Daily Noontime – May 21, 2012

Mike Aviles cranked his eighth home run of the season on Sunday, as Boston defeated Philadelphia, 5-1! (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Monday, which means a brand new week has officially started! Let’s get things rolling with some news and headlines from the city of Boston, and state of Massachusetts.

* The Boston Red Sox concluded their weekend series against the Philadelphia Phillies with a 5-1 victory. Boston defeated Philadelphia two out of three times, and are now 20-21 overall.

* Against Cliff Lee on Sunday, Boston’s bats recorded five runs on nine hits. Mike Aviles cranked his eighth home run of the season, and also recorded his 27th RBI. Jarrod Saltalamacchia finished the day 1 for 4, and hit a home run and drove in three runs.

* Boston will continue its current road trip on Monday when they travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles at 7:05PM — Clay Buchholz faces Tommy Hunter on the bump.

* According to the Boston Globe — if the Sox record a sweep against the Orioles, they’d be able to “tighten things up” in the American League East. Also, don’t expect Daisuke Matsuzaka to return to the rotation anytime soon, as the right-hander is currently dealing with “pain in his right trapezius muscle.”

* The Boston Celtics will return to the TD Garden on Monday for Game No. 5 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Philadelphia 76ers. The series is tied, 2-2, and Boston has only won one game at home this series, and one in Philadelphia.

* The Celtics squandered a golden opportunity to earn a two-game cushion on Friday, and know that this particular match is critical, especially after an “idle weekend.”

Daily Noontime – May 17, 2012

Kevin Garnett paced the Celtics with 27 points on Wednesday, which helped Boston earn a 2-1 series lead against Philadelphia! (Photo Credit: NY Daily News)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Thursday, which means this particular week is slowly motoring along. Here are some news and headlines from the city of Boston!

* The Boston Celtics tallied 32 points in the second, and 29 in the third, as the Green and White captured Game No. 3 against the Philadelphia 76ers, 107-91. Kevin Garnett poured in 27 points, and finished with 13 rebounds, while Paul Pierce added 24 points, 12 rebounds and three steals.

* Boston now owns a 2-1 series lead, and will return to the hardwood on Friday when they attempt to earn a two-game lead against Philly.

* According to the New York Times – Rajon Rondo appeared more focused than ever during Wednesday’s shoot around, and told head coach Doc Rivers prior to tip-off that the third game of this particular series was necessary for Boston. Rondo finished the contest with 23 points and 14 rebounds, but recorded 17 points in the first half.

* The Boston Red Sox watched their five-game winning streak conclude on Wednesday in Tampa Bay, as the Rays scored twice — once in the second, and once in the sixth — to earn a 2-1 victory. Clay Buchholz lasted five innings, and yielded six hits, two earned runs, but fanned five batters.

* Boston and Tampa Bay will conclude their two-game series on Thursday — Felix Doubront opposes Matt Moore – first pitch is schedule for 7:10PM.

* Bobby Valentine told the media prior to their first game against the Rays that Daisuke Matsuzaka, whose rehab assignment ends on May 23, is not ready to join the Red Sox 

Daily Noontime – May 7, 2012

Paul Pierce paced the Celtics with 24 points on Sunday, which helped Boston capture Game No. 4 against Atlanta! (Photo Credit: Cleveland.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s a brand new week, which means … the Daily Noontime! Here are some headlines and news from the best city in the world…Boston!

* The Boston Celtics are one game away from knocking out the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the NBA playoffs, as the Green and White earned an impressive, 101-79 victory. Paul Pierce paced all scorers in Game No. 4 with 24 points, while Rajon Rondo concluded the contest with 20 points and 16 assists.

* Despite leading his team in points, Pierce sustained a left knee injury during shoot around on Sunday, which left his status for Game No. 4 up in the air. However, he did play, but aggravated his knee, which means his status for Game No. 5 on Tuesday is uncertain. Also, Avery Bradley, who dislocated his shoulder during Friday’s contest, finished Sunday’s game with six points, one rebound and one steal.

