|Larry Lucchino on D&C: ‘There’s a buzz about this team’||09.05.13 at 9:53 am ET|
Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning and talked with guest hosts Dale Arnold and Kirk Minihane about the excitement surrounding the team as it closes in on a postseason berth.
When asked about the team’s seemingly below-average attendance this year, Lucchino said that the front office expected those kind of numbers due to the last few seasons and talked about how the atmosphere at Fenway has finally seemed to revert back to the glory days of a few years ago.
“While it’s undeniable that our numbers are down for the season, a lot of that is a direct result of what happened in [September] of 2011 and the disappointment of 2012. … We had a terrible schedule in April and May — lots of home games and adverse weather conditions, so we anticipated that there would be some decline,” Lucchino said. “But what’s undeniable is that there’s a buzz about this team. Chris Gasper in the Globe today called them the ‘Fun Bunch.’ People like this team, people enjoy this team.
“The spirit at Fenway these last couple of nights has been playoff-like. I think there’s a buzz about the team, and our attendance numbers will reflect that. … Different players bring different styles, but if you had to generalize, this [team has] a fun-loving approach to the game, there is an intensity. … Our fans love that.”
Lucchino also talked about Sox pitcher John Lackey, who has pitched remarkably well this season despite receiving little run support for most of the season. To highlight Lackey’s lack of support this season, the 20 runs scored by the Sox in Wednesday’s game is more than the team has scored in Lackey’s last eight starts combined.
“[Lackey] has been someone who has been misunderstood, in my opinion, by the media and by the fans here in past years. He’s a very good teammate. His guys respect him, they enjoy him, and they’re as frustrated as anyone that they cannot score enough runs when he’s pitching well,” Lucchino said. “I think he’s pitched as well as he has in many, many years. I think he said that himself. Bouncing back from the injuries that he played through here for a couple of years, it’s a great story.”
After Sox DH David Ortiz‘s great game on Wednesday, when the slugger hit two home runs and collected the 2,000th hit of his career, Lucchino said that he believes that Ortiz should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame once he wraps up his career.
“I think so, simply because he was the best designated hitter of his time. He dominated that position and dominated offensively in so many critical games,” Lucchino said. “I absolutely think that he is a Hall of Famer, but you wouldn’t expect anything else from me, would you?”
|Closing Time: Record show of power, David Ortiz pave way for Red Sox rout of Tigers||09.04.13 at 10:43 pm ET|
If there was ever a message-sending to be found this season, it might have come at Fenway Park Wednesday night.
The Red Sox entrenched their position atop the American League with a resounding 20-4 win over the Tigers, marking the most runs scored by John Farrell‘s team in a single game this season. The Sox are now 84-57, while Detroit drops to 81-59.
Leading the way for the Red Sox was David Ortiz, who walloped a pair of home runs, marking the 41st time (39 with the Sox, a club record) he has come away with a multiple-home run game. There were eight homers for the Red Sox, tying the all-time franchise record for most home runs hit by the Sox at Fenway Park (July 4, 1977).
It was the first time a major league team had totaled eight homers since 2010 (Blue Jays). Also, the seven different players hitting a homer for the Sox are the most in franchise history.
Also of significance was Ortiz notching his 2,000th career hit, coming on a sixth-inning RBI double. The designated hitter was immediately plated on the next at-bat thanks to Daniel Nava‘s homer into Red Sox bullpen.
It took the DH 1,002 games to reach his first 1,000 hits (hitting 218 homers), and 946 games to accomplish the latest milestone (with 208 home runs).
Also homering for the hosts were Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Nava, Ryan Lavarnway, Mike Napoli and Will Middlebrooks. It was just the fourth time in team history the Red Sox have hit as many as seven homers in a game at Fenway Park.
Besides Ortiz’ pair of blasts, perhaps the most notable was what would be Middlebrooks’ second career grand slam (the fifth of the season for the Sox).
|David Ortiz slugs his way to 2,000 hits||at 9:50 pm ET|
David Ortiz lined an RBI double to left-center field as part of an eight-run sixth inning as the slugger collected his 2,000th major league hit. The double came off Tigers reliever Al Albuquerque and put the Red Sox up 11-4.
