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Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Gregg’

Another action-packed, fun-filled night of slugging, scoring, and even brawling.  Let the reliving begin.

The game started with Beckett and ended without him.  He allowed three runs on seven hits while walking two, striking out three, and giving up a home run.  He threw sixty-eight pitches, fifty for strikes.  All of his pitches were great.  Both fastballs, the changeup, the curveball, and the cutter were all working.  He was extremely efficient right up until the fifth inning, when he threw twenty-eight pitches.  He slipped a bit in the fifth, the grounds crew fixed the dirt, he finished the frame, and then he left the game after slightly hyperextending his knee.  The good news is that it’s not serious and we still won.  The bad news is that we literally can not afford any more injuries to anyone on our pitching staff at all.  His departure from the game was strictly precautionary for precisely that reason, and he’s expected to appear in the All-Star Game on Tuesday.  So those were four glorious innings and one not-so-glorious one.

After he came out, Albers, Wheeler, and Atchison came in.  Beckett got the win; the three relievers didn’t allow a run in the rest of the game.  Albers has allowed only one run in his last thirteen appearances, which amount to fourteen and a third innings.  All three of them pitched very well on a night they arguably didn’t need to.  The lineup gave them heaps of support.

We scored eight runs in the first inning.  Eight runs in the first inning alone.  When Baltimore went to bat for the second time in the game, they were already down by eight.  We had thirteen baserunners that inning.  That’s just absurd.  I mean, it’s severely humiliating for Baltimore.  But obviously for us it’s supremely awesome.

Ellsbury flied out to start it off.  Pretty unceremonious.  Then Pedroia singled, extending his hitting streak to ten games, and Gonzalez walked.  Pedroia scored on a single by Youk.  And then Papi walloped a three-run shot to right on the second pitch he saw, a fastball down and in.  He unleashed just about all of his power on that ball.  It was his fifth dinger opposite a lefty this year.  It was a monstrous blast.  There was not a shred of doubt as soon as that ball made contact with the bat that it was getting out of the park one way or another.

Then Tek walked and Scutaro singled; McDonald doubled them both in.  Navarro provided the second out with a strikeout.  Ellsbury brought in McDonald with a single.  Baltimore made a much-needed pitching change.  Pedroia reached on a fielding error, Gonzalez singled in Ellsbury, and Youk grounded out.  Boom.  Eight runs.  No big deal.

Beckett allowed all three of his runs in the fifth.  First came the solo shot to lead off the inning on a changeup that didn’t do much of anything.  Then a three-pitch strikeout followed by a four-pitch walk and a flyout, and then two singles for the scoring plays.

We recovered two of those runs.  Pedroia went yard on a high fastball to lead off the sixth.  The ball bounced off the billboard above the Green Monster.  Another extremely powerful swing.  Another home run without a doubt.  It was his second in two games and fourth in nine games.  To this day, opposing pitchers still think they can blow the high fastball right by Pedroia, and it never, ever works.  I don’t understand why they keep doing it.

As the finishing touch, Pedroia walked and scored on a triple by Reddick in the eighth.  And then the fireworks began.  Kevin Gregg had come on to pitch the inning for the O’s.  Papi stepped up to the plate.  Gregg fired three consecutive inside pitches.  So he got annoyed and approached the mound and both benches cleared and both bullpens came in and both teams were warned.  After order was restored, Papi flied out to center.  As he made his way to first base, Gregg gestured to Papi and basically told him to run to first base.  Really? Seriously? So Papi ran, all right.  He charged the mound and Gregg very nearly punched him in the head Scutaro jumped on Gregg’s back and the teams emptied out onto the field again and there was an all-out, no-holds-barred brawl.  Home plate umpire Mike Estabrook had ejected Gregg, Papi, Salty, and O’s reliever Jim Johnson.  “Wow” is all I have to say about that.  Nobody can say now that Papi doesn’t know how to hustle.  Gregg later claimed that the ethics of the game dictate that when you fly out you hustle along the basepaths.  How many times have we seen hitters from every time do the exact opposite? As Beckett said, you can’t just incite a brawl because you’re cranky that your team is in last place.

