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August 8, 2007
Pedro Martinez struggles in first rehab start
Pedro Martinez was optimistic after his first rehab start, even through he struggled through three innings and was pulled before reaching his target pitch count.
Martinez gave up five runs and six hits in the Class A St. Lucie Mets' game against the Lakeland Flying Tigers on Wednesday, as he attempts to return to the New York rotation after offseason shoulder surgery.
“I felt great,” Martinez said. “My arm, my body is recovering good. Making adjustments will take me a little while. I haven't pitched in so long.”
Martinez struck out five and threw 44 of his 63 pitches for strikes. He did not walk a batter, but was hit hard when he missed.
Lakeland center fielder Justin Justice homered to right in the second inning, and Deik Scram hit a solo shot in the third.
“I felt pretty good. Those kids kept it real for me,” Martinez said. “I was working on my sinkers tonight and they hurt me on sinkers both times.”
Martinez threw another 17 pitches in the bullpen following the start. He had expected to throw 80 pitches before minor league rehab coordinator Randy Niemann pulled him out.
“I felt pretty good. Those kids kept it real for me,” Martinez said. “I'm not going to be sharp. I'm not going to be the Pedro they're used to seeing right now.”
The 35-year-old Martinez had his rotator cuff repaired in October and has been working toward a return all season. The right-hander first threw to batters on June 26.
The three-time Cy Young winner was scheduled to make a rehab start last Wednesday, but it was rained out and he instead threw a 5 1-3 innings of a simulated game against minor leaguers the following day.
In the simulation, Martinez gave up two runs — one earned — and four hits against players from St. Lucie and the Gulf Coast League Mets. In 67 pitches, he struck out three, walked none and hit a batter.
The Mets have not announced where or when Martinez will make his next start.
“I've been away for so long, I'm ready to go back to New York,” Martinez said. “I don't want to be in Florida anymore.”
Posted by Corey Bourassa at 9:30 PM | Permalink
David Ortiz is out of the lineup, nursing an aggravated left shoulder. You'll remember that Ortiz jammed the shoulder July 20 and missed a handful of games.
Terry Francona noticed that Ortiz was struggling some in batting practice Tuesday night and spoke with him after Tuesday's game. Giving Ortiz tonight off is a two-fer, since the Sox are off Thursday.
With Ortiz sidelined, Manny Ramirez is the DH, Wily Mo Pena is in right.
For purely precuationary reasons, the Sox are having Angels team physician Craig Milhouse examine Ortiz tonight.
Coco Crisp is also out of the lineup -- as planned -- with J.D. Drew getting his first start of the season in center. Brandon Moss, who repalced the ejected Manny Ramirez Monday night and got into the game Tuesday as a late-inning replacement, is in right, getitng his first start.
The Sox expect Eric Hinske back with the team Friday in Baltimore. Hinske is on the bereavement list following the death of his grandmother. He's been home in Phoenix, with his wife, who gave birth to a daughter, Ava, Tuesday.
More on ProJo.com
Posted by Sean McAdam at 8:47 PM | Permalink
Tonight's starting lineups
Julio Lugo ss
Dustin Pedroia 2b
Kevin Youkilis 1b
Manny Ramirez dh
J.D. Drew cf
Mike Lowell 3b
Jason Varitek c
Wily Mo Pena lf
Brandon Moss rf
Jon Lester p
Reggie Wilits rf
Chone Figgins 3b
Orlando Cabrera ss
Vladimir Guerrero dh
Rob Quinlan 1b
Garret Anderson lf
Gary Matthews cf
Jeff Mathis c
Eric Aybar 2b
Dustin Moseley p
Posted by Corey Bourassa at 6:48 PM to McAdam
Padres to cut ties with former Sox David Wells
David Wells is finished with his hometown San Diego Padres, and it's possible that the career of one of baseball's most boisterous characters could be over.
General manager Kevin Towers said Wednesday that the Padres will cut ties with the struggling 44-year-old left-hander on Thursday in order to activate All-Star Chris Young from the disabled list.
Towers said he and manager Bud Black met with the Boomer on Tuesday night after the Padres' game in St. Louis.
“We informed him that he would not make his next start,” Towers told The Associated Press. “We kind of laid out some options for him. If he still wanted to play, we'll designate him for assignment and see if other clubs have interest, or if he wants to hang them up, he can retire. We're waiting for him to get back to us.”
Wells has struggled in his last four starts, including Monday night when the Cardinals tied a major league record with 10 consecutive hits in a 10-run fifth inning. He is 0-3 with a 14.33 ERA in his last four starts. He gave up seven runs and 11 hits in four-plus innings on Monday.
Wells couldn't be reached for comment. It was unknown whether he will retire or try to finish the season with another team. Overall, he's 5-8 with a 5.54 ERA this season.
His agent, Gregg Clifton, thinks there might be a market for the lefty.
“I think based upon what David has done for his career and his season, his veteran status and what he brings to a team, I do think there would be a lot of interest in adding him to a roster for the stretch run,” Clifton said by phone from his office in the Phoenix area.
Wells pitched a perfect game for the New York Yankees in 1998, then won Game 1 of the World Series against the Padres that season. The Yankees beat the Padres in a four-game sweep.
Despite Wells' struggles, Towers said it was a tough decision to let him go.
“He's had a pretty remarkable career,” Towers said. “He's been a great teammate. It's going to be tough not to have his presence in the clubhouse. I'll miss that.”
Posted by Corey Bourassa at 4:51 PM | Permalink
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Sox Streakers for August 8
-Kevin Youkilis has handled 1,304 defensive chances at first base without committing an error. Last night he broke Stuffy McInnis' 86-year-old team record for the longest such streak. Youkilis' last error at first base was July 4, 2006; he has played 150 error-free games at first since then.
-Youkilis has a five-game hitting streak, during which he is 9 for 22 (.409) with a home run and three doubles.
-Mike Lowell has a team-high seven-game hitting streak, during which he is 8 for 32 (.250).
-For Los Angeles: Chone Figgins last night became the first player in Angels history to steal 30 or more bases in four consecutive seasons. Figgins is 38 for 84 (.452) with 20 runs scored in his last 22 games.
-David Ortiz is 0 for his last 8.
-J.D. Drew has not homered since June 20, in Atlanta.
Red Sox vs. Dustin Moseley
-Julio Lugo, 1 for 1
-Wily Mo Pena, 0 for 1, walk
-Alex Cora, 0 for 1
-J.D. Drew, 0 for 1
-Mike Lowell, 0 for 1
-Jason Varitek, 0 for 1
-Kevin Youkilis, 0 for 1
-Moseley has faced the Red Sox once in his career; he pitched two innings of scoreless relief in Boston in April.
Angels vs. Jon Lester
-Garret Anderson, 2 for 3, 2B
-Vladimir Guerrero, 2 for 5, 2B, walk
-Orlando Cabrera, 2 for 5, 2B, walk
-Maicer Izturis, 2 for 6, 2B, walk
-Robb Quinlan, 1 for 5
-Gary Mathews, 0 for 2
-Chone Figgins, 0 for 3
-Lester made two starts against the Angels in 2006; he was 1-1 with a 6.35 E.R.A. in those games.
-All-time series: Boston 304, Los Angeles 262. In California: Los Angeles 149, Boston 134. This season: Boston 3, Los Angeles 2.
-The Red Sox' five-game divisoin lead is their smallest since May 2.
-The Angels have not swept a three-game series against Boston since July 31-Aug. 2, 2001.
-The Red Sox are 15-15 this season against teams from the American League West.
-Red Sox starters have pitched 697.1 innings so far this year, more than any other major-league rotation except the White Sox' and the Indians'.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:08 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Today's Manny file: Drew gets ready to meet the Manny
J.D. Drew, who will start tonight's game in center field in place of Coco Crisp, was at first diplomatic last night when asked about what will be his first time playing alongside Manny Ramirez: "It will be an opportunity for me to see Manny doing what he does best." But, as Sean McAdam reported, he also had a warning, just in case Manny tries to cut Drew off, as he did to the weak-throwing Johnny Damon a few years back: "If he does that with me, there's going to be trouble because I throw the ball a lot harder than Johnny."
As for the question of communicating with Ramirez in the field, here's what Drew said, according to the Hartford Courant: "I think Manny's [motto] is, 'Leave it up to you to catch it if you can.' "
The good news from last night: Manny helped the Red Sox score a run when he ran hard down the first-base line on a one-out grounder, making a double play impossible and allowing Dustin Pedroia to come in from third.
The bad news from last night: Manny missed another cutoff man as a run scored for the Angels.
Ramirez is one of several current and former Red Sox players who will appear in the coming movie Reservation Road, which stars Mark Ruffalo as a Red Sox fan who runs over a child while returning from a game during the 2004 season (sounds like quite a downer). The movie also stars Joaquin Phoenix, Jennifer Connelly and Mira Sorvino.
Orange County Register columnist Jeff Miller, in gloating over the Angels' two wins, describes the Red Sox this way: "They're Coco and Wily Mo and Julio and Lugo. They're Manny Ramirez's dreadlocks and Terry Francona's deadlocks."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 2:17 PM to Projo Mannybeingmanny
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: A win tonight would be nice
Sean McAdam joins us from Anaheim for today's edition of projo SoxTalk. Click here to listen to the full audio file. Today's topics: the Red Sox' second loss in as many games at Anaheim; why winning tonight would still mean a good start to this road trip; the fatigued Coco Crisp; J.D. Drew's coming audition in center field; the reaction to Barry Bonds in Anaheim; and whether baseball brawls actually can inspire a team to play better.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments:
On the bad start in Anaheim: "I think [the Red Sox] understood that the first six games of this nine-game road trip were going to be pretty difficult. They were playing two teams above .500 and two teams that play very well at home, and the Red Sox played well enough to get off to a good start -- two out of three in Seattle. And I think if they can manage a win tonight and avoid that sweep, I think a 3-3 record through the first six would not be terrible, even though they've obviously lost some games in the standings."
On Drew's center field debut with the Red Sox: "It may be that this is a sort of look at coming attractions here, because while Drew will not be playing a lot of center field, he likely will become the first option when Kielty gets here. If something happens to Crisp or they want to make a move during a game, it more likely will be shifting Drew from right to center and then having Kielty play right."
The reaction to Bonds in Anaheim: "They did show the home run [at the stadium] ... they got it up there pretty quickly. ... Immediately [after fans saw Bonds] some booing began, and then the at-bat was shown, and as the ball was heading out to center field, there were certainly more boos than cheers. I looked around -- I did see some people standing up and applauding, but certainly the boos far outweighed the cheers here. In terms of Henry Aaron's video tribute [in San Francisco], I was quite surprised. He had gone out of his way in the weeks and months leading up to this to just disassociate himself from the whole chase. ... It was pretty clear reading between the lines that he himself was doubting the legitimacy of Bonds' home-run accumulation. Then again, Henry Aaron, as anyone who has known him or followed his career [knows], is the epitome of a class individual, and I think in the end he decided that it was better to make some sort of statement and not remain silent when the record was shattered."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:56 AM to McAdam
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Baseball Today: Wednesday, August 8
|STANDING PROBLEM: They still have the best record in baseball, and their lead is still the biggest of any first-place team. But it no longer feels like the summer of love for the Red Sox, not after a sloppy 10-4 loss to the Angels last night cut their advantage over the white-hot Yankees to five games. (projo.com) I always find our old friends at Sons of Sam Horn are pretty good -- generally -- are keeping their heads while all around us are losing theirs, and a thorough analysis of the situation can be found in a thread entitled ''Remain calm, all is well''. The biggest point: The schedule, which has served up nothing but patsies to the Yankees for the last month, swings into the Sox' corner this weekend; the Yanks' next six series are at Cleveland, home against Baltimore, home against Detroit, at L.A., at Detroit, and home against the Red Sox. The Sox, meanwhile, play not one but two series against Tampa Bay during that stretch. Writes a poster named jtn46: ''[The] Red Sox . . . are on a 98-win pace. I mean, what more can we really expect. The lead has dwindled mostly because the Yankees score touchdowns every night against lousy teams while the Red Sox have actually been playing pretty well . . . It's obviously maddening, but all we can really hope for is that the Yankee schedule starts to bring them back to Earth and that the Red Sox take advantage of their mushy schedule the way the Yankees just did.''|
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE . . . Old friend Allan Wood points out the Red Sox' magic number is 45 (joyofsox.blogspot.com)
END OF AN ERROR: It appears Wily Mo Pena's days in Boston are numbered (projo.com Red Sox Journal, second item down), which suits him just fine. (Boston Globe)
MOVING TOWARD LOWELL? The Boston Herald reports Mike Lowell's representatives have had ''casual conversations'' with the Red Sox about a contract extension.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR: Brandon Moss' promotion to the Red Sox, even temporarily, was a dream come true, but his first game was more like a nightmare. (projo.com)
AS IF RED SOX NATION DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH TROUBLE IN ANAHEIM . . . . Angel Stadium is rat-infested, prompting a visiting Red Sox fan to comment: ''If this was a restaurant, they'd be closed.'' (Riverside Press-Enterprise)
DON'T GO THERE: Eric Gagne's pregame meeting with the Southern California media on Monday night, a jovial affair for the most part, turned sour when a reporter asked about allegations of steroids use during his days with the Dodgers. (Los Angeles Times) John Klima of the Los Angeles Daily News, however, can't help but speculate ''about how [Gagne became an outstanding closer] . . . They have to consider the transformation that occurred.''
|WHICH LEADS US TO . . . The breaking of baseball's most hallowed record, which finally occurred last night. (San Francisco Chronicle) The topic has been so thoroughly chewed over the last several years that there's very little left to say; all sides of the issue are pretty well covered by ESPN.com's panel of experts. Suffice to say the people of San Francisco -- at least the ones at the ballpark -- were ecstatic, and Barry Bonds gave a gracious and at times moving speech. Even Hank Aaron, who was particularly churlish about the prospect of Bonds moving past him on the all-time list, sent along a video tribute that was played at the ballpark. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) The only skunk at the garden party -- or rather, the skunk not at the garden party -- was commissioner Bud Selig, who wasn't there to see Bonds break the record. Stephen A. Smith thinks that's disgraceful. (Philadelphia Inquirer) Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, however, says it's Bonds that's the disgrace. |
ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW: Ryan Klesko says Bonds could have hit 900 or 1,000 home runs if he hadn't played so long at Candlestick Park. (examiner.com)
FROM ONE MAVERICK TO ANOTHER: Mark Cuban salutes Barry Bonds. (blogmaverick.com)
FIGHT NIGHT IN CANADA: Revenge, said Don Corleone, is a dish best served cold. The Blue Jays must agree because, more than two months after this, they finally made Alex Rodriguez pay for his bush-league scream at Howie Clark on that night in May. (New York Daily News) Our old buddy the Tao of Stieb loved it, but it all was, as Ralph Kramden might say, a mere bag of shells as the Yankees continued to roll. (New York Post) The real battle, apparently, was between Blue Jays starter Josh Towers -- who hit A-Rod -- and Yankees first-base coach Tony Pena, with Towers aiming some remarkably personal insults Pena's way. (National Post) In the end, the Toronto Star's Dave Feschuk called it much ado over nothing.
BACK TO NORMAL: The reason the Yankees are surging is obvious: Their offense is performing at historic levels. (New York Sun) Which begs the question: What will happen when it isn't?
DOMESTIC BLISS: The last time the Yankees were in Toronto, Alex Rodriguez was sighted with a blonde stripper and ignited a week's worth of tawdry tabloid headlines. This trip in, he was spotted with another blonde: His wife. (New York Daily News)
WELCOME ABOARD: The Yankees have activated Jason Giambi from the disabled list and promoted pitching prospect Joba Chamberlain to the big club. (New York Daily News)
BYE, BYE BOOMER? There are indications the Padres will release the struggling David Wells later this week. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
CRIB SHEET: Confused about baseball's waiver rules? The blog View From The Bleachers explains them.
A ROSE IS A ROSE: Some insights on Pete Rose in Bill Giles' new book. (Cincinnati Enquirer) Among them: Rose said the four vices of man are smoking, drinking, gambling and womanizing, and he was a .500 hitter since he only succumbed to two (gambling and womanizing).
QUICKLY: Twins players say they hear Mike Piazza doesn't want to play in Minnesota, which would preclude a trade for the A's designated hitter (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) . . . The Arizona Republic says Eric Byrnes ''is more popular than suntan lotion in this town,'' which explains why the Diamondbacks spent so much to keep him . . . Now that he's finally reached 300 wins, Tom Glavine will begin thinking about whether or not he wants to play in 2008 (journalnews.com) . . . The Phillies' Jimmy Rollins thinks the only real difference between the Marlins' Hanley Ramirez and the Mets' Jose Reyes is that Ramirez is stuck in Miami while Reyes plays in New York, which means everyone knows Reyes and no one knows Ramirez (South Florida Sun-Sentinel) . . . The Marlins will listen to trade offers for catcher Miguel Olivo. (mlb.com)
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 6:52 AM | Permalink
Angels Run Over Sox, 10-4: Game story
By SEAN McADAM
Journal Sports Writer
ANAHEIM – In the standings, their lead is being eaten away at slowly – a game here, a game there – with the New York Yankees advancing closer, making up ground the way a charging army might.
But last night at Angel Stadium, there was nothing gradual about the Red Sox’ loss. It seemed to happen quickly, almost before the Red Sox noticed, certainly faster than they could to halt it.
After the Sox had grabbed a 4-2 lead with three runs in the top of the fifth, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim responded with five runs of their own, part of an onslaught of eight unanswered runs that overwhelmed the Sox in a bruising, sloppy 10-4 loss.
The setback was the Red Sox’ second in a row here, at the hands of the team with the best home record in the American League, and saw their division lead shrivel to just five games. No team has been this close to the Red Sox since May 2, more than three months ago.
''It happened in a hurry,'' said Terry Francona of the Angels’ eruption. ''We had changed the momentum (with three runs in the top of the inning), but then they had a four-pitch walk, a hit, another walk, an error . . . ''
After Gary Matthews Jr.'s two-run single gave L.A. a 5-4 lead, Francona replaced Wakefield – who had allowed the first five hitters of the inning to reach base against him – with Manny Delcarmen in an effort to repel the Angels. Instead, the surge continued.
After a groundout by Casey Kotchman, Maicer Izturis hit a chopper than to the right of the mound, scoring Garret Anderson just ahead of Dustin Pedroia’s throw, making it 6-4. A suicide squeeze by Jeff Mathis plated the Angels' seventh run of the night -- and fifth of the inning -- and the rout was on.
''They’re so aggressive in so many aspects of the game,'' said Francona. ''Playing them, the game runs at a fast pace. If you’re not ready for it, they run you into mistakes.''
''I don’t know what happened, to be honest with you,'' said a stunned Wakefield, who was trying to become the team’s second 14-game winner in the last three days. ''I made some good pitches, but they took some good swings on them. I felt like I had probably the best stuff I’ve had (coming out of the bullpen), but it just didn’t (translate to the mound).
''They’re not an easy lineup to face. They’ve got some speed; they had a couple of stolen bases off me and that led to some runs. But we had scored three runs (in the top of the inning) and I couldn’t hold the lead. I’m very disappointed in myself.''
The Angels kept piling on in the sixth against Julian Tavarez with two more, then added a solo run in the eighth off Kyle Snyder for eight unanswered runs.
A lethal combination of sloppy play and poor decision-making didn’t help the Red Sox.
After the Angels had pushed ahead with their five-run inning, the Sox seemed poised to respond the very next inning. Mike Lowell led with a single to left, followed by a double to the left-center gap by Coco Crisp. But third-base coach Demarlo Hale gambled by sending Lowell with no outs and the Sox third baseman was cut down on a perfect relay from shortstop Orlando Cabrera, taking the Sox out of a potential big inning.
Two groundouts followed and the Sox were held scoreless.
''Demarlo is so good over there . . . ’’ said Francona, tacitly agreeing that his coach shouldn’t have been so aggressive. ''He’ll be beating himself up for that one.''
The errors in the field didn’t help. Lugo never seemed to get in front of a grounder into the hole hit by Anderson in the fateful fifth, loading the bases and extending the inning. Even Crisp, who hadn’t committed an error in since July 21, 2006, kicked away a ball in the sixth, ending a streak of 153 games without a miscue.
Thanks to the Yankees’ win in Toronto, the race has narrowed considerably, a fact not loss on the Sox.
''I’m not surprised,'' Francona said of the Yankees’ recent torrid stretch which has seen them win eight of their last nine. ''They were too good a team to be playing they were. And we’ve been playing .500 or so the last month, so we need to pick up the pace.''
Posted by Sean McAdam at 1:49 AM | Permalink