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April 13, 2007
PawSox lose home opener
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees scored five unearned runs in the top of the fourth inning off PawSox starter Runelvys Hernandez, and pushed across another run in the seventh inning en route to a 6-2 victory at McCoy Stadium. Until the five-run fourth, Hernandez worked three perfect innings.
The teams will play the second of this four-game set at 1:05 today with lefty Abe Alvarez starting for Pawtucket and righty Matt DeSalvo going for the Yankees.
Despite the cold weather, 10,756 attended tonight's game.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 10:08 PM | Permalink
SOX MAKE ANGELS KNUCKLE UNDER
Pitching, catching and a big eighth inning carried the Red Sox to a 10-1 victory over Anaheim last night, although the catcher did his best work with his bat.
Doug Mirabelli, getting the start to catch Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball, homered and singled in another run to provide two of the game’s biggest hits. Wakefield’s knuckler did the rest, with a huge assist from Jonathan Papelbon.
Wakefield went seven innings, allowing only five hits. With the score 4-1, he was lifted after giving up a single to Maicer Izturis to lead off the eighth. Brendan Donnelly came on and got one out before hitting Orlando Cabrera.
With the tying run at the plate and Vladimir Guerrero and Garret Anderson scheduled up, Boston manager Terry Francona brought in Papelbon for what looked as if it would be an attempt at a five-out save. Papelbon was outstanding again. He struck out Guerrero on a 97 mile-an-hour fastball, then Anderson on a liner to left.
As it turned out, Papelbon did not have to do any more work. The Sox broke it open with six in the bottom of the eighth. Two came on a bases-loaded double by Ortiz that one-hopped into the stands in right, two more on a single by J.D Drew and the final two on a Mike Lowell double down the line in left. Mike TImlin came in to pitch the ninth.
Before the eighth, Mirabelli had been the star. He ripped his first home run since last August in the fifth, tying the game at 1-1. The Sox had the lead before the inning was over, thanks to a Julio Lugo double and a single by Ortiz.
Mirabelli was there again in the sixth, lining a single up the middle to make it 3-1. It scored J.D. Drew who had walked. The Sox sent Drew with Lowell at the plate. It not only prevented a potential double play as Lowell grounded to third, it led to a run on Mirabelli’s hit.
The Boston lead went to 4-1 in the seventh, again helped by a hit-and-run play that killed any chance of a double play. This time Kevin Youkilis was at first after being hit by a pitch. He ran on what would have been a perfect double play ball by Ortiz. An intentional walk to Manny Ramirez, then an unintentional walk to Drew loaded the bases with one out. Youkilis scored on a sacrifice fly by Lowell, a play on which leftfielder Anderson made a sliding catch.
The Angels had taken the lead in the fourth. Cabrera walked to open the fourth. He stole second without a throw when one of Wakefield’s knucklers got away from Mirabelli. He scored on Vladimir Guerrero’s single to right.
Drew kept his hitting streak alive with a line single to left in the fourth. He has hit in all nine games.
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 9:51 PM | Permalink
Mike Timlin just made his first catch of the season in the Red Sox bullpen, which is good news for the Sox.
Timlin obviously is a frustrated outfielder. He loves to chase drives hit into the Sox bullpen, often catching them by stretching out a towel in his hands. He just made that type of play nicely once again, hauling in what was Doug Mirabelli's first home run of the season.
The homer tied the score of the game with Angels, 1-1, in the fifth. It did not stay that way long. Julio Lugo doubled and then scored on a line single by David Ortiz to put Boston on top, 2-1.
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 8:16 PM | Permalink
Kids never want to see it rain at the ball park. That is especially true this weekend at Fenway. The Red Sox plan all kinds of activities for the weekend. Here is the team release on what will be happening:
BOSTON, MA—The Boston Red Sox will have a number of special activities planned for this weekend’s games with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Saturday and Sunday, April 14-15.
It will be Kids Weekend Presented by Hood with events planned for both days. In addition, the Red Sox will join all of Major League Baseball in celebrating the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s breaking the Major League Baseball color barrier on Sunday.
