Continuing with the rest of the season, I list the highs and lows of the 2009 Red Sox. It is almost uncanny how Brad Penny’s success coincided with the uncertainty around John Smoltz such that the front office couldn’t capitalize on Penny’s value at its apex.
- 2nd: A squirrel steals the show in a game between the Red Sox and Tigers at Comerica Park. Boston defeats Detroit 5-1.
Mark Kotsay comes off the disabled list. He plays in the last two games against the Tigers but goes hitless until June 7.
- 3rd: Josh Beckett carries a no-hitter for 6⅔ innings. Curtis Granderson broke up the bid with a line drive single to right.
- 6th: Jon Lester’s perfect game is broken up by Michael Young’s double to the left-center gap in the seventh with one out. Lester notched a complete game: 2 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, and 11 strikeouts.
- 8th: David Ortiz, in the midst of a prolonged slump, goes to an eye doctor and is prescribed eye drops.
Jacoby Ellsbury is day-to-day with a strain to his right acromioclavicular joint. Rocco Baldelli and Kotsay play Rock, Paper, Scissors to figure out which positions they will play, but Terry Francona had already decided that Kotsay would play center.
- 9th: The Red Sox draft 50 players in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, including Carl Yaztrzemski’s grandson Michael. Center fielder Reymond Fuentes is the club’s first round pick.
- 11th: The Red Sox sweep the Yankees in a three-game series and take first in the AL East.
Joe Girardi whinges about Brad Penny’s plunking of Alex Rodriguez in the first inning.
- 21st: Daisuke Matsuzaka placed on the disabled list for the second time this season, this time due to weakness in his throwing arm. Catcher Dusty Brown replaces Matsuzaka on the roster. The starter had an ERA of 8.23 and WHIP of 2.20 in 35 innings pitched.
- 24th: Ortiz had 999 RBIs going into the game against the Nationals and surpassed the 1,000 RBI mark with a three-run homer.
Hitting coach Dave Magadan serves a one-game suspension for arguing balls and strikes.
- 25th: In his Red Sox debut John Smoltz compiles a line of 5 innings pitched, 7 hits, 5 earned runs, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts. Boston would lose to the Nationals 9-3.
- 27th: Mike Lowell has 15 cc of fluid drained from his right hip and Synvisc injected to cushion the joint.
- 1st: In a game against the Orioles Jonathan Papelbon surpasses Bob Stanley’s Red Sox saves record with 133.
First-round pick Fuentes signs with the Red Sox. Of the 50 players drafted, 26 of them would sign with Boston.
- 2nd: Jason Bay becomes a citizen of the United States.
- 3rd: Tim Wakefield makes his 383rd start with the Red Sox, surpassing Roger Clemens’s total as a Red Sox player.
- 5th: Wakefield selected for his first All-Star Game by Rays manager Joe Maddon. He is joined by Dustin Pedroia, Bay, Beckett, Papelbon, and Kevin Youkilis.
- 6th: Smoltz makes his Fenway debut and gets shelled: 6 innings pitched, 10 hits, 5 earned runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeout.
Nomar Garciaparra returns to Fenway for the first time since being traded in 2004. In his first at bat the crowd gives him a standing ovation and he tips his helmet in response.
- 9th: Ortiz slams 300th career home run off Luke Hochevar of the Royals.
- 12th: Beckett notches 100th career win and secures a series win against Kansas City.
The Red Sox go into the All-Star break leading the American League East.
- 17th: Julio Lugo Liberation Day
Bay and Red Sox mutually agree to stop contract extension discussions.
- 18th: Jed Lowrie returns to major league club.
- 21st: Wakefield placed on 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 18. He is replaced by Clay Buchholz.
- 22nd: Lugo traded to the Cardinals for Chris Duncan.
Adam LaRoche traded to the Red Sox from the Pirates for Argenis Diaz and Hunter Strickland.
Red Sox fall out of first place with loss to the Rangers.
- 24th: Kotsay designated for assignment to make room for LaRoche.
- 26th: Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson are inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Taeko Yoshii publishes an article in which Matsuzaka criticizes the Red Sox pitching program.
- 28th: Rice’s number 14 is retired.
Kotsay traded to the White Sox for Brian Anderson.
- 30th: Matsuzaka issues a statement retracting comments attributed to him in Yoshii’s article.
