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April 20, 2007
Sox win in dramatic fashion
BOSTON _ Red Sox manager Terry Francona called it a marquee pitching matchup for baseball fans.
For the hometown Red Sox it was Curt Schilling. For the out-of-towners, it was Andy Pettitte. In the end, however, it was the offensive barrage from both sides that stole the show.
To make it even more interesting, Boston erased a four-run deficit in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring five runs en route to a 7-6 victory.
In the eighth, David Ortiz led off with a double, Manny Ramirez followed with a walk before J.D. Drew grounded out to second. Mike Lowell provided an RBI-single as did Jason Varitek. But, it was Coco Crisp’s two-run triple that tied the game at 6-6 before Alex Cora lifted the would-be game-winning single to shallow left-center field with the Yankee infielders playing in.
Red Sox lefty reliever Hideki Okajima worked the ninth inning and earned his first save.
The game ended in Boston’s favor, but that’s not how it began.
Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez hit two home runs and finished the night 3-for-5, including a double, with four RBI and three runs scored. For the Red Sox, Jason Varitek hit his first homer of the season to account for both Boston runs in the fourth inning.
Pettitte suffered the no-decision, allowing just two runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Schilling surrendered five runs on eight hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
Rodriguez belted his 11th homer of the season, a solo shot, to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. The shot landed in the Monster seats and was his fourth roundtripper in as many games. The homer also extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest by a Yankee to start the season since Willie Randolph did it in 1986.
A-Rod’s homer was also his 475th career shot to tie Stan Musial and Willie Stargell for 25th on the all-time home run list.
Varitek’s first homer of the season, an opposite-field two-run shot that landed in the home bullpen, to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
Rodriguez crushed an opposite-field shot in the top of the fifth inning, a three-run blast, to give New York a 5-2 advantage. It was A-Rod’s second multi-homer game of the season, and 46th of his career. He led off the eighth inning with a double and scored on Jason Giambi’s single to right field for a 6-2 lead.
The Sox exploded for five runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 7-6 lead and they held on for the dramatic comeback victory.
UP NEXT: The Sox’ Josh Beckett (3-0, 1.50) will face the Yankees’ Jeff Karstens (first appearance) today at 3:55.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 10:24 PM | Permalink
| Comments 2
Final: Red Sox 7, Yankees 6
Alex Cora, playing the hero for the second straight day, singled home Coco Crisp from third with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Red Sox rallied from a 6-2 deficit with five runs and defeated the Yankees, tonight at Fenway Park.
Crisp had tied the game with a two-run triple.
Trailing 6-2, David Ortiz led off the bottom of the eighth against Mike Myers with a double to left-center. The Yankees replaced Myers with Jose Vizcaino, who walked Manny Ramirez.
J.D. Drew moved the runners to second and third with a grounder to second. Mike Lowell then singled through the hole into left field, driving in Ortiz to make it 6-3 and sending Ramirez to third.
The Yankees called on Mariano Rivera for a five-out save. But Rivera, in his first appearance since surrendering a walkoff home run to Marco Scutaro in Oakland last Sunday, was no mystery to the Sox.
Jason Varitek greeted him with a single to right-center, making it 6-4. Crisp then lined a triple down the first-base line and into the right-field corner, tying the score. And Cora put the Sox ahead with Boston's fourth straight hit, and third off Rivera, with a single to center.
Cora, however, was thrown out stealing and Rivera -- after firing a pitch over the head of the next batter, Julio Lugo -- struck out Lugo to end the inning.
Jonathan Papelbon, having pitched in back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday in Toronto, was not available. Hideki Okajima recorded the save with a scoreless ninth.
Prior to the eighth inning, Alex Rodriguez was the unquestioned hero of the game. Coming off his game-winning homer Thursday, he homered twice, doubled, scored three runs and drove in four.
His first homer, a solo shot in the fourth, gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead. (Johnny Damon had put New York on top with a sacrifice fly in the third.) Then, after Varitek had tied the game with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, A-Rod hit a three-run shot into the Red Sox bullpen with two outs in the top of the fifth, putting the Yanks in front 5-2.
His leadoff double in the eighth led to the sixth New York run, which he scored when Jason Giambi singled to right.
Posted by Art Martone at 8:39 PM | Permalink
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Yanks lead Sox in fourth, 1-0
The Yankees pushed across a run on a sacrifice fly by Johnny Damon in the top of the fourth and lead the Red Sox, 1-0, as they bat in the top of the fourth.
