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Friday, May 31, 2013

Twitter-Mania Friday

Before I get to this week's Tweets, I wanted to point out that Jacoby Ellsbury set a team reacord last night by swiping 5 steals in the Red Sox win over the Phillies.  Here's hoping Ellsbury's recent success continues, and he continues getting on base and advancing on the base path. 

Now, here are this week's Tweets:

Shane Victorino @ShaneVictorino
#Bruins #Bruins #Bruins

Andrew Bailey @AndrewBailey40
It was nice spending time with some families from Newtown, CT today.  Thanks for my new bracelet!

Will Middlebrooks @middlebrooks
Great meeting the families from Newtown, CT today after the game.

Craig Breslow @CraigBreslow
Great to represent CT and the @RedSox on CT Day at Fenway.  Only one CT mascot here today- a @Yale bulldog.

Jacoby Ellsbury @JacobyEllsbury
Happy Memorial Day!  Thank you to all of those who have served and continue to serve for our freedom!

Ryan Lavarnway @RyanLavarnway
Happy Memorial Day!  Thank you to all past and present members of the US Military

Craig Breslow @CraigBreslow
Happy #MemorialDDay to those who paid the ultimate price to protect our freedom at home and abroad.  #USA #BostonStrong

Mike Lowell @mikelowell25
MLB: Awesome uniforms for today!  A day we remember all those men and women who gave us their all so we can enjoy our freedom!  Thank you!!

Shane Victorino @ShaneVicotrino
Happy Memorial Day!  Thank you to all who have served and those who continue to fight for our freedom!  #USA

Shane Victorino @ShaneVictorino
Excited to see my old @Phillies teammates tonight.  Some things I miss about @JimmyRollins11 some things I don’t Lol

Shane Victorino @ShaneVictorino
Thank you to everyone who wears a uniform for this country.  Honored to wear this today. #USA

Mike Napoli @MikeNapoli25
Happy Memorial Day!  Thank you to all who continue to fight for our freedom, and to all that have served this amazing country!  So thankful!

Jackie Bradley Jr. @JackieBradleyJr
Life is like photography.  You need the negatives to negatives to develop.

Jenny Dell @JennDellNESN
RT @RedSox: Some ceremonial first pitch tips for Jeff Bauman from Pedro Martinez #BostonStrong

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Ortiz says his plan at first base is to let Pedroia take everything.  Good plan.  #redsox

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
And there it is, five steals.  A #RedSox record for Ellsbury

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Carl Crawford is the last MLB player to steal five bases in a game (he had six) on 5-3-09 against… wait for it… the Red Sox

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Ortiz: “Nobody hit the ball to me.  I was out there saying to myself, ‘Come on (expletives), give me a shot.  I want to make a play.’ #redsox

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
The #Phillies, in a class move, gave Ellsbury a base to take home as a souvenir of his team record. #redsox

Craig Breslow @CraigBreslow
Happy birthday, @AndrewBailey40.  You’re finally old enough to grow a beard

This week's Tweet of the Week:

Boston Marathon Heroes Jeff Bauman, Carlos Arredondo Throw First Pitches for Strikes at Fenway Park (Animations)

Tonight starts a 3-game series versus the Yankees in New York.  The pitching match-ups are as follows:

Friday: Lester vs. Sabathia
Saturday: Doubront v. Hughes
Sunday: Buchholz v. Kuroda

This series is important, as the Red Sox are currently two games ahead of the Yankees in the standings with the Orioles and Rays right behind them.  The Red Sox would like to seperate themselves from the pack this weekend, and the Yankees would like a sweep to take over first place.  It's an important series, even this early in the season.

Also, I'll be attending a family get together for the game tonight.  It should be interesting to see so many related, Red Sox fans in one place.  I'll let you know the turn out on Monday.  Enjoy the weekend, and let's hope the Red Sox sweep the Yankees!  Go Red Sox!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Random Thoughts

If you noticed, I didn’t post on Monday.  I’ve been trying to stick to posting three times a week (mostly Monday, Wednesdays, and Twitter-Mania Fridays).  Monday was Memorial Day- a day to enjoy our freedom in this great country of the United States of America and reflect on those who serve and have given the ultimate sacrifice for this freedom.  I hope all you followers enjoyed your Memorial Day; I know I did.

