Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

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/ and used with permission.

This man is the MVP of our bullpen right now. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ 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

More important than the return of Manny…

Watching JD Drew play makes my heart happy.  I hope he's not too badly injured.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

Watching JD play makes my heart happy. I hope he's not too badly hurt. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

…is the major league debut of Felix Doubront ending with his getting his first “W” in the bigs!  Felix pitched his five innings to be in line for the win and gave up six hits and five runs (three earned thanks to an error by, of all players, Felix Doubront!) in his debut.   He matched his walks and strike outs with two each.  Those strike outs?  Andre Ethier (he of the .330 average) and Matt Kemp.  Not too shabby, Felix.

As impressive was the work Scott Atchison did in relief.  (A brief side note:  Boof Bonser, we hardly knew ye.)  Last night, Atchison threw three perfect innings and struck out a career-high five batters (including, yes, Manny Ramirez watching strike three go by to end the 7th inning).  Atchison came up big for the team on national television last week when he was the literal last-minute starter replacing Daisuke Matsuzaka and I’m sure more than a few fans expected to be in the hole 10-0 when his work was done.  They weren’t.  Against Philly, he pitched the first three innings, struck out two and gave up two runs on two hits (the Sox went on to with the game 10-2).  Lately, he’s been a solid, go-to guy out of the bullpen and it pleases me to see the Sox using him like they did last night.

Another home run from Papi, the third of the “hitting the knee” homers from Adrian Beltre and a Green Monster home run that was originally called a double but overturned after watching the replay for JD Drew.   These things also made the game a fabulous one to behold.  There’s no word yet on JD Drew and his hammie (pulled while making a catch to put out Manny) but all in all not a whole lot to complain about is there?

The Yankees and the Rays both cooperated last night by getting beaten by the Mets and the Marlins, respectively.  This means………wait for it…………that the Red Sox are one game out of first place.  The Red Sox have the exact amount of wins that both the Rays and Yanks do and have two more losses.  Exactly a month ago today the Sox were 8.5 games out of first place (with not only the Yankees and Rays ahead of them but the, currently, 4.5 games out of first place Toronto Blue Jays ahead as well.

Back then, I posted a quote on my Tumblr page from Mitch Williams (currently working on the MLB Network) as told to Dan Patrick for Sports Illustrated:

You cannot win the division in April but at the end of the year the Red Sox are going to be able to testify that you can dang sure lose it in April because I think their season is over.

That a former baseball player could so easily fall into the trap of becoming a knee-jerk reacting talking head is sad.  The Red Sox certainly haven’t won the division in June but they ‘dang sure’ didn’t lose it in April did they, Mitch.  Say goodbye to your credibility.

Sox go at it again at 4:10pm ET today.  Yankees play at 1:10pm and Rays at 7:10pm.  Today could be the day the Sox sit atop the division after so many said it was over in May.  Make them all eat their words, BoSox.

June 19, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everyone who got DFA'd can leave the clubhouse…not so fast McDonald!

So long, Scott, and good luck!  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

So long, Scott, and good luck! Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

So very happy to hear that Darnell McDonald got a reprieve from the governor yesterday. That isn’t to say that I’m happy that poor Scott Atchison got the axe, but I’m really quite pleased that Darnell is still with the team. (Jacoby possibly still being injured? Doesn’t please me at all…but I’ll take what I can get right now.)

Last night the Sox one-hit the Rays, winning a game where the Sox only got four hits and two runs. A well-pitched, low-scoring game against the best team in the league and the Sox came out on top. Definitely reason to be happy today.

As there usually is with the Sox/Rays series, there was a little drama last night too. Pleasantly, it didn’t directly involve the Red Sox.  It still baffles me that Carl Crawford would be stupid enough to get himself thrown out of a game in the fifth inning on a first pitch called strike. Crawford is the best hitter on that team right now and they were facing a good pitcher but only down by two in the fifth. I don’t care how terrible the call was (and it was a terrible call), act like a professional and suck it up.  You don’t get yourself thrown out of the game in that situation, you just don’t.  Excluding the 17.5 games behind the Orioles are (sorry Baltimore!), Tampa Bay’s lead in the division is 6.5 games now.  The Rays aren’t far enough ahead of the rest of the pack to not care about losing their best player because he gets pissy about a bad call.   They’ve happened all season, they’ve happened since the game began, they will always happen.  Was hurting your team worth it?  Carl Crawford seems to think so:

As for getting as angry as he did, Crawford said, “He didn’t back down, and I didn’t want to lose a trash-talking contest.”

If I were running the Rays, Crawford would get fined for that comment. That’s genius right there. It was more important to be a big man than to help your team try to win the game? Ridiculous.

Had a Red Sox player done this I’m fairly certain my brain would have exploded.

Speaking of things that make my head hurt…there is no possible way I could care less about how long David Ortiz takes to round the bases after he hits a home run.  None.  As I’ve written many places, if you don’t want a player doing what you consider a disrespectful trot, don’t throw the damn home run ball in the first place.  The parade of people constantly looking for negative things to write about David Ortiz is getting very tiring.  The team loves him, the fans love him, stop trying to find reasons to dislike him, you’re all only embarrassing yourselves at this point.

Red Sox are now six for six on Tuesday night live chats night.   As always, thank you to everyone who participated!  Same time, next week!

Three afternoon MLB games today and the Twins and Yankees pick up last night’s game at 5:05pm ET in the top of the 6th…so there is plenty of baseball to enjoy before we sit back and watch John Lackey take on Matt Garza tonight for what could be a sweep of the AL East leaders.  Until then, if you’re in the Boston area, it’s a gorgeous day, go out and enjoy it!

May 26, 2010 Posted by | 2010 | , , , , , | 3 Comments