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Nava completes long journey to majors

06.12.10 at 4:32 pm ET
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(Update: Daniel Nava became the fourth player in major league history to hit a grand slam in his first major league at-bat, hitting the home run in the second inning of the Red Sox’ Saturday afternoon game against the Phillies against Joe Blanton. Click here for more.)

When the Red Sox announced that they would option outfielder Josh Reddick, a well-known prospect who has some experience at the big-league level, back down to Triple-A Pawtucket Saturday, many Sox followers were left scratching their heads as to who would be called up to replace Reddick on the 25-man roster. Jonathan Van Every perhaps? No, he was traded to the Pirates on May 31. Was there going to be another trade? That didn’€™t appear imminent.

Finally, reports came out that the Sox were going to call up 27-year-old outfielder Daniel Nava, and one more question arose: Daniel Nava, who?

Nava has been facing those kinds of doubts for literally his entire baseball career. As a 4-foot-8, 70-pound freshman in high school, Nava struggled to get any playing time because of his size.

‘€œI really was 70 pounds. I couldn’€™t go on the rides at the theme parks, I was so small,’€ Nava said. ‘€œThat kid could barely swing a 32-inch bat so I don’€™t think he was thinking about the big leagues or anything like that.’€

He eventually grew to 5-foot-5 by his senior year, earning an All-League honorable mention that season, but no colleges came calling and he tried to walk on at Santa Clara University. But because of his still small frame, Nava was told instead to consider a move in coaching and therefore he moved to a spot as team manager, where he did laundry, helped with equipment, basically did anything he could to stay around the team. It appeared his playing days were numbered.

Then, a seemingly miraculous growth spurt caused him again to shift course, and he moved to the junior college ranks at College of San Mateo after his family could no longer afford the expenses of a private four-year school.

‘€œUnfortunately, we just couldn’€™t afford it,’€ Nava said. ‘€œIt was just getting too expensive for us. We had no other options.’€

However, he flourished in JuCo, earning both All-Conference and Junior College All-American accolades in his two seasons. Nava returned to Santa Clara, this time on scholarship, and surprised his former coaches by leading the West Coast Conference in batting average and OBP with statistics of .395 and .494 in each respective category.

Still, there were doubters as no major-league clubs came calling in the following draft, and none were willing to sign him as a free agent. He was even cut by the Chico Outlaws of the independent Golden Baseball League before they eventually called him back after absent players left holes in the roster. Again, Nava made the most of his opportunity by hitting .371 and was named the Best Indepefndent League Prospect by Baseball America after just the one season.

That assuredly would garner some interest from the big leagues, but at first, things weren’€™t looking good again for Nava. The Blue Jays had previously left after seeing Nava in a tryout without offering him a contract before the accolades began to roll in. Finally, the Red Sox and Cubs expressed interest in the low-risk, potentially high-reward player after reading the piece in Baseball America, and Nava eventually took his first shot at minor-league baseball in the Red Sox system.

So far in his two-plus seasons down on the farm, the switch-hitting Nava has produced some eye-popping numbers. He hit .341 with 10 home runs and 59 RBI in 85 games at Single-A Lancaster in 2008 and continued his impressive hitting by accruing an average of .364 in 32 games in Double-A Portland last season after a mid-season call up.

But the knocks kept coming. After entering the Sox system at the prime age of 25, many chalked Nava’€™s impressive hitting up to his age; he was just an older player in the prime of his career dominating younger, less-experienced pitching. Basbeball America didn’€™t list him as a top prospect in the Sox system, and the popular website Soxprospects.com listed him as a ‘€œpost-prospect.’€

Nava continued his ascent of the Sox system by playing at Triple-A Pawtucket, and in yet another chance to silence his critics, he has again performed admirably. Before his Saturday call-up, he led the PawSox in every major offensive category: average (.294), home runs (8), RBI (38), hits (58) and runs (28).

