Results tagged ‘ David Ortiz ’
After the month of April who would have guessed this line would belong too? Normally, maybe him:
That would have been a good guess, but he only has played 2 games this April. Plus, he is normally not know for power.
How about this fella:
Again, not a bad guess. He has had several 20 homer seasons, but it is not him. He’s had a decent start, going deep 4 times so far.
Would you be surprised to find out that those numbers belong to:
Probably not, if you have been following the Red Sox closely this season. This is the big news with the Red Sox. When Nick Green has more HRs and a higher slugging percentage than David Ortiz over the first 22 games, then something is the matter.
What is WRONG with Big Papi?
- Past his prime, good years are behind him.
- Lack of protection in the order; missing Manny behind him.
- Wrist still hurts.
- All of the above.
- Nothing, give the guy a break!
I don’t know the answer myself, but I can say it is not from lack of protection in the order. People who think because Manny is no longer batting behind Ortiz that this is the reason are sort of clueless. I mean Ortiz is hitting between the 2008 MVP and the 3rd Place finisher for 2008 MVP! Anybody else have protection like that in MLB?
This is the first time since Ortiz joined the Red Sox that he has not at least 1 HR in a month where he has not been injured.
Dating back to last season, Big Papi has now gone 25 games (in which he as gotten at least 1 AB) with out a HR. That is the longest cold streak since he came to Boston.
He has had two 19 game homerless streaks, 1 occured last season and the other occured in 2007.
So, what is the problem? Will he ever get out of this funk? Will he be the Papi of 2004 – 2006? So many questions, so little answers.
I think the problem is in Papi’s head. I recall hear him complain about lack of protection (isn’t that a bit insulting to Kevin Youkilis) in the batting order. However, Sean McAdams (I believe) has stated numerous times that the two seasons Manny packed it in during September, Ortiz had the best OPS (this coming from listening to talk radio, I haven’t research these numbers myself) during the month of September. So he wasn’t missing Manny then.
However, now that Ortiz doesn’t have it in the back of his head that Manny will be back, I think he is using it as an excuse (for a lack of a better term) when it is more of a combination that Ortiz may be thinking too much and having some erosion of his skills. Ortiz also mentioned a while back that he isn’t getting any fastballs to hit. I seem to recall plenty of fastballs in the mid to upper 80s that he is not catching up to.
Hopefully, it is more of a mental funk than a physical / skill erosion problem. The Red Sox are going to NEED Ortiz, especially when Youkilis, Bay, and Lowell cools down from their hot starts.
C’mon Big Papi, work it out.
P.S. This could have been about Josh Beckett too. Since the Abreu incident, Beckett has not been himself.
Think about this. The highest paid player on your team doesn’t play versus left-handed pitchers. Could you imagine Albert Pujols sitting or
Manny Ramirez sitting (well, yes I can imagine him sitting, that’s not a good example) or A-Rod sitting? Or, how about Ryan Howard, Carl Crawford, or Ichiro Suzuki? However, when you are this guy:
You don’t start versus left-handed pitchers anymore. Against the first two LHP opposing starters the Red Sox have faced, Scott Kazmir and Joe Saunders, manager Terry Francona has opted to start Rocco Baldelli instead of J.D. Drew. The 14 Million Dollar question is why?
I can see once in a while, to get Rocco some at bats, that he’d replace Drew, Ellsbury, or even Ortiz against some LHP. But 2 LHPs in a row Drew sits for Baldelli?
J.D. Drew is a career .260 hitter versus LHP. Last year, he hit .284 versus lefties but in 2007 he hit .224 against southpaws. In his career versus Kazmir, he was 1-7 with a triple a walk and 3 strikeouts. I can see sitting him versus Kazmir, who is notoriously tough (career .212 BA against vs LH batters) on lefties. In his career versus Saunders, he is 1-5 with a double and a walk. Not a large sample against either pitcher, but Saunders is not tougher on lefties like Kazmir is.
If you compare Drew to Ortiz, Big Papi is a career .268 hitter versus LHP. Last year, though, he hit a paltry .221 against lefties, obviously his injured wrist played a factor in this. In 2007, Ortiz hit .308 versus LHP. In the years 2003 through 2006, Ortiz hit .216, .250, .302, and .278 against LHP.
