Deep In the Heart of Texas

Yes, I’m in Houston. I’m out here in the country working on my southern accent. Guess what I had for lunch today? Texas-style BBQ? Mexican, perhaps? Wrong, and wrong.

Sushi. Yes, I’ll eat sushi anywhere, just ask Rob Bradford — my partner in sushi crime. We found a good spot today. OK, it wasn’t quite Japan sushi, or even California, Seattle, Fort Myers, New York or Boston, but still, it was pretty good.

This is a great stadium, one of the finer new facilities in baseball. I love that hill in center field right in front of the 436-foot mark. Forget about climbing the Rocky steps in Philly. I want to climb that hill and run down and see if I can do it without falling.

Dice-K  was on
the hill, and I know everyone was curious to see what he will bring
after the disaster of six days ago. Some of that curiosity ended in the
first inning when Matsuzaka struck out the side. Overall, the Dice-Man had it gong, giving up two hits and no runs over five innings.

J.D. Drew continues to do his best Yaz ’67 en fuego impersonation. He just launched another drive, high and deep to right. Three-run blast. Drew now has 11 homers in June, which, as you may recall, marks the amount of homers he hit in his entire first season in Boston.

Highlight of the game so far was the bottom of the seventh inning, when they cranked out the song “DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS”. One unnamed Boston writer clapped and sang along, while another said, “This is enough to make you vomit.” Good time had by all.

As, I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the Coco Crisp suspension came down — reduced to five games. And what a shock that it neatly coincides that he will miss all three Red Sox-Rays games at the Trop.

In other news, Mike Timlin had his first rehab outing without a hitch on Thursday in Pawtucket and will toe the slab again on Thursday. Timlin is eligible to come off the disabled list on July 4 at Yankee Stadium.

Big Papi David Ortiz is here with the Red Sox, but still taking just light swings off the tee. No word yet on when he will advance to more aggressive cuts. Big Bart, as I like to call Bartolo Colon, is also with the team, but he hasn’t been cleared to start throwing yet.

40 Comments

Sushi in Houston, now that is funny. Never thought they had that in Texas, lol.

I was very surprised to here Crisp’s suspension went from 7 games to 5 games. I thought it had a chance to be reduced 1 game but not 2 games.

All the eyes are on Dice-K tonight.

Ian—Are you going to hang out with Roger Clemens at Bayou Mama’s Swamp Bar? LOL. Remember what happened to Clemens there? Another classic Clemens story.

Dice K strikes out the side. Looking a bit impressive tonight, or at least improved…

Funny Ian thinks Texas is the South. I guess it is. I’m from South Carolina, and I kind of think of Texas as the West. I guess they still say y’all there just like we do here!

Nice too see Drew still hitting the longball, a 3 run bomb!!! Boston should have lots of fun in Houston this weekend. Astros are falling apart!!!

bosoxbrian,

Please relieve me about Manny. He’s feeling like an automatic strikeout. Is his career over????

one more question,

When a hitter is struggling, does it make sense to change his standing in the order to not let a big hole form in run production?

Come on Okajima. Breaks up the shutout bid. Without him the bullpen has been great lately

Tessie, Texas is so big, it’s the southeast AND the west. A friend is from near Beaumont(southeast) and he talks about the Cajuns there….coonasses he calls them. Cajuns that live in the swamps from what I understand. We talked food alot and he had some strange recipes: animals I never even heard of from the swamps down there,Nutria rats??? And another friend lives in Odessa, near New Mexico. Texas stretches a looooong way.

Good game Sox! Francona needs to nurse Okajima along because the Sox will need him down the road. If anyone can do it it’s Tito, I have confidence in him. At some point I think we’ll see the Oki of ’07. Trust me.

Dave, here’s some comments on your list of pitches from the previous thread. You pretty much have them all and they can be grouped.

Fastballs include 4 seam, 2 seam, splitter and cutter. A sinker is not a separate pitch. Most pitchers who are said to be throwing sinkers are throwing 2 seam fastballs which naturally move down and in.

Chageup include any offspeed pitch designed to look like a fast ball on delivery. In other words the arm motion and arm speed will be the same as a fastball, but due to grip, the pitch will have significantly less velocity. You mentioned the circle change, palm ball, and forkball, all of which are change ups. Some pitchers will simply move the ball to the palm of their hand. A fork ball is not the same as a splitter. You have to have large hands to throw a fork ball since the ball sits all the way down between the index and middle fingers. The grip of a splitter is not that exaggerated. A palm ball is held between the thumb and pinky finger and is also referred to as a slip pitch. Both the fork and palm balls will have a forward spin and drop significantly in addition to being off speed. You don’t see many people throw them any more because they are difficult to control.

