Showing posts with label Okajima. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Okajima. Show all posts

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Trecherous: Okajima Signs With Yankees

Man, I thought I was upset about this whole Josh Reddick thing, and then I find out that Okajima signed a minor league deal with the Yankees? Why don't you just twist that knife a little bit more, Oki?

I didn't fault him for being upset after being taken off the 40-man roster. It's hard to fault a guy for actually wanting to play and wanting to be a useful member of the team. I agreed with that decision at the time because Oki was struggling and he wasn't helping anyone, but I've always liked the guy.

He was the throw-in. He was the guy they brought in to be BFF's with Dice-K, who wasn't expected to be spectacular but would still get outs. Well, he was spectacular, and when he would come out of the bullpen, you knew that the game was in good hands. A good portion of the time, his speed didn't crack the 90's, but he kept the hitters confused. Not many would argue that he ended up being a valuable part of the team longer than Dice-K did... though Dice is still technically part of the team and may once again prove valuable (not holding my breath).

Okajima once signed a baseball for my mom in spring training, and that was all she could talk about for the rest of vacation. That baseball is proudly displayed in her living room (next to two signed Jason Varitek baseballs), and it makes both her and I happy whenever we see it. Also, the Okajima song is the finest piece of music ever written. Perhaps I'm being a tad hyperbolic, but I love that entrance theme. I can't hear it and not sing along. I just can't.

But now Oki is a Yankee... at least a minor one... and I just have to thank him for all he's done and boo the hell out of him if he ever pitches against us. Sigh.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saturday: Washed Away

Tito at US Cellular Field in Chicago, Sept 5th, 2009... just because.

I don't want to post another Blame It On The Rain video.... but you can just pretend I did. Instead of pretending it's still Saturday, I'll use this post as an excuse to jot down some tidbits about what's gone on/is going on. Yay, bullet points!

-Daniel Bard's friend, Matt Hill, who had been missing for five days has been found. He's safe and ok, and I'm glad this didn't end badly. Now it's up to his friends and family to figure out why he went missing to begin with.
-Marco Scutaro will be re-evaluated on Monday, and we may see him back some day in the future.
-Bobby Jenks (booo!) will return to the team either Monday or Tuesday (boooo!!!!).
-John Lackey is on schedule to return from the DL on June 5th. Since I have tickets to the June 5th game, I would greatly appreciate anyone who wants to hit a line drive off his leg or something... not enough to seriously injure him, but enough to set him back for a few days. Thanks!
-ESPN, who originally was going to stop us from watching game two of the doubleheader tonight, has granted NESN an exception to televise the game. This means that we WILL get to watch the Beckett-Verlander rematch tonight. Thanks, ESPN. This makes me like you just a little bit.
Hideki Okajima was outrighted to Pawtucket. The guy who replaced him, Franklin Morales, is headed to the DL with a strained something or other. The Sox have brought Bowden up, and I'm sure Oki is punching a wall somewhere. At least he's still ours.
-I'm going to wait a few minutes before I post my review of the game that just ended. No instant gratification around here. Oh no!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Farewell... Again?: Oki DFA'd

Are we actually losing Oki this time? There were many post-game moves last night, the saddest one being that Hideki Okajima was designated for assignment. I don't know if he'll accept an assignment to Pawtucket... I hope he does. If he is leaving us, I will regret that I didn't snap a few shots of him warming in the bullpen last night. I should have taken at least a few. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Oki lands somewhere good.... like Pawtucket. Hey, I don't want to lose him for real!

Also, Theo signed washed up pitcher Kevin Millwood. If we're going to sign a washed up pitcher, as quite a few people suggested last night, why not sign Pedro? I don't care who you are. If you are a Red Sox fan, you feel better losing with Pedro than with Millwood. Same thing with Wakefield-Lackey. Losing with someone you love hurts less.

And then there is the pickup of Franklin Morales. I'll reserve judgement for after he pitches a few games with us. I don't want to instantly hate him just because he took Oki away.... but I might.

And futhering all of that news, creepy shortstop Jose Iglesias, who took a creepy picture with me and my friend before the game (but he's adorable and I love him), and Michael Bowden are being sent back down the Pawtucket express and Drew Sutton is coming up to replace them. Wow, that was a busy night for Theo. But seriously, GM-Man.... get Pedro on the phone. I promise, I won't be mad over that signing.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Holy Offense, Batman: Sox Score 9. No, the Red Sox. Yes, I'm Serious!