Now, I’m not saying that Ortiz should sit instead of Drew against lefties, not at all. I’m just using Ortiz as a comparison, as their numbers versus lefties aren’t far apart. However, I would have to think that it is very rare that a team’s highest paid player becomes a platoon player. In Drew’s defense, I do not think he should be sitting versus lefties, however, if his at bat versus Brian Fuentes to end Sunday’s game is any indication, maybe Francona knows what he is doing.
It was nice to see the Red Sox and Angels come together in fellowship on this Easter Day:
Should make for an interesting series when the Sox return back to Anaheim in May. Hopefully, they won’t let as many opportunities to score slip away then, like they did this week. And, hopefully they’ll be able to slow down the Angels on the basepaths. It was nice to see Varitek throw out Figgins trying to steal second, though.
Now it is onto Oakland, before returning back to Fenway for the RED HOT Orioles. I think the Sox will take 2 of 3 from Oakland in this series, but I am not looking forward to those 10 PM start times. Oh well.
Wooooooohooooooooooooo! FINALLY!!!!!! OPENING DAY IS HERE. However, the forecast is for rain, which is scheduled to begin around game time. Doh!!!!!!!! Let’s hope it can hold off for 3 or 4 hours. How disappointing.
However, what wasn’t disappointing was yesterday’s beautiful day that I spent at the olde (really OLD) ball park. I went to Fenway yesterday for 2 reasons.
1) Pick up my uniform:
Oops. That’s not my uniform. I wish.
2) Try and meet up with Julia of Julia’s Rants and other bloggers she was trying to get to meet outside Fenway. Unfortunately, I did not make it in time to meet up. When I was finally finished picking up my uniform, I called Julia and she and Scott from I’m Not a Headline Guy were on top of the Prudential Building. Here is a picture of them:
No, really, they are up there. I was on the phone with her exactly at that moment, as I was standing behind the Red Sox dugout.
Since I was at the ballpark, I’d figure I might as well take in the Red Sox workout. It was a gorgeous day for baseball; warm and not a cloud in the sky. Since I brought my camera, I figured I might as well take a few (or 20 or 30) pictures. Here are some of them:
The view from the RF boxes next to the visitor’s bullpen:
Big Papi & Kevin Youkilis:
Evan Longoria: (thanks to Rays Renegade for the ID)
Theo Epstein (well, the back of his head, anyway):
Mike Lowell (talking with Longoria (l.) and Pat Burrell (r.) thanks to Rays Renegade again on ID of Rays players)
Finally ~ View from the Budweiser section in upper RF:
It was quite a blast. It seemed like I had the whole park to myself. There were a couple of tours going on. Also, there were some other Red Sox employees who had their children there, but the greatest perk of working at the park is being able to be there without any fans.
EDIT: I forgot to mention that I noticed the lower (field level) and upper box (red) seats seem to have brand new seats in there. The actual seat parts have padding. I sat in one, and it was pretty comfortable. However, the only problem is that back rest seems to be the same height. So, now with a cushion there, the
back rest is on the lower part of your back which probably won’t be as comfortable as the game goes on. I think these new seats are only in the infield box seat sections. It looks like the RF boxes, grandstand (blue seats) and bleachers have the same crummy seats.
As I was leaving, I almost walked right into a Tampa Bay Ray coming out of the Red Sox clubhouse. I am not sure who it was though. Maybe B.J. Upton, (did he travel up north with the team while being on the DL?) but I am not sure at all. He was just wearing some shorts and a T-shirt and not a name tag.
All and all, it was a great day. Quite the opposite of what I am looking at through my window as I type this. I better bring my galoshes with me, as I am on my way to the ball park just after I finish posting this.
Josh Beckett vs James Shield. Should be a great game!
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Looks like the Red Sox are going to have a surpise in camp in the next couple of days:
With the BIG upset (twice) by Netherlands against the Dominican Republic, Big Papi David Ortiz, will be back in Fort Myers much earlier than expected.
I have caught bits and pieces of some of the WBC games, but today was the first time I got to see almost a
complete full game. And what a game it was!! I tell ya, I LOVE pitching duels in baseball. I prefer a good 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, game over a 9-7, 12-11 game any day. This 2nd game between the DR and Dutch was exactly a classic pitching duel game.
