Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All-Star Game 2011 Ballot Sponsored by Sprint. Last Chance to Vote. You can help decide these close races.

I usually don't get all worked up about the All-Star game even though
"It Counts" but I would like credit where credit is due. So vote for Papi,
Adrian Gonzalez, and Jacoby Ellsbury they are haveing tremendous
years! Keep Texiara on the Bench!
Voting ends 6/30/11


Last Chance to Vote!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Matchup Red Sox Vs. Phillies a preview?

After a week hiatus from everything I am back. Thanks to Brad for keeping this going  * while I recharged my batteries at the Bruins Stanley Cup Parade and 2 Red Sox games when they played the Brewers. 2 Questions 1) What in the world is wrong with Jon Lester? 2) Where will we find a competent backup OF? Or conversely, maybe a competent starting outfielder? As has been noted, the Red Sox lead the league in nearly every single offensive category, but in right field, they are nearly dead last in those same categories. The ghosts of Drew and Cameron kill this team in big spots, and while JD might accidentally get into on here and there, his days as a full-time outfielder for the Red Sox are over, and Theo should be looking to move on. In the Pittsburgh series, the Red Sox right fielders went 2-24 in their respective at bats. One of those two was an infield hit. The Red Sox are a Lamborghini with a flat tire right now, and they better take care of it one way or the other. But alas, Those are questions to be answered in other lets size up arguably the 2 best teams in MLB.

* Brad added this photo

Tuesday: RHP Josh Beckett (6-2, 1.86) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (8-5, 2.87)

-The Good: This is an amazing matchup between Cliff lee the big free agent signing last year for the Phils against the comeback player of the year and AL Cy Young winner contender. Josh Beckett has hit 2 HR's at Citizens Bank Park. (Brad and I were at the first game Beckett his a HR in) Adrian Gonzalez is 7-10 against Lee. Crazy good!
-The Bad: Beckett has missed a number of starts due to a wicked stomach flu. Will he have his stamina back and will all of the rust be off? This could be the moment where Beckett wins or loses the Cy Young. A bad outing or two heading into the All-Star break could be ok with the team but horrible for the kid.

Brad Picks: Red Sox Win
Randy Picks: Red Sox Win

 RHP John Lackey (5-6, 7.36) vs. RHP Vance Worley (2-1, 2.83)

-The Good: Rollins and Utley are a combined 0-9 against the Lackey.
-The Bad: Obviously John Lackey is a negative right now. He has struggled recently but some might just chalk his last loss up to horrible wet weather, but those people may wear pink hats. My take Lackey is going to eventually go back on the DL when Bucch is healthy and Lester figures out what is wrong with him. The Red Sox have never faced Worley and the Sox always struggle with pitchers they see for the first time. Add that Agon is going to have to take a day off or move to the OF  sooner or later to let Papi play could see it here against the righty. Franciso and Ibanez have good numbers against all of the Red Sox pitchers.

Brad Picks: Red Sox Win
Randy Picks: Red Sox Win

 LHP Jon Lester (9-4, 3.66) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (9-4, 2.49)

-The Good:
Lester is on the Mound! Howard is 0-6 with 5 k's. Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .364 while Pedroia is 5-10 against Hamels.
-The Bad:Lester is on the mound. 9-4 record and a mid 3 ERA are not to shabby, but if you watch the games Lester is all over the place. How is his velocity? It is sitting in the low to mid 90's. His control though is awful.
Coming into the season people were saying Lester had surpassed Beckett as the ace of the club, and maybe that will happen soon but Lester has not shown that he can do that. Take two Saturdays ago when he faced the Brewers: Lester gave up 2 runs in the first and struggled, but that isn't where it went down hill for Lester and doesn't make me question if he is an ace its what happens next. The Sox tied it up in the bottom and had the momentum. A good ace will shut the door and get the lineup up again. Lester gives up a HR and the sox never had a chance. An Ace will shut the door and Lester couldn't do that when the team needed it. One example yes but until he can do that consitesntly Beckett is the Ace! Oh don't forget Cole Hamels is a great pitcher!!!

