Thursday, April 30, 2009

Red Sox Winning Ways Return...Boston 6 Cleveland 5

The Boston Red Sox climbed back from a 5-0 deficit, scoring two runs in the sixth inning and three more in the eighth. The bullpen bailed out Jon Lester, who gave up all five runs before he departed. Okajima earned the win and Papelbon got the save. The hero of the game was rightfielder Jonathon Van Every. All he did was hit a solo tiebreaking home run in the tenth to give the Red Sox yet another victory. He said this after his thrilling heroics...

"This has got to be the top so far in my career,” said Van Every, who played in the Indians’ minor league system from 2000-07. “It’s definitely a special day. I spent seven years of my career trying to figure out a way to get to this point. Luckily I’m here. It couldn’t have happened at a better time. I hit it good. It’s all the power I’ve got.”

I love this team and now it's on to Tampa Bay. I'll have the pitching matchups but first I have to drive my girlfriend Nadia to Hartford so she can catch a bus to NYC. She'll be back later today, God willing. She's the best. She really is. I guess I'm a lucky guy.

Thanks for stopping by yet again. As always, BE WELL. See ya...soon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Red Sox Winning Streak Over Ugly...Cleveland 9 Boston 8

Three errors and two blown leads of 5-1 and 7-3 contributed to the end of the 11 game winning streak for the Boston Red Sox. They lost to the Cleveland Indians by a score of 9-8. Wih two outs in the ninth inning and a running DeRosa on second base, pitcher Javy Lopez dropped Kevin Youkilis' easy underhand flip, allowing the winning run to score. Lopez said this about that "should have been made" play...

“It’s a play a pitcher makes a thousand times in his career,” Lopez said of covering first base on an infield grounder. “I just took my eyes off it. There’s no real excuse for it. It’s a tough way to break a winning streak.”

Red Sox pitcher Brad Penny could not hold the Indians when given two leads of four runs. There's no excuse for that and he was out after 2 2/3 innings. Way to go, Brad. Penny just might lose his spot in the rotation when Daisuke Matsuzaka returns. I envision a late May rotation of Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Wakefield and Smoltz...that sounds spectacular to me. Odd man out Penny will be relegated to the bullpen...count on it. Of course none of that is set in stone. What is?

Pedey Pedroia contributed three hits and Bay, Varitek and Lugo had two apiece but the three Boston errors, one by Lopez, one by Mike Lowell, who has not looked as sound defensively as he has in the past and one by Julio Lugo all led to the blown leads. The Red Sox will try to start another winning streak tonight with Jon Lester ready to face Fausto Carmona. Gametime will be at 7:05pm EDT. After that the Red Sox travel to the home of the Tampa Bay Rays for the first time this season. They'll play four games there before making their first ever visit to the new Yankee Stadium. And then they come home.

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox for their heavenly eleven game winning streak. You know what they say..."you can't win 'em all." We all saw exactly that Tuesday night. Click on this post's title for more from the Boston Herald and as always, BE WELL. Have a terrific Wednesday. Don't forget to cover your mouth if you cough and to frequently wash your hands, especially when out in public. This spreading swine flu is scary...there's no other way to describe it. See ya soon.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bay Powers Red Sox To 11th Straight Win...Boston 3 Cleveland 1

The Boston Red Sox, fueled by another clutch ninth inning blast from Jason Bay, defeated the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland by a score of 3-1. Timmy Wakefield was again fantastic. He allowed zero runs and only one hit in his seven innings on the mound. His knuckleballs were dancing while diving and right now he is simply on fire. Boston manager Terry Francona had this to say about his pitcher...

“We’ve seen it before. He just continues to do it,” Francona said. “It takes Wake all spring. You see him the first day, his first couple innings, he gets hit around. Then the season starts and he’s ready and it’s good. He just keeps doing it, and it’s fun to watch.”

And as for Bay's tater, Tito said this...

“Runs didn’t look like they were going to come easy on either side,” Sox manager Terry Francona said. “Early on I said to bench coach Brad Mills, ‘Someone needs to line one out of here.’ Jason Bay took a really good swing. He squared it up and hit it about as good as you can hit it, and we needed it.”

Manny Delcarmen pitched a clean eighth and Jonathon Papelbon handled the ninth but not without giving up a run on three hits. This year so far he is averaging 20.9 pitches per inning, more than five pitches above his average for the last three years. We have to hope he's OK. We really do...right now I'm not sure. He HAS to fine tune his pitch location.

And so the winning streak climbed to eleven games as the Red Sox vaulted into first place, percentage points ahead of the second place Toronto Blue Jays. It has sure been an enjoyable 12 days for that team from Massachusetts, the one we love. Tonight in Cleveland they will play game two of this three game series. It'll be Brad Penny versus Anthony Reyes. The first pitch will be thrown at 7:05am EDT. Enjoy the game and click on this post's title for all the Red Sox news from the Boston Globe. Have a great Tuesday, a downright hot one here in north central Connecticut. Temperatures will rise from an early morning low of 54 and rise to 92 or so. That's too hot for me but tonight's cold front will push the temperatures back to normal for the rest of the week. Normal highs are in the mid 60s with nightly lows in the kind of weather. As always, BE WELL. I'll be talking to you...soon. See ya. GO SOX.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Red Sox Complete Sweep Of Yankees...Boston 4 NY 1

The Boston Red Sox completed a 9-0 homestand with three straight wins against the NY Yankees. The final score was 4-1. This contest will always be remembered as the game that Jacoby Ellsbury stole home off of Andy Pettitte. Pettitte takes a long time to get the ball to the plate in his full windup...3.46 seconds. Jacoby Ellsbury noticed that Pettitte was dumbly not paying attention to him in the fifth inning as he inched as far as he could from third base. When he saw the beginning of a leg kick, he was off and running and easily beat the throw to the plate. It was the first straight steal of home for a Boston player since Billy Hatcher did it in 1994, fifteen years ago. Way to go, Jacoby. David Ortiz and Jason Bay had this to say after the game...

“I wish I could have his speed for like a week,” designated hitter David Ortiz said. “Just one week. That’s all I ask.

“I’ve never seen anyone attempt it, let alone actually do it,” Bay said. “That’s something I won’t forget.”

I won't forget it either...the Fenway Faithful looked happily stunned, a great combination. The big difference in this series was the respective bullpens. Check out these numbers. The pinstriped 'pen had an ERA of 9.00 in ten innings of work. The Boston bullpen toiled for 12 1/3 innings and had a tremendous ERA of 2.13. NO closed. If the Yankees want to contend in the AL East, they'll have to revamp their bullpen, maybe even put Joba Chamberlain back in there. One Mo can't do everything. No way, no how.

Boston traveled to Clevland last night for a three game set that starts today. Their record is now 12-6...that's what a ten game streak will do for ya. Here are the upcoming pitching matchups...

Tim Wakefield (2-1 2.45) vs. Cliff Lee (1-3 5.25) Monday
Brad Penny (2-0 7.80) vs. Anthony Reyes (1-0 4.76) Tuesday
Jon Lester (1-2 4.88 vs. Fausto Carmona 1-3 7.36) Wednesday

Let's keep this winning streak going on the road. Our starters and bullpen are going to take us a long way in this 2009 season and the hitters were hitting well against their hated rivals. To tell you the truth, I loved every minute of it. I hope you did, too. Have a great Monday as we begin a new week. Yesterday and the day before here in north central Connecticut, daytime temperatures bulged to near 90. That'll be the weather trend for the next two days until we return to normal on Wednesday. By the way, normal for this time of year has daytime highs in the mid sixties and nightly lows in the mid forties. That's just fine with me. Click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox weekend that was and as always, BE WELL. Stay strong, stay happy...GO SOX. Thanks. See ya.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Another Comeback Red Sox Clubbing...Boston 16 NY Yankees 11

It was Mike Lowell's turn to be the hero for the Boston Red Sox Saturday afternoon as he clubbed a seventh inning three run home run and an eighth inning three run double in the next frame to lead his team to an amazingly long but entertaining 16-11 win over the bullpen-less NY Yankees. The starters were not effective...Josh Beckett gave up two runs in first, the third and the fourth to make it 6-0 Yankees. Boston manager Terry Francona said that with the extra day off because of his suspension, he was simply too strong. AJ Burnett started out on fire but fizzled bigtime in the fourth, walking two to set up a five run inning. So the drama began...6-5 Yankees. Jacoby Elsbury hit a fifth inning tater to tie it and the game became a bullpen war. The Boston bullpen, save for Papelbon and Ramirez, was surprisingly ineffective. The Yankee bullpen was and will be hideous until Cashman and company do something about it. Hey Brian, take your time!

