The Sky Didn't Fall... My God
I mean it. It looks like our infield, the best in baseball, is intact and ready to take the visiting team's base hits away while added a ton of them to us. Success. Theo..........GOOD JOB.
A thought process with words, all about the Boston Red Sox and life itself. Unceasingly amazing, every day, every hour, every minute. It's about all of us, together as one, forever. IMAGINE.
I mean it. It looks like our infield, the best in baseball, is intact and ready to take the visiting team's base hits away while added a ton of them to us. Success. Theo..........GOOD JOB.
Less than 7 minutes. Deals that are being finalized right now, as I write this, might be annonced later than 4. But not much later. The big splash for the Sox won't happen, in my mind, right now. My mind is a confusing place, though. So beware. But I'm glad you like it, or you wouldn't be reading.
And the Sox have offered Hansen and Coco.....fine with me! But the Braves are holding out and insisting Lester be a part. DON'T DO IT THEO!!!! Stand pat.Coco is expendable, and in a pinch, so is Craig......Jon is an untouchable...1 hour of this nuts to go.
Do not trade away what has enabled us to be in first place all these months. What is that, you might ask? DEFENSE. I admit we need a pitcher for the back end of the rotation, and another arm we can count on for set up purposes in the bullpen. But any thoughts of trading Mike Lowell and Mark Loretta is SHEER LUNACY! I'll shout that out to the heavens. To every corner of the globe. Do not break up what has been just about the best infield in baseball, an infield that has saved countless games and too many of our pitchers' psyches to count! Theo, please....DO NOT BE STUPID!!!!!!!
The Angels hit Curt Schilling, early and often. Through the first 3 innings, they had 9 hits. Only 2 were singles. It was 6-1 after 3 and my night was prematurely over. I had to get to sleep early anyways, and if I saw our ace throw one more ball right in the middle of the strike zone, I might have jumped out the window. First floor window, by the way. I'm no fool. Van Buren and Julia managed to put us in a much deeper hole, allowing 4 more runs over the next 2 plus innings. Rudy was meaninglessly fine. He picks his spots well, doesn't he?
Josh Beckett gave up 3 runs in his 6 pitched innings. The bullpen, namely Hansen and Timlin, could not hold the fort, giving up another 3 runs in the next 2 innings. But it was the 8th inning. The Sox were about to score. A Papi homerun, number 35, 2 singles, and Mr. Doubles, Mike Lowell, clearing those runners not with a hard line bullet but a pop fly down the rightfield line that took one bounce in fair territory and plopped into the stands. Ground rule double. Tie score. High fives around the room. And Paps coming on, to hold the Angels until Papi could come up again. And hold him he did, for 2 innings. After 10, 6 all.
8-7 since the All Star break. Mediocre at best. What was a 3 1/2 game lead over the Yankees just a week ago has dissolved into a virtual flatfooted tie. And why? The bullpen is atrocious, not including Paps, allowing 5 runs after Jon Lester departed in the 7th. The 7th turned out to be a huge inning for the Angels. And the undoing of the Red Sox. And you know what? We deserve what we get. Lousy baseball translates into losses, not victories, and our translating skills are just fine, thank you.
This weekend's series against the Angels looms large. As Gordo Edes put it in today's Globe....
From today's Herald. And then a comment, or three. From me!
The Red Sox arrived in Boston last night after a 3-3 road trip. Ho-hum. So-so. La-dee-da. And with the Yankees' comeback last night, the Sox have a one game lead in the loss column. And you know what? It didn't matter who was on the mound for them last night, for Dan Haren was at the top of his game, allowing only 4 hits. This was a game that we were not going to win, not with that kind of pitching opponent. So this loss is easier to take. So is first place, but by the slimmest of margins.
This is what has me upset. The talk of Trot being traded, and soon. Nuts! Looney. Pick your adjective. Here's a dictionary. The heavy one. Unabridged...5 pounds. Boomer is back anyday, and Wakey will be back in 20 days. With off days, the need for a 5th starter is minimal, and Snyder is OK for that period. Is Jon Leiber worth the price of the best right fielder Fenway has known in the recent past? No way, no how, not in this month, or any month this season. I had to get that off my chest! Thanks.
