With another win, the Sox will drag the Royals down to their level…well, under .500 anyway (the Red Sox are still 7 under).  They have won two 1-run contests in the series so far.  Will today’s Ventura/Lester showdown be as close?  Don’t worry, none of it’s likely to matter very much.  But winning with the kids is still nice.

Last night in the 6th, Xander took Shields yard for 2, and later in the inning, an aggressively early pinch-hit of Gomes for Bradley yielded the same results off lefty reliever Downs.  Sox won 5-4.  Berry berry nice.

Trying to earn their 6th win in the last 7 games, the Sox throw De La Rosa out there against Duffy.  Keep on rockin’ me, bullpen.

Early start today for these two teams.  Yankees took a one-run contest 4-3 yesterday.  Today it’s new Yankee hurler Brandon McCarthy vs. Alfredo Simon.  Merry Sabado to you.

I forgot all about baseball the last few days, enjoying some time with the family. So far the Yankees are keeping it tight with visiting Cincy, tied at 2 in the fifth. Welcome back, baseball.

Say what you will about a season with no postseason hopes: it’s better to watch losing baseball than not watch it at all.  Most days.  Maybe not if it’s a season like last year’s Astros’…

Anyway, heck of a matchup today between a Buchholz who seemed to find all his pitches on Sunday (and full velocity, regularly hitting 92/93 and touching 94) and James Shields.  A hungry Royals team fights a youth-filled Red Sox contingent.  I think it’s five rookies regularly in the lineup?  (Holt, Bradley, Betts, Bogaerts, Vazquez with Pedroia, Ortiz, Napoli, Drew and Gomes/Nava/Victorino-maybe-someday providing the vet presence).  Here’s to the second “half”.  Comment away.

Whitley battles Gausman to see us into the all-star break.  The Yankees are 1 game above .500…and only 4.0 back.  They fight to whittle the Orioles’ division lead to 3 and clump the O’s, Jays, and Yanks more closely together.

See you on Friday!

Back from the vacay, folks.  Just in time to go back into hibernation for the July break.

Buchholz takes on Peacock (I saw a lot of peacocks in Hawaii) in this meaningless game that takes on more meaninglessness in the face of Germany vs. Argentina.  Still, I’ll be tuning in to get my baseball fix one last time before not watching that game that “counts” later this week.  All the best to you as the height of summer sets in.

The Yankees try Shane Greene in league-leading Baltimore. The .500 record isn’t the bad part, but as it might be the best they ever had for a few years forward, it’s excruciating.

That’s a name that belongs in ALLCAPS.. The Sox put Jake Peavy to the task os containing the ‘Stros.

Comment away.

Sorry folks.. just finishing work for the day and I missed getting the gamers up in time. Kuroda is facing the birds and sees his team knotted at two runs in the sixth, while Lackey is holding the Stros scoreless and has been staked a two-run lead in Houston. Comment away and enjoy your weekend.

T.J. House has a name built from TV, and the rookie is hosting the Yanks at The Jake (I refuse to be Progressive) while David Phelps goes to the bump for the good guys. Comment away.

Jon Lester is, by far, the best pitcher on the Sox. Quintana is not so shabby either. The south-siders attempt the sweep at Fenway. Comment away.

Chris Sale is pitching his team towards an even record. Rubby de la Rosa is not having such results so far.

But I have a great trivia question.. later. Tanaka’s been told to put his elbow through the magnetron. Hey, at least we have the clean-shaven Brandon McCarthy and his league-leading average-ness on the mound against the Tribe. Nothing against Brandon, but… &%*$! Another STARTER down, leaving Kuroda the sole survivor of the season’s rotation.

Sigh.

Um.

Okay.

How many times have there been two players whose first names started with the letter “Z” batting back-to-back in a lineup, ever? I have no idea, but it happens tonight as Zoilo Almonte and Zelous Wheeler sort to what would be a great answer to that trivia question.

Comment away.

As D heads to his vacation I return from mine, albeit later than expected and almost too crisp to type. Ouch ouch ouch.

Carroll vs. Buchholz and rookie Greene vs. struggling Masterson.

Tomorrow, I’m off to Hawaii for a wedding, taking a vacation from my job and from the Red Sox.  All the best to everyone as we head to the ASB.  And I’ll see you back here next Sunday for the final pre-ASB game against Houston!