Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And So It Continues...

Hello on this last day of August. Already! The spine shiveringly titillating glow of a pennant race is strangely missing but we go on. Baltimore is next on the radar for the Boston Red Sox, who have thirty one games left and most likely will need to win twenty four of them. That might not be even enough but I hope they will try. Wait, I KNOW they will try. This team, decimated by injuries all season long, has never raised the white flag and you know what? THEY NEVER WILL. Here are the pitching matchups for the series in Baltimore that will bring us into the wonderful month of September, multi-colored leaves, cool breezes, cold nights and autumn baseball, all at the same time.

Tue. 31 at Bal** 7:05 PM ET* NESN/MASN** Beckett (4-3) vs. Matusz (6-12)
Wed. 1 at Bal ** 7:05 PM ET *NESN/MASN **Lester (14-8) vs. Arrieta (4-6)
Thu. 2 at Bal** 7:05 PM ET *NESN/MASN **Matsuzaka (8-4) vs. Bergesen (6-9)

Three pitchers (ours) with winning records and three with the opposite will tangle over the next three evenings. One prediction, OK? Beckett will dominate. The Red Sox need a sweep, and not just of this series in Maryland. We'll see what happens. The Yankees and the Rays both won last night so Boston is an even seven games behind both clubs with only thirty one to play. That's a tall order without Youk and Pedey in the lineup, not to mention Jacoby and Mike Cameron. Never say die. FAITH. That's what I say. Faith. Forever.

Have a great Tuesday, click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox from the Boston Herald (the lead article is a MUST READ. DO NOT MISS IT!!) and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Flounder In Florida

I'm getting sick of John Lackey. I'll say it again more loudly. I'M GETTING SICK OF JOHN LACKEY. Give him a lead and he quickly squanders it. The Boston Red Sox lost their second in a row to the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 5-3. The Sox had a two run lead until Carl Crawford homered off Lackey in the sixth inning. After the game, Big Papi David Ortiz was asked if the 2010 season is basically over...

"It's not over yet. It's not over yet. We come back Tuesday in Baltimore and keep playing hard. That's the only thing we can control. Keep playing hard and see what happens."

I'm usually the most optimistic Red Sox fan but my nerves are beginning to fray and my hope for October baseball is vanishing as quickly as the summer warmth gives way to the autumn chill. Boston is seven games behind in the loss column with only thirty one to play. Here's Adrian Beltre, who refuses to come out of the lineup even though he's been slightly hampered with one of his hamstrings...

“Tough. We came wanting to at least win the series and hopefully take the three games, and it didn’t happen. But that’s in the past, and we have to do whatever we can do from now on to gain some ground. We’re still in it. We haven’t gotten on a winning streak. If we do that, and hopefully they lose some games, and we’ll be right there. We still have six games against the Yankees. You never know what can happen.’’

He's exactly right. Winning two of three will not do it any more. They're chasing two teams and the sand is pouring through the hour glass. Plain and simple, Boston is running out of time. A ten game winning streak would certainly help but I think the Sox are too crippled with injuries to plate enough runs. They're in dire straits.

Don't forget to click on this post's title for all the coverage of last night's flounder in Florida and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Red Sox (Should Have) Let One Drop

The Boston Red Sox and their starting pitcher, Clay Buchholz, were enjoying a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning when JD Drew had a mind freeze. With Carlos Pena on third base and less than two outs, Matt Joyce skied a foul ball. It kept fading and fading right until JD Drew caught it IN the home bullpen. HE SHOULD HAVE LET IT DROP. Carlos Pena tagged up and scampered home to tie the game at one. If Drew had not made that catch, the batter would have stayed at the plate and Pena would still have been standing on third. Here's the Boston right fielder himself...

“I don’t really know how in the world I caught it. That’s kind of amazing to me. If I tried to make that play in a situation with two outs and the game on the line, I probably would never be able to get to it. For some reason, that thing stuck in my glove. I had every intention of letting it drop. Just instinct, you know. Put the glove out right at the last second as I saw the ball coming down, and it ended up in there. It’s kind of beyond me."

That was the beginning of the end. The Boston Red Sox were beaten in ten innings by a score of 3-2, ruining another superb effort by Clay Buchholz. If you click on this post's title you can see the entire sequence of events Don't forget...it was a huge game but the Boston bats didn't assert themselves. What else is new? Nothing, that's what. It's time to begin the stretch run, NOT play .500 ball. Am I asking too much?

ESPN is televising the game to the nation tonight shortly after 8pm EDT. It'll be Lackey versus Shields to win the series two games to one. The Sox, if that happens, would gain only one game in the wild card race. It's the little things that make all the difference in the world. Miscues doomed Boston last night. It was beauty that killed the beast.

Don't forget to click on that title and check out the play on red sox dot com and as always, BE WELL. I hope your weekend is going well. See ya.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lester Wildly Effective...VMART Clouts Two In Red Sox Win

It wasn't pretty but Jon Lester, with a TON of help from his catcher, Victor Martinez, defeated the Tampa Bays Rays by a score of 3-1 Friday night in the Sunshine State in front of 29,461 Rays fans, although some of the crowds down there, in fact, many of them, are Red Sox fans. Yankee haters all, I guess. Lester was wild but Victor seemed to get to almost all the bounced offerings, not to mention those WAY off the plate. Boston manager Terry "Tito" Francona had these glowing words for VMart...

“I thought Victor caught the game of his life. He was all over the place tonight. He did a great job. There was a lot of good things that happened tonight.’’

And many of them stemmed from the play of Victor Martinez, who might have played his best all-around game wearing a Red Sox uniform. Lester was just wild enough to be effective. The Rays only managed that one run and had only three hits. Jon had wonderful well-deserved words of praise for his catcher...

“Victor does a great job of controlling the game, controlling the tempo and giving you breaks when he thinks you need them,’’ Lester said. “He had his work cut out for him tonight. I bounced some balls, trying to bury pitches. He did a great job blocking balls and keeping them in front. A lot of times things get overlooked on how good a catcher he is because he doesn’t throw a lot of guys out. But that’s more a stat for us pitchers than catchers. I think as good a defensive catcher he is gets overlooked.’’

After watching him shine last night, I heartily agree. The AL East race narrowed as not only the Rays but the NY Yankees went down to defeat. AJ Burnett, as is his want, just didn't have it. Boy, it's either all or nothing at all with him. That's OK, I don't mind (snicker snicker). Pitching for the Boston Red Sox tonight is our best pitcher, Clay Buchholz, the hottest pitcher in all of major league baseball, bar none. He'll face Matt Garza. Buchholz gives the Sox a TREMENDOUS shot at taking the first two games of this crucial series. Frankly, I'd be shocked if he lost. The only way that could happen is if Boston scores only two runs or less. That ain't going to happen. No way no how.

I hope every one of you has a terrific weekend. It's a slowly brightening morning here in north central Connecticut with temperatures around 50 degrees F. Comfortable sleeping weather. Oh yes, perfect. In fact, I had to close the bedroom window in the middle of the night. It was a prime example of nature's air conditioning. Oh, I almost forgot. Click on this post's title for all the details and video highlights from last night's game and as always, BE WELL.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pedey Might Be Screwed..Sox Travel To Tampa To Play The Rays

We all know by now that the Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, a former American League MVP and a favorite in our hearts, is wearing a protective boot again. He'll continue to wear it for about a week and his foot will be examined again. If it still continues to not heal sufficiently, the doctors will be forced to put a screw in (hence this post's title) and Pedey's season will be over. I hope it is. This will allow Pedroia the full offseason to heal and heal 100%. That, in my mind, is the only way to go about this injury. Here's the man himself, a very frustrated Dustin Pedroia, shortly after learning that he was back on the disabled list......

