Darnell still earning keep

It was the night of May 24, and the Red Sox had just completed a 6-1 victory over the Rays. It wasn’t the type of occasion manager Terry Francona felt like giving bad news to one of his players, but that’s what he did. Darnell McDonald was told that the club planned on designating him for assignment the next day. A roster spot was needed so that Mike Cameron could be activated

So McDonald got himself an evening flight back to Boston on May 25, and spent the day relaxing at the luxurious team hotel in St. Petersburg, wondering which team he would wind up with next. But during batting practice that night, Jacoby Ellsbury’s ribs went bad on him again. The Red Sox, savvy enough not to have made an official roster move yet regarding McDonald, frantically called him to make sure he was still in town.

A sleepy McDonald — whose eyes closed during a hotel room viewing of the Book of Eli by Denzel Washington — answered. “Can you get here in time to be available tonight?” was the basic message delivered by Francona. There it was, McDonald was back in business. And he has been on the roster ever since, getting key hits, and in Friday night’s game at the very site he was told earlier this year his services were no longer needed — making a perfect throw to the plate to cut down the tying run.

Cameron is out for year and Ellsbury probably is too. McDonald? He has been a key performer for the Red Sox in August, hitting .353 with two homers, five RBis, a .421 on-base percentage and a .735 slugging percentage in 34 at-bats.

Tonight against tough righty Matt Garza, McDonald will not be in the lineup. Instead, the Sox will go with Nava-Kalish-Drew.

46 Comments

The bottom 1/3 of the lineup tonight are potential outs. We don’t know whether a good or bad Hall will show up facing a good RHP. I prefer to see Lowrie at 2B, Big Mac at CF, Nava or Kalish at LF.

I’m with you, Andy. I prefer Lowrie at 2B over Hall, whom I prefer to play in the OF. But I like your lineup with Darnell in CF and Kalish/ Nava in LF– JD in RF.
I am very pleased with Darnell and several others of our “new guys”, incl. Lowrie (I’m glad he got a shot to show what he could do). I am very happy that Darnell was not DFAed, and that he has admirably shouldered much of the load this year, both at the plate and in the field. Way to go, Darnell! I also hope Kalish, Nava, and Lowrie all finish the year solidly.
GO SOX!

Hi All. Do you think that any of these guys could become the regular LF, or even the 4th OF for next season? Can Johnny Damon situation be taken as a ?not really? message?
I hope one of them make it for next year, because with the enormous injuries problems we have had this year, and the terrific season Yanks and Rays have had. Where could our team be, if wasn?t for the great performance of this guys, and probably the best Tito?s season as a manager?
?Don?t count with postseason, if Red Sox are still alive!!!?

I still do not believe the Sox can be taken seriously without adding another Outfielder.

Ideally, the Sox need another vet outfielder and a LH 1B to platoon with Lowell at 1B down the stretch. V-Mart should be the everyday catcher until Salty is activated. Go Bucky. Go Sox. So White Sox.

007…

Lowrie is coming back from mono so he is going to get more days off than most. I’m guessing he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow night against Shields. What scares me most about Hall is his glove and his decisions around the bag at second. I assume we could see Lowrie tonight as a defensive replacement at second, he is clearly better around second than Hall.

Great catch by Kalish, he might have saved a run. Joyce was on the move with two outs. Everyone says Kalish is more of a corner outfielder but from what I have observed, this kid can play center.

Sometimes you look at a pitching match-up and you say ” this will be a great duel ” and then it doesn’t live up to any of the expectations. Clearly this match-up lived up to expectations. Garza and Buchholz are dueling!

Bowden is back to A.A.A. ( surprise..not! ) and Oki is back.

Hall is swinging for the fences in this series! I’m not sure if Hall has swung at a strike in this series. Next time up, he should bring an oar to the plate.

If you are going to pull Bucholz, use Bard and Paps.

Not only does Martinez look good at the plate, Ortiz looks locked in. Lowell had a chance to bust the game wide open but couldn’t deliver.

What in the world was Buchholz thinking when he was throwing over at first base? Pena just returned from the D.L. because he had a foot injury. Pena barely had a lead. It reminded me of game 3 ( last game for the Red Sox in 2009 ) against the Angels when Buchholz was worried about Torri Hunter at second base, we all know what happened after that. Buchholz should have been focused on Joyce and Joyce only! Drew made the right play when he made the catch!

