Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Quicky...

I added a new widget which you'll find on the right side of the screen. Every day, it will give you a Red Sox trivia question and the ability to click on an answer. Enjoy! So far, I'm zero for one. That's it...Fenway baseball shortly after 1pm EDT today, as the Sox try to keep their winning ways intact.

And please don't forget...there is a blog that will make you laugh out loud every day. It's called DEAR CURT (on my link list, near the top). Just click on this post's title...NOW! It's Curt "you know who." Enjoy, and don't be afraid to comment. It's all the news that wouldn't fit, with a smile guaranteed, said tounge in cheekly. Hey, you know me...I wouldn't steer you wrong! Try it, you'll like it...

PEDEY, With Four Hits, Leads The Way Again...Boston 8 Chicago 2

Dustin "Pedey" Pedroia kept his power show going for the second game in a row. He was 4-4 in Boston's 8-2 rout of the White Sox, their 8th win in the last 11 games. What a great time for this world championship team to get hot, and on fire they are. With Kevin Youkilis out, apparently just feeling "under the weather," Pedey was the clean up batter, and late in the game with Big Papi on third, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen actually walked him intentionally. Now that's a compliment! Here are two more kudos...

“This guy right now is on fire,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. “No matter what you throw there, he’s going to get it.
“We did a good job,” Jason Varitek said, “led by our little man."

Right you are, Ozzie and Jason. And here's what Pedey's manager said about placing him in the cleanup spot of the order...

“I’ll never hear the end of this,” said Francona before the game about batting Pedroia fourth. “Pedroia said this was long overdue and Ortiz said he was retiring.”

Peter here, and that one made me laugh out loud. But the guy puts the bat on the ball and the ball in his glove. That says it all. Jacoby Ellsbury and newcomer Mark Kotsay also had multiple hit games as the Red Sox collected 15 hits for the second game in a row. Mark Buerhle was the victim of the offensive onslaught. With the Minnesota loss, Boston now has a 4 game (in the loss column) lead in the wild card race. The Yankees are 6 back and going nowhere fast.

Red Sox starter Michael Bowden, all of 22 years old, made his major league pitching debut, and he was good. Not great, but good. He was able to go 5 innings, throwing 89 pitches, 62 of those for strikes. He allowed 2 Chicago runs on 7 base hits while walking 1 and striking out 3. He recorded his first career win while proving that he could step up to the major league level. All the young guys are playing a huge role in this 2008 season. Here's what skipper Tito Francona had to say about HIS team...

“It’s a good day for the organization,” Francona said. “We’re playing a lot of young guys at times, and our veterans more than pull their weight and help make sure these guys are not walking on eggshells, so they can go out and compete.”

Peter here, and it's true. The young guys are mixing with the veterans and the result is a great team on the field. Maybe the best...we'll see. Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International are in a good place right now with a little more than one month to go until the regular season ends and the real excitement begins. Boston will be a part of that excitement...that much I know.

I hope your holiday weekend is going great and Labor Day will be good to you. For more on last night's win, simply click on this post's title. And don't forget--Josh Beckett will be back on Friday to reclaim his role as our ace. We need him, he needs us. What could be better? As always, BE WELL, and any and all comments will be answered post haste (whatever that means).

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pedey & Daisuke Fuel Sox Win...Boston 8 Chicago 0 ***BECKETT'S ELBOW OK***

Good news galore for Boston Red Sox fans the world over on this early Saturday morning. First up is last night's Fenway Park win, an 8-0 shellacking of the Chicago White Sox. Daisuke Matsuzka pitched his finest game of the season, going 8 innings and allowing only 2 hits while walking only 2 (that's way low for him!) and striking out 7. He was in command from first pitch to last. Mike Timlin pitched a clean and meaningless ninth. I've said many times so far this year that if Daisuke can begin a game with his control, which sometimes is so lacking, and maintain that ability to put the ball in the zone, he would have an amazing start. And that's just what he did. Great job, Daisuke.

Now on to the Red Sox offense. Dustin Pedroia continued his unbelievable 2008 season by going 4-4, Big Papi had a 3 hit game and Jason Bay had a bases-clearing double. The Sox banged out 15 hits in all, and they controlled the ebbs and flows of this one. Dustin Pedroia is getting respect from all around the league for his batting average (.328, .388 in his last 15 games) and his unmatched second base defense. Here's what White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had to say about our All Star...

"I worry more about Pedroia than I do about Big Papi right now," he said. "Right now that kid is the key to the ballclub."

Peter here, and well said, Ozzie. He IS a key, a table setter who can smash the ball all over the park and vacuum up anything hit his way in the field. We are so lucky to have him. The Sox lead the wild card chase by 3 full games (in the loss column) over Minnesota and 6 over the Yankees. They also have a better record than the first place White Sox. And that brings me to the OTHER piece of good news...

Josh Beckett's elbow is fine. Dr. Andrews examined him yesterday and after all the testing, no damage or injury was found. PHEW! He will return to the club (fingers crossed) on September 5th. Hey, that's next week! Here's what he had to say after speaking with his Doctor...

“It was a big relief,” said Beckett, who flew with assistant trainer and former Andrews associate Mike Reinold. “We’re cleared off because everybody’s scared at some point in time, whether it be me or the organization.
“It’s something I needed to do just to clear my mind and to make sure that this wasn’t anything more serious than we thought it was."

To wrap up, Daisuke was tremendous, Pedey is the "key" and Josh "Baseball" Beckett is just fine. Not a bad Friday, eh? It's night baseball at Fenway tonight, with Michael Bowden, in his first big league start, ready to face the always tough and sometimes lethal Mark Buerhle. Remember, the White Sox are in a battle with the Minnesota Twins for a playoff berth WITH the Red Sox, so every game is as big for them as it is for us. So enjoy your Saturday night baseball and day one of the holiday weekend. Be safe, be sound. You can click on this post's title for more on Josh Beckett and even more on last night's Boston win. As always, BE WELL.

Friday, August 29, 2008

An Okie Dokie Oops...Yankees 3 Red Sox 2 **BECKETT SIDELINED AGAIN. HE WILL SEE DR. ANDREWS**

Game three of the Red Sox/Yankee series was a tough one to watch, but only from the 7th inning onward. Before then, Lester was superb and kept the 2-0 Boston lead intact. Here's what manager Tito Francona thought of Lester's 6 2/3 innings, a span in which he gave up just 1 earned run and 5 base hits while walking NONE and striking out 8...

"I thought he was tremendous," Francona said. "His fastball was explosive. He threw all his pitches. He was tremendous. It's a shame the way the game ended.

Peter here, and Tito is right. Lester rebounded completely from his disastrous start against the Blue Jays, and we know we can count on him for the balance of this season and many, many more to come. But then there was Okie, who's been effective lately. But he threw a belt-high fastball, exactly the wrong pitch in exactly the wrong location, to pinch hitter Jason Giambi. Two seconds later, that ball was in the centerfield stands, flying over the 408 foot sign on the wall. 2-2. Justin Masterson and Jonathon Papelbon couldn't hold the Yankees when it came to the 9th, with Giambi lining the game winning hit off Paps. But hey...the Sox took two of three from the Yankees IN Yankee Stadium, a place where the Yankees usually rule. Tampa Bay beat Toronto yet again, so the Sox are 4 1/2 games back in the AL East. The Minnesota Twins, who are right now our only wild card concern, also lost, so Boston has a three game wild card lead on them and a six game lead over the Yankees, who will visit Fenway for the final 3 games of the season. Tonight the first place White Sox come into town, and I'll have the full pitching matchups after this breaking Sox news...
Josh Beckett has been scratched from his Friday (today) start and will see Dr. Andrews. His numbness, tingling and elbow soreness have not subsided completely, although they have lessened. But the red Sox FO, as they should, are not taking any chances. Here's what Theo Epstein had to say about it...

"Those symptoms have subsided for the most part," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said after yesterday's loss to the Yankees. "But it's still just not quite 100 percent. We don't feel comfortable pitching him unless he is 100 percent, because we have to take his long-term interests and the team's long-term interests into account first and foremost. So, again, mainly for his peace of mind as much as anything else, he's going to go see Dr. Andrews on Friday."
"We don't want to put any pitcher in a position where he has to take the mound at anything less than 100 percent," Epstein said. "So we think this is the right move. We had him penciled in. I think you could tell from our answers to you guys the last couple of days we thought this might be a possibility. It's the right thing to do."
"We're always concerned for all of our pitchers when they're less than 100 percent, but we're pretty optimistic this thing's getting better," Epstein said. "It just makes sense. Josh has a great relationship with Andrews; he's an accomplished doctor. Get another opinion here, hope he comes back and can take the ball pretty soon."
Peter here, and I completely agree with Theo. When it comes to someone's health and well being, you take NO CHANCES. Great job, Theo. And here are the pitching matchups for this weekend's Fenway series with Chicago, as promised...

Javier Vazquez (10-11, 4.37 ERA) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (15-2, 2.98) tonight
Mark Buehrle (11-10, 3.86) vs. David Pauley (0-0, 10.38) Saturday
Gavin Floyd (14-6, 3.70) vs. Tim Wakefield (8-8, 3.73) Sunday

Taking two of three again would be nice, for the Red Sox have been winning most of their recent series. Oh, one other thing...Sean Casey, who has been so great for us, is still experiencing discomfort in his neck and will undergo an MRI today. Let's hope all is well. Mike Lowell is progressing nicely, and we should see him back at third in seven days or so.

Well, that's a wrap for now...plenty of news, that's for sure! Click on the title for more on yesterday afternoon's defeat, have a great Labor Day weekend, and as always, BE WELL. I'll be back with everyday posts tomorrow morning, hopefully with better news. Your comments are always welcomed and always answered. It's great to have you here. I mean it!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Red Sox Annihilate Listless & Lethargic Yankees...Boston 11 NYY 3

The Boston Red Sox continued to play great road baseball, a source of problems earlier in the season, and pummeled the lazy, non-caring looking New York Yankees by a lopsided score of 11-3. They broke open the game and put a dagger into the heart of the Yankees' playoff hopes when they scored 7 runs in a magical 8th inning, highlighted by a grand slam by the best second baseman in the league, Dustin "Pedey" Pedroia. Newcomer Jason Bay (more about him later) had this to say about the pint-sized hitting machine...

"He's a beauty. He's kind of, I think, the Energizer Bunny for this team," Bay said. "You know, he's the one that stirs stuff up. Every team has got to have that guy."

Jason, you put it perfectly. And speaking of Bay, he has had a tremendous start with his new club. Since coming over to the Good Guys, he's batting .347 with 4 home runs and an astounding 24 RBIs. Take that, Sir Manny! He's had 6 RBIs in his first 2 games against New York. Great job, Jason. His teammate, Dustin Pedroia, also went 2-4 with 4 RBIs, including that game clinching grand slam in the all important 8th. They were the hitting stars of the game, although every Sox hitter but Alex Cora collected a base hit.

