|08.15.10 at 5:21 pm ET|
PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Speaking after the conclusion of his two-game rehab stint with Triple A Pawtucket Sunday, Dustin Pedroia expressed a sense of urgency when touching on the subject of how he feels and whether he saw enough at-bats in anticipation of his return to the majors on Tuesday.
“Good enough,” Pedroia said of whether he was satisfied with his rehabilitation. “We don’t have time for [making sure everything's perfect]. We’re in a pennant race. I’ve got to try to get back in there, and I’ll figure it out.”
Pedroia, who has been out since June 25 with a broken bone in his left foot, added that he hasn’t “really been 100 percent all year.”
The 2008 American League MVP went 1-for-6 in two rehab games, playing second base on Saturday and serving as the designated hitter on Sunday. His main focus now is returning to the team as it makes a push for the playoffs.
“I’m fine. I feel fine,” Pedroia said. “I’ll get out there and play every day, and I’m excited about it. I haven’t been out there every day in a while, so I can’t wait.”
Pawtucket manager Torey Lovullo, who pointed out that Pedroia’s goal on his stint was for the PawSox to go 2-0, looked less at the second baseman’s 1-for-6 weekend and more at what he saw in his swing.
“I think everybody wants to see him get up there and knock the ball around and get base hits and that’s going to happen, we know that,” said Lovullo. “His swing is productive no matter what, but what encouraged me is he had his front foot down — his lame foot, the one that causes problems. He’s balanced and he’s using the right side of the diamond. Good things are going to happen.”
Pedroia, who did say that he’s “done pretty well” despite not having a clean bill of health all season, didn’t care about his minor league numbers either. In fact, he doesn’t care what his major league stats read if it means he’s playing for a contender.
“I was nervous that I wouldn’t be OK physically [this weekend], but now that I am, we’re trying to win games, so I don’t really care how I do,” Pedroia said. “As long as we win, it doesn’t really matter.
“We’re four games out of getting in [as the Wild Card] and six out of the division, so we’ve got a lot of games left and we’re going to make our run at it,” he added.
As for his position Sunday, Pedroia seemed far less enthusiastic about DHing than he did about making it to October.
“Oh, I hated it. It’s not fun,” Pedroia said, half-joking. “You sit around. I’ve always played defense my whole life, so that was a little different.”
The Red Sox return home on Tuesday to face the Angels, where Pedroia is expected to make his return.
|08.15.10 at 12:52 pm ET|
Looking towards their second straight series win and looking forward to returning home after a difficult 10-game road trip, the Red Sox go into Sunday’s rubber match against the Rangers with a lot on the line … again. With a win in this third game, the Sox would finish their trip going 6-4. For the final game of the series, the ball will be in the hands of Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has quietly turned out a solid season.
Matsuzaka (8-3, 4.09 ERA) hasn’t lost since the end of June and has won three straight decisions since then. He received a no-decision in four of those games over the past month and a half, but the Sox have only lost two games in which Matsuzaka has started since the end of June. Going back even further, the Red Sox have lost only three games that he’s started since the end of May (he only lost once – June 30 to Tampa Bay).
In his last start, for the first time in over a month, Matsuzaka was bailed out by his offense. On August 10 against the Blue Jays, he gave up four runs on six hits while striking out seven, his highest number since June. On the negative side though, he only lasted 5 2/3 as he reached 110 pitches. His offense scored seven runs, however, and the bullpen only allowed one more run as the Sox won 7-5 in the first game of that series. In Sunday’s game, the Japanese right-hander will have a much taller task as he opposes a pitcher who has consistently sucked the life out of the Red Sox bats.
With the likes of Cliff Lee stealing the spotlight in the Rangers rotation, C.J. Wilson has quietly had a breakout season. Wilson (10-5, 3.30 ERA) has yet to win in the month of August, but he has still won seven of his last nine decisions, dating back to the end of May, including a current streak of three straight decisions. Of those 10 wins this season, two of them came against the Red Sox.
On April 22, Wilson tossed 6 2/3 of shut-out baseball, holding the Sox to just four hits as the Rangers won, 3-0. Almost three months later, Wilson returned to Fenway and delivered more of the same. On July 18, Wilson again threw 6 2/3 innings, this time giving up a run, but on only three hits while striking out a season-high 10.
