Hello and welcome to Blogging the Red Sox, I am your host Brendan Campbell. I am currently a college sophomore who lives in the Boston area and I have been a Red Sox fan my whole life. I figured I might as well create a blog to express my thoughts on the team more thoroughly than I do on Twitter. Hopefully, this blog will be full of previews, predictions, recaps, and news stories. Thanks for visiting and go Sox.
In a shocking turn of events, it looks as if Hanley Ramirez’s days in a Red Sox uniform are over. With Dustin Pedroia rejoining the team today after being activated from the disabled list, this was the corresponding move. Not Blake Swihart, the third catcher on this team who rarely plays, but Hanley Ramirez gets DFA’d.
Ramirez got off to a great start this season, as he slashed .330/.400/.474 in March/April. Since the calendars flipped to May though, Ramirez is only slashing .163/.200/.300 in 19 games.
With this happening today, Mitch Moreland will more than likely handle the everyday first baseman duties from here on out.
I’m still a little shook, but I wish Hanley the best wherever he lands after this. Regardless of his performance on the field, which had its ups and downs for sure, he seemed like a great teammate and clubhouse guy. Definitely going to miss him.
Coming off a series opening win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, the Red Sox looked to clinch the series and their fourth straight win with David Price on the mound last night. With Chris Archer getting the start on the other side of the Rays, we were treated to a great pitching matchup between former teammates and close friends.
In his 10th start of the season, fourth against the Rays, David Price was fantastic. Going against his old club, the lefty tossed six innings of one run ball, scattering three hits and three free passes while recording a season high nine strikeouts over that span.
The only costly mistakes the Tennessee native made did not transpire until his last inning of work. After walking leadoff man Denard Span on six pitches, CJ Con took Price deep to center field for what looked like a go-ahead two run home run. Instead, it bounced off the top of the wall and stayed in play. It did allow the speedy Span to score all the way from First, but Price settled down and retired the next three batters he faced in order. That was how the 32-year-old’s night would end. Not a bad way to follow-up a complete game.
Ever since that awful start against the Rangers in Texas, David Price has looked like the David Price of old. He gave up seven earned runs in that outing back on May 3rd, but in three starts since then, the lefty owns a 2.21 ERA in 20.1 innings pitched. The haters and doubters will say that the teams Price has been pitching against aren’t playoff teams, and that may be true, but opponents are hitting a measly .183 against him over his last three starts. Regardless of the opposition, those numbers are impressive. He’ll look to build on this momentum in his next outing, which should come against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Memorial Day.
In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen shut the Rays down for the second straight night, as Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, and Craig Kimbrel combined to toss three perfect innings to go along with four strikeouts. For Kimbrel, last night’s save opportunity went much more smoothly than the one on Tuesday. That was reassuring to see, and he picked up his 15th save of the season to lock up his teams 34th win of the season.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup did not have an answer for the way Rays starter Chris Archer was pitching last night. They had a golden opportunity to tack on their first run of the game in the fifth, after Eduardo Nunez tried to score from first on a two out double off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr. Unfortunately, Nunez was tagged out at the plate in a somewhat bizarre sequence.
I mean, you have to slide in that situation, right? Christian Vazquez definitely deserves a fair amount of blame here, but there was no real urgency in Nunez either. Whatever the case, that blunder cost the Red Sox a run, but it did not cost them the game.
An inning later, after the 9-1-2 hitters loaded the bases with no outs, the Red Sox scored their first run of the game when Hanley Ramirez grounded into his second double play of the night. That allowed Christian Vazquez from third, and the Red Sox had their first run of the game and a one run lead.
Fast forward all the way to the ninth, and things are all knotted up at one run a piece. With closer Alex Colome on the mound for the Rays, JD Martinez led the inning off by reaching base on a throwing error committed by shortstop Willy Adames and making it to second in the process.
Now, with the go-ahead run in scoring position, a fairly cooled off and hitless Xander Bogaerts came to the plate looking to put this game away. On the fourth pitch of the at bat, he did just that.
Bogaerts’ 13th double of the season allowed Martinez to easily score from second to put the Red Sox on top.
After Rafael Devers followed that RBI double up with a five pitch walk, Eduardo Nunez’s sacrifice fly to center scored Bogaerts from third to add a little insurance and advanced Devers to third.
Devers would cross the plate on a wild pitch from Colome with Jackie Bradley Jr. at the plate, and that was the last run the Red Sox scored last night. A nice three run ninth to put this one out of reach for the Rays.
Some notes from this one:
Despite neither of them getting a hit, Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi reached base a combined five times on five walks on Wednesday.
