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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Red Sox Rally Past Tigers on 3 HR

BOSTON, MA - MAY 30:  Adrian Gonzalez #28 of t...
BOSTON, MA - MAY 30: Adrian Gonzalez #28 of the Boston Red Sox is congratulated by teammate David Ortiz #34 after Gonzalez hits a a solo home run in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox on May 30, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
The season was all but lost for the Red Sox just a couple weeks ago. Now after beating the Tigers for the third straight day on Wednesday, Boston has won 15 of 19 and is just 2.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East.

Detroit came out swinging and gave Drew Smyly an early lead but big homers from Will Middlebrooks, David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis powered the Red Sox to 2 games over .500 for the first time in 2012.

Jon Lester loaded the bases in the first inning on three consecutive singles but was able to hold the Tigers to just a run on a Delmon Young force out at second base.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Oswalt in a Red Sox Uniform No Longer an Option










roy oswalt
Roy Oswalt (Photo credit: arto
The rumors were aplenty, speculation ran wild and at times fans even longed to see 34 year old starting pitcher Roy Oswalt in a Red Sox uniform. On Tuesday the rumors stopped, this time for good because the righty signed a contract with the Texas Rangers who had been viewed as the front runner for his services of late.

According to several reports, the Red Sox may not have had as much as a shot in the dark to sign the starting pitcher anyways but speculation ran wild anyways, like it usually does in the lovely city of Boston.

Daniel Bard Out-Duels Reigning Cy Young Winner

BOSTON, MA - MAY 29:  Daniel Bard #51 of the B...
BOSTON, MA - MAY 29: Daniel Bard #51 of the Boston Red Sox throws against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park May 29, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
The mystery behind Daniel Bard's lost velocity and lack of control has been a bit concerning to say the least, but on Tuesday night against the Tigers, the first year starter looked more like the pitcher he knows he can be in the Red Sox 6-3 win that lifted the team over .500 at Fenway Park.

Facing Justin Verlander, it was easy to assume that the Sox would go to bed Tuesday night wondering how they will ever assemble a winning record in this up and down 2012 season, but Bard's solid pitching allowed the offense to get to the reigning Cy Young Award Winner for 5 ER in 6 IP.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bobby V Says Pedroia's Injury Didn't Occur Against Tigers

BOSTON, MA - MAY 28:  Dustin Pedroia #15 of th...
BOSTON, MA - MAY 28: Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox bats against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park May 28, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Pedroia later left the game with an injury to his left thumb. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
To the naked eye it seemed that Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia had injured his thumb on a diving stop made in Monday's matinee against the Detroit Tigers, but according to Bobby Valentine today, that wasn't the case.

In an article written by Scott Lauber of the Boston Globe, the columnist says that Bobby Valentine claimed the injury wasn't sustained during the game and could possibly have been aggravated during batting practice.

Getting Above Even Gets Tougher For Red Sox on Tuesday

Justin Verlander
Justin Verlander (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Getting past .500 has proved to be a tough task for the Red Sox this season. The team has had several opportunities but getting past even has evaded the Sox like a criminal running from the law. If tonight is the night they finally post a winning record in 2012, it'll be even tougher than previous attempts.

Tonight at Fenway Park in Boston, the Red Sox will put their number 5 starter, Daniel Bard, up against reigning Cy Young and MVP Award winner Justin Verlander.

Bobby Valentine Deserves Some Credit

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 09:  Manager Bobby Vale...
FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 09: Manager Bobby Valentine #25 of the Boston Red Sox. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
When the Red Sox shipped Terry Francona out of Boston and eventually hired Bobby Valentine, many were weary of the move, not knowing what to expect from the veteran manager. And then the season got underway and things turned bad quickly when the team stumbled out of the gate and Bobby made comments that Kevin Youkilis wasn't as physically or emotionally into the game as past years.

For a while there were a fair amount of people that didn't expect Valentine to survive his first year in Beantown. Now that the Red Sox are winning and their manager has made something out of nothing, it's time to give credit where credit is due.

In Shape and Healthy, Doubront is Rewarding Bobby Valentine

BOSTON, MA - MAY 12:  Felix Doubront #61 of th...
BOSTON, MA - MAY 12: Felix Doubront #61 of the Boston Red Sox. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
The Boston Red Sox have long awaited the day that Felix Doubront made an impact at the major league level. 2011 was supposed to be the year, but coming to spring training out of shape and dealing with injuries for a large part of the season made it a forgettable year.

