Day 2 in scenic San Diego

Good news for the Red Sox on the injury front: Both J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell are back in the lineup. The lineup looks like this tonight here in SD:

Crisp CF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz 1B
Ramirez LF
Drew RF
Lowell 3B
Mirabelli C
Lugo SS
Wakefield P

Why Drew back in the five-hole? Because there’s no Youkilis and no Varitek and Lowell doesn’t like moving out of the six-hole and Tito needs somebody to hit fifth. Expect Drew to be back at leadoff tomorrow, well, unless Coco goes 4-for-4 tonight.

Interestingly, Josh Bard will catch tonight for the Padres, meaning he’ll hit against Wakefield. Can he hit him better then he caught him?

Humorous moment in the Padres clubhouse before the game: One unidentified Padres player said, "Hey Bard-o, what does this guy throw?"… Bard said, "He throws a knuckleball every once in a while … tough to catch."

Also, David Ortiz took BP with an aluminum bat for the second night in a row, creating a clang heard ’round the world. Mike Cameron was watching it on TV in the Padres clubhouse and loved the idea and suggested the Pads should do the same on the next homestand.

Anyway, I need to get to my notebook. I’ll be back with more insight later.

Ian.

31 Comments

Tonite might be a long night but it is pressure free since the Yanks already lost. However 11.5 up in the standings would look nice tomorrow morning. IMO this Yankee loss today was worse than the Rockie sweep becuase the Giants are soooo terrible (possible worse than the Nationals)

Also 11.5 would be the largest lead of the season. 11.5 will look lot better.

Looks like a long night for the Sox.

11.5 is not the largest, back in early June we were 14.5 up.

Young is absolutely dealing, this game may be over by midnight on the east coast

My bad, you meant over the second place team right?

Darn, 1-0 Padres…

Still, the way Wake and Young are going, this may end up being either a repeat or mirror image of yesterday’s game.

Mirabelli looks SILLY!!
All that booing must be getting to him

Man I could play short better than this clown and Theo, I only require half a mil.

Why would Mirabelli not lay down a sacrafice with 0 out and men on 1st and 2nd? Does he not know how to bunt?

If the Padres played the infield back, you know Lugo would get one of his trademark RBI groundouts.

Lugo looks god awful.

He is now 0-22. I wonder if Lugo swings and misses during Batting Practice. Right now, he doesn’t look like he could it off me….and that’s bad.

Young looks as good as advertised. He’s not overpowering (88-89) but he’s had Ortiz looking rough. The only chance looks like to make him get his pitch count up and get into their bullpen….wait, that’s not a good idea either the way San Diego’s pen has been.

Zach, I was thinking the same thing initially with Mirabelli especially when you figure how ugly he looked his first time up and the fact that he is prone to the double play.
Even though no one on the team will say they don’t have faith in Lugo, the fact that Francona didn’t bunt Doug pretty much just told us all that he didn’t think Lugo could get the run home with guys on 2nd and 3rd and only 1 out. He was hoping Doug could get a hit. Any other time you have a guy hitting under .200 (Mirabelli, not Lugo) you would have him bunt. But that fact that the guy behind him is even worse says a lot.

That’s my opinion anyway.

Anyway, let’s hope Wake can keep it close and maybe Young will tire

What is the 3rd base ump smoking tonight? lol, that was clearly a homer, how’d he miss it

Well, Josh Bard can’t catch a knuckler, but he sure can hit it.
This 3rd base umpire should be demoted. 2 calls in 2 innings he’s blown and got overturned. Granted, both calls were eventually called right, but what a joke.

Well, I have to turn off the mlb-tv, sign out then sign back in to comment. But you all know that.
I know I’m no baseball expert, but what is it abt Lugo. I mean every player goes into a slump, then pulls out of that slump. But Lugo looks like he will never get out of it. And his body language seems to say, “Get me outta here!!” Like he wishes he were the hotdog guy right about now. Maybe he will work out of it, but I would not bet more than 5 cents on that! Maybe he can pitch?

I really wanted Cabrera back, didn’t happen, then A-Gonz, didn’t come back either. Now we’ve got the Lug. Theo, you’re a genius in other positions but leave SS to someone else.

PS, the one silver lining in the Lugo debacle is that now that he’s below .200 his average seems to be falling at a slower rate. I guess all the AB’s are adding up and he is benefiting from that. Good to have something to be positive about.

Tito did what he had to do, bottom line- get the call right in the first place so we don’t have to go through the excess bullcrap

I hope Timlin uses this outing to get some confidence back. The guys a 15 (give or take) year veteran and he’s now pitching mop up duty in the 6th. I’d love nothing more than to see him doing what he has done in the past and pitching in the clutch. Granted, I still want Oke in the 8th, but it would be nice to have confidence in Timlin in the 7th when it matters.
A restored Timlin, Delcarmen, Donnely when he comes back, Lopez and Oke setting it up for Paps is a huge reason why slumps will be minimized this season.

Nice call Arnie! So he’s got that going for him….which is nice.

The Padres are clearly the class of the NL IMO. I don’t care how little hitting they have if you can throw Peavy and Young plus vets like Maddux and Wells and Germano who is quietly having a great year no one is going to beat you. Whoever makes it out of the AL this year will be facing the Pads in the WS.