More good news: A-Rod withdrew from the All-Star Game with a knee issue, so Youk will replace him! This is his third bid.  If you ask me, it’s a perfect switch.  Of course there’s always a debate about how you define an all-star, but there are plenty of reasons why Youk deserved to be there all along.

The final score was a wonderfully lopsided 10-3.  We had fewer home runs last night than we did on Thursday, but we scored more runs.  Clearly, what Beckett lacked in pitching efficiency, the lineup more than compensated for in scoring efficiency.  We won in a big way, and we expanded our first-place lead (the Yankees were rained out).  It was certainly one interesting and entertaining game.  Wow.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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The A’s completely rescinded their offer to Beltre.  Now, he’s got nothing.  I can understand where they’re coming from; this is the second year in the row they’ve chased him, and they’ve had this offer on the table for weeks now.  And just last week Beltre stated publicly that he wants to stay in Boston.  He turned down the A’s, who offered him more money and more years, last year to come here.  During the Winter Meetings, Theo will be in the hunt for a reliever and another big bat.  Beltre certainly fits the latter description, but I just don’t see how we’d ensure regular playing time for him.  We certainly don’t have room for him as a starter with the other Adrian coming in.  (And putting Theo aside, make no mistake; Youk was the real basis for the deal.  If Youk didn’t have the ability to just switch from first to third like that, Gonzalez would still be in San Diego.) It’s just a shame because Beltre is a beast.  By the way, Cameron is giving Gonzalez jersey number twenty-three.

This week, the Winter Meetings came and went.  And anyone thought we’d ride that deal and go in and out quietly was so incredibly wrong, it’s not even funny.  Theo Epstein was the king of the Winter Meetings.

The Werth saga continues.  Apparently, we sat down with him and Scott Boras but never made him a formal offer.  And we certainly would not have been prepared to even come close to what the Nationals gave him.  It’s a shame for us and for Werth.  A real shame.

But not anymore.  Not today.  Ladies and gentlemen, we have our elite outfielder and our second big bat.  And no, it’s not Magglio Ordonez.  Ordonez can chase a two-year deal elsewhere with all the teams that were formerly chasing Werth and Crawford, because both are now officially taken.  The hottest position player on the market is now off.  Carl Crawford, welcome to Boston! Seven years and 142 million dollars and a pending physical later, he’s walking that speed of his right into Fenway Park.

Wow.  Just, wow.  I mean, what? It happened so fast.  First we were reportedly in talks, and then you turn around and there’s already a deal on the books.  I’ve never been one to feel comfortable with contracts as large as this one; he’s the first player in franchise history to get seven years and an average of twenty million dollars per year, and he’s the first position player in baseball history to land 100 million dollars without hitting twenty home runs a year.  It’s the tenth-largest contract in baseball history, less than deals for players that include Manny Ramirez, Joe Mauer, and obviously a sizeable host of Yankees.  But, as always, in Theo we trust.  Everybody in Red Sox Nation is hungry.  Crawford is young and more than capable.  He can succeed here; in seventy-eight games at Fenway, he’s batted .275 with twenty-four doubles, thirty-five runs, and twenty-six stolen bases.  He’s yet another lefty bat, but he makes our lineup unbelievably potent, and he and Ellsbury comprise the most formidable speed duo in the game right now.  He’s not a slugger, but he’ll hit a decent amount out and he finds gaps like no other.  His speed also makes him great in the field, and it’s perfect because he’s a left fielder by trade.

So that’s Theo for you.  He’s asked whether a deal is being considered, and he refuses to rule anything in or out.  I’m convinced that the Werth deal upped the ante here though; if that deal hadn’t gone through, Crawford would never have been in a position to demand or merit a deal of this magnitude.  So that’s that.  We can take comfort in the fact that Theo would never offer a deal like this if he didn’t think the player was worth it.  Crawford is young enough and good enough to deliver in all seven of his contract years, which is why Theo offered it, and his playing ability is elite enough to merit his salary.  It’s not like we mete out contracts like this in every offseason.  This is the first contract of this magnitude that we’ve finalized during Theo’s and this ownership group’s tenure.  Given our current position and resources, this deal makes sense for us.  Crawford will obviously need to work on patience at the plate.  He needs to increase his walk total to up his on-base percentage.  We can’t say anything beyond that; we’ll just have to wait and see.  Meanwhile, there is a ton of celebrating to be done.  Adrian Gonzaelz and Carl Crawford.  Hello, October 2011!

