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June 21, 2007
Game Story: PawSox snap four-game losing streak
INDIANAPOLIS – An eight-run fifth inning and six solid innings from left-hander Kason Gabbard snapped a four-game Pawtucket losing streak as the visiting PawSox defeated Indianapolis 9-4 Thursday night.
“We were due!” exclaimed manager Ron Johnson, whose PawSox had lost three in a row to Indianapolis following Sunday's loss in Richmond. “I was over there (in the coach's box at third base) taking it all in. It was like a big old hot fudge sundae. The kid (Jacoby Ellsbury) came up with a big line drive to drive in two runs. It was a nicely played game for us.”
The Indians, who lead the International League West Division and had taken six of seven from Pawtucket prior to Thursday's contest. “Any time you can get one from these guys – I was pleased,” Johnson added.
The Indians (43-29) scratched out a pair of runs off PawSox starter Kason Gabbard in the third. Luis Ordaz led of with a walk and moved to third base on Michael Ryan's single. Carlos Maldonado followed with a base hit to center that plated Ordaz. Matt Kata, the next batter, went down swinging. But the third strike bounced in the dirt for a wild pitch and Ryan raced home to give Indianapolis a 2-0 advantage.
The PawSox (32-38) battered Indians starter Shane Youman (3-6) in the fifth. Bobby Scales started things with a walk and and took second on George Kottaras's base hit. One out later, Ed Rogers doubled to score Scales. When Ellsbury followed with a single to center, both runs scored. Joe McEwing followed with a sinking liner to left. Ryan raced in, but couldn't make the catch as Ellsbury scored and McEwing chugged into third with a triple. David Murphy singled through a drawn-in infield, sending McEwing home to make it 5-2.
After Jeff Bailey popped up for the second out, Murphy scored when Brandon Moss rapped a double off the left field wall. Scales, batting for a second time in the inning, followed with a single to left that scored Moss. Scales took second on the throw home, and Juan Perez relieved Youman. Scales moved to third on Youman's wild pitch and Kottaras walked to put runners at the corners. Perez walked Chad Spann and, when ball four was in the dirt for a wild pitch, Scales ran home to make it 8-2.
The PawSox added another run in the sixth. Ellsbury opened with a walk and took third on McEwing's line single to right center. Murphy forced McEwing at second, with Ellsbury coming home on the play as the PawSox went up 9-2.
Gabbard (7-2) recovered after the rocky third inning, striking out six and doling out five hits along with a pair of walks in six innings of work. Craig Hansen relieved Gabbard in the seventh and gave up solo homers to Ryan and Matt Kata as the Indians closed the gap to 9-4.
Bryan Corey took over for Hansen in the eighth and retired the first two men he first. After Ordaz singles, Craig Breslow entered the game. Breslow struck out Ryan to end the inning and blanked the Indians in the ninth to close out the contest.
Notes: During the contest, rumors began swirling that either David Murphy or Brandon Moss would leave the PawSox to join Boston in San Diego. With Curt Schilling going on the 15-day disables lost earlier this week, the parent club has an open roster spot.
Murphy and Moss were in the PawSox starting lineup Thursday and both played the entire contest. And after the game, they were in the dressing room, preparing for the trip to Louisville, where Pawtucket opens a four game series Friday night.
“I haven't gotten confirmation yet and it probably won't come 'til tomorrow,” said Johnson, “so I really can't get into who it is. I'm probably going to get some calls on the way to Louisville tonight. Obviously, we're not going to leave somebody here. I don't know exactly what's gonna happen. I know there's probably gonna be a move. They (the Red Sox) are not going to play a man short.”
Posted by Corey Bourassa at 10:27 PM to PawSox
Two Red Sox selected to play in Futures All-Star game
Righthanded pitcher Clay Buchholz and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury will represent the Red Sox organization in the 2007 XM All-Star Futures Game, it was announced today by Major League Baseball.
Buchholz and Ellsbury were selected to the United States Team, which will face the World Team in a seven-inning game on Sunday, July 8 as part of the All-Star Sunday activities at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Boston joins St. Louis and Tampa Bay as the only three teams with two players selected for the U.S. squad.
