|Beltre tweets take over the ‘net||08.12.10 at 6:03 pm ET|
Early in Thursday afternoon’s game, a wave of “Adrian Beltre Facts” ‘ modeled after the phenomenon of the “Chuck Norris Facts” and their various offshoots ‘ took off on Twitter. Below are a few of the best tweets assorted Red Sox writers and fans had to offer:
- Adrian Beltre has never hit into a fielder’s choice. The choice is up to him.
- Adrian Beltre hasn’t made 15 errors. The official scorers have.
- The reason Adrian Beltre throws flat-footed is to slow down the rotation of the earth.
- NASA solved its early problems by having Adrian Beltre throw the capsules into space.
- With the roof open at Rogers Centre, the sun isn’t beating down on Adrian Beltre. Adrian Beltre is beating down on the sun.
- Carl Everett thinks that Adrian Beltre is made up, just like the dinosaurs and outer space.
- Adrian Beltre doesn’t use a cup — to drink hot coffee.
- The ball that hit Adrian Beltre in the groin last season was put in protective custody, just in case.
- Adrian Beltre doesn’t like anybody touching his head because he’s afraid he’ll break their hands.
- Even Chuck Norris is afraid to touch Adrian Beltre’s head.
- Even Adrian Beltre’s helmet is afraid to touch his head.
- The Big Bang was a result of God touching Adrian Beltre’s head.
- Adrian Beltre developed a new diagnostic tool for the medical staff: the collide-a-scope.
- Adrian Beltre once collided with himself. It was before Game 3 of the 1989 World Series.
- Adrian Beltre is the reason McDonald’s discontinued the McRibs.
- Adrian Beltre once watched “Delta Force” on TV. Chuck Norris woke up the next day with three broken ribs.
- Adrian Beltre thinks it’s called a “pillow contract” because you can use it to suffocate sleeping enemies.
- Adrian Beltre is the reason baseballs need stitches.
- The reason you kneel when you pray is because Adrian Beltre kneels when he swings.
- When the Blue Jays wanted to open the roof, they asked Adrian Beltre to hit a pop-up in batting practice.
- It took Adrian Beltre only four swings to demolish the old Yankee Stadium.
- Adrian Beltre pulled a ball to the opposite field.
- Adrian Beltre only appeals to umpires on checked swings so they can feel important.
- Adrian Beltre didn’t just understand the “Sopranos” finale. He lived it.
- Scott Boras is actually an Adrian Beltre client.
- Customs officials will have to show Adrian Beltre their passports at the airport tonight.
- Adrian Beltre won Connect Four in three moves.
- When Adrian Beltre does a postgame interview, he asks the questions.
- Adrian Beltre doesn’t wear spikes. The ground knows the only way to survive is not to let go.
(Thanks to Red Sox beat writers Brian MacPherson, Scott Lauber, Sean McAdam, Gordon Edes, Pete Abraham and everyone else who participated.)
|A first Papelbon will want to forget||08.12.10 at 4:49 pm ET|
TORONTO — For the first time in his major league career, Jonathan Papelbon was taken out in the ninth inning in a tie game as a reliever (due to factors not involving an injury), Thursday. After the Red Sox‘ 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays — in which Papelbon surrendered three runs in the ninth for the third time this season — the Sox’ closer said he understood why Sox manager Terry Francona made the move to go to Daniel Bard with one out, the Sox up by a run and the bases loaded. (Click here to see ‘Closing Time’ for a recap.)
“You want to finish games, that’s my job. I want to finish games,” Papelbon explained. “But I think the fact of the matter is that I didn’t execute my job and you pass it on to somebody else.”
Despite showing some of the best velocity he has possessed all season (hitting 99 mph on one occasion), Papelbon said that when it came to life on his fastball it wasn’t one of his better days.
“I didn’t have much power or energy in my delivery today,” he explained. When asked if he felt like that warming up in the bullpen, Papelbon responded, “Just most of the day. Just kind of a groggy day for me.”
