-15

When I woke up this morning after a short night of sleep and drove to Fenway Park for the annual privilege of playing in the Boston-New York media game, I never dreamed that our team would get 0 runs, 5 hits and 10 errors. That is a linescore from ****.

Yes, we lost, 15-0; The NY squad had 11 hits and three errors to go with their 15-spot. This was a bad day from the start. We were down 7-0 before we took an at-bat. And yes, i made one of our 10 errors, fielding a ball super cleanly at second base and then airmailing the throw to first, Chuck Knoblauch style.

From a personal standpoint, the day wasn’t all bad. I finally broke my 0-fer in media games (this was my fifth career game) by raking a single up the middle. I flew to center in my other at-bat. It is a good feeling to get a basehit at Fenway, it was long overdue. And i want to give a shoutout to my boy Mark Feinsand from Yankees.com, who got a serious rope of his own, right up the middle.

The Boston team has a score to settle when we go to the Bronx on June 7 for our rematch.

Before that day comes, I want to say that the NY team has some real good players. Jack Curry of the NY Times can rake and is a terrific third baseman. Anthony McCaron of the NY Daily News has a deadly bat. Tyler Kepner also of the NY Times, though not overpowering, has terrific control and threw a five-hit shutout over eight innings today. That is impressive stuff. Tom Verducci of SI fame is also one of their better players, a slick shortstop and a good hitter, but he wasn’t even there today. Good thing for us.

As for our team, our catcher Mike Petraglia should be commended. He had to endure all 15 runs behind the plate. Mike is a good catcher, he always plays hard. Now, we just have to give him some pitching and defense in NY and I think the bats will come around.

More later,

Ian.

25 Comments

I don’t know what other perks you get as a sportswriter, but getting to play an actual game at Fenway would rank right up there for me. Sounds like fun. And even though you did have a throwing error, your .500 batting average should help to keep the fans from screaming to have you traded. ;-)

Ian, Now tell me this, What does it feel like to have played on the same field as some of the immortals??? My life would be GREAT if I ever got to be in the seats, Never mind on the FIELD!!!! The life of a sportswriter is tough from what you’ve written, but it could be a WHOLE lot worse. I think the old saying goes somrthing like,”Those who can’t, teach”. I think in your case it is either “those who can’t got to, or those who can’t, report”. In either case I’m Emerald with envy. I love the blog. There aren’t not many REAL Sox fans down here in Fort Lauderdale, so the blog lets me chat it up with the Nationers. I enjoy that very much.

Ian,

You’re a lucky man!

Mark Feinsand added more game details, but I’d love to know who played what.

Any chance of posting the starting lineups for both teams?

Allan

joyofsox.blogspot.com

You are right, it is an extreme privilege to pla yone game a year at Fenway Park, and one at Yankee Stadium. That is probably THE best perk of being a sportswriter, other than getting paid to watch baseball every night. seriously, there is hard work involved with my job, like there is in any industry, but I love what I do and I try to always remember that I’m fortunate to get to do this for a living.

Remy read off Chris Snow’s stats during tonights game. Ten runs in 1 2/3 innings? Wow!

You guys better hold some practices so you can beat up on the Yankees writers next time.

I have a question. Before you became a sportswriter, were you a Sox fan? That would just make this job a whole lot better, even though you can’t root for them.

Tell Coco to come back soon! He is looking a whole lot better lately.

-A

http://catchingredsox.mlblogs.com

I did grow up a Red Sox fan, but obviously you lose that when you start covering the team on a full-time basis. If you rode the roller coaster emotions of a fan and did this job, it would kill you! In a way, it’s nice because you don’t experience the lows of a fan. But the tradeoff is that when the Red Sox won it all in St. Louis, i was focused on my job and not rejoicing like the rest of the nation!!!

Man, another lousy start by this Ian guy.. he is killing our Sportwriter’s team! As a diehard fan of the Sportwriter’s team I can’t take the up’s and downs’. I am turning in my Ian jersey at the next home game, and my Ian bobbleheads as well…

I wish I could play at Fenway, that would be amazing… sounds like it was a blast. I will see if I can get my co-worker out to play for you guys. He can write and he was a prospect for the Mets a couple of years ago.

