June 30, 2007

G79: Rangers 5, Red Sox 4

Robinson Tejeda (6.57, 69 ERA+) / Josh Beckett (3.07, 146 ERA+)

Redsox.com:
Tejeda leads the Rangers with five wins, but with an 8.41 ERA since May 1 for the AL's worst team, that isn't saying much. Tejeda fans will find solace in the fact that his stellar first start of the season [April 6], in which he allowed just two hits [and three walks] over seven scoreless innings, came against the Red Sox. That was his only career start against Boston.
It's Canada Day weekend and we are hosting our second annual wmtc backyard party this afternoon. VCR will be rolling -- and I'll be unable to resist periodic score checks.

It's Raining Smarties

Joe Posnanski:
OK, so I have to take a moment to say how much I am enjoying the Roger Clemens' disaster film happening in New York. It's like Towering Inferno, only entertaining. Sure I have (I think) the appropriate admiration for Clemens the pitcher -- I think he's one of the three best in baseball history. ...

I had this vision when he signed the big contract that he would suddenly and irrevocably suck, leaving the Yankees in a death spiral that would snap George Steinbrenner back to his 1970s, fire-everybody-I-won't-take-this-anymore former glory. I didn't dare believe it really could happen, though.

Well, folks, it's all coming true. Clemens blows. The Yankees are under .500 and a million games behind the Red Sox. Steinbrenner releases a statement every so often saying he won't take this much longer. Milk and honey flow in the streets. It's raining Smarties. OK, sure, it probably won't last. But for a moment, it's all there: Clemens is giving up hits. He's giving up homers. His ERA is 5.32. ...

June 29, 2007

G78: Red Sox 2, Rangers 1

Kenny Lofton was out. Twice.

Jonathan Papelbon retired the Rangers leadoff man two times in the top of the ninth, but did not get either call. Lofton ended up singling (he was 4-for-4 with a walk) and stealing second (his 4th SB of the night).

After two quick outs in the ninth, Papelbon battled Lofton: two called strikes, two balls, then two fouls. On the 7th pitch, he threw a perfect inside fastball -- but Jason Varitek had set up outside and had to cross over the plate to catch it. Perhaps the ump (Andy Fletcher) thought the pitch was borderline and was swayed by Tek moving his glove to the inside black.

Lofton chopped the next pitch to the right side. Kevin Youkilis led Pap and it was a near tie at the bag, but after looking at several replays, I think Papelbon touched the corner of the bag a split-second before Lofton. However, the umpire signaled safe and Papelbon exploded, coming close to getting ejected.

The umpire (Mike Reilly) was set up on the foul side of first base. Papelbon's toe nudged up against the other side of the bag and the umpire may have been unable to fully see that. Papelbon then pulled his foot slightly away and pushed it back again into the side of the bag -- after Lofton had crossed. Did Reilly feel that second step was the only time Pap touched the base?

Papelbon, clearly annoyed, fell behind Jerry Hairston 3-1 before plunking him. It then took seven pitches to get Michael Young looking at strike three for the save.

Lofton should have been rung up for the final out on Papelbon's 13th pitch. The blown call(s) mean Papelbon had to throw another 14 pitches.

Wakefield pitched well (6.2-7-1-4-4, 101). Manny Delcarmen relieved him in the seventh with two on. He then walked Young to load the bases before getting Sammy Sosa on high heat. Hideki Okajima pitched a perfect eighth.

Boston scored first in the 4th. Manny Ramirez was hit with a pitch and JD Drew hit a ground rule double to left. Wily Mo Pena's infield single to deep short scored Manny.

Texas came right in the 5th when Adam Melhuse doubled, was bunted to third and scored on Hairston's sac fly. Then Boston went ahead in their half of the 5th. Youkilis was on first with two outs. David Ortiz walked and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Manny hit a grounder back to the mound. Wright kicked at it and it went right over to Ramon Vazquez at third. Ortiz put on the brakes and Youkilis was able to score just before Vazquez tagged Tiz for the third out.

JD Drew and Mike Lowell each had two hits.

***

Jamey Wright (7.43, 61 ERA+) / Tim Wakefield (4.52, 99 ERA)+

After a 4-5 road trip to Atlanta, San Diego and Seattle, the Red Sox return home for a quick seven-game homestand against Texas (four) and Tampa Bay (three). Then a three-game series in Detroit takes us to the All-Star break.

Wakefield's ERAs: In June: 7.06. At Fenway: 5.54.

Last Saturday, in his third start of the season (he missed two months with right shoulder inflammation), Wright allowed three hits, five walks and two runs over 5.2 innings against Houston. ... Texas is 32-46, in last place and 16.5 GB the Angels in the West.

June 28, 2007

Clay Buchholz Interview

Enjoy Part 1 of Sox1Fan's interview with the Red Sox's top pitching prospect, Clay Buchholz here.

Look for Part 2 later today and Part 3 on Friday.

Schadenfreude 4 (A Continuing Series)

We lost a heartbreaker in Seattle as Matsuzaka pitched extremely well yet again (8-3-1-1-8, 113), but that doesn't mean we can't laugh at Fat Billy's struggles:




We were swept in the three-game series by the Mariners, but the Yankees made up no ground; they've now lost four straight. They are 11 GB in third place, while the Blue Jays are 9 GB in second.

Out in Queens, the Mets lead the NL East by 3.5.

And it looks like the heat wave finally broke. Life is good.

June 27, 2007

G77: Mariners 2, Red Sox 1 (11)

Daisuke Matsuzaka (4.01, 112 ERA+) / Ryan Feierabend (8.20, 51 ERA+)

Good: In his last four starts, Matsuzaka has allowed a total of five runs.

Bad: His teammates have scored only four runs in those four games.

Redsox.com:
On Friday, in just his fifth Major League start, [LHP] Feierabend was roughed up by the Reds, allowing nine earned runs on six hits in 2.2 innings of work, nearly doubling his ERA. He struggled with his command throughout the contest, walking five and yielding two homers. The 21-year-old earned his first big-league win on June 3, allowing four earned runs in 7.1 innings against the Rangers.

Schadenfreude 3 (A Continuing Series)

This morning, we get the Daily News:


And both sides of the Post:


Yep, that's the actual front page of a major American newspaper.

June 26, 2007

G76: Mariners 8, Red Sox 7

Red Sox  - 101 022 010 - 7 14 1
Mariners - 310 022 00x - 8 12 1
And so to bed.

***

Kason Gabbard (3.60 (5 IP), 124 ERA+) / Felix Hernandez (4.00, 105 ERA+)

In Pawtucket, Gabbard was 7-2, 3.14 in 14 starts.

