The early results from All-Star voting are in and in the AL, the Yankees and Red Sox have dominated voting. Here is who I voted for:
C - Jason Varitek - BOS
1B - David Ortiz - BOS
2B - Mark Loretta - BOS
3B - Mike Lowell - BOS
SS - Miguel Tejada - BAL
OF - Manny Ramirez - BOS
OF - Johnny Damon - NYY
OF - Vladimir Guerrero - LAA
The first release of results have every position except one filled by either a Red Sox or a Yankee player. Ortiz is the leader at 1st, Varitek is the leading catcher, Robinson Cano leads Mark Loretta by about 32,000 votes, A-Rod leads Mike Lowell by 300,000 votes, Jeter leads at short-stop (Sox fans, stop voting for Alex Gonzalez! At least vote for Tejada if you don't want to see Jeter in there). The outfield is Manny, Vlad, and Damon. Somehow, Coco Crisp is 9th in voting. Not to be outdone by stupid fans voting for their own players, the Yankees' Hideki Matsui, who is out for a long time, is 7th in outfield voting.
I think Manny, Tek, and Ortiz should be shoe ins for the All-Star Game. I also think Lowell and Loretta deserve to be there if they're not starters. Schilling should also get a nod, as should Mike Timlin who has 11 Holds and an ERA of 1.40. Papelbon should, without a doubt, go. He has 20 Saves in 20 opportunities, has an ERA of 0.32. Papelon's ERA is the lowest in the league among pitchers with 5 or more appearances as well as the lowest among those with 5 or more innings pitched. So, that's 8 Sox representatives sent to Pittsburgh. Of course, a few of them will get screwed, probably Loretta and Timlin. Oh well.
Monday, June 05, 2006
This series was a great test of the Boston Red Sox, and I think proved, somewhat, that we are a legitimate team. We've beaten up on the D-Rays and Orioles, struggled against the Blue Jays, and were 16-16 against teams that weren't from Baltimore or Tampa Bay. Granted, we didn't sweep, and we didn't dominate, but we won a tough series on the road against an unfamiliar first place team. We also managed to score runs against a good pitching staff. We also managed to hit homeruns in the biggest ballpark in the AL.
Friday night, Schilling pitched great and was lifted from the burden of what would have been a tough 2-1 loss by Kevin Youkilis, who is demonstrating he can hit in any spot in the order. He hit his 6th homer of the season in the 9th with 2 outs. Of course, with Jonathan "Fatality" Papelbon and a 3-2 lead, the game was over.
The Man of the Game for Friday's 3-2 win is Curt Schilling who went 7 innings, allowed 2 earned runs, and struck out 8 Tigers.
On Saturday, the bats weren't as supportive. Wakefield has been one of our best and most consistent pitchers this season, but his 4-7 record doesn't really reflect that. The Sox only managed to score 2 runs, and the bullpen allowed 3 runs in 1 inning after Wake left the game.
The Sox only had 7 baserunners in the 6-2 loss on Saturday. Only 3 Sox batters recorded hits.
The Man of the Game is Jeremey Bonderman who went 7.2 allowing 2 earned runs off 4 hits and struck out 6.
Here is the B*tch-Goat:
Wakefield: 0.2 - 7 IP, 3 ER
Delcarmen: 0.1 - 0.2 IP, 2 ER
Tavarez: 0.1 - 0.1 IP, ER, HR
Crisp: 0.1 - 0 for 4
Loretta: 0.1 - 0 for 4
Ortiz: 0.1 - 0 for 3
Ramirez: 0.1 - 0 for 3
Lowell: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 4 LOB
Youkilis: 0.1 - 0 for 4, 3 K
The Sox rebounded and took the rubber game impressively with an 8-3 victory. The Sox knocked out 4 homers and Clement pitched solidly in the series winning victory.
Manny is on a tear lately. In April, he had 4 homeruns. He had 9 in May and has already got 1 in June. His average at the end of April was .276, but he's raised it to .297 since then. He slugged .714 in May compared with .448 in April. He's heating up along with the weather.
Ortiz knocked in his 50th run of the season. He's tied for 2nd in the AL, 2 behind Chicago's Jim Thome, and tied with Cleveland's Travis Hafner.
Both Youkilis and Clement left the game early. Youk was hit by a pitch and the decision to remove him ws aided by the 5 run lead the Sox had amassed, and the fact that Lowell is a better defensive third baseman anyway. Clement was pulled by Jason Varitek early in the 7th inning. The claim after the game is that he was fatigued. This is probably true. Then again, this season the Sox have been sketchy when it comes to injuries. Hopefully there's nothing wrong because with Wells down, and DiNardo down, we can't afford to lose another starting pitcher.
The Man of the Game for the 8-3 victory is Kevin Youkilis who went 2 for 4 with a solo homer, 2 runs scored, and a stolen base.
Now it's back to playing the Yankees again.
We've got Beckett going against Mussina tonight. Then David Pauley up against CM Wang on Tuesday. Schilling faces Wright on Wednesday, and Wakefield goes against Johnson on Thursday. I think we can win 3 of 4, but you never know with these two teams getting together.
We'd better make this series count because we don't face the Yankees again until August 18th. That series is a 5 gamer with a doubleheader to kick it off. That's going to be crazy.
CLEMENS IS A COWARD, APPARENTLY
I wanted Roger Clemens back. I wanted to have another frontline pitcher at the top end of the rotation, especially considering our injury woes at the spot and our lack of depth. However, Roger, in my opinion, was afraid to come to Boston. What if he failed? In Houston, he wouldn't be viewed as a Messiah, coming to resurrect a pitching staff. However, that's how he's be seen in Boston or New York. If he failed, he'd be crucified (figuratively).
Instead of a nearly assured pennant race in the AL East, Clemens decided to stay in Houston, with a team that is below .500, in 3rd place, and 8.5 games out of the untouchable Cardinals. Furthermore, the Astros are 8th in the NL Wild Card picture, 5.5 games behind the Reds.
Houston has a slim chance to make the playoffs, which makes Clemens' decision to stay there a safe one. Whereas Boston and New York expect to make the playoffs, Houston, at this point, doesn't expect to do so. If they do make it, Clemens is the hero. If they don't, Clemens is the hero surrounded by fools and doesn't get blamed for the team's failure.
I think Clemens made his decision to stay in Houston a long time ago. I think he used public appearances to whip up media coverage in the enormous sports medias of Boston and New York. All this press terrified the Astros, who went all out to secure Clemens' services. Houston had already fielded a disappointing team this year, and if they had lost the Clemens sweepstakes, their fan base would become even more frustrated. Clemens and his agent drove up the price by feigning a move to Boston and New York, and Clemens got paid off. He'll make about $12.5 million this season to pitch in about 13 to 15 games.
So the Clemens sweepstakes is over. Roger might try it again next season, but hopefully we won't all be duped again. Now, he might never get his number retired here, and I'm fine with that. Have fun losing in Houston, Roger. Tune in to NESN and YES in September if you want to watch pennant race baseball.