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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Crisp”

Crying About Ryan

Part of Ryan Kalish’s $483,000 salary had better go into the kangaroo court pot for his two gaffes in the ninth inning. The outfielder tried to steal third with two out, Daniel Nava at the dish, and the score 2-1. In the bottom of the frame he failed to glove Brandon Moss’s single up the middle. Cliff Pennington advanced to third and Moss reached second on the error. Coco Crisp lifted the ball to center to plate Pennington for the winning run. In the first inning Crisp gave his team an early lead with a solo shot. Now every ex-Red Sox player on the Athletics have hit home runs off their former team. But the blame is not on Kalish alone. Nick Punto should also be called out for popping out on his bunt attempt in the ninth resulting in a double play. The Red Sox hitters were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. At least we got to enjoy Don and Jerry’s dancing (their description, not mine) and the life-sized sign of the pair. Game 81: July 3, 2012 Boston Red Sox42-39 2 H: Vicente Padilla (18)BS, L: Alfredo Aceves (4, 0-6) HR: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (16) Oakland Athletics40-42 3...

Pain in the Neck

Daisuke Matsuzaka tallied only three outs even though he faced nine batters. Two batters, Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss, homered. Unsurprisingly, the pitcher ended up on the disabled list. The stated injury was a strained right trapezius, the muscle that extends from the neck to the shoulder. Mauro Gomez was called up to replace the ailing hurler. Reddick was part of the package sent to Oakland for Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney this past offseason. Moss was part of the three-way deal between the Dodgers, the Pirates, and the Red Sox in which Manny Ramirez went to Los Angeles and Jason Bay came to Fenway. At least Coco Crisp kept it down to a dull roar by going 0-3 with a base on balls. Game 80: July 2, 2012 Boston Red Sox42-38 1 L: Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-3) 2B: Daniel Nava (16) Oakland Athletics39-42 6 W: Jarrod Parker (5-3) 2B: Seth Smith (13)HR: Josh Reddick (19), Brandon Moss (9)...

Welcome to Oaksterdam

The Red Sox seemed to take advantage of the readily available medical cannabis in Oakland, scattering a mere three hits against Trevor Cahill. The visiting bats were so listless even Craig Breslow didn’t allow a hit. From the second Coco Crisp robbed counterpart Ryan Kalish of a home run to start the game the momentum was entirely in Oakland’s favor. The marquee match-up of Clay Buchholz against Cahill, starters who were respectively first and third in ERA going into the game, turned out to be a one-sided affair. Buchholz officially pitched one inning but saw four batters in the second inning, yielding a line of 5 hits, 5 earned runs, 4 balls, and 1 strikeout. Even though Cahill shutout the Red Sox to the tune of 7 innings pitched, 3 hits, 2 walks, and 4 whiffs, he remains third in earned run average after Felix Hernandez and Buchholz. The Coliseum is just 11 minutes away from Oaksterdam University. Founded in 2007, the Oakland branch features “large 100 person classroom, full horticulture lab, and a large administrative staff to attend to students.” Oddly, the Student Union across the street doesn’t serve food. Players traveling with the team but not playing could...


Game 80: July 4, 2009 Mariners3W: Roy Corcoran (2-0)S: David Aardsma (17)42-38, 3 game winning streak Red Sox2L: Takashi Saito (2-2)48-32, 2 game losing streak Highlights: Jason Varitek hit a right-handed homer in the second inning with Rocco Baldelli on base. It was the only bright spot for Boston’s offense yesterday afternoon; the Red Sox batters were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and as a team left seven men stranded. Boston’s woeful production could be attributed to lineup tinkering by Terry Francona. Julio Lugo, Rocco Baldelli, and Jeff Bailey got the nod because southpaw Garrett Olson was on the hump. They combined to go 0-6 with two walks.Credit should go to Mariners starter Olson, who pitched 6⅓ innings with 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 4 walks, and 5 strikeouts. The relief tandem of Roy Corcoran and David Aardsma shut down the local nine for the rest of the game. So this is what it feels like to face a shutdown bullpen. I prefer it when we do this to other teams.As he does on holidays, Jason Varitek was sheathed in catcher’s gear that represented the occasion. Sean Casey, who was in the booth covering for Dennis Eckersley, said he...