Papelbon’s struggles began after replacing John Lackey after the Red Sox’ starter surrendered a leadoff homer to Jose Bautista in the ninth inning. With the Sox holding a two-run lead, the reliever came on and immediately allowed three straight hits — a double to Vernon Wells, Adam Lind’s single up the middle, and a single by Aaron Hill that rifled off the closer’s foot.
Papelbon did come back to strike out Travis Snider with pinch-runner DeWayne Wise at third representing the tying run. But Edwin Encarnacion managed to jump all over a slider for a game-tying double down the left field line, leading Papelbon to intentionally walk Lyle Overbay and subsequently leave the game in favor of Bard.
“Leaving the ball up in the zone,” he said when asked what went wrong. “It just seemed every one of my pitches today was up in the zone in a pressure situation and obviously that can’t happen.”
Bard couldn’t duplicate the same magic he performed Monday afternoon in New York when he came on with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh inning and got out of it unscathed. This time Toronto’s Fred Lewis’ managed to elevate a fly ball to center field just deep enough to score Hill with the game-winner.
“I think he grounds it out half the time. It’s definitely where I wanted it,” said Bard of the pitch. “It’s almost impossible, but I got out of it the other day. It wasn’t the ninth so that’s the difference. There’s no room for error there, at all. Just some tough luck and some tough hops.”
Asked what his strategy coming into the situation was, Bard explained that a strikeout wasn’t on his mind.
“I’m trying to get a double play. That’s our best shot of getting out of it,” he said. “If I try to go punch-out that increases my chances of walking him and throwing balls out of the zone. I have to pitch with my best stuff in the zone in that situation, try to get a ground ball or an infield pop up. Something soft.”
Asked about taking out Papelbon for the first time in the middle of the ninth, Francona cited what the situation called for.
“Sometimes the games dictate … it’s not an ego thing,” the Sox’ manager said. “Just trying to win the game. More of a … at that point, we’re trying to keep the ball out of the air. Pap was up. It’s probably not the best way. Just trying to keep that game going.”
|Closing Time: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 5||08.12.10 at 3:35 pm ET|
TORONTO — The Red Sox were on the verge of walking away from their three-game series with the Blue Jays with a sweep, and a healthy dose of momentum heading into the teeth of the pennant race. But then came the ninth inning.
The Sox entered the final frame up, 5-2, but John Lackey stumbled and Jonathan Papelbon could not preserve a two-run lead. The result was a 6-5 win for the Jays and one of the more disappointing losses of the season for the Sox.
After Lackey had held the Jays to just two runs over eight frames, things started going astray for the Sox. First, Lackey — shooting for his first complete game of the year — gave up a leadoff homer to Jose Bautista to cut the Sox’ lead to two runs. And then Papelbon came on and allowed the first three Jays’ hitters he saw to reach via hits. The closer proceeded to strikeout Travis Snider, but then allowed a game-tying double to Edwin Encarnacion. That drove Papelbon from the game, paving the way for an entrance by Daniel Bard.
Fred Lewis greeted Bard with a fly ball to center field, just deep enough to score Hill from third with the game-winning run without a play at the plate, dropping the Sox four games behind the Rays in the wild card race.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– Jonathan Papelbon had some struggles, giving up two hits on his first two pitches. The first was a double by Vernon Wells, who was immediately brought in via Adam Lind‘s single up the middle to close the gap to a single run. Aaron Hill then singled off Papelbon’s foot to put runners on first and third with nobody out. After striking out Snider on a 98 mph fastball, Encarnacion would drive the closer from the game in favor of Bard. It was the fifth time Papelbon had given up three runs in an outing during his career as a reliever, and third time this season. With six blown saves this year, he has matched a career high.
– The man of the hour Wednesday night, Bill Hall, had a rough game, joining Adrian Beltre as the only two members of the Red Sox’ starting lineup not to claim a hit. Hall, who was coming off a game in which he hit two homers, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
– After two subpar outings, Lackey turned in a very effective outing. The righty kept the ball on the ground — especially in some key situations (as was evidenced by two inning-ending double plays) — and he managed to limit the Jays to just one hit with runners in scoring position. Lackey fell just short of his first complete game as a member of the Red Sox after totaling one last season, having had 14 for his career, having to leave after Bautista led off the ninth with a homer to left.
