Long time coming

0603071122aI needed to put the scoreboard photo
up as proof. In a moment that was
long overdue, The Boston media prevailed over their New York counterparts in the Media game. We played at Fenway this morning, winning by the score you see — 14-7 — in what barely qualified as an official game. We had the field until 11:30. We play twice a year — once
in the Bronx and once at Fenway — and this is our first victory since 2001.
It was definitely a team effort all the way. Tony Massarotti from the Herald had a rough first inning, giving up four runs, but the offense picked him up. Tony actually supported the cause with a couple of knocks of his own. We broke through with a big bottom of the third, with hits coming from all over the place. Actually, I’d say our best hit of the day was a foul ball. Kevin Gray of the New Hampshire Union Leader smoked a foul home run to the left of Fisk Territory. It was eerily similar to the 90 or 100 foul home runs Millar hit to that exact spot during his years with the Sox. A few years back, I’m told that Kevin Gray actually cleared the wall in fair territory. Speaking of Gray, the dude went Jeter on us, diving into the stands to catch a foul popup. It was inspiring. And kudos also to Andy Hackett for nailing a double about halfway up the Monster.

It felt a lot different to be in the winner’s circle. I got a crash course in how big right field is at Fenway Park when Bob Klapisch smoked a liner way out of my reach and into the corner. I had this vision of the ball rolling all the way along the line like Pokey Reese’s inside the park homer a few years ago. But i managed to use my less than blazing speed — but all-out hustle — to hold Klap to a triple.

Rob Bradford of the Herald — best known for his blogging prowess — can also pitch. He came on in relief of Tony and gave us two shutout innings to earn the win.

As for my two at-bats, I popped out to second the first time up. My second time at the dish, I came up right in the middle of the rally and hit a roller to second that Pete Caldera apparently couldn’t get a handle on. I didn’t see the play because I had my head down in an all-out effort to get to first base in time. Caldera, who is a great guy, tells me he would have had me by five feet if he had handled the ball cleanly. I believe him because, yes, I’ll say it again, God granted me with less than average foot speed. Anyway, Uri Berenguer ended up trying to score from second on the play and the ball skipped to the backstop, allowing me to reach second. The official scorer — who is generous beyond belief — somehow ruled it a hit. I think I’ll take it because my poor media game batting average needs it.

Anyway, I don’t have as many great game details as usual because my seven-year-old son Tyler was at the game so I spent a lot of time checking on him and hanging out with him. He’s a big baseball fan and he shagged some flyballs off the Monster once the game was over.  Anyway, that’s all the organized baseball I’ll play until next year.0603071131
Below you will see Tyler stuck inside the Monster but not seeming to mind.

41 Comments

Lucky you, that’s about the closest to the real thing a “mortal” like us could experience.
( Well, except for that Tom Verducci thing )

Playing on those fields ( Fenway and Yankee Stadium ) must be an incredible sensation, even for a beat writer that’s used to be there. Good for you and your son.

Nice job Ian! It’s about time you guys won! What a great picture of Tyler!
~Molly

Unlike many of my fellow bloggers here, i’m not a Coco hater. But man ! was it a poor and lazy relay to the infield on the Posada double. Should’ve been an out at second ( or just a single ).

And now he’s at 3rd base with 1 out.

ATTABOY DUSTIN !! Is he hot or what ?!

Is it just me or has Dustin really stepped up a notch in the field and at the plate since people were questioning his starting place in the team? The pressure seems to have invigorated him. 5-4 lead now thanks to Youk.

I just think that he was in the bottom part of the learning curve. Somewhat normal for a rookie.

I can’t stand watching Lugo right now. No meaningful games. Petite 88 mph fastball right down the middle, what a joke. Pedroia’s nuts are 10 times the size and I have only said it a million times. Lugo needs to be send down to #8 or #9 before he does any more damage.

Yes, I noticed that Crisp really dogged that Posada double.

Notice they didn’t show a clear replay of that play at the plate. Looked like Lugo might have snuck in.

Did you hear they finally diagnosed Clemen’s ailment? It’s called… “WaitingForAnNLCentralPatsy-itis of the groin”

How come Miller and Morgan were talking about a blown save by Oki ? We’re in 8th inning, for god sake ! It’s a blown lead, not a blown save !

cause jon miller is just annoying and morgan has diarehha of the mouth. he always needs something to talk about

sadly he was right, it is a blown save technically. Hence why Proctor had 7 last year, despite having only two in the 9th inning.

