|John Farrell: Accusations of Clay Buchholz cheating ‘unfounded’||05.02.13 at 7:14 pm ET|
However, late on Wednesday night, former big leaguer Dirk Hayhurst – now a radio show host on WFAN 590 in Toronto — suggested that Buchholz might be doctoring the baseball.
Forget the hair, I just saw video of Buchholz loading the ball with some Eddie Harris worthy slick’em painted up his left forearm. Wow.
— Dirk Hayhurst (@TheGarfoose) May 2, 2013
On Thursday, Red Sox manager John Farrell called such allegations by Hayhurst “unfounded.”
“It bothers me immensely,” Farrell told reporters. “When someone is going to make an accusation — and in this case, of cheating — because they’ve seen something on TV, he’s got rosin on his arm. Rosin was designed to get a grip. He’s got it on his arm. I’ve seen some people that have brought photographs to me. They’re false. The fact is that the guy is 6-0. He’s pitched his tail off. People are going to point to cheating? Unfounded.”
Buchholz likewise said that he’s just using rosin to grip the ball. Read the rest of this entry »
|Clay Buchholz named AL Pitcher of the Month||05.02.13 at 4:59 pm ET|
Red Sox righty Clay Buchholz was voted American League Pitcher of the Month for April, it was announced Thursday.
Buchholz compiled a perfect 5-0 record with a 1.19 ERA, 39 strikeouts and 13 walks in 37.2 innings pitched over five starts to help the Red Sox match the all-time club record with 18 wins in April (also 1998 and 2003) and close out the inaugural month with the best record in the majors at 18-8.
This is his second career Pitcher of the Month Award, previously accomplishing the honor for August 2010. Among qualifying starters in the A.L. (minimum 36.0 innings), Buchholz finished tied for first in wins, was second in ERA, was fifth in opponent batting average (.192), was tied for seventh in strikeouts and was tied for eighth in innings pitched.
For more Red Sox news, check out weei.com/redsox.
|Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz sits; Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp, David Ross in lineup||05.02.13 at 2:58 pm ET|
With left-hander J.A. Happ on the mound for the Blue Jays, the Red Sox will give David Ortiz his second game off since returning from the disabled list. With the slugger sitting, Mike Napoli will hit cleanup and serve as the designated hitter, while Mike Carp gets a start at first base. Meanwhile, David Ross will start his second straight contest with the Sox facing their second southpaw in as many nights.
Ross will catch Ryan Dempster, who will be looking to set a Red Sox record by recording his sixth straight game of seven or more strikeouts at the start of his run with the team. He is currently tied with Pedro Martinez for the longest such run in franchise history with five straight starts of seven or more punchouts.
RED SOX LINEUP
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Jonny Gomes, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Napoli, DH
Daniel Nava, RF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Mike Carp, 1B
David Ross, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Ryan Dempster, SP
|Red Sox minor league roundup: Matt Barnes and the Red Sox depth equation; the amazing Cecchini; Cody Kukuk’s step forward||05.02.13 at 1:07 pm ET|
Prospect rankings are funny things, sometimes possessing dubious value. After all, the exercise of affixing a numerical hierarchy to a group of prospects typically accomplishes little more than taking a snapshot of a single moment in time, glossing over the reality that player development is a dynamic, ever-changing process — sort of like a picture of a group of 10-year-olds featuring one kid who towers over the rest, but who will become the shortest one in her class by the time she turns 12.
But, viewed in the broader context of the shifts in rankings, rather than the rankings themselves, such exercises can be fascinating, and say quite a bit about not just players but an entire organization. Case in point: Matt Barnes and the Red Sox.
On Wednesday morning, one major league talent evaluator was thinking aloud about Barnes’ place in the Sox’ pitching order. Prior to spring training, most prospect rating lists had Barnes ranked at the top of the Sox’ crop of minor league arms; an occasional dissenter deemed Barnes the second best pitcher in the Sox system, behind only Allen Webster.
Now? One month into the 2013 season? The evaluator noted that if the Sox’ minor league pitchers were re-ranked, a compelling argument could be made that Barnes was the sixth best pitching prospect in the system, behind (in some order) Allen Webster, Henry Owens, Rubby De La Rosa, Brandon Workman and Anthony Ranaudo, all of whom have shown the ability to dominate this year with more complete pitch mixes than Barnes currently possesses. The conclusion?
