Crawford getting closer to throwing

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Crawford getting closer to throwing

BOSTON Carl Crawford, who has been on the disabled list all season after surgery on his left wrist in mid-January and an ailing elbow, said he could be getting close to beginning to throw, which will be the big test for him.

His wrist is healthy, but it is the elbow that is holding him back. Crawford, who has been doing all baseball activities except throwing, said he could begin doing so in about 10 days.

My strength is good, he said. Im building that up. Swinging has never been the problem. The only true test is when I start back throwing. Thats how Ill know where Im at.

Manager Bobby Valentine said Crawford is beginning a program to get him ready to throw.

Its some days away but hes going to start today, Valentine said. Were going to start programming his body if we can to get ready to throw. Mechanically were going to try to get his legs and his front side and all the things that go into the proper throwing motion, try to get them mechanically in synch.

Id like his throwing program and hitting program to be supervised as much as possible, especially at the beginning and he is swinging off the tee. He went up to 60 swings yesterday. Were hoping to increase that today.

Theres a throwing mechanic that wed like to see Carl use, which I would think would be proper. Theres a turn of the body, a step of the leg, a late rotation with the upper body rather than an early rotation with the upper body and thats a kind of a movement from the body to the top, a kinetic link from the feet to the place thats being propelled so wed just like him to start getting that linkage and so well do it and kind of go through the throwing motions.

We have the time and he asked to do it. He wanted to get his legs in the proper position, his body in the proper position, so we tried to design a little program.

The throwing program is an effort to prevent Crawford from doing too much at once and suffering a setback.

At the beginning I didn't know Carl that well and I had just heard about, Valentine said. I repeated what I had heard. I talked to Carl an awful lot and I think he understands what enough is and what progress we need to see every day and hes been great with it.

In spring training, when it was believed Crawford could return in late April or early May, Valentine had said hed like to see Crawford get about 50 at-bats in rehab games. Given the length of Crawfords absence, Valentine is unsure if that number will change.

If he was leading off and got five at-bats for 10 days I think that probably is a number that could work but Im not sure, Valentine said. Hell know when hes ready.

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

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Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?