Friday, August 31, 2007

Expletives Deleted

Curt Schilling failed to win a game following a Boston Red Sox loss for the first time this year. He pitched well through seven innings, giving up 2 runs. But Wang pitched better, holding the Sox hitless until the 7th. The Mannyless offense was again anemic. It's as if they left their lumber in Chicago. I can't explain it, but I can't hide my utter disappointment. The lead is now 5, and we could use a few wins in a row.

I have an early appointment, so I have to finish up here. Click on the title of this post for more on the NY sweep. Have a great weekend, and I'll be back a little later. Thanks.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

NO Runs...No Nothing....AGAIN!!!

Full ugly, hideous and unspeakable details tomorrow morning as the Red Sox slide to nothingness.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band...Tour Schedule And Dates...So Far

Peter here. I just wanted to post this up to the minute tour schedule, including dates and times of the shows and the dates of ticket sales, for the new 2007-2008 Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band tour in support of their new album, MAGIC, to be released on Tuesday October 2nd. That coincides with the opening night of this tour, right here in my hometown, Hartford, Connecticut. I hope that, if the band is near, you can treat yourselves to a wonderful time, wonderful and MAGIC as only the Boss can do. And year after year, decade upon decade, HE DOES IT! Here you go........

The E Street Band is back!

There are currently 31 dates scheduled for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, touring North America and Europe in 2007.

All times are local times for each city.

Date-Venue-Tickets on sale date

Oct 2 Hartford Civic Center Hartford, CT Sept 8-------Peter town!!!!!

Oct 5 Wachovia Center Philadelphia, PA Sept 8
Though only one show has been announced for Philly, also lists a show for Oct 6.
Oct 9 Continental Airlines Arena East Rutherford, NJ Sept 10
Oct 10 Continental Airlines Arena East Rutherford, NJ Sept 10
Oct 14 Civic Centre Ottawa, ON Sept 17
Oct 15 Air Canada Centre Toronto, ON Sept 17
Oct 17 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Sept 10
Oct 18 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Sept 10
Oct 21 United Center Chicago, IL Sept 8
Oct 26 Oracle Arena Oakland, CA Sept 15
Oct 28 Venue TBA Los Angeles, CA TBA
Nov 2 Xcel Energy Center St. Paul, MN Sept 22.
10 a.m.
Nov 4 Quicken Loans Arena Cleveland, OH Sept 15
Nov 5 Palace of Auburn Hills Auburn Hills, MI Sept 21
Nov 11 Verizon Center Washington DC Sept 21
Nov 14 Mellon Arena Pittsburgh, PA Sept 14
Nov 15 Times Union Center Albany, NY Sept 8
Nov 18 TD Banknorth Garden Boston, MA Sept 22
Nov 25 Palacio De Deportes Madrid, ESP Oct 2
Nov 26 Bilbao Exhibition Centre Bilbao, ESP Oct 2
Nov 28 Datchforum Milan, ITA Sept 10
Nov 30 Gelredome Arnhem, NED Sept 8
Dec 2 Sap Arena Mannheim, GER Aug 31
While August 31 is the official onsale date, you can pre-order for German shows now at or
Dec 4 Oslo Spektrum Oslo, NOR Sept 3,
9 a.m.
Dec 8 Forum Copenhagen Copenhagen, DEN Sept 3,
10 a.m.
Dec 10 Globe Arena Stockholm, SWE Sept 1
Dec 12 Sports Paleis Antwerp, BEL Sept 8
Dec 13 Koln Arena Cologne, GER Aug 31
While August 31 is the official onsale date, you can pre-order for German shows now at or
Dec 15 Odyssey Arena Belfast, IRE Sept 6
Dec 17 Palais Omnisports De Bercy Paris, FRA Sept 7
According to, their onsale is Sept 5
Dec 19 O2 Arena London, UK Aug 30

Peter here...there will be numerous dates added right through the summer of '08. If you have a chance, a slim chance or a ripe opportunity, please go see Bruce and his band. The band he was born with. The band I love. Thanks.

The Old Man Was Pure Spun 24 CT. Gold

45 year old Roger Clemens spun a beauty last night, taking a no-hitter into the 6th inning and finishing 6 complete frames, giving up 2 hits and 1 run. The final score was Yankees 4, Red Sox 3. Josh Beckett gave up all four runs and a career high 13 hits as he was outpitched by Clemens handily. And the Sox learned that they will be without the services of Manny Ramirez for two weeks with an oblique strain on his left side. This is the latest, from the Boston Globe.....

"Red Sox chief internist Laurence Ronan examined Ramírez yesterday, and the team later announced that Ramírez had a strained left oblique (side) muscle, which he aggravated with a swing during his last at-bat Tuesday. "He's still pretty sore," said Francona, who said Ramírez has had back problems off and on for six weeks.
"He's done an admirable job of playing through it," Francona said of Ramírez, who came out of Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Yankees in the seventh inning, one inning after he was charged with an error for failing to pick up Jorge Posada's single. "I don't want people taking unfair shots at him."

There's gloom everywhere for the first place club, but most of those "negative waves" could vanish with a win by Curt Schilling this afternoon. He HAS to be our stopper. First pitch will be shortly after 1:05pm EST. He'll be opposed by Wang, who throws a heavy sinker when he is right. If we see a lot of fly balls in the early innings, that would be a good sign. Especially if those fly balls have some legs and get over the outfield wall. Schilling is coming off a tremendous start in his last outing. We have to hope for more of the same and get the lead back to 7 games. 5 games just doesn't sound right.

I hope each and every one of you will have a great Thursday as the Red Sox try to salvage one game in this 3 game series. If not, the world won't end, I promise you, but which would YOU rather have.....a 5 game or a 7 game lead? I'll leave that choice up to you, Constant Reader.

Please click on the title of this post for the Herald's Tony Massarotti's no-holds barred look at the state of the club without Manny and the weaknesses that have begun to show, faintly but clearly, razor sharp. And root for that club from the Hub, our Boston Red Sox, as Schill goes in his biggest Yankee Stadium start, by far, since the "bloody sock" game in that magical year of 2004. Thank you for being here and reading me, and I'd love to see your comments.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thank You.....Baseballnooze dot com

Walter from baseballnooz dot com was nice enough to feature my blog on his wonderful web page. Just click on the title of this very post to go there, and bookmark it. Once you're there, you will see the "community page," which will give you all the latest blog feed headlines. If you click on 'MyNews,' you can choose between all the major league teams...they'll be listed when you click on MyNews....and choose your choice. After that, you have your own "mini blog news page." What could be better?? Here's what he said about my blog. Thanks,'re the best!
Moose Is A MESS!
12:05PM EST on August 28, 2007
"As baseball fans know, Red Sox Nation is one the most fanatic, faithful and fiery groups on the planet. That means you can choose from a host of blog sites who follow Boston's every move. A destination we love to visit daily is Red Sox Forever by Peter N. You can count on Peter to give you the true gen without the spin, hype and attitude served up by so many sites. Peter is loyal to the Sox, sure, but he can be critical of the players, front office and even game-day weather if need be. If you follow the AL East, tune in to Peter's Red Sox Forever often."
Peter here, and Walter, I appreciate your kind words so so much. And to my constant readers (thank you Stephen King), just click on the title of this post to go directly to Baseball Nooze Dot Com...if you have a blog, make sure it's listed there! Good people. Always. GO SOX. Forever!!!

Pettitte Shines In 5-3 Yankee Win Over Red Sox

Andy Pettitte further solidified his reputation as a hot August pitcher by going seven strong innings in a 5-3 victory. He improved his record this month to a perfect 6-0. After going ahead 2-0 in Daisuke Matsuzaka's pitch-filled and shaky first inning, the Sox scored one run in the second and another in the third to tie it. One of those runs was a Manny Ramirez solo shot. But Manny had to leave the game in the 7th inning with back spasms, and he is day to day. Wow, what a loss he would be! Let's hope he's back in there tonight. The Yankees went ahead in the 5th with another run, but the Sox tied it at 3 in the top of the 7th with a Tek blast. That set the stage for Johnny Damon in the bottom of the inning with a 2 run shot, and that was all she wrote.

