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June 25, 2007
Game Story: Bats outslug PawSox, 12-7
The PawSox bats were blazing Monday night, but it wasn't enough to top another group of Bats, as Louisville won 12-7, taking three of four from Pawtucket.
The PawSox stranded 10 as they dropped their seventh decision in nine games, falling to 33-41. Louisville improved to 40-37.
"Most of the time, with Jon Lester on the mound and seven runs and 15 hits on the board you are going to be in good shape," said PawSox manager Ron Johnson. "There were a lot of bloop hits here and groundballs through the infield there. You can't take away from what they did, but it just wasn't our night."
Louisville lefty Phil Dumatrait breezed through the first three innings, striking out four and holding a 5-1 lead. However, in the fourth he began to labor, falling behind batters and the PawSox touched him for a run.
In the fifth, Jeff Bailey came up with two in scoring position and plated two on a double down the third base line. Moss followed with his team-leading thirteenth homer to straightaway center field to put the PawSox in front, 6-5.
The PawSox lead was short-lived as the Bats followed Pawtucket's four-run inning with a four-spot of their own. Mike Edwards followed Jeff Bannon's third hit of the game with a bloop single to right, putting runners on the corners with one out. Chris Dickerson lined a shot to center, driving home Bannon and ending lefty Jon Lester's night.
Bryan Corey came on for the PawSox and forced a groundball to second, but Ed Rogers couldn't handle it, loading the bases with one out. Ryan Freel, in his second game of a rehab assignment, lined a double to right center to push the Bats back in front, 8-6. Ryan Jorgensen scored on a groundout by Pedro Lopez, giving the Bats a three-run advantage after five.
Lester allowed eight runs, all earned, on nine hits in four and a third innings, falling to 1-4.
In the sixth, Bobby Scales came to the plate already 3-for-3 on the game, with runners on first and third. The switch-hitting slugger lifted a fly ball to center, scoring Prieto from third to cut the Bats lead to 9-7.
The Bats answered right back in the sixth, as Mike Edwards drove home Mark Bellhorn from second with a single to make it 10-7. Bellhorn reached on a walk.
The PawSox put one on in the seventh, but Jared Burton fanned Kevin Cash to end the inning. Bannon drove home two more in the seventh with a bases loaded single, giving him six RBI's on the night. That tied a career-high for the Bats right-fielder, last achieved May 28, 2004, and he also tied a career-high with four hits.
Pawtucket threatened in the eighth, loading the bases with two outs for Moss, but the right fielder grounded out to first to end the inning.
The PawSox put one in the ninth before Bats righty Julio Manon closed out the Louisville win on a pop up to second.
Johnson said despite the loss, he was proud of the way his team battled. "We got down by a few early, but we fought back to pull ahead," he said. "Then they jumped back in front and we battled back, but it just wasn't enough. We knew this was going to be a tough road trip with Indy and Louisville and we will just try and go home and get better."
Jason Kershner earned the win for Louisville, working two-thirds of an inning in the fifth and improving to 5-3 on the year.
Scales led Pawtucket offensively, going 4-for-4 with three doubles, two runs and an RBI. Shortstop Alex Prieto went 2-4 with two runs and Jacoby Ellsbury, Joe McEwing and Rogers all had two hits.
The Bats drew first blood in the bottom half of the first. With one out, Pedro Lopez lined a double into the right-center field gap. Lester sandwiched a strikeout between two walks to load the bases with two outs. Bannon followed with a bases clearing double over the left fielder's head to give the Bats an early 3-0 lead.
Lester continued to battle control problems in the second, walking Bats center fielder Chris Dickerson on four pitches to start the inning and going 3-0 on the next batter before inducing a pop out. A two-out walk put two on base, but Lester retired Jesse Gutierrez on a pop out to escape the inning unscathed.
The PawSox first run came in the third; beginning when PawSox shortstop Alex Prieto hit a high drive to left field that nearly left the yard. The blast ricocheted off the top of the padding and the base of a foot and a half high auxiliary wall, allowing Prieto to come into third base with a stand up triple. The shortstop scored on Ellsbury's groundout. The Bats struck back quickly.
Three straight hits, the last by Jeff Bannon, drove home a run, giving Bannon his fourth RBI of the game. A fielder's choice groundout by Mike Edwards extended the Bats lead to 5-1. PawSox right fielder Brandon Moss made a diving catch in right to help Lester get out of the inning with no further damage.
--Garrett E. Wishall (Special to the Journal)
Posted by Corey Bourassa at 10:47 PM to PawSox
Here are the starting lineups for tonight's game:
Jeff Weaver, p
Posted by Corey Bourassa at 7:00 PM | Permalink
Sox Streakers for June 25
-J.D. Drew, 11 for 31 (.355) with two home runs and two walks over his last eight games.