“If Matt Barnes is your sixth-best pitching prospect,” the evaluator noted, “then your system is in pretty interesting shape.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Thursday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Ryan Dempster vs. J.A. Happ||05.02.13 at 9:42 am ET|
Ryan Dempster will start at Toronto’s Rogers Centre for the first time in his 16-year career on Thursday, facing J.A. Happ and the Blue Jays in the final game of the series.
Dempster has struck out at least seven batters in each of his first five starts with the Red Sox, and he’s twice fanned 10, with 43 punchouts to go with 14 walks on the year.
In his last start, against the Astros on April 26, Dempster gave up two runs on four hits over six innings, walking three and striking out 10. He’s averaged six innings per start as he’s put together a 3.30 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.
Happ made his first start of this year against the Red Sox back on April 5. He struck out six and walked three over 5 1/3 innings, holding the Sox scoreless, but exited in the sixth after throwing 99 pitches to that point.
Happ allowed four and five runs in his next two starts after that one, but he has been better over his last two outings. He got a no-decision in his last start, on April 27 against the Yankees, when he allowed three runs on eight hits over six innings.
In three career starts, plus one relief appearance, against the Red Sox, Happ has a 4.91 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Those numbers are largely due to two rocky starts he made against them in 2009 and 2011, giving up five runs in each of those outings.
Originally, Happ had been scheduled to pitch the Jays’ series opener against the Mariners on Friday, but he moved up a day because of an injury to Josh Johnson.
Dempster last faced the Blue Jays in 2005, as a Cub in interleague play. None of the current Toronto hitters who have faced him at least 10 times have hit him very well. Jose Bautista, who’s seen him 12 times, is hitting .200 with one double against him.
Jacoby Ellsbury has enjoyed some success against Happ, hitting .333/.364/.556 in 11 plate appearances with two doubles.
|Closing Time: Clay Buchholz dominant again, this time leading Red Sox past Blue Jays||05.01.13 at 9:59 pm ET|
TORONTO – Clay Buchholz continues to take his game to new levels.
The Red Sox starter managed yet another standout performance, this time allowing just two hits and no runs, striking out eight and walking three in leading his team to a 10-1 win over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
With the win, the righty became the first six-game winner in the majors while lowering his ERA to 1.01. Buchholz has the best ERA through the first six starts for a Red Sox pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1991 (0.73).
Buchholz, who has allowed a total of five earned runs in his six starts, also continued his domination at the home of the Jays. In 10 career starts at Rogers Centre, the righty has an ERA of 1.49, having led his team to wins in the pitcher’s last eight appearances in the venue.
“Just very consistent,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell regarding Buchholz, who becomes the first Sox starter since Josh Beckett to win his first six starts of the season. (Beckett won the first seven in 2007.) “Very poised on the mound. The maturity as we’ve talked about on a couple of occasions, continues to I think play out in those situations, where he’s got to make a pitch with men on base. Once again, it was the case here tonight. Wasn’t really challenged as he’s been in other games. And that’s not to take anything away from the Blue Jays, he was just in that kind of command from the get-go.”
Offensively, Mike Napoli led the charge with the 11th multi-home run game of his career, hitting a solo shot to center in the fourth and a three-run job in the seventh. The second homer came on a 3-0 count, the fifth time in his career he has gone deep in such a situation. The first blast was measured at 472 feet, while the second came in at 467 feet. Both out-distanced Napoli’s previous best of 460, hit earlier this season in Rogers Centre.
“It wouldn’t matter to me, if it goes right over the fence, it’s just the same thing to me,” Napoli said. “It doesn’t matter to me, but I thought the second one went farther.”
Napoli and Stephen Drew both finished with three hits apiece, leading a 15-hit attack by the Sox.
Capping the scoring for the Red Sox was Mike Carp’s solo, pinch-hit home run int he ninth inning. The blast remarkably gave the first baseman/outfielder 12 hits for the season, nine of which have gone for extra-bases.
“You go in there and you’re in Big Papi’s spot, so you better do some damage,” said Carp, who was batting for David Ortz.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ 19th win of the season:
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
- Drew got the scoring going with a two-run homer, his first as a member of the Red Sox. The second-inning blast, which sailed into the second deck, scored Will Middlebrooks, who had been hit by a Buerhle pitch. Drew came into the game with one hit in 14 at-bats against left-handed pitching. The Red Sox are now 13-0 when scoring first.
