Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lackey Great But Red Sox Lose...Buchholz NOT Improving

There's something wrong with the first part of the title of this post. What is it? I'll tell you. Lackey has been terrible for most of his season and the Sox have lost most of those games. Yet last night, Lackey pitched 7 2/3 innings and only gave up two earned runs. He walked one and struck out five. He also provided Boston with its sole run courtesy of a home run. The rest of the batting order? ZILCH even with Big Papi David Ortiz manning first and Adrian Gonzalez roaming right field. The good thing is that neither of them were hurt in any way. 2-1 Philadelphia. Boy.

Boston's lack of ability to score runs is alarming hundreds of thousands of people. You'll hear two of them coming up. First, the Boston manager, Terry Francona...

“We’re not going to release our team. That’s the way the game goes. You don’t score at that pace all the time. You hope you win some of these games when you're not scoring."

And here's our never-say-die second baseman, Pedey Pedroia...

“We have to find a way to score some runs.

We sure do. But five hits? The Philly pitcher wasn't THAT good! The Red Sox have another problem...Clay Buchholz. His lower back is still hurting. He thought he was going to be ready when his team will arrive at Fenway Monday but it's officially a no-go. He said this yesterday....

“I want to be 100 percent when I make my next start. I’d probably say, if there is a start before the (All Star) break, it won’t be until one of the later games against Baltimore the following weekend. There’s something still there when I was throwing.”

You want even more bad news? WEEI's Peter Gammons mentioned John Lackey and the hideous three words "Tommy John surgery" in the same sentence. I'll have more on that when it becomes available. Thanks for stopping in and have a great Thursday. Click on this post's title for more and as always, BE WELL. Let this injury bug cease. NOW! Thanks.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Phillies' Cliff Lee Throws His Third Shutout In A Row..Buchholz Coming Along Very Slowly..Will Not Play This Weekend..Adrian Will Be In Right Tonight

Last night, Philadelphia Phillies starter Cliff Lee was in complete command of the game from start to finish. Boston's Josh Beckett looked a little rusty after so many days on the bench or in the trainer's room. Boston Red Sox skipper Tito Francona had this to say about Lee...

"He’s one of the best pitchers in the game and he’s riding a hot streak. That’s a bad combination. He had his way with us.

Many of the Boston batters grimaced as strike after strike again and again crossed the plate without being touched by any wood. It was as dominating a performance as I've seen all year. I mean, how can anyone pitch any better? Answer...they can't. Impossible. Here's more Tito...

"He was in command of the game from start to finish. He had his way with us. He was in command of the game from start to finish. He’s one of the best pitchers in the game and he’s riding a hot streak. That’s a bad combination. He had his way with us.”

All the Red Sox and their fans could do is to tip their hats and say they were beaten by the better guy in every way imaginable. I loved watching his various selection of pitches and his unending precision. My hat (if I was wearing one) would have come off as soon as Lee ended his complete game masterpiece.

There's one more piece of interesting Red Sox pitching news. It seems Clay Buchholz is not coming along with his back injury as quickly as some predicted. HE WILL NOT pitch anytime soon. That means, of course, is that Wakefield AND Lackey will both be out on the mound every five days. We must hope Clay returns as soon as possible. The Yankees won again last night so the Red Sox must win at least one of the two remaining games left in this series, if not both.

Lastly, finally, Big Papi David Ortiz will start at first base while Adrian Gonzalez. Boston's best hitter, will move out to rightfield tonight. If he's hurt, they'll be hell to pay but the chances of that happening are super slim. The Sox need both of their big bats in their lineup when playing a team as great as the Phillies. Stay safe, guys. Adrian will be pulled and moved back to first if the Red Sox go ahead by a substantial margin.

Hey, at least we're going to miss Doc Halladay. Boy, they have great starting pitching. Please click on this post's title for more on the Wednesday night game and as always, BE WELL. GO SOX!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Philly/Boston Preview

The Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies play their last three 2011 games, not including any possible post season action, all in the land of cheesesteaks and brotherly love and it's an important series. With Josh Beckett back tonight and Buchholz due soon (July 4th) , that adds up to six potential starters. Who to move to the bullpen? One's got to go. I'm sure most fans would quickly (instantly?) pick John Lackey but I think Andrew Miller, if he's able to throw strikes, would be a more valuable asset to an already strong 'pen. As for Beckett, here's Boston skipper Tito Francona...

“If he’s running out of gas a little bit, we’ll keep an eye on him. But it’s not like he’s hurt."

That's the important part. He never was hurt. He just picked up a nasty bug of some kind. He took an extra couple days off to make sure he'll have the stamina to go 6 plus innings. The way he was pitching before he was felled was vintage Beckett who hit all his spots with all his pitches. It sure would be great to see more of the same. Here's the man with the plan on just that...

“I should be fine. My arm is good. I just needed to build myself up physically a little bit and I’ve had the time to do that.’’

Kevin Youkilis has a unique way of looking at upcoming contests. In short, it's not who you are playing or when you are playing them, it's HOW you play them that's most important. The best becomes even better. Here's our third baseman, Mr. Youkilis...

“I don’t lose any sleep thinking about the Phillies. I haven’t really thought about it. I didn’t even know who we’re facing or anything like that. When we go out on the field and we take batting practice and prep for the game, then we’ll be ready. I’m not really interested in this series other than going out there and just playing baseball. But until then it’s just a series where we have to go out and play some good baseball and hopefully take two out of three.’’

You sure do, Youk. Let's see what the Boston Red Sox can do on Philadelphia's home turf. You can see the pitching match ups in the post directly below this one. Click on this post's title to be zapped to all the coverage of this important upcoming tilt between, on paper, the two best teams in MLB and as always and forever, BE WELL.

Thanks for stopping by once again, my Constant Readers. Let's say a loud "GO SOX!" Up, up and away!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Red Sox Avoid Sweep To Bucs...4-2 Boston

I have one thing to say before this keyboard starts spewing Boston Red Sox words. I fell asleep at nine or so and here's the problem. I wake up at 11pm and I can't go back to sleep! Those early before daylight hours are interminable. HELP!! Red Sox starter Andrew Miller seemed to be just what the doctor ordered Sunday as he led his team to a 4-2 win. He allowed five hits and one unearned run, The bullpen, in the form of Aceves, Bard and Papelbon, was goose egg perfect and the Sox move on to
Philadelphia, where a very good team plays. They're called the Phillies and here's the three game pitching match-ups...

Tue. 28 at Phi** 7:05 PM ET NESN/WB17 ** J. Beckett (6-2) vs. C. Lee (8-5)
Wed. 29 at Phi** 7:05 PM ET ESP2/CSN** J. Lackey (5-6 ) vs. V. Worley (2-1)
Thu. 30 at Phi** 1:05 PM ET NESN/CSN** J. Lester (9-4) vs. C. Hamels (9-4)

They sure have some great starting pitching, don't they. Game one will be Tuesday night after a much needed off day today. I hope Mr. Beckett will be good to go, too.

For a 26 game streak,right fielder JD Drew struggled mightily. There's been talk of pulling him out of the line up. But lately that productive hitter seems to be resurfacing. Here he is before yesterdays contest...

“Anytime you struggle, it’s nothing you want to go through. This has been kind of a head-scratcher, trying to find a rhythm and get that swing you’re looking for. But it’s there. I got in some bad habits early on. Sooner or later it will come around. Sometimes you over think the situation and try to change things, and I think I found myself doing that. I’ve tried to get back to what I’ve done throughout my career here and even before I got here, and that’s to keep it simple and be short and quick to the ball.”