* The Boston Red Sox woes continued on Sunday, as the Baltimore Orioles concluded their three-game series sweep with a 9-6 win in 17 innings.Clay Buchholz lasted 3.2 innings, and surrendered seven hits, five earned runs and three home runs. Will Middlebrooks hit his first career home run in a Sox uniform, while David Ortiz recorded two hits and double in the loss.

* The Sox have now dropped five out of their last six contests, and will attempt to rebound on Monday when they travel to Kansas City for an 8:10pm first pitch — Felix Doubront opposes Jonathan Sanchez.

* Last, but certainly not least, New England Patriots left tackle Matt Light is scheduled to announce his retirement on Monday. He issued a statement to the media on Sunday, and will meet with reporters at Gillette Stadium to wrap up his 11-year career with the Patriots.

Daily Noontime – May 1, 2012

David Ortiz cranked two home runs, as Boston defeated Oakland on Monday, 11-6! (Photo Credit: RedSox.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Tuesday to everyone, and also, Happy May, too! Let’s jumpstart the month with some headlines and news from the city of champions… Boston!

David Ortiz concluded the month of April with two home runs and two RBIs, as Boston defeated Oakland at Fenway Park on Monday, 11-6. Clay Buchholz earned his third victory of the season on the bump – he pitched 6.2 innings, allowed seven hits and six earned runs, but fanned five batters.

* Boston’s win against Oakland also snapped a five-game losing streak, too. Both squads will return to the diamond on Tuesday — Felix Doubront opposes Jarrod Parker.

* The Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics will play Game No. 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series on Tuesday — Rajon Rondo won’t be in the lineup due to earning a one-game suspension for bumping a referee on Sunday.

Doc Rivers told the media on Monday that he’s not planning on rushing back Ray Allen, who is currently battling a right ankle injury. Sources confirmed that Allen will most likely need surgery once the Celtics season concludes.

Daily Noontime – April 30, 2012

Don't expect Rajon Rondo to return to the lineup on Tuesday! (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s hard to believe, but April is officially coming to a close!

Good Monday to everyone, and welcome into another grand edition of the Daily Noontime! Let’s kickstart the day with some news and headlines from Boston.

* The Boston Celtics dropped their first playoff game on Sunday, as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Green and White, 83-74. Josh Smith posted 22 points and 18 rebounds for Atlanta, while Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo each paced Boston with 20 points.

* Atlanta and Boston will return to the hardwood for Game No. 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Tuesday at 7:30pm.

* Sources confirmed after Game No. 1 that Rondo will most likely miss one game for being ejected on Sunday, and possibly two for colliding with referee. If Boston does lose their all-star point guard, they’ll most likely have to rely on Avery Bradley to carry the load.

* The Boston Red Sox had their six-game winning streak snapped on Sunday, as the Chicago White Sox defeated the local nine, 4-1. Cody Ross recorded his 18th RBI, while David Ortiz cranked his ninth double of the season.

* The Red Sox, who’re now 10-11, will attempt to snap their one-game skid against the Oakland Athletics — Clay Buchholz opposes Tommy Milone.

* Kevin Youkilis expressed that despite being a late scratch on Sunday, he believed could have been a pinch hitter. Youkilis is currently dealing with a sore lower back, but hopes to be back in the lineup on Monday.

Daily Noontime – April 26, 2012

Joel Ward's overtime strike on Wednesday lifted Washington past Boston in Game No. 7, 2-1! (Photo Credit: CBC.ca)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Ah… it’s Thursday, which means we’re one day closer to the end of the work week. However, this is a rather solemn day, as Bostonians mourn the loss of the Boston Bruins, so let’s try to brighten the mood with headlines and news!

* As stated above, the Boston Bruins quest toward a seventh Stanley Cup championship ended on Wednesday evening at the TD Garden when the Washington Capitals defeated them, 2-1 in overtime. Joel Ward scored the clincher at 2:57 in the extra session, which punched the Capitals ticket to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

* After the seventh game concluded – James Murphy of ESPNBoston provided a ‘to-do‘ list of things the Bruins need to focus on during the offseason. Also, ESPN’s Barry Melrose provided his ‘two-cents‘ on the Caps 22-year-old goaltender Braden Holtby.

