Tagged: Rays

At the Trop

It’s the Red Sox versus the Rays but this time it’s in Tampa at the Trop. The Trop always seems to be a nightmare for the Red Sox. Other than Wakefield, nobody is consistant or even does well there. It’s a four-game stand. I don’t get to see Kazmir pitch but that’s just as well because at the end of the week, the Rays will be in Boston again and I’ll see him pitch there.


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for rsvrays.JPGGames 23, 24, 25 & 26 – At the Trop – April 30, May 1, 2 & 3

Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay “Devil” Rays


Game 1 of the Series: L ~ 0 – 13


This one was ugly; I mean really ugly. It had all the makings of a good game: Beckett vs Garza. I love to see Beckett and I can’t stand Garza: Perfect. What has happened to our Josh Beckett? I will be forever-indebted to Jacoby Ellsbury for messing up Garza’s no-hitter. Thank you, sir. That’s the only good thing that happened this game. Tampa got 18 hits! We even pulled our right fielder, Jonathan Van Every and put him in to pitch. Ugly. Time to move on.


Game 2 of the Series:  L ~ 2-6


O.K., admittedly this one wasn’t as bad as yesterday but I’m sort of becoming a sore loser when it’s against the Rays. It just isn’t supposed to be this way. Justin Masterson vs. Sonnanstine. Masterson had a terrible fifth inning, in fact, a six run fifth. Yuck. Pedroia got three hits and other than that, it was a losing game.


Game 3 of the Series:  W ~ 10 – 6


Wake vs Niemann. Niemann did terrible, thankfully for us. We jumped on him early scoring six runs in the first three innings. Lots of hits from both teams. Mike Lowell homered; yea, Mike! Not much else other than the Rays walked Pedroia to get to Ortiz. That is sad. Though Big Papi is hitting .215, he has no home runs this season at all. Not good.


Game 4 of the Series:  L ~ 5 – 3


Brad Penney is pitching against James Shields. Shields hasn’t been doing that well this season, of course one of his losses coming against the Red Sox earlier in the season. He didn’t look great. But Penny has been 50/50 – won 2, lost 2. The two he’s lost have been as terrible as a game could get. Luckily, though we lose this one, it wasn’t that Horrible Brad we’ve seen. Oh, those devils. They have our number, especially in Tampa. They take three out of four from us. Now it’s on to the new Yankee Stadium for a two-game stop before going home. There’s no place like home.


It’s A Vibe Thing

garza1.JPGI don’t like Matt Garza. Nothing personal. I don’t know why I don’t like him; it’s just me. It’s that magnetic-pull-polar-opposite-thing. He scares me. It’s a vibe thing. It’s all in the eyes. He makes me nervous. To see him set up to pitch against Dice K almost humors me. Talk about no symmetry at all. He’s a heck of a pitcher…throws junk. He mixes his pitches well, too well. He is a lethal weapon on the Rays pitching staff. This was demonstrated especially during the playoffs and the World Series. And he’s their third starter. I don’t like him against our guys. He’ probably a really nice guy. Again, that’s just me.   

garza.JPGGame 3 – Fenway Park – April

Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay

The Rays won this 
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one. The score was 3-4 with 7 hits by the Sox and 10 hits by the Rays. Garza pitched seven innings. Their bullpen could have blown it but they didn’t. Darn. It was an afternoon game so the teams could travel. Oki stunk. The guys got an ERA of like 18.0 or 20.0 now. Saw Masterson pitch to one batter.


Tek hit a homer. That was cool. Youk is still hot. That I like.


Hopefully the road trip will improve the way the Red Sox are playing.



P.S. I have changed my font. I’m in a change funk lately. I want lots of things changed. Hope you like it.




My Two Favorite Southpaws


Thumbnail image for vangogh.JPGWhile many people grew up with the motto hanging in their kitchen saying

“Home Sweet Home,” in our kitchen hung a saying that was a take-off of a Vincent Van Gogh quote, “The best way to know life is to love many things.” Our family lived by that. I still do. I love so many things; I appreciate them; I look for and find beauty in just about everything. I have very little disdain in my being. I can’t say that about a lot of people I know. Maybe they had the wrong sign hanging in their kitchen.


