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THE ESSENTIAL BRAD PENNY FOR RED SOX FANS

Posted by athomeatfenway on January 6, 2009

11 Keys to understanding Brad

No doubt, this guy is a double-wide.

No doubt, this guy is a double-wide.

Brad is the new Booty King. Brad is 6 ft 4 inches tall and 260 pounds.  Same height as Ortiz — and 30 pounds heavier.

 

Welcome to New England. Brad Penny is from Blackwell, OK., where Katharine Hepburn was stopped for speeding in 1950.  Hepburn told the cop that he was a moron, and that if she ever came across a car with Oklahoma plates in Connecticut she would let the air out of its tires.

Penny clichés will be everywhere. Penny Wise and Pounded Foolish.  Posada Pinches Penny.  A Pretty Penny.  A Bad Penny.  A Penny Saved, a Penny Spurned.  Bad Penny Comes Back.  In for a Penny, In for a Pounding.

Brad Penny is single: Brad has dated Alyssa Milano and Eliza Dushku.  He is going to like Boston.  The Irish landed there, you know.

Brad has no kids: “One guy (from the 2003 Florida Marlins) gets up and votes a (playoff) share for the baby-sitter. They already get paid to baby-sit. And I don’t have any kids. No way, no chance, no share. That got shot down real quick.” – Brad Penny in The Miami Herald (February 28, 2004)

Brad can surprise you: He struck out 4 batters in one inning (dropped 3rd strike).  He also gave up a Homer, a double and 3 runs in the same inning.

Everybody thinks Beckett was the Big Fish:  Actually, Brad beat the Yankees TWICE in the 2003 World Series, winning Games 1 & 5.  Jack McKeon had a feeling about Brad.  When Aaron Boone delivered the Yankees to the Classic, McKeon started Penny instead of Dontrelle Willis.

He really does throw hard. Brad hit Umpire Kerwin Danley with a 96 mph heater when he missed Russell Martin’s call for a curve.  Danley was knocked out for 18 minutes. He likened the impact to a left hook that he could see coming but could not dodge.  A week later, Danley lay in his Arizona home trying to stop the headache.

His Draft Day could have been worse. Brad was picked 155th by the D-Backs in the 1996 Draft.  That was well after Kris Benson, Travis Lee, and Eric Chavez.  But ahead of Jeremy Giambi (#169), Shea Hillenbrand (#301), Ted Lilly (#688), and well ahead of Roy Oswalt  (#684), and the very patient Aron Amundson (#1,739).

Brad is colorful. He’s been interviewed ringside making predictions at Ultimate Fighting Championships and has great respect for Kimbo.  There is also a lovely You Tube video of Brad in a Hollywood donnybrook in which you hear a concerned partier asking, “Are you going to taze me ?”.

Brad at the #5 is a gift.  This is the real key.  Brad is a great upgrade.  I mean I liked Paul Byrd.  He was to 2008 what John Burkett was to 2003.  But Brad will be a blistering  fifth starter following Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka and Wakefield.  Are you kidding me ?  Let Masterson be the bridge to Oki and/or Pap.  Let Buchholz find his Wa in peace.  I’m glad this Penny turned up.

Brad and his pal, Eliza.

Brad and his pal, Eliza.

 

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Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz, RED SOX, Youkilis | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Ortiz & Youkilis add to tradition

Posted by athomeatfenway on September 8, 2008

 

(AP) Dick Whipple photo

(AP) Dick Whipple photo

 
 
 
 
 

 

The 1901 Boston Americans

 

On May 2, 1901, Boston beat Philly on the road by a score of 23 to 12. 

Boston scored 9  in the 2nd and 10  in the third as 22 batted, with 7 BB,10 hits, 3 triples.

 

This was a special team, created with great care by the brains behind the new league.

 

Ban Johnson set up teams for his new American League in Boston, Philly and Chicago as he believed the AL could not succeed without stealing market share from the NL in these cities.

