Thursday, August 28th
Cristian Guzman
went 4 for 5 en route to the Cycle with 2 Runs and 3 RBI. Elijah Dukes went 2 for 3 with 3 Runs, a HR, 4 RBI, a Walk, and a SB.  Ty Wiggington hit a pair of solo HRs.  Aramis Ramirez hit a Grand Slam.  Derek Jeter, Ryan Zimmerman, Willy Aybar, Chase Utley, and Torii Hunter each had 3 Hits.  Jason Giambi, Milton Bradley, Juan Rivera, and Brian McCann each had 3 RBI.

Edwin Jackson gave up 1 Run in 7 Innings to improvet o 11-8 with a 3.81 ERA.  Brandon Backe gave up 2 Runs in 6-2/3 Innings with 6 Ks to improve to 9-12.  Charlie Morton gave up 2 Runs on 4 Hits to improve to 4-8.   John “She Loves You” Lannan gave up 2 Runs on 4 Hits in 6 Innings to improve to 8-12 with a 3.92 ERA.  Brandon McCarthey (6 Innings, 1 Earned Run), Dana Eveland (7 Innings, 2 Runs, 5 Hits), Cole Hamels (7 Innings, 1 Run, 5 Hits, 6 Ks), Jon Lester (6-2/3 Innings, 1 Run on 5 Hits, 8 Ks) and Mike Mussina (7 Innings, 2 Runs on 5 Hits, 6 Ks) pitched well, but got no-decisions.  Aaron Harrang gave up 3 Runs in 7 Innings with 9 Ks, but lost.

Fantasy Baseball Generals asked me to provide the top five stories of the Red Sox season.  Without further ado, here are my top five stories.

1.  Manny Ramirez -  How could anything be bigger?  I suppose if we waited until the end of the year and had the same outcome as the last time they traded a superstar (Nomar), it would be bigger, but Manny was the story this year.  Manny being Manny got old.  Sure, he can mash with the best of them, but when he starting shoving personnel around and not giving it all, he had to go.  It’s hard to part ways with the #5 HR hitter, #6 RBI producer, and #9 Batting Average holder in team history despite only playing in 1083 games for the Sox.  In the end the petulant star wore out his welcome.  So far so good for his replacement Jason Bay.  After 23 games he’s hitting .347 with 22 Runs, 10 extra-base Hits, and 24 RBI

2.  Chasing the Rays - I know, this isn’t exactly a Red Sox story as much as it’s a Rays story, but you cannot mention the Red Sox season to date and overlook the Tampa Bay Rays.  I didn’t imagine the Red Sox not being in first place for the majority of the season.  However, if I had two guesses as who would unseat the defending AL East Champs, I would have guessed New York and then Toronto.  By no means did I envision a Worst-to-First run for the Rays.  The Red Sox still have 30 games remaining and are sitting at 3.5 back so I’m not ready to hand over the division title just yet, but for Tampa to take First Place into September is impressive.  Even though I am a Red Sox fan, I am happy for baseball for this surprise.

3. Injuries – Papi, Lowell, Drew, Beckett, Dice-K…the list goes on.  Every team deals with injuries, but this year it seems the Red Sox have been asked to swallow more than in years past.  What amazes me is the Red Sox sit with the fourth best record in baseball despite sub-par seasons from Big Papi (.267, 17 HR, 65) and Josh Beckett (11-9, 4.34 ERA).  When you consider the Red Sox two best offensive forces have either missed 50 games or have been traded and their top Pitcher has been highly ineffective, you have to have admiration for the rest of the Red Sox scrappers.

4.  Youth is Served – The Red Sox avoided the temptation of depleting their farm system to acquire Johan Santana to start the season.  Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make.  Jon Lester has rewarded them with a 12-5, 3.49 performance to date.  They have also got strong play from SS/3B Jed Lowrie.  He’s hitting .299 with 19 Runs, 16 Doubles, and 32 RBI in 53 games.  Defending Rookie of the Year Dustin Pedroia has avoided the Sophomore Slump by hitting .316 with 101 Runs, 173 Hits, 40 Doubles, and 68 RBI.  Jacoby Ellsbury isn’t hitting a strong clip at .262, but he’s scored 74 Runs and terrorized the basepaths to the tune of 41 Stolen Bases. 

5.  Tito – I would be remiss to discuss the 2008 Red Sox and not mention Terry Francona.  The skipper has not only guided the Red Sox through the injuries and distractions to one of the best records in baseball, but he has displayed some amazing class along the way.  The way he handled the All Star Game in Yankee Stadium was a perfect example of that class.  He treated the stadium, the fans, and the players with the dignity that comes with sharing the same Pinstripes as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and countless others.  He let Derek Jeter hit in his customary #2 spot.  He made a defensive switch for A-Rod so he could receive a standing ovation (where was that this week).  He saved Mariano Rivera for his Closer.  The moves he made just oozed class. 

