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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Lowrie (Jed)”

Fair is Foul

If I miss any Red Sox players from recent seasons all I need to do is tune into an Oakland Athletics game. Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie, Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick, even Bartolo Colon — all played in the shade of the Green Monster and now wear the green and gold. Lowrie was miffed when his ninth-inning line drive to right was called foul by first base umpire Greg Gibson. The officiating crew was down to three as Jerry Layne left the game in the fourth because of a foul tip off Derek Norris’s bat that injured his finger. Mike Estabrook replaced Layne behind home plate, leaving Gibson and Hunter Wendelstedt to cover the lines and bases. There were no runners on base when Lowrie was at the plate so the umpires weren’t rotated. Lowrie ended up striking out swinging to end the game. I’ll try to remember this call when a call goes against the Red Sox. Jon Lester was frustrated with Estabrook’s strike zone and had a few comments for him when he left the game in the sixth. Lester had an uncharacteristic line over 5⅔ innings: 6 hits, 3 earned runs, 6 walks, and 5 strikeouts. Despite the...

Leave it to Beavan

Safeco Field is renowned as a pitcher’s park but you could have fooled David Ortiz, Jed Lowrie, and Josh Reddick. All three homered to power a series-opening victory against the star-crossed Mariners, a team adrift on a sea of futility. Reddick’s blast was particularly spectacular: it hit off the window of the Hit it Here Café and Terrace. The window didn’t shatter but Seattle’s lead was. Blake Beavan tallied his second loss against the Red Sox. Oddly enough in his first appearance against them at Fenway, which is a hitter’s haven, Beavan didn’t surrender a single home run. Beavan seems to be a hurler who can mature into a solid third starter behind Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda. What the Mariners lack are impact bats. For the first time since his first two years in professional baseball (Nippon Professional or MLB) Ichiro Suzuki is batting below .300. His 2011 on-base percentage of .309 is 62 points below his career average and his slugging percentage of .315 is massively decreased from his average of .422. Jerry Remy remarked how Suzuki puts on a home run derby showcase during batting practice. But in-game against John Lackey the right fielder managed just a...

Off the Wall

It was hard for the Red Sox to get the bats warmed up on a raw night like tonight although Orioles had no problems squaring up on Daisuke Matsuzaka. Brian Roberts’s liner off Matsuzaka’s chest to start the game may have thrown the pitcher off his game; he departed the mound after four and one-third innings with seven walks and two strikeouts under his belt and two runners on base. Scott Atchison, summoned from Pawtucket in the wake of John Lackey being placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a right elbow strain, allowed both inherited runners to score. Looking up at a six-run deficit the Red Sox batters didn’t chip away but rather roared back in the bottom of the sixth. For just the fourth time this season the squad batted around. J.D. Drew started the inning with a line drive to Luke Scott, who made an error that allowed Drew to take second. Scott was probably obsessed to the point of distraction about requesting certificates of live birth for people whose origins he found questionable. In the sixth inning rally Jed Lowrie and Kevin Youkilis doubled while Drew, Jason Varitek, and Adrian Gonzalez singled. Throw in Carl...

Defensive Difference

Tim Wakefield is just seven victories away from 200 wins. In 2009 it seemed like an inevitability that he would reach this milestone; he went 11-5 and made the All-Star team. He had a lackluster 2010 and there was no room in the rotation for him this season. He’ll have his chances to notch wins with spot starts as he did last night or with vulture wins out of the bullpen, but given his ineffectiveness and his team’s lack of production the odds are against Wakefield reaching the two-century mark. The knuckleballer wasn’t helped by his defense, with Jed Lowrie playing particularly poorly at short. Danny Valencia sneaked a single by Lowrie in the second after Michael Cuddyer led off with a base on balls. Ben Revere loaded the bases with a line drive single and Adrian Gonzalez uncharacteristically whiffed on a sharp grounder off Denard Span’s bat. In the fifth Lowrie failed to stop Drew Butera’s ground ball from slipping into the outfield. Two runs had already scored that inning and Lowrie’s error allowed two more. Terry Francona got to watch most of the game from the comfort of the clubhouse as he was ejected in the second inning...

It’s 3 a.m.

