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5/6/07 vs. Minnesota

May 6, 2007

5/6/07 vs. Minnesota

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A win is a win. Getting to the 7th with a 4-0 lead and doing it the way we did, made the end of my day incredibly disappointing from a performance standpoint, but the win negates most of it and as usual the bullpen clutches up and completes the game and the series on a high note.

Splitting the first two games while only scoring 3 runs is a testament to how well we are pitching right now. Wake was dominating in the first game, and had to be, and with any luck Julian could have beaten Santana in game two. The Twins bullpen is every bit as good as anyone else’s in the league and they spun 4 scoreless innings to get game two.

On the bus ride into Minnesota Thursday night David made the statement that he was guaranteeing a home run on Friday, and as usual he backed it up.

You never feel comfortable going against a guy that is struggling or not pitching well because it always seems those guys ‘find it’ on the oddest nights against the best teams. Sidney had shut down Tampa in his last start (one of the better hitting teams in baseball this year, and if they find a way to keep that nucleus together they’ll hit for the next few years) and I was curious to see how he’d bounce back into this game.We grabbed one in the first which is always nice.

Warmups went fine and I felt good going into this one.

Started Castillo off fastball for strike one, change up ball and then left a fastball up and over the plate that he singled to left on to start the game. Tyner hit an 0-1 split to second but Castillo got a jump so I had a runner on 2nd and one out with the meat of the lineup coming up. I had an idea that Mauer and Cuddyer would both be out today since I’d heard Joe was getting an MRI this morning and I knew Mike was still hurting. No small thing to take those two bats out of this lineup. I also thought it might force them to try and make some things happen on the bases. Ron manages this team a lot like an NL club when it comes to putting runners in motion and hit and runs.

Tori fouled off two fastballs in to run the count to 1-2 and we threw a real good split for a swing and a miss for strike three. Started Morneau off with a cutter in for a foul ball. He took a fastball away for strike two. He didn’t chase the 0-2 high fastball and I think the next fastball away caught him trying to guess along as he took it for strike three.

I haven’t faced many of these guys much, and even though I have a long history with Cirillo I hadn’t faced him in years. I spent some time watching our old AB’s and we went in with a game plan combining our history with our advanced scouting report. He fouled off strike one, and we got him on a two seamer for a ground out on the next pitch. Kubel swung at a curve ball in the dirt to start his AB and then took a fast ball away for strike two. We climbed the ladder on the inner half and got a chase on an 0-2 fastball for the second out. I started Redmond off with a fastball strike.

Followed that with a change up that Tim called a ball but I thought it had a lot of plat. Tim Tschida is one of the better guys and better umpires in the game. You can always count on him to bust his butt to get it right. He called a strike on Mike Lowell that was a ball tonight and made sure to let Mike know he had missed the pitch. You just can’t get mad or argue with guys like that. They’re working hard and trying to get them all right, that’s all you can ask.

Count goes to 2-2 and Mike lays off a curve ball down and I end up walking him on a fastball away. Borderline pitch that I’d love to have get called but looking at it on video it was not a strike. Rodriguez fouls off a first pitch fastball and then takes a change up for strike two. We end the AB by throwing another good split for swinging strike three.

Bartlett leads off the third by hitting a ball as close to my face as I’ve ever seen. First pitch fastball that was supposed to be somewhere other than middle of the plate. Not sure how it didn’t hit me. Castillo runs the count to 1-2 after fouling off a split and then we get in good and jam him for a pop up to Lowell for the first out. Tyner takes a fastball strike and then fouls off the cutter in for strike two. Jason wants a high fastball now. I attempt it but instead lock up the hitter and the catcher by throwing the ball on the inside corner for a called strike three. Hunter ends the inning fast by popping up a first pitch split to center.

I tell ‘Tek I want to start Morneau off with a change up in the fourth. I’m pretty comfortable that we are getting ahead fastball, and teams will tend to get more aggressive the second and third times through off of me. That doesn’t mean you stop throwing first pitch fastballs, it just means you need to locate better. We do throw a change to start the AB and he promptly lines it off the baggie in right. JD plays it perfectly and holds him to a single. For as good as I feel and with the command I have it seems like I’ve pitched this entire game from the stretch. Not just that but it’s the third inning of four that the leadoff hitter has gotten on. A surefire recipe for disaster if you don’t execute.

Cirillo goes 0-2 on a fastball and slider and then hits a fast ball away to right for the first out.Kubel gets to 2-1 by taking a 1-1 split and then hits a short fly to left on a good fastball away for the second out. Mike Redmond, who’ve I’ve faced 10 times in my career before today (5-10 with 0 k’s) is up next. You only had to watch his AB versus Paps the other night to know his approach. Much like Paul Loduca, when the count gets deeper he’s doing everything he can to make contact and not strike out. The goal I had was to make sure that ahead in the count I didn’t over throw the ball. We get to 0-2 with fastballs in and out and then I throw a split that breaks from the middle to down and in.

Not a bad spot to most hitters but it is to him. He almost decapitates me as well by lining the pitch back up the box. Frustrating result for a pitch I didn’t feel that bad about. Once again we get a first pitch out as Rodriguez grounds a first pitch back door slider to second to end the inning.

