Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:59 am

Wk 19: One half game, short division.

Wk 19:   Who wants the Division?

Road trips next week or so - Sox hit less well there.  Both NY and Sox party with Royals (no Pippa, sadly), then NY plays with Twins >> Texas re-arRangers Sock drawer?  

Boston Red Sox      (73-45) --> (73-46)   wk 0-1
New York Yankees  (72-46) --> (72-46)   wk 0-0   1/2
Tampa Bay Rays     (64-55) --> (64-55)   wk 0-0    9
Toronto Blue Jays    (60-59) --> (61-59)   wk 1-0   12.5
Baltimore Orioles     (45-72) --> (46-72)   wk 1-0   26.5

Youk BA at .191 on the road?  ouch.  Let's hope the division race stays real.   ARod returns, Garcia stops doing kitchen prep, Will we see some B's in pen or maybe a DH callup?  Down to the wire - stop the dang rain.
Posted on: August 5, 2011 10:23 am

Wk: 18: Welcome back real baseball

Wk 18:  Let the games begin...

New York Yankees  (63-42) --> (68-42)   wk 5-0
Boston Red Sox       (65-40) --> (68-42)   wk 3-2  -  0
Tampa Bay Rays      (55-51) --> (58-52)   wk 3-1  - 10
Toronto Blue Jays     (54-53) --> (56-55)   wk 2-2  - 12.5
Baltimore Orioles      (42-62) --> (43-65)   wk 1-3  -  24

It is an altogether fitting and proper tie that is the backdrop for the 3 game show this weekend on the fine stage of Fenway.  Let the games begin.  However the pitchers rise to the occasion, Robbie Cano must be thrilled...  he loves hitting in those cozy confines big time - I think he is 400+ in 2010 and 500 this year.  366 career.

Real baseball is back.  Sit back, make sure you have your beverage and snacks, turn off the phone, log off, and marvel at Youk's hat size and Petey's vertically challenged accomplishments.  Look forward to Josh's so-close-to-the-surface temper flaring to surprise all but those in the know.  Does Colon get his 2 seamer tailing back over called as a strike? Does Garcia continue to amaze?  Can Lester be had?  Do we get the Lackey we all know and love?  Will NY ride CC all the way to the barn?  I do love Francona - the guy is a class act.  

Share and enjoy.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 17, 2011 8:39 am

Wk 15: CC is my shepherd

Wk 15:  CC is my shepherd.

Red Sox take lead in run differential.  Padding the stats.  Jenks on DL?  Fans cheer.

Boston Red Sox       (55-35) --> (56-36)   wk 1-1
New York Yankees   (53-35) --> (54-37)   wk 1-2   1.5
Tampa Bay Rays       (49-41) --> (50-42)   wk 1-1     6
Toronto Blue Jays      (45-47) --> (47-48)   wk 2-1
Baltimore Orioles       (36-52) --> (37-54)   wk 1-2

CC is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to chase flys in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the chilled waters. He restoreth my soulfood: he leadeth me in the basepaths of righteousness for our team's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Fenway, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy ARod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of big eaters like Youk: thou anointest my head with pie; my cup runneth over.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 13, 2011 8:29 am

Wk 14: The Few-Stars break

Wk 14:  The Few Stars break

I turned it off... who was ahead, the NL or the DL?  And the Warning Track Derby. Sign Cano's Dad.  Fun to watch the kids knockng each other down to catch a fly ball.  Gold balls?  And a fan almost fell out of the stands - how slow a learner do you have to be?  Ortiz had a good time with his team.  Very nice to see him in another setting than charging the mound.  When Heath Bell sliding into the mound is called "stealing the show", you know there isn't much of a show to steal.  Always a luxury for a manager to use up someone else's pitchers.

The standings reflect what most folks predicted:  2 teams at the top, 1 hanging close, 2 slipping away.  Rays have more arms than bats, Jays the reverse.  

Boston Red Sox      (55-35)
New York Yankees  (53-35)    1
Tampa Bay Rays     (49-41)     6
Toronto Blue Jays    (45-47)   11
Baltimore Orioles     (36-52)   18   

Why the double digit games back?  Pitching:

                               ERA    Slugging
Boston Red Sox      3.92 / .456
New York Yankees   3.46 / .444
Tampa Bay Rays      3.58 / .399
Toronto Blue Jays     4.13 / .420
Baltimore Orioles     4.76 / .401

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 6, 2011 8:25 am

Wk 13: Keep them doggies rollin'

Wk 13:

Taking care of business.  Bats? check. Arms? check.  And then there were 3.

New York Yankees  (44-31) --> (50-31)   wk 6-0
Boston Red Sox       (44-32) --> (48-34)   wk 4-2
Tampa Bay Rays      (43-34) --> (46-37)   wk 3-3
Toronto Blue Jays     (38-39) --> (40-44)   wk 2-5
Baltimore Orioles      (34-40) --> (35-45)   wk 1-5

Theme of the upcoming week is Arms.   Tuesday Lester's lat and Papelbon's unrelief scares Sox... shouldn't McDonald get the save, really?   Nice ole tag by Tek, sleight of hand.

Papelbon leading by 3:  a 2 run bomb + 2 base runners + a line single + an arm thankfully not attached to him = stealing a win he has no right to say he contributed to.  A Papelbon is a Cinnabun without the sweet parts.   Just empty carbs.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 27, 2011 10:41 am

Arrgh, Matey. Shiver me timbers, 1st in the East

Arrrrgh, Matey.  Shiver me timbers.  Keel hauled.

