Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Dodgers’

Yes.  Exactly.  This was just one of those wins where you really feel like this is exactly how baseball should always be played.  Good pitching, good hitting, and good fielding.  And good winning.

Peavy went one-two-three in the first and second.  He gave up a walk in the third and a solo shot in the fourth.  He gave up a single in the fifth and sixth.  He went one-two-three in the seventh, eighth, and ninth.  So, yeah, he basically just made one mistake all night.  Literally.  Since he went the distance and all.

The same can not be said for the Dodgers’ pitchers, who made several repeatedly.  Ellsbury led off the game with a strikeout, but then Victorino doubled and scored on a double by Napoli.  We went down in order in the second.  Ellsbury led off the third with a single and scored on a sac fly by Pedroia.  Middlebrooks singled and scored on a double by Bogaerts.  We went down in order in the fifth.  Napoli walked to lead off the sixth, and two outs later, Salty uncorked the power on a 1-1 count.  The ball rocketed out of the park to left field.  Massive.  And two outs into the seventh, we had a repeat performance.  Victorino hit a massive solo shot on a 2-0 count.  The eighth was the only inning in which we didn’t score during which we didn’t also go down in order.  Two outs into the ninth, Pedroia doubled, and then it was Napoli’s turn.  The at-bat was eight pitches long, and the count was full.  And the ball ended up beyond the left field fence.

And that’s how we won, 8-1.

EPA Photo

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It was nice not to get shut out, it was nicer to win, and it was really nice to see Lester back to his old self again.  I don’t know what the next start will bring, but I think the positive trend he’s been on lately is really a sight for sore eyes.  He looks comfortable and at ease, which is a very good sign.  Here’s to hoping he keeps it up.

Lester was winning yesterday, both literally and figuratively.  He pitched seven and a third innings and gave up only one run on only three hits while walking only four.  And striking out six.  And he got the win, obviously.  He went one-two-three in the first and second.  He probably would have gone one-two-three in the third had Napoli not made a throwing error.  He gave up a hit and a walk in the fourth and went one-two-three in the fifth and sixth.  He gave up another hit and a walk in the seventh

Meanwhile, our big inning was the first.  It was awesome.  We were batting first, of course, so it meant that we won the game before the Dodgers even sent their first batter to the plate.  Yeah, we’re that good.

Ellsbury led off the game by grounding out, but then Victorino got hit, Pedroia singled, Victorino scored on a single by Napoli, and Gomes hit an absolutely huge home run on his first pitch of the game.  Seriously.  It was a ninety-mile-per-hour fastball, and he just clocked it all the way to left center field.  Ultimately, that ball stood no chance of staying inside the park.  In short, it was awesome.

And then we spent the rest of the game doing nothing.  To be honest, it’s a good thing Lester was as good as he was yesterday, because on another day our four runs may not have been enough to get the job done.

Our next rally came all the way in the eighth, when Victorino grounded out, Pedroia doubled, Napoli singled, Gomes popped out, and Drew walked to load the bases.  But Middlebrooks ended the threat when he struck out looking.

The eighth inning was also when Lester got into trouble, if you could call it that.  He was relieved after he secured the inning’s first out and issued a walk.  The problem was that our relievers allowed inherited runners to score.  Tazawa came on after that and gave up a single before securing the inning’s second out.  And then Breslow came on and gave up a two-run double.  So, yes, Lester was credited with a run, and so was Tazawa.  But looking at the situation beyond the numbers, I’d say it was really Breslow’s fault.

Uehara pitched the rest of the eighth and picked up a save after his stellar ninth.  The final score was a winning 4-2.

Reuters Photo

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This one’s going to be short.  Usually you don’t have much to say because it’s a close pitcher’s duel.  But even when you don’t have much to say, it can be really great or really bad.  In this case, I don’t know that it was really bad because it was a great game.  I mean, it was bad because we lost.  It’s just unfortunate that their pitching had it just as on as ours did.  We caved first.

