July 23, 2014

G101: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 4

Red Sox   - 300 010 000 - 4  9  1
Blue Jays - 300 002 10x - 6  8  1
Example
Clay Buchholz / R.A. Dickey
Victorino, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Nava, LF
Bogaerts, 3B
Drew, SS
Vazquez, C
Bradley, CF

July 22, 2014

G100: Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 3

Red Sox   - 000 000 012 - 3 11  0
Blue Jays - 001 003 12x - 7 13  0
Although the Red Sox had squandered some scoring chances, leaving the bases loaded in the fourth and stranding two more in the fifth, they still trailed by only one run in the middle of the sixth. But then Peavy (6.1-8-5-3-7, 105) - and the game - fell apart.

Jose Reyes (3-for-5) lined Peavy's 2-2 pitch to right for a home run. Melky Cabrera (3-for-5) hit a ground-rule double to right and after Jose Bautista flied out, Dioner Navarro (2-for-4) homered to right-center. Toronto led 4-0; from there, both teams traded runs until the end.

Once again, the Red Sox did not score while Peavy was in the game. He began the night with the lowest run support among all American League pitchers (2.91).

David Ortiz homered to center in the eighth. And after Shane Victorino opened the ninth with a single, Stephen Drew donged to right. Down by four, Boston tried to fashion a rally. David Ross grounded a one-out single to center (Jackie Bradley pinch-ran) and Brock Holt walked. But Dustin Pedroia flied to right and Ortiz forced Bradley at third.

Both Ross and Victorino went 3-for-4. Ortiz homered and doubled.
Example
Jake Peavy / A.J. Happ
Holt, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Gomes, LF
Victorino, RF
Drew, SS
Bogaerts, 3B
Ross, C
The Continuing Legend of David Ortiz:
Sunday night: "I'm about to get hotter than Jamaica in the middle of August."

Monday: Slams 2 home runs, drives in four.

Monday night: "I'm on my way to Jamaica."
Jonny Gomes:
That's why they play one hundred and sixty-two. ... Not 16 games, not 40 - you go for six months and you go like this [a rollercoaster]. It takes 162 to figure this damn thing out.
Have the Red Sox finally figured this damn thing out? They have won eight of their last nine games, setting season-highs in runs (14) and hits (18) last night in Toronto. The pitching staff, which has been a strength all season, has allowed only five runs over the last six games. With 62 games left on the schedule, they are 7.5 games out of first place.

Optimism > Drudgery. It's time to get on the bus.

July 21, 2014

G99: Red Sox 14, Blue Jays 1

Red Sox   - 024 260 000 - 14 18  0
Blue Jays - 001 000 000 -  1  3  0
Seven Red Sox batters had at least two hits in a rout of the Blue Jays.

Xander Bogaerts, Mike Napoli, and Daniel Nava each had three hits. ... Stephen Drew and David Ortiz both had 4 RBI.

Ortiz cracked two home runs (both off lefty Brad Mills), and passed Carl Yastrzemski on MLB's all-time list. Flo, with 453 dongs, is 36th all-time.

John Lackey: 7-2-1-0-3, 76. And zero 3-ball counts. ... Opposing teams have scored only six runs off Red Sox pitching over the last five games.

Boston has won five in a row and eight of its last nine games. Baltimore won last night, so the Red Sox remain 7.5 GB.
Example
John Lackey / Drew Hutchinson
Holt, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Nava, LF
Drew, SS
Bogaerts, 3B
Bradley, CF
Vazquez, C
Boston - winners of seven of their last eight games - begins a seven-game road trip in Toronto. After four games with the Blue Jays, the Red Sox play three in Tampa Bay.

By sweeping the Royals, the Red Sox gained two games in the AL East. They are now 7.5 GB the Orioles.

July 20, 2014

G98: Red Sox 6, Royals 0

Royals  - 000 000 000 - 0  4  1
Red Sox - 102 300 00x - 6  9  0
Jon Lester: 8-4-0-2-8, 115. Last seven starts: 52.2 IP, 5 ER, 47 K, 0.85 ERA.

Daniel Nava: single, double, walk, 3 RBI.

Jackie Bradley: 2 singles, walk, 2 runs scored.

David Ross: 2-run home run, walk, 2 runs scored.

Shane Victorino: 2-for-4, 1 run scored. ... Brock Holt: 2-for-5, 1 run scored.

