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Catching up…

August 19, 2007

I continue to fall behind but am trying to at least keep up with the season when it comes to blogging.  

As far as the important stuff goes here is the latest. Peter Despain is doing well. I have talked a few times with him as he continues to recover from the massive amounts of surgery he’s had in the past few weeks and he sounds like you’d expect a kid to sound, happy and upbeat.

 

Hats off to Red Sox Nation and anyone that contributed to the WEEI Jimmy Fund telethon,. They raised over 3.7 million dollars this year and created that much more awareness and publicity for the people and the stories.

 

The highlight of the telethon for me was getting to see Holly on TV this week. She looks as beautiful as you think she would. The infectious smile, after all she’s gone through, was profound to say the least.

 

I thought it was incredible that every state in the country had someone donating to this ‘local’ charity event. I have heard that Mr Mccourt, the owner of the Dodgers is attempting to duplicate this exact event in LA. I hope the people out there take to it the same way the North East has taken to the Jimmy Fund and the Red Sox.

 

I don’t think you can overstate the impact this franchise has had on the community since Mr Henry, Mr Werner and Mr Lucchino have taken over control of the team.

 

As for me, well I am not sure how to explain it, or if I can. I’ve made three starts since coming back and the only win we have, and I have, was in the game I pitched the worst.

 

I am nowhere near as consistent as I can be, or should be, and I continue to change as much as I can to adjust to the new stuff I have, or don’t have. I’ve watched a lot of pitchers over the last 20 years dominate this game with 88 mph fastballs and good off speed stuff. My main point of concern has been getting hurt by missing location. The first game my split was as horrendous as it has ever been, but I located my fastball decently.

 

In Baltimore, for what I think was the first time in my career I assessed what I had, realized I wasn’t going to throw it by people and set about using a game plan that had them hitting what we wanted them to. For the most part it worked. I didn’t have anything special stuff or command wise but we executed pretty well all day long.

 

This last start was different than both the previous two. I’d had enough of getting hurt with my split, the inability to make it do anything consistently had reached a point where I said screw it and completely changed the grip and delivery. As one might expect given the last year and a half it worked pretty much every pitch I used it. It had down action and good movement pretty much all game long. But for the second straight game against Anaheim I made a crucial mistake at the worst possible moment and was beaten by one of the guys in the lineup you don’t expect to beat you with the long ball.

 

After the insanely abnormal first inning that saw them get a run because the bat and ball decided to travel in the same place, I let the second inning get away from me after being one pitch from keeping it a 1-0 game. The split the Willits grounded up the middle was exactly where I wanted it. Unfortunately at this level you can make what people think are ‘great pitches’ or ‘execute perfectly’ and you are still going to get beat.

 

I don’t know what to say about Vlad’s HR but it’s a great example. More than one person remarked that the pitch was a ‘great pitch’, but it wasn’t. I had hung a split earlier in the AB and he pulled it for a monstrous foul ball. I went back to it because I knew I could throw the next one better in all aspects. I did, but I wanted it to bounce, it didn’t and even though it was 6-8 inches off the ground he’s one of the few hitters on this planet that can change the score on a pitch like that. The other guy, to me anyway, is Soriano (who did just that on pretty much the same pitch in the 8th inning of game 7 of the 2001 World Series).

 

When all was said and done the boys came through in a huge way and we ended up with a win and at worst, a split, of the series.

 

The series did end in a split because Saunders pitched his tail off today. In the past few weeks I think we’ve seen four of the top 7-10 young pitchers in all of baseball in Eric Bedard, Scott Kazmir, Jason Shields and Joe Saunders. After seeing Bedard this spring I was under the impression that this was the year he’d stop flying under the radar but I didn’t expect him to be this dominant this fast. His numbers are staggering, even more so when you consider he’s doing it in one of the most offensive oriented divisions in the game.

 

Saunders impressed me immensely in the fact that it looked to me like his second start against us he used some stuff he learned from the first game in Anaheim, applied it, and dominated. He was hitting 93-94 pretty consistently today and commanding his fast ball to both sides of the plate.

 

Kazmir continues to pitch well against us and looks like he’s a little sharper every time I see him. I thought Shields was a stud last year. I hadn’t heard of him until I saw him in person but the fastball change up mix he uses is pretty lethal when he has command. Seems to me that TB is set up nicely for the next few years if they can get some guys to surround those two and a consistent pen behind them to not have to ask too much too soon of either of them.