I have always had a love and passion for
Thumbnail image for DSC_0408.JPGbaseball. That is part of my being. When I was younger, a player stayed on their team for sometimes their entire career. It was easy to love a team and
all of its players. That concept is now an anomaly. Players don’t stay on the same team sometimes not even for the duration of their contract. Since I love
baseball, yes I am faithful to one team, but I absolutely love to watch some players that are not Red Sox players. Scott Kazmir is one of those players.


I first saw him pitch early in his career; 2004 to be exact. I think he was 18 years old at the time. I love this guy. He is not on the Red Sox.


Thumbnail image for rsvrays.JPGGame 2 –
Fenway Park – April 8

Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay


DSC_0416.JPGEarly last week the outlook was for snow on Wed. night. As much as I like to go to games, I have to say that is where I draw the line. I love the snow, just not at a baseball game. Lefty Jon Lester was scheduled to pitch against Scott Kasmir. I can’t think of a more intriguing matchup. I wanted to go to that game in the worst way. At the last minute, we were able to score field box tickets for under face value. That is unheard of at Fenway. I don’t know why people still aren’t recognizing the fact that Red Sox v Rays is about as good as it gets. But they are not.


It was chilly but overall a beautiful night at Fenway. There was very little wind, comfortable temperatures if you were dressed for it. My two favorite southpaws were headed for the mound: Jon Lester v Scott Kazmir. I was so excited for the game.


It started out rather exciting. The first two innings showed two very talented lefties going head to head. In the top of the third with runners on first and second, and no outs, Ray’s Carl Crawford ripped one to first. Kevin Youkilis made a nice play fielding the ball but instead of getting the easy out at first, he tried for the force at second, with hopes of a double-play. Who knows what he was thinking because this ball sailed into the outfield which allowed the first run to score and charging Youk with his first “E” of the season. 


All was going well for both pitchers until the fifth when Carlos Pena started the assault against Jon Lester with a two-run homer. The worst part of this homer was that Pena was 3-0 before he even saw his first strike. This was just the beginning of what end up being a four-run top of the fifth.

By the time they took Lester out, he gave up eight hits and five runs over five innings, walking two and striking out five. It was looking like we’d never dig ourselves out of this hole. But….

DSC_0410.JPGIn the eighth inning, I was convinced we’d see another Red Sox miracle; miracle was surely written all over this one! Another of my RS v Rays dream come true: the Rays bullpen blows it, Red Sox come out ahead. With one out, both David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis hit singles, only to be followed by Jason Bay’s two-out RBI double. Next thing you know, Mike Lowell is getting drilled  by a pitch which loaded the bases. This brought Jed Lowrie to the plate as the tying run. Bummer….Lowrie
DSC_0419.JPGstrikes out at the hands of Grant Balfour.

Well, what can I say? You can’t always get what you want, but we really didn’t
need this either. We ended up losing this one 2-7. I got home from Boston at 11:59 p.m. Isn’t that weird? I couldn’t settle down until way after 2:00 a.m. My friend called me on my drive home to see how I was doing and to help break up the long drive by myself. That’s what friends are for, right? Certain friends you can count on for bringing a smile to your face and helping you out.

It’s going to be a few weeks until I travel to Boston again. I think it’s for the first NY series. Ahh, Saturday afternoon baseball in Boston; gotta love it!  



DSC_0422.JPGThis guy is amazing, huh?


Opening Day 2009 (Part 1)

od.JPGHi, my name is Jackie. I am a Kaz-aholic. Yes, I am a Red Sox fan but in September 2004, I noticed this young pitcher, a lefty, pitch against Pedro and I was hooked. I just can’t get enough of watching this guy pitch. I don’t know what it is. I call it his dance; that fluid motion as he executes his wind-up and release. That leg; the way it always follows in the same manner, every pitch. I compare it to watching Mikhail Baryshnikov dance. I could watch this guy pitch every day.


