Postgame, Red Sox 9-5: We usually leave you with a news item or an injury update or a crazy quote, but with the Mother’s Day Walk in the Park taking place right now at Fenway, let’s just give a nod to all you moms out there. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.
Of course, we can’t say goodbye without the information on tomorrow’s game. It will be Josh Beckett against Nick Blackburn in a 7:10 p.m. affair, the last in this season-long 11-game homestand.
Interestingly enough, Boston is 5-5 so far on this stretch.
Final, Red Sox 9-5: Jose Iglesias fields the final out on a chopper to shortstop, gets a nice hug from Dustin Pedroia and then steps in line to congratulate his teammates.
A great all-around win for the Red Sox, who overcome Daisuke Matsuzaka’s rocky opening to secure their second straight victory.
Heading down to the clubhouse. Up in a few.
End 8th, Red Sox 9-5: The only Red Sox starter without a hit is Jason Varitek after Dustin Pedroia knocked a single to left.
Daniel Bard is on to try to close this one out. John Lackey is throwing in the pen, but it is his side day anyway so he’s probably just getting loose for that.
And Jose Iglesias is at shortstop.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 9-5: The score is nine to five, what a way to make a living…
Oops. Was that out loud? Sorry. Dolly Parton and sunny Sundays just seem to go together.
Matt Albers gives up a run in the eighth, but continues to provide incredible value with his multi-inning efforts.
There is some stirring in the bullpen. Not sure yet who will pitch the ninth.
End 7th, Red Sox 9-4: Jed Lowrie was the only starter for the Red Sox who didn’t have a hit, run or RBI when he stepped to the plate in the seventh.
With two on, Lowrie skied one off the Monster, driving in both men. Boston has now tied team season highs in runs and hits (13).
Matt Albers is out to start the eighth.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 7-4: The quality relief work continues for the Red Sox as Matt Albers works around a one-out single by getting a 4-6-3 double play.
Boston’s bullpen has allowed one run in 9 2/3 innings over the last three games. The team hopes that is one run over 11 2/3 innings by the end of the afternoon.
Jose Mijares is the third Twins pitcher of the day. He is a lefty.
End 6th, Red Sox 7-4: There were many out there who doubted whether Jacoby Ellsbury would ever be the guy he was in 2009, when he hit .301 and stole 70 bases.
Well, he’s batting .297 after a double off the top of the Green Monster in the sixth, his third hit of the day. Also, he is on pace to steal about 50 bags, a pace which is going up and up every day as he gets on base more.
Matt Albers has taken over for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who threw one crap inning and five good ones. The Sox will take it.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 7-4: The Red Sox have to loving the way this one has panned out, considering how it began.
Daisuke Matsuzaka coasts through the sixth inning, looking very little like the guy who struggled so mightily out of the gate.
As a starter, Matsuzaka has given up 15 runs in the first three innings of games this year. He has allowed just one run beyond the third all season, and that came today on Danny Valencia’s homer in the fourth.
On that note, Matt Albers is up and warming in the pen. That will be it for the mysterious Matsuzaka, whose pitch count is at 102.
End 5th, Red Sox 7-4: The visiting dugout at Fenway Park may be a pretty violent place right now, if Carl Pavano’s recent tirade is any indication.
Pavano was taken deep by Adrian Gonzalez with one out in the fifth, a shot off the first light tower above the Green Monster.
Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz singled. A grounder by J.D. Drew gave Pavano a chance to get out of the inning with a double play, but second baseman Alexi Casilla threw away the return to first. Youkilis scored from second.
The blast by Gonzalez was his second over the Monster in three games. Guy is just a phenomenal player, making every play at first and peppering the ball all over this park now.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 5-4: I sometimes wonder if Daisuke Matsuzaka is really just a prankster at heart, and that he and his buddies plan out what he should do on a start-to-start, inning-to-inning basis, just to get a kick out of all the head-scratching it causes.
He has set down 13 of the last 16 hitters since a two-out hit in that long first inning. His pitch count, just an hour ago a serious concern, is a pretty manageable 87 through five.
