Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lester Pitches The Game Of His life Against Halladay..Red Sox 1 Blue Jays 0

The pivotal moment came in the top of the ninth inning of Tuesday's Red Sox/Blue Jay game at Fenway Park. The score was tied at zero and Scott Rolen stood on second base after smashing a two out double off of reliever supreme Jonathon Papelbon. Vernon Wells, who wanted to hit a drive up the middle so that his team would score the go ahead run, smashed a drive that did just that. The ball was scorched and Paps deflected it with his glove. Dustin Pedroia, who had already broken towards second base, dove and came up with the ball. He got up and threw out Wells, perserving the tie. Wells put it like this, and boy, did he make me laugh! Here you go...

"My goal was to try to hit it up the middle," Wells said. "I saw it (the ball) get by the mound and I saw Superman at second base."

Peter here, and our mini-Superman saved the game with that play, for the Sox scored one run in the bottom of the ninth and won the game 1-0. Congrats go to Pedey for making such a stunning grab and throw, reminicent of the one he made to help perserve last year's Buchholz no hitter.

Both Lester and Halladay were out-of-this-world great, and each recorded 15 groundouts, 6 strikeouts and 2 infield popups. Lester only surrendered one hit during his eight inning outing, surely the best of his young career. The fact that the Red Sox bats remained silent for the third day in a row was overshadowed by the third straight phenomenal starting pitcher's performance. The Sox only collected five hits, but those bats will NOT remain silent for long - we all know that.

There's another game at the Fens tonight, and Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has had plenty of rest, hopefully not TOO much, will try to keep the starting pitcher's dominating streak alive. I'm sure you'd like to read more about last night's gem, so when you click on the title of this post, you'll be transported to the Boston Globe's Red Sox homepage. From there you can spend all the time in the world reading about the first Red Sox win in the last week. HOW SWEET IT IS, in the words of "the great one." Thank you, my Constant Readers (thanks SK), for stopping in once again and for keeping the faith. It means so much to me. And as always, BE WELL. GO SOX! Forever.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Naughty Naughty Roger Rocket!

This is from Tuesday's San Francisco Chronicle. Roger "the Rocket" might have been JUST that. Here it is...

"Roger Clemens had a decade-long relationship with country singer Mindy McCready that began when she was a 15-year-old and the pitcher was with the Boston Red Sox, the Daily News reported.
"I cannot refute anything in the story," McCready told the newspaper in a story posted on its Web site Monday night.
"I have known Roger Clemens for a long time," she said, without detailing the nature of their relationship.
Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, confirmed the pitcher and singer had known each other for a long time but told the newspaper there was no sex.
"Mindy McCready is a longtime family friend of Roger Clemens and the Clemens family," Hardin said in a statement Monday. "At no time did Roger engage in any kind of inappropriate or improper relationship with her. It is unfortunate that the Daily News has chosen to report anonymous allegations that are completely unfounded, have no basis in fact, and have nothing to do with Roger's baseball career or the issue of steroid use in baseball."

Peter here. I wonder if his HGH-taking wife knows? Just a thought. Hey, I hope your Tuesday is going well. I could not pass this one up! You know me!!

WAIT! I HAVE to add something. I just linked to the title of this post something you will enjoy..the laugh-out-loud kind of enjoy. So please click on the title and read Rooster's Rational Sox Fan (on my link list) Tuesday post. Thanks! And thank you, Rooster. Just click on the title, and SMILE!!

Why The Mini-Slump?

The Boston Red Sox are finally at home, where I hope they enjoyed their day off. The have their work cut out for them, however, as they have lost five straight games. There are four teams in the AL East, including the Sox, that are within one game of first place, and as Boston gets ready to face the Toronto Blue Jays and their best pitcher, Roy Halladay, tonight, the Boston Globe today ran a featurette which I linked to this post's title that asks the question "What's Behind The Slump." Let's go over their main points and see the results of a reader poll, and then you can click (on the title of this post) and view the entire presentation. Sound good? OK, let's do it!


1) Not so booming bats. Peter here, and it's true. Over the five game slide, runs were few and far between.

2) Lowell's absence. Peter again. Yes, we've missed Mike, but with Casey manning first and wielding a hot bat and Youk capably handling the hot corner, Lowell's injury is not the answer.

3) No middle to late inning relief. The middle relief, and by that I mean relief in the sixth (IF that early in the game. I think every starter HAS TO go six) through the eighth. Of course, once the Sox have a couple outs in the eighth and a lead of any kind, it's all hands on deck and Pap's time on the mound. But this one is a huge cause of the losses lately. And part of that is because of the flu bug, which has sapped all the energy from so many vital players, including the 'pen guys.

4) Long list of nagging injuries. This one is self-explanatory and also the reason I voted number one as the biggest cause of this mini-swoon.

THAT'S IT! Let me give you the results, which the fans voted on. You can vote when you click on the title of this post.

Number one...Long list of injuries...43.8%
Number two...Middle relief problems...32.6%
Number Three...Not so booming bats...21.9%
Number Four...Absence of Lowell...1.9%

I'm sure most if not all of you guessed correctly which of the items has been the largest cause of this five game losing streak. But the Red Sox, our team of teams, are liable to put five wins together, just like that! We all have faith, and that's the most important thing. I'm sure every one of you in Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International joins me in wishing the World Champions the best of luck. We've turned the page, so now, team, turn it around! Enjoy your Tuesday, don't forget to click on the title, and as always, BE WELL.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bewildered Bats Baffled...Boston Beckons

Click those ruby red slippers together. It's time to go home. After twenty games in twenty days, the Boston Red Sox, who lost yesterday to the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 3-0, have gone home to Massachusetts and will enjoy an actual day off today (Monday). A rested Josh Beckett pitched well enough to win, but the Boston bats were impatient and Ray pitcher James Shield shut them down completely. Beckett was strong over seven innings, striking out thirteen enemy batters, but his teammates could not pick him up. The Sox have wasted two straight stellar outings by their starters. A frustrated Beckett had this to say to the schedule makers. Clearly he was bothered by the fact that he was the second-best pitcher on the field...

"They make schedules like this and it's not like it's just 20 in a row," Beckett said. "We play 8 o'clock getaway games. There's not enough bitching and moaning going on to get it changed. I don't know what we need to do to get it changed.
"That's what strings guys out. It's tough playing 20 in a row anyway. Now you're getting Sunday night baseball here, Sunday night baseball there. You start at 8 o'clock, you're getting home at 4-5 in the morning and right back out the next day."

Peter here. Boston collected only two base hits, and it seems that they couldn't wait to swing and get this game over with. And it WAS a quick game - two hours and twenty five minutes. Mercifully so, by the way.

So the team arrived in Boston last night and hopefully are now sleeping in their very own beds. But they've lost five games in a row. Still, they're close to first place and if the bullpen allows, they'll be fine. The starters are all, for the most part, doing well. Rest will cure most of their ills, but David Ortiz, who didn't play on Sunday, bruised his right knee, the same one that was surgically repaired in the off season. He should be able to play Tuesday.

Enjoy the off day today. Click on the title for the latest from the Boston Globe Red Sox homepage. I'm sorry that this post, the first of a new week, is so short, but I'm just not motivated to write more today. It's easier after a Sox win and also when it's not a Monday. And the readership was down to 37 clicks, a first for a Sunday when the Sox play. So I guess you can find what you need elsewhere. I'm not a quitter, but it's tough. As always, be safe. Have a great Monday. Your comments have ALWAYS been welcome, and will always be answered.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Beantown Lumber Is Where?

Just a thought, as we go into the bottom of the 7th frame, with the score 1-0 Rays. See you in the morning..Beckett has been great, but the Sox offense? I have NO IDEA! Who does??

A Clay Buchholz Masterpiece, But The Fourth Loss In A Row For The Red Sox

Clay Buchholz pitched the second-best game of his life but ended up with only a loss on his record to show for it. An eighth inning mistake pitch (the pitch was fine, in my eyes!) allowed the Tampa Bay Rays' Akinori Iwamura to hit the go-ahead two run home run and his team beat the Boston Red Sox in a heartbreaker, 2-1. Just look at Clay's pitching line and you'll know what I mean...

C. Buchholz 8.0 3 2 2 2 9 1 4.08
L (1-2)

This is what Terry Francona said about his starting rookie pitcher, who I hope is here on the big club to stay. He has progressed incredibly since the early spring training games, and nine times out of ten, he would have won a game like last night's...

“His stuff was electric,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “He left one breaking ball over the plate.”

Old friend Eric Hinske, who now plays for Tampa, was even more forthcoming in his praise of young Clay. This is what HE had to say after the game...

“God, he was lights out last night,” said Rays designated hitter Eric Hinske. “His changeup, he has such good arm speed. It was different from what it looked like playing with him. There’s not a lot of guys who can throw that over-the-top changeup that looks just like his fastball. It’s pretty crazy."

Peter here. I like that kind of crazy, Eric! But it's obvious that the Red Sox could not get anything going against Rays' starter Edwin Jackson. Jacoby Ellsbury collected two of the five Boston hits and drove in their single run. He's getting better and better as April nears May, too. But now the Sox have lost four in a row, not so bad when you consider the flu bug that has raped the team top to bottom. Their stopper will have to earn his title today, though. It will be Josh Beckett vs. James Shields this afternoon in the getaway game down in Florida. And after that, it's "Hello Boston, here we come" time, and a blessed day off tomorrow. A win today will take the sting out of the past two games and will make the northward flight home a much better one. And gradually players who were ill, and there were too many of 'em to list here, are getting better. A little home cooking and a Monday off will do wonders, not to mention (but I will) the victory that we need today. So have a great Sunday and tune into NESN or the radio network. Maybe the lineup will back up "Josh Baseball" with some runs, some crooked numbers on the scoreboard.

Congratulations go out to Clay Buchholz for his stunning eight innings of work. Hey Clay, keep pitching like that and we'll be fine. GREAT JOB. And more hearty backslaps go to our Gold Glove first baseman, Kevin Youkilis. He did THIS last night, borrowed from the Boston Herald, with my thanks...

"By successfully handling second baseman Dustin Pedroia throw on Eric Hinske’s groundball for the third out of the seventh inning in the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Rays last night, Youkilis broke McGinnis’ nearly 86-year-old major league record for most consecutive errorless chances (1,700) by a first baseman. Youkilis’ total now stands at 1,701, plus he holds the major league record for most consecutive games without an error for a first baseman at 205 and counting."

Wow Youk, you are amazing (solo mini-standing ovation time)! And so, my Constant Readers, if you have time, click on the title of this post for the Sox homepage of the aforementioned Boston Herald. You can take your pick from articles about last night's tough loss AND Youk's amazing record-breaking play at first base, a place he has made all his own. There is no better player anywhere on the planet defensively at first. Case closed. Have a great Sunday, and as always, BE WELL. Go get'em Josh. GO SOX. FOREVER.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Many Opportunities Lost...

