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May 3, 2007
A dinner story
There are times when you find an interesting story without even looking. Here’s one that just fell into our lap.
We’re just back form dinner in the cafeteria that serves the media and Red Sox workers. The dinner partners for Steven Krasner and I included Mike Shalin, the official scorer last night and again tonight.
Shalin’s always entertaining. He was trying to convince Steven and I to eat what he was eating.
``I don’t even know what this is,’’ he said as he took a bite of some kind of meat that was cooked into a square, ``but it’s really good.’’ He asked one of the workers if she knew. He kept eating (Steven and I stayed with the salad). When she returned, she told him it was Japanese-style fried chicken. Shalin simply said again, ``It’s very good.’’
When he wasn’t trying to find out what he was eating for dinner, Shalin told a story of how he had given Mike Lowell a stolen base this afternoon, when no one was playing. Well, actually, how the Elias Stat Bureau had ordered that Lowell be given a stolen base from Wednesday night’s game.
Lowell was on first base in the seventh inning and took off on a hit-and-run, which became botched when Oakland pitched out. Catcher Jason Kendall began heading out toward Lowell, now stranded between first and second. When Lowell took off toward second, Kendall’s throw was in the dirt and Lowell was safe.
Shalin, doing what seemed to be the proper thing, called an error on the throw and a caught stealing. It seemed the proper ruling.
Shalin reported, as he munched on his chicken, that he received a call from the Elias people today. They went over the play and decided that, according to the rules, Lowell should have been credited with a stolen base.
``It’s one of those crazy baseball rules,’’ Shalin said. ``It has to be a stolen base because the only throw made was by the catcher. If the first baseman had made the same throw, it would have been an error, no stolen base. I was told that it’s one of the things they want to talk about changing when they meet during the off-season. It’s something that maybe happens once a year. But the way the rule is right now, it has to be a stolen base.’’
Shalin shrugged and said he understood. Then he went back and got more of his new favorite meal.
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 6:29 PM | Permalink
Absolutely no throwing for Okajima
Jeff Yamaguchi was put to work early yesterday in his new job as Hideki Okajima’s personal translator.
While Okajima was upstairs getting in his weight work before tonight’s game, Yamaguchi was asked if he knew of Okajima’s situation for tonight. The lefty, who has been superb in relief, has pitched in 10 of the last 16 Sox games.
``He was told absolutely not to throw today,’’ Yamaguchi said. Terry Francona confirmed that during his usual pre-game meeting.
``He’s not going to pitch tonight,’’ Francona said. ``I don’t think he was as sharp last night as he has been. That’s my fault, not his fault.’’ Francona told Okajima that he would get a night off even as the team was celebrating Wednesday’s victory.
``I told him. He nodded his head,’’ Francona said. ``I don’t know if he knew what I was saying, but he nodded his head.’’
``We don’t want to run him into the gorund,’’ Francona said of giving Okajima the night off.
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 5:23 PM | Permalink
One stone gets two birds
With lefty Horacio Ramirez pitching for Seattle tonight, the Red Sox were hoping to find a way to get Wily Mo Pena into the lineup. J.D. Drew’s illness turned out to be the way to do it.
Pena will play right field tonight and hit seventh in the lineup. Drew, who had returned from an illness and played Wednesday night, will get the night off, at least at the start.
``I don’t think he feels real good,’’ Francona said of Drew, who had one of the key hits in the victory over Oakland Wednesday. ``I probably rushed him back.’’ Francona said he had been trying to find a way to get Pena in the game, so Drew’s situation made it easy for him.
``It covers both birds with one stone,’’ the manager said.
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 5:12 PM | Permalink
Lester appears to be fine
Jon Lester was welcomed back to Fenway Park today amid lots of handshakes, hugs and smiles. The smiles became even broader when all indications pointed to the fact that his latest setback is a minor one.
The young lefthander was the feature attraction in the Sox clubhouse as he returned for further tests on his left arm. Lester was removed early in his start in Pawtucket Wednesday night because of problems in his left forearm.
``It seems like a cramp,’’ manager Terry Francona said after speaking with Lester. That confirms what Lester indicated after pitching at McCoy. Franconca said Lester was going to be examined by Tom Gill, the team doctor, to be certain. Assuming it is merely a cramp, Lester will make only small adjustments in his schedule.
``We’ll maybe back him off a couple days, then get him a side day, then get him back on the mound,’’ the manager said. Lester reported that he has had similar problems in the past.
``Mostly it happens to him in the first month of the season,’’ Francona said. No one is sure why.
``It could be the way he’s gripping a pitch. Who knows. You don’t know. We’ve all gotten a cramp before,’’ Francona said. ``Most of the time you don’t know why you got it.’’
