Results tagged ‘ Dice-K ’

Boston-LA is in the air

There is a different kind of feel at Fenway today. Not only are the Celtics and Lakers getting ready to play what should be an epic Game 7 tonight — pushing the start time up here — but Manny Ramirez is coming back to Fenway tomorrow. Yes, Red Sox-Dodgers.

It is going to be a circus-like atmosphere for sure. It’s too bad Manny will likely DH instead of play left. It would have been fun to watch him talk to the fans above the Monster, etc. Also, he was always capable of some entertainment on defense.

A lot of people on my twitter page think Manny is going to get cheered instead of booed. That really surprised me. What do you guys think?

In daily news, Dice-K threw a side session today and will throw a simulated game in a few days. He could be back in the rotation by next week.

Give me some score predictions for the basketball game tonight.

Coming tomorrow, you will  get my 3,500 word chronology of Manny’s time in Boston. A lot of higlights, lowlights and bloopers.

Dice-K in English

Daisuke Matsuzaka surprised one and all by opening his briefing with Red Sox beat writers — and the NESN camera — in English today. Here is what he said regarding the recent controversy.

And, by the way, his English was very impressive, easy to understand. I can’t imagine speaking Japanese like he spoke English. One other thing to note. Matsuzaka looked noticeably leaner then when he last pitched for the Red Sox on June 19.

“I want to clear up a few things,” said Matsuzaka. “It was not my intention to make the meeting public or to criticize the Red Sox. The person who wrote the article is my old, old friend. I still trust her and this has never happened before. Training, no problem. No problem with the Red Sox. We will work it all out. I want to thank all my fans for their support and I can’t wait to see all of you when I go back to Fenway Park. Thank you.”

Another tropical, er, Tropicana night

Here at the Trop. Where are all of you on this nice summer night?

Just to give you a quick update, Tim Wakefield’s back and shoulder feel great, but his calf has been stiff, very stiff. Seems to be a nerve issue. That said, the knuckleballer is doing better than a few days ago, and could throw a side session tomorrow.

Dice-K will throw his first side since going on the DL next week, either Tuesday or Wednesday. You won’t see the Dice Man pitch for the Sox until September.

Still nothing on the David Ortiz situation, as the slugger is waiting for the Players Association to get his test results from the Federal Government to figure out exactly what he tested positive for in 2003.

Season On The Brink — Again

Here we go again. The Red Sox fighting off elimination. In manager Terry Francona‘s term as manager, the club has faced elimination in eight postseason games and have won seven of them.

If you stretch it back to 2003, the team is 11-2 in those situations. And if you want to go back to 1999, they are 14-3 when they face elimination. If you really want to stretch it out, the Red Sox are 24-11 all-time on nights they could have been eliminated from a postseason series.

In all honesty, that doesn’t help them win tonight’s game. They need to out-execute the Rays to do that. But it does, as Jason Varitek says, create a “sense of belief”.

I would expect a revved-up Fenway crowd for this one. It’s been strange to see the team play so poorly at home, where they are 1-3 thus far in this postseason and the only win came on that fluky botched squeeze by the Angels.

To get to the World Series, the Red Sox need to win three in a row. An optimist would point out that they’ve done that 15 times this season, and twice against the Rays.

Including the postseason, opponents are 0-for-1 against Dice-K with the bases loaded this season, though I’m sure most Sox players and fans would hope he doesn’t try to stretch that stat out tonight.

And after a dreary day, the sky is brightening. It’s a mystery who will throw out the first pitch. I haven’t seen anything on that yet. Any guesses? I’m sure most people are more preoccupied with what Dice-K and Kazmir’s first pitches are going to look like.

Later,

Ian.

Game 1 of the ALCS

Thoughts from the first inning:

If that ground-rule double from Kevin Youkilis takes a different kind of bounce, the Red Sox are up 1-0. That’s baseball.

Does Dice-K intentionally try to stress everyone out with the high-wire walk routine? I think not, but I’ve never seen a pitcher who offends so many fans and media members. Maybe I have a bit of a biased view, but I guess I do enjoy the drama of it all.

Thoughts from the second inning:

Dice-K might have had enough dancing with fire in the first, not to mention in Anaheim. A clean, clean, crisp second.

Thoughts from the third inning:

Shields is looking NASTY. But so was Lackey in the first five innings of Game 1 against the LAA. Speaking of Lackey, he really disgraced himself with some of his comments after the Angels ere eliminated.

Thoughts in the bottom of the fifth:

Matsuzaka went from shaky shaky shaky to some of the most dominant pitching we’ve seen from him all year. He’s just mowing through the order right now

Thoughts from the bottom of the sixth:
Got to love those over-shifts. The one Pedroia was in against Pena kept Dice-K’s no-hitter going for an extra inning.

Thoughts from the bottom of the seventh:
The fact that Manny Delcarmen began the inning warming up in the Boston bullpen leads me to believe that Dice-K — 89 pitches through six — wouldn’t have been able to go the distance, no-hitter or not. A clean hard single by Crawford ended the bid.

Jason jumps on one — Again

How about Game 2 of Bay Watch? Jason Bay absolutely cranked that pitch
from Santana for a three-run homer and it’s 4-0 before you can even say
“Time for Dice-K to warm up”.

Obviously the Angels have plenty of time to mount a rally, but quite an opening salvo for the Sox here in the OC.

For those who might think that Red Sox manager Terry Francona is overly loyal to his veteran players, it was perhaps interesting to see that Mike Lowell started Game 2 on the bench.

Lowell has had no setbacks with his right hip. It hurts, and it is going to hurt for the rest of the postseason. Sure, Lowell wanted to play tonight. But Francona liked the favorable matchup with Mark Kotsay — 7-for-18 against Santana — and played him at first, with Youkilis moving across the diamond to third.

I also like the move at shortstop, where Alex Cora will make his first psotseason start in a Red Sox uniform in place of the slumping Jed Lowrie.

But what tonight boils down to more than anything is this: Which Dice-K will we get?

The answer is coming shortly.

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