Scarlet Fever

A teenage girl's perspective on the Red Sox and everything else.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I'm off to Fenway! Wearing my Youk shirt again because of my three player shirts (Youk, Manny and Paps) he's probably the only one I'll see. Tavarez is pitching so we will probably lose but I can't wait still.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


This season is looking worse and worse. I'm sorry to be so pessimistic. But this season has been trying. I remember how at the beginning I had a whole argument ready for how this team was better than 2004's, if anybody asked. How our offense was just as good, our pitching staff was led by 2 aces and a great closer like '04's, and our defense was even better. Yeah, about that.
How can you plan for this many injuries? I don't blame the players. I don't blame the manager. I don't blame the front office. But how can we expect an offense without Manny, Ortiz and Pena to slug the heck out of other teams? How can we expect a pitching staff missing Tim Wakefield, recently Jon Lester, and Jason Varitek behind the plate, to shut out every team? How can we expect a defense without Vaccuum Cleaner Gonzalez, and with Youk forced to play outfield, and with Mr. I Can Play Every Position Hinske somewhere new every day, to create the same spectacular defense we saw earlier this season?
We can't.
These 10:00 games are over, and I couldn't watch many of them anyways. And frankly, I didn't mind missing last night's one bit.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

School :(

I didn't post this morning because I was doing summer homework ALL DAY. Because tomorrow I have school. I want to cry. So I will only be able to do morning posts on weekends, and my Sox time will become very limited with volleyball six days a week and 4 grueling honors courses. My only good news is that I am going to two -- yes, TWO -- games this weekend: Thursday night and Monday night. I'm thrilled. Can't wait.
That's all. Thanks for listening to me and my depression.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Stirring the Pot

Peter just wrote a post on Papi and his quest for 51 homers. With a whole month and just 4 homers to go, it seems almost certain that he will do it, barring injury. And though I'm rooting for Papi every at-bat he gets, something occurred to me. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if Papi gets 51 homers or MVP. It doesn't matter if Manny leads the league in batting average. It doesn't matter if Coco Crisp leads the league in stolen bases, if Curt Schilling leads the league in wins, if Jonathan Papelbon leads the league in saves and ERA, if Gonzo or Mike Lowell or our entire infield wins a Gold Glove... it doesn't matter. What matters is that we win. Because in a few seasons we will have forgotten most of the other stuff. We won't have forgotten if we made a postseason run. These other things are nice because they help us win, but we aren't winning right now despite them. And the postseason isn't looking so reachable right now. So looking to the offseason, I give you this question:
Dustin Pedroia will almost certainly be a starter next year at either second base or shortstop. This means that either Mark Loretta or Alex Gonzalez will go. Which one do you think it should be?
I say trade Loretta. I love him, and I think he's awesome. But he's older than Gonzo, and will get us more money or a better pitcher. His hitting has been great, and his defense has been solid. But I would rather keep Gonzalez. He's still in his twenties, so he still has yet to reach his peak. His hitting this year has been far above what was expected, and his defense is absolutely phenominal. I think he could continue his upward trend with his hitting, and his glove is irreplaceable. Plus, he's cheap.
My mom says trade Gonzo. She says Loretta's hitting is much better than Gonzo's and his defense has been great.
It seems the FO might agree with me. They tried to trade Loretta a few weeks ago, but it fell through. I would love to see what everyone else thinks about this.

The Walking Wounded

That's what we are. The Walking Wounded. I don't see how it's possible to be this beat up. And it's a fact. The injuries ARE killing us. Yesterday we had absolutely nothing. We had the same number of errors (2) as we did hits, for crying out loud. As NESN showed us during the game, only three of our guys are in the same spot in the batting order as they were opening day. Our pitching was bad -- um, Snyder gave up a freaking grand slam! Our hitting was bad -- two hits the entire game! Our defense was bad -- two errors, and two missed catches by Youk in left field that could have been errors as well; plus, no one was playing their correct position. Our baserunning was bad -- Hinske being tagged out between second and third, ending what could have been a big inning.
We are left with nothing. And it's not fair. This team was never given a chance. We were never healthy. We never showed what we really could do. I can't think of one time during the season when our entire team was on the active roster. Not one time the entire season. Not even Opening Day -- David Wells wasn't ready yet.
So it's really nobody's fault we're doing so bad. Nobody's really underperforming. It's just that we have a AAA team, a bench team, instead of a Major League team. And it sucks.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Avoiding Talking About Last Night...