Buchholz is 5-2 with a 1.82 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 74.0 innings over 13 starts for Double-A Portland. The righthander has the Eastern League’s lowest earned run average among qualifiers and tops the circuit in strikeouts. He has won his last three starts.
Ellsbury is batting .279 with seven RBI and 19 stolen bases in 41 games at Triple-A Pawtucket. The lefthanded-hitting Ellsbury opened the season at Portland and batted .452 with 13 RBI in 17 games to earn a late April promotion to the International League.
The 25-man rosters for each team were selected by Major League Baseball in conjunction with the 30 major league clubs, mlb.com, and Baseball America. This will be the ninth consecutive year the All-Star Futures Game has taken place. Current players on Boston’s major league roster who have participated include pitcher Josh Beckett (2000) and infielder Kevin Youkilis (2003).
--BOSTON RED SOX
Posted by Corey Bourassa at 4:46 PM | Permalink
Today's Manny file: Manny homer = Red Sox win
Manny Ramirez hit his 11th home run last night, and the Sox are now 10-0 in games in which Ramirez homers (including his two-home run game May 3 against Seattle).
Manny got his batting average up to .300 with his three-hit effort last night. A month ago, he was at .244. He's hitting .400 in June with a .538 on-base percentage. He only has three home runs for the month, but all of them have come in the last five games.
Ramirez also tied former teammate Jim Thome for 25th on the all-time home run list; both men have 481. Manny also surpassed Willie McCovey for 36th place on the all-time RBI list.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:24 PM to Projo Mannybeingmanny
Photo: Smokin' Luis Tiant
Here's an AP picture of Luis Tiant yesterday at the third hole of the Bath Rotary Club's annual charity golf tournament in Bath, Maine.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 2:19 PM | Permalink
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Don't count on Lester coming up
Today on projo SoxTalk, Sean McAdam and Art Martone take a look at some of the roster moves that might await the Red Sox as they look to fill Curt Schilling's spot on the roster. Click here to listen to the full audio file. Expect an outfielder to join the team for the trip to San Diego, and then they'll need a pitcher to go Tuesday night in Seattle. Sean says that he's not counting on that pitcher being Jon Lester. Sean and Art also discuss last night's power display, J.D. Drew's injury, the continuing success of Julian Tavarez and the continuing struggles of Julio Lugo.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments:
On who will pitch Tuesday: "I don't think it's a slam dunk that its Lester. In fact, if I were to guess right now, I would say it might more likely be Kason Gabbard. When they optioned Lester a couple weeks ago and stopped the clock on his rehab assignment, and then optioned him back to the minor leagues, the message they sent him was, 'Make us bring you up.' And in the last two outings, he hasn't done that. And I think maybe people have a sort of too-much-too-soon attitude in terms of expectations here, and forget what this guy has gone through physically and mentally in the last seven or eight months. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if he got to remain in Pawtucket for another month or two, or another five or six starts. ... I think Gabbard did nothing but earn himself another look with that start he made against Atlanta last month."
On the Red Sox offensive surge: "You're seeing guys like Coco Crisp have much better at-bats. He hit the home run last night, a three-run homer, that came on the heels of his four-hit, two-home run game on Monday night in the opener. So he seems to be coming around. Drew, although he only remained in the game last night for two at-bats, had a homer and doubled for the short time he was in there, and they're hoping that the quad tightness isn't anything to worry about. So it does look like a couple of these guys are coming along. On the other hand, I think it's two more at-bats for Julio Lugo and below the .200 mark he goes, and you wonder how long they can watch that happen."
