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Home » Category Listing » May 2013 Game Comments

June 1, 2013

Better Slip You an Ambien

CC Sabathia just had to regain his form (such that it is) in this series opener. The Yankees had been on a five-game schneid, during which they were swept by the Mets.

If bath salt attacks haven’t convinced you of the zombie attacks, the revitalization of Travis Hafner, Lyle Overbay, Ichiro Suzuki, and Vernon Wells should. What is dead may never die, but rises again, irritatinger and annoyinger.

It was nice of the Phillies to give Jacoby Ellsbury the actual base that broke the franchise record of stolen bases in a game. They didn’t throw it at him with some batteries.

Game 56: May 31, 2013
Boston Red Sox
1 L: Jon Lester (6-2)
2B: Dustin Pedroia – 2 (16), David Ross (2), Mike Napoli (20)
WinNew York Yankees
4 W: CC Sabathia (5-4)
H: David Robertson (11)
S: Mariano Rivera (19)
2B: Vernon Wells (7)

May 31, 2013

Prerogative to Have a Little Fun

Jealous of the green monsters at Fenway the Phillies trotted out two of their own emerald entities. Lou Ferrigno, who is 61 years old, still flaunts a physique outshining men half his age. As always the Phanatic was part of the shenanigans.

The boisterous beryl beast was outshone by David Ross, who does a mean lip sync of Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman.” His prerogative is to have a little fun, oh oh oh oh.

The interleague triad of Stephen Drew, Dustin Pedroia, and David Ortiz combined for a double play to end the fourth. Erik Kratz knocked the ball towards Drew, who quickly flipped to Pedroia. Pedroia avoided the oncoming rush of Kevin Frandsen to relay to Ortiz. The slugger impressively stretched to complete the play.

In the eighth inning Jacoby Ellsbury broke the franchise record for most stolen bases in a game. He swiped second off Michael Stutes, who will have the honor of being the answer to a trivia question. Ellsbury proceeded to third base when Kratz (who will be bonus points in said trivia contest) threw the ball away into center. The record came at the cost of a tight groin, however, and scratched the center fielder from the series opener against the Yankees.

Game 55: May 30, 2013
WinBoston Red Sox
9 W: Franklin Morales (1-0)
H: Craig Breslow (1)
2B: Jarrod Saltalamacchia – 2 (13), Jose Iglesias (5)
HR: Jonny Gomes (3), David Ortiz (9)
Philadelphia Phillies
2 L: Jonathan Pettibone (3-1)
2B: Kevin Frandsen (3)
HR: Delmon Young (4)

May 30, 2013

The Whippoorwill of Freedom Zapped Me

The fans of Philadelphia disappointed me. They gave Shane Victorino a warm welcome in his return to Citizens Bank Park. There’s mostly Red Sox fans in this photo, but the Phillies folks cheered along, too.

They also didn’t boo Stephen Drew at every at bat. When he came to the dish in the ninth and worked a walk he did get a smattering of catcalls, but nothing like the full-throated hooting and hollering I expect from the inhabitants of the City of Brotherly Love.

Indeed, Philadelphia is a serious baseball town, even though they allow the Phanatic to reenact scenes from “Caddyshack” between innings. It’s probably to keep Mensa member Jonathan Papelbon entertained.

Papelbon was on the cusp of the blown saves we had grown accustomed to as Red Sox fans but he induced a ground out off the bat of Daniel Nava to end the game. Zapped me right between the eyes.

Game 54: May 29, 2013
Boston Red Sox
3 L: John Lackey (3-5)
2B: Jose Iglesias (4), Jacoby Ellsbury (11)
3B: Ellsbury (5)
HR: Daniel Nava (7)
WinPhiladelphia Phillies
4 W: Kyle Kendrick (5-3)
H: Antonio Bastardo (7), Mike Adams (5)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (11)
HR: Ryan Howard (7), Dominic Brown – 2 (13), Erik Kratz (6)

May 29, 2013

Real Heroes

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman and his rescuer, Carlos Arredondo, threw out the ceremonial first pitch last night. Bauman had both his legs blasted off and Arredondo held his severed artery shut. Arredondo couldn’t save his own sons, one who perished in the Iraq War and another who took his life out of grief for his slain brother. But he could save another man’s son. It was the first time the pair had been honored together since the terrorist attack.

This game was enjoyable not just because we could honor true heroes but also because Pedro Martinez visited the booth. Adding to the mix was Dennis Eckersley, who was filling in for Jerry Remy. It was amazing to hear two all-time greats talking about how and why a current ace, Cliff Lee, was dominating the home team.

Pedro stated that one of his idols was Reggie Jackson; he even spent his last dollars on a ball autographed by him. I can’t wait for him to rib Jackson about that, just as Rickey Henderson did when, as a young fan, he was handed a pen with Jackson’s name on it rather than an autograph.

Eck said Juan Marichal was his icon and said he was surprised that Pedro didn’t name him, too. Pedro said in the poorly developed Dominican Republic they didn’t get to see many games, even of their own countrymen.

Boston didn’t win the game last night, but we were winners nonetheless.

Game 53: May 28, 2013
WinPhiladelphia Phillies
3 W: Cliff Lee (6-2)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (10)
HR: Michael Young (2), Dominic Brown (11)
Boston Red Sox
1 L: Ryan Dempster (2-6)
No extra base hits

May 28, 2013


I hadn’t thought about the history of Memorial Day until I saw this photo shared on Moveon.org’s Facebook page.

The caption read, “KNOW YOUR HISTORY: Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children where they marched, sang and celebrated.

Thanks to Abstrakt Goldsmith for this nugget of history that most of us never learned in school.”

At Fenway they showed photos of the Red Sox players who left baseball in the primes of their lives to serve their country: Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr, and Dom DiMaggio. Gary Bedingfield’s Baseball in Wartime site enshrines the hundreds of men who played organized baseball but also wore even more important uniforms.

Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli hit home runs in the first inning to give their team a lead that it would never lose. Pedroia’s snuck around Pesky’s Pole while Napoli’s was a no-doubter to the lower bleachers. The circuit clouts probably didn’t give newcomer Tyler Cloyd much confidence. But I felt sorry for the kid whose ancestor must have gotten an overworked registry clerk at the immigration office. That pubic servant couldn’t or wouldn’t spell out the Gaelic form of his name, “MacLeod,” or any of the other more commonly seen transliterations of this family name.

I can’t wait for this trend of mascot hats to evaporate. They look like puppets trying to eat people’s brains (or whatever is left of them).

Game 52: May 27, 2013
Philadelphia Phillies
3 L: Tyler Cloyd (1-1)
2B: Jimmie Rollins (15), Ryan Howard (13)
HR: Erik Kratz (5), Dominic Brown (10)
WinBoston Red Sox
9 W: Alfredo Aceves (2-1)
2B: Jacoby Ellsbury – 2 (10), David Ortiz (11), Mike Napoli (19)
3B: Pedroia (3), Napoli (8)

May 27, 2013

Sunday Surge

If we want to score four runs in the bottom of the ninth to wage a stunning comeback, these steps must be followed precisely.

Jerry Remy must spill coffee on his scorecard. While cleaning it off he has to say, “I’ll be okay as long as we don’t go into extra innings.” The statement would turn out to be prophetic.

Next be sure to find an adorable little girl with a charming sign announcing that it is her first game. She didn’t ask for hot dogs, however, she asked for something far more rare: a hug from the sometimes irascible Jerry Remy.

The girl got her wish.

Another essential ingredient for a late-inning comeback? A former ballplayer of both teams sitting up on the Green Monster. Christopher Trotman Nixon took in the game 37 feet above the field.

If the game is on a Sunday, the opposing manager has to come out and argue a close play at second at the seventh inning stretch. He should pause for the playing of “God Bless America,” of course. On any other day with “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” being performed the skipper can proceed with the discussion until ejection.

Or you can have you former MVP and Rookie of the Year second baseman lead off the inning with a base on balls. Follow with a ringing double off the bat of your clutch designated hitter. Plate one run with an RBI ground out off the bat of one of your key offseason acquisitions, a slugger at first base.

You could send your designated hitter to steal a base, but you probably don’t want to. If he’s successful your streaky backstop can plate him to bring your team within a run.

With two out get the bases loaded with a mix of walks and singles. At this point the reliever you had been abusing may leave the game with an injury, but your team will have built up so much momentum Bruce Sutter wouldn’t be able to shut it down.

A player in his final year before free agency can then complete the comeback with a line drive to the left-center gap.

Game 51: May 26, 2013
Cleveland Indians
5 H: Cody Allen (2)
H, L: Chris Perez (1, 2-1)
BS: Joe Smith (1)
2B: Jason Kipnis (10)
HR: Kipnis (8), Nick Swisher (7)
WinBoston Red Sox
6 W: Craig Breslow (2-0)
2B: Stephen Drew (6), David Ortiz (10), Jacoby Ellsbury (8)
3B: Drew (3)

May 26, 2013

Two Triumphs

Jonny Gomes is not an outstanding outfielder by any means but he goes all out on every play. He’ll make friends with the fences, splay his body on the sod, and commune with the cutoff man. In the third he gathered Nick Swisher’s single and fired to David Ross to cut down Asdrubal Cabrera at home.

Despite the superlative defensive play the Red Sox went into the eighth inning down a run. With one man out Pedro Ciriaco sent a double to center field. Jacoby Ellsbury struck out, so with two outs Mike Carp pinch hit for Gomes to leverage Carp’s left-handedness.

Carp promptly doubled off the wall to tie the game. Not to be outdone, Dustin Pedroia doubled higher off the wall to give his team the lead. David Ortiz was intentionally walked and Mike Napoli unintentionally walked to load the bases.

The reliever Vinnie Pestano was rattled and the defense behind him unraveled. Daniel Nava popped up in what should have been a fairly routine out to shortstop but the ball dropped between Cabrera and Michael Brantley. Two runs scored on the misplay.

The Wally hat has reached epidemic proportions. For variety, at least throw in a Bruins hat in support of our crosstown neighbors during their playoff run. The Bruins advanced to the Eastern Conference finals but face the star-packed Pittsburgh Penguins.

Game 50: May 25, 2013
Cleveland Indians
4 BS: Bryan Shaw (1)
H: Joe Smith (5)
BS, L: Vinnie Pestano (2, 1-1)
2B: Nick Swisher (13), Asdrubal Cabrera (15), Michael Brantley (8)
WinBoston Red Sox
7 W: Junichi Tazawa (4-2)
S: Andrew Bailey (6)
2B: Dustin Pedroia – 2 (14), Jose Iglesias (3), Pedro Ciriaco (2), Mike Carp (6)

May 25, 2013


Jenny Dell captured Terry Francona’s assault of Don Orsillo. I give it 8.5 Nolan Ryans. Francona got a deduction for using Orsillo’s tie; Ryan would have tackled his opponent.

Orsillo’s hair suffered temporarily. Of course he carried backup hair products to restore his hairstyle to its broadcast-ready state.

Fans showed their appreciation of Francona. His team had cooled off since the series opener, only mustering a single run in the third. With runners at first and second and Jason Kipnis in the box Jarrod Saltalamacchia attempted to catch Mark Reynolds stealing.

The throw missed Jose Iglesias, who replaced Will Middlebrooks at third for the evening, and skipped into left field. Reynolds scored on the error.

Since the run was scored on an error it was unearned, much to John Lackey’s delight. Mike Carp gave his team an early lead with a three-run homer in the second, giving Lackey the run support needed to tally his third win.

