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Essential Empy

Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Drew (Stephen)”

Team Building

If Yoenis Cespedes will be playing left field longterm someone needs to sit down with him and show him where Manny Ramirez and Jonny Gomes positioned themselves. Ramirez might have played a bit too shallow; Cespedes could probably cheat closer to the wall with his superior fielding speed. But if he sets up in right field, which would showcase his cannon arm, he’d need a workshop with Shane Victorino. Victorino would have to figure out if he would undergo season-ending back surgery, however, before rejoining the team. Cespedes lined a single to left field in his first at bat as a Red Sox player. In the fifth inning he came up with one down, two men on base, and the score 5-3 in the Yankees’ favor. A home run would have put his new team ahead but Cespedes flied out to Jacoby Ellsbury. Joe Kelly found out about being sent to Boston along with Allen Craig for John Lackey via Twitter. Kelly had been chatting with A.J. Pierzynski about it; I guess the catcher isn’t ignoring his teammates and looking at his phone in the clubhouse now that he’s on a contending team. Speaking of Pierzynski, this game lasted four...

Herrera the Hero

Jon Lester started the day game of the doubleheader. He pitched masterfully: 8 innings, 5 hits, no earned runs, no walks, and 7 strikeouts. But because of Xander Bogaerts’s two-run error in the third inning and the Red Sox’s tepid offense Lester wasn’t in line for the win. Thankfully MLB managers’ judgment is not swayed by win-loss records for pitchers alone and Lester was selected to his third All-Star roster. So far he’s the only Boston player headed for Minneapolis. It was a game of surprise contributions. Stephen Drew hammered a two-run homer in the second inning, his first of the season. Your browser does not support iframes. That Jonny Gomes led off the ninth inning of the tie game with a single was not a surprise. Nor was David Ross’s sacrifice bunt to advance Gomes. But when John Farrell sent Jonathan Herrera as a pinch-hitter for Jackie Bradley, Jr. I was alarmed. Granted, Farrell doesn’t have a lot of options off the bench, but Herrera seemed to be a dark horse. He enthralled us all with a clutch single to win the series opener. Your browser does not support iframes. I noticed something about the infield I hadn’t seen...

We Can’t Work It Out

Grady Sizemore returned to Cleveland for the first time since his career came off the rails in 2011. He was part of the team that defeated the Yankees in the 2007 ALDS and pushed the Red Sox to a seven-game ALCS. He said it still feels like home, but Sizemore didn’t recreate the production of his heyday. Stephen Drew batted eighth and played short. He went 0-for-2 with a walk. At the keystone sack he was on the receiving end of two throws from A.J. Pierzynski that got to Drew’s glove in time but failed to get the runner out. Drew did take part of three double plays, however. Xander Bogaerts, who shifted to third base because of defensive issues, batted second and drove in the only Red Sox runs of the game with his two-run homer in the eighth inning. Nerd alert! Justin Masterson pitched poorly in the first inning but came around later in the game. In the fourth inning he had an immaculate inning: nine pitches, nine strikes, three strikeouts. Jonny Gomes, Sizemore, and Drew were the batters who were summarily dismissed. It was the 27th time an AL pitcher achieved this feat and the 74th time...

Edwin Again

Edwin Encarnacion had another two-home run evening. Both his circuit clouts were hit off Clay Buchholz. The Red Sox starter lasted only 4⅔ innings while surrendering nine hits and four earned runs. If only getting a win were as easy as pressing a buttons, turning a few knobs, and toggling a few switches. Then again NESN has the most difficult job this season: making Red Sox games enjoyable. Stephen Drew estimates that it will take around 10 days to be ready for the Red Sox. Xander Bogaerts is preparing to cede his spot at shortstop to Drew and has been practicing at third base. Perhaps the addition of Drew along with Bogaerts’s resurgence will be the additional pistons the Red Sox offensive engine needs to win games where the starter yields the lead early. A few statistics summing up Boston’s inability to win: 5-10 in series openers 5-19 when opponents score first 1-19 when trailing after eight innings This edition of the Red Sox seem to lack the resilience to recover from hardship. After a rough early few innings they can’t seem salvage the game. It’s hard to give them a chance because they don’t make their own chances. Game...

