Postgame, Angels 5-3: A few postgame notes, in case anyone in California is still paying attention.
Terry Francona said that Bobby Jenks’ arm “cramped up” when he was warming up. Jenks was slated to come into the game, but could not go. We’ll see how he bounces back, if he does, in a few hours.
That left Daisuke Matsuzaka as the lone soldier out there. Although Matsuzaka was coming off the elbow strain, Wednesday was his original scheduled day and he said he was fine, so that’s why he got the call.
As for what it means for the bullpen and the rotation in the coming hours and days, that remains to be seen. Francona said he and the front office staff and coaches were prepared to talk well into the morning to determine what roster moves, if any, need to made. One would think that a reliever will be needed in a few hours, perhaps in place of Hideki Okajima, who has options and just pitched two innings.
Chances are there will be a few guys sleeping on couches in the clubhouse tonight.
We will have all those updates, and all the action in the series finale, right here. Thanks for staying up with us. Time to get a few winks and then get right back in here for the John Lackey-Joel Pineiro matchup. First pitch is 1:35 p.m.
Final, Angels 5-3: What started with a Josh Beckett fastball at 7:10 p.m. ends witha broken bat fly to left by Jarrod Saltalamacchia at 2:45 a.m.
Lost in the craziness and extreme length of this one is the fact that the Angels finally beat the Sox.
The game was five hours, exactly. The rain delay was 2:35. There will be roster moves for the next game, set to start in about 10 hours.
We will let you know about those in a bit.
Mid 13th, Angels 5-3: It didn’t have a good feeling when a starter coming off elbow issues takes the mound for his first relief appearance at 2:30 in the morning, and the results have not been good.
Bobby Abreu just singled in two runs off Daisuke Matsuzaka to snap the tie. That snapped an 0-for-14 skid with the bases loaded for the Angels.
Trevor Bell, who will get loads of credit on the Anaheim side of things if he can close this one out, is on for his fourth inning of work. Mike Cameron leads off.
2:37 a.m.: Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has never had a relief outing but has a career ERA in first innings of 5.42, has loaded the bases with two outs in the 13th.
End 12th, 3-3: So, to build on the prior post, Youkilis settled at second as Scutaro was tagged out at home. Darnell McDonald followed with a chopper to third that went for a hit, and caused Youkilis to do an awkward little dance to prevent being hit by the ball, even though it had been contacted by a fielder so it didn’t matter.
Anyway, credit Howie Kendrick with a nice backhanded play to get snag Jed Lowrie’s grounder to first, and to Trevor Bell for beating Lowrie to the bag, stranding Youkilis at third.
Daisuke Matsuzaka is indeed on the mound to open the 13th. It is his first career relief outing.
2:22 a.m.: The game just ended, then didn’t. With Marco Scutaro on first and one out, Kevin Youkilis hit a drive to left that looked to everyone in my vicinity like a walkoff homer.
It hit near the top of the wall, and a hard-chugging Scutaro was thrown out at home.
2:18 a.m.: Dustin Pedroia has struck out four times in an 0-for-6 night and his tailspin at the plate continues. Marco Scutaro is there to pick him up with a one-out single and the Sox have a mild threat.
Mid 12th, 3-3: Two scoreless for Daniel Bard, who hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 13 innings. An absolute weapon.
Daisuke Matsuzaka is back up and throwing with purpose in the pen. He’ll start the 12th.
End 11th, 3-3: Anybody got any good jokes?
OK, I’ll do one. This game.
Jacoby Ellsbury strikes out looking to finish the 11th. Daniel Bard is out for the 12th. Daisuke Matsuzaka is still stirring in the pen, apparently ready if called upon.
Mid 11th, 3-3: Daniel Bard works around a one-out double to get this one to the bottom half of the 11th.
And with only Bobby Jenks left in the bullpen, Daisuke Matsuzaka is throwing out in the Red Sox bullpen…er…outfield. For some reason he has come onto the field to throw long toss. Just getting in a few before the inning starts, ’tis all. Another odd scene in this odd night/morning.
