May 29, 2004

Good News! Nomar Garciaparra begins a rehab assignment with Pawtucket in Louisville tomorrow night. He will lead off and play four innings on both Sunday and Monday, then return to Boston for physical therapy. If all goes well, Nomar would join the PawSox in Toledo on Thursday. (More on his progress here.)

Terry Francona says that when Nomar returns, he may mix and match with his infielders. Garciaparra, Pokey Reese, Mark Bellhorn and Kevin Youkilis may rotate into three infield spots - second base, shortstop and third base - and sometimes at DH.

Bill Mueller's knee surgery yesterday was a success and he began his therapy today. Red Sox medical director Bill Morgan: "He had essentially a 20-30 minute procedure. There were no structural defects whatsoever. [The ligaments were] intact. His meniscal cartilage, the fiber cartilage, the knee was intact. He has some very mild degeneration of his patella joint, his kneecap. He has some arthritis, that part was shaved out just to get rid of the fibrillated tissue, which will help the symptoms to some degree. He did very well. He had no problems." ... Trot Nixon may begin his rehab assignment as early as next week and Scott Williamson is expected to begin throwing on the Red Sox next road trip.

Pedro Martinez struggled a bit last night, giving up a home run to Bret Boone in the 2nd and a leadoff double to Randy Winn in the 3rd; Winn later scored. In the 5th, Rich Aurilia homered, and after Pat Borders struck out, Winn doubled (again), Ichiro Suzuki singled and Scott Spiezio was hit by a pitch. A double steal put runners at second and third; the score was 4-1. ... But Pedro got Edgar Martinez swinging and Raul Ibanez on a pop to third. Francona: "That was the game, I thought, in the fifth. If they go up 6-1, it makes it tough."

Boston rallied for 5 runs in the bottom half of the inning. Kevin Millar and Gabe Kapler doubled with one out. When Pokey Reese struck out, Joel Pineiro had two outs, a 4-2 lead and a man on second. But he couldn't close the door. He walked both Johnny Damon and Mark Bellhorn before David Ortiz bashed the first pitch he saw to right-center. It was Ortiz's 100th career home run and 2nd career grand slam. Ichiro: "It was just close enough for me not to get it. I want to say it was really close, but in that situation, it felt really far."

Martinez is now 13-0 against Seattle with a 1.30 ERA in 12 starts and one relief appearance (August 14, 1999).
Date     Site         IP  H ER BB  SO  Result

04-11-98 Fenway Park 9 2 0 2 12 Red Sox 5-0
05-12-99 Fenway Park 8 4 2 1 15 Red Sox 9-2
08-14-99 Fenway Park 4 3 1 1 6 Red Sox 13-2
09-04-99 Safeco Field 8 2 0 3 15 Red Sox 4-0
04-04-00 Safeco Field 7 2 0 2 11 Red Sox 2-0
08-02-00 Fenway Park 9 5 2 2 7 Red Sox 5-2
09-04-00 Safeco Field 8 6 1 1 11 Red Sox 5-1
05-01-01 Safeco Field 8 3 0 4 12 Red Sox 2-0
05-12-02 Safeco Field 8 4 1 3 12 Red Sox 10-4
05-18-02 Fenway Park 8 6 1 0 9 Red Sox 4-1
08-16-03 Safeco Field 7 3 1 3 7 Red Sox 5-1
08-25-02 Fenway Park 6 6 1 2 4 Red Sox 8-1
05-28-04 Fenway Park 7 8 4 0 9 Red Sox 8-4
Totals 97 54 14 24 130 1.30 ERA

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