Let's not talk about the Red Sox. I watched the Patriots game instead, then when that was over I watched the Sox but only until 11:30. I don't know how many of you readers are football fans, but I'm starting to think more and more about football season. Our Patriots look absolutely dominating. We won 41-0 last night, and we looked every bit as good as the score would suggest. As the announcers said about eighty billion times, this definately looks like a championship team. We are plowing down everyone in our path, and I know this is preseason, but the Pats are looking a whole heck of a lot better than the Sox right now.
If you wanna talk baseball, let's talk about my Indians. They are on a roll, though I know it's waaaaaaay too late in the season and they are definately not in contention, but they have won their last 4, and seven of the last 10, and did I mention they are playing the Tigers right now? They are finally looking like the team everyone expected them to be, led by my two favorite Indians, Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner.
And if you're gonna force me to talk Red Sox, I'm not even going to talk about our bullpen/Mike Timlin/how much we suck right now. I'll talk about Manny. It really ticks me off how no one believes he is really hurt. I know he has an IQ in the single digits to go along with the maturity level of a six-year-old, but do you really think he would miss this much playing time because he was robbed of a single base-hit ruling? He's a major league baseball player, so clearly he must have worked his butt off to get where he is today, as did all MLB players. Would he have gone through all that if he didn't love the game? And if he loved the game so much, would he really want to miss this much playing time? I know what it's like when you're hurt and nobody believes you. Last year around this time I started feeling pain in my lower back, to the side. I kept telling my parents there was something wrong, I knew there was, but they assumed it would go away. After several weeks, I finally convinced them (they're both doctors) to bring home some test strips. As it turned out, I had a UTI, and had I left it untreated much longer, it would have been a serious, and possibly even fatal, problem. Luckily, my dad wrote me a prescription for some antibiotics, and I was fine. Another time, when I was in about first grade, I fell out of a tree and my wrists really, really hurt. My mom gave me some ice and just figured I was trying to play up my injury. That night I spent in agony, unable to sleep. In the morning I was forced to go to school, but my mom pulled me out towards the end of the day to take me in to the hospital just in case. Turns out both of my wrists were broken. Perhaps this is why it bugs me so much that nobody believes Manny. I know the MRI showed no structural damage, but it's obvious to me that Manny's hurting. It's a long, grueling season, and if he says he's hurt, he's freaking hurt!
Snyder on the mound tonight, to try and right the ship. (Haha, ship, Mariners, get it? No? Okay, sorry, that wasn't funny.) At least the Yankees have lost the past two also. Here's to a Yankees sweep and a Red Sox win!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Back to Our Old Ways

Maybe those two wins were a fluke. Our one reliable starter was on the mound and we still managed a loss. I only saw about the first hour of the game, because I had to go to bed early so I could get up in time for volleyball practice at 8 am, but I saw the Mariners take the lead and it turned out that they never gave it back. Good pitching is not enough. It is not possible to win a game without scoring runs. We need hitting, timely hitting. We have been without it all season, and a team cannot rely on a single man to get every run for them. Without Ortiz, without Manny, we have nobody.
And without our defense, as we were last night, we have no strengths. We don't have great pitching. We don't have great offense. But we did have great defense. Last night is an example of how much worse off we'd be without that.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Nice to Win Again

A Big Papi homer and a botched double play that scored a run turned out to be the only runs we needed. Our pitching was actually effective last night. Becket was on fire. He gave us six scoreless innings, and the one run he did allow, was an inherited runner that Mike Timlin let score. Entering the 7th inning, Beckett's pitch count was a miniscule 62, averaging roughly 10 pitches per inning. In the back of my mind, with the dominatant nature of his pitching performance and his low pitch count, I was thinking complete-game shutout. However, he was forced to leave after six-plus with a small cut on his finger.
Still, it was one of his best performances of the year.
This is the guy we traded Hanley Ramirez for.
This is the guy we were willing to take the "extra baggage" of Mike Lowell for.
This is the guy who just got a three-year contract extension.
This is the guy we expect to be at the top of our rotation when we lose Curt Schilling.
This guy was lights-out.
And for once, our bullpen kept the lead.
We won the series, and we won back our pride.
My faith is back, and with Schill on the mound, it is stronger than ever.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