Lugo was out, they showed the replay, it was clear, posada just did a great job blocking the plate, more lucky than anything else.

Where is the line ? When does it stop being a blown lead to turn into a blown save ? From the start of the 8th on ?

Keep the faith, everyone. It’s Papi, Manny and Youk in the bottom 9th. Against Mo. That’s what makes baseball so exciting.

Rough game, gotta keep it in perspective though: 12.5 games.

The only thing I’m weary of is that we are running into a hot pitcher in Haren while putting Tavarez on the hill, the Sox have to be careful not to fall into those 1-2 game hangovers after an intense series with the Yankees.

I’m not too worried about Okajima or Papelbon. Oki shut the Yanks down with a man on 3rd and no outs, and A-Rod did a good job of taking the outside fastball the other way. Although Paps should have at least wasted a splitter with an 0-2 count, but hindsight is 20/20.

See them in August.

I gotta tell you Papelbon has been kinda ******* me off. I might be saying this only cuz he gave up the homer, but the entire year he has only been pitching fastballs. I’m not even sure he knows how to throw a split or slider anymore.

rsox: anytime you come in in a save situation and the opponent ties the game, it’s a blown save. So, say we had gotten a run bottom 8th. Pap would have gotten a blown save when he served up Arod’s homer. It’s possible to have more than one blown saves in the game (and it’s possible to have pitchers on both teams blow saves).

penwhale, i know all that.

I just thought that it wasn’t a save situation before the 9th inning. If a reliever blows out a 2 run lead in the 6th inning, is it a blown save ? I though it was a simple blown lead.

I mean, is it a save situation as soon as a reliever enters the game with a 3 run lead or less ( or with a bigger lead that shrinks into a 3 run lead ) ?

That’s kind of unfair for the set up men everywhere. They could end up with a blown save if they fail, but if they hold on, someone else ( the closer ) will come and get the save in the 9th. I just think that’s a weird rule.

Papelbon needs to learn how to waste a pitch… maybe something that looks decent and then breaks out of the zone. He has been hit on a few 0-2 counts where he just grooves one for the heck of it.

I think we hit the ball hard all night and just didn’t get the breaks. Knowing how shallow they play Pedroia to right… I have no idea how Abreau tracked that one down.

Bad call by our third base coach on Lugo. If you see the replay, Jeter takes the cutoff as Lugo is barely rounding third. It was a very high throw, but he was still out. Why not give Papi/Manny a chance to break the game open against maybe the worst pitcher in all of baseball (Vizcaino – already 2 hits and 2 walks in the game).

I can’t remember the last time Crisp or Lugo hit the ball hard. At best its a bloop or a grounder with eyes.

I’m a little worried about Papi’s hamstrings. Although his drive off Rivera in the ninth was gone in any other park.

rsox 34:

Here is the official rule on saves.

10.19 Saves For Relief Pitchers

A save is a statistic credited to a relief pitcher, as set forth in this Rule 10.19.

The official scorer shall credit a pitcher with a save when such pitcher meets all four of the following conditions:

(a) He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team;

(b) He is not the winning pitcher;

(c) He is credited with at least a third of an inning pitched; and

(d) He satisfies one of the following conditions:

(1) He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning;

(2) He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, or at bat or on deck (that is, the potential tying run is either already on base or is one of the first two batters he faces); or

(3) He pitches for at least three innings

For many of the scoring rules, you can come up with situations that don’t seem fair, and the save rule is a good example.

On Joe Morgan:

Usually, his self-contradictions make me shake my head in disgust. Last night he was so ridiculous at one point I laughed out loud. Early in the game he makes a comment about Pettite being easy to steal on because he’s so slow to the plate. Then later, when they had Lugo picked off, but he was safe because of Phelps’ throw, Morgan says Pettite is tough to steal against because of his great pick-off move. It’s almost as if as soon as something comes out of the guy’s mouth he forgets he said it.

Lugo’s getting called out at the plate was a combination of a slightly risky send by Demarlo Hale, a good play by Posada to get the tag on Lugo, and Lugo’s failure to make a better slide. I think Posada got a little lucky, in that he happened to come down in just the right spot, just in time to block Lugo’s foot, but he got the tag down very quickly. If Lugo had slid a little to the left and tagged the plate with his hand, he’s probably safe. Hindsight being what it is, and Lugo having only a split second to react to Posada being pulled off the plate by the throw, I can’t really fault him or Hale.

