Boston Pulls Out Tight, Significant Series Win in Baltimore

August 10: Baltimore 4, Boston 3

Cy Young and Jack Powell, a couple of dead-ball era stars having surprisingly pedestrian seasons, squared off in the opener and got pedestrian results. A Ken Williams double followed by an Eddie Murray RBI single in the eighth drove in the winner for Baltimore and gave the teams identical 63-49 records.

                  R  H BB
BOS 020 000 010 - 3 10  3
BAL 200 100 01x - 4  9  3

HR: none

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Young   7.0  4  4  0  2  3  
J. Powell  7.0  3  3  0  2  1 

BOS 63-49, BAL 63-49

Ted-Yaz

August 11: Boston 7, Baltimore 6

The Birds jumped out to a 5-1 lead after five innings, thanks in large part to dingers from Robinsons Frank and Brooks. But the Red Sox rallied big in the sixth inning. Ted Williams started it off with a triple, and five runs scored to tie it up.

But Murray drove another Baltimore blast in the bottom of the sixth to tie it right back up. Boston answered in the eighth when Yaz hit his second triple of the game to drive home Wade Boggs for the winner.

                  R  H BB
BOS 100 005 010 - 7 13  5
BAL 220 101 000 - 6  8  2

HR: F. Robinson (24), E. Murray (14), B. Robinson (6)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
L. Grove   4.0  5  4  2  1  1  
H. Howell  5.2  6  6  0  4  1 

BOS 64-49, BAL 63-50

August 12: Boston 7, Baltimore 6 (11 innings)

The rubber match was a dandy and fittingly tense for a game with big implications for each team in the standings. Mel Parnell made a spot start for Boston to spell Smoky Joe Wood, and had a terrible time finding the strike zone. He handed out nine free passes in his 5.2 innings and gave up six runs, but the Sox bats also beat up on Urban Shocker so that the game was tied after six. Once each team got a long reliever in, the offense disappeared. Derek Lowe tossed 3.1 scoreless for Boston and Hoyt Wilhelm worked three shutout innings for the Marylanders. Koji Uehara and Jonathan Papelbon took over one scoreless inning each for Boston.

Carlton Fisk continued his ludicrously hot hitting by leading off the top of the 11th with a dinger against Darren O’Day. It was Fisk’s 17th of the season, easily tops among catchers. His .533 slugging percentage is third in the league, behind only Ruth & Gehrig.

Ted Williams is finally heating up a bit and reached safely nine times in the series, including three extra base hits. His OBP has been great all year, but his pop has been AWOL until recently.

                     R  H BB
BOS 000 220 200 01 - 7 14  9
BAL 012 021 000 00 - 6  8 10

HR: C. Fisk (17)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Parnell  5.2  6  6  0  9  1  
U. Shocker  6.0  6  6  0  5  1 

BOS 65-49, BAL 63-51

Boston In Unfamiliar Territory After Dropping Series in Cleveland

August 7: Cleveland 4, Boston 3

Wade Boggs did his usual getting on-base sorcery, reaching safely four out of five times up, Smoky Joe Wood kept up a great string of starts, and the incredible Carlton Fisk bashed his 15th homer to help the Red Sox to a 3-0 lead after six innings.

But a Ted Williams error in the seventh got Cleveland their first run, and then in the eighth Nap Lajoie sliced a two-RBI triple to tie it up and knock out Wood. In the bottom of the eighth, Larry Doby tripled and Manny Ramirez singled him home for the game-winning run.

                  R  H BB
BOS 100 110 000 - 3  8  4
CLE 000 001 21x - 4 10  0

HR: C. Fisk (15)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
S.J. Wood    6.2  3  2  0  0  5  
S. McDowell  8.0  3  3  1  4  9 

BOS 62-47, CLE 51-58

speakerAugust 8: Cleveland 6, Boston 0

It looked like a great pitching match-up for Boston with Roger Clemens going against Stan Coveleski, but Coveleski flipped the script by shutting out the Sox. The Cleveland batters jumped Clemens for six runs despite getting just three walks and four hits against him. All three of the walks Clemens issued came in in the fifth inning, and they set the table for a Tris Speaker grand slam. Jim Thome mashed a two-run tater in the sixth to knock out the Rocket and send him tumbling down the ERA leader board from third to ninth.

