Red Sox play final regular season game against Yankees in the Bronx.
Patriots looking to right ship against Falcons in Foxboro.
Bruins, Celtics on deck…
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John Smoltz and Brad Penny are shining in their new homes outside of the bright lights of Fenway Park in Boston.
In 3 starts with the Cardinals, Smoltz is 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA and miniscule 0.82 WHIP. He suffered his 1st loss on Thursday when he gave up 4 ER on 6 hits over 6 innings. In his previous 2 starts (both Cardinals wins), Smoltz gave up just 1 ER on 7 hits over 11 innings pitched. He also struck out a combined 15 batters in those 2 games against the lowly Padres and Nationals. The Cardinals have all but locked up the NL Central division, and Smoltz will be a welcome arm for the Cardinals in the post-season. It will be interesting to see if Manager Tony LaRussa goes with Smoltz as a #3 (ahead of 14-gaem winner Joel Pineiro) or as a #4 in October.
In his 1st start with the Giants, Brad Penny earned the win with 8 scoreless innings against the Phillies, giving up just 5 hits and 1 walk. Penny pounded the strike zone throughout the game, needing just 103 pitches to go the 8 innings. As a point of reference, Penny pitched into the 7th inning only 2 times in 24 starts for the Red Sox in 2009 (7-8 record, 5.61 ERA & 1.53 WHIP). The Giants are looking for Penny to serve as the team’s #4 behind Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Barry Zito. With more starts like that, the Giants could have one of the deepest starting pitching staffs for the post-season if they can overcome the Rockies for the NL Wild Card lead.
We’ll see if it holds up for the remainder of the season, but these guys are veteran major league pitchers and with prior success for each in the National League, it’s not surprising that both are thriving back in the light-hitting NL.
The Yankees and Red Sox will resume their bitter rivalry with a 3-game weekend series at Fenway Park this weekend. After the Red Sox won the 1st 8 games of the series in 2009 – with sweeps in April, May and June – the Red Sox sent the reeling Red Sox to a 6th consecutive loss just 12 days ago when the Yankees swept the Red Sox in a 4-game weekend set at the New Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The Yankees outscored the Red Sox 25-8 in the series, as only 1 of the games – a 15-inning 2-0 marathon on Friday night – was really close. That sweep pushed the Red Sox back further in the race for the AL East, and the Yankees still have a commanding 6 1/2 games lead for the division title.
The pitching match-ups favor the Yankees right now. Brad Penny v. Andy Petitte on Friday night; A.J. Burnett v. Junichi Tazawa on Saturday afternoon with the FOX game of the week; and CC Sabathia v. Josh Beckett on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. With those match-ups, you gotta think the Yankees will win at least 2 of the games, but I guess anything is possible. If the Red Sox don’t get off to a good start on Friday night, it could be a long weekend for Red Sox Nation in Boston…
The St. Louis Cardinals made another solid move in their push for the 2009 MLB post-season by signing John Smoltz to the league minimum on Wednesday. Smoltz struggled in 8 starts for the Boston Red Sox during the 2009 MLB schedule. Smoltz posted a 2-5 record in 40 innings pitched. He gave up a whopping 37 ER’s and 8 home runs, sporting a hefty 8.32 ERA and 1.70 WHIP. Smoltz rejected the Red Sox offer to stay in the ‘pen for the rest of the season, and when the Red Sox could not orchestrate a trade with another team, Smoltz became a free agent after this Monday’s deadline.
The Cardinals will pay Smoltz the pro rate portion of the league minimum for the rest of the season. The Red Sox are still on the hook for the $5 million deal they signed him to this off-season, less the portion paid by the Cards.
Smoltz will likely serve as a set-up man for Cards closer Ryan Franklin or as a late inning reliever. This is a GREAT MOVE for the Cards. Smoltz was once a closer for the Braves – – so he has the experience there. Smoltz also seemed to fare better during the 1st few innings of his starts this season – in his last 5 starts for the Red Sox, he did not give up any runs in the 1st 2 innings of any start. That could mean that Smoltz still has what it takes for an inning or 2, but lose his good stuff or become more predictable the longer he stays in the game. The Cards are in the driver’s seat with a 6-game lead over the Cubs in the NL Central, and the addition of Smoltz just makes them that much deeper in the bullpen. With the earlier additions of Mark DeRosa and Matt Holiday, the Cardinals have clearly made some of the best mid-season moves in all of baseball. Kudos to General Manager John Mozeliak and his staff and Manager Tony LaRussa for putting the pieces together to form one of the best teams in the National League in 2009.
It was a crazy night in baseball on Friday night as the MLB schedule saw lots of walk-off home runs. It’s not too late to get MLB tickets to see exciting pennant race baseball the rest of the way. Here’s a little tidbit of the games most exciting endings:
Padres 6, Mets 2 – Mets Closer Francisco Rodriguez blew a 2-1 9th inning lead. The Padres scored 5 runs of K-Rod in the 9th inning, winning it on Everth Cabrera’s walk-off Grand Slam.
Mariners 7, Rays 6 in 12 innings. After the Rays took a 6-5 lead in the top of the 12th inning, the Mariners topped the Rays on Ryan Langerhans 2-run walk-off home run.
Braves 9, Dodgers 5 in 12 innings. The Braves tied the game at 5 on Garrett Anderson’s RBI single off of Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton in the 9th inning. In the 12th inning, the Braves took the lead for good on a Yunel Escobar RBI single and a 3-run home run by Ryan Church.
Reds 10, Giants 5 – The Reds scored 2 runs in the 8th inning to tie the game at 5, and then piled on 5 runs in the 9th inning to pull off the improbably 10-5 win over the wild card-leading Giants in San Francisco.
Lots of fun games to watch – gotta love these pennant races!
In the latest leak surrounding the 2003 MLB drug tests, it is now reported that Boston Red Sox teammates David Ortiz & Manny Ramirez were among the 104 MLB players that tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs back in 2003. While Manny being on the list is not surprising at all (he just finished serving a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy this year), if you’ve ever seen “Big Papi’s” physique, it is shocking to believe that Ortiz was using.
Alex Rodriguez was “outed” back in February as one of the “Evil 104” that tested positive and Sammy Sosa was the next name leaked back in June. At this point, someone just needs to approve the release of all the names to put an end to this charade. At the time of the testing, none of the players were in violation of any MLB rule against using performance-enhancing drugs, so the fact that players tested positive is irrelevant. The source of the leaks should be “outed” as well – the person or persons is/are in violation of explicit confidentiality provisions protecting the results of the testing and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for violating such terms.
For the latest news on the report, click here!
At least Big Papi hit a game-winning 3-run HR in the 7th inning of today’s Red Sox win over the A’s at Fenway Park. You da man Big Papi!!!
The Yankees were flying high after Hideki Matsui’s walk-off home run on Monday night gave the Yankees a big 2-1 win over the Orioles. It was the Yankees 4th win in a row after the All-Star Break and at 55-37, the Yankees were in a 1st place tie with the Red Sox in the AL East. The Red Sox had lost 3 of their 4 games after the break, and the Yankees took advantage of the opening.
It should be an interesting stretch run the last 2+ months of the season. Kate Hudson seems to like the performance of her beau Alex Rodriguez – she’s been taking in Yankees games of late and seems to be bringing the team a lot of good luck…
Jul15Filed under: Albert Pujols, All-Star Game, All-Star Game MVP, Boston Red Sox, Carl Crawford, Chicago White Sox, David Wright, Derek Jeter, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mariano Rivera, MLB, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Sports, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Tim Lincecum;
The American League defeated the National League 4-3 in the 2009 MLB All-Star Game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The AL is now 12-0-1 since its last defeat back in Philadelphia back in 1996. The last time the NL didn’t lose was at Miller Park in Milwaukee in 2002 when the two leagues tied 7-7 after 11 innings.
The AL jumped on NL starter Tim Lincecum right off the bat with a single by Ichiro Suzuki and a HBP by Derek Jeter. After a Joe Mauer groundout that forced out Ichiro at 3rd base, Derek Jeter scored the game’s 1st run on a fielder’s choice error by home town hero Albert Pujols at 1st base. Jason Bay then followed with a single to center field that loaded the bases, and the AL scored another run on a Josh Hamilton fielder’s choice groundout. Hamilton avoided getting doubled up at 1st to allow Mauer to score.
The NL scored all 3 of their runs in the 2nd inning and took a 3-2 lead. After 2 quick hits, the NL put together 4 straight hits off AL starter Roy Halladay to take the lead. David Wright and Shane Victorino singled, and home town Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina delivered an RBI single to center field that allowed Wright and Victorino to score after a Hamilton throwing error. Prince Fielder then pinch-hit for Lincecum and put the NL ahead with an RBI double to left field that scored Molina. But the NL offense disappeared the rest of the way, as 22 of their final 24 batters failed to reach base.
The AL tied the game in the 5th inning off of Chad Billingsley on a Joe Mauer double that scored Derek Jeter. With the game tied at 3 in the bottom of the 7th inning, the Tampa Bay Rays Carl Crawford made a specatacular catch by pulling back Brad Hawpe’s shot to deep left field that would have been a home run. The next inning, Detroit Tigers Curtis Granderson tripled and scored the winning run on an Andruw Jones’ sacrifice fly.
The AL pitching said it all on Tuesday night. From the 3rd through the 7th innings, Mark Buehrle, Zach greinke, Edwin Jackson, Felix Hernandez and Jonathan Papelbon each worked perfect innings. After getting the 1st 2 outs of the 8th inning, Joe Nathan allowed a walk and a hit to put the go ahead runs on base. But he was able to strike out Phillies slugger Ryan Howard to end the threat. And Mariano Rivera worked a perfect 9th inning to preserve the win for the AL and home field advantage for the AL in the 2009 World Series. No one had more than 1 of anything except for Jeter – he scored 2 runs despite never getting a hit.
Carl Crawford was named the 2009 All-Star Game’s MVP for his spectacular catch that saved the game at the time for the AL. Crawford became the 1st non-pitcher to win the MVP Award without having an RBI or scoring a run.
Couple of side notes – President Barack Obama honored former Cards great Lou Brock before the game and threw out the 1st pitch – in a Chicago White Sox jacket – to current Cards great Albert Pujols. Obama became the 5th sitting U.S. President to throw out the 1st pitch at an MLB All-Star Game (the NL had won each of those previous games up until last night). Former Cards great Stan Musial – one of the games’ greatest hitters of all-time – was also honored before the game.
The 2010 MLB All-Star Game will be played at Angel Stadium, the home field for the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles.
The 2009 MLB All-Star Game is set for tonight at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The National League will try to win its 1st All-Star Game in 13 years – it is the longest unbeaten streak in All-Star history.
Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants will take on Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Here’s how the lineups look:
AL – Ichiro Suzuki RF (Seattle Mariners); Derek Jeter SS (NY Yankees); Joe Mauer C (Minnesota Twins); Mark Teixeira 1B (NY Yankees); Jason Bay LF (Boston Red Sox); Josh Hamilton CF (Texas Rangers); Michael Young 3B (Texas Rangers); & Aaron Hill 2B (Toronto Blue Jays).
NL – Hanley Ramirez SS (Florida Marlins); Chase Utley 2B (Philadelphia Phillies); Albert Pujols 1B (St. Louis Cardinals); Ryan Braun RF (Milwaukee Brewers); Raul Ibanez LF (Philadelphia Phillies); David Wright 3B (NY Mets); Shane Victorino CF (Philadelphia Phillies); & Yadier Molina C (St. Louis Cardinals).
On a side not, President Barack Obama will throw out the ceremonial 1st pitch to St. Louis’ own Albert Pujols.
Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers defeated Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers int he Home Run Hitting Contest on Monday night.
The 2009 MLB All-Star Game is set to start at 8:05PM and will be televised on FOX.