Brad Picks: Red Sox Win
Randy Picks: Red Sox lose

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stop Embarrassing Yourselves: Sox v. Pirates

Okay, well in what should have been one of the most lopsided beatdowns in recent history, despite the pitchers going, the Red Sox once again, embarrassed themselves by losing a couple to the worst team in the NL.
The Padres are about as bad an offense as you'll find in baseball, and their pitching isn't much better, but somehow, the Red Sox managed to lose two of the three games at Fenway. They outslugged the Padres nearly 3:1, but just couldn't bring those ducks in off the pond when they needed to. Yesterdays rainfest was the straw. With four rain delays in the game, Lackey completely shitted the joint up. Again. The DL list is starting to hurt a little bit, as yesterdays gamed featured both Darnell McDonald and the ghost of Mike Cameron in the starting lineup - nevermind Drew Sutton, but I'll get to all that in a later post about roster moves that I've been cooking up.
But, this is a new series, and the Sox have to take advantage of what is an imperative set of games in the NL parks. The Yankees aren't falling back anytime soon, so they can ill-afford to start losing games and series that they should win, less they find themselves four games out at the break.3
So, while I called for a sweep of the Padres (foolish, I know), I'm once again making that mistake for this series (steak dinner be damned). There is a little bit of a mix-up about who's gonna start Saturday, as Beckett has been diagnosed with some kind of stomach problem, but we'll go with the scheduled starters for now. With the off day today, things might change, which I'll reflect tomorrow.

Lets break it down:

Tomorrow's Game:
Jon Lester [9-3, 3.70] versus Paul Maholm [3-8, 3.29]
-The Good: It's the Pirates, and granted I said the same thing about SD, c'mon now. If the Red Sox can't beat a lowly Pittsburgh team with Jon Lester on the bump, we're in pretty bad shape right now.
-he Bad: Jon Lester's last few outings have not inspired me at all.
My keys to this game lies solely on Lester: he has to throw strikes and get them deep into a game and give this team a chance to get those bats heated back up. The Sox have been good on the road after that first road set of the year, so let's hope the big left pulls it together.
Brad Picks: Red Sox win.
Randy Picks: Red Sox Win

Saturday's Game:
Josh Beckett*[6-2, 1.86] versus Jeff Karstens [4-4, 2.54]
-The Good: Again, it's the Pirates, and the Sox have seen Jeff Karstens before, so many of them are at least a little bit familiar. I don't really think it matters if AGon has seen him (or any other pitcher on this planet).
-The Bad: Beckett has been sick for a week, so if he makes this start, he could be a little shaky after the time off, but on the other hand, it could help him as well. Hopefully he comes out and is as absolutely brilliant as he's been all year.
Brad Picks: Red Sox Win
Randy Picks: Red Sox Win

I think beckett got pushed back not sure of rotation

Sunday's Game
Tim Wakefield [4-2,4.56] versus James McDonald [5-4, 4.56]
-The Good: Wakefield has been pitching well, and despite the fact that the Pirates have beaten the piss out of RA Dickey twice this year, Tim's flutterball is a little different than Dickey's, so I'm hoping for the best. I absolutely hate picking Wakefield to win any game ever, but I'm going with him on this one and hope the Sox knock around McDonald early. The Pirates hurler boasts a very, very bad stat line the second and third time through the lineup this year.
-The Bad: Wakefield is due to be taken to the woodshed anytime now...
My keys to this game are the offense. Wake's gonna give up a few, so you gotta score in this one. Wake loves to face the team he came up with, and in the past has done well. He's also a decent hitter in his interleague games, so we'll see...
Brad Picks: Red Sox Win
Randy Picks: Red Sox win

In closing, let me say this: If AGon finds himself in RF this week, to avoid David Ortiz getting his panties all bunched up about not playing, I'm going to think much, much less of Terry Francona. Ortiz could use a night or two off, and to be honest, when these games get out of hand, he'll be put in anyhow (crosses fingers).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sorry, Everyone.

So, We're really sorry for the time off, but this past couple weeks has been crazy. Randy had a family event (at Fenway no less), and I have been super busy moving, so things have just been hectic and it all came to a head during the Brewers series.
We missed the picks on that Series, but we're here now.
We text each other last night the picks, and we both picked a Sox sweep here in the SD series, and so far, we're a third of the way there.
Josh Beckett has been "sick" the past few days, which I personally think is bullshit, and that the Sox are just trying to line up the Philly series, but he'll be skipped tonight for Aceves.
There seems to be some uproar over moving AGon to left field, which I'm going to say is STUPID. If Ortiz can't handle pinch hitting, then go screw. AGon is the best player in baseball right now, and you don't move him to a weird position just so Ortiz can keep swinging. Period. If AGon gets a day off, that's fine, but under no circumstances should he be in the outfield.
Anyhow, we'll be back in full force soon enough, and as always, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sox versus Rays.