How Sweet It Is

It feels so good to win. I'd almost forgotten. A sense of relief, of satisfaction. Finally. We found a Band-Aid. We stopped the bleeding.
Lester's pitching was okay. Not terrible, not good. An improvement from his last start, but he's still using up way too many pitches, and as Don and Remy mentioned last night, he seems to have lost the ability to get out of every jam unscathed. But after we gave him a lead, he kept it, so he pitched effectively enough to win.
Big Papi and Little Papi both blasted two-run shots, getting the game off to a good start, and Coco Crisp hit an RBI single. That proved to be all the runs we got, and that proved to be enough. Though all our competition won too, I was happy, and I got to go to bed satisfied for the first time since last Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Six Straight

Somehow it didn't bother me much that we lost last night. I was content at the fact that we played a pretty good game. Snyder was decent. Our offense was decent, save for all the runners left in scoring position, but we've had that problem all season. I'm used to it by now. Pedroia had a pretty good game for his MLB debut, playing solid defense and racking up his first major league hit. He was robbed of a bases-loaded RBI single his first at-bat by Orlando Cabrera.
We lost our sixth straight, we decreased to only 13 games above .500, and with a Yankees loss, a win would have allowed us to gain ground. But the good news is, at least we didn't lost any.
We can still salvage this series. Jon Lester's past few starts have been mediocre. Perhaps tonight he'll find a way to get to 7 innings with a reasonable pitch count. I think he can.
Come on, boys. Let's start winning again.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Another Name for the DL

Now Alex Gonzalez has joined the neverending list of players on the DL. I don't understand. How is it possible for this many players to be hurt in a single season, on a single team? How? I mean, what are the chances of this? So far this season, all of the following important players have made the trip to the DL (in order): David Wells, Coco Crisp, David Riske, Lenny DiNardo, Mike Timlin, Keith Foulke, Matt Clement, Wily Mo Pena, Trot Nixon, Jason Varitek, and now Alex Gonzalez. This is absolutely absurd. Rediculous. I can't even imagine where we would be right now sans injuries. Wells could have had a solid season. Coco too. Clearly his injury had some effect on his bat. Lenny could have given our bullpen some much-needed help. Same for Foulkie. Wily Mo could have been a powerful bat off the bench all season. Trot and Tek are clearly missed. And Gonzo's defense is the best of our entire spectacular infield.
I'm excited to see Dustin Pedroia. Another member of the future Boston Red Sox. But I'd rather see the Red Sox of the present. And not screw up another kid because our team somehow continues to be wiped out by various injuries.

Low Fives

I didn't even really care that we lost yesterday. We were already so deep in a hole, it didn't even seem to matter that we dug it a little deeper. I never would have expected that we would be swept, four days ago when I was so full of hope. This is clearly the lowest point thus far this season, and somehow I'm emotionless.
We can get it back. We can always get it back.
That's how a Red Sox fan thinks.
My parents are ready for football season. Me, not quite. I always have faith. Maybe it's optimism, maybe it's just pure naivete. A devastating five-game sweep by our archrivals, and I still think we could win it all.
There were promising signs yesterday. We can just focus on those.
David Wells looked fantastic yesterday. He has for his past few starts, and when I see his name on the schedule, rather than feeling sick to my stomach, I feel a small sense of relief.
Keith Foulke, after allowing a runner to score on a wild pitch, also showed promise yesterday, pitching an inning and 2/3 of no-hit baseball.
Wily Mo Pena provided some good offense yesterday (though he was the only one), going 2 for 3 with a homer that gave us our only run. Remind me how many homers Trot has? Four? Though Trot is a much better fielder and a bit more consistent, hitting-wise, he hasn't been missed too much with Wily Mo doing a great job.
In the course of a weekend we got rid of our worst pitchers and called up some of our better (hopefully?) ones. Rudy Seanez and Jason Johnson were FINALLY designated for assignment, and Craig Hansen was sent down to AAA. Craig is going to be great. But he isn't now. I'd much rather that he was down in AAA working on his pitching than up here losing games for us. Keith Foulke came off the DL and so far has yet to give up an earned run. Javier Lopez was called up and we now have a lefty in the pen.
Things are looking a little better for this trip. All the teams we are playing are tough, but we can handle them.
We can do this.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Another Heartwrenching Loss

