September 30, 2012

Twin Peaks

Jose Iglesias and Pedro Ciriaco were part of the annual rookie hazing before the Red Sox headed out to Baltimore last week for its final road trip of the season.
This pic and three others are here.

Googling around for other teams' hazing pics indicates that the Red Sox's ideas were pretty lame. (It also indicates that Larry Brown Sports is the place to go for pics.) Both Atlanta and San Francisco showed far more variety and creativity. The season's winner might be Mike Trout, who was dressed up as Lady Gaga.

G159: Orioles 6, Red Sox 3

Red Sox - 000 100 200 - 3  9  0
Orioles - 302 010 00x - 6  9  0
The Orioles scored early and often against Stewart (2.2-7-5-0-1, 48) and swept the three-game series. Baltimore remained tied for first place in the AL East with the Yankees, who rallied from a four-run deficit and beat the Blue Jays 9-6.

All of Boston's runs came via the long ball. Cody Ross hit a solo shot in the fourth and Daniel Nava whacked a two-run dong in the sixth. Ryan Lavarnway and Pedro Ciriaco each had two hits, including a double.

The Red Sox wrap up the regular season with three games in New York, beginning tomorrow night. The Orioles will be in Tampa Bay.
Example
Zach Stewart / Joe Saunders
Ellsbury, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ross, RF
Gomez, 1B
Valencia, 3B
Lavarnway, C
Nava, LF
Ciriaco, DH
Iglesias, SS
The Orioles and Yankees are tied (91-67) for first place in the AL East. Each team can clinch a playoff spot with a victory today.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Red Sox are one defeat away from their first 90-loss season since 1966.

At Skydome: Yankees (Hughes) at Blue Jays (Alvarez), 1 PM

Schadenfreude 143 (A Continuing Series)

Anthony Mccarron, Daily News:
The Yankees botched multiple scoring opportunities in a 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays Saturday afternoon and also missed a chance to put themselves in position to clinch at least a playoff spot.

A victory and an Angels loss later Saturday would've guaranteed the Yanks entry into the postseason. Instead, the Yanks really only have themselves to blame for losing to the hapless Jays ...

But if the Yanks continue to play the way they did Saturday, their foray into serious October baseball likely will be brief. ...
George A. King III, Post:
The roller coaster ride that has been September took a significant drop Saturday. How costly it was remains to be seen but it was severe and self-inflicted. ...

Through five innings they were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight.

Late in the game and down a run they watched Ichiro Suzuki get caught attempting to steal second in the seventh and pinch-runner Brett Gardner in the eighth.
Joel Sherman, Post:
The best teams lose 60-70 games, so defining any one loss as unacceptable is usually for the irrational ranting of talk radio.

But I will say this about the Yankees' 3-2 loss yesterday to the Blue Jays:

It was unacceptable.
Mark Feinsand, Daily News:
These past few days were supposed to be the Yankees' chance to separate themselves from the Orioles, or at least knock a few more days off the calendar without losing ground. Instead they lost a game and a half over the last three days. ...

[T]he blame for Saturday's setback didn't fall on Pettitte's 40-year-old left arm. Instead, it was the lack of clutch hitting — again — that doomed the Yankees to another one-run loss.

Runner at second, nobody out in the second? Chris Stewart popup, Derek Jeter strikeout, Ichiro Suzuki popup.

Bases loaded, nobody out in the third? Curtis Granderson popup, Andruw Jones strikeout, Eduardo Nunez lineout.

How about first and second, nobody out in the fifth? Granderson fielder’s choice followed by a 3-6-3 double play by Raul Ibanez.

Sensing a trend? ...

"Tomorrow is going to be a must-win," Nick Swisher said.

September 29, 2012

G158: Orioles 4, Red Sox 3

Red Sox - 000 021 000 - 3  5  1
Orioles - 010 200 10x - 4  7  1
The Orioles edged the Red Sox and moved into a tie for first place in the East.

