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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Pedroia”

Pyrrhic Victory

The Red Sox finally came up with a win against their divisional adversaries from Charm City but paid the price. Dustin Pedroia was put on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, or as my friend Scott would call it, his manstring. Pedroia was running out a single to left but came up lame after stepping awkwardly on the first base bag. At least Pedroia wasn’t stepped on like Alejandro De Aza. The backup outfielder had his hand mashed by Bud Norris’s cleats but incredibly didn’t get injured. De Aza didn’t even get a hit for his pain; the official scorer gave Chris Davis an error because of a bobble. It wasn’t enough for the bases and opposing players to cause bodily harm. Xander Bogaerts got into the action when his line drive smashed into Hanley Ramirez’s left hand. Take it easy, Xander, Hanley’s not going to be moving back to short and take your spot. David Ortiz contributed to the offense with a two-run circuit clout in the in the sixth. But it wasn’t as big as a hit as his “Summer Chill” campaign with Rob Gronkowski. Game 73: June 24, 2015 Baltimore Orioles37-34 1 L: Bud Norris...

Gomes Again, Gomes Again, Jiggety-Jig

Raise your hand if you miss Jonny Gomes. His reckless play in the outfield, solid production at the dish, and dynamic clubhouse presence seems to be something lacking in the 2015 Red Sox. I won’t ever forget how he draped the Boston Strong jersey on the 2013 World Series trophy at the Boston Marathon finish line when the duck boat rolling rally paused. When Gomes and Jon Lester were traded to Oakland in 2014 two players that exemplified the heart and soul of the team left the Hub. Yoenis Cespedes came to the Red Sox only to be traded for Rick Porcello. Procello lasted six and one-third innings with six hits, four earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts. Most troubling was that the ground ball pitcher had three ground outs and five fly ball outs. Gomes went 0-for-3 with a walk. He struck out twice and flied out to right, so the fence defensive formation never came into play. In the fourth Gomes made one of his signature “more dramatic than it needed to be” catches. Best of all it was on Dustin Pedroia, who was clearly amused that his former teammate made such a spectacular play. Maybe if...


Eduardo Rodriguez had another successful start: six innings pitched, three hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts. But the Red Sox batters were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position for a total of nine strandings as a team. Even more frustrating was that the Orioles’ only run came on Matt Barnes’s wild pitch in the seventh. But Rodriguez has been a revelation on the mound, one of the few bright spots in a dismal season. Hanley Ramirez has had his ups and downs but is one of the few offensive standouts. When he went down writhing in agony in the third inning after a foul ball ricocheted against the inside of his left knee it looked like he could be done for the season. But he stayed in the box to work a walk before leaving the game. Dustin Pedroia’s head was inches away from colliding with Chaz Roe’s 90 MPH fastball. The ball grazed Pedroia’s hand instead of his head but Buck Showalter thought the ball didn’t touch the batter. Pedroia didn’t shake his opposite hand a la Eric Sogard to convince Jeff Nelson. Even if the replay didn’t confirm that Pedroia was grazed by the ball I’d give him...

Exceptional Eduardo

Eduardo Rodriguez displayed his excellence in front of the Fenway faithful for the first time Wednesday afternoon. The rookie almost replicated his major league debut. He didn’t make it into the eighth this time and surrendered a homer to Brian Dozier in the third inning, but otherwise he walked a pair of batters and struck out seven, just as he did in Texas. He’s on his way to becoming the best Venezuelan pitcher in the majors. Oh wait, Felix Hernandez is from Venezuela? Okay, second best. Torii Hunter got a foul ball in the back of the thigh when his teammate Shane Robinson was at bat. Kurt Suzuki helped Hunter massage his 39-year old muscle. The unintentional hit didn’t keep Hunter out of the last game of the series, which is unfortunate, as we will see. The Red Sox bats came to life. Every hitter but Mookie Betts, Sandy Leon, and Rusney Castillo had at least one hit in the game. Dustin Pedroia went 4-for-5 in the leadoff spot, scored two runs, and drove in a run. Your browser does not support iframes. Time out of the lineup seemed to help recharge David Ortiz’s batteries. The designated hitter went 2-for-4...

