Sox Get Speedy Gathright From Orioles

Boston Trades For Speedy Outfielder

The Red Sox acquired minor league outfielder and former Tampa Bay Rays prospect Joey Gathright from the Baltimore Orioles for a player to be named later.  Gathright has played for the Rays, Royals, Cubs, but never played a game for the Orioles after being traded by the Cubs for Ryan Freel in May.

The 28-year-old will most likely be used in the same way Dave Roberts was used in 2004. Gathright will bring lots of speed and defensive to relatively slow team other than lead-off hitter Jacoby Ellsbury.        


Easy Cheese

Daniel Bard Makes It Look Easy

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Daniel Bard reached 100 mph on the radar gun on Friday night, a rarity in Major League Baseball but almost a certainty every-time Bard toes the rubber.  The rookie right-hander has been very impressive this year, his first year in the big leagues, for Terry Francona and the Red Sox as Bard pitched 1.2 innings on Friday striking out three Blue Jays and giving up only one hit.  

Bard has pitchd 41.1 innings this year, giving up 33 hits and 17 walks while striking out 55.  He has a 3.48 ERA and more importantly, seven holds which has contributed to the success of this year’s Sox bullpen.

Now, he is just a rookie and his body of work is still unfinished but one can’t help but wonder if the Sox decide that Jonathan Papelbon isn’t worth the money in two years, that Bard may be waiting in the wings to take over for cinco ocho. 

Varitek & Papelbon Save Game For Sox

Sox Captain Protects The Plate, Preserving Victory

The Boston Red Sox hoped that Josh Beckett could regain his ace like form on Friday night by shutting down the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.  Beckett struck out nine Jays but gave up two long-balls and lasted only five innings, throwing 108 pitches, as the Boston right-hander walked five hitters in route to an early exit to the showers.  

Luckily for Beckett and the Red Sox, the bullpen pitched four innings of scoreless relief, thanks in large part to a stellar play by Jason Varitek, blocking Travis Snider and the Blue Jays from taking a one-run lead in the eighth inning as the Sox eventual went on to win by the final of 6-5.

Casey Kotchman drove in David Ortiz in the bottom of the eighth on a fielder’s choice as Jonathan Papelbon loaded the bases in the ninth before striking out Rod Barajas and Snider to register his 31st save of the season and the Red Sox 74th victory in 2009.  Hideki Okajimi tallied his fifth win of the year as the Sox look to take the middle game of this series with clay Buchholz squaring off against Ricky Romero on Saturday.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Take A Penny, Release A Penny

Red Sox Release Struggling Starter Brad Penny

With left-handed reliever Billy Wagner set to join the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, the Sox released Brad Penny on Wednesday night to open up a roster spot for Wagner.  Brad Penny, according to Buster Olney of ESPN, asked for a release on Wednesday and was granted it by the Red Sox.

Penny impressed Sox fans early on in the season, fairing well and pitching an impressive six inning win against the New York Yankees.  But things went sour fast for Penny, going 1-6 in his past 11 starts.  Penny (7-8) has a 5.61 ERA but claims that he feels good and is glad to be healthy.  Once he clears waivers on Monday, Penny will have the opportunity to sign on with any team that needs help with their starting pitching.  

Buyer beware, however, as the 230 lbs. Penny has looked awful the past two months, relying heavily on his fastball and lacking any command on his off-speed pitches. Another one of Theo Epstein’s reclamation projects failed to pan out but luckily for the Red Sox help is on the way in the form of Dice-K and Paul Byrd.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Help the Jimmy Fund Strike Out Cancer

WEEI & NESN Helping Out the Jimmy Fund
Today is the annual Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon, broadcast live on NESN and the WEEI Radio Network. Please take some time today to help out those less fortunate, so we can strike out cancer once and for all. Whether it’s five dollars or five hundred dollars, your donation will help out kids who are literally fighting for their lives.
To make a donation, log-on to or call 877-738-1234.

Ortiz Helps Sox Walk Away With A Win

Big Papi Blasts Two Solo-Shots On Wednesday

Tony Pena pitch.  David Ortiz blast.  

Big Papi’s two home run night, marked by a walk-off blast, overshadowed Tim Wakefield’s return to the Red Sox starting rotation as the 43-year-old knuckleballer pitched seven innings in his return from the disabled list. However, his outing was easily overlooked by Ortiz’ multihomer game, with the latter, providing fireworks at Fenway Park and 3-2 victory for the Red Sox.

Big Papi curled a game winning shot around Pesky Pole to give Daniel Bard and the Red Sox their third victory in a row as Papi recorded his 10th career walk-off home run.  Wakefield allowed one run on six hits after seven innings of work but a Scott Posednik home run off Ramon Ramirez in the eighth landed Wake with a no-decision.  

Alex Gonzalez also homered for Boston as all three Red Sox runs came from the long ball as Bard got his first career win.  Ortiz was punished for his late-inning heroics with a celebration at home plate which was Ortiz’ first since September of 2007.

The Sox will look for a sweep of the White Sox on Thursday as Junichi Tazawa takes the mound for Boston.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Wake’s Back

Wakefield Makes Return, Sox Lineups In

Tim Wakefield was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday as the 43-year-old knuckleballer toes the rubber tonight for Boston against Gavin Floyd of the White Sox.  