MORE than one opportunity was squandered by the Boston Red Sox Friday night in Tampa Bay. And the Rays won the 11 inning game by a score of 5-4. They made so many sparkling defensive plays while the Red Sox could not score in the ninth or tenth with two on and one out. Mike Timlin, sore back and all, pitched the last inning, and it was over quickly. Here's what Tito Francona had to say...

“We had our chances. We had the guys up that we wanted, but we weren’t able to push a run across,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “Everybody gets frustrated. You want to win so bad. We got guys on, we couldn’t push the run across.”

Peter here again, and BOY, did they have their chances, but alas, the Red Sox went down for the third straight time. This team needs a day off, maybe a WEEK of days off. Two more games to go in Tampa and then they'll be homeward bound and enjoy that treasured day without a game scheduled. And that will be nice. Last night, the Sox again had another double digit hit total, so their problems in the last three games do not reside there. But they are a sick ball club, one that has had to scrap and paste together the healthy players and pitchers. Even Jason Varitek, who is feeling nowhere near 100%, was called into action. On the pitching side, once Wakefield was finished for the day, the bullpen took over the game and held the Rays scoreless into the second extra inning. That's where Mike Timlin came into the picture. Here are the Boston pitching lines...

T. Wakefield 6.0 6 4 3 5 1 0 4.06
D. Aardsma 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3.29
B. Corey 1.2 2 0 0 10.50
J. Lopez 0.2 1 0 0 0 1 0 4.50
M. Timlin 0.2 2 1 1 1 0 0 13
(L 0-2)

Peter here...Timmy Wakefield did not pitch badly, but his knuckie was all over the place. He usually wins when pitching in the Tampa Bay area, but not last night. Three earned runs ain't bad, though, and we rest our hopes today with Clay Buchholz, who looked so good in his last start, and on Sunday, Josh Beckett. So we are armed, we'll just have to see how dangerous we are. If you have a chance, click on the title of this post for the Boston Herald Red Sox home page and take your pick of any and all of the articles about last night in Florida. Have a great weekend, and as always, BE WELL.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Don Gillis...RIP

Don Gillis passed away at the age of 85. For those of you who don't remember him, he was one of the most recognizable and loved voices of the Red Sox and all Boston media, including the magic of 1967. Here's what I'd like you to do. Please read this...from Scott Gray of WTIC AM1080, the Connecticut Red Sox home for almost 50 years...
Friday, April 25th 2008 - Sports Commentary

"I never met Don Gillis, but I felt like I knew the legendary Boston sportscaster most of my life. It was impossible to grow up in New England during the second half of the twentieth century and not know Don Gillis, not feel like he was a personal friend, so genuine and comfortable was his on air style. By all accounts from close acquaintances who did know him well he was in real life what you believed him to be watching him ply his trade, a wonderful man with a pleasant personality always willing to help a young up and comer. My own memories of Gillis stretch back to the late 1950's, when he filled in for an ailing Curt Gowdy on Red Sox broadcasts. By the early sixties he was established as THE man at the, then, television home of the Red Sox, WHDH-TV, Channel 5 in Boston. It was an era when those in our business really did work for a living. Today video tape and digital sound make it possible to replay clips and sound bites within a matter of seconds. Then it was almost a miracle to have film from even local games on the air the next day. Gillis was one of those guys who previewed every clip himself so that he knew them so well he would get them to the air first with his own unscripted overdub. By 1967 every die hard sports fan in New England knew Don Gillis, not only for his sportscasts and field reports, but for his relaxed, folksy, but always professional manner on WHDH's Saturday morning bowling shows. Those who weren't familiar with him by then soon came to embrace Gillis as well as he chronicled the Red Sox miracle season of '67, from the 100-1 shot team they were in spring training through the "Series that nobody lost". Who can ever forget the classic shot of Don Gillis ducking a foul pop up in front of the Red Sox dugout during a live pre game standup, all the while never skipping a beat? It was Gillis who hosted the WHDH video version of the memorable season wrap up, "The Impossible Dream". Through most of the remainder of the twentieth century Don Gillis was the standard bearer for sportscasting in Beantown. The humility and humanity of the man came through in every appearance on the air. Don Gillis passed away peacefully at home yesterday at the age of eighty five. He hasn't been a regular presence on Boston television for several years, but knowing he maintained his continuing role as the godfather of the Boston sports media was like having a Don Gillis nightlight, casting a comfortable glow to show the way through the growing darkness to truth and balance in sports reporting. There are few cities in this great nation as rich in history as Boston, which certainly has a richer sports history than most. Don Gillis will survive in the memories of long time New England sports fans as one of the richest parts of that history. With a comment from the sports world, I'm Scott Gray."

PETER here, and thank you Scott Gray, and most of all, thank you, Don Gillis. Rest in peace. It was fun, wasn't it?

Masterful Masterson, Bogus Bullpen

The Red Sox needed an emergency starter yesterday so they brought up Justin Masterson, a Double A pitcher for Portland, to start the series finale against the LA Angels and their deep and potent lineup. And he was better than anyone could have imagined. I guess that's why he's rated the top pitching prospect of the Sox organization. He went six smooth innings, giving up a solo run and only two hits. He walked four, though, and that's what contributed to his pitch count of 95. But that doesn't matter - he has a bright future with the big club staring at him right in the face. The Sox sent him back to Portland after the start and before they jetted to Tampa Bay, but he expected it. He'll be back. He'll be back. Theo said this...

"He did a tremendous job with his composure throwing strikes," general manager Theo Epstein said. "We're proud of him. We couldn't have asked for more from him today."

Boston had a 3-1 lead in the game going into the seventh inning and were only five or six outs away from Paps' time. But the bullpen COULD NOT do the job. Lopez came in to start the sixth and couldn't record an out. Then it was the still recovering Little Manny Delcarmen, who also could not record an out. Each surrendered two runs, and what Justin had done had become undone. Little Manny had this to say...

"I overheard Javier Lopez talking about how Masterson came in out of the blue and threw six great innings," said Manny Delcarmen. "We wanted to finish it off for him, but it didn't happen today. Warming up I was a tad dizzy," Delcarmen said. "I was hoping to get through."

Manny, next time tell Tito you don't feel well enough to pitch. He KNOWS what you've been through. Okie only made matters worse, as did Aardsma and Tavarez. Only Papi's two run tater in the ninth made the score respectable. This was a game that the 2007 team would not have lost. Now, I'm turning the page. Game over, but not forgotten. The team is in Tampa for a three game set against the Rays. Maybe the Florida sunshine will help the guys rid themselves of this insidious bug that has raced through the clubhouse in rapid-fire fashion. Here are your pitching matchups for the series...

Tim Wakefield (2-0, 3.96 ERA) vs. Matt Garza (0-0, 9.00) tonight
Clay Buchholz (1-1, 4.79) vs. Edwin Jackson (2-2, 4.63) Saturday
Josh Beckett (2-1, 5.12) vs. James Shields (2-1, 3.30) Sunday

So we miss Scott Kazmir. Nice! We will take two of three. And there you have it. A successful homestand, except for the last two games, but still a good one all things and diseases considered. Now comes a quick three game trip to Florida and then it's back to Fenway for more mirth and fun. Hopefully after Monday's day off, the team will be completely healthy. Daisuke isn't even making the trip! I hope every one of you has a great weekend, and I'll be here tomorrow, same Bat Time, same Bat Web Addy. Click on the title for the Globe's Sox page, and as always, BE WELL.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Crippled Inside!

Peter here on a warm Thursday early morn, the morning AFTER a Red Sox loss. THAT hasn't happened in a while, but the World Champions have been crippled by a fast acting flu-like bug. It was amazing that they were able to put together a six game winning streak while in the midst of the viral murk. But yesterday, the crisis worsened. Starter Daisuke Matsuzaka arrived at the clubhouse around 2:30pm EDT, already achy, which has been the first symptom of this microscopic and crippling malady. In minutes, it became clear to Terry "Tito" Francona that he would not be able to pitch. Jon Lester courageously volunteered his services with only three days of rest under his belt, and the skipper, after thinking about it for 15 minutes, decided to take him up on his offer, WITH a pitch count of appoximately 80. Good for you, Jon. The California/LA Angels defeated the Sox by a score of 6-4. Youk was out with a bad back (day to day), Varitek is still miserably sick and Mikey lowell will play three games in Pawtucket this weekend before returning on Tuesday. Today is a day game at Fenway and then the team (GULP!) will board a plane for the three hour flight to Tampa Bay. I said gulp because there is no better place than a narrow jet airline cabin to spread the microscopic entities to every person on board. This might spell REAL trouble. I hope not. Terry Francona said this...

"We're going to have to weather this," manager Terry Francona said. "We have some issues the next few days for sure. We're just trying to get hold of this. Getting on a plane today to Tampa is not going to be the best thing for our team. They're not going to let us NOT do that. We'll just continue to do the best we can.

Amen, Terry. Yesterday, Craig Hansen made his 2008 big league debut and lost the game because he gave up a sixth inning tie-breaking home run to Kotchman, but his manager and his pitching coach said that they saw encouraging signs in his 1 2/3 innings of work. And that's good, because ANY help for the Boston bullpen is and will be help needed. NOW!

It's day baseball at the FENS today, with a 1:35pm EDT first pitch time. The game will be covered on television and radio by the "usual suspects." And for more on last night's defeat, just click on the title of this post. I'm not sure what will happen when you do, yet, but I'm sure it will be something Soxy. You know me! Hey, have a wonderful Thursday. I hope the weather wherever you are is as nice as it is here. Gametime temperatures in the "Hub of the Universe" will be in the 60s, with brilliant sunshine abounding. And then it's Tampa Bay time...but first things first. Justin Masterson makes his big league debut against the Angels in the series finale, and everyone is excited to see what he can do. Paps, Okie and most of the bullpen are still relatively rested too, but we'll have to wait until gametime to see who will be in and who will be out of the lineup. It's SUCH a great thing that the Sox have been winning while in the clutches of this terrible bug. Keep your fingers crossed and hope that the enclosed plane cabin and its recirculated air system will not make matters worse. And as always, BE WELL. That goes for you AND our team. GO SOX!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ellsbury And Pedroia Help The Red Sox Ground The Angels...Six Straight!

This Boston Red Sox team has so many weapons, they might be BETTER than last year. The pitching will eventually determine that. But Tuesday night at Fenway Park, the Sox defeated the LA/California Angels by a score of 7-6. It was their sixth straight victory and their ninth win in the last ten games. Josh Beckett was a late scratch. The flu bug that has been ravaging the team coupled with a stiff neck shelved the Sox ace until Sunday. But the hottest team in the majors found a way to win yet again. Jacoby Ellsbury hit two home runs, a lead-off tater and a sixth inning bomb. But it was his eighth inning bunt, his third hit, that made all the difference in the world. Pedey (Dustin Pedroia) followed with his fourth hit of the day, and Ells scampered all the way home with the winning run. Paps sewed it all together with precision, throwing a 1-2-3 eleven pitch ninth, earning his league-leading eighth save. This is what Tito Francona had to say about the scratched Josh Beckett...

