Sunday, July 31, 2011

No Soup (Or Harden) For You...

That's the latest from the Boston Herald. I think the Boston Red Sox didn't want another oft-injured and injured-now pitcher. That right. They passed on Harden and now Harden could go to work slinging burgers at Hardees...or something.

Opportunities galore. Burgers, fries and everything. I'll take a baked or steamed lobster after a bowl of clam chowder New England style...AND NOT AT HARDEES.

GO SOX. Thanks.

Lester Has It Going. A Trade Or Two? It Looks Like One..Boston 10 CWS 2..Losing CWS Streak Over

Good morning on this day after the Boston Red Sox FINALLY beat those pesky Chicago White Sox. The Pale Hose streak is over, dead as a doornail. This much is known to be true because it happened! I read a report published by the Boston Globe blog EXTRA BASES which read as follows...

"I'm here and staying here," Harden told reporters in Oakland tonight. "I'm happy to be part of this organization. I'm looking forward to starting Tuesday."

Yes, that's Rich Harden, who earlier last evening insisted he would be traded to Boston by next week. Conflicting reports breed questons so I'll just sit on this for an hour or two (or three) and get back to you with the outcome. Now, on to last night's 10-2 Sox victory...

Nothing like starting a Sunday morning with a little controversy. But there was no such thing last night at Fenway Park. A mix of Jon Lester at his best for eight innings coupled with five of the Sox players collecting double figures (Gonzo..3 hits, Pedey, Youk, Salty and Scootie all with 2 hits) did the spades. Boston scored 4 runs in the fifth inning and put every doubter to rest with five more in the ninth. That was the knife to the heart blow that took the breath away from Chicago...forever, at least for the rest of Saturday. I'll say it again...Jon Lester was hitting his spots and if nothing's bothering him he can do exactly that. Oh, what a relief it was!


This came in last night...

CHICAGO -- "The Red Sox, who have been in an exhaustive hunt for a starting pitcher before Sunday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline, thought they had their man. By the late innings of Saturday's 10-2 win over the White Sox, Boston's front office felt it was closing in on a deal that would have brought right-hander Rich Harden over in a trade with the Oakland Athletics.
But by the time the A's had finished their 8-3 win over the Twins, Harden told media members in Oakland that he wasn't being traded. Harden said that general manager Billy Beane informed him he would be making his next scheduled start for the A's on Tuesday. A source directly involved in the talks between the two teams confirmed Harden's account -- that the deal fell through. After reviewing Harden's medical records, the Red Sox were left unconvinced that the righty could get through the rest of the season healthy"

OK, well, that seems to put that plan to rest. For the Red Sox to turn down someone because he's not in good enough shape to perform is something Boston usually says "Oh, our medical guys will be able to get him back to feeling great." More often than not, that scenario never quite comes true so Harden must have a lot of little aches and pains or one fairly bad injury. The last thing this club needs is another starting pitcher pitching less than his capabilities allow him to because of an injury. So I think, without knowing all the particulars, Boston might have done a good thing here. WE NEED BUCHHOLZ BACK..soon!

One more trade was a successful one yesterday as KC infielder Mike Aviles was acquired for utility guy Navarro and minor league pitcher Kendal Volz. I'm not familiar with the latter. I will be soon, that I promise. But the important part of the trade duo of trades is that Harden is out and Aviles is in. If Rich Harden were to mosey on over to Boston, the Sox would have traded the much heralded Lars Anderson, a power first baseman. I think we have that position fairly well covered.

That's it for this morning, a still pre-dark last day of July. Wow, August already. August and September are the two final months of the 2011 regular season. This AL race should be enjoyable, so let's enjoy it. Today's game begins at 2:10pm EDT and the pitchers will be Andrew Miller (4-1) ready to face Mark Buehrle (8-5) Bring it on, Boston!! The Sox start a seven game home stand on Monday.They're coming back to mostly sunny but hot weather when they do.

That's all I have for you right now. Remember, click on the title of this post to see the fireworks from last night, enjoy your Sunday and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you soon, especially if there are any last minute trade deadline shenanigans.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wakefield Throws A "Not Good Enough" Gem...Denied Victory #200..For Now

Tim Wakefield last night at Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, pitched a gem, a beauty that on most nights would have earned him his 200th win, and with good reason. Boston lost to The Pale Hose by a score of 3-1. Over seven innings, Wakes only surrendered three hits and three runs before the bullpen came on and kept the score the same. The only problem? His opponent pitched better. Over seven innings, Gavin Floyd gave up the same three hits but allowed only one run to cross the plate. 8 out of ten times, Wakes would have won this game. But last night? No. The White Sox catcher, AJ Pierzynski, sees different pitchers every day so he's the first up with his analysis of Wakefied's signature pitch...

"That was the best knuckleball I've seen him throw since I've watched him, and I've faced him a whole bunch. It was just dropping, every one, and moving left, right, up and down. People don't understand how hard it is to that. They look up and they see 65 mph and they don't really realize how hard it is to actually hit that thing."

It's like trying to hit a baseball-sized frisbee that is curling in, moving back and forth and up and down towards you. Here's Pedey with his observation...

"He did a great job. He was locating his fastball, he was locating his cutter. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap."

And lastly, the Boston leader of the band, Tito Francona...

"He was great. He gave up three hits, unfortunately one stayed up to Pierzynski and it leaves the ballpark. The way their guys pitched, it was too much. But he was terrific."

That one to Pierzynski doomed us, but only for that one game. The NY Yankees were nice enough to lose, too. I thank them with a bow and a smirk and a few muttered words under my breath, none of them nice.

We have another game this evening at 7:10pm EDT. On the mound for the Boston Red Sox will be J. Lester (10-4) versus the hurler for Chicago, P. Humber (8-6) The White Sox can take their hot "deep dish" pizza and sit on 'em. That's one way of warming them up before the customer starts working on it. Oh, back to the subject at hand. The Sox will take this one tonight.
I'm pretty darn sure of it.

Have a great weekend and a wonderful Saturday as some of us wait for that 7:10pm tilt. Until then, click on this post's title for more on the game with videos and as always, BE WELL. This is my 3010th post so I hope I'm still doing something right after these 5 1/2 years. I'll always love the Sox but I won't always be blogging. But have no fear, there IS no end in sight, God willing. Not right now. Now let's go out and WIN ONE FOR ME, guys, and one for you, my Constant Readers. We're a team..remember?

Enjoy your Saturday. Thanks for being here. That comes from the heart.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tim Wakefield Goes For Number 200

Timmy Wakefield, the Red Sox knuckleball expert, goes for his 200th victory this evening in Chicago. Here he is...

"The last couple starts haven't been that great, but they've been good enough. I'm fortunate to be on a great team, and I've been able to get some wins here and there."

Let's hope the Boston bats are in working order. Enjoy! Good luck, Timmy.

In From Right, The Wind Keeps Kansas City Royals In The Game..Kansas City 4 Boston 3

The wind was blowing in from right at the start of the game and might have cost Boston a walk-off win. It was the bottom of the ninth and KC was up by a run at 4-3. Carl Crawford strode to the plate to pinch hit. He hit a high, HIGH fly ball that carried until it got to the warning track. I remember thinking that the ball was lofted so high, when it comes down it will land in the stands. But nooo. Jeff Francoeur takes up the story. After all, he's the one who caught it...

"I thought that ball was gone, I really did. I put my head down and just started running back as hard as I could. If there's no breeze, I think that ball's got a shot. I was going full-speed into the stands, because that's the kind of wall you can reach over.
Good thing there's no Green Monster in right field or we'd be talking about a 5-4 Red Sox win."

If there was a wall there a la in left field, I think the ball would have scraped that wall on its descent. A home run wasn't in the cards even with the preceding scenario. But still, so close and yet so far but I'll tell you something. I was three feet off the ground celebrating, a joyous time which ended abruptly when the ball landed in Jeff's glove. I swear 75 % of the Fenway Fanatics and most of the NESN audience, including Orsillo and RemDog, thought it was going out. But Royals starter Luke Hochevar out pitched Josh Beckett, who had one bad inning by giving up four runs in the fourth inning. Hochevar took over and made the 4-2 lead hold up.

Boston's hottest hitter, Justin Pedey Pedroia, upped his hitting streak to 25 games with a home run to pull us to within one run but with Crawford's ball knocked down by the wind, they couldn't score that elusive run number four. Here's Josh Beckett with a comment about the hotter-than-hell Pedey...

"I feel good every time the guy comes up to the plate right now. He's hitting almost .400 in this hitting streak and a lot of it is damage. It's not like he's getting his infield hit and calling it a day. He's hitting a double or a homer."

Hey Josh, how about YOUR effort...

"Sometimes you make good pitches and they get hit. Sometimes you make terrible pitches and they hit them at guys. That's kind of the story of today, with the exception of the one inning."

