Thrill In the Air: Sox-Rangers Gamer VIII

In a year when the Red Sox have three players in contention for Rookie of the Year honors (would you believe that Daisuke Matsuzaka is probably third right now?), it’s hard not to be excited about the future — especially when the present includes the best record in baseball and a large division lead.

Yet here we are tonight, with the Red Sox’ most heavily anticipated position player prospect since a young shortstop named Nomar set to make his Major League debut tonight.

Jacoby Ellsbury — 23 years old, top Sox pick in the 2005 draft, .312/.384/.503 in two-plus years of minor-league play — will bat ninth and play center field tonight in place of Coco Crisp, whose thumb remains sore.

Forgive us if we’re somewhat breathless with the anticipation. We do love the kids, and Ellsbury by all reports is as good as they come when you’re talking about speed, defense and reaching base consistently and frequently. He won’t ever lead the league in home runs, but batting titles and stolen-base crowns are certainly within his potential grasp.

Baseball Prospectus forecast Ellsbury to hit .300/.351/.410 should he receive a full season in Boston this year:

Thus far, he’s fully justified both the team’s investment and the inevitable Damon comparisons. Ellsbury has climbed through the system rapidly, showing significant improvement at each stop, excellent on-base skills, developing power and outstanding range in the field.

This is expected to only be a cup of coffee. But the 9-1-2 combo of Ellsbury-Pedroia-Youkilis — with Josh Beckett on the mound — we’ll see tonight is exciting indeed.


  1. 2B Dustin Pedroia
  2. 1B Kevin Youklis
  3. DH David Ortiz
  4. LF Manny Ramirez
  5. RF J.D. Drew
  6. 3B Mike Lowell
  7. C Jason Varitek
  8. SS Alex Cora
  9. CF Jacoby Ellsbury

SP Josh Beckett


  1. CF Kenny Lofton
  2. 2B Jerry Hairston
  3. SS Michael Young
  4. DH Sammy Sosa
  5. LF Frank Catalanotto
  6. RF Marlon Byrd
  7. C Gerald Laird
  8. 3B Ramon Vazquez

SP Robinson Tejeda

109 comments… add one
  • found this to be interesting from cafardo’s pre game notes….
    “I asked one Sox executive who’s faster, Ellsbury or Crisp? evidently it’s pretty close. I was told that Double-A pitching prospect Clay Buchholz is faster than both of them.”

    sf rod June 30, 2007, 6:37 pm
  • My prediction…If Ellsbury excels in this brief call up he will be back by August 1 because Theo will trade Coco to help bolster the bullpen.

    TJ June 30, 2007, 6:43 pm
  • If Coco can play like he did this past three weeks, or even 85% of that conistently, then I only trade him for another keeper, not for a deadline bullpen arm assist.
    As for Ellsbury, I am extremely excited to see him play, but my expectations are seriously tempered. It’s just not realistic to expect him to come in and bang away offensively. If he can hold his own in center, that’s a start. Any productive work on offense will be tasty gravy, as far as I am concerned.

    SF June 30, 2007, 7:05 pm
  • Good start for Beckett — Ks Lofton on four pitches, all looking.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:11 pm
  • is anyone successfully listening to or mlbtv?

    rootbeerfloat June 30, 2007, 7:11 pm
  • i have mlb radio on

    TJ June 30, 2007, 7:14 pm
  • Very good start for Beckett. He manages to do what we couldn’t last night. Keep Lofton off base for atleast one AB.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:14 pm
  • Nice 11-pitch first for Beckett. Let’s hope the Sox can actually hit Robinson Tejeda, who hasn’t thrown anything remotely resembling a quality start in his last seven tries.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:14 pm
  • 11 pitch inning for Beckett

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:14 pm
  • Well, Lofton was out on that disputed play in the ninth, but it’s hard to play the ump. He looked safe in real-time to me too.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:15 pm
  • DPod draws the walk

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:18 pm
  • Pedroia walks.
    Just noticed Drew’s back in the fifth spot. I wonder if Terry feels he’s back to form and so can resume hitting down there..

