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Second inning: Remember when …

05.06.09 at 7:46 pm ET
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Remember when the Red Sox went after Carl Pavano in the free agent market following the 2004 season, instead ending up with Matt Clement. Clement has retired, and Pavano keeps pitching. But the rest of the story after the two inked their deals, until present day, aren’t all that different in terms of sucess (or lack thereof).

Pavano has survived to make six starts this season, albeit with a 1-3 record and 7.46 ERA entering Wednesday night. That was the good news for the Tribe’s starter, the fact he was healthy enough to make tonight’s start. The bad news was that it is coming against a Red Sox’ lineup that is loaded with hitters with pretty good success against the former Boston farmhand. 

Jason Bay is 3 for 6; J.D. Drew is 5 for 8; David Ortiz is 3 for 5; Jason Varitek is 3 for 8; and Nick Greeen is 3 for 10.

So, somewhat predictably, the Sox struck first thanks to a run-scoring double play ground out from Jeff Bailey, coming with the bases loaded, scoring Bay. The Sox outfielder had led off with walk, was followed by Mike Lowell’s double, and a walk to Varitek. The home team struck again when Jonathan Van Every singled in Lowell with two outs.

RED SOX 2, INDIANS 0 

First inning: More important than baseball

05.06.09 at 7:29 pm ET
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More important than the game …

NESN just released a statement that Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy is taking a leave to recover from cancer surgery. The statement says that Remy underwent surgery for lung cancer late last year.

‘€œI want to focus on completing my recovery so that I can return to work without distractions or interruptions,’€ said Remy, a former smoker who underwent surgery for lung cancer late last year.

Remy expected a more immediate return but suffered a setback due to an infection and subsequent case of pneumonia. He now hopes his experience serves as a cautionary tale about the adverse health effects of smoking.

‘€œI hope that disclosing my bout with cancer will reinforce the dangers of smoking to every member of Red Sox Nation, especially children,’€ said Remy, the president of Red Sox Nation.

Carl Pavano allowed a leadoff single to J.D. Drew, whose history as a leadoff hitter is somewhat quizzical. For his career, Drew is a .244 career hitter in the leadoff spot. But in his at-bats that lead off the game, the Sox’ outfielder was hitting .388 with a pair of home runs. Pavano got out of it thanks to a double play grounder from Dustin Pedroia, followed by a fly out by David Ortiz.

RED SOX 0, INDIANS 0 

Lester on Joba: ‘It’s gotten old’

05.06.09 at 6:48 pm ET
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A day after Joba Chamberlain hit Jason Bay in the back in the fifth inning of what turned into a Red Sox win over the Yankees, Tuesday  night in New York — and a few hours after Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell told Dale and Holley on WEEI that ‘Those things aren’t forgotten’ in expressing Chamberlain’s motivations — opinions on the matter could be heard in the Sox’ clubhouse.

First, Josh Beckett, the pitcher on the mound for the Sox following Chamberlain’s pitch, would only say, “Everybody has a job to do and mine is not to delegate blame, or purpose, or intent. Things have a way of working themselves out, that’s way I look at it. That stuff always has a way of working itself out.”

Like Farrell, Jon Lester was a bit more pointed in his remarks.

“It’s one of those deals where I’m all for throwing in, but there comes a point somebody, whether it be baseball or the opponent, has to step in and say enough is enough,” said Sox hurler. “Balls have gone over guys heads and gone up too close. There’s a difference between throwing in and making a point and he definitely tries to make some points. I don’t know if he’s trying to him there or not, but he did and it looks bad because J-Bay did hit a home run off of him, along with the history with us and other players. He always come back and says the ball slipped, I wasn’t trying to hit anybody. One time you can fool us, two times you can maybe say OK, but it’s gotten old. In baseball it’s one of those deals where you can’t really think there’s a punishment necessary. It’s one of those deals where we might have to police it ourselves a little bit more, I don’t know.”

The Red Sox and Yankees next meet for a three-game series at Fenway Park, starting June 9.

Lowrie: Feeling stronger every day

05.06.09 at 5:12 pm ET
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With his stitches out of his surgically repaired left wrist, Jed Lowrie re-joined the Red Sox for rehab work on Wednesday, with the hope of returning to action by the All-Star break.

“They told me six-to-eight weeks, that’s what the doctors said,” Lowrie said. “Take it day-by-day, make sure it’s strong. Everything looked good so hopefully, in six-to-eight weeks, I’ll be back out there.”

Lowrie said he is feeling stronger after just a week of rehab work out in Arizona.

“A lot better,” Lowrie said before Wednesday’s game. “Everything I’ve heard from the training people I’ve been working with and the doctors is that everything went well and I’ve been doing rehab for seven days now and it’s good to be back.”

