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June 1, 2007
Bad blood still brewing?
Whether he meant to or not, Terry Francona seemed to indicate the beanball battle with the Yankees -- which culminated tonight with Kevin Youkilis nearly being hit in the head by Scott Proctor -- may not be over.
In his postgame press conference, Francona was asked about his actions immediately after Youkilis was hit.
''I was actually there with [Youkilis at first base] because I . . . when things like that happen, the last thing I want to have happen is Youkilis to end up getting something where he's going to get penalized by the league,'' Francona said. ''I understand he was upset; the ball was pretty close to his head. But my responsibility is to keep him on the field and keep him in games.''
It had appeared Yankee catcher Jorge Posada had tried to convince Youkilis the pitch wasn't intentional, and Francona was asked what Posada had said.
''To be honest with you, I couldn't tell you word for word,'' he replied. ''But what Posada was saying, nothing was inflammatory, if that's what you're asking.''
When asked specifically if he felt Proctor were throwing at Youkilis, Francona said: ''I don't know. It's dangerous to ever try to get into somebody else's head. I don't know. I just . . . again, I know Youk thought it came pretty close to his head. Which I understand.''
A reporter then said, ''So as far as you're concerned, it's over and done . . . ''
Francona interrupted, ''I don't like when guys speak for me. You can ask questions if you . . . ''
The reporter then asked: ''Is it over and done?''
Said Francona: ''I don't know that . . . I thought I gave a good explanation. That was my explanation.''
Since Francona really didn't give an explanation, good or otherwise, as to whether he felt the incident was over -- and since he declined to say it was ''over and done'' when asked directly -- you might be advised to keep an eye on the last two games of the series.
Posted by Art Martone at 11:32 PM | Permalink
Final: Yankees 9, Red Sox 5
It isn't like Chien-Ming Wang was good, or even average, or even mediocre for the Yankees through the first three innings tonight at Fenway Park. He allowed 10 baserunners in the first three -- seven hits, two walks and a hit batter -- and the Sox twice loaded the bases against him. In the inning they didn't, they had runners at second and third.
Problem for the Red Sox was, Wang looked like Pedro Martinez circa 1999 compared to their pitchers.
Tim Wakefield was gone after 3 2/3 innings, allowing five hits, six walks, a hit batter and eight runs. Kyle Snyder relieved him with two men on base and allowed both inherited runners, plus one of his own, to score.
So, on a night when both teams seem intent on proving the baseball adage that pitching -- or lack thereof -- is everything, the Yankees defeated the Red Sox, 9-5, at Fenway Park.
Wang, to his credit, settled down after being given the big lead. He held the Red Sox to three hits over the next 2 2/3 innings, and was lifted in favor of left-hander Mike Myers with David Ortiz at the plate and a man on first with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
Myers struck out Ortiz to end the inning.
The Yankees touched Wakefield for three runs in the second, two coming on a monstrous home run by Robinson Cano into the bleachers behind the bullpens. But the Sox, who had failed to score despite loading the bases in the first, came back with two in the bottom of the inning and one in the last of the third, making the score 3-3 after three.
The Yankees then went at Wakefield again in the fourth, pushing across six runs for a 9-3 lead.
Trailing 3-0, Coco Crisp opened the Red Sox second with a single. With one out, Dustin Pedroia continued his hot hitting with a double to right. A high chopper to second by Julio Lugo scored Crisp from third, making the score 3-1.
The Yankees looked as though they were out of the inning when Wang slipped a 2-and-2 pitch past Kevin Youkilis on the outside corner, so close that Wang and catcher Jorge Posada both began trotting off the field. But the plate umpire Brian O'Nora called it a ball, running the count full.
Youkilis walked on the next pitch. And Ortiz knocked in the second run with a line single to left-center field.
The Sox loaded the bases again on a single to right by Manny Ramirez, with Youkilis stopping at third. But, for the second straight inning, Wang left them loaded when he retired J.D. Drew on a popup.
In the bottom of the third, Wang hit Mike Lowell with a pitch to open the inning. Lowell was erased at second on a fielder's choice grounder by Crisp, and a single by Doug Mirabelli put runners at first and third. Pedroia's second double of the game, this one to left, tied the score at 3-3.
