Monday, July 25, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer: Royals vs. Red Sox

Not even this could get me excited for this series!

Both Brad and I predicted the sweep against the M's. The M's had the better pitching matchup, but their offense is awful. Now the Sox face the Royals, and it is officaly that time of year where the Red Sox play awful teams and I get bored. Hopefully they can take 3 out of 4 and move on to the next series against the White Sox. Here is the Matchup...

Jon Lester (10-4, 3.31) vs. RHP Kyle Davies (1-9, 7.32)
Randy Picks: Red Sox Win    Brad Picks: Red Sox win

The Good: Lester is back after a quick stint on the DL due to his lat injury. He should be poised to dominate again. This type of injury can nag players through out the year, but lets hope it was only minor.  All indications are that he is healthy and should be the #2 pitcher behind Beckett. Pedroia is on a 21 game hit streak. Carl Crawford is batting .375 since coming off the DL.
The Bad: For this entire series their isnt much Bad stuff to talk about. As a fan I can be bored, but as a player you have to grind these series out, win them, and move on. As long as the Red Sox pay attention they should be fine.

Andrew Miller (4-1, 4.65) vs. LHP Danny Duffy (2-4, 4.58)
Randy Picks: Red Sox Win   Brad Picks: Red Sox win

The Good: Miller pitched well last game not giving up a hit till the 5th inning. As long as he throws strikes he should be fine against the young lineup of the Royals. With Pedroia, Gonzo, Ellsbury and Youk playing well it is a tough call regarding who will be the leader of the offense in this game/series.
The Bad: Not much just grind these games out and dont kill your bullpen

John Lackey (8-8, 6.28) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (5-3, 3.30)
Randy Picks: Red Sox Lose      Brad Picks: Red Sox Win

The Good: Lackey out pitched King Felix last game and while the M's offense is suspect Lackey looked good. Hopefully Lackey can keep up his solid outings and get above .500 for the season.
The Bad: Not much again. Chen is a veteran pitcher and has pretty good season numbers. With the veteran on the mound and the difficulty of sweeping a 4 game series, I think the Sox drop this one.

Josh Beckett (9-3, 2.07) vs. RHP Luke Hochevar (6-8, 5.29)
Randy Picks: Sox Win     Brad Picks: Red Sox Win
The Good: Beckett has allowed 3 or fewer runs in 15 of 17 games he has pitched. He is the man right now and should get the win again. Oh yeah thank god the series is over after this game.
The Bad: None! The Red Sox better win this game or it could come back to haunt them in Sept.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Matchup Seattle vs Boston

Tough Pitching Matchup for Sox!

Here we go back at it again! Randy is down 2 games in our head to head matchup so let's get it on! This could be the series to make me or break me in Matchup battle. Let's Go Sox!

Felix Hernandez (8-8, 3.26) vs.  John Lackey (7-8, 6.70)
Randy Picks: Sox win                    Brad Picks: Sox win
The Good: John Lackey has thrown better of late and will need a solid outing for the Red Sox to be able to pull out a win against  the reining Cy Young winner and arguably the best pitcher in the game. Will JD Drew start this game. He has solid numbers against the Hernandez and their are only a few that do. This maybe Drews last chance look for him to get the start and show he has something left. The M's have lost 12 straight. The Red Sox have won 10 of 12. Lackey has given up 3 runs in his last 13.1 and struck 14 in that same time.
The Bad: Hernandez is the man and the sox are throwing Lackey.King Felix is 3-0 on road at Fenway vs Sox with ERA of 1.49 via @alexspeier. Not much else to say total  mismatch on paper!

Blake Beavan (1-1, 2.70) vs. Josh Beckett (8-3, 2.12)
Randy Picks:  Sox Win                        Brad Picks: Sox win
The Good: Who in the world is Blake Beaven? We have Beckett on the mound who has been dominate! Total mismatch on paper this time for the sox!
The Bad: The Sox always do poorly against pitchers they have never faced before. Watch out!

Michael Pineda (8-6, 3.24) vs. Tim Wakefield (5-3, 4.80)
Randy Picks:   Sox Win                        Brad Picks: Sox Win
The Good:  We have Tim Wakefield on the mound and teams struggle against the knuckleball if they do not see it a lot and when Tim is on! The M's Offense is atrocious with bust Figgins leading the way. Don't Let Figgins on though cause he will run circles around the knuckleball.
The Bad: Pineda is one of the great young pitchers in the game. Some scouts believe he is better then King Felix but only time will tell. This is the game of the series if the Sox win they should take the series. Watch Out  with these pitchers the M's have going anything from a sweep to a loss of 2 out of 3 is possible.

