Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett just recently started throwing for the first time since tweaking his back during a bullpen session in late-May. He threw 42 fastballs off the mound at Fenway on Monday afternoon and hopes to increase his workout regimen from there. Red Sox coaches and trainers are planning for the 2x World Series champion to simulate a few innings during Boston’s away series in Colorado. “He did real well Monday and he feels real well today, so that’s good,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. Beckett will likely be back to 100% by the end of the All-Star break.
The Sox are set for two more games against the Rockies before they travel further west to matchup with the San Francisco Giants. They are currently tied with the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East standings while trailing the New York Yankees by just 1 1/2 games. John Lackey will start on the hill for Boston tonight vs Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez, a five-year veteran is producing Cy Young like numbers with a 13-1 record and 1.15 ERA. He became the first pitcher in Rockies history to throw a no-hitter on April 17th against the Atlanta Braves. Purchase your Boston Red Sox tickets here with us at AceTicket.com!
Ryan Howard hit a two run double with two down followed by a Jayson Werth single for the Philadelphia Phillies to come back in the 9th inning with three more runs, advancing them past the Colorado Rockies to the National League Championship Series. There they will meet the Los Angeles Dodgers with the first two games scheduled at Dodger Stadium in LA. “No one got rattled and no one was worried,” said Werth. “Going back to ’07, we got swept by the Rockies and I think everybody learned a lesson. Everybody knew what we had to do.”
Rockies closer Huston Street was not so happy with his end of the road performance. “We stood toe to toe with the defending world champions,” Street said. “I take full responsibility for there not being a Game 5 and not keeping us alive.” The first NLCS game will take place this Thursday. LA will be out for revenge knowing the Phillies handled them in last year’s series. Philadelphia is now in a good spot to try and earn back to back World Series rings, which was last done nine years ago when the New York Yankees won in 1998, 1999, and 2000.
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Yorvit Torrealba knocked a two run homer in the second inning and from there the Colorado Rockies held on to win 5-4 against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 of their National League Division Series. “It’s huge,” said Torrealba. “Going back to Denver, that was our goal, if we can win at least one game here – and we did.”
Aaron Cook allowed three runs and seven hits in five-plus innings for Colorado. The sinker specialist earned 12 of 15 outs from strikeouts or grounders. “His sinker was downhill and he was really working both sides of the plate,” Torrealba added.
The Phillies came back from an early 4-0 Rockies lead to even the score heading into the eighth inning, when Jason Werth homered to right center for the go-ahead run. The series is all tied up as they make their way to Coors Field in Colorado. Game 2 is scheduled for October 10th at 9:37 PM.
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Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee retired 26 straight batters in his first career playoff start, as Philadelphia went on to win over the Colorado Rockies 5-1 in Game 1 of their National League Division Series. “Up until the fifth, it was one of the better games he had pitched over the course of the month,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “He was really, really on his game into the fifth. He had all his stuff.”
In all nine innings pitched Lee allowed just six hits with four coming from two hitters (Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki). Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, and Raul Ibanez all knocked multiple hits for Philadelphia. The NL East champs will again host the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park today at 2:37 PM. Cole Hamels will get the call to take the mound for the Phillies against Colorado’s Aaron Cook.
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The NL West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers are on a mission to travel right back to the NLCS where they left last season: defeated by the Philadelphia Phillies. With new additions in place along with their solid core of offensive talent, LA is looking for their first World Series appearance since 1988. For their NLDS matchup they will either face the Phillies or the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals have already clinched the NL Central Division and Philadelphia is well on their way to earn NL East Division rights with 91 wins. Whichever team comes out on top over the other (based on record) will likely face the Colorado Rockies, who are on the verge to completely hold on to their Wild Card lead. The other will have to travel further west to Dodger Stadium for Games 1 and 2.
The Cardinals and Dodgers last squared off at the NLDS in 2004, where St. Louis beat them out in four games and continued on to appear at the World Series. The Rockies and Phillies last NLDS meeting resulted in a sweep courtesy of Colorado. Philadelphia made last year’s NLCS against LA a short one, lasting just five games. The National League will definitely provide some sensational competition however the matchups play out. Don’t miss the action!
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The Los Angeles Dodgers are certainly in great shape heading into the remaining weeks of the regular season. With the 2009 playoffs just around the corner, LA has earned the best record in the National League at 88-59. They currently are five games up in the NL West Standings over the Colorado Rockies. So far the Dodgers look like they will square off against whoever notches the NL Wild Card in the first round. The race now favors the Rockies and the San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers organization owes a lot of their success to GM Ned Colletti. After bringing in Manny Ramirez last year, Colletti hasn’t stopped making moves to make sure his club has the proper line up to contend for a World Series.
“When a team plays hard and puts itself in position to win, they deserve to see that you’re trying to get them more tools to win,” said Colletti. “When a quality person like George Sherrill or Jim Thome walks in the clubhouse, players recognize that ownership and the front office are acknowledging what you’ve done.”
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No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals have just agreed to a $15.1 million four-year deal. The San Diego State right-hander set the mark for the most money guaranteed to a drafted player. The record was previously held by Mark Prior, who signed a five-year $10.5 million contract with the Chicago Cubs in 2001.
Strasburg is very excited to suit up in a Nationals uniform. “It feels awesome. I got a little nervous there for a while that it might not happen, but I feel very blessed,” he said. “I’m not sure of the plan right now. They said they’d bring me up for the media. They said to take my time to get ready. It’s an amazing feeling. I really wasn’t sure if it was going to happen, but I’m glad it did.”
Strasburg will receive a $7.5 million signing bonus with $2.5 million paid 15 days after approval of the contract, $2.5 million paid in January 2010 and another $2.5 million paid in January 2011. With Strasburg officially on board along with other young prospects, the Nationals have a lot to look forward to in the future. The 2009 Nationals are scheduled to play the Colorado Rockies tonight at 7:05 pm.
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Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki hit for the cycle +1 with 7 RBI’s in last night’s 11-5 win over the Chicago Cubs at Coors field. His perfect game from the batter’s box marks the fifth cycle in Rockies history. Tulowitzki also joined the most private club, as he and former Red Sox shortstop John Valentin are the only players in MLB history with an unassisted triple play and a cycle during their careers.
Tulowitzki had covered every type of hit but a triple going into his fourth at bat. He hit a frozen rope down the third base line, which left-fielder Alfanso Soriano could not cleanly handle. He then bobbled the ball in the corner and the relay throw went passed third as Tulowitzki awkwardly slid in. Despite the over throw the official mark was a triple. Tulowitzki said he probably wouldn’t have went for third if it wasn’t for right-fielder Brad Hawpe’s encouraging words. “He was like, ‘You know how many chances in your career that you’re going to get to try to get a cycle?’ He said, ‘One, and it’s this one.’ I said, ‘What if I’m on second and the ball’s coming?’ He was like, ‘You’ve still got to go,’” said Tulowitzki.
Tulowitzki and the Rockies will next face the Pittsburg Pirates; the first game starting tonight at 8:40 pm. Colorado Rockies tickets are now available!
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)
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