Halladaaay! . . . Celebraaate!

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Halladaaay! . . . Celebraaate!

The Sox series in Philadelphia doesnt start until tonight, but Bobby V. and the boys have already notched an early victory: No Roy Halladay!

The Phillies ace went eight strong in last nights win over the Cubs, and thus wont take the mound this weekend at Citizens Bank Park.

Good for the Sox? Yes, good for the Sox. Any time you dodge a meeting with a future Hall of Famer, you have to feel thankful. You have to. But on closer inspection, HOW thankful should Boston be?

First of all, Docs 3.22 ERA is impressive, and easily better than anything the Sox staff has to offer. But I was surprised to find that his 3.22 ERA actually ranks last among Philadelphias five starters.

Cliff Lee (who pitches on Sunday) leads the staff with an ERA of 1.95. Cole Hamels (who takes the mound tonight) is next at 2.28. Joe Blanton (who will go on Saturday) ranks third at 2.95. And recently DL-ed Vance Worley comes it at No. 4 at 3.07.

Then theres Roy, and his bulbous 3.22.

While were on the topic of pointlessly degrading one this generations greatest pitchers, theres this: Despite all his ridiculous success, Halladay hasnt been as dominant as youd think against the Red Sox.

He has a record of 14-15 in 39 starts against Boston compared to an 18-7 record in 38 starts against the Yankees. The Sox are one of only four teams against which he has a losing record, and there are only three teams against which he has a worse career ERA (4.39).

So, should the Sox really be thankful that they'll miss out on Roy Halladay this weekend?

In a word: YES.

But maybe not as much as you'd think.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

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Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

New York’s mistake helped the Red Sox, and they weren’t playing the Yankees.

The Red Sox struck out 20 in a game for the third time in franchise history on Thursday night, and they were able to do so only after MLB’s replay team — based in Manhattan — gave Craig Kimbrel an extra batter to strike out in the ninth inning.

A 6-2 win over the Rangers featured 16 strikeouts for Red Sox pitching heading into the top of the ninth at Fenway Park. Kimbrel came on for a non-save situation because he had five days off previously.

There’s always that outside chance for a four-strikeout inning, and it happened. Even for a four-strikeout inning, however, this was bizarre.

The first batter, lefthanded hitting Nomar Mazara, swung and missed at a back-foot breaking ball for strike 3 — a literal back-foot breaking ball, because it hit him in that foot after he whiffed on the pitch.

On a swing and a miss with a pitch that hits the batter, the ball should be dead. He should not have been able to reach first base. But the umpires didn’t catch the ball hitting Mazara, and instead saw it as a wild pitch. 

Sox manager John Farrell asked for a review and the umpires went for one, but came back empty-handed. The crew was told, erroneously, that the play could not be looked at and the batter was awarded first base.

“It was just a swinging strike three, ball that go away and he obviously reached first base,” crew chief Alfonso Marquez told pool reporter Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. “The only thing that I can tell you, and the only thing I will say is, this was a replay issue. New York will come out with a statement.”

You could say it worked out just fine. Kimbrel went on to strike out the next three, and got the Sox to 20 Ks.

Kimbrel and Tim Wakefield are the only Red Sox pitchers to fan four batters in a single inning. Wakefield did it in the ninth inning on Aug. 10, 1999. 

Kimbrel did it once before as well, when he was with the Braves on Sept. 26, 2012.

No one has struck out five in a major league inning, although Kimbrel has as good a chance as anyone.

“The guy strikes out the world,” Matt Barnes said. “It’s ridiculous. … His fastball is seemingly unhittable. Complement that with the breaking ball he’s got, which comes right off that same plane, when he’s commanding it like he is, the numbers kind of speak for themselves. It’s kind of ridiculous. It’s fun to watch.”

The Sox have struck out 20 in a nine-inning game three times since 1913. Roger Clemens' two 20-strikeout games are the other two.

Red Sox win 4th straight behind stellar outing from Pomeranz, 6-2

Red Sox win 4th straight behind stellar outing from Pomeranz, 6-2

BOSTON - Drew Pomeranz pitched six strong innings and tied his career high with 11 strikeouts to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.

Xander Bogaerts and Deven Marrero hit their first home runs of the season helping Boston to their fourth straight win.

Pomeranz (4-3) made it as far as six innings for the third time this season and beat Texas for the first time in nine career outings.

Elvis Andrus homered and Nomar Mazara had two hits and an RBI for Texas, which has lost four of five overall and has lost 15 of 21 on the road.

Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland had RBI singles in the first inning as Boston got to Rangers pitcher Nick Martinez (1-3) early.