Oh, and Ian, I’m glad you told us Tyler was your son. I never would have guessed that, since he doesn’t look ANYTHING like you. ;-)

“That’s kind of unfair for the set up men everywhere. They could end up with a blown save if they fail, but if they hold on, someone else ( the closer ) will come and get the save in the 9th. I just think that’s a weird rule”

You’re right about that, rsox. The reason the rule is like that is because back in the 70’s and earlier you had closers like Goose Gossage that would go regularly for 3 inning saves. Times have changed.

The converse is true as well. I remember a game a couple of years ago in which Alan Embree left Mike Timlin with a bases loaded, no out jam with a one run lead. Timlin gets two outs before allowing just one run to score, and then getting the third out to end the inning. As I recall, Timlin didn’t even allow anyone to reach first, the run coming on a sac fly. Timlin got the blown save, but it was mostly Embree’s fault. Tough to write a rule that is fair in every possible situation.

As far as the set up man not getting any credit in rsox’s example, at least they’ve started recording holds, so there is a statistic to show the contribution of the set up men. Not as sexy as a save, but those who take the time to look at all of the stats can see how well the middle relievers are helping the cause of the team.

Thanks rob, btide and penwhale.

I just hope the middle relievers take the time to include the Hs as bonuses when signing a new deal !!!!

Another example was Mo Rivera – when the Yankees had a one run lead in the bottom of the 8th with runners on the corners and no-one out (Gordon’s mess), he came in and ggave up a saac fly to Varitek but got a blown save for it. Seems very unfair to me.

The ESPN guys were terrible. I didn’t like A-Rod’s play at all in Toronto but they spoke at it, and A-Rod’s other escapades, for what seemed like two full innings. What a joke. They barely commentated on the game itself on what was a great game.

Tonight could be a loooong, short night for the Sox. We are throwing the “B” team out there (no Tek, Lowell and dare I say Lugo) against the Cy Young winner for the first 2 months. Whoever came up with this schedule did a horrible job, there was no reason for New York to fly halfway acorss the country to play tonight much less Boston who has to fly coast-to-coast. Yankees are feeling the effects losing by 4 in the 7th, I have to think we will be viewing similar results soon.

Let’s all say our prayers that this is the last start we ever see Tavarez pitch. Lester had a nice 7 inning start… seems like he is ready. How long do we keep a 5.50 ERA bum in our rotation? Given how tired the Redsox are, wouldn’t it have made more sense to just forfeit this game and rest our guys?

Rayman, thats a little harsh for Tavarez. The ERA is high because of his first handful of starts, its around 4 in the last couple months. I’d prefer EZ in the rotation over Wake who can’t throw strikes. Let him work it out in the pen when Lester comes back.

I mean around 4 in the last month

I am counting on the vast knowledge of my brainy blog brethren. Can anyone confirm if the 1978 home record for the Sox (63-19) is the best since MLB when to the 162-game format? Also, alluding back to Rayman’s comment, I agree that Papelbon could have wasted a pitch or two on Arod. It is so frustrating to see an opposing player homer on an 0-2 pitch. Pap’s 2 plus era is still impressive but he could really dominate with that talent.

Since I was hardly a blip on the Earth radar akihiro, I am unsure whether or not that is the best ever. Were they that good at home? That is one helluva record

I think we are in trouble with both Wake and Tavarez. I really doubt Tavarez is going to get below 5.00 ERA as a starter. I think Wake doesn’t get any breaks from the umps. If its not a perfect strike, they never give him a call. Add in the wild pitches, the easy steals, and the wasted lineup spot (Mirabelli) and its not a pretty picture. We need Lester badly and I wouldn’t hesitate to look around the minors for some additional help.

Yep, Rizzo. I recall they were like under .500 on the road but were unbelievable at home. 99 wins that year. By the way, just call me Paul.

9 hits and 2 walks given up to the worst hitting team in the league. That’s Tavarez. It is really painful to play the A’s… they have 1 good hitter in the entire lineup and always to seem to score runs against us.

Wily Mo needs to be traded before he loses whatever value he has left. His defense in the outfield is an absolute joke. He has let two balls get by him in this game alone to allow the A’s to go for extra bases.

It’d be one thing if he was hitting while playing a below-average outfield, but striking out roughly every 3 at-bats is obviously not going to get it done, nor is a glaring inability to hit the breaking ball which every pitcher in the AL is aware of.

The Reds made out like bandits with the Pena-for-Arroyo deal: they got a rubber arm with big game experience while the Sox received a “future slugger” who swings a bat with holes in it.