Lowrie had the surgery on April 22 in Scottsdale, Ariz. and the procedure was immediately considered a success by the team and Lowrie.

“I’m stronger, I wouldn’t say strong,” Lowrie said. “Obviously, any kind of surgery is a traumatic event. You have to build back the strength and the range of motion. There isn’t a lot of pain but the strength and range of motion are the two things I need to get back.”

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Red Sox vs. Indians Match-Ups, 5/6

05.06.09 at 3:30 pm ET
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The Red Sox return home after going 5-4 over their nine-game roadtrip. They claimed victories against the Indians in two of three in Cleveland, the team that arrives in Fenway Park for a ridiculously brief two-game visit. Read the rest of this entry »

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The House That Rebuilt Papi?

05.06.09 at 3:09 pm ET
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Maybe it was the fact that he admitted to everyone in the world on Sunday and again on Monday that he was in the worst slump of his career. Or perhaps it was the mere fact of being in a city — albeit in a new park — where he has enjoyed some of his most notable career successes.

Whatever the cause, it was clear that David Ortiz left the new Yankee Stadium feeling better than when he entered it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Transcript of Francona on Dale and Holley

05.06.09 at 1:12 pm ET
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(Courtesy Drew Scott and Jared Shafran)

Here is Red Sox manager Terry Francona with Dale and Holley this afternoon: 

On the weather last night:

Francona: Couple guys said to me, ‘€œMan you looked nervous down there, you were pacing.’€ I said, ‘€œI was freezing.’€

D&C: Man that was a crummy night wasn’€™t it?

Francona: Well it wasn’€™t that bad, but weather wise it was awful.  I can’€™t wait for summer, you’€™re right I’€™m the one guy when it’€™s 94 degrees, and everyone is sweating and I’€™m out there with a sweatshirt on feeling pretty good about myself.

D&C: It was funny to hear Jason Bay say that this was a nice day in British Columbia (laughs).

Francona: (laughs) You know what, we get on him all the time, he’€™s the one guy, he comes out of the dugout and pops his head out, it’€™s like half snowing  and he goes, ‘€œGod is it beautiful out here.’€ He doesn’€™t like the sunshine in Spring Training where we are in Port Charlotte and he’€™s losing the balls in the sun and it’€™s 95 degrees, he was happy as could be last night.

On the Yankees struggles: 

D&C:  You guys in all seriousness, for the first time I think in twenty four years, the Red Sox have won their first five games against the Yankees.  Is it just a coincidence or are you feeling very comfortable against this team?

Francona: You know Michael, I think it’€™s a lot of things combined into one. The very first game we played them, Mo [Mariano Rivera] gives up the homerun to Jason and we’€™re a pitch or two away from losing that game, so I think it’€™s always good to keep some perspective. We’€™ve played in some good games and we’€™ve played some long games. I thought in New York the last two nights were difficult nights to play, the one is a big delay and the weathers nasty, and we didn’€™t even get a chance to be on the field, and right away from the get go we had good energy and we stayed with it. We did a lot of good things, our pitching has come through in the bullpen where like last night we didn’€™t have Pap [Papelbon] and Ramon [Ramirez]available, other guys come in and do their jobs. It’€™s been probably a number of different things like it always is, and the same thing when you lose, there’€™s always probably more than what you see on the surface.

On Joba Chamberlain:

D&C: You mentioned Jason Bay, I might as well ask right off the bat, was there any doubt in your mind that there was intent when he got hit by Joba Chamberlain last night?

Francona: (sighs) Oh man, you know what guys, how’€™d I know that was going to be asked? It’€™s real hard for us to see into someone else’€™s head, and so I probably, most of the time try not to. Our big concern is winning the game, you know the game has a way of playing itself out. It’€™s a long year and we play them a lot of times and I’€™m sure there’€™s times when we do stuff and they’€™re over their yelling like a couple nights before. I don’€™t know you’€™d have to ask him. I guess that’€™s the better way you’€™d have to ask him, and see what he says. I know that I don’€™t think it bothered Jason Bay, it probably hurt him a little bit, but I don’€™t think it bothered him. He’€™ll come back and he’€™ll probably be even better.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Farrell on Chamberlain hitting Bay: ‘Those things aren’t forgotten’

05.06.09 at 12:24 pm ET
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Speaking on the Dale & Holley Show, Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell insinuated that the Sox were suspicious of the motivations of Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain when he hit Jason Bay in the fifth inning of the Red Sox’ win Tuesday night.