Ortiz also makes a statement; his is about being named in the 2003 list of players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
- 31st: Victor Martinez acquired from the Indians for Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone, and Bryan Price.
LaRoche traded to the Braves for Casey Kotchman.
- 7th: One day after a disastrous 3⅓ innings against the Yankees with a line of 9 hits, 8 earned runs, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, and 2 home runs, Smoltz is designated for assignment. Junichi Tazawa takes Smoltz’s place on the roster.
- 8th: Ortiz holds a press conference to address the leaking of his name on the 2003 survey list.
Yankees complete sweep of Red Sox at the new Yankee Stadium.
- 10th: Martinez makes his Fenway Park debut and goes 0-for-5 with a strikeout against the Tigers.
- 12th: Youkilis begins five-day suspension, which was incurred when he charged Rick Porcello on August 11.
- 14th: Alex Gonzalez is traded from the Reds in a waiver trade. The Red Sox send Kris Negron to Cincinnati to complete the deal.
Going into the final frame Boston trailed Texas by two runs. The Red Sox rally for six runs to defeat the Rangers. Francona learns not to send in Buchholz as a pinch runner.
- 17th: Smoltz is released by the Red Sox.
- 18th: Dylan Pedroia is born to Dustin and Kelli, weighing in at 7 pounds and measuring 20½ inches.
- 19th: Red Sox and Rangers are tied for the Wild Card.
- 20th: Duncan released from the Pawtucket Red Sox.
- 21st: Remy returns to the broadcast booth for NESN.
In a game against the Yankees, Ellsbury ties Red Sox single-season steals record of 54 set by Tommy Harper in 1973.
- 22nd: Red Sox claim Billy Wagner off waivers.
- 25th: Wagner waived his no-trade clause and the Mets traded him to Boston for two players to be named later.
Ellsbury breaks the Boston franchise record for steals in a season in a game against the White Sox.
- 26th: Martinez catches Wakefield for the first time. Wakefield doesn’t earn the win because the game went into the final inning tied 2-2. Ortiz homered for the walk-off victory.
- 27th: Nick Green pitches 2 innings of no-hit relief with 3 walks against the Pale Hose.
- 30th: Paul Byrd makes his first start of 2009 against the Blue Jays. He twirls for 6 innings and allows just 3 hits and 3 walks and strikes out a batter.
Tazawa is optioned to Pawtucket.
- 1st: Rosters expand and the Red Sox add Tazawa, Brian Anderson, Joey Gathright, George Kottaras, and Chris Woodward.
- 3rd: Papelbon fined $5,000 for pace of game violation.
- 4th: Michael Bowden recalled to major league club.
- 8th: Dusty Brown recalled to Boston and Lowrie activated from disabled list.
Ortiz ties Frank Thomas’s record of 269 home runs hit as a DH.
- 15th: Matsuzaka pitches for 6 innings against the Angels and earns his second win of the season. His line is 3 hits, no earned runs, 3 walks, and 5 strikeouts.
Ortiz breaks the record for homers hit as a designated hitter with an eight-inning blast off Angels reliever Jose Arredondo.
- 18th: Red Sox rookies dress as characters from The Wizard of Oz as part of their initiation.
- 21st: Tazawa placed on 60-day disabled list with left groin strain.
- 23rd: Hunter Jones promoted for bullpen insurance.
- 27th: Yankees wrap up a three-game series sweep in the Bronx, the final series between the two combatants.
- 30th: Dusty Brown makes an appearance as a relief pitcher against the Blue Jays (1 inning pitched, 2 hits, 1 earned run, no walks, 1 strikeout). The Red Sox use three position players over the 2009 season, setting a club record.
The Red Sox clinch the American League Wild Card by virtue of the Rangers’ loss to the Angels.
- 4th: Francona announces that Lester will start the first game of the ALDS against the Angels. Wakefield is not on the roster.
- 8th: The Red Sox must announce their ALDS roster by 10 AM today.
I watched the tiebreak game between the Twins and Tigers. In his post-game interview Orlando Cabrera said that this game was the most exciting game he’s ever played in. Apparently Cabrera’s memory doesn’t go back more than five years.
The Red Sox and Yankees seem to be on another collision course to meet in the ALCS. Please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position. Make sure your seat belt is securely fastened and all carry-on luggage is stowed underneath the seat in front of you or in the overhead bins.