I really am losing patience with those whole “wait and see” approach the Red Sox are taking with him, I understand he’s young but right now I would much rather see Hinske as the 4th outfielder. At least he has proven he can play (2002 Rookie of the Year) whereas we are waiting on Pena based off of potential alone.

And yes, he just went deep.

But I maintain my point, he doesn’t hit enough to make up for his ugly defense.

…now I wish there was a delete feature on this thing.

I’m glad Pena is proving me wrong.

(Although if Crisp wasn’t running on that play, it’s a groundout to the 2B, but that’s not important).

What a good game other than the result. So many things pointed towards a win (tying up the game in dramatic fashion, escaping the jam in the 9th)

Yet other parts pointed towards a loss (giving up the cycle, couldn’t score in extras, pedroia out at home)

Im glad the sox fought the entire time, they could have just said it was too late and they were too tired to play. This still blows I wanted a win.

lol….zach, thanx your comments made my morning. Keep the wmp dissing up and maybe he will keep the hitting up. His defense is brutal however, but I can see how he might be a good hitter down the road. Seems to me when he plays it takes him a few games to find his swing, he gets hot, and he’s back out of the line-up. Good game last night, crappy results. Haven’t really tracked or noticed the A’s beating us up over the past few years, I do know we have done that to them in the playoffs when it counts. How does Kotsay have such a great BA against us career wise. He must have played for those Blue Jays at one point. Seems all those guys come up big against us too. Didn’t mind the commentary last night, way better then the espn game Sunday. Well which Dice-K is going to show up tonight…I’m hedging on the good one, but have decided not to play him in my pool for the first time this season. I actually put the Big Unit in tonight.

You’re right Alex, Sox played a gutsy game. It would have been a great win. Even though he gave up the home run to Chavez, Kyle Snyder did a nice job. Unlike those before him, at least he came in and threw strikes. How much trouble were the Sox pitchers in all night because of walks. It’s a rather disturbing trend. Even Pap is walking a lot of people and getting into trouble and throwing more pitches than he needs to.

I’m really proud of Julian Tavarez. It looked like disaster time for him tonight, and he came back and gave the Sox some quality innings. While his stats aren’t all that great, he has pitched some gutsy games this year. He’s also so entertaining to watch.

Dice-K needs to crank it up tonight. Sox have lost 4 of 5 and need to start winning again. He needs to be a stopper here. Fortunately, none of the other division rivals are winning much either. Sox have played pretty solid consistent baseball, but have not really put a run together yet. If they do that once, the could wrap things up early.

Great outing by Jon Lester. Maybe we’ll see him back in a couple of weeks.

That’s the type of close game I haven’t seen in a long while. Gutsy game by our boys, although it stinks they came out on the wrong end. Honestly, I had my hope up for an Ortiz homer and we almost got one. Then Chavez had to come out and ruin it. :-P

Tavarez had came out and given us a great chance most of the time to let us win ballgames. It’s just that he’s been matched up with the opposing team’s best pitcher almost everytime (e.g. Haren, Santana), so it makes it that much harder to get some runs on the board. Honestly, I’d be more worried about Wake. Like Rizzo said, he hasn’t been throwing strikes as of late. I hope it’s just some mechanical issue that can be worked out.

Wily Mo coming up big…that’s just what I wanted to see. :-)

He needs to be in games more often so he can get better. Maybe we’re keeping him around so once Ortiz retires (which I hope is never, lol), we have another power hitting DH? No idea, but if we could trade him for someone, who and what position?

Here’s to hoping we see a 10-K Dice-K tonight.

zachary:

I have been of the opinion that Hinske should get more playing time in the outfield as well. Then I looked at his offensive stats and was surprised to see how much worse they are than Pena’s.

Pena

AB: 75 AVG: .240 OPS: .767 TB: 34 SO: 29

Hinske

AB: 59 AVG: .155 OPS: .547 TB: 17 SO: 15

Hinske sort of peaked in late April, when his average was up around .500, but he’s been on a steady decline. Who knows, with a few more consistent plate appearances, maybe he could pick it up. And of course there’s the glaring disparity in the SO column.

The tough thing to quantify is how much of Pena’s production is offset by his defensive play. His fielding percentage is .923, pretty low compared to the rest of the team, but how many runs has he directly allowed to score? Last night was ugly, but I don’t have any stats for the season in that regard. (Hinske has a 1.000 fielding percentage in the outfield, but that’s with only 9 total chances. His fielding percentage at first base is .970.)

Personally, I like Hinske a lot. Great team player, and seems to have come up with some clutch hits and plays so far this year. I agree that he’s worth giving some more playing time.

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