Monday, June 25, 2007


The White Sox are struggling. The rumors of a fire sale are starting to rumble. Some names bandied about include the likes of Jermaine Dye, who somehow always seems to find himself part of trade rumors.

The name Sox fans and Sox brass are interested in is Mark Buehrle. The 28 year old lefty has found himself in the center of trade talks before, but this time it might be serious. Chicago is 4th place in the cutthroat AL Central, 13.5 games out. They're 9th in the AL Wild Card, 12.5 games behind Cleveland. This is the last year of Buehrle's contract with the White Sox. Everything seems perfect for a deal.

The Red Sox have confirmed that they are interested in Buehrle. Among other teams rumored to be making inquiries are Atlanta, the Mets, and the Yankees.

Word on the street is that the acquisition of Buehrle would be a mere rental. Mark's a Missouri man and a big Cardinals fan. It's believed that he is destined to wind up in St. Louis after the '07 season.

However, if it isn't a rental, and Buehrle is willing to sign a contract, he could become a very good acquisition to whatever team gets him. The Red Sox should do all they can to get the White Sox to allow contractual negotiations and attempt to make a deal.

Chicago wants young prospects, of course. Unlike the very hopeful sports radio trade talkers, they will not trade Buehrle for Wily Mo Pena, Coco Crisp "and some single A prawspect." It's likely that we'd have to give up guys like Clay Bucholz and Jacoby Ellsbury. These two guys are the most highly touted prospects in our organization, and some might fear losing them to be mortgaging the future. Michael Bowden and Jed Lowrie are also names that have been overheard.

To be honest, I wouldn't mind giving up Bucholz and Ellsbury for Beuhrle, so long as we already had a contract in place for him for about 5 more seasons. Bucholz is excelling at AA Portland, but Beuhrle is already a proven commodity. Ellsbury had an outstanding AA stint hitting .452, and is doing well at AAA Pawtucket. However, we would still have Brandon Moss, who is hitting .296 in AAA and is almost the exact same age as Ellsbury (Moss is 5 days younger). Moss doesn't have Ellsbury's speed on the basepaths, but Moss has some power whereas Ellsbury has yet to hit a homer in Pawtucket or Portland this year.

I think one of the most untouchable prospects we have is Jed Lowrie. Jed is the 23 year old short-stop in AA Portland. He's hitting .305. More importantly, he has a .416 OBP and a very nice .901 OPS. With Julio Lugo struggling to hit his own weight (which is really sad because he's listed at 165 pounds), and the Sox still sending checks to Edgar Renteria, I think it's important to hold onto a young short-stop like Lowrie. Plus, his name is Jed. With a name like that, you KNOW he's going to make it in The Show.

Back to Beuhrle. He isn't an Ace by any stretch of the imagination. However, he's a solid front line starter that would be great in the #3 slot in our rotation. He's averaged 6.8 innings per start since he became a full-time starter in 2001. He's a guy who can give you 230 good innings a year. His career ERA of 3.80 isn't earth shattering, but it's still good. He's only 28 and could be part of a very impressive 1-2-3 rotation of Beckett, Matsuzaka, and himself for years to come.

Curt Schilling's tired arm, Wakefield's inconsistency, and Tavarez's inability to go very deep into games are all reasons why we should get another pitcher. Lester has the potential to come in contribute, but he's still AAA pitcher, in my opinion, at least until next year.

The addition of Beuhrle would increase the options we have with our rotation. We could move Tavarez to the pen without bringing up Lester. We could endure Schilling being on the DL, WITH Tavarez in the pen, and Lester in the rotation. We could even move Wakefield into the bullpen, along with Tavarez.

We've had some of the best starting pitching in baseball thus far this season, but it needs to be better for us to excel in the playoffs. We can't be throwing Tavarez out there to pitch 5 innings in a playoff game. Nor can we have Schilling go unless he's 100%.

I really hope we get Beuhrle, but only if it doesn't cost us too much in terms of prospects, and only if we can extend his contract so he pitches for us in 2008 and beyond.


The Red Sox went into San Diego as one of the two best teams in the American League. San Diego welcomed Boston as one of the best teams in the National League. Sunday afternoon's matchup was the pinnacle of the series. Josh Beckett came in at 10-1, and Jake Peavy came in at 9-1. It was a potential preview of the All-Star Game starters.