Oh, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I'm a jerk for having complained about the offense, right? You're thinking that I should stop complaining and just be patient with them because they'll come around and yesterday's game proves that. That's what you're thinking, isn't it? Well you're wrong! I HAVE to call them out and complain about them, because if I don't, they won't have any other way to make me look like a jackass for my impatience. I am well aware of this. They do it to me all the time, so I know I have to complain so they can prove me wrong. Maybe I've not been complaining enough.

For the second night in a row, the Sox have the great misfortune of having to face another team's ace. Sunday, it was Felix Hernandez, who as I've discovered, is not really a king. He's actually just an ace. Better than being a spade, I guess. Monday, we had the pleasure of facing undefeated Jered Weaver. Awesome! Just what we need when we're struggling to keep the offense rolling, right? Actually, it is right. Way to step up the game to match the level of the competition, boys. Now, can we work on not stepping DOWN the game to match the level of crappier competition? Thanks!

Pardon the pun, but the Sox got the ball rolling in the bottom of the first with an RBI single from some guy wearing #20, driving in some guy made of pretzel sticks.... er... I mean, Ellsbury. No, I swear I'm gonna stop saying that about him. Eventually. Anyhows, Dahmer ended up going 6.2 innings. He wasn't awesome, giving up 8 hits and two runs, but he did have that all-important Quality Start that we need and love so much. Both runs came off the bat of Bobby Abreu, who just won't f'n stop torturing us. God, you're not a Yankee any more! Cut it out! The third inning RBI was a single and the 5th inning run was due to a force out. It was nothing super troubling.

Our guys, though... the hitters? I liked them. I'm actually going to petition the league so that we get no days off and spend all of our games playing the Angels. They're the only team that brings out the best in our boys. Hell if I know why. Weaver blanked us for three innings (2 through 4), but we brought out the bats again in the fifth. Dustin Pedroia, you insanely mighty midget you.... Dustin battled against Weaver in a 13 pitch monstrosity of an at-bat that would have been devastating had it ended any differently. Not a single pitch was a called strike. Thirteen pitches it took, but Pedroia made Weaver bend to his will, and he smacked a single up the middle, driving in two runs and giving the Sox their lead back. My grandchildren's grandchildren will tell tales of Pedroia's greatness. But even they won't believe that he's 5'9". No chance, Munchkin. Sorry.

Munchkin's greatness just prompts others around him to be great. That fifth inning at bat was fantastic, but it merely lit the flame for the firestorm of offense they brought in the seventh. My dear Jason got the wheels moving with a one-out single. CRW saw his single and upped him a double. If Jason weren't as slow as dried paint, he may have been able to score, but I'm not judging him. I love him and his slowness. Munchkin cuts his pitches per plate appearance in half and only takes five to walk, loading the bases for Ernie. In five bases-loaded at-bats this season, Gonzalez now has two hits as he took a Francisco Rodriguez fastball into center for a double. Despite being as slow as dried paint, Tek managed to make it around to score, Ellsbury and Pedroia right behind him. Literally. They pretty much were stepping on his shoes waiting for him to cross home plate. A #20 double brought Ernie home, and then Papi brought the inning home with a 2-run home run. It was pretty spectacular. Wish I had been there to cheer for it.

Dan Wheeler allowed a 2-run shot to Wells in the 8th and Oki allowed an RBi double in the 9th to Maicer Izturis, but that was it. Your final score, 9-5 Boston. The funny, and scary, thing is, we actually got outhit in this game 13 to 11. Still, not leaving three hundred men in scoring position leaves me with a sunny outlook this morning. I'll be at the park tonight to watch my favorite baseball Binky take on Dan Haren. What are the odds that we'll get to Homeless Haren again? I don't know, but you know my review tomorrow is going to be full of the name Dan Haren. Just cause it's fun. Happy Tuesday, everyone.

And way to go, Bruins!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Best Entrance Theme Ever: Oki Back in Boston

The news is that Doubront has been sent back down to the minors and he-of-the-awesome-entrance-theme has been called back up for today's game. That's right. Everyone say hello to Hideki! I'm glad he's back. That way, I have a chance of once again hearing "O-K-A-J-I-M-A! Okajima!" Hopefully he pitches as well here as he did in Pawtucket. Best of luck, Oki! And don't worry, Felix, you'll be back. I promise.

