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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Schilling (Curt)”

Clay Reanimation

With the bullpen in tatters thanks to an extra-inning game, a previous rain delay, and poor starts, Terry Francona had to take extreme measures. He had Clay Buchholz return to the mound after a two hour and seven minute rain delay. Buchholz had looked sharp through the first two innings. The only baserunners were Justin Morneau in the first, who reached because of Marco Scutaro’s leisurely handling of a ground ball, and Michael Cuddyer in the second, who reached on an error by Jed Lowrie. During the delay Buchholz kept limber by playing catch with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and getting stretched out by trainers. When the teams got word that the game would restart at 4:00 p.m. Buchholz finished up his second warm-up with long toss and bullpen sessions. Buchholz’s efforts were extended by shutout innings by a quartet of relievers and a surprisingly adequate offense. Lowrie drove in Jacoby Ellsbury, who was at second base with a wall ball double, in the first inning. After the delay Adrian Gonzalez smacked a ground-rule double to right and scored on a ringing single off the Monster by Kevin Youkilis. In the eighth Ellsbury shot a single up the middle with the bases...

L.A. Beaten

Sundays are supposed to be leisurely but Clay Buchholz’s day was anything but. The Red Sox offense, so potent in the first two games of the series, strung together just two runs for the spindly starter. Dustin Pedroia singled with one out in the first, a grounder that bounced off Casey Blake’s glove towards Jamey Carroll. With David Ortiz batting Joe Torre put on the shift. Pedroia was offended by Torre’s tactic; didn’t that manager know that blinding speed was one of the weapons in Pedroia’s vast arsenal of baseball weaponry? The Red Sox second baseman bolted for second and continued on to third after his pop-up slide as no one backed up the hot corner. Torre intentionally walked Ortiz to get to Kevin Youkilis, who called “two ball, corner pocket” in the batter’s box. The Red Sox first baseman cunningly cued the ball down the third base line and Blake’s only move was to hope it bent foul. Instead the ball skipped along the line and hit the third base bag for a single, scoring Pedroia. The only other run came in the third inning. Marco Scutaro led off with a single to center, advanced to third on Pedroia’s...

Opening Delights, Opening Frights

The one, the only Pedro Martinez throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, hugging Johnny Pesky, and double pointing to Big Papi did much to wash away the schmaltz of last night’s festivities. Many would point to Josh Sacco’s Miracle speech as exhibit one in the case against melodrama, but I think charged words foretelling the dissolution of an evil empire issuing forth from a cherub-like face was in its way subversive. Some fire in the belly of children who are fed pablum that passes for education programming is a welcome thing. That Sacco’s utterance of a somewhat risque word probably compelled dozens of dowdy biddies to pen letters expressing their stern opprobrium also delighted me. I’m not sure whose camp I fall in with respect to fireworks; I love pyrotechnics but they are a spectacle in and of themselves, and furthermore baseball requires no further adornment. They were part of the presentation of the national anthem sung by Keri Hilson, who just days before forgot the words of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” With everyone ohh-ing and ahh-ing any slips by Ms. Hilson would be missed. Steven Tyler slogged through “God Bless America” with one gangly arm slung around a young girl....


Game 131: September 1, 2009 Red Sox8W: Jon Lester (11-7)S: Jonathan Papelbon (33)77-54, 4 game winning streak Rays4L: Andy Sonnanstine (6-8)71-60, 1 game losing streak Highlights: Hideki Okajima got into a spot of trouble in the eighth. The sequence of single, walk, RBI single, single, RBI single looks worse in writing than what the hitters actually accomplished. The first single was a bunt, the walk was only relinquished after nine pitches, and while the first RBI single was laced soundly by Pat Burrell the next two hits were soft bloopers that batters got under but somehow the balls dropped just beyond the reach of Dustin Pedroia and out of range of J.D. Drew. Jonathan Papelbon took the mound with the bases loaded and six outs away from arrant disappointment or utter contentment. Twenty-eight pitches later the Red Sox opened the series with a resounding victory. It was a statement louder than a thousand cowbells.Joe Maddon let out all the stops in trying to eke out a win, subbing a runner here, a hitter there, and summoning eight pitchers to the mound. His team looked quite a bit less determined to get the win.In the second Mike Lowell got a free...