And the Red Sox won. They took 2 out of 3 and won the rubber game 4-2. They made Peavy work and forced him out after 5 innings with 111 pitches. We got 9 hits off of him, but more importantly, we got five of those hits in the 3rd. They were all singles, but when you get five hits in an inning, you're probably going to score.

Josh Beckett was great. Only one walk and 8 strikeouts in 8 innings of work. He was a bit shaky in the 5th, but apart from that he was great. Some Yankee fan I was talking to the other day said that "Josh Beckett didn't deserve to be 10-1." But you see games like this one, and you can see why he is 11-1.

The Man of the Game for Sunday's 4-2 win is Josh Beckett. He went 8 innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 8. He outpitched Jake Peavy for his 11th win of the season, which leads the majors.

Honorable Mentions go to:
Jonathan Papelbon: IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Jason Varitek: 2/4, RBI, 3B, HR, Run
Alex Cora: 2/3, BB

Up to Seattle to face yet another good team on this road trip.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Although Curt Schilling's MRI revealed no structural damage, he'll be placed on the 15 day DL, retroactive to Tuesday with tendinitis in his shoulder. Josh Beckett will take his spot on Sunday on full rest, setting up a duel between him and Jake Peavy. Tavarez will be bumped up a spot on Monday in Seattle. The hole in the rotation will open up on Tuesday. Jon Lester could be the candidate to fill it. Lester's start on Wednesday wasn't that good. He allowed 3 runs in 5 innings in a loss.

Kason Gabbard is also a potential replacement. He starts tonight against Indianapolis, which means he could go Tuesday on regular rest. He's also 6-2 with a 3.26 ERA.

This DL stint is the best thing for Schilling and for the Red Sox. Curt started out great. In April, he was 3-1 with a 3.27 ERA. In May, he fell off a bit, going 2-1 with a 4.03 ERA. And in June, even with the 1 hitter, he is 1-2 with a 5.79 ERA. Take out the 1 hitter, and he's got a 9.42 ERA in June. Something is definitely wrong with him. Maybe it's just old age, which means his career might be coming to an end.


Doesn't a Georgia Slugfest sound like something that might actually exist? Every year on the third week of June, come on down to Savannah for the Georgia Slugfest. There'll be slug races, a slug petting zoo, slug eating contests, and so on.

The Sox belted 5 homeruns last night in Atlanta, which is saying something because Turner Field is not a homerun friendly ballpark. But Buddy Carlyle is a homerun friendly pitcher. At least, last night he was. He's allowed 6 homeruns this season, half of which were from last night's onslaught.

The Sox also hit 5 doubles, and 5 singles to go with their 5 homeruns. With the 4 walks they drew, they had 19 baserunners, and drove in 11 of them.

Just as impressive as the offense was the pitching. Julian "Air Traffic Control" Tavarez had one of his best starts of the season. He went 7 innings, allowing no earned runs off 3 hits and 1 walk. None of the hits were for extra bases.

This was the 3rd start that Julian has gone 7 innings. At the beginning of May, his ERA was at 6.48, now it's down to 4.50. In the month of June, he's got a 2.20 ERA in 4 starts. Right now, he might be the second best pitcher in the rotation.

JD Drew led off the game with a homer, and hit a double in the 2nd, but was removed from the game in the bottom of the inning due to tightness in his right quadriceps. The Sox say that it was merely a precautionary move, and considering it was a 7-0 game in the bottom of the 2nd, that's entirely possible. The Red Sox have a travel day today. We'll see what happens with Drew in San Diego.

The interleague schedule has allowed Francona to give Mike Lowell some time off. With Ortiz at first and Youkilis at third, Lowell has been sitting on the bench with an injured thumb, which might be affecting his swing. Lowell is definitely slumping as of late, hitting .203 in June.

Julio Lugo was once again hitless last night. He was robbed of a single when Jason Varitek went back to tag second on a line drive to left field. The line drive fell in, but Varitek was forced out at third, meaning that Lugo reached on a 9-5 fielder's choice. He is hitless in his last 16 at-bats, is hitting .201 this season and an appalling .109 in June.

Coco Crisp hit a 3 run shot in last night's game. Coco homered in every game of the series. He's hitting .300 this month. It would be great if he were finally coming around at the plate.

The Man of the Game is Julian Tavarez who went 7 innings, allowing no runs off 3 hits. He struck out 4 and directed all the traffic on the infield.

