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May 31, 2007
Game Story - Timlin looks good but PawSox lose 5-2
By KEVIN McNAMARA
Journal Sports Writer
PAWTUCKET – About the only thing that went right for the Pawtucket Red Sox last night was the most important of all.
Mike Timlin looked good in his best rehab performance yet but the PawSox struggled in a 5-2 loss to the Columbus Clippers. Timlin pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning and pronounced himself ready to return to the bullpen in Boston. No word on Timlin’s status for this weekend’s series against the New York Yankees is expected until today.
``I felt like I was ready a long time ago but obviously I wasn’t. That’s irrelevant, what I feel,’’ Timlin said. ``It was a good outing. I threw 80 percent strikes, which was good.’’
The night started off on a poor note when expected starting pitcher Runelvys Hernandez reported to work yesterday and decided to exercise an option to vacant his contract with the Red Sox organization. Hernandez had until today (June 1) to choose to stay in the system or become a free agent.
``It’s a reminder that this is a business,’’ said manager Ron Johnson. ``We weren’t caught off-guard, necessarily. We knew this was an option and this is a level where stuff like that happens.’’
Johnson tabbed Abe Alvarez to fill the open spot in the rotation and it wasn’t a good night for the lefty. Alvarez, who pitched two innings in relief on Sunday, was roughed up for five runs over 4.1 innings and dug a hole his weak-hitting teammates couldn’t battle out of. Felix Diaz, a veteran righty who’s pitched in the majors for the White Sox, stifled the Sox for seven innings and left the game with a 5-0 lead. He picked up the win and is now 4-4 on the year.
Alvarez, who fell to 3-4, allowed three singles, a double and a walk in a busy fourth inning. Brandon Harper hit a 2-run double to give Columbus a 2-0 lead and then a wild pitch allowed a third run to score. With the bases loaded and two out, Brandon Watson laid down a perfect bunt that let Harper breeze in with the Clipper’s fourth run.
Columbus added a fifth run in the fifth inning when Kory Castro hit a solo home run. That ended Alvarez’s night and brought Pawtucket’s relief corps into action. That was clearly the home team’s bright spot. First Manny Delcarmen didn’t allow a hit and struck out three of the five hitters he faced in relief of Alvarez. Timlin took over for the start of the seventh inning and also breezed. He threw just 12 pitches, eight for strikes, in setting the Clippers down in order. He retired Watson on a grounder to first base, got Bernie Castro to pop up to short left field and watched Darnell McDonald hit a lazy fly ball to center.
Craig Breslow replaced Timlin and also pitched well, allowing just one hit over an easy eighth and ninth innings.
The Pawtucket offense continues to struggle. The Sox are last in the International in runs scored (194) and came into last night hitting .246 as a team, tied for second-to-last. They managed only five hits last night and never mounted a rally off of Diaz.
The same couldn’t be said for the Clipp’s first reliever, Alex Morales. He opened the eighth inning by walking the first two hitters and allowing a Joe McEwing single to load the bases. David Murphy then hit a long, loud fly ball that wasn’t chased down until McDonald’s back was up against the right field fence.
``I thought it was gone off the bat. When he hit it, I thought that was a (grand) slam right there,’’ said Pawtucket manager Ron Johnson.
The long out drove in Chad Spann with the Sox’ first run and another walk to Brandon Moss to load the bases again ended Morales’ ugly stint on the mound. Closer Chris Booker came in and walked Michael Tucker to force in Jacoby Ellsbury with the second run of the inning but Booker escaped further trouble in the eighth and pitched a perfect ninth to close out the Sox.
Timlin was happy with his one inning of work which came under the watchful eye of Boston manager Terry Francona and pitching coach John Farrell.
``Not too bad,’’ he said. ``It was time on the mound. That’s all it was. Just getting a feel of a release point.’’
Asked if he could throw for the Red Sox at Fenway this weekend, Timlin answered, ``I don’t expect things anymore. It’s not my decision.’’
firstname.lastname@example.org / (401) 277-7340
Posted by Thom Cahir at 10:51 PM to PawSox
FINAL: Columbus 5, Pawtucket 2
Columbus 5 Pawtucket 2
The Columbus Clippers hit Pawtucket starter Abe Alvarez up for five runs over four-plus innings and went on to win at McCoy Stadium Thursday night, 5-2.
Alvarez was a surprise starter after Runelvys Hernandez opted out of his contract earlier in the day. Hernandez had an option to become a free agent on June 1 and decided to exercise that clause a day early.
Alvarez pitched well for three innings but Columbus hit him for four runs in the fourth inning with a 2-run double by Brandon Harper and a wild pitch that allowed another run to score being the key plays. Kory Castro hit a solo home run in leading off the fifth inning to extend Columbus' lead to 5-0.
The Clippers' pitcher, Felix Diaz had his best outing of the season against Pawtucket. The veteran righty dominated the home team, limiting the Sox to no runs and four hits over seven innings to improve his record to 4-4 on the year.