"We were worried about Beckett the last couple days because he had been sick," said manager Terry Francona before the game. "He showed up today and we had talked to him last night and this morning, and that was not an issue, but his neck got real stiff. Whether it's related or not, how do you know? But we're not going to run him out there and have him potentially hurt his shoulder because he's got a stiff neck."

Peter here, and yes, it's better to be safe than sorry. But there's nothing sorry about how the Red Sox are playing. Pedroia looks like he might even be better than last year - he's leading the league with a batting average of .364. Ellsbury can create magic and mayhem at virtually the same time. I shudder to think that he'll be on the bench when Coco "Chanel" Crisp starts on Thursday. But Terry Francona has done almost everything right and his team, OUR team, has the best record in the American League. A manager's decision? Yes. But I'll go with Tito's judgement.

Today, the Angels and Boston tussle again at 7:05pm EDT. It will be Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has a perfect record of 4-0 but is coming off a less than stellar start, ready to face the Angel's Jon Garland, who is 2-2 and beatable. So let's beat 'em!

I thank you once again for stopping in to my little corner of the internet, and I appreciate it so much. Click on the title of this post to read anything and everything you need to know about that team we love to love - the Boston Red Sox - from the Boston Globe. Have a great Wednesday Hump Day, and as always, BE WELL.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Power To The People.....

......or at least TO ME. After an electrical power outage of 8 hours, it'''s BACK! Here's a preview of tonight's game at the Fens...

"The Los Angeles Angels were shut down by Josh Beckett to open last year’s playoffs and things never got any better. Actually, they have never enjoyed seeing him on the mound.
Beckett looks to continue his mastery of the Angels and help the Boston Red Sox post their longest winning streak in nearly two years as these clubs meet Tuesday for the first time since last year’s AL division series.
That matchup saw Beckett (2-1, 5.12 ERA) get Boston off to a great start, throwing a four-hitter with no walks and eight strikeouts in a 4-0 victory. Los Angeles ended up being swept, getting outscored 19-4, and the Red Sox went on to win the World Series.
“Beckett was about as good as we’ve seen him,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after that Game 1 loss.
However, Beckett’s always been good against Scioscia’s team."

Peter here, and Josh "Baseball" Beckett will be sharp again. Weaver will go down. Just my thoughts. Sometimes I'm right, sometimes (not tonight) I'm wrong. ENJOY!!!!!!

Streaking Boston Red Sox Finish Off Four Game Sweep Of The Texas Rangers

The Boston Red Sox celebrated Patriot's Day in style, and with a "B-like" lineup, too. They defeated the happless Texas Rangers by a score of 8-3. The three runs were given up by the Sox bullpen, for Clay Buchholz had what might have been his breakout start, the one we were all waiting for. He went six innings, allowing five hits and ZERO runs while walking two. He also added six big strikeouts. All four of his pitches were working, and with the familiar (to him) Kevin Cash as his behind-the-plate batterymate, he was comfortable in using them all to keep Texas off balance, never knowing what would be coming next. Tito Francona had this to say about his starter...

"I thought he was much more unpredictable in all counts," manager Terry Francona said after the Sox had swept the Rangers, locking up their fifth straight win and ninth in 10 games. "He was throwing all his pitches.
"We talk so often about establishing fastball, but with Clay, he's got four pitches that if he can throw at any time, in any count, vs. lefty, vs. righty, all of a sudden you start pumping that 93, 94 in there, it gives you an extra foot or two on your fastball. And he was throwing them all, all day, right from the very beginning."

Peter here. And this is what his catcher, Kevin Cash, thought...

"Just a little bit better command with his fastball especially," Cash said of the difference between when he caught Buchholz over the second half of the 2007 season in Pawtucket and now. "He's always had four plus pitches; there aren't many pitchers in baseball that have four pitches you can get a swing-and-miss on in the zone. So he has that, but just to get ahead of hitters is big for him."

Peter back again. I noticed after the first three innings that Clay looked confident and settled. That was not true earlier in the game, when the Rangers populated the bases. But not one of them scored, much to the credit of Mr. Buchholz and the pitch calling of Kevin Cash.

The batting star was, once again, Big Papi David Ortiz. He had two doubles, one of which was aided by the sun, and since his horrid 3 for 43 start, he has gone 11 for 36, which tabulates to an average of .306. That's more Papi-like! Twelve of his fifteen RBIs have come in that span, too. Julio Lugo enjoyed his first four hit day of the year, and I hope it won't be his last. In all, the Red Sox bashed twelve safeties, and right now, at 14-7, they have the best record in all of baseball. Sort of suitable for the World Champs, don't you think?

The Anaheim/LA Angels are the next Fenway foes, and the pitching matchups look exactly like this...

Jered Weaver (1-3, 3.60 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett (2-1, 5.12) tonight
Jon Garland (2-2, 4.81) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (4-0, 3.14) Wednesday
Joe Saunders (3-0, 2.15) vs. Jon Lester (1-2, 5.06) Thursday

So there you have it. All three of the regular season morning games are over. I'll miss them a little, because I'm an early riser. But right now I have to rush. There is a scheduled 8 hour (AAHHHH!!!) power outage scheduled for today between 8:30am and 4:30pm right here in good old Farmington. At least the day will be comfortably cool instead of scaldingly hot or bone-chillingly cold. My boredom will be negated in two ways. I'm doing number one right now-writing this post to you before I have to turn off and unplug my Mac just in case there is a power blip when the power god returns our juice. Number two will be to curl up with a good book, and I'm reading three of 'em. So I should be all set. I've put extra ice cubes in the freezer and refrigerator and have distributed my LED flashlights throughout the house. And my grill will be ready to take over the cooking load, with a ground steakburger and trimmings in my future. I just have to remember to limit my "refrigerator door openings." I can do that! So I'm in OK shape. I guess it's a LITTLE better when one KNOWS that the power will fail, but it still sucks.

Click on the title of this post to be linked to the Boston Globe's Sox homepage. You could easily lose yourself there for an hour or so. Enjoy! And as always, BE WELL. Go Sox. We have halos on our minds. Yes. WE DO!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Baseball, Red Sox Patriot's Day Style

Buchholz has thrown many pitches so far, but it's the bottom of the 2nd, bases loaded for the Sox, Jacoby coming to the plate. No Manny in the game!! Zip zip is the score. 0-2 to Ells..2 outs..and BOTH teams leave the bases loaded. After two. 0-0. I'll be back.

Clay is not sharp...but he has rallied after walking the first man in the 3rd...1 out..and 2 outs..Milton Bradley with a fly to was caught by JD..base hit by on first and second..ouch! 2 down....TEK is out to the mound with a 2-0 count. C'mon Clay! Fly to right, and after two and a half innings, it's still zip to zip. Bottom ofthe third, and Gabbard is out of the game after warming up...a back problem...bottom of the 3rd inning coming up. The Texas 'pen is VULNERABLE!

Pitching for the Rangers..Nippert. 11.37era. Jacoby up..ball 4..I do not know why Manny isn't in there, but Peds is up and Papi to follow..stolen base by Ells..base hit by Peds..first and third with no one out! Papi time..and he strikes down with our Youk at the plate...a golden opportunity for the leading hitter in baseball...and a HUGE base running gaffe by Ells after a fly to center by Youk. Double play, and after three, gee, still zip zip. THAT WAS UGLY.

I have to take a lunch break...(type one diabetes), but I will be back. Promise. WAIT! First and third, runnners at 1st and 3rd...Lugo up...BASE HIT. 1-0 Good Guys in the bottom of the 4th. Manny is resting, TEK is sick, Coco is hurt (as always). And we go on...1-1 to Cash, while my grill is heating..the Sox need a couple more because Buch will not be able to pitch more than one inning..Lowrie scores on an errant throw.. ERROR. 2-0...lunch beckons..I have to. And still our Sox keep it going. Ells steals 2nd..PEDS powers one to the triangle!! 4-0 SOX! Be back I can smile.

*********OVER EASY********* JUST like fried eggs, the game is over and the Sox won easily. Full wrap tomorrow early AM

The Cardiac Kids Of 2008..The Boston Red Sox. MERCY!

Good morning on this very early Monday morning. For those of you who gave up on the Red Sox Sunday afternoon after they were down five zip, this is for you. You missed an incredible comeback by this scrappy, never-say-lose 2008 Boston team. They've come from behind to win five of their past six games, three times with a game winning home run. They never say die. Clutch first baseman Sean Casey summed it up perfectly...

“I’ve been on teams that when you get down, it’s like, ‘We lost,’ ” Casey said. “With this team, it’s like, ‘No, let’s just get on base and get something happening.’ Guys don’t give up here . . . I’ve had other teams that were waiting to lose. This team is waiting to win.”

Peter here. Waiting to win...I like that! The Sox scored two runs in the seventh inning to make the score 5-2. The Fenway Faithful stirred, clearly anticipating that something, maybe something big, was going to happen. And it did. They added four more runs to their total in the eighth to make the score 6-5 Good Guys. And that's the way it stayed. Timmy Wakefield had a less than stellar outing, giving up five runs on seven hits, striking out five. Papelbon, staked to a one run lead, was up to the task, hurling a seven pitch ninth inning for his seventh save. He might surpass his 2007 save total at this rate. But the hero among many was David Ortiz, who legged out a single in the eighth inning. I swear he was almost flying, and his bad knee seems to be fully sound. Dustin Pedroia folowed shortly afterwards with a double and that wonderful lumbering locomotive who we call Big Papi made it all the way past the plate, tying the score and capping a remarkable comeback. As Ned Martin would say, "MERCY!" Oh, Kevin Youkilis remains hotter than Hades, collecting three more base hits. Jed Lowrie continues to impress. He had two base hits and played great defense. He will be a big league player, our starting shortstop, in just a year, maybe a little more. I just know it. And Sean Casey continues to prove that he was an incredible acquisition. This team is running on all cylinders with rocket fuel as the propellant. And I love it.

Today is Patriot's Day in Massachusetts, and the game at Fenway will start at 11:05am EDT. The pitchers will be the shaky Clay Buchholz versus old friend Kason Gabbard, who has a great ERA of slightly over two. This should be fun! For those of you who will not be able to catch the game on television or radio, I took my annual Patriot's Day day off from work, so I will be here posting half inning updates. It's the least I could do for the best readers (and friends) in the universe. That's you, by the way. So check back here after first pitch time. And click on the title of this post to be directed to The Boston Globe's Red Sox homepage. That's all you need. Have a great Monday and enjoy the weather here in New England, if that's where you are. The weather at Fenway will be near perfect, with a mixture of clouds and sun and temperatures in the low 60s by game's end. And we all have to hope that Clay Buchholz can have his first good outing of the spring. But the bullpen is rested, just in case. Paps was the only one who was called in yesterday, and he threw seven pitches. SO WE'RE READY! GO SOX!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Another comeback, another Red Sox victory. Here's the total box score, and I'll be back with a full post in the morning. I hope your Sunday is a GREAT one...