Gopher Balls in the Gopher State

Who had the better pitcher sad face, Phil Hughes or Rick Porcello? Dustin Pedroia got to see Hughes’s face twice, in the third and fifth innings. Both times Pedroia drove in two runs, but the second baseman was the only Red Sox player with RBIs in this contest. Your browser does not support iframes. Porcello gave up the gopher ball twice as well. In the fourth inning Aaron Hicks clouted his first homer of the season. Eddie Rosario powered his second four-bagger in the sixth inning. There were some moves that may help the Red Sox get on track. Daniel Nava was placed on the disabled list with an injured thumb. Heath Hembree was returned to Pawtucket and Jeff Bianchi was designated for assignment. Top prospect Eduardo Rodriguez was called up and will start against the Rangers tonight. Bolstering the bullpen and outfield respectively were call-ups Robbie Ross and Carlos Peguero. Game 47: May 27, 2015 Boston Red Sox21-26 4 L: Rick Porcello (4-4) 2B: Brock Holt (8)HR: Dustin Pedroia – 2 (7) Minnesota Twins28-18 6 W: Phil Hughes (4-4)H: Brian Duensing (3), Ryan Pressly (3), Michael Tonkin (5)S: Glen Perkins (18) HR: Aaron Hicks (1), Eddie Rosario (2)...

Home On Our Range

The Texas Rangers wrapped up a series win against the Red Sox last night thanks to the local nine’s sputtering offense. Boston was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Clay Buchholz’s competent outing went to waste. While a line of seven and one-third innings with five hits, two earned runs, two walks, and four strikeouts isn’t brilliant, it should be enough for a win if the Red Sox offense lived up to its potential. An example of how hard this team is pressing was Dustin Pedroia’s baserunning in the fourth. Pedroia tried to score on Hanley Ramirez’s comebacker to Wandy Rodriguez but was out at home. He was so out his slide was about five feet from home plate. Ramirez seemed to learn a little from Delino DeShields’s masterful fielding in left. He made a catch on Adam Rosales’s fly ball in the second that probably would have evaded him in April. Yes, you know how badly a game went when Ramirez’s fielding is a highlight. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy tried to keep the mood light with their gigantic doppelgängers. But with a quarter of the season come and gone perhaps it’s time for other heads to roll. Game...

Hawaiian Superman

He fished out all the islands with a magic hook There would've been more but somebody looked He pulled morning sky, the sun he entwined To slow down his flight, so kapa could dry — Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole, “Maui Hawaiian Sup’pa Man” “Kapa” is the fabric made by pounding the bast fibers of plants into fabric. It was said that the people could not dry their kapa because the sun flew so quickly across the sky. The demigod Maui slowed down the sun so the people could have their cloth. Shane Victorino flashed some of his heroics last night. In the fourth inning he sent Roenis Elias’s pitch out of the park to score the first run of the game and give his team the lead. Victorino staunched a potential Mariners rally in the seventh. Justin Ruggiano lofted the ball to deep right field. Chris Taylor thought he would get the go-ahead run easily on the fly ball but Victorino had other plans. Like Maui snaring the sun Victorino caught the ball. Victorino redirected his momentum after hitting the wall and fired to Mike Napoli. When you fly too close to the sun you’re going to get burned. Your browser does...

Just Not In Time

Justin Masterson had a dreadful outing. In the two and one-third innings he pitched he gave up six hits, two of them homers. All told he surrendered six earned runs as he walked one and struck out one. The day after this performance he found himself on the disabled list with arm fatigue. “I’m not real happy, but I don’t have to be,” said the beleaguered starter. No one is really happy when you have a pitcher who pressures his offense into having to produce. Maybe that is what Dustin Pedroia was thinking when he tried and failed to stretch his first-inning single into a double. Masterson was throwing batting practice speed to opponents and consistently forced his teammates to play from behind. With Masterson on the disabled list Steven Wright could be tapped to fill the hole in the rotation, but his five and two-thirds innings did not make a convincing case. Wright gave up six hits, three earned runs, and three walks while striking out four. Even the laws of physics seemed to favor the Athletics last night. When Sam Fuld nubbed the ball towards Pedroia with Brett Lawrie on the run from first it narrowly missed the...