Hey JD, I have faith in you. Keep scorching the ball. I have faith in you too, my constant readers. Please click on the post's title for more Soxy stuff and as always, BE WELL.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Boston Suffers It's Fourth Loss In A Row

Four losses in a row for the Boston Red Sox are too many, especially when it's the mediocre (to say the least) Pittsburgh Pirates on the winning side. I'm more than frustrated because the Pirates are not the cream of the crop, not by a long shot. Wakefield started but he surrendered four runs in the fourth inning (4's running wild!). I can't believe the loss of the DH, in our case Big Papi David Ortiz, would cause this or contribute to this horrid display of the game we know and love.

Wakes originally pitched for Pittsburgh many years ago and he received a rousing ovation at the beginning of the game. Fans don't forget. But this time Timmy couldn't turn back the unrelentless sands of time. Here he is...

“I’m very grateful for that (ovation). I’m happy for the city and the fans that they’re playing well. I just wish it had been a better outcome for us.”

Let's hope they break this hideous streak of nonsense when they play the rubber game of the series. I'm going to save some time to watch some of the final round of the Travelers Tournament, a PGA event held just 10 miles from Hartford. It used to be called the Sammy Davis Greater Hartford Open when Sammy was still with us. Click on this post's title for more and as always, stay well.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Should'a Would'a But Didn't..Sox Lose Again

The Boston Red Sox Friday night at Fenway lost by a score of 3-1. The magic hit was impossible. They're just not hitting with the no-DH inter league lineup. They've scored 2 runs in their last 19 innings. No more bashing the ball and they have 8 more road games at National League fields. It hurts that David Ortiz only had a pinch hitting at bat in the eighth inning. As he stepped to the plate, he said this...

“First of all, what’s wrong with Mother Nature? I’m just walking to the plate and it started pouring. What’s up with that?’’

You can't fool Mother Nature, Big Papi. She saw you coming. Maybe she's a Yankee fan. Here's the Boston manager, Tito Francona...

“We had it going so good for so long. You want the good streaks to be long and the bad ones to be short.’’

And lastly, Marco Scutaro on the changed lineup and this losing funk...

“We miss David, but we knew this was coming. We still have to find a way to score. This team is still good enough to score some runs. A couple of days of this is enough. We need to score some runs.’’’

I hope we've seen the end of it and will begin again our winning ways. The Red Sox are still clinging to first. It could be a ton worse. Click on this post's title for more Sox stuff and as always, STAY WELL.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Post Lackey Post With An Explanation...New Link

Hello and good morning. Please look to the right of your screen and scroll down my link list. I just added a new one and you should check it out. It's called "TOO SOXY FOR MY SHIRT. I love her writing and you will, too.

Since yesterday was a day off for the Boston Red Sox, this morning post will be a short one for me. Have a great Friday.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lackey Lacking Again...Padres 5 Red Sox 1

John Lackey stunk up Fenway Park Wednesday afternoon in a big way and he heard the fans' displeasure loudly. He was only able to muster 3 1/3 innings and gave up a whopping 5 runs. It was a thoroughly awful performance. The game was delayed 38 minutes by rain and there were also delays in the third, fifth and eighth innings, when it was finally called and rightfully so. Lackey's problems seemed related to the wet weather but both pitchers were saddled with that burden and look at the final score. Here's the Red Sox skipper, Terry "Tito" Francona...

“He went back out after the rain delay and just looked like he lost his feel. I don’t think the conditions were very good for either pitcher but he just lost his command and it cost us some runs.”

He cost us the game, Tito, but he's done it before and dammit, he'll do it again. Such is life. I have to make this post and tomorrow's post quickies because we're still having small family gatherings in my Mom's honor. Such is the custom of my religion. As most of you know, she passed on Sunday and we buried her on Tuesday.

A three game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates sans Willie Stargell (thank goodness) commences tonight. Here are the series match ups...

Fri. 24 at Pit** 7:05 PM ET NESN/ROOT** J. Lester (9-3) vs. P. Maholm (3-8)
Sat. 25 at Pit** 7:05 PM ET NESN/ROOT** J. Beckett (6-2) vs. J. Karstens (4-4)
Sun. 26 at Pit** 1:35 PM ET NESN/ROOT** T. Wakefield (4-2) vs. J. McDonald (5-4)

If ever there was a time for Jon Lester to step up, tonight's the night. Thanks for being here and click on this post's title for all the highlights and lowlights of a Wednesday Fenway Park afternoon. When you get there, look for a box that has the two team's circular emblems. That will get you to the 2 minute game highlights, which I watch every morning. You'll see it. The page has been turned (twice) and we'll be ready in Western Pennsylvania tonight. As always, BE WELL.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

San Diego 5 Boston 4...Alfredo Aceves Walks 5 In A Row In Second Inning..An Upcoming Rain Delay?

Alfredo Aceves, substituting for the sick Josh Beckett (we would have won yesterday with him in there), walked 5 straight batters in the second inning. He threw 42 pitches in that horrible inning and that unending wildness provided the winning margin of victory for the San Diego club. The final Fenway Park score was 5-4 and the two teams war against each other again this afternoon with John Lackey (5-5) ready to pitch against C. Richard (2-9). I'm ready for some afternoon baseball but I have much to do before first pitch time saying good bye to family and friends who were in town for my Mom's funeral, which was yesterday. So right now I will bid you adieu. Click on this post's title for today's lineups. BE WELL.

I thank you for stopping in and as always, be and stay well. Thanks. Oh, I just checked the weather radar and the game looks like it will be delayed. It might be inevitable as I see it now. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Red Sox Explode In 7th for 14-5 victory...Beckett Scratched

Former San Diego Padre Adrian Gonzalez enjoyed a great game against his former team as his new team, the Boston Red Sox, erupted for 10 runs on five hits, two walks (one intentional), and two hit batsmen in a super bottom of the seventh inning. That made a 3-3 tie a 13-3 one-sided contest. The biggest play was on the bases. In that seventh, Dustin Pedroia, who always finds a way to get "it" done, whatever the 'it" might be, beat out a possible double play with his hustle and when teammate Adrian Gonzalez bopped a double, the inning was on. Here's Adrian...

“That created that seventh inning. It was all about him, getting down the line and beating that ball out. If he doesn’t do that, my double doesn’t do anything.’’

And here's the Boston skipper, Tito Francona...

“It was a time in the game where his pure hustle gives our hitters a chance to keep hitting and extend an inning, and we took advantage of it. But that’s just the kind of player he is. He always gives you everything he has.’’

After the seventh frame, the game was essentially over. Chalk up another victory for the Boston world beaters. Sox starter Andrew Miller performed marvelously in his Fenway debut after the lefthander was called up Sunday from Triple A Pawtucket. He pitched 5 1/3 innings and made just one bad pitch which resulted in a three run home run that tie it at 3. Until the seventh, it was a nail biter, after that, an easy game to watch with a smile of victory on my face. This teamkeeps winning and winning. Hey, I could get used to this. Ya know what, I think I will. But now, some more sobering news.

Josh Beckett will not be able to make his scheduled start and will be replaced by Alrfredo Aceves. Here is the release from the Boston Globe...

"Josh Beckett has the bug — "Intestinal turmoil" as Terry Francona puts it — and won't pitch tomorrow. Alfredo Aceves (3-1, 3.30) will start in his place. There is no word on when he will make his next start.
Aceves last pitched on Thursday, throwing 32 pitches against the Rays. So he'll be working on normal rest for a starter."