Great and then Brad picks sweep too...God I hate him sometimes. Right now it looks like I will be the only one updating the blog since Brads fine work blocked him from accessing it! Don't they know how important the Sox are! We will figure it out!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 First Half Offensive Red Sox Report Card

The 1st Half Red Sox are in 1st place! Can they stretch their lead over the rest of the AL EAST?

This was a very interesting first half of the 2011 Baseball season. We started off with fans jumping off the bandwagon very quickly as the Red Sox seemed to find a way to lose almost every night. The lineup was in disarray and the new players especially Crawford and even Gonzalez were struggling. However, I credit the rough start that the pitchers (except for Beckett) and that includes the bullpen for the horrendous start to the season. Each one of the starters for the first few times through the rotation and through the bullpen struggled and couldn't hold any lead. However, as we headed into May the rotation and lineup started clicking and they turned things around to where they got themselves into 1st place. Then another skid where we were losing to teams like the Pirates where our lineup lost its identity again. Papi was playing first and Gonzo in RF this needed to keep these guys dialed in. Also, the Sox were seeing pitchers for the first time and we know how they do when seeing a new young pitcher. The Sox have also had their share of injuries early on in the season and that is the biggest question mark heading into the 2nd half. Will we be healthy enough to make the playoffs and go deep? So we are going to go player by player down the roster give them 3 Up! 3 Down's grade for the first half of the 2011 baseball Season!

The Starting Lineup:

Jacoby Ellsbury: Grade A
 As most of the Red Sox did Ells got off to a horrible start, but after being dropped down in the order by Tito, Jacoby turned things around and  was the catalyst for this team. He has put most peoples thoughts of him being a soft player behind him and is poised to become a superstar. He leads the league in Stolen Bases and was honored by being selected to his first All-Star game!

Dustin Pedroia: Grade C
Dustin has had flashes of brilliance, but has really been bothered by his injuries. After the Dr.'s ok about his knee he has started to turn in around again.

Adrian Gonzalez: Grade A - 
Adrian is the Man! After his slow start he made his adjustments and got acclimated to Boston and is poised to be in the conversation for AL MVP!

Kevin Youkilis:  Grade C+
Youk has been hurt most of the season with nagging injuries to his hip, ankles, neck, back. Yet, he has been in the lineup nearly everyday and is trying to help this team in any way he can. He gets the + because his transition to 3B has been flawless!

David Ortiz: Grade A -
Going into the season many people questioned whether this will be the last we see of Big Papi in a Red Sox uniform. Who knows this could still be it, but it won't be because he is not performing. Papi was voted into the All-Star game and it was a wise decision by the fans. Papi is back ti hitting the ball to the opposite field and that is when he is at his best! Just heard a 4 game suspension for his exploits against he Orioles (He will most liekly appeal it to 3 games) hopefully that doesn't cool him off too much to start the 2nd Half!

Now it starts to get tricky.

J.D. Drew: Grade D -
Drew is a fraction of who he was last year and he was awful last year. Is he hurt, ready to retire, or just slumping? Only he knows but he better watch out because the Red Sox will replace him as it has gone to a platoon with Reddick/McDonald already in RF. I think the Sox are hoping he catches fire for a couple weeks and they can ride that, Watch Out! He doesn't get an F becasue he plays great defense still.

Jason Varitek/ Jarrod Saltalamacchia:  Grade B -
After an awful start to the season by both players they have both turned it around and Tito has figured how to use these guys. They both ended the first half very hot and contributing offensively and defensively. Tek has showed how an aging player can turn into a back with out distracting the team. Salt handles Wake that Dougie behind the plate?

Jed Lowrie/Marco Scutaro: Grade B -
Jed Lowrie carried this team for two weeks and helped them rebound from the awful start they got themselves into. However, he got hurt again and Marco Scutaro has stepped in after Lowrie wrestled the starting SS job away from him. Scutaro has settled in nicely helping the team like he always does on both sides of the field. Question is as Lowrie gets healthier what does Tito do to get these guys playing time? Maybe give Youk a couple more days off to mend? Who Knows.
Carl Crawford: Grade C-
Now yes Crawford has struggled adjusting to the Red Sox and put way too much pressure on himself. Cannot argue with how bad he has played but he has been clutch with many game winning hits. Once he is healthy again hopefully he comes back and starts producing like he always does. He may be the biggest key offensively to his team in 2nd half.

Josh Reddick/ Drew Sutton/McDonald and the Others Grade: B
Reddick and Sutton hve done and amazing job stepping into the lineup due to injuries or ineffectiveness and working their tales off in the first half. They are they reasons why we are in 1st place. They do not make easy outs and play solid defense. Can they keep getting big hits night in and night out thats doubtful but we will take anything we can get from them as the starters get healthy. Oh McDonald you suck and get off the team.