Game 152: September 17, 2008 Red Sox 3 L: Tim Wakefield (9-11) 89-63, 2 game losing streak Rays 10 W: Grant Balfour (5-2) 90-60, 2 game winning streak Highlights: Dissension abounded on and off the field. Thought and deed were divergent; the harder Wakefield tried to stymie the Rays lineup the more they hit, the more the visiting batters attempted to hit the less they made contact (except for David Ortiz), the less the defense endeavored to make errors the more they bungled plays. For the past few games Jerry Remy has stated that the Red Sox have the best defense in the American League according to fielding percentage (a questionable statistic, to be sure, but seems to be the method the MLB uses to rate defensive skill). Last night was a blooper reel played out live, particularly by the pitchers. In the third Devern Hansack tossed the ball into center field when attempting to pick off Willie Aybar from second base.Later in that inning Javier Lopez played Gabe Gross’s soft liner to the side and allowed Gross to get on base. Either homerism or sympathy took over in the fourth when David Aardsma and the entire infield failed...

Schilling Expresses Relief

With the signing of Bartolo Colon to a minor league contract, Curt Schilling demonstrated marked relief. “This is awesome! That butterball eats so much, most of the food that supplies the big league club will have to be trucked down to Pawtucket. There won’t be as much food around here to tempt me to break my weight clause.” Showing off his relatively svelte figure to the group of media people he cornered, Schilling also stated his hopes that Colon might contribute to the major league club this season. “And if he manages to make the roster, I’ll be sure to stand near him so I’ll look even thinner than I appear now.” Terry Francona, who signed a three-year extension today, had some concerns about both Schilling and Colon in the same clubhouse. “Wouldn’t that much mass potentially warp the fabric of the space-time continuum?” “Or would they be more like a binary star system, like 61 Cygni?” When questioned about whether Colon or Schilling could still be considered stars, Francona backed off the twin star comparison. “Now that I think about it, Cygni is made up of two K class stars, which are on the smaller side. These guys are...

Cold Shoulder

Overly vigorous campaign sign waving for John McCain, long hours of MMORPG testing, reaching too far to pat himself on the back, or some combination of the three has torn Curt Schilling’s rotator cuff. When the hurler went against Red Sox team doctor Thomas Gill’s advice and opted for season-ending surgery upon the recommendation of his personal orthopaedic surgeon, Craig Morgan, the Red Sox threatened to void his contract. Per the collective bargaining agreement, a third doctor was consulted. David Altchek, the medical director for the Mets, agreed with Gill’s assessment. In the end, Schilling decided against surgery, but will be out until the All-Star break at the very least. In the battle of medical school credentials, Altchek graduated from Cornell, Morgan went to Emory, and Gill attended Harvard. All are board-certified orthopaedic surgeons. At both ends of the spectrum, Altchek boasts Carl Pavano and Pedro Martinez as patients. Morgan has testimonials from Schilling, Paul Byrd, and Jeff Brantley on his practice’s site. Massachusetts General Hospital, where Gill practices, is more discreet about its clientèle, although it does note that Gill is also the Patriots’ Head Team Physician. That expertise will be brought to bear on Tim Wakefield in 2008,...

Results Not Typical

The Red Sox and Curt Schilling agreed to a one-year contract for $8 million. He can earn $2 million more if he meets a weight clause and $3 million additional for performance-based incentives. If this is his last year as a professional baseball player, he would retire as a Red Sox. He could have his number retired should he make it to Cooperstown. The Black and Gray Ink have him making it by a smidge. Although he never won a Cy Young, he has been the World Series Co-MVP and is a preeminent postseason pitcher. I think he makes it in eventually. I’m certain Schilling is already in initial discussions with various weight-loss companies for endorsement deals. Other titles I considered for this piece: Pounds, Schillings, and Sense Heavy Consequences Weighty Decision...