At this point I’ve thrown17 first pitch strikes to 17 hitters. That stat is a little deceiving because there were a few takes on fastballs that we left middle of the plate and didn’t hit spots. But knowing at this point that I am throwing strike one this often means I am going to need to make sure that location is the focus, regardless of the pitch. This team walks very little but they also will take a lot early in the count.

Bartlett starts off the fourth fouling a first pitch change he’s way out in front of and then hitting a fastball to second for the out. We get the count to 1-2 on Castillo and he does the same thing on a split that stays up a bit too much. Tyner takes a first pitch cutter in for a ball, then a change up for ball two. First 2-0 hole of the night. We throw fastball away for a strike and then he lunges on a 2-1 curve ball and hits a fly ball to center. Four innings after the game starts we finally have our first 1-2-3 inning.

Tori squares to bunt but lays off a curve ball strike to lead off the fifth.. Good thing he did because Mike was playing pretty deep at third. The 0-1 fastball was supposed to be a two seamer in but I threw it middle middle and he chops it in the hole to short. No chance for Alex to get him as the ball goes deep in the hole. Another leadoff hit.

Justin takes a back door slider for strike one, lays off a split, fouls off a fastball in and then fouls off a high fastball. We get him again on a fastball away for strike three looking. Cirillo takes a fastball ball and then we go slider. He hits one off the end of the bat that Dustin turns into an inning ending double play.

Six innings in the books and we are up 4-0. I am at 69 pitches and am feeling very good about my chances to be on the mound in the ninth for this game.

The seventh starts out great as we get Kubel looking at strike three after a mix of fastballs and splits run the count 2-2. We get Redmond to 2-2 and I overthrow a fastball away that he lines in the whole for a single.

My management of the game unravels at this point, for no good reason. One out, number nine hitter up and a four run lead. If you were to make a list of things that absolutely cannot, ever, under any circumstances happen, walking this hitter would be the clear cut number one thing on this list. Sure enough I don’t even make it close and walk him on a 3-1 fastball. My mistake here is not getting it together at that very moment. For 6 2/3 innings I’ve been as focused as I can be pitch to pitch, hitter to hitter, out to out. The game is still very much in hand here but even though it’s a lesson I’ve learned and relearned hundreds of times in the past 20 years it still for some reason, happens. Castillo goes to 1-2 and in my mind, instead of thinking and focusing on making that next pitch, I’m thinking about getting out of the inning. I know he doesn’t strike out much so I know the focus needs to be on locating whatever it is we are going to throw.

I can’t say why I wasn’t or why I didn’t, but I didn’t. He hits a fastball away, not a horrible pitch by any stretch, to left for a single. Here we are again, two outs, 4-0 game and I am literally one pitch away from ending the inning. Tyner takes ball one and then fouls off a fastball to go 1-1.

For the most part I’ve had a very good split all day long because the focus has been on finishing the pitch, executing it. The last thought to go through my head is as bad as I can make it. Instead of thinking ‘execute the pitch’ I’m thinking ‘don’t leave this ball up’, and I do. Split finger fastball belt high, pretty much middle of the plate and I’ve now let them get back into the game. Just a ridiculous ending to an outing that should not have gone this way.

The easy part of this is that there is absolutely no one to blame this on by myself. Tito comes to get me and the only thing I can do is utter a plethora of four letter words.

Okie comes in and continues his incredible run by getting  Morneau to ground out to end the inning and Paps dominates the ninth to finish the game.

As I said earlier, the fact that we won is going to make it a whole lot easier to sleep over the next five days. We go three games and our staff gives up five runs, continuing a stretch where the whole staff is literally ‘pitching in’.

I happened to see the scoreboard during the game that the Yankees ended up getting Clemens. The media had much to say and ask about it after the game and my answer was the same as I think a lot of guys in our clubhouse; so what? Would it have been nice to pitch with Roger Clemens? Absolutely. Would he have helped us be a better team? I honestly don’t know. Julian has held his own in the 5th spot and we got a young left hander that went 7-2 last year in the big leagues that’s chomping at the bit to get back here. I am sure his signing was a pretty nice lift for them given the decimating injuries they’ve gone through to this point but I felt before the season, and even more so now, that this team is built to win a World Series as it’s comprised right now. We have the pieces, we have the chemistry and to this point we’ve had our health. If we stay somewhat healthy through the year then our fate will be totally on us. We don’t need anyone else to ‘get us over the hump’ or make that late push. This roster right now can win a World Series, but it’s going to fall on the players to make that happen.

97 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2007 8:43 am

    Nice game today, Curt. Don’t sweat the 7th inning — it’s so nice to have a bullpen that you can just turn it over to!

    Enjoy Canada, and go get Millar & Co. on Saturday. And how ’bout stopping by SoSH one of these days to start your own game threads again?!

    Go Sox!