***WELLS MIGHT HAVE A START BEFORE THE TRADING DEADLINE***
From today's Herald...
The Oakland A's brought out the welcome mat for the Red Sox, and the Red Sox clobbered them over the head with it. Backed by home runs by Alex Gonzales, Manny Ramirez, and Bip Papi David Ortiz, Josh Beckett became the first pitcher in the AL to reach the 13 win plateau. Through 6, it was 7-0. Gonzo ripped a third inning single run homer, and Manny hit a 3 run job to make it 4-0 after 3. Papi's homer was a leadoff one in the 5th. Beckett was gone after 6, giving way to a nervous 7th by Hansen, who escaped a bases loaded jam to remain unscored on, and a similarly tense 8th by Mike Timlin, who surely will have the night off tonight, also escaping a bases loaded threat unscored on. And then it was as if we all had forgotten how easy a half inning can be when in the hands of a master. Papelbon came in and, with no need to do anything but come right at them, he, well, he came right at them. In the span of one minute 58 seconds (I timed it!!) and 11 pitches, game over!
The link to this collection of blogs, mine among them, is over on the right side of the screen, near the bottom. When you click it, just one further click on "my rss" on the upper left will get you to a directory of all teams. Click on the Boston Red Sox, and it will then show the 5 or 6 Sox blogs carried, including this one. Check it out! Remember to go to "my rss" once you get there. Thanks!
Sloppy outfield play by Manny and Coco. Especially Manny. Timlin coming out for the 9th when a rested Paps awaited. Scoring 8 runs and still being able to lose. This might be the toughest game of the season for me to write about. But there is one bright spot for me. I don't have time time write a more detailed post. Everyone have a great Monday, and file yesterday's game under "game lost on account of sloppiness and bad pitching management. " On to Oakland for a quick 3.
This from the Herald, and then my comments......
I missed this whole game. But I heard Julia Tavarez was up to his old tricks. The team had lost the last 4 times he has shown his ugly face on the mound. In fact, the team record in games he has taken the hill is a nasty 8-13. Tito didn't want to use Delcarmen and Hansen. I can see the logic, but it's too bad we don't have another option other than Rudy and/or Julia. But I've put this game in the files and already turned the page. 2 1/2 up on the Yankees with hometown hero Jon Lester pitching today. The butterflies must be flying for him.
This from the Herald, and then a comment from me. You know I have to comment! So much to say.......
Yes, there are ups and downs out there. In life, yes. That’s the first thing that comes to mind. But we ride out the downs and rejoice the ups. And the same is true for blogging, even when the Red Sox are the blog subjects. And the downs can and do come even when our team is winning.
5 home runs and a good start by Kyle Snyder in which he gave up 2 unearned runs powered the Sox to a 9-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners, a win that widened their lead in the AL East to 3 1/2 games over the faltering Yankees. Way to go Blue Jays. The tater tots, in order, were Papi, Gonzo, Tek, Youk and Manny. Snyder came out for the 6th, but a twinge in his calf, which will not prevent him from pitching Wednesday, ended his night. Hansen came on, and as usual lately, his first inning was uneventful, beautifully boring. But when he's brought back for a second inning, and Tito knows this, bad things happen. This was the case last night, with Little Manny, rock steady, righting the ship until the ninth, when Timlin came in. A 12 pitch at bat by Ichiro led to the first out. 4 pitches later, it was over. And a good Friday it was.
Here ya go.......a quick blurb on our pitching. And I mean QUICK!......Old friend and trusty armed Boomer may be back in a couple weeks. As it is now, we have the big 3, and then Snyder and TBA. Winning half of those number 4 and 5 starter games will hold us well. But losing both, each and every time through the rotation, just ain't gonna cut it! I believe we'll be fine till Timmy and Boomer round out the rotation. Faith. To be rewarded. To be continued. Tonight.