I also thought I’d do a “Random Thoughts” post this second-to-last post of May.  May’s been an interesting month for the Red Sox.  They started out in a quasi-slump and seem to be ending strong, minus their loss to the Phillies last night.  So, without further delay, here are some things I’ve been thinking about in terms of the Red Sox.

  The Red Sox are currently in first place in the division, sitting at 32-21 with the Yankees a game back.  At the beginning of the season with the Red Sox uncertainties and the Yankees injuries, who would’ve thought the Red Sox and Yankees would be leading the division at this point?  Well… I thought the Red Sox would be contenders.  This team seemed to click from the start.

  Speaking of the Yankees, Mark Texeira and Kevin Youkilis are rumored to be coming off the disabled list for this weekend’s Yankees-Red Sox series. 

  I think it was great that the Red Sox had Boston Bombing heroes Jeff Bauman and Carlos Arredondo throw out the first pitches of the game last night.  The picture of Carlos Arredondo helping Jeff Bauman in the wheelchair is iconic.  Both of these men were heroes during that tragic incident, each in their own way, and I think it speaks volumes that the Red Sox have honored them.  I saw Jeff Bauman at the Bruins game a couple weeks ago, and it literally sent chills down my spine.

  I knew there would be some boos for Papelbon when he returned to Fenway, but I couldn’t believe the boos outweighed the cheers last night.  Papelbon is a very polarizing person, I get that, but he did great things for the Red Sox team and organization.  Who is ever going to forget his celebratory jigs after clinching the 2007 ALCS and World Series?

  Despite the loss last night, Dempster had a great night pitching.  In 7 innings, he gave up 6 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 home run, walked 3, and struck out 4.  That’s a good night for any pitcher, but especially one who has been struggling as of late.

  In 34 games, David Ortiz is hitting .336 with 11 doubles, 8 home runs, 2 stolen bases (he stole 3rd base twice last week), and 34 RBIs.  In 53 games, Dustin Pedroia is hitting .332 with 14 doubles, 3 home runs, 8 stolen bases, and 28 RBIs.  Even on an impressive team thus far, these two are who I am most impressed with.

  Clay Buchholz, who skipped his last start due to irritation in his AC joint, is slated to start on Friday versus the Yankees.  When Buchholz was skipped on Monday, I made the comment that the Red Sox were holding him so he would start against the Yankees, and that’s what happened.  Not sure what the pitching match-ups are at the moment, but it should be an interesting weekend.

  Have to say it, but it’s a little sad that the subway series isn’t getting more people at the games.  Monday night, the Red Sox had 33,627 people at the game versus the Phillies, and the Yankees-Mets game drew in under 33,000. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Twitter-Mania Friday

This was a week full of ups (Red Sox sweep the Twins and Francona’s return to Fenway) and downs (Red Sox lose series to White Sox and losing 12-3 against the Indians in Francona’s return) for the Boston Red Sox.  It’s a long season; we all know that.  Hopefully, this weekend proves to be a good one for the Red Sox. 

Here are this week’s tweets:

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Two random guys in the press box here doing play by play.  Only they’re not on the radio.  They’re just doing play by play.  And badly.

David Ortiz @davidortiz
Raining for 2 hours and nobody will call the game…. Come on!!!!!!!ipvKHOXp7

Shane Victorino @ShaneVictorino
I would love to see @davidortiz do a tarp slide!  Who’s with me????? @JacobyEllsbury will record it

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Target Field now playing Prince songs.  And it’s “Purple Rain” naturally.

Cole! @crpoulio
“November Rain” would be an appropriate song length RT @PeteAbe: Target Field now playing Prince Songs.  And it’s “Purple Rain” naturally.

Nick Cafardo@nickcafardo
Anticipated start time at Target 6:25 central.  Nice rain delay caught up on reading war and peace and moby dick cover to cover.

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Bunch of #RedSox fans sitting behind the dugout chanting “Let’s Go Red Sox.”  Twins fans respond.  It’s like a high school game.