MLB.com:
Gabbard was called up for a start on May 20 against the Braves and he earned the win, giving up six hits and two runs over five innings. Safeco Field was where Gabbard made his Major League debut on July 22, 2006. In that one, Gabbard took the loss, but pitched well, giving up two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings.

Hernandez got back on the right track in his last outing, shutting out the Pirates in eight innings of work while striking out nine. The last time he faced the Red Sox he recorded the ninth one-hitter in Mariners history on April 11 at Boston.

June 25, 2007

G75: Mariners 9, Red Sox 4

A gruesome 11-batter fifth-inning for Tavarez (4.1-6-6-3-3-1, 87) and Kyle Snyder (two bases loaded walks) erased a 2-1 Boston lead and put the Sox in a 6-2 hole.

Mike Timlin allowed three more runs in the eighth (on Seattle's first back-to-back home runs of the season, both hit on the first pitch) and that was that. In the top of the ninth, after Drew walked and Pedroia doubled, Youkilis brought them both in with his own double, making the score look somewhat close.

Toronto won in Minnesota, so they are now 10 GB. Idle New York is 11 GB.

***

Julian Tavarez (4.50, 100 ERA+) / Jeff Weaver (8.56, 49 ERA+)

MLB.com:
Tavarez is coming off his best start of the year, shutting down the Braves in a seven-inning masterpiece. In four June starts, Tavarez is 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA, and he's allowed three earned runs or fewer in seven of his past nine starts. ...

In his first start of the season, Boston jumped all over Weaver, who allowed seven runs on seven hits in only two innings ... Two months later, Weaver appears to have found his groove, and is coming off his best start of the season, a four-hit complete-game shutout against the Pirates ...
Jason Varitek is 8-for-19 against Weaver with a double and two homers.

Schadenfreude 2 (A Continuing Series)

George King, Post:
You watch the games and can't help but feel the Yankees' run of nine straight AL East titles is finished. What happened to that nine-game winning streak that injected life into the pinstripes? Where did the swagger go? ... What will a dark October feel like? ...

When they look at today's standings, the third place Yankees find themselves 11 1/2 games behind the first-place Red Sox and one half-game back of the Blue Jays. ...

Unfortunately for the Yankees, they are back to the way it was when they dropped 15 of 23. Five of six isn't as bad, but three straight to the Rockies and two of three to the Giants tells you one thing: This is a bad team.
Anthony McCarron, Daily News:
Can it only be a week ago that they seemed firmly in contention?

June 24, 2007

Rod Beck Dead At 38

Damn, that's young.

MLB.com:
... no cause of death was released. Beck had a history of substance abuse and went into drug rehab only months before his career ended with the Padres in 2004 ... Beck was found dead in bed in his Northeast Phoenix residence.
Beck was traded from the Cubs to the Red Sox at the end of August 1999 for Cole Liniak. He was in the Boston pen for the 2000 and 2001 seasons.

G74: Red Sox 4, Padres 2

It was a good one -- as Beckett (8-6-2-1-8, 116) bested Peavy (5-9-3-1-3, 111). The Red Sox got three in the third (RBI singles from David Ortiz and Mike Lowell and a sac fly from Manny Ramirez) and Varitek blasted a 3-0 pitch for a home run in the eighth.

The Giants beat the Yankees and the Blue Jays shutout the Rockies, so Toronto is 11 GB in second place and New York drops to third, 11.5 GB.

***

Josh Beckett (3.14, 143 ERA+) / Jake Peavy (1.98, 202 ERA+)

This should be a good one.

Beckett moves up a day in the rotation, though he'll still be working on four days rest. He has a 1.59 ERA on the road this season.

Beckett's ERA is 8th best in the AL. Peavy leads the NL -- and is second only to Dan Haren (1.78) in all of MLB.

Mike Lowell is 4-for-8 against Peavy with two homers and three RBIs.

June 23, 2007

G73: Padres 6, Red Sox 1

Young was brilliant (7-1-0-2-11, 110), Wakefield much less so (5.1-8-6-4-3, 74).

The Red Sox were never in this game. Drew's single in the fifth inning was Boston's first hit. Eric Hinske's pinch-hit double in the eighth was the second. David Murphy scored the lone Boston run, tripling with two outs in the top of the ninth and scoring on Mike Lowell's double.

For the Pads, Khalil Greene hit two home runs and singled, Josh Bard doubled, homered and drove in three runs -- Bard and Greene going back-to-back in the sixth finished Wakefield's night -- and Mike Cameron singled, doubled and scored twice.

***

Tim Wakefield (4.18, 108 ERA+) / Chris Young (2.26, 177 ERA+)

Redsox.com:
Young was working on another gem on Saturday in his previous start, opening the game with three scoreless and hitless innings before plunking Derrek Lee with a pitch to start the fourth frame. On his way to first base, Lee took a swing at Young and the benches cleared. Both players were ejected. Up until that point, Young had walked two and struck out two.
The Red Sox pitching staff has allowed only one run over the last 28 innings and limited the opposition to 0, 1 or 2 runs in five of the last seven games.

Julian Tavarez, Adult Film Star

How in the hell did I miss this last month?

Gordon Edes, Globe, May 17, 2007:
While talking to Julian Tavarez the other day about his impoverished upbringing in the Dominican -- he never went to school, sold newspapers, cleaned shoes and helped his dad, a construction worker -- Tavarez sheepishly admitted he had an odd ambition as a kid. If he couldn't be a baseball player, he said, he thought he might have a future as an adult movie star. ...

The way Julian explained it, he was exposed to a lot of that stuff as a kid, and saw it as a way to a better life.
Thanks to Red at SG.

June 22, 2007

G72: Red Sox 2, Padres 1

Matsuzaka overcame a very rough beginning -- he walked the first three Padres and threw a wild pitch -- but rebounded to pitch six respectable innings (6-5-1-5-9, 127).

San Diego got a run in the first on Michael Barrett's bases-loaded single, but that was all the offense they could muster. After the first inning, the Padres got only three runners as far as second base. Besides Dice's nine strikeouts, Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon each whiffed two in their one-inning stints.

The Red Sox bunched four of their eight hits in the fourth inning. Dustin Pedroia opened the frame with a single and after David Ortiz flied out, Manny Ramirez, Kevin Youkilis and Jason Varitek hit safely, giving Boston a 2-1 lead off Maddux (6-7-2-2-2, 91). (box)

***

Daisuke Matsuzaka (4.18, 108 ERA+) / Greg Maddux (3.90, 103 ERA+)

Dice in June (1.80 ERA):
            SCR IP  H ER BB  K  BF  PIT
0605 @OAK 0-2 7 7 2 2 8 29 130
0610 @ARI 1-5 6 4 2 4 9 27 120
0616 SFG 1-0 7 3 0 3 8 28 112
20 14 4 9 25 84 362

Opponents: .189/.286/.284
The Red Sox have scored a grand total of two runs in his starts this month.