As a tribute to Robinson, who made his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, three members of the Red Sox will wear number 42 on Sunday: outfielder Coco Crisp, designated hitter David Ortiz, and third base coach DeMarlo Hale. Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig has temporarily lifted the official retirement of Robinson’s uniform number 42 for Sunday’s anniversary. That number was retired throughout the Major Leagues on April 15, 1997.
The ceremonial first pitch on Jackie Robinson Day will be thrown by Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., a Professor of Law and the Founder and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School. Professor Ogletree has demonstrated a career-long commitment to diversity and equal justice.
The Red Sox will hold their annual Photo Day on Sunday morning from 11:15-11:50 a.m. At that time fans with cameras are welcome to come down on the Fenway Park warning track, weather permitting, and take photos of Red Sox players and coaches. The gates at Fenway Park open at 11:05 a.m. on Sunday, and fans can access the warning track through any of the field entrances in the lower seating bowl. Access to the warning track will be on a first come, first served basis, and autographs will not be permitted.
Following Sunday’s game, all youngsters, 14 years of age and under, will be allowed to run the bases at Fenway Park, weather permitting.
There will also be other entertainment for youngsters at Fenway Park on Saturday and Sunday.
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 7:55 PM | Permalink
Rice at McCoy
Red Sox legend Jim Rice is at McCoy tonight and was part of the pregame ceremonies. He threw out the first pitch and was wearing a 50th Anniversary Jackie Robinson leather jacket. Only 250 were made and he owns No. 14 for the jersey number he wore for the Red Sox. His good friend Mo Vaughn gave him the jacket as a gift for Robinson's 50th Anniversary of breaking the color barrier in 1947.
As always the PawSox put on a tremendous Opening Night spectacular, honoring everyone in the armed services.
"When you think about the people we've lost and to come out and see an Opening Night like that, it sent chills up your body," said Rice. "Even though it's cold, it sent chills up your body."
PawSox owner Ben Mondor takes it as a personal insult that Rice is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame, so he's dedicated this season to convince those who vote on the HOF to induct the former Sox slugger.
The PawSox unveiled the world's largest Red Sox jersey with the No. 14 and Mondor wants fans to sign it, so it can be sent to Cooperstown.
"It means a lot," said Rice. "It means (Mondor) cares."
Posted by Joe McDonald at 7:02 PM | Permalink
Flagging the wind at Fenway
The flags, the one in center as well as the ones behind home plate, came under considerable study over the last couple hours.
It not only is another cold night at Fenway, it is windy. Very windy. That is more important than usual because TIm Wakefield is working, meaning there will be lots of knuckle balls floating in the wind.
It will be interesting to see how the wind affects the knuckler. There were times, before the game, when the flags were blowing straight out. There were other times, perhaps more often, when the flags were blowing from left to right.
Wakefield has said he does not mind wind, as long as it is not at his back.
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 6:51 PM | Permalink
Lineups from McCoy Stadium
Kevin Reese, 8
Alberto Gonzalez, 6
Bronson Sarhinha, 9
Andy Phillips, DH
Eric Duncan, 3
Angel Chavez, 4
Shelley Duncan, 7
Chris Basak, 5
Raul Chavez, 2
Ross Ohlendorf, SP
Pawtucket Red Sox
Ed Rogers, 6
David Murphy, 8
Jeff Bailey, DH
Luis Jimenez, 3
Alex Ochoa, 7
George Kottaras, 2
Brandon Moss, 9
Chad Spann, 5
Joe McEwing, 4
Runelvys Hernandez, SP
Posted by Joe McDonald at 5:35 PM | Permalink
Don't Mess With Dice-K
Dice-K Mania keeps making its presence felt, sometimes more often than Terry Francona would prefer. The latest example was brought on by Thursday's rainout.
Because of the postponement, the Sox shifted their rotation a bit, skipping Julian Tavares and moving Daisuke Matsuzaka back a day, from Monday to Tuesday. It seemed like a reasonable move, all the more so since many Japanese teams use six-man rotations, meaning starters get five days rest between starts.
But anything involving Dice-K creates news in Japan. In the middle of his pre-game media briefing this afternoon, one of the two dozen or so Japanese reporters asked Francona if he was aware that pushing back Matsuzaka back a day had created a stir in Japan.