Mirabelli was erased at the plate on a grounder to third by Lugo, with Pedroia talking third. Lugo then stole second, again giving the Sox runners at second and third. But Youkilis grounded to short, ending the inning.
The Sox stranded eight runners, six in scoring position, through the first three innings.
After going quietly in the third, the Yankees starting running at Wakefield again in the fourth. Cano singled, went to second on a passed ball, Bobby Abreu walked and Josh Phelps was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with no outs. Cano then scored on a wild pitch, making it 4-3 and putting runners on second and third. A single by Melky Cabrera scored Abreu, and a passed ball with Johnny Damon at bat brought in Phelps.
Damon then popped out and Derek Jeter grounded out. When Hideki Matsui walked -- the sixth walk of the night allowed by Wakefield -- manager Terry Francona lifted his veteran knuckleballer in favor of Kyle Snyder.
Snyder hit the first batter he faced, Alex Rodriguez, loading the bases. Jorge Posada cleared the bases with a double up the gap in left-center field. Cano flied to right, finally ending the inning.
Snyder was little better in the fifth, allowing a double to Abreu, walks to Cabrera and Damon and a single by Jeter. The Sox caught a break when Abreu, attempting to steal third, was called out by third base umpire Jerry Crawford even though replays showed he clearly was safe. Even so, the Yankees had the bases loaded with two outs when Francona took him out and brought in J.C. Romero.
As Romero warmed up, the Yankees resumed the argument over Abreu -- since the call cost them at least one run -- and manager Joe Torre was ejected by Crawford.
Romero got out of the jam unscathed by retiring Matsui on a long fly to right.
The Red Sox didn't score again until the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Youkilis was hit by a pitch -- prompting the benches to empty and the umpires to eject Yankee pitcher Scott Proctor -- and Ortiz singled off reliever Ron Villone. With a 1-and-0 count to Ramirez, Yankee bench coach Don Mattingly, managing the team after Torre's ouster, called on closer Mariano Rivera with a six-run lead.
Ramirez singled off the wall, scoring Youkilis and sending Ortiz to third. A fielder's-choice grounder by Wily Mo Pena forced Ramirez but scored Ortiz, making it 9-5. Eric Hinske ended the game by grounding out.
Posted by Art Martone at 11:24 PM | Permalink
The benches empty
A fairly sedate Red Sox-Yankees game got a little exciting in the bottom of the ninth tonight when Scott Proctor threw a pitch close to Kevin Youkilis' head and was immediately ejected from the game.
The benches emptied and members of the bullpen came racing in, but no punches were thrown.
Interestingly, Yankee catcher Jorge Posada walked with Youkilis to first base, apparently attempting to convince him that the pitch -- which grazed Youkilis' shoulder as he fell to the ground -- wasn't intentional.
The Red Sox' Javier Lopez had hit Bobby Abreu in the top of the ninth, which may have convinced plate umpire Brian O'Nora that Proctor's actions were intentional.
There were five batters hit in the game. Yankee starter Chien-Ming Wang hit Mike Lowell on the wrist, eventually knocking him out of the game (he stayed in after being hit in the third, but was lifted in the fifth), and Red Sox pitchers hit Josh Phelps (a Tim Wakefield knuckleball), Alex Rodriguez (by Kyle Snyder, though the situation -- 1-and-2 count with two runners on base and the Sox trailing by only three -- indicated that it clearly wasn't intentional) and Abreu.
Posted by Art Martone at 11:07 PM | Permalink
Youkilis extends hitting streak
Kevin Youkilis beat out a grounder to the hole at shortstop with two outs in the sixth inning tonight for a single, extending his hitting streak to 23 games.
Posted by Art Martone at 10:11 PM | Permalink
Drew leaves game because of hamstring pull
Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew was taken out of tonight's game against the Yankees at Fenway Park because of a strained right hamstring.
He was replaced by Wily Mo Pena. Manager Terry Francona said he would be evaluated again Saturday.
Posted by Art Martone at 10:09 PM | Permalink
Torre ejected in fifth inning
Yankee manager Joe Torre was ejected from tonight's game at Fenway Park by third-base umpire Jerry Crawford for arguing a call at third base . . . for the second time.
The Yankees had runners on first and second with one out and a 9-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning when they sent Bobby Abreu to steal third. Crawford called him out, even though television replays indicated he was clearly safe. Torre and third-base coach Larry Bowa argued the call at the time.