No's nothing but a bug. No back issues or arm issues to worry about, that's for sure. Feel better, Josh. I'm certain he's only going to miss one start. He's been too valuable to be out any longer. So today, it's Aceves ready to go against Latos shortly after 7pm EDT. Red Sox Nation's confidence level should be "off the roof" high, deservedly so. GO SOX.

That's it for today, a sad day for my family. We have my Mom's funeral ceremony this morning at 10am EDT. Wish me luck. Please click on this post's title for all the highlights of the Red Sox sudden seventh inning massacre of those west coast rivals and as always, BE WELL.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Boston Red Sox Brew Milwaukee Right Out Of Town 12-3..Take 2 Of 3

Tim Wakefield picked a beautiful Sunday afternoon to pitch his finest start of the season. He went eight full innings and gave up only three runs on three hits while striking out six. His knuckie was all over the strike zone, bopping, weaving and dancing while being called strikes. He was lethal. Jarrod Saltalamacchia echoed what I just said. Here he is...

“He was excellent. It was probably the best stuff I’ve seen from him all year. Even in the bullpen, I was having trouble because the ball was moving everywhere, but he was throwing it for strikes, too.’’

And here's the Boston skipper, Terry "Tito" Francona, during his post game press conference...

“You’re fortunate when you’re on a staff and have a guy like that. This season he knew what his role was, but in all honesty you don’t know where the starts are going to be. But he prepared real well and he’s really helping us out.’’

A great job by Wakes would have meant nothing at all had the Boston bats not done their job but they did just that. Multiple hit games were had by Dustin Pedroia (3 hits, 3 RBIs), Jacoby Ellsbury (2 hits, 2 RBIs) and the irrepressible Adrian Gonzalez (2 hits, 1 RBI). He is a perpetual motion hitter. He never stops! And so the Boston Red Sox Rolling Thunder Revue resumes today as they cordially invite the San Diego Padres into the friendly confines of the always beautiful Fenway Park. Here are the three game pitching match-ups...

Mon. 20 SD 7:10 PM ET** Ch4/NESN** A. Miller (0-0) vs. W. LeBlanc (0-2)
Tue. 21 SD 7:10 PM ET** Ch4/NESN** J. Beckett (6-2) vs. M. Latos (4-8)
Wed. 22 SD 1:35 PM ET** Ch4/NESN** J. Lackey (5-5) vs. C. Richard (2-9)

Seeing a good outing from Miller would be nice, nice indeed. I have never seen him pitch. And that's a wrap for this, the newest Monday ever. Huh? Oh, never mind. My brain wandered if only for an instant. I'll have a quick wrap of tonight's game first thing in the morning. Tomorrow's going to be a busy day, what with the funeral and all, but I always make time for you. Click on this post's title for more about the game and some terrific video. As always, BE WELL.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Boston 12 Milwaukee 3...Buchholz On 15 Day DL

Another stellar start from Tim Wakefield. The Boston bats came alive too, in a big way. That's all I have time for right now but I'll be back first thing Monday morning. My plate is full for the rest of the day. Great win. Congratulations, Timmy and the Sox and bring on the Padres. A full game wrap-up is yours when you click on this post's title.

This just in...

"The Red Sox announced this afternoon that they placed righthander Clay Buchholz on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 17, with a lower back strain. Andrew Miller, who has been called up from Pawtucket, will start tomorrow against the Padres and fill the roster spot."

We've had enough of the injury bug, centering but not exclusive to our pitching staff. Have a safe Sunday.

Brewers Beat Boston 4-2...Lester Strong Late...The Big Man Leaves The Sounds Of Silence In His Wonderful Wake

John Lackey, after giving up two runs in the first inning and two more in the third, settled down and found his groove but it was too late. The mighty Boston bats were quiet for a change and the Red Sox scored only a pair of safeties. Lester thought that if he held the Brew Crew to those four tallies, his team might have the chance to come back, but it was not to be, not yesterday. In all he threw 115 pitches and gave up seven hits and three earned runs in the losing cause. Here's Jon Lester...

"We lost. Yeah, you can sit back and say there were some positives. With the way it started, it could have been a lot worse. I just tried to minimize the damage and keep the guys in the game. Obviously, with the way we've been swinging the bat lately, I thought, for sure, if I kept them where they were at, but you've got to tip your hat to Randy Wolf tonight. I got deep in the game. Sometimes it's tough throwing against teams you don't really know, especially early on. You're trying to feel them out, figure out what their game plan is against you -- and, obviously, they were very aggressive. We made the adjustment later and started to get some outs."

But it was too late. The offerings of Milwaukee pitcher Randy Wolff did not result in enough runs. Hey, you can't win 'em all, I guess. But there's another game today as Timmy Wakefield will face Yovani Gollaro, whose name does not ring a bell with me. A win today would be big so GO LESTER...GO SOX!

I have a ton of things to do today in preparation of my Mom's funeral on Tuesday. I'm really going to miss her although because of her Alzheimer's, she really wasn't mentally "there" the past year or so. But she always had a smile for me, even when she didn't know who I was. She left her pain behind, and that's good. I'll miss you, Mom. So much.

Thank you for stopping in on this sad (for me) Sunday, a bright and cloudless day. I'd like to say "rest in peace" to E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who passed yesterday. Big Man, you gave me so much joy these past 38 years. Thank you. Click on this post's title for more on the Big Man and as always, BE WELL. Hang in there...that's exactly what I'm trying to do. See ya.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Goodbye Mom

I just found out on this Saturday, June 18, 2011, that my Mom passed away. She was ill with Alzheimer's and diabetic complications and now she's at peace. IT STILL HURTS. That was tough for me to write.

Rest in peace, Mommy. I'll always love you. Forever.

A "By The Book" Win For The Boston Red Sox Over The Milwaukee Brewers 10-4....Carl Crawford Injures His Hamstring

John Lackey looks like has settled into a comfortable groove, something he wasn't able to do all last season. He was able to go eight innings and Matt Albers pitched a goose egg ninth. Before Lackey settled down after the third, the Sox bats were there to keep Lackey and Boston in the game.The amazing Adrian Gonzalez had yet another three hit day, as did Big Papi David Ortiz. The Sox scored six runs in fifth, sixth and seventh innings to put this one away. But the big story, at least to me, was John Lackey. He was great. Here's the Boston skipper, Tito Francona, speaking about just that...

“I actually thought early in the game, his stuff was really crisp. He didn’t locate a ball to Casey McGehee for the two runs in the first, but the ball was coming out of his hand really well. We come back and score right away, which was important, and then he settled into the game, didn’t walk anybody, kept the ball down, changed speeds, and pitched really effectively.’’

He really did. If he continues to throw the ball like this, the hole in the rotation caused by the sudden departure of Daisuke Matsuzaka (remember him?) will diminish and eventually disappear. Poof. But the news wasn't all good. We already knew that Jed Lowrie was going to be placed on the DL list with a displaced shoulder and he was. Now he has company. Carl Crawford grabbed his left hamstring while running to the first base bag and the manager will tell you more...

“He got an MRI during the game. He’s got a Grade-1 hamstring injury and we certainly need to reevaluate that and see what we’ll do.’’

Grade-1 is the LEAST serious on the injury scale but hamstring injuries are infamous for hanging around. The 15 day DL is just fine, literally just what the doctors ordered.

