Thursday, June 30, 2005


Wednesday's win was a necesary one. It was made necesary because of two bad losses the days before. Monday's loss was embarassing and Tuesday's was painful.

The Man of the Game on Monday is Kevin Millwood who went 6 scoreless innings allowing only 3 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 6.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Arroyo: 0.4 - 6.2 IP, 7 R, 5 ER
Bellhorn: 0.1 - Error
Mueller: 0.1 - 0 for 3
Varitek: 0.1 - 0 for 3
Millar: 0.1 - 0 for 3
Nixon: 0.1 - 0 for 4
Ramirez: 0.1 - 0 for 4

I had the unfortunate pleasure of seeing Tuesday's loss first hand. This was just a bad game for several players. Miller didn't pitch well, Timlin didn't do well either, and Foulke had one of the worst outings I've seen him have. Renteria had 2 errors to go along with his 1 for 4 day.

The Man of the Game is Travis Hafner who went 3 for 5 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a Grand Slam Homerun. He knocked in 6 men and scored twice.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Timlin: 0.1 - 1.2 IP, 2 ER (allowed by Foulke to score)
Miller: 0.1 - 5.2 IP, 5 ER
Foulke: 0.8 - 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, HR

More on Foulke later.

The Sox were able to put it all together on Wednesday, thankfully. A nice start from Wakefield, solid bullpen work, and timely hitting combined for a nice 5-2 victory to avoid the sweep.

The Man of the Game is Tim Wakefield who went 7 and gave up 2 runs. He has been our best pitcher the past 2 weeks I'd say.

We can beat Philadelphia and the other mediocre teams in the Majors with our bullpen in its current state of disarray. However, I don't think we can win the World Series with the pen composed as it is. I think that we can improve it three ways.

1: Bronson Arroyo as a set-up man.
Arroyo is very good in the bullpen. I think he could be a good set-up pitcher and replace Allan Embree. I know Embree is a lefty, but he has never been that outstanding against lefthanded hitting since coming to Boston. Arroyo is not very good against lefties, but with Myers out there able to get out the tough lefties like Matsui, I don't think we should worry that much if Arroyo is our set-up pitcher.

2: Foulke taken out of the closers role.
On Wednesday, Francona used Timlin in a save situation. He wasn't lights out, but he got the job done. The simple fact of the matter is that Foulke has been less than what he should be as a closer. In save situations, his ERA is over 11. In non-save situations, it is around 2. I think until he can consistently throw the fastball at 88-90, Foulke should be relegated to a set-up role and Timlin should close. Timlin has closed in the past. He's recorded a save every year of his career except for 2002. He has 117 career saves. Foulke has 189. Timlin had 31 saves for the 4th place Blue Jays in 1996, had 10 between Toronto and Seattle in 97, had 19 for the Mariners in 1998, 27 in 1999 for Baltimore, and 12 in 2000 between the Orioles and Cardinals. He isn't a long term solution at closer, but I think he can throw half a season at the position and releive Foulke of some pressure while he tries to get his mechanics back.

3: Outside help.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Red Sox need to add some guys out there. I think Danys Baez would be perfect and could close games. If the Indians fall off, Bob Wickman would be a good candidate for the same job. The Yankees just released two pitchers who have had good careers out of the pen but have struggled this season. Paul Quantrill could be a decent hit-or-miss acquisition and in my mind could be just as good as Matt Mantei as a middle releiver.


5 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 3 K, 78 pitches, 54 strikes

Schilling will face Charlotte again on Monday in Pawtucket (it's sold out already) if there are no problems recovering from this start. Schilling left with a 3-1 lead but the PawSox pen couldn't hold it and Pawtucket lost 5-4.

CNN/SI Story

If his July 4th rehab start goes well, he can either make another one on Saturday against the Sky Chiefs in Syracuse, or come back to the rotation and start against Baltimore the weekend before the All-Star Break.

The Celtics didn't make any moves the day of the draft. They were patient and watched and waited as a very good player fell to them at 18. Gerald Green out of a Texas academy was projected as the 3rd to 7th overrall pick but he fell to us at 18th overrall. He was ranked by ESPN as the #1 shooting guard in the draft and the best high schooler as well. I think he'll fit in well with the youngsters on the team. But I also think we need a veteran leader on the team to keep the younger players in line. I love Pierce, but he isn't the leader we need.

The Celtics got Ryan Gomes out of Providence College with the 20th pick of the 2nd round (50th overrall). Three picks later they got Guard Orien Greene out of Louisianna-Lafayette. Overall it looks like a good draft. I still don't think we're contenders for an NBA title, but in 3 or 4 years, we very well might be.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


It got up to 100 degrees up here in south suburban Boston, but down I-95 in Philly, the Red Sox are about 1,000 degrees right now.

They rolled into Philadelphia 1/2 game behind Baltimore for the lead in the AL East. They come back to Fenway 2 1/2 up on the O's.

Saturday's game was a bit of a joke as I predicted it would be. The Sox got ahead early and Clement was able to combine with Mantei, Myers, and Foulke to keep the Phillies offense down. I have some more in depth stuff on Saturday's game, mainly criticisms of Tim McCarver and Joe Buck, but these will come in the next post. Plus some random thoughts

Saturday's Man of the Game is Matt the Missile Clement who went 7 innings allowing 1 earned run off 7 hits and 0 walks. He struck out 4 and had a walk at the plate.

Sunday was a more interesting game. There are two people on this team that do not belong, in my mind. They are Ramon Vazquez and Allan Embree. Vazquez brings nothing to this team. He isn't fast, isn't a good hitter, and defensively he is average at best. I'd rather see Bellhorn playing short and Youkilis at 2nd than Vazquez at short. Theo needs to go out and get a good middle infielder though.

Embree is just a waste. Why is he coming into a 3 run game? Why does he come into any game? It seems like every other time he pitches, the complexity of the game somehow changes. That isn't a good thing. We can beat teams like Cleveland and Philly with a struggling Embree. But we might not be able to win in a short series in October against great teams.

The bats were able to save the bullpen though. The top of the 8th was a perfect demonstration of the danger the Red Sox present to opponent's pitching. Damon bunts a single, Bellhorn hits a double to knock Damon in, Ortiz with an infield single moving Bellhorn to 3rd, Manny with a SAC Fly to center, Nixon beats out a double play, Tek homers. Two infield singles, a sac fly, a double, and a homer.

The Man of the Game is Mark Bellhorn. He stepped it up in the #2 spot and went 3 for 4. He had a solo HR, an RBI single, and an RBI double. He also walked once. He had 3 RBI and scored 4 times.

The Orioles lost Saturday and Sunday. The Yankees split their last two with the Mets.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Sox win, O's lose to the Braves, Pedro and the Mets beat the Yankees in the Bronx. A great night for baseball. That is if you're a Red Sox, Braves, or Mets fan.

Is it safe to say Tim Wakefield is on one of those runs when he is practically unhittable? He hasn't given up an earned run in his last 22 innings pitched. The Phillies were fooled by Wake's knuckle ball and Lieber's profinity for giving up the long ball was demonstrated very well.

Doug Mirabelli showed once again that he is perhaps the best backup catcher in baseball. Re-signing him last off season may have been one of the best subtle decisions Theo made. He is great at catching Wakefield. Wake started this run in a start against the Cubs that was Mirabelli's first start since coming off the DL. He can hit too. He can hit very well. And giving Varitek every 5th game off really seems to keep Tek fresh and may be part of the reason why Varitek has been able to hit so well.

David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez are tearing it up 2003 style. A homerun from each tonight. Both played the field pretty well. Ortiz is definately a serviceable first basemen in the few interleague games we play. I wouldn't want him there every day but he isn't the crappy first baseman that Tim McCarver and Joe Buck made him out to be during the World Series.

The Man of the Game is easily Tim Wakefield. He went 8 innings allowing no runs, 2 hits, and 2 walks. He struck out 6 and went 1 for 2 at the plate with a single and a nice sacrifice bunt.

Someone posted a comment about the Sox not being in an extra inning game all season. The previous record for consecutive games to start a season without extra innings was 69 set by the 2002 White Sox. The Sox have gone 72. The record for most consecutive non-extra inning games in a season is 128 and was set by the 1936 St. Louis Browns (now the Orioles.) I didn't do any legitimate research on this topic, I just happened upon it in this Boston Globe article. Francona bad mouthing Philly cheese-steaks is kind of funny. I never saw the big deal with them. Mixing beef with cheese doesn't seem like much of an innovation. Now Buffalo wings, that's a great concept with that sauce. Plus they're versatile. You can have 3 for a snack or 18 for a big meal.

The Orioles pitching struggles continued as they lost 7-5 to the Atlanta Braves. The Red Sox are 1/2 game ahead of them. This is the first time all season that the Red Sox are in first place.


