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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Youkilis”

You Are Reckless

With runners at first and second and two down in the first Shane Victorino. There was adventure and excitement when Andy Pettitte uncorked a wild pitch to Jonny Gomes. Victorino tried to score when he noticed Pettitte didn’t cover home plate but lost to Francisco Cervelli in the race to the plate. An early run may have put the pressure on the home team but instead the Red Sox didn’t score until the seventh inning. Jackie Bradley, Jr. notched his first extra base hit, a gapper that plated Will Middlebrooks. But Bradley also was the last out of the game, getting called out on strikes with runners at the corners and Mariano Rivera on the hill. In a face-off between a rookie and a future Hall of Famer, guess who gets the call? Jerry Remy mentioned that Kevin Youkilis said that after losing the series no media came to his locker. Perhaps it’s because he’s not a true Yankee yet. Game 3: April 4, 2013 Boston Red Sox2-1 2 L: Ryan Dempster (0-1) 2B: Jackie Bradley, Jr. (1), Jonny Gomes (1) New York Yankees1-2 4 W: Andy Pettitte (1-0)S: Mariano Rivera (1)2B: Eduardo Nunez (1), Kevin Youkilis (2)HR: Brett Gardner...

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...

Swapping Sox

Even before he was a star on the diamond Kevin Youkilis captured the attention of baseball executives, so much so he was mentioned in Michael Lewis’s Moneyball as one of Billy Beane’s obsessions because of his walk rate and ability to get on base. Today a much different general manager from Beane acquired Youkilis in a trade. Kenny Williams, in many ways the antithesis of the statistical front office breed, sent right-handed reliever Zach Stewart and utility man Brent Lillibridge for the three-time All-Star, two-time World Champion, and Gold Glover (for his defense at first base, not his natural position). Youkilis was a rookie when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. He was a card-carrying frequent miles member of the Pawtucket shuttle that season but got his share of champagne showers. Because he was a witness of the unthinkable comeback from 0-3 he must have seen the challenge of battling back against the Cleveland Indians in the 2007 ALCS as just another postseason miracle to accomplish. In the 14 games he played in the 2007 postseason he had a .388 batting average, .475 on-base percentage, and .755 slugging percentage with four home runs. In his last at...


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)...

Tom Brady’s Sister’s Husband

Kevin Youkilis powered his team’s first grand slam of the season with a shot carved to the opposite field, but that wasn’t the most life-changing event of the week for him. The man at the hot corner didn’t have cold feet when it came to getting legally hitched this time around. By marrying Tom Brady’s sister Julie he became the second-best athlete in the family. Should Youkilis’s new wife change her surname? Julie Youkilis has a pleasing sound, like the crack of the bat on a soundly clouted ball. Whose kids will be more athletically gifted Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm’s tots or the Youkilis’s offspring? Philip Humber was a touted prospect whose star faded and was subsequently shuttled from team to team — four teams in six years. His first team, the Mets, selected him as the third pick in the first round of the 2004 draft right after the Tigers picked Justin Verlander. Verlander has All-Star appearances, a Cy Young award, an MVP, and even two no-hitters, but no perfect game. Humber seemed to finally hit his groove in the big leagues by throwing the 21st perfect game on April 21. They counted it even though it was...

Popping the Clutch

Two peculiarly NESN things made their debut on Sunday: Red Sox Small Talk and Dontourage. If Bobby Valentine is wondering why Kevin Youkilis isn’t emotionally and physically into the game it’s because he’s still recovering from being grilled by the Small Talk troop. I didn’t want to like this segment but who can resist wee moppets prying into Red Sox players’ personal lives? One tyke got Youkilis to admit that “The Humpty Dance” is his favorite song, and even more charmingly Youkilis wasn’t ashamed of his musical taste. Another cherub showed his left-handed swing and imitated the third baseman’s stance, but also in a southpaw fashion. Youkilis wouldn’t commit to a single answer about who the funniest player on the team was, but stated that David Ortiz, Nick Punto, and Dustin Pedroia were amongst the funniest. Punto will have time to hone his act with Pedroia entrenched at the keystone sack and Mike Aviles ripping it up in the leadoff spot. Ortiz is too busy carrying the team on his shoulders to work on his comedy routine. Carlos Pena couldn’t handle Ortiz’s line shot in the fourth and the designated hitter scored on Cody Ross’s double off the wall. In...