-Jason Varitek, four-game hitting streak, during which he is 6 for 13 (.462) with a home run and four walks.
-Julian Tavarez, 4-0 with a 3.65 E.R.A. over his last seven starts.
-For Seattle: Ichiro Suzuki, 19-game hitting streak, during which he has gone 37 for 79 (.468) with a home run and seven walks.
-Julio Lugo is 0 for his last 26. He is batting .095 in June and .193 on the season.
-For Seattle: Adrian Beltre is batting .159 (7 for 44) in June, with no home runs and only one walk.
Red Sox vs. Jeff Weaver
-Jason Varitek, 8 for 19 (.421), 2 HR
-Eric Hinske, 10 for 25 (.400), 1 HR
-Coco Crisp, 2 for 5 (.400)
-Kevin Youkilis, 2 for 5 (.400)
-Julio Lugo, 4 for 12 (.333)
-Manny Ramirez, 7 for 23 (.304), 3 HR
-David Ortiz, 7 for 23 (.304), 2 HR
-Mike Lowell, 3 for 10 (.300), 1 HR
-J.D. Drew, 3 for 12 (.250), 2 HR
-Dustin Pedroia, 0 for 1
-Wily Mo Pena, 0 for 3
-Weaver is 3-5 with a 6.75 E.R.A. lifetime against Boston.
Mariners vs. Julian Tavarez
-Yuniesky Betancourt, 1 for 1
-Jose Vidro, 7 for 18 (.389), 1 HR
-Adrian Beltre, 5 for 18 (.278), 1 HR
-Ben Broussard, 1 for 5 (.200)
-Richie Sexson, 3 for 16 (.188)
-Jose Guillen, 1 for 10 (.100), 1 HR
-Raul Ibanez, 0 for 1
-Jose Lopez, 0 for 1
-Willie Bloomquist, 0 for 2
-Kenji Johjima, 0 for 2
-Ichiro Suzuki, 0 for 2
-Tavarez is 2-0 with a 1.98 E.R.A. lifetime against Seattle.
-Tavarez looks to win three straight starts for the first time since 1991, when he was with the Cubs. This is his first start against Seattle.
-Weaver pitched a four-hit shutout on Wednesday against Pittsburgh, in his last appearance. He was 1-0 with a 1.89 E.R.A. in three interleague starts, but he is 0-6 with a 14.32 E.R.A. against the American League.
-The Red Sox have lost five in a row at Seattle's Safeco Field.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:48 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Today's Manny file: An inspirational call to Colon
AP photo / Larry Ignelzi
Manny Ramirez goes into a slide on Saturday night to take a hit away from San Diego's Jose Cruz Jr.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Manny Ramirez placed a call early Sunday to struggling Angels starter Bartolo Colon, apparently to offer Colon some encouragement as he prepared to make a start Sunday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Colon did not get a decision in the game, which the Angels won, 4-3, in extra innings, but he did pitch six effective innings, and left with his team ahead.
Yesterday, he was thanking Manny. "Around 8 in the morning, Manny Ramirez called me and we had like a 15-minute talk," Colon said, according to the Times. "He's such a confident hitter that I think he rubbed some of that on me today. Confidence is a big part, but I'm very thankful to Manny Ramirez for calling me early this morning to just remind me who Bartolo Colon is."
Last week on projo SoxTalk, Sean McAdam remarked that Manny Ramirez has a flair for the spectacular play, while also being a threat to botch routine plays from time to time. On Saturday night, he showed us a touch of the spectacular, making a sliding catch to take a hit away from Jose Cruz Jr. Just one thing about that: Ramirez always makes me nervous with those hard-landing, feet first slides in the outfield. They just seem to be an injury waiting to happen. Great effort, nonetheless.
Our friends at FanHouse list Ramirez as Boston's number-three top athlete, behind Tom Brady and David Ortiz but ahead of Curt Schilling and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Dave Sheinin had an article in Sunday's Washington Post about one of baseball's toughest single-season records: Hack Wilson's 191 RBI in a season, a mark that Wilson reached in 1930 with the Chicago Cubs. Sheinin mentions something that I did not realize: Manny Ramirez came closer than anyone else in the last half-century to tying the record. Ramirez drove in 165 with the Indians in 1999. Still, that is a long ways off.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 1:39 PM to Projo Mannybeingmanny
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Buehrle looks like a longshot
Sean McAdam joins us from Seattle on today's edition of projo SoxTalk. Click here to listen to the audio file. He discusses Josh Beckett's latest gem, and addresses the question: Is this the best pitcher in the big leagues right now? Sean also discusses Daisuke Matsuzaka's resurgence, the Mark Buehrle trade rumors and the career of Rod Beck.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments:
On Beckett: "This guy has been just incredible. He had that one bad start at home against Colorado. He has yet to lose on the road and he has been the very picture of consistency. So I don't know that anyone's pitching better, let's put it that way."