Daisuke labored and threw way too many pitches....110 in 5 1/3 innings. It was his first loss to the pinstripers this year, but of his three starts against them, none have been quality starts. The lead is down to seven games, and the Yanks know they must take these next two. They won't. Two tough Texans, Clemens and Beckett, go at it tonight, and I'm hoping Roger has the same stuff as he did in his last start against Detroit. But there's no cause for alarm, although it would have been sweet to win yesterday. Sweet indeed.

Click on the title of this post for more on the back injuries of Kielty and Ramirez, and of the Yankees' decision to shelve Moose Mussina, at least for one start. Just when it was getting fun watching him pitch! Everyone, enjoy your Hump Day. We'll get 'em tonight.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band....HERE!!!!


The release of Bruce Springsteen's Magic (new album) isn't the only thing to look forward to on October 2 -- there's magic in the night, too, as an extensive E Street Band tour kicks off that evening in Hartford, CT.

Peter here. That's right! BRUUUUCE and the band.......HERE!!!!!! Tix on sale Sat. September 8th

I am floored!! P.S. You can download his new single on ITunes for's called RADIO NOWHERE, and it ROCKS!!!!!!!!!

Moose Is A MESS!

As the title said, Moose is a mess. And so is his team. Last night, for the third start in a row, Mike Mussina looked like a washed up old man, with no movement at all on his pitches. He gave up 6 runs and was gone after three innings. The bullpen, as it has been all year, was terrible, adding fuel to the fire and runs on the Tiger half of the scoreboard. Final score? 16-0 DEE-troit. The Yankees are 8 games behind the Boston Red Sox going into tonight's game at that stadium in the Bronx.

Right now, the Yankees have only two consistant starters-Pettitte, who goes tonight, and Wang, who will pitch on Thursday. The other starters are .500 pitchers, at best. Clemens, the previously mentioned Mussina and their number five guy, whoever that is. It depends on what week it is. Their bullpen is worse, Rivera included. And they will have to sweep us in this short set.....or we can put them out of their misery. I prefer the latter. It's the kind thing to do, and it would allow the Yankees to concentrate on catching the Mariners for the wild card.

In other Red Sox news, there were two players named AL player of the week this week-our very own Mike Lowell and David Ortiz. Lowell, firmly postioned in the number 5 slot of the lineup, batted .500 (14 for 28), with 3 doubles, one home run and a .714 slugging percentage. And Big Papi? He hit .478 (11 for 23) with two doubles, three homers and 8 RBIs. Wow times two!

So the stage is set, the curtain will rise, the fans will scream and there will be baseball in the burning Bronx tonight. Yankees and Red Sox....does it get any better?

Click on the title of this post for the Globe's Nick Carfado's look at this upcoming series. And everyone, enjoy it! If we sweep the series, the Yankees are stone cold dead in their pursuit of the division title. If the opposite occurs, we're still 5 games up with 28 to play. And anything in between, either way, will not help the Yankees. Not at all. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it's time for Red Sox/Yankee baseball. Have fun. That's the most important thing.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Our Darkman, Hideki Okajima

THIS IS SUCH A GREAT PIECE about our Darkman, Hideki Okajima. Thank you, Ian, for the link. His blog is listed on my link list....required everyday reading. So please click on the title of this very post and prepare to be delighted, happy and overjoyed. The NY Times did a bang-up job!!!! I promise you will love it. Thanks. P.S. The link starts with an advertisement...there is a box on the upper right to skip it.

S*W*E*E*P....Clean And NASTY!

The Boston Red Sox put their mark in the record books with an 11-1 drubbing of the Chicago White Sox Sunday in the windy city. They dominated the four game series with precise pitching and brutally heavy hitting, scoring ten or more runs in each game. In a spot start, Julian Tavarez, who is so valuable to this club, dominated the ChiSox for six innings, allowing only one run and two hits while striking out seven. And the bullpen closed it out. Manny Delcarmen and Eric Gagne each pitched an uneventful inning, and Paps came in for the ninth and struck out the side, literally blowing them away. If anyone could imagine a better tuneup for the upcoming Yankee series, I'd like to hear it. Mike Lowell put it this way, from the Courant......

"It feels better to go in there (NY) playing the way we're playing, because we're really playing well," said Mike Lowell, who extended his hitting streak to nine games. "We're getting great pitching performances, we're swinging the bats extremely well and we're playing good defense. That combination, with our talent, is tough to beat."

Peter here. And those pinstripers wrap up their 4 game set with Detroit, behind by 7 1/2 games. It will be Mussina versus Verlander. With that matchup, don't be surprised to see that lead balloon to 8. How sweet it is, as the Great One used to say in his own inimitable way.

Some quick batting stats for the Sox in this series read like this.....Mike Lowell, 10-19, Big Papi, 7-17, Bobby Kielty, 5-13 and Kevin Youkilis, 6-16. Let's hope those bats, all of them, in fact, stay red hot for a while. And the starting pitching, starters one through five, has been impeccable while the bullpen quite simply is the best in all of baseball. I'm excited about the make up of this 2007 version of that team we love to love.

Click on the title of this post for Gordon Edes' take on the history-making series that was, maybe a turning point in this late part of the 2007 season. GO SOX. Forever. I'm so proud of them!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Would You Believe 80-51 ????

Wow...another romp!! Full everything first thing Monday morning...............

Streaking White-Hot Wakefield Befuddles The White Sox

Boy, is Timmy Wakefield on a hot streak! You remember the kind of streaks he's had in the past. He is unscored upon in his last three starts, 22 consecutive innings, and he won for the 11th time in his last 14 starts. And what great timing, too! He did not allow a hit between the first and 7th innings, and surrendered only 3 safeties in all. And yesterday the bats were roaring once again. The Sox collected 15 hits and scored 14 times to thoroughly humiliate the Chicago club yet again. Mike Lowell, thriving in the 5 spot, had another 4 hit game, and in a breakout game for Keilty, he drove in 4 men. This team is running on all cylinders as they prepare for the final game of this 4 game set. Then it's an off day leading to the 3 game matchup scheduled at Yankee Stadium. This is an exciting time for Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International, so enjoy every last minute of it.

Today, Julian Tavarez, so good for seven innings in his last start, will go against the ChiSox's Vazquez, who is 11-6 with an overall ERA of 3.66. He has been one of their most reliable starters, but the way the Sox have been hitting the cover off the ball and pitching lights-out, I say "Who cares?"

Changing subjects for just a second, and not that I'm looking past this afternoon's game, but this is from the Globe. I couldn't resist.....

"Barring any rainouts here (Chicago) or in Detroit over the next couple of days, the pitching matchups have been set for the Red Sox-it will be Andy Pettitte against Daisuke Matsuzaka in the opener, Roger Clemens vs. Josh Beckett Wednesday night, and Chien-Ming Wang vs. Curt Schilling Thursday afternoon.
It will be the first time Beckett has faced Clemens, the pitcher he idolized growing up in Spring, Texas."

So the season of 2007 marches on, shining and bright, starting at 2pm today. The lead is 6 1/2 games over New York, and the Red Sox have a major league leading record of 79-51. 32 games to go...let's win 20 of 'em.

Click on the title of this post for more on yesterday's unbelievableness, and enjoy your Sunday. Health and happiness to each and every one of you, my faithful readers. It's hot and humid here for one more day, but that's's August, and our Sox are looking like they could beat the world. And I can't wait. The team we love is loving us back. What could be better?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Red Sox Take Two From The White Sox

For the first time in more than 50 (!!) years, the Boston Red Sox scored 10 or more runs in both ends of a doubleheader, and they beat the Chicago White Sox 11-3 and 10-1. As ChiSox manager Ozzie Guillen put it, rather classicly......

"Twelve hours of my life I wasted and I'm never going to get it back," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Tough day for everyone. I think that's one of the reasons they're in first place and we're in last."

Peter here, and very well put, Ozzie. Josh Beckett labored early, but pitched into the sixth, giving up three runs. The 'pen, in the form of Lopez, Okie and Timlin, did the rest, keeping the White Sox run total stuck at three. And the Sox bats awoke, scoring 4 runs in the 4th and 6 more in the eighth and ninth.

