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.

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.