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August 1, 2007
Sox Game Story: Sox come from behind, win 5-4
BOSTON - The offensive peaks and valleys that all teams inevitably go through over the course of a season remains one of the big mysteries of the game of baseball, says Red Sox skipper Terry Francona.
``Sometimes you have to be more patient than you want to be,’’ he was saying prior to last night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. ``It’s just the way the game is. You just can’t figure that out all the way - how guys can get hot, how they don’t. It’s just why the game’s so amazing. Just little things affect a lot of different things. It’s amazing. Then when you do it right and it clicks, it’s fun to watch.’’
It took the Sox seven innings last night, but they finally ``clicked’’ for four runs in that frame, staging a 5-4 come-from-behind win over the Orioles at Fenway Park.
Filling in for Kason Gabbard, who was slated to start last night before being sent to Texas as part of Tuesday’s four-player trade, Julian Tavarez went five innings, giving up three runs – all of them earned – on seven hits.
The Orioles took the lead against the right-hander, who had been moved to the bullpen on July 22 upon Jon Lester’s return, with a two-out solo blast by Nick Markakis in the first inning.
A two-out RBI double high off the left field wall by Chris Gomez drove in Jay Gibbons in the second. Gomez then scored on Brian Roberts’ line-drive double to left to make it 3-0.
Boston got one run back in the third. After reaching on a lead-off walk, Coco Crisp advanced to third when Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada committed a throwing error on Julio Lugo’s infield hit. Crisp then scored on a sac fly to left by Dustin Pedroia.
Boston had its share of opportunities to push more runs across early on but couldn’t convert on any of them.
Hitless in his first seven plate appearances of this series, Manny Ramirez hit into an inning-ending double play with Dustin Pedroia on third base in the first.
Wily Mo Pena twice failed to come through with runners on first and second in the fourth and sixth innings, hitting inning-ending grounders to short both times.
But Boston would atone for those missed chances with its four-run rally in the seventh.
Julio Lugo started things off by drawing a walk, which Pedroia followed with a liner to center field.
David Ortiz then drilled an offering by lefty reliever John Parrish off the scoreboard for a double that scored Lugo.
Baltimore intentionally walked Manny Ramirez to load the bases, then brought in right-hander Chad Bradford to face Kevin Youkilis.
Battling through a seven-pitch at-bat, Youkilis doubled to center, driving home Pedroia and Ortiz to give the Sox their first lead.
After Gomez made a sharp diving play on a shot down the third base line by Mike Lowell, Jason Varitez delivered a run-scoring single up the middle to make it 5-3.
Hideki Okajima surrendered a solo blast over the green monster to Tejada in the eighth.
But Jonathan Papelbon made sure that’s as close as Baltimore would get, retiring the side in the ninth to record his 24th save.
Posted by Thom Cahir at 11:16 PM | Permalink
Buchholz fans nine, PawSox win 3-2 in 10 innings
PAWTUCKET — Everyone handles pressure differently.
Some people fold under it, while others thrive.
PawSox pitcher Clay Buchholz feels a lot of pressure every time he takes the mound, but he doesn’t let it get to him. He uses that adrenaline to throw the ball harder.
He knows that expectations are high for him and he’s OK with that.
The promising right-hander with a 97-mph fastball, wicked curveball, sensational slider and a changeup, had another strong outing last night.
There were 10,199 fans on hand to see Buchholz strike out nine batters in 6 1/3 innings. He scattered five hits with no walks while allowing two runs but he didn’t factor in the decision. The score was tied 2-2 when he left.
In the end, Buffalo snapped Pawtucket’s two-game winning streak in the 10th inning when Jason Cooper belted a two-out double down the left-field line.
Pawtucket left-fielder Bobby Scales misplayed the ball and Mike Rose scored all the way from first base on the error to lift Buffalo to a 3-2 victory.
Buffalo closer Mike Koplove closed the door on the PawSox in the bottom of the 10th.
The game was a pitchers’ duel between Buchholz and Buffalo starter Jeremy Sowers, the Bisons’ 2006 Most Valuable Pitcher. Sowers only allowed four hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings.
It was a stellar outing for Buchholz compared to his last start when he walked four batters in four innings against Toledo.
Surprisingly, Buchholz only used his fastball once to get the third strike last night. None of his other strikeouts came on a pitch that was thrown harder than 86-mph.
Buchholz struck out the first two batters he faced, and five of the first seven Bisons.
