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June 12, 2007
What they're saying
Red Sox manager Terry Francona on Tim Wakefield:
“I knew he had good stuff. It is a little easier to say that after the eighth inning, but he came out and was good. He was good right up to the end.”
Francona on facing pitchers for the first time:
“You’re going up against guys you haven’t faced, especially the relievers. That’s the first time you get to look at a guy and the next thing you know you’re 0-2 before you see what he has. It’s difficult and I’m sure it’s the same thing for them.”
Wakefield on the momentum he carried over from his last start:
“I felt really confident in the way the ball felt in my hand and the movement that I had. I kind of carried that into today, and Dougie (Mirabelli) did a phenomenal job behind the plate.”
Colorado manager Clint Hurdle on Tim Wakefield:
“He had a good [knuckleball] tonight. He was able to pitch off his fastball a little bit, too. He’s an accomplished guy, who has pitched a lot of big games and he doesn’t get shaken up out there. For a lot of our guys this is their first experience against him. This is the hardest part about interleague play.”
Posted by Joe McDonald at 10:41 PM | Permalink
FINAL: PawSox 8-2
Behind seven solid innings from starter Devern Hansack and powered in part by a Jeff Bailey home run, the Pawtucket Red Sox won the finale of their four-game series with Ottawa, 8-2.
Hansack allowed eight hits, struck out six and walked none for his second win of the season.
Bailey's home run in the third was his seventh of the season; he went 3-for-4 with four RBI and a run scored.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 9:45 PM to PawSox
FINAL: Boston 2, Colorado 1
BOSTON -- Tim Wakefield worked eight innings and allowed just one run on four hits, while J.D. Drew provided the sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Boston a 2-1 victory over the Rockies. Closer Jonathan Papelbon earned his 15th save of the season.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 9:30 PM | Permalink
As you saw earlier with the lineup, Julio Lugo has been dropped to ninth in the batting order, a not-unexpected move. Terry Francona said he thought about doing it several times on the recent road trip, but because of some minor injuries, resting players because of travel, etc, the opportunity never presented itself.
For the record Lugo said he was fine with the move, adding good-naturedly, ``I just don't want to hit 10th...I just want to be in there.''
Dustin Pedroia is the new leadoff hitter -- temporarily, at least -- and he too is fine with the switch.
``I don't really care where I hit,'' said Pedroia, who has hit ninth much of the season.
In other news...
Mike Lowell's sore left thumb won't keep him out of the lineup, although it's being monitored...Francona revealed that Tim Wakefield's, tonight's starter, worked some with fellow knuckleballer Tom Candiotti. Candiotti apparently recommended some different grips for Wakefield.
More details in tomorrow's Journal.
Posted by Sean McAdam at 5:53 PM | Permalink
Wily Taveras, 8
Kazuo Matsui, 4
Matt Holliday, 7
Todd Helton, 3
Garrett Atkins, 5
Brad Hawpe, 9
Ryan Spilborghs, DH
Troy Tulowitzki, 6
Yorvit Torrealba, 2
Aaron Cook, SP
Dustin Pedroia, 4
Kevin Youkilis, 3
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, 7
J.D. Drew, 9
Mike Lowell, 5
Coco Crisp, 8
Doug Mirabelli, 2
Julio Lugo, 6
Tim Wakefield, SP
Posted by Joe McDonald at 5:14 PM | Permalink
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Sox Streakers for June 12
From the team's game notes:
-Manny Ramirez, 25 for 59 (.424) over last 17 games
-J.D. Drew, 8 for 17 (.471) in last four starts
-Wily Mo Pena, reached base in 6 of last 15 plate appearances
-Tim Wakefield, 1-4 with a 7.98 E.R.A. in last five starts
-Alex Cora, 3 for 28 (.107) over last nine games
-Coco Crisp, 3 for 25 (.120) on seven-game road trip
-Mike Lowell, 3 for 25 (.120) over his last eight games
-Julio Lugo, 3 for 27 (.111) on seven-game road trip
Rockies vs. Tim Wakefield
-Only one active Colorado player has had an at-bat against Wakefield. Todd Helton is 0 for 1.
-Wakefield is 0-2 with a 9.31 E.R.A. in his career against the Rockies
Red Sox vs. Aaron Cook
-Mike Lowell, 2 for 3 (.667)
-J.D. Drew, 4 for 8 (.500), 1 HR
-David Ortiz, 1 for 2 (.500)
-Wily Mo Pena, 1 for 2 (.500)
-Alex Cora, 2 for 16 (.125)
-Manny Ramirez, 0 for 3
-No other active Red Sox player has an at-bat against Cook.
-Cook has faced the Red Sox once in his career, giving up three earned runs in five innings and picking up a loss in 2004.
-The Rockies have the best interleague record among National League teams since the start of the 2006 season. They're 14-7 entering tonight.
-The Red Sox and the Tigers are tied for the best interleague record in all of baseball since the start of the 2006 season. Both teams are 20-4 entering tonight.
