May 9, 2004

Saturday In The Park. The Sons of Sam Horn held its (2nd?) annual bash yesterday afternoon. More than 200 fans cheered "Gehrig 38" to a complete game victory over the hapless Royals. Pokey Reese hit 2 home runs (one of them an inside-the-parker), Jason Varitek stole two bases -- but get this -- David McCarty bopped one into the monster seats. A long day (I got up at 5am and didn't get back to my apartment until 11:15 pm), but a game to remember. ... At least two bloggers were there: Portland Sox Fan and House That Dewey Built (whose recap is even shorter than mine).

Schilling: "I was excited about it (but) somewhat nervous about it. It's been so much more than I thought it was going to be. I swear, I look so forward to pitching in this park every time. It's just a charge. I thought I knew what it was going to be like and it's so much more than I thought." ... Also: "The last couple of days, I've really put some time and effort into watching these guys (on video) so far this season. Getting a look at 30, 40 at-bats from each guy that I felt like I was probably gonna see (allowed me to) get a feel for how we wanted to go about it."

Pokey: "When the ball left the bat, I was thinking two. Then when it got by Gonzalez, I was thinking three. And when I saw Sveumer waving me on, I thought he was kidding. I really had to kick it in." ... Reese is the 24th player in big league history to hit inside-the-park and over-the-fence home runs in consecutive innings. [I'm shocked it's been done 24 times in consecutive innings.] Robin Yount last did it for Milwaukee June 18, 1982. ... The last Red Sox player to achieve the inside-the-park/over-the-fence homer feat in one game was Tony Armas on Sept. 24, 1983, in Detroit. ... It was the 126th inside-the-park home run in Red Sox history. ... Reese said it was his first ITP HR at any level of baseball and his first two-homer game of his career. ... Pokey has hit in 11 of his last 13 games, going 15-for-44 (.341) to raise his average from .175 to .262.

Nixon says his back has almost fully healed, but he's limited now by that strained quad. "I can't say [my back] doesn't hurt at all, but with as many swings as I've taken the cage and in batting practice, I haven't had any problems with my back. It feels much better. ... I only feel [pain in my quad] running full speed. We're going to stress it a little bit and see if we can pinpoint where the pain is coming from." ... Francona says Nixon's timetable is "at a standstill."

Nomar "engaged in a series of early-afternoon workouts at Fenway. He did three segments each of fielding grounders and hitting off the batting tee." Francona: "It was the most work he's done so far, and I'd say he was running about 70-80 percent." ... Garciaparra took batting practice for the first time since going on the disabled list. Theo spoke with Nomar afterwards: "[H]e was really upbeat. He was very positive. It might have been his best day yet." ... Garciaparra on Saturday: "My injury is improving. I know there'll be some tenderness after swinging the bat today, but the tenderness doesn't last as long as it used to, and that's a positive sign. I'm moving ahead in the workouts. I still haven't tried going to my right and throwing from the hole, but my lateral movement is getting better."

Steve Buckley on PawSox catchers Kelly Shoppach and Andy Dominique. ... David Heuschkel: "Pedro Martinez continues to arrive at the park when he wants. As often happens, he did not show up in time to stretch with his teammates at 11 am." I question how much of a problem this actually is. Do the other starters always attend these workouts on their days off? Or do they have their own routines? This item is useless (or is being used merely to paint Pedro in a bad light) without it being put into proper context.

Detroit and Texas combined to set a new record for runs in a fifth inning, scoring 18 times Saturday night. Detroit scored eight runs in the top half (32 minutes) for a 14-4 lead; the Rangers answered with 10 runs (36 minutes) to tie the game at 14-14. ... The old record for runs in a fifth inning was 16, last set on August 3, 1986, by the Yankees (10) and Cleveland (6). The major league record for runs in any inning is 19, by Cleveland (13) and Boston (6) in the eighth inning on April 10, 1977. ... Texas won the game 16-15 in 10 innings.

Peter Schmuck, of the Baltimore Sun, while explaining that Fat Billy from Ohio is baseball's greatest pitcher: "No one -- ever -- was better than Sandy Koufax when he dominated the National League in the 1960s, but his tenure as the greatest pitcher lasted only from 1961 to '66." ... Um, not even close. Koufax was great, no question about it, but Pedro leaves him gasping and choking in the dust. Check out the ERA+ stats for Martinez and Koufax. I posted a little bit about this back on March 11 (see also here and here).

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