OK, the pitching. Sydney Ponson, a man I do not like, never have and never will (look at his arrest record), gasped and sputtered against a superior team and was only able to go 4 2/3 innings. He gave up 7 hits and 4 earned runs while walking 4 and striking out 3. That's a normal pitching line for a very mediocre pitcher. Sometimes, it seems like the Yankees are stocked with mediocre pitchers, especially their bullpen, which is quickly becoming the laughing stock of the American League. Needless to say, they imploded again yesterday. Ho-hum, what else is new? On the Red Sox side, Paul Byrd baffled and dazzled New York for 6 innings with an array of off speed breaking stuff, pitches that usually found the plate and had the Yankees swinging at air. Pure air. Little Manny Delcarmen and Mike Timlin finished up with 3 goose-egg innings of relief, and the Boston Red Sox were winners yet again in their next to last game ever at Yankee Stadium. Their final Bronx appearance, barring a miracle because the Yankees are out of the wild card race, will be this afternoon, a little more than 7 hours from now. And Jon Lester will face the Yankee's best...Mike Mussina, who is hittable at times for that club from Boston. So we'll see what happens. Lester is coming off a horrid start up in Toronto, and I know he wants to regain his winning form. The Yankees are susceptible to leftys who can put the ball on the inner and outer edges of the plate, something that Lester has done more than once this season when pitching against them (or anyone!).

Thanks for stopping in, have a great Friday and a tremendous holiday weekend (Labor Day already?) and get ready for 1pm EDT baseball from the House That Ruth Built, for the last time. We go for the sweep, and it'll be newcomer Mark Kotsay starting in right...I have a good feeling about this one. Lester will have fire in his heart and no mercy in his eyes. Click on the title of this post for more on last night's thumping, and as always, BE WELL.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Game #13...Boston Red Sox 7 New York Yankees 3...KOTSAY TO BOSTON (?)

Tuesday was an all-around great day for the Boston Red Sox. In their last ever series at Yankee Stadium (barring a miracle), they defeated the New York Yankees by a score of 7-3, Toronto beat up on the first place Rays and the club found out that Josh Beckett will be able to return to the rotation on Friday evening. The Sox crept to within 3 1/2 games of those Rays and have a full three game wild card lead over the Twins and a 6 game lead over the pinstripers. That's a lot of reasons to be happy, but there's one more--a big one. Boston just might be playing their best baseball of the year at the most important time of this long season. That's just terrific! And keep reading to learn about the latest possible Red Sox acquisition, ANOTHER piece of great news.

Tim Wakefield returned to the mound after an injury "time out" and was able to go five full innings, throwing 80 pitches while giving up just 3 runs on 8 hits. He walked one and struck out one and said this after his outing...

"I got a couple game balls from tonight," Wakefield said. "Lou Cucuzza, the clubhouse guy, got me some dirt from the mound. It's pretty special. Playing in this league the last 14, 15 years, and pitching here for such a long period of time, it's such a cathedral of sports. To walk the hallowed grounds that such great players before us have played their game and walked and ran and hit, it's pretty special."

It was a quality start for Wakes, and he would have gone an inning longer if last night wasn't his first start back. After Wakes, the recently effective bullpen took over and posted zeros galore. Javy Lopez, Manny Delcarmen, Justin Masterson, who made the biggest pitch of the game against AROD (he induced the chump to hit into a double play, erasing a possible rally), Hideki Okajima and Jonathon Papelbon all combined for perfection, cementing Wakefield's 8th victory. Jonathon Papelbon earned his 34th save in 38 chances. Oh, what a relief it is...and I ain't talking about Rolaids.

Boston managed just 7 hits, but it was their speed and aggressiveness on the basepaths that left the Yankees eating their dust. New York looked like they were just "going through the motions", lethargic and seemingly out of it. And if they keep playing in such a manner, they WILL be out out of everything. Hear that, Hankie?? And that's just fine with me. New York MUST win these next two games with their east coast rivals just to be able to say they are in it. And they won't. Today at 7:05pm EDT, it'll be Paul Byrd versus that punk (he is!) Sydney Ponson. We usually hit the sh*t out of him and I hope it continues. Nothing would please me more than winning the first two games of this series. The Sox have found road success this past month, and if that continues, the playoffs are a sure bet. Add to that concoction a liberal Friday dose of Josh Beckett, sprinkled slowly over 7 innings, and you have the recipe for success, success the Boston way, my favorite kind.

One more bit of great Sox news. They possibly acquired the services of outfielder Mark Kotsay, who will be with the club in time for tonight's game. He was batting a healthy .289 with 37 RBIs and 6 home runs and will fill the emptiness that is JD Drew, who was put on the DL with his possible herniated disc. JD saw a spine specialist in New York on Tuesday, and we hope surgery will not be needed. So the outfield is restocked, Boston is playing great, and right now, all is good!

Please click on the title of this post for more on last night's monumental merriment, have a great Hump Day Wednesday, and as always, BE WELL. I'll answer all of your comments.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Boston Red Sox At New York Yankees...Games 13, 14 & 15

It's time for the Boston Red Sox to make their last ever visit to the House That Ruth Built, Yankee Stadium. They have an upcoming three game set with the pinstripers in the Bronx, and that's it! The final three games of the season series will be at Fenway Park. That trio of games will be the final ones of the regular season. New York has to sweep the Sox to get back in the wild card hunt. They are currently five games behind Boston with a little more than thirty to play. Here are the all important pitching matchups...
Today: Tim Wakefield (7-8, 3.67 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte (13-9, 4.17), 7:05 p.m. Advantage--Yankees

Wednesday: Paul Byrd (8-11, 4.61) vs. Sidney Ponson (7-4, 4.67), 7:05 p.m. Advantage--Red Sox

Thursday: Jon Lester (12-5, 3.49) vs. Mike Mussina (16-7, 3.45), 1:05 p.m.Advantage--Even
We face their two best pitchers (Moose and Pettitte) while our best hurler is sidelined with an elbow ailment of some kind or other which is causing Josh Beckett to experience numbness and tingling in his money arm. So Boston is severely handicapped when it comes to starting pitching. Who knows what kind of September Beckett will have, if he has one in the first place? Another question mark is tonight's Sox starter, Timmy Wakefield. He was shut down for ten days with shoulder stiffness earlier this month and tonight marks his first start back. A win in game #1 would be HUUUGE!

Click on the title of this post for more on this importantly vital series between the two sworn enemies, and thanks for popping in once again. I'll be right here at Peter's Red Sox Forever until a 2008 World Series champion is crowned, every early morning, if not more. After that, I have some decisions to make. Readership, in a word, sucks, and that makes me appreciate you, my everyday Constant Readers, even more. And so I thank you once again, and as always, BE WELL.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Home Runs Power Red Sox Victory...Boston Red Sox 6 Toronto Blue Jays 5

This was an exciting game! Sunday afternoon in Toronto, the Red Sox and the Blue Jays played the final game of their three game set, and Boston emerged victorious by a score of 6-5. Five of their runs came from the long ball, with Pedy Pedroia hitting a crucial three run bomb to left in the third inning off a neck high pitch from starter AJ Burnett. They scored four runs that inning, but the Blue Jays went ahead 5-4 after six. It was time for some heroics, as this game was viewed as a big one by every Sox player. And Coco Crisp delivered in the seventh with a solo home run to tie that all important score. It stayed tied as the beleagered Boston bullpen came through with five scoreless innings. Now that's priceless! And then came the eleventh, and Jed Lowrie promptly hit the game winning home run to right center. Little Manny Delcarmen relieved Jonathon Papelbon, who had breezed through the ninth and tenth innings, needing only 16 pitches. And Manny came through and the Red Sox, battered, bruised and bloody (Jacoby Ellsbury), won another road series, something which simply did not happen earlier in the season. They are 4-0-1 in their last five series away from Fenway. How big was this game? Here's what manager Terry Francona and leftfielder Jason Bay, who made a tremendous catch in left that, along with Jacoby Ellsbury's wall-banging bloodying catch in right center, were the defensive highlights of the game, had to say after the game...

"It seemed important," manager Terry Francona said. "I'm not downplaying the importance of it. Any time you have a day off, you're going to handle your pitching a little bit different anyway, but we've gotten to a point in the season where every game is important. We've come out of this place with some tough losses. I don't think we would have quit or hung our heads, that doesn't worry me. But it was a great win."

"I think it's huge," Bay said. "A few of us were talking, it's probably a lot bigger than just a regular-season win. Given the way these guys are playing, they're trying to catch up to us, and they've got the pitching to do it. Those guys right now, they're hitting. To get down early the way AJ Burnett's been pitching, it could have been a long day. But Pedey comes out, boom."

Peter here, and yes, Pedey got around on a high pitch and forced it into the stands. Coupled with a Tampa Bay loss, the Sox are now only 4 1/2 games behind the frontrunners and they have a one game Wild Card lead over the Minnesota Twins, who have lost two straight. It was a great Sunday all around, and I'm so glad I was able to watch the entire game. I had to juggle my schedule a little bit, but I knew that something special was brewing. Boy, was I right! Brew it did!!

Today is an off day for the club, a day to rest the pitching arms and heal all the bruises. And then it's on to Yankee Stadium for the last time. I'll have the full pitching matchups and anything else of interest in my next post, which will be up tomorrow early morning at the latest. Until then, I'd love to read your comments. I appreciate every one of you stopping in, as my readership is down bigtime. But I do this because I enjoy it. Pure and simple. Click on this post's title for more on yesterday's thrills and chills, and as always, BE WELL. Forever.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"Dear Curt"...Read This Blog, It's An Everyday Must!

Yes, the name of the blog is DEAR CURT (dearcurt dot com), and it's on my link list or you can get there simply by clicking on this post's title. I've found it to be an endless source of delight, everyday in every way. It's a question and answer format blog, with fans from all over the world asking questions of the scribe. Try it once, you'll be back every day. So bookmark it. Click on the title or look for it on my link list, near the top. Thanks!


A First Class Stinkaroo...BECKETT OUT, For Now...Toronto 11 Boston 0

Saturday afternoon in Toronto, Canada started out on a hopeful note but quickly descended into the depths of baseball despair. Jon Lester was downright awful...he allowed 7 runs in only 2 1/3 innings while walking 2 and striking out two. It was the shortest start of his young career. He just didn't have it. I hope he was able to "turn the page" and start getting ready for his next start. It's best if he can forget all about this weekend debacle. I'll sure try. Daisuke Matsuzaka will try to right the ship this afternoon when he faces the tough AJ Burnett in the rubber match of the series. These games are vitally important, but the Sox were never in it yesterday. Here's what Jon and his manager had to say after the whitewashing...