“I’m upset, man. I feel like I let everybody down. I can’t really do too much. I tried. So hopefully it heals up and I’ll get back in there.’’

Pedey, you didn't let ANYONE down. No way, no how. Heal 100% and we'll see you in 2011. There's no sense in damaging it further. You did that once. Dustin becomes the fourth Boston player whose season ended or probably will end early. The others are Kevin Youkilis (underwent surgery), Mike Cameron (surgery pending) and Jacoby Ellsbury, who I think needs the entire fall and winter to get that rib back in shape. He's the kind of guy who goes all out to get to and catch fly balls, sometimes landing face down on his stomach and RIBS. Maybe a flak jacket would help although I don't think the league would allow that.

The Red Sox are in Tampa for a vital and crucial three game series. This is a must sweep situation for the Sox and they'll have their three best starters trying to accomplish just that. I like the match-ups in games two and three but I'm a little scared of Price. Here are the all-important pitching match-ups...

Fri. 27 at TB** 7:10 PM ET NESN/SUN** Lester (13-8) vs. Price (15-5)
Sat. 28 at TB** 7:10 PM ET NESN/SUN** Buchholz (15-5) vs. Garza (13-7)
Sun. 29 at TB** 8:05 PM ET ESPN** Lackey (12-7) vs. Shields (12-11)

Ok, that's it for now. It's Friday so I hope you enjoy your upcoming weekend. A Boston sweep would certainly help. You can simply click on this post's title to be zapped to the Red Sox internet home site and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for being here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Game #2 Wasn't So Grand...Sox Lose

The scheduled Hernadez/Lester pitching match-up in game two of the Boston Red Sox day/night doubleheader with the Seattle Mariners never came to pass last night at Fenway Park. This will affect the upcoming vital series with the Tampa Bay Rays, who the Red Sox are trying to chase down in their bid for a wild card spot in the playoffs. After the day off today, Lester will pitch Friday with Clay Buchholz going Saturday and John Lackey going on Sunday night. Those are the best arms the Red Sox have and a sweep of the Rays is really important. Tim Wakefield got the starting pitching job last night and although he pitched well, he was no match for Hernandez, who was nasty all evening. Here's Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre...

“Bottom line, we were facing one of the best pitchers in the league. We knew that and I knew that. But we had our chances. We didn’t capitalize. Nothing we can do about it now. We have to start gaining some ground because this is getting kind of late.’’

You can say that again, Adrian. You hit the proverbial nail on the head. He, along with Boston manager Terry Francona, were ejected by the home plate umpire, Dan Bellino. He's a rookie and he faced the ire of the Red Sox third baseman. Here's the man himself, Mr. Beltre...

“I don’t even know who he is. Then I find out he’s a rookie from Triple A and he makes decisions like that. Now, why is a rookie from Triple A behind home plate?

I don't have an answer to that one, Adrian, but the guy made a mistake. You weren't even talking to him. OK, back to business. There ain't much of the 2010 season left and a day/night doubleheader split gets the Red Sox nowhere fast in the AL East race, almost like running to stand still, hurry up and wait or one step up, two steps back. Wakefield was good but Felix Hernandez was better. Turn the page. Case closed.

Enjoy the day off from baseball and please click on this post's title for all the details and highlights from Wednesday. As always, BE WELL. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Boston/Seattle Game #1

It stopped raining at Fenway and it's 4pm EDT. Going into the bottom of the 8th, it's Red Sox 4 Mariners 3. The ninth will be a Papelbon finish. More a little later. Hey, Beckett looked good.

Pap's pitching. Now 5-3 Boston going into the 9th. A screaming liner that Paps gloves in self defense. His velocity looks GREAT. One out. The count is 0-2. 1-2. Still 1-2 on a foul ball to left. Still one big out. Another foul. Paps looks good with a two run cushion. It's tough to trust him with anything less (I'm sorry to say). 2-2. 3-2. Oi. Another foul to the left side. Still a full count. Pitch number 12. Beltre gloves it and throws to first. TWO OUTS. BELTRE GLOVES AND THROWS to foist for the third out. Beckett and his (our) team win it 5-3.

One more to go at 7:10pm EDT. Fenway Park.

The Latest Radar For Fenway Park...

It's 6:24am EDT here in north central Connecticut. Click on this post's title for a live hi-def weather radar image. The rain that went through here in Hartford until a few hours ago is still embedded off the east coast. The precipitation is now centered over eastern Rhode Island north to eastern (including Fenway Park) Massachusetts. If you're going to game number one, keep an eye on the radar and the Red Sox networks. That's a quick update. From me.

Damon Stays Put...Boston Red Sox Might Play Two But Rain Is Probable For Game # 1

Johnny Damon of the Detroit Tigers will stay exactly that...a Detroit Tiger. He has decided NOT to come to Boston. Tiger manager Jim Leland explains...

“Is he going to play here the rest of the season? Yes, he’s going to play. Is he going to play every game? No. He hasn’t played every game up to this point. Am I going to sit Johnny Damon on the bench and forget about him? No, he’s going to play a lot. Am I going to look at a kid once in a while and give him a day? Yeah. It’s that simple.’’

Put that way, Jim, yes, it IS fairly simple. I don't know if Damon wanted to avoid playing in the AL East or something else but it didn't take long for him to make up his mind. He said this yesterday...

“I don’t plan on waiving the no-trade clause. Initially, I thought long and hard about it, but after going around and talking to a bunch of my teammates, they want me here. And they feel we can make a strong push, at least make this AL Central race interesting. That’s why I’m going to stay. I’ve said all along I love playing for Detroit, for the city, for the fans. These guys really like me here.”

Have a nice off season on the golf course, Johnny. The Boston Red Sox will try to avoid a similar golf fate by making a big push in the next five plus weeks. They'll play a day/night doubleheader today thanks to the never ending rain of Tuesday. The precipitation finally stopped here in Hartford three or four hours ago so by 1:10pm EDT the tarp should be off the field. Maybe. The forecast, which I'm listening to in the background, calls for scattered showers but Boston must get these Mariners games in. It's Seattle's last appearance at Fenway this season. The pitchers? Josh Beckett will face Dave Pauley followed by the Felix Hernandez-Jon Lester feature at 7:10pm EDT.

That's it from here now. It would be so nice if the Sox pick up two wins today because right now, they're running to stand still. The Yankees were victorious last night so as Bruce wrote and sang, it's been "one step up, two steps back." I hate to say it but I'm getting used to it. I don't like it.

Click on this post's title for the live radar. After you click, just scroll the huge USA map eastward (to the right) with the blue bar at the bottom of your screen until New England is shown. You can center it North or South with the blue bar on the screen's right side. This is the best radar site I have ever stumbled upon...by far. Bookmark it if you want to keep up with any (un)expected precipitation any month of the year. As always, BE WELL.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Damon Coming Back? Sox Beat Mariners

I have two things on this morning's plate, NOT including breakfast. Number one is last night's Boston Red Sox victory. John Lackey was great for eight innings and Marco Scutaro swatted two two run singles to power the Boston Red Sox to a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees lost to the Blue Jays so the AL East gap is a little narrower. There's still a long way to go, though. Lackey gave way to Jonathon Papelbon, who earned his 31st save. Lackey said this about Boston's latest shortstop. Hey, he's had a great year while playing through pain...

"He was always a tough out and never gave away at-bats," said Lackey. "For sure, he's a guy that's really stepped up for us."

And the Sox skipper, Terry Francona, had these words...

"I'd say he's gave us stability all year. "We were really excited when we got him."

