Sunday, June 3, 2001
Red Sox at Toronto
3 games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
The Sox won all three of these games from the Jays to sweep the four game series. All of the games were won in the late innings and Iíd say it was more due to Blue Jays incompetence than the Red Sox playing well.
In the Friday game, the Sox won 6-4 in 11 innings as the Jays blew a couple of chances to win in the 9th and 10th. Offerman made crucial errors to give them a chance. The most notable play was in the 10th after an error, the Jays had the bases loaded with one out. Darrin Fletcher hit a hard grounder to short, and the Sox got the 6-2-3 double play. Then in the 11th they got the hits they needed from Lansing, Veritek, and Bichette to get two runs and Lowe held it.
In the Saturday game, it was 1-1 when Everett hit a mamouth home run to go ahead and Beck saved it.
In the Sunday game, the Sox got two mamouth HRs from Ramirez and Bichette then took advantage of an error to lead 5-4 and the Jays couldnít tie it against Lowe.
Sox 6 Blue Jays 4
Sox 2 Blue Jays 1
Sox 5 Blue Jays 4
Monday, June 4, 2001
Red Sox at Yankees
Pedro Martinez vs. Ramiro Mendoza
The Yankees held back Mike Mussina almost conceding this game, or if you lose no big deal if you win itís a big lift philosophy. Lots of talk about one of the teams getting David Wells before the game, but no activity.
The Sox were routinely ahead 4-1 when Pedro gave up 2 runs on a big triple by the other Martinez. Then for no apparent reason, Jimy took him out after 90 pitches and 6 innings. Naturally the Yankees got 3 runs to go ahead and put in Rivera for game over in the 8th. But somehow Ramirez hit a 2 run homer off of him in the ninth and they tied it only to lose in the bottom of the ninth with some incompetent pitching by Beck. Though they lost a close game, everyone was just talking about how could they take Pedro out. It was obviously a managerial gaffe. The Yankees were salivating when they took him out. But it only speaks to the incompetence of their relief pitching in my mind. Right now the only dependable reliever is Lowe and he was horrible in the first month. Beck, Garces, Arrojo, Shoerek, and Pichardo you never know what youíre going to get. Oh well. Itís a one game lead and only another 30 or 40 games till Nomar comes back.
Wednesday, June 6, 2001
Detroit at Boston
Tuesday night/Wednesday morning
Hideo Nomo vs. Chris Holt
I feel trapped by the Red Sox as they go to the bottom of the 18th inning. This game has truly been a marathon. Well they just pulled it out. Shea Hillenbrand hit a home run just over the wall and the Red Sox won it. There were some exciting plays. Manny another HR. Then they intentionally walked him four times. One to put the winning run on 2nd. One with the bases empty. When they didnít walk him in the 13th or so, he hit one off the top of the wall just missing a game winning HR. Just wait till Nomar is back, then letís see them intentionally walk Manny like this. The killer play Ė why they played 18 innings in the first place Ė in the 10th. Bichette hits a blooper with two runners on that hits the chalk on the right field line. Winning run scores, but the ump calls it foul. Clearly blew the call as shown on TV. Well they won the game. The bullpen threw 11 scoreless innings including the last by Wakefield who picked off a runner at 2nd to end the inning. I think that fired up the team to give them a push.
Red Sox 4 Tigers 3
Sox are 33-23 with 2 game lead
The aftermath of the Yankee game when they took Pedro out was intense all day. My most fun moment was at Jennieís softball game when I was pitching and I said to the other parents ďIím on a pitch count!Ē All day on talk radio the venom against Jimy was intense. At 5 Pedro spoke to the press and told everyone he supported the decision to have him at 90 pitches for the game. Supported Jimy. The whole issue of him going disabled midseason came up and theyíre trying to avoid that. I donít buy it. Not every game is a Yankee game. Go the extra mile against the evil empire.
Ok the Yankees are the evil empire but the Mariners are right now 45-12 and have won 13 in a row. They lose Randy Johnson, Junior Griffey, and A-Rod and they are awesome. Go figure. The Phillies and Cubs are doing well also. But itís the fact that the Twins are well ahead of the Sox that is a concern. The Twins and Indians are fighting out the Central and the Sox do not have a lock on the wild card if they canít win the East. Theyíve simply got to outduel the Yankees. Still talk of David Wells. Do the Sox get him and his baggage? Do they make the deal as a defensive move to prevent the Yankees from getting him? They need a starter. I think they need dependable relievers. Well tonight they did the job.
Thursday, June 14, 2001
Florida Marlins at Boston
David Cone vs. Chuck Smith
I went to the game tonight just to try it. No ticket, just walked up and bought a single ticket right behind home plate. I was so close I could see the spin on the ball as it was pitched. Being right behind the screen bothered me a bit, but also the heavy traffic as I was 3 rows up from a walkway. A little lonely but I was absorbed in the game and I kept score.
Started poorly as Cone gave up two dingers in the 2nd for a 3-0 deficit. Then in the 2nd with Manny on first, a true bonehead play. Daubach hits a liner to right center that gets in for a hit. Manny makes it to 3rd but Daubach goes too far towards 2nd and gets caught in a rundown. Manny, thinking he can make the dash for home, tries it and is out by a mile. These guys arenít little leaguers Ė of course theyíre aware that you might try for home during the rundown. Ugh! Rally dies. Cone settled down after the bad inning. Then in the 4th the Sox get singles from Nixon, Everett, and Bichette. The Daubach launches one into the centerfield seats for a grand slam. Cone mows them down and doesnít give up another hit after the bad inning. He goes 7 innings and the Sox still have the one run lead. They push across a run in the bottom. Stynes hits a long double, advances on a bouncer to the left side, nice baserunning decision. Then newcomer Doug Mirabelli hits a sac fly. In the 8th the Marlins steal a run off El Guapo. Floyd hits a single to right with two outs. He waltzes to 2nd with no throw. Then a high pop between Offerman and Nixon, and Nixon drops it for a run. The Sox get another run in the 8th. Nixon singes, Everett doubles off the wall. Then Manny scorches one right at the shortstop who canít handle it and Nixon scores. Bichette hits one to short next and Everett is caught in a rundown. So itís 6-4. Beck gets them quietly in the ninth surprise surprise and itís a good win.
Red Sox 6 Marlins 4
Sox are 38-26 with a 2 game lead over the evil Yankees
So Pedro is missing a start but not going disabled. I guess if heíd pitched two more innings in the Yankee game heíd miss more games. Makes no sense. Injuries and illness is hurting them. Veritek is out for two months, injuring himself on a truly great catch in a game that was 6-1. Valentin is out for a while. Stynes is back and playing more at 3rd with Hillenbrand coming back to earth. Some say heíll even be sent down as pitchers have figured him out. All in all theyíre winning games. But now on the road in Atlanta with no Pedro and itíll be tough.
Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Red Sox at Tampa Bay
Tim Wakefield vs. Bryan Rekar
Wakefield has been great lately and with the floater mixed in with curves and 75 MPH fastballs he was terrific. No hits through 8 innings and they had a 5-0 lead. OíLeary makes a great catch in the 8th to keep it going. So they go into the 9th with a comfortable lead and a shot for the no-no. First batter hits a slow roller to 2nd and beats it out as Daubach is pulled off the bag, but they call it an error (correctly). But then a clean hit to left. They smartly take Wakefield out and put in Lowe whoís been great lately. However an infield hit and a double that just missed a home run and itís 5-4. Thankfully the next hitter hits a little flare that Offerman grabs. Itís never easy. A no-hitter with a 5-0 lead to a 5-4 nail biter. Still they have beaten the lowly Devil Rays 7 out of 7 this year.
Can they beat real competition? They beat the Braves 2 out of 3 this weekend but the Braves are in a funk. Just another month Ďtill Nomar and then Veritek will be back in August.
Red Sox 5 Devil Rays 4
Sox are 41-27 with 2 Ĺ game lead over evil Yankees who lose tonight.
Thursday, June 21, 2001
Red Sox at Tampa Bay
Pedro Martinez vs. Tanyon Sturtze
Pedroís first game back after missing a start. He was good through 5 innings but the pitch count caught up with him. Starters were gone with it 1-1 in the 8th. Itís assumed that Everettís 2 run homer wins it against the hapless Rays. But they come up with 3 runs in the bottom of the eighth to go ahead and you think ok theyíll lose once against this team (theyíre 8-0 at this point). But with 2 out and no one on in the 9th against their closer, OíLeary ekes out a single. Offerman singles and Nixon walks. However, they took out Everett because he hurt himself diving for a ball (not a good decision he had no chance) the inning before. So itís light hitting Lewis with the game on the line. Jimy chooses slightly less light hitting Lansing. He takes a few pitches and weíre hoping for a walk to force in the tying run. Itís 2-2 count after he fouls one of on a check swing. Then Esteban Yan their closer throws a wild pitch to tie the game! Lansing walks and Manny walks up, overdue. He scorches a grounder right down the line, their 3rd baseman isnít guarding, and it goes all the way to the wall and clears the bases. Lowe has an easy 9th and the Sox pull it out. Remy had said the Sox expect to find a way to win, and the Devil Rays expect to find a way to lose. It couldnít have been more true.
Sox 7 Devil Rays 4
Sox are 43-27 with a 4 game lead
Yankees are in a funk, so you want the Sox to open up as much ground as possible. But the next few games for the Yankees are against Tampa Bay.
Sunday, June 24, 2001
Toronto at Fenway
The Sox came screeching back to earth in this weekend series against the Jays. After wiping out the Jays in Canada, Toronto got their revenge. All were close games that were winnable for the Sox. In the first game, they lost it on a 9th inning homer by Delgado. In the second game they had a quick 3-0 lead then gave it all back and more in a horrible 7 run inning, eventually losing 9-6. In the third game, Wakefield pitched into the 8th with a 2-1 lead, then gave up a walk and a double to tie it, then Beck gave up the winning hit and 2 more runs to completely lose it.