 

Led by HOF 3rd Baseman and manager Jimmy Collins, 1st Baseman Buck Freeman, CF

 

 Chick Stahl, and HOFer Cy Young, The Boston Americans hit more HR’s than any AL team (37), featured a regular lineup in which every man stole 20 or more bases, yielded the fewest runs scored, and struck out the most opposing batters.

 

Jimmy Collins (3rd B), Freddy Parent (SS), Hobe Ferris (2nd B), Buck Freeman (1st B), Lou

 

 Criger (C), Tommy Dowd (LF), Chick Stahl (CF) and Charley Hemphill (RF) backed up

 starting pitcher Winford Kellum on opening day, which they lost to John McGraw’s

 Baltimore team. 

 

1901 was a fascinating campaign. 

 

Right from the start, the Americans outdrew their  in-town rivals Boston Braves.  The Americans outdrew the Braves approximately 300,000 to 160,000.

 

9,000 fans at the Grounds was a common event. 

 

By May 10, Boston was short on pitching and in 5th place.  Collins made some clever roster

 

 moves, including signing YMCA pitcher George Winter, who was a temporary wonder. 

 

By June 21, Boston had won 15 of 16 games, was tied for 2nd, and had knocked Chicago

 out of first.

 

Aided by a remarkable 49-20 record at home at the brand new Huntington Ave. Grounds, the Americans were soon in a tie for first.

 

But when Collins soon went to a 3-man rotation of Young-Lewis-Winter, the Sox faded. 

 

They were in the mix until Aug. 25, when a 4-2 loss to Cleveland was marred by an attack on Umpire Pongo Joe Cantillion.  50 or more Sox rooters were outraged over Pongo Joe’s calls and attempted a physical beating after the game.  Stahl pulled Cantillion out of the mess and ushered him to safety.

 

The loss to Cleveland came when Boston was just a half game out of first.  The Cantillion incident signaled the initial slide out of contention.

 

In the end, Boston would finish 4 games out of first.

 

Just like the 1950 team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1950 Boston Red Sox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 29, 1950.  By the time the second inning was over, 21 total runs had been scored and the Sox led 14-7.  The succession of unending base hits and walks saw nine pitchers giving up 39 hits and 21 bases on balls.

 

What a Red Sox line up ! 

 

DiMaggio (CF), Goodman (3rd B), Williams (LF), Stephens (ss), Dropo (1st B), Zarilla (RF), Doerr (2nd B), Batts (C), backing up Stobbs, the starting pitcher.

 

The hero of the day was Ted Williams.  His 9th inning double drove in the record breaking run.  He hit the only HR of the game, his 24th  of the year.  He drove in 6 runs, making his total 80 RBI through 69 games.

 

Williams was on the greatest power tear of his life.  At this pace he could finish with 54 HR’s and 179 RBI.  He could challenge Gehrig and Ruth’s respective RBI and HR season records.

 

Williams would break his elbow less than 2 weeks later, crashing into the wall to pull down a Ralph Kiner fly at the All Star Game.

 

Ted would miss the next 10 weeks and hit just 5 more HR’s.

 

This team would finish a very respectable 94 W – 60 L.  They would lead the AL in batting at .302, Slugging at .464, Runs scored at 1,027, Doubles with 287, Fielding at .981.

 

Despite losing Ted, the team kept winning without him.  Walt Dropo was the ROY, and Walt tied Vern Stephens for the Al RBI title with 144.  Doerr and Pesky had fine seasons.   Billy Godman led the AL in batting with .354.

 

The team liked home cooking, too, with a 55 – 22 record at Fenway.

 

The Yankees went 8 – 4 in the final 12 games of the season while the Sox went 5 – 7, sealing their fate.

 

Our guys had entered the middle part of the vast 86-year span of mishaps and suffering.

 

God help us.

 

 

 

 

The 2008 Boston Red Sox

 

Lowrie rounds third

Lowrie rounds third

 

August 12, 2008.  Big Papi hits TWO 3-run HR’s in the first inning.  Sox lead 10-0 after 1 inning.

 

Sox starter Charlie Zink, the knuckle baller from Pawtucket, lost his edge while waiting for the long offensive inning to end.  No longer in the groove, he yielded 7 quick runs. 

