Beckett Spins A Gem, Improves To 7-0 At Fenway

Red Sox Offense Comes Alive Against Cahill

Josh Beckett struck out ten in 7+ innings of work on Monday to give the Boston Red Sox a 8-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics and Beckett his 12th win of the season.

Boston’s right-hander becomes the first 12-game winner in the American League as the Boston bullpen continued it’s dominance with Daniel Bard and Manny Delcarmen each pitching an inning of scoreless relief to help secure the Red Sox victory.

Jacoby Ellsbury led the offensive charge with three hits and Dustin Pedrioa homered in the first inning to spark the night for Boston’s offense as newcomer Adam LaRoche continues to impress, going 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI.  

Clay Buchholz takes the mound for Boston on Tuesday as he will square off against Vin Mazzaro of the A’s.
(AP Photo)

Adrian Gonzalez Coming To Boston?

Sox Pursuing San Diego First Basemen

It has been no secret that the Red Sox offense has sputtered for the better part of June and July, so would the Sox try to land a middle-of-the-order bat to help solidify their lineup?

Sources say that the Red Sox are in on the Adrian Gonzalez chase, who could be shipped from San Diego for a the “right” package of prospects.  Gonzalez, 27, would move Kevin Youkilis across the diamond to third and most likely spell the days of Mike Lowell as Boston’s third basemen.

Adding a dynamic bat like Gonzalez would help solidify the Red Sox offense for 2009 and beyond and the left-handed hitting first basemen comes at a relatively cheap $4.75 million.  For more on this story.

Jim Rice: Hall Of Fame Status

Former Red Sox Outfielder Inducted Into HOF

Jim Rice had to wait until his final year of eligibility to be selected into the Baseball Hall of Fame but it didn’t matter for the former Red Sox outfielder as Rice was inducted into the Hall alongside Rickey Henderson on Sunday.

Rice is the only player in baseball history with at least 35 home runs and 200 hits in three consecutive seasons as Rice had a career .298 average with 382 homers and 1,451 RBIs. The Red Sox legend also will have his number retired by the Red Sox after spending his entire career in a Sox uniform.

(AP Photo)

Reelin’ Sox Swept By Rangers

Buchholz & Boston Embarassed By Texas 

The Texas Rangers swept a series with the Boston Red Sox for the first time since the 2004 season with a 3-1 victory over the Bo-Sox on Wednesday night.

With Clay Buchholz on the mound, Boston hoped a fresh face could turn Boston’s luck around but a strong outing from Texas’ Dustin Nippert rubbed dirt into Boston’s wounds as the Red Sox have now lost five straight and stand two games back of the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox have a day off before arriving back at Fenway Park to take on the Baltimore Orioles.  Boston looks to Brad Penny to set straight the Red Sox ship on Friday as Penny squares off against Brad Bergesen of the Orioles.

(AP Photo)

Sox Acquire LaRoche, Trade Lugo

Busy Day Of Trading For Red Sox Front Office

In an effort to help bring security and insurance to a slumping Red Sox offense, Theo Epstein pulled the trigger on two trades on Wednesday landing Aam LaRoche from the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chris Duncan from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Boston acquired first basemen Adam LaRoche for two prospects, Agenis Diaz and Hunter Strickland.  Both midlevel prospects figured never to play any role with the big club and LaRoche had worn his welcome in Pittsburgh amongst the Pirates reshuffling of players.  

Later on in the day, Epstein traded Julio Lugo to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Chris Duncan who is batting .227 on the year with five home runs and 32 RBIs for the Cardinals. With the Red Sox lineup scuffling as of late, the Red Sox decided that the addition of two bats to the bench could help shore up some offensive problems and improve the mojo of a lackluster lineup.  

The trading deadline is looming on July 31 and Theo Epstein has made it no secret that the Red Sox are going to be actively pursuing any opportunities that make this 2009 ball club better.

Smoltz Scuffles As Sox Lose Third Straight

Boston The Victim Of A Five Run Sixth From Rangers

All things looked to be going considerably well for John Smoltz and the Boston Red Sox heading into the sixth inning, but a lead off home run from Michael Young and back-to-back shots from David Murphy and Jarrod Saltalamacchia sent Smoltz to the showers and the Sox to the loss column.

Boston held a 2-1 lead before giving up five runs in the sixth inning.  The Red Sox put up one run in the eighth on a Kevin Youkilis, 2-for-4, single but couldn’t muster enough hits to mount a comeback.  Kevin Millwood took the win for Texas with C.J. Wilson recording his eighth save.  Smoltz is now 1-3 with the Sox since joining Boston a little under a month ago.

The Red Sox have now lost three straight and are scuffling at the plate.  It will be interesting to see what Theo Epstein and the Red Sox do between now and the trading deadline to address their hitting woes.  Josh Beckett will look to right the ship on Tuesday as he takes the mound for Boston.
(AP Photo)

Sox Can’t Agree To Terms With Bay

                                   Contract Talks Called Off With Left Fielder

After failing to sign Jason Bay to a contract extension in Spring Training, Theo Epstein and company tried pursuing Bay again in the late June but talks have come to a halt by the end of the All-Star break and it looks like Sox fans will have to wait until after the 2009 season to see if number 44 will return to Boston.

Bay is set to become a free agent after the season and it seems as if Sox management and Bay’s agent cannot come to a common assessment on the market value for elite outfielders like Jason Bay.  

Boston will certainly have to ante up J.D. Drew type money if they want to keep Bay manning the green monster for years to come.  Of course, that will be up to Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino, so for Sox fans, in Theo we trust.

Injury Update: Two Sox Ready To Return

Lowell And Lowrie On The Comeback Trail

The Boston Red Sox went into the All-Star break firing on all cylinders, leading the AL East by 3.5 games over the New York Yankees.  So with everything going so well, how could things get better?

