Web Analytics and Web Statistics by NextSTAT The Boston Sports Nut: September 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tommie Harper' Stolen Base Record

BOSTON –– Tommy Harper and Jacoby Ellsbury spoke in the clubhouse yesterday, but the record that unites them did not come up. In all likelihood, Harper was too modest to discuss it and Ellsbury too embarrassed. But it’s hard to believe it wasn’t on both their minds.
In 1973, 35 years ago, Harper stole 54 bases, setting a Red Sox franchise record, and this weekend, Ellsbury has a chance to break it.

A proud man, Harper nevertheless hopes it happens.
“I’ve had the record for a long time,” said Harper as he watched the Red Sox go through batting practice yesterday afternoon. “I would never root against him. I worked with him, so if it happens, I’d be happy for him. It would be neat, yeah.”

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dome-O Arigato

Well, it looks more and more like this first AL playoff series is going to be played completely in domed stadiums. Minnesota is charging like a mad bull and the White Sox are collapsing. Ozzie Guillen? Well, Ozzie will be Ozzie.

And of course, after we beat the Angels (I hope), we would have to play 4 games in one of those two domes, should that occur. Just win baby, just win!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'll Bet you didn' know that......

Dick 'Moose' Radatz holds the Major League Record for Most K's in a Season by a Relief Pitcher. In 1964, he struck out 181 batters while a member of the Red Sox. He threw a total of 157 innings and strutted out to the mound a total of 79 times and had a record of 16-9.

He was, more or less, a closer but his career didn't last long. He had a couple great seasons in 63-64 but things went downhill and his career only lasted 8 years, 4 with the Sox.

Nowadays, used exclusively as a real closer, he might have been one of the most dominating closers for many years. Never know though.....something to think about. His fastball was clocked at 95 MPH back then and I would imagine with the training we know have, he'd be up over 100 and we'd be calling him Mariano Francisco Jonathan Radatz.

Back then I was a teenager (13-14) and he was one of my favorite players.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tough Loss for Red Sox as they are scalped 4-3

This is a hard loss to take especially since the Rays held on. Beckett really wasn't that bad, except for a couple bad stretches.... walk, two hit batsmen...another batter hit. Very uncommon of him. We definitely had our chances.

Doesn't look like we can take the division and we had better get people in shape for the Angels because that is going to be tough. Never could I have ever imagined the Rays taking the division. They have a very easy schedule the rest of the year.

Tuesday is most important

Could be a decisive day on Tuesday. The Rays are playing two and we are facing Cliff Lee. Of course, we don't want to fall farther behind, but by the end of tomorrow's games, we will have a good idea as to whether or not we can take the division. It doesn't look like J.D. Drew is coming back and I guess Lowell will play some in the playoffs. Unfortuanatley, he really needs to rest up until Game One of the Playoffs against the White Sox (gotta think positive on both accounts).

What fans did after the game.

Here's a list of headlines or stories I would have liked to have seen in this mornings New York Post:

1. Fans torch Yankee Stadium, burns to ground. Steinbrenner overjoyed at not having to pay for tearing down park.
2. Fans go wild after game. Tear out seats, take signs, grab toilet seats and whatever else they could get their hands on. Nobody arrested. By Monday afternoon, there were 30,000 fans selling all this stuff on Ebay.
3. Group of Red Sox fans bury Alex Rodriguez in Center Field.
4. Fans hang Yankees' announcer Susan Waldman upside down on flagpole.
5. Cars, trucks, buses, ATV's, plow through barriers into Yankee Stadium
6. Local entrepenours cuts deal with Yankees and allows fans to camp out after game. Home plate camping site goes for $2,000. Center field monument area $1,500. Center field $1.00 where Johnny Damon Stands, shortstop area $2,500, third base area $.25.
7. 15 Red Sox gun enthusiasts break into Yankee Stadium at 4:00AM and bring posters of Yankee players and use them for target practice.
8. Yankee fans destroy monuments in Center Field, pieces going for $25,000 apiece on Ebay.
9. While digging up the ground (for souvenirs), fans find 100 buried Red Sox jerseys including the one used by Roger Clemens in 1985. Manny Ramirez jersey found underneath home plate along with Pedro's.