The thing is, Beckett was pitching a vintage Beckett game for the first three frames and then, uncharacteristically, he walked a couple, gave up some base hits and suddenly KC was on the board with four. I had changed the television channel for ten minutes to check on something. I remember reading on Lauren's blog (Too Soxy For My Shirt, on my link list second one from the's too funny and knowledgable) that the Royals had scored and I thought she was kidding. But then I thought to myself..."Lauren doesn't make up things about her beloved Sox." Sure enough, I tuned back to NESN and instead of 2-0 Sox it was 4-2 Royals. Blame that inning partially on me. But the lack of Boston's offensive exploits on this warm and beautiful day was all because of Royal pitching. I know it's hard to believe but it's true. Hocevar and his relievers stuffed us. Splitting four games with a team like KC is not acceptable, not the way the Red Sox have been playing. The Yankees were idle so we're 2 1/2 games up in the AL East.

The team is already in Chicago preparing for a three game series with the tough Pale Hose that begins tonight. At the same time, the Yankees have an easy assignment...that would be to play a series with Baltimore. That's the way the MLB schedule worked out. Here are the game pitching match-ups for you...

Fri. 29 at CWS 8:10 PM ET** NESN/CSN** T. Wakefield (6-3) vs. G. Floyd (8-9)
Sat. 30 at CWS 7:10 PM ET** NESN/WGN** J. Lester (10-4) vs. P. Humber (8-6)
Sun. 31 at CWS 2:10 PM ET** TBS/CSN **A. Miller (4-1) vs. M. Buehrle (8-5)

Finally, I'd like to wish you a great Friday and a terrific weekend coming up. If you'd like to click on this post's title, you'll be able to see Crawford's high and long shot as well as Beckett's disastrous fourth. Give it a look and as always, BE WELL. See you tomorrow morning if not sooner. Right now, Boston's tentacles are all over the place out there searching for that one player deemed good enough to make a deal for. I'm not saying that's going to happen but you never know. The trading deadline is just about upon us.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Boston Red Sox Day Baseball Coming Up..Updates Starting In The Bottom Of The Seventh..Comeback Needed NOW

Yes, live at 1:35pm EDT, it's the Sox versus the KC Royals. Here is Boston's starting lineup...

1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Pedroia, 2B
3. Gonzalez, 1B
4. Youkilis, 3B
5. Ortiz, DH
6. Reddick, RF
7. Sutton, LF
8. Varitek, C
9. Navarro, SS

Why no Carl Crawford? It turns out that he had an aching elbow and received a cortisone shot yesterday (Wed.). Tito Francona says he should be back tomorrow. One more my last post, just below this one, I mentioned that Clay Buchholz would be getting another doctor evaluation today. It might not be until Monday at the latest.

We've got Josh going today. For once I'd like to see the offense bloom for HIM. He's been a victim of poor run support. Hmm. That could be remedied today in the next couple of hours. ENJOY THE GAME. GO SOX!

Seventh inning stretch finds Boston down 4-2 to KC. Beckett had one hideous inning, the fourth. This seventh inning will be his last no matter what. Like a faucet, the offense can be turned on (as it has lately) or off. Let's change off to on. Sutton is at first to start this. Never underestimate the Boston Red Sox. I'll be back in a bit.

That was a quick "bit." After seven full, 4-2 KC. Pedey hits one over the Monster, extending his hitting streak to 25 GAMES. 4-3 Royals in the bottom of the eighth. Papi up with two down. Let's tie this up. After eight, 4-3 Royals. I was so sure we'd be going into the final inning knotted at four. Here we go. Albers on the mound. That's either a "yay" or an "oy." 3-0 turns to 3-1. NO MORE KC RUNS, Matt. One down on a nice catch in left. Base hit, a single by Pedey. One out, one on. No one on. 'Tek throws the runner out trying to steal second. Escobar up and he promptly singles. Let's keep this a one run ball game. The count with two outs is 1-2. Escobar steals second on a pitch out. Remember that. 3-2. It all going to happen, hopefully nothing. Gordon walks. Fifth walk by Sox pitchers. Let's just get this one out and we just did. Fly ball to Reddick in right and we move into the bottom of the ninth.

New paragraph. With three outs to go for team Boston, KC's closer is in. Reddick at the plate and he grounds to second. ONE OUT. Damn. Or darn. Sutton up, Sutton on first. Anyone in the mood for a walk-off? I wish. Carl Crawford pinch hitting. 1-0. 1-2 with a bad swing at a fat fast ball. 2-2. CC fouls it off. Still 2-2. Holy moley...CC hits a ball to the deepest part of right field but it falls short and is caught. Everybody thought it was gone. I do not like splitting four games with KC. 1-2 to Navarro. All or nothing time turns into nothing time. FINAL...4-3 KC. I'll have more first thing in the morning.

Papi Grande Powers Red Sox Victory. Boston Red Sox 12 Kansas City Royals 5

The Boston Red Sox Wednesday night defeated the KC Royals by a score of 12-5. The game's big blow was David Ortiz' grand slam in the fourth inning which made the score 10-3. The four RBIs gave Ortiz 1,000 during his Boston tenure. Only five others have reached the 1,000 RBI milestone for the Red Sox -- the distinguished quintet of Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans and Bobby Doerr. What an accomplishment! Here is our Big Papi...

"This is what, my ninth year here? When your name gets in the mix with guys that played here their whole career, it's a compliment. It's something that you don't think about it right now while you're playing. You kind of sit down later and say, 'Well, I did OK while I was there." I think Ellsbury and Pedroia, they're making it tougher on everyone else,. What they're doing at the top of the lineup, it's ridiculous. You don't get that on a daily basis from the first- and second-hole hitter. They're putting so much pressure on the pitcher. Winning is something that we expect every day. That's why we get ready to play every day. Even the guys coming up, they get that feeling when they walk into this clubhouse. They know this is a winning ballclub and everybody around here gets prepared to play and to win games. You know, you can see it around here. When we lose a game, it's like the end of the world because we're ready to win games and play the game the way it's supposed to be."

And that's exactly what they've been doing. Coupled with a Yankees loss, their AL East lead is back to three full games. John Lackey started and, before most people were settled in their seats, gave up a three run tater. When I saw the ball sail into the stands, I thought "Is this the start of a deluge?" It wasn't. Lacks settled down although he gave up a ton of hits in his 5 1/3 innings. I say every game that he starts and we win is like icing on the Red Sox Nation cake. We Red Sox fans know that we root for a team that can hit the s*it out of the ball and last night, they did it again. Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedey Pedroia, the first two hitters in the Red Sox lineup, smashed taters and they went from there. Ellsbury, Pedroia, and Gonzalez each had three hits. Ells and Pedey are ridiculously hot, white hot fire hot. And Lackey was good enough in a maddening way. Here he is...

"I felt pretty good. I felt strong starting off. I wish the first inning would have gone a little smoother, and then I would have had a little more in the tank getting into the game. But I didn't. It kind of turned into a little bit of a grind."

Grind away, John. Do anything you can to win. Without Buchholz, who is seeing yet another back doctor today (just a formality?), the Red Sox are not as strong as they could be. That's obvious. The trading deadline is tomorrow and I think Boston has to shell out for a number five guy or experiment with someone already in their system. One though three...we're solid as a rock with Lester, Beckett and...err...we're solid as a rock with our first two starters, then there's Wakes and Lackey. I love Wakes but in his last few starts he has given up a ton of runs and Lackey is Lackey. We need Buchholz back by the end of August. Yes, that's what they're saying right now but I'll wait for the doctor's opinion to be released to the public.

It's day baseball as the two teams conclude their four game series with J. Beckett (9-3) to take on L. Hochevar (6-8). The game begins at 1:35 pm EDT. The team will then start a road trip in Chicago to play three with the other Sox, the white ones. But first things first...enjoy the afternoon bliss if you can and I'll be back later this afternoon with a report or four. You can click on this post's title to see all the highlights of last night's happiness in Boston and as always, BE WELL. GO SOX. We love ya!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Just A Thought From John...

"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down "happy". They told me I didn’t understand the assignment.

I told them they didn’t understand life."

— John Lennon

That's so true and also the first time I've ever read that. Remember...just be happy.

Pedey Pedroia And Big Papi David Ortiz Power Red Sox 13-9 with Four Hits Apiece

What a difference a day makes. Monday, both the Red Sox and their opponents strived to score one run for a very long time. Last night, Tuesday, runs were not hard to come by. On the down side, Boston starter Andrew Miller lasted a scant 3 2/3 innings, giving up nine hits and seven runs, 5 of them earned. Then POOF. He was gone (thank goodness). Should the team look for a legitimate number five guy? To me, it all depends on how Clay Buchholz is progressing. Last night, Aceves came in and saved the day as well as the bullpen with 3 1/3 shutout innings. By then, the Red Sox bats had done their work. The hitting stars? Big Papi David Ortiz (4 hits!) and our spark plug, Pedey Pedroia. Pedroia came within a hit of hitting for the cycle. On Pedey batting fourth in the place of Kevin Youkilis, here's our Papi...

