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Empyreal Environs



Readin'. Writin'. Red Sox.



Updated: 2015-07-01T17:25:37Z

 



Taking a Break

2015-07-01T17:25:37Z

Because of my kitten's injury (see "I've Got 99 Problems and a Kitten is One"), trying to train my puppy, and other personal and professional reasons I need to take a break from this blog for now. I hope to return once things have settled. Thank you for all the support over the years....

Because of my kitten's injury (see "I've Got 99 Problems and a Kitten is One"), trying to train my puppy, and other personal and professional reasons I need to take a break from this blog for now.

I hope to return once things have settled. Thank you for all the support over the years.




Justin Time

2015-06-29T22:05:48Z

Just when you thought the Red Sox were spiraling into a tailspin they pulled off a series win against the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays. Boston is eight games back as we near the midpoint of the season. I would settle for a less lofty goal than the postseason, like an above .500 winning percentage or not finishing in last place. Justin Masterson returned to the team and while his pitching wasn’t impressive he turned in a yeoman-like five innings to prevail over Cy Young candidate Chris Archer. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy are certainly happy with Masterson‘s return; with him comes his wife Meryl and with Meryl comes cookies. Masterson allowed five hits and gave up an unearned run while striking out six with no walks. Masterson’s line looks better on paper than his actual stuff, but then again Joe Kelly’s arsenal was spectacular with poor results. How much did David Ortiz enjoy smashing a home run off Archer in the fourth inning? This much. While Ortiz, Pablo Sandoval, and Alejandro De Aza clouted four-baggers one slugger made an early exit. Mike Napoli’s second-inning at bat ended when home plate umpire Tripp Gibson’s called strike against him. The Amica, or... Just when you thought the Red Sox were spiraling into a tailspin they pulled off a series win against the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays. Boston is eight games back as we near the midpoint of the season. I would settle for a less lofty goal than the postseason, like an above .500 winning percentage or not finishing in last place. Justin Masterson returned to the team and while his pitching wasn’t impressive he turned in a yeoman-like five innings to prevail over Cy Young candidate Chris Archer. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy are certainly happy with Masterson‘s return; with him comes his wife Meryl and with Meryl comes cookies. Masterson allowed five hits and gave up an unearned run while striking out six with no walks. Masterson’s line looks better on paper than his actual stuff, but then again Joe Kelly’s arsenal was spectacular with poor results. How much did David Ortiz enjoy smashing a home run off Archer in the fourth inning? This much. While Ortiz, Pablo Sandoval, and Alejandro De Aza clouted four-baggers one slugger made an early exit. Mike Napoli’s second-inning at bat ended when home plate umpire Tripp Gibson’s called strike against him. The Amica, or as Remy calls it, Ameeker strike zone showed that the pitch grazed the zone’s boundary. Napoli has been massively frustrated with his hitting this year and this confrontation with Gibson shows the first baseman’s vexation boiling over. And who wouldn’t be as Napoli was tossed not for arguing the call but for not picking up his bat. “I thought I walked. That’s why I dropped my bat. And I had a conversation with him, told him I thought it was a ball. He said it was a good pitch, so I started taking off my batting gloves and started walking back toward the dugout,'” stated Napoli to Gordon Edes. “He told me I forgot my bat,” Napoli continued. “I stopped a little bit, and [then] he told me to come back and pick up the bat. I pointed at the bat boy, who picks up our bats, and he tossed me. So then, when he tossed me, I told him how I felt.” Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli, that’s a rather silly reason to eject someone. Game 77: June 28, 2015 Red Sox35-42 5 W: Justin Masterson (3-2)H: Junichi Tazawa (12)S: Koji Uehara (16) 2B: Xander Bogaerts (15), Blake Swihart (8)HR: Pablo Sandoval (7), Alejandro De Aza (6), David Ortiz (12) Tampa Bay Rays42-35 3 L: Chris Archer (9-5) 2B: Brad Guyer (9), Asdrubal Cabrera (11), Grady Sizemore (6) [...]