Game 49: May 24, 2013
Cleveland Indians
1 L: Justin Masterson (7-3)
2B: Michael Brantley (7)
WinBoston Red Sox
8 W: John Lackey (3-4)
2B: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (11)
HR: Mike Carp (3)

Thursday Troubles

Both the Red Sox and the Bruins lost on Thursday. The Bruins could have put away the Rangers in the fourth game of their season but a tumble by Tuuka Rask and behind-the-net carelessness by Zdeno Chara forced the series to Game 5.

In the third inning Jacoby Ellsbury was tagged out at home on Dustin Pedroia’s single to center. David Ortiz clouted a three-run homer right after the play at the plate and brought the Red Sox to within a run of the visitors. That was the closest Boston would come to Terry Francona’s club, however.

Francona’s former organization presented a video tribute prior to the game. His team returned the favor by trouncing the Red Sox. It was odd to see Francona in the third base dugout. I wonder if he misses the special bench on the first base side. I miss Francona less than I did last year, but it was a bit sad to see him on the opposing side.

But in Farrell we trust… for now.

Game 48: May 23, 2013
WinCleveland Indians
12 W: Zach McAllister (4-3)
S: Scott Barnes (1)
2B: Drew Stubbs – 2 (11), Michael Bourn (6), Yan Gomes (3)
3B: Stubbs (1)
Boston Red Sox
3 L: Ryan Dempster (2-5)
2B: Daniel Nava (8), Ryan Lavarnway (1)
HR: David Ortiz (8)

May 23, 2013


Koji-tation is the state of excitation attained when Koji Uehara enters the dugout after a successful inning. Shane Victorino was in a state of cogitation; he didn’t even realize Uehara was approaching him. Unawares and unprepared the outfielder got a slap on the shoulder rather than a high five.

Here is the moment of impact. Perhaps it raised Victorino to heightened state of awareness as a zen slap would.

Uehara hails from Neyagawa, Japan, which is near Osaka. Osaka is known for its own distinctive dialect, Ōsaka-ben, which differs from the “standard” Japanese that is spoken in and around Tokyo. This dialect is to English as the Cockney accent is to Received Pronunciation. The stereotype of Japanese people is that they are reserved, polite, and impersonal, but those characteristics generally apply to the denizens of Tokyo. Folks from Osaka are known for being outgoing, irreverent, and independent.

Gimme that Filet-O-Fish!

Game 47: May 22, 2013
WinBoston Red Sox
6 W: Clay Buchholz (7-0)
H: Koji Uehara (10)
2B: Dustin Pedroia (12)
Chicago White Sox
2 L: Hector Santiago (1-3)
HR: Paul Konerko (5)

May 22, 2013

No Way Jose

Jose Quintana carried a no-hitter against the Red Sox until the seventh inning. With one out David Ortiz sent a looper into shallow center.

The single broke Ortiz’s bat.

The bat lay shattered, kind of like Henrik Lundqvist’s spirit. The Rangers lost the third game of the Eastern Conference semifinals 2-1 on a seemingly fluke shot that seemed magnetically attracted to the net. The Bruins’ energy line would not be denied. Color analyst Pierre McGuire summed up the fourth line well: “[They are] like a bad rash. They’re on you all the time and they won’t go away.”

Game 46: May 21, 2013
Boston Red Sox
1 L: Felix Doubront (3-2)
No extra base hits
WinChicago White Sox
3 W: Jose Quintana (3-1)
H: Jesse Crain (14), Matt Lindstrom (6)
S: Addison Reed (15)
2B: Tyler Flowers (5), Alex Rios (11)
HR: Jeff Keppinger (1)

May 21, 2013

Mismatched Socks

They take their baseball seriously in Chicago.

They are also unfailingly loyal.

The only thing that would be worse is if he had some Cubbies gear, too.

In the first frame with two runners on Adam Dunn accomplished the true outcome that gave his team a 3-0 lead. The White Sox never trailed. Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s two-run four-bagger brought the visitors within three runs.

Matt Thornton allowed David Ortiz and Mike Napoli to reach on walks in the seventh. Daniel Nava flied out to right and Ortiz tagged up. With runners at the corners Will Middlebrooks lofted to the ball to left field where Dayan Viciedo mistimed his leap. The double allowed Ortiz and Napoli to score. Pale Hose relievers Jesse Crain and Addison Reed fared better than Thornton, however, shutting down the visitors for final two frames.

Comparing Boston and Chicago’s current sports resumes, the Bruins are ahead 2-0 in hockey while the Blackhawks are down 2-1. The Bulls advanced past the first round of the NBA finals, unlike the Celtics, but lost to the Heat 4-1. Neither city’s MLS teams are doing well. Both of Chicago’s MLB franchises are under .500 but the Red Sox are vying for first in the AL East.

I would say that the red and blue-wigged denizens of U.S. Cellular Field tip the scale in favor of Boston but the preponderance of Wally hats evens out the race.

Game 45: May 20, 2013
Boston Red Sox
4 L: Jon Lester (6-1)
2B: Will Middlebrooks (12)
HR: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (5)
WinChicago White Sox
6 W: Dylan Axelrod (2-3)
H: Jesse Crain (13)
S: Addison Reed (15)
2B: Tyler Greene (2), Alejandro De Aza (8), Alexei Ramirez (9), Jeff Keppinger (4)
HR: Adam Dunn (11)

May 20, 2013

Tarp-et Field

The three hour, fifteen-minute duration of the game was just a quarter-hour less than the rain delay. David Ortiz tweeted during the delay, “Raining for 2 hours and no one will call the game.... Come on!!!!!”

Once a game starts it is the umpire-in-chief’s call when the game should recommence. According to Rule 3.10, “The umpire-in-chief shall at all times try to complete a game. His authority to resume play following one or more suspensions of as much as 30 minutes each shall be absolute and he shall terminate a game only when there appears to be no possibility of completing it.” Thus Jeff Kellogg ensured that this game would be completed, particularly because this was the last meeting of these two teams this season.