His buddies are getting a kick out of this one.
End 4th, Red Sox 5-4: Jacoby Ellsbury had a sort of cheap hit his last time up to extend his hitting streak. This time he gets a more legitimate one with a sharp single to center.
Ellsbury is tagged out strying to stretch the hit into a double. It’s the final out of the inning and it caused shortstop Trevor Plouffe to limp off the field — he took Ellsbury’s cleat in one of his feet/shins.
And we have our no-hitter watch again. There have been about seven of these this weekend. This time, it’s Anibel Sanchez, who lost a no-hitter in the ninth inning earlier this year.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 5-4: Daisuke Matsuzaka could’ve used a quick inning (have I said that before?) to keep the momentum going.
However, he serves up a leadoff homer to Danny Valencia, a shot off the foul pole in left that held up after a review.
Matsuzaka gets the next three in order. He has thrown 73 pitches so far.
End 3rd, Red Sox 5-3: Triples and grounders to first are at the opposite end of the excitement spectrum, but put them together and they can be meaningful.
Carl Crawford had the triple, his first with the Red Sox, to lead off the third. Jason Varitek followed with the chopper that scored him to make it 3-2.
It also served to open up the floodgates. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with an infield hit (generous scoring) to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. A Dustin Pedroia walk came before Adrian Gonzalez tied it on a single up the middle.
The go-ahead run scored when Kevin Youkilis beat out the back end of a potential double play, scoring Pedroia from third. The Twins had a beef on the play, as Gonzalez did not do much to get out of the way of the turn to first.
Carl Pavano, whose Fenway Park ERA is now at 12.46, then served up an RBI single to J.D. Drew.
Nine men batted. Five hits, one walk, one stolen base, one error (Drew Butera threw a pickoff attempt into center field to allow Youkilis to go from second to third).
Mid 3rd, Twins 3-1: Hard to imagine where the Twins would be without Jason Kubel.
Minnesota entered Sunday with the fewest runs scored in all of baseball. Joe Mauer is still out, as is Delmon Young, and Justin Morneau cannot get going.
Kubel, meanwhile, is having an All-Star campaign. After his second hit in as many at-bats today (7-for-12 in his career vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka), Kubel is hitting .348.
Michael Cuddyer followed the hit with a deep drive to center, but Jacoby Ellsbury settled under it on the track.
End 2nd, Twins 3-1: Kevin Youkilis looks like he is finally getting it all together. He has 10 hits in his last 25 at-bats (.400) with four doubles and four walks in that span.
Youk’s leadoff double in the second eventually leads to an RBI groundout for J.D. Drew.
Mid 2nd, Twins 3-0: It goes without saying that Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Red Sox needed him to put together a quick inning.
He does, getting through the second in 15 pitches. He’s at 49 through two. Rumor is that John Lackey is sitting in the Red Sox bullpen, so there’s your long man.
End 1st, Twins 3-0: Carl Pavano is the anti-Matsuzaka in the bottom of the first. He needs 11 pitches to retire the side in order.
If you want a glass half full take on Matsuzaka’s first inning, it’s that he always seems to struggle out of the gate. Sometimes he settles in after that. Sometimes, of course, he doesn’t.
Mid 1st, Twins 3-0: Terry Francona stressed this morning that there is still no long man in the bullpen. Both Tim Wakefield and Alfredo Aceves need more time, perhaps a day or even two.
If Daisuke Matsuzaka has one of his quick starts, the Red Sox could be in trouble. It’s one thing to give every guy an inning when you are ahead, like they did yesterday in preserving a shutout, but to use up each member of the pen when playing from behind is not ideal, to say the least.
Well, Matsuzaka needed 34 pitches to get through the first inning. A walk and three singles led to three runs. Just about the worst scenario you could dream up for Boston.
1:37 p.m.: Daisuke Matsuzaka gives up a leadoff single to Denard Span, and we are off and running.
12:32 p.m.: Marco Scutaro was getting an MRI this morning to determine the severity of his oblique injury.
