Marathon Morning: Red Sox Sweep The Orioles With A Twelve Run Rout

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Its a good morning when you have a
baseball game at 11 and you have nothing to do. Its even better when
you get to see a young guy pull off a show-stopping performance on Patriots Day of all days. All while thousands of people ran in the 113th Boston Marathon.

Justin
Masterson, usually the long reliever/all around lights
out pitcher from the bull pen, got his first start of 2009. In 5
innings he struck out 3, walked 2, and allowed 1 earned run on 4 hits. Not a bad outing, considering he did all that
on just 84 pitches. And thanks to the Red Sox very strong bull pen,
that one run was the only one allowed all game.

The bats got going in the first, when Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double. A single from Dustin Pedroia scored the speedy Ellsbury, and a ground out from Baldelli brought in Dustin, putting the Sox up by two.

In the second, Jason Varitek continued with his seemingly rejuvenated
swing (its only a few weeks into the season, but I remain optimistic)
and launched a solo shot into the monster seats, where fans were
alternating between watching the game, and watching the marathon
runners make their way through Kenmore Square.

The Orioles scored in the third, and it remained close until the bottom of the sixth. Another RBI single for Pedroia and a triple from David Ortiz made it 6-1, Red Sox.

The bull pen held the Orioles to a scoreless top half of the seventh,
and then the Red Sox really got started. The Orioles faced 12 Red Sox
batters, Mike Lowell had an RBI double and an RBI single in the inning.
Also with RBI singles in the seventh were Ellsbury, Pedroia, and Youkilis.

The
best part of today? With the exception of Ortiz, who’s average is up to
.196, the rest of the team is now hitting above .220. Pedroia got
moving, so did Ellsbury, and Ortiz had a good day with two hits, two
RBI, and a run scored.

Lefty pitcher Hunter Jones made his major league debut, and pitched a scoreless 9th for the Red Sox, while Rocco Baldelli left the game in the fourth with a mild hamstring strain, and Orioles third-basemen Ryan Freel left the game in the third after being hit by a pick-off attempt from Masterson. He went to the hospital as a precaution, but there is no news yet on when he will return to the Orioles line up.

The
Sox now have a five game winning streak, are back over .500, and have
now won their 66th Patriot’s Day game, which started with a 21-gun
salute from the Minutemen, and ended with a 12-run salute from the Red
Sox.

“Wake”ing Up The Red Sox

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Wednesday, Tim Wakefield flirted with a perfect game, and might have restored the Red Sox confidence in themselves.

I feel like we need the Hitchiker’s Guide to Baseball with a big sign on the back that says “Don’t Panic” and we really shouldn’t. We’ve got, what, 152 games left or something like that?

It feels as though these first two weeks of baseball, the Red Sox have been trying to start a car. Sometimes the ignition
turns over, but it doesn’t last long. Maybe Wake’s start is the jump
they need to really get moving. It does not help, of course, that they
had to face first the Rays, and then the emotionally charged and always
difficult LA Angels.

Looking at the stats for the first two weeks of the season give me hope, however. They have allowed the second fewest runs in the AL East, the Rays have allowed two fewer, but the Red Sox are one of the three teams with more runs allowed than runs scored. So there is your problem. Well, Dice-K and Lowrie being injured doesn’t help either, but truly, the issue is offense.

The Red Sox have just 35 RBIs so far this year. That’s 27th in the league. Their on-base percentage is ranked considerably higher. Which leads me to one issue: they can’t hit with runners on. While more of the team has moved above .200, Varitek (who’s right at .200), Pedroia, Ellsbury, and Ortiz are all still below the .200 mark. Dustin is a traditionally slow starter, so his engine should start going soon, Papi had his first extra-base hit of the season, so maybe that will kick him into gear, and Ellsbury seems to be coming back, he’s hit much better in the A’s series than the others.

Maybe
Wake’s brush with history will rejuvinate the entire team. Right now,
Youkilis and Bay are on fire. Youk’s hitting .472 and Bay is hitting
.345, both with two homers. Varitek’s average might be a little low,
but of his five hits, two are doubles, and two are home runs. He’s
hitting for much more power than last year and is tied with the lowest
number of strike-outs on the team.