During the delay Boston fans got to watch the Bruins defeat the Rangers in the second game of the Eastern Conference semifinals with the improbable score of 5-2. Henrik Lundqvist hadn’t allowed five goals in a match since March 9, 2011. At Target Field what little remained of the crowd watched The Sandlot in celebration of the movie’s 20th anniversary. “You’re killin’ me, Smalls!”

John Lackey had a perfect game going until Trevor Plouffe’s leadoff double in the fifth. Were it not for the weather Lackey could have gone for a complete game one-hitter like Jon Lester’s against the Blue Jays.

Will Middlebrooks scored the first run of the game with a solo shot in the second inning, a circuit clout to the opposite field. About a feature film and a half later Dustin Pedroia lofted the ball to left field with Jonny Gomes on base. Josh Willingham leaped for the ball but couldn’t glove it. The ball bounced along the top of the padded wall and fell out of the park. The remaining fans cheered and jeered, Red Sox adherents gathered behind the visitors’ dugout and Twins devotees backing the home dugout.

The only disappointment to the day was that the Red Sox final score didn’t exactly match the Bruins’, at least to the OCD sports fan.

Game 44: May 19, 2013
WinBoston Red Sox
5 W: John Lackey (2-4)
H: Andrew Miller (4), Koji Uehara (9)
HR: Will Middlebrooks (8), Dustin Pedroia (2)
Minnesota Twins
1 L: Pedro Hernandez (2-1)
2B: Trevor Plouffe (9), Wilkin Ramirez (3)

May 19, 2013

Scorer’s Discretion

Twins official scorer Stew Thornley granted Craig Breslow the win in this blowout. Usually the pitcher who assumes the mound after the starter gets the win, but Clayton Mortensen’s two-thirds of an inning with two hits and a walk wasn’t as effective as Breslow’s 1⅔ innings with one hit and a base on balls. Thus Thornley was able to use his discretion and did so wisely.

This judgment seems fairer than Alex Wilson’s two-pitch win from Friday’s game. Andrew Miller had preceded Wilson with 1⅔ innings of perfect pitching with three strikeouts. But that ruling had to do with when the Red Sox scored and the pitcher of record definition and cannot be attributed to the scorer’s decision.

Thornley shares the official scorer responsibility with Gregg Wong. Wong taught Twins blogger Tracy Perlman how to keep score. It’s a hobby for some, like me, but as the guardian of the statistics that the MLB compiles it is essential to the history of the sport. Last year Thornley, Wong, and the official scorer for the Nationals, David Vincent, were in a SABR panel moderated by Kevin Hennessy.

This game lasted almost four hours, as long as the typical Red Sox-Yankees tilt. I give credit to Thornley for being attentive throughout the contest. Aaron Gleeman tweeted, “On my death bed I’m going to think about the fact that I watched every second of this Twins-Red Sox game on a Saturday night.”

Two things scorers can’t gauge are artistic merit and impact collision. In the bottom of the sixth inning Aaron Hicks popped up to Dustin Pedroia, who was shaded all the way behind first base. Pedroia made the catch with his back to home.

While the second baseman gathered the ball the 6'1", 220-pound Ryan Doumit lumbered to home plate to try to score. Ryan Lavarnway, who is 6'4" and 225 pounds, received the relay from Pedroia and calmly blocked the plate. Doumit couldn’t knock the ball out of Lavarnway’s mitt and the Red Sox ended the sixth with a sequence that is blandly notated as a 4-2 double play. Mostly it’s the numbers, but that twin killing was about the blending of style and grit.

Game 43: May 18, 2013
WinBoston Red Sox
12 W: Craig Breslow (1-0)
S: Koji Uehara (1)
2B: Jonny Gomes (4), Dustin Pedroia (11)
HR: David Ortiz – 2 (7), Daniel Nava (6)
Minnesota Twins
5 L: Scott Diamond (3-4)
2B: Josh Willingham (9), Joe Mauer (17), Ryan Doumit (9)

May 18, 2013

Gomes Away from Home

Pedro Florimon has hit two home runs this season. Both of them have come against the Red Sox. There’s just something about Boston’s pitchers that turns this nine-hole hitter into a slugger. His two-run shot in the bottom of the third put his team ahead 2-1. He didn’t even need the aid of the jutting section in right field to visit souvenir city.

It took until the seventh but the Red Sox tied the game. Jonny Gomes led off the frame with a base on balls and scooted to third on Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s line drive single to center. Jacoby Ellsbury stroked the ball up the middle where Florimon got to it but only managed to deflect it to Aaron Hicks in center. Gomes scored the tying run on the single.

The Twins and Red Sox were deadlocked until the tenth. Dustin Pedroia led off with a single and David Ortiz followed with a walk. John Farrell called for Will Middlebrooks to sacrifice bunt and Ron Gardenhire countered by intentionally walking hot-hitting Stephen Drew. Gomes took this personally and lofted the ball to center to plate the go-ahead run.

Koji Uehara pitched a perfect tenth inning with two strikeouts to secure the series opener. Whether it’s a hold or a save, Uehara celebrates lustily with his teammates all the same.

The 3-2 score and win in overtime is reminiscent of the Bruins’ win against the Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Brad Marchand scored the winning goal, just as the shortest Red Sox player represented the winning run.

Game 42: May 17, 2013 ∙ 10 innings
WinBoston Red Sox
3 W: Alex Wilson (1-0)
S: Koji Uehara (1)
2B: Stephen Drew (5)
Minnesota Twins
2 BS: Brian Duensing (1)
L: Josh Roenicke (1-1)
2B: Trevor Plouffe (8)
HR: Pedro Florimon (2)

May 17, 2013

There Was Something in the Air That Night

If I had to do the same again, I would, my friend, Fernando.

