|04.07.11 at 5:42 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — The tone in the Red Sox‘ clubhouse was clearly one of frustration following their 1-0 loss to the Indians Thursday afternoon at Progressive Field. The defeat moved the Sox to 0-6, the franchise’s worst start since 1945, when they began the season at 0-8.
“I’m frustrated. We all went to bed at 3 o’clock. We don’t just put our head on the pillow at 11:30 and go to sleep and say everything’s great. We’ve got 15 All-Stars or whatever the hell we’ve got on this team. That’s not how it is, man,” said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. “This is our lives. We’re going to get home right now and my wife’s going to look at me and say ‘Expletive], you’re 0-6. You guys stink. We all bring this [expletive] home with us, man. We care. We’ll figure it out. We have to. We don’t want to let anyone down. That’s it.”
“We’ll figure it out,” he explained. “We’re going to win a lot more games than we’re going to lose, I’ll tell you that. We’re not going to be 0-162.”
Regarding how the fans might react upon the Red Sox’ return home, both Pedroia and David Ortiz remained optimistic the hometown support would do their team good.
“We need ’em,” the second baseman said. “We need someone on our side. Carl [Crawford] and [Kevin Youkilis] Youk and J.D. [Drew], they were getting yelled at the whole time. It’ll be good to have someone cheering for us for a change. You’re either two feet in now or you’re two feet out. Let us know now, because we’re coming.”
“They’re going to be fine,” said Ortiz of the Fenway fans. “There’s not two Red Sox teams, there’s only one. You have to cheer for this one if you’re a Red Sox fan, right?”
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
|04.07.11 at 4:37 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — Darnell McDonald explained after the Red Sox‘ 1-0 loss to the Indians Thursday afternoon that his intention in rounding second on the final play of the game was to try and be “aggressive” with the Sox trailing by a run in the ninth inning.
McDonald made the final out when he over-ran second base on J.D. Drew’s grounder, which deflected off Indians reliever Chris Perez enough that Drew would have been safe. Third baseman Adam Everett scooped up the grounder, throwing it to second baseman Orlando Cabrera fast enough to catch the Sox’ pinch-runner as he attempted to dive back into second.
“I’m trying to be aggressive. I’m trying to make them make the throw, lost my footing out there and just got caught in no-man’s land. I was just trying to be aggressive and make them make the throw to first base,” explained McDonald.
“It might have been wet. I’m not even sure. I lost my footing, tried to get back, thought I might have got in there, but ump said I didn’t. Really just trying to make something happen. Just didn’t work out.”
Despite the admitted poor judgement, McDonald believed he may have beaten the throw.
“Just trying to get back. I slipped, fell down, tried to get back as fast I could. I thought the throw was a little high and I got my hand in there but it is just one of things of trying to do too much,” he said.
The Red Sox now head home 0-6, starting a three-game series against the Yankees Friday.
“Obviously everyone is trying hard to get the first win,” McDonald said. “We just have to keep working hard, come to the field ready to go. It’s just a matter of time before things turn around for us. We just have to keep coming and ready to go. Everybody is working hard. Everybody is trying to do their part.”
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
|04.07.11 at 2:43 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — Welcome home, Red Sox.
For the first time since 1945 the Sox find themselves sitting at 0-6 to start the season after dropping a 1-0 decision to the Indians, Thursday afternoon at Progressive Field.
The decisive play this time around came in the eighth inning with reliever Daniel Bard on the mound for the Red Sox. With one out and Adam Everett at third, Asdrubal Cabrera executed a perfect squeeze bunt, getting home the game’s only run. Cleveland closer Chris Perez proceeded to pitch a scoreless ninth to close the deal for the Tribe.
The game ended when Darnell McDonald over-ran second base on J.D. Drew’s infield hit, getting tagged out for the final out.
Here is what went wrong (and right) for the Red Sox …
WHAT WENT WRONG
– Kevin Youkilis continued to struggle. The Sox No. 5 hitter went 0-for-4, dropping his average to .105.
– The Red Sox couldn’t get to Indians starter Fausto Carmona, who rebounded from a tough outing with seven innings of shutout ball. The Cleveland Opening Day starter held the Sox to two hits.