AB R H RBI BB K LOB Season Avg
I. Kinsler 2b 4 1 1 1 0 0 0 .286
M. Young ss 4 1 2 0 0 1 0 .247
J. Hamilton cf 4 1 1 0 0 0 2 .299
M. Bradley dh 4 1 1 3 0 1 1 .339
H. Blalock 3b 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 .333
F. Catalanotto lf 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .245
D. Murphy rf 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 .275
G. Laird c 3 0 0 1 0 0 1 .207
B. Broussard 1b 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 .180
Totals 33 5 7 5 0 5 5

HR - I Kinsler (1, 1st inning off T Wakefield 0 on, 0 Out), M Bradley (1, 6th inning off T Wakefield 2 on, 1 Out).
S - D Murphy.
RBI - I Kinsler (8), G Laird (9), M Bradley 3 (7).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - B Broussard 1.
GIDP - J Hamilton.
Team LOB - 2.
E - G Laird (3, throw); J Hamilton (1, throw).
DP - 1 (I Kinsler-M Young-B Broussard).


AB R H RBI BB K LOB Season Avg
J. Ellsbury cf 4 1 2 0 1 0 3 .256
J. Lowrie 2b-ss 5 2 2 1 0 2 3 .417
D. Ortiz dh 4 2 2 2 1 1 1 .160
M. Ramirez lf 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .338
J. Thurston lf 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000
D. Pedroia ph-2b 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 .333
K. Youkilis 3b 4 0 3 0 1 0 1 .378
J.D. Drew rf 4 0 1 1 1 1 2 .316
S. Casey 1b 4 0 2 1 1 0 2 .349
K. Cash c 5 0 1 0 0 1 7 .200
J. Lugo ss-lf 4 0 1 0 0 2 1 .273
Totals 38 6 15 6 5 8 23

2B - J Lowrie 2 (3, K Millwood, W Littleton); D Pedroia (7, C Wilson).
RBI - D Ortiz 2 (12), J Drew (13), J Lowrie (5), D Pedroia (9), S Casey (8).
2-out RBI - J Drew, J Lowrie, D Ortiz, D Pedroia, S Casey.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - J Thurston 2, D Ortiz 1, S Casey 1, K Cash 3, J Ellsbury 2.
GIDP - K Youkilis.
Team LOB - 14.
Base Running
SB - J Ellsbury 2 (6, 2nd base off K Millwood/G Laird 2), J Lugo (2, 3rd base off K Millwood/G Laird).

K. Millwood 6.0 10 2 2 2 7 0 2.53
W. Littleton 1.2 3 2 2 0 1 0 2.70
C.J. Wilson (L, 0-1; BS, 1) 0.0 2 2 2 3 0 0 2.25
J. Wright 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.82

T. Wakefield (W, 2-0) 8.0 7 5 5 0 5 2 3.90
J. Papelbon (S, 7) 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.70

IBB - D Ortiz (by K Millwood), K Youkilis (by C Wilson).
HBP - J Thurston (by W Littleton).
Pitches-strikes - K Millwood 108-66; W Littleton 25-15; C Wilson 29-13; J Wright 2-1; T Wakefield 86-68; J Papelbon 7-5.
Ground balls-fly balls - K Millwood 6-5; W Littleton 4-0; C Wilson 0-0; J Wright 1-0; T Wakefield 10-10; J Papelbon 0-3.
Batters faced - K Millwood 30; W Littleton 8; C Wilson 5; J Wright 1; T Wakefield 31; J Papelbon 3.

John Marzano...1963-2008...RIP John

A loss for Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International, John Marzano passed away at the too young age of 45. The cause was a fall, maybe caused by a heart attack. John, rest in peace. You'll always be in our hearts. Forever. And you will be missed. Every time a pitch is thrown and that big catcher's mitt is right there to catch it, I will think of you.

The Red Sox Defeat The Texas Rangers At Fenway. Manny And Papi Are Hot...Together!

In front of 37,598 frenzied fans, the largest post-WWII crowd in Fenway Park history, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Texas Rangers by a score of 5-3. The Sox are running on all cylinders, and Big Papi David Ortiz is getting hot, but not as hot as the man who bats behind him. Manny Ramirez continued his white-hot torrid hitting with a tie-breaking two run home run in the 8th that cemented the Sox' 7th victory in their last 8 games. His swings are things of wonder and beauty these days. Take it from a teammate, Dustin Pedroia...

"All of Manny's swings look like some of the best swings I've ever seen," said Pedroia. "Every at-bat is a quality at-bat."

Peter here, and well said, Dustin. Jon Lester started the game and lasted until one out in the 7th inning, his longest outing of the season. Although the last place Rangers bashed 10 base hits, he only allowed 3 earned runs and his walk total was a manageable 2. He struck out 5. Little Manny Delcarmen, Mike Timlin, winner Javier Lopez and Jonathon Papelbon provided excellent relief with Paps picking up save number 6. Here are the Sox pitching lines...

J. Lester 6.1 10 3 3 2 5 1 5.06
M. Delcarmen 0.2 0 0 0 1 2 0 2.79
M. Timlin 0.2 2 0 0 0 0 0 15.75
J. Lopez (W, 1-0) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.05
J. Papelbon (S, 6) 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3.00

Not bad, huh? If (BIG IF) the Red Sox can find a dependable fifth starter (think Bartolo Colon, when he's ready, and that's only a matter of a couple weeks) and continue to get a 7 inning performance like last night from Jon Lester, this team is going FAR. The Yankees lost again to the Baltimore Orioles as their young and "valuable" starters, both of 'em, continue to remain winless. Gee, I'm SO sad. I'm kidding and you know it! But I like where our team is going and I like how they're getting there. Sean Casey continues to prove he might have been the best off-season acqusition of all, and Jed Lowrie impresses us all. This Boston team is DEEP, as all World Series contenders must be. I know it's early, but so far, so good. I like what I see. Don't you? Leave me a comment and I'll be sure to respond to you.

And so, Constant Readers, if you have time, click on the title of this post to be linked to the great Boston Herald Sox homepage...take your pick of many great articles. And remember, today's (Sunday) game starts at 1:05pm EDT, with Tim Wakefield, who has been a rock of the rotation, ready to face the always tough Kevin Millwood. But as Bruce Springsteen wrote and sang in a 1987 song (was it THAT long ago? I must be getting old........nah!), we're "tougher than the rest." I believe that to be true. Add a healthy and effective Bartolo Colon to the Sox mix and you get a monsterously huge game-winning team. But that's in the future, and it hasn't happened yet. BUT IT WILL!

Don't forget to click on this post's title, and please don't forget to leave a comment or three, and most of all, thank you for popping in yet again. I don't know what I'd do without you. I don't even want to THINK about it. As always, BE WELL. That's the most important thing of all. HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY, and happy Passover. Fried matzoh for all...just come on over! Fried matzoh is matzoh, which is unleavened and crispy thin bread, soaked in whole scrambled eggs, with a dash of milk or cream and some fresh cracked pepper and a pinch of salt mixed in. Soak the matzoh slices and egg mixture overnight in the fridge, ala French Toast, and then pan fry in butter or Pam spray (buttah is betta) until golden brown and unbelievably aromatic. You'll have a delicious breakfast treat. I made MYSELF hungry!

I wish every one of you the best, and enjoy afternoon Red Sox baseball. It'll be another weather-perfect day. Go Timmy. Go Sox. And KEEP going Manny, who is, right now, the best hitter in ALL of baseball. And I love it. I hope you do, too.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


This one was over after the third inning and a rout by the end of the fourth. Big Papi David Ortiz is steadily leaving his early season slump in the dust. He hit a grand salami in the third inning and added another hit and run batted in later in the game. His manager and teammates had this to say, from the Boston Globe. It captures the moment well...

"It's just a matter of time," Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek said. "It was a big lift for him." Following the walks, Ortiz -- hitting just .109 when he came up -- walked slowly to the plate. The crowd, seemingly trying to help get the slugger on track, gave him a standing ovation. On the first pitch, he lofted a fly ball into the Green Monster seats' first row, and was serenaded with chants of "Papi, Papi" when he reached the dugout. "He creates lift in a crowd regardless of whether he has a hit or not," Varitek said. "He's Big Papi for a reason." When Ortiz reached the dugout, his teammates gave him the "silent treatment" before mobbing him."Even though the big boy is struggling, he's still dangerous," Texas manager Ron Washington said."

Peter here, and as soon as Papi hit that ball, I was three feet in the air, landing on my feet. I ALMOST forgot that I was sitting down in front of the television just as I started my jump, so I aborted my takeoff and gained my footing before the launch sequence began again. It was a short, VERY short countdown until take off, believe me. The landing was uneventful and all chutes deployed successfully. And the Boston Red Sox, at home in the confines of their own Friendly Fenway, were ahead to stay.

Peter here, back from a daydream that had something to do with a rocket pack on my back and a Superman-like ability to fly. Ok...Papi's two hits and 5 runs batted in propelled the Boston Red Sox to an 11-2 victory over the visiting Texas Rangers. The Sox have now won six of seven ballgames and are sitting in first place, just where we want them to be. Daisuke Matsuzaka was good enough, going 5 1/3 innings (he's got to at least go 7, but it was a rout) and giving up 3 runs and 5 hits with two walks and 5 strikeouts thrown in. The bullpen was nearly perfect, with Lopez and Timlin unscored upon and Double A Aardasma giving up a pair of runs. But they got the job done, and the World Champions roll on. Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International are a very happy bunch of Sox fans.

The Red Sox are now two games in front of the Yankees as their young pitcher, Phil Hughes, was battered again, although he started out well. The A's then went on to score 7 runs in the sixth inning, further supporting my opinion that the New York rotation will only carry them to a .500 record. That's how it would be if the Yankees stand pat. When have we EVER known them to do that?

Click on the title of this post to be linked to the Boston Globe's Sox home page. You'll find anything and everything you want or need about a wonderful Friday night in a ballpark called Fenway. I call it home. Have a great weekend, and as always, BE WELL. GO at 7:05 pm EDT, the only remaining night game in this four game series. A win today? Sweet. You, my readers? JUST as sweet. Thanks for stopping in.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Meet Gil Of Israel. A Long Time Sox Fan...

Hello to you just a little later on this beautiful Friday morning. I received an email from a Red Sox fan from the state of Israel. Israel has been and always will be a part of my heart, but that's just me. Click on this post's title to go to his home page, and then definitely put your sound on and click on his video, the first of many, I hope. If you'd like to donate, there will be something you can click once you've read this and click on the title of this post to see his video. With music and special Sox moments, I think it's something you would enjoy. After that, it's up to you. Enjoy the video...I KNOW YOU WILL. And here is his letter, also available on his website. So please read this and then click on the title, and then...then....prepare to smile. Click on the video screen,! Your blog guy Peter N. Thanks...