After dumping 3 of 4 to the lowly D-Rays, the Yankees struggles continued. Pedro went 8 innings, and allowed only 2 runs off 6 hits and 2 walks. He only struck out 3 but he kept his pitch count down and handed it over to the bullpen in the 9th. Then the bullpen nearly handed it over to the Yankees.

Just a random thought I had:
Those Philly ball girls were pretty cute. Perhaps the Red Sox should look into giving shorts for the ball girls to wear in the summer. I just want them to be comfortable sitting in the summer heat. It's not like I wanna see some more skin. *Wink suggestively*


The Red Sox go to play the Philadelphia Phillies at their new stadium. Besides PETCO Park in San Diego, which the Red Sox ownership had helped get built, the Red Sox have played in every ballpark in the Majors. The Phillies are 2nd in the competetive NL East, 3.5 games behind Washington. They're 39-34.

The Red Sox come into this series having won 9 of their last 10 while the Phillies are 4-6 in their last 10. The Phillies have been a very streaky team lately and have been able to consistently beat up on bad teams in the NL which is why they are where they are.

The Red Sox have the best offense in baseball in terms of runs scored with 394 (5.5 runs a game). They just scored 23 in 3 games off what had been statistically the best pitching staff in the AL, the Cleveland Indians. The Phillies have scored 348 runs (4.8 runs a game). That is the big difference between these teams and might be a result of the pitcher batting.

Here are the pitching matchups:

Game 1 - Tim Wakefield vs. Jon Lieber
Lieber is one of many players in baseball who were "tried out" by the NY Yankees but who were never good enough or enough of an expensive star to make it with the Yanks. Wakefield has been a somewhat inconsistent starter this season and is a candidate for the bullpen when Schilling returns due mostly to his versatility.

Lieber has 8 wins, but his other numbers are not very good. His ERA is 4.63, his WHIP is 1.31, he's only thrown 90.8 pitches a game (this tells you that he sometimes can't go deep into games), opponents are batting a healthy .277, he's lost 6 times, and he's allowed 20 homeruns. It's supposed to be warm in Philly this weekend so I think the baseball might be doing a good deal of flying.

Lieber is coming off a start in which he went 5.1 innings, allowing 4 earned runs. But in the start before, he allowed 3 runs in 8 innings. Most of his great starts came in April (not surprising as less homers are hit in the colder months) when he had 3 8 inning outings.

The Red Sox have seen Lieber quite a bit for an NL pitcher. Overrall they're 66 for 198 (.333) with 12 doubles, 2 triples, and 6 homeruns. Edgar Renteria is 16 for 54 against him (.296) with 2 doubles and a homerun. Billy Mueller is a very nice 15 for 31 (.484) with 3 doubles and a homerun. Millar is 9 for 21 (.429) with 4 extra basehits. This might have been a good game to give Millar a start in RF instead of Wednesday. If he doesn't start, he should be a pinch hitter against Lieber is necesarry. Another pinch hitting candidate could be Olerud who is 8 for 16 against Lieber. David Ortiz is 4 for 10 with 2 HRs. Mirabelli is 3 for 8, while Varitek is 0 for 5 so this could be a perfect day to give Tek a day off. The news isn't all good though. Damon is 2 for 15 and Manny is only 1 for 11. I think Francona should consider giving Damon, who has been bruised and beaten by a buffet of injuries, another day off. Then move Trot to CF and put Millar in RF to get his bat in there against Lieber.

Wakefield has not been that great of a pitcher. His ERA is an average 4.41, opponents are batting .271 against him, his WHIP is a bloated 1.49, and he has walked 39 batters. However, he has allowed only 8 HRs this year which is pretty good. Wake should be able to help himself out with his fielding and his ability to bunt and even get a hit once and awhile.

Wakefield has been pitching very good lately. He went 7 scoreless against Pittsburgh before the game was blown by the bullpen. The start before that was a 7 inning, 4 hit, 1 ER, 0 BB outing against the Cubs. That start was win number 1 of the 9 the Sox have won in their last 10. That 8-1 win was a turning point in the month of June and who knows, may be the turning point in the season.

None of the Philly hitters who have seen Wake alot have amazing numbers agianst him. Lofton is 15 for 56 (.268). Thome is 6 for 44 (.136) but he does have 2 HRs. David Bell is 5 for 15. Tomas Perez is 1 for 10. Lieberthal is 3 for 6 with a Homer.

With the way the Red Sox hit Lieber, and the way Wakefield has pitched in his last two starts, I think Wake will have the better day. I see Lieber allowing more runs than innings he pitches. I think the Sox will win this game 7-3.

Game 2 - Matt Clement vs. Vicente Padilla
Pure mismatch.

Padilla is 3-6 with a 6.23 ERA. His WHIP is 1.78 and opponents are batting .295 against him (that's with 2 pitcher ABs a game). In 10 starts and just under 48 innings, he's walked 29 batters. He's allowed 13 homeruns in those 10 starts.

He's been used sparingly by the Phillies and has been skipped by them when possible. his last start was June 15. He went 5.2 allowing 3 runs against the Mariners. He's gotten to the end of the 6th inning one time this season and that was against the Reds.

The Red Sox haven't seen too much of him. Renteria is 3 for 9 with a homer. Payton is 1 for 9. Millar is 3 for 9.

Clement has been the best pitcher on the staff. The western Pennsylvania native is 8-1 with an ERA of 3.48. His WHIP is a decent 1.26 and opponents are batting .245 against him.

Clement has been great in his last 2 starts, which was not the case in his previous 3. He went 7 scoreless against the Pirates and 8 against the Reds allowing 3 runs.

The Phillies have seen Clement before. Abreau is a nice 11 for 31 (.355) but has struck out 10 times against him. Jimmy Rollins is a not so nice 2 for 22 (.087). Lofton is 5 for 22. Burrell is at .300 with a 6 for 20. Liberthal is 7 for 19 (.368 with 3 homeruns). David Bell is 3 for 7, Thome is 1 for 7.

With the way Padilla and Clement have pitched this season, I think the Red Sox will win this. I actually think Boston will win this in a blowout. I say 8-2.

Game 3 - David Wells vs. Brett Myers

Myers is only 5-4 but his ERA is 2.66. His WHIP is a very nice 1.10. Opponents are only batting .228 against him. He doesn't walk too many guys or give up too many Homers.

He did get shelled in his last start though. He could only go 3.1 innings and allowed 6 runs to the Mets. Before then he had 3 consecutive Quality Starts.

The Sox have seen a bit of him. Renteria is 4 for 13 against him (.308). millar is 2 for 12. Trot is 3 for 9. Bill Mueller is 0 for 8. Damon is 3 for 7.

Wells has been hit or miss this season. He is 6-4 with a 4.73 ERA and an opponents batting average of .287. His WHIP is low at 1.24 due to the lack of walks he gives up.

His last start wasn't that great with 4 ERs allowed in 5 innings. The start before that though was outstanding. Wells went 7 shutout innings allowing only 1 hit. Before that he went 8 scoreless innings allowing 4 hits.

Thome is 6 for 35 in his career against Wells. That's a .171 average. Lofton on the other hand is 11 for 32 which is a .344 clip. David Bell is 6 for 23. Wells has been the only guy to shut down Lieberthal who is only 1 for 8 against Wells.

I think Myers will shut us down and we will lose 5-2.

The Philly Bullpen:
They've got a great, lights out closer in Billy Wagner. He is 18 for 20 in save opportunities. He does give up a homer from time to time, but few baserunners.

Wagner is set-up by Ryan Madson (3.46 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) and former Sox lefty Rheal Cormier (4.44 ERA, 1.36 WHIP). Aaron Fultz, a lefty with a 2.88 ERA will also see some time. Once again, this series is a mismatch in terms of bullpens but in the last series, that didn't seem to affect the Sox bats much.

If you're not going out and getting drunk somewhere like me tonight or if you're going to a sports bar, it will be a great baseball night. The Sox and Phillies on NESN/WSBK, the Orioles and Braves on TBS and the Yankees and Mets on ESPN. Shockingly, Pedro Martinez is matched up against Mike Mussina.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Well, the Red Sox are rolling right now. This was their first road series win since they took 2 of 3 from the Yankees near the end of May. This is their first road sweep since they took 2 of 2 from the Orioles on April 20 and 21st. This is their first 3 game road sweep of the season.

The Indians were hot, even though they hadn't beaten the greatest of teams in their winning streak. The Giants are 30-40, the D-Bax are a game below .500 and the Rockies are 22-48 (5-31 on the road). But they were still a pretty hot team that was rolling with alot of momentum.

This series came down to a few key plays. There was Damon's homerun in the top of the 9th in the first game that gave the Sox a cushion. Then his catch in the bottom of the inning to end the game and rpevent the tying run from scoring. Tuesday night, Trot Nixon made a sensational catch to rob extra bases from the Indians and keep Cleveland out of the game. Last night, a pair of doubles strung together by Payton and Olerud gave the Sox a 5-4 lead which they would hold.