Dustin Pedroia, who had a rare error at second that allowed two unearned seventh inning runs, said this after the successful conclusion of the nationally televised Fenway Park marathon...

“I think everyone’s pretty tired but we knew that was going to happen coming in - we’re just fortunate enough to win these two games because they’ve been crazy games,” Dustin Pedroia said. “This winning streak’s a lot better."

So we go again tonight on ESPN & ESPN HD...televised nationally. Gametime is at 8:05pm EDT with Pettitte ready to face Masterson. Can anyone say sweep? Thanks for stopping in and you can click on this post's title for more on yesterday's merriment. As always, BE WELL. The weather in Boston at gametime will be terrific. See ya.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

WOE IS MO...Red Sox Beat Yankees In "Cardiac Kids" 5-4 Victory...BRUCE And The E Street Band In Hartford..The Full Review

Frustration turned into sudden euphoria times two as Jason Bay walked to the plate. There were two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the NY Yankees were up by a score of 4-2. The crowd was quiet but hopeful and Mr. Bay delivered in a HUGE way, clubbing a two run tater to knot the score at 4. The game, started by Chamberlain and Lester, had turned into a battle of the bullpens, a definite plus for Boston. In the bottom of the 11th, just scant minutes after I returned from a glorious Bruce Spingsteen & the E Street Band show in downtown Hartford, Kevin Youkilis, our best hitter (by far) launched one out of the park to send his team and their fans into a frenzied victory celebration. It seemed as if the whole city roared their approval. I know that I did, voice or no voice. Here's what Bay and Pedey had to say after the game...

"Until you win the game, it's really hard to jump up and down and get all excited about anything, so once Youk hit that ball, it was a relief and we could enjoy it a little more," Bay said. "Winning that game makes all the difference in the world in enjoying

“Early in the game, it seemed like we had a million chances to score a lot of runs,” said second baseman Dustin Pedroia after the Sox extended their winning streak to eight games. It was definitely frustrating, one after another. But we were able to find a way to win in the end.”

That was just game one of eighteen between these fierce rivals. Game two, televised nationally by Fox and Fox HD, will start today at 4:10pm EDT with AJ Burnett, who's always tough against the Red Sox, ready to go against Josh Beckett. This game is a toss-up in my mind...if it gets to the bullpens, I like Boston's chances. Hell, I like 'em anyways. GO SOX.

The Bruce show began at 8:21pm EDT and went nonstop to 11:05pm. And I mean NON STOP! Here is the complete review and setlist from a tremendous Friday night in north central Connecticut. My thanks to the Hartford Courant...
"Bruce Springsteen rolled into Hartford Friday for the third time in a little more than 18 months, which may seem like a lot. Then again, plenty has changed since the last time the Boss was here, in February 2008, including the meltdown of the world financial system and rising unemployment at home. So it was an audience particularly eager for a hopeful message, piled into the XL Center during a period of economic hardship. Sounds like Bruce's time to shine.

And shine he did. He and the E Street Band opened strong, with "Badlands," a high-energy song that fell into the hopeful-message category. More than a few of the others tipped toward economic hardship, including "Johnny 99" and "The Ghost of Tom Joad," neither of which were on the set list here in 2007 or 2008. Nils Lofgren played a bluesy guitar lick to anchor the former, written in 1982 during an earlier hard-luck period, and the band blew through a succession of quick solos from violinist Suze Tyrell, pianist Roy Bittan and Lofgren, before guitarist Little Steven Van Zandt took over on a coda at the end.

(The song was one of several to feature drummer Max Weinberg's 18-year-old son, Jay, sitting in for his dad. The kid can play, and Springsteen egged him on, particularly on "Radio Nowhere," so the younger Weinberg could prove it.)

Lofgren ripped through another fierce solo as "Tom Joad" built from acoustic dust bowl-style ballad into a furious, snarling musical recrimination. During the start of "Raise Your Hand," he let the band vamp while he collected signs and t-shirts offered by fans at the front of the stage. When the song was over, he held up what looked like a napkin, upon which was written "Wild Thing."
"So, you think you can stump the band, eh?" he cracked as he launched into the iconic riff from the Troggs' hit. Next came a sign that read, "Rockin' All Over the World." Sure enough, Bruce and band nailed the John Fogerty rocker.

There was no stopping the band from there: "E Street Shuffle" rolled into "Waitin' on a Sunny Day," followed by "The Promised Land." There was a brief respite for "The Wrestler," from last year's film of the same name, and then it was full-bore through "The Rising," "Born to Run" and, to close the main set, "Cadillac Ranch."
Springsteen and the band returned to play a five-song encore that included a version of the Stephen Foster tune "Hard Times Come Again No More" and, to the crowd's delight, "Rosalita" to end the show.

Set list...

1. Badlands
2. Outlaw Pete
3. Jackson Cage
4. She's the One
5. Working on a Dream
6. Radio Nowhere
7. Seeds
8. Johnny 99
9. The Ghost of Tom Joad
10. Raise Your Hand
11. Wild Thing
12. Rockin' All Over the World
13. The E Street Shuffle
14. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
15. The Promised Land
16. The Wrestler
17. Kingdom of Days
18. Lonesome Day
19. The Rising
20. Born to Run
21. Cadillac Ranch


22. Hard Times Come Again No More
23. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
24. Land of Hope and Dreams
25. American Land
26. Rosalita

I made it to my car on weary legs but with a look of sheer happiness on my face. THANK YOU, Bruce. You and the band are the far. 35 years down the road for me and I wouldn't do it any other way.

Enjoy the game this afternoon and as always, BE WELL. Have a great warm weekend. As Bruce wrote and played and sang, "I BELIEVE IN THE PROMISED LAND." Last night, it was in MY hometown...Hartford.

Friday, April 24, 2009

YOUK...Can You Believe It??

What a great Red Sox victory over the Yankees. Mariano blows a ninth inning lead and YOUK comes through in the 11th. FINAL..Boston 5 NYY 4. Oh, what a night!

My Bruce concert review will be up first thing Saturday morning.


Yankees Vs. Red Sox...Rounds 1, 2 & 3. A Springsteen Friday Night In Hartford

Yes, it's that time again...the New York Yankees visit Fenway Park for the first three of nineteen games in this 2009 baseball season. It's suddenly crunch time. The two clubs have identical 9-6 records with Boston winning their last seven. Let's hope they make it ten. Here are the all important pitching matchups...

Tonight...Joba Chamberlain (0-0 5.06) vs. Jon Lester (1-2 5.50) 7:10pm EDT NESN
Saturday...AJ Burnett (2-0 3.20) vs. Josh Beckett (2-1 3.79) 4:10pm EDT FOX & FOX HD
Sunday...Andy Pettitte (2-0 2.53) vs. Justin Masterson (1-0 3.18) 8:05pm EDT ESPN & ESPN HD

Big Papi David Ortiz, who has raised his batting average 62 points in the past five games, said this about tonight's pinstriped starter, Joba Chamberlain...

“He’s a guy that, as good as he is, the next step for him will be to earn respect from everyone in the league so people don’t get the wrong idea about him because he’s not a bad guy,” Ortiz said after the Sox’ 7-3 win against the Twins on Wednesday night. “When things like that happen (throwing at Youkilis), people get the wrong idea.”

Boston will take two of three (just a simple guess), but the fans will make their collective voices heard in a big way. Joba Chamberlain has a nasty habit of throwing at Kevin Youkilis' head and Mark Teixeira is not a loved character in beautiful New England. If John Lester can put it all together, much like his last start, the Fenway crowd will go home happy and contented. I won't be able to watch or listen to game #1 because I'll be in downtown Hartford, first for a 6pm dinner at Max Downtown with Nadia and my nephew Skip and then an 8:15pm concert at the XL Center. It'll be Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band playing their hearts out as they always do. Bruce and the band last played Tuesday and Wednesday nights in good old Boston and yesterday had the night off. That's a good thing because it'll be a Friday night in north central Connecticut, a Friday night with Bruce and the guys. I'll include the complete concert review in my Saturday morning post, a review of my 60th Springsteen concert. Holy you know what...time flies by too quickly. It's just 6:30am EDT right now and I love the anticipation of a Bruce night as well as the Saturday morning memories. I can't wait.