I'm Gil Rosenthal and I am an Israeli Boston Red-Sox fan!
I know, it's kind of a weird combination, but hey, I'm a weird kind of guy.
I'm a baseball fan in a country where most people couldn't tell the difference between a baseball and a dried up Orange!
I only get to watch about 20 games a year, including the post-season, because that's all they air here...And even then it's games against the Devil Rays! And the time difference! Just think that every game you get to watch at 7pm with your friends over a beer - I have to wake up at 3AM alone...and after the game when you go to sleep I need to leave for work!
What's worse is that I'm a Red Sox fan since I was a kid and I've never even been to Fenway!
And now - after celebrating 2 great championships alone at 4am trying not to wake up my girlfriend - I've had enough. That is why I have decided I will do anything I can to get me to Fenway in 2008!
Problem is - I need money. A lot of it. Me and my girlfriend live together in a small apartment, we're both students and I have to wake up before 6am to get to work just to pay the bills. At this rate I wont have enough money to see the Sox until 2020!
This is where YOU come in.
I know I can count on the Red Sox nation to help one of its own share the glory of the Red Sox!
I'll make it worth your while!
And if that means begging for money over the internet, I'll do it!
And if it means making an ass of myself just to get a few thousand people to put in a measly dollar they won't even feel is missing - then by God I'll do that too!
I know there are much more worthy charities out there, but I don't want to cure cancer, I just want to get to see my favorite team play a live game in the greatest ball-park on earth.
Any donation you can make will be greatly appreciated!


The Beckett & Manny Show Dooms The Yankees...Thank You Dan Federici. RIP

Josh Beckett is ALMOST back to his 2007 shape, and that spells trouble for American League hitters. And Manny Ramirez is on fire with flames of the white hot variety, and THAT spells trouble for American League pitchers. Big trouble in little Fenway, I guess, and on the road throughout every AL city. Beckett went 8 strong innings Thursday night at Yankee Stadium in the final game of this two game set. He allowed only three runs, walked one and struck out 5. He threw a total of only 105 pitches, which is his approximate limit anyways. Terry "Tito" Francona had this to say about his cleanup batter supreme...

"...I think Manny had an exceptional winter as far as work and preparation. He always does, but this may have been more organized. He went to Phoenix with the API [Athletes Performance Institute]. He's talking a little now. He's always like that with us. But everything is positive. He's a little more open with you guys. It seems like he's in a good place. If they get him out, he figures he'll get a hit next time. He's usually right."

And Manny himself had this to say about his good buddy Big Papi David Ortiz and his slump...

"Look, if he don't hit I'm going to hit for him," Manny said.

Peter here, and Manny, you can hit for EVERYBODY if you want. But last night Ramirez had plenty of help, with his team banging out 13 hits, hits to every corner of the old stadium. And Kevin Youkilis insisted on playing, big toe and all, and collected two hits. Only our Papi was hitless, but he'll turn it around. Sean Casey continues to prove to be a great acquisition for the club, playing first base while Mikey Lowell, who is half ready and should be back in 2 weeks or so, heals. The swelling is almost gone and now he will concentrate on movement conditioning and building strength in that thumb.

Jonathon Papelbon pitched the ninth inning in a non-save situation and uncharacteristically surrendered 2 runs, but the damage had been done and the Sox won easily, bringing their first place record to 10-7. Texas looms on the immediate horizon, and here are the pitching matchups for the 4 game Fenway set...

Luis Mendoza (0-1 1.80 ERA) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-0 2.70)

Jason Jennings (0-3 8.79) vs. Jon Lester (1-2 5.31)

Kevin Millwood (1-2 2.42) vs. Timmy Wakefield (1-0 3.18)

and the Monday Patriot's Day game...ta DA...

"old friend" Kason Gabbard (1-0 2.13) vs. Clay Buchholz (0-1 6.75)

So there you have it...a full 4 day weekend of baseball. I like the way the Sox are playing, with just a couple exceptions. One is the lack of bullpen depth...who else but Aardsma, Okie and Paps can we unwaveringly count on? The other exception is the lack of an effective fifth starter. I know that Clay B. will one day be great, but after Bartolo Colon is hale and hearty, I think Clay would be better off at Triple A Pawtucket. If Colon's oblique heals and he is able to toss 'em in there at 95-96 MPH, with location and a change of speeds on his non-straight stuff, he'll be fine and, more importantly, the Red Sox will be immeasurably better. What do you think? Should Clay go down once it becomes evident that Colon is ready? It won't be for a couple weeks or so. I'd love your comments. And it's goodbye Yankees until the first week of July. The schedule makers are a tad delirious. This two game series should have been played NEXT month, evening out early season meetings between the Yanks and their hated rivals.

Click on the title, if you can, and you will be teleported (beam me up, Scotty) to the Hartford Courant's web page. In it, my favorite sportswriter on this planet, Jeff Jacobs, and I've yet to read any sportswriters from other orbs, waxes poetically on Manny and the Red Sox. A good read is guaranteed for all. So click away.

Lastly, on a sad note, long time (since 1973) organist Dan Federici of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band is dead of blood cancer at the age of 58. I have to thank you and the band brought me and countless millions of others all over the world decades of immeasurable joy and utter excitement. I thank you for that. I thank you with every fiber of my heart, of my being. I'll miss you so very much. May you rest in peace. Dammit, you were too young.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Bullpen Massacre For The Yankees Over The Red Sox

Let me begin this rather short Thursday morning post by giving you the score of the Yankee-Red Sox game from last night, inning by inning. After 1, it was 3-1 NY, after 2, it was 3-2 NY, and after 3, it was still 3-2. During the fourth, things began to get out of hand for starter Buchholz, PEMANENTLY. At least for the night. The Sox scored 1 in the top of the frame to tie the game at 3 but New York chased Clay with 4 runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Buch had thrown 85 pitches in just 3 2/3 innings. NOT ACCEPTABLE. So after 4 complete, it was 7-3 Bad Guys. But the Red Sox never gave up (that's why we love them!) and scored 6 in the top of the fifth, but the Yankees came up with another 4 spot off of terrible, at least for this appearance, Julian Tavarez, and led 11-9. Boston's scoring was finished for the night, and the Yankees added yet another 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th to conclude the night's run tally. Mike Timlin was the 8th inning "sad sack" pitcher and for the third time in 4 mound appearances he literally stunk up the place. That aroma travelled all the way to north central Connecticut, to my backyard, in fact. He was THAT ineffective. His ERA is a dandy 27.00. Stay in the 'pen, Mike, unless the Sox have a double digit lead. Final score was an ugly 15-9 in favor of the New York Yankees, who were the better of the two clubs, at least for one night. Wang's pitches just did not have that signature sink, and he was dead meat. The same thing was true about the Sox hurlers, save one (Aardsma).

Kevin Youkilis fouled a ball squarely off his left big toe, and he is doubtful for tonight's game. Thank goodness there was no break. He and Manny are our hottest hitters. As for the bullpen, only Aardsma was great. Buchholz, Tavarez and Timlin would have been better off watching this game at home! But we have our best going tonight, Josh "Baseball" Beckett, and he'll be facing the aging veteran, Mike Mussina. As I said in my Wednesday post, I favored the Yankees in game one and the Red Sox in game two. Let's hope that proves to be the case. And may we all TURN THE PAGE! Together....NOW!!

Click on this post's title for everything you wanted or didn't want to know about the Wednesday night bullpen massacre, and as always, BE WELL. We'll get 'em tonight. I just KNOW it! And I'd love to respond to your comments. It might take me a while to get to them (the latest would be in the early morning hours), but I will. Promise. Would I let you down? Nevah!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Boston Red Sox Roll On. Next Stop? NEW YORK CITY, JUST LIKE I PICTURED IT!

Ok, OK, I borrowed a line from Stevie Wonder's 1976 song LIVING IN THE CITY for part of the title (the part in caps). The Boston Red Sox are flat out playing good baseball. All phases of their game have improved since the first rough days of the season, and the ninth inning home run has saved them more than once lately. Take last night, for example. Jason Varitek hit a 9th inning tie-breaking solo home run, putting the Sox ahead for good. They tacked on another run in that final frame and Hideki Okajima made the victory official with a clean, two strikeout ninth. Tim Wakefield was great again, going six full and allowing only two runs on seven hits, walking four and whiffing the same number. A quality start yet again. Lopez and Delcarmen, neither sharp, followed Wakes. Aardsma finished the 8th and set the way for the Darkman's ninth. My goodness! Great job out of the 'pen. 'Tek had this to say after his winning clout...

“I’ve had my fair share of appearances as a pinch-hitter over my career,” Varitek said while icing his knees. “I haven’t been able to do that very often. I can’t even describe it,” he said of standing on the bag. “It’s one of those moments in your life you are always going to remember.”

Peter here, and well done, Mr. Captain. Kevin Youkilis remained sizzilingly white hot. He raised his batting average to .385 by collecting two more base hits, his 8th and 9th in his last 15 at bats. And rookie Jed Lowrie, a shortstop who was moved over to third base to give Sean Casey a day off, collected 3 RBIs, tying the 61 year old Red Sox rookie RBI debut record held by Merl Combs. Great job Jed! Way to go.

So the Sox enter the Papi-less tee shirted Yankee Stadium tonight for the first time in this 2008 regular season, and they've won 4 straight, quietly, unassumedly. Here are the two game pitching matchups...

Clay Buchholz (0-1) vs. Chien-Ming Wang (3-0)
Josh Beckett (1-1) vs. Mike Mussina (1-2

Those pairings suggest a split of the series, at least at my first glance. I have to give the edge to Wang in game one because he always seems to pitch well against the good guys. But there ARE occasions when his all-important sinker doesn't sink. The Sox hitters have to stay back on the ball and not let their bats top the ball into the ground. The edge goes to the Yankees in this one, but we never know when Clay will break out with a seven inning gem. Paps will be ready with any kind of late inning lead.

Game two I have to put in the Sox victory column. Beckett has gotten better in each of his first two starts, and with the Moose, you never know what you will see. He's showing his age, and that's why I expect Boston to take this one. But both games should be fun, with weather in the Bronx the next two nights virtually perfect for the National Pastime. So pull up a chair, crack a cold one (beer, iced tea, whatever) and simply enjoy two teams who do not like each other, although the hatred I have for Hank Steinbrenner and his thick-headed and predictably dull thinking process makes my dislike of the Yankees look mild in comparison. I JUST DO NOT LIKE THE MAN, stupidly uninformed comments and all. GO SOX, starting a few minutes after 7pm EDT.

If you have a chance, click on the title of this post to be whisked to the Red Sox Boston Globe home page. There are many articles to pick from once you get there, and everything you wanted or needed to know about last night's get away game in Cleveland, happy ending included! Your comments are always welcomed and always answered. Thank you for stopping by and BE WELL. FOREVER.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

MANNY Powers Red Sox Comeback Victory

Manny Ramirez has been putting up All Star numbers for the Boston Red Sox so far this season, and his two run monster bomb shot completed a Red Sox comeback and powered the New England team to a 6-4 victory over the at home Cleveland Indians. It was 4-1 Cleveland after 5 innings as Sox starter Jon Lester was not sharp, not sharp at all, at least after the first three spotless innings. He ended up going only 4 1/3 frames, throwing a whopping 97 pitches in that short span. Why so many? Walks, number one. He allowed 4 free passes while giving up 4 earned runs and 5 hits. Do the math and you get a typically mediocre Lester performance. NOT ACCEPTABLE! But the bullpen shined. Yes, OUR BULLPEN. Julian Tavarez, who has been mostly great this year, was the prime savior, holding the fort for 2 2/3 innings. Winner Mike Timlin has seemed to find the cure to what ailed him. He went 1 clean inning, the 8th, and Paps scalped the Indians in the 9th, striking out 2. Youkilis chimed in with 3 hits, but it was Manny who delivered the deciding blow. Big Papi was in the lineup after his one day off, and he collected two hits, base hits that brought resounding cheers from the Boston dugout. We do not have to wonder about Papi. All it was was a slow start. When he gets going, and we might have seen the beginning of that last night, and if Manny and Youk remain white hot, watch out American League. Especially when Bartolo Colon, who is traveling with the team and using the excercise bike until his oblique muscle recedes into the background, is ready to toe the mound. And don't worry - I KNOW
we have Clay Buchholz, but I think with a veteran 5th starter ready to go, Clay would be better off in Pawtucket, honing his already impressive skills.