As it is right now, the Red Sox are in good position. We're only a game behind Baltimore (who just lost Surhoff to the DL) and 4 games ahead of the Yankees. We have a visit to Philadelphia coming up this weekend. Meanwhile, the Yankees host the Mets (the Yankees are on a 13 game homestand, the Red Sox do not have a homestand over 10 games/days this season. weird.) and the Orioles play the Braves in Atlanta.

Speaking of the New York Yankees, here's a thought about them as I've seen them "dominate" on their 2 week homestand:

The myth that Don Mattingly is a great hitting coach. Mattingly was a great hitter. Anyone that retires with a career average over .300 is pretty dam good at hitting. It seems as though every time I turn on ESPN or Fox or YES! when I'm at school, and a Yankee hitter does something good, they show Mattingly or talk about him and what a great job he is doing. Frankly, I just don't see how he could fail at his job. Jeter, Matsui, Sheffield, Rodriguez, Posada, and Tino all excelled at hitting. The 10 regular hitters playing for the Yankees have a combined 2005 salary of $106.6 million. How the heck could somebody fail given those players. Mattingly hasn't worked with mediocre hitters to make them great like Papa Jack has with David Ortiz. Ortiz wasn't a power hitter before he got to Boston. Now he's one of the top homerun hitters in baseball.


I have to admit, I never thought we were going to win this game until the 27th out was recorded. Our pen is too bad and theirs was too good. We had our 5th best starter against their best. We had a JV lineup in to bat against the lefty Lee.

So how'd we win? Offensive contributions from nearly everyone. Payton went 1 for 5 with a big double, Renteria had a great night at the plate with a double and a homer, Ortiz went 2 for 4 with a double, Manny went 1 for 3 and walked twice, Millar went 2 for 4, Olerud came off the bench and went 3 for 4 with a big homerun, and Mueller added an RBI single.

For some reason unkown to me, Embree came into the game in the 6th with the bases loaded, 0 outs, and the score 2-1 in favor of Cleveland. He did well in the inning though striking out Hernandez and inducing an inning ending double play. He was unable to pitch around a Renteria error in the 7th though and I could just hear the phone lines of WEEI filling with angry people against Embree and Renteria. The bats picked up the pitchers though and the Sox completed the 3 game sweep.

The Indians were red hot coming into this series, having won 9 in a row. Then, we came to town and swept them. Pretty dam impressive if you ask me.

The Orioles lost to Toronto and the Yankees lost to Tampa. The Sox are now only a game behind Baltimore for 1st place in the division. We have a day off tomorrow while Baltimore and New York continue their series.

The Man of the Game is John Olerud who went 3 for 4 with a homer, 2 RBI, and a Run. He had a game tying homer in the 7th, and a big single in the 8th that got the Sox within 1 run and continued a rally that tied the game.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


The Patriots are as close to perfect over the past 2 years as any team can get. But whenever they have a small hole, they don't neglect it, they fill it. And they fill it well. Last season the Pats signed Punter Josh Miller who is a truly good punter capable of hitting the deep ball and also hitting the accurate short punts that pin teams within their 5 yard line. Although the Richard Seymour situation still hasn't been resolved, the Pats have gone out and improved an aspect of the team that desperately needed improving.

The Patriots signed Punt/Kick Returner Chad Morton to a 1 year, $600,000 deal after he was released by the Washington Redskins. Morton had an injury shortened season last year but when this guy is healthy, he has excelled at returning. The Patriots punt returning game last season left alot to be desired and with Troy Brown another year older, it will be good to give him a few plays off and keep him from getting tackled two to three times fewer a game.

In 2003 Morton had a 9.9 yard/return average in punt returning. If he can do this as well as break a few big returns, the Patriots will benefit tremendously. He can also be a good partner with Bethel Johnson on kick returns.

The Patriots offensive gameplan for the past few years has been based on field position. Even if the team doesn't score on a drive, they will probably move the ball a few yards down the field. This puts the other team in poor field position. After the defense shuts them down, the other team gives the Patriots good field position. This process is supposed to be repeated until the Pats are able to put a few plays together and score. Guys like Josh Miller and Chad Morton are going to help us accomplish this much quicker. If Morton can give us a few extra yards here and there, we are going to score more often.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Very good win for the Red Sox. Offensive contributions from all the hitters, a great start from Arroyo and a bullpen that didn't allow the Indians back into the game. The bats did it with power with a pair of homers from Ortiz and one from Manny. They were also able to put together hits to score runs, and in the 2nd they actually produced a run by running around the bases. Yes, running the bases.

Manny and Ortiz have looked like they did last year. Combined today they went 5 for 9 with 3 homers, 6 RBI, and 4 runs scored. The bottom of the order also contributed with 3 runs scored by the bottom 4 of the lineup and 2 RBI from Mark Bellhorn. Only Renteria was held hitless among the starters but he reached base with a walk and on an error. He also stole his 4th base.

The Man of the Game is David Ortiz. Arroyo had it until he gave up that run in the 7th. DO went 3 for 4 with a pair of homers, 4 RBI, a Sac-Fly, and 3 runs scored.

The Orioles beat the Blue Jays 9-5, the Yankees are beating Tampa Bay 20-11 mostly due to a 13 run 8th inning. The story that will get lost in this game is Randy Johnson's 3 inning, 7 earned run outing. All the New York fans on ESPN will be saying that this is the game that the Yankees will build on in order to win. However, I'm sure if the Red Sox had a 13 game homestand, they'd be winning alot. And I'm sure once the Mets come to the Bronx and the Yankees have to go to Baltimore, their winning will cease.


Danys Baez. Former starter, current closer. He's been a closer for 2+ seasons now with Tampa Bay and Cleveland. He's 27 years old, can throw alot of innings, and is wasting his talent in Tampa. The D-Rays and Red Sox might be hesitant to trade within the division but the Devil Rays don't need this guy and we do. This is his last guaranteed year with Tampa. He makes $3.5M this year and the team has a $4M option for next season. If Tampa Bay continues with their philosophy of the past 3-5 seasons, they'll be looking to cut payroll wherever they can.

I think Baez would be a great set-up man. Like Allan Embree, his is a fastball pitcher. Unlike Allan Embree, he still has a fastball clocked in the mid to upper 90's. Baez is also durable. Last year he made 62 appearances. He's appeared in 10 non-save situations this season so he might be willing to pitch for us for a few months in a set-up role.

The Red Sox need to do something to help their beleagured pen. Clement, Miller, Wells, Arroyo, and Wakefield won't be going 7-8 innings every night. We all saw what happened when Wells could only go 5. We will get some relief in the bullpen when Schilling gets back and somebody goes out to the bullpen, but we still need a set-up guy that is dependable. We need a replacement for Allan Embree. He doesn't have to be a lefthander either because of Myers' presence. Embree could then move into a middle relief role and if he still can't find his velocity, he can be released.


Even when this game was 9-4, I was still worried. Because the bullpen had to get 12 outs. That's alot for this group. For some reason, Francona figured Embree could pitch 3 days in a row. Embree needs to be relegated to mop up duty until he figures out how to pitch again because right now he is killing us.

Thankfully, Johnny Damon had a huge homer in the 9th and made a great running catch in the bottom of the inning to allow Foulke to escape the game.

Millar might be slipping back into his slump with an 0 for 4. Renteria had his weekly 2 hit game. Bill Mueller has begun to hit as well as he is capable of. He went 2 for 4 and his average is up to .291.

The Man of the Game is Manny Ramirez who went 3 for 5 with a single, double, and a homerun. He had 4 RBI and scored twice. I know he got thrown out trying to extend a basehit into a double but he had a great offensive game without which we would have been toast.

Monday, June 20, 2005


The Cleveland Indians are about where the Red Sox are. The Sox are 38-30, Cleveland is 37-30. The Indians are also in the midst of a very succesful home stand. They swept both Colorodo and Arizona. They've won their last 9 games in a row, and 12 of their last 13.

The Indians do not have as potent an offense as we do. We have scored 362 runs (5.32 a game) and they have scored 288 (4.30 a game). However, they have allowed fewer runs. The Red Sox have allowed 328 runs (4.82 a game) and Cleveland has given up a mere 258 runs (3.85 a game).

The pitching matchups look like this:

Game 1 - CC Sabathia vs. David Wells
Sabathia is having his typical average year. He is 5-3 with a 3.91 ERA. Opponents are batting .256 against him. He is stirking out about 6 batters per every 9 innings. He is throwing just over 101 pitches a start. His WHIP is an unspectacular 1.28. In 12 starts he's allowed only 6 homers. In his last start against Colorodo, he got rocked (pun intended). He went 3.1 innings allowing 6 runs off of 8 hits. The start before that, however, he pitched a gem. He went 8 against the Giants allowing only 2 runs. Overrall, the Red Sox hitters are 25/87 against Sabathia. That's .287, which isn't that bad. They've got 5 homers in those 87 at-bats which is solid. The big matchup against Sabathia is Ramirez. Hopefully he'll be healthy because he owns Sabathia. He is 6 for 11 against him with 3 HRs. If those numbers were multiplied to reflect a season's worth of At-Bats (500), Manny would have 136 Homers. Unfortunately, Damon is a mere 2 for 11 against Sabathia and Ortiz is 2 for 12. Olerud is 5 for 15 and Millar is 3 for 7 so I think Millar should play first unless he has to play the outfield for Manny.

