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August 3, 2007
Sox Streakers for August 3
-Dustin Pedroia is 23 for 61 (.377) over his last 14 games. He leads all American League rookies in batting average (.322) and his .397 on-base percentage is second only to Anaheim rookie Reggie Willits'.
-Jason Varitek is 7 for 17 (.412) in his last five games.
-For Seattle: Ichiro Suzuki has stolen 108 bases in 120 attempts since 2005. That 90-percent success rate is the highest over a three-year period for any player with at least 100 attempts since 1951.
-The Red Sox have lost eight consecutive games at Safeco Field, and nine of their last 11 against the Mariners.
-Kevin Youkilis is 14 for 75 (.187) in his last 22 games.
-For Seattle: Richie Sexson is 1 for his last 17.
Red Sox vs. Horacio Ramirez
-David Ortiz, 2 for 3 (.667)
-Mike Lowell, 9 for 18 (.500), 1 HR
-Kevin Youkilis, 1 for 2 (.500)
-Wily Mo Pena, 4 for 9 (.444), 1 HR
-Manny Ramirez, 1 for 3 (.333), 1 HR
-Jason Varitek, 1 for 3 (.333)
-J.D. Drew, 1 for 4 (.250)
-Julio Lugo, 1 for 6 (.167)
-Dustin Pedroia, 0 for 1
-Coco Crisp, 0 for 2
-Ramirez has made one career start against Boston, in May. He gave up seven earned runs in four innings (a 15.75 E.R.A.), but did not get a decision.
Mariners vs. Jon Lester
-Raul Ibanez, 2 for 3 (.667)
-Willie Bloomquist, 1 for 2 (.500)
-Kenji Johjima, 1 for 2 (.500)
-Adam Jones, 1 for 2 (.500)
-Adrian Beltre, 1 for 3 (.333)
-Ichiro Suzuki, 1 for 3 (.333)
-Yuniesky Betancourt, 0 for 2
-Jose Guillen, 0 for 2
-Richie Sexson, 0 for 3
-Jose Vidro, 0 for 3
-Lester has made one career start against Seattle, last July. He gave up five earned runs in five innings pitched, but did not get a decision.
-All-time series: Boston 193, Seattle 143. At Safeco Field: Seattle 25, Boston 15.
-The Red Sox' road winning percentage (.577) is second only to the Detroit Tigers' among all major league teams.
-Manny Ramirez needs seven RBI to tie Jimmie Foxx for sixth on the all-time franchise list, with 788. Ramirez is tied with Frank Thomas for the most home runs against Seattle of any active player (36).
-Seattle starter Horacio Ramirez has a 2.63 E.R.A. at home, and a 13.72 E.R.A. on the road.
-Jon Lester allows opposing batters to hit .326 in the first two innings of games. His career E.R.A. in the first two innings is 6.35.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 8:02 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Dustin Pedroia 2b
Kevin Youkilis 1b
David Ortiz dh
Manny Ramirez lf
Mike Lowell 3b
Jason Varitek c
Wily Mo Pena rf
Coco Crisp cf
Julio Lugo ss
Jon Lester p
Jose Vidro dh
Jose Guillen rf
Adrian Beltre 3b
Richie Sexson 1b
Kenji Johjima c
Adam Jones lf
Jose Lopez 2b
Yuniesky Betancourt ss
Horacio Ramirez p
Posted by Corey Bourassa at 6:56 PM | Permalink
Today's Manny file: Better than Jay
We asked you awhile ago if Manny Ramirez was a good fielding player. If the question was, Is Manny a better fielding player than Jay Payton? then the answer, at least yesterday, was yes. Payton must have had a little heartburn when he misplayed David Ortiz's third-inning fly ball into a double, but when Ramirez scorched a ball that Payton didn't seem to even begin to know what to do with, it must have really stung. Ramirez's hit scored a run. Then there was the next batter, Mike Lowell, lofting a ball to left field, high into the Fenway sky. Payton staggered before collecting the ball and avoiding any more embarrassment.
Ramirez passed Rogers Hornsby and Harmon Killebrew for 32nd place on the all-time RBI list yesterday with his 1,585th. Next up is Andre Dawson.
