Postgame, Padres 5-1: The first rain-shortened affair at Fenway Park since Sept. 28, 2009, is an absolute dud.
Four rain delays totaling two hours, 24 minutes, and a game that lasted two hours, 49 minutes gives the Red Sox a long, losing afternoon.
Much of the postgame talk surrounded the conditions. Let’s allow David Ortiz, one of the guys who doesn’t even play the field, sum it up for you.
“It was bad, it was bad. There was a lot of water on the field. Even myself, I?m not out there fielding, even walking to home plate feel like you want to swim.”
Drew Sutton described the surface on the infield as “two inches of slush.”
Look for more on the rain and how it impacted the players, particularly John Lackey, in a separate piece.
The Red Sox finish a homestand 6-6 for the second straight time. They now have perhaps the most intriguing road trip of the season — nine games in three National League cities, where we will be waiting eagerly for the lineup card each day to see how Terry Francona fills it out.
The first game of the trip is Friday night in Pittsburgh, a 7:05 p.m. start. As always, I’ll be here to carry you through. Thanks for sticking with us today.
Final, Padres 5-1: That’s it, folks. Heading downstairs for a bit. Back soon.
6:42 p.m.: Still waiting.
6:28 p.m.: It is raining here. Oh, you were aware of that? Well, just trying to be thorough.
Anyway, we expect an announcement in a few minutes. Cross your fingers!
6:09 p.m.: The expletives are flowing unlike anything you’ve ever heard in the press box as the tarp goes on for the fourth time.
As always, keep it here for updates.
Mid 8th, Padres 5-1: It’s absolutely pouring and coming up on five hours after the originally scheduled first pitch. A great time for Matt Albers to have a 10-pitch battle with Chase Headley.
Albers wins with a strikeout to end the top of the eighth.
End 7th, Padres 5-1: Adrian Gonzalez is favoring one side after an awkward slide into second base on an inning-ending double play.
Not what the Red Sox want to see now, nor on the upcoming road trip.
Seems that some guys are not pleased to be playing on this field right now. It is a mess. The crew has done a good job to stay on top of it, but a constant rain is just too much.
Meanwhile, Gonzalez has four of Boston’s 10 hits. It is his third four-hit game of the year. His average is up to .359.
Dan Wheeler is on to pitch the eighth.
Mid 7th, Padres 5-1: In addition to swinging a hot bat in his limited duty, Josh Reddick has made two outstanding diving grabs in the last two games.
His all-out sprawl in the seventh robs Nick Hundley of a hit and gets Matt Albers through two innings of relief for the sixth time this year.
End 6th, Padres 5-1: Drew Sutton got hit by a pitch in the bottom of the sixth. If that doesn’t get you excited or interested or anything, then I ain’t got nuthin’ for you.
Oh, wait, I do. J.D. Drew is in right field now. Josh Reddick is in left.
I’m currently eating energy mix and drinking coffee. Is that overload? You’ll know based on how fast the posts start coming out.
Mid 6th, Padres 5-1: There were two big roars in the top of the sixth.
One came when the bat boy wiped out in the mid near the Red Sox dugout. Another came when Matt Albers struck out Jesus Guzman to finish the frame with a runner on first.
Ernesto Frieri is on for San Diego. He is the guy who gave up four runs on zero hits the other night. Part of that misery was back-to-back hit batters with the bases loaded.
End 5th, Padres 5-1: We now have an official game here. The rain is pretty light though so we play on. You have to think the Padres are doing a rain dance in the clubhouse right about now.
After Adrian Gonzalez singled in a run in the fifth, David Ortiz hit into a force play. Ortiz is now 0-for-3 and has left seven men on.
Gonzalez, meanwhile, is 3-for-3 and is on pace for 151 RBIs, the highest total in team history since 1949.
That should end the debate about trying to get Ortiz in the lineup in interleague games. The guy stinks.
Matt Albers has replaced Michael Bowden.
5:09 p.m.: It was a 31-minute rain delay this time. Total amount of delay time is around 90 minutes, although I don’t have an exact total yet.
5:07 p.m.: At 5:07, we get the announcement that the game will resume at 5:10. Enough time to get some Cheez Doodles.
Mid 5th, Padres 5-0: As the top of the fifth ends in a pouring rain, the tarp is coming on.
It looks like a steady rain into the night. Keep it here for updates. If they just let the Sox go quickly in the bottom half, we could all go home.
End 4th, Padres 5-0: That’s a 1-2-3 inning for Clayton Richard. He had one delivery sail from a potentially wet hand, too, but it certainly wasn’t an issue otherwise.
Wonder if Lackey will make reference to that postgame.
Mid 4th, Padres 5-0: John Lackey’s ERA at home is now at 7.88, and that’s after Michael Bowden does a nice job to strand a runner two runners, one of which was on third, and get the last two outs of the fourth.