There you have it.  For the top stories for the rest of MLB, swing over to Fantasy Baseball Generals.

Saturday, August 2nd
Kevin Youkilis
hit a pair of HRs and drove in 4 Runs.  Prince Fielder and Matt Holliday each hit a pair of HRs and had 3 RBI.  Ryan Doumit, Reed Johnson, Mike Aviles, Esteban German (3 RBI), Billy Butler, Miguel Olivo, Ross Gload, Jose Molina (3 Runs), Miguel Cabrera, Jason Bartlett, Evan Longoria (3 RBI), David Dellucci, Austin Kearns, Alberto Gonzalez, and Adam Jones each had 3 Hits.  Jason Bay, Joey Votto, John Baker, and Jed Lowrie each had 3 RBI.  Lastings Milledge scored 3 Runs.

Barry Zito tossed 8 scoreless 3-Hit Innings with 5 Ks to improve to 6-13.  Jeremy Guthrie threw a Complete Game allowing 1 Run on 4 Hits to improve to 8-8 with a 3.35 ERA,  C.C. Sabathia gave up 2 Runs on 6 Hits in 8-1/3 Innings with 9 Ks to improve to 5-0 with a 1.87 ERA with Milwaukee.  Charlie Morton gave up 2 Runs on 4 Hits in 7 Innings, but took the loss.  Ted Lilly gave up 1 Run in 6-1/3 Innings with 5 Ks to improve to 11-6.  Mike Mussina gave up 1 Earned Run on 2 Hits in 7 Innings with 5 Ks to improve to 14-7 with a 3.44 ERA.  Andy Sonnanstine gave up 2 Runs in 6 Innings with 6 Ks to improve to 11-6.  Jon Lester gave up 2 Runs in 7 Innings with 5 Ks to improve to 10-3 with a 3.14 ERA.  Paul “Free as a” Byrd gave up 1 Run in 7 Innings to improve to 6-10.  Ricky Nolasco gave up 3 Runs in 8 Innings with 13 Ks to improve to 11-6 with a 3.691 ERA.  Joe Blanton gave up 1 Run on 4 Hits in 7 Innings to win his first game with the Phillies (6-12 overall).  Braden Looper gave up 2 Runs on 3 Hits, but took the Loss.  Jake Peavy gave up 1 Run on 5 hits with 7 Ks in 7 Innings, but took the Loss.  Johan Santana gave up 1 Run on 3 Hits in 6-1/3 Innings, but got a no-decision.  Hiroki Kuroda gave up 1 Run on 4 Hits in 7-1/3 Innings with 6 Ks to improve to 6-8.

Monday, July 21st
Miguel Cabrera
went 5 for 6 with 2 Runs, 2 Doubles, and 6 RBI.  Matt Joyce went 4 for 6 with 3 Runs, a Triple, a HR, and 5 RBI.   James Loney went 3 for 6 with 2 Runs, a Triple, and 5 RBI.  Troy Tulowitzki went 5 for 5.  J.J. Hardy and Jason Bay each had 4 Hits.  Curtis Granderson went 3 for 5 with 4 Runs.  Carlos Guillen went 3 for 4 with 5 Runs, 2 RBI, and 2 Walks.  Freddy Sanchez went 3 for 6 with 2 Runs, a HR, and 4 RBI.  Bill Hall, Jason Kendall, Alexi Casilla, Denard Span, Jose Molina, Edgar Gonzalez, Nate McLouth, Xavier  Nady, Kazuo Matsui, Russell Martin (3 Runs), Jeff Kent (3 Runs), Matt Holliday (3 RBI), Brad Hawpe (3 RBI), Ian Stewart, Manny Ramirez, and Howie Kendrick each had 3 Hits.  Richie Weeks, A-Rod, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Josh Hamilton, and Gary Sheffield each had 3 RBI.

Scott Kazmir gave up 2 Hits in 7 scoreless Innings with 9 Ks to improve to 8-5 with a 2.80 ERA.  Jorge Campillo gave up 2 Hits in 7 scoreless Inningswith 6 Ks to improve to 5-4 with a 2.83 ERA.  Randy Johnson also gave up 2 Hits in 7 scoreless Innings to improve to 7-7.  Rich Harden gave up 1 Run on 1 Hits in 7 Innings with 10 Ks, but took the Loss.  Jon Lester struck out 6 in 7-1/3 scoreless Innings to improve to 8-3 with a 3.20 ERA.  Scott Feldman gave up 1 Run on 4 Hits in 6 Innings to improve to 4-3.  Javier Vazquez gave up 3 Runs on 4 Hits in 7 Innings with 10 Ks, but took the Loss.  Zach Miner gave up 3  Hits in 6 scoreless Innings to improve to 4-3 with a 3.73 ERA.

