Dempster (0-0) v. Pettitte (0-0)
Just a warning going into this, I am extremely tired and not in the greatest of moods, plus all my energy went into the Iglesias article, which you should probably read over this, so this may be complete garbage. After all I just started off with a run on sentence so odds are my prediction will be correct. If only my baseball projections were this good. I also realize I don’t have the lineups. That is because I’m too tired and lazy to find them and make sure I have them correct. It also adds to the overall crappiness of this review which is what I’m striving for today. Anyways, you can forget my rant and just read the review.
Ryan Dempster made his first start as a member of the Red Sox today. He started off a little shaky, getting into a lot of deep counts, but he was able to settle down I the later innings. During his shaky stretch was when the Sox fell back. After giving up a lead off single to Travis Hafner, it appeared Dempster was going to get out of the inning without any damage. Then he allowed a two out ground rule double to Eduardo Nunez setting up second and third with two outs for former Red Sox Lyle Overbay. Overbay came through with a bloop single that scored both runners giving the Yankees their first lead of the season. The next inning Dempster would give up a solo shot to Brett Gardner to put the Sox down 3-0. After that Dempster really settled in, only allowing one more hit for the rest of his outing. Dempster would end up lasting only 5 innings giving up 3 runs on 5 hits with 4 walks and 8 strikeouts. One good thing I picked up watching Dempster, was that his splitter is filthy. More than once he got guys to chase it in the dirt. Next into the game was Junichi Tazawa. He pitched a scoreless 6th allowing just one hit. After him Clayton Mortensen came into the game. He pitched decently over two innings. He only made one bad pitch which ended up becoming a solo shot for Francisco Cervelli. Overall the Sox pitching wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either.
Andy Pettitte looked like vintage Andy Pettitte. He dominated the Sox for 8 innings allowing just 1 run on 8 hits. The key for Pettitte was the 3 double plays he got the Sox to ground into. It killed any momentum they had each time. He did have one blemish on his otherwise great outing though. In the 7th, Will Middlebrooks strated a little two out rally with a single. That was followed by a Jackie Bradley Jr. double which scored Middlebrooks. At first sight it looked like he had his first bug league homer, but instead he settle for his first double. Then came David Ross with a chance to cut the Yankees lead to 1. He hit a shot to left center field and I was sure the game was tied. Then the ball fell harmlessly into the glove of Brett Gardner and the inning was over. In the 9th Mariano Rivera took over in his first appearance of his farewell tour. He started off with a rare walk to Dustin Pedroia but he got Mike Napoli to fly out next. Then things got interesting. Johnny Gomes ripped a double into left setting up second and third with only one out for the tying run, Will Middlebrooks. Unfortunately, Middlebrooks would ground out to first, but it did knock in a run. This left the game in the hands of Jackie Bradley Jr. And on the 0-2 pitch Rivera caught him looking to end the game.
All in all it was a disappointing game for the Sox because they missed so many chances. Had they just come through on one more then they could’ve pulled it off, but you can’t change things now.
Player of the Game: Andy Pettitte 8 IP 1 ER 1 BB 3 SO
3 games down, 159 to go
Clay Buchholz (0-0) v. Hiroki Kuroda (0-0)
Red Sox Yankees
Ellsbury CF Gardner CF
Nava DH Suzuki RF
Pedroia 2B Cano 2B
Napoli 1B Youkilis 3B
Saltalamacchia C Hafner DH
Middlebrooks 3B Overbay 1B
Victorino RF Wells LF
Bradley Jr. LF Nunez SS
Iglesias SS Stewart C
So after my first lame attempt at recapping the game, I’m back at it again! As you can see I’ve added the starting pitchers and the lineups as well. I’ve got 162 chances to make this as good as possible, so I hope to find neat ways to make these reviews more interesting and cool. So without further adieu here is my wonderful review.
