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August 20, 2007
Final: Red Sox 6, Devil Rays 0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tim Wakefield pitched seven shutout innings, scattering four hits and striking out five, and improved his lifetime record against Tampa Bay to 19-2 as he led the Red Sox to a 6-0 victory over the Devil Rays tonight.
The Sox decided the game early against traditional nemesis Scott Kazmir, taking advantage of shoddy Tampa Bay defense to score five runs in the first two innings.
Mike Lowell drove in the first two runs in the first inning with a two-out, two-run double, a hard but playable grounder down the third-base line that should have been handled by third baseman Akinori Iwamura. Coco Crisp started a three-run rally in the second with a catchable fly ball down the right-field line that Delmon Young got a glove on but couldn't hold, letting it drop into the stands for a ground-rule double. The Sox would score that inning on an RBI single by Dustin Pedroia and a two-run single by Manny Ramirez.
Lowell closed out the scoring with a solo home run in the fifth inning.
Wakefield's only jam came in the first, when Iwamura walked, stole second and went to third with one out on a passed ball during a strikeout by Kevin Cash. But Wakefield stranded him there, and cruised the rest of the way.
Wakefield (15-10) is now tied with teammate Josh Beckett and the Angels' John Lackey for the league lead in wins, with 15.
Manny Delcarmen pitched a scoreless eighth, and Mike Timlin retired the Rays in order in the ninth.
Posted by Art Martone at 9:36 PM | Permalink
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Sox Streakers for Aug. 20
Red Sox vs. Scott Kazmir
-Dustin Pedroia, 5 for 9 (.556), 2B
-Bobby Kielty, 7 for 13 (.538), 2B, 2 HR, BB
-Alex Cora, 2 for 4 (.500)
-Julio Lugo, 2 for 8 (.250)
-Mike Lowell, 4 for 17 (.235), HR, 2 BB
-Coco Crisp, 4 for 17 (.235), 2B, BB
-Jason Varitek, 4 for 18 (.222), 2B, 5 BB
-Kevin Youkilis, 4 for 21 (.190), 2B, 4 BB
-David Ortiz, 5 for 34 (.147), 2B, HR, 5 BB
-Manny Ramirez, 5 for 36 (.139), 2B, HR, 4 BB
-Eric Hinske, 0 for 2
-Kazmir is 5-3 with a 2.37 E.R.A. in 14 career starts against Boston.
Devil Rays vs. Tim Wakefield
-Akinori Iwamura, 3 for 8 (.375), 2B, 2 BB
-Dioner Navarro, 2 for 6 (.333), BB
-Carl Crawford, 23 for 70 (.329), 4 2B, 3B, 2 HR
-Jonny Gomes, 5 for 20 (.250), 2B, HR, 5 BB
-Josh Paul, 1 for 4 (.250), 2B
-B.J. Upton, 2 for 10 (.200), BB
-Brendan Harris, 1 for 9 (.111), 2B
-Carlos Pena, 2 for 19 (.105), 2B, HR, 5 BB
-Greg Norton, 1 for 11 (.091), 2B, 2 BB
-Josh Wilson, 0 for 3
-Delmon Young, 0 for 9
-Wakefield is 18-2 with a 2.83 E.R.A. in 33 career appearances (25 starts) vs. Tampa Bay.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 5:00 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Pregame Notes, Aug. 20
-- David Ortiz is out of the starting lineup tonight as manager Terry Francona weighs a couple of factors.
He wants to make sure, especially after last Friday's day-night doubleheader, that everyone gets a day off here or there as the season heads down the stretch, so that was one reason to sit Ortiz. The other factor is that Tampa Bay's starting pitcher is tough left-hander Scott Kazmir, against whom Orttiz is a paltry 5 for 34 (.147).
Ortiz's absence from the starting lineup enables Manny Ramirez to take a little load off his feet on the Tropicana Field artifical turf by serving as the designated hitter in Ortiz's customary spot. Ramirez likely will have Wednesday off here.
-- Rhode Island's Rocco Baldelli, who hasn't played since May 15, when he suffered a strained left hamstring while running out a grounder, is making his first rehabilitation start today for Class A Vero Beach. He's expected to have only two at-bats.
-- Red Sox pitcher Matt Clement, who had major shoulder surgery last fall, threw a 50-pitch side session here earlier today. He'll likely be ready to appear in a game by the middle of September, but where he'll be able to do that is problematic at this point, said Francona, because the minor league seasons will be over.
