Saturday, September 22, 2012

The End Of Sox.Rox

This season has taken a great toll on me. When March came and I had gotten a comment on this very blog stating that I had been offered an opportunity to apply for a job at BoSox Injection. I jumped at the chance to apply, and I did get one of the two jobs they were offering. At the time, I thought that I could just write around the BSI minimum of two posts a week while continuing to post regularly on Sox.Rox as my primary blog.

That's exactly what I did for a few months, until one of our writers-- the one who wrote game recaps-- had to leave the site for personal reasons. We established a rotating schedule for game posts, and I had two games a week added to my workload. This meant that on a few days of the week, I had to post two or more  articles saying approximately the same thing on two different sites.

As the season progressed, the workload increased. When I was on my summer break, it was fine, but in these past few weeks it's been very difficult for me to juggle these two blogs. BoSox Injection is a more popular blog than Sox.Rox, and thus is a better opportunity for me to continue my young career as a baseball writer.

I'm much more likely to be noticed by bigger and better Red Sox blogs there than I am here. That's the sad truth. I feel that it's better for me to focus on BoSox Injection than it is to keep taking time out of my schedule to write here.

I wish that I could write on two blogs, the way I've been doing it all year. However, in doing so I've lost some of my love in covering baseball. Of course, that's also partially because this has been a terrible season that's seen the Red Sox slip to 4th in the AL East at 68-84. Still, though, I'd be honored and greatly appreciate if some of you would follow my writing career further. That can start by going to BoSox Injection. It's a great Red Sox blog with a number of talented writers, and I hope that I can continue to be one going forward.

Thank you all for making these last four years so good for me. I hope you continue to read my work at BSI, but Sox.Rox will be no more.
Sincerely, 
Conor

Lester Tagged With First Ever Loss To O's In Comeback (68-84)

Lester was strong early on
This disappointing season has just kept on going, even though the Red Sox showed some promise as a spoiler a few days ago, they're back to losing three straight. This pitching matchup looked like a good one coming into the game with Jon Lester (9-12, 4.95) facing off against impressive O's rookie Miguel Gonzalez (6-4, 3.57). The strong pitching matchup played right into things for the first few innings. Neither team scored for a little while, until the Red Sox got a little rally in the third. It started off when Daniel Nava hit a liner down the first base line that probably would've gone for a triple if a fan had not interfered. Anyhow, he was standing on second when Pedro Ciriaco drove him with a double off the monster. However, the O's came right back-- putting two runners in scoring position with no outs in the fourth. Matt Wieters delivered for the Birds with a two-run single to make it 2-1.

However, he unraveled late
The strong pitching matchup continued for another inning, but the Red Sox got right back into the thick of things in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs in the inning and nobody on, the Red Sox got back to back singles for Pedro Ciriaco and Scott Podsednik to put runners at the corners. Dustin Pedroia was the man as usual here as he singled on a grounder past the third baseman to score Ciriaco and tie things up at 2-2. However, once again, the Orioles climbed back ahead as soon as the Red Sox scored. An Adam Jones walk with one out in the sixth set up an RBI double down the first baseline for Matt Wieters. Wieters got to third on a wild pitch and eventually scored on a liner up the middle for Mark Reynolds. Lester actually wound up going seven decent innings but wound up with his first ever loss to Baltimore, as he's now 14-1.

Bright Spots:
Scott Atchison- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K
Mark Melancon- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K
Pedro Ciriaco- 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Scott Podsednik- 2-4
Dustin Pedroia- 1-4, 1 RBI
Daniel Nava- 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B
Jose Iglesias- 1-3

Dull Spots:
Cody Ross- 0-4, 1 K, 3 LOB
Ryan Lavarnway- 0-4
James Loney- 0-4, 1 K, 1 LOB

Player of the Game:
Pedro Ciriaco- Ciriaco did a typically good job on top of the lineup last night, batting 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI double-- he is now .297/2/19.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Red Sox Fall Apart Late As Rays Avoid Sweep (68-82)

Matsuzaka only lasted three innings
This was a pretty miserable game for the Red Sox as it went from being a reasonably close game to a bloodbath almost instantly. The Red Sox got off to a good start, as Pedro Ciriaco singled and stole second to lead off the first. He would score on a bloop single to left for Jacoby Ellsbury. That would be it for them in the inning, though, and the Rays would come back in the second. The Rays loaded the bases on three straight singles to start the inning, and tied things up on a walk. Amazingly, they didn't score again the inning as Dice-K tightroped out of danger. The Red Sox would also get that run back in the third, as they led off the inning with a walk and a single. They'd score two on a Jacoby Ellsbury single and a Dustin Pedroia forceout to make it 3-1. However, a Ben Zobrist RBI single would cut into that and make it 3-2.

This was a frustrating game for the
Red Sox, illustrated by this pickoff
From that point on, it was all Rays. They got off to a screaming start in the fourth when Jeff Keppinger led things off with a home run. Matt Joyce followed him up with a single, and then another home run-- this time by Carlos Pena would make it 5-3. However, the real damage came in the sixth inning. The Rays started things off by putting two in scoring position with no outs due to some shoddy defense. Both runners scored when Desmond Jennings tripled into the gap in left-center to make it 7-3, but on an error in right field, Jennings scored as well to make it 8-3. The Rays kept going, loading the bases still with no outs. They'd score two more runs here on a sacrifice fly by Luke Scott and an RBI single by Jeff Keppinger. They proceeded to load the bases again and on two walks, scored two more runs to end the scoring in a seven run sixth, making it 12-3. They grabbed one more run on a Matt Joyce single in the ninth, but the damage was largely done.

Bright Spots:
Scott Atchison- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K
Pedro Ciriaco- 2-4, 2 R
Jacoby Ellsbury- 3-3, 2 RBI

Dull Spots:
The Pitching- 8 IP, 15 H, 13 R, 10 BB, 5 K, L (68-82)
Cody Ross- 0-3, 2 K, 2 LOB
Ryan Lavarnway- 0-3, 1 K, 2 LOB

Player of the Game:
Jacoby Ellsbury- Going 3-3 with 2 RBIs on the day, Ellsbury was certainly not the reason the Sox were stymied by Chris Archer and the Rays-- he is now .280/4/26.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Red Sox Back To Winning Ways, Rally To Beat Rays (68-81)

Doubront had a rough third, but was
strong otherwise
 One one hand, it's good to see the Red Sox winning. On the other, though, it would've been nice to see them doing that while they still had a chance at the playoffs. Still, though, it's good to see them beating the team that did this to them last year in the Rays. The Rays got off to a strong start after not scoring for the first two innings. On three Felix Doubront walks, they loaded the bases with one out. They would score twice when Ben Zobrist lined a ball to center and another on a sacrifice fly for Evan Longoria, making it 3-0. The Red Sox battled back, though, starting in the next inning with a leadoff double by Cody Ross. Ross immediately came in to score on a single by James Loney to cut it to 3-1. It took the Red Sox an inning, but they came back to tie it-- putting runners on the corners with no outs. They scored once when Jacoby Ellsbury singled in Jose Iglesias, and one more on a sacrifice fly for Dustin Pedroia to tie things up.