June 20, 2007

I Hate ESPN

ESPN showed the Red Sox-Atlanta game tonight and that was the feed I received through the Extra Innings package.

The station cut away from the game three separate times to show Sammy Sosa's at-bats in Texas (he has 599 home runs), so viewers missed Edgar Renteria's at-bat in the 4th (four pitches and his GIDP), Pete Orr's at-bat in the 6th (first four pitches), and two batters in the 8th: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (three-pitch strike out) and Kelly Johnson (ball, strike, ground out to second).

I cannot begin to tell you how much this pissed me off. If ESPN is going to broadcast the Red Sox game, then show the Red Sox game. You wanna show Sammy? Then show the Rangers game. Can it be any simpler?

Anyone who cares about Sosa's HR will either be Rangers fans watching the Rangers broadcast, serious baseball fans who have Extra Innings and will click over every so often from whatever other game they are watching, or more casual fans who will check out the highlight shows later on.

It's bad enough that ESPN seems determined to hire the biggest idiots to call baseball games. But then they don't even bother to show the entire game they have grabbed the exclusive out-of-market rights to broadcast.

(How dumb is ESPN's baseball coverage? It should be the best in the business, right? Well, first of all, they think that we should be learning about the game from Steve Phillips. Then, in the top of the third inning, we get treated to Phillips and Dan Shulman talking about Coco Crisp's recent improvement at the plate, Andruw Jones's season-long slump and a discussion about whether the Red Sox see enough in Crisp to keep him around for 2008 or whether they might go looking for another CF in the free agent market this winter (Jones will be a FA). It was painfully obvious that neither Shulman nor Phillips had even an iota of a clue who the Red Sox #1 minor league prospect is: Jacoby Ellsbury -- a center fielder currently in Pawtucket.)

So ... how hard is it to find a way to complain to ESPN about its coverage? About as hard as getting Remy to not pimp his website during a NESN broadcast.

I found a webpage through which you can submit a complaint (though it likely deletes your message as soon as you click send). You could send an email to "support@espn.go.com" or try calling 1-888-549-ESPN.

P.S. Interesting how Sosa doesn't get 5% of the steroid crap that Bonds gets. I wonder if being a happy-go-lucky black man instead of a black man who doesn't kiss the media's ass has anything to do with it. Hmmmm ....

G71: Red Sox 11, Atlanta 0

JD Drew hit the fourth pitch of the evening over the right-center field wall. Before the top of the first inning was done, Dustin Pedroia doubled, Manny Ramirez doubled, Jason Varitek walked and Coco Crisp hit a three-run home run. David Ortiz clubbed a two-run shot in the second (after Drew doubled) and Boston had a quick 7-0 lead.

Sexy Lips was dynamite (7-3-0-1-4, 97) retiring the first 10 Atlanta hitters and allowing only one runner to reach third base. Joel Pineiro and Mike Timlin wrapped things up.

Memo to Terry Francona: Using Timlin with an 11-run lead is perfect usage. Please bear in mind that while he retired the side on only six pitches, that does not mean he's in a groove.

The Red Sox hit five home runs: Drew, Crisp, Ortiz, Manny (leading off the 7th) and Eric Hinske (in the eighth after subbing for Tiz at first base). Pedroia doubled twice and Wily Mo Pena, who took over in right for Drew, collected two hits.

***

Buddy Carlyle (4.44, 93 ERA+) / Julian Tavarez (4.97, 91 ERA+)

Redsox.com:
Carlyle has provided at least six solid innings in each of his past three starts to seemingly solidify a spot in the Braves' rotation. The 29-year-old journeyman allowed three runs -- two earned -- and six singles over six innings against the Indians on Friday night. ... Carlyle has shown a willingness to attack hitters with pinpoint control, something that negates the fact that he doesn't have overpowering stuff.

Red Sox's Sultan of Statistical Analysis

Wall Street Journal, June 20:
Starting in 1977 with his first Baseball Abstract, [Bill] James transformed a century's worth of conventional wisdom and forever altered the way ballplayers are judged. Applying the scientific method to the game, he and a band of amateur analysts who Mr. James termed sabermetricians (for the Society for American Baseball Research) attempted to answer through objective statistical analysis what factors led to scoring runs and winning games -- and which players contributed most to those goals. ...

[Now] James has a desk in Fenway Park and a title, senior baseball operations adviser.

June 19, 2007

G70: Red Sox 4, Atlanta 0

Beckett turned in six strong innings (6-4-0-2-3, 88) before a rain delay ended his evening. Synder, Jeemer and Papelbot finished up.

Ortiz hit an opposite field solo home run in the 4th to get the Sox on the board. Boston scored twice in the 5th when Cora tripled, Beckett doubled and Pedroia singled. In the sixth, Varitek doubled, Crisp singled and Cora hit a sac fly.

Crisp also made another diving catch, running a long way to left center and diving flat-out to snare McCann's liner in the sixth.

And a round of boos for home plate umpire Randy Marsh, who called time out for McCann when Beckett had already begun his delivery -- twice! It happened in the first and the sixth. And after the second time, it looked like Marsh was scolding McCann. WTF? You are the umpire, if it's too late, don't grant the time out!

***

Josh Beckett (3.39, 133 ERA+) / Tim Hudson (3.25, 127 ERA+)

Redsox.com:
Hudson limited the Twins to just two hits over 7.1 scoreless innings on Thursday night and only exited because of what he deemed minor stiffness in his neck. ... He'll be looking to exorcise some demons against the Red Sox, who tagged him for six earned runs over just 4.2 innings May 20.

Schilling Heads Back To Boston For MRI

Gordon Edes reports that
Curt Schilling left the team and went back to Boston today to meet with Red Sox team doctor Thomas Gill and have a precautionary MRI on his [right] shoulder.
NESN's Tom Caron adds that
a Red Sox official told us there were concerns over the lack of velocity in Schilling's performance last night. According to the NESN radar gun, Schilling never hit 90 mph over his 81 pitches last night.
Francona:
I think his shoulder was a little -- he was just having trouble getting loose. With all the humidity [Monday] night, I think our thought would be that it would be easy to get loose. He didn't complain of pain or anything, it's just the ball wasn't coming out [well].
Schilling's next start is scheduled for this Sunday against the Padres.

What's Wrong With Schilling?