After 10 innings, the DR and Netherlands were locked in a 0-0 game. A misplay by former major leaguer Eugene Kinsale allowed the Domincans to get on the board. It looked like this would be all that would be needed for a DR victory with Cubs’ closer Carlos Marmol ready to close it out. However, the Netherlands improbably scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 11th (the 2nd on an error by Rays Willy Aybar) to advance to the next round and knock out DR in the process. Unbelievable to watch!
Pedro Martinez looked impressive in 3 shut-out innings. He did hit a batter and strike out a few, but I can’t find a box score yet to see the rest of his line. Hopefully, his WBC performance leads to a team signing him. I loved Pedro when he wore Red Sox uniforms. He is one of my all-time favorite games, and if healthy, I think he can still be a quality starting pitcher.
In Red Sox news, apparently NOT SO FAST with that long-term contact with Jon Lester. While watching the WBC game on MLB, the scroll across the bottom said that Lester agreed to a 1-yr contact and has stated he knows nothing about a long-term contract. Interesting. 90% of time, these reports of contracts and other such that are broken are reliable, but apparently this is not the case with Lester? Hopefully, they do lock Lester up for the next few years, however, I guess we should be careful about counting our eggs.
Here is the bad apple (thanks to Victor Perez and ESPN.com for the photo)
Anyway, it is being reported that he has been a trainer for various other Dominican ballplayers besides Juan Gone and A-Rod. Some of his other clients have been Miguel Tejada, the Dominican WBC Team, and many other Domincan players including……….
Let’s hope this is where any stories end and there was no wrong doing that will put a tarnish on the 2004 and 2007 accomplishments. However, it seems like this is something that could cast a bad light over all Dominican players. It’s a shame, that it has come to everybody being guilty until proven innocent because of how the Owners, Players Association Leaders, and Players had handled this whole issue.
I get my son into bed and back downstairs ready to watch the game at about 8:40 or 8:45. I turn on the TV, flip over to TBS and it is the top of the 2nd and the Rays already have a 2-0 lead. Christ! I sit down at the PC and head to ESPN.com to see how it happened. Iawmura hit followed by another Upton HR. Damn!
The Sox get a couple on against Kazmir, but can’t deliver. Kazmir seems to be pitching okay. Certainly not the Kazmir of old, but definitely not the Kazmir of recent either. However, it’s just a matter of time before the Sox get to him…right?
Top of the 3rd, and Upton gets another hit. Can we get this guy out yet? Pena HR, next. Longoria HR next. Gawd! Well, when 1 team is hitting on all cylinders and out pitching the opponent, what are you going to do? You just have to give credit to the Rays. It’s not going to be the year this year.
I check with the wife, see if she wants to watch a show. We’re both tired (my wife works nights, and worked Wed night, so she’s way more tired than me. But you know how it is with kids, your ALWAYS tired.), but I pull up the DVR and see what we have waiting to watch. How about Survivor? Great! We watch the Fang tribe (which could be like the Rays of old, or the Pirates, always losing) lose both challenges and GC get voted out.
The wife’s ready for bed, so she curls up on the couch with a blanket and is off to dreamland as I turn the game back on. It is the Top of the 7th, and Delcarmen just walked the 2nd of two batters, so the Rays have 1st & 2nd with nobody out and Upton (him again?) coming up. Francona, in a desperation moves, brings in Papelbon. However, after a double steal, runs are at 2nd and 3rd. Papelbon works back to a full count on Upton, but gives up a wall ball double that extends the lead to 7-0. That just about sealed up the MVP for Upton.
I get back on the PC, as I’m thinking about going to bed, and type up a little blog to congratulate the Rays, as I’ll probably type up more in the morning.
However, even though I am tired, it is a bit early for me to go to bed. I am a night owl. I like to stay up late. Not sure why, but I’ve always been that way. Sometimes I regret it in the morning, but most times I’m fine.
So, I start surfing the net, checking out some other blogs. I went to a message board that I frequent. I played a few games, all as the game was still on.
