Monday, August 31, 2009

Toronto's "Doc" Halladay Gunned Down By The Red Sox And Paul Byrd's Six-Shooter

Well, Paul Byrd doesn't really have a six-shooter...he only struck out one Toronto batter. But he DID give his team, the Boston Red Sox, six great innings, allowing zero runs and three hits, walking three and whiffing one. The Boston bullpen, still one of the best in the American League made even better with the acquisition of Billy Wagner, took over in the seventh. Manny Delcarmen, Billy Wagner, in his Boston debut and Takashi Saito goose-egged the Jays from there. Indeed, after the Sox scored single runs in each of the first four frames, it was over. Red Sox manager Terry "Tito" Francona had these glowing words for Tim Wakefield's replacement, Mr. Byrd. More on Timmy a bit later...

“A month ago he was throwing BP to his kids,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Byrd, he creates his own excitement,” Francona said. “He’s running around patting everyone on the back, he’s yelling at Varitek, he’s waving to his wife. He’s got all kinds of things going on.”

Indeed, Paul made us all happy with his antics Sunday, but when it was time to get down to business, he did just that. Here's the born-again pitcher himself with a few syllables...

“I came in with no expectations other than I was really hoping to give our team six or seven innings, a quality start,” Byrd said. “Halladay’s one of the top guys in the league. I’m trying to help our bullpen. I’m trying to get my feet wet. I had no expectations.”

With a Texas Rangers loss yesterday, the American League wild card lead for Boston is a comfortable (for now) 3 1/2 games. Oh, about Tim Wakefield. His back started to tighten up on him during his very effective last start and he expects to get a cortisone shot today. We just have to hope we'll see him before the postseason. Get well, Timmah.

As for the Red Sox, they travel into a house of trouble, Tropicana Field, for three games starting tomorrow night. Their record there at the home of the Tampa Bays Rays is woeful. Here are the pitching matchups, three night games that begin at 7:08pm EDT...

7:08 PM ET NESN Lester (10-7) vs. Sonnanstine (6-7)
7:08 PM ET ESPN Beckett (14-5) vs. Garza (7-9)
7:08 PM ET NESN Buchholz (3-3) vs. Price (7-6)

We go with our three best, so let's hope for another sweep (way easier said than done. 2 of 3 would be just fine with me). Boston has won 10 of their last 13 and are the hottest team in the junior circut.

That's it for this early Monday morning, the last day of August. September already? Wow. September will be the month when we find out if Boston will have any baseball plans in October. I tend to think they will. Francona has done a great job, as usual, spreading the work load amongst his talented crew of major league baseball players. That's one of his strong points. Sure, sometimes it seems like he makes the wrong move, the wrong substitution or the wrong pitcher put into a game at the exact wrong time, but much more often than not, he's exactly right. He's a good man and an underratedly great major league manager. The Red Sox are lucky to have him at the helm. Case closed. Boom. Thump.

Click on this post's title for more Red Sox coverage ala the Boston Globe and as always, BE WELL. GO SOX. Your comments are always welcome and always answered to the best of my baseball ability. See ya...real soon.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Give You The BYRD...Boston 7 Toronto 0

Paul, that is. A sweet first again start for the Boston Red Sox pitcher. Here's the line for the Sox new again guy. A SHUTOUT!

Happy Sunday to one and all. I'll have the full wrap tomorrow...just another Monday. An off day magic Monday.


P. Byrd 6.0 3 0 0 3 1 0 1.00 0.00
M. Del 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1.42 3.25
B. Wagner 1.0 1 0 0 0 3 0 1.00 0.00
T. Saito 1.0 1 0 0 1 2 0 1.30 2.68

Buchholz Matures Into A Pitcher, At Least For One Night...Boston 3 Toronto 2

Clay Buchholz' 95 MPH four seamer set up all his other pitches, most notably his nasty curve, as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 3-2. If this was the Buchholz we'll see often in the future, Boston is in good shape. Clay came within two outs of pitching a complete game and when manager Tito Francona trotted out to put Okajima in to pitch to the upcoming lefthanded batter, the Fenway crowd booed as one. Papelbon had to come in to record the final two outs but the night belonged to Clay. First pitch strikes and more first pitch strikes made it tough for the Canadian birdies. His catcher said this...

“I was just talking to him and tried to let him know that as a hitter, I didn’t really want to face him,” said catcher Victor Martinez. “I’m glad that I’m on his side now, just for him to know he has great stuff. He just needs to throw it a little more and go right at hitters. If you see how he pitched today, it sounds easy, but it’s not. He was throwing a lot of 0-1, 0-2 counts, and I always say when you face a pitcher like that who jumps on you early in the count, it’s pretty tough. He’s not a secret. Clay has great stuff.”

His manager agreed. Here he is...

“That was a terrific game,’’ Francona said. “He threw strikes with a lot of pitches, changeup, breaking ball, fastball. There was one situation - and I know it was probably four innings ago - but he got behind on the leadoff hitter after a long inning, threw a nice little two-seamer for a grounder. He really pitched well. He has a great changeup. I actually think when he establishes his fastball and makes hitters respect that, it makes his changeup that much better. You start adding in two breaking balls for strikes, it gave him a lot of different looks.’’

And the man himself, who is maturing before our very eyes. When he is "on," watch out, opposing hitters...

"I think I was better tonight than that one night,” Buchholz said when asked about his no-no. “I look at that video whenever we face Baltimore and there were a lot of pitches I left up that could have been hit out of the park just as quick as they popped them up or swung through them.”

In terms of control and domination, he WAS better than his no-no against the Orioles. Watch the 8am EDT NESN condensed one hour replay of the game and you'll see for yourself. I guarantee it. In all, he was able to go 8 1/3 innings and gave up only 3 hits, walking 2 and striking out 9 (!!). He was so much fun to watch. Remember, in the fifth inning, the score was only 1-0 Good Guys, so he was pitching with pressure as a partner. In all, the Sox left 12 men stranded on base, but he was up to the task. Here he is one more time...

"Now I think I’ve evolved into a pitcher instead of just being able to go out there and throw a ball.’’

Keep it going, Clay. God knows, this team needs you bigtime.

On another note, I hope you had a chance yesterday to watch some or all of Ted Kennedy's funeral. It was touching beyond words. Goodbye, Teddy. May your soul rest in peace forever. AMEN.

Today, this afternoon, actually, it's be Jon Lester ready to face the ace of the Blue Jays' staff , Roy "Doc" Halladay. Let's beat him again. You can click on this post's title for more on last night's game and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for being here.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Stop Joshing Around! Boston 6 Toronto 5

The game Friday night at soggy Fenway Park began with an off & on light drizzle that turned into a persistant rain in the later innings. Josh Beckett had far from his best stuff and didn't figure in the decision. Okajima earned that honor. But the play of the day belonged to our captain, Jason Varitek. With the Blue Jays about to score the go-ahead run before the skies opened in the eighth, Varitek blocked home plate like a Jersey barrier to cut down 245 pound heavyweight Travis Snider and lift the Red Sox to a 6-5 victory.

“He’s a warrior, man,” said pitcher Daniel Bard, who was saved the run. “He’s intimidating when you see him walking out in his full gear and that’s exactly why. He’s a competitor and that’s the reason the Red Sox still want him here, because he does stuff like that for the team. That’s not going to show up in the stats or be in the box score tomorrow, but that’s as big a play as you could ask for tonight. Unbelievable,” Bard said. “His foot was maybe six inches in front of the plate and the foot didn’t move. It didn’t move an inch. It looked like Snider could have broken his shin. I guess he’s OK, because he stayed in the game, but I looked at the replay and the way Snider hit, I’m guessing he’s got some ice on it now.”

And the captain chipped in with this. After all, he, with a great throw from Gonzo, made last night's victory possible...

“It all started with J-Bay getting the ball to Alex and Alex getting the ball to me and they were all good throws,” Varitek said. “You can’t do anything without a good throw. I felt like my foot was down solid,” Varitek said. “I knew there was a chance.”

W love you, Jason. So, all's well that ends well. The Texas Rangers lost so Boston's wild card lead is up to 2 1/2 games. The Red Sox will be there in October, ready to spank the Yankees. Josh Beckett will regain his mid-season invulnerability and all will be well in Red Sox Nation.

At 7:10pm ET, the two teams will do it all over again. It'll be Buchholz verses Romero. Let's hope the Sox can keep winning as we quickly approach the lovely month of September. October happens to be my favorite of all, but September is special, too. I thank you for popping in and you can click on this post's title for more Red Sox coverage ala Sports Illustrated. As always, BE WELL. Have a terrific weekend. GO SOX.

Friday, August 28, 2009

NOT So Home On The Range...Texas 9 Boston 4

It was 4-0 Rangers after 2 innings, 9-0 (!!) Rangers after 4 frames. There...that tells the whole story of the Thursday night game in Arlington, Texas, or should I say the OK Corral. The final score was Texas 9 Boston 4 and coupled with the Rangers victory over the pinstripers, the wild card lead for the Sox is down to 1 1/2 games. Boston pitching coach John Farrell had a dark assesment of Junichi, who was battered but escaped in his last start because of a few (many) fortunate circumstances. Last night, NOTHING was fortunate. Heeere's Johnny (sorry, Ed)...

“He became a one-pitch pitcher,’’ pitching coach John Farrell said.

Ouch. Red Sox manager Terry Francona's words were just as bleak...

"It was a rough night, right from the beginning,’’ Francona said. “As bleak as the game was looking, it looked worse from where we were. He obviously wasn’t commanding any of his secondary stuff,” said Francona of Tazawa, who has allowed 32 hits in his 20 innings. “When you’re throwing one pitch, you better be pretty fine with it. It was a tough night, right from the beginning, and we didn’t have a lot of protection for him, so we left him out there for a little while.

32 hits in 20 innings won't get anyone anywhere fast. Boston obviously brought him up too quickly because they needed a healthy starter. It hasn't worked out but a couple of years in the minor leagues and a couple more pitches in his repetoire will do wonders. Right now, the Boston Red Sox are in a race to play in the postseason. Every game, every inning, counts bigtime. After all, it's almost September. The bullpen is fine but the starting rotation lacks a valid fifth starter. Let's see, Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, a healthy far, so good. But that's where the good ends. The alternative to Tazawa? I don't know his name. Theo and company do, though. It's not Nick Green, who pitched the eighth and the ninth innings last night and allowed zero hits but walked 3. He saved the bullpen from depletion. Great job, Nick of all trades.

Now it's on to the great white North (America) for three games with the Blue Jays. Here are the pitching matchups for a series the Sox MUST win, if not sweep...