The game stopped briefly as Ortiz stood at second base and tipped his helmet to the crowd, which gave him a standing ovation for nearly a minute. The Fenway sound system marked the occasion with dramatic music as the crowd paid tribute.
Just two innings early, he clubbed his 25th homer of the season, a long solo blast off Tigers starter Rick Porcello to the seats over the Red Sox bullpen, leaving him one hit shy of the milestone. The home run gave him 426 in his career, tying him with Billy Williams for 47th on the all-time list.
Ortiz now has eight hits in his last 20 at-bats since snapping an 0-for-23 slump on Friday night against the White Sox.
Ortiz is the 14th player to record his 2,000th career hit as a member of the Red Sox, along with Bobby Veach (1924), Jimmie Foxx (1938), Joe Cronin (1940), Bob Johnson (1945), Bobby Doerr (1951), Ted Williams (1955), Carl Yastrzemski (1973), Bill Buckner (1984), Jim Rice (1986), Don Baylor (1987), Dwight Evans (1988), Wade Boggs (1992), and Manny Ramirez (2006).
Then in the seventh, as he received a standing ovation coming to the plate, Ortiz crushed his second homer of the night into the stands above the Red Sox bullpen again, giving him two homers, three hits and four RBIs on the night. As he rounded the bases, the Fenway speakers blared the theme from “2001-A Space Odyssey” in honor of his 2,001st career hit.
Ortiz came out to a curtain call after entering the dugout.
The homer also marked his 41st career multi-homer game and his 39th with the Red Sox, extending his franchise record.
During a Wednesday morning appearance on WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show, Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester went to bat for fellow starter Ryan Dempster, who plunked Alex Rodriguez two weeks ago and set off a national debate.
“He never told us straightforward if he threw at him on purpose, but if he did, I stand behind my teammate,” said Lester, who was on a plane to San Francisco ahead of the team’s game against the Giants the following day when the incident occurred. “I don’t think you can do anything but that. … If that was his intent, then I would have ran right out there with everybody else and stood in front of him and do whatever I need to do to protect him. That’s our clubhouse, that’s our team. That’s the way it should be in baseball. That’s what you have to do.”
Lester also defended his other teammate who played an integral roll in the controversy: David Ortiz.
Ortiz reignited the debate a few days after the incident, with his comments about his disapproval of Dempster hitting his friend Rodriguez.
Lester downplayed the comments Ortiz made to USA Today, and said that the Dominican slugger has a tendency to confuse his words when conducting interviews in English.
“David, he speaks really, really good English, but sometimes — and this is not a knock to him — he means one thing and says another,” Lester said. “I’ve been around for seven years, and he’s done that before, just having a conversation. He’s kind of like, ‘Oh, I didn’t mean that, hold on,’ and he’ll go back and change what he’s trying to say.
“Obviously when you say something like that to the media, you can’t go back and change it. But obviously everybody in the clubhouse knew what he meant by that, and nobody [in the clubhouse] took it the way that everybody else took it. We all knew what he meant, and we all know he’s got Demp’s back.
“He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever played with. Nobody thought anything about it when he said it. Obviously things get blown up a little bit around here. It got squashed pretty quickly.”
|Red Sox-Tigers series preview||09.02.13 at 11:28 am ET|
With the calendar flipped and the final month of the MLB season upon us, the Red Sox have an opportunity to flex their muscles and build on their American League East lead with a three-game series vs. the Tigers.
The best teams in the AL record-wise kick off the series Monday at 1:35 at Fenway Park. The Red Sox (82-56) lead the AL East by 5½ games, while Detroit (80-57) leads the AL Central by 7½ games.
Boston earned its lead with a three-game sweep of the White Sox. The second-place Rays, who entered a three-game series with the Athletics just 2½ games behind the Red Sox, dropped all three games in Oakland.
After tying Boston with a win over the Yankees on Aug. 24, the Rays have lost seven of their last eight games, while Boston has claimed eight of its last nine. The Red Sox’ 5½-game AL East lead is their largest since July 5.
The Tigers find themselves in a familiar position at the start of September. They’re well on their way to winning their third straight AL Central title. With 25 games remaining, Detroit leads Cleveland by 7½ games.