“If I’m Tito, I’d let him hit cleanup the whole year. Make it easy for us. It’s crazy but the little guy’s numbers are ridiculous the way he hits. Might as well take advantage of it, right? Hitting is about feeling good and having your hands and eye coordination going on at the same time. We've got a good hitting ballclub. Once we get going, we're hard to stop.

And here's Pedey...

"It was a crazy game because Monday night, both teams were struggling to score one run for a long time. So tonight was different. It was a good night to hit. The wind was blowing out and both teams swung the bat really well. We just had that one big inning and kind of held on."

The other hero of the game, Alfredo Aceves, has been effective in the 'pen for a long time. For those of you who think it would be wise to make him the #5 guy in the rotation, forget about it! He's way too valuable to the team when he comes in from the bullpen and does his three or four magic innings, just like last night. Here's Terry Francona, Boston Red Sox skipper...

"We got in our bullpen a lot last night. If he doesn't do what he did, you're asking a lot from the rest of the bullpen. The ability to not just get people out, but to go multiple innings is so important. It's been so valuable to us."

Ortiz knocked in five and had four hits, three of them doubles. He is having such a great year so far. But I have to stress this...if Clay Buchholz comes back as soon as he's expected to and can be effective again, there are your five starters. I'll name them...Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, Wakefield and Lackey. Good enough.

So that's the story of a Tuesday night in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. The wind was blowing out, the hitters took advantage of it and our Alfredo Aceves stopped the Royals for more than three innings, almost four, to seal the deal.

Tonight's another night with another game scheduled. Boston & KC will put Lackey and Chen on the mound. I hope Lackey can keep his good streak going. The bullpen is rested enough so Bard and Paps, if needed, should be available. Aceves will sit a couple of days but it's nice to know he's out there (with a Boston uniform).

That's it for this Wednesday Hump Day. If you'd like, click on this post's title to be zapped to the Sox official web site and watch so many things there, including all the highlights in their "every game" highlight reel. Just look for the circular emblem with the two team's logos on it. Today, it's in the left center of the screen. You'll see it. You need your sound on. As always, BE WELL, and GO SOX!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Long Evening's Journey Into Morning...Sox Lose To Royals 3-1 In 14

If last night's Fenway Park game with the KC Royals was a book, it'd be a mighty big one. But let me get ahead of myself, back to the future. Marco Scutaro couldn't believe what he was seeing when Josh Reddick started sprinting home after Scutaro took a pitch inside. The problem was: Scutaro knew right away what a mistake he had made. Scutaro missed a suicide squeeze sign with Reddick on third base and one out in the 12th inning, and the Kansas City Royals scored twice two innings later to beat the Red Sox 3-1 in a rain-delayed game that ended early Tuesday morning. Here's Marco himself...

"I just didn't see the sign. My fault. It's my fault. I made sure I double-checked with third base coach Tim Bogar. I made sure I double-checked with him again so I didn't look like a fool out there. I messed up. We had a lot of opportunities to win the game and we didn't make the plays."

But there was a ton more to this game than a botched suicide squeeze play. Now we go back in time. Jon Lester's first start after being out almost two weeks was what was on everyone's minds yesterday. AND HE DID NOT DISAPPOINT. He went 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits, one earned run, two free passes and six strikeouts. I think that says it all. Jon's fine but for once, the Boston offense was stymied by the opponent's pitching. You can't do everything, Jon. Long story short, KC broke the Boston Red Sox winning streak and won the ballgame. Let's do the same to them tonight. We have a chance to do exactly that with three more games coming up with the team from KC, a land of great steak houses and beef. But Sunday night was a rough night for the Boston Red Sox. Simply put, we'll just turn the page. I've already done it. You can, too. It's easy once the "initial burn" of a loss dissipates.

Here are the pitching match ups for the rest of this series...

Tue. 26 KC** 7:10 PM ET FxKC/NESN** A. Miller (4-1) vs. D. Duffy (2-4)
Wed. 27 KC** 7:10 PM ET FxKC/NESN** J. Lackey (8-8) vs. B. Chen (5-3)
Thu. 28 KC** 1:35 PM ET FxKC/NESN** J. Beckett (9-3) vs. L. Hochevar (6-8)

I have one last item. Kevin Youkilis, our cleanup hitter/third baseman, injured (slightly, I hope) his heel. Here's the Red Sox skipper, Terry "Tito" Francona..

"The exam was really good. He (Youk) hit the bag, and I think his heel sort of gave way a little bit. I think we'll stay away from him tomorrow, but hopefully, it won't be anything more than that. Who knows."

We need Kevin Youkilis in the lineup and in the field like a baby needs his bottle and her teething ring. So I'm sure we all hope he wakes up and feels fine. Tonight, we will rely on Andrew Miller, who's impressed me so far. I like our chances. If you'd like, click on this post's title to see the botched suicide squeeze play and much more. Remember, to find the 2 1/2 minute tape of the game highlights, look for a circle with the two team's emblems on it. Thanks.

We'll get 'em tonight. Until then and as always, BE WELL. Have a great Tuesday. GO SOX.

Monday, July 25, 2011

NFL News...

Not that I'm a big fan of professional football like I am of major league baseball, but it looks more and more like there will be football in 2011. Here's a release just in to the Associated Press...

WASHINGTON—"NFL owners and players agreed early Monday to the terms of a deal to end the lockout, and players were expected to begin their voting process later in the day, two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the process was supposed to remain secret and no formal announcement had been made. The NFL Players Association's executive committee was to meet at its headquarters in Washington on Monday so it could be presented with the finalized agreement. NFLPA president Kevin Mawae arrived shortly after 9:30 a.m.
Owners overwhelmingly approved a proposal last week, but some unresolved issues still needed to be figured out to satisfy players; the owners do not need to vote again. The sides worked through the weekend and wrapped up talks Monday morning, one of the people told the AP.
"We have every reason to believe it's going to be a good day," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email to the AP."

Good for them. I love the Patriots and root for them every game but am I enthused by the game itself like I am watching the Boston Red Sox? No way, no how, not even close. But this could be great news for those millions of football fans out there. Click on this post's title for more of the pigskin story. It's not about pulled pork. Thanks.

Wakefield Gets 2,000th Strikeout and 199th Win In The Red Sox 12-8 Win

Tim Wakefield struck out the 2,000th batter of his career and won his 199th game overall as the Sox completed a sweep of the Mariners. The final score was 12-8 for the Red Sox, the best hitting team in baseball. In all, Wakes was able to go 6 1/3 innings and gave up ten hits and seven runs. Aceves finished things up effectively with 2 2/3 innings of three hit one run work. Here's Timmy himself, who received a well deserved standing ovation when he recorded that HUGE strikeout...

"I'd like to have that seventh inning back, but it is what it is. I was very fortunate that we were able to score 12 runs today, which made it a lot easier. That last inning was just pitching to the scoreboard, trying to get through that inning as quickly as possible. I made one bad pitch. I've been fortunate this year to pitch as well as I have. The last couple starts haven't been that great, but they've been good enough. I'm fortunate to be on a great team, and I've been able to get some wins here and there."

Timmy was fun to watch but he did give up a ton of base hits. His team's bats rescued him and every one of us who craved a victory. Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Salty collected three hits each and Big Papi, Jacoby Ellsbury and Josh Reddick all had two hit games. The entire team had seventeen hits. To say the Mariners pitching staff, starters and relief guys, are porously mediocre describes them exactly. I'm not being mean, I'm just typing what I saw. We all saw it! Now the Yankees, who won their game last night to keep us three games ahead in the AL East, have the pleasure of playing them for a three game set with an off day on Thursday. Us? The KC Royals come in for four with no day off this week. Now, on to tonight's game.

Everyone's attention will be on our co-ace, Jon Lester. He makes his first start after being sidelined with an injury. Here's Jon...

“We’ve tested it enough. I’ve had plenty of long toss, so it’s definitely not something that’s on my mind. I wouldn’t go out there if it was still bugging me. It wouldn’t be smart.’’

He's ready. Red Sox Nation is excited and the sky's the limit as to how far this 2011 Boston Red Sox team will go.To me, the importance of the game cannot be exaggerated. Enjoy it. The game will be played in Boston so the starting time is the familiar 7:10pm EDT. May the force be with them.

You can click on this post's title for more and I thank you for stopping in. As always, BE WELL. GO SOX!! Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Red Sox Day Baseball...Live

The Sox and the Mariners have finished the first. In the top of the inning, Tim Wakefield did not have control of his knuckleballs and gave up two runs. But the Red Sox continued their love affair of crooked scoreboard numbers and that's where we are...5-2 Good Guys. I'll be back. C'mon Timmy.