Ale-Ale-Alejandro

2015-06-29T02:26:26Z

Wade Miley was the perfect pitcher to start 70s Night at Tropicana Field. He looks like he could have been relieved by Bill Lee. Miley pitched fairly well: six and one-third innings, five hits, two earned runs, two walks, and eight strikeouts. But he was out-dueled by Matt Andriese, who held Boston scoreless over six stanzas. Jake Elmore was responsible for the two runs Miley gave up. Elmore’s fifth-inning homer plated Asdrubal Cabrera. I love that the Rays have ersatz throwback uniforms from a decade that didn’t even witness the organization’s existence. But I don’t think the landlords would sign off on the Rays paying tribute to the Pepsi Cola Giants, a Tampa Bay-area Negro League feeder team. I think facing the area’s segregated past should be remembered rather than ignored. Keep increasing your trade value, Alejandro De Aza! Game 76: June 27, 2015 Red Sox34-42 1 L: Wade Miley (7-7) HR: Alejandro De Aza (5) Tampa Bay Rays42-34 4 W: Matt Andriese (3-2)H: Jake McGee (9), Kevin Jepsen (17)S: Brad Boxberger (20) 2B: Evan Longoria (15), Logan Forsythe (15)3B: Asdrubal Cabrera (4)HR: Jake Elmore (2), Rene Rivera (4), Longoria (8)... Wade Miley was the perfect pitcher to start 70s Night at Tropicana Field. He looks like he could have been relieved by Bill Lee. Miley pitched fairly well: six and one-third innings, five hits, two earned runs, two walks, and eight strikeouts. But he was out-dueled by Matt Andriese, who held Boston scoreless over six stanzas. Jake Elmore was responsible for the two runs Miley gave up. Elmore’s fifth-inning homer plated Asdrubal Cabrera. I love that the Rays have ersatz throwback uniforms from a decade that didn’t even witness the organization’s existence. But I don’t think the landlords would sign off on the Rays paying tribute to the Pepsi Cola Giants, a Tampa Bay-area Negro League feeder team. I think facing the area’s segregated past should be remembered rather than ignored. Keep increasing your trade value, Alejandro De Aza! Game 76: June 27, 2015 Red Sox34-42 1 L: Wade Miley (7-7) HR: Alejandro De Aza (5) Tampa Bay Rays42-34 4 W: Matt Andriese (3-2)H: Jake McGee (9), Kevin Jepsen (17)S: Brad Boxberger (20) 2B: Evan Longoria (15), Logan Forsythe (15)3B: Asdrubal Cabrera (4)HR: Jake Elmore (2), Rene Rivera (4), Longoria (8) [...]



Last Gasp

2015-06-28T17:22:59Z

While this edition of the Red Sox has been disappointing, at least they don’t play as if there is no hope. In the fourth inning Mike Napoli and Blake Swihart were sent on a double steal. Napoli was safe at home plate but Swihart was out at second. Napoli’s run made the score a tight 3-1 in the visitors’ favor. That slim margin was shaved to zero in the sixth frame. David DeJesus tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right that plated Joey Butler. On the same play Evan Longoria tagged up to reach third base. Rick Porcello uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Longoria to tie the game. Your browser does not support iframes. The Red Sox had a chance to take the lead in the seventh stanza. Jackie Bradley, Jr. led off with a single laced to center field. Mookie Betts reached on a fielder’s choice but then was caught stealing due to indecisiveness. In the ninth Napoli muscled a ground ball single up the middle but Brad Boxberger got the next three outs without incident. Betts atoned for his seventh-inning flub in the 10th. He lofted a double to DeJesus. Brock Holt got a hold of... While this edition of the Red Sox has been disappointing, at least they don’t play as if there is no hope. In the fourth inning Mike Napoli and Blake Swihart were sent on a double steal. Napoli was safe at home plate but Swihart was out at second. Napoli’s run made the score a tight 3-1 in the visitors’ favor. That slim margin was shaved to zero in the sixth frame. David DeJesus tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right that plated Joey Butler. On the same play Evan Longoria tagged up to reach third base. Rick Porcello uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Longoria to tie the game. src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=200773083&topic_id=6479266&width=480&height=270&property=mlb" width="480" height="270" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes. The Red Sox had a chance to take the lead in the seventh stanza. Jackie Bradley, Jr. led off with a single laced to center field. Mookie Betts reached on a fielder’s choice but then was caught stealing due to indecisiveness. In the ninth Napoli muscled a ground ball single up the middle but Brad Boxberger got the next three outs without incident. Betts atoned for his seventh-inning flub in the 10th. He lofted a double to DeJesus. Brock Holt got a hold of Steve Geltz’s fastball and sent it into left. Betts, whom Ben Cherington should definitely not trade, scored what would be the winning run. src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=201079283&topic_id=6479266&width=480&height=270&property=mlb" width="480" height="270" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes. Game 75: June 26, 2015 ∙ 10 innings Red Sox33-42 4 W: Alexi Ogando (2-0)S: Koji Uehara (15) 2B: Alejandro De Aza (8), Mookie Betts (17) Tampa Bay Rays41-34 3 L: Steve Geltz (1-3) 2B: Marc Krauss (3), Evan Longoria (14), Asdrubal Cabrera (10) [...]



Great Britton

2015-06-28T03:11:13Z

Cute kid, huh? Maybe, until you realize what he’s doing is waving goodbye to the Red Sox postseason hopes. Or perhaps he’s like that kid in the Cam Newton Play 60 commercial. You remember: “And be your mom’s favorite player?” This boy has the makings to go toe to toe with Dustin Pedroia. They are almost eye to eye. Zach Britton has had six save opportunities against the Red Sox and converted all but one of them. Jackie Bradley, Jr. (welcome back, and if you do well best of luck with your new team) muscled a single off Chris Parmelee to Nolan Reimold in left to start the ninth but Britton got the next three batters, Mookie Betts, Brock Holt, and Xander Bogaerts, out without much difficulty. The Red Sox put up a half a dozen runs but the Orioles offense figured out Eduardo Rodriguez since they first saw him on June 9, 2015. Alejandro De Aza has been a welcome addition to the squad. His fourth-inning three-run homer hopefully increased his trade value as the Red Sox are most likely sellers as the trade deadline draws near. Jonathan Aro made his major league debut in the sixth inning and... Cute kid, huh? Maybe, until you realize what he’s doing is waving goodbye to the Red Sox postseason hopes. Or perhaps he’s like that kid in the Cam Newton Play 60 commercial. You remember: “And be your mom’s favorite player?” This boy has the makings to go toe to toe with Dustin Pedroia. They are almost eye to eye. Zach Britton has had six save opportunities against the Red Sox and converted all but one of them. Jackie Bradley, Jr. (welcome back, and if you do well best of luck with your new team) muscled a single off Chris Parmelee to Nolan Reimold in left to start the ninth but Britton got the next three batters, Mookie Betts, Brock Holt, and Xander Bogaerts, out without much difficulty. The Red Sox put up a half a dozen runs but the Orioles offense figured out Eduardo Rodriguez since they first saw him on June 9, 2015. Alejandro De Aza has been a welcome addition to the squad. His fourth-inning three-run homer hopefully increased his trade value as the Red Sox are most likely sellers as the trade deadline draws near. Jonathan Aro made his major league debut in the sixth inning and promptly allowed an inherited runner to score when he surrendered a single to Manny Machado. Not as bad as the Dengue fever Aro contracted, to be sure, but it would have been nice to get an out off the first batter he faced. John Farrell kept him on the mound in the seventh. Aro gave up doubles to Nolan Reimold and Chris Davis, resulting in another run for the Orioles. But it’s hard not to feel good for Aro. “It’s been a long journey, but I feel like I’ve done my best to go about things the right way all the time,” he told Alex Speier. “It feels that much better that I’m able to fulfill my mom’s dreams of making it to the big leagues one day. That’s a pretty awesome feeling.” Game 74: June 25, 2015 Baltimore Orioles38-34 8 W: Miguel Gonzalez (6-4)H: T.J. McFarland (3), Tommy Hunter (5)S: Zach Britton (21) 2B: Chris Parmelee (3), J.J. Hardy (5), Steve Pearce – 2 (5), Nolan Reimold (1), Chris Davis (13)HR: Matt Wieters (3) Red Sox32-42 6 L: Eduardo Rodriguez (3-2) 2B: Xander Bogaerts – 2 (14), Mike Napoli (10)HR: Alejandro De Aza (4) [...]



Pyrrhic Victory

2015-06-27T18:59:40Z

The Red Sox finally came up with a win against their divisional adversaries from Charm City but paid the price. Dustin Pedroia was put on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, or as my friend Scott would call it, his manstring. Pedroia was running out a single to left but came up lame after stepping awkwardly on the first base bag. At least Pedroia wasn’t stepped on like Alejandro De Aza. The backup outfielder had his hand mashed by Bud Norris’s cleats but incredibly didn’t get injured. De Aza didn’t even get a hit for his pain; the official scorer gave Chris Davis an error because of a bobble. It wasn’t enough for the bases and opposing players to cause bodily harm. Xander Bogaerts got into the action when his line drive smashed into Hanley Ramirez’s left hand. Take it easy, Xander, Hanley’s not going to be moving back to short and take your spot. David Ortiz contributed to the offense with a two-run circuit clout in the in the sixth. But it wasn’t as big as a hit as his “Summer Chill” campaign with Rob Gronkowski. Game 73: June 24, 2015 Baltimore Orioles37-34 1 L: Bud Norris... The Red Sox finally came up with a win against their divisional adversaries from Charm City but paid the price. Dustin Pedroia was put on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, or as my friend Scott would call it, his manstring. Pedroia was running out a single to left but came up lame after stepping awkwardly on the first base bag. At least Pedroia wasn’t stepped on like Alejandro De Aza. The backup outfielder had his hand mashed by Bud Norris’s cleats but incredibly didn’t get injured. De Aza didn’t even get a hit for his pain; the official scorer gave Chris Davis an error because of a bobble. It wasn’t enough for the bases and opposing players to cause bodily harm. Xander Bogaerts got into the action when his line drive smashed into Hanley Ramirez’s left hand. Take it easy, Xander, Hanley’s not going to be moving back to short and take your spot. David Ortiz contributed to the offense with a two-run circuit clout in the in the sixth. But it wasn’t as big as a hit as his “Summer Chill” campaign with Rob Gronkowski. width="480" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FwQUhmU0Xtc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> Game 73: June 24, 2015 Baltimore Orioles37-34 1 L: Bud Norris (2-6) 2B: Chris Parmelee (2), John Flaherty (5) Red Sox32-41 5 W: Clay Buchholz (5-6) HR: David Ortiz (11) [...]