Loney went 1-4 with a run and an RBI
The Red Sox kept rolling right along in the sixth inning, putting runners at first and second with two away. They broke the tie when Sean Rodriguez made an errant throw to first, allowing a run to score and make it 4-3. They even put together a two out rally in the seventh inning, managing to put runners at first and second with two gone. They advanced their lead when Jarrod Saltalamacchia's single drove in Cody Ross to push it to 5-3. However, the biggest blow of the night came off the bat of Ryan Lavarnway (.155 entering play). Lavarnway knocked a double to center to score two runs and make it 7-3. The Rays weren't done yet, though, as they loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. They scored twice on a Ben Zobrist single to make it 7-5, but other than that, the Red Sox coasted to the comeback win.

Bright Spots:
Felix Doubront- 6 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 5 K, W (11-9)
Craig Breslow- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R
Andrew Bailey- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Jacoby Ellsbury- 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB
Cody Ross- 2-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 2B
James Loney- 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 RBI
Ryan Lavarnway- 2-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 2B, 2 RBI

Dull Spots:
Clayton Mortensen- 0.1 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 2 BB

Player of the Game:
Ryan Lavarnway- Lavarnway had the key hit with a two-run double, and also went 2-3 with a walk and a run scored-- he is now .170/2/9.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Red Sox Rally, Play Spoiler On Rays (67-81)

Cook got his fourth win of the year
This was a really great game for the Red Sox-- it displayed a number of things we haven't seen lately. First and foremost, a win, but also a pitching game-- things we haven't seen recently apart from the Blue Jays series. On that note, pitching was very prominent in this game as Alex Cobb (8-9, 4.26) and Aaron Cook (3-10, 5.18) practically matched each other pitch for pitch for the first few innings. It wasn't until the bottom of the fifth that the Rays finally got something going off Cook. The Rays started things off with a Luke Scott single, Jeff Keppinger lineout, and Carlos Pena single to put runners at the corners with one out. The Rays took the first run on a safety squeeze by Ryan Roberts, just scoring Scott fr, third. However, it didn't take the Red Sox long to catch up at all. With two outs and Jose Iglesias on third base, all Jacoby Ellsbury needed was a base hit. However, he got much more than that when he sent a line drive over the wall in right-center to make it 2-1.

Ellsbury had a tie breaking home run
Things got going faster for the Red Sox in the seventh inning. On a single, walk, and failed force attempt they were able to load the bases with no outs. Two runs came in when Mauro Gomez lined a ball over the third baseman's head and into left field for a two-run, pinch-hit single. On a sacrifice bunt and intentional walk, the Red Sox managed to load the bases again-- this time with one out. It was Ellsbury again here as the center fielder drilled a single to score another run and give the Red Sox a 5-1 lead. The Red Sox held that lead for a few innings, but the Rays cut it into it a little in the ninth inning. Mark Melancon came in to pitch and promptly allowed a leadoff single to B.J. Upton. Upton stole second and got to third on a wild pitch, eventually scoring on a Ben Zobrist groundout. However, that would be it as the Red Sox closed down a 5-2 win.

Bright Spots:
Aaron Cook- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, W (4-10)
Rich Hill- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K
Junichi Tazawa- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K
Jacoby Ellsbury- 3-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
James Loney- 2-4, 1 R
Mauro Gomez- 1-1, 2 RBI

Dull Spots:
Mark Melancon- 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 K
Cody Ross- 0-4, 1 K, 4 LOB
Ryan Lavarnway- 0-4, 1 R, 2 K, 4 LOB
Scott Podsednik- 0-2, 1 K

Player of the Game:
Jacoby Ellsbury- Ellsbury had the key hit and then some, going 3-5 with a home run and 3 RBIs as he led the Sox to victory-- he is now .273/4/23.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekly News

At this point of the season, this was a strangely good week for the Red Sox as we saw them go 3-3-- losing a series to the Yankees before winning one in Toronto. For the first time this year, 2011 Player of the Year Jacoby Ellsbury has won the Player of the Week after batting .360/0/2 this past week. Last year's MVP runner-up is now batting .267/3/20 in this injury-riddled season. For his team leading ninth time of the year, the Pitcher of the Week is Clay Buchholz. In his win yesterday, Buchholz allowed one earned run in the seven innings and is now 11-6, 4.33 this season. The Performance of the Week goes to Mauro Gomez. In Friday's win in Toronto, Gomez went 2-4 with three runs scored and a two-run, go ahead triple. Finally, the Game of the Week was Tuesday's 4-3 walk off win against the Yankees, exemplifying the perfect win basically. Next week, the Red Sox will go to Tampa Bay for four games and face the Orioles at home for three.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Red Sox Win Tight One In Toronto (65-80)

Matsuzaka was roughed up as usual
Last night was a surprisingly good game for the Red Sox as they won a fairly exciting game in Toronto. This game started off like a pitching duel as neither team scored until the bottom of the third when the Blue Jays broke out. Daisuke Matsuzaka loaded the bases entirely on his own accord on a hit by pitch and two walks, with one out. The first run scored, also on Dice-K's own accord, on a wild pitch while Brett Lawrie was batting. Lawrie would wind up walking on another wild pitch for Dice-K to make it 2-0 with the Blue Jays' bats not even coming off of their shoulders. The final run of the inning came on a groundout by Adam Lind. That was bad, but the Red Sox struck back in the top of the fourth. A Cody Ross walk and Mauro Gomez put runners at first and second to start things off. Ryan Lavarnway did the damage by raking a line drive just over the wall in left field to make it 3-3.

Gomez's go ahead triple was the key hit
The Red Sox just kept rolling along in the fifth inning as well. With two outs in the inning, the Red Sox loaded the bases on a single, walk, and a fielder's choice. Two runs came in on an RBI single to right for Daniel Nava, giving the Red Sox a 5-3 lead. It stayed there until the bottom of the sixth when Adam Lind's one out triple put a good chance to score up. That score happened on an RBI single by Yunel Escobar to cut it to a 5-4 lead. The Jays kept eating into that lead as a leadoff single in the eighth by Colby Rasmus set up a key hit. That key hit was Brett Lawrie's game tying RBI triple. However, the Red Sox would have their key strike in the ninth inning, as a couple of singles and a fly out put runners at first and second and one out. It would be Mauro Gomez with the key hit, as he tripled into the gap in right-center past a diving Anthony Gose. That scored two runs, and a third came in on a Ryan Lavarnway sac fly as the Red Sox wrapped up a win.

Bright Spots:
Junichi Tazawa- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K
Andrew Bailey- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K
Jacoby Ellsbury- 2-5, 1 R
Cody Ross- 1-4, 2 R
Mauro Gomez- 2-4, 3 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI
Ryan Lavarnway- 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Daniel Nava- 2-5, 2 RBI

Dull Spots:
Daisuke Matsuzaka- 5.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 K
Vicente Padilla- 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R
James Loney- 0-4, 1 K, 3 LOB

Player of the Game:
Mauro Gomez- Not only did Gomez have the key hit, a two run triple, but he also went 2-4 and scored three runs-- he is now .297/2/14.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Doubront Deals But Sox Shut Out (64-80)

Last night's loss to the Yankees concluded a surprisingly un-painful series despite losing two of three. An unlikely matchup of Felix Doubront (10-8, 5.21) and Phil Hughes (15-11, 4.13) turned into a good one last night. The Yankees put together a few base hits through the first three innings, but the Red Sox were held both scoreless and hitless during that time frame. The first time that the Yankees really got a sustained rally going was in the fourth inning. Alex Rodriguez led things off with a single up the middle and shortly after stole second. As it turned out, that steal was unnecessary as Robinson Cano walked behind him. Russell Martin followed them up with another walk to load the bases with no outs. Andruw Jones lifted a liner to right which fell into the glove of Cody Ross who quickly threw home, but not quickly enough to beat A-Rod to prevent the first run of the game.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Red Sox got into the hit column and put runners at the corners fruitlessly. Both pitchers cruised along until the seventh, when Doubront ran into a bit more trouble. A walk and single were enough to knock Felix Doubront out of the game. Junichi Tazawa entered action and promptly allowed an RBI single to Derek Jeter, making it 2-0. That would wind up being all either team would score in a disappointing game.

