Tag Archives: Josh Beckett

It Just Never F#$%ing Ends

After getting Bogared again last night (our third base coach cost us the game when he twice sent runners who got gunned down at the plate and then we lost by one), the Sox are fading fast in both the wild card and the division, which both stand at 6.5 games (the Rays and Yanks are tied). The team is really good, unfortunately the injuries, which officially became ridiculous last night, have kept the club in neutral from day 1.

And now Youk might be done for the season. Last night, Youk left the game after jamming his thumb on a soft liner to short. I, along with what must be countless other Sox fans, went straight to the bottle and straight to 2011 in my mind. Today, however, I am reassured, because even with the lack of success against the bottom feeders of the AL (14-14 against the Indians, O’s and Royals ain’t gonna cut it), this team has a lot of time and a lot of talent to get back into things. So Youk joins Pedroia and Ellsbury (who had best becoming back soon) on the DL, we’ll survive.

"hey, look what I found."

The good news is the return of the Lowell connector. Instead of having to go out and find a waiver wire deal to fill the spot, the Sox happen to have a guy who has a World Series MVP, two rings, and an uncanny resemblance to George Clooney waiting in the wings after going 11-22 with a three homer game on a minor league rehab stint. That’s right, Treebeard is back, manning first base for the time being, and stepping on pitchers throats with impunity.

Beckett takes the mound tonight with the guy who was once thought to just be baggage on his deal playing behind him (along with Beltre and the rest of the usual replacements) to continue his reign of badassery.

Go Sox.

Done.

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This Is Where It Gets Interesting.

Wasn’t that the way this season was supposed to look? In three games the Red Sox starting pitchers (Buchholz, Lackey and Beckett) threw 21 innings, gave up six runs and the Sox won all three games. There was some good defense, timely hitting and a whole lot of badassery emanating from the mound in Anaheim (not L.A.).

Yesterday was Beckett’s turn. Making his second start since returning from the DL, and getting his first win since my birthday (April 10), Becks was solid, throwing seven innings and giving up just the three. It should have been only one, but Jeremy Hermida’s injury was probably to his head, because he misplayed another out yesterday, extending the second so that the Angels could score twice (he also has seven more strikeouts than hits since he got back). Then again if Scutaro (totally unsung hero of the season) hadn’t shown some clutchitude in hitting an eighth inning slam, Dan Shaughnessy and Boston Dirt Dogs (my two favorite flip floppers) would still be declaring us dead.

This team is starting to look like the one that was tearing people second assholes through much of May and June, until both our catchers dropped off the face of the earth and things went all shitty. The defense still sucks, but the pitching is good enough to power through (maybe yesterday was even a sign that MDC and Ram-Ram are joining the party, as the Sox actually won a game without Paps or Bard) and the winter’s fears about the offense are obviously completely unfounded, as the Sox are second in the league in both runs and homers.

So all you bandwagon fans who haven’t been watching the team and therefore driving down revenues and making it harder for them to spend on more players for next year, it’s time to hop back on. The Sox are going to make this interesting, and I can only hope that the Angels get in Lackey’s way again. (scroll down to the comments by Lackey)

Go Sox.

Done.

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God, Just Get Me To Thursday.

I don’t remember if there has ever been an All-Star Break that has been so interminably long (aided by the fact that I was away for the week leading up to it), but that I have been so O.K. with. The Sox are beat to shit, and nothing can do them better than some time off. Sure the All-Star game was fun (no it wasn’t, it was boring and poorly managed, but I’m getting more and more convinced that Bud Selig is a killer robot each day and want to keep him happy), and the NL finally won one, which means that the Sox can sweep at Fenway this year as opposed to some pissant NL town.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a midseason break without some type of list commemorating the first half or looking forward to the second. Seeing as the M*A*S*H unit Sox have limped into the break on pace to win 94 games without half of their team (and still finish third in the best division in baseball history), I’m going to just let all that be and get ready for what’s next. So with no more adieu and without further gilding the lilly, I present to you the short list of things to watch out for the rest of the 2010 Red Sox season.

Dustin Pedroia’s CT scan (Thursday): Seriously, the whole season might hinge on this. If everything goes well, The Laser Show (awesome new nickname from Peter Abraham of Extra Bases) will be off the crutches and back doing something less crutchy this week. That puts a return sometime at the beginning of next month, or knowing our MVP second baseman, the end of July. If this all goes through, our best hitter is back in the lineup with two months to go, we have a gold glover back at a premium defensive position and the sparkplug back in the clubhouse.

If it doesn’t show adequate progress I’m packing up my balls and going home, because that means surgery and see you in February. That’s how important Pedroia is to the Sox.

The Returns of Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, and Victor Martinez (Next two weeks): Beckett is the wild card here. He could power through a rehab start or three and then come in and make the rest of the AL his own personal fire hydrant for the rest of the season. He could come back and do his best Jeff Suppan impersonation, leaving the fans to wonder what that $68 million extension did to him. Buchholz is going to come back from vacation, which is what this DL stint was, not a real injury, and be exactly the guy that he was in the first half and challenge Lester for the Cy Young. (These Two Week DL stints for every pitcher on the staff are truly a brilliant idea). Victor, well, Victor will stabilize the pitching staff because they won’t be throwing to Kevin Cash any more and provide a semblance of normalcy for a lineup that has been missing the three guys at the top. All good things.