I must have been listening to bad music while bad things went down at Fenway. Actually, Edwin McCain and Eminem also have songs entitled “3 a.m.” and both of them are better than Matchbox Twenty’s effort. The sampling of McCain’s lyrics below and his poignant performance makes me think of Carl Crawford, his struggles, and his seeming turnaround.It’s 3:00 a.m. I’m awake and my heart is still dreaming It’s 3:00 a.m. Outside I hear the souls still screaming It’s been so long you know since my head’s been this clear Just like a ship lost in the night I just don’t know which way I should steer But I’ll keep chasing my dreams And only you can make them real I pour my heart out every night But do you know the way that I feel There were a few souls, warmed by free hot chocolate or coffee, screaming from the Fenway stands. They screamed in elation as Jed Lowrie scored on a wild pitch from rookie closer Jordan Walden to bring the local nine within a run. That fervor increased when Crawford doubled to center and Jacoby Ellsbury drove Crawford in with a soft liner to right to tie...

Falling Angels

When Boston came to town the Angels were in the catbird seat of the AL West. After two games the home team found themselves trailing the Rangers for divisional supremacy. But in terms of ascendancy in the Los Angeles area the Angels have surpassed the Dodgers in team management. The McCourts’ derelict ownership of one of the gems of baseball has prompted Bud Selig to announce that the league oversee the team. Both Frank and Jamie McCourt used the franchise as their personal piggy bank even though the purchase was financed by debt. The Dodgers are weathering a series of setbacks: their owners are embroiled in acrimonious divorce proceedings, the McCourts shackled the organization with $433 million in debt (as of September 2010), and an attendee was viciously attacked on Dodger Stadium premises and to this day remains in a medically induced coma. The worst that could happen at Angel Stadium is someone spilling a latte on you unintentionally. An overzealous Angels fan might yell in your general direction loudly if he looks up from his iPhone long enough to get his cue from the Jumbotron. Unlike the McCourts Arte Moreno reaches out to the homeless community. Just last night...

Crop, Copy and Paste, Clone

I’m old enough to have taken a typing class in college and to have been amazed by one-hour film processing. Don Orsillo’s penchant for cropping Jerry Remy out of his photographs was jokingly brought up by the color analyst. Remy should start standing in between the dignitary in question and force Orsillo to learn advanced Photoshop skills. I also remember being taught the copy and paste function in Unix and having to relearn the process in graphical interfaces. Unfortunately Jed Lowrie couldn’t cut and paste his previous performances into this game; the hot hitter went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, both of them coming against Brett Anderson. Also, did Orsillo copy and paste his tie from Opening Day with the tie he wore on April 18? I can’t quite tell if the stripes are the same width. Can Anderson be cloned and placed into the Red Sox team photo? The southpaw had a dominant outing: 8 innings pitched, 4 hits, no runs, 1 base on balls, 8 strikeouts. Game 16: April 19, 2011 Boston Red Sox5-110L: John Lackey (1-2)No extra base hits Oakland Athletics9-85W: Brett Anderson (1-1)2B: Mark Ellis (6), Cliff Pennington (1), Hideki Matsui (5)...

Lowrie’s Seasoned Salt

My mom always had a jar of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt in the cupboard to quickly add zest to hamburgers or pork chops. In much the same way Jed Lowrie adds zing to the Red Sox; it’s not a coincidence that since Lowrie has been inserted in the lineup home cooking has been tastier. Today Lowrie put Sam Fuld to shame with a 4-for-5 outing, sprinkling in four runs batted with a splash of two-run home run for good measure. Terry Francona exploited Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero’s vulnerability to J.D. Drew by slotting the right fielder into the leadoff slot. The move also gave Carl Crawford some relief from the pressure of batting first. Drew led off the game with a triple that nearly cleared the center field wall and went on to score the first run of the game. Kevin Youkilis also just missed a homer when he hammered the ball of the top of the home bullpen’s wall in the bottom of the third but easily lofted the ball over the visitors’ bullpen wall in the sixth. His 114th home run further padded the lead to 7-0 and equally split his roundtrippers to 57 at Fenway and 57...


