I can’t get too mad about last night’s loss

The Red Sox lost a game where they were tied in the 8th inning.

They lost a game when Jon Lester was pitching.

I should be really angry.

But I’m not.

And the Yankees WON today so they gained 1 1/2 games in the past 24 hours. I should be PISSED.

But I’m not.

Maybe it is post 2004 and 2007 calmness.

Maybe it is perspective.

Or maybe it is the fact that the goal for a road series is to win it. Whether they are playing the slumping Twins or the surging Yankees, the goal is simple. Take 2 of 3.

If they win 2 out of 3 games the rest of the season, they’ll win 102 games.

If they win 2 out of 3 games for the rest of the season they will need only 16 losses from the Yankees to clinch the AL East.

So yeah, sweeping the Twins would have been sweet.

But 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

Time to update the tally.


April 8 – 9-6 win against the Yankees. (The Sox end their 6 game losing streak with a slugfest. John Lackey stinks but Phil Hughes stinks even more.)

April 10 – 4-0 win against the Yankees. (Beckett and Sabathia duel in a game that was 1-0 until the late innings.)

April 20 – 5-3 win in Oakland. (Red Sox survive a lead off homer and two bases loaded situations and facing the tying run at the plate to win their first road game.)

April 21 – 4-2 win in Anaheim. (The Red Sox stranded 15 men on base and Josh Beckett’s went 8 strong with no decision. But the Sox rallied in the 11th to win.)

April 22 – 4-3 win in Anaheim. (Peter Bourjos makes a 2 run errors and the Red Sox survive a bizarre passed ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia that let a run scored from second.)

May 1 – 3-2 win against the Mariners. (Ichiro loses a ball in the sun that turns into a 9th inning triple for Lowrie. Crawford singles him home for the win.)

May 8 – 9-5 win against the Twins. (Dice-K lets up 3 runs in the first but settles down as the Red Sox clobber Carl Pavano.)

May 9 – 2-1 win against the Twins. (A bullpen breakdown cost Beckett the decision but Cark Crawford ended the game with an 11th inning walk off hit.)

May 13 – 5-4 win in the Bronx. (Youkilis homers off of Joba and Bard and Papelbon make it more interesting than it needed to be.)

May 15 – 7-5 win in the Bronx. (Sox fall behind 4-1 but come back as Youk, Papi and Salty all homer.)

May 16 – 8-7 win against the Orioles. (Down 6-0 after 6 innings, the Sox rally and win it with a 2 run walk off double by Adrian Gonzalez)

May 18 – 1-0 win against Detroit. (With 2 outs in the 8th, Salty doubles home Crawford from first for the only run. Papelbon gets himself in and out of 9th inning trouble.)

May 19 – 4-3 win against Detroit. (Bard blows Beckett’s lead but Carl Crawford wins it with a walk off hit.)

May 24 – 4-2 win in Cleveland. (Varitek throws two runners out and homers as the Red Sox win their first game against the Indians.)

May 29 – 4-3 win in Detroit. (The Red Sox blow an early 3-0 lead but David Ortiz wins the game with a pinch 9th inning homer.)

June 3 – 8-6 win against Oakland. (Buchholz lets up 4 runs in the first but the Sox come back thanks to Carl Crawford’s 2 run single.)

June 4 – 9-8 win against Oakland. (Red Sox blow a 4 run 9th inning lead and trail in the 11th before Ellsbury ties it and Drew wins it in 14.)

June 7 – 6-4 win in the Bronx. (Papelbon strikes out A-Rod to end the game with a runner on base.)

June 9 – 8-3 win in the Bronx. (Down 2-0 to Sabathia in the 7th, the Sox score 7 runs as Papi exacts revenge after getting plunked. A 3+ hour rain delay pushed the game past 1:30 AM)
June 15 – 3-0 win in Tampa Bay. (Youkilis homers in the 7th for the only runs in Beckett’s 1 hit masterpiece.)

June 16 – 4-2 win in Tampa Bay. (Papelbon wiggles out of a 2 on, nobody out jam in the 9th thanks to Youk’s diving catch.)

June 26 – 4-2 win in Pittsburgh. (The Pirates make 4 errors and the Red Sox score 2 in the 7th to avoid a sweep by the Bucs.

June 30 – 5-2 win in Philadelphia.(An injury to Cole Hamels leads to the Red Sox bats waking up.)

July 1 – 7-5 win in Houston. (The Sox score 6 in the 7th inning to come back and win.)