Trading Deadline (July 31): Consider this an open letter to Theo, Lucchino, Henry and the rest: Don’t be pussies. Love, the people who pay your bills. This is when we will know if the front office has decided that this team is going all the way, or that this really has been a bridge year and our getting wrapped up in this team was pure folly. If they decide to play the “Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Beckett and Jed Lowrie were our midseason pickups” card then they are pussying out and looking towards next year, but if David DeJesus (my buddy the Reverend’s favorite player) makes an appearance with a B on his cap, and a reliable relief pitcher (or two) strolls in from the ‘pen, then we have ourselves an ownership sponsored contender. Keep an eye on this one.

The expiration date on Daniel Nava and Darnell McDonald (sometime in late August): This may be really pessimistic, but these guys haven’t done it in the past for a reason, and this is when Nick Green melted into a pool of jelly on the infield last season. Don’t get me wrong, these guys have been lifesavers for us and hopefully this doesn’t happen and we get a sequel to The Rookie based on this year’s Sox out of it, but the reality is that there had better be some movement on Ellsbury and DeJesus (yes, I have completely given up on Mike Cameron. He is playing through a lot of pain and not being a sissy about it, but at this point I don’t see him making a significant contribution to the club) soon, or we are heading into one wild ass pennant race with one arm tied behind our backs.

The Parade (early November): Anyone else see a touch of destiny sprinkled on this club?

Go Sox.

Done.

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Beckett to DL, But The Rest of The Red Sox Haven’t Given Up.

Try to tell Youk that the season is over, and he might just stare at you so hard that your head explodes.

I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t watch the game either of the past two nights. I was convinced that nothing good could come from two games in the Bronx after the complete failure to show up in Detroit (but hey, at least we aren’t from Detroit), and of course, there was a Pearl Jam concert to distract me. Last night I was simply demoralized after the testicle wrenching manner in which Monday night’s game ended and decided that my time would be better spent watching Lost.

"Excuse me, waiter? This is not what I ordered. Please take it back and don't spit on my food."

So it is with that said that I am actually starting to believe that this team isn’t just better than their record (they are, and they’ve just been sucking lately; by lately I mean all season) but also has some fight in it. Down 5-0 for the second night in a row, the Sox came back again to take the lead, and this time they held on, even if they can’t prevent runs (Marco is not bad, he’s just suffering from the curse of Nomar). They battled back after losing their $68 million “ace” (on the 15-Day DL with Back Spasms/Sand in Vagina) and with the weight of the previous night’s loss hanging over them.

Clutchitude.

Sure, there’s Mike Lowell becoming a child and asking for his release when he didn’t get the start against Sabathia (a fat lefty) last night over Ortiz, who is only hitting .367 this month, and there’s Timmmmmmay Wakefield, another disgruntled elder statesman of this team, who was not happy about being shuttled to the bullpen, but last night showed me that, no matter how disjointed the clubhouse is, Pedroia and company aren’t going to give up on any game, ever. The fact that Jeremy Hermida turns into David Ortiz circa 2004 whenever he comes up in a big spot has definitely helped (imagine where we’d be without him).

It doesn’t get easier, with the Twins in town (anyone for a rain out and double header?) and then trips to Philly and Trampa before the calendar ticks to June. Two thirds of the outfield is still out, the bullpen is about as reliable as Hugh Heffner’s dick without Viagra and the fans are starting to revolt. There will come a point when this team needs to make a run, and a f#$%ing epic one, but just to see some fight from them amongst the carnage is a good sign.

Buchholz vs. the Twins at 7:10.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Walkoffs Have Style, But Don’t Get Carried Away With Yourself.

That was awesome.

I’ll be the first to admit that the Sox second straight walkoff win, paired with the most exciting hockey game I have seen since the Olympics, was really really fun. This mini-streak, however, is not enough to distract me from the fact that this team is still looking kind of shaky. Tuesday’s Darnell McDonald fueled win did a lot to make me feel better and allowed me to wonder how they (and the Bruins) were going to win, not how they were going to fall apart.

That Was Not Good.

That said, there is a lot to question with how this team is playing. The starters all, except Buchholz, have ERAs above five and a quarter, and Buchholz has given up five unearned in his 10 innings. There have been flashes of brilliance, but nothing as to what we were lead to believe we were going to see this spring. The bullpen hasn’t been sterling either. Bard, Papelbon and Okajima were on point last night, giving up one hit in five innings of work, including two each from Paps and Bard, but beyond them, nobody has really been all that reliable. They all have that Rudy Seanez vibe to them,  and with the offense not exactly lighting things up, they will have far less room for suckitude.

Remind me again why Scutaro is better at $6 million than this guy at three.

