Red Sox Win 9-1 BOX SCORE
The Texas Rangers are a financial mess and their money problems may cause them to lose the wild-card race. The already lost out on signing their number one pick and now they may have to shut down Kevin Millwood for the remainder of the season so he does not hit 180 innings pitched which would guarantee him $12 million next season.
However, owner Tom Hicks contradicted the report and said Millwood would keep on pitching:
"As far as Kevin Millwood is concerned, we never gave any consideration to that," Hicks said. "We need him to be one of our leaders down the stretch. There have not been any thoughts or discussions with MLB about Kevin's contract for next year -- nor will there be. We expect Kevin to be in the rotation next year and have a strong finish to his contract."
Yesterday around 4 pm I was lucky enough to be given two great seats to the Giants/Dodgers game so my afternoon plans quickly changed. I went with a friend to The Bus Stop Bar in San Francisco for some pregame beverages. The bar has been around since 1900 and has 4 flatscreens within view and luckily one of them was tuned to NESN. The bartender was from Worcester, Mass. and the guy sitting next to me was wearing a Japanese Dice-K shirt, Dirty Water was even playing on the jukebox. The rain started falling at the Fens so we, like most of you, were watching wiffleball highlights and wondering how Lester was going to get out of the bases loaded jam when the game resumed.
We left the Bus Stop and headed to Red's Java House near AT&T Park for some more beverages and greasy food before heading into the game.
While people out here like to compare the Giants-Dodgers rivalry to that of the Red Sox-Yankees, it isn't really the same. 25% of the fans at the game last night were in Dodger blue and both sides were pretty vocal but not near the intensity you get when the Yankees are at Fenway. It was a must win game for the Giants who were trying to catch the Rockies in the wild-card or the Dodgers in the division to get into the playoffs. Those dreams however disappeared into the San Francisco night when Casey Blake crushed a pitch from Matt Cain in the 6th. It was strange seeing Manny in a different uniform but he wasn't much of a factor in the game and he is still was not running out ground balls.
I headed home to Sonoma County after the game but realized I had to set my alarm early to call into The Baseball Show at 5:15 am, which is way too early for any sane person to be up on a Saturday morning, especially after a night on the town.
You can watch the clip from "Web Sox Nation" below:
Williams: “Meanwhile, your Red Sox, they’re only about 19 games back of the Yankees. Do they have anything for them in October?”
Damon: “Yeah, of course, man. October comes and everybody is 0-0. All we need to do is back into the wild card and we’re fine. We’re fine. Listen, New York, they’re going to collapse. They’re still, I mean, nobody on that team has won a World Series in... I mean, Jeter has but the rest of them…”
Williams: “Posada has, Pettitte has…”
Damon: “Nine years ago these guys won the World Series. They got so smoked by the Red Sox in ’04, I mean, I’m telling you, man. They’ve got the yips. They’re going to fold like a cheap suit. You watch, man. You watch. If we make it into the playoffs, man, we’re taking them down.”
|Jacoby Ellsbury-CF |
|Victor Martinez- C|
On this anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks please think about giving back to your community in some way. Below is a list of some of the Red Sox players and the charities they support:
A two year old boy whose aunt died in the World Trade Center on Sept 11, 2001 will throw out the first pitch at Fenway tonight. The boy, Cooper Harrington, was born on Sept. 11, 2007. His dad says he can throw the ball about 6 feet so it should be fun to watch. Happy Birthday Cooper!
Tonight was the 3rd annual Beckett Bowl and judging by the highlights, there aren't too many good bowlers on the Red Sox. Watch below:
A few weeks back I wrote this post:
Make or Break TimeAfter yesterday's off day the Red Sox are now ready to begin a tough stretch that will determine if they will be playing golf or baseball when the regular season ends. They will play 22 games in a row against the Jays, Yankees, White Sox, Rays and O's before the next off day. 12 of those games will be at home. With V-Mart and Alex Gonzalez, Tito will use a variety of lineups to get players some rest and we should see Wake at some time during this stretch. Hold on because it's gonna be a bumpy ride but hopefully the Red Sox will be in the playoff hunt when it is over.
Daisuke Matsuzaka looked like a pitcher ready to return to the majors after last night's rehab game with the Salem Red Sox. He pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and a walk, he struck out 7 batters; giving him a victory in the Carolina League playoff game. Look for Dice-K's next start to be with the big club in place of Paul Byrd or Tim Wakefield.
Wake is having another cortisone shot today to try to pitch against Baltimore late next week if all goes well. If he still experiences discomfort in a side session he may opt for surgery which would keep him out for the rest of the regular season and most likely the post-season.
When Daisuke Matsuzaka takes the mound tonight for the Salem Red Sox he will be pitching in game 1 of a best of 5 playoff series against Winston-Salem. This is the inaugural season for the Salem Red Sox so Dice-K will have the added pressure of starting thier first ever playoff game. Even though it is a single A game, the added pressure should give us some indication as to Dice-K's ability to rejoin the rotation as a dependable pitcher for the remainder of the season.
"This is a great way to kick off the 2009 post season for the Salem Sox," said Salem General Manager John Katz. "It's always exciting to have a major-leaguer on the field, and to have a pitcher the caliber of Daisuke Matsuzaka on the bump in game one is really something special."