The Yanks eventually loaded the bases in the inning, and the Red Sox made a pitching change. As reliever J.C. Romero warmed up, the argument ensued between Crawford and members of the Yankees in the third-base dugout. Torre came out to resume the argument, and he was tossed by Crawford.
Torre and Crawford went nose-to-nose in a heated, extended exchange -- much to the delight of the Fenway Park crowd -- before the Yankee manager finally left the field.
Posted by Art Martone at 9:46 PM | Permalink
Lowell hit in wrist by pitch, lifted from game two innings later
Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell was taken out of the game by manager Terry Francona in the top of the fifth, two innings after he was hit in the left wrist by a pitch from Chien-Ming Wang.
Lowell was in obvious discomfort after being hit as the leadoff batter in the third inning, but stayed in the game for the rest of that inning, plus the fourth. But when the Yankees jumped to a 9-3 lead after four, Francona moved Kevin Youkilis from first base to third and put Eric Hinske at first base.
X-rays were negative, and the Red Sox said Lowell had a left hand contusion.
Posted by Art Martone at 9:24 PM | Permalink
The tarp is coming off
The grounds crew at Fenway is taking the tarp off the field and the game will start at 7:30
Posted by Joe McDonald at 6:53 PM | Permalink
Torre's comments on A-Rod
Rodriguez pulled a bone-head play on Wednesday in Toronto when he distracted Blue Jays third baseman Howie Clark and shortstop John McDonald by yelling "mine" as he was about to round third base.
Yankees manager Joe Torre responded to the incident a little while ago.
“He probably shouldn’t have done it,” said Torre. “But, it’s over with and I get the sense he won’t do it again. Just the [players’] reaction probably told him that and maybe he was just excited we were leading the ballgame he was going around third base. It was probably inappropriate to do it at the time he did it, but there’s nothing he can do about it.”
There was a shot of the Toronto players glaring at A-Rod for the bush-league play.
“They were angry, there’s no question and I can’t say I blame them,” said Torre. “But what are you going to do about it? What’s happened has happened.”
“The reaction that came with it, I don’t think (Rodriguez) expected that reaction,” added Torre. “I don’t think he did anything serious, but it turned out that way.”
Torre said during his playing days as a catcher, when a pop up would be near the opponent’s dugout, he would constantly hear ‘I got it. I got it’ from the opposition.
“You just have to catch the ball,” said the Yankees skipper.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 6:46 PM | Permalink
Tonight's game is delayed
The Red Sox game is officially in a delay. The team said it will have more news in a few minutes. . .
Posted by Joe McDonald at 6:25 PM | Permalink
The tarp is on the field and here's the latest from the Red Sox:
The current weather forecast (provided by the Red Sox private weather service, Meteorlogix) calls for a thunderstorm to move through the Fenway area prior to the 7:05 p.m. scheduled start time of tonight’s game.
The Fenway Park gates will open at the regularly scheduled time of 5:05 p.m., and the Red Sox will do everything possible to make certain tonight’s game with the Yankees will be played. However, the Red Sox want to alert our fans to the current forecast and the possibility of delay this evening.
This forecast is of course subject to change as the afternoon progresses, and weather updates will be provided as necessary.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 5:50 PM | Permalink
Terry Francona seemed to want to stay out of the recent on-field controversy created by Alex Rodriguez.
When asked about the impropiety of A-Rod's decision to deceive Toronto infielders Howie Clark and John McDonald Wednesday night, Francona pleaded the fifth.
Reminding reporters that he mosty rode the bench and played some outfield in his major league career, Francona said he ``didn't know'' if he had ever observed such a scenario.
Questioned about the difference between an infielder pretending to take a throw from an outfielder to ensure a baserunner slides and what Rodriguez did, Francona again said: ``I don't know.''
Oh well. So much for pre-series controversy.
In other developments, Francona continued to show faith in J.D. Drew, who enters tonight hitting just .226.
``He's had to fight,'' said Francona. ``Sometimes he's not staying back, he's had some roll-overs and some trouble with breaking balls. But sometimes you have to be patient. I think he'll (come around), but he's not there at the moment.''
Francona acknowledged that Drew hasn't used the famed left field wall.
``But his swing, when correct, is made for this place.''