Game time, folks! JD gets to lead off today because Crawford... well, he needs a little breathing room. Tek's catching for the mystical and baffling Dice-K, and Lowrider again holds steady at short. I don't know what to expect from today's game, but I sort of have a stomach ache about it. Hopefully Dice-K can alleviate that a bit. Despite being stuck at work, I'm gonna enjoy the heck out of early baseball... because we're on the west coast starting tomorrow. Yawn!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Okajima: It's So Hard To Say Goodbye

I know this was actually announced last week, but it was a hard week for me, and I'm trying to catch up now. It was announced that the Red Sox have non-tendered Hideki Okajima and he will be moving on. This is awfully hard for me because I liked Oki and his wacky delivery, but it was time.

Okajima has been on a slow decline for a while. Actually, pretty much since 2008. It wasn't as noticeable then, but the numbers were starting to slip. The guy only throws his fastball in the mid-to-high 80's. It was inevitable for the collective offensive monster of the American League to catch up to it. He was living off of pinpoint location and a little bit of trickery for a long time and we all knew it couldn't last forever. In his four wonderful seasons with the Red Sox, Oki posted ERA's of 2.22, 2.61, 3.39, and 4.50. His walks were (slightly) up in 2010, and his strikeouts were down. To me, that tells me that people were finally figuring him out. I don't know what the future holds for Oki. My guess is that it probably involves the National League somewhere. If it does, I wish him nothing but the best.

I will always remember Oki for three things; signing a baseball for my mom in Ft. Meyers, his absolutely fantastic 2007 which helped make the Sox world champions once again, and his delightfully addictive theme song. Yes, I AM going to miss hearing, "O....K.... A.... J.... I... M.... A. Okajima!" and chances are, a little part of you is going to miss it, too. The bullpen of 2007 was special. Sure, they didn't break a curse but honestly, there just aren't that many curses around to break. What they DID do was dominate when we needed them to. They entertained us. They were a band, and they were pirates. They kept it loose and seemed to genuinely enjoy their time out in the pen.

I am going to miss Oki. I just hope he lands with a fanbase that appreciates his entrance theme. Good luck, Oki!

EDIT: Yeah, I know he re-signed with the Sox, but I like this post so I'm keeping it. Welcome back, Oki!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Laser Show: Most Entertaining Thing On TV

I'll tell you one thing... when Pedroia promises a laser show, I believe him. Now, he didn't specifically go out of his way to promise one for the final game of the Rockies series, but after his struggles earlier in the month, he was confident that there would be plenty of shows over the season. He was right, but I'm sure there aren't many people who doubted him. Not anymore anyway.

Sure enough, Pedroia WAS the show on Thursday, June 24th against the Rockies, going 5 for 5 with a walk, a single, a double, and three home runs, including the 2-run home run he hit in the top of the 10th. We can all sit around disappointed that he didn't hit a double, or we can just marvel at Munchkin. When he struggles, he doesn't carry it with him. He is able to turn himself around and get back on track each time, and each time, he does it more dramatically. How much more dramatic can you get than 5 for 5? You can't do it. He might be able to do it, but you can't. To this day, I still feel stupid for ever thinking that Pedroia wasn't ready to be an every day second baseman. I am SO glad he proved me wrong, and I will absolutely never doubt him again.

It was a typical outing for Dice-K. In five innings, he threw 105 pitches, hit a batter, walked four, and allowed two runs on five hits. Calling this a typical outing makes me sort of sad, but it is. He went through a really good stretch where he was throwing strikes and not nibbling, but in his first game back from the disabled list, he nibbled. It's fine. He didn't end up with a decision, and he didn't give us a heck of a lot of innings, but it's fine. Next time around, he'll probably pitch a complete game.

The sixth inning got awfully ugly awfully fast. Dice-K came out of the game with a 6-2 lead. Delcarmen relieved him, faced three batters, and didn't get a single out. After loading the bases, Oki came in and immediately allowed those runs to score on a 2-run single by Todd Helton, and an RBI single to Miguel Olivo. After he allowed all of Delcarmen's runs to come in (granted, he did manage 2 outs in that time), he allowed a bases-loaded 2-run single to Ian Stewart, and was taken out in favor of Rambo. Now, for those keeping track at home, that's 2 pitchers, 2/3rds of an inning, 38 pitches, and five runs. Rambo can't shut them down either, allowing an RBI single to Clint Barnes before being able to get Ryan Spilborghs to line out to Scutaro. Total for the sixth inning from Red Sox pitching? 1 inning, seven hits, six earned runs, one walk, no strikeouts, 43 pitches, three pitchers. Those are some scary numbers.