In total, only one above the minimum came to the plate through three between the two teams.  We were the proud owner of a four-batter first, but neither team scored until the fourth, and I am sorry to say that it wasn’t us.  Lackey gave up a single to lead off the fourth, and two outs later, he gave up a home run.

And that was it.  We got shut out, and Lackey broke first.  The teams were so evenly matched, and we didn’t even put together a rally to speak of.  We managed two hits all night.  Meanwhile, Lackey went the distance.  He gave up just those two runs, but he lost because we didn’t put anything together to back him up.  It was awful.  No pitcher in that situation should ever have to receive a loss.

AP Photo

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Not much has happened since our slog of a season ended, but what did happen should be surprising to anybody.

Our first order of business was dismissing Bobby Valentine, which we did last Thursday.  This is something that was entirely predictable, appropriate, and correct.  We all know that he shouldn’t even have been hired in the first place.  It was awful.  He just wasn’t a good fit for our clubhouse, and the whole situation with him at the helm was completely dysfunctional.  There’s no need to go into specifics, but suffice it to say that there is a certain degree of professionalism that I think players and fans alike expect from a manager and that Bobby Valentine’s conception of that degree differed from ours.  Anyway, look for John Farrell and Tim Bogar to be on the brass’s radar.  Other possibilities include Torey Lovullo, former Pawtucket manager and current Jays first base coach; Joe McEwing, Other Sox bench coach; Tim Wallach, Dodgers third base coach; Brad Ausmus; and last but not least, our very own Jason Varitek.  Onward and forward!

Our blockbuster deal with the Dodgers is finally done.  For Nick Punto, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Adrian Gonzalez, we took on Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands in addition to previously acquired James Loney, Ivan De Jesus, and Allen Webster.

Pedroia was nominated for the Hank Aaron Award.

In other news, the Pats beat the Broncos, 31-21, last week.

Boston Globe Staff/Aram Boghosian

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Honestly, it doesn’t get much more infuriating than that.  I’m just going to jump right in because it’s really tough to deal with it all.

Cook pitched decently.  He only lasted five innings, and he gave up three runs on seven hits while walking none and striking out two.  He went one-two-three in the first and second, and gave up a double in the third.  He gave up a solo shot to lead off the fourth followed by a single and then a two-run home run.  Following  two quick outs, he gave up a single, and then a fielding error put another runner on, but the inning ended there.  He allowed a single in the fifth and a double to lead off the sixth, at which point he was replaced by Hill, who was replaced by Aceves after three batters.

Meanwhile, we reduced our deficit from three runs to two; in the bottom of the fourth, Pedroia doubled with one out and scored on a single by Loney.

Aceves came out for the seventh and gave up a single followed by a two-run home run of his own, which made the score 5-1.  Two outs later, he gave up a double and was replaced by Carpenter, who ended the inning.  In the bottom of the seventh, we made another dent in the score.  Ross began the inning by striking out, but then Salty and Nava hit back-to-back doubles.  The Yanks sent out their third pitcher of the inning, and then Salty scored on a groundout by Gomez and Nava scored on a double by Aviles.  5-3.

Carpenter handled the eighth without incident baseball-wise but with incident drama-wise; when Bobby V. came out to the mound and Aceves saw Carpenter coming in, he walked to the other side of the mound to avoid Bobby V. when he left the field.  In terms of the bottom of the inning, we failed to score.  But it was not without further drama.

Ross ended the inning on a called strike; the at-bat featured seven pitches, all but one of them sliders, and the count had been full.  Ross and everyone else who had a pair of decently functioning eyes could see that that last supposed strike was actually a ball because it was low, and he let home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez know it immediately. So Marquez rejected him; it was only the second rejection in Ross’s career.  Several minutes later, Bobby V., who had separated Ross and Marquez, went back out there to have a talk with him that obviously got heated pretty quickly and was ejected for the sixth time this year, which sets the record for the most single-season ejections by any manager we’ve ever had in our long, illustrious history.  And at some point even third base coach Jerry Royster was ejected for some reason, so bench coach Tim Bogar was managing and coaching third at the same time at the end of it all.  The whole situation was just absurd and could have been neatly avoided had Marquez just done his job and saw reality.