The Sox jumped out early against the Yankees tonight, grabbing a 1 run lead off Hiroki Kuroda in the first off of a Jarrod Saltalamacchia single. Then disaster struck for the Yankees in the second when Kuroda took a Shane Victorino line drive off of his pitching hand. Kuroda would stay in the game, but he proceeded to hit Jackie Bradley Jr., load the bases and then hit Daniel Nava to score a run for the Sox. That would end Kuroda’s day after an inning and a third. The Yankees then brought in Cody Eppley who got Dustin Pedroia to ground in to a inning ending double play. It appeared as if they had avoided any danger, but then the the third inning rolled around and Eppley faltered. It looked like it was going to be a quick inning after getting two outs and allowing just one single. Then Victorino singled in Salty and stole second. Then JBJ knocked him in on his first career hit. The Sox would score two more runs that inning off a Jose Iglesias double and a Jacoby Ellsbury single. The Yankees then turned to Adam Warren who ended up going five and a third innings out of the pen allowing just one run.
As for the Sox’s pitching, it started off very well. Clay Buchholz dominated the Yankees for 7 innings allowing just one run. Unfortunately after he departed things took a turn for the worse. Andrew Miller was the first to relieve Buchholz and his command was lacking a bit. He faced just two batters; hitting one and getting the other to line out. Then it was Alfredo Aceves’ turn to take over. He wasn’t bad, but he threw one bad pitch to Vernon Wells and it became a 3 run ballgame. In the ninth Joel Hanrahan came in for his first save opportunity as a Red Sox. It was a stressful inning, probably because of the long at bats and the simple fact that it was ninth inning. In the end Hanrahan picked up the save and the Sox won the game.
All in all it was a good game. Buchholz looked like his old self and the bats came to life. This lineup looks like it could be incredibly efficient and score a lot of runs this year. Maybe it’s the Moneyball get on base theory, maybe it’s the chemistry, or maybe John Farrell’s just a genius. Either way I’m excited for this season.
Player of the Game: Clay Buchholz 7 IP 1 ER 2 BB 4 SO
2 Games down 160 to go
I’ve decided this year I’m going to try to review every game this year. Unfortunately, with 162 games, coupled with my laziness, in all likelihood that won’t happen. I’ll try to get off to a good start and we’ll see how far I get. Today was Opening Day for the Red Sox and they were in New York to take on the Yankees. There was plenty of interesting story lines to go along with this game as well. For starters it was Red Sox Yankees which is always exciting, then there was Kevin Youkilis’ first game as a Yankee and first against the Sox as a Yankee. There was also the big league debut of Jackie Bradley Jr. We also got a look at the decimated Yankee lineup and the new look Red Sox minus David Ortiz and Stephen Drew. As you can see there was a lot going on in this game like any other Red Sox Yankees match up.
As for the game, the Sox got off to a hot start and never looked back. They were able to get to C.C. Sabathia early and rallied for 4 runs in the second inning keyed by a Jackie Bradley Jr. walk and hits by Jose Iglesias and Shane Victorino. After that Sabathia was able to settle in and lasted 5 innings giving up just those 4 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks. Jon Lester was better, but not by much. He too only lasted 5 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. Most of his trouble came in the 4th where allowed the two runs off of 2 out 2 RBI single by Francisco Cervelli.
With the starters not going deep into the game we got a good look at both teams bullpens. Each team used 5 relievers over the last 4 innings. For the Sox, we got our first look at Koji Uehara and Joel Hanrahan for the first time in a Red Sox uniform. The Sox’s bullpen was phenomenal, allowing just 1 hit in four shutout innings. Unfortunately for the Yankees, their pen wasn’t as great. They allowed 4 runs on hits in their 4 innings of work. The one who really struggled was Joba Chamberlain. He came in in the 9th trying to hold the Sox lead at 3, but he ended up doubling it. He really struggled with his command and when he did get in the zone it was very hitable. He even had to be consoled by his good friend and now teammate Kevin Youkilis.