Game 149: September 14, 2008 Blue Jays 3 L: Roy Halladay (18-11) 80-70, 2 game losing streak Red Sox 4 W: Jon Lester (15-5)S: Jonathan Papelbon (38) 88-61, 2 game winning streak Highlights: When Jose Bautista deposited a fastball into the Monster seats in the first inning, it seemed like it might be one of those days for Lester. That would be the only run he relinquished, however. Lester out-dueled and outlasted Roy Halladay in a pivotal game; while the Blue Jays’ ace gave up three runs over seven innings the Red Sox southpaw shut down Toronto for the remainder of his eight-inning outing. Against a formidable hurler such as Roy Halladay the Red Sox resorted to small ball tactics early. Jacoby Ellsbury singled up the gut and swiped second on the first pitch to Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia sac bunted the swift outfielder over and David Ortiz grounded out to second to tie the game.Jason Bay continued to wipe memories of Manny Ramirez away, this time with a deep double to lead off the second inning. The ball caromed off the left field wall oddly, making Vernon Wells look like a puppy chasing his tail as he pursued it....


Game 71: June 14, 2008 Red Sox 6 H: Hideki Okajima (13)H: Manny Delcarmen (9)BS, W: Jonathan Papelbon (3, 3-2)S: Craig Hansen (1) 43-28, 1 game winning streak Reds 4 L: Mike Lincoln (0-2) 33-37, 1 game losing streak Highlights: Sean Casey did the lineups better than Brandon Phillips and their teams followed suit. Tim Wakefield wasn’t part of the decision because of Papelbon’s blown save, but the knuckleballer went seven strong, walking just two while striking out six. Hansen, who signed a major league deal after being drafted in the first round of 2005 and was on the fast track to be the Red Sox closer, achieved his first save in the bigs. It seems one of the traditions the Reds organization decided to promulgate is to set off fireworks when one of their players smacks a game-tying home run, which Edwin Encarnacion did in the bottom of the ninth off Jonathan Papelbon. I can see how obscuring the field with smoke can add to the experience: it’s something the Pirates or Mariners should consider doing as a hazy veil would spare attendees from the often ghastly play of such cellar-dwelling teams.Three of the four runs the Reds...

Little Girls Take Offense to Crisp’s Comments

Young girls across throughout Massachusetts were appalled by being compared to Tampa Bay Rays last night by Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp. Crisp was involved in a dust-up with the Rays in which he was tackled by Dioner Navarro. Akinori Iwamura, Carl Crawford, and Jonny Gomes then proceeded to claw and flail away at the subdued Crisp, who was pinned under Navarro. In his post-game interview Crisp compared his fellow combatants to “little girls,” saying the Rays were “trying to scratch out my eyes” and “trying to pull my hair like little girls... [i]nstead of throwing some real punches or something like that�” Elspeth Roeniger, a 13-year old student at Matthews Martial Arts in Medford, Massachusetts bristled at the comparison. “I’ve been taking classes for three years here and I can hold my own. I would never do anything as unsporting as scratch or pull hair.” Fourteen-year old Sachiko Moreno of Roshankish Tae Kwan Do School of Martial Arts, also in Medford, echoed Roeniger’s displeasure. “Lots of people think girls can’t defend themselves or resort to underhanded measures in hand-to-hand combat. I can tell you most of the girls I spar with here have better form than that pitcher...


Game 63: June 5, 2008 Rays 1 L: James Shields (4-4) 35-25, 3 game losing streak Red Sox 7 W: Jon Lester (4-3) 38-25, 3 game winning streak Highlights: Tampa Bay Rays: first place talent, last place class. Only a team like the Rays could trade away Elijah Dukes (who allegedly threatened to kill his wife and children and allegedly impregnated a 17-year old foster child who was living with his relatives) and actually decrease the team character quotient. Lester kept his cool throughout his six and third innings, and evenly slyly got in a smattering of plunks as well as pitches inside and behind the knees while he was at it. To be sure some were off-speed stuff, but there may have been a measure of subtle reciprocity propelling his pitches. The saga of Coco Crisp’s animus towards the Rays continued. The Rays stupidly retaliated in the second inning with the score 3-1 and one of their better pitchers on the mound. Whether it was Joe Maddon’s fiat or James Shields’s initiative, as a whole Tampa Bay obviously doesn’t think of the bigger picture, or at all.The upstart team’s need to avenge themselves because of the chirpy center...


