09/04/2009 - 2:48am
The hottest hitter on the Red Sox was not in the lineup on Thursday. It didn’t show.
J.D. Drew, a wrecking ball in recent weeks, was on the sidelines with Rays left-hander David Price on the hill. But Boston suffered little for his absence, thanks to the presence of arguably the best fourth outfielder in the American League, a player who helps to make the Sox’ outfield as a whole the most productive in the A.L.
09/01/2009 - 2:48am
It’s a small thing, and Jon Lester insists that it does not bother him. But he does notice.
When Josh Beckett takes the mound at Fenway Park, ‘K’ cards fan across the center field side of the Monster Seats to record the pitcher’s punchouts during any given start. The same treatment has been afforded in recent years to Daisuke Matsuzaka.
08/31/2009 - 1:21am
Because he is Roy Halladay, he is held to a different standard that would seem unfair were it not for the fact that the Blue Jays ace measures himself by a bar that most pitchers cannot reach. As such, a few ordinary starts can serve as cause for alarm in the world of the 32-year-old.
08/30/2009 - 2:20am
For the first half of the season, it seemed as if Clay Buchholz might never find a way into the Red Sox rotation. Now, he is a pitcher whom the Red Sox cannot do without.
08/27/2009 - 3:07am
It had been a long, long time coming for Tim Wakefield.
When he last took the mound against Oakland on July 8, Wakefield was 42 years old, and putting the final touches on an All-Star first half with a six-inning, three-run, 10-hit effort that earned him his 11th and final victory prior to the break. The win left the Red Sox in first by a game over the Yankees in the American League East.
08/26/2009 - 8:43am
If Billy Wagner didn’t want to win a championship, Tuesday’s trade to the Red Sox never would have happened.
In the end, the left-handed reliever held all the power in the trade that sent him – after the Red Sox claimed him on waivers on Friday – from the New York Mets to Boston, just moments before Tuesday’s 1:30 p.m. deadline to complete a deal. Wagner possessed a no-trade clause that gave him the ability to blow up the agreement between the Mets and Sox, and would have been entirely within his rights to do so.
08/24/2009 - 3:46am
Since the beginning of May, Josh Beckett had been delivering the types of performances that could only be examined through the perspective of history. On Sunday, that remained the case, but for entirely different reasons.
The Red Sox ace, who enjoyed a period of unrelenting dominance from early May through the middle of August, turned in an outing unlike any other in his career, and indeed, in the last half century.
08/23/2009 - 2:27am
Brad Penny wasn’t really in a position to talk before Saturday’s game. He simply did not know what his future -- specifically, his place in the Red Sox rotation -- held.
“I really don’t know anything,” he admitted.
08/21/2009 - 3:41am
It wasn’t exactly a bolt from the blue for J.D. Drew. The Red Sox right-fielder had 12-career multi-homer games before he repeated the feat on Thursday against the Blue Jays.
08/20/2009 - 2:22pm
While most teams spent the final days preceding the deadline to sign their draft picks haggling with money-seeking advisors, members of the Red Sox’ amateur scouting staff faced an entirely different menace: swine flu.
08/20/2009 - 3:07am
On August 20, 2008, Clay Buchholz was shelled, and shell-shocked. He couldn't make it out of the third inning against the pitiful Orioles, allowing five runs and earning a demotion to Double-A Portland. The pitcher seemed overwhelmed by the challenge of the majors, unable to gain his footing against even the weakest of opponents.
On Wednesday, 364 days after his inglorious return to the minors, Buchholz represented something entirely different. In the final leg of what seemed a three-part test befitting Job, the pitcher never blinked.
08/18/2009 - 7:56am
The Red Sox have arrived at a point in the year where the wins are more urgent. The team trails in the wild-card race by a full game, and must seek to restore order in a second half whose soundtrack has been a screeching record needle.
And yet there is almost certain to be a prevailing sense of calm that permeates the Sox clubhouse in Toronto today. For that fact, the reason is simple.
The Red Sox will have Josh Beckett on the mound on Tuesday.
08/17/2009 - 3:02am
Suddenly, the Red Sox stood in position to claim a huge win that could change the shape of the playoff race. Just one run down in the eighth inning against the Rangers, in a game that would determine who left the Ballpark in Arlington with the lead in the wild-card race, the Sox were mounting their uprising.