The Sox had a scoring chance in the first inning, but Manny Ramirez grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners on first and second. David Ortiz ended the third by grounding out with two men on.
Posted by Art Martone at 8:04 PM | Permalink
DiSarcina named Lowell manager
The Red Sox named Gary DiSarcina manager of Single-A Lowell yesterday. The Massachusetts native spent 12 seasons in the majors for the California Angels. He played one season for the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2002 before retiring.
He's done some work for NESN the last few seasons before the Red Sox hired him as a baseball operations consultant in November.
The Sox originally announced last January that Jon Deeble, the organization's Pacific Rim Scouting Coordinator, would be manager of the Spinners. But, he will remain in his previous role and DiSarcina will take over the managerial job.
“Gary DiSarcina has been a real asset to the Red Sox since joining the organization last fall, and we feel he will be a good fit with the Lowell Spinners,” said Sox director of player development Mike Hazen. “With the major emphasis that the Red Sox place on international scouting, the decision was made to continue to allow Jon Deeble to concentrate in the Pacific Rim operation on a full-time basis.”
A native of Billerica, DiSarcina had a career .258 batting average in 1,086 games with the California/Anaheim Angels from 1989-2000. He was a two-time team MVP and a 1995 American League All-Star.
DiSarcina will continue in his baseball operations role until the Spinners open their 76-game New York Penn League season in June.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 6:40 PM | Permalink
Scenes from the clubhouse
Numerous Red Sox players are honoring Virginia Tech by wearing the school’s baseball hats around the clubhouse and during BP, including Kevin Youkilis, Coco Crisp and Jonathan Papelbon. In fact, Sox captain Jason Varitek came up with the idea of wearing a patch on the uniform sleeve to honor Virginia Tech. Major League Baseball gave the OK and the Red Sox were sporting a black VT patch on the left sleeve of their green jerseys. Boston wore the green tops to honor Red Auerbach.
Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd is in the house tonight. The Can starred on the mound for Sox from 1982-1989 and is always an interesting guy to talk to.
Fox Baseball broadcaster, and former major-leaguer, Tim McCarver was having an interesting conversation with Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky. Pesky, who always holds court in front of his locker stall in the corner of the clubhouse pulled McCarver aside when the walked into the room and asked where his locker was when he played in Boston (1974-75).
“Right next to Yaz,” responded McCarver.
Red Sox utility infielder Alex Cora said his right knee is just fine after he was belted by the Jays’ Lyle Overbay during a double play on Thursday in Toronto. Cora made a tremendous play and while in the air Overbay slid into him. Cora took exception to the take-out slide and just to make sure he was fine, he worked out at Fenway yesterday morning.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 5:30 PM | Permalink
Francona on Schilling
Red Sox starter Curt Schilling will attempt to string together his third consecutive solid outing when he faces the New York Yankees tonight. The veteran right-hander has certainly been a different pitcher in his last two starts compared to Opening Day against the Royals in Kansas City.
“He’s getting outs,” said Boston manager Terry Francona. “He’s repeating his pitches. He just had a bad start in Kansas City. He came out of spring training throwing the ball well, but when he got to Kansas City he wasn’t very crisp; he didn’t repeat his delivery too much and paid for some mistakes.”
Schilling has been outstanding in his last two starts, compiling a 2-0 mark with a 0.60 E.R.A.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 5:12 PM | Permalink
Coming out the bullpen?
The big question surrounding tonight’s game is does Jonathan Papelbon pitch?
Heading to this series with the Yankees, Boston manager Terry Francona feels his bullpen is in pretty good shape. Papelbon recorded his fourth save of the season Thursday in Toronto. He retired all 11 batters he had faced until allowing a single on Wednesday in Toronto, and has struck out 11 of the 16 batters he’s faced.
Because of his shoulder troubles late last season, the Red Sox did not want to overwork him this time around. So, with the work load the hard-throwing right-hander has been dealt already, it would be to Boston’s best interest to have a late-inning lead and allow Papelbon to rest tonight.
When asked about his closer, Francona would not discuss Papelbon specifically, just saying the bullpen is where it needs to be.
“Our bullpen is actually in good shape,” said the manager. “We’re in good shape to go into a series right now, but that could change in a couple of days. . . Our starters, to this point, have done a very good job getting us into the game where we haven’t had to overexpose our relievers.”
