The Red Sox on Thursday will begin their first series against the arch-rvial Yankees, a four-game tilt in New York, sending Clay Buchholz to the mound against Michael Pineda.

Buchholz will make his second start of the season, five days after Saturday’s appearance against the Brewers. The 29-year-old struggled in that game, lasting 4 1/3 innings and giving up six runs on 13 hits, including two home runs, while striking out three.

“It took a little bit to get loose,” Buchholz said after the game. “It was pretty cool out there. You don’t want to give up that many hits ever. They’re swinging early and putting balls in play.”

Buchholz ended up with a no-decision as Boston was able to come back and tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning before falling in 11.

Buchholz has faced the Yankees 12 times (all starts), holding a 5-5 record with an ERA of 5.32 and a WHIP of 1.601. Last year Buchholz was dominant against the Yankees, going 3-0 in three games with an ERA of 0.50 and a WHIP of 0.94.

Pineda pitched well in his debut with the Yankees, his first major league start since 2011 (he had shoulder surgery in 2012 and pitched in the minors last year). Pineda went six innings against the Blue Jays on Saturday and allowed one run while striking out five. His performance wasn’t good enough, however, as he was saddled with the loss as the Yankees were shut out, 4-0.

Thursday will be Pineda’€™s second game against the Red Sox, his first coming in 2011 while he was a member of the Mariners. In that start Pineda only last 4 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits.

Red Sox vs. Pineda (RHP)

A.J. Pierzynski (3 plate appearances): .333 AVG/.333 OBP/.667 SLG, 1 double

David Ortiz (2): .500/.500/.500, 1 strikeout

Mike Napoli has a walk and a strikeout in three plate appearances vs. Pineda.

Dustin Pedroia has not reached base in three plate appearances.

Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes, Jonathan Herrera, Daniel Nava, Ryan Roberts, David Ross and Grady Sizemore have not faced Pineda.

Yankees vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Brian Roberts (30): .400/.500/.520, 1 double, 1 triple, 3 RBIs, 5 walks, 2 strikeouts

Derek Jeter (27): .261/.370/.261, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Brett Gardner (18): .118/.118/.118, 3 strikeouts

Ichiro Suzuki (15): .214/.267/.214, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Kelly Johnson (14): .100/.308/.100, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

Francisco Cervelli (6): .500/.500/.500, 3 RBIs, 1 strikeout

Alfonso Soriano (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Austin Romine has a single in one plate appearance vs. Buchholz.

Dean Anna, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Yangervis Solarte have not faced Buchholz.

Blog Author: 
Arjuna Ramgopal

The internet has given us a bevy of fantastic resources when it comes to turning baseball inside-out. One of them just happens to be “Tater Trot Tracker,” which offers the times for each day’s home run trots.

It’s a Web site that allowed us to measure Carlos Gomez‘ sprint around the bases Saturday night (17.66 seconds), which was the game’s second fastest of the season, only trailing Gomez’ April 1 homer (16.18 seconds).

Well, now, thanks to the diligence of the site’s founder, Larry Granillo, we have learned that David Ortiz made history with his three-run blast Wednesday afternoon.

According to Granillo, Ortiz’s time of 32.91 around the bases was the slowest trot recorded by the site since it’s inception in 2008. The Sox designated hitter narrowly out-paced the previous mark of 31.56 seconds, set by Bobby Abreu.

It isn’t the first time Ortiz has held the honor. In ’10 he became the first player to take more than half a minute to round the bases after hitting a homer.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Daniel Nava

Daniel Nava

The Red Sox have stated the primary goal for their leadoff men is to get on base. Plain and simple. The thinking is that you have to get on base in order score runs.

It just so happened that Jacoby Ellsbury — the guy who used to leadoff for the Red Sox and now plays for the Yankees — did both of those things, along with stealing a bunch of bases.

Well, thus far this season, the Red Sox’ replacements for Ellsbury at the top of the order haven’t gotten on base a whole bunch, have scored just four runs, and haven’t even attempted a stolen base.

Daniel Nava has hit in the top spot a team-high five times, going 3-for-20 with a walk and two runs.

Jonny Gomes has now hit in the leadoff spot in three games, managing two hits in nine at-bats with three walks and one run scored.

Grady Sizemore has gotten the chance to leadoff once, going 0-for-4 with a walk, while scoring a run.

As a team, the Red Sox’ leadoff hitters carry the third-worst OPS (.539) in majors, hitting combined .176. On the bright side, they are seeing the third-most pitches per plate appearance of any group of leadoff men in the game (4.38).

