Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Hello Pittsburgh

So it’s a rainy day and I don’t have much to do before the game tonight so I decided it was time to check out the Pittsburgh Pirates because, honestly, off the top of my head I could only name Dusty Brown and Lyle Overbay on their roster.  A quick glance at their roster and I recognize a few more names but this weekend has all the makings of Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy butchering names and being genuinely confused as to who the Red Sox are playing.

I think it’s easy to write off the Pirates, but keep in mind the Red Sox just lost a series to the San Diego Padres who are, statistically, worse than the Pirates right now.  Since Beckett isn’t pitching, unless they decide to give Scott Atchison a start (brought up today with Michael Bowden being sent back down), the rotation this weekend is Lester, Wakefield and Miller.  We could be in for a long weekend.

On the other hand, it’s interleague play and the Red Sox, well the Red Sox pretty much love interleauge play and I’m going into the weekend with the expectation of a sweep and the hope for at least a series win.  I don’t look forward to seeing pitchers hit (I hate National League rules; I hate them) and having to sit one of the hot bats makes me a little twitchy but these are the prices we pay so Bud Selig can enjoy MLB the way a little kid enjoys Barbie Dolls.

At the very least, I’m looking forward to seeing how many Red Sox fans show up at PNC Park this weekend (and have some friends who will be representing for us!).

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June 24, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , | Leave a comment

Enjoy Another Parade

Earlier this week I was chatting with my dad about the upcoming interleague series and he, who apparently pays more attention to the National League than I do, was lamenting that the Red Sox drew the first place Milwaukee Brewers while the Yankees were going to play the not-so-hot Chicago Cubs.  He worried that the Yankees would steamroll over the Cubs while the Red Sox might have a little trouble with the Brewers.  Yesterday, while watching the Yankees and Cubs with him, he explained that he just wanted the Yankees to lose the first game and the Re Sox to win and then the rest of the weekend would be less stressful for him.

Yes, even with the Red Sox in first place, the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry stresses my father out.  Gotta love him.

So the Yankees losing and the Red Sox winning has given my father comfort with the 2.5 game lead the Sox now have over New York. I’m sure John Lackey was happy he could help my dad out.

I spent the last hour or so of the game at the emergency room last night.  I’m fine.  Might or might not have a piece of glass lodged in my foot (the might not would be, had a piece of glass in my foot, got it out but the area is still irritated to the point it hurts to walk on it).  Hanging in an ER for over an hour, getting x-rays and expecting to get results only to be told “I don’t want to go digging around and mess up your foot”…was disappointing to say the least.  I came out of it with a tetanus shot, some antibiotics and a still pained foot.  But at least I got to watch the Red Sox hammer away at the Brewers while I was waiting.  (Because it was a relatively slow night there, one of the ER nurses kept coming over to ask the score…it occurs to me that women more often than men ask me about baseball and sports in general when I’m out and about.  Don’t know if that means anything but I found it interesting.)

Today’s game has turned into tonight’s game (something I am selfishly happy about because I have plans not related to sports this afternoon and would have missed the game live otherwise) so Bruins fans can take over the city for a few hours.  If you are one of those fans, congratulations, have fun and stay safe!

June 18, 2011 Posted by | 2010 | , , , | 1 Comment

Old is the new good

Photo of Wake courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission

Between the spirited live chat and the great game we got, last night was an awful lot of fun.  Thanks to Tim Wakefield, the Red Sox and all the folks who joined in the chat!

I know there are plenty of folks who think Tim Wakefield should hang up his cleats for good, but I’ve never bee one of those people and last night only reinforces my belief that he is more helpful than hurtful being on this team.  On top of that, I find him extremely entertaining to watch pitch, especially when, like last night, his knuckle ball is moving.

Regardless of the fact that they didn’t sweep, the Red Sox found out this weekend that Aceves and Wakefield filling in for Lackey and Matsuzaka might not be as horrible a prospect as folks thought before the weekend began.  There are definitely reasons to be hopeful!

