|06.09.10 at 1:16 pm ET|
Regarding the Jacoby Ellsbury situation, Francona said he wasn’t bothered by the fact that Ellsbury sought out a second and third opinion on his injured ribs. Said Francona: “I’ve had numerous conversations with [agent] Scott Boras and they’ve all been good. No, this is a good thing. You can’t let your ego get in the way. Whether it’s medical people or players or managers, we just want what’s best for our players. However you’ve got to go about it, we’re willing to do it.”
With Victor Martinez teaming up with Daisuke Matsuzaka in Monday’s win, Francona was asked if the apparent discord between the batterymates has been resolved. “What happened [between them] wasn’t really that big a deal,” Francona said. “We had a bad night. It happened to be in New York. There’s not a lot of privacy. These types of things happen a lot. It’s just, when the media finds out, you have to deal with it publicly. So we did. For me, it’s not having problems, it’s how you rectify those problems and how you move on. And I thought those guys did a great job, and it was obvious the other night.”
Three weeks into the season, it looked like the Red Sox were going to be an 85-win team, which is good but not good enough to get it done. Now, you guys are playing some really quality baseball. What keyed that turnaround? If you had to bottom-line it, what would you say it is?
I would say that it took us a while to get going in the right direction. Obviously, it’s beginning of the season, the first month. We did a lot of things wrong. We were inconsistent. Our pitching was inconsistent. Offensively, David [Ortiz] was really struggling. We were having a hard time kind of finding a way. Then, sometimes when that happens, you reach for more. Somebody tries to steal a base when they shouldn’t, not because they don’t care but maybe because they’re trying too hard. We had some missteps defensively. It just seemed like it was something every night. We finally get a lead and then [Daniel] Bard gave up a home run to [Miguel] Tejada in Baltimore. Read the rest of this entry »
|06.09.10 at 12:12 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — Josh Beckett will be the first to admit that his initial foray into the major leagues wasn’t close to that of Stephen Strasburg. (But then, again, has there ever been anybody who has ridden that wave? Click here to see what we’re talking about.)
There were some similarities, however.
Beckett was 21 years-old when he first took a mound in a big league game, coming two years after being selected with the second overall pick the 1999 draft. Like Strasburg is to the Nationals, Beckett was to the Marlins — the symbol of optimism for the future.
“I can definitely feel for him,” said Beckett after the Red Sox‘ 3-2 win over the Indians Tuesday night. “I think like somebody said, if he didn’t have different feelings (Tuesday night) than he wouldn’t be human. He would have probably had to feel a little bit different. I know I did.”
The reality is that other than the hype surrounding their potential, the scenes surrounding the debuts of Strasburg and Beckett were dramatically different.
While Strasburg pitched in front of a sell-out crowd, with national television coverage, and live bloggers and social media types drooling at his every move, Beckett’s first outing came in a meaningless September 4 Florida Marlins game against the Cubs with 13,401 fans in the stands at Pro Player Stadium.
At game’s end the buzz was still circling around Strasburg, who came through with a 14-strikeout performance in which he fanned his last seven batters. And why Beckett might not have turned in that kind of line, but it wasn’t far off. The righty allowed just a single hit over six innings, striking out five and walking three, needing just 85 pitches.
“It was defintely different than that,” Beckett said. “There’s a lot of pressure on him. But I think the Washington Nationals did some really good things. Not to take anything away from the organizations he’s pitching against, but his first two starts are going to be against organizations who are in the middle of rebuilding. That’s not taking away from the talent of those guys. Those guys are talented baseball players, but some of them are having to learn on the fly. The Nationals are doing a really good thing in bringing up in this situation.”
|06.09.10 at 11:45 am ET|
Tim Wakefield clearly exhibited a veteran presence on the mound Tuesday night, as his six strikeouts and 7 1/3 innings pitched helped propel the Red Sox to a 3-2 victory over the Indians. Not only did Wakefield earn his second win of the 2010 season, but also, he became the team’s newest leader in career innings pitched. Certainly, his knuckleball looked fantastic, as it floated directly toward Victor Martinez‘ glove all evening.
Wednesday night, Clay Buchholz will take the hill in the penultimate game of this four-game set against the Indians. So far this season, Buchholz has been superb. In his last outing against Baltimore, Buchholz controlled the Orioles perfectly en route to his eighth win of the season, allowing no earned runs in nine innings.
Yet, against the Indians, Buchholz has had numbers that may seem frightful to Red Sox fans. Last season, he pitched a total of three innings and allowed five hits, six earned runs, one home run and two walks, but he did strike out six of the 16 batters he faced. While last year’s performance may seem somewhat scary, it seems that Buchholz won’t let past experiences affect him this evening, especially how he has been performing quite well lately.
