« October 2, 2007
October 4, 2007 »
October 3, 2007
Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew on Game One win:
“Hopefully it set the tone. I think it was definitely a great statement.”
“It is a short series and you want to accumulate wins as fast as you can. “I don’t think in any series you play you take wins for granted. This is a building block and hopefully we can carry into the next game.”
Drew on Kevin Youkilis:
“To see him come up with a big home run and double was great for him. I think he had some good at-bats tonight. . . Fans in Boston love him."
Drew on David Ortiz:
“He loves the big stage. He loves to go out there and perform at that level. He’s having a lot of fun and it’s fun to watch.”
Drew on Josh Beckett:
“It was one of those dominating performances that you don’t see too often. After the first hitter, he was virtually unhittable. He threw the ball great and he had a great night.”
Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp on the victory:
I don’t know what kind of a boost it is. We’ll see [Friday]. It’s just good to win, I don’t think it matters in what fashion whether we score 40 runs or we win by one run. A win is a win, and you always feel good after a win, either way.”
Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo:
“We put the pressure on them. They have to win at least two in a row.”
Posted by Joe McDonald at 11:02 PM | Permalink
Youkilis primed and ready
By Joe McDonald
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON _ Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew has taken a ton of abuse from fans this season, so he knows how difficult it can be to play in this market.
He made one quick and to-the-point statement after last night’s 4-0 victory over the Angels in Game One of the ALDS at Fenway Park. He was besieged by a horde of local and national media when he said: “Fans in Boston love him.”
The “him” he was referring to was none other than Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis.
Youkilis provided a huge offensive spark for Boston last night with a solo homer – his first career postseason hit – in the bottom of the first inning.
“I got a good pitch, a good fastball to hit, and took advantage,” said Youkilis. “I didn’t try to do too much, and luckily I got a good result out of it. I was very happy that it got out.”
It was a good sign for Youkilis and the Red Sox due to the fact he’s been hampered with a sore wrist for the last few weeks, but he showed no ill effects after he added a double to his performance last night.
“It felt a lot better as the days have progressed,” he said. “I feel like I’m progressing well. I think the biggest thing is the wrist doesn’t hurt as much now, and our training staff has done a great job helping me out and getting me ready. The best thing about it is, it’s playoff time and adrenaline helps the most.”
He reached career-highs this season in batting average (.288), home runs (16) and RBI (81), and if last night was an indication, he’s primed for a solid postseason, too.
Youkilis was on Boston's roster for the 2004 ALDS against Anaheim and the World Series against St. Louis. He went 0-for-2 in Game Two of the ALDS in his only postseason action. The Red Sox didn’t reach the postseason last Fall, but they’re ready to do some damage this October and Youkilis will be a big part of it.
“How great is that to keep playing in October?” he asked. “That’s the best felling you can have. Your adrenaline never gets as high as it does right now.”
Posted by Joe McDonald at 11:01 PM | Permalink
Putting Beckett in Perspective
Josh Beckett's complete-game shutout was notable for a number of reasons
* He became the seventh pitcher in major league history to throw back-to-back complete-game shutouts. His last, of course, came in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series and the first since Orel Hershiser in 1988.
* He's the first major leaguer to throw a post-seasons complete-game shutout of any kind since the Dodgers' Jose Lima blanked the Caridnals in Game 3 of the NLDS.
* Last night's shutout was the first for the Red Sox in the post-season since Luis Tiant shut down Cincinnati's Big Red Machine in Game 1 of the 1975 World Series.
After allowing a leadoff single to Chone Figgins, Beckett retired the next 19 hitters he faced.
That ties him for the third-longest such streak in post-season history.
The Brookyln Dodgers Don Larsen, of course, threw a perfect game in the 1956 World Series, retiring 27 in a row. Next up is the Herb Pennock, who retired 22 in a row in a World Series 1927 game.
Beckett is tied with Jim Lonborg (Game 2 of the 1967 World Series) and Mike Mussina (Game 1 of the 2004 ALCS against the Red Sox).
Posted by Sean McAdam at 10:53 PM | Permalink
BOSTON -- Mike Scioscia knew what the story was last night in Game One of the American League Division Series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
"The story tonight is (Josh) Beckett," the Angels manager said after watching his team fail to score while being held to just three hits by Boston's ace righthander, who retired 19 in a row after giving up a leadoff single in the first inning to Chone Figgins.
"The guy pitched an incredible ballgame."