 

We are now off on our longest road trip of the season that will see us close out with 3 games in NY. The race is now too close to say any series is do or die or any game is more important than any other. At this point in the season if you can’t play every out, inning and game like it’s your last you are headed for early October tee times.

  

35 Comments leave one →
  1. rskkgbk permalink
    August 19, 2007 11:41 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Thanks for keeping the fanbase informed. How about a hypothetical diversion? Excluding Boston, there are 13 other AL teams. If you had 1, and only 1, pick from each team, how would you fill out a line-up?

    8 position players
    1 DH
    1 starting pitcher
    1 middle reliever
    1 closer
    1 manager

  2. bake mcbride permalink
    August 20, 2007 2:18 am

    2 issues, Curt-

    1) I don’t mean this disrespectfully at all, but I’m curious what you can really learn from a guy like Farrell (and probably every other pitching coach you’ve had except for maybe Podres), guys who had nowhere near the career or success you’ve had?
    Wouldn’t the message mean more from a coach who’d also competed and succeeded at a high level?

    2) Reading your blog, I get the feeling every outing, every inning, every batter, is a struggle for you.
    Is pitching as much fun now as it was back in the day?
    And if it’s not fun, why would you still want to come back for another year or two?

    Love the blog and look forward to your answers.

  3. stevellamabutcher permalink
    August 20, 2007 6:41 am

    Curt—Thanks for the insight on the technical dimension of pitching. It’s been fascinating to read that all year, and, of course, it’s exactly the sort of information completely absent from the columns of “experts” who, while possessed of a wonderfully lustrous set of curly locks, don’t know squat about how the game is played.

    The question that’s on the minds of the Sawx faithful is…..the Gagne trade. Will he be able to settle in? Is this a case of the media and fan base putting too much pressure on high profile player? One hates to see a guy made into the Judas Goat so quickly. Thanks.

  4. August 20, 2007 7:40 am

    Glad the bats came alive in that last start.
    And on that note: Papi’s slam saves Schill
    I kid because I love …

    SoxNation.net

  5. August 20, 2007 8:25 am

    Curt, I look forward to seeing you pitch Friday night here in Chicago. Red Sox nation will be out in full force on the south side.

  6. zuzubar permalink
    August 20, 2007 9:38 am

    Hats off to everyone who donated to the Jimmy Fund. Maybe the goal for next year will reach upwards of four million! Good luck on the road trip Schilling! Go get ‘em! :)

  7. August 20, 2007 9:38 am

    Hey Curt -
    It would be a good thing to see a sweep come out of the Tampa series. These are definitely tough times…every game counts. And the road hasn’t been all the kind since the second half started.

    I can only speak for myself – but I am quite proud to be a part of Red Sox Nation; to have our team be so dedicated to the Jimmy Fund and do such great things in the name of charity, is fantastic. I may be a little biased because I personally have a connection to that organization; but regardless of my own personal choice of charity – it’s wonderful to know that it’s our local team that is the role model for all other organizations to follow.

    Keep digging…it’ll pay off.
    Maybe some good Florida sunshine will do you all a world of good for this coming series. :)

    As always – looking forward to your next post…
    Rebecca

  8. soxfanindan permalink
    August 20, 2007 2:54 pm

    Your last game reminded me of earlier in the year when you guys were winning so much. When someone on the team isnt at their best someone else comes along to pick it up and make a great play. Sometimes the hitters have to bail out the pitcher, sometimes the pitcher has to do what he can to keep you in the game because no one is hitting and sometimes it just has to be a great defensive play. I hope to see more of those type games thru the rest of Aug. and Sept. and hopefully Oct!

  9. mvincent permalink
    August 20, 2007 3:57 pm

    Best of luck to Peter. He sounds like he can use all our prayers. Thanks for all your concern for those in need.

    Say, do you think you could tell your mates to lay off the first three pitches from Kazmir tonight? I bet no one who does will be worse than 2-1, a nice hitter’s count. Has anyone noticed that his impossible-to-lay-off, nasty pitches are virtually NEVER in the zone. I know it’s easy not to strike out from in front of a TV set but . . . did you review the last game he pitched against you? If only Pena hadn’t brought a bat to the plate, he’d have walked every time.

    Well, best of luck !