Tonight in Cleveland, it will be ANOTHER veteran, Timmy Wakefield and his sparkling 3.27 ERA, ready to face Paul Byrd, who has had a rough 0-2 start with a bloated ERA of 11 plus. It would be nice to get out of Ohio with a second victory, for then our team goes to New York City and the House That Ruth Built. Wednesday and Thursday games will then follow. And I would be remiss NOT to wish you a happy "Income Tax Day." It's April 15th already! I swear the days are blurring by in animated comic book fashion style. I hope you didn't wait for the last minute to file, if you have to file in the first place, that is. No refund for me, however. Oh well, you know what they say-"life, death and taxes are the only sure things in life." That's NOT the way I look at it, however. I try to help people, to at least bring a smile to someone's face each and every day. And most of the time, I do just that. And it makes me feel so good.

Please, if you have the time, click on the title of this post for the Boston Globe's full coverage of last night's game. I will just link the title with the main Sox Globe home page and you can pick and choose where you want to go from there. There is always a ton of stuff, article after article and photo montages galore. So enjoy! I thank you for stopping by yet again, GO SOX, and as always, BE WELL. FOREVER.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Long And Ugly Night, But A Win For The Red Sox

Sunday night at Fenway Park, on a nationally televised game, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox played a lackluster borefest only made better by the final outcome. The Sox prevailed by a score of 8-5. Daisuke Matsuzaka had his first off-night of the season, but he ran his record to a spotless 3-0. It was not easy. He lasted just five innings, giving up four runs on five hits and a WHOPPING six walks. He tossed a wild pitch, too. But his team was able to score runs, two bunches of them, in fact. Three men crossed the plate in the bottom of the first and four more in the bottom of the third. The victim of this onslaught was young Phil Hughes, who was only able to go two plus innings. To say it was not his night would be an utter understatement. The Red Sox record moves to seven and six and they start a two game series against the Cleveland Indians IN Cleveland. The pitching matchups look like this...

Jon Lester (1-2 4.50 ERA) vs. Jake Westbrook (1-1 2.76ERA)

Timmy Wakefield (1-0 3.27 ERA) vs. Paul Byrd (0-2 11.05 ERA)

One other note about last night. Mike Timlin was miserable again in his attempted inning of work. He did not record an out, and since his return from the finger injury, he has given up five base hits to the six batters he has faced. His ERA is a spectacularly bad 81.00. On the bright side, he can only get better. On the not so bright side, if he does not regain his form, the Red Sox will need another reliever, one who can come in and give the club an inning of relief. That's all...ONE inning. Aardsma and Lopez were effective last night, and Little Manny Delcarmen closed out the series by retiring the final two Bomber batters uneventfully.

OK, I have to mention this. You KNEW I would. Number 34, the shirt, that is, was unearthed from the cement foundation of the new Yankee Stadium, the House that Steinbrenner (and the taxpayers) built. Said to be one of the many sources of a Yankee jinx, it was left there by a construction worker said to be a Sox fan. I say GOOD FOR HIM! I also say that the only existing jinx rests in the hands of and is the fault of the New York front office, who at times just cannot do ANYTHING right. I love it! This is from the Boston Herald...

NEW YORK - "So much for the curse. The New York Yankees have ended a construction worker’s attempt to jinx their new stadium with a buried Boston Red Sox jersey.
Team officials watched Sunday as construction workers removed the jersey, with slugger David Ortiz’s name on it, from 2 feet of concrete in a service corridor of the stadium that’s under construction.
The team says a construction worker — who is a Red Sox fan — recently buried the jersey there while on the job. Two other supervisors found the tattered shirt Saturday.
The Yankees plan to donate the jersey to charity, and may pursue a lawsuit..."

Peter here, and that charity happens to be THE JIMMY FUND. Great job New York, and believe me, I do not say that often. The upcoming auction will result in helpful dollars for kids with cancer. The Jimmy Fund does great work, and unfortunately, I know firsthand. My sister passed away, a victim of leukemia. I never was lucky enough to meet her, but boy, she would have been amazing. Hi Rhonna Joy. I'm sure you WERE a joy. If only....

Thanks for stopping by on yet another Monday. It seems to me that these days are groundhog days, or as Stephen King wrote in one of his many novels, "SSDD (same sh*t, different day). But such is life. If you'd like, click on the title of this post for a full Boston Globe wrapup of last night's Sox win. And as always and forever, BE WELL.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Rainy Win For The Boston Red Sox Over The Yankees, Beckett And Paps Style

It was a two time rain delay that stopped the game in its tracks in the 8th inning. The score was 4-3 Red Sox and Alex Rodriguez was waiting for the tarp to be removed. And it was a long wait indeed, just about 2 1/2 hours. Papelbon, ready to enter the game in relief of Josh Beckett, knew the game was on the line. Beckett had pitched a super solid 6 2/3 innings, and the bullpen duo of Manny Delcarmen and Hideki Okajima had stymied the Yankees up until the heavens opened and shed its tears. Only a smattering of people remained to watch the high drama to come. 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th, a one run game, and one of the best relievers in all of baseball primed, stoked and just plain old READY. When finally the ump shouted "PLAY BALL," Papelbon delivered. He said this afterwards, from the Boston Globe...

"I said to myself, 'This is the ballgame right here,'" Papelbon said Saturday after picking up his fourth save in four tries. "Everybody, top to bottom, worked their butts off to put us in a position to win. I wasn't going to let that go to waste."

Peter here, and no, he did not waste a thing except for AROD, who whiffed on three straight wicked unhittable strikes. The 8th inning was over and the home club clung to a slim one run advantage. Manny remained white hot, hitting a solo home run in the 4th inning and a two run double in the 6th. Papi remained mired in his slump, but that will end, and it will end SOON. DO NOT BOO THE GUY! My goodness!! Youk also chipped in with two hits as his team combined for nine base hits. Ok, OK, back the the ninth. 4-3 good guys. Paps had already dispensed AROD via the K, and he proceeded with two more straight strikeouts in the ninth. It was domination of the 96-97 MPH variety, with a splitter mixed in here and there. And then there was only Robinson Cano who stood between the Red Sox and a victory. It was a long, neverending duel between pitcher and hitter, and I was standing up the entire time, pacing back and forth, silently muttering words of hope. Cano is one of the primiere second baseman in all of baseball, and he was up to the task, fouling off pitch after pitch after pitch. But in the end, after eleven excruciating offerings, Papelbon and his Boston Red Sox prevailed, winning by that score of 4-3. It was his 4th save in as many trys. He won't be available today after throwing 26 pitches, 19 of them for strikes.

Lasting impressions? Oh yes. The return to form of Josh Beckett comes first to my mind. He's still in his late spring training phase. If he had had more work and had built up his stamina, he would have easily gone eight innings. He threw only 88 pitches. But because of his injury and time off, right now he's just where we would expect him to be. Each of his starts will be better, with less hits, more innings and less runs scored. And that's a great thing. ANY win over the New York Yankees is a good one. I hung in there through the rain delay, listening to SoxTalk on the Red Sox radio network because FOX never returned to the game. And that's understandable. They had racing on the schedule for 7pm EDT, so I understand. To me, car racing is just another way to waste one of the nation's valuable but overpriced resources. Gasoline. But I veered from the subject at hand...I do that sometimes. That's just me, I guess. Bottom line...SOX WIN!!!

Please click on the title for many Boston Globe articles, not just about the final innings of the game, but much more. I hope every one of you has a great Sunday. We take on the Bombers again tonight. In fact, the WHOLE nation does...8pm EDT tonight on ESPN and ESPNHD. Take care and as always, BE WELL. You're very important to me. Yes, you! Click on the title for many great articles on the Boston Globe home page. This is a site that you should bookmark, so click away. Click away! AND GO SOX!!! Forever.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Two Hits Just Won't Do The Job For The Red Sox Against The Yankees

It was a drizzly, dank and dismal Friday night at Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, and the home team was mesmerized by an outstanding pitching performance by the New York Yankees' Chien-Ming Wang. He allowed only two base hits over nine innings-one of them was a ninth inning bunt by Coco Crisp and the other was a nearly caught home run off the hot bat of JD Drew. The New York Yankees prevailed by a score of 4-1 in what was game one of the season series between the bitter American League East rivals. Clay Buchholz also had a memorably great night, going six strong innings and allowing only one run, but he was outpitched by Wang. With the score tied at one, Mike Timlin made his first appearance of the season for Boston, and it was one he will not forget. HE STUNK. This is what he had to say after HIS season opener...

“It was terrible, absolutely terrible,” he said. “I came back, pitched terrible. It’s not how I was looking forward to opening up 2008.”

Peter here, and Mike is exactly right. Okie, Lopez and Aardsma followed Timlin to the hill, but there was no way to dent Wang's mastery. The Yankees were without their captain, Derek Jeter, and their left (?) fielder Johnny Damon, but they still managed to bludgeon ten base hits and score four runs, winning easily. The loss put the Red Sox one game under the .500 mark yet again, but the good start by Clay Buchholz brought tinges of hope to a young pitcher still in the infancy of his career. He was simply marvelous, but no match for Wang. And that's OK. The season is in its beginning stages and there is plenty of time for Boston to take command. They'll have to start hitting a little (a LOT) more consistantly for that to happen, though. Big Papi David Ortiz remains mired in a terrible slump and the only truly hot hitter is the rightfielder Drew. But things always have a way to round into shape, and I have undiminished hope that things will work out in what will prove to be a dogfight in the AL East.

I want to wish every one of you a happy and restfully fun weekend. The Sox and the Yankees play once again this Saturday afternoon on the nationally televised Fox game of the week. It will be Josh "Baseball" Beckett facing Mike Mussina. Josh is still in his spring training mode, and he'll be taking the mound for only the second time of the year. Boston usually handles the Moose offerings. Wait...I guess I could have put that a little differently, but...but......NAH! The Yankees have not been hitting up to their potential, and the same goes for Boston. So my afternoon plan is to just grab a seat and relax and "sit back and let it all be," as Bruce wrote and sang in his 1975 song JUNGLELAND.

