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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Cash (Kevin)”

Bill Hall-elujah

As he didn’t have the impact of Adrian Beltre, Victor Martinez, or David Ortiz, Bill Hall’s possible departure from the Red Sox has not been widely discussed. If Boston exercises its club option Hall would be paid $9.25 million in 2011, a price tag that the front office may balk at since it has a cheaper infield option with Jed Lowrie. Hall played every position but first base and catcher, so his versatility will be missed. He pinch ran for Ortiz in the bottom of the eighth, giving him a close-up look at a miracle. With the bases loaded, Kevin Cash worked a walk to push the tying run across home. “And he shall reign for ever and ever!” Because backup catchers have a long shelf life; witness Cash’s line of .133 batting average, .224 on-base percentage, and .150 slugging percentage with the Red Sox. As ineffective as Cash was as a hitter so were A.J. Burnett and Daisuke Matsuzaka as starters. Neither pitcher made it past the sixth inning and both gave up four runs. Burnett surrendered more hits but Matsuzaka relinquished more base on balls. Mix inefficient pitchers with two of the more patient lineups in the majors...

The Catcher Did Defy

Bengie Molina is the last baseball player one could imagine to join the very short list of players hitting for the cycle with the home run being a grand slam:Nap Lajoie, Philadelphia Athletics, second baseman, July 30, 1901 against the Cleveland IndiansBill Terry, New York Giants, first baseman, May 29, 1928 against the Brooklyn RobinsTony Lazzeri, New York Yankees, second baseman, June, 3, 1932 against the Philadelphia AthleticsJimmie Foxx, Philadelphia Athletics, first baseman, August 14, 1933 against the Cleveland IndiansJay Buhner, Seattle Mariners, right fielder, June 23, 1993 against the Oakland AthleticsMiguel Tejada, Oakland Athletics, shortstop, September 29, 2001 against the Seattle MarinersJason Kubel, Minnesota Twins, left fielder, April 17, 2009 against the Anaheim AngelsMolina added his names to the annals of baseball history as the first catcher to accomplish this feat. The backstop’s two days in a Rangers uniform have been memorable: .625 batting average and on-base percentage and 1.750 slugging percentage. Although he was pulled from the game last night after he dragged his grand piano all the way to third to complete the cycle, the irresistible force is back in the lineup. To replace Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek the Red Sox brought in an inferior impostor...

Backup

Game 96: July 12, 2008 Orioles 1 L: Radhames Liz (3-2) 45-47, 1 game losing streak Red Sox 12 W: Tim Wakefield (6-6) 56-40, 1 game winning streak Highlights: A few sketchy sites on name origins tell me that the unusual name “Radhames” is derived from the Latin word for red. The Red Sox wore their red uniforms and improved their record in these particular togs to 3-1. I have been reserving my opinion on Heidi Watney until I had enough of her work to evaluate. She certainly meets the eye candy quotient required of such a role with her perfectly sculptured features, glistening blond hair, and sparkling blue eyes. Her presentation and interview skills are better than those of her predecessor Tina Cervasio.In yesterday’s pre-game show she had the MLB notebook segment with Gordon Edes, who talked about how the Cubs came back to win after Carlos Marmol blew the lead and the opportunity for Rich Harden’s first win as a Northsider. In an homage to Harry Caray he intoned “Cubs win!” thrice. Watney obliviously and somewhat condescendingly thanked Edes for his enthusiasm.Of course the more appropriate response would have been something alluding to Caray. For bonus points...