I cried during the 10th inning yesterday. Because that inning was the straw that broke the camel's back. Last night was a game that we should have, could have, needed to win. And with 7 solid innings from Curt Schilling, who left in line for his 15th win, it seemed that that was going to happen. The bullpen was only asked for two innings with one or less runs allowed. And since Papelbon was all but certain to pitch the ninth, and a scoreless ninth, the rest of the pen only needed to pitch one inning with one earned run. They couldn't handle it. Timlin put two guys on base without recording an out. Then Lopez put a guy on base without recording an out. Terry Francona then had no choice but to bring in Papelbon for two innings, starting with the bases loaded and nobody out. Papelbon did a tremendous job, allowing only a single inherited runner to score on a sac fly, and recording strikeouts for two of the three outs he made that inning. In the 9th, Paps gave up a run to tie the game, but I don't fault him at all. He deserved neither a blown save nor an earned run, because the run would never have scored had it not been for a passed ball by Mirabelli, allowing the runner on second to move to third and then score on a single.
But we failed to score any runs in the bottom of the 9th, despite loading the bases with one out, and Mr. Clutch coming up with a bizarre leadoff double. And then I saw Hansen warming in the pen.
I knew it was over.
I knew it as soon as they said his name.
I knew it as soon as he gave up a homer.
I knew it as I went to bed, disgusted, after he gave up another, 2-run homer.
We need Tek. We need Wake. We are going nowhere but down in the standings without them. Their impact on this team is enormous.
We are in danger of being swept by the Yankees. After all the hype about the series. After our team was so good the first half. I am absolutely humiliated by what has happened to our team.
And I think that the heartbreaking loss last night was more than just that. I saw our bullpen collapse like a deck of cards. Even with Rudy Seanez and Jason Johnson, who I consitered our two very worst pitchers, designated for assignment, we have no one. Schilling and Paps. But if no one can hold the lead between those two guys, we can't even win those games.
This is not a championship team. Not at all.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


I haven't posted since before my game Friday. Couldn't bring myself to. I had fun Friday, but it seems that this is the beginning of the end for the 2006 Red Sox. Our offense was spectacular. We rallied back so many times, had so many timely hits. On most days, 11 runs will win you a ball game. But with this pitching staff, it was not the case. Our pitching has become abysmal. Utterly atrocious. Yesterday I didn't even watch the game. Some friends and I went to the beach and shopping, and then we watched the Patriots preseason game and I slept over. The Patriots game was much better than the Sox one, as it turned out. The Pats won, 30-3, and played an all-around great game. Matt Cassel, who I love (okay, I love both quarterbacks), showed huge improvement, and he got his first two touchdown passes of the year.
At least one of our teams knows how to win.

Go Sox.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Off to the Fens

I'm off to Fenway, and I'm excited out of my mind. I'll be wearing jeans, a red Youkilis shirt and a blue Sox hat, but I probably won't be on TV or anything. Anyways, go Sox!!!

A Guest Post

Good morning, and today I have a guest post by a very talented guy named Peter! Basically, everything I was planning to write, he had already written, and written well, so with his permission I decided to paste it here as well:

