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Milestones Achieved And Streaks Halted
Posted By "Baseball Brenda" Sepanek On Aug 3 2011 @ 10:34 am In Boston Red Sox | 5 Comments
Before Monday’s game against the Cleveland Indians, Terry Francona spoke about Daniel Bard’s impressive scoreless streak of 25 games, spanning 26 1/3 innings. He acknowledged the inevitable saying, “he’s going to give up a run at some point.” Little did he know it would happen hours later.
Yes, his amazing streak finally came to an end in the top of the eighth, when Bard surrendered a game-winning, two-run homer to Asdrubal Cabrera in Cleveland’s 9-6 victory. He also took the loss in the game and was charged with a blown save. How’s that for grounding you back to earth QUICKLY?
You know what’s strange? The last time Bard gave up a run it was May 23rd, in the eighth inning in Cleveland and it was a game-winning RBI double to none other than, Asdrubal Cabrera! AND he took the loss and was charged with a blown save! What have we learned here folks? Bard should not face Asdrubal Cabrera again in the near future…in the eighth inning…when the game is on the line… AND when he has a killer streak going.
His 25 consecutive outings without allowing a run is a new Red Sox record and he tallied the longest scoreless inning streak (a career high) in the American League this season, behind only Cliff Lee’s 34-inning scoreless stretch this year. It was also was the longest in club history for a Sox reliever since Bob Stanley’s 27 1/3 innings without giving up a run from July 29 – Sept. 1, 1980. “It had to end sometime,” Bard said. “I had a little bit of luck to get to this point. It went longer than I thought it would, I guess, but I’m trying to help the team win. Tonight I didn’t do that. But as far as the streak goes, let’s start a new one tomorrow.”
His control, command, and confidence, have made him of one of the most talented set up men in the league with an impressive 2.28 ERA and 0.88 WHIP.
Terry Francona has spent 12 years as a manager in the big leagues and July 23rd he became the 57th manager to win at least 1,000 games, joining seven active managers in the league:
His first managerial win was with the Philadelphia Phillies on April 1, 1997 and since then he has compiled a managerial record of 1,006-884. He has 285 wins with the Phillies (1997-2000) and two World Series titles with the Sox in 2004 and 2007. I have always been a huge fan of Tito. He relates to the players, he treats them with respect, he creates relationships with them , which are all qualities that don’t require baseball knowledge. In order to have successful organization, you need everyone to get along or at least make everyone think you are getting along. That’s what Terry does, he is the gel and base that holds the clubhouse together.
While he make think he is lucky to have wound up with such a talented team, he certainly had his work cut out for him being thrown into the caldron of Boston. It is no easy task dealing with the passionate fans and media of Boston and of course problems that may arise within the clubhouse. You rarely ever hear of problems amongst players (except Manny Ramirez) and we owe that to Tito because he handles it and keeps it in clubhouse, something that is hard to do. People don’t realize the decisions he makes behind closed doors are just as important as the decisions he makes on the field. I can’t say enough great things about Francona. His relaxed approach makes his players enjoy playing for him. Francona humbly commented on being lucky he wound up in Boston. Yes, maybe so. I think the city of Boston, the players, and fans, are the lucky ones. Here’s to 1,000 more to someone that should go down as Boston’s greatest skipper in history.
Red Sox Managers Win List
Dustin Pedroia went 0-for-4 in the 3-1 loss to Chicago last Friday, ending his 25 game (career best) hitting streak. The month of July was good to Dustin, or should I say “Muddy Chicken” his new nickname. He batted .407 during his hitting streak with the 3rd best July batting average in Sox history. Only Ted Williams and Wade Boggs have batted higher. He drove in 22 RBIs, scored 27 runs, hit 9 doubles, 1 triple and 8 home runs to bring his season batting average up to .310. That doesn’t sounds as impressive until you realize that he was hitting just .239 June 4th! Do you know what you have to do to raise your batting average that high, that quickly? Just replay the past month and you will see. This guy is on a tear and has completely turned his season around and perhaps he is back on pace to reclaiming that MVP title he earned in 2008. If there is one person you don’t need to worry about staying in a slump, it’s Pedroia.He has made it clear numerous times that even though he is the smallest guy in in the club, he undeniably has the largest mouth and he is the biggest leader on the team. He is so tough to pitch to given his size, and it is close to impossible to blow a fastball by him. When I think of the most confident player I have ever seen, hands down it is Pedroia. If the game is on the line, I have 100% faith in him getting the job done and if he doesn’t, it wasn’t due to a lack of effort. He is leading the league batting .429 against lefties. He is 2nd in MLB in pitches seen (2080) behind Curtis Granderson (2092), which explains why he is 5th in the MLB in walks (69). He is top 10 in runs (73), hits (132), and on-base % (.406). If we have learned anything over the years, once the Laser Show begins, count on it being a marathon. There is no slowing this guy down, once he gets that momentum going, it’s hard to slow him down. It’s kind of like the mysterious fruit fly. One appears in your kitchen and before you know it they have multiplied and you can’t seem to contain them and they are all over the place, just like Dustin Pedroia. Oh, and good luck getting rid of them.
July 25th, Tim Wakefield who turned 45 yesterday (the oldest man playing in baseball), recorded his 2,000th strikeout with the Red Sox. He joins Roger Clemens (2,590) as the only other pitcher in club history to record 2,000 strikeouts.
“It was a pretty cool ovation and a pretty cool day for me,’’ said Wakefield. “Any milestone that you achieve is ranked up there pretty high for me, and 2,000 is a high number,’’ Wakefield said. “It says a lot about being at one place for a long time, like I have, and going through ups and downs in my career and being able to persevere for the last 17 years.’’
Today he looks to win his 200th career game. I will at Fenway Park tonight in hopes to witness his superior accomplishment. He is also inching closer to another milestone: the Red Sox Franchise Wins leader. Entering the season he needed 13 wins to tie Clemens (192) and Cy Young (192) on the all-time wins list and nobody thought that was possible since he wasn’t even in the rotation. I don’t know why, because he always finds a way back into the rotation due to injuries throughout the season. So far he has 6 wins this season, which means he needs 8 more wins to surpass them. What do you think Red Sox Nation? Do you think he will do it this season? If not, do you think they will bring him back just to get that record? I think it’s possible if he stays in the rotation. With Clay Buchholz out indefinitely I don’t think that will be an issue. Here’s to some run support tonight and his next seven outings!
1. Roger Clemens (192)
1. Cy Young (192)
2. Tim Wakefield (185)
3. Mel Parnell (123)
4. Luis Tiant (122)
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