Category: Players

De Ja Vu… Ellsbury Comes Through

Two nights ago (8/2/11), the Boston Red Sox won a 1-run game against the Cleveland Indians off a Jacoby Ellsbury walk-off hit that scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Last night (8/3/11), the Boston Red Sox won a 1-run game against the Cleveland Indians  off a Jacoby Ellsbury walk-off home run that scored the game winning run.

These are Jacoby Ellsbury’s first two walk off hits in his career and the come in consecutive games.  Things are clicking for the Red Sox and although the offense cooled down a bit, they are finding ways to keep the Yankees at bay.

The Red Sox hold a 1 game lead against the Yankees in the AL East race.  The AL East has quite a good standing in the MLB this season… 4 out of 5 teams have winning records (Baltimore, of course, being the one without a winning record).

Boston plays one more game with Cleveland before a weekend series with the Yankees at Fenway Park.  This season, Boston holds a 5-1 record against the hated Yankees.

American League East

Team W L PCT GB
Boston 68 41 .624
NY Yankees 67 42 .615 1.0
Tampa Bay 57 52 .523 11.0
Toronto 56 54 .509 12.5
Baltimore 43 64 .402 24.0

 

 

Lester Getting Ready to Return on Monday

Jon Lester threw a bullpen session on his route back to the rotation.  Lester is scheduled to return to the rotation on this Monday at Fenway Park against the Kansas City Royals.  Lester’s return couldn’t come at a better time, the Red Sox are hurting for consistent starting pitching.

Terry Francona said that the team is working at building the left-hander up, and the manager was delighted with how Lester threw in the session. The skipper called it “tremendous” and said the lefty will throw again on Friday.

Lester has been on the DL since July 6 with a left latissimus (near his shoulder) strain, and Francona said the Red Sox will probably hold him back a little Monday, limiting him to 80-90 pitches.

Boston Grasps 1st Place Going into All Star Break

The Red Sox completed the sweep of the Baltimore Orioles yesterday and continued their 6 game win streak into the All Star break.  Boston is 1.0 games up on the Yankees.

Boston players heading to the All Star game include: David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester.  Boston is tied with the 2nd most all stars from one team.  The Yankees have the most with 8.

Boston will hopefully keep momentum on their side and continue establishing a lead between themselves and the rest of the AL East.  After the All Star break, Boston will travel to Tampa and then Baltimore.

Meet Chico Walker – And Get an Autograph

On July 9th, 2011, Chico Walker will be in Autograph Alley for approximately an hour, starting 90 minutes before the first pitch. (Location: Inside the Red Sox Team Store on Yawkey Way.)  This is open for all fans and it is urged that you show up as early as possible to get in line to meet Chico Walker.  Make sure you bring a card, baseball, photo, hat or other memorabilia for Chico to sign.  This will be right before the Red Sox vs Orioles game at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.

Chico Walker spent 4 seasons in Boston to start his career before moving onto the Chicago Cubs, California Angels and New York Mets.  Chico had 20 hits in 81 at bats as a Red Sox player and had 2 triples and 1 home run.  Walker’s career came to an end in 1993.

Red Sox Back Within a Half Game in AL East

Tim WakefieldTim Wakefield and the Red Sox earned a win against the Toronto Blue Jays last night to come within .5 games of the Yankees in the AL East standings.  The Red Sox are 51-35 overall and the Yankees are 51-34 overall.

The Red Sox start a series against the Baltimore Orioles tonight in Boston and it’s a 4 game series that will take Boston up into the All Star Break.  Boston has a great chance to take a few wins from the struggling Baltimore Orioles the next few days and move ahead of the Yankees in the standings.

The Tampa Bay Rays are now 4 games behind New York and are also in the hunt of the AL East lead.  Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox was just named the player of the month for June in the American League.  Although pitchers on the Red Sox are on and off the DL, the Red Sox have found ways to win games and snap the brief loosing streak from 2 weeks ago.

It would be nice to see the Red Sox with a slight advantage over the Yankees in the AL Standings during the All Star break!

Red Sox Going Backwards

After having the best MLB record since April, the Boston Red Sox find themselves praying that interleague play comes to an end.  Last night, the Red Sox lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1.  The Sox finally had an RBI… and who did it come from? John Lackey… go figure!

Boston needs to wake up their bats, get their $h!t together and reclaim first place in the AL East standings.  The All Star game is not too far off and it would be a huge advantage for the Sox if they had a slight lead in the AL East heading into the All Star break.  By the way, have you been voting for Sox players to go to the All Star game?

Boston is now 2.5 games out of first place and only 1.0 games ahead of  Tampa Bay.  Tampa has Boston in the cross-hairs and it would be disappointing for the team and fans to see the team fight back to first place after a dismal start and then fall back to 3rd place.

