Curt Schilling’s performance last night left more than 55,000 people speechless last night…they just didn’t happen to be in Yankee Stadium as the Red Sox ace was roughed up and clearly struggled last night with injury. The fastball rarely touched 90 on the gun, and the Yankees teed off early and often. Despite being behind 8-0 and Mike Mussina throwing 6 1/3 perfect innings, the Red Sox somehow still made a game of this one, putting up seven runs across the seventh and eighth innings. The game stories from the Bronx include Bob Hohler, who looks at the ups and downs from last night. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Sox just not being able to completely dig themselves out of that early hole. Steven Krasner writes that the Sox are proud of their comeback even if it fell short. David Heuschkel looks at Curt Schilling getting roughed up. David Borges says that the Red Sox at least showed that they do not go down without a fight. Jon Couture writes that game one certainly lived up to the hype, perhaps not in the pitching of Schilling, but in the rest of the game. Bill Simmons has his game one diary.
Lenny Megliola writes that last night’s game proves that there is a curse and that the pressure of 1918 is too much for the Red Sox. Are storylines really that hard to come by? Dan Shaughnessy provides sort of a second-tier game story, going over the game again and looking at the pressure on Pedro tonight. Sean McAdam writes that last night was actually games rolled into one for these two clubs. Gordon Edes says that the Sox still managed to make a statement last night with their late rally.
Bob Ryan looks at the rough night for Schilling, who was not able to back up his big words coming into the game. Tony Massarotti says that Schilling had nothing last night, and may not be able to even pitch any more this series. Alex Speier looks at the Sox ace getting into a hole. Ron Chimelis has a recap of the rough night for Schilling. Michael Silverman reports that Schilling’s availability for the rest of the series is entirely up in the air at this point. Steven Krasner says that Schilling sure sounded a whole lot different after the game than he did before it. Kraz’s Corner tells us that a bad breaking ball got Schilling started on the road to his downfall. He notes that the Sox ace was clearing never comfortable on the mound last night.
Schilling’s loss of course means that Pedro is in the spotlight tonight. Sean McAdam says that Martinez has a lot to prove in the Bronx this evening. Steve Buckley (subscription only) writes that as in so many times in the past, the Red Sox will be looking to #45 in a tough situation.
Now, the Red Sox need for Martinez to be their Dominican Dandy of days gone by. They need for him to be what he has been for so many years: They need him to be their stopper, their savior, their leader of the pack.
Steve Britt also looks at Pedro facing the pressure of beating the Yankees. David Borges says that Pedro is in fact not scared of the Yankees. Pedro didn’t appear at the media session yesterday, and that of course becomes a story as well. You don’t think it’s a big deal, this note is from the Projo notebook:
The Baseball Writer Association of American lodged an official complaint with Major League Baseball when Pedro Martinez, tonight's Game 2 starter, didn't make himself available for a pre-game interview session, as is customary in the post-season for the next day's scheduled starter.
MLB responded with a statement that these sessions are not in fact mandatory. The players are invited to come, and if they don’t want to be there, they don’t have to be. Are there many things less sympathetic than the complaints of sportswriters? Hohler’s notebook informs us that it was Jack O’Connell who filed the complaint. Michael Silverman has other Red Sox members speaking for Pedro, as does Gordon Edes. Ron Chimelis’ notebook has more on Pedro not talking, as does Heuschkel’s notebook.
Kevin Paul Dupont looks at Tim Wakefield getting a chance to work off some rust last night, even though he gave up a couple runs that turned out to be key. Sean McAdam and Howard Bryant look at Kevin Millar providing comic relief and serving as a lightning rod for the Red Sox. Steve Conroy looks at Johnny Damon’s rough night at the plate, including four strikeouts. Steven Krasner says the combo of Manny and Ortiz can strike at any time. Howard Bryant (subscription only) looks at Ortiz nearly tying the tie last night with his triple off of Tom Gordon in the eighth inning. He notes that Ortiz was pleased after the game at having put a scare into the Yankees after being behind 8-0. Jackie MacMullan has Derek Lowe disputing the notion that he’s been partying too much and having it affect his pitching. Conroy has Paul Quantrill reflecting on the changes in the Red Sox clubhouse and culture since the time he was there. Horrigan’s notebook has the news of Scott Williamson having to in fact go through Tommy John surgery, which will likely sideline him for 2005.