So, after a much deserved day off, the old team gets right back on the horse tonight with the first game of a three-game set versus those pesky Rays. Both teams have had their moments this year to date, and right now, it's the Sox who are on the tear.
Hopefully, Randy and myself didn't put the reverse mojo on the Sox after posting about all these offensive treasures Boston is in possession of.
So, lets break it down:

Tonight's Matchup:

Tim Wakefield [3-1, 4.84era] versus James Shields [5-4, 2.85era]
Brad Picks: Sox Win - Randy Picks: Sox Win
The Good:
-Tim Wakefield has pitched well in his role to date this year.
-This offense is on a tear like few have ever seen the last ten games.
-Wakefield has some decent numbers against some of the Rays, but not many.
-Sheilds is privy to being beaten by the Sox, so lets hope that keeps going!
The Bad:
-James Shields has pitched very well this year
-The Red Sox are due for a let down
-Tim Wakefield.

My picks for standout performances this game fall right on Ortiz, who has punished the ball the past 15 games. Put guys on, he'll bring them home for you.

Tomorrow's Matchup:

Josh Beckett [5-2. 2.06era] verus Jeremy Hellickson [7-4, 3.03era]
Brad Picks: Sox Win - Randy Picks: Sox Win
The Good:
-Josh Beckett and his awesome year to date.
-The Sox Bats.
The Bad:
-Jeremy Hellickson, and his awesome year to date.
This game has a 12-9 score written all over it. Rarely do these matchups pan out.

My picks for standout performances are Josh Beckett and Papelbon.

Thursday's Matchup:
Clay Buchholz [5-3, 3.59era] versus David Price [7-5, 3.51]
Brad Picks: Red Sox Win - Randy Picks: Sox Lose
The Good:
-Not a lot here. The Sox don't have great numbers against Price, so really, we're just hoping he has an off day on Thursday, or the Sox bats keep it going the way they have.
-Clay has pitched servicably lately, and could easily shut down this Ray's offense.
The Bad:
-David Price

My call for standout is going to be Pedroia, Salty, Cameron (who will play) and Youkilis. They have to take advantage of the left, because he's just so tough on other lefties.

These three games are a tough call. It's tough to pick games with good pitching matchups on paper, because like I said, they rarely work out to be gems. I'm going to have to go with the hotter of the offense, and pick the Sox to hold down the Rays and sweep yet again on the backs of the offense.

In Awe of Adrian Gonzalez

I am definitely on the Adrian Gonzalez bandwagon! What he has been able to do over the last 2 months has opened up  my I eyes to what a great player he is! People said that he was a top 10 - top 5 player in MLB. I couldnt disagree more with those guys. He has been the man-crush Theo has had for a number of years and seem like a tremendous consolation price for losing out on the Mark Texiara Sweepstakes. I think Adrian Gonzalez is the best player right now in the MLB. People will say what about Pujols? Texiara? Reyes? A-rod? and yes it is not even the all star break of the first season with the Red Sox yet I have a prediction and it may not be this season... but Adrian Gonzalez will be the next TRIPLE CROWN WINNER!!!

Gonzalez posses the ability to become the best player in the game and surpass the great Albert Pujols! Albert has dominated MLB for a decade now. 3 MVP awards, been runner up 4 times, and won the ROY.  However he is approaching Free Agency and seems this year he is succumbing to the pressure of the contract year. Pujols is only batting .273 and only has 71 hits so far this season. However, Adrian Gonzalez has better players surrounding him, a better park to hit in, and is younger then Pujols. Now, I am not saying Agon is better than Pujols overall and will end up the best player at the end of the season.  You cant say that after half a season against the guy who is 3 time MVP and career .318 hitter who has hit 40+ HRs. What I am saying is that Adrian Gonzalez is the real deal and should be the next best player after Pujols in this great disccussion. Other guys who are in the talk: Alex Rodriguez is getting older he has lost a step or two at 3B and is not the same player he use to be. He will still get you 30 HR 100 RBI but over the last 2 complete seasons and this current season he is hitting only around .280. Great stats but not the best player in baseball stats.  Jose Reyes is having a tremendous year but still he isn't in that top 3 player spot yet. He is batting .346 so far this yeat with 94 hits and 11 triples this season but the Met's lineup is not strong enough to help Reyes. Even Josh Hamilton who has unbelievable talent will not be repeating as AL MVP this year. he is coming injury and barring an amazing hot streak he will not be there when all is said and done with.