Still 5-2 Sox going into the bottom of the second. That was more like the effective Timmy. Pineda had a 1-2-3 second so after two, 5-2 Boston. The bottom of the first for the Sox featured at least four wall balls. More, please. Timmy's ready to pitch the top of the third. FLUTTER 'em, Wakes.

One out on a fly ball. Wakes looks better but he and Pineda have thrown a lot of pitches. Wakes with a 1-2-3 inning completes the top of the third. Quickly. Sox up in the bottom of the third. out. Great play by Ryan. Papi up. 3-2 count with that one out. Papi strikes out. 2 gone. Pineda, except for the first, looks good. Crawford has his second hit, a single. Here's Reddick. He strikes out for the second time. His hot streak looks like it's ending. After 3, 5-2 Boston.

Wakes starts the 4th with an out, then 2 more! Going into the bottom of the fourth, still 5-2. This game is zipping right along and it's nice to have a three run cushion. But I likes my cushions a little softer, lets say a 7 run cushion. Bottom of the fourth coming up now. Scutaro up with one out. 0-2. It's like a difference between night and day for both pitchers. 2 down with a ground ball Scutie out. Jacoby is out #3. After four, same score (that's rhymed!).

5th inning already. Guttierez walked with one out. No free passes, Tim. Ichiro up. Base hit into right. Men on first and third with one out. Let's turn two! Ryan at the plate. Ichiro fooled and thrown out between first and second! 2 down. Off the wall ball by Ryan and it's 5-3, dammit. Eventually, we're going to need more runs but the half inning is over, the score is 5-3 and the Sox lead off with Pedey, who's looking to extend his hitting streak.

Bottom of the fifth comin' up. One out on a ground ball by Pedey. AGonz is at the plate. Off the shortstop's glove for Adrian's second hit. One out, one on. Youk walks. Men on first and second. Pitching change now. I love the Mariners 'pen because they're usually highly ineffective. Big Papi strides to the plate with one down. Infield ground ball with nowhere the pitcher can throw it. Bases loaded with one down. Carl Crawford at the plate. 2 more runs score with CC's third hit of the day. 7-2 Good Guys. Still one out. Reddick hits a wall ball double. 1 more run in. Salty is up with the score 8-3 Boston. The count is 3-1. Base hit to right! 2 more to make it 10-3. I told you I love the Seattle 'pen. Another pitching change. A five run first and a five run fifth makes for one happy guy and a few tens of thousand others, including Lauren, who's doing this kind of live thing too. We might have to do this again, Lauren.

The inning goes on with Ells up. Top o' the order, my friends. 3-2 to Ells, infield chopper and we already go to the 6th. 10-3 Good Guys. The count is full to Mariner batter number one. Fly ball makes one out. I'm proud of Timmy. Smoak is up. 2 outs on an easy ground ball. The knuckies are fluttering like my heart was. 3 outs! 10-3 Wakes and our Sox going into the bottom of the sixth.

Standing ovation for Wakefield on his 2000th appearance as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Ya gotta love him. Pedey hits a wall ball double and extends his hitting streak to 21!!!! Gonzo up. 2-0. Through the right side, Pedey scores and it's 11-3. NO OUTS. Youk, Lauren's crush, is standing with his hands held high, just like Yaz. He strikes out on an unbelievable curve that started heading for him and then it took a left turn. 1-1 to Papi. One out. Fly ball to Ichiro and there's another out. Crawford is down 0-2. He strikes out to end the sixth. Will Timmy be good for one more? My guess is yes (another rhyme!).

OK, that magic (for Boston) 7th coming up with nine outs to go for the left coasters. Timmy is on the mound for three more outs. He pitches and records out number nine. Remember, if he wins it'll be number 199 in a Red Sox uniform. Holy you-know-what! Single to left with 2 down. One more Timmy, and boy, you'll hear an ovation to end all ovations. Back to back hits...2 on with Aceves starting to warm up. Ichiro at the plate. The count is 1-2. One out. ANOTHER base hit hit. Bases loaded with one out and there it goes...A GRAND SLAM. 11-7 and Aceves is coming in now. If he gets out of this seventh, the eighth might feature Bard, or Aceves if he's effective. And then Paps but I don't want to get ahead of it all. 11-7 is CLOSE ENOUGH!

One out in the top of the seventh. One pitch, one out on a fly ball to Jacoby. 2 down and a swing and a miss. 2-1. Pop up. Pedey ends it with a catch. The bottom of the 7th is coming up. If I had my druthers, Bard, who has been really busy, will only come if he's needed. After the Red Sox do their magic in the bottom of the seventh, I'd put Aceves back in with Paps ready for the ninth (if needed). We'll see.

OK, bottom of inning number 7. Singles by Reddick and Salty. First and third. Pop up by Scutaro. One down. Here's Jacoby. Base hit, a looping one. 12-7 with Gonzo at the plate. Ground ball to first. Going to the eighth...I like it. Will it be Aceves or Bard? I say the former.

OK, the eighth begins with Aceves back on the hill. Kennedy up. 0-1. Nasty pitch makes it 0-2. Foul ball. Ground ball out to Pedey. 2 down. Strike one. Aceves looks GREAT! Pop up in front of Reddick in right. Base hit. One out and a man on first. Kennedy has a 2-2 count. PUNCH him out! Foul, still 2-2. Full count with the score still 12-7 Sox. Strikeout for out number two in the eighth. Carl catches it deep and we go to the bottom of the eighth. Paps time? We'll see after the bottom of the frame.

Navarro strikes out for out number 1. Papi stands in. Foul tip. 0-1. Outside twice...2-1. Now 2 outs and Crawford up with a full count. BALL 4. A one out walk with Reddick standing in. He whiffed and we're ready to start the top of the ninth.

Aceves ready to close this one out. Guttierez has the count 1-1. Base hit to center, a single with no one out. Ichiro up. C'mon Aceves. The count is 0-2. Ground ball to Pedey. One out with Guttierez going to second with a meaningless run. Ground ball to Scutie. 2 outs!!! One more Mr. Aceves. Foul ball...the count now is 2-1. Swing and a miss. 2-2 and the crowd is on their feet as one. Foul ball on the screen. Still 2-2. Why am I se nervous. Peter, look at the score, you dummy. OK, here we go. Ball...3-2. RBI double by Ackley. 12-8. Warm up Paps slowly. Please. 0-1. We need two strikes or a nice little ground ball. Swing and miss again! 0-2 with two outs. Another foul ball...just. Pitch not close. 1-2. GAME OVER! A fly to Carl C. 12-8 final to bestow the Seattle Mariners their team loss record.

Bye now. I hope you enjoyed my live blog but I need a bigger mirror. My HD TV is too heavy to move. Now bring on the Royals for four.

Saturday GOOD NEWS Part Two..The Red Sox Are In Seventh Heaven

It looked like the Seattle Mariners were finally going to break their 14 game losing streak. They were up against the Boston Red Sox by a score of 1-0. It was the bottom of the seventh and Josh Beckett, who was marvelous once again, had just walked off the mound for the last time. He had given up only one run through those seven frames but unless his team scored in the bottom of the inning, he would not be a part of the final decision. But have no fear! The seventh inning team was coming to bat with their last chance to reward Beckett with the victory. And guess what...they scored three runs to forge ahead 3-1. The Sox have outscored their 2011 opponents 90-32 in the seventh inning which, to me is amazing! Bard and Papelbon made short work of the Mariners from there and the Red Sox won the game. Here's Jacoby Ellsbury to talk about the magic seventh innings his team has had...

"Maybe the seventh inning is the time that we've seen the starting pitcher a couple times and he might be wearing down. It's kind of hard to pinpoint one exact thing, because there could be a reliever in there. But whatever the seventh is, we've been scoring runs in it."

Josh Becket was unbelievable yet again and it's becoming obvious to all of Red Sox Nation that he's back, back with a vengeance. If Jon Lester, who pitches on Monday night, has made similar recovery strides, Boston will have their fearsome fivesome intact except for Clay Buchholz. He's missed big time but Andrew Miller, inserted into the rotation when Lester and Buchholz went down, has been a worthy addition to the rotation. Here is Boston manager Tito Francona, who reviews Beckett's supremacy. The Sox win last night was victory number one thousand for our skipper. Here he is on reaching that milestone...

"I'm just glad to win any way. But yeah, I guess it felt good."

And here's the manager yet again speaking of his Saturday night pitcher...

"Beckett was tremendous. He's been like that every game, and he had to be that good, because Mariners starter Blake Beavan was terrific tonight. We plugged away. Because of the way Beckett pitched, it gave us a chance to have meaningful runs late."

And that he did. I don't want to minimize Blake Beavan's start last night. He was impressive, to say the least, but his team couldn't score more than a single run against Beckett and our two best relievers. The Yankees lost, so take a look at the numbers for the top two teams in the AL East...