Beckett pitched the kind of game Scioscia had been hoping for from his top starter, John Lackey, who won 19 games in helping the Angels win the A.L. West.
But unlike Beckett, who was throwing almost nothing but strikes, Lackey kept falling behind in the count -- especially in the early innings.
"Early in the game, getting early-count strikes was tough," Scioscia said. "It's too good of an offense to be behind, as he was."
Once the Angels fell behind 4-0 in the third, Scioscia knew it going to be tough to come back against Beckett.
"Beckett was about as good as we've seen him," Scioscia said. "I don't think you're going to be able to pitch a much better game that that.
"We just didn't quite pitch at a high enough level early in the game to stay within a run or two to give ourselves a chance to manufacture, or do something. Obviously, the way Beckett was throwing the ball, runs were going to be at a premium, and we didn't get any."
One of the only chances the Angels had was in the first, when Figgins moved to second on an infield grounder and then had third base stolen until Vladimir Guerrero hit a grounder that Sox third baseman Mike Lowell turned into the second out. Beckett then struck out cleanup hitter Garret Anderson, and didn't allow another baserunner until after there was one out in the seventh.
"We didn't have too many good looks at him," Scioscia said.
After a day off Thursday, the Angels will be looking at Daisuke Matsuzaka in Game Two on Friday night.
"You know we want to get back out there (right away)," said Scioscia. "I'm going to be honest with you -- the fact that this series stretches out so long is a weird set-up."
It doesn't help the Angels that David Ortiz, who hit a two-run homer in the third, and Manny Ramirez, who sat out most of September, are feeling good again and swinging well.
"We've seen that combination for quite some time," Scioscia said. "It's as good as it gets. You've got a left-right balance, and you've got two guys that get the ball out of any part of any ballpark. Those guys are good."
And Beckett couldn't have been much better.
"At times," said Scioscia, "you've got to tip your cap. It was a terrific game Beckett pitched."
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 10:53 PM | Permalink
-- The Red Sox have won seven straight postsesason games against the Angels, including three apiece in 1986 and 2004.
-- The victory last night snapped a three-game postseason losing streak for the Red Sox. They were swept in the 2005 ALDS by the Chicago White Sox.
-- Manny Ramirez went 1 for 3. The Six' left fielder has hit safely in 20 of his last 21 postseason games at a .326 clip (28 for 86). Over that stretch he has 4 doubles, 5 homers, 16 RBI, 14 runs scored and 13 walks.
-- The attendance of 37,597 was the highest ever for a playoff game at Fenway Park.
-- The Angels were blanked in the postseason for only the second time. The other shutout came on Oct. 6, 1979, in Game 4 of the ALCS against Baltimore.
-- John Lackey dropped to 2-2 with a 3.65 earned-run average in nine career playoff appearances.
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 10:31 PM | Permalink
Angels Tip Hats to Beckett; Vow to Bounce Back
By STEVEN KRASNER
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON -- The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim figuratively doffed their hats and bowed down to Boston starter Josh Beckett, who thoroughly dominated the visitors in a four-hit, 4-0 shutout last night at Fenway Park in the opener of the best-of-five American League Division Series.
Chone Figgins led off the game with a solid single to center, but then Beckett, backed by a 4-0 advantage after three innings, retired 19 in a row in muting the Angels' offense.
"It's not too often you run into a pitcher who has everything working and is spotting everything where he wants it. You just have to tip your hat to him," said rookie outfielder Reggie Willits, who flied out and whiffed in his two at-bats.
First baseman Casey Kotchman was similarly impressed.
"He wasn't just throwing the ball over the plate, he was throwing quality strikes. He threw a lot of offspeed stuff for strikes, too, not just fastballs. He threw a variety of pitches for strikes," added first baseman Casey Kotchman, who was 0 for 3, unable to get the ball out of the infield.
"He made his pitches," chimed in Figgins, who was 1 for 4, robbed of a leadoff hit in the ninth on a diving catch by defensive replacement Jacoby Ellsbury.
"He got a four-run lead early, and with his type of (aggressive, ace-like) mentality, and the way he pitches, we couldn't get any runs off him. You just have to tip your hat," said Figgins.
Veteran outfielder Garret Anderson also complimented Beckett, the majors' only 20-game winner (20-7).
"He was (throwing) strike one all night. And when a pitcher who is above average is (throwing) strike one all night, that makes it pretty tough. He didn't make a mistake all night," said Anderson of Beckett's ability to pound the strike zone with his first pitch of an at-bat, putting the Angels' hitters in a quick hole.