Boston has won four in a row (with the pitching staff allowing only five runs) and seven of its last eight games. (Go A's!)
Example
Yordano Ventura / Jon Lester
Holt, 3B
Nava, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Carp, 1B
Victorino, RF
Drew, SS
Ross, C
Bradley, CF

July 19, 2014

G97: Red Sox 2, Royals 1

Royals  - 001 000 000 - 1  5  1
Red Sox - 000 101 00x - 2  6  1
Mike Napoli's sixth-inning home run snapped a 1-1 tie. Rubby De La Rosa (7-5-1-4-2, 104), Andrew Miller (a perfect eighth), and Koji Uehara (a perfect ninth) held the Royals in check.

Boston has now won six of its last seven games. Also, each of the Red Sox's last eight victories at Fenway Park (since June 16) have been decided by one run: 1-0, 2-1, 2-1 (10), 3-2, 5-4, 4-3 (10), 5-4, and 2-1.

Napoli scored Boston's first run, singling and scoring on an infield error in the fourth inning.

Jackie Bradley started his sixth double play with a catch in the top of the first inning. At the start of today's action, no other outfielder had more than three DPs. It was Bradley's 11th assist of the season.
Example
Danny Duffy / Rubby De La Rosa
Holt SS
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Gomes, LF
Victorino, RF
Bogaerts, 3B
Bradley, CF
Vazquez, C
The Red Sox sent Mookie Betts to Pawtucket to make roster space for Shane Victorino.

July 18, 2014

G96: Red Sox 5, Royals 4

Royals  - 100 210 000 - 4 12  1
Red Sox - 010 004 00x - 5 10  2
Two-run homers from Xander Bogaerts and pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes in the sixth inning lifted the Red Sox to victory. The Red Sox gained a game in the standings: 8.5 GB.

Gomes has now hit six pinch-hit home runs during his two seasons with the Red Sox. Only Ted Williams (7) has hit more PH-HR in a Boston uniform.

Clay Buchholz (6-10-4-0-3, 104) became the first Red Sox starting pitcher to win consecutive team games since Don Schwall (July 9 and 13, 1961, also around the All-Star break).

(And while looking at the 1961 schedule, I see the Red Sox had walk-off wins in both ends of a June 18 doubleheader, 13-12 (8 runs in the bottom of the ninth!) and 6-5 in 13 innings. Must have been an extremely fun day at Fenway!)

Example
James Shields / Clay Buchholz
Holt, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Nava, LF
Bogaerts, 3B
Drew, SS
Ross, C
Bradley, CF
In the Red Sox's last game, Clay Buchholz had one of the finest outings of his eight-year career, tossing a three-hit complete game shutout, with a career-high 12 strikeouts. Buchholz gets the ball again in Friday's game against the Royals as Boston begins the season's "second half".

The Red Sox host the Royals for three games before going on the road to Toronto and Tampa Bay, before coming back to Fenway Park to play the Blue Jays and Yankees. Will the Red Sox have narrowed the gap in the AL East by the time the trade deadline passes and August begins? ... Boston has won four of its last five games, showing some offensive pop, though those victories came against the White Sox and Astros, two sub-.500 teams.
Orioles    52  42  ---
Blue Jays  49  47  4.0
Yankees    47  47  5.0
Red Sox    43  52  9.5
Rays       44  53  9.5
Jon Lester:
Our division is pretty open. ... You're talking about nine games, you're talking about a homestand where things can be very, very different if we get on a roll and we start playing better. I think you saw that the last five or six games from us. The offense has started swinging the bat a lot better lately. If we continue to keep our guys in games, we're going to win more games and hopefully those one-run games are going to change for us.
Koji Uehara:
I feel that the way we finished off the first half and how many games there are left in the season, I certainly think that we have a shot.
Ben Cherington:
We've put ourselves in this position, so the math is working against us a little bit. But stranger things have happened. We don't see why we can't win more games than most of the teams ahead of us.
Shane Victorino could rejoin the Red Sox for the KC series.

July 16, 2014

Re2pect

Will Leitch, Sports On Earth:
The moment came mid-game, off the field. It came when National League starter Adam Wainwright, talking to reporters after giving up three first-inning runs, admitted the pitch he threw that Jeter hit for a double to lead off the game … he grooved it. "I was gonna give him a couple pipe shots," Wainwright said. "He deserved it. I didn't know he was gonna hit a double or I might have changed my mind." ...

It was as plain as day. He didn't hedge. He wasn't vague. He told the exact truth. He grooved a pitch to Derek Jeter because he respects Jeter so much he felt he deserved it. And then he owned up to it. ...

