July 31 – Indians (Byrd 7-6 5.25) @ Red Sox (Wells 0-1, 8.06) 7:05

The Red Sox lost 2 out of 3 to the Angels, and now sit only one-half game ahead of the restocked Yankees, who have the day off.

9:18 So much for being a savior . . . David Wells gave up 8 runs in 4 and 2/3rd innings.  He was bailed out by . . . who else but Kyle Snyder?  Snyder was replaced by Wells in the rotation, and has pitched 1.1 innings, striking out the side in the 6th and helping to get out of the 4th without giving up a hit.  Luckily Ortiz and Ramirez have homered, and Crisp, who was nearly traded, has gone 2-2.  Pena has also hit a
homerun, as well as a triple, and had 3 RBIs.  8-6 Indians.

9:40 Still 8-6, bottom of the seventh.

 

73106_pena_homer_1By the way, Pena is a god – he is 3-3 in Nixon’s absence – and is a double shy of the cycle.

9:48 Bottom 8th, same score.  Snyders given up one hit in 3 1/3 innings.  Due up:  Merribelli,
Crisp, Pena.

10:07 Meribelli struck out, Crisp flied out to deep left, and Pena struck out.  End of the 8th, Red Sox down 8-6.

10:18 Bottom of the 9th, Sox down by 2.  The line on Snyder – 4.1 innings, one hit, no runs, no walks, 6 k’s.
    Cora leads off with a single, Youk up – count goes to 3 and 2, he fouls one off, and . . . BALL FOUR, misses low.  Two on, none out, two run game.  The Indians coach comes out and calls in his entire infield.  Loretta’s 1-4 today.  And . . . he pops up to the shortstop.

    And here comes Big Papi.  The crowd chants "M-V-P" as he takes the pitch inside.  The next one is outside.  Manny waits on deck as Big Papi digs in.  The 2-0 pitch . . .  SWING AND A DRIVE – DEEP TO CENTER FIELD! WAY BACK…… ITS GONE!  RED SOX WIN!  BIG PAPI STRIKES AGAIN!  WITH A THREE RUN HOMERUN IN THE BOTTOM OF THE 9TH, HE PUTS THE RED SOX ON TOP 9-8!

73106_ortiz_walkoff_2

                                            UNBELIEVABLE

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July 31 – No deal

    The trading deadline ended at 2 PM today, and the Red Sox remained quite, much to the surprise of everybody.  After the Yankees aquired Bobby Abreu and Corey Lidle, I was sure the Sox would do something.  Midday reports stated the Red Sox were pursuing Andruw Jones and Alfonso Soriano.  The Nationals decided not to part with Soriano, and Jones, who was not a hot topic amongst the rumors, was too pricey (Crisp, Lester, Hansen).
    The question is, will the return of Wells, followed by the ruturns of Wakefield and Clement, be enough to quell the suddenly decent Yankee pitching staff and unbelievable lineup?  Although a surprising amount of discussion has centered around Lidle as well as Abreu, I do not believe Lidle will be a difference-maker.  Granted, the Yankees #5 spot in the rotation was awful (Ponson), but Lidle’s ERA is north of 4.5, and the average pitcher transferring from the NL to the AL has allowed 1.5 runs per game more.  Even if Lidle does not struggle against the potent AL, he is 10-6 lifetime vs. the AL east (although he’s done well at Yankee Stadium).
    The Red Sox look to get the ball rolling again as Wells takes his first start in quite a long time.  He has made two starts this year, and has an ERA over 8.  If Wells shows up like his old self, the Red Sox might be able to start selling playoff tickets soon.  If not, well, we’ll just have to hope the entire Yankees lineup goes into an ARod-like slump.