The PawSox scored 2 runs in the eighth inning, thanks in large part to 4 walks.
Mike Timlin pitched a perfect seventh inning for the PawSox in relief. The veteran right-hander threw just 12 pitches, 8 for strikes, and pushed his fastball up into the low-90's on the McCoy Stadium radar gun. Red Sox manager Terry Francona and pitching coach John Farrell were both on hand to watch Timlin and the PawSox. No word on Timlin's status with Boston was revealed last night.
The PawSox hit the road and begin a weekend series in Norfolk Friday.
Posted by Kevin at 9:16 PM | Permalink
Timlin Sharp; 1-2-3 inning
Mike Timlin's fourth appearance with the PawSox in the last week was his smoothest yet.
Timlin just pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the Columbis Clippers with manager Terry Francona and pitching coach John Farrell watching from behind the plate.
Timlin threw his fastball in the low-90's and retired Brandon Watson on a ground ball to first base, Bernie Castro on a fly ball to short left and Darnell McDonald on a lazy fly to center.
It looks like that'll be it for Timlin. If he come sback out for the eighth, we'll let you know.
The PawSox trail the Clips, 5-0.
Posted by Kevin at 9:03 PM | Permalink
Mike Timlin in for the P-Sox
Mike Timlin has entered tonight's Pawtucket Red Sox game against the Columbus Clippers. It is the top of the 7th inning and the Clips hold a commanding 5-0 lead.
Update to come....
Posted by Kevin at 8:55 PM | Permalink
Jason Giambi out three weeks
Jason Giambi will be sidelined at least three weeks because of torn tissue in the arch of his left foot, the latest setback in a tumultuous season for the New York Yankees designated hitter.
Giambi was examined in New York on Thursday by Dr. William Hamilton. Giambi will be placed on the disabled list before Friday's game at Boston, and his foot will be put in a walking boot.
“He will be re-evaluated in three weeks,” Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo said.
Giambi was shifted from first base to designated hitter this year and hit .322 with four homers and 17 RBIs in April. His foot began bothering him soon after he played the field for the first time on April 28, and he batted .117 in May with three homers and six RBIs.
He originally was diagnosed with a bone spur and switched to shoes with orthotics that he said relieved the pain. Giambi traveled to New York on Thursday's day off, intending to get a cortisone shot, but Hamilton said Giambi had plantar fasciitis, inflamed tissue near the heel, and a partially torn plantar fascia.
The 36-year-old Giambi, the 2000 AL MVP with the Oakland Athletics, is in the sixth season of a $120 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees and has been in the news this season for his role in baseball's steroids controversy.
In the May 18 editions of USA Today he was quoted as saying “I was wrong for doing that stuff,” which many interpreted as an admission of steroids use, and the Daily News reported five days later that he had failed an amphetamines test within the past year.
Giambi met last week with lawyers for Major League Baseball, and his case has been turned over to commissioner Bud Selig, who hasn't said whether he will attempt to discipline Giambi.
Melky Cabrera is likely to receive more playing time in the outfield while Giambi is sidelined, with Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui seeing spells at DH.
Giambi has been among the struggling hitters in New York's lineup. The Yankees are just 22-29, tied for last in the AL East and 131/2 games behind first-place Boston heading into a weekend series at Fenway Park.
Posted by Corey Bourassa at 5:05 PM | Permalink
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Sean's spin on A-Rod
Sean McAdam is today's guest on Projo SoxTalk with Art Martone. Click here to listen to the audio file. Sean discusses Dice-K's tough outing last night (he feels Matsuzaka was probably feeling some effects from the illness he experienced over the weekend in Texas) and the state of the Yankees coming into Fenway for the weekend (he doesn't see them making up their 13 1/2-game deficit). He also has some interesting comments about Alex Rodriguez's latest adventure in Toronto, when he apparently tricked infielder Howie Clark into believing that he was being called off a popup.
Here's some of what Sean had to say about Rodriguez:
"Last night certainly brought back memories of 2004 in the ALCS, trying to swipe the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove on a play at first. It's really the kind of thing that is not looked upon well by fellow players, whether they be opponents or teammates. And the amazing thing is A-Rod does these kind of things, and then seems surprised that people take exception to it. You just dont see major league players attempting to distract an infielder from catching a ball by yelling at him and giving the impression that it's a teammate that's closing in and calling him off. There was universal condemnation from the Blue Jays and, as often is the case on this stuff, not a lot of support from his own teammates."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:28 AM to Martone
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Meet the new All Stars, same as the old All Stars
It's been an interesting year in the American League so far, with the Red Sox soaring, the Yankees faltering, some big names struggling and some new stars (hello Kevin Youkilis) emerging.