Maddon decides not to bring Kamir out for the 7th, and goes with the flame thrower Grant Balfour. Lowrie crushes a ball to RF, that just misses a HR. However, that gets you to take notice. Then when Varitek and Kotsay fly out, oh well. However, Crisp lines a single, but too hard for Lowrie to score. Pedroia then singles, and the Sox are on the board. At least they won’t be shut out.
Now, up comes Papi. He crushes one deep into the night.
Papelbon comes out and gets the Rays 1-2-3 in the 8th. Sweet!
Then, a 4 pitch lead-off walk to Bay, and you can just see how tightly Wheeler is squeezing that ball. Drew crushes a HR to right, and WOW! But, your still thinking how HUGE those 2 runs the Rays got in the top of 7th are. Walks will kill you. But, the Sox are now down a run. If you’re going to lose, if you’re going to get eliminated, this is the way to go out. Not some pathetic 7-0 loss. Wheeler gets Lowrie and Casey, and is almost out of the inning. But here is where some “weird” things happen:
- Kotsay’s line drive goes off the glove of B.J. Upton in CF )who has been tracking down EVERYTHING) for a double.
- Gabe Gross’ throw to home goes straight into the ground, allowing Kotsay to score on Crisp’s single to tie the game.
- Carlos Pena (who had ground into only 2 DPs all season) grouned into an inning ending DP with the leading run on 2nd.
- Evan Longoria, one of the best fielding 3B in the league, makes an error. That runner ends up scoring the winning run on J.D. Drew’s game winning hit.
There I am, dancing around the living room while my wife is fast asleep on the couch. Haha. But, who would have thought? Seriously!! Down 7-0 in the 7th?
We go back to Tampa. There is still a lot of work to be done, but ANYTHING can happen, as we just witnessed. There are lots of questions though:
Can Beckett be Beckett?
Is the offense back?
Should Francona swap Lester to game 6 (on normal rest) and Beckett for game 7 (on extra rest)?
Saturday can’t get here fast enough for me.
It’s been a busy week, both for me and for baseball. Sorry for the absence of posts, however, I was helping the little woman prepare the house for a party in celebration of our daughter’s 1st Birthday / Baptism which took place on Sunday. The event was a success, while the Patriots game later that night was not a success.
Anyway, a lot has happened. The Phillies are on the verge of returning to the World Series for the first time since 1993 (oh Mitch Williams, your redemption may come) after taking a 3 – 1 series lead over the Dodgers. Game 3 of the series provide a weak attempt at recreating the Red Sox – Rays brawl from this summer. It was another humorous square dancing event, rather than a fight.
Meanwhile, our beloved Red Sox started out great, shutting out the Rays in Game 1 behind a great pitching performance by Dice-K. Red Sox fans had visions of a 3 game to zero lead in their head with Beckett and Lester to follow, but the Rays bats through in a monkey wrench. Tampa’s offense came alive with back-to-back games of 9 runs, bashing 7 HRs in the processes, reducing Beckett and Lester to the likes of John Wasdin and Matt Young (minus the walks).
Meanwhile (I feel like the narrator from the old Batman TV series with all of these meanwhiles), the Red Sox lumber have seem to take an extended slumber. Aside from Pedroia (.545), Youkilis (.429), and Bay (.455) not another batter is batting above .250. Ellsbury, Ortiz, and Varitek are all hitless in the series.
Should we be worrying? History says no. We all remember 2004, down 3 games to zero to the Yankees, don’t we? How about 2007 where we were down 3 games to 1 to the Indians and had to face their 2 best pitchers in games 6 and 7? So, being down 2 games to 1 while troublesome, is not worrisome on the whole.
Tonight, we have Tim Wakefield slated to start against Andy Sonnanstine in Game 4. In 3 starts this season versus TB, Wakefield is 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA. The Red Sox have lost all 3 of those games. Sonnanstine, in 2 starts, is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA. He has given up only 7 hits, 2 walks and 2 Unearned runs in 13 innings while Tampa has won both of those games. So, looking at those numbers, it doesn’t look good for tonight.
However, so far in these 3 games, nothing has really gone as anticipated. I mean, how many people predicted that Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz would combine for zero hits and 1 RBI in the 3 games? Would you be surprised if Wakefield went 8 innings of 3 hit baseball? Well, maybe! There is still lots of baseball to be played, and lots of thing could be happen. That one thing that would truly be surprising, though, is if Ortiz finishes the series still without a hit.