So now the Angels are in a hole in the series, too. They have a day off to contemplate their predicament before the teams meet for Game 2 on Friday at Fenway Park. And they certainly are not ready to run up any white flag.
"Today is over," said catcher Mike Napoli. "We just have to get after it on Friday."
"Our mindset (for Game 2)?" said Figgins, repeating a question. "To win. There can't be any other mindset but to win."
Posted by Steven Krasner at 10:03 PM | Permalink
Lackey Found Lacking in Fenway, Again
By STEVEN KRASNER
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON -- The numbers didn't just suggest that John Lackey, the ace right-hander for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, has a tough time succeeding at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox.
They scream out at you. Heading into last night's start in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, Lackey was a miserable 1-4 with a 7.46 earned-run average at Fenway.
He had a chance to render those numbers meaningless on the big stage last night. But he failed to do so, croaked for four runs on eight hits over the first three innings, giving Boston's ace right-hander, Josh Beckett, more than enough support in what turned out to be a 4-0 Red Sox win in the opener of the best-of-five series.
Lackey coughed up a solo homer to Kevin Youkilis in the first and a two-run homer to nemesis David Ortiz in the third, an inning in which Mike Lowell later chipped in with a run-scoring single for the four-run cushion.
Lackey, who was 19-9 with a league-leading 3.01 E.R.A, this season, rebounded with three shutout innings before being pulled from the game after six innings and 99 pitches. But the damage was done early, and once again Lackey was a loser in Fenway.
For his part, Lackey wasn't about to finger a Fenway hex for his poor performances at Fenway. Nor did the 6-foot-6, 245-pound right-hander think he pitched all that poorly last night.
"Honestly, I pitched better than the numbers are going to show," quietly insisted Lackey. "In the first inning, I had a pitch run over the plate (for Youkilis's homer). That happens. The only pitch I'd take back was the one to Ortiz. I had the base open (Youkilis was at second with one out) and I wasn't even trying to throw a strike. But I threw a strike (a hanging breaking ball, thigh high, over the middle of the plate)."
Catcher Mike Napoli knew as the pitch was bending its way to the plate in Ortiz's wheelhouse that it was trouble.
"He wasn't trying to give him a pitch to hit but he did, and good hitters hit those pitches," said Napoli.
The Sox were banging hits all around the ballpark over the first three innings, but Lackey did a good enough job of minimizing the damage.
"I'm not worried about how many hits I give up," said Lackey. "I'm more concerned with not giving up hits with runners in scoring position.
"I changed up a few things I was doing and it was a huge difference," said Lackey, who gave up only one hit over his final three innings. "I just missed location tonight with a couple of pitches early."
And he knew that pitching on this night against Beckett, who is likely to eclipse Lackey and Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia in the Cy Young voting, wasn't going to allow him much margin for error.
"With Beckett pitching the way he was (complete-game four-hitter), it's going to be tough. You have to hold their lineup down without getting much from your (own offense). He was just pitching too well," said Lackey.
Lackey just wasn't able to do enough last night, which was as much a statement of Lackey's dominance as it was anything else.
But Lackey did take solace in the fact he was able to blank the Red Sox over his final three innings. And what was it he did differently?
"I'm not going to say," said Lackey. "I may be facing them again."
If so, that would be on Monday, in Game 4, when he'd likely be matched up again with Beckett. But if so, it will be in Anaheim, not at Fenway Park, John Lackey's personal house of horrors.
Posted by Steven Krasner at 9:37 PM | Permalink
FINAL: Red Sox 4, Angels 0
By Joe McDonald
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON _ As last night’s Red Sox starter Josh Beckett began to warm up in the bullpen prior to Game One of the ALDS against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, it was appropriate that the musical group The Standells were playing their popular song “Dirty Water.”
The song has become an anthem for the Boston Nine as it plays over the sound system at Fenway Park, following a victory. But, it was very fitting for Beckett because he was filthy in his first postseason outing for the Red Sox.
The Cy Young candidate and 20-game winner, Beckett tossed a gem to lead Boston to a 4-0 victory over the Angels. From the first Angels batter he faced, he was clearly pumped up with his typical here’s-my-best-see-if-you-can-hit-it scenario. The answer was no.