 

The next 5 Sox pitchers would yield 10 more.

 

Sox 12- 2.

 

Sox 12 – 10.

 

Rangers 12- 14.

 

Dustin Pedroia, who went 5 for 6 and scored 5 runs, drove in Ellsbury in the 8th, and then Youkilis drove in the last 2 runs with his second HR of the game.

 

Sox 19- 17.

 

What an extraordinary comeback.

 

This team showed little speed in that game with just 3 SB’s. 

 

But speed is a hallmark of this team, just as it was in 1901.

 

Crisp and Ellsbury have game changing speed.

 

Pedroia, who defies expectations in so many ways, steals efficiently and hustles on the bases with nut busting effort.

 

Lowrie, Bay, and Kotsay are fleet, smart base runners.

 

There is enough power in the middle with Papi and Youk…or Papi and Bay….or Papi and Lowell.  Take your choice.

 

No insult to Lugo, but with Julio out of the picture, fielding is also this team’s hallmark.   Bay, Crisp & Ellsbury are the most exciting outfield trio in years.  The infield and catcher positions are solid.  There could be three gold gloves for our guys this year:  Ellsbury, Pedroia and Youkilis.

 

Today the Sox got a great start out of Paul Byrd.  Starting pitching has been the leading strength of this team all year.  You get a quality start 67% of the time from Beckett, Matsuzaka, Lester and Wakefield

 

(Yes, Wakefield !)

 

 

As the Sox took their 6th consecutive series today with a win in Arlington, the table was set for a strong finish.

 

20 games left.  6 games on the road.  14 at home.

 

The Sox are 1.5 games behind Tampa, almost assured of the wild card and closing in on a Division title.  

 

Despite no Manny Ramirez.

 

Like the 1950 Red Sox, the 2008 edition lost its best hitter in July.

 

Like the 1901 Bostons, the 2008 edition has speed, pitching and power.

 

Unlike either of these two teams of history, the 2008 Boston Red Sox are a team of destiny.

 

3 Championships in this golden era of Red Sox baseball ?

 

I’m feeling it.  Are you feelin’ what I’m feelin’ ?

 

Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, RED SOX, Ted Williams, Youkilis | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Dear Kevin: I’ve been Missing Youk

Posted by athomeatfenway on September 2, 2008

Sept. 1, 2008

 

 

Kevin Youkilis is  feeling better and playing tonight.  He rebounded from a 24-48 hour bug that kept him out for the last two games of the ChiSox series.  We missed him yesterday.

 

Phew !  Just in time for September baseball and the pennant drive.

 

Though the buzz has justifiably been about Dustin Pedroia lately, Youk’s stats rival the American League’s elite this year.

 

In the AL, Kevin ranks:

 

4th in OPS at .953

5th in B.A. @ .318

6th in slugging @ .565

7th in RBI @ 94

8th in OBP w .388

9th in doubles @ 36

 

 

He’s a key for his team’s success.

 

The Sox are 38-12 in games when Youk had an rbi.

 

The Sox have a winning pct. of .597 when he’s playing, and .417  when he is not.

 

Hey, we really need this guy !!!

 

A NEW YOUK

 

Youk’s career BA through July 1 is .314      and just .240 career the rest of the way.

 

 

Kevin’s has a .326 BA since July 1 this year.

 

Even more enlightening, he batted .351 in August.

 

Even before this dramatic 2nd half improvement, there was already so much to like about this guy.  He gets his uniform dirty filthy.  He hits, he walks.  He’s an OBP trophy.  He crowds the plate, gets his share of HBP’s, but never backs off.  He’s tough.    He’s the best fielding first baseman in baseball history, surpassing Stuffy McInnis and Steve Garvey.   Sure footed and smart, he’s a bulky combination of intellect and grace.

 

The second half batting excellence is a new achievement.

 

If Youk has found personal inspiration and focus that took him to the next level, let us celebrate, Soxaholics.

