May 31, 2013

G56: Yankees 4, Red Sox 1

Red Sox - 000 000 100 - 1  8  0
Yankees - 020 010 10x - 4  7  0
Sabathia (7.1-6-1-0-10, 109) was the story on Friday night, dominating the Red Sox with a steady diet of sliders and cutters. He struck out four in a row and five of six batters during a stretch in the middle innings. Sabathia did not allow a Boston runner to third base until the seventh inning.

Lester (6.1-6-4-4-5, 116), on the other hand, seemed off all night, unable to hit his spots. Even when he was getting outs, Lester battled, as the Yankees worked the count relentlessly. He needed 31 pitches to get through the second inning. Mark Teixeira walked and Vernon Wells followed with a double over Jackie Bradley's head in center. Jayson Nix singled in Teixeira and Ichiro Suzuki singled in Wells. Only an extraordinary pivot by Dustin Pedroia on a double play grounder saved Lester from more abuse.

In the fifth, after Lester hit a batter and walked another, Kevin Youkilis singled home New York's third run. After Lester departed with two on in the seventh, Andrew Miller allowed an inherited runner to score.

Sabathia worked around a two-out double in each of the first two innings. He was also aided by double plays in the third and sixth. Boston finally scored when Pedroia (3-for-4) and Mike Napoli each doubled in the seventh. With his lead in slight jeopardy, Sabathia struck out Stephen Drew and got David Ross on a grounder to second.

The Red Sox rallied against Mariano Rivera in the ninth. Pedroia and David Ortiz both stroked one-out singles, but Napoli struck out on three pitches and Drew grounded back to the box.

Jose Iglesias went 2-for-3, upping his average to .435.
Jon Lester / CC Sabathia
Nava, LF
Gomes, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Drew, SS
Ross, C
Bradley, CF
Iglesias, 3B
Jacoby Ellsbury strained his left groin while stealing his fifth base last night, and is not in the starting lineup.
Lester has allowed 10 runs in his last 13 innings.

Sabathia has a 4.85 ERA and 1.483 WHIP in May. In his last start, he allowed seven runs to the Rays.

            W   L   PCT   GB
Red Sox    33  22  .600  ---
Yankees    30  23  .566  2.0
Orioles    30  24  .556  2.5
Rays       29  24  .547  3.0
Blue Jays  23  31  .426  9.5

Schadenfreude 155 (A Continuing Series)

The Post had the series preview:

Then they played the games:
Mets 2, Yankees 1
Mets 2, Yankees 1
Mets 9, Yankees 4
Mets 3, Yankees 1

Ken Davidoff, Post:
Fantasy camp's over, Yankees. Time to start the regular season in earnest.

All-Star players and All-Star opponents will be in The Bronx tonight. Could Joe Girardi's group be receiving a starker signal that they’re entering a new phase of 2013? ...

Have you seen the movies "Three Amigos!" or "Galaxy Quest"? In both, actors convince masses they are actually the roles they are playing — until, mid-film, they are exposed as frauds. That's where we are in this Yankees season. For a while, they had everyone going that this roster constituted a championship-caliber club. Then people caught onto the scam.

Or, their fantasy-camp vibe — "Hey, Overbay, the Red Sox released you? Come on in here and play first base for us!" — predictably dissipated.
George A. King III, Post:
When Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis arrive in The Bronx today, they better bring pails and shovels and assist in the bailing effort.

It took until the last week of May before the Yankees' were exposed as the team attempting to cover up too many holes.

Now, after being swept by the lowly Mets in the four-game Subway Series and riding a season-low five-game losing streak the Yankees are in a free-fall that might be too fast for Youkilis and Teixiera to reverse.
Anthony McCarron, Daily News:
Not exactly the way the Yankees wanted to enter a weekend series against the first-place Red Sox at the Stadium. They were outscored, 16-7, in the series and their final 20 hitters Thursday night made outs.
Associated Press:
The Mets tied a franchise record by going three straight games without allowing a walk, the first time they've accomplished the feat since July 5-7, 1994, according to STATS. Yankees batters, usually patient, have gone three games without a free pass since June 12-14, 1991, when Kevin Maas was their cleanup hitter.