So this is what a winning streak feels like. It’s only two games, but that’s how a longer streak begins. Although 2011 hasn’t lived up to expectations thus far and Boston is 4-4 against teams in the AL East, the team has assured itself of at least a split in this four-game series against the Blue Jays. While one player of derision, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, put together a decent game (2-for-4 with three runs batted in and no strikeouts), Carl Crawford was 0-for-4 out of the leadoff spot. The left fielder even tried to bunt to get on base in the fifth inning. His misplay of Corey Patterson’s third-inning fly ball didn’t lead to any runs but did inspire a sarcastic cheer when he successfully caught Adam Lind’s can of corn to lead off the next inning. Hub fans are being unreasonably impatient with Crawford, but the outfielder has been impetuous in the box. Only once did Crawford see five pitches and in his final at bat he tapped the first pitch into the waiting glove of the pitcher. He has a whiff of Edgar Renteria about him, but the tension of Fenway shouldn’t be a huge surprise to him as...

Jim Rice’s Magical Snuggie

In contrast to another one of Don Orsillo’s staid ties (black grid punctuated with light gray rectangles), Jim Rice covered himself in a garish but ultimately lucky Snuggie (marketed as the Comfy Throw and available for $24.99 at the official online shop). Spurred on by the tremendous spirit embodied in Rice’s blanket, “Dirty Water” echoed through Fenway Park for just the third time this season. Jed Lowrie leading off and going 3-for-5 with his first home run of 2011 might have something to do with it. Josh Beckett’s 7 commanding innings with 3 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, and 9 whiffs figured into the mix. Shutdown appearances by Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon in support of their starter didn’t hurt, and neither did solid defensive play by Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, and Mike Cameron. Cameron ended the game by gloving a fly ball off the bat of Travis Snider while sliding perilously close to the left field stands. A misplay by Cameron would have allowed Aaron Hill, who advanced twice on defensive indifference, to score and potentially spark a rally. Cameron has adjusted well to his role as a platoon player and will hopefully mentor Carl Crawford as the...

There’s No Place Like Home

The Yankees were denied the American League East championship with their 8-4 loss before the Rays’ comeback victory against the Royals. They won’t have home field throughout the playoffs and will face the Minnesota Twins in the American League Divisional Series. Yankee Stadium is second in the league for runs scored park factor 1.182 compared to Target Field’s 0.970. Southpaws won’t have the short porch to pad their home run statistics; in fact, Homophobia Field’s (Target donated $150,000 to Minnesota Forward, a political action committee that supports anti-gay marriage Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer) home run park factor of 0.638 is last in the league while Nouveau Stade Fasciste is third with 1.440. I should be careful about how vociferously I broadcast my hopes for a quick exit by the Yankees. I might find myself stabbed in the neck like Monte Friere, a Red Sox fan from Nashua, New Hampshire who was attacked by John Mayor, a Yankee fan from New Haven. While Mayor is sitting in the clink waiting for someone to bail him out for $500,000, he should unwind with some quality television programming. On Tuesday evening at 8 PM ESPN will present the next installment of the...

Bucking the Trend

Since assuming the helm of the floundering Orioles organization Buck Showalter has reversed the team’s course. Baltimore is 28-17 since August 3. Over the same period the Red Sox are 23-21, but more than a handful of the losses seemed like they should have been wins. The opening game of the this series was one of those eminently winnable games. The local nine tied the game twice. Hot-hitting Victor Martinez starched a single in the bottom of the first to plate Darnell McDonald and knot the run tally 1-1. In the bottom of the sixth the Red Sox had all the fixings for a home-cooked rally: Mike Lowell walked with one out and Jed Lowrie was hit by a pitch to push Lowell into scoring position. Bill Hall blooped in Lowell with a single to right. Lowell was able to reach home on the single because Nick Markakis clumsily tripped and bobbled the ball. Lowrie reached third on the miscue. Markakis’s mistake was countered by Lowrie’s baserunning blunder. On Jason Varitek’s strikeout Matt Wieters fired to shortstop Cesar Izturis to tag Hall, who was part of a failed hit and run. Izturis noticed Lowrie breaking for home and threw back...