– When the Sox did get some opportunities they weren’t able to take advantage. One of their best chances came in the eighth inning when, with Carmona out of the game and reliever Rafael Perez in, the Red Sox got runners to second and third with Dustin Pedroia up. The second baseman fought back from an 0-2 count to extend the bat to 2-2 before grounding back to the pitcher.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– Jon Lester exhibited his dominant side. His fastball was amped up a bit from the start in Texas (getting into the 93 mph territory), which helped set up the rest of his offerings. The lefty struck out nine in seven innings, allowing no runs on three hits while walking three.
– Jarrod Saltalamacchia took a step in the right direction in terms of managing the running game. The Sox’ catcher threw out his Indians counterpart, Carlos Santana, trying to steal. The throw was actually a one-hopper that was saved by a nice play from second baseman Dustin Pedroia, but it was also an off-speed pitch that Saltalamacchia was forced to deal with. Saltalamacchia is now 1-for-5 throwing out basestealers, with Sox pitchers having picked off two runners. The Sox’ catcher also made a nice, diving play on a pop-up off of Austin Kearns’ bunt attempt in the seventh inning.
– Marco Scutaro notched his first multi-hit game of the season, collecting a pair of singles (one infield, one to right). It moved his batting average up to .176.
|04.07.11 at 12:48 pm ET|
On Sunday night the Red Sox will take on New York’s ace CC Sabathia. The big southpaw is coming off another dominant season in 2010 where her went 21-7 with a 3.18 ERA and 197 strikeouts. Sabathia has continued his dominance this season as well as he has a stingy 1.38 ERA in 13 innings in his two starts. Sabathia is a work horse and quite frequently averages over 100 pitchers per start
Some of the Red Sox have not faired well against Sabathia in the past. J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia all have avergaes well below .200 against him and have struck out 22 times between them. However, Kevin Youkilis should balance out the offense as he bats an impressive .429 off Sabathia including two doubles, two triples, ad two home runs.
Josh Beckett will pitch in his second start of the year for Boston. After a lackluster season in 2010 that saw Beckett nagged by injuries as he went 6-6 in only 21 appearances. He was a victim of poor run support in his first start this season as he pitched 5 innings in a 1-3 loss to Cleveland.
The Yankees will look to take advantage of Beckett’s tendency to give up the long ball. Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher have each taken him deep three times. He has been the most effective in the past when he has good command on his fastball and high strikeout totals. He has struck out Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada 13 times each, so look for him to really attack these hitters.
|04.07.11 at 9:49 am ET|
Thursday afternoon’s series finale between the Red Sox and Indians features a pair of aces who looked like anything but in their first starts of the season. Jon Lester giving up five earned runs over 5 1/3 innings in Boston’s opener against the Rangers was bad, but the Indians’ Fausto Carmona was even worse in his first start. He gave up a staggering 10 earned runs on 11 hits over three innings in a loss to the White Sox.
Carmona is 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA in seven career games against Boston, but current Red Sox have fared even better than those numbers would indicate. As a team, they’re hitting .336 against Carmona. Marco Scutaro and David Ortiz are both hitting .400 or better against him, while Jason Varitek and Jarrod Saltalamacchia aren’t far behind at .375. Ortiz and J.D. Drew each have a home run and five RBIs off Carmona.
Lester hasn’t been great against the Tribe — he has a 4.53 ERA in eight starts — but he does have a 3-1 record against them. Current Indians are batting .314 against the southpaw, though. Jack Hannahan, Austin Kearns and Adam Everett are all hitting .500 against him, while Orlando Cabrera and Lou Marson are both hitting .400 or better as well. One guy who has struggled, though, is Shin-Soo Choo, who is 0-for-6 with two strikeouts against Lester.
|04.07.11 at 9:39 am ET|
CLEVELAND — Join Rob Bradford and a cast of characters in following all the action from Progressive Field, where the Red Sox will be looking for their first win of the season when taking on the Indians. It all starts at noon.
|04.07.11 at 3:23 am ET|
Here we go with Week 2 of the 2011 WEEI.com Major League Baseball Power Rankings. Every Thursday throughout the season we will be bringing you an updated version of the list, which will be determined by record, ranking within each team’s division and which team would have the best chance at winning if participating in a best-of-seven series.
