Tim Wakefield threw five scoreless innings before Daisuke Matsuzaka came in for his 2010 debut as the Boston Red Sox went on to defeat the Florida Marlins 6-4 yesterday in Fort Myers. Wakefield was pulled in the sixth after allowing three runs, in total giving up six hits while racking up 5 strikeouts. The 43-year old knuckleballer recently underwent back surgery this offseason.
“Physically, I felt great,” he said. “I think I had a little more energy my last start. Just got tired in that last inning. I think two long innings prior to that, and I didn’t have the sharpness on my knuckleball there in the sixth and they were able to get a couple of runs there. Other than that, I feel great.”
Matsuzaka then took over on the hill to allow just one run in two innings. The 2X World Baseball Classic MVP has also been struggling with back problems and is expected to be back in the lineup two weeks from the start of the regular season. “I thought the biggest thing was that he got out there and he stayed in his delivery,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “I think you’re going to see more come out of his arm, I certainly believe.”
The Red Sox are scheduled to take on the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and Minnesota Twins in Florida this weekend. Opening day is set for Sunday, April 4th at Fenway Park against the current World Champion New York Yankees. All regular season Boston Red Sox tickets are now available!
The Boston Red Sox haven’t wasted any time preparing for 2010 this offseason. The organization recently traded away left-handed pitchers Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez for Florida Marlins outfielder Jeremy Hermida. Picked 11th overall in the 2002 draft, Hermida has earned a career batting average of .265. In 516 total games played he’s knocked 57 homers and 210 RBI’s.
“We still think there’s a good hitter in there,” said Red Sox GM Theo Epstein. “Jeremy is a player who hasn’t fulfilled his potential yet. We were able to acquire him at a reasonable cost to see if he can fulfill that potential with us.”
For the Marlins in 2009 the 25 year old Hermida made just one error out of 205 total chances for a .995 fielding percentage. He was limited to 81 games due to an intercostal strain halfway through the year. Check for more Sox updates during this year’s critical offseason. Boston Red Sox tickets can be found right here at AceTicket.com!
Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci reports that even before the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira, the Red Sox contacted the Marlins about the availability of shortstop Hanley Ramirez. The former Sox prospect has been an offensive force in the MLB averaging about 125 runs, 50 stolen bases, and 30 home runs a season, with a career batting average of .308 and a career on-base percentage of .379. Despite his slightly lower stolen base total in 2008, he hit his career high in home runs (33) and doubled his walk total of the year before. The Sox reportedly offered outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, pitcher Clay Buchholz, and other possible prospects. Talks appear to have stalled, and the Sox would need to offer the Marlins a lot of value to snag the SS and his comparatively tiny (at least to Teixeira’s) 6-year $70 million contract.Boston Red Sox Tickets are available now!
On the same day in which Manny told ESPN Deportes that the he loved Boston fans but that “the Red Sox do not deserve a player like me”, the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Florida Marlins worked tirelessly on a blockbuster trade. The move would send Jason Bay to Boston, Manny to Florida, and Marlins’ outfielder Jeremy Hermida to the Pirates. Bay’s solid numbers would certainly help to fill the hole in the lineup that Manny would leave.
The trade would also include a number of prospects, and possibly cash, so it is nowhere near a done deal yet. A Sox official confirmed that the deal is in the works, but that “This is anything but done”. Manny did not seem optimistic that the trade would be finished.
“If something happens, it will not be tonight,” said Ramirez yesterday. “And frankly, I don’t think that will ever happen. Let’s wait if something happens before 4 p.m. Thursday.”
Even without Manny Ramirez in their lineup, the Florida Marlins are still making noise in the NL East and with the MLB trade deadline approaching, their 7-5 victory over the New York Mets Wednesday night pulls the division race even tighter.
On a day when the main baseball talks revolved around the Boston Red Sox left fielder, the Marlins capitalized on 11 hits and a five run fourth inning to lift them to their 24th win of the season against an NL East opponent, the most from within the division.
Josh Johnson won for the first time in almost two years pitching 6 2/3 solid innings allowing four earned runs on eight hits. The starter who had reconstructive elbow surgery in August of 2007 had not won a game since Aug. 28 2006. With the win, the Marlins are also now 4-0 on his four starts this season.
“Two years, wow,” Johnson said when a reporter told him. “Time flies, I guess.”
For the Mets, it was their first loss in a game that Mike Pelfrey started since June 11th. They had won nine consecutive times with him on the hill, and he had picked up eight wins during that span. Pelfrey was only able to throw 4 innings in this one, allowing five earned runs on eight hits before he was pulled from the game. His display equaled his shortest outing on the season.
With the loss, the Mets drop out of first place in the NL East and find themselves a half game behind the Philadelphia Phillies who beat the Washington Nationals 8-5 yesterday. The win for the Marlins pulls them only 1 game behind New York and 1 ½ games behind the Phils for the division lead.
Members of the Marlins were excited about the win but with trade talks in the air some are also uncertain about their future with the team. Josh Willingham and Jeremy Hermida, both brought up as part of a possible trade, had two hits apiece for Florida.
“You put that aside when you step between the white lines,” Hermida said. “I’ve still got a Marlins jersey on. It didn’t affect me whatsoever.”
If a trade were to take place, and under the collective bargaining agreement with the players union, Ramirez would have to approve any deal before it were to happen but with his recent comments and antics on the field, he may approve anything proposed just to get out of Boston.
The Marlins will now welcome the Colorado Rockies into town for a four game series while the Mets will travel to Houston to take on the Astros for a three game set starting tomorrow.
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)
The Miami-Dade County Commission has approved a measure that may allot $350-$400 million for a new Marlins stadium. The venue would replace the aging Orange Bowl, and would also be partially funded by the team (to the tune of $155 million). If an agreement is reached, it could have a number of effects on the two-time World Series Champions. The Florida Marlins would likely be renamed the Miami Marlins. With a new, more inviting home, owner Jeff Loria would be far more likely to spend money on players that would improve the franchise.
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