Notes: Drew (finger) may miss a week


Notes: Drew (finger) may miss a week

By Maureen Mullen Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON J. D. Drew, on the disabled list since July 20 with a left shoulder impingement, was back with the Red Sox before the series finale against the Yankees Thursday at Fenway Park. Drew had been scheduled for a two-game rehab with Triple-A Pawtucket, but the second game was scratched after Drew injured his right middle finger in his first game with the PawSox on Tuesday.

I came up for my second at-bat and a guy threw me a fastball middle-in and I just fouled it off, Drew said. My bottom hand slipped off the bat and it just jammed my finger against the nob of the bat and kind of bent it back and sprained it pretty good . . . It was one of those things were very rarely does your bottom hand slip off the bat. My fingers caught the nob and really torqued it pretty good.

So I felt it, came out of the box, stood around for 30 seconds, finished the at-bat -- finished two more at-bats and got a couple of hits. Thought I was all right, but woke up in the middle of the night, had it really wrapped up and it was really pounding. Went in yesterday and tried to take some dry swings and it was really painful, so I flew back last night saw the doctors, took some X-rays, moved it around a little bit.

"It's a day-to-day thing. I think it's going to be a little longer than a few days but hopefully once it calms down the swelling gets out of there, we can make some progress.

Drew had been expected to be activated today. But now thinks he will need about another week.

I'm hoping that's all it is, He said. But realistically it's a matter of when I start swinging and I don't really feel it and when I don't tax it in that area, that's when I get to go back to taking full hacks and getting ready to play again. Hopefully, four to five days from now we'll have a better idea of where we're at.

His shoulder, though, is healthy.

I felt really good, he said. My shoulder, strength-wise is really good and we've done a lot of work to get the strength to where I wanted it, so I was really feeling good there, having some nice rounds of batting practice, running well, felt good defensively.

"It's just one of them fluke things that pops up in this situation. I honestly didn't think it was going to be as bad with the finger. It hurt really bad when I did it, but I didn't think it was that extensive of an injury. Then you wake up in the middle of the night and the thing is killing you. Unfortunately it's my bottom hand. If it was my top hand, it might be a little bit different, but being the bottom hand is the power hand and the hand that has to stay on the bat, so we got to make a determination. If I got up there and try to swing right now -- as painful as it is, and as loose as that ligament is -- you really jeopardize really tearing it. Just need some healing time, really is all it's got to have.

Sox pitchers threw a total of 203 pitches in the game. At 4 hours and 21 minutes, it was the longest nine-inning game of the season for the Sox, and the longest since a 4:21 game on April 25, 2009, against the Yankees.

Jon Lesters 43 pitches in the first inning are a first-inning career high for him. His previous was 34 on Sept. 1, 2010, in Baltimore. It is the third time in his career he has thrown 40 or more pitches in an inning with second innings on Aug. 18, 2006, against the Yankees (41 pitches), and June 27, 2006, against the Mets (40).

This was the Sox' first series loss to the Yankees since losing two of three last August, in New York. The Sox have an 11-4 series lead this season.

The Sox failed to win or split a series for just the third time in 17 series since July 1.

David Ortizs second-inning single extended his season-high hit streak to 15 games. It is his longest streak with the Sox and the second-longest of his career since a 19-game streak in 2002 with the Twins. In his current streak he is batting .500 (28-for-56) with seven doubles, seven home runs, 16 RBI, and nine walks.

Dustin Pedroias fourth-inning two-run homer was his 18th of the season, a new career high, and the most by a Sox second baseman since Felix Mantilla's 18 in 1965.

Felix Doubront is the first of the September call-ups. He will be working out of the bullpen and was available Thursday night. He made three relief appearances for the Sox in April, spanning 2 23 innings, posting a 6.75 ERA. He has made 18 appearances, 16 starts, for the PawSox, going 2-5 with a 4.22 ERA. His last two outings were in relief. His season has been interrupted by several injuries including a hamstring strain and a groin strain.

Its been a little bit disjointed, manager Terry Francona said of Doubronts season. Hes had a lot of interruptions. Nothing serious. But he throws the ball very well. We gave him starters innings just to accelerate his maturity as a pitcher. Now hell throw out of the bullpen for us in September. Hes done it for us before. Hes kind of a unique young guy, another one of our young guys that weve come to rely on and we won't hesitate to use him.

Tim Wakefield is scheduled to start Wednesday in Toronto.

Catcher Ryan Lavarnway is expected to be called up Monday.

Kevin Youkilis, on the DL since Aug. 18 with a low back strain, is expected to be activated Friday.

Clay Buchholz, on the DL since June 17 with a lower back strain, threw again Thursday, making 35 throws from 60 feet.

Bobby Jenks, on the DL since July 8 with left back tightness, is still feeling the effects of the illness that scratched him from his rehab game on Saturday with Single-A Salem. He is not ready to throw, Francona said.

Phil Mickelson, a left-handed golfer, took batting practice and threw out the first pitch right-handed. Tim Wakefield caught for him.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.

NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945


NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.