The Fox coverage…predictable. Some items left you scratching your head, such as the glowing praise to Derek Jeter for his “calm eyes” in handling a routine ground ball in the second inning. Other left you bewildered, such a McCarver informing the audience that tonight’s pitching matchup was to be “Brandon Arroyo vs Pedro Martinez”. Or his statement that the Tim Wakefield didn’t have to pitch around a Yankee batter, as the knuckleball would do that naturally. Was there a need for when Wakefield gave up the homerun to Kenny Lofton to immediately break out all the Aaron Boone highlights they could find? How about McCarver’s comment when Terry Francona left Mike Timlin in to face Hideki Matsui, choosing not to bring in Mike Myers, and McCarver stated that “Damon and Matsui are the reason Myers is on the roster.” Huh? The bright spot last night was Al Leiter, who wasn’t afraid to challenge a couple of those ridiculous statements (On Matsui’s bloop hit which McCarver called an “extraordinary job of hitting” Lieter added “…or just really lucky”), was informative, showed us what a knuckle curve is, and was 10 times more informative last night than Brett Boone was during the entire playoffs last year.
Peter May and Steve Buckley look at Mike Mussina’s bid for a perfect game last night. Don Amore writes the game story from the Yankee perspective. Karen Guregian, Jackie MacMullan and Jeff Jacobs look at Mariano Rivera coming back from family tragedy in Panama to get the save last night. Joe McDonald, Peter May and Stephen Harris look at tonight’s Yankees starter, Jon Lieber. John Powers writes that weird things have been happening to the Yankees in the Stadium. Harris looks at the huge night for Hideki Matsui. McDonald’s notebook looks at Mussina’s perfect game falling apart. Guregian’s notebook looks at the Yankees denying that they has mastery over Pedro. Power’s notebook looks at the 3/4 spots in the Yankee lineup doing damage last night.
Ron Borges says that it isn’t right that the Patriots are on the longest streak of domination in Pro Football history and still are overshadowed by the Red Sox, who he reminds us, haven’t won in 86 years. (Clark Booth used this same premise last week.) Still, nice of Ron to acknowledge and stand up for the success of the organization in Foxboro. Since he’s the guy who says “time will tell” it’s hard to tell where this is coming from. Of course, on 1510 yesterday afternoon, Borges made the claim that Bill Belichick was a loss away from being fired after the 1-3 start during the 2001 season. A preposterous claim, given how much the Krafts had invested in Belichick, and the fact that he had lost his $100 million quarterback on a hit from Mo Lewis. While I’ve had share of email battles with Ron, I wouldn’t post them online. However, if someone else wants to post their exchanges with Ron on another website, that’s fine with me. Cold Hard Football Facts has a reader taking exception to being painted as an “idiot” by Borges last week when the Globe writer used that term on SportsPlus to describe fans who would prefer Tom Brady over Payton Manning.
I don’t like the media insinuations however, that rooting for the Red Sox and Patriots is an either/or situation. It’s possible to root for both teams equally.
Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider looks at the Patriots at the quarter-season mark, noting there is a lot of improvement to be made. He also looks at Ted Johnson’s work on first down and has a look at the Seahawks. Michael Parente has a look at Vince Wilfork’s progress and the fact that he has a lot of room for improvement still. Jonathan Comey has his NFL Power Rankings.
Craig N Liadis has the details of the Celtics 104-74 preseason opening win over the Chicago Bulls in Manchester, NH. Steve Bulpett looks at the progress of second year big man Kendrick Perkins. Shira Springer looks at Tom Gugliotta looking to make the most of his chance with the Celtics. Bulpett’s notebook also looks at the preseason game last night.
Fox has Red Sox/Yankees game 2 at 8:00.