Saturday, April 26, 2008

Game 26 of 2008 Red Sox Season Preview

Game 26 at Tampa Bay

AL East Standings  

Team
W
L
Pct
GB
X W
X L
Boston
15
10
.600
--
13
12
Baltimore
13
9
.591
0.5
11
11
Tampa Bay
12
11
.522
2.0
13
10
New York
12
12
.500
2.5
12
12
Toronto
10
14
.417
4.5
12
12


BOS Clay Buchholz, RHP (1-1, 4.79)
Red Sox (15-10)
@ TB Edwin Jackson, RHP (2-2, 4.63)
Rays (12-11)


Scouting Report:
Red Sox: Buchholz pitched brilliantly in his last start, firing six shutout innings in a victory over the Rangers. He allowed five hits and struck out six. Opponents are hitting .274 against Buchholz. This will be his first career appearance against Tampa Bay. Buchholz has given up three earned runs or less in three of his four starts. Buchholz has pitched eight games in his young career, going 4-2 with a 3.12 ERA.
Rays: Jackson suffered through another sub-par start Sunday against the White Sox when he allowed six earned runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander continues to show electric stuff, but struggles on the days when his stuff is not at its best. Jackson has worked to try and minimize the big inning, which he did not do well against the White Sox, when he allowed the White Sox to put away the game with a four-run fifth inning.

Associated links for tonights games:

MLB.coms probable.
ESPN.com preview.
ESPN.com recap.
ESPN.com boxscore.
MLB.com Press Pass.

Probable Line Up Vs Jackson

PlayerPAABH2b3bHRRBIBBK'sBAOBPSLG
Ellsbury
6
5
2
1
0
0
1
1
0
.400
.500
.600
Pedroia
5
3
2
0
0
0
0
1
0
.667
.600
.667
Ortiz
14
9
4
1
0
1
4
5
1
.444
.643
.889
Ramirez
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
.000
.000
Youkilis
8
7
1
1
0
0
0
1
3
.143
.250
.286
Drew
12
9
4
3
0
0
2
3
4
.444
.583
.778
Lowrie
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
.000
.000
Cash
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
.000
.000
Lugo
11
11
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
.182
.182
.182
Totals 
57 45
15 6
0
1
7
11
9
.333
.456
.533

Some pretty good numbers vs Jackson especially from Ortiz and Drew (Pedroia discarded since only 5 PA's). If I was Terry Francona though I would consider sitting Manny tonight and play Coco. In Coco's 14 PA's he is batting .308 / .357 / .462, which is better than Manny's 0-1. Still, Manny is on a roll so, it is defensible to start Manny.

Oh, even if Varitek is healthy, play Cash. At least he has no history which is better than Varitek's 0 for 7.

Pitcher Comparison

Player
GS
CG
GF
W
L
Sv
Sho
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
K
ERAWHIP
Jackson
4
0
0
2
1
0
0
26 2/3
31
16
16
2
17
23
5.40
1.80
Buchholz
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0.0
0.0

As a starter Jackson has went 22 1/3 innings in 4 starts (high 6 twice, low 5) with both of his wins coming at the Tropicana field. In Tampa he has given up only 4 runs in 11 1/3 innings. So, this guy is tough at home. Very tough at home.

So, do not be surprised if Jackson is tough tonight at the Trop.!

Monday, April 21, 2008

2008 Bruins Playoffs Round 1 Game 7

Fantastic game 5, followed by a beautiful game 6 and now its time for game 7. Go Bruins!!!

Oh, yeah, I say the B's pull it off!!!

Open Thread

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Is It 1967 For the Bruins?

A friend asked the following question after the Bruins made their comeback Saturday night; "Does this series at all remind you of the '67 World Series?". My immediate answer was, "Only if they win the series." Promising a recap / thought on that I have probably thought about sixteen hundred ways to make this post (ok, slight exaggeration). Herewith, are my thoughts on this Bruins team and the '67 Sox.

In 1967 I was still in elementary school in a very, very small town in the middle of Arkansas. My father was not a huge sport fan, but he enjoyed baseball and taught me how to follow teams from afar by looking at the box scores. This led to my first experience with algebra, but that is a story for another time. So, even though I remember the 1967 season and the World Series I followed that season from afar and I have to rely on accounts from friends, written stories and various shows that have high lighted the role that team had in the rebirth of Red Sox mania.

Without a doubt, that team brought the Sox back into the forefront of the Boston area. Decades had passed since the last time the Sox had made the World Series and the team was not really expected to make the series that year, but game after game the team had battled, staying in the pennant race. Yaz was having a triple crown season and late in the season seemed to come up with big hit after big hit. Still the race went down to the wire with 4 teams going into final weekend with a chance to win the division.