Today's dawn was partly cloudy, with temperatures to rise from 60 degrees into the upper 70s. Not humid. Not hot, but comfortable. And it will be just so for the sixty thousand plus fans that will settle into their seats at the old ballpark in the city of Boston, the city we love. But while the weather will be calm, the mood, the atmosphere at the Fens will be anything but. Ya see, the Yankees are in town. Arod, Jeter, Torre, and the rest of the cast that we know so well. Five games in four days. First place on the line. And Jason Johnson will be the first of five pitchers whose job it is to shut down the Yankees as best they can. And their best is what we, Red Sox fans all, will need. Setting the tone, and not just for tonight's game but the entire series, will be Jason Johnson, the diabetic who will take the mound shortly after 1pm. He's looking to not rely on his off speed pitches. And Wang, the opening starter for the pinstipers, will rely on his heavy ground ball inducing sinker. Uneffective in his last start, we hope that trend continues, if only until dinnertime. We hope to wear him down by being patient at the plate, making him throw a ton of pitches. If it's not too far down in the strike zone, swing for the base hit, the line drive. Stay away from the ground ball. That's the key. That and the hope that JJ does not put us in an early hole. The key to JJ? Get out of the first inning unscathed!! No looking forward to game number two, for the mood and the air itself will become charged, lightning like, with a game one victory. And the city, Red Sox Nation itself, sits and waits, maybe nervous, certainly confident, for that first pitch. Enjoy everyone, and think of how much fun game number two will be on the heels of a Sox win this afternoon. For these games are big. The last appearance at Fenway for the Yankees at our home will be a memorable time. Let's hope we can look back at this next month with smiles, and be able to say THIS is when we started our push, our shove, to October greatness. Push. Shove. TODAY.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

All Was Wells

When David Ortiz's 42nd homer gave us a 2-run lead and David Wells gave the lead right back, it seemed that we were in for another devastating loss in which our shaky pitching staff blew a lead. Then Coco Crisp came up big with his second hit of the night, a 2-run double off the Monster, and following that, the young arms of Hansen and Papelbon managed to close this one out and avoid the sweep. Paired with a Yankees loss, we moved up a game in the standings just in time for a five-game weekend series against the Evil Empire.
David Wells pitched well last night (pardon the way-overused pun). He didn't pitch a gem, with 6.2 innings and 4 earned runs, but he pitched effectively enough to get his second straight win. If Wells remains this reliable, and pitching against the league-leading Tigers should have been a good test, it will be a huge addition to our injury-laden starting pitching staff. Imagine, following the return of a healthy Tim Wakefield, a starting pitching rotation of Beckett, Schilling, Wakefield, Lester and Wells. All five are very capable of winning. No more question marks. That would be amazing.
And finally, I think (hope?) that Coco Crisp is finally, finally heating up. A hot Coco (another humorless pun... excuse my good mood) would boost our offense tremendously. He has been doing well as a leadoff hitter, squaring to bunt several times last night (though only succeeding once, in a sacrifice bunt), going 2 for 3, and even working a walk. In addition, he made a fantastic catch out in center field. For me, Coco is just one of those guys you just really want to see do well. I think his injury threw him way off, thus his subpar hitting. I really would like to see him make an impression at the end of the season, so our front office will sign him for another season or two instead of trade him like they tried to earlier this season. I think he could blossom in Boston. The fans (er, I) love him, he's spectacular defensively, and we know that he can be a solid leadoff guy. Plus, he's fast... and way cheaper/younger than Damon.
Today's an offday, the calm before the storm. Tomorrow begins a huge series against the Yankees... including a night game which I will be watching from VIP seats! Thank God they switched the schedule so I get to see Lester and not Johnson.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

On the Wrong End of a Duel

Heading into the sixth inning, it seemed that we might be in line for another 1-0 victory. Schilling had been shutting out the Tigers, his opponent having given up only one run on a solo shot to Coco Crisp, one of my personal favorite Red Sox. Then in the seventh, Schill gave up 2 runs to give the Tigers the lead, and you can't do that to the best team in baseball. Though on most nights Schill's pitching line of 7 innings with 2 earned runs would equal a win, the best pitching staff in the major leagues would let our hitters tie the game, but never regain the lead. When Wily Mo Pena suffered a mental lapse while catching a fly ball, the winning run scored for the Tigers and our night was over.
We can't be giving away any games. We could have won last night. The team that led the AL East for nearly the entire first half doesn't seem so great anymore. I will always have faith that my team can win in the postseason. But right now, it doesn't seem too likely.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I just heard just about the best news of my life!!! My dad, a dermatologist, has a patient who's a part owner of the Yankees, and the patient got him 5 VIP tickets to the Red Sox game Friday! I can't even believe it! VIP tickets, folks!
I can't even remember the last time I was this excited. Oh my God. This is amazing!

