Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wow! Pow! Red Sox Blast Rays

The fifth inning was the key to Wednesday night's game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the hot but injured Boston Red Sox. Joe Maddon, the Rays manager, admits he made a mistake. Mike Cameron singled and Marco Scutaro doubled. Men on second and third with first base open was how it stood. Maddon came out to talk to his pitcher, James Shields. He asked him who he wanted to face...David Ortiz or Kevin Youkilis. He could have decided to intentionally walk Papi and face Youk, who has had MUCH less success against Shields. Papi was 11 for 29 and Youk was 3 for 30. A no brainer? Yes. But he decided to face David Ortiz and Big Papi hit the first pitch he saw into the stands for a three run tater and the Red Sox were on their way. Here's Mr. Maddon...

“I decided to pitch to Ortiz right there,’’ Maddon said. “Don’t blame anybody but me. You can consider it a wrong decision and it was tonight as it turned out.’’

Hey Joe, I liked your decision! John Lackey was great for seven innings, giving up only one run on eight hits, walking two and whiffing three. From there, it should have been easy but it wasn't. Okajima came in to presumably complete the eighth inning, but noooo. He got two outs but gave up two resounding hits and two runs. His ERA has ballooned to nearly six and frankly, he looks like a different pitcher than in the past. Bard finished the eighth and I wish Tito had left him in for the ninth because Atchison and Richardson struggled bigtime. Papelbon was finally called on to finish the game and he did just that. The final score was 8-5 good guys. Phew when NO phew should have been needed.

As hinted yesterday, Victor Martinez has been placed on the DL with a slightly fractured tip of his thumb. With any luck, we'll see him around the All Star break. There's good news on the Clay Buchholz front. He'll make his next start next week barring a setback. The Boston Red sox are an injured club but they've "rallied 'round the flag" and are playing great. Tonight's game with the Rays will be Matsuzaka's to win. GO SOX.

You can click on this post's title for more on the Red Sox and as always, BE WELL. See ya.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another Player Added To DL...VMart

Another player has been added to the growing DL for the Boston Red Sox. Here is the very latest from the Boston Globe...

"Victor Martinez, as the Red Sox said in their release, will not need surgery on his left thumb. But sources told the Globe that the Red Sox will place him on the 15-day disabled list tomorrow. Gustavo Molina, who was not in the lineup for Triple-A Pawtucket tonight, is expected to be called up. By placing Martinez on the disabled list now, he would miss only 11 games (over a span of 17 days) before the Red Sox play Texas after the All-Star break. That would give Martinez sufficient time to recover from his injury."

Hey there, look at the bright side. It can't possibly get ANY worse injury-wise and we're still only two games behind the first place pinstripers and one in front of the Tampa Bay Rays. Speaking of those Rays, the Sox start a two game series with them at Fenway Park tonight followed by a 3 game set afterwards with the low-flying birds of Baltimore. There's also a day off on Thursday, which is SO great. Here are the pitching match-ups with the Floridians...

6/29/2010 TB 7:10 PM ET SUN/NESN ***Lackey (8-3) vs.Shields (6-7)
6/30/2010 TB 7:10 PM ET SUN/NESN ***Matsuzaka (5-2) vs.Garza (8-5)

We'll get through these injuries. The one that hurts the most, by far, is Pedey Pedroia's broken foot. But again, great teams overcome injuries and our pitching is still strong. So GO SOX and keep the faith. Thanks.

I have to run. I slept late. I want to thank everyone who sent me good wishes by comments or emails about my recent diabetes difficulties. I appreciate you guys SO much. Have a great Wednesday and as always, BE WELL.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm Back...Injury Bug Continues To Feast On Boston Red Sox But They Defeat Giants

There's a ton of news concerning the Boston Red Sox, including the latest about Pedey Pedroia. It's not good. First, I'll tell you why I missed my Sunday morning post. I was in the hospital Saturday afternoon until Sunday morning, I had REALLY low blood sugar (type 1 diabetes) Saturday afternoon and 911 had to revive me. I'm OK now. Type 1 diabetes really sucks. 'Nuff about that. It was announced that Pedroia has a broken bone in his foot and is on the DL indefinity. And Victor Martinez broke his thumb on a foul ball (two of them, actually). Jason Varitek will return to the starting lineup. Who will back him up? Who knows. Lastly on the injury front, Clay Buchholz has a slight hamstring pull, not a knee injury. With two days off this week (thank goodness), he won't miss more than one or two starts, probably just one. Thank you schedule.

Now the good news. The Boston Red Sox defeated the SF Giants by a score of 5-1, fueled by a complete game one run five hit nine strike out performance by Mr. Lester. He was tremendous. Big Papi hit a tater into the Bay, something he has always wanted to do. To say he got all of it would be exactly right. Red Sox skipper Tito Francona had this to say about Jon's nine inning effort...

“We needed that. We talked before the game about being a little beat up, but when your pitching’s not, you always give yourself a chance. He threw strikes all day. He used all his pitches. I don’t think he had an inning over 17 pitches. He was efficient all day, and gave us exactly what we needed.’’

Here's Jon Lester on pitching the complete game...

“It’s obviously nice to do that, but I’m just trying to go out there and execute pitches. It’s obviously nice to save the bullpen a little bit. We’re going to fight. We’re not going to just lay down and let everybody beat us up. Obviously we’re going to go out there and battle, and hopefully we can put some games in the win column. We’ve been able to do that. Whatever happens with Vic (Victor Martinez), or whatever happens in the future here, guys that are going to come in are going to do the same thing.’’

The power of positive thinking is a powerful tool, indeed. Well said Jon and congratulations on a great job yesterday. Boston has a day off today before starting a two game series with the Tampa Bay Rays. They stand only two games back of the pinstripers and one ahead of the Rays. Not bad for a team decimated by injuries. You can click on this post's title for more Sox news and as always, BE WELL. Thanks. It's nice to be back. REALLY nice.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Double Loss For Red Sox..Boston Falls To San Francisco & PEDEY HURT

Sure, it was a 5-4 Boston loss to the SF Giants Friday night on the left coast but far more importantly, Dustin Pedroia, Boston's hottest hitter and most valuable component, fouled a pitch off his instep and had to be removed from the game. If something is broken (results pending), it would be a CRIPPLING loss to the team. Here, from the Boston Globe, is the latest news...

Pedroia was on crutches in the clubhouse with his foot in a protective boot. He'll go for more tests later on this morning, at 10 a.m. local time There is little chance he'll play before Tuesday, if then.
Pedroia said his foot hurt and that there is swelling. "I'll try and get back as soon as possible," he said. What is he going to do tonight? "Ice, elevate and pray," he said."

And here is Red Sox manager Terry Francona...

"They didn't see any break or anything, but we're obviously going to get him examined a lot more tomorrow (Saturday). He's having a tough time putting weight on everything. He's really sore. You can tell, when he comes out of a game. So we'll get him examined more. That's all we can do right now."