Game two featured the return to form of Curt Schilling, and that is HUGE for the future of this ballclub. From the Courant....

"I stayed out of the middle of the plate more than anything," Schilling said."I wanted to command both sides of the plate and mix it up. I think we're starting a nice little push. I think everybody is doing their thing and it's a good atmosphere here."

Peter here, and I think so too, Curt. Schill went a strong six innings, giving up 2 hits and only one run. That's the Schill we know and love. The batting star of both games was Mike Lowell, finally put into the five spot behind Manny, a place in the lineup that JD Drew could not call his own. Papi also came up big, with two game two home runs. And the 'pen went another three strong innings, with Delcarmen, Snyder and Gagne snuffing any remaining life from the last place Chicago team. Oh, about those Yankees. They were delayed by more than four hours because of heavy rain in Detroit and lost 9-6 in 11 innings, so just like that, POOF, the lead is up to 6 1/2 games. And it certainly is a sweet Saturday morning. So I hope you enjoy it.

Today, the hot Timmy Wakefield takes the hill, and he'll be facing Mark Buehrle. It should be a good one, and it's on Fox at 3:30. The more distance we put between ourselves and those pinstripers, as the first of two three game series with them looms, the better. As Curt said earlier, the club is playing well on all levels, and if yesterday was a good indication and Schill is back strong, watch out. EVERYONE!
I'd love your comments....please. And click on the title of this post for more on the merriment that was a Red Sox Friday in the windy city.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The 60s, For A Rainy Day In Chicago

I enjoyed this presentation SO much. Put your sound on and prepare for 10 minutes of smiles. CLICK ON THE TITLE OF THIS POST. And enjoy...I KNOW you will. I did. And thank you Craig M.

A Roster Move, Rain, And Maybe MORE Rain To Come.....Chicago Weather Link

Thursday's game in the Windy City was rained out, forcing a day/night doubleheader to be scheduled for today. But the threat of more rain, one to two inches of it, may jeopardise not only those games, but the rotation that has been so carefully set up for the three game set at Yankee Stadium starting Tuesday. If the weather does NOT wash out today's contests, it STILL will be Daisuke, Beckett and Schilling in the Bronx. But everything would be up in the air if the clouds do not cooperate and the rain does not cease. That would be bad news for Red Sox fans because the Yankees have scheduled Pettitte, Clemens and Wang. Click on the title of this post for the latest forecast and the current conditions in the Windy City.

Jon Lester was temporarily assigned to the Portland Sea Dogs for his next start to make room for lefty Javy Lopez. He will be back next Friday when the rosters expand. Julian Tavarez will take his place in the rotation. He looked great in his last start, going seven good innings. Lester has been inconsistant, and needs more seasoning, whether it be in Portand or Pawtucket.

Enjoy your Friday and your weekend, and don't forget to click on the title for the up-to-the-minute conditions, live radar and the latest forecast for the rain-drenched city of Chicago. Thanks for being here, as always. I'll sign this...your Sox guy, your weather guy, your friend. Forever.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tough Luck Loss For Dice-K As Bats Fall Silent

Two hits and 2 runs with 4 walks.....that's all Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up in his 6 innings of work. And the bullpen was unscored upon. But those untrustworthy Red Sox bats remained mute and the club left 14 men on base. Varitek was personally responsible for stranding 8 of those runners. But Daisuke must be getting used to this. In fact, in his past twelve starts, the team has scored 2 or less runs. Hard to believe, huh?

The Yankees finally were able to take a game from the LA Angels and gain a game in the standings. After their day off today, they play a four game set in Detroit before coming home and face the Red Sox. The Red Sox will have Matsuzaka, Beckett and Schilling going in that series, so they should be in good shape. One Yankee pitcher we WON'T see is Mike Mussina, and that's too bad....he's had two rough outings in a row. We'll be sure to see Clemens and Wang. Bring 'em on. That's all I can say.

Here are the Boston-Detroit pitching matchups.......

Josh Beckett (15-5, 3.15 ERA) vs. John Danks (6-11, 5.30) tonight
Curt Schilling (7-5, 4.25) vs. Jon Garland (8-9, 4.84) Friday
Tim Wakefield (15-10, 4.35) vs. Mark Buehrle (9-8, 3.42) Saturday
Jon Lester (2-0, 5.67) vs. Javier Vazquez (11-6, 3.66) Sunday

So there you have it. Are those matchups a blueprint for taking 3 of 4 from the sputtering White Sox? We have to hope so, and we also have to hope that the Tigers, on their home turf, can make a better showing against the Yankees than they did at the Stadium last week. Have a great Thursday, and click on the title of this post for all the details of that oh-so winnable Wednesday night game.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

With A Little Help From My 'Pen

The familiar combination of Hideki Okajima, also known as the Darkman to some, and Jonathon Papelbon pitched the last 2 2/3 innings of Tuesday night's 8-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Jon Lester labored into the sixth, throwing a whopping 97 pitches. That is way too many. He gave up 5 runs on 4 hits while walking 4. It was clearly not his night. He hasn't had many of those in the first place, to tell you the truth. But he's young, and he'll get better. With his 30th save, Paps accomplished some landmark achievments. From the Courant......

"Papelbon became the first Red Sox pitcher to record 30 saves in multiple seasons.
Papelbon, 26, also is the fourth pitcher in major league history to record 30 saves in his first two full seasons, joining Billy Koch (1999-2002, his first four), Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000-02) and Todd Worrell (1986-88).
"[Starting] seems so far away and seems so boring," said Papelbon, who saved 35 games last season as a rookie before a shoulder injury temporarily sent him back to the rotation. "I was literally dying a slow death in spring training."

Peter here, and Jonathon, you're alive and well, and thriving. You're one of the biggest reasons for the success of the club. Keep it going as August winds down and transforms itself into September and the first cooling breezes of autumn grace and cool Fenway Park and the shores of Red Sox Nation from seas to shining seas.

The offense, with the score tied at two, exploded for five runs in the 4th inning and one in the 7th, and the Sox, with the stellar help from its tremendous bullpen, Gagne included, ran away with their second win in a row in this three game series. Tonight Daisuke Matsuzaka tries to attone for his poor performance last time. He will face the Ray's Jackson, who is 3-12 but has pitched well of late. Coupled with yet another loss by the Yankees to those Angels, the lead is back to 6 games. Mussina was not able to get out of the second inning, and he is clearly in the declining phase of his career.

Enjoy your Wednesday, and click on the title of this post for Gordon Edes' wrap up of last night's win. 26 games over .500.....let's go for 30. Now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Master Of The Devil Rays

Tim Wakefield, continuing his dominance of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, whitewashed the team, going seven scoreless innings. He allowed only four hits and struck out five enemy hitters. Overall, Wakes is 19-2 against them, the second best record of any pitcher in the big leagues. And he's two wins away from his career high of seventeen. Not bad for 40 something years old! Manny Delcarmen and Mike Timlin finished the shutout with scoreless 8th and 9th innings. Now the bullpen is rested and ready for anything.

The big hits of the game were a Mike Lowell home run and a Manny Ramirez bases loaded single. And all this joyful mayhem came against a tough pitcher who usually gives the Red Sox fits-Scott Kazmir. Coupled with the Angels' win over the hated Yankees, the lead is back to five games. They have Mussina going today. He's been shaky. The Angels counter with Kelvin Escobar, who will be going for his fourteenth win of the season. Look for another Halo's win. Go for it, Kelvin!

Click on the title of this post for The Globe's Nick Carfados' in-depth analysis of all the leading teams of MLB. Required reading, to say the least. And enjoy your Tuesday. Tonight down in Tama Bay, it's Lester versus Sonnastine. Go Jon. Go Sox. Forever.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Great Tavarez Start Ruined By The Lack Of Lumber

Julian Tavarez tamed the mighty LA Angels for seven sparkling innings, and the bullpen finished the job. Unfortunately, the Angels' Joe Saunders was better, limiting the Red Sox to one run on six hits. The final score was 3-1 Angels, reducing the AL East lead over the NY Yankees to 4 small games. If they overtake the Sox and climb into first, it will be because of improved pitching and superlative hitting. The Sox have had great pitching all year, but their offensive output has not approached that of the pinstripers. They're not even in the same league, hitting wise.