Gomes Sweet Gomes

The Fenway crowd saw a few things up close and personal that they might not have been expecting. They saw the Red Sox batters knock in timely hits in the fourth inning, sparking a two-run rally on a trio of doubles by Brock Holt, Jackie Bradley, Jr., and Dustin Pedroia. Jonny Gomes followed up with a two-run homer in the sixth inning. The umpiring crew couldn’t believe a Boston player had a hit with a man on base so they reviewed it. Indeed Gomes had homered to the ledge on the Green Monster. Gomes was amongst the veteran players who wanted Stephen Drew back on the Red Sox. “When you get in the playoffs, you create a special bond as players. It becomes like a brotherhood,” said Gomes. “Then you win the World Series and you share so much. It’s not really like getting this All-Star-caliber shortstop back. It’s just kind of like one of our brothers is back, which is pretty cool.” Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks are part of that brotherhood but the younger siblings just weren’t contributing as expected. Drew will shore up the left side of the diamond and perhaps ease the pressure off Bogaerts. Or...

Pair of Aces

Jon Lester and Adam Wainwright faced off again, this time on Wainwright’s home field. Just as he did in Game 1 of this Fall Classic Wainwright surrendered a run in the first inning. But unlike that game Wainwright got back on track quickly. Lester lasted 7⅔ innings with no walks and seven strikeouts. Only Matt Holliday tallied a run on him with a fourth-inning blast to center field. Lester made Cardinals hitters look almost as bad as he looked in his three at bats. The Cardinals started a rally in the bottom of the third with David Freese’s leadoff gutshot single. Pete Kozma followed with a bunt that Lester chased down and barehanded. The lefty ace flipped to David Ortiz, who did his signature snappy snare and step off the bag. Your browser does not support iframes. Ortiz’s duende extended beyond his fielding. He paired with Dustin Pedroia with doubles in the first inning for an early lead. The single danced down the first base line with Allen Craig’s mitt nowhere near it. Ortiz was 3-for-4, increasing his World Series stats to historic proportions: .733/.750/1.267. His teammates call him Cooperstown, and he may eventually be the first designated hitter enshrined...

’Cause Every Little Thing is Gonna Be All Right

On a team of ragged, bewhiskered veterans, rookie Xander Bogaerts’s modest goatee doesn’t command a lot of attention. But his inclusion in the bottom part of the order has been pivotal to Boston’s American League Championship. Where some seasoned players were hopelessly whiffing on Max Scherzer’s offerings Bogaerts stood patiently, working walks or extracting extra base hits. He led off the third inning with a base on balls and Jacoby Ellsbury followed his example. Unfortunately Shane Victorino popped out on a bunt attempt and Dustin Pedroia grounded into a double play to end the early threat. Before the inning-ending twin killing Pedroia mashed the ball over the Monster but replays showed that the ball was barely foul. The Red Sox didn’t have a baserunner again until Bogaerts batted in the fifth. Scherzer handily induced fly ball outs off the bats of Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew, using only five pitches between them. Bogaerts not only laced the ball to deep to center for a stand-up double but did so with the count full. As before Ellsbury followed Bogaerts’s example, this time with a line drive hit of his own. The center fielder notched a single to right to get the...

Cinch to Clinch

Stephen Drew was on his way to hit for the cycle and John Lackey had a no-hitter going. But this team isn’t about individual accomplishments. Drew’s two-run blast in the second gave Lackey a lead to work with. Jackie Bradley, Jr.’s double lined to left put him in position to score on Dustin Pedroia’s single to Nick Markakis. It was a great example of the mix of free agents, rookies, and homegrown veterans working together for a pivotal win. It was fitting that the team that allowed the Red Sox to clinch a playoff berth this season was the same team that eliminated them from the chase in 2011. That one of the players who was so reviled that he became the poster boy for the dysfunction of previous seasons turned his career and reputation around is another poetic parallel. Lackey hurled a complete game two-hitter and perhaps could contest Clay Buchholz as the ace for the postseason. Game 154: September 19, 2013 Baltimore Orioles81-71 1 L: Chris Tillman (16-7) HR: Adam Jones (32) Boston Red Sox93-61 3 W: John Lackey (10-12) 2B: Dustin Pedroia (41), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (37), Jackie Bradley, Jr. (5)3B: Stephen Drew (7)HR: Drew (13)...

Dos Mil

David Ortiz’s 2,000 career hit was bookended by home runs. The double was laced to dead center and one-hopped Fenway’s center field wall. It drove in newcomer Quintin Berry and increased the local nine’s lead to 11-4. Perhaps there would have been more majesty in a home run marking the milestone, but there is poetry in this hit. Ortiz sent it straight and true to center and his path ended at the middle of the basepaths. Through many seasons of triumph and turmoil Big Papi has been a steadying force. At the beginning of his career he was second fiddle to Manny Ramirez, who had more pop. But when Ramirez outwore his welcome Ortiz became the ceaselessly cheerful face of the franchise. He became a star, but unlike others he didn’t think himself greater than the whole. Some say designated hitters aren’t athletes. Here is evidence (as if you needed it) that pitchers are far from the most physically gifted specimens on the field. Ryan Dempster scampered after Don Kelly’s bleeder and nearly bloodied himself gathering it and firing it across the infield. Koji Uehara tried to catch Daniel Nava’s two-run homer in the sixth. Between trying to shag his...