World Series Game 2: October 25, 2007 Rockies 1 L: Ubaldo Jimenez (0-1) NLDS: 3-0NLCS: 4-0World Series: 0-2 Red Sox 2 W: Curt Schilling (3-0)H: Hideki Okajima (2)S: Jonathan Papelbon (2) ALDS: 3-0ALCS: 4-3World Series: 2-0 Highlights: The Terry Francona Special Postseason Limited Edition Action Figure with Quick Hook Action™ is a wonder to behold. In a regular season game Francona would have pressed his luck with his favored veteran pitcher and who knows what would have happened after Matt Holliday’s one-out single and Todd Helton’s eight-pitch base on balls. Instead, Schilling was pulled with two men on in the sixth and Okajima pitched to the next seven Rockies hitters flawlessly. Papelbon tallied his second multi-inning playoff save, striking out two and picking off Holliday while doing so. Matt Holliday, the NL MVP candidate, smoked a liner so close to Jonathan Papelbon that it took all the closer’s dancing prowess to avoid the imprint of stitches on his torso. Dustin Pedroia doggedly tracked down the grounder and rolled his wrist while tumbling near the outer lip of the outfield dirt. The second baseman came up with the ball too late; Julio Lugo’s voice above the din told his fellow...


ALCS Game 6: October 20, 2007 Indians 2 L: Fausto Carmona (0-1) ALDS: 3-1ALCS: 3-3 Red Sox 12 W: Curt Schilling (2-0) ALDS: 3-0ALCS: 3-3 Highlights: “Diné” is what people that we call the Navajo call themselves. Jacoby Ellsbury represented his people proudly with a 1-for-5 showing accompanied by a run and an RBI. Take note, Cleveland fans: this is an authentic Native American. Not Chief Wahoo, who, as Jonathan Zimmerman wrote in The Christian Science Monitor, should go the way of Sambo. The Red Sox loaded the bases in the first after Curt Schilling sat down the top of the order, one, two, three. It seemed so easy, A, B, C. Dustin Pedroia bounced the ball towards his counterpart Asdrubal Cabrera, who rounded second base, barehanded the catch, and threw across his body. Unlike cribbage matches against his manager, Pedroia beat the throw. He also motored hard to second on Kevin Youkilis’s ground ball to short, unnerving Cabrera enough that he couldn’t hold onto Jhonny Peralta’s relay. With none out, David Ortiz watched uno, dos, tres pitches from Fausto Carmona miss the zone. A generous Dana DeMuth called two strikes, the first less strikey than the second. But...


ALCS Game 2: October 13, 2007 · 11 innings Indians 13 W: Tom Mastny (1-0) ALDS: 3-1ALCS: 1-1 Red Sox 6 L: Eric Gagne (0-1) ALDS: 3-0ALCS: 1-1 Highlights: Manny Ramirez now has the most home runs in the postseason, although Fox would have you believe this is not a significant record since the postseason has more games than it did in the good ol’ days. I’m sure Fox broadcasters said the same as Bernie Williams compiled his 22 four-baggers. David Ortiz tied the postseason record of 10 for consecutive times reaching safely with the fielder’s choice in the fifth. Just as they did in the first game of the series the Indians sprung to an early lead. Grady Sizemore led off with a double that dropped between Manny Ramirez and Coco Crisp for a double. The spry center fielder scored with Victor Martinez’s wall-scraping two-bagger. And just as C.C. Sabathia proved more threatening in regular season play than the playoffs, Fausto Carmona faded in his ALCS debut. The former closer lasted just four innings, walking and striking out five. He began to sputter in the third, when the home team took the lead spurred by Crisp’s leadoff single...


ALDS Game 3: October 7, 2007 Red Sox 9 W: Curt Schilling (1-0) 3-0 Angels 1 L: Jered Weaver (0-1) 0-3 Highlights: No one on earth could feel like thisI’m thrown and overblown with blissThere must be an angelPlaying with my heart Because they certainly weren’t playing on the field. Already down Gary Matthews, Jr. and Bartolo Colon for the series, regular first baseman Casey Kotchman was replaced by Kendry Morales about a half an hour before first pitch due to a non-baseball related illness. Garret Anderson left the game in the top of the third, at last conceding he couldn’t see out of his right eye because of conjunctivitis. Even with a full and healthy complement the Angels would have been hard-pressed to defeat the Red Sox. Curt Schilling displayed his postseason virtuosity with seven innings of six-hit ball. He has made the transition from power to finesse as easily as Picasso ranged from realism to cubism, painting the black with painstaking precision. Four Angels struck out and only one got a free pass. Only Maicer Izturis managed an extra base hit and even that one could have been added to Coco Crisp’s highlight reel had the center...