 

If it is just that he’s now 29, the year a man hits his physical peak in life, let us reap the benefits and think about the parade route for October.

 

I’ll take it.

 

Perhaps the break will do him good.  Ted Williams chipped an ankle bone in Spring 1941, thus missing the first few weeks of the season.  He batted .406 that year.

 

I’m hoping Kevin’s 2-day bout with the flu, which started on Ted’s 90th birthday, foreshadows a September to remember for the bearded one.

 

Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, Kevin Youkilis, RED SOX, Youkilis | Leave a Comment »

Michael Bowden impresses with Win #1

Posted by athomeatfenway on August 31, 2008

Aug. 30, 2008

Fenway Park

 

All of this on Ted Williams’ birthday.

 

 

Michael Bowden took the mound today for his first MLB start backed by a makeshift Sox line-up featuring the “strongest 160-pound man in Baseball” batting cleanup.

 

Ellsbury (CF), Lowrie (3rd), Ortiz (DH), Pedroia (2nd), Kotsay (RF), Bay (LF), Tek (C), Bailey (1b) and Cora (ss).

 

Pedroia would reach safely for the 10th AB in a row and hear the MVP chant. 

 

 

Bowden did not have it easy.

 

He faced a ChiSox starting 9 that already poled 185 HR this year. 

 

The 3-4-5 hitters, Quentin, Dye and Thome, have 96 HR between them. 

 

Add to that the sensational rookie Alexei Ramirez (.310/15/60), a still potent 38-yr-old Junior Griffey, and a few other clutch performers, and this was no team of pushovers facing Mr. Bowden.

 

Bowden was as advertised in terms of a powerful, condensed pitching motion.  After walking Cabrera on 5 pitches to start the game, he fired four 92 MPH fastballs to Pierzynski, inducing a 1-3 double play.  5 fastballs later, he grounded Quentin out to third to record his first MLB inning, facing the minimum 3 batters.

 

Bowden would put up only 5 innings this night.   He wouldn’t go unmolested.  But he limited the damage, showing great character and composure in tight spots.

 

In the second, he worked his fastball and a 77 mph cutter to get 2 strikes on Jermaine Dye, but with the crowd calling for the rookie’s first MLB strikeout, Dye smashed the ball 390 ft. to the Garage Door area in dead center.  It had HR distance but hit the CF wall 10 ft below the fans in Bleacher 36.  Two batters later, Bowden gave up his first run in the majors when Alexei Ramirez stroked a 2-2 fastball on a line before Bay in left and turned on the speed to register a double and an RBI.

 

With the crowd still waiting for his first K, Mr. Bowden then fed Nick Swisher a fastball and three 78 mph Cutters, striking Swisher out on a cutter in the dirt.   Swisher, a very good player, looked like a bad one.

 

The 2nd inning damage was 1 run.  Ramirez was stranded on second.  Bowden kept his cool.

 

Bowden gave up one more run this day.  That run almost never scored because Joe Crede, the runner, almost produced an out instead of a triple.  Crede led off the 3rd by smacking the 8th pitch Bowden hurled 379 ft to the base of the left center wall. There, Ellsbury caught up with it, and on the ball’s descent, tipped the fly up not once but twice before it fell for a triple.  He stuck his glove out at the end and just missed it.  Not an easy catch potentially.  A great try by the centerfielder.

 

Crede, who could have been out, trotted in two batters later on Pierzynski’s ground out to Pedroia.  1 run.

 

Bowden fired fastball after fastball over the course of his outing.  He threw about 60 fastballs out of 89 total pitches. 

 

Power Against Power

 

Bowden disarmed Carlos Quentin, holding the MVP candidate to personal O-for-three before leaving. 

 

Bowden displayed his intangibles in the fifth.  After yielding two singles to Cabrera and Pierzynski, and with Dye on deck, he fed the power hitting Quentin four 92 mph fastballs, two of them partially over the plate, two of them not. 

 

On the second pitch, with a 1-0 count, two ducks on the pond, Bowden was not afraid to pound another fastball in letter high to the White Sox slugger.

 

Power against power. 

