J.D. Drew, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Jason Bay, LF
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Jason Varitek, C
Mark Kotsay, 1B
Nick Green, SS
John Smoltz, SP
Saturday, July 11, 2009
J.D. Drew, RF
Here's the video of my appearance on CSNNE's The Baseball Show from this morning. I am the third site in the clip:
Joba got shelled last night but he thinks things are going swimmingly:
Joba says three times that his stuff and mechanics in the last two starts were the best he has had this season. Here is his line in those two starts:8 innings, 18 hits, 13 runs, 7 earned runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 3 home runs....I’m also getting a sense that his teammates are tired of the “well, I threw the ball pretty well” stuff...
“You have to work your tail off,” Chamberlain said. “But the sun will come out tomorrow. I’ll be the same person I was before.”
Well, the sun will come out in Scranton, too. At some point the Yankees can’t let a starter go five innings every time.
Seems like the Yankees have their own version of Dice-K, only the Yankees don't have the depth to deal with the problem like the Red Sox do.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Jon Lester was dealing tonight but the offense was struggling against the Royals starter, Brian Bannister. Lester went 8 shutout innings giving up just 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8.
Ellsbury had the only hit (he was thrown out at the plate and ejected for arguing the call) for the Red Sox until the 8th inning when Kotsay led up with a single. Green bunted him over to second with 2 strikes putting the go-ahead run a second. The table was set for J.D. Drew but he wiffed putting the pressure on Pedroia. Dustin came through with a wall-ball double scoring Kotsay and giving the Sox all the runs they would need.
Papelbon had good stuff and finally put Red Sox Nation at ease with three quick outs preserving the win for Boston.
Red Sox Win 1-0 BOX SCORE
I'll be on the Baseball Show tomorrow morning on CSNNE as part of Web Sox Nation so tune in if you are in the viewing area.
Big Papi hit his 300th career home run last night but it was not enough for the suddenly struggling bullpen. In 2 2.3 innings, MDC, Masterson, and RR gave up 7 hits and 5 earned runs to one of the worst offenses in baseball. 4 of the last 5 losses can be attributed to the pen; the All-Star break can not come soon enough for some of the tired arms. The loss puts the Red Sox in a tie for first place in the A.L. East.
Red Sox Lose 8-6 BOX SCORE
Thursday, July 9, 2009
J.D. Drew, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Jason Bay, LF
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Jason Varitek, C
Mark Kotsay, 1B
Nick Green, SS
Brad Penny, SP
To get ready for the Royals/Red Sox series, Fenway West interviewed Joe Posnanski of The Kansas City Star and Sports Illustrated. Joe has been rated the best sports columnist in America twice by the Associated Press Sports Editors and is the author of The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Thourgh Buck O'Neil's America.
FW: How much does the loss of Coco Crisp hurt the Royals?
Joe Posnanski: Well, sure, it does hurt. Crisp was playing quite well early in the year -- he was walking a lot, chasing down everything in center field and so on. The Royals got off to a good start and he was a big part of that. I don't know if he could have maintained that pace for a full season -- we'll never really know since he's gone for the year (and I can't imagine the Royals picking up his $8 million option). I think the team has some pretty serious problems and a healthy Crisp would not have changed that. But he certainly could have helped.
FW: Is Zack Greinke going to win the Cy Young?
Joe Posnanski: I said before the year that he would win the Cy Young so it would be silly for me now -- after his brilliant first half -- to back away from my good-looking prediction. But I will say that I think the team's struggles seem to be wearing on him. Zack seems to me the kind of guy who wants desperately to be on a winning team, who wants to pitch in meaningful games. Everybody does, of course, but I think that means even more to him. He has already pitched way too many meaningless games for such a young guy. So, the key to me will be how well he can keep his concentration, focus and enthusiasm in the second half. I still think he and Roy Halladay are the two best pitchers in the American League.
FW: Do you see the Royals making any big deals before the deadline?