On J.D. Drew being taken out of last night's game: "Francona said it was more precautionary than anything. Petco Park, in fact the next two ballparks they play in -- Petco in San Diego over the weekend and Safeco up in Seattle Monday through Wednesday -- are probably the two biggest ballparks in the major leagues: a lot of ground to cover in the outfield; big, open pitcher's parks. And so knowing that Drew has a lot of real estate to patrol the next week here, they didn't want to chance it and have him stay out there in a game that was already pretty much in hand by the second innning. But I'm sure they're going to watch it carefully, but right now they don't think its going to be too much of a lingering issue."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 12:09 PM to Martone
Baseball Today: Thursday, June 21
BACK ON TRACK: With five wins in their last six games, and a lead that's back to double digits in the A.L. East for the first time since June 7, the Red Sox appear to be over whatever was ailing them in the first few weeks of this month. Last night's 11-0 win over the Braves was all but flawless, featuring superb pitching from Julian Tavarez and two relievers -- who helped nail down Boston's second straight shutout -- and a season-high five-homer performance. (One of them was by Manny Ramirez, AP Photo above.) Tavarez' dominance is more impressive in light of comments he made to reporters afterwards, saying his mind wasn't in the game and ''I wasn’t even in the mood to be here today.'' (Boston Herald) It's tempting to write it off as Julian being Julian, but he makes some interesting comments about the life of a professional baseball player.
LISTEN TO THIS MAN: In his latest ESPN blog entry, Peter Gammons decries what he calls ''IGR (Immediate Gratification Radio),'' in which the normal up-and-down cycles of a season ''are not allowed to be placed in perspective.'' He quotes one GM as saying: ''The nature of the business right now is if you lost yesterday, someone should pay today . . . The notion that someone has to be fired for every three-game losing streak is disturbing." And then Gammons adds: ''What makes it so disturbing is that there are so many new, fan owners who think like radio-schlock jocks.''
After just lived through the hysteria of a 5-9 Red Sox stumble, which happened to coincide with an 11-2 Yankee surge, I repeat: Listen to this man.
DL-BOUND: That's where Curt Schilling's headed as he attempts to recover from his latest shoulder ailment. (projo.com) The Red Sox won't summon a new starting pitcher until Tuesday -- because of today's off-day, they can juggle the rotation so that Schilling's spot doesn't come up again until then -- and will instead probably call up either Brendan Moss or David Murphy from Pawtucket for the three games in San Diego and first one in Seattle. The Herald's Rob Bradford tracked down the surgeon who operated on Schilling's shoulder in 1995, who said this latest problem may actually have its roots in Schilling's left hip; if that's the case, ''it’s easily fixed with a stretching program.”. Still no Internet word from the big guy himself, whose blog hasn't been updated since last Wednesday's Colorado game.
THE DARK CLOUD: It wasn't all peaches-and-cream last night, as J.D. Drew had to leave the game in the third inning because of tightness in his right quadriceps. (projo.com) That could be why the call is going to Moss or Murphy -- both of whom, obviously, are outfielders -- for the weekend.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS: If you somehow are able to receive NESN's feed, that is. Otherwise, your Sox viewing could be limited to ESPN broadcasts, and Allan Wood tells why that's a bad thing. (joyofsox.blogspot.com)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: At the beginning of the season, NESN did a special on the 1967 Red Sox entitled Impossible To Forget. The DVD has just been released and, as good as the program was, the special features make this a must-buy. For one thing, it has more than two dozen little vignettes on virtually everyone and everything connected with that season, profiling both people and moments. For another, it has the entire broadcast of Channel 5's The Impossible Dream television special -- a TV version of the album, featuring Ken Coleman and Don Gillis, which aired just before Super Bowl II in January 1968. But most importantly, it has the entire color game broadcast of the Saturday, September 30 game against the Twins, the next-to-last game of the season. The Globe's Bob Ryan waxes poetic about it, and all I can add is: Amen.
SPEAKING OF '67 . . . June 21 was a pretty noteworthy day in that memorable season. The Red Sox and Yankees had a famous bench-clearing brawl at Yankee Stadium -- they also had an ongoing beanball war throughout the game that, incredible as it may seem to modern audiences, resulted in zero ejections -- and owner Tom Yawkey threatened to move the Sox out of Boston unless the city and/or state built a new stadium to replace Fenway Park.