Dead arm? Bad luck? Age?
DATE       IP   H  R ER BB SO  NP-ST
0512 BAL 5.1 9 4 4 2 4 95-65
0517 DET 6.0 8 2 2 4 6 118-74
0523 @NYY 6.0 12 6 5 0 3 93-64
0528 CLE 7.0 6 1 1 0 10 114-77
0602 NYY 5.0 9 4 4 1 2 75-49
0607 @OAK 9.0 1 0 0 0 4 100-71
0613 COL 5.0 9 6 5 1 5 98-72
0618 @ATL 4.1 10 6 6 2 0 81-50

47.2 64 29 27 10 34 ERA: 5.10
In six of his last eight starts, he has been horrible. I'm including May 17 in that category, since, despite it being a "quality start", he allowed 12 base runners in six innings.

His season WHIP stands at 1.357 -- which would be the third-worst of his career, after 2005 and 1994 (during which had a tender elbow and left knee surgery). Schilling has allowed 109 hits this year; only one pitcher has allowed more: Zack Duke, 120 (Kyle Lohse also has allowed 109).

Last night, Schilling had no command of any pitch and his fastball was consistently below 90 (there may have been one that topped out at 91). He went to two strikes on eight Atlanta hitters and did not record a strikeout -- his first start without a K in 14 years.

More than one SoSHer said he simply looked bewildered on the mound. As BCsMightyJoeYoung posted: "The most telling factor was that Tito had the pen up in the 4th - when it was still 2-1." Unfortunately, he let the score get to 6-1 before he took action.

June 18, 2007

Mike Timlin's Nickname?

Toast or White Flag?

G69: Atlanta 9, Red Sox 4

Coco went 4-for-4, with two solo home runs and two singles.

What else? Pedroia walked twice and singled, Manny walked and singled, Drew hit a home run, even Schilling got a hit ... umm, but he gave up 10 hits and six runs in 4.1 innings and things got worse from there.

DFA Timlin now.

***

Curt Schilling (3.80, 118 ERA+) / Chuck James (4.16, 99 ERA+)

Atlanta is 1.5 GB the Mets in the NL East. Redsox.com:
LHP James, whose fastball hovers in the high 80s, left the ball up against Minnesota in his last start. As a result, he was pounded; he yielded six runs, all earned, on nine hits and three homers. Before the debacle at the Metrodome, James had thrown quality starts in his previous three outings.
7:00 tonight, but 7:30 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

June 17, 2007

G68: Red Sox 9, Giants 5

A five-run third inning snapped a 2-2 tie and helped the Sox coast to victory on Fathers Day and sweep the Giants.

Ortiz had two ground-rule doubles and a walk, Manny doubled and homered (another missle into the Monster Seats) and had 3 RBI, Youkilis singled twice and drove in two; Drew, Pedroia and Ortiz each scored twice.

Wakefield was so-so (5.2-8-5-1-3, 93), but the quarter of Delcarmen, Lopez, Pineiro and Okajima put up a good line: 3.1-1-0-3-1). Pineiro's one pitch was a GIDP that ended the top of the seventh when the Giants had potential go-ahead run at the plate.

The East lead gets bumped up to 9 GA. Mets and Chokers tonight. ... Mets lost: 8.5.

***

Matt Morris (2.56, 163 ERA+) / Tim Wakefield (3.92, 114 ERA+)

The Globe says Brendan Donnelly has been put on the DL with a strained right forearm. That's probably the reason he suddenly stopped throwing in the pen during the 8th inning on Friday night and Joel Pineiro got up in a hurry. ... Manny Delcarmen has been recalled from Pawtucket.

Morris has pitched consecutive complete games
          SCORE  IP  H ER BB  K  PIT
0606 @Arz 0-1 8 7 1 2 6 120
0611 vTor 4-3 9 7 3 1 4 110
and his ERA is 4th best in the NL.

1918 Red Sox Watch: Kevin Youkilis has played 114 consecutive errorless games at first base, which is only five games fewer than the club record set by Stuffy McInnis (May 31 to October 2, 1921). McInnis was traded to Cleveland in the off-season and continued his streak there -- until June 2, 1922 -- setting a major league record of 1,700 chances without an error.

June 16, 2007

G67: Red Sox 1, Giants 0

Dice (7-3-0-3-8, 112) and Manny Ramirez (line drive home run to left in the 4th) were the story today.

***

Matt Cain (3.31, 126 ERA+) / Daisuke Matsuzaka (4.52, 99 ERA+)

June 15, 2007

G66: Red Sox 10, Giants 2

Tavarez allowed two quick runs in the top of the first, but settled down nicely (7-6-2-2-3, 103). The 1-2 hitters in the Boston lineup collected eight of the Red Sox's nine hits and drove in eight of the 10 runs.

JD Drew (3-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI, 3 RS) and Dustin Pedroia (5-for-5, 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 2 RS) were the main attraction. At the bottom of the order, both Coco Crisp and Julio Lugo scored twice. Manny Ramirez and Crisp each drew two walks.

In New York, the Mets shut out the Yankees and Fat Billy 2-0.
                 IP    H ER BB  K  BF PIT-ST GB FO
Tavarez v Giants 7 6 2 2 3 29 103-58 11 7
Clemens v Mets 6.1 7 2 1 8 27 108-67 8 3
One of Tavarez's walks was intentional (Bonds). From the 2nd to 7th innings, only three Giants got as far as second base.

***

Barry Zito (4.02, 104 ERA+) / Julian Tavarez (5.25, 85 ERA+)

Dave Roberts Returns!

Tito: "I would be shocked if, when Davey comes up, the place doesn't explode."

Redsox.com:
Tavarez has allowed three earned runs or fewer in six of his last eight starts. ...

Zito has won three starts in dominating fashion sandwiched by two awkward losses to his former team. He lost in Oakland on May 18, giving up seven runs in four innings. Over the next 20 innings, Zito gave up one earned run. In losing to the A's in San Francisco on Saturday, he allowed three earned runs on nine hits over four innings.
And it's a 1912 World Series rematch!

"Billy Beane Wrote Moneyball"

Joe Morgan proudly refuses to even crack the spine of one of the most famous and influential baseball books of the last 30 years -- though his ignorance doesn't stop him from criticizing it -- so I'm not surprised he has no clue who the author is.

But what excuse do the writers and editors at a national wire service have? As seen in Thursday's Toronto Star:
How annoyed do you think Michael Lewis gets when/if he sees stuff like this?

June 14, 2007

G65: Rockies 7, Red Sox 1

Jeff Francis (3.81, 117 ERA+) / Josh Beckett (2.88, 155 ERA+)

Well, now. Lineup, from the Globe, from WEEI:
J.D. Drew, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Mike Lowell, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Coco Crisp, CF
Julio Lugo, SS
I like it.