Joe Posnanski: I'm sure they would love to make big deals but I'm not entirely sure they have the necessary bait. I think it's possible, maybe even likely, that they will deal Mark Teahen or David DeJesus or someone like that before the deadline, and I guess that could qualify as a big deal. But as far as a really big deal -- a trade that would include Greinke, Joakim Soria, Gil Meche or one of the Royals No. 1 draft picks in the minors or a trade where another team takes Guillen's $12 million contract off their hands -- well, I don't see any of those things happening.
FW: Is Callaspo the best young player on the Royals?
Joe Posnanski: No, I don't think so. I think Billy Butler is the best young everyday player on the Royals. I think he has been surprisingly decent playing first base -- the Royals had fully expected him to be stuck as a DH his whole career -- and I really believe the guy's going to hit a ton. He's only 23 and his power is still developing but he's a natural hitter -- I really think he's a potential star in the making. I'm also keeping my eyes on Alex Gordon when he returns from the disabled list just after the All-Star break. Gordon was everyone's favorite prospect just two years ago and he was actually pretty good last year. I wonder if these couple of months away from the game will help him refocus and become the star that most people expected. As for Callaspo, he's a good hitter. He can't run and I think he's a well-below-average second baseman. But he can hit, and he has flashed some power this year and that is a pleasant surprise for the team. He hardly ever strikes out so that's fun too.
FW: What are your predictions for this series with the Red Sox?
Joe Posnanski: I've hope I've learned enough through the years of watching Royals baseball to not make too many predictions about individual baseball games. But, obviously, this series does not look like a good match-up at all for the Royals. Four games at Fenway and no Zack Greinke pitching and the Royals can't score at all ... I think if the Red Sox don't take at least three out of four they'll be kicking themselves over the All-Star Break.
This is no new news to all of us in Red Sox Nation, but Sporting News Magazine just ranked the 30 MLB Parks and the #1 ballpark was of course, Fenway Park.
The 3 reasons the author LOVES Fenway Park:
1. The Green Monster
2. The Ted Williams Seat
3. Pesky's Pole
Here is what Jason Bay had to say about his experiences with the Monster, both as a Red Sox and a visiting player:
"There's not a lot of room out there. It's pretty self-explanatory: If it's over your head, it's off the wall or it's gone. In that aspect, it's easier. But there are some nooks and crannies, the scoreboard—I've been back there behind the scoreboard a couple times, once as a visiting player, and then I've gone back since. Most of the guys who come here for the first time go. There's thousands and thousands of signatures back there. So it was like, 'Hey, you gotta go sign the Monster.' So I went in and signed the inside of it. And when I came here, I went back and saw my name back there. It's the nostalgia. There's all these new ballparks going up, and they're great. People are like, 'Wouldn't you like to see Boston get a new ballpark?' And the answer is, 'Not really.' "
Here, here JayBay! No new ballpark for the Red Sox. No way. No how.
My own personal FOURTH reason...the FANS. There is something about the Fenway Faithful. The noise. The fact that the fans don't need a teleprompter to tell them to cheer....and they don't need to be given noise sticks or clappers. Fenway fans make noise all on their own. Josh Beckett said it himself in his last press conference how much he loves playing here. He said the support of the fans is so valuable and a welcomed change from what he experienced when he was with the Marlins.
Here are the Top 5:
1. Fenway Park - Boston Red Sox
2. PNC Park - Pittsburg Pirates
3. Wrigley Field - Chicago Cubs
4. Oriole Park at Camden Yards - Baltimore Orioles
5. AT&T Park - San Fransico Giants
Oh...and in that Top 5, I didn't notice the new Yankee Stadium. Just saying.
P.S. Did I happen to mention that I am making my first trek EVER to Fenway Park this Saturday? I didn't? Well...I SO AM. I am so excited...I am literally counting the hours until 7:10pm on Saturday night.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tim Wakefield became the first pitcher in the AL to reach the 11 victory mark tonight after going 6 innings and giving up 3 runs and striking out 8 Oakland A's batters.
The A's had a 1-0 lead in the 6th before J.D. Drew and Big Papi hit home runs giving the Red Sox the lead for good.
Delcarmen and Oki each kept the A's off of the board but Paps was shaky again giving up a run in the 9th.