Also this rule: If a team that many felt was a real threat to win 100 games and score 1,000 runs is on pace for zero wins and 518 runs after the first week, they lose the top spot in the rankings.
Feel free to pick apart the admittedly imperfect rankings by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or sending a message via Twitter to twitter.com/kirkmin. Have at it.
(Note: Team record and last week’s ranking is in parentheses and all stats are through 4/6.)
1. Rangers (6-0, 6). An absolute beat-down of the Sox and a win over Felix Hernandez means a five-spot jump to the top spot for the AL champs. I guess I’d ask this after watching the three-game massacre over the weekend, though: We knew the lineup was good (though I’m guessing they won’t be hitting 11 HRs a series), we knew the bullpen was good, but is that rotation going to be good enough to get the Rangers to 90+ wins?
2. Phillies (4-1, 2). Was going to put them in the top spot until Cole Hamels tossed a Lackey against the Mets on Tuesday night (2.2 innings, seven hits, six runs). Wilson Valdez had a terrific first week filling in for Chase Utley, hitting .364.
3. Yankees (3-2, 3). Lost in the fast start for Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez is Derek Jeter continues to look lost at the plate (.167/.273/.167). Even his Intangible Rating and Wanting To Win More Than You Percentage is down from 2010.
4. Red Sox (0-5, 1). Pitcher A: 4.69 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, Pitcher B: 4.63 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.
Pitcher A is John Lackey in his Red Sox career. Pitcher B is A.J. Burnett in his Yankees career. If we all agree that Burnett has been, to date, an absolute disaster of a contract, don’t we have to say the same about Lackey one year and one start into his five-year, $82 million deal?
5. Braves (3-3, 5). I understand the AL/NL difference, and you’d have to factor in age as well, but if the Braves called the Sox tomorrow and offered Derek Lowe straight up for Lackey would you make the deal? I guess probably not, Lowe is going to be 38 in June and is just a year removed from a 4.67 ERA/1.52 WHIP season. He’s off to a strong start in 2011, though, with a 0.77 ERA in his first two starts.
6. Reds (5-0, 10). On the subject of former Idiots (does one ever lose idiot status, I wonder? Watching ESPN the other night, I can tell you Rick Sutcliffe sure hasn’t …), Bronson Arroyo won his first start of the season. Lowe and Arroyo have been gone for a combined 11 seasons and have made at least 30 starts in all of ’em. Arroyo is 71-60 for the Reds, with a 3.97 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. Wily Mo Pena? According to the club’s webiste, Pena is one of the “exciting newcomers” for Arizona’s Triple-A affiliate in Reno. Pena last played in a big-league game on July 12, 2008.
|04.06.11 at 11:55 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — Kevin Youkilis‘ first thought was to drop the ball. After that, he expected some sort of chaos. Just not this kind of chaos.
To set the scene …
With nobody out and the bases loaded, reliever Dan Wheeler had been brought on to face Cleveland outfielder Michael Brantley. Hitting lefty, the Indians’ leadoff man shot a line-drive toward Youkilis at third base. The infielder’s first instinct was to execute a play that rarely works because of umpire’s discretion — drop the ball, catching the baserunner off guard, and then take advantage of the frozen baserunners to get multiple outs.
But as the ball approached, Youkilis discovered that the option of getting the final decision when it came to how the out was executed had gone out the window when the liner took an unexpected turn to the left.
“I was messing around with it in my head,” Youkilis said after the Red Sox‘ 8-4 loss to the Indians. “It kind of went far. I was trying to go back and do it, but it worked a little too much. It got Tek a little off guard. We play around, not to trick ‘¦ I never thought I’d be the guy to pull that off. At first I was like try to drop it. Then it was a little too far out of my range, so I tried to catch it, literally. But that was in the back of my head to try and drop it.”
Once the ball was on the ground, and the third base umpire Dan Iassogna ruled it was a legitimate drop, Youkilis scooped up his miscue, ran over and tagged third base for the force out and threw home. The problem was that catcher Jason Varitek didn’t see Youkilis tag the bag and subsequently failed to tag Travis Buck, who accounted for the hosts’ fourth run.