Boston 61 37 .622
NY Yankees 58 40 .592 3 Games back

Today at 1:35pm EDT, it'll be Wakefield (5-3) up against Pineda (8-6) in the final game of the three game series with the Mariners. Then the KC Royals come in for four. Bring 'em on! Enjoy your Sunday, GO SOX and as always, BE WELL. You can click on this post's title for something about the Red Sox. I'm just about to decide where you'll be going on your link journey. Thanks for stopping in and I hope our team keeps it going, on and on and on. To me, they're the Energizing Bunnies. Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday GOOD News Part One..Yanks Lose

The Oakland A's beat the NY Yankees this afternoon by a score of 4-3. So as of 5:11 pm EDT, the Boston Red Sox have a 2 1/2 game lead in the AL East with Josh Beckett going for them tonight at 7:10pm EDT. That's why the "pin-striper-gripers" are just part one of this Saturday. I like the sound of being three full games up and it could (should) happen this evening. The weather will be warm but the breeze light in Boston so let's get that offense going and score eight or nine runs. Right now, ninety miles away in north central Connecticut, it's exactly 92.8 degrees in the shade. So GO JOSH and GO SOX. Click on the title of this post for more on the Yankees from mlb dot com. I'll be back...soon. Thanks.

Red Sox Keep Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'...Buchholz Not Ready For A Bullpen Session

The Boston Red Sox whupped the Seattle Mariners and their ace, Cy Young award winner Felix Hernandez, by a score of 7-4. Who would ever believe John Lackey would beat him? Lackey went seven strong and gave up a solo run on eight hits. He struck out four and walked no one for his third win in a row. The bullpen pitched the last two with Morales the only blemish. He started the eighth but couldn't finish it. After three runs came across and two outs recorded, Boston turned to relief ace (yes, he is just that) Danny Bard, who recorded the third out. Papelbon wrapped it up with a blemish-free ninth and another Red Sox victory was in the books. Here's the Boston manager, Terry "Tito" Francona, on his resurgent at the right time pitcher...

"He (Lackey) has the ability to be a really good pitcher and shoulder a big burden, and it looks like he wants to do that. His stuff, to me, is the same. He's actually been pretty consistent, especially since he came back from the DL. I just think he needs to locate. When he doesn't, he gives up hits. When he locates, he gets people out. It's about as simple as that."

Lackey threw 68 of his 101 pitches for strikes. When he got behind in the count and needed a sure out, the Sox catcher, Saltalamacchia, kept putting down the off speed/breaking ball sign, be it a curve or a nasty slider, and that did the trick. Here's Lackey himself...

"I felt pretty good. I was really commanding my off-speed stuff pretty well tonight. I probably had one of my better changeups of the year, so that was nice."

The white hot Pedey Pedroia kept on keeping on with another three hits and multi-hit games were also had by Youkilis and Ellsbury. Boston collected thirteen hits in all and except for Morales, every Sox pitcher was wonderful. The 'pen is so important to this team and they continue to keep getting better.

Now I have one piece of bad news. Injured starter Clay Buchholz, scheduled to pitch yesterday in a bullpen session, was unable to do it because of continued back discomfort which prevents him from extending himself during the pitching process. I have a short quote from the "missing man" right here...

“It’s definitely better, it’s getting better every day. I still got a little bit of stuff going on in there and it’s already taken way too long for this, in my mind, but I’m already on the DL and it can’t get any worse than it was at the beginning and it hasn’t gotten any worse. It’s the down time after I throw that the soreness comes."

Clay, I hope you'll be back on the mound every fifth day but I know it's going to be a long and slow process. I must say this...thank goodness for Andrew Miller, who has filled in for him admirably. He really has..

Today, Saturday, the Fenway game begins at 7:10pm EDT and features Beckett and Beavan, who has a record of 1-1. If Josh continues his return to excellence, chalk up another game in the win column for our first place club. The NY Yankees demolished the woeful Oakland A's by a score of 17-7 and remain a full two games behind the Good Guys. They've done an amazing job keeping pace with the magic Sox of Boston.

That's it for this Saturday morning post. Enjoy your day, a day sure to be hot here once again in north central Connecticut but nothing like yesterday. At 2pm EDT Friday, my backyard in-the-shade temperature was 103 degrees. IN THE SHADE! Couple that with a huge dose of humidity and it added up to an air conditioning day. After I did all my errands before 10am, I went back home with the a/c on c-c-cold and sat right underneath the living room ceiling fan. With that beautiful breeze, I was one happy guy. You can click on this post's title for more on yesterday's game and as always, BE WELL. That's it from me to you. GO SOX and enjoy your weekend.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Theo On Jacoby..Lester Ready For Monday

This is for you, my Constant Readers, and for Lauren who writes a fantastic Red Sox blog called TOO SOXY FOR MY SHIRT. Look for it on my link list ((second from the top) and stop there every day. I know I do...she's funny! Lauren expressed her worries yesterday about the Red Sox doing something dumb and parting with Jacoby Ellsbury. Lauren, enjoy. Don't worry, be happy. This one's for you from the Boston Globe's EXTRA BASES. Theo is the one who shows us all his intentions below...

"On signing Jacoby Ellsbury long term: Yeah, I think with all of our young players that we see as core members of our organization that is something we are interested in. We certainly see Jacoby as that. This certainly isn’t the right forum to talk about it as conversations are always between closed doors, but it is not a secret that we have sat down and tried in the past and tried to lock Jacoby up in the past, and we will sit down in the future and try and do it again at the appropriate time. He is somebody that we have believed in as a core, young member in the organization that we look to keep around.
We have certain organizational standards that have to be met, and we have worked hard to keep those standards with Pedroia and Youkilis and Lesters of the world, so we’d love to one day announce that Jacoby will be with this organization for a long time and this is where he should be and we see him as a core guy.
Translation: The Red Sox would need to buy back at least one year of free agency and have an option for another to make a deal with Ellsbury. Basically a contract for 2012, '13 and '14 (his first free agent year) with an team option for '15 and maybe '16, too. Given that Ellsbury is represented by Scott Boras, good luck with that."

I'm back. I just have a good feeling Boston will lock up our center fielder for a long time, Boras or no Boras. Feel better, Lauren? I know I do. Oh, I almost forgot. Jon Lester threw a bullpen session yesterday and proclaimed himself fit and ready for his Monday start against the KC Royals. Boston opens up a seven game home stand tonight with three against the Mariners. Here are the pitching match ups...

Fri. 22 Sea 7:10 PM ET** ROOT/NESN** J. Lackey (7-8) vs. F. Hernandez (8-8)
Sat. 23 Sea 7:10 PM ET** ROOT/NESN** J. Beckett (8-3) vs. B. Beavan (1-1)
Sun. 24 Sea 1:35 PM ET** TBS/NESN** T. Wakefield (5-3) vs. M. Pineda (8-6)

The NY Yankees lost 2-1 last night so our AL East lead is an even two games. I like those pitching match ups, I like being back at Fenway, which will be hot as an oven this evening and I like the fact that the team you and I love are hotter than the weather. Hey John Lackey, we need another good start from you.

I hope you're all happy, don't forget to visit the blog TOO SOXY FOR MY SHIRT, click on this post's title for more of everything Sox and as always, BE WELL. Lauren, don't worry. Jacoby will be with the club for a long, long time (or Theo is an idiot). We all know he's not.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ell's Bells Toll For The Orioles..Boston Red Sox 4 Baltimore Orioles 0..Fenway Park Friday

Jacoby Ellsbury is the bona-fide Baltimore Oriole killer on the Boston Red Sox, who beat the wingless Birds by a score of 4-0. During the 29-game run that dates back to April 17, 2009, Ellsbury is batting .445 (57-for-128) with six homers, 20 RBIs and 31 runs scored against the Orioles. Here he is...

"I don't know what it is; I couldn't tell you what it is. I know I like hitting here. I like coming here. We get great fans and everything. I like that."

And I have a short quote from the Red Sox skipper, Terry Francona...

"He kind of put us on his shoulders. He's had a way of doing that from time to time. He took some really good swings."

He sure did. Adriian Gonzalez broke out of his second half slump with four hits. Combining to the shutout were starter Andrew Miller and bullpen guys Albers, Bard and Papelbon. Here's the lowdown on Andrew Miller. HE NEEDS TO THROW MORE STRIKES. He has walked twenty two batters in only thirty one innings. Yesterday he gave free passes six different times. And the captain, Jason Varitek, who caught the game, kept putting down breaking ball signs when the count got out of hand. Usually when Miller has control issues, he resorts to his fastball. Way too predictable. His cutters and breaking balls, after a mid-game funk, did the job and he handed the ball to the reliable Boston bullpen, a force in itself. So all's well that ends well and a successful road trip (4-2) is in the books.

