Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell will be making his first trip to Toronto since essentially being traded to Boston in the off-season. Farrell managed the Blue Jays for two seasons following his tenure as Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-2010. (more)
Dustin Pedroia produced two hits and two RBI’s to lead his Boston Red Sox past the Toronto Blue Jays last night at Fenway Park. The game-breaker came early in the 2nd inning when Jays starter Brandon Morrow couldn’t find the plate, resulting in five walks for the Sox to gain the 6-4 advantage. “There’s something to be said for patience at the plate,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “I know Morrow was having a tough time commanding, but we didn’t go out of the zone and we got some runs because of it.”
Boston ended their run production in the third before holding the Blue Jays hitless through the last four innings. John Lackey let up six runs and eight hits in six innings of work. Hideki Okajima, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon shut the door from there, giving the Sox their 17th win to put them over .500 for the season.
The Red Sox are starting to gain momentum, winning six-of-eight since May 3rd when they hosted the LA Angels. They will take on the Blue Jays at home for two more games before facing a string of away games against the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees. Purchase your regular season Boston Red Sox tickets right here at Ace!
The Philadelphia Phillies and Roy Halladay have recently agreed on a three-year $60 million deal with an extra $20 million option for 2014. This would be the first confirmation of the three-way block buster trade between the Phillies, Blue Jays and Mariners. Philadelphia is planning to send Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee to Seattle in exchange for prospects Phillippe Aumot and Tyson Gillies. The Phillies may also trade outfielder Michael Taylor for Travis D’Arnaud and pitcher Kyle Drabek to Toronto.
Aside from the main scenario, other possible deals have been discussed that would involve the Oakland Athletics. The priorities in the agreements are clearly ace’s Halladay and Lee. With Lee alongside stand-out pitcher Felix Hernandez, the Mariners are certainly in better position in comparison to their AL West rival Los Angeles Angels, who just lost John Lackey to free agency and the Boston Red Sox.
The New York Yankees have decided to end discussions with veteran slugger Hideki Matsui. In the final game of the 2009 World Series Matsui produced three hits and six RBI’s. He is reportedly a physical away from joining the Angels organization. As far as pitching goes, LA will definitely need another spark to keep them in contention for 2010. “We have some guys who can really hold it down,” said Torii Hunter of the current rotation, “but we need a veteran to lead the way a bit. I still think we have a team that’s good enough to win.”
A variety of conversations are taking place just four weeks into the MLB off-season. Ace pitcher Roy Halladay has declared that he will not approve of any trade deals until reporting to spring training with the Blue Jays, signifying his willingness to stay with the Toronto organization until reaching free agency at the end of next season. The All-Star previously stated that he would like to contribute to an already winning franchise.
Jeff Berry, longtime partner of Halladay’s agent Greg Landry, recently released this statement: “One thing is certain – once Roy reports to spring training as a member of the Blue Jays, from that point forward he will not approve or even discuss any potential trade scenario. This will eliminate a repeat of the distracting media frenzy of 2009 for both Roy and his teammates, and will allow Roy to focus on pitching at the exceptional level Jays fans have come to expect.” MLB experts believe Halladay could be swayed to accept deals from either the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, or Los Angeles Angels.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia would like to switch over to the shortstop position if the opportunity arises in 2010. “They’ve asked me if I think I could play shortstop,” said Pedroia. “They’ve put it out there and I’ve told them I’m all for it. I can do it. I can’t wait for (Terry Francona) to call me and ask, ‘Can you do it?’ I can do it. I really want to do it.” Francona experimented with the 2008 MVP at the position in spring training in 2006. He was an All-American shortstop at Arizona State, and continues to take ground balls from the left side of the infield every season.
The Yankees are not offering arbitration to any free agents including Andy Pettitte, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Xavier Nady. New York hopes to bring Damon, Matsui, and Pettitte back without paying the expensive salaries that would come through arbitration. The three veterans collected at least $11 million apiece last season. Check here at Ace for more MLB off-season information!
In last night’s 12-0 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays, only two usual starters took the field last night at Fenway Park. Tim Wakefield allowed five runs on seven hits over three innings for his final regular season outing. “I don’t want to give up on the team, regardless if I’m 60 percent. I feel like I’m needed. The staff has made it clear that I’m needed to be out there, and I’m going to go out there at 40 percent if I have to,” said Wakefield. ”Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough tonight and ‘Doc’ pitched a great game for them.” Doc (referring to Blue Jays ace pitcher Roy Halladay) let up just three hits in his full nine innings of work.
Although Boston hasn’t been looking too sharp this past week, the most important thing for them is to prepare for their potentially long playoff stretch ahead. Manager Terry Francona said after the game that “We’re trying so hard to keep our pitching not only in order, but strong going forward.”
Josh Beckett despite recent back problems suggests that he will be ready to go when post-season play comes around. “Absolutely, I think I’ll make my next start,” said Beckett. “I think if I had to I could probably – I don’t think we’re going to need this – but I could go sooner if I needed to…I think right now we’re just kind of looking at Saturday to hopefully set things up.” Saturday will mark the Red Sox second to last season game against the Cleveland Indians before they take on the playoffs.
Boston will be starting their ALDS series against the Los Angeles Angels either October 7th or 8th (depending on which schedule the AL leading New York Yankees decide to take). The Sox are 4-5 this season against LA but have sent them home in the division series three different times back in 2004,2007, and 2008.
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The Boston Red Sox almost pulled ahead of Toronto late in the ninth inning last night, but closer Jason Frasor had the final say and shut the door for the Blue Jays to win 8-7. The Red Sox have lost five straight but were still able to stumble across the Wild Card spot following a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim victory over the Texas Rangers.
Second basemen Dustin Pedroia is confident heading into October despite their recent drought. “I like our chances,” said Pedroia. “It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you’re in.” Young talent Clay Buchholz didn’t show his best start from the mound yesterday, gift wrapping seven runs and five homers for the Jays in his five innings pitched. Boston was down 8-2 until the eighth inning when the lineup decided to go on a tear to make it a run one game.
The Red Sox now have a few games to gear up for the first round of the playoffs. Before they host the Cleveland Indians for their final regular season homestand, Tim Wakefield will get the call to start against Toronto’s ace Roy Halladay. The veteran knuckleballer is 11-4 so far this season.
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