One potential determinant of the series will be the health of the Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera. The reigning AL MVP and Triple Crown winner missed the last two games with due to issues with his groin and abdomen.
Cabrera is threatening to claim the Triple Crown again, as he leads MLB in batting average (.358) and RBIs (130). His 43 home runs puts him four behind the Orioles’ Chris Davis.
Team president/CEO/general manager Dave Dombrowski, during an interview on Monday’s Dennis & Callahan show, expressed optimism that Cabrera will play at some point in this series, although he was not listed in the team’s starting lineup for the opener.
Two series ago, the Red Sox lucked out in missing Dodgers starters Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke on its West Coast trip.
The Red Sox receive a similar stroke of luck this series in not facing former AL MVP Justin Verlander and current AL ERA leader Anibal Sanchez. Instead, Boston will see a formidable trio in Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello.
|Closing Time: Red Sox beat White Sox, 7-6, to complete sweep||09.01.13 at 5:33 pm ET|
The Red Sox beat the White Sox 7-6 on Sunday to complete their first series sweep in a month. The Boston offense exploded for seven runs for the second straight game, marking the second time in a week it has accomplished that feat in back-to-back games.
David Ortiz led the way with two hits, a walk and three RBIs. He has now reached base nine times and driven in six runs over the last three games after reaching just once over his previous six games. Dustin Pedroia also reached base three times on Sunday — one day after going 0-for-5 — while Jacoby Ellsbury drove in two and scored twice.
The Red Sox scored four times in the second and once more in the third to take a 5-0 lead, but the White Sox came storming back with four runs of their own in the top of the fourth, chasing Felix Doubront from the game in the process. Boston then scored twice in the bottom of inning to regain some insurance.
The White Sox scored once off Brandon Workman in the fifth and once off Craig Breslow in the eighth, but Koji Uehara shut them down with a perfect ninth to pick up his 16th save of the season. He has now tossed 24 straight scoreless innings, the longest single-season streak by a Red Sox pitcher since Daniel Bard had his 2011 streak snapped at 26 1/3 innings. Read the rest of this entry »
|Closing Time: Jake Peavy stellar again as Red Sox cruise to 7-2 win||08.31.13 at 10:22 pm ET|
Jake Peavy allowed two runs on five hits over seven innings as the Red Sox cruised to a 7-2 win over the White Sox on Saturday night. Peavy has now allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last four starts, posting a 1.95 ERA over that span. He has struck out 17 and walked just two during those four games.
On Saturday, he ran into some trouble in the fourth, as he was forced to throw 30 pitches in the inning. He managed to escape the inning allowing just one run, though, and that was the closest the White Sox would come to solving their former teammate. Peavy allowed just one baserunner over the next three innings before turning things over to the bullpen.
“He’s been everything we could’ve hoped for since coming over here,” manager John Farrell said of Peavy. “He’s worked deep in games. He’s thrown a lot of strikes. He’s made some big pitches in key moments when he’s needed to. Even when he’s got some traffic on the basepaths, he finds a way to minimize the overall damage.”
Peavy’s stellar outing helped the Red Sox hold their opponent to three runs or fewer for the 11th straight game. That marks the longest such streak for the franchise since April 1988 — a streak that ended at 11. Furthermore, the Red Sox are now the first team to go 11 straight games allowing three runs or fewer and eight hits or fewer since the 1991 Blue Jays, who did it in 12 straight.
“We expect to do that,” Peavy said of the streak. “I know it’s not going to happen every time out, but we’ve got five guys we expect that out of. I think if you ask [Felix Doubront] what he expects tomorrow, he expects to give up three runs or less.
“When you expect to do that and you prepare to do that and you go out there and execute a game plan, it happens more times than not with the talent that’s in this room. Obviously all streaks come to an end, but I’m happy I wasn’t the guy to give it up.”
Offensively, the Red Sox had seven players record multi-hit games and six players record an RBI. They tagged starter John Danks for six runs on 11 hits over five innings. That marked Danks’ worst outing in more than a month, as he entered Saturday with a 2.90 ERA over his previous six starts. Read the rest of this entry »
- Preliminary 'New Stars for Young Stars' lineup announced
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Big weeks for Acosta and Welch
- 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