Yankee Dirt

I thought it was hilarious when the old players, etc., stepped out onto the mound and began taking away dirt and packing it into containers. Oh gosh, I said to myself, just wait until you see all this on EBay. But I guess they never allowed the fans to trounce their way around after that game, 'collecting' whatever souvenirs they could find. Funny, I pictured the end of the game and the fans going wild, tearing up the seats and lugging them home, grabbing signs, toilet seats and whatever else they could get their hands on. Completely ransacking the place. Of course, we know that could never happen. It'd be funny to see a parady of this on some TV comedy show.

So, I just searched Ebay and didn't find anything much. An auction that started 5 days ago of somebody selling dirt for $125. Kind of wondering how he got access to it?


New Fenway Park

This is/was an illustration of the New Fenway Park that was proposed several years ago. I can't find much else around on it. Seriously, games just wouldn't be exciting after the 'novelty' wears off. 3-5 years down the road, you be crying for the Old Fenway Park. Thank gosh, we still have the one, only and original still around. Balls wrapping around Pesky's Pole, hitting off the Green Monster, bouncing around in the left hand corner, the excitement of watching someone go deep in the farthest part of the ball park or losing a home run out there....
There were a large number of ballparks fans were glad to see go...Candlestick, etc. The classics, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park can never be taken down.


I guess that a lot of us watched the 'ceremonies' or whatever you want to call it at Yankee Stadium yesterday. I enjoyed it and thought back to occasions during the past several years where we have seen many of the Red Sox old-timers appear at various festivities, i.e. World Series, Opening Day, parade, etc. and that was really nice.

So, I guess this was really great for the Yankee fans. Where was George? Where was Clemens? No mention of Roger at all...I guess he never played for the Yankees and all that was a dream or should I say, nightmare.

I cringed when I saw them show Damon. You just can not put that trader up there with the greatest Yankee centerfielders. He could have been a real, genuine Red Sox Dirt Dog, diving for balls, leading off games with hits and stealing bases igniting rallies; smacking home runs.

A lot of players from the Oakland A's ending up playing for the Yankees and made names for themselves and some pretty decent bucks. I guess that's one of the things really wrong with baseball. They lost so many players. Great organization, but just can not keep up with the salaries.

A lot of Sox fans want to see a new Fenway Park but many of us like it the way it is now. I think that selling out nearly 500 consective games speaks for itself. Fenway 'pock' is a classic. While I watched the ceremonies yesterday, I thought about how great it would be to see them flashing all the older Red Sox players on the screen with personal appearances as they close out the old Fenway Park. But you know what, once it's over....it's over. Isn't it really great to still be able to envision Ted, Yaz, and all the others while you view the ball park during games?

Watching a game at Fenway is a lot more than just viewing it...IT IS AN EXPERIENCE!!!

After Damon socked his home run yesteray, I just couldn't imagine his name up there alongside Babe Ruth's as being the players that hit the first and last home runs in Yankee Stadium. Of course, a lot of people wanted to see that distinction go to Jeter, but this is baseball and anything goes. Who would have expected Jose Molina to have hit the very last home run in Yankee Stadium!!! Great!

Sox shutout Jays 3-0; Rays lose

September 21 TORONTO.. The Red Sox moved one step closer to the playoffs for the fifth time in six years. Big Papi hit a two-run homer, Dice-K remained unbeaten on the road and the Red Sox beat Toronto 3-0 on Sunday, eliminating the Blue Jays from postseason contention and clinching at least a tie for the AL wild card. Boston (91-64) needs one more win or a New York loss to secure a playoff spot. New York beat Baltimore 7-3 in the final regular season game at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night, a game Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he didn't plan on staying up late enough to watch.

Matsuzaka (18-2) improved to 9-0 with a 2.31 ERA in 13 road starts, holding the Blue Jays to just two hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked two. Varitek said Matsuzaka was "phenomenal." "That's not an easy lineup to face," Varitek said. "He was able to move the ball in and out, use his breaking ball to both sides, set it up with his heater. He did an awesome job today."

MY TAKE ON THIS: Here's another case of Dice-K being Dice-K. One of his better outings of the year. He used up a lot of pitches (44) in the first two innings, which was very typical of him. He managed to last 7 innings this time, which is what we really want of him. Going 5, 6 innings really taxes the bullpen. Too bad he's not going to win the Cy Young Award despite his 18-2 record and 2.80 ERA. Pretty darn good numbers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sox move into virtual tie with Rays.... win 13-5

September 15. TAMPA BAY. The Red Sox finally caught the Rays, crushing them with 6 home runs and a typical performance by Dice-K.