A three city road trip looms on the near horizon, with three games, starting tonight in Tampa Bay. Then it's on to Chicago for four and New York for three. Every game is vital as we enter the six week stretch run to the post season. But to stay in first place, the hitting must improve. I've said it all year, but the Sox have been a .500 club for coming up on three months. And that's completely unacceptable.

Click on the title of this post for Dan Shaughnessy's take on the state of this club from Boston, this underacheiving (at least hittingwise) bunch of highly paid players who sometimes look like they couldn't hit their way out of a paper bag. The Sox sometimes seem as if they had all just surprisingly woken from a teamwide coma, years in length. Harsh words? THEY DESERVE IT!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Red Sox Slam The Angels In A Comeback Victory

Saturday night was a night that the home Boston Red Sox had to put up some crooked numbers on their half of the scoreboard or lose their second in a row to the LA Angels. And after Friday night's second game loss, that would have been tough on the team, and for us here in magical RSN. But Curt Schilling still needs to fine tune the edges and regain some lost velocity. He said this....

"As much as I hate to say it, I am a work in progress in a lot of ways," said Schilling, who came off the disabled list Aug. 6. "I don't have the consistent low to mid-90s velocity."

I have to agree with him, but when it counted Saturday night at Fenway Park, as he and his team faced the LA Angels, Curt got the outs. In the sixth inning, after the Sox had gone ahead 6-5 on the strength of a Big Papi monster shot grand slam to right, he retired the Angels. Timlin, Okajima and Papelbon, in a non-save situation, also put up scoreless frames to end it. The Halos were held to one run after the second inning. That's what a great bullpen allows its team to come back. And yesterday was an example of exactly that. And it was a needed win, too, for the Tigers were again beaten by those damn Yankees. The lead is five and holding.

It would be big to take three of four from the team with the second best record in baseball.....a literal shot in the arm for a club that's been playing "win one, lose one" for far too long. And todays pitching matchup pits Joe Saunders versus Julian Tavarez. With Tavie's propensity for going five, or at most, six innings, the bullpen will come into play yet again today. If it's not a close game, or if the Sox are way ahead (I hope), we'll see Eric Gagne emerge from the 'pen to a fuscilade of boos. I can't imagine Tito putting Gagne into the game with just a one or two run lead. Not yet. Although he disagrees (click on the title of this post for an article about JUST that). If it's close, it'll be Delcarmen and Oki. Oki threw 13 pitches yesterday while Paps threw 18. Gagne has not pitched since his Friday night personal massacre.

Again, if you click on the title of this post you will learn EXACTLY what Terry Francona's thoughts are about when or if to use Eric Gagne. For the most part, I agree. But read the article first, and then tell me what you think by leaving a comment. I'll let you know exactly how I feel in the comment section too. Have a happy, safe and healthy Sunday as the northeastern United States basks in wonderfully clear and cool autumn-like weather. Canadian air with a northwest wind will do it every time, and in August, as much of the country bakes and broils, we're happy. 'Bout time!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Euphoria To Maddening Frustration

Game one was great. It's fun to watch a young rookie pitcher, clearly talented, make his first start in the majors, and against a great club too. Game two was fun, for awhile. Josh Beckett was super, Manny Delcarmen a little shabby, but the home team bats came to life in the eighth inning with four runs, giving the Red Sox a 5-4 lead. Three outs to go. Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters?? I wish, but in strode Eric Gagne, and out went any chance of a victory and a sweep. I don't even know how to describe his ninth inning appearance without using biting and cruel profanity. So I won't. In Tito's defense, he had used Okajima and Papelbon in game one, each for more than an inning. So it was either Mike Timlin or "the new guy" to close out the game. And when you consider the many reasons why the club obtained the Canadian righty, it was a solid managerial move. Only one thing went wrong with Tito's plan.....GAGNE SUCKS, AND CONTINUED SUCKING on Friday.

Today, a Saturday night game. Curt Schilling will face Jered Weaver, who did well against the Sox on their recent West coast swing. And with the Yankees' win against the Tigers, the lead stands at five. I hate to say it, but a split of these next two with the Halos would be completely fine with me. But yesterday? Yesterday could have been so so very sweet.

Click on the title of this post for more on the trials and tribulations of Eric Gagne, penned by the Herald's Rob Bradford. And GOOD LUCK to Wily Mo Pena, who was traded to the Nationals for cash and a player to be named later. Wily, you're a nice guy and your future is ahead of you with more playing time and a 4th or 5th spot in their batting order. We ALL wish you luck.

Happy weekend everyone, as the sting and bitterness that was last night at Fenway slowly dissolve into a truly beautiful day. For ALL of us.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Halos Invade Boston

Yes, the LA Angels come to town for the first of four games this afternoon at 1:05. A night game will follow. Here are your pitching matchups.....

John Lackey (15-6, 3.07 ERA) vs. Buchholz, first game today
Ervin Santana (5-11, 6.22) vs. Beckett (15-5, 3.24), second game today
Jered Weaver (8-5, 3.85) vs. Schilling (6-5, 4.06), Saturday
Joe Saunders (6-1, 3.50) vs. TBA Sunday.

I'll be ecstatic if we take 3 out of 4...Lackey is a tough customer and with Sunday's starter being Julian Tavarez (most likely), who knows what will happen. The world won't end if we split the series, however. The Angels are tough.
I'll be back later today with more...gotta scoot!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

FINALLY, 5 years after the release of THE RISING, comes this!

'Magic,' Bruce Springsteen's new studio recording and his first with the E Street Band in five years, is set for release by Columbia Records on October 2, 2007. Produced and mixed by Brendan O'Brien, the album features eleven new Springsteen songs and was recorded at Southern Tracks Recording Studio in Atlanta, GA.

'Magic' Song Titles:

1. Radio Nowhere
2. You'll Be Comin' Down
3. Livin' in the Future
4. Your Own Worst Enemy
5. Gypsy Biker
6. Girls in Their Summer Clothes
7. I'll Work for Your Love
8. Magic
9. Last to Die
10. Long Walk Home
11. Devil's Arcade

'Magic' is the first new studio album by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band since 2002's GRAMMY Award-winning, multi-platinum, number one album 'The Rising' (Columbia Records), which was also produced by O'Brien.
Bruce Springsteen's longtime manager Jon Landau said, "'Magic' is a high energy rock CD. It’s light on its feet, incredibly well played by Bruce and the members of the E Street Band, and, as always, has plenty to say. It’s also immensely entertaining. 'Magic' is the third collaboration between Bruce and Brendan O'Brien and is a culmination of their very productive creative relationship."

PETER HERE, and all I can say is this......YES! October 2nd, 2007, there will be MAGIC in the air. All around you.....and me!

P.S. Click on this post's title.......

From Kaylee...The Latest!!

This was a comment Kaylee, recovering from surgery, left for me yesterday. I wanted to share. Hey Kaylee, we're ALL with you!

"Can I PROVIDE good news? I am recovering well:)."

Fixing A Hole---Tony C. 40 Years Ago Today

The Boston Red Sox dug themselves a ragged and jagged hole, something they could not climb out of, much less fix. Daisuke Matsuzaka had an off night, going six innings and giving up eight hits and six runs while striking out five. These kind of days happen, but against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays? But the Red Sox made a game out of it, combining scoreless relief work and tallying three in the seventh and one each in the eighth and ninth. The tying run was on second base with nobody out in the final frame, but Dustin Perdroia could not bunt him to third. Said Ray's manager Joe Maddon.....

"Pedroia's (at bat) was the most important, because if he moves the runner, everything in the world changes at that point," Maddon said."

The AL East lead hovers at five games as the Orioles beat dem Yankees for the second day in a row. Good job Birdies! And also today, the Yankees begin a four game set in Detroit, a team that has been having problems of late. After an off day today for the Sox, they begin a four game set, starting with a day-night doubleheader on Friday with the mighty Angels.