Honorable Mentions:
Manny Ramirez: 3/4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 Runs, BB
JD Drew: 2/2, HR, 2B, RBI, 2 Runs
Coco Crisp: 2/5, HR, 3 RBI

The Yankees lost to the Rockies, building the lead back up to 10 games in the AL East.

The Red Sox fly into San Diego, and will face some tough pitching. Matsuzaka against Chris Young on Friday night, Wakefield against Maddux on Saturday, and then a pitching deul that I'm really excited about: Beckett vs. Peavy on Sunday.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Great pitching and timely hitting. That's what I like to see. Josh Beckett has become a bona fide Ace this season.

The only Sox starter who went hitless was Drew. Ortiz appears to be getting his power stroke back as he belted his 12th homerun of the season. Cora had a good day in the place of the struggling Julio Lugo. He went 1 for 2 with a triple, an RBI Sac-Fly, and a run scored.

But let's not get too overconfident due to this solid 4-0 win. We've done pretty well against Hudson in the past, and even though we knocked him out in the 6th, we didn't exactly clobber him, especially not early on. So let's just try to keep things in perspective.

The Man of the Game is Josh Beckett. He went 6 scoreless innings before being removed after a 50 minute rain delay. He probably could have gone 7 or 8 if necessary. He allowed 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 3. At the plate, he was 1 for 3 with an RBI double and a run scored.

Honorable Mentions:
David Ortiz: 1/3, HR, BB
Alex Cora: 1/2, RBI, 3B

An MRI on Tuesday showed no structural damage to Schilling's right shoulder, but he said he has not felt right all year and would be surprised if he made his scheduled start Sunday against the Padres, reports the Boston Globe. Schilling will be re-evaluated on Friday.

He hasn't really looked right all year. He's had some brilliant outings, but he's lacked consistency. Maybe his arm is simply worn down. See, this is why you don't extend contracts to 40 year old players. You never know what's going to happen.

Maybe some time off will help him return to strength. Otherwise, it seems as though Tavarez might stay in the rotation when Lester returns.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I'm a Red Sox fan, so I'm a pessimist. Yeah, 2-1 wins are sweet, and always exciting, but they also mean that you only scored 2 runs. Two run performances are fine if they are once and awhile. But the Red Sox have scored 4 or fewer runs in 7 of their last 8 games. They've scored 3 runs or fewer in 5 of their last 7. In the last 8 games, they've scored 24 runs. Ten of those runs came in Friday night's victory in Arizona. So if you take out the 10 run game, they've averaged 2 runs a game recently. No matter how good your pitching staff is, that just isn't going to cut it. We need to start scoring runs again.

But I'll take the 2-1 victory, especially since the Yankees are playing well. Just kidding. I honestly think they are a big deal when you consider the fact that the Yankees needed to win 7 in a row TO GET to .500. So let's not all get scared and start scoreboard watching because New York is "only" 9.5 games behind us.

Wakefield's looking good again, which is very very nice to see. He said Mirabelli spotted something in his delivery, and he adjusted a bit. He's looked good in Oakland and was great last night.

Tim Wakefield was last night's Man of the Game. He went 8 innings, allowing just 1 earned run off 4 hits and 1 walk.

Honorable Mentions:
Jonathan Papelbon: IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Aaron Cook: 7.1 IP, 2 ER
David Ortiz: 3/3, 2B

Schilling goes tonight.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


These are the games you're supposed to lose. No offense in the early innings, some young pitcher you've never seen mowing through the lineup. But these are the games that good teams are able to win.

This was a hard fought victory for the Sox. Down 3-0 in the 6th, Drew had a two out single which set up Varitek's two run shot. Varitek followed it up in the 8th with an RBI single to tie the game. Okajima did a good job of pitching around an error in the 9th in order to force the game into extra innings. Then in the 10th, Lowell hit a sac-fly to score Ortiz, and Papelbon finished the game off.

Very nice character win for the Sox.

This will not be Tavarez's last start of the season. Jon Lester says he feels better than ever, but he will pitch at least one more rehab start on Thursday against the Richmond Braves.

Have to give credit to Tavarez, though. Lately he's pitched well enough to give his team a chance at winning, and that's all you really want from your #5 starter.

The value of Kevin Youkilis's versatility comes through in these NL box scores. He can hit leadoff, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, he can play 1st, he can play 3rd (and if you ask he can play 2nd and the outfield).

