Daily Noontime – May 10, 2012

Josh Beckett made headlines on Wednesday for his golf outing last week, while nursing an injury! (Photo Credit: Cleveland.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Thursday, which means the weekend is right around the corner. And while we anxiously await for Friday, let’s jumpstart this particular day with some headlines and news.

* Despite tying the game in the third inning, Kansas City retained the lead with one run in the fourth, which helped the Royals defeat the Boston Red Sox, 4-3. Jon Lester earned his third loss of the season, while Adrian Gonzalez registered his 19th RBI of the season.

* Boston will return to Fenway Park on Thursday, and attempt to earn their second win in May against the Cleveland Indians. The Sox have only won win in the current month, which was against the Royals on Monday, but have lost seven of their last eight contests.

* According to reports – Josh Beckett, who is scheduled to pitch the first game against the Indians in Boston, supposedly spent an off day last week playing golf while nursing a lat muscle. Beckett did not appear in Sunday’s 17 inning contest against Baltimore due to his “injury,” and hasn’t appeared on the bump since April 29, against the Chicago White Sox.

* The Boston Celtics will attempt to end their first round series against the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday at the TD Garden. Boston has a 3-2 advantage, and has won two out of three games at home.

* Finally, Hawks owner Michael Gearon Jr. told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Kevin Garnett is the dirtiest player in league. He also claimed that the Celtics are an old team, too.

Daily Noontime – May 3, 2012

Daniel Bard sustained his third loss of the season on Wednesday against the Oakland Athletics! (Photo Credit: Eagle Tribune)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Thursday, which means we’re one day away from the weekend! Let’s jumpstart the day with some headlines and news from the city of championships!

* The Boston Red Sox concluded their three-game series with a 4-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday at Fenway Park. Daniel Bard earned his third loss of the season, and yielded eight hits and four earned runs.

* Against the A’s pitching staff, Ryan Sweeney recorded his 12th double of the season, David Ortiz cranked his 11th double, and Dustin Pedroia drove in his eighth RBI.

Adrian Gonzalez extended his slump to 0-for-17 on Wednesday, and missed two chances to drive in runs against the Athletics.

* The New England Patriots bolstered their roster on Wednesday by acquiring former wide receiver Jabar Gaffney. The 31-year-old, who played for New England from 2006 through 2008, recorded 85 passes for 1,059 yards and eight touchdowns.

* According to reports, Kevin Garnett finished fifth in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year, while head coach Doc Rivers concluded the regular season in fifth place in the voting for Coach of the Year.

Daily Noontime – April 24, 2012

Cody Ross smacked two long balls, which helped Boston snap their five-game losing streak in Monday! (Photo Credit: ESPN)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Tuesday, which means this week is slowly motoring along. And while we anxiously await Game No. 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday, let’s jumpstart the day with some news, notes and headlines.

Cody Ross hit two home runs, and Daniel Bard recorded his first win as a reliever, as Boston snapped their five-game skid and defeated the Minnesota Twins, 6-5.

* Against the Twins, Adrian Gonzalez recorded his 10th RBI, while Ross registered his 13th. Also, Alfredo Aceves earned his third save of the season.

* Boston and Minnesota will return to the diamond on Tuesday for an 8:10pm start – Josh Beckett opposes Nick Blackburn.

* The Boston Celtics will play their second to last regular season contests on Tuesday, too, as they welcome the Miami Heat to the TD Garden for an 8PM tip-off. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett may not play against the Heat, as head coach Doc Rivers indicated during Monday’s practice that both players may one of the remaining contests.

Wes Welker apparently will be making a few appearances on various ESPN shows on Tuesday and will also be hosting a live online chat, too.

* Finally, the Boston Bruins seventh game of their quarterfinal series against Washington will begin at 7:30pm on Wednesday.

Daily Noontime – April 18, 2012

Jon Lester lasted only two innings on Tuesday, and surrendered eight hits, seven earned runs and one home run! (Photo Credit: RedSox.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Wednesday to everyone! Let’s kick-start the day with some news and headlines from the six New England states!

* The defending American League Champions, (Texas Rangers) rolled into Fenway Park on Tuesday, and walloped the Boston Red Sox, 18-3. Jon Lester last two innings, and surrendered eight hits, seven earned runs and one home run. Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez each recorded a home run in the loss.

* Boston and Texas will conclude their two-game series on Wednesday at 7pm — Josh Beckett opposes Derek Holland.