I’m
an eternal optimist. So maybe all of this is nothing, and they’re going
to continue to be below .500 for the first time in years, but somehow,
I doubt it. Maybe Tek is going to have another bad year, but what I’ve
seen so far says otherwise. Maybe Bay won’t hit 30 homers, but I think
he will. And maybe Kevin Youkilis will slump after the All-Star break,
but I have faith.

The
Sox return home tonight to take on the Orioles at 7:10. Penny takes on
Guthrie, who has looked pretty good in his two starts for the birds.
The Orioles are a game back of the AL East leading Toronto Blue Jays. Raise
your hand if you saw that one coming. If Penny can locate tonight, and
the bats can get moving, I think the Sox turn it around and get back above .500.

Red Sox Spring Training Analysis (Part 1)

It’s time for a little baseball prognosticating.

I admit to being a stats addict, and as such, I’m going to look at
the stats from spring training in 2008, compare them to the stats from
the 2008 regular season, and then see what conclusions can be drawn for
this season based on this year’s spring training numbers.

Whew. Good thing I’m a stats freak…’cause that’s a lot of numbers.

We’ll start by looking at the captain, and see if his 2009 will be better than 2008.

‘Tek hit .320 in 2008 Spring training, with three homers and seven RBI.

In 2008, he hit .220 with 13 home runs and an astounding 122 strikeouts in 131 games.

So far this spring, Varitek has hit .206 with 3 homers and 12 RBI.
Maybe the lower spring training batting average bodes well for ‘Tek;
his 2007 spring training batting average was .108, and he ended up
hitting .255 with 17 home runs in 2007.

Prediction: ‘Tek will hit somewhere between .229 and .245 for 2009. We’ll see.

 

Next, we’ll take a look at Jacoby Ellsbury.

In 2008 spring training, Jacoby hit .209 with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored.

During the regular season, despite slumps, Jacoby finished with .280, 47 RBI, 98 runs scored and 50 stolen bases.

This spring, Jacoby has hit .250 with 8 runs scored, 5 RBI, and one steal.

Look for him to hit around .300 this season, with more runs scored
and more stolen bases if he can avoid the slumps. Since this will be
(sort of) his third year in the majors, maybe he can avoid the
sophomore slump. If he does, Ellsbury will be one of the game’s elite
leadoff hitters. That, combined with his great defense, should lead to
an excellent player.

 

Now lets look at the AL MVP Dustin Pedroia.

In 2008 spring training, Dustin batted .179 with one homer and four RBI.

By the time the 2008 season rolled around, he stepped up his game considerably, hitting .326 with 17 home runs and 83 RBI.

This spring, not including his brief stint at the World Baseball Classic, Pedroia has hit .370 with four RBI and 10 hits.

Pedroia throws off the stats a little, because so far, he’s been a
slow starter (he hit .196 in 2007 spring training, then hit .317 for
the year). But because of the World Baseball Classic, we don’t have all
his stats. If you figure them all out, Dustin’s spring average is
.279–considerably higher than his usual spring training average. That
means I have to forget stats and just guesstimate.

Look for Pedroia to do better than his stellar year last year,
hitting around the .335 to .350 mark. This may be overly optimistic,
but he’s got the will and the drive.

That’s it for part one. Next, I’ll look at Lowrie, Lowell, and Youkilis, and see what kind of years they will have.

All Good Things…

…must come to an end. I have to say, in the bright (and cold) light of morning, I am almost glad its over. I would have liked it to be over after another four games and a ring…but my stress level goes down and my number of hours sleeping goes up.

I will watch some of the fall classic, but only when they play in Philly, because if I ever hear another cowbell, it will be too soon. Maybe the Rays should have Christopher Walken throw out the first pitch?

Anywho, the Red Sox are gassed. Last night everyone just looked tired. So I think in a small way, they’re glad its over. Now its time to marvel at the fact that they never should have made it as far as they did, take a few days off to rest, and start figuring out how we can get CC or some other pitcher without giving up anyone we like. I really like our line-up next year. For the first time in my memory, the Red Sox are young. Pedroia, Lowrie, Coco, Ellsbury, Masterson, Lester, Bay, Papelbon, and Youk have many years left in them. If you look back on the Sox, this rarely happens. And these kids are battle tested. There are only two things the Sox must do this off-season: get Tek back, and get another starting pitcher, whether we take one from somewhere else or develop them.