On Buehrle: "Obviously what the Red Sox think is [a fair trade price], because they're only renting him, probably doesn't coincide with the same viewpoint on the part of the White Sox. They're holding a 28-year-old lefty at a time when pitching is very much at a premium, and there are going to be teams involved -- probably like the Mets and some others -- that won't mind paying that price, because they're at a juncture where it's more important for them to obtain someone like Buehrle. I think the Red Sox look at him as ... someone they'd like to add, not someone they have to add, and that's going to be the difficult thing about matching up compensation-wise. Certainly they would not trade Buccholz -- Clay Buccholz -- or Jacoby Ellsbury. Whether they might be convinced to part with [Michael] Bowden in some package, that remains to be seen. I frankly would see this as a real longshot because of all the factors involved. I think a team is going to be leveraged into overpaying. I don't think that team is going to be the Red Sox."
On Beck: "A lot of players yesterday that we spoke to talked about, he was kind of a throwback, a guy who would stay late after a game in the clubhouse, talk about the game, rehash the game, go over some key points, kind of swap stories, and part of that element I think is what is fading away a little bit in Major League Baseball, and that's kind of sad. But Beck was just a fan, a student of the game. He couldn't talk enough about it. He really enjoyed the comraderie that came with being in the clubhouse, the closeness that you have with with teammates. And as much success as he had on the field -- this was a guy who I think two or three times led the National League in saves -- I think his lasting imprint will be the kind of person and he was, the kind of teammate he was, and kind of a fun guy to be around."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:39 AM | Permalink
Baseball Today: Monday, June 25
AS GOOD AS IT GETS: The weather in San Diego yesterday -- 72 degrees, sunny, no humidity -- fits that description. So did the pitching matchup, which pitted, arguably, the best pitcher in the National League (Jake Peavy) against the best in the American League (Josh Beckett). And, from the Red Sox' point of view, that also describes the result, as the Sox methodically disposed of Peavy, driving up his pitch count and forcing him out of the game after five innings, while Beckett (AP Photo, above) pitched an eight-inning gem, leading to a 4-2 win over the Padres that closed out interleague play. (projo.com) Shutting down the San Diego offense isn't the biggest task there is -- Daisuke Matsuzaka did it Friday night, though Tim Wakefield wasn't quite up to the job Saturday -- but Beckett was particularly sharp yesterday as he raised his record to 11-1 and now leads the American League in wins and is eighth in earned-run average (3.07). Beckett is 42-20 since the beginning of the 2005 season (27-12 in Boston) and may be, as the Globe's Dan Shaughnessy says, the real ace of the Red Sox staff.
THE REST OF THE STORY: More impressive than Beckett's stifling of the Padres' popgun attack was the way the Sox offense -- which has sparked legitimate concerns about its ability to generate runs against quality pitching -- went after Peavy. Peavy called it ''one of those days'' after the loss, which dropped him to 9-2, but also gave props to the Boston hitters. (Riverside Press-Enterprise) ''I feel like I made quality pitches,'' said Peavy, who lasted just five innings in his shortest stint of the season and left trailing 3-2. "I just didn't have anything to show for it.''
AND A NEW STORY: The Chicago Sun-Times reported Sunday that the Red Sox have emerged as the front-runners in the race to acquire White Sox left-hander Mark Buerhle. The Sun-Times went a little deeper this morning, saying that Chicago GM Ken Williams wouldn't deny the Red Sox' interest but adding that all the teams in the Buehrle chase -- the Mets and the Braves are also thought to be involved -- are becoming ''very aggressive''. In the second item of his notebook, Sean McAdam notes two things: 1. The Sox are unlikely to sign Buehrle to a long-term extension if they trade for him, but will instead let him hit free agency and take the compensatory draft picks, and 2. Clay Buccholz and Jacoby Ellsbury, whose names were mentioned in the Sun-Times story as trade bait for Buehrle, ''are strictly off-limits.'' The Herald's Tony Massarotti says a Buehrle-to-Boston deal isn't close, and may not happen, but it ''underscores how well-positioned the Sox are at this very moment . . . [With] a host of attractive prospects to develop or deal, [Sox GM Theo] Epstein is now in a spot to make an array of trades, big and small.''
DO SOMETHING RESEMBLING ANYTHING: It seems obvious Buehrle is headed somewhere, as Williams is disgusted with his team, which has lost 22 of its last 27 games. The Yankees are among those who have been sniffing around the carcass. (Both stories Chicago Tribune)
BATTLE OF THE PENS: The weekend Sox-Padres series featured two of baseball's best bullpens (projo.com), though the Sox were able to do a little damage against San Diego's yesterday when Jason Varitek provided a huge insurance run with a homer against Scott Linebrink in the eighth inning. (Boston Herald)
GOOD RIDDANCE: The Padres are happy interleague play is over. (signonsandiego.com) Even though the Sox went 12-6 against N.L. teams this year, so are we.