Our boys were able to re-take the lead in 7th. After singles from Nava and Pedroia, a ground out from Papi, and an RBI single from Beltre, Jason Varitek stepped to the plate (swoon!) and knocked a 2-run double into right field, making the score 9-8 Sox. Oh, that Jason. He's so fantastic, isn't he? I think he is. They added further distance between themselves and the Rox in the 8th on Pedroia's second home run of the game, scoring Daniel Nava to make the score 11-8 Sox. Unfortunately, though, in the bottom of the frame, Scott Atchison, who has just been fantastically important to our bullpen, allowed a run to score, bring the tally to 11-9 Sox. It would stay that way until the ninth, when in stepped Paps.

Fresh off of his implosion the night before, Papelbon was determined to close out the game quickly and easily. Once again, though, he failed. He did get the first batter on a strikeout, but then allowed consecutive singles to Todd Helton, Carlos Gonzalez, and the painful 2-run single to Brad Hawpe, bringing Papelbon's pitching total for his two days of work in Colorado (at that point) to 1 IP, 6 hits, 5 runs. Sure, he came back after Munchkin hit his third home run of the day (his second 2-run shot), and closed out the bottom of the 10th, but his shakiness over the Rox series was concerning.

It's fine, though. We got a laser show and avoided the sweep. Next, on to San Francisco to visit the Giants!

Hairy Chested Red Sox: Falling Apart In The Mountains

Playing the Rockies again meant one thing for sure... we would hear the name Bob Apodaca about a hundred times per night. I wasn't disappointed. There was a mention of Apodaca around every corner... every pitch, it seemed. And Mr. Apodaca, who we ALL know is the pitching coach for the Rockies, made me hearing his name one hundred times worth my while when we were reminded of this quote:

"Big, hairy-chested guys, one right after another, that work the count, that pounce on your mistakes. Power and quality hitting from the left-hand side and the right-hand side. More speed in the lineup. ... They create a lot of pressure on you."

Bob Apodaca, I do not know why you've been staring at the chests of our players, but I think I found a reason to love you. I laughed out loud, and I sure needed to laugh. I definitely wasn't laughing after the game, but I got to laugh during it. Thanks, Bob!

Jon Lester got the start against the Rockies in a rematch of game four of the 2007 World Series. Lester, of course, got the win in that game, introducing himself as a future ace for the Sox. More importantly, he got run support in that game. This time around, he didn't. In the six innings that Lester was on the mound, the Sox managed to score a grand total of zero runs. In fact, they only mustered three singles. So while Jon was good (not great), he ended up with a tough-luck loss that left a bad taste in my mouth. I like pitching duels, but they are the most painful kinds of losses to me. When your pitcher is throwing a gem, and ends up losing by one run, it stings. Especially when his offense has the bases loaded twice and can't get anything out of it... that's when it hurts. But, it's one loss, and we can put it behind us.

Oki irked me. He irked me because he just had to go and give up another run. Had he not done that, we would have been tied after nine and we still could have won. I mean, we probably wouldn't have, but we could have. I guess I need a scapegoat for my unhappiness, and Oki gets the job on this occasion. Whatever. Like I said... one loss. We lose, we move on.

Also, I'll never pick on Mikey... even though I'm pretty sure he wasn't even trying to hustle down the line in the 9th. Yes, he's slow, and he's got a surgically repaired right hip, and he had been on the bench for the entire game, but maybe a little hustle? I don't know. Like I said, I won't pick on him. It just seems like we let this one get away. Shame.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Things I Like: Finally Matching Things The Sox Are Doing

In what is probably the first action of the off-season that I have whole-heartedly approved of, the Red Sox avoid salary arbitration with Okajima and give him a contract full of wonderful, shiny things*. And dollars. He specifically wanted the dollars.

*Disclaimer: Shiny things not included.