Game 62: June 4, 2008 Rays 1 L: Edwin Jackson (3-5) 35-24, 2 game losing streak Red Sox 5 W: Josh Beckett (6-4)H: Manny Delcarmen (8) 37-25, 2 game winning streak Highlights: On the strength of the quality start by Beckett, the sterling performances by Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima, and Craig Hansen, and the consistent hitting up and down the lineup, the Red Sox reassumed their rightful place as leader in the AL East last night. It should have been 6-1 as Dustin Pedroia was swindled of a home run in the first inning. NESN’s replay from the camera on the left field façade showed Pedroia’s ball slip behind Pesky’s Pole for a four-bagger, but Paul Emmel, Jeff Kellogg, Rob Drake, and Rob Fairchild convened and ruled the shot foul. Were they blinded by the incessant mist that shrouded Fenway last night?Whatever the case, the quartet most likely decided incorrectly. With the recent brouhaha over missed calls, I have to side with the anti-Luddites. Why can’t there be a fifth official in the booth ready rule on fair or foul balls in relation to the poles, homers in areas where the ground rules or lines of sight are difficult to...


Game 61: June 3, 2008 Rays 4 L: Matt Garza (4-2) 35-23, 1 game losing streak Red Sox 7 W: Justin Masterson (2-0)H: Manny Delcarmen (7)H: Craig Hansen (3)S: Jonathan Papelbon (17) 36-25, 1 game winning streak Highlights: Masterson: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, 2.95 ERA, WJoba Chamberlain: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 2.42, ND I felt the compelling need to write about the last place team in the AL East despite their lack of significance. Perhaps it is because throughout the day ESPN trumpeted Joba Chamberlain and his much-ballyhooed debut as a starter and compared his outing to that of Pedro Martinez, who returned to the rotation last night.Meanwhile, the teams battling for first featured starts by Matt Garza, a 2005 first round draft pick, and Justin Masterson, second round pick from 2006. Both pitchers lasted more than five innings, unlike Chamberlain. While the Yankees claim to be refocusing their efforts to develop their homegrown talent, this is merely a superficial gesture. They threw their best-known name on the mound knowing he could not throw more than 70 pitches, while Garza and Masterson were stretched out...


Game 40: May 11, 2008 Red Sox 8 L: Tim Wakefield (3-2) 24-16, 1 game losing streak Twins 9 W: Nick Blackburn (3-2)H: Dennys Reyes (4)S: Joe Nathan (12) 19-17, 1 game winning streak Highlights: It’s better to get close to a goal and fail rather than never having been in reach of it. Or so I keep telling myself. David Ortiz, puffing out his chest and displaying his formidable biceps, goofed off behind Terry Francona during the in-game interview in the midst of the fourth inning. Something tells me Ron Gardenhire wouldn’t countenance such behavior. My favorite part is how Ortiz turned away and whistled when Francona looked back over his shoulder, the designated hitter attempting to appear as if he were innocent any wrongdoing. In terms of drama this was one of the best games of the season so far, but unfortunately it was dulled by the plodding commentary of Joe Morgan. Just as I developed a filter when I was 16-years old that made me oblivious to my mother’s voice, I am immune to Morgan’s prattle. I was surprised how easily I could reestablish the mom filter. I called her right before the game but must...