OUCH! We hope you're back soon, Pedey. We hurt when you hurt. In the 5-4 loss to the Giants, the Red Sox left men littered on base like a sold out movie theater's floor after a double feature. This was a frustrating one run loss because the Sox had numerous chances to break it wide open. But it was not to be. The score was 4-3 Giants after three, 5-3 after eight and the Red Sox, even though they scored one run in the ninth, couldn't do it. BOY, did they have bases loaded chances galore. Timmy Wakefield started and was able to go seven innings, allowing 11 hits and four runs. But it was Pedey's injury that overshadowed everything for the team and their nation. I cringed when I saw him clump to the ground.

Tonight's game, featuring Buchholz versus Martinez, will be great except for those of us in Connecticut. The FOX television network, using all of their "infinite" wisdom, scheduled Boston at the same time, same channels as the Yankees. The Connecticut-wide Fox network, WTIC and WTIC HD channel 61 chose to carry the Yankee's game and after repeated pleas to the powers that be to be able to broadcast the Boston game on its sister station, were denied its request. Oh well, it'll be a Saturday night circa 1940 to have to listen to a baseball game on the radio. WTIC AM 1080 never lets us down, its 50,000 watts flame thrower signal reaching much of the east coast. No TV...that doesn't happen often. We here in Connecticut will get through it. My concern is Pedey...always will be.

Have a great Saturday and click on this post's title for more on everything. I thank you for stopping in and as always, BE WELL.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pedey Pedroia's Night Rescues Red Sox

Thursday night's Red Sox/Rockies game was a long, up and down affair, with Boston finally prevailing by a score of 13-11, thanks in part to Pedey Pedroia, the Sox second baseman, who went 5 for 5, clubbed three (!!!) home runs and went five for five. He bailed out Papelbon with his final tater. Matsuzaka started and gave up two first inning runs and four goose eggs. With four bases on balls, five innings were all he could go. He said this...

"I think the first inning was awful, but after that I was able to dig in and battle my way through the rest of the outing,"

He's right...the first inning sucked and after the fifth, the bullpen was not much help. Delcarmen (3 runs), Okajima (3 runs), Ramirez (zero runs), Atchison (1 run), Bard (he was great...our future closer) and the still troubled Papelbon, who surrendered 2 runs and gave up a Boston lead late in the game almost let it all slip away. He said afterwords "it's back to the drawing board." Start drawing, Paps. The hitting hero of the game summed it all up...

“That was a crazy game. Long. It was mentally draining. Oh, I hit a lot of bombs. Don’t kid yourself. Just never three in one game. We have great makeup," Pedroia said. "We have a team full of guys that grind it out. We lose a couple of tough games, we have to find a way to win.... the way we lost the last two nights, a bad-hop groundball the first night and a couple home runs. we needed to win."

You can say that again, Pedey. It's on to San Francisco and let's win there (reminds me of what RFK said in his last few seconds of life on this earth). In one other piece of Boston baseball news, Mike Lowell tweaked his troubled right hip a couple days ago and has been placed on the DL. Here are his feelings. It's almost as if he's saying goodbye to baseball. That would be realistic but it would also be a complete shame. Here you go...

“I don’t really see the days off as being that negative; I wasn’t playing that much,” Lowell said. “I’m not like terribly upset about the move (to the DL). I understand it and I’m OK with it, put it that way. At this point of the season, I don’t think there’s any scenario where I can reach the point where I can put up the numbers that I expected to put up. That being said, what am I going to say: ‘Send me here so I can play two days a week so I can hit three more home runs?’"

I'll leave you on that sad note. I love Mikey, we all do, but two nights ago he could hardly make it to first base. It was sad. For more on the Red Sox, just click on this post's title and as always, BE WELL.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Papelbon Opens The Floodgates For the Rockies

It wasn't supposed to end this way. No way, no how. The Boston Red Sox were going into the bottom of the ninth inning in Colorado with a one run lead and closer Jonathon Papelbon walking to the mound. That lead lasted mere minutes and the long ball was the problem. A home run tied it, then there was a hit and old friend Jason Giambi came to the plate filled with wishful hope. Well, he got his wish. Papelbon threw him a FLAT slider, a pitch that more often than not is hit hard. No exception here. Two runs plated on the walk-off winning tater making the Red Sox losers of two straight. My goodness. Here's Paps...

“It’s pretty tough, man,’’ Papelbon said. “Just ’cause of the simple fact that I’ve been throwing the ball well. Tonight I go out there and throw flat pitches. It’s just unacceptable.’’

Manager Terry Francona had these words about a game he knew his team should have won...

“There was a lot happening,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “When it’s all said and done, you look up and we’ve got Pap out there in the ninth with a lead, and you’re looking at how the inning’s going to unfold. He tried to elevate and he didn’t get it up enough, and wow. If you like baseball, it’s a pretty swing."

We all know baseball has its ups and downs for every team in major league baseball. It's the nature of the game but this one was tough to take. It's turn the page time, I guess, because the two teams play one more time before the Sox move on to San Francisco. The starters will be Matsuzaka (5-2) and Hammel (5-3). May the force be with them. They'll need it. Gametime will be at 8:40pm EDT.

You caan click on this post's title for more Red Sox media news and as always, BE WELL. GO SOX. C'mon now!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Colorado Oupitches The Red Sox...2-1 Rockies

The Colorado Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin outpitched Boston's Jon Lester and his team won by a score of 2-1. Those two runs scored on Hideki Okajima but a bad hop to shortstop Marco Scutarro that bounded off the turf and went high over Scoots glove sealed the deal. The winning run scored. It was a tough luck night for the young lefty. Here he is...

"I gave up six singles, and probably one of them was hit hard. It was just their night. That’s basically it.”

Yep, it was a tough luck night for the Sox but remember this: Chacin pitched a tremendous game although at times he was a little wild. Red Sox skipper Terry Francona summed it all up, briefly...

“We had a couple opportunities,’’ Francona said. “Looked like their guy, when he was struggling with his command, we just couldn’t make him pay for it. Made some pitches when he needed to, and kept us off the scoreboard.’’

Tonight, Boston will face the Rockies' best pitcher, a guy who is compiling what might be the best hurling season in the history of MLB. He's 13-1 with an ERA UNDER 1.20. Amazing stuff, amazing numbers. WOW! Let's see what he's got tonight.

Josh Beckett is progressing nicely. He threw 65 pitches, all fastballs, yesterday and will again be out there with all his pitches on Thursday. See ya soon, Josh. As for Jacoby Ellsbury (remember him?), he is right now being further evaluated. To say he'll be back by the All Star Break is no sure thing, I'm sorry to say.

That's it for this Hump Day Wednesday. Enjoy everything and as always, BE WELL.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Boston Red Sox Head West

First stop for the on-fire Boston Red Sox is a three game series with the Colorado Rockies. I have the pitching matchups right here...

