All Even

So the Yanks come to town tonight with the AL East all knotted up. And the Sox are definitely the team that is playing better right now. But this is the first test, I suppose.

I really didn’t watch much this weekend; I listened to the whole game on the radio while finishing the playscape. Nice outing by Burkett yesterday; he seems to have the Angels’ number.

While I was flabbergasted at Nixon’s bonehead move on Saturday; this is a nice touch:
On Sunday, Nixon caught the last out – not the second out – of the second inning and tossed the ball into the bleachers, drawing a round of cheers. Goldberg

So here’s hoping I’m one of the lucky few that wins Monster seats in the Sox contest in the next 3 days…

Holding the Line

So with the World Champs coming to Fenway, the Sox are on a mini-roll. Pedro showed no signs of injury yesterday, and once again the offense was en fuego. Nomar again showing signs that pop-up-itis may be receding; and Florida with another nice night at the plate. Boy, his defense can be scary at times, though.

Of Martinez’s 84 pitches, 58 were strikes. His body language was positive throughout. He worked quickly and got ahead in the count. The fastball was his best pitch. His changeup and curve were effective, too. He showed no signs of injury. He did this despite the cool conditions (50 degrees, 14 mph breeze). Yantz

Now I wasn’t a HUGE fan of Everett when he was here, but I do think while his own words/actions didn’t help; he got a raw deal from some of the media. And this is classless and inexcusable:

Fans in right field threw two baseballs and an unidentified object at Everett in the seventh inning.

Shame on those morons.

Closing the Distance

For all the hype earlier this season about the Yankee juggernaut, the Sox are 1 game back as of right now. Not to shabby. Hopefully they can keep it 1 or 2 for the head to head series next week…

Nice game last night…Fossum pitched well, Mendoza pitched well, Nomar looked better, Ortiz with 2 key hits, got Person in the game with no pressure on him…

I also watched bits and pieces of the Yanks game. The last 3 runs the Angels scored were on Bernie’s noodle-arm. The go-ahead run was a ball Bernie got on the first bounce, and Garret Anderson didn’t even hesitate going around 3rd. And the 5th run was comical…Molina scored from first with such blazing speed you could have timed him with an hourglass…

One more against Texas tonight…have to like Pedro at home going for the sweep…

EXCELLENT post over at Bambino’s Curse today. I suggest you all go read it. Some of you I suggest it to more than others.

Get your Mojo rising…

Wow…again. Eighth time, I believe, coming from behind to win. Yet another example of how this team refuses to lay down:

“We believe we’re always in the game,” Nomar Garciaparra said. “When you’re trailing like that, you know you can depend on everybody.”

The Red Sox came back as they have all season, putting together quality at-bats.

“The feeling in the dugout is an optimistic attitude,” Red Sox manager Grady Little said. “They feel like until someone tells them that the game is over, they feel like they have a chance to come back. I think the most amazing one was the last game we played over in Minnesota the other night when we were down 9-1 early in the game. There are a whole lot of teams that would just kind of play the rest of the game out there, but these guys, they just wait for something little to happen and they get going.” http://www.ctnow.com/sports/baseball/redsox/hc-redsox0514.artmay14,0,573981.story?coll=hc%2Dredsox%2Dheadlines

And there was drama in the 9th; but the runners were at the corners due to a bobbled ball by Millar. No harm, no foul.

Also in the Courant article, a telling statement:

Garciaparra exhibited some rare patience at the plate, battling back from an 0-and-2 count. He fouled off the third pitch to stay alive and took the next two for balls before extending his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest current streak in baseball.

Let me just go on the record here that this is not a great 14 game hitting streak; it has been populated with many a shallow pop up and weak grounder. Let’s hope that at-bat was a harbinger of things to come…

This article from yesterday morning talks about the different approach the Sox offense has this year. Didn’t realize until before the game yesterday that they have the best team BA in the AL…

And in the ‘more good news’ department; Pedro is fine and will pitch Thursday. Things are setting up nice for the showdown with the Yankees next week.

Friday Night Pedro

Nice story this morning about Todd Walker returning to his original turf. Todd is a nice example of the excellent job the Sox did in the offseason aquiring non-pitchers (Walker, Mueller, Millar, Jackson…and hopefully Ortiz and Lil’ G improve).

“I haven’t been booed, so I must be doing something right,” Walker said with a wry smile.

That cracked me up just a little bit..

