09 September 2009

Game 139 • Orioles at Red Sox • 7 PM

Baseball-Reference Preview

BAL: Jason Berken 6.07 ERA, 77 ERA+
BOS: Paul Byrd 7.56 ERA, 63 ERA+

I'd love to see the Red Sox do a little jerken-the-Berken tonight. Hit a few dongs their way. Make Massachusetts the Show-Me-Your-Dong state...

V-Mart gets the night off.

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. J.D. Drew, RF
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Jason Bay, LF
7. Mike Lowell, 3B
8. Jason Varitek, C
9. Alex Gonzalez, SS


Ranger 10, Indians 0.
7 PM • Rays at Yankees • Niemann v. Chamberlain

Currently Texas is 1.5 GB.

08 September 2009

Game 138 • Orioles at Red Sox • 7:10 PM

Baseball Reference Game Preview

David Hernanadez (4.54 ERA, 102 ERA+)
Clay Buchholz (4.40 ERA, 108 ERA+)

The Sox should have a clear path to the Wild Card spot -- all others have fallen out of competition, and our schedule appears so much easier than Texas' (Cafardo pg 2), who starts their double header today 2 1/2 games out.

But doubts about the rotation after Lester and Beckett remain. Who's our #3?

There's hope that everyone from Daisuke Matsuzaka to Michael Bowden will be able to help. But more than one commenter on Sons of Sam Horn has pointed to Clay Buchholz as the key to the rest of our season, and perhaps the postseason as well.

He was amazing last time out. Let's see how his maturation as an MLB pitcher is coming along tonight.

Red Sox
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Victor Martinez, C
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Jason Bay, LF
7. J.D. Drew, RF
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
9. Alex Gonzalez, SS
SP -- Clay Buchholz, RHP

1. Brian Roberts, 2B
2. Felix Pie, CF
3. Nolan Reimold, LF
4. Nick Markakis, RF
5. Melvin Mora, 3B
6. Matt Wieters, C
7. Luke Scott, DH
8. Ty Wigginton, 1B
9. Cesar Izturis, SS
SP -- David Hernandez, RHP

07 September 2009

Game 137 • Red Sox at White Sox • 2 PM

Baseball Reference Preview

BOS: Josh Beckett 3.87 ERA, 122 ERA+
CHW: Mark Buehrle 3.86 ERA, 121 ERA+

This looks like it could be quite the pitcher's duel. I hope it lives up to it.

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Victor Martinez, 1B
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Mike Lowell, DH
7. Rocco Baldelli, RF
8. Jason Varitek, C
9. Alex Gonzalez, SS


The Yankees and Rangers both lost yesterday. That puts Boston 7.5 GB the Yankees for the East and puts Texas 3 GB of us for the wildcard.

New York plays a doubleheader today against Tampa Bay in the Bronx.

1:00 • Rays at Yankees • Garza v. Sabathia
6:00 • Rangers at Indians • Hunter v. Carrasco
7:00 • Rays at Yankees • Sonnanstine v. Burnett

06 September 2009

Game 136 • Red Sox at White Sox • 2 PM

Baseball Reference Preview

BOS: Jon Lester 3.58 ERA, 132 ERA+
CHW: John Danks 3.82 ERA, 123 ERA+

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Victor Martinez, C
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. David Ortiz, DH
7. Mike Lowell, 3B
8. J.D. Drew, RF
9. Alex Gonzalez, SS


AL East
New York 87-49, --
Boston 78-57, 8.5 GB

Boston 78-57, --
Texas 76-59, 2 GB
Tampa Bay 72-63, 6 GB


1:00 • Yankees at Blue Jays • Mitre v. Tallet
1:30 • Rangers at Orioles • Holland v. Guthrie

05 September 2009

Game 135 • Red Sox at White Sox • 4 PM (FOX)

Baseball Reference Preview

BOS: Tim Wakefield 4.12 ERA, 115 ERA+
CHW: Gavin Floyd 3.97 ERA, 118 ERA+

Michael Bowden has been called up to the Big Club and will be the long reliever if needed. The Red Sox's roster now stands at 32 players out of a possible 40.