I like avoiding arbitration. I'm not sure if I had ever mentioned that before, but it seems like such a messy process. Besides that, I like Okajima. I really do. If you've never been to a game where Okajima has pitched, and you have not heard that ear drum-shatteringly TERRIBLE song that he comes out to, you have not lived. Oh, it's terrible. And not only will it get stuck in your head, it will also burrow deep into the brainmeats, taking control of your body and making you do things you'd never do... namely, download the awful Okajima entrance theme. If the virus gets bad enough, you put said theme on your iPod and force your co-workers to listen to it on repeat all day on a Friday.

No, I didn't do that yet. But, you know what? I'm gonna. And I'm not going to tell anyone when it's coming. But when it does, I promise, every one will be walking out of the office singing "Okajima.... oki-dokie!"

Man, I hope they never change that song. And yay for pitching! Happiness for a Friday morning before a long weekend.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Last Night's Game: Bleurgh!

Pardon me while I vomit for a few seconds. Man.... that was just flat out awful. It was disgusting, and...


OK. I think I got it out of my system for a while. It is no longer Tuesday. It is Wednesday. Do you know what happens on Wednesday if the weather behaves? That's right. We get Beckett. Being the gamer that Beckett is, don't think for a second that he has any intention of trusting our bullpen with any kind of lead. He's going nine today. Because unlike Fetus, Oki, Saito, and Paps, Beckett knows that we're facing the Orioles, and they ARE NOT A GOOD TEAM!

Not a good goddamned team at all! They're what, 12 games out of the division with four of the best teams in baseball in front of them?! That should have never happened. Unfortunately it did, and I am ultra-annoyed... especially because it was the Orioles. Wow, ok, I guess it wasn't completely out of my system yet. Deep breath... we're ok. It was a blip. You're not going to see our awesome bullpen give up ten runs every night.

But, because that was such a horrendous game that we need some kind of sugar coating to make it easier to swallow.... some positives from last night! Check me out, I'm gonna give you reasons to not be angry.

Positive number ONE! Did you see Smoltz? Did you see him?! He was great. I know, it was the Orioles, and I can't emphasize enough how bad of a team I think they are (because they're a bad team... who just happened to kick some serious Sox butt last night), but he was fantastic. He's going to get better as he gets stronger and more comfortable on a big league mound again. This, above all else should be a big smile-inducing point for everyone except Clay Buchholz. Don't worry, Clay, there's always next year to make the big club.

Positive number TWO! Our offense scored ten runs. We were having some issues with scoring runs in the last couple of games, in case you weren't aware, but they pulled their act together and managed to string together hits and home runs and general awesomeness. Who doesn't like to see that?

Positive number THREE! Manny Delcarmen didn't give up a run. He even got more outs than baserunners (2 outs, 1 baserunner)... whereas the same cannot be said for some of our other relievers. So MDC was the shining star of the black-hole of a bullpen we had last night. Way to go, Manny!

Positive number FOUR! Did you know 'Tek is now batting .238 with 11 home runs? Did you expect even this from Tek this year? Neither did I, and I love the guy. So take that however you want it, because I am happy with Tek.

Positive number FIVE! We have two players batting over .300 and Jacoby Ellsbury is one of them! No way, right? Really. He's at .303. Color me impressed.... actually now that I think about it, I don't really understand that saying. What color is 'impressed' anyway? How will I even know the color of impressed will match my outfit. Let's just leave me the color I am, and say that I'm happy with Jacoby.

Positive number SIX! Munchkin stole a base! Actually, for the season, he's stolen 14. Dig it, Munchkin can run. Is there anything he can't do? I don't know... he might not be able to reach the high shelves, but that's why we have Fetus. That's why we have him, right? Cause he's tall?

Obviously I'm kidding. I love Fetus. Which leads me to positive number SEVEN! Fetus' 5th and 6th innings were terrific. I guess we have learned that he is a two inning sort of guy, right? Since the 7th inning last night was by far as bad as I've ever seen from him, we can believe that there's no where for him to go but up, right? Right.

Speaking of going up... positive number EIGHT! Jeff Bailey. Making good use of his time in the big leagues. Way to go, Bails.

Positive number NINE!.... uh.... hmm. No one got hurt? This is starting to get difficult.

So, I'm going to end it with this... positive number TEN! We're still in first place in our division. Beat that, everyone else in the AL East.

Monday, April 27, 2009

CRW: If You Fool Yourself, He Will Make You Happy

I'm sure most Sox fans watching the game last night shared that same 'holy shit!' reaction when Ells stole home. I was lying on the floor, stretching my poor back when he took off, and I just remember hearing the commentators scream something on TV, so I looked up quickly (straining the muscle in my back that's been giving me problems all over again) and waited a second just to see our boy flop onto home plate.

