Red Sox

Notes: Scutaro misses the suicide squeeze sign

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Notes: Scutaro misses the suicide squeeze sign

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON -- Locked in a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the 12th inning Monday night, the Red Sox thought they saw an opening.

Louis Coleman, the fifth Kansas City Royals pitcher of the game, had thrown wildly to first on a pickoff try, enabling Josh Reddick to go all the way to third.

With Marco Scutaro at the plate, the Red Sox put on the suicide squeeze play.

Heavy on the suicide.

"After action like that,'' recounted Terry Francona, "we thought it was a good opportunity."

Problem was, while Reddick got the sign, Scutaro did not. Two innings later, when the Royals scored twice in the top of the 14th, the Red Sox had themselves a frustrating 3-1 loss.

"We got half of it right,'' said Francona ruefully. "We didn't get the whole thing right."

Scutaro took full responsibility for the play.

"I didn't see the sign . . . it was my fault," said the infielder. "I just missed the sign. I can't really say nothing else. It's my fault."

Reddick had broken for the plate with the pitch from Coleman. Scutaro had to twist a bit to get out of the way of an inside pitch.

Asked what he was thinking as he spied Reddick barreling toward the plate, Scutaro said: "Messed it up. I didn't see him right away because he was kind of hidden. But after the pitch inside, I took a look and was like, 'Oh . . . missed a sign.'

"We had an opportunity to win this game and we didn't do the little things. Beside bad baserunning, we didn't bring the guy home from third base. We just threw this one away pretty much."

Scutaro half-expected that the bunt play might be put on.

"I was kind of watching (for) the sign," he said. "But I didn't see the squeeze. To be honest, I was watching (third base coach Tim Bogar), but I didn't see the squeeze. I was kind of focused on getting a good pitch to hit to drive the guy in.

"Like I said, it's my fault. I should have been more aware of the sign. It feels bad, man. It feels like all your teammates, your manager, all the fans just want to kill you. It's a bad feeling."

"Sometimes, it's how the game goes," said Reddick, who had three hits, including two doubles. "Stuff happens and you try to get out of it . . . I was just trying to get back to third base and keep us in the game. That's all you can really do in that situation."

Kevin Youkilis left Monday nights loss to the Royals with tightness in his right hamstring after catching his heel awkwardly while running out a ground ball in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Sox third baseman stuck around for a couple more innings, but was eventually replaced by Yamaico Navarro. Sox manager Terry Francona said that Youkilis would likely be out of the lineup for Tuesday night against Kansas City, but that the prognosis was pretty good for a player thats been physically beaten up this season.

After the exam we feel really fortunate," Francona said. "His heel hit the bag and kind of gave way a little bit, and he felt it in his hamstring. Well try to stay away from him tomorrow and hopefully he wont need anything more than that.

Who knows? But the exam was really good, good range of motion and no strength deficits. Hes just beaten up in a lot of different areas.

If Youkilis cant answer the bell expect Navarro to get another start at the hot corner on Tuesday night.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia twice gunned down Melky Cabrera attempting to steal second base in Monday nights loss, and it counted as the fourth time the Sox catcher has nailed two base runners attempting to steal in the same game. Saltalamacchias strong throwing arm has made a huge difference in Boston neutralizing the running games of opposing teams this season.

Carl Crawford had a night to forget about with an 0-for-6 performance at the plate that included four strikeouts (tying a career high set on July 23, 2004 against the Blue Jays) and an inability to get the runner home from third base in a couple of big at bats late in the game.

It was real frustrating. It was a close game, said Crawford. We had opportunities to win it and we didnt. It was really frustrating.

The loss snapped a nine-game Fenway winning streak for the Sox dating back to July 5, the longest home winning streak since a 10-game winning stretch that ended in September of 2009.

Randy Williams notched his first decision as a member of the Red Sox as he took the loss after allowing three hits and a walk in two innings of work in the 13th and 14th innings.

With his second-inning single, Dustin Pedroia, who went 1-for-6, extended his career-high hitting streak to 22 games. He has reached base safely in 34 games since June 15.

With a scoreless eighth inning, Daniel Bard extended his scoreless-innings streak to 25 over his last 24 outings.

J.D. Drew will be placed on the DL Tuesday with a left shoulder impingement. He has not played since July 19, going 1-for-3 in Baltimore, is batting .219 with four home runs and 21 RBI this season.

He was MRIed on Saturday, Francona said. We didnt DL him right away because we didn't have a move we wanted to make and he could have pinch-run, something like that. Hopefully a couple of weeks down will really do him some good. Hell get some strength back in that shoulder and maybe well have a better chance of seeing the J.D. we were hoping for.

According to webmd.com: Impingement syndrome is a common condition affecting the shoulder and is often seen in aging adults. This condition is closely related to shoulder bursitis and rotator cuff tendinitis. These conditions may occur alone or in combination.

The typical symptoms of impingement syndrome include difficulty reaching up behind the back, pain with overhead use of the arm and weakness of shoulder muscles.

The Red Sox have changed their original roster plans, with Jon Lester being activated from the disabled list for Mondays start against the Royals. Initially, right-hander Kyle Weiland was going to be kept with the major league team, with J.D. Drew going on the disabled list on Monday. Instead, Weiland will be optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket with Drew Sutton getting called up. Drew will go on the DL on Tuesday.

Primarily an infielder, Sutton has also played the outfield, with eight minor league games in right, 34 in left, and seven major league games in left and one in right. He has appeared in two games in left for the Sox this season.

Before the roster change, Francona spoke about moving Weiland to the bullpen.

Thats something we have to figure out, Francona said. Since we dont have a day off, do we fit him in for a start? Because the one thing we dont want him to do is not pitch. Were playing short a position player. I dont think thatll be an issue. Guys can move around but if we ever get to the point where we need somebody we can do it. But well see how the Weiland situation goes.

Weiland, who is Notre Dame's all-time saves leader, with 25, has not worked out of the bullpen since 2008, his first professional season, when he made five relief appearances with Low-A Lowell. Francona believes his stuff will work well out of the bullpen.

Yeah, but I also see him as a guy who can start, Francona said. Hes got good stuff. I think with experienceI know he was a reliever in college . . . its just hard not to have guys start when they have good enough stuff and he certainly does. But I think all of us can certainly envision him helping us out in the bullpen, too. Well look at all our options. The one thing we dont want him to do is not pitch. Whether its here or Triple A he needs to pitch.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

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

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

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Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com.

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

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