Adrian GonzalezAGon is one of the top 2 players in the game at this moment. Gonzalez has the ability to hit the ball with power to all fields. This makes playing the "Big Papi Shift" all but useless against him. He is happy with stroking a double in the gap as he is with driving the ball to right field. “He has a knack. He understands what he’s got to do. Whether it’s shorten up or try and hit the ball out of the ballpark,’’ manager Terry Francona said. He also has that uncanny ability to work the count on pitchers and stay within his game plan. He doesn't expand the strike zone for the pitcher when he is down in the count and will take the walk when it is given to him. If you saw the the NESN interview by HOF Peter Gammons about all the video break down and preperation he does you see how much of student of the game he is. He is also very quiet at the plate. He isn't like Kevin Youkilis moving his hands all around or changing his batting stance all the time. He stands their with slightly open stance and just takes his time stays back behind the ball/hands inside and smokes the ball all over the

Boston Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez tags out New York Yankees Brett Gardner at Yankee Stadium in New Yorkfield. That's him at the plate quiet and focused, but he is not just a 1b/DH prototype. He is also a 2 time Gold Glove winner who posses a great arm and the confidence in that arm to make good strong accurate throws to 2nd or 3rd to cut down a base runner. In his career he has not made more that 10 errors all year and so far this year the big goose egg. If their is a dent in his armor is that he is so very slow. He is slow running around the bases and in the fieled where he makes the pitcher have to cover 1b a lot. Ask Tim Wakefield about that against the Yankees last series.

Now to my Triple Crown prediction... We all know who the last player to win the triple crown was (If you dont know dont read this blog anymore). Many players have had their names mentioned in the chase for the triple crown... So far 65 games into the season after a dismal start to his season Adrian Gonzalez is Leading the AL in avg. .341 and RBI with 60. His tied for 8th in Hr with 13. He is 8 behind Jose Bautista*.Those are fantastic numbers thus far in the season. Agon is also a great proffesional and understands that getting those RBI are only a result of guys getting on ahead of him n the lineup. An interview on “I’ve been able to hit a couple of solo home runs here or there. But it’s all about the guys ahead of me,’’ Gonzalez said. “RBIs are all about the guys ahead of you. Those guys are doing an incredible job of giving me multiple opportunities every day.’’ 

As Gonzalez see mores of the AL pitchers and makes the adjustments to the Red Sox Gonzalez will only get better. His power numbers were the last to come around and with that Big Green Wall in LF at Fenway and Gonzalez's power to all fields watch out! Like I said before he may not do it this year but Adrian Gonzalez will be the next TRIPLE CROWN WINNER!

*Bautista could be mentioned in this great player argument as well. 1 more season like the passed two and he should be there.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bats, Bats, and more Bats!

So, on the heels of one what one might call one of the most lopsided weeks in baseball recently, I've decided to check in on some of the stats and put together a few little nuggets of interest surround the Sox.
This post will serve as the offensive roundup, pointing out a few bright spots individually, and team wise.
The next post, I'll concentrate on pitching and defense, but for now, lets talk about those big bats the old team is carrying around right now.
Also, a much deserved, and late, kudos to the Sox for whipping the tits off the Yankees last month. I've never read so much garbage on Lohud in my life. These inbreds really feel as if the Sox aren't that much of threat, so below, you'll find just how much of threat this team can be.

-Team Batting Stats
The Red Sox currently rank in the top ten in the following categories in the AL:
-Team Batting average of .276 ranks them first.
-Team OBP% of .349 ranks them first.
-Team SLG% of .450 ranks them first (tie).
-Team OPS% of .799 ranks them first.
-350 runs scored ranks them first.
-2298 at bats ranks them first.
-635 hits rank them first.
-142 doubles rank them first.
-1034 total bases rank them first.
-338 total RBI rank them first.
-77 HR rank them second

Needless to say, they're raking the last month and a half of baseball.

Now, lets focus on some indiviual players that are carrying huge numbers right now for this baseball team.

Adrian Gonzolez:
AG's gaudy .341 batting average ranks him first; his 60 RBI rank him first (also, on pace for 170); his .584 SLG% ranks him fourth; his .977 OPS% ranks him fourth; his .392 OBP ranks him fourth, and his expanded stats put him in the top ten in nearly every single offensive category. Don't even get me started on his defense, which is absolutely insane. This may well serve as the smartest move Theo has ever made in his tenure as the Red Sox GM. Also noted, Anthony Rizzo is absolutely tearing the cover off the ball for the Padres right now; so much for him just being a throw in, huh? You idiot.