So, what has Ellsbury meant to his new team? The center fielder has actually been dropped to the third spot in the Yankees‘ batting order, with Brett Gardner sliding up. But in his four games leading off, Ellsbury went 6-for-16 (.375) with three walks, three runs and three steals.

Gardner has been almost as good in his five games leading off, hitting .300 (6-for-20) with three walks, two runs, while seeing 4.39 pitches per plate appearance.

What to do? Your thoughts …

 

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.
Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Koji Uehara hasn't skipped a beat thus far in 2014. (AP)So, this is what it feels like.

The Red Sox are heading to New York to take on the Yankees as the team with Mariano Rivera.



ROB BRADFORD

BIO | ARCHIVE | FULL COUNT BLOG


Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien give some thoughts on what went wrong for the Red Sox as they drop the opening game of the series to the New York Yankees 4-1.

[0:00:06] ... card yankees take the opener of this four game series against the Red Sox. 41 tonight of the -- John redwood you are now. I joined from New York by Dave O'Brien and joke is to play on -- Guys the top for the Red Sox lineup go one for fourteen and then they get just -- incidents when you're not gonna get too many wins when he gets ...
[0:00:56] ... tonight because the eighth and ninth innings absolutely nothing happened for the Red Sox went down in order. In each of those -- tip your cap to David felt but I'll Michael Pineda winning at the big league level for the first time. In three years since 2011. As missing two years is pretty amazing as you he was very very good tonight in his velocity was up there depending on how you read the Yankee radar gun. It was in the -- ninety's he was consistently changing speeds the -- great changeup tonight. And then made the Red Sox Jason pitches that they shouldn't have been chasing. As you mentioned John atop the order in particular pretty dismal tonight and it's the second straight night that the Red Sox are held before it gets. -- Conversely. To me anyway didn't seem like cliff Buchholz had a great changeup tonight we would ...
[0:02:03] ... -- stability of the called tonight's game as the Yankees beat the Red Sox four to one. ...





Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien give some thoughts on what went wrong for the Red Sox as they drop the opening game of the series to the New York Yankees 4-1.

[0:00:06] ... card yankees take the opener of this four game series against the Red Sox. -- one tonight at the -- John -- you -- now. I joined from New York by Dave O'Brien in that joke is to play on -- Guys at the top for the Red Sox lineup go one for fourteen and then they get just -- incidents when you're not gonna get too many wins when he gets his. -- it well Pineda was very very good he really pitch well. The Red Sox could not afford to make a mistake get a Bobble by -- leading off the fourth inning turned into two runs it. As it turned out to that would be all the Yankees need it they. Red Sox also worked. Did get that made out of there red -- after. Six innings loss that they could do nothing with the Yankee relievers and if you're talking about it really -- Ninth and tenth may be eleven pitchers. That's the -- case tonight because -- eighth and ninth innings absolutely nothing happened for the Red Sox went down in order. In each of those -- tip your cap to David -- but I'll Michael Pineda winning at the big league level for the first time. In three years since 2011. -- missing two years it's pretty amazing as you he was very very good tonight in his velocity was up there depending on how you read the Yankee radar gun. It was in the -- ninety's he was consistently changing speeds but he had a great changeup tonight. And then made the Red Sox chase some pitches that -- they shouldn't have been chasing. As you mentioned John atop the order in particular pretty dismal tonight and it's the second straight night that the Red Sox are hill before it gets. You. Conversely. To me anyway didn't seem like cliff Buchholz had a great changeup tonight we what ...
[0:02:03] ... -- -- -- the called tonight's game as the Yankees beat the Red Sox four to one. ...




David Ortiz did it again late Wednesday. (AP)Now the season can really begin, at least in the mind of David Ortiz.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

BIO | ARCHIVE


David Ortiz‘€™s clutch home run in the bottom of the eighth was obviously the turning point in Wednesday’€™s series finale with the Rangers, but Jake Peavy‘€™s dominant start set the stage for Ortiz’€™s heroics.

Jake Peavy fanned eight on Wednesday, tied for his most strikeouts for the Red Sox. (AP)

Jake Peavy fanned eight on Wednesday, tied for his most strikeouts for the Red Sox. (AP)

The righty went 6 2/3 strong innings, with a home run to Mitch Moreland in the top of the seventh inning standing as the only blemish on Peavy’€™s impressive outing. He fanned eight batters, which ties for his most K’€™s in a Red Sox uniform, a feat he also accomplished on September 18 against the Orioles last season. Though he did issue four walks, Peavy held a powerful Texas offense to just three hits and a run.