The loss meant that Boston, having spent almost all season comfortably in first, would trail Minnesota in the standings regardless of the outcome of game three.

                  R H BB
BOS 000 000 000 - 0 5  3
CLE 000 042 00x - 6 4  4

HR: T. Speaker-CLE (2), J. Thome (27)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Clemens    5.0  6  6  2  3  6  
S. Coveleski  9.0  0  0  0  3  2 

BOS 62-48, CLE 52-58

August 9: Boston 10, Cleveland 2

Pedro Martinez got Boston back on track at least momentarily with a typically dominant six innings. The Boston bats likewise finally showed up in a big way to salvage the finale. The amazing Fisk walked, hit two doubles, and homered.

Carlton is slugging with the best of them. Here is the league top 10 in isolated power:

 1. Lou Gehrig-NY     .271
 2. Babe Ruth-NY      .249
 3. Jim Thome-CLE     .236
 4. Shawn Green-TOR   .215
 5. F. Robinson-BAL   .212
 6. Fred McGriff-TOR  .208
 7. Carlton Fisk-BOS  .206
 8. C. Delgado-TOR    .204
 9. Robinson Cano-NY  .200
10. Moises Alou-HOU   .199

Fisk is also seventh in wOBA at .393.

                   R  H BB
BOS 400 400 020 - 10 11  7
CLE 001 000 100 -  2  4  5

HR: C. Fisk (16), T. Speaker-BOS (5), A. Rosen (12)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
P. Martinez  6.0  1  1  1  2  4  
C. Kluber    3.1  8  8  3  4  5 

BOS 63-48, CLE 52-59

Oakland Outdoes Boston

 

cronin mack
managers Cronin & Mack

August 3: Oakland 8, Boston 4

 

The last time Boston faced Barry Zito, they got no-hit. This time, they got to Zito for seven hits and four runs, but it wasn’t enough.

With two on and two out in the third inning, Boston’s Tris Speaker made a blunder that helped Oakland open the scoring with three unearned runs. The A’s tacked on three earned against Pedro Martinez as well, including a two-run homer from Rickey Henderson. Pedro has hit a little rough patch with homers, having given up five in his last three starts.

                  R  H BB
OAK 003 030 002 - 8 14  0
BOS 000 003 100 - 4  7  3
HR: R. Henderson (5), C. Fisk (13), K. Youkilis (1)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Zito      6.0  4  4  2  2  4  
P. Martinez  6.0  6  3  1  0  3 

OAK 56-50, BOS 61-45

August 4: Boston 4, Oakland 3

This was a fun battle between Rube Waddell and Cy Young as they locked horns for complete games.

Oakland’s lead-off man Rickey Henderson got three singles and two stolen bases, and Boston’s lead-off man Wade Boggs got three singles and a double. Boggs’s OBP improved to .427, second only to Baltimore’s Ken Singleton.

In the bottom of the ninth, with the score tied at three, Bobby Doerr drew a one-out walk. Boggs doubled him to third, Speaker popped up for the second out, Ted Williams walked to load the sacks, and Jimmie Foxx ended the contest with a single.

                  R  H BB
OAK 001 001 100 - 3 10  1
BOS 000 020 101 - 4  9  4

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Waddell  8.2  4  4  0  4  6  
C. Young    9.0  3  3  0  1  3 

OAK 56-51, BOS 62-45

August 5: Oakland 9, Boston 2

The rubber match featured some hot Lefty Grove on Lefty Grove action. The real-life Grove had his best years with the Philadelphia A’s (151 ERA+ in nine seasons) before being shipped to Boston (along with Rube Waddell), where he was still quite good (143 ERA+ in eight seasons). The two Groves are following suit in the Rhubarb, with the Oakland version carrying a 3.39 ERA compared to Boston Grove’s 4.00.