Marco has stabilized the infield even after the Sox were left without a second baseman or a first baseman. Most teams when faced with this many injuries would fold, spindle and self-mutilate but there's something about these 2010 Sox. They never give up even under the most difficult conditions. Good for them. Tonight, the very unpredictable Josh Beckett will face off against the Mariner's Pauley, who has two wins and four losses. If Beckett can "get back to normal" during the last month of the season the Red Sox's chances of post season play will be greatly enhanced. Hey Josh, start that comeback tonight! OK, on to story number two, one I never expected.

Many of you have probably heard that the Red Sox claimed Johnny Damon off waivers but Damon will have to make the final decision. This is from the Boston Globe's EXTRA BASES. Detroit can...

1. The Tigers can pull him back.

2. The Tigers can make a trade with the Red Sox.

3. The Tigers can let him go for nothing, leaving the Red Sox on the hook for roughly $1.8 million.

I'll take number three, please, with a side of fried rice and a glass of saki. Just kidding but I do have a feeling about this entire scenario. You see, Damon has very mixed feelings about leaving the Motor City. I also do not believe that the Tigers will just jettison him. Option number one looks like the favorite with number two a close runner up. I can't imagine Detroit giving him away. That won't happen. Here's what Johnny thinks...

"It's probably as tough of a decision for me to make right now as it was for me to leave Boston for New York. It's something that, fortunately, we have some time to think about. At this moment, I'm not sure I want to leave Detroit for that. I enjoy playing here. I enjoy the kids I'm playing for, the coaching staff. But obviously, Terry Francona is amazing. But it's something that I'm going to have think long and hard over. The only reason why I would be considering it is to help out this team in the future."

As the song goes, "que sera sera, what will be will be." If Damon wants another ring, his best chance is with Boston and surely the Red Sox can use another outfielder to replace the injured bodies. Only time will tell. Until then, whenever that will be, click on this post's title for a very entertaining article on this very subject. I'll stay on to of this situation. Hey, thanks for stopping well and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Is Buchholz The Best Pitcher In The American League?

He's 15-5 and has a league-best ERA of 2.26. With his devastating array of pitches, he can make a batter flail uselessly at a wicked change-up or blow him away with a 95 MPH heater. His name is Clay Buchholz and yes, he is on a roll. He's thrown 23 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings and he's considered to be one of the Cy Young favorites. Yesterday he threw six scoreless innings to add to his total. Bard and Dubront finished up and made the game official. Here's Clay...

“I’m not going to set any goals,” Buchholz said. “I’m out here to pitch and help this team win, and whatever happens after that happens. I think that can sort of step in the way if you think about it too much, just like the All-Star Game questions. I’m basically going out there every day trying to pitch deep into the games and win the games for this team to get to October.”

If you haven't seen Buchholz pitch yet this season you owe it to yourself to indulge in his mastery. I had so much fun on a lazy Sunday with not much (nothing) to do. He made my day. But today's another day and the Boston Red Sox begin a three game Fenway set against the Seattle Mariners. Here's all you need to know...

Mon. 23 Sea 7:10 PM ET** FxNW/NESN** Lackey (11-7) vs. Fister (4-8)
Tue. 24 Sea 7:10 PM ET** FxNW/NESN**Beckett (3-3) vs. Pauley (2-4)
Wed. 25 Sea 1:35 PM ET** FxNW/NESN** Lester (13-8) vs. Hernandez (9-10)

A nice eight game winning steak would be sweet, oh so sweet, and get us right back into the Wild Card race. There's a little bit more than a month left in this regular season so it's time to put the pedal to the medal and DO IT! You can click on this post's title for more on yesterday's game and as always, BE WELL.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Walk Off Tater By Jed Lowrie Carries Sox...Buchholz Goes Today

The Boston Red Sox had a 4-1 lead but let it evaporate into a tie. They broke that tie and won the game against the Blue Jays in the eleventh inning by a score of 5-4. Jed Lowrie's home run into the right field bullpen pulled the game out for Boston, who won 5-4. Here's THE MAN...

“I knew I hit it well,’’ Lowrie said. “But it’s a long ways out there at Fenway. I was just watching Jose Bautista, the right fielder, run after it and hoping it would keep going.

It kept going, alright, muscled out into the promised land. The final game of this three game set with the Jays begins at 1:35pm EDT with Buchholz, who is in the running for the Cy Young Award ready to face Marcum. If the Sox score three runs, they should win behind Clay!

In more injury news, the latest addition to the Red Sox gigantic DL list is Carlos Delgado. He was supposed to platoon with Mikey Lowell but now that task will probably fall to Jed Lowrie, who also plays first and IS HEALTHY.

That concludes a short but sweet Sunday post. Enjoy the game a little later today or get outside to enjoy a bit of the fading and shortening summer. Either way, you're golden. Click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox, including Lowrie's blast on the highlight reel and as always, BE WELL.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jon Lester And Red Sox Rocked Bigtime...Pedey Pedroia Back To DL

Dustin Pedroia is back on the DL after re-injuring his food while trying to steal a base. The only way Pedey knows how to play is full out with no holds barred. His foot is not sufficiently healed enough for that. Here's Pedey...

"I'm going back on the DL," Pedroia said. "I'm not feeling very good. I played those last two games, and tried to do it, then yesterday I couldn't do much and today's a lot worse, so they're backing me off and not letting me do anything."

This is a big bad blow to the Boston Red Sox, make no mistake about it. Another piece of bad news is this. Jacoby Ellsbury, who also re-injured himself after a long forced absence, is out for the season. We'll see him in 2011, fully healed, I hope.

OK, I saved the news about last night's game for right now. It's that bad. Jon Lester had the worst outing of his career, giving up 9 (!!) runs in the first two innings. Boston went on to lose to the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of (gulp) 17-2. I missed the entire game, thank goodness. After all, it WAS a Friday night. When I returned home and saw the score, well, some things are best left unsaid. I hope Jon is OK physically and all he had was a bad night. We do not need any more injuries, maybe for the next ten years. Here's Red Sox manager Terry "Tito" Francona on Lester's troubles...

"Lester walked the first hitter, Escobar gets a bunt down and he's pitching out of the stretch right away. He just didn't command really anything. It was a tough go right from the beginning."

I can only imagine, Tito. Today the Blue Jays-Red Sox game will begin at 7:10pm EDT and will feature mound opponents Matsuzaka (8-4) and Romero (10-7). We need a great start from Daisuke. Hell, we need a great start from everybody. Buchholz goes tomorrow so if Matsuzaka can spin a beauty, two in a row has a tremendous chance of happening. Let's hope so. 17-2? My goodness! Never again, at least with Lester pitching. I'm going to watch the one hour replay at 8am EDT on NESN to learn more.

Click on this post's title for more on last night's mismatch, highlights and all, and as always, BE WELL. Have a great weekend, every one of you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Beckett Great For Six Innings But...

I bet you knew there'd be a but. The Angels won their first 2010 game against the Boston Red Sox by a score of 7-2. After five frames Beckett had a two hit shutout. That's the best we've seen him in some time. But (yes, another but) it all falled apart in the sixth as the Halos scored four times. That was all she wrote, guys. Here Boston manager Tito Francona on his struggling ex-ace...

“The hope is that he can build off of what he did that was positive and not let the sixth get in the way of the rest of the season. That’s the hope. But I know you have to put it together for a full game. Josh hit spots all night, and then he missed on three or four consecutive hitters.

And so it goes. Boston only ended up with five base hits so they wouldn't have won, anyways. It sure would have been nice to have had a nice seven inning serving of Beckett as we know him. Maybe next time, I guess. The Blue Jays invade Fenway Park for a three game series starting tonight. Here are the game times and starting pitchers...