  10. jasvlm permalink
    August 20, 2007 4:07 pm

    Great to hear you back, Curt. I don’t know how the rest of the team feels, but getting well pitched games will always give you a shot to win. I know you want to win every time out, but just giving the offense a shot to stay close will matter.
    We need to get the bats moving at once, as the Yankees have done. Youk, as much as I love him, is in a huge slump. Ortiz is coming out of it, showing some power recently, but we need to see some crooked numbers.
    What is your take on Gagne? He’s been instrumental in costing us 3 games, and while I believe he’ll turn it around, and will be a huge part of the stretch run, he needs to get his game working right now. Any insight on why he’s struggling?
    We haven’t lost hope out here in MN, where Red Sox nation is loud and proud. Everyone has faith that we’ll take this thing, and we’re behind you guys all the way.
    JAS

  11. August 20, 2007 4:08 pm

    curt man heres my email bigkillacamz@yahoo.com i need to tell u how stubhub and redsox ticketing too took 130 from me nand wouldnt let me in i explain please get bak to me

  12. joey30404 permalink
    August 20, 2007 5:13 pm

    Looks like Tampa wouldn’t mind you being one of those arms:

    http://www.draysbay.com/story/2007/8/19/111642/115#readmore

  13. August 20, 2007 5:36 pm

    We’re keeping the faith Curt, it’s not like the Sox to get us get all comfortable in August and September anyway! Looking forward to more excitement!

  14. coollikeme permalink
    August 20, 2007 8:58 pm

    What about a Cubs and Red Sox world series?

  15. zebelkinton permalink
    August 20, 2007 10:55 pm

    Curt,

    Only thing I can say is the Red Sox Nation will support you in every start you make here on out with the uni on. I’m sure everyone on here will agree with me if they even read this. Honestly speaking though, I believe you just need to relax and “have fun” I’m not seeing the “fun” part in your starts. Tell Manny to cut his hair. Yell to him from the mound “CUT YOUR HAIR MEAT” I don’t know Schill make a competition with Beckett or Lester about who can get the most wins by the end of the season. Loser buys the winner a new car or even a Honda Spree scouter I heard those are fun and inexpensive. Or instead of a price for them, do a dollar package to their charity and vise versa if you win. Anyway, those are my thoughts and worries about you but I will be there supporting you till the end wearing my Schilling shirt for your every start. I’m very superstitious and have to wear the starting pitchers T-shirt the day they pitch if not I feel that I’m not doing my duty good thing for a no dress code work environment. I don’t have a Tavarez shirt though :( or Lester eek!

  16. capesoxfan permalink
    August 20, 2007 11:05 pm

    Curt,
    As a fan and fellow Christian, I’m wondering about all the lip-reading I’ve been able to do while you’re on the mound when you’re hit – or having a rough outing (Vladi’s hit = recent example). I can only imagine the amount of pressure you’re under out there … but if I can make out the words, so can my six-year old nephew. :(
    CSF

  17. alaskaherb permalink
    August 21, 2007 7:55 am

    Curt, I really discovered the Red Sox when I was stationed in Maine in the early 90′s in the Coast Guard ($3 entrance with my military I.D.), and then was transferred to Anchorage and became a member of the “Fair From Fenway” club. That’s also where I started playing EQ, much to my wife’s dismay!

    I had followed your career from the D-Backs (being an Alaskan and all) and was really stoked when I found out how involved you were with EQ! I was pretty jealous of your uber characters, but I’m lazy and like to solo. It was great to see you help win the WS for the Sox.

    I transferred to Toledo and retired from active duty, and was able to see you pitch in Toledo in July. Talk about shutting a team down, very impressive. I decided to bring my EQ I beta disk to see if I could get a signature. I had never tried to get anyone’s signature before, and I couldn’t believe the autograph hounds waiting outside the stadium. You were very patient and gracious with the overwhelming crush of people, and singned my EQ disk.

    You are one of the few real well-rounded athletes out there:

    –Hall of Fame Career
    –Kick A$$ Gamer

    But best of all, you are someone who walks the walk, and is a real humitarian. I don’t know how you do it all, but keep it up!

    Herb

    P.S.–Anyone know how to frame a CD?

  18. August 21, 2007 9:24 am

    Hi Curt
    i wish u best of luck !

  19. bradymichael permalink
    August 21, 2007 10:14 am

    Curt- This really has nothing to do with the post but I knew you were a history buff and was wondering if you had ever heard of the new england historic genealogical society? Pretty cool place on Newbury Street, six floor library of books, microfilm and manuscripts. You can learn quite a bit about your family there. One of the genealogists just finished up the Barry Bonds genealogy although I dont think it is posted on their website. Just thought I would mention it as it seems like something you would find interest in with all your “spare time”.