By the way, is everything OK with Jenks? He has thrown just twice since April 22. There is no save situation so it’s not as if the Sox need a closer-type in their pocket.
Matsuzaka was slated to go Friday. He threw a side yesterday and did some long toss today. We will see how it pans out if he has to eat some innings here.
End 10th, 3-3: On and on and on we go. I’m starving but they ran out of popcorn, the only remaining food item on the floor.
Oh, yeah, the baseball game. David Ortiz walked with two outs in the 10th. Jed Lowrie then blooped a single to left that moved pinch runner Darnell McDonald to third.
Mike Cameron grounded to second. The Red Sox have left at least one runner in scoring position in five straight innings.
Daniel Bard is the new pitcher.
Mid 10th, 3-3: Exactly 12 hours before the next game of the series is set to begin, Jonathan Papelbon finishes off the Angels in the 10th.
Trevor Bell is the new Anaheim pitcher.
For those of you wondering, the first four or five rows are somewhat full behind the dugout and home plate. Most are standing. Many are making noise. Some real good fans there, I must say. Probably a few hundred in the park.
1:20 a.m.: My goodness. Tim Wakefield throws his warmup pitches, but just for show. Terry Francona is out to bring in Jonathan Papelbon.
We all needed a little delay there, just to take in everything that just happened in the ninth, right?
End 9th, 3-3: And there you have it. Jordan Walden has blown a save by giving up an RBI single to Jacoby Ellsbury, and this night has become one for the books. Or something like that.
Both teams made egregious errors in the inning, the Angels on the wild pitch/error sequence and Mike Cameron on his base running blunder.
But Ellsbury and Carl Crawford, who have been heating up together, team to get it done.
Tim Wakefield is out there for the 10th. Looks like Jonathan Papelbon is warming.
1:10 a.m.: If you are watching, you know already that things are just getting wacky.
With runners on first and second and no outs, Jordan Walden threw a wild pitch. Jed Lowrie broke for third but the throw got away, hitting the ump in the process.
Lowrie scored on the error to cut it to 3-2, and Mike Cameron made a poor decision to try to get to third. He was out, depriving the Sox of a tying run in scoring position.
Carl Crawford followed with a double and is on second now with two outs (Varitek K’d).
1:06 p.m.: Leadoff walk to Jed Lowrie and a single by Mike Cameron to start the bottom of the ninth.
Mr. Walkoff himself, Carl Crawford, is up.
Mid 9th, Angels 3-1: Some very nifty baserunning by the Angels in that inning gets them another run.
Jordan Walden is on to close this one out for Anaheim. He will face Jed Lowrie, Mike Cameron and Carl Crawford, provided there are no changes.
12:53 a.m.: Two singles in the ninth have given the Angels runners on the corners with one out. That’s it for Hideki Okajima.
Tim Wakefield is jogging on in a pretty big situation. Sox have the infield in.
There are 19 people in the bleachers now. Oh wait, 18. One just went down the ramp.
End 8th, Angels 2-1: Kevin Youkilis followed up the “hit” by Gonzalez with a single to left.
Marco Scutaro, running for Gonzalez, was appropriately held up at third, and that’s where he would stay. David Ortiz flew to center.
Boston has left a runner on third in the last two innings after stranding runners at first and second in the sixth.
Jed Lowrie moves to first to take over for Gonzalez, while Scutaro goes to short.
Hideki Okajima is still in there, giving the team a huge boost right here.
12:41 a.m.: A rare Jason Varitek double and, two batters later, an infield hit for Adrian Gonzalez gives the Red Sox their first run.
Gonzalez went to second when pitcher Fernando Rodney’s lame attempt to get Varitek at home (it was his only play, but an extreme long shot) sailed to the backstop.
