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Hello and welcome to Blogging the Red Sox, I am your host Brendan Campbell. I am currently a college freshman 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. I also plan to blog about other things in a smaller capacity like the Patriots or Celtics. Worst case scenario for this blog is that I post a blog once a week recapping what has been going on with the Red Sox. So, enjoy the blog and Go Sox.

 

 

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz and Christian Vazquez lead the way for #RedSox in long 9-2 win.

I live about 20 miles away from Fenway Park, so when I turned on my television around 7, I was surprised to see the game was delayed. That first system that rolled through didn’t really affect me, but it affected Boston, as the game did not start until 8 PM. Drew Pomeranz made the start for the Red Sox, and under unusual circumstances, he had a solid night. The southpaw rolled through the first two innings, retiring all six Twins he faced. After another delay that lasted more than an hour, it was surprising to see him come back out for the third. Although not as sharp as before the delay, Pomeranz got the job done, escaping a few jams along the way to his seventh victory of 2017. The only run he gave up came in the fifth, but great defense from Christian Vazquez limited the damage. This is the third outing in a row where Pomeranz has gone more than five innings while allowing two or fewer earned runs. If he keeps this up, the boost he gives this rotation is huge.

The Red Sox bullpen didn’t have to do much to keep the Twins out of the game. By the time Blaine Boyer took the mound in the sixth, the Red Sox had already built a 6-1 lead. Boyer got hit, but he escaped his two innings of work without giving up a run. Fernando Abad was responsible for the eighth and ninth, and he ended the game while giving up the second run of the game for the Twins.

Offensively, the only starter who didn’t get a hit was Andrew Benintendi, but he still reached base with an intentional walk in the fifth. The big stars of the night, in my opinion, were Christian Vazquez and Chris Young, who accounted for five of the seven runs driven in by Red Sox hitters. Vazquez hit his first home run of the season in the second, a two-run shot that gave them the lead. Chris Young also went deep, blasting his fourth home run of the season in the sixth, a three-run shot that secured this win. Dustin Pedroia also had a noteworthy performance at the plate, recording three hits and reaching base in all four of his at-bats. The Twins bullpen is one of the worst in baseball, and the Red Sox took full advantage of that, scoring seven times in the six innings a Twins reliever was on the mound.

This is the first time in nearly two weeks where the Red Sox have won consecutive games. With two more against the Twins, they can complete their first sweep since they swept the Rangers on May 25th.

Also, the Yankees blew a 3-1 lead they had entering the bottom of the eighth against the White Sox, so the Red Sox now have sole possession of first place.

43 down, ? to go. 

 

RECAP: Chris Sale strikes out nine and Mitch Moreland goes yard again as #RedSox defeat Twins 4-1.

Not gonna lie, this team has kinda just been okay over the past week. A nice weekend in Houston resulted in two straight series losses to inferior teams. Now, the first place Twins come to town looking to separate themselves from the AL Central. They didn’t get a good start to the series though, as Chris Sale made his sixteenth start of the season, and he looked really good. The American League strike out leader pitched into the seventh inning, only allowing four hits and one run while striking out nine on his way to his tenth victory of 2017. The only real mistake Sale made was a solo home run in the third off the bat of Chris Gimenez, which cut the Red Sox lead in half at the time. Other than that though, nothing to complain about from the ace. It looks like Sale will be making his next start on Saturday in Toronto, where he has already thrown eight shutout innings earlier in April.

Stop me if you have heard this before, but the Red Sox bullpen was great once again last night. Heath Hembree got out of a two on, one out jam in the seventh, Matt Barnes struck out the side in the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel notched his twenty-first save of the season. With that save, Kimbrel has now recorded at least one save against all 30 teams in his excellent career.

The bats got things started quickly on Monday, scoring half their runs in the first. Mookie Betts scored on a Xander Bogaerts double play, and for the third straight game, Mitch Moreland hit a home run in his first plate appearance. Those would be the only Red Sox runs until the seventh. The starter for the Twins, Jose Berrios, got off to a rough start, but calmed down after the first and pitched into the seventh. That kid is going to be a stud, by the way. Has to be the best pitcher to start his Major League career with that organization since Johan Santana. He reminds me a lot of the late, great Jose Fernandez as well.