Click on the title of this post for more on the frustration and bafflement that was Wednesday afternoon at Fenway Park. Bafflement because Daisuke was so "off." Frustration because it was the lowly Devil Rays. Page click on the title.

ONE MORE THING. Today marks the 40th anniversary of that fateful day when our young power rightfielder was hit in the head. He was never the same after that. Ever. And he passed away too soon. Much too soon, still in his youth. We remember you with love, Tony C. Always and forever. It was said by the Cardinals that if you were healthy for that memorable 1967 World Series, we would have won. I believe. Oh, I SO believe.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Six Runs Down Too Much For A Sox Comeback

That's the bad news.....6-5 Devil Rays final. But the Yankees are down by three in the 10th. Full details tomorrow morning. But to me, there is NO EXCUSE for losing to that team from Tampa Bay. NONE AT ALL. I guess the Red Sox are intent to plod along at a .500 pace. HOW BORING.....and eventually deadly. MARK MY WORDS.

A Triumphant Return For Jon Lester As The Red Sox Walf Off With A Win

Wow, what a night it was! Jon Lester received no less than three standing ovations. The first was when he walked out to the bullpen to begin his warmup tosses. The second was during his slow walk to the mound to open the first inning. And the third? That was the sweetest one of all, as he strode into the dugout after hurling seven splendid innings, giving up only two hits and one run while striking out four. The Fenway Faithful poured out their love. As well they should have. He pitched his heart out, with 62 of his 97 pitches being strikes. But he was matched pitch for pitch by Scott Kazmir, who, going into the bottom of the ninth, had a 1-0 lead. But then the fun started. Mike Lowell hit a one out home run to tie it. Then the Captain, Jason Varitek, slammed a double to right center and was driven in by a clutch Coco Crisp single. It was only the second walk off win of the season for the Sox, and it came at a great time. The Yankees were getting pummeled by the Orioles. They play one more game today, with the O's best pitcher, Bedard, ready to face Hughes. For the Sox, it's Matsuzaka versus Sonnanstine. Let's put up some crooked numbers and go for the sweep. Every game against Tampa Bay should be a win, with the exception of those started by Kazmir. Those games are toss ups-he is a TOUGH leftie. So yesterday was big, really big.

Click on the title of this post for Jeff Horrigan's wrap up of last night's festivities, and then get ready for afternoon baseball at Fenway. Yes, it's a 1:05 start time for the final game of the series, and I expect greatness. Don't you?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Scooter, Phil Rizzuto, is gone.

Rest in peace. I will always miss your play by play calls...I will miss YOU.
HOLY COW! From ESPN.....

"Phil Rizzuto, the Hall of Fame shortstop who went on to fame for his unique broadcasting style, died late Monday night. He was 89.
His death was confirmed by the Yankees. Rizzuto had been in declining health for several years and was living at a nursing home in West Orange, N.J.
Rizzuto, nicknamed "The Scooter," was the oldest living member of the Baseball Hall of Fame prior to his death. He was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1994 by the Veterans Committee.
Rizzuto, noted as one of the best defensive shortstops in the history of the game, was the American League Most Valuable Player in 1950 and played in five All-Star games. In his MVP season, Rizzuto hit .324 and scored 125 runs."

Hey Phil...take care of that big infield up, up in the Heavens......we are ALREADY missing you.

Wakefield's Knuckies Sting Rays

Six no-hit innings, eight shutout innings....quite a job by Tim Wakefield as he led his Boston Red Sox to a 3-0 whitewashing of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. From the time he started his warmups, something special was in the air, as the ball was moving and dancing. Said his manager Terry Francona.........

"[Wakefield] has been a blessing," Francona said. "I think it goes under the radar sometimes, because of the way he pitches. I hope it doesn't. He's been phenomenal ... and he's not done."

Peter here, and he wasn't under the radar last night, that's for sure! His line reads like this-eight innings pitched, no runs, two (!!) hits and 6 strikeouts. Carl Crawford's ground ball single starting off the 7th inning was the first hit that Wakes gave up, and the crowd rose and showed him their appreciation. Paps came on to record his 28th save with a 20 pitch ninth. And with Kazmir going against Lester today, it was a must win. But right now they ALL seem like must wins, what with the Yankees breathing down our necks and still refusing to lose. They scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to beat the visiting Orioles, and remain 4 games back.

I have a treat for you, my faithful readers. Click on the title of this post for the Boston Globe's Nick Carfado's article on why the Sox won't lose the lead in the AL East. Here's a taste.....

"If you're going to make a case for why the Red Sox will not lose their lead in the AL East, it was precisely what we saw last night: Their starting pitching is too good."

Peter here, and Nick, I hope you're right. There is a big four game series coming up with the mighty (right now, they are!) LA Angels, and every game from here on out is so important. Today my hopes rest with Jon Lester, who hasn't had a good outing since he came up to the big club. And facing a team like the Devil Rays, this surely is the night for it. If he struggles against THEM, well, we'll reserve judgement until this time tomorrow. Enjoy your Tuesday, and click on that title for a really great article.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Red Sox Complete Weekend Sweep Of The Orioles. NOT!

The Boston Red Sox completed their weekend sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a resounding 3-1 victory on Sunday. Curt Schilling went six strong innings before turning over the game to Mike Timlin in the 7th, Hideki Okajima for the 8th and Jonathon Papelbon, wrapping it up and earning a save with a 1-2-3 ninth. Eric Gagne was conspicuous by his absense, but maybe Tito thought the game was too close and wanted to stick with his proven arms........wait.....hold on.....what?? NO WAY! I've just been handed a news flash that reads like this......

"After blowing a four-run lead Friday night, Gagne gave up a two-run homer to Miguel Tejada in the eighth inning Sunday, wiping a 3-1 lead off the board and dooming the Red Sox to a loss that ended their nine-game trip with a 4-5 record."

Peter here, and I'm a little shaken. Why would Tito go to Gagne while nursing a two run lead? But I can answer that. It's his JOB. But that's the one thing he hasn't been doing well since donning the Red Sox uniform. Opposing batters are batting .455 against him. His ERA is 15.75, and he has given up 10 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts IN FOUR INNINGS! Can it get worse for the Canadian? No, I think that would be impossible. In this world. Hey Eric, don't throw 7 straight fastballs to a good player like Miggy. He's going to hit one, and boy, did he.

It's home to Fenway to lick our wounds and play three against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Here are the pitching matchups....

James Shields (9-7, 4.32 ERA) vs. Tim Wakefield (13-10, 4.81) tonight
Scott Kazmir (9-7, 3.58) vs. Lester (1-0, 6.43) Tuesday
Andy Sonnanstine (1-8, 6.35) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (13-8, 3.59) Wednesday

So after the two worst losses of the year sandwiched around a brilliant Josh outing, the Red Sox are 4 games in front of the still white hot NY Yankeess. Right now they are among the best teams in baseball, and their record shows it. Our record? Still the best in baseball, but fading fast.

Click on the title of this post for more of the madness and agony that was Sunday in Baltimore, penned by the Globe's Gordon Edes. And enjoy your Monday, and frustrating "day after" for Red Sox Nation.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


No thank you, Theo....I will not follow in YOUR young foolish footsteps. There will be a post here tomorrow morning, but .....well, I'll leave it at "but." Theo has made so so many mistakes.
Gag me once? OK. Gag me twice? NO WAY!! Two needless losses. OOOH..DID I FORGET that Paps threw a whole THREE pitches yesterday, Tito? Way to go!

Another Josh GEM !

Josh Beckett folded, spindled and mutilated the Baltimore Orioles Saturday afternoon, coming within one out of a complete game shutout. The Boston Red Sox won the game by a score of 6-2 and remain 5 games ahead of the white hot NY Yankees. Mixing his fastball with devastating curves, he was virtually unhittable, and FUN to watch! He scattered 8 hits and gave up 2 ninth inning runs in his 8 2/3 innings of brilliance. And after the stinging loss the night before, his outing was just what the club needed.