Curt Schilling clearly did not have his best stuff. But he was good when he had to be. After giving up 3 runs in he second inning, he held the Rangers to one run over his remaining 5. And on the strength of Wily Mo's 2 run double in the 3rd and Mark Loretta's single in the 6th that plated the winning run, and with the capable 8th and 9th innings of work from Little Manny, who has become rock steady, and the always there Mike Timlin, the Red Sox cruised westward with a win in their back pockets and a 4 game winning streak to look back on. And extend, starting tonight in Seattle. We start this road trip with our 2 temporary starters, and then go back to the big 3.
Copy and paste this. It is worth it. Sound on, and enjoy the highlights from the first half of 2006. Enjoy, kids.
We already have the plans in place. His name? Kason Gabbard. I know, I didn’t know the name either. He was 1-3 with a 4.97 (ouch) ERA for Pawtucket after going 9-2 with a nifty 2.57 at pitching tough AA Portland. And he is a lefty. Wells is a couple weeks away from his comeback, and the front office has eyes on yesterday’s Royal’s starter Mark Redman. We’ll see, won’t we? Day baseball today at 2. Take care as we go for 4 straight. Wouldn't that be lovely? I can answer that! YESSS!!!
Today at 2 PM, at Fenway Park, that cozy and inviting home of the Boston Red Sox. And though nothing official has been announced by the club, it looks as if Tim Wakefield may be out 3 weeks or so with a rib stress fracture. Rest is the only way for it to heal. So we are down to Schill, who pitches today, Jon Lester and newly signed Josh Baseball, who had every one of his pitches working. A thing of beauty. Our pitching staff cannot take any more hits. Please.
By whom? Well, if you have to ask.................First time in 16 years for back to back 1-0 victories! 'Nuff said until the morning. Love Ya!!
From the Globe, today...Tim speaking.....`It doesn't feel too good," Wakefield said after undergoing a bone scan to determine the source of back pain that has plagued him for more than a month and resurfaced Monday night in the second inning of his start, one he cut short after just four innings."
Jon Lester and Jonathon Papelbon combined on a one hit shutout, as the Red Sox edged the KC Royals 1-0 last night. Lester became the first rookie lefty in Red Sox history to win his first 5 decisions. And that includes someone with the odd nickname
It could have been ball four. Doug Mirabelli thought so as he turned and took a few steps towards first base. But ump Jim Joyce called him back, telling him he had called a strike. And good things started to happen for the Red Sox as the whole atmosphere of the game changed, and changed for the better. Belli lined a shot into the Monster seats that topped off a 4 run inning. The Red Sox were back in it and ready to complete a great comeback. Manny's sac fly, bringing in Willie Harris, scored the Sox' 5th run, and stellar bullpen work after Tim Wakefield and his ailing back were lifted after 4 held the fort and won the game. Little Manny Delcarmen, pitched 2 innings, allowing 1 run. All zeros from there. Craig Hansen, again for 1 inning, a good one too. Mike Timlin, who pitched the 8th and picked up the victory, and Jonathon Papelbon, who earned his 27th save with a 12 pitch 9th. Coco chipped in with 3 hits, as the world turned rightside up again. For a while though, things were iffy, at best.
To an undisclosed location. But, HEY, that's great news. It makes whatever happens in the game tonight a lot less imporatnt. Case closed. Health over a game.
The bright side? After yesterday? After realizing that we are in a tie for first, at least in the loss column, where it counts most? Yes, the bright side. We have 3 games coming up with the KC Royals. Of course, anything but a sweep just won't do. No, not at all. What must be done must be done. Time to see what we are made of these days. I know if we could go back a couple weeks, when we were a team that refused to lose, we would shake off the lowly Royals like a dog does fleas. But this team we've seen the last 4 days, well, I don't know.
From Sunday's Herald......."Milton Bradley might have a thing or two to teach his Oakland teammates about anger management before the final pitch of today’s series finale is thrown.
Curt Schilling was on. Manny Delcarmen struck out 2 in his one inning of work. And Craig Hansen worked one inning and one inning only, and at the end, the Boston Red Sox had their first shutout in nearly a year, becoming the majors' last team this season to do it. And it was worth the wait.