Fri. 20 Tor*** 7:10 PM ET RSN/NESN*** Lester (13-7) vs. Cecil (9-6)
Sat. 21 Tor*** 7:10 PM ET RSN/NESN*** Matsuzaka (8-4) vs. Romero (10-7)
Sun. 22 Tor*** 1:35 PM ET RSN/NESN*** Buchholz (14-5) vs. Marcum (11-6)

On a sadder note, it was forty three years ago this past Wednesday August 18 that Tony Conigliaro was gunned down by a pitch to the left cheek bone. He was never the same again. The 1967 season continued without him. Boston went on to win the pennant and came within one game of a World Series championship but not with Tony. Tony C. died in 1990 at the tender age of 45. Two days later, Dan Shaughnessy wrote this...

"It seems impossible that Tony Conigliaro is dead. His was a life of infinite promise and the finality of his passing numbs the senses of Red Sox fans. Tony C was youth and hope. Always it seemed there would be another comeback.
Now he is gone and will be frozen in time -- forever tall, dark and handsome, a slugger for the ages . . ."

We miss you Tony, those of us old enough to have watched you play. All of us. Rest in peace. Click on this post's title for more about Tony and as always, BE WELL.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Boston Red Sox Improve To 9-0 Against LA Angels With 7-5 Win

I just erased my entire post (my bad) so I'll be brief. The Boston Red Sox again defeated the LA Angels by a score of 7-5. They were down a run until they scored two in the seventh and one more in the eighth. Nava made a tremendous catch in the seventh inning to keep the Sox one run down and from there, all was good. John Lackey went seven serviceable innings, giving up his trademark five runs. He's lucky to have won the game. Bard and Papelbon, who earned his 30th save, goose egged the Halos in the eighth and the ninth.

Tonight the Sox face the Angels again with the troubled Josh Becket ready to face Santana. For the Sox to get into post season play, Beckett has to pitch like, well, Beckett. Here's hoping.

As always, BE WELL and don't forget to click on this post's title to see the great diving catch by left fielder Daniel Nava. You'll be able to find it easily along with many other highlights. Don't forget to turn your sound on. Have a great Thursday as another week rockets by. I'll see ya!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Buchholz Pitches Boston To A 6-0 Win

There is no doubt who has been the best Boston Red Sox pitcher over the last month and a half. His name? Clay Buchholz, who pitched the Sox to a 6-0 victory over the LA Angels. He has won thirteen of his last fifteen starts and he lowered his ERA to 2.36. Buchholz has to be one of the pitchers talked about in a Cy Young conversation. He didn't actually throw a ton of strikes but had the right pitch when he needed it. Boston manager Terry "Tito" Francona will tell you more...

“He actually didn’t throw a ton of strikes, but he wasn’t afraid of contact. His stuff was tremendous, his fastball had real good finish to it. When he got down in the count, and he did it quite a few times, he’d get back into it and get some contact and keep them off the barrel. Pretty good. You look up and you see a bunch of zeros, but . . . just a little over 50 percent strikes. But he made a lot of good pitches."

The big hit was smashed by none other than Ryan Kalish, who clobbered a grand slam in the fourth inning. Here he is. Remember, the Angels had moved Torii Hunter to right field...

“It was unreal. Shoot, if I had hit it a little bit more to my right, I would have been real nervous with Torii Hunter out there.’’

Hunter can still flash that leather and made a memorable over the right field wall catch earlier in the game. He'd look great in the middle of the Boston outfield right now with the injuries to Cameron and Ellsbury. But the Sox will keep on keeping on. They are, as always, a determined bunch of guys playing in a great uniform.

Good morning to you, my Constant Readers, and happy Hump Day Wednesday. There's another game with the Angels tonight and John Lackey will take on Scott Kazmir, who Pedey has hit at a .517 rate. Lackey has to step up again, no ifs ands or buts. GO SOX.

Click on this post's title for more of last night's game news with highlights. Make sure you see the Kalish grand salami. I want to thank you for stopping in to my little corner of the "blue nowhere," and as always, BE WELL.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


A sad goodbye to the man who hit the "shot heard 'round the world." This is from the NY Daily News, just now...

"The man who hit the most famous home run in baseball history is gone. Bobby Thomson, whose "shot heard 'round the world" capped a best-of-three playoff and the Giants' miracle comeback to win the 1951 National League pennant over the Dodgers, died Monday night at his home in Savannah, Georgia. He had been in declining health for years, but died peacefully, according to his daughter Megan Thomson Armstrong. He was 86.
Of baseball's historic walk-off home runs - Bill Mazeroski's in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, Joe Carter's in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series, Carlton Fisk's in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series - Thomson's shot off of Ralph Branca into the left-field seats of the Polo Grounds on Oct. 3, 1951, will always be regarded as the granddaddy of them all. The dramatic blast capped the Giants' incredible charge to the pennant after they had trailed the Dodgers by 13 1/2 games as late as Aug. 11. Beginning on Aug. 12, the Giants won 16 straight games and went 37-7 down the stretch to force a tie with the Dodgers at season's end. In the playoff series that ensued, the Giants won the first game, 3-1, on a two-run fourth-inning homer by Thomson off Branca and the Dodgers came back to win the second game, 10-0, behind the six-hit pitching of Clem Labine.
That set the stage for the deciding game, which the Dodgers led, 4-1, going into the ninth inning. But Dodger starter Don Newcombe, who had logged 272 innings that season, tired in the ninth, surrendering a leadoff infield single to Alvin Dark, another single to Don Mueller, and then, after Monte Irvin fouled out, a two-run opposite field double to left field by Whitey Lockman. On the play, Mueller severely sprained his ankle sliding into third and as he was attended to and finally removed from the game for pinch-runner Clint Hartung, Dodger manager Charlie Dressen summoned Branca from the bullpen to replace Newcombe with Thomson coming to the plate. Branca's first pitch was a called-strike fastball. His second pitch, another fastball, Thomson hit on a low rising liner toward left. As Dodger leftfielder Andy Pafko drifted back to the wall, the ball sailed over his head into the seats for a 5-4 victory, and from the broadcast booth Giants announcer Russ Hodges could be heard screaming, "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"

Bobby, you will be missed. Rest in peace. Forever. The baseball world is in mourning.


Yes, the day, actually night, has finally arrived. Extra, extra, read all about it. Injured for too long a time, Dustin Pedroia will play tonight at Fenway Park when the Boston Red Sox open up a three game set with the LA Anaheim California Angels (I'll never know what to call them). Here's Clay Buchholz, who takes the mound tonight and who has been the best pitcher on the team for more than a month...

“He’s definitely one of the anchors on this team. He’s able to go out there and make things happen that normal players can’t do. He’s definitely a big sparkplug for the offense and defense. He’s just a key component to this team. Once he gets back and gets his feel back and everything, he’s definitely going to be fun to watch.’’

Clay is exactly right. FUN FUN FUN. He goes tonight against the 12-8 Santana and Buchholz pitched at least seven innings in every start since facing the Tigers on July 26th. That's called saving the bullpen while pitching well enough to win the game.

Game time tonight will be the usual 7:10pm EDT. Fenway will be festive and the ovation for Pedroia when he first comes back will be worth the price of admission alone. I can't wait.

Have a great Tuesday. I'm helping out a neighbor who broke her right wrist a few days ago. I'm taking her to her doctor in East Hartford this morning for advice for her Friday surgery. Her mom is coming in on Thursday to help her out on that. I really could have been lazy and said "I can't do it," but that's not me. A good neighbor is what I am. I try. Click on this post's title for more on the Sox and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you soon.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Up & Down, All Or Nothing, Win And Then Lose Red Sox Fall Again To Texas

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched well in a close game but when Tito Francona had to go to his bullpen, the Texas Rangers, 7-3 winners, broke it open with four runs. Manny, Manny Manny. Here he is..