Next up starting tomorrow is a seven game home stand. That Fenway sojourn consists of three games with Seattle and four against Kansas City. Logically, the Sox should win at least five of 'em but there's no logic (or crying) in baseball. It's one game at a time, starting tomorrow. I'll have the pitching match ups for the Seattle series first thing in the morning. Enjoy this short Thursday Fenway respite, click on this post's title for more on the shutout and as always, BE WELL.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

You Can't Win 'Em All...Birds 6 Boston 2

Given the nature of the universe, one thing is abundantly can't win 'em all. That proved to be the case last night as the Baltimore Orioles took the middle game of the three game set. The final score was 6-2 winged ones. Adrian Gonzalez is still mired in his slump. He has two hits in his last twenty at bats. I hope he didn't alter his magic swing or hurt himself beause of the Home Run Derby at the All Start game. Here's his analysis...

“Timing. Just getting ready late, not recognizing pitches and swinging at pitches that I normally wouldn’t swing at. Chasing sliders down in the zone, which I usually take, no problem. And when I get a pitch, I foul it off. That’s all it is. It’s not a big deal.”

Let's hope he figures it out and comes back to form. Boston's Kyle Weiland took the loss with three earned runs given up over his six innings. The usually reliable Aceves pitched the last two frames and gave up another trio of tallies. Not a good performance. He'll be gone from the rotation come next week when, thank goodness, Jon Lester will be back and leave us with this rotation...Lester, Beckett, Wakefield, Lackey and not Buchholz but Miller. There is STILL no good news on Buchholz. Backs are temperamental to say the least. Here's the Boston catcher, whose nickname is Salty, with his mini-review of the Baltimore pitcher...

“For me, Guthrie was pounding the zone. He was throwing strikes. It was just a matter of balls falling in. We just didn’t score many runs tonight. We put up 15 last night, two tonight. That’s just the way it goes.”

Salty's correct but it doesn't hurt any less. He hit a line drive home run during the game but two runs can never beat three, much less six. At least the Yankees joined the Sox in defeat. Misery loves company but it's never a cause of misery when the pin stripers go down. In fact, that brings a smile to my face every single time. It's day baseball today a few minutes after 1pm EDT and as the game goes on, it's going to be downright hot and humid, especially in the direct sunlight, and getting worse by the minute. If you have seats in the shade or are watching the game at home with great air conditioning, you're a lucky baseball fan, no matter which team you'll be rooting for.

I hope your Wednesday will be a great one. On the mound will be Arrieta and Miller. Remember, it's a day game and then our team jets to Fenway where a day off welcomes them on Thursday and a seven game Fenway home stand awaits them starting Friday. You can click on this post's title for more and as always and forever, BE WELL. Go Sox...we need this one. thanks.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

8 Run 8th for Red Sox...ANOTHER WIN!!

Tuesday night at Camden Yards in Baltimore, it was a 7-7 tie after 7. And then the whole thing game crashing down on the humbled Birdies, who were playing the wrong team at the wrong time, the team that loves to play Laser Ball. That team is called the Boston Red Sox. The Sox scored 8 runs in that eighth inning and it was game over time. The team arrived at 6am from the marathon game the night before. I'm sure they were tired but those winning Sox reached deep down into their souls and created a magic eighth inning. 8 runs. Game over. Wakefield didn't figure in the final outcome so he still needs two more wins to reach the magic 200 at 41 years of age. Here's Boston manager Terry Francona on the lack of sleep the night before...

"Whatever time you get in, it doesn’t matter. We’re fine. It’s not like we all need that much beauty sleep anyway.’’

And now, Boston's clutch guy, the Muddy Chicken, Pedey Pedroia...

"We didn't have much sleep, but we just came out and we actually swung the bats really good. We're all happy we won, and we get to go to the hotel and get some rest. It's tough because I'm tired. I'm sure everyone else was. We're just all trying to win the game. I mean, that's what we get paid to do. Whatever situation comes up in the game, we've got to respond to it."

And respond they did. Muddy Chicken is what some of Pedey's teammates call him because he's never afraid to get his uniform dirty. He's a high-talent tremendous competitor who Big Papi "wouldn't trade for anyone in the league." High praise.

Boston holds its 1 1/2 game lead in the AL East and coincidently, there are two games left on Papi's suspension (it was reduced from 4) and two left with the lowly Orioles. And then it's Fenway time. Carl Crawford, in his debut, collected two hits and Pedey had three RBIs. All in all, we're going good and we're going to get better. It's getting better all the time, as the Beatles wrote and sang.

Tonight, it'll be K.Weiland (0-0) vs. J. Guthrie (3-13). I hope Weiland has it a little more together than his last start. Click on this post's title for all the highlights and as always, BE WELL. I'll see you.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wakefield Going For Win #199

This is from mlb dot com, just now...

"Not since Tommy Bond led with 195 career wins in 1879 has the Majors' top winner been south of 200. Wakefield is at 198 as he leads off the Red Sox's three-game series at Camden Yards by opposing Brad Bergesen in Monday night's opener."

1879. That's a long time ago. GOOD LUCK, TIMMY. We love you. 2 to go.

Red Sox Win A Sixteen Inning Masterpiece, 1-0. Beckett Brilliant..Lester and Crawford To Return Soon

Josh Beckett is back and back feeling good. His performance yesterday was almost indescribably delicious. He went eight glorious inning and gave up no runs and one hit. while walking not a soul and whiffing six. The relievers who followed were every bit as good. Bard, Albers, Morales, Aceves (3 IP!) and Paps for the save were goose-egg perfect. I fell asleep early but I woke up at one AM and was glad I did. Pedey knocked in the winning tally in the top of the 16th. Here's Big Papi on Pedey, the Muddy Chicken...

"Just put it down in the newspaper, I wouldn't trade Pedey for nobody in this league right now"

Either would I, Papi. It was Boston's 13th win out of 14. Amazing stuff! I also have a couple pieces of good news. One, expect to see John Lester on the mound in about a week, after the Baltimore series that begins tonight. Here's the Sox skipper, Terry Francona...

“That’s good news for us. He must feel good. But we need to give him a chance where he can go out and not be stuck on 60 pitches. I think we caught it quick enough where he didn’t go out and throw another inning and do some damage.

The other bit of good news concerns Carl Crawford. For those of you going to the game tonight or watching it on NESN, the left fielder with be none other than Carl Crawford. His ex-manager, Joe Maddon, said this...

“We just haven’t been able to replace Carl and the things he did and the clutch hits and the production. That we haven’t been able to do, and I didn’t expect we were going to unless we had Manny here all season. He had his times here when he’d start to dip and we kind of knew when it was going to come and how long it would last. But Carl always picked it back up and at the end of the year his numbers were always where we expected them to be."

Boston will throw Wakefield, Weiland and Miller down in Maryland. I don't know what to expect will happen with Weiland and Miller and Timmy is always an early mystery until he sorts things out. But first place is ours. Let's keep it!

Thanks for stopping in on this soon to be scorching Monday. Click on the title of this post for all the riveting highlights from last night's specialness and as always, BE WELL.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

BoSox Bats Overcome An "OK" Lackey Start...9-5 Boston Over Tampa Bay

You can't say John Lackey doesn't care. HE DOES! He showed his emotions on the mound yesterday as he was pulled with two outs in the sixth inning. He gave up 10 hits and four runs, three earned, in that span. He whiffed seven. You can't call it a quality start but the man pitched the best that he could. Here he is...

“Arm-strength wise, the last three starts I’ve felt definitely better than I’ve felt at the beginning of the year, for sure. What happened in the first half of the season happened; can’t do anything about that now. But I’m going to go out there, compete my butt off and try to win every time I go out there.”

That's exactly what he looked like he was trying to do and he showed those emotions every pitch of the way. With no Lester for another week and no date on Buchholz' return, Lackey is a needed commodity. And that's putting it mildly. Frankly, looking at this current Boston pitching rotation gives me the shivers. How are they still in first place? We're not even sure if Beckett and his knee will be good to go tonight. I sure hope so. I'll say it again. I sure hope so.

Enjoy the ESPN game tonight and don't forget to click on this post's title for more Sox. Have a great Sunday, feel good and as always, BE WELL.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Boston Bombed In Tampa Bay..Papi To Appeal..Crawford Almost Ready

Things started out badly almost the first minute of the game as Red Sox starter Andrew Miller self-destructed, only going 2 2/3 innings and giving up a whopping 7 earned runs. The bullpen allowed a collective 2 runs but it was far too late for any Friday victory dreams. The final score was 9-6. The Sox skipper said this about his pitcher...

"The walks really hurt. The strike-to-ball ratio, I don't think was horrible, but when he threw his balls, they were all bunched together. It was just a tough way to pitch. His pitch count was so high. It was kind of obvious that something was not going right."

I agree with Tito. I hope nothing's wrong with Miller because the Boston Red Sox are running out of pitchers. Fast! Get ready for 4:10pm baseball today on Fox. It's be Lackey dueling Shields in the Florida sunshine. The Sox need to take this but Shields is one tough customer.

In other Red Sox news, Big Papi David Ortiz has appealed his suspension and will play for the time being. There is a chance his "sentence" will be reduced. Let's hope so. Here's the latest from Carl Crawford, our missing left fielder, from the Boston Globe with my thanks...