What this ball club needs is a nice home stand against an AL East team that they are very familiar with… On July 4th, the Red Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.  The Red Sox need to win this series and take at least two games from Toronto. Additionally, Boston hosts the Baltimore Orioles directly after the Blue Jays.  This would be a great time to make up some lost ground.  hopefully the Sox can win 3 out of the 4 games with Baltimore.  This would significantly put the team in a positive direction before the all star break.  We’re looking for Boston to take 5 out of 7 (or better) from their next 7 home games at Fenway.

What could REALLY help the Red Sox though, is winning game 3 against Philadelphia today.  It’s a 1:05 game and it would be really nice to see Boston get their bats going in this one.  Today’s matchup is Jon Lester vs Cole Hamels.  Both pitchers are 9-4 on the season so far.  Hamels’ ERA is slightly better 2.49 vs Lester’s 3.36 ERA.

After today, Boston heads to Houston for a weekend series vs the Astros.  The weather has been very hot in Texas the past few days and I am hoping that this will not hurt the Sox in any way shape or form.  Houston is currently 28-53 on the season, but that doesn’t mean this will be a walk in the park for Boston.  They are going to have to earn every run and work hard for a win.

Let’s go Boston!  Reclaim 1st place before the All Star Break!

Lee, Beckett set to kick off Phils-Red Sox series

The teams were dealing with the talk as far back as March, and it’s been written about since Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez landed in Boston and Cliff Lee returned to Philadelphia. The Red Sox and Phillies are the favorites to meet in the 2011 World Series.

When the two met for the first time this year, at Boston’s Spring Training home in Florida on March 2, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. stirred the pot when he called Boston “the best club in baseball.”

“Anytime you bring that kind of talent to your club, they did a heck of a job,” Amaro said. “They already had a great team except for a whole [heck] of a lot of injuries.”

The Phillies actually won that day, 2-0, behind four innings of one-hit ball from Cole Hamels, but that was just a Spring Training game. It didn’t mean much.

What’s transpired since has been meaningful — the regular season — and if record is the criteria, Amaro has been incorrect thus far. His Phillies have been baseball’s best team. They’re one win away from being the first to 50, and they’re the only club with a winning percentage over .600. Roy Halladay tossed his fifth complete game of the year in a 3-1 win over the A’s on Sunday.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, had a four-game losing streak heading into Sunday and were in danger of being swept by the Pirates. They avoided that with a 4-2 win, but are a half-game behind the Yankees for first place in the American League East.

Now, with a little more jazz than a spring meeting but not nearly the raucous of October, the Red Sox and Phils meet again, this time for a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park that starts Tuesday night.

“I think it probably could be two of the best,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said on Sunday when asked if the two teams are the best in the game.

Manuel could say the exact same thing about the pitchers set to throw on Monday, a duo that easily could headline, say, Game 1 of a hypothetical World Series. Lee and Josh Beckett — both Fall Classic veterans — face off at a time when both are pitching very well.

Beckett, the Majors’ ERA leader at 1.86, tossed a one-hit shutout his last time out against the Rays, while Lee’s tossed two shutouts in a row and has allowed just one earned run in his past four starts, spanning 33 innings.

“Those are fun games to play,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “You go in knowing you’re not going to knock it around the ballpark, but they’re fun games to play.”

The problem for Beckett, though, could be that he hasn’t been out there in a bit. That shutout came on June 15, and the flu has given him 12 days of rest before this start.

Francona didn’t seem concerned.

“It’s not like he’s got a bad arm,” Francona said. “He was sick and it took a lot out of him, but I don’t think that [the time off was a disadvantage]. We’ll keep an eye on him and if he’s running out of gas, but like I said, it’s not like he’s hurt. He was just sick.”

For now, the Red Sox and Phillies meeting is meaningful more to the fans than the teams. “We’re gonna have a nice sellout,” Hamels said. But it could, to some extent, impact a potential October meeting. Any time two clubs get a look at each other, there’s plenty of notes being taken by both sides.

“That’s completely different,” Manuel said of the playoffs. “But at the same time, we get to play them, we get to see them a little bit.”

Red Sox: Francona comes back, again
Francona returned to Philadelphia as an opposing manager for the first time last year, when the Red Sox took two of three at Citizens Bank Park.

Francona, who’s only managed for Boston and Philadelphia in the big leagues, went 285-363 from 1997-2000 with Philadelphia.

With the team in Pittsburgh Sunday — a city Francona grew up outside of — for the series against the Pirates, he was asked how the reception would be different in Philadelphia.

“Well, I didn’t grow up there,” he said. “And they don’t like me.”

Phillies: Like Sox, Phils banged up
Ryan Madson and Roy Oswalt are out for the Phillies, and Brian Schneider has just returned, while the Red Sox have dealt with injuries to Crawford, Bobby Jenks and Jed Lowrie.

Manuel said he was aware of the similarities between the two teams’ injury situations, but wasn’t looking at either as handicapped.

“That’s the luck of the game — go get ’em,” Manuel said. “We’ll play with what we got, and I’m sure they are, too. That’s what we have, I’m sure they feel the same way.”

Worth noting
The Red Sox are 26-17 against the Phillies all time, and took four of six from Philadelphia last season. (source: redsox.com)