04 September 2009

Game 134 • Red Sox at White Sox • 8 PM

Baseball Reference Preview

BOS: Paul Byrd
CHW: Freddy Garcia

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Victor Martinez, 1B
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Jason Bay, LF
7. J.D. Drew, RF
8. Jason Varitek, C
9. Alex Gonzalez, SS

Tim Wakefield has been cleared to pitch Saturday afternoon.

03 September 2009

Game 133 • Red Sox at Rays • 7 PM

BLAHHHHHHHH I was trapped out of the house all day and just got in! Unexpected.

Well, no matter. It's HH and Price. Thread's open!

18 August 2009

Game 118 Recap • Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 9

WIN: Okajima (4-0)
LOSS: Janssen (2-4)
SAVE: Papelbon (29)

Had 'em all the way!

But seriously, this was a wild one! The Red Sox went all Lumberjacks on Ricky Romero, lighting him up for 6 runs (5 earned) in 3 2/3. Ortiz and Bay hit do(u)ngs, and the offense gave Beckett some breathing room.

Breathing room is exactly what Beckett would need. He was not good tonight. He struggled with his location and generally looked sluggish. He had leads of 4-0 and 7-3 but still managed to blow it all away, as Toronto slowly dug away and tied the game on a two-run homre by Rod Barajas. Beckett: 5.1-9-7-1-4, 99/63

In the 8th, Ortiz walked, Green singled to left, then Alex Gonzalez bunted back to the pitcher Janssen, who bobbled it then threw it up the first base line. A sacrifice bunt turns into two errors and Ortiz scoring the go-ahead run. Ellsbury then hit a scrotum fly to right that scored Green to make it 9-7. Victor Martinez hit an Xtra Mart down the left field line to score Gonzalez which proved to be the difference in this one.

Daniel Bard came in to pitch the 8th, throwing 99-100 and got two quick outs, then gave up two quick singles. Terry Francona had Papelbon warming and decided to go for the 4-out save. It almost completely blew up in our faces tonight, as Papelbon STRUGGLED. He walked Snider to load the bases, then gave up a two-run single to Scutaro to make this one a way-too-cozy 10-9 ballgame.

The Red Sox had a chance for insurance with men at first and second with 1 out, but Nick Green grounded hard into a 5-4-3 double play, and by this point we're wondering what Papelbon's going to give us in the bottom of the 9th.

It was interesting... A lead-off single to Overbay, two quick outs, then a walk to Encarnacion. Rod Barajas came up with the tying run at second, winning run at first, and ended up popping out into foul territory, halfway down the right-field line, into Kevin Youkilis' glove.

It's too bad more games weren't this easy.


MIN: 000 104 3
TEX: 104 001 0

It looked like Texas was going to cruise to a win tonight! Not so fast.

The Yankees and A's are in the 3rd in Oakland, tied at 2.


Francona, on Papelbon: "He was just kinda blah tonight." We do forget he hasn't pitched in a few games and he did look sluggish and rusty. After 33 pitches, I wonder if he'll be available tomorrow night. Pfft. This is August. Of course he's available!

Game 118 • Red Sox at Blue Jays • 7 PM

BOS: Josh Beckett RHP (14-4, 3.10 ERA, 153 ERA+)
TOR: Ricky Romero LHP (10-5, 3.70 ERA, 118 ERA+)

Um, the Red Sox are better than the Blue Jays. They have a better record, better pitching, better offense, better everything. Right??? Who's with me!!!

This should be a walk in the park! We've got Beckett on the bump against some rookie lefty who nobody knows of. Plus, Romero is 0-2 against Boston this year! He gave up five runs in his first start in six innings, then in his second start he gave up four runs in just 4 1/3!

Beckett, on the other hand, has not faced the Bluebirds yet this year. Also working in his favor are his last three starts. Seven innings each time out, and a TOTAL of two earned runs - in 21 innings!

I'm confident.

