July 13, 2009

First Half: Best and Worst Games

Best

April 11 - Jason Bay hits two home runs, Ramon Ramirez and Jonathan Papelbon throw 68 pitches in relief of Brad Penny, and the Angels leave the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. Red Sox 5-4.

April 17 - Red Sox trail the Orioles 7-0 in the second inning, but immediately rally and lead 10-8 after six. That's the final.

April 24, 25 and 26: Red Sox sweep the Yankees at Fenway 5-4 (11), 16-11, and 4-1. Bay hits a game-tying, two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth off Mariano Rivera (Kevin Youkilis's dong wins it in the 11th), New York blows a six-run lead the next day, then Jacoby Ellsbury steals home off a drowsy Andy Pettitte in the finale. (Boston beats Cleveland on the 17th to cap an 11-game winning streak.)

May 7 - At home against Cleveland, the Red Sox score 12 runs in the sixth inning before making an out. That sets a new AL record and ties the MLB mark. Red Sox win 13-3.

May 20: - David Ortiz hits his first home run of the year, against the Blue Jays. About five minutes later, Bay and Mike Lowell go back-to-back; Jason Varitek had hit the first of his two homers to start the inning. CF Ellsbury ties a ML record with 12 putouts. Red Sox win 8-3.

June 6 - Jon Lester takes a perfect game into the seventh inning at home against the Rangers. He goes the distance with "evil, depraved filth", allowing two hits and striking out 11 in an 8-1 win. He struck out 12 in his previous start and would fan 11 more in his next outing (34 strikeouts in 22 innings).

June 9, 10 and 11: Red Sox sweep the Yankees at Fenway 7-0, 6-5 and 4-3 to win the first eight games against New York this season. John Henry wonders about the "MT Curse".

June 20 - Josh Beckett pitches a complete game shutout against Atlanta (and Derek Lowe), Red Sox win 3-0. (Nick Green hits a walk-off dong the following day.)

July 1: Trailing the Orioles 5-1, the Red Sox score four times in the top of the ninth -- they also trailed 5-3 with one out to go and no one on base. Julio Lugo singles home a run in the 11th for a 6-5 win (the day after Boston blew a 9-1 lead to Baltimore). It's Canada Day, but Bay strikes out in all five of his plate appearances.

July 10 - Jon Lester pitches eight shutout innings against the Royals, outdueling Brian Bannister, and rookie Aaron Bates scores the game's only run in the eighth inning. (Bates gets his first major league hit the next day.)

July 12 - Beckett pitches a complete game 6-0 shutout against the Royals. At the break, the Red Sox have the best record in the AL (54-34) and a three-game lead over the Yankees in the East. The team has also gone two months without losing more than two consecutive games (since May 15).

Worst

April 14 - Daisuke Matsuzaka pitches only one inning in Oakland, the Red Sox blow 3-0 lead, and Javier Lopez walks the bases loaded and loses the game in the 12th inning.

April 30 - Tampa Bay romps 13-0 at the Trop, Jonathan Van Every faces four batters as Lopez is banished to right field.

May 14 - Ortiz goes 0-for-7, stranding 12 runners, as the Red Sox lose 5-4 to the Angels in 12 innings. "Just put down, 'Papi stinks'." Ortiz is benched for the next three games.

May 23 - Papelbon gives up a two-out, two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to Omir Santos, and the Mets win 3-2.

June 19 - Matsuzaka allows a home run to Nate McLouth on his first pitch of the game, Boston gets only two hits (both by Bay) and loses to Atlanta 8-2. Dice is removed from the rotation, put on the disabled list and sent to Fort Myers.

June 30 - A tale of two games. John Smoltz and the Red Sox lead 9-1 before a fifth inning rain delay. When play resumes, the Orioles outscore the Sox 10-1 -- the biggest comeback in team history -- and emerge victorious 11-10.

***

Since May 28, Jon Lester and Josh Beckett have combined for a 12-2 record and a 1.72 ERA. That's nine starts for Lester (1.48) and nine for Beckett (1.93).