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 4:39 PM | Permalink
Starting Lineups, Aug. 20
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 4:36 PM | Permalink
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Missed opportunities; a big week ahead
Sean McAdam joins us as usual for today's edition of projo SoxTalk. Click here to listen to the full audio file. The topics today: troubling signs from a weekend series split; sticking with Eric Gagne; Kevin Youkilis slumping down the stretch again; one last chance to build some distance with the Yankees; and Johan Santana leaving after eight with 17 strikeouts.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments:
On the Sox' weekend performance: "They do seem to be showing a little bit more of that ability to come back late in the game. We saw them do it Saturday night -- not terribly late, in the sixth inning -- and score 10 unanswered runs against the Angels; and of course the second game of the day-night doubleheader on Friday, when they came back and took the lead for the first time late in the eighth inning only to have Eric Gagne blow up and lose it in the ninth. It seems like for every one posititive that you can take out of this weekend you could find some disturbing signs as well."
On Gagne: "There seems to be pretty good velocity on the fastball ... but [hitters] do seem to be laying off that. And even in his heyday with the Dodgers, it was the change-up that proved to be his out pitch coming out of the bullpen. Some people thought he threw more yesterday in striking out three in a scoreless inning that did include a couple of hits, although neither of them were hit hard. He was working on the side on some mechanical adjustments, whether that had something to do with the change-up grip or something that was making his off-speed pitches not as effective. But perhaps he found something yesterday and maybe started to turn a corner."
On Youkilis: "Maybe he's showing himself to be a guy who tapers off, or perhaps even runs out of gas, in the second half. I think that because he is so emotional, that he is a guy you have to watch pretty carefuly in terms of his energy level, because he leaves so much out on the field. We saw him taper off pretty badly in the second half of last year, his first full season, and a lot of people -- myself included -- thought that maybe that was attributable to a number of injuries. ... This year he's seemingly healthy, other than some bumps and bruises, and the same pattern is emerging, where in August he just seems to hit the wall."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:24 AM to McAdam
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Baseball Today: Monday, August 20
LACK OF ATTACK: They pitched fine, and they played defense well enough to land two spots on ESPN's top five Web gems for the day (the home-run saving catch by Bobby Kielty in the first inning, and the second-inning grounder in which both Mike Lowell at the start and Kevin Youkilis at the end made superb plays). But their offense continues to lurch and sputter and Joe McDonald reports that yesterday it cost them a game as the Red Sox fell to the Angels, 3-1. The Boston Herald's Tony Massarotti points specifically to the maddening at-bat of J.D. Drew in the eighth inning -- when, with two on, two out, and Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez still in the bullpen, Drew looked at six straight pitches and was called out on strikes without ever taking the bat off his shoulder (above, Journal photo by Bob Breidenbach), ending the Sox' last chance to win the game -- and says it was a sympton of their baffling inconsistency since the end of May, inconsistency that, coupled with the Yankee surge, has once again shaved their A.L. East lead to four games.
THE LONG ROAD BACK: There isn't a Red Sox fan anywhere who won't point out that the lead would still be a healthy seven games were it not for Eric Gagne -- who was the main culprit in the Sox' blowing a 5-1 eighth-inning lead in Baltimore a week ago Friday, a 3-1 eighth-inning lead in Baltimore a week ago Sunday and a 5-4 ninth-inning lead against the Angels last Friday night -- and he was greeted accordingly when he entered the game in the ninth inning yesterday. But Sean McAdam notes that yesterday was a good day for Gagne, one he hopes he can build on.
HE WHO LAUGHS LAST . . . Gagne's struggles haven't gone unnoticed 160 miles to the south. The New York Post's Joel Sherman says the Yankees, who were beaten by the Sox in the bid to acquire Gagne, may have won the battle, after all.
BITS AND PIECES: The McAdam/McDonald/Paul Kenyon notebook has items on the bad blood between Julian Tavarez and Orlando Cabrera, Kielty's Boston debut, and Youkilis' mind-bending slump. Kenyon also profiles new catcher Kevin Cash, who made his Boston debut yesterday and will begin his real job -- taking over as Tim Wakefield's personal catcher from the injured Doug Mirabelli -- tonight in Tampa.
IF WE DO SAY SO OURSELVES: The Angels were proud of themselves for coming up big in the finale of what had been a tough weekend for them. (Los Angeles Daily News)
LOST IDENTITY: Curt Schilling says he's ''nowhere near as consistent as I can be, or should be, and I continue to change as much as I can to adjust to the new stuff I have, or don’t have.'' (38pitches.com) Writing for FoxSports.com, Chad Finn worries that Schilling is ''just as likely to be a liability as he is an asset to Boston's championship aspirations.''