Finally, Francona said the Sox weren't happy about the schedule that calls for the SOx to play a night game Sunday, then fly all night to Oakland for the start of their seven-game road trip.
``Sometimes,'' shrugged Francona, ``you just have to wear it. The Players Association approves it.''
Posted by Sean McAdam at 4:59 PM | Permalink
Mike Timlin update
Red Sox pitcher Mike Timlin had a closed-door meeting with manager Terry Francona this afternoon, and the veteran right-hander was told he will continue his rehab with the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Timlin will join the PawSox on Sunday in Norfolk and throw one, maybe two innings. Then he’s slated to work again on Wednesday in Richmond.
“When you’re on rehab I think the word ‘tentative’ always needs to be used just until you activate a guy,” said Francona.
The plan, for now, is to activate Timlin when the team travels to Arizona next weekend.
“That’s assuming everything goes according to plan, which we think it will,” added Francona.
Francona attended the PawSox game against the Columbus Clippers on Thursday in Pawtucket and said Timlin looked good during his 1-2-3 inning of work.
“He threw the ball pretty well,” said the manager. “And, I think he felt the same way.”
Posted by Joe McDonald at 4:53 PM | Permalink
Johnny Damon, DH
Derek Jeter, 6
Hideki Matsui, 7
Alex Rodriguez, 5
Jorge Posada, 2
Robinson Cano, 4
Bobby Abreu, 9
Josh Phelps, 3
Melky Cabrera, 8
Chien-Ming Wang, SP
Julio Lugo, 6
Kevin Youkilis, 3
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, 7
J.D. Drew, 9
Coco Crisp, 8
Doug Mirabelli, 2
Dustin Pedroia, 4
Tim Wakefield, SP
Posted by Joe McDonald at 4:38 PM | Permalink
Sox Streakers for June 1
-Kevin Youkilis, 22-game hitting streak, going 42 for 98 (.429) during that period.
-Dustin Pedroia, 10-game hitting streak, going 15 for 33 (.455) during that period. It's the longest hit streak for a Red Sox rookie since Nomar Garciaparra's 10-game hit streak in September 1997. Led all major leaguers in batting average (minimum 60 at-bats) for the month of May, at .415.
-Tim Wakefield, has surrendered 15 earned runs in 19 innings (7.11 E.R.A.) over last three starts
-Coco Crisp, 0 for his last 12
Yankees vs. Tim Wakefield
-Melky Cabrera, 1 for 3 (.333)
-Derek Jeter, 28 for 87 (.322), 3 HR
-Josh Phelps, 8 for 25 (.320)
-Johnny Damon, 16 for 51 (.314), 2 HR
-Bobby Abreu, 5 for 18 (.278)
-Robinson Cano, 7 for 27 (.259), 1 HR
-Alex Rodriguez, 17 for 67 (.254), 6 HR
-Jorge Posada, 14 for 59 (.237), 3 HR
-Hideki Matsui, 7 for 43 (.163), 2 HR
-Doug Mientkiewicz, 1 for 19 (.053)
Red Sox vs. Chien-Ming Wang
-Manny Ramirez, 11 for 19 (.579), 2 HR
-Eric Hinske, 10 for 19 (.526), 2 HR
-David Ortiz, 10 for 22 (.455), 2 HR
-Kevin Youkilis, 6 for 15 (.400)
-Alex Cora, 5 for 16 (.313), 1 HR
-Coco Crisp, 4 for 14 (.286)
-Doug Mirabelli, 2 for 7 (.286)
-Julio Lugo, 6 for 24 (.250)
-Mike Lowell, 3 for 18 (.167)
-J.D. Drew, 0 for 3
-Dustin Pedroia has never faced Wang.
-Mike Lowell has a 22-game hitting streak in games played at Fenway Park, tying him for the third-longest such streak by a Red Sox player since 1957. The longest is 31 games, by Nomar Garciaparra in 2003.
-Kevin Youkilis' 22-game hitting streak is the second-longest in the majors; Ichiro Suzuki has a 24-game streak.
-Manny Ramirez is 36 for 79 (.456) with 10 home runs in his last 23 games against the Yankees.
-The Red Sox are 9-4 against New York since being swept in five straight games at Fenway Park in August 2006.
