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.