“Nothing was really working,” Lester said. “I was rushing through my delivery, not a good tempo. When I did get the groundballs that I needed, they weren’t at people. It just wasn’t my day. Basically, everything you don’t want to do, I did today.”

“Today he just seemed a little flat, up in the zone,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He made some mistakes and, on top of that, it seemed like every ball found a hole.”

Peter here with MORE bad news. Josh Beckett, who was scheduled to make his next start against the Yankees on Tuesday, cut short his bullpen session and will not make that start. Right elbow inflammation is said to be the cause of the numbness in his ring and pinky fingers of his money hand coupled with an uncomfortable feeling in that arm. Taking his place that day will be Tim Wakefield. It will be good to have him back and I sincerely hope he can resume pitching the exact same way he left off because he had strung together so many quality starts in a row. Wednesday's starter will be Paul Byrd, followed by Daisuke Matsuzaka on Thursday. So the stage is set, but there's still a game to win today north of the border. For all the latest news about the Toronto game and, more importantly, our ace pitcher, simply click on the title of this post. I hope your weekend has been a great one. As always, BE WELL.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jason Varitek Heating Up At The Plate...Boston 8 Toronto 4

Could it be? Is Jason Varitek FINALLY getting hot at the plate? His teammates say he has been hitting the ball hard and on the nose for more than a week, and last night's home run was his third in as many games. Boston defeated the Blue Jays by a score of 8-4. Paul Byrd was the starting Red Sox pitcher and clearly did not have his best stuff, but he battled through six innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits while walking two and striking out four. If that's Paul Byrd when he's pitching so-so, we'll take it. Masterson, the resurgent Hideki Okajima and Jonathon Papelbon, in a non-save situation, provided three innings of scoreless relief as the Red Sox won round one of this three game set. Paul Byrd had a few words to say about his new catcher and Jason Varitek reciprocated in assessing the new Sox guy in the rotation...

"I knew he was a good catcher, but he's a great receiver," Byrd said. "He's really good. He blocks the ball better than I thought he did. What he brings behind the plate, a wealth of knowledge against the hitters is great. I've enjoyed throwing to him. I think we've gelled pretty quickly."

"I'm still learning him, to be honest," Varitek said. "The first day there was a little bit of uncertainty early because I wasn't sure how hitters react to him. You use those first three of four innings to get a bit of a read. Today, there was much more rhythm."

Byrd has faced the Jays in his last three starts, two while with Boston and the first with Cleveland, so he's anxious to pitch against someone else. And he'll get his wish in five more days. And Colon will be back after two more rehab starts and Josh Beckett SHOULD be pitching against the Yankees on Tuesday. Wakes will be back after Beckett and before Colon.

OK, how about the offense? Boston broke open a 2-1 game (Toronto was ahead) in the fourth inning with four big ones. The Jays scored two in the bottom of that fourth, but that was it for them. After scoring two more in the eighth, the Sox had their 74th win of the year. They have 54 lossses, which is the EXACT SAME record as the Twinkies. The White Sox are a half game behind the Red Sox in the Wild Card race because Minnesota, home of my girlfriend Nadia, took over first place in the AL Central. Every win, every game is vital from now until the start of October for Boston. Pedey Pedroia and Jason Varitek were the batting stars as the Red Sox, without the starting left side of their infield and the right side of their outfield, looked like a playoff club.

The news about JD Drew is not nearly as rosy as last night's outcome. I read that there is a chance his back problem might be caused by a herniated disc, and that's something that doesn't go away without medical intervention. I wish him well, but I do not expect to see him anytime soon. I hope I'm wrong--the results of his recent MRI have not been made public. I had a misplaced disc a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. It was no fun.

Thanks for stopping in once again. I really appreciate it. I hope your Saturday will be a great one, and it'll be Red Sox baseball time at 1:05pm EDT. Jon Lester will go against Jesse Litsch. GO SOX! Just click on this post's title for more on last night's Canadian win, and as always, BE WELL.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Today, Friday August 22, is Carl Yastrzemski's 69th birthday. I came across an article in the Hartford Courant written by Jeff Goldberg, and I want you all to read it. So with Jeff's permission, I'm running his tribute in full. It appeared in this morning's Courant, and I know you'll enjoy it. Thanks...
By JEFF GOLDBERG | The Hartford Courant

Carl Yastrzemski celebrates his 69th birthday Friday, and while the setting for such an occasion -- a recovery room at Massachusetts General Hospital -- seems hardly appropriate for a party, the cause for celebration could not be more profound.
Yastrzemski underwent successful triple bypass surgery Tuesday after complaining of chest pain Monday. The news of his hospitalization stirred memories throughout New England, recalling a Titanic figure in Boston sports, although one who fled the spotlight once his 23-year, Hall of Fame career ended 25 years ago this October.
"Think what he accomplished," said Jerry Remy, Yastrzemski's teammate from 1978-83. "He wasn't a big guy, compared to today's standard of players. Even in his time, he wasn't a real big guy, but he could sure generate a lot of power."
Yaz was listed at 5 feet 11, 182 pounds, but his height was closer to 5-10. And few players had wider, more powerful forearms. Despite being a constant smoker during his playing days -- often sneaking a butt between innings -- he had remarkable stamina.
"One thing, until the day he retired, he refused to miss a fastball," Remy said. "He would not miss a fastball. Even at the end, he'd tinker with that stance and do everything possible, because he didn't want to be embarrassed by a fastball." It was 25 years ago today, in fact, that Yastrzemski left one of his final hitting highlights. For Joe Castiglione, who was a rookie Red Sox radio broadcaster in 1983, the memory of the game on Yaz's 44th birthday remains vivid.
"He lined a double into the right field corner to beat Toronto, Aug. 22, 1983, around Pesky's Pole," Castiglione said. "Even at 44, he could turn on anybody's heater."
Yastrzemski played in 3,309 games, hit 452 homers and amassed 3,149 hits, earning first-ballot entry into the Hall of Fame and his No. 8 retired at Fenway Park in 1989. He hit his final home run Sept. 10, 1983 off Rick Sutcliffe at Cleveland's Municipal Stadium, although technically, the last one came off Baltimore's Jim Palmer two days later, in the first inning at Fenway. The game was rained out in the third inning, denying Yaz No. 453.
"I don't see him that often, but he reminds me of that," said Palmer, now an Orioles broadcaster. "That's what I call good timing." But like every member of the Red Sox between 1919 and 2003, Yastrzemski's career was backlit by the inability to bring the Red Sox a World Series title, despite reaching Game 7 in 1967 -- his Triple Crown season -- and again in 1975.
"The thing I'll remember most about Yaz is that in the '78 playoff game, when we lost," Remy said. "My locker was next to his and he was crying like a little baby after that game, because he had never won a championship and we got beat 5-4 and all of a sudden it hits you, we're going home again.
"He knew he was getting close to the end of his career." Yaz had two hits in that game, including a homer off Ron Guidry, but he also made the last out.
His failed quest for a championship played on the emotions of all who witnessed his retirement weekend at Fenway, Oct. 1-2, 1983, striking a melancholy chord at the proceedings for one of the last players of the modern era to spend his entire career with one team.
"In those days it was Ted Williams, Yastrzemski, and then Jim Rice came along," Remy said. "You felt like it was part of Red Sox tradition that was gone forever. It really was a weird feeling. I remember talking to him, and he was like, 'This is it,' but you never believed him, because he would always come back the next year. But that was it, and it was emotional. You almost felt like a part of your childhood was gone." There was no Williams-esque homer in Yaz's final at-bat that late Sunday afternoon, just a popup to second base on an eye-high, 3-and-0 fastball by jittery Indians reliever Dan Spillner.
But after Yaz came out of the game for the final time in the eighth inning -- handing his cap to a young boy in the seats near the Red Sox dugout -- he created an iconic sports image, circling the perimeter of the field, waving and shaking hands with the Fenway faithful as he ran past in an almost unprecedented display of emotion.
"I think the run around the field was spontaneous," Castiglione said. "He did it two days in a row. It was something he had to really dig deep for, because it wasn't in character. He was a shy guy, a very quiet guy. To do that, he really did feel the emotion. That was probably the greatest sendoff for an athlete I've ever seen."
Peter here, and well said, Jeff. I know it was a tremendous sendoff because I was there. It was a day I'll never forget, although I was not one of the lucky ones who were able to shake hands with the sports legend. Godspeed, Yaz. May you heal and have a long life. You brought joy to so many of us, and you made Red Sox Nation into what it is today. Many thanks.

The Red Sox play the Blue Jays today with revenge on their minds. One good thing is that Roy Halladay pitched Thursday night, so we won't be seeing him up in Canada. Before I go, here are the pitching matchups for that three game set...

Paul Byrd (7-11, 4.55 ERA) vs. Shaun Marcum (8-5, 3.36) today
Jon Lester (12-4, 3.17) vs. Jesse Litsch (8-7, 4.20) Saturday
Daisuke Matsuzaka (15-2, 2.77) vs. A.J. Burnett (16-9, 4.51) Sunday

Well, that's a wrap for today. I hope you enjoyed the Yaz article as much as I did. Enjoy your Friday, and may the Red Sox extract their revenge from those pesky Blue Jays, who are nipping at the heels of the Yankees in the AL East. As always, BE WELL.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Buchholz Demoted To Double A Portland...Orioles 11 Red Sox 6

The Boston Red Sox, who were defeated by the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday night by a score of 11-6, have demoted pitcher Clay Buchholz to their Double A Portland club. It's clear to all of us that he is just not ready to perform at the major league level. Here's what he said after learning his well-deserved fate...

"...but the last couple starts, it's hard to think they can give me any more opportunities than they have in this stretch, especially with only a month and a half left in the season and the pennant race as close as it is now. You've got to send guys out there that you believe are going to go out there and give you a win or give you six, seven innings, and I haven't been doing that. So I hate to say it was the right decision, but I believe it was."

Peter here, and it was. Clay will work with a familiar face, at least to him...Portland pitching coach Mike Cather, who has worked with him in the past. With 35 games left to go in the regular season, an automatic loss every fifth game is no way to make it to the promised land called the postseason. With upcoming days off, a fifth starter will not be needed until August 30th, and by then, Wakes should be back or close to being back followed by Bartolo Colon. By my count, that would make six viable starters, and when Josh pitches against the Yankees next week, Boston will have a four man rotation. That's OK. They have off days today (the bullpen guys are thanking the schedule makers) and Monday. Perfect timing. That's four men into five men into six men, and they'll all be needed for the September push towards a World Series repeat. Easier said than done, though. Beware...

I won't go into the details of last night's loss, except that Buchholz was handed a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second. From there, it was all downhill. Fast. Bobsled slickly fast. We'll see you next year, Clay. Bon chance!

