August 31, 2006

G134: Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 4

Woo-Hoo!

Mike Lowell hits a three-run home run in the first inning -- the first three-spot for the Red Sox since the second inning on August 23 (70 innings ago) -- and it suddenly feels like we're rooting for a major league team.

With the game tied 4-4, two outs in the seventh and Dustin Pedroia on first, Alex Cora hits a fly ball to the warning track in right. Alex Rios drifts back, and after the ball hits off his glove, he bats the ball into the right field stands for a two-run home run. !!! Boston leads 6-4 and Jonathan Papelbon slams the door.

Who knows -- maybe this is the first victory in what turns out to be a historical comeback?

***

Roy Halladay (3.12) / Julian Tavarez (4.71), 7 PM

David Wells -- who had the team's best ERA in August (2.65 in five starts) -- has cleaned out his locker and is at his apartment awaiting further instructions.

Meanwhile at the Fens, it's the Battle For Second Place. With Sexy Lips on the hill. (gulp)

Some final wallowing in the 2-7 road trip: The Sox scored 19 runs while allowing 43. They hit .198 (58-for-293) overall and .136 (8-for-59) with runners in scoring position. That averages out to fewer than 7 AB per game with a runner on second or third.

Steven Krasner, ProJo:
[A]fter scoring three runs over the first two innings of last Thursday's game in Anaheim, Boston tallied just 11 runs over its final 70 innings on the trip, only once posting more than one run in an inning -- two in the sixth against Seattle on Sunday, homers by Ortiz and Mike Lowell, the team's only hits that day.
Boston has scored three runs or fewer in seven straight games:
0824 At LAA W 2- 1
0825 At SEA L 0- 6
0826 At SEA L 3- 4
0827 At SEA L 3- 6
0828 At OAK L 0- 9
0829 At OAK L 1- 2
0830 At OAK L 2- 7
It's the team's worst stretch since May 24-June 2, 1976 (nine games, but those Sox went a respectable 4-5):
0524 Vs DET W 3- 0
0525 Vs DET W 2- 0
0526 At MIL L 2- 6
0527 At MIL W 2- 1
0528 Vs BAL L 1- 4
0529 Vs BAL L 2- 7
0530 Vs BAL W 3- 1
0531 Vs NY L 3- 8
0602 Vs NY L 2- 7

22 comments:

Woti-woti said...

I was getting pissed at the number of LOBs early in the season. I don't completely buy the 'high team OBP means high LOB' bromide. The Sox have been hitting 15-20 points lower with RISP than their team average most of the season. The only time they were better was during their 16-2 NL run. While obviously my 'eyeballing' will not pass sabermetric muster, I really don't care. There's something to this. Hockey players might say they're 'squeezing their sticks harder' when they come up with men on.

Gutch220 said...

just found out a couple minutes ago that Wells got traded to the Padres. by the time anyone reads this I'm sure everyone will already know

Zenslinger said...

It's a fight for the dignity of second place. Incredible number of things had to go right today to get to this victory (the three DPs among them), but...it's a victory nonetheless.

redsock said...

HERE WE GO!

Come on aboard
I promise you
You won't hurt the horse
We treat him well, we feed him well
There's lots of room for you on the bandwagon
The road may be rough, the weather may forget us
But won't we all parade around and sing our songs and wave our flags
A magic kingdom, greet us all hello, greet us hello, greet us hello

brian said...

Mike Lowell has really been an awesome professional baseball player during this tough stretch. He actually hit well on the road trip and gave the team a chace to breathe tonight with his 3-R HR.

The last 6 outs featured 4 really nice defensive plays (2 by DP, Cora and Kap with 1) The gloves were back tonight.

So long Boomer. Good luck trying to make the playoffs. May you, Bellhorn, Cla Meredith, and DAVE ROBERTS have big impacts down the stretch. (Seanez and Bard don't get good luck wishes.)

Woti-woti said...

You're right Redsock, had the look of a major league team tonight. Some clutch D and decent pitching. Time to forget LaRussa rewrote the bullpen book and see how Papelbon likes 6-out saves.

brian said...

I forgot to include Alan Embree (he did record the final out in the ALCS).

Hearing Cora's postgame inteview got me pumped that the team is ready for a Setember to Remember.

Jack Marshall said...

Sure, who knows? Maybe Fenway Park will turn into marzipan! Maybe cougars will lay eggs and Ann Coulter will compete in the Miss Universe pageant, winning Miss Congeniality! Maybe Derek Jeter will quit the Yankees to undergo sex-realignment therapy! Maybe Barry Bonds will tell the truth!

This will be a September to remember all right, but not in a good way.

L-girl said...

Thanks, Jack.

Devine said...

It's bound to be better than August. I'm resigned to losing out on the playoffs, but I'm also going to 3 Red Sox games this month.

And hey, if there's a miracle, awesome. But probably not.

Jack Marshall said...

Good for you, Devine, for going to the games. I've been reading about how people are giving away Sox tickets...front-running frauds, if you ask me. This is when the team needs a full park of cheering fans most. I'll truly be disgusted if one championship turns Sox fans into fair-weather Yankee fan clones.

Gutch220 said...

Hey hey, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. grrrrr

Gutch220 said...

besides, Red Sox fans should actually want the Yankees to beat up on the Twins and White Sox. If the red sox can cut their wild card deficit in half (only 3 games)by mid-september then who knows, it might make the last couple weeks of the season exciting.

