Sunday, August 7, 2011

Extra Helping of Sports Chowdah for Aug 7th- Chronicles of Reddick; Westmoreland Making Strides; Poker in the Rear

RED SOX: After dropping Friday night's series opener, the Red Sox set up a Sunday night rubber game after winning Saturday afternoon's affair by a 10-4 final.

Sunday night's nationally televised game on ESPN featured Josh Beckett starting against Freddy Garcia. As with most Yankees/Red Sox games, this served as a reminder to those being introduced to the sport of baseball that the game has no clock.

The Red Sox seemed to be getting to Garcia early, but were only able to push a solitary run across the plate after loading up the bases with nobody out. Marco Scutaro was able to drive in a run on a single, but after taking the 1-0 lead Boston would do no further damage against Garcia.

The Yankees got the equalizer on an Eduardo Nunez solo homer hit into the Monster seats in the top of the 5th and Beckett left after 6 innings with the game knotted up at 1-1. From there the Bronx Bombers took a 2-1 lead when Matt Albers served up a solo homer to outfielder Brett Gardner.

However, the Sox bats were able to get to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the 9th. Shortstop Marco Scutaro led off the bottom of the 9th with a double before moving over to 3rd base on Jacoby Ellsbury's sac bunt. Dustin Pedroia flew out to left center, but it was deep enough to bring home Scutaro and tie the game up at 2-2 and send it to extras.

Daniel Bard had a 1-2-3 top of the tenth to keep it a tie game. The bottom of the 10th saw Phil Hughes relieve Rivera. Although Hughes managed to get Youkilis to pop up to lead off the inning, David Ortiz hit a ground-rule double to put the go ahead in scoring position. Darnell McDonald was sent in to pinch run for Big Papi. After intentionally walking Carl Crawford to get to OF Josh Reddick. The rookie made Hughes pay with a walkoff RBI single that plated McDonald, giving Boston the belated win in dramatic fashion.

Despite the Yankees briefly jumping out to sole possession of 1st place with their Friday night victory, Boston wins the weekend series against the Yankees two games to one, giving them sole possession of 1st place in the AL East as of Sunday Night Monday Morning.

The Red Sox hit the road Monday night and head to the Twin Cities to take on the Twins for Monday night. In search of career win #200, starter Tim Wakefield (6-4; 4.99 ERA) goes up against Scott Baker (8-6; 3.01 ERA). The game will be televised nationally on ESPN and gets underway at 7:10 PM ET.

OTHER RED SOX NEWS: Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland has been making steady progress in his rehabilitation a year after surgery to remove a cavernous malformation in his brain stem. After some depth perception problems, Westmoreland was practicing hitting against soft toss and a pitching machine. Now, the organization feels his condition has improved enough to the point where he can face live pitching.

Facing a live pitcher would represent the biggest step this far in Westmoreland's rehab. No specific precautions are being taken with Westmoreland that aren't already in place for any other player.

As for fielding, Westmoreland has been taking full-length fly balls along with other Red Sox draftees at the team's facility in Ft. Meyers. Both the organization and Westmoreland say they're pleased with the progress thus far, but have not put an exact timetable for when he's expected to fully return to playing condtions

OTHER MLB NEWS: Noticeably absent from the weekend series was Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez who was recovering from surgery on his right knee. Of course, the knee reportedly isn't his only problem- reports are circulating that the big money infielder has been participating in an illegal poker ring.

However even if it can be conclusively proven that ARod participated in illicit poker games, unnamed league sources said that it's unlikely Rodriguez would face any fines or suspensions.

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