Once again, though, we have no time to dwell (this time on the good) because the Sox are back at it tonight when the Red Sox hit Cleveland.  Justin Masterson will be on the mound for the Tribe against Clay Buchholz.  I will always consider myself a Masterson fan and every time he takes the mound I hope he pitches well.  Except tonight.  No, I will not be less upset about a loss because it comes at the hands of Mr. Masterson so let’s hope it doesn’t come to that tonight.

Considering adding a few more live chats into the weekly schedule since the chats we’ve held so far have had such a good response.  If you folks would be up for it, I can work something out with my own schedule.  For now, I think the next one will be on Tuesday when Josh Beckett takes on Fausto Carmona at Progressive Field.  Both the Wednesday and Thursday games are afternoon games (Wednesday at 12pm and Thursday at 1pm) and I’m not sure folks will be around then to chat  If I get a sense that folks would like to do it, I might work in a Wednesday afternoon live chat as well.

Being a half a game out of first place after the terrible start doesn’t stink at all.

May 23, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Featured | , , , | 4 Comments

Let’s Go Wake! Live Chat 2011

No time to be glum about one loss…the series win is still in reach! Join us tonight when the Red Sox put Tim Wakefield on the mound against James Russell filling in for Cubs starter and old frenemy Matt Garza (suffering from elbow tightness).

Another Live Chat – Cubs v Sox: The Rubber Game

May 22, 2011 Posted by | 2011, Live Chat 2011 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Morning

I like that even after getting upset during a game I can wake up and think “Yeah, that happened.  On to another game”.

I get that they wanted to rest Bard.  But I hate the idea of not using your closer (when he’s only one of two pitchers available in the bullpen) because you don’t want him in there for a two-inning save in May.  I also don’t get the action of not using Morales earlier than they did.  But the game is over and lost and thankfully there isn’t much time to dwell on it.

Of course, if/when Bard gets into tonight’s game, after our being told he got a couple of nights off to rest him, my head just might explode.

May 22, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , | 1 Comment

All I will say

…is that I’m very disappointed and really have no desire to rehash any part of this game, not even the good parts, as few as there were.  I get one loss after seven wins isn’t that big a deal (and agree with it) but that eighth inning was an embarrassment on so many different levels that I reserve the right to be disappointed with my team once in a while even if, in the long run, this loss means nothing.   I am, after all, human.  So give me some slack because right now I’m pretty annoyed.

I truly hope Marlon Byrd is okay because that scared the heck out of me and looked really painful.

Still Live Chatting tomorrow night…at least they won’t be facing Matt Garza!

May 21, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , | 1 Comment

Not quite 19-18…

I had no plans of being at Fenway this weekend, but got invited Thursday night to Friday’s game and who am I to turn down such a generous invite, right?

Some random observations after that fabulous beat down:

I have never seen so many fans of an opposing team at Fenway.  I read somewhere that there were 1000 Cubs fans there.  I dispute this greatly because there were certainly more than that.  It felt like half the park was in blue and wearing caps with “C” on them.

Not that I’m complaining because for a group of devoted fans that travels this way they were surprisingly polite and very friendly.  For their large numbers, they weren’t heard from much because the Red Sox took them out of the game early but I’ll admit this, during “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” I heard as many fans sing “…root, root, root, for the CUBBIES” as I did “RED SOX”.  It was a little freaky.

Random jerk of the night:  Around the third or fourth inning, a couple shows up and sits about five rows in front of us.  Neither dressed in any kind of team gear except the guy in the couple, wearing pressed jeans and a long-sleeved dress shirt, has a baseball cap on.  The team?  New York Yankees.  I don’t think this applies for all fans, but if you’re a Yankees fan in Fenway when the Yankees aren’t playing (or a Red Sox fan in the Bronx when the Red Sox aren’t playing) and you pull this move you are saying two things:  “Please engage me so we can get in a fight” and “I’m a total asshat”.

Speaking of showing up late…the two seats in front of us were empty most of the night.  Around 9;30, a couple shows up, staring me down and the gentleman says, motioning to my seat, “We’re here”.  It’s a good thing the Red Sox were winning because had I been in a bad mood I’m sure I would have been much more snarky than I was.  “No you aren’t”, I calmly replied.  The guy looked at his tickets and responded “You’re right!” and then went on to tell me how impressed he was that I was so sure and wondered if I was a season ticket holder.  They showed up in what was, I believe, the top of the sixth inning and left after “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”.  What the heck was the point?

