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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Bruins”

Time for a Correia Change

Ron Gardenhire may find himself Gardenfired if he keeps on telling his pitchers to pitch to David Ortiz. The designated hitter had another two-home run evening, putting him in sole possession of third place in career home runs in a Red Sox uniform. He is 68 home runs behind Carl Yazstremski and 137 fewer than Ted Williams. I wonder where his statue will be placed? Your browser does not support iframes. Kevin Correia was pummeled by the Red Sox lineup for five runs over four innings. The relief corps surrendered another four runs. Michael Tonkin in particular had a rough time in the ninth. With the bases loaded and two down A.J. Pierzynski laced the ball the left field line and drove in two runs. Your browser does not support iframes. It was nice to have those two additional runs with Edward Mujica finishing off the frame. Mujica allowed Trevor Plouffe to homer into the left-center seats. But the five-run lead proved to great to overcome. The Bruins also couldn’t overcome the Canadiens’ early lead. They fell short 3-1 in the series finale. They just didn’t have the Game 7 magic that powered them through their 2011 playoff run. Game...

No One Left Behind

Jon Lester had a personal best 15 strikeouts in his eight innings of work. He was one hit, two walks, and three outs short of perfect game. Craig Gentry’s single in the third inning wouldn’t have been a hit if it didn’t luckily fall in between Dustin Pedroia and Jackie Bradley, Jr., who usually plays center but was shifted to right field with Grady Sizemore in the game and Shane Victorino getting the day off. Lester is in his walk year. Perhaps sometime this season Ben Cherington will announce an extension for the southpaw. The price may have gone up, but the southpaw will be more affordable than Max Scherzer. Unlike so many games this season the Red Sox leapt ahead early. Tommy Milone allowed the first three batters he faced to load the bases and didn’t get an out until he enticed Mike Napoli to whiff on a 3-1 fastball. Jonny Gomes noted that Milone was starting off the sluggers in the order with curveballs and got a hold of the first pitch he saw and sent it into the Monster seats. Across town the Bruins pulled off a monster comeback by scoring four goals in eight minutes to...

Coming Up Empty

Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts’s collision allowing Evan Longoria to reach second base to start the sixth inning summed up the Boston squad’s current situation. It is a team with talented parts that haven’t quite synchronized with each other yet. Poetically that gaffe was followed up by a two-run home run off the bat of Sean Rodriguez that brought his team within a run of the home club. The Red Sox held that 5-4 leading going into the eighth inning but Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara both uncharacteristically surrendered the tying and go-ahead runs. Across town the Bruins forced the opening game of their series against the Canadiens into double overtime. As Tazawa and Uehara came up short against a despised rival so did Tuuka Rask. P.K. Subban scored twice on the Bruins netminder, including the Canadiens’ winning goal in the 4-3 nail-biter. “I was [expletive] tonight -- when you suck, you suck,” said Rask. It wasn’t how the two Boston teams played yesterday but what happened in the aftermath. Racial epithets directed at Subban littered Twitter after the Bruins’ loss. We all should put on this mask of shame. Game 29: May 1, 2014 Tampa Bay Rays13-16 6 W:...

Bummers for Boston

Chances of a Boston sports fan enjoying last night’s Red Sox or Bruins games were… remote. I clicked back and forth between Fox and NBC searching for some flashes of success. David Ortiz clouted his 16th home run in the first inning and Tom Verducci noted that this made Ortiz the visiting player with the most home runs in Comerica Park. Zdeno Chara scored the Bruins’ only goal, a slap shot in the second period that was assisted by David Krejci and Milan Lucic. Both teams not only lost but were hampered by injuries. Patrice Bergeron was sent to the hospital with an undisclosed injury but was cleared to return home with the rest of the team this morning. If the Bruins have to proceed without the center it will be hard to keep calm and Bergeron to the Stanley Cup. Franklin Morales threw for 2⅓ innings but departed with discomfort in his left pectoral muscle and shoulder. Viable arms in the Red Sox bullpen dwindle as do the hours of sunlight after the summer solstice. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” How will these teams recover? Game 77: June 22, 2013 Boston Red...