Please click on this post's title for more on the upcoming three game Yankee/Red Sox set and as always, BE WELL. Your comments are always welcome and always responded to. See ya...soon. GO SOX. GO HARTFORD. GO BRUCE. Forever.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wakefield, Penny, The Bullpen And The Bats Fuel Red Sox Sweep Over Twins...7 In A Row

The Boston Red Sox continued their hot streak Wednesday with a two game sweep over the Minnesota Twins. The first game was all Wakefield all the time as Boston defeated the Twinkies by a score of 10-1. Timmy pitched his second straight complete game and became the oldest pitcher to pitch consecutive complete games since 1992. With his teammates giving him plenty of run support, he was able to mix fastballs and curveballs in with his signature knuckleballs. He was in complete control. After the game, he said this...

"I was excited to pitch today," said Wakefield, the oldest pitcher (at 42 years, 263 days) to throw two consecutive complete games since Charlie Hough (44 years, 169 days) in 1992, and the first Sox pitcher to do so since he did it in 2005. "I really felt good in Oakland, took a no-hitter into the eighth. I just carried that confidence and momentum that I had after that game into today's game, so I feel like my checkpoints and my mechanics are coming together. Throwing a lot of strikes, mixing in my pitches when I need to."

In the nightcap, Brad Penny pitched well enough to win and the Boston bullpen, in the form of Ramirez, Okajima and Papelbon, continued to shine. Get this...the 'pen has only allowed two runs in the last 28 2/3 innings. That translates to an ERA of 0.63, by far the best in baseball. This team of ours is going to go a long way in 2009. Kevin Youkilis expressed his feelings after the second game...

"We're playing good ball," Kevin Youkilis said. "We're pitching well. We're hitting well. If your pitching holds the opposition down, I think that's our biggest key: pitching and defense. That's going to take us a long way."

Kevin, we're on that magical mystery trip with you, a journey to October baseball in Boston. There's a long way to go but the team's starting pitching will only get better with the addition of Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Smoltz. The sky is the limit, and I expect to see the sky...soon. They've won seven in a row and a three game set with the Yankees at Fenway Park begins tomorrow. I LOVE THIS STUFF! I love this team.

Please click on this post's title for more details of Terry Francona's 50th birthday victories. Hey Tito, happy birthday!! We love you. As always, thanks for stopping by and BE WELL. I'll be back later with all the details of a BRUCE Friday night in Hartford. I can't wait. There's only one BRUUUUUCE. He's simply the best. Rock and roll will rule in Connecticut...Bruce style. I'll be joining my girlfriend Nadia and my nephew Skip for a downtown dinner and then the concert at the XL Center. I'll post the full review Saturday morning. It will be my 60th Bruce show. My first few were in 1974 and the rest, as they say, is history. Wonderful and memorable history, Springsteen style.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rain Forces Day/Night Wednesday Twin Dip...Daisuke Begins His Journey Back

The rains came to Boston on Tuesday and forced a postponment of the first Red Sox/Twins game. That game and the regularly scheduled one will be played today, the first beginning at 12:35 pm EDT (NESN) and the nightcap at 7:10pm EDT (NESN PLUS). The pitching matchups will remain the same (see the post below this one). Let's take two and push the current winning streak to seven.

Daisuke Matsuzaka began what will be a long journey to recovery yesterday. He threw 30 times from 60 feet and will increase that distance gradually and incrementally...75 feet to 90 feet and more. Pitching coach John Farrell said this about that...

"We'll take these first 5 or 6 days of his throwing program at a very gradual pace," pitching coach John Farrell said. "He's still in a strengthening phase, still letting that inflammation calm down. It's very much a building block approach to lengthening his distance and then ultimately getting into the bullpen."

He last threw the ball April 14th in a one inning horrible outing at Oakland. The Boston coaching staff wants to make sure his shoulder strength returns to normal before sending him to the mound again in a game. John Smoltz will throw a bullpen session today in Ft. Myers and if all goes well will pitch in a minor league game this coming Saturday. The Red Sox starting rotation will only get better and better when both guys are activated. That's a scary thought for the other American League teams. Rocco Baldelli is suffering from a strained left hamstring and was placed on the fifteen day DL. Jeff Bailey will likely be called up from Pawtucket. Heal fast, Rocco. We need you.

That's it for this morning...enjoy the two games. The weather will be "iffy" becuase there is another batch of rain that will work its way north and should arrive in Boston by mid to late afternoon. It's too early to determine how this will affect either of the games, but game one should be OK. Bring an umbrella or rain gear if you're lucky enough to be holding tickets to the magic gates of Fenway Park. You can click on this post's title for more on everything Sox and as always, BE WELL. See ya soon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


David Ortiz, Pedey Pedroia and Big Papi David Ortiz all showed signs that their hitting slumps were over in Monday morning's 12-1 victory over the Orioles, completing their first series sweep of 2009. Spot starter Justin Masterson was masterful, going 5 1/3 innings and giving up a lone run on four hits, striking out three and walking two. He's in the rotation until Daisuke Matsuzaka is able to return, roughly another three weeks. And that's just fine with me. The Red Sox collected fifteen hits, most notably a double AND a triple hit by David Ortiz. He had been under increasing pressure because of his hitting doldrums, but not any more. He said this after the game...

"I've been working with my mechanics, man," Ortiz said. "I've been late, a little late with pitches, which is something that I normally don't do, and pitchers are taking advantage of it. It's gotten a little bit out of hand. But at this point you don't want to get frustrated. It just makes it worse. You want to make sure you get to the point where you like to be and where you need to be. It's the beginning of the season and you don't want to give up

It was a fun Patriots Day morning in every way and now Boston has a five game winning streak. Let's go for five more! The pitching matchups for the two game set with the Minnesota Twins, starting tonight at the Fens, go like this...

Scott Baker (0-1, 13.50 era) vs. Timmy Wakefield, (1-1, 3.00 era)
Francisco Liriano (0-3, 5.90) vs. Brad Penny (1-0, 11.00 era)

First pitch time tonight will be at 7:10pm edt. GO SOX! Click on this post's title for more on Patriot's Day in Boston, the hub of the universe. As always, BE WELL. See ya. SOON.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Now THAT'S The Jon Lester We Know & Love

On a day designed for pitching, not hitting, the Jon Lester of 2008 returned with a vengence Sunday afternoon at Friendly Fenway. The Baltimore Orioles fell to the Boston Red Sox by a score of 2-1. Baltimore players and coaches went over films (tapes) of Lester's last couple of starts and noticed a difference...his fastball was topping off at around 90. Yesterday, his first pitch was clocked at 96 MPH. Maybe he was trying to prove a point. Whatever he was thinking, it worked. He did not allow a single run in his seven innings on the mound. Bird's first baseman Aubrey Huff said this, followed by Jon Lester...

"He was back to his old self," Huff said. "It kind of caught you by surprise a little. I think he might have been a little pissed off at the 0-2 start. I've seen him some times, I don't know how many at-bats I have off him, but today is as good as I've seen him throw against us."

"It just reiterates in the back of your mind that, 'OK, nothing is wrong, I'm still OK,' " Lester said. "It was nice today to go out and throw the ball well again and get the results I wanted to."

So all is right, or almost right, in Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International. The team has won four games in a row, four games with lumber and pitching. David Ortiz is still mired in a slump but he'll get out of it. I know that. Josh Beckett's suspension was lowered to five games, meaning he will not miss a start. He will take the Fenway mound on Saturday against the Yankees. And remember, today is Patriots Day in Massachusetts so the Boston/Baltimore game will begin around 11am EDT. It'll be Justin Masterson versus Mark Hedrikson. Have a great Monday, hope the rain holds off and as always, be well. See ya. Click on the title of this post for more on yesterday's fourth win in a row for our good guys. GO SOX.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Youkilis Powers the Red Sox To A 6-4 Win

The Boston Red Sox extended their modest winning streak to three games with Saturday night's 6-4 victory over the visiting Baltimore Orioles. The stars of the game were Kevin Youkilis, who had a monster game with four hits and four runs batted in, and the bullpen, which has allowed only one earned run the the last 19 2/3 innings. Manager Terry Francona talked about that effectiveness and mentioned he didn't think anybody in the 'pen has been overused. That bodes well for the near future, especially when John Smoltz is activated. It's simple...Boston is just going to get better. After the game, leftfielder Jason Bay said this of the anchor of the offense, Mr. Youkilis...

