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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Gonzalez (Adrian)”

Suspended Aggravation

This team couldn’t win an extra innings game at home to save its life. Andrew Miller somehow got his tall frame out of the way of a comebacker off Eric Hosmer’s bat but the Red Sox could not avoid the Royals’ seventh inning comeback. Bobby Valentine relied on Miller longer than he would have liked because Alfredo Aceves was serving a three-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team after the reliever had a tantrum when Andrew Bailey was used as a closer instead of him. As the Red Sox once again fell in extra innings Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nick Punto arrived in Los Angeles. Gonzalez made an immediate impact with a three-run homer in the first inning. The Dodgers enjoy three-run circuit clouts while the Red Sox weather three-game suspensions. There’s two ways to rebuild a team and in Boston it will be the painful path. Game 127: August 25, 2012 ∙ 12 innings Kansas City Royals56-69 10 W: Francisley Bueno (1-0)S: Greg Holland (7)2B: Alex Gordon (41), Billy Butler (19), Eric Hosmer (19)3B: Mike Moustakas (1) Boston Red Sox60-67 9 BS: Craig Breslow (1)L: Junichi Tazawa (0-1) 2B: Dustin Pedroia (29), Jacoby Ellsbury (16)HR: Mauro Gomez...

Roller Coaster

Like the season this game was a roller coaster. Just look at the win probability chart for the contest from Baseball Reference. The graphic from FanGraphs reverses the teams’ halves so it is condensed mirror image. Such are my thoughts about the impending trade of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to the Dodgers. I truly thought acquiring Gonzalez would complement David Ortiz much as Manny Ramirez did. I wasn’t as keen on Crawford, thinking that a smart organization like the Rays must be sensing his decline, but in no way did I think he was at the end of his run. Beckett helped win 2007 and called Joba Chamberlain a c*** but seemed to have gone astray when Mike Lowell retired. Nick Punto was signed as a good veteran clubhouse presence, but see how well that worked out this season. After 2004 I remember grinning along with Ramirez as he said that the team has to turn the page after that success so that they could achieve more. He mimed the action making it all the more memorable. With Theo Epstein at the helm I thought there was a chance at a Belichickean dynasty. Epstein resigned...

The Axeman Cometh

Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure was fired yesterday. Randy Niemann will replace McClure for the rest of the season, but it is unlikely that members of the coaching staff feel comfortable in their positions. This ouster could be a harbinger of the housecleaning to come. The timing of the dismissal seemed somewhat appropriate with Josh Beckett losing four of his last six outings, the other two being an injury-shortened showing on July 31 and the other an eight-run drubbing on August 8 that wasn’t a loss thanks to Will Middlebrooks tying the game with a three-run homer. But in this game Beckett wasn’t spectacularly awful, it’s just that Boston’s offense was woeful against Hiroki Kuroda and Rafael Soriano. They managed a mere five hits against the duo and did not work a single walk. Adrian Gonzalez lofted a solo shot into the right field stands in the seventh, but he was outshone by Ichiro Suzuki’s pair of circuit clouts. I commiserated with some Red Sox fans in Fire Brand of the American League’s live chat Sunday. Misery loves company. Game 122: August 19, 2012 Boston Red Sox59-63 1 L: Josh Beckett (5-11) HR: Adrian Gonzalez (15) New York Yankees72-49...

The Trouble with Doubles

The Red Sox overcame their recent wretched performance against the worst team in the AL Central and defeated the best team in the AL West. For reals, stop staring at me as if I were crazy. Seriously, Boston totally demolished the Rangers. Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, and Adrian Gonzalez hit a combined eight doubles, with seven of them coming off rookie sensation Yu Darvish. Fine, don’t believe me. I guess you won’t believe that Aaron Cook kept one of the most potent offenses in the majors to a single run and struck out Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli while doing so. Game 110: August 6, 2012 Texas Rangers63-45 2 L: Yu Darvish (11-8)2B: Michael Young (18), Nelson Cruz – 2 (29)HR: Adrian Beltre (19) Boston Red Sox55-55 9 W: Aaron Cook (3-5) 2B: Dustin Pedroia – 3 (22), Jacoby Ellsbury – 2 (10), Carl Crawford – 2 (4), Adrian Gonzalez (30)...