  2. merbles permalink
    May 7, 2007 8:49 am

    I JUST WANTED TO SAY YOU SURE LOOKED MAD LAST NIGHT IN THE 7TH!KNID OF HAD CONTROL PROBLEMS A BIT, HUH? BUT I WAS JUST AS MAD TOO AT THE BIG DEAL ABOUT CLEM! THIS TEAM DOES`NT NEED HIM! AND THE NEXT JERK I HEAR DISPARAGE JULIAN IS GONNA GET IT FROM ME! HE HAS ONLY FACED HALLADAY TWICE AND NOW SANATANA! FOR GOD`S SAKE HE ALMOST WON EVERY GAME! NOW IT IS MAY AND HE HAD 3 STARTS? AND CLEM WOULD`VE DONE BETTER? NO WAY! WAKE IS A HUNDERED TIMES BETTER THAN ROGER NOW! AND WILL BE HERE LONGER! SCREW THE STUPID ROCKET!
    IT`S JUST A BOTTLE ROCKET NOWADAYS ANYWAY!
    PS I CAN`T WAIT TO SEE HIM OUT OF NLCENTRAL! NOW WE`LL REALLY SEE HOW GOOD HE IS! AND HE SURE WAS GLAD TO CRAWL BACK TO A PLACE THAT CANNED HIM! WHAT A F-ING JOKE!MORE YANKEE-OGRAPHIES TO COME? LET`S HOPE NOT.

  3. natbumpo permalink
    May 7, 2007 8:50 am

    Nice work Curt.

    It must have been pretty scary when Bartlett hit that ball past your head in the 3rd. Do you fid it difficult to compose yourself after something like that and finish your delivery?

    I was hit in the face in HS and that essentially ended my baseball career.

  4. bluestreak1 permalink
    May 7, 2007 8:55 am

    Hey Curt – really thought you had a CG going yesterday. Great outing – although we all know how you feel about the 7th inning. They way I look at it? That’s why you have teammates. Our BP has been just awesome.

    With all this talk about the Rocket, I think somebody needs to point out that that you are one of the few pitchers (hopefully followed by Beckett) who has successfully made the transition from the NL to the AL, and to the AL East no less.

  5. sonofapitcherman permalink
    May 7, 2007 9:03 am

    Ever the Blowhard?

    So the CHB, Gordon Eades’ curly haired boyfriend, says in his front page article on Clemens,

    “Ever the blowhard, Schilling declared, ‘We don’t need him’ – a comment of stupefying arrogance that is sure to come up a couple of million times between now and the end of the 2007 season.”

    I’m sure Dippsy Dan will bring it up a million times himself, and I’m sure it will be out of context and mischaracterized as well, just as he did in the above quote.

    I heard the quote and saw the clip and there was nothing arrogant or stupefying about what Mr. Schilling said. Just an honest response.

    Dog-Eared Dan is losing it and I can’t believe the Globe continues to employ him.

    Like I said before let’s let them have the controversy and not let the media draw us into a non-story. It is clear that Clemens signed with the highest bidder for a lot more than the sox offered. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Taverez or Schilling commenting. With Rodger, bless his soul, it’s always all about the Benjamins.

    See, distractions from the game.

    Now, back to yesterday’s fine win.

    Good outing, Man! You the stopper, now. You threw 71% of your pitches for strikes. You had a 5 hitter going into the 7th. Glad the bullpen was able to hold on. Too bad that inherited runner scored. We’ll take the hard fought win. Clean, no errors. Timely hitting by Drew, Youk, and Tek.

    Maybe you tired a bit in the 7th so you’re concentration flagged a bit. Maybe you need a big shot of caffeine or something between the 6th and 7th.

    Too many guys getting thrown out at the plate, lately though. Belli, Papi.
    And what about the recent propensity for the team to leave so many men on base? That could develop into a bad habit.

    Congrats on number 4, Mr. Schilling, 16 more to go.

  6. maranara permalink
    May 7, 2007 9:10 am

    Loved your comment in all the papers today about the fact that without Clemens, we (the Red Sox) are already a World Series contender. Couldn’t agree more. And really, if the Sox had gotten Clemens (which I was actually glad they didn’t…$1 million a start could certainly be used better…), where would he fit in the rotation? There’s barely a spot for Lester when he gets back. And as a fan, I would much rather have Lester in that spot (young gun, can potentially go deep in a game, will be around next year) than Clemens.

  7. May 7, 2007 9:25 am

    whoa whoa whoa whoa Curt… you honestly don’t know that Clemens would have helped us become a better team? Think of this rotation: 1. YOU, 2. Beckett, 3. Dice-K, 4. Clemens. 5. Wake/Lester. Are you kidding me??? Not to mention, that we pretty much have two 5th starters….. Say Clemens is only able to make it to the 5th, 6th, innings… put in Wake or Lester as mid-relief and Papple to close it and you pretty much have a 100% of winning 4 straight games.

    Please, PLEASE address this in your next post. I know you and your teammates are very confident and who wouldn’t be standing at 20-10, one of the best records in the MLB, and you don’t want to sound like you guys desperately needed Clemens, but he would most assuredly help you guys out. Who knows how well Lester will fair and yes Julian is pitching well now… he has a lot of confidence and is surrounded by talent… but we will see what our team looks like 2-3 months from now.