Redsox.com:
Francis had a 6.52 ERA in April but has recovered with a 2.47 ERA and four wins since. In his last start at Baltimore, Francis got the loss, going seven innings and allowing four runs.

June 13, 2007

G64: Rockies 12, Red Sox 2

Josh Fogg (5.06, 88 ERA+) / Curt Schilling (3.49, 127 ERA+)

After missing two weeks with a left groin injury, RHP Fogg allowed six runs and 11 hits in five innings against the Astros on Thursday. ... The only Rockie with as many as 10 plate appearances against Schilling is catcher Yorvit Torrealba (5-for-10).

Fogg is consistent: His ERA+ from 2002: 99, 81, 89, 85, 88, 88.

With Pedroia getting the night off, Francona considered having Youkilis (.421 OBP) lead off, but is opting instead for Crisp (.281 OBP). Sigh ....

At least Yook is #2. No major league team -- not even the worst team in the game -- should have a sub-.300 OBP guy leading off. Anyone who gets on base that infrequently should be fighting like hell to avoid being sent to the minors.
Coco Crisp, CF
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
J.D. Drew, RF
Mike Lowell, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Alex Cora, 2B
Julio Lugo, SS

The Season In Streaks

Not much time to blog this week. Here's something that shows the strength of our starting pitching. The season so far:
L
WW
LL
WW
L
WWW
L
WWWWW
LL
WWW
L
W
L
WWW
L
WWWW
L
WWW
L
WWW
L
W
L
W
L
WWWWW
L
L
W
LLLL
WWW
L
W
From April 20 to May 30 -- a stretch of 33 games (bolded) -- the Red Sox did not lose consecutive games.

Fenway: 60 Years Of Night Baseball

Sixty years ago tonight, the Red Sox played the first night game at Fenway Park before a crowd of 34,510 (a larger crowd than that season's Opening Day).

Friday, June 13, 1947:
White Sox - 001 011 000 - 3  13
Red Sox - 000 050 00x - 5 8
The Red Sox were the third-to-last major league team to play home night games.

June 12, 2007

G63: Red Sox 2, Rockies 1

Wakefield (8-4-1-1-3, 102) and Papelbot (K, F9, K in the 9th) handled the mound chores, while Lugo and Youkilis doubled in the third for one run and JD Drew's sac fly scored Cora with the second run in the eighth. (In four trips, Ortiz singled twice, doubled and walked.)

A quick game in 2:25 that ended just as Sons of Butcher was starting on Teletoon. Perfect!

***

Aaron Cook (4.54, 99 ERA+) / Tim Wakefield (4.22, 106 ERA+)

Redsox.com:
Cook has typically pitched six innings, while giving up three or four runs, in the majority of his 13 starts this season. ... He allowed five runs on seven hits in six innings against Houston in his last outing, but the Rockies came back to win. Three starts ago, Cook hurled a five-hit complete game in a win over the Giants.

Lester Activated; Sent To Pawtucket

Jon Lester has been optioned to Pawtucket and will start on Friday against Richmond.

Nick Cafardo, Globe:
His .213 average and .274 on-base percentage can't be making the Sox very happy, so let's see if Julio Lugo gets dropped in the order on the homestand.
This is so overdue that it's finally getting some play in the papers.

June 10, 2007

G62: Diamondbacks 5, Red Sox 1

The Return of Mike Timlin was everything I expected it to be.

Red Sox trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, men on first and second, no outs. Timlin's first pitch is bunted out in front of the plate. Timlin grabs it and throws over Kevin Youkilis's head at first base. It's a three-base error, the two inherited runs score (surprise!) and Arizona is now up 4-1.

His first pitch!

Timlin then walks the next guy -- no sign of Francona, of course -- but then gets the next two batters on pop-ups. However, a single brings in a run that actually gets charged to Timlin, but because of his three-base error a few minutes ago, it's unearned.

So, yeah, he turned a tight 2-1 game into a 5-1 hole in the top of the ninth, thus virtually assuring a loss, but look on the bright side -- he lowered his ERA by 64 points.

***

Daisuke Matsuzaka (4.63, 96 ERA+) / Randy Johnson (3.78, 116 ERA+)

Redsox.com:
Matsuzaka made his seventh quality start when he gave up two runs on seven hits over seven innings in a 2-0 loss to the Oakland A's on Tuesday. The bad news is that he threw 130 pitches, the most by a Red Sox hurler since last April.

The [Big Eunuch] allowed two runs on seven hits over six innings in his last start. He has hit his stride of late throwing six shutout innings in his start before against the Phillies in Philadelphia. Johnson missed the start prior to the one in Philly with tendinitis in his left forearm, but it has not bothered him since.
Gordon Edes:
Matsuzaka took batting practice Friday, Japanese reporters recording his every swing, and drove a ball that hit the 413-foot sign in left-center, about the same spot that J.D. Drew hit one a little farther for a home run that night.
Ian Browne:
According to one member of the Japanese media, Matsuzaka had 11 hits -- including two homers -- in 22 swings.
Japan uses the DH, but in two years of batting in interleague games, Matsuzaka went 4-for-19 (.211) with one homer and three RBIs.

Sexy Lips v Fat Billy

Our #5 versus New York's $18 million man:
        IP  H ER BB  K  BF PIT-ST  G  F GmSc
Tavarez 6 6 3 1 5 25 97-61 6 7 52
Clemens 6 5 3 2 7 24 108-69 6 5 55
I don't see much of a difference at all. Also:
          AVG   OBP   SLG  R/Game
Arizona .253 .320 .406 4.16 at Home
Pirates .251 .312 .382 4.32 on Road
Naturally, the New York media acted like it was the Second Coming:





Good lord.

June 9, 2007

G61: Red Sox 4, Diamondbacks 3 (10)

Julian Tavarez (5.33, 84 ERA+) / Micah Owings (3.86, 114 ERA+)

Mike Lowell will get the night off as Kevin Youkilis plays third.

MLB.com:
Micah Owings ... has not pitched since May 29. The last time Owings had 11 days between starts he struggled through his worst outing of the year, giving up seven runs in 2.2 innings May 19 at Pittsburgh.
After that, however, Owings pitched a complete game victory (9-9-1-1-8) against Houston on May 24 and went five innings (5-7-1-2-3) against the Phillies on May 29.

Timlin Returns; Romero DFA'd

Mike Timlin returns to the Boston bullpen after a little more than a month on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right shoulder.

And in a surprising move, the Red Sox chose not to option Javier Lopez to Pawtucket, which would be the safe, we-basically-lose-nothing move, but to designate JC Romero for assignment. The team has 10 days to either trade him, waive him or release him.