-Twenty-two members of the 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox will be honored on the field before tonight's game, and former manager Dick Williams will throw out the first pitch.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:29 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Red Sox Yankees preview
Sean McAdam joins Art Martone on today's edition of Projo SoxTalk. Click here to listen to the audio file. They take a look at the coming weekend series at Fenway, and try to figure out what to make of the Yankees' struggles.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:43 AM to Martone
Baseball Today: Friday, June 1
WELCOME THE SINKING SHIP: So here come the Yankees (AP Photo). Good thing, says Steven Krasner, because the Red Sox can use a breather in their schedule. (projo.com) Before dismissing that as sports writer nonsense, consider that the New York Daily News has found a major-league scout -- speaking, obviously, on condition of anonymity -- who says basically the same thing. Among his observations:
-- "This is just not a good team.''
-- ''I don't think they'll pull out of this. I don't think there are enough players on this club to do it.''
-- ''The bench is terrible.''
And there's more, such as the scout saying Bobby Abreu ''looks like a piece of garbage'' and that they should ''forget about'' depending on Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina, who he thinks will show their age as the season progresses.
Music to your ears if you're a Red Sox fan, and fightin' words to Yankee fans.
NO SLACK: The Yankees, by the way, don't expect any sympathy from the Fenway Park crowds over their struggles. (New York Post) Odds are pretty good you got that right, boys.
WHAT FANS REALLY WANT TO KNOW IS . . . will John Henry's financial problems have any effect on the Red Sox? (yahoo.com)
|THE STORY CONTINUES, AND AREN'T WE ALL HAPPY ABOUT THAT: The New York media reported that Cynthia Rodriguez had left her husband in wake of the Stray-Rod stuff, but it turned out she was leaving her New York apartment to join her husband in Boston, where they walked smiling, arm-in-arm, in the streets. The Post continued its quest for a Pulitzer by tracking down the identity of A-Rod's Toronto companion, describing her as a ''diminutive damsel'' and ''a corn-fed Catholic-school girl from Iowa''.
A-JOKE: That's what the Daily News' Mike Lupica says the Yankee image has become, thanks to Rodriguez.
IN OTHER NEWS: It looks like Jason Giambi's season is over (New York Post). But his troubles may be just beginning. (New York Daily News)
ADJUST YOUR HISTORY: Buck Showalter thinks 1995, and not 1978, is a more apt comparison to the situation the Yankees are in now. (New York Post) FoxSport's Kevin Hench doesn't mention '95, but he agrees that a repeat of '78 just ain't happening.
THE MORNING AFTER: The Boston Herald's Tony Massarotti thinks both the Yankees and Roger Clemens are probably regretting their deal these days.
IT'S A NEW YORK THING: The Mets have injury woes of their own; Carlos Beltran is the latest casualty. (New York Daily News)
AT LAST: Mike Timlin finally had a performance worth talking about at Pawtucket, and now the question is: Will the Sox recall and reactivate him for this weekend's series? (projo.com) The story also notes that Runelvys Hernandez exercised the 'out' clause in his contract and became a free agent.
WAKE ME WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENS: Mark Teixeira says the recent trade talk -- some of which has him headed to Boston -- doesn't concern him. (Dallas Morning News)
MONEYBALL: Both the Red Sox and Yankees have two players on yahoo.com's All-Overpaid team. Can you guess who?
THAT'S NOT WHAT I SAID: Last weekend, Joe Posnanski wrote an absolutely fascinating look back at Bo Jackson, whose legend -- for the Superman-esque qualities of his physical skills and not the flawed assemblage of baseball talents he possessed -- grows to this day. In his latest entry on The Soul of Baseball blog, Posnanski relates that a reader sent him a long, detailed e-mail asserting that Jackson was overrated as a baseball player. To which Joe says he was tempted to send back the following note:
I'm sorry we missed each other. I hope we can have lunch soon.
I don't know that there's a writer in the world who hasn't had that feeling at one time or other.
HEADED FOR THE SIDELINES? If Major League Baseball agrees with the umpires' contention that Gary Sheffield threw the stub of his broken bat in the vicinity of plate umpire Greg Gibson on Thursday night, the Tigers' DH could be facing a suspension. (Detroit News)
THE LAST STRAW: Two nights after a total meltdown in the bottom of the 12th inning at Shea Stadium, the Giants traded closer Armando Benitez to Florida. (projo.com/AP)
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 7:07 AM | Permalink