6/22/2010 *** at Col 8:40 PM ET NESN/FoxR *** Lester (8-2) vs. Chacin (3-6)
6/23/2010 *** at Col 8:40 PM ET NESN/FoxR *** Lackey (8-3) vs. Jimenez (13-1)
6/24/2010 *** at Col 8:40 PM ET NESN/FoxR *** Matsuzaka (5-2) vs. Hammel (5-3)

Jimenez scares me mostly because of his record and his ERA (under 1.50). Another series win should not be hard to accomplish. My prediction? The Sox will take two of three. And that's good enough for me. Three? That's even better, but it's one game at a time, as always. With the pinstriper's loss yesterday, the Red Sox and the Rays are only a 1/2 game back, tied for second place in the AL East. Not bad for a team whose outfield has literally been torn apart. Ellsbury is still out, Cameron, when he can play, is at about 65% and JD Drew will be back soon. The fill-ins have been terrific. In the middle of May, Boston's record was 11-14 and tension abounded in the clubhouse and throughout all of Red Sox Nation. But then things changed and since then their record has been 32-14. They have the third best record in all of major league baseball and they're not even at full strength...yet. Catcher Victor Martinez had this to say about that...

"We know the season is about six months. If the season was just April, we were done. But everyone here knows the season is six months. It doesn’t matter how you start. It’s how you finish. Everyone in this room has been around for a long time. We kept patient, kept coming to the park with the same attitude, and kept working hard. The idea was keep working hard and things will turn around for us.”

And turn around it did, much to my delight. Yours too, I'd wager. That's it from here now. We need another good start from Jon Lester and, for a change, maybe John Lackey will NOT give up five runs on Wednesday. After that, on Thursday, Daisuke Matsuzaka will finally return. Hopes are high and the boos will be audible if he fails to deliver. You can click on this post's title for more and as always, be well.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ghost Pepper Hot Red Sox Sweep The Dodgers Out Of Town

If you've never heard of a ghost pepper, I'll clue you in. I've been watching a lot of the Travel Channel show MAN VS. FOOD and frankly, I love it. Check it out along with BERT THE CONQUERER and the History Channel's PAWN STARS. I've set series recordings on my DVR for all three. Ok, a ghost pepper is the hottest pepper grown on this planet, roughly 10,000 (!!) times hotter than a jalapeno. Thanks but no thanks for me but the Boston Red Sox are THAT hot. They won their sixth in a row yesterday and swept the LA Dodgers out of town by a score of 2-0. Clay Buchholz earned his tenth victory against four defeats. He was shaky for the first three innings but then settled down nicely. In all he was able to go 6 2/3 innings, giving up zero runs and three hits, whiffing four and free passing three. Dan Bard got four outs and then Jonathon Papelbon pitched a goose egg ninth. It was another great performance by the Red Sox pitching staff. That's one of their stengths as they remain one game behind the first place NY Yankees. Tampa Bay and Boston are virtually tied. I ain't worried about the Rays. That's for sure. Here's Boston manager Terry Francona on his future ( and current) star, Clay Buchholz...

“Coming out of spring training, I don’t know that we knew exactly what Buchholz would be,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “In a lot of those meetings general manager Theo Epstein sat there and banged the drum. He’s right. Young pitching, that’s why you don’t trade it away or give up on it because we don’t always know exactly what they’re going to be. But when they start reaching their potential, it’s awful exciting.’’

I agree completely. It'll be nice to see him every five days mixing his four pitches to perfection. The Red Sox, after an off day today, embark on a road trip. They'll play three in Colorado and another three in San Francisco, of all places. Then following a brief five game home-stand, they're off to Tampa Bay. In fact, they will only play six of the next thirty one games at Friendly Fenway. My goodness! I'll have the pitching matchups for the Rockies series first thing in the morning. Until then, have a grand Monday, click on this post's title to be linked to something and as always, BE WELL. See ya.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Red Sox Win 5th In A Row

Dustin "Pedey" Pedroia hit the walk-off winner as the Boston Red Sox beat the LA Dodgers by a score of 5-4 Saturday late afternoon. Here's Pedey on his first look at LA pitcher Jonathan Broxton...

"You have to have confidence that you’re going to get a hit and we’re going to win. It definitely was a tough at-bat, facing a guy like that. He got on the mound and he looked like he was 9 feet tall. That first pitch, I was like, ‘Jeez. I better wake up.’ "

Well, he DID wake up. Tim Wakefield started and gave up those four runs, three of them earned. The bullpen, in the form of Delcarmen, Okajima and Papelbon held the Dodgers scoreless and Pedey plated Daniel Nava in walk-off fashion to end it all. It was a great Saturday late afternoon moment. A Red Sox moment. They're hot despite continuing injuries. On the injury news front, Daisuke Matsuzaka is feeling great and will be starting on Thursday. The also injured (hamstring) JD Drew hopes to avoid a trip to the DL. Jacoby Ellsbury is nowhere close to returning and Mike Cameron cannot play on consecutive days. Other than that, the team is injury free. Of course, I was being facetious. The Red Sox have been nearly crippled by injury and yet they're playing great baseball. They're deep. I love 'em.

Have a great Sunday. It's night baseball for the Sox and the Dodgers tonight as the whole country gets an extended peek at Fenway Park. John Lackey will try NOT to give up his normal 4-5 runs. Let's hope he can do it! Click on this post's title and as always and forever, BE WELL.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Red Sox Roll On...10-6 Over LA

The good news. It seems that there are always the good and the bad for the Boston Red Sox. I'll start out with the good. One game. That's all that separates the Sox from first place in the AL East. Quite simply, THEY'RE HOT! They are 37-19 since April 20 — the best record in all of baseball. I like it. Here are the up-to-the-moment standings...

Yankees*** 41 26 .612
Rays *** 41 26 612
Red Sox*** 41 28 .594
Blue Jays*** 37 31 .544
Orioles*** 18 49 .269

Spot starter Felix Doubront had a respectable outing in his five inning stint, giving up six hits, three earned runs, walking two and whiffing two. His parents were in the stands to watch his MLB debut. Hey, a six foot three lefty has a future with this club with a little bit of refinement. We'll see him again in a couple years. Count on it. The game marked the turn of Manny Ramirez, who was greeted by a tandem of cheers and boos, much as he should have been. Here's Big Papi David Ortiz, who had another tater last night...

"Seeing Manny coming out of the other dugout just wasn’t an issue here at Fenway. Things happen and that’s just the way the game goes. Manny is a player who has done so many good things as long as he played here,” said Ortiz. “All he did was put up numbers. To be right there with him, I think just puts you at that caliber of power hitter with Manny, and it’s a good feeling."

A good feeling gone, in the past. Ironically, he stuck out to end the game but the outcome was never (almost) in doubt. Today at 4:10pm EDT, Wakefield will face Padilla on FOX and FOX HD. I plan to watch it. When Boston is this hot, it's so great to go along for the ride. SO LET'S RIDE! Click on this post's title for more Sox stuff, have a tremendous Saturday and weekend and as always and forever, BE WELL. See ya.