Statement Game

It seemed like Jon Lester was out to prove something. Perhaps it was that he could win a game with very little run support (take that, Lackey). Or that he could go toe-to-toe with a Cy Young candidate and stop him from notching his 20th victory (I’m looking at you, Max Scherzer, and I have eyes the same color). Maybe even show people that they needn’t pine for a number one starter because they have one in the rotation (Clay is injured; I beat cancer). Scherzer held the Red Sox scoreless until the fifth inning when Will Middlebrooks’s gutshot single plated Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew. The Tigers ace pitched so well Shane Victorino figured he might as well switch to the left side in the seventh to see if he could get a hit from the other side of the plate. Victorino popped out to the catcher with two runners on to end the frame. Both teams were desperate for runs. In the third Tom Brookens sent Brayan Pena home on Jose Iglesias’s frozen rope to center. David Ross easily tagged Pena out, staunching the score that would have been the difference between a loss and extra innings. These...

Tiny Tools of Ignorance

I would have never noticed it if Dennis Eckersley hadn’t mentioned it, but Matt Wieters has a terribly small chest protector. It looks as if he took it off and handed it to Dustin Pedroia it would fit the diminutive second baseman perfectly. But for Pedroia’s facial hair, Wieters and Pedroia standing next to each other reminds me of the Little League World Series when some kids have hit their growth spurt and some have not yet. In the third Stephen Drew butchered a batted ball off Adam Jones’s bat a bit like a little leaguer. Drew seemed to be distracted by the shards of Jones’s bat and dropped what should have been an easily fielded pop-up. Fortunately the gaffe didn’t cost a run. On the other side of the keystone sack Pedroia was a defensive marvel. In the top of the third with Danny Valencia at second and none out Pedroia scooped up Brian Roberts’s batted ball and fired to third to erase the lead runner. Nate McLouth walked and Manny Machado ended up doubling off the wall to drive in Roberts and McLouth, but that’s just Manny being Manny. Pedroia made a diving play on Nick Markakis’s scorcher...

Texas Throwdown

Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew have been names often mentioned in come-from-behind victories and last night was no exception. In the top of the seventh Gomes sent the ball over the mini-monster that inhabits Minute Maid Park’s left field. Drew smacked a three-run circuit clout into the right field stand in the ninth. Koji Uehara preserved the lead by striking out the side in the bottom of the frame. And there was much rejoicing. I think Jerry and Don enjoyed Texas more than they wanted to let on. Howdy, pardners! Mike Napoli even got friendly with Orbit. I’m not sure why Orbit would like Napoli as the fuzzy alien lists black holes as something he dislikes. I liken Napoli to black holes in a good way, as in he sucks up everything at first! This has nothing to do with his recent penchant to strike out or ground into double plays with the score close and runners in scoring position, nosirree. Shane Victorino had a frustrating evening with a single hit and three left on base. In the top of the sixth he struck out to end the inning the the bases loaded on Brian Knight’s ruling that he went...

Ross Goes Off

Stephen Drew and Cody Ross made a sport of abusing their former teams last night. Drew went 2-for-2 with a game-tying two-run homer in the sixth. Ross’s line was a sprightly 4-for-5 with 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored. He also stole a base, but didn’t get a chance to take out Dustin Pedroia as he had hoped. Ross clouted what would be the winning run as the leadoff hitter in the seventh inning. Jon Lester couldn’t continue his streak of three quality starts, lasting just 4⅓ innings with 11 hits, 6 earned runs, and 6 strikeouts. The enigma of the southpaw’s inconsistency hasn’t diminished with summer’s passing. There would be no magical comeback this evening. Drew led off the ninth frame with a single scorched to right and advanced to scoring position with Jacoby Ellsbury’s one-out single. Shane Victorino and Pedroia couldn’t advance the runner this time, but the crowd is starting to warm to singing along with Victorino’s at bat song. Don’t worry about a thing… ’cause the Red Sox are still in first place. Game 111: August 2, 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks56-53 7 W: Randall Delgado (4-3)H: J.J. Putz (4), Joe Thatcher (12), Heath Bell (8)S: Brad Ziegler...