Last night the Red Sox were idle, but the Rangers and Yankees weren't. The results were... mixed. Texas won, New York lost. That puts us 1 GB in the wildcard and now only 7 GB of the Yankees! Doable! Got 'em right where we want 'em!

Kevin Youkilis is done serving his suspension and is back in the lineup. Ortiz gets the night off.

Dustin Pedroia is headed back to Boston to be with his wife, Kelli, as she's set to give birth to their first child. Congratulations to the Pedroias!


*UPDATE* Varitek has been scratched from the lineup with a sore neck. Who'd have thought we'd see the day when David Ortiz is inserted into the same spot in the lineup Jason Varitek was scratched from? The Cactus' absence shuffles things up quite a bit.

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. J.D. Drew, RF
3. Victor Martinez, C
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Mike Lowell, 3B
7. David Ortiz, DH
8. Nick Green, 2B
9. Alex Gonzalez, SS

30 July 2009

Until Next Time!

My gamethread hosting is over for now, as the Joy of Sox is back.

A big thanks for all of you who stopped by to read, lurk, and especially, post. See you at JoS!

Game 101 Recap • Red Sox 8, Athletics 5

Big Papi didn't look very distracted out there, did he?

Lester was cruising until the 6th when he gave up 4 runs and was lifted. His line: 5.2, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 104/58. A so/so outing. Not real good but not terrible. The offense bailed him out.

The Sox led 1-0 until the 6th, trailed 4-1 then got two back in the bottom of the 6th. The A's scored again in the 7th, then in the bottom of the 7th the Red Sox got two guys on for David Ortiz. Ortiz launched one 420 feet to right-center field, just to the right of the triangle and over the bullpens. A three-run dong that put Boston ahead.

Manny Delcarmen cleaned up Lester's mess in the 6th then pitched the 7th. Daniel Bard, who appears to be the set-up man for the Red Sox now (and the Sox's best reliever currently), pitched a perfect 8th, then Jonathon Papelbon gave up a single in the 9th but that was all. Ballgame.

We go to Baltimore for three starting tomorrow night, then Tampa Bay, then the new Toilet. A good old-fashioned AL East road trip. This is a big one. Time to gain some ground.

Game 101 • Athletics at Red Sox • 1:30 PM

OAK: Gio Gonzalez RHP (2-2, 7.75 ERA, 53 ERA+)
BOS: Jon Lester LHP (9-7, 3.79 ERA, 123 ERA+)

Lester has had a good month of July, going 2-1 in four starts. In those four games he's given up 6 earned runs total, in 29 innings against Seattle, Kansas City, Toronto and Baltimore. Against Baltimore he went 7 1/3, giving up 2 runs on 8 hits, 2 walks and 9 K's.

Gonzalez is a different story. He's made five starts this season and has had a topsy-turvy month of July. He had a normal-looking 6 IP/2 ER effort at Cleveland on the 5th, then pitched an inning out of the bullpen in a 6-0 loss to Tampa Bay, giving up a run. He started against Minnesota and had his whole world rocked, giving up 11 runs in 2 2/3 innings. In New York he returned to a normal pitching effort with 6 2/3 of 1 run ball in a 6-2 win against the MFY.

Red Sox Lineup:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
4. Jason Bay, LF
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Mike Lowell, 3B
7. J.D. Drew, RF
8. Jason Varitek, C
9. Nick Green, SS


8:00, Yankees at White Sox. Pettitte/Floyd
8:00, Mariners at Rangers. Olson/Holland


Update, 1 PM: The New York Times has run a story where lawyers with knowledge of the results of the 2003 performance-enhancing drug tests of roughly 100 players in MLB have leaked Manny Ramírez and David Ortiz's names as among those who tested positive.

They did not name anyone else on that list today. For me that's more a part of the story than the actual story is. If names are going to be leaked, why not leak the whole thing? Why only leak these two names?

Game 100 Recap • Athletics 8, Red Sox 6

WIN: Brett Anderson (6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 102/61) 6-8
LOSS: Brad Penny (5 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 100/58) 7-5
SAVE: Andrew Bailey (13)

Before Brett Anderson threw a pitch last night and before any of the Red Sox offense could do anything, Oakland had stormed out to a five run lead. Let's just say Penny got off to a rough start. How rough?