Then, when he finally got the notice that he would be starting in left field Saturday afternoon for the Boston Red Sox, Nava didn’€™t know immediately what to say or do. ‘€œIt’€™s obviously a dream come true. I was telling my friends, ‘€˜Sorry guys if I don’€™t know what to say because I’€™m kind of speechless.’€™ The whole thing happened so fast. I’€™m trying to learn what to do, where to go.’€

Ironically, this will not be his first time on a big-league ballfield. He participated in the Futures of Fenway game last season for Portland and actually won a contest to throw out the first pitch at an Oakland game when he was nine.

‘€œI actually didn’€™t want to do it when I was younger. I was so scared,’€ Nava said. ‘€œI honestly think I was more nervous then. Playing ball and doing all that stuff, I don’€™t think I’€™m as nervous now. It was a good experience.’€

Now when he takes the field as an actual major leaguer, he finally has the chance to prove he can hit with the big boys of the majors, but at this point, Nava isn’€™t worried about just proving anything about himself. His goals are more team-oriented at this big moment in his career.

‘€œIt’€™s going to be a great thrill,’€ Nava said. ‘€œI’€™m not going to say it’€™s not. I’€™m just trying to do one thing at a time and not look too much into the future about what’€™s going to happen. Just here to help the guys win. Keeping it nice and simple.’€

When Nava finally takes the field wearing a major-league uniform, his miraculous ascent, from a tiny high-school freshman to college team manager to independent league dropout to Red Sox minor leaguer to major league ballplayer, will finally be complete.

Any questions?

Read More: daniel nava,

Red Sox vs. Phillies matchups, 6/12

06.12.10 at 4:32 pm ET
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After thoroughly dismantling the Phillies in the opener of their three game weekend series at Fenway, the Red Sox look to continue their success against the national league Saturday with Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound.

In his last outing against the Phillies Daisuke (5-2, 4.59 ERA) utterly dominated one of the best lineups in the national league, nearly no-hitting them with an impressive eight inning, one hit performance. Although he has had his share of ups and downs this season, he is coming off another solid start against the Indians during which he went eight strong without allowing a run.

Daisuke has not given up more than three runs since his poor performance against the Yankees on May 17. With the Sox offense scorching hot after putting up 12 runs Friday night, Daisuke is in good position to continue his recent streak of success.

On the other side, Joe Blanton will be taking the mound looking to stop the bleeding for a Philadelphia team mired in the worst slump of their season, having lost 13 of their last 20 games. The Phillies have scored three runs or fewer in more than half their games (30 of 59) and hope to find some success against the American League.

An interesting matchup to look out for is Adrian Beltre vs. Blanton. Beltre has four doubles, one home run, and seven RBI against the Philadelphia righty in his career. Mike Cameron enjoys facing him as well, with three homeruns and 5 RBI in only 12 at bats.

Phillies vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka

Raul Ibanez (19 plate appearances): .214 AVG/.421 OBP/.500 SLG, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 walks, 4 SO

Placido Polanco (12): .222/.417/.222, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Ross Gload (7): .000/.000/.000, 3 strikeouts

Shane Victorino (6): .167/.167/.333, 1 double

Juan Castro (5): .400/.400/.400, 2 hits, 1 strikeout

Ryan Howard (5): .200/.200/.200, 1 hit, 1 strikeout

Carlos Ruiz (5): .000/.200/.000, 1 walk

Chase Utley (5): .200/.200/.400, 1 double, 1 RBI

Jayson Werth (5): .200/.200/.200, 1 hit, 1 strikeout

Ben Francisco (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 hit, 1 strikeout

Greg Dobbs (1): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Chad Durbin (1): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Kyle Kendrick (1): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Matsuzaka has never faced Brian Schneider or Wilson Valdez

Red Sox vs. Joe Blanton

Adrian Beltre (49 plate appearances): .267 AVG/.306 OBP/.422 SLG, 4 doubles, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts

David Ortiz (27): .304/.370/.565, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Jason Varitek (26): .208/.269/.292, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts

Kevin Youkilis (25): .333/.400/.571, 1 triple, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts

Mike Lowell (21): .200/.238/.200, 4 RBI, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Victor Martinez (21): .238/.238/.381, 3 doubles, 3 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (19): .188/.316/.313, 2 doubles, 3 walks

J.D. Drew (16): .333/.313/.533, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 strikeout

Mike Cameron (12): .444/.583/.1.556, 1 double, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Jeremy Hermida (6): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Jon Lester (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Marco Scutaro (3): .500/ .667/1.000, 1 double, 1 walk

The Philadelphia starter has never faced Bill Hall, Darnell McDonald, and Josh Reddick.

Read More: Daisuke Matsuzaka, joe blanton, Phillies, Red Sox

Matsuzaka put on the D.L; Atchison gets start

06.12.10 at 4:23 pm ET
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Just minutes before the Red Sox game with the Phillies Saturday afternoon it was announced by the team that Daisuke Matsuzaka had been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain. Scott Atchison got the emergency start for the Red Sox, who also recalled lefty pitcher Dustin Richardson. It is Atchison’s first start in the major leagues. Matsuzaka was in the Red Sox bullpen prior to the game, seemingly warming up for the start.

The hurler did have to postpone his side session Wednesday after throwing up during his long toss, pushing his session to Thursday. It is the second time this season Matsuzaka has been on the disabled list, where he began the season with back and neck issues. Check the Red Sox team page for more information.

Red Sox craft themselves a good win

06.12.10 at 7:49 am ET
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Red Sox skipper Terry Francona was concerned about his team’s bats heading into the opener of a three-game series against 47-year-old Jamie Moyer opposing his club.

“He’s quite a story,” Francona said before the game. “I don’t if it would make him feel good or not. I played with Jamie and saw him pitch his first major league game in Chicago. Even when he came up in 1986, he was not a power pitcher. He could throw behind in the count. His career took a lot of turns, he was even out of the game.

“He just competes, he doesn’t give in and he uses both sides of the plate. The more aggressive you are, the more that plays into him. You’ve got to swing at strikes. If you get over-aggressive, you play right into his hands. He’s had a phenomenal career for a long time. I don’t know how guys do it. I’m sure there are days where he wakes up and doesn’t feel so good. I hope today is one of those days.”

Well, the baseball gods must have been listening very intently because it’s hard to imagine things going much worse for Moyer than Friday night over one-plus inning of work.

After getting Dustin Pedroia to hit into a hard force-out for the first out of the first inning, Moyer gave up run-scoring doubles to Victor Martinez, David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre before Mike Lowell drilled a 73 MPH change over the Monster in left for a 5-0 lead.

“I know Jamie Moyer doesn’t wow you with the radar gun but he has three pitches that has about the same velocity that does three different things,” Lowell said. “He usually has very good location. I think today, just just chalk it up. He probably missed his spots a couple of times and we put some good swings on it but he is a guy that can keep you off balance but he has stuff can keep you off balance. He can still compete, that’s for sure.”

Digger Phelps’ son-in-law would faced just four batters in the second inning – retiring none – before being lifted in his shortest outing since July 4, 1998 with Seattle.

What did all of the Red Sox at-bats have in common? Patience and discipline. It is the only way to beat a pitcher who has lasted this long in the majors.

“Everyone know that Jamie is the kind of pitcher who can hit both sides of the strike zone,” Ortiz said. “You have to look for your pitch and then stay aggressive.”

Moyer, of course, pitched briefly for the Red Sox. The year was 1996 when he started in the bullpen for Kevin Kennedy but wound up making several starts.

He was released following the 1995 campaign, but his contract was picked up by the Red Sox on December 22. Moyer started the 1996 season in the Boston bullpen, but made seven starts for the Red Sox during the year.

“The history,” Moyer recalled after Friday’s contest. “This team here that I faced here tonight, I was thinking about it before the game, it’s a grouping of players I’ve played against, some were teammates and it seemed like they’ve all come together.”

