Red Sox vs Yankees series. May 31 – June 2 2013

This is the second time this year the Red Sox have seen the Yankees this year. They opened up the season in New York; winning the series 2 – 1. Coming into the series, the Red Sox split the home/home series with the Phillies. It was an awful series. The Sox had great outings by the pitchers but the offense could not help. Game 1 – Boston 1 New York 4 I had a bad feeling about this game. New York came into this game after being swept by the Mets(!) and had their ace, Sabathia on the mound. Boston had Lester, their ace, but he was coming off one of his worst outings of the year. Notes from the game – While Sabathia’s velocity has been down and he had not been his normal dominant self, we saw the old Sabathia this evening. He went 7.1 innings, 6 hits, and  10 strikeouts. It’s very hard to lose a game with those numbers! He had great control throughout. I noticed that Chris Stewart, the Yankees catcher, did not have move his glove much. Lester, on the other hand, was all over the place. He went 6.1 innings, 6 hits, and 5 strikeouts. I noticed that Lester was not getting the close strike calls and was visually upset about it.  Look at the Strikezone Plots from two of Lester’s outings this year. The first is opening day against the Yankees and the second is from this game. All graphs are from brooksbaseball.net Image ImageAs you can see, Lester was throwing more to the left hand side of the plate. It must have been an off night for Lester because his delivery did not look bad. If you noticed anything off, let me know in the comments. Highlight of the night : Pedrioa leads off the seventh inning with a double on a 0 – 1 count off of Sabathia. Ortiz hits a sacrifice to move Pedrioa to third. Napoli then doubles to bring in Pedrioa in for the Red Sox’s only run of the game. Game 2 Red Sox 11 – Yankees 1. I was so bummed I missed this game! Maybe I should skip games more? Felix Doubront was pitching and went 6 innings, 6 hits, and 1 earned run. He did walk 3 batters. Looking at the pitch/fx data, Doubront’s fastball was on point. 63.33% were strikes. 57.89% of his off speed pitches were strikes, his curve had a 21.05% whiff rate! Looking throughout his other outing, this is his highest rate for this pitch. From the boxscore, it looks like the replacement players played well. Jackie Bradley Jr went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and Jose Iglesias went 2 for 5. Iglesias has been great this season. He played earlier in the year before Ortiz came back. He was called up when Middlebrooks went on the DL with a back injury. I would like to see him replace Middlebrooks but, I doubt it will happen. Napoli hit a grand slam off of Philip Hughes in the third inning. Daniel Nava, who has been a great surprise this season, hit a three run homerun in the eighth. Here is Nava’s slashline .296/.398/.485 with an OPS+ of 134. Last year, in 88 games, his slashline was .243/.352/.390 with an OPS+ of 100. In his AAA career, his slashline was .280/.379/.438. Hopefully this means Nava has gotten over his nerves of being in the majors and does not regress for the rest of the season. Looking at his Fangraphs.com numbers, he is swinging more this season. His O-swing% is 24.0% (up from 19.6% last year), Z-swing% is 59.6% (up from 59.6%), and total swing% is 39.6% (up from 38.1%). His contact% is down as well, 83.5% vs. 84.7%. Basically, he is swing more at pitches outside of the zone, while making less contact. His babip is .326 so far this year, so he is also lucky with his batted balls. Regression candidate? Afraid so. Who has been your biggest surprise this year?

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Indians 1 Red Sox 8

John Lackey pitched a great game last night against Cleveland and came away with the W. The game’s start was delayed due to rain. The rain let up enough for the game to start but there was at least a constant mist/drizzle the entire game. Kudos to the fans at Fenway because it looked miserable. 

Lackey’s great night-

As I mentioned before, Lackey pitched a great game. He went 7 innings, struck out 8 batters and only allowed two hits. He walks were a little high than his other starts this season. His BB/9 was 3.86 which is the second highest rate this season. He also seemed to have good control. It appeared that Salty did not have to move his glove much when catching his pitches. I also noticed Cleveland was hitting many groundballs. I went to Fangraphs to verify and Lackey’s groundball rate was 85.7% during the game; easily beating his previous high of 64.3%. Koji Uehara came in the game in the eighth. He allowed one hit and that was about it. Alfredo Aceves, called up from AAA, came in the ninth and stuck out one batter. I was not pleased to see that Aceves was called up, as I am not a big fan, but he seemed to pitch well in the ninth here. I think it was a good idea to give Tazawa some rest. They should be well rested on Saturday.