Franklin and Bashing

Franklin Morales returned to the starting rotation and reversed the Red Sox’s slide with a quality start: 6 innings, 1 earned run, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Morales became slightly unhinged in the fifth when he walked Alexi Casilla to start the inning and became fixated with trying to pick him off. Casilla swiped second, advanced to third on a ground out, and scored on a sacrifice fly authored by Ben Revere. (I wonder how Revere feels being heckled by the folks in the bleachers? Has he ever heard his name pronounced non-rhotically in chorus?) The Red Sox scored in dribs and drabs in the third with Jacoby Ellsbury’s double bookended with singles for two runs. Adrian Gonzalez added another two runs in the fifth with his four-bagger into the Monster seats with Carl Crawford on first. Crawford celebrated his 31st birthday with 3-for-5 showing. Perhaps the Red Sox winning bodes well for the Curiosity rover’s landing on the red planet of Mars tonight. Game 109: August 5, 2012 Minnesota Twins47-61 4 L: Nick Blackburn (4-7)2B: Jamey Carroll (14)HR: Josh Willingham (28), Ryan Doumit (11) Boston Red Sox54-55 6 W: Franklin Morales (3-2)H: Mark Melancon (2)S: Alfredo Aceves (23) 2B:...

Couldn’t Hit

Only Adrian Gonzalez could muster hits against the Minnesota twirlers. The Boston lineup had only four walks in nine innings. Jon Lester’s quality start went to waste as the bats went cold. As cold as the temperature in the Red Sox organization. Bobby Valentine was involved in a dustup with ownership because he said, “Nice inning, kid” to Will Middlebrooks after the third baseman committed two errors. Tom Werner should have just stopped Valentine in a hallway after the manager’s WEEI interview and commented, “Nice interview, buddy.” Game 106: August 2, 2012 Minnesota Twins45-60 5 W: Sam Deduno (3-0)H: Casey Fien (3)S: Glen Perkins (6)2B: Denard Span (28), Brian Dozier (10), Justin Morneau (20), Ryan Doumit (21)HR: Dozier (5) Boston Red Sox53-53 0 L: Jon Lester (5-9) 2B: Adrian Gonzalez (29)...

Divisional Debacle

I’m the opposite of an oracle, akin to Theresa Caputo, the Long Island medium. This show was renewed by The Learning Channel, which makes me think they should rethink their brand. George Orwell said, “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” I’m afraid it’s worse – reality television. I had thought that the walk-off win against the White Sox was a harbinger of a bright future. Instead the Red Sox were swept by their divisional rival to the north. So here are distracting pictures from events ancillary to the game that you will enjoy more than any description of the actual events, except for the home runs by Adrian Gonzalez and Jacoby Ellsbury. Gonzalez’s idol Ted Williams was commemorated in a stamp that was released to coincide with Induction Weekend at Cooperstown. Wally joined by a pair of wee Red Sox fans as well as the Wareham Gateman mascot, who is named “no one told me that this baseball internship entailed wearing a mascot uniform that hasn’t been cleaned in 3 years in 84 degree heat.” Game 96: July 22, 2012 Toronto Blue Jays48-47 15 W: Henderson Alvarez (6-7)...

Youk Can Put It On the Board – Yes!

It was the best of both worlds. The faithful gathered at Fenway got to cheer for a former favorite but also celebrated a win against a division leader. Kevin Youkilis laced a single up the middle in the first. Adam Dunn followed by pounding the ball into the infield and grounding out to second. Pedro Ciriaco fielded it well despite being screened by Youkilis but Adrian Gonzalez threw galley-west to Will Middlebrooks, who was stationed between second and third because of the shift. Youkilis scored because no one was manning third. Poetry. The Red Sox bats responded immediately. Like Youkilis before him Carl Crawford singled up the middle. David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez combined for a pair of singles to push Crawford across the plate for the tie. It wasn’t Gonzalez’s most impressive hit of the evening, however. In the eighth he clouted a three-run homer into the Monster seats. Unfortunately Ortiz kept up with this team’s trend of the year: on the very game a player returns he hobbled himself badly enough to be removed from the game. Early exams indicate that Ortiz will not be going on the disabled list because of this particular injury, an Achilles tendon...