Bright Spots:
Felix Doubront- 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 5 K, L (10-9)
Craig Breslow- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Mark Melancon- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB

Dull Spots:
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- 0-4, 3 K,1  LOB
Ivan DeJesus- 0-2, 2 K

Player of the Game:
Felix Doubront- The Red Sox benefited from a truly good start for the first time in a while last night as Doubront went 6.1 strong innings-- he is now 10-9, 5.11.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Red Sox Cut It Close, But Fall To Yankees (64-79)

Cook got off to a good start
Last night's game was another good one for the second matchup of this series, however, the Red Sox lost this close one. Both Aaron Cook and David Phelps got off to good starts, pitching scoreless baseball for three innings. However, in the fourth, the Yankees got going, starting on a homer to right-center for Curtis Granderson-- hi 36th of the season. Alex Rodriguez followed him up with a bloop single to center, and he would also score when Robinson Cano went the other way for his 30th home run, over the green monster to make it 3-0. The Red Sox weren't just going to let that sit, though, as Dustin Pedroia came into the bottom of the fourth with a one out double. Pedroia would score when James Loney hit a hard ground ball through the right side of the infield to cut it to 3-1 against the Yanks.

He faltered in the fourth though
It stayed right there at 3-1 for a couple more innings, but both teams were ready to contribute again in the seventh inning. The Yankees started their rally with a single for Derek Jeter. However, just as soon as it had started, their rally ended when Curtis Granderson nailed his 37th home run of the season to right-- making it 5-1. The Red Sox weren't going to sit with that either though, as they came into the seventh with a pair of one out doubles to put two in scoring position. They scored a run when Mauro Gomez grounded out to third and another when Mike Aviles doubled to left to cut it to a 5-3 deficit. Each team's bullpen held it like that up until the ninth with Rafael Soriano on the mound. Jarrod Saltalamacchia led things off by belting his 24th home run to right field to cut it to 5-4. However, that would be all they would get in a tough loss.

Bright Spots:
Chris Carpenter- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB
Dustin Pedroia- 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B
James Loney- 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- 3-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Mike Aviles- 1-2, 1 2B, 1 RBI

Dull Spots:
Alfredo Aceves- 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 K
Pedro Ciriaco- 0-4, 1 LOB
Cody Ross- 0-4, 3 K, 2 LOB
Scott Podsednik- 0-2, 1 K, 1 LOB
Jose Iglesias- 0-2, 1 K, 1 LOB

Player of the Game:
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- Could Salty's slump have come to an end? He went 3-3 with a double, two runs scored, and a home run last night-- he is now .232/24/54.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Red Sox Play Spoiler, Walk Off Against Yanks (64-78)

Lester walked seven but wasn't bad
The Red Sox put together a rare good game against the Yankees last night, and in doing so, brought things to a tie at the top of the AL East. The Yankees got going pretty early in the first inning, starting off the game with a walk to Derek Jeter and a double by Nick Swisher. They would actually wind up loading the bases in the inning, but would only wind up getting one run on a groundout by Robinson Cano. It took the Red Sox a few innings to catch up, but in the bottom of the third they did just that. Pedro Ciriaco started things off with a leadoff double, and was promptly advanced to third on a groundout for Mike Aviles. Jacoby Ellsbury kept the rally going, singling up the middle to tie things at 1-1. Ellsbury made an essential steal then, taking his 13th bag of the year with a steal of second and would score on a single to right to give the Red Sox the lead.

Ellsbury had a walk-off single
It took the Yankees until the sixth, but Jon Lester's walks finally caught up to him (he walked seven total). A Curtis Granderson walk, Andruw Jones single, and Jayson Nix bunt put two in scoring position with one out. Almost immediately, the Yankees both tied things and nabbed the lead in one feld swoop as Derek Jeter popped one just out of Ryan Kalish's reach in right field. It popped over the short fence along the right field foul line for a ground-rule double to score two runs and make it 3-2. However, the Red Sox got one of those runs right back in the bottom of the sixth when Dustin Pedroia homered on a line drive into the first row of the monster seats. From that point on, there was a slew of relievers and unfulfilled rallies until the bottom of the ninth. Pedro Ciriaco and Mike Aviles had back-to-back one out singles off Yankees reliever David Robertson. However, things got really bad for New York when Jacoby Ellsbury singled hard to right, just scoring Ciriaco in time for a walk-off single.

Bright Spots:
Junichi Tazawa- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K
Craig Breslow- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB
Andrew Bailey- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K, W (1-0)
Jacoby Ellsbury- 4-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI
Dustin Pedroia- 3-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Pedro Ciriaco- 2-3, 2 R, 1 2B

Dull Spots:
Scott Podsednik- 0-3, 2 LOB
James Loney- 0-4, 1 K, 3 LOB
Ryan Lavarnway- 0-4, 3 K, 1 LOB

Player of the Game:
Jacoby Ellsbury- Happy birthday to Jacoby Ellsbury, as on his birthday, he went 4-5 with 2 RBIs including the walk-off single-- he is now .268/3/20.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekly News

Today, the Red Sox concluded yet another miserable week at 1-5 with a loss to the Mariners and a sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays. The Player of the Week is Cody Ross, who batted .300/1/5 this week and is now .281/20/73 in his magnificent first season in Boston. For his first time this year, Aaron Cook has won the Pitcher of the Week despite losing on Wednesday against the Mariners. Cook went six innings, allowing two earned runs, and is now 3-9, 5.19 this season. The Performance of the Week belongs to Ross on his performance Tuesday night. He went 3-4 and drove in a run in that game. Finally, the Game of the Week goes to the only win of the week when they edged the M's 4-3 in a tight game. In the upcoming week, the Red Sox will face the Yankees at home and the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Too Little, Too Late For Sox In Tight Loss (63-76)

Doubront was rocked last night
This game looked like just another blowout initially, but the Red Sox came back to make it even more of a disappointment for the Sox. The Blue Jays got going early when Brett Lawrie doubled to lead off the game. After getting to third on a ground out, he scored on a sac fly for Edwin Encarnacion. After a scoreless second, they got another run in the third on a homer for Encarnacion-- the 38th big fly of his great season. The Jays just kept rolling right along in the fourth inning, starting with a two out walk to Kelly Johnson. They got two runs when rookie Moises Sierra nailed a long ball over the green monster to make it 4-0. The fifth started off the same way as Colby Rasmus tripled to start things. Clayton Mortensen entered the game, but couldn't stop the Jays from scoring on  Yunel Escobar single to make it 5-0.