Toronto 4 Red Sox 3
Toronto 9 Red Sox 6
Toronto 5 Red Sox 2
Still a 2 game lead over the Yankees with the hapless Devil Rays coming in for a 4 game series. The tough part of the schedule comes after the all star break with a long road trip. They do need to win a lot of these games. The Yankees are still around. Their trade for a relief pitcher fell through because of physicals not passed. They will no doubt make a move or two. No more David Wells talk for now. The Sox really need relief pitching in my mind. Theyíve got Lowe. Then itís Beck, Garces, Arrojo, Shoerek, Pichardo none of who are reliable. Beck is good sometimes, but other times heís batting practice. Shoerek is the only lefty, but hasnít pitched well in ages.
Monday, June 25, 2001
Tampa Bay at Fenway
David Cone vs. Ryan Rupe
They spotted the Devil Rays a 4-0 lead, but came roaring back to go ahead on a grand slam by Bichette. They had a 10-5 lead but the Rays kept coming back. Cone gave up two more homers in 5 innings, and Garces gave up two homers in an inning and it was 10-8 in the 8th. But the hapless Rays gave away two runs on an error and they put Lowe in to pitch the last two innings to win 12-8. Cone gets the win but hardly a convincing performance.
Red Sox 12 Devil Rays 8
Tuesday, June 26, 2001
Tampa Bay at Fenway
Pedro Martinez vs. Tanyon Sturtze
The Sox have a 1-0 lead going into the 5th. Pedro doing ok but gives up a run and is clearly hurting. Jimy takes him out with the bases loaded and 2 out and in comes Arrojo. Grand slam! However, the Sox load the bases in the 7th, the Rays bring in a reliever and Nixon Ė grand slam! The Rays take the lead, but the Sox tie it on a triple by Daubach, then a rookie pitcher walks the ballpark and forces in a run.
Red Sox 7 Devil Rays 6
Wednesday, June 27, 2001
Tampa Bay at Fenway
Hideo Nomo vs. Albie Lopez
They spot the Devil Rays a 6-0 lead this time, then come back to tie it, only to have the relief pitching give it away. First win for the Devil Rays after the Sox had beaten then 11 straight.
Devil Rays 9 Red Sox 7
Thursday, June 28, 2001
Tampa Bay at Fenway
Frank Castillo vs. Joe Kennedy
The Sox use practically their whole bullpen as Castillo leaves with an injury in the 2nd. Bryce Florie pitches a couple innings and gets a huge ovation after coming back from the horrible line drive in the face last year. Tied up at 3 going into the ninth they bring in Lowe who gives up a single, infield out and 2 infield hits for a scratch run. Daubach gets a bloop double in the ninth but Merloni strikes out to end it.
Devil Rays 4 Sox 3
Injuries are really hurting them. Nomar, Veritek, Everett, Garces, Pedro. Plus their bullpen is burnt out in my opinion. All of the quick hooks for the starters are starting to catch up. Shourek is useless. Beck has been overused and is not dependable. Lowe has been dependable but gave it up tonight. Arrojo is now a starter weíll see how that goes.
Friday, June 29, 2001
Red Sox at Toronto
Tim Wakefield vs. Steve Parris
The Sox fell behind 3-0 early then fought back on 2 run homers by Daubach and Manny. But a grand slam by Raul Mondesi broke it open in the 8th. The Sox lose their 3rd in a row and the evil Yankees are breathing down their necks.
Blue Jays 8 Sox 4
Sox lead is down to a half game as the Yankees take their turn beating up on Tampa Bay.
Saturday, June 30, 2001
Red Sox at Toronto
David Cone vs. Joey Hamilton
The Sox jump out to a 6-0 lead and have them 7-2 in the 8th. Pichardo pitches the 7th perfectly, but he brings in Beck. Mondesi tees off on Beck to make it 7-3 but Beck gets the next 3 but then he brings in Lowe (cause heís warmed up?). Lowe is shaky in a non-save situation and before you know it itís 7-5 with runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out and Mondesi up. As a fatalist, the game is tied or won by the Blue Jays, considering Mondesi has hit 3 home runs in two days. But Mondesi hits a short fly to center, they walk Delgado, and Fulmer hits a grounder to 2nd to end it. In a game that should have been easy, shaky relief pitching made this a nail biter.
Sox 7 Blue Jays 5
The relief pitching is still a worry. Why does Jimy work by formula every time. Why is it always Beck as setup in the 8th and Lowe in the 9th. Pichardo pitched a perfect 7th inning, why not see if you can get another inning out of him when heís got the hot hand? Then Beck gets 3 straight outs after the home run, why not keep him in for the 9th. And ugh! Why doesnít he go longer with the starters. He babies the starters why burning out the bullpen. Meanwhile, the Yankees are beefing up on pitching as they get Mark Wohlers and Jay Witasick. The Sox bring up Tomo Ohka, Bill Pulsifer, and Bryce Florie. You know more Yankee moves are on the way.