Pitchers will be done later with all the injuries it is almost impossible to grade them!

What do you think about the 1st half grades? Leave a note in the comments section!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mr. Baseball: Derek Jeter too Tired for '11 All-Star Game

  • Derek Jeter's bat looks slow on Friday night against the Blue Jays' Octavio Dotel. >
Listen yeah I am a Red Sox fan and yes I HATE Derek Jeter, but I am also a fan of baseball and pride myself in being able to look at the game of Baseball with out wearing a Red Sox hat all the time.

Derek Jeter does not have the talent of other players like A-Rod or even Nomar. Im sure we all had the same debate over about who is better many times. While Jeter doesn't have all the tools of a super star players like A-Rod, he does bring intangibles, and respect of the game, and doing things the right way to his teams. We have heard all of the cliches before and they all probably fit him perfectly. However, during this chase for 3000 hits, which he battled through "injury" and tireless media interviews, Jeter made a terrible mistake that should follow him through out the rest of his career. Days after reaching his great accomplishment, further intrenching himself in Yankee and MLB immortality Jeter skipped out on the fans game, and won't attend the 2011 All-Star game in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jeter was voted in as a starter to this year's All-Star Game and while he has not had an All-Star type year, .270 avg .330 ops, 24 RBI, 78 H, he was voted in by the #1 group of people that every player/team should bow down in front of... the die hard, passionate, fanatical fans of baseball. All we want is to have the chance to see Jeter play a game, or be on the field during the pregame ceremony. We want to be entertained for a few days and see some of the best players of their generation together on 1 field at 1 time, and to say I was there. We wanted to say I saw the Great Derek jeter cheering on his teamate Cano during the HR Derby. But, alas No. Jeter is tired.

Jeter owes it to the players past, present, and future. Can you believe no other NYY had 3000 Hits.  The greats of DiMaggio, Ruth, Mantle, Gehrig, Berra, Williams, Brosius, O'Neil...whoa whoa sorry got a little carried away with the NYY greats... all kidding aside many Baseball and Yankee greats never reached 3000 hits. Jeter needs to show his thanks to these great past players. He needs to let greats of baseball past, who never reached that mark rub shoulders with him and let them hear more of his story. Together with the past players, current all stars, and fans of baseball need to celebrate this amazing feat that so many other have not been able to ascertain.  In addition he owes it to the players now who may be at the All-Star game the for the first time and maybe their only time (David Robertson) and let them enjoy their moment with the only NYY to reach 3000 hits. He also owes it to the players who have yet to come. Derek Jeter is and  will always will be a role model to players coming through the system. He keeps his life on and off the field out of the lime light and does everything the "right way". We need more players like Jeter who understand that partying and having fun is fine, but that we don't need to see a mug shot on SporsCenter or scathing pictures of players with Coeds in their dorm rooms all over the internet. What example is he showing the guys like Harper, Strasburg, Randaundo? That iti is ok to to set records and be exemplary, but you don't have responsibilities to the game!

Now people will say that he doesn't owe anything to the game anymore, or that he has earned the right not to to go to the All-Star game. That at age 37 and 17 years in MLB that he has done everything in his career the right way and he needs a break! He is tired. His calf is sore. He can't travel all over the country and that the NYY's and winning comes first!

Excuses! Excuses! Excuses! If Manny Being Manny did this in 2006 we would have tarred and feathered him!

Jeter owes everything he has to the game of Baseball! He owes everything to the fans that want to enjoy their once in a life time experience at the 2011 All-Star Game! You signed a couple baseballs and did a few interviews, and you think you have honored the Past, Present, Future? You think you have honored The Game?

Think again Mr. Baseball! You need to be  more like Reyes, Victorino, Polanco, and Braun! Tip your cap, sign some more autographs, take some more pictures, and let MLB have another mind blowing ceremony in your honor. Then do the right thing and thank the millions of BASEBALL fans past, present, and around the world that got you to where you are today!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Heading Towards Break: Sox and Birds

So, wow, that was fast. The first half of the year comes to a close with this series, and the Sox are, as expected, neck in neck with the Yankees heading into the break. A lot of good, and bad, has come from this first half, which I'll go into in a post during the All-Star game, but for now, lets break down this current matchup, where hopefully, the Sox aren't already thinking about Tee times and bikinis.

