Red Sox - 000 000 000 - 0 1 0It's been an interesting two days for rookie Jonathan Van Every.
Rays - 004 211 05x - 13 18 0
While he might have imagined himself making a couple of crucial catches late in the game and driving in a couple of runs, including an extra-inning home run for the win -- his contribution to Wednesday's victory in Cleveland -- the rest of his fantasy probably did not involve coming in from right field the very next night to pitch to four batters in the eighth inning of a blowout.
Unwilling to waste another arm in what was then a 12-0 game, Terry Francona banished Javier Lopez (.1-4-5-1-0) to right field and called JVE to the mound six batters into the eighth inning. Jason Bartlett fouled out to third, but Michel Hernandez doubled to right center -- forcing a humiliated Lopez to chase the ball to the wall. JVE walked B.J. Upton before getting pinch-hitter Ben Zobrist to foul out to first.
Garza retired the first 18 Boston batters before an infield single from Jacoby Ellsbury ended his dreams of perfection in the seventh. LBJ, however, was quickly erased on a double play. Garza (7.2-1-0-1-10, 108) then walked David Ortiz before getting Kevin Youkilis to ground out. Boston's third and final baserunner was Julio Lugo, who was walked by Grant Balfour in the top of the ninth.
Lopez's six-batter appearance -- in what was initially an 8-0 blowout -- was amazingly bad. Can you spot the pattern?
Crawford: falls behind 3-0, groundout 4-3 on full count
Longoria: single to center on 1-2 pitch
Pena: falls behind 2-0, single to right
Burrell: falls behind 3-0, walk on 3-1 pitch
Gross: falls behind 2-0, double on 2-1 pitch
Iwamura: falls behind 2-0, double to right-center
14 balls and 11 strikes (and 4 of those strikes were 2 singles and 2 doubles).
He's worthless. Cut. The. Cord.
Josh Beckett (6.00, 84 ERA+) / Matt Garza (4.97, 97 ERA+)
First of four at the Trop against the last-place Rays (8-14).
Daisuke Matsuzaka threw a bullpen session of 47 pitches yesterday afternoon after long tossing from about 200 feet. Dice is expected to throw another bullpen on Saturday and then be sent out on a multi-start rehab assignment.
Terry Francona, on John Smoltz's progress:
I would say it's about a week of just kind of slowing down a little bit. I guess we had probably thought all along that this was a possibility. ... He's been grinding pretty hard, going pretty hard. ... There's nothing that came up that's crazy. We just thought this was the best thing to do.Manny Delcarmen has been dealing with a tight left hip flexor for the last week. ... Mike Lowell has a 13-game hitting streak. ... Alex Rodriguez, aka Bitch Tits.