8/28/2009 Tor 7:10 PM ET NESN Beckett (14-5) vs. Richmond (6-7)
8/29/2009 Tor 7:10 PM ET NESN Buchholz (2-3) vs. Romero (11-5)
8/30/2009 Tor 1:35 PM ET NESN Lester (10-7) vs. Halladay (13-7)

Anytime the Sox have to go against Halladay, the odds will be against them, but I see a two of three win series...I hope. What will be will be...we all know that. Enjoy your Friday. You can click on this post's title for more Sox coverage, leave a comment and as always, BE WELL. I mean it. Thanks.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Walkoff & Wakefield...Boston 3 Chicago 2

Big Papi David Ortiz saved the best for last. He clubbed his second tater of the game in walk-off fashion to propel the Boston Red Sox to a 3-2 victory at Fenway Park. Tim Wakefield came back from his injury and pounded and pounded the strike zone. He was able to go 7 strong innings, giving up a lone first inning run and scattering 6 hits, walking 1 and whiffing 3. Sox pitching coach John Farrell and manager Terry "Tito" Francona probably expected Wakes to go five but he did better than that. Here's John...

“I think it’s appropriate to say he can gush over this one all he wants,’’ Farrell declared. “I don’t know if there are enough words to say what he did tonight.’’

And Tito...

“I don’t know how he did it,’’ added Francona. “That was more than you could possibly expect.’’

How about the man himself, Timmah...

“I had better command than I did in Pawtucket, obviously, throwing a lot of strikes with a lot of movement,’’ said Wakefield.

He was so much fun to watch last night on NESN HD because he absolutely knew where the ball was dippingly and droppingly going to go. On a side note, Victor Martinez caught Wakes and used his first baseman's mitt. All in all, it was a great evening to be at Fenway park and I wish I had been there. It looks like Wakes is back and the same thing goes for Big Papi. Boston
has now won 7 of their last 9 games and with the Yankees win over the Rangers, they now have a 2 1/2 game lead in the wild card race.

In other Red Sox news, it looks like it's bye bye Brad as Penny will be let go to make room for reliever Billy Wagner. We might only have Wags for the balance of this 2009 season before he becomes a free agent or he might change his mind and stay with the club for 2010. No matter what, he and Papelbon should make a tremendous 8th and 9th inning combination. If Boston has a lead after 7 full, they'll win most of those games. As Paul said long ago, Let It Be.

Tonight, the Red Sox will go for the four game sweet sweep as Tazawa will face Danks. Gametime will be at 7:10pm EDT. Oh, I forgot to mention this. Last night's emotional ceremony and video tribute to Teddy Kennedy made me shed a few tears. The last of the brothers, four of them, all gone. Joe, John, Bobby and

Have a great Thursday, click on the title for more on the latest Red Sox victory Boston Herald style and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the "blue nowhere."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bay Blasts Red Sox Over Rangers...Boston 6 Texas 3

Jason Bay’s eighth-inning, one-out solo home run off Scott Linebrink pushed across the winning run as the Boston Red Sox won another game against the visiting Texas Rangers by a score of 6-3. Jon Lester started and was involved in a very cose game. He was able to go 6 2/3 innings, giving up 4 runs on three hits while walking 2 and whiffing 6. He allowed 1 home run. The bullpen was flawless, taking care of the rest of the game with goose eggs galore. Here's Jason Bay...

“It’s kind of nice to do it when it matters and put the team up,” Bay said. “It’s something I had done a little earlier in the year with the big hits and then just kind of struggled for a month and a half there, and so it was nice to get back and have a big hit for the team when we needed it.”

Sox manager Tito Francona said this...

“Any way we could push a run across at that point - that was a beautiful swing,” manager Terry Francona said. “We did a lot of good things. Starting with Lester, the way he threw the ball.”

The Rangers and Red Sox go again tonight at Fenway Park, with Wakefield ready to face Floyd. I'm going to wrap this up now and watch the Today Show coverage of the death of Teddy Kennedy. Rest in peace, Teddy. You will be missed forever. To my Constant Readers, check out the post just below this one. As always, BE WELL.


This is from the Boston Globe. The blurb includes the official family statement. My thanks to the Boston Globe...
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who carried aloft the torch of a Massachusetts dynasty and a liberal ideology to the citadel of Senate power, but whose personal and political failings may have prevented him from realizing the ultimate prize of the presidency, died at his home in Hyannis Port last night after a battle with brain cancer. He was 77.

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,’’ his family said in a statement. “We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness, and opportunity for all. He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it’s hard to imagine any of them without him.’’
President Barak Obama released this statement while vacationing on, ironically, Martha's Vineyard, not far from the Kennedy compound...

"An important chapter in our history has come to an end," he said. "Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States senator of our time."
Teddy, I sure will miss you. I still think to this very day that the eulogy you gave for your brother Bobby in 1968 was and always will be one of the most beautiful speeches I have ever heard. You were remarkable. You made me cry. Rest in peace, my friend.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Billy Wagner To The Red Sox

This just in from the Boston Globe...

"Whether it was a chance to pitch in a pennant race, a factor based on finances and his future, or simply the assurance that the Red Sox won't overuse his repaired left arm, this much is certain: Billy Wagner had a change of heart, and he's coming to Boston after all. The lefthanded, long-time closer, who was claimed by Boston on waivers from the New York Mets on Friday, waived his no-trade clause this afternoon after the Red Sox and Mets worked out a trade before the 1:30 p.m. deadline. The Red Sox will pay the remainder of Wagner's salary this season. The Red Sox will send two players to be named later to New York in exchange for the 38-year-old Wagner."

"We're realistic," said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. "He's less than a year removed from Tommy John surgery. We're not claiming we won a playoff spot today. We made a move to add a really quality pitcher to our bullpen, and we already have a good bullpen. We're real happy about that."

I'm happy, too. More first thing in the morning. GO SOX. NOW.

Red Sox Bats Bail Out Buchholz...Boston Red Sox 12 Chicago White Sox 8

Boston Red Sox righthander Clay Buchholz, who had had three great outings in a row, was off his game Monday night at good old Fenway Park. But the Boston bats bailed him out bigtime. They scored 12 runs, 11 of 'em with two outs, as the Red Sox beat the American League team from Chicago by a score of 12-8. Buchholz was only able to go 4 2/3 innings and gave up 6 hits and 7 earned runs, but while that was happening, the Boston runners kept crossing the plate. Ramon Ramirez, the eventual winning pitcher, came on in the fifth. He was followed by Hideki Okajima's quick appearance, then Daniel Bard and Jonathon Papelbon in a non-save situation. The offense was led by a three run Mikey Lowell mammoth tater over everything and three hits by the second baseman, Dustin Pedroia. The Sox have been hitting the baseball lately, averaging 9 runs in their last 9 games, and Jason Bay had something to say about it...

“Games like this I think we’ve envisioned early on, everyone chipping in, not just one or two carrying the load,” said Jason Bay. "It couldn’t happen at a better time, but I’m still reluctant to say it’s going to last the rest of the year, but definitely, the way we’ve played in the second half, it’s nice to do what we’ve done.”

Here's his manager...

“It’s nice to have a feel that if they score first or if we’re down by a few that we have that feeling that we can put some runs on the board because we went through a period there where we weren’t doing that,” manager Terry Francona said.

Needless to say, starter Clay Buchholz was a dissapointed pitcher. He voiced his feelings after the game to the assembled media...

“I’ve got to go out there and put zeros in multiple innings in a row to even stand a chance to get past the fifth, sixth inning. I failed to do that,” Buchholz said. “I had three good starts leading up to this one and definitely wanted to have another one. It’s hard to go out there and not get a win when your team gives you nine or 10 runs to do it.”

Tonight at Fenway, it'll be Lester ready to face Floyd.

In other Sox news, it looks like Mets reliever Billy Wagner will NOT be coming to New England (WRONG..see the next post).. Among other issues, he said he does not want to end his career being a set-up guy. It would have been nice to have another lefthander in the 'pen, but we're OK there.

That's it for this still dark Tuesday. Enjoy your day and let's hope for more crooked numbers on the bottom half of the Fenway scoreboard tonight. You can click on this post's title for more Sox coverage from Sports Illustrated dot com and as always, BE WELL. See ya...soon.

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's Tater City At Fenway Park As New York Blasts Boston...Yankees 8 Boston 4

Is something wrong with Josh Beckett? Is there something he's not telling us? I hope not but lately, he hasn't looked himself. His pitching line last night went like this...8 innings pitched with 9 hits and 5 (!!) home runs given up. He walked no one (because most of 'em were hit out) and whiffed 5. He was, in a word, forgettable and Boston finds itself squarely in the Wild Card race. The Yankees, at least now, have been playing too well. Josh Beckett expressed his exasperation...

“It’s frustrating. You can’t give up seven runs every time you go out there,” Beckett said. “You’re not going to be here very long if you do that. That was a whupping I got today.

Red Sox leftfielder Jason Bay summed it up much better than I could...

“At the end of the day, we’ll take a little solace in the fact that Sabathia has been pitching well, he pitched well tonight, and we still got four runs,” said Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay, who scored the unearned run with a heads-up dash from first on a dropped pop-up. “Ultimately tonight our guy gave up more, but I’d take Josh every day that we go out there, no question. They just beat us. I think what goes unnoticed around here is we’re in first place for the other playoff spot,” Bay said. “We won the wild card last year and made Game 7 of the ALCS.”

Right now, there's no stopping the pinstripers. Their pitching is good, their hitting is among the best and they've been playing well. But right now the Chicago White Sox invade Fenway Park. Here are the pitching matchups at a time when every game is a must, if not to catch the pinstripers, then to win the Wild Card. I know this team can do it. Here you go.,,

8/22/2009 CWS 7:10 PM ET NESN Buchholz (2-3) vs. Contreras (5-11)
8/25/2009 CWS 7:10 PM ET NESN Lester (10-7) vs. Garcia (0-1)
8/26/2009 CWS 7:10 PM ET NESN Wakefield (11-3) vs. Floyd (10-8)

That's a wrap for this not upbeat Monday morning. Why not upbeat? The last three games for that team you and I love. But it's still August and we're right up there in the AL Wild Card race. We go on. And on.

Click on this post's title for more on the weekend series with the Yankees and as always, BE WELL. Thanks

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tazawa Tames Bombers As Wakes Will Be Back In The Rotation Wednesday...Bye Bye Penny...Boston Red Sox 14 NY Yankees 1

Junichi Tazawa, the young Red Sox righthander who just one year ago was pitching in the Industrial League of Japan, did what no Boston pitcher could do Friday night...he utterly and completely shut down the pinstripers for six full innings. The beautiful final score was Boston 14, Yankees 1. In all, he was unscored upon and allowed 8 hits (of the scattered variety) while walking two and striking out two. He showed poise and made the big pressure pitch when he needed to. Here is the Red Sox pitching coach, John Farrell, with well-deserved words of praise...

“The challenges that he’s faced in a very short period of time, he’s met them with the same mentality, the same body language that he showed in spring training,’’ pitching coach John Farrell said, after Tazawa had earned the win in a 14-1 clobbering of the Yankees at Fenway. “Again, the last time he pitched against Detroit here, we were saying less than a year ago he was pitching in the Industrial League in Japan. What he’s done in a very short period of time is impressive. The mound presence and the poise that he has, we knew that would be something he would take to the mound today,’’ Farrell said. “It further played out with some key pitches in some tight situations, particularly with two outs, some not only big-name hitters, but some very productive hitters at the plate. He did a great job for us.’’