Read More: David Ortiz, Jamie Moyer, mike lowell, MLB

Sox plan to call up unlikely prospect Nava

06.12.10 at 1:28 am ET
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The Red Sox will option outfielder Josh Reddick to Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, where he can get regular playing time to continue his development. In his place, a team source indicates that, barring any last-minute developments, the Sox plan to call up outfielder Daniel Nava, who has followed a unique path through the system to this point.

Nava was scratched from Pawtucket’s game on Friday night. SoxProspects.com was the first to report that the 27-year-old is slated to be called up on Saturday.

The switch-hitting Nava is leading the PawSox in average (.294), on-base percentage (.364), slugging (.492), OPS (.856), homers (8) and RBI (38). He was signed out of the independent Golden Baseball League following the 2007 season, and in parts of three seasons in the Sox system, he has hit .337 with a .429 OBP, .522 slugging mark and .950 OPS.

Back in 2008, in his first spring training with the Sox, Nava contemplated his strange baseball path — which included being cut from a struggling Division 1 baseball program and spending two years being groomed to coach as a team trainer — and considered what might lie ahead.

“I’d love to be (in the majors). That’s the reason why I play. I’d love to play at Fenway Park. Who wouldn’t?” said Nava. “I definitely allow myself to dream about it.”

Now, it would appear that dream is about to become a reality.

For more on Nava’s unusual journey to the majors, click here.

Read More: daniel nava,

Closing Time: Red Sox 12, Phillies 2

06.11.10 at 9:54 pm ET
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Prior to Friday’s game, Red Sox manager Terry Francona was marveling at the career of Phillies starter Jamie Moyer. The 47-year-old pitcher has enjoyed a remarkable career, with 100 of his 264 career victories coming after turning 40. Indeed, Francona noted that he and Moyer were teammates with the Cubs in 1986.

Little did that anyone know that, by the end of the night, Moyer’s rookie season of 1986 would be brought up for other, less-nostalgic reasons. Moyer got battered by the Sox, recording just three outs and allowing nine runs on nine hits (six extra-base hits). The only time in his career that he recorded fewer than three outs happened to be on July 10, 1986, when he got yanked after allowing five runs and retiring just two batters. Francona, for what it’s worth, was a pinch-hitter for the Cubs that day, grounding out to the catcher.

Moyer’s dismal night made the outcome a foregone conclusion early. The Sox romped to a 12-2 victory, amassing 17 hits (including a season-high eight doubles, the most by the team since Aug. 2006)  in one of their biggest offensive outbursts of the year.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

–By the time he made it to the mound for the top of the second inning, John Lackey enjoyed a five-run lead. He did exactly what the Sox might have hoped for with that advantage, pounding the strike zone, working quickly and getting lots of weak early-count contact.

On a night when his fastball topped out at 94 and he had good command of both his curve and slider, Lackey enjoyed a tremendous rhythm in which he attacked the strike zone. He threw first-pitch strikes to 22 of 27 batters he faced, didn’t walk anyone for the first time as a Red Sox, and recorded 11 outs on the ground. He needed just 86 pitches to get through seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out three.

While the big right-hander has been inconsistent in stretches this year, he is tied for the team lead with eight quality starts, he has gone at least six innings in 11 of his 13 outings, and he has a 3.18 ERA in his last four starts, going 3-0 in that span.

David Ortiz, who came into the game in a 1-for-27 June skid, snapped out of it with a pair of run-scoring doubles to left and a two-run single to right. His three hits (in five at-bats) and four runs batted in both tied season highs.

Marco Scutaro continued his recent surge. He went 3-for-4, and now has eight games with three or more hits this year, most on the Red Sox. Six of those have come in the last 14 games, a run in which he is hitting .391/.429/.625/1.054 with nine doubles and two homers.

Victor Martinez continued his scorching June with a pair of doubles. He’s hitting .487 with a 1.280 OPS on the month.