Seems Like Old Times

Seems like old times, dinner dates and flowers Just like old times, staying up for hours Making dreams come true, doing things we used to do Seems like old times being here with youWhen Annie Hall crooned these lines she and Alvy Singer were nearing the end of their first relationship. Annie was lured away to Los Angeles by music producer Tony Lacey, something that might soon happen with Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez. Tim Bogar made it seem like the Dale Sveum days by waving home Beltre in the second inning on David Ortiz’s line drive single to left. Sophomore left fielder Michael Saunders hosed Beltre for his eighth assist of the season. Masking Bogar’s gaffe was erased by Jed Lowrie’s two-run bomb over the scoreboard in left, putting ahead the Red Sox 2-1. The shortstop also rained a solo shot off the home bullpen’s roof in the fourth inning, a four-bagger that marked Lowrie’s first multi-homer game. To add to his switch-hitting and middle infield versatility, Lowrie manned first base from the eighth inning on. Ortiz called to mind the good old days with his go-ahead homer in the eighth. His post-blast stance, the soaring projectile, the proud...

Over Priced

It was like the old days in the Trop last night: Red Sox fans were louder than the Rays supporters and the visiting team came away with the victory. The irony is that Boston devotees are indirectly supporting the Rays. This is because the revenue-sharing scheme in MLB has luxury tax-paying teams like the Red Sox forking over money to small market teams such as the Rays. Compared to the Marlins and Pirates, the Tampa Bay franchise is the exemplar of how revenue-receiving teams should reinvest the funds they receive to improve on-field performance. As a follower of a team in the Rays’ division, however, I really would prefer that the Rays ownership were more like Bob Nutting and Jeffrey Loria. Although I was reeling from the news that Dustin Pedroia would probably be out for the year his teammates soldiered on. Jon Lester twirled seven innings, allowed only two hits, and struck out ten. The game was in the balance in the sixth when walked B.J. Upton to start the sixth and then allowed a frozen rope off Jason Bartlett’s bat for a single to center. Upton didn’t go all out around the bases and was surprised to be...

These Go to Eleven

Daisuke Matsuzaka and Victor Martinez seemed to be working together much better than they did during Matsuzaka’s streak of troubles. The battery fought through the Blue Jays’ three-run rally in the sixth to turn in two shutout, 1-2-3 innings, keeping the score knotted 4-4. Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon combined for three scoreless innings to get to the home half of the eleventh. Jed Lowrie, when not re-reading political theory classics introduced to him as a political science major at Stanford such as On the Social Contract or A Theory of Justice, hits game-winning home runs in extra-innings games in his spare time. No offense to Lowrie, but if you put him in street clothes he would be high on the list of least likely to be identified as a professional athlete. Like other political science majors, he should be bringing a senator some coffee or toiling away on an obscure blog. But Lowrie can swing a bat, throw leather around the diamond, and avoid slipping on home plate after launching a walk-off four-bagger and thereby suffering a season-ending injury, so he can avoid lackey tasks and carpal tunnel syndrome for a while. He’ll still have to deal with dirty...

Tipping America’s Hat

Daisuke Matsuzaka replaced his first-inning yips with a third-inning meltdown. After the offense had carved out a comfy 4-1 lead the pitcher walked the nine-hole and leadoff hitters back-to-back and then conceded a game-tying bomb to Travis Snider. Just as the Blue Jays were swinging from their heels so were the Red Sox. J.D. Drew crushed Ricky Romero’s 3-1 offering to the second deck. It landed into the waiting hands of a Toronto fan, a young man who was so excited by his snare he fist-pumped his own catch rather than booed his team falling behind in the score. Felix Doubront took over in the sixth with two men on and two out, even surviving a misplay by Jed Lowrie at second base to load the bases. Doubront could evade the bases-loaded jam but not the beguiling Jose Bautista, the inexplicable leader in homers in the American League. The outfielder re-knotted the game in the seventh with a leadoff shot off Doubront to left field. There might be something to the trading deadline mantra that players returning from injury would provide the boost the Red Sox needed, not a deal. It took Kevin Youkilis’s freak thumb injury to do it,...