With one more home run David Ortiz will set the record for the most home runs by a designated hitter. When he went deep last night he tied Frank Thomas for the record with 269 homers while being a designated hitter. Ortiz did not know about it until he was told after the game. Watch below:
Back home at the Fens the offense was able to pepper the fans with souvenir home run balls. Pedroia got it started with a homer in the first then Youk hit one of his own. Alex Gonzales hit one in the second and Pedey went yard again in the third. J.D. Drew kept the homer parade going with with a home run in the third and Big Papi hit one in the seventh. That is a total of 6 home runs in the game folks, it doesn't get much better than that. But wait...there's more...
The pitching was outstanding with Clay Buchholz earning his 5th win by going 7 shutout innings and just allowing 3 hits. Bowden finished off the game with 2 scoreless innings of his own.
Red Sox Win 10-0 BOX SCORE
|Jacoby Ellsbury-CF |
|Victor Martinez-C |
|Kevin Youkilis-3B |
|David Ortiz-DH |
|Jason Bay-LF |
|J.D. Drew-RF |
|Casey Kotchman-1B |
Jed Lowrie is back on the Red Sox after rehabbing with the PawSox but he may not be able to contribute much to the team. The wrist injury that sidelined him in the first place continues to impact his swing and limit his production. He finished his time in Pawtucket by going 0-3 and was just 3 for his last 37. With Alex Gonzales hitting well and Nick Green still on the bench it is unlikely that Lowrie's return will have much of an impact on the team. He told the ProJo that he is still having issues with the wrist:
"At this point, it's just about managing it and doing what I can to help (Boston) win,'' he said. "It's something I have to deal with. It's fine. It's not 100 percent.''
Joe Haggerty was on NECN's Sports Late Night to discuss Josh Beckett's start and the state of the rotation. Good stuff as always from a great reporter. Make sure to follow him on twitter for great in-game info.
If the Red Sox are going to the promised land again in '09 they may have to do it without Tim Wakefield. He will miss his next start and possibly more according to Terry Francona:
"We have him penciled in down in Baltimore but having said that we’re going to talk to Tom (Dr. Tom Gill) and figure out whether he can pitch every 10 days or whether that’s doing him a disservice. We’re kind of stuck in the middle, and he is, too. There’s a lot of gray area here and we really don’t know.”
It is safe to say that most Red Sox fans are not taking today's loss in Chicago too hard since Josh Beckett showed he can still pitch well. He went 7 innings and gave up 3 runs on 6 hits and more importantly ZERO home runs. He did have one bad inning but rebounded nicely. Unfortunately the Red Sox could not get a timely hit and had a combined 16 runners LOB. Hopefully the Tribe can beat Texas again and the loss won't matter much. The Red Sox now head back to Boston to take on the O's.
Red Sox lose 5-1 BOX SCORE
When the Red Sox obtained Victor Matinez they brought a solid bat to the team, they also made Tito's job much harder. To keep V-Mart's bat in the lineup the team needs to rotate Tek, Lowell, and Ortiz out of their usual spots. Red Sox pitchers have long benefited with Varitek calling the game behind the plate and Martinez is not a defensive upgrade, but offensively the team is much better with V-Mart's bat replacing Tek's. When V-Mart goes to first and Youk shifts to third, you get the benefit of allowing Mike Lowell to rest his hip, but his hot bat is on the bench. With Big Papi struggling at the plate, the DH spot has looked like a better spot to play Lowell or V-Mart and keep Tek behind the dish, but that hasn't happened much. Lowell has definitely been the odd man you since V-Mart arrived while Big Papi is usually the DH. Tito can't get away with saying he is just going to start Ortiz against righties because his numbers are very similar against lefties.
There is no question that right now the team is better offensively when Tek and Ortiz are on the bench, letting V-Mart catch and Lowell DH. Big Papi and Tek have been the heart and soul of the Red Sox for years and have a huge fan support but their numbers are starting to hurt the team. It might be time to have them sit out even more. Theo will have to make some big choices in the offseason with those two.
Jon Lester looked like the ace of the staff on the south side of Chicago this afternoon. The Red Sox starter pitched seven shutout innings and gave up just 4 hits while he struck out 8 including his 200th K of the season. He was aided in the bottom of the 1st when Pedey made a spectacular over the shoulder catch on a flair in shallow right and doubled up the runner on second.
Mike Lowell got the offense started with a 2-run homer in the 4th and Youk drove in another run in the 5th to pad the lead. Ells had 3 hits in the game with a stolen base. David Ortiz could not get out of the slump and put up another 0-fer.
Wagner came in to pitch the 8th and gave up his first run as a member of the Red Sox; a long home run before recording 2 outs and being replaced by Bard. Daniel Bard threw a slider for a ball and then 3 straight fastballs to get a strikeout and end the inning.
V-Mart hit a 3-run homer in the top of the 9th to give the Red Sox a 5 run lead and take some pressure off of the bullpen. Papelbon still came in to pitch the 9th to get some work, he gave up 1 hit in the non save situation.
The Rangers and Yankees both lost so the Red Sox picked up a game in the division and added to their wild-card lead.
Red Sox Win 6-1 BOX SCORE
|White Sox ||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||6||0|