Rainy Tuesday

The first pitch Josh Beckett threw was hit for a leadoff triple, and it was all downhill from there. The Tigers got three runs in the first, and two in the third, and though Beckett didn't give up any more runs for the rest of his night, Terry Francona must have already kissed the game good-bye by the time Beckett was done, because he put in Rudy Seanez. Seanez helped the Tigers put the game out of reach by giving up two runs, and though Craig Breslow relieved Seanez in an impressive fashion, it was too late for the Sox hitters, battling the best pitching staff in the majors. Paired with a Yankees win, our loss put us another game out of first. But with Schilling on the mound tonight I have confidence that we can win this one. After all, the Tigers haven't been quite as dominant since the All-Star break.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Home Again

I missed two exciting games this weekend: a walkoff win thanks to Manny Ramirez and a win in which Mike Lowell hit a grand slam. It could be a little premature, but I think that our 7-run rally in the third on Friday was the spark that lit us up. A sweep of the O's takes away the sting of being swept by the Royals a little. Hopefully we can keep it up and go on a winning tear. It amuses me how much better spirits I am in when my Sox are winning.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Red Sox Nation Breathes a Collective Sigh of Relief

So nothing IS wrong with our team after all. Funny how a win will change your feelings for a team so quickly. Yesterday we were ready to give up our RSN memberships and we thought the Sox had no chance at all at making the postseason. One win later, this is the best team in baseball again.
Mike Lowell was by far the star of the game. He was beaned with a laser in the first inning -- in the head, no less -- yet he stayed in the game, only to prove to us multiple times that he was just fine. He hit a teriffic RBI single, stole third base (THIRD base! Do you even realize how much harder that is then second?), and made what I consider his most fantastic catch of the season. And there's a lot of competition for his best catch. Just a side note: um, why was there a Yankee fan and a Mets fan in the front row of a Red Sox-Orioles game? Seriously. Those were nice seats. Save them for someone whose team is actually playing.
Mark Loretta had a great game as well, going 3 for 4 with some solid defense. Our entire lineup had at least one hit apiece. And David Wells was terrific. He pitched seven solid innings giving up only a lone earned run.
We put it all together yesterday: solid offense, solid defense and solid pitching. That 7-run third could very well be the spark that set us on fire again. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could go on another double-digits winning tear again?
All is right in the world. The Red Sox won, the Yankees lost. And just for good measure, Cleveland won too, with Grady knocking in 3 of the 4 runs they got.
In a few minutes I'm leaving to spend the weekend at my lake house. It's just my brother and I this time, and for only one night, but I'm sure it will be amazing. Plus, I will only miss one game (unless Sunday's is a day game. I don't really feel like checking).
And finally, I have some great news. For me anyways. My dad might be able to get tickets from work to Friday's Red Sox-Yankees game! That would be unbelievable. I'm really psyched.

Friday, August 11, 2006

This Isn't Cool, Guys

This five-game skid is absolutely unacceptable. I have no idea what is happening with our team. I thought maybe Mirabelli's return would help end it. I thought maybe Schilling would help end it. And they did... until the 8th inning when Schilling suddenly couldn't hold his own against the lowly Kansas City Royals. I feel like slapping the guys in the face and reminding them that we needed to sweep the Royals. We needed to. The Royals and Devil Rays were the break we were given in our schedule.
What happened to the adoration I felt for this team during the first half? During our 12-game winning streak and our 17-game errorless streak? I tried to think of the last 5 days as I do when my softball team loses. It's just one game. It's not that important. We're only human. We can't win them all. But the Sox are not the same as my softball team at all. We're a bunch of fifteen- and fourteen-year-old girls, and it's not even our regular season right now. The Red Sox are professional athletes being paid millions to perform for one of the most passionate fan bases in sports. And you know what? It IS okay to demand that they win most of their games. That's their job, and they should know that if they don't win, they probably won't be back here next year.
My patience has evaporated. And I feel no comfort in the fact that the Red Sox' fate lies in the bloated hands of David Wells tonight. Especially when neither Schilling or Beckett could come through. But at 7:05, all this pessimism will be gone and again I will have faith that we can come back, that a resurgence is in the cards.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Oh My God

I thought it couldn't get any worse. Well, it just did. We got swept by the worst team in baseball. I have nothing else to say. It's been a while since I was embarrassed to say I'm a Red Sox fan. Thanks, guys. Was a win for my birthday against MLB's worst team really that much to ask?