"He’s been our MVP, no question,” Bay said. "With the struggles of some guys early, he’s kind of been our rock in the middle of the lineup as far as getting on base and doing everything, day in and day out. Without him, I don’t know where we’d be.”

Big Papi David Ortiz showed signs that he might be emerging from his offensive funk with two hits. As for Beckett, he was able to go six innings and only faltered in the fifth, when he gave up four runs, all with no outs. He settled down, got the last three outs of that inning and breezed through the sixth. And then the bullpen, one of the best in all of baseball, had a chance to show their stuff, and that's exactly what they did...Okajima, Saito and Papelbon each threw a scoreless inning. Okie's was 1-2-3, Saito stuggled a bit but got the job done and Paps had a one hit frame. The Red Sox bullpen is going to carry this team into October...I just know it.

I hope your Sunday will be a good one. The Sox play the Birdies at 1:05pm EDT in Boston. It'll be Koji Uehara versus Jon Lester, who really hasn't gotten going...yet. You can click on this post's title for more on last night's victory and as always, BE WELL. I'll be seeing you...soon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Red Sox Offense & Bullpen Shine In Comeback Victory Over Birds

In the first game of a nine game homestand, the Boston Red Sox fell behind early and then staged one of those "can you believe it?" comebacks. Brad Penny struggled with his control, walking five and giving up eight runs in three plus innings. The score was 7-0 Baltimore and things looked bleak...but not for long. The Red Sox offense awakened with a bang and a boom and the Boston bullpen showed their stuff as the home team clubbed their way to a 10-8 win. Penny had the velocity and after the game said he was physically fine. He summed it up like this...

"Physically, I felt unbelievable," Penny said. "My velocity was consistent. I haven't had stuff like this in a while. It was just the command. That's uncharacteristic of me. I usually don't walk a lot of guys."

Penny's velocity was obvious and his control WILL return but the Orioles have a great hitting team. Sox centerfielder Jason Bay had a tremendous night with the game winning RBI and shortstop Nick Green went 2-4 as Boston proved they can still bash the ball with the best of 'em. Bay said this after the game...

"We have the kind of lineup where we can have three or four guys not on their game and still put up a lot of runs," said Jason Bay, who began the comeback with a two-run homer and later drove in the winning run.

The Red Sox bullpen showed why Boston has a clear advantage over the Yankees with Manny Delcarmen and newcomer Ramon Ramirez dazzling the frenzied Fenway crowd with sparkling rescue pitching. Jonathon Papelbon pitched a one hit ninth to earn his third save and Ramirez was the winner. He looked AWESOME. Only Javy Lopez was ineffective but he'll get his act together, hopefully soon. Strangely, Kevin Youkilis was hitless, but he has carried the offense all season long. I'm worried about Big Papi David Ortiz, who looked lost at the plate. He was clearly swinging at pitches which were almost in the opposing catcher's mitt. I hope his wrist isn't bothering him because he is the heart and soul of the Boston offense. Keep an eye on him, starting tonight at 7:10pm EDT. It'll be Adam Eaton facing Josh Beckett, who has appealed his six game suspension. Manager Terry Francona also announced that Justin Masterson will start the 11:05am EDT Patriots Day Monday tilt against the same Orioles. It looks like Justin will be in the starting rotation until Daisuke Matsuzaka's shoulder has a chance to rest and recover. I think it's a great move by Tito because the Sox bullpen is deep, REALLY deep. Expect Masterson to return to his late inning bullpen role as soon as possible.

Enjoy your Saturday and the whole weekend. Nadia and I are going to Six Flags up in Springfield, Massachusetts to have some warm weather thrills. I'm not sure if I want to go on their extreme roller coaster ride but it'll be a last second decision by yours truly. I'll let you know later if I survive. Click on this post's title for the full Sox update and as always, BE WELL. Cheers, l'chaim and here's to you, my Constant readers. See ya.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Red Sox Come Back...

AFTER five innings, it's knotted at 5...Birds and BoSox...5-5

Bottom of the 6th...Youk hit on the helmet...he's OK...RED SOX 9 BALTIMORE 8
Runners at the corners in the bottom of the 6th...Lowell up...tension...bated breaths...2-2...BASE HIT! 10-8 good guys!! End of six...WOW!

2 outs in the top of the seventh...Ramon Ramirez looks SO good...YES. After 6 1/2..10-8 Boston Red Sox.

Boston is up...bases loaded...NO outs...Papi at the plate...he has no hits so far..count 1-2...ZERO outs...strikes out on high heat. One out...YOUK...double play. After seven, 10-8 Red Sox. I'll try to be back.
Ramirez still in out...5 to go...Darkman and Paps warming up...count 2-0...3-0...3-1...3-2...single to left...2-1 on first and second.

SOX pitching change with one out in the top of the 8th. It's the Darkman, Hideki Okajima in with one out. FLY ball to deep center...runners advance with 2 outs...strike...the count is 1-2...2-2 still 2-2...strike out!!!!!!!!

I'm signing off now. Paps will come in for the 9th with AT LEAST a two run lead. Who'd a thunk?


And Then Again...

SOX creeping up. It's far.
Happy Friday. I'll try to update.

Penny For Your Thoughts??

Do you REALLY want to know? At the end of two innings tonight at Fenway, it's 7-0 Orioles.

Boston Vs. Baltimore...The New Yankee Stadium's Debut Foiled By The 'Pen

It's Friday morning and the Boston Red Sox are FINALLY home at Fenway Park for the first of four games with the Baltimore Orioles. After an opening three game set, the Sox have been on the road, struggling most of the time. The major problem? Other than Kevin Youkilis, the offense has been thin and spotty. That's why they have a woeful record. But home is where the heart is. Just listen to the Boston skipper...

“We haven’t been home very much,” said manager Terry Francona. “Hopefully we’ll take advantage of it. It’s going to be nice to go home. It seems like, out of the last two and a half months (with spring training), we’ve been gone all but three days, so hopefully we can take advantage.”

Here is your four game pitching matchup summary...

Tonight (7:10, NESN & Sox Radio Network): RHP Jeremy Guthrie (2-0, 2.25 ERA) vs. RHP Brad Penny (1-0, 4.50).
Tomorrow (7:10 p.m., NESN & Sox radio network): RHP Adam Eaton (0-1, 9.00) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (1-1, 3.46).
Sunday (1:35 p.m., NESN & Sox radio network): RHP Koji Uehara (2-0, 7.20) vs. LHP Jon Lester (0-2, 9.00)
Monday (11:05 a.m., NESN & Sox radio network): TBA vs. TBA

The Orioles have been playing good ball with timely hitting and solid pitching. As for the Red Sox, nagging injuries have mixed with a suspension, currently under appeal by Boston ace Josh Beckett and the aforementioned lack of lumber. But it's early, too early for any evaluation. As I just said, Beckett will pitch tonight against the Birds and Friday against the pinstriped villians from the Bronx. Brad Penny will be on the mound tonight and try to give his team a great start to the nine game homestand. As for who will pitch on Monday, Patriots Day, who knows? But as Bosox Fan in Wichita mentioned in one of his great comments, Justin Masterson will most likely stay in the bullpen and the Sox will hand the ball to one of their young starters. Thanks, BFW.

The New Yankee Stadium was unveiled on Thursday. It's a beautiful place, one thing that the NY bullpen is not. After Sabathia labored for 5 1/3 innings, he was lifted. The score was still tied at one, but not for long. The Yankee bullpen was buttered, battered and bruised fatally in the seventh when the Indians plated NINE runners. For a Sox fan, it was a joy to watch. They really need Joba in that 'pen for the late innings leading into "Mo" time.