Red Sox third-baseman/savior Adrian Beltré has the most success of any member of the Sox lineup against Wilson, as he’s hit 6-for-16 off him, the only batter to be over .300 against the lefty. The rest of the lineup is pretty sparse as Víctor Martínez and Mike Lowell are the only other batters to be above the Mendoza Line.
Meanwhile, the Rangers have fared much better against Matsuzaka. Michael Young is leading the way with his remarkable 7-for-11 tear. David Murphy is next best with a 3-for-5 line and Sox-killer Nelson Cruz is a respectable 2-for-5. Of all of them, however, only Young has hit a home run off Matsuzaka.
Red Sox vs. C.J. Wilson:
Adrian Beltré (18 career plate appearances against Wilson): .375 BA/.444 OBP/.688 SLG, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 3 RBI, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
Víctor Martínez (16): .231/.313/.308, 1 double, 2 RBI, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Marco Scutaro (14): .154/.214/.231, 1 double, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
David Ortiz (10): .100/.100/.100, 1 RBI, 4 strikeouts
Mike Lowell (9): .222/.222/.222, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts
J.D. Drew (8): .167/.375/.167, 2 walks, 1 strikeout
Bill Hall (5): .000/.200/.000, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Darnell McDonald (5): .000/.400/.000, 2 walks
Eric Patterson (2): .000/.500/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Ryan Kalish and Jarrod Saltalamacchia have yet to face the Texas starter.
Rangers vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka:
Michael Young (12 career plate appearances against Matsuzaka): .636 BA/.667 OBP/1.091 SLG, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Chris Davis (6): .167/.167/.167, 2 strikeouts
Vladimir Guerrero (6): .333/.333/.333, 2 strikeouts
Nelson Cruz (5): .400/.400/1.000, 1 double, 1 triple, 3 strikeouts
David Murphy (5): .600/.600/.800, 1 double, 2 RBI
Bengie Molina (3): .333/.333/.333
Josh Hamilton is 0-for-2 with an RBI and a strikeout while Taylor Teagarden is 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Matsuzaka. Elvis Andrus, Andrés Blanco, Julio Borbon, Jorge Cantú and Mitch Moreland have yet to face the Boston starter.
|08.15.10 at 7:07 am ET|
PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Playing in his first rehab game while recovering from a broken bone in his left foot, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk while playing for the Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox in the PawSox’ 6-4 win over the Buffalo Bisons Saturday night at McCoy Stadium. In his first at-bat since breaking his foot June 25 in San Francisco, Pedroia hit a hard grounder to third for an out, before singling back up the middle off of Buffalo pitcher Michael Antonini in the PawSox’ four-run third inning.
The second baseman flew out to right and walked in his final two at-bats. Pedroia completed both chances he had in the field, fielding a grounder and pop-up.
“I’m pretty excited about everything,” said Pedroia, who plans on serving as the PawSox’ designated hitter Sunday before rejoining the Red Sox for Tuesday’s game at Fenway Park. “I don’t feel like I’m holding anything back.”
Pedroia also talked about the the perception of the Red Sox’ chances coming down the regular season’s home stretch.
“(Friday night’s) game was tough but it doesn’t mean we’re out of anything,” Pedroia said. “Everybody in that clubhouse feels we can win. We don’t need to prove anything to anybody. We’ve had guys fight through it all year. Frankly, we don’t give a [crap] what anybody thinks. We’re trying to win games and that’s the attitude we have. Jump on the wagon now because it’s going to be a fun ride.”
For more Red Sox coverage see the team page at weei.com/redsox.
|08.15.10 at 7:03 am ET|
PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Speaking for the first time since being designated for assignment by the Red Sox on July 31, outfielder Jeremy Hermida said the move by the Sox caught him off guard, but he feels the recent time away from the game may have done him some good.
“I was kind of surprised,” said Hermida, who is 3-for-9 in two games since joining the Pawtucket Red Sox. “[The potential of leaving the organization] definitely crossed my mind. I’m not too familiar with the process, being the first time something like this has happened to me. In the back of my mind I was think I might be somewhere else. But things happen for a reason and I’m here for however long, doing the best I can.