Wells is also having an average year. 5-4 with a 4.54 ERA and a nice WHIP of 1.16. Wells has gotten into trouble because of the homerun ball. He has allowed 9 in only 72 innings. Lately though, he's been amazing. In his last start he went 7 scoreless, 1 hit innings. In his start before that, he went 8 scoreless. Before that he allowed 4 runs, but still went 7. In fact, he's pitched into the 7th inning in each of his last 5 starts. Some members of the Indians have seen alot of David. Overrall the Indians are 33 for 111 (.297) against him. However, only 8 of their hitters have faced him. Gonzalez is 18 for 63 (.286) against Wells with 5 HRs. Coco Crisp is 4 for 7, Johnny Peralta is 3 for 5. Casey Blake is 2 for 10, and Ben Broussard is 2 for 9.

Both teams have had a decent amount of success at the plate against the pitcher they will be facing. This game should have a decent amount of offense. My prediction is the sox will win it 7-5.

Game 2 - Kevin Millwood vs. Bronson Arroyo
Millwood appears to be having both a good season and a bad one. His ERA is a nice 2.95 but his record is 2-4. He allows about a hit per inning and a walk every 4 innings. He hasn't given up too many HRs. In his last start, he was coming off the DL with a groin injury and pitched only 5 innings. He didn't allow a run though. He threw only 85 pitches but should be on a count of about 100 for this start. Renteria has some nice numbers against this guy. Edgar is 12 for 31 (.387). He's got 2 doubles and 2 homers against Millwood. Millar is 7 for 22, Mueller is 4 for 18. Varitek is 3 for 9 and Nixon is 0 for 8.

Bronson's overrall numbers have the appearance of mediocrity but that is because it is a combination of brilliant starts and starts that were not so brilliant. Arroyo is 5-3 with a 4.26 ERA. His WHIP is a decent 1.24. He had been going through a tough stretch until his last start when he started using the fastball as more of a feature pitch. He went 7, striking out 8 and allowing a mere run. His three losses came out of the 4 starts before his last one. When he is on, he is literally unbeatable this year. The Indians have very little experience against him. They are 6 for 21 off Arroyo.

Considering Cleveland's lack of experience against Arroyo and how Bronson has pitched when he "has it," I think the Red Sox should win this one. I don't think they'll really get to Millwood all that much. I think we shall win by a score of 4-2 or something along those lines.

Game 3 - Cliff Lee vs. Wade Miller
Cliff Lee is a 27 year old lefty. Already, I'm worried about this game. Lee is 8-3 this season with an ERA of 3.33. He has given up 9 homeruns but his WHIP is exactly the same as Arroyo's. his last start was unimpressive. He went 5, allowing 4 runs but he still got the win. his starts appear to vary from either being 7 innings allowing only 2 runs or so, to being 5 innings allowing 3+ runs. The Sox haven't seen much of him. Manny is 2 for 6 off him with a pair of doubles. Lee has a good variety of pitches. He throws a 4 seam fastball, a cut fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup. His fastball is usually 90-92 MPH but can be faster or slower. The Red Sox will probably be taking alot of pitches because he does have control trouble from time to time and he gets his pitch count up.

Wade Miller has been struggling this year. He is 2-2 with an ERA of 5.16. his WHIP is 1.39 and he's walked 19 men in just over 45 innings. That isn't very good. Miller went 6 in his last start, allowing the Pirates to get 4. His start before was a 7 inning, 5 ER outing against the Cubs. miller's been able to go deeper into games now but he is still allowing a good amount of runs. The Indians have 70 ABs against Miller but only from 4 players. Jose Hernandez is 6 for 23 off Wade. Aaron F. Boone is 8 for 18 off him with a pair of HRs. Ronnie Belliard is 4 for 16. Alex Cora is 2 for 10 and Juan Gonzalez is 1 for 3.

The Indians should win this game. Their pitcher is a young lefty who will keep Damon and Nixon from hitting. He's also shut down Ortiz in limited at-bats. Jay Payton should definately start this game. Francona might also consider starting Mirabelli at DH because he eats lefthanded pitching for breakfast. I still don't see how we win this game unless we get Lee's pitch count up and we can get to the bullpen. I think we lose this game 5-2.

Bullpen vs. Bullpen
Getting to the bullpen against Cleveland won't be as fun as getting to the bullpen against Kansas City or Tampa Bay. They've actually got some really good pitchers out there. Their closer is Bob Wickman who is 20 for 23 in save opportunities. His ERA is 2.67. Setting him up is veteran lefty Arthur Rhodes who has an ERA of 0.95 with 11 holds and a WHIP of 0.88. In 28.1 IP, he's struck out 27 batters. Apart from Manny, the Red Sox haven't succeeded much against him. Setting up Wickman with Rhodes is Bob Howry with 9 holds and an ERA of 3.03 (why can't we get guys like this?) There's also lefty Scott Saurbeck (3.26 ERA), righty Rafael Betencourt (2.56 ERA), and righty Matt Miller (1.35 ERA).

We all know about the Red Sox bullpen. Foulke has been doing well as of late. Timlin has been solid all year as a set-up man. Myers has been a great situational lefty. Apart from them, there is no dependable arm out there. If any team has any late inning heroics at the plate, it will be the Indians.

What's wrong with this picture? Well, normally on a Formula 1 starting grid there are about 20 cars waiting to start. If you hadn't heard, 14 of the 20 cars at the United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis didn't start the race because their Michelin tires were deemed unsafe. So the 140,000 fans in attendance and the millions watching on TV around the world were treated with 74 laps of practice for Bridgestone tires. I thought it was a shame because Formula 1 racing is a nice sport and is above any American auto racing in term of technology, skill, and international prestige. Michael Schumacher, last year's champion, made about $60M last year from racing and endorsements. He recently outbid both Brad Pitt and George Clooney for a lakeside house. Schumacher won this race in his Ferrari but the big loser of the day was Formula 1 who aggravated some of their few American fans. I think this guy's got it right:

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Matt Clement has been amazing this season and that continued today. The bats came alive too. Bill Mueller continued his hitting going 2 for 2 with a pair of RBI. Jay Payton continues to prove why he deserves at least a little bit more playing time with his 2 for 3 day. Nixon did well in the leadoff spot going 2 for 4. With no Johnny Damon, and no Manny Ramirez, and Trot Nixon starting on the bench, the Sox put together 8 runs.

This was the type of game to bring Embree, Mantei, and Halama. not yesterday.

Clement was absolutely the Man of the Game. He went 7 scoreless allowing only 3 hits and a solitary walk. He struck out 9.

The Red Sox fly out to Cleveland to begin a short, 6 game road trip to nearby cities. Wells faces Sabathia on Monday. Arroyo goes against the struggling Kevin Millwood Tuesday night. Wade Miller goes against 8-3 Cliff Lee on Wednesday. Then its on to Philly and back home again.

From now until August 5, the Red Sox will play two series at home, then two on the road, then two at home, et cetera. The schedule this year is really poorly made.


This was one of those typical Red Sox losses. An unfamiliar pitching staff that shuts us down, and a bullpen that crumbles. Throw in some questionable decisions by the manager and you've got yourself a Boston Red Sox loss.

I'm going to start with the pitching. Embree, Mantei, and Halama are not dependable pitchers. They aren't the guys you want to have in a 0-0 games unless no-one else is available. Theo needs to find replacements for these guys and Tito needs to stop using these guys in big situations. Francona's logic for bringing in Embree to a 0-0 game in the 8th: "I wanted to give him some work." Well, have him work in the bullpen though. Why would you use a pitcher with a 7.00 ERA in the 8th inning of a tied game? At first I thought maybe Francona was thinking that this game might go extras so he needed to get the most out of his entire bullpen. Then Embree was pulled after hitting a guy and getting 1 out from a sacrifice.

Francona went from Embree (7.00 ERA at the start of the game) to Mantei (5.64 ERA). A small improvement but not exactly that great of a pitcher to go out there in a 0-0 game in the 8th inning with the go ahead run in scoring position and 1 out. Mantei, of course gave up the double that gave the Pirates the lead. Humberto Cota, who got the double, is batting .260 this season. Mantei walked Jack Wilson and then Francona's brain returned as he replaced Mantei with Myers. Myers, who along with Timlin has been dependable, got a fly out which ended the inning.