Friday, June 18, 2010

LAKERS Beat Celtics...Red Sox Sweep D'Backs

It was a mixed night last night for Boston sports fans. Yes, the Boston Red Sox completed their three game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks by a score of 8-5 but there will be no NBA championship banner this year for the green hoop team. They should be proud of what they accomplished this season, that's for sure. Last night, it took a Los Angeles comeback to win the NBA crown for 2010. It's already been said that the Celtics "ran out of gas" and when you think about their injury-depleted lineup, that might be true. THEY GAVE IT THEIR ALL. Congratulations go out to Doc Rivers and all the green team's players, who sorely missed Kendrik Perkins' play in the paint. My goodness, all the offensive rebounds the Lakers scrambled for and corralled were easily the story of the game but the Celtics hung tough until the LA comeback in the fourth quarter. Here's your quarter by quarter breakdown...

Boston**** 23 17 17 22**** 79
LA Lakers* 14 20 19 30**** 83

Boo. In Boston Red Sox news from last night, John Lackey led (he was very shaky) his team to an 8-5 sweep victory over the pushover Arizona Diamondbacks. When the game reached Jonathon Papelbon's ninth inning, I tuned into ABC HD to watch a close and well played NBA game that the Lakers won in the second half. Needless to say, Paps did what he was supposed to do and Boston prevailed.

At 7:10pm EDT today, the Boston Red Sox open up a three game Fenway Park series with Joe Torre's Los Angeles Dodgers. Another Boston/LA series? Oh yeah. There's no way to get around it. The pitching matchups are right below...

6/18/2010** LAD 7:10 PM ET PRIM/NESN*** Doubront (0-0) vs. Monasterios (3-1)
6/19/2010** LAD 4:10 PM ET FOX *** (Wakefield (2-5) vs. Padilla (1-1)
6/20/2010** LAD 8:05 PM ET ESPN*** Buchholz (9-4) vs. Kuroda (6-4)

My congrats go out to the 2010 Boston Celtics. They gave it everything they had for us all season long. Hey Red, I hope you were watching. You would have been so proud. I am.

You can click on the title of this post (please) to read and see more NBA details. Have a great weekend, my friend's. I'll be back soon, sooner than you think. Lock your doors and windows....just in case.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lester Solid, Pedey Goes Long & Boston Red Sox Beat Diamondbacks...Celtics/Lakers Game 7

Jon Lester had to make an adjustment last night as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Arizona Diamonbacks by a score of 6-2. He threw two change-ups during the first three frames and upped that count to 12 of 'em over the next four. Guess what. It worked. Here's the man himself...

“We had to mix in something soft tonight,” Lester said. “They’re a very good fastball hitting team. Guys with a lot of power, and you have to mix something soft in there to get them off that fastball. I was able to do that.”

He sure was! Bard and Ramirez, with a little help from Papelbon because Ramirez was laboring, put up goose eggs in the eighth and ninth innings. Pedey Pedroia continued to show everyone that his knee injury is a thing of the past. His manager, Terry Francona, had this to say...

“The good thing about it is he always puts the bat on the ball, and that always seems to help when you’re able to put the bat on the ball and find holes. Sometimes he overworks himself. We’ve got to keep him from going out for early hitting sometimes. He’s a good hitter, for one, and never, never doubts his confidence in himself "

And Pedey himself...

"I’m feeling better, that’s the biggest thing,” Pedroia said. “The MRI definitely helped me to know that nothing’s wrong. I’m feeling better. In a couple of weeks, it healed.”

That's a good thing, too. Kevin Youkilis smashed a long tater that went over EVERYTHING in left, out into the Boston night. He got it all. Boston has made a habit lately of taking the first two games of a three game series and this one was no exception. They go for the sweep tonight at 6pm EDT (early start because of the Celtics game) with John Lacky on the mound. He'll face Arizona's best, the 7-4 Haren. The Fenway Faithful should be able to get home and see all or most of game 7 of the Lakers/Celtics series. This is going to be a tough one for the green team. They are Kendrick Perkins-less and they are playing on the Laker's home court. But, as Ray Allen said, "This one is for all the marbles." I'm sure ABC, who will televise the game with a pre-game show at 8:30pm EDT and tip off at 9pm EDT, must be very happy with the series going all the way.

Enjoy your Boston "doubleheader" tonight and click on this post's title for more about the big game. Have a great Thursday and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it more than you'll ever know. See ya.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Red Sox Solid...Celtics/Lakers Go To Game 7

Good morning. This post will have to be a quickie. The Boston Red Sox were solid in a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday night at good old Fenway Park. Clay Buchholz earned his ninth victory in his quest to make the All Star team but he was far from his sharpest. The Boston bats did the talking, though, with Big Papi David Ortiz clubbing a first inning two run tater. He's been on fire. The Red Sox put it away with three in the third. Case closed, game over. Many of the Fenway Faithful were wearing green. Speaking of green...

The Boston Celtics fell to the LA Lakers (89-67) and a game seven will take place in California Thursday night shortly after 9pm EDT. That's why I was up so late last night even though the game was virtually over after the first quarter and a half. The first pitch time for the Red Sox game Thursday night has been moved up to 6:10pm EDT to allow the Fenway fans to arrive home and see much of the last NBA game of the year. GO CELTICS. They sure didn't last night. My prediction? I really want the green team to win but that's a lot to ask when invading the Laker's home.

I have to run. Have a great Hump Day Wednesday and as always, BE WELL. See ya. Go Sox.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Arizona Comes To Fenway Park For Three

After an off day for the Boston Red Sox on Monday, the Arizona Diamondbacks are in Boston for the start of a three game set. JD Drew will play against his younger brother, Stephen, who is the starting shortstop for the D'Backs. There is an eight year difference in their ages with JD being the elder. Here's JD...

“I was more of Stephen’s do-it-this-way guy, and he listened well,” Drew said. “He’s eight years younger than me, but definitely a gifted athlete, that’s for sure. By the time he got to college (with the Seminoles), I think he felt like he had already been through it because of me. He adapted better to pro ball.”

I didn't know JD had a brother in the major leagues and it will be nice to see Stephen play. I have the pitching match-ups for you and here they are...

6/15/2010** Ari 7:10 PM ET FxAZ/NESN*** Buchholz (8-4) vs. Kennedy (3-3)
6/16/2010** Ari 7:10 PM ET FxAZ/NESN*** Lester (7-2) vs.Lopez (2-5)
6/17/2010** Ari 7:10 PM ET FxAZ/NESN*** Lackey (7-3) vs. Haren (7-4)

Short but sweet today. With the off day, the news is slim but don't worry. The Sox will again make more news tonight starting at 7:10pm EDT. If you'd like, click on this post's title for more on the Sox SI style and as always, BE WELL.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cole Hamels Outpitches Timmy Wakefield As Phillies Beat Boston

One bad inning. That's all it took for Tim Wakefield to lose this one. The Boston Red Sox were defeated by the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 5-3 Sunday afternoon and it was a 4 run 5 hit 4th inning that doomed them. I was impressed by Phillies starter Cole Hamels. He was in control from his first pitch to his last. Here's Phillies manager Charlie Manuel...