“I took some time in those 10 days, I tried to use them to my advantage when I was home. Did some studying, learning about myself a little bit, going back and watching some stuff just trying to figure out how to come out of this run. I’ve tweaked a couple of things since then, tried to loosen some stuff up and get the timing back. The swing feels much better right now than it did coming back from the rib injury. That’s a positive that’s come out of it.”
Hermida, who had been in an 0-for-17 slump prior to being DFA’d by the Sox, thought that there might be a chance he was dealt after initially clearing waivers. According to a source familiar with the situation, Cincinnati showed interest in the 26-year-old prior to acquiring outfielder Jim Edmonds from Milwaukee.
At the conclusion of the 10-day period, Hermida could have refused the assignment to Pawtucket, but because he was approximately 30 days shy of five years of service time he would had to have forfeited his salary. Hermida signed a one-year, $3.345 million contract prior to the 2010 season, avoiding arbitration.
Still in the Red Sox organization (although no longer on the 40-man roster), Hermida feels confident he has unlocked the key to rediscovering the swing that had appeared as some crucial times for the Sox prior to the outfielder breaking his ribs in early June. A big part of the solution was reflection during his time away from the game, during which he spent working out by himself in the Fenway Park batting cage.
“I had a little bit of a skid right before I got hurt so when you have a 100 or so at-bats that tends to take a drastic turn on the average,” said Hermida, who was hitting .203 with five home runs for the Red Sox. “I was starting to feel better right before the injury happened, which was kind of a bummer at the time it happened because I was feeling better and the swing was coming back around. The timing of that and coming back, it felt off when I came back. I don’t know if I was changing some stuff because I was trying to make the ribs not hurt when I started swinging and once they felt better it kind of like, where is it? I can’t feel how used to swing. I just felt awkward since I came back. Even on the rehab games, I felt OK but I didn’t feel like I wanted to feel. I came back and wasn’t quite there.
“I was by myself in the cage down there. Just down there trying to remember certain things I was trying to do. Over the course of a season you sometimes forget those. I was trying to come back as soon as I could, especially because we had so many guys banged up. I felt urgency from it just trying to get back. I wanted to get back and contribute.”
For more Red Sox coverage see the team page at weei.com/redsox.
|08.15.10 at 12:04 am ET|
After Friday night’s nine-homer slugfest between the Red Sox and Rangers, Saturday night’s follow-up was the complete antithesis. With a total of 11 hits and only 1 run between the two teams through the first eight innings, the middle game of the Boston-Texas series was a nail-biter until the end. It was in the ninth inning that things got interesting as the Sox scored two insurance runs in the top half before the Red Sox bullpen almost blew it again in the bottom half. The most valuable player of the game was easily Jon Lester, who lasted eight innings, giving up no runs and five hits on 109 pitches.
The importance of his performance was invaluable to the Red Sox as their bullpen has been giving them anything but relief lately, especially after two back-to-back walk-off losses. The offense also gave Lester little room for error Saturday night, but the southpaw didn’t need to worry as he cruised through the brutal Texas heat, which hovered around 100 degrees all night.
Despite the victory, the Red Sox didn’t gain anything in any of their races as the Yankees spanked the Royals, 8-3, and the Rays did just as well against the Orioles, winning 7-3. Things stay pat in the East (Yankees up six games on the Sox) and in the Wild Card (Tampa Bay up four on Boston) with all three teams winning their respective games.
What went right for the Red Sox:
•Lester, Lester, Lester. He was the stopgap the Red Sox needed to pick up from two depressing losses and he carried the sluggish Boston offense on his back the whole night. Without his eight innings of work, Terry Francona would have had no option but to hand it over to the bullpen earlier than he would have hoped.
•Wearing down opposing pitcher Colby Lewis, causing him to leave after 6 2/3 innings of work. The Sox were only able to get a run and six hits off of him, but the combination of 100-degree heat with 117 pitches forced Rangers manager Ron Washington to go to his bullpen earlier than anybody in a 1-0 game would want to. Lewis pitched superbly with only the one run allowed, but getting him out of the way allowed the Sox to face the much less superb bullpen and add some insurance runs that became vitally important.
