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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Byrd (Paul)”


Game 134: September 4, 2009 Red Sox2L: Paul Byrd (1-1)78-56, 1 game losing streak White Sox12W: Freddy Garcia (1-2)67-69, 3 game winning streak Highlights: Paul Byrd would have gone eight shutout innings in the National League. I once had a pitchOr should I say, it once had meIt hasn’t much zoomBut isn’t it good, missing the wood?They asked me to playAnd they asked if the pitch had some hairSo I pitched off the moundAnd they hit a few flaresI sat on a bench, biding my timeEarning a dimeI pitched for just twoAnd then they saidIt’s time for bedThey told me to workIn the video room to get past these gaffesI told them I wouldAnd crawled off to avoid the media’s wrathAnd when I awoke I was aloneThis Byrd had flownCan I put out the fire?It would be good, if I just could...


Game 130: August 30, 2009 Blue Jays0L: Roy Halladay (13-8)58-70, 3 game losing streak Red Sox7W: Paul Byrd (1-0)76-54, 3 game winning streak Highlights: With each passing start Halladay reduces his trade value. Since August 19 the Blue Jays starter hasn’t won, hasn’t pitched beyond six innings, and hasn’t kept the opposition under three runs. The local nine scored a run in each of the first four innings and each run was different, like a snowflake.Victor Martinez and Kevin Youkilis had mirror-image doubles in the first. Martinez’s skipped down the right field line and Youkilis’s cavorted down the left.For the second run Rocco Baldelli skipped the preliminaries and led off the inning with a towering home run off the Sports Authority sign.The next two runs were of a National League flair. Dustin Pedroia doubled off the wall, advanced on Martinez’s ground out to first, and scored on Youkilis’s sacrifice fly to center.J.D. Drew led off the fourth with a humpback single to right and advanced to second on Varitek’s ground out. Drew took a great secondary lead and Alex Gonzalez’s soft fly ball to shallow right hung up long enough for Drew to slide across home safely. Rod Barajas tried...


Game 158: September 24, 2008 Indians 4 L: Rafael Perez (4-4) 79-79, 2 game losing streak Red Sox 5 W: David Aardsma (4-2)S: Manny Delcarmen (2) 93-65, 2 game winning streak Highlights: J.D. Drew returned to action for the first time since August 17. He went 1-for-2; he grounded into a fielder’s choice and led off the third with an infield single. The epidural did its work as the left fielder looked sharp at the plate and smooth running the bases. Before the game I was talking to a friend who was worried that Paul Byrd was facing his former teammates. Familiarity breeds contempt, and possibly also insight into how best to hit Byrd’s predictable offerings.I wasn’t as concerned. I pointed out that he didn’t hear that he was tipping his pitches from guys in his clubhouse or even from an Indians coach but rather from someone from an opposing team.The lack of data about on one’s own players stunned me. I recall that Jerry Remy mentioned that the Rays have a staff member who scouts their own team. This scout observes the team as a competitor would and points out Tampa Bay players’ weaknesses and proclivities. I wonder...


Game 153: September 19, 2008 Red Sox 4 W: Manny Delcarmen (1-2)H: Hideki Okajima (21)S: Jonathan Papelbon (39) 90-63, 1 game winning streak Blue Jays 3 L: Brian Tallet (1-2) 82-72, 1 game losing streak Highlights: Paul Byrd has been stuck in a pitching rotation loop like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day. He was shelled in his September 13 outing, which prompted a SoSH poster to analyze and reveal that Byrd had been tipping his pitches. Facing the final phase of this Sisyphean cycle, Paul Byrd stated that he had also been made aware of this tendency around the time of the All-Star Break by an opposing player. In the pre-game show Dennis Eckersley mentioned that it wasn’t odd for Byrd to be vocal about his idiosyncrasies and that he thought Byrd might be floating out this information to confound the Blue Jays’ lineup. Would he intentionally deploy a mannerism to stymie a batter? Or would he play it straight so that the opposition would have to respond to the pitch rather than to its prelude?In the early innings it seemed that the Blue Jays would be able to decipher Byrd’s mechanisms no matter what his tactic. Scott...