The very first pitch of the game was hit into the monster seats by Adam Kennedy. The very next pitch was a single by Orlando Cabrera. Third pitch was a strike to Kurt Suzuki, but then the fourth pitch was whacked into CF for a base hit.

Four pitches into Brad Penny's outing, there were runners at first and second and a run in. After that, Penny had trouble finding the strike zone. He walked Jack Cust on five pitches to load the bases with 0 out. Ryan Sweeney reached on a fielder's choice which scored O-Cab. Tommy Everidge walked on seven pitches to load the bases once again. Mark Ellis hit a pop fly about ten feet behind home plate for the second out and by that point there's light at the end of the top-of-the-first tunnel. Just get the light-hitting Rajai Davis out and you're out of the inning and you've only given up two runs.

Did that happen? No. Davis hit a fly ball deep to left that bounced off the monster and cleared the bases. A three-run double and it's 5-0 Oakland. Mercifully the next batter, Eric Patterson, struck out to end the inning.

Jacoby Ellsbury started off the bottom of the first by walking. Pedroia struck out, then Youk walked. Lyndon stole third and Jason Bay struck out for the second out. Mike Lowell then hit a three-run dong over the monster seats, out of Fenway Park and suddenly the Red Sox were back in the game.

Suddenly it looked like it would be a slugfest. But this is baseball. It's rare when what you expect to happen in a game, happens. There would be no more scoring until the 5th when Kurt Suzuki hit a solo dong into the monster seats.

Penny was lifted after giving up a ground-rule double to Mark Ellis in the 6th, replaced by Justin Masterson. The Big Donkey was not very effective either. Davis reached on an E4, then Eric Patterson hit a double to deep left-center, scoring Ellis and Davis. 8-3 Oakland.

The Red Sox would chip away at the lead. Ellsbury hit a one-out triple in the 7th and was sent home on Pedroia's ground-out to third. In the 8th, Jason Bay made it all the way to third on an E9 (Sweeney and Davis collided trying to catch his fly ball at the warning track. Ball dropped, Bay to third) and scored on Lowell's sac fly. 8-5 Oakland.

The Sox tried to get some more offense going in the 8th. Drew PHed for Baldelli and singled to center. LaRoche beat out a double-play ball, Varitek walked which set the stage for Big Papi to PH for Jed Lowrie and try to tie this thing up. Instead he popped out to third.

Just like in the JoS1 game, the bottom of the final inning did not go by with a wimper. Ellsbury singled to left, Pedroia singled to third, but then Andrew Bailey struck out Youk and Bay. Lowell singled to center, scoring Ellsbury and putting the tying run at first base for Drew, who grounded out to first to end the game.

Sparkling clean water.


Yankees beat the Rays 6-2 so we're 3.5 GB. Detroit beat Texas 13-5 so we stay 1.5 GA in the wildcard standings.

29 July 2009

Game 100 • Athletics at Red Sox • 7 PM

OAK: Brett Anderson LHP (5-8, 4.32, 94 ERA+)
BOS: Brad Penny RHP (7-4, 4.71, 99 ERA+)

I wonder if they'll get this game in. New England's starting to fill up with rain.

Allan and Laura will be at this game so hopefully the rain holds off.

Remember Brett Anderson? No? That's because you don't want to. Anderson threw a complete game shutout against the Red Sox, at Fenway Park, on July 6th. Refreshing your memory: 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K.

His last three starts went from good-but-not-long-enough, to great, to... Meh. 4 scoreless innings against Tampa Bay, 8 magnificant scoreless innings against the Angels (2 H, 0 BB, 6 K!), then 4 runs in 6 2/3 against the Yankees last time out.

We know Brad Penny doesn't venture too deep into games, but the innings he does pitch he pitches pretty well, especially for starting the season as the Number Five starter. His last time out against Baltimore he pitched into the 7th inning, giving up an unearned run as the Red Sox went on to win 3-1. He has not faced Oakland this year.