  8. May 7, 2007 9:27 am

    btw Curt, check out my gaming site. We have a bunch of Guilds, reviews, and info you may be interested in. I know you’re a hardcore gamer like myself.

  9. May 7, 2007 9:27 am

    that was a nice story

  10. norwood1918 permalink
    May 7, 2007 9:42 am

    Whatever credibility Dan Shaughnessy once had is gone. He has always been the master at taking a quote from an athlete and using it out of context or manipulating it to serve his purposes. Or, if the comment/quote was dumb, bad or in some way damaging to the person, he used it over and over again, relentlessly, in an effort to define the person.

    He’s making a fool out of himself with his vendetta against Schilling. Check out the quotes below regarding Clemens in Shaughnessy’s and Cafardo’s columns today. I saw the video and it is obvious Schilling is simply saying it would have been nice to get Clemens but we have a great staff so we’ll be fine without him.

    Cafardo quotes Randy Hendricks as saying this about Sox ownership: “I would say they didn’t feel the need but had the desire [to sign Clemens].” Same thing Schilling said.

    Compare Cafardo and Shaughnessy on Schilling’s comments…

    Nick Cafardo’s column:
    “It would have been nice to have him, we didn’t need him — we don’t need him,” said Curt Schilling, the winning pitcher in yesterday’s 4-3 decision here over the Minnesota Twins. “It’s May, that’s a long way to go. I like the way we’re comprised right now. I like the people. This team has incredible makeup, this team has great chemistry. I feel like we were legitimate World Series contenders without him, and that hasn’t changed.”

    Dan Shaughnessy’s column:
    After the Sox beat the Twins in Minneapolis yesterday, Schilling was asked his reaction to the Rocket’s re entry into the Yankees clubhouse. Ever the blowhard, Schilling declared, “We don’t need him” — a comment of stupefying arrogance that is sure to come up a couple of million times between now and the end of the 2007 postseason.

    It will only come up a couple of million times if Shaughnessy is somehow able to produce a couple of million columns between now and October. It’s amazing how transparent he is and how he simply doesn’t get it.

  11. marsh18redsox permalink
    May 7, 2007 9:44 am

    Clemens IS a Yankee in my eyes and $$$$$$$$ are what is in HIS eyes. He wanted to be part of a team that will win the World Series and he joined the Yankees with all their pitching issues? haha yeah right, they showed him the money and that is why the deal got done quicker than expected. Yankee’s front office are in Panic mode, they see the gap getting bigger and bigger between us and them, even with our offense not as hot as it has the potential of being, they knew they had to do something but to pay 28 million for someone that pitches every 5th day, has the possibility of being ROCKED in the AL especially when he was only pitching 5 or 6 innings in the NL………. haha I find the situation HILARIOUS!!

    Its good to see Cora and Pedroia and Crisp with the hot bat! Now if we can get 1 through 9 hitting like that consistently, the pitching stays where it is, they could have 5 Clemens and we still will win 4 out of 5 games!!

    Saw the pregame interview with you Curt on the boy you have befriended with cancer, that is great :) I wish more athletes took the time to do that. I am aware of many of the sox players doing this as well and it does make a difference to the families as well as the patient going through this horrific experience!!

  12. friedscrod permalink
    May 7, 2007 9:47 am

    I thought you quit dipping?

  13. 68philly01bos permalink
    May 7, 2007 9:53 am

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    What happened to the “I’d sell ice cream” for Clemens to be here Schilling? I understand you made that comment during spring training, before we knew how solid the Sox pitching would be, but I am curious as to how you could worship the guy one month and not the next.

    The CHB really makes me insane. He has since ’03 when I really starting reading him (I moved here in ’01) – I swear he tries to mess with team chemistry. If Clemens would have come here, all he would do is rail on him for his special perks, ALA Pedro.

    Thanks for 1993, too – I grew up in Philly and it was a dream season. I cried after the Carter home run, but those tears were also joyous for the wonderful ride the team brought me on that year.

    Kim

  14. fredsox permalink
    May 7, 2007 10:05 am

    OK So the (DY) Damn Yankees had to go to the checkboook again and pay a 44 year old almost has been albeit halll of fame pitcher 28 million for what will work our to be 3/4 of a season, a MILLION + a game to pitch, what, 6 innings IF he’s going good?
    That ought to bring a sigh to the long relief staff who are allready overtaxed from pitching so much so early in the season. Frankly, if I was that windbag shipbuilder, I would have paid 10 grand for anothert monument in center field, and spend some of that cash ( not to mention the luxury tax) on some needed relief. But who am I? Just another relieved Sox fan who is more than happy with this hand and will play these cards right through October. All I keep praying for is that this team and it’s seeemingly fantastic chemical make up stays healthy throughout the season. Kudos to Theo once again proving he is an adept baseball mind, putting not only a great team on the field, but OFF the field as well.

    GREAT series for the middle infield, glad to see D.P is hitting over the Mendoza line. I can’t imagine the pressure the kid has on himself and just believes he can hit and proved it by turning it around. Wasn’t sure if A.C was human until his baserunning flaw, luckily it didn’t cost us the game, but I do love that this year’s Sox are aggressively running the bases and not relying on long ball. Me? I like it.

