Aceves (0-0) v. Tillman (0-0)
In the series finale Aceves was making his first start of the year. It didn’t start off so well for Aceves. He gave up a run in the first, but the Sox were able to respond in the third scoring 2 runs to take their first lead of the night. Aceves had seemingly settled in until the fifth where he gave up a two out single to Adam Jones which scored Manny Machado from second.
After that the bullpens took over for both teams. Clayton Mortensen came in for the Sox and got on a roll. He retired the first 5 batters he faced, but the sixth batter was different. He allowed a 2 out single to Manny Machado. With the lefty Nick Markakis coming up, John Farrell did the logical thing and brought in the lefty Andrew Miller. Miller would end up walking Markakis and that would be all for him. Farrell then turned to Koji Uehara to face Adam Jones. Jones would get another 2 out RBI single to give the O’s the lead. The lead would hold and the Orioles would win 3-2.
It was a dissapointing game. They had a some opportunities that they could have cashed in on, but all they were just beat by good pitching tonight. And when the other teams pitching is on, there isn’t much you can do except pitch better. Unfortunately the Sox were unable to do this and ended up on the losing end of this game.
Player of the Game: Adam Jones 2 for 5, 2 RBIs
9 games down 153 to go
Dempster (0-1) v. Arrieta (0-1)
Today was Ryan Dempster’s first home start in Fenway Park. Unfortunately the weather didn’t want to cooperate much. The game didn’t start off too well. He gave up a single to start the game and miscommunication between Ellsbury and Victorino led to second and third with no outs. Dempster got out of the jam only allowing a run, but it put the team behind nevertheless. He then looked to settle in until the fourth when he gave up a homer to Nick Markakis and Adam Jones scored on a Jackie Bradley Jr. error. Dempster’s day would end after the fifth due to a rain delay.
On the other side Jake Arrieta struggled with his command. His pitches were all over the place, but he was able to get outs with his pitches that did find the strike zone. His first issues arose in the second after he gave up a 2 out walk to Daniel Nava, Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled off the Monster to score Nava from first. The Sox would then strike for 2 more the next inning to take the lead, but that was short lived as the Sox faltered in the fourth as I mentioned earlier. All in all Arrieta walked 4 and gave up 3 runs in 5 innings. His start was also cut short due to the rain.
Coming out of the rain delay, the game was tied and former Oriole, Koji Uehara, took the hill. He delivered a solid 1,2,3 inning. Then Tommy Hunter took over for Arrieta and proceeded to let up back to back homers to Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia giving the Sox a 5-3 lead that would until the ninth.
In the ninth Farrell handed the ball to closer Joel Hanrahan, who was looking for career save 100. He started the ninth the same way he did on Monday, with a home run. I was sitting there thinking, “Is he trying to do his best Papelbon impression and give us all a heart attack every night?” He then got the next two batters out and I relaxed a bit. Then Ryan Flaherty stepped up to the plate looking for his first hit in his 18th at bat. Of course he pokes it through the hole between short and third. Then pinch runner Alexi Casilla stole second and Nolan Reimold walks. Then Nate McLouth stepped in and on a 2-2 count Hanrahan threw a pitch in the same spot that had been called a strike earlier that at bat, and it was called a ball. I was outraged. It was clearly a strike. Then the next pitch could of gone either way, but unfortunately it went in favor of Baltimore. Then phenom Manny Machado comes to the plate bases loaded in a one run game. Then the worst possible thing that could have happened, happened. Wild pitch. Game tied. Now Hanrahan just needs to get us to the bottom of the ninth, but the next pitch is crushed for a 3 run homer to make it an 8-5 game. Andrew Miller came in after and finished the inning. Jim Johnson would come in for the O’s. He has a 1,2,3 inning and the Orioles win.
This was the biggest disappointment thus far, but these games happen, but Hanrahan worries me. I fear this could be a trend and that’s the last thing we want. Hopefully I’m wrong and he’s as dominate as he was in 2011.
Player of the Game: Jarrod Saltalamacchia 3 for 4, 2 RBIs, 2 2B, HR
8 games down 154 to go
Buchholz (1-0) v. Chen (0-0)
The Sox held their home opener today at Fenway Park and it did not disappoint. There was a great pitching duel and an exciting finish to the game.
If you’re one of those people you hate pitching duels and only love offense, you would’ve hated this game. Clay Buchholz and Wei-Yin Chen both had their best stuff going for them today and when those guys are on it’s a fun game to watch. I think Chen is probably the most underrated pitchers in all of baseball. Last year as a rookie out of Japan he quietly became the best pitcher on the Wild Card winning Orioles pitching staff. Regardless, he showed all of his best stuff today and showed he has a very bright future. Unfortunately for him, Clay Buchholz matched him stride for stride. After 6 innings the game remained tied at 0-0. Neither pitcher would even blink. In the seventh, Buchholz started the inning off with a walk to Matt Weiters. After that though, he set the side down in order. Then came Chen’s turn to match yet another masterpiece of an inning by Buchholz. It looked like it was going to start well for Chen. He got Dustin Pedroia to ground to short, but Pedroia beat J.J. Hardy’s throw to first. Then Mike Napoli ripped a double off the center field wall that could have sworn was gone. So that left second and third no outs for the Sox’s hottest hitter, Will Middlebrooks. Then on the seventh pitch of the at bat with a 2-2 count, Middlebrooks waved at a pitch way outside. Chen had climbed one huge hurdle, but he was still 2 outs away from getting out of the jam and in stepped Daniel Nava. On the third pitch of the at bat, Nava found a pitch, middle in, that he liked and took a rip. And there it went. Right over the Monster. 3-0 Red Sox. That spelled the end of the day for Chen.
Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth. Sox still hold a 3-0 lead and the closer Joel Hanrahan comes in. Things didn’t start out so well for Hanrahan. Adam Jones took him deep to put the Orioles on the board for the first time. Then he settled in retiring the next 2 batters and was one out away from closing out the home opener. But Hanrahan had to channel his inner Papelbon. J.J. Hardy gave them some life doubling to bring the tying run to the plate. Hanrahan then got Ryan Flaherty to pop out in foul ground and the Sox won.
Player of the Game: Clay Buchholz 7 IP 0 ER 8 SO
7 games down 155 to go
It’s been a little over 3 weeks since I last made a post, but now that the offseason is about to begin and there’s finally something positive to talk about. First, though, there is some negative news. As all of you probably know the Red Sox have fired manager Bobby Valentine. After the second worse season (record wise) change appeared to be necessary. the interviewing process for a new manager has already begun with Dodgers first base coach Tim Wallach. Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, Orioels third base coach and former Red Sox bench coach Dermarlo Hale, and Yankees bench coach Tony Pena are all schelduled for interviews for the posistion as well. There’s likely a number of people that will also be thrown into the fray such as Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont, who was also a finalist for the managerial position as well.
Hopefully this year Larry Lucchino will step back a bit and allow Ben Cherrington to pick his own manager this year so that there isn’t that same discord between the manager and the front office and ownership as there was this year with Bobby V. Also it’d be helpful if this manager is allowed to pick his own staff so that he doesn’t feel undermined by the staff again like Bobby V was. All in all what I’m saying is that the process was heavily flawed last year and it played out very poorly in front of our eyes. This year there should be major changes in the way the team goes about picking the next manager.
It’ been three weeks since I’ve last posted on here, so I thought I’d do a brief post on the state for the Sox. The best news I got is that this season is almost over. We can finally move on from this train wreck of a season and hope for a good offseason.
This September hasn’t been much better than lasts. The only difference is that the our playoff chances aren’t disappearing right before our eyes. Those were lost awhile ago so it really didn’t matter now. Ever since that horrid road trip, the Sox have been hard to watch. There isn’t much good going on, but there’s a whole lot of bad. Speaking of bad that pretty much defines Alfredo Aceves right now. When your team loses the last eleven games you’ve pitched in, you know somethings not right. He’s not the only one struggling, but he struggling more than anyone else right now.
Bobby Valentine’s tenure as the manager of the Boston Red Sox is also almost over. It’s almost a foregone conclusion that his time is up. The teams failures weren’t entirely his fault, but he did play a role in them. All in all, he’s getting way too much of the blame, but when there’s no respect given to you should your time is up. I would of liked to have seen Bobby V succeed, but it wasn’t meant to be I guess.
Well that’s all I really got to say about the wonderful Boston Red Sox.
Yesterday the Cleveland Indians designated former Red Sox starter and closer Derek Lowe. Within the next two days we’ll find out whether he’ll be traded or released by the Indians. It’s pretty safe to say he’ll be traded, because there’s interest from the Red Sox and Orioles. Now his history with the team draws fans to want him, but his numbers scare others away. There has been a need for a starting pitcher and Lowe fits the bill, but is a struggling sinkerballer the right fit. Aaron Cook’s sinker hasn’t solved any problems, so should we believe that Lowe’s sinker could save this season?
As with everything there’s a positive and a negative. I’ll start with the positives. The first thing is that he fills a need. Beckett could miss time, Cook has faltered, and Doubront may need to be shut down so a starter is needed. Derek Lowe obviously fits that, so he could be an option. He would have no problems with the Boston media, because he’s lived with it before. Also he says he just needs a slight tune up and he’ll return to his early season form, which was pretty damn good. If he’s correct about that he’d provide a huge lift to the struggling pitching staff.
Now on to the negative. He might be done. Simple as that. He was one of the top pitchers in Cleveland’s rotation, but then everything went down hill. Guys have been hitting him and hitting hard. Since June 1st he’s had a .350 batting average against him and an ERA over 8 with a record of 1-7. Overall he’s 8-10 with a 5.52 ERA which isn’t good by any means. If he has something left in the tank he could be worth something, but there’s a convincing case against him saying that he’s done.
If I had my say I’d take a shot on a Red Sox legend and try to get him back in shape. I know many fans would disagree, some more strongly than others, but I believe he’s worth something. I don’t think the PR wizards that is the Red Sox front office let this opportunity. So I think there’s a very high likely hood that he’ll be back in Boston very soon.
I wasn’t able to do my first week ahead yesterday, but today I’ll get it done.
Sunday: Loss at Blue Jays 5-1. L:Bard W:Hutchison
Monday: MLB Draft first round. Red Sox have picks 24 and 31 in the first round.
Tuesday: Orioles at Red Sox. Hammel (6-2 3.06 ERA) vs. Lester (3-4 4.79 ERA) A chance for Lester to bounce back and the Sox can close in on a struggling O’s team.
Wednesday: Orioles at Red Sox. Chen (4-2 3.75 ERA) vs. Beckett (4-5 4.26 ERA) Another chance to close in.
Thursday: Orioles at Red Sox. Matsuz (5-5 4.41 ERA) vs. Buchholz (5-2 6.58 ERA) Same as the other two games, trying to move up in the division.
Friday: Nationals at Red Sox. Starters TBD. Second interleauge series of the year; chance to make a statement against a young up and coming team.
Saturday: Nationals at Red Sox. Starters TBD. Another statement game.
This week is a good chance to move into the top 3 in the division. Prediction 3-3 record for the week.