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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Harrison’

Prince Fielder won the derby with twenty-eight total home runs, four of which were the longest hit by any batter.  He and Ken Griffey, Jr. are the only players to have won multiple derbies.  Robinson Cano failed to hit any, which I enjoyed.

The National League somehow managed to win its third straight All-Star Game by a most embarrassing and humiliating score of eight-zip.  How that was even possible, I have no idea.  The American League seriously needs to step it up.  Fortunately it wasn’t the biggest run difference in the history of the All-Star Game.  The American League earned that when it beat the National League, 12-0, in 1946 at Fenway, of course.

They scored five runs in the first thanks to a two-run home run, a bases-clearing triple hit with the bases loaded, and an RBI single.  You can thank Justin Verlander for those; each of the American League pitchers pitched only one inning, but clearly his inning was by far the worst, ironically enough.  Why couldn’t he pitch like that when we’ve had to face him? He’s the third pitcher to give up at least five runs in at most one inning and the first to do it since 1983.  The last time an inning like this happened was in 2004, that most illustrious year, when the AL lit up the NL for six runs in the first.

They scored another three runs in the fourth thanks to an RBI single and another two-run home run.  You can thank Matt Harrison for those.

The AL posted six hits to the NL’s ten, none of which were for extra bases.  The AL also went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base.  Nobody had a multi-hit performance, but at least Papi didn’t go hitless; he went one for two.  The entire team worked only three walks.  Melky Cabrera won the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award, and Ron Washington is the second manager to lose two straight World Series as well as two straight All-Star Games at the same time with the same teams.

Lastly, let it be stated here that the 2012 All-Star Game should have been held in the only ballpark that should have been the only logical choice in the first place: America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.  Fenway Park turned one hundred years old this year and deserved to celebrate by hosting the All-Star Game.  It’s been long enough since we last hosted one, and the fact that the ballpark is small shouldn’t have entered into it.  The team, the brass, the city, and the fans deserved it.  What’s done is done, but I’m just saying.

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Last night’s start certainly had its fair share of expectations riding on it, and Beckett delivered.  What a performance.  Straight off the DL he showed us why we expected anything of him in the first place.  Five flawless innings, four hits, zero runs, zero walks, seven strikeouts.  Masterful.  Just masterful.  And to think we’ve been doing so well without him in the rotation.  Imagine how we would’ve done if he were in there on a regular basis.  That’s a scary thought.  And this goes right up there with Beckett’s competitiveness.  He’s one of the fiercest competitors I’ve ever seen, and he likes to not only go out but also come in with a bang.

Delcarmen, who struck out all three of his batters, and Masterson pitched three hitless innings, followed by Okajima, who gave up a run on two hits in the ninth.  But all in all the pitching was excellent, and we look poised to do some major damage in October.  When your rotation looks sturdy and your bullpen looks like new, you know you’ll be covered for that many more games.

It was a blowout to back Josh Beckett.  The final score was 8-1, and we out-hit the Rangers by a ratio of 2:1.  Ellsbury batted in one, and Crisp, who these days amazes me, batted in three and went three for five.  I think this is the Crisp we were supposed to see when he came over from Cleveland.  Mikey Lowell, also fresh off the DL, batted in four and went three for five with a solo home run.  What a relief.  I was really hoping he’d break out offensively once and for all this season.  Hopefully this is the start of something good.

In other news, the Rays lost again last night, decreasing their first-place lead to 2.5 games and making our series with them even more important.  This first one starts Monday and is at home, so this is where we want to make the biggest splash.  And we can, too.  The Rays are not invincible.  And if this team has come this far and has been able to weather all the injuries we’ve had to Big Papi, Dice-K, Mikey Lowell, Josh Beckett, JD Drew, and Sean Casey and the trading of Manny Ramirez, there’s no way we’re not putting up a fight.

In other news, the Yankees were almost no-hit yesterday but a Mariner young’un named Brandon Morrow.  He’s 24 years old, and last night was his first Major League start, and let me tell you he had some stuff.  Fastball, off-speed, you name it he threw it for strikes.  He was bringing heat, and he was managing to do it all without needing much defensive assistance.  Through eight, he walked only three batters and at one point struck out A-Rod on three pitches, which was very satisfying.  Then, with two outs, in walks Wilson Betemit off the bench and ruins it.  Morrow was taken out after that to save his arm.  But a valiant effort and very embarrassing for New York.  Kevin Youkilis’s great work in the community has led to a nomination for the Roberto Clemente award.  Nice going!

And now for a final assessment of Dustin Pedroia’s homestand.  During those six games, Pedey raised his average from .317 to .333, which is almost impossible in such a short time and at this time of year.  He hit four doubles and two homers, scored nine runs, batted in eight, and received four bases on balls and absolutely no strikeouts whatsoever.  Oh yeah, and his OBP was .724.

Wakefield will be starting tonight opposite Matt Harrison, and it’ll be his 500th for the Red Sox.  Can you believe that? After throwing out the first pitch tonight he’ll have done so 500 times in a Red Sox uniform.  But that’s why he’s so good; he’s dependable, and he gives us quality innings.  Hopefully tonight won’t be any different.

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