The Man of the Game was Jason Varitek. He went 2 for 5 with a homer, a double, 3 RBI, and a run.

Honorable Mentions:
JD Drew - 3/5, 2 Runs
Micah Owings - 6 IP, 2 ER
Hideki Okajima - 2 IP, 0 R, BB, K

Unfortunately, no Pittsburgh Pirate hitter slammed a line drive up the middle into Roger Clemens in his start today.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


JD Drew kills Arizona pitching. I listened to about half of this game on the Arizona radio station (XM Radio always uses the home team's feed), and they were simply in awe of him. He's got a career average over .350 against the D-Bax.

It's funny that after a week of struggling offense, we lose the DH, Youkilis doesn't start, and we score 10 runs. Funny how that works out.

Lugo led off the game with a homer. He's got 34 RBI, and a .217 average. Those just might be the weirdest stats for a leadoff hitter I've ever seen. Drew belted a 3 run blast in the 3rd to make it 4-0. Beckett got hit around a bit in the 3rd and allowed a run. Of Beckett's 8 innings, he only allowed baserunners in three of them, the other five were perfect. We kept piling on and put the game out of reach in the 6th with another Drew 3 run homer.

Beckett pitched even better than his line suggests. 8 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 1 HR. He easily could have gone the full 9, but with a 7 run lead, there was no need to. His spot also came up in the 8th, no sense in risking an injury there. He left the game having thrown 93 pitches.

A good indicator of how well the game went for the Sox was the fact that Josh Beckett went 0 for 4. That means he was pitching well enough to hit 4 times, and the lineup was hitting well enough to turn itself over 4 times.

There were a lot of pitches inside to Red Sox hitters. Manny got hit by one in the wrist, Lugo got buzzed. I wouldn't be shocked if there was an Arizona hitter beaned by Tavarez tonight.

The Man of the Game was JD Drew. He went 3 for 5 with a pair of 3 run homers and an RBI double. He had 7 total RBI, a career high for him.

Honorable Mentions:
Josh Beckett: 8 IP, 2 ER, 8 K
David Ortiz: 2/3, 2B, BB, Run
Manny Ramirez: 2/3, RBI, 2 Runs

Tavarez vs. Micah Owings tonight. I've got a bad feeling. Owings seems like one of those young, obscure guys who always seem to shut down the Sox. We'll see.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Curt Schilling, ladies and gentlemen, Curt Schilling.

What else can you say about this game? The pitching did well in Oakland, but was still losing. I guess Curt figured the only way he could win was to pitch a 1 hit complete game shutout. The funny thing is, we only scored 1 run for him! He really did have to throw a shutout in order to win.

The Man of the Game was, ummmmmmmm, let's see. Well, Ortiz had a homer AND a walk. Ummmm, Youkilis had a pair of walks. Varitek had a single. Ron Flores pitched a perfect 0.1 inning. Despite all of these contenders, I think Curt Schilling deserves the Man of the Game. Nine innings, 1 hit, 8.2 without allowing a hit, 4 strikeouts, faced 2 batters over the minimum (Lugo error), threw 100 pitches, 71 strikes.

Honorable Mentions:
David Ortiz: 1/3, HR, BB
Joe Blanton: 7.1 IP, 4 H, ER

So the Sox get some momentum going into Arizona. Josh Beckett on the hill late tomorrow night.


We're better than this. We're much better than this. This will stop. This will all stop.

Another good pitching performance, another disappointing offensive performance. But it wasn't just us. We had some horrible luck. Now, you can never, EVER blame luck for losing a game, but you can say that bad luck makes it easier to lose and/or harder to win.

There was the double off Wakefield that hit off the base, Crisp hit a hard ball that Chavez made a nifty play on to turn two, and the umpire was shaky behind the plate.

But we still lost. A stretch like this was bound to happen. We here in Red Sox Nation have a tendency to overreact, both ways. We were all making arrangements for the World Series about a week ago, and now we're scoreboard watching as our lead shrinks.

The Man of the Game is Joe Kennedy, who went 7 innings, allowing 2 earned runs. He allowed 7 hits and 6 walks, but there really isn't any other candidate for MOTG.