* The Boston Red Sox earned their first regular season series sweep of the season on Wednesday, as they defeated the Minnesota Twins, 7-6. Clay Buchholz earned second win of the season, while Alfredo Aceves registered his fourth save. As for the Sox offense, Mike Aviles his his fourth home run of the season, while Dustin Pedroia recorded a double and triple.

* The Sox will look to extend their three-game winning streak on Thursday when they travel to Chicago to face the White Sox at 8:10pm –Felix Doubront opposes Philip Humber.

* Finally, the Boston Celtics will conclude their 66-game regular season slate on Thursday when they welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to the TD Garden for an 8PM tip-off.

Daily Noontime – April 25, 2012

Sasha Pavlovic paced the Celtics with 16 points, as Boston defeated Miami, 78-66! (Photo Credit: TheBestBasketballBlog.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy “hump day” and welcome into another outstanding edition of the Daily Noontime! Let’s kickstart the day with some news and headlines!

* Despite no Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, Boston still managed to defeat the Miami Heat on Tuesday, 78-66. Sasha Pavlovic paced the Celtics with 16 points, while Marquis Daniels added 13 points off the bench.

* Boston will conclude its 66-game slate on Thursday when they welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to the TD Garden. Boston is currently 38-27 in the Eastern Conference, and will most likely begin their first round series against Atlanta on the road, as the Hawks have a better record than the Celtics.

Josh Beckett earned his second win of the 2012 season, as Boston defeated Minnesota, 11-2. Mike Aviles, who hit leadoff, finished the contest with three runs, four hits, two RBIs and one home run, while David Ortiz cranked his third long ball of the season.

* Boston will conclude their three-game series with Minnesota on Wednesday at 8:10pm — Clay Buchholz will oppose Liam Hendriks.

* According to reports – Carl Crawford is seeking a second set of eyes to look at his left elbow. The Red Sox outfielder had returned to Florida to continue his rehab assignment on Tuesday, and according to the manager, there really isn’t anything else to report.

* Boston and Washington will skate for the final time on Wednesday in Game No. 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The winner will advance to the semi-finals.

* Sources confirmed that Patrice Bergeron sat out of Tuesday’s practice, but is expected to be in the line-up for Boston. Also, Alex Ovechkin has told reporters that he’s unhappy about the amount of ice time he’s experienced in this particular series.

Daily Noontime – April 20, 2012

Rich Peverley registered Boston's game-tying strike in the first period, which wasn't enough to spark the Bruins offense, as the local hockey squad fell to Washington, 2-1! (Photo Credit: CBS Boston)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Friday to everyone! Let’s kick-start the final work day with some headlines and news from…Boston! Also, Happy Birthday Fenway Park!

* The Washington Capitals evened their best of seven game series with Boston on Thursday, as they defeated the Bruins, 2-1. Braden Holtby deflected 44 shots between the pipes, while Rich Peverley notched Boston’s only strike in the first period.

* Boston and Washington will return to the ice for Game No. 5 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series on Saturday afternoon at the TD Garden — face-off is scheduled for 3:00pm.

* The Boston Red Sox will commemorate their 100-year-old ballpark on Friday when they host the New York Yankees for a 3:05pm first pitch. Both squads met at Fenway Park on this exact date 100 years ago, too.

Clay Buchholz will be on the mound for the Red Sox on Friday, and will oppose Ivan Nova, who has won two contests this season against Baltimore and Los Angles.

* Finally, the Boston Celtics will play their final regular season road contest on Friday when they travel to Atlanta to face the Hawks — tip-off is at 7:00pm.

Red Sox Week In Review

By Andy Lindberg

While the Boston Red Sox finished the week with a 4-2 record, retaining the best record in the American League, the injury bug has crept up on the team yet again, knocking out Carl Crawford with a hamstring strain and Jed Lowrie with an ailing shoulder.  The Sox also placed Clay Buchholz on the 15-Day DL prior to Sunday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers.  While neither injury to the hitters are as crushing as the Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia injuries of 2010, Crawford had been batting .291 since the beginning of May.  The month of May saw Crawford hit .304 after a dismal .155 start to his season.  While Crawford was not yet in full swing with his hitting or his base stealing (he only had eight when he went down) he was beginning to come together.  Buchholz isn’t too significant a loss at this point, as his scheduled start had already been pushed back and this is more along the lines of a precautionary move before Buchholz’s back gets too bad.

Part of the reason for Boston’s offensive success in lieu of Crawford and JD Drew’s offensive struggles was the calamity Adrian Gonzalez has been causing every time he steps into the batter’s box.  Gonzalez knocked his 1000th career hit on Sunday, a triple into the triangle at Fenway.

Josh Beckett remained exceptional, hurling a 1-hit shutout at Tampa Bay the very night the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup.  Beckett has been unbelievable this season, already matching his win total from last year’s injury-plagued campaign.

Tim Wakefield picked up another win on his quest to 200 wins, and to unseat Roger Clemens and Cy Young as the Red Sox’ all time wins leaders.  Wakefield sits now nine wins away from Clemens and Young and a mere three wins away from 200 career wins.  As Matsuzaka is done for the year, there is no reason to take Wakefield out of the rotation, as he has been quite effective to this point.  This next week sees Boston play three games at Fenway as the San Diego Padres come to town, and three against the surprisingly decent Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh.

As a side note, from now on each highlighted player in one of my articles or recaps will take you to that player’s statistical page for your reference.  I will do the same for teams when highlighted as well so you may view the team in reference to the year I am describing.

Lindberg: Thoughts on the Sox

By Andy Lindberg 

The Red Sox weren’t aggressive this past week; they were dominant. Heading into Monday’s off day in the midst of a nine-game win streak, Boston is sitting pretty with the best record in the American League, a record previously scoffed at by the Boston fans in April. For the first time since 1912, the Red Sox have swept the Yankees twice in New York. This past week Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield, and Josh Beckett all put up wins against the Yankees. For Beckett, it was his third win in three starts against New York; all three seeing him beat down CC Sabathia. Beckett made one mistake in his Thursday outing, a 3-1 fastball that was a little too far over the plate which was mashed by Curtis Granderson for a two-run homer. However as has been the case this week, Boston exploded for seven runs in the seventh inning against the bombers to put them away.

The weekend Toronto series wasn’t even close. Coming off of a very late game Thursday, Boston entered Friday with many expecting them to lose because of how tired the team must have been.

Clay Buchholz said no.

In his best outing yet, Buchholz mastered the Jays’ offense to the tune of seven innings and one run allowed in a 5-1 Boston win. Buchholz’s back seemed to be better and hopefully it can stay loose the rest of the season. The next two games weren’t even a little close.

On Saturday Boston blasted Toronto 16-4, the most runs Boston has ever scored against the Jays. On Sunday the Red Sox put up a 14-1 victory that saw Jon Lester hit a 9-2 record, good for the most wins in the American League.

As has been the usual the past two weeks, the Boston offense has been outstanding, with the exception of J.D. Drew, who struck out four times on Sunday and is batting a mere .227 on the season.

But Drew’s woes can be overlooked when David Ortiz clearly thinks it’s 2006 again and Adrian Gonzalez keeps mashing. Shoot, even Jason Varitek whacked a three-run blast to right field in Saturday’s drubbing.

Upon trading for Gonzalez, Boston fans knew he was going to be good, but we did not know he would be just this good. If he is pitched away, he takes the ball to the opposite field for power. If pitchers come inside, Gonzalez will rip the ball down the line. There’s no clear way to get him out right now. How he isn’t the leading first base vote getter for the All-Star game right now is stupefying. Fans have once again proven their ineptitude at picking an All-Star squad, and that privilege must be taken away from them, especially because now the All-Star game decided home field in the World Series. The same can be said for Ortiz.  Ortiz is punishing left-handers this year by taking the ball to left field with power. He is catching up to the fastball and laying off of bad pitches he used to chase to start the previous two seasons. Dustin Pedroia is heating up again as well, raising his batting average from .247 to .261 all in this week.

This week Boston heads to Tampa Bay to open that series up on Tuesday, followed by a weekend series at Fenway against big Prince Fielder and the Milwaukee Brewers.