* Paul Pierce netted 43 points on Tuesday, which wasn’t enough to beat New York, as the Knicks defeated the Boston Celtics, 118-110. Kevin Garnett finished the contest with 20 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Carmelo Anthony paced the Knicks with 35 points.

* The Celtics will attempt to snap their one-game losing streak on Wednesday when they host the Orlando Magic at 8pm. Also, if Boston beats Orlando, they’ll claim the Atlantic Division.

* Washington received some bad news on Tuesday, as the NHL suspended Nicklas Backstrom for a cross-check penalty, which occurred at the end of Monday’s contest against Boston. The Bruins currently lead their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series, 2-1, and will return to the ice on Thursday for Game No. 4.

Daily Noontime – April 11, 2012

Kevin Garnett registered 24 points against Miami on Tuesday, which helped Boston earn their 33rd victory of the season! (Photo Credit: SunJournal.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s “hump day,” which means this week is almost over. However, before we break out into song and dance, let’s kick-start the day with some headlines and news.

* The Boston Celtics earned their 18th win since the NBA All-Star break, as they defeated the Miami Heat in Florida on Tuesday, 115-107. Paul Pierce led the Green and White with 27 points, while Kevin Garnett poured in 24 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks. Garnett finished the game 11-of-14 from the field , while his team converted 43-of-71 field goals.

* The Celtics have now won four of their last six contests, and will attempt to earn their 34th win of the season on Wednesday when they host the Atlanta Hawks.

Daniel Bard lasted five innings, and gave up eight hits and five runs, which helped the Toronto Blue Jays defeat the Boston Red Sox, 7-3. Adrian Gonzalez finished the contest with three RBIs, while Kevin Youkilis managed to muster his first two hits of the season.

* The Red Sox and Blue Jays will conclude their three-game series on Wednesday at 12:37pm – Jon Lester will oppose Ricky Romero.

* Boston College’s men’s ice hockey team celebrated their fifth National Championship on Tuesday, as the campus hosted a parade for students and members of the community to commemorate their most recent victory against Ferris State. BC ended their season on a 19-game winning streak.

* Finally, we’re one day away from the Boston Bruins first round playoff match against the Washington Capitals. And while players and coaches continue to prepare for their upcoming foe, Tyler Seguin explained to the media that “it’s a lot different this year,” especially since the team won the Stanley Cup last June.

Daily Noontime – April 10, 2012

Boston's Darnell McDonald slides safely into home plate! (Photo Credit: Hartford Courant)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Tuesday, which means this particular week is motoring along. And while we anxiously await for another weekend, let’s get the day started with some headlines and news from Boston.

* The Boston Red Sox needed a ninth inning rally to pick up their first win of the 2012 season, as they defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-2. Darnell McDonald and Cody Ross scored the team’s third and fourth runs, while Alfredo Aceves picked up his first save after a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

* Boston will attempt to double their win total on Tuesday when Daniel Bard opposes Kyle Drabek at 7:07pm in Toronto.

* According to reports – Boston’s Kevin Youkilis is frustrated about his 12 plate appearances this season. The third baseman is currently 0-for-12 at the dish, and leads the team with five strikeouts, (Adrian Gonzalez also has five strikeouts, too).

* The Boston Celtics will look to earn a critical victory on Tuesday when they travel to Miami to face the Heat. The Green and White have 10 games remaining before the playoffs, and will certainly have their hands full during this final stretch.

* ESPNBoston confirmed on Monday that the Celtics were tabbed as the No. 6 team in basketball according to the recent ESPN rankings. Last week, the Celtics were slated at the No. 7 team, but recent victories bumped them up to their newest spot.

* Lastly, we’re two days away from the Boston Bruins first playoff contest against the Washington Capitals, which is scheduled for Thursday, Apr. 12 at 7:30pm.

Daily Noontime – October 4, 2011

Josh Freeman and the Buccaneers rallied to defeat the winless Colts on Monday, 24-17!

Whoa – it’s Tuesday? Wow… the week is flying by, which is always a good thing, right? Here’s our latest edition of the Daily Noontime. 

Headlines: 

* It may have not been the greatest game, but somehow the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rallied to defeat the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football, 24-17.

* According to NFL Network’s Deion Sanders, he believes that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo isn’t the guy who can lead his team to the Super Bowl.