He flopped. He didn't slide gracefully, he flopped. It was the best flop I had ever seen.

I remember the shame and embarassment of Carl Crawford's steal of home vs. Jason Johnson. I felt humiliated for Johnson. Stealing home makes the opposing team look bad. I don't care how good of a play it was... it ALWAYS makes the other team look bad. Jacoby made Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada look bad AND made Drew look good at the same time. Without that steal, there is no way Drew would have gotten that double. Because let's face it, Drew was brutal this weekend.

In three games against the Yankees, Drew had 10 AB... he had one hit. One RBI... 2 K's... he grounded into three double plays. In the slugfest on Saturday, Drew's crowning glory was getting 2 walks and scoring a run. We had 16 RBI's in that game, and Drew got exactly zero of them. In all fairness, he wasn't the only one without an RBI... Youk and Green also had zero RBI's. But Youk did walk once, get two hits, and scored 4 runs (he was hit by a pitch, of course). And now JD has a busted leg. Give me a break. He honestly is made out of glass, isn't he?

I'll cut him some slack. Everyone has bad series, but it just seemed like Drew was the constant rally killer. Let's hope when he gets back into games, he'll get himself back in gear. Because my eyes hate bleeding. They really do.

Beckett was ugly on Saturday. Lester was good, but inefficient with his pitches on Friday. Fetus was incredible on Sunday. For that matter Hunter Jones and Michael Bowden were mighty impressive, and Saito is the '07 Okajima of '09. Okajima didn't even do THAT bad. He gave up one run on his own, and 2 runs scored because of a rare error from Munchkin. Our bullpen was incredible. Theirs... not so much. However, terrible call by Tito keeping Beckett in the game when he so obviously didn't have it. Tito was, seemingly, the only one who didn't realize that Beckett was done for the day. Thank God we pulled out that win.

The 'Tek grand slam? Honestly the last thing I expected to happen in this series. I would have predicted Ellsbury stealing home and Mikey ascending skyward in brilliant rays of light and happiness before I ever predicted that GS. Because Tek only has two in his long career. One against the Royals and one against the Orioles... not exactly the cream of the crop in baseball these days. But now... now Tek has three, and he's still yet to hit one off of a formidable opponent.

I kid... but that Yankee pitching staff is pretty bad. I hope AJ, Sabbathia, and eMpTy were worth neglecting the bullpen. My guess is that they're not.

I do, however, request to never have to listen to Joe Morgan again. Ever. He was mumbling something about how Jacoby Ellsbury's base stealing is completely dependant on how often he gets on base.




Jacoby's base stealing is completely dependant on how often he gets on base.



Isn't everyone's base stealing completely dependant on how often they get on base, or is that now a characteristic unique to our boy Jacoby? Just even thinking about what point he was really trying to make causes my brain to twitch. Have you ever had your brain twitch? It's not comfortable. I think that one line did me in for the rest of the game. I had to spend the rest of the innings bedridden. It was terrible, and very cozy all at the same time.

We're counting on Timmy to keep alive the streak that he started. Can he do it? I think he can. Scratch that... I KNOW he can. Go Sox.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oh Captain: I Want to Be There When You're Happy

First game of the year, and Tek and Pedie already got their first home run out of the way. Why didn't you guys save it for when I'm at the game, freezing my butt off! I kid. I'm glad they gave Joshua the run support, because he pitched great and earned the win. 7 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 3BB, 10K? That's a line I can appreciate!

Our boy Oki struggled a bit, but I think the lad will be just fine. I just keep reminding myself that his first game in MLB was a home run, and after that he settled in for a terrific year. Ok, so he had a little bit of a rough go of it last year, too, but come on. The guy doesn't throw in the 90's... if his mechanics are a tad bit off, he's going to get hit. It's perfectly acceptable for his mechanics to be off during his first game of the year. Even if it isn't, I say it is. Fetus did a nice job finishing the inning, even if he did allow the runners to score. And of course, Paps to close it out. The (Devil) Rays finished with 3 hits, 3 runs. But, not to be outdone in their own park on opening day, the Sox finished with 9 hits, 5 runs. Did I mention that Tek hit a home run? Yeah, cause that totally happened. It made me smile. Yes, I was fielding text messages last night congratulating me on his home run, as though I had something to do with it. Hey, he can still kill bears AND baseballs! I really do hope that this carries over for the season, even if it's only partially. I love seeing that he can still make good, strong contact.