At the plate, Peds had his usual two hits, as did Julio Lugo. And it seems as if JD Drew's swing is returning. He collected three hits. This game was never in doubt. The rubber game of this 3 game set looms at 1:35, with Curt Schilling ready to face the O's Steve Traschel. And then it's Northward to a small and cozy place called Fenway Park. Ever hear of it? It's a great park to see a major league baseball game. And the Sox became the first club in the majors to reach the 70 win mark. Their record stands at 70-46. Not bad for a team and its fans who are looking in the rear-view mirror. Just a bit.

Click on the title of this post for an article written by the Boston Herald's Tony Massarotti. His subject? The Red Sox propensity for leaving too many men on base. They've had the baserunners this season.....they are second to the Yankees in that category. But the number of runs scored? Well, read the piece for yourself, and enjoy your Sunday. I'll have one leg in the pool, one eye on Tiger Wood's try for his first major of the year and the other eye watching Schill (I hope I don't go cross-eyed) as he tries to give us a series win, and more importantly, does his best to have a quality start, a portend of things to come for the rest of the regular and the postseason. And that would be big. Have a safe, happy and healthy Sunday. The weather here in the Northeast will surely cooperate. GO SCHILL!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A "Get Well" Wish For Kaylee, From Red Sox International On This Saturday Morning....

Yes, from Japan, Kaylee! Here it is, for you, and all my readers. I linked Kaylee's blog...just click on the title of this very post. Kaylee, here you go.......

"Hi peter-san !
I read your new post.
I can't comment directly on yet but
Please tell Kaylee to take care
and I hope she get well soon.

...and We [RSN International] are praying for her."

Peter here...thank you Superbowl-san. I'm sure once she returns home and feels better, she will read this. And smile! You are a good person. Peter-san.


Eric Gagne's Red Sox ERA is 16.20. With his former club, the Texas Rangers, it was 2.16. What's going on? Last night at Fenway, in the toughest loss of the year, Gagne took over in the eighth inning with the Sox in command, 5-1. Daisuke, in another tremendous outing, and Bedard had been locked in a seven inning beauty, with the O's holding a 1-0 lead as both teams handed it to their bullpen after seven. But Gagne was horrific, hideous and heartbreaking, giving up a double, a single and a walk to the first three batters. After a fielder's choice, Aubrey Huff hit a double, and coupled with a JD Drew misplay in right, two more runs scored, making a 5-1 game a 5-4 one. Okajima came in and uncharacteristically gave up a run scoring single. Tie game. EGADS! The O's scored one in the ninth to win it, but the eighth was the killer inning. And Gagne knows he's going have to make adjustments....he has NOT had a 1-2-3 inning since he donned his red socks. This is what the Canadian said of his performances with his new club so far......

"I'm not making my pitches," Gagne said. "I'm not throwing the way I should. ... I'm making it harder on everybody else.
"All year, I've felt great. My body feels great. I'm just not locating my fastball."
In four appearances since Aug. 2, Gagne has allowed six runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings"

Peter here. Eric, we can TELL you're not making your pitches. They're often wizzing past you in the form of line drives through the infield or to the outfield. What we have to do is turn the page on this loss. NOW. And the Yankees continue to refuse to lose in their remarkable comeback from a miserable first two months of the season. The lead is down to five games. But Josh Beckett will be going for win number fifteen this afternoon, and I'm sure the club will come out smoking while the bitter and deadly sting of last night's game remains like a foul and sour taste in their mouths. That one hurt. Bigtime hurt.

I linked Steve Buckley's Boston Herald piece about the troubles of Eric far. Just click on the title of this post. And I want to ask you....was it a mistake NOT to go for a bat before the end of the trading deadline (think Jermaine Dye)? Your comments are always welcomed. And I'll answer them as best I can. Remember, a hitter/outfielder would be someone we could see every day.....with Gagne, or any pitcher, we'll see him a couple times every week (if we're lucky..that is, until he turns things around.....and he will). Have a great weekend!! AND GO JOSH BASEBALL!

Friday, August 10, 2007

For Kaylee.......

Yes, it's August 10th, and our Red Sox fan and friend, all of 15 years old, is undergoing open heart surgery on this Friday morning. Please join me in wishing and praying for her quick recovery. KAYLEE...we love you!
I linked her blog so you can send her your best wishes. Please, please click on the title of this very post and do that. She's the best! PROMISE????? Thanks...Godspeed Kaylee...we love you!

Rotation Redux

There was an interesting article in the Boston Herald this dark and wet Friday morning, and I thought I'd post a small part of it and leave you my comments. The subject matter? The Boston Red Sox rotation, that much heralded quintet ready to take us to future glory days. But is it? When Josh Beckett or Daisuke Matsuzaka are on the hill, the results have been good, sometimes awesome. But the rest of the arms? Read on.......

".......Curt Schilling's return to the Red Sox was somewhat encouraging on Monday; however, his effort
translated into a 6.00 ERA and he looked like nothing more than a six-inning pitcher. Tim Wakefield can be prone to streakiness, Jon Lester is still throwing way too many pitches and the Sox are now at a stage of the season where they cannot afford too many slip-ups.
“I don’t think (Lester) commanded like he needs to or like he will,” Francona said following Lester’s outing on Wednesday in Anaheim. “He’s still a young pitcher and we try never to forget that. He’s a work in progress and his development got interrupted (last season).”
All of that is true, naturally, yet the reality persists. On their current trip, the Red Sox are 2-0 in games started by Matsuzaka and Beckett, 1-3 in games started by anyone else."

Peter here, and one must remember that the Sox were facing the cream of the AL Western division and came away with a 3-3 record. But nagging questions DO persist. Can Schill come back and be an effective 6 plus inning pitcher? I think he will. Can Timmy Wakefield be more than a .500 pitcher. Though his record says he is better than that right now, one or two good outings from him and he throws a clunker. We have to hope he'll get on a hot streak and win 6 or 7 in a row. Of course, the opposite might happen, too. And that brings us to Jon Lester. He has been horrendous since his miracle comeback from cancer, and I still and always will respect him more than anything or anyone. But I just do NOT think he is ready. As Tito said in the preceding paragraph, he IS a work in progress, but he's been pitching at the professional level for the better part of 2/3 of a season and has still not learned to be economical and effective with his pitches. He remains a five inning pitcher. Number five starter or not, THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE.

The bullpen will salvage many games when the club is ahead after six frames, but we can't expect them to do it every time. They'll wear out like a flat tire run ragged by an innattentive driver. Tito has managed the 'pen arms well, keeping everyone on an even keel in terms of usage. But, bottom line, Lester, and to a much lesser degree, Schill, must pick it up and "carry that weight" when their turn in the rotation comes up. I have faith, but I see small, almost invisible to the human eye cracks in the foundation of the rotation. Scoring a few more runs per game will make my point moot. Witness the Wednesday game against the Angels. Lester had LESS than nothing, yet the Sox won by three. So we'll see, won't we?

I linked the Herald article so you can read the entire piece. Just click on the title. And tonight, it's the first of three against the Baltimore Orioles, and we face their best pitcher, and one of the best in the majors. Here are your pitching matchups......

Matsuzaka (13-8, 3.70 ERA) vs. Erik Bedard (12-4, 3.09) tonight
Beckett (14-5, 3.31) vs. Brian Burres (5-5, 4.61) Saturday
Curt Schilling (6-5, 4.31) vs. Steve Trachsel (5-7, 4.88) Sunday

LET'S TAKE THREE, the toughest one being tonight, at 7pm, as we start off our weekend. Be well! And your comments would be SO welcome. Please.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Peds Powered Sox Take One Away From The Angels

Finally, a victory in Anaheim, although it wasn't easy. A 7th inning home run by Dustion Pedroia put the Sox ahead to stay, and the bullpen, much a factor because of Jon Lester's horrid and brief start, cemented the win. Here's a little bit about the stallar pitching from the 'pen, from the Courant.

"Starter Jon Lester lasted just 31/3 innings and allowed eight hits and five runs. Julian Tavarez allowed one run, and the rest of the bullpen provided 42/3 shutout innings - Mike Timlin (11/3), Hideki Okajima (11/3), Eric Gagne (one) and Jonathan Papelbon (one). Papelbon earned his 26th save.
Five of the first seven Angels batters had hits. Sixteen of Lester's first 36 pitches were balls."

