Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Quick hits: Sox 3, Indians 2
By Gordon Edes
CLEVELAND -- A few quick hits on the Red Sox's 3-2 win over the Indians to help distract you from the Celtics' loss Tuesday night:
* Sox starters have thrown at least six innings in 15 of 17 games since May 22, going 13-3 with a 2.55 ERA in that span. In the first five games of this trip, Sox starters have allowed three earned runs in 37 2/3 innings, an 0.72 ERA.
* That kind of starting pitching (and Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester are on deck for the next two games) makes it easier to absorb the absence of your closer. Jonathan Papelbon, who is on bereavement/family emergency leave, missed his second game Tuesday night, though manager Terry Francona said he stopped by Fenway Park to get in a little work.
* Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury flew out of Cleveland late Tuesday afternoon for L.A., where he is to be examined by orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum on Wednesday. Ellsbury will rejoin the team on its return to Boston on Friday.
* According to baseball-reference.com, there are only 40 pitchers who have thrown at least 2,800 innings for one team. (Tim Wakefield became the Sox's all-time leader with 2,777.) The last to do so were two Braves, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine. The Tigers have the most, six. There are only a handful of pitchers who have done it post-1980: Don Sutton, Jack Morris, Jim Palmer, Tom Seaver, Dave Stieb, Steve Rogers, and Glavine and Smoltz. Wakefield may be onto something when he says his will be a tough record for a Sox pitcher to break.
"You look at some names who pitched for this franchise,'' Francona said, "pretty remarkable record. I think the word you use is tenacity. Where he was a long, long time ago, that he's done that, is an amazing accomplishment."
* The Sox were not oblivious to what Mr. Strasburg was doing in Washington Tuesday night. Francona said the dugout got periodic updates from players going back and forth from the clubhouse.
''There was a little bit of buzz in the dugout,'' Francona said. "I look forward to watching the highlights tonight. It's good for baseball. Sounded like their ballpark was sold out. I know there's been a buzz all week. That's good for baseball. Just good that we don't have to face him.''
* Reliever Manny Delcarmen (back) was not available Tuesday; he'll throw a side session Wednesday to see how he's progressing. Jeremy Hermida (ribs) was available to pinch-hit.
* A word on Kolbrin Vitek, the team's No. 1 draft pick: According to baseball-reference.com (have you noticed I consider it the mother lode?), there are seven players (four pitchers) who have made it to the big leagues from Vitek's school, Ball State University. The best of the lot were outfielders Larry Bigbee, Thomas Howard and Merv Rettenmund. The Red Sox obviously expect Vitek to fare better than the last Ball State player to go in the first round: pitcher Bryan Bullington, who was taken No. 1 overall by the Pirates in 2002 and has a career record of 0-6 with a 5.57 ERA.