Pedroia had a home run and 2 RBIs
That was when things sort of began to turn for the Red Sox, as two one out singles netted them runners at the corners. They scored a run when Dustin Pedroia grounded into a force out, but ultimately squandered a rally. The Red Sox kept going in the seventh and a Pedro Ciriaco walk plus a steal of second, would set up an RBI single for Mauro Gomez to make it 5-2. The Red Sox started off the eighth with a shot to left for Dustin Pedroia-- his 13th home run of the year to cut it to 5-3. However, the Jays would get those runs back in the top of the ninth after a leadoff walk to Moises Sierra. Sierra would score when Colby Rasmus homered to make it 7-3. The Red Sox got a couple of those runs back in the bottom of the ninth on a two run homer for Mauro Gomez to cut it to 7-5, but it wasn't enough.

Bright Spots:
Clayton Mortensen- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 K
Chris Carpenter- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K
Rich Hill- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R
Daniel Bard- 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K

Scott Podsednik- 2-5
Dustin Pedroia- 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Mauro Gomez- 2-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI



Dull Spots:
Felix Doubront- 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 4 K, L (10-8)

Jacoby Ellsbury- 0-4, 2 K, 3 LOB
James Loney- 0-4, 2 LOB
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- 0-4, 1 LOB


Player of the Game:
Mauro Gomez- After coming in to pinch hit, Gomez led the show in going 2-2 with a two run homer and RBI single-- he is now .302/2/11.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Red Sox Can't Cook Up The Key Rally, Lose To M's (63-75)

Cook pitched well
Last night was a disappointing one as the Red Sox got a rare good start out of Aaron Cook, but were not able to cash in. Now, the matchup of Cook (3-8, 5.35) and Kevin Millwood (4-12, 4.38) isn't necessarily what you'd call a pitching matchup. However, it certainly played like one at least for the first few innings. Although there were plenty of base-runners, neither team scored in the first three innings. However, it was in the fourth inning that the Mariners finally broke out. On a single by Eric Thames, a walk for Mike Carp, and a single from Casper Wells-- the Mariners loaded the bases with no outs to start the inning. Cook got a quick out, getting Brendan Ryan to pop out. However, he wasn't so lucky with Dustin Ackley-- who singled up the middle to score two runs and make it 2-0.

Valentine isn't happy right now
After the Mariners scored those runs, there was scoreless fifth inning. However, the Red Sox would get in the board during the sixth inning. Dustin Pedroia benefited from a leadoff walk to start off the inning, but was quickly taken off the basepaths when Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a forceout. Ellsbury was able to steal second, however, putting himself in scoring position with one out for Cody Ross. Ross laced a line drive to right field that looked like it was going foul. Somehow, though, it stayed fair, bouncing around in the corner enough to score Ellsbury and get Ross to second base with an RBI double. They didn't score again in the inning, and as it turned out, the sixth was Aaron Cook's last inning. The sinker-baller exited the game with a relatively impressive line of 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K-- a very un-Cook-like line all things told. However, the Red Sox still managed to lose to game because of a weak offense.

Bright Spots:
Aaron Cook- 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K, L (3-9)
Alfredo Aceves- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K
Jacoby Ellsbury- 1-4, 1 R, 1 SB
Cody Ross- 3-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI

Dull Spots:
Scott Podsednik- 0-4, 1 LOB
Ryan Lavarnway- 0-4, 1 K, 6 LOB
Pedro Ciriaco- 0-2, 1 K

Player of the Game:
Cody Ross- Ross has continued his career year by going 3-4 and driving in a run with a double, as he certainly wasn't the problem in this game-- he is now .279/20/73.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ross, Lavarnway Homer As Sox Break Skid (63-74)

Bailey nailed down his second nave
Finally that miserable losing streak is over as the Red Sox finally edged the Mariners to end a seven game losing skid. Jon Lester (8-11, 5.01) got off to a bit of a rocky start, allowing Dustin Ackley to single to start the ballgame. Ackley stole second and advanced to third on a ground ball to put him there at third with two outs. Jesus Montero came up and drove him in with an RBI single to right to put the Mariners on the board 1-0. Lester held the Mariners scoreless in the second inning but ran into a bunch of trouble when he opened up the third. Franklin Gutierrez came up and crushed a home run over the head of Jacoby Ellsbury to dead center field. He was followed up immediately by Kyle Seager who knocked a no doubter to right field to give the Mariners a 3-0 lead on Seager's 16th homer.

Ross had a three-run homer
Jon Lester settled down from that point and tossed scoreless baseball for his next three innings of work. He would manage to get the win as well, as the Red Sox put together a little rally of their own in the top of the sixth. Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury each singled to right field to put runners at first and second to start off the inning. That was when Cody Ross came up and drove a ball to deep left field, well out of the ballpark to bring in all three runs possible and tie the game up at 3-3. The next two batters got out to leave Ryan Lavarnway (who entered the game batting .174) to fend for himself with two outs. He did just that as he drove one off the scoreboard in the left field on a big home run to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. The bullpen came together for a win and Andrew Bailey pitched a good ninth to pick up his second save.

Bright Spots:
Vicente Padilla- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB
Andrew Bailey- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, SV (2)
Dustin Pedroia- 2-4, 1 R, 1 BB
Cody Ross- 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
James Loney- 2-4, 1 2B
Ryan Lavarnway- 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Jose Iglesias- 1-3, 1 2B

Dull Spots:
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- 0-4, 1 K, 2 LOB

Player of the Game:
Cody Ross- Ross was only 1-4 in last night's game but he absolutely had the biggest hit of the night with a three run homer-- he is now .274/20/74.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Red Sox Drop Seventh Straight As Pedroia Hits 1000th (62-74)

Could this be Valentine's last series?
The good news in today's game: Dustin Pedroia got the 1000th hit of his very successful career. The bad news was the same as it's been the past seven games-- the Red Sox fell without giving too much of a fight. The Red Sox scored first when they put together a two out rally in the first inning. A two out double for Dustin Pedroia set up a run when Cody Ross took an outside pitch to right field for a soft line drive single to make it 1-0. Things looked good for the next few innings, but it all took a turn for the worse in the fourth inning. The Mariners started off by putting two runners on base on a single and hit by pitch. They scored a pair of runs when John Jaso and Justin Smoak hit consecutive singles through the right side to make it 2-1. They got one more run on a fly out to center for Eric Thames. Jacoby Ellsbury's throw home got away from Ryan Lavarnway and the run scored. The next run scored on another miscue, this time by Jose Iglesias.

From that point on, neither team scored and the Red Sox just slowly died. Clay Buchholz pitched pretty well after then and exited the game after seven innings-- leaving with a line of 7 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. He would eventually lose the game and slip to 11-5 with a 4.47 ERA this season. In relief, Rich Hill and Chris Carpenter combined for a scoreless eighth and that was it as the Sox didn't even put up a fight.

Bright Spots:
Dustin Pedroia- 2-3, 1 R, 1 BB
Cody Ros- 1-4, 1 RBI
Ryan Kalish- 2-4

Dull Spots:
Pedro Ciriaco- 0-4, 3 K, 1 LOB
Jacoby Ellsbury- 0-4
Mauro Gomez- 0-3, 2 LOB
Ryan Lavarnway- 0-3
Jose Iglesias- 0-2, 1 K, 2 LOB

Player of the Game:
Dustin Pedroia- Pedroia continues to be a lone bright spot in the Red Sox' lineup as he went 2-3 with a walk and a run today-- he is now .290/12/55.