He said it is something he has felt for a bit and irritated “a couple of days ago.” The veteran is hopeful it is not serious, referencing some oblique strains that can leave a player sidelined for up to two months.
“You’ve got to be careful with it,” said Scutaro. “It’s a pretty tough injury for hitters. You think you’re good, and all of a sudden it comes back.”
Hard to make the transition from that to Mother’s Day, but a happy one to everyone out there. My lovely mom, easily a better cook than all of yours (OK, I’m biased, but she’s darn good), also helped me find my love of baseball by not putting up much of a fight when I threw a tennis ball off the garage door over and over until I began to damage it. She knew I needed work on my backhand, and for that I love her. And some other things. But mostly that.
Several of the Sox and Twins will be using pink bats today as part of their partnership with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a league-wide effort to raise breast cancer awareness. There will be plenty of pink in the park, including pink ribbons on the players’ uniforms, pink wristbands and several ceremonies honoring breast cancer survivors.
If you are coming to the game, look for “Happy Mother’s Day” messages from the players on the big video board.
11:46 a.m.: Terry Francona said that Daisuke Matsuzaka will have no limitations today, despite the awkward last week or so. Francona joked that he has no clue what to expect from Matsuzaka, elliciting some laughs from reporters, but said that whatever happens won’t be because of anything in the recent past.
When Matsuzaka steps to the mound in just under two hours, here is the lineup he will face:
Denard Span, CF
Trevor Plouffe, SS
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Ben Revere, LF
Drew Butera, C
Alexi Casilla, 2B
Matsuzaka has had success against Minnesota in the past. He is 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA in four starts. However, the top of the lineup has enjoyed their encounters. The trio of Denard Span, Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel is a combined 14-for-27 (.519) with a home runs and three walks vs. Matsuzaka.
11:17 a.m.: Just heard from both Jose Iglesias and Terry Francona.
Iglesias, a pretty cool customer if I’ve ever seen one, will fit right in during his two weeks or so. He said he has been trying to get a hold of his mother, this being Mother’s Day and the first day of his major league career, but has not been able to yet.
He did, however, contact his father. Iglesias said “he was in tears.”
Never gets old seeing guys on that first day in a major league clubhouse. After all, we all dreamed the dream, didn’t we?
That said, Iglesias will not get a ton of playing time right now. He’ll be a late-game defensive replacement or a pinch runner, perhaps, and may get a start or two, but the job will be Jed Lowrie’s.
Look for more on this situation in a separate story on the site.
By the way, those of you asking about Yamaico Navarro, who was tearing apart Triple-A pitching, he is on the DL himself. In fact, Pawtucket has been hit hard with injuries so if there are more position players needed, you may get “surprises” like Iglesias.
9:56 a.m.: You may have heard reports that surfaced late last night that shortstop phenom Jose Iglesias is expected to be in the Red Sox clubhouse today following an injury to Marco Scutaro. It is a left side injury for Scutaro, likely from his diving stop yesterday.
That should generate plenty of excitement, although we won’t be seeing Iglesias in action right away.
Obviously, he will start his Red Sox career on the bench. Here is the lineup for today’s game:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
J.D. Drew, RF
Jed Lowrie, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Jason Varitek, C
8 a.m.: Following an awkward week that has thrown him off his normal schedule, Daisuke Matsuzaka gets the call Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park, where the Red Sox meet the Minnesota Twins in a Mother’s Day matinee.
Matsuzaka had been on quite a roll before he left a start against Seattle two Fridays ago after just four-plus innings because of elbow tightness. The righty was deemed OK, penciled into a start the following Friday, but had to be scratched from that one after throwing an inning of relief in the 13-inning loss Wednesday night.
He will have an agreeable opponent when he takes the hill again. Matsuzaka is 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA in four career starts against Minnesota, which was held to three hits by five Red Sox pitchers in a 4-0 loss to Boston on Saturday.
Twins starter Carl Pavano is 1-2 with an 8.47 ERA in his last three starts. He has a 6.09 ERA in his career vs. the Red Sox and an 11.70 mark in three starts at Fenway Park.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m., and there is no rain in the forecast.
Powered by WordPress.com VIP