RED SOX: Well, aside from that 10-run inning against San Diego last week it's been a pretty forgettable week for the Red Sox. Heading into Sunday afternoon's game against the Pirates, the Sox had managed to drop 4 in a row- the last two against San Diego at Fenway and the first two in the weekend series against Pittsburgh at PNC Park.
It was not the stuff of legends, and the Sox were helped out considerably by 4 errors from the Pirates in Sunday's game. PawSox callup Andy Miller went 6 innings, giving up five scattered hits and two runs while walking two and striking out four in what was actually his second start for Boston (he had no decision in last week's 14-5 romp over the San Diego Padres).
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the bottom of the 9th for his 14th save in 15 opportunities while Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 11 games, Adrian Gonzalez (still at 1B) raised his batting average to a league-best .361 and Miller is now 1-0 with a 3.09 ERA in the 4-2 win. Interestingly, all of Boston's runs came on either outs or errors on Sunday- another PawSox callup, LF Josh Reddick, had two sac flies, one of which resulted in an RBI.
Interestingly, the Pirates are now one game over .500- this is probably the latest in the season that they've had a record of .500 or better in recent years and just 4 games behind the NL-Central leading Brewers.
The Red Sox travel to the city of Brotherly Love for a 3-game series against the NL leading Philadelphia Phillies starting Tuesday night, with Josh Beckett (6-2; 1.84 ERA) getting the start against Cliff Lee (8-5; 2.87 ERA). First pitch will get underway at 7:05 PM ET and the game will be televised on NESN.
ELSEWHERE IN MLB: The Los Angeles Dodgers filed for Chapter 11 bankrupcy on Monday. The move came after MLB rejected a lucrative contract extension between the club and FOX sports and while the owner is close to finalizing a nasty and protracted divorce.
Two of the Dodgers largest unsecured creditors include the now-retired Manny Ramierez ($21 million) and Andruw Jones ($11.1 million). The Chapter 11 filing at a bankruptcy court in Delaware lists anywhere between $500 million and $1 billion in assets and $100 million to $500 billion in liabilities.
Owner Frank McCourt said the filing was to ensure that the team could continue to meet payroll, sign players and continue paying vendors and stadium personnel while preventing MLB from taking full control of the club.
BOSTON BRUINS: To hardly anybody's surprise, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas was named the Vezina trophy winner (NHL's Goalie of the Year) at the NHL awards last week. The former Vermont Catamount also won the Vezina in 2009, making this the second time he has garnered the award. Thomas was first on 26 of 30 ballots among votes submitted by NHL general managers.
Thomas conceded that his goaltending was far from perfect, even with an NHL-leading .938 save percentage.
"I don't think that my style's the perfect style -- that's for sure," Thomas said. "But it works for me.Thomas also won the Conn Smythe trophy (above) for the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup finals in the 7 game series against Vancouver.
"I'm kind of like the redneck of goaltending that duct-tapes everything together to fix it."