Extra Innings Slog

Did someone order a walk-off win in extra innings as July turned into August that propelled the team back into first place? With a couple of outstanding double plays on the side? A galvanizing win after a pivotal trade sprinkled on top? The Red Sox were poised to shatter the 4-4 tie in the 14th inning. As if in a movie the fringe player, played by Brandon Snyder, led off the rally with a double. Jacoby Ellsbury bunted Snyder over and Shane Victorino seemed to loft the ball far enough afield for Snyder to tag up for the winning run. But Michael Saunders positioned himself perfectly to coil up for a flawless throw home to end Snyder’s cinematic ending with a crushing double play. Seattle was paid back in kind in the 15th frame. Saunders laced the ball into shallow left with Endy Chavez on first and Raul Ibanez on second. Jonny Gomes made a diving catch of the liner and trotted to second base for an unusual unassisted double play by an outfielder. For some reason Ibanez didn’t try to get back to the keystone sack. Dustin Pedroia sparked another chance for Boston in the bottom of the 15th...


key·stone noun /ˈkēˌstōn/ the wedge-shaped piece at the crown of an arch that locks the other pieces in place — see arch illustration something on which associated things depend for support a species of plant or animal that produces a major impact (as by predation) on its ecosystem and is considered essential to maintaining optimum ecosystem function or structure That pretty much summarizes why Dustin Pedroia, guardian of the keystone sack, was offered a $110M contract that keeps him in a Boston Red Sox uniform until 2021. Kyle Farnsworth toed the rubber in the eighth with one out and the bases loaded. The Red Sox doubled their run total from three to six with the Professor on the bump. Mike Napoli arced a double to Sean Rodriguez in left and Jonny Gomes kept the left fielder busy with a single. The Professor did school Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who struck out on three pitches. With two down Stephen Drew knocked a grounder to right field to plate Napoli. Continuing their surprisingly aggressive baserunning Drew swiped second with Jose Iglesias at the dish. Iglesias sent a bounder off Evan Longoria’s glove, which knocked the ball down to an inconvenient location for both him...

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 Sox32-22 3 L: John Lackey (3-5) 2B: Jose Iglesias (4), Jacoby Ellsbury (11)3B: Ellsbury (5)HR: Daniel Nava (7) Philadelphia Phillies26-27 4 W: Kyle Kendrick (5-3)H: Antonio Bastardo (7), Mike Adams (5)S: Jonathan Papelbon (11) HR: Ryan Howard (7), Dominic Brown...

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...

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...


Now that the other Drew brother plays on the Red Sox we can revive the puns. In the top of the first Desmond Jennings smoked a liner off Will Middlebrooks’s glove. Usually tipped balls make their way to the outfield but the deflection found Stephen Drew’s leather, just like they drew it up. Rimshot. In the third Jennings exacted his revenge with a single off the wall that no infielder nor outfielder had a chance at. He thought he had a double but the ricochet went right to Daniel Nava. After Jennings Sean Rodriguez lined his shot into the left field corner where it died rather than caromed, giving him a double, an RBI, and his team the lead. David Price didn’t rehash his second outing of this season, a five-inning affair in which he surrendered eight earned runs. Instead he regained his Cy Young form, lasting six innings with two walks and eight strikeouts. Only David Ross got to him; the catcher’s fifth-inning home run cleared the wall and tied the score 1-1. The Rays threatened in the ninth when Joel Hanrahan allowed consecutive walks to Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist. Koji Uehara took care of the next three...


Game 36: May 15, 2009 Red Sox4L: Jon Lester (2-4)21-15, 3 game losing streak Mariners5W: Chris Jakubauskas (2-4)H: Sean White (1)H: Mark Lowe (2)S: David Aardsma (4)17-19, 1 game winning streak Highlights: Ichiro Suzuki hit two home runs off Lester. J.D. Drew cottoned to batting third, going 3-for-5 with an RBI single in the first, a leadoff double that sparked the scoring in the third, and a two-out single in the ninth. Jason Bay batted clean-up and was a foot short of giving his team the lead in the top of the ninth. The Joy of Sox pointed out that Boston has scored four runs in the last five consecutive games, tying their team record. From what I have been able to uncover, “Jakubauskas” is a Lithuanian name. Linguists believe that Lithuanian is the oldest surviving Indo-European language. It has remained remarkably constant throughout for at least the past 5,000 years. In fact, it still retains the same vocabulary as Sanskrit.All the words in Dustin Pedroia’s vocabulary are devoted to smack talk, even when speaking to children. The pre-game show featured a segment with the second baseman playing a baseball video game against a kid whose surname was Cashman. Fitting,...


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