Honorable Mentions:
Tim Wakefield: 6.2 IP, 3 ER
Santiago Casilla: 1.1 IP, BB, 0 R, 0 H
Kevin Youkilis: 2/4, 3B, RBI, Run

The Bitch-Goat:
Wakefield: 0.2 - 3 ER
Crisp: 0.2 - 0/3, 2 LOB, GIDP
Lowell: 0.2 - 0/4, 3 LOB, K
Lugo: 0.2 - 0/4
Pedroia: 0.2 - 0/4

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


When you see four boxes on the Red Sox schedule that all say "@ OAK," you shudder. The Sox just don't do well on West Coast trips. And we can blame the flight time, and the three hour difference, but those west Coast teams have to do the same routine when they come to Boston or New York. Hell, we even scheduled the Angels for the morning Patriots Day game in April.

After losing two of three to New York, and then flying out to Oakland, you could see how a losing skid could happen. And it has. The Sox have lost three straight for the first time all year. They've lost five of their last six. That double digit lead in the division is back to single digits.

Last night was just pitiful. There's no other word for it. Daisuke pitched well enough to win: 7 innings, 2 earned runs. But the Sox could only muster three hits off Oakland's pitching, led by Lenny DiNardo. All those hits were singles. We were able to work 7 walks, but nobody came home. We left 7 men on base, 3 in scoring position, and grounded into four inning killing double plays.

Give some credit to DiNardo, he kept the ball down. He didn't strike anyone out, but he was able to induce 15 ground ball outs in 6 innings of work.

The Man of the Game was Lenny, who went 6 scoreless, kept the Sox to three hits, and worked around 6 walks. As mentioned above, he induced 15 ground ball outs out of the 18 outs he got.

Honorable Mentions:
Daisuke Matsuzaka: 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 K
Eric Chavez: 2/4, HR
Nick Swisher: 2/4, 2B, RBI

Matsuzaka: 0.1 - 2 ER
Crisp: 0.4 - 0 for 3, 4 LOB, 2 GIDP
Lowell: 0.2 - 1 for 4, 4 LOB, GIDP
Youkilis: 0.2 - 0 for 3, 3 LOB, GIDP
Varitek: 0.1 - 0 for 3, 1 LOB, 2 K

Wakefield goes tonight against Joe Kennedy. With the way Wakefield's been pitching as of late, my hopes for this game are very low.

JD Drew sat for last night's game and will probably sit for tonight's game as well. Not only is Kennedy a lefty, but Drew's also got that nagging hamstring business going on.

I can't wait for the team to come back to Fenway and beat up on the dregs of the NL West.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


This game was conceded to Oakland before it even started. Julian Tavarez, although pitching well lately, up against the best pitcher in baseball right now: Dan Haren. Lowell, Varitek, Lugo, and Crisp were out of the starting lineup. The team had just taken a red-eye flight from Boston to Oakland. Okajima, and Papelbon would also not be available.

Nevertheless, we nearly one the game. Haren pitched very well, but we scored 2 off him. Tavarez only allowed 3 in 5/2 innings. The run Pineiro allowed in the 8th was huge.

Perhaps the biggest play of the game occurred in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Tavarez walked Bubba Crosby. On a 3-2 pitch, Crosby was running, Cora went over to cover 2nd, leaving a hole in the left side, Kotsay hit a grounder right to where Cora had been, and it rolled into left for a single. Had the runner not been sent, or Cora not been the one to cover the bag, it would have been an easy double play. So instead of nobody on and 2 out for Mark Ellis, it was 2 on and none out. Ellis eventually hit a triple that gave Oakland a 2-1 lead. That entire inning, and the game itself, changed on that one play.

But we were living on the edge all night. Tavarez allowed 11 baserunners in 5.2 innings, and only 3 scored. Oakland only got 1 run out of a bases loaded situation in the 8th. They got nothing from a 0 out, bases jammed situation in the 9th. They had two on in the 10th and failed to score. Finally, Chavez ended it with a homer. Oakland left 13 men on base. Eight of those were left in scoring position.

Just a quick question. When Pineiro struggled through the 8th, and we tied it in the 9th, why the hell did he come on to pitch the bottom of the inning? And how come NOBODY was warming in the pen to begin the inning? It nearly cost us the game, because Joel couldn't get anyone out.

The past few games have exposed a weakness in the Red Sox that has been able to be hidden for most of the season: middle relief. We've got Papelbon and Okajima for the late innings, and Donnelly's been okay. But do you really trust JC Romero, Joel Pineiro, or Kyle Snyder with a close game? I don't. But we haven't seen most of these guys in such important roles, because the starting pitching has gone deep. Guys like Okajima and Papelbon have been given days off in between pitching. But our bullpen seriously lacks depth, right now. I'm not worried, though.

