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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Tavarez (Julian)”


Game 70: June 23, 2009 Red Sox11W: Manny Delcarmen (2-1)H: Hideki Okajima (13)43-27, 3 game winning streak Nationals3L: Julian Tavarez (3-5)20-48, 1 game losing streak Highlights: Tuesday evening featured the first visit to the nation’s capital by the Red Sox since 1971. Nationals Park, which debuted last season, is not as self-consciously retro as other recent parks; there’s no silly hill in center field (I’m looking at you, Houston) or obnoxiously jutting banks of seats (ahem, Phillies). The field isn’t boringly uniform like Rogers Centre and has a just a subtle assymetry in center field. The home plate camera angle should be called Bob Uecker Cam, however. Even cozy Fenway has a camera bay far below the announcers’ booth. When you can’t distinguish Dustin Pedroia from Adam Dunn you know your camera is too far from the field.This franchise missed out on a tremendous opportunity to pay homage to the renowned Negro League teams that called the district their home. Washington D.C. had Black Senators (long before there were actual African American senators in the post-Reconstruction Congress), Elite Giants, Pilots, Potomacs, and, most importantly, the Homestead Grays.I guess marketing “gray” is difficult for your modern advertising executive.There are three statues...


Game 40: May 11, 2008 Red Sox 8 L: Tim Wakefield (3-2) 24-16, 1 game losing streak Twins 9 W: Nick Blackburn (3-2)H: Dennys Reyes (4)S: Joe Nathan (12) 19-17, 1 game winning streak Highlights: It’s better to get close to a goal and fail rather than never having been in reach of it. Or so I keep telling myself. David Ortiz, puffing out his chest and displaying his formidable biceps, goofed off behind Terry Francona during the in-game interview in the midst of the fourth inning. Something tells me Ron Gardenhire wouldn’t countenance such behavior. My favorite part is how Ortiz turned away and whistled when Francona looked back over his shoulder, the designated hitter attempting to appear as if he were innocent any wrongdoing. In terms of drama this was one of the best games of the season so far, but unfortunately it was dulled by the plodding commentary of Joe Morgan. Just as I developed a filter when I was 16-years old that made me oblivious to my mother’s voice, I am immune to Morgan’s prattle. I was surprised how easily I could reestablish the mom filter. I called her right before the game but must...


Game 14: April 14, 2008 Red Sox 6 W: Mike Timlin (1-1) 8-6, 3 game winning streak Indians 4 H: Rafael Betancourt (2)L, BS: Joe Borowski (2, 0-2) 5-8, 1 game losing streak Highlights: Progressive Field? The stadium that holds the record for sellouts (455 games between 1995 and 2001) now has sold out in another way. It was originally named after the Jacobs brothers who owned the team from 1986 to 2000 and who owned the naming rights until this season. Joe Borowski wishes he could rename himself after his team’s loss last night. The shoddy closer came in the game with a one-run margin to preserve in the ninth. His defense did him no favors by aligning themselves in the outfield such that Julio Lugo dropped a double into left field. Coco Crisp bunted Lugo over and could have actually notched his second hit of the evening if Jerry Layne made the correct call. It was another defensive lapse by the Indians, who should have realized that Crisp has been bunting for base hits at a rapid clip. With one out, last year’s Rookie of the Year teamed up with Lugo to score the tying run on...

2008 Takes Shape

Doug Mirabelli joined Kevin Cash (who declined an assignment to Pawtucket), Matt Clement, Eric Gagne, Eric Hinske, Bobby Kielty, and Curt Schilling in filing for free agency. See you guys next April on Opening Day. Mike Lowell is eligible but has not yet filed. In each post-championship interview I have seen, everyone from David Ortiz to Terry Francona have praised the World Series MVP third baseman to the skies. He may be aging, but he doesn’t have the ego issues of Alex Rodriguez or the weight and character concerns of Miguel Cabrera. According to Peter Gammons, the starting price for the man who minds the hot corner for the Marlins would probably start at Clay Buchholz. Hopefully the Yankees would top that offer with their emerging ace Phil Hughes, crippling their rotation. Pitching coach John Farrell, who so adroitly managed the development of young and foreign arms, mentored Josh Beckett on his path to maturity, and eased Schilling’s transition from power to finesse pitcher, declined to join the Pirates as their field manager. Farrell seems destined for bigger and better things; an offer from any other franchise than the woebegone Bucs may have had him packing. Plus ça change, plus...