But that's not why Wainwright was criticized, or why he was forced to apologize to Erin Andrews during the game and act like he was kidding. The reaction among media - who are paid to ask questions of players and managers that elicit honest reactions, and if the reactions aren't honest, they're paid to find out what the truth in fact is - wasn't to thank Wainwright for his honesty. It was to blast him for not lying. ...

And why did people want Wainwright to lie? Because now Jeter's night - Jeter's perfect night - was somehow sullied. Everybody had their stories written in the first inning. This was Jeter's last great moment, and of course he went 2-for-2 because he was special. Wainwright telling the truth meant that the Jeter's Great Night story had to have an asterisk. And Derek Jeter is never, ever supposed to have an asterisk.
Also: Deadspin.

July 14, 2014

Giants Hit Historic Grand Slams

From Elias Sports Bureau:

The Giants beat the Diamondbacks 8-4 yesterday. Giants catcher Buster Posey hit a grand slam in the fifth inning. Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner hit a grand slam in the sixth inning. It was the first time in MLB history that pitcher/catcher teammates hit grand slams in the same game. It was the second time in Giants history (132 years) that they hit grand slams in consecutive innings; Bill Mueller and Jeff Kent did it against the Dodgers in 1998. And Bumgarner, who hit a grand slam against the Rockies on April 11, is the second pitcher with two slams in the same season. The first was Tony Cloninger (1966).

Clay Buchholz struck out 12 batters in a three-hit complete game shutout on Sunday. It was the highest strikeout total by a Red Sox pitcher in a complete game shutout with no walks since Hideo Nomo fanned 14 batters in a one-hitter against the Blue Jays on May 25, 2001.

Jose Abreu's two-run homer on Saturday was the 50th extra-base hit of his career. Abreu reached the half-century mark in just his 81st major-league game. That's the fewest games any player has needed since Ted Williams did it in his 80th appearance in 1939.

July 13, 2014

G95: Red Sox 11, Astros 0

Red Sox - 112 020 203 - 11 16  0
Astros  - 000 000 000 -  0  3  3
Clay Buchholz: 9-3-0-0-12, 109. A new career high in strikeouts. Buchholz retired the last 17 batters he faced. ... Buchholz will also start the Red Sox's next game, this Friday against the Royals.

Brock Holt: 5-for-6, home run, two runs scored. (He went 10-for-15 in the series.) Holt is the first Red Sock to have five hits in a game since Dustin Pedroia went 5-for-5 (with three home runs) against Colorado on June 24, 2010. Holt also played two innings at second base, the seventh position he has played this season.

Two hits: Pedroia, Daniel Nava, Stephen Drew, Christian Vazquez.

Two RBI: Vazquez, David Ortiz, Mike Carp.

The Red Sox had 16 hits, eight walks, and one HBP. They left 11 men on base and hit into five double plays. ... And still scored 11 times.
Example
Clay Buchholz / Brad Peacock
Holt, SS
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Nava, LF
Bradley, CF
Bogaerts, 3B
Drew, SS
Vazquez, C

July 12, 2014

G94: Astros 3, Red Sox 2

Red Sox - 000 100 100 - 2 13  1
Astros  - 002 000 01x - 3  8  0
Example
Jake Peavy / Brett Oberholtzer
Holt, SS
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Gomes, LF
Bogaerts, 3B
Ross, C
Bradley, CF
Betts, RF
Fun [sic] Fact about last night's game: "It marked just the second time in the last four weeks that the Red Sox won a game by a margin of more than one run."

July 11, 2014

Chris Hedges: "Kneeling In Fenway Park To The Gods Of War"

Essential reading.

Chris Hedges, TruthDig:
On Saturday [July 5] I went to one of the massive temples across the country where we celebrate our state religion. The temple I visited was Boston’s Fenway Park. I was inspired to go by reading Andrew Bacevich’s thoughtful book "Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country," which opens with a scene at Fenway from July 4, 2011. ...

The religious reverie — repeated in sports arenas throughout the United States — is used to justify our bloated war budget and endless wars. Schools and libraries are closing. Unemployment and underemployment are chronic. Our infrastructure is broken and decrepit. And we will have paid a crippling $4 trillion for the useless and futile wars we waged over the last 13 years in the Middle East. But the military remains as unassailable as Jesus, or, among those who have season tickets at Fenway Park, the Red Sox. The military is the repository of our honor and patriotism. No public official dares criticize the armed forces or challenge their divine right to more than half of all the nation’s discretionary spending. And although we may be distrustful of government, the military — in the twisted logic of the American mind — is somehow separate.