Ryan Lavarnway @RyanLavarnway
Not even a 3.5 hour rain delay can stop @15Lasershow #Sweep

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
#Red Sox players all watched “The Sandlot” during the rain delay, too.  “It had been a while,” Lackey said.

Will Middlebrooks @middlebrooks
Finally in Chicago.

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Pedroia on Francona managing at Fenway: “No big deal.  We already played them.  He’s been back before too.”

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
The Clay Buchholz pre-start playlist is a wondrous thing.  Eminem then a song off the Grease soundtrack.  Now Prince.

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Now Journey.  Clay Buchholz, 80s wedding DJ or all-star pitcher.  He’s versatile.

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Ortiz just stole stole third.  I’m not lying, he really did.

Jacoby Ellsbury @JacobyEllsbury
LOL “@ShaneVictorino: Mr. Miyagi Karate Chop Style….. “@Deadspin: Hey, Shane Victorino, HIGH FIVE!” ….. Loved it!”

Mike Aviles @Themikeaviles
Back in Boston!!  Always have a soft spot for this city!!

Don Orsillo @DonOrsillo
Terry Francona texted me to come down to his office so he can punch me and mess up my hair.  He wonders why I am not rushing down there.

Jim Gaffigan @JimGaffigan
American in Boston: These are some old buildings.
European in Boston: These are some new buildings.
Bostonian in Boston: Yankees suck!

Mike Lowell @mikelowell25
Glad to see Fenway faithful changing “Tito.”  Always prepared to manage and genuinely loves being at the ballpark.  Not many like him around

Here’s this week’s Tweet of the Week, only because it was my tweet seen by thousands more people than it would have normally been seen by:

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
RT @AshleyAries: @PeteAbe Red Sox fans from IA in section 306.  My great-gpa played for Sox ’31-’32, and the boyfriend is from MA.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Surprises and Disappointments

I touched on the topic of surprises and disappointments in an earlier post, but I thought I needed to address the topic again.  This season has been a bit schizophrenic thus far, with some players over-achieving, and others falling below their potential and what we've seen in the past.


Clay Buchholz
I think Buchholz has been the biggest surprise of the team so far.  He's 6-0 with a 1.78 ERA.  His WHIP is standing at 1.036, and he's been really impressive in his starts.  Even his last couple starts, where he's gotten no decisions, he's only giving up 2-3 runs.  This Red Sox team SHOULD be able to score enough runs in Buchholz's starts to win ballgames.  He's also averaging 9.5 strikeouts per 9 innings.

Honestly, I couldn’t pick just one reliever to be the surprise.  I knew the bullpen would be better than last year (I don’t know if they could’ve done much worse), but I didn’t know it’s be this good.  Granted, I’m only considering the relievers who are still in the bullpen (not Bard, Hanrahan, Webster, Wright, or De La Torre who all have ERAs of at least 9.00).  Miller (3.77) and Mortensen (3.68) have the highest ERAs, and Breslow (1.17) has the lowest.  Bailey’s WHIP is at0.811.  

Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Last year, when Salty his .222 with 25 home runs and 59 RBIs, the Sox and fans were satisfied with those totals.  Sure, it wasn’t the greatest stats to have, but a catcher has a lot more responsibility than offense.  He’s calling the games for the pitchers.  This year, Salty is hitting .265 with 5 home runs and 13 RBIs.  Yes, the power has gone down slightly, but his average has gone up.  He’s making more contact.  In less than a quarter of a season, Salty has a third of the hits (30) he had all of last year (90).  Plus, the pitching is a vast improvement this year compared to last year, which means Salty’s calling a better game.

David Ortiz
In 27 games this season, Ortiz his hitting .349 with 7 home runs, 9 doubles, and 29 RBIs.  The only person who has more RBIs than Ortiz is Napoli, who has 35 in 45 games.  His on base percentage is at .397.  By comparison, Ellsbury’s is at .307, and he’s the leadoff batter.


Jacoby Ellsbury
As already stated (in this post and others), Ellsbury is not getting on base.  He has a .307 OBP and is only batting .242.  While his defense has been great, his offense is greatly diminished.  Ellsbury’s power is down as well.  He only has 1 home run this season.  The only other player currently on the roster to only have 1 home run, and is not a pitcher, is Pedro Ciriaco.

