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May 15, 2007
Detroit 7, Boston 2
Tigers' hotshot pitcher Justin Verlander was able to cool off the Red Sox last night, allowing just two runs on six hits over 7 2/3 innings as Detroit took game two of its four-game series at Fenway Park, 7-2.
Verlander, the AL Rookie of the Year last season, threw a season-high 120 pitches, 79 of them for strikes. He used a fastball that topped out at 99 MPH with a variety of off-speed pitches that kept Boston hitters honest. In all, Verlander struck out seven and walked none.
He sat down the leadoff man in every inning, which Red Sox manager Terry Francona noted, adding that Verlander was ready to go from the start of every inning.
Boston starter Tim Wakefield went seven innings, but was done in by his nemesis, Magglio Ordonez, who is now 15-for-33 with two homeruns and 8 RBI off the knuckleballer.
Wakefield came into the game with an AL-best ERA of 1.79, but saw that mark rise to 2.41 with the five runs he gave up tonight. Reliever Brendan Donnelley gave up two more runs in 2/3 of an inning in the eighth. Kyle Snyder pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, with three strikeouts and a walk.
Boston remains atop the AL East is now 26-12 on the season, while the Tigers, who lead the AL Central, are 24-14. The Yankees' game with the White Sox was postponed, so the Red Sox' lead is eight games over New York.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 10:26 PM | Permalink
Drew leaves game
J.D. Drew has left the game with what was announced as a lower back contusion suffered when he hit the wall in front of the bullpen in the third inning.
Drew tried to stay in the game, but seeing the replay of that collision, he deserves a great deal of credit for sticking it out as long as he did.
We will get details on how long he might be out after the game.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 9:08 PM | Permalink
Not Wake's night?
The two home runs Tim Wakefield gave up in the third inning got out of Fenway Park in a hurry. Brandon Inge's solo shot to right was followed by a three-run shot to the Monster seats that was absolutely crushed by Magglio Ordonez.
Ordonez is now 14-for-32 (.438) against Wakefield in his career, with two home runs.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 7:45 PM | Permalink
Scoreless innings stretch ends
That solo home run by Detroit's Brandon Inge ended a 16-inning stretch of stinginess from Tim Wakefield. The last time Wakefield surrendered a run was April 28 against the Yankees, when he allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Wakefield's last two starts were both seven-shutout inning appearances, against the Twins and Blue Jays.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 7:38 PM | Permalink
J.D. Drew rewards Francona early
In his pre-game meeting with the media, Red Sox manager Terry Francona talked about the struggles of outfielder J.D. Drew, who was just 8-for-57 (.140) in his last 17 games. But Francona, who has showed a willingness to stay with struggling players before (i.e. Kevin Millar), was rewarded for his dedication to Drew early tonight.
Drew's low liner to left field that dropped right in front of the glove of Craig Monroe plated Kevin Youkilis and gave the Red Sox an early 1-0 lead against Tigers' young star Justin Verlander.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 7:29 PM | Permalink
JD Drew Still Batting 5th
JD Drew is 8 for his last 57 (.140) and has looked poor at the plate in the last few games. But he's still batting fifth behind David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. The Sox are hoping he's close to breaking out any day now.
``It's probably nothing different than the normal combination that we always talk about,'' said Francona. ``It seems like we go through cycles where every call seems to go against him. And he's not been consistent with hsi swing. That combination adds up to going through a couple tough weeks.''
Francona says Drew isn't showing any signs of his struggles.
``Never. You can't tell,'' he said. ``He's not a helmet thrower. he goes and sits in the same spot on the bench regardless of whether he gets a hit or not.''
Posted by Kevin at 5:03 PM | Permalink
Beckett, Timlin get work in
In a good sign for both pitchers, Josh Beckett and Mike Timlin threw this afternoon at Fenway Park.
Beckett is recovering from a cut on the middle finger of his throwing hand but the Red Sox are reporting that the skin is `regenerating,' well, according to manager Terry Francona. Beckett played catch and threw lightly off the mound. ``It was very encouraging how good he felt,'' Francona said.
Beckett was scheduled to see a skin specialist today, as well.
Still no word on if Beckett will be ready to make his next start Friday against Atlanta. What looks like a safe bet is Beckett missing only one start, if any at all. The clear candidate to fill in if needed is righty Kyle Snyder.
Timlin received a positive medical exam on Monday in his bout with tendonitis. He was cleared to throw today. The plan is for him to play catch today and tomorrow and then take a day off. He'll then throw again on Thursday and Friday and be evaluated.
Posted by Kevin at 4:37 PM | Permalink
Tuesday night lineups
Here are the starting lineups for tonight's Red Sox-Tigers game....Hello Cora & Mirabelli. When is JD Drew going to fall in the order?
JD Drew, RF
Tim Wakefield, P
Justin Verlander, P
Back with more soon....
Posted by Kevin at 4:30 PM | Permalink
Sox Streakers for May 15
From the team's official game notes:
-Tim Wakefield, 14 straight scoreless innings, second in American League in E.R.A.
-Mike Lowell, six-game hitting streak, 10 for his last 23 (.435) with a double, three home runs, nine RBI, five runs and four walks
-Julio Lugo, seven-game hitting streak, 14 for his last 34 (.412) with three doubles, a triple, a home run, 10 RBI, four runs, three stolen bases and a walk
-Kevin Youkilis, eight-game hitting streak, 16 for his last 34 (.471) with five doubles, a home run, eight RBI, six runs and two walks
-Coco Crisp, 8 for his last 41 (.195)
-J.D. Drew, 8 for his last 57 (.140)
Tigers vs. Tim Wakefield
-Curtis Granderson, 2 for 4 (.500), 1 HR
-Magglio Ordonez, 13 for 30 (.433), 1 HR
-Craig Monroe, 6 for 16 (.375), 2 HR
-Ivan Rodriguez, 11 for 41 (.268), 2 HR
-Gary Sheffield, 8 for 31 (.258), 2 HR
-Carlos Guillen, 4 for 16 (.250), 1 HR
-Brandon Inge, 4 for 19 (.211), 1 HR
-Neifi Perez, 1 for 8 (.125)
Red Sox vs. Justin Verlander
-David Ortiz, 1 for 1, 1 HR
-Coco Crisp, 3 for 6 (.500)
-Julio Lugo, 1 for 2 (.500)
-Kevin Youkilis, 1 for 3 (.333)
-Alex Cora, 0 for 3
-Mike Lowell, 0 for 1
-Manny Ramirez, 0 for 3
-The Red Sox now lead the major leagues in most runs scored (205) and fewest runs allowed (126).
-Boston has won 27 consecutive games when scoring five runs oor more. The team is 21-0 in such games this season.
-The Red Sox have won 14 of their last 17 games against Detroit at Fenway.
-David Ortiz's book Big Papi, My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits, is number eight on The New York Times Best Seller list for nonfiction books.
-Josh Beckett may be hurting, but hopefully he gets a chance to celebrate too; it's his 27th birthday today.
-Julio Lugo is tied with the Mets' Jose Reyes for most RBI by a leadoff hitter (23).
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:26 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Manny bounces back
Despite whispers that Manny Ramirez's early exit from the Sunday game against Baltimore might have been more about managerial discipline than a bad hamstring, Manny Ramirez was apparently an early arrival at Fenway Park on Monday: "He came in this morning, to his credit, he was here at 10 o'clock to ride the bike and get the blood flow through it. It's appreciated," Francona said yesterday.
Meanwhile, Ramirez's RBI double past third base moved him past Harry Heilmann into a tie with Willie Stargell for 38th place on the all-time list.
Ramirez's batting average dropped, however, thanks to a 1-for-5 performance.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 1:40 PM to Projo Mannybeingmanny
Projo SoxTalk: Not optimistic on Beckett
Today on Projo SoxTalk, Steven Krasner joins Art Martone to talk about the Red Sox' nice victory last night over the Detroit Tigers. Click here to listen to the full audio file. Krasner was impressed by Daisuke Matsuzaka, he's still unimpressed by Coco Crisp, and he's not overly optimistic about a quick return from Josh Beckett. Here are some excerpts from the conversation.
On Daisuke Matsuzaka: "He looked very good. He looked like the Daisuke that the Red Sox thought they'd be getting, and maybe even sooner than they thought he might adjust to this country and to big league batting orders."
On Coco Crisp's inconsistency: "From what I see, he's a .250 hitter, you know, and he's got some speed. Once he gets on the bases he can cause some havoc, but I'm not convinced he's more than a .250 or a .270 hitter."
On Josh Beckett: "I don't think he'll make that start Friday [his next scheduled appearance] and I wouldnt be surprised if he missed at least two starts and has to go on the DL because he has to miss three. You can't make it heal faster, and even if it heals you still have to give it time beyond that, because he's not going to be able to throw a curveball, let's face it."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:21 AM to Krasner
Baseball Today: Tuesday, May 15
Around the baseball world . . .