I got the anti-nerve wracking game that I requested.  So much fun, I have to admit.  Regardless of how nice the Cubs fans were, it’s always enjoyable to witness your team go crazy offensively.  Jon Lester, struggling for Jon Lester I suppose, pitched six innings and gave up five runs and Scott Atchison (being made fun of by a Red Sox fan a few rows behind me, “Oooh, we’re going to scare them now, we’re bringing in Atchison!”) made (relatively) short work of the Cubs himself.  We didn’t use up the bullpen, unlike the Cubs, and that gives me hope for the next two games.

I didn’t meet one person who wanted to tell me about The Rapture yesterday.  Was a little disappointed.

The game was long but well worth watching.  It occurred to me that National League fans really aren’t accustomed to such long games, although in fairness this one was a bit longer than the average Red Sox game.

Another highlight:  Watching the out of town scoreboard.  Our seats were such that we had the perfect view of it.  Seeing the Mets/Yankees and Rays/Marlins scores while watching our own score get higher and higher topped off a perfect night.  Leaving the park knowing that not only did the Red Sox win convincingly but that they moved to a half game out of first place in the process made the ride home pretty damn sweet.

So today Alfredo Aceves reminds us that as great as things are going for the Red Sox right now, we have the whole rotation issue going on.  That isn’t to say that I don’t think he can pitch a great game, I do.  I just find it amusing that as pumped as I was about everything surrounding yesterday, one of my first thoughts this morning was “Who’s pitching tonight??? Oh, Aceves…”.  Kind of like watching a documentary on the reproductive habits of ants moments after watching Die Hard.

May 21, 2011 Posted by | 2011 | , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Day More (and then no more interleague!)

This man is the MVP of our bullpen right now.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

This man is the MVP of our bullpen right now. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Reading various game threads AFTER the fact last night, this comment from the Sons of Sam Horn game thread is my favorite:

Well, that was painless.

Ellsbury, Cameron, Hermida, Beckett, Matsuzaka, Lowell, Pedroia have all seen time on the DL this season. When Clay Buchholz came up lame yesterday I swear I saw the entire season flash before my eyes.  Sure Lowell and Hermida aren’t starters (although, due to Ellsbury and Cameron being out, Hermida was forced into a starting role for a while) but every injury has an impact on the team.  Which is why I don’t think anyone is complaining about the Sox sitting two games out of first place right now.  With the injuries and the horrific April this team had two games out of first is sitting damn pretty.

I know losing Pedroia is a tremendous blow to the team and the idea of the team without him makes my stomach hurt.  Having written that, the Sox just won a game by two runs using 7 pitchers out of the bullpen.  This team has the wherewithal to win.   Scott Atchison deserves a special mention for coming up big for the team…yet again.   His contributions recently have been life-savers.

4:05pm ET start time for today’s final (thank you, Lord) game of interleague play.    The Freak versus The Mad Bobcat Murderer…promises to be a fun game!

June 27, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , | 2 Comments

Why do injuries during interleague play annoy me more than during regular play?

As of 10:30 this morning I have no idea if Velazquez is getting called up but it's a good possibility.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

As of 10:30 this morning I have no idea if Velazquez is getting called up but it's a good possibility. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

So THIS is the game I’m able to stay up for?

Sox and Rays lose, Yanks win and the Sox are out 3 games this morning.  More upsetting is that Dustin Pedroia injured himself in the game and left the park on crutches.  Initial tests were negative and they’ll be doing more today but it’s a good bet we’ll probably be seeing Gil Velazquez before this trip is over.

June 26 and three games behind with all of the injuries that have hit this team, I’ll take it right now.

In a quote that seems quite unlike Dustin Pedroia, he said he’d be treating his foot in this way:  “ice, elevate it and pray”.  Whether you believe in prayer or honor the Flying Spaghetti Monster, if you’re a Red Sox fan, any positive vibes you can send out to Dustin would work for me.

