June 29, 2004

Red Sox/Yankees, Regular Season Matchup #1,902. Let's hope that the Red Sox bashing against the Phillies on Sunday -- scoring 12 runs after falling behind 3-0 -- becomes a common occurrence. It is way past time for the Red Sox to get on a long winning streak.

Theo Epstein: "We have scored more runs than the Yankees (404-400) and allowed fewer runs than the Yankees (343-352), but they have been finding ways to win, and that's what we have to do. Two months of playing .500 ball has been disappointing." ... The Red Sox are hitting .275, the Yankees .262; the Red Sox pitching staff has a 3.92 ERA, the Yankees 4.39. ... Nick Cafardo of the Globe asks: "How can a team that is first in extra-base hits, first in doubles, third in runs, first in on-base percentage, and fourth in slugging be last in leaving men on base? ... How can this lineup not be consistent? How can it not be knocking down the Wall all the time? ... [T]he Sox advanced a runner from first 47 percent of the time last season; they've done it just 32 percent this season. ... The Sox have played in nine games in which they have not had one hit with runners in scoring position and 15 games in which they've had only one such hit. Manny Ramirez is hitting .361 with runners in scoring position and two outs; the rest of the team .229. ... The Sox have struck out nine or more times in a game 30 times, 10 more than all last season. They are 14-16 in those games. When they put the ball in play, they're hitting .349."

The Red Sox have also left 602 men on base, tops in the American League. ... It is there inconsistent play that had left them 5½ games behind the Yankees. Boston began May by losing five straight. Then they won four in a row, lost four of five, won nine of 11, lost six of eight, won five of six and lost eight of 14. ... Art Martone on Epstein and his "glass-is-half-empty" attitude and the fact that Boston has scored an average of 11.6 runs in their last 5 wins (12-3, 12-1, 9-2, 14-9, 11-0) and an average of 2.2 runs in their last 5 losses (9-2, 4-3, 4-2, 4-0, 6-4).

Also: Byung-Hyun Kim pitched two scoreless innings for Pawtucket against Richmond, allowing a leadoff single before retiring the next six batters. ... David Ortiz was named AL Player of the Week, batting .440 (11-for-25) with 4 HR, 9 RBI and 8 runs scored in 6 games. ... Bill Mueller could return to the Sox this weekend in Atlanta (Ellis Burks might return also), but Mueller himself thinks that might be difficult. Mueller: "When I woke up this morning (Sunday), I didn't even think about how I felt - and that's a good sign." On Saturday, Mueller went 0-for-2 with a walk for Pawtucket. On Sunday, both Mueller and Burks were in the PawSox lineup. Mueller played third went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while Burks went 0-for-2 and scored a run as a DH.

I thought only Red Sox fans were obsessed with The Rivalry and the Yankees and their fans didn't give the Red Sox much thought at all.

Could the media have been lying to me?

Pokey Reese starts at second base tonight against the Yankees. Lowe/Vazquez at 7:05 pm.

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