I have to wrap up this post quickly because there is a line of strong thunderstorms approaching my town. When you see purple on the radar screen, you take cover, head for the hills and turn off your computer, not necessarily in that order. So please have a great weekend and click on the title of this post for the Boston Herald's full and intensive wrap of last night's game. And as always, BE WELL. We'll get 'em next time. Oh yes, WE WILL.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Red Sox Beat Tigers DESPITE Their Bullpen

It was a night of thrills and chills, some of them unwanted ones, Thursday at Fenway Park. The Red Sox were facing the Tigers, and Tim Wakefield was on the mound. He went 5 innings and gave up 2 runs, one earned and only three hits. His control was not there, however. He gave up 5 (ouch!) walks in those 5 innings and his pitch count was 108. That's a ton of pitches for such a short outing, but he earned the victory. The bullpen could have had a better night, though. Delcarmen followed Wakes, surrendering one run in 1 2/3 innings. Not bad, not good. Okajima was called on to finish the 7th and did it with four pitches, but he was pulled before the 8th inning started, opening up manager Terry "Tito" Francona to all kinds of second guessing if something were to happen. And, Heaven forbid, it almost did. Terry said this after the game...

"You don't want to use Okajima's bullets when we've got a big lead," said Francona, mindful of the Yankees' arrival tonight with their arsenal of lefthanded bats.

Peter here...Francona wanted to save Okie and Paps for the Yankee series, but his plan had a major flaw. That flaw's name was Julian Tavarez, who entered in the 8th frame. And he quickly almost wasted the inherited 8-3 lead. Tito was forced to use Papelbon to get the last 4 outs. He did exactly that, giving up two hits along the way. Final score? 12-6 good guys. But there are chinks in the Red Sox pitching arsenal, bullpen-wise. Until Timlin gets back, and that should be today, the 'pen has its weaknesses. Aside from Paps and Okajima, there is NO ONE out there who can command an inning or two without a mini-disaster looming. Tavarez is great one day and awful the next. Little Manny Delcarmen gives up the long ball way too often. No reliever should do that. Corey (thanks Cyn) is in limbo and about to be released after two less than stellar outings. Aardasma? We don't know enough yet. As for Javier Lopez, he's good to retire a lefty here, a lefty there, but also is prone to ineffectiveness. So that leaves Timlin, Okie and Papelbon. Three men will not take a team far, so I hope the wheels in the front office are spinning wildly, as they should be.

Mike Lowell was placed on the 15 day disabled list with a strained left thumb, but Sean Casey, who has been filling in for Lowell and playing first base while Youk has slid over to the hot corner, has been an offensive force and a defensive asset. What a great acquisition he was. Great job Theo! I shudder to think of anyone else filling the role he has so far in this young 2008 season. But just because he's in there means someone is injured, and that someone happens to be Mike Lowell. Mikey thought the injury could have been much more serious and longer lasting, so a 15 day respite from the rigors of the season doesn't sound as extreme as it could have been. In the meantime, first base and third base are in capable hands. Thank goodness for that!

The Boston Red Sox have evened their record at the .500 level with the New York Yankees coming to town. Will Hankie Steinbrenner DARE show his square cement-block face in Fenway? I would tend to doubt it, but ya never know! The pitching matchups look good for the Sox because we'll miss Pettitte's turn, who took the mound last night. Here they are...

Wang vs. Buchholz...Friday night at 7:05pm EDT (NESN, YES networks, radio and internet)
Mussina vs. Beckett...Saturday afternoon at 3:55pm EDT (national game on Fox and Fox HD, radio and internet)
Hughes vs. Matsuzaka...Sunday night at 8:05pm EDT (national game on ESPN and ESPNHD, radio and internet)

So there you have it! Round one of Yankee-Red Sox baseball begins in about thirteen hours. I hope we can take two out of three. The pitching matchups suggest that. OH, please click on the title of this post for the Boston Globe's take on last night's nailbiter that should never have been a nailbiter. Have a great weekend, too. I'll be back tomorrow morning, first thing, unless there is breaking news of some sort. As always, BE WELL. GO SOX. FOREVER.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Costly Loss For The Red Sox

Jon Lester returned to his normal self Wednesday night at Fenway Park. What do I mean by that? I'll tell you. He threw 97 pitches in only 5 1/3 innings, he gave up four earned runs and most importantly, he threw first pitch strikes to only thirteen of twenty five batters. Naturally, he walked four of them. With those kind of game stats, you have to expect that many free passes, and Detroit used them well. Jon looked like the Lester of last season, having trouble finding the strike zone and wasting far too many pitches. Boston, who was ahead 2-0 after two innings, fell to Detroit 7-2. It was truly a forgettable outing for Mr. Lester, and I know HE knows that he cannot continue to pitch this way. Was it because of Oakland's anemic offense that he looked so good in his previous start? The only way to tell will be to monitor his future starts. I hope he can attack the strike zone much more consistantly in the coming months. After all, he's our number three guy in the rotation. Bryan Corey also disappointed in the 8th inning, and his big league chances are dwindling just like sand in an hour glass, one grain at a time.

Big Papi David Ortiz continues to struggle at the plate, going 0-4 and lowering his batting average to .091. Get hot, Big Papi. Please! And to make matters worse, REALLY worse, Mike Lowell "strained" his left thumb on a first inning grounder by Pudge Rodriguez. Today, he's in a splint. He said this after the injury occurred...

"This feels like it got swollen immediately," said Lowell, who lasted one more inning before giving way to pinch hitter Sean Casey in the second. I don't know if that's good or bad," Lowell added. "I definitely would not like to go on the disabled list. Tomorrow is a day that's going to let me know a lot more. I'm hoping for the best."

Peter here, and that tomorrow is NOW today, so as soon as I hear anything, I'll let you know. In other injury news, Bartolo Colon, who slightly (if there IS such a thing) pulled an oblique muscle, felt much better yesterday and may be given clearance to restart a throwing program. Oblique muscle injuries sometimes just DO NOT go away quickly, so again, we have to wish for the best. I hope this injury bug is over, AND SOON!

For a full wrap-up of yesterday's disheartening loss to the Tiggies, just click on the title of this post. I thank you, my Constant Readers, for once again stopping by. I hope you make it a habit. And as always, BE WELL. Your comments are always welcomed and always answered. That's a promise, as the Beatles wrote and played in '63, "From Me To You."

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Daisuke Matsuzaka Completes A Magic And Classic Fenway Tuesday, An Unforgettable Day For All

After the emotional Red Sox Opening Day ceremonies, complete with a tearful but happy Billy Buckner, Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was warming up in the bullpen during the festivites and found a World Series ring in his locker, capped a magic day with yet another powerful and commanding performance. The Boston Red Sox beat the reeling Detroit Tigers by a score of 5-0. He went 6 2/3 innings, allowing no runs, four hits and four free passes. He had control of every one of his pitches, at least the pitches we've seen him throw in his year plus here in the States. Little Manny Delcarmen and Hideki Okajima combined for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief and the crowd went home happy, voices strained and faces a little tear-stained. Tears of joy are a GOOD thing. Tito Francona had this to say about his starter...

"I thought he did a good job addressing the task at hand, 'cause there was a lot of stuff going on," said Sox manager Terry Francona."

Kevin Youkilis led the twelve hit parade with three safeties. Lugo contributed two without commiting an error and Jason Varitek another two. And from start to finish, Tuesday at Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts was a very special, magical and wonderful, awe inspiring afternoon. Great job Red Sox front office for putting the whole thing together. I watched it on NESN HD and had tears in my eyes even BEFORE Billy Buck walked in from the outfield, tears in HIS eyes, also. He's made his peace with Red Sox Nation, and the feeling is mutual. He received an ovation unlike any I've heard in a long time. Just before that, when our very own Johnny Pesky hoisted the 2007 World Championship flag, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Special moments for a very special team. Their name? The Boston Red Sox. Boy, do I love 'em!

Click on the title of this post for the Boston Globe's complete wrap-up of that very special afternoon, a day I'll remember for the rest of my life. Oh, I want to thank you for stopping here yesterday. You're back! When I say that, EVERYBODY came back and the "hit count" was through the roof. I knew it would, sooner or later, but from the lean and sad times through the euphoric dream times, I'll be here. I'll never leave. At least I'll do my best. Have a wonderful hump day Wednesday as we slide towards yet another weekend, and always remember, NEVER forget, BE WELL. GO SOX. FOREVER.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

We're JUST About To Start ...

...and when I say start, we're starting the pre-game festivities. ENJOY!!!


And I'm not ashamed to admit....I have tears streaming down my face. The ceremony was great. BETTER than great! That's MY team. That's YOUR team. THAT'S OUR TEAM. What could be better????

Thanks. Your host, Peter. RED SOX FOREVER. Always and forever.

Fenway Park Opening Day 2008

FINALLY! The Boston Red Sox players had a glimpse of the newly redesigned Fenway Park on Monday and they loved it. There were actually higher ceilings in the clubhouse! And today, Tuesday, April 8th marks the first home game of the season. Here is a schedule of the events leading up to the 2:05pm EDT first pitch. The entire ring award ceremony and game will be broadcast on NESN and NESN HD beginning at 1pm EDT. This is from the Boston Globe...


"Time: The gates will open earlier than usual, 2 ½ hours before game time, at 11:35 a.m. The Red Sox will take batting practice from 11 a.m. until noon with the Tigers’ batting practice scheduled from noon until 12:45 p.m. Fans are instructed to take their seats by 1 p.m. to enjoy the ceremonies before the start of the game at 2:05 pm.

Pre-Game Ceremonies: The Red Sox have planned for some special pregame ceremonies to celebrate the 2007 world championship season. The ceremonies will commence with a parade of flags belonging to 62 nations on the warning track by the Green Monster. The nations represented by these flags either count Red Sox Nation members as its residents or have citizens who have been in touch with the Red Sox front offices via letters and emails professing their love for the Olde Towne Team. In addition to the players receiving their World Series rings, championship banners will be unfurled on the Green Monster and the 2007 World Series pennant will be hoisted by the team on the center-field flag pole. The Boston Symphony, the epitome of Boston’s musical culture, will be an integral part of the Opening Day ceremonies by performing the national anthem and by providing musical accompaniment to the entire ceremony."


Peter here, and that's just about everything you'll need to know about the Fenway festivities. The weather will be cool, so bring a jacket or a sweater. You might not need it if you're sitting in the sunlight, but bring it just in case. When the game does begin at 2:05pm EDT, the starting pitchers will be Kenny "the bully" Rogers and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Detroit is winless at 0-6 but will not be for long. The Red Sox have lost three straight and are 3-4. Another good start by Daisuke would be a much needed shot in the arm, and whenever that punk (and that's EXACTLY what he is) Rogers loses, I'm a happy guy.

Click on the title of this post for an article from the Boston Herald detailing the Tuesday afternoon Fenway fun. And as always, be safe. I hope you get to be there, or at least watch. Set your DVRs, if needed. Have fun!