Anyway, Berrios allowed two of the first three batters to reach in th seventh, and he was relieved for Matt Belisle. The first batter he faced, Dustin Pedroia, drove in Sandy Leon on an RBI single. Xander Bogaerts was intentionally walked, and Buddy Boshers came in for Belisle. The first batter he faced, Mitch Moreland, capped off his night by driving in the last run of the game on a sac fly to center.

Pretty solid night on both sides to at least keep that share of first with the Yankees, who are going to beat the White Sox. Also, shout out to Tzu-Wei Lin for recording his first career Major League hit on a bloop single in his first career at-bat.

42 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Doug Fister makes impressive debut; #RedSox drop series to Angels in 4-2 loss.

On Wednesday, Doug Fister opted out of his contract with the Angels. On Sunday, he was starting against them while also making his Red Sox debut. The journeyman starter had a solid start, as the Angels only scored in one of the six plus innings he pitched. The first was good, but the second was the complete opposite. The Angels got half of their hits in that inning, scoring three times off of Fister. Other than that though, not too bad for a debut with a new team. I wouldn’t have brought him back out for the seventh, but Robby Scott and Heath Hembree was able to get out of that jam. Joe Kelly pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Craig Kimbrel, who hadn’t pitched since last Sunday, allowed one run while pitching the ninth. With Fister pretty much solidifying a spot in the back-end of the rotation, hopefully he can hold things down until Eduardo Rodriguez returns.

Offensively, not much to report on. The only two runs came on solo home runs from Mitch Moreland, his eleventh, and Jackie Bradley Jr, his tenth. Parker Bridwell, the Halos starter, had one of the more efficient starts I have seen. I believe he only had 72 pitches when he got taken out with two outs in the seventh. I was surprised Mike Scioscia made that move, but it worked since the Red Sox could not score on either Angels reliever.

The Yankees lost again, which does help, but I can’t help but feel like this team is under achieving. At seven games over .500, the 2017 Red Sox have left much to be desired. It’s funny how the Red Sox, Cubs, and Indians, three World Series favorites, haven’t really taken off in the standings yet. This Red Sox team is definitely capable of going on some great run this summer, but until that happens, it will be hard not to get frustrated.

41 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox nearly pull off ninth inning miracle in 6-3 loss.

It was a lovely night at Fenway on Saturday night. The new 34 plaque looks great, and I was hoping the Red Sox were going to look great as well. David Price was on the mound for the Red Sox, making his sixth start of the 2017 season. The 31-year-old had himself another solid outing, scattering six hits and three earned runs over six quality innings while only walking one and striking out five. The only problem I had with this start was the fact that there were baserunners in all but two of the six innings pitched by Price. The Angels spread out their runs, but Price really wasn’t hit too hard. Despite picking up his second loss, I think more blame deserves to be put on the bullpen for this one. Fernando Abad came in the seventh and made a mess, allowing two runs while failing to get out of the inning. Shout out to Blaine Boyer for getting out of the seventh and being the only reliever to toss a clean inning. Lastly, Matt Barnes put the Red Sox offense in a 5 run hole, meaning it would take more than a grand slam just to tie it.

The bats couldn’t do much damage off of Angels hurler JC Ramirez. The only run he surrendered came on Mitch Moreland’s tenth home run of the season in the second. The Halos bullpen was looking pretty good until Cam Bedrosian came in for the ninth. He got the first two outs, but gave up a run and loaded the bases while doing so. A wild pitch on a Christian Vazquez strike out allowed another run to score, but that’s all the Red Sox would get as Chris Young struck out to end the game.

Rubber match today, headlined by Doug Fister’s first start in a Red Sox uniform.

Oh yeah, how about Manager John getting tossed in the seventh? Gotta love it.