But the Oakland version was dramatically better in this one, holding the usually powerful but ice cold Red Sox to just two runs in a complete game. Boston’s Grove got eaten up by the A’s lineup. An Al Simmons three-run dinger capped off a six-run fourth inning that put the game and the series out of reach for Boston.

The Red Sox have now dropped five straight series against Original Division rivals. Their troubles have now gone beyond a mere cold snap. After starting the season with a 40-17 record, they have gone just 22-29 since.

                  R  H BB
OAK 010 610 100 - 9 12  7
BOS 000 011 000 - 2  8  1
HR: A. Simmons (14)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
L. Grove   9.0  2  2  0  1  0  
L. Grove   4.2  8  7  1  6  2 

OAK 57-51, BOS 62-46

F. Thomas, S.J. Wood Named Player & Pitcher of July

THOMAS-WOODIt was a great month on the south side of Chicago as the White Sox streaked to a 15-7 record. It took a team-wide effort of course, but no player helped the cause more than 1B/DH Frank Thomas, who created more runs in the month than any other hitter. Highlights of the Big Hurt’s month included driving in the winning run in the 10th inning on a sac fly on July 9, twice reaching safely four times in a game, and capping off a big bottom of the ninth comeback on July 14 with a walk-off single. Most impressively, he reached safely in 50 of his 106 July plate appearances.

Thomas’s month in numbers:

 PA AB  BB   H 2B 3B HR  AVG  OBP  SLG  WOBA		
106 87  19  31  8  0  2 .356 .472 .517  .444

It was not a great month in Boston as the first-half juggernaut Red Sox gave way to a listless month with a 9-12 record. One steady presence amidst the slide was Smoky Joe Wood, who led the way to a 3-1 record in his four starts during the month. Wood allowed zero earned runs in seven innings pitched in his first two starts in July, resulting in victories over Cleveland and Detroit. Next up was a 7.2 inning start against New York in which he allowed just one run and again led the Sox to victory. His final start was merely decent with three runs allowed in seven innings that ended in a close loss to Chicago.

Wood’s month in numbers:

  IP R ER HR BB SO  ERA
28.7 6  4  0 10  9 1.26

 

Boston Losing Streak Hits 9 Before They Recover To Take Series vs. Kansas City

July 31: Kansas City 6, Boston 1

Danny Jackson had a career day as he held the ice-cold Red Sox to one run in a complete game dandy. The Royals batters made contact all day long, and everything they touched seemed to drop in for a safety. Danny Tartabull, Willie Wilson, Frank White, and Alcides Escobar all had three-hit days amidst a 16-hit barrage from KC.

Boston’s flabbergasting losing streak hit nine games and they fell to a pitiful 11-11 record against Expansion teams.

                  R  H BB
KC  300 001 020 - 6 16  3
BOS 000 010 000 - 1  8  1

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Jackson  9.0  1  1  0  1  6  
L. Grove    7.0  6  4  0  2  3 

KC 54-50, BOS 59-44

August 1: Boston 5, Kansas City 2

The Red Sox finally put together another W. Their first three batters in the bottom of the first all got hits and came around to score against Mark Gubicza. Smoky Joe Wood shut the Royals out for the first seven innings before KC got a rally going in the eighth. Hits from White, Wilson, George Brett, and Mike Sweeney got the tying run to the on-deck circle, but Jonathan Papelbon came in and quickly doused any threat.

