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Boston Red Sox Pitching and Defense? All Aboard he Offense Train!

On Monday, the Boston Red Sox made short work of the first place Tampa Bay Rays.

The fiery and quick Rays offense put up six hits, but could only manage one run before the final pitch was thrown.

The Rays’ one run came off a solo shot by Carlos Pena in the fourth inning.

Tampa Bay’s hitters were silenced by a strong showing from Red Sox starter Clay Buchholtz, who went six innings and struck out six. Buchholtz improves to 6-3 on the season.

Boston is looking for solid pitching from Buchholtz and John Lester to bring more solidarity to a rotation that has not lived up to expectations, to say the least.

Rays starter Wade Davis’s night started to go south in the third inning, when the Red Sox were able to tag him for three runs there, and one more in the fourth.

Davis was promptly removed from the game in the fourth inning and falls to 4-4 on the season.

Despite still being seven and a half games behind the Rays, the fourth place Red Sox are attempting to claw their way back into the AL playoff picture.

After taking two of three from a good NL team like Philadelphia, the Red Sox need to keep the momentum going, and it seems they have.

While many people have claimed Boston may be out of playoff talks this year, the Red Sox may have critics holding their tongues if they can win this series with Tampa Bay, and continue into June.

The key to their recent success has not only been better play from their previously atrocious pitching staff, but a current resurgence of power from their lineup.

Certain Red Sox players are absolutely on fire, hitting home run after home run, and making the most of clutch situations. 

Kevin Youkilis hit his tenth home run, while David Ortiz belted his ninth. JD Drew also picked up his thirtieth RBI on the season.

Both Youkilis and Ortiz are batting over .360 in May.

Clearly, the Red Sox attempt to launch themselves out of the dumps has begun with their key guys in the lineup getting hits and driving in runs.

The Red Sox strategy to focus on pitching and defense has lead them to the bottom of a highly-contested AL East (not including Baltimore).

The Red Sox may need to rethink their strategy and focus on getting lots of production from the red hot Ortiz and Youkilis and ride their wave as long as possible.

Their pitching statistics look terrible, but a closer look at their batting statistics has them in the top five of the American League.

Boston is currently fourth in the AL in runs scored, second in home runs, and fourth in RBI.

Not too shabby for a team that is supposed to be focused on other categories of the game.

The fact here is that the Boston starting pitching staff has failed them for the most part, and their star hitters have had to pick up the slack. This is by no stretch of the imagination a bad team.

The problem with the Red Sox is not scoring runs, it’s giving up runs. The Sox are currently second in the AL in runs allowed, and third worst in ERA.

The Red Sox need to realize that with Josh Beckett on the DL, combined with the strain on their bullpen, and the fact that their starters are just starting to get it together, they must rely on their heavy hitters to get the job done.

If the Red Sox can take two of three, or sweep the Rays, their schedule afterward looks good.

They face Kansas City, Baltimore, and Cleveland, who allow the third, fourth, and fifth most runs in the AL, respectively.

The Red Sox hitters need to pour on the runs in these series not only to get their team confidence back, but to get themselves back into playoff talks for this season.


This article can also be found @ Inside Out of the Park

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Milton’s Meltdowns: A Look At Some Of Bradley’s Worst Outbursts

Every Baseball fan knows Milton Bradley for one thing and unfortunately it’s not for his playing ability.

With his newest club Seattle, Bradley is batting .222 with 2 home runs and 12 RBI.

He is also getting paid $11 million.

Bradley has been with eight different teams throughout his ten years in the majors, and it just seems like he can’t find a good fit.

Are these teams paying Bradley for his bat or for pure entertainment?

You decide!

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New York Yankees: 17-Game Stand They’d Like To Forget

Lets face it, The New York Yankees are playing hurt and tired.

Not including the PPD game on May 11 in Detroit, The Yankees have played 17 straight games, including a doubleheader.

Through these 17 games, the Yankees have accumulated seven wins and ten losses.

Now, that’s not a horrible situation, but it is the way that the Yanks have been playing lately that is becoming a problem to the organization and fans alike. 

Throughout these consecutive games, the Yankees have scored a total of 115 runs.

The fact that they have scored a lot of runs is great for a known power team who happens to lead the major leagues in runs.

