MVP! MVP! MVP! (And Welcome, Michael Bowden)

I can’t help myself. Everyone is catching MVP fever. Especially Sox fans, because we have Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis. I will suspend a recap of tonight’s game momentarily because I feel like pushing DP and Youk as the MVPs for the AL.

Let’s discuss.

Youkilis. He is a beastly hitter (the average is down, but he still scares pitchers. Actually, he kind of scares everybody.) He plays third, he plays first, and the play is SOLID. He loves the game and would rather have his team win a world series than win any special honors for himself. Yay!

Pedroia. Aside from lying about his height (5’9″? I don’t think so. He can’t be taller than 5’7″. Not that we mind.) he’s a solid second base-man and he is 8-8 in the past two games, hits on the road well, hits at home well, and leads the majors in batting average since June (with at least 220 at-bats).

pede.jpg

Okay, so this pic is horrible, but it was taken while the loveable Mr. Pedroia was making one of his many great catches for the night. (Note, the ChiSox easy “falling” catch is on replay for top play, but Pedroia’s crazy good grabs? Nowhere. Travesty!) He played out of his mind. And hey, Pedroia has gone two games in a row hitting perfectly.

Now seems to be the perfect time to transition to a game recap. Welcome to the majors, Michael Bowden. He pitched a solid 5, and the bull pen looked decent. I feel like I’m writing that phrase more and more these days…as opposed to “I hate our bull pen” or blogging about my fears of Lopez and Delcarmen (note, these feelings have not vanished, but they have decreased significantly)

bowden.jpg
Yay for a great rookie outing, backed by awesome offense. And how ’bout when they intentionally walked Tek???? I have never seen anyone throw the ball like that for an intentional walk. And our pitchers got the chiSox to ground into 3 double plays. Then Ellsbury (or Wheels, as we so fondly call him) went 5-3, and our young guys looked good on a night where most of the older vets were not playing (Youk sick, Lowell on the DL, brand new pitcher, etc.) It was a good night overall. Next week (barring rain-outs) the Red Sox will break the consecutive sell-out mark. That, to me, is almost sweeter than this night could have been had the Rays not pulled a win out of their butts against the Orioles (if that comeback doesn’t highlight bullpen trouble, I don’t know what will.) Oh well. At least the Yankees lost.

In other news:
Cincinnatti WR Chad Jackson changed his name (officially) to Ocho Cinco. (His last name, anyway) Wack-a-doodle.

Goodnight, Sox Fans, see you tomorrow!

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Of Dice and Men and Perfect Pedroia

Dice-K had an astounding outing yesterday against the visiting chiSox. Which, I have a temporary complaint: we live in southeastern VA. I realize and understand that WGN is Chicago-based, but it is unnerving and annoying to watch a home game from the visitor’s side and I HATE Harrelson. Rem-Dawg (NESN) is clearly biased, but no one, I mean NO ONE is as bad as the guys who do games for the White Sox. If I have to hear something repeated/hear “he gone” one more time, I will strangle someone.

(Sorry, I’m watching the game right now, and I am so tempted to mute the TV and pull up gameday audio with WRKO so I don’t have to listen to these guys!)

Dustin was fantastic, going 4 for 4, and Papi, Youk and Tek had great nights. Talk about Tek, he has brought his batting average up, like .010 in a week and a half. (Note, this stat may not be so surprising for everyone, but for Tek, especially this year, that is great!)

Okay, game is on and commercial is over, I’ll write again when the game is over (though, I have to say, I’m loving our bats tonight!)

PS – anyone see the beautiful bit of acting the Captain tried after catching a crazy in-and-out of the crowd bouncing foul? LOVE him! LOVE him!

MVP! MVP! MVP! (And Welcome, Michael Bowden)

I can’t help myself. Everyone is catching MVP fever. Especially Sox fans, because we have Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis. I will suspend a recap of tonight’s game momentarily because I feel like pushing DP and Youk as the MVPs for the AL.

Let’s discuss.

Youkilis. He is a beastly hitter (the average is down, but he still scares pitchers. Actually, he kind of scares everybody.) He plays third, he plays first, and the play is SOLID. He loves the game and would rather have his team win a world series than win any special honors for himself. Yay!