Game 1: Andrew Miller[2-0, 3.06] v. Jake Arietta[9-5, 4.74]
Brad Picks: Sox Win
Randy Picks: Sox win
-The Good: Andrew Miller has made a statement to the Red Sox fans this year. He has figured out his issues with walking people, and has proven that he deserves a spot in this rotation. His 13K is 17ip is a good omen to his stuff, but he's pitching to contact a little more, and not trying to be so careful, which I'll assume is why he isn't walking as many. Also, the Sox are on a nice little roll of late since the STUPID interleague games are over.
-The Bad: None. The Red Sox should be beating up on Arietta, who was rocked against the Braves, and missed his last start with elbow inflamation. The Sox should take advantage of this, and I think they will. Look for AGon and Youk to continue to roll in this one. One thing I wanted to add to this post about Andrew Miller, and we saw last night with some struggles, is that he has gone up against the likes of the Pirates, Padres, Astros, and Orioles... not hard hitting lineups by any means. Something to keep an eye on is how he pitches agaisnt the Rays and Yankees comeing up -Randy

Game 2: Josh Beckett [7-3, 2.12] v. Zach Britton [6-6, 3.47]
Brad Picks: Sox Win
Randy Picks: Sox win
-The Good: Josh Beckett. Period. While some of the O's have some decent numbers against the big righty, his year this year (even with the flu shit) has been off the chart good thus far. I'm confident every time he takes the bump lately, and that isn't gonna change in this start.
-The Bad: Again, none. The only negative I see here is that, like always, the Sox offense doesn't show up for Josh Beckett on an all-too-often basis. They need to put some runs on the board for the All-Star.

Game 3: John Lackey [not worth citing] v. TBD
Brad Picks: Red Sox Win
Randy Picks: Sox Win
Lets be honest here, nothing good is coming out of John Lackey's starts this year, and since we don't know who the O's starter is, how can we predict how the game is gonna go. I'm calling a win just because I have faith in the offense.

Game 4: Alfredo Aceves [3-1, 3.74]* v. TBD
Brad Picks: Sox Win
Randy Picks: Sox win

See the above. It's hard to know what to expect when you don't know the starter, so I'll slip my blinders back on, and hope that the big bats continue to pound away at bad pitching, and we end this first half on a high note, and in first place as the Rays stomp the piss out of NY in their last series. I'd love to see NY heading into the break in third place.
Everyone have a nice little break from the old team, and we'll see you again mid-month.

Brad and Randy.

*Aceves pitched two easy innings last night in relief of Andrew Miller. This may just be some side work done in a game or we could be seeing the young Kyle Weiland from AAA. Stay tuned when we know you will know.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Red Sox vs. Blue Jays

John Lackey (5-7)  vs. B. Morrow (4-4)
Randy Picks: Red Sox Loss    Brad Picks: Red Sox Win
The Good: Lackey pitched a great game against the Phillies but took the 
The Bad: Morrow struck out 10 in a 7 IP performance against the Pirates.
 Could he be the 10th pitcher to strike out 10 or more against the red sox? 
Norris was 9th

John Lester (10-4)  vs.  B. Cecil  (1-3)
Randy Picks: Red Sox Win   Brad Picks: Red Sox win
The Good: Lester pitched a great game against the Phillies and got the win. 
However, he has struggled previously
The Bad: I think Lester's win loss record shows 2 things: 
1) it is not a good barometer of how good a pitcher is Lester has struggled 
and still has amassed 10 wins 
2) which should go under the good, the red sox have a tremendous offense.

Tim Wakefield  (4-3)  vs R. Romero (7-7)
Randy Picks: Red Sox win    Brad picks: Red Sox Loss
The Good: hmmm its the blue jays?
The Bad: Tim Wakefield got smoked against the Astros. Yes the Astros. 
Lets hope Bucch is back soon after the All-star break
Romero has gone 7 innings or more in his last 9 starts. damn thats pretty 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Red Sox vs. Astros

mlb baseball Houston Astros vs Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox bounced back to a nice win against the Phillies in the last game of the series. However, they have been dreadful in interleague play. Lets hope they can bounce back against Brad Mills and the Astros.

 RHP Tim Wakefield (4-3, 4.54) vs. RHP Bud Norris (4-6, 3.36), 8:05 p.m
Randy Picks Red Sox Win   Brad Picks
The Good and Bad is who in the world is Bud Norris? Sox should beat him up but they do poorly against pitchers they havent faced much of.

LHP Andrew Miller (1-0, 3.09) vs. LHP J.A. Happ (3-9, 5.54), 7:05 p.m
Randy Picks: Red Sox Win     Brad Picks:
Miller pitched well in his last start and JA Happ has struggled lets hope the sox can give miller an early lead.

 RHP Josh Beckett (6-3, 2.20) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (0-3, 4.75), 2:05 p.m
Randy Picks: Red Sox win     Brad Picks:
Can Josh Beckett get back into his groove? He cannot have a repeat performance like he did against the Phillies or Verlander will run away with the Cy Young!

Enjoy the 4th of July and Stay safe!  Lets GO RED SOX!!!