OK, that's it for now. It's my Mom's birthday today, number 82, and Nadia and I are going to visit her at the rest home with cards and colorfully frangrant flowers. Thank you for stopping in to my little corner of the "blue nowhere" and click on this post's title for more Sox stuff. As always, BE WELL. It's so important. GO SOX...see ya.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Daisuke On 15 Day Disabled List

It was apparent that something was wrong with Daisuke Matsuzaka after his one inning five run stint the other day. Yesterday he was placed on the 15 day disabled list for what the team is calling shoulder fatigue. Boston manager Terry Francona explained it quite well..

"We just want him to be able to be Daisuke, and not part of Daisuke, so we’ll put him on the DL and have him looked at tomorrow and we’ll put our heads together and see what’s the best way to get him to make all his starts and be good. I don’t think there’s an injury. As a matter of fact, I know there’s not, but it looks like he’s got some fatigue, kind of like last year. He’s got to build the shoulder strength back up and feel good about himself.”

I agree with the team's decision to put his 2009 season on hold and take care of this in April and April only. The Sox might replace him with reliever Justin Masterson. They probably will, in fact, because Clay Buchholz has a muscle strain after he did some strength conditioning drills. Boy, I have to say these nagging injuries are bothersome and numerous, to say the least. Let's hope they'll be confined to the beginning of the season. Knock on wood if you can. I just knocked on my head. Same thing.

After the much needed day off today, Boston will play four against the Baltimore Orioles, who have gotten off to a great start. I'll put up the pitching matchups first thing Friday morning...we know that Matsuzaka and Beckett will not be pitching. Beckett, on suspension, will miss one start and one start only. That's OK. But if he appealed that ludicrous decision to sideline him for six games, he WILL be pitching. Right now, I'm not sure, but I'll have the four game pitching matchups up early tomorrow morning. Until then and as always, BE WELL. Click on this post's title for more on Timmy Wakefield's complete game masterpiece. I know (BFW) I've gotton on his case just a tad, and I was wrong. I hope he can string together many well pitched games. Believe it or not, he can do it. First pitch strikes are SO important. Yesterday, he did just that and many Oakland batters took the bait and surrendered on the first pitch with harmless grounders and fly balls. GREAT JOB, TIMMY! See ya.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NEAR NO-NO FROM TIMMY BUT SOX WIN hitter broken up in the eighth inning but Timmy couldn't do it. I've been standing and jumping and cheering for the last hour. Sox up 8-0 and the 'pen is stirring. Put this win in the books...finally. On to the ninth. WOW!!!!!!

Matsuzaka Arm Fatigue?? A Dozen Inning Boston Loss Adds To A Dismal Early April

In his first two starts, Daisuke Matsuzaka has given up nine runs in only 6 1/3 innings. Last night in Oakland, he lasted only one inning, giving up five earned runs on five hits while walking two and striking out none...not the typical Matsuzaka outing. The Boston bullpen was tremendous but the Red Sox offense couldn't muster a single run to break the maddening tie. The team stated that Daisuke is suffering from "arm fatigue," a result of his World Baseball Classic appearances. After his brief outing, he said this...

“Not in particular,” Matsuzaka said through a translator when asked if he had any physical problems. “I haven’t had the chance to speak to manager Terry Francona yet, but for me personally, I think I’m OK.”

Boston manager Terry Francona added the following...

“We talked to him a couple of days ago, and he communicated to us that he had some fatigue and general soreness in the back of the shoulder from the WBC,” Francona said. “He came out tonight and didn’t have a whole lot. I felt like he ramped up too quick for the WBC, and we’re feeling the effects of that. That’s what we worried about."

I sincerely doubt that any Red Sox players will be playing in any future World Baseball Classics...down went Youk, Pedey and Matsuzaka. Here's last night's Red Sox pitching summary and then I'll be back with a few syllables...


D. Matsuzaka 1.0 5 5 5 2 0 0 12.79
J. Masterson 4.0 2 0 0 0 6 0 4.50
M. Delcarmen 1.2 3 0 0 1 3 0 0.00
R. Ramirez 1.1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.00
H. Okajima 2.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 6.75
J. Papelbon 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.70
J. Lopez (L, 0-1) 0.2 1 1 1 3 1


When will this madness end? We can only wait and hope, hope and wait. They play today at 3:35pm EDT and then head east to their home base...Fenway Park in beautiful downtown Boston.

Red Sox ace Josh Beckett has said he will appeal his ludicrous six game suspension after MLB officials made their shockingly surprising decision. Hey, I saw the game and I witnessed exactly what happened. If you ask me, that suspension is totally baseless and unfounded. What about innocent until proven guilty? I guess that doesn't pertain to major league baseball. It was a nonsensical and sh*t-filled decision. What else can I say?

Boston tries to turn around their mid-April slide this afternoon before they jet east. Let's hope they do. Click on this post's title for more on last night's bummer and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for stopping by and your comments are always read and responded to...count on it. See ya.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mark "the Bird" Fidrych & Harry Kalas Pass Away...Red Sox Lose Bigtime

Mark "the Bird" Fidrych, the colorful and much loved Detroit Tiger pitcher in the 70s, was killed in an accident on his farm. He was only 54 years old. I saw him pitch in person at Fenway twice and I saw firsthand why Tiger fans and all fans of baseball were so in love with him. Here's part of what Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy had to say...

“Every time he took the mound, it was an event,” said NESN analyst Jerry Remy, who was in his second season with the California Angels at the time. “He was a unique character. I remember sitting in the dugout after a game at Tiger Stadium and we watched the interaction he had with his fans. It was pretty amazing. He was different than anyone else.”

He went 19-9 in 1976 and was runner up in the Cy Young award voting. Injuries cut short his career a scant four years later. Thanks for everything, Mark. I will miss you.

In other sad baseball news, the longtime voice of the Phillies, Harry Kalas, died yesterday. He was found unconscious in the Phillies broadcast booth and passed a short time later. He was 73. He also narrated the NFL Films productions. Phillies president David Montgomery said this..."We lost our voice today." He also will be missed, terribly.

In less important news, the Boston Red Sox continued their early season streak of mediocre to terrible pitching and atrocious hitting, losing to the Oakland A's by a score of 8-2. Jon Lester went six innings, giving up six runs. His ERA is 9.00. Boston collected only TWO hits! Until they start hitting the ball and pitch a little (or a lot) better, the season will remain woeful. Daisuke tries to right all the wrongs tonight on the left coast. It's "turn the page" time.

Click on the title of this post for more on last night's Sox game and the loss of two important baseball figures. It sure was a lousy and sad day all around. It can only get better. As always, BE WELL. It's SO important. With health, happiness will follow...that's how I look at things. Thanks for being here once again. I hope you can come back.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Lack Of Timely Hits...Angels 5 Red Sox 4

The Boston Red Sox are in an early hitting slump, especially with runners in scoring position. They are batting .100 (3-30) in those situations, not good at all. They've been outscored 29-22 and the team ERA is 5.02. It's early, I know, but still a little troubling. Remember this...they've played six games, all against playoff caliber teams (California & Tampa Bay.) Kevin Youkilis summarized the Boston situation perfectly...

“We’ve got a long ways to go and we’re not playing the best baseball we can play but we’re playing all right - it’s early,” Kevin Youkilis said. “We’re a team once we get rolling and score some runs, we’re going to do some damage. If we were losing 10-4 every game, there would be a problem, or 10-2. We’re close, we’re in every game pretty much. If it comes down to one swing to drive in a run to win or tie the game, that’s where you need to be. A lot of times we say, ‘We needed to get blown out,’ we can handle that when you lose, it gets wiped clean but these games are good, too, because you’re close and you’re battling. We’ve got a long way to go and we’ve got a great team here that’s going to do a lot of good things.”

Kevin, you said it better than I could. The Sox had a golden opportunity to put up a crooked number in the eighth inning...Mikey Lowell was at the plate with the bases full of teammates. There was one out and he was looking for that perfect pitch, middle, belt to letter high. He got it but he popped out and on the next pitch, the captain, Jason Varitek, made the last out of the inning. That was all she wrote.

Congratulation go out to Masters champion Angel Cabrera, who won the green jacket on the second playoff hole. It was a riveting six hour CBS HD telecast...the back and forth between Mikelson and Woods was worth the price of admission (free) alone, but they couldn't come up with a tournament changing shot, much like the Boston Red Sox couldn't come up with a game changing hit. The frustration was evident on the golfer's faces, much like the faces of the Red Sox players. That's sports for you, but Cabrera was gracious and he seemed like an extremely likeable guy, especially on the second playoff hole. It was a "fist pumping" celebration of sheer and utter glee. I hope he plays in the Travelers Open, which is held just outside my hometown, Hartford, Connecticut.