How Lough Can You Go?

2015-06-26T22:19:36Z

Joe Kelly didn’t get out of the fourth inning in the series opener against the Baltimore Orioles. He started off the season promisingly enough with a seven-inning victory against the Yankees but since then has struggled mightily. Kelly’s ERA+ is 70, the lowest of his career. Despite his velocity, perhaps he’s a National League pitcher. A Jeff Suppan with stuff. David Lough, the nine-hole hitter slugging .364 this season, clubbed a three-run homer in the second inning. At that point you could tell John Farrell had a short leash on Kelly. The starter gave up a leadoff single to J.J. Hardy in the fourth but then struck out John Flaherty and stifled Lough with a fielder’s choice. But Manny Machado’s two-out liner to left ended Kelly’s start. But he still has the rest of the season to polish up his resume for the Cy Young award… or does he? Dustin Pedroia went 1-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk. On the defensive side he sprung on Lough’s sac bunt attempt in the sixth and flipped it from his glove to Mike Napoli for a nifty play. Machado doubled off Alexi Ogando right after that to drive in... Joe Kelly didn’t get out of the fourth inning in the series opener against the Baltimore Orioles. He started off the season promisingly enough with a seven-inning victory against the Yankees but since then has struggled mightily. Kelly’s ERA+ is 70, the lowest of his career. Despite his velocity, perhaps he’s a National League pitcher. A Jeff Suppan with stuff. David Lough, the nine-hole hitter slugging .364 this season, clubbed a three-run homer in the second inning. At that point you could tell John Farrell had a short leash on Kelly. The starter gave up a leadoff single to J.J. Hardy in the fourth but then struck out John Flaherty and stifled Lough with a fielder’s choice. But Manny Machado’s two-out liner to left ended Kelly’s start. But he still has the rest of the season to polish up his resume for the Cy Young award… or does he? Dustin Pedroia went 1-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk. On the defensive side he sprung on Lough’s sac bunt attempt in the sixth and flipped it from his glove to Mike Napoli for a nifty play. Machado doubled off Alexi Ogando right after that to drive in another run. In the home half of the sixth Brock Holt struck out looking on a terrible third strike call by home plate umpire Tim Timmons. Timmons heard Farrell chirping and tossed the Red Sox skipper. Farrell trails Padres manager Bud Black by one ejection and is tied with Clint Hurdle of the Pirates and Lloyd McClendon of the Mariners with three dismissals. We can’t even win in getting thrown off the field. Game 72: June 23, 2015 Baltimore Orioles37-33 6 W: Ubaldo Jimenez (6-3)H: Brad Brach (5), Chaz Roe (3), Darren O’Day (7)S: Zach Britton (20) 2B: Chris Parmelee (1), Manny Machado (15)3B: Parmelee (1)HR: David Lough (4) Boston Red Sox31-41 4 L: Joe Kelly (2-5) 2B: Mookie Betts (16), Dustin Pedroia (14) [...]



I Got 99 Problems and a Kitten is One

2015-06-26T00:04:06Z

I’ve been a bit behind in recapping games because I'm taking care of my kitten Kumo. He broke his leg playing on his shiba inu puppy sister’s crate. Please send your healing energy to Kumo. I’ll post game summaries and pictures as I can. Here’s Kumo in his better days. He was not a fan of Tommy Layne’s pitching. Momiji hides behind her penguin in fear, dreading John Farrell’s next pitching change....

I’ve been a bit behind in recapping games because I'm taking care of my kitten Kumo. He broke his leg playing on his shiba inu puppy sister’s crate. Please send your healing energy to Kumo. I’ll post game summaries and pictures as I can.

Here’s Kumo in his better days. He was not a fan of Tommy Layne’s pitching.

(image)

Momiji hides behind her penguin in fear, dreading John Farrell’s next pitching change.