Fernando Rodney walked the first two batters he faced but then got Mike Napoli to strike out on his change-up. Daniel Nava nearly did the same but didn’t bite at a change-of-pace pitch in the dirt and loaded the bases. Unfortunately Stephen Drew didn’t learn from Napoli and Nava and struck out on three pitches. Will Middlebrooks was paying close attention because he didn’t end up ahead of Rodney’s off-speed pitch but stayed with it. With one swing Middlebrooks cleared the bases and granted his team the win.

The gong guy got into his gong getup for nothing.

Don’t blame these guys! They’re just the hired help, brought in to attempt to grace the atmosphere of Tropicana Field with a touch of class. Tom Ford tuxedos for no reason.

Goodness knows this venue needs something to grant it the air of dignity. A difficult thing, what with the gong guy, cowbells, white ceiling, drink races, and catwalks. The Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame helps with that.

Game 41: May 16, 2013
WinBoston Red Sox
4 W: Junichi Tazawa (3-2)
2B: Shane Victorino (4), Will Middlebrooks (11)
Tampa Bay Rays
3 H: Jake McGee (8), Joel Peralta (10)
BS, L: Fernando Rodney (3, 1-2)
HR: Ryan Roberts (3)

May 16, 2013

Tattoo Drew

Stephen Drew busted the game wide open in the third inning with a grand slam to right-center. He had started off the inning with a base on balls that he didn’t realize he had; home plate umpire Sam Holbrook had to prompt him to take first.

The Red Sox broke their three-game losing streak in grand fashion. Here’s hoping the Bruins start their series against the Rangers with a win. That would make this triple fan glad.

Ryan Lavarnway had a day off after having to catch for John Lackey. While Jon Lester and Jarrod Saltalamacchia showed how simpatico they were in this game Lavarnway and Lackey had more pointless meetings than Path-E-Tech Management. Lavarnway’s favorite pies for dinner are shepherd’s or chicken pot while he favors cherry or banana cream pie for dessert. But the phrase “easy as pie” will soon turn into “easy as NESN’s Twitter question of the night as explained by Jenny to Jerry.”

The Tampa Bay Rays are a mid-inning show featuring a dog performing Frisbee tricks away from having an minor league atmosphere. At least the Presidents Race at Nationals Park is educational and indicative of the locale. The Great Pierogi Race features a food treat particular to Pittsburgh, and the Sausage Race at Miller Park are the originators.

The Drink Race at Tropicana Field is just indicative of how deep PepsiCo’s pockets are.

Game 40: May 15, 2013
WinBoston Red Sox
9 W: Jon Lester (6-0)
2B: Dustin Pedroia (10), Will Middlebrooks (10), Mike Napoli (18), Stephen Drew (4)
HR: Drew (3), Middlebrooks (7)
Tampa Bay Rays
2 L: David Price (1-4)
2B: Yunel Escobar (6)
3B: Desmond Jennings (2)

May 15, 2013

Dangerous Tocsin

So this is gong and centurion deal is on purpose. Joe Maddon was inspired by T-Rex’s “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” so he had the instrument installed and even hired someone to bang it. This strikes me (no pun intended) as pathetic. At least John Adams at Progressive Field is an actual fan. The cowbells, while annoying, were a spontaneous celebration.

And this? This is a manifestation of Maddon’s pop psychology. He brought in Latin dance band Sol Caribe to keep the clubhouse atmosphere loose. Because playing baseball in St. Petersburg is so pressure-packed. Some people call him a genius; I think he watches too much Dr. Phil.

Florida supermarket chain Sweetbay has a promotion called “Meatbay.” Disappointingly (surprisingly?) it’s not a way for Sweetbay shoppers to meet their missed connections. Kevin the butcher promotes various cuts and provides recipes for them.

The Rays won by way of Matt Joyce’s two-run infield single in the fourth. Mike Napoli lost the pop-up in the lights and it dropped between he and Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia let it roll to see if it would go foul but it didn’t.

This would have been the most befuddling play of the inning if it weren’t for Jose Molina tagging up to get to third successfully on a fly ball out to center. He even legged out a double to center in the third. Perhaps the Latin dancing made his feet lighter.

Game 39: May 14, 2013
Boston Red Sox
3 L: John Lackey (1-4)
2B: Dustin Pedroia (9), Stephen Drew (3)
HR: David Ortiz (5)
WinTampa Bay Rays
5 W: Matt Moore (7-0)
H: Jake McGee (7), Josh Lueke (1), Joel Peralta (9)
S: Fernando Rodney (7)
2B: Yunel Escobar (5), Luke Scott (1), James Loney (12), Jose Molina (3)

May 13, 2013

Died, Fried, Laid to the Side

The saying I used for the title of this post was supposed to be “fired, dyed, and laid to the side” and refer to tortured hairstyles, but I reworked it to refer to this delectable array of meat. This was one of the few points of enjoyment in yesterday’s game.

While getting shellacked by the potent Blue Jays lineup the Red Sox nearly lost one of their key players. Shane Victorino went all out after Emilio Bonifacio’s fourth-inning circuit clout. Victorino’s glove careened into the bullpen and the outfielder lay on the grass for a few minutes. He stayed in the game despite the collision. Perhaps he was floored because Bonifacio actually hit a home run.

Melky Cabrera invented emo eyeblack. I guess this is his way of expressing the isolation and longing he experienced during his 50-game suspension.

Game 38: May 12, 2013
WinToronto Blue Jays
12 W: Chad Jenkins (1-0)
2B: Emilio Bonifacio (8), Melky Cabrera (5)
HR: Jose Bautista 2 (9), Bonifacio (1), Edwin Encarnacion (11), Brett Lawrie (4)
Boston Red Sox
4 L: Ryan Dempster (2-4)
2B: Dustin Pedroia (8), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (10), Mike Napoli (17)
HR: Napoli (7), Pedro Ciriaco (1)

May 12, 2013

Blue Jays and Layne

Pro tip from Melky Cabrera: don’t dive after liners to the outfield late in the game with your team in the lead. If you miss, you may allow a single to turn into a double.