This season, in shape and healthy, Doubront proved to Sox manager Bobby Valentine that he was ready to start games at the big league level and he hasn't looked back since.

After tossing another quality start on Monday, the Venezuelan southpaw has a 5-2 record and lowered his ERA to 3.86 on the season, good for first amongst Red Sox starters.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dustin Pedroia Exits With Hand Injury

Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia (Photo credit: Keith Allison)



The Red Sox had plenty go right in the early innings of Monday's win against the Detroit Tigers but the victory that led the team back to .500 didn't bring a smile to the faces of everyone in Boston.

In the top of the fifth, Dustin Pedroia ranged to his left, making his signature diving play to stop a ball hit by Danny Worth from trickling into the outfield for a hit. All was seemingly well until the All-Star second baseman got to the dugout.

After receiving attention from the Sox medical staff, Pedey was removed from the game with what is being termed a "jammed thumb".

The replacement in this game was utility infielder Nick Punto, but if the second baseman requires more than a couple games to heal, Bobby V may be forced to do some more roster and lineup shuffling.




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Red Sox Catch a Break, Beat Tigers 7-4

BOSTON, MA - MAY 28:  Jim Leyland #10 of the D...
BOSTON, MA - MAY 28: Jim Leyland #10 of the Detroit Tigers was ejected on Monday in a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Of all the things that have went in the opposite favor of the Red Sox this season, Monday's Memorial Day matinee wasn't one of them. The boys from Boston received a helping hand from first base umpire Bill Welke that led to 3 ER in the second inning, which proved to be a deficit the Tigers could not overcome.

With 2 out and Ryan Sweeney on second, Mike Aviles foul tipped a two strike pitch, which appeared to be caught by Gerald Laird for the third strike to end the inning. First base umpire Bill Welke overruled the home plate umpire, saying the ball hit the ground before Laird came up with it.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Aceves Taken Deep in Ninth, Red Sox Lose 4-3

BOSTON, MA - MAY 27:  Sean Rodriguez #1 of the...
BOSTON, MA - MAY 27: Sean Rodriguez #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run off of Alfredo Aceves #91 of the Boston Red Sox in the eighth inning at Fenway Park May 27, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Rodriguez was ruled safe on a close play at second base. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Of all the encouraging events that have taken place at Fenway in recent weeks, Alfredo Aceves' developing into a dependable ninth inning option was on the top of the list. Monday in Boston, the first year closer had his first mishap since the beginning of April.

Clay Buchholz was at the opposite end of the spectrum for the majority of this season, but on Sunday, he put together his best start of the season.

The first run allowed by the righty was on a Ben Zobrist groundout and the second was an RBI single off the bat of Will Rhymes. There were times when Buchholz was in trouble but he did a good job of limiting the damage. In total he allowed 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K in 7 IP.

Josh Beckett Redeeming Himself, Showing Why He's Red Sox Ace

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 12:  American League All-St...
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 12: American League All-Star Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox and American League All-Star Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox look on before the start of the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
In the beginning of 2012, we were quick to forget that for a major chunk of 2011, Josh Beckett was one of the best starters in major league baseball. Largely due to reports of beer and fried chicken in the clubhouse, it was easy for everyone to blame him for the entire collapse in September, but now Beckett is redeeming himself and quieting his critics yet again.

After the story emerged that the Red Sox number two starter was playing golf a day before the team announced he would miss a start due to lat soreness, fans and media alike slammed Beckett to no end.

Red Sox Beat Rays on Saltalamacchia's Walk-Off Homer








BOSTON, MA - MAY 26:   Jarrod Saltalamacchia #...
BOSTON, MA - MAY 26: Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the bottom of the ninth inning at Fenway Park on May 26, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox beat the Rays 3-2. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
A night after the Red Sox and Rays exchanged some vitriol and hit by pitches, Josh Beckett and Jarrod Saltalamacchia put on their own act at Fenway Park in Boston.

Through the first 5 innings, neither team could figure out the others starter, but in the sixth, the Red Sox finally got to David Price for a run on a Will Middlebrooks RBI single.