    Oh, nice game Schill. If you have breathing exercises, please try to use them more later in the game to help focus.

    Go gettem tomorrow Tex, I’ll take you over the Rocket anytime. Just don’t shake off Tek, let him call the game for you. The guy is pretty good.

    By the way, I’m 45, is it too late for me to learn to throw a knuckler? I can also probably throw a 70 mile an hour fast ball if I really let it rip.

  15. argentina10 permalink
    May 7, 2007 10:29 am

    Curt, Im asking since Im “new” to this baseball stuff (well, some years now): Why is it that position players sometimes take the day off before an scheduled day off? For example, Manny yesterday sit out the series finale with the Red Sox not having a game on monday.
    Good game.

  16. mejjr66 permalink
    May 7, 2007 10:40 am

    Shaughnessy did it again. Did you realize that your Clemens comment was”stupefyingly arrogant”? I can’t believe this guy. I guess you were supposed to shed tears for the loss of Clemens to the Yankees.

    Anyway, good luck.

  17. May 7, 2007 10:53 am

    Good remarks about Clemens, Curt. I think the most overlooked thing about everyone touting his benefit to the Yankees is the fact that his low ERA last season was against NL Central opponents. I mean, it should be pretty apparent that he won’t even come close to having the same performance against the AL East – he never even pitched that well in his first go-around with the Yanks. I don’t think he would’ve helped us at all. I think Lester will easily outperform a 45-year-old Clemens on any day of the week. Clemens is not worth the investment, and I can’t help but think he’s just doing it for the attention and the money – not the love of the game.

  18. espeyr1 permalink
    May 7, 2007 10:58 am

    Curt,
    I want to know what you think about Mr. $4.5 million a month (Roger Clemens). I am neither a Red Sox, Yankee or Astro fan….but I think this is ridiculous. He seems to just wait around for the best deal from the better team. Like he wait to see who’s still in competition after the first month or so. No one else gets to pick there team in June, but he seems to be able to have that luxury. It’s aggravating. And what’s more aggravating is that the Yankees are going to try and buy their way to a Championship in the middle of the season! I mean who’s next?! Anyway, I just wanted your reaction to Clemens signing with the Yankees.

    Thanks!
    Emilie

  19. May 7, 2007 11:13 am

    Being at yesterday’s game, in Minnesota, was one of the highlights of my 13 years as a baseball fan. Watching the dominance from you and Paps was incredible. You averaged less than 12 pitches per inning, for the first 6 innings. Are you kidding me? Amazing.

    We got to the dome early enough to watch warm-ups. ‘Tek impressed the heck out of me. Nearly an hour before the game, he’s out there doing defensive drills. Now that’s a work ethic.

    It was awesome to see Pedroia go 3-4 with a couple of doubles. I’m going to go out on a limb and say, “Future all-star.”

    All in all, it was a great day of baseball. Other than one idiot behind us, yelling racial slurs at Okie, the Twins fans were absolutely great about us rooting for the away team.

    Thanks for an awesome experience. It’s nice to still have a few heroes in baseball worth telling my kids about.

  20. May 7, 2007 11:19 am

    in response to: riedscrod

    “I thought you quit dipping?”

    I forgot to bring that up. Last night Curt after you were taken out of the 7th, the camera was on you and watched you place a big hunk of dip in your lip.

    Do you think kids who look up to you are affected by this? Just wondering what your thoughts are… I dont think I have an option on it. Lots of players do it and I grew up not wanting to do it when I played baseball.

  21. pemliza permalink
    May 7, 2007 11:22 am

    Great game last night. It was a rough 7th, but the great thing about this team this year is that when one of you guys gets into a little trouble or needs help, we’ve got a great bullpen to finish out the games.

    I agree with you too about Clemens. Would have been nice, but we don’t need him. I’ll take the team we have any day!

    Liza

  22. sonofapitcherman permalink
    May 7, 2007 11:26 am

    A funny thing?

    A funny thing happened when I submitted this post just before 10 am, it did not show up as “awaiting moderation” and there were 34 comments ahead of me at that time. When I treid to re-sumbit it, it was detected as a duplicate post even though it never showed up in the comments stream. I doubt that it got “moderated out” as there was nothing offensive in it. So I’ll try to post it again, and if it is a duplicate post, please excuse me, excuse the glitch.

    Ever the Blowhard?

    So the CHB, Gordon Eades’ curly haired boyfriend, says in his front page article on Clemens,

    “Ever the blowhard, Schilling declared, ‘We don’t need him’ – a comment of stupefying arrogance that is sure to come up a couple of million times between now and the end of the 2007 season.”

    I’m sure Dippsy Dan will bring it up a million times himself, and I’m sure it will be out of context and mischaracterized as well, just as he did in the above quote.

    I heard the quote and saw the clip and there was nothing arrogant or stupefying about what Mr. Schilling said. Just an honest response.

    Dog-Eared Dan is losing it and I can’t believe the Globe continues to employ him.

    Like I said before let’s let them have the controversy and not let the media draw us into a non-story. It is clear that Clemens signed with the highest bidder for a lot more than the sox offered. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Taverez or Schilling commenting. With Rodger, bless his soul, it’s always all about the benjamins.