BACK TO THE PRESENT: The Wall Street Journal profiles Bill James. He has gotten the reputation from those who don't understand him or his work as a numbers-crunching geek who thinks he has all the answers, but that couldn't be farther from the truth; James is, in fact, open-minded and curious and doesn't think anyone has all the answers. ''People'' -- and by that he means sabermetricians as well as traditional baseball folk -- ''think they understand how to win in baseball much more than they really do,'' he said. ESPN's Rob Neyer thinks that, in a way, it's a shame James works for the Red Sox because he no longer speaks about what he's working on and 'what good (to us) is a sage who may speak only in generalities?'
IT HAPPENS EVERY TIME: The Yankees were soaring heading into Coors Field and everyone anticipated an orgy of offense from the red-hot Bombers. Instead they've been held to one run in each of their first two games, including last night's 6-1 loss. (New York Post)
THROUGH THE EYES OF MO: Mariano Rivera reflects on his years with the Yankees. (yesnetwork.com)
EENIE, MEENIE . . . The Orioles have offered their manager's job to Joe Girardi, but he's not sure whether or not to take it. (New York Daily News)
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: The various threads of the Orioles' saga are put together nicely on the blog Soccer Dad.
TODAY'S THE DAY: Jason Giambi has to decide by this morning whether or not to cooperate with George Mitchell's investigation on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. (New York Post)
MR. 600: He has the same steroids taint as Barry Bonds, but the fans responded positively when Sammy Sosa hit his 600th career home run last night. (Dallas Morning News)
YA THINK? Rangers owner Tom Hicks suspects Juan Gonzalez used steroids during his time in Texas. (Dallas Morning News)
AS BAD AS IT GETS: Is anyone playing worse than the Mets? (New York Daily News)
MONEY TALKS: Dave Stewart says the only reason the Blue Jays' J.P. Ricciardi and the Pirates' Dave Littlefield haven't been fired ''is because there are teams in the league that are more concerned with making money than they are with winning.'' Funny, I never thought of Toronto and Pittsburgh as cash-cow franchises.
EARLY MORNING CALL: The Devil Rays' Elijah Dukes called a Tampa radio station at 7 a.m. EDT Tuesday from Phoenix, where the Devil Rays were for a series against the Diamondbacks, and spoke angrily for 13 minutes as he, for the first time, addressed publicly some of the accusations against him. Rather than clear the air, however, both the team and radio-station employees think Dukes did himself more harm than good with some of the things he said. When approached by reporters later yesterday in Phoenix, Dukes cursed them and refused to speak. No wonder then, as the St. Petersburg Times' Marc Topkin writes, that the Rays ''seem poised to accelerate efforts to trade or release the 22-year-old rookie.'' The Tampa Tribune's Joe Henderson says it's time for Dukes to go.
ROAD TO RECOVERY: The A's Rich Harden is almost ready to return. (mlb.com)
ROAD TO SAN DIEGO: That was Michael Barrett's route after the embattled Cubs catcher was traded to the Padres. (Chicago Sun-Times)
ROAD TO PERDITION: Astros reliever Chad Qualls is stunned at a three-game suspension he received for throwing a ball into the stands in frustration (Houston Chronicle), and plans to appeal.
WHISPERS: Eric Gagne can be traded to the Yankees, Mets and Angels without his permission, according to FoxSports.com . . . The Palm Beach Post speculates that the Marlins may make Dontrelle Willis available. Willis, incidentally, says he feels better after coming out of Tuesday's game because of arm pain and doesn't think he'll miss a start (Miami Herald) . . . The Twins may pick up Aaron Boone from Florida (twincities.com) . . . The Mets are looking for pitching, though they also have interest in Jeff Conine and Mark Sweeney (Newsday)
OLD FRIENDS: Anibal Sanchez' season apparently is over, as he gets set to undergo arthroscopic shoulder surgery (Miami Herald) . . . Wil Ledezma is headed to the National League, traded by the Tigers to the Braves (Detroit News) . . . Tom Gordon could be back with the Phillies by July 1 (Philadelphia Inquirer) . . . Wade Miller may soon be throwing full bullpen sessions (Chicago Sun-Times) . . . Pedro Martinez threw the fifth bullpen session of his rehab on Tuesday (Newsday) . . . Johnny Damon says he knows he has to go on the DL, but he doesn't want to (New York Daily News).
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 6:55 AM | Permalink