Here are the lineups for this evenings game, courtesy of Chad Finn from the Boston Globe:

Red Sox
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Victor Martinez, C
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Jason Bay, LF
7. J.D. Drew, RF
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
9. Alex Gonzalez, SS
— Tim Wakefield, RHP
White Sox
1. Jayson Nix, 2B
2. Gordon Beckham, 3B
3. A.J. Pierzynski, C
4. Paul Konerko, 1B
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Jermaine Dye, RF
7. Carlos Quentin, LF
8. Alex Rios, CF
9. Alexei Ramirez, SS
— Gavin Floyd, RHP

Welcome Back Tim Wakefield

Today we feel good.  We’ve won two games in a row and the guys are smacking the ball all over the park.  At the beginning of August we couldn’t hit the side of a barn with a bus, never mind a baseball with a bat, we knew our hitters were too good to continue that way indefinitely, but it was hard to watch them struggle.  As the bats have heated up, pitching has gotten a little ragged around the edges, but Jon Lester pitched well last night, too well to lose a win on a wild pitch, and if Tim Wakefield makes a triumphant return this evening we’ll be getting the brooms out and sweeping the White Sox out of town.  Life is always a little bit more fun and rainbows when the Red Sox are winning.  Hard to believe just a few days ago, Friday night to be exact, we felt completely humiliated by the Yankees and almost ready to toss in the towel on the entire season.  That series, plus the Texas series, is the gravity keeping my enthusiasm over this series in check.
Feeling a little seasick Red Sox fans? This past month has been a stormy ride and opinions regarding the team have been just as volatile.  We’re either doomed to lose, not only this season, but indefinitely after, or we’re playoff bound and destined to win the whole shebang.  The pendulum seems to swing wildly depending on whether the boys from Beantown have won or lost on the previous evening.  I’ll admit to occasionally being caught up in the bi-polar win/loss mood swings, but right now my opinion lies mired in the middle.  Are we good enough to make the playoffs? Yes. Are we good enough to win the World Series? I’ll play it safe and say never say never.
Squeaking into the October show is not going to be a lasting or fun experience if we don’t start finding ways to beat playoff-caliber teams.  We’ve been losing to the Yankees at an alarming rate over the last few weeks, it’s becoming difficult to remember that we started the season series against them at 8-0.  As if the Yankee humiliation wasn’t enough, we also did some losing to our current Wild Card rivals down in Texas and Tampa.  We won against Batimore, Toronto and Detroit.  Detroit may be a first place team, but the other two are the cellar dwellers of our division. The once high flying Blue Jays haven’t been the same since we swept them in May and the Orioles are still waiting for the cavalry to arrive from the farm.  The most frustrating factor in all of this is Red Sox still have the tools to dominate.  This is the same team that went 9-3 playing 4 first place, and currently playoff  bound, teams in a row back in June.  We’ve been scratching our heads since the All-Star Break, wondering where the wheels fell off.  Remember May and June when the team was “boring” and “successful?”  Those days seem like they happened in another season.
We haven’t played ourselves out of contention.  We still lead the Wild Card by a game and a half.  The season is far from over and and I’m not meaning to paint a rain cloud over the Red Sox prospects in this year’s post-season, but volatility does not usually lead to success.
(and yes, I am aware that although the title of this article was devoted to him, Tim Wakefield only made a cameo appearance, but it will be nice to see our All-Star knuckleballer back on the mound tonight. At least I hope it will anyway, the knuckleball can be a little, um, volatile at times.)

Historic Night At Fenway Park

Bay Sparks Comeback As Ellsbury Steals His Way To History

Jacoby Ellsbury’s steal of home against Andy Pettite earlier this season was pretty special, but his steal of third base on Tuesday night against Freddy Garcia was alittle more speical as it brought about a change in the Red Sox record books.  The Red Sox center-fielder registered his 55th stolen base of the season, passing Tommy Harper for first place all-time on the Red Sox stolen base list.

Ellsbury went 3-for-5 on the evening as Jason Bay’s solo-blast in the eighth inning broke a 3-3 tie which eventually led the Red Sox to a 6-3 victory.  Jon Lester went 6 2/3 innings deep but a wild third-strike supplanted Lester out of a tie ball-game as Hideki Okajimi stopped the bleeding in the seventh and got the Sox out of a jam with a strikeout. Manny Delcarmen pitched the last out of the eighth to register his fifth win of the season as Jonathan Papelbon shut the door on the White Sox in the ninth to record his 30th save of the season.  

Papelbon joins Billy Koch as the only other pitcher to have 30 saves in each of his first four seasons.    Boston (72-53) welcomes Tim Wakefield back to the mound on Wednesday as the knuckleballer takes on Gavin Floyd of the White Sox.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

As Deadline Approached, Sox Got Their Man

Mets & Sox Agree On Deal For Billy Wagner

Low and behold the Red Sox finally got their man.  Billy Wagner agreed to waive his no-trade clause and come to Boston after Theo Epsetin agreed to one of his demands, which is that the Sox cannot pick up his $8 million option for 2010.  

However, the Sox do have the right to offer the left-hander arbitration next season.

This means if Wagner leaves Boston to become a closer for another team in 2010, the Sox would receive two draft picks as compensation for the reliever leaving.  The Red Sox will send two players, which will be named later, as compensation to the Mets for the Wagner deal.

The flame-throwing lefty was hesitant about coming to Boston for three reasons.  He didn’t want to have his option picked up, he didn’t want to be offered arbitration, and he didn’t want the strain of pitching every other day.  It looks like the 38-year-old will get two of his wishes granted as the Sox will look to appease Wagner, who is coming off of Tommy John Surgery, by pitching once every three days.  Wagner has looked sharp in his two outings this season, pitching scoreless innings in each of his outings.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Breaking News: Wagner to Boston Trade Imminent

Image Courtesy Image Courtesy
Various Reports Suggest Wagner Trade is All But Done
The Globe’s Nick Cafardo and Newsday’s David Lennon are both reporting that the trade sending Billy Wagner to the Red Sox is just about finalized. An announcement from Boston’s end is expected sometime this afternoon.
Stay tuned on this one!
— Dan Zappulla, Chowdaheadz Blog Contributor.