The Angels had no shot at consistently connecting on any one of Beckett’s pitches from the get-go. He blew the fastball by them and changed things up a bit when he broke off some nasty curveballs en route to a 108-pitch outing.
Beckett surrendered a lead-off single to the Angels’ Chone Figgins that ricocheted off Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s glove and into center field. After that Beckett retired the next 19 batters he faced before losing a seven-pitch at-bat against Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero, who singled to left field with one out in the seventh inning.
Anaheim’s Howie Kendrick collected a one-out single in the eighth, and Guerrero added a two-out single in the ninth. But other than those four hits, the Angels could not muster any offensive threat on the powerful and in command Beckett.
On the other side, Angels’ starter John Lackey hasn’t had the best of luck at Fenway Park this season, and his skid continued tonight.
His last time here (Aug. 17) he allowed a season-high 11 hits in a season-low four innings, so the Red Sox made sure to jump on him early last night thanks in part to a Kevin Youkilis solo homer into the Monster Seats in the bottom of the first inning.
Youkilis kept things moving in the third with a one-out double before David Ortiz smashed a two-run homer into right right-field seats. Manny Ramirez followed with a walk, reached second on a wild pitch before Mike Lowell provided an RBI-single for a 4-0 Boston advantage.
Lackey exited after six innings, allowing four runs on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
With that four-run cushion, Beckett was clearly dialed in and he did the rest.
As a result, Boston takes a 1-0 lead in this five-game series, and 36,597 fans sang “Dirty Water.”
Posted by Joe McDonald at 8:42 PM | Permalink
Ortiz ties record
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz smashed a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning tonight to give him nine postseson roundtrippers. That mark ties teammate Jason Varitek for the most career postseason homers by a Red Sox player.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 7:37 PM | Permalink
Photo: Good start for Beckett
Journal photo / Bob Breidenbach
Josh Beckett pitches in the first inning of tonight's game. Through three innings, he has allowed no runs on one hit.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 7:34 PM | Permalink
Kevin Youkilis breaks out
Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who reached career-highs this season in batting average (.288), home runs (16) and RBI (81), belted a solo homer in the bottom of the first inning tonight off Angels starter John Lackey. The ball landed in the Monster Seats to give Youk his first postseason hit.
Youk was on Boston's roster for the 2004 ALDS against Anaheim and the World Series against St. Louis. He went 0-for-2 in Game Two of the ALDS in his only postseson action.
He added a double in the bottom of the third inning tonight.
Journal photo / Bob Breidenbach
Third-base coach DeMarlo Hale congratulates Kevin Youkilis after the first baseman slugged a solo home run in the first inning.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 6:53 PM | Permalink
Photo: Flying over Fenway
Journal photo / Bob Breidenbach
Fighter planes fly over Fenway Park before the start of tonight's game.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 6:02 PM | Permalink
Remy wins the election
The president of Red Sox Nation?
The guy who Red Sox fans see every time they watch a game on NESN.
Jerry Remy won a landslide victory in balloting for president of Red Sox Nation, garnering 39,120 votes in the election that was held via redsox.com, text messaging and by postcard. The next four finishers were what the Sox described as ''regular fans'' -- Rob Crawford (13,669), Jared Carrabis (9,445), Cheryl Boyd (5,305) and Cindy Brown (3,460).
What does it mean?
Posted by Art Martone at 5:59 PM | Permalink
Mike Scioscia pregame
Red Sox manager Terry Francona mentioned earlier today that his club finally has a healthy lineup. Anaheim skipper Mike Scioscia, however, continues to mix and match.
Unlike the Red Sox, the Angels haven't had their "model" lineup at any point this season. Still, the club has been able to win all year.
"We've done it all year," said Scioscia. "And, we'll continue to do it."
Posted by Joe McDonald at 4:54 PM | Permalink
Where to watch Friday night's game?
Who offers special drinks and a big screen, free wings, dogs, a buffet, prizes? Tell us about your place or your favorite place: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with its name, address, phone number, Web site, and all the details.
Here's a sample of one we received today that tells us what we need to know:
Anthony’s Restaurant, 659 Killingly Street, Johnston, (401) 454-1996. 9 TV screens, 25 cent chicken wings, half price appetizers during the game and pub menu.
Posted by Sheila Lennon at 4:43 PM | Permalink
| Comments 2
Red Sox Bullpen
As the regular season wound down, Red Sox manager Terry Francona tried to manage his bullpen not only in ways to bring a victory to Boston, but also to give relievers some work and build their confidence.
That was the case especially with right-hander Eric Gagne, obtained from Texas on July 31. Gagne faltered badly when he first came to the Red Sox and, after a bout of tendinitis in his right shoulder, he has gotten some innings. He hasn't exactly been called on for pressure-packed innings, but he was unscored upon in his last five outings, totaling 4 2/3 innings.
Hideki Okajima, meanwhile, was given almost a two-week rest to regain the strength that the left-hander lost over the second half of the season. He had a pair of one-inning outings over the final weekend of the regular season, blanking the Twins in each appearance.
Now, though, as MLB likes to say, "This Counts."
The postseason is no time for Francona to call on relievers for confidence-building sessions.
"It's time to win," said Francona.
So while he still will be calling on Okajima and Gagne, as well as Manny Delcarmen, Mike Timlin and Javier Lopez, Francona said he's going to let the score and situation dictate his moves, not the reliever's confidence level.
As a result, Francona said he will be summoning Papelbon, his fire-balling closer, quicker than normal, presumably for more than just a three-out save, partially because of the importance of the games in a five-game series, but also because there are days off tomorrow, Saturday and Tuesday if the series goes five games.
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 4:40 PM | Permalink
Respect for Mike Lowell
Now that Manny Ramirez has shown he is healthy enough to return to the cleanup spot, Boston manager Terry Francona had a batting-order decision to make.
Mike Lowell had become very comfortable in cleanup spot in Ramirez's absence. Ramirez suffered a strained left oblique and had to come out of the lineup on Aug. 28. Lowell batted fourth in most of those games when Ramirez sidelined and drove in 25 runs over the final month-plus.
Ramirez, though, is the Sox' number four hitter, so it's no surprise Francona is batting him behind David Ortiz tonight in Game 1 of the ALDS. But last season and for most of this year, Lowell has batted sixth, with J.D. Drew batting fifth. That order allowed the Red Sox to have a left-right-left-right quarter in the batting order, beginning with Ortiz, making it more problematic for the opposition to make situational late-game pitching changes.
But with the success and consistency Lowell has had down the stretch, Francona has opted to keep Lowell as high in the order as he can, in this case, fifth, even if it does create a situation where Boston has back-to-back right-handed hitters in the middle of the order.
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 4:28 PM | Permalink
Red Sox Lineup, Game 1 ALDS
-- Steven Krasner
Posted by Steven Krasner at 4:22 PM | Permalink
Wakefield update and bullpen forecast
The Sox revealed that knuckleballer Tim Wakefield has been suffering from some right shoulder soreness, forcing him off the roster for the ALDS. Previously, the Sox had implied that Wakefield's injury -- which cost him a start at the end of August -- was more related to his lower back.
Wakefield received a cortisone shot Sunday morning, the morning after making his final regular season start. He threw briefly again Tuesday morning, shortly before the Sox made the decision to keep him off the roster.
Francona acknowledged that a new rule -- which mandates that if a player is removed from the active roster in mid-series, he must also miss the next post-season series in its entirety -- played a factor.
``As the day evolved,'' said Francona, ``we knew that we were going to put Wake in an unfair position. If we ask him to fo pitch, he was going to be ready to pitch and then if we had to take him off the roster, we would lose him for the next round if we're fortunate enough to get there. So it definitely played a part in our thinking.''
Wakefield will progress slowly in the next few days. He'll play some catch and work up to a side session. He'll accompany the Sox to Anahiem Saturday and be monitored by the training staff.
``We'll do what we think is right,'' Francona said.
Francona, who managed the Philadelphia Phillies for four losing seasons from 1997-2000, said he was gladdened by the Phils' finish to the regular season and presence in the National League playoffs.
``You go through some tough times,'' said Francona, ``with some really good people. I hate to leave out names, but (chairman) Bill Giles was right at the top of that list. There is nobody -- I mean, nobody -- that I would want to have (enjoy success), because I bet you when they won that last game, the smile on his face made me feel good...I was thrilled for a lot of those people.
``The feeling may not be reciprocated on all avenues, but there were some people I was really happy for.''
Francona was asked about the value of having the home-field advantage.
``We've been a better team at home,'' he said. ``I think the Angles have been a better team at home; most teams are. Saying that, whoever plays better is going to win. But if you had to ask me which I would prefer, I'd rather play at home, for various reasons.
