Thursday, August 30, 2007

8/30/07--Red Sox @ Yankees

I just walked in from taking my dog for a walk, and saw a Procede commercial on the screen, so I immediately knew that I would be watching the YES feed for today's game.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that it's in HD, so that's something.

Let's go Sox!
  • Pedroia is a better hitter than he's shown in this series.  He pops up to begin the game.  Not exactly the stuff I was looking for from the Red Sox starting off today.
  • Coco Crisp flies out on a 3-2 count.  He sucks, and I hate him.
  • David Ortiz strikes out.  Great start, guys.
  • Johnny Damon flies out, then Derek Jeter bloops a hit into center.
  • But then Abreu strikes out, which is a good sign, since the YES guys claimed before the game that Abreu was the one Yankee who gives Schilling the most trouble.
  • And A-Rod strikes out looking.  He gave it a half swing, and then looked angry.  I'm not sure if he's mad at himself, or claiming it wasn't a strike.  But it was a good pitch, so sit down, A-Rod.
  • Lead-off walk to Youkilis.  Brian says those score 60% of the time.  We'll see what happens here.
  • 6-4-3 double play.  Giambi had to dive for a return throw, and Michael Kay wet himself.
  • The Yankees should be ashamed of being behind a team that has Drew, Crisp and Lugo in the lineup.  Drew grounds out to Jeter.  Inning over.
  • I'm tempted to put the game on mute, but I can't stand watching in silence.  If Kay freaks out again over a fly ball, though, it might just happen, though.  Matsui flies out.
  • Posada should consider learning to bunt before he tries to do so into the shift that the Red Sox defense has for him.  Just a strike.  Posada then strikes out on a 3-2 count.  Three strikeouts for Schilling.
  • Giambi flies out to left.  1-2-3 inning.
  • Another lead-off walk to Varitek.  This is what Clemens was doing last night, and the Red Sox never took advantage.  I'd sure like to see some walks come back to hurt Wang.
  • Hinske strikes out swinging after a really questionable called strike two.
  • Cora is in to give a day off to Lugo.  With Lugo in, I'd say there's a 90% chance of a double play to end the inning.  With Cora, I'll change that to 75%.
  • No double play, but Cora does fly out to left field.
  • Giambi makes a play at first that is pretty routine for a first baseman who's not fat and recovering from a steroid problem.  Michael Kay's response?  "Glove is a many splendored thing."  For god's sake.
  • Stop Mike Lupica called the Red Sox lineup a "joke" in his last post.  I'll grant you that they're not hitting the crap out of the ball, but I'd say they have held their own.  The lead in the East and the best record in baseball suggests that, but so do these statistics:  in the MLB overall, they are third in runs scored, second in OBP, and seventh in SLG and OPS.  Sure, the Yankees are first in those categories, but they're behind where it counts.  A lot of the Red Sox lineup sucks, but the pitching has been great, and the offense is obviously doing something right.  Only a Red Sox hater would define them as a "joke."
  • Cano leads off the bottom of the third with a home run to center.  Nice going, Curt.  1-0, Yankees.
  • Schilling is certainly not fooling anyone in this inning.  Cabrera gets a base hit right back up the middle.
  • Coco makes a nice sliding, backhanded catch to rob Damon of a hit.  One out.
  • The Yankees like to swing at the first pitch against Schilling, and who could blame them?  Base hit to right for Jeter.  Runners at first and second, one out.
  • Abreu swings at the first pitch and flies out to left field.  Two outs.
  • Just as Kay is talking about Schilling only hitting 87 mph on the radar gun, A-Rod pops up an 88 mph fastball.  Inning over.
  • Curt Schilling faced six batters in the third and only threw ten pitches.  39 total through three innings.  That will help him a little bit.
  • Crisp grounds out to begin the inning.  I missed it, so I'm guessing he swung at the first pitch.  Then Ortiz breaks his bat on a groundout to second.  Two outs.
  • Youkilis walks again.  Now sit back and watch the Red Sox let Wang get away with yet another walk.
  • Mike Lowell looks awful at the plate against Wang.  He doesn't look anything like the hitter I've been watching all year.  If he stopped swinging at bad pitches, he'd be in a 3-0 count right now.  Instead, it's 1-2.
  • Mike Lowell hits a nubber in front of the plate to end the inning.  Four innings, and Wang has a no-hitter.  Just like last night.
  • Matsui pops up to Varitek to lead off the fourth.  One out.
  • Posada strikes out swinging, and looks very silly doing it.  Two outs.
  • Giambi flies out to center to end the inning.  1-2-3 on eleven pitches.
  • $14,400,000 grounds out to start off the fifth.  On the first pitch.  One out.
  • Varitek accepts Wang's fourth walk (seventh in the series for Varitek, which is just strange).  I bet nothing comes of that.  Again.
  • Hinske struck out looking.  What the hell is going on here?  Wang is walking a guy every inning.  Do something about it!
  • Cora lines out to center.  Wang has a no-hitter through five.  Have I mentioned that I hate the Yankees?  Because I do.  Sometimes I try to at least feign objectivity, but I can't do it today.  I hate them.  It's irrational, but true.
  • Jesus.  Cano hits another home run to close to the same place.  If all Schilling does wrong is throw two bad pitches to the Yankee second baseman, I guess I can't fault him too much.  But crap.  It's not a good thing when the Red Sox can't hit the damn ball at all.Also, it seems like every Yankee hitter gets a curtain call every time he does anything, doesn't it?  Doesn't that sort of diminish the curtain call?  It wasn't a game winning home run.  Try and find some perspective, Yankee fans.  2-0, Yankees.
  • Cabrera walks.  Schilling is getting a bit squeezed on a few calls here.  I hate the argument that it's hard for an ump to call a strike when the pitcher misses his spot and the catcher has to move the glove.  Why are they watching the catcher's glove?  Watch the ball, and call it.
  • Nice play from Lowell, catching a line drive from Damon.  Cabrera was running, so it turns into a double play.  Two outs.
  • Jeter singles up the middle.  He's 3-3 in the game.
  • Schilling is lucky.  Abreu flies out to deep left.  We're through five, and the Red Sox need to quit sucking.
  • I missed the first out, so once again it happened quickly.  Crisp is up to bat...and he flies out to center.  If I am live blogging what will be a no-hitter from a Yankees' pitcher, I'm going to cry.  Seriously.  It's time for David Ortiz to do what he did last night to Clemens.
  • Ortiz checked his swing on the 1-2 count, and he's lucky it wasn't the called third strike.
  • Ortiz strikes out swinging, and Wang has the no-hitter through six.
  • A-Rod leads off by flying out.  The Yankees continue to swing at the first pitch.
  • I'm just going to go ahead and say it-- Wang won't throw the no-hitter, but the Red Sox will not come back in this game, and the lead in the East will be down to five games.
  • Matsui flies out to center.  Two outs.
  • Posada flies out to right.  Youkilis, Lowell and Drew coming up in the top of the seventh.  Will they do anything?
  • Youkilis hits a grounder to first, and Jeter made his second bad throw of the game.  Giambi tried to tag Youkilis, but didn't get him as Youkilis slid under the tag.  The Yankees are arguing, but replays clearly show Giambi missed Youk.  E-6 (strange, because I didn't think gods could make errors).  Still a no-hitter, but at least it's a base runner.
  • And Mike Lowell ends the no-hitter with a single to right field, extending his hitting streak to twelve games.  Two on, nobody out, and Wang is up over 90 pitches with no one warming as of yet in the bullpen.
  • Grounder to third, and A-Rod tries to tag Youk.  Youk ends up on the grass by a step (or "well out of the baseline" according to Yankee commentators) and A-Rod misses him.  As of now, runners at second and third, one out. But the umps are conferencing.
  • And they call Youk out.  It might have been the right call, but I don't know.  Youk was definitely in the baseline when A-Rod missed the tag, and out of it after A-Rod threw to first.  This is a big call, and it's no surprise to anyone that it goes against the Red Sox.  But it's certainly not as clear as the Michael Kay and his cohorts are claiming.
  • Francona argues, and gets ejected. 
  • Now, instead of second and third and one out, it's a runner on second with two outs.  Varitek at the plate with a 1-2 count.
  • Wang strikes out Varitek, and the Red Sox continue to suck when it matters.
  • Another stupid singing of "God Bless America."  I'll be checking out the Mets/Phillies game for a few minutes.
  • The worst part when shit like this happens is having to listen to gloating Yankee fans about their team of destiny.  In related news, check out Depressed Fan later for a recap.
  • Schilling is out for the seventh.
  • The Yankee commentators are discussing the rule with regard to running out of the base path.  Apparently, the rule says you can't run more than three feet away from a direct line between bases.  The lip of the grass is not three feet from the line between second and third, but Youkilis definitely ran more than three feet from where he started, which was behind the bag.  But the rule doesn't indicate that the "direct line" means anything other than the straight line that can be drawn between second and third.  If that's what "direct line" means, then Youk shouldn't be called out.  Girardi is insisting that "direct line" means whatever line the baserunner is running, but that's not what the rule says.  It's all semantics, though, and it's over.  So, whatever.
  • While I was writing all that, Schilling got Giambi to ground out and Cano to fly out.  Two outs.
  • Cabrera grounds out, and the inning is over.  Here comes Chamberlain to face Hinske, Cora and Pedroia.  Might as well just look to the ninth.
  • Hinske flies out to Damon in left.  One out.
  • Cora grounds it hard to A-Rod on the first pitch.  Two outs.  Way to work the count, Cora.
  • Dustin Pedroia hits a double down the line in right field, to bring Coco Crisp to the plate.  Bunt, Coco!  It's your only hope.
  • 1-2 count to Coco.  Guess the bunt is off.
  • Coco hits a dribbler up the first base line, making it a very easy play for Andy Phillips.  Inning over.
  • Okajima is in for the eighth, to face the top of the order.
  • Damon flies out to center, then Jeter gets his fourth hit of the day.
  • Jeter was running with the pitch, and Abreu splits the outfielders.  3-0, Yankees.  I might turn off the TV.
  • The Red Sox choose to intentionally walk Rodriguez, which is probably the right move, but does it even matter at this point?  There is a huge, huge difference between a two-run lead and a three-run lead.
  • Torre sent the runners on the 2-2 pitch, but Matsui fouled it down the right field line.
  • Runners go again, and two runs score when the throw gets away from Lowell.  5-0, Yankees.