Joel Hanrahan
Hanrahan is injured beyond repair and will not play another game for the Red Sox this season… and maybe ever again; his contract is up at the end of the year.  He had Tommy John and flexor muscle repair surgery last week, and won’t pitch again for 12-15 months, at least.  I call Hanrahan a disappointment in the sense that he never really got to try and pitch for the Sox.  He was injured, which is disappointing (see what I did there?).  He’s an Iowa guy though, and he’s tough.  He’ll be back, just don’t know with what team and when.

Will Middlebrooks
Yes, Middlebrooks is hitting better lately, but he’s still only batting .208 for the season.  After the 3-home run massacre he gave the Blue Jays back in April, he’s faltered heavily.  He has 50 strikeouts, compared to 7 walks, this season.  He does have 20 RBIs for the season, and 8 home runs.  Hopefully, he comes out of this slump… fast.

Daniel Bard
Daniel Bard made two appearances for the Red Sox this season, because he was the only pitcher available on the 40-man roster.  He pitched 1.0 inning, walked 2, gave up 1 hit, 1 earned run, and has a 9.0 ERA.  He was sent back to Double-A, where he’s spent most of the season.  Things are so bad in Double-A for Bard (12.2 IP, 13 hits, 11 runs, 9 earned runs, 1 home run, 17 walks, 6 strikeouts, 6.39 ERA, and 2.368 WHIP), that he’s been shut down since May 15th.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Red Sox at Twins 5/17/13 and 5/18/13

Red Sox @ Twins 5/17/13 and 5/18/13

I had a great time in Minneapolis this weekend!  If you ever get the chance to visit Target Field, I highly recommend it.  The field is one of the newest in the Major League, opening in 2010.  Even though it’s a relatively big stadium, it still had a small stadium.  It didn’t appear there was a really a bad seat in the place, and there were hardly any lines to get concessions.

My boyfriend and I ended up going to two games this weekend.  Friday night, we had finished dinner and decided to find a sports bar around the stadium.  There were a lot of scalpers around, and while we enjoyed a beer during the first inning at a non-sports bar, we decided to see what tickets were running for.  We immediately found a scalper, and when they asked if we wanted tickets, my boyfriend explained we only had $20.  SOLD! 

We found our seats in section 331 during the third inning, and enjoyed a couple beers and most of the rest of the game.  Friday’s game was a good game for both teams, and Buchholz pitched well (7.0 IP 4H 2ER 3BB 9SO 1HR).  However, not well enough for a win.  The Red Sox won 3-2 in 1- innings on a sac fly by Jonny Gomes, scoring Pedroia.  (We missed the 10th inning because we were not dressed for the game.  It was about 50 degrees and windy, and we didn’t have sweatshirts or jackets.)

Saturday’s game was a monster game for David Ortiz; he hit 2 home runs, had 3 hits total, and 6 RBIs.  Dempster did not pitch well at all (4.2 IP 8H 5ER 6BB 2SO 127 pitches).  The bullpen did really well (4.1IP 4H 0R 2BB 2SO).  Everyone on the team had at least one hit besides Ciriaco, and Pedroia, Ortiz, Nava, and Middlebrooks had multiple hits.  The Red Sox won 12-5.

Below are some pictures that I took of the trip and games.  Enjoy!

Game 1: Red Sox @ Twins 5/17/13

Entering Minneapolis… it was raining

Me and my boyfriend at the game.  He at least had Red Sox apparel on.

Ellsbury in Centerfield

Buchholz pitching

Minneapolis skyline from Target Field

Another shot of the Minneapolis skyline from Target Field

Game 2: Red Sox @ Twins 5/18/13

My boyfriend and me decked out in our Red Sox gear

Another shot of my boyfriend and me, this time with Target Field behind us

Dempster starting

A guy was wearing a Crawford jersey; I had to take a picture.  I also saw a woman wearing a Beckett jersey.  It was strange because most Twins fans either had Mauer or Mourneau apparel on, and that was about it.  I did see two guys with Twins Mientkiewicz jerseys on.  Didn’t see one Hunter or Thome shirt.

And another guy had a Garciapara jersey on

Ellsbury batting

Ortiz batting

Ortiz on first, Pedroia on Second

Nice shot of Target Field at night

Red Sox win!

Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe retweeted my Tweet during the game Saturday night, which was pretty neat for me.  So, remember to follow me on Twitter @AshleyAries

Friday, May 17, 2013

Twitter-Mania Friday!

Just a reminder, I'm going to Minneapolis this weekend and will be attending the Red Sox-Twins game tomorrow (Saturday) night!  I'll have pictures and a recap to post on Monday.  Now, without further delay, here are this week's tweets!

Jon Lester @JLester31
Great team win tonight, defense was unreal! Love those guys playing behind me!! #NVRQT

Shane Victorino @ShaneVictorino
@JLester31 thanks for making us work hard on defense tonight lol! Great game

Jon Lester @JLester31
Thanks buddy, love having you out there! @JLester31 thanks for making us work hard on defense tonight lol! Great game

Joel Hanrahan @hanrahan25
Thank you to everyone for their well wishes and prayers!  Things happen for a reason, ill be back and look forward to dominating my rehab!!!

Joel Hanrahan @hanrahan25
Definitely not the way I wanted my time here with the Red Sox to go, hopefully ill get a chance to show #RSN the real pitcher I am someday

Dustin Pedroia @15Lasershow
When the process is being tested this is what you do.  STICK TO IT!!! Be at work at 9
#bringyourlunchpale or hard hat

Jacoby Ellsbury @JacobyEllsbury
Happy Mother’s Day!  Blessed to have a wonderful mom! #LoveYou

Will Middlebrooks @middlebrooks
Happy Mother’s Day to the strongest woman I know ad my best friend, @juliefrances61

David Ortiz @davidortiz
One of the most important days of the year Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there.  Love and Miss You Mom…34

Shane Victorino @ShaneVictorino
Happy Mothers Day!  Especially to all the baseball moms who always ask us if  we have our glove & can get grass stains out of white pants!

Mike Napoli @MikeNapoli25
Happy Mother’s Day Donna Rose!  Thank you for raising me right and making me the person I am today.  Wouldn’t be where I am today w/o u #iloveu
Melissa Victorino @MsFlyinHawaiian (Shane Victorino’s wife)
Twitter is 1st 2 report @ShaneVictorino status b4 I know his status.  Well let me b the 1st to report he's fine!  A fence isn't stopping 18
Dustin Pedroia @15Lasershow
@mrspedroia15 Proud of you! Sorry you didn’t have the day you should have.  Your boys can’t wait to see you!!

Shane Victorino @ShaneVictorino
So I think I won Shane vs Wall this time lol.  Thanks for all the tweets, I’m okay and back in action tomorrow!!!

David Ortiz @davidortiz
Please help victims of the Boston Marathon bombings by purchasing a special edition #BostonStrong autographed bat at

Joel Hanrahan @hanrahan52
Thanks to all the fans for their positive vibes and well wishes!!!! Gonna work my tail off and be back!!!

The following Tweets are in regards to the Bruins dramatic comeback in Game 7 of the playoffs:

Jacoby Ellsbury @JacobyEllsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury @JacobyEllsbury
BELIEVE!!! Lets get them in OT #Bruins

Dustin Pedroia @15Lasershow
Drive Home Safely!!!!!

Jacoby Ellsbury @JacobyEllsbury
#Bruins win!!!!! What a comeback

Joel Hanrahan @hanrahan52
Wowwww what a comeback!!!!
#bruins #bostonstrong

Will Middlebrooks @middlebrooks
BRUINS!!!!! Awesome comeback win.

Joel Hanrahan @hanranhan52
Sorry to enjoy a hockey game!!!! As a sports fan that’s a helluva game!

Craig Breslow @CraigBreslow
I want to congratulate the #Bruins, but I’m scared to subject myself to the same scrutiny as @hanrahan52

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Here’s hoping @hanrahan52 knows that 98 percent of the fans in Boston are not like the gutless Twitter trolls who attack him

David Ortiz @davidortiz
Shoutout to all teens who made the promise to graduate #HS!  Now, it’s your turn!  Join @GRAD4MAS!