David Ortiz gets the night off. Mike Lowell will DH. J.D. Drew also gets the night off.

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
4. Jason Bay, LF
5. Mike Lowell, DH
6. Rocco Baldelli, RF
7. Adam LaRoche, 1B
8. Jason Varitek, C
9. Jed Lowrie, SS

Yankees/Rays at 7:00 on ESPN. Joba/Garza

I'd like Garza to win but I want to see both their arms fall off by the end of the game. I'd also like to see that one go 38 innings.

Also: Tigers/Rangers at 8:00. Texas is 1.5 GB in the Wild Card. Verlander/Feldman.


Dun dun dun. The Phillies appear to have agreed to a trade for Cliff Lee. Does this matter to the Red Sox? Does it affect Toronto's leverage and demands for Roy Halladay? We'll see.


After 99 games in 2009 we're 58-41, 2.5 GB the Yankees.

After 99 games in 2008 we were 57-42, 1.5 GB the Rays.

After 99 games in WS winning 2007, we were 60-39, 7 games ahead of New York.

Think about that. Feels like the Red Sox haven't been very good this year, eh? They're only 2 games behind the 2007 Red Sox after 99. 2 games! See? It's not as bad as you think.

Rumors Heat Up and Deals Actually Get Done.

This morning the latest rumors put the Phillies "on the verge" of acquiring Cliff Lee from the Cleveland Native American Arachnids for a bunch of minor leaguers. This is similar to the package they proposed to Toronto for Roy Halladay.

A deal that actually got done has just happened: Pittsburgh and Seattle made a seven-player deal that looks like this: Pittsburgh sends SS Jack Wilson and SP Ian Snell to Seattle for C Jeff Clement, SS Ronny Cedeno and three minor leaguers. The Red Sox had been looking at Jack Wilson for what seems like years now.

Then our very own Boston Red Sox are talking Halladay. Did we just witness Clay Buchholz's final start with the Red Sox on JoS1? He's been offered along with Michael Bowden. Those two are rather concrete names but anymore names are being disputed in the press. Ryan Westmoreland, Lars Anderson, and Justin Masterson's names have been mentioned. The Red Sox are unwilling to part with Daniel Bard and Casey Kelly.

Some say if Philadelphia lands Cliff Lee the Blue Jays would have to think about settling for an offer like Boston's or even a lesser offer than that, if they want to trade him. Toronto ownership wants to run a more financially efficient ship which sounds like they want Halladay traded whether J.P. Riccardi wants to or not. Still, they could always stand down.

Somehow I don't see that happening.

All of my rumors and news scoopage comes from MLB Trade Rumors.

Word is Toronto is looking for a shortstop. I wonder if the Red Sox could pull a 2007 and do a trade à trois?

27 July 2009

Game 98 • Red Sox 8, Athletics 3

WIN: Josh Beckett (7+ IP, 8 H, 3 ER, BB, 10 K, 103/77) 12-4
LOSS: Trevor Cahill (5 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 110/61) 6-9

This was a proper Red Sox/A's matchup in 2009. Red Sox Smash. They picked and picked away at Cahill for 6 runs, plus 2 more against the bullpen. Beckett was very good. Maybe not fantastic but with the offense the Red Sox brought tonight, he was more than adequate. He struck out four through the first two innings.

Speaking of that Red Sox offense, Pedroia hit a home run in the first inning. Jacoby Ellsbury tripled to lead off the third inning, then FY sacrificed him home to put the Sox up 2-0. The big inning was the 4th: Bay walked, Werd singled, LaRoche doubled home Bay, Varitek singled home Drew, Lowrie flied out, Lyndon hit an infield single, sending LaRoche home, then Pedroia grounded into a double play. 5-0 Boston.

Boston scored another run in the 5th (Youk and Ortiz singles, Bay RBI single), then scored their two final runs in the bottom of the 7th. With one out, Bay walked, Drew doubled to left, LaRoche grounded out, Varitek was intentionally walked, then Jed Lowrie hit a bloop pop-fly to left that fell between three A's before bouncing into the seats for a ground-rule double.