Red Sox Win 5-4 BOX SCORE
The White Sox can't find Bartolo Colon:
"I know where he is supposed to be right now. He's supposed to be in Charlotte, preparing to start Thursday," White Sox GM Ken Williams said Tuesday, according to the Chicago Tribune. "Efforts to contact his agent have been successful. Their efforts to contact their client have not been so successful."
Chances are "el Gordo" is snacking at a local eatery, he should turn up shortly.
Nomar disputed the common belief that he turned down a large contract offered by the Red Sox in 2004 before he was traded in an interview with CSNNE. Watch Below:
So, the trade rumors have been all a flutter in the last couple days with the announcement that the Toronto Blue Jays are open to trading their ace Roy Halladay.
Which of course brings up the topic of who will get him? The Blue Jays GM said he would be open to a trade to another AL East rival...mainly the Red Sox or Yankees.
Halladay has said he likes it in Toronto and would like to stay, but he also said that at this point in his career...he has a desire to win. Wow...what a backhanded way of saying that your current ballclub has no ability to bring you to the post season. Of course, we know Doc's comments are true, I was just surprised to hear him say it.
Jon Heyman on the twitter just said that Halladay is "shy" but that he would likely accept a trade to New York, Boston or the Phillies.
So, it begs the question....if Doc is traded, where would he most likely end up?
It is stated that the Jays are looking for a high quality short stop and some other considerations. I mean, we are talking about Roy Halladay here. Well, since the Red Sox are looking for a high quality short stop as well, I don't think we have what they are looking for. I doubt they would consider trading Doc for Lugo, eh? Now...the possibility of Nick Green and some baby pitchers...that's a possibility....not a good possibility, but still a possibility.
Of course we want Doc Halladay. No one could say they would not want that pitching machine on their staff. However, the question is do we NEED him? Is he worth what we would have to give up? My answer is no. Doc is unquestionable an ace. He is someone who leads ballclubs. We already have two dueling aces in Josh Beckett and Jon Lester. We also have an abundance of pitching. We have Beckett, Lester, Wake, Penny, Smoltz....and Buchholz and Bowden just sitting around twiddling their thumbs in AAA. We have Dice-K continuing his version of spring training in July. Oh...and we also have the enigma that is Justin Masterson who can start games, long relief and even close games. So, our need for pitching is not really there, but it's hard to not want in on something that includes the name Roy Halladay.
My heart sinks when my brain tells me where I think he will end up if in fact he does get traded. That's right folks...the Yankees. Sighs. With Wang going on the DL and the Yanks not having all these other pitchers lying around waiting for the chance to pitch, they would be in the market for a quality starting pitcher. If the Yankees are in the market for a pitcher and Roy Halladay is on the trade market...how does that not look like something that would happen? The question is if the Yankees have enough or what the Blue Jays want. One, we know the Yankees are much more willing than the Red Sox to trade prospects. And two, even if they don't have what the Blue Jays want, they might get into a 3 way trade with another team to get the deal done. The Yankees will always sign away the promise of tomorrow for the victories of today.
Let me just say two things about these Doc Halladay rumors:
1) I hope that he either stays with the Blue Jays or gets traded to the Phillies. Both of those I can accept. If he gets sent to the Bronx, the depression that will follow will be out of control.
2) Every time someone mentions trading Clay Buchholz, even when it involves Doc Halladay...I have a full and complete tantrum. So, STOP IT! My tanturms are not pretty people.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
While the Sox hitters didn't "feast" on A's pitchers, they did put up 5 runs on 9 hits.
Jason Varitek came through with a key hit, driving in 2 of the Sox runs.
Josh Beckett pitched well, giving up 2 ER in 6.2 innings and picking up his 10th win. Paps picked up the save (his 21st) by striking out the side in the 9th.
An expected, but nonetheless, solid win for the Sox.
I think all of Red Sox Nation is ready for a Sox win. Not an extra innings affair, not a comeback in the 9th, but a good ol' whoopin'.
Beckett takes the mound tonight for the Sox. That alone should mean a Red Sox win against a team that is at the bottom of the AL West. But, what makes tonight's victory more likely is this:
Dana Eveland (1-2, 7.40 ERA).
In a couple of career starts against the Sox Eveland's ERA is nearly 19.00. (Those are post-juice Gagne numbers) The A's were planning on starting Dallas Braden, but he was placed on the bereavement list.