It was a two-hit effort for Ramirez, who broke an 0-for-9 skid at the plate.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 2:26 PM to Projo Mannybeingmanny
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Strange day at the ballpark; a tough trip ahead (updated with excerpts)
Sean McAdam joins us from Seattle for today's edition of projo SoxTalk. Click here to listen to the full audio file. Today's topics of conversation: Doug Mirabelli; Roger Clemens; the Red Sox' troubles at Safeco Field; Jon Lester; and the week ahead, which looks to be the toughest stretch left for Boston.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments:
Mirabelli's base-running misadventure: "when [someone hits] the ball to the warning track in right field in fenway, which is about 380 feet, you would think that you could quite literally jog home [from third], and to see him get thrown out from that far -- I know David Ortiz didn't think it was funny -- but it was kind of comical."
Do the Yankees regret the Clemens contract? "I guess that's a question that gets answered best at the end of the year, when you find out: Did they make it back to the wild card or get back to the playoffs, which seems like it's still a longshot at this point. ... I guess maybe the more pertinent question is: Is Roger Clemens unhappy he signed there, money aside? You know, would he have been better coming here and taking the money from the Red Sox, which wasn't as big, but even at the time it seemed clear that the Red Sox were headed for a better season than the Yankees. And now Clemens faces the possibility of for the second year choosing the wrong team and missing the playoffs."
A time of judgment for the Red Sox: "I don't think, other than that three-game series at the end of August [against New York], that the Red Sox play a winning team on the road the rest of the way after they leave Anaheim. ... Literally, a week from now they'll have three road games with a team with a winning record the rest of the way. But given how they've struggled here [in Seattle] and the fact that the Angels are certainly one of the two or three best teams in the league, the next six days are pretty demanding. If they could get through, you know, maybe .500, maybe somehow put together a stretch where they go 4-2 in these six games and don't let the Yankees get any closer, then they'll have survived their toughest stretch of the season."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 1:43 PM | Permalink
Baseball Today: Friday, August 3
Journal photo / Kris Craig
Alex Cora, safe at home
EVERYBODY CONTRIBUTES: The Red Sox got contributions from some unlikely sources yesterday (projo), especially Doug Mirabelli and Eric Hinske, to win both the game and their home series against the Baltimore Orioles. It was a good series to win, too, because now Boston heads out West for a series against Seattle (where they are 0 for their last 8) and Los Angeles before coming east to play at Baltimore.
COCO AND DOUGIE: The Red Sox' seventh-inning rally began with a steal of second by Coco Crisp, and Steve Krasner today goes inside the game to discuss what the Sox look for before they give Crisp the green light to run. Of course, the real story of the day was Mirabelli, who went from hero to goat back to hero again (projo). In today's online poll, you can vote on whether the backup catcher is an asset or a liability for the Red Sox.
WAKE'S FEAT: Mirabelli's personal pitcher, Tim Wakefield, became the third pitcher to win 150 games with the Red Sox (projo), joining Cy Young and Roger Clemens. Wakefield's four wins away from matching his career high, and he continued his strange streak of having a decision in every one of his starts: 22 so far this season, tied for the fifth-most for any pitcher in the last 27 years.
DREW'S SCARE: J.D. Drew describes the scare that his family received when Drew's 17-month-old son, Jack, fell and broke his collarbone. It turned out that Jack had developmental displacement of the hips, requiring extensive surgery, which is why Drew was not with the club for much of this week. Drew tells The Globe that the access to top-notch medical care demonstrates that "we're in Boston for a reason."
ORTIZ SHAKEN: David Ortiz, a former Minnesota Twin, crossed the I-35 bridge many times and was perhaps more shaken than most about the bridge's collapse (Boston Herald).
C'EST LA VIE: Red Sox director of player development Mike Hazen talks about the mixed feelings involved when prospects are traded away (Boston Herald) -- like Kason Gabbard, David Murphy and Engel Beltre this week: "It's disappointing to lose the person but you know you're going to lose players - we're here to help the big league club ... the players, they know it's going to happen, too. To be able to separate all that is very important."
PRIDE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: Rich Garces is having a blast (Globe) pitching for the independent-league Nashua Pride and still angling for a potential return to the big leagues.