The day off today will give the 'pen a much needed one day rest before a three game set with the always tough, at least against us, Toronto Blue Jays. Boston right now is tied with Minnesota. Both clubs have 54 losses. So it's all hands on deck time because one of those two baseball teams will be sitting in their living rooms or playing golf in that magic baseball month of October. I hope it's not us. Priority number one is to get Josh Beckett back. It turns out that his tingling arm numbness was caused by a wrong sleeping position. We hope that's all it was, and we all yearn to see his familiar face on the mound either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday against the pinstripers, who will be desperate to sweep us in their September push for a playoff berth. They're only four games behind us for the Wild Card slot.

Thanks for stopping in once again. What do you think of Clay's demotion? You already know what I think. And you can click on this post's title for all the news that fits, including the latest on Yaz, Bartolo, Wakes and Josh. KEEP THE FAITH...we need every bit of it. And as always, BE WELL.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Matsuzaka Wins His 15th Game...Boston 7 Baltimore 2...Yaz And Beckett Updates

Daisuke Matsuzaka had another pitchfilled great start Tuesday evening at Fenway Park South in Baltimore, more commonly known as Camden Yards. He threw 105 pitches while going just 5 innings, but he only surrendered Batimore's sole 2 runs. It was 5 walks and deep pitch counts that limited him to only 5 innings of work, but his 15th win was secured, and that's with only 2 losses. His ERA stands at 2.77. Here's what he and teammate Pedey Pedroia had to say after the game...

"Whether I allow hits or I allow walks, I always think that the important thing is not to allow the runners to score," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. "That's the way I thought last year and it's still the same this year. I think I'd like to reach 15 wins every year, if possible," Matsuzaka said. "It's not that easy to get those wins."

"He finds a way to win. That's all you can ask from a starting pitcher," teammate Dustin Pedroia said. "He's not giving in and we know that. Sometimes it's frustrating, but it keeps you on your toes."

Pedey is exactly right. Daisuke might be the best pitcher in all of baseball when it comes to getting himself INTO a jam and then somehow get out of it with minimal damage. I'd love to see him pitch a game when his pinpoint control that is so often missing is in full force. He'd go 9 innings and give up a run or two, saving his bullpen in the process. But, as they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Matsuzaka has been getting enough offensive support most of the time, and that's why he's won 15 of his 17 decisions. No complaints from me, that's for sure. Javy Lopez, Justin Masterson and Little Manny Delcarmen provided 4 innings of scoreless relief, allowing a TOTAL of only 3 additional hits. Great job from the 'pen, no doubt about it!

In other Red Sox news, Yaz had triple bypass surgery Tuesday afternoon. The most up-to-date details (as of 6am EDT Wed.) are in the post directly below this one. And Josh Beckett's next start was moved back to this coming Tuesday. He has been experiencing numbness in his right pinky and ring fingers. We all hope it's nothing serious because we sure need him to mount any kind of 2008 stretch run. ANY KIND. Good luck, Josh.

To everyone, have a great Hump Day Wednesday as we move to the final 11 days of August. My goodness, where did summer go? Oh, the Yankees moved back to 12 games behind the first place Rays and six behind our Sox in the Wild Card quest with a 2-1 loss against those pitching tough Toronto Blue Jays. Johnny Damon had two fly balls tick off his glove in centerfield and fall for hits, something you won't see Coco or Jacoby do. The pinstriped ones are slowly but quickly running out of time. Please don't forget to click on this post's title for more details about last night's win, Yaz and Josh. Much to worry about, but SO many reasons to be happy...that's the way we like it, I think. As always, BE WELL.

YAZ Has Triple Bypass Surgery, And All Of Red Sox Nation Prays For Him

This is from the Wednesday morning Boston Globe. It seems that Carl Yastrzemski is doing well. Here are more details...
BOSTON—Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, the last player to hit for the Triple Crown, was resting comfortably Tuesday night after having triple bypass heart surgery.
Yastrzemski, who turns 69 on Friday, had the operation at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he underwent tests after experiencing chest pains in the morning, said his spokesman, Dick Gordon.
"He just got out of surgery, had his triple bypass and is resting comfortably," Gordon said at about 8:30 p.m. "The operation was a success."
Yastrzemski's family said the triple bypass was "a complete success" in a statement released Tuesday night by the Red Sox.
"We are most grateful for all of the prayers and support we have received," the family said.
What a relief. I'm so glad he had the warning signs instead of a full blown heart attack. Get well soon, Yaz. It'll always be "number 8 at the plate" for me...forever.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Carl Yastrzemski Has Chest Pains..Hospitalized...Heart Bypass Surgery Needed...

Yaz, # 8 at the plate and always in our hearts, experienced chest pains today, Tuesday August 19th. He is undergoing hospital tests and is being evaluated right now. Heart bypass surgery is likely soon. We wish him the best. Nobody did it better...nobody ever will. He played Fenway's leftfield with a cannon for an arm and a recklessness when meeting the wall and catching the ball. His 1967 season will NEVER be matched. He is in our hearts forever. Here is the full story from the Boston Globe...
BALTIMORE - Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski will have to undergo heart bypass surgery because of a blockage in one of his main arteries, a source with knowledge of the situation indicated. Yaz is at Massachusetts General Hospital, but there was no further word on the number of blockages the 1967 Triple Crown winner is dealing with. NESN broadcaster Jerry Remy was reminscing about Yaz in the Sox clubhouse this afternoon.

"I remember him sitting in the clubhouse next to my locker after the 1978 playoff game (vs. the Yankees) crying like a baby," Remy recalled. He added, "He was a fierce competitor. He wasn't the most talented Hall-of-Famer but nobody outworked him." Until the day he retired he wanted to be the best. He spent hours and hours and hours working on things. He was tireless," Remy recalled.

Remy said he hasn't seen too much of Yaz over the years except "'maybe twice a year" when he shows up for Red Sox events and during spring training when he comes to work with some of the minor league hitters. Remy said he always respected Yaz and got along well with him.

The popular Yaz was an 18-time All-Star and spent his entire career in Boston, taking over left field for Ted Williams in 1961 and playing through 1983.
In 1967, Yastrzemski helped revitalize the flagging franchise during the "Impossible Dream" season. And all over New England that summer, kids tried to imitate his unique lefty batting stance, with the bat held high over his head.
With calls of "Yaz" echoing around Fenway Park, he won the Triple Crown that year, hitting .326 with 44 home runs and 121 RBIs. Behind the AL MVP, the Red Sox won their first pennant since 1946, but lost the World Series in Game 7 to St. Louis.
Yastrzemski was elected to the Hall on the first ballot in 1989. He has often shied away from celebrity and rarely made public appearances, but drew a big ovation when he threw out the first ball before Game 1 of last year's World Series.
Yaz finished with 452 career home runs and 1,844 RBIs. He had 3,419 lifetime hits and batted .285. He also won seven Gold Gloves, expertly playing the caroms off the Green Monster.
Yastrzemski is one of five former Red Sox players to have his number retired by the team. His No. 8 is painted at Fenway, along with those of Williams, Carlton Fisk, Bobby Doerr and Joe Cronin.

Boston Holds Baltimore At Bay...Red Sox 6 Orioles 3...**SCHILLING NEWS**

Jon Lester improved his record to 9-1 since June 5th and led the Boston Red Sox to a much needed 6-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore. And Jason Bay provided the power, smashing two home runs and driving in 4 runs. The game was close when Baltimore scored a pair of runs in the 8th inning, but the Sox erased all doubt with 2 runs of their own in the top of the 9th. Lester pitched into the 8th inning and allowed a lone earned run on 4 hits. He struck out 5 and walked only 1. In three words, he was outstanding. Here's what Lester and teammate and batting hero Jason Bay said after the victory...

"I don't think my mind-set has changed any since April," Lester said. "More consistent, pound the zone. If you can show guys you're ahead in the zone, they're going to swing at pitches early in the count that aren't necessarily good pitches to hit. I was able to do that tonight."

"I'll be honest, I didn't know a lot about him before I got here," Bay said of Lester. "But it's pretty obvious to me after being here that he's one of the better pitchers in this league."

Jon got it exactly right--his control was spot on and he "pounded" the zone with almost every pitch. That's when he's at his best...throw that first strike and set the tone for the rest of the at bat. Great job, Mr. Lester! The Sox collected 9 hits, the biggest two, of course, belonged to Jason Bay. He had three safeties in total. Others to get a hit were Pedy, 'Tek, Big Papi and Sean Casey, who manned first base last night. Tonight, it's up to Daisuke Matsuzaka to wiggle himself into and out of trouble, and he'll be opposed by Daniel Cabrera. May the force be with the Good Guys.

In another bit of Red Sox news, Curt Schilling said that he is leaning heavily towards retirement. Here's a quote from his blog, a recent one at that...

"As for me, well, my shoulder is getting better fast. Range of motion is improving greatly and pain is becoming less and less an issue. I’ve still got a rather lengthy amount of time before I decide anything.
As I stated yesterday the pendulum is swinging very heavily in the direction of it just being over. I’ve never sat around and not gotten ready to head to Florida, well not in 23 or so years anyway, so to me that will likely be the last real test for me and whether or not I want to put the time and effort into getting after it one more time."

Peter here, and good luck to you, Curt. You were a warrior who led us to 2 world championships. You will be missed. My Constant Readers, thank you once again for stopping in to my little corner of Red Soxness. You can click on the title of this post for more on last night's game and for the latest injury reports. If you have the time, I'd love to read and respond to your comments. As always, BE WELL.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Beckett Blasted Bigtime...Toronto 15 Boston 4

Ok, OK, let me get this over with--TURN THE PAGE, NOW! There, I feel a little better. I think. No, in fact, I don't. Josh Beckett started for the Boston Red Sox on a seemingly beautiful Sunday afternoon, and things turned ugly too quickly. He plain old didn't have it. He was only able to go 2 1/3 innings, giving up 8 runs on 8 hits. He walked 1 and struck out 3 and turned the game over to the porous bullpen, who had yet another implosion. Aardsma, Timlin, Buchholz, Masterson, Okijima and Jonathon Papelbon were no match for the on fire Blue Jay offense. And this one was over early, with Toronto holding a 6-0 lead after one inning. What happened to Josh Beckett? Here are some thoughts from his catcher and team captain Jason Varitek...

"Especially after his last outing, very surprising," Varitek said. "He was really good his last outing. Just one of those days. Those guys sometimes looked in the right spot, sometimes looked at the right pitch, and got just the good enough one to hit at the right times. It was one of those days. Josh hasn't had one of those days. Is this going to ruin Josh for the year? No."

It better not, Jason, for if the Red Sox want to make a serious run for a playoff spot, be it a first place AL East finish or winning the Wild Card race, Boston will need Beckett in a HUGE way. There's no other way to look at it and we all hope he returns to his normal self before all is lost. The velocity was there but his fastball lacked its normal movement through the zone. The Jays took advantage of that fact by battering and bashing the ball to every corner of cozy Fenway. It was an ugly sight to see, a lost cause before the home team's first at bat. As I said in my opening, TURN THE PAGE...ERASE THE MEMORY BANKS. Spock, code red. A mind meld is needed to eradicate anything having to do with an innocent Sunday afternoon at friendly Fenway. Proceed.

Baltimore invades Boston for three games starting tonight at 7:05pm EDT. Here are the all important pitching matchups...

Jon Lester (11-4, 3.25 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (10-8, 3.18) tonight
Daisuke Matsuzaka (14-2, 2.74) vs. Daniel Cabrera (8-7, 4.78) Tuesday
Buchholz (2-8, 6.35) vs. Chris Waters (1-0, 4.32) Wednesday

Taking two of three from the Birdies is a must. In fact, the Red Sox from now to the end of the regular season must try to take EVERY series they play. They're 4 1/2 games behind the consistant Rays and are tied with Chicago and Minnesota with 53 losses in the Wild Card race. Not good, not good. By the way, the Yankees are still only five games in back of the Sox in the loss column. With 38 games left to go, the playoff picture is in no way complete. Such is baseball, that game we love (or try to). For more on yesterday's action (inaction might be a better word), simply click on this post's title. Have a great Monday as Boston tries to regroup and recover. 8 innings from Jon Lester would help a lot! As always, BE WELL.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

OUCH!! 8-0 Blue Jays...

All the runs (so far) were off Josh Beckett. It ain't over, goodness!

Doc Duels, And Wins...Toronto 4 Boston 0

The Boston Red Sox offensive show, clearly on display in three games with the pitching poor Texas Rangers, came to an abrupt halt courtesy of Toronto's Roy "Doc" Halladay, who pitched yet another complete game while shutting out Boston by a score of 4-0. It was no contest, although Paul Byrd showed us all that his acquisition was a great accomplishment by the Red Sox front office. He pitched into the 8th inning but was hurt by two Jays' home runs. Byrd will work out just fine for the balance of the season, and maybe more (?). Here's what Tito Francona and Dustin Pedroia had to say about one of the best pitchers in all of baseball...

"I wish we were on the other end of this, but the pitchers got it, they threw it, they threw it over the plate," Sox manager Terry Francona said. "It's a fun game to play defense in. I guarantee if you ask our guys, they'll say that, and I know their guys feel that way. They love playing behind Halladay; there's a reason."

"Man, he should make a pitching video," Pedroia said about Halladay. "He's pretty tough. He throws strikes, he's got great stuff. It's tough to get in a rhythm on him because he's creating his own rhythm for himself. We didn't get anything going. We hit some balls good, but not enough to get anything started. He pretty much controlled us the whole night. That's why he's one of the best in the league."

Pedey had it EXACTLY right...the man is amazing. And yes, we will all enjoy Paul Byrd and his no-nonsense ability to get the ball back from his catcher and put it back in the strike zone, seemingly daring the hitters to swing. Yes, he did give up 10 hits, but against almost any other pitcher, the Sox offense would have scored some runs. It comes down to this...Doc Halladay is Doc Halladay. No ifs, ands or buts, and he won't be messed with.

Today at 1:05pm EDT, Fenway Park will be filled with happy fans ready to enjoy a beautiful summer day and a Red Sox win (I hope). Josh Beckett, our ace, will face Shaun Marcum. Enjoy your Sunday, a great weather day here in the Northeast, with ZERO chances of showers and a 97% chance of a Boston Red Sox victory. If you have the time, just click on the title of this post for more Soxiness. As always, BE WELL. Forever.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I do not know why. That's all from here now...GO on this post's title for more. WOW.


Yes, Waterworld...that's what Fenway Park became Friday evening as a line of non-violent thunderstorms accompanied by heavy rain took its time to go through the greater Boston region. The storms were not dangerous for the players or the fans, but the field was soaked and the game was correctly postponed by the umpiring crew. It is rescheduled as part of a day/night doubleheader on September 13. Clay Buchholz will next see action on Wednesday, allowing Byrd, Beckett, Lester and Daisuke to handle the pitching chores for the next four games. So it's Byrd versus the always tough Roy Halladay at the Fens tonight at 7:05pm EDT. If you're going, do not worry about the weather, worry about Doc Halladay! It will be cooler and way less humid today, and by game's end, the temperatures will hover around 60 degrees. Nice!

Have a great Saturday and a wonderful weekend. You can click on the title of this post for updates on Timmy Wakefield, Mike Lowell and all the Sox successful draft pick signings. And as always, BE WELL.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Great Tee Shirt! From Uppityshirts Dot Com

All you have to do is click on the title of this post to see the tee shirt I was kindly sent from uppityshirts dot com. It's a "Backwards K", and we all know that is the symbol for a called third strike in baseball. It's Red Sox Red, so I hope you can check out their web site. When you click on this post's title, it will take you directly to the "Backwards K" tee shirt page, but from there, simply click on the Uppity logo at the top left and browse! My tee shirt came in great wrapping, with an Uppity logo and and a white tie string. Yours will too! Do me a favor and check 'em out. I couldn't be happier. When I went to the donut shop for a decaf, SO many people asked me about the shirt. And not many knew what it meant!! ENJOY! I like a little mystery...

Red Sox Totally Demolish And Dismantle Rangers Again...Boston 10 Texas 0

I'm sorry to see the Rangers and their pitching staff leave Boston after the Red Sox completely demolished Texas, winning by a score of 10-0. The Sox scored nine runs in the second inning to put the game away. Daisuke Matsuzaka was the beneficiary of all those Sox runs. He got out of early inning troubles left and right, but he's good at that. Read what teammate Coco Crisp had to say about him after the game...

"He's the best in the game at getting into trouble and getting out of it," Coco Crisp said. "I don't know what it is. Keep on doing it, though, I guess. You've come to deal with it now. You've got to stay prepared for anything."

So true, Coco, so true. He's held his opponents to 0 for 12 when batting with the bases loaded, by the way, a perfect illustration of his ability to get himself into and out of deep doo doo. In all, he gave up six hits and walked five in those seven scoreless innings, and the bullpen did the job from there, with Delcarmen and Timlin pitching those last two frames. And how about holding the best (on paper) offense in the league scoreless? Nice job, pitchers. Daisuke has now won 14 games...I shudder to think of where we'd be without him. Oh, I'd say somewhere in Yankee territory in the standings, and that's NOT a place to be.

The offense once again brought smiles to all of Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International, although many eyes were on Michael Phelps and the 2008 Olympics. Big Papi David Ortiz had yet another three run home run, this one in the big second inning, but that ain't all...Dustin Pedroia took over first place in the American League batting race with another three hit game. Jed Lowrie also contributed three hits to the cause and Kevin Youkilis, who was playing first base last night, furthered his chances at being named AL MVP with a two hit game. He is right on the heels of Pedey and is in second place in that batting race. He has been so clutch all year long, and since the newly shorn Manny left town, he has batted an astounding .409 with four taters and 13 RBIs. Here's what the Red Sox hitting coach had to say about our Youuuuk...

"He's kept his emotions in check," Magadan said of Youkilis. "I don't think I would trade that in for anything, because I think that's part of what drives him. Youk, he plays like a lot of guys that aren't drafted in the first round, he plays with a little bit of an 'I'm going to show you what I can do' attitude. We love guys like that. He doesn't give away at-bats. He grinds out every at-bat, he wants a hit every time he hits the ball hard."

So all's well that ends well...this three game set started with a blowout that turned into a nailbiter that turned into a win and concluded with two very convincing wins over the armless Rangers. Now it's Toronto's turn to have a weekend stay in Boston. Here are the pitching matchups...

Roy Halladay (13-9, 2.72 ERA) vs. Paul Byrd (7-10, 4.53) tonight
Shaun Marcum (7-5, 3.42) vs. Josh Beckett (11-8, 3.92) Saturday
A.J. Burnett (15-9, 4.67) vs. Clay Buchholz (2-8, 6.32) Sunday

Those are tough matchups tonight AND on Sunday, but I'm hoping the hitting machine that the Red Sox have been can keep on keeping on. Have a great Friday and a tremendous weekend, and as always, BE WELL. Oh, you can click on the title of this post for more on the sweep that was. Thanks.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

YOUK And LESTER Fuel Red Sox Victory...Boston 8 Texas 4

Jon Lester recorded his 15th quality start of the year Wednesday night at Fenway Park as the Red Sox pummeled Texas pitching once again in an 8-4 victory. The Sox belted out 12 hits in support of the lefthander, and Lester blanked the Rangers until the 8th inning, when Mike Timlin relieved him after a Texas run came across and two men were on base. The boos echoed around Fenway as Timlin promptly gave up a 3 run home run to Milton Bradley. Two of those runs were charged to Lester, who deserved a better fate, but by then the Sox had an insurmountable lead. Lopez bailed Timlin out of the 8th and Masterson made it official by pitching a one hit, one walk scoreless ninth. A great job by Jon Lester. Here's what a nameless baseball scout, someone who knows his baseball inside and out, said about Lester...

"He's becoming one of the premier lefthanders in the game," the scout said. "He's starting to be one of those guys the team can depend on every time he pitches. Now he's getting dominating. He's reminding people of a younger Andy Pettitte every time he goes out there. It's great to watch young pitchers develop and blossom, and this kid has done that before our very eyes after all he's been through with the cancer. The Red Sox have a No. 1 lefthanded starter. They're hard to find."

Peter here, and that sounds GREAT to me! The offense was powered by cleanup hitter and third baseman (Lowell is on the 15 day DL) Kevin Youkilis' three straight doubles. He is rapidly becoming the most important cog of the Manny-less Red Sox offense. His teammate said this about the man we call Yooouk..

"He's been unreal," said Bay of Youkilis. "He's got a lot more pop than I've given him credit for. With Lowell out, he's the guy who can step up and really carry us. He's been fun to watch."

Yes, Tuesday night it was a game-winning three run tater. Every night he shows us something, be it at the plate or in the field, and we're lucky to have him. I see a long term contract with his name on it in the near future...the Sox HAVE TO! Dustin Pedroia had another multi-hit game and has cemented his standing as the best second baseman in the American League. Bay and Lowrie also collected 2 hits in the Red Sox offensive show of force.

There's one more game left with the arm-challenged Rangers tonight at 7:05pm EDT with Daisuke Matsuzaka ready to face righthander Tommy Hunter. A sweep would be nice, wouldn't it? The Yankees lost once again to the Twins and fell 9 games behind the winning Rays and 6 behind the Boston Good Guys. Hankie Steinbrenner blamed the spate of injuries as the reason for his team's demise, but all teams have injuries during a 162 game season...that's why a deep ballclub like the Red Sox can stay successful. Boo-hoo to you, Hankie Pankie. I don't like you. Never did, never will. And I'm sure you'd think the same of me if we should ever meet, and that's just fine with me.