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Double Your Fun

2015-06-23T03:10:37Z

Rarer than a Red Sox fan at Kauffman Stadium is a game where the Boston squad scored double digits this season. In fact, this was only the second game in which they scored 10 runs or more this season. When they scored 10 runs against the Blue Jays on June 12 they lost. Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia contributed to the effort with two doubles each. Xander Bogaerts notched three two-baggers. Mookie Betts only had one, but he also fell just a single short of hitting for the cycle. Along with Betts’s home run Hanley Ramirez and David Ortiz clobbered circuit clouts. Ramirez’s was significant as it was the highest recorded home run at 180 feet. Your browser does not support iframes. With his 476th homer Ortiz surpassed Willie Stargell and Stan Musial on the home run list. Your browser does not support iframes. With the Royals’ increasing attendance and revenue you would think they could afford a better toupee for Sluggerrr’s dad. Game 71: June 21, 2015 Boston Red Sox31-40 13 W: Wade Miley (7-6) 2B: Brock Holt – 2 (15), Mookie Betts (15), Dustin Pedroia – 2 (13), Xander Bogaerts – 3 (12)3B: Betts (4)HR: Hanley Ramirez (15),... Rarer than a Red Sox fan at Kauffman Stadium is a game where the Boston squad scored double digits this season. In fact, this was only the second game in which they scored 10 runs or more this season. When they scored 10 runs against the Blue Jays on June 12 they lost. Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia contributed to the effort with two doubles each. Xander Bogaerts notched three two-baggers. Mookie Betts only had one, but he also fell just a single short of hitting for the cycle. Along with Betts’s home run Hanley Ramirez and David Ortiz clobbered circuit clouts. Ramirez’s was significant as it was the highest recorded home run at 180 feet. src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=185687083&topic_id=6479266&width=480&height=270&property=mlb" width="480" height="270" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes. With his 476th homer Ortiz surpassed Willie Stargell and Stan Musial on the home run list. src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=185755583&topic_id=6479266&width=480&height=270&property=mlb" width="480" height="270" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes. With the Royals’ increasing attendance and revenue you would think they could afford a better toupee for Sluggerrr’s dad. Game 71: June 21, 2015 Boston Red Sox31-40 13 W: Wade Miley (7-6) 2B: Brock Holt – 2 (15), Mookie Betts (15), Dustin Pedroia – 2 (13), Xander Bogaerts – 3 (12)3B: Betts (4)HR: Hanley Ramirez (15), David Ortiz (10), Betts (8) Kansas City Royals39-27 2 L: Chris Young (6-3) 3B: Lorenzo Cain (3) [...]



Pure Dreck

2015-06-23T01:29:19Z

David Ortiz pulled an “…And Justice for All” in the seventh inning. He fell behind 1-2 with two out but got a single up the middle. Despite the hit Ortiz protested against home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman’s two called strikes by flipping his bat in front of home plate and making a dismissive gesture towards Dreckman from first base. After Dreckman ejected Ortiz the designated hitter mimed throwing the official out of the game. And the Academy Award goes to… David Ortiz for best show of righteous indignation. Your browser does not support iframes. “You call two bad pitches on a guy that throws 100, what do you want me to do?” asked Ortiz. “It was pretty obvious that those two pitches were pretty bad. Not only that, I look at you, you look at me, and I tell you the guy doesn’t need help and you keep giving me signals. I finally give up on you and you throw me out of the game for that? I don’t know.” What I don’t know is why Rick Porcello $82.5 million dollar man turned into a pumpkin. The starter imploded in the fifth inning after his team had scored two runs... David Ortiz pulled an “…And Justice for All” in the seventh inning. He fell behind 1-2 with two out but got a single up the middle. Despite the hit Ortiz protested against home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman’s two called strikes by flipping his bat in front of home plate and making a dismissive gesture towards Dreckman from first base. After Dreckman ejected Ortiz the designated hitter mimed throwing the official out of the game. And the Academy Award goes to… David Ortiz for best show of righteous indignation. src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=182788783&topic_id=6479266&width=480&height=270&property=mlb" width="480" height="270" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes. “You call two bad pitches on a guy that throws 100, what do you want me to do?” asked Ortiz. “It was pretty obvious that those two pitches were pretty bad. Not only that, I look at you, you look at me, and I tell you the guy doesn’t need help and you keep giving me signals. I finally give up on you and you throw me out of the game for that? I don’t know.” What I don’t know is why Rick Porcello $82.5 million dollar man turned into a pumpkin. The starter imploded in the fifth inning after his team had scored two runs to cushion its lead. The Royals scored one more run in the fifth than the Red Sox did in the entire game. Game 70: June 20, 2015 Boston Red Sox30-40 4 L: Rick Porcello (4-8) 2B: Blake Swihart (7), Brock Holt (13)3B: Alejandro De Aza (3)HR: Mookie Betts (7) Kansas City Royals39-26 7 W: Edinson Volquez (7-4)H: Franklin Morales (3), Ryan Madson (8), Kelvin Herrera (10), Wade Davis (8)S: Greg Holland (13) 2B: Mike Moustakas (14)HR: Salvador Perez (11), Kendry Morales (8) [...]