I'm no fairweather fan, but I woke up early this morning, and this game is doing nothing for my energy level.  So, I'll be back later to finish this, but we all know how it will end.

  • Oh, whatever.  I'm back.  But only because of what just happened in the top of the ninth.  Torre decided to leave Chamberlain in.  Ortize flies out, then Youk steps to the plate.  And Chamberlain throws a ball over Youk's head at 98 mph.  I guess this was this kid's ill-advised attempt to get back at the Red Sox for hitting A-Rod in game one.  No way it wasn't intentional, since, as Brian tells us, the kid has perfect control.  Then, Chamberlain does it again, and the home plate umpire throws him out.  I don't blame the ump.  Throwing at a guy's head is crazy.  Twice makes it look like Chamberlain didn't do it on purpose, but I'd bet the farm that the first one was intentional.  The second one could have just been a mistake.
  • Edwar Ramirez comes in with a 3-1 count to Youk, and throws one ball.  Runner on first, one out.
  • Youk advances to second on a ball that gets past Posada.
  • Lowell strikes out.  So much for the ejection lighting a fire in the Red Sox.
  • Youk advances to third on another wild pitch from Ramirez.
  • Drew fouls out to third.  I can't wait to break down what we paid him for this year.

Game over.  Sweep completed.  The Orioles loom back at Fenway over the weekend, so the Red Sox need to shake this off and get back to business.  The lead is still five, after all.  I refuse to panic.  No doubt that a sweep sucks, but let us never speak of it again.


Player of the Game:  Yeah right.


Record:  80-54



COMMENTS:

AUTHOR: Jack Cobra

DATE: 08/30/2007 04:07:31 PM

wait, wait, wait....they just said that youk can't tossed after joba threw up around his head?
-----


AUTHOR: Jack Cobra

DATE: 08/30/2007 04:10:34 PM

actually joba was tossed, not youk
-----


AUTHOR: Erin

DATE: 08/30/2007 04:13:02 PM

Yep.  Threw two consecutive balls over Youk's head.
-----


AUTHOR: Jack Cobra

DATE: 08/30/2007 04:14:54 PM

veeery interesting.....that would be the time to do it since the yanks weren't coming up to bat again.
-----


AUTHOR: JJ

DATE: 08/30/2007 04:50:53 PM

I can't believe Boston was so hot to sign Drew.  Drew disappointed every team and manager he's played for in the big leagues.  I thought Epstein was a smart guy till wasted money on him. It will be interesting to see a breakdown on how much he's paid to suck. 
-----


AUTHOR: stopmikelupica

DATE: 08/30/2007 08:05:24 PM

Wow, great recap (someone should have told me you had the live blogging duties today).  Great job detailing what was going on - that's the way it should be done (ahemBrian). 

Oh, my post said that the Sox lineup, minus Manny, is pretty unimpressive.  It is - it's Ortiz and not much else (Drew, Lowell, Lugo, Crisp, etc).  Youk is annoying as hell - he just stands at the plate, not swinging.  My favorite Youk moment is how he coaxed a walk out of a 0-2 count, while I joked that whole time he would find a way to get that BB!

Varitek is a little scary, since he always kills the Yankees.

Anyway, love how Manny always finds a way to take the most important games off.

Chamberlain was throwing at Youk's head.  I don't know why, but this may be one of the few times I actually would like to see someone get hit.  Youk because he's so annoying, and maybe Drew just to see how long he's on the DL for.  But yeah, unlike Brian, I think throwing at hitters is unnecessary in general....
-----


AUTHOR: Brian

DATE: 08/30/2007 08:42:15 PM

To each his own, SML. We'll get to see your live-blogging skills during the Knicks' 30-win season, no doubt.

If Joba was throwing at Youkilis, why didn't he hit him? He does have pin-point control after all. Two shots at it, and he doesn't hit him once? I'm not buying it.
-----


AUTHOR: JJ

DATE: 08/30/2007 09:10:10 PM

I didn't see the game... was he throwing high and inside to move him off the plate and it just got away from him?

Like SML, if he was throwing at someone intentionally, I'd like it to be Drew.  Let's see how long he milks that one on the DL.  Erin, can't wait to see the breakdown of how much Drew is paid to stink.  We Philly people love to see him fail. 
-----

A Must Win?

You all know what happened last night at Yankee Stadium.  Roger Clemens didn't have his best stuff, but the Red Sox sure made him look like he was dealing.  Josh Beckett didn't have his best stuff either, but he did all right except for that one bad inning.  And then Francona left him in at least one batter too long, to allow the home run to A-Rod that ended up being the difference in the game.

Yankees' fans would have you believe that a sweep today would make the A.L. East an actual race.  I'm somewhat inclined to disagree on that one.  Yes, a win for the Yanks would put the deficit at only five.  But that's still a five game deficit with around thirty games to go.  I'm not saying it's impossible, but it would take a lot of effort. 

The Red Sox have not played well the last two games.  If we look at history, this isn't all that surprising.  A good Red Sox team traditionally plays differently against the Yankees.  Over at Depressed Fan today, he brought up last year's five-game sweep.  I don't think there's any way to equate this set of games with those five at Fenway.  The Red Sox were injured, the pitching staff was sucking, and the Sox went into that series down 1.5 games, not up eight.  They have a bit of a cushion, and they know it, and that changes things.

I think the Yankees could sweep today, and the Red Sox will still go on to play well against the Orioles at home this weekend.  There's a chance the Red Sox didn't really feel the need to win these last two games (hence the reason Manny is sitting) because they had such a huge lead.  Maybe today they'll wake up, and maybe they won't.  Either way, it's not do or die.

I do hope for a win today, obviously, and maybe Curt Schilling will surprise me.  But I'm not expecting miracles.  Wang is good, and he'll probably be good today.  If the Red Sox lose, of course, the media (and Yankee fans) will tell you there is panic in
Red Sox Nation.  Don't believe it.  There certainly won't be any panic
over here.  I don't believe a sweep today will send the Red Sox into a tailspin.  They will keep winning, and the Yankees will have to do the same if they hope to take the East.  Otherwise, they can have the Wild Card, and we can all giggle when Yankee fans tell us that all that really matters is getting to the playoffs any way they can (a different tune than they've sung in recent years).

Oh, and I've got time today, so I think I'll be doing some live blogging.


Player of the Game for Wednesday:  Kevin Youkilis.  His home run off Farnsworth made it a game.

It's Getting CLoser

The Padres are sticking it to the Diamondbacks this week, winning the first three of a four-game series.  How does that impact the Dodgers?  I'm glad you asked.  We'd have preferred it if Arizona had done the winning, since the Dodgers were closer in the Wild Card than they were in the West.  But, as long as the Dodgers keep winning and one of those two teams keep losing, things keep looking brighter for the Dodgers.  Now that Arizona and San Diego are tied atop both leaderboards, it doesn't really matter anymore which of them wins and which of them loses, so long as they don't both go on to win games after this series.  The Dodgers still have three games left with each of the two teams, so things are getting interesting.  Here are your up-to-the-minute standings:


First, the Wild Card:

**ORIGINAL FILE MISSING**




And then the West:

**ORIGINAL FILE MISSING**

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Do We Think This WIll Help?






COMMENTS:

AUTHOR: JJ

DATE: 08/30/2007 09:45:37 AM

Again, the Dodgers steal an old guy from the Phils...LOL. 

Laughing aside, your Dodger's relief pitching is in better shape than ours.  Proctor was a guy I wish we had gotten and is a good set up man for Saito, who has just been lights out this season. 

In contrast, our bullpen:
* A guy with six fingers who looks like he  swallowed a small child (Alfonseca),
* An old guy who gives us heart failure (Mesa),
* The Three Stooges (Condrey, Romero and Geary)
* An old tired arm the Yankees were smart enough to see was shot (Gordon- 5 BS in only a half a 
  season's work)
* And last but not least, a wifebeater serving up grapefruits (Meyers)

The best of the lot is the 6 fingered fat guy...not exactly a staff you make a playoff run with, is it? The Dodgers are in much better shape for a playoff run.
-----


AUTHOR: The GM

DATE: 08/30/2007 10:51:48 AM

For some reason Billy Beane has started giving players away now.  It's not like his 8 million was killing us like Jason Kendall's dead salary was.
-----


AUTHOR: JJ

DATE: 08/30/2007 04:28:03 PM

GM,
Yeah, what is up with Billy Beane anyway? 

His A's aren't making their traditional second half run.  Did he get away from his 'Moneyball' principles of picking players?
-----

Dodgers Make Big Comeback, Play Extra

This game started off terribly, and looked awful for about five innings.  Then there was one good inning, followed by about six more bad ones.  In other words, this was a long game.