Lester Hands Toronto Its Lunch

Not only did Jon Lester bully the Toronto Blue Jays for their lunch money, he turned around and used that money to advertise his hot dogs in Rogers Centre. Thanks to Lester’s dazzling seven innings of shutout ball no Blue Jays hotdogged it around the basepaths last night. Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie would have to wait another day to stick his tongue out while rounding the bases as if he were Michael Jordan dunking on Alonzo Mourning. Someone needs to take the rookie aside and remind him that greenhorns don’t have signature moves. And if, not when, he earns the right to one, pick something better than a facial expression that goes along with “nanny nanny boo boo.” The Red Sox scored in every inning but the sixth, seventh, and ninth. While Marco Scutaro’s trio of doubles were delightful and Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s and Josh Reddick’s circuit clouts were riveting, I most enjoyed Kevin Youkilis’s leadoff single in the fourth. The Red Sox third baseman sharply rapped the ball to his counterpart. The ball took an unanticipated hop on the Astroturf that had Lawrie swiveling his head around like a weather vane in a windstorm. Were I Youkilis I’d...

You Got What I Need

Kevin Youkilis found a profitable way to spend his time during his disabled list stint. A-list movie stars only let such commercials run on continents other than North America. Perhaps the MLBPA should intervene. While Youk still has what the Red Sox need, Jacoby Ellsbury’s return was like a spark that lit the Red Sox lineup like a string of firecrackers. All along the batting order bats were cracking: Carl Crawford went 2-for-3 with a two-run double, a sacrifice fly, and a two-run home run. Adding to the Red Sox pyrotechnics were Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez’s eighth inning shot was particularly methodical. Darren O’Day thought he evaded the slugger’s implacable bat when Gonzalez pulled the ball foul. Gonzalez converted the very next four-seamer into a four-bagger, causing the Rangers reliever to bellow a four-letter word. Texas native Josh Beckett, like Abilene-born John Lackey the night before, enjoyed embarrassingly extravagant run support. The Red Sox scored in every inning but the third and ninth. As in Lackey’s start, every starting position player had at least one hit. Tim Wakefield was seen desperately trying to bottle the excess runs, like Henry Ford capturing Thomas Edison’s last breath in a test tube....

Rocked Jocks

David Ortiz was out of the lineup up due to bursitis in his right heel and has since been joined by Kevin Youkilis, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore back. With any luck it will not develop into a seemingly season-ending injury like Clay Buchholz’s stress fracture. Only three Red Sox hitters managed to find turf with their bats: Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Youkilis. Ellsbury tripled to start the sixth, a feat as impressive as Pedroia’s called triple off Jon Lester in their epic series in Sullivan Tire commercials. Yes, events outside of the game were the most enjoyable parts of the last broadcast of the series. Milan Lucic visited the NESN booth in the fourth inning sans trophy as he already had his quality time with Lord Stanley. To avoid inciting another riot Lucic took the Stanley Cup on a boat cruise when he returned to his hometown of Vancouver for his day with the trophy earlier this week. Lucic will host the Rock & Jock Softball charity event at LeLacheur Park in Lowell on August 24, where rank amateurs will outhit the slumping Red Sox batters. Game 122: August 17, 2011 Tampa...

A Sadder and a Wiser Man

For the fourth time Tim Wakefield and his teammates didn’t get to celebrate his 200th win. This spoof about Wakefield by The Onion is beginning to seem more truth than satire: “Facing the cruel prospect of winning 200 grueling games in his interminable 19-season career, 44-year-old Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield tried to get a line drive to hit him in the head Friday to finally put an end to it all.” The Red Sox mounted a rally in the eighth in support of Wakefield. With one out Dustin Pedroia lined a single to Ichiro Suzuki. Kevin Youkilis proved productive in his return to the lineup; after he flailed at Jeff Gray’s four-seamer but he then jacked a decent slider into the left field stands to bring his team within two runs. Brandon League shut down the three batters that he faced in the ninth. It’s amazing how Seattle transforms relievers of little account into closers. League is 2011’s version of David Aardsma. League struck out Jed Lowrie and Carl Crawford and then induced a line out off Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s bat after an eight-pitch battle. When the ball landed into Franklin Gutierrez’s glove the Red Sox lead in the AL...

Not Jaking It

Had Josh Beckett the run support that Red Sox batters usually lavish upon their starters he would have joined Jon Lester with double-digits in wins. He surrendered two solo home runs to two rookie infielders: Jason Kipnis in the first and Lonnie Chisenhall in the fourth. The Red Sox notched their first run in a unique fashion: with the bases loaded and none out in the second Jason Varitek swung at curve ball in the dirt. It was so deceptive that Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana failed to glove it. As it ricocheted to the visitors’ on-deck circle David Ortiz crossed the plate to tie the game 1-1. Kevin Youkilis tied the game 2-2 in a more conventional fashion in the sixth. His leadoff homer had a chance to reach Lansdowne Street on the fly but it caromed off the Sports Authority sign. The game threatened to trickle into extra innings, a seemingly common occurrence this season when the first pitch is delayed by rain. As the innings dwindled Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy finagled jackets from the Yawkey Way Store emblazoned with the logo for the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. Youkilis was ejected by Gerry Davis in the eighth...