Posted by Joe McDonald at 5:11 PM | Permalink
Francona on the Yankees
Time and again players from both the Red Sox and Yankees attempt to downplay this series. It doesn’t matter if the teams play in April or the in the heat of a pennant race, to the players, managers and coaches it’s just another series.
Francona admitted yesterday afternoon during his daily gathering with the media this is the type of series that can take a lot of you, so you can’t lose perspective.
“You only get credited with one win,” said the Sox skipper. “I would really be happy if they said you get two wins if you beat them, but it doesn’t work that way. The games are a lot of fun. The games are intense and there’s a lot of attention. The fans get into it, and so do we.”
Case in point: The pitching matchup for tonight’s game is an impressive one. The Sox’ Curt Schilling (2-1, 2.84) and the Yankees’ Andy Pettitte (1-0, 1.50) toe the rubber.
“What I care about is that we’re better at the end of the game,” said Francona. “That’s kind of why we should up and I’m sure (New York) is feeling the same way. If I’m a fan, it’s a neat marquee matchup. As coaches, players and managers, you want to win. I’m not sure I care if it lives up to its billing as long as we win.”
Bring it on, baby.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 4:59 PM | Permalink
A-Rod brings his big stick to Boston
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is playing like a man possessed. He enters tonight’s game at Fenway with 10 home runs and 26 RBI in 14 games for New York. The Red Sox are well aware of A-Rod’s hot stick. Boston manager Terry Francona was a bench coach for Texas in 2002 when Rodriguez was the Rangers’ shortstop.
“I’m sure I saw him go through some pretty hot streaks,” said Francona. “It’s different when they’re in the same uniform. When they have a different uniform on, the pulling is a little different. He’s a great player and he’s on a great streak. Hopefully our pitching can slow that down a little bit because he’s hitting with a lot of guys on base, also.”
It's not like you can pitch around the A-Rod because the Yankees lineup is loaded with offensive weapons.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 4:51 PM | Permalink
Tonight's starting lineups
No surprises. Here they are:
Johnny Damon, cf
Derek Jeter, ss
Bobby Abreu, rf
Alex Rodriguez, 3b
Jason Giambi, dh
Jorge Posada, c
Robinson Cano, 2b
Melky Cabrera, lf
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1b
Andy Pettitte, p
Julio Lugo, ss
Kevin Youkilis, 3b
David Ortiz, dh
Manny Ramirez, lf
J.D. Drew, rf
Mike Lowell, 3b
Jason Varitek, c
Coco Crisp, cf
Dustin Pedroia, 2b
Curt Schilling, p
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:38 PM | Permalink
Sox Streakers for April 20
-Curt Schilling (2-0 with an 0.60 E.R.A. in last two starts, vs. Texas and Los Angeles)
-Coco Crisp (4 for his last 12)
-Mike Lowell (5 for his last 20 with 2 doubles, 1 homer and 5 RBI)
-David Ortiz (9 for his last 23 with 3 doubles, 3 homers and 9 RBI)
-Jonathan Papelbon (has struck out 11 of 19 batters faced for the season)
-Julio Lugo (0 for his last 8)
-Dustin Pedroia (0 for his last 11 and 1 for his last 26)
-Manny Ramirez (6 for his last 36)
-Jason Varitek (2 for his last 17)
-Kevin Youkilis (1 for his last 13)
Yankees vs. Schilling:
Bobby Abreu: 10 for 27 (.370), 0 HR
Robinson Cano: 6 for 17 (.353), 1 HR
Jorge Posada: 10 for 29 (.345), 1 HR
Johnny Damon: 5 for 18 (.278), 1 HR
Jason Giambi: 7 for 27 (.259), 4 HR
Derek Jeter: 9 for 39 (.231), 1 HR
Alex Rodriguez: 6 for 31 (.194), 2 HR
Melky Cabrera: 1 for 10 (.100), 0 HR
Red Sox vs. Pettitte
Julio Lugo: 4 for 8 (.500), 0 HR
Manny Ramirez: 25 for 59 (.424), 3 HR
David Ortiz: 9 for 22 (.409), 1 HR
J.D. Drew: 3 for 8 (.375), 2 HR
Jason Varitek: 13 for 36 (.361), 0 HR
Coco Crisp: 0 for 4
Mike Lowell: 0 for 1
Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis have never faced Pettitte.
All told, then, the Red Sox regular nine starters are 54 for 138 against Pettitte -- that's a .391 batting average -- with 6 home runs.