"When he's got a good fastball, that's when he's good. He was good today, man. He beat a good team. They really work the count on you, and they'll take the ball the other way. They're a good team. They're very good."

I agree with you, Charlie. I'm sure all of Red Sox Nation does too. Hamels was top notch all the way, getting and deserving the win. He pitched 7 full innings, Wakes 7 1/3. But the win wasn't meant to be for Boston. They still took the three game series 2 games to 1. It seems that three game sweeps have been hard to come by but the Phillies are a quality team.

The Sox have the day off today before Arizona invades Fenway Park. Boston still remains within striking distance in the American League East and they will (?) all season long. Boston needs a healthy Beckett and Matsuzaka, though, as well as a healed Mike Cameron and Kevin Youkilis. The latter 2 will both be back this week. Daisuke did not need an MRI on his forearm and manager Terry Francona thinks that's a good sign. Slim good news, I guess. It's better than NO good news, that's for sure.

I'll have the complete pitching matchups for the series with Arizona first thing Tuesday morning. I do want to congratulate the Boston Celtics. Last night they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers by a score of 92-86 in Boston. Paul Pierce was HUGE. They lead the best of 7 game series 3 games to 2 and need to take 1 game of the 2 coming up on the left coast to win it all for the 18th time. They can do it, too. Go green. I'll say it again (loudly). GO GREEN.

Thanks for stopping in and click on this post's title for more on the Celtic's resounding victory. Have a great Monday and as always, BE WELL. See ya.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Boston Red Sox Bump Off The Phillies But Matsuzaka Injured

It was a good news/bad news Saturday afternoon for the Boston Red Sox. The good news? They thumped the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 10-2 but (the bad news) they learned that Daisuke Matsuzaka injured his right forearm in his pre-game warmups. He is the second starter to be placed on the DL this season. Josh Beckett (back) was the first but he's been improving steadily. We'll see him back in there within 10 days. Here's Daisuke...

“I think I could’ve been pitched through it. But we talked about it and decided there’s no sense in trying to compensate and making mechanical adjustments just to get through it. So that was the decision. It’s not a joint issue. It’s muscle soreness. So I don’t think it will take long to heal."

Thank goodness he didn't try to "pitch through it." Atchison was the unexpected fill-in starter and he was more than OK. He was able to go 3 innings and gave up 2 earned runs on 2 hits, walking one and whiffing two. The bullpen took over from there and put up goose eggs for the last six frames. It was Delcarmen, the eventual winner, Okajima, Ramirez and Jonathon Papelbon, who pitched the 9th. It was Boston's second in a row over the National League powerhouse. On a side note, Daniel Nava, who was called up from Pawtucket and made his first ever major league start, pounced on his very first MLB pitch and clubbed a grand slam home run. He ended up with two base hits and I would be surprised NOT to see him in there today.

Speaking of today, Timmy Wakefield will face the 5-5 Hamels in the series finale. Next up will be Arizona. So far so good with this inter-league campaign but I'm not the biggest fan of playing National League teams until the World Series. It is what it is. Some AL teams are fortunate enough to play the non-successful teams and some are not.

That's a wrap for this Sunday morning post. You can click on this post's title for more Red Sox this and that and as always, BE WELL. Go Green! Game 5 with the LA Lakers is tonight at the Garden on ABC and ABC HD. The series is tied at 2. A must game? Oh yeah.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Dozen Early Runs Power Red Sox Over Phillies...Ellsbury Back By All Star Break?

Friday evening at Fenway Park in Boston, the Boston Red Sox scored early and often and bumped off the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 12-2. John Lackey went 7 strong and by the fourth inning, this one was ovah! It got to the point that many Phillies regulars were pulled after that frame. Red Sox manager Terry Francona had the best vantage point of just about anyone and he said this after the game's conclusion...

“We started early,’’ manager Terry Francona said, after the Sox’ 12-2 win over the Phillies at Fenway Park. “It’s a good way to play. We had a real good approach to Moyer. He didn’t see a lot of balls foul. Squared up balls in the middle of the field, and then when we scored five, we came back in the next inning, kept at it."

Boy, they kept at it. Three hits from both Marco Scutaro, who's feeling better than ever, and Big Papi David Ortiz (with 4 RBIs) anchored the torrid attack. Even Boof Bonser was tolerable. He pitched the 8th and the 9th and gave up 4 hits but NO runs. Right now his role is more of a "in case of emergency" type of bullpen pitcher, brought in when the Sox lead is insurmountable or the team is hopelessly doomed. Last night, the former ruled.

In other Red Sox news, Jacoby Ellsbury and the team found out that his new rib fracture, located in his back near the spine, was not missed by team doctors. It's a recent injury. Here with a deeper description is team docter Thomas Gill...

"These are quote-unquote ‘fractures’ you can’t see on an X-ray. They’re very stable injuries. They happen all the time in football and all the time in hockey, and we have a huge wealth of knowledge and experience treating these types of injuries. Having taken care of a lot of these types of athletes, we’ve been extraordinarily conservative with Jacoby and our progression with him.”

Let's hope that he'll be fit to play by the All Star break. That would be a tremendous shot in the arm for Boston to start the second half of the season. Jacoby, we miss you. Heal.

Lastly, a new Quinnipiac University poll showed that the Connecticut fan base for the NY Yankees and the Boston Red Sox was a virtual dead heat with Southern Connecticut favoring the pinstripers and the central, eastern and northern counties going with the Good Guys. Statewide it was NYY 39% and Red Sox 38%. Given the margin of error, it's a tie. Only in 2008 did Boston come out on top. 11% said they favored the Metsies. In Connecticut, the state I love, you'll see people walking down the street wearing BOTH team's hats. Oh! Sox fan. Boo! Yankee fan. Take a walk around the Hartford streets and backstreets and that's exactly what you'll see. That's the way it is with New York, Boston and baseball in Connecticut. A friendly rivalry is what I would call it.

It's Saturday! Yesss. I hope your weekend will be a good one, safe and happy. You can click on this post's title for more on Friday night's Sox win and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you soon.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Bard Blowup...The Latest On Ellsbury

Bad news on two fronts for the Boston Red Sox. Let's start with Thursday night's game in Cleveland. Jon Lester looked great for the first two innings but after that it was highly evident he was way off his game. Here he is...

“That was probably the best I felt all year and I just overthrew some balls, didn’t locate within the zone. They didn’t square a lot of balls up, but I’ve got to do a better job. I gave up six runs, had an early 5-0 lead, didn’t get the job done.”

He's right but his team came back twice and scored two runs in the top of the 9th to go ahead 7-6. But then everything fell to pieces. Bigtime. Daniel Bard, pitching in Jonathon Papelbon's place (he'll be activated today), was wild and ended up with the bases loaded. After two great outs, Cleveland's Russell Branyan blooped a winning two run single JUST over the head of second baseman Pedey Pedroia and the Boston Red Sox left the playing field with their tails between their collective legs, losers by a score of 8-7. Here's Pedey...