And, it just so happened to fall on what I think will go down as the hottest day in Los Angeles this year.  I can't guarantee it, but on my way to the game, a woman on the radio told me that the Hollywood Hills could possibly reach 105 degrees.  I don't know if it got there, but it was close.  And that's why I found a seat in the shade and stayed there.  I honestly have no idea how the people in the sun did it.  I sat in the full sun on a day like this last year, and it nearly killed me.  I don't mind heat, but the sun just beats on you mercilessly as you sit in your seat, and it gets painful.

Brad Penny didn't help the climate at Dodger Stadium.  After pitching a good first inning, Brad never looked the same again.  In the second, he gave up a bunch of hits and four runs.  The Dodgers answered back with a two-run home run from Russell Martin in the bottom of the inning, cutting the lead in half.  4-2, Nationals.

Both teams exchanged a few runs until the Nationals took control in the sixth and scored three runs of Mark Hendrickson, who had come in to replace Penny.  It was now 8-3, Nationals, and it didn't look good.  It was hot, and my dog had been alone for a while in the heat, and I was seriously considering leaving.  My plan was to wait until after the Dodgers batted in the sixth.  If they showed no signs of life, I was gone.

Turns out they would do better than that.  Matt Kemp grounded out to third to lead off the inning, and I was one-third of the way out of my seat.  Then Jeff Kent hit a ground rule double to right, and Gonzalez walked.  Martin hit into what looked like a double play, and certainly at least one out.  But Felipe Lopez, the Nationals' shortstop, who has just not played very well defensively in this series, couldn't get a handle on the ball, and everyone was safe.  Bases loaded, one out.

Loney came to the plate and hit a double down the right field line, clearing the bases and making it a ball game again.  8-6, Nationals.  The Nationals brought in a reliever, and Shea Hillenbrand came up to bat.  I looked at his stats on the right field scoreboard, and I thought to myself, "This would be a great time for his first home run of the season."  Sure enough, Hillenbrand corked a home to left center, and the game was tied.  A five-run inning, and we had a new ball game.

Rudy Seanez came in, got one out, then hit a batter.  Joe Beimel came in to replace him and gave up back-to-back hits immediately, and the Nationals took the lead again, 9-8.  Talk about letting the air out of a balloon.  But in the bottom of the seventh, Matt Kemp led off with a home run that just barely made it over the right field fence, and suddenly the score was tied again.

And tied it would stay, for a while.  The Dodgers had a few chances, most notably in the tenth inning, which is the last one I saw in person.  Russell Martin led off with a walk, and Loney apparently got the sign to bunt.  That's fine, as long as he lays it down.  But Loney couldn't do that, and popped up to the catcher.  Then Russell Martin tried to steal second with Hillenbrand at the plate.  For whatever reason, Martin decided to stop halfway, and was caught in a rundown.  Why he didn't keep going to second is beyond me.  It was a big blunder, and suddenly there were two outs.

I listened to the rest of the game on the radio while on my way home to talk to my dog and see the Sox and Yankees play.  Scott Proctor came up big, pitching the tenth, eleventh and twelfth innings.  He started to run out of gas in the twelfth, and let a couple men on, but got out of it on what seemed like a nicely turned double play.

Jeff Kent led off the twelfth with a single, then Eric Stults, the pitcher, came in to pinch-hit.  I'm not sure why exactly.  I guess he was going to pitch the next inning if it came to that, and he's not a bad hitter, but we still had Lieberthal on the bench.  So it was a strange move.  Stults couldn't lay down the bunt, and struck out looking.  Martin got a double to right field, and Kent was running with the pitch, so he went to third.  The Nationals walked Loney intentionally to get to Hillenbrand, and pulled the outfield in a lot (the guys on the radio said they'd never seen a team play that shallow).  Hillenbrand flied to right, and Kent came in from third with head-first slide, just beating the throw to win the game.  10-9, Dodgers.  The third straight one-run win against a crappy team, but it counts the same in the standings.

Awesome, awesome win.  It means a four-game winning streak, and it leads into a big, big series with the Padres this weekend in San Diego.  A loss today would have been heartbreaking, but the Dodgers were able to make sure it didn't come to that.


Pierre Watch:  1-6.  Crappy game.



Player of the Game:  Shea Hillenbrand, second night in a row.  2-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 run scored.  Honorable mention to Scott Proctor for those three scoreless innings.


Record:  70-63



COMMENTS:

AUTHOR: Jack Cobra

DATE: 08/29/2007 09:53:50 PM

I listened to the rest of the game on the radio while on my way home to talk to my dog

You talk to your dog???
-----


AUTHOR: Erin

DATE: 08/29/2007 09:57:11 PM

Of course I talk to my dog.  It's not like she talks back or anything.
-----


AUTHOR: Jack Cobra

DATE: 08/30/2007 04:01:10 PM

Oh, ok. I guess as long as she doesn't talk back....keep me updated on that.
-----

Dodgers Hang On for the Win

Chad Billingsley did his job tonight, though I'm sure he would have liked it much better if he hadn't given up the third run on a home run to Tony Batista (a pinch-hitter who got his first home run in that at-bat).  But, still.  Three runs over seven innings is not bad at all.

And, luckily for Chad, the Dodgers were once again able to come from behind and put together enough runs to come out on top.  Jeff Kent led off the second with a little dribbler, which the pitcher ill-advisedly tried to field and throw to first.  The result was an error that allowed Kent to advance to second base.  Gonzalez flied out, then Martin walked.  Loney reached on an infield single, which loaded the bases, and then Hillenbrand hit a single to score two.  2-1, Dodgers.

Billingsley benefited from some great, great defense from the Dodgers behind him.  The Nationals threatened often, but were quelled by three double plays turned by the Dodgers, two of which were pretty awesome.  Hillenbrand also made a diving catch on a ball to save a hit, and held Felipe Lopez to a single on ball hit at him in the first.

Jeff Kent hit a home run in the third to make it a 3-1 game, but Billingsley wasn't able to hold the lead.  In the top of the fourth, Belliard hit a ball off the top of the left field wall, and ended up with a triple.  He was on third with one out, and was driven in on a sac fly, making it 3-2, Dodgers.  Then, after getting one out in the seventh, Batista got an opposite field home run to tie the game.  Billingsley got the next two outs, and had to hope his team could score to give him the win.

And the Dodgers came through.  Mark Sweeney doubled,  then Furcal walked.  Pierre reached on an error, and the bases were loaded with one out.  Ethier hit a fly ball to center, and it was deep enough to score Sweeney.  4-3, Dodgers.

Broxton pitched a perfect eighth, and then Saito came in for the ninth.  The Dodgers gave him only a one-run lead for the second night in a row, but this is the stuff that closers live for.  He struck out Church, then got Belliard to pop out before striking out Wily Mo Pena.  36 saves for Saito, securing Billingsley's ninth win.  It's a three-game winning streak, and suddenly the Dodgers have won nine of thirteen.

Brad Penny goes in tomorrow's day game, and the Dodgers will be looking for a sleep.  I'll be there in the sun, and then hopefully I'll be home just in time for the Sox/Yankees game.


Pierre Watch:  0-4



Player of the Game:  Shea Hillenbrand (2-4, 2 RBI).  Honorable mention to Mark Sweeney for a good pinch-hit at-bat.


Record:   69-63

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Live Bloggin'

First, my thoughts on this one.

-I think Pettitte will probably do well, and this is a game that the Yankees have a very good chance of winning.  Matsuzaka has a moment in every game where he loses it, and the Yankees are the one team that can really pounce on him when that happens.  Hopefully the Red Sox can pounce back.

-If these teams play like they normally do, expect a lot of runs.  It's in Yankee Stadium, so the home team has a shot for some ninth inning drama.  I hope the Sox bullpen doesn't let it come to that.

-Gagne will probably pitch in this series.  Advantage: Yankees.

-I'm being forced to watch this one on YES (or, more accurately, "my9" but it's the same damn guys doing it, and the same graphics, too), since that's what DirecTV has given me.  Not cool, but I'll deal.