Iglesias and Carp great in relief-

The Red Sox put Middlebrooks and Victorino on the 15 day DL before the start of the game. Jose Iglesias was called up from AAA and made his third base debut. It was only his second time playing the position at the professional level. I felt he did a great job last night. Salty made an error in the third trying to pick of Mark Reynolds at third. Iglesias was playing well of the bag and attempted to catch the throw but, no one could have caught that throw. Mike Carp came up big last night as he hit a three run homerun in the second, scoring Ortiz and Napoli. Ellsbury and Pedroia picked up 2 RBIs each with singles. 

I found this GIF the other day. I think I could watch it over and over! Atomic high five!

White Sox get the better of Lester and the Red Sox

Jon Lester met with the team that has his number last night, the Chicago White Sox. Going into the game he had a career ERA of 5.20. Ouch. He was also trying to be the first Boston southpaw since 1970 to go 7-0 to begin the season. You can see why I was not looking forward to this game. History proved itself and the Red Sox lost 6 – 4.

Lester made it through 6 innings, giving up 5 earned runs. Adam Dunn blasted his 11th homerun giving the White Sox a 3 run lead in the top of the first. Lester’s biggest issue was his command. While watching the game, I noticed Saltalamacchia had to move his glove an awful lot to catch his pitches at the plate. Looking at the pitchFx data confirms this.

Image(fangraphs.com and brooksbaseball.com)

Lester issued his first walk since May 5th at Texas. He gave up three walks in total during the game.

The offense for the Red Sox tried to help Lester but unfortunetly, they come up short. Saltalmacchia hit a 2 run homerun of White Sox starter David Axelrod in the third and Middlebrooks hit a 2 RBI double in the seventh to score Ortiz and Napoli. During Ellsbury’s first night off last night he did not fins his bat, as he went 0 for 4 in the game. Pedroia kept his hitting streak alive at 13 games as he went 1 for 4. Victorino left in the sixth inning with a hamstring strain. Victorino was quoted after the game saying he is frustrated with his injurys as of late but this strain appears to be mild. When the Red Sox signed Victorino during the off season, I was not happy. It seemed to be too much money and years for older player. However, I have been impressed with what I have seen so far! Some of his plays in the outfield has been great to see. I will overlook the horrible throw he made to “first” during the game. 

 

 

Observations from Red Sox/Twins game May 19, 2013

As I wait for the Red Sox/Twins game to be called, I thought I would begin a blog with my thoughts on the Red Sox season. I have recently begun to study the game of baseball. I have always enjoyed the game but ever since I have found baseball-reference.com, I have found a new obsession. This blog will be about my thoughts on the Red Sox 2013 going forward. 

Thoughts from May 18,  2013: Red Sox 12 Twins 5

Dempster v Diamond. The last time the Sox saw Diamond was on May 7th at Fenway. He went seven innings and only allowed 3 hits. Dempster also went seven innings but allowed five hits. Luckily for the Sox, Diamond was not pitching as well today. He went 4.1 innings while allowing 8 hits and 6 earned runs. Dempster did not fare well either as he managed to go 4.2 innings, allowing 8 hits and 5 earned runs. I was not impressed with the Dempster outing. His K/9 3.86 and BB/9 11.57. This was by far his worst outing of the year. 

David Ortiz came in big for the Red Sox. He went 3 for 4, 2 HR and 6 RBIs. I wonder what the Twins ownership thinks about trading Ortiz to the Boston back in 2003. 

Daniel Nava also had a great game by going 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs

Craig Breslow came in the sixth inning and came away with the W. He faced six batters and only allowed one hit. He pitch 18 balls and 9 of them were strikes. 

It’s been a long while!

My goodness! How fast the time does fly. Since I have last left you guys, I have a new job, new car and I am currently studying my life away for the CPA exam! Let’s start with the new job…

When I graduated this past May, I left with no jobs offers and was desperate to find anything so I wouldn’t be at home all day. I found a job in my hometown that wasn’t what I went to school for but would pay those pesky things called bills. I worked there until I received a phone call from the place where I did an internship over the summer before senior year. They said that they had a job opening and would love for me to come back! I was so excited. I loved working there and loved the people. I had an “interview” (seriously it only lasted 10 minutes!) and then the next day they officially offered me the job. I put in my three weeks notice and was outta there! Or so I thought. On my last day, my old job offered me a part time job there to help them out on nights and weekends and stupid me, I accepted. I say stupid me because now I work 40 hours at my current job, 15 hours at my old job and the rest of the time I am studying for the CPA exam. It is very tough to accomplish it all but I take the Auditing part at the beginning of April and then will have a break for about a month or so.