WEEKEND IN SAN DIEGO: That's about all David Murphy's going to get with the Red Sox -- that and a game tonight in Seattle -- before he's sent back to Pawtucket, and it sounds like he's resigned himself to the fact that his future in major league baseball will probably be somewhere other than Boston. (projo.com) Kason Gabbard, as you all know by now, will replace Murphy on the roster and start tomorrow night against the Mariners.
R.I.P. ROD BECK: Current Red Sox players who were here when he played for Boston from 1999-2001 were stunned by the sudden death of Rod Beck (projo.com). So were many of his ex-Cub teammates. (Chicago Sun-Times)
BACK ON TOP: The Red Sox have regained the No. 1 spot in ESPN.com's Power Rankings. FoxSports' are due later today.
NINETEEN SEVENTY-WHAT? The 1978 chortles have died down considerably after the Yankees completed a horrific, five-losses-in-six-games swing through Colorado and San Francisco with a 7-2 drubbing at the hands of the Giants yesterday. (New York Daily News) They're now back under .500 (35-36), in third place in the A.L. East (11 1/2 games out) and the New York Post's George King wonders ''What will a dark October feel like?'' The Yanks haven't had one in a long time; the last time they missed the playoffs in a non-strike season was 1993. There's still a lot of time left but there's also a lot of ground to make up, not only in the division race but also in the wild-card hunt (where they trail by 6 1/2, and five teams are ahead of them).
IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS: Say what you will about Roger Clemens, but when the team needs him, he's there. (New York Post) Not that it did much good, but . . .
NOT AGAIN: Almost as tiresome -- I take that back; make that more tiresome -- as the Clemens-working-his-way-back-to-New York stories became in May are the daily Will-he-go-on-the-DL-or-won't-he? dances surrounding Johnny Damon. (New York Daily News) Excuse me, Mr. Torre, I'll make this real easy for you: He's hurting. He's never going to heal completely unless he shuts it down for a time. He doesn't want to. You're going to have to force him. If you don't, he'll hobble around at half-effectiveness for the rest of the year. So put him on the disabled list, for God's sake!
You're welcome. I'm sorry this was so difficult for you.
WE'RE IN AGREEMENT: Peter Abraham says the same thing on the LoHud Yankees Blog -- honest, I wrote the above blurb before I read Abraham -- saying this whole situation ''passed tiresome a week ago and is now tedious.'' Abraham has other suggestions for the Yanks, one of which is to convince Joe Torre to retire.
NO, DON'T! Seth Mnookin wouldn't like that, because he's convinced Torre is ''a secret agent for the Red Sox'', based on his (mis)management of the Yankees. (sethmnookin.com)
GIANT CRUSH: Sounds like the Giants were batting their eyes at free-agent-to-be (maybe) Alex Rodriguez over the weekend. (New York Daily News)
EVER VIGILANT: Marvin Miller thinks the Players Association should be fighting all attempts to investigate the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. (New York Daily News) To wit: ''Miller says he recognizes the public pressure on the players and the union, but he says the union's job is to stand for its principles regardless of the public mood. 'I'm not going to minimize the fact that some of this might be coming from the players themselves,' he says. 'There is this undertone which reaches the public once in a while of players who say, ''Look, I don't use steroids and amphetamines and don't want to be labeled as such. Let's do what we can to be rid of this, to hell with civil liberties.'' I would say there's insufficient recognition on the part of today's players of how destructive this can all be.' ''
I WANNA GO HOME: Ken Griffey Jr. would like to retire as a Mariner. (Cincinnati Post)
BREAKDOWN OF A BREAKDOWN: Joe Posnanski examines why the Milton Bradley-to-the-Royals deal fell through. (Kansas City Star)
NOT QUITE NUMBER THREE: Dustin McGowan just missed pitching baseball's third no-hitter this year (Toronto Sun)
MEDICAL REPORT: It looks like the White Sox' Jermaine Dye is headed for the disabled list (Chicago Tribune) . . . The Twins' Justin Morneau remains hospitalized because of a bruised right lung (Minneapolis Star-Tribune).
WHISPERS: The Pirates allegedly have inquired about young Braves catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) . . . The Yankees have their eyes on first baseman Mark Teixeira and relievers Eric Gagne and Akinori Otsuka from the Rangers (Newsday).
AND FINALLY . . . : A Florida woman says she was scammed out of $1 million by a man she was dating, whom she thought was Pedro Martinez. (New York Daily News) A question to this woman: Through 2006, Pedro Martinez had earned $120,444,000 since becoming a major-leaguer. Why would he need money from you??
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 7:03 AM | Permalink