“Typically, we let the game play out itself because I think our guys have each others backs and they are certainly going to be supportive if a situation like that were to arise,” Farrell said. “Speaking specifically about last night, he strikes out 12 guys, doesn’€™t seem to have too many command issues, and if there was a purpose or intent to throw up and in you can disguise it a little bit more than making it very obvious with the first pitch in the middle of the back to Jason Bay. Those things aren’€™t forgotten. We know there is a history there between the pitcher in New York and our guys here and not to say that he was specifically out to do that but I think history speaks for itself and we’€™ve got a number of games left with these guys.”

Farrell touched on some other issues during his appearance on Dale and Holley: 

‘€œGiven the conditions, anytime you come away with a couple wins you don’€™t mind the weather at all. So far so good against New York.’€

‘€œWe dodged quite a bit of rain over the last two days. Fortunatly we continuted to throw strikes and not allow too many base runners because in those conditions, some crazy things can happen when you start to put people on base.’€

Q: What has Beckett’€™s issue been this year?

A: There’€™s been fastballs that have been elevated but when he’€™s down in the bottom of the strike zone,

Q: Is that a mechanical issue?

A: At times it can be, usually what happens is that the elbows drop a bit and the flatness comes from.

Read More: jason bay, joba chamberlain, John Farrell,

9th Inning: One more for the Sox

05.05.09 at 10:49 pm ET
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The Sox added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Yankees pitchers collectively couldn’t come close to home plate. Mark Melancon, “the next Mariano Rivera,” walked all three batters he faced. He was pulled in the middle of an at-bat against Mike Lowell, after falling behind 2-0 with the bases loaded. Reliever David Robertson nearly escaped, but after striking out Lowell and getting a fly to shallow left, Robertson walked Jeff Bailey to force in a run.

The inning was interminable.

Takashi Saito is now on to close out the four-run lead in a non-save situation.

BOTTOM 9: RED SOX 7, YANKEES 3

The Sox entered this season anticipating that Takashi Saito would anchor the ninth inning whenever Jonathan Papelbon was unavailable. Prior to Tuesday’s game, Sox manager Terry Francona moved slightly away from that notion, suggesting that he would decide based on the game situation whether to use Saito, Manny Delcarmen or Hideki Okajima to close out a lead.

Tonight, Saito gets the call, albeit in a four-run game. Saito’s Red Sox career has gotten off to an unimpressive start: entering tonight, he had appeared in nine games, allowing a baserunner in all of them, giving up a hit in eight of them, and allowing runs in five of his appearances.

But tonight, he got his first 1-2-3 inning of the year to close out the Sox’ two-game sweep in New York.

8th inning: The consequences of playing out of position

05.05.09 at 10:11 pm ET
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The Yankees have been trying to handle third base with spackle until Alex Rodriguez returns. They had Cody Ransom starting at the position, but he was injured. And so, the team has had to turn to Angel Berroa and Ramiro Pena — neither of whom had ever played the position for any significant stretch — to keep the hot corner warm while awaiting A-Rod.

Pena showed his continued discomfort at the position, booting a Jason Bay dribbler down the line for an E5. Bay then stole second (his fourth steal of the year, continuing towards fulfillment of his stated spring training goal of swiping more bags). Reliever Jonathan Albaladejo (who came on in place of Phil Coke to start the inning) then issued an intentional walk to J.D. Drew and hit Jeff Bailey to load the bases.

That brought up Jason Varitek, who has been terrible in his career with the bases loaded. As Gary From Chapel Hill noted, through April 24, he was 1 for his last 29 (with 4 DPs) with the bases loaded dating back to July 1, 2007.

But he has now done plenty of damage in such situations against the Yankees this year. He hit a grand slam against A.J. Burnett at Fenway, and tonight, he lifted a sac fly to right-center to offer a key insurance run. Nick Green then followed by punching a two-out single to right to score another run, and to end Albaladejo’s night. Edwar Ramirez came on to strike out Jonathan Van Every, but the Sox now have a three-run lead.

Both of their eighth-inning runs, of course, were unearned thanks to Pena’s gaffe. Rodriguez, it is worth mentioning, is likely scheduled to return this week, perhaps as soon as Friday. He has now hit four homers over the last three days in extended spring training.

BOTTOM 8: RED SOX 6, YANKEES 3

Hideki Okajima pitched poorly against the Yankees at Fenway, allowing three runs in two appearances. But tonight, he has contributed two vital innings of shutout relief. After stranding an inherited runner in the bottom of the seventh, he retired teh side in order in the eighth, getting Robinson Cano to ground to short, striking out Nick Swisher (swinging) and getting Melky Cabrera looking. He has now thrown six scoreless innings over his last four appearances.

RED SOX 6, YANKEES 3

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