Wow! I thought we were going to come back and do it!!!! but…. It just wasn’t in the cards tonight. I love Wake but with the limited pitches in his magic bag, how many times can he face the same major leaguers and they not know him and what he’s able to and going to throw?? (I feel like the biggest traitor in the history of the Red Sox world saying that) I do love Wake and his fluttering knuckler, so please don’t take me the wrong way. I thought that had we not given the runs so early, we really would have had a shot. Guys, remember I’m still pretty new to all this on the blog, so forgive me. I’m as faithful a Nationer as there is, so please know what it took for me to have written that. I’m really impressed with the way Manny hustles on everything now. I guess that’s Manny being the “New Manny”. Right now my mind is clogged with all the s**tty things that happened for us tonight. I’m going to sleep now and I’ll be like the child who on Christmas Eve goes to bed anticiapating the good things that can be delivered tomorrow. DEAR SANTA, I WOULD LIKE A WIN AGAINST RANDY JOHNSON TOMORROW NIGHT. LOVE, ellen. p.s i always loved Christmas in April, May, June, July..etc

this is a p.s. to IAN: Don’t you think I could be an assistant to you?, or to your assistant?? I take orders very well and I’m not bad at the plate either.

yep…how long can we blame Wake’s W-L record on run support? the defense has been fabulous; those 7 runs were due to walks (5) and hits/HRs. Sure, it’s terrible to leave a dozen men on base, but we shouldn’t have to score 10 runs to win a game…

…oh, and the passed balls!

Most of Wake’s losses WERE the direct result of poor run support. Early in the season, the team couldn’t buy a run for him. When you go six, seven and give up 1, 2, 3 runs and still lose or are not involved in the decision, you’re a much better pitcher than your W-L would indicate. He didn’t NEED 10 runs! Every year on…seemingly…every team, one guy on the staff seems to have that “honor” of poor run support unsolicitedly bestowed upon them. And, no one knows why? The more aware their teammates are of the injustice and try to hit for them, the worse it gets…until one day it stops. And, no one knows why then either. While Randy was racking up his five wins and 5+ ERA, I think NY averaged nine runs per game for him. Moose seems to never get run support. Never. Go figure. Wake is going to have one of those games like he had last night once in a while. Knuckleballer or no, but especially knuckleballers. And, as far as Doug’s three passed balls, I believe those were his first in all the games he has caught Tim since he arrived here following his mad dash across the continent sans athletic supporter. Tuesday, I think, was just a mild hiccup, having no more an hysterical effect on me than reminding me of what happened in almost every game Doug didn’t catch this year.

Someone needs to stand up and say something for Matt Clement and Lenny Dinardo, because they won’t (and can’t) stand up for themselves. As you may remember, early in the season the rotation was Curt, Tim, Josh, Matt while “The Load” was out on rehab. Wells came out of spring training not ready for prime time. He needed more reps to get in better condition and to refine his stuff. Francona knew that. Everybody knew that. Except David! Being the sometimes selfish, impetulant dude that he is, he lobbied his case(to return to the rotation sooner) through the press as a not-quite-fully-grown-adult would do PUBLICLY (like he always seems to do) rather than taking the more rational mature tact of discussing the situation with his manager. I feel, though Francona wouldn’t second this opinion, relented and stuck Wells on the mound sooner than he would have liked just to placate him. Remember Wells saying through the press he would agree to skip a start or two (as if it should be his choice)but no way was he going to be held back until after the 15th of April(i believe). Terry threw Schilling, Wakefield, Beckett, then started Wells the next day. Clement’s day. When he should have held Wells–just ONE more day against Well’s ultimatum– until after Matt’s scheduled start. Do you recall that Francona re-shuffled his rotation prior to one of the previous NYY series to make sure our three starters would be Beckett, Schilling, Wakefield (I’m not positive what the order was)(And, I thought “that’s neat”)BUT it was Clement who was bumped again. He was slated to start that series, I believe. Anyway, due to this, Matt went 7-8 days between starts before he had the privilege of starting what game? Why it was that rotten rainy night in Fenway before everybody in Massachusetts boarded the Ark. The first game Texas was in town. That rain-shortened fiasco where both Clement and the opposing pitcher were slipping and sliding off the mound and were fortunate enough to have gotten out of the game–along with the other players–without seriously injuring themselves. I think Matt gave up 6 runs. Jeeeeezzz, would you cut a little slack. 7-8 days off…pitching in a flood…trying to maintain your footing! Then, remember, it rained the next two Texas games out. This elongates Clement’s next interregnum another two days, throwing him off schedule again. And for these being-jerked-around things, Clement is accused of being IN-CON-SIS-TENT. Lord, folks, give me a break. Give Matt Clement a break! He has been the red-headed-nephew of our pitching staff while shouldering all the blame himself, blaming nothing and no one else. And he would have every right to. And, it ISN’T fair!!! Dinardo’s last start came after a two-week hiatus from the mound. These two guys to me have had two of the tougher and more challenging jobs on the pitching staff. They needn’t have done it expecting any gratitude. Closing up, these moves can be qualified as (1)not necessary(Wells)(2)NYY re-shuffle/great move…wish I’d thought of it)(3)weatherman’s fault and couldn’t be helped. Matt couldn’t help it either…and he’s still pitched better than decent.