No way Bucholz should have started the eighth. Tito should hav followed last night’s plan. Bard in the eighth and Paps in the ninth. I assume he wants to win.

I’m not saying the season is over but I am saying that the Sox destroyed their chances to take the series. With Lackey going tomorrow the Sox are looking at 1 out of 3. Not enough at this point. Once again the Sox exposed their weakness in a bad bullpen. This is one time where double duty from Bard and Pap was needed but the Sox tend to lose extra-inning games. The Rays got a great game and they are an impressive team.
Nevertheless, this is a hard loss for everyone involved. Clay made a boneheaded mistake. He never was great in the brains department but he’s still an amazing pitcher.

This is a game that the Sox should have won. Bucholz, like Lester, pitched a fantastic game. Buchholz made that costly error but Martinez put them back on top. Tito, on the other hand, reminded me of Grady Little by not pulling Bucholz out after seven innings and, like the night before- letting Bard and Paps wrap it up. Sure, they could have blown the game, but that was the smart move. (I’m not being the Monday night quarterback- if this site permitted I wrote comments that were unable to get through. The game was aggravating enough and this site made it moreso.) Chalk this one up to Tito. Being a nice guy cost the Sox the ballgame. Hopefully, this isn’t the harbinger of the Sox downfall for the rest of the season that they miraculously hung onto. Let’s hope they can pull this last game out.

Well.. Clay cost himself the game last night. What was he thinking with that throw to first? He’s been doing that all night and when you do that, you’re bound to miss at some point! Pena was about 1 foot off the bag.
Dave why do you say that about Lackey?? He’s been strong his last 3-4 outings.
What’s up??? You’ve been on a negative slant for a while now when it comes to anything other than “Buchhy”. While he is having a great season, he is not the second coming.
I hope that the family is doing better on the virus front!! Have the girls started school yet?

Oh and why was Atchison in the game instead of Papelbon??
Thats a true mind blower…..

I didn’t see any comments about Kalish’s circus type catch. That has to be all over MLBTV and ESPN…. That catch rivals any of Ellsbury’s catches.

The game could be ovah in regulation. Why the %^& Bucky was worried about the base ruuner on 1B with 1 out? I don’t care if a rabbit was base. Bucky had the good stuff going. What was Bucky thinking? This could the turning point for the inevitable. Why didn’t Farrell approach the mound and tell “hey kid, never mind the runner, concentrate on the batter.” A solid game was wasted.

Interesting to read that the attempted pick off throw came from the bench, that is what Buchholz said after the game. Who or what MORON was called for that? Farrell? Francona? Whoever it is, I have a MAJOR problem with that. I still can’t believe Atchison was in that game. Bard ( tossed 10 pitches in his only inning ) should have been in. Atchison shouldn’t sniff that mound.

If the Red Sox lose tonight, they are done, toast, whatever words you want to use. They can’t fall (7) games back in the loss column. A win by Boston tonight, the Red Sox are still alive!

So far their are three games that MIGHT comeback and haunt this team. The day Papelbon was groggy, ( in Toronto ) the next night Beckett couldn’t hold onto a 8-2 lead in Texas and last night’s game. What if ……….

I read that DeMarlo Hale called for that pickoff move. Brad Mills where are you? LOL! Then again Francona should have stepped in. Buchholz’s attention should have been on Joyce! Another thing that is killing Boston in this series is a ” lack of clutch hitting ” . Lowell had a chance to break the game wide open in the 8th and he didn’t produce. T.B. is having major issues as well when guys are on base in this series. It is clear that the pitching in this series has been unreal on both sides but someone must produce with guys on base!

Which Lackey will show up? Which Shields will show up? Both of these guys have had some really good starts this year and some not so good starts. Both have been up and down! At one point, Shields started the season at 5-0. Shields is prone to the longball!

The reason Theo and the Red Sox gave Lackey a big $$$$$ contract is games like tonight! Big John needs to come up BIG!

Hey! Folks!

You know, I am as disappointed as you all about last night…why was Clayboy told to throw over to hold Carlos Pena close, when he was never going to steal a base…why did he make such a lousy throw?….why did Drew catch that foul ball…why was Clayboy brought back in the 8th after already throwing 107 pitches…why wasn’t Bardie brought back for a second inning when he only threw 10 pitches in his first inning…why was Atchison brought in instead of Pap. There are explanations for all of these issues: I suspect the bench didn’t want Pena to go from first to third on a single. I suspect that they wanted the second out in the inning. I suspect they wanted to conserve Bardie, who has been chalking up a lot of pitching time, for the stretch drive. I suspect they brought Atchison in to face the bottom of the order because Tito recognized they couldn’t win the ballgame in that inning, and someone would have to face the top of the order before the Sox could win.