Not for nothing, but Shields wasn't really that bad yesterday. He wasn't... um... good, but he didn't completely stink up the place. We just made good contact.

A final note on yesterday's game... Michael Averett, we do not leave the bases loaded, please. This is a bad habit and I don't want to see you starting the ridiculousness of leaving the bases loaded. I'll forgive you this time (and more than likely, every time after this) because I adore you and it was just once. However, please do keep in mind that you are not Tek, you are expected to hit with the bases loaded. (Sorry, Tek, you know I adore you as well... but.... you know)

Nice to see this team hit and pitch well. It's been far too long. Welcome to baseball season, everyone! I'll see you at Fenway tonight

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Just Lost NESN

They're telling me to stand by. I don't accept this... even thought I don't really have a choice.

So Youk shaved. After trimming down a little bit and making himself look like the ultra-hillbilly, he shaved the beast off all together. It's so weird, seeing him looking like that kid that we shuttled up and down from Pawtucket again. It feels like it's been so long since I've seen him without that ridiculous beard. Youk hit a home run to add to our lead a few innings back. Always a good sign.

NESN came back just long enough to show me Saito hitting some little Twin (I have no idea who the guy is, and honestly, I don't much care either). Saito doesn't look too bad, but I think the wind is messing with the guys today.

Beckett, on the other hand, looked great. 30 pitches in 2 innings is exactly how much I like to see our pitchers throw. 5 pitches per batter, three batters per inning is what I like to see. Don't get me wrong, I have no problems with letting pitchers throw less, but in general, 15 per inning works for me. Josh is looking sharp and that makes me happy. I remind myself that it's still spring, and it's still early, but I'm feeling good about what we're seeing so far.

I was happy with Timothy's work today. 2 innings, no runs is good. He isn't as sharp as I'd like to see, but it's hard to make a knuckleball "sharp" to my standards. Still, he has a few mechanical adjustments that need to be made, but he'll be ok. Paps also looked good. Oki let up a few deep fly balls, but they were harmless, so it's not that bad.

I read somewhere this morning that Schilling wants to pitch for the Cubs.... really? Hmm...
(Editor's note... Schilling posted a blog about this very topic... and while I never mentioned that he was definitely coming back, because I hadn't heard that part of the rumor, I do want to clarify that he's not demanding to pitch for them or anything. He would like a chance to help the Cubs the way he helped the Sox. Personally, I think that would be pretty cool.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Charlie Zink: Starring In A Debut to Remember

Ok, Zink wasn't really good last night. I'll chalk that up to him being a knuckleballer, and the knuckleball dancing in magical and mysterious ways that no one really understands. I don't think a demotion was warranted... especially since it means Paul Byrd is being added to the roster.

As if I needed any more reasons to wish Theo Epstein would spontaneously combust. Really? Paul Byrd? Are you f*&^ing kidding me? He's an HGH junkie! Theo, you idiot! Why do we need this guy on our team? You really think he's going to be any better than Dahmer? I shudder to think about the direction this team is going, since Theo doesn't seem to mind picking up drug abusers. Nice job, you useless moron. Why don't you just sign Barry Bonds to replace Mike Lowell. That seems just as logical to me*.

*Disclaimer... I don't think anything Theo does is logical. Sometimes, my distaste for Theo makes me say stupid things.

Again. We need bullpen help, and Theo gets us a drug-addict starter who I affectionately refer to as Gargoyle. Ugh..

If ever there was proof that we needed bullpen help (and maybe that Delcarmen needs to find an apartment in Pawtucket), there was last night's game. Charlie Zink allowed 8 runs, and the bullpen allowed 9 more. 9 runs from our bullpen. Charlie has an excuse... this was his first-ever major league start, and he was facing one of the best offenses in baseball. The rest of the bullpen didn't have an excuse. Thank God 2007 Okajima came to visit yesterday.