Lackey was wiping his hand a lot and may have had a pitch get away due to the conditions, but that’s no excuse. He was poor today, and continues to do the one step forward, one back kind of thing.
4:07 p.m.: The weather isn’t the only ugly element this afternoon. So, too, is John Lackey’s performance.
Lackey just had a fourth inning to forget. It went like this: walk, hit batter, single to load the bases, strikeout, walk (RBI), hit batter (RBI), wild pitch (run comes in from third), single (RBI).
Michael Bowden is on in relief with runners at the corners.
End 3rd, Padres 1-0: David Ortiz has stranded five runners in two at-bats.
He hit into a double play with the bases loaded in the first and just lined out with two men on in the third.
Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis both singled. They are a combined 14-for-23 (.609) in the series.
Mid 3rd, Padres 1-0: After waiting for 38 minutes to throw a pitch, John Lackey needs just four to get out of the third inning. He strikes out Jesus Guzman to strand a pair.
3:26 p.m.: Losing to the Padres, wet and watching the Yankees win on the big screen. That’s what the Red Sox and their fans have been doing over the past 30 minutes or so.
New York took the opener of a doubleheader in Cincinnati. The Yanks are a half-game out, tied in the loss column.
Oh, and we will resume at 3:40 p.m. I guess that’s important, too.
2:59 p.m.: With two on and two outs in the second, the skies opened up. Tarp is on and we are back in waiting mode.
Drew Sutton committed a throwing error with one out in the inning. John Lackey then walked a man with two outs. That’s when God stepped in with his opinion of the performance.
Keep it here for updates. One quick note. Obviously, San Diego does not come here again, but both teams are off tomorrow. That is an option if this keeps up, which it might. In the meantime, settle in.
End 2nd, Padres 1-0: After an infield single by Jason Varitek (pure speed), Mike Cameron makes a bid for an extra-base hit with a drive straight toward the base of the Pesky Pole.
Will Venable is able to track it down right at the wall to end the inning.
Still a light mist coming down here and a lot of work being done on the field between innings. Also, we may have some storms come in a little later. Can’t tell you how happy that makes me.
Mid 2nd, Padres 1-0: It took John Lackey 26 pitches to navigate the vaunted last half of the Padres lineup.
A single by Orlando Hudson and a walk to Cameron Maybin preceded a seven-pitch battle with Nick Hundley. Lackey got Hundley to fly to the track in left to end it.
Very quietly, Darnell McDonald has fallen to .114 (4-for-35). He opens the bottom of the second.
End 1st, Padres 1-0: Well, that would be the definition of a wasted chance, wouldn’t it?
The Red Sox get one-out singles from Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis and still don’t score. It’s a 6-3 double play off the bat of David Ortiz that does them in.
If you are wondering, holding Pedroia at third on the Youkilis hit was the right call. It was a textbook shallow left/deep shortstop kind of Fenway Park single.
Huge escape there for Clayton Richard against a team that has owned the first inning of late.
Mid 1st, Padres 1-0: Maybe the Padres should just go to their bullpen now. After all, it is their strength.
John Lackey gets the next three men in order to put the Will Venable homer in the rearview mirror. Sort of. There’s still a ‘1’ on the board and if San Diego does get to the later innings with the lead, the playing field with the big bad Red Sox becomes rather level.
2:12 p.m.: After a 35-minute rain delay, John Lackey serves up a solo shot to leadoff hitter Will Venable. That doesn’t cheer anyone up.
1:58 p.m.: Mike Cameron was seen spraying disinfectant all over Josh Beckett’s locker yesterday afternoon. He should’ve put some at Scutaro’s.
Actually, Scutaro’s locker is next to that of Kevin Youkilis, who had this stuff the other day. Perhaps it had already hit him and just needed another day to incubate.
In any event, stay away the Red Sox. Stay far away.
1:52 p.m.: Moments before first pitch, Marco Scutaro has been scratched. He may be the latest victim of this flu bug going around.
Drew Sutton will play shortstop and bat seventh.
1:36 p.m.: The tarp has been rolled off the field and the umbrellas are being folded up. We will get this one going at around 2:05 p.m.
1:09 p.m.: A couple of small injury updates before lunch.
Bobby Jenks will throw a side session Thursday. According to Terry Francona, he is making very good strides.
If the side session goes well, Jenks could be activated rather soon. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday.
Jed Lowrie is with Dr. Lewis Yocum today having his shoulder examined. Because that is taking place in California, we may not have an update until late tonight, at the earliest.
The rain here is not strong, but there needs to be a solid break for them to take the tarp off. We are headed for a rain delay. There is intermittent rain expected throughout the day and night.
12:50 p.m.: Despite my incessant sarcasm, I, and everyone at NESN.com, values each and every one of its readers. In our effort to ensure we provide the best we have to offer, please consider taking our user survey. Thank you.
By the way, it’s raining pretty hard right now at Fenway. Stand by for updates.