The Blue Jays beat the Yankees 3-2 this afternoon.
Example
Felix Doubront / Steve Johnson
Ellsbury, CF
Podsednik, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ross, RF
Gomez, 1B
Saltalamacchia, C
Lavarnway, DH
Ciriaco, 3B
Aviles, SS
The Orioles are 1 GB the Yankees in the AL East - with five games remaining. Baltimore leads the wild card standings by one game.

At Skydome: Yankees (Pettitte) at Blue Jays (Romero), 1 PM

September 28, 2012

G157: Orioles 9, Red Sox 1

Red Sox - 100 000 000 - 1  1  1
Orioles - 600 030 00x - 9 12  2
Boston's lone hit was a bunt single by Scott Posednik to begin the game. He scored an unearned run on Dustin Pedroia's sacrifice fly, giving the Red Sox an early lead which lasted only a few minutes.

Aaron Cook (1-5-6-3-0, 42) allowed a two-run homer to Chris Davis and a grand slam to Ryan Flaherty in the bottom of the first, and was pulled after walking the first two batters in the second.

The Yankees beat the Blue Jays 11-4, so New York stays 1 GA of Baltimore.
Example
Aaron Cook / Chris Tillman
Podsednik, CF
Ciriaco, 3B
Pedroia, 2B
Ross, RF
Loney, 1B
Saltalamacchia, DH
Lavarnway, C
Nava, LF
Iglesias, SS
The Red Sox finish up their disappointing 2012 season on the road, with three games in Baltimore, followed by three in New York. How Boston plays over those six games will have a definite effect on who wins the AL East.
          W   L   GB
Yankees  90  66  ---
Orioles  89  67  1.0
  
           Yankees  Orioles
Fri 0928   at TOR   vs BOS
Sat 0929   at TOR   vs BOS
Sun 0930   at TOR   vs BOS
Mon 1001   vs BOS   at TBR
Tue 1002   vs BOS   at TBR
Wed 1003   vs BOS   at TBR
Obviously, the plan should be to lose three in a row, then win three in a row.

OtM: "Aaron Cook's Last Chance For Strikeout Immortality"

At Skydome: Yankees (Kuroda) at Blue Jays (Jenkins), 7 PM

Schadenfreude 142 (A Continuing Series)

George A. King III, Post:
Can anybody here play this game?

On a night when so much was on the table for the Yankees, they delivered a miserable performance against a putrid team that started a good pitcher.

Ivan Nova didn't pitch well. Robinson Cano dropped a relay throw and made a baserunning mistake. Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki botched a ball on the warning track. And the hitters wilted in front of Brandon Morrow. ...

Presented with a chance to push their AL East lead to two lengths over the idle Orioles with six games remaining, the Yankees instead hold a one-game advantage ...
Ken Davidoff, Post:
If we were still in April, they would shrug this one off as quickly as would Amanda Bynes a parking ticket. ...

Instead, the Yankees' 6-0 loss to the Blue Jays last night at Rogers Centre, feels like a golden opportunity blown. Their postseason position remains very much up in the air. ...

The stakes are enormous; the Yankees want absolutely no part of the one-game, wild-card playoff they would face if they lose the divisional battle to Baltimore.
Associated Press:
New York lost for the third time in five games and wasted a chance to go two up with six to play. ...

Nova, knocked out in the third inning of his previous start, has not won back-to-back outings since a five-start winning streak from May 25 to June 17. The 87 extra-base hits off Nova are the most yielded by any big league pitcher.
Wallace Matthews, ESPNNewYork:
[E]very time you think this race is over, the Yankees pull the Orioles back into it. Their lifeless performance against the Toronto Blue Jays, who have nothing to play for ... means their lead in the AL East is whittled back down to one game with six to go ...

Nova wrote his name into Yankees history by allowing a pair of extra-base hits tonight, which gave him a team-record 87 XBH's allowed this season, eclipsing the record of Andy Hawkins (86 in 1989). But Hawkins needed 208.1 innings to accomplish his feat. Nova? 170.1.
Bryan Hoch, MLB:
If the Yankees were looking at this start as Ivan Nova's chance to audition for meaningful postseason innings, the right-hander wasn't able to provide much of a convincing argument.
Mark Feinsand, Daily News:
Nova is lined up for one more start, on Tuesday at home against the Red Sox. If the Yankees are still in a dogfight with the Orioles, do you think Joe Girardi will feel secure with his roller-coaster righthander on the hill?