The heroes of war and the heroes of sport are indistinguishable in militarized societies. War is sold to a gullible public as a noble game. Few have the athletic prowess to play professional sports, but almost any young man or woman can go to a recruiter and sign up to be a military hero. The fusion of the military with baseball, along with the recruitment ads that appeared intermittently Saturday on the television screens mounted on green iron pillars throughout Fenway Park, caters to this illusion ...

Saturday's crowd of some 37,000, which paid on average about $70 for a ticket, dutifully sang hosannas — including “God Bless America” in the seventh inning — to the flag and the instruments of death and war. It blessed and applauded a military machine that, ironically, oversees the wholesale surveillance of everyone in the ballpark and has the power under the National Defense Authorization Act to snatch anyone in the stands and hold him or her indefinitely in a military facility. There was no mention of targeted assassinations of U.S. citizens, kill lists or those lost or crippled in the wars. The crowd roared its approval every time the military was mentioned. It cheered its own enslavement.

War is not a sport. It is about killing. It is dirty, messy and deeply demoralizing. It brings with it trauma, lifelong wounds, loss and feelings of shame and guilt. It leaves bleeding or dead bodies on its fields. The pay is lousy. The working conditions are horrific. And those who come back from war are usually discarded. ... At best, you are trotted out for a public event, as long as you read from the script they give you, the one designed to entice the naive into the military. Otherwise, you are forgotten.
Also: After our trip to Boston in early April, my partner Laura wrote the following: "military propaganda at sports events reaches new extremes: continuous recruitment ads at baseball games".

It disgusts me that my favourite team seems intent on prying the title of "Biggest Military/War Lovers" in MLB from the Yankees.

G93: Red Sox 8, Astros 3

Red Sox - 002 105 000 - 8 12  1
Astros  - 000 101 010 - 3  7  1
In his second major league game, Christian Vazquez went 3-for-4, with two doubles, two runs scored, and three RBI. (Vazquez became one of just three Red Sox players since 1914 to record at least three hits and three RBIs within their first two career games, joining Sam Horn in 1987 and Merl Combs in 1947.)

David Ortiz had a three-run double. Brock Holt, Jackie Bradley, and Daniel Nava each had two hits. Holt and Stephen Drew each tripled and scored two runs.

Lackey: 6-4-2-5-3, 117.
Example
John Lackey / Scott Feldman
Holt, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Carp, 1B
Nava, LF
Bradley, CF
Bogaerts, 3B
Drew, SS
Vazquez, C
Thanks to two walkoff victories against the White Sox - the Christian Vazquez Era has been nothing but fun! - Boston is now tied with Tampa Bay for fourth place in the AL East, 9.5 GB the Orioles. The Red Sox play three games in Houston and then it's time for the All-Star Break. ... The Astros are one of two teams (along with Texas) with a worse record than Boston.

Shane Victorino began a rehab assignment last night with the Lowell Spinners. He played right field for five innings and went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. Victorino will play with Lowell again tonight, then move up to Pawtucket on Saturday and Sunday. Victorino has played in only 21 games with the Red Sox this year.

Babe Ruth made his major league debut 100 years ago today. He pitched seven innings as the Red Sox beat Cleveland 4-3 at Fenway Park.

Meanwhile, in New York:

July 10, 2014

G92: Red Sox 4, White Sox 3 (10)

White Sox - 100 000 002 0 - 3 10  0
Red Sox   - 000 003 000 1 - 4  3  0
The Red Sox notched their second walkoff victory in as many days.

Mike Carp's pinch-hit single scored Daniel Nava with the winning run.

Recaps: MLB, ESPNBoston (also here), WEEI.
Example
Jose Quintana / Jon Lester
Holt, 3B
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Gomes, LF
Betts, RF
Drew, SS
Ross, C
Bradley, CF
Pictures and video of Jackie Bradley's catch from last night are here.

Surprise! AJP Was A Total A-Hole In The Clubhouse

Rob Bradford, WEEI:
According to multiple sources within the Red Sox clubhouse, Pierzynski had become such a negative influence on the team that players approached both the Sox coaches and front office to address the problem. The common theme expressed was the catcher's seeming indifference toward his teammates and the common goals of the same organization that had relied on an all-for-one approach when winning the 2013 World Series. ...

The frustrations with Pierzynski among the Red Sox grew with the catcher's indifference toward the perceived needs of the club. ...

[T]he facts are that this one player was identified by multiple members of what is perceived as one of baseball's most tight-knit groups as the dark cloud that has just been lifted. ...