David Ortiz
David's year this year is something to marvel at: His batting average of .325 has him ranked 4th; his 43RBI's have him ranked 8th; his SLG% of .624 have him ranked second; his OPS% of 1.019 (insane) have him ranked second; his OBP% of .395 have him ranked fifth. Factor this in with David's habit of really turning it on as the weather gets hotter (see 2007 thur 2010), and we have the makings of an absolute MONSTER contract year for the big fella.

Jacoby Ellsbury
The Complete Player. Right now, Jacoby is ranked 6th in batting average at .318, his .376 OBP% ranks him 11th, his stolen base count of 24 rank him first, and the often underused "havoc on the basepaths" rank him first as well. PS: I made that last stat up.

As a team, the Sox are raking big time right now, with several other players listed within the confines of "top ten" in several of the offensive categories.
In Theo Epsteins tenure, all we've heard is "get on base" and "OBP is the stat to look at, and this year, his collection of talent is proving him right.
For example, in the listed-to-date OBP% statistics, the Red Sox have the following: David Ortiz at 5th, AG at 6th, Kevin Youkilis at 8th, Dustin Pedroia at 10th, and Jacoby Ellsbury at 11th. The first Yankee, Mark Texiera, appears at number 16 on that list. Go figure.

PS: Bartolo Colon is now on the DL. Maybe all the steroi, errr, stem cell stuff is starting to wear off, no?

Pitching is up next!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Red Sox vs Toronto Matchup

Due to some severe weather in CT over the last 24 hours our internet connections and electricity has been off and on. Thus a quick matchup! Hopefully we can add two once we are back to 100%.

The Red Sox and Brad are coming off a sweep of yes the NYY! Congrats to both of them! While we should be excited about being 2 games up the next two series are equally as important. We start with 3 games against Toronto and end with Tampa!

Clay Buchholz (4-3, 3.82) vs.  Jo-Jo Reyes (2-4, 4.16)
Predictions: Randy picks: Red Sox Lose   Brad Picks: Red Sox win
Watch out for Bucchholz he hasn't pitched since June 3 due to back stiffness and was pushed out of the Yankee series. He has struggled over his last 2 starts. The offense is clicking and love what Big Papi is doing. Pedroia's knee is just bruised and is in the lineup tonight!

John Lackey (3-5, 7.60) vs. Brandon Morrow (2-3, 4.50)
Randy: Red Sox Win   Brad: Red Sox Win
Lackey pitched well in his first start back last Sunday! However, he has said that his elbow will be in a problem all season, this definitely something to keep you eye on. Morrow has talent I think he threw a 1 hitter or a had a big strike out game last season.

Jon Lester (8-2, 3.98) vs. Kyle Drabek (4-4, 4.98)
Randy: Red Sox win   Brad: Red Sox Win
Lester was God awful against the Yankees. He need to rely more on his fast ball and throw it for strikes. His cutter right now is so bad it showed while he Texiara and Martin the knee!
Drabek started the season well but has struggled. He is young and has talent.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Red Sox vs. Yankees Matchup

The Red Sox and Yankees face each other again this week. Last time in Fenway the Red Sox swept the Yankees to close the gap in the standings. The Red Sox are currently 1 game behind the Yanks in the AL East. If a healthy Ace Jon Lester decides to show up in the Bronx the Red Sox have a shot of taking 2 of 3 or sweeping the Yankees.

Jon Lester (7-2, 3.94) vs.  Freddy Garcia (4-4, 3.34)
Prediction: Randy Picks: Red sox Win  Brad Picks: Sox Win
The Good: On paper this game looks like it should be a big giant Win for the Red Sox. However, as all good sox fans know Lester has really been struggling over his last 5 or 6 starts. His ERA has been climbing and he has become too reliant on his devastating cutter. This all sounds bad right? Wrong the Red Sox offense has given him 9.2 runs per game on avg. Now we know that is never going to hold up all year or even this game, but the Red Sox offense has really picked up the pace!
The Bad: Seed the good. Lester may not need to be dominant, but he better not give up much more than 3 runs tonight or it will be trouble!