12:43 p.m.: This is John Lackey’s first career start against San Diego, so there isn’t a lot of history with these hitters. Which hitters? These hitters:
Will Venable, RF
Jason Bartlett, SS
Chase Headley, 3B
Ryan Ludwick, LF
Jesus Guzman, DH
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Cameron Maybin, CF
Nick Hundley, C
Bartlett is 8-for-25 (.320) against Lackey. Hudson is 6-for-23 (.261). Ludwick is 0-for-5. That’s it.
By the way, building on my prior post on the Adrian Gonzalez situation, it seems many of my colleagues are taking Francona’s comments as a pretty firm indication that he will play some outfield. But Francona was just as forceful in describing the cons as he was in describing his reluctance to sit Ortiz. I wouldn’t put A-Gon in the outfield in stone just yet. Just wait and see, and when it happens thumb your nose in my direction.
12:00 p.m.: The debate rages on, my friends.
Should Adrian Gonzalez play in the outfield or not? If you want my opinion, here you go.
As for Terry Francona’s, well, that remains up in the air. He said he will use the day off Thursday to analyze the pitching matchups (they should know who Philly is throwing in that highly anticipated series next week) and the ballparks and what not.
Then, it’s a matter of weighing the pros and cons.
“My concerns are I don?t want David to go 11 days without playing,” Francona said. “That?s not good for us or for him. If you put Gonzie in right, because that?s the one place he says he can play, then you?re potentially either taking J.D. out of the lineup and moving him to left. We got guys all over the place.
“And then the other thing is, if something ever happened to [Gonzalez], I?m going to catch a lot of [expletive]. I don?t want to do that.”
Certainly, the fans would be the first to pile on, but Francona may have been alluding to the front office, which would not be pleased if something happened to their $154 million investment.
Still, the thought of having both Gonzalez and Ortiz in the lineup is a nice one. For Francona, the two sides of the debate are causing quite a stir upstairs.
“Actually have some anxiety over this one and I’ve got to do what?s right and I have to do in my own head what I think is right,” he said.
The fact that the outfields in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and Houston are not massive, coupled with the incredible speed of Jacoby Ellsbury in center, means that Gonzalez’s slow-footedness may not cause much of an issue.
However, the skipper wants to make sure he doesn’t put a guy in a bad situation. Even beyond the injury risk that exists in placing somewhere where he doesn’t belong is the humiliation factor. Respecting the ballplayer becomes a vital component to Francona’s decision.
Kevin Youkilis has been thrust into the outfield in the past, and had some moments that were not so pretty.
“That?s what I didn?t want to happen,” Francona said. “Guy’s trying to be a good guy and help us out and he?s not used to being out there, and doesn?t make a play. So I worry about that, too.”
Francona does not worry about Gonzalez, as cerebral as they come, making a mistake. He has watched his first baseman take some fly balls in the outfield and knows that Gonzalez will make the plays he has the ability to make. The ball will be caught, the throw will go to the right base.
There’s just that issue of having Gonzalez not be able to get to every ball. And, of course, the risk of something very bad happening. You know where I stand on it.
11:27 a.m.: Josh Beckett remains a sick boy. The plan to have him return to the rotation on Saturday is up in the air, according to Terry Francona.
“He’s really sick,” Francona said.
Because of days off Thursday and Monday, the Red Sox will be just fine getting through another turn and pushing Beckett back some more. Tim Wakefield could take the start on regular rest and Andrew Miller could go Sunday in Pittsurgh on his turn.
Unless Beckett can show in the next 24 hours or so that he is improving and can begin his usual preparations for a start days in advance, the fall-back plan will be put into place.
“We’re going to have to play this by ear,” Francona said.
Fortunately, the medical staff has ruled out anything other than what Francona called a “good old-fashioned case of the flu.”
Back in a moment with more on this, and some other pregame news items.
10:22 a.m.: Greetings from Fenway Park, where the humidity is at 113 percent. Makes for some comfortable conditions for the Sox and Padres to wrap up a three-game set.
Here is the lineup for the hometown boys against another lefty, Clayton Richard:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Darnell McDonald, LF
Marco Scutaro, SS
Jason Varitek, C
Mike Cameron, RF
Off to the clubhouse for a few. Back in a bit.
8 a.m.: The Red Sox have won two of three games in each of their first two interleague series this year. They will try to do the same on Wednesday afternoon when they host the San Diego Padres in a series finale.
Boston routed San Diego in the series opener, but could not take advantage of some opportunities in a 5-4 loss Tuesday night. It turns to John Lackey, a winner of three straight games, in order to try to get back into the win column.
Lackey is 3-0 with a 5.03 ERA in three starts since returning from the disabled list. He lasted eight innings in a 10-4 win over Milwaukee earlier on the homestand.
The Padres give the ball to left-hander Clayton Richard, who has lost five straight decisions.
First pitch is 1:35 p.m. When it’s all over, Boston has a day off before beginning a nine-game, 10-day road trip to three National League cities.