Big Dan's Ramblings

Ramblings from a Boston Boy stuck in New York

Tag Archives: AL East

Josh Beckett, Red Sox Shoot for Sweep of Angels in Afternoon Baseball

Boston Red SoxFrom Tony Lee, NESN.com:

When the Red Sox left Seattle on the heels of two straight damaging losses, things looked a tad grim. Consecutive wins over the reeling Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have brightened the skies.

With Josh Beckett on the mound Wednesday afternoon the Sox can finish their second sweep of the Angels this year and return home on a winning note.

Josh BeckettBeckett, who returned from a two-month layoff Friday in Seattle, will have some tough acts to follow. Clay Buchholz threw seven superb innings in Boston’s 6-3 win in the series opener, and John Lackey worked into the eighth to get the victory in his return to Anaheim on Tuesday night.

The Sox are now 5-4 on their 10-game West Coast road trip.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, has lost six of seven and is fading fast, now 8 1/2 games behind Texas in the American League West and 13 behind wild card-leading Tampa Bay in the loss column.

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Ortiz: Boston Media the ‘Problem’

Boston Red SoxFrom DJ Bean, WEEI.com:

David Ortiz appeared on The Big Show a day after hitting his 20th and 21st homers of the season in a 6-3 Red Sox victory over the Angels. Now hitting .256 with 64 RBI and possessing a .370 on-base percentage, Ortiz spoke of his confidence that his game would return following a rough start to the season.

“This is a game that you need consistency to stay in it and play in,” Ortiz said. “It can walk away from you in a long period of time but it can’t walk away from you from one day to the next. ”

Ortiz noted that he was humbled by the fans sticking with him throughout a dreadful first month in which he hit just .143 with one homer. Some media members weren’t so high on his list, however, as he claimed that some reporters in Boston take negative attitudes.

“The fans have always been supportive. Now, everything starts with reporters. Reporters have always been the problem in Boston,” Ortiz said. “That’s why you see players and they don’t want to come and play here. Just because they have a deal with a reporter, they have a deal with this one guy, that just because you had a bad week [they say] you’re slowing down, and they put in people’s minds that you can’t play no more. You’re old, you’re this, you’re that. I heard that every day. I’m not a guy who likes to pay attention to any of that, but it was in the news every day.”

Ortiz’ turnaround for the second straight year left him hoping the media would have been patient in the first place.

“It was April. It was April,” Ortiz said passionately. “Look at where my numbers are right now, and we’ve still got two months left.”

Ortiz hopes to get a multi-year deal in the offseason, as he noted that he is one of the few true designated hitters to both put up numbers and stay healthy. As for the moves the team will make before the trade deadline, Ortiz seems confident in the roster once it’s healthy.

“I know that Theo and the rest of the squad, they know what to do at the time. I think we’ll be fine,” Ortiz said. “Those injuries that caught up with us five, six weeks, ago … you can see the difference without those guys in the lineup. … We’re still going to have six or seven weeks where we can put some good games together and see what happens toward the end of the season.”

Martinez Activated by Red Sox

Boston Red SoxFrom Gordon Edes, ESPNBoston.com:

Victor Martinez was activated by the Boston Red Sox before Monday’s game and was back in the lineup, catching and batting sixth, though manager Terry Francona said that it will be just a matter of time before Martinez is back in the heart of the order.

Martinez hit an RBI single his first time up against right-hander Dan Haren, who was making his Angels debut.

Martinez has been on the disabled list since June 28 with a fractured left thumb. At the time he was hurt, the Red Sox were in second place, two games out of first in the AL East. The Red Sox went 9-13 in the 22 games he missed to drop to third place, eight games out.

The dropoff can’t all be attributed to Martinez’s absence, of course. On the same weekend in San Francisco in which Martinez was hurt, Dustin Pedroia fractured a bone in his left foot and Clay Buchholz strained his left hamstring, and three nights later Jason Varitek also fractured his foot, leaving the Sox without both of their big-league catchers.

The four catchers who played in Martinez’s absence — Varitek (two-plus games), Kevin Cash, Gustavo Molina and Dusty Brown — have combined to bat .162 (12-for-74) with two RBIs, both belonging to Varitek.

Brown was optioned to Pawtucket to make room for Martinez.

“He certainly won’t be hitting sixth very long,” Francona said before the Red Sox beat the Angels 6-3. “It wasn’t fair to stick him in third or fourth until he gets some games under his belt.”

Martinez said his glove has been fitted with some special padding to prevent him from aggravating the injury. The thumb had been bothering him more swinging from the right side, but Martinez said that’s no longer the case, and it won’t be a big factor in Anaheim as the Angels are starting three right-handers in succession: Haren, Jered Weaver and Joel Pineiro.

Francona said whether Martinez plays all three games will depend on how he responds physically, but with Wednesday being a day game, Francona said the Sox are preparing to have Cash catch.

“I’m just excited,” Martinez said. “It’s not fun to watch the game from the bench.”

Gordon Edes is ESPNBoston.com’s Red Sox reporter. He has covered the Red Sox for 12 years and has reported on baseball for 25 years.

Delcarmen, Ramirez On Move?

Boston Red SoxFrom Gordon Edes, ESPNBoston.com:

While the Red Sox are on the hunt for relievers, one major league source said Monday that the Sox have indicated some willingness to move either Manny Delcarmen or Ramon Ramirez in the right deal.

That possibility may well be predicated on whether the Sox succeed in lining up additional relief help, although the same source said that the Sox are not prepared to pay the price of at least one quality prospect, and possibly two, that the Toronto Blue Jays are asking in return for lefty Scott Downs.

Another lefty that could pop up on the Sox radar is Nationals left-hander Sean Burnett, whose changeup has not been as good as it was before he underwent Tommy John surgery but he still throws a 91- to 93-mile-an-hour fastball and has put up pretty good numbers for the Nats: a 3.03 ERA in 45 appearances, 32 hits and 12 walks in 32 2/3 IP, with 31 strikeouts. Oddly, his lefty-righty splits are backwards this season: He is holding righties to a .184 average, while lefties are batting .321.

Gordon Edes is ESPNBoston.com’s Red Sox reporter. He has covered the Red Sox for 12 years and has reported on baseball for 25 years.

Sox Trump O’s; Keep Pace In Races

Boston Red SoxJon Lester took his dominance of the Baltimore Orioles to a new level last night on a beautiful evening at Fenway Park when the Boston Red Sox defeated the Orioles 9-3. Over seven innings, Lester spread five hits and only one run in a performance that allowed him to run his record against the Orioles to 12-0 lifetime against the Orioles. But, more importantly, the win let the Sox keep pace with the New York Yankees who beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-3 early in the day. They were also able to keep their lead in the AL Wild Card as the Tampa Bay Rays also won yesterday with an 8-6 win over the Minnesota Twins.

Kevin Youkilis helped out with a 3-run 5th inning homerun that pretty much sealed the deal for the Orioles. JD Drew (2), Daniel Nava (1), Mike Cameron (1), and David Ortiz (1) also got in the RBI game for the Sox.

The Sox go for the sweep today as John Lackey (9-3, 4.46 ERA) takes the mound against Brian Matusz (2-9, 4.90 ERA) at 1:35pm.

Another feather in Lester’s cap – Boston Globe
Red Sox 9, Orioles 3: At least they crushed our hopes fast – CamdenChat.com
Lester remains perfect vs. Orioles – ESPN.com
O’s miss chance against Red Sox – Baltimore Sun
Youkilis ulitmate gamer – Boston Globe