Neither do I.

September 26, 2012

G156: Rays 4, Red Sox 2

Rays    - 000 030 100 - 4  8  0
Red Sox - 010 001 000 - 2  4  0
The Red Sox finished their 2012 home schedule with their worst record in 47 years.

The 1965 club also went 34-47 at Fenway.
Example
Alex Cobb/ Jon Lester
Ciriaco, 3B
Podsednik, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ross, RF
Loney, 1B
Saltalamacchia, C
Lavarnway, DH
Nava, LF
Iglesias, SS

September 25, 2012

G155: Rays 5, Red Sox 2

Rays    - 030 002 000 - 5 11  1
Red Sox - 011 000 000 - 2  7  1
Price (9-7-2-0-13, 112) threw a complete game and Jeff Keppinger hit a three-run homer in the second inning.

Danny Valencia singled home a run in the bottom of the second; Daniel Nava scored on a balk in the third. Dustin Pedroia had two hits.
Example
David Price / Clay Buchholz
Ciriaco, DH
Nava, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ross, RF
Gomez, 1B
Lavarnway, C
Valencia, 3B
Lin, CF
Iglesias, SS

Coming Up


Despite the lack of both game recaps and non-game posts, I have not given up on the blog.

I have, however, completely checked out on the 2012 season. (Perhaps you have, too.)

But there is some stuff coming up: two research posts that have been in drafts for months and a long review of one of the best baseball books I have ever read.

So stay tuned.

[Art from here]

September 23, 2012

G154: Red Sox 2, Orioles 1

Orioles - 000 010 000 - 1  6  1
Red Sox - 000 100 01x - 2  9  0
Example
Chris Tillman / Felix Doubront
Podsednik, CF
Ciriaco, 2B
Pedroia, DH
Ross, RF
Loney, 1B
Saltalamacchia, C
Valencia, 3B
Nava, LF
Iglesias, SS
Here's a crazy factoid from Peter Abraham: The Red Sox have trailed at some point in each of their last 32 games.

September 22, 2012

G153: Orioles 9, Red Sox 6 (12)

Orioles - 110 102 100 003 - 9 15  1
Red Sox - 100 200 210 000 - 6 13  1
A three-spot off Alfredo Aceves in the 12th inning gives Baltimore its 16th consecutive extra-inning victory.

Example
Randy Wolf / Aaron Cook
Ciriaco, DH
Pedroia, 2B
Ross, RF
Lavarnway, C
Gomez, 1B
Aviles, SS
Valencia, 3B
Nava, LF
Podsednik, CF
Baltimore begins the day 1 GB the Yankees, who beat Oakland 2-1 in 10 innings last night. The Athletics and Yankees also play at 1 PM today.

Stat of the Day: The Orioles are 52-21 (.712) in games decided by one or two runs. The Sox are 30-41 (.423).

September 21, 2012

G152: Orioles 4, Red Sox 2

Orioles - 000 202 000 - 4 10  0
Red Sox - 001 010 000 - 2  8  0
Example
Miguel Gonzalez / Jon Lester
Ciriaco, 3B
Podsednik, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ross, RF
Lavarnway, C
Saltalamacchia, DH
Loney, 1B
Nava, LF
Iglesias, SS
The Orioles (85-64) begin this three-game weekend series at Fenway Park 1 GB New York in the AL East. The Yankees (86-63) are hosting the Athletics.

September 20, 2012

G151: Rays 7, Red Sox 4

Red Sox - 000 002 011 - 4 10  1
Rays    - 000 000 016 - 7 10  1
Example
Clay Buchholz / David Price
Ciriaco, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ross, DH
Lavarnway, C
Gomez, 1B
Aviles, 3B
Nava, RF
Podsednik, LF
Iglesias, SS

September 19, 2012

G150: Rays 13, Red Sox 3

Red Sox - 102 000 000 -  3  5  2
Rays    - 011 307 01x - 13 15  0
Example
Daisuke Matsuzaka / Chris Archer

AL East Watch: The Yankees (83-63) and Orioles (84-64) are tied for first place. New York plays a day-night doubleheader against the Blue Jays (1 PM & 7 PM), while Baltimore (who beat the Mariners in 18 innings last night) play in Seattle at 10 PM.