July 3 – 2-1 win in Houston. (The Red Sox score a run in the top of the 9th on a walk to break a tie.)

July 5 – 3-2 win against Toronto. (Lester gets hurt but Darnel McDonald throws out the tying run at the plate to end the game.)

July 6 – 6-4 win against Toronto. (The Sox score 4 in the 4th to take the lead and Wakefield and company hang on for dear life.)

July 10 – 8-6 win against Baltimore. (The Orioles score 6 runs off of rookie Kyle Weiland in the second, but the Red Sox hit three homers in the bottom of the second to tie the game and hold for dear life.)

July 16 – 9-5 win in Tampa. (Lackey puts the Sox in a 3-0 first inning hole, but 3 Sox homers bring them back for the win.)

July 17 – 1-0 win in Tampa. (Beckett throws a masterpiece and the bullpen throws 8 amazing innings. But the Sox bats go dead, leaving 17 men on base before Pedroia drove in a run with 2 outs in the 16th inning.)

July 18 – 15-10 win in Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 6-2 lead but score 8 runs in the 8th to take the game.)

July 22 – 7-4 win against Seattle. (John Lackey beat Felix Hernandez and Mike Carp’s error helped the Red Sox score 5 in the 7th to give them some breathing room.)

July 23 – 3-1 win against Seattle. (Ellsbury gets Beckett off the hook in a tight pitchers duel when he got a 2 out, 2 strike 2 run go ahead single in the 8th.)

July 26 – 13-9 win against the Royals. (The Sox trailed in the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th before the bats exploded in the 5th.

August 2 – 3-2 win against Cleveland. (Youk tied the game with a 6th inning homer and Salty dove home for the winning run in the 9th.)

August 3 – 4-3 win against Cleveland. (Ellsbury hits a walk off shot in the 9th.)

August 7 – 3-2 win against the Yankees (The Sox rally off of Rivera in the 9th and win on Josh Reddick’s 10th inning single)

August 8 – 8-6 win in Minnesota. (Down 5-1, the Red Sox rally back, then score twice in the 9th to give the Sox the win.)

August 9 – 4-3 win in Minnesota. (Darnell McDonald’s homer ties the game and Ortiz singles home the game winner as Bard worked out of trouble in the 7th.)


April 1 – 9-5 loss in Texas. (The Sox tie Opening Day in the 8th with an Ortiz homer only to have Bard implode and the Sox let up 4 in the bottom of the 8th.)

April 5 – 3-1 loss in Cleveland. (The Sox drop their 4th straight as the bats are dead in Cleveland.)

April 7 – 1-0 loss in Cleveland. (Sox blow a great Lester performance on a squeeze bunt and Darnell McDonald overrunning the bag to end the game.)

April 12 – 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay. (A solid Lester performance is wasted as Kyle Farnsworth of all people shuts down the Sox.)

April 15 – 7-6 loss to Toronto. (Bobby Jenks implodes with a 4 run seventh inning as the Red Sox waste Pedroia and Youkilis homers and a clutch RBI double by Scuatro.

April 19 – 5-0 loss in Oakland. (Pedroia gets picked off, the Sox bats go dead and waste a solid Lackey start.)

April 26 – 4-1 loss in Baltimore. (Buchholz pitches tentatively and the Sox let Kevin Gregg of all people to close out the 9th.)

April 27 – 5-4 loss in Baltimore. (The Sox tie the game with a 3 run 8th only to have Bard lose it in the bottom of the 8th.)

April 29 – 5-4 loss to Mariners. (Bobby Jenks blows a 7th inning lead, wasting 2 Mike Cameron homers.)

April 30 – 2-0 loss to Mariners. (The Sox strand 11 runners and let Milton Bradley double home the go ahead run.)

May 4 – 5-3 loss to Angels. (7 hours with rain delays and stranded runners. Marco Scutaro was thrown out at the plate in the 12th)

May 10 – 7-6 loss in Toronto. (8th and 9th inning heroics, including a homer by Adrian Gonzalez, are undone by a walk off sacrifice fly by David Cooper.)

May 21 – 9-3 loss to Cubs. (Up 3-1 in the 8th inning, the bullpen and defense implode. The Cubs score 8 runs while both teams wear their 1918 uniforms.)

May 23– 3-2 loss in Cleveland. (The Sox blow a 2-1 8th inning lead when the Indians rally with 2 outs. Crawford ends the game on a double play.)

