Stephen Drew punctuated his best game with the Red Sox with a two-out, walkoff double in the bottom of the 11th inning that drove home catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia from second base to give the Sox a 6-5 victory. It was Drew’s fourth hit of the game, his 13th career game with four or more hits, and his third career walkoff hit (last on April 27, 2011).
Drew provided most of the Red Sox offense in helping the team to snap its three-game losing streak. He delivered a two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning and then later adding a game-tying solo homer into the right field grandstand in the bottom of the seventh inning. He also added a one-out single in a tie game in the ninth. The homer pushed Drew’s average above .200 for the first time in his Red Sox career.
Since starting the year in a 2-for-23 rut, Drew — aside from a surprisingly high strikeout rate — has been more or less what the Sox hoped he might be when they signed him. He’s delivered steady, solid defense at short while offering on-base ability and some pop. In his last 14 games, Drew is now hitting .292/.364/.521 with a pair of homers.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
– Though he’d gotten on base at an excellent rate for most of the year, Dustin Pedroia was expected to be more than a table-setter in the No. 3 spot in the Red Sox lineup. But even with a .294 average and .396 OBP, he entered Monday with a hollow .345 slugging percentage. The Sox were the only team in the majors without a homer from the third spot in their lineup.
That’s now changed. With the Twins and Red Sox tied, 4-4, in the bottom of the eighth, Pedroia punctuated a three-hit night with an exceptional at-bat, fouling off four pitches with two strikes before launching the 10th offering from right-hander Casey Fien — a full-count changeup — off the base of the light tower in left field. It was Pedroia’s first homer in 214 plate appearances (the longest drought of his career) dating to last September 11.
– Shane Victorino jumped on a 3-2 slider from Vance Worley, lining a homer inside the Pesky Pole for his first homer as a Red Sox. He hadn’t gone deep against a right-handed pitcher since homering against Jeff Karstens last Aug. 13. However, in contrast to both 2012 and his career, Victorino has posted more impressive numbers against righties than lefties this year, a trend that continued on Monday against Worley and the Twins. Victorino was 3-for-3 with the homer and a pair of singles against his former Phillies teammate, and finished the game 3-for-5 (all against righties). Victorino now is hitting .328 with a .782 OPS against righties, with marks of .231/.580 against righties. His three hits matched a season high (achieved twice previously).
– In their first game of the year with two left-handers in their bullpen, the Sox got solid relief work from both of their southpaws. Andrew Miller inherited a two-on, one-out situation in the seventh and punched out left-handers Justin Morneau and Chris Parmalee on sliders. Then, making his 2013 debut in the top of the eighth inning, Craig Breslow sailed through a 1-2-3 inning in which he threw 10-of-12 pitches for strikes, got one swing and miss each on his cutter and fastball and commanded a fastball that he employed at 87-90 mph.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– Entrusted with a one-run lead in the ninth, Joel Hanrahan could not close out his first save since Andrew Bailey landed on the DL. Instead, he gave up a colossal solo homer on a 96 mph fastball to Brian Dozier. It was the fourth homer given up by Hanrahan this year — four times the number of homers he allowed during his 2011 season, and half as many homers as he gave up in 2012.
Shortly after the homer, Hanrahan suffered an apparent injury at the end of a walk to Josh Willingham. He was visited on the mound by a trainer and manager John Farrell, then almost immediately headed off the mound with what the team later described as tightness in his forearm. He’ll be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
– Whether it was the controversy that served as a prelude to the game or simply represented an inevitable return to earth for a night following his meteoric start to the year, Clay Buchholz turned in his worst outing of the season, as the Red Sox fell to the Twins, 4-3.
After five days of controversy and questions surrounding whether or not he was employing a foreign substance on his left forearm, Buchholz did not shy from applying rosin to the area prior to the start of every inning. He either rubbed his index and middle finger across the rosin-laden area or grabbed it with the entirely of his right hand prior to 11 pitches in the first inning.
It didn’t seem to help. Buchholz found himself swimming upstream immediately in a first inning in which he needed 36 pitches — the third-highest first-inning pitch total of his career, and the most he’d needed since throwing 44 on April 17, 2010. By the time the dust had settled, Buchholz had permitted two runs on three hits (two doubles) and two walks, matching his season-high in runs permitted in any game this year before he’d recorded his third out.
Buchholz settled, at one point enjoying a dominant stretch in which he retired nine straight (with seven strikeouts worked into the mix), before getting touched for single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. He limited the damage and, somewhat miraculously given his high pitch count in the first, managed to navigate through six innings, but his six innings of work represented a season low while his four runs (all earned) were a season high, as were the 115 pitches he required to get through the contest.
– Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out with runners in scoring position twice. Saltalamacchia is now hitless in his last eight plate appearances with runners in scoring position. His second strikeout on Monday came while batting right-handed against Duensing; Saltalamacchia is hitless in his last 12 plate appearances while hitting right-handed with runners in scoring position, with his last hit in such situations coming last June 9.
However, he ended up recovering to go 2-for-4 with a double and walk.
– While David Ortiz lined a double to right in his fourth plate appearance to extend his hitting streak to 26 games, he had a couple of costly plate appearances on a night where he went 1-for-4 while grounding into a pair of double plays. Most notably, he grounded into a 3-6-3 double play against Twins left-handed reliever Brian Duensing with two on and no outs in the sixth inning, at a time when the Sox trailed, 4-2 — a twin-killing that proved particularly costly since it was followed by an RBI single by Mike Napoli, a wild pitch and a walk by Daniel Nava. The game marked the ninth time in Ortiz’s career — and the first since 2010 — that he grounded into multiple double plays in the same game.
– Will Middlebrooks‘ struggles continued, as he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts before dumping an 11th-inning single into left field for his lone hit. In his second whiff, Middlebrooks was ahead in the count, 3-0, before swinging through three straight fastballs.
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox left fielder, who had five hits in the Sox win in Baltimore.
Hour 4. Bradford joins the show to defend the fact that he attends Ortiz’s charity event for free. Alex doesn’t think it was unethical to out Hernandez.
Hour 3. Kirk goes on his second rant of the day. Minihane orders Alex’s and Gerry’s mics to be turned off and hosts the show by himself.
Hour 2. The guys talk discuss Hernandez’s gay lover with Reimer. Reimer says there aren’t a lot of straight guys looking to experiment. Bradford tells Mut he paid for his wife to attend the Ortiz charity event.
HOUR 3 - ESPN layoffs continue. One time Fauria didn't know Sage Steele's name so he called her "Rashard." ESPN has pretty much decided to punt on hockey. Marcus Smart responds to Jimmy Butler. Glenn dreams of the Celtics adding Gordon Hayward in the offseason.
HOUR 4 - The guys kept us updated on the wave of ESPN firings. Paul was blocked by Pete Abe. Fauria still hates Dan Dakich. Will Gerald Green be a factor, again, tonight? The lawyer for Kyle Kennedy (Aaron Hernandez' rumored gay lover) Larry Army gave a press conference.
Some house cleaning is being done at ESPN as reports of employee cuts begin to come out. And how pissed/not pissed should Matt Barnes be?
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
The article didn't actually reveal anything that wasn't already public record, but the Globe "expose" on Brady and his relationship with the Best Buddies charity certainly has everybody around here talking about it.
We spend some time talking Sox as news of the rain cancellation comes down. A few more thoughts on the spat in Baltimore and Dustin Pedroia, plus David Price takes to twitter for his "media session".
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis are in after a Reimer Wednesday edition of K&C to recap a virtuoso Kirk Minihane off-the-rails performance
Buck and Reimer debate over whether it’s appropriate to speculate about Aaron Hernandez’s sexuality. Buck says his sources don’t corroborate what Michele McPhee and the Daily Mail have reported about the disgraced ex-NFL star’s love life. Reimer disagrees with the Boston Globe's assertion that there's a homophobic element to the Hernandez story.
Buck and Reimer share their coming out stories and discuss the different ways they decided to reveal their sexualities. Buck waited until more than 30 years into his career, whereas Reimer announced he was gay during his second appearance on WEEI. On that note, Buck presses Reimer on whether he's exploiting his sexuality to further his career.
Hour 4. Crazy Al calls in for the second day in a row. A terrible caller tries to make a point. The Arkansas inmates had interesting last meals. Tomase’s epic acceptance speech.More from this show
Hour 1. In a wild opening segment, Kirk and Gerry lash out at the Globe and Joe Sullivan. Reimer weighs in on Cyd Ziegler’s Hernandez take. Michael Holley thinks the Globe would do the same story on Ortiz as they did on Brady and Best Buddies.More from this show
Hour 1. Tomase, Gerry, and Kirk discuss the identity of Aaron Hernandez’s gay lover. Tanguay thinks Brady held up Best Buddies and Kirk agrees. Tomase investigated where Ortiz sends his charity’s money.More from this show