Hanley Ramirez is in the middle of a slump right now, as he is slashing .143/.182/.214 in 44 plate appearances over his last 10 games. Like I have been saying, might be time to get Mitch Moreland some more at bats.
Next up for the Red Sox is the series finale with the Rays later tonight. Looking for the sweep and their fifth straight win, Rick Porcello will be matched up against impressive lefty Blake Snell. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.
Coming off a day off on Monday, the Red Sox kicked off another series against the 22-23 Tampa Bay Rays last night. Last time the Red Sox saw Tampa Bay, they took two out of three from them at Fenway Park and despite the low expectations going into this season, the Rays have not been that bad of a team.
Chris Sale made his eleventh start of the season in this one, and he was phenomenal once again on the mound at Tropicana Field. The lefty recorded his fourth start this month of seven or more innings pitched, as he surrendered two runs (one earned) on four hits, two walks, and a HBP while fanning nine Rays on the night. Up to this point in the season, there has been some talk about where the velocity of Sale’s fastballs are at, but that was not a concern last night. Right from the get go, the Florida native had his four-seamer working in his favor. In fact, the fastest pitch Sale threw came in the seventh inning when he reached 99 MPH on his 96th pitch of the game.
There were two costly mistakes that Sale made in his start last night, and they came in the fourth and fifth innings. With a three run lead going into the bottom of the fourth, the Rays put their first run on the board via a solo home run off the bat of their #1 prospect, Willy Adames. An inning later, after Rob Refsnyder led things off with a double and advanced to third on a passed ball with one out, Daniel Robertson scored the runner from third by flying out to left field. After getting out of the fifth with just that one run surrendered, Sale tossed two more scoreless innings and got the first two outs of the eighth before his departure. With his pitch count all the way up at 112 pitches (73 strikes), Sale was met with a standing ovation from the visiting crowd, which was more than likely consisted of mostly Red Sox fans, but it was still nice to see him get that sort of reception in a building he absolutely owns. As a matter of fact, after last night’s outing, Sale now owns a 1.92 ERA in 65.2 innings pitched at Tropicana Field. He’ll look to build on this start in his next time out against the Atlanta Braves this upcoming weekend.
In relief of Sale, Joe Kelly got the call out of the bullpen with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Responsible for one out, Kelly struck out the only batter he faced to pick up his seventh hold of the season.
Next out of the Red Sox bullpen was Craig Kimbrel. Looking to protect a two run lead and record his 14th save this season, getting there certainly was not an easy journey for the Red Sox closer. The Rays reached base three times in the inning, ultimately loading the bases with two outs for outfielder Mallex Smith. Thankfully, Kimbrel got Smith to ground into a force out, and this ballgame was over.
Looking at the numbers, we have not seen the best out of the 29-year-old this month. In nine appearances, Kimbrel has pitched 8.2 innings. Over that span, he has given up four earned runs (three home runs) on six hits and a walk. That’s good for a 4.15 ERA, and I expect those numbers to improve over the next nine games left in May, but I just wanted to point that out.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup got all their scoring done on two swings of the bat. The first came from Mookie Betts in the third inning, and the second came from Rafael Devers in the sixth inning.
Facing off against Rays starter Jake Faria with Jackie Bradley Jr. at first and Sandy Leon at second, Betts mashed his league-leading 16th home run of the season.
That 405 foot shot to left field was good for three, and it marked the third home run for Betts in his last four games.
Fast forward to the sixth, with the lead cut to just one run, Rafael Devers provided a little insurance with his ninth big fly of the season. This one coming off Rays reliever Austin Pruitt.
In the last 10 games he has played in, Devers is only slashing .167/.250/.417 with six hits. Half of those hits have been home runs.
That solo shot gave the Red Sox their fourth and final run of the game, which was good enough to pick up their league-leading 33rd win of the season.
Some notes from this one:
With another base knock last night, Sandy Leon is quietly has a slash line of .400/.478/.600 over the last seven games he has appeared in. With the way Christian Vazquez has disappointed this season, maybe Leon could see an increase in time behind the plate.
For only the fifth time this season, Jackie Bradley Jr. has recorded a base hit in consecutive games after his 2-for-4 performance at the plate on Tuesday.
Since returning from that road trip that ended in Toronto less than two weeks ago, Hanley Ramirez owns a .172 slugging percentage. I won’t bring up the other numbers, which are also ugly, but that is borderline unacceptable for a player who is capable of putting up 30 home runs in any given season. Might be time to get Mitch Moreland more playing time at first base.