Those explanations may make no difference to some. for me, the bottom line is that the Sox don’t quite have it this year…injuries have made them thin…the bullpen has made them thinner. Whether they can surmount their many difficulties remains to be seen. Several of you are entirely correct…they have lost several games they needed to/should have won and probably would have won in other years.

This is a different team, which does things a bit differently. As one of those not inclined to bash 12 game winner Jaohn Lackey…I’m hopeful he can get the job done, the Sox can win 2 of 3, and head to Baltimore in a good humor.

GO SOX!!!!

Nava is having a great night! He got Lowell over to third on his ground ball to the right side. He just drove in Beltre with a (2) out clutch hit!

Lackey looks like the guy that pitched all those years with the Angels. So far a solid start!

This should be Lackey’s last inning. He seems to be falling apart. Hopefully, Tito doesn’t bring DelCarmen inspell disaster.

I write something good about Lackey and everything has unraveled for him in the 6th. Another solid throw by McDonald, ( he has thrown out two runners at the plate in this series ) good job by Martinez at the plate. Good clean slide by Pena.

Lackey was looking so good through 5 innings. I didn’t see this happening.

Lackey can’t stand prosperity. Nice plays by McDonald and Martinez. We have to get some runs. The season is on tle line.

I would bring Doubront in not Oki. Doubront has been effective coming out of the pen. If memory serves correct, Oki threw Crawford a longball back in early July.

If Boston can get out of this inning unscathed, they have a shot to pull this game out.

A sight that makes me want to shut the t.v. off—Atchison and Delcarmen warming up in the bullpen. The equivalent of a white flag by the Red Sox.

Why is Atchison on the mound??? He should be at the team hotel…The Vinoy!

Boston has 31 games left. At best Boston goes 21-10—personally I doubt that will happen. The Red Sox leave St. Pete 7 games back in the loss column, I doubt T.B. and N.Y. will go on an extended losing streak! Boston is still closer to Toronto than T.B. and N.Y. The chances of Boston making the playoffs are “slim” at best!

This season is 2006 all over again.

Although, I think the fat lady has finished singing in terms of the Sox making the playoffs, you guys should be very proud of your team. Ravaged by injuries a big chunk of the year, your guys hung in there all the way, played their hearts out and stayed within shouting distance.. Francona and the team are to be commended, imo…

Brian.. Abouth Saturday nights pickoff attempt being called from the bench and what moron called for it??

It came from the TampaBay bench lol!!!!

I can’t take off my rose colored glasses yet.. But my glass seems to be leaning more toward half empty than half full..
but….
IDOBELIEVE…

Did you all see that the Sox claimed Mike Napoli off waivers.. MLBTraderumors say that the Angels will pull him back.. we’ll see.

Well if this helps the love affair of L.A. and Zazu is over. The White Sox, known for picking up dead wood went with Zazu in hopes of sparking the team. Zazu will probably help the Sox out quite a bit if he still has spark in him. No question he’s been a great hitter but also no question L.A. sounded very bitter in an interview and were very happy to dump him. Way to go Zazu.
.
The Sox season might be over for the playoffs but they have a lot of baseball left. Let’s hope Lugo Lackey can win a game and that Clay can continue his Cy Young season. Let’s hope that Varitek can return for a goodbye run and lets hope that Tim can get one more win this year as this may be his last in a Red Sox uniform depending on what he wants to do. Let’s hope that Scatter-Throw can find first base and that Drew can avoid agony when he gets papercuts. Its all good. I still have baseball and this blog and Greg’s blog.

Suggest that the Sox try an experiment for the rest of the season whenever Papi and Drew take batting practice. After their normal swings they should each be required to take an additional 20 swings hitting balls to the left (third base) side of the infield. Ten of these swings should be for distance and ten hitting ground balls. If they chose to, they can also bunt an additional 10 balls in that direction. Why they don’t take advantage of the shifts that are put on them is ridiculous. They are major league hitters and they should have some control on their bat/swings.Virtual base hits are at their beckon call. If successful this would also affect how teams deploy against them. They may also see the value in this plan when they vy for new contracts with or without the Sox. It might also provide some fun for the fans.