Tim Wakefield (2-1, 4.40) vs.  A.J. Burnett (6-3, 3.86)
Predictions: Randy Picks: Red Sox Lose     Brad Picks: Red Sox Win
The Good: Time Wakefield has looked like he is a 30 something pitcher this year. He has really stepped up in the absences of Dice-k and Lackey. The biggest question mark is how long will he be able to keep this up? Big Papi is coming off of AL Player of the week honors and has a 6 game hit streak coming into the series. Papi has been a great surprise so far this year!
The Bad: Aj Burnett has pitched rather well this year for the Yankees he may be due for a gem against the Sox. Then we go back to the question How will Wake be able to keep this stretch of good start after good start going like he has thus far?

*Josh Beckett (4-2, 2.01) vs. CC Sabathia (7-3, 2.80),
Predictions: Randy Picks Red Sox Win     Brad Picks: Red Sox Win
The Good: Here we go!!! The rubber match for these SP's this season. Beckett has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball this season. He should have 3 or 4 more wins but the offense and bullpen will not hold a lead for this guy. Crawford has only 2 hits in 27 at bats this year against the is that good its not but Crawford is turning it around with his clutch game winning hits and first HR at Fenway park this past Sunday as a memeber of the red sox as examples. We are finally starting to see Carl Crawford at his best getting hitting balls in the gaps and on base  ! Also the good **Jeter is 14 hits away from 3000 for his career barring an amazing hot streak he will not get it against the Red Sox this series.
The Bad: While Beckett has been the best pitcher this year CC Sabathia is right there with him. With a 2.80 ERA for team that can score runs like the Yankees thats a tough combination. Watch out for Texiara and swisher this series they are really swinging the bat well.

* I will not being doing my jinx pick on Beckett this series. He has been pitching great but the offense isn't helping him. Welcome back Josh i am officially on the bandwagon!

** Anybody else find it crazy that no other NYY has 3000 hits. With all the great ones they have had it boggles my mind. Though one explanation is a bunch of those greats were in WWII for several seasons.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Who will the Red Sox draft tonight? 4 picks in the first 40! I Want a stud pitcher and OF! Our farm system took a hit with the trade for adrian gonzalez! This years draft might be the last time red sox can take advantage of over paying slot reccomedations! LETS GO THEO!

The Red Sox have the 19th pick tonight! I would like Barnes from uconn or one of the Bradleys!

Matt Barnes, rhp

Barnes was an under-the-radar prospect and went undrafted coming out of high school in Connecticut, but after three years at UConn he has firmly established himself as a first-round talent. Barnes shined last summer, ranking as the Cape Cod League's No. 3 prospect during a stint with Wareham and going 3-0, 1.42 with 26 strikeouts in 19 innings for Team USA. Barnes added 6-8 mph on his fastball before his sophomore year, jumping his velocity to its current 92-96 mph range and 98 peak, which he holds deep into games. He has a loose arm and minimal effort in his delivery. Barnes gets good armside run on his two-seamer, and he also throws a cutter. He throws a sharp-breaking curveball that's plus at times and an average mid-80s changeup. Barnes is at his best when he eliminates his slider from his repertoire. His secondary stuff, along with his command and mechanics, need work, as he tends to alter his release point and miss high in the zone. Scouts love Barnes' 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame, and they still think he could add about 20 pounds

Via Baseball America

Friday, June 3, 2011

Expect The Worst.

One of my biggest issues with this Red Sox team, to date, is the manner in which they seem to play down to their competition. The Athletics are a good team, but nowhere near the level of talent is taking the field on a daily basis than this current Red Sox team. They A's just laid down and died in the Bronx, so I especially feel bad about this series - The Red Sox also laid down for the Chicago White Sox, so something has to give, right? Someone has to win, so lets see who steps up and plays not worse than the other team. So, let's make some pics and see if I can get one step closer to that free steak dinner Randy is gonna buy me.

Tonight's Game
Clay Buchholz [4-3, 3.41] verus Josh Outman [1-0, 2.08]
Brad Picks: Red Sox Win - Randy Picks: Red Sox Win.

The Good:
-Buchholz continues to look good and turn in quality starts for the Sox. The Sox offense seems to sputter with him on the bump, but he's clearly doing his job. Opponents to date are hitting .250 against him, and luckily for him, the A's are not a hitting team. His opponent, Outman, walked five last time out, and while he seems to have command problems, he does limit the damage done.
The Bad
- The Sox are infamous for not hitting guys they aren't used to seeing, especially junk ballers. Outman is coming off Tommy John surgery, so most of the guys haven't seen him.
Keys To The Game
-Stay patient, work the count, and keep the train moving. The Sox gave away the Gavin Floyd game against the CWS because after a terrible rough outing, he had 14 first pitch outs.