Game 131: August 26, 2007 Red Sox 11 W: Julian Tavarez (7-9) 80-51, 4 game winning streak27-11-5 series record White Sox 1 L: Javier Vazquez (11-7) 56-74, 5 game losing streak16-22-3 series record Highlights: David Ortiz, Boston folk hero, is locked in. Launching his 24th homer, Ortiz’s legend grew and the game spiraled out of Vazquez’s grasp in the fifth. But another player captured the attention of fans: Bobby Kielty sparked the fifth inning rally with his bunt single and he also homered in the sixth. There should be Kielty player tees available at the Souvenir Store by the next homestand, in red, navy, and kelly green. If I were the owner of the White Sox I would not be surprised if I received letters something like this: Dear Mr. Reinsdorf, I write this letter in hopes of having the money I paid for two tickets for the game played on Sunday, August 26, 2007 refunded. In all my years of attending games at Comiskey Park (both old and new) and the Cell I have never witnessed such a lackluster display of baseball by the home team. Even during the LaRussa and Fregosi years you’d have guys laying their...


Game 124: August 19, 2007 Angels 3 W: Joe Saunders (7-1)H: Justin Speier (15)S: Francisco Rodriguez (31) 72-51, 1 game winning streak22-13-5 series record Red Sox 1 L: Julian Tavarez (6-9) 74-50, 1 game losing streak25-11-5 series record Highlights: The Red Sox are now 1-1 when wearing the alternate red jerseys. Saunders is undefeated this season against Boston, whose batters scraped together a single run only after relievers took the hill. In turn, the Angels only produced two runs against a spot starter. The cameraman for the jumbotron, Keith Packry (?) demonstrated more fielding prowess in the fifth than Wily Mo Peña did in 157 games. Who would have expected a pitchers’ duel on Sunday? The home team had swingman Julian Tavarez starting while the visitors glided in under the auspices of Joe Saunders. Just 12 days prior Saunders held on for a win against the Red Sox in Anaheim because of a potent offensive outburst. Familiarity did not breed contempt as Boston batters conscripted six hits against the opposing starter. Not one of those strokes were for extra bases, although Mike Lowell’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth with two on and two out rattled the...


Game 104: July 28, 2007 Red Sox 12 H: Julian Tavarez (1)H: Hideki Okajima (18)BS: Jonathan Papelbon (2)W: Kyle Snyder (2-2) 64-40, 3 game winning streak22-9-4 series record Devil Rays 6 L: Brian Stokes (2-7) 38-65, 8 game losing streak9-21-4 series record Highlights: Papelbon’s second blown save is somewhat concerning; he’ll likely be closely monitored for any recurrence of the shoulder problem that cut last season short. Julio Lugo drew walks with the bases loaded twice, in the second and the twelfth. Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis both tallied three RBIs. Julian Tavarez got into the spirit Flower Power Night at the Tropicana and gave his impressions of the game. Dude, playing down in Florida was far out. We were playing these cats who were just not happening, man. They just can’t win, you know? The system just keeps getting them down. I was rapping with Papelbon and decided to spread the love, you know? I mean we’ve got over 60 wins and the Devil Rays are totally bumming out because they have that many losses. It’s like we’re mirror images of each other. Their bullpen is a bad scene and ours is groovy. But then it’s like the...