On a more positive note, the Red Sox will look to take the second game of this series against the Rays later tonight. Coming off a great start against the Orioles, David Price will be taking the mound against his old team, while it will be Chris Archer going for Tampa Bay. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.
Less than 24 hours after defeating the Orioles in convincing fashion on Saturday night, the Red Sox took care of business against those orioles once again on Sunday. They are now 5-1 against them this season.
Coming off a so-so outing last time out against the Athletics, Eduardo Rodriguez made his ninth start of the season in this one, and he had himself a solid day on the mound. In 5.2 innings pitched, the lefty scattered nine hits, zero walks, and seven strikeouts while holding the Orioles scoreless over that span. Like Rick Porcello last night, Rodriguez had to deal with base runners all day, and that definitely hurt his pitch count. Despite shutting the Orioles out, he never faced the minimum in the first five innings.
In the sixth, the Venezuela native was one pitch away from ending his start on a positive note. With two outs in the inning, runners on first and second, and Craig Gentry at the plate, Rodriguez had the count in his favor at 1-2. On the fourth pitch of the at bat, Gentry took a 90 MPH cutter and lined a single to right field. That loaded the bases for the Orioles and ended the day for Rodriguez, as he was up to 110 pitches (74 strikes). Like I said earlier, not a bad start for the 25-year-old against his former team, but certainly not his best earlier. He’ll look to build on this in his next turn through the rotation, which should come against the Atlanta Braves next weekend.
With the bases loaded in the sixth and one more out to get, Heath Hembree got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen in a high leverage spot. Fortunately, Hembree got the first batter he faced, Trey Mancini, to pop out to right field on the second pitch of the at bat, thus killing any chance at an Orioles rally,
Hembree would come back out for another inning of work in the seventh, and he retired the side despite giving up a one out single to Manny Machado. That made way for rookie reliever Bobby Poyner in the eighth, and he tossed a scoreless frame in his first appearance out of the Red Sox bullpen since May 15th. Speaking of Red Sox relievers who had not made an appearance in a game since May 15th, lefty Brian Johnson got the call for the ninth to wrap this one up. He worked his way around a leadoff double and retired the next three batters he faced in order to notch his team’s 32nd win of the season. At the end of the day, the Orioles had at least one runner on base in all nine innings they hit in, yet they could not bring across a single run. That’s a sign of a pretty bad team right there.
On the other side of things, JD Martinez got the scoring started for the Red Sox on his first of two home runs on the day.
That was the first ever pitch Martinez saw from Orioles starter David Hess, and he sent it 324 feet to right field right past the Pesky Pole.
Fast forward to the fifth, the Red Sox lineup went off for four runs on six hits to put this game away early. Coming off a two home run performance on Saturday, Andrew Benintendi launched another big fly, his fifth of the season now.
On that 92 MPH slider from Hess, Benintendi sent it 394 feet towards the Orioles bullpen for the second night in a row. That homer was good for two, as it also scored Jackie Bradley Jr. from second after he led the inning off with a double.
Following a double from Mitch Moreland, JD Martinez recorded his second and final hit of the day, and it was another home run for the Miami native.
He sent that 91 MPH fastball from Hess 443 feet to dead center for his teams sixth and final run of the day. Thanks to some solid pitching, the lineup did not need to do anymore scoring after that.
Some notes from this one:
With his two home runs today, JD Martinez has tied his teammate, Mookie Betts, for the league lead in home runs with 15 on the season. It was the eighth multi-homer game of Martinez’s career as well. He’s been so good as of late, he was telling Manny Machado where the Orioles should put their outfielders.
Andrew Benintendi has hit 60% of his home runs this season in his last six games. Over that span, the outfielder is slashing .478/.519/.913.
Jackie Bradley Jr. reached base twice today! That has not happened since last week, when he reached base twice against the Blue Jays in Toronto.
After an off day on Monday, the Red Sox will be back at it against the surging Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. The Rays, who have won six of their past seven games, have certainly been a surprise in the American League this far, especially when you consider they got off to a 1-8 start to begin their season. They will be sending righty Jake Faria to the mound for the series opener on Tuesday, while Chris Sale will be getting the ball for the Red Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET. For now, let’s enjoy this picture.
On a cold, dreary Saturday night at Fenway Park, the Red Sox were looking to bounce back from a rough loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. Thanks to a solid outing from Rick Porcello and three home runs from the youngest members of the Red Sox lineup, they got that done in convincing fashion.