Series Preview #39: Red Sox (62-73) @ Mariners (65-70)

After back-to-back sweeps at the hands of the Angels and A's, the mutilated Red Sox will roll into Seattle for a three-game series. Today's game will feature Clay Buchholz (11-4, 4.50) and Jason Vargas (13-9, 3.90). I expect a pitching game in this one as both Buchholz and Vargas have good numbers against the opposition, but based on how the Red Sox are swinging the bats-- I'll give the win to the Mariners. Tomorrow night's game will have a matchup of Jon Lester (8-11, 5.01) and Blake Beavan (9-8, 4.95). In the past, the Red Sox have rocked Beavan to the tune of a 6.35 ERA and 0-3 record, and I expect a win tomorrow night (is that too much to ask, baseball gods?). The series finale Wednesday will show Aaron Cook (3-8, 5.35), who pitched a shutout his last time in Seattle, against Kevin Millwood (4-12, 4.38). I don't expect more of the same from Cook as he's been miserable lately. Bold Prediction: Mariners win series 2-1. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Weekly News

The Red Sox' season just got more depressing with a miserable 1-6 involving three game sweeps by both the Angels and A's after a win against the Royals. However, one bright spot was James Loney, who batted .316/1/2 in his first week in Boston and is now .258/5/37 this season between the Dodgers and Red Sox. The Pitcher of the Week is Clay Buchholz, who didn't even pitch all that well-- allowing four runs in seven innings in a no-decision against the Angels on Tuesday. That's Buchholz's team-leading eighth Pitcher of the Week Award this year and he's now 11-4, 4.50 this season. The Performance of the Week goes to James Loney's 3-4 night on Friday-- he also drove in a run with his fifth home run of the year. Finally, the Game of the Week obviously goes to the only win of the week when the Red Sox beat the Royals 5-1 on Monday. In the upcoming week, the Red Sox will play three games in Seattle before three more at home against the Blue Jays.

A's Get The Better Of Sox Again As Skid Continues (62-73)

The 2012 baseball season is becoming miserable as the Red Sox lost again today to extend their skid to six games. This was a rough game for the Red Sox pretty much from the start as the game began with a tough pitching matchup-- Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-3, 5.10) and Brett Anderson (2-0, 0.64). The A's started off the bottom of the first on a walk by Coco Crisp. Crisp scored almost immediately when Seth Smith drove a high home run to center field to make it 2-0 early. It took them only one inning to get another run when Stephen Drew crushed a hanging sinker to left-center to make it 3-0. They just kept on rolling in the third as well, putting runners at the corners with one out. They'd score a run on a sacrifice fly for Josh Reddick. Later in the inning, they'd score again when Stephen Drew knocked a line drive single to left to make it 5-0.

Ross had an RBI single
The A's just kept pounding Matsuzaka in the fourth, loading the bases with one out. They scored one run when Yoenis Cespedes grounded out to second base to make it 6-0. It took the Red Sox until the sixth, but they eventually got their first run of the game--loading the bases with one out. Cody Ross singled to left, scoring one run before Scott Podsednik was nailed at the plate, making it 6-1. It stayed there for a while, but the Red Sox picked up another run in the ninth after a leadoff double for Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia would eventually score on a sacrifice fly for Mauro Gomez to make it 6-2. However, it wasn't nearly enough to dig into a huge A's lead.



Bright Spots:
Andrew Miller- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Craig Breslow- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K
Junichi Tazawa- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K
Mark Melancon- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R
Dustin Pedroia- 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B
Cody Ross- 1-4, 1 RBI

Dull Spots:
Daisuke Matsuzaka- 3.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 4 BB, 4 K, L (1-4)
Ryan Lavarnway- 0-4, 2 K
Mike Aviles- 0-3, 1 K
James Loney- 0-3, 1 K

Player of the Game:
Dustin Pedroia- Pedroia acted as the catalyst today, going 3-4 with a double and scoring a run in a bad game-- he is now .288/12/55

Doubront Shelled, Sox Stymied, Just Another Day (62-72)

Doubront lasted only three innings
The Red Sox are just painful to watch right now; it seems like not only do they not win much, but they just don't win-- yes the stakes are low right now, but it'd be nice to see a win every once in a while. Instead of pointing us in the right direction, Felix Doubront put the Red Sox behind almost immediately. Light-hitting A's leadoff hitter Coco Crisp homered on the fourth pitch of the game. Doubront actually got out of there largely unscathed an prevented a big rally in the second, but he ran into a bunch of trouble in the third. That started with a leadoff single for Coco Crisp, who was promptly thrown out at the plate on a Johnny Gomes double. However, Gomes scored soon after on an RBI single by Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes stole second and third and scored (along with Chris Carter) on a Brandon Inge double. Inge would score on a single for Derek Norris.

That would be Doubront's last inning as the lefty lasted all of three innings, allowing five runs on six hits and two walks, striking out six. Alfredo Aceves came in next and pitched a strong fourth before having a bit of trouble in the fifth. Cliff Pennington singled with one out in the inning then stole second to put himself in scoring position. He'd score when rookie Derek Norris singled to left to make it 6-1 in the fifth. The Sox got their only bright spot in the sixth, starting with a Ryan Lavarnway single. Lavarnway was quickly erased on a forceout as Pedro Ciriaco took his place. Ciriaco would eventually score on a single for Dustin Pedroia. However, that run would be erased on a solo home run in the seventh for Chris Carter, extending it to 7-1.

Bright Spots:
Alfredo Aceves- 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K

Dull Spots:
Felix Doubront- 3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 6 K, L (10-7)
Daniel Bard- 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 K
Offense- 4-31, 1 R, 1 RBI, 7 K

Player of the Game:
Alfredo Aceves- Despite not pitching all that well, he did eat up three innings out of the bullpen, which is worth something-- he is now 2-9, 4.73.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Series Preview #38: Red Sox (62-70) @ A's (73-57)

The Red Sox will continue their west coast swing this weekend, stumbling into Oakland after being swept in Los Angeles and falling to eight games below .500. The misery will look to continue tonight as Aaron Cook (3-7, 4.76) will battle against A's ace Brandon McCarthy (7-5, 3.12). McCarthy hasn't had a ton of success against the Red Sox in his career (a 5.03 ERA) but I don't have much faith that Aaron Cook can beat him. The second game of this series looks similarly bleak as an ailing Felix Doubront (10-6, 4.79) will face off against Brett Anderson (2-0, 0.64). Anderson, on the other hand, has had a bunch of success against the Red Sox (a 2.86 ERA) and with the current state in Boston, I don't have high hopes for this one. The series finale will feature Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-3, 5.10) and impressive rookie Tommy Milone (11-9, 3.73). Matsuzaka was dominant in his last start against the Royals, but I still don't like the looks of the inconsistent righty. Bold Prediction: A's sweep series 3-0. 

Angels Sweep Sox Again After Tough Loss (62-70)

Lester allowed five runs in eight innings
This game pretty much exemplified this season, the pitching was bad from their ace, their offense couldn't hit when it counted, and the game wasn't even particularly close. The Angels jumped out to a lead in the first after Mike Trout walked and Torii Hunter singled, putting runners at the corners. Both runners came home when Albert Pujols knocked a double on a ground ball down the third base line and past the diving Pedro Ciriaco. However, the Red Sox bats got right to work as they loaded the bases on two walks and a single with one out. They got one run back when Mike Aviles drove in James Loney with a sacrifice fly. However, the Angels didn't stop in the third, as they got into a good scoring position with a pair of one out singles.