I’m tired of the rehabilitation programs, especially Foulke’s, and I’m also getting mighty tired of the knuckleball program. The NYY had an inning with runs scored without them getting a hit in the inning! Rodriguez got to first base on a passed ball that would have been a strikeout. Opposing players steal bases, second, then third, on Wakefield like they were candy, then are likely to come home on a passed ball. No one else in the majors has to put up with this. And against the NYY, no less, during a series with whom the Sox are trying to gain a few games on them in the standings. Many managers wouldn’t have a knuckleballer on their pitching staff. Neither would I. It’s been interesting, it’s been colorful, and it’s worked out fairly well for the Sox, with Wakefield winning 12-15 games or so, but it’s getting too costly. Bases are given away, runs are given away, games are given away. It’s time to phase out the knuckleball program in Boston. I can’t even stand to watch that circus any more.

While I agree that it might not be fair to have your starts pushed back ALL the time, Tito still have to do what’s best for the team. Plus, these guys are major league pitchers..they should be able to handle a little adversity. As we found out last year, every game counts when it comes to the final standings. I love the fact that our top 3 guys had a chance to push us as far ahead in the standings as possible. Anyone would love to skip the 2 guys in the rotation that have ERA’s over 5. I don’t buy that Clement is inconsistant due to being skipped in the rotation. He’s been off since the 2nd half of last year. I’m not even referring to the terrible Tampa Bay line drive, I don’t buy that as a reason either. He just has trouble getting ahead of hitters. Last week in Philly, when he was ahead in the count he did well. Every other start, he’s behind in the count and putting people on base. As for DiSaster, he just wasn’t ready. Not his fault..he shouldn’t have been out there. You’re right daniel, The Load should have waiting another week instead of worrying about his bonus money that comes with every start over 25.

Well, so much for my prediction that we wouldn’t see many more pass balls. Ironically enough, I think the announcers said two of the three pass balls were fastballs, not knucklers. Not to worry. One bad game does not a losing season make.

Ellen, I think the reason that a knuckleballer can be repeatedly effective against major leaguers is that you don’t know what a knuckle ball is going to do from one pitch to the next, much less one game to the next. When it’s working, its movement is completely unpredictable. Even if you know it’s coming you have a tough time hitting a good knuckle ball.

I couldn’t agree more with daniel as regards Matt Clement. I root for this guy every time he’s on the mound for two reasons: 1) I genuinely like the guy’s effort, class, maturity and work ethic; and 2) I feel that when a player on your favorite team is having a rough time, cheering them on is going to help more than booing them. (OK, he can’t hear me through the TV whether I cheer or boo, but you get the idea.) I HATE when baseball fans boo players on their team. Do they think he’s going to play better because you boo him? In addition to Mr. Fagan’s valid points, I also think that repeatedly skipping over a pitcher in the rotation has got to affect their confidence, and confidence is a huge factor in a pitcher’s performance.

And Mr. Marshall, in regard to “rehabilitation programs” as you call them, I would simply ask what else are you going to do? Teams can’t just go out and demand better pitchers from other teams. Sure, you make the best trades you can, but teams with quality relievers aren’t exactly giving them away for nothing. Francona can’t just rely on Timlin and Papelbon every night because everyone else is having difficulties. There are six guys in the bullpen for a reason: two pitchers can’t cover all the relief duties day after day. You have to find a way to help the other four get better, and the only way to do that is to give them innings when you can.

Let’s not forget that the Sox are still in first place in one of the best divisions in baseball.

Remain calm. All is well.

Why not pinch hit Tek’ for Mohr last night?

I can understand some of the concerns with Wells; however, if he is healthy I think he will help the Sox. He might have a big mouth, but he is a big game pither.

DiNardo has done well, seeing how the fact that he wasn’t even one of the 7 starting pitchers in Spring Training.

Papelbon might be a starter for us someday, but for the time being I want to see him as our closer. Losing games from the start (starting pitcher) statistically might be no different than blowing a lead (a loss is a loss), but mentally BS’s or losses in the 9th can be more devastating. It is true he will pitch a much fewer innings but they will be more important innings in my opinion. Someone compared it to Ortiz getting only 200 AB, but I think it would be a better analogy to look at it as: 200 AB in the 9th inning, in close games with men in scoring position.

