LOWELL, MA – Here are three takeaways from the Lowell Spinners’ 2-0 loss to Tri-City on Monday night.
Outstanding pitching: As you can tell from the score, this game was all about the pitching. Both teams pitched well, but especially for the ValleyCats. The Spinners could only muster four hits, all of them singles. Tri-City only had five hits, four of them singles, but they were enough.
Holmes is hot: Tri-Valley starter Brian Holmes picked up his first win of the year, in his longest outing of the year. He went six innings, allowing just two of Lowell’s four hits. He has 11 strikeouts in 12 innings this season.
Haley’s debut: Justin Haley made his professional debut Monday night, allowing one run and striking out two. The Orangevale, CA native was selected in the 6th round by the Boston Red Sox in the 2012 draft.
Once Monday’s news was announced about Roger Clemens, it became quite easy to realize that government and sports don’t coincide.
Clemens, who was acquitted of charges toward lying about steroids and human growth hormones to Congress in 2008, was officially sent out of a Washington courtroom as a “free man” on Monday.
And while many are continuing to scratch their heads over this particular case, it certainly emphasizes the fact that an athlete is more powerful than a group of non-baseball fans, ahem…the jury.
Of course, he will certainly be remembered as one of the greatest pitchers to ever play the game.
The Rocket spent 24-years in the big leagues, and walked away with a record of 354-184 on the bump. He appeared in 11 All-Star Games, earned seven Cy Young Awards, paced the American League with the most wins by a flame-thrower in ’86, ’87, ’97, and ’98, and was awarded the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in 1986.
Yet, excluding those various credentials, it’s unlikely that his name will ever be scratched from the so-called, “steroids era.”
Baseball has become a game of cheaters. Players seem more focused on their various accolades than winning a World Series, and the same could possibly be said for Clemens, right?
Clemens will certainly be remembered as a cheater, as well as someone who maneuvered his way forward with various performance enhancement drugs to extend his career, and one example could be seen when he joined the Toronto Blue Jays for a two-year stint in ’97-’98.
The right-hander hadn’t earned 20 wins or more since the 1980’s, and after a few up-and-down seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Clemens’ numbers skyrocketed in Canada, as he won 41 of 54 games. He also earned two back-to-back Cy Young Awards, too.
So, did the government strike out or did Clemens earn himself another win for the record books?
Well, according to the New York Times, this particular trial was a so-called, “waste of government time, and money.” Clemens became the second Major Leaguer to sneak through the cracks — the first was Barry Bonds, who was sentenced to one month of house arrest after a seven-year investigation in April of 2011. And while Bonds was convicted on one of four charges, (obstructing justice) he still managed to walk out of the courtroom.
Clemens avoided 10 years in federal prison, but will now be faced with the difficult task of convincing the baseball writers that he deserves a spot in the Cooperstown, (he’ll need 75 percent of the ballots to earn a spot).
All in all, I believe that he cheated. Clemens, Bonds and others turned America’s Pastime into a game that’s no longer linked to the days of Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and others.
Will baseball ever resort back to the “good ole days?”
I’m not sure, but once again, the government failed to send a message to all baseball fans and players that cheating is not allowed in a game and life.
Alex Hassan is starting to heat up down on the farm for the Pawtucket Red Sox.
The Quincy native is riding a modest five-game hitting streak. He broke out for four hits, including two RBI doubles, in an 11-8 loss to Gwinnett on Monday night at McCoy Stadium. Over that span, he’s 9-for-22 (.409) with 6 RBI. He’s batting a torrid .393 so far in June.
Hassan is in his first full year with Pawtucket, having spent 2011 with the Portland Sea Dogs. In 53 games with the PawSox he’s batting .263 with five home runs, and 32 RBIs. The 32 RBIs are good for the third on the team, behind Mauro Gomez and Lars Anderson.
Hassan played his high school ball at BC High, then went on to Durham, North Carolina to star at Duke. He was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 2009 draft.
It’s “hump day,” which means this week is somewhat over, right? OK… OK… here are some headlines, news and stories from the city of champions.
* The Boston Red Sox earned their 25th win of the season on Tuesday, as they defeated the Detroit Tigers, 6-3. David Ortizcranked his 11th home run and 18th double of the season, while Daniel Navarecorded three RBIs. Also, Daniel Bardpicked up his fifth win on the bump by tossing 5.1 innings and yielding five hits and two earned runs. Bard also recorded four strikeouts before he was relieved in the sixth forRich Hill.
* Boston has now won 12 games at Fenway Park this season, and will attempt to even their home record on Wednesday against the Tigers — Jon Lesterfaces Drew Smyly — first pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM.
* According to reports — Carl Crawfordis two weeks away from throwing. The Sox outfielder has apparently tallied 60 swings of a tee, but is 10 days away from being able to test the arm, which he believes will be the “true test.”
* The New England Patriots announced on Tuesday that they released the 2007 first-round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts, Anthony Gonzalez. The wide out, who was a free agent this past winter, has been hampered by injuries and hoped to revive his career in New England.
* Finally, the Boston Celtics will attempt to even their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Miami Heat on Wednesday — tip is scheduled for 8:30PM.
Happy Tuesday to everyone, and welcome into this Tuesday edition of the Daily Noontime! Let’s kickstart the four-day work week with some headlines and news from the city of Boston, and state of Massachusetts.
* Miami held Boston to 15 points in the third quarter and 18 in the fourth, as the Heat defeated the Celtics in Game No. 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, 93-79. LeBron Jamesand Dwyane Wadecombined for 54 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists and five blocks, while Kevin Garnettpaced the Celtics with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
* Miami and Boston will return to the hardwood on Wednesday for Game No. 2 at 8:30pm. With Monday’s win, the Heat currently lead the series, 1-0.
* The Boston Red Sox concluded their Memorial Day Weekend with a 7-4 victory against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park. Felix Doubront earned his fifth win of the season on the bump, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia finished the contest 2-4 with two runs, a home run and an RBI.
* Boston is now 24-24, and will attempt to earn their 25th win of the season and 12th at home on Tuesday against Detroit — Daniel Bardopposes Justin Verlander— first pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM.
* Prior to Monday’s contests — the Red Sox continued their 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park by recognizing Trot Nixon. The original dirt dog sported his No. 7 home white jersey, and tossed the out the ceremonial first pitch.