I hope your Monday, tough as they are, will be a great one. Thanks for stopping by. You can click on this post's title for more Red Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. Boston needs a win tonight against the Oakland A's. Their starting pitchers will be Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka and (gulp) Tim Wakefied. This is a team the Sox should beat. LET'S DO! See ya.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bay & Lowell Power Red Sox To Victory

Intense...that's the only adjective that fits. There were two outs in the ninth inning and Jonathon Papelbon was trying to hold on to a one run lead for Boston. The only problem? The bases were loaded and the Angel's Howie Kendrik was at the plate with a full count. He refused to be retired, fouling off seven staight pitches thrown by the Sox ace closer. On pitch number eight, Kendrik flied out to right to end the game. Mike Lowell, looking completely recovered from his hip problems, homered in the fifth inning to drive in two runs and knot the game at two. The Angels plated one run in the bottom of that frame to go up 3-2. That's where Jason Bay started doing "his thing." He clubbed a two run tater in the seventh and another solo shot in the ninth inning to earn a 5-4 victory for Boston. But it was nail-biting time in that Kendrik-Papelbon battle. Here's what Paps had to say about the seemingly endless pitcher/batter conflict...

“It was really intense. That was the ballgame,” said Papelbon, who finally got Kendrick on a tricky liner to right to close out a 5-4 victory Saturday. “After the sixth or seventh one, I was kind of giggling out there, `Is this really happening?’ It was one of those moments like, `Man, how many more foul balls is this guy going to hit?”’

The Boston manager, Terry Francona, had a few choice words about this way too tight game...

“That was the proverbial had ‘em all the way,” he said with a grin. “That was some kind of at-bat. To a true baseball fan—which, at the moment I wasn’t — that was an unbelievable at-bat by Kendrick. Every pitch, the game was in the balance.

Brad Penny won his first regular season start for the Sox, then Ramon Ramirez chipped in with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, keeping his ERA at a big fat goose egg. From there, it was needles and pins time for Papelbon but the good guys won and the ultimate Boston hero was leftfielder Jason Bay. It was nice to see a solid Penny, who will remain in the five slot as long as his shoulder problems of last year have seemingly vanished. I think Wakefield's days as a member of the starting rotation are dwindling...we should see John Smoltz take over the four position by June first. I can't wait.

In other AL East news, the Yankee's CC Sabathia dominated the KC Royals, going 7 2/3 scoreless innings in the Yankee's 6-1 victory. He needed a solid outing and he accomplished exactly that. But my goodness, it was nice to see the Sox earn their first road win, especially against the Angels. Today, Josh Beckett will be on the mound to try and take the rubber game of the set. He will face the Halo's Dustin Moseley. I have a good feeling about this one. Faith. Forever.

You can click on the title of this post for more on last night's left coast drama courtesy of the Boston Herald. I want to thank you for popping in. Please leave a comment if you'd like...I'll answer every one of 'em. As always, BE WELL. HAVE A HAPPY AND HEALTHY EASTER Sunday. I'll be seeing you....every day, the good Lord willing. That's a promise.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

An Emotional Memorial Ceremony And A Wild Wakefield Red Sox Loss

It was a solemn memorial ceremony at the home of the California Angels last night before their game with the Boston Red Sox, a game won by the Angels 6-3. The Angels honored Nick Adenhart in a pre-game tribute wrought with emotion. Sox skipper Terry Tito Francona said this...

"It was emotional," Sox manager Terry Francona said. "You hear the words 'Play ball,' it's like, 'Whoa.' The Angels, they've always had a lot of class, and it showed."

When the sound of "play ball" was heard, Tim Wakefield, at least in the first two innings, was up to his old antics, wild and very inconsistant. In his six innings, he allowed those three runs on six hits and FIVE walks. Of his 99 pitches (in six innings!), 52 were in the strike zone. California plated three runs in the seventh inning off of Justin Masterson, who, like Timmy, couldn't find the plate. Angels starter Jared Weaver was great, going 6 1/3 innings and allowing only one unearned run on a measly four hits. He walked two and struck out eight. The Red Sox offense remained in far, in their four games, they've only scored eight runs on twenty two base hits. That won't get the 2009 job done. No way. Not even close.

“Weaver pitched well tonight,” said manager Terry Francona. “He threw all his pitches and in a lot of fastball counts he got his off-speed pitches over. That’s what I’ve seen for the most part in the last three games. It’s early in the season, and pitchers are throwing their offspeed pitches for strikes in fastball counts and we’re still swinging at fastballs.”

It's early in the season and Boston pins their hopes on newly acquired pitcher Brad Penny on Saturday. He will face Joe Saunders at 4:10pm EDT on FOX, FOXHD and the Red Sox radio network. Enjoy the game and your holiday weekend. Click on this post's title for more on the emotional Friday night in Anaheim, California. As always, BE WELL. Arivaderci, ciao, see ya. Soon.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Nick Adenhart: 1986-2009...Sox Fall To Rays, Head West

Tragic news. Simply tragic. Young California Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, just scant hours after his first major league start, was killed in a three car crash by a drunk driver. The following article, edited for space, is from the Orange County Register, written by Jeff Miller. My thanks to him and his newpaper...

"At least he had a day.
Just one day, but one when he shared a baseball park with millionaire athletes and All-Stars and 43,283 total, standing atop pitcher’s mound, taller than everyone else.
Nicholas James Adenhart took that much with him Thursday when he was taken from us, robbed most of all from his two families the Adenharts and the Angels.
Six innings.
No runs.
Seven hits.
Not much and also everything.
Afterward, after Adenhart shut out the Oakland A’s and helped his team to a 4-0 lead, he met with Mike Scioscia.
The Angels’ manager congratulated him for his effort, for his performance and for his arrival.
Following the game, he shared the occasion with his father, Jim, with friends and with his agent, Scott Boras.
"He was elated," Boras said. "He felt like a major leaguer. To see the glow of a young man after he takes a huge step forward is special. It was a great day ... and then midnight."
The police spokesman said it was 12:24 a.m. when the call came. A three-car crash in Fullerton."

My God. That's all I can say. Rest in peace, Nick. We hardly knew you but there will always be a place in our hearts for you. You accomplished your dream, in front of your father, no less. God bless you. You will be remembered...forever.

In less important news, the Boston Red Sox lost the rubber game of their three game set with the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 4-3. They had their chances, in the ninth inning especially, but the Rays defense was more than up to the challenge of catching scorching line drives that initially appeared to be headed for base hit territory. Daisuke Matsuzaka took the loss, Garza earned the victory. Tampa Bay is here to stay. Jason Varitek had this to say about the line drive up the third base line hit by Dustin "Pedey" Pedroia in the ninth, a scorcher that ALMOST tied the game...

“They made some really good plays,” said catcher Jason Varitek, whose solo homer in the ninth gave the Sox a chance. “They’re very good defensively. They ran some balls down in the outfield. They made some plays in the infield. People don’t understand - that ball Pedroia hit in the ninth, that’s a ‘Web Gem.’

If you can, catch a reply of that snare by Longoria. It was a "look what I found" type of catch, a slam-bam in the glove catch, almost an unbelievable ticket of doom for Boston. But that's baseball. Ya can't win 'em all, the page has been turned. Boston heads to the left coast to play a three game set with the mourning Angels. Here are the pitching matchups...

Friday...Tim Wakefield vs. Jared Weaver
Saturday...Brad Penny vs. Shane Loux
Sunday...Josh Beckett vs. Joe Saunders

Enjoy your Friday and your weekend. I'll see you soon. You can click on the title of this post for more on the tragic loss of Nick Adenhart. Thanks for being here. Rest in peace, Nick.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Game 2 : Rays 7 Red Sox 2...UCONN Women Come Home, Back Where They Belong

It all came apart for Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox when the Tampa Bays Rays scored four runs in the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie. They bunted, they stole bases and hit the ball into the holes created by the ongoing thievery. They just were better. Jon Lester ended up going five full and he gave up those five runs on eight hits while walking two. Delcarmen and Ramirez pitched a clean inning each but Saito and Lopez were not so fortunate, giving up two combined runs. Jon Lester said this after he was lifted...