Mike Lowell, getting a spot start for the injured Kevin Youkilis, hit a homer to left against Moyer, going 1-for-3 with a pair of walks. That will do nothing to hurt the trade market for the corner infielder, whom a major league source says could be nearing the end of his days as a Red Sox, with the Sox discussing a possible deal with the Twins and Rangers, while the Angels loom on the periphery.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE SOX

–Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth went 3-for-3, helping him to snap out of a 3-for-41 funk. The implications are twofold: 1) He’s no longer ice cold for the rest of the series; and 2) The outfielder who is a potential free-agent target of the Sox did nothing to hurt his value.

Bill Hall was the only Sox starter not to get a hit, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Jeremy Hermida landed on the disabled list due to a hairline fracture of five ribs. For more on that, click here.

Read More: David Ortiz, john lackey, marco scutaro, mike lowell

Red Sox pregame 6/11: Pedroia MRI ‘clean’

06.11.10 at 5:25 pm ET
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Red Sox manager Terry Francona said an MRI on Dustin Pedroia‘€™s right knee indicated no serious injury and the second baseman was cleared to start Friday night in the series opener against Philadelphia at Fenway Park.

“It came back real clean and that’€™s good,’€ Francona said. ‘€œThe fact that he can go out there and know he’s not going to hurt himself is good.’€

Pedroia is batting second and starting at second base while Kevin Youkilis is getting the night off as he treats his back spasms. Francona said Youkilis could be available to pinch-hit in the series opener against the Phillies.

–The news was not as promising on outfielder Jeremy Hermida, who was placed on the disabled list after suffering injuries in a collision last week with third baseman Adrian Beltre. Francona said that five ribs have non-displaced hairline fractures. Francona said the injury is “like a deep bone bruise and is “eerily similar’€ to that of Jacoby Ellsbury, who has spent significant time on the mend from a collision of his own with Beltre and a dive two weeks ago in Philadelphia. That has left the Sox contemplating ways in which their team can be Beltre-proofed.

“Guys have been talking, we might have to get him on the UFC tour to see if he can take some of those knees to someone else,” Hermida joked. “I’€™m sure he feels bad about it too. It’€™s just one of those things you can’€™t avoid and it’€™s just a freak thing that I’€™ve never seen happen and unfortunately it happened twice within a month and a half of each other.’€

[Click here to listen to Francona explain the five fractured ribs of Hermida.]

The best-case scenario for Hermida, Francona said, is that he resumes baseball activities within three or four days if he is symptom free.

“He’s safe to play right now,” Francona said of Hermida, but added that Red Sox “don’t know if that’s in his best interest.”

Hermida incurred the injury on June 4, when Beltre caught him on the arm and in the chest while both raced for a foul ball in Baltimore. The next day, Hermida underwent a CT scan to examine the soreness on the left side of his chest. The scan came back clean, and Hermida felt steady improvement over the next few days. But after returning to the lineup on Wednesday, his progress was halted.

“I was willing to go through as much as I could as long as I wasn’€™t setting myself back. That’€™s what I tried to do the other day. Unfortunately after playing the other day, it got a little bit worse and that’€™s when I felt the need to check it out a little more,” said Hermida. “To have that happen to two guys on the same team on the same play, saying that’€™s a freak thing might even be an understatement. I think you see that play happen a lot where nobody can really call it because you want to be sure you can get there and one guy goes high and one goes low. That’€™s happened to me before. It’€™s happened to almost every outfielder or corner infielder I’€™m sure. Just what happened to both of us is just a freak thing. Accept it, move forward and try to do the best you can each day.’€

–In all, the Red Sox made four roster moves prior to their series-opener with the Phillies on Friday, including activating closer Jonathan Papelbon from the family leave/bereavement list. The team also designated reliever Joe Nelson for assignment and recalled Scott Atchison. Nelson said he would likely retire if another team didn’t claim him but also acknowledged that his statement could have just been a case of his emotions talking. The 35-year-old right hander has a career ERA of 4.38 in parts of six seasons since entering the league in 2001.