I ain’t giving up on the Sox yet. Too many teams over the history of basball have caught lightning in a bottle in September and other teams have forgotten how to win in September. The Sox have many times been that team in September that have had a hard time capping the bottle. Maybe for once they can be the team to capatalize when some other team stumbles. It could happen and I will be around when it does or doesn’t. They will have their opportunities so we’ll see. I have seen worse teams do better….their backs are up against the wall and there really is no pressure on them. They aren’t supposed to win it after all are they…banged up as they are? Well, I feel better now that I have convinced myself there’s a chance! Been doing that for 51 years with these guys. From Yaz to Ortiz. Go Sox!!!!!

Craig,
Go for it! Its a long shot but baseball is unpredictable. Who would have considered that Ellsbury, Youk, Dustin, Varitek, V-Mart, Lowrie, Beckett, Clay, Oki, Dice-K, Drew, …well maybe not Drew would have downtime this year due to injuries.

BTW,
If you want to learn skpe, don’t watch this video but you will get a great laugh:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZBHRDsVX0E

Education for everyone. Glad to know kids today are smarterer
.
http://www.wilsonquarterly.com/article.cfm?AID=1192

Right on Dave!!!! I just like watching the Sox…one game at a time….some years are better than others…but it’s always a sad day for me when the season is over…I just love the game and the Sox. The wild card was my savior as a few times it extended the Sox’ season. For so long it was win the division or be done and that really sucked. It may not happen this year but a guy can hope!!!!!! My “man cave”, as my wife calls it, is always quiet when the season is over. Even the dog senses something is wrong when the “man cave” goes dark after the playoffs start!!!! Wow….sorry about that. Go Sox!!!!!!!!

I am SO SICK of stupid throwing errors. There must be a competition. Is it double vision? Lester, Clay, Scatterthrow…this is amazing at this level of play to make mistakes little league people can avoid. This is a team that needs to go home for the winter and regroup. The loss of Delcarman for a prospect signifies that Theo is looking at next year — as well he should. This is humiliating.

I did not see the entire game but there was one inning, with the score 3-2, that Macdonald was on second base and Beltre lines a single over short. It seems that Macdonald hesitated to see if the ball may be caught and wound up on third base. I guess Macdonald may not have realized that there were two out and he should have been running at the crack of the bat. The ball Beltre hit was hard and whether Macdonald woud or would not have scored is on the eyes of the beholder. In my opinion he should have been running all the way and should have forced the left fielder to make the play. Holding up and then trotting into third base with two out leaves me to believe that Macdonald didn’t know what was going on. Maybe I am bitter but when I see bad base-running I feel there is just no excuse.

Good God, Dave! Did you write that drivel?
And all this time I thought it was “more smarterer”….

Good one Arnie:). I actually got the link from the podcast “You Can’t Make It Up” and I passed it on as I was laughing on the floor over this one. Glad to know we’re smarterer than the rest. :)

It’s September 1, Theo hasnt made the move… Delcarmen is finally gone, best of luck to him… guess Theo doesnt think others needed a “change of scenery”…When does spring training start?
Tom

Well Tom, sorry your return to the board only gets ya looking forward to ST. I can think of several others who could also have used that “change of scenery”. Perhaps it will help DelCarmen, though. When our page headline talks about “looking to snap a 3-game skid”, though, that is not the recipe for a Wild-Card team, let alone a playoff winner. Yes, we still have a slim chance (better than none), but 3-game losing streaks will not get it done.
GO SOX!

Sept. should be “entertaining”, anyway, since Zazu is coming to town (again) later this week. Hmmm… GO SOX!

It took a while but Theo finally unloaded Delcarmen. He and Ramirez were disasters. The Sox are down but not out. Now we have to hope that TB continues to drop games. I think the Yanks are a bit too much to hope for. If we don’t get into the playoffs we may play a role in who wins the Division.
We will see the WS 7 times. It should be interesting to see Zazu once again. If Papi keeps up doing nothing for the remainder of the season, although I hope he does come through like he can, maybe he can reunite with Zazu again. They can battle it out as to who will be the DH.

Board is quiet. Wow, the Sox and Lester fighting for a win against…the Orioles. Well, a win is a win.
I wish Manny Delcarman well. I think he has a huge amount of talent but Boston can eat up a player. Its a high pressure environment. The Rockies won’t be so intense so hopefully he can regroup and have a great career.

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