Here we go...
  • Pedroia flies out, Youkilis grounds out, and Ortiz hit a line drive that's a hit for most batters, but teams are afraid of him, so it went right to Cano, who was in the outfield.  Quick inning for Pettitte (7 damn pitches), which the crowd loves.
  • Damon leads off with a single to center.  Of course he does.
  • Jeter hits a dribbler back to Matsuzaka, which advances Damon to second.  I'm sure that was his intention all along.  Derek Jeter doesn't make mistakes!
  • Wow.  Bad call from the ump.  Should have been strike three on Abreu.  That ump better not give Pettitte the corners tonight.
  • So, instead of a strikeout, it's a walk.  Nice job, ump.  Way to make the game about you.  And now there are two on for A-Rod.
  • Matsuzaka just hit A-Rod.  Not something I wanted to see happen tonight, because I don't want the Yankees to feel like they need to retaliate, but I can pretty much guarantee it wasn't intentional.
  • It would help me a great deal if Matsuzaka would throw some damn strikes.  Bases loaded for Matsui.  Ball one.
  • Slow grounder.  The Sox can only get the middle runner, and Damon scores.  1-0, Yankees.
  • Not going well for the Red Sox so far.  Posada hits a double down the line, scoring Abreu.  Ramirez gets to the ball quickly and holds Matsui at third.  2-0, Yankees.
  • If I hadn't been looking, Michael Kay's call on Cano's fly ball would have scared me.  But that's typical Kay.  It was a routine out.  27 pitches for Matsuzaka.  So far it's kind of going like I expected it would, but hoped it wouldn't.
  • Pettitte pitches Ramirez carefully to lead off the second, and Manny hits the 3-1 pitch for his 490th career home run (his 52nd against the Yankees).  2-1, Yankees.
  • Mike Lowell has forgotten my fantasy team needs him to hit tonight, so he pops up to the outfield.
  • J.D. Drew grounds out, then Varitek works a walk.
  • Crisp is an idiot, and swings at a ball in the dirt.  We head to the bottom of the second.
  • Nice play from Pedroia at second to stop a grounder from Phillips.  One out.
  • Melky Cabrera flies out to center, then Johnny Damon grounds out to Pedroia.  Another really nice play by Pedroia.  1-2-3 for Dice-K, on 10 pitches.  Much better.
  • A triple for Lugo.  Very, very nice.  The "my9" guys tell us Lugo hit .197 in the first half, but is hitting .315 in the second half.  I knew it was something like that, but hearing those numbers tells you what kind of turnaround he's made.
  • Pedroia swings at the 3-0 pitch, and I almost throw my remote at the television.  The ball goes to Pettitte, and Lugo has to hold.  Runner still at third, one out.
  • The Sox need to be patient, which is why Pedroia nearly killed my television there.  Pettitte's not finding the strike zone too easily right now.  Full count to Youkilis.
  • Youkilis has fouled off three pitches since getting a 3-2 count.  At least two of them were balls, but I like to see him spoil pitches anyway.
  • Two more fouls.  This will be at least an eleven pitch at-bat.
  • Youk wins with a walk on the eleventh pitch.  Runners at first and third, one out, Ortiz at the plate.
  • Ortiz drives one to the warning track in left.  Deep enough.  Sac fly makes the score 2-2.
  • Manny strikes out swinging, but Pettitte threw a few (23) in that inning.  Oh, and the score is tied.
  • Jeter flies out to right.
  • There's a squirrel sitting on top of the right field foul pole, and I really don't want to see anyone hit a home run against that pole, because then we might have a dead squirrel.
  • Abreu hits it right in front of the plate, and Varitek hustles to throw Abreu out at first.
  • Matsuzaka doesn't want to give A-Rod anything to hit.  Gets to 3-0.
  • The squirrel is going down the foul pole, and people in those sections are cheering, but I think it's freaking the squirrel out.
  • A-Rod swings at the 3-0, and misses, then walks on the next pitch.
  • The squirrel went back up the pole.  I know how fascinated you must be.
  • A-Rod steals second, getting into scoring position, but Matsiu pops up behind the plate.  Inning over.
  • Another 3-2 count from Pettitte, and Lowell rips a hit inside third.  Could have been a double, but it hit that little part where the seats jut out into the outfield.  So, a single for Lowell, which gives him a ten-game hitting streak.
  • Drew strikes out on a ball in the dirt.  He's been so worth the money the Sox spent on him, huh?
  • Varitek fouls out to first, and they're getting dangerously cloes to wasting a lead-off hit.  Coco Crisp needs to do something here.  Make Pettitte throw a few more pitches.
  • Called strike two to Coco was not really a strike.
  • God, Michael Kay really freaks out unnecessarily over average stuff.  Coco flies out, and Kay has a heart attack about Damon catching the ball.
  • Posada makes Matsuzaka's night easier by popping up on the first pitch of the fourth inning.
  • Cano grounds out to Lowell.  Two outs.
  • Andy Phillips hits a scary ball just outside the right field foul pole.  Just a long strike.
  • Nice pitch to get Phillips looking on a 3-2 count.  Just the first strikeout for Matsuzaka.  He's thrown 61 pitches through four.  Pettitte's count is at 71.
  • I seriously want to kill Michael Kay.  Lugo hits a ball to left field.  A normal left fielder would get to it without a problem, but Damon sucks, so he had to make it look dramatic.  And he had Kay helping him in the drama department on that one.  One out.
  • 3-1 count to Pedroia.  I don't think he'll be swinging here.
  • I was wrong, and good thing.  Pedroia hits a single between A-Rod and Jeter.  Runner at first, one out, Youkilis at the plate.
  • Tough call on Youk with a 1-2 count.  Youk tried to hold up, but he gets rung up.  Two outs, still a runner at first.  Ortiz is at the plate.
  • The "my9" graphics had the count at 1-2, and then Ortiz got another strike.  Everyone thought it was strike three, but I guess the "my9" people (and apparently the scoreboard at the Stadium) had the count wrong.  Another ball, and now we have a 3-2 count.
  • Ortiz strikes out swinging and throws his bat into the seats.  Pettitte's excited, but he's at 88 pitches.  And the score is tied.  So, calm down there, buddy.
  • Damon pops up to Youk at first.
  • Jeter hits a home run.  I sense this will be like that Tampa Bay game last week, when Dice-K pitched well, then gave up a late home run to let the Devil Rays take the lead.  Then again, we will be in the Yankee bullpen soon enough.  3-2, Yankees.
  • Abreu grounds out to Youk.  Inning over, but the Yankees have the lead.  Matsuzaka is at 76 pitches.  The way he's been pitching this season, he can probably go for at least two more innings.
  • Pettitte is back out for the sixth.
  • Manny Ramirez leads off the inning with a base hit up the middle.
  • Mike Lowell pops up to Abreu in right.
  • Come on, Drew.  Earn a bit of that contract.  At least make Pettitte throw a few more.
  • Pettitte throws his 103rd pitch, and Drew turns it into a double play.  Nice job.
  • A-Rod pops up to Drew on the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth.
  • Varitek makes a great play on a dribbler up the line from Matsui.  He barely had room to throw the ball after getting to it, but he gets it to Youkilis just in time.
  • SQUIRREL UPDATE-- it has tried a few times, but it is still currently stationed at the top of the right field foul pole.
  • Posada bloops a hit into left, and Manny misplays the ball, allowing Jorge to get to second.  Single, E-7.
  • So far, ESPN is giving Posada a double on that play.  That doesn't seem right.
  • Matsuzaka is not giving Cano anything to hit.  3-1 count.
  • Cano strikes out on a high heater, and Matsuzaka records just his second strikeout of the game.  He's through six innings, and he's thrown 94 pitches.  I personally think he's coming back out for the seventh, but flip a coin.  It could go either way.
  • Wow.  Didn't expect to see Pettitte back out there.
  • And maybe Pettitte shouldn't have gone back out.  Varitek smacks home run into left field.  Johnny Damon tried his hardest to jump and make the catch, but no one really expected him to come up with it.  Now it's a 3-3 tie.
  • Crisp strikes out, then Pedroia grounds out.  I change the channel so I don't have to hear "God Bless America" for the umpteenth time at Yankee Stadium.  Pettitte got through seven on 119 pitches, and he and Matsuzaka have remarkably similar lines right now.
  • Dice-K is back out for the seventh, so my hunch was right.  Joba Chamberlain is warming in the pen, so Yankee fans everywhere are wetting themselves in delight.
  • Michael Kay is happy to see Chamberlain versus Ortiz in the eighth inning.  I just want to get through the seventh, which has just become more difficult with Phillips getting a single to left to lead off the inning.
  • Bobby Kielty is in left for Manny Ramirez, who looked like he was in pain after his last hit.
  • Cabrera lays down a good sac bunt, and Wilson Betemit, who is pinch running for Phillips, moves to second.
  • Okajima is warming in the bullpen, and he probably should have come in, because Johnny Damon just hit a two-run home run.  5-3, Yankees.
  • With Okajima warming, why does Matsuzaka face a lefty?  That's some strange managing from Francona right there.  Now Javier Lopez and Manny Delcarmen are warming, and Okajima is back on the bench.
  • Jeter walks, and that's it for Matsuzaka.  Expect a predictably ridiculous reception for him from Yankee fans.
  • Lopez is in.  He can't give up any more runs if the Red Sox still have a chance to win.
  • Red Sox had a chance for a double play, but Lugo made a bad throw that pulls Youkilis off the bag.  Abreu probably would have beaten the throw, but it would have been nice to find out.  Lopez did his job, and it's time for another pitching change.  I'm assuming it will be Delcarmen.
  • It should be noted that I didn't really expect to win this game (read my notes at the top and you'll see my outline as to why I thought that), but it's still never fun to lose to the Yankees, especially on the road.
  • Rodriguez hits a ground ball to Lowell, and Damon is forced out at second.
  • Hold on to your hats, Yankee fans!  Here comes Joba!
  • Joba walks Youkilis to lead off the inning.  Please update that graphic accordingly, Brian.
  • Ortiz is an idiot.  He swings at the first pitch from this kid, and pops it up to left field.
  • Eric Hinske pinch-hitting for Bobby Kielty.
  • Lame call for strike two.  Derryl Cousins seems to think "fast" means "good."
  • And Hinske, who rarely plays, strikes out, to no one's surprise.
  • Again, I say, Ortiz swung at the first pitch from this kid.  Why?
  • Lowell hits a ball over Jeter's head.  Two on, two out, Crisp at the plate.  Probably means the inning is over.
  • Oops.  Drew is at the plate.  Same difference.
  • Dodgers play in ten minutes.  I won't be live blogging that one.
  • Pitch off the plate.  Yankee fans wanted it.  3-2 count.
  • Weak, weak swing from Drew to strike out.
  • Chamberlain is good, but this wasn't an entirely dominating performance from the kid.  He got the job done, but I don't think I'm ready to anoint him the Second Coming just yet.
  • Rivera is sitting in the bullpen.  The Yankee guys claim they thought they saw him throwing in the last inning, though.
  • Matsui flies out to Drew in right, and now Rivera is warming up.
  • Posada grounds out to Lugo.  Two outs.
  • Delcarmen just threw a pitch that looked exactly like Joba's "dominating" pitch on the corner, but it was 93, not 98.  And it was a ball.  Nice consistency there, Cousins.
  • Cano hits a triple to left center field.
  • Betemit strikes out.  We go to the top of the ninth.
  • Varitek strikes out.
  • Low called strike for strike two on Crisp.  3-2 count, and Crisp strikes out without ever swinging.  Way to represent, Coco.
  • Lugo lines out to Cano.  Yankees win, 5-3.