  20. August 21, 2007 12:15 pm

    Curt,

    I appreciate the technical part of pitching you have shared all year. More than that I appreciate that you’re stepping up and willing to say you’ve had a bad game, and that you’re willing to let the folks who stop by your blog comment – even if that means they’re dishing out shots.

    We’re not that far apart in age, but you’ve done more in your career than I have in mine; maybe made a few more dollars than I have too. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to – this or anything else – and it’s for that reason that I’ve appreciated reading you this year.

    So for what it’s worth, I appreciate that you’re willing to take the truly constructive criticism as well as the mean spirited jabs.

    Thanks.

  21. August 21, 2007 12:52 pm

    Hi Curt,

    Thank you for all you do to raise awareness and raise funds for ALS research. I’m a baseball fan, frequent visitor to your site, and first-time commenter. You, your bloody sock, and your Red Sox teammates broke my heart in 2004 by sweeping my beloved Cardinals. But I tip my cap to you, sir, for your amazing determination to pitch through pain and claim that title.

    You and your readers might be interested to know that a feature on ALS is scheduled to appear on Nightline on ABC tomorrow night, Wednesday, August 22 (unless it is pushed back by breaking news coverage). We are an ordinary family, thrust into extraordinary circumstances by ALS. While we cannot know what it was like for you to pitch through that pain, we are borrowing a little of your steely resolve and trying to make a difference in this fight by telling our story.

    Thank you again for your efforts and your blog.

    Respectfully,

    Aimee

  22. matadorace19 permalink
    August 21, 2007 7:20 pm

    hey curt,

    i think its tremendous what ur doing about cancer and such and i want you to know that God has blessed you. I also wanted to tell you, as you can probably infer from my name, that i am a junior at shadow mountain and the starting pitcher on the varsity team. thanks for winning us a world series by the way. youre awesome

  23. akshat95 permalink
    August 22, 2007 8:25 am

    Hey, Curt “Devil Ray Wannabe” Schilling,

    Well, we up here in Boston are a winning team here, and you are a pitcher still, not a pitching coach. I agree that whenever I see you pitch, you look like you’re struggling. Try to have more fun out there and, dare I say it, SMILE! If you just have fun out there, then the wins will come. I think that’s one of the things that Beckett, Lester, and Tavarez do that makes them successful.

    But about Tampa Bay…Well, that was kinda random Curt. You’re going to end your career with a championship or are you ending your career with a team that might have 100 losses? I realize that Shields and Kazmir are two very good young pitchers, but for god’s sake, Bedard is leading the MLB in K’s, you’re on a team with Beckett, Lester, Papelbon, Delcarmen, Matsuzaka, and Okajima. I know it gets tough when you’re unsuccessful, but don’t get distracted. Of course you’re successful career and you are going to rub off on any team, but don’t forget about yourself. Tampa Bay? Wow, Schil what a letdown.

  24. thedoctorx permalink
    August 22, 2007 10:15 am

    ^^^^Best wished to Aimee and her family. If it is any consolation, I have a good friend in your area who was inconsolable to lose to the RS in 2004, so I rooted with him for the Cards last year.

    Now, as I am sure others will raise . . . why did I turn on the ESPN before coffee to hear a report you want to play for the D-Rays?

    Did I mix up my medication again?

    –J.D.

  25. fingers88 permalink
    August 22, 2007 10:29 am

    Hey Curt…

    It is now Mid-August… Do you think it is time that you actually put together a few solid starts? Theo was right not to extend you. Thank god for Beckett/Dice-K/Wakefield and Okajima…they have saved your bacon and will afford you the chance to right yourself down the stretch and into the playoffs.

    I will always be a Curt Schilling fan. You were one of the main reasons we finally won..but unless you are finished..start pitching like you have something left. If the playoffs were to start tomorrow..you would be starting Game 3, if not 4….this is what you have earned this year.

  26. August 22, 2007 11:25 am

    Hi Curt,

    Due to other more time-critical news coverage, the ALS segment has been postponed and will NOT air tonight on Nightline.

    I am sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused and will let you know when it is rescheduled.

    Respectfully,

    Aimee

  27. misskeisha permalink
    August 22, 2007 1:58 pm

    Hey Schill I heard through the news you would like to pitch for Tampa next season. I think they will need a lot more than just yourself. Where else could you see yourself pitching? Would you go back to Arizona or maybe the Phillies?

  28. rsntn permalink
    August 22, 2007 2:11 pm

    Curt.

