Full Count
A Furiously Updated Red Sox Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network

Red Sox Pregame Notes: Martinez forces way into lineup

07.28.10 at 2:54 pm ET
By   |   Comments

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez had originally been scheduled to sit out of the series finale between the Sox and Angels, not only because he had missed the previous four weeks while recovering from a broken left thumb but also because it was a day game after a night game. But the catcher approached manager Terry Francona following Tuesday’s victory and insisted that he was ready to play in his third straight game.

“When we were shaking hands, he grabbed me and said, ‘I’m playing tomorrow,'” said Francona.

Martinez, who is 1-for-8 with a walk and two strikeouts since returning, said that he is eager to make up for lost time after his time on the disabled list.

“I feel good. I think I’€™ve had plenty of off-days,” said Martinez. “It’€™s not fun to watch the game from the bench. Like I say, I just want to be part of it and I’€™m just trying to help the team somehow. I just want to play no matter what.”

Some additional pre-game notes:

–Both Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard are unavailable on Wednesday after both pitched on Tuesday night.

“We used Bard, Pap, kind of hoping that we would win that game, knowing that, with the quick turnaround, we would stay away from them today and would have tomorrow off,” said Francona. “A little bit of a gamble, but when you win, it helps. When you lose that game, that’€™s when you’€™re kind of reaching, like [in] Seattle. We used them and didn’€™t win. That’€™s when it hurts.”

Bard has pitched in 48 games this year, and is on pace for 77 appearances. Papelbon has been in 41 games, and is on pace for 66 appearances.

–The Red Sox are hoping that J.D. Drew, who was a late scratch from Tuesday’s game due to tightness in his left hamstring, can get an MRI on his left hamstring prior to Wednesday’s game. The team wants to get a diagnosis of a condition that has been affecting the right fielder prior to flying back East after Wednesday’s series finale.

Mike Lowell, after hitting three homers on Tuesday night for Pawtucket, is scheduled to play in another rehab game on Wednesday. Francona will talk with Sox GM Theo Epstein on Thursday to determine Lowell’s schedule going forward, with a weekend activation a good possibility.

Jeremy Hermida has struggled in his return to the lineup following six weeks on the sidelines with broken ribs. He is 2-for-14 with seven strikeouts since coming off the disabled list, and he admits that — even though he feels fine physically — he is still searching for comfort at the plate. Francona concurred.

‘€œI don’t think he’€™s felt real comfortable at the plate,” said Francona. “Victor came back, had the first pitch for a hit. As a hitter, it’€™s amazing what a hit does for you. It relaxes you. Hermida is kind of the opposite. They’€™ve made real good pitches on him, they’€™ve changed speeds. He’€™s kind of feeling for himself up there, he’€™s a little bit lost. That’€™s kind of the other side of it that can happen too.’€

Read More: Daniel Bard, Jeremy Hermida, Jonathan Papelbon, mike lowell

Francona on D&H: Theo’s ‘trying his best’

07.28.10 at 2:23 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Red Sox manager Terry Francona joined the Dale & Holley show Wednesday from Anaheim for his weekly chat. Francona said he trusts general manager Theo Epstein will do what he can to help the team before Saturday’s trade deadline.

‘€œHe’s trying his best, just like we do,’€ Francona said. ‘€œWe’ll see what happens. … If it makes sense for the organization, I know Theo’s going to try to do something.’€

Francona also said he’s focused only on the players he’s coaching, not on possible additions.

Below is the transcript of the conversation. To hear the interview, visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

You have to feel that every time your team takes the field, your starting pitcher gives you a pretty good chance to win right now.

Oh, man, that’€™s what we’€™ve been talking about for a long time. If you have that feeling, that’€™s what you’€™re striving for. You can get beat up. You cannot score runs. Things happen. But when your starting pitcher keeps you in the game, you’€™ll always have a chance. That’€™s a good feeling.

What makes you think guys like Jon Lester and John Lackey can handle pitch counts around 125 while other guys can’€™t?

Well, they’€™re big, strong. They’€™re durable. First of all, they’€™re effective enough to do it. A lot of times if a guy has that high of a pitch count, obviously they’€™re pretty deep into the game, but you have to be able to command the game. There are a lot of times where once you’€™ve given up runs you’€™ve got to come out. But they stay in their deliveries. They’€™re strong.