BRONX BOO BIRDS: The day after Clemens was booed off the mound in New York, Jay Greenberg says the Rocket has only himself to blame. Clemens wasn't the only guy to encounter the abuse of the New York "faithful" yesterday: Kyle Farnsworth was booed lustily upon entering the game, and then booed even more loudly after giving up two White Sox home runs (both stories N.Y. Post). And in the New York Daily News, Bill Maddon states the obvious: When it comes to the Yankees, the problem is still the bullpen. (N.Y. Daily News)
AN EVENTFUL DAY: In other Yankee news, A-Rod broke his 0-fer but did not hit home run number 500 (our sports assistant, Bob McGarry, wonders if Shelley Duncan might reach 500 before Rodriguez), while Jorge Posada left the game early with a sore knee after a collision at home plate. (N.Y. Daily News)
STILL THE OPTIMIST: Derek Jeter says he still likes the Yanks' chances of winning the American League East (N.Y. Post). With Kansas City in town and the Red Sox visiting the Mariners, this would be a good time for New York to pick up some ground.
BOSS IN DECLINE: According to a coming article in Conde Nast Portfolio, George Steinbrenner looks to be in awful health (N.Y. Daily News). Writer Franz Lidz says The Boss "looks dreadful," his "body is bloated" and "his skin looks as if a dry-cleaner bag has been stretched over it."
PUNCHLESS: The offense is looking pretty depleted in Pawtucket these days, as Kevin McNamara writes in today's paper. Still, it was poor relief pitching that spoiled yesterday's game against the Buffalo Bisons.
HE'S HERE? The Dodgers say it is just a coincidence that they held a steroid-awareness program at Chavez Ravine (L.A. Times) on the same day that Barry Bonds was in town. About 100 children were on the field at Dodger Stadium to hear a talk about why they should say no to the juice. Giants coach Tim Flannery was annoyed: "I think that's pretty tired, with him here. He's not the only guy." Then, gesturing toward the Dodgers clubhouse, he added, "There are probably some guys in there wondering and hoping names aren't thrown around."
CLOSE TO HOME: Also in the Times, John Klima says that before Dodger fans criticize Bonds too loudly, they should consider one of their heroes: Eric Gagne. Klima says that Gagne's story of rising from obscurity to sheer dominance raises obvious flags: "Any objective baseball person has to think twice about how he did what he did. They have to consider the transformation that occurred. Say it aloud, stop thinking it quietly. It doesn't make him a villain. It makes him a ballplayer."
STRANGE GUY TO MAKE DEMANDS: Jose Contreras, 1-10 with an E.R.A. of nearly 9 in his last 12 starts, says he is O.K. with moving to the bullpen for now, but he expects to be back in the rotation next year (Chicago Sun-Times).
TIGER TROUBLE: When Gary Sheffield homers, the Tigers are 18-3. When he doesn't, they're 43-43. That's why Sheffield's shoulder problems are really bad news for scuffling Detroit (Detroit Free Press). Sheff says that since receiving a cortisone shot a week ago, his shoulder is not feeling better and he has felt numbness in his right hand. The club scheduled a medical exam for Sheffield, and has yet to announce any results.
BREW-HA-HA: The Milwaukee Brewers have lost control of the National League Central, and it now appears that manager Ned Yost has lost control of his clubhouse. That was certainly the impression given by a televised altercation in the dugout (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) involving Yost, catcher Johnny Estrada and former Red Sox infielder Tony Graffanino. The mild-mannered Graffanino reportedly complained to Yost before the scuffle about, in his view, Yost's unfair treatment of Estrada.
PEDRO PSYCHED: Pedro Martinez was plenty excited yesterday about making his first minor-league rehab appearance, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Martinez threw 67 pitches, despite what was supposed to have been a 45-pitch limit, and retired 13 of 14 batters. "Pedro Martinez kept returning to the mound for one more inning, to the point you wondered if security might have to forcibly remove the right-hander from Tradition Field yesterday," wrote Mike Puma in the New York Post.
WINNING DESPITE IT ALL: The injury-depleted Phillies traded this week for starting pitcher Kyle Lohse. So of course, Lohse had to leave the game in the first inning (Philadelphia Inquirer) of his first Philadelphia start after being hit in the forearm by a Jacque Jones line drive, forcing him to come out of the game. But the Phillies still beat the Cubs. It's stuff like that, one assumes, that might mean the oft-criticized Charlie Manuel does not get fired, after all (Philadelphia Daily News).
WELCOME BACK VLAD: Home Run Derby champion Vladimir Guerrero hit his first home run in 30 games (L.A. Daily News) as the Angels defeated the Athletics yesterday in Oakland.
IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED... David Eckstein nearly cost the Cardinals the game yesterday with an error in the ninth, but Pittsburgh could not capitalize. Then Eckstein went ahead and actually did cost the Cardinals the game with another error in the 11th (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
Posted by Mike McDermott at 9:18 AM to Projo Sox Crawl