Yankee fans have no right to complain

    How many yankee fans have you heard complaining about the loss of Sheffield or Matsui?  Probably quite a few.  However, the Yankees spend 60 million more per year on their players than the Red Sox do.  The loss of Sheffield Matsui, Pavano, and whoever else they have lost has done nothing but even the odds, without even counting the loss of Wells, Wakefield, Foulke, Clement, etc. 
    Proven by the fact that the Yankees recently traded for Bobby Abreu, the Yankees are able to cover their losses quickly and effectively with more cash and some of the few major prospects that they have. 
The following is a list of players the Yankees and Red Sox have not brought up through their minor league system or purchased years ago (Taken from espn.com, minimum salary:4 million,)
Yankees:. . . . . . . . . . .$…………………………………..Red Sox . . . . . . . . . . . $
Alex Rodriguez . . . . . . .25M……………………………….Manny Ramirez . . . . . . 18.8M
Jason Giambi. . . . . . . .20.4M……………………………. Curt Schilling . . . . . . . .13M
Randy Johnson . . . . . .15.6M…………………………….. Matt Clement . . . . . . . .9.8M
Bobby Abreu . . . . . . . .15M
Jonny Damon . . . . . . . 13M……………………………….Mike Lowell . . . . . . . . .9M
Hideki Matsui . . . . . . . .12M………………………………Keith Foulke . . . . . . . . .7.7M
Gary Sheffield. . . . . . . 10.7M…………………………….David Ortiz. . .. . . . . . . 6.5M
Carl Pavano. . . . . . . . . 8M………………………………..Josh Beckett. . . . . . . . . .4.3M
Kyle Farnsworth. . . . . .5.4M………………………………David Wells. . . . . . . . . . .4M
Corey Lidle . . . . . . . . . .?
TOTAL. . . . . . . . . . . . 125.1M……………………………TOTAL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72.1

    The point I am trying to make is not that the Yankees cheat or anything like that.  My point is simply that the Yankees have no right to complain about losing players that they bought.  The total salaries of the injured players on the Yankees does not nearly equal the difference between the Yankees and Red Sox salaries (83.5M).  What this means is that the Yankees wouldn’t have had the players that got injured in the first place if they weren’t filthy rich.
    On the same note, Red Sox fans should not complain about Wells or Clement, because the Red Sox also have a much higher salary than most teams.

    Signing baseball players and building a franchise should be about scouting and excellent general managing.  It is easy to get a player that is already a great player and pay them a lot of money.  But some teams, like the Rockies, Tigers, Reds, Athletics, Twins,  Blue Jays, and Cardinals, have built successful baseball teams and spent 100 million  or less on thier players than the Yankees, and 20 million less than the Red Sox.  These teams have made good trade decisions, utilized excellent scouting, and provided great managing and coaching from MLB to rookie league.  These are the sort of teams that should be truly respected.  If the Rockies (40 million salary) had spent 213 million per year on their players (same amount as Yankees), and made the same great decisions that caused them to be successful with a low salary, they would probably win 130 games this year.  A team like Florida (14.3 million, poor but not awful record) would win about the same.

June 29 – Angels (Weaver, 7-0, 1.15) @ Red Sox (Beckett 13-5, 4.77) 1:20 PM

1:19 The Red Sox get their first look at Jared Weaver, who has already become the first pitcher to win their first seven major league decisions.  The Red Sox pitcher, Josh Beckett, goes for win #14 today, and has posted a 4.77 ERA so far this year.  Weaver’s ERA is an outstanding 1.15.

1:57 2-1 Angels bottom of the second.  Hopefully we can get some scoring done of of Weaver. 

2:56 3-1 Angels top 5.

The Red Sox were down in the top of the 8th 6-3.  Ortiz hit a homerun to lead off the inning, and the Red Sox came back to tie it.  Youk missed a walkoff by 2 feet in the 9th, and then Ortiz won it with a single in the 11th.

July 28 – Angels (Escobar 6-9, 3.88) @ Red Sox (Lester 5-0, 3.04) 7:05 PM

6:43 Jon Lester tries to get the Red Sox back on track tonight, after getting hit hard in Oakland in
Jon_lesterhis last start. 
Second to Jonathon Papelbon as the Red Sox most promising rookie, Lester is 5-0 with a 3.04 ERA.  His opponent: Kelvim Escobar – 6-9, 3.88 ERA.  Escobar has given up 12 runs this year, which is one less than the Red Sox have hit in a week.