Asdrubal Cabrera led off the top of the fourth with a single hit up the middle for Buffalo’s second hit of the game. He advanced to second base on a Buchholz balk and that came back to bite Buchholz. After he struck out Ben Francisco, Ryan Mulhern hit a hard ground ball towards the gap between third and shortstop.
Pawtucket third baseman Ed Rogers dived for the ball, but it got by him. Cabrera rounded third base and beat the throw home to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead.
On a 3-2 Buchholz pitch with two outs in the top of the fifth inning, Jason Cooper lined a solo home run over the fence in left field to extend Buffalo’s lead to 2-0.
The PawSox evened the score in the bottom of the sixth frame.
After Ed Rogers hit a leadoff single, Scales (2-for-4, 2 doubles, run scored) doubled to put runners on second and third base. Jed Lowrie hit an RBI sacrifice fly to deep center field, scoring Rogers. Scales tagged up and sprinted to third base on the play.
Scales scored on a Brandon Moss grounder to third base with two outs. Buffalo third baseman Andy Marte misplayed the ball, resulting in an error.
Posted by Chris Venditto at 11:15 PM to PawSox
Sox rally to 5-4 victory over Orioles
A four-run rally in the seventh gave Boston a 5-4 come-from-behind win over the Baltimore Orioles tonight at Fenway.
Kevin Youkilis smacked a bases-loaded two-run double to center in that rally to give the Sox their first lead. And it was one they would not relinquish, as Jonathan Pabelbon recorded his 24th save.
Posted by Carolyn Thornton at 10:30 PM to Thornton
Sox to honor Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr tomorrow
Red Sox legend and Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr will be honored in a pre-game ceremony tomorrow, 60 years to the day from the first Bobby Doerr Day at Fenway in 1947.
Posted by Carolyn Thornton at 9:16 PM to Thornton
Garnett throws out first pitch
Newest Celtic Kevin Garnett threw out the ceremonial first pitch to David Ortiz, pumped his fist then gave the Sox slugger a big hug.
Wrapping his long arms around Ortiz, the 6-foot-11, 253-pound Garnett almost made Boston's 6-4, 230-pound designated hitter look diminutive. Almost.
Posted by Carolyn Thornton at 7:03 PM to Thornton
Schilling's rehab over; will start for Sox Sunday in Seattle
After another successful rehab stint with Pawtucket Tuesday night in Columbus, Ohio, Curt Schilling will return to the Red Sox and start on the mound Sunday in Seattle, says Sox skipper Terry Francona.
``I thought he and the medical staff and John (Farrell) did great,'' Francona said of the 40-year-old right-hander, who has been on the disabled list since June 22 (retroactive to June 19) because of tendinitis in his right shoulder. ``He came through this . . . . he threw seven innings (Tuesday) night (of) four-hit ball. He pitched, he pitched again, pitched again, and the ball keeps coming out of his hand like we wanted it to. It’s been very successful. We’ll be thrilled to have him back.’’
Posted by Carolyn Thornton at 6:14 PM to Thornton
Gagne: Coming to Boston ``one of the easiest decisions I've ever made"
Arriving in Boston at about 2 o'clock this afternoon, Eric Gagne met with the media a short time ago. A few excerpts from that press conference:
Calling the Red Sox ``the best organization in baseball’’ and Boston ``the best sports city in America,’’ he said he jumped at the chance to come here.
``It’s an honor. I’ve got to get used to that red. I’ve never worn red before. So I’m pretty excited. Everybody knows what Boston means, and being a Red Sox is a great honor. I’m just excited to be here and win a World Series.''
Gagne says he received more phone calls following the trade announcement than he did after being named the 2003 National League Cy Young Award winner.
``There are so many fans in Montreal and Canada, especially with the Expos gone, and everybody in Montreal pretty much are Boston fans.''
(Gagne admits he was an Expos fan growing up, but that Boston was his second choice once the Montreal team folded.)
Although Boston was among the teams included in his no-trade clause, Gagne says that was primarily because he prefers to be a closer and he knew that Boston already had one in Jonathan Pabelbon. And he insisted yesterday that agreeing to go to Boston was ``one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made.’’
``I want to be a closer. I’ve always wanted to be a closer. I think I see myself as a closer. But I have a chance to have 15 more saves and win a World Series. That was a pretty easy choice, so I’m really glad to be here.’’
Gagne says he has already spoken to Mike Timlin and plans to pick up some tips from him to help him adjust to his new role as a set-up guy: ``It’s going to be a good challenge. I’m just here to help the team win the World Series. Basically that’s what it comes down to. I want to win, and it’s not every day you have a chance to come on a team like that.''