Game 94: July 18, 2007 Royals 6 W: Odalis Perez (5-8)H: David Riske (10)H: Jimmy Gobble (8)H: Joakim Soria (9)S: Octavio Dotel (10) 41-53, 2 game winning streak11-17-3 series record Red Sox 5 L: Julian Tavarez (5-8) 56-38, 2 game losing streak19-9-4 series record Highlights: Again, nobody died. But there were several people I wanted to have killed. One who deserved to live: Jason Varitek gunned down Alex Gordon on his steal attempt of the keystone sack to close the fifth and he drove in a run in the fourth. Other candidates for a stay of execution below. It’s 1978 all over again! The end is nigh! Whenever panic seizes me, I visit Baseball Prospectus’s Postseason Odds page. As of today, the Yankees have a 16.87621% chance to clinch the AL wild card and a 23.70733% of making the playoffs. Hooray, Monte Carlo simulations! Boo, irrational worry about dropping one series against the club lurking in the basement of the league. If the static columns of Baseball Prospectus don’t inspire, click over to Baseball Race and play the 2004 AL season. Despite the close loss, a few players shone on both sides of the dish. Manny Ramirez failed to...


Game 75: June 25, 2007 Red Sox 4 L: Julian Tavarez (5-5) 48-27, 1 game losing streak18-6-2 series record Mariners 9 W: Jeff Weaver (2-6)H: Eric O’Flaherty (2) 40-33, 3 game winning streak15-10-2 series record Highlights: All of Boston’s runs came from the right side of the defensive alignment; J.D. Drew and Kevin Youkilis had two RBIs apiece. In my consciousness, the game was a pitcher’s duel with a smattering of sloppy defense on the Mariners’ side. As I drifted off to sleep in the fourth inning with the score 2-1 in favor of the visitors, I felt victory was assured. After all, the beginning of Jeff Weaver’s 2007 season was listed as one of the historically-awful starting pitching performances by Jay Jaffe in Baseball Prospectus’s Unfiltered blog just last month because of his six consecutive disaster starts. What is a disaster start? According to Jim Baker of Baseball Prospectus it is when a pitcher allows as many or more runs as innings pitched. By that definition, Kyle Snyder and Mike Timlin were the Masters of Disaster and Julian Tavarez was their Gatekeeper. Tavarez served up a leadoff double off the bottom of the center field wall to Adrian...


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 66: June 15, 2007 Giants 2 L: Barry Zito (6-5) 30-36, 2 game losing streak7-11-4 series record Red Sox 10 W: Julian Tavarez (4-4) 42-24, 1 game winning streak15-6-2 series record Highlights: Alive! It’s alive! The Red Sox offense notched six runs against old friend Zito. Tavarez went seven for the second time this season with a line of two earned runs, two walks, and three strikeouts. Hideki Okajima and Joel Piñeiro got some low-leverage work in the eighth and ninth; each allowed one hit and walked and struck out none. Manny Ramirez legged out of a double play in the bottom of the third, dreadlocks jouncing in tandem with his rapid strides. Dustin Pedroia was unstoppable with the bat last night, going 5-for-5 with five RBIs. He fell a triple short of the cycle; if he had Kevin Youkilis’s wheels he may have been able to stretch his eight-inning double to the left-center gap into a triple. Another second baseman proved pivotal in the last series the Giants played at Fenway. It happened to be the eighth and deciding game of the 1912 World Series. The series stood tied 3-3, as Game 2 was a tie that...


Game 49: May 27, 2007 Red Sox 6 W: Joel Piñeiro (1-0)S: Hideki Okajima (3) 34-15, 3 game winning streak13-3-2 series record Rangers 5 H: Joaquin Benoit (5)BS, L: Akinori Otsuka (2, 1-1) 18-32, 5 game losing streak4-11-2 series record Highlights: Did you see Coco’s catch? (I had forgotten that NESN commercial, too, but now it’s running through my head like a much-detested but catchy pop song du jour.) His run-stealing dive in the seventh came with two out and two on to preserve the one-run deficit. Even more gratifying: it came off the bat of Frank Catalanotto. This game neatly summed the 2007 team’s strengths as well as its disposition. Tenacious. Adamant. Hungry. Even though they already had the series in the bag, they did not relent. Even though they have the best record in the majors and lead all the other teams in their division by double digits, they didn’t allow this game to fall by the wayside. Even though comeback king David Ortiz sat out because of his hamstrings and Josh Beckett and Mike Timlin were on the mend, other players came through to sweep the Rangers for the first time since 1973, on August 20,...