Help Us, Jacoby-Wan, You’re Our Only Hope

The Red Sox broke with recent history and leaped to an early lead. David Ortiz slammed a solo shot into the left field stands and then tossed his bat farther than a Nick Punto batted ball. I expected retaliation in this game against the designated hitter, but I’m sure David Price or James Shields or both will buzz Papi sometime in the next two games. It made me think of those tense games with the Devil Rays when Pedro Martinez pitching. If you miss Martinez, you can order a personalized “egraph” from him. Amazingly enough an egraph from Martinez is the same dollars as Price and Shields, which is rather like allowing the same rate per pound as Prime and Choice beef. A Pedro almost as electrifying as Martinez continued to turn heads. Pedro Ciriaco went 3-for-3 with two runs batted in and a stolen base. You know you’ve made it when your difficult-to-pronounce name is correctly enunciated by Jerry Remy. Jacoby Ellsbury returned to the field but didn’t look quite ready for prime time yet. He was 1-for-5 with two strikeouts. He didn’t even have the best play in the outfield last night, either. That honor goes to Ryan...

Fox Trap

Mitch Williams used as many words as Vin Scully does when broadcasting a game. The problem is, Williams’s play-by-play man Thom Brennaman also spoke as much as Scully. The Fox B team didn’t let the action on the field speak for itself but attempted to explain or elaborate on every pitch, swing, and twitch. One particular habit Williams has is calling or guessing what the pitcher will throw by the signs the catcher puts down. A more adroit analyst like Jerry Remy will only use this occasionally to show how a pitcher is setting up a hitter and does so in a manner that increases the appreciation and enjoyment of the interchange. At one point Williams did this so often it leached entertainment out of the action because it was about showing off rather than complementing the game. Lost in the verbiage was Franklin Morales’s second superb start. The southpaw went 6 innings, struck out 8 and only allowed 3 runs. The second run came in the fifth inning when Jason Heyward bunted for a single. Morales rushed his throw to first and missed Adrian Gonzalez, allowing Heyward to take second. Heyward advanced on a foul ball out to Gonzalez...

The Battle of Who Could Suck Less

Who sucked less? Daisuke Matsuzaka (6 innings, 4 hits, 3 earned runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts; as a batter 0-2 with a strikeout and 2 left on base) versus Ryan Dempster (7 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts; as a batter 2-2 with a triple and a run scored): Dempster Red Sox (5-35 with 3 walks and 23 left on base) hitters versus Cubs hitters (4-27 with 2 walks and 10 left on base): Cubs Red Sox defense versus Cubs defense: Cubs. The Cubbies may have had three errors but none of them led to a score. Adrian Gonzalez misjudged Dempster’s fly ball in the bottom of the second and the pitcher scored. Denis Savard singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” versus audience: audience Jerry Remy and Jenny Dell versus Wrigley Field security: Remy and Dell, once the were finally let in Game 64: June 15, 2012 Boston Red Sox31-33 0 L: Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-2) No extra base hits Chicago Cubs22-42 3 W: Ryan Dempster (3-3)H: James Russell (5)S: Carlos Marmol (3) 2B: Steve Clevenger (8)3B: Ryan Dempster (1)...

Capitalization

Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore combined for 5-9 with four runs scored, a pairing as formidable as Valerie Harper and Mary Tyler Moore, stars of a smash sitcom that spun off three more shows: “Rhoda,” “Phyllis,” and “Lou Grant.” Harper’s two-run bomb in the fourth inning was very close to hitting the baseball on the Jordan’s Furniture sign. Many National League pitchers have problems with American League lineups but not Stephen Strasburg. The phenom strung together a dazzling 6 innings: 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks, and 13 strikeouts. Dustin Pedroia struck out twice against Strasburg; the second baseman looked grimly determined to get a hit off this particular twirler. In the sixth Pedroia lined a single to Moore, probably muttering “he ain’t got shit” as he got to the sack. But Strasburg indeed is outstanding, reminiscent of Justin Verlander and Nolan Ryan but with better control than either. Kevin Youkilis was ejected in the sixth after having the honor of being Strasburg’s 13th strikeout. He disagreed with home plate umpire Doug Eddings’s call and the replay showed that the pitch was low but still in the zone (at least how Ameeker maps the zone). I think many hitters...