    See, distractions from the game.

    Now, back to yesterday’s fine win.

    Good outing, Man! You the stopper, now. You threw 71% of your pitches for strikes. You had a 5 hitter going into the 7th. Glad the bullpen was able to hold on. Too bad that inherited runner scored. We’ll take the hard fought win. Clean, no errors. Timely hitting by Drew, Youk, and Tek.

    Maybe you tired a bit in the 7th so you’re concentration flagged a bit. Maybe you need a big shot of caffeine or something between the 6th and 7th.

    Too many guys getting thrown out at the plate, lately though. Belli, Papi.
    And what about the recent propensity for the team to leave so many men on base? That could develop into a bad habit.

    Congrats on number 4, Mr. Schilling, 16 more to go.

  23. mdwstrslvr permalink
    May 7, 2007 11:26 am

    I was at the Saturday & Sunday games – let me tell ya, it’s always great to see you pitch – my son HAD to wear your jersey (even though he’s more of a Twins fan since we live in the midwest, but I am slowly converting him).

    I thought you had great control and were amazing. I can’t say it any better than that. You were the better pitcher yesterday against our opponent, and to have Okajima & Papelbon to come in and finish the game made it perfect.

    The Red Sox fan turnout at this series was INCREDIBLE. Of course we were outnumbered, but there were many B’s in the house … we were saddened by the Saturday loss of course, but Tavarez pitched a good game … but the hitting was lacking, it’s sure hard to see those balls in the dome !

    Anyhow – a great game – and I noticed you got your hair trimmed up !!

  24. jimmykc permalink
    May 7, 2007 11:50 am

    Curt: This is for you, Tito, and any other guy who may think chewing tobacco is a good idea. I just finished up a series of radiation treatments for throat cancer three months ago and used to think I was a pretty macho guy. I had heard the side effects of treatment were bad, but they were not even close to the real experience. Oropharyngeal cancer is something from your worst nightmare so get yourself some bubble gum, sunflower seeds, or a lollypop if you must chew. Even though I still can’t taste anything sweet, this season is starting out to be plenty sweet enough. Keep up the good work.

  25. seantanu permalink
    May 7, 2007 12:56 pm

    Thanks for keeping this up so far, Curt. This is not quite the right place for this, but I’m not interesting enough for SoSH and think this needs to be said as often as possible:

    You’re right about the rotation, and even before Lester comes back I’m loving you guys. But I am a big fan of Tavarez. I first noticed him of course as one of the unfortunate pitchers to attempt to stop the inevitable for St. Louis in October ’04. But once he became a Red Sox he’s been nothing but awesome. Even when he’s struggling he’s entertaining, passionate, and gutsy. I try not to miss a game he’s pitching, ’cause the stats and recap never tell the whole story, such as:

    – Trying to pick Roberts off second… in person
    – Pointing the ball into IF gloves
    – Engaging in animated conversation with Okajima and Matsuzaka (what the hell language can he be speaking?)
    – His 4.0 crucial innings in the 19-inning White Sox game last July (Nuts the eventual loss; that was clutch)
    – Trying to pick Torii Hunter off during an IBB
    – Getting his hairdo fixed by Manny last night (you’ve gotta admit, that was even funnier than Pizzagate)

    He’s been maligned and underappreciated, but with a stumbling roster last fall he stepped up big time. I can’t wait for Lester, but in the meantime the Sox have got to be pretty at ease with another Dirt Dog in the 5-spot.

  26. sienahoops permalink
    May 7, 2007 1:35 pm

    Curt,
    I know that you have a game plan going into a game and adjust it during a game as to how to approach hitters. My question is does this game plan also cover how to vary speeds during the course of the game or an at bat? For instance, when Tek calls for a fastball, how do you decide whether to rear back and throw the 94 mph one or take a little off and locate it? Is that something that he communicates to you or is that your call?

    Keep up the solid work. The whole staff has been amazing.

    Thanks,
    Jim

  27. omar74italy permalink
    May 7, 2007 1:39 pm

    great match curt….great win! great lineup..let’s go sox

  28. May 7, 2007 2:04 pm

    I did not see the game yesterday as I was working outside but I had it on and came in every now and then to check on the situation. All I know is we were cruising at 4-0 then next time I came in to check suddenly things were tense at 4-3.

    It is good to read your description of how things happened for you. Thankfully we have the guys in the pen who can get the team out of a jam and not blow the game. 2 out of 3 against a good team and could have potentially taken all 3. Take the win, try to improve next time and move on.

  29. idabomb333 permalink
    May 7, 2007 2:19 pm

    I really love having these pitch-by-pitch breakdowns. I really got into baseball in 2003, so I’m not the most experienced fan, but I am a big fan now. I watch almost every Sox game and I’m only beginning to be able to label most pitches (2-seamer vs 4-seamer vs split-finger, etc), and I’ve always been interested in the mind game of pitch selection.