The next inning, in a 1-0 game, in the 9th inning, against the top of the Pirates lineup, Francona decided to use John Halama. John F----- Halama? Why? Why not Timlin? Why not Myers? Why not even Foulke? Why would you use the frigging mop up guy in a 1-0 game? Here is what Halama allowed:

Base on balls
Fielder's choice
Single, run scored
Hit by pitch
Bases loaded fielder's choice (if not for a great paly by Bellhorn, the game would have been 3-0)
Fly out

Going along with the bullpen's ineffectiveness and Francona's confusing moves, the offense was terrible. Only Payton had 2 hits. The Red Sox 1-5 hitters went a combined 3 for 19 (.158) Edgar Renteria has his typical 1 for 4 day with a single and an error. This guy, who was highly touted for his defense, has 12 errors. Edgar is 2nd in Major League Baseball in the Errors category.

The Man of the Game is Humberto Cota who went 3 for 5 with 2 singles and a double. His double turned out to be the game winning hit. He also caught a shutout.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Embree: 0.2 - 0.1 IP, ER
Mantei: 0.2 - 0.1 IP, inherited runner scored
Halama: 0.1 - IP, ER
Francona: 0.2 - Weird decisions
Millar: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 5 LOB
Damon: 0.1 - 1 for 5, 4 LOB
Bellhorn: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 3 LOB

The Orioles beat the Rockies 7-2, the Yankees beat the Cubs 8-1.

Kip Wells vs. Matt Clement in what could be a good pitcher's duel. The Sox have seen more of former White Sox pitcher Kip Wells than any other starter in this series. Renteria is 6 for 20 with a HR. Bellhorn is 4 for 10. Ortiz is 3 for 12. Damon is 1 for 8. The Pirates have seen a good amount of Clement but only Tike Redman has great numbers against him. He's 6 for 13 with a couple of doubles. I wouldn't be shocked if Ramirez didn't start considering it is a day game after a night game.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


I've got to hand it to the Pittsburgh Pirates. They played a pretty good game. They capitalized on a Damon miscue in the 1st to score 3 runs. They pulled out the double steal and appeared to baffle Varitek and the Sox. Thankfully, the Sox were able to get the lead back with a 3 run shot off the bat of Mark Bellhorn. After this, the Sox were never behind. The Pirates were able to tie the game up at 4-4 and at 5-5, but Damon hit a single up the middle with the bases loaded to win the game. By the way, Damon is 6 for 13 this season with the bases loaded. The Red Sox improve to 21-9 in Fenway Park. That's .700 ball. If the Red Sox keep this pace up, and go .500 on the road, they'll win about 96 games which should be enough to put them in close contention for a playoff spot.

Miller didn't pitch as well as Clement, Wells, and Arroyo did against the Big Dead Machine earlier this weak, but he pitched well enough to keep the Sox in the game. His control wasn't good early but he seemed to settle down. Unfortunately, he was not very efficient and got his pitch count up early and could only go 6. But it was enough.

The pen wasn't lights out, but they did enough to keep the Sox in the game. Foulke was impressive, pitching a perfect top of the 9th with 2 strikeouts.

The Sox offense was truly a team effort. Every starter had a hit. Manny, Millar, and Mueller all seem to be hitting now. This means our middle of the lineup is once again VERY threatening and the bottom of the order will be able to complement them and add more runs to our offensive efforts.

Jason Varitek proved why he has a C on his sweater, I mean jersey. He blocked the plate in the 8th, keeping the game tied. He laid down a bunt in the 9th that moved Youk over to 3rd and allowed him to reach on an error. (I say he was bunting for a basehit with the 3rd baseman so deep and the hesitation to drop down the bunt). Tek does alot at the plate with his bat and with his game-calling, but he also does small things.

The Man of the Game is Billy Mueller who went 2 for 3 with a double, a triple, a walk, a run, and 2 RBI.

The Orioles lost to the Rockies 2-1, and the Yankees came back to beat the Cubs 9-6. The Yankees couldn't break the tie between them and Toronto as the Jays beat the Brewers 9-5. I think I speak for the entire AL East when I say that I wish we could face the NL Central more often.

Wakefield goes against his former team on Saturday night as he opposes Dave Williams. This is how little the Red Sox have seen of Dave Williams. The Sox player with the second most ABs against Williams is Curt Schilling with 4. Renteria is 1 for 5, Bellhorn is 1 for 2 with a homer, Mueller is 0 for 2, and Payton is 0 for 1. Meanwhile, only former Indian and Twin Matt Lawton has seen much of Wakefield. We'll see if Doug Mirabelli's touch with Wakefield continues.


The good news so far with Schilling is that he hasn't experienced any setbacks at any stage of his rehab. The Red Sox and Curt are really taking their time with this rehab which I think is the right thing to do. We need a healthy Schilling in September and possibly October. That is the most important thing with Schilling. Plus, if he has any setbacks, we might never get him back. It is of paramount importance that he progresses slowly.

Time for a little NFL stuff. Ty Law still doesn't have a home. This isn't too surprising considering that he is 31, wants top dollar, and is recovering from a broken foot. Why would any NFL team take the chance and risk that much cap money? It'll be interesting to see where Law ends up. I think we can still win without Law. We've won alot of games when he has been injured. Gay, Samuel, and Poole are all decent and the defensive schemes we've had made them look even better.

Richard Seymour has been a holdout from Pats mini-camp. Seymour feels he is being under paid. He still has 2 years left on a 6 year deal. He's been one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL, he's still young, he's a team leader, and he is the key to running the 3-4 defense which the Pats have thrived with. Without him taking up a double team, the defensive line just isn't all that effective. I'm sure Belichick will do what is best for the team, but I think Seymour is one of the individual players we cannot win without, or at least without a replacement.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


The two wins the Red Sox had against Cincinatti coming into last night's game were not very convincing to me. Two pitchers with ERAs above 7 started for the Reds and the Sox were able to hit off them. The two hottest pitchers we had were able to shut down Cincinatti's offense. This 6-1 win, however, was very convincing. The Red Sox were able to score off a good young pitcher and a struggling starter was able to shut down the Reds' offense.

The middle of the order is clicking. Ortiz, Manny, Nixon, and Millar are all hitting. This means that Renteria and Damon need only to get on base. Then guys in the bottom of the order like Varitek and Mueller can knock in the big hitters as well.

The Man of the Game is Bronson Arroyo who went 7 innings and allowed only 1 earned run. He struck out 8 on his way to recording his 5th win of the season. If he, Wells, and Clement continue to pitch like this, our rotation suddenly doesn't look so bad.

The Red Sox will welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates to Fenway Park for the first time ever this weekend. The Pirates lost to the Yankees tonight but they should have won. The Yankees were the beneficiary of a bad call on a fielder's choice that should have been a game ending double play. Instead, the 9th inning was kept alive, the Yankees tied the game, and then won it off a Steroid Shot by Jason Giambi. The Red Sox will send Miller, Wake, and Clement to the mound this weekend against Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Ever since the 1st inning at Yankee Staidum a few weeks ago, Wells has been nearly solid. The Reds have a pretty good offense and Wells was able to combine with Timlin and Foulke to allow only 1 hit.

Predictably, the Red Sox were able to hit off the Reds staff last night and the night before. Things may change tonight as the Sox face Aaron Harang. Only two guys on the Sox have faced him alot. Olerud is 3 for 10 against him with a double. Renteria is 1 for 8. Manny is 1 for 3 but that 1 hit is a homerun. Manny could be 2 for 3 off him but Terrence Long robbed him of a homer a few years back. The Sox usually struggle against guys we haven't seen that much of and this is a guy we haven't seen that much of. Our starters only have 20 combined ABs against him.

The Man of the Game for Monday's 10-3 victory is Manny Ramirez who went 2 for 5 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. He had a double and a homer.

The Man of the Game for Tuesday's 7-0 win is David Wells who went 7 scoreless, one-hit innings. He did uncharacteristically walk 2 men but I think we should let that slide.

When I first heard about this story, I was a little confused. It seemed kind of silly to officially name something with a name that no-one uses. Peskey's Pole and the Green Monster weren't officially named. The nicknames developed naturally. A few people started calling them these things and it caught on. This whole pole business is another story. I think the ownership is trying to create more mystique at Fenway Park than there really is. I doubt they would be doing this if they were still unclear as to whether or not they were staying at Fenway,

Don't you think it's kind of sad to be honoring a man who hit a homerun in a World Series in which we choked horribly to lose? Nothing against Fisk, but the 1975 Red Sox choked and lost Game 7 of the series. I don't think we should be remembering this fondly.

The New York Yankees are going to have their own new stadium. It will have three times as many luxury boxes as Yankee Stadium. The city will be building larger parking facilities, a new train station, and a ferry terminal. The way the Yankees are paying for the stadium will result in lower revenue sharing payments to MLB. The Yankees will no longer have to cut the city of New York in on staidum revenues. The Yankees will be able to sell state-of-the art luxury boxes at very high prices. They're going to be able to spend alot more money. The luxury boxes alone will bring them millions of dollars more each year. Meanwhile, we'll be in Fenway and the ownership will be trying to scrounge another $50,000 by adding rows of seats right up to the catcher and umpire.