As far as relievers are concerned, something must be done.  Bard said almost the exact same thing.  We’re looking at Matt Guerrier as well as Brian Fuentes and Arthur Rhodes, who was an All-Star for the first time this year at age forty.  Supposedly we’ve made a formal offer to Kevin Gregg.  Supposedly we’re going to sign Scott Downs.

We’re also keeping an eye on Russell Martin, who was indeed non-tendered by the Dodgers.

And that’s the story of how Theo put all other general managers to shame, made not one but two splashes, and came to rule the 2010 offseason.  If you ask me, it’s a pretty great story.  And technically it’s not even finished.

In other news, the Bruins bested the Sabres by one and the Islanders by three, but we lost to the Flyers in sudden death yesterday.  The Patriots, in one of the most anticipated games on the calendar this year, completely crushed and humiliated the Jets in every way.  The final score was 45-3.  It was a total crush.  So incredibly awesome.

Boston Globe Staff/John Tlumacki

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Again with the close calls; sheesh! I see the Red Sox play the Rays, and I know they’re better than that, and Red Sox Nation knows they’re better than that, but it looks like they themselves don’t know they’re better than that. It’s been said that 2008’s Sox are better than 2007’s. Our winning percentage reflects that, as we’re more or less on par with our winning percentage this time last year. But we need to adjust. If we have to step it up in ’08 to achieve dominance, then we’d better, and now is the time to do it. After last night’s loss, and another close one at that, we’re 2.5 games out of first. We can get it back, no doubt, but it would still be nice to give the Rays a sound Boston beating.

Wakefield was his usual self at the Trop, pitching seven innings and allowing one earned run on five hits, walking three and striking out four. Hansen allowed the third run, and Delcarmen was perfect. So all in all, the usual solid effort from Boston pitching. Too bad the offense didn’t do much to help the cause. Drew batted Ellsbury in from third for the one Boston run. How did he end up at third? It’s actually a very funny story. Ellsbury tapped the ball to the infield, Navarro picked it up and threw high to first base. The ball rolled all the way to the backstop, and before Tampa Bay knew what was up Ellsbury was at third. Drew with the sac fly. On the bright side, the run was scored in true Boston dirt dog fashion. Both Tampa Bay and Boston had six hits. The Rays committed three errors, while the Red Sox only committed one, and Lugo had nothing to do with it. No, seriously.

Red Sox Nation does have something to celebrate, though. The Yankees are now 7.5 games out! They just keep burying themselves in their own weaknesses. This is something that will make me realize that no matter what happens, we’ll never be as bad as the Yankees. It’s great, isn’t it?

Hideki Okajima could be on the block. Last season, he posted an impressive 2.22 ERA over 66 relief appearances with five saves. This season, he’s posting a 3.15 ERA over 34 relief appearances while converting only one of seven save opportunities. He blew the other six. Brian Fuentes of the Rockies, Joe Borowski of the Indians, and George Sherrill and Chad Bradford of the Orioles are possibilities. Less likely but still possible are Scott Schoeneweis of the Mets, Kevin Gregg of the Marlins, and Damaso Marte of the Pirates. At first, when I heard that Okie might be traded I thought it was too rash of an action. But let’s look at the facts: we’re almost halfway through the season, Okajima’s had plenty of rest, and he hasn’t shown any improvement. It’s becoming more likely by the blown save that last year’s phenomenal performance was a fluke. Because the Red Sox are currently teetering on the brink of domination right now, it could potentially become urgent that we get ourselves a reliable set-up man. But the front office should also be wary of another Eric Gagne debacle, because that was a total and complete disaster. We might also be looking to add a fifth starter, possibly the likes of CC Sabathia (the dude who basically stole Josh Beckett’s Cy Young), Roy Oswalt, or Rich Harden. All you can do is trust in Theo. He’s a genius, no question. Sometimes he makes mistakes, like the Gagne debacle, but you have to hope that he’ll learn from that and maybe put that extra bit of consideration into what would be worse, having an inconsistent and unreliable set-up man that rocked ’07 or having an inconsistent and unreliable new guy.

Jacoby Ellsbury, 7/1/2008

AP Photo

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