Curve balls are thrown in a variety of ways. You see the 12 to 6 curve ball, which moves almost straight down. Beckett, Buchholz and Del Carmen are pure 12 to 6 curve ballers. These guys snap their writs straight down on delivery creating a tight forward spin. Side armers will throw a flat curve. Other pitchers curve balls vary depending on arm angle and the angle of the snap of their wrist. The more off the side of the ball they snap, the flatter the curve.

I don’t know of anyone who throws a screwball. It’s a way unnatural motion that puts incredible strain on the elbow and shoulder.

A slider is somewhere between a cut fast ball and a curve. It is generally thrown pretty hard and has a short quick break down and away. Some pitchers throw it like you would throw a football. The spin of a properly thrown slider will create what appears to be a dot on top front side of the ball as it approaches the hitter.

Great game last night. I’m so glad that JD continues to prove me wrong. I wonder who will get the DH spot at the ASG if Papi isnt ready.
Speaking of the All Star Game, has every stuffed their respective ballot boxes?? I voted my 25 times. though I did do a write in on each one.. Ellsbury.
I think that the decision to reduce Coco’s number of games suspension from 7-5 hinged on him not playing in the Tampa series.. think I heard that on ESPN radio.
Any good to read everyone!! and as usual
LET’S GO SOX!!!

**ANYWAY good to read everyone again**

gsm52,

Thank you so much for that information about pitches. I figure you’d be the one doing it since you’re the pitching expert in this group. You did a great job and don’t think I’m not grateful because the more I learn about the game, the more I enjoy it. You’re great!
It’s amazing how many variations of the same pitch there are. I always thought of a sinker as a slow moving pitch. I never knew it really was a fastball that has a hard break. That was surprising to me. I guess Masterson throws a lot of two seam fastballs then.
I also had no idea how many different types of fastballs there are. It would seem to be a smart thing to throw a great variety of pitches (four seam, two seam, splitter, curveball, changeup) but it seems most pitchers stick to three pitches at most. I’m guessing because of the amount of time it takes to master these techniques which are probably harder than you can imagine at the major league level.

Ellen,

Great always to read your posts. Coco really does have a hot temper but he’s also quite competitive.
I wasn’t worried at all about Dice-K I knew he hadn’t pitched in a month and he’s too competitive to not give it extra effort the next time out. He’s learning really quickly how hard the major leagues are to anyone entering them.
I am worried about Manny. He’s just looking useless out there. When he does it, it’s always with nobody on base. The minute someone gets on base he either strikes out, grounds out or flies out. He just can’t do anything up there and he looks it in his face. I wonder what’s happening to him. He just has had a terrible year so far. Now everyone will walk Drew to face him knowing he’s an automatic out. I mean you can throw it down the middle of the plate and he’ll foul it off or swing right through it. It’s heartbreaking to see a great hitter like Manny struggle like this.

Ellen, just wanted to say hi! Haven’t seen you on the blog in a while. Hope you’re doing well. Ian.

Holy cow — has anyone looked at our July schedule??? TB, NYY, Min, BAL, All-Star Break, LAA, SEA (away), NYY, LAA — with Minnesota as hot as can be right now — it maybe the toughest month yet. If the SOX repeat, it won’t be because the schedule tyrants made it easy on them — not sure they could have made it anymore difficult in fact.

Good things the players never look at the schedule (so I have heard) — it would probably get in their heads if they did.

Ian, Thanks for checking!! Just been busy with work, Sox and Fantasy ball.. I applied for the receptionist position for the Redsox!! I wont get it but its fun to dream!!
I may not post but I still keep up with what everyone else is saying. And Dave, thanks for the comment.
ellen

Jon “No-hit” Lester going for the Sox tonight. He has been great lately and 6-1 since that little disaster against Oakland in Japan.

Dice-K was better yesterday than against the Cardinals. After 5 days of rest he was good at finding the strikezone ( Before that bad inning in the fifth) and throwing harder. He hit 91 to 92 on the gun, and it was mostly 87-88 in the last start

Jon “No-hit” Lester going for the Sox tonight. He has been great lately and 6-1 since that little disaster against Oakland in Japan.

Dice-K was better yesterday than against the Cardinals. After 5 days of rest he was good at finding the strikezone ( Before that bad inning in the fifth) and throwing harder. He hit 91 to 92 on the gun, and it was mostly 87-88 in the last start

Jon “No-hit” Lester going for the Sox tonight. He has been great lately and 6-1 since that little disaster against Oakland in Japan.

Dice-K was better yesterday than against the Cardinals. After 5 days of rest he was good at finding the strikezone ( Before that bad inning in the fifth) and throwing harder. He hit 91 to 92 on the gun, and it was mostly 87-88 in the last start

Jon “No- Hit” Lester going for the Sox tonight. He has been great lately. Dice-K was much better than in his start against St. Louis. He was better throwing strikes besides his bad 5th inning

I was trying to make it faster and look what happened

Redsoxfan015,

Getting a little carried away there, lol.