Red Sox go up against a rookie pitcher today in Madison Bumgarner.  They counter with Clay Buchholz at 7pm ET on Fox.  Yes, once again, Fox messes up Saturday evening baseball for those who aren’t Giants or Red Sox fans or for Giants and Sox fans out of the market.  The only thing baseball-related that I want more than another Red Sox World Series is for the end of the contract between MLB and Fox Sports.

Edwin Jackson made the night not a total wreck by throwing a no-hitter against his former team, the Tampa Bay Rays.  Arizona Diamondbacks fans haven’t had a lot to cheer about and for nine innings and 149 pitches (holy cow!) Edwin gave them a lot to be happy about.  Congratulations, Edwin.  I guess this really is the year of the pitcher!

Maybe tonight will bring us good news about Pedie and a win?  Both would be quite welcome.

June 26, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

"Laser Show…and then some!"*

Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission

Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission

Long, tiring day yesterday.  I made it wide-awake through five complete innings last night which means the score was 6-2 Red Sox when I fell asleep.  When I woke up again, Daniel Nava was at bat in the 7th inning and the Rockies were up  8-6.  I tried, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open.  I, once again, woke up, this time around 4am.  I had shut the television off in my sleep so I grabbed my Droid and tapped on the ‘At-Bat’ app to see the score.  At first glance, forgetting the Sox were on the road, I read it as 13-11 Rockies.  Then I focused my brain and realized that not only were the Sox the winning team but Papelbon the winning pitcher…in 10 innings.

In my early morning fog, my first clear thought was “Papelbon blew ANOTHER save?”.  (I then became happy for the win, especially since I had friends who traveled many miles to watch those games in person and the idea of their having to leave the park in the midst of Rockies fans chanting “sweep” was heart breaking.)

Here is, to my mind, an unbelievable number:  three.  Jonathan Papelbon only has three blown saves this season with 19 save opportunities.  Good lord, it feels like 10.  Just more proof that we all seem to react much more harshly to these types of situations than maybe they deserve, eh?  He’s also only blown back to back saves two other times in his career (one being in his rookie year) but neither of those came in back to back games (they were consecutive appearances for Paps but not games for the team).

As I write this, I’m watching “Breakfast with the Sox” on NESN (the one-hour recap of the previous game) and they skipped over showing the entire game and started up in the 8th inning.  I just watched Papelbon give up the game-tying hit.  I know it ended well (Papelbon so owes both Darnell McDonald AND Dustin Pedroia something shiny and new) but I will say this:  never have I been so happy to have fallen asleep and missed a game where the Sox ended up winning as I am this morning.  Holy cow.

Dustin Pedroia went 5-5 with a walk which included a mind-boggling 3 home runs last night.  His home runs weren’t meaningless home runs in the midst of blow outs either.  His first was in the fourth inning when the score was 2-0 and it started the 4 run rally that was the fourth inning.   His second came in the 8th, a two-run homer that turned the Sox’ one run lead into a three run lead.  Both would be important (as would his walk given he scored a run because of it) but none more important than the last homer he hit…with two outs in the 10th and Marco Scutaro on first, Pedroia hit the second pitch he saw from Huston Street into the stands to give the Sox the 13-11 lead which, thanks to Papelbon pitching a perfect 10th inning, they didn’t relinquish.  Sweep averted, on to San Francisco.

Incidentally, Pedroia waving “Hi!” to the NESN camera following him in the dugout after the homer was priceless and worth staying up for!

Back in June 2007, the Colorado Rockies came to Boston for a three-game series.  It was a midweek, Tuesday through Thursday series leading into the Sox playing the Giants over the weekend.  I was at two of those games, pitched by Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett, and both were miserable losses. The Sox only beat the Rockies in the game that Tim Wakefield pitched (and for the sake of context, the June 14th loss was Beckett’s first of that season) to begin the series.  All I’m saying is, if 2010 ends the way 2007 did – I’ll be quite all right with this particular series loss.

Wake is on the mound at 10:15 ET tonight.  I’m going to have to stock up on the Red Bull for this one (although I really can’t complain…three 8:40pm games instead of 10pm with the Rockies and only one 10pm game with the Giants…I think we can make it!).

*How Don Orsillo followed up the Pedroia homer in the 10th…Pedie would be proud!

June 25, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments