BOSTON CLINCHES ORIGINAL DIVISION

yaz

September 18, Anaheim–Thanks to a Minnesota loss in New York, the Boston Red Sox are officially your Original Division champions in the Grand American League Rhubarb. The Sox had already won their game against the Angels earlier in the day, but their celebration had to wait for the Twins and Yankees evening game to conclude. The Boston players and coaches all stayed huddled in the locker room listening to the play-by-play from New York. It was not a tense game, with the Yankees leading from the get-go and  winning 9-1. But the Boston players stayed subdued until the last out, at which point a raucous celebration erupted. Carl Yastrzemski jumped into the showers and emerged still half-dressed, lathered in soap, and with a stogie hanging out of his wide grin.

The Sox are also guaranteed to finish with the best record in the league, meaning they will host either Kansas City or Seattle for games one and two of the Rhubarb Championship Series on October 4th and 5th, and if necessary, games six and seven on the 11th and 12th.

Boston began the season dominating the league, shooting out to a 40-17 record and huge division lead in early June. But surprisingly, they sputtered a bit through June, July, and early August. Their superbly talented offense was inconsistent, their bullpen unreliable, and they saw what had looked like an unsurmountable division lead crumble and they spent several days in mid-August in second place thanks to surges by Chicago and Minnesota. That seemed to wake the club up, particularly their top hitter Ted Williams, who was not having a season that was living up to his lofty standards. Ever since, the Ted and the Sox have gotten back to dominating, and are on a 23-7 stretch to claim the division.

Boston will have the luxury of resting players and setting up their superb rotation however they like for the championship series while the Royals and Mariners engage in what promises to be a fight to the finish.

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Boston Sweeps Anaheim, Has Original Division Title All But Locked Up

September 18: Boston 11, Anaheim 5

With his command AWOL and bad defense, Dean shot never had a Chance. Er, Dean Chance never had a shot. The Red Sox stung him for 10 runs in 4.1 pitched. Chance himself committed two of Anaheim’s three costly errors.

Boston’s on-base machines at the top of the lineup Wade Boggs, Tris Speaker, and Ted Williams reached safely a combined 10 times in the game.

                   R  H BB
BOS 420 050 000 - 11  9  9
ANA 100 020 011 -  5 10  3
HR: W. Joyner (7)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Lester   7.0  3  3  0  3  6  
D. Chance   4.1 10  7  0  5  3 

BOS 90-61, ANA 65-88

fiskSeptember 19: Boston 2, Anaheim 1

An incredibly hot Cy Young pitched nine innings, his eighth straight start going at least nine innings. He’s shaved nearly an entire run off his season ERA in just those eight starts (from 4.34 to 3.38). Incredibly, all five Red Sox starters have one of the top 15 ERAs in the league among qualified throwers:

3. Smoky Joe Wood 2.88
4. Pedro Martinez 2.89
11. Cy Young 3.38
12. Roger Clemens 3.39
15. Lefty Grove 3.68

Young had a worthy opponent in this one. Jered Weaver took the bump for Anaheim with the eighth best ERA in the league at 3.35 and put on a great duel with Young.

The Angels offense struck first when Troy Glaus drew a walk in the bottom of the third and lead-footed catcher Lance Parrish shocked the house with an RBI triple. But Carlton Fisk’s dream season kept rolling and he slammed a solo shot to tie it up in the fifth. Then after Ted Williams drew a walk in the top of the sixth, Yaz and Pete Runnels followed it up with singles to drive in the winner.

Fisk now owns the second best wOBA in the league at .408.

                  R H BB
BOS 000 011 000 - 2 9  3
ANA 001 000 000 - 1 4  1

HR: C. Fisk (22)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Young   9.0  1  1  0  1  7  
J. Weaver  8.0  2  2  1  3  4 

BOS 91-61, ANA 65-89

September 20: Boston 6, Anaheim 4

The Red Sox are bulldozing their way to locking up the Original Division and made it 13 wins in their last 14. They officially eliminated Baltimore, Chicago, and New York with this sweep of the Angels, and the mathematic eliminations of Oakland and Minnesota look to be mere formalities to be taken care of in the near future.