The Sox would rather risk losing Romero than demote Lopez and give Romero more time to get straightened out. And Romero's contract ($1.6) is easier to eat than that of the equally-crappy-if-not-more-so Joel Pineiro ($4). Romero said he was "stunned" at the decision.

Romero has a season ERA of 3.15 and an ERA+ of 142. But that is deceptive, because in 20 innings, he has allowed 24 hits and 15 walks for a staff-high (and really, really bad) 1.950 WHIP. And while he has a 2.08 ERA in his last 19 appearances, he has also walked 12 batters in his last 9.2 innings. ... Both left- (.297) and right- (.317, 1.025 OPS) handed hitters have hit him well all year.

Meanwhile, Lopez has allowed two earned runs in his last 10 appearances and has held lefties to a .219 average (7-for-32).

Now, with Timlin, I'm concerned that Terry Francona will immediately slot him in as the RH set-up guy, bumping Brendan Donnelly. I was not thrilled that the Sox brought the 41-year-old Timlin back for this season -- as one of Francona's favorites, Timlin is relied upon much more than is warranted by his actual performance -- and I question what he can offer this team. In 8.2 innings this season, Timlin has allowed 11 hits and has a 6.23 ERA.

Also: A little bit more on Julio Lugo's hidden ball trick.

Schilling Blog Re One-Hitter

It's here.

Schilling also recalls his 2002 start in which his bid for a perfect game was broke up by an eighth-inning bunt.

June 8, 2007

G60: Red Sox 10, Diamondbacks 3

JD Drew drove in a career-best seven runs (hitting three-run home runs in the third and sixth innings and doubling home a run in the eighth) and Josh Beckett was on top of his game (8-5-3-2-0-8, 92).

The night belonged to Boston from the start -- Julio Lugo began the game with a home run to left field. Lugo also pulled off a deft tag of Alberto Callaspo in the third inning -- waiting and watching until Callaspo took his hand off second base when he stood up after a slide.

***

Josh Beckett (2.95, 152 ERA+) / Doug Davis (3.05, 143 ERA+)

Ortiz at first, Yook on bench.

Redsox.com:
Davis pitched well in his last start against the Mets in New York. The left-hander allowed just one run over 7.2 innings. ... In his last three starts, he has allowed just four earned runs over 22.2 innings.
Arizona (36-25) is 1 GB the Giants in the NL West. ... First of 15 straight interleague games. Boo.

Closer to home, it's Pirates at Yankees and Blue Jays at Dodgers.

P.S. Kevin Youkilis has not updated his blog in nine days. And Curt Schilling hasn't posted about his one-hitter yet. Odd.

Taking Solace Wherever You Find It

Peter Abraham, LoHud Yankees Blog:
You should have heard the clubhouse when Shannon Stewart busted up 38pitches.com’s no-hitter. Cheers from the back of the room to the front.
Tyler Kepner, New York Times blog:
The Yankees watched the end of Schilling's game in the clubhouse Thursday afternoon. When Shannon Stewart broke up the no-hitter, the room erupted in cheers, players bursting from their seats and shouting. ...

I kidded with Mussina and asked if he'd send a telegram to Schilling. Mussina, whose perfect game was ruined by Carl Everett on Sept. 2, 2001, sneered. "What?" he cried. "He didn't get to one strike away!"

Tizzle's Believe It Or Not

David Ortiz claims he had no idea Curt Schilling was pitching a no-hitter until there was one out in the ninth.
I was talking with Luis Alicea and he asked me, "Would you bring in the closer right here?" He was messing around with me. But when he asked me, I was like, "He's pitching good, why do you want to bring in your closer?" ...

I looked at the board and I saw all the zeros and I kept looking at it and then I saw the zero under the H and I was like, "Wait a minute!" I'm looking around and everybody goes, "Shhhh." It was good that I didn't find out before that time, because I got nervous.
Brad Mills:
Ortiz came up to me and said, "I swear on my children, I didn't know it was a no-hitter." After the game, he came up to us.
Mike Lowell called BS:
I love him, but I'm sorry, I don't buy that, saying it's the ninth inning and [he] didn't know. I'd know after the first.
Alex Cora:
How many people were here in the stadium? Thirty [thousand]-something, plus 25 [Athletics], plus 24 [Red Sox]. He was the only guy not watching the game.
Schilling:
After the fourth or fifth, I was aware of it.
Cora had no shot at stopping Shannon Stewart's hit, but he dove anyway.
I dove because I know on TV, if I don't dive for that ball, it will look so bad.
Since I score games, if a pitcher throws a perfect first inning and get the first batter in the second, I often start thinking about a perfect game/no-hitter. If he retires at least 7 in a row, then it's definitely on my mind.

June 7, 2007

G59: Red Sox 1, Athletics 0

Curt Schilling came closer to pitching a no-hitter -- 8.2 innings! -- this afternoon than he had in any of his 425 career starts. (Julio Lugo had made an error on a routine grounder that would have ended the fifth inning, so it was not a bid for a perfect game.)

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Jason Varitek called for a slider, Schilling said no and threw a fastball, which Shannon Stewart lined to right field. Two pitches later, Mark Ellis fouled out to Alex Cora and the game was over.
           IP   H   R  ER  BB   K   BF  PIT
Schilling 9 1 0 0 0 4 29 100
Schilling went to a two-ball count on only seven of 29 Oakland batters. He threw three balls to only one of those seven: Jack Cust in the 2nd.

The Red Sox's run came on David Ortiz's solo home run in the top of the first.

***

Curt Schilling (3.91, 115 ERA+) / Joe Blanton (3.81, 113 ERA+)

Redsox.com:
Blanton will have a hard time matching his effort from his last outing, but he'll give it a try. Blanton took just an hour and 49 minutes to pitch a shutout on Saturday night against the Twins, holding them to three hits and striking out six.

Schilling couldn't build on his dominant previous start against Cleveland, allowing five earned runs and nine hits against the Yankees at Fenway. ... He has allowed 89 hits in 76 innings this season.

Super Manny!


First seen at Boston Blogger; found in SI's Gallery.

What, Me Worry? (No, But It's Time To Bat Lugo #8)

Jeff Horrigan, Herald:
It took more than two months, but there may finally be a reason for Red Sox fans to start fidgeting.
Umm, no. Despite four straight losses (and only one win in the last seven games), Boston has the best record in baseball (37-21) and the largest division lead (9 GA) in the majorts. Among all 30 teams, the Sox are 3rd in run scored and tied for 3rd in fewest runs allowed.

Still ... something's going on.

Amalie Benjamin, Globe:
It's been a long time since I've walked into the Red Sox clubhouse after a game and found it like it was tonight.

Silent, really.