Loney hit his first Red Sox HR
Back-to-back singles by Mark Trumbo and Alberto Callaspo would net the Angels two more runs to make it 4-1. The Angels just kept on rolling over Jon Lester (8-10, 4.98) in the fourth when they put runners at first and third with no outs. They scored a run on a double play ball by Mike Trout which increased the Angels lead to four runs at 5-1. There was a rare scoreless inning in the fifth but the Red Sox cut into the Angels' lead a bit in the sixth. On a weird hit, James Loney turned a low-inside curveball (not a bad pitch by any means) into a hard line drive home run to right field to make it 5-2. However, that would be one of relatively few blemishes in a great outing for Zach Greinke as he exited after the seventh with a line of 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K. The Angels relief corps (an inning of Kevin Jepsen and an inning of Ernesto Frieri) shut down the Red Sox for the next two in a rough loss.

Bright Spots:
James Loney- 3-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Mike Aviles- 2-3, 1 RBI

Dull Spots:
Scott Podsednik- 0-5, 3 K, 2 LOB
Jacoby Ellsbury- 0-4, 1 K, 2 LOB
Pedro Ciriaco- 0-4, 1 K, 2 LOB

Player of the Game:
James Loney- Loney had his first good night in a Red Sox uniform as he knocked a home run and scored another run in a 3-4 night-- he is now .412/1/4 in Boston.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stewart Roughed Up In Red Sox Debut As Angels Rout (62-69)

Stewart made his Red Sox debut
The Red Sox just can't seem to beat the Angels as they are now 0-5 including last night's game and are 0-2 in extra inning games! This game started off predictably as the Angels really got to Zach Stewart in the first inning. Mike Trout led off the game with a single and then almost immediately scored on an RBI double by Torii Hunter. Albert Pujols drove Hunter in with an RBI single up the middle to make it 2-0 after the first two batters. The Angels would tack on two more runs in the inning when Kendrys Morales came up and crushed a hanging curveball to right for a long home run to make it 4-0. Stewart got the next three hitters, but the damage was done as we entered the second inning. After putting runners on second and third with no outs, Scott Podsednik got one run back on a sacrifice fly.

After a leadoff double in the second, the Angels got that run back when Torii Hunter singled to center and made it 5-1. The Angels kept right on rolling after a leadoff double in the third. The next two batters got out, but back-to-back doubles for Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar made it 7-1. That was when Chris Iannetta knocked on out of the park on a liner to left-center. That third would be Stewart's last inning as he was taken out with a line of 3 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 2 K. After a rare scoreless inning, the Red Sox started off the fifth right-- putting runners at the corners with one out. Jacoby Ellsbury stole second and Iannetta made an errant throw, causing Scott Podsednik to score from third. Ellsbury scored next as Dustin Pedroia singled him in to make it 9-3. The Angels got a run back in the fifth but the damage was done.

Bright Spots:
Dustin Pedroia- 1-3, 1 BB, 1 RBI
Mauro Gomez- 3-4, 1 R
Scott Podsednik- 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI

Dull Spots:
Zach Stewart- 3 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 2 K, L (1-3)
Jose Iglesias- 0-4, 2 K, 6 LOB

Player of the Game:
Mauro Gomez- Gomez's 3-4 night really showed that the youngster may be ready to fully take over the first base job-- he is now .327/1/6.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Red Sox Fall On Walkoff Heartbreaker (62-68)

Buchholz raised his ERA to 4.50
Last night was a very heartbreaking game as the Red Sox held the lead up until the cusp of winning, as Alfredo Aceves blew another save. The Angels started off the game very early, jumping to a 1-0 lead as leadoff hitter Mike Trout homered on the second pitch Clay Buchholz (11-4, 4.47) threw. He was followed up by a walk to Torii Hunter, who advanced to third on an Albert Pujols single. Hunter would eventually score on a sacrifice fly for Mark Trumbo to make it 2-0. The Red Sox would get one of those runs back when Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove one deep to right-center for a solo home run-- his team-leading 22nd of the year. However, it would be in the fourth that the Red Sox really cut loose, loading the bases with no outs to start the inning. They would score a pair of runs on RBI singles by James Loney and Jarrod Saltalamacchia and another when Ryan Kalish grounded into a double play to make it 5-2.

Saltalamacchia hit home run #22
It took them till the sixth, but the Angels still weren't quite done with Clay Buchholz. They got back one run on a deep home run to center for Albert Pujols, cutting it to 5-3. With two outs in the inning, a Mark Trumbo walk as Howie Kendrick proceeded to double perfectly into the gap in left-center to score Trumbo from first and cut the Red Sox' lead to one run. Buchholz would last one more inning after that, exiting the game with a solid but certainly not great line of 7 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 K-- he is now 11-4, 4.50 this season. Closer Alfredo Aceves entered the game for the eighth and tossed a 1-2-3 inning in his first game back from a three-game suspension. However, come the ninth, there were some problems as a walk and a hit by pitch with one out set up a big inning. A Mike Trout single tied things up at 5-5, and it was a Torii Hunter sacrifice fly that did the damage with a sacrifice fly as the Angels walked off.

Bright Spots:
Jacoby Ellsbury- 2-4, 2 R
Ryan Lavarnway- 1-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 RBI
James Loney- 1-3, 1 BB, 1 RBI
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI

Dull Spots:
Alfredo Aceves- 1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Scott Podsednik- 0-4, 1 K, 1 LOB
Jose Iglesias- 0-4, 1 K, 2 LOB

Player of the Game:
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- Saltalamacchia had a big game last night, going 2-4 with a solo home run and RBI single-- he is now .231/22/52.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Series Preview #37: Red Sox (62-67) @ Angels (66-62)

After being swept by the Angels just last week, the Red Sox will head into Los Angeles tonight and for the next three days to take on the Halos. In the opening game tonight, we'll see Clay Buchholz (11-4, 4.47) square off against Jered Weaver (16-3, 2.74). Weaver defeated Buchholz in their last face-off last week and I expect a similar result here tonight. The second game of the series will feature Franklin Morales (3-4, 3.77) and C.J. Wilson (9-9, 3.83). The Red Sox rocked Wilson his last time out, but in the past he's been very good against the Red Sox and I predict a good outing here. The series finale will pit Jon Lester (8-10, 4.98) against huge deadline acquisition Zack Greinke (2-2, 5.22 since joining Los Angeles). Due to the way each of these starters has fared his last few times out, I predict a Red Sox win in the finale. Bold Prediction: Angels win series 2-1. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dice-K Powers Sox To Series Win Over Royals (62-67)

Matsuzaka went seven strong innings
The Red Sox have gotten off to a good start in the post-Gonzalez realm as they edged out a win yesterday before a fairly easy feel good win at Fenway Park today. The game got off to a predictable start with Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound as he walked the leadoff hitter Jarrod Dyson and allowed him to steal second. Dyson would eventually score on a sacrifice fly for Alex Gordon but as it turned out, Matsuzaka really settled down from there on. The Red Sox got that early run right back in the bottom of the first when Jacoby Ellsbury belted a solo home run just over the three foot wall in right. Neither team scored in the second inning, but the Red Sox put a little rally together in the third inning. Two one out singles for Scott Podsednik and Dustin Pedroia set up an eventual two-run single for Cody Ross to make it 3-1.