Game 157: September 25, 2007 Athletics 3 L: Chad Gaudin (11-13) 75-83, 2 game losing streak22-24-4 series record Red Sox 7 W: Curt Schilling (9-8)H: Manny Delcarmen (11)H: Eric Gagne (4)H: Jonathan Papelbon (1) 93-64, 1 game winning streak32-14-5 series recordDivisional magic number: 3 Highlights: Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis returned to action in the first game of the final homestand of the season. The team honed its postseason edge as the games, like the daylight hours of fall, dwindle. Judging by the performances last night, the chance for a few of the players to make the playoff roster also diminished. Invariably when I talk with someone about my Red Sox fan credentials my sordid past as a Mets fan in Hawai‘i is uncovered. Since the islands have no professional sports franchises of their own, people there root for teams that have players with Hawaiian connections. Sid Fernandez and Ron Darling, both born in Hawai‘i, were on that 1986 team. It is half a world, half a lifetime distant, but the same tendencies still color my perceptions. I could not help but cheer for Kurt Suzuki a little; he is from the island I grew up on and went...


Game 150: September 16, 2007 Yankees 4 W: Joba Chamberlain (2-0)S: Mariano Rivera (28) 85-64, 1 game winning streak26-20-2 series record Red Sox 3 L: Curt Schilling (8-8) 90-60, 1 game losing streak31-13-5 series recordMagic number: 9 Highlights: Tugi! Achute me Joba. Ji ama tuta Nebraska. Me jenki. Ma kilin na pich rupha. Hamporo dongol na di kato? Ma... patisa Jason pul... hampu. (Translation from Huttese to English: Greetings! I am Joba. I come from Nebraska. I am a pitcher. My head is too hot. Where is a nearby pharmacy? My... friend Jason needs... medicine.) Roger Clemens’s apprentices, past and present, were pivotal in the game. Clemens himself lumbered through six innings before turning over the reins to Joba Chamberlain, who let the home team back in the game. Curt Schilling lasted for seven and two-third innings; he was responsible for the game-tying and game-breaking home runs. Chamberlain is invoked as some sort of second coming of Jonathan Papelbon the way he is presented by the media. Papelbon has had four streaks with no earned runs scored against him of 14 games or more; Chamberlain’s streak ended last night at 12 games with 16 innings pitched. Mike Lowell blasted...


Game 140: September 5, 2007 Blue Jays 6 BS: Brian Wolfe (2)W: Jeremy Accardo (4-3) 71-68, 1 game winning streak21-16-7 series record Red Sox 4 H: Bryan Corey (1)BS: Manny Delcarmen (1)L: Hideki Okajima (3-2) 84-56, 1 game losing streak29-12-5 series recordMagic number: 17 Highlights: Jacoby Ellsbury continued to impress on both sides of the ball. From the two-hole the rookie outfielder drove in a run and scored after running out a double past a lurching Troy Glaus. He also slammed the door on the fifth-inning rally with a sliding haul of Glaus’s smoker to left. David Ortiz thought he caught Ellsbury Fever and tried to leg out a double on a clanger in the third but was thrown out to end the inning. In all but one inning Curt Schilling pitched capably; he lasted longer than Roger Clemens, at least, going six innings with eight hits, three runs, one base on balls, and two strikeouts. Delcarmen and Okajima served gopher balls late in the game to Troy Glaus and Vernon Wells respectively to snap the Red Sox’s four-game winning streak. Seeing Matt Clement out and about made me grin. His career contribution to the Red Sox fell short...