The defense, which was supposed to be dazzling and save mad runs for the team, is now tied for 13th in the majors in both fielding percentage (.983) and errors (10 in 15 games). Guys that were brought in specifically for their defense, like Scutaro, Cameron and Beltre, all have errors, and Scutaro has been, in the short sample, another continuation of the curse of Nomar. Just so everyone knows, Alex Gonzalez is hitting .284 with five home runs in Toronto, while still playing his customary gorgeous defense. Ask Buchholz how much he misses that.

O.K. J.D, now all you have to do is bring your average above .150. You Suck.

There are still no guarantees about the offense either. While scoring 15 runs in the past two nights is definitely a big upgrade over what we saw this weekend, J.D. Drew (who responded to my heckling from the stands on Tuesday by coming up big last night), David Ortiz, Mike Cameron and Bill Hall all have sucked, and Pedroia is the only guy on the team who is hitting over .300 (.306). The lone truly bright spots have been Youk’s .358 OBP and .840 OPS (which make his .250 average look much better) and the fact that Darnell is 3-5 with two bombs, four RBI and is slugging 1.800.

Enjoy the past two nights, root for Buck to get some defense and give us a quality start, and have faith. Remember that there is still a lot of work to be done, 147 games to be played, and one first baseman to be pried away from the Padres. Sox play at 7:10 and the NFL draft starts at 7:30 (more on that from SMC later).

Go Sox.

Done.

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Run Prevention Working Out Terrifically, Sox Lose.

Raise your hand if you didn’t see that one coming. Now look around. Everybody with their hands up is either an idiot or a liar.

Of course the first Red Sox error of 2010 would end up costing us the game. Of course the new guy who was brought in to stabilize the shortstop position for the first time since 2004 was the one who made the error. Of course it was on a hit by the most relaible shortstop in the game; a guy who has been at his spot for 16 seasons now.

Your turn.

But lets hold back on the whole freaking out thing. Ortiz is 0-7, Lester and Beckett both have 7+ ERAs, and Adrian Gonzalez is still not on the Sox. These are all problems, but not after two games. I agree that David Ortiz may be done, and that, without him in the five spot, the lineup looks a little flimsy, but two games is not enough of a sample size. That is 1.234% of the season.

Give it time and we’ll hope that this run prevention thing works out better next time. We’ll do the whole thing again tonight at 7, with the new guy on the hill.

Go Sox.

Done.

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2010 Red Sox Opening Day: Just One More Chance to Die in Peace.

Yeah, just walk away with your head down.

It’s taken me a day to process it all, but I’m reiterating my prediction that the Red Sox will win 112 games, as I did when exchanging high fives with randoms in Boston Beer Works (where we ended up after getting denied entrance to the ballpark with our fake press credentials that we had drawn on napkins) once Papelbon secured the final out Sunday night. That’s how excited I am that it’s baseball season.

As for where it stands in the history of Opening Days, I’ll say that it’s up there. We started the day around 5 at Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill, and that was a very good decision. First of all, the place is gorgeous. The two giant TVs above the bar, and the literally dozens of other plasmas surrounding both the big boys and the rest of the place make it so that there is no bad pace to sit (even on the crapper), and they got all of the little touches right.There are jerseys on the wall (the classic four retired numbers), bats frame the TVs above the bar and though it’s named after Jerry Remy, the place is not a shrine to him. The whole main room is open front to back on nice days and you can see the ballpark from the inside.

The staff took care of us very nicely, as we were greeted at the back door (hey-o) by the General Manager, Don, and our server, Curtis, was very attentive, even after the girls left. The food was great, as expected, but what really surprised me was the beer selection. It wasn’t huge, but Don, who put it together, really knows his stuff. There were the regular local favorites and lawnmower beers (even ponies of high life), but there was also a selection of craft brews (like Delerium Tremens and Bear Republic’s Racer 5) that rivaled some of my favorite beer bars. Needless to say that the experience there is one which I highly recommend.

Once the game started, there was nothing I was all that disappointed in. Sure, Beckett wasn’t dominating, but he’s not supposed to be in mid season form, and this is a lineup which grinds you. It also may drive him to be even better as he has to prove that he’s worth his new $68 million extension. He’ll be fine. I also loved that the new guys showed up in a big way. The fact that Beltre, Cameron and Scutaro were all instrumental both in the field and at bat in the win went a long way to make those who doubted their ability to hit calm down, and also got the monkey off of their backs.

You've Gotta Let Your Soul Glow!

All of the other stuff that went on (i.e.the Sox bullpen flexing their muscles while the Yanks’ pen was flaccid, Papelbon’s save, the creepy kid saying to screw the Yankees in the pregame festivities, the power exhibited by Pedroia and Youkilis) was awesome, and having Pedro come back to smile his way in from left field, give the Willy Mays Hayes salute to Ortiz, throw the opening pitch to his old catcher and then hug Johnny Pesky was just tremendous.

Oh, and if you missed it yesterday, apparently Jason Heyward was worth all of the hype that has been spread around him.

7:05 tonight, the Sox are in first place, the Yankees in last, and we get to do this 161 more times. Awesome.

Go Sox.

Done.

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