*  Here’s an interesting story – how many young women do you know play high school football and are the homecoming queen? Well, read this article and I think you’ll know at least one by the end of it.

* Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers rallied on Monday evening to earn a 2-1 series lead against the New York Yankees.

* According to the Boston Herald, Boston Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez wasn’t expecting Terry Francona to be “fire.”

* According to sources - NHL’s vice president Brandon Shanahan is ready to “come down hard” on vicious head shots this season.

Games to Watch: 

* Texas at Tampa Bay (MLB Playoffs) – 2:07pm eastern 

* Philadelphia at St. Louis (MLB Playoffs) – 5:07pm eastern 

* New York Yankees at Detroit (MLB Playoffs) – 8:37pm eastern 

* Milwaukee at Arizona (MLB Playoffs) – 9:37pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

Can this be the official rally song for the MLB Playoffs? 

Red Sox Weekly 8/29/11

By Andy Lindberg

Despite the best efforts of Mother Nature and Hurricane Irene, the Boston Red Sox slogged through a wet day on Saturday, August 27 to sweep a twin bill against Oakland and go 5-2 on the week.  In the process, the Red Sox upped their lead over the New York Yankees to two games before entering a crucial three game set with the Bombers on Tuesday.

The week began in bleak fashion with a 4-0 loss to the Texas Rangers in sweltering Arlington.  The offensive woes did not continue throughout the rest of the series.  Last week I mentioned Adrian Gonzalez must get some more run production going soon for Boston to be able to put the Yankees away.  Gonzalez responded by crushing five home runs in the final three games of the series, including two each in games two and four.

John Lackey’s ERA finally dipped below 6.00 (it resides now at 5.98) as he won his 12th game of the season last Tuesday.  Josh Beckett followed with his 11th win and Andrew Miller threw a spectacular 6.1 scoreless innings in the series finale to take three of four in Texas.

It seems as if Tim Wakefield may never win his 200th game, as he suffered his sixth loss in a 15-5 drubbing in the opening game of the Oakland series.  Boston responded on Saturday before Hurricane Irene pelted the coast by sweeping a doubleheader in which Jon Lester won his 14th game of the year in the early game.

Right now Boston enters a three game series with New York that could very well decide the division.  The Yankees enter Fenway with an offense that has produced a Major League leading 186 home runs, 20 more homers than the runner up, the Boston Red Sox.  The Yankees have scored 719 runs this year, the Red Sox 718.  The Yankees lead in RBI with 702, the Red Sox are second with 691.  The Red Sox do lead in batting average, however, with a .279 clip to the Yankees’ .269.  Even with the offensive prowess New York possesses, it is their pitching that is a problem for them.  The Red Sox have a legitimate chance to put New York away this week, but will only be able to do so if Red Sox pitching steps up and can contain the potent Yankee lineup.

Red Sox Weekly 8/22/11

By Andy Lindberg

The Yankees keep winning and the Red Sox, struggle as they may, have kept pace for another week.  A 4-3 week is hardly a success, but with David Ortiz out for the week and Kevin Youkilis placed on the 15-Day DL after a long bout with back ailments, a winning record is something to relish.

The week began with a rough double-header at Fenway against the Tampa Bay Rays.  As is the case in many doubleheaders, the Red sox split, wining the first game 3-1 and dropping the second.  The following day saw Boston get shut out by Tampa Bay lefty David Price.

Boston rebounded by taking the first two of a four-game set with Kansas City but the third game of the series was a glaring failure on the part of Boston’s bullpen to hold onto Tim Wakefield’s 200th career win bid.  Jon Lester provided support in the finale, winning 6-1 on Sunday and earning his 13th win of the season.

The Red Sox are a team that has been lucky to hang with the red-hot Yankees.  Adrian Gonzalez, although still batting .343, has hot only one home run since the All-Star break, giving further credence to the theory the Home Run Derby hurts a power hitter’s swing.

Red Sox hitting coach Dave Madagan believes this is the case with Gonzalez, as Gonzalez is primarily an opposite field power hitter, even in batting practice.  After spending a tremendous amount of effort to pull the ball for power in the Derby, it is clear Gonzalez is having trouble driving the ball the opposite way with power (his one homer after the break was pulled to right field).

There is no doubt Gonzalez has had a great year, but his run production has dropped off since the break significantly with only 17 RBI since the midsummer classic.