May 30, 2013

G55: Red Sox 9, Phillies 2

Red Sox  - 400 001 103 - 9 14  0
Phillies - 200 000 000 - 2  6  1
The Red Sox have been playing baseball for more than 112 years, and through more than 17,660* games, no Boston player had ever stolen more than four bases in a game.

Until tonight. Jacoby Ellsbury set a new franchise record with five steals. (He leads MLB with 21 SB.)

*: By my rough count, tonight's game was the 17,665th game in Red Sox history (9,010 wins, 8,420 losses, 83 ties, and 151 post-season games).

Ellsbury reached base five times in six plate appearances:
1st: single, scored
2nd: walk, stole second
4th: single, stole second
6th: HBP, stole second and third
8th: single, stole second
9th: grounded out 4-3
Boston sent eight men to the plate in the first inning. Ellsbury and Daniel Nava singled and Dustin Pedroia contributed an RBI groundout. David Ortiz walked and Mike Carp singled in a run. Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled home two more runs.

Jonny Gomes smacked a pinch-hit home run in the sixth and David Ortiz went deep in the seventh. In the ninth, Salty and Jose Iglesias both had RBI doubles.

Morales (5-4-2-2-2, 79) allowed a two-run dong to Delmon Young in the first, and got a much needed double play to escape a bases-loaded jam in the fourth. Manager John Farrell was hoping for five innings and roughly 80 pitches from Morales - and that is exactly what he got.

The Mets beat the Yankees 3-1, sweeping a four-game series and dropping the Yankees 2 GB the Red Sox in the East. Boston begins a series in the Bronx tomorrow night.
Franklin Morales / Jonathan Pettibone
Ellsbury, CF
Nava, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, 1B
Carp, LF
Drew, SS
Saltalamacchia, C
Iglesias, 3B
Morales, P
Morales makes his 2013 debut. ... Pettibone has a 3.21 ERA in seven starts this season. ... David Ortiz is expected to start at first base tonight.

100 Years Ago, Harry Hooper Made Home Run History

One hundred years ago today — May 30, 1913 — Red Sox outfielder Harry Hooper became the first player to lead off both games of a doubleheader with a home run.

Hooper did it in Washington against pitchers Bob Groom and Walter Johnson.

Chris Jaffe has more details at The Hardball Times. It would be more than 80 years before it happened again. On July 5, 1993, Rickey Henderson of the A's connected twice. Baltimore's Brady Anderson did it on August 21, 1999.

Boston split the twinbill with the Senators, losing the opener 4-3 and beating Johnson in the second game 1-0.

May 29, 2013

G54: Phillies 4, Red Sox 3

Red Sox  - 100 001 001 - 3  7  0
Phillies - 010 200 01x - 4  8  1
With the potential tying run at third and go-ahead run at second, Daniel Nava, batting against Jonathan Papelbon with two outs, grounded sharply to first - and the Red Sox lost another nail-biter to Philadelphia.

Stephen Drew had begun the ninth by working a one-out walk against the former Boston closer. Pinch-hitter David Ortiz just got under a 1-0 pitch and skied a fly ball to right for the second out. Jonny Gomes came through with a single to right and Jacoby Ellsbury blooped an RBI double to left. Nava - who had hit a solo home run off the right field pole in the sixth - had a chance to be the hero, but could not deliver.

Lackey (6-6-3-3-5, 98) allowed three solo home runs for the first time since September 16, 2005. Andrew Miller got into some trouble in the seventh, loading the bases on a single and two walks, but Koji Uehara came in to douse the fire. Uehara also pitched the eighth, and allowed a key insurance run for the Phillies: Domonic Brown's second home run of the game.

Ellsbury began the game with a triple and scored on Dustin Pedroia's sacrifice fly.

Boston missed a golden chance to score in the seventh, thanks in part to a blown call by home plate umpire Dale Scott. Trailing 3-2, Jose Iglesias doubled with one out and Gomes was hit by a pitch. Ellsbury drew a walk, but Scott called ball four "strike three" and what should have been a bases-loaded-one-out situation was 1st-and-2nd with two outs. Nava ended the inning by grounding into a fielder's choice.