You expect an answer? Not yet. But, boy, it is starting to look like it. Fenway forbid! I have no faith with Ozzie's crew. Hey, show me something!!!
****3rd LOSS IN A ROW****
This from 3 hours ago, and yes, I DO have something to say, after you read this..
A defensive lapse cost us a game. Hasn't happened often this year. Jon Lester walked 5 in his 5 innings, but allowed only 1 run. With better control, he could have gone deeper and we might have won this one. But Hansen, who breezed in the 6th, gave up 2 base hits to lead off the 7th, and it was downhill from there. Craig Hansen has been having easy first innings and trouble in his next. Maybe it's time for Terry to yank him after an inning. But all the armchair quarterbacking in the world won't change a thing. 5-4 A's, in 11. We'll take 'em tonight. And the lead is down to 2 games in the loss column. Too darn close.
A favorite actor of mine, his name Red Buttons, has passed away. A star of stage and screen for many decades, you might remember him from the films THE LONGEST DAY and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE. One of my favorite roles of his was in the movie THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY? Rent the DVD. It will knock you out. He was 87. We will miss you Red.
That's right. Let's turn the 3 game lead we now have over the Yankees to a 6 game bulge. The schedule? 26 of the next 38 games are at our Friendly Fenway. That is huge. There are big questions looming over the team, however. Mike Timlin...he's already been sidelined once this season, and after appearing in 72 games last year coupled with the fact that he is over 40 years old, will he be a force in the second half? If Terry Francona uses him wisely, I say yes. Curt Schilling....we've heard nary a peep since that rocket bounced off his upper right arm during his Sunday start. Will he be OK for Saturday? That I cannot answer. And lastly, at least for starters, is Tim Wakefield and his back. He is slated to go Sunday. Again, I've heard no updates during this oh so needed break. So we will find out soon enough. David Wells' knee is said to be no closer to game ready, and he is way out of shape. See ya Boomer. You had a great career. Tough way to go out. You deserve better. Keith Foulke? His arm has not responded the way he, and we, wanted it to. Time will tell. Hence the influx of young and terrific pitching talent we've been lucky enough to see. And lastly, Manny's knee. We can only hope. There has been no MRI done on it, or so I hear, so any reports of a tear here or a tear there are pure speculation.
I added a link, on the right hand side, just a few down from the top, to the Red Sox page of The Dugout Press. That's where my other half sometimes writes a post or 3. My heart is and always will be here with you. But I hope you can visit the DP, just to see what my other half has to say. We'd like that. A lot. Link on the right, and thanks.
Bud Selig went and said something really stupid. After first expressing his displeasure at the fact that Manny decided to rest his knee instead of playing in the All Star game, which the AL won again, he left the boundries of sanity with his next thought. He said, OUTLOUD, and to reporters, that the pitchers who were elected to the All Star team should be PROHIBITED from pitching on the Sunday before the All Star festivities. I say festivities because it is still an EXHIBITION game, but oh boy! To pass a law that would prevent teams from starting what would be in most cases their best pitcher for a regular season game, a game that counts, is sheer idiocy! I guess we should be used to that from you, Bud, but you really put your foot in your mouth this time (see title). My goodness! Senility early? Or, to quote George Costanza's father, "Serenity now."
"In 160 games since the 2005 All-Star break, Ortiz has exactly 160 RBI to go along with 57 home runs. Those totals are far and away the best in baseball, which means there is currently no better run producer in the game."
It's called Dugout Press. And this will direct you to the Red Sox page, which might look familiar. Let me know what you think, with your comments there. So I'm in 2 places. I think I can. I think I can!
And that's all I have to say about the Home Run Derby. I now can go another 12 months without hearing Chris Berman utter those words in his nasal whine. Oh, and I'm glad Big Papi didn't do any further damage to his aching wrist. I'll be back in your computer in a couple hours. Happy Tuesday.
Click on this link, and then, on the left side, halfway down, click on Red Sox. It's just a copy of my last 2 posts here, but I think I like it there. But I will be here. My thoughts are here first, and anywhere else, later. Thanks...couldn't do this without you. Every one of you!
