It doesn’t happen that often, but on Monday night Josh Beckett was out pitched at Fenway Park. Dan Haren tossed seven shutout innings of two hit baseball to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks past the Boston Red Sox 2-1 in a good old fashion pitchers duel. With the win, Arizona has now won the last five games Haren has taken the mound.
Haren, now 8-4 on the season, was acquired by the D-Backs through an eight player trade last winter with the Oakland Athletics. In the yesterdays win, he was able to use a plethora of fastballs to keep Sox hitters at bay for most of the evening.
“I was pretty aggressive with my fastball, probably more fastballs than I usually do,” he said. “It really wasn’t the game plan coming in. I was just able to keep it down and away.”
Over the first six innings, the Sox were held to only one hit which came on a double by Jason Varitek in the third. The only other runner to reach base during that time was Jacoby Ellsbury who drew a two-out walk in the third inning as well.
“He’s tough. It doesn’t matter who he’s pitching against,” Beckett said of Haren. “There are a few pitchers in the big leagues today that I enjoy watching and pitching against … Haren’s obviously one of them.”
Beckett’s line through six was equally as impressive, allowing only three hits and no runner to reach past second base. It was in the seventh inning that gave the Red Sox ace a little trouble.
To begin the inning, Beckett issued a walk to Connor Jackson. Mark Reynolds followed it up with a one out single to left field. With runners on first and second and only one out, Chris Young belted a wall-ball double scoring Jackson and moving Reynolds to third. Chris Snyder then pushed a ball to the right side of the infield to drive in the second run of the game putting Arizona ahead 2-0.
The Sox were happy to see Haren stay in the dugout to begin the eight inning and were able to produce a run off of relief pitcher Tony Pena. Julio Lugo walked with one out and then Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia connected on back-to-back singles which loaded the bases for J.D. Drew. Drew just got under a Pena fastball, hitting a sac-fly to center field which knocked in Lugo from third to cut the lead to 2-1. Up next, Manny Ramirez had a chance to put the Sox on top with two runners in scoring position but lined out to third base to end the threat.
Former Sox farm hand Brandon Lyons worked the ninth inning for Arizona and retired the side in order on only five pitches to record his 16th save on the season. Lyons was dealt from Boston to Arizona in the Curt Schilling deal prior to the 2004 season.
Boston is currently 1-3 on their homestand after having won 19 of their previous 22 games at Fenway. They still have the best home record in the American League at a 29-10 mark.
Looking ahead, Justin Masterson will try to get the Sox back into the win column tonight going for his fifth win on the season. The rookie has been a nice surprise filling in for the injured Clay Buchholtz. Masterson is 4-1 on the year with a 3.00 ERA in six starts. He has not allowed more then four runs in any of his outings.
Doug Davis will hurl for the D-Backs and attempt to pick up his third win on the year. Davis, who has not won a game since May 23rd, is coming off of two impressive outings that both ended in no-decisions but Arizona wins. Over his last 13 innings of work, Davis has allowed only one earned run while striking out 15.
Tonight’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.
After making it through the top of the 3rd inning, the rains came and washed out the Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals in their season opener. The defending NL Champions were trailing 5-1 at the time the game was called but it will all be erased and replayed at a later date.
The Arizona Diamondbacks still have a bitter taste in their mouth after being swept last October in the NLCS by the Colorado Rockies. Taking the field for the first time since that playoff series, the defending NL West Champions looked very solid in a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Brandon Webb picked up right where the 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner left off pitching 6 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits in route to his first victory of the year. The offensive attack was led by three solo bombs hit by Chris Young and Eric Byrnes in the 3rd inning and the other hit by Jeff Salazar in a PH at bat in the 7th that gave the D-Backs some breathing room with a 2 run cushion. Brandon Lyon recorded the save pitching a perfect 9th inning.
It was a pitchers duel for 8 innings in Chicago at Wrigley Field between the Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers before both teams came to life for 3 run 9th inning performances, but it was the Brewers who would prevail with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings. Corey Hart lifted the Brewers with a 2 RBI double in the ninth that put them ahead 3-0. Closer Eric Gagne came in and suffered his first blown save of the season (surprise, surprise) by allowing a three-run home run to Cubs RF Kosuke Fukudome, the first of his major league career, which knotted the game at 3-3. In the 10th inning, Tony Gwynn Jr. hit a sac-fly that plated Craig Counsell for the game winning run for the Brewers. David Riske pitched a perfect 10th frame and recorded the save.
With 5 runs on 5 hits in the top of the 9th inning, the Washington Nationals turned a close game into a statement win in their 11-6 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies yesterday at Citizens Bank Park. Nick Johnson’s RBI double opened the flood gates for National bats, and the hits just kept on coming as the team chased out Phillies closer Tom Gordon after allowing 5 earned runs on 4 hits and only recording 1 out. Austin Kearns and Lastings Milledge each produced 2 hits and 2 RBI’s for the Nationals in the win. The Phillies were led by SS Jimmy Rollins who went 2-4 on the game with a pair of RBI’s and a HR.
Behind the arm of Johan Santana, the New York Mets captured their first victory of the 2008 season over the Florida Marlins with a 7-2 win. Santana struck out 8 and allowed only 3 hits over 7 innings. The one mistake he made came in the 4th inning when he allowed a two-run homer to Josh Willingham. After the HR, Santana would only allow two runners to reach base. The Mets scored 6 of their 7 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning, led by a bases clearing double by 3B David Wright. Wright went 2-4 with 3 RBI’s for the game. New York’s bullpen worked a scoreless 8th and 9th to preserve the win for Santana, Mark Hendrickson suffered the loss for Florida.
Brad Penny pitched 6 and 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, and the Los Angeles Dodgers back it up with some early runs that would be hold up for a 5-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants. Barry Zito struggled for the Giants allowing 3 runs in the 1st inning and another in the 2nd. He last only 5 innings and was pulled after 87 pitches and allowing 8 hits. The Dodgers runs in the 1st came on a Matt Kemp RBI single, followed by a Jeff Kent two-run blast to deep left-center field. SS Rafael Furcal also added three hits in the winning effort.
The Atlanta Braves came up just short, twice, in a thrilling 12-11 twelve innings game that ended with the Pittsburgh Pirates on top. The Braves mustered up a 5 run 9th inning to tie the game at 9-9 and left the winning run on base. After a few scoreless innings, the Pirates were able to score three runs in the 12th on Xavier Nady three-run homer to dead center field. The Braves made things interesting scoring 2 in the bottom of the 12th on a Jeff Francoeur solo shot and an RBI single by Matt Diaz but stranded the tying run on base to suffer their second loss of the season. Tom Glavine pitched well for the Braves but took a no decision with 5 innings pitched, 7 hits and 1 earned run allowed. Pirates relief pitcher, Franquelis Osoria, pitched from the 10th inning on, and finished the game for the win.
Jake Peavy helped his own cause by going 1-1 at the plate with 2 RBI’s and then made those runs stand up by pitching 7 scoreless innings in San Diego’s 4-0 victory over the Houston Astros. 2B Tadahito Iguchi paced a balanced offensive attack for the Padres with 3 hits on the night. The Astros looked rusty at the plate only collecting 4 hits in the contest, 2 of them coming from newly acquired SS Miguel Tejada. Row Oswalt took the loss for Houston, scattering 11 hits and 3 strike outs over 5 and 1/3 innings worked.
While everyone’s eyes, ears, and …. imaginations have been focused on where Johan Santana would end up, the American League hot stove has been quietly churning. Here is a quick recap of some moves to date. (more)