And if you do dive, try not to mimic the technique of a fan going after a foul ball.

In the bottom of the third Jerry Layne had a little fun with Dustin Pedroia. The second baseman thought he was imbued with the speed of Jacoby Ellsbury and attempted to stretch a single to left into a double. The ball was there to greet Pedroia as was Layne.

Layne’s call was correct, which is more than can be said for his colleagues around the league lately. Angel Hernandez failed to correct the call on the instant replay review of a home run in a game between Cleveland and Oakland on May 8. The homer would have tied the game.

On May 9 Fieldin Culbreth misapplied 3.05 (b), which states:

(b) If the pitcher is replaced, the substitute pitcher shall pitch to the batter then at bat, or any substitute batter, until such batter is put out or reaches first base, or until the offensive team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the umpire-in-chief’s judgment, incapacitates him for further play as a pitcher.

The game was between the Angels and Astros, and somehow first-year manager Bo Porter silvertongued the umpiring crew into thinking that the rule had been changed. But I can’t help but think Culbreth and the gang were amused to see Mike Scioscia extremely upset.

Game 37: May 11, 2013
WinToronto Blue Jays
3 BS, W: Darren Oliver (1, 2-1)
S: Casey Janssen (10)
HR: Adam Lind (2)
Boston Red Sox
2 L: Junichi Tazawa (2-2)
2B: Will Middlebrooks – 2 (9)
3B: Jacoby Ellsbury (4)

May 11, 2013

The Excellence of Lester

Jon Lester sat two batters down in the sixth and didn’t allow any hitters to reach base up to that point. He squared off against Maicer Izturis and offered a first pitch change-up away. The sound of the ball off Maicer Izturis’s bat caused the 33,606 fans at Fenway and the millions of viewers at home to inhale sharply. If only that movement of air were enough to draw the ball closer to Will Middlebrooks’s outstretched glove arm. When the ball found fair territory there was a collective sigh.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia immediately went to the mound to talk to Jon Lester. He had just surrendered the only hit of the game but still had to preserve the one-run lead his team held. Lester dispatched the next 10 batters as he had the first 17. He only struck out five, but when Blue Jays batters got the bat on the ball they found Red Sox defenders’ gloves.

Off the field Dan Shaughnessy, apparently a graduate of the Dick Hayhurst School of Journalism, wrote about David Ortiz’s resurgence to all-star form and attributed it to performance-enhancing drugs. Needless to say Ortiz didn’t appreciate Shaughnessy’s speculation. I can’t wait for Shaughnessy’s and Hayhurst’s conjectures about Lester’s excellence.

Game 36: May 10, 2013
Toronto Blue Jays
0 L: Ramon Ortiz (0-1)
No extra base hits
WinBoston Red Sox
5 W: Jon Lester (5-0)
2B: Will Middlebrooks – 2 (7), Daniel Nava (7), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (9)

May 10, 2013

Missing in Action

Ow ard is it to ead ithout he irst onsonant? Et’s ask Swaldo Arcia, he ero of he ame or he Wins. And win the Twins did with Arcia’s two-run homer in the sixth, his run off Aaron Hicks’s double in the fifth, and a pair of scores by Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer.

I would have thought the Red Sox would do no worse than a series split against the Twins but end up winning only one game in the series. They lost their closer in the rout as well. There are eight words no pitcher ever wants to hear: “Dr. Andrews is ready to see you now.” Joel Hanrahan was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a flexor pronator strain in his right elbow. To his credit Hanrahan is going to try to rehab the injury instead of getting Tommy John surgery right away, but even that course of action well keep him off the mound for two months.

Junichi Tazawa was tapped to close by John Farrell. Get your 三振 signs ready!

Game 35: May 9, 2013
WinMinnesota Twins
5 W: Kevin Correia (4-2)
H: Brian Duensing (6), Jared Burton (7)
S: Glen Perkins (8)
2B: Aaron Hicks (3)
3B: Oswaldo Arcia (1)
HR: Arcia (3)
Boston Red Sox
3 L: John Lackey (1-3)
2B: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (8), Dustin Pedroia (7)
HR: Jonny Gomes (2), Shane Victorino (2)

May 9, 2013

Krejci Craziness

I admit to turning over to the Bruins after Allen Webster lost the lead in the second inning. Whatever energy Jonny Gomes’s grand slam generated precipitously dissipated like the ozone layer in spring. David Krejci provided welcome relief for Boston sports fans with his overtime goal to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs, giving him a hat trick and Bruins a 3-1 series lead.

Players I didn’t have a chance to make fun of last time:

  • Pedro Hernandez: Peter, Ferdinand’s son.
  • Ryan Pressly: Why can’t we get guys like this? (He was drafted in the eleventh round by the Red Sox in 2007, the 354th pick. The Twins picked him up in the Rule 5 draft in 2012.)
  • Casey Fien: Baseball players named “Casey” should be hitters or pitchers in the National League.
  • Brian Duensing: This is a pretty good “Game of Thrones” name, but of course the “i” needs to be converted into a “y.”
  • Glen Perkins: There are so many more famous Perkinses than you. Carl. Anthony. Frances. You don’t know Frances? Look her up!
  • Pedro Florimon: Florimon used air slash! It’s super effective! Florimon! Gotta catch ’em all!
  • Oswaldo Arcia: Your name is missing a “G.”
Game 34: May 8, 2013
WinMinnesota Twins
15 W: Ryan Pressly (1-0)
2B: Justin Morneau (7), Joe Mauer – 2 (11), Trevor Plouffe (5), Pedro Florimon (3), Oswaldo Arcia (4)
HR: Ryan Doumit (2), Florimon (1)
Boston Red Sox
8 L: Allen Webster (0-1)
2B: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (8), Dustin Pedroia (7)
HR: Jonny Gomes (2), Shane Victorino (2)

May 8, 2013

Your Mother Dresses You Funny

This game was terrible so I am just going to make fun of the Minnesota Twins that took the field last night.