-Boston's 19-10 home record is the third-best in the American League, behind Los Angeles (24-9) and Cleveland (21-8). The Red Sox have the major leagues' best record overall.
-During their seven-game road trip, the Red Sox batted .222 as a team, while their pitchers held opponents to a .201 batting average.
-Colorado is one of two major league teams (the other being Arizona) against whom Manny Ramirez does not have a home run.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:19 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
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How to buy Manny's car
Thanks to AOL's FanHouse blog for pointing this out: Here's where you can view the vital stats on the 1967 Lincoln Continental convertible that Manny Ramirez is trying to sell for $139,000 on Hemmings online auto marketplace. This is apparently the same car that was behind the fiasco surrounding Ramirez's planned appearance in February at an Atlantic City, N.J., classic cars show. Ramirez bought the car for 10 grand, then took it to a hot-rod specialist he had seen on the Discovery Channel, according to Ben McGrath's New Yorker piece, "Waiting for Manny." At that time, Ramirez said the car was a gift for his father. Today, the vehicle is listed as having 79 miles on it after a "total rebuild."
In other amusing news, the Chicago Tribune's Mike Downey lists Ramirez as one of the players Cubs catcher Michael Barrett is most likely to punch next. Seems like a stretch, though, since the Red Sox and the Cubs would both have to make the World Series.
Former Cleveland Indians teammate Omar Vizquel says that talking to Ramirez was "like talking to a 12-year-old boy." (This is below the item about Anna Kournikova.)
I didn't know until now that Ramirez was among the major leaguers who make regular donations to Barry Zito's charity for wounded U.S. servicemen and women. He joins several other position players -- Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher, Chipper Jones, Jermaine Dye, Eric Chavez, Mark Ellis, Mark Kotsay, Eric Byrnes, Jason Kendall and Orlando Hudson -- who pledge money based on their numbers of hits, home runs and RBI. Curt Schilling (as well as Warwick native Dan Wheeler) is among 20 big league pitchers who contribute money based on number of strikeouts.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 2:28 PM to Projo Mannybeingmanny
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: No regrets on Helton
Sean McAdam joins Art Martone on today's edition of Projo SoxTalk. Click here to listen to the full audio file. Today, they look back (as is fashionable) on the trade for Todd Helton that did not happen. Helton's Rockies are in Fenway Park tonight. And although Helton is having another fine season at the plate (click here to read his statistics), Sean believes that the performance of Mike Lowell (who would have gone to Colorado in a deal) leaves the Red Sox little to feel badly about. Sean also discusses the Red Sox possible trading-deadline strategies, and why there just aren't that many midseason trades made anymore.
Here are a couple of excerpts from Sean's comments:
On the Helton talks: "I think [the Red Sox are] actually quite happy they didn't make that deal, given the kind of season they've gotten certainly from Mike Lowell, who has along with Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz been really one or the linchpins of the offense so far, and has been a very important part of the middle of that batting order. I think they like the fact that they did not get themselves tied into a contract that would run another four years, as Helton's would have."
On possible a possible deadline deal: "I still believe that they would like to go out and get another power arm in the bullpen -- a right-handed one to serve as the eighth-inning setup guy with lefty Hideki Okajima. They might want to evaluate whether Timlin could emerge and fill that role, as he has [in the past]. They may be hoping against hope that Brendan Donnelly could do it. My guess is that they're probably going to want to go out and try to improve the bullpen. But I would say that there'll be a lot of teams looking to do that, and it won't be easy. They do have some trading chips. They could conceivably move Tavarez by that point if Lester is back and healthy and in the rotation. They do have Wily Mo Pena as a spare part that other teams might find intriguing for his power and youth and relative affordability, and of course they do have prospects that they could move, though clearly there are some that they regard as near untouchable."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:20 AM | Permalink
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Kottaras home run is ESPN top play
George Kottaras, who has been mired in a season-long slump, gets a chance to be a star for the day.
Kottaras' three-run, walk-off home run to beat the Ottawa Lynx was the number-one play on last night's edition of ESPN SportsCenter. It was a fairly light day nationally for sports action, but Kottaras' blast did beat out Barry Bonds' 747th career home run and a mammoth shot by the Phillies' Ryan Howard for top play honors.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 8:22 AM | Permalink
Baseball Today: Tuesday, June 12
CHANGES? The Red Sox get back to work tonight after their first day off in two weeks, and Steven Krasner wonders if they'll have a new leadoff hitter when they resume play against Colorado. (projo.com) But the Boston Herald's Jeff Horrigan thinks change isn't necessary in the bullpen, saying the Sox' relief work has been stellar.
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN: The arrival of Todd Helton at Fenway Park prompts a look at the trade that wasn't made last winter in both Denver (Denver Post) and Boston (Boston Globe)
STAYING PUT: Jon Lester will remain in Pawtucket, at least for a little while longer, which is good news for the PawSox, anyway. They got more good news last night when George Kotteras' walk-off homer gave them a win over Ottawa. (Both stories projo.com)
TAKE A LESSON FROM G38: Despite his May 29 proclamation that ''This blog is off and running,'' Kevin Youkilis has yet to make a second posting.