I’m going to take a few days off of hard-core baseball following to catch up on that all-important school work which has fallen by the wayside. I continue my campaign for the Captain, because you can’t just get rid of a captain, even one who has struggled so much at the plate, you have to phase him out, into retirement. Just the reactions from his homer in game 6 proved one thing: they need him. He is the soul of the team, and if we get rid of our soul we’ll turn into the Yankees.

One final note before I head off to get lunch (yum!) Our playing season may be over, but the Nation still has work to do! The 2008 This Year In Baseball Award has several Red Sox on the ballot!

Vote Pedroia for Hitter, Dice-K for Starter, Jacoby for Rookie, Tito for Manager, Paps for Closer, Dustin for Defense, Lester’s No-No for Performance, and Youk’s on-the-wall triple for Oddity (this one is under Damon’s name).

And the best part is you can vote as many times as you want and it’s really very easy! So go vote HERE

That Dirty Water Never Tasted So Good, So Good, So Good

Watch Jed Lowrie’s Walk-Off Single!

Sox win. Yay!

Lets talk some post-season baseball. First off, what a start for Jon Lester. The Angels were a tough team, and, as Tito said, “we had our hands full [with them]”. So now the best team (record wise) in the AL and the best team (record wise) in the NL are both gone.

Good, good things happened last night:
Dustin snapped his October slump by hitting a rocket RBI double off the Monster (or “Monstah” depending on where you live)
Tek chased down a young guy like a Teddy Bruschi or Rodney Harrison going after a quarterback, getting the out on a suicide squeeze that didn’t quite work.
Lester finishes the ALDS going 14 innings, scattering 10 hits with 11 Ks and 3 BBs and a 0.00 ERA (that’s right, ZERO point ZERO ZERO. As in goose-egg) Can we just say beast?
Bay leads the team in  post-season BA (.412), OBP (.474) and SLG (.882) with 7 hits, 5 RBIs and scoring 3 runs. He hit what could have been an inside-the-park home run, had it not bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double.
Lowrie got quite possibly the most clutch single of his career (more to come, I hope!) scoring Bay for the walk-off single with 2 outs in the 9th.

As with all things, we will take the day to celebrate, then look to the future and the extremely tough Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays. After battling the Angels, I feel like the Sox are up for any battle that gets thrown at them. Dice-K is pretty good against the Rays and excellent on the road. Beckett looked rusty in game 3, but I think he’ll be much better when he faces the Rays. Then we have Lester, who is probably the best pitcher in baseball right now. Throw in Masterson and Oki who are tough, and Manny D and Paps, both with 0.00 ERAs this post-season, and the Sox are looking pretty good, if we can just get that offense going a little more. Now that Dustin got his first hit, I think we’re going to be just fine.

Just for a little fun, here are some post-season pics for your enjoyment! (from http://www.boston.com, click to make them larger!)

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youk leap.jpgjumping joy.jpg

Finally, because life wouldn’t be complete without some Papelbon antics:

Those shirts, by the way, say “Cinco Ocho: He don’t know how he do…” and on the back it says “He just do”.

Hopefully, Cinco Ocho (Papelbon for those of you who don’t know) will be doing what he do and hopefully we’ll be singing Dirty Water again soon! Go Sox!

A Bay-utiful Morning For the Red Sox

Okay, yes, technically it was not morning for the Red Sox, but it was for me as I sat, bleary-eyed, surrounded by research paper sources and cans of diet coke, on my couch last night/this morning. And since the Sox are an east coast team, we’ll just say that very early this morning, the Sox took game one of the ALDS.

How did they do it? In that spectacular, down-to-the-wire, saved-by-great-plays, give-all-your-fans-a-heart-attack way that the Red Sox specialize in. The Angels scored first, capitalizing on an error by Lowrie which should have been out #3 but instead it lead to the Angel’s only run of the game. Since the Sox were scoreless, hitting atrociously with men on, I thought that was going to be the game. Not good for a young player’s psyche.

So we continue on, two outs in the top of the sixth, and Youk walks. So here comes Bay, who has struck out twice. At this point, I’m picking up my books so that when they go to the commercial for the middle of the innings, I’ll be all prepared to do homework. Then Bay just rips one, and it keeps going, and I’m standing up, trying desperately not to wake the rest of my house up (lame people who don’t like baseball and a Phillies fan who was done with it for the night) so I just did a happy dance and sat back down and called my dad. Its his fault I’m this crazy, anyway.
 