Another Saturday, another game at Fenway Park. The first pitch time has been pushed back to 7:10pm EDT so nothing would conflict with the Boston Bruins victory parade. I'll be watching that on NESN. Boston will be packed with people ready to celebrate their team's first title since 1972. That's 39 years! I'm not a hockey fan, not since the Whalers left Hartford for greener pastures (that's STILL BS) but I congratulate the entire Bruins organization. Good job, guys.

As I said, it's Saturday night baseball as Jon Lester (9-2) faces R. Wolf (4-4). The numbers say the Sox should win but sometimes the numbers aren't the most important thing. I have faith in Jon Lester AND his team, the Boston Red Sox. They're my team too, since 1966 and the rejuvenating 1967 Impossible Dream year of delight and magic.

So enjoy, click on this post's title for all the Sox highlights from last night and as always, BE WELL.


BOSTON -- "The Boston Red Sox have placed left fielder Carl Crawford on the 15-day disabled list before Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Crawford, a top free agent acquisition by Boston during the offseason, was hurt after straining his left hamstring beating out an infield hit in a 10-4 win over the Brewers on Friday night. Boston recalled outfielder Josh Reddick from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Crawford’s place on the roster."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Buchholz And The Boston Bullpen Wrap Up A Great Red Sox Road Trip At 8-1

Another timely and clutch home run clobbered by superstar Adrian Gonzalez in the ninth inning provided one run's worth of breathing room and the Boston Red Sox concluded a very successful 8-1 road trip with a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bays Rays. Here's Adrian Gonzalez, who is important to Boston in too many ways to mention right now...

"It was a good road trip. We started the road trip in second place and finished it in first place. Any time you can do that, that's a good thing."

Clay Buchholz pitched well enough to allow his team to win but that darn nagging back cut short his day after five innings. He allowed only two hits and one earned run. Heal thyself, Clay. Here he is...

"Nagging back that has been the same since last year. I just felt like I was in a better position tonight to come out a little early and not put any more stress on my body than I had to. The way we're playing right now, nobody wants to go on the DL. That was my first thought -- try to get through five innings with it and give it to the bullpen. Josh Beckett pitched his game yesterday, and the bullpen had a day of rest. That was my thought process with it."

Clay gutted it out and the bullpen rewarded him by being stingy. Aceves fired 1 2/3 frames and except for the solo shot hit over the wall by Casey Kotchman, he was good. That's one bullpen run. Next up was Danny Bard, who was perfect for 1 1/3 innings. And then came Jonathon Papelbon. I had turned the game off on TV (thank you for your great coverage, NESN) and went to WTIC 1080am radio after the first two batters reached base on a double and a single. But Adrian Gonzalez had hit his huge tater in the ninth so the Sox had an insurance run on the jolly green scoreboard. Paps was rusty from lack of use but reared back and, after inducing a foul pop for out number one, blew away the final two batters. Here he is speaking about his rustiness...

"It was tough for me for the simple fact it had been six days since I pitched. I definitely had some rust. I had to shake off the first couple of batters that put me in that situation with my back up against the wall. I was kind of able to get into my element. I don't think anybody realizes how tough it is for a guy in my position to have five days off and pitch. I think that's pretty much what it boiled down to tonight."

With all the excuses, he got the job done and the Boston Red Sox came home to Boston with their heads held high after finishing this nine game trip with eight victories and sole possession of first place. Great job guys!

Next up is a three game Fenway Park series with the NL's Milwaukee Brewers, a team that used to be owned by Bud Selig. That was back in the days when I was seeing one of his daughters. We met in St. Maarten. But that's ancient history mixed thoroughly with fond fuzzy memories. Here are the pitching match-ups...

Fri. 17 Mil** 7:10 PM ET FxWi/NESN** J. Lackey (4-5) vs. S. Marcum (7-2)
Sat. 18 Mil** 7:10 PM ET FxWi/NESN** J. Lester (9-2) vs. R. Wolf (4-4)
Sun. 19 Mil** 1:35 PM ET TBS/NESN** T. Wakefield (3-2) vs. Y. Gallardo (8-3)

It's Friday so the weekend is almost at our doorstop. I hope yours will be a terrific one and don't forget to click on this post's title to be zapped to the Red Sox homepage where you can see all the highlights of the game. I thank you for stopping in and as always, BE WELL.

There's been a time change for Saturday's game, which was originally moved up because of a possible Bruins game. The Bruins wrapped it up and the game will be moved up. Here is yesterday's release...

ST. PETERSBURG -- "Two weeks ago, the Red Sox changed a Saturday game from night to day so that fans could watch the Bruins play in the Stanley Cup Final. Now that the Bruins have won the Cup, the Sox are making another change this Saturday.
With the B's holding a victory parade at 11 a.m. ET, the Red Sox have moved the time of their game against the Brewers from 1:10 p.m. to 7:10 p.m."

I just wanted all you possible ticket holders to know. OK, that's a wrap. Thanks.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Newest Q Red Sox-Yankees poll

Hello again. This news blurb is from today's Hartford Courant...

"The Yankees may have had a rough off-season, with Cliff Lee spurning their mega-million dollar offer to go to the Phillies and Andy Pettitte retiring. The Red Sox had a banner off-season, adding stars Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to their roster and, so far this season they have beaten the Yankees eight of nine games. But, in a bit of a surprise, the Yankees have won some new support in Connecticut, the rivalry's battleground. In the latest Quinnipiac poll of state baseball fans, released Thursday morning, the Yankees opened up a five-point lead, 43 percent to 38 percent, their biggest lead since 2007. Seven percent identified themselves as Mets fans. Interestingly, men across Connecticut favor the Yankees, 47 to 35 percent, while women favor the Red Sox 42 to 39. "The gender gap might make for some interesting family discussions," Schwartz said, "or dating dynamics."
As usual, the Yankees are strongest in Fairfield County, 57 to 16 percent, with the Mets garnering 15 percent support. In Tolland, New London and Windham counties, the Red Sox have the big lead, 67 to 27. In the central portions of the state, New Haven and Middlesex Counties, which is usually divided almost evenly, the Yankees led 46 to 33 percent. In Hartford County, the Red Sox had a lead of 48 to 36 percent."

I live in Hartford county and that's part of Red Sox Nation, as well as all towns north and east. I'm a little surprised at these results but a poll is just that...a poll. The Red Sox are doing great.

Beckett..The Best Pitcher In Baseball? 3-0 Boston Over Tampa Bay

Josh Beckett improved his record to 6-2 by throwing a one hit complete game shutout. The only hit given up by Josh was a base hit down the third base line. Youk never had the chance to nab the runner at first. Becks said that the lone hit didn't bother him because it was a legitimate safety. If you saw this game last night, you walked away after shutting off the TV knowing you saw one of the best pitching performances of the entire season, bar none. The two managers praised Beckett's effort. Here's Red Sox skipper Tito Francona...

“That’s about as good as you can pitch."

And Joe Maddon, the Ray's manager...

“Beckett was very good. That’s an understatement. He was throwing the ball where he wanted to.’’

To me, he was throwing naturally and effortlessly. That's a sign of good health and Beckett mentioned that in this assessment of his pitching prowess...

“It’s nice. I feel good. Health is a really good thing to have.’’