TREND OR TEASE? That's what Peter Abraham tries to figure out as he looks at several red-hot Yankees. (yankees.lohudblogs.com)
REMEMBER WHAT I TOLD YOU . . . about 1978 replacing 1918 as Yankee Universe's taunt of choice? Guess what? (New York Daily News)
EXCITABLE BOY: Our old friend Lou DiLullo buries the meter on the giddiness scale in his latest edition of Louie's Lines (yankeetradition.com). In a nutshell: He basically considers the Yanks' home sweep of the 26-37 Pittsburgh Pirates as the greatest achievement in the history of professional baseball and, flush with the three straight wins over the 27-33 Chicago White Sox that preceded it, decides to flood Red Sox Nation with gasoline and then light a match:
The Yankees have shaved 5-games off Boston's season high 14 1/2 game lead in a short time. Though the majority of New Englanders don't want to read about it on this site, all I can say is, ''Can you say 1978?'' Folks, it's going to happen, you can just feel it. I'm telling you, there is nothing more enjoyable than seeing a Boston 14 1/2 game lead dwindle during the summer. Forget 1998. Coming from behind like this is so much more enjoyable. New England is going to be very damp during the next few months from the sweat of ''Red Sox Nation'' hearing the Yankees footsteps!
Ah, Lou. Life will be so dull without you.
IT ISN'T JUST THE FANS TALKING LIKE THIS: Murray Chass is also dreaming those 1978 dreams. And his subsequent protestations that he is neither a Red Sox hater or a Yankee fan will do nothing to dissuade those in Red Sox Nation who already believe Murray has his own anti-Sox agenda.
WHAT ARE YOU GETTING ALL WORKED UP OVER? Newsday's Wallace Matthews says the Yankees haven't won anything with Alex Rodriguez, aren't likely to, and would be better spending money ticketed to A-Rod for pitching.
PERSPECTIVE: Larry Mahnken points out that the Yankees' recent win streak has put them back exactly where they were on May 25, which is ''cause for optimism, but it’s not cause for celebration yet.'' (www.replacementlevel.com) ''All that’s really happened in the standings is that Boston cut 16 games off their magic number,'' he adds. Are you listening, Lou?
Foolish question. I'm sorry. I don't even know why I ask.
REAL PERSPECTIVE: The New York Post's Michael Morrissey says the road ahead -- three games with the Diamondbacks, three with the Mets -- should be a lot tougher than the road just taken.
HE GONE: The White Sox' Joe Crede -- once described by announcer Hawk Harrelson as ''the best third baseman I've ever seen,'' even though Harrelson's seen Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt and George Brett and many others whose names don't exactly invite comparisons to Joe Crede -- will undergo back surgery this morning and miss the rest of the year.
HE GONE, TWO: Eric Milton is undergoing Tommy John Surgery. (cincinnati.com blogs)
HE GONE, THREE: Freddy Garcia's season is probably over. (Philadelphia Daily News)
HE MAY BE GONE: The Reds have placed Adam Dunn on the trading block (sportsillustrated.com)
HE BACK: Prince Fielder is returning home, sort of. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
THE WINNER IS . . . Ray Ratto. In The ''Obligatory Sopranos Reference'' category, he says the Giants are flatter than Phil Leotardo's head. (San Francisco Chronicle)
WHISPERS: The Twins may be interested in Tampa Bay's Ty Wigginton (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) . . . The Braves are eyeing Torri Hunter as a replacement for Andruw Jones if he departs (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) . . . Aaron Rowand and the White Sox are dreamy-eyed for each other (Chicago Sun-Times) . . .
LOCAL BOYS: Rocco Baldelli, recuperating from his latest hamstring injury, played in an extended spring-training game and had a ''very encouraging'' day according to Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon. (Tampa Tribune)
OLD FRIENDS: Nomar Garciaparra is struggling in Los Angeles (Riverside Press-Enterprise) . . . Rotoworld.com reports that Trot Nixon, who hasn't hit a home run since May 1, has seen his average dip from .338 on May 7 to .251 today and wonders if the Indians are ''nearing the point at which [they] may decide to give some of his at-bats to Jason Michaels or Franklin Gutierrez.'' The Beacon-Journal's Terry Pluto, though, lauds Nixon's clubhouse presence at the bottom of a recent notes column. Somewhere, an SOSH poster named Smiling Joe Hesketh is fuming . . . The Mariners have placed Chris Reitsma on the disabled list (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) . . . The endless rehab of Wade Miller continues (Chicago Sun-Times) . . . The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Dave O'Brien is enthralled with Willie Harris . . . Lenny DiNardo continues to pitch well in Oakland, and says his time in Boston probably helped him adjust to the pressure of the big leagues. ''[Every] pitch there was like the last game of the World Series,'' he said. (San Francisco Chronicle) . . . The normally affable Orlando Cabrera blew a gasket in the clubhouse after the Angels lost to the Cardinals Sunday. (dailybreeze.com)
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 7:04 AM | Permalink