September 18, 2012

G149: Red Sox 7, Rays 5

Red Sox - 000 121 300 - 7  9  0
Rays    - 003 000 200 - 5  3  3
Example
Felix Doubront / Jeremy Hellickson
Ciriaco, 3B
Ellsbury, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ross, RF
Loney, 1B
Saltalamacchia, C
Lavarnway, DH
Podsednik, LF
Iglesias, SS

Boston In 1903: Scoring In 17 Consecutive Innings

From September 15-17, 1903, the Boston Americans (later known as the Red Sox) scored at least one run in 17 consecutive innings.

Here are the three box scores:





September 17, 2012

G148: Red Sox 5, Rays 2

Red Sox - 000 002 300 - 5  6  0
Rays    - 000 010 001 - 2  6  3
The Red Sox did not get their first hit of the night until there were two outs in the sixth inning.

Jose Iglesias was on base (thanks to a HBP) when Jacoby Ellsbury clubbed a two-run homer to right-center. LBJ's fourth dong of the season erased Cobb's no-hit and shutout bid, and wiped out the Rays' one-run lead.

Boston added to its lead in the seventh, as Mauro Gomez hit a two-run pinch-hit single. Ellsbury (3-for-5) singled home a run later in the inning.

Cook went six innings (6-5-1-1-1, 75), with Rich Hill, Junichi Tazawa, and Mark Melancon each tossing an inning of relief. ... Tazawa's last eight appearances: 7.2-1-0-1-14!

Boston had its streak of 17 consecutive stolen bases snapped when Ellsbury was thrown out trying to steal third in the ninth inning.
Example
Aaron Cook / Alex Cobb
Ciriaco, 3B
Ellsbury, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ross, RF
Loney, 1B
Saltalamacchia, DH
Lavarnway, C
Podsednik, LF
Iglesias, SS

Red Sox Officially Eliminated From 2012 Post-Season

Sunday's loss to Toronto officially eliminated the Red Sox from post-season play in 2012.

Boston's last playoff win came on October 18, 2008. ... It's been awhile.

September 16, 2012

G147: Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0

Red Sox   - 000 000 000 - 0  7  2
Blue Jays - 000 000 32x - 5  7  0
Example
Jon Lester / Brandon Morrow
Podsednik, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ellsbury, CF
Ross, RF
Loney, 1B
Saltalamacchia, DH
Lavarnway, C
Ciriaco, 3B
Iglesias, SS

September 15, 2012

G146: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2

Red Sox   - 010 100 001 - 3  6  2
Blue Jays - 100 010 000 - 2  5  0
For the second game in a row, a ninth-inning rally carried the Red Sox to victory.

Pedro Ciriaco's double to left with two outs in the top of the ninth scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia with the go-ahead run. Salty had led off the frame with a double and taken third on a fly ball.

Andrew Bailey was touched for a two-out single in the bottom half, but he fanned Rajai Davis on three pitches to nail down the win.

The Jays scored in the first, but right fielder Cody Ross gunned down a potential second run from scoring. Then Ross led off the Boston second with a home run to tie the game.

The Red Sox took the lead in the fourth Ross walked, went to third on James Loney's single, and scored on Salty's single.

Buchholz (7-4-2-5-5, 111) allowed only one earned run.
Example
Clay Buchholz / Carlos Villanueva
Ellsbury, CF
Nava, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ross, RF
Loney, 1B
Saltalamacchia, C
Lavarnway, DH
Aviles, SS
Ciriaco, 3B

Schadenfreude 141 (A Continuing Series)

Peter Botte, Daily News:
CC Sabathia lost control – and another lead – in the fifth inning Friday. The night ended with the Yankees losing yet another key game with their fading – tiring, hurting? – ace on the mound.

Fill-in shortstop Eduardo Nunez also made a costly error in the ninth in a 6-4 loss to Tampa Bay at the Stadium ...

