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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Ramirez (Hanley)”

Double Your Fun

Rarer than a Red Sox fan at Kauffman Stadium is a game where the Boston squad scored double digits this season. In fact, this was only the second game in which they scored 10 runs or more this season. When they scored 10 runs against the Blue Jays on June 12 they lost. Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia contributed to the effort with two doubles each. Xander Bogaerts notched three two-baggers. Mookie Betts only had one, but he also fell just a single short of hitting for the cycle. Along with Betts’s home run Hanley Ramirez and David Ortiz clobbered circuit clouts. Ramirez’s was significant as it was the highest recorded home run at 180 feet. Your browser does not support iframes. With his 476th homer Ortiz surpassed Willie Stargell and Stan Musial on the home run list. Your browser does not support iframes. With the Royals’ increasing attendance and revenue you would think they could afford a better toupee for Sluggerrr’s dad. Game 71: June 21, 2015 Boston Red Sox31-40 13 W: Wade Miley (7-6) 2B: Brock Holt – 2 (15), Mookie Betts (15), Dustin Pedroia – 2 (13), Xander Bogaerts – 3 (12)3B: Betts (4)HR: Hanley Ramirez (15),...


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...

Not Your Average Joe

Joe Kelly saved his job in Saturday’s game with his six innings of one-run ball. Just as NFL quarterbacks give their offensive linemen Rolexes Kelly should give opulent presents to Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, and Mike Napoli. The three sluggers drove in all four runs for the Red Sox in the club’s winning endeavor. Your browser does not support iframes. Ramirez drove in two runs with his first-inning bomb to the batters’ eye. Ortiz drove in Ramirez in the third. Ortiz then scored on Napoli’s single, a grounder that deflected off Marcus Semien to Ben Zobrist. With Jessie Chavez toeing the rubber the Athletics replicated the same paltry production of two runs as the series opener. Just as Oakland mimicked the Red Sox’s facial hair last season this season Chavez sports a similar coiffure to Clay Buchholz and Kelly. Whether to improve his luck or his look Chavez might consider a new haircut. He was 2-3 in the month of May and started June off with a loss. The Red Sox were almost as happy as this Bogaerts fan. He was lucky enough to nab a foul ball off Xander Bogaerts’s bat. Game 57: June 6, 2015 Oakland Athletics23-35 2...

Rookie Rodriguez Victorious

After Eduardo Rodriguez’s dazzling major league debut Clay Buchholz huddled up close to the rookie sensation. Perhaps some of Rodriguez’s run support will rub off onto the other starters. Rodriguez pitched seven and two-thirds innings with three hits and two walks allowed. He struck out seven, including the hot-hitting Prince Fielder. David Ortiz took a break last night and the rest of the lineup came through in his absence. Hanley Ramirez clubbed a solo shot in the sixth to increase the lead to 2-0. He received a well-deserved hug from Dustin Pedroia in the dugout. Pedroia went 3-for-5 in the leadoff spot. A surprising offensive force was Blake Swihart in the eight-hole. He supported his rookie starter with a two-run single in the eighth. Every additional late-inning run helped with Tommy Layne toeing the rubber. Layne gave up an RBI single to Josh Hamilton, but that turned out to be a meaningless feel-good moment for the returning Ranger outfielder. One must enjoy a certain form of torture to want to be a catcher. Robinson Chirinos arranged the warm-up equipment in an almost ritualistic manner before his at bat. Perhaps it brings him luck, but more likely it’s a cypher saying...

Minnesota Flats

Whatever momentum the Red Sox built up over the weekend evaporated somewhere on the flight between Boston and Minneapolis. Joe Kelly couldn’t get out of the second inning, putting his team seven runs in the hole. Matt Barnes filled in capably by twirling three and one-third innings while surrendering five hits and striking out five. Then again, the Twins hitters weren’t particularly motivated in getting to Barnes given their lead. Ricky Nolasco took advantage of the lead and the Red Sox batters’ impatience with a seven and two-third inning gem. He gave up only two runs while striking out five and walking none. One area where both teams shone was on defense. Dustin Pedroia turned around a flashy play in the first to erase Torii Hunter from the basepaths. In the second inning Aaron Hicks robbed Daniel Nava of a base hit. It was a catch in shallow center that warranted Statcast. Your browser does not support iframes. Hanley Ramirez notched his first RBI of the month in the third inning with a line drive single to right field. Boston’s four-hole hitter didn’t have a run batted in until the 25th of the month. Let that sink in and it...

Run Aground

The Red Sox batters left 12 runners on base as a team and were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The Rangers outfielders played Fenway as it it were their home park. Delino DeShields in particular handled the left field wall well. He robbed Hanley Ramirez of a hit in the second inning with a spectacular catch near the Monster. Ramirez seems to be reading line drives better and running smarter routes. He made a few catches that he wouldn’t have made in April. But in the seventh Ramirez bobbled Leonys Martin’s hit after gathering it. Mookie Betts backed up the play and nearly got it back to Brock Holt at third base in time. Rather than rely on his fielders again Joe Kelly struck out the next two batters to keep Martin from scoring. The Boston squad had baserunners in every inning but the first and they only scored when Xander Bogaerts homered in the fifth. Betts dashed for a double with one out in the ninth, sparking a slight hope for a last-minute victory. But the local nine lost the game just as Betts lost his helmet. Game 40: May 20, 2015 Texas Rangers17-23 2 W: Phil Klein...