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:18 pm
  • Youk follows up with a walk of his own. Two on, none out. Based on recent trends, I predict Ortiz will now pop out and Manny will GIDP.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:21 pm
  • PAPI!! RBI single, and the Sox have a quick lead.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:23 pm
  • Papi singles in Pedroia. Wow, a first inning lead. Been awhile since we had one of those.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:24 pm
  • Wow, Tejeda uncorks one, taking away the DP. He just isn’t very good. Makes our 2-0 loss to him earlier this season even more embarrassing.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:24 pm
  • Yuck, Manny. Since he hit .300 earlier this month, Manny’s BA has fallen 11 points.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:26 pm
  • Now they intentionally walk Drew in hopes of getting the DP from Lowell. Lowell was 2-4 last night. I think he may be ready to get back to mashing.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:27 pm
  • As the season goes on and I see what Manny and David are doing. I think that they will hit for average, but I am really beginning to wonder if either of them will hit 30 homers. Just seems like they have not gotten in any groove for power this year.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:27 pm
  • Well, the sac fly is better than nothing. :-P Would be nice to get another run out of this though.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:29 pm
  • I think Papi will, Rob. He’s always hit very well in the summer months, but it does seem like it’s taken longer and longer for Manny to find his groove each year, and one of these sseasons he’s just not going to find it at all. This year may be it.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:30 pm
  • Damn, Tek K’s to end the inning. Just did not take enough of an advantage of Tejada’s inability to find the strikezone.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:32 pm
  • Honestly, Varitek. The guy can’t find the strike zone (9 strikes, 17 balls entering the at-bat), and you swing at the first pitch and then strike out swinging?? It’s called TAKING PITCHES. Do it.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:32 pm
  • I say that becuase of Manny does not find it soon, then Papi is going to see less to get the wood on. It also does not help Manny that Drew was in such a funk for a long stretch.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:33 pm
  • Yeah, it kind of dominoes, from Drew to Manny to Ortiz. If Drew’s finally hot, maybe it will help all three of them to get into a groove. This lineup sure could use it. Also makes me curious as to what the Sox will do post-Manny. There’s only one season left.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:34 pm
  • Jacoby Ellsbury catches his first fly ball in the bigs. He’s already better than Wily Mo Pena :-P.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:35 pm
  • ok, I finally got mlbRadio working and caught the tail end of something about the Yankees and Torre and Posada – waht was that about?

    rootbeerfloat June 30, 2007, 7:37 pm
  • 18 pitches through 2 for Josh Beckett. Just 3 balls.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:37 pm
  • Well either Moss or Murphy could take over left. Granted they would not be the offensive player that Manny is, but they both seem to be able to get on base.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:38 pm
  • Cora triples on the first pitch, giving Ellsbury an RBI opportunity.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:40 pm
  • Posada’s quote:
    “Luck comes when you go after it. It seems like there are times we go through the motions and today was one of those games,” Posada said. “I think everyone knows what I’m talking about”
    Torre said they made it easy for Oakland.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:41 pm
  • A tapper in front of the plate, Cora holds. Ah well. Another time.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:42 pm
  • Cora’s average now up to .282

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:42 pm
  • Rob – Thanks, very interesting….

    rootbeerfloat June 30, 2007, 7:42 pm
  • YOUK!!!! 4-0 on the homer!

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:45 pm
  • Yes, seems like a possible implosion is starting to build. The Yanks were branded “born again” from the media with the 11-1 stretch and now the jackals are out again, worse this time now that they have started to struggle again.
    Youk knocks in Cora.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:45 pm
  • Kevin Youkilis says: “Make me an All-Star, motherf***ers.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:45 pm
  • Did Youk single or homer?

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:46 pm
  • As always, I think the Yankee comments are a case of: Winning creates good chemistry/losing creates bad chemistry. The sniping begins when everyone’s frustrated.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:47 pm
  • Rob – He homered into the Monster seats

    rootbeerfloat June 30, 2007, 7:47 pm
  • Home run, Rob. Over the Monster. Now Ortiz walks.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:48 pm
  • Thanks RBF, I got CBS’d, said he hit s deep sinle to center.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:48 pm
  • Now Ramirez hit by a pitch. Drew will get a chance with an opportunity to put this game pretty well out of reach with Beckett pitching well…

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:49 pm
  • loaded for lowe, baby!

    mike June 30, 2007, 7:51 pm
  • Lowell with his second bases loaded opportunity in two innings. I’d reallly like to see a RISP/2 out RBI here. They’ve been hard to find this month.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:51 pm
  • Bah, another flyout to left. Not as beneficial with two outs. Still, another two runs, which should be enough with Beckett dealing.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:54 pm
  • we should be up by 17 going into the third.

    sf rod June 30, 2007, 7:54 pm
  • Contrasting pitching styles:
    Tejada with 62 pitches through 2
    Beckett with 18

    Rob June 30, 2007, 7:55 pm
  • It’s OK, Rod. At this pace, the Sox will win 16-0.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 7:58 pm
  • Lofton must be made partly of some rare metal.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:02 pm
  • Friggin Lofton. Guys is like a cockroach, just won’t go away.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 8:02 pm
  • not sure of his picth count, but Clay Buchholz has been take out after 5 innings while tossing a no-hitter against New Hampshire.