Problem here is he’s a pitcher on the ‘Devil’ Rays. Yup. That team that went from worst to first. Yup. The one that beat the Red Sox in the ALCS in 2008 to go on to lose to the Phillies in last season’s World Series. So you are asking yourself, what on earth does this have to do with Opening Day? Well I will tell you.


At the end of last season we found out that the Red Sox would open the 2009 season at home against the Rays. Pretty much everyone I know knows how much I love to see the RS play that team. My friend and I made a pack that we would do the RS Destinations trip for the Opener at Fenway. This would alleviate us trying for decent OD tickets because we’d get the whole series from the Destinations package. Well, come to find out, the tickets that are offered in the package were, well let’s just say somewhat questionable. When you’re talking early April in Boston, weather equals comfort. So we hemmed-and-hawed, and apparently to the right person, because another one of our friends was able to get us beautiful seats for Opening Day when tickets went on sale. (Thanks again, Strat!).


Now, I usually don’t have any interest in Opening Day; been there, done that. Though I haven’t been for years, I could care less about being there. After the 2004 World Series, I tried to get tickets to the 2005 Opening Day Ring Ceremony and couldn’t so, just like a woman scorned; I usually don’t want anything to do with OD. But this year it was different. I made a pack with my friend, and besides, the RS are hosting those ‘Devils.’ All of the friends from LN see Opening Day as a holiday and have a ritual that goes along with it. This year I would go.


Opening Day in Fenway was scheduled for Monday, April 6, with Tuesday being an off-day. April 6 is pretty early to start baseball in Boston. The off-day was scheduled more like a rain date and for good reason.


As the ritual goes, LN meets before the game at BBT the last day of the season, and BBW on Opening Day. Our friends were coming from TN, NJ, NY, NH, RI, CT and of course, areas of MA. All week they were calling for rain, but we all know, it can’t rain on Opening Day. I had faith. Well, I was wrong, it can rain on Opening Day, and it did.


As everyone was meeting at BBW, I was driving through Natick, still on the highway on my way to Boston. This is when my phone began to ring; and ring; and ring, and ring. Everyone (and their brother) called to let me know the news: Larry Lucchino just announced that because of the dismal weather outlook for today, Opening Day was going to be played on Tuesday instead. Just as we heard the news, the sun began to break through the thick cloud cover over Natick. O.K., was this going to be like when they cancel school in town because there MIGHT be snow, and it ends up raining? I know the weather was questionable but it not only hadn’t started raining, it actually looked as though it would clear up.


We arrived in Boston (165 miles on Monday), and met up with LN at BBW. Everyone was there. It was wonderful to see everyone together. Though we had just seen each other in February, it still was nice to see everyone. In my less-than-humble-opinion, it was a terrible off-season. Baseball news seemed flat and dismal; there was a tumultuous period for me in the off-season, one (or two) which have been since ironed out. But overall, it was uneasy and problematic. Bottom-line: Baseball couldn’t come soon enough!


Of course, the topic of the day was who was going tomorrow and who wasn’t, and who wasn’t, what to do with their tickets. The irony was, the folks who looked so forward to attending Opening Day, were the ones who couldn’t work out coming back on Tuesday. As wonderful as it was to see everyone, it was a sad, dismal day.


Thumbnail image for puddle.JPG 

And then the rains came. When it rained, it rained hard. The Red Sox made the right decision this time. They made the call early enough for people to make alternate plans. I’ve been one to complain that they often hold you hostage at Fenway, not telling you what their plans are just to keep selling you beer and food. But not today.


Someday’s I like rain; other’s I don’t. Today I don’t. Opening Day 2009 will have to wait until tomorrow. The long-awaited Beckett / Shields match up will happen tomorrow. I’ll be there. I wouldn’t miss it.