It became obvious to those in the clubhouse fairly early on that this might be an oil-and-water situation. Pierzynski's personality wasn't conducive to the Red Sox' way of doing things, saying what he wanted when he wanted without much regard for the greater good. From the dugout, he would yell across the field at the opposition, or ridicule umpires during replay challenges. It made many cringe. ...

Pitchers started to express their preference to pitch to David Ross, with Pierzynski perhaps the team's worst receiving catcher since Javy Lopez swept through town in 2006. He also made little effort to fall in line with the rest of the lineup in regard to seeing at least a few pitches, a frustration that came to a head when he grounded into an inning-ending double play on a first-pitch fastball after the Red Sox had loaded the bases with three walks in Seattle.
AJP Fun Fact: He had more GIDPs (11) than walks (9).

July 9, 2014

G91: Red Sox 5, White Sox 4

White Sox - 110 100 100 - 4 10  0
Red Sox   - 000 000 032 - 5  9  1
Stymied by Chris Sale (7.2-4-1-0-6, 107) and four outs from yet another lifeless defeat, the Red Sox attacked the White Sox bullpen, eventually winning the game with one out in the bottom of the ninth on Daniel Nava's game-tying double and Brock Holt's game-winning single.

The Red Sox had done absolutely nothing with Sale for seven innings, managing to get only one batter past first base in that time. That came courtesy of Mookie Betts, who doubled with one out in the fifth, a successful end to an 11-pitch at-bat.

This was the first time since August 16, 1987, that the Red Sox started five rookies, not including September call-ups, in a game.

Betts also got the eighth inning rally going - with an infield double! Facing Sale, he grounded to shortstop and beat the throw to first, then noticed that no one was covering second base, so he took off - and slid safely in head-first. Sale retired the next two batters, and was then pulled by Chicago manager Robin Ventura. He had thrown only 107 pitches, and the hook may have been too quick.

Dustin Pedroia greeted reliever Jake Petricka by lining his second pitch to center, scoring Betts with a single. David Ortiz doubled off the left field wall, and Pedroia scored, making it 4-2. Mike Napoli walked on five pitches, bringing the potential tying run to the plate. Jonny Gomes ripped a 1-1 pitch down the left field line, into the corner, and Ortiz scored. Four batters and no outs, and Petricka was yanked. Javy Guerra came in to face pinch-hitter Mike Carp, who was batting for Xander Bogaerts. (I would have rather seen X hit for himself; hell, I would have rather seen the already-departed A.J. Pierzynski.) Carp grounded out first-to-pitcher to snuff out the promising rally.

But the Red Sox were not done. After Koji Uehara struck out the side in the top of the ninth, the bottom of the Boston lineup went to work on Guerra. Although Jackie Bradley fouled out to third, Betts was hit by a pitch. Nava, pinch-hitting for Christian Vazquez, doubled to the opposite field, the ball one-hopping the wall in left-center. The speedy Betts had no trouble scoring the tying run from first base. Guerra then got ahead of Holt 1-2, but Holt slashed a hit to right field, bringing in Nava with the game-winner. It was the Red Sox's seventh walkoff win of the season.

Vazquez went 0-for-3 in his major league debut, flying to right, lining to shortstop, and grounding to second. He was also part of two sterling defensive plays. In the fourth he came out in front of the plate to grab Betts's throw and gun down Dayan Viciedo trying to advance to second after singling in Chicago's third run. He also blocked the plate and tagged out Alejandro De Aza, who was trying to score on a double to left in the seventh; the play went 7-5-2.

Bradley went 0-for-4, but made one of the most amazing catches of the season in the second inning. Chicago led 2-0 and had a runner on second with one out. Tyler Flowers smoked a line drive to the gap in right-center. Bradley ran and ran, then leapt flat-out, seemingly hanging in the air an extra split-second, before spearing the ball and crashing to the ground. You can watch video here.
Example
Chris Sale / Rubby De La Rosa
Holt, SS
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Gomes, LF
Bogaerts, 3B
Bradley, CF
Betts, RF
Vazquez, C
39-51. Last place. 10.5 GB.

Joon Lee, Over The Monster: "The Season Is Over"

Alex Speier, WEEI: "Reality Bites: Brutal Homestand Forces Red Sox To Accept 2014 As All But Lost"

Pierzynski DFA'd; Christian Vazquez Will Start Tonight

The future is now.

The Red Sox have designated A.J. Pierzynski for assignment and called up Christian Vazquez from Pawtucket. Vazquez, 23, will be behind the plate tonight, catching Rubby De La Rosa.