Through six innings, Beckett had allowed just one hit on 67 pitches, 53 of which were for strikes, but in the seventh the Rays got to him for a pair of runs to take the lead.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Red Sox Could Benefit From Friday's "Incident"

BOSTON, MA - MAY 26:  Manager Joe Maddon #70 o...
BOSTON, MA - MAY 26: Manager Joe Maddon #70 of the Tampa Bay Rays watches batting practice before a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on May 26, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

You know the story by now. The Red Sox and Rays played beanball on Friday, exchanging hit batters in the late innings and causing some heated arguments (mainly between coaching staffs) that led to cleared benches and bullpens.


After the game and on Twitter, Rays manager Joe Maddon took it upon himself to assume the "hit" (figuratively and literally) came from above the players, likely from the Red Sox staff.

Benches Clear, Red Sox Lose 7-4

BOSTON, MA - MAY 25:  Bobby Valentine #25 of t...
BOSTON, MA - MAY 25: Bobby Valentine #25 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after the benches cleared between a game between the Boston Red sox and the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park May 25, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)


The frustration of once again failing to climb over the .500 mark may have finally boiled over for the Red Sox in Friday's game against its AL East Rival Rays.

Jon Lester had another shaky start, allowing 3 HR, including a grand slam to Tampa Bay's Matt Joyce in the third inning. The lefty surrendered 3 BB, 2 of which came around to hurt him on the grand slam.

Eliot Johnson hit a 2-run homer in the fourth to give the Rays a 4-1 advantage and Carlos Pena followed him with a solo shot that made it 7-1, a lead that proved too much to overcome.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Scott Atchison; Best Red Sox Reliever?

Scott Atchison
Scott Atchison (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scott Atchison has been something of a surprise for the Red Sox this season. The 36 year old (looks 46) has stepped up his game in 2012 and been a huge part of the success Red Sox relievers are having recently. As of right now, has he been the best Red Sox reliever?

So far in 2012, the Sox have used 13 pitchers in its bullpen, 14 if you count Darnell McDonald's inning. Of those relievers, Scott Atchison has had the largest workload at 24 1/3 IP. The only pitchers to post a better ERA than his 1.13 are Junichi Tazawa (0.00) and Clayton Mortenson (.96), neither of which still reside in the Red Sox bullpen.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Red Sox-Rays Series Preview: Boston Looks to Close Gap

BOSTON, MA - MAY 20:  Jon Lester #31 of the Bo...
BOSTON, MA - MAY 20: Jon Lester #31 of the Boston Red Sox delivers a pitch in the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs on May 20, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. on May 20, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox have not played at Fenway Park since the 1918 World Series. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
On Friday the Boston Red Sox (22-22) and Tampa Bay Rays (27-18) open a three game series at Fenway Park, with the last place Sox looking to close the gap in the AL East.

Having won 10 of its last 13, the Red Sox have plenty of momentum going into the weekend series but the Rays have proven a tough team to beat the last several years as they've gone from bottom of the barrel to top of the food chain.

Red Sox Have Alot to Look Forward to


BOSTON, MA - MAY 01:  Carl Crawford #13 of the...
BOSTON, MA - MAY 01: Carl Crawford #13 of the Boston Red Sox is congratulated by teammates Jacoby Ellsbury #2 and David Ortiz #34  (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
The Red Sox are finally making their first legitimate run at the competition in the AL East. After putting away a series win against the first place Orioles, the Sox have won 10 of 13 and fought back to .500 for just the third time this season. Another positive to take from the run? The Red Sox have a lot to look forward to.

A rash of outfield injuries that is beginning to mirror the 2010 season, has tested Bobby Valentine and the Sox' resiliency but the team has come up with some unlikely contributions to keep the ball rolling.

In Wednesdays contest against the O's, recently acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik hit his first homer since September of 2010 to give the Sox an insurance run in the eighth inning. Before his homer, Daniel Nava had broke a 2-2 tie with his 2nd bomb of the season.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Kevin Youkilis Trade: Some Things to Look At

Kevin Youkilis , Will Middlebrooks
Kevin Youkilis , Will Middlebrooks (Photo credit: Keith Allison)
Tuesday in Baltimore, Kevin Youkilis made his return from the disabled list. In the game, the Red Sox infielder hit a homerun in his second at-bat, prompting several to back track on their statements that he should be traded. I'm not here to do that. I'm here to point out a few things I would look at when considering a Kevin Youkilis trade.