-The Red Sox have allowed three runs or fewer in nine straight games, the team's longest streak since April 1988 (11 straight).
-Boston's bullpen pitched 7.2 scoreless innings at Toronto. The Sox pen has the lowest E.R.A. (2.52) of any American League team.
-Papelbon has converted all 14 of his career save attempts in the month of April.
-The Yankees are 17-11 against the Red sox since July 14, 2005.
-The Yankees have won seven in a row at Fenway, the team's longest winning streak in Boston since 1979-81 (11 games).
-Since 1903, the series stands like this: Yanks 1,076, Red Sox 882. At Fenway, the series is all tied up, 437 apiece.
-Oh yeah, and the Red Sox will wear green uniforms tonight.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:01 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Beautiful day at Fenway Park
The sun is shining. The Yankees are in town. What is better than this?
Just walking into the ballpark and someone asked me if I needed tickets. For a goof I figured I'd ask how much, and wasn't surprised by the answer. The price was $800 for four tickets.
We'll be back in about 30 minutes with tonight's starting lineups.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 2:52 PM | Permalink
Projo SoxTalk: Yankees-Red Sox special
Today, Steve Krasner discusses the coming Yankees-Red Sox series, and what moves you may see over the weekend. Click here to listen to the full audio file.
Here are some excerpts of Krasner's comments:
On whether Papelbon will be available tonight:
"My guess is no ... he's thrown 46 pitches in less than 24 hours, while it was a day game (yesterday), which gives him a little resting time for tonight. I don't know that they're going to tip their hand and say whether he will be able to or not -- but if he is pitching tonight it could be for a very limited number of pitches if they can work it that way."
On who would close in Papelbon's absence:
"I have no clue whatsoever. I don't think there's anybody out there that you can really look at and say, 'Wow, this is the guy we want out there.' Okajima actually has pitched the best out of anybody. ... I think it would fall stricktly to a matchup thing. You could see four pitchers in the ninth inning if they have to."
On whether Alex Cora might play for Dustin Pedroia:
"It's possible. Pedroia certainly is struggling offensively, but otherwise the lineup will be intact. (Terry Francona) rested enough people in Toronto so that everyone will be ready to go."
On whether Francona will play Wily Mo Pena against Andy Pettitte, in place of J.D. Drew:
"I would think he'd want Drew out there. I think he'd want his defense and I think Tito's gone out of his way to say, 'Listen, it's not like this guy can't hit left-handed pitchers.' Tito might be tempted to use Pena; he did have some good swings certainly in Toronto, including this home run, but I would think you go with your best lineup, and I think the best lineup is J.D. Drew behind Manny Ramirez."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:38 AM to Krasner
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Manny against the Yanks
It was great to see Manny Ramirez finally go deep, and in a clutch situation. Interestingly, this is the second consecutive season that Manny chose Toronto to break an early-season home run drought.
Ramirez is a hated character among many baseball fans in his onetime home city. Maybe that's because he's been a great investment for the Red Sox when it comes to evening the playing field with the Bombers. Against New York, Ramirez is hitting .310 for his career (just off his .313 lifetime batting average). He has 48 home runs against the Yankees, which is more than he has against any opponent other than the Blue Jays, and 144 RBIs, which is more than he has against any other opponent period. Against tonight's pitcher, Andy Pettitte, Ramirez is a career .424 hitter (25 for 59) with 3 home runs. Of course, Ramirez for some reason does not hit lefties the way he once did.
What they're saying: The New Yorker's Ben McGrath took questions from readers about his extensive Ramirez profile in the magazine. Among other things, he says he thinks the Red Sox are committed to keeping Ramirez at least until his contract ends after the 2008 season.
Gordon Edes, in The Globe, says Manny's game-tying homer had the Red Sox almost as excited as A-Rod's game-winner had the Yankees.
The Harford Courant has a cool new nickname: Mister Rogers.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 10:26 AM to Projo Mannybeingmanny
Baseball Today: Friday, April 20
Getting ready for Armageddon . . .
NOT BAD: Normally, the way the Red Sox won yesterday's game in Toronto, rife as it was with comebacks and mangerial strategems galore to chew on, would be the talk of the day heading into this weekend's series with the Yankees. (All stories projo.com)
BETTER: But they were trumped yesterday by the Yanks, who pulled out one for the ages by rallying for six runs with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth. (New York Post) If John Sterling didn't stroke out yesterday, he never will; I think he had to get out his checklist as he rattled off his signature calls, one by one:
-- ''IT IS HIGH!!! IT IS FAR!!! IT IS . . . GAAAAAAAHHHHNNNNNN!!!!!''
