View Full Version : The Boston Globe: Medicine ball

06-29-01, 06:16 AM
Report on Dead Sox walking wounded...

Ever since Pedro made his well documented comments about The Babe it appears the good ship Dead Sox has starting taking on water...Coincidence or curse?...I think you all know what I think.


Medicine ball

By Bob Hohler
The Boston Globe

What's next, a plague of locusts? The Red Sox' injury epidemic approached biblical proportions last night as starter Frank Castillo abruptly departed with a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle in the second inning, joining the likes of Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, Carl Everett, Jason Varitek, Rich Garces, and John Valentin in sick bay.

Suddenly, the story of the Sox' centennial season is beginning to unfold like the Book of Jobe.

''Every day it's something else,'' said closer Derek Lowe, who gave up a game-winning single in the ninth inning to pinch hitter Russ Johnson as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays edged the Sox, 4-3, and ended Boston's 2-5 homestand on a major downbeat. ''You can overcome some [injuries]. Not that it's impossible, but it gets hard to overcome a new injury every single day.''

Castillo's worrisome exit raised the inevitable question of just how many setbacks the first-place Sox can endure before they finally succumb. But it did not tarnish Bryce Florie's glorious return to the mound more than nine months after his career appeared ruined by a line drive that struck him in the face, seriously damaging his vision.

Honored with a standing ovation by the sellout crowd of 33,433, Florie survived the emotion of his dramatic return and went on to yield one run on two hits in 2 1/3 innings of solid relief of Castillo. ''It was elating to get back out there,'' Florie said, ''because no one ever knew.''

But who could have known that Castillo, another central Sox player, would be sidelined, just three days after Garces landed on the disabled list, two days after Martinez joined him, and the same day Everett joined both of them.

Castillo felt a twinge in his lat muscle three batters after he yielded a two-run homer to Ben Grieve. The count was 2-2 to Brent Abernathy when Castillo sensed the problem. He tried throwing another pitch, which was a ball. ''Then I tried to throw another one [ball four] and I just realized it was too tight or cramped up,'' he said.

Team physician Bill Morgan said he would know more about the severity of the injury today when he checks how the muscle has responded to a night of rest. ''Garces had the same thing in 1996 and he was out for about a month,'' Morgan said, ''but this doesn't seem that bad.''

Asked if he expected Castillo to miss his next start, Morgan said, ''Not necessarily. We'll see how he is [today].''

With another key starter joining the long list of injured, conditions appear to be deteriorating rapidly for the Sox, whose lead over the Yankees in the American League East dropped to 11/2 games as they departed for a tough, seven-game road trip to Toronto and Cleveland. ''I've never seen anything like this happen,'' said Castillo, who is in his ninth big league season. ''It's just one of those stretches we're going through. Hopefully, we can get it out of the way and get everybody healthy and start rolling again.''

Framingham native Lou Merloni said he knows fans must be thinking it's over. ''Just like it was over when Nomar wasn't ready to go,'' he said.

But manager Jimy Williams insisted the team will forge ahead. ''We've got to keep our heads up,'' he said. ''We've got to keep going. If you start feeling sorry for yourself, that's not good. This team is not going to do that. We're not going to play like that.''

Despite his long absence from big league action and a nine-day hiatus since he last pitched for Double A Trenton, Florie appeared as sharp as ever as he helped Castillo escape the second inning by getting former Sox infielder Andy Sheets to ground into a fielder's choice.

The Sox celebrated by knocking around Tampa Bay starter Joe Kennedy in the bottom of the inning. After Dante Bichette doubled to left, he was erased after being caught off second on Shea Hillenbrand's comebacker. Hillenbrand moved to second on Mike Lansing's blooper to right and scored on Doug Mirabelli's single to left. Darren Lewis then tied the game with an RBI single to right.

Florie was one strike away from maintaining the tie in the third before Greg Vaughn laced his 2-2 pitch into the left-field corner for a double. He scored on Fred McGriff's single to left, giving Kennedy a 3-2 lead.

Still, the Sox hung in. After Florie pitched a perfect fourth and Bill Pulsipher (just up from Triple A) held the Devil Rays scoreless in the fifth, the Sox tied the score again in the bottom of the inning, this time without a hit. They manufactured a run when Jose Offerman drew a leadoff walk, scampered to second on a wild pitch, dived headfirst into third on Chris Stynes's ground out, and scored on Trot Nixon's sacrifice fly to the warning track in left.

Then came the ninth. With the score tied, 3-3, Johnson grounded a single to third off Lowe that scored Damian Rolls with the winner. Rolls was running for Aubrey Huff, who singled leading off the inning. Rolls moved to second on Mike DiFelice's broken-bat ground out and advanced to third on Abernathy's infield single.

The Sox, down to their last strike, tried a comeback when Brian Daubach's blooper to left dropped for a double. But Merloni struck out to end it.

The loss forced the Sox to settle for a split of their four-game series before they exited for a four-game series with the Blue Jays, who swept them at Fenway last weekend.

''It's tough,'' Lowe said. ''But no one's going to feel sorry for us. We've got to go out there and keep playing hard until the All-Star break.''

For better or worse.


06-29-01, 08:30 AM
Originally posted by Jimbo
Report on Dead Sox walking wounded...

Ever since Pedro made his well documented comments about The Babe it appears the good ship Dead Sox has starting taking on water...Coincidence or curse?...I think you all know what I think.


Haha Jimbo!!!:lol: For A Minute I thought you had the Dead Sox 'walkin'
the Green Mile!" :lol:

Curse of The Babe Is Alive!!!

:D :NY: :D