Sidelined for the better part of the last two seasons by various elbow and back injuries, Gagne was asked how he's been feeling this season: ``It was probably a month and a half ago where I went back-to-back days, had a day off and went back-to-back again. That’s really when I felt like my arm was bouncing back, and my back was feeling good. I felt great all year, but it just got better and better every week. It’s good to be out on the field and be able to compete and not worry about your body, not worry about anything else but make pitches and get people out.’’
Posted by Carolyn Thornton at 5:40 PM to Thornton
A few notes from Francona's pre-game chat
A few notes from Sox manager Terry Francona’s pre-game meeting with the media:
* On the acquisition of reliever Eric Gagne: ``Any time you feel like you got deeper, especially pitching, it is exciting. . . . (Having Gagne) it gives us another arm late in the game where we don’t wear people out hopefully.
* Francona planned to meet with Gagne and pitching coach John Farrell following tonight's batting practice: ``I know that for him, his program is very regimented and is very important to him, like (Jonathan Papelbon) so there’s going to be learning on our part and there’s going to be some give and take so we where we can try to make it as close to perfect as possible. Sometimes the game doesn’t get played out perfect, so we’ll make sure the communication is outstanding and we’ll make it work.’’
* Although he would not elaborate out of respect for the family, Francona said that J.D. Drew’s 17-month-old son Jack underwent ``some pretty extensive surgery’’ last night and does not expect Drew to be available for tonight’s game.
* Mike Timlin, who hasn't pitched since last Monday because of soreness in his right shoulder, is available to throw tonight, although Francona says he would prefer to wait until tomorrow to use him.
* Francona, who has become an ardent Celtics fan, says he is almost as excited about the Celts’ acquisition of Kevin Garnett as he is about the Sox grabbing Gagne: ``Gagne is first, but not by a lot. This is a big deal. I am really excited about this. My kids love (the Celtics). I love it. I like to watch (Celtics television commentator) Tommy Heinsohn. He cracks me up.’’
Posted by Carolyn Thornton at 5:36 PM to Thornton
Starting lineups, Aug. 1
Starting pitcher: Tavarez
R. Hernandez, c
Starting pitcher: Trachsel
-- Carolyn Thornton
Posted by Carolyn Thornton at 4:42 PM to Thornton
Sox Streakers for August 1
-David Ortiz is batting .333 since the All-Star break, with hits in 14 of his 15 games. But his .576 slugging percentage over that period remains below his average since joining the Red Sox.
-The Orioles are 12-5 since the All-Star break, the best record in the American League.
-For Baltimore: Relief pitcher Jamie Walker has a streak of 17 straight scoreless appearances.
-Julio Lugo is 8 for 51 (.195) over his last 10 games.
-For Baltimore: Steve Trachsel is 0-3 with a 10.62 E.R.A. in his last six starts.
Orioles vs. Julian Tavarez
-Nick Markakis, 3 for 7 (.429)
-Aubrey Huff, 5 for 12 (.417)
-Miguel Tejada, 4 for 11 (.364)
-Chris Gomez, 6 for 17 (.353)
-Brian Roberts, 2 for 6 (.333)
-Corey Patterson, 3 for 10 (.300)
-Ramon Hernandez, 2 for 11 (.182)
-Kevin Millar, 1 for 6 (.167), 1 HR
-Jay Payton, 1 for 8 (.125)
-Brandon Fahey, 0 for 1
-Paul Bako, 0 for 4
-Jay Gibbons, 0 for 6
-Tavarez is 2-3 with a 4.68 E.R.A. in 14 appearances, including three starts, against Baltimore.
Red Sox vs. Steve Trachsel
-David Ortiz, 2 for 3 (.667)
-Manny Ramirez, 4 for 9 (.444), 1 HR
-Julio Lugo, 2 for 5 (.400)
-Mike Lowell, 10 for 29 (.345), 1 HR
-J.D. Drew, 6 for 27 (.222), 1 HR
-Coco Crisp, 1 for 5 (.200)
-Alex Cora, 2 for 12 (.167)
-Eric Hinske, 0 for 2
-Dustin Pedroia, 0 for 2
-Kevin Youkilis, 0 for 2
-Jason Varitek, 0 for 4
-Trachsel is 1-0 with a 2.02 E.R.A. in two career starts against Boston.
-All-time series: Boston 459, Baltimore 396; at Fenway Park: Boston 232, Baltimore 194.
-Orioles manager Dave Tremblay is the seventh man in modern baseball history to manage a major-league team without any professional playing experience.
