June 30, 1918 at Griffith Stadium
Red Sox 3, Senators 1 (39-28)
Babe Ruth belted a two run homer in the top of the tenth inning as the Red Sox not only topped the Senators for the second straight game, but they also reclaimed the lead in the American League. The homerun for Ruth was his eleventh of the season and Harry Hooper and Wally Schang each had a single and a double in the win.
Carl Mays threw all ten innings and he definitely got the job. He gave up just one run on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts.
June 29, 1918 at Griffith Stadium
Red Sox 3, Senators 1 (38-28)
The Red Sox snapped their three game skid with three late runs and some solid pitching by Sad Sam Jones and Bullet Joe Bush. Jones threw the first seven frames and held the Senators to a single run while Bush held the opposition hitless in the final two innings.
All three Red Sox runs came in the final two innings. Stuffy McInnis scored two runs while both Wally Schang and Everett Scott had four hits a piece.
Good news…The old Daisuke Matsuzaka is back and J.D Drew has resumed his torrid hitting in June and first place is safe for now. After getting absolutely pummeled in his return start from the disabled list last Saturday, Matsuzaka returned to his pre-injury form and pitched five shutout innings, while combining with four relievers on a four-hitter, leading the Red Sox to a 6-1 victory over the Houston Astros last night at Minute Maid Park.
Drew, who had been hitless in his previous three games following an incredible first three weeks to the month, snapped an 0-for-14 drought by slamming a three-run homer off Runelvys Hernandez in the third inning, providing Matsuzaka (9-1) and Co. more than enough support. Kevin Youkilis established a career high with four hits to pace a 12-hit assault on six Houston hurlers.
Matsuzaka surrendered only two hits, while striking out four and walking three. The combined effort with relievers Craig Hansen, Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Paplebon (24th save) lowered the Sox’ staff ERA in the past five games to a sparkling 1.84. Their bullpen, meanwhile, extended its scoreless streak to 12 2/3 innings before Okajima surrendered a pinch-hit homer to Reggie Abercrombie in the eighth, ending the staff’s 22 scoreless innings streak and bid for a league-leading ninth shutout.
Nation Notes: Coco Crisp had his suspension reduced from seven games to five by Major League Baseball. Crisp will begin serving his suspension tonight and will miss the last two games of the Astros series and the scheduled three-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays, beginning Monday in St. Petersburg, Fla. Portland pitcher Michael Bowden figured to be a leading contender for Team USA, which will represent the United States in the Olympics, but was not picked, suggesting that perhaps the Sox have other plans for him.
June 28, 1918 at Griffith Stadium
Senators 3, Red Sox 1 (37-28)
The Red Sox fell further behind the first place Yankees as they took their third straight loss in an opener against the Senators. The lone hit of the game for the Sox was Babe Ruth’s tenth homer of the season, a solo shot in the seventh inning.
King Bader got the start in what would be his final season in the major leagues. He gave up three runs on six hits and five walks with five strikeouts in the loss.
Theo Epstein vowed to create a scouting and player development “machine” when he became general manager in November 2002.
Two championships later, the Red Sox’ machine keeps churning out blue-chip players, and the product line is now diversifying to general managers. Since last year, the names of Ben Cherington, 33, the vice president of player personnel, and Jed Hoyer, 34, assistant general manager, keep popping up whenever GM vacancies occur, with Seattle being the latest example. To Epstein, it is a matter of when, not if, for the two to get promotions.
There is already one successful product to come out of the Sox’ GM farm system: Arizona’s Josh Byrnes. Byrnes, Epstein’s assistant general manager for three years (2003-05), brought Peter Woodfork, former Sox director of baseball operations, with him. Along with Cherington and Hoyer, Woodfork’s name is in the next-GM mix just as often. Yet with regards to the Red Sox’ crop of future GMs, it is Cherington’s and Hoyer’s time. Cherington has been with the Red Sox since 1999, filling his resume with stints as an area scout, coordinator of international scouting and director of player development. Hoyer joined the ballclub in 2002. A year later he joined Epstein for Thanksgiving dinner at Curt Schilling’s house before that trade, then became assistant to the GM. Cherington and Hoyer were co-GMs during Epstein’s job hiatus after the 2005 season.Epstein will not be left empty-handed if Cherington, Hoyer and Shipley leave. In Mike Hazen, director of player development, Jason McLeod, director of amateur scouting, and Brian O’Halloran, director of baseball operations, the training grounds of the next wave of GMs is already in full operational mode.
Nation Notes: Mike Timlin pitched a clean 8th inning vs. Richmond last night. Timlin on a rehab assignment, will pitch three or four one-inning stints for the PawSox. If all goes according to plans, Timlin is expected to be activated on July 4 against the Yankees.
June 27, 1918 at the Polo Grounds
Yankees 7, Red Sox 5 (37-27)
The Red Sox couldn’t salvage a split with the now first place Yankees as they fell from atop their perch in the American League. Joe Bush had a tough time and he gave up seven runs in seven innings for his fourth consecutive loss.
Harry Hooper, Wally Schang and Sam Agnew all had three hits in the loss. In all, the Red Sox picked up seventeen hits yet only three baserunners crossed the plate.