“I just hung a changeup,’’ Delcarmen said. “Going in, I know he’s a first-pitch-swing guy. With runners on, it’s not the right time to hang a change-up. It’s a little frustrating. We end up scoring three in the very next inning, so it kind of stung a little bit. Dice was battling the heat all day and pitched his butt off.’

Boston finishes this latest road trip at 5-5 which just about sums up their season. Win one, lose one...heck, let's lose two! I'm still a little bitter about the black cloud of injuries that has hovered over the team all season long. I hope it doesn't come back next year. My goodness!

The Red Sox have traveled back to Boston and will start their homestand off with a three game set aginst the LA Anaheim Angels Tuesday night. Here are the details...

Tue. 17* LAA 7:10 PM ET FoxW/NESN** Buchholz (13-5) vs. Weaver (11-7)
Wed. 18 *LAA 7:10 PM ET FoxW/NESN** Lackey (10-7) vs. Kazmir (8-10)
Thu. 19* LAA 7:10 PM ET FoxW/NESN** Beckett (3-2) vs. Santana (12-8)

That's it for this Monday in the middle of August. For the Sox to qualify for post season play, they'll have to step it up a notch, maybe two. Pedey will be back Tuesday but the loss of Youkilis still really hurts. You can click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox and as always, BE WELL.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Red Sox 3 Rangers 1..Ellsbury On DL Again

For the second straight start, Jon Lester did not allow a Texas runner to cross home plate as Boston took the Rangers by a score of 3-1. Although reportedly not feeling 100%, he was at the top of his game. He gave up only five hits and struck out six. It was exacly what the overworked Red Sox bullpen needed. Here's Sox manager Tito Francona...

“We needed him to go out there and pitch exactly like he did. I think the heat got to him a little bit. He was queasy and kind of sick to his stomach. We were certainly keeping an eye on him, ’cause he wasn’t feeling good. Didn’t look like it the way he was pitching.’’

That's the good news in a nutshell. Now, the bad. Jacoby Ellsbury is back on the disabled list with an injury to the same exact rib area. It happened in Boston's 10-9 defeat to the Rangers. It doesn't look good for any further 2010 play. That's too bad. Boston is again without either of their center fielders. Mike Camero is still suffering from his ongoing injury. Again, here's Terry Francona...

"You have to go on the symptoms, and Jake says it’s worse than the Tampa re-injury in May, so we knew he was a DL. Now that he’s a DL, we’ll dig and try to find out, ‘OK, what do we do?’ That’s kind of where we’re at. He didn’t want to come out. It was pretty obvious to me he was hurting, but I’m glad I took him out now. He was obviously hurt. If he gets hurt worse, that doesn’t help anybody.”

Tito, let him heal all fall and winter so he can finally get this behind him. We'll need him next year. Today, Daisuke Matsuzaka will face C.J. Wilson, who has a sparkling record of 10-5. Boston couldn't gain any ground on Tampa Bay or the Yankees yesterday so every game, obviously, is vital. Let's hope Daisuke continues his good pitching.

I hope your Sunday will be a terrific one. Click on this post's title for more Sox news and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you soon.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rangers Beat Listless Red Sox 10-9

The Boston Red Sox scored nine runs Friday night in Texas but poor pitching by Josh Beckett and the assembled relievers powered the Texas Rangers to a 10-9 victory. There's no excuse for an effort like this. The 2010 season is slipping by right in front of our disbelieving and disappointed eyes. Even five home runs were not enough to help them. What's most concerning to me is Josh Beckett's continued poor outings of late. He doesn't have control of his fastball, not the way he used to and IS used to. Here he is...

“I get into counts, and I try to do too much and the balls flies out and goes to the middle of the plate. It’s frustrating. I tried to work on it between starts. It obviously didn’t do any good. It’s a shame that we lose a game like that because we scored a lot of runs. I couldn’t hold it.

At one point Boston had an 8-2 lead. That was after three and a half innings and it all started to fall apart in the bottom of the fourth, slowly but surely. Watching Boston's effort was NO way to spend a Friday evening. I should have watched MAN VS. FOOD on the Travel Channel. I highly recommend it to every reader along with BERT THE CONQUERER, also on the Travel Channel. PAWN STARS on the History Channel is another summer favorite, as is AMERICAN PICKERS. Oops, back to baseball and this awful 2010 season.

Jacoby Ellsbury still isn't right and will receive another MRI at Mass General. It doesn't look good that he will be able to continue his 2010 play. He collided with Rangers pitcher Tommy Hunter, crumpling to the ground in pain. Tito Francona had to yank him from the game shortly after that. The new injury is in the same spot as his previous one. Here's the skipper...

“It’s very concerning. The exam that trainer Mike Reinold gave him is very concerning."

Very concerning. More bad news just when we needed it. Jon Lester will try to "right the ship" tonight at 8:05pm EDT. He'll face Colby Lewis in steamy Texas. Truthfully, it might be too late for the Sox to rescue this season. That's how I really feel. The only Boston pitcher who has excelled beyond expectations this year has been Clay Buchholz. What can you do? I have no idea.

Click on this post's title for more Sox news from the Boston Herald. Have a great weekend and as always, BE WELL. Thank you for stopping in. I mean that.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pitching In For Kids

Hello again. I received this email a couple of days ago from Kevin Ward. Tim Wakefield is continuing his charitable work with a little help from his many friends. Please read this. None of the contained links are clickable so just copy and paste them. Here you go...

Hi Peter,

I work with Tim Wakefield and his charity Pitching in for Kids in Boston. We have recently partnered with Warner Bros. and Looney Tunes to honor Tim and his longevity with the team and all the success he has accomplished to create limited edition autographed lithographs and hand painted cels for distribution. This past week we went on field pregame at Fenway to officially release this special artwork to the world and Red Sox Nation! We have been working hard with the Red Sox front office, Red Sox Foundation, and Warner Bros to reach as many people as possible to reveal these limited edition pieces. I encourage you to visit our organization's website (we work with Tim and Jason Varitek), our facebook page, and the "Knuckled Under by Wakefield" site. I have attached the artwork and a few photos of the journey we have been on with Tim and the art. I read and enjoy your Red Sox Forever blog and am wondering if you could post a small write up or pic of the artwork on your blog. Let me know anything you could do for us and Tim and the charity are extremely grateful for anything you can do.
Thank you and I appreciate it Peter!

Kevin Ward
Pitching in for Kids, Inc.
Marketing Assistant


Pitching in for Kids Website: http://pitchinginforkids.org

Knuckled Under by Wakefield Website: http://www.knuckledunderbywakefield.org/

Pitching in for Kids FB Website: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=54843669154&ref=ts

Boston.com Article on project: http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2010/07/wakefield_loone.html

Timmy is just about my favorite Red Sox player (with YOUK) and this is a great cause. I thank Kevin and I thank my readers for taking the time to read this. WE LOVE YOU TIMMY. GO SOX.


There's no other way to put it...a stunning loss. I was speechless, sad and angry. It was maddening. John Lackey pitched great through eight innings and enjoyed a 5-2 lead. Having thrown just 98 pitches, Red Sox skipper Tito Francona left him in to pitch the complete game. Just three more outs would have done it but it wouldn't happen, not by a long shot. Toronto's leadoff hitter, Jose Bautista, lined a home run to left and that was the end of John's night. Papelbon, who has had incredible success against Toronto, came jogging in from the bullpen and all hell broke loose. Remember, it was still a comfortable Boston lead at 5-3. Here's Tito...

“He (Lackey) gave up a home run to lead off the inning. That’s normally what we do, go to Pap.”

I noticed by Jonathon's pitching location that he must have been, as he said, "groggy." Almost all of his pitches were up and hittable. I knew disaster was just around the corner, hiding in the shadows, evil personified. This is from the Boston Herald...