Zenslinger said...

I don't expect a lick of excitement in the playoff sense, but I'd love to see the Sox go out and play some good baseball in September, finish out the year right.

L-girl said...

Good for you, Devine, for going to the games. I've been reading about how people are giving away Sox tickets...front-running frauds, if you ask me.

Jere, are you listening? There are reports of empty seats, ticket dumping, etc.

It happens to every team. Sox fans are not inherently above it all.

***

We're going to a game in Toronto at the end of Sept. It's our last chance to see them until April, so why not enjoy it. They're still our team, no matter what the standings say.

L-girl said...

I don't expect a lick of excitement in the playoff sense, but I'd love to see the Sox go out and play some good baseball in September, finish out the year right.

I feel the same way.

L-girl said...

Hey hey, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. grrrrr

Gutch, I guess you missed the big debate I had here a few days ago, defending Yankees fans as no better and no worse than Red Sox fans. Look for the post with something like 56 comments.

Jack Marshall said...

I-girl: I missed that post, I guess, but I couldn't disagree more. Yankee fans are spoiled; they don't appreciate the easy ride they've had; they can't stand fair competition; they cheat (and Jeffrey Meier wasn't the worst) and they root for an organization that has been a parody of a capitalist bully for 80 years. Then there's the really offensive Yankee "heroes" that their fans will admire as long as they win: the thugs, like Billy Martin; the drunks; the jerks like Munson,Reggie,Wells,Unit, ARod, Leyritz, Sheffield; the cheats, like Sheffield and Giambi. And the owner, of course, who's a cheat, a bully AND a jerk... just like Jake Ruppert and Del Webb.

One is stuck with one's home team, but I don't know any Sox fans who cheered for Buddy Leroux. Yankee fans have been corrupted by their team. I synpathize, but I won't pretend that they're like everybody else.

L-girl said...

The teams have totally different histories, and of course that effects the fans and their behaviour. Yankees fans have been spoiled, that's very true. Red Sox fans have (or at least had) all the angst and bitterness of the long drought and terrible heartbreaks, which caused a host of highly unbecoming behaviours.

But you can pick out this instance or that instance, and make practically any point you like.

Most Yankee fans "cheer for the uniform", just like most Sox fans. They don't purposely cheer for "jerks" (in the eye of the beholder, of course), cheats or drunks, and certainly don't cheer for the owner!

You can point to Giambi or Sheffield (many Yankees fans despise both of them as people, but they're not going to show that to a Red Sox fan - why should they?), I can point to Bernie Williams and Mariano. We can play that game all day.

Allan and I grumble about Mike Timlin's loathesome (to us) worldview every time he takes the mound - but we still want him to win. For that matter, I never found Ted Williams a particularly admirable human being, despite his rehabilitation as the avuncular elder statesman in his old age. And on and on.

No cheats, drunks, bullies or capitalist pigs on the Sox side? All honest, upstanding, hard-working Americans, they? Highly unlikely.

But stereotypes are as important to fans as they are to the media, and the stereotyped Yankees fan is certainly important to the Red Sox fan.

If you wanted to read more thoughts on this, it wasn't one post, but many - found here. It's a long-running argument between Jere and me, but hopefully that exchange was the culmination and end of it.

Jack Marshall said...

Nah, I'm not interested in re-opening it especially either, but I don't think your arguments are on point. The entire Yankee organization has operated on a classic "the ends justify the means" ethic for about a century. With occasional lapses, that has NOT marked the Sox culture, The fact that there are admirable and heroic Yankees is indisputable, but it does not excuse the disproportaionate number of less admirable "heroes"..like Giambi...who have been completely embraced.
If Barry Bonds had to go to the AL to continue his career, which AL team is most likely to take him? Three guesses, and the first two don't count. Would Sox fans tolerate Bonds? You can answer that one too.

One other thing: if you really know about Williams, you know he was quite complex. His work for the Jummy Fund, his support of Negro League players, his generous tutelage of young hitters and his military record show a man of charity, courage and kindness. Plus he was undeniably loyal: the Yankees tried to hire him twice, and he refused despite the significant money involved.
AND he was a lousy father and husband and an unbearable egotist. In sports hero terms, however, Ted was way, way on the positive side. Nobody should be ashamed of admiring Ted Williams.

redsock said...

In sports hero terms, however, Ted was way, way on the positive side.

I especially liked the way he spit at the fans. ... BH Kim's finger to the crowd in 2003 was in a fine tradition.

...

Tom Yawkey owned the Red Sox for decades and he was no prize. ... The Red Sox organization is at least waist-deep in shame from its racist policies (and drunken front office men).

If you really delved into the past of both clubs, you'd probably come out even in the number of reprehensible human beings (depending on your definition, of course).

Bill Lee was still correct, however, when he said "Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter."

L-girl said...

I'm aware of Williams' complexity, but I don't add up the factors the way you do. For example, his military record is, to me, a strong minus. Re-upping to go kill Koreans is not admirable, in my book. I also don't care one iota about team loyalty.

However, your comment mainly compares, selectively, the Yankees and Red Sox organizations. I was only speaking of their fans. Few, if any, fans choose and stick with a team based on past management practices. It's kind of a ludicrous idea.

My central point is only this. Both Yankees fans and Red Sox fans are maligned by their opposite number, but there are intelligent, loyal and decent fans on both sides, and piggish, classless, fair-weather fans on both sides. That's all.