When in god’s name did the city of Boston become so freaking cool? It’s seems as though every year, four new movies are set in Boston. The market is officially flooded for Boston in popular culture. You have the smartest people, your sports teams kick butt, you have unique (some may say annoying) accents and now every movie that wants to get an Oscar nod throws a script together and shoots the film in Beantown…ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. But I digress, here are your 2011 Boston Red Sox.
Left field: Carl Crawford. 2010 splits: .307 average, 19 home runs, 90 RBI, .851 OPS. Brief: A great signing for the Red Sox no doubt. Although don’t give the front office too much credit considering only three to four teams in the league could afford to pay for his services. Nonetheless, Crawford is simply a freak who possesses more tools than the Jersey Shore house (sappy joke I know, I’ll pick it up).
Center field: Jacoby Ellsbury. 2010 splits: .192 average, 0 home runs, 5 RBI, .485 OPS. Brief: Go ahead and chalk the 2010 season for Ellsbury, who was injury-riddled since jump street. When healthy, he provides another speed demon to go along with Crawford and another bat that should flirt if not cruise past the .300 plateau.
Right field: J.D. Drew. 2010 splits: .255 average, 22 home runs, 68 RBI, .793 OPS. Brief: If I’m not mistaken, Drew is a player that occasionally makes Sox fans want to scratch out their retinas. With new acquisitions Drew should be able to fall into a more comfortable role which will allow him to do his thing without catching as much flak: produce at an above average rate.
Third base: Kevin Youkilis. 2010 splits: .307 average, 19 home runs, 62 RBIs, .975 OPS. Brief: What a great, consistent hitter Youkilis is. He was a steading force in a 2010 lineup that was up and down for a majority of the season.
Also, what an attractive batting stance. (Which one of these sentences was sarcastic?). How will Youkilis handle the move to third base? Does he have the mobility? Does he have the quickness? Will his Civil War beard block his visibility on sharp grounders to the hot corner? Only time will tell.
Shortstop: Marco Scutaro. 2010 splits: .275 average, 11 home runs, 56 RBI, .721 OPS. Brief: Everytime I see a Scutaro highlight I sing “Su-su-sudio” by Phil Collins in my head, but that’s neither here nor there. Scutaro seems to be a great fit in this powerful Boston lineup. A nice bat that can consistently put the ball in play and good range at shortstop. The dude just needs to find a way to stay healthy this season.
Second base: Dustin Pedroia. 2010 splits: .288 average, 12 home runs, 41 RBI, .860 OPS. Brief: Hard to match his MVP season in 2009 and this year, with the potent lineup, he won’t have to. He’s coming off of foot surgery so it should be interesting to see what kind of start he gets off to. Still, the little man is one of the best in the business.
First base: Adrian Gonzalez. 2010 splits: .298 average, 31 home runs, 101 RBI, .904 OPS. Brief: Another newly minted superstar acquisition for the BoSox. They desperately needed another power hitter and the Red Sox got one in Gonzalez. The question all the blow hard baseball writers will ask is how will he do coming to the American League? I think this is an overrated statistic. Then again, I could have no idea what I’m talking about.
Designated Hitter: David Ortiz. 2010 splits: .270 average, 32 Home runs, 102 RBI, .899 OPS. Brief: Remember at the beginning of last year during Big Papi’s struggles when ESPN and the like made us feel like the sky was falling and that Ortiz couldn’t make contact playing tee-ball? Please, people don’t overreact, the baseball season is a marathon. One day you’ll wake up in the middle of July with a broken air conditioner and sweat soaked sheets that make you feel like you wet the bed and you’ll turn on the TV and see Ortiz is yet again putting up monster numbers…and you can run tell ‘dat homeboy.
Catcher: Jared Saltalamacchia. 2010 splits: .167 average, 0 home runs, 2 RBI, .625. Brief: I have a special place in my heart for Salt. I read a story last year that the only reason he was stuck in the minor leagues is because he struggled mightily throwing back to the pitcher. Now this conjures up memories of Rube Baker repeating Playboy articles to himself in Major League II. But, as a former high school catcher and neurotic head case, I can tell you that, that mental block is real and it can be one of the loneliest feelings on earth. Can I have a hug please?