  • Jamey Carroll: You have a girl’s name. You don’t even spell it like the character from television’s hottest show “Game of Thrones.”
  • Joe Mauer: You are almost baseball’s version of Tom Brady, just too perfect. You didn’t marry a supermodel but a nurse and are so potent she is expecting twins. And you’re on the Twins. But unlike Brady you have no championships.
  • Josh Willingham: You suffer from Clemens syndrome, which means your kids all have names that start with the same letter. Rhett, Ryder, and Rogan sounds cute now but when you are old and senile you will get confused.
  • Justin Morneau: No one remembers you won the Home Run Derby in 2008.
  • Trevor Plouffe: Despite its silly sound your surname is probably a variant of the German Pflug, which means “plough.” Pretty manly, but your first name is still Trevor.
  • Ryan Doumit: Looks like a psycho killer. Qu’est-ce que c’est?
  • Chris Parmalee: You win your team’s “name that could be from “Game of Thrones” game” that I play in my head. Your given name would have to be changed to “Chrys,” however.
  • Wilkin Ramirez: Now, your first name would win in “name that could be from “Game of Thrones” game” © me.
  • Aaron Hicks: I’d make fun of you but we might be related.
  • Brian Dozier: I know so little about you I had to Google. The first hit is this interview. He humbly stated he resembled Bradley Cooper.
  • Scott Diamond: Maybe if we had a hitter named De Beers we could have cornered the market on this guy.
  • Josh Roenicke: Is married to a girl named Nikki. Is she your darling? Where did you meet her?
Game 33: May 7, 2013
WinMinnesota Twins
6 W: Scott Diamond (3-2)
2B: Ryan Doumit (8), Joe Mauer (9)
HR: Doumit (1)
Boston Red Sox
1 L: Ryan Dempster (2-3)
HR: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (4)

May 7, 2013

Eleventh Ours

Is the first week of May too early to declare a game a defining moment?

It started off disappointingly with Clay Buchholz struggling to find the find the zone and keep the ball away from bats. The Twins were one batter shy of batting around; a single, two doubles, and two walks only resulted in two runs. Buchholz fought back to strike out Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks with the bases loaded.

The local nine scored a run an inning between the fourth and the eighth. The fourth frame featured Shane Victorino’s first home run of the season. Stephen Drew added to the tally with a fly ball to shallow center to plate Daniel Nava. Mike Napoli answered in the next frame with an RBI single of his own.

While Boston’s batters chipped away at the Twins’ lead Buchholz waved his first innings woes away and held Minnesota to two more runs. In the fourth the pair Buchholz had struck out to close the first, Arcia and Hicks, knocked in consecutive doubles. The M&M boys weren’t silent last night; Joe Mauer powered a ground-rule double and Justin Morneau sacrificed him in.

Boston infielders Drew and Dustin Pedroia countered with home runs in the seventh and eighth, respectively. Drew figured he had best touch them all rather than risk being called out at home again as he was in the fifth. Corey Blaser has ejected a player and a manager for calls at home plate, but Drew and John Farrell didn’t raise a ruckus.

That’s Pedroia’s job. He launched his first home run of the season off of the stanchions to give his team the lead.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Joel Hanrahan blew his second save of the season. Leave it to light-hitting second baseman Brian Dozier to exploit Hanrahan. Hanrahan did have an excuse, as he left the game the game in the ninth with an out remaining. He is now on the disabled list with a strained right forearm.

But for every goat anointed a hero can be crowned. With two down and Jarrod Saltalamacchia at second Drew clanged the ball off the wall.

Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some, given a chance to climb, they cling to the realm, or the gods, or love. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.

Game 32: May 6, 2013 ∙ 11 innings
Minnesota Twins
5 H: Brian Duensing (5)
BS: Casey Fien (2)
L: Jared Burton (0-1)
2B: Joe Mauer – 2 (8), Josh Willingham (7), Oswaldo Arcia (3), Aaron Hicks (2)
WinBoston Red Sox
6 BS: Joel Hanrahan (2)
W: Clayton Mortensen (1-2)
2B: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (7), Daniel Nava (6), Jacoby Ellsbury (7), David Ortiz (9), Stephen Drew (2)
HR: Shane Victorino (1), Drew (2), Dustin Pedroia (1)

May 6, 2013

Got Yu Under My Skin

It is much too early ordain Yu Darvish as the next Pedro, but it is tempting to do so. For his first five years Martinez didn’t crack 5.0 WAR but then in 1997 transformed into “vintage Pedro.” I’m thankful this man is not in the AL East. Like Felix Hernandez he can build up his Hall of Fame resume against the AL West… until we trade for him like we did Pedro.

I’m not quite sure why these fans are holding up katakana signs that say “da.” It is the first character in Darvish’s surname: ダルビッシュ. This transliterates as da ru bi [glottal stop] shu. If they were scoring his strikeouts they could just use Ks because that is used in Japan, too. If they wanted to save a sign with each whiff they should have used 三振, shich is pronounced “sanshin.”

It was an all-around poor sports showing for Beantown this weekend. The Celtics started it by losing Game 6 on Friday, the Bruins lost 4-2 to the Maple Leafs on Saturday, and the Red Sox were swept. It could have been worse. At least Red Sox fans aren’t feeling the pain Theon Greyjoy was… yet.