Cody Ross went 2-4 with 3 RBIs
After strong fourth and fifth innings for Luke Hochevar (7-11, 4.95), he ran into trouble again facing the Red Sox' bats in the sixth inning. With one out, Jacoby Ellsbury and Cody Ross knocked back-to-back doubles as Ross drove in Ellsbury and also put himself in scoring position. He would extend the lead to 5-1 when James Loney drove him in with a single up the middle. Those would be the last runs of the ballgame for either side as Daisuke Matsuzaka settled down to really have a great day in his grand return to the majors-- finishing with a line of 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K and earning his first win of the year. After his departure, Clayton Mortensen and Vicente Padilla combined for a scoreless eighth and Andrew Bailey walked one in an otherwise shutdown ninth. Overall a good win in Boston.

Bright Spots:
Daisuke Matsuzaka- 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, W (1-3)
Andrew Bailey- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB
Scott Podsednik- 2-4, 1 R
Jacoby Ellsbury- 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Cody Ross- 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 2B, 3 RBI
James Loney- 1-4, 1 RBI

Dull Spots:
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- 0-3, 1 K, 1 LOB
Mike Aviles- 0-3, 1 LOB
Pedro Ciriaco- 0-3, 2 K

Player of the Game:
Daisuke Matsuzaka- Matsuzaka had his best start in a long time for the Red Sox, allowing one unearned run and striking out six in seven innings-- he is now 1-3/5.10/20.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekly News

This was a very interesting week for the Red Sox despite only going 2-4, as we watched two players who we've loved greatly (Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez) depart along with Nick Punto and Carl Crawford for Hollywood. It was the right move as the Red Sox are re-inventing the team, but a huge move nonetheless. On the playing side of the spectrum, the Player of the Week for his fourth time is Mike Aviles-- who batted at a .280/2/6 clip this week and is now .254/13/57 on the season. Moving into a tie for second place for the Pitcher of the Year is Jon Lester-- who allowed three runs in seven innings in a win against the Royals Friday and is now 8-10, 4.98 this year. The Performance of the Week goes to Dustin Pedroia's performance Thursday as he went 4-6 with three runs, a homer, and five RBIs in a 14-13 loss to the Angels. Finally, the Game of the Week goes to today's 8-6 roller coaster affair beating the Royals. In the upcoming week, the Red Sox will face the Royals to conclude this series Monday before heading the Los Angeles and Oakland for a three game series in each.

Red Sox Edge Royals Behind Ciriaco, Ross (61-67)

Doubront had a bad inning
This was a great game in so far as the Red Sox won, it was some good baseball, and there were a few strong individual performances-- all great in the position the Red Sox are in right now. The Red Sox took off to a 1-0 lead in the first, scoring when Cody Ross drove in Pedro Ciriaco with a single. They scored again in the second inning when Mike Aviles hit a high fly ball off the monster, scoring Mauro Gomez all the way from first to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. Felix Doubront held the Royals in check for the next few innings, but they finally got to him in a big fourth inning. With two outs and two strikes, the Royals put together a sustained rally--starting with singles by Eric Hosmer and Johnny Giavotella. They scored one run when Tony Abreu hit a soft liner to left for an RBI single and they scored three more when Lorenzo Cain drilled one into the monster seats in left to make it 4-2.

Loney made his Red Sox debut
However, the Red Sox came back in the fifth-- starting with a one out solo home run for Pedro Ciriaco. After that, the Red Sox managed to put runners at the corners for James Loney. In his second at bat with the Red Sox, Loney took a first pitch fastball up the middle for an RBI single to make it 4-4. After putting runners at first and second with no outs, the Red Sox finally scored on a two out RBI single by Jacoby Ellsbury. They did some more damage in the seventh as they loaded the bases with two outs. Scott Podsednik hit a seemingly inning ending ground ball but in a Buckner-esque play, the ball rolled right through Alcides Escobar's legs for a run. They scored another on an infield single by Pedro Ciriaco. The Royals scrambled for two runs in the eighth on a sacrifice fly and an RBI single (Tony Abreu again!). However, the Red Sox got one back on a homer for Dustin Pedroia to make it 8-6 and won.

Bright Spots:
Craig Breslow- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K
Mark Melancon- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K, SV (1)
Pedro Ciriaco- 3-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Jacoby Ellsbury- 2-5, 1 R, 1 RBI
Dustin Pedroia- 2-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Cody Ross- 2-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 RBI
James Loney- 1-5, 1 RBI
Mike Aviles- 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI

Dull Spots:
Nobody!

Player of the Game:
Pedro Ciriaco- Ciriaco did a fantastic job leading off, going 3-5 while scoring two runs, driving in two more, and knocking a home run-- he is now .360/2/16.

Cook, Gomez Shine But Sox Fall Blow Huge Lead (60-67)

Gomez went 4-6 with 3 RBIs
Last night was just another episode in the disappointment that is the 2012 season as they blew a huge lead to fall in extras in one of the worst teams in baseball. The Royals started off hot, beginning the game with four consecutive hits. Two runs came in on Alex Gordon's double off the wall and Gordon scored on Billy Butler soft shot to right to make it 3-0 very early on. Cook held the Royals quiet in the bottom of the second and that was when the Red Sox got to work, starting with a one out solo blast to left for Mauro Gomez-- his first major league home run to cut it to 3-1. After that, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway each singled then promptly scored when Mike Aviles put one just over the green monster for a three-run homer to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. However, the Red Sox were far from done as they loaded the bases with no outs in the third. They scored three-- two on an error by Jeremy Guthrie and one on a sacrifice fly by Jarrod Saltalamacchia to make it 7-3.

Ross had an RBI single
The Red Sox still weren't done though as they put runners at the corners and two outs in the fourth inning. They wound up scoring two runs on RBI singles by Cody Ross and Mauro Gomez to give them a commanding 9-3 lead. Aaron Cook held it there for the next few innings, but when he turned it to the bullpen for the seventh, things got ugly. The Royals loaded the bases on a hit and two walks with one out off Andrew Miller. Miller allowed two to score on an RBI single by Alex Gordon before being pulled for Mark Melancon. Melancon allowed two more runs to come in on a double by Billy Butler and a single for Salvador Perez. Finally, Craig Breslow came in and allowed the inevitable game tying two-run triple that make it 9-9. It stayed there all the way until the twelfth inning when the Royals took a run on an RBI single for Tony Abreu and that was basically it.