[GM Brian] acknowledged the lefty's drop in velocity – to the low-90s – in recent games.

Sabathia also has failed to hold leads in each of his five starts since his second DL stint, with the Yanks losing the last four.
John Harper, Daily News:
Every time CC Sabathia goes out and fails to dominate since returning from the disabled list, the more it feels as if the Yankees could actually blow this thing. ...

Suddenly it feels as if the Yankees are in real danger of winding up in that do-or-die game the two wild-card teams will play under the new playoff format.

What else is there to think if Sabathia is going to continue to be rather ordinary?
Dan Martin, Post:
After another subpar performance, Sabathia again said his left elbow that sidelined him last month isn't an issue.

"I'm healthy enough to go pitch," Sabathia said. ...

"I still believe in CC," the Yankees manager said. "I know his heart. ... In the back of your mind, you expect him to be CC," Girardi said.

Time is running out.
Bob Raissman, Daily News:
Mixing a concoction of sarcasm and snideness, Suzyn (Ma Pinstripe) Waldman let the Red Sox have it Wednesday evening, the night after they walked off with a 4-3 win in the ninth.

"John, you would've thought they won the World Series the way they celebrated," Waldman contended on WCBS-AM.

Never mind that the Yankees have also participated in similar regular-season, ninth-inning fiestas. Never mind that her partner John (Pa Pinstripe) Sterling has been known to break out in song - no matter what inning - when a certain Yankee hits a home run. ...

[T]here's something strangely compelling about Ma and Pa chronicling Yankees exploits in a legit pennant race with no wild card safety net. This is something the Bombers and all of their broadcasters are not accustomed to.

Sterling and Waldman are feeling the heat and intensity. ... Night after night, as the lead dwindled down to a precious few games, Sterling was despondent - more so than usual. ... During this stretch, it might have been prudent to put Sterling under a suicide watch.

Sterling, almost on a nightly basis, goes into a funk after an opponent takes a 2-1 or 3-1 lead. ...

Sterling's mood shifted drastically later when he broke into song after each of Curtis Granderson's two home runs. Wonder what Waldman is doing while Sterling is singing. Making sure the ball actually goes over the wall, perhaps?

September 14, 2012

G145: Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 5

Red Sox   - 000 320 003 - 8 10  0
Blue Jays - 003 001 010 - 5  7  1
Mauro Gomez's two-run triple in the ninth inning snapped a 5-5 tie. Gomez scored three runs, and Ryan Lavarnway had four RBI.

Toronto scored three times in the third off Matsuzaka (5.1-3-4-3-5, 98) without a base hit. The ugliness: HBP, BB, K, BB, wild pitch (run), BB/wild pitch (run), 463 (run), K. Matsuzaka threw 37 pitches in the inning and the Jays hit exactly one fair ball.

The Red Sox came right back as Cody Ross walked, Gomez singled, and Ryan Lavarnway homered to left. Daniel Nava's bases-loaded single scored Mike Aviles and Gomez to put the Sox on top 5-3 in the fifth.

The Blue Jays rallied. Adam Lind tripled and scored on Yunel Escobar single in the sixth and Brett Lawrie doubled home Cody Rasmus in the eighth.

In the top of the ninth, Jacoby Ellsbury singled off Darren Oliver. The Jays called on Casey Janssen, and he failed the test. Mike Aviles flied to right, but Ross singled. Both baserunners scored on Gomez's three-bagger. Lavarnway followed with a sac fly to make it 8-5.

In the home half of the ninth, Andrew Bailey allowed a two-out single, but nailed down his third save of the season.

Elsewhere: The Rays beat the Yankees 6-4 and the Orioles lost to the Athletics 3-2.
Example
Daisuke Matsuzaka / Aaron Laffey
Ciriaco, 3B
Ellsbury, CF
Aviles, 2B
Ross, RF
Gomez, DH
Lavarnway, C
Nava, LF
Loney, 1B
Iglesias, SS
The Red Sox - 2-13 since August 28 - begin a seven-game road trip in Toronto (WEEI preview). After three games against the Blue Jays, it's down to Tampa Bay for four games against the Rays. Then it's back to Fenway Park for the season's final homestand.

