« Buchholz still gaining attention
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Tired Okajima; Jacoby's the man »
September 6, 2007
'THAT'S THE WAY THE GAME IS': But it hasn't been the way many Red Sox games have been this season, which is why last night's 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays -- in which the normally airtight bullpen blew a 4-3 lead by allowing three runs in the final two innings -- seemed so stunning. The quote was from Terry Francona, who dismissed the failures of Manny Delcarmen (game-tying homer to Troy Glaus in the eighth) and Hideki Okajima (game-losing, two-run homer to Vernon Wells -- above, Journal photo by Bob Breidenbach -- in the ninth) as just one of those things. Joe McDonald, however, reports Okajima gave a disconcerting answer (''As you see, yes'') when asked if he was tired in this, his first major-league season, which is longer than the seasons in Japan. One member of the bullpen who did pitch well was recent callup Bryan Corey; Paul Kenyon has the details.
ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE THINGS: While the Sox' bullpen failures last night were surprising, their lack of clutch hitting was all too familiar. They got only one run out of a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the first, only one run out of a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the fifth, and nothing at all out of a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the seventh; one big hit in any of those spots could have given them a comfortable enough lead to withstand a late hiccup by the bullpen. That J.D. Drew was in the middle of two of those failed innings (the first and the seventh) was probably no surprise to anyone, and Sean McAdam speculates Drew's playing time may be in jeopardy when Manny Ramirez comes back, because Jacoby Ellsbury is proving to be a better offensive option than Drew. Julio Lugo thinks Drew is still''a good player. He's just going through a bad time.'' (Boston Herald)
'STUPIDITY ON MY PART': Curt Schilling left the game after six with a 4-3 lead, but it would have been 4-0 had it not been for a string of four consecutive two-out hits in the fifth that pushed across all three Toronto runs. The uprising started when, with nobody on and one out, he walked No. 8 hitter Gregg Zaun on a 3-and-2 curveball, which the Herald's Tony Massarotti notes could be ''indicative of the transformation he is trying to achieve as a pitcher.'' Still, throwing a 3-and-2 curve to a bottom-of-the-order hitter was the stupidity Schilling talked about since, as he said, ''The law of averages if he puts the ball in play is that it’s going to be an out. Instead, I try to get cute. I still can’t believe I did it.''
AT LEAST SOMEONE WAS HAPPY: Vernon Wells loves the big stages of Boston and New York, and he was all smiles after his game-winning home run. (Toronto Star)
WHAT YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, TAO . . . is that the bunt is about the only offensive weapon at Coco Crisp's disposal. (Click the link to our good friend Tao of Steib to find out what I'm talking about.) Or does it just seem like approximately 81 of his 126 hits this year have been bunt singles?
COMEBACK KID: Matt Clement threw a 20-pitch simulated game yesterday, the first time he's faced hitters since last year's surgery, and tells McDonald and Kenyon he'd like to pitch in a game before the season ends.
IN THE LEAD: The Herald's Rob Bradford says Dustin Pedroia is the favorite to win the A.L. Rookie of the Year award.
WHAT IT'S LIKE ON THE INSIDE: The Rev. Anne Gardner, an Episcopal priest, is a game-day worker at Fenway Park and gives a glimpse into a job many people in Red Sox Nation would no doubt love to have. (Boston Globe)
ONE MORE TIME: Journal columnist M. Charles Bakst -- Charlie, to those of us who know him -- was at Fenway Park for Clay Buchholz' no-hitter and he writes about it in today's column. (And, yes, he can thank me for staying until the end; the tale he tells about me coming along and assuring him I'd drive him home so he wouldn't have to leave to catch the train is entirely accurate.) I posted my own out-of-focus cell-phone pictures, taken from Charlie's seat, to the blog when I got home; if you missed them, here they are. Seth Mnookin also catches up with the no-hitter and reminds us that the angst of losing Pedro Martinez could pale compared to the years of pleasure Buchholz may provide Red Sox Nation; the Sox, need we remind you, drafted Buchholz with the compensation pick they received when Martinez signed with the Mets. Just another reminder that letting go of nearing-the-end-of-the-line free agents is, more often than not, a good thing, since you miss the player's inevitable decline and the draft choice you receive for them can be quite valuable.
WHICH WOULD EXPLAIN . . . why the Red Sox don't seem to plan on bringing back Mike Lowell, no matter how good a year he's having. (Boston Globe)
HAVEN'T GOT TIME FOR THE PAIN: Alex Rodriguez ignored the ankle injury he'd suffered the night before and clubbed two home runs in the same inning as the Yankees exploded late for a 13-2 whipping of the Mariners. (New York Daily News) FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says that, because of heroics like this, A-Rod's price is going up by the minute. The Mariners, losers of 12 of their last 13, are just plain exploding . . . with frustration, at themselves and, last night, at plate umpire Greg Gibson. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
NUMBER ONE: Joba Chamberlain recorded his first major-league win in relief of fellow rookie Phil Hughes. (New York Daily News)
NUTTY: The New York Times quoted a piece of Norse mythology in putting forth the theory that the squirrel who seems to have found a home on the right-field foul pole in Yankee Stadium would be bad luck for the Yanks, but they're 4-0 in games in which he appears publicly. (New York Daily News)
THE GOOD AND THE BAD: The Yankees say Chien-Ming Wang is over his back stiffness and will start Sunday in Kansas City, but -- surprise, surprise -- reliever Luis Vizcaino has a sore shoulder and will miss the weekend series. (New York Daily News) It was just yesterday that Peter Abraham, on the LodHud Yankees Blog, was wondering why in the world Joe Torre was bringing Vizcaino into an 11-1 game. Yesterday Abraham noted ''Nobody beats the Viz, except the manager''.
A.L. RACES: There aren't really many of them, but the Tigers kept pace with the Yankees in the wild-card hunt by beating the White Sox.
WOULD YOU LIKE SOME CHEESE WITH THAT WHINE? The blog Crashburn Alley has no use for Chipper Jones' complaints about the umpires, saying it's typical of the Braves' ''sore loser'' mentality.
N.L. RACES: Ted Lilly pitched the Cubs over the Dodgers (Chicago Tribune) . . . The Braves delivered a gut punch to the Phillies by overcoming an 8-2, eighth-inning deficit for a 9-8 win (Philadelphia Inquirer) . . . The Diamondbacks beat the Padres to take over first place in the N.L. West. (Arizona Republic)
QUICKLY: Carl Crawford was handed a two-game suspension for his Monday run-in with the umpires (FoxSports.com) . . . The Mets will be without Carlos Delgado for about a week because of a hip injury (Newark Star-Ledger).
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 7:24 AM | Permalink