Tomorrow's Game
Josh Beckett [4-2, 1.80] versus Trevor Cahill [6-3, 2.31]
Brad Picks: Red Sox Win - Randy Picks: Red Sox Lose
The Good:
-Josh Beckett. Beckett was the hard-luck loser against Verlander last time out, but continues to put exclamation points on his rebound season. He's still posting a sub-2era, and dispite his last start, is controlling his walks. I actually think Beckett's last start was his best. It was clear from the get-go that he was having problems with his breaking pitches, and couldn't control them and the Tigers caught on quick. He gave the Sox every opportunity to win the game in the face of tossing fastballs 89% of the game.
The Bad:
Trevor Cahill has been extrodinary this year, though faltering lately. He had a rocky first few innings agains NY last time out, but settled in for nearly seven. He's a strong kid, who knows how to keep the batter off balance.
Keys To the Game
-Dustin Pedroia, who hits Cahill well in limited at bats. Also, Josh Beckett CANNOT pitch to Hideki Matsui, who's taken him deep on countless occasions.
PS: This game starts at 1:00pm due to the Hockey Game. Ugh.

Sunday's Game
John Lackey [2-5, 8.01] versus Brett Anderson [3-5, 3.68]
Brad Picks: Red Sox Lose - Randy Picks: Red Sox Win
The Good:
-John Lackey is well rested, and might just spin a gem coming off his little vacation to deal with his family iss, errr, sore elbow. He also might get bombed. Who knows? But, the Sox will also be facing Brett Anderson, who they have pounded before, so they might just pull one off.
The Bad:
- See "The Good"
Keys to the Game:
Like always, Lackey has to get the corners and have something of a fastball to mix in, and the Sox can't let Anderson off the hook when he makes mistakes.

Lets get this train turned around!!

Edit: Randy is still picking Beckett to lose, even though he brought the bad mojo last time with his reverse jinx.

Another one bites the dust...

Yep. Tommy John.
First Matsuzaka, and Now Rich Hill.

See you in 2013.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Back At It! Portland Sea Dogs!

Took a little break from the red sox and blogging over the long weekend! Hope everybody enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend! I know I did. Drinking and eating is a lot of fun!  Thanks to a rain out and ESPN doing their best MLB on Fox impersonation I wasn't able to watch nearly as much baseball as I wanted to. However, that changed a little bit yesterday as I went to a double header of the Portland Sea Dogs in New Britain, CT. Now first off if you love baseball go to Minor League Baseball games at any level its great baseball and really fun especially at New Britain Stadium home of the New Britain Rock Cats the AA team of the Twins.

I was lucky to be able to see Chris Balcolm-Miller the RHP in his first AA game (we received him in return for Manny Delcarmen in the Colorado Rockies deal Balcolm-Miller was recently promoted from High A ball in Salem. The RHP was throwing his fastball 90 -92 with ok control though he fell behind some hitters early on. He also got a lot of swings and misses from his changeup which was sitting about 81-82 all evening. There was not a lot of contact by the Rock Cats on Balcolm-Miller. The biggest reason outside of his changing of speeds is that he hides the ball in a strange wide up. The ball goes down behind his back and he slings it up there. very deceptive and will probably get guys out at most levels as long as he can consistently make the same motion everytime.

I was disappointed in that I did not see Will MiddleBrooks the 3B who has a great start to his season, he has a jammed finger.

Do not hold your breaths on Catchers Lavernway and Federowitz they are no where near ready. Both guys showed little pop in their bats and very long swings. They called good games but were not anything special.

Also newly promoted Jermey Hazelbaker is one fast guy, darting around CF and on the base paths. While you cant teach speed he needs to a better job of reading pitchers. He was CS in the 1st inning of the 2nd game by a pea from the Rock Cats catcher he had no jump what so ever. The rest of the team were a bunch of flame out guys who are probably never going to get much passed AA.

I know it was only 2 games but i was not impressed with the Sea Dogs. Major issue for the Red Sox organization is not a lot of potential talent at the AA level right now!

If you see any Minor League Sox games let us know and you can post your first hand experiences here on 3 Up! 3 Down!