41 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Hanley Ramirez and Sandy Leon both go deep as #RedSox pick up 9-4 victory over the Angels.

Note: Prior to last night’s game, the Red Sox made some roster moves, adding a few players Dave Dombrowski is familiar with. First, Doug Fister was claimed off of waivers from the Angels. The 33-year-old RHP is on the back-end of his career, but he still has the opportunity to contribute to a team that is in need of a consistent option out of the back half of the rotation. He’ll start on Sunday against his former team. The second move was signing former Cardinals infielder Jhonny Peralta to a minor league deal. Peralta, 35, is also on the back-end of his career, but he too can provide depth at a position that has been a weakness for this team.

There's something in our eye!
#34ever - #VoteRedSox (@redsox)

On to the game: Friday night was all about David Ortiz. The former Red Sox slugger has had himself quite a weekend, getting a street named after him and taking part in a roast and all. The ceremony before the game was great. Tim Wakefield, Jason Varitek, Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, and Pedro Martinez were on all hand to see Ortiz’s number enshrined forever.

The most emotional part of the ceremony surprisingly came from Dustin Pedroia. Those two were teammates for nearly a decade, so they have experienced plenty of highs and lows wearing that uniform. In his short speech to Ortiz, Pedroia called him family:

The reaction out of Ortiz shows how close these guys were during their time as teammates. Like I said, they really have seem it all, from World Series titles to late season collapses all the way down to consecutive last place finishes. Although his style is completely different than that of Ortiz, Pedroia is that dude.

I should probably get on to the game now… Rick Porcello has been pretty awful this season, that’s what most Red Sox fans would tell you. Well, on Friday night, he made the first strides to get back to that 2016 form. Prior to the seventh, Porcello scattered six hits and gave up one run while walking one and whiffing eight. The seventh was a different story, but I’m not going to pay much attention to it because he could have been taken out sooner. The bullpen was responsible for eight outs, and they got all of them without allowing a run. Heath Hembree, new set-up man Joe Kelly, and Blaine Boyer combined to give up only two hits to the Angels, so that’s quality stuff.

The offense scored early and later too. Three runs crossed the plate and the Red Sox only needed one hit, a Xander Bogaerts RBI double, to score those runs. The other two came on wild pitches. In the fourth, Hanley Ramirez hit the 250th home run of the career, a 2-run shot that barely landed over the right field wall. That home run will definitely hold a special place in Ramirez’s heart. A milestone number on the same night his favorite player’s number is retired. Hanley wouldn’t be the only one to go deep though, as a suddenly hot Sandy Leon launched his fifth home run of the year to the bleachers, another 2-run shot that made it a 7-1 game. The Angels scored three in their half of the seventh, so the two runs the Red Sox scored in their half of the eighth were definitely helpful. Those runs came off the bat of Sandy Leon again, a 2 RBI double that scored Mitch Moreland and Jackie Bradley. Also, how about JBJ? Another multi-hit game has his BA at .272 right now. At the beginning of the month, it sat at .226, so in the month of June, he is hitting an impressive .350.

David Price is on the mound later tonight, I’ll be at the game, so I’m looking forward to seeing Papi’s number in person.

41 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz surprisingly not to blame as #RedSox end road trip with 6-4 loss.

Who would have thought that the Red Sox bullpen, not Drew Pomeranz, would be who to put the blame on for another tough loss? Well, that’s what happened this afternoon. Pomeranz was not half bad, pitching into the seventh inning for the second start in a row. The only runs the Royals scored off of the southpaw were pretty cheap honestly, a GIDP that scored one in the second, and a sac fly that scored the other in the third. Five strikeouts for Pomeranz too, whose ERA is down to 4.07. The silver lining in this loss was probably Pomeranz, who needs to step up with all the injuries within the rotation. It looks like Drew will be making his next start against the Twins next Tuesday, another chance to lower that ERA.