The Maim Game

Papelbon, Papelbon, bo-ba-pelbon Banana-fana, fo-fa-felon Fee-fi-mo-apelbon What the f*ck was that? Clay Buchholz pitched a sterling eight innings and watched the dint of his efforts get hammered into a shape unrecognizable by Jonathan Papelbon. Buchholz left two runners on base, none out, and MVP-candidate Miguel Cabrera at the dish for the closer, so it wasn’t an easy save. But for Papelbon, lately there have been no easy saves. Cabrera’s inevitable double plated two runners. Papelbon struck out Brennan Boesch, formerly a candidate for the AL Rookie of the Year but slumping of late. Jhonny Peralta, acquired from the Indians, has proved to be a spark plug for the Tigers. The infielder singled up the middle to plate Don Kelly, who Jim Leyland pinch ran for Cabrera. As ill-advised as it was for Terry Francona to send Buchholz to the mount to attempt to notch the novelty of a complete shutout, it was still smarter than Leyland pulling Cabrera. He must have had supreme confidence two things: Papelbon blowing the lead and Boston’s offense unable to make up the deficit. Then again, the Red Sox batters failed to get an extra base hit over the course of eight innings, why would...


Game 162: October 4, 2009 Indians7L: Tomo Ohka (1-5)65-97, 5 game losing streak Red Sox12W: Michael Bowden (1-1)95-67, 4 game winning streak Highlights: Bowden, he of the bizarre delivery, attained his first major league win in 2009 in the last game of the regular season. He entered the game after Ramon Ramirez took over following Clay Buchholz’s disastrous five-run third inning. Boston countered with five runs in the sixth inning: Jed Lowrie lofted his first grand slam in the majors and J.D. Drew launched his second homer of the game. In his six seasons as Red Sox field manager Terry Francona has a record of 95 wins or better five times. “What a long, strange trip it’s been.” This line from the Grateful Dead song “Truckin’” is overused by a portly ESPN anchor, but it is an appropriate sentiment for 2009. January 8th: Rocco Baldelli inked $500,000 one-year contract. He wears 5, the first player to do so since Nomar Garciaparra. 9th: Brady Penny deal ($5M for one year with $3M in incentives) officially announced.Mark Kotsay re-signed to a one-year $1.5M contract. 10th: Takashi Saito signed for $1.5M with performance and roster bonuses. 12th: Jim Rice voted into the National...


Game 90: July 18, 2009 Red Sox2L: Brad Penny (6-4)55-35, 1 game losing streak Blue Jays6W: Marc Rzepczynski (1-1)45-47, 1 game winning streak Highlights: Unsurprisingly, Rzepczynski is the first major league player with a surname that begins with the letters “Rz;” the letter combination is a voiced retroflex fricative that has no English equivalent. What is surprising is that the rookie contained the potent Red Sox lineup to a single run over six innings. “Zep,” as he is called, gave up four hits and four walks but struck out four. Fo’, fo’, fo’. Jim “Kitty” Kaat had retired from broadcasting in 2006 but returned to the booth after his wife’s death in 2007. He used to work for YES but distinguished himself from former colleagues such as Michael Kay by providing insightful commentary. Don Orsillo tried to bait Kitty a bit by bringing up Derek Jeter’s leaning into pitches, but Kaat came right back with Kevin Youkilis’s proclivity to do the same.In the third a pitch ricocheted off the knob of Youkilis’s bat and he tried to convince Laz Diaz that the ball hit him. Diaz wouldn’t have any of it, so the All-Star settled for a ground-rule double. Youkilis...

Jinkōshiba [人工芝]

ALCS Game 1: October 10, 2008 Red Sox 2 W: Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-0)H: Hideki Okajima (1)H: Justin Masterson (1)S: Jonathan Papelbon (1) 1-0 Rays 0 L: James Shields (0-1) 0-1 Highlights: Could the glory of the game of baseball overcome the shoddy surroundings of Tropicana Field? Indeed it could, particularly with a performance like the one Matsuzaka had. After a rough first inning in which he walked the bases loaded, the visiting starter roared back to hold the Rays hitless for 18 outs. Matsuzaka struck out nine and walked four, and for once I was thankful that a national broadcast team covered the contest rather than sit through Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy’s griping about their least favorite hurler. Dustin Pedroia saved the no-hit bid in the sixth with a play on Carlos Peña’s sharp grounder into the shift. The infielder slid on the jinkōshiba (artificial turf) and pivoted to first to notch the second out of the inning. The Tampa Bay organization did their best with the opening game of the second playoff series in their young existence. They remembered to change the “D” to “C” in the ALCS logo on the field. The bunting looked a bit...


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