“€œI thought he did a phenomenal job,” said catcher David Ross. “We needed an outing like that. When you’€™re trying to get away and salvage the series and you’€™ve got a guy like Jake Peavy taking the mound and doing that for us, it’€™s big. He kept us in the ballgame and in the lead there for a while, so kudos to him.”

Peavy’€™s outing didn’€™t start off on the most promising of notes, with Shin-Soo Choo bashing the first offering to center field for a double. Peavy worked around the leadoff hit and stranded Choo on third. He then cruised until the seventh, racking up eight swings and misses (including five on the curveball) and fanning eight. He was able to stifle some of the Rangers’€™ big bats, including Prince Fielder (0-for-3 against Peavy, 0-for-4 on the evening) and Alex Rios (0-for-2 with a walk).

“€œHe was executing his pitches today really well, and when he didn’€™t execute a pitch, he missed in the right areas — down with the split-finger, off with the fastball to the non-hitter side, not back over middle,” said Ross. “€œThat’€™s a sign of a good outing, when you’€™re on the corner or off, and not making mistakes over the middle of the plate.”

With the Red Sox up by one run in the seventh, Moreland sent an 89 mph two-seamer out to the visitor’€™s bullpen, knotting the game at one. Peavy was unable to get out of the seventh, and departed with two outs in the inning.

“€œI felt good. I was happy to give us a chance to win,”€ said Peavy. “€œI wanted to do more. I got behind Moreland there, and was frustrated not to be able to finish the seventh, but overall had good stuff and good command of that stuff.”

Peavy has pitched well in both of his outings, tossing six innings of two-run ball in the home opener on Friday. Yet the starter has nothing to show for it, getting a no-decision in both contests. But it’€™s not the ‘W’ next to his name that matters for Peavy.

“That stat means nothing to me. It really doesn’€™t,”€ Peavy said. “€œWe won today. I’€™m more on the team win on my fifth day. I take them hard. Losing to Milwaukee on Opening Day was tough. I feel like I got the win today just as much as the 24 other guys feel the same, especially at this point in time.”€

With the team coming off a sweep by the Brewers and having lost Tuesday night’€™s contest, winning the rubber match and coming out of the homestand with a series win was huge. And so, in contributing to that achievement, Peavy drew considerable satisfaction.

“€œIt was a big one for our team. Getting swept, coming back in we needed to bounce back and win the series,” said Peavy. “€œSo I knew coming in that it was a big start, and we needed to find a way to scratch and claw and get a win out of this. Especially going to New York, it’€™s always a fun and intense rivalry, and it’€™s nice to go in there  with a little momentum.”

Blog Author: 
Katie Morrison

Perhaps it’s overstating it to say A.J. Pierzynski expected David Ortiz to drive a rocket about 100 feet beyond the fence in right field in the eighth inning Wednesday for the game-winning three-run homer in a 4-2 win over the Rangers. But certainly it’s safe to say he wasn’t surprised.

Perhaps it’s overstating it to say A.J. Pierzynski expected David Ortiz to drive a rocket about 100 feet beyond the fence in right field in the eighth inning Wednesday for the game-winning three-run homer in a 4-2 win over the Rangers. But certainly it’s safe to say he wasn’t surprised.

“My first game I ever played with David, or one of my first, in ’97, when he first came over, we were playing maybe Port Charlotte, the Rangers,” Pierzynski related Wednesday after the fourth win of the season. “Ninth inning, they brought in a lefty, and he hit a walkoff homer to left field. And I had known, playing against him the year before, I was in Fort Wayne and he was in Appleton, and I said, ‘Man, this guy can hit a little bit.’ Then we traded got him and I was like, ‘Man, we got this Arias guy.’ And then we he came over, he was Ortiz, and I said, ‘Man, I think we traded for the wrong guy!’ It was the same guy.”

Pierzynski is, of course, referring to the fact that Ortiz’s full given name on Nov. 18, 1975 was David Americo Ortiz Arias. Pierzynski and Ortiz were teammates in the Twins organization from 2000-02.

Since breaking onto the scene in Boston in 2003 after the Twins released him after the ’02 season, Pierzynski and the rest of the baseball world has come to know him as David Ortiz or simply “Big Papi.”

Wednesday was just another in seemingly countless big moments where the game turned on one of his at-bats late. His three-run homer traveled some 100 feet beyond the Pesky Pole in right and was the 24th career go-ahead homer in the eighth inning or later, his last also coming against the Rangers on June 6 last year.

“David’s special,” Pierzynski said. “He loves the big moment. He lives for the big moment. We saw it again today. Through his ups and downs, whatever it is, David wants to be up there and he’s always wanted that. I’ve known him for 20 years and he’s always wanted to be the guy at bat in those situations.”

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier