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August 15, 2007
Photo: Rays got it going early
AP photo / Elise Amendola
Carl Crawford steals second under the tag of Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia during the first inning at Fenway Park. Crawford didn't score, but Tampa Bay did jump out to a big early lead against starter Daisuke Matsuzaka. The game is now 6-3 Devil Rays, in the eighth inning.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:35 PM | Permalink
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Sox Streakers for August 15
-The Red Sox have won 18 of their last 20 home games against Tampa Bay.
-Jason Varitek has a team-high four-game hitting streak, during which he has reached base on 9 of 17 plate appearances.
-David Ortiz is 4 for his last 28 (.143).
-For Tampa Bay: Andy Sonnanstine has lost eight consecutive decisions; he's surrendered 12 runs over eight innings in his last two starts.
-Akinori Iwamura is 0 for his last 14.
Devil Rays vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka
-Josh Wilson, 2 for 3 (.667), 2B
-Akinori Iwamura, 3 for 7 (.429), 2B
-Jonny Gomes, 2 for 5 (.400)
-Dioner Navarro, 2 for 6 (.333), HR
-Brendan Harris, 1 for 5 (.200), BB
-Carlos Pena, 1 for 5 (.200), 2B, BB
-Delmon Young, 1 for 5 (.200)
-Carl Crawford, 0 for 3
-B.J. Upton, 0 for 3
-Greg Norton, 0 for 6
-Matsuzaka has faced Tampa Bay twice this year; he is 1-1 with a 1.26 E.R.A.
Red Sox vs. Andy Sonnanstine
-Sonnanstine has never faced Boston.
-All-time series: Boston 105, Tampa Bay 54; at Fenway Park: Boston 59, Tampa Bay 21; this season: Boston 7, Tampa Bay 1.
-Carlos Pena (26 home runs so far) could become the fifth nonroster invitee in the last 25 years to hit 30 home runs. The others: Dave Kingman (Oakland, 1984), John Jaha (Oakland, 1999), Albert Pujols (St. Louis, 2001) and Jose Guillen (Cincinnati and Oakland, 2003).
-A win today would give the Red Sox their first series sweep since their last home series against Tampa Bay, in early July.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:00 AM to Projo Sox Streakers
Starting Lineups, Aug. 15
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 10:53 AM | Permalink
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Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Comeback win; remembering Rizzuto
Sean McAdam joins us today from Fenway Park for the latest edition of projo SoxTalk. Click here to listen to the full audio file. The topics: last night's come-from-behind win, Jon Lester, Mike Timlin, Wily Mo Pena, Barry Bonds' threat to sue Curt Schilling, and Phil Rizzuto.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments:
On Lester's economical outing: "That has been a problem for him throughout his brief major-league career. It seems like he gets his pitch count up early, goes deep into counts, walks too many hitters, falls behind. All those things he corrected last night. ... He seemed to get ahead with his fastball, was aggressive, mixed all his pitches in pretty nicely. That's the Jon Lester that the Red Sox hope they see far more of in the coming years."
On moving Wily Mo Pena: "Technically they don't have to do anything until Friday, at which point we expect that they will bring Clay Buchholz up to make his major-league debut. The turning point here timewise: They need to clear a roster spot for Buchholz, and then Buchholz's spot will be given, presumably, to Bobby Kielty. I think they are trying in the last two days here to see if they can find anybody who will take Wily Mo Pena and give them something, anything, in return. But ... they might have to designate him."
On Phil Rizzuto: "He'll be remembered as sort of a link to the Yankees past, in much the same way that Johnny Pesky serves that role for the Red Sox. ... In Rizzuto's case it was a glorious era for the Yankees, with all those world championships that he was a part of. ... He was exactly who he came across as on TV: kind of a little eccentric, kind of goofy, not always paying close attention to the game as a broadcaster; but someone who became synonymous with those great Yankee teams and certainly a terrific goodwill ambassador, not only for the franchise but for the sport itself."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 10:34 AM to McAdam
Baseball Today: Wednesday, August 15
WORTH THE WAIT: Only once before -- on this sunny, Mother's Day afternoon -- had the 2007 Red Sox accomplished what seemed to come so easily to their predecessors: A ninth-inning comeback. But in the time it took for Mike Lowell to homer, Jason Varitek to double and Coco Crisp to single, the Sox had another one last night: A 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay, chronicled here by Carolyn Thornton, that enabled them to push their A.L. East lead back to five games. (projo.com) Any game that tight is going to have plenty of key moments to look back upon, and Steven Krasner touches them all in Inside The Game, including the decision not to pinch-run for Varitek with two outs in the ninth, a debatable call that paid off nonetheless when Varitek was able to motor home from second on Crisp's single to right. (Above, Journal photo by Gretchen Ertl) It was a great return for Crisp, who had missed three of the last four games as he battled a flu bug. (projo.com)
|ONE OF THE GUYS: ''He’s never been interested in your pity,'' writes Sean McAdam, ''and doesn’t care much for your charity, either.'' He wants to be known as a pitcher, not a cancer survivor. It was as a cancer survivor that Jon Lester was given an emotional ovation before his first 2007 start at Fenway Park last night. But it was as a pitcher that he received a standing ovation as he left the mound after the seventh inning, having held the Devil Rays to two hits and one run in far and away his best start since being recalled from Pawtucket. McAdam recounts Lester's night (right, Journal photo by Gretchen Ertl), which got lost a little in the shuffle of the ninth-inning histrionics.|
RELIEF AT LAST: Also lost in the shuffle was Eric Gagne's first scoreless inning as a member of the Sox bullpen, which earned him the victory. (Boston Herald) The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy writes that Gagne ''lived the entire Boston experience in one short inning. He was the goat, the piñata, and the object of scorn. And then he was the greatest thing since sliced Yaz Bread.''
PUT ME IN, COACH: If the Red Sox summon Bobby Kielty to take Wily Mo Pena's roster spot, as they're expected to do in the next few days, he's ready. (projo.com)
POLL NUMBERS REMAIN STRONG: The Sox remain No. 1 in SI.com's Power Rankings, with the Angels second and the Yankees third.
SEE YOU IN COURT, SONNY: It appears Barry Bonds may sue Curt Schilling over comments Schilling made about Bonds on the HBO show Costas Now. (Boston Herald)
SPEAKING OF BONDS . . . He wants to play in 2008, but there are those in the Giants front office -- including GM Brian Sabean, apparently -- who don't want him (foxsports.com). Their objections have nothing to do with off-the-field concerns but focus solely on the team's need to rebuild and get younger, and to free up salary in order to start the process.
BIG O'S: The Yankees paid the price for Roger Clemens' drilling of Vernon Wells last week, as Jeff Karstens started in place of the suspended Rocket and was routed in a 12-0 loss to the Orioles. (New York Daily News) The New York Post version is here.
RIP, SCOOTER: The big news in New York yesterday was, of course, the death of Phil Rizzuto. All the New York media outlets have comprehensive reports, including the Daily News, the Post, Newsday and the Journal-News. SI.com has a nice Rizzuto tribute from Cliff Corcoran, the co-author of the Web site Bronx Banter.
SYMBOL OF SUCCESS Writing for foxsports.com, Mark Kriegel says Joba Chamberlain -- even though he's only pitched three games -- ''embodies [the Yankees'] sudden resurgence''. Even so, Joe Torre has no plans to use him in the closer's role. (New York Post)
TOUGH ROAD AHEAD: The New York Sun's Tim Marchman says the Yankees ''have the toughest schedule [of all the playoff contenders] over the rest of the season . . . Every other team shooting for a playoff spot has it easier than the Yankees will.''
A PROUD MOMENT: Bobby Cox finally broke John McGraw's record for career ejections. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
SHOWDOWN: The Tigers beat the Indians in extra innings in the battle for the A.L. Central lead, with Gary Sheffield calling it ''one of the biggest wins'' for Detroit this year. (Detroit News)
BREWING UP A WINNER: Members of the 1982 Brewers, the only team in franchise history to win a pennant, like what they see with the current team. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
LISTING THE ODDS: The blog BaseballEvolution.com looks at a dozen active candidates to crack the 300-win circle. It thinks Roy Oswalt, C.C. Sabathia and Johan Santana will make it, but Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson won't.
MYSTERY: Foxsports.com's Kevin Hench says the success of the Mariners is a puzzlement to sabermetricians since the M's have bad starting pitching, little power and don't get many men on base. The key, he says, is their bullpen.
QUICKLY: The Rockies need pitching and are interested in the Orioles' Steve Trachsel and the Blue Jays' Josh Towers (Denver Post) . . . Jose Contreras will start Friday as the White Sox showcase him for a possible trade (Chicago Sun-Times) . . . Willy Aybar's tumultuous season is over because of hand surgery (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) . . . The Brewers are 0-15 in the last 15 games started by Chris Capuano, so he may be removed from the starting rotation (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).
OLD FRIENDS: Jose Offerman was arrested after hitting both the pitcher and the catcher with his bat in retaliation for being hit by a pitch in an Atlantic League game in Bridgeport, Conn., last night (AP via projo.com) . . . Pedro Martinez still allowed three runs on three hits over four innings against Rookie League competition, but says yesterday's second rehab start was ''a great improvement'' over the first, especially since he opened with three perfect innings (New York Daily News) . . . Nomar Garciaparra is headed to the disabled list (Los Angeles Daily News).
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 7:02 AM | Permalink