If the examination goes as expected, it appears all but certain that Lester will be activated from the disabled list soon and then sent back to Pawtucket to get in more work. Francona made it clear all indications are that the issue is minor.
``It’s exciting to talk about baseball stuff with him again,’’ the manager said.
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 5:03 PM | Permalink
DREW OUT, PEDROIA IN
The lineups for tonight's game, a make up of the April 12 rainout, have been posted.
Manager Terry Francona said he has decided to give J.D. Drew a night off because Drew is still not feeling 100 percent and he has Dustin Pedroia back at second base with Alex Cora sitting.
Here are the lineups:
H. Ramirez P
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 4:37 PM | Permalink
Sox Streakers for May 3
From the team's official game notes:
-Alex Cora is 10 for 25 (.400) in his last 10 games with an at-bat, including a double, 2 triples, 2 home runs, 9 RBI and 5 runs scored.
-Coco Crisp has hit safely in eight straight games and is 13 for 32 (.406) with 11 runs and 4 RBI in that time.
-Kevin Youkilis has also hit safely in eight straight games, and is 12 for 31 (.387) with a double, a homer, four RBI, eight walks and eight runs scored in that time.
-David Ortiz is 12 for his last 31 (.387) with 6 RBI, six runs and seven walks.
-Manny Ramirez is 6 for his last 12 with a homer and 3 RBI.
-J.D. Drew is 2 for his last 26 (.077).
-Dustin Pedroia is 1 for his last 14.
Mariners vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka
-Kenji Johjima, 2 for 3
-Jose Lopez, 2 for 3
-Jose Vidro, 2 for 4
-Jose Guillen, 1 for 2
-Adrian Beltre, 1 for 3
-Yuniesky Betancourt, 0 for 2
-Raul Ibanez, 0 for 3
-Richie Sexson, 0 for 3
-Ichiro Suzuki, 0 for 4
Red Sox vs. Horacio Ramirez
-Mike Lowell, 6 for 15 (.400), 1 HR
-Wily Mo Pena, 2 for 7 (.286), 1 HR
-J.D. Drew, 1 for 4
-Julio Lugo, 0 for 3
No other Red Sox player has faced Ramirez.
-The Red Sox' 4 1/2-game lead in the American League East is their largest at this point in the season since 1946.
-Last night's win was the team's 10th come-from-behind victory, out of 17 total wins.
-Red Sox minor league players of the month: Jacoby Ellsbury (Portland) and Bubba Bell (Lancaster) tied for offensive player of the month; Michael Bowden (Lancaster) is pitcher of the month; Iggy Suarez (Lancaster/Portland) is defensive player of the month; and Ellsbury is base-runner of the month.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 4:16 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Final: Indianapolis 9, Pawtucket 7
The PawSox gave it a good run but lost for the sixth straight game today at McCoy, 9-7, to Indianapolis.
The PawSox scored 2 runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score at 7-7 but gave up two in the top of the 10th on two Manny Delcarmen wild pitches.
Click here for the box score.
Read more about the loss and the losing streak in Friday's Journal.
Posted by Kevin at 3:09 PM to PawSox
Indians go up 9-7 in the 10th
Indianapolis scored two runs in the top of the 10th as reliever Manny Delcarmen uncorked two wild pitches to pave the way for both runs to come home.
The PawSox are about to bat in the bottom of the 10th, down 9-7.
Posted by Kevin at 3:05 PM to PawSox
Extras at McCoy
The PawSox rallied in the ninth inning with Jeff Bailey hitting a two-run, two-out single that tied the score, 7-7.
We're heading to extra innings as the Sox hang in and try to snap a 5-game losing streak.
Posted by Kevin at 2:52 PM to PawSox
Big Trouble for PawSox
Uh-oh. The reeling PawSox (5 straight losses) just surrendered a 2-run homer to Yurendell De Caster in the top of the ninth that broke a 5-5 tie.
It's Indianapolis 7, Pawtucket 5 as we go to the bottom of the ninth.
Posted by Kevin at 2:41 PM to PawSox
We go to the 9th....
We're into the ninth inning still tied at McCoy at 5-5. Both teams wasted chances in the eighth. The Indians had two base stealers thrown out at second base. The PSox wasted a one-out single by Kevin Cash.
Edgar Martinez is still on the mound to start the ninth. The Sox are looking to snap a 5-game losing streak,
Posted by Kevin at 2:28 PM to PawSox
Pawtucket 5, Indianapolis 5 thru 7
Both teams left two runners on base but could not punch in a run in the seventh inning. It's still 5-5 after 7.
Edgar Martinez, who has struggled out of the bullpen, is on to pitch the 8th for the PawSox.
Posted by Kevin at 2:15 PM to PawSox
PawSox-Indy tied at 5
Indianapolis scored a single run in the top of the sixth inning off David Pauley to tie the PawSox, 5-5. The Sox failed to score in the last of the inning.
Craig Breslow has replaced Pauley to start the seventh inning.
Posted by Kevin at 1:49 PM to PawSox
No scoring in the fifth. That's three sets of zeroes in a row for the PawSox and Indy Indians.
It's 5-4 PawSox after 5.
Posted by Kevin at 1:31 PM to PawSox
No scoring in the 4th. It's still 5-4 Pawtucket and starter David Pauley is still on the mound.
Posted by Kevin at 1:25 PM to PawSox
PawSox 5, Indianpolis 4 after 3
No scoring in the third inning.
Pawtucket 5, Indy 4.
Posted by Kevin at 1:13 PM to PawSox
Shackles Come off at McCoy
Plenty of fireworks erupted in the second inning of the PawSox-Indianapolis game.
In the top of the frame, the Indians scored four times on five singles off David Pauley to grab a 4-0 lead.
The PawSox fought back in the bottom of the second and batted around the order on the way to 5 runs. Brandon Moss hit a leadoff home run to right and Bobby Scales doubled in another run to make it 4-2. With the bases loaded, David Murphy walked with the bases loaded. Jeff Bailey then cracked a 2-run single to make it 5-4 after two innings.
The 5 runs equal Pawtucket's highest scoring inning of the season.
Posted by Kevin at 12:50 PM | Permalink
PawSox hosting Indianapolis
The PawSox and Indianapolis Indians have begun their game at McCoy Stadium under beautiful, sunny skies and 62 degree temps. We'll see if the nice weather can help wake up the home team's bats.
Pawtucket has lost five straight games and seemingly can't hit anyone. They are last in the International League in hitting (.227) and haven't shown much pop at the plate.
Starting pitcher David Pauley retired the Indians in the top of the first. Indy starter Michael Tejera walked Joe McEwing in the home half of the first but retired the rest of the top of the order with ease.
It's 0-0 after one inning.
Posted by Kevin at 12:14 PM | Permalink
Projo Sox Talk: Sox take it easy with Beckett's back
Sean McAdam is the guest today on Projo SoxTalk with Art Martone. Click here to listen to the full audio file.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments.
On Josh Beckett's back, which was sore as the game went on last night: "It seemed to flare up. It seemed he caught his spike a little bit in a follow-through and almost sort of wrenched his back for a little bit, and I think he might have otherwise gone a little later into the game. But they wanted to be a bit careful there, and that's why they took him out after seven."
On Coco Crisp: "One of the positive things for the Red Sox is, he seems to be using his speed more. He's being very aggressive. You see him stealing bases; he's hit a couple of balls that were sort of glorified chops down the line, but once they get out of the infield he's capable of turning into extra bases -- doubles, even triples in some instances. I think people remember that big triple he hit against the Yankees in the first series at Fenway a couple of weeks ago, a ball that might otherwise have been fielded by the first baseman, but when it got by Doug Mientkiewicz and rolled into the corner, Crisp's speed is such that he can really take advantage of that. And even when he was hitting leadoff last year, it seemed like he didn't do more of that, and maybe they were correct in putting him at the bottom of the order. It sort of frees him up a little more, and now that he's making better contact than he was in the first few weeks, it's sort of all coming together for him."
On American League Rookie of the Month Hideki Okajima: I think if you had told people at the start of the season that the American League Rookie of the Month for April was going to be a Japanese pitcher, the assumption would have been that it would be Daisuke Matsuzaka. He was the one who came on with all the billing and expectation and hype. He's pitched pretty well, but Okajima has been kind of a revelation in the bullpen. He has been unquestionably their most consistent set-up guy.
"They've used him everywhere from the sixth to the eighth inning, and everyplace in between. He's gotten lefties and righties out, and the numbers are staggering, you know, he's got a batting average against of below .100. He's got an E.R.A. under 1.00. He can get lefties and righties out, and he's been really the biggest find of the first five weeks of the season, and it was nice to see him get recognized for that."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:32 AM to Martone
Lester being checked in Boston
PAWTUCKET -- Jon Lester, who left Wednesday night's start in Pawtucket because of ''mild cramping'' in his left forearm, is in Boston today being checked out by the Red Sox medical staff.
Posted by Art Martone at 11:30 AM | Permalink
Baseball Today: Thursday, May 3
Lots of news today in baseball . . .