Oakland scored all of its runs softly. A one-run single with the bases loaded, a sacrifice fly and an RBI ground-out. Kurt Suzuki drove home two of the three runs.

It was a good night for the players who were slumping: Ellsbury had 3 hits. Bay had a hit and two walks. Drew had two hits. It seems only Big Papi was left out of the fun, and he had a hit in 5 appearances himself.

Beckett allowed a lead-off triple in the 8th which led to Terry Francona lifting him and bringing in Daniel Bard. Dennis Eckersley said you have to respect this guy's gas. He allowed a hit and an inherited runner to score, while striking out two. Delcarmen pitched a scoreless 9th and cue "Dirty Water."

JoS1 is tomorrow night. I've had no gamethread-hosting takers so you're on your own. Wednesday and Thursday's games should be here, though.

Yankees beat the Rays 11-4 so we stay 2.5 GB.

Game 98 • Athletics at Red Sox • 7 PM

OAK: Trevor Cahill, RHP (6-8, 4.50 ERA, 91 ERA+)
BOS: Josh Beckett, RHP (11-4, 3.42 ERA, 136 ERA+)

Yes, this is Oakland's second visit to Fenway this month. MLB's scheduling is weird, isn't it? We go to Chicago to play the White Sox once this year but Oakland comes to Fenway twice. We also went to Anaheim twice. I wonder if it alternates year to year the amount of games played against the central and west division. One series in Chicago, one here. One series in Kansas City, one here. And so on.


Anyways, it seems like yesterday when Cahill last pitched against Boston. July 8th. The Red Sox won 5-4 and Cahill went 5 1/3, giving up 4 runs and 3 walks.

With Beckett on the hill, this should be easy, right? Besides the fact that baseball is not an exercise in statistical analysis and they actually have to play the game, yes this should be easy. In fact, Beckett last pitched against the A's on July 7th. 6 2/3 innings, 2 runs, a walk and 4 K's. Red Sox won 5-2.

The last gamethread that was hosted here was Game 49. This is Game 98. I just thought that was neat.

Oakland A's Series

Starting today our loyal game-thread hosts are making their 540-mile trek into the US, through New York state, through Massachusetts and into Boston. They attend JoS1 on Tuesday night, another game Wednesday night, then drive back during the day game on Thursday.

That means the Alternate site is open for gamethreading! (Yes, you're excited.)

Tuesday night will not be included since I will be at Fenway for the JoSapalooza, unless someone else would like to host the thread here. E-mail me if you're interested (ishwrong@gmail.com).

A's Series schedule:

Monday 7.27, 7 PM (Cahill/Beckett)
Tuesday, 7.28, 7 PM (Mazzaro/Buchholz) *JoS1
Wednesday, 7.29, 7 PM (Anderson/Penny)
Thursday, 7.30, 1:30 PM (Gonzalez/Lester)

I wonder if anyone's making a sign for Tuesday. Maybe get on NESN, etc. Hey, don't look at me. But it'd be sweet if it said something centered around Joy Nation.

29 May 2009

Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 6

BOS: 010 100 100 - 3 11 1
TOR: 001 050 00X - 6 10 0

W: Janssen (1-1)
L: Wakefield (6-3)
SV: Downs (6)

The Jays end their nine-game losing streak at the expense of the Red Sox. Funny how their losing streak started with Tim Wakefield pitching for the other team and ended with Wakefield. Wake was okay through the first four innings, although he had to deal with a lot of baserunners, including a bases loaded jam in the first. Toronto jumped all over him in the 5th as his knuckleball stayed up, scoring 5 runs and knocking him out of the game.

I put this one under the category of: It happens. That's just Wake and his knuckleball. He's on, stays on then all of a sudden loses it. Most times when he loses it he doesn't survive and is knocked out of the game but other times he'll give up 3 runs in an inning then settle back down and dominate.

What bothered me tonight: It was one of those games where the Red Sox had 11 hits but only scored 3 runs. Toronto scores double the runs on one less hit. Boston just couldn't put them together.