The Boston Red Sox flexed their muscles, nudging their way into a first-place tie in the AL East.
Technically, the defending World Series champions, who homered a season-high six times to overwhelm All-Star Scott Kazmir and division-leading Tampa Bay 13-5 Monday night, are still percentage points (.002) behind the Rays.

David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, Jason Bay, Jason Varitek, Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury homered for the Red Sox, who jumped on Kazmir for four runs in the first inning and never let up. "That was just a good old-fashioned whippin' tonight," Rays manager Joe Maddon said, adding that he doesn't expect it to have an adverse effect on his young team the next two games of the series. "Believe it or not, this is an easier loss to accept. When you lose 2-1 or 3-2 on one play ... those are the ones you go home and kind of beat yourself up after."

The Rays (88-60) went 21-7 in August and were a season-high 5 1/2 games up on Boston heading into September. They're 4-9 this month, with six of the losses coming against the Red Sox and Yankees, who took two of three from Tampa Bay over the weekend.

The Red Sox (89-61), on the other hand, have won three straight and 10 of 14 in September to get as close to the lead as they've been since mid-July, when they erased a five-game deficit in a week to pull ahead by a half game at the All-Star break. While both teams are in excellent position to make the playoffs, neither wants to settle for the wild card. "We want to finish first," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "That's what you set out to do."

Ortiz, who finished with four RBIs, hit a three-run homer in the first inning after Kazmir (11-7) threw nine straight balls to begin the game. Two batters later, Lowell hit a solo shot for a 4-0 lead. The Red Sox added seven more runs in the fourth, helping Daisuke Matsuzaka (17-2) become the first Japanese-born pitcher to win 17 games in a season. Hideo Nomo won 16 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers three times (1996, 2002, 2003).

This Day in Red Sox History

September 18 1996: Roger Clemens ties his own record, striking out 20 Detroit Tigers in a 4-0 win.

September 17 1937: Orlando Cepeda is born in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

September 16 1965: Dave Morehead pitches a no-hitter at Fenway against the Indians. The Red Sox win 2-0, but do not throw another no-hitter for over 35 years.

September 15 1912: Smokey Joe Wood beats the Browns 2-1 to extend his winning streak to 16 games. It ties the consecutive wins record set by Walter Johnson earlier that year. It's Wood's 33rd victory of the year, and he scores the winning run on a wild pitch.

September 14 1901: Cy Young beats Washington to pick up his 30th win of the season against only 9 losses. The final score is 12-1.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Zambrano No-hits Astros

September 14. MILWAUKEE, WI. In his first start in 12 days, Carlos Zambrano threw his first career no-hitter Sunday against the Astros, striking out 10 in the process. If only this game had been played in Houston rather than Milwaukee... well, Astros fans might have gotten to see some history. Zambrano walked just one and hit a batter. He ended up throwing 110 pitches, which is probably at least 10 more than the Cubs would have wanted him throwing given his recent shoulder issues. Still, it was a very efficient performance for a double-digit strikeout game. The no-hitter is the Cubs’ first since Milt Pappas had one against the Padres in 1972.

Sox cool off Jays 7-5 in game two

September 13. BOSTON, MA. Jacoby Ellsbury's little dribbler gave the Red Sox a happy ending to a very long day.

Blue Jays pitcher Scott Downs fell flat on his stomach while chasing the ball that went about 30 feet down the first-base line. The short single scored the go-ahead run in a three-run eighth inning as Boston rallied for a 7-5 win Saturday night after dropping the afternoon opener 8-1. "Obviously, we know what's going on," Ellsbury said. "I don't think there was any more urgency. We try to win every game."

Jason Bay started the eighth with a double -- his third straight hit after an 0-for-13 slump -- and scored the tying run on Jed Lowries single. Lowrie took second on David Ross' sacrifice and third on Coco Crisp's ground out. The speedy Ellsbury then tapped the ball down the line. Downs tumbled after taking five steps as Lowrie crossed the plate. David Ortiz then doubled home Ellsbury. "It would have been a real tough play for him, a left-hander coming down the line" even if Downs hadn't fallen, Ellsbury said. "I saw him slip. At that point, I was hoping it would stay fair."

Justin Masterson (6-4) got the win and Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 37th save in 42 opportunities. The Blue Jays send Roy Halladay to the mound Sunday, hoping to split the four-game series. "I think we had to win three out of four to get us back in it," Lyle Overbay said.