I'm going to bed. I still can't believe what just happened. Our team is imploding.

Happy Birthday to Me

Well, I had a great title and opening sentence for this post when I went to bed at 11 last night. Finally a win, I was thinking. But then I woke up on my birthday to see that the unstoppable gave up 2 runs, causing his tiny ERA to swell to almost 1. I don't even know what to say. We're falling apart. It could be the absence of Tek, or Nixon, or anything else right now, but we're feeling it to the extreme, especially our pitchers. It's good to see Dave Wallace back to his duties, but let's hope he finds the missing link, fast.
So far my birthday kind of sucks. The gifts I got were good and everything. My parents let me redo my room and get a cell phone, my sister gave me a Coach wristlet and a lip gloss, and my grandparents gave me some cute clothes from Abercrombie and Hollister. But someone really special was supposed to drive down from Connecticut and be with me for my birthday and now he can't because something happened between him and his parents. I think we can all guess what kind of person it is. So excuse my pessimism but I'm really disappointed right now. Anyways, this isn't really the place to be talking about that stuff.

So please, guys. Stop the bleeding for me. Give me a win on my birthday.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

This One Hurts

Last night when baseball's worst team took a 2-0 lead against us, my dad shook his head and said, "This is not a championship team." This was a thought that really made an shook me. Something I hadn't even consitered. And then the harsh reality of it began to settle in. As an optimistic person and a Red Sox fan, every year I have faith that my team is the best, that my team has what it takes to win championships. That's what a Red Sox fan does. Though our pitching is shaky, we have two co-aces in our rotation and a phenominal closer, with a handful of promising young arms. Our defense is the best in the majors. Our lineup is stocked with solid hitters and the huge power boost of Manny, Ortiz, and recently Wily Mo Pena. And all this is nice, but we're not winning games right now. And with the Yankees back to their winning ways, we need to be. Wins and losses are the only thing that count. These Royals are the worst team in baseball. We need to sweep them. Injuries have nothing to do with it. We still need to win. And you know what else? It's really not much fun when we're losing. Having lost the last three, and six of the last ten, my mind is beginning to wander away from the Sox. Because, really, what's fun about watching your team slip in the standings? And though I faithfully watch every game, cheer for every base hit, and mimic the pitchers' fist pumps with every strikeout they record, there's a sinking feeling in my stomach every time I go to bed after a loss.
I hope it's not true, but I fear that my dad is right.
Please, Beckett, prove me wrong tonight.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Last night I had a softball doubleheader, yet the combined two games added up to less innings than a regular game because there was another team waiting for the field. The first game was four innings, the second only 2. I only had three plate appearances. First, I was hit by a pitch (no worries, it hit me in the butt =) , so it didn't hurt). Then I beat out an infield single, and then I worked an 8-pitch walk on an at-bat that started with an 0-2 count. I also had 2 stolen bases, and that's pretty much it. Not too much happens in a total of 6 innings. We won the first game and lost the second in the bottom of the last inning.
Since there was no baseball last night, that is pretty much all I can write about right now.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Tables Turn

