Daily Noontime – August 15, 2011

Yet again, Tim Wakefield struggled and didn't earn his 200th career win on the mound!

Good Monday to everyone and welcome into yet another Daily Noontime, wahoo! Come on, where’s the excitement? OK… OK… We understand, it’s Monday, but in the meantime, check out our headlines and news of the day! 

Headlines: 

* Yet again, Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield struggled and didn’t earn his 200th career win on Sunday against the Seattle Mariners.

* According to reports, New York Yankees third baseman, Alex Rodriguez plans to rejoin the team this week after surgery.

* Apparently the SEC committee didn’t exactly shut the door on Texas A&M, but instead, allowing the process to “play itself out.”

Keegan Bradley was apparently proud of his perfect putt, which helped him secure his first U.S. PGA tournament win.

* The New York Jets and Houston Texans will battle against one another on Monday in a preseason game and apparently Rex Ryan is ready to display his offense in the “opener.”

* The NFL indeed has some new rules, especially some that revolves around the kicking game, which isn’t making fans, players or coaches happy.

Games to Watch: 

* San Francisco at Atlanta (MLB) – 7:00pm eastern 

* Minnesota at Detroit (MLB) – 7:05pm eastern 

* New York Jets at Houston (NFL Preseason) – 8:00pm eastern 

* New York Yankees at Kansas City (MLB) – 8:05pm eastern 

* Texas at Los Angles of Anaheim Angels (MLB) – 10:05pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

In case you missed it, here’s an awesome video recapping the month of July! 

Red Sox Weekly Review

By Matt Noonan 

The Boston Red Sox enter a brand new week with a two-game losing skid, thanks, Seattle, I’m sure the local nine appreciates it!

However, despite their west coast struggles from this past weekend, which usually seem to occur in the month of August, yet again, Tim Wakefield watched another start end without his 200th career victory. Indeed, it’s heartbreaking news, however, will Wakefield eventually win and celebrate that special milestone? Of course, but obviously it won’t be against the Mariners, as the Sox wrapped up their season series with a 5-3 loss on Sunday.

Kevin Youkillis ended Sunday’s contest with his 17th home run, as well as his 78th RBI of the season, however, it wasn’t enough to spark the Sox offense.

Yet, despite the Sox struggles on Saturday and Sunday, they managed to win two-of-three games against the Minnesota Twins. Alfredo Aceves and Matt Albers each recorded wins on Monday and Tuesday, while Jonathan Papelbon collected two additional saves. Although on Wednesday, Jon Lester struggled and so did the offense, as Minnesota’s bats came alive to win the series finale, 5-2.

WEEK OUTLOOK: The Sox will return to Fenway Park on Tuesday for a day-night double header against the Tampa Bay Rays. They’ll wrap up the two-day series on Wednesday and then travel to Kansas City and Texas for an eight game road trip.

DIVISION UPDATE: The New York Yankees-Rays contest was postponed due to rain on Sunday, but, since the Red Sox ended their weekend series with two back-to-back losses, the Bronx Bombers currently remain a half a game behind Boston in the American League East division. Also, New York has a comfortable 8.5 game lead over Tampa Bay and Los Angles for the Wild Card, yet, despite the winner of the AL East, it’s pretty certain that both the Red Sox and Yankees will be playing baseball in October.

Daily Noontime – August 9, 2011

Does anyone know what happened to good ole, Albert?

It’s Tuesday everyone and hopefully that’s a good sign, right? Any who, let’s dish out today’s headlines and news! 

Headlines: 

* Well, the NFL Lockout is officially over, done, but apparently players are now concerned about “blood tests for human growth hormone.”

* Once again, New England Patriots defensive lineman, Albert Haynesworth missed yet another practice on Monday.

* It’s apparent that the New York Jets do indeed have a variety of new faces on their squad this season, which means head coach Rex Ryan will need to have everyone introduce themselves, right?

* Yet again, Boston Red Sox pitcher, Tim Wakefield pitched a decent game, but didn’t manage to win his 200th career victory.

* Here’s an interesting question…would it be bad if the MLB expanded their wild-card spot in 2012? Would it have any impact on the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?

* The Anaheim Mighty Ducks made an interesting move, as they recently extended Randy Carlyle‘s contract through the 2014 season.

Games to Watch: 

* Detroit at Cleveland (MLB) – 7:05pm eastern 

* Los Angles of Anaheim Angels at New York Yankees (MLB) – 7:05pm eastern 

* Milwaukee at St. Louis (MLB) – 8:15pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

While Rex Ryan has done quite a lot this off-season, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick could care less! 

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.

Daily Noontime – July 25, 2011

The NFL season rests on the shoulders of DeMaurice Smith, as well as the NFLPA.

Good Day to everyone and welcome into yet another wonderful Daily Noontime! Here’s the headlines and news of the day, so enjoy! 

Headlines: 

* Monday should be an important day in the NFL, as the players and owners should officially shake hands, as well as end the lockout.

* Sunday was a special day, as the Boston Red Sox ended their three-game series with the Seattle Mariners with a win, but also, celebrated Tim Wakefield‘s 2,000th strikeout too.

* Sadly, Michael Phelps and Team USA settled for the bronze medal on Sunday at the 400-meter freestyle relay, which isn’t a great feeling, right?

* More news is currently being released on Monday about Lorenzen Wright‘s death, as well as what the Memphis police department didn’t do right.

* The Mariners extended their losing streak to 15-games, but is that something to be proud of, especially as a M’s fan?

* Sunday was an exciting day, as Cooperstown, New York welcomed a few new members to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Games to Watch: 

* Pittsburgh at Atlanta (MLB) – 7:00pm eastern 

* Seattle at New York Yankees (MLB) – 7:05pm eastern 

* Kansas City at Boston (MLB) – 7:10pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

How awesome is it when you watch Shaquille O’Neal show off his puppetry skills? 

Red Sox Recap 7/24/11

By Andy Lindberg

In the week and a half after the All-Star break and heading into the trade deadline, the Boston Red Sox racked up an impressive 7-2 record and extended their division lead to three games over the New York Yankees.  The Red Sox have been able to win consistently even with Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz on the disabled list.  Lester is due back Monday and will try to continue to improve on Boston’s AL-best 62-37 record.

For the Carl Crawford haters out there, Crawford picked up where he left off since re-joining the Red Sox after the All-Star break.  In his first game back against Baltimore, Crawford had two hits and has picked up the steal rate over the week as well.  This has provided Boston a gigantic boost in the outfield with Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, and the white-hot Josh Reddick patrolling right field.

Ellsbury seems to have found the power switch without sacrificing the rest of his game in the process.  Ellsbury hit two homers in the series finale against Baltimore and hit a mammoth 449-foot blast to Williamsburg off of Felix Hernandez and the Mariners at Fenway in game one of that series.

Josh Beckett continues to be nearly unhittable, allowing one hit in eight innings against Tampa Bay and beating Seattle after allowing only one run in seven innings.

More importantly, the Red Sox have pushed Tampa Bay back far enough to the point where it is now a two-horse race in the AL East once again.  With the trade deadline approaching at the end of this week, I am hard-pressed to see Boston making any significant moves.  They may acquire some starting pitching depth, but outside of that, a payer like Carlos Beltran isn’t worth the price when low-cost prospects from the farm system like Josh Reddick fill in quite well.  Boston is slowly getting some pieces back together from the DL, and with Alex Rodriguez of New York sidelined until late August, now is the time for the Red Sox to put some considerable distance between themselves and the Yankees.

Tim Wakefield pitched the final game of the series against Seattle and although he gave up seven runs, he earned career win number 199 and struck out his 2000th batter.  With Wakefield being only one win away from 200 for his career, many have be asking the question of whether or not Wakefield is a Hall of Famer.  So I leave it up to the reader to decide.  Look at the poll below and decide.

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.