“In all likelihood, if I clear waivers, I’€™ve probably thrown my last pitch. I don’€™t anticipate myself going back to Pawtucket, but that’€™s emotion talking right now and we’€™ll probably reanalyze it when I’€™m not as disappointed,” said Nelson. “I had every opportunity and I didn’€™t produce. The thought of going to Triple-A doesn’€™t sound that great. We’€™ll wait and see what options present themselves. As a whole, you gotta perform better. That’€™s what it comes down to. They gave me every chance to succeed and I didn’€™t make the pitches. There’€™s not a hard feeling in the world between the Red Sox and me. Every day I got to spend up here was a blessing and not taken for granted. I need to do a better job.”

–Starter Josh Beckett said that everything remained on track for him to throw on Saturday for the first time since he experienced discomfort in his latissimus muscle while throwing a bullpen session on May 28.

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, joe nelson, Jonathan Papelbon, Pedroia knee

Sox doctor: Team did right thing with Ellsbury

06.11.10 at 1:43 pm ET
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Red Sox team medical director Dr. Thomas Gill took part in a conference call to discuss the discovery that outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has a non-displaced fracture in his rib. The injury, Gill emphasized, is in a different part of the ribs than the hairline fracture of four ribs that Ellsbury incurred in his collision with third baseman Adrian Beltre on April 11.

Gill believes that Ellsbury’s injury was incurred when he dove for a ball in Philadelphia on May 23. The current course of having the outfielder rest for at least two weeks before resuming baseball activity would keep Ellsbury sidelined at least for two weeks, and, in Gill’s estimate, as late as the All-Star break.

“I hate to put an estimate on it,” said Gill. “He will really dictate a lot of it by the history of his symptoms. It won’€™t be less than two weeks, because we just want to give him a good two weeks away, let him do some rehab, and really just get some rest more than rehab right now. I’€™ll reevaluate him at the two-week point, and if he looks good at that point we’€™ll start progressing him back in. so I would say, if I had to guess, I don’€™t want to put any timelines on Jacoby, but I would put anywhere from the two-week point to the All-Star break, somewhere in there, and I just don’€™t know. We’€™ll support whatever pace he needs to recover at.”

Gill made several points during the call in explaining his feeling that the Sox and Ellsbury have proceeded in correct fashion with the player’s rehab. Among them: Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Jacoby Ellsbury, thomas gill,

Red Sox vs. Phillies matchups, 6/11

06.11.10 at 11:07 am ET
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The Red Sox return home Friday after a dismal ending to their seven-game road trip. Combining for four wins and three losses against two of the worst major league ballclubs, the Orioles and Indians, the Sox return to Fenway for the next three series.

John Lackey (6-3, 4.72 ERA) will get the start for the Red Sox Friday as they resume interleague play against the Phillies, against whom the Sox are 2-1 this season. Lackey lost to the Phils on May 21, allowing six hits, four earned runs and two home runs in Boston’s 5-1 setback, but he has not lost in his three appearances since (2-0 with a no-decision).

The Phillies will counter by sending the ageless Jamie Moyer to the mound. Since entering the league in 1986, Moyer, now 47, has appeared on a variety of rosters, including those of the Cubs, Rangers, Cardinals Orioles, Red Sox, Mariners and Phillies. Moyer’s stop in Boston was brief, consisting of the first half of the 1996 season. He was 7-1 with a 4.50 ERA when in July of that year he was traded to Seattle.

Moyer is 6-5 with a 3.98 ERA this season. In 26 career games against the Red Sox at Fenway, he is 7-7 with a 5.43 ERA. Moyer has faced a number of current Red Sox, and the player that has given him the most trouble is David Ortiz. Against Moyer, Ortiz has six doubles, one triple, five home runs and 10 RBI. It will be interesting to see if the Ortiz can come out of his June drought (3-for-33) and continue to cause trouble for Moyer.

