HOUSTON: Pitcher Billy Wagner #13 of the Atlanta Braves throws in the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston Texas. Atlanta won 4-2. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Game of Note: On July 25, 1941, southpaw Lefty Grove wins his 300th career game while with the Boston Red Sox. Grove pitched for the Sox for eight years, with the other nine seasons of his 17 coming with the Philadelphia Athletics. He would make six more starts for Boston in 1941, but this, his 300th, the last W he'd notch.Of those 300 victories, 105 came while with the Red Sox, but the disparity wasn't because he was significantly worse with Boston than with Philly.
Grove posted a 143 ERA+ in his 1,539 innings with the Red Sox, the fifth-highest for any Boston starter with at least 1,000 frames while wearing Sox. Grove trails just Pedro Martinez (190), Smoky Joe Wood (150), Cy Young (147), and Roger Clemens (144). That's some great company for the Hall of Famer, with Young already in Cooperstown, and both Martinez and Clemens en route shortly.
Transactions: Considering this is one week before the July 31 trade deadline, it's somewhat amazing that the Red Sox have made all of two transactions in their long history on July 25. The latest was the release of Paul McAnulty back in 2009. McAnulty never played with the Sox, instead spending his time in Pawtucket, but the then-four-year major-league veteran hit all of .233/.331/.402 in Triple-A.
The other transaction came in 1954, when Boston purchased Tom Hurd from the Chicago White Sox. He spent his time with the Red Sox relieving, tossing 186 innings and 99 games over three seasons, and compiled a 112 ERA+ in that stretch. These were the only years in the majors for Hurd, whose career didn't start until he was 30. Part of the reason for the late start is that Hurd was a shortstop when he first began to play, but was converted to pitching when he was 24. Following his time with the Sox in the bigs, he spent another four years with Boston, but not consecutive ones, as well as a few with St. Louis, before finally retiring from pro ball in 1960.
Birthdays: There's no real Red Sox-only birthday of note on this day, but we can all take a moment to appreciate Billy Wagner on his 41st birthday. After all, during his short time in Boston, he posted a 1.98 ERA and struck out 22 hitters in 13-2/3 innings, following up what had been a brilliant season with the Mets to that point. Of course, then he followed this up with a final campaign in which he struck out 104 batters in just 69 innings, helping him to a 1.43 ERA in his final go-round of the majors. If you think Wagner could still help a bullpen today, you'd probably be correct.