AL East wk 12:
New York Yankees  (40-29) --> (44-31)   wk 4-2
Boston Red Sox       (42-28) --> (44-32)   wk 2-4
Tampa Bay Rays       (38-33) --> (43-34)   wk 5-1
Toronto Blue Jays      (36-35) --> (38-39)   wk 2-4
Baltimore Orioles       (31-37) --> (34-40)   wk 3-3

+ everyone won on Sunday.  It's the East, after all.   

Despite their hot streak, the Red Sox were boarded by the Pirates after doing penance with the Padres, and the Yankees took 1st place... for now.  The stealthy Rays heated the field to pull close and create the 3 team race most folks expected.  Maybe the Jays can hang close?

With interleague ending, thank Jeter, we'll get back to better games.
  • The Red Sox get famine and feast, heading to Philly - It's on to the city of brotherly love, Ben Franklin and cheesesteaks  where the fans are gracious and the food is tough - and then Houston.  The AssTro end of the league.  And then the Jays, finally.
  • The Yankees see the Brewers at home and then on the road to the Mets and then Cleveland.  Taking care of business.

Looking to get Colon back soon, maybe even Hughes.  Too much to ask where the hell the lefty relievers are...  the pharmacy probably.  ARod hitting for average and RBIs despite sore shoulder, light power.  Tex, Swisher, Jorge stay hot, looking to wake up Cano and Granderson to click on all cylinders.  Gardner actually stole a base - imagine that!

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 20, 2011 10:45 am

AL East Wk 11: Ice cream rises to the top

AL East Wk 11:  Ice cream rises to the top

Sox clean up, NY close, division spreads with only O's slipping.  

In June, Sox 13-3, Yanks 11-6

Boston Red Sox      (38-26) --> (42-28)   wk 4-2  +1 sunday
New York Yankees  (35-27) --> (40-29)   wk 5-2  +1 sunday
Tampa Bay Rays      (34-30) --> (38-33)   wk 4-3  +1 sunday
Toronto Blue Jays     (32-33) --> (36-35)   wk 4-2   -1 sunday
Baltimore Orioles      (30-32) --> (31-37)   wk 1-5  +1 sunday

Balled up Sox continue to roll.  Pitching and hitting with the beginning of some injuries to deal with.  Yanks win as well but still have issues:  Bases loaded, 1 out, gotta score.  Streaks of zero key hits.  Wasting good pitching several times.  How bad a baserunner is Gardner?  Hitting is up, stealing and bunting inept.  Let him lead off - where do you bat the Capt?

Anyone notice that Cano's fielding has been strange?  Getting to ground balls but no throw, confused or brainlock?  Missing a few under the glove, notably bad on catcher's throws.  Watching him it looks like poor concentration, mind elsewhere, lazy and distracted.  What gives?

Granderson has carried the club, though he is striking out vs, lefties more often now - another coaching lesson due?  Gotta love the HR lead with both him and Tex.  Find that mojo, please.  Jorge had a good streak but will it be sustained?  Martin throwing out runners, bat coming back.  Swisher looked ok in leadoff - please continue to hit.

Road games wil be tougher for Boston, looking to Phillies to cool off MLB's top club.  AGon is MVP so far, maybe triple crown - ouch.   Old Macdonald heads to the farm?  Eieio.  Drew too few.  Sox can tolerate a few slow bats these days, alas.   Who gets under Beckett's thin skin?  You know it will happen.

Posted on: June 12, 2011 11:15 am

Wk 10 AL East: Athletic Sox roll past rivals

Week 10 in the East:   Athletic Socks roll past rivals

Boston Red Sox       (32-26) --> (38-26)   wk 6-0
New York Yankees   (32-24) --> (35-27)   wk 3-3   2 back
Tampa Bay Rays       (30-28) --> (34-30)   wk 4-2   4 back
Toronto Blue Jays      (29-29) --> (32-33)   wk 3-4   6.5 back
Baltimore Orioles       (26-30) --> (30-32)   wk 4-2   7 back

Red Sox swept, but the division is hanging close.  A NY ouch with bruises.  The surprise is that everyone is nearby, with the uncertainty of interleague games ahead.  How well have the Sox played?  Over the last 7 days, they hit 124 points better than opponents (the next best team was only at 67 points), scored 31 more runs, 6 wins, slugged at 550, and pitched to an ERA of 3.50.  Best yet, these were on the road where they haven't usually played as well as at home, and against AL East rivals.  Add sunscreen for the Rays.

I had warned that their hitting with RISP was due to get better  -  last month it was 220, 37 points *below* their BA then of 257.  Now it's up 38 points to 258 with a BA rise of 17 points. The true value theory at work, along with the resulting surge in runs.  They still have too many runners left on base.  For now.  

How does the streak hold up against NL pitching in Milwaukee, San Diego, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia (I won't mention Houston)?   How well do the starters hold up at the plate... shades of Chin Ming Wang?  But the standings reflect what we all expected:  Good hitting leads a close division, with improvement possible on the pitching side.  The DL is getting crowded everywhere  -  buy stock in TJ surgery.  Does anyone have emerging AAA phenom's?  Bring 'em.

About 100 games to go so no one should be crowing.  Enjoy the nitrous injection and hold the wheel tight.  Theme of the week seems like Hit That Batter.  Hold the hamstrings and pray.

Category: MLB
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