                  R H BB
KC  000 000 020 - 2 8  1
BOS 300 020 00x - 5 8  5

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Gubicza  6.0  5  5  0  4  3  
S.J. Wood   7.2  2  2  0  1  3 

KC 54-51, BOS 60-44

clemens by scoreboard
August 2: Boston 5, Kansas City 2

It was an identical score the next day as Roger Clemens got back to being the Rocket after two rough starts. His ERA dropped back under 3.00 and is third best in the league. Boston’s first four batters, Wade Boggs, Tris Speaker, Ted Williams, and Jimmie Foxx, combined for three walks, four singles, a double, a triple, and a dong.

Boston took four of six from KC this year and is still clinging to a one-game lead in the Original Division.

                  R H BB
KC  200 000 000 - 2 3  2
BOS 002 012 00x - 5 9  7

HR: H. McRae (8), J. Foxx (13)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Rosado   5.1  5  5  1  4  1  
R. Clemens  9.0  2  2  1  1  7 

KC 54-42, BOS 61-44

Houston Pulls Off Stunning Sweep Facing Clemens, Martinez, & Young In Boston

Lance-Berkman-001235589July 28: Houston 8, Boston 3

Lance Berkman went bananas and crushed three home runs, two against Roger Clemens and one against Koji Uehara. Berkman’s dingers drove in six runs. Clemens allowed five earned runs in a second straight start, and his ERA swelled to just over 3.00.

Mike Scott tipped on the tightrope for five shutout innings while stranding 11 Bostonians in just those first five frames. Boston finally got some baserunners all the way around the diamond in the sixth and knocked out a wild Scott, but Larry Anderson and Billy Wagner slammed the door from there.

                  R  H BB
HOU 004 020 101 - 8 10  4
BOS 000 003 000 - 3 10  8

HR: L. Berkman-3 (20)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Scott    5.2  3  3  0  8  3  
R. Clemens  6.0  6  5  2  3  7 

HOU 46-54, BOS 59-41

July 29: Houston 5, Boston 4

No way Houston could follow up an upset of Clemens with an upset of Pedro Martinez, right? Wrong. Like Scott the day before, J.R. Richard was wild but limited the damage.

Jeff Bagwell and Jim Wynn both knocked solo dongs against Pedro, but the Red Sox carried a 4-2 lead into the top of the seventh. When the first three Astros to bat in the seventh loaded the bases, Martinez got the hook in favor of Jonathan Papelbon. All three inherited runners came home on a Jeff Bagwell single and Moises Alou sac fly, and Houston edged into a one-run lead. Houston relievers Octavio Dotel, Hal Woodeschick, and Larry Anderson combined for three shutout innings to close out a shocker of a series win for the Astros.

Tris Speaker slapped four hits and swiped two bags for Boston but the team didn’t get much else out of their lineup except for a lot of walks and stranded runners.

It was the third straight sub-par start by Pedro, and his ERA also grew to just over 3.00.

                  R H BB
HOU 100 010 300 - 5 7  6
BOS 210 100 000 - 4 9 10

HR: J. Bagwell (21), J. Wynn (6)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
J.R. Richard  6.0  4  3  0  8  2  
P. Martinez   6.0  5  5  2  4  9 

HOU 47-54, BOS 59-42

July 30: Houston 5, Boston 4

The Astros jumped Cy Young in the first inning for a quick 4-0 lead. Craig Biggio, Berkman, Cesar Cedeno, and Art Howe all had hits in the inning. Young settled into a groove for the next seven innings, during which he never really got in trouble.

That allowed the Boston offense some time to mount a comeback, and Moises Alou gave them a helping hand with a bad error in the fourth inning. Carlton Fisk drove in two with a bomb, one of three hits for Pudge. The Sox added a third run later in the frame to get within a run, and then tied it up in the bottom of the eighth on hits by Manny Ramirez and Fisk.

The way Young was cruising, it seemed more than likely that Boston would pull out the win. But the last three Houston batters, Howe, Dickie Thon, and John Edwards, all singled in the top of the ninth to push across the go-ahead run, and Billy Wagner threw a perfect bottom of the ninth to cap off perhaps the most surprising sweep of the season.