To be fair, another blown call by Scott helped the Red Sox in the sixth. After getting a gift call on what should have been a walk to Freddy Galvis, loading the bases with one out, Lackey had another chance to retire the Philadelphia third baseman. And he made the most of that opportunity, inducing a double play grounder.

Also: The Mets scored five times in the top of the first en route to a 9-4 drubbing of the Yankees, their third consecutive win over their cross-town rivals.
John Lackey / Kyle Kendrick
Ellsbury, CF
Nava, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Napoli, 1B
Saltalamacchia, C
Carp, LF
Drew, SS
Iglesias, 3B
Lackey, P
The Red Sox recalled outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. and sent pitcher Alex Wilson to Pawtucket. Yesterday, Franklin Morales was activated from the disabled list and Alfredo Aceves was optioned to AAA.

Dustin Pedroia has been playing with a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb since the first game of the season - and has been ripping shit up in the process: .332/.422/.444, 132 OPS+. FY has hit safely in 18 of his last 20 games (30-for-78, .385). ... John Henry talks about the injury.

G53: Phillies 3, Red Sox 1

Phillies - 100 000 101 - 3  9  0
Red Sox  - 100 000 000 - 1  4  0
I began the day in Madrid, Spain, took a detour through Charlotte, North Carolina, and ended it in my chair in Mississauga, Ontario, watching the Red Sox drop a pitchers duel to the Phillies. (Actually, jet lag limited my viewing to seven innings.)

Cliff Lee (8-4-1-0-8, 95) shut down the Red Sox in an impressive outing. He allowed a run in the first inning - Jacoby Ellsbury singled to left, stole second, and scored on Dustin Pedroia's hard grounder to right - but then retired 11 in a row and 22 of the next 23 batters. He also got ahead 0-2 on Red Sox hitters 11 times.

Boston's other hits were Daniel Nava's fifth-inning single and an infield hit from Jose Iglesias in the eighth. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth, striking out Jonny Gomes and retiring Pedroia and David Ortiz on ground balls.

Ryan Dempster (7-6-2-3-4, 98) bounced back from some disappointing starts with a strong showing. Michael Young homered in the first inning, but Dempster kept the Phillies off the board until the bottom of the order pushed across a run in the seventhm snapping the 1-1 tie. John Mayberry singled, was bunted to second, and scored the go-ahead run on Erik Kratz's single. Junichi Tazawa gave up a solo dong to Domonic Brown in the ninth.

Also: The Mets scored two runs off Yankees' closer Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning in Queens, so the Red Sox (32-21) stayed 1 GA in the AL East.

May 21, 2013

Pedro: 2004 Team Drank Mama Juana, Not Jack Daniels

Pedro Martinez says that the 2004 Red Sox did not take pre-game nips of Jack Daniels during their historic post-season comback against the Yankees. In the weeks after the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, Kevin Millar spilled the beans about the team's whiskey ritual. Martinez now says the team actually shared a Dominican drink called Mama Juana.
Everybody took a little bit from the top of the shot after we won the first game [Game 4]. Somebody did it before the game — it was Ellis Burks who wasn't on the roster at the time who took the first shot. And then Millar jumped in. And then Johnny Damon jumped in. And everybody started jumping in, so we did it as a team unity to actually keep the same tradition going for the team. So we had to do it for the four games we beat the Yankees.

May 15, 2013

Manny In Taiwan

I am getting scores while on vacation, but have not been keeping up on the day-to-day details of the team.

So everyone reading this knows more about the slumping Red Sox than I do. But perhaps you have not seen what Manny Ramirez has been up to in Taiwan.

The EDA Rhinos, the team Manny now plays for, recently dressed in Halloween costumes for a road trip. (Manny also needs to work on his sliding.)

May 6, 2013


JoS is on vacation!

Laura and I fly tonight to London, where we will visit some old friends we know from our years in New York. Then it's on to Paris for two days. From there, we fly to Barcelona - and we will spend roughly two weeks driving around Spain. We return on May 28.