    TJ June 30, 2007, 8:04 pm
  • Beckett comes back with the strikeout. Three Ks, 2 H, 40 pitches for Beckett through 3.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:07 pm
  • First time in three innings the Sox did not get the leadoff man on.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:12 pm
  • kind of amazing cora has 5 triples on the season, while only having 3 doubles.

    sf rod June 30, 2007, 8:12 pm
  • make that 4 doubles now.

    sf rod June 30, 2007, 8:13 pm
  • Cora with the double in front of Ellsbury.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:13 pm
  • jacberry beats out an infield hit. welcome to the bigs kid.

    sf rod June 30, 2007, 8:14 pm
  • Save the ball — Ellsbury reaches on the infield single. Now batting .500/.500/.500… ;-)

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:15 pm
  • Ugh. Theeere’s the DP. At last we already had some runs.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:19 pm
  • Anybody else ready to vote Sammy Sosa most overated player of 2007?

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:23 pm
  • Sosa and Catalonotto: Both foul off a ton of pitches then get singles. DP would be nice here.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:27 pm
  • Urgh, back-to-back-to-back singles makes it 4-1. Shut em down here, Josh.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:29 pm
  • Crap. Beckett coming apart now. 4-3 on the double.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:30 pm
  • nesn is reporting proctor took all of his equipment out to the field and burned it after the loss today. not making this up.

    sf rod June 30, 2007, 8:32 pm
  • Man, this sucks. Another infield single, second of the inning.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:35 pm
  • Now the Cockroach is up.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:36 pm
  • And ties the game with a single. Did this really just happen?

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:36 pm
  • Turns out we could have used those six LOB in three innings after all.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:37 pm
  • Man. In one inning, Beckett went from cruising to a quality start, easy 12th win, sub-3 ERA to battling it out with scrub Robinson Tejeda in a slugfest. Crazy. I’ll be curious to see what happened there. Some of that was bad luck (2 infield singles and another ground-ball single), but still.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:41 pm
  • Strike out-throw out DP. Freaking ridiculous. A ssoon as Beckett gets into trouble, the Sox’ bats wither.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:47 pm
  • And Manny Ks. This team needs to remember how to clutch.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:48 pm
  • This sucks. The Rangers have all the momentum now in a game that should be a Sox blowout.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:50 pm
  • Beckett returns to form with a strikeout of Young.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:51 pm
  • F*ck. Sosa with the homer to give Texas the lead. I’m gonna stop posting. Maybe that will make things better.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 8:53 pm
  • Wow. I turned on this game at the wrong time. Missed the good part, got the bottom of the 4th. (I’m posting from my iPhone btw. This thing is awesome.)

    Max June 30, 2007, 8:55 pm
  • The Rangers can thank Dustin Pedroia for their fourth inning (he could have stopped the inning with a half-decent play on a grounder to the right side), and Beckett to thank for everything else. Putrid effort by the Sox’ ace, and the bats are culpable too – 6 left on through the first three innings, Papi continues to baffle. How can he swing at TWO ball fours with Youk at first and nobody out against a pitcher with NO control?
    If the Sox were as good as everyone seems to think they are (their record is deceiving, as far as I am concerned), they’d have a 15 game lead in this division. It’s pretty disappointing that it’s only ten games right now: a full month of .500 ball is not acceptable. Another month of it and we may have a pennant race.

    SF June 30, 2007, 9:00 pm
  • OK, I said I wouldn’t post, but is it too much to ask Jason Varitek to a. Take a pitch or b. Put his bat on a ball so as to score the runner standing on third?
    Oh, it is? Ok. Just thought I’d ask.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 9:07 pm
  • When did the Boston Red Sox turn into the New York Yankees?

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 9:09 pm
  • I can’t remember the last time the Sox squeezed. And I also can’t remember the last time Varitek did something useful. Toast is back.
    I still maintain this team has major flaws, and last night and tonight show it. They don’t get a stellar performance from their pitcher, they likely don’t win. The offense is just not consistent and clutch. What’s happened to Manny? He looks awful to me, has for a long while.

    SF June 30, 2007, 9:14 pm
  • I take comfort in the fact that nearly every good team has a bad stretch, and that no team is as bad as they look when they struggle. So far, the Sox’ bad stretch seems to be playing ,500 baseball. That ain’t bad — better than in 2004.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 9:21 pm
  • Is it me or has Papi gotten like no post-6th inning big hits in a long f*cking time?