Beckett's last 13 starts: 9-1, 2.14. ... In the last 16 games, Sox starters have turned in 11 quality starts and a 2.26 ERA.

With three walks and two HBP on Sunday, Jason Bay became the first Red Sox player to reach base five times in one game without recording a hit in more than 58 years (Ted Williams, May 23, 1951).

21 comments:

redsock said...

We are out of town this week -- seeing two plays at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival -- so posting will be light.

***

Wolves!

L-girl said...

Thanks for the excellent wrap-up. I think this is my favourite takeaway:

The team has also gone two months without losing more than two consecutive games (since May 15).

Note to doomers: you're gonna be lonely around these parts.

tim said...

Good wrap-up, hopefully dinner Wednesday will work out.

And damn you for canceling, Mick Taylor.

Zenslinger said...

Great digest of the first half of the season...more good than bad, of course!

Zenslinger said...

Pedro-to-Phillies chatter is heating up. Is it just me or does he look a little porky in this photo?

redsock said...

You can also read this post at RootZoo.

9casey said...

redsock said...
You can also read this post at RootZoo.




I tried to give you a 10 , a 10 , but they wanted me to join,that's what sucks about the internet, everything you want to do you have to join.........just so you know I thought the post was a 10, a 10......

Steve said...

What about Wake's game on April 15? Day before on April 14, Dice-K exited early and the game had to be carried by the bullpen. It ended up going 12 innings, and six bullpen pitchers were used.

Next day, Wake pitches no hits into the eighth and ends up finishing the complete game, giving the entire pen a day of rest. Heroic.

james said...

What about the night Eck said 'shit' on air - that was a pretty good one too.
Thanks for a great wrap and a great first half of the season - enjoy The Bard.

blogtard said...

Good call, Steve. That was just an epic performance.

And, if memory serves, it also put an end to an absolutely shitty road trip and we went on our winning streak from there. Am I remembering that right?

FenFan said...

Nice wrap-up of the first half, redsock. I'm very excited for the second half - go Sox!

Steve said...

And, if memory serves, it also put an end to an absolutely shitty road trip and we went on our winning streak from there. Am I remembering that right?

Yep. The Sox went on to win something like 10 in a row starting with that game.

James said...

Are there doomers? David Ortiz is having his worst year ever and we're up 3 games in the most difficult division in the history of the Wild Card era. You've got to be pretty fucking happy with the year so far.

L-girl said...

Are there doomers?

Sun's still hot, pope's still Catholic, some silly Sox fans still dooming.

Recently one left JoS in a huff because his hand-wringing wasn't working on us.

L-girl said...

"that's what sucks about the internet, everything you want to do you have to join"

Yeah, that really sucks. Typing in info and hitting enter, what a drag.

I mean, what a drag............ :)

redsock said...

Because we wouldn't agree with him that Tito is possibly making the same mistakes as Gerbil made in 1978 -- I've never heard a Red Sox fan mention 1978 so much -- he said well then you must think the team is absolutely perfect. (eyerolling)

Bye - see you Thursday night!

Go A.L. -- I guess.

9casey said...

L-girl said...


Yeah, that really sucks. Typing in info and hitting enter, what a drag.

I mean, what a drag............ :)



Thank you for feeling my pain, in a mocking sarcastic L-girl kinda o' way...The truth is I can't keep up with my false identities....have a nice trip....

nick said...

So... someone I know mentioned Youk is a Repuglican. Saw it on mlb.com during the ASG. My quick search didn't find it. Anyone know 'bout these things?

redsock said...

Dunno, but I saw that Wakefield said he did not vote for Obama.

nick said...

I'm guessing Wake pulled the lever for Cynthia McKinney.

L-girl said...

"Thank you for feeling my pain, in a mocking sarcastic L-girl kinda o' way..."

That one was all mock and no sympathy. But in a nice way, I swear. :)