Like the first sentence says, the bullpen was mostly awful today as they blew the lead and the game. Joe Kelly came in to relieve Pomeranz in the seventh, and despite loading the bases, he got out of the inning. Matt Barnes got the ball for the eighth, and he walked the only two batters he faced. Robby Scott came in, gave up a walk, then served up the go-ahead grand slam to Salvador Perez, who hit that ball with Miguel Cabrera’s bat.

Love that guy… Anyway, Heath Hembree would have to be thrown in the game to bail out the bullpen and stop the Royals bats, and that’s what he did in getting all three outs in the inning. Listen, I like Matt Barnes, he’s a pretty good guy to have out of the pen, but I just don’t think his purpose is to be the setup guy, the eighth inning guy. Last year, you had Koji, Tazawa, and Ziegler later on, so Barnes was really never needed in that role. Dave Dombrowski went ahead over the winter and made a trade with the Brewers for one of 2016’s best relievers, Tyler Thornburg. Well, he’s not going to play this season, and that setup man is still a question until we see what Carson Smith can be. Barnes will probably still pitch in those situations, because it seems like Manager John loves seeing him pitch there.

Offensively, the Red Sox only scored in two innings. They could have won the game with just these runs, but still. Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts mashed back to back solo home runs in the fourth, the tenth for Benny and the fifth for X. In the fifth, Christian Vazquez scored on a Mookie Betts sac fly and Deven Marrero scored from third on a failed pick-off attempt with Mitch Moreland at the plate. Not much to say about the offense today, Xander Bogaerts was the only guy in the lineup who reached more than once. Also, I know he only got one PA, but I just want to point out the fact that Hanley Ramirez’s BA has fallen to .239 and his Slugging % is only at .394, compare that to last year when he finished with a Slugging % of .505. He’s obviously not the guy to blame for the loss, but just wanted to put that information out there.

A 4-4 road trip is far from awful, but you can look at some recent losses as games that got away. At this point last year, the Red Sox had the same record as they do now, 40-32. If you visit Red Sox Twitter, many think this team could be better if Torey Lovullo was at the helm with how good the DBacks have been this year. Me? I think it’s tough to compare two teams in different divisions, not to mention different leagues. This Red Sox team could have a better record now, or they could make an impressive run over the summer. No team is running away with this division, patience is key.

To conclude, let me be the first to wish you a happy David Ortiz number retirement ceremony weekend. Three at home after the off day against a Trout-less Angels team, should be easy enough to take at least two out of three.

40 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Sale dominates Royals as #RedSox even things up with 8-3 victory.

Last time out, Chris Sale was part of maybe the most devastating loss of the season, a 1-0 loss to the one of the worst teams in baseball. He threw a complete game then, and he almost threw another one last night, this time with more help from the Red Sox bats. Sale got off to a bit of a rough start, giving up two hits and one run, a home run, in the first three innings he pitched. The Royals wouldn’t get anything off of Sale again until the ninth, when they scored twice. Not the finish Sale wanted, but still a lot of positives to take away. After a little stretch of mediocre stuff, it looks like Sale has regained his dominant form, as a bad ninth last night was the only thing keeping the southpaw from two straight complete games. Almost forgot to mention he struck out 10 or more batters for the tenth time with another ten tonight. Fernando Abad would come in to relieve Sale with one out in the ninth, and he got Travis Wood (ha) to hit into a game-ending double play.

The offense was far better last night than it was in the opener on Monday. Eight runs on thirteen hits is good stuff. Every guy in the lineup except Hanley Ramirez, whose job is to hit, recorded at least one hit. Sandy Leon, Deven Marrero, Chris Young, and Xander Bogaerts all had multi-hit games. The bulk of the scoring came in the fourth and sixth innings, as seven of the eight runs came in those innings. Good to see Sandy Leon looking good at the plate, also good to see Chris Young perform well in the limited role he has had with this team. Shouts to Deven Marrero for having a good one at the plate in his first game back, and hopefully we’ll never see Pablo Sandoval on the field again.

Drew Pomeranz pitches today on this fine get away day, that should be fun. Also, the Yankees lost their seventh game in a row last night, so first place is back on!

40 down, ? to go.