Pair of Losses

No, not these guys. Both the Bruins and the Red Sox lost last night. Neither of the Hub clubs held the lead in their respective games. The Red Sox tied the game 2-2 in the fourth on Jonny Gomes’s single that Evan Longoria couldn’t unglove (deglove?) in time but didn’t score again. In contrast the Bruins tied the Blackhawks three times before finally succumbing in overtime. My company sponsored health screenings but actually all I need is to be able to survive the Stanley Cup finals to know if my heart can take the strain. Ryan Dempster (6 innings pitched, 8 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts) turned in his eighth loss. As a long-time Cubs pitcher and hockey fan Dempster became a fan of the Blackhawks, but now that he pitches for the Red Sox he claims neutrality. Sad about the losses? Here’s a balloon hat to cheer you up. Game 74: June 19, 2013 Tampa Bay Rays37-35 6 W: Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) 2B: James Loney (17), Wil Myers (1)HR: Desmond Jennings (9) Boston Red Sox44-30 2 L: Ryan Dempster (4-8) 2B: David Ortiz (15), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (18)...

Donuts to Dollars

When he was first called up Kevin Gausman was greeted with a locker full of powdered donuts. At Louisiana State University Gausman was known for eating donuts between innings. Gausman will have to lug his treats to Norfolk as he was optioned after this 13-inning affair. The Red Sox played well enough in all aspects of the game to win. Dustin Pedroia perhaps somewhat overstepped his defensive responsibilities by chasing down Matt Wieters’s pop-up in foul territory. But that is better than letting the ball drop for a double by assuming it’s foul. Will Middlebrooks notched a nifty double due to the Orioles’ defensive indecisiveness. Jacoby Ellsbury benefitted from catcher’s interference in the tenth. With Wieters’s 6'5" frame it isn’t surprising that his arms find their way into the path of the batter’s swing. Frustratingly the Red Sox dropped the opening game against a divisional opponent in extra innings. Like the Bruins-Blackhawks, the Boston-Baltimore baseball teams echoes each other’s strengths and spirit. Extra innings and overtime periods for everyone! Game 68: June 13, 2013 ∙ 13 innings Boston Red Sox41-27 4 L: Alex Wilson (1-1) 2B: Mike Napoli (21), Will Middlebrooks (13)HR: David Ortiz (14), Mike Carp (7) Baltimore Orioles38-29...

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

Joe Maddon wanted to Meat Loaf the Red Sox but Alfredo Aceves along with Boston’s formidable bullpen foiled the skipper’s plans. Only Evan Longoria’s sixth-inning four-bagger marred the row of zeroes tallied by the Red Sox twirlers. Aceves could hunker down in his towels and enjoy the opening game of the Stanley Cup finals. Dustin Pedroia’s facial hair has outdone many a Bruins’ beards. In addition to the fun “facts” below (5'9"… sure), he doesn’t like flying. His favorite road city is Seattle. He loves Boston’s atmosphere but dislikes its narrow streets. His favorite food is Mexican and he’s allergic to strawberries. If it weren’t for baseball he’d be an NBA official, as noted below, but he also said president. Just picture 5'9" Pedroia jawing with LeBron James, delivering the State of the Union Address, or, even better, taking part in the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Everything would need a 30-second delay. The Bruins lost in the third overtime in what turned out to be the fifth-longest match in Stanley Cup final history. If my reaction was taped I’d need a delay myself. Vote Daniel Nava for the All-Star team! You’ll have to write him in, but he’s earned it....