Vote Royals

2015-06-20T22:52:23Z

John Farrell is not shy with his use of challenges. After just one out in the game he asked Tom Hallion’s crew to take a closer look at Mookie Betts’s play at first where the center fielder was called out. The out call was reversed but the Red Sox didn’t capitalize on the call as David Ortiz grounded into an inning-ending double play. But in the second inning the Red Sox offense came alive. Mike Napoli, Blake Swihart, and Betts all drove in runs to build a five-run lead. Eduardo Rodriguez used that cushion well by holding the Royals to a single run in six and one-third inning of work. But the Red Sox’s Rodriguez wasn’t the one who made baseball headlines. Instead it was New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez, who homered off Justin Verlander for his 3,000th hit. Zach Hample, the season ticket-holder who caught the milestone piece of memorabilia, said he was keeping it. Hample said he has returned the first home run balls of Mike Trout and Didi Gregorious but that “this is something more special.” If Trout continues the path he is blazing, perhaps Hample will regret giving up that particular ball. Even though Major League... John Farrell is not shy with his use of challenges. After just one out in the game he asked Tom Hallion’s crew to take a closer look at Mookie Betts’s play at first where the center fielder was called out. The out call was reversed but the Red Sox didn’t capitalize on the call as David Ortiz grounded into an inning-ending double play. But in the second inning the Red Sox offense came alive. Mike Napoli, Blake Swihart, and Betts all drove in runs to build a five-run lead. Eduardo Rodriguez used that cushion well by holding the Royals to a single run in six and one-third inning of work. But the Red Sox’s Rodriguez wasn’t the one who made baseball headlines. Instead it was New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez, who homered off Justin Verlander for his 3,000th hit. Zach Hample, the season ticket-holder who caught the milestone piece of memorabilia, said he was keeping it. Hample said he has returned the first home run balls of Mike Trout and Didi Gregorious but that “this is something more special.” If Trout continues the path he is blazing, perhaps Hample will regret giving up that particular ball. Even though Major League Baseball cancelled more than 60 million votes the Royals still reign supreme in the All-Star roster voting. The only non-Kansas City squad member on the roster? Mike Trout. With the Red Sox seemingly on a roll, perhaps Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy might have to break out the Wally doll mojo every game. Or maybe Orsillo needs to keep on expanding his Dontourage. Game 69: June 19, 2015 Boston Red Sox30-39 7 W: Eduardo Rodriguez (3-1) 2B: Pablo Sandoval (11), Blake Swihart (6), Mike Napoli (9)HR: Hanley Ramirez (14) Kansas City Royals38-26 3 L: Shelby Miller (5-3) 2B: Omar Infante (14), Alcides Escobar (12), Christian Colon (4), Mike Moustakas (13)HR: Eric Hosmer (8) [...]



Buchholznaissance

2015-06-20T00:15:08Z

Clay Buchholz twirled another gem: seven innings, six hits, two runs (neither earned), one walk, and three strikeouts. Even better for an American League pitcher in a National League park: he didn’t injure himself in his three plate appearances. He was his own worst enemy in the sixth inning. Buchholz got the first two outs in six pitches but then surrendered a single to Cameron Maybin, walked Nick Markakis, and gave up another single to Juan Uribe. With the bases loaded A.J. Pierzynski tapped the ball to Buchholz. The starter gathered it and had to motion to David Ortiz to get to first base. He must have thought he lost too much time even though it was Pierzynski running to first and flipped the ball to Ortiz with his glove. The ball flew beyond Ortiz’s reach and Maybin and Markakis scored. The visitors prevailed despite Buchholz’s error. No single hitter dominated but nearly everyone played a part in advancing and scoring runners. A ratio of 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position isn’t remarkable but it is a sight better than a goose egg. Koji Uehara tallied his 14th save with a pristine ninth inning. He struck out former teammate Jonny... Clay Buchholz twirled another gem: seven innings, six hits, two runs (neither earned), one walk, and three strikeouts. Even better for an American League pitcher in a National League park: he didn’t injure himself in his three plate appearances. He was his own worst enemy in the sixth inning. Buchholz got the first two outs in six pitches but then surrendered a single to Cameron Maybin, walked Nick Markakis, and gave up another single to Juan Uribe. With the bases loaded A.J. Pierzynski tapped the ball to Buchholz. The starter gathered it and had to motion to David Ortiz to get to first base. He must have thought he lost too much time even though it was Pierzynski running to first and flipped the ball to Ortiz with his glove. The ball flew beyond Ortiz’s reach and Maybin and Markakis scored. The visitors prevailed despite Buchholz’s error. No single hitter dominated but nearly everyone played a part in advancing and scoring runners. A ratio of 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position isn’t remarkable but it is a sight better than a goose egg. Koji Uehara tallied his 14th save with a pristine ninth inning. He struck out former teammate Jonny Gomes to complete the victory. Uehara charmingly covered his mouth, which must have been agape in shock. The Red Sox managed to split a series! Game 68: June 18, 2015 Boston Red Sox29-39 5 W: Clay Buchholz (4-6)H: Tommy Layne (4)S: Koji Uehara (14) 2B: Alejandro De Aza (7), Mookie Betts (14)3B: Brock Holt (3) Atlanta Braves32-35 2 L: Shelby Miller (5-3) 2B: Jace Peterson (10) [...]