I watched every one of his pitches and was pleased, especially after the Brad Penny abortion the night before. The bullpen, in the form of Bard for one inning and Gonzales the last two, held New York to their sole run. The hitting star for Boston? Kevin Youkilis, by far. He drove in 6 runs on the strength of 2 (count 'em) taters. Big Papi continued his long ball habit with a homer, as did our new shortstop, Alex Gonzalez. Put it this way...the score was 7-0 Good Guys after only two frames. It was over by then, much to my jumping glee. The teams have split two games and our Sox are where they were when the series started, but tonight's nationally televised tonight should be a good one. CC Sabathia will take on a guy named Josh Beckett. Josh had an off-par outing last time so watch out, pinstripers. BEWARE. The game will be an ESPN and ESPN HD one. A BoSox win is a MUST. GO SOX.

Timmy Wakefield will be back on the Boston mound Wednesday night, so for now, it's goodbye Brad Penny. He didn't pitch well enough for Boston manager Terry Francona to do anything else. Great job, Tito.

Thank you for taking a few minutes of your Sunday to stop by my little corner of the "blue nowhere." I appreciate it more than you'll ever know. Enjoy the last day of this weekend and if you'd like to leave a comment about anything, go right ahead. I''ll read 'em and respond. Promise. As always, BE WELL. on this post's title for more Sox stuff SI dot com style...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

After 6 Innings...9-0 Red Sox

I don't want to jinx Boston (and I won't!), but Junichi Tazawa looks good in blanking the far. He might have another inning in him with a confidence-booster start. AJ Burnett has given up a career-high 9 runs.

More later. HAPPY 70th birthday to number 8..YAZ.

Twenty Of Trouble... Bye Bye Penny ? Yankees 20 Red Sox 11

In what might have mercifully been Brad Penny's last start for the Boston Red Sox, the NY Yankees pounded out 23 hits and crossed the plate 20 times as they trashed the Sox by a score of 20-11 at Fenway Park Friday night. The way the pinstripers have been playing since the All Star game, they're going to be awfully tough to catch in the AL East, almost impossible. But stranger things have happened...remember 1978?

Penny went four awful innings and gave up 8 runs on 10 (!) hits, walking 1 and whiffing 4. He is not long for this team. Another young arm will be called up from the minors soon. The Boston 'pen wasn't any better, but I really do not want to go into any more details. I smell the coffee brewing. Here's what Big Papi said after the game...

“I can tell you one thing,” slugger David Ortiz said. “That’s not the team that we played two months ago. They’ve always found a way to pull themselves together. We’ve been watching that for years.”

Boston third baseman Mikey Lowell also had a few choice words after the lopsided loss...

l“It’s plain and simple that we got our asses kicked pretty good,” third baseman Mike Lowell said. “Those games are easier to forget than the ones you lose 2-1, because we didn’t have a chance today.”

What makes them seem like a different team? Mike Lowell went on...

“They’re swinging the bats much better, no doubt about that,” Lowell said. “I don’t think anyone thought they were going to play the type of baseball they played against us those first eight games for the whole year.” (Thank you Boston Herald).

I've turned the page...can you? Boston maintained it's one game lead over Texas in the AL Wild Card race but lost a game to the Rays. The two teams will do it all over again shortly after 4pm EDT today, a game televised nationally by Fox and Fox HD. The pitchers will be Tazawa and Burnett, who has been pitching well of late. Another Sox loss would be crippling. Oh, one more thing. It was SO good to have Jerry Remy back in the NESN booth last night. May good health follow him for a long, long time. We love ya, Jerry.

That's a wrap for this Thursday, August 22nd. Click on this post's title for a column by the Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs, who delves into the thinking process of Jim Rice when he made his ridiculous "remarks" about Derek Jeter yesterday. Jacobs is, quite simply, the best when it comes to expressing an opinion on all facets of sports. Click on the title...I'd love to read your comments about it. I have my own thoughts but the coffee beckons...I'll express them later.

Have a great Saturday as the Sox face a "must-win" situation this afternoon at the Fens. As always, BE WELL. See ya..soon and please click on this post's title. Thanks.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jon Lester And JD Drew Sweepingly Good As Red Sox Sweep Jays 8-1

After a little shakiness in the first inning, Boston Red Sox lefthander Jon Lester settled down and pitched an eight inning gem. Boston completed the three game sweep of the at-home Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 8-1. Lester gave up a first inning run and only three hits, walking two and whiffing five. From the third inning on, he was as dominant as one can get. The Red Sox offense was powered by rightfielder JD Drew's four hits, including two taters. He had three RBIs and was, of course, on base every time he came up to the plate. If only he could stay hot for, oh, a little more than a month and a half. Wouldn't it be nice? The Red Sox manager had this to say about the Jays' mistakes and the way his club took advantage of them...

“They made some mistakes and we took advantage of it,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “And that’s what we need to do. We had some timely hitting, we had some balance, we played with a lot of energy. This has been a tough place for us up here, and we played pretty crisp baseball.’’

All in all, it was a fun game to watch. With the Yankees looming large on the horizon starting tonight, it was an important victory from a vitally important cog of the Boston pitching rotation. Let me give you Dustin Pedroia's words...

“We’re swinging the bats well,’’ Dustin Pedroia said. “We’ve just got to keep it going. Lot of good at-bats. We’re headed home right now and hopefully we can get on a little run here. We’re excited. They (the Yankees) beat up on us pretty good at their place, so we’re going to come out and hopefully play a lot better than we did at their place."

The pinstripers have beaten us four times in a row, all in the Bronx. It's time to give them a taste of "Fenway medicine." Here are the pitching matchups for the three game weekend series...

Friday 8/21/2009 7:10 PM EDT NESN...Penny (7-7) vs. Pettitte (9-6)
Saturday 8/22/2009 4:10 PM EDT Fox...Tazawa (1-2) vs. Burnett (10-6)
Sunday 8/23/2009 8:05 PM EDT ESPN...Beckett (14-4) vs. Sabathia (14-7)

How much better can it get, especially the marquee Sunday night ESPN battle? The Red Sox need to sweep da bums...time is running out in this month of August. The weather here in southern New England, including Boston, will have jungle-like humidity and heat tonight, gradually decreasing over the weekend. Hurricane Bill will pass well to the east of Cape Cod and Martha's vineyard, so not to worry. Let's worry (just a little) about the Yankess. I get the chills just looking at Sunday night's nationally televised matchup. WOW!

Click on this post's title for more Sox news from the Boston Herald and as always, BE WELL. Have a great weekend, leave a comment or two and thanks for stopping by. Nadia says hello. See ya...soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Buchholz Outduels "The Doc"...BRUCE Lights Up A Hot Hartford Night

It was a doubly good Wednesday night for Red Sox fans and Bruce Springsteen lovers in New England and here in Hartford. First, the game.

Clay Buchholz was solid once again for the Boston Red Sox as he and his teammates beat the at home Jays by a score of 6-1. It was another tremendous start for the up-and-coming Buchholz, who lately always seems to have to go up against an opposing team's best pitcher. He said this about that after his successful six inning outing...

“It’s always fun going up against the other team’s best pitcher. If you want to succeed in this game for a long time, you’ve got to succeed against the guys that are the best in the game, and he’s definitely in that category.’ I felt really good the last three times out,’’ Buchholz said. I went up against a guy that’s in the running for the Cy Young award. It’s hard to go out there and expect a lot of run support, so you want to keep the runs to a minimum. It’s been a whole lot better for me this year being back up (in the majors) as far as getting outs in key situations and making some good pitches and minimizing damage.’’

Clay did both last night. The Boston 'pen put up goose eggs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Boston goes for the road sweep tonight before returning to Fenway for a three game set with the NY Yankees. It'll be Lester facing Richmond. Enjoy the game and GO SOX.

Now, here's the latest on the Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band concert last night in Hartford, a place he and the band love to play. We love to have them, too. My thanks to the Hartford Courant for this fine review...

"Overheard in Hartford Wednesday afternoon: "Has Bruce Springsteen worn out his welcome?"

No, he has not. It's a fair question, given that he's now played here four times since October 2007, including a performance Wednesday night at Comcast Theatre that clocked in at darn close to 3 hours. But he wouldn't keep coming back if there weren't interest, and there was plenty of that this time around, even on one of the hottest days of the summer.
The sweltering weather made for a sweaty show on stage and in the crowd, but there was something special about the vibe that created: a sort of superheated rock 'n' roll delirium as Springsteen dug deep into his catalog for concert rarities and sat them next to some of his biggest and best songs.
"Do you feel the spirit?" he shouted early on, and the answer was yes. Well, either that or it was dehydration. Nah, let's go with spirit. Bruce sure felt it on the inky hot rock 'n' soul number "Spirit in the Night," drummer Max Weinberg swinging the song as Springsteen made forays into the crowd, clasping people's forearms and accepting a proffered beer, which he tossed back with a few quick gulps.
He dove into working class anthems, sounding defiant on "Out in the Street" and trapped on "Johnny 99," guitarist Nils Lofgren adding fiery lap steel as Springsteen wet him down with a sponge from a bucket near the drums.
The rarities included the cynical "Murder Incorporated" and "Be True," an outtake from sessions for his 1980 album "The River." It was one of the more reflective moments, along with the restless yearning of "My Love Will Not Let You Down" and "American Skin (41 Shots)," one of Springsteen's most pointed social commentaries.
There were moments of levity, too: Springsteen collected song requests on signs from people in the audience, and the band arranged a few of them on the spot, including joyous versions of Johnny Rivers' "Mountain of Love" and the Manfred Mann hit "Sha La La."
He pulled back from the deep cuts toward the end of the show with an impressive run to end his main set. "Lonesome Day" led to "The Rising," and then the lights came on for "Born to Run," the audience singing at top volume in a wringing catharsis.
Next came the buoyant "Rosalita," building to waves of saxophone from Clarence Clemons, followed by a deeply soulful version of "Thunder Road." It was a little less urgent and a little more wistful, and Clemons' iconic solo at the end shone out like a beacon for true believers.
Springsteen and the band had already played 24 songs by that point, but he seemed loath to stop. He pushed onward with another four songs in the encore: the folk songs "Hard Times Come Again No More" and "American Land," followed by "Dancing in the Dark" and, finally, a medley of "Twist and Shout" and "La Bamba."