``We get to hit last. I think there can be some magic here at Fenway. This is our ballpark and we've played 81 games here. The place can get crazy late when things start happening. We know the field; we're supposed to be better here. But batting last is big, and should be an advantage.''
The Sox went into the ALDS with a 2-4 record in ALDS Game 1 openers. This is the first ALDS the Sox have opened at home. Previously, they've opened at Cleveland (1995, 1998, 1999), Oakland (2003) Anaheim (2004), and Chicago (2006)...Jason Varitek had the most post-season playoff experience, with 39 games...Ten Red Sox players went into the ALDS with no playoff experience: Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Cash, Eric Hinske, Jacoby Ellsbury, Manny Delcarmen, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Coco Crisp, Javier Lopez, Hideki Okajima and Jon Lester.
Posted by Sean McAdam at 4:18 PM | Permalink
Terry Francona pregame
The Red Sox manager was brief this afternoon because he's covered pretty much everything the last couple of days.
Boston finally has its lineup it wanted heading into tonight's Game One of the ALDS against the Angels. Everyone is healthy for the most part.
"We tried to get to a point where today we would have our lineup and pitching staff in order. Doesn't mean you win, doesn't mean you lose. But it means we send out our team the way we envisioned it and let them go play."
The manager also said it wasn't easy the last couple of weeks playing we different players out of the lineup at different times.
"We've remained together and strong and united," Francona said.
The Red Sox will send Daisuke Matsuzaka to the mound for Game Two of this series on Friday. It will be the first time this season Dice-K will face the Angels. Even though this is his first MLB postseason game, the right-hander has played in some big games in Japan.
Francona was asked this afternoon how curious he was to watch Dice-K's playoff debut.
"I'd say more than curious," said Francona. "I think that has not been an issue with us. I think we have enjoyed watching the way he has handled certain things that have been thrown at him. We've all seen the bumps in the road, the hiccups in some of the outings. But, being intimidated or shrinking from a challenge won't be one of them. I think this stage will be a good place for him to show what he can do."
"Because of those experiences [World Baseball Classic and High School Championship, which is extremely huge in Japan] I will be able to approach this game with the same approach and mentality that I've been able to approach my games during the regular season."
Posted by Joe McDonald at 4:09 PM | Permalink
Chone Figgins, 9
Orlando Cabrera, 6
Vlad Guerrero, DH
Garret Anderson, 7
Macier Izturis, 5
Casey Kotchman, 3
Howie Kendrick, 4
Mike Napoli, 2
Reggie Williams, 8
John Lackey, SP
Dustin Pedroia, 4
Kevin Youkilis, 3
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, 7
Mike Lowell, 5
J.D. Drew, 9
Jason Varitek, 2
Coco Crisp, 8
Julio Lugo, 6
Posted by Joe McDonald at 4:06 PM | Permalink
Schilling working out
Red Sox ace Curt Schilling is on the field playing long toss. The veteran right-hander will start Game Three on Sunday in Anaheim. It's always an impressive feat to watch a pitcher play long toss because of the accuracy they are able to produce from 150 feet. Schilling, however, is all over the place right now.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 2:06 PM | Permalink
Umpiring crew named
The six-man crew will be as follows: Gary Darling (home plate), Dan Iassogna (first base), Brian Runge (second base), Ted Barrett (third base), Tim Tschida (left field), CB Bucknor (right field).
Darling, a veteran of six divisional series, three league championship series and one World Series, will be the crew cheif.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 1:54 PM | Permalink
ProjoSoxTalk with Sean McAdam: Today's the day
Click here to listen to today's edition of projo SoxTalk. The playoffs start today, and McAdam takes a look at the predictions around the baseball world, and why many folks (except for those in Philadelphia -- what's that all about?) are betting against the Angels in this series.
Posted by Pam Cotter at 11:53 AM to McAdam
Projo Multimedia Gallery: What a year for a Red Sox photographer
Imagine being The Providence Journal photographer for a season at Fenway Park. The sights, the sounds, the inside look at the Red Sox players and fans.
Today, fans can get that same access -- as seen through the eyes of Journal photographer Bob Briedenbach, by accessing the multimedia walk through the 2007 season with Journal photographer Bob Breidenbach.
Hear his words as you watch some of his best photos, and relive what's turned out to be an amazing season. You can access more at projo Red Sox.