"Papelbon left nearly all of his pitches up, and the Blue Jays began tattooing him. Wells doubled, then Lind singled him in with a sharp single up the middle. After pinch-runner Dewayne Wise stole second, Hill lined a pitch off Papelbon’s left foot, putting runners on the corners with no outs. Papelbon struck out Travis Snider, but Edwin Encarnacion doubled in Wise to tie the game. Papelbon then intentionally walked the No. 9 batter, pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay, to load the bases - and then he was gone. In came Daniel Bard to face Fred Lewis. Two pitches later, Lewis hit a sacrifice fly to center field to knock in Hill. Ballgame over."

“Oh man, every ball he didn’t locate or left up, they hit it. There were some pitches that were flat. Not all of them, but every time he got it up, they whacked it pretty good.”

That was Red Sox manager Tito Francona once again and he's exactly right. Tatoo would be a better adjective than whacked but the result was the same, a 6-5 sudden, swift and cruel loss, the worst type. Now it's on to one hundred degree plus Texas for a trio of games. Here are the pitching match-ups with game times included...

Fri. 13** at Tex 8:05 PM ET NESN/KTXA*** Beckett (3-2) vs. Hunter (9-1)
Sat. 14** at Tex 8:05 PM ET NESN/FxSW*** Lester (12-7) vs. Lewis (9-8)
Sun. 15** at Tex 3:05 PM ET NESN/FxSW*** Matsuzaka (8-3) vs. Wilson (10-5)

It doesn't get any easier for the Red Sox and we're quickly sliding into "crunch time." Right now, I have to turn the page and erase Thursday night's foul taste from my mouth. If you'd like, simply click on this post's title to see all the highlights from Red Sox dot com. I can't do that but I inserted the link for you. Have a great Friday, a terrific weekend and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you...soon.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

PAPS AGAIN The Culprit...Red Sox Lose 6-5

Boy, this afternoon's game in Toronto shows all of Red Sox Nation that again, Jonathon Papelbon has major flaws. This is from the Boston Globe. I'll have a full recap in the morning. Right now my stomach isn't up to it. You be the judge...

"Fred Lewis' sacrifice fly capped a four-run rally in the ninth inning and lifted Toronto to a 6-5 victory over Boston on Thursday, just the Blue Jays' third win in 12 games against the Red Sox this season. Trailing 5-2, Toronto's Jose Bautista chased John Lackey by leading off the ninth with his major league-leading 36th homer. Jonathan Papelbon (4-5) came on and blew his sixth save of the season, and his first in 25 career chances against the Blue Jays. Vernon Wells greeted Papelbon with a double and scored when Adam Lind lined a single up the middle. Pinch-runner Dewayne Wise stole second and moved to third when Aaron Hill singled off Papelbon's left foot. Papelbon stayed in the game and struck out Travis Snider, but Encarnacion tied it with a double down the line in left. Pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay was walked intentionally to load the bases for Lewis, who hit a fly ball to shallow center off Daniel Bard. Hill tagged up and slid home well ahead of the throw from Jacoby Ellsbury."


Buchholz Shines White Hot..Boston 10 Blue Jays 1

Clay Buchholz continued his mastery of the mound up in Toronto last night and everywhere the Boston Red Sox have played lately. Last night, he had "it" going. He pitched eight full innings and gave up only one UNEARNED run and five base hits, walking two and whiffing four. He's been so clutch for the the Sox lately. Clay has given up only five earned runs on 21 hits over 30 1/3 innings in his last four starts. The Sox have won seven of the last eight games he has started. That's called being clutch, something that I wish today's Boston starter, John Lackey, could be. The hitting stars? Bill Hall slammed two home runs to the second deck in left field and Adrian Beltre slammed one, a three run tater. I sincerely hope Boston can resign him but he will become a free agent and after the 2010 season, he'll collect a pretty penny. But he's our spark plug and an invaluable asset at the hot corner. Outfielder Darnell McDonald warned the other AL teams this...

“Don’t sleep on the Sox. We have something good going on.’’

I'd never sleep on the Red Sox. Hey, that's what I do for a living, manufacture mattresses, box springs and futons here in good old Hartford, CT. Bill Hall, the two tater Wednesday night guy, said this...

“We’re looking for a really big week right now. “This is something we’ve been looking for for a while. Hopefully it will continue.’’

Speaking of new, the Red Sox' new catcher reported to the team and played last night. His name is Jarrod Saltalamaccia (I hope I spelled that correctly). He said these words before his brief appearance last night...

“I’m excited. You don’t get this opportunity too often. Not too many people get to the big leagues as it is. To play for a team like Boston and the legacy here, I’m just excited.’’

I don't blame you, Jarrod. You will be a welcome addition for our injury-depleted team, a team that is IN the race for a playoff spot. This is crunch time, from now until the first couple days of October. It's day baseball today, getaway day in Toronto. First pitch time will be shortly after 12:30pm EDT. Here are all the details...

Thu. 12 at Tor*** 12:37 PM ET *NESN/RSN*** Lackey (10-7) vs. Mills (1-0)

So enjoy your Thursday and let's hope the Red Sox can nail down this three game sweep. The wild card race is close so anything can and probably will happen. That thought sends chills up and down my spine. GO SOX!

That's it for this Thursday. If you can, catch the game on NESN and NESN HD. If not, read about it here. You can click on this post's title for more Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. I thank you for stopping in once again. I guess I'm a lucky guy. Shucks, I KNOW I am. Take care and be safe.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Red Sox 7 Jays 5

Mikey Lowell hit a decisive eighth inning home run to put Boston ahead FOR GOOD. Matsuzaka was good enough. Pinstripers lost...we're five games back.

That's all I can do this morning. I have a summer cold/sore throat/cough and it's plaguing me. I'll get through it. Just watch me.

GO SOX. My team. Your team. OUR team. Forever. Yesss.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lester, Bard & Paps Shut Up Yankees

After sub-par performances by two of the Boston Red Sox starters, Jon Lester came through in a gigantic way. His late inning bullpen mates did the same exact thing in Boston's 2-1 victory over the first place New York Yankees. Lester pitched 6 1/3 goose egg innings, striking out six and walking three. He was dominant. Here's pinstriped slugger Mark Teixeira talking about their rivals...

"If their pitching staff is healthy, that's all that matters. I don't care how many injuries they've had or have right now, that's a good team. Pitching is everything in this game. Their starting five is as good as anyone's in baseball, and they have arguably the best eighth and ninth inning guys, as well. That combination is tough."

I agree, Mark, but it's a shame that Beckett and Lackey couldn't "get it together" for this pivotal series. His teammate and right-fielder Nick Swisher had this to say about the nasty stuff the Sox pitchers were throwing...

"Just ridiculous."

YES, he really said that! Buchholz and Lester stepped up and did everything we could have wanted. Here's the best lefty in the major leagues, Jon Lester...

“I wasn’t worried about the last four starts, I was worried about executing pitches on the day I get to pitch. I know what these past three games at Yankee Stadium were like and I wanted to give our team a quality start. I was worried about today, not three weeks ago. When you start worrying about your last outing, you get in trouble.’’

So the series in the Bronx has ended with both teams in the same position as they were on Friday. We could have been didn't. What else can I say? Now it's on to Canada to play the Blue Jays for three. Here are the pitching match-ups...