Phillies vs. John Lackey

Raul Ibanez (56 plate appearances): .373 AVG/.429 OBP/.451 SLG, 4 doubles, 5 RBI, 5 BB, 4 SO

Placido Polanco (21): .200/.238/.500, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO

Ross Gload (14): .286/.286/.429, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 2 SO

Juan Castro (9): .333/.333/.444, 1 double, 3 RBI, 2 SO

Jayson Werth (7): .286/.286/.857, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 SO

Ben Francisco (6): .500/.500/.667, 1 double

Wilson Valdez (3): .333/.333/.333, 2 SO

Greg Dobbs (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 SO

Chase Utley (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 BB

Carlos Ruiz (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 SO

Brian Schneider (3): .000/.000/.000

Ryan Howard (3): .500/ .667/2.000, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO

Shane Victorino (3): 1.000/1.000/1.000, 1 RBI, 2 BB

Red Sox vs. Jamie Moyer

David Ortiz, (43 plate appearances): .361/.465/1.000, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 2 SO

Marco Scutaro (39): .400/.436/1.000, 1 double, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 1 SO

Jason Varitek (39): .235/.333/.382, 2 doubles, 1HR, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 9 SO

Jeremy Hermida (30): .174/.367/.304, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 4 SO

Mike Cameron (24): .217/.250/.261, 1 double, 1 BB, 7 SO

Victor Martinez (15): .231/.333/.231, 2 BB, 2 SO

Bill Hall (11): .545/.545/.727, 2 doubles, 1 SO

Kevin Youkilis (9): .333/.556/1.000, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 SO

J.D. Drew (7): .143/.143/.143, 1 SO

Mike Lowell (6): .600/.667/.800, 1 double, 1 BB

Adrian Beltre (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 SO

Dustin Pedroia (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 BB

Darnell McDonald (3): .000/.000/.000

Josh Reddick has not faced Moyer.

Read More: David Ortiz, Jamie Moyer, john lackey,

Friday Red Sox Nuggetpalooza!

06.11.10 at 9:35 am ET
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Here are a bunch of fairly random nuggets for your Friday. Stats are through Wednesday except where noted:

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* – Wednesday night, Boof Bonser and Joe Nelson each allowed 4 earned runs and neither pitched more than an inning. The last time that multiple Red Sox relievers allowed 4+ ER without pitching more than an inning was June 4, 2005, when Alan Embree and Matt Mantei combined to allow 9 ER in 2/3 of an inning in a 13-6 loss to the Angels. Prior to that, you have to go back to June 21, 1997, when household names Mark Brandenburg and Kerry Lacy got bombed in a 15-4 loss to Detroit.

It could have been worse: The Cardinals (1959) and the Giants (1997) each have had a game in which they had THREE relievers turn that trick.

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* – Marco Scutaro has gone a combined 0-9 over the last two games, effectively ending a 10-game stretch where he had 5 three-hit games and batted .426 (20-47). It’s the first time since joining the Red Sox that Scutaro has had consecutive games of 0 for 4+. (Update: Scutaro broke out with two hits on Thursday)

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* – The Red Sox have a lot of guys getting fat off of the worst pitchers in the league this season. Against AL pitchers with an ERA of 5.00 or higher, the Red Sox have hit .339 with 33 HR and a 1.006 OPS in 717 plate appearances. All three lead the AL. However, the Royals (957) and the Yankees (956) lead the league in plate appearances against those pitchers.

But against pitchers with an ERA under 4.00, and the Red Sox rank 2nd in the league with 1,142 plate appearances (LAA, 1,168) while the Yankees have the 3rd fewest (919). Against those hurlers, the Sox have hit .231 (8th) with 27 HR (tied 2nd) and an OPS of .692 (3rd).