    SF June 30, 2007, 9:27 pm
  • And that about sums it up. Papi Ks, swinging at ball four for the second straight time.
    The Red Sox just aren’t a great team. They are a good team in a terrible division who got off to a great start, and thank God for that. But the way they are playing, have played for the last 30-35 days shouldn’t inspire fear in anyone who comes into town.
    This is an insanely frustrating team, one that could be fifteen games ahead of their competition.

    SF June 30, 2007, 9:34 pm
  • Every time Ortiz comes up, I think, “OK, this is it. He gets the big hit, gives us the lead, and we’re all set.” And every time, he strikes out, pops up or otherwise looks like the farthest thing from Big Papi you can imagine.
    If either Ortiz or Ramirez were on their game right now, this lineup would look a whole lot better. But neither is, and that’s just about the difference between the Sox of April and May, and the Sox of June. July has to be better than this crap.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 9:37 pm
  • so whos a great team LA Angels were 3-0 against them. Detroit? 3-1 against them.
    There the best team in the American League if not all of baseball.

    TJ June 30, 2007, 9:49 pm
  • Great, get home from dinner to see that a shit sandwhich got served.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 9:56 pm
  • Here come Otsuka and Gagne.
    Not driving in the runs early in the game when Tejada was throwing BP is probably going to snake bite us in the ass tonight.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 10:03 pm
  • do not like the sacrifice there from cora. with 6 outs left in the game, the sox should not be handing them over.

    sf rod June 30, 2007, 10:05 pm
  • Cora grounds out to 3rd.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 10:05 pm
  • Ellsbury grounds out to 2nd.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 10:05 pm
  • Pedroia with a 2 out double. Come on Youk! Knock him in!

    Rob June 30, 2007, 10:07 pm
  • Lugo in to run for Pedroia.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 10:08 pm
  • I’m losing it with Lugo. Who does that crap?

    Regular_Brad June 30, 2007, 10:09 pm
  • are you kidding me. no way we should win this game after an eighth inning like that. just plain ugly.

    sf rod June 30, 2007, 10:09 pm
  • What haoppened?

    Rob June 30, 2007, 10:10 pm
  • Whoever decided Lugo should try to steal (him or the coaches) should be executed.

    Devine June 30, 2007, 10:10 pm
  • it does the sox no advantage to have lugo at third there with youk up. was that called from tito? for lugo’s sake, i hope so.

    sf rod June 30, 2007, 10:11 pm
  • Well in slimmest sliver of hope, Youk is still getting to bat in the 9th followed by Papi and Manny. Both of who are so overdue for some 9th inning heroics it is not funny.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 10:13 pm
  • Absolutely inexcusable. Even if Lugo did that on his own, he should have been up there with a “no steal” order. He scores from second on a single just as easily as third. That is atrocious baseball.

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 10:14 pm
  • Lugo was already complaining of not being able to sleep due to his play. After this tonight the guy is going to think he is on the set of Nightmare on Elm St.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 10:14 pm
  • That’s the second time in a week having Lugo in the game in a key spot has cost us a potential tying run. If he can’t even be smart on the bases, what use is he to this team?

    Paul SF June 30, 2007, 10:15 pm
  • DId anyone see Proctor’s implosion after the Yankee game today? I haven’t seen it, but my buddy called me and said that he lit all of his equiptment on fire or something?
    Has anyone heard this?

    Regular_Brad June 30, 2007, 10:19 pm
  • C’Mon David….
    You are capable of hitting it out, remember?

    Regular_Brad June 30, 2007, 10:20 pm
  • Overdue Papi

    Rob June 30, 2007, 10:20 pm
  • No Brad, hadn’t heard it.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 10:21 pm
  • Regular_Brad June 30, 2007, 10:22 pm
  • Well, all up to Manny.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 10:22 pm
  • Manny down on three straight pitches.
    Great job guys. 4 runs in the first two innings and nothing after that. By the way, someone knock the crap out of Lugo in the clubhouse for that bonehead move tongight.
    Another opportunity to put distance between us and you-know-who, and we can’t manage to accomlpish it.

    Rob June 30, 2007, 10:25 pm
  • Can Julio Lugo just go the f*ck away, right NOW?
    What the hell did Epstein see in this clown? Stealing third down a run with two outs and your best contact hitter at the plate? Are you F*CKING KIDDING ME? If it weren’t for the idiotic contract that our boy wonder GM had to offer this piece of garbage, a move like that would get him DFA’d, and deservedly so.
    This team is heading nowhere playing the way they are.

    SF June 30, 2007, 10:32 pm

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