Results tagged ‘ Kevin Youkilis ’
Opening Weekend in Arlington, Texas was a highly anticipated series as the reigning American League Champs, the Texas Rangers,
hosted the much-hyped lineup and starting rotation of the Boston
Ace Jon Lester took the mound for the Sox on Opening Day, followed by John Lackey and Clay Buchholz in games two and three. Boston fielded a solid lineup including the off-season acquisitions Adrian
Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, plus a healthy Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin
Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis. With the young Saltalamacchia behind the
plate and veteran lovable David Ortiz in the DH spot, along with the
revamped bullpen including Daniel Bard, Jonathan Papelbon, Bobby Jenks,
Matt Albers, Dan Wheeler, Dennys Reyes and Tim Wakefield, the outlook was promising facing the stacked lineup of the defending AL champs.
We all know what happened in this three-game set. The Rangers dominated the Sox pitching, led by the likes of Ian Kinsler
and Nelson Cruz, who were the first pair of teammates in MLB history to each homer in the first three games of their season. Not to mention Adrian Beltre, who captured the hearts of Rangers fans after a monstrous grand slam off of his former
teammate, Lackey, who intentionally walked Josh Hamilton to load the
bases and get to the Dominican slugger. The Red Sox starters gave up 9
home runs in the first three games of the season, and in a combined 15.1
IP, had a 10.56 ERA, a 1.72 WHIP and only 6 strikeouts.
Bard, in 73 appearances last season, didn’t give up more than two
runs in a single inning. On Friday, he gave up 4 ER in 0.2 IP with one K
and 1 BB. In a combined 8.2 IP, the Red Sox bullpen garnered an 8.30
ERA, a 2.08 WHIP and 6 strikeouts.
With all the negativity surrounding the Red Sox after an 0-3 start, I
can only say a few things: First, chill out. This is three games in a
162-game season. I’m fairly certain with 159 games left that we don’t need to worry about either team’s “Magic Number” yet. Second, look at the positives. Ortiz, after a slow start in his previous three seasons, went 4-12 (.333
BA) with two home runs. Also, Gonzalez went 5-13 (.385 BA) in
his first series in a Red Sox uniform. Third, CHILL OUT. Can we take a
look at the 1998 New York Yankees? They started their season 0-3, then
ended the season with a 114-48 record and won the World Series. If this series happened in June, nobody would be talking about it.
Now that I’ve gotten my ranting and venting out of the way, I’d like to
look forward to the next 3-game set starting Tuesday when the Red Sox
take on the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Game one will see
Josh Beckett on the mound for the Red Sox while Josh Tomlin (2010: 6-4, 4.56 ERA) makes his
2011 debut hoping to shut down the Sox lineup. Beckett had a very
disappointing 2010 campaign. In 127.2 IP, he had a 6-6 record with a
5.78 ERA and 1.535 WHIP. “I think his pride took a beating last year,”
said skipper Terry Francona. “I definitely agree with that. I think he
feels like he has a
lot to prove” (via RedSox.com).
So, let’s take a little breather, get excited about some more baseball,
and follow Marco Scutaro’s lead in an old, familiar “Beltre Head Rub.”
P.S. In a totally unrelated, non-Red Sox note, in the 8th inning of the Mets/Marlins game on Saturday evening, the Mets inserted pinch-runner Chin-lung Hu. So I know somewhere Abbott and Costello were smiling, as we all know, “Hu’s on First?”
After a long and agonizing two months, I finally have the
time to sit down and write—and not to mention the day I was able to do this,
I’m literally snowed in after a “blizzard” dropped six inches in North-Atlanta
(which is an absurd amount for Georgia, so everything is shut down).
These last two months have been somewhat of a roller coaster ride for yours
truly, which makes perfect sense because the Red Sox off-season has also sent
the Nation into swirling winds of excitement, hope and utter craziness while we
wait for these last thirty-four days of the “Hot Stove” season to
wind down. With all the recent acquisitions, and my pure eagerness for baseball
season to start, I can’t stop thinking about the potential we have for 2011.
Yes, I understand that everyone is “World Series Champs” in the
winter months, but if you take an in-depth look at our starting line-up (no matter
what order Terry Francona decides on), plus our starting rotation, it is only
right for all of us to think we could be major contenders this upcoming season.
On December 6, 2010, five days after my twenty-first birthday, Adrian Gonzalez
was sent to the Red Sox via trade with the San Diego Padres for three minor
league prospects (RHP Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, outfielder
Reymond Fuentes) and a PTBNL (Eric Patterson). The twenty-eight year old first
baseman, who will be wearing number 28 for the Sox, is coming off an
outstanding season with his hometown team. In 591 at-bats, the lefty hit
.298/.393/.511 with a .904 OPS and belted 31 long balls, with 101 RBIs. The
three-time All-Star (’08, ’09, ’10) and two-time Gold Glove winner (’08, ’09)
knew what to say in his Fenway Park press conference to win over the hearts of
the Nation, stating “I’m ready to beat the Yanks.”