A Trot Nixon, our right fielder, thought. He is one that, in my mind, we have to sign.......He had a bad day, but he has had a terrific first half offensely. And if he is traded before his free agency, I do want to point out how damn unbelievable his defense in right field is, was, and WILL be. When he is healthy, like he is right now, Fenway's Dewey territory is in good hands. And it is one of the toughest right fields to patrol in all of baseball. So I say, right now, that we should sign him for 2 years, with an option year. He is the heart and soul, the original "dirt dog" of the club. He would take a bullet while others would duck.
These are the type of losses that hurt the most. Up by a run in the bottom of the ninth, Paps time, and he couldn't get 3 outs. For the first time this season, Jonathon Papelbon gave up a run on the road. Blown saves happen. That doesn't make them any easier to swallow. And fast forward to the bottom of the 11th. Up 5-3, Javie Lopez gave up a double to Jim Thome. In came would-be savior Mike Timlin. Bang, zoom, right to the moon, tie game. And on and on it went. Hansen and Tavarez pitched wonderfully. Rudy Seanez did not. But it was the Chicago 'pen that held the Sox offense scoreless long enough for them to win it. And win it they did.
This from the Globe, to the few of you who might have missed it, as I.
Beckett was not sharp, but with the bullpen, namely Javier Lopez and Craig Hansen, putting potential disaster to rest in the 7th inning, the Red Sox, behind Big Papi's 31st home run and the great defense of Trot Nixon, won for the second time in as many tries against the world champs.
And a Jonathon Papelbon save. Against the White Sox, no less! See you in the morning. As we go for, dare I say it....a sweep. I said it!
Or what's left of the 2004 champs. In many ways, we're better. In some, not so better. But last night, riding the arm of Jon Lester and a solid outing from the 'pen, and the long shot power by Big Papi to start the game, and Mikey Lowell to end it, the White Sox saw some of the reasons why the Boston Red Sox are in first place. And with Scott Kazmir pitching against the Yankees today, our 3 game lead may grow. But we have to win first, and the game is a national Fox broadcast. But more on last night.
Wow,,,it's good to be back. I know it's only been since Thursday night, but it seems far longer. I had not missed writing a post since I started this blog in mid-November, And while I was gone, the Sox found the best way to get out of Tampa-with a resounding win! Manny homers. Papi TWICE. And then last night, onto Chicago, the final stop before the All Star break. My post on that game, a 7-2 Boston victory with ANOTHER Papi homer, will be up around the usual 7AM. Until then, I missed you, I hope you didn't forget about me, never to return. I was originally told, yesterday at dinner, that phone and DSL would not be back until Monday morning. Imagine my surprise upon awaking, if only for a second, and picking up the phone to find that it was no longer silent, mute in its sad way. So that's why you're hearing from me in this wee part of the morning, before the sun graces and tints the eastern skies. I'll be back in 4 hours with a full wrap up of game one, which was a joy to behold. Believe me, it's a joy being back here, with you reading. I missed you.
For those of you who missed Crawford's steal of home, or for those who do not understand why it was SO EASY, watch it again. Not a pretty sight, but a learning experience for JJ. And for Theo, who I hope is way busy looking for our number five starter to be. Let it be. Now. Here's the link. Paste it, please. It's easy. And then just scroll down to the video selections, and watch. Then you are allowed to kick something. Something inanimate. Like a can. Here ya go..........
Losing 3 games in a row might not exactly be a freefall, but this morning, it sure seems like one. As in his last start, Jason Johnson, or JJ, had trouble in the first 2 innings, and the Red Sox, who have not hit at the Trop, could not bat their way out of it. JJ gave up 4 runs in the first 2 innings. Wave goodbye today, while he is still with the big team. In his 2 starts, in the first 2 innings of each combined, he has given up 9 runs while allowing 16 of 28 batters to reach base. Last night, a 4-1 lead was as insurmountable as a 10-0 lead. I want us to leave, and leave now, but we have one game left here in Florida, one game. We all are counting on Tim Wakefield to stop the bleeding.