“I really wanted Cabrera back, didn’t happen, then A-Gonz, didn’t come back either. Now we’ve got the Lugo”

Arnie, maybe u should wish that Lugo is back after the All Star Break. That way he will be gone before the All Star Break.

I just checked the stats in both AL & NL and Lugo is dead last in the Batting Average among all players with average of 3 At-Bats per games. Deadlast among all the players. He is 180th among all qualifying players. And the bad thing is he doesn’t look like comming out of it any time soon.

OK Kumar, you got it. From now on I will wish and hope that Lugo signs an extension before the ASB.

Wakefield seemed to be pitching pretty well, throwing strikes, but SD hit him. Unusual. Not one walk from Wake tonight. It’s sometimes hard for me to tell if the knucklers were breaking right into the heart of the plate. Maybe the Padres just did a good job and hit the butterflies. Normally if Wake can throw strikes with the knuckle ball he doesn’t get hit too hard.
The other pitcher looked like CY Young out there tonite.

I’m tired of the ups and downs of Wakefield. I know the Sox are likely not going to get rid of him this year (though he could lose his spot in the rotation if he continues to struggle), but I would rather see someone like Tavarez or Gabbard as the No. 5 starter, and Lester as the No. 4 starter (when he is ready) this season. You never know what you are going to get from Wakefield, and his presence on the team requires that the Sox keep Mirabelli, who is one of the worst hitters in the big leagues (along with Wil Nieves). The Sox can afford to keep Wakefield in the rotation for the time being since they have such a comfortable lead, but if he continues to get pounded on a consistent basis, someone else should get a chance.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

About Lugo, I am frustrated with him like everyone else is, but I still think he will emerge from his slump in the second half. I am surprised that he has not gotten a few hits in this series. With Peavy starting for the Padres tomorrow, Terry Francona should start Alex Cora, who usually makes solid contact. With Cora and Varitek in the lineup, there will not be an automatic out, except the pitcher’s spot. Tonight, there were three.

Jeff, I completely agree about Wakefield. I don’t want it to sound like I’m getting all over him because of tonight’s poor start, but the knuckleball is just a bit too erratic for me. It seems like if it’s not a control issue, it’s too hittable. I personally think that the downside to a knuckleballer is greater than the upside.

And nothing against Mirabelli, but he’s holding onto the roster spot of some young talented catcher who is most assuredly a better fielder and hitter. He hasn’t had a productive offensive season in years and I would be hard pressed to find a slower player in the league (Frank Thomas? One of the Molina Brothers?).

I really doubt Wakefield is in his last year with Boston so that’s another year for a David Pauley or a Kason Gabbard to wait in the wings. Kind of frustrating, but you sort of have to roll with the punches of a knuckleballer.

By the way, I just heard about the Mirabelli quote (“I guess I’m getting called back to the big leagues”) after the Red Sox re-acquired him last year. No wonder the San Diego fans let him have it tonight.

You really have to wonder why Theo gave a 4-year,$36 million dollar deal to Lugo;the guy basically hasn’t hit well since the middle of last season.

It wasn’t just our hitters simply not hitting…Young was just dealing tonight.

If he can do this to an AL line up, no wonder the NL can’t hit him either…

I don’t know how it works with options and all of that stuff, but is there any way Lugo can go down to AAA, even umtil the All Star break? It could take him out of the scrutiny and allow him to get a few hits and get his confidence back.

I disagree about Wakefield – he had the best ERA on the team a couple of months ago. Fair enough, he has been very patchy since then but he could still get it back. Every year he goes around .500 with a 4.40 ERA. I think that’s pretty acceptable for a number 4 or 5 starter.

By the way I reckon the Sox should be looking to stretch out the lead on the Yankees before the All Star break. They have an away series against Baltimore, then have the A’s, Twins (4 game set) and Angels. By comparison, we have the Mariners, Rangers, and Devil Rays, before a 3 game set with the Tigers. We should look to at least maintain the lead or ideally stretch it because there will be a lot of times in the second half we have tougher series than them.

Jeff, your post about Wakefield made me think all of a sudden; this team will need to be tweaked a little at some point. And it struck me that we have so many veterans who may be dragging the team down at some time during the season. But we all keep saying, Well it’s OK , we have such a big lead.” Yea, but should we wait until the lead is too small, or coast into the postseason carrying dead weight and then lose in the first round. Is Tito too loyal to these guys, Timlin, Wake, Doug, etc.? Will Theo pull the trigger on a release or trade? These questions are valid, I think. What say you?

I know that Wakefield is usually around the .500 mark and puts up a sub-5.00 ERA, but you have to consider Mirabelli as part of his impact on the team, because obviously with no Wakefield, there would be no Mirabelli.

Mirabelli’s last three years add up to about 140 games (give or take the amount of games a normal catcher would play in a season), and here are his stats: .196 BA, 14 HR, 48 RBI.

The bottom of the order last night was probably the worst 2 hitters (right now) on the Red Sox (Mirabelli, Lugo) and the pitcher. And for as well as Chris Young pitched, 6 of his 11 strikeouts came on these three.

On another note, the Padres announcers kind of annoy me, especially the color commentator. He is a bigtime homer, almost willing Greene’s second homerun to clear the fence last night. Here’s hoping that mlb.tv picks up the NESN broadcasts for this afternoon’s game.

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