Game 45: May 22, 2007 Red Sox 7 W: Julian Tavarez (3-4)H: Javier Lopez (5) 31-14, 1 game winning streak12-2-2 series record Yankees 3 L: Mike Mussina (2-3) 20-24, 1 game losing streak4-9-2 series record Highlights: ¡Feliz cumpleaños, Julian! For his birthday, the Red Sox gifted their fifth starter with generous run support and three pairs of Big Papi 2M Mids. Dennis Eckersley is back on the pre- and post-game shows, and he’s back big. Amongst his gems are this one about Roger Clemens: “One million dollars a start?! I’ll go five for that deal.” Not to be forgotten: “I was down on [Kevin Youkilis] because he was in that Moneyball book. I hate everything in that Moneyball book.” Which leads me to believe Hall of Famers have a junto against the supposed over-analysis of baseball. How quaint. Jerry Remy went anecdotal in-game: “I was leaving the park and it was where fans also exit. A Yankee fan spotted me and he said, ‘Getting a little scared now? Remind you of ’78?’ And this is after one game of the series....” Julian Tavarez was born on May 22, which is on the cusp between Taurus and Gemini. The eccentric...


Game 39: May 17, 2007 Tigers 1 L: Zach Miner (0-1) 24-15, 1 game losing streak8-2-3 series record Red Sox 2 W: Julian Tavarez (2-4)H: Hideki Okajima (10)S: Jonathan Papelbon (11) 27-12, 1 game winning streak10-2-2 series record Highlights: Tavarez pitched a season-high seven innings even as he walked more (4) than he struck out (3). The mantra for 2007 is “Okajima in the eight, Papelbon in the ninth.” An odd mix of miscreants inhabited the stands for yesterday’s makeup game. Five rows down from my friend Matt and I there was a throng of extremely inebriated guys whose raison d’être was to stand at inappropriate times, raucously cheer for the most mundane of fly outs to the shallow outfield, and jeer at Gary Sheffield. (Actually, that last item should be on any true baseball fan’s “Things To Do” list, but it should be about the performance-enhancing drug allegations, not just because he is a former Yankee.) These must have been the kinds of fans Lee Elia ripped in his 1983 tirade on the mobs at Wrigley Field when he ranted, “That’s why they’re out at the f*ckin’ game. They oughta go out and get a f*ckin’ job and...


Game 29: May 5, 2007 Red Sox 1 L: Julian Tavarez (1-3) 19-10, 1 game losing streak7-2-2 series record Twins 2 W: Johan Santana (4-2)H: Matt Guerrier (2)H: Jesse Crain (6)H: Pat Neshek (2)S: Joe Nathan (8) 16-14, 1 game winning streak3-4-3 series record Highlights: Tavarez was more ace-like than Santana, but he failed to tally his second win. The fifth starter pitched six innings and struck out seven; only four other times has he whiffed the same or greater number of batters. Joel Piñeiro tacked on two perfect innings in relief. The Red Sox batters were dormant, however, leaving 12 men stranded. No one, not even the most optimistic fan, expected the Red Sox had a chance of winning this game. Going into the contest our highest goal was not to be the victim of one of Johan Santana’s patented double-digit strikeout clinics. Santana was not his usual self, however, and the Boston lineup forced him to throw strenuous innings. The pitch count for each of his five innings in order: 30, 11, 13, 32, and 14. The Cy Young winner also walked three, tying his game-high mark this season. In the fourth Santana threw two wild pitches...


Game 24: April 29, 2007 Red Sox 7 W: Julian Tavarez (1-2)H: Hideki Okajima (5)S: Jonathan Papelbon (8) 16-8, 1 game winning streak6-2-1 series record Yankees 4 L: Chien-Ming Wang (0-2) 9-14, 1 game losing streak2-6-1 series record Highlights: Alex Cora, who had never had a hit in Yankee Stadium, laced a two-run homer in the fifth for the lead. Tavarez notched his first win of the season; a fifth starter besting the Yankees’ ace of the moment demonstrated how this season is unfolding for the Bronx Bromides. Joe Torre was getting advice on his resume from Larry Bowa, Joe Kerrigan, and Tony Pena. For example, what do you do if no one from your previous position will act as your reference? The first inning, the first pitch he glimpsed, the first swing he took, David Ortiz knew the nanosecond the ball left his bat that he hit a home run. Manny Ramirez, Alex Cora, and the designated hitter made a triple decker hero sandwich on Sunday. The Yankees showed signs of life in the third inning from an source as unlikely as Cora. Doug Mientkiewicz smacked his second home run of the season with Jorge Posada and Robinson...


Game 19: April 24, 2007 Blue Jays 10 W: Roy Halladay (3-0) 10-10, 2 game winning streak3-2-2 series record Red Sox 3 L: Julian Tavarez (0-2) 12-7, 2 game losing streak4-2-1 series record Highlights: The Red Sox didn’t ground into any double plays, although that was because there were only five Red Sox baserunners the entire evening. Julio Lugo did try to jump start the team with two steals, however, and one of them led to a run. Tavarez reprized his role as traffic cop; he actually directed two double plays. This is what happens when you send your stopgap fifth starter out against the staff ace. Jerry and Don weren’t even that funny. Vernon Wells is an inveterate Red Sox slaughterer. His partner in crime Frank Catalanotto got shipped away, thankfully, but he seems to have a replacement in Aaron Hill. Adam Lind is a much-lauded prospect and threat-in-training. In some ways the Blue Jays frighten me more than the Yankees. They are much more appealing, too, like how dying by prolonged exposure to arsenic is preferable to a lethal dose of cyanide. On the Toronto team, it’s always the case of picking your poison. Roy Halladay can...


Game 5: April 7, 2007 Red Sox 4 L: Julian Tavarez (0-1) 2-3, 2 game losing streak1-1-0 series record Rangers 8 W: Kevin Millwood (1-1)H: Ron Mahay (1) 2-3, 2 game winning streak1-1-0 series record Highlights: Julian Tavarez montage to “Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel,” a song by Tavares. The band was founded by five New Bedford brothers in 1964 and signed their first record deal in 1973. Tavarez, the pitcher, is nicknamed “Yo-yo.” Well, at least the Red Sox weren’t shut out. Kevin Youkilis seemed to relish calling off Tavarez when grounders come to him. On every ball to first Youkilis raised his hand to the enthusiastic Tavarez. “Got it, Yo-yo.” “It’s mine, dude.” The lanky pitcher did have rookie second baseman Dustin Pedroia to orchestrate, and he never failed to do so with each ground ball. The first inning showed promise after Julio Lugo struck out on four pitches. Youkilis and David Ortiz lined nearly duplicate singles into center field. Youkilis advanced on Manny Ramirez’s force out to short, leaving runners at the corners for J.D. Drew. Drew lofted a fly ball to shallow left, scoring Youkilis. Even though Ramirez was off on contact, he become...


Game 154: September 22, 2006Red Sox (83-71), 7Blue Jays (80-73), 1W: Julian Tavarez (4-4)L: Ted Lilly (14-13) Did Ted Lilly forget to pay his dues for the Red Sox Killers Club? He lasted just five and one-third innings with five hits, five runs (just two earned), four walks, eight strikeouts, and a single home run. The roundtripper came early. Kevin Youkilis led off the second with a seven-pitch at bat. Lyle Overbay could have sat Mike Lowell if the first baseman gloved Lowell’s pop-up in foul territory. You can’t give a wily hitter like Lowell another chance; the corner infielder took Lilly deep over the obnoxiously electronic scoreboard-laden center field wall. Dustin Pedroia is rather small of stature, so he couldn’t clear Alex Rios’s sliding body in the fourth inning. Despite the encumbrance, Pedroia managed to relay to Mark Loretta to complete the double play. The rookie second baseman is a gamer, as this video of his hazing attests. His double play partner, Alex Gonzalez, had an outstanding offensive night. His two hits were doubles and both came after he had fallen behind in the count 0-2. He drove in Wily Mo Peña in the second and drove in...


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