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Canadian Clubbing, On The Rocks

Toronto completed its sweep of the Boston Red Sox with a 7-4 victory Sunday afternoon. At times Josh Beckett, the Sox starter, looked invincible, at other times perfectly ordinary. But he tired in the fifth, an inning that Tito Francona wanted him to finish. But he could not and left with the bases loaded. At the time, the score was 2-2. Respectful enough, right? But all it took was one pitch from the suddenly vulnerable Manny Delcarmen, a grand slam by Frank Thomas off of a Delcarmen fastball, and the game was out of reach. With the day off today, Tito gave Okie and Papelbon an inning of work each, but the damage had been done and the Red Sox were FINALLY able to head home. And good for was a grueling three country trip that started strong and ended weak. Josh Beckett had this to say after his outing, and it should make all of us feel better...

“My health was good,” the Red Sox ace said. Health-wise I’m fine, but obviously it was not the result you want,” said Beckett, who showed no ill effects of the strained back he suffered in spring training March 8 and kept him from traveling with the team to Japan. “But health-wise, I felt good."

Peter here, and Josh, those are the words we wanted to hear. This was Beckett's first start of the year, so it's understandable that he tired early. Francona wanted to limit him to 82-85 pitches and he ended up throwing 92. But all is well, it's early in the season and the Red Sox are home. Home. HOME at last! Oh, one other little thing...I said on Sunday early morning, before most of you were awake, that Kyle Snyder might be released, and lo and behold, he's gone. Many teams scouted him, so he'll end up somewhere and it will be fast! Thank you just didn't have it.

Thanks for stopping in yet again. I hope your weekend was a stellar one, and if you want to read more about yesterday's third straight Sox loss, simply click on the title of this post. I thank you for everything, and as always, be well. Forever.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

RIP Charlton Heston...1924-2008

He was Moses. He was Ben Hur. And now he's gone. Later in life he was president of the National Rifle Association, but I prefer to remember him as the consumate actor that he was. Ben Hur remains one of my all-time favorite movies. If you haven't seen it, rent the DVD, even with the widescreen panorama look that it has. The chariot race is worth the price of the rental alone. Rest in peace, my friend. You will NOT be forgotten.
Click on the title of this post for more on this unforgettable person. Thanks.

'Penless In Toronto

All of a sudden, the Boston Red Sox bullpen looks as porous as a piece of paper towel, the less expensive one-ply kind. Saturday, Toronto continued their winning ways with a convincing 10-2 victory over visiting Boston. Clay Buchholz, making his first 2008 start, gave up four runs in five innings, and then the dam let loose, deadly water engulfing everyone and everything. First Kyle Snyder, who was woeful with his control and who might be on his way to Pawtucket, and then Corey, who was even worse, and finally Tavarez, who was OK but by then the game was out of reach. The Sox were being drubbed, and except for Papelbon and Okajima, the relievers haven't done a damn thing this season. Tito Francona had this to say after his team's defeat...

"We don't point fingers at anybody," manager Terry Francona said when asked about the troubles with the bullpen. "We win as a team, we lose as a team. When we lose, we all feel like we didn't do the job. They got into our bullpen and did what good offensive clubs do."

Peter here, and these are the ugly numbers for all to see...

C. Buchholz 5.0 6 4 3 2 7 0 5.40
K. Snyder 0.1 0 2 2 2 0 0 21.60
B. Corey 0.1 4 4 4 0 0 1 11.25
J. Tavarez 2.1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0.00

It's me again. So the Red Sox, after winning three of their first four, have dropped to the mediocre .500 level. They're 3-3, but they have their ace going today. But wait! Toronto will be trotting out their own ace. His name, as you know, is Roy Halladay. Last year Boston was successful against him, but he was on the verge of appendicitis and clearly wasn't pitching anywhere near the way he can. The game starts a couple minutes after 1pm EDT, well before the basketball games (women's NCAA) begin at 7pm. The reason I mention the Women's NCAA Final Four is because one of the teams hails from Storrs, Connecticut, about 30 miles from here. They are the University of Connecticut Women Huskies, and they will play Stanford. They've made us proud all year long and are currently ranked number one in the nation, as they have been almost all year long. But at this point of the season, rankings mean absolutely NOTHING. Nada. Zilch. Zero. That game, as well as the LSU-Tennessee contest, will be televised on ESPN and ESPN HD. The winners will play Tuesday night. As everyone knows, Tennessee and UCONN have a checkered past, and their coaches, Geno Auriemma for Connecticut and the always dislikeable (hateable??) Pat Summitt definitely DO NOT LIKE EACH OTHER. But first things first-both teams need to win in order to face each other for the National Championship. And for those of you who might say "WOMEN'S BASKETBALL?", I say this. They play a pure form of the game, not a slam and dunk power show.

For a full wrap of yesterday's Boston-Toronto rout, just click on the title of this post. And have a wonderful Sunday. We might even see the sun here today before the grey clouds shroud us once again with sheets of rain. But that's spring...April showers turn into May flowers, as they say. I'm not sure of that one, though. Oh, I almost forgot. GO JOSH. GO SOX, And as always, be well.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Blue Jay Way

The Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Boston Red Sox on Friday night by a score of 6-3. JD Drew picked up where he left off before his back injury, knotting the game at three in the top of the seventh. But the bullpen couldn't hold it, with Frank Thomas' two run double off Manny Delcarmen in the bottom of the frame being the difference maker. Little Manny had this to say after his outing...

“One pitch away,” he said. “That’s baseball. It’s early.

Tim Wakefield, in his first start of 2008, was more than respectable, going six innings and allowing those first three runs. Here is the complete Red Sox pitching summary...

T. Wakefield 6.0 6 3 3 3 4 1 4.50
D. Aardsma (L, 0-1) 0.0 0 1 1 1 0 0 5.40
J. Lopez 0.0 1 1 1 0 0 0 9.00
M. Delcarmen 1.2 3 1 1 0 1 0 2.45
B. Corey 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.45

Timmy was outpitched by Toronto starter Shaun Marcum and the team from Canada emerged victorious. The Sox only collected four hits-you can't win many games that way. But it was nice to continue to see a hot and powerful JD Drew. We'll get 'em today, I hope, with Clay Buchholz making his first start of the year. Let's hope that Colon's masterful performance is not on his mind when he takes the mound shortly after 1pm est today. His future is ahead of him. He is NOT pitching for his life, just for his team. If he has to go to Pawtucket for more seasoning, so be it. Colon might be able to help us in a huge way, and the rotation will need it. I know he (Colon) has had only one outstanding outing, and that was against a Triple A club, but his velocity, his control and his location were superb. I, for one, expect great things from him. Honestly, we can't expect a non-surgery-repaired Schilling to be of any value to the club this year. Of course, we all wish him the best and hope that he shines in the second half, but the Sox have to think of a capable fifth starter NOW, before one is needed in about ten days. I have faith Bartolo is the answer. I HOPE he will be. I really do. We're do for a great surprise of some kind.

My Constant Readers, thanks for visiting yet again on this dark and rainy (that's all it ever does these days!) Saturday morning. Please click on the title of this post for the Boston Herald's full wrap-up of last night's less than stellar effort. Have a great weekend, and as always, be well. GO SOX! Forever.

Friday, April 04, 2008

MLK Jr. 40 Years Ago Today...

And I still miss him. He wanted peace. He strived for peace. And he was taken away at the age of 39. April 4th, 1968. Can it REALLY be 40 years? And then RFK, two months later. I was a kid, but I cried. I still do. And I'll never stop.

Bartolo Colon Razor Sharp

What the Boston Red Sox need more than anything is good starting pitching, and yesterday in Pawtucket, newly aquired Bartolo Colon gave the team a huge shot in the arm. With Clay Buchholz looking like he's not quite "ready for prime time," the fifth spot in the rotation is wide open. Yesterday Colon pitched five scoreless innings while facing only one batter over the minimum. He allowed a lone hit and one walk and struck out five. Of his 74 pitches, 45 were strikes. He had this to say after his stunning performance...

"I felt very good," Colon said through interpreter Cookie Rojas, Pawtucket's general sales manager. "I felt like I had control of the ball. I pitched very well today. All I know is that I'll be pitching again in five days."

Peter here, and yes you did, and yes you will, Bartolo. We are going to need you. BIGTIME. Clay's future is in front of him. The team needs a solid fifth starter to be able to compete in the American League. NOW. Let's hope Colon comes through. Who knows, after a successful 2008 season he might even learn English!

Click on the title of this post for an article from the Boston Globe that chronicles this amazing outing. And to everybody, have a great weekend, and as always, be well.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Lester Sharp As The Red Sox Blank The A's-Youkilis Sets A Major League Record...OH MERCY!

On a Wednesday afternoon in the Bay Area of California, Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester took a huge step in this, his early season development. Pitching against the Oakland A's, he went 6 2/3 innings, looking sharp all the way. One of the keys? FIRST PITCH STRIKES! He ended up throwing 94 pitches, which is a low total for 6 plus innings of Jon Lester ball. He gave up zero runs, as did the 'pen, allowing only 3 hits while walking 3 and striking out a trio. This was truly a focused effort that was SO good to see from Jon. He is such an important part of our rotation, and with Schill on an excercise bike and Josh Beckett on the east coast, the Red Sox are securely in first place with a record of 3-1. Papi supplied all the power needed with his 7th inning two run tater, but the Sox weren't finished. A bunch of singles in the next inning produced another 2 runs, and another run in the 9th made the final score 5-0. Corey and Little Manny Delcarmen did a great job out of the 'pen, combining for the final 2 2/3 scoreless innings. This is what Tito Francona and the man himself, Jon Lester, had to say after the game ended and the Sox were soon to leave for their third country in 8 days...

“He threw a two-seamer with good, late action, and you add his cutter and he’s got two different ways to go and it opens up the plate,” manager Terry Francona said. “The different action on his pitches, as long as he stays in the zone, gives him a lot of ways to attack hitters.”
“This didn’t feel like the first start,” Lester said. “This felt more comfortable than the previous time, and I feel good about taking another stride forward.”

Peter here, and Jon, you were a joy to watch. GONE were most of the wasted pitches out of the strike zone. Gone were the "way too hittable" pitches too near the heart of the strike zone. To put it simply, you were fantastic! And the game had a historic moment to boot. First baseman supreme Kevin Youkilis, our soul and guts AND the best in the game, set THE MAJOR LEAGUE RECORD for consecutive error-free games at first base. 194 straight. Wow. Way to go, Kev. The A's even went so far as to give him the first base bag, and that was a classy act. Here's what Youk had to say after the game...

"I have to thank the Oakland A's for giving me the base as a memory to keep around the house, something cool to have in the collection," Youkilis said. "It's an achievement you never set out to do, but it happens and it's great just to have."

Peter here, and I have to agree. Handling throws low, high, to the left, to the right or in the dirt multiple times every game, 194 of 'em without a miscue is quite an accomplishment. Kevin, I salute you! WE ALL DO!!

Click on the title of this post for the Boston Herald's wrap-up of this getaway game in Oakland. Getting away in first place ain't so bad, is it? So click away, and as always and forever, my Constant Readers, BE WELL. And thank you so much for your recent great comments. Keep 'em coming! I love it!! And I love our Red Sox. But you knew that, didn't you? I love you too.