08/14/2009 - 1:27am
Three batters into Thursday’s game, the Red Sox had runners on the corners with one out in the bottom of the first inning, and so Tigers ace Justin Verlander dialed it up. The right-hander reached back to pop fastballs into catcher Gerald Laird’s mitt at 98, 99 and even 100 mph, racking up consecutive strikeouts of Jason Bay and David Ortiz in the process.
08/13/2009 - 5:07pm
Clay Buchholz has a no-hitter on his resume, yet a strong case can be made that what he accomplished over his past two starts – both losses – has been even more impressive. In consecutive outings, Buchholz held his own against the aces of two first-place teams. Faced with no margin for error, the young Sox right-hander gave his team an opportunity to win.
08/13/2009 - 3:32am
The development was one that the Red Sox could seemingly ill afford.
Kevin Youkilis’ teammates understood why their cleanup hitter charged the mound on Tuesday, even as they understood that his bull rush, tossed helmet and attempted takedown of Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello would result in punishment. The verdict came down swiftly.
08/12/2009 - 3:46am
Unless your name is Dave Roberts, history usually ignores pinch-runners. That changed on Tuesday in an incredibly unexpected fashion.
Mike Lowell was pressed into precisely that role in the bottom of the second inning on Tuesday, after Kevin Youkilis used a helmet by way of introduction to Rick Porcello after getting drilled by a pitch. With Youkilis ejected, the Sox needed a pinch-runner and replacement at third base.
08/10/2009 - 4:21am
NEW YORK – “Are we in the lead for the wild card? What’s the deal?”
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia had just seen his team suffer a devastating defeat that concluded the chaotic final innings of a four-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees. Boston had wasted a brilliant outing from Jon Lester and likewise failed to take advantage of a two-run homer from Victor Martinez that snapped a 31-inning scoreless streak and gave the Sox a 2-1 lead in the eighth.
08/09/2009 - 4:11am
NEW YORK -- “All right, everybody ready?”
David Ortiz offered the inquiry a bit sheepishly, a tone that belied his high-wattage arrival at a 12:30 p.m. press conference in Yankee Stadium. Ortiz, flanked by his father, Enrique, and Red Sox manager Terry Francona, arrived in a diamond-covered ensemble -- sunglasses, earrings, watch and a skull pendant on a necklace –- that shimmered for the shutters of roughly a dozen cameras.
08/09/2009 - 2:35am
NEW YORK – It is easy to forget that with more than 50 games remaining on the schedule, the Red Sox are still in the driver’s seat to reach the playoffs as a wild card. Of course, that notion is forgettable precisely because the team has done little since the All-Star break to suggest worthiness for the postseason.
08/03/2009 - 6:28am
BALTIMORE – It was a weekend of introductions and debuts for the Red Sox, whose activity surrounding the trading deadline was as furious as any team’s in baseball. When the dust settled following an explosive 18-10 victory to complete a three-game sweep over the Orioles (recap), the Sox emerged as a team that appeared stronger for both the short-term and the future.
08/02/2009 - 9:24am
BALTIMORE – He shouldn’t have swung.
Josh Reddick had already taken his first major-league hacks on Friday, when the 22-year-old pinch-hit in the ninth inning. And so the experience of stepping into the batter’s box in the top of the second inning – his first at-bat of his first big-league start – did not represent a big-league first.
08/02/2009 - 2:52am
BALTIMORE -- It would be somewhat misleading to suggest that everything is beer and skittles for the Red Sox’ offense. The Boston lineup managed to push just four runs across the plate on a night when they got 13 hits. The Sox stranded a season-high 15 baserunners.
And yet, it seems as if a corner has been turned. The team’s epic slump to start the second half – which included a six-game run of scoring three or fewer runs – may have subsided.
08/01/2009 - 6:56am
BALTIMORE – It swept through the room in a fashion reminiscent of a tornado, touching down unpredictably in different parts of the visitor’s clubhouse in Camden Yards. As the final minutes ticked off and then passed in the moments leading up to the 2009 trade deadline, uncertainty and change swept the room and affected the lives of many Red Sox (while leaving a few, surprisingly, completely unscathed).
07/31/2009 - 3:08am
And so, finally, the end is nigh. One of the most dizzying stretches of the decade for the Red Sox will reach its conclusion around 4 p.m. EST on Friday, when the deadline for trades not requiring waivers will finally pass.
The Sox remain aggressive in pursuit of a deal that will change their complexion, not just for the rest of 2009 but beyond. The same names keep surfacing as apples of the team’s eye: starter Roy Halladay of the Blue Jays, catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.