Posts Tagged ‘Scott Atchison’

Still nothing to write home about yet.  Arnie Beyeler, who’s been managing the PawSox, is our new first base coach.  Greg Colbrunn, formerly of the Evil Empire, is our new hitting coach.  Victor Rodriguez, our former minor league coordinator, is our new assistant hitting coach.

As far as players are concerned, we’ve non-tendered Ryan Sweeney, Rich Hill, and Scott Atchison.  We traded Zach Stewart, who we got from the Other Sox for Kevin Youkilis, to the Pirates for a player to be named later.  Last but not least, although we claim that we’re still working on resigning Cody Ross, we worked out a two-year deal worth ten million dollars for Johnny Gomes pending a physical.

In other news, the Pats beat the Colts, 59-24, and the Jets, 49-19.




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I wanted to go out with a bang.  I really did.  I was really hoping that, since we were playing the Yankees for our last series and therefore our last game of the year, we would do something to remind the world that we may have had a worse-than-worst year this year but we’d be back with a vengeance next year.  I was hoping that we’d do something spectacular, like score a ton of runs or pitch exceptionally well, which for us, given the season we’ve had, would be nothing short of spectacular.  I was hoping we’d have a hand in deciding who would win the division.  At the most basic level, I was at least hoping that we’d walk away with our heads held high after a win over our archenemy.

Instead, we ended the season in a more appropriate fashion: with bad hitting, bad pitching, and a bad loss.  We got shelled.  And that’s much more indicative of our season this year than any win would have been.

Dice-K got the nod to start, and speaking of lasts, this may have been the last time you see Dice-K wear our uniform.  If that’s true, this start was a similarly appropriate end for him because it was mediocre at the very best.  He gave up five runs on six hits while walking one and striking out two over the course of only two and one-third innings.  He threw forty-three pitches, twenty-seven of which were strikes.  He went one-two-three in the first using only six pitches.  But then he gave up a single and a walk to lead off the second before notching his second and final strikeout and giving up a three-run home run on his first pitch of the at-bat.  He induced a groundout to start the third but then gave up another single followed by another home run.  After giving up a single, Mortensen came on to finish the third inning.

Mortensen went one-two-three in the fourth and got the first out of the fifth, but then he gave up a double and a two-run home run of his own followed by two consecutive walks on five pitches each.  Beato then came in and finished the fifth.  To begin the sixth, he hit a batter, gave up a single, induced a groundout, and issued a five-pitch walk.  Atchison then came in and gave up a single that scored two runs.  He finished the sixth before Carpenter came on for the seventh and gave up a solo shot on his sixth pitch.  He then issued a four-pitch walk, induced a lineout, gave up a single and then a double that scored two runs, and issued another walk.  Breslow then came in and issued a four-pitch walk to load the bases and gave up a single and a sac fly that plated one run each before finally recording the last out.  Tazawa went one-two-three in the ninth.

Meanwhile, Ellsbury had singled on the second pitch of the game and scored on a single by Ross two outs later.  And with two out in the seventh, Ciriaco doubled and scored on a single by Iglesias.  That was all.  It was our last chance to score runs for half a year and we only came up with two.  Other than that, we hardly threatened at all.  Rare was the occasion when we got a runner past first base or multiple runners on base.  By the time the game was over, hardly any of the Yankees’ starters were left on the field.

The final score was a crushing and humiliating 14-2.  Only Ross and Ciriaco had multi-hit games; they each went two for three.  Pedroia and Lavarnyway were the only ones who walked; each walked once.  We pounded out a grand total of eight hits, only three of which were for extra bases, and all three of them were doubles.