 

Quentin couldn’t catch up to it. 

 

Bowden did not get Quentin to chase the pitches out of the zone, but he did make him fly out to Bay on the last pitch.   Then he stranded two ChiSox when the slugger Dye flew out to Bay on a ball with HR height to the track.

 

Bowden never looked to be in serious trouble.  He surely put runners on base, yielding 4 hits in the 4th and the 5th, but no one scored.

 

He was aided by one double play, initiated by him self in the first.

 

 

More than a fastball

 

At the end of the day, Bowden had a fine first outing.  His fastball, 5 or 6 mph slower than Manny Delcarmen’s or Josh Beckett’s, had the movement needed to stay away from the heart of the plate and give the White Sox batters conniptions.  Although heavy on the heater, Bowden mixed in an effective Cutter (77 mph), Curve (78 mph), and a Change (85 mph).  He really made Swisher look bad with the curve in particular.

 

Licking His Chops

 

Young Alexei Ramirez stood on deck while Griffey made the last out in the 9th.   He was asked what he thought of the kid who started tonight.  Alexei smiled sweetly at the questioner in the second row.  He looked like a cat licking its whiskers after biting the mouse on it’s hind quarter, but somehow letting it get away.  He smirked, but said nothing.

 

Bowden gets an A+ for cool.  He gets an A+ for getting ahead in the count.  He gets an A for controlling the rythym of his outing.    

 

He gets a B- for overall performance though, unable to keep the able ChiSox batters off the bases. 

 

We’ll someday see how he does against the Ginger and Mary Anne’s in Baltimore, Kansas City and Seattle.  

 

Ellsbury, Pedroia & Kotsay win it 8-2

 

Mr. Bowden owes thanks to the self-acknowledged “Strongest 160 pound Man in Baseball”, and a few other mates, for notching his first MLB victory on Ted Williams’  90th birthday, by a score of 8 – 2.

Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, Charlie Zink, Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Kevin Youkilis, Manny Ramirez, Matsuzaka, Michael Bowden, Mike Lowell, NESN, RED SOX, Ted Williams, Terry Francona, Tim Wakefield, Uncategorized, Youkilis | Leave a Comment »

Youkilis Makes Dreams come True for Kids

Posted by athomeatfenway on August 19, 2008

  

Enza and Tom in FB 29

Enza and Tom in FB 29

Aug. 17, 2008

Fenway 

 

 

Youk’s fiancé, Enza Sambataro, leaned over the dugout wall and spoke with Kevin before the game started, chatting  in a certain way that couples do, and I soon said hello and congrats to her on their upcoming nuptials.
Enza was seated with a family including what appeared to be a Dad and two under-12 boys, one of whom wore the burden of a serious illness.
Later, a veteran usher told me that the infirmed child had brain cancer, though he couldn’t swear to it.
What I can swear to is that Youk gave that kid an autographed game used bat. 
More dramatically, Youk bashed a 3-1 fastball for a 4th inning HR.
He then flew around the bases and stopped at Field Box 29, reaching into the second row to high five that kid.
Youk homers, heads for Christian
“Buddy, that one was for you.”, he told the boy, Christian Meyer, who is being treated for brain cancer at Mass General.

This was a pretty touching scene, friends.  The wizened baseball bugs to my right side were stunned to see the beefy Youk stop dead in his trot to the dugout and reach out and touch that kid.
What middle-aged cynical fan hasn’t said, Gee, if it was me, I’d be thankful for every penney, and I’d give back to kids and community in spades.
Youk and Enza are giving back.  And Youk is pretty much doing what others say they’d do in his position.
Here is a telling quote from their web-site:
“I am living out my childhood dream, and it is due in no small part to the tremendous support of my family, friends and community.  Now I am in the position to foster safe, nurturing, healthy environments for today’s children, and I can’t imagine backing away from that opportunity.”
-Kevin Youkilis
If you have daughters or are just generally fashion inclined, you might invest $50 charitable dollars to attend their Fashion Show in Natick this Thursday, August 21.
Details for that event are on the above web-site.  There is also a charity Comedy event at Mohegan Sun and a charity Golf Tournament in Sterling, Mass. — coming up quickly.