Finally I disagree with anyone who wants to get rid of or even complain about Wakefield. The guy is a great player and a great person. If I am not mistaken, he has been a Redsox longer than any current player, which shows his loyalty so we should show him ours. Plus, again if I’m not mistaken, he has the only complete game for Boston this season! Which was a loss. CG L’s are not the most common of things. Lack of run support has been a factor in a few of his other losses as well. I strongly feel he has pitched much better than his record. He could very easily be 6-3, but he’s not and he doesn’t make excuses! I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but it is completely mind boggling to me that anyone would get “tired” of Wake. I’d like to end with what he said after the game, “I’m disappointed in my outing today and I just felt like I let the team down.” That is how winners talk after they’ve lost. The man is a class act and I LOVE watching him pitch for Boston.

Uh, I am not sure what a “pither” is or if Wells would be one…I meant pitcher… big game pitcher. Yeah, that sounds better.

I’m starting to lose patience a with Wakefield too. I find it hard to believe he is going to consistently win when strikeouts turn into “singles”, singles turn into triples, etc… and we have to carry a 35-year old backup catcher that can’t hit, bunt, or move runners over. Just the nature of the knuckleball means he has to be so much better than the average guy to compensate for all of the downsides of the pitch (not his fault). His ERA this year is 4.57 and he hasn’t been below 4.10 in 5 years. I don’t think that is going to fly as our #3 starter if we expect to go all the way. The numbers don’t lie… ERA over 4 every year is mediocre.

Oh, how quickly they forget.

You can find a single stat to support keeping or trading just about any player. I can easily counter your ERA citation with the fact that Wakefield is a combined 50-34 over the past 4 seasons (not including this year’s starts). That would include the 2004 season. Remember that, when the Sox won the World Series? Wakefield was an integral part of that rotation, if I recall.

Josh Beckett has a career record of 47-35 with an ERA of 3.52 and nobody’s calling him mediocre.

I will grant you that Wakefield will never be any team’s ace. But no team has five aces. The five-man rotation (Schilling, Beckett, Wakefield, Clement and DiNardo) has a combined record of 21-14. That’s exactly a .600 win percentage. That corresponds almost exactly with the team’s current .605 win percentage (26-17 record). Multiply that by 162, and you have 98 wins on a season. Throw in Wells, and you pick up a couple more wins. Wakefield turns it around like he usually does, and you’re looking at over 100 wins, which puts you in Division title territory.

I repeat: Remain calm. All is well.

Rayman, do you still think Mike Lowell should play shortstop? If not maybe he could take Wakefield’s spot in the rotation. Heck maybe he could do both. Beckett’s ERA is 4.19 and he is 6-1. 4.57 is not going to win him a Cy Young, but if he can get some run support he should get us 12-15 wins. As far as going all the way, didn’t we do that in 2004? Wakefield was 12-10 with a 4.87. He was also 17-8 in 1998 with a 4.58. The numbers don’t lie… 14 AL teams, each with 5 starting pitchers that is at least 70 starting pitchers, Wakefield is 28th in ERA… To me that is not mediocre, especially for a #3 starter.

I feel we have a major problem with a shortstop batting sub .200. I admit it was a bit of a reach to recommend Lowell, but it’s more creative to think of ways to shift current guys around vs. just saying… “Trade for someone better”. In 2004, we had Schilling at 3.26, Pedro at 3.90, and Arroyo at 4.03… those are much better numbers than we have now. Here are the last 4 other World Series winners ERA for #3 starter: WhiteSox 3.61, Marlins 3.59, Angels 3.77, D’backs 3.36… See anything close to 4.57 on that list?

2 things, 1) era can be misleading at times because, in clements case, a couple bad starts to start off the year, you may have decent starts after that, but you’re never gonna fully rebound. 2) if you score 8 runs a game, as long as a pitcher aint given up 8 runs, your gonna win

Oh, double hockey sticks. I’m not going to drown myself until the NEXT time. By the way, BC PARK, I know you were wondering whether you had coined a new word—-“pither”? Well, you have. It is NOW the new term for a pitcher who does not pitch well, as pronounced by someone with a lisp. As in: “That pither tonight was a real pither!” As in Matt Clement tonight. Would also apply to “The Big Ugly”, “The Big Geek”, “The Big 5.00-Plus”, “The Big Overpaid”, “The Big Washed Up”.

Derek Lowe “went 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA (4 ER/19.1 IP) in four playoff appearances, earning victories in the clinching game of the American League Division Series, Championship Series and World Series.” He had an ERA of 5.42 in 2004. Starsfan I agree all stats can me misleading. I think the other thing in this discussion is a difference in what would be/is good. Finally, Robnbetsy, I like your optimism!

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