The pitching his struggles as well, and John Lackey’s ERA still sits above 6.00 at 6.02; a miserable year for a pitcher the Red Sox bought via free agency to win big games and perform in the playoffs.

Currently, the Red Sox sit 0.5 games back of the New York Yankees in the American League and are up 7.5 games on Tampa Bay in the Wild Card race.

Tonight the Red Sox start a four game series in Texas, coincidentally the ballpark the Red Sox began a dismal April in.  After finishing up with the Rangers, Boston comes back home for a weekend series with the Athletics.

Red Sox Weekly 8/8/11

By Andy Lindberg

The Red Sox kept control of first place in the American League East after a brutal week facing off against Cleveland for four games and the Yankees for three more.  Boston split the first series with Cleveland, with Jacoby Ellsbury collecting walk-off hits in two consecutive games, the second of which was a home run.  The Sox then took two of three from New York.

There are few hitters in all of baseball hotter than Ellsbury right now.  After his two-walk off performance in the Cleveland series and dropping the first game of the series to the Yankees, Ellsbury exploded on Saturday for six RBI, including a 3-run home run off of CC Sabathia to put the nail in the coffin for New York.  Sabathia is now 0-4 against Boston this year, an impressive statistic considering he is 16-6 with a 2.81 ERA even after the Beantown shelling.  For those of you who are mathematically impaired, like myself, only two of Sabathia’s losses have come from teams not named the Red Sox.  Not bad considering at this point Sabathia is the American League Cy Young front-runner, who is now 6-9 all-time against Boston with a 4.19 ERA in 19 games.

As hot as Ellsbury was, Carl Crawford was out for blood this week, raising his batting average from the mid .240’s all the way up to .260 after hits in seven consecutive at-bats (including a 4-4 performance on Saturday) and collected three more hits in the series finale against New York.  Crawford is hitting the pitches he was missing earlier in the season, either due to not seeing the ball well or pressing too hard at the plate.  Right now, Red Sox fans are seeing the Crawford Boston paid for, and now that he seems more comfortable at the plate, the rest of this season and seasons to follow should result in better numbers from Crawford.

Josh Reddick further impressed critics with a walk-off hit against Phil Hughes of the Yankees on Sunday as well, plating Darnell McDonald for the win after Marco Scutaro jump-started the Boston rally off of Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning, just as ESPN was rolling it’s montage of greatness to Rivera and giving Boston no chance of winning.  Scutaro lead off the ninth with a Green Monster double, and Ellsbury laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, which moved Scutaro to third.  Dustin Pedroia, who was -10 with five strikeouts against Rivera leading into the at-bat, clocked a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Scutaro.  The win put the Red Sox back on top in the East by one game.  This week Boston hits the road for three games in Minnesota, beginning tonight and finishing on the West Coast against Seattle over the weekend.

 

Wake Goes For 200

 

Tonight’s game against Minnesota will see Tim Wakefield log his third attempt at career win number 200.  The game will begin at 7:10 EST.

 

Boston MVP Candidates

One cannot ignore the top three hitters in the Boston lineup.  Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Adrian Gonzalez are all having fantastic years.  Gonzalez still leads the Major Leagues in RBI (91), hits (159), and batting average (.348), but the power numbers are down from what most fans expected.  The point of hitting home runs is to drive in runs, and home run hitters are to do that copiously, so having Gonzalez leading baseball in RBI with only 18 homers is an extremely impressive statistic.  This may be due to the fact that Gonzalez is second in doubles with 34, and has peppered the Green Monster repeatedly in his time at Fenway.

As good as Gonzalez and Pedroia have been, the Red Sox MVP at this juncture has to be Jacoby Ellsbury.  Red Sox fans clearly has no idea what the organization was missing last season when Ellsbury was limited to only 18 games due to injury.  Ellsbury is batting .318 with 19 home runs (his previous season-high was 9 in 2008), 72 RBI and 31 stolen bases.  That’s all from the leadoff guy.  There is no better table-setter in baseball right now.  The most noticeable trend to me is that from day one of this season, Ellsbury has been much better about working the count and making opposing pitchers work hard to get him out as opposed to last year and years past in which 2-pitch groundouts to second base were frequent.  Ellsbury has been the epitome of a difference-maker this season and having him, Pedroia (who is making a great case to reclaim his number 1 AL second baseman status from Robinson Cano), and Gonzalez all bat in the first inning is one of the large reasons Boston is the offensive powerhouse is has become this season.