Ok, we’ll be back next week for a report on starting and relief pitchers. PEACE.
The Red Sox are going to the World Series after a dramatic comeback in their series with the Indians. All three of these final games were Red Sox blowouts and Boston put an exclamation point on things last night as they advanced to their second World Series in four years.
The Red Sox scored single runs in each of the first three innings to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Manny Ramirez singled home Dustin Pedroia in the first, Jason Varitek scored on Julio Lugo’s double play in the second and then Mike Lowell drove home Kevin Youkilis in the third on a sac. fly. The Indians finally answered off of Dice-K in the fourth when Ryan Garko doubled home Travis Hafner and then the Indians made it a one run game in the fifth when Grady Sizemore drove home Franklin Gutierez with a sac. fly.
That was the closest the Indians got though as the Red Sox piled on the runs. Pedroia belted a two run homer in the seventh and then the Red Sox scored six in the eighth to make it 12-2. The inning was capped off by a two run blast by Kevin Youkilis to finish off what’s been a tremendous series for him.
Josh Beckett walked away with the MVP with his two dominating outings but it could have just as easily gone to Youkilis or to Manny. Game one of the World Series begins Wednesday so there’s a couple of days off to regroup. Go Sox.
The Red Sox got a ton of offense as they forced a winner take all game seven last night with a 12-2 win. J.D. Drew got things started with a grand slam and an RBI single to drive in the first five Red Sox runs but the hitters kept piling it on and by the end of the third inning, they had a 10-1 lead which they never looked back from. Kevin Youkilis and Drew had a team high three hits while the two joined Dustin Pedroia with a team high two runs.
Curt Schilling got it done but he had plenty of help. He gave up two runs on six hits with five strikeouts in seven frames. Javier Lopez and Eric Gagne threw shutout frames to close the game out.
It’s game seven tonight and it’s for all the marbles. It’ll be Dice-K going up against Jake Westbrook.
The Red Sox will get a chance to win two straight games at Fenway Park as they extended their ALCS with the Indians. Once again, it was Josh Beckett who got it done and he’s still the only Red Sox pitcher to have a win in the series. He held the Indians to an impressive one run on five hits and one walk with eleven strikeouts in eight frames. Jon Papelbon pitched through the ninth to wrap things up.
Kevin Youkilis put the Red Sox on the board in the first inning with a solo shot but he Indians answered with a run in the bottom of the first when a run scored on Travis Hafner’s double play. Manny (who cares) Ramirez broke the tie in the third with an RBI single and the Red Sox never looked back. The Red Sox began breaking the game open in the seventh when Kevin Youkilis tripled home Dustin Pedroia and then Youkilis scored on a David Ortiz sac. fly. Then the Red Sox added three more in the eighth to make it 7-1.
Of course now there’s another day off. This new television schedule is out of hand. It’ll be a rematch of game two with Curt Schilling going up against Fausto Carmona.
The Red Sox had a tough time getting anything going in their 4-2 loss to the Indians. Jason Varitek belted a two run homer in the seventh inning but that was the extent of the Red Sox offense. They outhit the Indians 7-6, they just had a tough time pushing those runners across the plate.
Dice-K didn’t have his best stuff and he was responsible for all four Indians runs. He did strike out six in 4 2/3 innings but a two run homer to Kenny Lofton put the Indians on the board and then he was tagged for two more runs in the fifth. The pen did a nice job and three relievers held the Indians scoreless for 3 1/3 innings but the closest they could get was 4-2.
Game four is tonight and it’ll be Paul Byrd going up against Tim Wakefield. The National League is already wrapped up with the Rockies sweeping the Diamondbacks so they’ll have to wait it out until someone wins this series.
What an ugly inning. Eric Gagne, Javier Lopez and Jon Lester combined to give up seven runs in the eleventh inning as the Red Sox lost game two of the ALCS. This was after a rough outing by Curt Schilling but some solid pen work that stopped with two shutout innings by Jon Papelbon.
Manny Ramirez is a man on a mission and he homered and drove in three runs. Mike Lowell also went yard and like Manny, he drove in three. David Ortiz singled, drew a walk and scored twice but his biggest play at the plate was a fielder’s choice that he legged out to prevent a double play. Manny Ramirez followed it up with his two run homer that tied the game up but the extra inning debacle made it all moot.