Buchholz will certainly want to remain focused when facing Austin Kearns, who leads the Indians with a batting average of .306, Shin Soo Choo who enters tonight’s contest with 63 hits and of course, Jhonny Peralta, who is always a scary foe for pitchers.
For Cleveland, a familiar face, Justin Masterson will face his former team for the first time in his career since being traded to the Indians last season. Masterson has struggled immensely and his current record exhibits it. This season he is (1-5, 5.46 ERA). Masterson’s only win in 2010 came against the Chicago White Sox last Friday, June 4, as he allowed five hits, one home run, walked six batters and struck out Juan Pierre to begin his outing. Masterson leads the Indians pitchers with 55 strikeouts and surely, there will probably be some this evening.
Make sure to pay close attention to Masterson, as he faces a majority of his former Red Sox teammates this evening, which should be entertaining, but also quite interesting.
Red Sox vs. Justin Masterson
Adrian Beltre, (6 plate appearances against Masterson): .143 OBP/ 1 BB/ 2 SO
Marco Scutaro (5): .200 AVG/ .333 OBP/ .200 SLG/ 1 BB
Victor Martinez is 2-4 with one double and three runs batted in.
Indians vs. Clay Buchholz
Jhonny Peralta, (2 plate appearances against Buchholz): .500 AVG/ .500 OBP/ .500 SLG/ 2 RBI/ 1 SO
Andy Marte (2): .500 AVG/ .500 OBP/ 1.000 SLG/ 2 RBI/ 1 double
Trevor Crowe (2): .500 AVG/ .500 OBP/ .500 SLG/ 1 SO
Luis Valbuena is 1-2 with a home run. Asdrubal Cabrera, Grady Sizemore, Shin-Soo Choo, Travis Hafner, Russell Branyan, Lou Marson, Jason Donald, Matt LaPorta and Austin Kearns have never faced Clay Bucholz.
|06.09.10 at 10:27 am ET|
Here are some items that you might have missed from the Sox’ win at the Jake, er, Progressive Field last night:
* – Boston has now won 9 of their last 10 road games and put up a team ERA of 1.48 in those games. They’ve not allowed more than 1 HR in any of those games and have allowed 10 hits just once (and it was exactly 10). The Sox have now won 15 of 19 regular season games in Cleveland dating back to 2004.
* – The Red Sox won last night despite a combined 0-9 performance from their #1 and #2 spots in the order. It was the 2nd time this season and just the 8th time since 2000 that the Sox have managed to win on the road despite a zero for 9+ from those two spots.
* – Marco Scutaro’s 0-5 last night was his 4th o-fer of 5+ AB this season, matching his career high from 2008. He had three such games last season and two in 2007. Surprisingly, his teams are now 10-7 when he goes 0-5 or worse.
* – Dustin Pedroia’s 0-4 yesterday was his 14th such game this season, tied for the 11th most hitless games of 4+ AB in the majors this season. Baltimore’s Miguel Tejada leads the way with 19. No other Red Sox hitter has more than 11 (Martinez). The Red Sox single season record for such games is 44:
44 – Tony Armas, 1983
36 – Julio Lugo, 2007
36 – Mike Andrews, 1970
Last year, Pedroia had 9 such games through June 8, then had 19 more the rest of the way, giving his 33 over the last calendar year. He only had 39 such games in the TWO seasons of 2007 and 2008 combined.
* – Boston has now won each of the last four times that they’ve FAILED to hit a HR on the road, dating back to May 22. It’s the first time they’ve had such a streak since 1997. The club record (dating to 1952) is 6 straight by the 1977 Red Sox. The major league record is 9, set by the 1978 Yankees and the 1967 Cardinals.
* – Kevin Youkilis had his 6th game of the season with 3 hits or more. Dating back to last year, Boston has won 9 of the last 11 when Youk collects 3+ knocks. He has 52 such games in his career and still has a ways to go to catch Boston’s all-time leaders (again since ’52) Carl Yastrzemski (249) and Wade Boggs (211).
He’s got only 8 RBI in those 6 games this year, though. Last season, he had 12 games with 3+ hits and had 26 RBI.
* – Tim Wakefield threw 105 pitches, 74 of which were strikes (70.5%). It was his 19th start with 100+ pitches and 70% or more strikes, tying Pedro Martinez for 2nd place on the all-time Red Sox list for such starts. Curt Schilling had 23. Schilling also holds the major league record for such starts with 86.