The game wasn't all lost. Daniel Bard pitched in relief of Wakefield and absolutely dominated. He was overpowering. He was baffling. He pitched. 2 1/3 innings, no hits, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts. Those 5 K's all came in a row, to the final five he faced. Three of the strike threes came on fastballs, two on breaking balls. He impressed once again.

The Jays 5th...

Rios HBP.
Wells FC to third (Rios out at second), stole second.
Lind 4-3, Wells to third.
Rolen doubled to left. Wells scored, 2-2.
Millar walked.
Overbay doubled to right. Rolen scored, Millar to third. 3-2.
Barajas singled to left. Millar and Overbay scored. 5-2.
Scutaro doubled deep to center. Barajas chug chug chuged home. 6-2.

Bard replaced Wakefield and got Hill to fly out to right.

Barajas looked like he would be gunned down at home because he was slowing down and running out of steam rounding third. He slid home head-first in plenty of time and stayed down for a few seconds, catching his breath. He looked like he just shut down after he slid in, then got up and walked back, huffing and puffing all the way to the dugout.

The Red Sox's scored one run in the second, fourth and seventh innings. Ellsbury doubled home Lowell in the 2nd and singled home Kottaras in the 4th. Drew hit a 7th inning dong to dead center.


With the loss we're tied with New York again, but they lead Cleveland 3-0 in the 5th inning in Spiderland. A Yankee win would put them a half-game up. The Jays sit one game back now.

28 May 2009

Game 49 • Red Sox at Blue Jays • 7 PM

Tim Wakefield (6-2, 3.99) vs. Casey Janssen (0-1, 4.50)

The Red Sox visit the Rogers Centre for the first time in 2009 as the weird scheduling rolls on. It feels like by this point in other seasons we've played up there two or three times. No matter. The Bluebirds will roll out the welcome mat while trying to make the gray team feel as unwelcome as possible. After all, they were fine and dandy on their perch atop the AL East standings before the first pitch in the Back Bay. Let's just say it was all downhill from there. Boston swept the Jays in three at Fenway, and Toronto has not tasted victory since.
L L L L L L L L L.

Have a look at the AL East after Thursday:
BOS: 28-20, --
MFY: 27-20, 0.5 GB
TOR: 27-23, 1.5 GB
FKR: 23-26, 5.0 GB
BAL: 21-26, 6.0 GB
Quotes from Thursday's game in Minnesota:

I thought [Tichenor] was making it hard on Beckett. I know Beckett yelled in. Tek's protecting Beckett, and I'm protecting Tek. He got Tek, and that's what I didn't want to have happen. I'm not fast enough to get out there in time. I'd rather him throw me out than Tek. Tek's going to have a hell of a lot more to do with the outcome than I am. Sometimes you have to state your opinion.

Beckett won't say what he told home plate umpire Todd Tichenor:
Just some baseball terms. You can't write it. [Television] can't hear it. There's no reason for me to elaborate.

Umpire Crew Chief Jerry Layne:
Varitek was trying to keep his pitcher in the game. Varitek took one for the team, basically. Terry Francona did his job, too. The bottom line is the managers have a job to do and the umpires have a job to do, and it was a different situation to be in as an umpire and I thought that Todd Tichenor did an extremely good job. He handled it the way I like to see a person handle it.

Francona on Varitek's second dong of the game, 427 feet (at friggen least):
That was nice to see. That was a beautiful swing.

Gumball, on the play at the plate:
All right, I'm going. [Jason Kubel] made a great throw. [Redmond] gave me the whole plate, so it wasn't going to be one of those situations where I need to have a collision or anything like that. I could just sense the ball bearing down on me a little bit, so I decided to just stay on the outside and try to get my hand in there. That turned out to be the best thing."
What happened to the Rays? Injuries. Percival has shoulder tendinitis, Kazmir has a right quad strain, Iwamura is out for the season with a knee injury, Shouse has an elbow strain, and Bartlett has a strained left ankle. All of these players are currently on the DL.