"I just didn't do a good job keeping the team in the game tonight," Lester said. "I don't know if I tried to nitpick a little too much. I don't know if I wasn't aggressive enough later in the game or what."

I think Jon will be just fine this year, just like last year. But what he didn't do yesterday was power the ball through the strike zone. Credit must go to the Rays' offense, which scratched and clawed its way in that fateful fifth. It's a long season, as you all know, and the rubber game of this matchup will be today at 1:35pm EDT at the Fens. Matt Garza will face Daisuke Matsuzaka. If you're going to the game and sitting in the shade, wear a couple layers of clothing. If this was a night game, I'd say to wear a warm jacket, but a 1:35 start won't be bad, with the temperatures in the mid 50s. GO SOX. By the way, the Yankees lost yet again as Wang, like Sabathia, was totally ineffective in a 7-5 Oriole win. Maybe they can keep this streak going with Burnett this afternoon. The game will start at the same time as the Boston game.

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team arrived at Bradley International aiport Wednesday afternoon after winning the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. This state is in love with them, and I'm putting that mildly. They arrived at the UCONN campus to an enthusiastic crowd who had been waiting more than an hour or two for a rally at their home court, Gampel Pavilion. There will be a parade in downtown Hartford sometime soon but the details have not been released. When they are, you'll read it right here at PRSF. Please click on the title of this post for more on that talented team who will be heavily favored to win it all again in the 2009-2010 season. How sweet would that be? I can tell you...sweeter than sugar and honey mixed with a huge dose of happiness and love. That's how this team makes us feel, happiness mixed with tears of joy. Sheer euphoria. I love them.

As always, BE WELL. Aloha, shalom, l'chaim and cheers. Your comments are always welcome and always answered. I apppreciate every one of you...without you, I wouldn't know what to do, my Constant Readers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I mean that, I really do. SEE YA.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


The 2009 University of Connecticut women's basketball team made history last night in St. Louis by beating Louisville by a score of 76-54, completing their undefeated season with a staggeringly great record of 39-0. They won every game they played all season long by 10 points or more, usually much more. They were led by their junior center Tina Charles, who had a monster game with 25 points and 19 rebounds. Renee Montgomery, a senior playing in her last game, added 18 points and the best player in the country, and it ain't even close, Maya Moore, had 18 points. Those three players are just about the three best players at their positions in the whole darn country. I was up a little late last night and that's why this post is so late, but my goodness, NATIONAL CHAMPS! I love them. The parade in Hartford will be coming up soon...stay tuned right here for all the details. The team will arrive at Bradley International Airport at 3:15pm EDT today with a pep rally scheduled at Gampel Pavilion on the Storrs campus a couple hours after that.

The Boston Red Sox started their 2009 campaign on a winning note, beating the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 5-3. Josh Beckett was simply marvelous, going seven full innings and only allowing two hits and one run. He struck out ten Rays batters. MVP Dustin Pedroia smacked a home run in his first at bat, becoming the first reigning MVP to homer in his first at bat. The surging with power Jason Varitek also hit a tater. The only additional runs were given up by the Darkman, Hideki Okajima. Masterson and Papelbon finished up the game, Paps with two strikeouts. One down, 161 to go.

To close, it was such an eventful night in the state of Connecticut. I have the UCONN game on the DVR and I'll watch it when I return from work. Click on the title of this post for more on the game and as always, BE WELL. THANK YOU CONNECTICUT HUSKIES, the best women's team in the NCAA basketball world and number one in our hearts. Forever.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tuesday April 7...UCONN Women : Game Last...Boston Red Sox : Game First

The rain in Boston on Monday postponed game one of the 2009 Boston Red Sox season. They will play today at 4:05pm EDT, again against the Rays. The pitchers will be the same, the weather will be better. The Yankees' CC Sabathia was battered and bruised in New York's 10-5 loss to Baltimore in was fun to watch.

Over in St. Louis, the University of Connecticut women Huskies will try to complete their undefeated season and win the national championship. They will play Louisville at 8:40pm EDT. Television coverage begins at 8pm on ESPN and ESPN HD. GO more game for perfection. They've already played Louisville twice this season, routing them both times. Enjoy the game and watch a truly great basketball team.

You can click on this post's title for more on the upcoming UCONN game. Have a tremendous Tuesday, a day I'm sure I'll remember for the rest of my life. As always, BE WELL. See ya.

Monday, April 06, 2009

When The Rain Comes...

...they postpone the game! This is from the Boston Herald...

"The Red Sox called off today’s opener due to the forecast for heavy rain throughout the day. The game against the Tampa Bay Rays will be played tomorrow at 4:05 p.m., with all of the planned festivities intact. Tickets for today’s game will be good for tomorrow and gates will open at 2:05 p.m."

One more day? Big deal! Have a great Monday. Stay dry. Nadia says hello.

It's UCONN And Louisville In NCAA Women's Championship Game...It's Time To Play Ball!

The University of Connecticut women's basketball game ran their record to an unbelievable 38-0 with a resounding revenge thumping of Stanford, the team that knocked them out of last year's Final Four. No team this year has come within ten points of UCONN. NOT ONE. They were led last night by Renee Montgomery and the best player in the country, Maya Moore. UCONN will play another Big East team, Louisville, tomorrow night at 8:40pm EDT. ESPN will beam it's telecast all over the world with the pregame show beginning at 8pm. GO UCONN. GO HUSKIES. Oh yes, they have whacked Louisville twice this season. Expect the same tomorrow night. NO WAY THEY WILL LOSE.

The 2009 Red Sox season begins this afternoon at 2:05pm EDT from Friendly Fenway. Look for it on NESN or tune in to the Boston radio network. They play three games against the Tampa Bays Rays, but most likely the game will be rained out. I'd say the chances of a rainout are 80%. Here are the pitching matchups...Shields vs. Beckett (weather permitting) today, Kazmir vs. Lester Wednesday and Matsuzaka vs. Garza on Thursday. Good luck to the Red Sox, all year long. And may the force be with the women UCONN Huskies, the next champions of the women's basketball world. Click on the title of this post for more on last night's tremendous Huskies' victory and as always, BE WELL. Cheers, l'chaim, see ya.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Michigan State Topples UCONN Men

Michigan State booted the University of Connecticut men's basketball team from the NCAA tounament by a score of 82-73. Their bench outscored Connecticut's 33-7. Poor free throw shooting and the inability to sink the free throws were more than enough for Magic Johnson's alma mater. Magic himself was at the game, cheering loudly. Connecticut was also outscored 22-10 in fastbreak points. Congratulations to UCONN for their tremendous season. Now, the state turns its eyes to the Uconn women, number one in the country the whole season long. They will face the always tough Stanford Cardinal, who at times will have three players six feet four or taller on the playing floor. Their star player is Jayne Appel, who had a school record 46 points against Iowa State in their Elite Eight game. Good luck to the women Huskies, who play tonight on CBS and CBS HD at 9:30pm EDT.

The Boston Red Sox, powered by a six run first inning, including a grand slam by their starting shortstop, Jed Lowrie, defeated the New York Mets by a score of 9-3. Daisuke Matsuzaka's control was off and he was only able to go four innings, which is about right considering his first regular season start will be in five days. He said this after the game...

“The wind affected my concentration more than the cold, and I even noticed the wind in the bullpen warming up. Once the game began, the wind didn’t affect me as much. What affected me more was the trash on the field.”

The 2009 baseball season starts's a little hard to believe, but true. The Red Sox will play the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park, where rain is a distinct possibility, heavy at times with the sound of intermitent thunder. That's at 2:05pm EDT at Friendly Fenway.

Have a wonderful Sunday, enjoy the NCAA Tourney, women only today, and as always, BE WELL. Shalom, aloha, l'chaim and ciao. As always, BE WELL. You can click on this post's title for more on the UCONN men's loss, ending their season. Thanks for stopping in...your comments are always welcome and always answered.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Wild Thing

John Lester and the Boston Red Sox helped the Mets play their first game, albeit a spring training one, at their new ballpark, Citi Field. My blog friend Michael was on the title of this post to be instantly transported there. It's called Random Fandom Red Sox NYC on my link list. The Mets won the game by a score of 4-3 partly because of starter Jon Lester's wildness. He walked five in his four innings of work. He said this after the game...

