RED SOX: Well, the 3 game series in Tampa Bay got off to a promising start with a 3-1 win behind the efforts of Jon Lester.
However, for two consecutive games, promising starts by the Boston pitchers were for naught as the late rallies by Tampa Bay erased early Boston leads. Clay Buchholz went 7 and 1/3rd innings Saturday night and was pulled after giving up he game-tying solo homer to BJ Upton. Scott Atcheson would go on to give up the tiebreaker in the bottom of the 11th, a solo shot to Rays DH Dan Johnson for the walkoff 3-2 Tampa win.
On Sunday, John Lackey gave up only one run over the first five innings before collapsing, giving up a 2-run homer to Carl Crawford and an RBI single to Dan Johnson before getting out of that and leaving runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 away for Hideki Okajima in the bottom of the 7th. Okajima got Crawford to strike out, but gave up an RBI single to Evan Longoria for some insurance in the Ray's 5-3 win on Sunday night. If dropping two out of three to the current wild-card leader wasn't bad enough, both the division leading Yankees and Wild Card Leader Rays won their respective games Monday.
The Red Sox have Monday off and will take on the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards Tuesday night. Josh Beckett (4-3; 6.50 ERA) is scheduled to start against Brian Matusz (6-12; 4.79 ERA).
OTHER SOX NEWS: The Red Sox traded relief pitcher Manny Del Carmen to the Colorado Rockies after being placed on waivers. The Sox will be getting minor league pitcher Chris Balcom-Miller, who's played with the Casper Ghosts of the Pioneer league and Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League.
The Red Sox were reported late last week to have put in a claim for Angels 1B/C Mike Napoli off of waivers, altough the Boston Herald is reporting that an actual trade with Anaheim is unlikely. Instead, the waiver claim by Boston was seen as a purely defensive move to block Napoli (.249 BA; 21 HR & 60 RBI) from going to another team in the AL East.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia is alive and well and back in Pawtucket now. The trade deadline pickup from Texas went 1-3 with a walk in last night's 2-1 win over the Rochester Redhawks at McCoy stadium in Pawtucket. Saltalamacchia was put on the DL and sent to the hospital after a localized infection in his right leg was discovered.
ELSEWHERE IN MLB: Manny Ramierez is with the Sox- this time the Chicago White Sox. Shortly after the Dodgers put Manny on waivers, he was picked up by the White Sox (National League Teams had first dibs on the shaggy slugger) and will likely join the team in Cleveland Tuesday night. Manny was batting .311 with 8 homers with the Dodgers this year
Roger Clemens pled not guilty to six counts of perjury and obstruction of justice in a Federal Courthouse in Washington D.C. Monday. The judge presiding over Clemens' arraignment set a jury selection date for April 5, 2011.
The Washington Nationals announced late last week that Stephen Strasburg will likely need Tommy John surgery in the offseason after it was learned he had a signficant tear in his ulnar collateral ligament. Strasburg was also seeking a second opinion from the same doctor who performed Tommy John surgery on fellow Nat Jordan Zimmerman last year.
NFL: The Pats lost to the St. Louis Rams 36-35 on Thursday night in which the defense apparently forgot to show up. One more preseason game remains, Thursday night against the NY Giants at the New Meadowlands stadium in E. Rutherford, NJ. Having said that, wake me when the games count.
NCAA FOOTBALL: For football games that will count, there's a full slate of NCAA football games this weekend. This includes the two Division 1A/FBS in New England. The BC Eagles will host the Weber State Wildcats at Chestnut Hill at 1PM ET, while UConn travels to the Big House in Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines at 3:30 PM ET. Both games are on Saturday.