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WEEI » This Just In
07/23/2011 - 8:06am
Bard: Sox 'don't need anyone' in bullpen

A year ago, the Red Sox bullpen was in dire straits and scrambling to find reinforcements before the trade deadlin. This year, the team's relievers have offered a dramatically different outlook.

The Sox have a 3.53 bullpen ERA that ranks in the middle of the pack, but the group has been dominant since early June, with an 8-1 record and 2.31 ERA in that time. As such, there appears to be little urgency on the part of the Sox to add an arm.

“It’s not really often that you can say leading up to the trade deadline that you don’t need anyone in the bullpen, but we really don’t,” said Sox reliever Daniel Bard. “We have all the pieces covered. If you hand us a lead for four innings, we’re going to find a way to get it done. There aren’t many teams that can say that. Whether or not we add someone is still up in the air, I’m sure, but I think we can be pretty effective all the way through October...

07/22/2011 - 10:06pm
Scorching: Sox blow away Mariners

Jacoby Ellsbury drilled one of the longest home runs of his career for the go-ahead run and added a single while Dustin Pedroia had three hits and extended his career-best hitting streak to 19 games to help the Red Sox beat the punchless Mariners, 7-4, Friday night at Fenway Park. The Red Sox - who broke the game open with a five-run seventh - are 58-27 since winning just two of the their first 12 while the Mariners lost their 13th straight. 

John Lackey (8-8) limited the punchless Mariners to eight hits, striking out four and walking none in seven strong innings. He threw 101 pitches in drawing back to the .500 mark. After allowing a one run on three hits in the first inning, Lackey recovered to limit the Mariners to just five hits over his final six innings. 

With the game tied, 1-1, Ellsbury opened the third by drilling a fastball from Seattle ace Felix Hernandez (8-9) an estimated 450 feet to the bleachers in right, giving the Red Sox...

07/22/2011 - 9:09pm
Report: NFLPA vote could come Monday

According to several reports, the NFLPA's executive committee and all 32 player reps are set to meet early next week in Washington — perhaps as early as Monday — and if both the players and owners continue to make progress toward an agreement, the players could vote on a proposal that could bring the four-month lockout to an end.

The owners ratified the deal on Thursday afternoon, but the players did not vote Thursday night, with several of them indicating they needed more time to examine the proposal. However, after some rough going late last week, there's a growing sense of optimism that a deal could be in place by Monday or Tuesday of next week — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith were reportedly in touch via phone on Saturday while lawyers continued to work through the particulars of the 10-year deal.

If a new deal is signed early in the week, the NFLPA would reportedly recertify...

07/22/2011 - 6:52pm
Buchholz: Still feeling 'a little bit of stuff'

Originally, after Clay Buchholz threw what was described as a very encouraging and pain-free long-toss session from 120 feet earlier this week, the Red Sox thought that he might be ready to progress to a bullpen session -- his first since the end of June -- on Friday. However, the pitcher and team decided to push back the bullpen session for a couple of days given that he is still feeling discomfort in his lower back, the condition that resulted in his placement on the DL more than a month ago. 

Buchholz (6-3, 3.48) noted that he is still improving. He still harbors a goal of returning to the rotation either in late-July or, more likely, early-August.

However, he is not yet pain-free, resulting in the decision to postpone his bulllpen session.

"I’m throwing with some pretty good intensity right now," said Buchholz. "It’s the down time after I throw that the soreness comes, so it’s still got a little...

07/22/2011 - 5:18pm
Francona: Reddick 'deserves to play'

Friday marks the second straight game in which Josh Reddick is starting in right field while J.D. Drew sits, and in all likelihood, it will not mark the last.

In 29 games, Reddick is hitting .378 with a .432 OBP, .671 slugging mark and 1.102 OPS along with four homers and 13 extra-base hits. In 77 games, J.D. Drew -- the Sox' starting right fielder since he signed his five-year deal to come to Boston prior to the 2007 season -- is hitting .219 with a .317 OBP, .305 slugging mark, .622 OPS, four homers and 11 extra-base hits.

And so, the fact that Reddick has now -- at least for the time being -- supplanted Drew as the Sox' everyday right fielder seemed an inevitability. Manager Terry Francona acknowledged that the Sox simply can't keep the 24-year-old Reddick on the bench given his performance.

"He’s swinging the bat awfully well. It’s kind of hard not to play him," said Francona, who compared the scenario to...

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