Silent and solemn.
Ortiz:
It seems like everything changed after the travel we had to do (to get) here. The intensity. The little stuff. It's not there. It's a different feeling. We don't have the intensity we normally have. That's my view. A lot of guys are trying, but it's not coming together.
MLB.com's Rick Eymer highlights Julio Lugo's stolen bases in his Red Sox notebook. The headline states that Lugo has been "providing [a] spark at the top" of the Boston lineup. Lugo:
I'm producing well. I know my average (.225) will be there. I'm getting hits when it counts. I'm making contact; I'm just not hitting the ball where I want.
If you want to keep deluding yourself, Julio, go right ahead. But the facts don't agree with you. The serious underachieving shortstop has an on-base percentage of .282 -- the worst of the starters. His OPS+ is 59. Doug Mirabelli's is 54. Forget foot speed for a minute -- do you want a hitter as productive [sic] as Mirabelli leading off?

It's time to stop giving Lugo the most plate appearances of anyone on the team. How about this lineup (with OBP and OPS+ (100 is league average)?
Youkilis  .427   154
Pedroia .399 125
Ortiz .443 171
Ramirez .380 123
Lowell .382 147
Varitek .370 117
Drew .344 75
Lugo .282 59
Crisp .290 60

June 6, 2007

G58: Athletics 3, Red Sox 2

Wakefield (6.2-7-3-2-8, 116) hit a bump in the fourth inning, when a one-out double and a walk, double and single with two outs brought in three Oakland runs.

Boston rallied briefly against Kennedy (7-7-2-2-6, 100) in the seventh -- Manny doubled and Youkilis tripled (Pena's grounder scored Yook) -- but that was it. Three more GIDP for the Red Sox -- in the 2nd, 4th and 5th innings -- made a total of 8 in a span of 12 innings.

Toronto lost, so we remain 9 GA of them, but the Orioles (10 GB), Yankees (10.5) and Devil Rays (11.5) all won and took one step closer to the kings of the hill.

Schilling in the afternoon game on Thursday.

***

Tim Wakefield (4.24, 106 ERA+) / Joe Kennedy (3.30, 130 ERA+)

Redsox.com:
Not since Sept. 4, 2004, had Wakefield been pounded for eight earned runs before his last start, on Friday night. But Wakefield's control deserted him against the Yankees, who touched him for five hits and six walks and scored eight times in 3.2 innings. Wakefield's ERA has ballooned from 1.79 to 4.24 in four starts since May 15.

Kennedy bounced back from a seven-run beating at the hands of the host Orioles to put together his strongest start of the season Friday night against the visiting Twins, holding Minnesota to a run on six hits over eight innings while throwing a season-high 110 pitches. As has often been the case this year, though, the A's offered little offensive support, so Kennedy, who has allowed one run in six of his 10 starts and has allowed more than three runs only once, was stuck with his fifth no-decision.

Catcher Jason Varitek and outfielder Manny Ramirez can't wait to grab a bat against Kennedy. Varitek is a .538 hitter against the A's left-hander, with a pair of doubles and a triple. Ramirez is 9-for-17 (.429) with five doubles and five RBIs against Kennedy.

He Needs Your Vote

Dan Lamothe writes the Red Sox Monster blog at masslive.com. He interviewed me here.

He is currently in some Hot Blogger Tournament and needs your vote (for his Eye On Foxborough blog). He says he's "getting killed by anti-Sox sentiment".

We can't let that happen. Go here and Vote for Dan.

June 5, 2007

G57: Athletics 2, Red Sox 0

Cy DiNardo shuts us down on two hits and six walks over six innings, the A's turn five double plays, and Dice gives up single runs in the fourth (Chavez HR) and fifth (Kendall leadoff BB and 2-out double by Swisher).

The key pitch of the night was to Youkilis with one out and the bases loaded in the sixth. DiNardo's 3-1 pitch was up and away -- which should have brought in a run, making it 2-1 and leaving the sacks loaded for Lowell -- but it was called a strike. Yook lined the next pitch to third, and Pedroia had to hit the dirt between first and second to avoid his shattered bat and was easily doubled off first. Inning over.

The Red Sox have a season-high three-game losing streak. Toronto scored six times in the bottom of the ninth to beat Tampa, 12-11, and close to within 9 GB.

***

Daisuke Matsuzaka (4.83, 93 ERA+) / Lenny DiNardo (1.80, 239 ERA+)

Redsox.com:
DiNardo threw the ball well -- 5.1 innings, four hits, two walks, three strikeouts, one unearned run -- on Wednesday against the Rangers but made one of two Oakland fielding miscues in the sixth inning, allowing the Rangers to score three unearned runs on the way to a 4-0 victory. It was DiNardo's first big-league start since Sept. 14, 2006 -- when he was with the Red Sox.

Clemens? ... Yeah, That'll Help.

Matt Damon is enjoying his summer.

Inspiration

Paul SF writes:
Terry Francona dubbed last night's 11-inning loss (which has me a bit groggy this morning, having watched the final three innings) "heartbreaking." With all due respect to Terry, I disagree. This might be the most uplifting loss I've ever seen.
Ian Browne agrees:
I think the Red Sox showed more about themselves as a team in Monday night's loss than they have in nearly any of their victories this season.
Two posts from solid Yankee Bloggers explaining why New York will not win the AL East.

June 4, 2007

G56: Athletics 5, Red Sox 4 (11)

Eric Chavez's home run off Kyle Snyder with one out in the bottom of the 11th ended a wild one at 1:55 AM.

It's a little weird to feel so unperturbed by two straight losses, but both this game and Sunday's game against New York were addictive, nail-biting baseball, and perhaps living in these post-2004 times -- and holding a 10+ game lead, of course -- lets me handle a few losses.

Oakland's Mark Ellis hit for the cycle, needing a 10th-inning single to do it. The Red Sox have now lost their only two extra-inning games this season, both to Oakland and both by a score of 5-4 (May 1 was the other game).

David Ortiz and Wily Mo Pena both his solo home runs and Pena's RBI single in the 9th tied the game as Boston rallied to score twice. Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 14 games. ... Birthday boy JC Romero pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the ninth, getting Chavez swinging and Bobby Crosby on a 5-2-3 DP.

Elsewhere in the East, Baltimore and New York lost, Tampa won and the Jays were idle. So we lead Toronto by 10, Orioles by 11, and the Devil Rays and Yankees by 12.5.

***

Julian Tavarez (5.40, 83 ERA+) / Dan Haren (1.64, 262 ERA+)

Lips draws another ace.

Dustin Pedroia was named AL Rookie of the Month for May -- .415/.472/.600, six doubles, two home runs and nine RBI. His batting average for the season is .336.

