Sweet 16?: Sox-Sox Gamer V

Josh Beckett looks to become the major’s first 16-game winner tonight. Hopefully, the Red Sox’ bats will wake up and realize that when runners are on base, you must drive them home.

Sadly, as a defender of his, I must agree that J.D. Drew was somewhat the goat last night. With two on and one out and one run in the Lowell sac fly, he needed to do more than pop out. That opportunity was the difference in the game. [Retracted. Jason Varitek was far worse last night –PSF] Daisuke Matsuzaka is now the best 10-loss pitcher in baseball. That’s really unfortunate. He deserves better.

Onward and upward now to Beckett, who has been incredible this month — 2-0 in three starts with a 1.61 ERA, three walks and 25 strikeouts. He’s allowing a .548 OPS this month, as well. He faces lefty John Danks, whose August hasn’t been quite as good (0-4, 7.91). The Sox roughed him up last outing; let’s hope for a repeat and a gain on the Yanks in the loss column tonight.

Comment away!

43 comments… add one
  • Dude, Varitek was SO the goat last night. Drew gave him a couple of chances to get the big hit, though yes, that popup was demoralizing.

    Devine August 23, 2007, 6:59 pm
  • From a Gordon Edes Article:
    “This season, no injuries have been offered as an explanation for Drew’s loss of power. Drew, who has not hit a home run in 154 at-bats since June 20 in Atlanta, has 6 home runs and 45 RBIs. That puts him on track to finish the season with 8 home runs and 59 RBIs. Drew has hit two home runs at Fenway Park, the last on April 22.”
    And BTW, WMP now has more HR’s than JD. Granted two very different hitters, but to me it points out some of Drew’s struggles this year.

    Rob August 23, 2007, 7:12 pm
  • Good point on Tek, Devine. Francona totally should have pinch hit Manny ffor him in the ninth.
    Also just noticed I mistakenly called this a D-Rys gamer. Will correct.

    Paul SF August 23, 2007, 7:14 pm
  • I just hope we get this game in, and I don’t want one of Manny’s long balls to get knocked back to the infield because it bounced off a farm house flying by overhead.
    There must be something wrong with Drew, I mean, he’s a really talented ball player, his entire career he was either injured of insanely good, his body shape has never changed, what the hell could it be?

    LocklandSF August 23, 2007, 7:23 pm
  • So Drew pops up in the fourth inning, but gets on base three times in five PAs, and he’s the goat? How about Tek, as mentioned above? Tito, who left a HoF hitter on the pine for selfsame catcher who showed nothing and is 1/4 the offensive player of Manny? Or what about DeMarlo Hale, who sent Ortiz unnecessarily? The Sox had fifteen baserunners (Drew was 1/5 of those) and scored once. I’d say the he was nearly the least of their troubles last night.

    SF August 23, 2007, 7:26 pm
  • I know this will mean little to SF’s, but as a YF, the opposing RS starter I love to see come up in a clutch situation is Varitek (I refuse to say Tek – it makes me want to wretch). Admittedly I haven’t followed them closely this year – just when they play NY and in SportsCenter highlights throughout the year, but I just don’t think he is that good at the plate. I get the whole heart of the team/tough-guy catcher thing a la Pudge, and Varitek seems to have that in a big way with SFs, but as a fan of an opposing team, he is my favorite RS starter at the plate.

    IronHorse (yf) August 23, 2007, 7:31 pm
  • Must be The Dugout version of The Farns.

    Devine August 23, 2007, 7:31 pm
  • I completely agree that Tek was the goat last night. My frustration level has been growing with Drew. I keep looking at $70 mil and then see projection numbers (I know they can be misleading) and see 8/59. I know he contributes in other ways and gets on base and has a decent OPS. I assumed (ass-u-me) that he was signed to also knock in runs as an upgrade over Trot. In some ways that has been a success and in others it has been a failure.
    He currently holds the number 1 position in my LFRS power poll.

    Rob August 23, 2007, 7:31 pm
  • I understand your dislike of “Tek” there, IronHorse. I feel the same way about “Jeets”.

    Devine August 23, 2007, 7:34 pm
  • Sorry for double post, but I am genuinely curious re: SF attitudes on Drew generally – I feel like that was pretty broadly felt to be a so-so acquisition at best even when it was first made – my brother (devout YF) called to tell me about it and was pretty happy that Theo made that move. Not just because of the injury history but because of a seeming lack of heart/grit/etc. Admittedly Abreu got a similar knock in Philly, but he also has been known generally to be a great second-half of the season hitter. Even Schilling admitted as much last year when the Yanks got him and I had heard that from two philly-fan friends of mine who otherwise were not Abreu fans.
    And Devine, while “Jeets” doesn’t make me want to hurl, I have never and will never use it as I also find it annoying. Acceptable nicknames of current NYY in my book: Mo, Godzilla, A-Rod, a%*hole (Farnsworth).