(Nothing of Note)

Jon Lester @JLester31
Thx for all the kind words and support y’all, means a lot!  How about Stephen Drew last night?!?! #NVRQT

David Ortiz @davidortiz
Please help victims of the Boston Marathon bombings by purchasing a special edition #BostonStrong autographed bat at

And this week's Tweet of the Week:

Dustin Pedroia @15Lasershow
@JacobyEllsbury I need a Lucic jersey yesterday. Hope they make mediums

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Another Heartache and What Should/Could Be Done About It

This is getting repetitive; the Sox lost again last night.  This time, it was a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Red Sox are now in 3rd place, 3 games out of first, and only a game and a half up on the 4th place Rays.
The Red Sox started the game great.  Ortiz hit a 3-run home run in the 1st inning, and Lackey was working efficiently through the first three innings.  But, of course, things didn’t end well for Lackey.

In the fourth inning, Lackey gave up a single to Longoria, followed by a single to Loney, and a double to Luke Scott.  The score was now 3-1.  He struck out Kelly Johnson, but Jose Molina singled to score Loney and Scott.  It was now 3-3 in the fourth.  Two more runs would come in on a Matt Joyce single, making it 5-3, before Lackey would get out of the inning.  He lasted only 4.1 innings before being pulled in favor of the rested bullpen.

Let’s face it- everyone is getting frustrated with this team at the moment.  They’re teasing us.  Lester pitches a masterful game Friday night, and the team wins handedly.  Buchholz follows up that performance with an
8-inning great pitched game, only the Sox lose that game in the 9th inning on a home run given up by Tazawa.  Dempster gets lit up in Sunday's game.  Last night, Papi seems to be getting out of his slump by hitting his home run in the first inning, Lackey was cruising, but things became unravled by mid-game.
Things have to start gelling like they were the first month of this season.  The Red Sox had momentum that first month, and they’ve obviously lost it now.  Even the great attitudes seem to be waning (anyone check out some of the stupid Tweets Hanrahan was getting after it was disclosed he was having season-ending surgery?  Yikes!).

So, what does this team need?  A great pitching performance (Lester’s) doesn’t seem to get the team going, and even when the team is getting hits (Sunday, they had 10), they keep leaving runners in scoring position. Things have to fall in line at some point, right?

I also think that the line-up needs a bit of a shake-up.  For years, we have become accustomed to Pedroia hitting No. 2 in the line-up, and when he does it No. 3, he usually brings a big game.  Keeping Pedroia, who is hitting .338 this season without much power, in the No. 3 spot isn’t helping.  Move him back to No. 2. Another thing Pedroia has going for him is he has more walks (24) than strikeouts (22) this season, and he has 8 stolen bases and has been caught only once.

Ellsbury, batting only .256 with a .321 OBP needs to be moved from the top of the line-up.  I understand the feeling that Ellsbury has to stay at the top of the order because of his speed (12 stolen bases this season and caught twice), but if he’s not getting on base, there’s no one for the hitters behind him to score.  I think Victorino could lead-off.  He’s hitting .297 with a .358 OBP.  While he only has 3 steals, and has been caught twice, he’s getting on base.  That’s what the lead-off hitter needs to do.

Middlebrooks is the other issue in the line-up, though he’s starting to find his swing again.  He’s batting .200, with 44 strikeouts to 5 walks.  That is NOT GOOD!  Greg Colbrunn, the Red Sox hitting coach, needs to try and get Middlebrooks timing down and his confidence up.  It would be one thing if Middlebrooks was hitting .200 with a bunch of popouts, groundouts, and sac flies, but he has struck out 44 times!  The only Red Sox player who has struck out more is Napoli (53 times), but he’s still hitting .261 with a .523 slugging percentage to Middlebrooks’ .393.

Nava and Saltalamacchia have been the good surprises this season.  So far, Nava is hitting .288 with a .391 OBP and a .500 SLG.  He has 24 RBIs, which is second most RBIs on the team behind Napoli’s 33.  Salty is hitting .263 with a .333 OBP and a .495 SLG.  Last year, Salty hit .222 with a .288 OBP and a .454 SLG, which the Sox seemed fine with his performance.