May the Remorse Be With You

The force was not strong in this one. The Red Sox have lost their last four games, all against divisional opponents. They went from first in the AL East to last place in nine days. Hanley Ramirez chased down James Loney’s fly ball and smashed into the wall holding the left field seats. He held onto the ball for two steps, but this is not football and that is an old rule anyway. Ramirez, the only consistent force on the offensive side for the Red Sox, left the game and is day-to-day. Steve Souza, Jr. also found himself hitting the wall in the first inning. His impact was a feeble bump after a half-hearted leap for Dustin Pedroia’s line drive. The gentle love tap caused the rookie to drop the ball and allowed Pedroia to reach second. Xander Bogaerts notched his second triple of the season in the second inning, driving in his team’s only run of the game. Bogaerts and Pablo Sandoval almost collided on Asdrubal Cabrera’s pop-up. The Red Sox are out of sync at the rubber, on the field, and in the box. They can rally around Ramirez’s absence or wither. Game 26: May 4, 2015 Tampa...

Buch Off

Clay Buchholz had another frustrating start in Tuesday evening’s game. He lasted just 2⅔ innings with 6 hits, 4 earned runs, a walk, and 4 strikeouts. The bullpen didn’t help contain the Blue Jays, either. All of them except Robbie Ross, Jr. surrendered at least one run. What is Hanley Ramirez looking at in the lofty heights besides his slugging percentage? Could it be Buchholz’s ever burgeoning ERA? Or perhaps Jose Bautista’s monstrous foul ball that broke a light in a sign? It may even be Mookie Betts’s IQ. Game 21: April 28, 2015 Toronto Blue Jays10-11 11 W: Marco Estrada (1-0)H: Liam Hendriks (1)S: Brett Cecil (1) 2B: Kevin Pillar (6)3B: Ryan Goins (1)HR: Jose Bautista (5), Josh Donaldson (5) Boston Red Sox11-10 8 L: Clay Buchholz (1-3) 2B: Pablo Sandoval – 2 (4), Mookie Betts (4), David Ortiz (3)HR: Hanley Ramirez (9)...

Fallen Umpires

Things were looking up in the bottom of the first. Hanley Ramirez launched a three-run jack into the Monster Seats to put his team ahead 3-2. The celebration lasted until the fifth inning when Rick Porcello gave up a bushel of singles and a sacrifice fly to lose the lead. Adam Jones piled on in the sixth inning with a bases-clearing double that clanged off the far part of the left field wall. Paul Emmel left the game with an undisclosed injury in the middle of the fourth inning. John Tumpane, who was at second base, replaced Emmel at home plate. With the switch there was a net loss of 11 years of major league umpiring experience behind the dish. In the fifth inning David Ortiz took issue with third base umpire Jerry Meals’s ruling that he went around on a swing. Ortiz had done the same thing in the first inning and Emmel didn’t toss the designated hitter. Tumpane ejected Ortiz and the hitter made his displeasure known. Pablo Sandoval played a part in the Orioles’ three-run onslaught in the sixth. Everth Cabrera bunted the ball down the third base line and it looked like it could go foul....

One Boston

Most people associate April 15 with the Internal Revenue Service deadline, but in baseball circles this day commemorates Jackie Robinson’s major league debut in 1947. In supposedly post-racial America we need to remember not to backslide into bigotry. Robinson said, “There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.” These days with the killings of African Americans by police officers and the suicides of transgender people too frequent we need to replace the word “free” with “safe.” In Boston, from now on April 15 will be One Boston Day. Two years ago Boston was shaken to its core by the Boston Marathon bombing. A week ago Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty on all 30 charges he faced. Soon he will be sentenced and the death penalty is a possibility. I don’t typically support state-sponsored execution, but for him I make an exception. This is Wade Miley. He lasted just two and a third innings while relinquishing five hits, seven earned runs, and three walks. Miley struck out one batter, though! This is Robbie Ross, Jr. He pitched two innings of relief and surrendered three hits, two runs, and a base on balls. Just kidding....

National Disaster

The Nationals defense and pitching collapsed in the seventh inning. Hanley Ramirez reached on Ian Desmond’s fielding error. Matt Thornton hit Shane Victorino but briefly collected himself to induce a fly ball out off Mike Napoli’s bat. John Farrell pulled Daniel Nava in favor of Allen Craig and Matt Williams countered by relieving Thornton with Blake Treinen. Treinen hit Craig with the first pitch he threw. Ryan Hanigan tapped the ball back up the middle and most people scoring the game would have automatically marked the play “1-2,” as Treinen could have easily gotten Ramirez out at home. But Treinen bobbled the ball and hastily threw it past Wilson Ramos. By the time the dust settled the Red Sox tied the score 7-7. Brock Holt grounded out to Desmond and this time he fielded it well enough to throw Holt out at first base, but Craig scored to give the local nine the lead. Your browser does not support iframes. Edward Mujica continued his dominance from the seventh inning, striking out Danny Espinosa to tally the first out of the eighth inning. Junicihi Tazawa allowed a single but escaped the frame otherwise unscathed. Koji Uehara made a triumphant return with...


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...


In the last game of the 2014 season Derek Jeter played shortstop for the New York Yankees for the final time. In the third inning he faced off against Clay Buchholz with one out and Ichiro Suzuki at third base. He watched two fastballs over the plate, a strike and a ball respectively. Jeter fouled off a cutter but then tapped the ball towards third base for an infield single. And mercifully that was the last cheap hit and run batted in we will ever see off Jeter’s bat. Jeter, not Joe Girardi, decided when he would leave the field. Jeter’s retirement was just the start of the changes to these lineups. Ben Cherington had Red Sox fans celebrating Thanksgiving early when he announced that he had signed Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez on November 25, 2014. With the addition of a pair of powerful bats Yoenis Cespedes became a fungible asset. The signings didn’t impress Jon Lester enough to lure him back to the Red Sox. On December 10 Lester announced he signed with the Chicago Cubs. The Red Sox began cobbling back together a starting rotation the next day by signing back Justin Masterson and trading Cespedes, Alex...


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