Anyway, Miller and Padilla teamed up to shut out the Yanks in the top of the ninth, and the stage was set for another possible walkoff.  Salty’s leadoff at-bat was exactly the kind of at-bat you hope for most in those situations.  The count was full and he got an eighty-three mile-per-hour slide as his sixth pitch.  He’s a big guy, and he unleashed his formidable power on it and sent it out of the park to right field for a solo shot that only he could have powered out of the park.  We were now one run away with nobody out, and between Salty having made it look so easy and our last-minute heroics of the previous night, we were daring to believe that we could potentially pull it off again.

But we didn’t.  Nava flied out, Gomez grounded out, and Aviles reached on a fielding error.  Ellsbury could have put the whole thing away right then and there.  But he grounded out instead.

So we lost, 5-4.  But no one can say we didn’t put up a fight.  Because we did, both literally and figuratively.  We manufactured our own runs and pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps in the face of a deficit and dared to call a ball, a ball.  We just kept going at it all night long, but we came up just short in the end.  It’s just so infuriating.  I mean, I have to think that we’ve lost this way to plenty of other teams this year since clearly we’re in the business of losing every way to every other team this year, but to do it against the Yankees is particularly brutal.  We were almost there; we just needed one more run to tie it, and we could take care of them in extras.  And we couldn’t get it done.  It’s the story of our 2012 baseball lives.

On a more cheerful note, we have next year’s schedule, so assuming that we’re optimistic, it’s a reminder of something to look forward to.  The season starts for us on April 1 in the Bronx; we follow Opening Day with a day off and then conclude the three-game series.  We then head off to Toronto for three games, and then we head home for our home opener against Baltimore, which is followed by another day off.  We then finish our series with Baltimore and play the Rays before spending three games in Cleveland and going back home to face the Royals, A’s, and newly-AL Astros.  Then we have a day off and we go back to Toronto and then to Arlington, our first full series of May.  The Twins and Jays comprise another homestand, followed by a day off and another road trip against the Rays, Twins, and Other Sox.  Then back home we’ve got the Tribe and the Phillies, followed by a series at Philadelphia and then the Bronx, followed by a day off.  That takes us to June, our first full series of which is at home against the Rangers and then the Angels.  Then we head off to Toronto and Baltimore before another day off and coming home to face the Rays.  Then we head off to Detriot before another day off and another homestand featuring the Rockies, the Jays, a day off, and the Padres in July.  Then it’s off to the West Coast for the Angels, Mariners, and A’s before the All-Star break.  When play resumes, we host the Yanks and Rays before a trip to Baltimore and a day off.  The west then comes to us as we host the Mariners and D-Backs at home, which brings us to August.  We then travel to Houston and Kansas City before taking a day off and traveling to Toronto.  We host the Yanks at home after that, followed by a trip to San Francisco, a day off, a trip to Los Angeles for the Blue Sox, another day off, and then a homestand featuring the Orioles, Other Sox, and Tigers, which brings us to September.  We go to the Bronx after that, take a day off, go to Tampa Bay, and return home for the Yanks, a day off, the Orioles, the Jays, and another day off.  Then we go to Colorado for two games, take a day off, and go to Baltimore for the last series of the season.  So we’ve got at least three days off every month except one: May, our most packed month, when we only have one day off.  But it’s a good schedule.  It’s interesting that Interleague is sort of spread out this year instead of being clustered in June.  It’s often a tough schedule, and we have to play some worthy opponents, but if all goes according to plan, we’ll be able to hold our own next year.

AP Photo

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