You can say that again, Josh. Beckett lowered his league-leading ERA to 1.86 and right now he'd be the starting pitcher for the American League 2011 All Star team. What a difference a year makes. Last year at this point of the season he spent more time with the trainers than on the mound. That's certainly not the case now. If you can, find the two hour replay of the game on NESN. The two (or one) hour replays bring you all the excitement but none of the between pitches wait. You'll be glad you did. The two hour replay starts today at 3:30pm EDT on NESN.

In other Boston Red Sox news, left-hander Andrew Miller will join the already crowded rotation. According to a major league source, the Sox plan to keep Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Josh Beckett on five-day routines for the most part and mix Miller, John Lackey, and Tim Wakefield into the rotation. I'd like to see Lackey on the same normal schedule as Lester, Beckett and tonight's starter, Clay Buchholz. Miller's 2011 record at Pawtucket was 3-3 with a great ERA of of 2.47. He has given up 5 earned runs with 25 strikeouts and only 3 walks in his last 25 1/3 innings. He also has a clause in his minor league contract that says if he wasn't promoted to the big club, he could become a free agent. No chance of that now.

So it's Buchholz and David Price going against each other shortly after 7pm EDT. Enjoy it as we try to take the rubber game of the series. You can click on this post's title to see all the highlights and to witness just how near-perfect our man Josh was. Until next time, as always, BE WELL.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Win Streak Over As Boston Is Shut Out

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher James Shields picked last night to pitch a gem and boy, did he! He tossed a complete game five hitter and his team, the Tampa Bay Rays, prevailed by a score of 4-0. The Red Sox offense, an offense that seemed unstoppable just two days ago, was snuffed out like a candle. But this power outage is anything but permanent. Here's Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on exactly that...

“It’s going to happen. It’s not like we’re going to start worrying because of one game.”

He's right. Carl Crawford was given a nice reception from the fans of the team he had played for for his entire major league career. They must miss him but once he turned into a free agent, the Rays didn't even register a bid for him because they knew they didn't have the cash that would be needed. But back to the game last night. Wakes threw 121 pitches and only gave up two runs, one earned. It was definitely a quality start but in the game of baseball, there will be games when the opposing pitcher strangles and throttles you. Last night Shields used his devastating change-up to confuse and confound the Sox hitters, except for Adrian Gonzalez, who collected three more base hits. He has surpassed all expectations with his offense and his unbelievable defensive skills. He's the best first baseman in all of baseball, bar none.

There's always another day in this game we love and tonight, the two rivals go at it again with Josh Beckett (5-2) going against J. Hellickson (7-4). I feel confident that the 2011 version of Josh Beckett will make this a one game funk. Please click on this post's title for more about last night's contest, including video. Until next time, have a great Wednesday Hump Day and as always, BE WELL.

A Tribute To Tim Wakefield

Tim Wakefield not only gives his heart out on the field, he does so off the field, too. This autographed lithograph looks great. Here is the entire release that was emailed to me...

Boston, MA (June 14, 2011) – “It was my father who first taught me how to throw the knuckleball when I was a boy…the pitch that would take me to the Majors and my 17th year with the Boston Red Sox,” said Wakefield. In honor of Father’s Day, Red Sox fans will receive a complimentary copy of Tim’s new book, Knuckler: My Life with Baseball's Most Confounding Pitch, with all Knuckled Under by Wakefield limited edition orders received by Father’s Day, June 19th.
Tim Wakefield, the first Red Sox Roberto Clemente award winner, and the famous Looney Tunes characters are featured in Knuckled Under by Wakefield, a Warner Bros.’ animation art tribute limited edition personally signed by Tim. Half the proceeds from the sale of this limited edition go directly to Tim’s favorite charity, New England’s Pitching in for Kids.
The Knuckled Under by Wakefield limited edition is available at The Home of Red Sox Nation at and at Orders received by June 19th will include Tim’s new book, Knuckler.
“I’m a big Warner Bros. fan. I used to watch the Bugs Bunny Comedy Hour every Saturday when I was a kid. Warner Bros. even included my favorite cartoon, ‘Goons Gone Batty,’ on the Green Monster,” added Tim. “I have the original art hanging in my home and it’s a great piece. I know you will enjoy it as much as I do!”
“We used the top Warner Bros. artists for this special tribute to Tim Wakefield and we are very proud of this limited edition,” said Knuckled Under by Wakefield art director Ruth Clampett, the daughter of the legendary Warner Bros. animation director Bob Clampett. “I have had the privilege of developing art pairing the irreverent Looney Tunes characters with many of the all-time greats in sports such as Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter and Drew Brees. It is a pleasure to now include in that group Tim Wakefield, the first MLB pitcher to be featured, whose reputation both on and off the field is respected and admired by so many.”
Each Knuckled Under by Wakefield fine art lithograph and hand-painted cel limited edition is personally signed by Tim, custom framed, and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. For more information on this limited edition, and to see “Making the Art for Knuckled Under by Wakefield,” go to

To my readers. Please click on this post's title to see this amazing piece of art in Hi-Def. Thanks. OK, I have to write a post about game #1 in Tampa. Thanks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Down In Tampa, The Red Sox Are Ready

The Boston Red Sox, winners of nine straight games, start a three game series with the Tampa Bay Rays. It'll be Wakefield and Shields. Since yesterday was an off day, that's about all I have for you. Have a great Tuesday.

I'm back and I wanted to mention something I had forgotten. The Yankees lost last night 1-0 to the Cleveland Indians. That's a one game "fluffier" first place lead for Boston and their fans, all of us, to enjoy. The Tampa Bay series should be an enjoyable one for the hottest (by far) team in Major League Baseball. GO SOX. Just in case you haven't seen the AL East standings as of today, here you go...

Team***W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Boston 39 26 .600 - 19 - 13 20 - 13 16 - 8 10 - 9 11 - 8 9 - 1 W 9
NY Yankees 36 28 .563 2.5 20 - 17 16 - 11 13 - 12 11 - 10 10 - 5 5 - 5 L 1
Tampa Bay 35 31 .530 4.5 14 - 16 21 - 15 14 - 10 14 - 10 6 - 9 6 - 4 L 1

Looks good to me!

Monday, June 13, 2011

WOW! Nine Wins In A Row For The White Hot Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox throttled the Toronto Blue Jays yet again Sunday, this time by a score of 14-1. This team reminds Big Papi David Ortiz of the '04 and '07 world championship ones. After the game, which the Red Sox dominated, Papi spoke on exactly that...

“Very dangerous. This team is very dangerous right now. I have seen this before. When you’re losing games and you have a good team, it’s hard to figure things out sometimes. Sometimes you figure it out and what is happening right now is what happens. That’s why everybody was going crazy when we were losing all those games at the beginning of the season. Because if you go position by position, you can match this team against anybody in the league. It’s what everybody expected."

Jon Lester earned his AL leading ninth victory with only one run and two hits given up. He was on top of his game. As I mentioned before, Big Papi David Ortiz clobbered a huge home run. He had four RBIs, as did Kevin Youkilis, who was given the day off on Saturday. This team, hitters 1-9, is devastating at the plate and if you're a member of Red Sox Nation like me, you'll treasure every moment. We're in it to stay...for now.

The Sox start a three game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday. They have a much-needed day off today. Here are the pitching match ups with game times included...

Tue. 14 at TB** 7:10 PM ET NESN/SUN** T. Wakefield (3-1) vs. J. Shields (5-4)
Wed. 15 at TB** 7:10 PM ET NESN/SUN** J. Beckett (5-2) vs. J. Hellickson (7-4)
Thu. 16 at TB** 7:10 PM ET NESN/SUN** C. Buchholz (5-3) vs. D. Price (7-5)

Enjoy the Red Sox brand of baseball right now. It doesn't get any better. Click on this post's title for yesterday's game highlights and as always, BE WELL.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Would You Believe 14-1 Boston Red Sox?