All proceeds go to support Enza and Kevin’s chosen charities, Christopher’s Haven, The Italian Home For Children and Joslin Pediatric Health Services.

Payday is Friday for many of us.  Join me if you can in making a contribution on the web-site to help kids and show your Sox colors.  

"That one's for you, buddy !"

Youk: Buddy, that one was for you !

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, Kevin Youkilis, Youkilis | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

THE RAIN, CHARLEY ZINK, AND YOUKALIS Sox 19, Rangers 17. Nuf ced ?

Posted by athomeatfenway on August 16, 2008

Tue., Aug. 12 at Fenway

 

 

A 10 run 1st inning with two 3-run HR’s by Ortiz. 

 

Are we done ?

 

Sox Rookie Knuckler savaged.  Cannot hold 10 run lead. 

 

You good now ?

 

1st inning:  Sox 10, Rangers 0.

3rd inning:  Sox 12, Rangers 2.

5th inning:  Sox 14, Rangers 10.

7th inning:  Sox 15, Rangers 16.

8th inning:  Sox 19, Rangers 16.

 

Do we need to go further?

 

**********

 

Rain threatened at 4 p.m.   The Fenway auto-receptionist informed callers “that the possibility of a rain delay or postponement was unknown, and that all ticket office personnel would be ignorant about game status, so hang up the damn phone, watch the road, or get back to work, but stop obsessing.  And get here early.  Our beer is still value priced at $7.50.”

 

Rain ?

 

Bullsheet.

 

The drive from Connecticut on the Mass Pike was balmy, except for a shower in Worcester.

 

Bright sunshine heated the Boston sidewalks on the hopeful walk from O’Leary’s on Beacon Street to Yawkey Way.

 

Endless HOPE.

 

Hoping to stay dry on the RF Roof.

 

Hoping Zink’s in the pink.  That Zink no stink.

 

Hoping the Manny-less Sox will hit, & that the Bullpen will be steady.

 

Hoping the home-heavy schedule will help propel Boston to the AL East Title.

 

**********

 

The Right Field Roof Boxes are fabulous – and old.  Installed in 1946, these seats (RF Roof sec. 21 to 43) are located in front of Conigliaro’s Corner, and in between the Budweiser Roof Deck and the Pavilion level seats.  Sitting in this section, I saw Dwight Evans crash a bullpen HR on-the-line in 1988.  The vantage point is virtually equal to the Monster seats and lower in cost at (just) $50.

 

Rodolfo, Fenway usher extraordinaire, escaped from Cuba in 1966.  Rodolfo is often asked if he is Italian because of his thick, possibly Mediterranean-sounding accent.  But he is Cuban, and proud of it.  He stands about 5’6”, a solid 180 lbs.. He leads RF Roof ticket holders to their appointed seats and shoos away random gawkers who freeload on the walkway at the back of his turf.  He is in charge.  He keeps the scene orderly and polite.  This 82-year-old fireplug could pass for late-60’s.

 

Rodolfo started as a Fenway usher in 1974 and never left.  He put in over 25 years in the Left Field and Home Plate Grandstand before moving to the Roof a few years ago.

 

Rodolfo has seen nearly every major event in Sox history over 34 years.  That includes Fisk’s Game 6 HR, Dent’s 1978 playoff game HR with the illegal bat, and the 2004 & 2007 World Series. 

 

Harper, Yaz, Fisk, Lynne, Rice, Tiant, Clemens, Boggs, Pedro, Manny, Nomar.  The only thing he missed was Yaz’s last game.  He chose to vacation in Hawaii instead.  Not a bad trade off.

 

Before the 2004 season, his faith waned.  He seriously doubted the Sox would ever win a World Championship.

 

I can’t blame him.

 

There is still a hole in my soul made by Aaron Boone.  And Little Lee’s words ring in my ears, “Take him out !  Take Pedro out !  What’s Grady doing !?”