On a night where we allow 17 runs, one would assume that we lost the game. But no, thanks to some spectacular offense on our side, we ended up winning. Then again, one would assume if we scored ten runs in the first inning like we did last night, the game would have been a piece of cake. Also not true (see: Bullpen bitching, above). We ended up with 17 hits, 19 runs, 10 BB's, and 6 K's. Munchkin went 5-6. Ortiz hit 2 three-run HR's (in the first!) and a double. Asshat went 2-5, with both of his hits being HR's. It was an offensive explosion. Hopefully they saved some runs for Binky tonight. All in all, it could have gone worse for Zink, but I do think he showed enough promise to maybe get another chance some time this year.

Injury report: Mikey Lowell strained an oblique (an injury that screams Trot Nixon to me)... he's going for an MRI today, and chances are good that he's going to be placed on the DL. Sigh. Get well soon, Mikey!

In other news: Manny was tardy for his game yesterday, and he still hasn't cut his hair.
-The (Devil) Rays lost, so we gained a game on them. Hopefully, we can keep doing that whole gaining games thing....
-Julio Lugo is STILL NOT PLAYING! Thank God for small miracles!

Have a delightful Wednesday, everyone.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bullpen Band: Really off Key

Ugh. Let's face it, that just sucked. But it's ok, because hell, it's June and we're still in first.

Tito is an idiot. I am not one of those people who hates Francona. On the contrary, I rather like him as a manager, and I support his stupid decisions. There's just a warm spot in my heart that makes me unable to completely hate idiots (unless they are Yankee idiots). Also, he's not an idiot regarding everyone. He manages his position players very effectively. I just don't like what he does with the pitching staff. No, I'm not talking about how he spits tobacco juice at them when they walk into the clubhouse. I'm perfectly fine with that. Sometimes I question if Tito is watching the same game I am... my answer to this question is usually 'no, he's watching an episode of House right now.' That is the only logic that explains why he thinks his pitchers will get out of jams they've created themselves. Because that's what House does. Don't deny it.

I know I could not do any better with the pitching staff. If it were up to me, every night that Beckett was not pitching, he'd be in the damn bullpen to pitch relief. And his arm would fall off, oh, I'd say right about three weeks ago. Javier Lopez would never feel a mound under his feet again. Jon Lester would pitch ANY day he felt like it, and Dice-K would only be allowed to pitch on eight days rest. Timlin would only pitch in blowouts, and would be given the job of bullpen enforcer. I would equip him with a rifle and allow him to shoot anyone inflating a beach ball. You really think authorities would arrest him for that? Neither do I. Beachballs have no business at baseball games. So don't vote me in as manager, America. I wouldn't do that to the team I love.

Lucky for me, NOT being in a position to actually make a difference, I can complain all I want and feel completely justified in doing so, as long as I preface the complaining by assuring everyone that yes, I do love this team, and I believe in the manager, and Dennis Eckersley should never shave off the 'stache.

This is my reasoning for the bullpen woes (I'm going to completely ignore the fact that it was 97 degrees with somewhere around 100% humidity during game time yesterday)... they're not practicing enough. No, not practicing baseball! I'm sure they do that plenty. They aren't practicing the band enough! I almost never see it any more.... come to think of it, I don't even remember the last time I saw the bullpen band play. Is it Aardsma's fault? He joined the 'pen and suddenly the music stops? I don't know. What I do know is if you don't practice, you're going to fail in the recital. 7th inning was the recital for Okajima-san, and let's just say he was nowhere near the sharp notes (this is my attempt at pretending I know something about music, so I apologize).

They'll be ok. A few late-night band practices and they'll be right back to normal. They will win games again, just like they've done so many times before.

The Commander, however... I'm just not so lenient with him. When Commander Kickass is on the mound, I expect hellfire and brimstone. I do not expect 70 pitches in 3 innings, and I find that completely unacceptable, as I'm sure Mr. Beckett does. From what I understand, he holds himself to very high standards, so it's only fair that I'm able to hold him to the same standards. Put aside the fact, for the moment, that Beckett is my favorite pitcher in all of baseball right now(Don't tell Pedro Martinez that though. It'll make him sad.) , and has been for quite some time now. I expect him to at least pitch marginally better against the Orioles than Flyswatter pitched against the Royals, and I got no such results. That's the problem with expecting the best... you're almost always disappointed. He's on this team to bring badassery to a new level, not to give up doubles to Ducky. Bad outing. Poorly pitched game all around. Maybe if he would stop sleeping on the job....

But I still adore Beckett, and I still love Okajima despite his many failings this season. And yeah, Tito, I still like you, too. Let's just not make a habit out of this whole losing at home thing, ok? Thanks.