Dice-K gets the start tomorrow. Jake Westbrook goes for the Indians.
The Red Sox took it to Indians ace C.C. Sabatia last night as the Red Sox took game one of the ALCS. Travis Hafner actually gave the Indians an early lead with solo homer in the first off of Josh Beckett but they didn’t manage much more then that. Manny Ramirez singled home a run in the bottom of the first to tie the game before the Red Sox really knocked around Sabathia in the third for four runs. The Red Sox added three more in the fifth which sent Sabathia packing and then they scored two more in the sixth off of Jensen Lewis to complete the beat down.
Manny Ramirez finished with three RBIs in three different plate appearances and he finished two for two with three walks. Mike Lowell had just one hit, but he finished tied with Manny with a team high three RBIs. David Ortiz was just as good with two hits, two walks and two runs. Kevin Youkilis reached base three times with a walk and two hits and he scored three times.
Beckett lasted six innings and he gave up just one more run while striking out seven. Eric Gagne got into trouble in the ninth and while he allowed three base runners, he also struck out the side to help himself out.
Game two is going on right now. Indians are up 1-0 in the third inning.
All of my friends were worried about the Angels. They had the best balance of hitting and pitching and while a lot of people weren’t talking about them too much, they kind of became the team to beat. Well, they got beat as the Red Sox routed them yesterday to complete a 3-0 sweep. Curt Schilling did his job on the mound and the hitters piled on the runs in a seven run eighth inning to close things out with an exclamation point.
Schilling gave up just six hits and a walk in seven impressive shutout innings to pick up the win. Hideki Okajima threw a shutout eighth and it was until the ninth, with Eric Gagne on the mound, that the Angels finally put a run on the board in the 9-1 loss.
The dynamic duo of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez both homered in the win. Coco Crisp drove in two runs while Ortiz scored twice in a game that saw eight different hitters score and eight different hitters drive in runs.
As of now, the Red Sox opponent isn’t set because the Yankees extended their series to a fourth game with a comeback win yesterday. Still, we know Friday is the day the series starts and this will give the guys a nice chunk of time to recover.
Manny Ramirez waited until the ninth inning to pick up his first hit of the game last night, but man was it a big one. His three run walk off homer won it for the Red Sox and now they’re just one win away from getting back into the ALCS for the first time since 2004.
J.D. Drew put the Red Sox on the board in the first inning with a two run single but the Angels took the lead in the first when Daisuke Matsuzaka was tagged for three runs in the second. The Red Sox tied it in the fifth on Mike Lowell’s sac. fly and then neither team scored until Manny went yard in the ninth.
Angels pitching stayed away from David Ortiz and to a lesser extent, Manny, as the combined to draw six walks in the game. Ortiz was a perfect one for one with four walks and he scored two runs.
Dice-K didn’t last through the fifth but the bullpen shined. Jon Papelbon got the final four outs and he picked up the save. While you never like to see someone go down, Vlad Guerrero left in the eighth after hurting his shoulder.
There’s another day off today (I hate this game on, game off stuff) and it’ll be Curt Schilling against Jered Weaver. It’d be nice if the Red Sox could wrap things up. All of the series are now 2-0 so we could go a few days without a game if everyone wraps things up.
Josh Beckett rose to the occassion tonight and he threw a gem as the Red Sox took care of the Angels in game one of the ALDS 4-0. Beckett gave up just four hits, all of which were singles, and he didn’t walk a single batter. He struck out eight in the and while the games took place four years apart, Beckett now has an eighteen inning scoreless streak that goes back to game six of the 2003 World Series.
David Ortiz didn’t put the Red Sox on the board but his two run blast in the third inning was the big blow. Kevin Youkilis drove home the winning run in the very first inning with a solo homer and both he and Ortiz were the only hitters with more then one hit.
The Red Sox have a day off tomorrow, and Friday night it’ll be Dice-K taking the mound. The Angels will throw Kelvim Escobar and he’s hurt so I like our chances in this one. With all of the days off, the Red Sox will only have to use a three man rotation so we’ll see Beckett back in game four (if it’s neccesary).
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