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(image courtesy of mlb.com)

Lester was sick. Lester was a beast. Lester proved what I’ve been believing all season, he is one of the best pitchers in the league. And of course, Jacoby had a beastly night. I mean, the catches, the hits, the stealing. I’m just waiting for him to score on a wild pitch. From second. JD Drew and Mikey were back in the lineup, and though they didn’t really produce, Mike hit a few that were well-hit balls but better defensive plays.

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(image from mlb.com)

Oh, and something else historic happened last night. A second Angels player got a hit on Paps. The entire post-season roster is now 2 and 40 against the closer. I like that stat, I just want that big number to keep getting bigger.

Day off today, then again in La-La-Land for another late-night game. This one starts a whole 1/2 hour earlier, but since the next day is Saturday, who cares?

A final note: Jacoby Ellsbury, who had a stellar night including a great diving catch seen in the image below, has a new blog on MLBlogs, it’s called “Jacoby Ellsbury’s Postseason Blog” and you can read it here

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(image from mlb.com)

Comeback and Sunday’s Game LIVE!

What a comeback last night. Whew. Scary. Live blog time!

Holy cow. What a match-up today. Halladay (on short rest) vs southpaw ace Lester.

Crap. Home run Toronto. Lester is throwing rockets but his control is off. Good thing we have game-manager extraordinare behind the plate (thank goodness for Tek!)

Batter up.

Single Jacoby! Yay! Here comes MVP Dustin Pedroia! (What? I can hope, can’t I?)
Steal Jacoby and Sac-bunt for Dustin, Jacoby to third and here comes big Papi. All we need is a single or sac-fly. I tell you what, Dustin does it all, home runs, sac-flies, doubles, triples, bunts…Papi’s out at first but Jacoby scores, tie game.

Youuuuuuuukkkkk. After a long at-bat, Youk hits a bat-shattering single. Mikey up.

Okay, I get that Toronto really wants to win, but pitching Halladay on three days rest is really not a good move, especially in September. Mike is out at first, and we go to commercial.

Overbay is up. And Lester got him. And the Yankees are leading the Rays 6-3 in the bottom of the 2nd (wow). Say it with me everyone. “Let’s go Yankees!”

Okay, count is full on Rolen and Lester walks him. He is really not finding the strike zone right now.  Wacko chopper, nice stop Pedroia and a bang-bang play. He’s out.

Lester is up 0-2 on McDonald. Come on Jon, just one more strike and we’re good. McDonald is battling. Lester really needs to get some control down, because he’s thrown WAY too many pitches for it to only be the 2nd inning. Swing and a miss, he’s out. Commercial time.

Back to the game. JBay is up. Bottom of the third, Yankees up 6-3 bottom of the third. Oh! JBay hits a double. Yay for JBay! Here comes the Captain. Come on Tek! We love Tek. Whatever he can do to get JBay to third or to score, he’ll do it. And you can talk about how his average is down – good eye Tek! – we need that man behind the plate as long as we can because that man is a beastly fabulous leader. Good job, Captain, sac-single to get JBay to third.

Cora is up and the infield is in. I have a feeling we’re in for a pitchers duel. Both pitchers are up over 30 pitches in the 2nd. The ‘pens will be getting some work tonight. Okay, I think the TBS is in love with Halladay, because they are fawning all over him. Yes, he is a great pitcher, but come on!

Oh, Cora out on strikes. Coco is up. I’d recognize that batting stance anywhere. Oh, and announcers, its impossible to take the Fenway crowd completely out of the game, you underestimate the fan-base.

Coco hits a 2-out RBI single and Ellsbury is up. He has caught fire again, and I am hoping he  can make a big push for Rookie of the Year. Bunt, but they got him. Inning over.

Lester seems to be getting things under control…big hit but Coco is there…1 out. Come on Lester, get them up. Liner back, Lester misses, Pedroia scoops it up and gets the out at first. 2 down. Next up, Alex Rios. Lester gets ahead 1-2. Lets close this one out with a K, lefty. Rips one…they try for it but its in the alley. Double for Rios. Next batter. He pops up and Cora gets it. Inning over.

