July 22, 2014

G100: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7 PM

Red Sox   - 
Blue Jays - 
Jake Peavy / A.J. Happ
Holt, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Gomes, LF
Victorino, RF
Drew, SS
Bogaerts, 3B
Ross, C
The Continuing Legend of David Ortiz:
Sunday night: "I'm about to get hotter than Jamaica in the middle of August."

Monday: Slams 2 home runs, drives in four.

Monday night: "I'm on my way to Jamaica."
Jonny Gomes:
That's why they play one hundred and sixty-two. ... Not 16 games, not 40 - you go for six months and you go like this [a rollercoaster]. It takes 162 to figure this damn thing out.
Have the Red Sox finally figured this damn thing out? They have won eight of their last nine games, setting season-highs in runs (14) and hits (18) last night in Toronto. The pitching staff, which has been a strength all season, has allowed only five runs over the last six games. With 62 games left on the schedule, they are 7.5 games out of first place.

Optimism > Drudgery. It's time to get on the bus.
Example

July 21, 2014

G99: Red Sox 14, Blue Jays 1

Red Sox   - 024 260 000 - 14 18  0
Blue Jays - 001 000 000 -  1  3  0
Seven Red Sox batters had at least two hits in a rout of the Blue Jays.

Xander Bogaerts, Mike Napoli, and Daniel Nava each had three hits. ... Stephen Drew and David Ortiz both had 4 RBI.

Ortiz cracked two home runs (both off lefty Brad Mills), and passed Carl Yastrzemski on MLB's all-time list. Flo, with 453 dongs, is 36th all-time.

John Lackey: 7-2-1-0-3, 76. And zero 3-ball counts. ... Opposing teams have scored only six runs off Red Sox pitching over the last five games.

Boston has won five in a row and eight of its last nine games. Baltimore won last night, so the Red Sox remain 7.5 GB.
Example
John Lackey / Drew Hutchinson
Holt, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Nava, LF
Drew, SS
Bogaerts, 3B
Bradley, CF
Vazquez, C
Boston - winners of seven of their last eight games - begins a seven-game road trip in Toronto. After four games with the Blue Jays, the Red Sox play three in Tampa Bay.

By sweeping the Royals, the Red Sox gained two games in the AL East. They are now 7.5 GB the Orioles.

July 20, 2014

G98: Red Sox 6, Royals 0

Royals  - 000 000 000 - 0  4  1
Red Sox - 102 300 00x - 6  9  0
Jon Lester: 8-4-0-2-8, 115. Last seven starts: 52.2 IP, 5 ER, 47 K, 0.85 ERA.

Daniel Nava: single, double, walk, 3 RBI.

Jackie Bradley: 2 singles, walk, 2 runs scored.

David Ross: 2-run home run, walk, 2 runs scored.

Shane Victorino: 2-for-4, 1 run scored. ... Brock Holt: 2-for-5, 1 run scored.

Boston has won four in a row (with the pitching staff allowing only five runs) and seven of its last eight games. (Go A's!)
Example
Yordano Ventura / Jon Lester
Holt, 3B
Nava, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Carp, 1B
Victorino, RF
Drew, SS
Ross, C
Bradley, CF

July 19, 2014

G97: Red Sox 2, Royals 1

Royals  - 001 000 000 - 1  5  1
Red Sox - 000 101 00x - 2  6  1
Mike Napoli's sixth-inning home run snapped a 1-1 tie. Rubby De La Rosa (7-5-1-4-2, 104), Andrew Miller (a perfect eighth), and Koji Uehara (a perfect ninth) held the Royals in check.

Boston has now won six of its last seven games. Also, each of the Red Sox's last eight victories at Fenway Park (since June 16) have been decided by one run: 1-0, 2-1, 2-1 (10), 3-2, 5-4, 4-3 (10), 5-4, and 2-1.

Napoli scored Boston's first run, singling and scoring on an infield error in the fourth inning.