Game 31: May 5, 2013
Boston Red Sox
3 L: Clayton Mortensen (0-2)
HR: David Ortiz (4), David Ross (4)
WinTexas Rangers
4 W: Joe Nathan (1-0)
2B: Lance Berkman (7)
HR: Mitch Moreland (4), Nelson Cruz (7)

May 5, 2013


Before I talk about beef and baseball I just wanted to send my thoughts and prayers to my friend, the Advanced Scout at Fire Brand of the American League, whose mother who is in the hospital. Like the Red Sox recent troubles against Texas this is just a temporary setback.

Aside from being the president and an owner of the Texas Rangers Nolan Ryan also has his own brand of all-natural beef. I suppose this herd of mascots is promoting what’s for dinner.

Alexi Ogando wasn’t serving up meatballs. Boston hitters managed a meager six hits off of the fireballer. Only David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia powered extra base hits. Ortiz’s second-inning double resulted in the his team’s sole run. Am I the only one who winces along with Ortiz whenever he runs the basepaths?

Here is a rather large hot dog that in Texas terms is a kid’s meal. The radioactive green Chicago relish developed sentience and made its way to Arlington.

Boston fans were out in force but witnessed another loss against the Rangers. Stay strong!

Derek Holland wears this mask for altitude training. I would check his phone records to see if he is calling physicists to weaponize nuclear power plants. His wispy moustache might be a disguise for comic book style villainy.

Junichi Tazawa struck out three batters and allowed a hit in the seventh. If Koji Uerhara continues to give up longballs and runs I wonder if they might switch places? Tazawa’s favorite food is yakiniku, which are grilled meat dishes. The cooking style and restaurants were introduced to Japan from Korea. My favorite yakiniku place in Honolulu is a continent and an ocean away but I can at least visit the website to recall the delectable smells and flavors of grilling beef.

Game 30: May 4, 2013
Boston Red Sox
1 L: John Lackey (1-2)
2B: David Ortiz (8), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (6)
WinTexas Rangers
5 W: Alexi Ogando (3-2)
H: Robbie Ross (5), Tanner Scheppers (6)
2B: Jeff Baker (2), Adrian Beltre (6), Ian Kinsler (8)

Beltre Buster

The general manager of Delaware North Company Sportservices said of the Beltre Buster, “We don’t count calories.” The article also stated that, “Club officials declined to provided nutritional information on the new offerings.”

It is fitting that Adrian Beltre has a monstrous burger named after him. The eponymous dish features a pound of beef and eight ounces of bacon. Beltre boasted a 4-for-5 outing with a bases-clearing double in the fourth. I hope all his teammates touched his head.

The course of Don Orsillo’s attempt to eat the burger mirrored the Red Sox players in this game. First there is initial delight in being presented with a novel challenge, the division-leading Rangers.

Then attacking the task at hand with gusto.

Until at last the inevitable surrender.

Game 29: May 3, 2013
Boston Red Sox
0 L: Felix Doubront (3-1)
No extra base hits
WinTexas Rangers
7 W: Derek Holland (2-2)
2B: Jeff Baker (2), Adrian Beltre (6), Ian Kinsler (8)

May 3, 2013

Tearing It Up

Was Don Orsillo trying to photograph the area where Mike Napoli’s home runs landed? Or if Red Sox wins (leading the league with 20) represented 100 feet in height the imaginary apex of that accomplishment? Oh, he was just being a tourist? It’s better when Don is the subject of photos, such as this one in a giant hot dog, not taking them.

Dick Hayhurst accused Clay Buchholz of loading the ball with Crisco. Seems to me that Brad Lincoln may have indulged in something given the results of one of his pitches. Will Hayhurst call out Joel Hanrahan next? The closer celebrated his 100th career save and fourth of the season. Given Andrew Bailey’s injury history and Hanrahan’s inconsistency, this is a two-person committee of closers I can get behind.

Brett Lawrie scored Toronto’s only run but he had an issue on the defensive side. In the ninth his throw to first pulled Adam Lind away from the runner. Lind tried to tag Dustin Pedroia on the run but seemed to forget the second baseman is not as tall as other players and only touched air.

Game 28: May 2, 2013
WinBoston Red Sox
3 W: Ryan Dempster (2-2)
H: Andrew Miller (3), Junichi Tazawa (9), Koji Uehara (8)
S: Joel Hanrahan (4)
2B: Mike Napoli (14), Jonny Gomes (3), Daniel Nava (5)
Toronto Blue Jays
1 L: J.A. Happ (2-2)
HR: Brett Lawrie (3)

May 2, 2013

Hub Hat Trick

No Argonauts gear? How about some Raptors swag? I don’t blame him for not wearing Toronto Rock gear because of the lame nickname and well, it’s lacrosse. Toronto FC is pretty nifty, though.

Sorry about all the losing our teams gave yours, kid.

The Red Sox capped off an evening that saw the Celtics salvage some Boston pride by fending off the Knicks for another game. Tell the Westboro Baptist Church to reschedule the picket on the Cs’ funeral. The Bruins handily put away the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 in the first game of their playoff series. That’s what you get for having an ungrammatical moniker. But hey, I guess Toronto Rock.

Mike Napoli started the season off slow with the first half of April a disappointing .220/.235/.420 and two home runs. Since then he turned the heat up to a simmer and last night reached a full roiling boil. Dustin Pedroia tweeted to his followers that Napoli needs a new nickname. My suggestion was “Florida Fencebuster,” inspired by his two-homer showing, his birth state, and my love of old time baseball slang. Huzzah!

Game 27: May 1, 2013
WinBoston Red Sox
10 W: Clay Buchholz (6-0)
2B: David Ortiz (7), David Ross (1), Mike Napoli (14)
HR: Stephen Drew (1), Napoli – 2 (6), Daniel Nava (5), Mike Carp (2)
Toronto Blue Jays
1 L: Mark Buehrle (1-2)
2B: Jose Bautista (4), J.P. Arencibia (7)
HR: Edwin Encarnacion – 2 (9)

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