And so ends the most disappointing season in recent memory.  There’s nothing new to say.  We’ve been losing so consistently and for such a long time that every possible way I could express the anger and confusion and frustration and embarrassment that we have steadily experienced this year has already been used to express it.  We end hte season on an eight game losing streak and have only won one of our last thirteen games.  We finish with a record of sixty-nine and ninety-three, our worst since 1965, which corresponds with a winning percentage of .426.  We also finish twenty-six games out of first place in our division.  We’re last in our division for the first time since 1992 and third-to-last in the league.  It was awful.  For an entire season we had to sit through injury after injury, loss after loss, and drama after drama.  It was just crushing and exhausting and frustrating and infuriating.  And strange; the Orioles are in the playoffs, and the Nationals have the best record in all of Major League Baseball? Who knew? But one thing’s for sure: we’ve got a lot of work to do this offseason.  A lot of work to do.  It’s going to be a long, cold winter, but hopefully it’ll be a busy one as the brass figures out how to fix this mess.  We only have our hope for next year now.

AP Photo

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We played a two-game series against the Rays and got swept.

Tuesday’s game began auspiciously with us paying tribute to the 2004 team.  But it didn’t end well.  Buchholz pitched as decently as any of our other starters this year, but in terms of the way he’s been pitching lately, his start was mediocre at best.  He gave up five runs, four earned, on eight hits over six innings while walking two and striking out five.  In the second, he gave up two walks followed by a home run that score three.  And in the sixth, he gave up two straight singles and then another single two batters later that scored two runs, one of which was made possible by Nava’s fielding error, hence the unearned run.  Atchison pitched the seventh and to one batter in the eighth, Miller pitched the rest of the eighth, and Padilla pitched the ninth.

We got on the board in the second; we started the inning with two back-to-back singles followed by a flyout, and Valencia batted in our first run with a single.  We started the third with a strikeout and then hit two back-to-back singles again.  This inning possibly did us in, because if we’d been able to take full advantage of our opportunity there, it’s possible that perhaps we could have won in the end.  But a caught-stealing at third basically put a damper on things.  Pedroia doubled after that, and we scored on a balk.  And that was it.  The final score was 2-5.

On Wednesday, Lester pitched six innings and allowed three runs on four hits while walking one and striking out five.  He was solid for most of it but unraveled at the end.  All three runs were scored via the home run.  He gave up a single in the fifth followed by two consecutive home runs.  Mortensen came on for the seventh and gave up a single, and then Hill came on and gave up another single; three at-bats later, Hill gave up an RBI double.  Melancon finished the seventh and pitched the eighth, and Breslow pitched the ninth.

We had actually scored first; Salty walked and scored on a single by Nava in the second.  And then Pedroia walked to lead off the sixth, stole second, moved to third on a single by Ross, and scored on a sac fly by Loney.  The final score was 2-4.

Wednesday’s game actually began auspiciously as well with us announcing the All-Fenway team comprised of our greats throughout our long and illustrious history, with plenty of old faces and plenty of new.  The starting lineup included Carlton Fisk, Jimmie Foxx, Pedroia, Wade Boggs, Nomar, Ted Williams, Fred Lynn, Dwight Evans, Pedro Martinez, Lefty Grove, Jonathan Papelbon, Papi, and Terry Francona.  The first reserves included Jason Varitek, Mo Vaughn, Bobby Doerr, Mike Lowell, Johnny Pesky, Yaz, Dom DiMaggio, Trot Nixon, Roger Clemens, Luis Tiant, Tim Wakefield, Dennis Eckersley, Dick Radatz, and Joe Cronin.  The second reserves included Rich Gedman, George Scott, Jerry Remy, Frank Malzone, Rico Petrocelli, Jim Rice, Reggie Smith, Tony Conigliaro, Babe Ruth, Smoky Joe Wood, Curt Schilling, Bill Lee, Jim Lonborg, and Dick Williams.  And, last but not least, the pinch hitter was Bernie Carbo and the pinch runner was none other than Dave Roberts.

Why before Wednesday’s game? Because Wednesday’s game was our last home game of the year.  It would have been nice to win it.  Instead we will finish the season with our worst record at home since 1965 and our first losing record at home since 1997: 34-47.  Now Fenway will soon be covered with snow, silent in the long, cold winter that lies ahead with only the bitter memory of losing as an aftertaste.

Sports Then And Now


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The badness keeps on coming and coming.  It just doesn’t stop.  Just when you think we somehow finally pulled it together with hardly any games left to play so that at least we can go out with our heads held high, we reach a new low.

I don’t even know where to start.  I’ll start with the hitters, because there’s less to discuss, which was obviously a big part of the problem.  We actually scored first; Ciriaco hit the fourth pitch of the game for a single, stole second, and scored on a single by Ellsbury.  We were still leading after three; Iglesias worked a five-pitch walk to start the third, Ciriaco singled, and then Ellsbury singled and Pedroia grounded into a force out to bring both of them in.  That was the last time we led because those were the last runs we scored.  Of the rest of our innings, four were spent going down in order, and in the two remaining innings we only had one runner on at one time in each, none of whom went past first.

The Rays were not so unlucky because our pitchers were awful.  They were just embarrassingly, pathetically awful.  It all started with Dice-K, who went one-two-three in the first, which was not at all an indication of what was to come.  In the second, he allowed three consecutive singles to load the bases and then walked in a run, all without recording an out.  In the third, he gave up a single, which turned into a double thanks to a steal and then into a run one out later thanks to another single.  He gave up a solo shot on his third pitch of the fourth followed by a single and another home run followed by a double.

That was when Aceves came in.  Aceves got out of the fourth and even pitched through the fifth.  But he got into trouble in the sixth.  To start the inning, he issued a five-pitch walk.  Then he gave up single, and both runners advanced thanks to his throwing error.  Then he gave up a bases-clearing triple that may as well have been a home run because the hitter scored also on a missed catch by Ciriaco.  Then Aceves gave up a double.

That was when Bard came in.  Bard did not get out of the sixth.  It only took him nine pitches to issue two consecutive walks.  He then gave up a sac fly that scored one run and a single that scored another.  He then issued another five-pitch walk to load the bases.

That was when Miller came in.  Miller didn’t get out of the sixth, either.  He also issued two consecutive walks, which both walked in runs since the bases were loaded and reloaded.

That was when Atchison came in.  Atchison got out of the sixth and even pitched through the seventh.  Carpenter came on for the eighth and gave up a double.  He got the first out on a flyout, but then the runner advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a single.  Two walks and one out later, the bases were loaded again, but Carpenter managed to close the door this time.

So, after all was said and done, the final score was 13-3.  We made two errors and passed one ball, but all of the runs we allowed were earned.  In total, our pitchers struck out five but walked ten and allowed fifteen hits.  That’s right.  We walked twice as many batters and allowed three times as many hits as strikeouts.  Dice-K took the loss.  The only pitcher under whose watch no runner crossed the plate was Atchison.  That’s one pitcher out of six.  It was so bad that, after the Rays, who are supposedly in a slump right now, scored seven runs in the sixth, there was a massive exit of most of the starters to start the seventh inning.

And just like that, we’ve clinched our first losing season since 1997.

AP Photo

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It’s a sad, sad day when your goal for the season’s end is just to stay out of last place.  And it’s even more sad when you’re in the process of failing at that goal.  This series with the Jays was a big opportunity for us to make a dent and claw our way out of the basement.  Our loss last night didn’t exactly help our cause.

Unfortunately, it’s very simple.  The Jays scored.  We didn’t.  The end.

Lester took the loss.  He gave up three runs on four hits while walking one and striking out seven over the course of seven innings.  So it was a very solid, very quality start, and it should never have been the case even remotely that it would be possible for us to lose.  The problem was entirely the seventh inning, and objectively speaking, even the seventh inning wasn’t all that bad.