"That’s a tough way to lose, but we did some good things. We’ll move on."

I've turned the page that second and reveled in the Celtic's magical mystery win over the Lakers to even the 7 game series at 2. Game 5, the last NBA game in Boston this season no matter what, will be Sunday night. Be there! ABC and ABC HD.

I have one more tidbit of bad, bad news. After Jacoby Ellsbury's latest complete examination, the doctors found out that he has a FIFTH broken rib. It's in a different region than his original four fractured ribs. My goodness! Here's Dr. Thomas Gill...

“Based on the location of new pain Jacoby was reporting, it was in a different area than the original pain. We believe that the new injury to the back of the ribs was sustained in Philadelphia. This one is similar to what he had in the front - a contusion and a small, non-displaced fracture.”

I remember his tumbling fall in the cheese-steak capitol of the world. It is said that we won't see him until the All Star break...or later. BOO. He's a very necessary part of Boston baseball.

So the team we love is right now back in Boston to start a 3 game series with those same tough Phillies. Here are the weekend pitching match-ups...

6/11/2010 Phi 7:10 PM ET CSN/NESN **Lackey (6-3) vs. Moyer (6-5)
6/12/2010 Phi 4:10 PM ET FOX** Matsuzaka (5-2 vs. ) vs. Blanton (1-4)
6/13/2010 Phi 1:35 PM ET TBS/NESN** Wakefield (2-4) vs. Hamels (5-5)

I woke up early on this Friday morning after a bad dream. It was in color, which is a rare occurence. It was very upsetting, too. I don't want to give anyone (except Nadia) any details but it involved a "death in my immediate family." That's why I started writing this post just after 5AM. I'm almost over that nightmare (just) and, thank goodness, I'm back in the real world with the sun just peeking its yellow big warm and beautiful eye over the eastern horizon. What a sight!!

Have a great day and an unbelievable upcoming weekend. You can click on this post's title for more about Thursday night's Boston Celtic basketball victory. Again, GO GREEN! As always, BE WELL.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Masterson Is Masterful, Beats Buchholz & Red Sox

The Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night beat the Boston Red Sox by a score of 11-0. 8 of those runs were given up in the 8th inning by the woeful Bonser and Nelson, the very bottom of the bullpen. Give the credit for this one to Justin Masterson. Boston manager Terry "Tito" Francona had this to say about his ex-pitcher's performance...

"All the things we used to brag about when he was in our uniform, he showed it tonight. He maintained his velocity from the first pitch to the last pitch. He threw a lot of strikes. He pitched down in the zone. He changed speeds enough on the lefties, got the slider under their hands. That’s about as good a game as you can pitch."

And the catcher he was traded for, Victor Martinez, had more words of high praise...

“He used his fastball a lot. He throws pretty hard, a big heavy sinker. It’s not easy. He throws it over the plate, sometimes it just drops. As a hitter, you’ve got to make him throw the ball up, but he was throwing knee bottom, and he was pounding the zone.’’

You know how the saying can't win 'em all. Especially when the other team's pitcher throws an impossibly tremendous game against the team that traded him. If he was trying to show that he had something to prove to the Red Sox, well, HE SURE DID.

Tonight in Cleveland, it'll be Lester (7-2) facing Talbot (7-4). Wow, a Cleveland starter with a winning record. Go Jon! At game's end it'll be time to jet back to Boston where they'll have a 9 game homestand with Philadelphia, Arizona and the Dodgers (with Manny!) all in for three games each. But let's win this game tonight and take the series 3 games to 1.

I hope your Thursday will be a great one and as always, BE WELL. See ya. Soon.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Wakefield Sets Red Sox Innings Pitched Record & Looked Great Doing It

Tim Wakefield just keeps going and going and going, Energizer Bunny-like. Last night he pitched his 2777th inning while in a Red Sox uniform. That's more than ANYONE ever. Victor Martinez threw the record setting ball into the Boston dugout for Timmy to keep on his mantle. Here's the ageless one...

"Now I know why they threw the ball into the dugout," Wakefield said. "I had no idea what was going on. I feel very blessed to wear this uniform for so long for an organization that believes in me. It's a tribute to never giving up. I'd like to pass that on to somebody on the bubble."

Well said. We love you Timmy. Oh, the Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians by a score of 3-2. His pitching line was terrific. He went 7 1/3 innings, giving up those 2 runs, only one earned on 4 hits, whiffing 6 and walking nobody. Needless to say, he was around the plate all game long and the Indians seemed off balance and baffled. It was a vintage Wakefield knuckie night, that's for sure.

In other Red Sox news, the still hurting Jacoby Ellsbury will be examined today in LA by Dr. Lewis Yocum. I hope Yocum can get to the bottom of this rib pain by the All Star break. We're going to need him in the second half of the season.

Red Sox closer Jonathon Papelbon worked out at Fenway Park yesterday and will be eligible to return from the bereavement list tomorrow. No details other than that have been released or probably ever will. Family is family. Period.

The white hot Clay Buchholz will take the mound for the Sox tonight and he'll face the Indians' Justin Masterson, an old friend who was traded by the Sox to Cleveland in the VMart deal. I don't see Buchholz losing or even be challenged. He's pitching too well. Game time is shortly after 7pm EDT. Enjoy and as always, BE WELL.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The M & M Guys Carry The Boston Red Sox

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched 8 scoreless innings in Cleveland last night, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 4-1 thumping of the Indians. Victor Martinez, in his first return to his former team's stadium, collected 2 hits and drove in 1 run. He continued his torrid hitting. Since May 19 he has batted an even .500 (!!), the best in the league. That's totally amazing. He loves playing for the Red Sox. Here he is taking about his former home and his love for his new team...

“I left this place (Cleveland) that I always am going to have in my heart. I left the place that saw me growing up as a player, as a person. I really can’t say thanks enough. They sent me to one of the greatest teams in baseball, to the Red Sox, to a contender team that is always in the race, always has a chance to win a World Series. I’m really, really happy to be here.’’

Hey VMart, we're overjoyed to have you. You've solidified the middle of the batting order and you're doing great behind the plate. Last night was a great example. During warmups in the bullpen, Victor noticed that Daisuke's cutter looked especially effective and called for it again and again. This time, Matsuzaka listened and shook off far fewer pitches. It sure worked, didn't it? Red Sox manager Terry Francona had this to say about his starter's performance...

“His cutter was real effective, especially to Travis Hafner, Russell Branyan,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “He got a couple broken bats, a couple that fell in for hits, but it was a real good weapon for him. With that cutter — it was about 89 — he can frontdoor, backdoor jam a lefty. He threw a couple of fastballs tonight, he got swings and misses, and he actually misfired. But his stuff’s good enough where that can happen."