The Angels announced after the game that they are shutting down starter Kelvim Escobar for the year. Escobar got roughed up in this one, but he put together a respectable season: 31 games, 197 IP, 4.20 ERA, 0.8 HR/9, 4.2 BB/9, and 6.5 SO/9.

                  R  H BB
BOS 001 010 400 - 6 10  7
ANA 001 000 210 - 4  8  3

HR: T. Williams (3), T. Hunter (12)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
L. Grove    7.0  4  4  1  3  7  
K. Escobar  6.1  6  6  1  5  2 

BOS 92-61, ANA 65-90

Boston Wins 10th Straight in Series Win Over Toronto

yazSeptember 15: Boston 4, Toronto 3 (13 innings)

The Blue Jays could taste victory with a one-run lead and one out with nobody on base in the bottom of the ninth. But sloppy defense reared it’s head as it has for Toronto all season long. A Roberto Alomar error at second allowed John Valentin to reach, Wade Boggs singled Valentin over to third, and Tris Speaker drove in the tying run.

It stayed tied until the bottom of the 13th, when Mark Eicchorn faced just three batters: Dwight Evans singled, Carl Yastrzemski walked, and Carlton Fisk walked it off with an RBI single.

                        R  H BB
TOR 000 030 000 000 0 - 3  8  5
BOS 011 000 001 000 1 - 4 13  6
HR: none

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Key     7.0  2  2  0  6  3  
L. Grove   8.0  3  2  0  3  2 

TOR 66-82, BOS 88-60

September 16: Boston 10, Toronto 8

Both offenses went wild in this one as starters Doyle Alexander and Mel Parnell both got slammed. Another Alomar error extended the bottom of the first inning and paved the way for a Nomar Garciaparra three-run dong.

Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, and Yastrzemski all reached safely four times. Ted Williams belted two doubles to increase his league-leading total to 45 for the season.

Toronto’s loss mathematically eliminated them from the division title, while Boston’s win was their 10th straight, a streak that has them positioned to run away with the Original Division.

                   R  H BB
TOR 111 012 020 -  8 15  8
BOS 610 200 10x - 10 13  4
HR: N. Garciaparra (13)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Alexander  3.1  9  6  1  1  1  
M. Parnell    5.0  6  6  0  7  1 

TOR 66-83, BOS 89-60

September 17: Toronto 3, Boston 2

Dave Stieb was impressive against the menacing Boston lineup and dueled Roger Clemens nicely. Alomar, Fred McGriff, Shawn Green, and Ernie Whitt all collected hits in the sixth inning to plate all three of the Jays’ runs. Clemens struck out a season-high 11 in the loss.

                  R H BB
TOR 000 003 000 - 3 9  1
BOS 000 101 000 - 2 9  5

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Stieb    7.0  2  2  0  3  4  
R. Clemens  9.0  3  3  0  1 11 

TOR 67-83, BOS 89-61

Sweep By Boston Leaves Chicago’s Chances in Critical Condition

September 12: Boston 6, Chicago 5

The series started with host Chicago trailing the first-place Red Sox by seven games, so it was of massive importance for the home team to win at least two of the three games. The first game was going well for them as they tagged Roger Clemens for five runs in his seven innings and were clinging to a 5-4 lead after those seven frames.

But Chicago reliever Terry Forster couldn’t hold the fortser against Boston’s relentless on-base machines in the eighth inning. Ted Williams singled, Pete Runnels walked, Fred Lynn singled home Williams to tie it up, and Carlton Fisk grounded out but drove in Runnels for the winning run.

