Last night is what they call a good sports night in Boston. Red Sox (with Tim Wakefield on the mound) won again, then the Bruins won the Eastern Conference finals and are now on their way to the Stanley Cup finals and, to top off the night, the Yankees lost, helping to bump the Red Sox into sole possession of first place in the American League East. It almost sounds like fiction, having everything align so perfectly in one night, but it isn’t…it happened and we get to bask in the glow if only for one day (it will be more than one day but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).
Sadly, I didn’t see one moment of last night’s Sox game, only got to see the last period of the Bruins game and missed the Yankees game altogether. Sometimes life gets in the way of sports, which is okay. They can win without me once in a while, I don’t mind!
Because I usually don’t give much thought to what time the games begin unless I’m planning a live chat, I didn’t discover until this morning that Fox has, yet again, made it difficult or impossible for out of town fans to watch tonight’s Red Sox game. I’ve been icing and resting the arm and this morning as I type this it feels a lot better than it has…so I am tentatively scheduling a live blog/chat for tonight. As long as my arm holds up, we’ll be here for Buchholz v Oliver at 7:00 tonight. This one, while it will include the same chatty banter as usual, will include (from me) more legitimate game updates live blog style for those who won’t get to see the game…join us won’t you?
Today is a good day to sit inside and watch a baseball game! At least it is where I live. Ice cold rain pouring down and wind whipping all around – I’m ready to settle in and watch Clay Buchholz pitch against the Pirates at 1:05pm (on NESN!!! Also on MLB.tv and Gamday Audio for those not in the NESN viewing area).
According to the Pirates, Javier Lopez will be pitching at some point in today’s game. Javi too quickly became a whipping boy with many Sox fans but he’ll always have a special place in my heart so I just hope he pitches well today AND the Sox still end up with the win (I can have it both ways!).
Tomorrow’s game against the Twins is also on NESN (and, like today’s game, on tape-delay over at MLBN) and then the next game NESN gets is the Mets/Sox game at City of Palms Park on St. Patrick’s Day. I’m seriously considering live-blogging (or chatting if folks show up!) the St Patrick’s Day game (1:05 ET) – I need to get back into live blogging mode anyway and I’m going to be around. I have no idea if anyone ELSE will be around for the live blog but if you are, come on by! I’ll have a few friends at that game so maybe we can even get some in-game, first hand accounts of the action!
I have four days to get my fingers ready for the speed typing of the live blog/chat! I’d better get to warming up!
If I learned anything from last night’s game and live blog chat it’s that the fans who I tend to surround myself with (whether my friends or fans of this blog) are made of better stuff than the bandwagoners and the sports writers. (Thanks to all of you who stopped by and made last night much more bearable than it would have been had we not done the live chat!)
There is no way – absolutely no way – to spin anything positive about a 20-11 loss. Sure the team came back and scored 11 runs (actually, that is a positive…the Yankees hammered away last night but the Sox didn’t give up, not even in the ninth inning) but the loss was still tough. But the comments last night and emails I’ve received since seem to reflect similar attitudes. No one is happy with Brad Penny. Most feel sorry for Michael Bowden getting thrown into that situation and just about everyone thinks that a team giving up all those hits and runs is more fluky than anything else. The Yankees are a good team, no doubt, but so are the Red Sox. Of course, Nick Cafardo writes that last night shows that the Yankees are a championship -caliber team. Now, they very well might be but I don’t think a 20-11 blowout is an indication of that. Games like this, in my mind, are an aberration. The Yankees exploited the suckitude of Brad Penny but the Red Sox also got 11 runs on 12 hits. There was some bad pitching going on with the Yankees as well, the Red Sox just took longer to capitalize on it. So you’ll pardon me if I don’t look at a game like last night’s and automatically crown the Yankees the World Champions of 2009.
Today’s game is on Fox so it doesn’t start until 4:10pm EST. Since I’ll be at Fenway I will, thankfully, be spared the ramblings of the ballwashing McCarver and Buck but I’ll still be in the middle of drunken Sox and Yankees fans so it’s a bit of a wash. I don’t usually go to a game thinking “PLEASE let them win” it’s always usually “I HOPE they win” but today I’m going to ask the baseball gods to please let them win. I’m not sure I can deal with Yankee fan jerkiness or the fights started by drunken and annoyed Red Sox fans if they don’t.
Junichi Tazawa doesn’t automatically instill a sense of calm when pitted against A.J. Burnett and the Yankees but I’m still going into this game hopeful. Why not? I’m a baseball fan. I’m a Red Sox fan. Today I get to sit in the park and enjoy a baseball game. There’s no reason to feel down about that.
I wrote almost an entire entry about how sick and tired I am of trolls coming here just to get personal digs in that have nothing to do with baseball or anything I write about and then I thought “Why? Why bother validating anything those schmucks write?”. So, instead, I’ll write about how damn happy I am that JD Drew went 4 for 4 with 3 RBI and two home runs on Thursday night. Does that show the “Nancy Drew” asses that he has “heart” or “passion” or whatever the hell it is they’re looking for him to have? Probably not. But I enjoy JD giving a giant middle finger to all the jerks who want to point to him as the reason this team struggles.
Sweeping the Blue Jays wasn’t totally unexpected (although many had written off the Buchholz/Halladay game, I’m sure) but it was exactly what they needed to do. Just keep winning games and everything else will fall into place.