Harbinger

Game 81: June 25, 2008 Diamondbacks 0 L: Randy Johnson (4-6) 40-39, 2 game losing streak Red Sox 5 W: Tim Wakefield (5-5)H: Manny Delcarmen (11)S: Jonathan Papelbon (23) 49-32, 2 game winning streak Highlights: Nerd alert! Kevin Youkilis manned first base with orange-tinted goggles. I only hope it doesn’t become a crutch like Rip Hamilton’s mask. When you have a match-up between a veteran knuckleball pitcher and a youthful team that strikes out at an alarming rate, you get a game like last night. Looking over Tim Wakefield’s game log shows that despite having an unpredictable pitch he has turned in remarkably consistent starts: his five June starts have all lasted seven innings each, he has struck out at least three in the course of the game, and has not allowed more than three earned runs in each appearance.Yet Wakefield only had one win to show for his efforts until Wednesday night’s game. Wakefield’s run support has ratcheted up to 5.1 runs a game. It wasn’t the guys whose names appear on the All-Star ballot who produced, but rather two role players came up big for their pitcher and their team. Brandon Moss plated the first two runs:...

Blanked

Game 35: May 6, 2008 Red Sox 5 W: Tim Wakefield (3-1) 22-13, 5 game winning streak Tigers 0 L: Nate Robertson (1-4) 14-20, 5 game losing streak Highlights: Wakefield turned in a brilliant eight-inning performance and Mike Timlin turned in a scoreless ninth to reduce his ERA to 11.05. It was the first combined shutout by pitchers older than 40. Not only did the knuckleballer strike out six but he had no walks, wild pitches, or passed balls. Just as Tim Wakefield demonstrates parsimony with time in his outings my column will be frugal with words. Kevin Cash continued to play a stellar backstop to Wakefield’s knuckler and contributed with the bat as well. The backup catcher went 3-for-4 with a run batted in on his second-inning double. The Red Sox tacked on two more runs on consecutive homers by Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. Ramirez’s shot ensconced itself in the center field shrubbery while Ortiz’s was fought over about a dozen rows up in the right field stands. Ramirez hit his home run off a rookie Tiger’s first pitch of his major league career. Would it be too terrible of a joke to get the ball out...

Fair

Game 10: April 10, 2008 Tigers 6 L: Nate Robertson (0-1) 1-8, 2 game losing streak Red Sox 12 W: Tim Wakefield (1-0)H: Manny Delcarmen (1)H: Hideki Okajima (1)S: Jonathan Papelbon (3) 5-5, 2 game winning streak Highlights: The bullpen guys are a tight-knit group. Even this season they continue to pound out rhythms from their dwelling near the bleachers. But are they so bound to one another that Julian Tavarez would allow three runs in the eighth to score so Papelbon could get his third save of the season? I wouldn’t put it past “dumb like a fox” Tavarez. The Bruins took over NESN because they squeaked into the playoffs, so I was forced to watch the game in non-HD format. Even without high definition, however, I did have an issue with second base umpire Greg Gibson’s call of Coco Crisp’s hit in the fourth inning. The replay showed that the ball bounced in the fair territory beyond first then hit the foul pole. After hitting the foul pole, it wasn’t touched by a fan, so the ball should not have been called dead because the foul pole is an extension of the foul line. Instead, Crisp was...

Halved

Game 124: August 19, 2007 Angels 3 W: Joe Saunders (7-1)H: Justin Speier (15)S: Francisco Rodriguez (31) 72-51, 1 game winning streak22-13-5 series record Red Sox 1 L: Julian Tavarez (6-9) 74-50, 1 game losing streak25-11-5 series record Highlights: The Red Sox are now 1-1 when wearing the alternate red jerseys. Saunders is undefeated this season against Boston, whose batters scraped together a single run only after relievers took the hill. In turn, the Angels only produced two runs against a spot starter. The cameraman for the jumbotron, Keith Packry (?) demonstrated more fielding prowess in the fifth than Wily Mo Peña did in 157 games. Who would have expected a pitchers’ duel on Sunday? The home team had swingman Julian Tavarez starting while the visitors glided in under the auspices of Joe Saunders. Just 12 days prior Saunders held on for a win against the Red Sox in Anaheim because of a potent offensive outburst. Familiarity did not breed contempt as Boston batters conscripted six hits against the opposing starter. Not one of those strokes were for extra bases, although Mike Lowell’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth with two on and two out rattled the...


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