Jacoby Ellsbury will be re-evaluated by a team of doctors at the Kerlin-Jobe Clinic in Anaheim, Calif. We all wish him well and a speedy recovery. I, for one, hope he'll be back by the All Star break. We miss his speed, defense and hitting ability sorely. Sure, the Sox are playing great baseball but having Ells back would only make them better, much better. Here's Tito on the new medical examination to come...

“I think we all know it hurts, but if we can eliminate everything, then he can maybe progress quicker knowing he’s not hurting himself.”

In one other piece of Boston baseball news, Jonathon Papelbon is currently on the bereavement/family medical emergency list because of an undisclosed family medical issue. He is not eligible to return to the team for at least 3 days. Francona said that when a player is on that emergency list, it's a very serious matter. Every one of us wishes Jonathon and his family the very best. Daniel Bard will take over the closer's role until Paps returns. Godspeed, Paps.

Tonight, game 2 will feature Wakefield (1-4) vs. Huff (2-6). Let's hope Timmy can step it up, unlike his past start. We won't see Josh Beckett for a while so it's vital that Timmy carry the team every 5 days. I have faith in him.

Have a great Tuesday, enjoy the game tonight, click on this post's title for more Red Sox news and as always, BE WELL. Thanks for popping in. I couldn't do it without you.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Baltimore 3 Boston 2...Close But No Cigar

The Boston Red Sox failed to sweep the Baltimore Orioles and lost to them 3-2 in extra innings. It was Manny Delcarmen's high pitches that enabled the O's to send the game into extra innings and they took it all in the 11th inning because of the ineffectiveness of Hideki Okajima. The team flew to Cleveland to start a 4 game set yesterday and here are the pitching matchups...

6/7/2010 at Cle 7:05 PM ET ESPN ** Matsuzaka (4-2) vs. Carmona (4-4)
6/8/2010 at Cle 7:05 PM ET NESN/STOh ** Wakefield (1-4) vs. Huff (2-6)
6/9/2010 at Cle 7:05 PM ET NESN/STOh ** Buchholz (8-3) vs. Masterson (1-5)
6/10/2010 at Cle 7:05 PM ET NESN/WKYC ** Lester (7-2) vs. Talbot (7-4)

I have too much to do on this Monday morning and not enough time to do it so I will make this post a brief one. The Sox had their chances but did not capitalize. That's the best way to sum up the game. Lackey was good and that's great to know but Boston couldn't plate that one run to go ahead.

I have to run. As always, BE WELL. See ya soon.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Boston Gets Closer & Closer In AL East

Another day, another win for the Boston Red Sox. Saturday they whupped and whipped the Baltimore Orioles by a lopsided score of 8-2. The 2 runs the Birdies plated didn't come across until the 9th inning, long after Jon Lester left in the 7th trouble. He was gassed but the ever improving Dan Bard snuffed out the Bird's rally try. It was Nelson, not Boston's go-to guy, who served up the 2 runs but Ramon Ramirez ended it all. Sox win! Here's Boston manager Terry Francona on his co-ace...

“Tremendous,’’ Francona said. “Going into his last inning of work, he’s not given up any runs. I thought I went one hitter too far with him. It looked like he kind of hit a wall. He looked like he was gassed. Fortunately for us, Bard came in and got the short fly ball to center and the popup, kept it right where it was.’

When I said "co-ace" a little earlier, I was refering to Clay Buchholz, who is pitching as well or better than anyone else in the league. Today will mark the finale of the series with John Lackey trying to produce the sweep. In the AL East right now, four games (in the lost column) separate four teams. The Sox are playing great baseball. Here's the skipper...

“I just think we’re playing better baseball. That’s what I’m happy about,’’ he said. “Our energy’s been . . . we’re playing with some personality. Saying that, if we’d have done that for the last two or three weeks and the teams ahead of us won every game, we can’t control that. So that’s why I guess I feel that way. If you play like you’re supposed to, I think those things, they have a way of taking care of themselves.’’

Have a sunny and happy Sunday as we await afternoon baseball at Camden Yards. Go Sox. Click on this post's title for more Soxiness. As always, BE WELL. See ya.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Clay Puts Up Nine Goose Eggs

Clay Buchholz pitched another tremendous game Friday evening at Camden Yards in Baltimore. The Boston Red Sox defeated the hapless and harmless Baltimore Orioles by a score of 11-0. In his last 5 starts, Clay has a remarkable record of 5-0 and an unbelievable ERA of 0.99. In his nine innings yesterday, he gave up zero runs, 5 hits, struck out 2 and walked but 1. He relied on his moving fastball with his curve and changeup. Boston gave him an early lead and he kept it right through the ninth inning. If he keeps it going like this, he could easily be on the AL All Star team, maybe even be the starting pitcher. Here he is...

“It wasn’t like it was a 0-0 ballgame going into the seventh,’’ Buchholz said. “It’s easy to let yourself throw pitches where you wouldn’t usually throw them and hope for mistakes. The team’s aggressive and they swing at a lot of first-pitch, lot of second-pitch swings. I left some pitches up, they hit it, but it was right at people. It just went my way tonight, I guess.

The Boston skipper, Terry "Tito" Francona, had higher praise for his co-ace...

"Tremendous. A lot of first-pitch outs. He commanded his fastball. He threw it for strikes and stayed out of the middle of the plate. I think he got eight first-pitch outs. That’s huge. Double plays. He threw strikes - curveballs, changeups - but mostly, the command of his fastball was tremendous.”

All I can say is that it was a fun game to watch. No pressure, no clenched fists, no nothing but cheers. And that's what makes baseball what it is. Now if only Bud Selig can get his head out of the sand (it might be in cement. Who knows? If so, he should take a swim in a deep body of water. Very deep. Oil covered. Shark infested. Haunted).

Today at 1:35pm EDT at Camden Yards, it'll be Jon Lester facing Matusz. Lester can win this one...he's been pitching just about as well as Buchholz. Now if only Beckett could heal and start throwing like we know he can. That won't happen for a while.

Thanks for popping in, click on this post's title for more of something about the Sox and as always, BE WELL. Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Don't Bogar That Plate, My Friend

Boston Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield, in for Josh Beckett yet again, had another terrible outing as the Sox lost to the Oakland A's by a score of 9-8. Boston tried to climb back but with the combination of Wake's too high in the zone knuckies, Manny Delcarmen's 2 home run meltdown (the deciding runs) and two men thrown out at the plate after third base coach Tim Bogar wildly waved them in spelled defeat for Boston. The bright spot for the Sox was the bottom of the order. Hall and Hermida were a combined 7-10 (!). But it wasn't enough. Here's Mr. Hall right now...

“The bottom of the order did great,’’ Hall said. “We swing the bats like that, it’s going to be way more positive than negative. We did a great job of swinging the bat, a lot of guys did. We just look to continue. It was a great homestand."

As I said in an earlier post, Timmy HAS TO step up while taking the place of Josh Beckett, who won't be back for a month or so. He's got to get better. If not, there's a huge hole in the rotation. Period. Here's the pitching matchups for the upcoming three game weekend series in Baltimore, 3 games the Red Sox must sweep...