Yup, Rick Porcello made his tenth start of his 2018 campaign last night, and he put together a solid performance after two straight clunkers coming against the Yankees and Athletics. In six full innings, the righty scattered three runs on six hits while tying a season-high in walks with three and striking out a season-best nine on the night. For Porcello, I thought that he really only made one mistake last night, and that was the two-run home run he gave up in the sixth inning off the bat of Pedro Alvarez. Despite the fact he never faced the minimum three batters in any of the six innings he pitched in, I thought Porcello was deserving of his sixth winning decision of the season in this one. He’ll look to build on the success he had last night next time out, and I’m assuming that will come against the Atlanta Braves next weekend.
FInishing with a pitch count of 107 (67 strikes), Joe Kelly would take over things for Porcello in the seventh inning. Working with a one run lead, Kelly struck out two in a scoreless frame of work en route to his sixth hold of the season.
Next up out of the Red Sox bullpen, with a three run lead to work with this time, was Matt Barnes. Like Kelly, the UCONN alum also struck out two while tossing a scoreless eighth inning. That made way for Craig Kimbrel in the ninth, and the Red Sox flamethrower retired the side in order to pick up his 13th save of the season. All and all, a great night for the Red Sox bullpen, as they held the Orioles to nothing while tossing four perfect innings.
On the other side of things, Rafael Devers got the scoring for the Red Sox started in the fourth inning, as he took O’s starter Dylan Bundy deep for his eighth home run of the season.
That solo shot tied the game at one, but that tie would not hold for very long. An inning later, The Betts-Benintendi connection struck once again. With one out in the bottom half of the fifth and Sandy Leon at second, Mookie Betts came through with a 406 foot shot to left field for his second home run in as many night.
With 15 homers on the season now, no one in baseball has more than Mookie Betts. That coming from the best leadoff hitter in baseball. I can’t quite say Betts is the best player in baseball yet (Mike Trout), but he is certainly the best leadoff hitter this game has.
One batter later, Andrew Benintendi got in on the action with his fourth long ball of the season, this one sent 386 feet into the Orioles bullpen.
That put the Red Sox up 4-1 at the time it was hit, but the Orioles would trim that deficit back to one just an inning later on that Pedro Alvarez home run I mentioned earlier.
Fast forward to the seventh, Andrew Benintendi came up in a big spot once again and he pretty much put this game out of reach. After Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the inning off with back-to-back walks and Mookie Betts moved them up to second and third on a fly out to right field to set up an ideal RBI spot for the Red Sox left fielder.
On the eighth pitch of the at bat against Orioles righty Tanner Scott, Benintendi took a 89 MPH slider from Scott and ripped it up the middle for a 2 RBI single. That put the Red Sox up by three and wrapped this one up with two innings to spare.
Some notes from this one:
With two hits last night, Andrew Benintendi has raised his batting average from .239 to .275 over his last 15 games.
Jackie Bradley Jr. is 1 for his last 20 at the plate with three walks and four runs scored. He’s slashing .081/.190/.081 this month, and with one minor league option left on his contract, it may be time to use it on the struggling outfielder.
On a more positive note, the Red Sox will look to take this series from the Baltimore Orioles later this afternoon. Eduardo Rodriguez will be on the mound for Boston, while David Hess will be getting the start for Baltimore. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET, should be a good one.
Just a quick recap of last night’s game:
Going into last night, Drew Pomeranz had made five starts for the Red Sox since being activated from the 10-day disabled list back on April 20th. In those five starts, he owned a 5.47 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched. He had not been particularly bad in any of those starts, but he has not been great either. How would he fare against one of the worst teams in the American League? Not great.
In his sixth start of the season, Pomeranz got rocked by the Baltimore Orioles. Right from the start, when he walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, you could pretty much tell it wouldn’t be his night. The Orioles got to the lefty for one run in the first, then tacked on another four runs in the fourth, Pomeranz’s final inning of work. What was even worse was the pitch count, as he needed 81 pitches to get through those four innings.
In relief of Pomeranz, Steven Wright made his second appearance of the season since being activated from the disabled list. He pitched into the ninth inning of this one, while surrendering two runs on three hits and two walks. Heath Hembree came on with two outs in the ninth, and retired the only batter he faced with a strikeout.
Offensively, the Red Sox out-hit the Orioles 13-10, but could not outscore them. Mookie Betts had another great night at the plate, as he launched his 14th homer of the season to put his team on the board in the third.
Two innings later, Betts came through again with an RBI double to score Eduardo Nunez, then Andrew Benintendi scored him from second on an RBI single of his own.
Fast forward to the eighth, and the Red Sox had their best scoring opportunity of the night. Trailing by three runs, Xander Bogaerts, Eduardo Nunez, Brock Holt, and Mitch Moreland all reached base to score a run and load the bases for Mookie Betts with two outs in the inning.