Jon Lester pitched a 7 inning, 1 earned run, complete game for AAA Pawtucket last night. In four starts since his forearm cramping, he has a 0.97 ERA, and a 1.26 ERA in 6 starts with the PawSox. Lester will make at least one more start for Pawtucket before joining the big club, and replacing Tavarez in the rotation. Tavarez, I think, will be a major asset in the bullpen. He has done very well against opposing hitters in their first at-bats against him. He could be a long man, a middle-reliever, and a right-handed set-up pitcher.

Also, Mike Timlin started the second game of Pawtucket's doubleheader, pitching 2 scoreless innings and throwing 21 pitches.

The Man of the Game for last night's extra inning loss is Mark Ellis. He went 4 for 5 and hit for the cycle. He very well could have gone 5 for 5 had the official scorer given him a hit, instead of giving Youkilis an error. Ellis also had 3 RBI.

Honorable Mentions:
Dan Haren: 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, BB, 9 K
David Ortiz: 3/4, HR, 2 2B, RBI, 2 Runs, BB
Wily Mo Pena: 2/5, HR, 2 RBI

Tavarez: 0.1 - 5.2 IP, 3 ER
Pineiro: 0.3 - IP+, Run, 3 BB
Snyder: 0.3 - 1.1 IP, ER, HR
Cora: 0.1 - 0 for 3
Mirabelli: 0.1 - 0 for 4
Hinske: 0.1 - 0 for 3

Matsuzaka against old friend Lenny DiNardo tonight.

The Yankees lost to the white Sox 6-4, and Baltimore fell to Seattle 7-4. The Red Sox lead in the East is down to 10 games.

Monday, June 04, 2007


Okay, season's over guys. New York is 12.5 games behind, which is exactly where they want to be with 2/3 of the season left. The Sox are at a dismal .673, only 2 games ahead of the Mets for the best record in baseball. We lost our fourth series of the year last night! Okajima blew a save and Papelbon got a loss, their careers are finished! Youkilis's magical hit-streak is over. Mike Lowell has 10 errors! Beckett only has 8 wins in 10 starts.

It's difficult for sarcasm to come across over the internet, but hopefully that was laid on so thick, you guys read it as if David Spade were talking.

Painful loss for the Sox last night, but it isn't the end of the world, folks. We lost a close one to New York. It happens. The game was even closer than the 6-5 score suggests. If you could win games by fractions, this one would have been won by a tenth of a run.

The Sox had some hard shots against Pettitte that were screwed with by the wind. Lowell had a bomb to left-center that became an out instead of a 2 run homer. Pena crushed a ball that was caught by Cabrera (very nice run and catch, by the way) for an out instead of a double or triple. Pedroia hit a fly ball that Abreau had to extend to catch, and Ortiz hit a long fly ball that lacked just enough power to keep it in. Then there was Lugo thrown out at home plate. It looks close on replays, Posada blocked the plate, Lugo hooked his back leg in. But had Lugo just slid a bit better, he'd be safe without question and the entire game changes.

But give credit to the scum, they won it, and they deserved to win it.

But let's not give them too much credit. Let's not panic and start feeling as though our 10.5 game lead isn't a 10.5 game lead. The Yankees are still plagued with injuries, and their hopes are riding on Roger Clemens and his fatigued groin. Just ask the 1986 Red Sox what happens when you depend on Roger Clemens to win it for you. And ask any 44 year old to carry the massively heavy load that is the New York Yankees, and he'd have to be godlike to do it. And Roger is not godlike.

Man of the Game is Dustin Pedroia who went 2 for 5 with 3 RBI, with a pair of doubles. He was robbed of a 3rd extra basehit by Abreu's fantastic catch.

Honorable Mention:
Jorge Posada: 2/5, Run, RBI, 2B, blocked Lugo
Alex Rodriguez: 2/5, HR, 2 RBI
Mariano Rivera: IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 K

Beckett: 0.4 - 6.1 IP, 4 ER
Okajima: 0.3 - 1.1 IP, ER
Papelbon: 0.3 - IP, ER

Saturday, June 02, 2007


I just thought this video was funny. I have no idea what movie this clip is taken from, but I think it's perfect for the WWF style the Yankees used for their "big" announcement.


