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.
Just three years after breaking their curse, the Red Sox did it again and they finished up a four game sweep over the Rockies to win the 2007 World Series. The Red Sox scored their runs one inning at a time and while, like Saturday, the Rockies got close but never had the lead. David Ortiz put the Red Sox on the board in the first with an RBI single and then they added a second run in the fifth on Jason Varitek’s one run single. Mike Lowell made it 3-0 with a solo homer in the seventh before the Rockies scored on a solo homer by Brad Hawpe. Bobby Kielty made it 4-1 with a solo homerun and the Rockies scored two in the eighth to make it a one run game but that’s as close as they’d get.
Jon Lester was awesome and his start made a good story by itself. He gave up three hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. Francona dipped into the Okajima well once too often and he was the pitcher to give up those final two Rockies runs. Papelbon got the final five batters out though and he picked up his third save of the series.
Mike Lowell was named the series MVP but man did the Red Sox get some production across the board. And with two World Series in the past four seasons, Red Sox fans definitely have some things to be happy about. Now we have the offseason where hopefully the Red Sox can keep everything together.
The Red Sox made it six straight postseason wins and three straight in this series against the Rockies as they now just have to win one of their next four to win their second World Series in four years. The big inning was the third when the Red Sox jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Mike Lowell and Dice-K each had two run singles while David Ortiz and Jacoby Ellsbury doubled home a run a piece.
The Rockies actually fought back and made it a one run game but the Red Sox opened the game back up with three runs in eighth and a single run in the ninth to make it 10-5. Ellsbury had a team high four hits and he drove in two and scored twice. Mike Lowell singled twice, drove in two and scored twice.
Dice-K was good enough and he gave up two runs in 5 1/3 innings. Mike Timlin was tagged for two of the other runs while Jon Papelbon closed the game out to pick up the save.
It’ll be Jon Lester going up against Aaron Cook for the series win tonight. I know you want to seal the deal, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a game on Monday so Josh Beckett can continue his post season dominance with one more win.
The offense wasn’t there like it was the night before, but the pitching was just as good as Curt Schilling and the Red Sox pen pitched Boston to a 2-1 win. Schilling gave up the lone run in 5 1/3 innings while Hideki Okajima was awesome with 2 1/3 perfect innings. Jon Papelbon closed things out and he picked up the save with 1 1/3 innings pitched.
The Rockies got on the board in the very first inning when Willie Taveras scored on Todd Helton’s ground out. Jason Varitek tied the game up in the fourth when he drove home Mike Lowell with a sac. fly and then Lowell doubled home David Ortiz in the fifth inning to give the Red Sox the lead, and eventually, the win. The two teams combined for just eleven hits.
Man, are these games long. The opener clocked in at 3:30 while last night’s game was 3:39. I love baseball, but talk about dragging things out.
Dice-K gets the start tomorrow and the Red Sox will have to contend with Josh Fogg. And David Ortiz will start at first base with Kevin Youkilis starting the game on the bench. My bet is, Youkilis gets in there and makes an impact whether it’s just with one at bat as a pinch hitter or a late inning defensive replacement.
Dominating pitching? Check. Heavy hitting? Check. Give Pitcher Big Early Lead? Check.
The Red Sox took it to the Rockies last night. Before the game could even really get started, the Red Sox had a 3-0 lead and by the end of the fifth inning, they had thirteen runs. Josh Beckett was very good on a night where he could have stunk the place up and that made it even sweeter.
Beckett needed just 93 pitches to get through seven innings and he gave up just a single run on six hits with a walk and an impressive nine strikeouts. Mike Timlin and Eric Gagne threw a shutout frame to close things out and you wonder why Francona didn’t go with one of his back end relievers instead of Gagne. Maybe he wanted to give him a low pressure situation to fine tune some things.
Dustin Pedroia had the only homerun in what turned out to be a doubles attack. Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz had two doubles a piece while Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Julio Lugo each had a team high three hits. Youkilis and Ramirez scored three times while five different players had a pair of RBIs.
Curt Schilling gets the nod tonight as the Red Sox will try to take a commanding 2-0 lead. Rookie Ubaldo Jimenez throws for the Rockies but don’t let the inexperience fool you, this kid can throw.
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