The Yankees have allowed 85 runs over the course of these games, due to some bad outings from starters as well as the bullpen.

What pours even more salt on the Yankee’s wounds is the fact that they had a chance to gain ground against the AL East leading Rays, but were swept at Yankee stadium.

The Yankees also dropped two games against the division rival Boston Red Sox.

Worst of all right now, they lost three games to the Detroit Tigers, who are now only one game back of the Yankees in the Wild Card race. 

There’s no denying that star players have been in and out of the lineup over the last month and it has put additional pressure on other players to get the job done.

In some situations, certain Yankees have stepped up to make up for the lack of great everyday hitters like Curtis Granderson, Jorge Posada, and Nick Swisher

These three stars have been largely absent from the middle to the end of May.

Francisco Cervelli is playing excellent ball, batting an astonishing .354 and picking up 19 RBI.

Brett Gardner has also shown that he can hit well in the number two spot, batting a robust .294.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, the bad has outweighed the good over this long May stretch, and to add insult to their many injuries, they have seen certain players slump.

Mark Teixeira, a player known for his bat, is batting .209—he is visibly in a funk.

Players who would not be seeing much playing time, if not for injuries, are making costly errors, as well as not making the most of multiple game changing situations at the plate.

We are also seeing mistakes out of the bullpen, made from veteran closer Mariano Rivera and young gun Joba Chamberlain, who have both had some rough times throughout this stretch.

Chamberlain’s ERA currently sits at 4.50.

The top of the Yankees’ starting rotation had difficulty getting the job done, as AJ Burnett saw his ERA hit 3.66 and CC Sabathia’s hit 3.99.

Oh, and they lost Nick Johnson—he was batting .167 prior to injury.

The relief for the Yankees comes in the fact that they do not have to play baseball on May 24.

They get a much, much needed day of rest to rethink their game plan and try and get some sort of winning streak going.

The fact of the matter is, the Rays are not getting any worse anytime soon.

Tampa Bay has won eight of their last ten, and they’re carrying their momentum into June.

With Detroit right behind them in the Wild Card, the Yankees need to start stringing victories together ASAP.

Within the next two series, they will also have to face the Blue Jays, who are now only one game behind in the AL East race.

Luckily for New York’s bigger picture, their next few series also include sets against Cleveland (16-26), two against Baltimore (14-31), and Houston (15-29).

Now, beating up on bad teams doesn’t prove much but at this point in the season, and as hurt as the Yankees are, it’s as the old saying goes:

A win is a win.

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Analyzing the New York Yankees’ Designated Hitter Carousel

With the news coming in from all over that Nick Johnson will need wrist surgery and will be out until at least July, the Yankees have found themselves without an everyday designated hitter.

Johnson, who was batting an abysmal .167 to begin with, now needs a replacement in the lineup.

Since his departure, the Yankees have been shuffling a bunch of players around and giving their opponents different looks on almost a gamely basis.

The Yankees may not need to go out and get a DH, if they are able to win with the current mix of players they have right now.

Only 3 games back of the red hot Rays, they enter a time where the DH shuffle may be crucial to getting those extra wins needed to overtake Tampa Bay later in the season.

Here are some of the designated hitting situations the Yankees have gone with, some more the could go with, and how they will fair in game.

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Is Dice K Done? Analyzing The Current Fall Of Daisuke Matsuzaka

Recently, the $50 million man has been having all kinds of pitching trouble, at a time when the Boston Red Sox cannot afford it.

Prior to last nights game against the New York Yankees, Daisuke Matsuzaka’s stats were not too pretty, but niether are any of the Red Sox starters.

After two good seasons for the Red Sox, gaining 15 and 18 wins respectively, Matsuzaka has not faired well in the majors due to injury problems, and overusing his arm in the World Baseball Classic (WBC).

The 2009 season was an absolute disaster for Matsuzaka, only able to start 12 games, going 4-6 with a 5.76 ERA.

Many people trace Matsuzaka’s pitching problems stem from his pitching during the 2009 WBC. Matsuzaka himself has admitted to a hip injury during the WBC and also to changing his pitching style to work through his injury.

Matsuzaka’s era currently sits at 7.89, with a win/loss record of 2-1.