 

Rodolfo didn’t lose faith completely and he didn’t quit his gig.  Thus, when 20 or more Fenway employees with 25+ years of service were honored last month, Rodolfo was among them.  Lunch, photos, and the presentation of a 2007 Championship ring to every one of these long term Sox staffers.

 

Rodolfo readily admits the old owners were not as generous.  They were cheap.  They didn’t care.

 

Present ownership is so much smarter than the old regime.  They know New England’s Soxaholism is limitless and gold-plated.  They know guys and gals like Rodolfo are like rubies and sapphires, smaller gems that complement their crown jewel, Fenway Park.

 

**********

 

 

Charlie Zink faced Ian Kinsler, the first opposing batter of his MLB career.  2 knucklers and a change induced a pop fly to Jason Bay, standing at the warning track in left.  Michael Young than fouled out to Youk near first. 

 

The 3rd out was recorded as Pedroia stabbed a sharp grounder.

 

running right and fired to first, beating by half a step the current AL RBI leader, Josh Hamilton.

 

Then, in the bottom of the first, powered by TWO 3-run HR’s by the Large Father, the Sox established a 10 – 0 lead.

 

Sox fans across the RF Roofboxes high-fived and screamed as Ump Laz Diaz twirled his pointer, indicating that Papi should touch them all for the second time in the same inning.

 

Fat dumb and satisfied, the Fenway Faithful prepared to start The Wave, swill more beer, and dance to Dirty Water.

 

It would be a short night.

 

Not.

 

**********

 

Charlie Zink pitched a clean first and a clean fourth.  He was constantly in trouble otherwise.

 

He recorded his first K (swinging) on a 1 and 2 count to Milton Bradley. 

 

He gave up his first hit to Marlon Byrd in the 2nd, a sharp grounder between Pedroia & Youk. 

 

Dustin could not reach it.

 

The Rangers hit “Z” sharply and with regularity in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th.

 

There was not much mystery to Charlie.  He gave up 7 singles, 3 doubles, and 1 walk while securing

 

7 outs in those 3 innings.  He never made it out of the 5th.

 

So much for HOPE. 

 

Zink not in the pink.  Zink stink. 

 

Sorry, Charlie.

 

Then, before you could say “Rudy Seanez is back with his little red gasoline can”, David Aardsma and Manny Del Carmon yielded 7 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, and a Youkilis error – all in just 1-and-two-thirds-innings of mischief. 

 

Counting the run given up by Javier Lopez while he passed the baton from Zink to Aardsma,  fortune was reversed — AT THE END OF 6 COMPLETE, SOX 14 – RANGERS 15 !!!!

 

The fans who were dancing a jig earlier were now perplexed and deflated.

 

**********

 

 

Fortunately, Okajima came in and shut the Rangers down for 2.1 IP, providing the solid bridge to Pap.

 

God Bless Okajima.  In 14 appearances since June 29, he has yielded one earned run.  He’s been rock solid.

 

He got us through the top of the 8th

 

Then in our half of that inning, Ellsbury Walked

 

Pedroia doubled.

 

Ortiz walked.

 

Youkalis homered.

 

Big Bang Bop – Sox 19 – Rangers 16.

 

Pap in.  Rangers score one.  Game over.

 

**********

 

36 runs tied an AL record for most runs scored in a game, originally set in 1950 between the Sox and the A’s.

 

**********

 

Fans from California and Ohio were abundant.  Folks are stopping by to take in the Fenway atmosphere as they pass through on business and on premeditated Boston-NYC Baseball pilgrimages.

 

**********

 

I continue to see evidence that the Sox are cleaning & painting the infrastructure  — perhaps even replacing seats — during road trips.  The Firm’s rehabilitative efforts are silent and unrelenting.

 

**********

 

I’m getting concerned about Tampa Bay.  The Rays have lost Percival, Crawford and Longoria.  And they continue to win !

 

**********

 

First team to 90 wins has the advantage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, Charlie Zink, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jim Rice, RED SOX, Texas Rangers, Youkilis | Leave a Comment »