Okajima continues to struggle, gives up a longball last night. I don’t know what his issue is. A 4 run lead and he can’t get out of the inning, that speaks volumes of his struggles.

I expect too see another solid outing from Lester tonight. He has really grown in front of our eyes. He takes the hill with so much confidence. Boston’s bats should be alive and well. Brandon Backe, I don’t see him doing much tonight. He was one of the rag tag arms Tampa Bay had coming out of there bullpen. Red Sox should launch a few tonight off of Backe.

Hey bosoxbrian,

I’m very concerned with all the pitchers. They constantly strike out when the hit the plate (LOL)

Okajima.
I know Oki has had a problem with his wrist and I wonder if he’s pitching hurt. He’s competitive like everyone else. I’m also concerned Manny not hitting. Yet he did today but in general he’s been really painful to watch. He looks like a man struggling to find his groove.

Have to also say you are one terrific guy Bosoxbrian — actually all of you are. Great group to be apart of. Thank you all for sharing your time on this blog. It helps me get through the games of pain.

Dave,

Thanks for the kind words, right back at you.

As of right now, Okajima and Dice-K are a concern of mine. Dice-K did pitch well but only 5 innings last night.

Don’t know what happened to Lester tonight. He has gotten roughed up. He was almost out of the 3rd inning but couldn’t get Lee out.

bosoxbrian,

Thanks for your kind words. I’m not worried about Dice-K. They are just babying him and saving him for the second half of the season.

(vent about Red Sox coming)
However — I am sick to death of the Sox getting some runs and then blowing it wide open with a struggling team while Tampa Bay explodes over its opposition. Right now the Sox are so pathetic. With all that money and talent they should be winning every game they get — there I feel much better!

Hunter Pence, thank you!!!

Pedroia is very hot right now. Hitting .260 earlier this month and now hitting above .300

Pedroia is on fire!!!!

Bosoxbrian,

Have you ever noticed everytime I rant the Sox get ahead. I now see my destiny (LOL)

Dave,

Keep ranting!!!! LOL……

Bosoxbrian,

Every time see the Sox get lazy, my voice will be heard! (LOL)

Another rant!

Every time you are head you give up a lead walk. Why are the Sox so predictable!!!!!

Hansen is good or bad. No consistency from him at all.

Just checked in on gameday; 11 to 9, Houston ahead. This game’s a nightmare!!! Of course I have zero qualifications to make this statement, but it seems to me these slugfests have got to be helll on the managers. Luckily Tito has no hair to pull out. C’mon pitchers!!!

ELLEN!!! How ya been? I was worried your husband had taken away the computer. Glad to hear all is well.

This game was like the bad old days of Sox baseball. No lead was ever safe, no amount of offense could be counted on to be enough. Makes me glad that those days are gone except for an occasional reminder. We need that, lest we get spoiled.

Hey, what’s up??? No dissing of Lugo for days. Ya’ll feeling alright?

Well, TB lost in 13, and the sox are still above the AL east by a half a game.

Hi Ellen. Haven’t seen you post for while. Nice to see you here again

Dave, you were one rant short tonight. Don’t be falling asleep on us. You’re now the designated ranting maniac.

Walks are killers. Aardsma, Hansen and Del Carmen…… three guys who can throw a ball through a concrete wall, but not over the plate. This was a very ugly loss. Fortunately, the Rays lost in 13.

Beckett goes tomorrow. I like the Sox chances. They need to head to Tampa on a positive note.

Dave,

I blame this loss on you, this one is on your shoulders. You stopped ranting, why? LOL…..

Actually Hansen and Delcarmen were pathetic!!! Look no further than them. It is obvious to me that Theo needs to add an arm or two to the pen come late July. No consisentcy from these guys at all. Prior to last night Delcarmen has been pitching very well but got smoked last night. When things go bad for Delcarmen it goes south quick, just like last night.

Beckett to pitch in front of the home folks, he’ll get the job done today. Perhaps Beckett will hit a H.R. today, he did in Philly a couple years ago.

Is today’s pitcher a fastball pitcher or an off-speed guy? If he throws hard the Sox will be OK, but if he throws a lot of curves and change-ups, watch out. Beckett should be sharp today. Josh will be in his “playoff” mind-set with the home crowd watching.

We’re counting on you today, Dave. Rant away! Don’t let the blog down!

How hot is Pedroia right now. He just burned the pitcher. WOO

Hey guys — the rage!

Last nights game was humiliation. A great pitching staff. Today…the hitting once again is shot! Manny is a strikeout fanatic! I have never seen a superstar like Manny strikeout like he does. There are times I think the entire team couldn’t defeat the Toledo Mud Hens and the Sox use a rocket launcher to fire the baseball at home plate.

There is my rant!

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