Tue. 10 at Tor ***7:07 PM ET **NESN/RSN **Matsuzaka (8-3) vs. Romero (9-7)
Wed. 11 at Tor ***7:07 PM ET **NESN/RSN **Buchholz (12-5) vs. Marcum (10-5)
Thu. 12 at Tor ***12:37 PM ET **NESN/RSN **Lackey (10-7) vs. Cecil (9-5)

What a weird starting time for Thursday's game. I don't know why but that's a wrap for this Tuesday morning. My girlfriend Nadia (hey BFW) went back to Minnesota yesterday and arrived safe and sound. We'll meet again...when, I don't know. I miss her, though, and I'm sad. Click on this post's title for more Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for being here. I mean it.

Monday, August 09, 2010

NY Yankees Batter And Deep Fry Josh Beckett & The Boston Red Sox

Four and two thirds innings pitched, eleven (!) hits, seven (!!) runs with six strikeouts and two walks. All in less than five innings. Who had those stats last night at Yankee Stadium. Was it Josh Beckett of Boston or spot starter Dustin Mosely of the pinstripers? All the logic in the world would say Mosely. But noooo. Josh Beckett was about as far from his "A" game as humanly possible and the Yankees prevailed by a score of 7-2, taking the third game of the series and upping their AL East lead over the Red Sox to seven games. There was sloppy play in the form of two balls that were thrown away and the Boston hitters made Mosely look like an ALL Star. And most surprisingly, Josh Beckett, author of three straight stellar outings, stunk. Here he is...

“It’s hard for guys to catch balls that are hit that hard. I think I just threw too many balls over the fat part of the plate. I think it’s pretty simple. Like I said, they don’t hit balls out of the strike zone that hard.’’

Yes, there were hard hit balls by NY all over the place, on the nose hitting by pitches that caught far too much of the plate. Here's the Red Sox skipper, Tito Francona, on the Yankee's plan of attack, a scheme that worked...

“Lot of hits, some not so hard, some hard. They’re certainly not afraid to work the count or hit deep in the count. That’s what they do well when they’re on their game. Regardless of what the count is, you leave the ball over the middle, they hurt you."

There's no rest for the weary, that's for sure, as the final game of this series in the Bronx plays out beginning shortly after 2pm EDT. It's a matchup of All Star pitchers as Lester goes up against Hughes. This is a must game for Boston just for them to get back to where they were before they played game one. If not for an extended losing mini-streak by the Rays, the Sox would be all but out of it but still, a faint and distant Wild Card glimmer is visible. Every game counts more than ever and our hopes are centered on one of the best left-handers in all of baseball, Jon Lester. We all wish he can get the job done and the bats can solve Hughes. This one is big. BIG.

Click on this post's title for more on last night's loss and have a great week. I'll be back first thing tomorrow morning with the good or bad news. As always, BE WELL. Thanks for stopping in.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Yankees Are CC Riders..5-2 NYY 0ver BoSox

CC Sabathia with an extra day of rest is a formidable opponent. He defeated the Boston Red Sox by a score of 5-2 Saturday afternoon at the Stadium. Sox manager Terry Francona summed it up best...

“He’s always tough. He’s so consistent, righties it’s fastball-changeup, and to the lefties he mixes in the breaking ball. He commands and competes. There’s nothing different. You know what’s coming, and you just have to hit it because he commands so well, he just goes back and forth.’’

John Lackey, to me, has been a disappointment. He hasn't won a game since June 29. He has given up four or more runs eleven times in his twenty three starts. His walk per game average is up, too and he looks different than the $84 million dollar pitcher who was advertised to Red Sox Nation.

Tonight on The ESPN national game, it'll be Josh Beckett, who's been great since his return and has again become the ace of the staff, facing AJ Burnett, who's either great or dismal. Let's hope it's the latter tonight. Thanks for stopping in and click on this post's title for more coverage of yesterday's action. As always, BE WELL.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Red Sox 6 NY Yankees 3...Okie Not OK

A strong performance by Boston Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz and Ryan Kalish's first major league home run were instrumental in Boston's 6-3 victory over the New York Yankees Friday night. The game was exciting and close (one run) until Kalish's sixth inning blast. Simply click on the title of this post to see all the highlights from last night. Once again Boston starting pitching ruled the roost. Here's new Yankee Lance Bergman on exactly that...

"When you have good pitching, it really doesn't matter. You can put eight stiffs out there. I'm not saying that's what they have."

OK, he didn't meant the "stiff" description. He immediately took back his choice of words. Jacoby Ellsbury showed everyone that he's back with ribs intact. He made a tremendous catch in the eighth inning on a fly ball to right center, a ball that had a surprise for him on it's downward plummet. He "ate dirt" on his landing but trotted off the field with a smile. Here he is...

“The ball was well struck. About three quarters of the way out there it took a hard right and kind of dive bombed. Those are the toughest balls to catch. I was able to make an adjustment, turn to the left, and make the catch. A ball can do three things in that situation - either stay straight, have its natural curve or dive bomb. And it did a dive bomb and curve to the right. It was one of the tougher catches, but I’m happy I made it.”

I was happy too, Jacoby. It's nice to have you back manning centerfield. In one other bit of Red Sox news, the DL has struck again. Lefty Hideki Okajima is out with a hamstring pull, an injury that had been bothering him and greatly affecting his pitching prowess. There is no timetable for his return. For my readers, just click on this post's title and you'll immediately see the replay on Red Sox dot com. Game two of this four game set begins at 4:10 pm EDT, televised nationally on the Fox network and FOX HD. It's be John vs. CC (Lackey vs. Sabathia). Let's try to make it two straight over the pinstripers. Click on this post's title for all the details and highlights from last night's win and as always, BE WELL. Have a great weekend.

Friday, August 06, 2010

YOUK OUT FOR SEASON...Red Sox Win 6-2 Behind Matsuzaka's Arm And Beltre's Bat

Much to no one's surprise, after all this IS 2010, the year of mortal injuries for the Boston Red Sox, Kevin Youkilis is scheduled for surgery today (a simple procedure) and will be lost for the season. That might be a mortal blow to Boston's post season chances. This is from the Boston Globe...

"After sustaining a tear in an adductor muscle Monday night, Youkilis visited Dr. Thomas Graham at the Cleveland Clinic yesterday, with news coming back that the first baseman will require surgery, to be performed this morning in Cleveland.
“This was team medical director Tom Gill’s initial diagnosis as well,’’ general manager Theo Epstein said, “but it wasn’t certain. There was still a little bit of gray area. The reason we sent him to see a couple of specialists was to get a more definite image. Today, with the MRI, they were able to get one that confirmed beyond any doubt that the head of the adductor muscle was indeed torn. That creates a certain plan of attack. He needs to have it repaired. He wouldn’t be able to play at a high level without surgery. The silver lining is that it’s a fairly straightforward procedure and we’re very confident that it’ll go well and he’ll be able to have a pretty normal offseason and be 100 percent for spring training.’’

We wish Youk well and we hope for a speedy and 100% recovery. From what I've been hearing, the doctors consider this a "simple procedure." I hope so.

Last night on the eve of a four game set with the NY Yankees, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians by a score of 6-2. Daisuke Matsuzaka gave his team eight one run innings and Hideki Okajima, with a little help (2/3 inning) from his buddy Jonathon Papelbon, survived a shaky ninth. The batting stars? JD Drew and Adrian Beltre. Beltre hit a fourth inning grand slam and will be counted on more than ever after the loss of Youk. This is also from the Boston Globe...

“We’ve got to battle back,’’ Ortiz said before the game. “We’ve got to keep on fighting. It’s not over yet. You can’t hang it up. Of course, you want to have Youk in the lineup doing his thing, helping us out the way he normally does. But if you can’t, you’ve got to try to compete and whatever happens, happens. Definitely, we’re going to try to fight back and put ourselves in a situation where we can be playing ball in October.’’