Dustin is up. I love him, he doesn’t think any pitcher should be able to get him out, and he goes up knowing he’s going to get a hit. That’s the kind of batter I like. Fly out, out 1. That’s okay, here comes Papi. 2-2 on Papi, and he is really not happy with himself. And he strikes out swinging. Top of the 5th and the Yanks are still beating the Rays. Remember that old adage “I root for the Red Sox and anyone playing the Yankees”? Well, things sure have changed.

Youk’s up, down 0-2. Seems like Halladay has found his zone, but Youk is battling. Hit to third, out at fist.

While the Jays are up, here’s a score update: Yankees lead TB 6-3, Os lead Twins 5-0. Good things for the AL East and good things for the AL Wild Card.

Nice catch by Ellsbury for the second out. Wow, what a play by Lowell and Youk! Three out.

Three-up, three down. Crap. Anyone else think the strike zone on this guy is a little off? Oh well, at least he’s consistent.

Batista against JLes, Ellsbury has the catch. You gotta love the Sox outfeild right now. Coco and Ellsbury are speed demons and can move all over to catch the ball. And Jason Bay isn’t exactly slow either. Line out to Mikey and its 2 out. Lester is 2-2 on Batista, got him.

Okay, back to the game with 2 outs in the fifth.  Jacoby up. Come on buddy, get  a rally going.  At least stop the Halladay streak of retiring batters. Nope.  Took a swing at a bad one and struck out.

Bring on the 6th.

I have a theory about the TBS annoucers. I think they are biased, they clearly want Toronto to win this game. Now, in a nationally broadcast game, where there are many more Red Sox fans. Grounder to Pedroia, out at first. Grounder to Mikey and out at first. Liner and foul. 0-2. They are really swinging  at Lester. Swing and a miss and Lester has taken out 8 in a row.

Dustin is up to start. Lets break the Halladay streak. He’s thrown 85 pitches, they have to be getting close to pulling him. Pedroia hits it to third, thrown out at first. And here comes Papi. Yankees still beating the Rays, bottom of the 6th. Papi’s wrist is still kind of bothering him, but he won’t rest until the Sox are done for the season, because that is how Papi plays. Full count. Fly out. Youk is up, Halladay is behind 3-0 on him.  A few pitches later and its full count. Infield ground ball, out at first.

Lester is looking pretty good. Got his sixth K. Dang, Mikey couldn’t make a play, but good stop anyway. I don’t care if Halladay has retured 13 batters and Lester only retired 9. Scoreboard!

Walked him. Two on. Come on Lester! Masterson is warming up in the ‘pen, I love watching him pitch!

DP for Cora, DP and Youk, inning over.

Mikey is up. Halladay is at 105 pitches, full count on Lowell. Base hit Mikey. Lets get a rally started! Bay-man is up, popped out. Bring on the Captain, base hit for Tek! Cora is up and takes one high, ball 1. Hits it, Tek’s out at 2nd, but they can’t get the double play on Cora. Coco is up to bat. Line to left, drops down for a hit and Mikey is in. Coco gets his second 2-out RBI. Jacoby is up. Pops out. Inning done, but another run to pad the lead. Yay!

Okay, I’m gonna shut it down so I can go and get ready to watch the Patriots game. This has been fun, but I’ll blog later. 

Red Sox Blank Rays, Close In On AL East

jles.pngRed Sox 3 Rays 0. Lester pitched into the 8th, allowing 0 runs on 6 hits, striking out 9 and walking 3. Paps came in and got a 4 out save allowing 1 hit and striking out 3. With this win, the Red Sox pull into within a half game of the AL East-leading Rays and move up to 7 games in front of the idle Twins for the Wild Card.

Not really the best night for the bats, considering the Sox had 9 hits and only 3 runs, all of those coming in the bottom of the 1st.  Lester  pitched 7+ innings of shut-out baseball, and Jackson pitched  6 shut-out innings. Fortunately for the Sox, that early jump proved to be enough to win the game.

Tonight the Red Sox made baseball history, breaking the streak for most consecutive home sell-outs with 456, beating the Cleveland Indian’s streak of 455. In honor of that, we will look at the 15 greatest moments at Fenway since May 15th, 2003 (when the sell-outs started).