6/4/2010 at Bal 7:05 PM ET** NESN/MASN Buchholz (7-3) vs. Tillman (0-0)
6/5/2010 at Bal 7:05 PM ET** NESN/MASN Lester (6-2) vs. Guthrie (3-5)
6/6/2010 at Bal 1:35 PM ET** NESN/MASN Lackey (6-3) vs. Matusz (2-6)

That's it for this Friday. Oh, I almost forgot. I HATE that MLB commissioner Bud Selig doesn't have the guts to overturn the terrible umpire call made by Jim Joyce that happened two days ago, denying a perfect game for Armando Galarraga. Shameful, Bud, you oaf. Click on this post's title for more about that travesty SI style and as always, BE WELL.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Lester & Ortiz Win AL Pitcher & Player Of The Month. Papi & Daisuke Propel Sox To Victory

Before I get to the 6-4 Boston Red Sox victory over the Oakland A's, I want to salute Big Papi David Ortiz for earning the American League Player of the month award and Jon Lester for taking the American League Pitcher of the Year honors. It was the first time that the two A.L. monthly awards were captured by teammates in the same month since June 2006, when Minnesota’s Joe Mauer and Johan Santana won the honors. Here's the release from MLB dot com...

"Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz and starting pitcher Jon Lester have been voted the American League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for May. It marks the first time that the two A.L. monthly awards were captured by teammates in the same month since June 2006,
Lester, who posted a perfect 5-0 record in six outings during May, allowed just 24 hits through 44.0 innings of work while leading the Majors with 45 strikeouts. The 26-year-old also posted a 1.84 ERA, the lowest of any A.L. pitcher with more than 27 innings pitched."

Congratulations go out to both of them. Wow! And now, on to last night's Fenway Park game. Behind the pitching of Daisuke Matsuzaka, who gave up 3 first inning runs but settled down from there and Big Papi's 2 run fifth inning home run that put the Sox up for good, Boston was a 6-4 winner. Papi said this after the game...

“I was looking for my pitch. I tried not to waste it when I got it. That’s what I’ve been doing lately, getting deep in the count. The way we’re going, good things are happening.’’

I'm happy to agree with him. Bard and Papelbon finished up the game after Daisuke's 6 2/3 innings. Boston is playing great baseball at the right time because it seems that the Yankees and the Rays refuse to lose, too. We remain 5 games behind the Rays and for now, that's OK with me. What's not OK is the news about Josh Beckett. He's still hurting and the Red Sox medical staff have advised him not to pick up a baseball for another 10 days. That means he will not be back for at least 30 days. Timmy, can you hear me? We need you. We always did. We always will.

Have a great Thursday. I want to thank the few of my Constant Readers who still stop here regularly. I appreciate every one of you and always have. Click on this post's title for more on baseball (click on the story of a perfect game taken away from Armando Galarraga by a ridiculous call by blind umpire Jim Joyce, who had a clear view of the ball in the mitt and Galarraga's foot on the bag, easily beating the base runner) and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you soon.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Beltre & Vmart Bail Out Ex-Lacks

Victor Martinez went 5 for 5 with 4 (!) doubles to help his pitcher, a shaky John Lackey. His team, the Boston Red Sox, came back from a 4-0 deficit to Oakland to win Wednesday night's Fenway Park contest. Adrian Beltre, hotter than a pistol, went 3 for 3 with 3 RBIs to help the cause. The final score was 9-4 and Boston kept pace in the AL East, 5 games behind the Rays. John Lackey again was not as sharp as he'd like to be, going 6 innings and allowing 12 (!) hits and 4 earned runs, walking 2 and whiffing 4. Delcarmen, Bard and Hudson put up goose eggs on the top half of the scoreboard after Lacks left and the Fenway Faithful filed out the lovable old ballpark happy but still waiting for a dominant Lackey to appear....someday soon. Well, he didn't last night. He said this after the game...

“Honestly, it’s a little frustrating, ’cause I thought I did better than what some of the numbers are going to show,’’ said Lackey, who is now 6-3. “We won the game, so who really cares? I pitch to contact and I haven’t had the greatest luck with some of that,’’ Lackey said. “I’ve had a lot of balls on the ground that have gotten through, a few balls kind of fell in tonight. I’m winning games right now. I’m not quite pitching up to where I can be, so that’s kind of nice.’’

I guess we all have to get used to John giving up 4 or 5 runs every start (for now) but I DO hope he betters himself. Soon.

And now part 2, the latest Boston bad news. Mike Cameron, who looked like he was coming around at the plate, again is bothered by discomfort in his abdomen, on the opposite side from the muscle tear that caused him to miss most of the past five weeks. Here is the frustrated outfielder for the Boston Red Sox...

“I guess it’s just my time for shit to go wrong. My wife was asking me, ‘What’s going on? Why are you tossing and turning in bed all night long?’ It just kept going. It was abnormal for me to have those types of things I had when I was trying to go to sleep. I couldn’t play if I tried. It limits what I can do. So much of it is involved with everything that we do, from the stride to hitting to check-swinging to starting and stopping. It’s just not good, man.”

So the Red Sox are again without 2/3 of their starting outfield but they're playing good ball three out of every four games. If they keep this up they will be within striking distance of the Rays or the pin-stripers by the All Star break. Let's hope that happens. After the All Star break I hope to have Cameron AND Ellsbury back in the field. The team would be SO much better than they are now. Oh, and while we're in the bad news department, Josh Beckett still has back discomfort and Red Sox manager Tito Francona said that the coaching and medical staff will sit down with him to plan the recovery process.

That's the good, the bad and the ugly for this Thursday morning. Tonight at Fenway Park, it will again be Oakland-Boston baseball with Ben Sheets up against Daisuke Matsuzaka. As that old game show went, "will the real Daisuke Matsuzaka please stand up?" I hope he does. By the way, that show was called "To Tell The Truth."

Click on this post's title for more Sox stuff and as always, be well. Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you soon.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Good Bye May, Hello June (And Summer)

The meteorological summer begins today, Tuesday, June 1st. Oops, I almost wrote May. May, by the way, was the warmest May on record here in Connecticut. I'd rather have that happen in May than June, July or August. That's when the atmosphere is really warmed up. The warmest day of last month? Here in my backyard one May day, I had a high temperature of 98.3 degrees. Don't worry, the central air conditioning was on and it was nice and cool inside. Outside was another story but I know now that the a/c works just fine.

Tonight at Fenway Park the Boston Red Sox start a 3 game series with the Oakland A's. It will be Lackey (5-3) vs.Gonzalez (5-3). Lackey said yesterday that he needs to fine tune his control and bring his ERA down. I think he'll do it. I KNOW he will. I'm an optimistic Boston Red Sox fan. I hope we all are. RSN forever.

Have a great Tuesday and click on this post's title for more on that Red Sox team. Thanks and as always, BE WELL. I hope your weekend was a tremendous one.