Eveland is pitching on only 3 days rest. (To be fair, Eveland has pitched well in Sacramento, but Fenway is not Sacramento, and these are the Boston Red Sox not the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.)
Bring out your bats. This outta be a high scoring game for the Sox.
Smoltz has had a great career. He's considered by some to be worthy of eventual induction into the Hall of Fame. I shouldn't be putting all of this in the past tense, should I?
With the Sox this year, the "potential Hall of Fame Smoltz" has given up 20 hits, and 11 ERs in the 15 innings that he has pitched. His ERA is a whopping 6.60.
Sox fans knew they weren't getting the same pitcher that dominated hitters for Atlanta, but they thought he still had some Ws to contribute to a winning club. How long before we should be truly concerned? One more start? Two more? Smoltz is 42. Comebacks get harder with age. Smoltz is a true competitor, and I think he can turn it around, but I am a tad worried.
With Buchholz pitching well in AAA and Dice-K conditioning in Ft. Myers the leash may not be too long.
NESN caught up with Nomar after last night's game. Sox fans were classy in welcoming Nomar back to Fenway.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Rookie lefthander Bret Anderson 2-hit the Red Sox, pitching a gem for Oakland. Anderson was the A's highest touted prospect but has had mixed results so far this season. He lived up to the hype tonight.
The Sox continue to struggle in July, losing against teams that they are expected to beat.
The upcoming All-Star break will provide a well-needed rest for the team.
Dice K is in Ft. Myers to recondition himself and hopefully get back to his old pitching form. Dice K asked for permission to leave the team to work out in Ft Myers.
Speaking to Southwest Florida's News2 Dice K shed some light on the situation:
"I originally wanted to come down here so I could focus on working really hard. I appreciate the team agreed to it," he said.
"I'm approaching it as if it's spring training in February. It's a little bit strange to be doing it in the middle of the season - but maybe because of that I've been given about two times the work," Matsuzaka said.
"I've been given this time to workout down here, so I just want to keep smiling as I do it. But I think for me to show my real smile, that's a little bit further down the road," said Matsuzaka.
"I've been given some rough outlines of a schedule but I don't think even the ballclub really knows how much time I'm going to be spending down here. I want to stay here and work out until I feel ready," he said.
Nomar Garciaparra will be back at Fenway Park tonight as a member of the Oakland A's. He hasn't played at Fenway in almost 5 years.
Sox fans should give Nomar a warm welcome. He's never been the same player since leaving Boston, and has been plagued by injuries.
Garciaparra told the Boston Globe:
“I look forward to it, just because of the fans and to see some old friends and everything. I always loved the fans, and that city will always have a special place in my heart"
With Saito struggling the Red Sox always have the option of bringing Javier Lopez back up. Lopez talks about what happened to him earlier in the season and how he is doing now. Watch below:
Sunday, July 5, 2009
It looked like the Red Sox were headed for another painful loss to the Mariners as the game entered the bottom of the 7th. Lester had given up 4 runs (3 earned) and the Sox were down by one as the Mariners turned their bullpen. With runners on first and second Youk made an out and failed to advance the runners but Big Papi (who had already homered in the game) saved the day with a base hit driving in the tying run. Then Bay got on and with bases loaded Ells drew a walk to bring in the go-ahead run. Kotsay then got a hit and the Red Sox were in the driver's seat. Masterson and Oki went the rest of the way and didn't allow a hit.
Red Sox Win 8-4 BOX SCORE
Tim Wakefield, Jonathan Papelbon and Josh Beckett have made the All-Star pitching staff for the American League. Dustin Pedroia has been voted in as the starting second baseman, Jason Bay is in as a starting outfielder and Youk was voted in as a reserve player. The full roster is here.
Are we really supposed to take Manny's apology seriously? The guy can't take off his sunglasses inside to address the media, his body language gives off a giant f-you and he has Scott Boras sitting next to him showing that it was all scripted. How did the suspension impact Manny emotionally? It was great according to Ramirez because of all of the support he got; sounds like a tough punishment. Fox joined the apologist bandwagon yesterday by showing his AB's.