NO REPEAT: Because of the wild card, FoxSports.com's Dayn Perry says the current A.L. East race bears no resemblance to the epic Red Sox-Yankee struggle of 1978.
NOTHING PERSONAL: Joe Posnanski insists he doesn't hate Jim Rice; he just doesn't think Rice belongs in the Hall of Fame. He says Rice fans fail to make the distinction, and they probably won't now, either, after Joe writes that Rice's best season (1978) doesn't compare to Rocky Colavito's best season (1961). (thesoulofbaseball.blogspot.com)
ROLLING A SEVEN: In a Sports Illustrated poll of major league players, Fenway Park was listed as the seventh-best venue in which to hit. (SI.com)
ALL TOGETHER NOW: The Nationals got the whole Wily Mo Pena package -- a home run, two strikeouts and some shaky defense in right field -- in Sunday's loss to the Mets. (Washington Times)
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT . . . Joe McDonald talked to Bronson Arroyo after the Pena trade, and Arroyo says he appreciates Theo Epstein's comment that the Pena-for-Arroyo trade was a mistake. He also reiterated that he'd love to return to the Red Sox.
YIN AND YANG: Johnny Damon sounds like he wants out of the Bronx if he can't play every game (New York Times) Even so, he says he still enjoys being a Yankee, especially after days like yesterday. (New York Daily News)
VINDICATION: The calls for Brian Cashman's head were overwhelming earlier this year, when the Yankees were struggling. But he stuck to his plan, and the Daily News' Bill Madden says it's paying off.
SO LONG, PAL: On the LoHud Yankees Blog, Peter Abraham writes that Chien-Ming Wang may be bothered by the release of Mike Myers, who was his best friend on the team and who tried to break Wang out of his quiet, introverted shell. Yesterday Wang wasn't as good as he's been all season, but he was a lot better than he'd been in his last two starts and it was enough to get him the victory. (New York Daily News)
HIP HIP JORGE! Writing for the Journal-American's print edition, Abraham says Jorge Posada could very well be a Met next year.
I'VE SEEN THIS BEFORE . . . Joba Chamberlain reminds the Tigers of their own Joel Zumaya. (New York Post)
WRONG MONTH: The calendar says August, but the Detroit Free Press' Mitch Albom says the slumping Tigers need to begin playing like it's September.
RECORD? I DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' RECORD: Johan Santana had 17 strikeouts through eight innings and could have tied the Roger Clemens/Kerry Wood mark for strikeouts in a single game by fanning the side in the ninth, but basically decided that eight (innings) was enough and turned things over Joe Nathan in the ninth. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
HELLO GOODBYE: SI.com's Jacob Luft lists the Padres' Jake Peavy as the favorite to win the N.L. Cy Young Award. (His A.L. pick: The Orioles' Erik Bedard.) Even so, Peavy doesn't expect to be in San Diego beyond the end of his contract in 2009, and even thinks he may be traded before then. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
GOOD DEAL . . . MAYBE: The Daily Southtown's Phil Arvia says the Carlos Zambrano contract extension will work for the Cubs if it gets them that elusive World Series championship.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Jermaine Dye, whom the Red Sox tried hard to acquire at the trading deadline, gave the White Sox a bit of a hometown discount in agreeing to a two-year, $22 million contract extension over the weekend. (Chicago Tribune)
QUICKLY: Roy Oswalt (strained oblique muscle) will probably miss his next start for the Astros (Houston Chronicle) . . . The Blue Jays -- or at least some members of the Toronto media -- have buyer's remorse regarding Vernon Wells (Toronto Sun) . . . It's not imminent, but the Mets' Billy Wagner is thinking retirement (New York Times).
LOCAL BOYS: Ex-Providence College star John McDonald played a big role in the Blue Jays' win over the Orioles yesterday (Toronto Sun).
OLD FRIENDS: Mike Myers, released by the Yankees earlier this month, has resurfaced in Chicago with the White Sox (Chicago Tribune) . . . Lenny DiNardo is emerging as the ace of the A's starting rotation (San Francisco Chronicle) . . . The Cubs aren't sure when Cliff Floyd, mourning the death of his father, will come off the bereavement list (Chicago Sun-Times).
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 6:56 AM | Permalink