Peter here, and that doesn't bode well for Jon. He threw 98 pitches in his 3 1/3 inning outing, and that just will NOT do. He isn't ready....not yet. I wish him well, but with the Yankees inching closer, it's tough to lose one game in every five with this kind of pitching. By the way, the Yankees were clobbered last night by Halladay and his Jays, so the lead is back to six games on this off day Thursday.

In other news, Big Papi was unable to play yesterday because of a painful shoulder. He said this......

"My [left] shoulder hurts," he said. "It really grabs in there when I extend my swing. My whole hitting game, where the power comes from, is with my extension."

Peter here, and we wish him the best and hope he'll be in the lineup tomorrow night in Baltimore. Click on the title of this post for all the details of our slugger's pain, and enjoy your Thursday. The humidity of yesterday is gone, and so is the sting of losing the first two games in La La land. Your comments on Jon Lester are welcome, and they will be answered. I Promise!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

MUST Reading.......

Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald wrote a wonderful article about the great Henry Aaron, and Barry Bonds' pursuit of his record. Please, PLEASE click on the title of this post and read it. You will be so glad you did. I promise. Thanks go out to Cyn of Red Sox Chick (link on your right) for steering me to this memorable and remarkable look at baseball history. Now, click!!

A Handful!

As tropical humidity saturates us here in North Central Connecticut, making things very uncomfortable, the Boston Red Sox are also making their fans feel the same way. And the title of this post refers to the LA Angels, for they truly HAVE been a handful for the Sox, at least for the first two games of the series. Last night, Tim Wakefield, nursing a two run lead, imploded and self destructed in the fifth inning, failing to get even one out. When the ugliness was over, it was 7-4 Angels, who were on their way to a 10-4 victory over the suddenly hapless Sox. And with the Yankees' win in Toronto last night, the AL East lead is down to a literal handful.....five games. And that's too slim. The problems? The starting pitching has been spotty unless Beckett or Matsuzaka, and sometimes Wakefield, are on the mound. And that spottiness includes today's starter, Jon Lester, who, to me, and I love the guy, is NOT ready for primetime. Not yet.

Congratulations go out to Barry Bonds, who is the all-time home run king. He hit number 756 last night, and I happened to catch it live on ESPN radio. It was one of those nights that I woke up (at 11pm!) and couldn't get back to sleep. I knew that if I had put on the Sox, they would have kept me awake with nervousness, so I tuned into ESPN radio 1410 and caught Bond's third at bat of the game as it happened. Exciting stuff!

Tonight it's Jon Lester versus Dustin Mosely, as the Red Sox try to avoid a holy sweep. It will be the most important start of Jon's young season, and a huge one for the club, too. And up at Toronto, the Blue Jays have their best pitcher going against the Yankees' best, as Halladay faces Wang. Should be a good one, especially if Toronto can take away a victory. If not, it's up to the Indians to cool down the white-hot pinstripers, who just refuse to lose. I give them credit for having the best record in all of baseball since May 29, but I know the Red Sox can and will be better. Or else!

Click on the title of this post for the latest on the Wily Mo Pena saga...he has cleared waivers and the team is going to trade him...soon. Have a great Wednesday as we hope for the old town team to take one win tonight in this series of no joy. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Two Batters Too Many For Schill....Angels Thump Red Sox

It was a 2-2 ballgame through six, and Schill had pitched well. He was matched, however, by Angels' starter Jered Weaver. Weaver departed after the sixth, but Curt stayed in....for two batters. A home run and a double chased him from the game, the Angels scored two and they eventually won the game by a score of 4-2. It was a credible first appearance by Curt, but the Angel pitching was too much for the Sox hitters. Coupled with the Yankees' win, the AL East lead is down to six games. Not enough for me.
One other note of interest was that Manny Ramirez was ejected from the game for arguing a third strike call. He uttered "the magic word" twice as he walked away from the plate and umpire James Hoye, according to manager Tito. And that ejection ended up hurting the club bigtime.

It's up to Tim Wakefield to get the Red Sox back on the winning track. He's been pitching well of late, and he'll be facing the 5-0 Joe Saunders at 10pm tonight. After that, there's the west coast final edition game tomorrow, and then it's on to Baltimore. Let's hope Toronto AND the Red Sox can take care of business before then and get that lead back to seven games.

Click on the title of this post for the Globe's Gordon Edes' take on Curt Schilling's first outing. He faced one of the American League's best teams last night, and he was OK. And he's back. If he shows us more of the same kind of pitching, he'll win his share of games in the eight weeks left this season, a season where the Yankees refuse to lose....they have the best record in the majors since May 29, but their bullpen will end up being their downfall. Mark my words. But the Sox need more consistant hitting to continue their winning ways. There is just so much the pitchers can do, and they've been doing it!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Solid Sox Safeco Success

Sunday afternoon, the Boston Red Sox took the rubber game of the three game series against the Seattle Mariners by a score of 9-2. It was a solid win from top to bottom as Josh Beckett pitched 6 2/3 innings of 8 hit one run ball, collecting 9 strikeouts along the way. The bullpen, in the form of Okajima and Delcarmen, was unscored upon while Kyle Snyder was a little shaky in the ninth, giving up a lone run. Manny homered (number 489) and Youk had two hits, as did Coco and Lowell. Coco was all over the place, and was nearly run over by a mascot driven ATV. That could have been serious, but thank goodness it was only a glancing blow.

So the Sox finally move 25 games over the .500 mark. They have a record of 68-43, and they are starting to win series. As starter josh Beckett said after the game........

"If we win series from here on out, it'll be tough for anyone to catch us."

Peter here, and that's what I was thinking on this eve of a three game set with the tough Anaheim Angels. Here are your pitching matchups.......

Schilling (6-4, 4.20) vs. Jered Weaver (7-5, 4.00) tonight
Tim Wakefield (13-9, 4.55) vs. Joe Saunders (5-0, 3.10) Tuesday
Jon Lester (1-0, 5.09) vs. Dustin Moseley (4-1, 4.43) Wednesday.

All the eyes of RSN are turned to Curt Schilling tonight in the hope that he can be a force to reckon with for the remainder of the season and post season. I have a feeling he will. Bigtime.
Click on the title of this post for more on last night's game. Have a great Monday.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Safe At Safeco! Sox Beat M's Behind Daisuke

Finally, the wait for a win in Seattle is over, as the Boston Red Sox, behind Daisuke Matsuzaka and good relief pitching, combined for a victory in this rainy Western city. It was a long time coming. Daisuke pitched 7 innings, giving up six hits and two solo home runs while striking out 10 Mariners' hitters. And the Red Sox bats weren't quiet either, bashing 10 base hits. Eric Gagne came in to pitch the 8th inning and provided some squirms for us members of Red Sox Nation. He allowed three hits and a run, amazingly all with two outs. He also allowed a two out run yesterday. Let's just hope it's "new team jitters." But he ended it there and the Sox went to Paps with a one run lead. And it stayed that way, although Jonathon walked two. 25 of 27 saves sounds pretty good to me.

The Red Sox are now 67-43 after 110 games in this soon-to-be-magic year of 2007.......52 games to go. Let's hope they can win 35 of those. They're 15-9 since the All Star break, and that's just great! But 30-35 wins would make this season very special. Even 30 wins would be enough to take the division, what with the toughest part of the Yankee schedule yet to come. And, oh yes, AROD hit his 500th home run yesterday, becoming the youngest man ever to do so. Congrats to him. And good ol' Barry Bonds FINALLY hit number 755, tieing Hank Aaron for the most home runs in a career....ever. A low key "way to go Barry" comes from me, although I think that in the past he DID use some body-altering substance(s)....allegedly. Just my opinion, and I'm allowed it.