Triple Doubles

Miguel Cabrera had three doubles but didn’t help his team win. Rajon Rondo missed a triple double by two rebounds and very nearly led the Celtics to victory. Jon Lester almost brought his personal win-loss record to .500 but left Matt Albers a runner at second with two out in the seventh. Albers surrendered a single to pinch hitter Andy Dirks and then Cabrera’s third two-bagger of the night brought Gerald Laird home to tie the game 4-4. Adrian Gonzalez countered in the home half of the frame with an RBI ground-rule double to right field that proved that Brennan Boesch played this particular batter too shallow. In the eighth Boesch shaded Will Middlebrooks too deep and the third baseman singled to right. No one could have played Middlebrooks’s home run in the bottom of the fourth, a line drive shot that came in so fast not even eager souvenir seekers could contain it. According to Steve Berthiaume it was <a href="https://twitter.com/SBerthiaumeESPN/status/207997137668149250" target="_blank">the fastest home run from bat to seats, covering the distance in just 2.84 seconds</a>. The two-run homer plated Kevin Youkilis; odd to think that Youkilis helped pad the stats of batter that might render him expendable. Youkilis...

Lex III

Lex III: Actioni contrariam semper et æqualem esse reactionem: sive corporum duorum actiones in se mutuo semper esse æquales et in partes contrarias dirigi. Law III: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directionsPhilosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Sir Isaac Newton To Newton’s great mathematical and philosophical opus I add a necessary component based on my observation of the Red Sox, its ownership and management, and the Boston media. Action: Dustin Pedroia attempts to stretch a single to a double in the first inning and seems to avoid Will Rhymes’s tag. Reaction: Mark Carlson calls Pedroia out and gets into an argument with Pedroia. Overreaction: Bobby Valentine comes out to argue with Carlson, too. Dan Shaughnessy scribes 10,000-word column on Valentine’s war against umpires. Action: In the fourth inning Adrian Gonzalez plays Matt Joyce’s double to the right field corner well but misses the cutoff man. Reaction: Joyce advances to third and scores on Ben Zobrist’s ground out to first. Overreaction: Trade for Manny Ramirez to play rover when Gonzalez is in the outfield or re-sign J.D. Drew to a...

Bowties and Brouhahas

Joe Maddon took a cue from grade school teachers and motivational speakers the world over and has his team dress according to a theme for every road trip. For the current journey the accessory of choice is the bow tie. There are a number of bow tie devotees that make me an admirer of the accent: Bill Nye, Charlie Chaplin, John Paul Stevens, Les Nessman, Mr. Hooper, and several Doctors Who (the second, third, and eleventh embodiments). Other wearers make it less appealing to me, notably Tucker Carlson, George Will, Sigmund Freud, Louis Farrakhan, and Murray Rothbard. I think Maddon had his team dress like persecuted nerds to give them a physical manifestation of their paranoia. In the recent series in St. Petersburg Adrian Gonzalez was frustrated by Hunter Wendelstedt’s strike zone and as part of his rant “guaranteed” that he would hit a home run. When Gonzalez said, “I’ll start hitting home runs. I’ll hit a home run tomorrow,” he obviously meant this as a general statement about how droughts can be turned around quickly. Maddon twisted the quote into a smear against his pitching staff. Matt Moore hit Gonzalez with a pitch in the next game in his...

Hovering

With seven out of twelve outfielders on the 15- or 60-day disabled list Bobby Valentine placed Adrian Gonzalez in right field. While Gonzalez borrowed Carl Crawford’s glove Kevin Youkilis returned and took over at first. Across the diamond from Youkilis was the seemingly ensconced Will Middlebrooks. If the Red Sox are indeed exploring the possibility of trading Youkilis the infielder proved he was sound with his fourth-inning circuit clout. Gonzalez was the only other Boston batter to tally a hit, but his leadoff single in the second proved fruitless. This game neatly summarized why Baltimore leads the American League East while the Red Sox are hovering around the .500 mark. Brian Matusz only surrendered a solo shot while Felix Doubront allowed a home run to Steve Tolleson with a runner on base due to a leadoff walk. Buck Showalter’s relievers immobilized the Red Sox lineup while Valentine’s allowed a two-run insurance blast by Betemit in the bottom of the eighth. Game 43: May 22, 2012 Boston Red Sox21-22 1 L: Felix Doubront (4-2)HR: Kevin Youkilis (3) Baltimore Orioles28-16 4 W: Brian Matusz (4-4) HR: Steve Tolleson (1), Wilson Betemit (7)...