Tsuridama [釣り球]

Game 39: May 10, 2008 Red Sox 5 W: Daisuke Matsuzaka (6-0)H: Hideki Okajima (9)S: Jonathan Papelbon (11) 24-15, 1 game winning streak Twins 2 L: Glen Perkins (0-1) 18-17, 1 game losing streak Highlights: Six of Matsuzaka’s seven strikeouts were of the swinging variety, including two by Joe Mauer. The Twins backstop struck out only eight times until last night. In Japanese one would say Matsuzaka was working his tsuridama, a pitch that lures the batter to swing. The first symbol means to fish, the second is the hiragana for the sound ri, and the last ideogram means ball or pitch. The final symbol is pronounced dama or kyū depending on the word or phrase. Kevin Youkilis fired his eighth home run of 2008 to left field right to a Red Sox fan wearing a Green Monster t-shirt. I thought it may have presaged a successful night for the Celtics on the road, but the Green Machine stalled on the road again, falling 108-84 to the Cavaliers. I begin to wonder if they will ever have their first road win. It was a night of other firsts, however. Coco Crisp launched his first homer of the season (his...


Game 11: April 11, 2008 Yankees 4 W: Chien-Ming Wang (3-0) 6-5, 2 game winning streak Red Sox 1 L: Mike Timlin (0-1) 5-6, 1 game losing streak Highlights: Last night was Native American Day at Fenway Park and Jacoby Ellsbury, a member of the Navajo Nation, didn’t make an appearance in the game. It’s unlikely that he or anyone else could have improved upon Coco Crisp’s 1-for-4 showing given Wang’s dominance. The Yankee ace ended the evening with a meager two hits (one a J.D. Drew homer, the only Boston run) encumbering his line, with no walks, three strikeouts, and 93 pitches to his credit. The loudest my section (5 in the right field grandstand) got besides cheering for J.D. Drew’s solo shot into the Red Sox bullpen was when a rambunctious female Yankee fan got booted. At first she wasn’t swearing or disrespecting Boston players or fans, merely shouting for her team (“Hip, hip, Jorge!” “I love you, Bobby!”) fueled by some liquid courage. When the bases were loaded with Yankees in the eighth, however, she proved to be equally soused. Drunkenness claimed the better part of common sense and she got into yelling matches with Red...


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...


ALDS Game 1: October 3, 2007 Angels 0 L: John Lackey (0-1) 0-1 Red Sox 4 W: Josh Beckett (1-0) 1-0 Highlights: A virtuoso performance by Beckett on the mound kicked off the Red Sox postseason run. It was his third complete game shutout in his seven playoff appearances. When asked about his tendency to come through in big games by Sean McAdam in the postgame press conference and whether he would like to be put in the same category as Curt Schilling and David Wells, Beckett said, “I think those are all things you should worry about when you retire, not really worry too much about them [now].” The 2007 American League East Division Champion banner presided over Yawkey Way, serene and confident. Unlike me, who throughout the day felt pangs of panic in the pit of my stomach. As I drove home I heard the low moan of a lighthouse carrying through the gloaming, making my gut shudder all the more. Josh Beckett, of course, is made of sterner stuff even with his newly-found self-contemplation. Who would have thought that “introspective” would ever be an adjective to describe the Texan fireballer? In McAdam’s Providence Journal article the...


Game 142: September 7, 2007 Red Sox 4 W: Jon Lester (4-0) 86-56, 2 game winning streak29-12-5 series recordMagic number: 15 Orioles 0 L: Daniel Cabrera (9-15) 60-80, 3 game losing streak 17-26-2 series record Highlights: The Red Sox are 12-6 in shutouts this season. Lester matched his season high for innings pitched in a game with seven sharp turns on the mound. Javier Lopez and Manny Delcarmen picked up the last two innings flawlessly. Don’t mess with people whose lot in life is worse than yours. They have less to lose than you and will go farther as a consequence. They will take greater risks. They will take their lack of success out on you. Witness the Baltimore Orioles. They haven’t had a winning record in 10 years. All levels of management are in disarray. After Dave Trembley was inked to a contract extension his team responded with a nine-game losing streak. The only member of the organization who has his act together is Ernie Tyler, and even he finally asked for a few days off after 3,769 straight games working at Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards. He begged off to see Cal Ripken, Jr.’s induction. An old-timer’s...