•Ten hits, one for everybody … except for you, Víctor Martínez. The offense struggled to move most of the runners in scoring position across the plate, sprinkling hits and walks throughout the game, but by the ninth inning, the offense was back into the swing of things, scoring two runs on four hits. The Sox came close to blowing things open early, loading the bases in the second inning, but when Bill Hall struck out and Eric Patterson flew out to left field, the Sox left them loaded.
•Despite their performance in the second inning, it was the bottom half of the lineup that did their job offensively. Ryan Kalish scored from third on a J.D. Drew single in the fifth, the only run of the game until the ninth. In the top half of the last inning, Mike Lowell kicked things off with a double, followed by a Kalish single, a Hall single and a Patterson bunt single. The bottom four batters collectively scored a run and loaded up the bases for Marco Scutaro to bring in another before Drew hit into a double play and David Ortiz grounded out. Kalish was the biggest hitter for the Sox, going 2-for-3 to increase his rookie season batting average to .326. He also scored two runs.
•One of the few caught stealing throws you’ll see from Víctor Martínez this season. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Vladimir Guerrero followed up Josh Hamilton’s home run with a single. Pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland stepped up as the tying run with Felix Doubront taking over for an ineffective Scott Atchison … until Guerrero tried to swipe second. (Emphasis on tried.) As Guerrero plodded his way to second, Martínez easily gunned him out. Just that quickly, in the span of just two pitches, the Rangers went from having a good chance of tying the game to ending the game.
What went wrong for the Red Sox:
•Colby Lewis dumbfounded the Red Sox early and consistently. If it weren’t for Lester’s masterpiece, then the Sox would have been out of it before they even had a chance. They were lucky enough to get the one run across in the fifth and even luckier to force out Lewis in the seventh, as he had already struck out nine with the help of his cut fastball.
•Lester was done after eight strong innings and Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon weren’t available, so the ball went to Scott Atchison. He managed to get a quick out on three pitches, but right after that, he served up a Josh Hamilton home run, breaking up the shutout and pulling the Rangers back within range. When Guerrero singled in the next at-bat, Atchison was relieved of his duties and Doubront was summoned. Thankfully, Guerrero made a terrible decision and the game was effectively over after that.
•Nelson Crúz continued to punish the Red Sox. The rightfielder went 2-for-3, which included a very threatening triple in the seventh. Crúz ended up getting stranded 90 feet from scoring the tying run and he actually tweaked his hamstring rounding second. He would be taken out the next inning for Julio Borbon and it was actually his spot in the lineup that came up as the tying run in the ninth inning. No word on whether he’ll play in Sunday’s rubber match, so in the end, this blurb may actually be something that went right for the Red Sox.
|08.14.10 at 5:08 pm ET|
To complete the trade for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Red Sox sent minor league catcher Michael Thomas to the Rangers as the player to be named. The Sox had already sent right-hander Roman Mendez and first baseman Chris McGuiness to Texas.
Thomas was a 12th round pick by the Sox in the 2009 draft out of Southern University A&M. He is a huge target (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) who was described as a solid receiver with a strong arm (he’s thrown out 30 percent of would-be base stealers in his two pro seasons) but with limited offensive skills. Thomas, who had not played since July 28, was hitting .156/.269/.267/.536 for Single-A Greenville.
For more Red Sox coverage, visit WEEI.com/redsox.
|08.14.10 at 9:16 am ET|
Here is something to distract Red Sox fans from the misery that has keen the last few games. It is (drum roll, please) a list of the worst baseball card photos of all-time (courtesy acidcow.com)
My top three? 3. Wally Moon: You just don’t get uni-brows that anymore; 2. Brian Harper: Is that a cell phone or kitchen stool he’s holding? 1. Keith Comstock: This is going too far for the price of great art.
- Gary DiSarcina named Baseball America Minor League Manager of the Year
- Red Sox non-tender Ryan Kalish, Andrew Bailey
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Jesus Loya solid at the plate in Mexico
- Help Wanted: Staff Editor, Scouts
- SoxProspects.com Podcast #48: The Slow Season
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Attention shifts to Caribbean, Jerez shining in Venezuela
- Luis Ortega traded to Brewers for reliever Burke Badenhop
- Red Sox re-sign infielder Brandon Snyder
- Cecchini, Ranaudo, Brentz added to 40-man roster
- Red Sox 40-man roster additions expected