June 3, 2007

G55: Yankees 6, Red Sox 5

Yankees - 010 030 011 -  6  12  1
Red Sox - 000 050 000 - 5 11 1
Jeemer and Snuffer get beat in a hell of a game (and Slappy'll get some positive press with his solo home run in the 9th off the 'bot).

The Sox should be plenty tired when they touch down in Oakland early Monday morning -- still holding an 10.5-game lead.

***

Andy Pettitte (2.51, 169 ERA+) / Josh Beckett (2.65, 169 ERA+)

Matching ERA+! They are tied for 4th in the AL, behind Dan Haren (262) and Chad Gaudin (185) of Oakland and John Lackey (179) of the Angeles. Kansas City's Gil Meche is 6th (157).

Redsox.com:
In his first start against the Yankees this year [April 21], Beckett allowed a season-high four earned runs in 6.2 innings, but still won the game. ... Pettitte's worst performance of the season came against [Boston] on April 27, when he allowed five earned runs and 11 baserunners in 4.2 innings. ...

Ramirez batted .327 with a .577 slugging percentage in May, and is off to a scorching start in June [5-for-8]. He has tormented Pettitte over his long career, batting .418 with 11 extra-base hits against the southpaw in 67 career at-bats.
Doug Mientkiewicz (BR page sponsored by JoS) suffered a mild concussion, cervical sprain and a fractured scaphoid bone in his right wrist. He'll be placed on the disabled list today.

Boggs Liked Beer

Did he really drink 50-60 beers on almost every Yankees cross-country flight?

Ask former Yankee pitcher Jeff Nelson.

Lowell Explains

Yankee fans were not too pleased with Mike Lowell ramming into and knocking down Robinson Cano this afternoon.

AP:
"Just a clean play," said Lowell, who spent his first four professional seasons in the Yankees organization. "They taught me how to do it."
Globe:
We had two rules: You can never peel off, you had to slide no matter if you had to slide halfway; and if the second baseman tried to tag you, you did everything in your power to not let him get rid of the ball. I'm not throwing an elbow or anything, but I'm trying to make him not be able to throw the ball.

June 2, 2007

"Groin Fatigue"

The Yankees' Saviour will not pitch on Monday night in Chicago. He will be out until this coming Friday.

That was fast. I figured he'd pitch at least one major league inning before getting hurt.

G54: Red Sox 11, Yankees 6

Yankees - 010 004 100 -  6 12  2
Red Sox - 001 202 51x - 11 14 0
The Yankees blew three leads today -- and dropped back to 13.5 GB. (Yeah, Friday was a spark. Pfft.)

According to Fox, the Yankees have blown leads and lost in 6 of the 11 games they have played this year against Boston (overall they are 4-7). And from the 7th inning on in those 11 games, the Red Sox have outscored them 31-8.

The Sox got five in the 7th today -- thanks to a leadoff double from Ortiz, three walks from Proctor, singles from Crisp and Pedroia (who was 3-for-5 in the 2-hole), a sac fly from Lugo and two errors from Jeter.

But Mike Lowell was the star of the game, walking in the 2nd, singling in a run in the 4th and them ramming into Cano between first and second trying to break up a possible double play, hitting a solo home run to start the sixth, and doubling in a run in the 8th. He also made some nice plays at third, starting inning-ending double plays in the 5th and 6th, and making a bare-handed grab-and-gun in the 8th, retiring Cabrera.

***

Mike Mussina (5.86, 72 ERA+) / Curt Schilling (3.68, 121 ERA+)

Proctor on hitting Yook:
I can understand why Youkilis was mad at me. Any time you get a ball thrown at your head ... But if I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it on the first pitch. I'm not going to do it 2-2 and waste four pitches. That's stupid.
Or you do it on a 2-2 pitch, so you can say how stupid it would be to do it on a 2-2 pitch.

Remy's Comments On A-Rod's Baserunning Distraction

Remy, last night on NESN, as Youkilis batted in the third inning:
I really don't know what the big deal is about that, I mean, unless you've had your head in the sand, that stuff happens quite often, unless it's just completely stopped the last few years. We're up here, we can't hear it, but I know in my playing time, that happened all the time -- and if you're dumb enough to fall for it, shame on you.

"I got it". People have run by me -- "I got it". If you don't know the voice of your shortstop or second baseman I mean, you've got to know that. ...

If people think that's something new in baseball, please [laughs]. You ought to hear when a first baseman or third baseman goes towards the dugout to try to make a catch. How about a second baseman or shortstop dekeing a runner, you know, on a fly ball to the outfield?

Now like I said, if you're the opposing team, and you take exception to it, there are ways to deal with it and generally it comes from the pitcher on your club. That's how you deal with it. But don't tell me that that's something new in baseball.

June 1, 2007

G53: Yankees 9, Red Sox 5

A poor showing from Wakefield (3.2-5-8-6-2, 81) put the Sox in a deep hole in the 4th. And despite holding a 9-3 lead, the Yankees used six relief pitchers (one was ejected) to get the final 10 outs.

Manny had four hits, Ortiz and Pedroia had three, and Youkilis extended his hitting streak to 23 games.



***

Chien-Ming Wang (4.13, 103 ERA+) / Tim Wakefield (3.36, 133 ERA+)

Redsox.com:
Wakefield won for the first time in three starts Saturday against the Rangers in Arlington, giving up four runs on five hits in seven innings. Over his past three starts, Wakefield has allowed 15 runs over 19 innings. In three starts this season at Fenway, he is 1-2 with a 4.05 ERA and has allowed three home runs in 20 innings. The knuckleballer is 0-2 with a 7.84 ERA in two starts this year against the Yankees, who are batting .326 against him. ...

Wang allowed three runs in the first inning of his previous start against the Angels but settled in to hold the Halos scoreless over the next seven innings of a six-strikeout, six-hit performance. Wang's early issues were related to his arm slot, which is a topic that catcher Jorge Posada and pitching coach Ron Guidry have had to remind him often to keep up. Wang hasn't allowed a home run to a right-handed batter all year and has induced at least one ground-ball double play in each of his past seven starts, matching the longest streak of his career.

MLB Rules -- 2.00 -- "Interference"

The Globe, among many others, are asking whether Alex Rodriguez's Hah!/Mine! shout was "bush league or brilliant", yet they are not looking at the rule book.
2.00 Definition of Terms

INTERFERENCE

(a) Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. If the umpire declares the batter, batter-runner, or a runner out for interference, all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference, unless otherwise provided by these rules.
Whether a fan likes or loathes the play is irrelevant. It appears that what Slappy did is in violation of the rule, but I guess the meaning of "confuses" is up to the umpire.

Grave Danger