The first thing that I look at when examining the situation is Youk's replacement, Will Middlebrooks. If the Red Sox are entertaining the idea of trading Kevin Youkilis, they have to look closely at Middlebrooks and be sure he's ready to play the rest of '12 in the big leagues.

Over his first 20 games (77 AB), the 23 year old has certainly displayed the tools that made him the top prospect in the Red Sox organization. He's hit at a .296 clip with 5 HR, 17 RBI and an .889 OPS while also showing he can handle himself on the defensive end. Whether or not he can be consistent over the remainder of the season, nobody knows but let's be honest, the kid looks like the real deal.

Podsednik Hits First Homer Since '10, Red Sox Win 6-5

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 23: Catcher Luis Exposito ...
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 23: Catcher Luis Exposito #25 of the Baltimore Orioles looks on as Scott Podsednik #26 of the Boston Red Sox follows his eighth inning solo home during the Red Sox 6-5 win at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 23, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Scott Podsednik had 40 HR for his career going into today's matinee against the Orioles. His last one coming two years ago when he played with the Royals in 2010. Today though, in his first start with the Red Sox, the 35 year old veteran added another bomb to his resume and helped the Sox defeat the first place O's.

For the fourth time in as many starts, Daniel Bard allowed 4 walks in his outing but he was able to limit the damage and get through 5 1/3 IP giving up just 5 H and 2 ER with 2 K.

For the second consecutive game, Bard faced a bases loaded jam in the first inning but the righty was able to get out of this one with just one run scoring.

Let's Move Past "Ortiz' Rant"

Since the story broke that David Ortiz called a players only meeting, challenging the pitching staff to step up, there's been a mixture of emotion throughout the media. Some say good for him, some say he should have done so a long time ago. No matter what the case, he did it and it seems to have worked.

Apparently on Monday, Ortiz took offense to something said in the media, although nobody's really sure what.

His anger led to a patented Big Papi rant that we've seen in the past, say last year when he burst into Terry Francona's press conference, upset about a ruling made by the official scorer?


“I don’t give a [expletive] if they want to call me a leader. I don’t give a [expletive] if they want to call me a captain. I don’t give a [expletive] if they call me either of them."--Just part of the comments from Gordon Edes' column.


This expletive filled outburst to ESPN's Gordon Edes has garnered attention from many questioning what the hell David Ortiz is talking about. They want to know how the highest paid player at his position is disrespected and blah blah. Really it's just another story for the media to build upon and make these Red Sox look like self-entitled jerks.

Since the beer and chicken side show of 2011, the local and even national media have slammed the Sox on seemingly a weekly basis. It's old, these guys are playing good baseball right now. Even last night's 4-1 loss had another quality start mixed in. What the hell is going on around here?

Haven't we witnessed this sorta thing before? The Boston Globe says its "out of character", but is it really? Haven't we just learned to deal with these random outbursts from Big Papi and perhaps even come to like them because it fuels something inside the big man to perform at a higher level?

It's his motivation. When people doubt David Ortiz, he proves them wrong. He did it in '09, he did it in '10 and '11, he'll do it again in '12. Let's not make such a big deal over this. The boys are playing well, let's talk about that for a change.





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Red Sox Shutdown in 4-1 Loss to O's

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 22:  Starting pitcher Bria...
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 22: Starting pitcher Brian Matusz #17 of the Baltimore Orioles (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
The Red Sox were looking to Felix Doubront on Tuesday to finally bring them over the .500 mark in 2012. The 24 year old lefty has been perhaps the most consistent arm in the rotation, but last night he was out dueled by another young southpaw.

25 year old Brian Matusz limited the Sox to just 2 H, 1 ER and 1 BB over 6 1/3 IP before Buck Showalter removed him in the seventh inning. The young starter utilized nasty off-speed stuff to keep Boston off balance the entire night.

One of the hits that Matusz allowed was a solo homer to Kevin Youkilis in his first game since being activated yesterday from the disabled list. Playing first base, Youk also struck out twice in the game but the homer gave plenty of reason for optimism that the 33 year old could be on the verge of breaking out of the slump that's led to much trade speculation.

All 5 ER in the game came by way of the long ball. Steve Tolleson hit a 2-run bomb off Felix Doubront in the second inning, just the fourth given up by him on the season and Matt Albers gave up a 2-run jack to Wilson Betemit in the eighth, all but putting the game out of reach with Jim Johnson warming in the bullpen.