7:16 Game delayed for 1 hr.  Worst part about that is that I cannot watch NESN on mlb.tv because, on mlb.tv, I can watch the game, the whole game, and nothing but the game.

9:23 Lester and Escobar work scorless first innings.  Escobar strikes out the side and walks Papi, throwing 22 pitches.  Lester only throws 11.  Yankees winning 6-0 in 7th inning. 

9:47 Prior to the game, Jon Lester promised to reduce his pitch count.  In 3 innings, Lester has thrown only 35 pitches.

    Yankees won 6-0.

10:03 Guererro was caught leaning the wrong way and Lester picked him off.  Lester has now thrown 53 pitches in 4 innings (a little less than 13 per inning, or 120 in 9 innings).  Angels still lead 1-0.

10:35 What did I say about Coco Crisp?  Crisp hits a key double after Lowell strikes out and scores on Gonzo’s single.  Loretta grounds into a double play to end the innning, so the Red Sox only score 1.  1-1, Top 6.

10:45 It’s a pitching duel!  1-1 going to the bottom of the 6th, as Lester gets Juan Rivera to pop out to end the inning and strand runners at second and third.

11:00 Red Sox get a run on Manny‘s double on a hit and run after Ortiz gets an infield single.  Yes, you read that right.  Ortiz got an infield single, and Terry Francona put on a hit and run with him on first.  Manny lined one down the line in left to put the Sox up 2-1.

11:30 So much for all the young pitching talent…  Lester, Delcarmen, and Lopez all pitched in the bottom of the seventh, and gave up a total of 6 runs.  7-2 Angels.

 

Some Interesting Statistics

  • Ortiz SLG is over 1.000 in 33 ABs when he plays first base.
  • Manny is 17-34 vs. the Yankees with 5 HRs and a .581 OBP.
  • Beckett’s ERA vs. the Yankees is 10.80.
  • V-Tek’s OPS is .977 since the all star break.
  • No Yankee has gotten a hit off Papelbon (18 batters faced, 2 BB, 7 K).
  • Kyle Snyder has only issued five BBs, and four of them come in the fifth inning.  Batters are hitting .444 against him in the fifth, and .476 against him in the third.
  • Willie Moe Pena and Gabe Kapler both have slightly lower batting averages versus lefties than Nixon (.204 and .207 versus .213), and much higher averages versus righties (.394 and .389 versus .324).
  • Youkilis’s OBP is .528 with RISP and two outs in 40 ABs
  • ARod’s career OPS is .888.  Manny’s is 1.010
  • Jeter and Arod have committed a total of 27 errors.  The Red Sox’ entire starting lineup has committed 16 errors.
  • Youkilis has a higher OBP(.355) than SLG(.346) since the all star break

July 27 – Coco Crisp improving

    After all the promises he made about improving, and all the slumps he has endured, Coco Crisp finally seems to be on the verge of erasing all doubt and finishing this year as strong as he played all of last.  After an 1-19 slump, Crisp has gone 8 for his last 17, raising his OBP from .315 to .325 in that span.  Despite the successes of Kevin Youkilis, if Crisp continues his hot hitting he probably will (and definitely should) take Youk’s spot as the Red Sox’ leadoff hitter. 
    Although Youk’s OBP is 75 points higher than Crisp’s, Crisp brings speed to the top of the lineup.  If this alone is not enough to justify Crisp as a leadoff hitter (and in all fairness, it shouldn’t be), consider this; Crisp’s OBP is .426 when he leads off an inning, while Youkilis’s OBP is a mere .361 when leading off. 
    Youk’s sub-par power (.450 SLG, not so great) and excellent OBP make him a perfect canidate to bat behind someone like Crisp.  Loretta could then move down to the eigth spot.  Loretta’s nack for hits (he has 125 this year – a .309 AVG) make him a logical choice to bat near the bottom of the lineup, when men are likely to be on base.  Pushing Youk to the bottom of the lineup would not make sense, however, because his high walk to hit ratio make him less of an RBI guy and more of a get-on-base-in-front-of-Manny-and-Ortiz guy.