ALL ACES SO FAR: ''If this week is going to be the biggest test yet for the Red Sox, the team passed its first exam with flying colors last night.'' That was Paul Kenyon's lead on his story about the Sox' 7-1 win over Detroit in the first of seven straight games against one of the best teams in the American League, the Tigers, and one of the best in the National League, the Braves. Also getting all A's last night was Daisuke Matsuzaka, who pitched his first major league complete game. Steven Krasner breaks down Dice-K's performance in Inside The Game.
HE WAS OKAY, BUT . . . Tigers manager Jim Leyland was ''very impressed'' with Matsuzaka (Detroit Free Press), but Brandon Inge wasn't (Detroit News). "[Matsuzaka's] stuff isn't what everyone makes it out to be,'' he said. ''Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's bad, but it's his motion more than the movement on his pitches."
'A LITTLE LETHARGIC': They wouldn't use it as a excuse, but, after playing the Twins Sunday night and having to fly all night into Boston, the Tigers didn't get to bed until 5:30 yesterday morning. (Detroit Free Press)
MEDICAL UPDATE: The Sox really didn't have one on Josh Beckett, and it's unknown whether he'll be able to make his scheduled start Friday. (projo.com) On yesterday's edition of Projo Sox Talk, however, Joe McDonald relates a conversation he had with someone in sports medicine who thinks Beckett definitely will be sidelined, at least for a little while.
MAYBE JOHN HARRINGTON WAS RIGHT AFTER ALL: Joe Posnanski does some research based on the most recent Nielsen rankings for television, Arbitron rankings for radio, and metro populations, and concludes that the Red Sox are only in the 14th-biggest market in baseball, stuck between Washington and Atlanta. (thesoulofbaseball.blogspot.com) Makes their revenue numbers all the more staggering, don't you think?
NOT ONE OF THE BEST, BUT CLOSE: J.D. Drew earns an honorable mention in Jerry Crasnick's list of baseball's biggest lies. (espn.com)
THE MELTDOWN CONTINUES: Things look like they're going from bad to worse in Baltimore, where Jay Payton and Melvin Mora nearly came to blows after last night's 5-3 loss in Toronto. (Baltimore Sun). (Seth Mnookin, for one, probably isn't surprised that Payton is involved.) It comes in the wake of Sunday's impossible-to-believe, ninth-inning implosion at Fenway Park, which still has manager Sam Perlozzo on the defensive and, according to columnist Peter Schmuck, may have put his job on the line. (All stories Baltimore Sun)
WE'RE WITH YOU, CHIPPER: Finally, a player comes out with the complaint we've had from Day One with interleague play: Because of the disparity in strength of schedules, it can have a huge affect on the divisional races. (msn.foxsports.com) Funny though; it used to be Red Sox fans complaining about having to play six games against the Braves. Now it's Jones complaining that the Braves have to play six games against the Red Sox.
GOOD BREAK: For a while last night, it looked like John Smoltz would miss Saturday's scheduled start against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. But, as it turns out, the dislocated finger joint probably won't be bad enough to sideline him. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
DON'T JUST STAND THERE, DO SOMETHING! Lou Piniella's Cubs have the same record as the Yankees (17-19), but the New York Daily News' Filip Bondy says Piniella has a ''sense of urgency, of outspoken, manic concern, that has been missing in the Bronx this season''.
OUR KINDA GUY: Jay Mariotti of the Chicago Sun-Times hopes that Alex Rodriguez, a visitor in Chicago over the next three days as the Yankees play the White Sox, will make his home there next year. The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers thinks it could happen. But ESPN's Buster Olney says the Yankees need A-Rod now more than ever. (ESPN The Magazine)
LOVE, SIDNEY: Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune will miss Sidney Ponson. I'm not sure Twins fans will, though.
HAUNTED: Cliff Floyd is in Chicago now, but he'll never forget his last inning as a Met. (New York Daily News)
PLANTING THE SEED: Roger Clemens' comeback has Nolan Ryan thinking . . . (The Rocky Mountain News)
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: The official postseason schedule from mlb.com, which includes -- as you all know by now -- the possibility of November baseball.
LOCAL BOYS: The blog U.S.S. Mariner is proposing a series of trades, one of which would send Rocco Baldelli to Atlanta (ussmariner.com). The Devil Rays will be selling low if that happens, because Baldelli is in a terrible slump at the moment. (St. Petersburg Times)
OLD FRIENDS: Tony Armas Jr. looks like he's about to lose his spot in the Pirates' rotation (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) . . . Byung-Hyun Kim finally got traded. Destination: Florida (The Palm Beach Post) . . . At the end of Peter Gammons' most recent blog entry, which mostly focuses on the Blue Jays, Dave Roberts says ''I have not had one day since [stealing the base in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS] when someone hasn't come up and thanked me. Not one day.'' (espn.com)
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 7:01 AM | Permalink
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