– Jed Lowrie continues to impress, this time doing so while subbing in at shortstop for Marco Scutaro. Two games after hitting a rocket off the center field wall while batting left-handed, Lowrie turned around and walloped his first home run of the season, and fifth for his career, slightly to the right of straightaway center. He is now hitting .313 since returning from the disabled list.
– Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia made quite an impression in his first start as a member of the Red Sox. He first gunned down Toronto’s Aaron Hill trying to steal second, and then came through with the bat, finishing with a pair of doubles. The last time the 25-year-old caught in the majors on a regular basis (with Texas in 2009) he threw out 19 of 61 baserunners attempting to steal (24 percent).
– Besides Saltalamacchia, three other members of the Red Sox lineup notched a pair of hits, with David Ortiz, Victor Martinez and Darnell McDonald all accomplishing the feat. One of Ortiz’ hits happened to be his 25th homer of the season, allowing him to join Ted Williams and Jim Rice as the only Red Sox players to have more than six seasons of 25 or more homers. Williams finished with 14, while Rice had seven.
|Closing Time: Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 1||08.11.10 at 10:08 pm ET|
TORONTO — Things are looking up for the Red Sox.
With their 10-1 win over the Blue Jays Wednesday night at Rogers Centre, the Sox are now suddenly 3 1/2 games in back of Tampa Bay in the race for the American League Wild Card. But not only are the Sox gaining ground, they appear to be putting their pieces together, having now won three straight. (Click here for a recap.)
This win was a collective effort between starting pitcher Clay Buchholz and pretty much the entire Sox offense, although it should be noted that Bill Hall supplied much of the momentum for the attack, coming away with his first two-homer game in more than two years. It gave Hall 15 home runs for the season, which, in case you were counting and comparing, is as many as Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria.
Here is a lot that went right for the Red Sox, and the little that went wrong:
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
– It has to begin with Hall, who first gave the Sox the lead for good with a solo homer in the second inning, and then went deep again with a two-run blast in his next at-bat in the fourth inning. Adding to Hall’s memorable night was an RBI single in the fifth. The second baseman now has seven homers in his last 14 games with an at-bat. Hall also did his part in the field, turning a nice 4-3 double play in the fourth inning, tagging Yunel Escobar and then proceeding to throw out Vernon Wells at first.
– Lost somewhat in the offensive barrage by the Sox was the performance of Buchholz. After allowing a sacrifice fly to Jose Bautista in the first inning, the Red Sox starter settled down, facing just 17 batters over the next five innings. Buchholz has now allowed three runs or fewer while going at least seven innings in each of his last four starts. He finished the night having allowed just one unearned run in eight innings, in the process taking over the league lead for ERA with a 2.49 mark.
– Virtually the entire lineup got in the act, totaling their most runs since scoring 14 on July 9 at Rogers Centre. Besides Hall, J.D. Drew and Adrian Beltre also chipped in with homers, while Mike Lowell equaled Hall’s three-hit night. Most of the damage was done in the fifth inning, when the Red Sox scored five — four before an out was recorded — while driving Toronto starter Shaun Marcum from the game (4 IP, 8 R).
– A definitive plan for the return of Dustin Pedroia was presented by Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who said that Pedroia would be playing second base for Triple-A Pawtucket Saturday and then serve as the PawSox’ DH Sunday.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– Marco Scutaro continued to struggle, going 0-for-4 to make him 3-for-38 in his last nine games. The only other Red Sox starter not to contribute to the team’s 14-hit attack was Jacoby Ellsbury (0-for-4). Scutaro did make a stellar play, diving and robbing Bautista of a hit to end the eighth inning.
|Saltalamacchia promoted by Red Sox, Cash to DL||08.11.10 at 11:06 am ET|
TORONTO — According to a source familiar with the situation, the Red Sox have promoted catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Wednesday night’s game at Rogers Centre. To make room for the 25-year-old the Red Sox will place Kevin Cash on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury. Since being acquired at the non-waiver trade deadline, Saltalamacchia was hitting .238 in five games with the Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox. He hasn’t played in the major leagues since April 7, after which the Texas Rangers sent him to Triple A to work on his throwing problems. The Boston Globe was first to report the promotion. For more Red Sox coverage see the team page at weei.com/redsox.
|Doubront allows for a sigh (and sign) of relief for Sox||08.11.10 at 12:20 am ET|
TORONTO — Felix Doubront gave up a home run Tuesday night. It didn’t matter. An impression was already made.