There was more to that season though than Yaz though. Looking at 1967 from Baseball Race you can see that on 7/9 the Sox were 6.0 games back of the White Sox, in 5th place at 41-39. The first day after the all star break they split a double header with the Orioles. The win in the first game made them 42-39, so they were on pace for an 84 win season. Nothing to really be excited about. Then the magic started to happen.

One week later the Sox were 48-40 and trailed the White Sox by 1.5 games and sitting in 3rd place. Another week went by and the Sox were at 54-41 and had trimmed the lead down to 1.0 games and were in 2nd place. The pennant race was on!

Two spectacular weeks and the Sox were on a major roll, 13 and 2 in those two weeks. That is went the excitement hit Boston. By the trading deadline, Boston was still in 2nd place 2.0 games back. By the end of August, the Sox were in first place .5 games ahead of Minnesota. From that point on, only the Angels would play better (.5 games) for the rest of the season.

Still, they needed a good finish. After splitting two games with Cleveland, the Twins came to Boston with a 1.0 game lead. Two wins later and the Sox were finally back in the World Series. Baseball was back on the map in Boston.

So, how does this relate to the Bruins?

Different level of frustration. In 1967 you had to win the American League to make the playoffs, which oh yeah, was the World Series. The Bruins had the best record of the East in the 2001-2002 season. They were the #1 seed and were set to play the #8 seed Canadians. That is a short time period, and of course they Bruins made the playoffs for the '02-'03, '03-'04, and '04-'05 seasons.

Two seasons of missing the playoffs is not the same as waiting decades.

The frustration with the Bruins has been that they kept on losing in the first round. The frustration is that the Bruins seemed to be discombobulated in the office. So, I think I will stick with my first answer, if the Bruins win this series then the magic will be back. Right now, there is excitement, but is it at the level of '67? I don't think so! No, to really get back on the map, the Bruins need to win this series, then the buzz will be about Hockey and next year the Bruins will see a return of their fans.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

2008 Bruins Playoffs Round 1 Game 6

They smoked the Canadiens in game 5, can they do the same at home in game 6? Yes they can!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bruins Playoff Round 1 Game 5

It is do or die time tonight. Personally, I think they can win this game tonight, but most likely the season will be over for the B's.

Open Thread!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Womens 2008 Final Four Preview

Well, the women get to play their final four games tonight. First up is the #1 Connecticut Huskies vs the #4 Stanford Cardinals. Maya Moore vs Candice Wiggins, well not really as I doubt that Moore will be guarding Wiggins or vice versa. Still it should be a very good game for oh, until about mid way of the second half, at which point I fully expect the Huskies to steadily increase their lead until the final buzzer.

The second game features the #3 Tennessee Volunteers vs the #6 Louisiana State Tigers. This will be the third game between these two conference rivals and will give one of them double bragging rights as this rivalry will continue to grow. In the past I would say that this is a slam dunk win for the Volunteers because of Pat Summit's ability to out coach her SEC rival, but not this year. This year the other coach is pretty good and I expect him to be up to the task. LSU squeezes out a victory.

2008 March Madness Final Four Games Recap

Well, that was enjoyable. Outside of World Series wins by the Sox, nothing makes me smile more than seeing North Carolina getting tarred. Both games ending up being double digit wins but seeing North Carolina down 40-12 after an 18-0 run by Kansas just made me smile. Roy Williams was again out coached, no surprise there, and again failed to win the championship.

So, we have the mid-major Conference representative, Memphis State vs the Mid Major representative, Kansas in Monday nights championship game. Must see TV for sure.
Makes me smile all day just to think about North Carolina being bounced.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

2008 March Madness Final Four Games

Well it is Final Four time of the 2008 March Madness, and that means the college basketball season is down to three games, thats right, three games. Four teams left, three games and then it will be time to turn our eyes to the Celtics playoff run, the Bruins playoff run and regular season baseball.

The first game tonight will have the UCLA Bruins vs the Memphis State Tigers at 6:05 p.m. ET. Two contrasting styles as the brutal defense of the Bruins takes on the flashy offensive Tigers. In my opinion, the Tigers are getting no respect and while I believe that defense wins championships, offense wins a lot of semi-final games. I'm going with the Tigers in this game.

The second game has the UNC Tar Heels vs the Kansas Jayhawks at an approximate time of 8:47 p.m. ET. Of course the official "story line" of this game is the "Roy Williams faces his old team". While it is true that Williams did once coach the Kasas five, it is also true that was five fracking years ago, so this team is not Roy's old team but is the Bill Self team that broke the barrier allowing Self to reach the Final Four for the first time in his coaching career.

I'll admit that this game is tough for me to pick. I have an inherent hatred of UNC, I can not fragging stand the school, the team etc., but I have to admit that this UNC team is pretty good, in fact it is probably better than Kansas and should be considered the favorite, but you know what, I just can't stand Roy Williams and I hate, absolutely hate UNC. I'm going with the Jayhawks.