Set list
1. Sherry Darling
2. Badlands
3. Out in the Street
4. Outlaw Pete
5. Spirit in the Night
6. Working on a Dream
7. Seeds
8. Johnny 99
9. Murder Incorporated
10. Something in the Night
11. Raise Your Hand
12. Mountain of Love
13. Sha La La
14. I'm on Fire
15. Be True
16. My Love Will Not Let You Down
17. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
18. The Promised Land
19. American Skin (41 Shots)
20. Lonesome Day
21. The Rising
22. Born to Run
23. Rosalita
24. Thunder Road
25. Hard Times Come Again No More
26. American Land
27. Dancing in the Dark
28. Twist and Shout/La Bamba

All I can say as a Bruce fan for coming up on 37 years (gulp!) is WOW. No words can describe last night any better. I hope your Thursday will be a good one as I try to find my voice...somewhere, somehow. Click on this post's title for more Sox stuff SI style and as always, BE WELL. Your comments are always welcome and always devoured with glee. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Buchholz BoSox Bonanza

Needless to say, Clay Buchholz shined again. The Red Sox tamed the Jays' Doc Halladay Wednesday night. More first thing in the early morning. Here's the box score...

A Wild And Woolly Win...Boston 10 Toronto 9

This time of the year, every game is a must and all the MLB teams must do whatever they can to put a victory in the win column. The Boston Red Sox did exactly that Tuesday night in Toronto as they defeated the Jays by a score of 10-9. It could have been easy...they blew leads of 4-0 and 7-3. With the recently untouchable and nearly unhittable Josh Beckett on the mound, you'd think the game should have been an open and shut case. But nooo, not by a long shot. Josh clearly struggled and didn't have his best stuff. Here, I'll let him explain...

“I didn’t have much,’’ Beckett said. “It was one of those days. It doesn’t have anything to do with health. I feel great. It’s just the stuff wasn’t there. I felt fine. I had energy and everything like that. When I went to make my pitch, it just didn’t come out.’’

With the help of Jacoby Ellsbury and Big Papi David Ortiz, who each had three RBIs, Boston pulled this one out even though Jonathon Papelbon allowed two inherited runners to score late, making it a one run nailbiter floor-pacer oy vei game. Here's the skipper...

“There’s something to be said for persistence,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “That was a very losable game. It would have been heartbreaking.”

And Jason Bay...

“It was a little bit of everybody tonight,” said left fielder Jason Bay, who blasted his 26th homer. “There wasn’t just one or two carrying the load. We were short-staffed with Pedey gone and Varitek banged up. It’s probably not the way you’d draw it up, but a win’s a win.”

OK, OK, it should have been easier. The Yankees won but the Rangers were defeated by the Minnesota Twins, so it was a good night for our Sox. We have to hope for another one tonight as Clay Buchholz will face (gulp) Roy Halladay. Clay needs to put another quality start under his belt and hope that his team will solve Doc.

Click on the title of this post to be directed to my girlfriend's brand new blog. She's Nads and her blog is called Delacacies by Nads. It has mouth-wateringly tremendous food tips and a little bit of everything. Bookmark it if you'd like. As always, BE WELL. I'll see you...soon. Go Sox, beat the "Doc."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund All-Star Online Auction

I just received this info. I hope you can take the time to read it. Thanks. It's a great cause to help those who need it.


Bidding Runs from August 17 through August 24

BOSTON- WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon is proud to announce the 2009 All-Star Online Auction. This is a great opportunity to bid on sixteen once in a life time experiences and items, while also supporting the lifesaving mission of the Jimmy Fund, which is raising critical funds for pediatric and adult cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. The auction is currently on eBay and bidding ends on August 24. This auction is in conjunction with the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon. The eighth annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon is on August 27 and 28, broadcast live from Fenway Park.
Selection of Items:
Kelly Clarkson Meet & Greet VIP Concert Experience for Two
A rare opportunity to not only meet the hit-maker and first American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson in concert, but also choose the venue!
The auction winner and one (1) guest will make their way to the city of their choice where they’ll meet Kelly prior to a show on her current tour (beginning August 14 and running through December) and enjoy a brief conversation, and then stay for the performance.
* Certain restrictions apply...

Throw First Pitch at the Red Sox Game on August 27 with Denis Leary & Lenny Clarke
What better way to celebrate the baseball season at Fenway Park than with rabid Red Sox fans Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke! At the start of the August 27 game, the winner will be escorted onto the field to throw the first pitch of the game, then—along with the winner’s guest—join the stars in the WEEI Sports Radio Network Suite to watch the game as well as enjoy an extended meet and greet with Leary and Clarke.
*Certain restrictions apply.
Meet & Greet with Jersey Boy Frankie Valli in Boston for Two, Plus a Signed Jersey Boys Souvenir Book
The winner and guest will have the chance to watch Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in concert from VIP seats at the Wang Theatre in Boston on November 7, then go backstage afterward to meet the original “Jersey Boy.”
* Certain restriction apply
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox Weekend Package with Airfare and More
Witness the rivalry that’s nearly as old as baseball itself: Yankees versus Red Sox games on the weekend of September 26 & 27, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in New York. The winner and a guest will fly to the game on American Airlines and dine at BLT Steak in NYC during their stay.
Certain restrictions apply.

Score a Home Game From Inside the Green Monster at Fenway Park!
The Green Monster—the enormous left field wall (tallest of any in Major League Baseball) at Fenway Park in Boston—has stood as home to the park’s scoreboard since 1912! Here’s the chance for the winner and a friend to score three innings of a 2010 home game from inside the wall and then catch the rest of the match from atop the legendary “monster.”
*Certain restriction apply for all auction items

Log onto for more information and to bid on items.

Thanks. I appreciate every one of you. Peter

Josh To The Rescue...Again. Smoltz Gone

After a much needed night off, the Boston Red Sox find themselves in Toronto, Canada for a three game series with the Blue Jays. Kevin Youkilis will be back in the lineup and our 2009 savior, Josh Beckett, will be on the hill. That's a great combination. Since mid to late April, Beckett has been on a tear, going 12-2 with a 2.17 ERA. Batters are hitting .208 off him and are slugging .314. Pretty much the stuff of a Cy Young candidate. After observing what kind of shape he was in after an off-season training program, manager Terry Francona and pitching coach supeme John Farrell knew good things were in store. Farrell had this to say recently (thanks, Boston Globe)...

“Overall command, strike-throwing ability, certainly is there. But I think the mental component of his game has been very consistent, very much under control. He’s one that thrives on adrenaline to get him to a certain level of competitive state, but it’s not to the point where it’s overdone, that negatively affects his ability to make pitches from hitter to hitter or from inning to inning. I think more importantly in key situations, where there’s been less than two outs and runners on base, he’s not tried to do more, in other words, get added velocity or think, ‘I’m going to try to strike a guy out on the first pitch of the at-bat.’ As a result he’s methodically 0gotten through a number of innings where runs could have scored.’’

I ask you this...where would the Sox be without him? I shudder to think. But we go on. Boston lost a half game in the Wild Card standings after a Texas win but gained half a game on the losing Yankees, who unfortunately don't make losing a habit anymore. Here are the pitching matchups for the Toronto series.

8/18 at Tor. 7:07 PM ET NESN Beckett (14-4) vs. Romero (10-5)
8/19/at Tor. 7:07 PM ET ESPN & NESN Buchholz (1-3) vs. Halladay (13-5)
8/20 at Tor. 7:07 PM ET NESN Lester (9-7) vs. Richmond (6-6)

Boston has released pitcher John Smoltz and he is available to any team anywhere. Some clubs are said to be interested for him to join their bullpen.

That's a wrap for this hot and very humid Tuesday morning. I again invite you to visit Nadia's blog. Just scroll to the post directly below this one and click on the title to be zapped there. You can click on this post's title for more Sox news courtesy of Sports Illustrated and as always, BE WELL. Your comments are always welcome and always answered. Thanks. GO SOX.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Nadia's New Blog

My girlfriend Nadia just five minutes ago started her own blog. Simply click on this post's title or go to to see her first post. I've tried her breakfasts...they're as great as they sound.


If The Postseason Started Today, The Red Sox Would Be Sitting At Home...Texas 4 Boston 3

That's right, the Boston Red Sox are half a game out in the AL Wild Card race and are wayyy back of the NY Yankees for the outright AL East title. That's what going 12-17 since the All Star break will get you. Yesterday at Arlington, Texas, the struggling New England club was beaten by the Wild Card leading Texas Rangers by a score of 4-3. Junichi Tazawa started for Boston and went five innings. Unlike his previous start, he didn't have the control or the command that was at his disposal five days ago. The bullpen put up goose egs in the sixth, seventh and eighth frames but the depleted Boston lineup was not able to score more than three. Mike Lowell talked about his team's 2009 trials and tribulations...

“We haven’t played up to our capability, that’s for sure,’’ Mike Lowell said. “If today was the last game of the season, I think we’d all be crying right now. But we still have a month and a half of baseball left and a chance to turn it around. I think we’ve got to look at it as that. But we can’t keep playing the way we are. We have to improve in more than just one area. We’re not going to trade nine guys. We have to do it with the guys we have. We’re capable of it. We’ve just got to get more hits.’’

Mikey, you hit the nails on their heads, so to speak. Is there any good news? Well, I can think of a little something nice. Kevin Youkilis will be back in a couple days but one hitter will not make all the difference in the world. I still think that the Red Sox have the ammunition to eventually overtake Texas and make it into the playoffs. Catching the Yankees is another matter entirely.

Today is a nicely-timed day off so Boston can lick its wounds, heal and get ready to kick some Toronto butts. I'll have the pitching matchups first thing in the morning. Until then, leave a comment if you wish and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you...soon. Click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox. Thanks.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Texas Rangers Run All Over Boston Red Sox, Literally...Texas 7 Boston 2

We have to face two things. One, Brad Penny is and will be a .500 pitcher. His record right now is 7-7. Two, Sox catcher Jason Varitek has had a miserable time successfully throwing out runners trying to steal a base. Part of the fault for last night's EIGHT Ranger stolen bases must lie with Penny, but that's just part. 'Tek this year has thrown out only 9 runners of 101. That's pathetic, pure and simple. Starter Brad Penny had this to say after the lifeless, at least for Boston, game ended mercifully...

"I was just trying to throw strikes and I was off a little bit. The way to stop that is to keep them off base,” Penny said. “I have to pay more attention to throwing over to first or pitchouts and not let coaches take care of it. I’ve got to put it on me, not let them give me a sign.”

Oh, by the way, the Romper Room Rangers beat the Beantown Bummers by a score of 7-2. Penny went his usual 5 plus innings and gave up four runs on eight hits, ballooning his season ERA to 5.22. That's not good enough even for a number five guy. The bullpen gave up the remaining three runs in the losing cause. You'd think that after an uplifting comeback win such as Friday's, Boston would come out with more pizazz, but I guess it wasn't to be. Coupled with the Yankees win over the Mariners, they now are a season-high 7 1/2 games behind the pinstripers and 1/2 game ahead of the Rangers in the AL Wild Card race. Skating on thin ice? Exactly that, I'm afraid.

This afternoon at 2:05pm EDT, it'll be Tazawa for Boston and Nippert for Texas. The Red Sox need a fact, they need a whole lot of 'em.

Thanks for stopping in on this way too early and still dark Sunday morning. Everything's good on the homefront and Nadia and I are doing great, or close to it. You do the same and as always, BE WELL. Click on the title of this post for more on the Red Sox versus the Roadrunners. I'll see you...soon. Your comments will be devoured and digested.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Comeback Win For The Red Sox...Boston 8 Texas 4

It was a wild night in Arlington, Texas as the Boston Red Sox rallied from a 4-2 deficit after seven innings by scoring 6 big ones in the top of the ninth as they defeated the Texas Rangers by a score of 8-4. Victor Martinez bashed a two run double to make it 5-4 and was followed by an RBI single by the suddenly hot once more Jason Bay and a two-run tater by JD Drew. Big Papi David Ortiz had two hits as did JD and Pedey Pedroia. Red Sox manager Terry Francona spoke briefly about the game's wild finish...

“When you think you’ve seen everything . . .’’ Francona said, trailing off. “You probably haven’t come close. That was one of the more exciting innings we’ve been a part of.’’

I know I enjoyed it! Jon Lester was good enough for six innings but struggled with his command. He gave up three runs on six hits while walking three and striking out eleven. He continues to be one of the top five lefties in the American League even on "off" days. My goodness, so many pitchers would love to have an "off' day like Jon did yesterday. His catcher said this after Paps nailed down the victory...

“A day like today, when he’s having to battle, you still see 10 strikeouts,” catcher Jason Varitek said. “Today was a battle for Jon. It didn’t come easy for him, as far as command. He had to really work today. It’s a great feat for a great young pitcher who’s still developing."

Yes, he's still developing and, with his health, will only get better and better. Red Sox Nation wishes him the best of everything. The bullpen, in the form of Bard, eventual winner Saito and Paps finished off the Rangers. Each guy gave up one hit. That's just fine.

Today's game in Texas will begin at 8:05pm EDT and feature Penny and Holland. Boston is now 1 1/2 games ahead of the Rangers in the AL Wild Card race and every game with that club is vital. Hey, we beat their best, Kevin Millwood, last night so let's keep it going. And going.

I hope your weekend will be a stupendous one as we here in north central Connecticut get ready for a heat wave WITH humidity. A heat wave is defined as three or more days with high temperatures of 90 degress F. or more. I guess we're due. The a/c is on and working great (thank goodness). Click on this post's title for more Sox news from Texas and as always, BE WELL. It's been awhile since I've read any comments so if you have anything to say, SAY IT! I'll read and respond to every single one. Promise. I'll see you...soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Buchholz Outpitched By Verlander...Detroit 2 Boston 0

Clay Buchholz pitched well enough to win Thursday evening at Fenway Park once again and he cemented his spot in Boston's starting rotation. He was outpitched by the Tiger ace Justin Verlander, who was able to go 8 full, giving up zero runs and only 4 hits, walking noboody and whiffing 8. To say he was dominating would be an understatement. Jason Bay had these simple but accurate words of praise for the ace of the Detroit rotation...

“I challenge anybody to find somebody with better stuff than him,’’ Bay said. “We face Texas now, and it’s going to be another good battle. Coming home and winning 3-of-4 is something we felt like we should do because we play well here, but given the way things had gone, you never know.”

I'd have to agree with our leftfielder. Verlander knows how to pitch and can keep his velocity up throughout his outings. Indeed, the last two pitches he threw were 96 plus MPH. He was virtually unhittable. And that's unfortunate for Buchholz, who went 7 frames and gave up one earned run while surrendering 5 hits and 3 free passes.The Red Sox have not scored a single run in his last two mound appearances. Buchholz hit the nail squarely on the head when he said this...

“I’m picking the wrong pitchers to throw against,’’ Buchholz said.

It's not like he's picking them, it's just the way the rotations match up. But the club has a much better chance of winning one of his starts than if John Smoltz was toeing the rubber. There's absolutely no comparison. Clay will be in the rotation for the long haul and continue to improve as his fear of pounding the strike zone continues to melt.

Next up on the menu for Boston is a trip to Arlington, Texas, to play the Texas Rangers, who are only a half game behind the Sox in the tight AL Wild Card race. Here are the all-important pitching matchups for the three game set...

Lester (9-7) vs. Millwood (9-7) Friday...8:05pm EDT
Penny (7-6) vs. Holland (5-7) Saturday...8:05pm ED
Tazawa (1-1) vs. Nippert (3-1) Sunday...2:05pm EDT

All three games will be televised by NESN, NESN HD and the usual radio outlets. The Sunday game will also be on TBS and TBS HD. Boston must win at least two of three to continue to lead in the Wild Card race, so it's an important series.

Thank you for stopping by and click on this post's title for more Red Sox coverage. I'd love to read your comments and as always, BE WELL. Take care of yourselves. Thanks.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Josh Beckett Charity Auction...

Hello, my Constant Readers, as the Red Sox are putting up way too many goose eggs on the bottom half of the Fenway Park scoreboard. There is something good coming up, a way to help people who are in need. It's a raffle and the details are directly below. Then all you have to do is click on this post's title to be zapped to more information. Please, take a moment to do it. Thanks. Peter. Here are the details...

"Here's your chance to meet Josh Beckett and his teamates and show them your "Stuff" in Becket Bowl 09!

Drawing Date: Monday, September 7, 2009
Entry Deadline: 11:00 AM EDT, September 7, 2009
Enter the Josh Beckett Foundation's Beckett Bowl Raffle and help Josh Beckett with his efforts to support community based organizations that strive to improve the health and well-being of children; especially children who are seriously ill, disabled, poor, or otherwise disadvantaged .

$2.00 / ticket (minimum purchase of 5 tickets)

Winner will receive One (1) Bowling lane with Winner's family name or corporate logo over the lane at Beckett Bowl 2009, which will be held on Thursday September 10, 2009 at Lucky Strike in Boston, MA
Winner and 3 guests will receive Four (4) Bowler Credentials to participate in the Tournament with a celebrity guest
Winner and 3 guests will be personally coached for One (1) frame by Josh Beckett
Winner will receive Four (4) Guest Credentials for relatives and friends to attend the Bowling Tournament
Winner will receive Two (2) additional tickets (access is already included with Bowler and Guest Credentials) to the After Party and Concert at House of Blues in Boston.
Winner will receive Four (4) parking passes
Winner will receive Four (4) Beckett Bowl Reebok Team T-Shirts and (4) Tournament Gift Bags
Winner will be recognized on the official Beckett Bowl web site
Winner and Guest will have photo taken with Josh Beckett (Photo will later be autographed by Josh Beckett)
Winner and a Guest will enjoy Josh Beckett's personal seats to a mutually agreed to Red Sox Game as Josh Beckett's special guests. (2 Tickets)
Winner and Guest will have special access to watch the hometime 9 take batting batting practice
Winner will receive (2) autographed Josh Beckett Jerseys
Winner will receive a cash prize in the amount of $565.00 to mitigate the Winner's tax liability that results from winning the raffle. This prize is withheld and paid, on behalf of the Winner, directly to the IRS ($467.00) and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ($98.00).
Help Josh Beckett with his efforts to support community based organizations that strive to improve the health and well-being of children and , in return, you could be Josh Becketts special guest at Beckett Bowl 2009. Tickets start at just $2.00 each and decrease for orders of more than 5 tickets. The Josh Beckett Foundation is utilizing the Celebrities for Charity Foundation ("CFC") and NetRaffle's patented concepts and technologies to conduct this raffle and tickets are only available online at this web site. Enter online today and rest assured that CFC never stores your credit card information and utilizes secure routers and IBM Servers, professionally managed, to ensure that your information is secure and that your order is accurately processed with the utmost efficiency.

In addition to this, you should also rest assured that CFC values your generosity and NetRaffle's patented concepts and technologies are designed to deliver the utmost efficiency and unprecedented results. Direct Expenses amount to approximately 8.5% of Gross Revenue and decrease to 5% (or less) of Gross Revenue as more tickets per order are sold. In addition to Direct Expenses, a 5% Gaming Tax is paid to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. After the Direct Expenses and the Gaming Tax are paid, the yield to charity is a minimum of approximately 86.5% of Gross Revenue for a minimum purchase of 5 tickets ( $10.00). This increases to approximately 90% of Gross Revenue for a purchase of 20 tickets ( $25.00), And the yield percentage continues to increase as more tickets per order are purchased. These proceeds will benefit the Josh Beckett Foundation and the many other charities supported by the Celebrities For Charity Foundation.

While you must be 18 years of age, or older, to purchase a ticket, which the Entrant will need to prove prior to being certified as the Winner, CFC's ordering process and rules allow the Entrant to Gift their tickets to another person, which may or may not be a minor. However, it is important to note that regardless of whether or not the Entrant gifts his or her tickets to another party, the Entrant will still need to prove that he or she is 18 years of age, or older, prior to the ticket holder being certified as the Winner. Furthermore, you should also note that neither the Entrant nor the Gift Recipient, if tickets are gifted, need to be present at the Drawing to win; the Winner will be notified. Also, although this experience of a lifetime is priceless, the value of the tangible prizes (e.g., as applicable in any given raffle, hotel, travel, meals, tickets, taxes, etc.) is $1,865.00.

The winner of the raffle will receive one bowling lane with the winner's family/company name overhead at the Beckett Bowl 2009, which will be held on Thursday September 10, 2009 at Lucky Strike in Boston, MA. The winner and three guests will receive bowler passes and be personally coached by Josh for a frame. The team will than have their picture taken with Beckett and signed. The winner will also receive an additional 4 guest passes to bring more friends to the event. The raffle prize additionally includes two tickets to a Sox game as Josh Beckett's special guests, special access to team batting practice and two autographed Josh Beckett Jerseys. Tickets are just two dollars and go to a great cause!

Simply click on this post's title for ALL you need to know. Your host, Peter N.

Beckett Wins 14th...Remy Returns For A Visit...Boston 8 Detroit 2

Oh, what a night Wednesday at Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts! First up, the game. The Boston Red Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers by a score of 8-2. The Sox were ahead 3-0 after three and put the game away by scoring five big ones in the fifth. Josh Beckett was just cruising, as was the defense behind him. He earned his major league leading 14th win and is on his way to an easy 20 plus. Cy Young anyone? He ended up going seven full and gave up just those two runs on three hits, walking one and whiffing six. Nice job, Josh!

On the offensive side, with Kevin Youkilis out for game one of his five game suspension, Jason Bay, who finally has caught fire and Mikey Lowell, who has batted .393 since the All Star break, carried the load with three hits each. Jason was on base five (!) times. He said this after the game...

“It’s only been three games, but I feel a lot better,’’ Bay said. “I’m feeling much more comfortable in the box. When you’re not comfortable, you’re searching. You’re trying to move your feet a little bit, you’re trying this, trying that. You’re trying to find the magical little tweak, because most of the time it’s nothing major. You’re trying to find that one little thing that keys it off for you.

The Boston manager spoke about Bay and Mikey Lowell, who will help carry the load during the absence of YOUK...

“Mikey Lowell’s - with some intermittent starts - really swung the bat well,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “Jason Bay looks like he’s trying to get hot again. That’s very welcome. When Jason gets hot, as you can see, it’s not just singles. He starts driving the ball out of the ballpark. What a different team we look like.

The win makes it three in a row for the Sox and they'll face Verlander, the Tiger ace, tonight. Buchholz will go against him. Let's hope they make it four straight. GO SOX.

Jerry Remy made an emotional visit to Fenway Park during the game last night and as he stood in the booth with old friend Don Orsillo, the Fenway Faithful rose as one as his video appeared on the giant screen and gave him a standing ovation. I was moved to tears and he was clearly emotional. He has had a successful battle with lung cancer but the resulting depression has crippled him. Through therapy and medication, he is winning that battle, too. Here he is...

“I have boxes and boxes of cards, letters, prayers, kindergarten schools’ letters, tweets, e-mails. In a way, at first, it worked against me because it felt like I was letting people down,’’ said Remy. “But I was crying reading them. My wife was reading them - I couldn’t read them - while I was on the couch. She’d read them all to me. In a way, you feel like you’ve done something right for these people. And there’s no way I can get back to them. If I get back on the air,’’ he said, “that’s the way I can thank them."

Jerry, we're all waiting for the day you'll be back on the air and we KNOW it won't be long. We miss you, we miss you, we miss you.

That's it for this Thursday morning. Make it a good one and as always, BE WELL. Oh, click on this post's title for more Red Sox coverage. Thanks for being here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fists Fly In Red Sox Win...Boston 7 Detroit 5

The Detroit Tigers jumped quickly to a 3-0 advantage Tuesday night at Fenway Park. Only one of those runs was earned off Red Sox starter Junichi Tazawa, who pitched well, well enough to stay right where he is. In the second, down by three runs, the fireworks started. Kevin Youkilis was facing Tiger starter Rick Porcello. He was hit on the back by a pitch and glared before rushing towards the mound like a middle linebacker. He threw his helmet at Porcello and tried to bring him down. That was when all hell broke loose. Boston GM Theo Epstein had this to say...

“He’ll be suspended, I’m sure,’’ general manager Theo Epstein acknowledged in the clubhouse after midnight. “He was thrown at. He’s been thrown at a lot. Hopefully, Major League Baseball suspension czar Bob Watson will take all the factors into consideration. Hopefully it will be for a short period and our depth will pull us through.’’

And here's the man himself, our very own Kevin "the bull" Youkilis...

“In the first inning there was a ball up on Victor,’’ said Youkilis. “Then I got a ball up and in on the numbers. Up high. It looked like there was intent there. Two days in a row, I get hit. It’s something I’ve never done before and never thought of doing. I lost my control there . . . I felt like I had to do what I had to do. I definitely regret it,’’ he said. “It’s on TV and kids see it . . . It just happened so fast. You don’t realize what you’re doing. I guess they’re saying it got the team going, but hopefully I’ll never have to get a team going like that. Hopefully, it’s the last time it will happen. At some point you’ve got to protect yourself,’’ said a somewhat chagrined Youkilis. “ . . . I let my emotions get the best of me.’’

Well said, Youk, and I mean that straight from my heart. With the hole in the lineup, Red Sox skipper Terry Francona called on Mike Lowell, who quickly did some stretching and entered the game. It was a good thing, a VERY good thing. He ended up becoming the first Boston player since 1967 to hit two home runs coming off the bench. That 1967 player was our third baseman, Joe Foy, who was SO much fun to watch. Yes, I remember, I really do. Mikey has missed 5 of the last 10 games even though he has been hotter at the plate than most of his teammates. We'll see more of him if his hip allows. It will.

Junichi Tawazawa pitched well, allowing three runs, only one earned because of a Nick Green error and a botched double play. As I said before, look for him on the mound every five days. Cabrera, Saito and Bard followed with scoreboard goose eggs and Jonathon Papelbon had his now normal two run ninth. No comment about Paps...not right now. The Sox won their second in a row and stay 5 1/2 games behind the pinstripers.

Tonight, Josh Beckett will try to make it three in a row. He'll face Detroit's Galarraga. May the force be with them. For more on last night's literal fireworks, just click on this post's title. You'll be zapped to the Boston Globe's Red Sox homepage, a source of endless delight. Have a great Hump Day Wednesday and as always, BE WELL. I'd love to read your comments. Thanks for stopping by...what would I do without you?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fenway Park Home Cooking Just The Thing For The Boston Red Sox...Sox 6 Tigers 5

For the Boston Red Sox Monday night, it was good to be home in Boston and play at Fenway Park. Boston struck early and were ahead 4-0 by the end of the second. They hit three home runs, banged out twelve hits and used their imaginations to plate runners. The vomiting Brad Penny (acid reflex...he should get that looked at. His esophogus will thank him by not bleeding) was good enough, allowing three runs in six innings. The bullpen had a few shaky moments but Jonathon Papelbon came on with two outs in the eighth inning and saved the one run game. The final score was 6-5. IT WAS A WIN WITH A YANKEE LOSS. The Texas Rangers did not play. Jason Bay stressed the importance of this contest...

“It’s easy to downplay and say it’s just another game,’’ left fielder Jason Bay said. “But the last thing you want to do is lose another one and you keep saying the same thing - ‘Hey, no big deal, lots of season left.’ That whole thing. Then you end up all of a sudden trying to get yourself out of quicksand. Just that one game to stop it sometimes means more than just one win.’’

And Joathon Papelbon had a few words for the assembled media about being an elite closer...

“I thrive on the end of the ballgame and the team looking down there in the bullpen at me and saying, ‘Hey, when’s he going to come in?’ ” Papelbon said. “That’s what I thrive on.”

Jonathon, we thrive on it too. 8 times out of ten, you'll nail down that save and the Sox will win. What could be better? I'll tell you what...nuttin'.

Tonight, the newest member of the Red Sox rotation, Junichi Tazawa, will face Detroit's Porcello. Junichi is in there to take the place of the departed John Smoltz. We wish him the best and I'm sure the Fenway Friendly will give him a BIG cheer when he walks in from the bullpen and on to the mound. Two in a row with crooked numbers would be SO nice.

Have a great Tuesday. You can click on this post's title for more on the Monday night Boston victory Sports Illustrated style. As always, BE WELL.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The 2009 Boston Massacre...NYY 5 Boston 2

The Boston Red Sox were actually ahead of the NY Yankees by a score of 2-1 Sunday night in the ESPN nationally televised game. Daniel Bard was just one out away from handing the ball over to Jonathon Papelbon when the wheels came off...completely. He allowed back to back solo taters to Johnny Daman and Mark Teixeira, who was worth every penny that the pinstripers paid him, and then it was off to the races and a four game sweep for the first place team from the Big Apple. The 2009 Boston massacre? Yeah, why not? That's exactly what it was. The lumber was asleep. Maybe it still is.

Jon Lester pitched well enough to win for seven full innings but his club showed continued inability to get men on base and have them touch the plate. It's very frustrating but a baseball season does not end on August 10th. Jason Bay and Dustin Pedroia, who had a dreadful series, had a few words to say to the media...

“When you’re spiraling down, everyone’s trying too hard,” said left fielder Jason Bay, who returned to action from a hamstring cramp. “It’s like an extra-inning game. We thought Victor was going to be the hero but it didn’t work out. Everyone here has been playing baseball long enough to let it go - in this market, we have a constant reminder. But yes, it’s been a rough six-game stretch.”

“We’re fine, we’ve got 50 something games left,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “A season isn’t made in six games. Tampa beat up on us and so did the Yankees. It’s tough when you don’t score,” Pedroia said. “But we will. We’re going home. Home cooking. We’ll put some in us.”

Way to be optimistic, Pedey. We'll see the Yankees again later this month at Fenway Park. Maybe we can turn the tables on them. Right now, the Red Sox must concern themselves with getting INTO the postseason. They currently are tied with the Texas Rangers...both have identical records.

Next up is another four game set, this time with the Detroit Tigers. Here are your pitching matchups...

8/10/2009 Det 7:10 PM ET NESN Penny (7-6) vs. Jackson (8-5)
8/11/2009 Det 7:10 PM ET NESN Tazawa (0-1) vs.Porcello (10-7)
8/12/2009 Det 7:10 PM ET NESN Beckett (13-4) vs. Galarraga (6-10)
8/13/2009 Det 1:35 PM ET NESN Buchholz vs. (1-2) Verlander (12-6)

That's a wrap for this blue Monday, August 10, 2009. I hope your weekend was good. Mine was OK. If you'd like to click on this post's title, you'll be zapped to the SI Red Sox homepage. Enjoy, and as always, BE WELL. I'll see ya...soon. Better days are ahead for Red Sox Nation. It can't get any worse.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Powerless Red Sox Humbled Again...NY Yankees 5 Boston Red Sox 0

The Boston Red Sox went scoreless on Saturday in a 5-0 defeat to the NY Yankees. They now have 8 hits in their last 76 at bats and have not scored a single run for 24 straight painful innings. CC Sabathia had his "A" game working and made Boston look like Little Leaguers (sorry, no disrespect to the Little League). Here's what Boston manager Terry "Tito" Francona had to say followed by a few words from second baseman Dustin Pedroia...

“The last two nights, we’ve done nothing,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “We’re in one of those things right now. We’ve faced two really good pitchers and we’ve done nothing. Because of that, we’re sitting on a couple of losses here.’’

“You go through periods like that,’’ Pedroia said. “We’re not trying to get outs. Sometimes it doesn’t work out the way we’d like it to, but we’re going to grind. There’s a lot of heart on this team. Nobody’s going to quit. We’re going to play as hard as we can every day. I promise you guys that.’’

Clay Buchholz was the hard-luck loser. He pitched well enough to win most games but was the victim of his lumberless teammates. It's "turn the page" time once again for New England baseball fans. You can click on this post's title for more of the details of this latest Red Sox freefall. Have a great Sunday as we await the final game of this four game series. It'll be televised nationally shortly after 8pm EDT on ESPN and ESPN HD. See ya...soon. GO SOX.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

It's Ovah! NY Yankees 5 Boston Red Sox 0

That's right, it's official. The Red Sox are 5 1/2 games behind the pinstripers. There will be a full wrap first thing in the morning.

I HATE to say it but it's a Boston Red Sox freefall, almost right on schedule. A one run sixth, a one run seventh and a two run eighth for New York sealed the deal...solidly, like a rock.

NY Yankees On Their Way To 3rd Straight Win Over Boston Red Sox...It's 5-0 So Far

And it's into the top of the ninth inning in the Bronx. It looks dismal, or worse, for the Red Sox. Hey, Sabathia was great and the Red Sox are just NOT all. I know it's early but Boston might be in a Wild Card only race, barring a miracle comeback (yeah, right, not this evening). To be continued in the morning...


This is from ESPN dot com just an hour ago...
NEW YORK -- David Ortiz, less than four hours before the Red Sox were to play in the third game of a four-game series against the Yankees, apologized for being "a distraction" after he was reported to be on the 2003 list of 104 players who allegedly tested positive for performance-enhancing substances.

"I'm not here to make excuses or anything," Ortiz said Saturday during a news conference at Yankee Stadium. "I want to apologize to the fans for the distraction, my teammates, my manager. We go into a situation now, it was a nightmare to me. I'm one of the guys, I think about the fans, it wouldn't be as good as it is without the fans. People look at me as a guy who hit the ball, but I try to do things the right way. I definitely was a little bit careless," Ortiz said Saturday. "I was buying supplements and vitamins over the counter ... but I never buy steroids or use steroids."
What can I say? LET'S PLAY BALL and beat the pinstripers. That's all, folks. Enjoy your weekend and be safe...or else!

Fifteen Inning Yankee Victory..Smoltz Era Ends..Papi Talks..NYY 2 Boston Red Sox 0

There's a full slate of news on this Saturday August morning. First up, the NY Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox by a score of 2-0 Friday night. It took them 15 innings to do it as pitcher after pitcher put goose eggs up on the scoreboard. For the Sox, Josh Beckett pitched seven brilliant innings. He was followed by Okajima, Bard, Ramirez, Papelbon, Delcarmen, Saito and the eventual loser, Junichi Tazawa. Junichi had just been called up from double A Portland and elevated a fastball to AROD. The result was a two run tater that ended the marathon. Boston is now 4 1/2 games in back of the pinstripers. Not good. Yankee manager Joe Girardi and game hero Alex Rodriguez had these words for the reporters after the game...

"This would've been a very hard game to lose," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Nobody left. It just shows the importance of the game."

"Both teams were remarkable," Rodriguez said. "It was a heavyweight fight, and we were fortunate to have the last hit."

In other Red Sox news, the John Smoltz comeback bid for Boston ended yesterday when the veteran pitcher was designated for assignment. Asked whether this might be the end of his career, Smoltzie replied with this...

“All I can say is I will know the answer come next week,” said Smoltz. I’m just going to go home and sort out a lot of thoughts. Nothing I say right now is going to change anything unless I have some time to think things over."

Good luck to you, John, and thanks so much for trying. You gave it all your all but unfortunately your tank was running on empty.

Lastly, Big Papi David Ortiz will address the assembled media this afternoon at 12:30pm EDT. You'll be able to find television coverage on NESN and NESN HD. I'll be watching.

Today's game, pitting Clay Buchholz and CC Sabathia, begins at 4:10pm EDT and will be televised by Fox and Fox HD. A Red Sox win is just about a must but you have to figure that New York is favored to win it just based on the pitching matchup alone. But that's why they play the ain't over 'till it's over and this one hasn't even started. Yet. GO SOX.

Click on this post's title for more on last night's Yankee win and as always, BE WELL. Oh, I almost forgot. Nadia and I saw a great movie yesterday, a film I heartily recommend. It's called JULIE AND JULIA and features a four star performance by Meryl Streep. She plays food icon Julia Child and she is flat-out brilliant, Oscar worthy. Have a great weekend.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Smoltz Implodes Again As Yankees Thump & Dump Red Sox 13-6. Is He Finished??

John Smoltz was embarrassed Thursday night at the new Yankee Stadium as the NY Yankees stomped on and squashed the Boston Red Sox by a score of 13-6. Smoltz was only able to go three and one third innings and gave up nine hits and eight earned runs, walking four and whiffing three. He threw a staggeringly high 92 pitches. When he threw a fastball, it was crushed. A major league scout who has seen Smoltzie pitch numerous times this season said this after the lopsided mismatch...

“He has to keep that fastball off the middle of the plate, because it’s straight with no movement, and he can’t do it. The slider actually is pretty good, but they’re feasting on that fastball.”

Here's what the soon-to-be-retired (my opinion) pitcher had to say...

“Time may not be on my side if this continues. I'm pretty humbled right now with the way things have gone,’’ he said. “I never like to use the word embarrassed, but I have a lot of pride and certainly don’t like letting somebody down.’’

We know John's heart is in the right place but his money arm and shoulder might not be able to allow him to carry the load. The Red Sox are a banged-up team. They had to put Kevin Youkilis in leftfield because Jason Bay is recovering from a nagging injury and Rocco Baldelli went down. They are in desperate trouble but they have their white hot ace going tonight. That would be Josh Beckett. He'll face AJ Burnett. A Boston win tonight is a must. If they lose, they'll fall 4 1/2 games behind the pinstripers. I shudder just to think about that. But life will go on...I'm sure.

For Red Sox fans, there are no highlights from last night. Thank you for stopping in once again and leave a comment if you'd like. I'll read and respond to every single one. You can click on the title of this post for a terrific column from ace Hartford Courant sports guy Jeff Jacobs. I've said it before and I'll say it again right now...he's one of the best. Just click on that title. As always, BE WELL. I'm counting on it.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Goodbye Trop, Hello Stadium...Tampa Bay 6 Boston 4

The Tampa Bay Rays smashed four home runs, three off eventual loser Brad Penny, and beat up the Boston Red Sox by a score of 6-4. Penny, who has looked awful at the back end of the Boston rotation lately, gave up 5 runs, most of 'em early, on 6 hits in his 6 innings. He walked 2 and struck out 5. He threw 117 pitches. It was 4-1 Rays after three innings and it never got much closer. Rocco Baldelli, who has spent many an hour at the Trop, had this to say before he and the team jetted to the Bronx...

“I don’t think any team likes coming in here, to be honest with you,” said Rocco Baldelli, a former Rays outfielder. “I haven’t talked to too many guys around the league who say, ‘Oh, I like playing in Tropicana Field.’ No one says that. Maybe it’s an uncomfortable place for people when they’re not used to it. It used to be all red in the stands,” Baldelli said. “You’d come out here when Tampa was playing the Sox and the streets would be flooded with Red Sox people. Three-quarters of the stands would be Red Sox people. It didn’t seem like there were many Red Sox fans out there tonight. I guess when you win that happens.”

Teammate Mikey Lowell had some similiar words for the media...

“Their team’s gotten a lot better,” third baseman Mike Lowell said. “This is a pretty good atmosphere for a game, compared to what it used to be.”

It's on to the the Bronx for four of the remaining 10 games against the New York Yankees. At exactly the wrong time, the Sox will be without a key player. This time it's Jason Bay, who re-agravated a right hamstring injury, an aliment that affected him earlier. His status is still being evaluated but he will NOT be in the lineup tonight. Speaking of tonight and the weekend, here are the starting lineups for the Yankees and the two and a half games behind Red Sox...

Thu. 7:05 PM ET NESN Smoltz (2-4) vs. Chamberlain (7-2)
Fri. 7:05 PM ET NESN Beckett (13-4) vs. Burnett (10-5)
Sat. 4:10 PM ET FOX Buchholz (1-1) vs. Sabathia (11-7)
Sun. 8:05 PM ET ESPN Lester (9-7) vs. Pettitte (9-6)

Looking at those pairings, it's hard to imagine anything better than a four game split, but we'll take it one game at a time and hope John Smoltz can get his act together and give his team six quality innings. Joba Chamberlain is well rested with a couple extra days off but he better not try to plunk Youk or anyone else. He has a nasty history when it comes to throwing at Sox players. "F" him.

Have a great Thursday as the weather here (and in New York City) has turned less humid and just plain old nice. The same goes for tomorrow. Click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox and as always, BE WELL. GO SOX. GO Smoltzie.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Another Trop Trap

The Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays engaged in a four hour fifty seven minute war of nerves when, in the thirteenth inning, Evan Longoria ended it with a mammoth tater off Takashi Saito. The Sox had been up until the eighth inning when the Rays tied it off a coming-back-to-earth Daniel Bard. With a Yankees win, the pinstripers are assured of being in first place before the start of the upcoming four game series Thursday night.

Jon Lester was the tough luck loser, the victim of too few runs scored by his team. He was able to go six innings and gave up only three hits and one earned run while striking out ten and walking two. He threw 110 pitches in that span and gave way to the bullpen. Okajimi, Bard, with the blown save, Delcarmen, Ramirez, Papelbon and loser Saito followed in a game that actually ended Wednesday morning. Both teams had multiple chances to win it. Here's what Jon Lester had to say after the unsuccessful marathon ended...

“I felt all right,” Lester said. “I don’t think I had my best stuff tonight, but I made some adjustments from pitch to pitch, and executed some pitches when I needed to. I would have liked to have gone a little deeper in the game, but that’s a testament to that team over there. They put up some good ABs, and battle, and foul some pitches off, and worked a lot of 3-2 counts.”

And battle they did, fouling off pitch after pitch after pitch. The Rays deserved to win that game, a game in which there should have been no loser. Ya can't win 'em all but that doesn't make it any easier. Boston ends its short Florida stay tonight with the 7-5 Penny set to face the 4-4 Price. Let's get out of town with a victory and head north to the Bronx. I'm sure Big Papi will get a loud reception, incredibly, jeeringly and shockingly LOUD.

Here's a quick Tim Wakefield news update for you and for frequent commenter and everyday reader "BoSox Fan In Wichita." Timmy is feeling better but still suffers from weakness in his left calf, a pain related to his subsiding lower back injury. I guess he was compensating for the back pain and injured his leg while doing so. We all know a pitcher without two good legs will not be effective so for now we wish Timmy well and hope he'll be back sometime soon.

Well, we made it to Hump Day Wednesday of this first week of August. It's a sticky and warm pre-dawn morning here in north central Connecticut as the sun has yet to make an appearance. It will...count on it. You can click on this post's title for more Sox info SI style and as always, BE WELL. Take care of yourselves, I need you back here. Your comments would be great if the mood hits you. See ya...soon.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

JIMMY FUND RADIO-TELETHON...August 27th and 28th.

Here is the latest press release for the annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. They need your support. My sister passed away from the terrible disease Leukemia, so this effort by SO many good people is close to my heart. Please read this. Thanks..

8th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon set for August 27th & 28th. A two day broadcast from Fenway Park to help strike out cancer

BOSTON (July 28, 2009) – WEEI and NESN are proud to announce that the eighth annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon will take place at Fenway Park over two days beginning Thursday, August 27th. The 36 hour broadcast will feature compelling stories and celebrity guests, as well as emotional ceremonies prior to both Red Sox games during the two day period. Last year’s event set a record by raising 4.8 million dollars, with gifts coming in from every state in the country, bringing the total raised over seven years to just under 17 million. The radio-telethon is the Jimmy Fund’s fastest growing event. Once again, listeners and viewers will be able to make gifts online or by phone at 877-738-1234 or at HYPERLINK ""

The two-day lineup is packed with interviews with Dana-Farber patients, doctors, researchers and nurses. The event also attracts an array of national celebrities. Comedians/actors Jimmy Fallon, Lenny Clarke, Jimmy Kimmel and Denis Leary are among those already confirmed to participate this year. The WEEI portion of the Radio-Telethon is sponsored by BNY Mellon Wealth Management. NESN’s portion of the Radio-Telethon is sponsored in part by Arbella Insurance, Dunkin Donuts and Olympia Sports.

“There is nothing more important to us than these two days. The Radio-Telethon is filled with heart-warming and sometimes heart breaking stories from patients and doctors at Dana-Farber,” says Jason Wolfe, VP of AM Programming for Entercom New England. “We continue to generate support across New England and the entire country. Each year we make great progress in the fight against cancer, and it is due to the incredible generosity of the listening public.”

As part of the Radio-Telethon there will be special ceremonies at both Red Sox games. Leary and Clarke will throw out the first pitch at Thursday’s game, while Fallon will throw it on Friday. Kelly Clarkson will perform during the 7th inning of the game on Friday evening.

"NESN is proud to support the great work that is done every day at the Jimmy Fund," said Sean McGrail, NESN President. "In these tough economic times NESN’s commitment to the success of this event is stronger than ever as we will once again extend our coverage to two full days to help support the life saving work of this incredible group of people."

The goal of the 2009 WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon is to raise five million, which will bring the event’s total to more than 22 million dollars. The Red Sox are planning special messages during both games as various milestones are hit.
"We are so thankful for the WEEI and NESN listeners and viewers who have given generously to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund over the past years," said Jimmy Fund Chairman Mike Andrews. "We have been able to make so many important advances in cancer care and research, but as you'll hear during the Radio-Telethon, we still have not achieved our ultimate goal of striking out cancer."
“The Jimmy Fund has made a tremendous impact on our community and in the lives of many of our clients and employees.  BNY Mellon Wealth Management is honored to continue our support by sponsoring WEEI's annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon,” said Vicary Graham, regional president for BNY Mellon Wealth Management in New England. 

To help strike out cancer during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, call 877-738-1234 toll free. For more information, to purchase tickets, or to contribute online, go to HYPERLINK ""

Jimmy Fund
Founded in 1948, the Jimmy Fund has been an official charity of the Boston Red Sox since 1953. It supports the fight against cancer at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which is a leading cancer research and care center for adults and children. Unrestricted support from the Jimmy Fund is an integral part of Mission Possible: The Dana-Farber Campaign to Conquer Cancer, a $1 billion capital campaign to accelerate cancer research, speed development of life-saving therapies, and expand the Institute’s signature patient- and family-centered care.


PLEASE HELP. My thanks go out to you, my Constant Readers, and all the good people who do so much to help so many. Peter N.

It's Time For The Red Sox To Get Down To Business...No More Weak Teams Scheduled...For Now

OK, OK, the easy part of the recent Boston Red Sox schedule is ovah, baby. Coming up are two games with the Tampa Bay Rays and four in the Bronx with the NY Yankees. The Sox have eight games left with the Florida club and ten (!) with the pinstripers. Over the next six games, starting tonight, they'll go with their best, pitching Lester twice and the diamond white hot Josh Beckett once. Lester will pitch Tuesday night down in Florida, followed by Brad Penny. John Smoltz will open up the series in the Bronx, followed by Josh Beckett on Friday, Clay Buchholz on Saturday and Lester once again on Sunday. A 4-2 record in that sextet would sure be nice but lets take it one game at a time. As I just said, it'll be Jon Lester facing Matt Garza tonight and Brad Penny versus David Price Wednesday night. Let's win 'em both.

Boston has not been getting any offensive production from Nick Green, who's batted just .087 since the All-Star break and Jed Lowrie, who isn’t much better, hitting .188. Look for the Sox to land an elite shortstop in the offseason, if not before. But it seems that Victor Martinez in the middle of the lineup has helped everyone in that lineup immensely. Theo did a good, no GREAT, job with that acquisition. Now if only Smoltzie can get his act together and give the club six quality innings every time out, well, that would make a world of difference. We won't see Matsuzaka until 2010 so what you see now is what we're going to get.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the Blue Nowhere once again, my Constant Readers. I appreciate every one of you and I look forward to any and all of your comments. Click on the title for more Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. See ya...soon.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Martinez Helps The Red Sox Sweep The Birds...Boston 18 Baltimore 10

The easy interlude embeded in the Boston Red Sox schedule is more Oakland and Baltimore. Coming up after an off day today will be two games with the Tampa Bay Rays in Florida and four games against the archrival New York Yankees in the Bronx. But it appears that their hitting slump is over at just the right time. Led by Victor Martinez' five hits and four RBIs, a still white hot Kevin Youkilis and a crucial two run double to left hit by Mikey Lowell in the fourth after the Birdies scored six runs off the very mediocre Clay Buchholz in the third frame, the sweep was completed. It was close until that key Lowell safety but with seven runs in the fourth, the game was essentially over even though the O's ended up plating ten runners. I was disturbed watching Buchholz pitch. He always seems to be missing one of his pitches and has to rely on the two others. One game it was the curveball, one game pinpoint control on the fastball. HE NEEDS BOTH TO SURVIVE. Rocco Baldelli, who came into the game for the still hobbling JD Drew in the first, had this to say about the upcoming schedule...

“This is a tough road trip,” outfielder Rocco Baldelli said. “We knew we had to come in here and play well. The next two teams we are going to play are playing really well right now, so it’s good for us to get in here and start swinging the bats before we head down there.”

Every Red Sox player except for Big Papi had at least one base hit. That was nice to see, to say the least. Boston remains just a scant half game behind the pinstripers and are tied with them in the all important loss column. The AL East is tied up in a two team knot, just the way we like it. Remember, Boston is 8-0 against NY and will try to make it 9-0 on Thursday night. I believe Josh Beckett will be on the hill. He's been lights out almost all season long and could get the Sox off on the right foot at Yankee Stadium. And yes, we'll see Joba Chamberlain in one of those games, too. An American League official of some sort or another should take notice if he again throws at an opposing team's batter. He gotten away with murder this season, and not just against Boston. HE'S A PUNK...there's no need for that cowardly stuff in major league baseball and I hope we pound the sh*t out of him. I really do. But we can't look that far ahead, not right now. Three games against the Rays loom large. I'm happy today is an off day. Everybody can use a rest...myself included.

We start a new week and the first Monday of August, 2009 is upon us. Make it a good one. You can click on this post's title for more Sox news SI style and as always, BE WELL. Leave a comment if you'd like...I'll read and respond to each and every one. Thanks for stopping in. I mean that. GO SOX. FOREVER.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Another Josh Beckett Beauty! Boston Red Sox 4 Baltimore Orioles 0

In front of the fourth largest Camden Yards crowd EVER, Josh Beckett pitched the Boston Red Sox to a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Kevin Youkilis looks like he's emerging from his slump with a four for four day and Victor Martinez stroked his first Red Sox hit. Beckett, who earned his AL leading 13th win, went seven glorious innings and allowed six hits, five of 'em harmless singles, with five strikeouts and two bases on ball. He was in command thoughout his stint. The Baltimore manager had words of praise for the Boston ace...

“Beckett showed tonight why he’s one of the game’s best,’’ Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “He’s throwing 89-90-mile-per-hour changeups or cutters, 97-mile-per-hour fastballs in on your hands. The guy’s just one of the game’s best.’’

More Oriole praise...

"It's really hard to go out there against a guy with Beckett's stuff and have him hit his spots like he did," Orioles designated hitter Luke Scott said. "He's one of the toughest in the league. He's just got tremendous stuff. He's a great competitor, and his location is just fantastic."

And he's ours, Luke. Hideki Okajima pitched a two hit scoreless eighth and the untouchable Daniel Bard, a future SUPERstar, had a 1-2-3 ninth. Manager Terry Francona had these glowing words to say about the curveball and flame-throwing bullpen pitcher whose name will soon be known to everybody in the major league baseball universe. Strong words? Oh yeah, but true...

“We’re seeing a young man right in front of our eyes mature,” Francona said. “I don’t care how old you are. What he’s done these last six weeks has been pretty special and fun to watch.”

My goodness! Coupled with another Yankees loss to the Chicago White Sox, Boston is only one half game behind them. It'll be
Berkin and Buchholz at Camden this afternoon...enjoy it. First pitch will be at 1:35pm EDT. Have a great Sunday, click on this post's title for more Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. See ya.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

THREE In A Row For The Red Sox...

4-0 Good Guys....see you in the morning with all the wonderful details.

A Game-Saving Catch By Jacoby Ellsbury...Boston 6 Baltimore 5

The Boston Red Sox came back to earn a victory over the Baltimore Orioles Friday night. The final score was 6-5. John Smoltz struggled yet again in his seventh 2009 start, giving up eight hits and five earned runs in six innings. He has not yet had a "quality" start. But superstar in the making Jacoby Ellsbury was there to save the game. It was the sixth inning and Aubrey Huff had just hit a two run tater off Smoltz when Luke Scott creamed a ball to straight centerfield. Spiderman Ellsbury climbed the wall to make a supersonically unbelievable catch. Here are his words...

“Running back on it, I’m hoping it’s not too far out,” Ellsbury said. “I knew it would be close to the wall. Then the ball started tailing back toward center. I had a good bead on it and I thought I was going to catch it in front of me, but it ended up tailing back and being more difficult. That’s one of those fun plays for an outfielder. It’s a good feeling to take that one away.”

If you have a chance to see the NESN one hour game replay at 8AM EDT, DO IT! That catch is worth the price of admission all by itself. It's 7:54am right now and that's what I'm going to do. Jacoby's pitcher had a few words to say...

“I told him it’s the best catch I’ve seen in a very, very long time,” Smoltz said. “This park is a dangerous park for a fly-ball pitcher. When he made that play, obviously we can look back and say that was the game-winner.”

And the Red Sox skipper spoke about how his team NEVER gives up. Here you go...

“It was kind of an emotional day, all the way around, after an emotional day yesterday,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “I guess the feeling in the dugout, as a staff, we appreciate it. They just keep grinding. And it’s not always perfect, but they just keep grinding.’’

Tito, you're right, it ain't perfect but this 2009 Boston Red Sox team ain't ever going to give up. Hey, I used my best English. That's all I can do. Coupled with another Yankee loss that showcased their lack of pitching, Boston is a scant 1 1/2 games behind in the AL East. The lumber has returned, Victor Martinez will be on the Camden Yard field tonight IN a Red Sox uniform and it'll be Beckett, hotter than anyone on any mound, facing Hernandez. May the Good Guys win once again. They will.

Have a great Saturday and a terrific weekend. Click on the title for more Sox stuff from SI and as always, BE WELL I love it when you leave a comment or three. See ya...soon. GO SOX. I'll say it again...GO SOX!!!!!