Neither team scored through six and a half, so it was a pitcher’s duel if there ever was one.  For our part, we had two men on base in the first and fourth, one on base in the second and seventh, and none on base in the third and fifth and sixth.  For his part, Lester was in absolute cruise control.  His stuff was as good as I’ve ever seen it; he looked like his old self again, and his struggles this year seemed like distant memories in comparison to how he was throwing.  I mean, his cut fastball, which is the natural and default indicator of his performance, had that characteristic sharpness and bite and movement that makes it so fatal for opposing hitters and so hard to read and hit.  He allowed a double in the third, gave up a walk and made a throwing error that resulted in a second runner in the fifth, and went one-two-three in the first, second, fourth, and sixth.

The seventh inning was what did us in.  Admittedly, maybe if we’d managed to get to the Jays before they’d gotten to us, their getting to us for as many runs as they did may not have had to have been a problem.  After two quick outs, Lester gave up a single, which may as well have been a double thanks to a stolen base.  Sure enough, it turned into a run on a single in the next at-bat.  And then he gave up a two-run home run before ending the inning.

We singled twice in the top of the eighth with one out, but it ended thanks to a double play.  The badness continued for our pitchers in the eighth, although it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.  Bard came on to replace Lester and gave up a double on his very first pitch followed by an RBI single that was stretched in a double thanks to a fielding error by Kalish.  He then gave up a four-pitch walk before Miller replaced him.  Miller got the inning’s first out but put runners at the corners in the process.  Atchison then came on and gave up an RBI single before ending the inning.  And we went down in the top of the ninth.

The final score was five-zip.  The fact that we couldn’t come up with an answer to that, or any answer to anything at all, is the sad part.  Lester hurled a gem.  Lester hasn’t hurled a gem in way too long a time.  And he finally did in a game that was an opportunity for us to actually sweep a team, let alone win one just to avoid being swept ourselves.  And we just couldn’t get it done.  Instead of us being the sweepers, we had to settle for a series win, which is still more than we’ve gotten lately.

If that were all, I could deal with it.  But there’s more.  As of last night’s loss, we are officially eliminated from playoff contention.  It is now a certifiable impossibility for us to play postseason baseball this October.  Is is the indisputable, cold truth that will usher in a long, hard winter.  I think I speak for all of Red Sox Nation that it’s something that we’ve known would happen for a while now in the sense that this is not a surprise.  Obviously there was still the believing and the keeping of the faith to be done, but at the end of the day, the team’s performance was the team’s performance.

This whole season has just been so epically frustrating.  None of the players who were supposed to deliver, delivered.  All of the players new on the scene have delivered recently but it’s too little too late.  Is it the players? Is it the manager? Is it the brass? We’re on the outside, and we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, so who’s to say? But let’s not kid ourselves.  I knew since our previous offseason that something was wrong.  It just didn’t feel right.  I wanted to be wrong about that because I wanted us to do well, of course, but there was something that was just off.  But that doesn’t help things; no matter what, the results are the results.  We are now out of the playoffs officially.  And even though we knew that this was coming, it’s still painful when it finally happens because, like I said, there’s always that possibility lurking in the back of your mind, that perhaps it really isn’t too late for the team to pull it together.  But every time we’ve thought that this year, it hasn’t happened.  And now we’ll have nothing to show for it but a pathetic battle for second-to-last place so that we can at least preserve some measure of our dignity.  And what makes all of it even worse is the fact that the Yankees are still in it.  We didn’t even have an impact on anything October-related.  And now we’re going to have to sit back and watch as other teams that are no ours are still playing a month from now.

I’m telling you, I don’t care how not-surprising it is or how much we saw this coming.  It still hurts.  It’s humiliating and embarrassing and painful and devastating, and it hurts.  It doesn’t just hurt because of the simple fact that our season will end when the regular season ends.  It also hurts because we never even had a chance.

In other news, the Pats lost to the Cardinals in a close one, 20-18.

Reuters Photo

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