Facing off against O’s righty Brad Brach, Betts came to the plate looking for his fourth hit of the night, but he popped out to first to end the inning and kill the Red Sox rally. The Orioles would tack on an insurance run in the ninth and that would be that.
Up next for the Red Sox is a Dylan Bundy vs. Rick Porcello matchup later tonight. Porcello’s ERA has inflated from 2.14 to 3.28 over his last two starts, so I’m sure he would like to reverse that trend today, if they can get the game in. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET, weather permitting.
Again, sorry this is shorter than usual. Next one should be back to normal.
After their game back on Patriots Day was postponed due to rain, the Red Sox welcomed the Baltimore Orioles into town for a make-up of that game followed by a previously scheduled three-game weekend series. Entering last night at 13-29, the Orioles have been one of the worst teams in the American League up to this point in the season, and they showed why on Thursday.
Coming off a so-so start last time out in Toronto, David Price made his ninth start of the season in this one, and he had himself quite the night. The lefty ended up going a full nine innings for his third complete game in a Red Sox uniform. Over that stretch, Price held the Orioles to just two runs on five hits while fanning nine, a new season high, and gave up zero walks on the night. What was even more impressive out of this outing for Price, in my mind, was his pitch count. The Tennessee native needed just 95 pitches to get through all nine innings. A good reason behind that is the fact that 73% of those 95 pitches went for strikes, and Price found himself in a grand total of two three-ball counts all night.
He was moving right along on Thursday, and he really only made one costly mistake, which came off the bat of Manny Machado in the ninth. The Orioles shortstop took Price deep to left field with two outs in the inning for his league-leading 14th home run of the season. That ended the shutout and got the Red Sox bullpen going a little bit, but Price ended his night on a positive note two pitches later, as he got Jonathan Schoop to pop out for the third and final out of the game.
Since it came against the lowly Baltimore Orioles, I’m sure Price’s doubters will still be persistent, but it’s hard not to be impressed with what he did last night. Right from the get go, the 32-year-old seemed to be in control of this one, and it probably helped that he had a lead to work with from the second inning on. Without a doubt his best start of the season, Price picked up his fourth win in the process while lowering his ERA from 4.89 to 4.38.
To put what Price did on Thursday night in perspective, think about this: Prior to his start tonight, Price has made two starts this month. In those two starts, he has pitched a TOTAL of nine innings while surrendering nine earned runs. Just last night, Price pitched nine innings and only gave up two earned runs. That’s a sure sign of improvement, and he’ll look to build on this success next time out against the Tampa Bay Rays sometime next week in their upcoming series against them.
On the other side of things, the 4-5 hitters in the Red Sox lineup came through big for the second night in a row. That’s right, JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts went yard AGAIN on Thursday, and they were both pretty impressive home runs.
Facing off against O’s righty Kevin Gausman, Mookie Betts led the bottom half of the first off with a single, his first of three hits on the night. Three batters and two outs later, JD Martinez launched his second home run in as many nights to put his team up by two early.
That 431 foot shot to dead center field marked the 13th of the season for Martinez, as he now pulls even with Mookie Betts for the team lead in long balls.
Fast forward to the fifth, Andrew Benintendi kicked a four-run inning off by driving in Jackie Bradley Jr. from third on a sacrifice fly to right field. Three batters later, with Hanley Ramirez at second and Mookie Betts at third, Xander Bogaerts mashed a three-run homer to left field, very similar to the one he hit on Wednesday.
His sixth home run of the season, which was sent 383 feet over the Green Monster, was good for three and gave the Red Sox their sixth and final run of the night. Before Bogaerts even had the chance to touch home on his blast, Orioles manager Buck Showalter was already making his way to the mound to take Gausman out of the game. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like that before.
Speaking of things I have never seen before, the Red Sox stole five bases off of Gausman last night, and all of them were uncontested. For some reason, the Orioles starter didn’t seem too interested in holding runners on once they reached first base, and the Red Sox took advantage of that. Mookie Betts even came away with three swiped bags on the night, a season high for him.
Another note from this one:
JD Martinez had to leave this game in the seventh inning because of a stomach illness. Shouldn’t be anything too serious. His replacement, Blake Swihart, grounded out in his only at bat of the game.
So, the Red Sox have technically sweeped the Orioles in that four-game series back in April. Next up is another series against Baltimore, and it will be Alex Cobb v. Drew Pomeranz on Friday. For Pomeranz, his last start against the Blue Jays in Toronto was a rough one and I’m sure he doesn’t want a repeat of that. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.