Now what about this new car? My poor ol’ Saturn died on me at the worst possible time in December. I was driving in the city with my boyfriend and we were going to see Trans Siberian Orchestra. I was so excited because I had never seen them before. Well, we got lost and I was pulled over for running a red light that I swear was never there! While been scolded by the police, my car started to get really really hot and there was steam coming from the hood. Come to find out that my thermostat was not working and I cracked the engine block. Now, I am the proud owner of a Hyundai Elantra. I’m in love with that car! So small and roomy at the same time! If you ever need a new car, I would recomend checking out a Hyundai.

My Auditing exam is scheduled for April 8th and I am very nervous. I am using a CPA review course and it is really helping me. I just hope that I am learning the information and not just learning the answers to the practice problems!

Takin’ a detour here..

I really want this blog to be a cooking/healthy living blog but I have to tell you about this fabulous weekend I had!

On Saturday, I went to the Meadow Highland Games and Celtic Fair. This was my first Celtic festival so, needless to say, I was very excited. In the past, the festival was held at Richmond International Raceway, but it has moved to Meadow Event Park. They also moved the State Fair of Virginia here and I haven’t been to the fair since it moved it there. I loved the new digs! Parking was across the road from the park but they build tunnels (way to plan ahead guys!) so we could get to the park without having to deal with the traffic. The grounds was also nice. My boyfriend even pointed out the great plants they planted! It actually looked like someone had planned what to plant, instead of just putting random plants around.

The festival was awesome! There were large men throwing stuff, great bagpipe music and crafts. They also had beer and whisky tastings. (Random fact: whisky and whiskey are two different things! I totally didn’t know that.)

Sunday- Nothing to special here. I went for a 6 mile run, helped my aunt set up her email and iPod/iTunes account and watched a little bit of racing

Monday- The best day of the all!

After a very blah day at work, I met up with the boyfriend and went to see…

METRIC!

Seriously one of my favorite bands of all time!

They are on tour now with Muse and I really wanted to catch one of the shows but the closest they were getting to me was Charlottesville, which isn’t to bad, but it was on a Wednesday night.

However, about a month ago, Metric added some solo dates and they actually came to Richmond! No one comes to Richmond!

Check out this set list!

  1. Black Sheep
  2. Satellite Mind
  3. Hustle Rose
  4. Poster of A Girl
  5. Help I’m Alive
  6. Twilight Galaxy
  7. Empty
  8. Gold Guns Girls
  9. Gimme Sympathy
  10. Sick Muse
  11. Dead Disco
  12. Stadium Love
  13. Monster Hospital
  14. Combat Baby

Emily Haines is definelty the entertainer! She was dancing/moving around the stage the whole time. James Shaw was amazing on guitar. Joules Scott-Key and Josh Winstead were killing it on drums and bass guitar! I loved LOVED the show. The crowd was into it too! There was a lot of people dancing and singing along. My favorite song last night was Combat Baby. It was just Emily and James and there was a lot of audience participation. Freaking amazing show!

Braised Lentils

I tried a new recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. I’m in love with this cookbook. It’s very informative and it has many recipes and variations to them.

After coming home from a run around Bryan Park, I was starving. I knew I had some lentil in the pantry that needed to be used. So I went to the vegetarian source and looked for a quick and easy recipe that included lentils.

I sautéed some onion in a little bit of olive oil until they were starting to caramelize. Then, I threw in some minced garlic and waited for them to get a little bit of color in them. Then I added 2 cups of veggie broth and 1 cup of brown lentils. I also added cumin (my favorite spice) and some red pepper. The recipe called for paprika but, surprisingly we were out of it! I didn’t miss it though. I let the lentils simmer for about 40 minutes or so. I also check on them every once in a while to make sure I didn’t need to add some more broth. (I ended up needing to add a splash toward the end)

This dish was amazing. I loved how simple yet delicious it was. I even had enough left over for two lunches! Score! I forgot to take a picture of it 😦 Sorry