Pedroia. Aside from lying about his height (5’9″? I don’t think so. He can’t be taller than 5’7″. Not that we mind.) he’s a solid second base-man and he is 8-8 in the past two games, hits on the road well, hits at home well, and leads the majors in batting average since June (with at least 220 at-bats).

pede.jpg

Okay, so this pic is horrible, but it was taken while the loveable Mr. Pedroia was making one of his many great catches for the night. (Note, the ChiSox easy “falling” catch is on replay for top play, but Pedroia’s crazy good grabs? Nowhere. Travesty!) He played out of his mind. And hey, Pedroia has gone two games in a row hitting perfectly.

Now seems to be the perfect time to transition to a game recap. Welcome to the majors, Michael Bowden. He pitched a solid 5, and the bull pen looked decent. I feel like I’m writing that phrase more and more these days…as opposed to “I hate our bull pen” or blogging about my fears of Lopez and Delcarmen (note, these feelings have not vanished, but they have decreased significantly)

bowden.jpg
Yay for a great rookie outing, backed by awesome offense. And how ’bout when they intentionally walked Tek???? I have never seen anyone throw the ball like that for an intentional walk. And our pitchers got the chiSox to ground into 3 double plays. Then Ellsbury (or Wheels, as we so fondly call him) went 5-3, and our young guys looked good on a night where most of the older vets were not playing (Youk sick, Lowell on the DL, brand new pitcher, etc.)  It was a good night overall. Next week (barring rain-outs) the Red Sox will break the consecutive sell-out mark. That, to me, is almost sweeter than this night could have been had the Rays not pulled a win out of their butts against the Orioles (if that comeback doesn’t highlight bullpen trouble, I don’t know what will.) Oh well. At least the Yankees lost.

In other news:
Cincinnatti WR Chad Jackson changed his name (officially) to Ocho Cinco. (His last name, anyway) Wack-a-doodle.

Goodnight, Sox Fans, see you tomorrow!

Of Dice and Men and Perfect Pedroia

Dice-K had an astounding outing yesterday against the visiting chiSox. Which, I have a temporary complaint: we live in southeastern VA. I realize and understand that WGN is Chicago-based, but it is unnerving and annoying to watch a home game from the visitor’s side and I HATE Harrelson. Rem-Dawg (NESN) is clearly biased, but no one, I mean NO ONE is as bad as the guys who do games for the White Sox. If I have to hear something repeated/hear “he gone” one more time, I will strangle someone.

(Sorry, I’m watching the game right now, and I am so tempted to mute the TV and pull up gameday audio with WRKO so I don’t have to listen to these guys!)

Dustin was fantastic, going 4 for 4, and Papi, Youk and Tek had great nights. Talk about Tek, he has brought his batting average up, like .010 in a week and a half. (Note, this stat may not be so surprising for everyone, but for Tek, especially this year, that is great!)

Okay, game is on and commercial is over, I’ll write again when the game is over (though, I have to say, I’m loving our bats tonight!)

PS – anyone see the beautiful bit of acting the Captain  tried after catching a crazy in-and-out of the crowd bouncing foul? LOVE him! LOVE him!

Rockin’ The House That Ruth Built

One more. That’s it. Tomorrow will be the last game ever played by the biggest rivalry in the history of American sports. It is also conceivably the Yankee’s last chance to get a shot at October this year. They are now seven games out of the Wild Card race, and only four head-to-head games left with the Wild Card leading Red Sox.

The AL East remains the third tightest division in baseball (not counting the wild cards). The Mets and Phillies continue their tango, the Phillies losing tonight to fall .5 games behind the Mets, with Chicago getting hammered by the O’s tonight, the Twins moved to 1 game behind the ChiSox, and with a Tampa Bay win the Red Sox remain 3.5 games back on the Rays. While it is true that the Dodgers are only 3 games back on the D-Backs, Arizona has lost the past 4 and LA has lost the past 6 games. That race is going to come down to who sucks less, as both teams are hovering just above or just below .500. The streaking Cubbies have a secure 5.5 game lead on the streaking Brewers, but no one is more secure in their position than the Angels. Even if the A’s beat the Angel’s tonight, they will still be 19.5 games back, while the second place Texans will be a mere 15 games back on the almighty Las Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Lets talk Sox-Stripes, though.