Them is fighting words, David. Go for it, Beantown Buddies! And now we go to the Big Apple to take on the pinstripers four times. The Sox are currently six games behind that first place club. Two sounds SO much better, doesn't it? Taking three out of four would be almost as sweet but right now, four sounds great to me. Here are the pitching match-ups...

Fri. 6 at NYY **7:05 PM ET *NESN/WWOR ***Buchholz (11-5)vs. Vazquez (9-7)
Sat. 7 at NYY **4:10 PM ET *FOX ***Lackey (10-6) vs.Sabathia (13-5)
Sun. 8 at NYY **8:05 PM ET *ESPN ***Beckett (3-1) vs.Burnett (9-9)
Mon. 9 at NYY **2:05 PM ET *NESN/YES ***Lester (11-7) vs.Moseley (1-1)

Those are our four best pitchers (on paper...Daisuke's been putting up good numbers) and we all know three of four wins are a MUST. GO SOX. Click on this post's title for more from Red Sox dot com and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you soon.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Red Sox Lose To Worst Team In Baseball...YOUK'S Season Might Be Over

First of all, the Boston Red Sox lost to baseball's worst team, the Cleveland Indians, by a lopsided score of 9-1. Starter Jon Lester was ineffective, to say the least. Errors abounded. To add insult to injury, Kevin Youkilis is hurt and might be out for the rest of the season with a torn adductor muscle in his right hand. His absence will be as costly as that of Pedey Pedroia and I think any chances of post season play is gone, gonzo, zapped. That doesn't sound like me, giving up in the month of August, but I'm very close to that point. I might have reached it already. Here's GM Theo Epstein on the spate of injuries...

“It’s baseball, and injuries are a part of the game. I feel like we’ve had more than our fair share, but no one’s going to feel sorry for us. We need to find a way to win, regardless. We’re just going to continue to do the best with what we have. I still feel like we put a good team on the field every night, and I feel like we have enough talent to get as hot as we’re going to need to get to do damage in this division.’’

Kevin Youkilis, who will be examined in Cleveland very soon, said this...

“It’s just a freak accident, I guess, I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know the reason behind it. None of the doctors really know the reason behind it. It just happened. I’ve just got to move forward from here. It’s misfortune, but I think for me personally I’ve been very fortunate with my health for a long time. I can’t get too upset because I’ve been very fortunate. I wish I could help the team out as much as I can. It’s one of those things; luckily it’s not a career-ending injury. I’ll still be able to play, just not right now.’’

I'm cutting this post a little short. There's no need to further discuss last night's game. If you saw it, you'd know why. The Boston Red Sox are in trouble and only good health can get them out of it. Is it too late?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Beckett's Back...Lowell Drives In Winning Runs...Shaq To Green Team?

The Boston Red Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians by a score of 2-1 Tuesday night on the strength of Josh Beckett's (HE'S BACK!) arm and the bat of the subbing Mike Lowell. Beckett had every pitch working and he said this after the game...

“I had some pitches to go to,” Beckett said. “I got myself into counts to where they could have taken advantage, but I had something I could go to, whether it be cutter or sinker. My changeup actually got a lot better as the game went along and my curveball was a lot better.”

Folks, he had EVERYTHING working and was an utter joy to watch. He literally was. OK, hero number two. The Fenway Faithful greeted Mike Lowell as he strode to the plate in the second inning, his first at bat in a long time in front of the fans who love him. He was subbing for the thumb-injured Kevin Youkilis, our YOUK. Mikey made everybody instantly happy by pouncing on the first pitch he saw and depositing the baseball into the seats in left. The crowd simply wents NUTS! We did too here in my Farmington household. Here's our Mike...

“That was a good pitch to hit and I took a real good swing. I don’t know if they were clapping because they thought maybe I was gone or because they’re happy to see me still here. It’s a real nice feeling. Running the bases felt real good.

All's well that ends well. The Rays beat up on the Yankees yesterday and they have sole possession of first place in the AL East. Good for them. The Boston Red Sox will keep on keeping on. Click on this post's title for more on the Sox and as always, BE WELL. Thank you for being here.

P.S. There are strong media rumors that Shaq O'Neal will sign with the Boston Celtics. Imagine that! More in the coming days. That's a promise.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Boston Red Sox Keep The Struggle Going Against The Weaker Teams

Hello and good Tuesday morning. The Boston Red Sox continued their hideous play against inferior teams Monday night with a 6-5 loss to the lowly Cleveland Indians. A lethargic and listless outing was in the cards for the New England team. Adrian Beltre hit two home runs to try and shove his team to victory. But it was not to be. Here's the starting Boston pitcher who just didn't have it...

“In the sixth inning, I kind of lost the feel and pretty much stunk,’’ said Lackey, who fell to 10-6. “It was kind of weird, I started guiding it a little bit.’’

Hey John, stunk is a great word. Fits last night's you perfectly and precisely. Here's the Boston skipper who knows all too well you don't lose to the Indians...

“We dug ourselves a hole and we tried to dig out of it,’’ Francona said. “But it was too much.’’

At times that "hole" seemed like a tunnel to the center of the earth. Lackey lacked most of everything. I'm turning the page as you read this. Here are the upcoming two games' pitching match-ups...

Wed. 4 Cle *7:10 PM ET *STOh/NESN **Lester (11-6) vs. Masterson (3-10)
Thu. 5 Cle *7:10 PM ET *STOh/NESN **Matsuzaka (7-3) vs.Tomlin (1-0)

We have to hope that Lester and Daisuke can help us pull out the last two games of this series. Every game counts. Click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for popping in.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Buchholz Spins A Beauty! Sox Win

Boy, did Clay Buchholz pitch well Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts. He went eight plus no score innings and the Boston Red Sox lead by a score of 3-0. Buchholz started the ninth but after an infield booper by Will Ryhmes was misplayed (at least in my mind) by Jed Lowrie and a walk to Ryan Raybun put runners at first and second, Papelbon came into the game. What he did was not pretty, not by a long shot. Two of those runners scored, all off Paps. Two batters later, Jhonny Peralta singled to plate the tying run. Buchholz picked up his jacket and left the dugout down the dark stairs.

Buchholz, seemingly mad, said this after the Sox pulled this one out...

“He’s one of the best in the game. There’s never any second thoughts on my behalf coming out of a game and giving the ball to Pap. He’s been really good for way too long to second-guess him.’’

I agree but in the past 6-7 months, I've noticed that what used to be a Papelbon "automatic" no longer is. Let's hope he can turn that around. Please!

Bottom of the ninth, score knotted at three. Marco Scutaro, whose perfectly placed bunt forced a rushed throw from pitcher Robbie Weinhardt that sailed into the outfield, won the game for the Red Sox. I wish Buchholz had been able to win the game because he simply deserved it. But the Boston Red Sox won and that's what's most important.

I have to run. Thanks for stopping by and as always, BE WELL.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Big Papi Sends 'Em Home Smiling

Mr. Walk Off, Big Papi David Ortiz, scorched a three run double to give the Boston Red Sox a 6-5 victory Saturday at Fenway Park. What a way to end a game. Wow! Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka was mediocre, which is his normal, going six innings and giving up four runs, all of them in the first four innings. But the Boston bullpen put up goose eggs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings and that allowed the Red Sox offense to take over. They did just that.

Theo Epstein decided that the Red Sox would not make any last minute trading deadline moves, saying this...

“We have a team that has the ability to get really hot as we get healthy and play our way right back to where we want to go."

I hate to say this AND agree with it, but Theo is gearing up for next year. The 2010-2011 off season should be amazing in terms of who will be available. But after seeing yesterday's game, the Boston Red Sox ain't giving up, no way, no how, don't even think about it. GO SOX.

You can click on this post's title for great video of Papi's game-winner and much more. Thanks for stopping in and as always, BE WELL.