Instapanda

2015-06-19T00:18:35Z

John Farrell and Carl Willis weren’t yelling at Pablo Sandoval to get off his smartphone here but rather at Larry Vanover. The first base umpire ruled that Pedro Ciriaco didn’t go around but checked his swing and Farrell strongly expressed his disagreement. What is more disappointing, hopping onto a social media site during the game or calling a sacrifice bunt with two on, none out, with the eight-hole batter and pitcher coming up in the second inning? Not to cast a shadow on Joe Kelly’s efforts at the plate, or as the kids say today, “throw shade.” Kelly drove in a run in the fourth inning on an infield single. Jace Peterson didn’t think Kelly was fleet of foot enough to beat out his throw. The only other run the Red Sox scored came on Mike Napoli’s sixth-inning homer. At one point Napoli got red hot at the plate; perhaps this will light that spark again. In a Padres uniform Will Middlebrooks’s slash statistics are .233/.264/.403. Sandoval is doing better at .270/.323/.409, but the power numbers are comparable. And Middlebrooks doesn’t tweet at his fiancée Jenny Dell during games. They learned their lesson after tweeting a picture of themselves together... John Farrell and Carl Willis weren’t yelling at Pablo Sandoval to get off his smartphone here but rather at Larry Vanover. The first base umpire ruled that Pedro Ciriaco didn’t go around but checked his swing and Farrell strongly expressed his disagreement. What is more disappointing, hopping onto a social media site during the game or calling a sacrifice bunt with two on, none out, with the eight-hole batter and pitcher coming up in the second inning? Not to cast a shadow on Joe Kelly’s efforts at the plate, or as the kids say today, “throw shade.” Kelly drove in a run in the fourth inning on an infield single. Jace Peterson didn’t think Kelly was fleet of foot enough to beat out his throw. The only other run the Red Sox scored came on Mike Napoli’s sixth-inning homer. At one point Napoli got red hot at the plate; perhaps this will light that spark again. In a Padres uniform Will Middlebrooks’s slash statistics are .233/.264/.403. Sandoval is doing better at .270/.323/.409, but the power numbers are comparable. And Middlebrooks doesn’t tweet at his fiancée Jenny Dell during games. They learned their lesson after tweeting a picture of themselves together on New Year’s Eve. Game 67: June 17, 2015 Boston Red Sox28-39 2 H: Robbie Ross Jr. (3)BS: Alexi Ogando (1)L: Junichi Tazawa (0-3) HR: Mike Napoli (10) Atlanta Braves32-34 5 W: Nick Masset (2-1)H: Jim Johnson (16)S: Jason Grilli (18) 2B: Jace Peterson (9), Pedro Ciriaco (4) [...]