According to tweets posted by WEEI's Alex Speier, John Farrell said, "We're turning the page in terms of investing in young players." and that Vazquez is up to stay and has a chance to be "a frontline catcher for years to come". Vazquez batted .279/.336/.385 for Pawtucket in 66 games this year.

Sox Prospects:
Plus defensive catcher with a strong, wide frame and solid agility behind the plate. Quick release, plus-to-better arm. Consistently timed quicker than 1.9 seconds on throws to second base. Struggled in the past blocking balls in the dirt, but has made strong strides improving with controlling his body to front offerings. Firm when receiving pitches. Quick feet. Smooth footwork when firing out of crouch. Learning to lead behind the plate. Average bat speed. Has worked to quicken swing load. Extends on offerings middle-to-away well. Gets tied up by higher velocity fastballs on inner third. Must increase hitting zones to make consistent contact in higher levels. Tends to be fooled by sharp breaking balls. Fringe-average-to-average power potential. Capable of driving balls into the gap hard.
In 72 games, AJP was a bust at the plate (.254/.286/.348) and a liability behind it.

Neither Pierzynski nor David Ross will be with the Red Sox in 2015. The team might as well let Vazquez get accustomed to the majors as soon as possible. It's not like the team will be pushing for a playoff spot in these remaining 72 games.

July 8, 2014

G90: White Sox 8, Red Sox 3

White Sox - 020 102 003 - 8 12  0
Red Sox   - 000 030 000 - 3 10  2
Example
John Danks / Brandon Workman
Holt, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Gomes, LF
Bogaerts, 3B
Ross, C
Drew, SS
Betts, CF

Yankees Fan Caught Sleeping On TV Sues ESPN, MLB For $10 Million

Troy Machir, The Sporting News:
A New York man who was caught sleeping at a recent Yankees game against the Red Sox on ESPN is filing a $10 million defamation suit against broadcasters Dan Shulman and John Kruk for their "avalanche of disparaging words," according to the New York Post.

Andrew Robert Rector admitted that he "briefly slept" while attending the April 13 game between A.L. East rivals, and when ESPN cameras caught him sleeping during the fourth inning, the Sunday Night Baseball announcers launched into what he described as an "unending verbal crusade" against him, with their "vituperative utterances" redistributed on the MLB website the following day.
Lorena Mongelli, David K. Li and Bruce Golding, New York Post:
[H]is typo-ridden suit says Shulman and Kruk's "false statements" include suggestions that Rector is "not worthy" to be a Yankee fan and "is a fatty cow that need two seats at all time and represent symbol of failure."

It also says Rector was made out to be "a confused individual that neither understands nor knows anything about history and the meaning of rivalry between Red Sox and New York Yankee."

As a result, the used-car dealer claims to have "suffered substantial injury" to his "character and reputation," as well as "mental anguish, loss of future income and loss of earning capacity."
The Smoking Gun has posted three pages of his complaint. Here is a sampling:
13. Nothing triggered all these assertions only that the plaintiff briefly slept off while watching the great game something or circumstance any one can easily found them self.

16. Plaintiff assert that defendants are guilty of juxtaposition of a series of fact that imply defamatory connection between them, and in doing so, they create a defamatory implication even though the particular fact are connected.
This jumbled mess - which reads like Rector's attorney translated it from English to some other language and then back to English - and the fact that his complaint is actually with readers' comments on mlb.com, not the TV announcers - will only increase the amount of ridicule heaped on Rector.

July 7, 2014

G89: White Sox 4, Red Sox 0

White Sox - 010 300 000 - 4  6  0
Red Sox   - 000 000 000 - 0  2  0
Example
Scott Carroll / Clay Buchholz
Holt, RF
Nava, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Drew, SS
Pierzynski, C
Bradley, CF
Bogaerts, 3B
Red Sox Stats ‏@redsoxstats
McAdam says on The Baseball Show [Sunday night] that members of the organization say anything less than 5-2 against CWS & HOU and the Sox go into sell mode
I'm not sure why a good performance over the next seven games would convince the front office that this is a team with a shot at even the second wild card. The organization can't be that dumb or short-sighted about something that has roughly a 4% chance of happening. (And I'd say 3-4 is a far sounder bet than 5-2.) Every decision the Red Sox make this summer should be made with an eye toward 2015 and beyond.