POCKET ROCKET: Normally, any conversation about Roger Clemens is about when and where he'll pitch this year. Last night, however, Josh Beckett got Clemens back in the news for a different reason: He became the first Red Sox pitcher to start a season 6-0 since Clemens in 1991. (projo.com) He also invoked statistical comparisons to Babe Ruth and Pedro Martinez, which, as Sean McAdam points out, is an exclusive list . . . and also suggests ''that Beckett may finally be edging closer to becoming the pitcher the Red Sox were after when they bundled a bunch of prospects for him in November 2005.''
RUSH TO JUDGMENT: One of those prospects, Anibal Sanchez, pitched a no-hitter last year and Red Sox haters were chortling that the Sox had given up a potential star. Sanchez' star isn't shining quite as brightly this year, as such statistics as ''has given up an average of more than two baserunners per inning in his six starts this season'' and ''has yet to pitch into the seventh in any of his starts'' indicate. (Miami Herald)
SHOWING THE LOVE . . . OR IS IT FORCED? Baseball Tonight's Fernando Vina thinks Beckett is one of the three top starters in baseball, though Jared Park of the Miscellaneous Media blog thinks he may have been under orders to choose different names than those put forth by fellow analyst John Kruk. (miscellaneousmedia.blogspot.com) ''Apparently,'' writes Park, ''it’s not a fireable offense for a retired second baseman to think Johan Santana isn’t one of the three best pitchers in baseball.''
BUMP IN THE ROAD: The picture wasn't as rosy for another young Red Sox pitcher, as Jon Lester had to leave last night's rehab start in Pawtucket after three rocky innings because of ''mild cramping'' in his left forearm. (projo.com) No one thinks it's anything major . . . but then, in the hours immediately after the incident, no one ever does, at least not publicly. We shall see what time brings.
SOGGY NO MORE: My wife had taken to calling him ''Coco Soggy'' because his play with the Red Sox had been anything but crisp. But, as McAdam points out in the Red Sox journal (second item down), Covelli Loyce Crisp is starting to blossom, both offensively and defensively. Steven Krasner looks Inside The Game for more highlights from Crisp. (All projo.com)
COUNTERPOINT: There's an obvious self-serving element that prevented most reporters from firing back at Curt Schilling after his broadside at the media last week. Seth Mnookin, who's not in the sports media per se, answers the big guy, whom he accuses of using ''his brush to paint reporters with some broad strokes . . . Curt’s blanket statement is about as accurate as . . . my saying that working as a professional baseball player is a pretty nice gig because you get paid tens of millions of dollars to shoot up with ‘roids.'' (sethmnookin.com)
CIVILIZED DISCOURSE: Schilling and the Boston Herald's Rob Bradford are starting their own discussion -- ongoing, apparently -- on athlete/media relations. (www.bradfordfiles.com)
A DAY LATE, BUT WORTH THE WAIT: Speaking of Schilling, he finally broke down Tuesday's ''[tough] loss and a rare one in the way we lost it.'' (38pitches.com)
THE BEST TRADES ARE THE ONES . . . Remember those rumors involving Rich Harden and the Red Sox? Never mind. (San Francisco Chronicle)
YOU SAY GOODBYE, AND I SAY HELLO: The A's traded for Ryan Langerhans on Sunday and traded him away after last night's game. (msn.foxsports.com)
WASHINGTON WHISPERS: Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal has an interesting look at what he calls the National crisis in Washington. (msn.foxsports.com)
THE CLUBHOUSE CHEF IS NEXT: You knew someone was going to pay for the Yankees' early season stumbles. Who'dve thought it would be the strength and conditioning coach? (New York Post)
HELPFUL HINTS: Joe Posnanski presents a glossary of terms for baseball fans, sparked by the observation from a reader that '' 'Five-tool player' means he can't hit.'' Among the terms: ''Clubhouse presence [means] old player who can't play anymore.'' Why does Ellis Burks, 2004, leap to mind? (thesoulofbaseball.blogspot.com)
OLD FRIENDS: Tom Gordon has a bad shoulder, and now the Phillies have no closer (Philadelphia Inquirer) . . . Willie Harris is wowing 'em in Atlanta (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) . . . Carl Pavano is injured again (New York Daily News) and even he's calling it ridiculous. Maybe we should have forseen this when he first had arm problems at Pawtucket oh-so-many years ago . . . Johnny Damon, though, is feeling better (New York Times) . . . Wade Miller is working hard to get back to the Cubs (Chicago Sun-Times) . . . Looks like Kevin Millar is starting to get antsy on the bench in Baltimore (Washington Post).
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 6:57 AM | Permalink