-- ''AN A-BOMB!! FROM A-ROD!!!''
-- "ALEXANDER THE GREAT!!!!!''
And, then, of course:
-- "BALLGAME OVER!!! YANKEES WIN!!!! TH-UHHH-UHHH-UHHHH-UHHH-UHHH . . . YANKEES!!!!!! WIN!!!!!!!"
(Honestly, I don't think he's gotten that rabid since Game 5 of the 2001 World Series. I say that because Charlie Steiner, and not Sterling, was behind the mike for Aaron Boone.)
A-GAME: Bill Madden thinks we're seeing a new, more confident, less burdened Alex Rodriguez. (New York Daily News) Others are less restrained. Joel Sherman says A-Rod is the new David Ortiz (New York Post), and Mike Vaccaro thinks the sky might not even be the limit anymore. (New York Post) And as far as Larry Mahnken is concerned, Alex Rodriguez is the heavenly father. (replacementlevel.com)
MUCH NEEDED BOOST: Mike Lupica thinks A-Rod's heroics have breathed new life into the tired Red Sox-Yankees rivalry (New York Daily News)
REALITY CHECK: The last word comes from Joe Torre, who, as always, keeps it all in perspective: ''It certainly makes you feel good going into Boston, but if you remember, last year, we played one of the ugliest games of the year (a 12-2 loss to Baltimore) before we went up there and won five games." (New York Daily News)
Curt Schilling vs. Andy Pettitte, tonight at 7:05. See you there.
NORTHERN EXPOSURE: Judging from the cheering we heard, Red Sox Nation outnumbered the Blue Jay faithful at the Rogers Centre this week. The Tao of Stieb blog wasn't impressed. (taoofstieb.blogspot.com)
WE'RE NUMBER THREE: Forbes lists the Red Sox as the third-most valuable franchise in the major leagues, behind the Yankees and Mets. Each team has an in-depth breakdown, and Forbes says the new ownership team ''has transformed the Red Sox from a sleepy asset into a cutting-edge organization.''
WHAT IF: Jim Kaat gives a White Sox-centric interview to White Sox Interactive (duh), but it includes a little snippet of 1967 -- ''Whenever I run into Carl Yastrzemski or Hawk Harrelson, they’ll say the same thing, that [the Red Sox] would never have won the pennant if I hadn’t gotten hurt in that Saturday game.”. (Kaat had to leave Saturday's game, the first of the two-game weekend series, because of a bad elbow, and the Sox came back for a 6-4 win that set up Sunday's heroics.) (whitesoxinteractive.com)
PLANET CHARLIE: Let's see: Charlie Manuel casually announces at the end of a press briefing, without prompting, that he's moving his No. 1 starter, Brett Myers, to the bullpen. The assembled media are stunned into five seconds (timed) of silence. Then they burst out laughing. They insist Manuel is joking, and one of them offers to bet the manager $100 that it was all a gag. When he convinces them it isn't, they try to get Myers' reaction. Myers sticks his arm in one of the reporter's face and tells him to direct his question there.
Oh, yeah. The Washington Post's Dan Steinberg has absolutely found the perfect team to follow on the D.C. Sports Bog. (And, yes, that's 'Bog' and not 'Blog'. Something about Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen; you can read the explanation here. (washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog)
YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG: Phil Sheridan, though, says ''the public perception about [Manuel] is comically wrong -- and a lot of conclusions are jumped to from that wrong foundation''. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
SILVER LINING: The good news for Manuel is that Ryan Howard may not be hurt as badly as first feared. (Philadelphia Inquirer) They're saying the same thing in Seattle about Felix Hernandez. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
NEVER FORGET, NEVER FORGIVE: Judging by these comments, don't be expecting Jose Guillen to kiss and make up with Brendan Donnelly anytime soon. (mlb.com)
IN THE AREA: According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, suspended Braves infielder Willie Aybar -- reportedly dealing with substance-abuse issues -- is with his brother in Boston, 'trying to get his life and baseball career back in order'. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
NEW ONE ON ME: Miguel Cabrera has . . . a what?? (Fox Sports)
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 6:56 AM | Permalink