“The most important thing was being able to break out of the box like I normally can … to be able to move quickly without worrying about my hamstring. I had a few moments tonight where I was able to test it. I had to do some stopping and starting. When you stop real quick and nothing happens that’s a good sign. I want to try and do everything two days in a row to make sure there isn’t any pain or anything like that. After that happens, I’ll be ready to go."

We're ready for Monday, too. I hope every one of you has a terrific Saturday and a tremendous weekend. Click on this post's title for more on last night's action, if I may call it that. Once you do that, click on that mid-screen box with the two teams' emblems for a great 2 minute wrap-uo of the entire action. As always, BE WELL.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tampa Bay, Fla. Friday, July 15th, 2011

Yes, that's today and the Boston Red Sox will be down in Tampa Bay for the start of a three game set. Everything you need to know about this series is in my post just below this one. GO SOX!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The 2011 Season Part Two Starts Tomorrow For The Boston Red Sox

It's Thursday, the last day off before the Boston Red Sox resume their AL East championship quest. The team will travel to Tampa Bay to face the always tough Rays. Here's the pitching schedule for Friday though Sunday...

Fri. 15 at TB 7:10 PM ET NESN/SUN** A. Miller (3-0) vs, D. Price (8-7)
Sat. 16 at TB 4:10 PM ET FOX** J. Lackey (6-8) vs. J. Shields (8-7)
Sun. 17 at TB 8:05 PM ET ESPN** J. Beckett (8-3) vs. J. Niemann (4-4)

I hope Josh and his knee are ready on Sunday. We really need him for the second half, almost three months of action. And that's not even mentioning Lester and Buchholz. Give us back those three guys, completely healthy, and the Sox would romp to first place and stay there. But for all we know, we don't know.

Have a great Thursday and as always, be well. We'll all get to see Boston baseball again on Friday. See ya.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

National League Takes Its Second Straight All Star Game 5-1

The only bright spot of this game for Boston Red Sox fans was the home run that Adrian Gonzalez smashed. But that was the run total for the American League The loneliest number. The final score was 5-1 National League. Gonzalez said this about his long ball...

“He threw me a fastball away and I swung through and then he came back with a cutter and I was able to stay on it and get it up in the air. It was great to be able to produce and help our team. It was a great experience here.’’

Once Adrian gets a ball "up in the air," it stays in the air until it falls into someone's lap out in the stands. His fly balls carry as if propelled by a personal jet stream, something like having Superman as your number one fan and he helps you out with a puff of his super breath. I wonder why neither the mouthwash manufacturers or toothpaste makers haven't enlisted Superman in their advertising campaigns. Super breath needs a super mouth product. I'm just daydreaming but I'm serious. I think Superman or Clark Kent (even better) should have been a focus. I have it all clear in my mind. Start with a close shot of Clark Kent as he says something like "I have a side job being Superman. Of course, this is just between me and you. Being Superman, I occasionally have to use my super breath. That's when ------ toothpaste, my favorite, is essential. Imagine bad breath and super breath combined. It's not a pretty thought. If ------ toothpaste works for me, then it will work for you. I promise on my home planet of Krypton."

OK, I'm back from my flight of whimsey. Josh Beckett felt some discomfort in his knee while warming up before the game. He mentioned it and was told he would not pitch, a decision he agreed with. Here he is...

“It’s not something I was comfortable with. I don’t think I re-injured it but it still definitely has inflammation. I could have pitched. I’m just not comfortable going out there and getting hurt in an All-Star Game and costing myself starts in the second half. I think that’s how everybody should be. This game does mean a lot with home-field advantage in the World Series, and everything. But at the same time there are some things that are ahead that are a little more important."

Like the remaining regular season, right Josh? Right. I hope what you felt last night while warming up was not a setback. We need you in the rotation big time.

Lastly, we'll most likely hear something about the possible fine and suspension of David Ortiz for the fisticuffs last week. Joe Torre said to the media to expect this. A couple of games would be no big deal but my goodness, we were just without him for that inter-league bunch of games.

Thanks for stopping in, click on this post's title for all the highlights of the All Star game and as always and forever, BE WELL. Thanks for stopping by. GO SOX.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

***ALL STAR DAY 2011**

Robinson Cano edged out Adrian Gonzalez in the home run derby. Cano clubbed 32 home runs while Gonzalez blasted 31. I enjoyed turned into a Yankee/Red Sox type of thing. The real deal, the MLB All Star game, will be tonight shortly after 8pm EDT. The game has meaning, no matter how controversial that meaning is. The winner of the game, NL or AL, will dictate who has home field advantage in the World Series. I pick the American League to win it...they have too much power for their cohorts in the NL.

That's it for today. Do you think you know a lot about this parade of stars celebration? Just click on this post's title to be zapped to the Boston Globe's Red Sox home page. There, front and center, you can click and play a trivia type quiz all about the annual event. It's a timed quiz and it's not easy.

I hope your Tuesday will be a great one. It's supposed to go up into the mid 90s here with a healthy (it's not healthy) dose of humidity. My a/c has been on since yesterday afternoon. Enjoy that trivia game. I'm going to try it right now. I hope you do the same. Now get ready for Jared Weaver versus Roy "Doc" Halladay. Here are the starting lineups, from me to you. As always, be well. I'll see you.

1. Granderson, CF
2. Cabrera, SS
3. Gonzalez, 1B**
4. Bautista, RF
5. Hamilton, LF
6. Beltre, 3B
7. Ortiz, DH**
8. Cano, 2B
9. Avila, C

1. Weeks, 2B
2. Beltran, DH
3. Kemp, CF
4. Fielder, 1B
5. McCann, C
6. Berkman, RF
7. Holliday, LF
8. Tulowitzki, SS
9. Rolen, 3B

Monday, July 11, 2011


The Boston Red Sox staked themselves to a 2-0 early lead only to see the Baltimore Orioles score six big ones in the top of the second off rookie Kyle Weiland. It was all Red Sox from there as they scored four in the third to tie it. Weiland went four labored innings (except for a 1-2-3 first) and thankfully gave way to the Boston bullpen, which was effective yet again. Tito Francona has a great 'pen that he controls and controls well. Aceves, Bard and Papelbon combined for five scoreless innings with Aceves earning the victory and Paps his 20th save. Boston is now 20 games over .500. They've won 11 of their last 12 games and are in first place by a full game in the AL East. Here's Boston manager Terry "Tito" Francona on his team's rough start...

“It was a very difficult start, there’s no getting around that. I think we needed to regroup and all the things we talked about, paying attention to detail, be patient enough to believe in ourselves, because it’s not easy. We were taking some pretty good shots, and we probably deserved them. But there were some things that were being written or said that I don’t think I believed.
I think we went out and proved that we can be a good team. We’re not done yet. Not even close. But we’re playing better baseball.’’

You sure are, Tito. I'm sure there are some Boston players who'd rather continue with the 2011 season right now rather than take a four day break. Because of a scheduled off day Thursday, they don't play again until Friday. That will give more time for the injured players to play without missing anything. Beckett has been cleared to play and probably will Tuesday. Lester is getting closer and so is Buchholz. Until we get that threesome back, the Sox can't play up to their potential but they've been doing darn well so far without 'em. I hope you enjoy tomorrow night's tilt.

We'll next see the Boston Red Sox together on the field Friday night when they play the Tampa Bay Rays. The pitchers have not been announced and won't be until after the All Star game. If you'd like, click on this post's title for all the video highlights from yesterday and as always, BE WELL.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lackey Shines (!) In Boston Victory..Red Sox 4 O's 0

John Lackey came up like aces Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park. It was a beautiful day and Lackey, wobbles and all, kept the visiting team off the scoreboard for 6 2/3 innings. He left with two outs in the seventh inning and Red Sox manager Tito Francona summoned the best set up guy in baseball, statistically wise, Daniel Bard, who should be on the 2011 All Star team. He blanked the Birds for 1.1 innings and Jonathon Papelbon finished it off. How good was Lackey and was he deserving of the "Standing O" the Fenway Faithful gave him when he walked off the field? Let's hear from Lackey's catcher, Jarrod Saltalamacchia...

“Yeah, I think he’s had it rough, definitely a rough year. But to his credit, he keeps coming out there and pounding. He never complains and never says anything. He just goes out there and lets the chips fall. I’m glad he was able to go out there tonight and pitch like he knows he can.’

Here's the man of the day himself, John Lackey...

“I guess I was locating a little bit better, but, honestly, not a whole lot. The velocity felt about the same. I told you my arm felt pretty good the other day, so hopefully, I’ll keep it going.’’

Everyone of us in Red Sox Nation hopes you come all the way back because boy, do we need you! Even that is a severe understatement. But let's concentrate on today's tilt, which begins at 1:35pm EDT. Atkins will face Boston's Weiland. Both pitcher's 2011 records stand at 0-0. I'd love to see another win which would make this a series sweep.