The inning before Doubront allowed the American League leader in homers, Jose Bautista, to help draw the Blue Jays even with the Red Sox with a solo shot to lead off the seventh inning, the Sox’ lefty showed why he just might be a major factor out of the bullpen for the final two months. It was then the rookie came on in what was the game’s biggest spot, and walked away with a suddenly robust admiration society.
With runners on first and second, two outs, and the Red Sox leading by a run, Doubront was called on to face Fred Lewis. The result was a seemingly harmless grounder to shortstop, which Marco Scutaro and Jed Lowrie couldn’t connect on in time to get the force, resulting in a bases-loaded conundrum.
‘You know what I think happened, about three things,” explained Red Sox manager Terry Francona of the play. ” One, give (baserunner John) McDonald some credit. He got a very good secondary. Jed was playing over to pull. I think Marco …I’d like to look at it again. But once he looked to second and Jed wasn’t quite there, it was too late to go to first because Lewis is running. I think where Jed was, he’s not the fleet of foot, but once he looked at second, that’s where we had to go. I’ll go back and look again. I saw the little double clutch but I have a feeling because of where Jed was ‘¦ we’ll see. There were some things that happened. When Doubront gets that grounder, we’re like, ‘Yeah.’ Then, again, not only his stuff, but his poise.’
From there, Doubront only got more impressive.
With Travis Snider up, and the Red Sox on the verge of letting the Blue Jays grab their first lead, Doubront fanned the lefty-hitting outfielder (who had hit a three-run homer earlier in the game) to end the threat.
“You saw we’re not afraid to use him,” Francona said of the starter-turned-reliever. “That’s what we’ve been [doing]. He’s had his starter’s innings, we moved him to the bullpen. I think we were hoping to have him get a couple of more under his belt, but he’ll gain his experience here, hopefully while he’s winning.”
When asked about his comment in Tampa Bay earlier in the season regarding his desire to remain a starter, Doubront said after his second big league relief appearance, “At that moment I was focused on being a starter. But now that I’m back here, I’m here.”
|Lowell on rest: ‘I don’t think like I need any’||08.11.10 at 12:01 am ET|
TORONTO — After hitting an eighth-inning home run which gave the Red Sox the lead for good in what turned out to be their 7-5 win over the Blue Jays Tuesday night at Rogers Centre, Mike Lowell said that he doesn’t feel like his surgically-repaired right hip should be the impetus for extra time out of the lineup.
“I don’t think like I need any,” Lowell said. “I’m willing to accept the fact that Victor Martinez can’t catch every day and he’s a middle of the lineup guy. So I have no problem the days he doesn’t catch and he plays first. That’s logical and totally reasonable. But from a standpoint where I can only play three in a row and need a day, I mean this turf is as tough as anywhere. If you feel 100 percent you’re going to feel a little stiff playing on this turf. There’s not much time left. For eight weeks I can do anything.”
Lowell, who also had a sacrifice fly, noted that he isn’t going to try and duplicate the numbers of the injured Kevin Youkilis at first base (“If I try to do it, I’ll fail,” he said), and that he doesn’t feel the need to prove anything to the group he considers “the team.” In his opinion, that designation, he explained, are those who are in the clubhouse on a regular basis.
“Have I played at times to prove people wrong? Yeah, when people think you’re done. But no one on my team. I consider the team the people in this clubhouse. I don’t consider any outsiders part of this team because if you don’t grind it out everyday here with everyone in the clubhouse you’re not really part of the team,” he explained. “I don’t feel like I need to prove anything to what I consider the team. But I do want to contribute and I do want to produce.”
For more Red Sox coverage see the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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