``I’m aware of that,’’ the manager responded. ``I found out the hard way.’’
Francona tried to explain how he felt he was helping both his team and Matsuzaka by making the move, one that includes keeping Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling in their normal rotation.
``I thought I explained it pretty forthright,’’ Francona said. ``We’re trying to eliminate a lot of possibilities. There’s a pretty good chance it’s going to rain Monday. The weather up here is crazy, as you’ll come to learn, as I’m coming to learn. There’s a pretty good chance we’re going to play Tuesday night (in Toronto). Unless something happens to that dome, we’re going to play. So we’re tying to give people targets to shoot for and get a guy on schedule. I’m shocked with how the news was taken.’’
One of the Boston writers joked that no one from the area would ever question a move like that.
``At least not to my face,’’ Francona shot back.
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 5:14 PM | Permalink
Wednesday's postponement has cost Wily Mo Pena a chance to get his first start of the season.
Since J.D. Drew was able to get his day of rest, as is the plan to do every 10 days or so this season, manager has Drew back in right for tonight's game against the Angels. That puts Pena back on the bench.
``I'll continue to look at it,'' said manager Terry Francona of getting Pena some action. It is not likely Pena will start any of the remaining games on the homestand. Pena is 0-for-3 on the season, all as a pinch-hitter.
With Drew playing, the plan to drop Kevin Youlikis to the five hole, to protect MAnny Ramirez, and move Coco Crisp up to the two spot is put aside for tonight. Here are the lineups as posted:
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 4:28 PM | Permalink
Are you surprised?
First things first before we head down for Terry Francona's pre-game conference.
The price of visiting Fenway, believe it or not, has gone up. Again.
This has nothing to do with the game itself. Parking, which as all Sox fans know was scarce to begin with, is even harder to find this year because of construction around the park. Not surpisingly, the cost has gone up, especially for the lots nearest the park.
Two years ago, most charged $20. Last year, it went to $25 and $30. This year, it is up to $35 and $40 (I got one of the last in the $35 lot just now). That's for night games. Some of the lots have signs explaining how they have been given approval to charge $60 for day games on weekdays.
Now, off to see the manager.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:41 PM | Permalink
Sox Streakers for April 13
From the Red Sox official game notes:
-Felix Hernandez became the first pitcher since the Yankees' Mike Mussina (on Sept. 2, 2001, in the midst of a horrific Sox swoon) to one-hit Boston at Fenway. He was also the first since Mussina to no-hit the Sox through seven at Fenway. Remember who broke up that Mussina no-hitter with two outs in the ninth? Carl Everett, of course -- probably the biggest ovation he ever got at Fenway.
-J.D. Drew has hit safely in all eight games. The other American League players to hit safely in every game so far: Akinori Iwamura (Tampa Bay), Delmon Young (Tampa Bay), Alex Rios (Toronto) and Alex Rodriguez (New York). Drew is fourth in the league in batting average for the young season (.393), and he's hit in 12 straight games dating back to last season.
-The Red Sox have had a .500 or better record against the Angels in five straight seasons, including 2006 (3-3).
-The Red Sox have sold out 309 consecutive regular season home games, 146 short of the Cleveland Indians' record (1995-2001).
-The Red Sox' numbers against Angels starter John Lackey are not real good, with the exception of big thumpers David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. Ortiz is 7 for 20 (.350) with a home run; Ramirez is 9 for 18 (.500) with four home runs. At the other extreme are Julio Lugo, who is 2 for 15 (.133) and Coco Crisp, who is 4 for 17 (.235), but does have two home runs.
-Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels kills Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield. For his career, he's 6 for 13 (.462) with four homers off the knuckler. Garret Anderson is pretty good too: 18 for 57 (.316) with five homers. At the other extreme is Gary Matthews Jr., 2 for 13 (.154) with a home run.
-Dustin Pedroia is 0 for his last 12.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:28 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Live from McCoy Stadium
The grounds crew here at McCoy are putting the finishing touches on the field in preparation for tonight's home opener against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. If you're coming to the game make sure to bring some extra outerwear because it's cold.
The PawSox have some special events planned that fans won't want to miss. The field is in great shape and there's a fresh coat of paint all around the stadium.
