans and I would bet there will be more today. It is pretty incredible when you think how far away the Sox are from Fenway and you still hear the "Let's Go Red Sox!" or "Yoouuuk" chants. There were Red Sox flags flying in the parking lot. Sox batters should feel comfortable at the plate and should be able to deliver; I really believe the bats will wake up today. The A's do not hit lefties well so Lester has a chance for another good outing. My son will be happy because Manny will be in left today in front of our seats. We may not get to see #500 but #499 will be OK. After last night, a run would be nice.