Then two days later on the 8th of December, rumors finally came to
rest when it was confirmed that the left fielder for the Tampa Bay Rays, Carl
Crawford (29), signed a 7 year, $142 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.
The four-time All-Star (’04, ’07, ’09, ’10) and 2010 Gold Glove and Silver
Slugger Award winner is entering Boston in his prime. Last year, he hit 19
homers, with 90 RBIs and batted .307/.356/.495 with an .851 OPS. In this
blockbuster deal, Crawford becomes the highest paid outfielder to never hit twenty home-runs in a season.
Happy birthday to me, right?
Although there were plenty of other notable transactions the last few months, I
have to say I’m very excited to see a healthy line-up including Kevin Youkilis,
Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury. Our bullpen could possibly see more changes
by adding another lefty in the mix, however, with Daniel Bard, Bobby
Jenks and Jonathan Papelbon ready to step on that mound, I have a very good
feeling about our pitching staff.
February 13th is slowly but surely creeping up on us, pitchers and catchers
will report, and the chilly Hot Stove season will finally coming to an end.
It’s hard to picture myself at a ball game when all I see is white when I look
outside, but I know that very, very soon I will be able to sit back, eat my sunflower seeds, and finally enjoy another memorable baseball season.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, and I want you all to know how
great it feels to finally be back!
One swing… one swing taken by Marco Scutaro scored 4 runs, gave us the lead, ended up winning us the game and ultimately was the last act to help us sweep the Los Angeles Angels. And to add on to that– it was the first series sweep at Anaheim since 1998.
However, we can’t forget about all the outstanding baseball that was played in the last three days to put us in the position to end this 10-game road trip 6-4.
Clay Buchholz started Monday night’s game and came out with the win thanks to an outstanding 4-out save by Jonathan Papelbon. Buchholz dominated, going 7 innings, giving up only 1 run on 5 hits with 1 walk and 7 strike outs. I, of course, must mention David Ortiz, who came back to Anaheim after winning the home-run derby and kept his power alive. He belted 2 home-runs to help the Red Sox win 6-3. Victor Martinez started the scoring off early, though, when he came out for his first at bat since being activated from the disabled list, with an RBI single to score Adrian Beltre. J.D. Drew helped out in the 9th, with a 2-run double to add some cushion for Paps who returned for the 9th inning to close it out. Papelbon came in with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th after Scott Atchison gave up a 2 run homer to Hideki Matsui. Drama in the 8th inning is something every Red Sox fan has, unfortunately, grown accustomed to.
Game 2 of the series was an interesting match-up. John Lackey was returning to the mound at Anaheim for the first time since joining the Red Sox. He didn’t get the kind of welcome he was hoping for after spending 8 seasons with the Angels. After receiving mostly boo’s from the crowd, he pitched a gem of a game and came out with the win against his former teammates. He went 7.1 innings, giving up 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 BB and 2 strike outs. Daniel Bard came in for relief, walking 1, striking out 1 and one FO to end the 8th. Paps came in and pitched a perfect 9th to get the save. It’s just so perfect– this Bard to Paps set-up and closer deal we have going on. We walked off the field winning 4-2, giving Lackey his 10th win on the season.
Today’s afternoon game, Josh Beckett came out hoping to get his 2nd win on the season. It was his second start after being activated from the DL and we really needed him to go deep in the game, mainly because Bard and Paps were unavailable. We also needed our offense to show up to give us some confidence towards the later innings. Beltre and Bill Hall both belted solo home runs early on, while Kevin Youkilis tied the game in the 7th with another solo shot. But, the hero of the game was by far Scutaro, who had his 2nd career grand slam to break the tie and put us on top 7-3. Beckett went 7 innings, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits, with 1 walk and 5 strike outs. Manny Delcarmen came in for the 8th giving up a hit and a walk while striking out 2. The Angels had runners on first and second with hope for a 2-out rally, but, Bill Hall had something else in mind when he made an incredible catch to end the inning. Ramon Ramirez came in and pitched a perfect 9th to get the save and to give the ever-so-deserving starter a win. It was a very smooth game, and everyone worked together to prove that the Red Sox will keep fighting and keep winning.
This sweep couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Victor Martinez being back in the line-up has obviously boosted our offensive confidence (which I knew it would). We outscored the Angels 17-8 this series if that proves anything at all. Mike Lowell, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Jason Varitek are all doing everything in their power to get back on the roster quickly. I’m hoping J.D. Drew’s injuries aren’t serious and he’ll be back in the line-up this weekend. I’m really looking forward to this 7 game home-stand that’s coming up after our off-day tomorrow. Jon Lester will be on the mound Friday against Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga. We’ll finish off this weekends series with Dice-K starting on Saturday while Buchholz will be back on the mound for Sunday’s game.
