Results tagged ‘ Carlos Pena ’

Opening Week Thoughts

After Josh Beckett’s stellar performance on Opening Day, I was excited to see what the rest of the pitching staff was going to offer. I can’t say that I was thrilled with the three games that followed Josh Beckett’s, but I can say that I’m optimistic for the rest of the season. It is obvious that the Red Sox are still coming together as a whole, and transitioning from the Spring Training atmosphere to the regular season atmosphere. But as Kevin Youkilis pointed out, I’d rather be off to a slow start than have a bad finish. “There are bright things to come”. 

I was very excited for Wednesday’s game because I knew that it was going to be a pitcher’s duel. Those always keep me on the edge of my seat, even if they are a bit nerve racking. It seems to me that Lester and Kazmir serve the same purpose on their respective teams– dominant lefties. Then again, when I was in Tampa last year I did see Kazmir pitch nine straight balls. It was quite a game until around the fifth inning where the Rays exploded for four runs. I bet Carlos Pena’s home run was pretty “deflating” as Jon Lester called it. I’m trying to remember the situation, but maybe he could have put Pena on instead of pitching to him at a 3-1 count. Then there was that really weird play where Jason Bartlett had that suicide safety squeeze or whatever you call it. Poor Lester looked so lost, but at least these looks of confusion are happening at the beginning of the season rather than the middle. 
Manny Delcarmen and Ramon Ramirez looked good that game, and Takashi Saito did alright after giving up that home run on the second pitch. As soon as he gave up that home run, I thought back to that game in 2007 where Okajima gave up a home run on his very first pitch. Frustrating for sure, but then he was completely dominant the rest of the season. Perhaps there will be a similar pattern to Saito’s performance this year. The main thing that I noted about Lester though was that he wasn’t really hitting his spots. He would shake off Varitek a lot and after the first two innings, the command just wasn’t really there. If I was a pitcher on the Red Sox, I wouldn’t shake off Varitek too much. He definitely knows what he’s doing. 
snakes3.jpg
The final game of the series offered another great matchup between Matt Garza and Dice-K Matsuzaka. I swear, Matt Garza looks and acts like a snake. His tongue is always out! Whenever Dice-K pitches, I’m always a nervous wreck. This time, it wasn’t because he walked the bases loaded, he only walked three. His command wasn’t really present and he gave up three home runs.
My incessant hunger became overwhelming as I watched this game, and I needed something to munch on. Eventually, dry roasted peanuts and sunflower seeds became available. Pretty good baseball food. The more nervous I became, the more inclined I was to munch, but for the most part I was able to restrain myself… until Justin Masterson loaded up the bases in the top of the ninth. Luckily, Jacoby Ellsbury squelched my anxiety as he made a beautiful running catch.
amd_adenhart-memorial-1.jpg
The next night, the Red Sox played the Angels… the first game the Angels would be playing after the tragedy. That game, I wasn’t as compulsively rooting for the Red Sox as I usually do. I was comfortable with watching a good baseball game, and I was comfortable with the fact that the Red Sox lost. There were much bigger things going on that night than winning and losing. I did rush home though, and I was the one driving so it was a lot easier to put the pedal to the metal and run those yellow lights that may have been transitioning into red. I made myself coffee because I tend to have trouble staying awake for the West Coast games, especially in a dark room. 
It must have been hard for Jered Weaver to pitch that night. I didn’t even realize until after the game that Nick Adenhart was supposed to move in with him that Friday. Weaver had 8 strikeouts in 6.2 innings, and as he walked off the mound, he pointed to the sky. That was beyond baseball. 
Brad Penny started the next game (yesterday’s) and even though his command wasn’t totally there, he still looked pretty healthy, which made me happy. I started watching this game in the third inning because I was at my grandparents house and I didn’t really expect the game to be on TV. If Brad Penny was feeling healthy, than that’s pretty good news because he will be great to have on the rotation if he is healthy. His velocity was up there, so for a guy coming off the worst season of his career, I would say that he did pretty well.
The offense finally woke up during this game. After the very first game where almost everyone got a hit, a few people fell off the radar. Kevin Youkilis was basically on fire until yesterday (still hitting .526 though) and Jacoby was just starting to wake up and get on base. Unfortunately, Pedroia and Big Papi haven’t been producing much. Big Papi is definitely due to say the least. Jason Bay came out of the gate swinging so that has made me pretty happy. Especially for a guy who generally has a pretty crappy April. I think that Mike Lowell is starting to wake up too. And where is Jed Lowrie?? He had a monster Spring, and here I am waiting for him to transition. I hope that he and Papi have big days today. 
Jonathan Palebon gave me a heart attack in the bottom of the ninth inning. First the home run to Torii Hunter, and then the bases are loaded. My grandparents are laughing at me as I bury my face in my hands and peek through them. Howard Kendrick hit something like seven foul balls in a row. Papelbon claimed to be “giggling” but I sure wasn’t– not with the bases loaded. My mother came over wondering what was going on since I had promised her that it was one more out five minutes ago. 
“Are you bad luck?” I asked somewhat accusingly as she came over. Last time she was near the vicinity, Papelbon had walked a guy, and we were not walking in the tying run. Luckily, she wasn’t bad luck, and Papelbon miraculously got out of it. I was able to breathe again. 
Last game of the Red Sox vs Angels series coming on in a little while. Can’t wait to watch Beckett pitch again, and I kind of want to see Chris Carter in this game. 