Wow! A month since my last post. Work and vacation can do that to you. To all my loyal readers (all zero of you, I guess), I apologize for that.
However, the Sox were busy in August. Aside from playing .667 (18-9) ball, they acquired Paul Byrd and Mark Kotsay in trades, while signing David Ross and Jason Lane to minor league deals to bolster their depth.
Despite their great August, they went from 3 games behind the Rays to 5 1/2 games behind as Tampa played an amazing .750 ball in August, winning 21 out of 28 games.
With one month left to play, the Sox will definately have their work cut out for them, to catch the Rays. A lot of “experts”, are expecting the Rays to fold under the pennant race limelight. However, I do not think that will happen. The Rays have solid pitching (in both their starters and bullpen) along with a solid defense. Even if their offense does cool down, their all-round ability should be able to carry them through to the end.
The Sox and Rays are pretty much a lock for the playoffs, as I don’t think the Twins or the White Sox will overtake Boston in the wildcard. That leaves just the Twins and White Sox to battle it out for the Central Division and last AL Playoff Berth.
How about Dustin Pedroia. What a month!!! .374 average, 1.060 OPS, 43 hits, 10 2Bs, 6 HRs, 20 RBIs, 5 SBs without being caught. AL Player of the Week, and likely Player of the Month. Clean up Hitter?? Who would of thunk it.
Pedroia on fire. David Ortiz is heating up. Coco Crisp is almost as hot as Pedroia. Beckett and Lowell back soon from the DL. Youkillis, Bay, Kotsay, Varitek all playing well. Going to be a wild September and October.
Well, it’s the day we’ve been waiting for. Big Papi is BACK! After 54 days and 45 games, in which the Red Sox were 26-19, Big Papi is BACK! Tonight, David Ortiz will step back on the field and take his first cracks in almost 2 months, against the hated rival, New York Yankees.
When Papi went out injured in that May 31st game against the Orioles, the Red Sox trailed the first place Rays by 1 game. Today, they are tied for first with them, just percentage points behind.
The Sox did a great job of really not suffering a dramatic slump with Ortiz out. J.D. Drew did an incredible job of filling in Ortiz’s hole in the line-up. However, now with Ortiz back, how is this going to affect the line-up. Here is what my line-up would be tonight:
Now, we know it is unusual to have 2 lefties in a row in a line-up these days. Also, Drew is not a prototypical #2 hitter. However, the Yanks do not have a left-hander in the bullpen. Ellsbury’s production has really dropped, and it seems like this would be the right down to drop him in the order and take some pressure of him, especially with how hot Pedroia has been. By hitting Ellsbury 9th, as the rest of the game goes, you end up keeping the Ellsbury, Pedroia, Drew three-some which may help alleviate the change.
I doubt we will see a line-up like that, and will more likely see the same line-up as usual except with Ortiz back at #3, and J.D. Drew probably back at #5 or #6 and everybody else bumped back down a slot.
I am not sure what the problem Ellsbury is going through. The 1st 2 months, he hit .282 and .281 with a combined 27 walks. The last 2 months, he has hit .245 and .232 with a combined 5 walks. I don’t know what to really attribute that to, but you can see that it has been affecting his confidence, and he is not swinging at good pitches. I love Ellsbury, and believe he can work his way out of this. The first step would be dropping him down, and see if that can get him going.
Finally, WEEI was reporting yesterday the Sox were in “serious” negotiations with the White Sox for Juan Uribe. I am not sure why, as I think Lowrie is more than capable to fill in for Lugo, and hopefully, possibly, take over full-time for Lugo. I don’t even think Uribe is an upgrade over Cora, so I didn’t see where the interest is from the Sox stand point.
It should be a great series this weekend, with some nice pitching match-ups. Tonight’s match-up for Joba vs Beckett could be a good duel. Joba is emerging into the perfect Yankee to hate for us Red Sox fans, which is great for the rivalry. Then we have Wakefield and Pettitte. Both are coming of some quality starts. The final game will see Lester and Ponson. I think the Sox will take 2 out of 3, as it will be tough to get to both Joba and Pettite.