The Night is Dark and Full of Errors

The night is dark. And full of errors. It happens. pic.twitter.com/Fy9nBvuUhQ— Julian Benbow (@julianbenbow) April 11, 2015 I’m a fan of George R.R. Martin’s World of Ice and Fire, both the television series and the books. This game was a long and brutal contest and reminded me of of Brienne and Podrick’s slog through the Riverlands. Just when you thought the well-meaning pair attained some measure of success they were thwarted by the ruffians of the area. Or as tourists would call it, your typical night in the Bronx. Carice van Houten, who portrays Meliasandre in “A Game of Thrones,” stayed for the entire six hours and 49 minutes of the game. Rather than Stannis’s balls in her grasp she had a genuine major league souvenir. She rooted for the Red Sox when she found out fellow Dutchman Xander Bogaerts played for them, but then learned Didi Gregorius was on the Yankees. Both players have been knighted, so I should be calling them Ser Xander and Ser Didi. Of course, the Red Woman should root for the Red Sox as long as she refrains from burning the more productive players. I got the ball ! @mlb pic.twitter.com/62KdZ6Alte— Carice van Houten...


Ten years ago come this May I was at the Hall of Fame to celebrate my birthday. The Boston squad was enjoying its reign as the world champions so it wasn’t painful to see case after case of Yankee greatness in Cooperstown. If you thought it was all a dream you only had look over at a case full of Red Sox memorabilia from 2004. I had planned my visit around the Hall of Fame Game between the Tigers and the Red Sox. The Red Sox lost 6-4 but we got to see Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez play. These two highly touted prospects were going to power the player development machine that Theo Epstein envisioned. The 2004 Red Sox were not going to be one-and-done if the organization stuck to Epstein’s vision. The 2005 Red Sox tied the Yankees’ regular season record of 95-67 but placed second because of their head-to-head record. They were swept by the Chicago White Sox in the American League Divisional Series. The South Siders went on to break their 88-year championship drought. Rather than patiently grow their drafted talent the Red Sox traded Ramirez, Sanchez, Jesus Delgado, and Harvey Garcia for Josh Beckett, Guillermo...

One-Hit Wonders

For the third time this season the Red Sox were held to a single hit. This is the first time this has happened since the 1992 season, another dreadful season where the squad ended in last place in the division. Will Middlebrooks broke up Jake Odorizzi’s no-hitter with a leadoff line drive to center field in the fourth frame. He came into the game when Dustin Pedroia departed in the second inning. Pedroia was covering second base when Logan Forsythe’s elbow found his skull. Slow motion replays seemed to show that there was intent, but at regular speed it appeared it was a pure reaction play. Nothing has been said since the incident that has further inflamed these teams’ already tense relationship so the matter is all but settled. In order to boost attendance at the Trop the Rays now host cosplay conventions simultaneously with games. The force must be incredibly strong in this Jedi. He can shoulder his lightsaber as if it were a fishing pole. Star Wars nights are so de rigueur these days. Call me when there’s a Guardians of the Galaxy extravaganza. This cart should be manned by Nova Corps and girls with raccoon ears, not an...

Hall’s Well That Ends Well

Four Red Sox greats entered the Red Sox Hall of Fame. For a few of them it may have been the precursor to Cooperstown. Your browser does not support iframes. I thought Roger Clemens might hear some boos when his name was announced. I think anyone who hasn’t forgiven Clemens for any or all of his multitude of sins sat on their hands instead of being overtly and loudly negative. When he visited the booth he showed his human side by reminiscing about his grandmother. She had been alive to witness many of accomplishments, but not this one. I don’t know if Pedro Martinez was more brilliant on the mound or with the microphone. He talked about his 17-strikeout game against the Yankees on September 10, 1999, which was commemorated in the Red Sox Hall of Fame. Martinez was mad because Joe Kerrigan got on his case for missing the pitchers’ meeting. The manager told him he had to figure out how to get Derek Jeter out on his own because he missed the meeting. “What am I going to learn, it’s the Yankees,” laughed Martinez. It reminded me of Allen Iverson’s comments about practice. The mediocre ones need repetitive...

Hopping Mad

Dustin Pedroia’s expression summarized how Red Sox fan feel. The visiting team went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and couldn’t knock in any extra base hits off of Brad Mills (no relation to Cleveland’s assistant manager), Jim Johnson, Ryan Cook, Fernando Abad, or Sean Doolittle. It’s enough to make you hit yourself in the face. Or if you are a baseball player, hit yourself in the face with your own foul ball. Burke Badenhop was hopping mad. If the Red Sox don’t make the playoffs the Oakland Athletics seem to be a likable enough squad to temporarily support. They have many former Red Sox players and beards. Their fans imitate Doolittle’s quirky set position. Those amusing Doolilliputians. Game 74: June 20, 2014 Boston Red Sox34-40 3 L: Andrew Miller (2-5) No extra base hits Oakland Athletics46-28 4 W: Fernando Abad (2-2)S: Sean Doolittle (10) HR: Josh Donaldson (18)...


Even though last night converged two superstitious events, Friday the 13th and a full moon, the Red Sox scored the most runs in a single game this season. It was the first time they tallied double digits in runs. Quick, someone break a mirror or walk under a ladder! Dustin Pedrioa (Miniculus tumultuosus) put on defensive clinic for his former manager Terry Francona (Cribbagis victus). He also doubled off the far left field wall in the seventh to give his team a 7-3 lead. Your browser does not support iframes. All these charts and graphs reminded me of Wile E. Coyote’s blueprints. Instead of detailing arcane contraptions designed to capture the Road Runner (Velocitus delectiblus), this information was intended to help Brad Mills (Calvus intellectualis) strategize against the Red Sox. Instead Mills and Francona have dropped the last two games against their former organization. With the Red Sox already down two runs in the second inning Bryan Butterfield (Amans patriae subsp. amator) sent David Ortiz (Fidus obtundo) home on Daniel Nava’s (Parvus nummus) gutshot single. The team was so relaxed with a huge lead in the ninth inning A.J. Pierzynski (Pugnus facies) lost count of the strikes. He threw the...

Ship of Rules

Brad Ausmus, manager of the Tigers, 18-year veteran of the MLB, and Ivy Leaguer, learned something new in the seventh inning. According to 6.05(h), a batter is out when: After hitting or bunting a fair ball, his bat hits the ball a second time in fair territory. The ball is dead and no runners may advance. If the batter-runner drops his bat and the ball rolls against the bat in fair territory and, in the umpire’s judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, the ball is alive and in play. If the batter is in a legal position in the batter’s box, see Rule 6.03, and, in the umpire’s judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, a batted ball that strikes the batter or his bat shall be ruled a foul ball The italicized part was added in 2010 so perhaps Ausmus hadn’t noticed this clarification. Dustin Pedroia knew the rule and hung around the dish, hoping to get the better of Al Alburquerque. But Pedroia ended up popping out to his counterpart Ian Kinsler to lead off the seventh inning. Ruben Lipszyc, a visitor from Ruben’s Baseball,...

Centennial Man

Ryan Cook toed the rubber in the sixth inning, inheriting the undesirable scenario that Dan Otero left him. The bases were loaded but Cook only had to get two outs. The way the Red Sox had been hitting with runners in scoring position a double play was a likely outcome. Dustin Pedroia stepped into the batter’s box. He let one slider slip by and fouled another off. He sent the third pitch to the top of the Green Monster. Bob Melvin challenged the call but for once replay worked in Boston’s favor. Pedroia had clouted his first home run of the season, the second grand slam of his career, and his 100th homer. It is fascinating to watch Jackie Bradley, Jr. adapt to Fenway Park’s center field. He seems to get better reads than Jacoby Ellsbury and is usually in position to make spectacular catches. It is just the last second adjustments where Bradley needs fine tuning. In the third he nearly robbed John Jason of a triple but ended up colliding with the garage door. Bradley seemed to learn from his earlier misplay and snatched Yoenis Cespedes’s batted ball before it reached the center field wall. Unlike Ellsbury, Bradley...

Picture Worth a Thousand Curse Words

C.B. Bucknor was hit by David Ross’s foul ball. His pained expression would repeated on the faces of Red Sox fans as the game wore on and the local nine were unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities. Collectively the Red Sox were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, stranding 11 men. Dustin Pedroia seemingly tied the game in the seventh but Toby Basner called him out at home. Basner isn’t listed in a 2014 crew nor is does he have a biography page on the MLB’s official site. He was called up to umpire in the big leagues in 2012. John Farrell challenged Basner’s call and after it was reviewed at MLB headquarters the call stood. Brian Butterfield was so incensed he tossed his helmet in disgust and was ejected. I propose that Pedroia have another bobblehead day that portrays him barely safe at home and an umpire signaling him out. Josh Reddick will have to come back and complete his collection. What do u guys think of my bobble head? pic.twitter.com/nXpgRMoLwg— Josh Reddick (@joshreddick16) May 1, 2014 Game 28: May 1, 2014 Tampa Bay Rays12-16 2 W: Brandon Gomes (2-1)H: Jake McGee (2), Joel Peralta (3)S: Grant Balfour (5)...

Boston Stronger

On the eve of Patriots’ Day the Red Sox held a ceremony for the Boston Marathon. Families of the victims, survivors, and first responders gathered while a bagpipe orchestra played. Canvases from 50 states paying tribute to the marathon ringed the field. By the afternoon one Boston team was celebrating. The Bruins won the second game of the first round of the playoffs against Detroit 4-1. Justin Florek, Reilly Smith, Milan Lucic, and Zdeno Chara scored goals while Jarome Iginla and Torey Krug had two assists each. In a reversal of David against Goliath, Brendan Smith tried to start a fight with Chara at the end of the first period. Referees intervened, not wanting to see more red on the Detroit player’s uniform. If the Red Sox were to be victorious they would have to overcome an early deficit. Jake Peavy was roughed up in the first inning to the tune of a Nelson Cruz home run, a free pass to Chris Davis, consecutive singles to Adam Jones and Matt Wieters, and a sac fly for J.J. Hardy. Baltimore scored runs in the fifth and sixth. Jones’s line drive RBI single to Jonny Gomes in left field knocked Peavy out...

Double Play Trouble

Home plate umpire Chris Conroy ruled that Ryan “Tatman” Roberts struck out on a foul tip the ninth with one on and none out. Replay showed that Conroy missed the call. John Farrell came out to argue the judgment but foul tips are not reviewable. This toga-wearing fan demonstrated what Chris Conroy was doing when he observed Joakim Soria’s pitch to Roberts. Thus ended Tatman’s Red Sox debut. While he didn’t get a hit he did walk twice. Like so many of the local nine he grounded into a double play to squelch a potential rally. His came in the fifth inning after A.J. Pierzynski led off with a single up the middle. The praying hands on his right arm didn’t help. It’s difficult to see what adorns Roberts’s left arm from this angle. This articles states the Japanese character for “family” is etched onto the left side of neck. Perhaps it’s time for Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa to unleash their inner bullpen prankster spirit animals. Dustin Pedroia grounded into two double plays. But if he can’t cut it in baseball, he can pursue his Plan B: NBA superstar. Game 8: April 8, 2014 Texas Rangers4-4 10 W: Martin...

Battered and Brews

Dustin Pedroia received his third Gold Glove and David Ortiz his sixth Silver Slugger prior to the game yesterday. Ortiz tied Wade Boggs and Manny Ramirez for most Silver Slugger awards as a Red Sox player. Pedroia has a ways to go before he can tie Dwight Evans’s total of eight Gold Gloves. Shane Victorino also won the Gold Glove in 2013 but is still on the disabled list and couldn’t participate. Daniel Nava hasn’t quite lived up to the standard Victorino has set in right field. In the second inning Nava was caught in between charging and backing off Mark Reynolds’s fly ball. His indecisiveness resulted in the ball getting by him, a poor outcome with runners at first and third and none out. Both Jonathan Lucroy and Khris Davis scored on the misplay. Nava somewhat redeemed himself later in the frame. He reached into the stands to glove Jeff Bianchi’s fly ball for the second out. John Farrell used a challenge in the bottom half of the second. Jackie Bradley Jr. knocked a grounder in Rickie Weeks’s direction. The Brewers second baseman bobbled the ball just long enough for the call at first to be close. Tim Timmons’s...


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