Ponson got a little rocked and knocked out early. Ramirez and Marte held down the fort, Veras and Robertson got rocked. A game that was tied until the 5th and close at 4-2 until the 8th ended up with a score of 11-3. A solid start for Byrd, a good appearance for Delcarmen, and can we discuss what a beastly amazing team player Timlin is? He’s one of those guys who just quietly does his job, acting as a great veteran presence in a mostly young ‘pen.

Varitek continues to bring his batting average out of the gutter. Cora was the only Sox player not to get on base, but he hit a sac-fly, so I’m okay with that. Jason Bay was phenomenal with a triple and a double. He may not be Manny, but would Manny actually be playing as much as Bay has? Would he have as many RBIs? Would our stress levels be much higher? Pointless questions, moving on. Ellsbury had two hits tonight, in his spot at the top. Maybe he’s getting used to leading off. Youk, who is having a, dare I say it, MVP year, was his normal, beastly batting self. And my boy, (I have several) Dustin Pedroia hit his first grand slam to really pound the Yanks in the 8th.

I gotta say, though I was balancing this game with Project Runway (a really interesting combination, let me tell you) I realized something. While this is historic and it’s a big deal ,y ever-cynical father pointed something out to me: even in a new stadium, the Yankees will always be hanging around to screw the Red Sox over in some way. The Yankees will still be the same pinstripe-wearing, stash-growing, hair-cutting, no-name-on-the-back-of-the-jersey Bombers we are bred to despise. So no sentimentality, we will always have those stories about how Schil took the mound with a bloody sock, the 2003 disaster, the 2004 miracle, and so on, those memories will always be there. And the Yanks getting a shiny new stadium to make Steinbrenner more ridiculous sums of money just makes them more and more the Evil Empire.

Last game is tomorrow night. If there ever was a must-win for a team to keep post-season hopes alive, its tomorrow night for the Yanks.

soxvyanks.jpg

Rockin’ The House That Ruth Built

One more. That’s it. Tomorrow will be the last game ever played by the biggest rivalry in the history of American sports. It is also conceivably the Yankee’s last chance to get a shot at October this year. They are now seven games out of the Wild Card race, and only four head-to-head games left with the Wild Card leading Red Sox.

The AL East remains the third tightest division in baseball (not counting the wild cards). The Mets and Phillies continue their tango, the Phillies losing tonight to fall .5 games behind the Mets, with Chicago getting hammered by the O’s tonight, the Twins moved to 1 game behind the ChiSox, and with a Tampa Bay win the Red Sox remain 3.5 games back on the Rays. While it is true that the Dodgers are only 3 games back on the D-Backs, Arizona has lost the past 4 and LA has lost the past 6 games. That race is going to come down to who sucks less, as both teams are hovering just above or just below .500. The streaking Cubbies have a secure 5.5 game lead on the streaking Brewers, but no one is more secure in their position than the Angels. Even if the A’s beat the Angel’s tonight, they will still be 19.5 games back, while the second place Texans will be a mere 15 games back on the almighty Las Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Lets talk Sox-Stripes, though.

Ponson got a little rocked and knocked out early. Ramirez and Marte held down the fort, Veras and Robertson got rocked. A game that was tied until the 5th and close at 4-2 until the 8th ended up with a score of 11-3. A solid start for Byrd, a good appearance for Delcarmen, and can we discuss what a beastly amazing team player Timlin is? He’s one of those guys who just quietly does his job, acting as a great veteran presence in a mostly young ‘pen.

Varitek continues to bring his batting average out of the gutter. Cora was the only Sox player not to get on base, but he hit a sac-fly, so I’m okay with that. Jason Bay was phenomenal with a triple and a double. He may not be Manny, but would Manny actually be playing as much as Bay has? Would he have as many RBIs? Would our stress levels be much higher? Pointless questions, moving on. Ellsbury had two hits tonight, in his spot at the top. Maybe he’s getting used to leading off. Youk, who is having a, dare I say it, MVP year, was his normal, beastly batting self. And my boy, (I have several) Dustin Pedroia hit his first grand slam to really pound the Yanks in the 8th.