    IronHorse (yf) August 23, 2007, 7:39 pm
  • I thought the majority of his “injury prone” history was a collection of flukes and the media over blowing it. I was excited, I thought we were paying for a known commodity. All of that could still turn out to be true, but I’m less optimistic.

    LocklandSF August 23, 2007, 8:00 pm
  • I’m sorta hoping Drew does, you know, a bit better next year. And hey, season ain’t over!
    (Really, though, I’m just hoping for better next year…if the Sox make the postseason, regular season goats can suddenly be heroes, too!)

    Devine August 23, 2007, 8:03 pm
  • From my standpoint, I dread Tek coming up in a big spot, and I don’t even know if the numbers justify my fears; he’s certainly had a few big hits this year. So I am with you, IH. I don’t want Tek coming up in a spot. On the other hand, I want him coming up more than, say, Mirabelli, or Cora.
    As for Drew, I am a fan, however odd that sounds. I posted about this a few weeks ago. I hope people don’t give up on him, I think he’s going to be a good (maybe not great) player for the Sox in the days ahead.

    SF August 23, 2007, 8:05 pm
  • Severe weather alerts in Chi-town… might not get this game in for another hour.

    Atheose August 23, 2007, 8:08 pm
  • A father at the Little League WS quit his job so he could be there to see his son play.
    His son and team, part of the Georgia squad, just put up a 10 hit 5 run bottom of the 1st.

    LocklandSF August 23, 2007, 8:08 pm
  • I also do hope that Drew turns it around. I do not think that he has a lack of heart or grit. I do think that he has had a really unlucky season. He started off on a tear and seemed to fade away.
    I do think the league change has something to do with this as he appeared comfortable against NL pitching in the IL games earlier this year.

    Rob August 23, 2007, 8:12 pm
  • Wow Lockland, that’s pretty amazing.
    The LLWS is always an emotional roller coaster for me. On the one hand, you hear heartwarming stories like that one. But on the other hand you hate to see a team lose. There was a walk-off homer in one of the games today, and the opposing pitcher was bawling his eyes out in the dugout. Too much pressure on a kid.

    Atheose August 23, 2007, 8:13 pm
  • I live on the north side of Chicago and I don’t think this game will happen anytime soon. It’s raining cats and dogs out here.
    I’m hoping for a double-header on Sunday or an afternoon game tomorrow to make it up.
    Keep your fingers crossed that this one actually happens, though. Danks looks ready to get lit up!

    Tucker August 23, 2007, 8:16 pm
  • Jon Lester was sent to AA today…. I think that means Clay Buchholz will be recalled for his next start.
    Even with that one has to wonder why they would send Lester down with the forecast in Chicago today for rain… means a double header this weekend and total messing up of the rotation.
    Lester can’t be recalled for 10 days unless somone goes on the DL…. stupid move if u ask me…. Lester or Scarface….hmmm not even a close decision.

    TJ August 23, 2007, 8:26 pm
  • Tavarez at least throws strikes. It’s maddening for me to see a pitcher walk more than 1 batter per inning.

    Atheose August 23, 2007, 8:43 pm
  • How much longer do the RS have Tavarez? He seems God-awful to me.

    IronHorse (yf) August 23, 2007, 8:48 pm
  • i think it was a 2 year contract not sure if it included any options… gimme a moment and i will get exact info\

    TJ August 23, 2007, 8:52 pm
  • I like Tavarez, I really do, and right now I will take him over Lester any day of the week.

    LocklandSF August 23, 2007, 8:52 pm
  • Julian Tavarez p
    2 years/$6.7M (2006-07), plus $3.85M 2008 club option
    signed as a free agent 1/06
    $0.5M signing bonus
    06:$3.1M, 07:$3.1M, 08:$3.85M club option
    $3.85M 2008 option guaranteed with:
    125 appearances 2006-07, or
    65 appearances in 2007
    agent: Scott Boras
    ML service: 12.066

    TJ August 23, 2007, 8:53 pm
  • I know Tavarez’ numbers don’t look good, but he’s usually dominant through the first 3 innings when he’s a starter. He always seems to struggle after that, though.
    Plus, Tavarez has told Tito that he only needs 45 minutes notice as to whether or not he’s going to start a game. He said something along the lines of “All I need is 45 minutes, a redbull and some bengay and I’m good to go. I’ll pitch anytime.”
    Plus Tavarez keeps Manny happy, like his pet. He’ll also fight anyone on command, if Tito asks him.