The pitch count thing can be a little bit of a misrepresentation. It’€™s certainly a tool to use, but if a guy’€™s coming out of his delivery, he puts more of a chance of getting hurt or getting hit early on. But as long as he’€™s staying in his delivery, you’€™re fine. But again, each pitcher has sort of a number where we start keeping an eye on him because that’€™s just what happens. They start coming out of the delivery. They leave the ball up. That doesn’€™t help you win games. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Jacoby Ellsbury, Terry Francona, Theo Epstein,

Red Sox vs. Angels matchups, 7/28

07.28.10 at 12:42 pm ET
By   |   Comments

The Red Sox will look to close out what could have been a very difficult West Coast trip when they go for a rare road sweep of the Angels Wednesday night. Heading into the three-game set with the Halos, the Sox were 3-4 on the trip and thanks to those poor performances were losing ground quickly in both the wild card and division races. Now, no matter the outcome of Wednesday’€™s contest, they stand to finish their 10-game West Coast swing with at least a .500 record, and with the return of Victor Martinez and Jeremy Hermida from the disabled list, the Sox can only continue to project upward as they head into August. Josh Beckett, who is making his second start since he made his own return from the DL, will look to keep the ball rolling when he takes the hill Wednesday opposite Joel Pineiro.

In his first start back, Beckett (1-1, 6.66 ERA) by all measures surpassed expectations. Over 5 2/3 innings, Beckett allowed just one earned run on five hits and struck out five in a duel with Mariners pitcher Jason Vargas. Boston won that game 2-1, but Beckett did not figure in the decision. If there was one concern, though, it was his pitch count. He threw 98 pitches to get those 17 outs, thanks in part to three walks. On a normal day for the big Texan, that number doesn’€™t seem so taxing, but that changes when you consider he hadn’€™t seen major league action in two months. If Beckett is back to full strength and can become ever more economical Wednesday, Sox fans may be in for something they haven’€™t in almost a year: Josh Beckett, the ace.

Opposite Beckett will be Pineiro (10-7, 4.18 ERA), who has made much more of a name for himself since leaving Boston in 2007. In 31 games as a reliever for the Sox, he went 1-1 with a 5.03 ERA, certainly not the numbers that Theo Epstein had hoped for when he signed Pineiro as a potential closer. (That was the year Jonathan Papelbon flirted with the idea of moving back to the starting rotation.) Since that time, he’€™s found a little more success as a starter, including a career season (15-12, 3.49 ERA) with St. Louis last year that led to a two-year, $16 million deal with the Angels in the offseason. Although his numbers are not quite up to snuff to those from a year ago, his season ERA had dipped down below 4.00 before a six-run performance in his last outing brought that number back up to 4.18. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Joel Pineiro, Josh Beckett,

Noontime live chat with Lou Merloni

07.28.10 at 9:16 am ET
By   |   Comments

Join WEEI’s Lou Merloni as he talks all things Red Sox, including what the team might do prior to Saturday’s trade deadline. To participate in the live chat, which starts at noon, click below:

Merloni Live Chat

Schilling on D&C: Lackey’s reaction to boos surprising

07.28.10 at 8:06 am ET
By   |   Comments

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to discuss his video game company’s controversial move to Rhode Island. Schilling also weighed in on the Red Sox, saying of the Sox at the trade deadline: “They’re in a seven-day window in which three wins in a row can change everybody’s perspective.”

Asked about John Lackey‘s reaction to getting booed by fans of his former team Tuesday night in Anaheim, Schilling replied: “I don’t know why he’d be offended. Listen, I was a part of two world championship teams here, and there’s a lot of people in this state who hate me. … This is a business. I was kind of surprised by that, because I assumed Lack was a guy who was like, ‘Oh, whatever.’ A lot of times when we leave places, we tend to value our contributions a lot more than other people.”

Schilling also discussed the Jacoby Ellsbury injury situation and defended the outfielder while blasting his agent. “There’s a lot of stuff going on there [behind the scenes],” Schilling said. “Any time Scott Boras gets involved, I worry. Because there’s so much attention and effort on the message from him. And that bothers me. I know guys swear by him, but I’ve always felt like even though at times he tries to appear as if what he’s doing is in the player’s best interest, it’s not. But I don’t question Jacoby. I never have. I would be surprised if he was doing anything other than trying to get back as soon as he possibly could.”

As for former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee‘s questioning of Schilling’s trustworthiness and reference to accusations that the “bloody sock” was enhanced by the pitcher, Schilling replied: “I will put up $1 million to anybody who can take my sock and prove that my DNA is not on that sock.”

Read More: Curt Schilling, Jacoby Ellsbury, john lackey,

Lackey: Boos ‘won’t be forgotten, for sure’

07.28.10 at 2:42 am ET
By   |   Comments

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Red Sox starter John Lackey, after his first outing in Angel Stadium as a visiting player, made no secret of his displeasure in the face of the wave of boos that greeted him at his former home ballpark. Lackey (10-5), who earned the victory on the strength of 7 2/3 innings in which he allowed two runs on seven hits while matching a season-high with 124 pitches, admitted that there were hurt feelings based on his reception by the fans of a franchise for whom he went 102-71 with a 3.81 ERA over eight seasons.

“Definitely heard a lot of [the boos]. … That won’t be forgotten, for sure,” said Lackey. “Nobody wants to get booed like that. Scoreboard talks the loudest.”

Lackey earned the praise of his teammates for his outstanding performance in a setting that was potentially emotionally charged.

“That’€™s what happens man. Good players always go to the top of their game when they are facing their ex-team,” said David Ortiz. “Lackey, man, he was on. It was on.”

With his win, Lackey became the third pitcher in the majors to reach 10 or more victories in each of the last eight seasons, joining CC Sabathia and Derek Lowe. Lackey is the only pitcher to accomplish that feat solely in the American League.

Read More: Angels, john lackey,

Lowell goes deep three times for Pawtucket

07.28.10 at 12:17 am ET
By   |   Comments

Red Sox corner infielder Mike Lowell hit three homers and drove in five in a rehab game for Triple-A Pawtucket against Toledo Mud Hens on Tuesday. It was his fourth rehab game. He is now hitting .471 with three doubles and three homers during his rehab stint.

Lowell became the first PawSox hitter with three homers in a game since both Jonathan Van Every and Brandon Moss accomplished the feat in 2008. Lowell also has a three-homer game to his credit in the majors, having accomplished the feat in 2004 with the Marlins.

Lowell, who played third base on Tuesday, could be activated by the Red Sox as soon as this weekend, when the team returns home.

The performance also no doubt will catch the attention of the teams that have been following the 36-year-old’s rehab. The Tigers scouted Lowell in Pawtucket last week, and the Rangers have been monitoring him as a potential fallback option depending on whether they are able to acquire another player prior to the trade deadline.

Read More: mike lowell,

Pedroia told to slow down in efforts to push his recovery

07.27.10 at 8:37 pm ET
By   |   Comments

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, out since fracturing the navicular bone on his left foot on June 25, visited with Dr. Lewis Yocum on Tuesday. While the 2008 MVP was told that he continues to progress well in his recovery, and remains ahead of schedule, he was also told that he will need to slow down his efforts to push through any discomfort to return to the field.

Pedroia was warned that he must let the injury fully heal before he begins playing. If he does not, then he would risk another, potentially worse break that would threaten the rest of this season and perhaps his future.

“It kind of scared me a little bit,” said Pedroia. “There’€™s nothing really I can do. It’€™s just time it’€™s got to heal. He kind of told me I can’€™t play unless I feel no pain, which isn’€™t good. He did say that when I do my next CT-scan, we’€™ll be able to tell a lot more. Hopefully that’€™s good. … Where I broke it, I didn’€™t realize how serious it was and how long it was going to take.

“I thought I could play, that if I feel hurt, you can just play through it. You really can’€™t do that with this injury. That’€™s hard to deal with. That bone will break off, then they would have to put pins in it. It would be a disaster. It could go into the offseason and then maybe next year,” he added. “I want to get back more than anyone in the world and play, but I don’€™t want to do anything stupid where I can never play again. I’€™ve got to lay out rockets, man.”

Pedroia tried doing some running on Monday, and still felt discomfort at the point of the fracture. Yocum cautioned him that he could not push through that sort of pain, and instead had to avoid activities that led to that sort of discomfort.

After the consulation, Pedroia said that he was unsure what the timetable of his return might be. He is still hoping that he might be able to make it back within the six-week prognosis that he was given (Aug. 6 represents the six-week mark), but he admitted that he was uncertain whether that remains realistic. He will find out more when he undergoes a CT-scan on Friday back in Boston.

“Everything looks great. I’€™m ahead of schedule. It’€™s just my schedule and their schedule were a little different,” said Pedroia. “I don’€™t really know how long it’€™s going to be. They said six weeks at the start, but I have yet to meet somebody who has come back in six weeks from this injury. I’€™m trying as hard as I can to do that.”

Pedroia is hitting .292 with a .370 OBP, .502 slugging mark, .871 OPS and 12 homers in 73 games.