Brock of Ages

2015-06-18T22:08:10Z

I’ve been writing this blog for 10 years and in that span of time the Red Sox have not had a player hit for the cycle. Brock Holt ended that drought on Tuesday. He is the first Red Sox player to accomplish this feat since John Valentin did on June 6, 1996 against the Chicago White Sox. Valentin is the only player to have hit for the cycle, turned an unassisted triple play, and hit three home runs in a game. If there’s another player on the current Red Sox who could do this it would be Holt. Two players have hit for the cycle against Boston since 2005: Mark Ellis on June 4, 2007 and Bengie Molina (of all people) on July 16, 2010. When a player hits for the cycle it is often brought up how this exploit is rarer than no-hitters. Two Boston pitchers have thrown no-hitters in the past decade: Clay Buchholz on September 1, 2007 and Jon Lester on May 19, 2008. If there’s a non-pitcher that could no-hit a team for an inning, I would vote for Holt again. Your browser does not support iframes. Major League Baseball’s commissioner Rob Manfred was in attendance... I’ve been writing this blog for 10 years and in that span of time the Red Sox have not had a player hit for the cycle. Brock Holt ended that drought on Tuesday. He is the first Red Sox player to accomplish this feat since John Valentin did on June 6, 1996 against the Chicago White Sox. Valentin is the only player to have hit for the cycle, turned an unassisted triple play, and hit three home runs in a game. If there’s another player on the current Red Sox who could do this it would be Holt. Two players have hit for the cycle against Boston since 2005: Mark Ellis on June 4, 2007 and Bengie Molina (of all people) on July 16, 2010. When a player hits for the cycle it is often brought up how this exploit is rarer than no-hitters. Two Boston pitchers have thrown no-hitters in the past decade: Clay Buchholz on September 1, 2007 and Jon Lester on May 19, 2008. If there’s a non-pitcher that could no-hit a team for an inning, I would vote for Holt again. src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=169673483&topic_id=11493214&width=480&height=270&property=mlb" width="480" height="270" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes. Major League Baseball’s commissioner Rob Manfred was in attendance to witness Holt’s performance, which also contributed to ending the home squad’s seven-game losing streak. It’s time to have the designated hitter rule for both leagues and stop using the All-Star game to determine the World Series home field already, commish! As for Pete Rose, I have no strong feelings one way or the other as it does not impact the day-to-day game. It was nice of Holt to put on a show for the commissioner. And luckily for everyone Holt didn’t sing. src="http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=156867783&topic_id=6479266&width=480&height=270&property=mlb" width="480" height="270" frameborder="0">Your browser does not support iframes. Game 66: June 16, 2015 Atlanta Braves31-34 4 L: Julio Teheran (4-3) 2B: Freddie Freeman (20), Juan Uribe (6), Pedro Ciriaco (3), A.J. Pierzynski (9) Boston Red Sox28-38 9 W: Wade Miley (6-6)H: Junichi Tazawa (11) 2B: Brock Holt (12), Mookie Betts (13), Mike Napoli (8), Alejandro De Aza (6), Pablo Sandoval (10)3B: Betts (3), De Aza (2), Holt (2)HR: Holt (2) [...]



Gomes Again, Gomes Again, Jiggety-Jig

2015-06-18T03:16:23Z

Raise your hand if you miss Jonny Gomes. His reckless play in the outfield, solid production at the dish, and dynamic clubhouse presence seems to be something lacking in the 2015 Red Sox. I won’t ever forget how he draped the Boston Strong jersey on the 2013 World Series trophy at the Boston Marathon finish line when the duck boat rolling rally paused. When Gomes and Jon Lester were traded to Oakland in 2014 two players that exemplified the heart and soul of the team left the Hub. Yoenis Cespedes came to the Red Sox only to be traded for Rick Porcello. Procello lasted six and one-third innings with six hits, four earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts. Most troubling was that the ground ball pitcher had three ground outs and five fly ball outs. Gomes went 0-for-3 with a walk. He struck out twice and flied out to right, so the fence defensive formation never came into play. In the fourth Gomes made one of his signature “more dramatic than it needed to be” catches. Best of all it was on Dustin Pedroia, who was clearly amused that his former teammate made such a spectacular play. Maybe if... Raise your hand if you miss Jonny Gomes. His reckless play in the outfield, solid production at the dish, and dynamic clubhouse presence seems to be something lacking in the 2015 Red Sox. I won’t ever forget how he draped the Boston Strong jersey on the 2013 World Series trophy at the Boston Marathon finish line when the duck boat rolling rally paused. When Gomes and Jon Lester were traded to Oakland in 2014 two players that exemplified the heart and soul of the team left the Hub. Yoenis Cespedes came to the Red Sox only to be traded for Rick Porcello. Procello lasted six and one-third innings with six hits, four earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts. Most troubling was that the ground ball pitcher had three ground outs and five fly ball outs. Gomes went 0-for-3 with a walk. He struck out twice and flied out to right, so the fence defensive formation never came into play. In the fourth Gomes made one of his signature “more dramatic than it needed to be” catches. Best of all it was on Dustin Pedroia, who was clearly amused that his former teammate made such a spectacular play. Maybe if Pedroia still had his beard…. Game 65: June 15, 2015 Atlanta Braves31-33 4 W: Williams Perez (3-0)H: Nick Masset (4), Jim Johnson (15)S: Jason Grilli (17) No extra base hits Boston Red Sox27-38 2 L: Rick Porcello (4-7) 2B: Pablo Sandoval – 2 (9)HR: Xander Bogaerts (3) [...]