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Posts Tagged ‘Ottawa Senators’

Truck Day has officially come and gone! That’s the first sign that next season  can’t be too far away.  It’s been a long, cold winter, and the long, cold winter is still going on, but at least we know that things are starting to stir down in Florida.  Nothing gets you excited about the end of winter like equipment heading south for Spring Training!

Papi wants a multi-year deal.  No news there.  That’s what every player wants.  The challenge is that it has to make sense for the team as a whole as well.  This year we will welcome Jerry Remy back into the booth for the season.

In other news, the Bruins beat the Isles, 6-3, and the Panthers, 6-2, before losing to the Habs, 4-1.  We then shut out the Oilers, four-zip, and beat the Canucks, 3-1, and Sens, 7-2, while losing to the Blues in overtime, 3-2, before the Olympic break.

NESN.com Photo

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Papi picked up his seventh Edgar Martinez Outstanding DH Award.  And that’s pretty much it.  When Ben lays low, he really lays low.

In other news, the Bruins picked up big wins against the Sabres, Predators, Sens, and Jets but lost to the Sens and Isles.  The Pats beat the Ravens, 41-7, in that landslide win I was hoping for! And we continued that with a strong showing against the Bills, beating them 34-20.

Sports Illustrated Photo

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Pedroia’s thumb surgery is now done, but it looks like he may have to miss part of Spring Training to recover.  And that’s pretty much it.  No big news on other fronts, so the waiting game continues.

In other news, the Bruins bested the Bolts, three-zip, as well as the Blue Jackets, 3-2.  But we lost to the Sens, 4-2.  The Pats had a bye last week.

Boston Herald Staff

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Lester had his first bad start in a while.  It was probably his worst start since last year.  But it was one of those bad starts where a bad start by Lester is a great start for most pitchers on most teams.  It wasn’t a quality start, but comparatively speaking, it would only be considered a bad start if we were to lose.  It’s funny how that works.

The Jays struck first.  Lester began with a groundout on three pitches, a sufficient start indeed.  But then he gave up a walk followed by an RBI double.  Neither team scored in the second, but Lester had a horrible third.  He gave up a single, hit a batter, and issued a walk.  Then Salty tried to lessen the load by picking one off, but it only served to allow a run to score, as the throw was erroneous.  It was an awful, awful play to witness.  Awful.  Two quick outs later, Lester gave up another RBI double.

He had a one-two-three fourth and a two-run-homer fifth; Lester gave up a single to lead it off, got an out, and threw a big mistake of a fastball.  And he had a one-two-three sixth.

All told, Lester lasted six innings.  He gave up six runs on six hits while walking two and striking out five.  So his strikeout count was low and his hit count was high.  He threw one hundred pitches, which is his usual count after at least one inning more.  Basically, he had trouble finding the strike zone.  That didn’t turn into a high walk count; it just turned into a handful of hits and runs and balls.  So it’s like I said.  Great game if you win or if you’re used to a lot worse.  Not-so-great game if you’re Jon Lester.

We were down by four by the fourth, when we finally scored.  And we scored in a big way.  Papi was first up.  He took a ninety-four mile-per-hour four-seam for a strike.  Then he got a ninety-five mile-per-hour four-seam and took the cover off it.  Or at least that’s what it looked like would happen when he unleashed his epic swing on it and buried it in center field.  Then Napoli struck out; you’d think it would have been him who continued the rally.  But it was Carp, who’s been quietly having quite the offensive stretch.  He took an eighty-four mile-per-hour splitter for a ball and then crushed an eighty-nine mile-per-hour slider for the second solo shot of the frame.  His ended up beyond the fence in right center field.

The fifth began with back-to-back singles by Drew and Ellsbury; one out later, Drew scored on a single by Pedroia.  Gomes got in on the power action in the sixth; with a 2-2 count, Gomes got a two-seam he liked and unleashed, sending the ball out to left center.  It was all Papi again in the seventh; after Drew struck out, Ellsbury singled, Nava reached on a force attempt, and Pedroia walked.  Papi then hit a bases-clearing double.  It wasn’t a home run, but the effect was remarkably similar.