Really, this team needs to wake up and realize that they have the potential to be a good, maybe even great, team.  They seemed to have that attitude in April, and it worked for them.  They wanted to be the underdogs that proved everyone wrong.  Now, it seems that as soon as they started to change critics’ minds, they’ve fallen back into pre-season expectations.  I know this team can do better, and I hope they realize they can too.

I’ll be heading to Minneapolis on Friday, and will be attending the Red Sox-Twins game Saturday night at Target Field.  It looks like it’ll be Dempster starting for the Sox and Diamond for the Twins.  It’ll be my first time seeing Dempster pitch live, and it’ll also be my first time at Target Field.

I’ve already started working on my Twitter-Mania Friday post, so I’m hoping I’ll get it posted before I leave.  Make sure to check back next week for pictures of the game.  Hopefully, the Red Sox remember how to win by then!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Random Thoughts

- The weekend series against the Blue Jays started off great for the Red Sox with Jon Lester throwing a 1-hit shutout game.  He only gave up one double, and the Sox won 5-0.  Middlebrooks started to find his swing again and cranked out 2 doubles.  Every player had at least one hit except for Ortiz, Napoli, and Drew.

- Buchholz tried to follow-up Lester’s performance with a great outing himself, but the Sox lost 3-2 on Saturday.  Lester’s line was 8.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO.  The game was tied 2-2 going into the top of the 9th when newly appointed closer, Tazawa gave up a home run to Adam Lind.  Middlebrooks had another double and a single this game, and Ellsbury hit a triple, his 4th of the season.

- Sunday’s game was a blowout for the Jays, and the Sox lost 12-4.  Dempster gave up 6 earned runs in 5 innings, Miller gave up 3 runs in 2/3 of an inning, Mortensen gave up 1 run in an inning and a third, and recent call-up De La Torre gave up 2 runs in the 9th inning.  Napoli and Ciriaco each had home runs, but Middlebrooks stopped hitting and committed another error.  Victorino crashed into the fence (he's said to be okay after a trip to the hospital to be checked out).  The Sox lost the series, their third in a row.

- Not only did the Red Sox lose the series, they lost closer Joel Hanrahan for the year.  He’s going to have season-ending surgery performed by Dr. Andrews to repair his muscle flexor in his right arm.  He was calling out the nay-sayers on Twitter this weekend.

- The Red Sox also lost catcher David Ross to the 7-day concussion disabled list and called-up Ryan Lavarnway.  

- I can’t remember the last time David Ortiz got a hit, let alone a home run.  It’s almost painful to see him bat.  When he does make contact, he just doesn’t have the type of speed to beat out plays.  Here’s hoping Papi finds his power again.

- The Red Sox are no longer in first place.  They currently sit in third place.  They are 2 games back from the Yankees, and one game back from the Orioles.  

- On Friday, Daniel Nava had 23 RBIs, the same as Adrian Gonzalez.  Kind of interesting that a guy (Nava) who was originally signed for $1 had the same number of RBIs as MVP-hopeful Adrian Gonzalez.  (Currently, Nava has 24 RBIs and Gonzalez 26).

- Felix Doubront’s next start, scheduled for Tuesday, is going to be skipped.  According to The Boston Globe’sschedule, he’s going to pitch Thursday against the Rays.  

-Lastly, this is my 200th post of the blog.  When I started over a year ago, I honestly didn’t know if I’d continue it this long.  I am very happy I have, and I’m looking for ways to improve the blog and get the name out there more.  Look for more things to come in the future.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Twitter-Mania Friday

There’s not too many tweets from this week.  I guess when the team loses 6 of their last 7 games, there’s not a whole lot to be excited about.  So, without any further delay, here are this week’s tweets:

Jenny Dell @JennyDellNESN
Yes, @TomCaron beat my time in the #RunToHomeBase.  BUT, I crushed him in $$$ raised!  What’s more important here?  Haha J

Jackie Bradley Jr. @JackieBradleyJr
Perks of heading south tomorrow: Warmth, sweet tea, and @ChickfilA

Dustin Pedroia @15Lasershow
Proud of the guys tonight!!! Special stuff.  Grind to shine!!!  Stick to the process.  Game 22 starts at 710

Shane Victorino @ShaneVictorino
What a game tonight!  Kept grinding and pull out the victory!  Do it again tomorrow

Will Middlebrooks @middlebrooks
Big thank you to all the fans that stayed until midnight to see that walk off win!!! #BostonStrong

Shane Victorino @ShaneVictorino
Need to get me one of these posters!  #BostonStrong

Don Orsillo @DonOrisllo
“@treeoftao: @DonOrisllo I think you owe @15Lasershow a “La Luna” yep agreed.  I am sure he will mention it today.  My bad.