I am going out of town today so I won’t be able to post the July 5th and 6th editions of the FBPoD.  Enjoy the holiday everyone!

Thursday, July 3rd
Aubrey Huff
cracked 2 HRs and drove in 3 Runs.  J.J. Hardy, Matt Joyce, and Mark Grudzielanek each had 4 Hits.  Jeff Baker had 4 RBI.  Corey Hart, Ichiro Suzuki, Jose Lopez, Pedro Feliz, Brandon Phillips (3 RBI), and Cody Ross each had 3 Hits.  Chad Tracy, Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, Ivan Rodriguez, and Jose Guillen each had 3 RBI.

Jon Lester threw a five-hit Complete Game Shutout to improve to 7-3 with a 3.21 ERA.  Cole Hamels gave up 1 Run on 5 Hits in 8-2/3 Innigs with 7 Ks to improve to 9-5 with a 3.22 ERA.  Manny Parra tossed 6 scoreless Innings, but took a no-decision.  Johnny Cueto gave up 3 Runs in 7 Innings with 8 Ks to improve to 7-8.  Chad Billingsley gave up 2 unearned Runs in 8 Innings to improve to 8-7 with a 3.12 ERA.  Mark Redman gave up 2 Runs in a 6 Inning no-decision.  Justin Duchscherer gave up 2 Runs in 7 Innings to improve to 9-5 with a 1.96 ERA.  Javier Vazquez pitched a Complete Game giving up 3 Runs on 4 Hits with 10 Ks, but took the Loss.  Mike Pelfrey gave up 1 Run in Inniings to improve to 6-6.  Justin Verlander gave up 2 Runs in 6 Innings to improve to 5-9.

Sunday, June 22nd
Mark Teixeira
hit 3 HRs and drove in 4 Runs.  Aaron Miles had 5 Hits.  Prince Fielder scored 3 Runs and added a Double, 2 HRs, and 3 RBI.  Kevin Youkilis hit a pair of HRs and drove in 3 Runs.  Randy Winn had 4 Hits and 3 RBI.  Dustin Pedroia had 4 Hits.  Joe Inglett, Conor Jackson, Jody Gerut, Jason Giambi, Fred Lewis, John Bowker (3 RBI), Mark Ellis, Adam Kennedy, Mike Lowell, and Juan Pierre each had 3 Hits.  Mike Aviles and Magglio Ordonez each had 3 RBI.  Marco Scutaro, Eric Patterson, and Ray Durham each scored 3 Runs.

Tim Hudson gave up 4 Hits in 7 scoreless Innings to improve to 8-5 with a 2.96 ERA.  John “Blackbird” Lannan gave up 2 Runs on 4 Hits with 6 Ks in a 6 Inning no-decision.  Livan Hernandez gave up 1 Earned Run in 7 Innings to improve to 8-4.  Andy Pettitte gave up 4 Hits in 6 scoreless Innings as he improved to 8-5.  Brandon Backe gave up 2 Runs in 6-2/3 Innings to improve to 5-8.   Justin Duchscherer gave up 1 Run in 7-2/3 Innings to improve to 8-4 with a 1.99 ERA.  Jon Lester (7-1/3 Innings, 2 Runs) and Joel Pinero (7 Innings, 2 Runs) battled to no-decisions.  Justin Verlander gave up 2 Runs in 5-1/3 Innings with 10 Ks to improve to 4-9.  Randy Wolf gave up 2 Earned Runs in 6 Innings with 10 Ks, but took the Loss.  Ryan Dempster scattered 10 Hits in 8 Innings allowing 1 Run to improve to 9-2 with a 2.63 ERA.

Tuesday, June 17th
Mark Ellis
went 3 for 4 with 4 Runs, a Double, 2 HRs, 4 RBI, and 2 Walks.  Ryan Braun went 3 for 4 with 3 Runs, a Double, 2 HRs, and 3 RBI.  Jason Giambi hit 2 HRs and had 3 RBI.  Kazuo Matsui, Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye, Rajai Davis, and Brian McCann each had 3 RBI.  Jeff Kent, Orlando Cabrera (3 RBI), A.J. Pierzynski, Johnny Peralta, Matt Holliday, Omar Quintanilla, Ryan Sweeney (4 Runs), Bobby Crosby, Adrian Beltre, Raul Ibanez, and Nick Swisher (3 Runs) each had 3 Hits. 