I hope to take my broom out once again this weekend because oh–indeed.. how sweep it is!
Go Red Sox!
Today is the most dreaded day of all
for true baseball fans. The worst Wednesday known to mankind… the day
after the All-Star game, and not a single major league game will be
On this awful
Wednesday, I have an off-day of my own, with no work. And, personally, I
am not feeling the greatest, so having today to rest is probably a
good thing. But, I’m going to take this extra time to recap on my
thoughts of the first half of the season and what I expect for the
Sox, despite a multitude of injuries, went into the All-Star Break with
a 51-37 record. We are 5 games back from the first place Yankees and 3
games back from the Rays who are holding the Wild Card spot. I’m not
really worried about what Theo has up his sleeve for the trade
deadline. What I am concerned for is getting my boys off the DL and back
onto the field. With Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury,
Jason Varitek, Victor Martinez,
Josh Beckett, Jeremy Hermida, Manny Delcarmen and Mike Lowell sitting
on the DL, our starting line-up is really starting to hurt. I mean, no
offense to Darnell McDonald, Daniel Nava, Bill Hall, etc. because they
have done a great job contributing to our success this year, but it’s
depressing when I see our line-up and I barely recognize any of the
guys playing. Although, I am getting to know them a little too well for
We have tons
of positives from the first
half of the season which gives
me hope for the second half. But, we have some pen issues that we need
to get straightened out.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I am really starting to love
Daniel Bard (1.90 ERA). I mean, he is the ultimate set-up guy and I
think will be a huge contributor to our bullpen in the future. Buchholz (currently on the DL, 10-4, 2.45 ERA)
and Jon Lester (11-3, 2.78 ERA) have proven their roles as starting pitchers and, in my
opinion, will be our two best starters as we enter the second half of
the season. However, Daisuke Matsuzaka (6-3, 4.56
ERA), John Lackey
(9-5, 4.78 ERA) and Tim Wakefield (3-7, 5.22 ERA) have been more or less
disasters and I’m not really sure what to think about them. I guess,
as Forest Gump would say, they are “like a box of chocolates, you never
know what you’re gonna get.” Also, our lack of bullpen is really
hurting us. Hideki Okajima (6.00 ERA) and Ramon Ramirez (4.79 ERA)
aren’t really two guys we can depend on in times of need. And our
closer, Jonathan Papelbon (3.50 ERA), even with 20 saves on the season, is not as dominant as we
need him to be.
David Ortiz, Big Papi, “Jose” Ortiz, or 2010 Home-Run Derby
Champ, has had a complete turnaround from the beginning of the season
and is really helping our offense with 17 HRs and 54 RBIs on the
season. But, can I PLEASE talk about should-have-been All-Star, Kevin
Youkilis, who was completely snubbed of that title. With a .297 batting
average, 55 RBIs and 17 HRs, and the fact that he’s one of the few
that has stayed healthy this season (despite the brief ankle injury),
is an absolute, defined bad-***. Adrian Beltre (.341 AVG), regardless
of the defensive errors, has greatly added to the teams offensive success and Marco Scutaro
(.285 AVG) is also playing
well. I can’t wait for my main boy, Pedey,
to come back and start this “Laser Show” again. Those pinstripes and
Rays really need to watch their backs, cause we’re going to come back
stronger than ever!
have complete faith in our boys to get healthy and start playing again.
I think that we will continue to win games and as long as we can get
through this tough start to the second half of the season, we will be
fine. I believe that we have stayed contenders in this race, even
through these difficult times, and have a great chance to win that
pennant, no matter what everyone else might think.
**I have to let you all know, on August
27th me and my daddy will be heading to Tampa Bay for a father/daughter
baseball weekend to watch the Red Sox at Tropicana Field. We have
booked our flight, hotel and most importantly purchased our tickets for
the 3-game series. On Friday and Sunday games, we will be sitting by
the visiting dugout and on Saturday, we will be near the visiting
bullpen. I had absolutely everything to do with those seating
arrangements. There is no doubt that I will be the only girl my age that
is headed to the beach for a weekend and not spend any time on the
actual beach. We will be at the Trop as soon as the gates open for BP
and I will stay till the last out is made, if not longer! No worries,
there will be a blog post for that trip along with tons of pictures!
—Best Dad Award goes to, MIKE DOLL—
I will always be behind my boys, no matter
the circumstances. I also completely believe that Red Sox Nation is
the greatest fan base of all time, in any sport, and with our faith,
hope and love for our team, we will get it done!
Go Red Sox!!