* – Three Red Sox relievers (Ramirez, Okajima, Bard) teamed up to throw just 48% strikes last night. It was the 3rd time this season (and the 2nd time in the last three games) that Red Sox relievers have thrown less than 50% strikes. They were only below 50% twice in 2009 and never in 2008.
* – The Red Sox had 12 plate appearances last night that lasted only 1 or 2 pitches. While it seems to run against the Sox’ offensive philosophy, it’s hard to argue with the fact that they have now won 16 of their last 23 road games (dating back to last May) when they’ve had at least 12 such PA’s during the game.
|06.09.10 at 3:01 am ET|
The Red Sox selected 6-foot-2, 215-pound righty Paul Davis out of Pensacola Junior College in the 29th round of the MLB draft. Davis, who was the 893rd overall selection, finished the spring second in innings pitched for Pensacola with 83 2/3 innings pitched.
Davis posted a 10-3 record with a 3.33 ERA in his second year at Pensacola. He struck out 88 hitters and walked four.
The team followed up Davis’ selection and closed out the draft’s second day with Ragsdale (NC) High School centerfielder DeSean Anderson. Though Anderson is committed to South Carolina, a letter of intent isn’t the only thing that MLB teams may have worried about with Anderson in recent years.
Anderson could have also pursued college football, as ESPN Scouts, Inc. gave him a grade in the 60’s as a receiver, meaning he could have could have potentially played at least FCS ball had he stuck with it. Instead Anderson stuck with baseball, hit .459 in his senior season with a pair of homers and 16 RBI and is now the 923rd overall pick.
That said, Anderson said in this interview with WFMY that he was tearing up after being drafted out of his excitement for the possibility of turning pro. At the same time, he noted that “Boston’s got to make me a nice little offer for me to turn down South Carolina.”
|06.09.10 at 2:33 am ET|
The Red Sox took Centennial (NV) High School righthanded pitcher Michael Wagner in the 28th round of the MLB draft on Tuesday. The Nevada native has signed on to play at the University of San Diego next season. Wagner was the eighth and final high school righty chosen by the Red Sox on the draft’s second day.
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Wagner was the 863rd-overall selection. BaseballRumorMill.com compares him to Goose Gossage due to his “severely bent back leg and maximum effort delivery.”
The site also describes Wagner as having a low-90’s fastball with excellent natural sink,” a curve, a low-80’s curve and a changeup that sits at 80 mph and “has some slight screwball action.”
|06.09.10 at 2:17 am ET|
The Red Sox, who hadn’t taken an outfielder since the 11th round (Lucas LeBlanc) took Freedom (FL) High School center fielder Jay Gonzalez with the 833rd overall selection of the MLB draft on tuesday. The left-handed-hitting Gonzalez has signed a letter of intent to play college ball at Auburn.
In 29 games in his final season at Freedom High, the 5-foot-10, 165-pound Gonzalez hit .425 and drove in 15 runs while swiping 11 bases.
|06.09.10 at 2:01 am ET|
After a three-round break from taking raw talent, the Red Sox went back to the high school well in the 26th round and selected Weatherford (OK) High School lefty Dillon Overton in the 26th round. The 6-foot-2, 172-pound Overton is committed to attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall.
Overton put up head-turning numbers both offensively and on the mound as a senior. He went 15-2 with a 0.51 ERA while hitting .496 in his final season at Weatherford.
|06.09.10 at 1:50 am ET|
The Red Sox made Texas Christian senior righthander Tyler Lockwood their pick in the 25th round. The 6-foot-0, 180-pounder has plenty of experience as both a starter and reliever, as he spent the majority of his freshman year at TCU pitching out of the bullpen before heading to the rotation for more than a season and currently leading the Horned Frogs with five saves.
Lockwood generally pitches to contact, according to Baseball America. The 22-year-old has a 2.06 ERA and a 6-2 record with 35 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings.
|06.09.10 at 1:29 am ET|
The Red Sox spent their 24th-round pick (No. 743 overall) on 6-foot-7, 190-pound Nebraska sophomore righthander Sean Yost. The tall hurler hasn’t dazzle statistically so far for Nebraska, posting a 6.09 career ERA in two seasons.
This season, Yost, went 2-1 with a 6.21 ERA in 19 appearances. He began the season as a starter but was bumped from the rotation after five starts, perceivably due to his struggles. He settled down as a reliever as he recorded an ERA of 3.60 in his last 10 appearances of the season.
It can be assumed that the draw with the statistically bland Yost is the big frame and strong arm. According to baseballdraftreport.com Yost throws in the mid-90’s, which could make him an interesting project.
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