The Sox go for yet another series win today, and that's a great habit to keep up. It's their best pitcher, Josh "Baseball" Beckett versus the tough Miguel Batista. And don't forget to click on the title of this post for the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy's Sunday piece on that long-awaited Safeco win. Have a great Sunday, and careful out there!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

STILL Winless In Seattle

July 21, 2006, more than a year ago. That was the date of the last Boston Red Sox victory at the Mariner's Safeco field. And Friday night, nothing changed, as a mediocre Jon Lester, pitching for his family and hometown friends, and a terrible Mike Timlin squandered a 3-0 Sox lead, a lead that should have been much bigger, and the Mariners won this frustrating contest by a score of 7-4. Lester pitched five tortured innings, throwing 99 pitches and giving up 4 runs on 8 hits with a couple walks mixed in. This kind of performance will not win many games for Lester, and his economy of pitches must improve for him to be a force this year, or ANY year. Coupled with another Yankee win over the Royals, the lead is again down to 7 games, with Daisuke Matsuzaka going against the Mariner's lefty Jarrod Washburn. It's time to break this winless streak. Tonight. No if's, and's or but's. Just victory. TONIGHT!!!!

The Sox banged out 12 hits, but it wasn't to be. And Mike Timlin just couldn't seem to glove the ball and throw it successfully to the base required. That's when I turned the game off and resorted to the radio and the solace of sleep. I wish it had worked, but I was sleepless until well after 2am. Oh well, the page has been turned. Case closed. Today is another day, and another day closer to our departure from this field of nightmares.

Have a great weekend, and click on the title of this post for the great Gordon Edes' take on this game of miscues, errors and shabby pitching for the Boston club. But fear not. The lead is still 7 games, and the Yankees' schedule gets a whole lot tougher starting on Monday. And this after more than 2 weeks of playing helpless pansies, pansies that are on our schedule for multiple matchups in the last third of the season. We'll be OK, I have to think, but Jon Lester, and I love the courage and heart he has shown so far in his young life, must learn to keep his pitches down in the zone and THROW STRIKES. Too many fly balls, with some of those lofted offerings sailing right over the fence. It was only his second start since coming back, and I have faith that he'll get better every time he takes the mound. Faith...that's an important aspect to being a Boston Red Sox fan. Comments? I'd love to read and respond to them. Thank you, as always, for taking the time to spend a couple minutes to read my words. That always makes my every day so sweet. Now click on that title for Gordon's take on the game....much like mine.

Friday, August 03, 2007

A Birthday Win For Tim Wakefield And The Red Sox

41 years old? Could've fooled me. Tim Wakefield went seven strong innings Thursday afternoon at Fenway Park, and his team put up a nice crooked number in the bottom of the seventh inning to sculpt a 7-4 Sox win. With the score tied at 3, Doug Mirabelli attoned for his sixth inning baserunning gaffe with a single, scoring Coco Crisp with the go ahead run. Alex Cora followed 'Belli with a run scoring single and Peds finished off the Birds with a two run double. At that point it was 7-3 and the game was over. But after Okajima threw a 6 pitch (!!) 8th inning, the stage was set for the Red Sox debut of their newest pitcher, Eric Gagne. The crowd stood as soon as the bullpen door opened and kept standing until he reached the mound. Gags (this nic will NOT work!) struck out the first two batters, then allowed a meaningless run in a non-save situation before ending it and sending the crowd home happy. And why shouldn't they be? The Red Sox are now 66-42, 24 games over .500. Their starting rotation is now complete with Wakes, Lester, Daisuke, Beckett and Schill, and their bullpen is the strongest it has been in anyone's memory. ANYONE'S.

It's now westward ho for a three game set with the Mariners of Seattle. Here are your pitching matchups.....

Jon Lester (1-0, 4.26 ERA) vs. Horacio Ramirez (6-3, 6.52) tonight
Daisuke Matsuzaka (12-8, 3.75) vs. Jarrod Washburn (8-7, 4.11) Saturday
Beckett (13-5, 3.41) vs. Miguel Batista (11-7, 4.23) Sunday

Looking good! Everyone, have a wonderful summer weekend as we all follow our Boston Red Sox club late into the summer night. And with the Yankees' loss, the lead in the AL East is again up to 8 games. The Yankees play their last three "easy" games with a set against the KC Royals, and then, for them, it gets tough. And the Sox have maintained their lead while the Yankees have been playing patsies for the last couple weeks. That's the sweetest thing of all. Oh yes.

Click on the title of this post for more on Eric Gagne's first Red Sox appearance, from the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman. GO SOX! Forever.....and ever.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Comeback Victory For The Red Sox Over The Birdies

It was quiet, too quiet, until the seventh inning at Fenway Park Wednesday night. The score heading into that inning was 3-1 O's, Julien Tavarez had already headed to the showers after pitching five good innings in a spot start, and Kyle Snyder did a bang up job, as did eventual winner Javy Lopez, in keeping the game that close. The Sox scored four times in that bottom of the seventh, with the big hits a wall double by Papi and a double to right center by the clutch Kevin Youkilis. And it was smooth sailing from there, as Okajima pitched the eighth, giving up a run, and an electric Jonathon Papelbon, whose fastball topped out at 97 MPH, finished things off with a 12 pitch ninth. All in all, a very satisfying win. A team win when the Sox needed a starter because of the departure of good guy Kason Gabbard. And with the Yankees pounding out another victory over the hapless White Sox, the lead holds at 7 games. And remember, the Yank's schedule gets so much tougher really soon, including a team called the Boston Red Sox towards the end of the month. I cannot wait for that!

The news on Curt Schilling could not be better. This is from the Courant.......

"Francona confirmed that Curt Schilling will start Sunday at Seattle, after completing his third and final rehab start Tuesday. Schilling, 40, has been on the disabled list since June 19 with right shoulder tendinitis. "The ball keeps coming out of his hand like we want it to," Francona said. "It's been very successful. We'll be thrilled to have him back."

Peter here, and if his outings for Pawtucket were any indication, Curt Schilling will make an immense difference to the rotation and help the Red Sox to stay exactly where they are--in first place. And what could be better than that?

Click on the title of this post for all you ever wanted to know about our newest pitcher, Eric Gagne. It's a great article from today's Boston Globe. And speaking of today, it's afternoon baseball time at Fenway Park, with Timmy Wakefield, going for his lucky 13th win, facing the O's Guthrie. Let's win another series. It's a habit that's hard to break.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Baltimore's Bedard Bests Boston's Beckett

It was a one man offense for the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night, as David Ortiz went 3 for 4 with two home runs and three runs batted in. The rest of the team? One Coco Crisp base hit. Period. That's it. No mas. Nada. If the offense doesn't come together, all the bullpen arms in the world will not help the Sox reach the post season. But with Curt Schilling coming back this weekend healthy and sound, we have to hope the bats will come alive. If they do, watch out!

Right now Erik Bedard might be the best pitcher in the league, and he showed the Red Sox and the Fenway Faithful exactly that last night for six innings. The O's led from start to finish, and coupled with another Yankee slugfest win, the lead has shrunk to 7 games. But there are two months to go in this 2007 regular season, and the rotation and the 'pen are just too good to sustain any long losing streaks, as long as the bats can remain constant. Give this team 4 plus runs a game and they will continue to run away with the AL East, the Yankees swallowing our dust.

Last night was Curt Schilling's last start for Pawtucket, and it was a good one. This is from the Hartford Courant.......

"Righthander Curt Schilling made his final minor league tuneup in Ohio, throwing seven shutout innings for Triple A Pawtucket against Columbus, leaving with a 4-0 lead.
Schilling, 40, on the disabled list since June 19 with right shoulder tendinitis, allowed four hits and struck out four, throwing 60 of his 77 pitches for strikes.
"I want to be in Boston," Schilling said. "I answered every question I could answer. I'm healthy, I feel good, I feel strong and I'm ready to go back and help them win games."
Schilling is expected to start either Sunday at Seattle or Monday at Anaheim."

Peter here, and that's news of the best kind for the club from Boston. 60 of 77 pitches for strikes!! What a shot in the arm his return will be.

Click on the title of this post for more on the newest member of the Boston Red Sox bullpen, penned by the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman. Good stuff. And tonight it's Traschel versus spot starter Julien Tavarez, paving the way for Schill's return on Sunday or Monday. Be well. Go Sox. Forever. Starting tonight.