Every hitter, with the exception of Mike Napoli, got on base. Jackie Bradley Jr., although he failed to get a hit, he still made a huge impact. He walked 3 times, drove in a run, and made a great catch in left. Not bad for his MLB debut. Jose Iglesias surprised with 3 hits, even though he never got the ball out of the infield. The top of the order was very productive, with Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino, and Dustin Pedroia combining for 8 hits and 6 RBIs. If the lineup can produce like this every night the Sox will be fine. Obviously you can’t expect 8 runs every night, but you can expect guys to grind out at bats and get on base.
All in all, the Sox came through with a 8-2 victory in John Farrell’s Red Sox managerial debut. The win went to Jon Lester and the loss to C.C. Sabathia. The Sox now lead the series 1 game to none.
Player of the Game: Jacoby Ellsbury 3 for 6 3 RBIs 1 3B
1 game down 161 to go
Today New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera announced that this year will be his final season. Rivera has spent the entirety of his 18 year career with the Yankees and holds the Major League record for saves with 608 and the postseason record of 42. He’s also the last player to ever wear the number 42, which was retired by every team for Jackie Robinson. Since Rivera was already wearing 42 when the number was retired he and Mo Vaughn were allowed to continue to wear it. Vaughn has since retired leaving Rivera as the lone wearer of 42 left in baseball. He’s widely regarded as the greatest closer to ever play the game and has left a major impact on the game.
I know this is a Red Sox blog and I’m supposed to hate the Yankees, you can’t help but respect what Rivera has done throughout his career. In my opinion he is the greatest closer of all time and I think it’ll remain that way for a long time. I for one seem to identify the number 42 with Rivera more than Robinson, but that’s partly because I’ve seen Rivera play and Robinson had already passed away by the time I was born. If he didn’t play for the Yankees I’d root for him to have a successful farewell tour, but sadly that’s not the case and I’ll be hoping he blows every save.
- Farewell by the numbers for Mariano Rivera (espn.go.com)
- It’s Official: Mariano Rivera Will Retire After This Season (sportsgrid.com)
- Source: Yankees’ Mariano Rivera to retire after 2013 season (newsday.com)
- Yankees’ Mariano Rivera says 2013 season will be his last (newsday.com)
- Mariano Rivera To Retire After This Season (themercyrule3.wordpress.com)
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.
First of all Happy Fourth to you all, as we all celebrate our countries birthday. Sadly, it was not a happy day for the Sox. The Oakland A’s completed a 3-game sweep of the Sox. And now on to the news from today.
After last nights loss to the A’s, the Sox did exactly what I said they wouldn’t. That was option Clayton Mortensen to AAA and recalled Justin Germano. He’s pitching fairly well in Pawtucket in 16 starts. With Morales working out of the pen today and scheduled to start in the series against the Yankees, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Germano take on the Yankees at some point.
Speaking of the devil, one of our own has joined the dark side. Darnell McDonald was claimed of waivers by the New York Yankees. He’ll join the team tomorrow for the series against the Red Sox. This move makes almost no sense as the Yankees already have a plethora outfielders who have all played better than McDonald. He may be a slight upgrade defensively to some guys, but not enough to want to play him over anyone. He also adds a little speed to the bench too, but not enough where they’d be compelled to DFA a reliever and overcrowd the bench. So what I’m getting at is this isn’t a baseball move, it’s just a big F U to the Red Sox from Brian Cashman. I wish Darnell the best, but I just hope he doesn’t help the Yankees too much.
I know this a little late, but Darnell McDonald has been designated for assignment. He’ll likely suffer the same fate as Marlon Byrd without the suspension. He was a decent fourth outfielder for the past few years, but it was his time to go. With Kalish and Nava surprising everyone with their play he got pushed out. Although I thought Mortensen would get sent down, but he would’ve only lasted a few more weeks if he had stayed with Crawford and Ellsbury returning soon. I would have never guessed he would’ve lasted with the team as long as he did when he first came up. He’ll be missed in the clubhouse and by fans across Red Sox Nation, but it was his time.