Game 147: September 13, 2008 Blue Jays 8 W: A.J. Burnett (18-10) 80-68, 1 game winning streak Red Sox 1 L: Paul Byrd (11-12) 86-61, 1 game losing streak Highlights: Byrd seemed to be rookie Travis Snider’s personal batting practice pitcher. The rookie outfielder went 2-for-5 with a three-run homer in the fifth and and a two-run ground-rule double in the sixth. Hopefully the Blue Jays will stifle his development as they did with their other homegrown players and the AL East won’t have to be afflicted by his presence until he’s 23 or so, like Vernon Wells. The only thing I got of value from this game were posts on Son of Sam Horn that may have explained how the Blue Jays were so preternaturally honed in on Paul Byrd’s pitches, aside from the fact that his pitches are so slow I can begin preparation of a chocolate soufflé when he winds up and be snacking on it by the time his pitch reaches the plate.SoSHer ToeKneeArmAss compiled video from the game and demonstrated that Byrd taps his glove before a fastball or straight change. When throwing a breaking pitch, Byrd keeps the ball still in the glove....


Game 142: September 7, 2008 Red Sox 7 W: Paul Byrd (11-11) 84-58, 1 game winning streak Rangers 2 L: Brandon McCarthy (1-1) 70-74, 1 game losing streak Highlights: Byrd’s archaic wind-up much delighted analyst Ken Macha and flummoxed the Rangers line-up to boot. Usually the throwback twirler will concede around five runs, but the Texas bats were antsy. They chased after Byrd’s poky pitches for six and two-third innings, walking three times and striking out four while notching only three hits. Save for Javier Lopez, the Red Sox relievers did not have clean innings. Manny Delcarmen was particularly erratic: he struck out three but surrendered a homer to rookie catcher Taylor Teagarden.Most troubling has been Jonathan Papelbon’s heart attack saves. When contact is made it is usually hard shots to the outfield. When the ball hawks can’t track them down, they result in extra base hits or yet another batter he has to attempt to blow away.The outfield of Jason Bay, Coco Crisp, and Jacoby Ellsbury is astounding; very few hits slip by the trio. In the sixth Bay and Crisp both charged hard into shallow left-center for a fly ball off the bat of Joaquin Arias and...


Game 137: September 1, 2008 Orioles 4 L: Garrett Olson (8-7) 63-74, 4 game losing streak Red Sox 7 W: Paul Byrd (10-11)H: Javier Lopez (10)S: Jonathan Papelbon (35) 80-57, 1 game winning streak Highlights: Dear old friend Tim Tschida was the home plate umpire for this game. He didn’t have to use his judgment much as Boston batters made solid contact on Olson’s offerings (Jason Varitek and Jeff Bailey in particular; they homered back-to-back in the second). Byrd’s pitches don’t meander far from the black out off Byrd’s hand, but they do tend to get tagged when hitters do make contact. A trio of Orioles, Adam Jones, Juan Castro, and Kevin Millar, launched the balls into the Monster seats. Flashbulb flash takes up entire screen.DON LaFONTAINE: In a world mired in scandal....After the flashbulb pops, cut to close-up of PAUL BYRD in Cleveland Indians locker room fielding questions, many microphones arrayed before him.CAPTION: October 22, 2007FEMALE REPORTER: Paul, you claim you were taking HGH under a doctor’s care due to a medical condition. Do you think that in addition to the medical effects it may have improved your performance?BYRD: Take a look at my stats. It’s not like...