CSI: Boston

Record ID: 1159Incident Time: Bottom thirdTitle: RobberyLocation: Home plateSummary: Two suspects attempted to steal runs. One suspect (6'2" Hispanic male, black hair, late 20s to early 30s) successfully attained run. Second suspect (6'1" Caucasian male, brown goatee, early 30s) got through three checkpoints and attempted to stretch a bungled throw from the center fielder into a run. Apprehended by Josh Tomlin and Carlos Santana at the scene of the crime. Record ID: 1160 Incident Time: Top fifth Title: Public intoxication Location: First base Summary: Suspect (6'6" Caucasian male, brown hair, prominent chin, mid 30s) sprawled awkwardly over sack in attempt to cover first. Given breathalyzer test and was found sober. Suspect was somewhat belligerent, berating officers on the scene and encouraging them to issue the tests to all of his seven friends, as “they play as if they are drunk when I’m pitching.” Record ID: 1161 Incident Time: Top sixth Title: Indecency Location: Third base side field box seats Summary: Suspect (5'10" Caucasian male, brown hair, late 40s) seen with baseball glove. When approached and asked about glove the suspect attempted to avoid charges by stating he was a famous football player, a dubious claim given his stature. Released with...

Trader Woes

I went to bed thinking about what I would write about Rich Harden coming to the Red Sox only to wake up to discover that the deal fell through overnight. Rich Soften, as I have taken to call him, was to have come to Boston at the price of Lars Anderson and a player to be named later. With Adrian Gonzalez signed through 2018 Anderson is largely superfluous to the Red Sox’s future, but it doesn’t mean that he should be moved for an injury-prone starter. The Red Sox finally won a game against their alabaster counterparts with one of their signature double-digit run games. The visitors burned Philip Humber for four runs in the fifth, sparked by Carl Crawford’s leadoff ground ball single to right. Crawford’s presence on the basepaths disrupted the rapport between Humber and A.J. Pierzynski. The left fielder stole second and advanced to third on Pierzynski’s galley-west throw to second. Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove Crawford in with a humpback double to right-center. Josh Reddick dropped a perfect bunt that Humber reached but was unable to get in first in time for an out. Saltalamacchia advanced on the bunt single and scored on Marco Scutaro’s sacrifice fly. Jacoby...

Millennial Man

Since Terry Francona shaves his head bald you can’t see the aging caused by seven years with the Red Sox by whitening temples. There are are a few more wrinkles, but when he talks about the Red Sox he still speaks with the same level of love and enthusiasm. In the December 4, 2003 press conference announcing his hiring as manager Francona said, “We’re supposed to win here. In talking to Theo and Larry and Josh, we’re trying to win next year, but we’re trying to win for a lot of years after that. The whole idea is to build a team that can win and keep it together and win consistently. That is wonderful pressure.” And win he did. He added 715 Red Sox wins to his 285 victories with the Phillies to reach 1,000 wins last night. Rather than remarking on his personal accomplishment Francona deflected credit to his players, Josh Beckett in particular. “I’m just glad to win any way. Beckett was tremendous. He pitched out of a little bit of a mess at the end, but he was tremendous.” When asked about Francona’s milestone Beckett replied dryly, “If he were a pitcher it would be more...

Ricky Don’t Lose That Number

We hear you’re leaving, that’s okayI thought our little wild time had just begunI guess you kind of scared yourself, you turn and runBut if you have a change of heart“Ricky Don’t Lose That Number,” Steely Dan The Red Sox have Ricky Romero’s number and when it’s called the Blue Jays inevitably lose. The splits show that Romero is a very good pitcher that has problems when facing Boston and Detroit. Tim Wakefield is two wins closer to 200, something that could be in jeopardy if Jarrod Saltalamacchia keeps allowing passed balls (three total last night). Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis both had three hits against the lefty. Ellsbury led off the home half of the first with a longball that cleared the visitors’ bullpen to tie the game. Youkilis broke the tie in the next inning by firing a homer into the Monster seats that had such velocity that a fan sidestepped the ball rather than risk bruised or broken fingers for a souvenir. Toronto briefly took the lead in the top of the third but the local nine roared back in the fourth with four runs. With two down Romero allowed J.D. Drew to double off the grill...

Houston Homecoming

While there was much consternation about Adrian Gonzalez playing in the outfield to get David Ortiz at bats during interleague, the thing I find far more troubling is a pitcher on the basepaths. Josh Beckett reached on a bunt in the third inning and proceeded from first to third with Jacoby Ellsbury’s single to center. I held my breath expecting a ruptured hamstring or pulled groin. Dustin Pedroia walked to load the bases and Gonzalez flied out to center to end both the scoring threat and the risk to Beckett’s body. It is amusing to watch Fausto Carmona lumber down the first base line and trip over the sack, but such a scene could easily be recast with any American League pitcher unused to baserunning. Carmona will miss at least one start because of the mishap. The first score of the game came in the fourth inning. Kevin Youkilis led off with a rope to center. J.D. Drew followed up with a base on balls. Josh Reddick sported the Trot Nixon pine tar helmet look and also echoed the former outfielder’s proclivity for chasing offspeed pitches to strike out. Yamaico Navarro’s bloop single to shallow to right loaded the bases....

Video Game Piracy

What happened to the team from less than a week ago that dropped 14 runs on the Padres? The Red Sox need to do a Google search for the cheat codes they unlocked because they have seemingly lost the ability to hit with runners in scoring position. They also need to deselect the random injury option, because the lack of the designated hitter in National League parks compounded with Carl Crawford’s absence has upset the finely-tuned offensive engine that powered Boston to the top of the division. To cap off an ugly series the Red Sox tallied an unattractive win. Their first run came in the fourth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia ran out a double to Andrew McCutchen to start the inning. Chasing down the ball seemed to have gotten McCutchen’s juices flowing because when he fielded Josh Reddick’s fly ball the Pirates center fielder sent the relay throw over the cutoff man to third baseman Chase d’Arnaud. The ball bounced out of d’Arnaud’s glove into the stands. Saltalamacchia scored and McCutchen got the error, but if the official scorer could parse out the blame to more than one person d’Arnaud deserved a share. Reddick was the catalyst in the sixth inning,...

Weeks Effort

Just to prove himself human Adrian Gonzalez dropped a foul ball off Rickie Weeks’s bat in the first inning. Unfortunately Weeks sent the very next pitch off the top of the Monster. Thanks to scoring convention the run didn’t count towards Jon Lester’s ERA calculation, but the southpaw probably would have preferred the lavish offensive support the Red Sox lineup had been providing the pitching staff. Instead, Boston was largely befuddled by Randy Wolf. I thought that the senior circuit mainstay would be eaten alive by Boston batters, but he prevailed and added to career splits that show while he has a losing record in interleague play he has only a few ticks difference in WHIP (1.321 career compared to 1.472 against the AL) and strikeouts per nine innings (7.2 versus 6.5). The second batter of the game, Corey Hart, didn’t wait around to fall behind Lester in the count. The hulking right fielder powered a four-bagger over the Red Sox bullpen. The situation was almost as distressing as Don Orsillo’s jacket and tie selection. Jerry Remy refrained from commenting on the ensemble somehow. Orsillo threatened to bring his powder blue blazer into the rotation on Father’s Day to support...

More Than Human

Adrian Gonzalez’s origins, like Barack Obama’s, are shrouded in mystery and speculation. Some say he was born Kal-Gone on the dying planet Karlsbad. His parents helped escape the planet’s destruction by placing him in a spacecraft destined for Earth. Our G-type main-sequence star grants him superhuman hand-eye coordination and baseball ability. Others claim that Gonzalez hailed from a planet called Ob (an abbreviation of “on base”). It was inhabited by the Guardians of the Universe, a puissant race whose goal was the promulgate order, justice, and Boston dominance of the four major team sports. They bestowed certain chosen players with rings that tapped into the Central Battery. Bearers of this ring could channel Central Battery power so long as they had sufficient willpower to win another kind of ring: championship rings. Another tale making the circuits is that Gonzalez was bit by a radioactive emerald ash borer. The bite imbued him with a preternatural ability to hit to all fields and sense the speed and type of pitches when he is the box. The radioactivity is strong enough to infuse those around him with similar heightened senses. Rumor has it he is currently in discussions with Sting to bring this...

This Happened Also

“Okay guys, it’s time,” Papi’s voice boomed over the beat of bachata. “Is this the best we can do? Don’t we have, like, sick days or something we can use?” smirked Dustin as he sauntered over to stand next to hulking teammate. “Nah, man. Everyone on the card and in the pen come draw a straw. There’s two short straws, and those are the guys that have to concentrate on the game so that we can win it so the rest of us can follow the Bruins.” The summoned players shuffled towards Papi and reluctantly picked their lots from the slugger’s hand. “Let’s go, while we’re young. Well, too late for you,” grinned Papi at Tek. Once all the straws were distributed the men all anxiously checked to see who drew the shortest straws. Beckett’s scowl was more present than usual. “Really, me? I was planning on plunking Longoria until I got ejected to have Ace take over.” Aceves laughed. “I pitched last night, man. The rest of the pitchers are already making me watch the game and give the outfield signs about how it’s going. Guess what this means.” The reliever put both his hands up around his neck....


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