    I’ve noticed in a few of these posts you’ve said you’ve felt like you had a good chance to make it through the 9th, and then you have one inning with a high pitch count that ruins it. I’m hoping you can elaborate on that more. How often do you NOT feel like you’ll make it to the 9th early in the game? Do you think the fact that your early low pitch counts don’t seem to carry through the whole game says anything about your style, your mental approach, or your physical ability? Could it be the lineup getting used to your stuff? Or maybe it’s not a meaningful trend at all, over a small sample size of 6 good starts — good luck early, bad luck later, or a little of both?

    I also wanted to say I like the idea you’ve mentioned before, that you care more about the team’s record when you start than about your win-loss record. I think that’s a great approach to take.

    I think you and your readers might enjoy http://www.firejoemorgan.com.

    Thanks!

  30. May 7, 2007 2:21 pm

    As a former chew-aholic, I know how hard it is to quit, especially if there are guys all around you doing it. It’s not like you can just say, ‘ok. I quit chew’ and that’s it, you’re done.

    I have not touched it in over 10 years but I still WANT it, evertime I go in a gas station and see the cans up there on the shelf…

    I find that chewing wintergreen gum helps. Whenever I’m in a mood to buy some, I buy a pack of wintergreen gum instead. That’s just me.

    Maybe setup some kind of reward system, like for every week you go without it. Maybe even set up some kind of charitable donation thing that involves kicking the habit in some way.

    Anyway, I hope you can get over the hump and someday finally ditch the chew for good. Good luck and keep trying.

  31. pops821 permalink
    May 7, 2007 3:40 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Do you ever find yourself looking too far ahead in a game? Like in the Minnesota start, after 6 innings did it cross your mind that this could be one of those elusive complete-game-shutouts? Does (or would) anything like that affect you in a negative way?

  32. daubachdui permalink
    May 7, 2007 4:51 pm

    Schill —

    it’s “champing at the bit” not (and this is a really common mistake) “chomping at the bit.” I’m not trying to nitpick or be a jerk, I just know that you care a lot about the art of writing, so I thought I’d point it out.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=champing+at+the+bit&btnG=Google+Search

    Champ

    v. champed, champ·ing, champs
    v.tr.
    To bite or chew upon noisily.
    v.intr.
    To work the jaws and teeth vigorously.
    Idiom:
    champ at the bit
    To show impatience at being held back or delayed.

  33. cphil818 permalink
    May 7, 2007 6:07 pm

    It was a great performance by you and everyone else. I’m liking that Alex Cora more and more every day. He just puts up some simple numbers, and gets hits on a regular basis. What more do you want?

    The ending was a little nervewracking from a fan’s point of view, but it all worked out in the end. Well done!

    Chris (My Blog)

  34. 1creativemind permalink
    May 7, 2007 6:58 pm

    Great game – great series. Let’s do it again in Toronto!

  35. redsoxocd92 permalink
    May 7, 2007 7:59 pm

    I am definately the only person who doesnt know who the hell CHB is and its aggravating me that I cant figure it out. Damn me for only being a sophmore (in terms of how long I’ve been obsessively following baseball).

  36. joei71 permalink
    May 8, 2007 1:35 am

    Nice game Ace! No worries about the 7th. We got the solid pen… unfortunately Roger won’t be able to say the same…

  37. trubelieva permalink
    May 8, 2007 6:39 am

    redsoxocd92
    “I am definately the only person who doesnt know who the hell CHB is”

    It’s Shaunnessy from the Boston Globe

  38. pemliza permalink
    May 8, 2007 12:30 pm

    I also had a question for you I forgot to ask. You mentioned that you had not faced alot of the Twins batters prior to this start. So my question is this…when you’re facing a lineup that you’re not super familiar with, how helpful is it to be pitching on the 2nd or 3rd day of the series? In that case, do you spend the games prior to yours studying the batters & talking to the other pitchers on your team about them?

  39. anthony972003 permalink
    May 8, 2007 9:25 pm

    Dear Mr. Schilling:

    I don’t like the practice of taking a set of sentences from a work and criticizing them individually. Many times removing them from context also removes their meaning. But since I am also not a fan of people with good ideas but below average writing skills having blogs (editors or no editors), I will make an exception this time. Plus, this method is actually effective in certain instances, and this is one of them.

    other than a mastery of the English language their skill sets are non-existent

    – In fact, I would argue that having a mastery of the English language is about as valuable a skill as one could have. In baseball terms, that would be like saying “Other than his right arm, Beckett’s skill sets are non-existent.”

    It was blood. You can choose to believe whatever you need to, but facts are facts. The 25 guys that were in that locker room, the coaches, they all know it. In the end nothing else really matters. The people that need to believe otherwise are people with their own insecurities and issues

    – Two things strike me about that paragraph. First, if there is actually no need for anybody other than the 25 world champions to know the truth, there is no need for it to be the subject of a blog. Second, there does not appear to be a connection between someone with low self-esteem (insecurities) and someone who “needs” to believe that it wasn’t blood.

    blood was fake. Which even when he’s called out he can’t admit he lied. Doug never

    – That middle part is not a sentence. It could be a typo, but I just wanted to point out that it was not correct. What is probably more significance is that even if it were to be turned into a sentence, it wouldn’t fit the flow of the paragraph. I added the two words before and after it in a humble attempt at providing context.