Doubront finished with 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, and 9 K. He displayed swing and miss stuff the entire start but again had trouble putting hitters away, leading to 108 pitches over his 6 innings.

Jim Johnson, who now has a .87 ERA in 20 2/3 IP, locked down his major league leading 16th consecutive save on the season with a quick 1-2-3 ninth inning, pushing the Red Sox back under .500 and putting another game between the two in the AL East.

Daniel Bard will look to control the walks today when he faces Jake Arrieta in the final game of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 12:35 pm.




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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Youkilis Activated, Playing First Tonight at Baltimore

Kevin Youkilis at bat against the Tampa Bay De...
Kevin Youkilis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to a report from Jenny Dell via Twitter, the Red Sox have activated third baseman Kevin Youkilis along with Scott Podsednik. The roster moves come in the wake of Cody Ross' fractured navicular bone in his left foot, which caused a need for outfielders.

The report from NESN's Jenny Dell also says that Kevin Youkilis will play first base tonight, while Will Middlebrooks is staying at third and Adrian Gonzalez will make the start in right field.

Red Sox Call on Scott Podsednik

BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 16:  Outfielder Scott Po...
BRADENTON, FL - MARCH 16: Outfielder Scott Podsednik  (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Following the revelation that Cody Ross will be placed on the disabled list with a fractured navicular bone in his left foot, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports the Red Sox will call on recently acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik from Triple-A Pawtucket.

The injury to Cody Ross makes him the sixth Red Sox outfielder to make an appearance on the disabled list this season, with Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford both expected to be starters going into the season.

Crawford's trouble started with wrist surgery in the offseason, which was expected to sideline him until mid-April but an elbow strain has significantly slowed his recovery, pushing his return back until sometime in July.

Jacoby Ellsbury is also expected to be out until July with a subluxation in his right shoulder that the centerfielder sustained just 7 games into the season.

With the Pawtucket Red Sox, Scott Podsednik was hitting .323 with 1 HR, 6 RBI and 2 SB through nine games.






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Time For Red Sox to Move Clay Buchholz?

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14:  Clay Buchholz #11 of t...
 Clay Buchholz has struggled for the Red Sox this season. Is it time he's moved to a different role?  (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Last night Clay Buchholz started his ninth game of the season for the Red Sox. It's now the end of May and the 27 year old righty has yet to find his composure out on the mound. Is it time to move him to the bullpen?

Of the nine starts that Clay Buchholz has made, he's allowed at least 5 ER in seven of them, he's allowed 3 HR in a start and 5 HR in a start. He's allowed 3 or more walks in 6 starts. Are you catching my drift? He's been horrible.

The righty's K/BB is exactly 1.00 with 27 of each. He's allowed 67 hits in 49 1/3 IP for a 1.91 WHIP. His 2012 season is mirroring John Lackey's horrid 2011 season.

Clay Buchholz Shaky Again But Red Sox Take a Game From O's

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 21:  Manager Bobby Valenti...
 MAY 21:  (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Clay Buchholz has made 9 starts so far in 2012. In those starts, 7 times the righty has allowed atleast 5 ER and twice he has allowed at least 3 homeruns. Last night in Baltimore, he only allowed one bomb but it was the 11th of the season and he once again gave up 5 ER.

It took just 20 pitches to get through the first two innings, but in the third Buchholz came unraveled, allowing 3 free passes, 3 hits and 4 runs.

In those first two innings, Buchholz had good command and was utilizing perhaps his best changeup of the season, but in the third he couldn't find the strike zone. He was able to settle down a bit and get through 5 1/3 but the Red Sox have to be concerned with his performance to this point in the season.

Dustin Pedroia picked up a single, double and 2 RBI in the game. The Sox second baseman is quietly having one of his best all around seasons, and it's not even mid summer yet, when he gets hot.

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 21:  David Ortiz #34 of th...
MAY 21: David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with Adrian Gonzalez (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
David Ortiz hit a long homer off Tommy Hunter in the sixth inning to give him his 10th bomb of the season. Will Middlebrooks had 3 hits in the game with an RBI.

Andrew Miller once again came on in a big spot, with 2 on and 1 out in the sixth. The tall lefty got Wilson Betemit to ground out and Nick Johnson to fly out. He pitched a perfect seventh as well with 2 K's, giving him 8 shutout innings since returning from the DL.

