With Jason Bay on second and Jason Varitek on third, the Sox were poised to make a comeback against the Indians on Monday night. Instead, a ball that seemed like it was headed for the left field corner bounced off of third-base umpire Gerry Davis. Indians 3B Jamey Carroll made an easy play, and caught the scrambling Sox off guard.
Bay, who had seen Carroll grab the ball and throw to home, headed back to third base. Unfortunately, Varitek was barreling to third with his head down. Bay, with nowhere to go, was tagged out to end the threat.
“At that point, like I said, it was already messed up” Bay said to Ian Browne at MLB.com “It was unfortunate. It’s part of the game. Nobody is trying to do that. We had more opportunities later on to score more runs. You can’t look at that as the only chance.”
The other big chance for the Sox was in the Seventh. Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia had both gotten on with singles. Kevin Youkilis hit a high double to score a run, and Bay worked a walk to load the bases. Facing Indians reliever Rafael Betancourt, Jed Lowrie had a chance to give the sox a lead. Lowrie struck out looking, and Mark Kotsay flew out to end the inning.
Lowrie also had a chance to give the Sox a win in the ninth. With Bay on second and Youkilis at third, it would have only taken a base hit for the Sox to walk off with the win. Lowrie struck out on three pitches to end the game.
Baserunners being stranded was the name of the game Monday. The Sox stranded 12, and only managed two hits with runners in scoring position (both by Youkilis). With Jed Lowrie cooling back off, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz ramping up their offense is important with the Sox knocking on October’s door.
Josh Beckett had a less than stellar outing, going 6 innings and giving up 4 runs on 7 hits, a walk, and uncharacteristic 3 hit batters. Javier Lopez, Justin Masterson, and Hideki Okajima combined for 3 scoreless innings of relief with 1 hit and three strikeouts. The Sox still need just one win (or a Yankees loss) to clinch a playoff spot.
Starting Aces 9/23/08 – Cliff Lee, (CLE 22-2, 2.41) vs Tim Wakefield, (BOS 9-11, 4.18). Game is at 7:05pm ET on NESN/WRKO.
There’s still a good amount of baseball to be played in 2008 for the Red Sox (hopefully thru October!) but the 2009 schedule has now been released along with the entire 2009 MLB schedule. This first edition of the 2009 schedule is subject to change but should be accurate for the most part. Check out some highlights for Red Sox in 2009 and start planning your trips to Fenway Park.
Boston Red Sox 2009 Schedule Highlights:
4/6/09 Opening Day vs Tampa Bay Rays – A great way to kick off the ’09 season against new rival Rays.
4/20/09 Marathon Monday Game vs Baltimore Orioles.
4/24/09-4/26/09 The Yankees make their 1st 2009 trip to Fenway Park.
5/22/09-5/24/09 1st Interleague Series of ’09 vs the New York Mets.
6/9/09-6/11/09 Yankees back at Fenway.
7/4/09 Celebrate the 4th with the Sox. They host the Mariners that weekend.
8/21/09-8/23/09 Another visit by those damn Yankees.
9/15/09-9/17/09 The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim come in.
October 2009 – Red Sox Playoffs!
You can view the entire home/away 2009 Red Sox schedule here.
2009 Boston Red Sox tickets will be availabe in Winter of 2008.
David Ortiz’s production on the year is down, in part due to a nagging injury he is playing through. However, he has been heating up as the season draws to a close. In the series against the Rays, Ortiz was 4 for 12 with three homers and seven runs batted in. He provided all of the Sox offense in the final game, and nearly half in the first. With Mike Lowell’s role in the postseason looking more like a question mark, Ortiz’s production is becoming more important for October.
His two homers and three RBI’s on Wednesday were not enough to overcome Time Wakefield’s tough outing. Wake only managed to last an inning and a third, giving up 6 runs on 6 hits (including three homers). Boston’s bullpen got quite a workout, but only surrendered two runs (both charged to David Pauley) in 6 2/3 innings.
The Rays took the season series from the Sox, winning 10 out of 18 contests. Boston hasn’t won a series against the Rays since sweeping them at Fenway in early June. The Sox are currently two games back in the AL East, but have a comfortable seven game lead over the Minnesota Twins in the Wild Card.
After a off day, the Sox travel to Toronto for three games. Then they come home for the remainder of their regular season – 4 against Cleveland, 3 games against the Yankees. The Rays host the Minnesota Twins for four games before going on the road to wrap up their season. They travel to Baltimore for 4 games in three days before heading to Detroit for three to close it out.
For the first time in seven games at Tropicana Field, the Boston Red Sox came out victorious. The Sox scored early and often, roughing up Rays starter Scott Kazmir for 9 runs in 3+ innings.
Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka’s short and relatively sweet outing consisted of 5 innings pitched; 3 hits, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts. The only blemishes on his night were an Akinori Iwamura homer and tossing 101 pitches to 21 different batters through just five innings.
Sox call-up Chris Smith relieved Matsuzaka, and did not fare well. Smith gave up 4 runs on 4 hits in just 2 innings, but managed to get out of the seventh inning without surrendering any more. Mike Timlin and David Pauley threw uneventful 8th and 9th innings to put the Sox back up at the top of the AL East Standings (albeit tied with Tampa Bay).
David Ortiz’s first inning homer got Boston’s offense started. Two batters later Mike Lowell homered as well to extend the Sox’ early lead. With the team’s bats recently cooling off a bit, the Sox offense has gotten a boost from the production of Ortiz and Lowell- both playing through nagging injuries.
Jason Bay continued his success in a Boston uniform, leading off the fourth inning with a solo homer. With Jed Lowrie on, Jason Varitek hit a line drive shot to left; continuing his recent hot streak. Pedroia and Ortiz each drove in a run, and Ortiz hit a second shot to put the Sox up 11-1. Ellsbury hit a two out solo shot in the 5th and Youkilis drove in Chris Carter on a double in the 6th to end Boston’s offensive onslaught.
Tonight Josh Beckett (12-9, 4.10)is matched up against Andy Sonnanstine (13-7 4.47) to decide sole possesion of first place in the American League East.
For the first time this season, the Tampa Bay Rays won a game against the Red Sox at Fenway. Unfortunately for the Sox, they managed to win the next one as well. On Tuesday the Sox gave closer Jonathan Papelbon the ball with a slim lead, and he was not able to hold on to it. Dan Johnson (recalled from AAA just before game time) hit a game tying homer to right, and Dioner Navarro doubled to drive in Fernando Perez and put the Rays ahead for good.
“It’s not going to be my first blown save and it won’t be my last,” Papelbon said to MLB.com‘s Ian Browne. “What can I say? There’s a human factor involved in this thing. We are human. We are going to make mistakes. Yeah, I’m human and I didn’t throw the pitch where I wanted to tonight.”
Although they would not be able to end the series ahead of the Rays, with a win on Wednesday they could enter their off day only a half game behind. The Sox could not muster it.
The first 13 innings of the game went quietly, with the only offense coming from a Willy Aybar single driving in Cliff Floyd in the second and a Pedrioa double scoring Jed Lowrie in the third. Sox pitching combined for 11 straight scoreless innings, but in the 14th Mike Timlin could not hold it together. Mass native Carlos Pena put the Rays ahead with a 3-run game-winning shot. After the Rays’ 14th inning attack, the Sox only managed one run on a Youkilis sac fly.
The Sox dropped to 2.5 games behind the Rays in the East, and 5.5 games ahead in the Wild Card (with the Twins losing to the Royals on Thursday night).
On Friday night the Sox face-off against a Jays team that has won 9 of their last ten games, and are making a run at the Twins’ place in the AL Wild Card hunt. The series may prove difficult for Toronto, who play their second double-header in five days on Saturday.
Starting Aces 9/12/08 – David Purcey, LHP (TOR 3-5, 5.23) vs Tim Wakefield, RHP (BOS 8-10, 4.11). 7:05pm on NESN/WRKO.
The Tampa Bay Rays have had a tough time at Fenway Park this season. In seven games, the Rays have: seven losses, a staff ERA of over 7, and were outscored 49-16. If the Sox manage to sweep the Rays again, they will have a half game lead on the rays going into their day off Thursday.
The big headline going into last night’s game was that the Red Sox broke the MLB record for consecutive sell out games at 456. Since May 15th of 2003 every Red Sox game has been completely sold out. The Sox players and staff who have been with the team since 2003 were honored, and the team set to the task of gaining a game on the Rays.
John Lester pitched like a man possesed, striking out 9 through 7.2 innings; scattering 6 hits and surrendering 3 walks. He was lifted after 119 pitches, and Jonathan Papelbon was sent in to try for a four-out save. While four-out saves and non-save sitations have been like kryptonite to Papelbon this season, on Monday he got one on a flyout and three on strikeouts to nail down his 36th save.
The Sox offense got everything they needed in the Third inning. David Ortiz drove in Mark Kotsay with a double, Kevin Youkilis drove in Ortiz with a grounder up the middle (and got thrown out on a baserunning gaffe), and Jason Bay hit a homer to center. After that, Rays starter Edwin Jackson locked in. He went 7 strong, striking out 6 and giving up the 3 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. JP Howell threw an uneventful 8th inning, and the Sox walked away from the game down only half a game.
Game two of the Sox-Rays series is at 7:05pm tonight, on NESN and WRKO.