Monday, June 13, 2005

62 DOWN, 100 TO GO

The Red Sox have played their first 62 games, going 33-29. The start of the season is officially over. These are the dog days. They will soon be followed by the make-or-break days of late August and September.

In order for the Red Sox to even have a shot at making the playoffs, either through the division or the wild card, they'll need to win at least 90 games. This means going 57-43 over the next 100. Realistically, they'll need to win more than 95 games to have a good shot at a playoff spot. This means a 62-38 clip for the last 100. In order to assure themselves a playoff spot, the Sox will need to win 100 games. This would require a 67-33 pace. This team is capable of all these things. They're also capable of going 50-50.

The Sox have 55 home games left and 45 road games. They have 13 left with Tampa Bay, and 10 left with the Yankees, Orioles, and Blue Jays. They have 7 left with the White Sox and Angels. They have 6 with Texas, Cleveland, Kansas City, Minnesota, and Detroit. They have 4 left with Oakland. They have 3 more against Philly, Cincy, and Pittsburgh.

The way I figure it, the Red Sox should be able to win up to 73 of these games. That is what I say their maximum would be.

The last time the Reds were at Fenway was Game 7 of the 1975 World Series. It is amazing how little attention this game gets. It seems like everyone knows everything about Game 6, but few people know that this game was pretty painful. The Sox got to Cincinatti starter Don Gullett for 3 in the 3rd inning. However, much like Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, the Sox couldn't add to their lead against their opponent's bullpen and their opponent was able to gradually chip away. Tony Perez hit a 2 run shot off Bill Lee in the 6th. Roger Moret releived Lee in the 7th, allowing a hit and 2 walks in only 0.1 IP. After 7, the game was tied 3-3. Ken Griffey walked in the 9th, got sacrificed to 2nd, and then moved to 3rd on a groundout. Pete Rose was walked but Joe Morgan got an RBI basehit to give the Reds a 4-3 lead. The Red Sox went down in order in the 9th to end the game and the series, losing both 4-3. This game seems as painful as the 1978 playoff, or 2003's game 7, yet it doesn't get any publicity.

Here's a weird thing about the interleague schedule this year. Every team the Red Sox have played, except Atlanta, have been World Series opponents in the past. The Sox played the Cardinals in 1946, 1967, and 2004. They played the Cubs in 1918. They played Cincinatti in 1975. They played Pittsburgh in 1903. They played Philadelphia in1915.

Here are the matchups for the series:
Monday: Eric Milton vs. Matt Clement
Tuesday: Luke Hudson vs. David Wells
Wednesday: Aaron Harang vs. Bronson Arroyo

The Red Sox should win the first two games with ease as both pitchers have ERAs above 7. Plus, Clement has pitched well except for his last start and Wells has been the ace of the staff lately. The final game should be difficult. If Arroyo gets back to where he was in April, it should be a fine pitcher's duel. Harang is perhaps their best pitcher. Plus, he's the type of young pitcher that domiantes us for some reason. I think we'll win the first two with ease, then lose a close one to end the series.

During the ESPN broadcast, Joe Morgan was whining and complaining about the Red Sox using 4 non-starters in the lineup last night. If you ask me, these replacements weren't that bad to use. Mueller hasn't had a day off in a while despite coming off knee surgeries and Youkilis has shown he can hit. Ortiz isn't exactly a great first baseman and Millar has a .417 average against Rusch and being in an NL ballpark, Francona could only use 1 of them. Then Payton plays for Nixon against the lefthander Glendon Rusch. Finally, Mirabelli returns to his role as backup catcher. I know I've given Francona flak for replacing people in the lineup but none of these moves really bothers me. And look at the results. Combined they went 9 for 18 with 6 singles, a double and a homerun. They scored 5 of the Red Sox 8 runs.

The problem with the team isn't Francona. He's made some questionable moves but given what he has to work with in the bullpen, the inconsistencies in the rotation, and the inconsistencies in the lineup, I'd say he has done a decent job thus far.


Nice stuff.


As bad as this roadtrip was, it easily could have been worse. This was the first time in a long time that Wakefield has looked this good. Hopefully he'll be able to go on a tear like he has in years past.

A few good things that it was nice seeing, apart from a solid Wakefield:

Johnny Damon hit for power with a double and a homer. Last year he had 20 homeruns and this year he only had 2 going into the 62nd game.

Kevin Youkilis getting some playing time. He went 3 for 5 with his first homer and a double. Good to see the arm hasn't been affected by Reyes...yet.

Good to see Kevin Millar not looking like a fool.

Seeing Manny Ramirez hit a homerun after a long drought.

Doug Mirabelli back on the team. He is an improvement over Wooten and Shoppach and he allows Varitek to stay fresh.

Seeing the bullpen go 2 scoreless innings allowing only one hit.

The Man of the Game is Wakefield who went 7, allowed only a run and only 4 hits. He went 1 for 4 at the plate with an RBI. He didn't walk anybody and only threw 86 pitches. Had the score been tighter, he probably could have gone 9.

Interleague play continues as the Sox host the Reds and Pirates. They should win 5 of these games. They should be doing alot of things though.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


This game was simply pathetic. The Sox go up 4-0 early. Then Miller gives up 3 in the 2nd, then 1 in the 4th. Meanwhile, the Red Sox haven't added to their lead. Miller gives up the lead in the 6th. Then the pen comes in after Miller went 7. The bullpen, Mantei really, gives up two more runs. The Red Sox rally in the 9th, kind of, but the 1 run they score isn't enough.

Renteria, Ortiz, and Ramirez went a combined 0 for 10. This team cannot win games with a gaping hole in the middle of the lineup. We simply don't have the pitching or the bottom of the lineup hitting to do so with any consistency.

This article on really pisses me off. How could it not be time to panic? This team cannot win on the road. This team hasn't won three straight games since the 11th of May when they swept the Oakland Pathetics at Fenway. The team is 4.5 behind Baltimore, 1 ahead of Toronto, and only 2 ahead of the struggling Yankees. So what should happen? What moves can the team make to improve itself?

The team has had a few injuries, but it hasn't been as plagued as the Cubs team that has beaten us twice. Losing Schilling hurts, but there are so many other flaws. Our $10M shortstop isn't doing anything. Our $20M left fielder is in a slump and hasn't hit for average all year. Our $13M Ace hasn't pitched a quality game for us. The bullpen, except for Timlin and Myers, has been consistently bad. The bench is nowhere near as good as last season. Bellhorn and Mueller haven't been producing as much as they did last season. And Millar has been a laughable player all year.

The Red Sox could theoretically make some moves. If they traded for Mike Sweeney, I think they would have a solid 5th hitter and a productive first baseman that isn't a defensive liability. Although the move itself would benefit the team, it wouldn't put us into position to win it all. We'd still lack bullpen pitching and a bench. And we'd have to spend alot on Sweeney. The move might also irritate Francona who seems to be in love with Millar.

The Red Sox seem to have a crop of good prospects that are nearly on the verge of breaking into the majors. Youkilis has already proven he can play. Shoppach has been putting up big numbers in AAA. Ramirez and Pedroia are doing well in AA. In a few years, the Red Sox may have a team with young, developed players. I don't think we should abandon this, trade all our prospects, just for a slim chance at winning it all. The players we already have, perhaps with a new reliever added, will have to do it on their own.

The Man of the Game for Saturday's 7-5 loss is Todd Walker who went 3 for 4 with a triple, 3 runs scored and an RBI.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Miller: 0.3 - 7 IP, 5 ER
Mantei: 0.4 - IP, ER, Inherited runner scored
Renteria: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 3 LOB
Ramirez: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 2 Ks
Ortiz: 0.1 - 0 for 3

Wakefield is set to blow up Sunday and the Red Sox will be swept in their first ever series at Wrigley.


The Cardinals won their rematch of the 2005 World Series earlier this week. The Cubs were the losers the last time the Red Sox won the Series and they won Friday afternoon. The Sox beat their 1912 opponents (now the San Francisco Giants) in their first rematch last season. Boston also won their rematch against their 1915 opponents the Philadelphia Phillies in 1997. The Sox also beat the Dodgers in their first meeting since the 1916 Series. In 2003, the Sox and Pirates played for the first time since the 1903 World Series and the Red Sox won. Weirdly enough, all but one of these rematch series have been on the road.

Anyway, this game was not gonna be easy to win against Massux who improved to 5-0 in his career against us. Nevertheless, allowing 14 runs is simply inexcusable. And what the hell has happened to Bronson Arroyo? He started the season and looked like he could be a solid #2 starter. Now he is on the same undependable level of Tim Wakefield.

The bullpen also continued to sruggle. Francona didn't bring in a dependable pitcher in Timlin until the 8th inning when it was 14-3 in favor of Chicago. Theo has got to go out and get something to help the bullpen. Theoretically it might improve once Schilling returns but God knows if Schilling will even be effective. With Schilling returning, there will be more demand for middle releif. We need to get a guy who can pitch alot of innings and have an ERA under 4.70.