-The Orioles have the fewest errors in the major leagues (49), and are on pace to break a franchise record for fewest errors.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:57 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Today's Manny file: Not making his case
Manny Ramirez didn't make a good case for himself last night when it came to the question: Is Manny Ramirez a good fielding player? He contributed to an Orioles run in the sixth inning when he misjudged Ramon Hernandez's hit to the warning track, then missed the cutoff man on the throw back toward the infield, allowing Miguel Tejada to score without a throw.
Ramirez also was the man at the plate when Nick Markakis made his remarkable, diving-into-the crowd catch of a foul ball in the eighth inning. Ramirez's foul out came right after David Ortiz's homer into the bullpen off Rob Bell, which tied Ortiz and Ramirez for the club lead in home runs (18). Manny's 0-for-4 night brought his average back down under .300, to .299.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 2:52 PM to Projo Mannybeingmanny
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Evaluating the Gagne trade; more deals ahead?
Sean McAdam and Mike McDermott discuss the latest Red Sox news today on projo SoxTalk. Click here to listen to the full audio file. Today, the topics of conversation include the Eric Gagne trade and what it means going forward; the end of Brendan Donnelly's season; the team's remaining options for upgrading the offense and trading Wily Mo Pena; potential waiver deals around the league; Baltimore's winning strategy against Josh Beckett; and the Orioles' unusual move to stress the fundamentals.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments:
The Gagne trade: "I think they upgraded smartly and efficiently, and I think that Gagne helps in one of two ways. Number one, he gives them another viable closing option on nights when Papelbon is unable to take the ball in the ninth inning, and given that Papelbon has the shoulder that they have to be careful about in terms of workload, I think that's a nice backup plan for them. Secondly and most obviously, he gives them another setup option, along with Okajima, for the seventh and eighth innings. They used Okajima an awful lot through the first two-thirds of the season and as spectacular as he's been, I think there's a little bit of concern that they may be pushing it a little bit when it comes to his use."
On potential offensive options: "[Just-released Oakland outfielder Bobby] Kielty has had very good success against left-handed pitching, and that's something that would help them in any sort of platoon with J.D. Drew. Whether they can find a taker for Pena, I would imagine they could. ... it's more a matter of what expectations are, in terms of what they could get in return. I think someone would take a chance on him, and he'd surely get through waivers, but I wouldn't be expecting a big bundle of talent coming back this way if someone does take him."
Baltimore now takes infield practice. Why did this routine basically die out in the majors? "It's probably in the last 10 years you've seen it disappear. Teams just through time and effort had to sacrifice something in their day, and it seemed like infield was what got sacrificed. ... There are a lot of old-time baseball people that would like to see that come back, and see more of an emphasis on defense and fundamentals and paying attention to the little things, because they can add up."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:13 AM to McAdam
Baseball Today: Wednesday, August 1
Journal photo / Mary Murphy
FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS: The Red Sox pulled off the coup of the day yesterday, grabbing Eric Gagne (projo) from the Rangers for Kason Gabbard, a starter who was probably about to lose his spot in the rotation anyway; David Murphy, an outfielder who had fallen far down on the list of Boston prospects; and Engel Beltre, a player just starting out in the minors. What it did cost the Red Sox was money: about $4.75 million for two months of Gagne. Although Gagne could certainly close games when needed, the terms of his agreement with Boston make it clear that he is here as a setup man. Closer Jonathan Papelbon says he is glad to have him (Boston Globe). David Ortiz is excited about Gagne, too (projo); and he's also happy that the Celtics landed Kevin Garnett (Boston Herald).
STILL MORE GOOD NEWS: The Red Sox will also be reacquiring the services of Curt Schilling, and the big right-hander appears to be at the top of his game (projo). Schilling gave up just four hits in seven innings against the Columbus Clippers last night, throwing three strikes for every one ball. All told, Schilling threw 16 scoreless innings in his three Triple-A rehab starts. As of this posting, Schilling still has not weighed in on his Columbus outing on 38 Pitches. But here's what Donn Walden quoted Schilling as saying in this morning's projo, when asked about the big turnout of Red Sox fans in Ohio: "This is Red Sox Nation. That's no surprise. They are almost like ants. You always feel like you are at home." Ants. Touching.
NOW, THE BAD NEWS: Despite an outburst of power by David Ortiz (projo), who pulled two home runs, the Red Sox fizzled against Baltimore last night. The Orioles' dynamite starter, Erik Bedard, gave the Sox some openings with his wildness, but aside from Ortiz, the team could not get the big hit. The culprits were Wily Mo Pena, who couldn't put the ball in play with the bases loaded and one out, and Julio Lugo, who struck out looking (on a pitch that may have been a little low) to end the fourth inning and basically decide the game.