Bright Spots:
Aaron Cook- 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB
Craig Breslow- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, K
Andrew Bailey- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R
Vicente Padilla- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Scott Podsednik- 2-6
Jacoby Ellsbury- 2-5, 2 R, 1 2B
Cody Ross- 3-5, 1 R, 1 RBI
Mauro Gomez- 4-6, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- 2-5, 1 R, 1 RBI
Ryan Lavarnway- 2-4, 1 R, 1 BB
Mike Aviles- 2-6, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Pedro Ciriaco- 2-5, 1 R

Dull Spots:
Andrew Miller- 0.2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K
Mark Melancon- 0.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R

Player of the Game:
Mauro Gomez- In his first game filling in for the traded Gonzalez, Gomez was fantastic-- driving in three and hitting his first MLB home run in a 4-6 day-- he is now .318/1/6.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Crawford, Beckett, Gonzalez Gone In Huge Blockbuster

After tons of trade rumors last night involving the possibility of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford going to Los Angeles, the deal is going to be finally made official today. Also included in this major blockbuster is Nick Punto as the Red Sox have freed up nearly $250 million in payroll space over the next several years and will take about $60 million off of 2013's guaranteed contracts. In return, the Red Sox will acquire first baseman James Loney (.254/4/33), who will probably fill in for Gonzalez for the rest of 2012. Along with Loney, the Red Sox acquired four prospects in the deal; #2 Dodgers' prospect Allen Webster plus Rubby De La Rosa, Ivan DeJesus, and Jerry Sands. Webster and De La Rosa are each highly ranked Dodgers' pitching prospects who are each close to major-league ready. Webster is 6-8 with a 3.55 ERA in Double-A Chattanooga and De La Rosa is coming off Tommy John Surgery but was 4-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 13 games in MLB last year. Sands (.303/24/101) and DeJesus (.295/3/33) have each had success in Triple-A, but haven't quite figured it out yet at the major league level-- .174/0/1 and .273/0/4 respectively. However, a change of scenery could help them out and Webster and De La Rosa should be elite pitching talent very soon. This deal is huge financially for the Red Sox as much as I hate to see Gonzalez go, it may be the right move.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Red Sox Edge Royals To Break Four Game Skid (60-66)

Lester won his third straight game
On the heels of a potentially huge night for the Red Sox, they were able to end a four game skid by knocking off a Royals in a close game. After a scoreless top half of the first, the Red Sox got going in the bottom of the first-- starting off the inning with three consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs. They would score two runs on the fourth consecutive single to start things off against Bruce Chen (9-10, 5.45), a knock by David Ortiz in his first game back from a heel injury. The second inning was scoreless all around, but the Royals struck back in the third inning on a leadoff homer over the monster by Eric Hosmer. A two out walk for Alcides Escobar set up a tie game at 2-2 when Alex Gordon hit a double to deep center to score the speedy Escobar all the way from first base.



Ortiz went 2-4 with 2 RBIs in his return
The Royals kept rolling right along in the fourth inning starting with a walk, single, and walk with one out in the inning. They'd score once on an infield single by Johnny Giavotella to give the Royals a 3-2 lead. However, Jon Lester proceeded to settle down after that and threw three scoreless innings to follow up those rough ones-- finishing the night with a line of 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 6 K. When the day was done, he had won his third straight start to get to 8-10 and 4.98 on the year. However, that was the time that the Red Sox got going-- starting with a walk and a single to lead things off. Scott Podsednik moved the runners up a base each on a sacrifice bunt and both scored when Pedro Ciriaco knocked a two-run RBI double to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. After a couple off scoreless innings by the bullpen corps, Andrew Bailey recorded his first save as a member of the Red Sox.

Bright Spots:
Jon Lester- 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 6 K, W (8-10)
Andrew Bailey- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, SV (1)
Pedro Ciriaco- 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI
Jacoby Ellsbury- 2-4, 1 R
David Ortiz- 2-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI
Mike Aviles- 1-3, 1 R

Dull Spots:
Cody Ross- 0-4, 3 LOB

Player of the Game:
Pedro Ciriaco- Ciriaco had the big hit in this game with a two-run go ahead double in the seventh, also going 2-4 with a run-- he is now .349/1/14.

Series Preview #36: Royals (55-68) @ Red Sox (59-66)

Traditionally a terrible team, the Royals will be coming to town for the weekend against the Red Sox (traditionally a good team) that stands only three games above them this season. The opener tonight will feature Jon Lester (7-10, 5.03) and Bruce Chen (9-10, 5.45). The Red Sox have knocked Chen around to the tune of a 5.76 ERA in his career, and I predict a win. Game two will be former Red Sox ace Josh Beckett (5-11, 5.23) and former Orioles' ace Jeremy Guthrie (2-3, 3.23 since joining Kansas City). Guthrie hasn't been great against the Red Sox in his career, posting a 4.50 ERA, but I'm down on Beckett right now so I predict a loss. Sunday's game will have a pair of rookies in Felix Doubront (10-6, 4.70) and Will Smith (4-5, 5.40). I feel like the Red Sox can win this game and defeat the Royals enough to make them men in black (I had to do it, I apologize). The final game of this series will be Monday and have presumably Aaron Cook (3-7, 4.79) and Luke Hochevar (7-11, 4.95). The Red Sox have roughed Hochevar around to a 6.56 ERA and I expect the same. Red Sox win series 3-1. 

Red Sox Swept After High Scoring Heartbreaker (59-66)

Morales lasted all of 2.2 innings
Last night was an incredibly disappointing game as the Red Sox blew a huge lead to fall to the Angels in extra innings. After a double by Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox scored on a first inning RBI single by Adrian Gonzalez. They put together a huge inning in the second-- starting with a leadoff double by Mauro Gomez. Gomez scored on a single by Scott Podsednik, who would score later on an RBI single to center by Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury and Ciriaco (who also singled) would both score when Dustin Pedroia got ahold of one and sent it to left for a three-run homer to make it 6-0 in the second. However, it didn't take long at all for the Angels to complete disintegrate that lead-- as they scored eight times in the third inning on RBI singles for Howie Kendrick, Chris Iannetta, Mike Trout, and Torii Hunter, RBI walks by Kendrys Morales and Vernon Wells, and reaching on an error by Erick Aybar. When the dust settled on the third, it was 8-6 Angels.


Pedroia drove in five runs
However, the Red Sox fought back-- starting in the eighth when Cody Ross drove in Dustin Pedroia, who had reached on a single. The Red Sox would come back all the way to tie it up again in the sixth on a long home run to left for Mike Aviles. They went on to put Pedro Ciriaco at second base, who scored and gave the Red Sox the lead when Jacoby Ellsbury drove him in with a double. However, the Angels went on to put runners at first and second with two outs for Mike Trout. Trout singled to drive in a run and tie the game at 9-9 in the seventh inning. The Red Sox went on to put together a two out rally in the eighth-- singling four consecutive times (Podsednik, Ciriaco, Ellsbury, and Pedroia) and scoring twice. However, the Angels came right back to take the lead on a Vernon Wells long-ball and two RBI singles by Mike Trout and Torii Hunter. The Red Sox would tie it in the bottom of the ninth on a home run by Cody Ross to send it to extra innings at 12-12. A Kendrys Morales home run and a Vernon Wells RBI double gave the Angels two more runs to send them to a 14-13 win as a Dustin Pedroia RBI wasn't enough.

Bright Spots:
Junichi Tazawa- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R
Mark Melancon- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Vicente Padilla- 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Pedro Ciriaco- 4-6, 4 R, 1 2B
Jacoby Ellsbury- 3-6, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI
Dustin Pedroia- 4-6, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Cody Ross- 2-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Mike Aviles- 1-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Scott Podsednik- 2-4, 2 R, 1 RBI

Dull Spots:
Franklin Morales- 2.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Clayton Mortensen- 0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB
Andrew Bailey- 0.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R
Alfredo Aceves- 1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Player of the Game:
Dustin Pedroia- Pedroia had a fantastic game, going 4-6 with 3 runs scored, 5 driven in, a double, and a home run-- he is now .281/11/52.