The Man of the Game is Greg Maddux who went 6 and two thirds allowing three runs. He also hit a homerun off John Halama.

Here's the Bitch-Goat:
Arroyo: 0.7 - 4 IP, 7 ER
Halama: 0.3 - 2 IP, 4 ER

Thursday, June 09, 2005


The Red Sox have gone through three periods this year. Each of these periods have been marked by a different leader in the pitching staff. Different Ace dynasties. At first it was Arroyo. Then it was Clement. Now it is Wells. This was David's third start that was solid or better.

Wells went 8 innings allowing only 4 hits (would have been 3 if not for Millar's lack of ability in left field), 0 runs, 0 walks, and 0 extra base hits besides the double that should have been a flyout. He threw 94 pitches, 74 of which were strikes. That's 78.7%. 8 out of 10 pitches thrown were strikes. And he wasn't exactly getting a wide strike zone.

How many times in baseball history has the game been shorter than the rain delay?

Renteria had a homerun that must have been satisfying to hit. Ortiz had a big homerun. Tek went 2 for 4 with a 2 run double. Bill Mueller was 1 for 3 but he made a pair of amazing plays at 3rd.

Foulke continued the pattern we've seen all year. He'll look amazing and then all of a sudden will look very beatable. He got 2 very quick outs, getting ahead in the count, and getting outs. He then lost it, falling behind in the count, and giving up hits. He settled down inducing Edmonds to fly out to center.

For some reason, Francona sat down Manny Ramirez and played Kevin Millar. I don't know what it is between Millar and Francona. I know Manny hasn't hit a homerun in about 50 at-bats, but if Francona can give Millar 180 at-bats to get out of a slump, how come he can't give Manny 50? If Francona was going to sit anyone down, he should have sat down Damon who has poor numbers against Carpenter in his career. Before the game he was 5 for 32 I believe.

The Man of the Game is David Wells. He went 8 scoreless and probably could have gone 9. He threw 94 pitches, 74 of which were strikes. If he had a real outfielder playing behind him in left, he would have allowed a mere three singles.

The Sox have a day off for the arduous 300 mile journey up I-55 to Chicago. The schedule makers this year are really doing a bad job if you ask me. Here are the pitching matchups:

Game 1. Friday 2:20 PM: Arroyo vs. Maddux
Game 2. Saturday 3:05 PM: Miller vs. Zambrano
Game 3. Sunday 8:05 PM: Wakefield vs. TBD

We're somewhat lucky that Prior and Wood are on the DL among with a number of other Cubbies.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Tim Wakefield is deifnately the worst pitcher in the rotation at the moment. Right now I think he is on the bubble of the rotation and will be the guy to go to the pen when Schilling returns.

The Red Sox were outplayed both Monday and Tuesday. Small things adding up together. The Cardinals stole 3 bases, took extra bases when they could, and never made a defensive misplay. Meanwhile, the Sox played their typical station-to-station baseball, Renteria made an error, and Varitek allowed a passed ball.

The Man of the Game for Monday is Matt Morriss who went all 9 allowing only 1 run off 4 hits. He only walked one batter. He threw a mere 101 pitches. He also knocked in a run.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Wakefield: 0.5 - 5.2 IP, 4 ER
Renteria: 0.2 - 0 for 4, 2 LOB, 2 GIDP, Error
Nixon: 0.1 - 0 for 3, LOB
Payton: 0.1 - 0 for 3, LOB
Mueller: 0.1 - 0 for 3, LOB

Tuesday's game was even more an example of a few little things combining to make a blowout victory. The Cardinals won this game in the 2nd, and the Red Sox lost it in the 6th.

After a pair of quick flyouts in the 2nd, Clement walked #8 hitter Yadier Molina on 5 pitches. Walking the eighth hitter in NL ball is not a good thing with 2 outs. It allows the pitcher to come up in that inning instead of leading off the next. Suppan, who isn't that good of a hitting pitcher, took 2 balls. Dave Wallace then came out to talk to Clement. Suppan knew the next pitch would be a strike and he lined it into left field. Had Ramirez been playing slightly more shallow or had more range, the inning would have been over. Instead it continued. Eckstein hit a gorunder into left field for a single. The slow footed Molina tried to score. He hit third base when Ramirez had the ball in his glove. All Manny had to do was make an average throw to end the inning and keep the game 2-1. Instead he threw a double bouncer and Varitek couldn't tag Molina. Clement gave up a 1 run single and a 2 run double before striking out Edmonds.

The Sox were down 7-2 in the 6th and began to rally only to have it crushed quickly. Renteria his a single, as did Ortiz. Manny then hit into a devastating 6-4-3 double play. Nixon popped out. The game was effectively over.

The whole beanball war was interesting because it started over nothing. Halama didn't seem to hit Walker with any intent but Tony LaRussa is known as one of those "hit my guy and we'll retaliate even if you didn't mean it." So Al Reyes hits Varitek, the next best thing to hitting the pitcher. Mantei then hits Grudzelanik, and Walker getting ejected along with Francona. Neither one seemed inentional, especially the second one. Then Al Reyes takes it to a completely classless level hitting Youkilis in the arms. Reyes, you may or may not remember, is the same guy that hit Nomar on the wrist, permanently altering his career. That injury took a long time to become apparent and God only knows what might be wrong with Youkilis after that pitch.

I thought National League baseball was supposed to be free of beanballs.

The Man of the Game is Varitek who went 3 for 3 with a homerun.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Nixon: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 2 LOB
Mueller: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 2 LOB
Renteria: 0.1 - 1 for 4, 2 GIDP, 2 LOB
Ramirez: 0.1 - 0 for 2, LOB, GIDP
Clement: 0.6 - 4 IP, 7 ER

The first day of basbeall's draft was today. With the 26th pick the Red Sox selected Jacob Ellsbury, an outfielder from Oregon State. Here's what ESPN and Baseball America said about him:

Ellsbury has few holes in his game and is capable of beating teams in a lot of ways. He has excellent makeup and instincts. His best tool is his speed, and it's evident both on the bases and in center field, where he catches everything hit his way. He has been clocked in 6.55 seconds over 60 yards. He has become more patient, rarely swings and misses and is comfortable hitting with two strikes. His style of play and physical appearance have drawn comparisons to Johnny Damon at a similar age, but scouts say Ellsbury has a better swing. They question whether he'll grow into the same power, though.

With the 26th overrall pick, the Sox got righthander Craig Hansen out of St. John's:

Hansen pounds the strike zone with a fastball that has been clocked consistently in the mid-90s and tops out at 97 mph. The velocity on his slider has been even more impressive, sitting at 85-86 mph with a high of 90. Though his fastball command wavers, he has an excellent approach to pitching and isn't afraid to go right at hitters. He should be even more effective against wood bats. He's suited to be a closer because of his temperament, short arm stroke and full-effort delivery.

A 90 MPH slider? DAMN! With the 42nd pick the Sox got an outfielder from Angelina College. With the 45th pick, they got Jed Lowrie, a second baseman out of Stanford. With the 47th pick they got a high school pitcher. They got a high school catcher in the 2nd round, a high school pitcher in the 4th, a high school outfielder in the 5th, an outfielder from UFA in the 6th, an outfielder from Florida International in the 7th, a pitcher in the 8th, a catcher in the 9th, a pitcher in the 10th, a pitcher in the 11th and 12th, an outfielder in the 13th, a shortstop in the 14th, a pitcher in the 15th, third baseman in the 16th, a shortstop in the 17th, and a catcher in the 18th. Definately an emphasis on outfielders.

Monday, June 06, 2005


Remember this? I always will. The moment was frozen, I was frozen. The 1,000 or so Red Sox fans at Ithaca College celebrated on the quad. I couldn't sleep afterward. At 2 AM me and 2 friends drove back to Boston. somewhere around Worcester at about 6 AM, "We Are the Champions" was played on some radio station. It hit me right then and there. It was done. No more curse, no more losing, no more being pathetic.

On Monday, the Red Sox will return to the spot where it ended. Where Renteria hit a grounder back to Foulke, where Mientkiewicz stepped on the bag. I don't care if they tear Fenway down, but I will shed a tear when Busch Stadium is imploded.

Anyway, back to the present. Another quality start by Miller. Another great outing for Mike Myers. A good outing for Timlin. A perfect inning for Foulke. Another great game for Millar. Another clutch hit for Ortiz. Another fine display of professional hitting from John Olerud. Throw them all together and you get a 6-3 win and a 2-1 series victory over a solid Anaheim, I mean Los Angeles team.

The Man of the Game is Kevin Millar who went 2 for 3 with an RBI double.

Now we go back to NL baseball for the first time since October. It worked out pretty good last time, hopefully we can beat them again.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


What an embarrasing performance. Bad defense, poor clutch hitting, and absolutely no bullpen pitching beyond Myers. Furthermore, Francona must didn't seem to be thinking too clearly with some of his decisions both before the game and during it.