Why 15? Well, 456 is reasons is way too many to cover in one blog, but 4+5+6=15, which is a much more manageable (not to mention readable!) amount.

15. April 22, 2007: Home Run Bonananza The Sox tie a major league record high 4 HR’s   back to back to back to back home runs in the third to help the Sox onto their first sweep     of the Yankees in Fenway since 1990. Hitting HRs were Manny, JD Drew, Lowell and     Varitek.

14. August 1 2008: A Brand New Bay Jason Bay makes his debut after the down-to-the-wire trade which sent Manny to LA and a few prospects to Pittsburgh. He has a great night,    
hitting well and making a spectacular catch, even scoring the winning run on Jed Lowrie’s
single in the 12th. This is not so great because of the game itself, but the fact that energy     returned to the Red Sox as they played like a completely different team after ridding    
themselves of Manny being Manny and his dramatic unhappiness.

13. October 25, 2007: Schill’s Last Game: In the last home appearance of the Red Sox in    
the 07 World Series, Schil and crew hang on to win a 2-1 pitcher’s duel with the Rockies.
 
12. July 2, 2007 Ellsbury Scores from Second on a Wild Pitch: Three days into his major league tenure, Jacoby Ellsbury did the nearly
impossible. He scored on a wild pitch from    
second base. Texas reliever
Willie Eyre hit catcher Gerald Laird in the leg with a pitch,
and Ellsbury was gone. He never
stopped, never thought twice as third base coach waved     him
home.

11. October 5, 2007 Manny’s First Walk-Off Home Run: Manny knocks a three-run shot out of the park to give the Boston Red Sox a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five American League
    Division Series, beating the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) 6-3.

10. September 21, 2006 David Ortiz hits Red Sox Record Home Runs: David Ortiz    
cemented himself in the Boston record books by hitting 54 home runs in a single season in
2006. It was his 51st, on this date, that put him past Jimmie Foxx’s single-season record,
and made him (officially) Boston’s Home Run King.

9. April 5, 2007 Dice-K’s Debut: Dike K strikes out ten in his major league debut and gives Sox fans a preview of all the Ks that are to come.
 
arodtek fight.jpg8. July 24, 2004 The Fight: A-Rod is hit
by a Bronson Arroyo pitch and proceeds to jaw about it all the way down the first base line. He and Varitek have words, and bam! A-Rod gets a face full of angry catcher’s mit. A bench-clearing brawl later, Tek, A-Rod, Kenny Lofton, Gabe Kapler and Tito were all ejected.

7. September 28, 2007 Red Sox vs.    Twins: A Red Sox win and a Yankee’s     loss gives Boston’s its first division title     in 12 years. Dice-K racks up the K’s     and bows to the fans, while Papelbon    
dances barefoot and thousands of fans hang around for almost an hour to see     the results of the Yankee’s game.
 
6. May 13, 2007 The Mother’s Day Miracle: Bottom of the 9th, the Red Sox are down 5-0 to  the Baltimore Orioles, Julio grounds out, then Coco singles on a throwing error by Ramon     Hernandez and Papi scores him. Mo Pena somehow manages a single that moves David     to third. After both JD Drew and Youk manage a walk, scoring Papi,  Tek comes up and     doubles, scoring both Drew and Mo. Hinske walks, and Youk is out at home (its very close, though).  Back up to bat is Lugo, who made the first out of the inning. He reaches on a throwing error and Hinske and Tek score to win the game.

5. October 20, 2007 JD Drew’s clutch Grand Slam in game 6 of the ALCS: the Sox down to the Indians 3 games to 2, proved to be the straw that broke the Indians’ back and    propelled the Sox to their second World Series win in four years. It was the shot that was heard ’round Boston and will probably always be known as the 14
million dollar grand-slam,     simply because with the bases loaded and
no out, Fausto Carmona had struck out Manny     and gotten Lowell to
pop out, very few people had faith in the then-struggling outfielder.

4.
September 1, 2007 Clay Buchholz’s No-Hitter: In his second Major League start, rookie pitcher Clay Buchholz tossed the 17th no-hitter in Red Sox history, striking out 9, walking     three and hitting one batter in the 10-0 defeat of the Baltimore Orioles. Why is this ranked     behind Lester’s? Keep reading.