                  R  H BB
BOS 000 022 020 - 6 11  3
CHI 010 030 10x - 5  7  5

HR: D. Evans (4)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Clemens  7.0  5  5  0  3  3  
J. Rigney   6.0  4  4  1  2  7 

BOS 85-60, CHI 77-68

fiskSeptember 13: Boston 2, Chicago 1

Pedro Martinez and Chris Sale kept the scoreboard empty for a lot of the game. Pedro came out after five shutout innings because he’s getting close to his innings max. Sale kept the score goose-egged for six innings, but a Bobby Doerr double and Ted Williams single in the seventh opened up a 1-0 lead for Boston. The amazin’ Boston Fisk creamed his 21st homer in the eighth inning against Hoyt Wilhelm, and Chicago’s needed series win slipped their grasp.

                  R H BB
BOS 000 000 110 - 2 9  2
CHI 000 000 010 - 1 7  1

HR: C. Fisk-BOS (21)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
P. Martinez  5.0  0  0  0  0  7  
C. Sale      6.2  1  1  0  2  6 

BOS 86-60, CHI 77-69

September 14: Boston 7, Chicago 1

Chicago had the difficult task of facing Cy Young, the hottest pitcher in the league, in a must-win finale. Frank Thomas, Jose Abreu, and Minnie Minoso hit consecutive singles in the first inning to grant the White Sox a 1-0 lead, after which Young went in total shut-down mode, giving up just one hit, two walks, and no runs over the final eight innings of the game.

Eddie Cicotte and Chicago made the one run stand up through six innings, but it went to pot in the seventh when an Eddie Collins error helped Boston tie the game at one and then Wade Boggs lined a rare homer for three runs.

The sweep left Chicago 10 games out with just 15 games to play. Never say never, but the White Sox season is on life support.

                  R  H BB
BOS 000 000 412 - 7 10  6
CHI 100 000 000 - 1  4  2
HR: W. Boggs (3)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Young    9.0  1  1  0  2  5  
E. Cicotte  7.1  5  4  1  5  0 

BOS 87-70, CHI 77-70

Boston Threatening To Suck the Drama Out of Pennant Race, Pads Lead With Sweep of Detroit

youngSeptember 9: Boston 2, Detroit 1 (10 innings)

Cy Young and Hal Newhouser locked horns for all 10 innings. The only run Young gave up was unearned thanks to a Nomar Garciaparra error, which meant Young’s first shutout of the season again just barely eluded him. Shutouts or not though, Young is on some kind of a tear lately. He has pitched at least nine innings in his last six starts, during which time he has a 0.98 ERA. With the other four Boston starters having been strong all year, Young putting it all together now is not a welcome development for the rest of the league.

Garciaparra atoned for his error by singling in the top of the 10th, stealing second, and scoring on a bingle by Bobby Doerr.

                    R H BB
BOS 001 000 000 1 - 2 8  3
DET 000 000 010 0 - 1 4  1
HR: none

starters        IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Young      10.0  1  0  0  1  6  
H. Newhouser  10.0  2  2  0  3  7 

BOS 82-60, DET 68-74

September 10: Boston 10, Detroit 4

Wade Boggs and Carl Yastrzemski both collected three hits as the Sox waltzed to another win.

                   R  H BB
BOS 003 040 030 - 10 14  1
DET 000 100 030 -  4  7  2

HR: J. Foxx (17)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
L. Grove   6.0  1  0  0  1  3  
G. Uhle    4.2  7  7  1  0  2 

BOS 83-60, DET 68-75

September 11: Boston 9, Detroit 0

The Tigers were listless in the finale and Boston improved their lead over second-place Oakland to 5.5 games.

                  R  H BB
BOS 220 002 030 - 9 10  5
DET 000 000 000 - 0  4  4

HR: N. Garciaparra (12)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
S.J. Wood   5.0  0  0  0  3  2  
T. Bridges  6.0  6  4  1  2  4 

BOS 84-60, DET 68-76

Boston Keeps Pace Atop Division With Wins Over Baltimore

September 6: Baltimore 3, Boston 2

The Red Sox were clinging to a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth when Bobby Grich led off with a game-tying dong against Jonathan Papelbon. Two batters later, Manny Machado put the O’s up for good with another solo tater against Papelbon. Boston’s bullpen has been the team’s one vulnerable area. Papelbon was supposed to be their shut-down reliever, but his 3.51 ERA is far from dominant.