Why did he decide to rest Renteria and Varitek on the same day? This meant that Vazquez and Shoppach would come up back-to-back. Essentially, there was a built in 0 for 8 to the lineup. The one hit Vazquez got was a flukey one. Why did Francona eventually pinch hit for Shoppach, but not Vazquez? It just seemed really weird.

Allan Embree is no longer a pitcher. Last season he was a fastball pitcher who could blow it by people at 94-96 MPH and mix in a few sliders to keep batters honest. Now, he has no fastball. It comes in at 88-91 MPH. He can't blow people away. Something is wrong with him and I don't know if it will ever be fixed. Before the Red Sox address the 1B situation, they need to resolve the bullpen problem. Because even if they reincarnate Lou Gehrig and play him at first, this team cannot win a playoff series without a bullpen.

Here's a question. What does Ramon Vazquez contribute to the team? He can't hit, run, and he's an average fielder. He's a pinch bunter, basically. The need for a quality backup infielder also needs to be addressed if Francona wants to give 2 or 3 players a day off everyday.

Where is Kevin Youkilis? He can play 1B, 2B, 3B, DH and can pinch hit. Yet he hasn't see much of the light of day. Thankfully Millar is hitting just as we go into interleague play and he goes to the bench where he has belonged for a month.

The Man of the Game is Garrett Anderson who went 4 for 6 with 2 singles, a triple, and a homerun. He scored once and knocked in 4.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Embree: 0.6 - 0.1 IP, 4 ER
Mantei: 0.3 - 0.1 IP, 4 ER
Ortiz: 0.1 - 0 for 5 - 3 K

Rubber game Sunday afternoon between Jarrod Washburn and Wade Miller.

The US beat Costa Rica 3-0 in a World Cup qualifying match.

Friday, June 03, 2005


This was a good win for the Sox but I think we got somewhat lucky with Guerrero being on the DL and Escobar still recovering from injuries. Escobar dominated for 6 innings. The Sox were able to get to the bullpen, but had a bit of a scare in the 9th inning. The good news about the 9th inning was the the Angels didn't really hit the balls all that hard. A basehit, an infield single, a grounder to left field and then Foulke was still able to get the strikeout. Wells looked good for most of the game except for the 5th inning. He settled back down after that though and if it hadn't been for the way Myers matched up with the Angels in the 8th, he probably would have at least started the inning.

Wells can be a decent 4 or 5 starter with this club. He can give us innings and keep the team in the game. He won't go out every 5 days and throw gems, but that's the job of a 1 pitcher, not a 4 or 5 guy.

Johnny Damon had a better game than the 1 for 5 suggests. He hit the ball directly to Erstad twice and would have had more RBI and hits if it weren't for this. He has been a big catalyst to this team's offense. The offseason may be interesting with Damon but until then, I'm just gonna enjoy watching him produce.

Mike Myers has been a great role-player with this club. The Sox have lacked a good situational lefty in the past few years and have paid for this fact.

It was good to see Millar start the big rally in the 7th and it was good to see the bottom of the order contribute to the offense.

A few random things. Wells became the 60th player to reach 2,000 career strikeouts. Trot Nixon stole his first base since July of 2003. Including the playoffs, this was the 10th straight Fenway win against the Angels. I really liked the ovation welcoming Orlando Cabrera back to Boston.

The Man of the Game is Kelvim Escobar who went 6 innings allowing only an unearned run off 3 hits. He struck out 8. If he wasn't still on the recovery path from some injuries, he would have gone at least 7.

The Yankees were on a tear this time last week. After starting off poorly and falling to 4th place, and even losing 3 of 4 to Tampa, they began to win. What no-one on SportsCenter or Baseball Tonight ever mentioned was the quality of the teams they were playing. New York took 2 of 3 from Oakland, swept Seattle, swept Oakland, and then took 2 of 3 from the Mariners. They took 2 of 3 from a good team they've always dominated in the New York Mets but then Boston came to town. The Yankees beat the then struggling Red Sox 6-3. The next day they lost 17-1, then lost 7-2. They then got swept by the Kansas City Royals, the worst team in baseball. It was only the 3rd time the Yankees have EVER been swept by the team with the worst record in baseball. As I type this, they have just lost 6-3 to the Twins. Steinbrenner is getting pissed and when he gets pissed, he does something big and stupid like sign Jose Conseco or fire a manager.

The Orioles are also struggling. They lost to Detroit tonight and have lost to the Tigers the last 4 times they've played them. I don't think they're going to last. Their pitchers are good only against us. The Lopez injury will catch up to them. Sosa isn't really doing that much. Roberts is an unkown. This team has little experience of playoff contention baseball. Alot of the players, the pitchers especially, have little experience of scoreboard watching and how to win those tight games in September.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


An infield single by Bellhorn, a bunt single by Renteria, than the oppositte from David Ortiz. A 400+ footer to straight away center to split the 4 game series with Baltimore and send 35,000 fans home happy.

The Man of the Game is David Ortiz who only went 1 for 4, but he knocked in 4 runs and won the game.

The Sox needed this win bad. If Ortiz misses that 3-2 pitch, Foulke loses confidence, the team falls back to 5 behind Baltimore and has to rebound as LA/Anaheim/California comes into play a 3 game series.

Wells goes against former Blue Jay Kelvim Escoba tomorrow night. Colon faces Arroyo on the game of the week on Saturday afternoon. Wade Miller goes against TBA Sunday afternoon. This series will be a good test against a tough team that we don't usually see. Fortunately, Vlad Guerrero is on the DL.


If Schilling came back today, there is no doubt that I'd move Wakefield out to the pen. He's been too inconsistent and he can be a good releiver.

Sidney Ponson has an ERA of 5.11. Somehow, our offense, which is one of the best in baseball, was unable to get more than 3 unearned runs off of him.

Kevin Millar had his 5th error which is absolutely pathetic for a first baseman. There are 2 first basemen who have more errors than Millar. Carlos Delgado, and Scott Hatteburg. Delgado is batting .313 with 10 HRs though. Hatteburg is at .277 and is a converted catcher. Millar, on the other hand, is an unimpressive .247 with 2 homeruns, 1 of which was totally meaningless.

Kevin Millar does not deserve the playing time he is getting. Olerud and Youkilis should be getting more time at first-base. Thankfully Ortiz will be playing when the team goes to NL parks. I also think Bellhorn should be getting more days off especially against strikeout pitchers. Youkilis has been taking groundballs at 2nd and Mueller can move from 3rd to 2nd. Either Youk or Olerud should be in the lineup everyday. This won't happen though because Francona loves his players. He particularly loves his bad ones like Millar.

The Man of the Game for Wednesday's loss is Miguel Tejada who went 4 for 5 with 3 runs and an RBI. He had three doubles and a homer.

The Bitch-Goat shall be divided thusly:
Wakefield: 0.7 - 5.2 IP, 7 ER
Mantei: 0.1 - IP, 2 ER
Renteria: 0.2 - 0 for 5, 6 LOB

Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, and Jason Varitek are leading at their positions in All-Star balloting. Us Boston fans are proving how stupid we are though because Millar is 2nd in All-Star votes at 1st base.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Johnny Damon has a tendency to run into the wall for no good reason. To make the play he was trying to make, running into the wall was required. He nearly amde the play, too. From the Green Monster I could see that the ball was going to be trouble once it was hit. Then I saw Damon running towards the triangle where he had made a homerun saving catch earlier. This time he nearly made a spectacular play catching the ball in his glove before it got knocked out by the wall.

The game itself was a great one to go to. The Red Sox struggled through 4 innings, getting no hit by Daniel Cabrera. Miller seemes to be ready to lose it in the first few innings. In the 3rd, he gave up that 415 foot triple to Gibbons, then a wall ball double to Fasano. He was then able to keep the ball in the infield to prevent anymore scoring.

Thing seemed bleak. Ramirez was given the day off and wasn't put into the game when Damon got hurt. This meant that the lineup was Olerud-Renteria-Ortiz-Nixon-Tek-Millar-Mueller-Payton-Bellhorn. The lineup loses some of its ferocity when Damon and Manny aren't in it.

The defensive adjustments caused by Damon's injury worked out though. Olerud made a fine double play at first, Payton's arm was able to hold a runner on third base after a fly out, and Millar barely had to move in left field.

Finally in the 5th they broke out of the no-hitter. Mueller led off with a walk, Payton hit a double play ball but hussled to be safe at first. Bellhorn got the first Boston hit with a single up the middle. Olerud doubled, scoring Payton. Renteria singled, scoring Bellhorn. Ortiz singled, scoring Olerud. Nixon hit a weak grounder that scored Renteria. Varitek then struck out to end the inning but the Sox had a lead they would not relinquish.

The Man of the Game is Wade Miller who settled down very nicely to go 7 strong innings allowing only the 1 earned run. He could be very important as a #3 or 4 starter to this team and considering that we got him for barely anything, he's been a pretty solid pickup.