To my Constant Readers, simply click on the title of this post for more on last night's Fenway fun, and as always, BE WELL. Any and all comments will be answered, but you already know that. See ya!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Wild Night At Fenway...Lowell Lost...Byrd Acquired...Boston 19 Texas 17

WOW! There was no other way to begin this post without shouting (well, typing, but I shouted it last night plenty of times) that word. WOW. 400 pitches, 37 hits, 36 runs, and all that in 3 hours and 53 minutes. The Boston Red Sox defeated the AL leaders in team hitting Texas Rangers by a score of 19-17, leaving 37,000 plus fans stunned and hoarse and finally happy at Fenway. I was hoarse and I was only watching the game on NESNHD. Here's how it all started, and ended...

Boston scored 10 runs in the bottom of the first, including two 3 run shots by Big Papi. Game over, right? Noooo. The Rangers, who can hit the you-know-what out of the ball, scored 8 runs in the 5th inning and 5 more in the 6th to make the score 15-14. Unthinkable? At the time, YES! All those runs were the responsibilty of one-time-only starter Charlie Zink, Javie Lopez, David Aardsma and the frustrating Manny Delcarmen, who has the "stuff" but obviously does not know how to use it. The Sox rallied, much to the delight of the Fenway Faithful, with a run in the seventh and 4 more in the 8th. The biggest blow was Kevin Youkilis' second home run of the night in the 8th inning. He joined teammate Big Papi David Ortiz with two taters, although both of Papi's shots came in one inning, the first. He joined Bill Regan, Ellie Burks and Nomar in the "two home runs in one inning" club. So the night ended well after the good (10 Sox runs in the first), the bad (the Rangers' 8 runs in the fifth), the ugly (the Rangers five more runs in the sixth) and the great (the Red Sox eventual comeback and victory). WHAT A NIGHT! And how bad would it have been if the Red Sox had gone down in defeat Tuesday night? I don't even want to think about it! Boston crept to within three games of the Rays, so the stretch run is on, baby, on! Here's part of what Youk and Mikey Lowell had to say after the Fenway slugfest...

“This was a game that potentially could have really been a major downer for us and we actually turned it around and made it a great win,” said third baseman Mike Lowell...
“It was definitely a huge game for us to pull it out in the end and get the win,” Youkilis said.

And now for more news, bad AND good. Mike Lowell strained an oblique muscle in a 7th inning at bat, and his status will be reevaluated today. Obliques are notoriously slow to heal, so it looks like he'll be headed to the disabled list. Expect to see much more of Sean Casey, who is a great replacement. Of course, Youk will move over to third. And Boston acquired the services of Cleveland Indians' pitcher Paul Byrd, whose overall record is 7-10 with an ERA of 4.53. But since the All Star break, he has corrected a couple flaws in his delivery and stopped "tipping" his pitches. The result has been a spectacular record of 4-0 and an ERA of 1.24! WELCOME PAUL. You'll be starting in place of Clay Buchholz on Friday night at Friendly Fenway.

OK, I've gone on long on the title of this post for more on last night's unbelievableness and for the latest on Mike Lowell and Paul Byrd. And as always, BE WELL.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Boston's Josh Beckett Once Again Returns To His 2007 Form...Red Sox 5 White Sox 1

What this 2008 Boston Red Sox team needs most is a "dependable every five days" ace. That man last year was Josh Beckett, both in the regular season and the successful postseason. And it looks like he's back, just in time for a stretch run. Yesterday, in the fourth and final game with the Chicago White Sox, Kevin Youkilis broke up the no-hit bid by Chicago's John Danks in the seventh inning with a broken bat single. At the time, the score was 1-0 Chicago and it was starting to look like Josh Beckett would again be bested by an opponent's superior starting pitching. But noooo...after a hit batsman, JD Drew put the Red Sox ahead with a double that plated two, and the Red sox took it to the Pale Hose from there. In all, Josh went eight strong, allowing that lone run on 7 hits and ZERO walks. He struck out 8 and threw a total of 104 pitches. In a word (three, actually), HE WAS SUPERB. Jonathon Papelbon made the victory official with a 12 pitch no run ninth. Here's what Boston manager Tito Francona had to say about his starter and Chicago's Danks...

"You can't predict turning the corner, but I think he's (Beckett) got a lot left in the tank for whatever we have left," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He looks strong. He's locating. And we will need him to do that."

"The way Danks was throwing, you don't want them to spread out or get an extra run, because his stuff was so good," Francona said. "Everything was working. He was throwing changeup, he was throwing fastball, cutter, curveball, he had everything working. But Beckett kept them to one run. Gave us a chance."

Peter here, and the Red Sox took what was offered and recorded a victory and a split in Chicago. So the road trip was the kind of success that we all envisioned before the season started and the road losses started to pile up like garbage in a dump, smelly garbage at that, putrid and rat infested.

It's Fenway Park time once again as Boston begins a three game set with the Texas Rangers. Here are the all-important pitching matchups...

Scott Feldman (4-5, 4.82 ERA) vs. Charlie Zink (0-0) tonight
Luis Mendoza (3-5, 7.50) vs. Jon Lester (10-4, 3.23) Wednesday
Vicente Padilla (12-6, 4.85) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (13-2, 2.90) Thursday

First pitch time at Fenway will be at 7:05pm EDT, and I'll be very interested in watching Charlie Zink. Many say that he has come into his own this year at Pawtucket, where he has a record of 13-4 with a sparkling ERA of 2.89. THAT WORKS FOR ME! So my fingers are crossed...every game is vital once September approaches. Click on this post's title for more on last night's road trip conclusion, and as always, BE WELL. Your comments, as always, are welcome and will be answered...every one, every time. See ya!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

An Ugly Red Sox Effort And Another Injury...Chicago 6 Boston 5

The Boston Red Sox, who lost to the Chicago White Sox Sunday afternoon by a score of 6-5, find themselves in the unenviable position of having to replace 2/5 of their starting rotation. Timmy Wakefield experienced shoulder pain in his last start in Kansas City. That's why he was limited to 81 pitches. He returned to Boston for a cortisone shot and the team hopes he'll be back by September. That's a tough break for the Red Sox, for he had been pitching quite well. Want more bad news for the starting rotation? Unfortunately, you're going to get it. There is no way possible that Clay Buchholz, who looked SO bad in yesterday's loss, can stay in the rotation. He was just plain awful Sunday with erratic control and "hittable in the zone" pitches. To me, it seemed like he was off balance much of the time, almost slanting too far to the left after he released the baseball. The result, as you probably know, was ugly...a 6-5 loss to the White Sox, and this was after Mike Lowell had staked him to a 3-0 first inning lead. I was disgusted. Here's what Mike himself had to say after the game...

"He's not being as efficient as he wants to," Lowell said. "I think his pace of game has to improve. I don't know if he's thinking too much. I'd kind of prefer him to just go up there and fire, because he's got good stuff. I don't know what it is. You root for him, you feel bad. Especially when you spot him a three-run lead before he takes the mound, you kind of want him to hold the fort down."

Peter here, and he sure was unable to do that. Sox manager Terry "Tito" Francona added this when asked about Buchholz' future in the 2008 rotation...

"We haven't talked about it," skipper Terry Francona said. "I mean, we have not talked about that. That's about as honest as I can be. I think more of our energy and thoughts are going into how do we get this kid pitching like we know he can on a consistent basis."

This is me again. I was disgusted...I think Clay needs to go back to the PawSox and work with their pitching coach and come back next year. I know it sounds harsh, but the team has been suffering every fifth day...that cannot continue. So look for two call ups from the Triple A club. It's unfortunate but it's true, and a part of the game of baseball. The toughest part.

Click on the title of this post for all the news about yesterday's debacle and for the latest update on Mr. Knuckleball. And remember, BE WELL.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Right now! NBC and NBC HD. Wow!! Enjoy your Sunday! The game started at 10:10am EDT

PAPI And DAISUKE To The Rescue...Boston Red Sox 6 White Sox 2

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched a strong eight innings Saturday evening in Chicago as the Red Sox defeated the Pale Hose by a score of 6-2. The double play ball was a good friend indeed, as all three of his walks came to the leadoff batter. He allowed just one run and four hits while walking three. He whiffed four Chicago batters. Mike Timlin pitched the ninth and secured the victory, giving up a meaningless run. Jose Contreras was hurt in the first inning while scampering to first base. He was late, but what made matters worse was this...after racing to the bag, he grabbed what looked like his ankle and rolled to the ground in evident agony. No one likes to see something like that. A ruptured left achilles' tendon was the doctor's verdict, and I know firsthand how painful that can be. He is out for the rest of the season. Too bad...he's a nice guy.

On the bright side, our Big Papi David Ortiz broke out of his hitting funk with three base hits, one a booming double with the bases loaded that broke open the game for his team. When asked if he thought the ball was gone, gone, gone, he and his teammate Pedey Pedroia said this...

"Oh, yeah. Papi knows when the ball is gone," Ortiz said. "I guess Mother Nature doesn't want me to hit it out tonight. Some days you get frustrated," Ortiz said of his troubles at the plate. "At the same time, I think about, you know, I missed two months of the season. I'm still not 100 percent, so I don't want to be too crazy and try to do things that make things get worse."

"The double was hilarious when he thought it was gone," Dustin Pedroia said. "But you've got to be a strong man to leave this place to left field."

In all, the Red Sox banged out 14 (!!) base hits. Jacoby Ellsbury continued his recent resurgence at the plate with three safeties, including another tater. Everyone in the Sox lineup except for JD Drew, who is not doing well in the leadoff spot and should be moved back to his normal position, and newcomer Jason Bay, who had an important RBI, had at least one base hit, and that was great to see. Today is game three of this four game set, with Clay Buchholz up against Gavin Floyd. Clay is due...BOY, is he due! Let's hope. Look directly to your right to the Fox scoreboard and click on the Sox/Sox game for more, or just click on the title of this post. Have a great Sunday, and as always, BE WELL. Red Sox FOREVER!

P.S. The NBC coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games has been spectacular, especially in Hi-Def. Enjoy, on NBCHD and USAHD and MSNBC and CNBC, and, and.....well, you get the picture. The Games are all over the place. Good luck to USA swimmer Michael Phelps, who won his first gold on Saturday. He's going for seven and he'll be swimming today. I might be, too, but not competitively. Not any more. I promise I won't sink. See ya!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Buehrle Bests Lester...White Sox 5 Red Sox 3

The Chicago White Sox continued their winning ways by rolling over the visiting Boston Red Sox by a score of 5-3. The biggest reason was the brilliance of their starter, Mark Buehrle, who always saves his best for Boston. This is what Dustin Pedroia and manager Tito Francona said about him after the game...