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, lewis yocum,

Sources: Sox, Ranaudo have yet to start talks

07.27.10 at 8:08 pm ET
By   |   Comments

ANAHEIM, Calif. — According to multiple industry sources, the Red Sox and supplemental first-round draftee Anthony Ranaudo have yet to begin contract negotiations. The right-hander recently concluded a summer pitching for Brewster of the Cape Cod League, having accomplished his goal of demonstrating that he was once again healthy. In 29 2/3 innings for the Whitecaps, he did not allow an earned run while striking out 31, walking eight and allowing just 10 hits.

Ranaudo, who is advised by Scott Boras, entered 2010 regarded as the best college pitcher in the draft, but his stock slipped due to a stress reaction in his right forearm that resulted in both time missed and then a performance setback, as the 6-foot-7 hurler went 5-3 with a 7.32 ERA. That struggle left him available for the Sox with their third overall pick, the 39th in the draft.

After being drafted, Ranaudo went to the Cape and rebounded, showed low- to mid-90s velocity, a strong breaking ball and a changeup. A report in the Cape Cod Times this summer suggested that if he did not receive a bonus commensurate with a top 10 draft pick, the 20-year-old would be willing to return to LSU and re-enter the draft in 2011.

Because Ranaudo is certain to seek an above-slot bonus, any deal would be unlikely to be reached until shortly before the Aug. 16 deadline for picks to sign. Boras and his advisees typically do not begin negotiations until close to that deadline.

Read More: anthony ranaudo,

Ortiz on The Big Show: ‘We’ll be fine’ toward end of season

07.27.10 at 6:00 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz joined The Big Show on Tuesday afternoon to discuss his many critics this season and last, what value he has set for himself in the league, and how the team will fare once it gets fully healthy.

Said Ortiz: “People don’t understand sometimes that it hurts, when you do nothing but work your butt off every day trying to get a team to win, and people already want to watch you retire.”

Following is a transcript of the interview. To hear the full interview visit The Big Show audio on demand page.

Why did you have difficulty last season getting on track?

I guess sometimes it’s just how things are going to be. Sometimes it’s part of the game, sometimes it’s that you have to figure things out. The one thing I really worried about is finishing good. Of course, everybody wants to start good and finish good. Some people start on fire and the next thing you know you never heard of them. Some people start slow, and then at the end of the season their name is the only thing you heard about. Everybody is different. The one thing I always say that kind of picks me up was when people give up on you in the first month of the season.

Do you have look at the next two years and approach the game differently?

I don’t know. Sometimes it’s hard for me during the season to pull myself together for a whole bunch of different reasons. I just keep on working, and get where I need to be.

Does it help to not worry about everything going on around you?

You know, what people don’t realize is that [Ortiz] sees at least six pitches per at-bat. The pitchers, they try to get me to hit their pitches, before they even try and give me something to hit because they know what can happen. I need to figure things out on my own. It’s not like I can send somebody else to hit for me, or having someone tell me what to hit; it doesn’t work like that. I have to figure things out, see what the pitchers going to work me with, and then I have to move on and try to do my thing. You put work into it, and then at the end of the season you see the results, you see what happens. Everybody keeps talking to me about my first two months last year in April this year. But in April this year, what was closer was the last four months of last year. What was the point? The point was they doubt and they doubt. “OK, if he starts slow like last year what is going to happen?” You know, and then your putting pressure on me, your putting pressure on my manager, your putting pressure on everyone. It’s pressure coming from all over the place, and I think the best thing about the whole situation is, let me play. Let me play, let me do my thing, whatever happens, happens.

I think people were supportive of you on the whole.

I never said the fans turned their back on me. The fans, they are my No. 1 supporter since Day 1. But you earn that, remember that. It’s not something like, “Oh, David Ortiz is coming from Japan because he got paid tons of money.” He earned the fact that the fans are going to be supportive to him no matter what. David Ortiz got here, he did what he was supposed to do, and that’s how you earn things from the fans. Don’t take me wrong, the fans have always been supportive. Now, everything starts with reporters. The reporters have been the problem here in Boston. That’s why you see players say they don’t want to come play here, it’s because of the fact they had to deal with reporters. They have to deal with this one guy, just because you had a bad week, is throwing you down. And putting in people’s minds that you can’t play any more, you’re over with, you’re this, you’re that. I heard that every day. I’m not a guy that likes to put attention to any of that. But, it was in the news every day. ‘€¦ I work hard every day to do my thing, and that’s when you’re going to get good results. I’m not a guy, just because someone is saying negative stuff, I’m just going to shut it down. That isn’t me. I work, I fight back my whole life being tough.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz,
Red Sox Box Score
Red Sox Schedule
Latest on Twitter
Red Sox Headlines
Red Sox Minor League News
Red Sox Team Leaders
MLB Headlines
Tips & Feedback

Verify