Jackie Bradley started his sixth double play with a catch in the top of the first inning. At the start of today's action, no other outfielder had more than three DPs. It was Bradley's 11th assist of the season.
Example
Danny Duffy / Rubby De La Rosa
Holt SS
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Gomes, LF
Victorino, RF
Bogaerts, 3B
Bradley, CF
Vazquez, C
The Red Sox sent Mookie Betts to Pawtucket to make roster space for Shane Victorino.

July 18, 2014

G96: Red Sox 5, Royals 4

Royals  - 100 210 000 - 4 12  1
Red Sox - 010 004 00x - 5 10  2
Two-run homers from Xander Bogaerts and pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes in the sixth inning lifted the Red Sox to victory. The Red Sox gained a game in the standings: 8.5 GB.

Gomes has now hit six pinch-hit home runs during his two seasons with the Red Sox. Only Ted Williams (7) has hit more PH-HR in a Boston uniform.

Clay Buchholz (6-10-4-0-3, 104) became the first Red Sox starting pitcher to win consecutive team games since Don Schwall (July 9 and 13, 1961, also around the All-Star break).

(And while looking at the 1961 schedule, I see the Red Sox had walk-off wins in both ends of a June 18 doubleheader, 13-12 (8 runs in the bottom of the ninth!) and 6-5 in 13 innings. Must have been an extremely fun day at Fenway!)

Example
James Shields / Clay Buchholz
Holt, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Nava, LF
Bogaerts, 3B
Drew, SS
Ross, C
Bradley, CF
In the Red Sox's last game, Clay Buchholz had one of the finest outings of his eight-year career, tossing a three-hit complete game shutout, with a career-high 12 strikeouts. Buchholz gets the ball again in Friday's game against the Royals as Boston begins the season's "second half".

The Red Sox host the Royals for three games before going on the road to Toronto and Tampa Bay, before coming back to Fenway Park to play the Blue Jays and Yankees. Will the Red Sox have narrowed the gap in the AL East by the time the trade deadline passes and August begins? ... Boston has won four of its last five games, showing some offensive pop, though those victories came against the White Sox and Astros, two sub-.500 teams.
Orioles    52  42  ---
Blue Jays  49  47  4.0
Yankees    47  47  5.0
Red Sox    43  52  9.5
Rays       44  53  9.5
Jon Lester:
Our division is pretty open. ... You're talking about nine games, you're talking about a homestand where things can be very, very different if we get on a roll and we start playing better. I think you saw that the last five or six games from us. The offense has started swinging the bat a lot better lately. If we continue to keep our guys in games, we're going to win more games and hopefully those one-run games are going to change for us.
Koji Uehara:
I feel that the way we finished off the first half and how many games there are left in the season, I certainly think that we have a shot.
Ben Cherington:
We've put ourselves in this position, so the math is working against us a little bit. But stranger things have happened. We don't see why we can't win more games than most of the teams ahead of us.
Shane Victorino could rejoin the Red Sox for the KC series.

July 16, 2014

Re2pect

Will Leitch, Sports On Earth:
The moment came mid-game, off the field. It came when National League starter Adam Wainwright, talking to reporters after giving up three first-inning runs, admitted the pitch he threw that Jeter hit for a double to lead off the game … he grooved it. "I was gonna give him a couple pipe shots," Wainwright said. "He deserved it. I didn't know he was gonna hit a double or I might have changed my mind." ...

It was as plain as day. He didn't hedge. He wasn't vague. He told the exact truth. He grooved a pitch to Derek Jeter because he respects Jeter so much he felt he deserved it. And then he owned up to it. ...

But that's not why Wainwright was criticized, or why he was forced to apologize to Erin Andrews during the game and act like he was kidding. The reaction among media - who are paid to ask questions of players and managers that elicit honest reactions, and if the reactions aren't honest, they're paid to find out what the truth in fact is - wasn't to thank Wainwright for his honesty. It was to blast him for not lying. ...

And why did people want Wainwright to lie? Because now Jeter's night - Jeter's perfect night - was somehow sullied. Everybody had their stories written in the first inning. This was Jeter's last great moment, and of course he went 2-for-2 because he was special. Wainwright telling the truth meant that the Jeter's Great Night story had to have an asterisk. And Derek Jeter is never, ever supposed to have an asterisk.
Also: Deadspin.