I fully expected the Red Sox to lose this game, and I was ready to be pleasantly surprised if they won.  So, whatever.  The Yankees' fans will be yammering about what a big win this was, but in reality, it means nothing.  Clemens goes tomorrow, and they shouldn't really have much faith in him.  They might win with Wang on Thursday, but that's a toss-up.  The point is, I don't really care if the Red Sox lose two of three.  I just don't want them to get swept.  Two of three still means a seven-game lead for the Red Sox.  But, let's just play them one at a time and see what happens.


Player of the Game:  Manny Ramirez (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 run scored)


Record:  80-52



COMMENTS:

AUTHOR: JJ

DATE: 08/28/2007 08:27:25 PM

Dammit....wish I could watch the Yankees game too.  The Phils are playing the Mutts and have brought back Adam Eaton into the starting rotation.  2-0 Mets, top of the 6th. Wish I could watch a real pitcher like Pettite instead of a poser like Eaton.
-----


AUTHOR: Brian

DATE: 08/28/2007 09:44:28 PM

Finally caught up to real time on my DVR. Great game so far, Francona pushed Dice K, but I don't think it was outrageous, he was pretty good from the second through the sixth. Here comes Joba.
-----


AUTHOR: Brian

DATE: 08/28/2007 09:57:42 PM

98 MPH on the corner. Domination, graphic is being updated as we speak.
-----


AUTHOR: Brian

DATE: 08/28/2007 10:04:21 PM

Joba > Papelbon right now.
-----


AUTHOR: Erin

DATE: 08/28/2007 10:14:55 PM

Yeah, you're right.

Because ten innings of scoreless baseball is better than two seasons of 30+ saves.

Jonathan Papelbon= 146 career IP, with a 7-5 record and 65 saves.  His ERA is 1.57, and his WHIP is .95.

Take out Papelbon's few starts, and the numbers get even lower

Joba Chamberlain= 10 career IP, 0 wins, 0 saves.  I'm not going to bother with ERA and WHIP when there are ten innings to work with.

Give me a break.
-----


AUTHOR: Brian

DATE: 08/28/2007 10:20:01 PM

I stand by my statement until Joba gives up a run, then I'll reassess. Stuff-wise, Joba's got a better fastball, better slider and better control.
-----


AUTHOR: Erin

DATE: 08/28/2007 10:26:16 PM

That's exactly like me saying, this time last year, that Papelbon is greater than Rivera.  You, and every other Yankees' fan, would have flipped out. 

Ten innings tells you nothing.  He can pitch scoreless baseball the rest of the year, and the claim is still baseless.
-----


AUTHOR: Brian

DATE: 08/28/2007 10:37:28 PM

This year, Papelbon has been better than Mo. That's a fair statement.

I've seen Joba pitch, I've seen Papelbon pitch. Joba is better from what I've seen. Obviously there's a lot of ball in front of both of them, but that's my assessment at this point.

This isn't a smoke and mirrors type thing. He's got electric stuff and pin-point control. That's not a combo you see too often. Plus he doesn't make that ridiculous kissy face when he pitches, like Papelbon.
-----


AUTHOR: Erin

DATE: 08/28/2007 10:41:57 PM

I assume you're referring to the "kissy face" that he must have modeled after your boy Andy Pettitte.

And, my girlfriend just read your comment, and, because she loves Papelbon, she would like you to know that "it is on."

I don't think you want to find out what that means.
-----


AUTHOR: Brian

DATE: 08/28/2007 10:59:54 PM

Isn't she from Texas? It's not like I slammed Brad Lidge for Christ's sake.

Pettitte hides his mouth.
-----


AUTHOR: Erin

DATE: 08/28/2007 11:16:23 PM

She is from Texas, but she didn't like baseball until about three years ago.  Now she does, and she's a Red Sox fan, three years running.

She read this and said, "Brad Lidge?  I don't even know who that is."

Before Pettitte hides his mouth, there's a kissy face thing happening there.
-----


AUTHOR: Jack Cobra

DATE: 08/29/2007 08:32:06 AM

Papelbon > Joba the Pizza Hut

Come on now Brian....dude has been extremely good for awhile now.
-----


AUTHOR: JJ

DATE: 08/29/2007 02:20:35 PM

Boston has Papelbon AND Gagne and New York has Rivera AND Chamberlain. 

Meanwhile we'd just settle for one mediocre closer here in Philadelphia. Life is not fair.
-----

A Story

Before the game starts, I'd like to share a story with you.

This one goes back to July 24, 2004.  I was working on a terrible reality show called The Will.  It aired on CBS that summer, but only for one episode.  It was that bad.  We were shooting at a mansion out in Chatsworth, CA (porn capital of the U.S.).  I was working in the art department, and my office was in the garage of the mansion.  I had been there for about a month, combating the heat and the swarm of bees that loved the curtain on the window in front of me.

Earlier that day, I had run into this guy named Tom.  Tom worked in production somehow, and his desk was in the house somewhere, but I had never even seen him until this day.  He commented on my hat, and mentioned that he, too, was a Red Sox fan.  We had a short conversation, and we both noted that we would be sitting in front of our computers when the game started, watching the live updates on whatever sports website would be the fastest.

In the third inning, Bronson Arroyo hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch.  Words were exchanged, the benches cleared, and Varitek had a little heart-to-heart with Rodriguez.

Tom and I, of course, had no idea what was going on for a while.  All we knew is that there were no updates.  When we finally got word, we both couldn't wait to see the highlights that night, to see just what the hell had gone down.

Anyone who knows this game knows that the Red Sox were down 3-0 at that point, but the fight seemed to inspire them to do something (or maybe they were going to do something anyway, but it's more poetic to think that the fight stirred them up).  They scored two runs in the next inning to cut the lead to one, then took the lead in the fourth inning.  The Yankees answered back with a vengeance in the sixth, scoring six times to seemingly put the game out of reach.

But the Red Sox weren't done.  They answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth, once again cutting the deficit to one run.  9-8, Yankees.  The Yankees added a run in the seventh to make it 10-8, and the Red Sox went quietly in the seventh and eighth.

And then came the ninth.  Mariano Rivera was on the hill.  Garciaparra doubled, then advanced to third on a Trot Nixon fly out.  Kevin Millar drove Garciaparra home with a single.  And then Bill Mueller stepped to the plate and did what everyone in Boston (and Tom and Erin in Chatsworth) were praying he would do--he homered to right center to win the game for the Red Sox.  11-10, Sox.

Tom and I received this news at roughly the same time, but in different parts of the house.  I jumped to my feet and went running into the house to find him.  Turns out he had the same idea.  We met right in the middle, and hugged ferociously, then jumped up and down like children.  If it sounds queer, that's because it kind of was.  But it was totally unforced, just two people unbelievably happy at the same time for the same reason.  Then we retreated to our respective desks.  I never knew Tom's last name, and I swear I never saw him on set again for the rest of the time we were working out in Chatsworth.

That, my friends, is exactly why I love sports in general, and baseball in particular. 

Now that I've killed some time, we have about ten minutes until this game starts.  Go Sox!

A Blog You Should Read

My friend Jimmy has a great blog, and I'm a loser who has neglected to tell you all about it until now.  I know he reads my blog, because he's a better person than I am, so...sorry Jimmy!

Jimmy started this blog because of the outrage over Ken Burns once again not really recognizing Latinos and their roles in American history.  Ken Burns apparently ignored brown people in his documentaries on jazz, baseball and, most recently, World War II.  People got fed up, and there was an outcry over the WWII documentary, and Jimmy started his blog.  The blog has expanded and includes many subjects, but today there's a new post updating the Ken Burns controversy.

Check it out.  You'll like it.


Ken Burns Hates Mexicans



Oh, and watch this video, if you haven't already.  Just plain awesome.




COMMENTS:


AUTHOR: JJ

DATE: 08/28/2007 05:32:09 PM

WOW... that girl gives new meaning to the term 'blond moment.'
-----


AUTHOR: Brian

DATE: 08/28/2007 05:44:20 PM

Two highly comical things about that video:

1. Slater is hosting a beauty contest.
2. Slater obviously follows her logic and agrees.
-----

Red Sox @ Yankees, Game 1 of 6

Just to let you all know, I will be live blogging this game.  I had my Fantasy Football draft for my prize-eligible team set to go right in the middle of the game, but I left that league and I am in the process of finishing the draft in a new league.  That means I'm free and clear for the game.

Just under three hours to go, and I feel like throwing up.  It means more for the Yankees to get a win, obviously, but the Red Sox could effectively end the Yankees' season if they can beat them while Seattle wins a few.  So, that would be fun.

Come back at 7 pm Eastern time.  I'll be here.



COMMENTS:

AUTHOR: Brian

DATE: 08/28/2007 05:02:26 PM

Unfortunately, I'm probably going to have to watch on a time delay. I'll check in after the Yanks win and Dice-K gets shelled. :)
-----

Dodgers Squeak By Nationals

This should have been easier, but I guess a win's a win.  When I walked into a restaurant to watch the game (after spending a lot of money on a spanking new MacBook Pro), the Dodgers were down 3-2.  Derek Lowe, he of the masterful sinker, had already given up two home runs.  That's not normal.  That means, in all likelihood, the sinker wasn't working.  Wily Mo Pena and Dmitri Young had both hit home runs, and when I saw the replay, it was obvious the balls were up in the zone.  And Lowe would give up another home run in the fifth.  Three home runs in one game?  Not a great sign.  But, Lowe did have his stuff in his previous two starts, so I suppose this could have been a fluke.