Yesterday's loss was painful. Plain and simple. Once the laughingstock of our pitching staff, Jason Johnson pitched by far his best start in a Red Sox uniform. He gave up a single earned run (and one unearned, though due to his own error) in six innings of work. He was getting ground-ball outs like he needed to, and our infield was doing what they needed to do. Big Papi blasted his 40th homer, and all was looking good for Red Sox Nation. Then came out a handful of usually-reliable pitchers from our dugout: the ever-maturing Manny Delcarmen, the once-ageless Mike Timlin, and the phenominal Jonathan Papelbon. Little Manny, though he gave up the most runs, had me the least worried. I have faith in this kid, and throughout the season we have seen him improve tremendously before our eyes. Mike Timlin seems to have been discintegrating in his past handful of appearances. His ERA has skyrocketed from around 1.50 to 3.29, and his home run total keeps growing. (Well, ok, it's only at 5, but it seems so much higher.) He looks his age, and I'm beginning to wonder whether he has a slight problem with mechanics, or he's just getting old. He had been the co-anchor of our bullpen, along with Papelbon, and he needs to get back to his first-half dominance or it will be a huge problem in our pen. Finally, Papelbon gave up just his fourth earned run of the season on a solo homer to tie it in the eighth. I'm too lazy to check and see if I'm correct, but I believe that most if not all of his earned runs have come when he was asked for more than one inning of work. I know he's young, and he was raised as a starter, but I think he should stick to either closing for the ninth only, or starting. If he only has three outs to get, his intensity is so focused on one little inning. If he has to spread out that intensity for more than that, his focus doesn't seem to be as strong. This is fine for a starter, who is asked to go six or seven innings and give up maybe 1 to 3 runs on an average start. As a closer, he needs to be lights-out. He's only brought in for save situations, so he can't give up any runs. He seems much better at this daunting task if he pitches only an inning.
Julian Tavarez was the one who blew it for us. I've come to expect this from him. When my mom sees him warming in the bullpen, she automatically writes us down as a loss. I'm sorry Kaylee, and I'm glad that he's such a great person and everything, but he sucks. It's baseball. It's Red Sox. Either perform or you get traded. Personality has nothing to do it.
And finally, I would like to point out a major difference I've noticed between Yankees and Red Sox fans. When the Yankees had all the injuries, all you heard from Yankee fans that they were barraged with injuries. They told you that this was the only reason their performance was subpar. It was their excuse. Now let's look at the Red Sox DL. The extensive list includes Tim Wakefield, Matt Clement, Lenny DiNardo, Keith Foulke, Trot Nixon, and Jason Varitek. In addition, Doug Mirabelli is out for a few days with a twisted ankle, as is Mike Lowell after fouling a ball off his foot, and David Wells, Coco Crisp, and Wily Mo Pena each had long DL stints as well. Yet (most) Red Sox fans aren't using it as an excuse. We are explaining our current .500 baseball with analyses of our active roster. Schill and Beckett need to stop giving up homers. Lester needs to lower his pitch count. Coco needs to heat up. Belli needs to start hitting.
And despite our mediocre playing, we still see the good. Manny has a career-best 22-game hitting streak. David Ortiz just made a franchise record with three straight 40-homer seasons. Curt Schilling was just the second pitcher with 14 wins. Wily Mo Pena has been rising to the challenge, both offensively and defensively. Coco's been hitting a little better.
This is what we do. We're Red Sox fans. We leave the excuses to the Yankees and we always look for the good. Our faith never dies. The Royals are coming to town tomorrow. I think that after an off-day, a pathetic team like Kansas City is just what we need to get a win streak going.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Sitting here at my computer, back in my room again, and somehow I have nothing to type. The Sox are only mediocre right now, and would be even worse if not for several walkoff wins. I know we will get hot again, but only if our bench players can pull through. We have a great bench, thank God, because we seem to be losing a starter a day.
I can't really say much about my vacation either, because everything I can say would be an understatement. My lake house and the people there are absolutely amazing. The lake itself is beautiful. Sunsets over the lake, especially wakeboarding at sunset... oh my God. Just breathtaking. And my friends there... I won't even try and explain the bond we have. It's not something that can be expressed in words. My love for them is enormous.
So while I'm glad to be back with my Internet and my Sox, my heart still aches for the lake. I plan to go back with my brother next weekend to see everyone, and again for Labor Day. So I'm sorry if this post doesn't make much sense, or have much to do with baseball. I'm kind of living in memories right now.
Thanks to everyone who left comments at my last post, mostly Peter and Kaylee. That was awesome. And Kaylee, I'm sure you had an amazing time at Fenway. That was a great series, because we had two walkoff wins and you got to see GRADYSIZEMORE! I can't wait for any pictures you have! You can email them to me or post them on your blog, whichever you want.