Considering all they have endured this year, reaching the halfway point of the season last night leading their division and only a shade behind last year’s pace has to be considered a significant accomplishment for the Red Sox. The factors working against them have been numerous and would have been insurmountable in many past seasons. Set back at the outset by a physically draining, three-country road trip, the Sox have lost 242 man-games to injury, have dealt with the lengthy losses of David Ortiz and Daisuke Matsuzaka and have seen Curt Schilling forced to abandon his comeback. They have watched Hideki Okajima take an enormous step back from his unexpected dominance last year, witnessed Jonathan Paplebon blow more save opportunities than he did in all of 2007 and spied only a glimpse of Clay Buchholz’ no-hit stuff before dispatching him back to the minors. They have used 38 players, including eight starting pitchers, and been forced to take on a new rivalry with upstart Tampa Bay.
Despite it all, last night’s 5-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks left the Sox (49-32) only one game off the midpoint pace of last year (50-31), when they won the AL East for the first time since 1995 and rolled to their second World Series championship in four years. Tim Wakefield brought the Sox to the midway mark in style by out-pitching Randy Johnson and combining with Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hansen and Papelbon (23rd save) on a three-hitter to maintain a one-game lead over the Rays.
The 41-year-old Wakefield (5-5) pitched seven innings and showed his younger teammates he is still capable of competing with anyone. Squaring off against 44-year-old Johnson in what the Elias Sports Bureau determined to be the oldest pitching match-up involving the Sox in 43 years (29-year-old Bill Monbouquette vs. 59-year-old Satchel Paige of the Kansas City A’s on Sept. 25, 1965), Wakefield gave up only a second-inning single to Miguel Montero and an inconsequential double to Orlando Hudson in the seventh, while striking out six and walking one. Johnson (4-6) allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out five.
The Bo Sox scored the only run they would need in the second inning, when Mike Lowell led off with a single up the middle, moved to third base on the first of Coco Crisp’s three doubles and scored on Brandon Moss’ ground-out.
Nation Notes: J.D. Drew got the night off against Diamondbacks lefthander Randy Johnson, against whom he was 1 for 8, after his third consecutive hit-less game Tuesday. Drew was 0 for his last 13 after tearing it up earlier in the month. Drew will be back in the lineup tomorrow night in Houston, where he is hitting .280 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 75 at-bats. A visually disappointed David Ortiz estimated it would be another 2-3 weeks before he returns to the lineup after he took 25 easy swings off a tee yesterday.
June 26, 1918 at the Polo Grounds
Yankees 3, Red Sox 1 (37-26)
The Yankees took game three in their series with the Red Sox and the Red Sox lead in the American League once again slipped to a single game despite a solid outing by Carl Mays. Mays gave up three runs on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts and the runs he gave up in the second stopped his scoreless inning streak at 35 innings.
Babe Ruth’s double almost cleared the fence but he did eventually score the lone run of the game anyway. Stuffy McInnis singled and that was the hit that drove in Ruth.
June 25, 1918 at the Polo Grounds
Red Sox 7, Yankees 3 (37-25)
The Red Sox evened up their pivotal series with the second place Yankees in a game where the Sox poured on the offense. Babe Ruth and Fred Thomas both went yard in the game while Dave Shean and Harry Hooper both tripled. Shean had a team high three hits while Thomas was the lone Red Sox with a pair of runs.
Sad Sam Jones threw another solid game. He gave up three runs on seven hits and four walks with two strikeouts in the complete game.
Josh Beckett knew going into last night’s game that he needed to pitch both deep and well. He accomplished both, pitching eight innings. It still was not enough. Arizona’s Dan Haren did not last as long as Beckett, but he did pitch better, surrendering no runs and only two hits in seven innings as the Diamondbacks won the first game of an interleague matchup between the first-place teams, 2-1. With the Red Sox bullpen overtaxed by a 13-inning workload the previous two games, Beckett kept the relievers out of the equation. What he had no control of was Haren (8-4) keeping the Red Sox offense out of the picture. David Aardsma who has pitched well of late, loaded the bases in the top of the ninth by allowing a pair of walks and a single, but he retired the last two batters on strikeouts, the last coming on a 97-mph fastball to Eric Byrnes.
Not helping matters for the Red Sox was that emergency first baseman Brandon Moss, making his major league debut at the position after Kevin Youkilis got hit under the right eye by a bad hop on a warmup throw from third baseman Lowell, could not cleanly field a grounder by Chris Snyder and had no play at the plate as the second run scored.
The Red Sox managed to score a run off Haren’s replacement, Tony Pena, in the eighth a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by J.D Drew. With two runners on and two outs, Manny Ramirez hit a wicked lineout to third baseman Mark Reynolds to bring the threat to a close.
Nation Notes: Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis suffered a contusion under his right eye after a warm-up throw before the start of the fifth inning took an odd bounce, hitting Youkilis beneath his right eye. Youkilis will undergo a precautionary CT scan. It is unknown whether Youkilis will play today. Sean Casey began serving his three-game suspension last night after dropping his appeal. Casey was given the suspension for his role in the June 5 bench-clearing brawl with Tampa Bay. There has yet to be a decision on Coco Crisp’s appeal, Crisp was issued a seven-game suspension. Dr. Craig Morgan performed Curt Schillings surgery indicated that what was found inside Schilling’s shoulder, was about as good as they could have hoped. But the major questions were about the labrum and, especially, the rotator cuff. Morgan said the rotator cuff had an usual tear, but not a major one. As for his prognosis, it could be as soon as four months until Schilling can pick up a baseball again.
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