And, that all being said, Lowe did get ten of his eighteen outs on groundouts.  So it was working some of the time.  Either way, he got the win.  He went six innings, giving up seven hits and walking one.  He also struck out five.  Not a terrible performance, though I'm not sure I would be saying the same thing if the Dodgers hadn't rallied to win.

In the sixth inning, the Dodgers were down 4-2.  Jeff Kent, who had been robbed of a hit and at least one RBI earlier in the game on a nice diving catch by the Nationals' shortstop, hit a ground ball to that same shortstop (I don't want to look up the guy's name).  The kid bobbled it, then tried to pick it up off the ground, and missed it again.  I didn't see Kent, but he's a slow runner, and I know they would have had him if the kid had gotten the ball after the initial bobble.  Strangely, though, Kent was credited with a hit.  Too bad for the Nationals' starting pitcher, Bacsik, who was doing a great job.  Ethier came up and hit a single to right field, then Martin singled to center, scoring Kent.  4-3, Dodgers.

I had to leave the restaurant at this point and head home (after buying a Mega Millions tickets--$250 million was calling to me).  When I got in the car, the Dodgers were up 5-4.  Turns out the Nationals had brought in a reliever, who gave up a single to Loney, scoring Ethier and tying the game.  Martin was on third with only one out.  Ramon Martinez, who has been somewhat of a clutch guy of late, hit a sac fly to center and scored Martin.  5-4, Dodgers.

The Dodgers were unable to add anymore, but the bullpen also shut the door on the Nationals.  Hendrickson and Proctor pitched scoreless innings, then Saito came in to get the save (his 35th on the year).  He allowed one hit, but the Dodgers ended the game on a very, very nicely turned double play.  Cue Randy Newman.

In San Diego, the Padres beat the Diamondbacks, which is not what I was hoping for.  The Dodgers are closer to the Wild Card than the West, but I guess we'll take a game anywhere we can get it.  Here's how the Wild Card looks, going into Tuesday:

**ORIGINAL FILE MISSING**

And here's the West:

**ORIGINAL FILE MISSING**


Any way you look at it, the Dodgers have some work to do.


Pierre Watch:  2-4, 1 run scored.  Pierre has a 15-game hitting streak, and on Monday night he got his 52nd steal, which is the most for any Dodger since Steve Sax in 1983.  I suppose that's good for a few extra points on the Pierre-o-meter.


Player of the Game:  Gotta go with Ramon Martinez.  Dude has at least one RBI in six straight games (10 total in that stretch), including a few big ones.  0-2 on Monday, but with one big sac fly and RBI.


Record:  68-63



COMMENTS:

AUTHOR: JJ

DATE: 08/28/2007 03:49:57 PM

In previous years the Nationals have been spoilers to contending teams and the Dodgers would be wise not to take them lightly. A team with nothing to play for is dangerous competition.
-----

Monday, August 27, 2007

Maybe Wells Doesn't Suck

Strangely, on Sunday, both my teams had starting pitchers that I didn't trust to pitch a weekend softball game.  And strangely still, both these guys won.  Perhaps this game for David Wells was a fluke.  Then again, maybe he found his stuff again.  I don't know.  All I know is that I'm glad he won this one.  The Dodgers needed it.

This team had me happy on the first series of the road trip, when they took two of three from the Phillies.  But then they lost the first two in New York (while San Diego was busy winning) and things weren't looking so good.  So, last night's win was important.  Now they come home for a three-game set against the Nationals (I'll be at the day game on Wednesday), which they should sweep easily.  That doesn't mean they will, but they really should, because then they head out on the road again to play Wells' old team (whom he'll start against on Saturday, I think), the Padres.

Wells wasn't entirely dominant, but he did his job.  I guess the Dodgers decided they had him on a short leash, because he didn't come back out for the sixth, even though his pitch count was only at 73.  But, in the top of the sixth, the Dodgers took the lead (thanks to a rally started by Wells himself; more on that later), and I guess Grady felt comfortable enough to remove Wells after he pitched another half inning.

Wells lasted five, and gave two runs on seven hits and three walks.  He struck out two, including a crucial strikeout of Alou with two outs and the bases loaded  in the bottom of the fifth inning.

In the top of the fifth, the Dodgers were down 2-1.  Wells led off the inning, and surprised the world by laying down a nice bunt.  David Wright wasn't expecting it, and his throw to first was wild.  Wells would have been safe anyway, so no error.  Just a hit for Mr. Wells, shockingly.  Furcal then came up and hit a single, and Pierre grounded out.  Furcal was out at second, but Wells moved over to third.  Matt Kemp hit a single, and Wells scored the tying run, and then Ramon Martinez (in for Jeff Kent, who was beaned in the head in the fourth) hit a gapper that scored another run.  Kemp was running on the pitch, and when he got to second, he didn't know where the ball was, so he could only make it to third.  Then, with Ethier at the plate and only one out, Kemp got picked off at third.  Ethier then flied out.  If the Dodgers had lost, I'd be pointing to those boneheaded moves from Kemp as a big reason.

But the Dodgers didn't lose, thankfully.  And in the sixth, they came back for more.  Hillenbrand grounded out, then Loney reached on a Conine error.  Lieberthal struck out, and Gonzo came in to pinch-hit for Wells.  Gonzo hit a single to deep right (probably the longest single you'll ever see), and Loney scored from first.  4-2, Dodgers. Furcal hit another single, and Maine was pulled for Schoeneweis.  Pierre singled to center, scoring Gonzalez.  Matt Kemp hit a squibber up the third base line, and he's fast, so he had an infield hit, which scored Furcal.  The Dodgers then pulled off a double steal with Pierre and Kemp.  That's always fun to watch, but it amounted to nothing, since Martinez grounded out to end the inning.

But that was all the Dodger bullpen needed.  Seanez pitched a scoreless sixth, then Beimel came in and gave up a hit and a walk with only one out.  Broxton was brought in for relief, and got a strikeout and groundout to end the inning.  He also pitched a scoreless eighth, before giving the ball to Saito for the ninth (a non-save situation).

Good game.  Now it's time for Lowe, Billingsley and Penny to make the Nationals look silly.  That shouldn't be too hard, but given the inconsistency of the Dodgers this season, you never know what team we'll be getting.


Pierre Watch:  2-5, 2 RBI, 1 run scored, 1 SB (51)



Player of the Game:  Rafael Furcal (3-4, 1 BB, 2 runs scored)


Record:  67-63



COMMENTS:

AUTHOR: JJ

DATE: 08/27/2007 12:34:14 PM

The Dodgers may have caught lightning in a bottle with Wells.  He gave them a quality start AND started the rally with that bunt single.  I never knew the fat guy could move so fast....did they have an all you can eat buffet waiting for him past first? 
-----

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sox Game 131: Red Sox 11, White Sox 1

Another day, another absolute demolishing of the White Sox.  The Red Sox scored 10+ runs for the fourth game in a row, and the starting pitching was once again successful in holding down the completely average White Sox hitters.

Strangely, Julian Tavarez pitched very well.  It's not like I want him in the starting rotation, but for a spot start, he did exactly what the Red Sox needed.  And since I was expecting to lose this game, I suppose this is a pretty good outcome, huh?

Much like Saturday, the offense didn't come alive until later in the game.  J.D. Drew hit a home run in the second, and Jermaine Dye followed with a home run in the bottom of the second to tie the score at one all.

But in the fifth inning, things started to happen.  Varitek struck out swinging, then Kielty reached on a bunt single.  Crisp singled, and Lugo grounded out, advancing Kielty to third.  Pedroia hit a single to center, scoring two runs.  The pitching coach came out to talk to Javier Vasquez and calm him down.  On the next pitch, David Ortiz smacked a two-run home to center.  5-1, Red Sox, and they never looked back.  They added two more in the sixth on a Bobby Kielty home run, then four more in the ninth on a couple of hits and an error by the White Sox left fielder (dude just completely missed an Ortiz pop-up).

Julian Tavarez was great, and went six innings.  He gave up one run on two hits and three walks, striking out seven.  I hate Tavarez, especially because I've witnessed first-hand what an ass he is (it happened in Anaheim, and I didn't mention it in my write-up, but maybe I'll tell the story one day soon) but I was happy to win this game.

Now the Red Sox head into Yankee Stadium, where they will finish up a ten-game road trip.  In the first seven games, the Red Sox are 6-1.  The Yankees are on a seven-game road trip, and are currently 2-4, with one game left in Detroit on Monday.  The A.L. East lead is 7.5 games.  Could be either seven or eight, pending the outcome of Monday's game.  Either way, not a bad way to go into the big Yankees series.


Player of the Game:  Julian Tavarez (have to do it).  6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 Ks


Record:  80-51

So Sorry

I know that pitching inside is a part of baseball.  I accept that, though I think that retaliation and "beanball" make everyone involved look like children.

But, I just watched John Maine hit Jeff Kent in the head with a fastball.  So here's my question--is there something wrong with admitting that you made a mistake, and just apologizing to the guy?  We have to assume Maine didn't want to hit Kent in the head, so what is the problem with looking at Kent and saying, "my bad"?  Instead, whenever a pitcher does something like this, he just stands on the mound looking like he's bored (or pissed off) while waiting to get back to the game.  Is that a guy thing?  They think apologizing is a sign of a weakness or something?  It's absurd. 

If you hit a guy in the head, feel free to tell him you didn't mean to do it.  You came inside and missed.  You didn't mean to hit him in the head, but you will be coming inside again.  The end.  It doesn't make you any less a man.  In fact, to me, it makes you more of one.