Teams like the Red Sox find ways to win. Teams like the Yankees find ways to lose.

The Yankees blew three leads in this game, which started out as a pitching duel then devolved into a battle of middle relievers.

The Sox scored their first run with a nice mixture of power ball and small ball. Pena hit a double off the Monster in left-center (a homerun pretty much anywhere else), was moved to 3rd by Crisp, then scored on a Lugo groundout to tie the score at 1-1.

In the 4th, the Sox began a rally with an Ortiz walk and a Ramirez double. Youkilis was stepping up to the plate when it started pouring. The umpires called for the tarp to be placed on the field. Just as the ground crew was done placing the tarp, it stopped raining heavily. But a 28 minute delay ensued.

The game finally continued, and neither starting pitcher looked all that sharp after it. Youkilis walked, Lowell singled to left to drive in a run, then Varitek grounded into a double play. On the play, Lowell took out Cano, but not at second base, about halfway in between 2nd and 1st. Cano did a good job to make a good throw to first while being sacked by the blitzing Lowell, and the play was clean. Unlike A-Rod's elbow to Pedroia, Lowell attempted to break up the double play while Cano still had the ball. It's kind of like the roughing the passer rule in the NFL. Lowell was taking down a QB who had the ball, A-Rod was taking down a QB who had already thrown it.

In the 6th, Schilling lost his edge. He allowed a single, then a walk. Posada deposited a ball into the alley between the RF grandstand and the bleachers to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead. Lopez came in and allowed a double and a single to make it 5-3 in favor of the scum.

But Mussina had nothing in the bottom of the 6th. Lowell and Varitek hit back-to-back homeruns to tie the game at 5-5.

Pineiro came in to pitch the 7th and immediately gave up a homerun to Jeter, which gave the Yankees the lead again. But he settled a bit, and Okajima ended the inning by getting Posada to fly out.

The bottom of the 7th inning was a comedy of errors for the Yankees. Nobody was warming up in the pen and Proctor was left out on the mound. Ortiz hit a 380 foot fly ball to right which could have been caught by Abreu, but he looked lost near the wall. Manny was intentionally walked, then Youkilis was unintentionally walked. By now, New York finally had some bullpen action going. Lowell hit a double play ball to Cano, but the Yankee second-baseman made a bad throw to Jeter at 2nd. The throw took Jeter off the base, and toward center-field. Somehow, Jeter pirouetted around and threw a ball to first. The throw was off (and late), and carried Mientkiewicz back behind the bag. Lowell arrived at the same time, and Mike's thigh plowed into Doug's head, jerking his neck forward. Mientkiewicz fell to the ground in pain, and the Sox all advanced a base, making the score 7-6. Doug was taken out of the game and is at Mass. General as a precautionary measure.

Varitek was walked intentionally, then Pena hit an absolutely perfect double play ball to Jeter, but he muffed it and everybody was safe. Crisp hit a blooping fly ball that dropped in front of Cabrera for a single. 8-6 Sox. The Fox announcers actually did a good job of analyzing something interesting on the play. Varitek was at 2nd, and had to hold up because it was unclear whether or not Cabrera would catch the ball. This meant that Cabrera could have thrown to third for a force out. A run would still score, but the situation would be a runner on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs, instead of the bases loaded and 1 out. However, NOBODY WAS COVERING THIRD! HAHAHAHAHA! Alex Rodriguez was wandering around the infield like he was lost, and Scott Proctor was doing laps around the mound. Lugo hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Varitek, and Pedroia hit a single to right to score Pena. 10-6 Sox.

With Okajima in, the game was pretty much over. The only drama was Kevin Youkilis' last plate appearance, in which he walked, ending his 23 game hit streak. But, he did walk three times.

The Man of the Game is Mike Lowell who went 3 for 4 with a homer, a double, 4 RBI, a walk, and a tackle. He also may have screened a bit on the second Jeter error. And, he made a great barehanded play in the field.

Honorable mentions:
Melky Cabrera: 3/4, 2B, HR
Hideki Okajima: 1.1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, K
Jorge Posada: 2/4, HR, 3 RBI

During the rain delay, an interesting bit of news began to circulate. Clemens will not be able to pitch on Monday due to "a fatigued right groin." I don't know what a fatigued groin is. It's not pulled, or strained, or extended, or aching, or sore, or tender. Does he have a tired right groin? An exhausted, just want to have a beer and take a nap right groin? Whatever. Those are the chances you take when you sign a 44 year old pitcher.