Dustin Pedroia went 3-for-5 with two doubles, giving him 200 hits and 50 doubles this season. The only other Red Sox players to do that were Tris Speaker in 1912 and Wade Boggs in 1989

Sox split; Rays split

September 13. BOSTON, MA... given an excellent opportunity to draw even with the Rays, the Red Sox managed a split in their day-night twin bill and remained a game out after Saturday.

A.J. Burnet stifilled the Sox in the first game beating them handidly 8-1. Late-season call up Travis Snider homered, doubled and drove in five runs, leading A.J. Burnett and the Blue Jays over the Boston Red Sox 8-1 on Saturday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

Toronto, rebounding from a 7-0 loss to the Red Sox Friday, has won 12 of 14 and moved within 6 1/2 games of AL wild card leader Boston. The Red Sox fell three games behind Tampa Bay in the East after the Rays beat the Yankees 7-1. Boston is still six ahead of Minnesota in the wild card chase, but has lost three of four.

Burnett (18-10), pitching on three days' rest, held Boston to one unearned run on three singles in six-plus innings. He struck out six and left with an 8-0 lead. Staff ace Roy Halladay will also worked on three days' rest in the series finale Sunday. Byrd, making his fourth start against Toronto since August 9, was tagged for 10 hits and five runs in five-plus innings.

"I know I've faced them a lot, but I just didn't make the pitches that I needed to make," Byrd said. "Couldn't throw the ball away very well. It was up and then I just left some key pitches over the middle of the plate." It could have been worse for Byrd. The Blue Jays had two runners thrown out at third in the fourth -- Vernon Wells on Lyle Overbay's single, and Adam Lind trying to advance on his own RBI double.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Papi Connects

David Ortiz said after Sunday's game that he's been dealing with "clicking" in his damaged wrist.Ortiz suffered a torn left tendon sheath in his wrist on May 31 and missed nearly eight weeks. He said there's no pain in the wrist, but it still has him concerned. "If it was pain, I wouldn’t be playing," he said. "Pain won’t allow you to play like that. I just try to not think about it and just play. Since I got this thing, my whole swing has changed, you know? I mentally try to keep the same approach coing to the plate and not think about it but it’s hard, man, really tough." It's just something he'll have to deal with for the rest of the year.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hansack untouchable in playoff outing

Tosses six hitless innings before reaching pitch count.

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- That Devern Hansack was on a pitch count Thursday night at McCoy Stadium prevented him from making a run at International League history.
The right-hander, making just his second start since coming off the disabled list, didn't allow a hit over six innings against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre yet left the game after throwing 80 pitches. The PawSox bullpen was nearly as untouchable, allowing a pair of hits over the final three innings, but it was enough to preserve a 3-1 victory and even the Governors' Cup opening-round series at a game apiece.

"Phenomenal outing," Pawtucket manager Ron Johnson said. "What can you say? Six innings and no hits against the best team in the league. That was a very, very impressive outing. He dominated that lineup." Hansack was hit on the right arm by a line drive in his Aug. 17 start against Buffalo and didn't pitch again for 13 days. He threw two innings and 37 pitches against Buffalo on Saturday, but his four-hit, two-run effort in that affair provided no indication he would be so dominant against the Yanks.

While Johnson and the rest of the PawSox would have loved to see Hansack continue, there was no room for gambling. "We can't forget where we are and what we're about, not with a talent like Hansack," Johnson said. "We're developing people's careers here. To me, you become a bad employee if you lose your head and he runs up 95, 100 pitches. If we're going to do this [win], it's going to be with 24 people."

Hansack left after the sixth, but not until after some dramatic moments. He retired the first two batters he faced and was at 74 pitches before Johnson came out, just about convinced he would lift Hansack and not let him face Juan Miranda. But pitching coach Rich Sauveur lobbied to keep Hansack in for one more batter, and Hansack wasn't about to turn the ball over. "The choice was tough when I went out to the mound," Johnson said. "Initially, we had talked about [lefty Jon] Switzer coming in to face Miranda. But the props go to Rich, who said, 'Just go out there and see where we are.'"