Posted by Pam Cotter at 10:43 AM | Permalink
Baseball Today: Wednesday, October 3
ONE MORE TIME: The Red Sox begin their quest to add another flag to their collection (above, Journal photo by Bob Thayer) tonight when they begin their ALDS series against the Angels. Sean McAdam examines the teams in each key area and gives the overall edge to the Red Sox, and also examines what the Sox need to do to stop Los Angeles of Anaheim, which in many ways plays like an old-style National League team and therefore presents some unique challenges. It all starts tonight at 6:37 p.m.
STARTING IT FOR THE SOX . . . will be Josh Beckett, who is, according to former manager Jack McKeon, a unique talent. Joe McDonald tells us why.
AND FINISHING IT . . . (if they're ahead, that is) will be Jonathan Papelbon. Steven Krasner profiles the closer and reports last year's injury may have been the best thing that could have happened for his career.
DOING NEITHER . . . will be Tim Wakefield, who was left off the ALDS roster. Find out why, along with other tidbits, in the notebook written by McAdam, Krasner and McDonald.
UNIQUE CHALLENGES: Orlando Cabrera was here in 2004. Now he's with the Angels and he knows what he and his teammates can expect. Kevin McNamara tells us exactly what.
NO SUBSTITUTE FOR VICTORY: Bill Reynolds says 2004 changed the landscape locally; now, the season will be considered a failure if the Sox lose in the first round.
ONLINE ONLY: If you were with us here on projo.com's Sox Blog yesterday, you would have seen many things -- such as Brandon Moss being asked to stay with the team even though he's not on the roster (Joe McDonald), Eric Gagne saying he's turned a corner and is ready to contribute to the Sox in the postseason (McDonald) and Kevin Cash talking about how lucky he is to be with the Sox (Krasner) -- you didn't see in print. There'll be more Web exclusives today right here, so check back often.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES: Our sister publication, the Riverside Press-Enterprise, has the Angels covered. In today's editions, beat writer Matt Hurst says the Angels are where they are ''because of the way they've mixed young talent with veterans -- much more expertly than their sniping neighbors in blue.'' (That's the Dodgers, for those a little fuzzy on West Coast geography.) Columnist Gregg Patton says Angels followers have a ''universal fear of Boston'' and would much rather have played the Yankees, whom LA of A, inexplicably, beats like a drum. Hurst reports on the Angels' injuries, which will deprive them of both center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. and starting pitcher Bartolo Colon in this series.
PLAYOFF INVASION: The citizens of Orange County are worried that Angels Stadium will be overrun by Red Sox Nation in the playoffs, similar to the way it is in the regular season, as Angels ticket-holders -- seeing a chance to make a hefty profit -- sell off to Red Sox fans. (Los Angeles Times)
SURVIVOR: The Boston Globe's Jackie MacMullen has a nice piece on Mike Lowell, a team leader who's been through enough in his life to keep baseball in perspective.
A DIFFERENT LOOK: Theo Epstein was rock-star popular, and rock-star accessible, back when he built the World Series champions of 2004. Now he's lower-profile -- and less popular, in the wake of less successful seasons and some personnel decisions that haven't turned out as well as he'd hoped -- but the Globe's Dan Shaughnessy reports Epstein says he's learned a lot these few years. He thinks this team can win it all, and also makes an interesting comment that applies to those who think teams with high payrolls -- like the Red Sox and Yankees -- have an inherent, unfair advantage: ''[There's] a lot of things that we have to deal with in this market that other teams don't have to deal with. Performance'' -- i.e., the belief that a player who performs well in a certain locale will do the same in any other -- ''doesn't always translate for us [because of the unique pressures involved in playing in a high-profile, high-expectation market; think Edgar Renteria, in other words]. There are easier places to build winning ball clubs. So in my mind, those factors in some ways cancel each other out."
HERE'S WHY: The Boston Herald's Tony Massarotti explains the rationale behind the different roster makeup -- three catchers, only 10 pitchers -- in the postseason.
MAN WITH A PLAN: That's Manny Ramirez . . . no matter what it may look like to outsiders. (Boston Herald)
LAST HURRAH: The Herald's Inside Track reports that Coco Crisp was telling fans at Friday's clinching celebration he expects to be traded this offseason to make room in center field for Jacoby Ellsbury.
HE'S BACK! Not only has Kevin Youkilis updated his blog, but he promises to do so after every playoff game.