Lots of horrible Tim McCarver remarks, but one that stuck out was when he was talking about Youkilis and his good batting-eye and his ability to take pitches. "You take like you hit." I got a headache trying to figure out that one.

This picture is funny. I know most athletes give each other congratulatory pats on the backside, but the look in A-Rod's eyes is weird. It's like he's eying up a piece of meat. Shudder.

And can Ben Affleck be banned from Fenway Park? Nothing against Ben, but I'm sick of seeing his face sitting in the front row. The guy's an attention whore. You know, I've never seen Matt Damon at a game, but I'm sure he's probably been to hundreds of them. He just wants to see some baseball, I imagine. But Affleck wants TO BE SEEN, seeing some baseball. He probably goes up to the press box before games and tells the announcers where he'll be sitting. Hell, the guy even had a cameraman sitting right behind him, filming him for some reason.

Big rubber game tomorrow night. Pettitte vs. Beckett. Can't wait.


It is abundantly clear that the Yankees Pwn Tim Wakefield. In 3 starts this year against New York, he is 0-3 with an ERA of 10.93. He walks everyone then gives up homers. The knuckleball is fooling the rest of the AL, but not the Yankees. This is understandable. The Yankees are very familiar with him. Last night's starting lineup had 451 career at-bats against him, and more than 500 career plate appearances. Consider the fact that Wakefield really only throws one pitch, and that means that the Yankees lineup has seen something around 2,000 to 3,000 knuckleballs out of Wakefield's arm. That's familiarity right there.

So what do we do? Do we just keep Wakefield from starting against the Yankees? Yes, I think that's exactly what we should do. I guess now it isn't that big of a deal, he might see them 2 more times in the regular season. But let's say the lead in the division closes down, or both teams make the playoffs, do you really want to see Wakefield throwing knuckleballs to the Yankee hitters?

This is the second time this season that Sox fans have been forced to say "Well, if Wakefield wasn't so off, we would have beaten the Yankees."

Wake let up 3 early on, we tied it at 3-3, then New York blew it open with a 6 run 4th. The game was pretty much over at that point.

Man of the Game goes to Jorge Posada who was 2 for 5 with a pair of doubles and 3 RBI, all of which came with 2 outs.

Honorable Mentions:
Dustin Pedroia: 3/4, 2 2Bs, Run, RBI
Robinson Cano: 2/4, HR, 2 Runs, 2 RBI
Melky Cabrera: 2/3, 2B, Run, RBI, 2 BB

Wakefield: 0.8 - 3.2 IP, 8 ER, 5 H, 6 BB, HR, WP, HBP
Snyder: 0.2 - IP, 3 H, 2 BB, ER, 2 inherited runners scored

This is the 3rd Red Sox "losing streak" of the season. It's the first time they've lost consecutive games since April 24th. The other "losing streak" was also a 2 gamer, on April 6th and 7th in Texas.

Mike Lowell left the game with a contusion on his wrist after being hit by a pitch. X-Rays were negative and he hopes to be in the lineup this afternoon. JD Drew left the game in the 6th with a bad feeling in his hamstring. Neither is expected to miss much time or be placed on the DL.

Just a note about the supposed "beanball war" that ESPN hyped up on SportsCenter (and ended their highlight reel promoting Sunday's ESPN televised game), and will most assuredly be hyped up by Fox this afternoon. I don't think there was much, if any, intent in most of the pitches that hit batters. Wang hit Lowell, but he also allowed 10 hits so his best control was not evident last night. Wakefield hit Phelps, but he also walked 6 batters and threw a wild pitch. Snyder hit A-Rod, but he also walked 2 batters in an inning of work. Lopez hit Cano, and then Proctor hit Youkilis. I think Proctor's hit had some intent. Did he intend to hit him? I don't know, but he did intend to go up and in with a fastball on him.

Proctor had seen three of his teammates hit, the game was essentially over, so why not hit Youkilis. And you know what, I really don't have much of a problem with going up and in there. What I do have a problem with is the carelessness shown by Proctor. You don't just hurl it up there, you've got to be real fucking careful when you're throwing up and in. Expect to see someone on the Yankees plunked today or tomorrow, if the situation allows it.

Schilling vs. Mussina this afternoon.