    The other great part of this is knowing that anyone that wrote anything about a ‘conspiracy’ or a ‘plot’ is someone that is so far removed from understanding how physically and mentally challenging it is to play this game at this level you can almost laugh off their stupidity. Not to mention they obviously have shortcomings, bitterness and jealousy in their own lives that should probably get taken care of

    – This one is my personal favorite. Again, faulty reasoning can be seen. The amount of physical and mental ability required to play baseball is not related to somebody thinking that the Red Sox built up this incident for publicity. Let’s imagine a great hitter: a hall of fame caliber player, with many batting titles and a few World Championships. The skills he possesses include, but are not limited to, good reaction times, good coordination, persistence, endurance, and a few others. What he does not possess is the ability to assess whether or not the sort of injury you suffered would have caused bleeding. An example of what would convert that paragraph into “good writing” would be to say why somebody who thinks that way does not know what it takes to play the game. Also, you did not explain why someone who thinks that has many shortcomings. To be honest, this looks like a reach and a cheap shot.

    Personally, I think you are a Hall of Fame pitcher. I didn’t think so a few years ago, but I think the fact that we’re still discussing you as one of the best in the game in 2007 makes you hall-worthy. You have opinions on issues most athletes don’t even consider. But it seems like that fact allows you to write those opinions without backing them up. One of your blogs one day claimed Kieth Foulke was the MVP of the 2004 World Series team. I don’t care if he was or not. What bothers me is that when you tried to explain why, all you did was restate that he was the MVP in more definitive language. The best advice I can give you is to close the gap between your reasoning and your conclusions. Let us see why you believe the things you say. People should listen to you because what you have to say is true, not because of who you are. And it is that reasoning that makes me believe you should take this letter into consideration.

    Sincerely,

    Anthony Vega

    P.S. I stand by opinions in this letter, so feel free to write me back.

  40. trubelieva permalink
    May 9, 2007 12:04 am

    anthony972003 – Mr Vega- lemme guess…. English teacher? A blog is an individuals ideas, feelings and anything else they …. THEY want to post. Because you “don’t like the practice” of certain things or “not a fan of people with good ideas but below average writing skills having blogs” … well then- What are ya doin’ hea. Yeah, I will spell the way I want. Ya know why? It’s a BLOG: “Definition: an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page; also called [Weblog], [Web log]
    Example: Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.” Oh yeah, I forgot Mr English teacher (I am many years removed from my last book report but let me try…) definition taken from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/blog- wouldn’t wanna be accused of plagiarizing… :)

  41. wilk2 permalink
    May 10, 2007 10:46 am

    Obviously through advanced scouting you have tips on where and how to pitch certain hitters. Are there certain keys you see as a pitcher on how to exploit certain weaknesses of a hitter??

  42. smilelitesuproom permalink
    May 13, 2007 10:21 pm

    schill, when you were with pawtucket in syracuse you signed my grandsons onsie,ill never forget, i told my son in law you would….and he said never…ty man you rule!

  43. yasik permalink
    May 14, 2007 7:10 pm

    man how you ask schill a question? i was trying to find out how but i caouldnt.

  44. anthony972003 permalink
    May 17, 2007 11:10 pm

    trubelieva – Good try, but I’m actually a college student, and a finance major at that. He can write whatever he wants. I defend his right to do that. But it’s bad quality and for that reason should consider hiring an editor, or perhaps just learning how to write.

    Let me include a few fairly obvious observations that most of you Curt idolizers may have overlooked:

    – He claims he doesn’t care what people say/think, but goes to painstaking lengths to prove them wrong, and is admittedly frustrated by things that are said.

    – It is sports writers and the media itself that paved the way for this blog. Without the media, none of us would have ever heard a single word Schilling has ever said.

    – Lastly, he’s a pitcher. His technical knowledge of the game is great. His opinions aren’t. Regardless, he has chosen to write them in a public area. He can choose to write poorly, and that’s fine; he has that right. But why do something incorrectly when he could invest a little time and improve himself, and in that way make his opinions more credible?

  45. anthony972003 permalink
    May 17, 2007 11:28 pm

    Let me clarify: he can do this. But it’s bad. It’s done poorly. You can’t argue that it’s not. If he’s a believer in doing things right or not doing them at all, and from what he writes it seems that philosophy would be consistent with his other beliefs, then he should change this blog somehow.

    I would have no problem with him running a blog and just putting up pictures of turds on it everyday. But that would be bad quality and in bad tastes. For that same reason, he should consider changing the manner in which he manages this blog, not because I said so, but just because it is done poorly. My argument is not “I am so-and-so and he should listen to me.” My argument is “It is not very good and in the interests of doing his best he should improve it.”

  46. trubelieva permalink
    May 18, 2007 7:03 am

    anthony972003- “I would have no problem with him running a blog and just putting up pictures of turds”

    I’m sure that wish could come true, just post your pic on here! LOL – Have a great day!

  47. rhielm permalink
    December 18, 2007 6:43 pm

    I, a huge Twins fan, was at that game. I’m just glad Sidney Ponson, out starting pitcher that game, got canned.

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