And the GYS link is down, and to the right. An everyday stop? A neccessity. And from their post today, what the AL East would look like if there had been no interleague play. GYS guys, thanks! And to my readers, bookmark their epic site. Please. For me.....
*****MANNY NOT TO PLAY IN ALL-STAR GAME*****
I read a line from MBF (Mad Boston Fan), linked at right and what should be an everyday read. And the line went something like, Kazmir was a stormcloud for the Sox offense, dousing any chance of more fireworks, fireworks we have delightedly gotten used to as we win something like 12 of every 14 games. A pace we cannot keep up, but we won't be far off. MBF's daily game recaps are required reading for "the morning afters." If not before. But my response?
Happy 230th birthday, America. And to all my readers, American or not, terrestrial or not, have a happy and healthy Fourth of July.
Nasty slider. Filthy fastball. Wicked change up. 2 hits. A complete game. That spells All Star pitcher Scott Kazmir, all of 22 years old. With a now 5-2 record against the Red Sox, with an ERA of 2.60, he was king for the night, unbeatable in his home park. It was one of those games where you just have to tip your hat and come out this afternoon and get them back. I have no idea what the Mets were thinking when they dealt this guy away. Loony tunes or something.
All things considered, which of these players would you like to have back?
I did not get to see the first 7 innings of the game. There was a spectacular fireworks show in downtown Hartford, and we all had a great time. It was on the way home, with the radio tuned into WTIC, the voice of the Sox here in Connecticut for nearly 60 years, that I realized that the Red Sox put on quite the display of fireworks of their own. Mikey Lowell with 3 doubles, and Papi and Manny with 2 home runs, EACH. Now with the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had set the DVR to catch a 1 hour replay. No such luck. Wait! I've got it! Maybe, just maybe, the Sox haven't finished with their Independence Day fireworks. The second half might be scheduled for this very afternoon, down in Florida. I feel much better now. Oh, and Craig Hansen is doing just fine in his one inning stints, becoming part of the 2 man bridge, with Mike Timlin, to Papelbon. We didn't need Paps last night. We were just fine without him, and we are 4 games up on the Yankees and the soon to be in second place Blue Jays. Don't stumble, Georgie. Oh, he did just that on his way out of the Stadium last night, and when asked about RJ's performance, he seemed confused, as he mumbled that RJ "looked OK." That from the NY Times, this morning.
Cut to the Marlins' announcers, later today. In fact, tonight. A glimpse......Rod Serling? No. More like Ken Coleman, and his announcer mate Ned Martin..."OH MERCY!"
And put your sound on. With thanks to Matty! And I know you have to copy and paste, but boy, IS IT WORTH IT!
And here is that prediction, a feeling, a sense of something before that something is going to happen. With me, it starts as a brain spark, and then travels into sensitive, ready to type while listening to that inner ear voice (my left ear) fingers. And I cannot continue with life until commiting it to paper, or in this case, to blogness. So.......... we will all be deliriously happy when Matt Clement comes back to slide into the number five slot. Pitching without any pain, I say right here, right now, on 7-1-06, that he will be back to his pre All-Star last year form. Going out on a limb? Hell yeah! There's a beautiful breeze way up here, and the people passing by, doing their normal everyday activities, all have that contented, half smile, half 'Wow, it's such a beautiful day today' look on their faces. And I wouldn't even think of leaving this, my perch, until this beautiful feeling passes. So look up, and if you see a happy handsome guy sitting up in a tree, smiling like all is right with his world, wave. I WILL wave back. And smile.
Dontrelle Willis was too tough. Jason Johnson, our #5, was too rusty, too nervous or too terrible, putting us in a 5 run hole after 2. And the Marlins' pitching kept us down, beating the Sox 5-2. But the defense had another error free game, setting the MAJOR LEAGUE RECORD for consecutive error free games at 17. My oh my! And thanks to Kevin Youklis for making 2 tough pick ups on low throws, and a nifty play by Mikey Lowell at 3rd....both kept the streak of defensive excellence alive.