“I really couldn’t tell you what was going on,” Lester said after needing 83 pitches to get through four innings on a wet night at Citi Field. “I just didn’t really have a feel for my body or my pitches. It was just one of those nights, I guess, of battling myself from the beginning. The good thing is it’s an exhibition game. . . . In five days, we’ll try to make an adjustment and hopefully do a little bit better. I’m not worried about it,” he said. “In my last start, I wasn’t as wild as the walks suggested. Some calls could have gone either way in that start. And tonight, it was just one of those deals you have to kind of shake off and move on.”

Jon is's only spring training, but the games start for real THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. I'm ready. Are you? That's a wrap for this Saturday morning.

With much trepidation, my girlfriend and best friend Nadia arrived in Hartford at 5:30pm EDT. I'm so glad she's here...we get along (so far). Thanks, Nadi, for the tough trip..the end of the rainbow was I worth it? I hope so. Click on the title for more Sox news, enjoy the NCAA games, men and women, Through Tuesday night and as alway, BE WELL.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Penny Is Heads Up!

Terry Francona, the manager of the Boston Red Sox, has officially named Brad Penny as the team's number five starter. Yesterday, Penny hit 96 MPH on his fastball and mixed in a decent splitter among his 79 pitches. If his shoulder holds up, he will be a huge plus for the team. Here's his pitching line...


B Penny 5 5 3 3 0 3 0

Not a bad outing, and remember, he won't be pitching until April 12th, weather permitting. Here's what Boston Red Sox manager Terry "Tito" Francona had to say.

“He did what we wanted him to do,” Francona said. “We need to sit down and talk. That’s why I want to keep things open. Again, weather could get in the way.”“He’s all set,” the manager said. “Monday, on Opening Day, with the weather, who knows, things could change. We could need a fifth starter before April 12. We’ll stay flexible.”

Brad Penny, the man himself, had these words for the assembled masses...

“The arm strength is there. The velocity is there,” said Penny, whose 2008 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers was marred by shoulder trouble. "This whole camp, I’ve felt pretty good. There was no pain, and the velocity was there,” he said. “I think today was the best overall stuff I’ve had this spring. I got to let it go and be more aggressive with it, while at the same time working on my off-speed stuff.”

That's great news for that team from Boston. Spring training 2009 is over and the team will get down to business Monday afternoon at Fenway Park when they play the Devil Rays, who will be one of the three competing teams (NY & Boston) in the AL East. It might even be a log jam near the top of those standings. But we'll take it one day at a time, one game at a time, and hope the injuries are all behind us.

Thanks for your Friday can click on the title of this post for more Sox stuff, too. On a quick personal note, my girlfriend arrives at 2:45pm EDT today in Farmington, Connecticut. She's been on three different buses for the past day and a half and I feel for her. She leaves Philly at 8am and arrives in NYC, where she will change buses for the LAST time. Her next stop, with NO stops in between, is Farmington, my hometown. Sometimes she gets a little bothered when I watch the UCONN men and women basketball teams, and here she comes on Final Four weekend, but I told her it would all be over by Wednesday morning. Safe trip, my Nadi. To my Constant Readers, as always, BE WELL. Your comments are welcome and always answered. See ya.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Like Manny Like Youk? Grind Away!

I came across an interesting article in the Thursday Boston Herald. In it, Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt expressed his theory that soon Kevin Youkilis will command Manny Ramirez-like respect from opposing pitchers as he bats cleanup for the Boston Red Sox. Youk, the gentleman that he always is, or at least most of the time, had this to say. My thanks go out to the Herald and John Tomase...

“Oh god,” Youkilis said. “I don’t know about that. I don’t think I’ll ever get to that point. If I did, it would be amazing. But you’re talking about the best hitter in baseball. No one’s ever going to be Manny. I don’t think anyone’s ever going to pitch to me like him. The home run threat’s not there like it is with him. . . . But it’s definitely a nice thing when a guy of Schmidt’s caliber says that. I think the key isn’t so much are guys hitting for power, it’s are they giving good at-bats,” Youkilis said. “You have a guy like J.D. Drew, he grinds out pitchers. Jason Bay, Mike Lowell, all the way down the line we grind out good at-bats. We don’t need another bat here. We just need to keep grinding, the way the Boston Red Sox have for years now. That’s our motto - to grind it out every day.”

I understand his reaction but Kevin WAS second runner up in the '08 AL MVP voting and he just seems to get better at the plate every year. His defense at first base is almost legendary, or it WILL be. And that's the name of THAT tune.

Yesterday in Florida, the Red Sox scored a run in the top of the ninth and the bullpen hung tight in the bottom of that frame, allowing Boston to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 4-3. Josh Beckett started and gave up a ton of hits but not many runs. It was his last tuneup before his opening day start on Monday. Here's the Red Sox pitching summary...

Josh Beckett 3.2 7 3 3 1 4 3.03
Javier Lopez 2.1 0 0 0 0 2 3.24
Manny Delcarmen 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 3.55
Jonathan Papelbon 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 3.00
Chris George 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00

Let's hope Beckett gets his act together before his Monday Fenway start against one of the three teams who will be involved in the AL East race. The other two are the Yankees and the Red Sox. Yes, that's's a three team horse race to the very end of the season, Tampa Bay, Boston and New York. At least that's the way I see it.

Thanks for popping in and enjoy your Thursday. On a personal note, my girlfriend Nadia is on a bus right now on her way here from Minnesota. I wish she could have taken a plane but ID problems presented themselves. She'll be in, God willing, Friday at 2:30pm EDT. That's WAYYY too much time on a bus for me and I'll worry until she first steps on Farmington, Connecticut ground. You can click on this post's title for that Youk article, among others, and as always, BE WELL. Shalom. Aloha. See ya. Safe trip, Nadi. Love you.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


The University of Connecticut women's basketball team, number one in the nation the entire season, defeated Arizona State University by a score of 83-64 on Sunday. They will play Stanford next Sunday. I'm sure all the UCONN players remember very well that it was Stanford who knocked them out of last year's Final Four. Revenge will be on their minds and in their hearts. GO HUSKIES.

In Boston Red Sox news, Clay Buchholz was rocked by the Tampa Bay Rays for nine hits and six runs in 5 1/3 innings of work. It comes down to this...if Penny can pitch himself into shape, he will be our fifth starter come April 12th. If not, Buchholz will make the rotation and the start. Here's yesterday's awful (Buchholz was the only Sox pitcher who was awful) Red Sox pitching summary...

Clay Buchholz 5.1 9 6 6 1 4 2.57
Justin Masterson 2.2 1 1 1 0 3 2.45
Ramon Ramirez 1.0 1 0 0 1 0 3.18

By the way, Boston won the game by a score of 8-7. Clay Buchholz had this to say, followed by the words of Boston manager Tito Francona...

“I’m the next guy in line,” he said, “so I’m just going to keep coming out every day and doing my work and then hopefully something good will come out of it. If Brad’s healthy, he’s definitely going to help the club, so I hope he has good health and goes out and does what he does. If not, I’ll be there to back him up. If I get sent down,” he said, “I’m just going to take it as it was out of my power and they had their mind made up, because I don’t think I could have pitched any better than I pitched. I feel like I did a pretty good job with it, coming into this year. It’s been something to see.

“I think, all spring, he set out to make decisions hard for us and he’s done a terrific job,” said manager Terry Francona. “He’s picked up his tempo, he’s attacking with his fastball, his changeup is starting to have that old life to it, and he’s thrown some good breaking balls. We’re really pleased with him.”

So where do we stand right now? The numbers one through four guys in the rotation will be Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka and Wakefield. Sound familiar? The number five guy will be either Brad Penny or Buchholz until, that is, John Smoltz is ready to toe the rubber, probably within a month and a half. Clay's fate won't be known for a few more days, maybe as long as April 10th or so. But we're OK.

Have a great Monday as we start a new week, the last week before baseball begins anew. Click on the title for more on the Sox and as always, BE WELL. GO UCONN HUSKIES! I love 'em. See ya. P.S. Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit good luck to every one of you. Thanks for stopping in to my little corner of the "blue nowhere."