With the return of Mike Lowell and Jed Lowrie.

According to Terry Francona, Mike Lowell will start for the Sox on Friday and Jed Lowrie should be back with the big club by the weekend.  So, with things going so well without the two infielders, Sox fans have even more to look forward to with the return of the injured. Here’s more on what Francona had to say.

Show me Yoooouuuk?

This was sent to us from a friend who attended the home run derby last night.

I am a little confused by the slogan “Show me Yoooouuuk”?

I think Nike could have done a lot better on this one.  Cool poster, bad slogan.

(Thanks to Joe T. for submitting this)

The Red Sox Already Have Most of the Pieces in Place

A good team is like a finished puzzle. All the pieces fit into place, they connect, they work together, and when the puzzle is completed they present a solid, unified masterpiece.  Remove a piece and you have a hole.  Replacement pieces maybe be able to fill the hole, but generally leave gaps or don’t fit in the empty space at all.  Mike Lowell is a missing piece that does not have an adequate replacement on the current Red Sox roster.  Combine Lowell’s absence with Pedroia needing to miss a game or two to be with his hospitalized pregnant wife, and the infield is in shambles.  With the trading deadline fast approaching the team would do well to well to address the need for a quality back-up corner infielder, and possibly take a look at the outfield as well.
Roy Halladay is the current hot and sexy piece of meat up on the trade block, and you can’t really have too much pitching, but the Red Sox do not need another ace.  We also don’t need to sell the farm to get a guy who is in the last year of his contract, will be a free agent next year, and is not likely to stick around Boston after the 2009 season.  Money talks and the Red Sox are not going to give him a blockbuster long term commitment.  We’ve got too much young talent coming up. (And, seriously, lets all take a moment and realize how fortunate we are, not too many teams, if any, are enjoying this position.)  If Theo and company are smart, and they are, they’ll take a good long look at shoring up the bench and maybe, if the right deal comes along, shaking up our suddenly inconsistent bullpen a bit.
It may seem backwards, but having a good bench is an essential foundation for any team.  Of course you need to build a talented and durable starting nine, but if one of them goes down for any reason who’s going to be responsible for keeping the castle on the level?  The back-up guy.  We’ve been spoiled in the outfield for the past few years with Coco Crisp, the guy was a rock, there were no worries about who was going to pick up the pieces when Ellsbury struggled or JD Drew needed a band-aid.  Thank goodness Ellsbury has figured out to hit like a major leaguer and JD Drew been fairly durable so far this year, knock on wood, throw salt over your shoulder and pray to whatever higher being you believe in that this continues. Do you want to see Baldelli or Kotsay responsible for day to day outfield duty?  Didn’t think so.  It begs the question, who is available at a reasonable price?
We need a decent back-up corner infielder, and a solid back-up outfielder.  After watching them play all weekend I’d like to propose  first baseman Mark Teahen and outfielder David DeJesus.  Teahen is currently hitting .294, a solid 19 doubles with 9 home runs. His skills are not going to rock anyone’s world, but we’re not looking for the second coming of Kevin Youkilis, we’re looking for a nice option to fill in for him when and if Youk has to move to 3rd to cover for Lowell.  David DeJesus is hitting a steady .256 with 18 doubles and 6 triples, and would be a nice compliment to the our current starting outfield.  It’s and easy one stop shop would stabilize the infield corners and add some depth to the outfield in one fell swoop.  Who do we send to Kansas City?  Rocco Baldelli, Jeff Bailey, and Julio Lugo, even if they don’t want Lugo, we’ll just pay his contract and say he accidentally got shipped in the same box as the others.  Mark Kotsay gets to stay by virtue of being able to reliably play either outfield or first base.  Depending on how Clay Buchholz performs on Friday the Red Sox can throw him or Brad Penny in the mix as well.  Kansas City needs pitching help and either one of the two would give them a boost.  If they want a prospect how about Anthony Rizzo?  Talented, but unproven, his path to the majors right now is mostly blocked by Kevin Youkilis’ long term contract and the up and coming Lars Anderson. It would be a win all around, we unload some dead weight while sprucing up the bench and the Royals get reasonably talented players in return.
No matter who the Red Sox decide to move or who make a deal with, we easily have enough resources to grab the best of what’s available.  We should be able to get what we need and not lose anyone truly valuable.  And besides, sometimes you just get lucky, Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for Heathcliff Slocumb anyone?

Beckett Leads Sox Into All-Star Break

                Sox Cruise Past Royals With 6-0 Win

Josh Beckett led the Boston Red Sox with a complete game shutout on Sunday afternoon to lead the Sox to a 6-0 win over the Kansas City Royals as the Red Sox head into the All-Star break with the best record in the AL, 20 games above .500.

With Boston (54-34) now heading into the break and with five Sox members part taking in the festivities in St. Louis, the Sox couldn’t have hoped to end the first half of the season on a better note as Beckett allowed three hits through nine innings of masterful work.

Beckett’s 100th career victory joins him with Tim Wakefield as the only other American League starter to have 11 wins.  The Red Sox jumped on Royal pitching in the first with a Kevin Youkilis RBI single and then in the fourth with three RBI’s from Aaron Bates, David Ortiz, and Jason Varitek.  Bates had his best game in a Sox uniform as the first basemen went 3-for-4 from the number nine spot.

Boston holds a 2.5 game lead over the New York Yankees in the AL East. Terry Francona announced that Clay Buccholz will start for the Sox on Friday as Boston takes on the Toronto Blue Jays at the Roger Centre.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Pedroia To Miss All-Star Game

Red Sox All-Star second basemen Dustin Pedroia will miss Tuesday’s All-Star game to be with his pregnant wife who was hospitalized recently.  Full Story.