COMMENTS:


AUTHOR: Jack Cobra

DATE: 08/27/2007 08:43:12 AM

I think most times the apology comes after the game in a manner that is more personal where the players can talk. I think if it's not a suspicious situation that the hitter understands what happens then it's ok to wait until after the game. Professional athletes have to play with a swagger to be as good as they are and to concede fault on the field of play could put a dent in their armor....mental games
-----

Sox Game 130: Red Sox 14, White Sox 2

The Red Sox certainly picked a good time to start hammering the crap out of the ball, and the White Sox have taken quite a beating this weekend.  The Red Sox have outscored Chicago 35-6 in the first three games of the series.  It's too bad that Julian Tavarez is pitching tomorrow, because that sure makes it likely that this party will have to come to an end.

Because of Fox's monopoly on all things fun on Saturday, I wasn't able to watch a single minute of this game (to be fair, I was out of the house anyway, but still).  I was getting my sister to text me updated all afternoon, and when I tuned into the Dodgers' game on the radio, Charlie Steiner was kind enough to provide the score as well, since the Sox/Sox game was the only other one happening at the time.  The game was scoreless for quite a while, since I guess Buehrle was pitching well for a while there.

Steiner told me a score at one point, saying the Red Sox were ahead 4-0 in the sixth inning.  I heard Red Sox, but my girlfriend swore she heard the other team, so then I got nervous.  Luckily, my sister instantly quelled my fears with a text message that simply said, "red."  Turns out Boston never looked back, scoring in every inning from the sixth inning on.

The big one was the eighth, when the Red Sox sent fifteen men to the plate, scoring eight of them.  That's a pretty big inning.  No home runs in this game.  The Red Sox just pounded out fifteen hits while scoring those fourteen runs, and still managed to leave twelve men on base.  This lineup has gotten hot lately, and I can only hope it will continue into the Yankees series, which starts Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Wakefield recorded his third straight game of shutout baseball, this time going seven innings and allowing just seven hits while striking out six and walking three.  Wake now has 22 consecutive innings of scoreless baseball, which is pretty impressive.  He's had 26 starts this season, and has had a decision in every one, which is also pretty good.  He's 16-10, and he joins Josh Beckett as the only other 16-game winner in baseball.

A good, good series for the Red Sox, no matter the outcome of Sunday's game.  The Yankees were able to beat the Tigers on Saturday, so the A.L. East lead is 6.5 (that half game will go away after Monday, when the Red Sox are off and the Yankees play their final game against Detroit).   The Red Sox have increased the lead by 2.5 games this week, and it would be nice to at least keep that cushion going into Yankee Stadium.  We'll see.


Player of the Game:  Bobby Kielty. Big game for the new guy.  3-5, 1 BB, 4 RBI, 1 run scored


Record:  79-51



COMMENTS:


AUTHOR: Rickhouse

DATE: 08/27/2007 02:36:08 AM

I'd like to add the white sox suck hard.
-----

Are They Done?

The Dodgers lost again on Saturday.  It was their third one-run loss this week.  That's just not the way to get to the playoffs, and it makes for some heartbreaking games for their fans.

I heard bits and pieces of this on the radio, but only got to see the bottom of the ninth inning.  So, I won't bother trying to recap a game I didn't see.  I know that Gonzalez and Martin each hit a home run.  Eric Stults only made it through 4.2 innings, and gave up three runs.  Unlike Friday night, the Dodgers didn't have a problem leaving men on base.  That would be because nobody could get on base, as they could only manage seven hits.  The Mets also had seven hits, but Eric Stults walked five in his 4.2 innings, so I think we can see where the difference lies.

The Diamondbacks looks like they are going to beat the Cubs tonight, barring a ninth inning comeback from Chicago.  The Padres already beat the Phillies, so the Dodgers all of the sudden find themselves 4.5 games behind in the Wild Card race.  As time goes by, it only gets tougher to catch up, and the Dodgers are going the wrong direction.

Oh, and David Wells pitches for his new team on Sunday.  So, that should go well.


Pierre Watch:  1-4 (at my last game, I heard someone call him "Juan-for-four."  I thought that was funny, though I'm sure this guy wasn't the first to think of it)




Player of the Game:  Russell Martin (1-2, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 run scored, 1 BB)



Record:  66-63

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dodgers Lose

The Dodgers lost this one, and I'm just not sure I can talk about it.  It wasn't really all that painful, except for all the blown opportunities.  Penny wasn't particularly sharp, but he only gave up three runs.  Proctor, unfortunately, let two cross in his one inning of work, pretty much keeping the Dodgers from having much of a chance for a comeback.  The Dodgers left twelve men on base, and had the bases loaded at least three times, including in the ninth inning.  The Padres and Braves won, and so the Wild Card race now has the Dodgers 3.5 games behind the leading Padres.  With one loss, they've taken a big step backward.

I'm sorry that I'm not going into more detail here.  I just don't have the energy.  Tomorrow is a day game on Fox, and I would like to see the Dodgers destroy the Mets.  They send Eric Stults to the mound, who hopes to continue his success against the New York Metropolitans.


Pierre Watch:  1-5



Player of the Game:  Matt Kemp?  I guess.  He was the only one with two hits (2-5).


Record:  66-62

Sox Game 129: Red Sox 10, White Sox 1

This turned out to be quite the day.  I wasn't sure there would be a game at all.  Instead, the Red Sox played two, winning both, and outscored the White Sox 21-4 in the process.

It was a great, great day for the Red Sox.  The offense went crazy, and the starting pitching was excellent.  Josh Beckett took the win in the first game, and in the nightcap, Curt Schilling pitched a strong six innings, allowing one run on three hits and one walk.  He struck out three. 

But the real star was the offense.  After pounding out fifteen hits in game one, the Red Sox added thirteen more in game two.  David Ortiz had four of those hits, and Lowell, Youkilis and Cash (the catcher who is up for the injured Mirabelli) each had two.

I missed most of the game.  I walked into a restaurant and saw the score was 5-1, then stuck around to see it get to 9-1 on Ortiz and Youkilis home runs in the fifth inning.  That was all I needed to see.

As I write this, the Yankees are in a 6-6 tie in Detroit.  It's 1:45 in the morning.  I'm hoping for extra innings.  The Red Sox have a scheduled day off on Monday, and the Yankees do not.  That can only be to the benefit of the Red Sox.  If the Yankees lose this game, the Red Sox lead will be 6.5 games.

Wakefield goes tomorrow, coming off back-to-back shutouts against the Devil Rays.  I would like to see something close to the same success against the White Sox.


Player of the Game:  David Ortiz (4-5, 3 RBI, 3 runs scored)


Record:  78-51

Friday, August 24, 2007

Choices...

This is the top of the NL Wild Card standings, going into Friday's game.  Tonight, San Diego and Philadelphia start a three-game series.  Who am I supposed to root for?


**ORIGINAL FILE MISSING**


COMMENTS:


AUTHOR: Brian

DATE: 08/25/2007 12:07:32 AM

You have to root for Philly. If they sweep and the Dodgers sweep, you're only a half game out of the Wild Card.
-----


AUTHOR: Erin

DATE: 08/25/2007 01:51:07 AM

You're right.  I figured that out a little after I wrote the post.  Of course, both the Dodgers and Phillies lost Friday's games, so that doesn't help anything.
-----

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Since I had such a good time doing this yesterday, I thought I would try live blogging the Red Sox game.  The first pitch looks like it will happen, so we'll see how far we get into the game before the flash flooding begins.


Beckett (15-5, 3.15 ERA) vs. Garland (8-9, 4.84 ERA)