‘I’m trying to figure out — it’s probably the weirdest play I’ve ever been part of,” Varitek said. “I’m trying to see and learn what I could have done different besides, obviously, tagging him, but I didn’t actually see the play.’
Youkilis said he never yelled to Varitek to tag the runner, and Wheeler explained that while he wanted to warn the backstop that that force play was off, he couldn’t get the words out in time. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez did manage to shout a warning, but was too far away for it to take effect.
‘Yeah I was trying to yell, but heat of the moment, it’s hard for them to hear you,” Gonzalez said.
“Once the ball got out of my glove, I was like, that’s a double play, easily,” said Youkilis, who remembered Mike Lowell adeptly making the same sort of play from time to time. “That play will always work. As a runner, you’re going back to the base. At that time, it was a crazy play. A lot of times it works, most of the time the umps call it.”
Following the miscommunication, the flood gates opened as Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera launched a Wheeler sinker into the right field seats for a three-run homer, making it 7-2 Indians. It would be all the Tribe would need to hand the Red Sox’ their fifth loss in as many tries.
“We all know we’re in a hole, but the big thing is we’ve got 150-something games left,” Youkilis said. “This is a team that can get so hot, you roll of eight out of 10, you’re back over .500. I think that’s one thing we have to try to do. We can’t win this series, but we can salvage a ‘W’ tomorrow and go into the next series and try to win that series. It’s a long road. A lot of crazy stuff happens. You saw it tonight. This team’s going to be a good team. Once we start swinging the bats a lot better, you’ll see a lot more ‘W’s’ start coming up.”
|04.06.11 at 10:31 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — There were more than a few folks who believed this Red Sox team would make history. Few, however, could have predicted that this would be how they would distinguish themselves.
Wednesday night, the Sox remained winless for the 2011 season, dropping a 8-4 decision to the Indians. It marks just the second time since 1966 that they have began a season going 0-5, having done it last in ’96. The Red Sox have gone 0-6 three times in franchise history, not having fallen in such a hole since ’45.
The biggest blow came in the sixth inning, when Asdrubal Cabrera broke open a two-run game with a three-run homer off of Sox reliever Dan Wheeler.
Daisuke Matsuzaka turned in a decent start for the Red Sox, although, like Josh Beckett the night before, he wasn’t able to go past five innings. The Sox starter gave up three runs over his 96-pitch outing.
Here is what went wrong (and went right) for the Sox …
WHAT WENT WRONG
– Jason Varitek made a rare mental mistake in the sixth inning that proved to be key. With nobody out, the bases loaded, and the Red Sox trailing by a run Michael Brantley hit a line-drive off Wheeler which third baseman Kevin Youkilis dropped. The third baseman proceeded to pick the ball up, tag third and throw home. But Varitek was unaware that the force play was off, and didn’t tag the oncoming runner, allowing the run to score and keep runners on first and second with one out. The next batter, Cabrera, added insult to injury with his three-run homer. Tim Wakefield also allowed a solo homer to Matt LaPorta.
– The Sox relievers, which hadn’t allowed a run since Opening Day, let the game get away. First, it was Dennys Reyes, who started his outing by hitting two batters before walking Jack Hannahan on four pitches. That led to Wheeler’s appearance, which, in turn, led to the flood gates opening.
– Key members of lineup continued to struggle. Jacoby Ellsbury struck out three times, dropping his average to .143, while Youkilis went 0-for-4 and is now hitting .133. Despite managing his first hit of the season — an infield RBI single — Marco Scutaro is now batting just .067.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– Matsuzaka’s performance was somewhat encouraging considering he started the outing with a 28-pitch first inning. He rebounded to not allow a run after the second inning.
– Carl Crawford managed a two-hit day, along with his first two stolen bases as a member of the Red Sox.
|04.06.11 at 7:02 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — Join Rob Bradford and a cast of characters in following all the action from Progressive Field, where the Red Sox will be looking for their first win of the season when taking on the Indians.
Update: Matt LaPorta made it 8-4 Cleveland with a solo home run off reliever Tim Wakefield to lead off the eighth inning.
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