MVP Reality Check

"Everyone remembers what happened last year in the first month (Pedey batted just .182). We kept talking to him and pushing him. He probably didn’t think everyone believed in him, but there were a lot of people in this clubhouse that did." -- 9.3.08, Alex Cora on the MVP

"He has had a great season,and a fantastic last 5 weeks. But lets be real here. Pedroia will not be the MVP of the league. There are a half a dozen other players who will get more votes than him. Pedroia fans need to open thier eyes,and look at the rest of the league as well.Carlos Quentin, K-Rod, Carlos Pena, Josh Hamilton, Justin Morneau has his team in first with a .313/21/109 and 41 doubles. Hello people, there is more out there. Hey, I love Pedroia as much as the next guy, but open your eyes. He IS NOT the American League MVP." -- 9.4.08, Joe via BDD comments

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Now you are thinking!!!

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said Tuesday that he sees Joba Chamberlain beginning 2009 back in the bullpen because he hasn't thrown enough innings this season.

More good news for Red Sox and Rays fans. "We'll talk about that stuff obviously at a more appropriate time," Cashman said. "But basically we believe that you can put some guys in jeopardy by putting way too much on them when they haven't been to that level. If someone adds a significant amount of innings from the previous year in an area where they've never been, history says those guys either have breakdown or significant underperformance the year after." You know what else puts young pitchers in jeopardy? Moving them from the pen to the rotation in the middle of seasons. Chamberlain is going to be 23 next year, and it's not like he's a max-effort guy. The Yankees can be cautious with him while still using him as a starter all year.

MY TAKE ON THIS: Perhaps Cashman is auditioning for a GM position with the Sox. Certainly wasn't swift moving Joba from the pen to do starting duties. You are not supposed to have such a matter of urgency with a kid like this and that was one big bonehead mistake. Now, he's taking it easy with Joba ... he's going to be pretty good but hopefully not against the Red Sox. However, I am still not convinced that Joba is ready to pitch the final month of the season. Well, it won't be that much anyway because he won't be in the playoffs unless the Yankees trade him to a REAL TEAM. I think he should sit Joba down the remainder of the year. He is, unfortunately, their future #3 (?) starter.

Craig Hansen Update

After entering a one-run game in the eighth, Craig Hansen gave up three runs in one-third of an inning to take a blown save and a loss Thursday against the Reds. Incredible. Not that he struggled, but that manager John Russell actually put him into the game at that point. Russell was dealing with a short-handed pen, as Matt Capps, Denny Bautista and John Grabow had all worked on back-to-back days. Still, Hansen's spectacularly poor results of late should have made T.J. Beam the choice to start the eighth. Hansen has a 10.45 ERA and a 3/14 K/BB ratio in 10 1/3 innings for his new team.

MY TAKE ON THIS: This may have been a player that we brought up too soon and had a lot of pressure placed on him. Other members of the Red Sox Kiddie Korps have done sensational, but this is one that just didn't make it. I guess we had to off load him in the trade.

Now what do you think of this?

Lupica Going After ARod!

Yankees 'N More has learned that New York Daily News sports columnist Mike Lupica has a copy of a list containing the names of numerous major league baseball players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.One of the names on the list is said to be New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.In 2003, major league baseball directed the collection of more than 1,400 samples in an attempt to get a feel for how prevalent the use of performance-enhancing drugs was in baseball. More than 100 players tested positive.

In their collective bargaining agreement, both owners and players agreed that the list would be kept confidential.However, in 2004, federal investigators raided testing labs being used by major league baseball, searching for the test results of 10 players named in a federal subpoenas and warrants.During those raids, investigators also seized computer files containing the names of the more than 100 players who were NOT named in either the subpoenas or warrants, but who had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during those 2003 tests.Now Lupica is believed to have a copy of this list, which includes the name of Alex Rodriguez.Who knows how Lupica got his hands on the list, or how he plans to use it. But you can bet Rodriguez will be a focal point of whatever does.

MY TAKE ON THIS; I suspected him before. However, this list is the one where no disciplinary action can be taken. Look at his HR totals in 01 and 02....52 and 57. Uh hummm. He hit in the 40's the preceding years but that doesn't signify a darn thing. Innocent until proven guilty? I guess in Barry Bonds' case, he's guilty until proven innocent. Nothing will happen to him (ARod), but at least people will have a pretty good idea that he is a known cheater.

Out for a Troll

Was out trolling around the Yankees ESPN Message Board and came across a couple humorous posts.

Minor League Playoffs 'The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees beat a Pawtucket Red Sox team in the first game of the playoffs. Just beating a Red Sox team in the playoffs is pretty cool.'

yankees wont make playoffs but alex still has a shot at mvp alex might end up with 320 avg. 40 hr 110 rbi. i think thats enough to get him serious mvp consideration. hes on fire right now.