July 6, 2014

G88: Orioles 7, Red Sox 6 (12)

Orioles - 000 101 400 001 - 7 16  0
Red Sox - 000 001 500 000 - 6 15  2
Example
Kevin Gausman / Jake Peavy
Holt, RF
Nava, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Drew, SS
Ross, C
Bradley, CF
Bogaerts, 3B

July 5, 2014

G87: Orioles 7, Red Sox 4

Orioles - 000 214 000 - 7 16  0
Red Sox - 000 400 000 - 4  6  2
Example
Ubaldo Jimenez / John Lackey
Holt, 3B
Nava, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Drew, SS
Gomes, LF
Pierzynski, C
Betts, CF
Game 2 of a day-night doubleheader.

G86: Red Sox 3, Orioles 2

Orioles - 002 000 000 - 2  5  1
Red Sox - 020 000 001 - 3  9  3
John Farrell's managerial moves worked to perfection in the bottom of the ninth. Jonny Gomes, pinch-hitting for Stephen Drew against lefty T.J. McFarland, reached on an infield single deep in the shortstop hole. Then David Ross bunted Gomes over to second, his first sacrifice in over a year. And a second pinch-hitter, Jonathan Herrera, batting for Jackie Bradley (who was 2-for-3), flared a broken-bat single to short right-center. Gomes tore around third, beating the throw easily with a long head-first slide, with the winning run.

Drew got the Red Sox on the board in the second with a solo home run. A second run scored on an infield error. Fielding miscues helped Baltimore tie the game in the third. A throwing error by Dustin Pedroia and a single put two Orioles on base. With two outs, and runners on second and third, Steve Pearce hit a ground ball to Xander Bogaerts at third. The ball skipped off his glove into left field, allowing both runners to score.

Both of the runs off Lester (8-5-2-0-7, 118) were unearned. Miguel Gonzalez (8-7-2-2-6, 113) nearly matched Lester pitch-for-pitch. Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for Boston.
Example
Miguel Gonzalez / Jon Lester
Holt, RF
Nava, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Napoli, 1B
Pierzynski, DH
Bogaerts, 3B
Drew, SS
Ross, C
Bradley, CF
Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader against the first-place Orioles. Boston is 8 GB.

July 4, 2014

G86: Orioles at Red Sox, PPD.

Orioles -
Red Sox - 
Red Sox:
Friday's Red Sox-Orioles game has been postponed due to inclement weather associated with Tropical Storm Arthur. ... Friday's game will be rescheduled as the first game of a day-night doubleheader, tomorrow, Saturday, July 5, beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET. Tomorrow's regularly scheduled game remains at 7:15 p.m.
Jon Lester will pitch Game 1, with John Lackey starting Game 2.
Example
Miguel Gonzalez / Jon Lester

The Orioles (46-39) are in a first-place tie with the Blue Jays (47-40), while the Red Sox are only 1.5 games out of the AL East basement.

July 3, 2014

Good News For The Red Sox

They will not lose today.

July 2, 2014

G85: Cubs 16, Red Sox 9

Cubs    - 300 321 016 - 16 19  1
Red Sox - 001 220 013 -  9 16  0
If only Anthony Rizzo had bothered to drive in a run...

Dustin Pedroia has collected three hits in four of his last five games, going 12-for-20.

David Ortiz hit two doubles, and now has 1,001 extra-base hits in his career. He is the 36th player in history to reach the 1,000 mark

Mookie Betts's first hit at Fenway was a two-run homer. Betts and Xander Bogaerts are the first pair of Red Sox players age 21 or younger to homer in the same season since 1980 (Glenn Hoffman, Chico Walker).

Time of game: 4:19, the longest nine-inning game played thus far this season.
Example
Travis Wood / Brandon Workman
Holt, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Gomes, LF
Bogaerts, 3B
Pierzynski, c
Betts, CF
Herrera, SS
The Red Sox have had trouble scoring runs all season - they have crossed the plate only 312 times, dead last in the American League (3.71 per game) - but their current ineptitude at home is reaching historic levels.

Boston has scored two runs or fewer in seven straight games at Fenway Park, only one shy of the franchise record set by the woeful 1932 team, which finished 43-111 (.279, the worst in team history), 64 games out of first place. (Thanks to The Omnipotent Q for this factoid.)

If you're wondering, the major league record for most home games with two or fewer runs scored is 11, set by the Washington Senators (May 11-19, 1947). That Senators' mark is tied with two other teams for the longest stretch of games (home or away) with two or fewer runs scored: Boston Braves, June 4-13, 1942 and St. Louis Cardinals, May 17-29, 1978.

How about consecutive games scoring 0 or 1 run? The Houston Colt .45s - in their second year of existence - played nine straight games (June 18-25, 1963), losing by scores of: 3-1, 9-1, 5-0, 3-0, 3-0, 4-0, 8-1, 3-0, 4-0.