It wasn’t much consolation after the loss, but Boston starter Smoky Joe Wood pulled his season ERA under 3.00, joining only Johan Santana and Walter Johnson in that rarified range among qualified pitchers.

                  R  H BB
BAL 000 000 012 - 3  6  3
BOS 000 001 100 - 2 10  0
HR: B. Grich (15), M. Machado (2)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
L. Stewart  7.0  2  1  0  0  0  
S.J. Wood   7.1  1  1  0  3  2 

BAL 74-65, BOS 79-60

wmsSeptember 7: Boston 7, Baltimore 3

The Boston is rotation is so good that the bullpen does not get exposed all that often. Roger Clemens reeled off a complete-game job in this one, and the Sox batters swarmed the bases all afternoon. Wade Boggs, Tris Speaker, and Ted Williams each connected for three base hits.

                  R  H BB
BAL 100 010 100 - 3  8  3
BOS 001 132 00x - 7 17  1
HR: C. Ripken (9), M. Ramirez (7)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
E. Bedard   4.1  5  4  1  1  1  
R. Clemens  9.0  3  3  1  3  6 

BAL 74-66, BOS 80-60

September 8: Boston 5, Baltimore 2

Baltimore starter Jim Palmer gave up a couple of early runs and then spun out in the fourth. He walked two and gave up four singles in the frame before being lifted. Baltimore twirlers never could get Speaker out in the game. He reached on a walk, two singles, and a double. Pedro Martinez was fantastic yet again, and joined his rotation mate Wood in the small group of starting pitchers with an ERA under 3.00.

                  R  H BB
BAL 000 010 010 - 2  5  4
BOS 011 300 00x - 5 12  4
HR: none

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Palmer    3.1  5  5  0  3  2  
P. Martinez  7.0  1  1  0  4  3 

BAL 74-67, BOS 81-60

Cleveland Outdoes Boston in 2 of 3

Addie_Joss_five_frames,_1911September 3: Cleveland 3, Boston 2

The opener hinged on the fifth inning when Cleveland managed to get to Pedro Martinez for a John Romano triple, Tris Speaker double, and singles from Nap Lajoie and Joe Jackson. Addie Joss was strong in a complete game.

                  R  H BB
CLE 000 030 000 - 3 10  1
BOS 101 000 000 - 2  5  3
HR: none

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
A. Joss      9.0  2  1  0  3  2  
P. Martinez  7.0  3  3  0  0 10 

CLE 66-70, BOS 78-58

September 4: Cleveland 3, Boston 2

The Naps took game two by an identical score. Recently named pitcher of the month Cy Young looked to be continuing his August dominance into September as he took the hill in the top of the ninth with a 2-1 lead, but Hal Trosky, Lou Boudreau, and Victor Martinez all punched hits against him to make the score 3-2 in Cleveland’s favor.

Carlos Carrasco was impressive in his Rhubarb debut.

                  R  H BB
CLE 000 100 002 - 3 10  0
BOS 000 000 200 - 2  7  3

HR: L. Doby (13), B. Doerr (11)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Carrasco  6.2  2  2  1  1  8  
C. Young     9.0  3  3  1  0  4 

CLE 67-70, BOS 78-59

September 5: Boston 5, Cleveland 3

Boston’s Lefty Grove did not allow a hit or a walk through the first six innings, but after Jackson singled in the top of the seventh things unraveled a bit for Grove. Derek Lowe came in and limited the damage nicely to hold Cleveland to two runs in the frame and Boston held on to avoid getting swept.

                  R  H BB
CLE 000 000 210 - 3  6  3
BOS 010 220 00x - 5 11  2
HR: none

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
S. Coveleski  4.2  5  3  0  2  0  
L. Grove      6.2  2  2  0  2  1 

CLE 67-71, BOS 79-59