Well, believe it. They're overwhelming the Toronto Blue Jays yet again, outhitting them 17-2. When this Boston offense starts scoring, they do it lethally with malice. One out in the bottom of the ninth is where we are and another sweep, number three in a row, is in sight. Now, two outs. Lester was brilliant, allowing only two hits, one a tater. GAME OVER! 14-1. As Jerry Remy just said, "this is as good as it gets." Amen. I'll be back with a full recap first thing in the morning. The Red Sox have tomorrow off, thank goodness.

Boston Red Sox Offense Erupts With 5 Runs In Fifth...8-1 Red Sox In Toronto

Another three run home run by Big Papi David Ortiz in the top of the fifth coupled with Jon Lester's lights-out pitching might make this afternoon in Toronto a successful one. It's still the top of the fifth.

Boston Red Sox Win Their Eighth In A Row With A 16-4 Stomping Of The Blue Jays

Marco Scutaro had four hits and Dustin Pedroia three in the 16-4 Boston Red Sox attack over their foe in this one. In all, they collected 18 hits. Scutaro alone had four of those. He said this after the game...

“It’s fun right now. We have to continue to hit in the cage and do everything we need to. Some guys started slow, but we are having good at-bats one through nine — long at-bats. We try to get the starting pitcher out of the game early.”

Alex Gonzalez had this to say after game's end...

"We're trained to do those kinds of things. It’s taxing because you don’t get a lot of sleep. But when it comes to game time, the adrenaline kicks in.’’

Marco Scutaro, who went 4-for-6 and scored three runs, easily his best day at the plate this season for the shortstop, continued his post-game comments...

“My timing’s been better In the beginning, I just lost it. I just lost my timing, and that’s pretty much the difference. Before I got hurt (and went on the disabled list with an oblique strain), I was feeling a little better at the plate. But you know how hitting is, man. It’s tough. Sometimes you just lose the feeling, and it takes a while to get it back.”

Mario, that's true in a lot of things in life. John Lackey, in his second comeback start, was good enough and the bullpen guys (Wheeler, Hottovy and Bowden) gave up only goose eggs the rest of the way. They were under no pressure because the Boston run tally continued to grow at a terrific rate. Horrifying if you're a Toronto player or fan.

And so, eight wins in a row has given the Boston Red Sox the best record in the American League and the second best in all of major league baseball. Only the Phillies have a better record. Philly and Boston were declared the two best teams before this season began and it looks even more so right now in mid-June.

Today's game in Toronto, the series final and another chance for a Red Sox sweep, will feature eight game winner Jon Lester versus Drabeck. First pitch will be 1:07pm EDT. Can you say nine team victories in a row? How about nine wins for Mr. Lester. I'll say it twice. Nine, nine.

Please click on this post's title for all the highlights (and more) from yesterday's game and as always, BE WELL. I'll be watching Jon try to pitch his team to win number nine in a row and to garner his ninth victory himself. GO SOX.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Boston Red Sox JUMP To 4-0 Lead Over Jays

That's right. We're at the end of 2 1/2 with the Jays coming up and it's 4-0 Red Sox. Lackey started out unpredictable and shaky. His recovery is not yet complete, not by a long shot, although Boston bats have made this far. Click on this post's title for up to the minute news and I'll be back every once in a while. Thanks...

It's the bottom of the fourth inning in Toronto and every John Lackey pitch seems to carry the weight of the world's problems, all of 'em, on its unpredictable path. He surrendered two runs and right now, going into the top of the fifth, it's 5-2 Good Guys. More later if I can.You can track what's going on up north by clicking on the title of this post. Thanks.

One out, top of the fifth and it's 6-2 Red Sox. Something tells me we're going to need EVERY one of those runs. Wait, a Jason Varitek line drive tater makes it 9-2, still one out. I feel better now. And even better. A three run Big Papi home run makes it 12-2. The Boston bullpen will come into play, rather quickly. I've almost put this one in the win column. If that will be the case, it would be eight in a row! If not...well, it has to!!! Lackey has thrown ninety pitches and he'll be gone after this frame finished. No drama, John.

Well, Lackey's back. There's one out after a single and a home run makes it 13-4. Two down as I conclude this post. One more out for Lacks to make it six innings total. He popped him out and that's it. 13-4 Sox going into the bottom of the sixth. Lackey was good enough and the bats were MORE than good enough. Barring a Boston bullpen disaster, I'll be back first thing in the morning.

One More Pedey Update

Before the game starts today, Saturday at 1:07pm ECT, I wanted to share with you the plans for Dustin "Pedey" Pedroia. This is from the Boston Globe, just a few hours ago...

TORONTO — "As is his custom, Dustin Pedroia was the first player to arrive at Rogers Centre for last night’s game against the Blue Jays, and the first to emerge from the visitors’ dugout to do some light jogging on the spongy artificial turf. Pedroia watched the Red Sox’ rain-delayed 8-3 victory at Yankee Stadium Thursday night from home after having his right knee scoped in Boston by Thomas Gill, the team’s medical director. Showing no effect from that procedure, Pedroia returned to the lineup and sparked the Red Sox to their seventh consecutive win, 5-1, by going 3 for 4 with a walk, an RBI, and a run.
“I felt all right,’’ he said. “Felt good to be out there. Tomorrow’s going to be the day where guys could be dragging, so we’re going to have to find a way to play with some energy tomorrow.’’
Pedroia appeared to injure his knee May 14 at Detroit in a failed attempt to score from second base on a David Ortiz single. He aggravated it two days later in a home game against the Orioles, landing on his knee while making an off-balance throw.
Pedroia underwent an MRI during Monday’s offday, which revealed some cartilage damage. Facing the prospect of playing six games on artificial turf, in Toronto and then at Tampa Bay next week, Pedroia got some peace of mind when the scope revealed a bruised kneecap.
“There was kind of two different opinions,’’ Pedroia said before the game. “So we wanted to make sure that before I played on turf, everything was cool and nothing would happen. One doctor said there could’ve been a cartilage thing, but we kind of ruled that out."
Asked if his knee would require offseason surgery, Pedroia replied, “No, I don’t think so. We really didn’t discuss that. The biggest thing was to make sure that I’m OK right now and Dr. Gill said I am, so I play.’’

Put him in, Tito, he's ready to play, according to the John Sebastion song CENTERFIELD. I just hope he doesn't try to do too much too soon or the end result might not be a happy one. C'mon Pedey! Good luck. My fingers are crossed. It's 11:45am EDT so the game is not too far away. Here are the lineups...

RED SOX (37-26)
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Ortiz DH
Lowrie 3B
Crawford LF
Scutaro SS
Drew RF
Varitek C

Pitching: RHP John Lackey (3-5, 7.60).

BLUE JAYS (32-31)
Escobar SS
Patterson LF
Bautista RF
Lind 1B
Encarnacion DH
Molina C
Davis CF
Nix 3B
McCoy 2B

Pitching: RHP Brandon Morrow (2-3, 4.50)

Game time: 1:07 p.m.