Probable starters: Daisuke Matsuzaka (BOS 16-2 2.88 ERA) vs Scott Kazmir (TB 11-6 2.99 ERA)
On Wednesday afternoon, the Boston Red Sox tied the MLB sellout record with their 455th consecutive sold-out game at Fenway Park. However, as the Sox came up to bat in the 7th they found themselves down 4-0. Dustin Pedroia would homer and Jason Bay would be walked in before the inning was over. Bay and Varitek would strike out to end the threat.
The next time the Sox were up, a David Ortiz walk and Dustin Pedroia single were followed up by a monster triple by Mark Kotsay, tying up the score.
An Alex Cora hit and a defensive flub on a Coco Crisp bunt gave the Sox two on with no outs. Jacoby Ellsbury laid down a sacrifice bunt that was mishandled by pitcher Jim Miller, and the Red Sox walked off with the win.
The Sox currently sit 3.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East, with the Tampa Bay Rays in action later against the New York Yankees.
Paul Byrd had a bit of trouble keeping the ball in the park on Labor Day. Fortunately, the fly-all pitcher effectively scattered hits and held a very effective Orioles offense to 7 hits and a walk across 7 innings. Despite homers from Adam Jones, Juan Castro, and Kevin Millar, Byrd kept the Sox close until their 6th-inning offensive explosion.
“I think I gave up one of the longest home runs in Fenway history,” joked Byrd. “I don’t know if it bounced off the Citgo sign or not.”
Dustin Pedroia continued his offensive dominance. He was 2-for-4 with a walk, a run, two runs batted in, and a stolen base.
Jason Varitek and International League MVP Jeff Bailey launched back-to-back homers in the second, putting the Sox ahead brielfy. The Sox would gain the lead back again with a 4-run Sixth inning. A Jed Lowrie double, Coco Crisp single, and two-run Dustin Pedroia single would put them ahead for good.
Javier Lopez tossed a perfect 8th inning for his 10th hold, but Jonathan Papelbon’s 9th was a bit rocky. Papelbon gave up two hits, but managed to strike out two to notch his 35th save of the season.
With Tampa Bay off on Monday, the Sox move up to 5 games behind the Rays in the American League East, and three games ahead of the Chicago White Sox in the AL Wild Card race.
With two outs and men on second and third, Dustin Pedroia had a chance to tie the game with just a base hit. He had been 4-for-4 with a walk in each of the the two previous games. In the series, he had 15 plate appearances: he was on base 12 times, and scored 5 runs. Unfortunately for the Sox, Bobby Jenks got the best of him.
You really can’t complain about a guy who almost had as many total bases in a series as the team he was playing against.
Tim Wakefield got stuck with another hard-luck loss, giving up only 3 runs in 6 innings on 6 hits and no walks, while striking out three. Wakefield fell to 8-9 on the year, with a 3.76 ERA. While Jacoby Ellsbury’s highlight reel play on a first-pitch fly seemed to start the game on a positive note, Jim Thome’s subsequent homer set the tone early.
Manny Delcarmen threw another encouraging two innings of relief, but Justin Masterson had a rough ninth inning, giving up a run on three hits.
Tampa Bay trounced the Orioles 10-4 on Sunday, so the Sox fell to 5.5 games back in the American League East.
On Saturday, Michael Bowden became the second Boston Red Sox pitcher to start his year at AA in Portland, and make his Major League debut for the Sox. First-batter jitters gave way to 5 solid innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and one walk (his first batter faced) while striking out three.
“It’s filling pretty big footsteps, coming behind guys like [Jon] Lester, [Clay] Buchholz,” said Bowden. “Those are all great guys and they’ve made their mark in the big leagues and it’s an honor just to follow them.”
With Kevin Youkilis sideluned with an illness, second baseman Dustin Pedroia filled the cleanup spot. For the second day in a row, Pedroia went 4-for-4, and was intentionally walked when he came up to bat in the 8th inning.
“I never thought I would walk a jockey,” said Guillen, joking about Pedroia’s stature. “I must be the worst manager ever in the history of baseball right now, walking a guy that just came from being on the top of Big Brown to beat the White Sox. Right now, he’s on a roll. This guy right now is on fire.”
The Sox benefitted from 3 RBI’s from new Red Sox Mark Kotsay, and 2 each from Jason Bay and Jed Lowrie (plus one from Jeff Bailey). All 8 of the Sox runs were driven in by people who weren’t on the team as of 32 days ago.
After Bowden left, the Sox got 4 clean innings from the bullpen. Lopez, Delcarmen, Masterson, and Okajima combined for 4.0 innings, 2 hits, and 2 strikeouts to help 21-year-old Bowden win his first major league game.
Tampa Bay came from behind to edge out the Orioles 10-9, so the Sox remain 4.5 back in the American League East.