The game will be televised on Cox Sports TV and the crew is all set to go. I'm heading down to the clubhouse right now to talk with PawSox manager Ron Johnson, so we'll have some more news in a little bit.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 3:07 PM | Permalink
Projo SoxTalk with Art Martone
Today, Joe McDonald looks back on Bill Russell's moving comments Thursday at Fenway Park, and previews tonight's Pawtucket Red Sox home opener. Click here to listen to the audio.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 10:53 AM to Martone
| Comments 1
Baseball Today: Friday, April 13
Stops of local interest in the world of baseball . . .
THE NIGHTMARE LIVES: It's not on the site as I write this, but the folks at ESPN say it will at some point today. So make sure you click here a bit later and watch the latest This Is SportsCenter promo. All I'll tell you is it features David Ortiz, Jorge Posada and Wally The Green Monster . . . and gives life to our worst fears. I showed it to a bunch of Red Sox fans yesterday, and they all got a good laugh out of it, certainly more than they got from the "Hip, Hip, Jorge!" clip. (Personally, I think Wally steals the show.)
LET IT POUR: A rainy day at the ballpark can lead to some amusing rainy-day stories (projo.com). And some historically interesting ones, as well.
HEY, THAT'S OURS! Even the Met fans think Sweet Caroline is a Fenway Park tradition that shouldn't be copied at Shea Stadium (metsblog.com)
STILL CRAZY -- SOMETIMES -- AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: In an Q-and-A with the Vermont Guardian, Bill Lee says the Red Sox popularity may stem from the landing of the Mayflower. But he offers some pretty cogent baseball observations, as well.
'YOU WANT HIM ON YOUR TEAM. YOU KNOW YOU DO': Eric Wilbur is fanatasizing about a Red Sox Nation with Alex Rodriguez in it. (Boston.com)
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO . . . Denny McLain -- Denny McLain?? -- has a blog, and he puts the A-Rod/Jeter nonsense into perspective. These are actually some pretty interesting insights from baseball's last 30-game winner, as he points out that fans respond mostly to winning and cites the booing of Al Kaline in Detroit prior to the Tigers' World Series championship in 1968 as proof.
IF YOU GUYS WERE DOING YOUR JOB BETTER, WE WOULDN'T BE GETTING HURT: Some of the Yankees think the training staff is to blame for the team's recent rash of injuries (Courier News).
DEAR MICHAEL: Yankee broadcaster Michael Kay has an entertaining mailbag, which includes a pithy response to a woman who chides him for using his standard home-run call -- "See ya!" -- when a non-Yankee homers. (yesnetwork.com) Think she's mad when John Sterling launches his "It is high! It is far! It is . . . GAAAAHHHN!!" when an opposing player homers?
(Speaking of that, Sterling has so many stock home-run phrases that they sometimes bleed into the next batter before he finishes them all. That happened the other night in Minnesota, where it took him so long to finish the "High/far/gone!"/''An A-Bomb! From A-Rod!"/"Alexander The Great!" troika that the game had actually resumed before he finished.)
YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT THE MOVES YOU DON'T MAKE . . . Remember when the Sox were mulling Octavio Dotel as a potential closer? (mlb.com)
DOWNS AND UPS: Craig Hansen's troubles continue in Pawtucket (projo.com). What the story doesn't say is that Davern Hansack was in double figures in strikeouts (10) for the second straight start, even though he only pitched five innings. His ERA this season is 0.84.
(Speaking of the PawSox, don't forget their home opener is tonight. Joe McDonald will be doing some on-site blogging from McCoy, so check back this evening.)
GOOD NEWS: It appears Jeff Reardon is on the road to recovery (Palm Beach Post).
OLD FRIENDS: Josh Bard is on the disabled list in San Diego (San Diego Union-Leader) . . . Alex Gonzalez is on bereavement leave in Cincinnati (Cincinnati Post) . . . Shea Hillenbrand is still hobbled by a balky hamstring (mlb.com) . . . Kelly Shoppach is getting to play a little with the Indians because of Victor Martinez' injury, and he loved the way Tuesday's game ended (Cleveland Plain Dealer).
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 7:14 AM | Permalink