So Friday begins the Yanks series. I’m not overjoyed with the pitching match-ups but, then again, I’m a big believer in “anything can happen” so I’m not worrying about any of the games this weekend. (Also a tip of the hat and thanks to Jon Lester for going 8 innings, thus saving the bullpen for the Yankees.) Brad Penny might be the first on the mound but the main focus for me during the first game is the return of Jerry Remy. I know a lot of people are fans of Dennis Eckersley (and in the context of baseball, I am as well) but he got to the point where if I heard him say “cheese” or “salad” one more time I was going to poke out my eardrums with an ice pick. So I’m pleased to be getting the Rem Dawg back. And it’ll be sweet to be live blogging not only the game but Jerry’s return. It’s just a good thing you all won’t be able to see how dusty it gets at my place when the game starts. Welcome back, Jerry!
Based on some comments I received this week, I think there are a few things I need to make clear about posting comments just so there are no surprises for first-time commenters. Now is as good a time as any to cover them.
Okay I really did have every intention of live blogging tonight – unfortunately (but really FORTUNATELY) I got a paying gig that I’m still in the middle of and won’t be through with until well after 7pm. Since paying gigs are few and far between for me these days I really have no choice but to keep at it and postpone the live blog.
Thursday is an afternoon game so the next live blog probably won’t be until next Wednesday. I’m sorry to disappoint folks but we’ll have plenty of games throughout the rest of the season as I’m looking at possible live blogging two games a week come September.
I received my first piece of Tigers fan hate mail last night! (Okay, it probably was just someone pretending to be a Tigers fan but whatever…)
It seems that he was on Twitter and read a response I wrote to someone who had jokingly asked who “won” the fight last night because Tigers fans were convinced that Porcello came out on top.
What I wrote:
Porcello got himself thrown out in the 2nd inning and messed up his bullpen in the process. Youk got Mike Lowell in. Sox won.
Now I was being equal parts funny and genuine. While no one really “wins” a basebrawl, especially since people get thrown out and probably suspended, calling a winner is silly. But after a game where their starter didn’t go five innings, in his game Porcello decides to throw at Martinez and then hit Youkilis thus getting himself thrown out of the game in the SECOND inning. So that’s now TWO starts where the Tigers had to go to their bullpen early (and two that ended in losses). On the side of the Red Sox, Youkilis got thrown out and they had to bring in Mike Lowell. Mike Lowell who happened to have two home runs last night off of the bench. Given Detroit lost by two runs, you tell me who “won” this fight? Yes, I’d say Youkilis and the Sox.
So here’s the email I got from the person who read my tweet reply (everything is sic’d):
Your sux won the game but not the fight. Yukilis is a punk who got taken down by a scrawny pitcher. I hope the next one on Wednesday hits him right between the eyes. Tigers will take the next two and probaly take out a few more of your batters.
Alrighty then. Thanks for the message.
Youk made it known after the game that while he wasn’t apologizing for defending himself he was sorry that he charged the mound because he doesn’t want the kids to think that’s how you handle things.
“I definitely regret it with it being on TV and there’s little kids out there. It’s not the way you should handle it”…“Two days in a row, and the way it was going, I had enough of it. At some point, you have to protect yourself as a hitter and your teammates. I felt like I had to do what I had to do.”
I’m not happy that they lost Youk for the game (although the blow was softened thanks to Lowell!) and I’m definitely not happy about the probable suspension coming to him but I’m definitely good with someone who gets used as target practice finally fighting back. People can bitch about Youk and his hot head all they want but how many times has he actually every charged the mound? It was obvious to everyone but Dennis Eckersley that Porcello did what he meant to do so how can people fault Youk for being human and reacting the way he did? (And, yes, I know that Youk hangs over the plate. That makes up for probably about half of his HBP. Many, many times teams (hello Joba) decide he’s the player they’re going to plunk and he’s had enough. Good for him. I have to admit that I’m happy it didn’t happen with the Yankees because I don’t think the ensuing scrum would have been as harmless as this one was. No one else seemed to get hurt nor did anyone else get booted from the game (during the fight anyway – I think Tito had a bit of extra adrenaline that got him booted on the JD Drew out at second call)…had it happened against the Yankees I fear there would have been more punches thrown, injuries and more ejections/suspensions.
It should also not go unnoticed that after an ugly first inning, Junichi Tazawa came out and pitched well. He definitely made a wonderful contribution last night. Most importantly, the Sox won another game. Two in a row. This is how streaks begin, right?
Live blog tonight. Bring your boxing gloves.
Well that was nice, huh? Sox win and both the Yankees and the Rays lose. THIS is the way to start a home stand.
Brad Penny pitched as well as we could expect him to (and as Texy points out, we might need to pay someone to make him throw up the day of his starts) and the offense took off. Detroit isn’t an easy team to beat – and they didn’t make it easy last night – but I’m happy with the result. Here’s hoping this starts a nice string of wins for the guys.
I don’t have tickets to a Sox game now until Saturday, August 22nd. Yes, the Saturday game against the Yankees. As much as being at a Sox/Yanks game wears on my nerves, the upside is that it’s a Fox game so I get to avoid Buck/McCarver. I’ve definitely come out on top with this one. (That Sunday game is an ESPN game just like this past weekend. No wonder all the other fan bases hate the Yanks and Sox. Two weekends in August where they are the Fox AND ESPN games? I’m a Sox fan and it annoys me.)
Junichi Tazawa gets his first major-league start tonight. After giving up that bomb to Slappy on Friday, the kid is going to need some love. I hope the Fenway Faithful give it to him tonight.
Wednesday live blogging is back! (I know I said it wouldn’t be this week but that’s only because I need to learn how to read a calendar! NEXT Wednesday we won’t be having the live blog/chat. THIS Wednesday it’s totally on!) 13-4 Josh Beckett (ERA = 3.12) is pitching tomorrow night against 6-10 Armando Galarraga (ERA = 5.23). I like our chances for a good, fun, live blog!
Even I have to admit that the day after a win (coupled with that Yankees’ loss) is a ton better than the day after a loss.