Rich Hill allowed 3 H and an ER in just 1/3 IP before making way to Vicente Padilla, who bridged the gap to closer Alfredo Aceves.

Aceves pitched a perfect ninth, picking up his 10th save in 12 opportunities, after blowing a pair early in the season. The Red Sox came away with a .500 record for the first time since they were 11-11 and they're now 5.5 games behind the O's and looking to close the gap tonight with Felix Doubront on the hill, looking for his fifth win of the season.




  
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Cody Ross Has Fractured Navicular Bone

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Chris Gimenez of the Ta...
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Chris Gimenez of the Tampa Bay Rays tags out Cody Ross of the Boston Red Sox at the plate in the fifth inning at Fenway Park April 15, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Both teams wore the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
According to several reports this afternoon, Cody Ross will head to the disabled list with a fractured navicular bone, the same bone that Dustin Pedroia broke in 2010.


The news comes after fouling a pitch off his left foot in the Red Sox interleague opener against the Phillies on Friday. After receiving an MRI following the game, Ross was sent back to Boston for a second test which revealed the broken bone.


 With Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford also on the disabled list, Ross was arguably the most productive outfielder on the team, with 8 HR, 27 RBI and a .271 BA in 133 PA.


As the Boston Globe pointed out, Ross will be the sixth Red Sox outfielder to spend time on the DL this season, which prompted a trade for Marlon Byrd and the promotion of Daniel Nava and most recently, Che-Hsuan Lin from Pawtucket. Nothing has been reported as to who will take the spot of Ross on the 25 man roster.




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Matt Barnes: Phenom(enon?)

Drafted in the 1st round of the 2011 Amateur draft, Matt Barnes looks the part.  Let alone his size (6-4 203lbs), he just looks the part.  Barnes has done nothing but dominate the competition, from one start to the next.

(Image Credit: Mike Janes/AP Photo)
When Matt Barnes takes the mound, the collective eyes of the Sox organization are solely upon him.  His starts are attracting a ton of buzz and attention, and rightfully so.  Having now made eight starts (five w/ the Greenville Drive and three w/ the Salem Red Sox) in what is his first professional season of baseball in the Red Sox farm system, Matt has accumulated the following mind-blowing statistics:

  • 4-0 record
  • 0.60 ERA
  • 44 2/3 innings pitched
  • 3 ER
  • 31 total baserunners
  • 67 K's
  • 6 BB's
  • 11.2 K/BB
His most recent start came this past Thursday against the Carolina Mudcats, a start in which Barnes limited the Mudcats to two hits in six scoreless innings.  By the way, those two hits were ground balls, one of which never even made it to the outfield.  Barnes, relying heavily on his fastball throughout the game, struck out five, walked one batter, and hit another.  

In this start, the stadium radar gun actually had Barnes touch 101 mph.  However, even Matt laughed that off, claiming that wasn't accurate.  Barnes typically sits around 93-95 mph, but can dial it up to 97-98 when he needs the extra zip to put away batters.  

While he relied mainly on his fastball, the Red Sox organization would like to see Barnes expand his arsenal by incorporating his change-up and curveball more in each start.  While he had been following this plan in recent starts, some mechanical issues forced Barnes to alter his game-plan, needing to rely more on his blazing fastball than his secondary pitches. 

Of those secondary pitches, one in particular has undergone a recent overhaul.  His change-up, which had always been a four-seam circle change, has recently been altered to a two-seam circle change.  His comfort level with the new pitch, unsurprisingly, has grown with each outing.  

"I like it a lot," he said.  "I've seen an improvement in the bullpen, and I'm using it more in games.  I feel more confidence and more comfortable with it."

As a Sox fan who loves to hear and read about high-ceiling prospects, I feel really good about this kid's potential.  It seems he might be pitching his way onto the fast track and possibly joining another young stud (Anthony Ranaudo) in Double-A Portland, sooner, rather than later.  

Here's looking forward to the future!

How Long is Mike Aviles Considered a Place Holder?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 20:  Mike Aviles #3 of ...
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 20: Mike Aviles #3 of the Boston Red Sox is congratulated by teammate Dustin Pedroia #15 after hitting a lead-off home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning of a MLB interleague baseball game on May 20, 2012 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Ben Cherington made a bold move that raised questions in the offseason, shipping his primary shortstop, Marco Scutaro, to the Colorado Rockies for Clayton Mortenson. The reason the Red Sox first year GM felt he could make such a move was Mike Aviles.

Cherington was confident that the infielder could handle the everyday job and hold the torch until top shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias was ready. To this point in 2012, the 31 year old Aviles has proven his value, defensively and with the bat.

Yankee Regression Could Last a While

Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The New York Yankees have money to throw around, obviously. The "Bronx Bombers" have the highest payroll in the major leagues on a yearly basis, annually reaching $200 million, but two bad contracts could cause the regression they're in to last a while.

The first is that of 36 year old Alex Rodriguez, who is due $29 million this season and will still make $20 million four years from now, in his 40 year old season.

The Yanks have long thought that A-Rod would continue to be a productive player throughout the length of his contract, maybe not the full length, but most of it. In 2012, the active leader in homeruns has looked nothing of the sort, with a huge drop off in power.

With just 5 HR, 4 doubles and a slugging percentage .150 points lower than his career average (.410), Rodriguez is on pace to hit just over 20 HR and 16 doubles. Hardly the offense expected of a $30 million man.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Daisuke Shut Down With New "Injury"

Daisuke Matsuzaka Reprint from Flickr
Daisuke Matsuzaka  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Red Sox announced today that Daisuke Matsuzaka will not return to the teams rotation anytime soon due to "pain in his right trapezius muscle" which he has reportedly received an injection for.

Whether or not the injury is real is open to speculation, but the bottom line is, it will give the Sox an opening that they've been looking for since realizing the right handed starter wasn't close to returning to the major leagues.

With just 5 days remaining on his rehab assignment, the righty either had to return to the big leagues or the Red Sox would be forced to report a "setback" to the commissioners office asking for an extension. It appears that's exactly what they did, but they'll never admit to it.

The loophole that was reported by Nick Cafardo will apparently require Dice-K to sit out 7 days before starting the clock over on his rehab assignment, meaning we won't see the Japanese pitcher in a Red Sox uniform for quite some time.

This was Bobby Valentine's comment on the injury,

“That’s been nagging him for quite a while and we’ve got to make sure that that’s 100 percent before he’s going out there again,” manager Bobby Valentine said. “I talked to him [Saturday] about it being sore. He said he would maybe pitch through it. They examined him and didn’t think it was wise.”--Excerpt from boston.com's Extra Bases.

You be the judge.



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Josh Beckett Puts Up Another Strong Performance, Gets Red Sox a Series Win

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 20:  Relief pitcher Alf...
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 20: Relief pitcher Alfredo Aceves #91 and Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Boston Red Sox bump chests after the final out was made against the Philadelphia Phillies in a MLB interleague baseball game on May 20, 2012 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Red Sox defeated the Phillies 5-1. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
For all the nonsense that's been spewed around this season, one thing has become clear for the Red Sox. Josh Beckett can still get the job done when he needs to.

The righty proved to his doubters again on Sunday that he can still be a frontline starter in the Sox' 5-1 win against the Phillies, putting together 7 2/3 innings of 1 run ball, with the only crooked number coming on Juan Pierre's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth.

Cliff Lee gave the Phillies 7 innings but a pair of homers put the game out of reach for the lefty. He allowed 9 H, 5 ER, 1 BB and struck out 6 in picking up his second loss of the season.

For a second consecutive night, the Red Sox' shortstop, Mike Aviles, led off the game with a homer and singled in a run in the second to put the Sox up 2-0. The 31 year old now has 8 HR, just one behind David Ortiz for the team lead.

Also hitting a homer in his second consecutive game was Jarrod Saltalamacchia, with a 3-run jack in the top of the third. In the two games since having his ear split open and stitched up, the Sox catcher has hit a pair of homers and drove in four runs.

Vicente Padilla got the final out in the eighth before making way to Alfredo Aceves in the ninth for a non-save situation. The righty recorded a strikeout in a clean inning of work to give the Sox a series win in Philly.





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Ortiz, Salty Lead Red Sox to First Interleague Win

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 19:  Alfredo Aceves #91...
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 19: Alfredo Aceves #91of the Boston Red Sox high fives teammate Daisuke Matsuzaka after Aceves gets a save as the Red Sox defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 7-5 in a MLB baseball game on May 19, 2012 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
On Monday against Seattle, Jon Lester dominated for nine innings, allowing just an earned run. On Saturday against the Phillies, the lefty wasn't nearly as dominant, but the Red Sox offense was able to pick him up.

The Red Sox ace gave up a season high 8 H, but was able to limit the Phillies to 4 ER. Shane Victorino and Hector Luna each had an RBI against him and Freddy Galvis hit a 2-run jack in the fourth inning.

The performer of the game was easily Jarrod Saltalamacchia. After receiving 12 stitches in his ear on Friday night, the Sox catcher was 3-4 with a solo HR, a double and 2 runs scored. According to Bobby Valentine after the game, Salty sent him a text from the hospital on Friday telling him he was "due for a homer".

Mike Aviles, David Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks each hit homeruns of their own in the game, with Big Papi's coming in the fifth inning to give the Red Sox a 7-4 lead.

The Sox weren't sure what to expect from Aviles going into the season, but the shortstop has been impressive, putting together 7 HR and 25 RBI so far this season.

Joe Blanton, who went into the game with a 2.96 ERA on the season, gave up 6 ER in 4 1/3 IP to jack his mark to 3.74.

Alfredo Aceves allowed a pair of singles in the ninth inning but, with the help of a double play, was able to get out of trouble and convert his ninth save in eleven chances.

The Red Sox will look to take the series tonight with Josh Beckett facing Cliff Lee, who has a 1.96 ERA in 5 starts but has yet to record a win on the season.



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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Daniel Bard Appears Destined For Return to Bullpen

Daniel Bard
Daniel Bard (Photo credit: Keith Allison)
After a start in which Daniel Bard walked 5, hit 2 and allowed 5 ER, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine made his frustration with the situation known.

“The walks, they aren’t acceptable, That amount of walks, you can’t leave your team out there, and you can’t keep letting those guys on base. He’s tough to hit in the strike zone. Might as well throw it in there.”

In his last three starts, the reliever turned starter has allowed 13 walks in 18 IP, bringing his grand total to 25 in 42 2/3 IP for the season.

Roy Oswalt Could Be Serious Consideration For Red Sox

Roy Oswalt
Roy Oswalt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Yesterday it was reported that Roy Oswalt had worked out for the Red Sox and Phillies within the last couple weeks. I blew it off as just another check up. Today I'm rethinking the situation. The Sox might make a real run at Oswalt after all.

Ben Cherington and the Sox have made it clear that they intended to give Daniel Bard a good look this season, but how long before they come to realize that maybe its not working? Maybe Bard's repertoire is better utilized in the bullpen.

I've been one of the strongest advocates of Bard's shot in the rotation, so I say this with great disappointment, but maybe it's time to put him back where he's comfortable.

It's not that he's been terrible, he hasn't, but the walks are starting to hurt him. In that start where he gave up 7 of them and only 1 ER, we were able to forgive because they didn't cost him but they're starting to now.

In last nights start against the Phillies, Bard gave up three consecutive walks to start the game, which all came in to score and put the Red Sox in an early hole they were unable to emerge from. The righty allowed just 3 hits in 5 innings but his WHIP is now 1.54, in 42 2/3 IP he's allowed 41 hits and 25 walks.

He's already thrown more than half of his total innings from 2011, maybe he's not cut out for the load? He didn't look cut out last night.

His H/9 has ballooned to 9.1 while his K/9 has shrunk to just 5.5. His K/BB is an ugly 1.15, he's just barely striking out more than he's walking.

In 4 out of his 7 starts, he's walked 4 or more. With that many walks, he's lucky to have an ERA under 5.00 but you have to wonder how long he can sustain it. In two of those starts he allowed 5 ER, in the other two he allowed just 1 ER. If he keeps allowing this many free passes, we're likely to see more of the former than the latter.

I think the Red Sox would have put Bard in the bullpen had Daisuke been ready on time, but that doesn't seem likely. Aaron Cook is also an option, but as well as he pitched at Pawtucket, he's still an unknown.

With June approaching and the Red Sox trying to fight their way back in the AL East, I think it's a real possibility that they make a legitimate run at Oswalt to shore up what is becoming a weak spot in the rotation.

The 35 year old is reportedly interested in signing with a team soon, so we'll keep a close eye on the situation.

What do you think of the Red Sox making a run at Roy Oswalt?




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