At the time, this allowed us to pull ahead, and things were looking good.  But then Tazawa pitched the seventh and didn’t do so well himself.  The first two outs of the inning went well, but then he issued a walk followed by a home run of his own that, at the time, put the Jays back on top.  See, this is exactly what I’m talking about.  How often have I said that relievers should be wary of making mistakes when we’re winning because, at some point, it’s bound to happen when the game is on the line.  Last night, the game was on the line.  The odds of Lester and Tazawa both having mediocre performances during the same game were obviously pretty close to nonexistent, but during such a long season, at some point everything happens.  And it happened yesterday.

Twice.  Hanrahan came back.  But it wasn’t good.  He gave up a single, a successful sac bunt, and another single deflected by Pedroia, which allowed the runner to score.  Meanwhile, we’d been coming up empty since the seventh.  Seven runs should be more than enough to win any game, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the damage done by the pitchers.  We lost, 9-7.  So much for our five-game winning streak.

In other news, the Bruins lost to the Sens, 4-2.

Getty Images

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On day three of the regular season, we picked up right where we left off.  I know it’s only been two games, but what a great start we’re off to! And against the Yankees in New York, no less! There’s definitely something palpably different about this time.  You can feel it and see it when the game starts.  It’s so nice to remember what it feels like to look forward to something.

Buchholz was on the mound and delivered everything he had.  It was a truly masterful start, in some ways even better than Lester’s.  Buchholz pitched a full seven innings and gave up one run on six hits while walking two and striking out four.  The one run was the result of a solo shot hit in the third on the first pitch of the at-bat, obviously a big mistake of a ninety-two mile-per-hour fastball.  Fortunately, that was Buchholz’s only major mistake.

Other than that, it was mostly smooth sailing.  Three of his seven innings were one-two-three; all but one of the others saw four batters come up.  He faced five in the seventh.  And he rolled out the full extent of his arsenal.  Both fastballs made an appearance, his fastest reaching ninety-four miles per hour.  Naturally, he included plenty of off-speeds: changeups, curveballs, cutters, and splitters.  His splitter and four-seam, the favorite pitch of the night, were particularly effective.  As far as inning pitch counts are concerned, he ranged from only seven in the second to twenty in the seventh and everything in between for a grand total of ninety-four.

Unfortunately, the relief corps was not as solid.  Miller and Aceves combined to pitch the eighth but gave up three runs.  Aceves inherited a runner and put one of his own on base before allowing a home run.  Hanrahan then pitched the ninth and picked up his first save of the season and of his time with us.

The offense was getting pretty busy in the meantime.  Yesterday’s lineup had Ellsbury leading off, Nava batting second, Pedroia batting third, Napoli batting cleanup, Salty batting fifth, Middlebrooks sixth, Victorino seventh, Bradley eighth, and Iglesias ninth.  Some changes, some constants.

Of the nine innings we played, we scored in four.  In the first, Salty singled with two out and two on to bring our first run in.  A single, a hit batsman, and a walk on four pitches by Ellsbury loaded the bases with one out in the second; when Nava got it, Bradley scored.  Salty singled in the third, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by Victorino, who stole second base and scored on a single by Bradley, who moved to third on a double by Iglesias.  Both of them scored on a single by Ellsbury to complete a four-run third.  We went down in order in the fourth and fifth and scored our final run in the sixth; Iglesias led it off with a single and was out in a force out by Ellsbury, who moved to third on a double by Nava and scored on a groundout by Pedroia.

Just to give you an idea of how monumental this 7-4 win was, consider the fact that we haven’t opened any season since 1999 with back-to-back wins.  We are officially on our way!

In other news, the Bruins beat the Sens, 4-3.

AP Photo

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