"He was great tonight," Pedroia said. "He was attacking the zone with like nine pitches, it seemed like."

"He didn't struggle tonight," Francona said. "He used every pitch and he worked quick and he changed speeds. That was pitching - in, out, up, down, changed speeds, 3-2 changeup. He pitched well."

I watched him pitch and those were very accurate words. When Buehrle is ON, he is fun to watch, but it would have been more fun if he were pitching against another team. The Red Sox only managed to get four hits off him in his seven innings of work. Their runs came across the plate courtesy of an eighth inning three run home run hit by Pedy Pedroia off Dotel, but that was it...the White Sox bullpen shut down Boston the rest of the way. It was a prime example of good pitching beating good hitting, although good hitting is not a term that can be used to describe the 2008 Red Sox, at least not now with all the nagging injuries. Big Papi has tailed off at the plate ever since his wrist started talking to him and Mike Lowell has been silent with the bat since his hip began troubling him. The shot that was administered INTO his hip joint has helped immensely, but his timing is off. And when that happens, the result usually is a pop up, a fly ball or a strikeout. He's get his stroke back, Papi will too, or it's going to be a long 46 games until the end of the regular season. And last night, the Yankees also lost but the Rays beat Seattle to increase their AL East lead.

Tonight, Daisuke Matsuzaka faces Jose Contreras. The Sox usually do a number on him and a win will even this four game series at one. So let's hope that's exactly what happens. Remember, the Rays' next foe will be the best team in the league, the Los Angeles Angels. To fall farther behind them now would not be a good thing, not at all. Please click on the title for more info on everything Sox. I hope you have a great Saturday and a wonderful weekend, and as always, BE WELL.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Boston Red Sox Have 47 Games To Go

Good morning on this still dark Friday AM, the day the Olympic Games begin in China. The opening ceremonies begin in about three hours, but they'll be shown on NBC tonight in primetime at 7:30 pm EDT. Why not a live broadcast?? I'll tell that NBC can get the maximum viewership possible. But I'm going to talk baseball. Ok with you? I hope so.

The AL East first place Tampa Bay Rays lost to Seattle last night on the left coast, so the Red Sox crept a little closer to them in the standings. And with 47 games to go for the Sox, here are the home/away ratios for the three top teams in the AL East. Boston has, as I said, 47 games left in the 2008 regular season, and 25 of them are at Friendly Fenway. The Rays have only 19 home games left...they have 48 games to play, and maybe this current west coast swing will enable the Red Sox to take over first place. The Rays away record is 23-29, so they will be vulnerable at the right time. The Sox are playing the tough Chicago White Sox, with 4 games beginning tonight. The complete pitching matchups are coming up later in this post. And lastly (I like to leave them last), the New York Yankees, who have the best away record of all three teams, have only 19 home games left out of their 47 games remaining. So advantage Red Sox in this home/away analysis.

The Red Sox have placed a waiver claim on Brian Giles, an outfielder who is currently hitting a healthy .296 for the San Diego Padres this season, with only 6 home runs and 37 RBIs. They did this for multiple reasons. One, as insurance if Big Papi experiences more problems with his clicking wrist. Two, they did it to hopefully prevent the Rays or the Angels from landing him. The Sox have a four man outfield contingent, a good one at that, but if (God forbid) Boston needs a replacement DH, he would fit the bill quite well. I have faith that Papi will be just fine, even though he's gone on record as saying that he feels "unprotected" without Manny guarding his backside batting fourth. But Manny HAD to go...we all know that.

With that said, two of the top three AL East teams have a huge shot at making it to the postseason, either by finishing in first place or securing the Wild Card slot. Who it will be is unknown, but I know who I'm rooting for! Here are those pitching matchups for the four game set in Chicago...

Jon Lester (10-3, 3.14 ERA) vs. Mark Buehrle (8-10, 4.07) tonight
Daisuke Matsuzaka (12-2, 3.04) vs. Jose Contreras (7-6, 4.60) Saturday
Clay Buchholz (2-7, 5.94) vs. Gavin Floyd (11-6, 3.66) Sunday
Josh Beckett (10-8. 4.08) vs. John Danks (9-4, 3.21) Monday

4 games...4 days...4 wins? Only time will tell. Click on the title if you wish to read the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman piece on the playoff chances for those three teams in the AL East. Have a great Friday and I look forward to reading and responding to all of your comments. As always, BE WELL.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

**FLASH** Tim Wakefield Gets Run Support!...Boston 8 KC 2

Hello on this very busy, at least for me, Thursday morning. I have to be brief...I only have two minutes to write this. For that, I'm sorry...a full post at the normal early morning time will be up here tomorrow.

Tim Wakefield again had a strong start, going 6 innings and giving up only 2 runs, 1 of them earned. And his teammates picked him up by scoring 8 big runs. This was the first road series win in a long, long time for the world champions. Ok, it's a minor accomplishment, but every game is important at this time of the season and the Sox only have a two game lead (in the lost column) over the Minnesota Twinkies in the Wild Card race.

Click on the title for more on last night's Sox victory over the not so royal Royals, and I'll see you soon. Gotta zoom.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Vintage Beckett At Exactly The Right Time...Boston Red Sox 8 KC Royals 2

Josh Beckett returned to his 2007 form as he beat the KC Royals 8-2 He was lifted by Tito Francona with two outs in the bottom of the 7th inning after throwing 90 pitches. He allowed those 2 runs on just 4 base hits and 2 walks while striking out a healthy 7 Royals batters. Royals DH Jose Guillen this to say about him...

"He looked great," Jose Guillen said of Beckett. "His ball moved all over the place. Inside and out. He looked like the playoff Beckett."

Peter here, and his pitches WERE darting and dancing in and out and up and down all night, which was a great thing to see. If he can hold onto this type of stuff for the remainder of this season and into and through the postseason, Boston's chances of making it to that postseason would be greatly enhanced. With Becks and Lester leading the staff, the Red Sox should do quite well, especially scoring 8 runs as they did last night. But last night, three runs would have been enough. Hey, 8 is just fine with me, thank you very much. Timlin and Smith pitched the last 2 1/3 innings without giving up a run. The hitting stars were, once again, Jason Bay, who collected four hits, one a fly ball that landed on top of the hedge in the outfield that the leftfielder smartly swiped back into play. So what looked like a fly ball out and then a home run turned into a double. Great game Jason! He's batting .429 (9-21)with 6 RBIs and 8 runs scored since coming to the American League. And his defense in the cozy Fenway Park leftfield has been just great. Jacoby Ellsbury added 2 base hits and 2 stolen bases, and Dustin Pedroia ran his road hitting streak to 26 games, just 3 games short of Tris Speaker's team record 29 straight in 1913. Hey, that's before I was born! WAY BEFORE. Beckett had this to say after his shower...

"It keeps us where we want to be," Beckett said. "We've got to keep winning games. We don't have that big cushion where we can go out, oh, well, we lost this game. We've got to keep pace. That's something new for a lot of these guys in here, myself included."

That it does, Josh, as the Rays won once again in Cleveland. The Yankees lost and fell 6 1/2 games in back of the Rays. And there was more bad news for the pinstriped ones...pitcher Joba Chamberlain had an MRI performed on his ailing shoulder, but the team was tight-lipped about the results. But they did send him packing to see Dr. James Andrews, which sometimes is not good news at all. His loss would be crippling to his team, for he was pitching spectacularly, as we all saw when he went against us a couple weeks ago at Fenway.

Tonight in game 3 of the KC series, it will be Timmy Wakefield going up against Luke Hochevar. We need another good start from Timmah...a victory would give the Sox a rare road series win, and they've been few and far between. Click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox game last night and the latest on Big Papi's wrist and Mike Lowell's hip. It's all there, one click away. And please leave a comment, if you feel like it...I'll read and respond to each and every one. I thank you for stopping in once again. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you'll ever know. As always, BE WELL. Forever.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Red Sox Road Woes Continue ...Kansas City Royals 4 Boston Red Sox 3...PAPI'S WRIST? Click On The Title Of My Post

Monday night in Kansas City, the Boston Red Sox were beaten by the Kansas City Royals, continuing a seemingly unending string of road calamities. Clay Buchholz was undone by the end of the third inning. After giving up a first inning home run to Alex Gordon, he then gave up three more runs in the third on three singles, two walks and a hit batter. That was all the scoring for the Royals, but it was enough to down the visiters. Sox manager Tito Francona had this to say after the game concluded...

"He was pitching with such confidence, his body language, he was working quicker, he was coming off the mound with some aggression," manager Terry Francona said of the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. "But we got into that bind in that one inning. There were a lot of baserunners, and he was trying to be perfect. Just need to limit the damage. He's growing. We talked about when he came back that it's still a work in progress, and we acknowledged that. But I do like the way he went back out and handled himself and stayed out and pitched, because that's the kid we think can really compete in this league."

Peter here, and Tito, I hope you'll be right about Clay (someday). We need him in the rotation. If he should need more seasoning, more time to develop and mature, Bartolo Colon is close to returning to action. He will make a start for Pawtucket tonight and all eyes will be upon him. If only he could stay healthy for a couple more months, Boston's chances of making it to the postseason will be tremendously enhanced. My fingers are crossed. Toes too, and that's a lot tougher.

In other Red Sox news, Mike Lowell was given the night off in order to rest his hip and get an injection into the actual hip joint itself. I take five or six shots of insulin a day, but the needle he was injected with was much bigger. It HAD to hurt. Francona said Mikey might be back tonight, but if he gets another night off, that's perfectly fine. John Lester was named AL pitcher of the month for July, deservedly so. He is the first Sox hurler since Petey Martinez in 2002 and the first lefty since Bruce Hurst, who I remember SO well, in 1988, to accomplish that feat. Congratulations, had a great July with many more years to come, all in a Red Sox uniform, I hope.


I just learned this...Big Papi David Ortiz felt a "click" in his bad wrist after a swing in Kansas City last night. When you click on this post's title, the full story will be right there, right in front of your eyes. Of course, we hope for the very best. Losing Papi would be a near-mortal blow for the club.


Thanks for stopping in to my little speck of the internet once again and please leave a comment or six. I'll read and respond to each and every one. And to learn more about last night's loss, Big Papi's wrist and Mike Lowell's hip, simply click on the title of this post. It's Beckett versus Bannister tonight in the midwest...who knows, maybe Josh can regain a little bit of his 2007 magic. It sure would be nice! As always, BE WELL.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Boston Completes A Sweep Of The Lowly A's...Red Sox 5 A's 2

The Boston Red Sox had a great weekend in the three games after the Manny era ended. Before he was jettisoned, manager Tito Francona spoke to his players and they were unanimously in agreement with his dismissal. And Jason Bay
has made it an easy process with his stellar play in the field and at the plate. Sunday, the Sox completed their sweep with a 5-2 thumping of the A's, but could gain no ground on the once again surging Tampa Bay Rays. One game at a time - that's what Tito said...