Boston Red Sox Reel Off Their Seventh Straight Victory

Last night versus the Toronto Blue Jays up in Canada the Boston Red Sox kept winning and beat them by a score of 5-1, giving them their seventh straight consecutive win. Currently, Boston is in first place all by themselves, followed by New York and Tampa. I said it yesterday and I'll say it in the future...WHAT A COMEBACK! Ellsbury had a three hit game as did Pedroia. Pedey had an RBI, though. Adrian Gonzalez continued his torrid start with two safeties and his impeccable first base defense was there for all to see.

Today, the afternoon will be the stage as we take on the birds once again. TOILING ON THE MOUND WILL BE Morrow and Lackey and Lester and Draback on Sunday. Another sweep? Well, it's so much fun to watch and see exactly what happened. So that's my plan. Here's what the AL East looks like right now. The Red Sox are in first place with a record of 37-26, one game in front of the 34-27 Yankees. Tampa Bay is 33-30. Life, at least in baseball, is just fine, thank you. SO SOX!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Red Sox Complete Three Game Sweep Of Yankees With An 8-3 Victory...Pedey OK

The Boston Red Sox completed a well deserved three game sweep over the NY Yankees with an 8-3 victory over the pinstriped pinheads yesterday. After a three hour twenty seven minute rain delay, the Sox quickly were down 2-0 after one inning. That's the way the score stayed until the Sox scored seven runs in the seventh inning. That was all she wrote as Boston cruised from there. Josh Beckett started and pitched seven innings, giving up a respectable four hits and two runs. Albers and Wheeler followed with two innings of respectable ball (one run on one hit combined) and the sweep was official. Here's our starter, Josh Beckett...

“It’s satisfying to come back and win a game like that. Watching them score those runs, especially against a pitcher like that (Sabathia), it was incredible."

It was fun and now Boston has a two game lead over NY (one in loss column) in the AL East race. Meanwhile, back on the Dustin Pedroia health watch, it looks like Boston's second baseman WILL NOT need surgery on his right knee.. He was orthopedically scoped yesterday afternoon and all it showed was a bone bruise. Here's the Boston skipper, Terry "Tito" Francona...

“He’s pounding on that thing. We just want to make sure that’s exactly what it is, and if he pounds on it again, he’s not going to hurt himself.”

It's always better to be safe than sorry and that's exactly what the club was. Pedey could be in there today when the Red Sox play the first of four up in Canada. Here are the particulars...

Fri. 10 at Tor** 7:07 PM ET NESN/RSN** C. Buchholz (4-3) vs. J. Reyes (2-4)
Sat. 11 at Tor** 1:07 PM ET NESN/RSN** J. Lackey (3-5) vs. B. Morrow (2-3)
Sun. 12 at Tor** 1:07 PM ET NESN/RSN** J. Lester (8-2) vs. K. Drabek (4-4)

Oh Canada, here we come! No time for a letdown. Let's keep winning two of every three games. That's a surefire recipe for success. Have a great weekend, click on this post's title for all the video you could ever want and as always, BE WELL.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Yankees Fall To Red Sox Again 11-6...Pedey Out A Month For Knee Surgery?

Good news and bad news for the Boston Red Sox highlighted Wednesday. First, the good news. Boston defeated the NY Yankees 11-6 to take over first place all by themselves. What a turnaround! Tim Wakefield pitched into the sixth inning (5.1 IP) and gave up five runs on five hits. New York did not hit the ball hard more than a handful of times. Timmy said this about that after the game...

“I think I pitched better than the results. I think I pitched pretty well.’’

J.D. Drew homered and drove in three runs for the Red Sox. Carl Crawford and David Ortiz also homered while Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits. The Red Sox collected 11 hits and eight walks against three Yankees pitchers and looked balanced and superior.

“We played really good as a team,’’ Wakefield said. “We’re in June now and games are starting to mean a little more. We’re pleased.

Alfredo Aceves, who has given the Boston bullpen a HUGE boost, finished the game in one run fashion. He has been clutch and might have finally found his role for this team. The news wasn't all good, however. Pedey has had pain in his right knee for the past month and, according to the man himself, will have an arthroscopic procedure to find out what's wrong inside that joint. The team says there is no procedure scheduled and that Pedey is being overdramatic. Here he is...

"It could keep me out a month. It's not what I want. But I have to get it checked out. It's been bothering me a lot. It's hard to hit with something wrong with your legs. I've been trying."

I hope the doctors check it out and I pray Pedey won't be out that long. My goodness, that injury epidemic has been and is nibbling all around the team. SHOO. But the fact is, the Sox are playing great baseball and I hope nothing will interfere with their stellar play.

The rivals go again tonight shortly after 7pm EDT and it'll be Josh Beckett and CC Sabathia battling on the mound. I like our chances for a sweep. That would be so sweet. Click on this post's title for more replays and articles on this fifth win in a row for our "good guys." As always, BE WELL. Thanks.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Boston 6 Yankees 4

Jon Lester, who had two extra days off between starts, gutted it out for six up & down innings but in the end he was good enough as the Boston Red Sox earned a share of first place with a 6-4 victory in the Big Apple. Here he is...

“Executed some pitches, minimized the damage, which was good, and just tried to get these guys back in the dugout as quick as possible. I didn’t do a great job of that, but with their lineup, you try to do it as quick as you can."

Lester became the first AL eight game winner. Big Papi David Ortiz hit a two run tater and continued his tremendous 2011. Jonathon Papelbon, in front of his all-time idol, Mo Rivera, became the fastest pitcher to reach 200 saves. He did it in 359 games. Congats, Paps. Here he is...

“I’m excited about it. It’s something that I take pride in. This game will definitely hold an extra little special something in my heart. I’ll think about this for a little but tonight and tomorrow just move forward. Just keep doing what I’m doing.’’

He retired the Yankees in the ninth to earn that save and help his team enjoy a share of first place. I haven't said much about NY starter Freddy Garcia because the less said, the better. He was that bad. He was humiliated in front of 48,000 plus fans, much to my delight. But today's another day and the two rivals begin game #2 tonight shortly after 7pm EDT. It'll be Wakefield versus Burnett. The way Boston has been thumping and bumping their foes, I'd go with them. But I always do!

Thanks for stopping in, click on this post's title for more about last night's game, including video, and as always, BE WELL.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Ortiz Player Of The Week...Yankee/Red Sox Details

This release from Major League Baseball:

"David Ortiz was named the American League Player of the Week after he batted .545 and hit four doubles and two homers and drove in six runs last week. In six games last week, Ortiz batted .545 (12-for-22) with four doubles, two home runs, six RBI and five runs scored The award was the second in as many weeks for the Red Sox. Carl Crawford earned the award last week. The 15-year veteran finished tied for first in the A.L. in doubles and total bases (22), was second in batting average, slugging percentage (1.000) and on-base percentage (.583) and was tied for second in the league in hits."

Congratulations, Big Papi. We love ya. If only these injuries to the pitching staff will just (poof) vanish in a cloud of wispy grayish pink smoke.

Tonight begins the latest Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees series, a three game set. Here are the particulars...