Manny Parra gave up 4 Runs in 7 Innings with 5 Ks to improve to 6-2.  Andy Pettitte gave up 5 Hits in 7 scoreless Innings with 9 Ks to improve to 7-5.  Jon Lester gave up 6 Hits in 7 scoreless Innings with 5 Ks to improve to 6-3 with a 3.18 ERA.  Chad Billingsley gave up 1 Run on 5 Hits in 6-1/3 Innings with 9 Ks to improve to 5-7 with a 3.54 ERA.  Johnny Cueto gave up 2 Runs on 5 Hits in 7 Innings, but took the Loss.  Vicente Padila gave up 1 Earned Run in 6 Innings to improve to 9-3 with a 3.73 ERA.  “And I shall be” Livan Hernandez gave up 1 Run on 5 Hits to improve to 7-4.  He beat John “Strawberry Fields Forever” Lannan, who allowed 2 Runs on 5 Hits in 7 Innings.  Kyle Davies gave up 1 Run on 5 Hits in 7 Innings to improve to 3-0 witha  1.46 ERA to beat Joel Pineiro (no decision, 7 Innings, 1 Run).  Justin Duchscherer gave up 1 Run on 5 Hits with 6 Ks in 8 Innings to improve to 7-4 with a 2.08 ERA.  John Lackey gave up 1 Run in 7-2/3 Innings with 7 Ks to improve to 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA.  Felix Hernandez gave u 3 Earned Runs in 7-1/3 Innings with 9 Ks to improve to 6-5 with a 2.87 ERA.  Kenny Rogers gave up 1 Run on 5 Hits in 7 Innings to improve to 5-4.  Jonathan Sanchez gave up 3 Runs in 7 Innings with 8 Ks, but took the Loss.

Thursday, June 5th
Old Man Matt Stairs went 3 for 5 with 2 Runs, a HR, and 5 RBI.  Manny Ramirez went 2 for 3 with a Run, a HR, and 5 RBI.  Elijah Dukes went 4 for 6 with 3 Runs, a Triple, a HR, and 4 RBI.  Chipper Jones went 4 for 5.  Cristian Guzman went 4 for 5 with 3 Runs.  Dan Uggla, Alexi Casilla, Mike Redmonds, Aaron Boone, Kory Casto, Michael Young, Milton Bradley, Tadahito Iguchi, and Ryan Theriot each had 3 Hits.  Jason Michaels, Mark Worrell, and Ramon Vazquez each had 3 RBI.  Joe Mather scored 3 Runs.  Jeff Kent hit a pair of HRs.

Cole Hamels tossed a Complete Game three-hit Shutout to improve to 6-4 with a 3.36 ERA.  Garrett Olson went 6-1/3 Innings allowing 2 Runs to improve to 5-1 with a 3.86 ERA.    Todd Wellemeyer pitched six scoreless Innings allowing 5 Hits with 5 Ks to improve to 7-1 with a 2.92 ERA.  He beat John “Can’t Buy Me Love” Lannan, who gave up 2 Runs on 4 Hits in 6 Innings.  Jon Lester gave up 1 Run in 6-1/3 Innings with 5 Ks to improve to 4-3 with a 3.50 ERA.  Paul Maholm went 8 Innings allowing 2 Runs to improve to 4-5.  Jose Contreras gave up 1 Run on 4 Hits in 7 Innings to improve to 6-3 with a 2.76 ERA.  Josh Banks (6 Innings, 5 Hits, 1 Run – his ERA sits at 0.39) and Mike Pelfrey (6 Innings, 1 Run) took no-decisions in their pitchers’ duel.

Monday, May 19th
Frank Thomas went 3 fof 4 with 2 Runs, 2 HRs, and 3 RBI.  Albert Pujols went 3 for 5 with 3 Runs, 2 HRs, and 2 RBI.  Brandon Phillips went 4 for 5 with 2 Runs, a Triple, an RBI, and a SB.  Matt Kemp also had 4 Hits.  Aramis Ramirez was 3 for 5 with 2 Runs, a HR, and 2 RBI.  Cristian Guzman had 3 Runs to go along with his 3 Hits.  Geovany Soto and Alexi Casilla each had 3 RBI.  Frank Catalanotto went 3 for 5 with a pair of Doubles.  Brendan Harris went 3 for 5.  Randy Winn was 2 for 3 with 2 Runs, a HR, 2 RBI, and a SB.  Fred Lewis hit a pair of Triples.  Adam Dunn homered again while driving in 3 Runs.  Evan Longoria went 3 for 6 with a Run, a Double, a HR, 3 RBI, and a SB.  Ryan Ludwick went 3 for 4 with 2 Runs, a Double, a HR, and 3 RBI.


My imaginary brother Jon Lester was the biggest star on Monday throwing a No-Hitter.  He walked 2 and struck out 9 to improve to 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA.  Tim Redding tossed 6-1/3 scoreless Innings to improve to 6-3 with a 3.16 ERA.  Todd Wellemeyer gave up 2 Runs in 6 Innings  to run his record to 5-1 with a 3.25 ERA. 

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

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