Miracles Can Happen. All you need is belief.

All I talked about in my last blog was belief. How I believed in the Red Sox, and I wouldn’t give up until the game was over. I have to be honest with you, I did have a little doubt when we were down 7-0, but I knew we wouldn’t go down without a fight. And as we kept accumulating runs, I thought: look, regardless of what happens tonight, or for the rest of the series, we fought. We didn’t go down without a fight, we didn’t lose a pathetic game 5-0. We’re 7-1 in elimination games with Terry Francona. It’s the first time since 1929 that a team has come back from 7 runs (the Philadelphia A’s did it against the Cubs). I was so disappointed in some of the Fenway Faithful that ended up leaving the park. But you could tell that the real fans were there with the consistent faith that was evident throughout the night. 

I restrained myself from making a skeptical comment on Carlos Pena’s latest blog entry. He says: It’s just a loss, just like losing 1-0, just like losing 4-3, its a loss; just like a homerun is a home run whether you hit it 250 feet, or 500. But no, there is a difference. There is a difference from losing a game through nine relative even innings, and losing a game that you were seven outs away from clinching. Everyone was so sure of it. But the Red Sox massacred the bullpen and got this win. This win helps us to carry momentum into the Trop because we came back from such a deficit. It’s so important. Regarding his home run point (since I refuse to drop points), you can definitely be known for the type of home runs you hit, even if it just means the same amount of runs. You can be known as the guy who hits home runs every so often, just home runs, or you can be known as the guy who hits long deep towering fly balls and breaking ball pitches. It really changes the game. I have to admit myself that I ended up falling asleep during the fifth and sixth innings, because they had tired me out, and a rough day too. But as soon as Pedroia hit that RBI, I knew. 
I really do think that the after effects of this game matters a lot too. I am still feeling this pure bliss, or ecstasy, or some form of that. To see the looks on people’s faces this morning. Them trying to defend the loss, trying to say something other than, I don’t believe it, or that was just luck (coming from the red sox hater). People were telling me that they saw the highlights on ESPN of 5-0, then 7-0 Tampa and they were really happy (once again, Red Sox haters) and then seeing it go from 7-0, to 7-1, to 7-4, to 7-6, to 7-7 and finally to 8-7. They were astounded. They were upset that it happened, but you could tell that they were like wow, holy crap. Some people turned the game off after the fifth inning and opened up the paper this morning and said to themselves, wait what??? 
I read a blog earlier today “It’s a Kind of Family, It’s a Kind of Insanity” that made a great point. Reason and rationale tells us that this game is over, it’s merely logic, but it’s belief that alters reality. Reality can only happen after it has unfolded. Terry Francona said that he had never seen guys so happy getting on a plane at 1:30 ET. He also said that Coco had the best at bat of his career that night, working Wheeler for ten pitches before hitting an RBI single to tie the game. Coco says: “It’s a playoff game and we’re facing elimination, and we’re down by so much,” Crisp said. “To come back and win it in the ninth on a walk-off by J.D. is pretty much the most amazing thing I’ve ever been a part of.”. Those words really resonate in me. It was the most amazing game that I have ever seen myself, and I am so thankful to the Red Sox for that. I can’t even imagine how the players must have felt. How it must have been to witness it, happening, by your own teams, having it in your own power. I’d love to know what it was like to actually be at Fenway that night, that magical night.
Don’t blame us if we ever doubt ya, you know we couldn’t live without ya, RED SOX, you are the only, only, onlyyy 
-Dropkick Murphys [Tessie]
Yogi’s immortal words still resonate within RSN: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”, and a more contemporary… idea… it ain’t over ’til the Big Papi swings.

Now it’s time for game 6. We’re not thinking comeback (even though a lot of you probably are), remember, we’re thinking game 6. If we focus on game 7 then we won’t win game 6. 
This was a dream, this is real, miracles can happen, and I believed. 
I live for this

-Elizabeth
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.