Tue. 7 at NYY* 7:05 PM ET* NESN/WWOR** J. Lester (7-2) vs. F. Garcia (4-4)
Wed. 8 at NYY* 7:05 PM ET* ESPN/YES** T. Wakefield (2-1) vs. A. Burnett (6-3)
Thu. 9 at NYY* 7:05 PM ET* NESN/WWOR** J. Beckett (4-2) vs. C. Sabathia (7-3)

So the place to be is Yankee Stadium if you like this baseball rivalry. Enjoy. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the University of Connecticut men's baseball team. They reached the NCAA super regionals by defeating baseball powerhouse Clemson in CLEMSON. The final score was 14-1. Now the Huskies have a three-game super regional series at South Carolina beginning Saturday at 6 p.m. against the defending champion Gamecocks. Two wins are all that blocks UConn's path to Omaha, Neb., site of the College World Series. That's amazing! If you want to know more, simply click on this post's title for an all-inclusive article from the Hartford Courant. As always, BE WELL.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Lackey Pitches Well In A 6-3 Red Sox Win

John Lackey was able to go five and two thirds innings. He gave up three runs and that's much better than earlier in the season. Boston defeated and swept Oakland by a score of 6-3. Bard pitched an effortless one-two-three ninth, a welcome change from Papelbon's unpredictability. Lacks said after the game that the rest coupled with a cortisone shot did the trick...for now. Here he is...

"It definitely felt better than it has been. My slider was definitely a little harder, a little sharper today than it has been. Physically I’m going to feel something (elbow). It just is what it is in there. But I felt I was ready to go, ready to compete.’’

And the Boston skipper, Terry Francona, had these glowing words...

“Really professional game. He stayed down for the most part, threw his breaking ball, had some depth on his fastball. I thought that was what we hoped for.’’

The Red Sox are still in second place, two games behind the NY Yankees, who we play in a three game series starting Tuesday. The Sox had their three best starters slated to go Tuesday through Thursday, just the way it was planned, but Clay Buchholz has been bothered by his back so he'll be pushed back to Friday. Wakes will pitch in his stead. I want to stress one thing, however. With Matzasuka gone, maybe for good, Lackey becomes an even more important part of the machine, a part that has to perform with maximum effectiveness. And again, it seems the major injury problems have befallen the Boston pitcher, much unlike last year.

I'll have the Yankee/Red Sox pitching match ups first thing tomorrow morning. Until then, have a great day, click on this post's title for more on the Sox including highlights of yesterday's action and as always, BE WELL.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Boston 9 Oakland 8 (14)

I have to be brief this morning. The Boston Red Sox defeated the Oakland A's by a score of 9-8 in fourteen innings yesterday at Fenway Park. Papelbon turned a big lead into a tie and the innings marched on. Aceves pitched well in the extra frames and JD Drew had his first hit of the game that won it. The fans who were still there went wild. But I'll leave you with this one thought...can Papelbon continue his juggling act without manager Terry Francona doing something about it? I don't know about that but there's another game to be played this afternoon at 1:35pm EDT. It'll be a sorely missed Lackey versus Anderson before a day off Monday. On Tuesday, the Yankees await.

Thanks for stopping in, click on this post's title for more and as always, BE WELL.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

A Comeback Win By The Red Sox...Saturday's Red Sox Game An Afternoon Affair

Clay Buchholz was clearly struggling Friday night at Fenway Park in a game Boston had to claw themselves back from a first inning four run outburst by the Oakland A's. They did just that and won the contest by a score of 8-6, breaking their four game losing streak. Two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth carried the Sox to victory while the bullpen stymied the A's for the last four and one third innings. Boston starter Buchholz was only able to go four and two thirds innings, giving up eight hits and six runs. He has clearly not hit his "groove," not by a long shot. Hey Clay, it's June already! Carl Crawford had the BIG hit, a broken bat bases loaded single in the seventh frame that drove in the all important two runs. Here he is...

“That’s a big win for us considering we were behind twice."

Great job, Carl. ANY win is a big one when your team is on a four game skid. Adrian Gonzalez was the hits leader with three safeties. There is one thing worrying me deeply and that is this. Is Clay Buchholz injured in any way? He usually has everything worked out with his pitching mechanics by the first week of June but it just hasn't happened yet in 2011. With the pitcher injury plight that we're in the midst of, nothing could surprise me right now. Let's hope he's physically OK.

The start time of the Boston/Oakland game today (Saturday) has been moved up to 1:10pm EDT in accommodate those lucky fans who want to see both the Sox and the Bruin's nighttime playoff game. Good luck to those Bruins. I'm not an NHL fan, not since the Whalers went south, but the Bruins wear that Boston logo so I'll always root for them from afar. Go Bruins and this afternoon, go Sox!

I want to wish every one of you a great Saturday and a terrific weekend as the sun slowly rises before my eyes (yes, I can type on the keyboard and look out the sliding glass door at the same time). It's a beautiful sight. And so are you. Please click on this post's title to read and see all the highlights of last night's Fenway action and as always, BE WELL.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Matsuzaka Goes Home For Surgery..Hill Update.. Lackey Ready

The Boston Red Sox and their pitcher, Daisuke Matsuzaka, have reached a decision over what course of action to take that would allow him to pitch again, for Boston or for another team. As is becoming the norm much too often, the two parties have differing opinions. Here's the team's stance...

“We got to figure out how the best to go about this. Certainly, the player or the pitcher has to have some opinion, too. But you always, I think, go about it non-operatively first. It just seems like it makes most sense to me.”

However, and this is a BIG however, a decision was already reached by Matsuzaka and agent Scott Boras and he will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on his elbow. Matsuzaka is expected to inform the Red Sox of that on Thursday, if he hasn't already. Matsuzaka wants it one way, going under the knife, the team wants to play it safe with no scalpels involved. I don't have the medical savvy to say which is the better choice. But wait! There's more bad news about this 2011 pitcher's blight, unlike last year's injuries to too many of the everyday players. Sidearm lefty reliever Rich Hill, who hasn't surrendered a run in his last eight innings of work, has a serious injury that will likely require surgery. An elbow strain is the likely culprit. Boston now does not have a lefty in the 'pen. They can fix that but these injuries to our pitching staff are alarmingly prevalent.

The Sox welcome the Oakland A's to Fenway Park to start a three game weekend series. Here's all you need to know...

Fri. 3 Oak 7:10 PM ET** CSCA/NESN* C. Buchholz (4-3) vs. J. Outman (1-0)
Sat. 4 Oak 1:10 PM ET** CSCA/NESN* J. Beckett (4-2) vs. T. Cahill (6-3)
Sun. 5 Oak 1:35 PM ET** CSCA/NESN* J. Lackey (2-5) vs. B. Anderson (3-5)

I hope the Sox can start a new winning streak with two of their top three guys going. It does look like John Lackey WILL be back on the mound on Sunday. That's great news but the minuses outweigh the plusses. We'll see what happens when we start a set with the Yankees on Tuesday. I'm concerned but I'm faithfully hopeful. Have yourself a great Friday, click on this post's title for more on the Sox and as always, BE WELL.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Happiness? Not at Fenway Park Last Night

There was nothing good for the Boston Red Sox last night as their comeback try failed and the White Sox prevailed by a score of 10-7. Their starting pitcher, Aceves, had an off night (to say the least). One bright note was Big Papi David Ortiz' three run tater. It wasn't enough, not by a long shot. This afternoon at 1:05pm EDT, it'll be Wakes versus Floyd. We need some good news and it might have something to do with John Lackey...

"John Lackey lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowed three hits and one run with no walks and four strikeouts in his rehab outing vs. Norfolk in Pawtucket tonight. He threw 63 pitches, 46 strikes."

After he's checked out, we should see him up here in a few days...if all goes right. We need him in that rotation...badly. Hello Lackey, bye (for now) Aceves.

That's all I have for you right now. The Boston Red Sox continue their mediocre play after an extended run of May magic. Let's hope this stops immediately. Click on this post's title for more depressing details and as always, BE WELL. Thanks.