Game 129: August 24, 2007 Red Sox 10 W: Curt Schilling (8-5) 78-51, 2 game winning streak26-11-5 series record White Sox 1 L: John Danks (6-12) 56-72, 3 game losing streak16-21-3 series record Highlights: The lineup continued their barrage in the night game. David Ortiz led the charge with two homers. Kevin Youkilis also homered, showing reinvigorated prowess after a few weeks of futility. The second game featured a December-May pitching match-up of crusty veteran against the much-lauded but still unproven rookie. The number one song when Curt Schilling was born on November 14, 1966 was “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by the Supremes and The Secret of Santa Vittoria by Robert Crichton was flying off the shelves. When John Danks was born on April 15, 1985? “One More Night” by Phil Collins. That week the New York Times fiction bestseller was Family Album by Danielle Steel while Lee Iacocca’s autobiography headed the nonfiction list. Danks was three years old when Schilling made his major league debut on September 7, 1988. The top song of the time, appropriately enough, was “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns ’n Roses, Tom Clancy’s The Cardinal of the Kremlin was the top fiction...


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 112: August 6, 2007 Red Sox 2 L: Curt Schilling (6-5) 68-44, 1 game losing streak24-9-4 series record Angels 4 W: Justin Speier (1-2)H: Scot Shields (25)S: Francisco Rodriguez (28) 65-46, 2 game winning streak20-12-4 series record Highlights: Schilling missed a quality start by a single run. He was fairly sharp until his fingertips were scorched by a line drive off the bat of Vladimir Guerrero in the fourth. When Garret Anderson batted next the starter failed to cover first for the double play. Anderson eventually crossed home for the first run for the Angels followed by Gary Matthews, Jr. for the tie thanks to Casey Kotchman’s single up the middle. Brandon Moss’s big league debut was marred by a trigger-happy umpiring crew. Moss wouldn’t have played so prominent role in this loss if the boys in blue were as percipient as they should have been. Home plate umpire James Hoye ejected Manny Ramirez in the fourth inning after the slugger questioned the judgment of a checked swing. Ramirez was right to dispute Hoye, who in the eighth called Mike Lowell out on a foul tip on a pitch that was in the dirt and furthermore wasn’t caught...


Game 71: June 20, 2007 Red Sox 11 W: Julian Tavarez (5-4) 46-25, 2 game winning streak17-6-2 series record Braves 0 L: Buddy Carlyle (1-2) 38-35, 2 game losing streak13-7-4 series record Highlights: With Curt Schilling close to being placed on the 15-day disabled list, yet another Red Sox rotation member stepped it up to score another win. Oddly enough, I called Tavarez’s line to a friend before the game. He had just dropped Yoyo and I said he’d probably have a seven-inning three-hitter. Now if I could just win the lifetime season tickets from the Massachusetts State Lottery. In honor of the number of runs scored in this game, which happens to be Bill Mueller’s number with the Red Sox as well as my favorite number, here’s last night’s game by the numbers. One: Walks allowed by Julian Tavarez. Kelly Johnson received the free pass in the seventh. Two: Intentional walks by Earl “Buddy” Carlyle; Jason Varitek in the first and David Ortiz in the fourth. Three: Hits mustered by the home team. Willie Harris broke up a string of ten Braves in a row dismissed by Tavarez in the fourth. None were for extra bases. Four: Homers...


Game 64: June 13, 2007 Rockies 12 W: Josh Fogg (2-5) 33-33, 1 game winning streak6-11-4 series record Red Sox 2 L: Curt Schilling (6-3) 41-23, 1 game losing streak15-5-2 series record Highlights: Mike Lowell atoned for his run-scoring error in the second (his 12th of the season) with his 12th homer of the season in the bottom of the same inning. The only other Red Sox run came with three consecutive singles by Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Manny Ramirez in the third. Well, that was a brief stint for Dustin Pedroia leading off. Using his numbers against Josh Fogg (5-11 with two home runs), Terry Francona started Alex Cora at second instead of the rookie and had the utility man batting eighth. Julio Lugo remained in the nine-hole but Coco Crisp led off, meaning the lineup’s poorest producers were back-to-back. Fogg was born in Lynn, Massachusetts on December 13, 1976. When I went to Tuesday’s game I noticed he and Chris Iannetta, who was born in Providence, were soaking in Fenway’s atmosphere. For Fogg it seemed that playing in his birth state inspired him to transcend his 1-5 record and 5.06 ERA. By the time Fogg left...


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