I gotta say, though I was balancing this game with Project Runway (a really interesting combination, let me tell you) I realized something. While this is historic and it’s a big deal ,y ever-cynical father pointed something out to me: even in a new stadium, the Yankees will always be hanging around to screw the Red Sox over in some way. The Yankees will still be the same pinstripe-wearing, stash-growing, hair-cutting, no-name-on-the-back-of-the-jersey Bombers we are bred to despise. So no sentimentality, we will always have those stories about how Schil took the mound with a bloody sock, the 2003 disaster, the 2004 miracle, and so on, those memories will always be there. And the Yanks getting a shiny new stadium to make Steinbrenner more ridiculous sums of money just makes them more and more the Evil Empire.

Last game is tomorrow night. If there ever was a must-win for a team to keep post-season hopes alive, its tomorrow night for the Yanks.

soxvyanks.jpg

Out With A Bang

The Red Sox opened the last series they will ever play at the House That Ruth Built. And they opened it with style.

wakey.jpg
Wake did more than I expected him to after coming back to the lineup, if you manage to scatter 8 hits over five innings with only three runs scoring means you’re either Dice-K or you’re doing pretty good.

All in all, Wake was solid. Manny, not so much, J-Mas (as we are starting to call him) was the beast of the bull pen that he has become. Can we discuss how perfect it was that both Wake and Masterson got the great and powerful A-Rod to hit into a double play? Wow. Did I mention he was 5-0 tonight? Not good for the #4 spot. Sorry, I can’t resist the chance to poke a little bit of fun at the Yankees. I’m a Sox fan, its in my genes.

I will say this, if only to kharmically balance out poking fun at A-Rod. Damon clearly still has Wake’s number. I guess he’s seen the knuckler in action enough to be able to hit off him. That’s my theory, anyways.

A couple of double-plays, a few good hits, and some good base-running later, we had a lead. Always good with the Sox, but with the Sox, doesn’t always mean much. The good news is this, in a game where we won 7-3, our big guys were having a little bit of an off night. We have no Mikey (who was struggling, but you can never count him out), we have no Drew, and Pedroia was a little off his game. That said, Papi had a Yankee-killing night, Bay and Bailey (yay new guy!) had a pair of RBIs each, Youk only had 1 hit, but it was an RBI. And Jacoby, back in the lead-off where he doesn’t do as well (lets face it, he has to grow into that spot) only had one hit, but it was a clutch 2-out RBI.

pedey.jpgDP getting a little DP action.
And finally, we have this gem given to us by the ‘stash himself:

bay safe.jpgI can hear the New York fans screaming “Don’t worry about him! Throw the runner out at HOME!” Of course, probably with a few more explitives thrown in. A-Rod fields the ball, throws, but Bailey is too fast, he’s safe, all the Umps are doing that motion that looks like they’re flattening a sheet, you know, really emphatically to get all the wrinkles out, and Giambi isn’t looking. He’s not sure if Bailey is out or not. Of course, it didn’t help that the Sox runners were their faster ones (I love him, but I’m glad it was Coco not Big Papi running those bases)

Finally, lets talk injuries (and no, I don’t mean Brady’s mysterious bone-bruising that will magically disappear in September)
Beckett will be back in the line-up Friday, Mikey is working his way back in, JD wants to be back by the 2nd. Needless to say, once September comes a-knocking, its amazing how many players come off the DL, especially if their team is in or close to being in the post-season. Now, I’m not knocking the players and saying they’re faking it, I’m saying that Lowell will play through hip pain if it can secure him another shot at the World Series, and JD Drew will do everything in his power to make his back feel better in time to get to October. They will push and work hard and get their way through rehab as fast as they can because, hey, its September, where one series can be the difference between going golfing in October or playing on for all the marbles.

I’m gonna say this now, baseball gods, do not be angered, it is not a prediction, merely an observation. If they Yankees do not win this series against the Wild Card Race leading Sox, then their chances at October are looking pretty slim. Merely for the fact that they only go head-to-head with the Sox once more this year, and a 7 or 8 game deficit is hard to make up in one month. Because then not only do you have to win pretty much every game, you have to pray that the Sox will lose games. They both have a similar (and tough) schedule coming up, but the Yanks have some serious road-tripping, while Boston stays mostly at home. All I know is that I hope and pray that the Sox win, the Yankees lose, and if Tampa Bay starts tanking, I wouldn’t mind that much either.

Out With A Bang

The Red Sox opened the last series they will ever play at the House That Ruth Built. And they opened it with style.

wakey.jpg
Wake did more than I expected him to after coming back to the lineup, if you manage to scatter 8 hits over five innings with only three runs scoring means you’re either Dice-K or you’re doing pretty good.