May 29 – 3-0 loss in Detroit. (Verlander keeps the Sox off base and prevents the sweep.)

June 1 – 7-4 loss to White Sox. (Konerko drives in three, spoiling a game tying Ortiz homer.)
June 14 – 4-0 loss in Tampa Bay. (Wakefield’s solid outing is spoiled. Longoria scores on a passed ball.)

June 18 – 4-2 loss to Milwaukee. (The Brewers hit three homers early off of Lester and hang on.)

June 21 – 5-4 loss to San Diego. (Ortiz hits a double play in the 9th to stifle a potential winning rally.)
June 24 – 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh. (The Red Sox strand 7 runners in scoring position.)

June 25 – 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh. (The Red Sox fall out of first as Pedroia’s error leads to a Pirates run.)

June 29 – 2-1 loss in Philadelphia. (Vance Worley duels John Lackey and slumping Raul Ibanez drives in both runs.)

July 4 – 9-7 loss to Toronto. (John Lackey’s miserable start puts the Sox in too big a hole to climb out of.)

July 19 – 6-2 loss in Baltimore. (Scutaro gets thrown out stealing and the Orioles tack on 3 big runs late.)
July 25 – 3-1 loss to the Royals. (Scutaro botches a potential game winning squeeze play in the 12th as the Red Sox lose in 14.)
July 28 – 4-3 loss to the Royals. (Crawford’s bid for a walk off homer falls just short.)

July 29 – 3-1 loss to the White Sox. (Sox blow a late 1-0 lead and spoil a solid Wakefield start.)
August 1 – 9-6 loss to Cleveland. (Asdrubal Cabrera’s second home run was an 8th inning tie breaking shot off of Daniel Bard.)
August 4 – 7-3 loss to Cleveland. (Carlos Santana’s homer broke a 3-3 tie.)

August 5 – 3-2 loss to the Yankees. (The Sox leave the bases loaded in the 5th and the Yankees score 3 in the 6th to take the lead.)

August 10 – 5-2. (The Twins score 3 in the 8th, spoiling Ortiz’s game tying homer.)

Down to +8.

Still more than a week of games the Red Sox won that they could have lost than games they lost that they could have won.

Can’t be greedy.

Go to Seattle and take 2 of 3.

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The low point for the Giants

If you are a Giants fan you better HOPE this is the low point.
On July 28th, the Defending World Champions took 2 of 3 from the Phillies IN Philadelphia. They opened up a 4 game lead on the Diamondbacks, who were a nice story but let’s face it, didn’t have the legs to contend deep in the season.
The Giants added Carlos Beltran and the West was all but clinched.
Since then? The Giants have lost 10 of 13 games including 2 to the Pirates who couldn’t beat a Tee Ball team in the last few weeks.
The Diamondbacks haven’t exactly been world beaters. They have gone 7-5, right around the same winning pace that I would have expected.
But here we sit… in Mid August… and the Diamondbacks are in first place and the Giants are out of the playoff picture.
Indeed if the Playoffs Started Today… the Phillies and Diamondbacks would match up and the Brewers would have home field over the Braves.
In the promos for the Showtime series about the Giants, there is a clip of Brian Wilson on the golf course saying “Mark it down. Repeat.”
Ironically if the playoffs started now, that’s what the Giants would be doing… playing golf.
And the Diamondbacks don’t have to do this for the long haul. They have 45 games left. A team get get hot in a 45 game spurt. When a team is in first place all by themselves with 45 left, then guess what? They are a legit contender.
Now if you have no dog in the fight, you might think that rooting for the Diamondbacks is the right thing to do. A low budget club with lots of young talent is what people should want in the post season.
But, as I said in one of the Sully Baseball videos, the Giants have a unique opportunity to become one of the true marquee franchises in baseball. A fun, more relaxed alternative to the rough and not so friendly Red Sox and Yankees domination. And it would be a shame to see them be a one year wonder.

The Giants have the day off and the Diamondbacks are playing the minor league team that plays in Houston. So in all probability, the Giants will start Friday’s game in Florida a full game back.
Let’s see what you are made of. Defend that title.

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Sully Baseball Salutes… Mark Buehrle and Paul Konerko

Tomorrow, the White Sox will continue to try and turn their season around and limp back into contention.

And the starting pitcher will be Mark Buehrle. Chances are Paul Konerko will be in the lineup, either at first base or as the designated hitter.

They have been a tandem for so long that it is truly worth a long salute here.