Mid 8th, Angels 2-0: All those who hoped that someone would’ve misplaced “Sweet Caroline” during the five-plus hours since first pitch will be disappointed. It’s blaring now, which can only mean the bottom of the eighth is upon us.
Hideki Okajima retired all five men he faced. Nice to see that the groundscrew is talking with the umps as rain continues to come down.
End 7th, Angels 2-0: Tonight’s paid attendance: 37,037. And 37,000 have left.
Carl Crawford grounds back to Scott Downs to end the threat in the seventh. Boston had runners at the corners after Kevin Youkilis walked, Jed Lowrie singled and Mike Cameron flied to right to advance the lead runner.
Hideki Okajima is back out there to start the eighth. Action only in Anaheim’s pen right now.
12:17 p.m.: Jed Lowrie has broken up the Angels’ no-hit bid with a sharp single to right with one out in the seventh. You can all go to bed now.
Wait, no. Stay up.
Mid 7th, Angels 2-0: Nice little effort by Hideki Okajima. He comes on to clean up Dan Wheeler’s mess by catching a bunt pop on a mad dash toward the third-base line, and then strikes out Bobby Abreu.
The no-hitter notes are floating around now. The Red Sox were last no-hit in 1993 by Seattle’s Chris Bosio.
They have not been no-hit at Fenway since 1958, when Jim Bunning did it in the first game of a doubleheader. Again, there has never been a combined no-non thrown vs. Boston.
12:02 a.m.: It’s been a rough season for Dan Wheeler, and it continues in this one. He gives up a leadoff single and then a light-tower power two-run shot to Vernon Wells.
After a walk and a fly to the track in center, Wheeler is lifted in favor of Hideki Okajima. Angels up 2-0.
Happy Cinqo de Mayo!!!!
End 6th, 0-0: It appears that the Red Sox will have to wait until tomorrow for their first hit, provided the top of the seventh lasts seven minutes or more. And why wouldn’t it?
Boston gets a man to third base with two outs, but Adrian Gonzalez grounds to shortstop to finish the threat.
Dan Wheeler is on to begin the seventh.
11:49 p.m.: Dustin Pedroia just made a major bid for the first Sox hit of the night with a deep drive to right. Torii Hunter, as he is known to do, tracked it down near the track.
The fly got Jacoby Ellsbury, who reached on a FC and stole second, to third. It also brought Mike Scioscia out of the dugout.
Rich Thompson is out. Scott Downs is in to face Adrian Gonzalez.
Mid 6th, 0-0: Matt Albers needs 23 more pitches (naturally) to get through the sixth. The Angels got a leadoff double and a walk and did nothing with it.
Alberto Callaspo’s pop to short to end the threat ellicited a “This team sucks” from one of their beat writers. Caused some chuckles from a pretty weary group up here in the press box.
So…um…about this no-hitter thing. Can someone end it?
End 5th, 0-0: Rich Thompson entered the game having struck out 15 men in his last 7 2/3 innings. He keeps up that remarkable rate with two Ks in a perfect fifth.
Boston is still looking for its first hit of the game.
Mid 5th, 0-0: Matt Albers needs 19 pitches (naturally) to get two outs and we forge ahead, valiantly, into the bottom of the fifth.
In case you are wondering, there has never been a combined no-hitter thrown against the Red Sox. This seems like a good night, though.
Josh Beckett’s final line: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K.
11:04 p.m.: Matt Albers first pitch to Vernon Wells is a strike. We are under way. Again.
The delay was 2:35.
10:56 p.m.: We do not see anyone warming up for the Angels. Can’t expect Ervin Santana to head back out there, but not sure who will take over.
And you know what else? It’s still raining!
Check that. Rich Thompson has gotten up and is warming for Anaheim.
10:45 p.m.: Matt Albers will be the one to get the first call. He is out loosening up in front of the Red Sox bullpen.
10:37 p.m.: The Red Sox have announced that the game is slated to resume at 11:05 p.m. Good times.