3. May 19, 2008 Jon Lester’s No-Hitter: The reason behind this being ahead of Buchholz’s no-no is because not only was it the first Red Sox lefty no-no since 1956, it was also a     record for Jason Varitek, who has now caught 4 no-hitters, more than any other catching.     Aided by a spectacular catch by Ellsbury and some heads-up infield plays, the Sox beat     the Royals 7-0.

2. October 18, 2004 ALCS Game 5: After going 12 innings the night before, the epic game 5
outdid it by going 14, ending when Big Papi’s single brought in Damon for the win. The Sox     would go on to Yankee stadium for the Bloody Sock game, and as the 26th team in playoff history to
face a 3-0 series deficit, become the first to force a Game Seven.

1. October 17 2004  ALCS Game 4:  The Sox go 12 innings, with a walk-off homer in the 12th. But they never would have gotten there if Dave Roberts hadn’t stolen 2nd and scored     on Bill Mueller’s single, tying the game 4-4 in the 9th. This sparked the Sox comeback,     down 3 games to none, to win it in seven take their first World Series in 86 years.

So there you go, 15 great moments from the sell-out period of Fenway park. Next up: A big time pitching show-down as Rays ace Kazmir takes on Sox stud Dice-K. Should be a great game, with the AL East being given to the winner. (If only for a day) So put on your best Papelbon glare and watch the game!

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Favorite Red Sox Moments of 2007/2008

First, check out these posters, made on the Despair, Inc. website:

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soxwin.jpg

 (click images to see full-size)

And now on to my Top Red Sox Moments of 2007-2008
(these are my favorites so far, share yours in the comment section!)
10. Papelbon and Manny D’s Rain Delay video.(see #5)

9. Pedroia is the “Daddy” of Dancing (see #5)

8. Jacoby Ellsbury Stealing Bases (and a Taco!)

7. Jacoby Ellsbury Defense. He goes for it, 100%of the time. Here’s just one example:

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6. Grand Slams. From JD Drew’s 14-million dollar shot in 2007 to Youk and Pedroia’s firsts in 2008.

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5. Papelbon dancing. (no other description required)

4. Youk’s Wall-Ball Triple

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3. Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis in the mix for AL MVP.

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2. Jon Lester throws a no-hitter

1. Winning the World Series

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Byrd and Boston Soar to Win, but Brady’s Knee is a Big Loss

The Red Sox won. The Rays lost. The Patriots won. I should be jubilant and obnoxiously happy as a write this, but as it stands, I have almost no joy.

According to wire reports from Yahoo and another site (both citing anonymous sources “close” to the Patriots) say Tom Brady has a torn ACL and will be out for the season. However, this is not from the Patriots as of yet, and could be the same “sources” who told the Boston Herald about the Ram’s walk-through being taped, which we all now know was wrong and unsubstantiated. There is no need to panic. I, for one, will not trust a report until it is coming from Bill B or Tommy or someone who I actually can see who said it. How can they know? He doesn’t have an MRI until tomorrow! So unless you have MRI-vision, oh “sources” of Yahoo, then how can you possibly know? Or are you going on the expertise of the Jets players (who are in Miami currently), who watched the play on TV and said he had a torn ACL?

Too much speculation. I remain optimistic until the official word has come down.

Okay, on to baseball.

Papi ended a 19-game homer-less streak. Yay. Lots to smile about here.

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David Ortiz after hitting a 2-run homer. Image found here

Varitek’s average has stayed in the high 220s for over two weeks now. That’s good news for him, it meas he’s probably closer to his old hitting self.

Ellsbury hit one and walked once (a totally clutch RBI hit with 2-out), Youk is back, Coco had an amazing night, and Byrd and co held the Rangers to 7 scoreless innings. The Rays, White Sox, Twins and Yankees all won, which does nothing but help the Sox in their wild card/AL east race.

PS…anyone notice that the Rays have dropped the past 3 games? They come to Fenway for a three game series, probable pitchers: Lester vs. Jackson. The Sox are hitting .308 against Jackson while the Rays are hitting just .250 against Lester. Should be an interesting game, especially with the AL East now squarely on the line and the Rays coming in having lost three, while the Sox come in having won the rubber match against Texas.

Bring on the Rays. God, if you can hear me, please, let Tommy be okay and let the Rays lose this next series.

Hey, God cares about sports too!