Grin and Bear It

This time around the Red Sox and Bruins didn’t synchronize wins. The Bruins battled through two overtimes until Patrice Bergeron tipped the puck in at the 15:19 mark. Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand were credited with assists on the game-winner. Second base umpire Sam Holbrook called Stephen Drew out when he should have been safe in the first play of the third inning. After that missed call Jose Iglesias and Jackie Bradley Jr. made outs, but perhaps they would have changed their approach if Drew were on second and he would have scored. Dustin Pedroia tied the game 1-1 in the sixth. The circuit clout caromed off the bottom of the light stanchion. Don Orsillo hadn’t been able to use “la luna” because of the dubious nature of Pedroia’s most recent home run, which ricocheted off Josh Willingham’s glove. But this one was a no-doubter. Eckism of the the evening: “boiling,” meaning fat. Eck said this bird was boiling because of the sunflower seeds. Game 60: June 5, 2013 Texas Rangers36-22 3 W: Neal Cotts (1-0)H: Robbie Ross (8), Tanner Scheppers (10)S: Joe Nathan (18) 2B: Mitch Moreland – 2 (16), Nelson Cruz (9), Elvis Andrus (7)HR: Adrian Beltre (12)...


Bernardo LaPallo is 111 years old. In his living memory are visits to Hilltop Park where he cheered for the New York Highlanders. He remembers when Babe Ruth was traded to the Yankees and the house that he built. LaPallo recalled, “I shook his hand and he said, ‘My greatest admirer, my youngest admirer.’” Sadly for LaPallo his age mirrored the final score, 11-1. Mike Napoli was responsible for four of the runs with his third-inning grand slam. Daniel Nava also drove in four runs. He clouted a three-run four-bagger in the eighth to put his team up 8-1, a hit that will likely get him a ball in the ribs tonight. His RBI ground out in the ninth probably won’t help his case, even though it was up to the Yankees to stop letting their opponents get on base. Felix Doubront and Phil Hughes are like mirror images of each other, inconsistent pitchers who win or lose based on keeping their heads straight with runners on base. In this particular outing Doubront avoided giving up extra base hits and allowing hits with runners on: 6 innings pitched, 6 hits, 1 earned run, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts. Hughes was not...

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...

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 Sox27-19 1 L: Felix Doubront (3-2) No extra base hits Chicago White Sox21-23 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)...

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...

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 Minnesota Twins15-15 15 W: Ryan...

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...

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 Boston Red Sox19-8 10 W: Clay Buchholz (6-0) 2B: David Ortiz...


Unassuming Mike Carp clouted his first home run of the season in the fourth. Unfortunately he didn’t recreate his little league performance of a three-homer game. Edwin Encarnacion nearly did, however, and both his home runs came with a man on base. Encarnacion’s runs also were in response to Red Sox rallies. The two-run difference in the game boiled down to Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s throwing error in the third. With the bases loaded and none out the backstop had the notion to pick Jose Bautista off first base. His throw went galley-west into right and Brett Lawrie and Rajai Davis made their way across the plate. Salty just got momentarily distracted. You would too if giant pizzas floated in your peripheral vision. A strong April is nothing to sniff at and neither is any game against a divisional opponent. Even Hub sports fans can agree the more important Boston-Toronto match-up is happening on an even faster surface than AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D. Go Bruins! Game 26: April 30, 2013 Boston Red Sox18-8 7 BS, L: Junichi Tazawa (2, 2-1) 2B: David Ortiz (6)HR: Ortiz (3), Mike Carp (1), Jonny Gomes (1) Toronto Blue Jays10-17 9 H: Aaron Loup (4)BS, W: Steve...

Sign ’Em Up!

Instead of starting Nick Punto at third Bobby Valentine should have wrangled Ben Cherington to sign Shawn Thornton or Tuukka Rask. Their batting practice cuts looked respectable. Jerry Remy noted that most hockey players like the ball low and have a dip in their swing. Remy was pleasantly surprised and suitably impressed by Rask’s even swing. If Dustin Pedroia were a hockey player he’d get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. After an unfavorable check swing call from first base umpire Paul Nauert Pedroia hurled invectives from the dugout. Pedroia was ejected after Craig Breslow hit David Murphy with a pitch. Like how some players won’t let go of Terry Francona’s memory Pedroia wouldn’t forget how Nauert slighted him. Game 111: August 7, 2012 Texas Rangers64-45 6 W: Ryan Dempster (6-5)H: Robbie Ross (6), Mike Adams (20)S: Joe Nathan (22)2B: David Murphy (19) Boston Red Sox55-56 3 L: Jon Lester (5-10) 2B: Carl Crawford (5), Cody Ross – 2 (21), Adrian Gonzalez (31)HR: Will Middlebrooks (14)...

A Salt and Battery

Kelly Shoppach isn’t the only catcher whose surname can be contorted into puns. Shoppach, perpetrator of the most comical slide into second in history, selected “The Stop, Shop, and Roll” as the name of his historic tumble towards the keystone sack. Jarrod Saltalamacchia avoided any potential indignity the basepaths by depositing Jeremy Hellickson’s 3-1 change-up into the batter’s eye. The second inning two-run shot, Saltalamacchia’s first home run of the season, brought the Red Sox within two runs of the Rays. Clay Buchholz was roughed up in the first inning for four runs but settled down for most of the rest of his seven innings. Luke Scott, who was lustily booed whenever he appeared, doubled off the wall to plate Matt Joyce in the third, but Buchholz along with relievers Franklin Morales and Alfredo Aceves stifled the Tampa Bay lineup. Morales and Aceves had breathing room from late inning scoring barrages. Mike Aviles has all but erased Jed Lowrie from the memory of fans with his timely hitting and versatility but can he replace Jacoby Ellsbury in the one spot? Bobby Valentine was in need of a leadoff hitter with Ellsbury on the disabled list due to a subluxation of...

Our Cup Runneth Over

Fenway Park was infused not only with summer sunshine but also with the gold of Bruins jerseys and the gleam of Lord Stanley’s Cup. The Bruins boarded the duckboats again and rolled around the warning track to deafening cheers, much like the Celtics did in 2008. The crowd also got to enjoy the earsplitting horns and Zombie Nation’s “Kernkraft 400” with each scoring play. After circuiting the park the hockey players clambered off the DUKWs and traversed the field with the Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe Trophy, and the Prince of Wales Trophy in tow. They were in their hockey jerseys but wearing Red Sox caps. The Red Sox players were in their baseball uniforms, of course, but with Bruins caps. That part was slightly cheesy, but cheese can be a glorious thing. Zdeno Chara threw to Jason Varitek, of course. With the huge arrays of people it was difficult to discern how players were paired, further complicated by the hockey players’ unfamiliarity with pitching and in some cases the aftereffects of continual alcohol consumption. I think Mark Recchi’s battery mate was Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis also chatted with Tim Thomas in the aftermath of the first pitch; the Red Sox...

Brew Crew Blues

Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy were on fire last night, uttering one-liners as easily as Adrian Gonzalez knocks in opposite-field hits. As NESN cameramen showed Charlie Moore the pair returned to Orsillo’s paddle boat adventure. Fish tales were exchanged, such as Adrian Gonzalez batting .453 with a .540 on-base percentage and .906 slugging in June thus far. Actually, that’s true. In the bottom of the seventh Craig Counsell matadored Darnell McDonald’s grounder, an error that allowed Drew Sutton to score. “Looked like Roberto Luongo at shortstop on that play,” quipped Remy. Incidentally, Sutton has seven doubles in 34 at bats. Three players with more at bats have fewer doubles than him: J.D. Drew, Marco Scutaro, and Jason Varitek. The latter two have their reasons, but Drew, not so much. The NESN broadcasting pair delighted in Terry Francona’s obliviousness to basic hockey concepts. “Boy, he has no clue. None,” stated Remy. Line shifts, power plays, and offsides are as obscure to Francona as hitting offspeed pitches are to Wily Mo Pena. Nonetheless, Francona donned a Marc Savard jersey for his pre-game press conference, which was part of the Bruins treasure trove that Josh Beckett bought for his squad. All their ribbing...


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