Laura will be blogging about our travels at wmtc (maybe not daily, but close to it).

May 4, 2013

G30: Rangers 5, Red Sox 1

Red Sox - 010 000 000 - 1  7  2
Rangers - 100 200 02x - 5 10  0
Texas pitching - which leads MLB in team ERA - shut down the Red Sox for the second straight night. Ogando (6-6-1-2-4, 101) worked out of a few minor jams and a trio of relievers held the line.

Ian Kinsler belted Lackey's first pitch of the game to deep left for a home run. Left fielder Daniel Nava had no idea where the ball went; he was standing with his arms outstretched, confused, as the ball landed 15 rows deep beyond the high wall.

Boston tied the game when David Ortiz doubled and scored on Nava's single to center.

Lackey's control deserted him in the fourth. He walked three and allowed two singles, and was hurt by a throwing error by Will Middlebrooks.

The Red Sox had runners on base in every inning but the first and ninth. With one out in the third, and runners at first and second, Dustin Pedroia struck out and Ortiz flied to left. In the sixth, Jarrod Saltalamacchia fanned, stranding runners at first and second. And Boston had men on second and third with one out in the seventh, but both Shane Victorino and Pedroia grounded to first.

Texas added some insurance on Craig Gentry's two-run dong off Koji Uehara.
John Lackey / Alexi Ogando
Ellsbury, CF
Victorino, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Nava, LF
Saltalamacchia, C
Middlebrooks, 3B
Drew, SS
In 11 games, David Ortiz is hitting .465/.489/.837:
I love beating up on the opposition. I love the pain on their face.

Cheating Epidemic Against Blue Jays Is Out Of Control

Let's look at the unassailable evidence:
On Wednesday night, Boston's Clay Buchholz beat the Blue Jays 10-1.

On Thursday night, Boston's Ryan Dempster beat the Blue Jays 3-1.

On Friday night, Seattle's Felix Hernandez beat the Blue Jays 4-0.

On Saturday afternoon, Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma beat the Blue Jays 8-1.
Obviously, every one of these pitchers is cheating. How long will MLB allow this anti-Jays conspiracy to continue?

May 3, 2013

G29: Rangers 7, Red Sox 0

Red Sox - 000 000 000 - 0  6  2
Rangers - 010 510 00x - 7 18  0
Felix Doubront (3.2-12-6-1-2, 96) doled out base hits to the Rangers like candy at Halloween, finally getting the hook after Adrian Beltre doubled home three runs in the fourth.

Doubront is only the seventh Red Sox starter since 1951 to pitch four or fewer innings and allow at least 12 hits. (Amazingly, Pedro Martinez, from 1999, is one of those seven! Here's the list.)

That Doubront allowed only one run through three innings - despite giving up eight hits - was nothing short of a miracle. But his good fortune ran out in the fourth. With a runner on first and two outs, he allowed hits to Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus, walked Lance Berkman, then gave up a bases-clearing double to Beltre, who ended the night 4-for-5.

On the other side, the bats could do nothing against Derek Holland (8-6-0-1-9, 112). Only one Boston runner made it past first base. That came in the sixth, when Pedro Ciriaco and Jacoby Ellsbury hit back-to-back singles with one out. But Shane Victorino fouled out to third and Dustin Pedroia grounded to first. Holland was also helped by two double plays, in the fourth and fifth.

Ellsbury had two of the Red Sox's six hits. Ciriaco, Victorino, David Ortiz, and Jonny Gomes had the others, all singles.
Felix Doubront / Derek Holland
Ellsbury, CF
Victorino, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Gomes, LF
Middlebrooks, 3B
Saltalamacchia, C
Ciriaco, SS
Best Red Sox Record After 28 Games
Year     W-L    Final Record
1946    23-5    104-50, AL Champions
2002    21-7     93-69, 2nd, AL East
2013    20-8     ?
1994    20-8     54-61, 4th, AL East
At 20-8, Boston has the best record in the major leagues. However, the Red Sox are unlikely to play at this 116-win pace for the next five months.