So Pedro goes tonight in the Baggie Dome…I read the other day that without the horrible game vs. the Orioles, Pedro would have a 0.80 ERA. Amazing. And I also read something this morning that made me raise an eyebrow: Guess who leads the Sox in slugging %? Got it? Find out below: Bill Mueller at .603, followed by Millar (.518) and Nixon (.511).

Yet another…

…game where the Sox come from behind. And this time actually win. Like I said a while back, I love that there is no quit in this lineup…and even though there have been a couple where they have battled back and the pen blew it, so far it appears that the hitters aren’t getting down about that.

Finally a nice outing by Embree, and Giambi had a nice day at the plate. Let’s hope the both of those things are harbingers of things to come.

And how great is Manny’s hustle this year? He’s been heads up on the basepaths, and he hasn’t played terrible defense either? Let’s hope they keep up this hot streak from the past week or so when the Yanks come to town next week.

Boston.com suspended

Before I get into last night; let me just say that I completely disagree with the suspension of Bob Ryan. For those that don’t know what happened; on a late-night TV show Sunday, Ryan made a comment that he wanted to ‘slap’ Jason Kidd’s wife for her shameless use of their child courtside at EVERY basketball game. The kid is 4 years old, and has sat courtside at virtually every game; day or night; and durning the playoffs at least, home AND away. About a month ago, while Daddy was diving for a loose ball, he landed on his own kid and broke the kid’s collarbone. AND THE CHILD WAS BACK IN THE SAME SEAT THE NEXT NIGHT.

So Ryan made an offhand comment; and he stuck by it. And now all the PC Police turned it into a huge story, and the guy gets suspended from the Globe and all TV/Radio appearances. I’m sure he feels bad about what he said; but would there be such an uproar if he were discussing Kidd himself and said that he wanted to ‘slap’ him for allowing his kid to be courtside? Nope.

And was Kidd suspended for a month without pay when he actually DID hit his wife when they were in Phoenix? I doubt it.

So for the next month, there will be no links to Boston.com on this site. I’m not visiting the site for the next 30 days. Yeah, I know it don’t mean squat to them; but it’s the principal of the thing. Anyway, on to last night…

What can you really say about last night? Fossum pitched well, bullpen actually did it’s job, hitters did their job, Sox win. Very nice. And the Yankees lost. Even better.

Sox/Yanks poll and other morning recaps

So I heard mention yesterday of a poll done by Quinnipiac that said that the Yanks are the favorite baseball team here in Connecticut; 47% of respondants said that the Yanks are their favorite team; as opposed to 33% claiming allegiance to the Sox

However, when it is broken down, the numbers are vastly skewed by Fairfield County, New York.
Most of the Yankees interest was in Fairfield County, where 61 percent voted for pinstripes. It was also the area where the Mets had the most appeal (19 percent) and the Red Sox the least (12 percent).

However, Fairfield County’s numbers do not reflect the sentiment in Hartford, Tolland, Windham and New London counties. (…) the Red Sox won the race against the Yankees in Hartford (45 percent to 39 percent) and by an even greater margin in the total for the other three counties (54 to 30), where interest in the Mets (3 percent in Hartford, 2 percent in the other counties) is almost negligible. Courant

No mention of Middlesex County; which I always percieved to be about 50/50. I’m also curious about the results if you take out the ‘Bandwagoning Ninny’ factor. Probably not THAT different, but I bet if you asked this question in the mid to late 80’s, some of the Yankee ‘fans’ would probably be Red Sox ‘fans’.

According to Heuschkel’s notes, Nixon might be back tonight.

Nixon said he accidentally scratched his left cornea, but did not want to say how.

That’s funny; in what way could you scratch your left cornea that is so embarrassing that you don’t want to say how??

Here’s something I like to see as well…with all the talk of Person coming up and helping, every time they show his AAA numbers, the first thing I’ve thougt is “Umm..that isn’t very good..”. Apparantly, there is an explination:

Not satisfied with the command of his pitches, Robert Person will make at least one more rehabilitation appearance at Triple A Pawtucket. So he might not join the Red Sox until next week, when they return from this trip.
“Usually when a guy comes back from surgery, that’s the last thing that comes,” Little said. “His arm strength is good. It’s just the command of all his pitches.”

Rather see him work it out in Pawtucket then with the big club…

Royals Karma…

…ran over the Sox Dogma.

Well, that kind of sucked. So many positives (Mendoza 3 strong, Jackson’s throw to the plate, Nomar/Tek homers) outweighing the negatives on paper…but unfortunately, the negative of Lyon melting down resulted in a loss. Yes, Nomar’s error sealed the victory for KC; but he shouldn’t have been in that position.

Think the batters are getting frustrated?