All in all, Wake was solid. Manny, not so much, J-Mas (as we are starting to call him) was the beast of the bull pen that he has become. Can we discuss how perfect it was that both Wake and Masterson got the great and powerful A-Rod to hit into a double play? Wow. Did I mention he was 5-0 tonight? Not good for the #4 spot. Sorry, I can’t resist the chance to poke a little bit of fun at the Yankees. I’m a Sox fan, its in my genes.

I will say this, if only to kharmically balance out poking fun at A-Rod. Damon clearly still has Wake’s number. I guess he’s seen the knuckler in action enough to be able to hit off him. That’s my theory, anyways.

A couple of double-plays, a few good hits, and some good base-running later, we had a lead. Always good with the Sox, but with the Sox, doesn’t always mean much. The good news is this, in a game where we won 7-3, our big guys were having a little bit of an off night. We have no Mikey (who was struggling, but you can never count him out), we have no Drew, and Pedroia was a little off his game. That said, Papi had a Yankee-killing night, Bay and Bailey (yay new guy!) had a pair of RBIs each, Youk only had 1 hit, but it was an RBI. And Jacoby, back in the lead-off where he doesn’t do as well (lets face it, he has to grow into that spot) only had one hit, but it was a clutch 2-out RBI. 

pedey.jpgDP getting a little DP action.
And finally, we have this gem given to us by the ‘stash himself:

bay safe.jpgI can hear the New York fans screaming “Don’t worry about him! Throw the runner out at HOME!” Of course, probably with a few more explitives thrown in. A-Rod fields the ball, throws, but Bailey is too fast, he’s safe, all the Umps are doing that motion that looks like they’re flattening a sheet, you know, really emphatically to get all the wrinkles out, and Giambi isn’t looking. He’s not sure if Bailey is out or not. Of course, it didn’t help that the Sox runners were their faster ones (I love him, but I’m glad it was Coco not Big Papi running those bases)

Finally, lets talk injuries (and no, I don’t mean Brady’s mysterious bone-bruising that will magically disappear in September)
Beckett will be back in the line-up Friday, Mikey is working his way back in, JD wants to be back by the 2nd. Needless to say, once September comes a-knocking, its amazing how many players come off the DL, especially if their team is in or close to being in the post-season. Now, I’m not knocking the players and saying they’re faking it, I’m saying that Lowell will play through hip pain if it can secure him another shot at the World Series, and JD Drew will do everything in his power to make his back feel better in time to get to October. They will push and work hard and get  their way through rehab as fast as they can because, hey, its September, where one series can be the difference between going golfing in October or playing on for all the marbles.

I’m gonna say this now, baseball gods, do not be angered, it is not a prediction, merely an observation. If they Yankees do not win this series against the Wild Card Race leading Sox, then their chances at October are looking pretty slim. Merely for the fact that they only go head-to-head with the Sox once more this year, and a 7 or 8 game deficit is hard to make up in one month. Because then not only do you have to win pretty much every game, you have to pray that the Sox will lose games. They both have a similar (and tough) schedule coming up, but the Yanks have some serious road-tripping, while Boston stays mostly at home. All I know is that I hope and pray that the Sox win, the Yankees lose, and if Tampa Bay starts tanking, I wouldn’t mind that much either. 

Home Run Derby

Dustin Pedroia hit a three run shot, Coco hit a solo, Lowrie hit the game-winning solo homer. In a six-run game, five runs were scored on homers. Of course, the game also went into extras. But we won the rubber match. As we close in on September and, more importantly, October, these games become more important than ever.

We have a day off today before taking on the Yanks. Good news though. Wake is back! Of course, he was moved up because Beckett is still experiencing numbness/pain. Yikes.

Football season starts soon. Yay!

Home Run Derby

Dustin Pedroia hit a three run shot, Coco hit a solo, Lowrie hit the game-winning solo homer. In a six-run game, five runs were scored on homers. Of course, the game also went into extras. But we won the rubber match. As we close in on September and, more importantly, October, these games become more important than ever.

We have a day off today before taking on the Yanks. Good news though. Wake is back! Of course, he was moved up because Beckett is still experiencing numbness/pain. Yikes.

Football season starts soon. Yay!