Yet even if the team suddenly slumps and plays at .500 for their remaining 134 games, they will still end up with 87 wins, which would put them in serious wild card contention.

May 2, 2013

G28: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1

Red Sox   - 020 001 000 - 3  6  0
Blue Jays - 100 000 000 - 1  7  2
Ryan Dempster (6-4-1-3-4, 100) limited the Blue Jays to one run over six innings. I guess he was cheating, too.

Brett Lawrie gave the Jays a quick 1-0 lead when he led off the bottom of the first with a home run, but the lead was short-lived. Mike Napoli doubled to start the second and Will Middlebrooks walked with one out. (That was one of the seven walks issued by J.A Happ in only 3.2 innings.) Mike Carp's single scored Napoli and Stephen Drew's sacrifice fly scored Middlebrooks.

In the sixth, David Ross drew the second of his three walks, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Jacoby Ellsbury's opposite-field single.

Down by two, Toronto threatened in the seventh. Andrew Miller relieved Dempster and allowed a one-out single and a two-out walk. Junichi Tazawa came in and walked Lawrie, loading the bases. But he was able to strike out Adam Lind on a 96 mph fastball to end the inning.

Koji Uehara gave up a one-out single in the eighth, and struck out the next two hitters. In the ninth, it was Joel Hanrahan that came in for the save, not Andrew Bailey. Cody Rasmus singled to right field, but pinch-hitter Rajai Davis popped to second and Munenori Kawasaki grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Boston is now 20-8. Only two other teams in Red Sox history have had a better record after 28 games: 1946 (23-5) and 2002 (21-7). The 1994 squad was also 20-8.
Ryan Dempster / J.A. Happ
Ellsbury, CF
Gomes, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Napoli, DH
Nava, RF
Middlebrooks, 3B
Carp, 1B
Ross, C
Drew, SS

May 1, 2013

G27: Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 1

Red Sox   - 020 200 402 - 10 15  0
Blue Jays - 000 000 010 -  1  4  1
Mike Napoli hit two long home runs, part of a five-dong Boston attack, as the AL East leaders routed the Blue Jays behind the strong pitching of Clay Buchholz (7-2-0-3-8, 101).

Napoli also added a double; he drove in four runs and scored three times. (I was at this one, and as it will likely be the only MLB game I get to this year, it was a good one.)

David Ortiz ended the first inning with a fly out to deep right, and when Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava began the second with shots to the warning track, it seemed like the Sox might have Buehrle's number. That hunch turned out to be true. After Will Middlebrooks was hit by a pitch, Stephen Drew belted a two-run homer to put the Sox on the board, and Napoli and Daniel Nava went back-to-back to open the fourth.

With two outs in the seventh, Jonny Gomes walked, ending Buehrle's night (6.2-7-5-3-1, 106). Dustin Pedroia greeted Esmil Rogers with a single, and Gomes raced to third. With Ortiz batting, Rogers threw a wild pitch; Gomes scored and FY took second, and the Jays manager John Gibbons decided to walk Ortiz intentionally. (Silly rabbit.) Napoli crushed the shit out of a 3-0 pitch, giving Boston an 8-0 lead, and prompting hundreds of Jays fans to head for the exits.

Mike Carp pinch-hit for Ortiz in the ninth and homered to right. Napoli followed with a double and scored on Nava's single.

Buchholz allowed only two singles: one in the third and one in the seventh. He struck out the side in the third, and ended the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings with a K. Alex Wilson and Clayton Mortensen finished up.
Clay Buchholz / Mark Buehrle
Ellsbury, CF
Gomes, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Nava, RF
Middlebrooks, 3B
Drew, SS
Ross, C
Red Sox ERA Leaders Through First 5 Games Of A Season (Since 1920)
ERA    IP    ER   PITCHER         YEAR
0.21   42.1   1   Lefty Grove     1936
0.60   45.0   3   Boo Ferriss     1945
0.66   41.0   3   Roger Clemens   1991
0.68   39.2   3   Roger Moret     1973 
0.84   42.2   4   Willard Nixon   1953
1.19   37.2   5   Clay Buchholz   2013

Just Noticed: this is JoS post #6,000!