10:32 p.m.: As we pass the two-hour mark in the rain delay, it’s important to think about how the Red Sox approach things once this resumes, if it does.
The presumption is that Tim Wakefield would immediately step into the fold. Matt Albers, who has been a multi-inning guy, could also help out and the club will hope to have a lead for its back end.
Bobby Jenks has pitched just twice since April 22. He needs the work in a major way, so expect to see him at some point.
As I type that, the crew is out to pull up the tarp, but it may just be to dump the water. It did serve to get the 39 remaining fans riled up. That, and the beer.
10:15 p.m.: That break in the weather obviously hasn’t come yet and we continue to wait. My guess is that about 2,000 fans remain. Still a full press box, though, and the crankiness/sarcasm is building with every passing minute.
It may be raining harder now than at any other time in the night, and the hourly suggests it will be around until 11 or so. After that, we’re golden!
9:46 p.m.: A posting on the board suggests that there is a break in the weather due in roughly 10-15 minutes, after which it will take 30 minutes or so to get the field ready.
Nothing like hitting the top of the fifth at 10:30 p.m.
9:20 p.m.: We are coming up on an hour in this first Fenway rain delay of the year (I think). It is becoming less and less likely that Josh Beckett and Ervin Santana will still be pitching if/when we start back up. Perhaps that decision has already been made.
8:35 p.m.: Remember when we had the Bruins in the snow at Fenway Park. Well, now we have it in the rain. They have put the B’s game on the big screen here and I have to say it looks amazing.
Not a bad way to watch some hockey.
8:30 p.m.: And just like that, the tarp is being rolled back on as the rain is coming pretty hard right now. Keep it here for updates.
Josh Beckett had just struck out Howie Kendrick for the first out of the fifth when the call was made.
End 4th, 0-0: Dustin Pedroia has done so much for the Red Sox this year. If there is a negative to his game, it’s his rising swing-and-miss rate.
Entering this one, Pedroia had swung at 25.1 percent of pitches outside of the strike zone in his career, but at 33.0 percent in 2011.
He had made contact when swinging (at all pitches) 91.6 percent of the time, but just 81.5 this year.
And his swing-and-miss percentage on strikes for his career (3.5 percent) is far below his rate for 2011 (7.7 percent). And that’s before he went down swinging twice in his first two at-bats, dropping his plunging average to .250.
Kevin Youkilis reached one batter later when he was hit by a pitch for the 71st time in his Red Sox career, tying Mo Vaughn for first on the team’s all-time list. It hit Youkilis in the left hand and he was paid a visit by the trainer, but stays in the game.
David Ortiz was then another strikeout victim, the seventh already for Ervin Santana, who has yet to allow a hit.
Raining once again.
Mid 4th, 0-0: As predicted, Maicer Izturis got on base to start the fourth. I probably shoud’ve thrown in a prediction about how the Angels would find a way to screw it up.
Hard to believe this is a first-place team since all we see of them is futility.
Actually, credit goes to Jason Varitek for nailing Izturis trying to steal second with a very good throw. Varitek has thrown out 3-of-12 this year.
Josh Beckett got the next two in order and has faced the minimum over the last three innings.
End 3rd, 0-0: Just one walk and five strikeouts through three scoreless innings for Ervin Santana.
Maicer Izturis is leading off for the Angels in the fourth, so Josh Beckett will be in the stretch soon enough.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Seven straight have been retired by Josh Beckett, with one of them being a double play to end the first. So, in a way, it’s eight straight.
End 2nd, 0-0: Ervin Santana strikes out the side in the second. Josh Beckett is requesting more work on the mound.
The latter may become a recurring issue tonight. The Red Sox hope the former does not, although Santana looks pretty solid.