THE WINNER IS . . . SI.com's Tom Verducci picks the Red Sox and Yankees to advance to the ALCS . . . FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal is picking the Red Sox to win the World Series, in part because he thinks the longer schedule plays into their strength (pitching) . . . Now writing for SportingNews.com in addition to Baseball Musings, David Pinto picks the Indians over the Yankees . . . All the Philadelphia writers say the Angels will beat the Red Sox.
NOW OR NEVER: In a well-written ESPN The Magazine piece, Howard Bryant says this month will determine if Alex Rodriguez conquers New York, or abdicates the crown.
DON'T FORGET THE PAST: The New York Post's Joel Sherman says the Yankees wouldn't have come anywhere near the playoffs without A-Rod.
FALL GUY: The Post's Kevin Kernan gives us the Conventional Wisdom on Derek Jeter.
BUT HE'S NOT QUITE AS GOOD AS RUBE MARQUARD: Maury Allen says Joba Chamberlain will soon erase whatever memories are left of Bob Feller. (thecolumnists.com)
THE REST OF THE STORY: The story of the N.L. East is being written in context of the Mets' collapse. But the blog Welcome To Crashburn Alley thinks it's time to show some love for the Phillies, who made one of the greatest comebacks in baseball history.
FORGET THAT; BACK TO THE METS: Writing in the Village Voice, Allen Barra says the Mets' implosion ''was a bomb that waited all season long to drop.''
BEWARE, YANKEES: In the same story, Barra writes that during the Yankees' second-half surge ''there were ominous signs that were obscured by the 10- and 12-run barrages repeatedly put up by the hitters. Both Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte were once again shelled in their last outings, putting considerable doubt on their postseason reliability—and, in perhaps the most disturbing incident, Mariano Rivera blew yet another save by giving up three runs in a game meaningless to anyone but himself against Baltimore. What Yankees fans may soon find themselves facing up to is the fact that their pitching staff is every bit as shaky as the Mets', and that, when Joba Chamberlain isn't on the mound, their bullpen may be even worse.''
AND BACK TO THE METS AGAIN: SNY.tv's Mike Salfino idenitifes the culprits of the Mets' failure.
WHAT, ME WORRY? Willie Randolph will return as Mets manager and says he never doubted that he would. (New York Post)
NATIONAL LAUGHINGSTOCK: Now the Mets are the subjects of a Conan O'Brien comedy bit. (youtube.com)
ARE YOU SERIOUS? When ESPN's Tim Kurkjian came out against instant replay in baseball -- the debate sparked when Colorado defeated San Diego in the wild-card play-in game Monday night even though it appeared Matt Holliday never touched home plate when he scored the winning run -- he was quickly refuted by ESPN Radio's Mike Greenberg, who says there's ''no reason not to correct any mistake that is correctable.'' The L.A. Times' Bill Dwyre agrees.
TOUGH CALL: Writing on Baseball Musings this time, Pinto says it ''certainly wasn't an easy call.''
MYSTERY MAN: With the Cubs back in the playoffs, people are naturally curious if Steve Bartman -- who joined the billy goat as symbols of the team's futility in 2003 -- will be back at Wrigley Field. But he's not talking, and neither are the people who know him. (New York Times)
WELL, THAT DIDN'T TAKE LONG: Scott Boras won't get the chance to string the Braves along for three months in the Andruw Jones sweepstakes. Atlanta yesterday bid goodbye to its long-time center fielder, saying Boras' initial demands were enough to convince them that no deal could be reached and that they're moving in other directions. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
QUICKLY: The Tigers have told Todd Jones and Kenny Rogers they'll be welcomed back in 2008 and said goodbye to Sean Casey, but they apparently haven't yet made up their minds on Ivan Rodriguez (Detroit Free Press) . . . Jim Leyland will also be back in Detroit (Detroit News) . . . Devils Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey was arrested for DUI (mlb.com) . . . The Mets' Scott Schoeneweis could be banned from baseball if the steroids allegations prove to be true (New York Daily News).
NEVER TOO EARLY FOR TRADE/FREE AGENT SPECULATION: The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the Mets will make a run at Johan Santana this winter. Newsday's Jim Baumbach thinks that's a great idea . . . The White Sox are eyeing free-agent center fielders Torii Hunter and Aaron Rowand (Chicago Sun-Times) . . . The Giants may take a run at the Marlins' Miguel Cabrera and the Devil Rays' Carl Crawford (San Francisco Chronicle) . . . The Pirates are taking their time deciding Jim Tracy's fate (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 7:09 AM | Permalink