In other words, things could be worse.

"Don't Let Us Win Tonight" On NESN Pre-Game

NESN:
The 2004 Boston Red Sox team was a special bunch that didn't just break the 86-year World Series curse, but one that did it with personality and in inspiring fashion.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the championship squad, Allan Wood and Bill Nowlin wrote "Don't Let Us Win Tonight: An Oral History of the 2004 Boston Red Sox's Impossible Playoff Run." The book gives readers an inside look at the historic team, as the authors spoke to players, coaches, front-office personnel and even bat boys to bring every detail to life for the fans.
Tom Caron and Tim Wakefield talked to my co-author Bill Nowlin about the book before last night's game. Video here.

July 1, 2014

G84: Cubs 2, Red Sox 1

Cubs    - 000 001 001 - 2  7  0
Red Sox - 000 010 000 - 1  8  0
Yet another strong pitching performance - this time, by Clay Buchholz (6.1-5-1-0-2, 100) - was wasted because the Red Sox could not score more than a single run. Boston left nine men on base, including two in the fourth and three in the fifth.

The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead with two outs in the fifth. Jackie Bradley doubled to the opposite field and went to third as Brock Holt singled to left. Dustin Pedroia's (3-for-5) line drive to left was nearly caught by shortstop Starlin Castro, as the ball glanced off his glove, but it landed in left field, and Bradley scored. David Ortiz walked to load the bases, but Mike Napoli ended the rally with a fielder's choice to shortstop.

The Cubs quickly tied the game. Justin Ruggiano began the top of the sixth with a double (ending a string of 13 straight batters retired by Buchholz). Ruggiano took third on Darwin Barney's single and scored on Chris Coghlan fielder's choice.

Chicago took the lead against Koji Uehara in the ninth. Anthony Rizzo lined Uehara's first pitch into center for a single. Castro doubled to the Wall in left, and Rizzo advanced to third. Luis Valbuena lofted a fly ball to Mookie Betts in right field, deep enough for Rizzo to score the go-ahead run.

In the ninth, against Hector Rondon, Betts flied to center and Bradley struck out looking. Brock Holt kept things alive with an infield hit to third, but Pedroia grounded out to third. The play at first was extremely close, but after being reviewed the original call of "out" was upheld.

Pedroia had his third three-hit game in four starts. A.J. Pierzynski and Holt each had two hits.
Example
Edwin Jackson / Clay Buchholz
Holt, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Pierzynski, C
Bogaerts, 3B
Drew, SS
Betts, RF
Bradley, CF

An Unprecedented Accomplishment For The Pitching Staff

Something historic happened at Fenway Park last night.

Boston's pitching staff allowed only two runs. It was the 13th consecutive home game in which the Red Sox have allowed three or fewer runs, a new franchise record.
May 28  - Red Sox 4, Atlanta 0
May 29  - Red Sox 4, Atlanta 3
May 30  - Red Sox 3, Rays 2
May 31  - Red Sox 7, Rays 1
June 1  - Red Sox 4, Rays 0
June 12 - Red Sox 5, Cleveland 2
June 13 - Red Sox 10, Cleveland 3
June 14 - Cleveland 3, Red Sox 2
June 15 - Cleveland 3, Red Sox 2 (11)
June 16 - Red Sox 1, Twins 0
June 17 - Red Sox 2, Twins 1
June 18 - Red Sox 2, Twins 1 (10)
June 30 - Cubs 2, Red Sox 0
The previous record was 12: August 15-31, 1914 and August 3-16, 1915. ... Those two streaks remain the club's record for consecutive games, home or away.

NESN: Pop-Up Facts Not Always Factual

It's hard to decide which one of NESN's inane new "features" during Red Sox broadcasts is the dumbest: the Wally Wave dance, Don Orsillo's blurry cellphone videos, or polls that obscure the actual game. My vote goes to something that was lame and pointless when VH-1 introduced it nearly 20 years ago: pop-up facts.

NESN still has not mastered the fine art of showing an entire baseball game - one essential aspect: showing every pitch - yet the network seems intent on larding up the broadcast with non-baseball crap. Does NESN truly believe it will catch (and hold!) the attention of casual viewers with this stuff?

And now, you can't even trust the pop-up "facts" to be correct. Here's one from the bottom of the fifth last night:


Chances are you have already spotted the fairly obvious error. Sammy Sosa retired in 2007 - which was seven years ago. Sosa hit 20 dongs in June 1998 - which was actually 16 years ago, not six.