    You will be forever loved for ’04 and all your charity work. With that said, could you please just Shut Up sometimes and stop being a distraction. This talk of you having a ‘list’ of teams you would play for, when you guys are fighting to stay atop the East due to the MFY’s resurgance is ridiculous.

    I know you have an opionion on everything, and that is one of the reasons I like you (the other is your a damn good pitcher –when in shape), but why not take the route that Lowell is taking, and state that you hope everything with RedSox works out, and you’ll address it after the season?

  29. firedannyainge permalink
    August 22, 2007 7:04 pm

    I said it before as long as we win that is all that matters. That being said the hitting needs to show up a lot more when the pitching is doing so well and like tonight,Matsuzaka deserves more run support then 1 run (so far) against any team but especially Tampa Bay.

    http://firedannyainge.wordpress.com

    http://www.firedannyaingenow.com

    (not my site)

  30. gorny540 permalink
    August 22, 2007 7:21 pm

    good luck to pete on his full recovery

    and I think the trip isn’t much to worry about because its TB and the white sox, but hopefully u guys can sweep the yankees

  31. firedannyainge permalink
    August 22, 2007 9:37 pm

    Tonights loss was pathetic. Losing to Tampa Bay 2-1 is a joke.

  32. fivekatz permalink
    August 25, 2007 8:26 pm

    FWIW it is rather stunning that your comments on WEEI were spun into to a story. But I guess it was no different than when they asked Manny if he’d ever thought about playing for the NYY considering he grew up in Washington Heights.

    While you probably spoke for many fans of the game with the cracks about Bonds on WEEI (cheated on his wife, his taxes, the game), I personally found them a regrettable moment. But some of the things that have followed from the HBO appearance to this are in the view of this fan, just stupid. Of course you have thought about what you might be doing next year, since you and your family have determined that one more season is in the cards. The interview taken in context was so innocent. The fact that it became a story in local and national media is a commentary on the sorry state of the media in this society.

    I believe it is public record that you donate the money WEEI pays for you appearances on their show to ALS? Those who question why you do the call ins should keep that in mind.

    Good luck with the balance of your season. I hope that when the season ends the RS do truly understand that there are NO bad one year deals and that you feel that the size of your contract at this point in your career is no longer a yardstick that you will need to use to measure your stature. And hopeful that will produce a number that will keep you with the RS in 2008.

    Because IMHO you are very Boston and there would be something very nice about your finishing your career there, because my guess is that you and your family are embedded in the community at this point.

    That’s all futures though and the task at hand is the Bronx. And there is nothing like making “58,000 New Yorkers shut-up”.

    Go get them Curt and Go Sox.

  33. dannybonaduce permalink
    August 26, 2007 5:56 pm

    Curt,
    Nice outing, but do you think the chisox could compete in the LLWS right now? I am happy for the Georgia team, however, I just pray those that made the trip to Pennsylvania did not board their pets at Vick Kennel, Inc. Again, nice game but for your next act, do yourself a favor & do not get sodomized by 9 louisville sluggers in front of 60k at yankee stadium again.

    Danny being Danny

  34. August 26, 2007 9:03 pm

    Hey Curt~
    I just want to thank you for supporting the Jimmy Fund Radiotelethon for yet another year. It was a very busy day with the double header so thanks for taking the time out to raise some money for us. The guys at WEEI said you stopped by after the goal of 3 million dollars was reached. I’m sorry I missed it; I’m sure you were a big part in surpassing that goal. Like I said on NESN, I was sitting in a restaurant outside the park when that picture of us from Spring Training popped up on the screen. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hear what was being said. If I could have done the commentary I would try to explain that having the support of you and the other Sox means so much to the Jimmy Fund Kids. And in turn, those who donated at the telethon support the trips that keep us going emotionally and the treatments that keep us going physically. Thanks again to you and everyone involved in the Jimmy Fund Radiotelethon.

    PS Great game last night! It’s so good to see you back on the mound.

  35. bfarrell38 permalink
    October 26, 2007 8:34 am

    Hi Curt.

    Great job last night; never a doubt!

    You probably don’t remember me (Butch (Andy) Farrell), but I use to live next door to you at Fort Richardson, Alaska. My Dad, Andy Farrell Sr. use to go Bear hunting with your Dad, Cliff on Kodiak Island. I know how much you admired your Dad. My folks and family live in Denver if you can believe it!

    I live in Scituate, . Ma. and was wondering if you my son, Andrew Farrell 3rd could meet you when you have the time available. He is 9-years old and is a huge fan.

    Best of luck winning the WS!

    Andy Farrell

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