Game 132: August 27, 2008 Red Sox 11 W: Paul Byrd (9-11)H: Manny Delcarmen (17) 77-55, 3 game winning streak Yankees 3 L: Sidney Ponson (7-5) 70-62, 2 game losing streak Highlights: Come on now, Yankee lovers. Some of you are up in arms because your team is “inconsistent.” Your guys scored three runs on consecutive nights; that’s pretty consistent. You’ve got that going for you. How I’ll remember Yankee Stadium…Jason Bay, with his lightning-quick swing, lacing a double to his best friend Xavier Nady, off whom the ball deflected to the noodle-armed Johnny Damon. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz trotting home on the hit, with both having about the same length to their strides.The scintilla of hope granted by Alex Rodriguez’s first-inning RBI double and fourth-inning run that drifted into obsolescence, just as the haughty expressions Yankee fans are so used displaying dimmed with each passing inning. Frustration was meted out by, of all pitchers, Paul Byrd.Sidney Ponson, sweating and puffing, walking in the go-ahead run in the fifth and then allowing a sacrifice fly. Dismissed from the mound he slouched on the bench, the top rail of the dugout fence covering his eyes as if NESN was...


Game 128: August 22, 2008 Red Sox 8 W: Paul Byrd (8-11)H: Justin Masterson (1) 74-54, 1 game winning streak Blue Jays 4 L: Shaun Marcum (8-6) 66-62, 1 game losing streak Highlights: Byrd reminds me of John Burkett, who signed with the Red Sox as a free agent in late 2001 and turned in two adequate seasons in 2002 and 2003. What these pitchers don’t have in stuff they make up for in guile. When pitchers such as these are on the hill, the offense must be prepared to score more than four or five runs, which is what they will typically surrender. The bullpen should be ready for three, or, if they are lucky, two innings of shutdown ball. The pieces of the puzzle fell into place for the Red Sox last night for a road win, something that has been a more common occurrence for Boston lately. How the visiting team would muster up the requisite number of runs to support Paul Byrd was uncertain. J.D. Drew was scratched from the lineup because his herniated disk was acting up, Mike Lowell is in the midst of his disabled list stint due to a strained oblique, and...


Game 119: August 11, 2008 Red Sox 5 W: Josh Beckett (11-8) 68-51, 1 game winning streak White Sox 1 L: John Danks (9-5) 66-52, 1 game losing streak Highlights: The White Sox are trying, badly, to imitate the eccentric facial hair and hairstyles of the 2004 Red Sox. Danks looks as if he has a paintbrush affixed to his chin, Nick Swisher has Don Johnson-life stubble sprinkled on his mug, Juan Uribe has blond-colored moss limning his jaw, and A.J. Pierzynski has bleached his hair platinum. The questionable style tactics seem to have some positive effect last night.Nick Swisher and Juan Uribe smacked back-to-back singles to begin the third. Swisher advanced on Orlando Cabrera’s fly ball to center and A.J. Pierzynski sacrificed to Coco Crisp to put the first run on the board.John Danks was throwing smoke and on course for a perfect game until Kevin Youkilis muscled a single into shallow center with one out in the seventh inning. He then walked Mike Lowell on five pitches and briefly regained his prior dominance by striking out Jason Bay.J.D. Drew, whose 2008 splits against lefties show very little difference from his performance against right-handed hurlers, took a fastball...


ALCS Game 6: October 20, 2007 Indians 2 L: Fausto Carmona (0-1) ALDS: 3-1ALCS: 3-3 Red Sox 12 W: Curt Schilling (2-0) ALDS: 3-0ALCS: 3-3 Highlights: “Diné” is what people that we call the Navajo call themselves. Jacoby Ellsbury represented his people proudly with a 1-for-5 showing accompanied by a run and an RBI. Take note, Cleveland fans: this is an authentic Native American. Not Chief Wahoo, who, as Jonathan Zimmerman wrote in The Christian Science Monitor, should go the way of Sambo. The Red Sox loaded the bases in the first after Curt Schilling sat down the top of the order, one, two, three. It seemed so easy, A, B, C. Dustin Pedroia bounced the ball towards his counterpart Asdrubal Cabrera, who rounded second base, barehanded the catch, and threw across his body. Unlike cribbage matches against his manager, Pedroia beat the throw. He also motored hard to second on Kevin Youkilis’s ground ball to short, unnerving Cabrera enough that he couldn’t hold onto Jhonny Peralta’s relay. With none out, David Ortiz watched uno, dos, tres pitches from Fausto Carmona miss the zone. A generous Dana DeMuth called two strikes, the first less strikey than the second. But...


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