  • The rain has begun before the first pitch.  Not a good sign.  Also, Youkilis and Pedroia are both out of the lineup.  I would assume they would play the second game of the doubleheader, should we get to that.
  • First pitch, a ball to Lugo.  It's begun.  Keep your fingers crossed.
  • Lugo leads off with a single to right.  There is no one at this game today.
  • It's important to get an early run today, in case they call this game once it becomes official.  So, Crisp decided to help that cause by grounding into a double play.  Two outs.  Ortiz flies out.  Inning over.
  • Here's how awesome I am--the rainout granted me the chance to start Beckett on my fantasy team, but I forgot, yet again, to move him off the bench.  Great.
  • And, to rub salt in my wound, Beckett strikes out the first guy he sees.
  • Fields grounds out, Pierzynski hits a double down the left field line.  I hate that guy.
  • Beckett is having some trouble finding the strike zone.  3-1 count to Konerko...and he walks.  Two on, two out.
  • Another 3-1 count, this time to Erstad.  Not looking good here, Beckett.
  • And another walk.  Time for a chat with the pitching coach.  Bases are loaded, two outs.
  • 3-0 to Dye...and he walks.  Wow.  A hit and three straight walks after two outs.  This is not like Beckett.  1-0, White Sox
  • 3-2 to Uribe...and he strikes him out on a possibly questionable pitch.  I don't care.  That was brutal.
  • Manny grounds out to second on the first pitch, then Lowell strikes out.  Garland is not a better pitcher than Josh Beckett, so I'd sure like the Red Sox hitters to make that a little more obvious.
  • Drew strikes out.  What a great inning.
  • Two fairly quick outs in the second, and then a base hit from Owens.  Let's hope this doesn't become a pattern for this game.
  • Owens steals second on an 0-2 count, even with a pitch-out.
  • Beckett strikes out Josh Fields, which is good.  But Beckett's pitch count is 57, which is bad.
  • Varitek grounds out, Hinske hits a foul pop-up, then Cora gets a double down the right field line. 
  • Perhaps Cora and Lugo need to share some hitting tips with the rest of the team.  Lugo hits a single to center to drive in Cora and tie game. 1-1
  • Lugo is thrown out trying to steal second.  Inning over, but at least they tied the game.
  • Two outs in the bottom of the third, then a hit from Erstad.  See what I mean about it becoming a pattern?  At this rate, I'm not sure Beckett will even get through the fifth inning, which is not a good thing from your starter in the first game of a doubleheader.
  • Dye strikes out.  72 pitches through three innings for Beckett.  Shit.
  • Crisp singles to left.  David Ortiz comes up, and gets a called strike two on a pitch that's at least four inches off the plate.  Not cool, ump.  Garland comes back to essentially the same spot, but doesn't get the call.  How strange.
  • Owens makes a good sliding catch in center to rob Ortiz of a hit.
  • Manny gets a hit to left, and Crisp advances to third.  Gonzalez had trouble fielding the ball, but it seems like Crisp would have gotten there anyway, so no error.  First and third, one out.  Mike Lowell steps to the plate.
  • Turns out the official scorer made a bad call and gave Gonzalez the error on that play.
  • Mike Lowell gets a hit right through Garland's legs, and Crisp scores from third.  Mike Lowell helps the Red Sox and my fantasy team.  2-1, Red Sox
  • I should note that the sun has been shining brightly since sometime in about the second inning.  Doesn't mean that the second game will happen, but it gives them a chance to at least finish the first game.
  • Drew hits a weak grounder to second, and Richar bobbles the ball, thinking possibly about going to second I guess, and the throw to first is late.  Everyone is safe.  Bases loaded on the second error of the inning for the White Sox.  Here comes Varitek.
  • The first error on Gonzalez has now been taken away.  So, only one error in the game for the White Sox.
  • Hell yeah.  Two-run single for Jason Varitek.  That landed at the base of the wall in left field, and I thought for a moment it might go out.  Nicely done, Captain (I, for the record, do not care if captains wear a "C" on their jersey in any sport, including baseball; who cares, seriously?).  4-1, Red Sox
  • Now we're talking.  Hinske hits a bloop single to center, and Drew scores from second.  Varitek gets all the way to third, just barely.  5-1, Red Sox
  • Runners at first and third again, still only one out.  Cora, who scored the first run, is batting.
  • Cora grounds into a double play, but it's still a four-run inning for the good guys (how I wish I could hear what "Hawk" has to say about this right now, but I'm getting the NESN feed).  Let's see how Josh Beckett handles this lead.
  • Beckett gets his first 1-2-3 inning on only eleven pitches.  He's at 83 through four, so I think we'll only be getting five innings from him today, but we'll see.  With a four-run lead, Francona will probably think about using Gagne.  If that's the case, the Red Sox should seriously consider adding on some more runs.
  • Lugo flies out, Crisp grounds out, and Ortiz pops up.  A quick seven-pitch inning for Jon Garland.
  • Owens gets a lead-off single.  Not a good start for Beckett's pinch count.
  • Two-run home run for Josh Fields.  5-3, Red Sox
  • I expect to see someone warming in the bullpen.  Right now.
  • Pierzynski flies out to center, Konerko pops up foul to first, and Erstad attempts a bunt for a hit, but Beckett gets throws him out.  Five innings, 100 pitches.  Beckett's not coming back out, unless Francona has gone insane, so his final line:  5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks.  He could get his 16th win, barring an appearance from Gagne.
  • Manny strikes out, Lowell gets his second hit, then Drew hits a soft liner to second.  Two outs, one on.
  • Garland hits Varitek with the pitch.  Garland thinks Varitek stepped into it, which he didn't, though he didn't exactly move quickly to get out of the way.  First and second, two out.
  • Hinske grounds out to second to end the inning.
  • Okay, scratch Beckett's final line.  He's out there for the sixth...and gets Dye to pop up on the second pitch he sees.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
  • Uribe grounded out to shortstop on a broken bat grounder.  Two outs.
  • Richar gets a two-out base hit just past the dive of Cora at second.  Beckett has thrown 110 pitches.  Are we really going to let him get to his season high (118) when his next start will be against the Yankees?  Strange logic.
  • The 111th pitch is lined into left field.  Runners at first and third, two outs.  Here comes Francona.
  • Javier Lopez, fresh from Triple-A, is coming in. 
  • Lopez does his job, getting the batter to fly out to left.  So, now here is Beckett's real final line:  5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BBs, 4 Ks
  • Cora strikes out to lead off the seventh.  Okajima is warming in the bullpen.
  • Lugo flies out to left, and Crisp strikes out looking on a pitch that looked pretty far outside.  We head to the bottom of the seventh.
  • Okajima strikes out Fields for the first out of the seventh.
  • Pierzynski pops up to Lugo at short, and Konerko walks.  One on, two outs.
  • Erstad, Mr. Intensity himself, hits a ball that gets under the glove of both Okajima and Cora.  Two on, two outs.
  • Dye grounds out to third, and Okajima gets out of trouble.
  • Don Orsillo seems to think the Red Sox will be using Okajima for two innings today.  He's also noted that Francona won't be using Papelbon in both games today.  So, if he wants to save Papelbon for the second game, who will he bring in for the ninth today?  Wait.  Don't tell me.
  • Oh, hold on.  Timlin is warming up, presumably for the eighth.  Still not sure about the ninth, though.
  • Garland started Ortiz at 0-2, and ended up walking him.  Nice start to the eighth.
  • Garland's day is done.  Ozzie brings in Ryan Bukvich.  He's 1-0 in 35 games, with a 2.70 ERA.
  • Manny gets a single up the middle on an 0-2 count.  Two on, nobody out.
  • Another 0-2 count that ends badly for Bukvich.  Mike Lowell works a walk, the bases are loaded, and Ozzie is going to the bullpen again.
  • Bobby Kielty comes in to pinch-hit for J.D. Drew, which is strange.  Ortiz scores on the sac fly, and Lowell and Ramirez move up.  Runners at second and third, one out.  6-3, Red Sox
  • Varitek is intentionally walked, and here comes another call to the bullpen for the White Sox.  It's Ehren Wassermann, in his 17th appearance.  He has a 3.21 ERA.  Youkilis, who did not start today, is pinch-hitting.
  • Youk hits the first pitch he sees, sending it through the hole between third and short.  Ramirez scores from third.  7-3, Red Sox
  • Bases still loaded, Cora at the plate.
  • Cora grounds to third, and the White Sox get the force out at home.  Bases loaded, two outs, Lugo at the plate.
  • Wild pitch that Varitek should have scored on, but he hesitated, so he didn't get a good break.  Then Lugo grounds out to second.
  • Timlin is in for the bottom of the eighth, and gets Uribe to fly out to center.  Coco had a hard time getting in position to make the catch, but he got it.  One out.
  • Richar grounds out to Cora at second.  Two outs.
  • Papelbon is warming, though it seems strange to me to use him in a non-save situation in the first game of a doubleheader, when Francona has already stated he will only use him in one game.
  • Timlin gets the third out on a fly ball to right field.  Time for the ninth.
  • What?  Mike Myers plays for the White Sox now?  I'm not sure I even knew the Yankees released him.  He gets Coco Crisp to foul out on the first pitch.
  • Myers has decided that he'll be the rare lefty specialist who can't get out left-handed batters.  Ortiz walks.  One on, one out.
  • Maybe he can't get out righties either, as Ramirez walks.  Back-to-back walks.  Two on, one out.
  • Jerry Remy agrees with me that it's strange to use Papelbon for the ninth in this game.
  • Lowell gets a one-run RBI double, his third hit of the game. Nice game for Lowell.  Another quality appearance from Myers. 8-3, Red Sox
  • Here is the current forecast for Chicago tonight, courtesy of weather.com (game time is 8:11 PM, Central):
**ORIGINAL FILE MISSING**

  • Kielty flies out to Dye in right field.  Ramirez tags and scores on Kielty's second sac fly and RBI of the game.  9-3, Red Sox
  • Varitek knocks one out of the park, and I'm officially in love with Mike Myers.  11-3, Red Sox
  • Youkilis doubles down the right field line, and Mike Myers is getting a Valentine next February 14.
  • Cora gets a little dribbler that drops right in front of the plate.  Myers sort of got in Pierzynski's way, and Cora is safe at first.  Youkilis advances to third.  Lugo is at the plate with runners at first and third and two outs.
  • Lugo flies out to finally end the inning.  But, the Red Sox add four runs.  Only three more outs to go.  Will Papelbon really still be pitching?
  • The answer is no.  Timlin is back out for the ninth, thank god.  And the clouds are moving in.  With the forecast looking the way it does, I don't see any way the second game gets played tonight.  At least the first one is almost done.
  • Owens strikes out for the first out, then Fields walks.  One on, one out.
  • Man, this game is long.  The second game is two and a half hours away.
  • Stupid Pierzynski gets a single, and Mike Timlin needs to remember that he's pitching for my fantasy team (yeah, I've got a few Red Sox players on the team).  Watch that WHIP, son.
  • Konerko strikes out, chasing a high fastball.  Very good.  Two outs.
  • Erstad keeps fouling off pitches, and I'm getting sick of it.  The game needs to end.
  • Erstad flies out to Crisp in right center, and the Red Sox win, 11-3.

Player of the Game:  this could go to a few guys, but I'm giving it Mike Lowell, since he had the RBI that broke the 1-1 tie back in the fourth inning, and because he was on base four times (3-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs, 1 BB).  Varitek had four RBI, so he's definitely an honorable mention.


Record:  77-51



COMMENTS:


AUTHOR: Brian

DATE: 08/24/2007 05:41:05 PM

Myers is the gift that keeps on giving. Son of a bitch.
-----


AUTHOR: Brian

DATE: 08/24/2007 05:58:27 PM

It's 85 and sunny in Detroit, I hope the second Sox game gets rained out.
-----