Despite a great performance in his previous start against the Blue Jays, where he pitched seven innings and gave up three hits and a run, Matsuzaka has taken another dive with his pitiful performance at Yankee stadium.

Monday night, Matsuzaka was chased out in the fifth inning after giving up nine hits and seven runs.

Matsuzaka did not look impressive at all, despite striking out three batters, and was relatively easy pickings for the Yankee lineup. At times, Matsuzaka served up cutters right down the middle.

Matsuzaka has’t fared extremely well against the Bombers, with career numbers at 3-3 with a 5.48 ERA.

The win over Toronto is Matsuzaka’s only bright spot this season, as the other starts have been five and six run games, the latter against the last place Baltimore Orioles.

In his first two starts this season, against Los Angeles and Baltimore, Matsuzaka has had trouble in the fifth inning especially, letting up five runs in the fifth of both starts.

After getting off to great starts in both of these games, Matsuzaka has shown fatigue and his pitch count has ballooned.

The problem seems to be his inability to perform late in games, a problem that a starter in a majors must be able to overcome in order to have success.

Matsuzaka’s inability to get out of the fifth inning is putting more pressure on a Boston bullpen that is already taxed by the poor performance of the other pitchers in the rotation.

With Matsuzaka already at the bottom of the rotation, he rounds out a Red Sox lineup that is not clearly getting the job done this season.

The Red Sox will likely keep working with Matsuzaka to get him back to top shape, but people are already wondering why he has not come through on his promise for a great 2010 season.

Granted, it is still early, but there hasn’t been much production out of a pitcher who was once so heavily sought after and Matsuzaka won’t be seeing games in August and September if he is unable to go deeper than four innings.

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The New York Yankees’ Possible Outfield Remedies

Let’s face it, despite the team’s recent success, the New York Yankee outfield isn’t looking too promising right now.

At the start of the season, the Yankee outfield was seeing great production out of both Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher. Unfortunatley, both of these players have been cut down with injuries.

According to a recent update from NBC news, Granderson is able to jog and hit without pain, but, “still isn’t running at top speed or changing directions, which will tax his injured groin more than light jogging in one direction.”

Granderson is still expected to be out another two weeks with his injury.

Granderson’s injury may be one that takes away from his speed and range in the outfield and his ability to steal bases.

Swisher, according to, is having a difficult time batting lefty, and isn’t proving to be much of a factor against right handed hitters.

The bright spot for Yankee fans is out in center field, where everyday starter Brett Gardner is looking great to start the season, batting .317 with 2 homers and 12 RBI. He has also stolen 17 bases and has been a sure thing in the field.

The players who have come in to replace Swisher and Granderson are Randy Winn and Marcus Thames who most Yankee fans do not put much faith into.

All it takes is a quick Twitter search of the words Marcus Thames and you will get great quotes likening Thames to a lawn chair in left field.

His batting stats aren’t all to pretty, despite his batting average of .354.

While Thames will mostly be used in place of the injured designated hitter, Nick Johnson, Yankee fans will get a heavy dose of Randy Winn.

Winn is hitting just .209, with one homer and six runs batted in. 

The combined mediocrity of these two players brings the idea of looking on the free agent market for another outfielder, just in case Granderson or Swisher’s injuries last longer than projected.

The Tampa Bay Rays don’t look like they are slowing down anytime soon, and the Yankees may need to address this outfield situation before its too late.

The outfield free agent market yields player like Willy Mo Pena and Jermaine Dye.

Dye, being the more notable player of the two, with great career accolades.A career .274 hitter, Dye has 325 home runs and was a two time all star selection in 2000 and 2006. He also won the 2006 silver slugger award, and was a part of the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox.

Dye had a good 2008 season, batting .292 and hitting 34 home runs.

Pena’s statistics are a bit less flashy, a career .253 hitter, but much younger than Dye at 28 (compared to 36) and may have a bit more potential.

This problem may be able to fix itself when both Granderson and Swisher are inserted back into the lineup.

With Nick Johnson potentially gone until June and previously batting under .200, a need for a hitting outfielder might be critical late in the season.

Someone who can play the DH spot as well as play the outfield may be just what the Yankees need to complete their 2010 run.

After a few more abysmal performances from Thames ands Winn, I would not rule out the acquisition of another solid outfielder within the next few months for the Yankees.

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