    Atheose August 23, 2007, 8:54 pm
  • Tavarez looks like the last thing you see before the gates of hell close behind you in the afterlife.
    OK…that was mean. I take it back.
    He is the second to last thing you see.

    IronHorse (yf) August 23, 2007, 9:02 pm
  • That’s what makes him awesome, IronHorse. Do I want someone who looks like Freddie Kreuger on my team? Hell-fucking-yes I want someone who looks like Freddie Kreuger on my team.

    Atheose August 23, 2007, 9:10 pm
  • The Red Sox can only gain on the Yankees in the win column if the Yankees don’t play.
    But if the game is rained out, doubleheader tomorrow, which screws up the rotation for the Yankee series. God may be trying to tell us something.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 9:25 pm
  • Good point Atheose. Too bad his stuff isn’t as nasty as his look.

    IronHorse (yf) August 23, 2007, 9:26 pm
  • You guys get a day off before the Yankees series (it is one of three you get before Yankee series this year, which pisses me off to no end), so I don’t feel so bad about any rotation problems a double-header may cause for you. And you have us starting Mussina in Detroit the day before the RS series so you can be sure our bullpen will be gassed.

    IronHorse (yf) August 23, 2007, 9:29 pm
  • But at least we don’t have to start Mussina against them! If the rainout does happen, Beckett’s start will have to be pushed back a day, and someone else will have to start the first game.
    *crosses fingers for continued rain*

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 9:34 pm
  • Edit: Nevermind. Completely forgot about Dice-K, who would pitch the first game, and Beckett would pitch the second game anyway. Crap.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 9:46 pm
  • I would think the doubleheader would be scheduled for Saturday not Friday.. though I guess u never know

    TJ August 23, 2007, 9:52 pm
  • Back to Drew, I also like him. I think he’s been a solid player for the Sox, his monthlong hellish slump aside, and I’ve said this many, many times. He hasn’t given th Sox the slugging they expected — and ultimately paid for — but he’s taking his walks and hitting his line drives. I’m not sure what’s causing the power outage, and that’s concerning. I think by and large he’s been the victim of a strange combination of bad luck, high expectations based on his contract and victimization by those who hated him for his contract.
    His lack of “grit/hustle” is complete bullcrap made up by idiot sportswriters — the same guys who love David Eckstein for possessing qualities that don’t change the fact that he’s a below-average hitter. I don’t need a player to get his cap dirty and scream after every strikeout to know he cares about the game. Drew runs out every ball — more than can be said for Manny or Ortiz sometimes — charges hard in the field and generally has done a decent job this year.
    I wish he’d get a better rap from fans and media alike, but that’s probably asking too much. I’d forgotten how wretched Jason Varitek was last night, so I formally retract my opening post. I certainly don’t want to be seen as unjustifyably picking on J.D. It seems I’m one of his only defenders most of the time.

    Paul SF August 23, 2007, 10:09 pm
  • Finally, it’s been decided. Game postponed until 1PM tomorrow afternoon (Central).
    Good night.

    Tucker August 23, 2007, 10:31 pm
  • >>>”All I need is 45 minutes, a redbull and some bengay and I’m good to go. I’ll pitch anytime.”<<< There Julian goes, bragging about his porn career again.

    Hudson August 23, 2007, 11:31 pm
  • I would pay NOT to watch that particular production Hudson

    IronHorse (yf) August 24, 2007, 1:08 am
  • Likewise.

    Hudson August 24, 2007, 4:53 am
  • You can all make those payments to me.

    Paul SF August 24, 2007, 9:42 am
  • Wait Paul, does that mean you have decided to manage Julian’s porn career?
    Yikes.

    LocklandSF August 24, 2007, 10:10 am
  • Why would the Red Sox sign Royce Clayton this morning?
    Any ideas? Pinch runner?

    Brad August 24, 2007, 10:47 am
  • //There Julian goes, bragging about his porn career again//
    AHAHAHAHA Hudson thanks for giving me a good laugh this morning. Almost spit coffee all over my keyboard.

    Atheose August 24, 2007, 11:06 am
  • From lurking on SoSH, it looks like they will at least be able to start the first game of today’s (scheduled) doubleheader.

    Devine August 24, 2007, 1:44 pm

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