Houston took four of six from Boston on the year. The Red Sox have had an inexplicably hard time against the Expansion Division, going just 11-10 so far when the rest of the Original teams are 97-50 in inter-division play. The Sox have now dropped eight straight after never dropping more than three in a row before this skid. Their once mammoth lead in the Original Division is down to just two games.

                  R  H BB
HOU 400 000 001 - 5  8  4
BOS 000 300 010 - 4 10  1

HR: C. Fisk (13)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Cuellar  7.0  3  1  1  1  3  
C. Young    9.0  5  5  0  4  2 

HOU 48-54, BOS 59-43

Invigorated Chicago Whites Out Boston

July 25: Chicago 7, Boston 6

The Red Sox took advantage of a walk, three singles, and a Robin Ventura error to grab an early 4-0 lead. Cy Young cruised through five shutout innings before Chicago figured him out in a big way in the sixth and seventh innings. Minnie Minoso went ya-ya and Eddie Collins tripled amid a flurry of hits in those two frames.

Boston got the tying run to third base with one out in the ninth inning, but Eddie Cicotte finished off a complete game win with two groundouts.

                  R  H BB
BOS 040 000 101 - 6 10  3
CHI 000 003 40x - 7 11  2

HR: M. Minoso (5)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Young    6.1  7  7  1  1  1  
E. Cicotte  9.0  6  4  0  3  4 

BOS 59-38, CHI 52-45

July 26: Chicago 7, Boston 5

Lefty Grove and Ed Walsh, a couple of elite pitchers, matched up well only in the sense that they both had off days. It was 5-5 when the bullpens took over. Chicago hitters got to Boston’s Derek Lowe with two walks and a Frank Thomas single.

Thomas and Magglio Ordonez crushed back-to-back homers against Grove in the fifth.

                  R  H BB
BOS 031 000 100 - 5 10  6
CHI 201 020 20x - 7 11  5
HR: F. Thomas (15), M. Ordonez (5)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
L. Grove   6.0  5  5  2  3  1  
E. Walsh   7.0  5  5  0  6  2 

BOS 59-39, CHI 53-45

venturaJuly 27: Chicago 5, Boston 4

Boston was clinging to a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning as they did all they could to salvage a game against the relentless White Sox. Jonathan Papelbon was tasked with shutting down both the eighth and ninth innings, but Joe Jackson poked a game-tying homer in the eighth. It was just the third homer Papelbon had allowed all year, but Robin Ventura handed him his fourth jack allowed in the bottom of the ninth to walk off an astounding sweep for the White Sox.

Chicago has been a juggernaut for almost a month now, winning 22 of 27. Just three weeks ago at the All-Star break, they were mired in seventh place with a 40-41 record but have sprinted up the standings to third place and just five games out of first.

Skipper Jimmy Dykes did make a couple of moves that roughly coincide with Chicago’s turnaround, most notably sending an underperforming Paul Konerko to the bench, making Harold Baines a regular, and putting Thornton Lee in the rotation in place of Red Faber. But Dykes was quick to deflect any credit back to his players:

“The coaches and me aren’t doing anything different. We knew our guys had it in them and we just had to be patient. The pitching has been there all along, and now that guys like Minnie (Minoso), Shoeless (Joe Jackson), and Big Frank (Thomas) are all looking comfortable at the plate, everything is clicking. Then you add in clutch hits like Robbie (Ventura) gave us today, and we can win some ballgames.”

Despite rapping 31 hits in the series, the Red Sox have now lost five straight for the first time all season.

                  R  H BB
BOS 000 012 010 - 4 11  0
CHI 010 002 011 - 5  8  1
HR: C. Fisk-BOS (12), N. Garciaparra (11),
J. Jackson (7), R. Ventura (5)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
S.J. Wood  7.0  3  3  0  1  2  
T. Lee     6.0  3  3  2  0  1

BOS 59-40, CHI 54-45