Flying Ryan

John Mayberry was on second and Shane Victorino on first. Vicente Padilla had notched two outs and tried to fool Carlos Ruiz with a 59-mile an hour Eephus pitch. Ruiz was not beguiled by the gentle toss and powered the ball to the right-center gap. The only thing that kept the ball in the park was that this particular species of pitch is not thrown with high velocity. Padilla, if he deigned to drop his surliness with a teammate from time to time, owed Ryan Sweeney a hug or a hand pound. Sweeney laid out to snatch Ruiz’s batted ball before it touched turf, ending the inning and the scoring threat. Adrian Gonzalez was an eyewitness to the defensive gem because Bobby Valentine started him in right field. Knowing that an inexperienced player was to his left probably made Sweeney run farther and harder than he usually would. Gonzalez fielded two outs in the game, one of which forced him to go into a slide near the foul line and the outfield wall. It had all the makings of one of those freak injuries that occur when a player is forced to play outside of his typical spot. But Gonzalez...

Baby New York

Unfortunately the Red Sox’s visit didn’t coincide with Cole Hamels’s five-game suspension. Suspensions of five games or less are farcical for starting pitchers, but Bud Selig has rarely been about what is actually good for the game but instead supports that which looks good for the game. Hamels the southpaw wasn’t his usual sharp self: Mike Aviles and Cody Ross both managed circuit clouts in the third and sixth innings respectively. Aviles has six home runs and Ross eight. Both have more homers in 2012 than Adrian Gonzalez, who incremented his home run count to three with a solo four-bagger in the eighth. Perhaps the first baseman needs a friendly cuff on the face like Matt Albers received from Bobby Valentine in the seventh. Jonathan Papelbon toed the rubber to his replacement song “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica and tallied his 12th save. That the song conjures the parallel that pitchers ring up their quarry seems something too clever for Papelbon to have figured out by himself. I wonder if he realizes that the song was inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s novel of the same title? Or that it is about the brutality of real wars, not the merely...

When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears

I knew that I would miss Jonathan Papelbon but I didn’t know it would be this hard and this soon. How I’ll miss hearing “I’m Shipping Up to Boston.” The way the pitchers tapped to replace Andrew Bailey have been pitching Ken Casey probably won’t let them use his song. My suggestions? Alfredo Aceves’s entry song should be Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out” and Mark Melancon’s “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” by the Smashing Pumpkins. Things are falling apart; the center is not holding. Around the pitcher’s mound swirls a maelstrom of uncertainty. Clay Buchholz didn’t give up the longball like Josh Beckett did but in the four innings Buchholz pitched he allowed 8 hits and 7 runs. The best relief arm on the Red Sox roster, Daniel Bard, is starting this Tuesday night’s game against the Blue Jays. As disappointing as the pitching has been, the Red Sox offense finally came to life. Mike Aviles knocked in key hits in the second and third innings to chip away at the Tigers’ lead, executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to add to his team’s lead in the ninth, and singled and scored in the eleventh. Adrian Gonzalez swatted his first home run...

Reynolds Rapped

When Mark Reynolds isn’t striking out he’s clearing the fences with circuit clouts. Reynolds drove in half of Baltimore’s runs last night but amazingly didn’t strike out once. Only Drew Stubbs’s 200 strikeouts outpaces Reynolds’s 183 whiffs. The Red Sox are 4-13 since September 5, the day that began their string of games against AL East teams. While the last-place Orioles mounted a late-inning comeback the Yankees celebrated clinching a spot in the playoffs. At least wins but the Yankees kept the Rays trailing Boston in the wild card race. These Hair-itage shirts are fun, unlike watching the Red Sox in September. 2-for-4, 1 run, 2 strikeouts 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 LOB 0-for-3, 1 RBI, 2 LOB Did not play Don Orsillo’s tie was a black grid suitable for charting the late season decline of a team many thought would win the World Series. Game 156: September 21, 2011 Baltimore Orioles65-90 6 W: Clay Rapada (2-0)H: Willie Eyre (3)S: Jim Johnson (9)2B: Nick Markakis (28)HR: Mark Reynolds – 2 (36) Boston Red Sox88-68 4 L: Josh Beckett (13-6)2B: Dustin Pedroia (37), Carl Crawford (27)3B: Crawford (6)...


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