Monbouquette excited to watch Weiland's debut

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Monbouquette excited to watch Weiland's debut

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON -- Bill Monbouquette, the native of Medford, Mass., who threw a no-hitter for the Red Sox against the White Sox in 1962, was at Fenway Park Sunday morning before the Red Sox first-half finale against the Orioles. Monbo and several other former Sox players were there as part of the teams Alumni Day celebration.

Monboquette, who turns 75 on Aug. 11, pitched for four teams the Sox, Yankees, Tigers, and Giants in his 11- season career, compiling a record of 114-112, with a 3.68 ERA. He was happy to report the stem cell transplant which he underwent almost three years ago has worked to combat the acute myelogenous leukemia he had been battling.

On Sunday, he was looking forward to watching right-hander Kyle Weiland make his major league debut for the Sox.

Im sure hes very, very excited, very nervous, Monbouquette said. But after the first pitch itll be like hes pitching any other time. Thats the way I was.

Monbouquette reflected on his own big league debut July 18, 1958, with the Sox facing the Tigers. He went five innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Monbo wasnt involved in the decision as the Sox won, 11-9, at Fenway Park. But he quickly established his hard-nosed, no-nonsense reputation.

Billy Martin stole home on me that night, Monbouquette said. And the next time up, I flipped him. I really flipped him good. In those days there were no helmets. All I saw was his hat came off and the ball went between his hat and his head. Then the next pitch he popped up and he came running right across the mound, which is a no-no. Well, my glove was loose and I had my fist cocked. And he said he to me, Well, you owed me that, rook. And then I end up being his pitching coach in New York, and I wouldnt wish that on anybody. He was a tough guy to coach for.

But in that first game, they got four or five runs off me. We made two or three errors. Lepcio made a big error.

Of course, infielder Ted Lepcio, who turns 82 on July 28, did not make an error in that game. He just happened to enter the conversation just in time to hear Monbouquette using his name in vain. One ballplayer giving another ballplayer some good-natured grief.

Nice to see some things never change.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Quotes, notes and stars: Swihart flashes power and speed

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Quotes, notes and stars: Swihart flashes power and speed

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 10-3 win over the Colorado Rockies:

 

QUOTES

"I felt a little cramp. I'm fine. I appreciate John and everybody looking out (for me). We obviously don't want anything to happen like last year, but I'm good.'' - Dustin Pedroia, who left the game in the fifth after experiencing some tightness in his right hamstring.

"It's nice to be able to get deep into the game. That's my goal every time. My goal is nine innings, so if I don't get nine innings, I'm a little disappointed because I want to be able to go out there and pitch as many innings as I can.'' - Steven Wright.

"I think my release point was just a little off. That definitely makes it hard, especially when it's moving, because it's not a consistent release point.'' - Wright on the early-inning unpredictability of his signature pitch.

"Even when I was catching, I pride myself on running. I want to be an athlete back there. I want to run the bases, steal bases, things most catchers aren't known to do.'' - Blake Swihart, who hit two triples.

 

NOTES

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 29 games.

* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 18 games.

* David Ortiz tied Paul Molitor for 12th on the all-time doubles list with 605.

* Ortiz has driven in multiple runs in three straight games

* Dustin Pedroia has a career batting average of .340 in interleague play, the highest ever for someone with 500 or more at-bats.

* Travis Shaw drove in three runs and now has 68 RBI in his first 111 games since Fred Lynn and Jim Rice in 1974-75.

* Blake Swihart became the third Red Sox hitter this season to post two triples in the same game.

* The Red Sox clinched their fifth straight home series win.

* The Sox are 21-8 since April 24 and are 13-2 in their last 15 home games.

 

STARS

1) Steven Wright

Backed by some rare run support, Wright evened his record at 4-4 with seven-plus innings and his eighth quality start this season.

2) Travis Shaw

Shaw produced two hits and knocked in three runs, making him the fourth Red Sox player this season to reach 30 RBI.

3) Blake Swihart

Swihart got to flash both his power and his speed by hitting two triples to the triangle, motoring around the bases.

 

First impressions from Red Sox' 10-3 win over Rockies

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First impressions from Red Sox' 10-3 win over Rockies

BOSTON- First impressions from the Red Sox' 10-3 win over Colorado:

 

Steven Wright is the very picture of consistency.

In nine starts this season, Wright has pitched at least six innings and allowed two earned runs or fewer eight times. In the one start in which he failed to do so, he was pitching in a mini-monsoon and unable to properly grip his signature pitch.

On Wednesday, he battled some early-inning wildness with the knuckler, resulting in two wild pitches and four passed balls, but eventually settled down.

His 4-4 mark hardly represents how well he's pitched. A more telling stat is the 60 2/3 innings he's pitched in nine outings, just shy of seven per game.

 

It could be a costly night for injuries.

Ryan Hanigan left the game after 2 1/2 innings because of illness. Dustin Pedroia came out in the fifth as a precaution after experiencing some tightness in his right hamstring. And Xander Bogaerts jammed his thumb in the eighth.

Let's assume that Hanigan's illness is a temporary thing, and since Bogaerts remained in the game, that, too, seemed minor.

But the Pedroia hamstring is potentially a red flag, since it was that same hamstring that sidelined him for almost half of last season.

 

For the past 19 home games, the Red Sox have averaged more than eight runs per game.

Nineteen games isn't exactly a small sample size. In fact, it's almost exactly one-quarter of the home schedule. To average more than eight runs per game over that long a stretch, covering parts of three different homestands, is pretty remarkable.

 

Blake Swihart's speed is something else.

Swihart hit two triples to the triangle Wednesday night, and on the second, to see him shift into higher gear as he approached second base was really something to see.

It's difficult to think of another catcher -- and yes, I understand that Swihart has been playing left field exclusively of late; but he remains primarily a catcher -- who ran as well as Swihart does.

When the Sox and other independent evaluators remark about Swihart's athleticism, that's one of the things to which they're referring.