Here are the main Red Sox with their average and OPS versus those pitchers (and their average and OPS versus pitchers with an ERA under 4.00 in parentheses):

David Ortiz – .347/1.285 – (.190/.699)
JD Drew – .404/1.204 – (.150/.488) .. 15 for 100 with 31 K vs. under 4.00 ERA pitchers
Victor Martinez – .352/1.166 – (.273/.692)
Kevin Youkilis – .387/1.154 – (.228/.757)
Dustin Pedroia – .355/1.062 – (.229/.699)
Adrian Beltre – .385/1.044 – (.288/.770)
Jeremy Hermida – .333/1.011 – (.208/.644)
Bill Hall – .282/ .724 – (.243/.959)
Marco Scutaro – .219/ .584 – (.311/.833) .. Almost 100 pts. better vs. better pitching, go figure

Drew had a 7 for 11 stretch in early May against the under-4.00 group, but that was bookended by a 4 for 46 start and 4 for 43 since.

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* – Sox pitchers have done quite well this season versus opposing power hitters. Against opposing AL hitters who have 10+ HR so far, Boston’s staff has allowed a .263 average (2nd to Tampa’s .262), a HR every 26 AB (1st), and an .806 OPS (1st). Compare that to the Yankees’ marks of a .309 average, a homer every 14 AB, and a .988 OPS.

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* – JD Drew has not struck out in his last 15 plate appearances, his longest streak of the season. His longest “K-less” stretch came back in 2003, when he started his season by not striking out in 35 straight times up. (Update: Drew tacked on 5 more plate appearances without a strikeout Thursday night, bringing his total to 20.)

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* – Dustin Pedroia leads the majors with 102 plate appearances in games decided by one run this season. Unfortunately, he’s managed just a .244 average in those close games. Here are the AL OPS leaders in one run games (min. 60 such PA):

1.491 – Miguel Cabrera, DET (.463 average; 7 HR)
1.253 – Justin Morneau, MIN (.400)
1.155 – Evan Longoria, TBR (.339; 6 HR)
1.076 – Vlad Guerrero, TEX (.337; 8 HR)
1.046 – Kevin Youkilis, BOS (.365; 14 BB)

Youkilis led the majors in this category last season, putting up an OPS of 1.136 in games decided by one run.

(Update: Pedroia went 2-5 in Thursday’s one run game, while Youkilis was 0-3 with a walk before retiring with back spasms.)

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* – Bill Hall has 16 RBI this season and none of them have tied the game or put the Red Sox ahead. Hall and Cleveland catcher Lou Marson (10) are the only players with 10+ RBI this season but none that tied the score or broke a tie. Last season, 17 of Hall’s 36 RBI either tied the game or put his team ahead.

Toronto’s Vernon Wells leads the majors with 22 go-ahead RBI this season (clarification note: a grand slam in a tie game counts as 4 go-ahead RBI). David Ortiz leads the Red Sox with 13 while Adrian Beltre has 10.

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* – Since May 4, Boston has allowed one run or none 13 different times in 31 games, the most in the majors in that span:

13 – Boston Red Sox
11 – San Diego Padres
10 – Los Angeles Angels
10 – Los Angeles Dodgers

The White Sox and Nationals each have just 2 such games in that span.

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* – Thursday’s loss was the 6th walkoff loss by the Red Sox this season (they had only 5 during all of last year) and the first one where the winning hit occurred when the game was not tied. Actually, the last time that the Red Sox lost on a walkoff hit where the game was not tied was back on May 9, 2008 when Mike Lamb beat Jonathan Papelbon, 6-5, with a two-run single in Minnesota.

Only Seattle (8) and Arizona (7) have suffered more walkoff losses this season than Boston. It was Cleveland’s 2nd walkoff win this year. The Padres and Angels (each with 6) have the most in the majors. Last night was just the 10th walkoff with the game not tied in MLB this season. Baltimore and Seattle have each lost two such games.

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* – Including Thursday’s loss, the Red Sox have now allowed 27 runs in the 9th inning this season, 3rd most in the AL behind the Orioles (32) and the Angels (28). This despite allowing just a .204 average in that frame (3rd best in the league). The problem has been walks (22; 4th most) and HR (9; Most in AL).

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