Congrats go out to Kevin Youkilis, who has been selected to take the place of Alex Rodruiguez on the 2011 All Star team. Good for him! More congratulations have to be showered on Derek Jeter, who recorded his 3,000th base hit yesterday. That's a first for any Yankee. I'm not particularly fond of the guy but my goodness, HE WENT 5-5!!

Have a great Sunday, click on this post's title for game highlights and more from last night and as always, BE WELL. See you soon.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Red Sox Win Again..They Won't Go Down Fighting..Boston 10-Baltimore 3

There was excitement from the first inning to the eighth Friday night at Fenway Park. Boston scored eight runs in the first and Papi got into it with Kevin Gregg in the eighth. It was sheer mayhem but most importantly, Boston keeps winning and winning and now they are a full game ahead of the NY Yankees in the AL East standings. But first, I want to tell you where I was for three days, Wednesday through Friday. You sure can miss a lot in that amount of time. I wasn't feeling well Tuesday and much worse Wednesday, so bad with nausea and a few other things that I checked into St. Francis Hospital Wednesday mid-afternoon and was released yesterday afternoon. I'm OK and I can tell you for sure, there's no place like home, there's no place like home. OK, back to the game, a game you can see all the highlights of if you click on this post's title. I'll remind you later.

In the bottom of the first inning the Red Sox hitting machine shifted into fourth gear (better torque than fifth) and plated eight men against the usually solid Zach Britton. That was all she wrote in terms of runs needed and Boston cruised from there but not without a little fear and the aforementioned fight in the eighth. You can see the fight just be clicking on this post's title. You'll see a couple of ways to watch the fight highlights and complete game highlights. If you want the full game highlights, look for a box with the team's two emblems and go from there. Have fun!

Today, the Sox and the O's go at it again with John Lackey going against Simon. First pitch time is 7:10pm EDT. Boston has won four in a row and I'l love to see them make it five. GO SOX.

It's great to be back, don't forget to click on this post's title and as always, BE WELL. PLEASE.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Red Sox Win 3-2...Lester Out

The Boston Red Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 3-2. It was that close because Jonathan Papelbon allowed four hits and two earned runs in the ninth. Hey Paps, that wasn't necessary. But that wasn't the big story on Tuesday. Jon Lester was rolling along after giving up zero hits. He walked into the dugout after his half of that fourth and was not seen again. Word of what happened was long time coming but when it did, it showed that Lester has a strained lower left latissimus, a large muscle that runs beneath the shoulder. Just the name frightens me. Jon will have an extensive examination today. Then we'll have a better idea as to the length of his time out. Here he is himself...

“It should be fine, hopefully for the rest of the season. I don’t think it’s a long-term issue. We may alter one start. We’ve got the All-Star break built in.’’

We're all rooting for you, Jon. Of that I'm certain. I'll see you tomorrow or before. I'm a lttle under the weather right now. As always, be well. Thanks for stopping in.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Lackey Does His "Thing" Again

When John Lackey takes the mound, run,run like the world is on fire and that inferno is heading right for you! That's right, run, run for your life! I overdramatize. I hate to see the Red Sox mauled, and they were. I don't even know if Youk will be able to play. Lacky allowed 7 runs in the first three innings. The Red Sox scored and scored again but the final score was 9-7. Bah humbug Dear John. Here's Lackey after the game...

“Just continue to work hard. I’ve made a lot of adjustments, kind of on the fly,’’ he said. “Some of those will hopefully turn into some results here soon. I’ve felt a lot better since coming off the DL. I’ve pitched some good games and lost and obviously had some pretty rough ones.’’

Here's some more sobering news. Among major league pitchers with at least 70 innings this season, Lackey has the highest earned run average by more than a run at 7.47 I can't even comment on that stat. I feel that there are only two things that can be done. Keep playing him every five days and let him work it out. That's a bad idea. A better one is this. Theo, realize that you and the team are making a mistake if you continue to let him pitch without his arm being totally checked out. If there's nothing wrong in the doctor's opinion, admit Mike Cameron style that the team made another free agent mistake.

That's all I have for you today. I hope your 4th of July weekend was terrific and as always, BE WELL.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Good-Bye Inter-League Play

The Boston Red Sox defeated the Houston Astros in their last inter-league game of the year. If it wasn't so early this morning, i'd let out a loud YESSSSSSS! But it's not even 5 am and I like living here. So mum's the word.

Josh Beckett pitched another gem against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The final score was 2-1 and Josh went eight strong innings and gave up just five hits, one run and he whiffed 11. He must be feeling great. Lets hope so.

Here are the man from Texas and his manager, Terry Francona...

“Coming here and winning three, it’s tough to sweep a series on the road, or at home for that matter. Josh and his manager think the energy level was up! I just felt better physically, energy-wise.’’

“Obviously, I thought he was tremendous.

Anybody who thought he wasn't should recheck his baseball knowings. Here's the three game pitching match-ups against the Toronto Blue Jays...

Mon. 4 Tor 1:35 PM ET** RSN/NESN** J. Lackey (5-7) B. Morrow (4-4)
Tue. 5 Tor 7:10 PM ET** RSN/NESN** J. Lester (10-4) B. Cecil (1-3)
Wed. 6 Tor 7:10 PM ET** RSN/NESN** T. Wakefield (4-3) R. Romero (7-7)

Have a healthy and happy 4th of July.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday Red Sox Baseball Coming Up!

Yes, the Boston Red Sox will be playing Houston once again and then they go back to all-American League schedule AT Fenway. We have ground to make up on those winning pin-stripers. Oh yes. Oh yes we do.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

A Nice Win For Boston 7-5...YES!!

Tim Wakefield didn't exactly throw a gem Friday night down in sultry Texas but with the help of his team's bats, the Boston Red Sox prevailed in Houston, Texas by a score of 7-5. The Red Sox needed to put together a six run seventh to pull this one off and if not for the lumber, they would have lost. Wakes was only able to go 5 1/3 innings, throwing too many pitches and giving up 11 hits (too many), and five runs (too much). But the bottom line is the Good Guys came out on top. The Yankees are on a hot streak so the Red Sox must keep pace. These two teams go at it again this evening at 7:05pm EDT. GO SOX! Please click on this post's title to see all the hightlights of the stirring Boston comeback. Have a great weekend and as always, be well.

Friday, July 01, 2011

FINALLY! Boston 5 Philadelphia 2...Cameron Released

Jon Lester started and won the Thursday afternoon game with the Phillies by a score of 5-2. The Phillies soon found out that Jon is Boston's version of Cliff Lee and he was just that yesterday. He went a strong seven innings and gave up ZERO runs on just a pair of hits. He was superb, hitting his spots with all his pitches while his devastating cutter shredded the opposition. Bard pitched the eighth and Jenks came in to finish off dem Phillies but couldn't do it and after giving up two runs and another hit, Tito came in to insert Papelbon. Bingo! Game over. Batting stars were Dustin Pedey Pedroia, with a tater while batting clean up and the captain, Jason Varitek, who was hitting fifth, doubling the tater output of Pedey. He's the captain, after all. But the biggest power performance of them all for the Boston club was a smash by Adrian Gonzalez that yanked Cole Hamels out of his glove AND the game. This was in the fourth inning and Hamels had been pitching lights-out. Thank you, Adrian. Here's Jon Lester on his terrific performance...

"You can’t worry about losing streaks, winning streaks, or anything like that. You’ve just got to go out and execute pitches.’’

The Red Sox will play their last three games on the National League path in Houston. They're sleeping soundly there right now. Here are your pitching match ups...

Fri. 1 at Hou 8:05 PM ET** NESN/FoxH** T. Wakefield (4-3) vs. B. Norris (4-6)
Sat. 2 at Hou 7:05 PM ET** NESN/FoxH** A. Miller (1-0) vs. J. Happ (3-9)
Sun. 3 at Hou 2:05 PM ET** NESN/FoxH** J. Beckett (6-3) vs. J. Lyles (0-3)

And lastly, Mike Cameron, a really nice guy who worked SO hard to come back from injury, has been released from the club. He didn't hit against lefties. Hey, JD Drew doesn't hit against righties so the problem IS with right field. Here's Tito...

"It's not a move we were looking to make necessary. We were trying to strike the right balance, buying guys as much time as we could to let them get on track a little bit. Mike obviously has a great track record and even last year, when he was hurt, he still raked left-handed pitching. The expectation coming into the year was that he would help us against lefties and it ended up being a tough adjustment for him to a role he wasn't that familiar with. We decided to go ahead and make the move now. The timing was right. We want to thank Mike for all his hard work and battling through the tough injury he had last year."

I and Red Sox Nation wish him luck. Have a great Friday as the Boston Red Sox try to string some consecutive victories together. The All Star break looms. Click the title of this post for more and as always, BE WELL.