MY TAKE ON THIS: Yup, pretty cool beating a Red Sox in the playoffs. (one game so far). Listen to the words coming out of my mouth... No MVP for AROD, the 'greatest' clutch hitter in baseball. He 'pads' his stats in meaningless games and can not produce with the sacks loaded when they need him. Yah...MVP alright. Actually, he will come in 4th place in the voting, but Pedey is making a good run at it. But you know, he is not a great clutch hitter like A-hole. What is he, like 13 of his last 22 AB's and everytime he comes up, it seems like he's hitting a game winner. The guy needs a big red 'S' on his jersey.

Sox Rally - BEAT Orioles 5-4

September 3. BOSTON. Dustin Pedroia went 3-for-4 with a homer and a double to lead the Red Sox to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Orioles on Wednesday.The Red Sox were down 4-0 before Pedroia's 17th homer put them on the board in the seventh. He then collected a double as part of a two-run eighth that tied the game. The Red Sox won it in the ninth after Alex Cora's single and two bunts. Coco Crisp's first sac attempt seemed sure to go foul, but it took a weird hop and stayed in play, allowing him to reach first base. Jacoby Ellsbury then put down a lousy bunt back to the pitcher. However, Jim Miller threw the ball into left field while trying to cut down the lead runner, ending the game. Pedroia improved to 12-for-18 with two homers and four doubles in four games as a cleanup hitter. He's overtaken Kevin Youkilis to become Boston's MVP candidate.

Rooting for Yankees

September 3. I never thought that I would see the day when I'd be pulling for the Yankees. I used to always say that you 'never ever ever root for the Yankees...they are the enemy.' But the way the division race is shaping up, we really need them to beat the Rays. Only three games back right now and that is manageable. The Sox are rolling and clicking on all cylinders (sort of).

We need to get the division so we don't have to play the Angels in the first round. Much easier to play the Twins or Chisox and let the Wild Card (Tampa Bay) get chewed up by the Angels. Who knows what can happen?

Pedroia is hot. Seldom have we ever seen anybody tearing up the place like this. Reminds me of Yaz coming down the stretch in '67. MVP? 'Heck ya... especially if we take the division. Gosh...look at all these injuries we have and we keep on winning. Big games coming up against the Rays and Yankees. Hopefully, Papi will start launching some. Doing pretty good right now, but we need the long taters from him.

It'd be nice for the DBacks to take their division and leave Manny sitting home, wherever that may be. Perhaps he'll go out and get himself another $5,000 grill and enjoy watching the Playoffs.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Welcome to the Pedey and Papi show

September 2. BOSTON -- The public address announcer had already gone through the lineups and the first strains of the national anthem were about to follow when Boston's scheduled No. 4 hitter, first baseman Kevin Youkilis, was scratched with back spasms.
There was only one place for manager Terry Francona to turn: Dustin Pedroia

The diminutive second baseman filled in at cleanup for the third time in four games and delivered a career high-tying five RBIs on Tuesday night to lead Boston to a 14-2 victory over the struggling Baltimore Orioles. "It was a quick move tonight," Francona said. "We put Petey in the four-hole and he just continues to get hits." Pedroia had a double, a homer and a single, and is batting .600 (18-for-30) over the last seven games to raise his AL-leading average to .330. A year after hitting eight homers and winning the AL rookie of the year award, Pedroia has 16 homers for the season.

The numbers are typical of a cleanup hitter, but not the kind that were expected from a feisty, 5-foot-9 second baseman. But with Youkilis ailing, Pedroia has gone 7-for-12 while providing protection for slugger David Ortiz. "It's funny to see him come up after Ortiz, a big burly guy," teammate Mark Kotsay said. Ortiz and Coco Crisp also had three hits on Tuesday, and Ortiz added four RBIs as the Red Sox won for the 10th time in 14 games. Boston cut its deficit in the AL East to four games behind Tampa Bay, which lost 7-2 to the New York Yankees; the Red Sox lead the wild-card by four games.

Jon Lester (13-5) allowed one run and six hits, striking ouPedroia hit .374 in August, scoring 33 runs in the month and convincing Red Sox fans that he should be the AL MVP. Pedroia is doing his best to tune out the "MVP!" chants when he is in the batter's box.t five and walking four in five innings while the Sox bashed 20 hits in the 14-2 victory.