So much was made of Boston’s run through Felix Hernandez, Jered Weaver and Dan Haren. Well, Santana is nothing to sneeze at. Neither is any of the others remaining on the homestand, including the Twins quartet of Scott Baker, Brian Duensing, Carl Pavano and Francisco Liriano, fresh off his no-hitter.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: In his limited action in the outfield this year, Mike Cameron has been fantastic.
You might recall the two great playes he made in left earlier in the year in his first appearance at that position since 1996. He just finished the top of the second with a running grab coming in and toward the line in right.
It gets Josh Beckett through a 1-2-3 inning.
We reminded you earlier, but Beckett had issues with a wet mound in Yankee Stadium last year. He slipped on one pitch and reinjured his back, causing a two-month layoff. Keeping the mound well-manicured may have been the topic of his talk with Wally Ball back in the first.
End 1st, 0-0: Ervin Santana has had a spotty history against the Red Sox, but he’s been pretty good at Fenway of late.
Santana has allowed six runs in 21 innings (seven innings in each of three starts) in Boston since 2009. He survives a two-out walk in the first.
By the way, the Angels are 0-for-14 with the bases loaded this year after the double play that Alberto Callaspo hit into to end the first. That, my friends, is horrendous. Averages almost always are better when the bags are packed because pitchers have nowhere to put you. To fail that many times in that situation is rather extreme.
Mid 1st, 0-0: If you get into a jam, just get a soft one to Dustin Pedroia. That’s what Josh Beckett did after loading the bases with one out.
Pedroia began a rather textbook 4-6-3 double play, and Beckett survives an inning in which his rust may have shown.
Beckett walked the leadoff man, Erick Aybar, on four pitches. Bobby Abreu then socked a 400-plus foot drive to the triangle that was tracked down by Jacoby Ellsbury.
A single by Maicer Izturis, now 6-for-9 in the series, and a walk to Torii Hunter gave the Angels a great chance for a crooked number. It was Alberto Callaspo who hit into the DP, and Anaheim’s woes in this series continue.
Beckett had a few words with home plate umpire Wally Bell after the inning. Nothing crazy, but he seemed to want an explanation on something.
Oh, and it’s raining again. Kinda hard.
7:10 p.m.: Josh Beckett’s first pitch is a fastball up and away, and we are off and running, much to the surprise of many who expected a lenghty delay.
6:57 p.m.: The wet stuff started again during the national anthem and the grounds crew is standing by, but we still expect to start in the rain.
6:36 p.m.: The official word from the Red Sox is that they will start this one on time. There may be some rain in the early innings, but it is expected to be light.
6:32 p.m.: As the crew removes the tarp (either to dump the water or for good), here is the official statement from the Red Sox regarding the weather:
“The current weather forecast (provided by the Red Sox private weather service, Telvent DTN) in the vicinity of Fenway Park calls for the current rain showers to move through the area during the early evening hours with relatively dry conditions to follow for the remainder of the night.”
Another promising sign, and Josh Beckett continues to throw on the warning track in right.
6:23 p.m.: There is a slight sliver of blue ski along the horizon and it is just spitting a bit right now. Also, the grounds crew is preparing to do something with the tarp, although it is likely only going to dump what is on there. Additionally, Josh Beckett is jogging out to the bullpen right now, presumably to warm.
In any event, some encouraging signs as a few fans begin to filter in.
Just a reminder that the Red Sox game will be carried on NESN. The Bruins are over on Versus, but you can get our take on things through Doug Flynn’s Bruins Live Blog. Quality stuff, always.
5:56 p.m.: If and when Josh Beckett takes the mound tonight, it will be his first action in a week. Beckett has made no bones about how disappointed he was that he had to pitch in horrid conditions in Yankee Stadium last May, a game which led to him reinjuring his back when he slipped on the mound.
Terry Francona was asked if there is anything he can do to take that into consideration. Essentially, no.
“What am I going to do?” he barked back when the question came.
Francona did elaborate a bit, and indicated that the team pays close attention to things so that it knows when to start warming Beckett up in earnest. The opponent is given the same info, just to keep things on the level.
Once Beckett gets out there, here is the lineup he will face:
Erick Aybar, SS
Bobby Abreu, DH
Maicer Izturis, 2B
Torii Hunter, RF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 1B
Vernon Wells, LF
Hank Conger, C
Peter Bourjos, CF
There are a handful of guys in this lineup who have done some damage off Beckett. Aybar, Izturis and Hunter are a combined 23-for-69 (.333) off Beckett. Kendrick is 10-for-28 (.357). Wells is 12-for-41 (.293) with five homers, although much of that damage came early in their encounters.
5:28 p.m.: Just as someone in the press box mentioned that it had stopped raining, the skies opened up once again. It’s extremely likely this game starts late, but we’ll know for sure later on.
If and when we get going, the Sox will be looking to build on this almost embarrassing run of success against the Angels. I’m sure you’ve heard, but it bears repeating — 15 wins in 16 games against Anaheim since the start of last season.
Perhaps more remarkable is the fact that so few of the games have even been close. Boston has outscored their AL West rivals 104-49 in that span. That creates an average scoring margin of 6.5-3.1.
So are there any specific reasons for the remarkable run of success?
“None,” said manager Terry Francona. “I really mean that. They’re a hard team to play. The way they play, we’ve had games in the past where they’ve run us into mistakes, and I think we’ve done a better job of that. The ball has ended up where it’s supposed to for the most part.”
Francona pointed to the odd back and forth with the Yankees of a few years ago as proof that it’s impossible to predict this kind of thing. In 2009, Boston won the first eight meetings between the teams, then dropped nine of the next 10.
“This game will make you crazy,” Francona said.
4:45 p.m.: The rain is light right now and some guys are laying catch in the outfield. The Sox have announced that all gates will open to fans at the regularly scheduled time of 5:40 p.m. Yawkey Way is open at 5:10 p.m.
The presumption is that the rain will be weak enough at some point to get this thing going. There are no dates that match up with the Angels down the road, so it’s either wait this one out or play a doubleheader tomorrow.
Terry Francona said he thinks “we’re going to be OK” based on what he has heard. Let’s hope so.
As for Francona, he said J.D. Drew is just being given a night off amid some struggles. He also wants to get Mike Cameron in there against a guy he has hit in the past. Nothing more than that.
3:08 p.m.: As promised, here is the Red Sox batting order, complete with a seemingly recovered Kevin Youkilis:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Jed Lowrie, SS
Mike Cameron, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
Jason Varitek, C
3:00 p.m.: Greetings from Fenway Park, where the L.L. Bean tarp is on and the skies are ominous.
There are no weather updates from the Red Sox, but it looks as if we are due for some wet stuff real soon. It may taper off enough closer to the scheduled first pitch to allow us to get this one in.
Check back often for updates on that end of things.
It’s amazing that the last time rain was a serious threat, the Red Sox called the game around this time. They were 2-9 at the time and nobody could blame them for taking a little break. With everything beginning to click, they will do everything they can to beat up on the Angels again.
Lineups should be out in just a few.
8 a.m.: Starting pitching and games against the Angels. That’s what has fueled the Red Sox’ recent turnaround, and they will look to continue both trends Wednesday night with Josh Beckett on the mound.
Beckett, who was given an extra two days off since his last start due to a rotation shuffle, threw eight strong innings in a 4-2 win in Anaheim last month. That effort is part of two impressive streaks for Boston.
Red Sox pitchers have held opponents to five runs or less in 17 straight games, the club’s longest such span since 1982. Six of those games have involved wins over the Angels, who are now 1-15 against Boston since the start of the 2010 season.
Ervin Santana gets the call for Anaheim. He was outdueled by Daisuke Matsuzaka two starts ago at home, but earned his first win of the season at Tampa Bay his next time out.
There is rain in the forecast for Wednesday, so check the live blog as we approach the scheduled 7:10 p.m. start for any weather-related updates.