Game 141: September 6, 2007 Red Sox 7 W: Clay Buchholz (3-0)S: Jonathan Papelbon (34) 85-56, 1 game winning streak29-12-5 series recordMagic number: 16 Orioles 6 L: Danys Baez (0-6) 60-79, 2 game losing streak 17-26-2 series record Highlights: The Red Sox reversed gears by gifting a late-inning loss to the home team; the team still has a losing record in one-run games, 19-21. The winning margin wouldn’t have been so thin had J.D. Drew not grounded into a double play to eradicate the one-out, bases loaded situation in the eighth. Also, two batters were out because they came into contact with their bunted balls when outside of the box: Melvin Mora in the fifth and Julio Lugo in the ninth. Dave Trembley had best get in touch with Jim Leyland for a thorough curriculum of pitcher fielding drills to present to Garrett Olson. Anything you can do I can do betterI can do anything better than youNo, you can’tYes, I can– Irving Berlin, Annie Get Your Gun Tim Wakefield wasn’t able to shake off the rust of 1o days rest and was chased from the game after three and two-third innings, two walks, six earned runs, and a...


Game 135: August 31, 2007 Orioles 9 W: Kurt Birkins (1-1)H: Chad Bradford (16)S: Danys Baez (3) 59-74, 1 game winning streak17-24-2 series record Red Sox 8 L: Julian Tavarez (7-10) 80-55, 4 game losing streak27-12-5 series record Highlights: Mike Timlin’s 1,000th game was not the scrapbook moment he would have liked. He all but put the game out of reach in the sixth by allowing an inherited runner to score, giving up two sacrifice flys, and surrendering a three-run homer to Nick Markakis. The 12 other pitchers who have pitched in 1,000 or more games include Dennis Eckersley, Jesse Orosco, and Hoyt Wilhelm. It is a hodgepodge of history: lefties with long shelf life, a knuckleballer, and righties who, like Timlin, pitch in the age of relief specialists. With J.D. Drew, Manny Ramirez, and Tim Wakefield in various stages of disrepair, September call-up time came just in time. The Red Sox announced that Clay Buchholz, Royce Clayton, Bryan Corey, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brandon Moss will reinforce the clubhouse for the stretch into the playoffs. A solid mixture of veterans and rooks will hopefully reinvigorate the club’s flagging health. Today all that stands between a 2007-high five losses in...


Game 123: August 18, 2007 Angels 5 L: Jered Weaver (8-6) 71-51, 1 game losing streak22-13-4 series record Red Sox 10 W: Curt Schilling (7-5)H: Mike Timlin (6)H: Hideki Okajima (22) 74-49, 1 game winning streak25-11-4 series record Highlights: Schilling has yet to put together consecutive quality starts since his return from the disabled list. He lasted six innings but surrendered two homers; a cheapie to Chone Figgins in the second and a more costly souvenir to Vladimir Guerrero in the fifth. David Ortiz had Schilling’s back, though: Papi blasted a grand slam in the fifth to grant his team the lead. J.D. Drew hit his 1,000th hit in the same inning. David Ortiz has launched more monstrous homers in his career. He has delivered in more dramatic circumstances and he has hit farther, but last night’s jackpot shot was a perfect balance of both. Hit Tracker has yet to plot the distance for the moonshot, perhaps because the force of the swing knocked the requisite surveillance equipment off kilter. Theo Epstein made an appearance in the fourth inning to promote the Third Annual Hot Stove, Cool Music: The Fenway Park Sessions, which is happening this Friday, August 24....


Game 111: August 5, 2007 Red Sox 9 W: Josh Beckett (14-5) 68-43, 2 game winning streak24-9-4 series record Mariners 2 L: Miguel Batista (11-8) 60-49, 2 game losing streak21-14-3 series record Highlights: A stats-padding day for the Red Sox; only Jason Varitek went hitless (although he still got an RBI thanks to a bases-loaded walk in the first). Alex Cora and Julio Lugo were the only starters who didn’t have any RBIs. Manny Ramirez acted the bull to Wily Mo Peña’s matador after the former’s fifth inning circuit clout. Beckett struck out nine over the course of his six and two-thirds innings of work....


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