People talk about the great combination of teammates that Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera made for all of those seasons in New York.

And Buehrle and Konerko have not been together for as long as they have been nor have the success. But for a franchise best remembered over the decades for throwing a World Series instead of winning them, Buehrle and Konerko have seen a lot of winning. They contributed big time to the only World Series appearance in Chicago in more than half a century and the only Chicago title in 94 years.

Konerko was a product of the Dodgers organization and was later dealt to Cincinnati. He came over to the White Sox in a deal for Mike Cameron before the 1999 season. That was his third year in the big leagues and his third big league team. It is safe to say he found stability on the South Side of Chicago.

He cracked 24 homers his first year with the White Sox and posted an .862 OPS.

In 2000 he remained a solid hitter (.298 AVG, .844 OPS) was worth 21 homers, 97 RBI and a 111 OPS+. And the White Sox were back in the post season.

And in no small point for this post, he was joined that year by Buehrle. While Konerko was a first round pick and coveted prospect, Buehrle was picked 38th.

Not 38th overall. In the 38th round. He was the 1,139th pick overall. Right before him, the Pirates picked Shaun Skrehot. The infielder played 9 seasons and made it to AA Nashville and Indianapolis.

The pick after him has thrown 12 seasons in the majors.

The 2000 White Sox had the best record in the American League but were swept out of the playoffs by Alex Rodriguez and the Seattle Mariners.

It has been a while since A-Rod has been a Mariner. But that whole time, these two players have represented the White Sox with clutch play and class.

While Konerko played behind the massive shadow of Frank Thomas, he put up solid if not spectacular numbers. In many ways, his career resembled his one time teammate and current coach Harold Baines. His stats may not have been elite but they were good enough to make 5 All Star teams and twice be a top ten finisher in the MVP vote. And play nearly every season injury free. He is on pace to play 150+ games again this year, which would be the 8th time he would pass that mark in 13 seasons.

And of course he came up big time for the 2005 White Sox, unquestionably the greatest Chicago baseball team since the First World War.

His home run off of Tim Wakefield helped sink the Red Sox hopes to repeat as World Series champions. His 2 homers, 7 RBI and .937 OPS crushed the Angels in the ALCS and earned him MVP honors as the White Sox won the pennant.

And finally his mammoth grand slam in Game 2 of the World Series turned the game around and helped set up the White Sox win.

The starter of that game? That would be Mark Buehrle.

Since 2000, Buehrly became one of the most reliable and durable starting pitchers in all of baseball. He recorded 200+ innings every year from 2001 to 2010 (and is on pace to do so again this year.) He had made 2 All Star teams by 2005 and finished 5th in the Cy Young vote that year.

In the 2005 playoffs, he won Game 2 of the Division Series against Boston and threw a complete game to win Game 2 of the ALCS.

He started Game 3 of the World Series and got a no decision. But when Game 3 went to the 14th and manager Ozzie Guillen had burned through his bullpen, he turned to Buehrle to protect a 7-5 lead. He earned the save, to date his only one in the majors. He joined Grover Cleveland Alexander as the only person to start and then save consecutive World Series games.

The next day the White Sox won the World Series for the first time since 1917.

After the title, Konerko was offered more money to go to the Angels or the Orioles but stayed in Chicago. He responded with three more All Star selections, a fifth place finish in the 2010 MVP vote and 2 homers in the 2008 Division Series against Tampa Bay.

He represented the White Sox in the 2010 and 2011 All Star Game.

Buehrle continued to be a steady and sometimes dominant starter. He was named to two more All Star teams and won the last two Golden Glove awards.

In 2007, he threw a no hitter against the Rangers. In 2009 he did that one better by throwing a perfect game against the Rays. He would retire a record 49 consecutive batters that year, breaking the record held by his teammate Bobby Jenks.

And there was something kind of bad ass about Buehrle, an avid animal lover, wishing ill to Michael Vick.

Not saying I condone wishing harm on others, but it is cool how he never gave a damn what anyone thought.

The two are still solid players and performers after 12 seasons as teammates. They won’t be going to the Hall of Fame. Yet if anyone deserves to have a lifetime of standing ovations and love from White Sox fans, it would this duo of classy solid and champion players.

They don’t get the press that players on the Yankees, Red Sox or even the Cubs would get. But when you put more than a decade into the same team, bring a championship, multiple playoff berths and class to a franchise that needed turning around, then you have earned our salute.

Now take it easy on the Red Sox.

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