And none of the folks voting for the American League All-Star team seems to notice. So far, there are two members of the Red Sox who stand to gain starting positions. Guess who? David Ortiz is far ahead among "first basemen" (he's a DH, of course, but to be on the ballot he had to be assigned a position), and Manny Ramirez with his .269 batting average is in line to get one of the outfield spots. The cellar-dwelling Yankees right now stand to get three starters: Robinson Cano at second, Derek Jeter (certainly deserving) at short and Stray-Rod (the leading vote-getter overall) at third. The other front-runners to start for the A.L. are a familiar lot: Ivan Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero and Ichiro Suzuki. You know something is wrong with the fan voting system, by the way, when Jason Giambi has more votes at first base than Justin Morneau. Click here to see the full voting results so far.
Getting back to Manny Ramirez, his outfield assist last night (thanks to a perfectly executed phantom tag by Dustin Pedroia) was clearly the highlight for Sox fans of a dreary sixth inning. You could see why Josh Barfield was angry. Not only was he actually safe on the play, but it's just amazing how much Manny can get on one of his throws without actually bending his knees.
Kevin Youkilis, who has a hit in 22 straight games, remains five games short of Ramirez's 27-game hit streak from last season.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:03 AM to Projo Mannybeingmanny
Baseball Today: Thursday, May 31
|FIRST DARK CLOUD ON THE HORIZON: In a season that's been remarkably worry-free, the Red Sox finally have something to fret about: Daisuke Matsuzaka (right). He was cuffed around pretty good by the Indians last night in an 8-4 loss -- his numbers destroyed, and the game lost, in no small part by Terry Francona's incredibly slow hook; Cleveland went double/410 foot out/double/single/single/home run in the sixth inning and turned a 2-2 game into a 6-2 game before Tito finally got around to lifting Dice-K -- and now has given up 13 runs in his last 11 innings. ''Overall, I had problems,'' said Matsuzaka, though he said that, unlike Friday's start in Texas, he felt fine. (For what it's worth, the blog Matsuzaka Watch predicted Dice-K would get lit up, a combination of last week's illness and the Indians' tough lineup.) |
The Sox had one last chance to salvage something, when they loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, but it ended when Aaron Fultz retired David Ortiz in a classic confrontation
, recounted pitch-by-pitch in Steven Krasner's Inside The Game. (All stories projo.com)
Still, says the Boston Herald's Steve Buckley, there's no reason to worry. (Seth Mnookin concurs.) And, he adds, there's certainly no reason to invoke memories of 1978, which is the next big ghost of the past waiting to be exorcised. (Maybe the Sox could beat the Mets in the World Series and make it a two-fer, erasing the stain of 1986, as well.)
NOW THIS REMINDS ME OF 1978: For whatever on-field links the contemporary Yankees have had to their storied predecessors in recent years, they've never come close to their '70s brethen when it comes to off-field shenanigans . . . until now. Alex Rodriguez' wife apparently has left him (New York Daily News) in light of the New York Post's Stray-Rod spread showing him squiring a ''mysterious, busty blonde'' around Toronto Sunday night (including a stop in ''a flashy strip club''). The Daily News story gets pretty salacious -- A-Rod is ''the king of the strip clubs," according to one source, and story adds he ''even shoots X-rated text messages to his favorite strippers across the country'' -- and, in best Woodward-and-Bernstein/Edward R. Murrow tradition, the Post has dug deeper and learned that A-Rod has been spotted with a similar-looking woman in other cities, as well.
Deadspin, as usual, had the best take on the whole thing: ''We know! We're as shocked as you! A Major League Baseball player, of all people. Well, now we've seen everything!''
|So just when the tabloids had turned A-Rod into a sympathetic figure (Toronto Star), he turned himself back into a villain by resurrecting his Slappy McBluelips/Little League persona. (Yelling "Mine!" at a fielder as he runs by? Really . . . ) The Daily News' Bill Madden thinks it's time for Rodriguez to ''wake up; everyone is watching you.''|
LOST IN THE SHUFFLE . . . was the fact that Mariano Rivera actually recorded a save last night. (New York Post)
ALMOST FORGOT: Oh, yeah. The Yankees are coming to town this weekend. (New York Daily News)
A DAY WITHOUT CLEMENS IS LIKE A DAY WITHOUT SUNSHINE: Taking a break from its stakeout of A-Rod, the Post caught up with the elusive Roger Clemens.
IN OTHER NEWS: Ichiro says he doesn't usually do this, but admitted that he sent mental signals for the ball not to be hit to him the other night because the color of the sky made it difficult for him to see. (enjoytheenjoyment.blogspot.com) Blogger Seth Kolloen enjoyed the admission: ''I think what Ichiro's trying to say is that he couldn't see the ball at all, so he was, essentially, praying that it wouldn't be hit to him. As the Times' Geoff Baker points out, 'How many of us, at one point or another, stood out there in the outfield as kids just praying to some unseen force that the ball wouldn't be hit our way?' ''
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT YESTERDAY: Kevin Youkilis has joined Curt Schilling in the blogosphere. (kevinyoukilis.mlblogs.com/)
QUICKLY: Derek Lowe spun a beauty last night in Washington (Los Angeles Daily News) . . . Guillermo Mota says he's sorry (New York Post) . . . Elijah Dukes must stay away from his wife (Tampa Tribune).
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 6:50 AM | Permalink
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