LOOKING FOR A NIGHT OUT? Clay Buchholz will be on the mound tonight when the PawSox return to McCoy Stadium to face the Buffalo Bisons.
DECISIVE DEAL? Joel Sherman in The New York Post says the Gagne trade means the Red Sox have made it lights-out in the A.L. East, particularly since the Yankees failed to improve their 'pen yesterday and, in fact, weakened it by dealing Scott Proctor. George Steinbrenner's son, Hal, gave GM Brian Cashman a public show of support yesterday (N.Y. Post).
BOMBERS UNLOAD: The Yanks battered White Sox pitching for eight home runs last night, but Alex Rodriguez was not one of the guys to hit one out. New York's 16-3 rout left the Yanks seven games behind the Red Sox; perhaps more importantly, they are just three behind Cleveland for the Wild Card. The Indians wasted another strong outing by Fausto Carmona, losing to the Texas Rangers (projo stats). Acting closer of the night C.J. Wilson pitched 1 and two-thirds perfect innings for the save.
A-ROD CRITICISM: Kind of incredibly, Filip Bondy writes in the Daily News that A-Rod's failure to homer last night shows the same old inability to come through with the pressure on. Of course, if he did hit a home run, people would probably criticize him for only hitting them in blowout situations. You can't escape this, though: A-Rod is 0 for 17 since hitting number 499 in Kansas City.
NOT A HAPPY GUY: Kyle Farnsworth is staying (N.Y. Post), something the Bronx fans aren't happy about. He was booed by the crowd at The Stadium last night when he entered the game with his team ahead, 14-3. Approached by a Post reporter before the game, and after it had become apparent that the Yanks had failed in their attempt to trade him, the hard-throwing and volatile reliever said, "Don't even come over here."
THRILLED EITHER WAY: Unlike Farnsworth, Proctor chose the high road yesterday, after he was traded by the Yankees to the Dodgers. Proctor said he loved pitching in New York (N.Y. Daily News) but was looking forward to participating in an N.L. pennant race.
YOUNGSTER RETURNS: Phil Hughes will return to the mound at Yankee Stadium on Saturday (N.Y. Daily News), when he gets the start against Kansas City.
ANOTHER SATURDAY STARTER: The Cardinals have pencilled in Joel Pineiro as their starter Saturday (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), when they face the Washington Nationals.
LET ME STAY: Now that it's clear he won't be traded, Jermaine Dye would like to work out a deal to stay with the White Sox (Chicago Sun-Times). The sticking point appears to be the number of years involved in a new contract.
HAPPY DAYS: As you would expect, the folks in the Atlanta Braves clubhouse were fired up (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) about getting Mark Teixeira and Octavio Dotel to aid in their pursuit of the Mets.
WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT? In a deal you may have missed, the non-contending Pirates yesterday got pitcher Matt Morris from the Giants, thus adding the highest-paid player in Pittsburgh franchise history (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). The Pirates are apparently still working on a potential waiver deal that would send shortstop Jack Wilson to Detroit.
OR THAT? A pending assault charge involving his wife did not stop the Phillies from trading for relief pitcher Julio Mateo. The Phillies, who, don't forget, also employ Brett Myers as their closer, are sending Mateo for now to Double-A Reading instead of Triple-A Ottawa, because Mateo is not able to enter Canada on account of his legal troubles. Mateo (formerly with Seattle) is accused of punching, biting and choking his wife in a New York hotel, but he has insisted he is innocent.
SANTANA'S DISMAYED: Johan Santana, who is signed through 2008, was not amused by the Twins trade of Luis Castillo. Here's what he said: "Why waste time when you're talking about something that's always going to be like that? It's never going to be beyond this point. It doesn't make any sense for me to be here, you know?" (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
BECK'S WIFE SPEAKS: The police in Arizona found large quantities of cocaine at the home of Rod Beck, the former Red Sox reliever found dead in June. And Beck's wife, Stacey, says she knows it is drugs that killed him: "Rodney had a disease of addiction, which is a brain disease, and it stole him away from the people he had," she told the Arizona Republic. Stacey Beck, who had filed for divorce but remained close to the former pitcher, also talks in the article about the charity work he did for AIDS-related causes, something he was motivated to do after seeing a film about child AIDS victim Ryan White.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 8:01 AM to Projo Sox Crawl