“I think the one thing that we’ve seen, we have to remember that probably on the homestand, compared to everyone else, was just about the end of spring training for him,” Farrell said of Drew. “We’re seeing the timing become more consistent. Right-handed and left-handed, he’s still putting good ABs up and he’s seeing the ball much better and he gives that bottom third of our order added depth and certainly a lift.
- Napoli’s first homer – which helped him rebound from a four-strikeout performance Tuesday night — was followed by Daniel Nava’s fifth homer of the season. It marked the fourth time this season the Red Sox have gone back-to-back (having done it twice against the Blue Jays). The Nava home run also marked the first home run by a Red Sox right fielder this season.
“I feel like I’ve been doing it long enough to understand that you can let those AB’s go,” the first baseman said. “Of course, you don’t want to do that but you’re not going to have a good night every night in baseball. I was able to let that go – I wish we had won and I did that, but we didn’t. I know how to let things go and go to the next day. I let it go. I’ll let this go, I had a good night, get out here tomorrow and do my same routine and try to have a good day.”
- Ortiz extended his hit streak to 22 straight games thanks to a leadoff double in the sixth. He is the only major leaguer in history to accumulate a hit streak that long while playing exclusively at designated hitter.
- Will Middlebrooks not only came away with a pair of hits, but managed a nifty basket catch of Colby Rasmus’ pop-up in foul ground in the sixth inning. It was Middlebrooks’ third multi-hit performance in his last five games.
- Jonny Gomes, who came into the game 6-for-13 against Mark Buehrle, drove the Toronto starter from the game with his second walk of the game in the seventh. After Gomes scored via an Esmil Rogers wild-pitch, the lefty hurler closed out his line, having given up five runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings, raising his ERA to 6.43.
- Nava took advantage of a terrible baserunning decision by Melky Cabrera, who was thrown out by the Sox’ right fielder trying to stretch his seventh-inning single into a double (down by eight runs). Nava’s throw was right on the mark to Drew, who put on the tag with plenty of time to spare.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
With one out in the sixth inning, the bases loaded and Buehrle’s pitch count closing in on the century mark, Drew grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
Alex Wilson had a rough outing in following up Buchholz, allowing one run on two hits while also issuing a walk.
|Red Sox were also thinking about acquiring Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes||05.01.13 at 8:20 pm ET|
TORONTO — The Red Sox weren’t willing to execute the same offseason strategy employed by the Blue Jays, and that’s why Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes are calling Canada their home. But that didn’t mean the Sox didn’t try and get the pair.
According to major league sources, the Red Sox had conversations with the Miami Marlins about potentially acquiring both Johnson and Reyes (with a willingness to include Emilio Bonafacio if needed). But with the likelihood that top prospect Xander Bogaerts would need to be included in any such deal, the Red Sox weren’t willing to further talks with Miami.
Speaking before the Blue Jays’ game against the Sox Wednesday night, Johnson said he hadn’t heard anything about Boston’s interest in the offseason, but wouldn’t have been surprised if something went down at the non-waiver trade deadline.
“In the offseason, I wasn’t even thinking about it at all,” Johnson said. “I thought we would have most of the guys there (in Miami), or least me there, until the All-Star break or so. That’s what I had in my head.
“But during the (2012) season I had my wife on high-alert, saying, ‘If something goes down we’ve got to be able to move pretty quick.’ I was hearing a lot of stuff. But ding the offseason, I wasn’t hearing one thing. My agent never said anything. Even when the trae went down he was like, ‘Let me see if this is real or not.’ But by then it was already on MLB Trade Rumors and stuff.”
Prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, Johnson had done some leg-work on what it was like to work for the Red Sox.
“I had a good buddy on the team, Cody Ross. Just talking to him, he said I would love it,” said the pitcher, who played with Ross with the Marlins. “We went to dinner when (Boston) was in Miami. There was just small talk, joking around, like, ‘You would like it here.’ Stuff like that.”
While Reyes (who is likely out until the All-Star break with a severely sprained ankle) is signed through 2017, Johnson will be eligible to become a free agent after the ’13 season. So, with Ross’ endorsement, does the 29-year-old believe he would like it in a place like Boston?
“Everything I’ve heard about it, everybody likes it,” said Johnson, who has been hampered by triceps soreness while compiling a 6.86 ERA in four starts with Toronto. “I don’t see why not. You always want to go to a good baseball town wherever you’re at. That’s a pretty good one.”
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