David Ortiz @davidortiz
Great team win last night.  Let’s keep it going tonight #RedSoxNation

Jenny Dell @JennyDellNESN
If you think @DonOrsillo has a stealing problem (mustard, tea, etc) please RT w/ comment :)

David Ortiz @davidortiz
End of my hitting streak tonight the season stil going and I hope Dan shaugnessy is a happy man now… Not more 426 enjoy it

And this week’s Tweet of the Week:

Don Orsillo @DonOrisllo
Some say I am Orsillo-ing.  I say I am trying to capture the moment in a photo to share.  So maybe I am Orsillo-ing!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Injuries Mounting Up For Red Sox

For the past two seasons, the Red Sox were plagued by injuries.  Dustin Pedroia, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, Will Middlebrooks, Jacoby Ellsbury, and numerous other players have spent considerable time on the disabled list the past two seasons.  This season was supposed to be different.  This season started off different.  And now, this season is starting to resemble the past seasons.

The season started with David Ortiz and Stephen Drew on the disabled list.  Ortiz was recovering from heel issues that sprouted up after he had recovered from the Achilles injury from last season; he has been remarkable since then though. Stephen Drew also started the season on the disabled list, having suffered a concussion in Spring Training.  He has also started to come around and been a force on this team, especially Monday night when he hit a game-tying home run and a game-winning double in extra innings.

The Sox were winning without Ortiz or Drew; we know that.  When the two of them came back to the team, I know I felt like this team had a fighting chance.  Keep everyone healthy.  Keep the starters on the right track.  Keep the bullpen fresh.  It was going to line-up right, this season.

Not looking so bright now.

Joel Hanrahan, who just came off the disabled list last week from a hamstring injury, ended up back on the DL; an MRI revealed inflammation in his forearm.  Andrew Bailey is having a bicep issue and was also placed on the disabled list.  The Red Sox called up Allen Webster to make the start tonight, sent Doubront to the bullpen, and Tazawa is now the closer.  

So, the Red Sox’s abundance of closers has been reduced to Tazawa, who Farrell claims is perfectly capable of handling the closer role.  This may be, and it may be the best for the team as Doubront has shown his velocity is down so far this season.  Webster, who pitched 6.0 innings and struck out 5 against the Royals in April, may be the best option for a starter the Red Sox have right now.  

Then, last night happened.

As I stated in the last post, I am not able to watch the games when the Red Sox play the White Sox, Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers, Royals, or Twins.  It doesn’t make any sense, since I live in IOWA, not Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, or Wisconsin.  Seriously, the closest Major League team is 3 hours away.

Anyway, I’m getting my information purely from tweets and sports writings today.  Evidently, Middlebrooks and Ross collided in foul territory.  Middlebrooks hurt his right side of his body, and Ross hurt his knee and/or thigh.  This was in the fifth inning.  Ross left the game in the fifth inning when his knee swelled up so bad it prevented him from squatting, and Middlebrooks left the game in the seventh inning.

The hope is Middlebrooks didn’t hurt his ribs.  As Red Sox fans, we know how long it can take to fully recover from rib injuries (see Jacoby Ellsbury 2010 and 2012). Middlebrooks is scheduled for a CT Scan, and we should know more later today.  The Sox’s depth at third base is scarce, and Ciriaco committed 2 errors in an inning last night after being put in for Middlebrooks.

Ross, according to him, should be okay after some rest.  He thinks he just jammed the top of his knee.  The Red Sox are hoping both player are day-to-day, but they really won’t know anything until later today.

I’m really hoping this round of bad luck (and bad playing) is short-lived.  This is a talented Red Sox team, and it would be a shame to see them slide backwards due to injuries.  Right now, it’s just a waiting game.  Hopefully, the wait pays off.