The "MVP! MVP!" chants continue from adoring fans who are continually amazed that such a small player can generate so much power. Yet again last night, Dustin Pedroia, hitting cleanup after Kevin Youkilis was a late scratch with back spasms, thumped the baseball in a manner that would make Albert Pujols jealous.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Joba Chamberlain slated to return today?

September 2. According to manager Joe Girardi, Joba Chamberlain (shoulder) is expected to come off the disabled list Tuesday. Out since August 6, he'll work out of the bullpen with an eye toward potentially making a few starts later this month. "Whatever they need me to do, I'm up for it," Chamberlain said. "I feel good and ready to help in any way possible."

MY TAKE ON THIS: As I stated previously, the Yankees are going nowhere, shut him down. We shall see what transpires in the coming weeks.

Lee Becomes first 20-game winner, shutting out CHISOX 5-0

Cliff Lee became baseball's first 20-game winner by shutting out the White Sox on Monday night in a 5-0 Indians victory. Lee's exquisite season continues. Over nine brilliant innings, he allowed five singles and zero walks while striking out four and using only 109 pitches. It was his fourth complete game of the season and his second shutout. On the shoulders of Lee's gem, the Indians move back into the win column after being swept by the Mariners, and the White Sox drop into a first-place tie with the Twins atop the AL Central.

Hot Hitting Pedroia leads Sox over O's - 7-4

Monday, Sep 1. BOSTON. Pedroia's two-run single capped a four-run sixth inning, Paul Byrd pitched seven efficient innings and the Boston Red Sox beat the struggling Baltimore Orioles 7-4 on Monday night. Byrd, Pedroia's teammate for a little less than three weeks, was gushing with praise for the scrappy second baseman. This coming after White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen continually lauded his play over the weekend.

"I can't say enough about my second baseman," Byrd said. "This guy, in my opinion, is the MVP of the league. He's unbelievable. I didn't know he was that good when I came over here."
Pedroia, who hit .374 in August and closed the month going 9-for-12, scored 33 runs last month, the most for the Red Sox since Dom DiMaggio and Billy Goodwin had 35 in 1950, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Red Sox, who had the AL's second-best record at 18-9 in August but failed to gain ground on AL East-leading Tampa Bay, which went 21-7, pulled to five games behind the idle Rays. Boston increased its lead to three games in the wild card race. Baltimore, swept in a three-game series at Tampa Bay over the weekend when its pitchers allowed 34 runs, lost for the ninth time in 10 games.

Jason Varitek and Jeff Bailey hit consecutive homers for the Red Sox. Varitek's tied Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk for a club record with his 157th as a catcher.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bowden sent back to PawSox

Sep 1. BOSTON — One day after he earned a win in his major-league debut, Michael Bowden was optioned to Pawtucket yesterday morning. Taking his place on the roster was outfielder Jonathan Van Every, who was promoted from Pawtucket.

The move with Bowden was not unexpected, especially with the Red Sox short on healthy position players. The plan is for Bowden, a starting pitcher by trade, to work out of the bullpen for a few innings for the PawSox on Friday night in their playoff game against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. That will help the organization manage his innings while keeping their options open for the rest of Boston’s season. Bowden, who turns 22 in a few weeks, could be called up either to work out of the bullpen or to make another start or two down the stretch, though the Red Sox view him as a starter down the road.

Bowden, though, takes with him a game ball, courtesy of his five-inning debut in Boston’s 8-2 victory over the White Sox on Friday night at Fenway Park. Bowden allowed two runs on seven hits. Bowden, who now has pitched for Double A Portland, Triple A Pawtucket and Boston this season, expected the move and said he wasn’t concerned about making a transition to the bullpen.

Sabathia 9-0 in NL

August 31. CC Sabathia allowed just an infield single and struck out 11 in a complete-game shutout of the Pirates on Sunday. The hit was an infield roller from Andy LaRoche that Sabathia bobbled. LaRoche likely would have beaten it out anyway, but the Brewers are appealing the ruling and asking for the call to be changed to an error. In the very unlikely event that it's overturned, Sabathia would have his first career no-hitter. The big left-hander threw 117 more pitches today. Fortunately, he was able to turn in a quick ninth after entering the inning at 109, preventing him from going over 120 pitches for what would have been the fifth time since the beginning of July. He's 9-0 in 11 starts for the Brewers. Aug. 31 - 5:06 pm et