"One of the things we talked about was not looking back or looking forward and just attacking what's at hand," said manager Terry Francona. "We did that very well. Daisuke came out and threw his fastball, stayed in his delivery, and the ball came out of his hand real well. He looked like he was pitching with confidence. We played with energy. It was a good day."

Daisuke Matsuzaka ran his record to 12-2 after going six strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits and walking just two, which is phenominal for him. Okajima, Delcarmen and Papelbon, who recorded his 31st save, provided three innings of scoreless relief, my favorite kind. Since July 20th, the 'pen's ERA is a very stingy 1.82. And David Aardsma will be back soon to bolster the corp. The offense was powered by a Jed Lowrie two run triple that plated two and multiple hit games from the ever hot Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay. Do we miss Julio Lugo with Lowrie in there? I sure don't. He is a future Red Sox staple, a born-to-be star. On the OTHER coast, in the three games since Manny went left coasting, he's been tearing the cover off the ball, batting over .600 and even hustling all the way to first base on ground outs (now it's clearly evident that he was hurting the Sox when you see something like that. What an as*hole!!) Jason Varitek had this to say about the makeup and cohesiveness of his post-Ramirez team...

"This is our team now," said Varitek after the victory and before the Sox embarked on a seven-game swing to Kansas City and Chicago. "The guys we have in this room are the guys we're going to be playing with from here on out. We feel good about that. We have to continue to compete. Get quality at-bats. Pitch quality games. I think everyone in here likes where we're heading. It’s good,” captain Jason Varitek said. “We’re playing with some energy now.”

It's road trip time for the world champions, with the first stop being Kansas City, where the Royals have actually been playing good ball. Here are your pitching matchups...

Clay Buchholz (2-6, 5.94 ERA) vs. Gil Meche (9-9, 4.22) tonight
Josh Beckett (9-8, 4.25) vs. Brian Bannister (7-9, 5.33) Tuesday
Tim Wakefield (6-8, 3.77) vs. Luke Hochevar (6-9, 5.42) Wednesday

I see two you? I'd love to read and respond to your comments, which have been dwindling. But I know you're there, and I appreciate that SO VERY much. Well, that's a wrap for this Monday, August 4th, 2008, as the summer slides by like a speed boat on a mirror-like smooth lake, seemingly defying gravity, wind blowing through your hair as you push the throttle forward and go faster and faster and... gee, for a minute there, the mental picture was GREAT! Back to reality now (BOO). I wish you the best, and you can click on the title of this post for more Sox stuff. As always, BE WELL.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Jon Lester, The True 2008 Boston Red Sox ACE...Boston 12 Oakland 2

Jon Lester, on the rebound trail from a successful and complete recovery from cancer, pitched seven strong innings to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 12-2 victory over the light-hitting A's of Oakland. After a tough 2 run first inning and a visit from pitching coach John Farrell, Lester settled down wonderfully and improved his career record to 13-0 in his 13 starts when he has pitched seven innings or more. Not bad, Jon. Right now I consider him the true ace of the pitching staff. Overall, he is 10-3 with a sparkling 3.14 ERA.

The A's almost had Lester on the ropes in the first inning, an inning that he gave up four hits and two runs. But it was "shut 'em up and shut 'em down" time after that, and he proved he was up to the task, only surrendering three hits the rest of the way. Masterson pitched a clean 8th and Chris Smith did the same thing in the 9th and final frame. Lester had this to say after the festivities...

"I had a rough first inning and guys come out and swing the bat really well," Lester said. "It was nice to have a break between innings and then come out and have a nice cushion."

Peter here, and it wasn't just a nice cushion. Lester began to attack the strike zone with a variety of stuff, he didn't leave any pitches up in the zone and he took advantage of the feeble Oakland offense. And the Red Sox offense sans Manny was just fine, thank you. They banged out 14 hits in a multi-faceted attack. Jason Bay continued to make a tremendous impression on the Fenway Faithful when he clubbed a first inning three run home run, and those runs would be all Boston would need. Of course, it was nice that nine more Boston runs crossed the plate. Kevin Youkilis, by far the best first baseman, offensively and defensively, in all of Major League Baseball, clubbed two home runs and was the hitting star of the game. Mike Lowell was back with a strained right hip flexor...there's not much that can be done about that except to ride out the pain and maybe take a shot that could calm the area. But he looked darn good last night! He is a Boston guy who would be tough to lose, tougher than Manny. Why? He doesn't QUIT ON HIS TEAM.

So the Red Sox are 2-0 since Manny went to the left coast. Ramirez hit his first NL home run last night in a 4-2 Dodgers' victory. Good for him. Will he get a haircut or will Joe Torre relax his "dress code?" He has hinted that he will, but that's not important, not to me. The big story was a story of three...Jon Lester's continued and prolonged newfound dominance, Kevin Youkilis and his renewed and steady power hitting, and Mr. Jason Bay, who is finding Fenway Park's leftfield an easy place to play compared to the expanded National League outfields. And the AL pitchers seem to be to his liking, too. We are SO happy to have him. He's looked great at the plate AND in the field, protecting the Green Monster as if it was his own. For now, and maybe a long time, IT IS!

Click on the title for more on Saturday's second win in a row. Daisuke Matsuzaka goes this afternoon against lefty Dallas Braden, who has never faced the Sox before. Daisuke had a rough outing in his last start, but if he can't go seven innings against THIS lineup, well, something is not right. If he has his control today, he will not be beaten. First pitch time is 1:35pm EDT. Click on the title of this post for more on the latest Boston win, and as always, BE WELL. GO SOX.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Jason Bay And The Red Sox Over The A's in 12. Boston 2 Oakland 1. Mike Lowell Injured...More Manny

It was a big night for Jason Bay, Tim Wakefield and the Boston Red Sox bullpen as the home team defeated the visiting and light-hitting Oakland Athletics by a score of 2-1 in twelve innings. The winning run in the bottom of the 12th was courtesy of a Jason Bay triple and, eventually, a Jed Lowrie single, scoring the newest Red Sox player. And the entire team came to embrace him. Here's what he thought...

“Having met these guys eight hours ago, everybody’s been extremely positive,” Bay said. “You jump around with those guys, I felt like I’d been here all year. We were like little kids.”

And here are his thoughts about the celebration, Boston style, at home plate...

“I didn’t really know what to do,” he said. “It was all new to me. It was very flattering.”

Peter here, and that was a really sweet moment. The hitting stars, other than Jason, were Kevin Youkilis with his three hits and Pedey Pedroia and JD Drew with two each. I can't leave out the clutch Jed Lowrie, who looks more like a star everyday. He had two base hits, including the winning one. Tim Wakefield was outstanding and the bullpen came on and pitched 5 2/3 great innings with one run given up (by Okajima). Mike Timlin deservedly got the win.

Manny in Los Angeles...let's see. Last night, the Dodgers managed only 6 hits, but Manny had 2 of 'em. And on the injury front, one of the Sox players was hurt last night and will be checked out today (Saturday). It's Mikey Lowell, and he injured his right hip in some way or another. He is a player the Red Sox cannot afford to lose for a prolonged stretch of any kind. Here's hoping he feels better when he wakes up this morning, but the hip is an intricate and complicated piece of equipment for the human body as we know it. Be well, Mike!

Click on the title of this post for all the details of why Manny had to go, compliments of Theo Epstein. Yes, all you have to do is click on the title. As always, BE WELL.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Manny Ramirez And Jason Bay Statistics...

Hello and good Friday morning. Just below, you'll find the complete stats of Manny in Boston and Jason Bay in the majors. Jason figures to be a MUCH better clubhouse person, a better team player and a less selfish egotisical as*hole than Manny proved himself to be, but Manny's numbers will NEVER be replaced. Life goes on...and on. Good luck Manny Ramirez. You helped the Boston Red Sox to win two world championships, and you'll NEVER be forgotten just because of that. But your behavior the past two weeks was signed your own "travel papers." It was a passport to the left coast, where you'll be governed by one of the best managers in all of baseball. I hope you don't try the same kind of mayhem (boy, I could have used a different word!). Good luck to you. You will be missed. I'll be back with the pitching matchups for the upcoming Athletics/Red Sox series, starting tonight at 7:05pm EDT.

Life without Manny...I guess we'll get used to it...slowly. Thank you for stopping in once again, and PLEASE CLICK ON THE TITLE OF THIS POST for the most illuminating and entertaining and TRUE article I've read about the trade so far. It was written by the Hartford Courant's very own brilliant sportwriter. His name is Jeff Jacobs, and there is no one better. His column's title? EPSTEIN FINDS THE CURE FOR CANCER. So please click on that title. As always and forever, BE WELL.

*Career Avg. .312*
Name Manny Ramirez
Born 5/30/1972
Height 6-0
Weight 200
Number 0
Position LF
Bats R
Throws R
Regular Season|Postseason
2008-BOS .299 .529 100 365 66 109 193 22 1 20 68 52 86 1 0 1
Career .312 .590 2050 7423 1408 2318 4377 493 18 510 1672 1177 1629 35 31 66

2007-BOS .296 .493 133 483 84 143 238 33 1 20 88 71 92 0 0 2
2006-BOS .321 .619 130 449 79 144 278 27 1 35 102 100 102 0 1 2
2005-BOS .292 .594 152 554 112 162 329 30 1 45 144 80 119 1 0 7
2004-BOS .308 .613 152 568 108 175 348 44 0 43 130 82 124 2 4 7
2003-BOS .325 .587 154 569 117 185 334 36 1 37 104 97 94 3 1 4
2002-BOS .349 .647 120 436 84 152 282 31 0 33 107 73 85 0 0 5
2001-BOS .306 .609 142 529 93 162 322 33 2 41 125 81 147 0 1 0

*Career Avg. .281*

Name Jason Bay
Born 9/20/1978
Height 6-2
Weight 205
Number 0
Position LF
Bats R
Throws R
2008-PIT .282 .519 106 393 72 111 204 23 2 22 64 59 86 7 0 3
Career .281 .515 722 2598 437 731 1339 152 18 140 454 375 683 50 11 21

2007-PIT .247 .418 145 538 78 133 225 25 2 21 84 59 141 4 1 8
2006-PIT .286 .532 159 570 101 163 303 29 3 35 109 102 156 11 2 3
2005-PIT .306 .559 162 599 110 183 335 44 6 32 101 95 142 21 1 4
2004-PIT .282 .550 120 411 61 116 226 24 4 26 82 41 129 4 6 2
2003-PIT .287 .529 30 87 15 25 46 7 1 4 14 19 29 3 1 1