Fun Stat Of The Day: Boston is 21-37 since the All-Star break - the franchise's worst post-ASG record (since 1933).

The Pawtucket Red Sox won the International League championship for the first time since 1984, sweeping the Charlotte Knights (Cleveland) 7-2, 2-0, and 4-1. They will play the Pacific Coast League champion next Tuesday in the AAA Championship Game.

Division Race: Rays at Yankees; Orioles at Athletics. Boston's AL East elimination number is 2 (a Red Sox loss coupled with wins from both the Orioles and Yankees = no AL East title this season!).

September 13, 2012

G144: Yankees 2, Red Sox 0

Yankees - 000 100 100 - 2  5  0
Red Sox - 000 000 000 - 0  6  2

Example
Phil Hughes / Felix Doubront
Ellsbury, CF
Podsednik, DH
Loney, 1B
Ross, RF
Nava, LF
Saltalamacchia, C
Aviles, SS
Ciriaco, 3B
De Jesus, 2B
Well, there's an infield that, back in the spring, you never would have expected to see for a mid-September game against the Yankees.

September 12, 2012

G143: Yankees 5, Red Sox 4

Yankees - 000 300 200 - 5 11  1
Red Sox - 000 100 201 - 4 10  3
There was no walk-off magic for a second consecutive night.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered to start the bottom of the ninth and, with two outs, Mike Aviles reached on an error. Jacoby Ellsbury - who was the hero last night - grounded back to the mound for the final out.

Salty doubled, tripled, homered, and walked in four trips to the plate. He also scored two runs. James Loney and Dustin Pedroia both singled and doubled.

Curtis Granderson hit two home runs for the Yankees, and drove in three runs. The other two runs came on a dong by Robinson Cano.

Fourteen of the 21 hits in the game were for extra bases (nine doubles, one triple, four home runs).
Example
David Phelps / Aaron Cook
Ellsbury, CF
Ciriaco, 3B
Pedroia, 2B
Loney, 1B
Ross, RF
Saltalamacchia, C
Nava, LF
Podsednik, DH
Iglesias, SS
Ryan Lavarnway:
Nothing would be more awesome than knocking these guys out of the playoffs.
         On July 19     Since     Today
Yankees  57-34  ---     22-28     79-62 ---
Orioles  47-44 10.0     32-18     79-62 ---
Rays     47-45 11.0     30-19     77-64 2.0
ESPN:
[T]he Yankees have never blown a division/league lead of more than 6 games. The largest blown lead was 6 games in 1933.

Schadenfreude 140 (A Continuing Series)








September 11, 2012

G142: Red Sox 4, Yankees 3

Yankees - 100 002 000 - 3  6  1
Red Sox - 002 001 001 - 4 12  0
Jacoby Ellsbury celebrated his 29th birthday with four hits, including the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth. Pedro Ciriaco had singled with one out and gone to second on Mike Aviles's infield single. Ellsbury lined a hard grounder to right and Ciriaco easily beat Ichiro Suzuki's throw to the plate.

Ellsbury also singled in a run in the third inning; he then stole second and scored on the second of Dustin Pedroia's three hits. Pedroia tied the game at 3-3 with a solo home run in the sixth.

Despite having runners on base all night, the Yankees scored only three runs off Lester (5.1-5-3-7-5, 102). His seven walks were a career-high; only 55 of his 102 pitches were strikes.

The Yankees left the bases loaded in the first inning and stranded six men through the first three innings. For the night, New York was 1-for-12 with RATS.
The Orioles beat the Rays 9-2, so Baltimore and New York are once again tied atop the AL East.
Example
Hiroki Kuroda / Jon Lester
Ellsbury, CF
Podsednik, DH
Pedroia, 2B
Loney, 1B
Ross, LF
Lavarnway, C
Kalish, RF
Ciriaco, 3B
Aviles, SS
The Red Sox have a chance to spoil the Yankees' playoff hopes with a strong showing in the six games they have against the AL East leaders. In addition to three games this week, Boston visits the Bronx to close out the regular season on October 1-3.

Also tonight: The Orioles (1 GB) host the Rays (2 GB).