The Red Sox dropped the fourth and final game of this series against the Tigers. Chris Sale took the loss, a bad luck loss to say the least, and Justin Wilson picked up his first victory of the season. As I said, Chris Sale is not to blame for this loss, he nearly pitched eight full innings while striking out 10 and only walking 1. Unfortunately for Sale, the opposing starter, Justin Verlander was just as good, only giving up 1 unearned run and three hits over 7 innings. It appeared that Chris Sale started running out of gas when his pitch count was around 100. Sale was rolling, giving up only run through seven innings. The eighth inning was a different story, though. After giving up a two out double to Andrew Romine, Sale followed that up by walking Ian Kinsler. With men on first and second, Nick Castellanos got the best of Sale, knocking in Romine with a base hit. This was it for Sale, as he came out with 2 outs in the 8th and Heath Hembree finished off the inning.
The Red Sox offense could not formulate any type of rally today and they continue to look sluggish. First baseman Mitch Moreland had the hottest bat today, notching three hits, including a double, in four plate appearances. It looks like Moreland has adjusted well since Opening Day, as he has gotten his Batting Average up to .333 and his OPS to an impressive .927. The rest of the Red Sox lineup looked dismal and the only other player that recorded a hit was Dustin Pedroia. It’s still a waste of energy to get too concerned about the offensive production coming from this team since we have barely seen Hanley Ramirez and Xander Bogaerts. Until this lineup is fully healthy, I’m not going to get too worked up. I like what I’ve seen from players like Mitch Moreland and Sandy Leon. One player I am concerned about is Pablo Sandoval, who has started the season by batting a measly .130. The Red Sox really do not have a long-term solution if Sandoval fails to pick things up. Brock Holt, Josh Rutledge, and Marco Hernandez are all capable of playing third base, but they are relied on for their versatility. It wouldn’t be surprising to me if Sam Travis converts to a third baseman in Pawtucket since that would be similar to what happeened with Travis Shaw. Another option at the hot corner could be prized prospect Rafael Devers. The 20 year old has started this season in Portland and it feels like he’s been in the organization forever. If he progresses in Portland like Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi did, then perhaps he could be an option later in the season.
Also, bad news with JBJ. He just got put on the new 10 day Disabled List with a sprain in his right knee. I did not think it would come to this, even Dave Dombrowski, President of Baseball Operations, said a few days ago that JBJ shouldn’t have to go one the DL. It is what it is, and it looks like Andrew Benintendi will take over in center based on what is being reported.
3 down, 91 to go.
The Red Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers 7-5 on Sunday. Rick Porcello made the start against his old team while Daniel Norris took the mound for the Tigers. Porcello never really found any rhythm during his 6+ innings, as he gave up a total of 11 hits while also striking out 8. Norris was solid for the Tigers today, as he gave up three runs in 6.1 innings while giving up seven hits, three walks, and only striking out 2.
Matt Barnes looked really good out of the bullpen today, pitching two shutout innings in relief of Porcello. The closer, Craig Kimbrel, continues to struggle in games he pitches where he has a lead larger than one run. He was able to pick up the save, but not before giving up two walks, a hit, and a run. The Red Sox were lucky the Tigers bullpen was so awful today. Bruce Rondon came into pitch the 8th inning and he failed to record an out while giving up three earned runs. Kyle Ryan came in after Rondon, and he gave up another run before finishing the inning. This was the rally the Red Sox needed since it gave them the lead. A similar situation occurred on Friday when the Red Sox scored 5 runs in the eighth to take the lead, but the bullpen blew it. Today though, the bullpen only gave up one run, from Kimbrel, in a combined three innings of work.
Back to the Red Sox offense, the biggest surprise of the day was Marco Hernandez, who recorded three hits in four plate appearances batting out of the nine-hole. Another positive is how well Sandy Leon has been swinging the bat to start off the season. Today, he went two for four with a double and two RBI’s. That puts his batting average at .438 after appearing in five games. It was nice to see Mookie Betts return to the lineup today, and it looks like Xander and Hanley will be returning shortly. Also, Jackie Bradley Jr. was held out of the lineup today, which was concerning, but from what they were saying, it still doesn’t sound like anything serious.
3 down, 91 to go.
The Red Sox have lost consecutive games for the first time this season, as they were defeated by the Detroit Tigers 4-1 on Saturday. Eduardo Rodriguez made his first Major League start in the month of April and it was a rather disappointing performance. After only giving up a solo home run through the first four innings, Rodriguez collapsed in the fifth and gave up three runs, including another solo home run. It was the bottom of the Tigers lineup that caused Rodriguez and the Red Sox bullpen the most trouble today. Batters 1-6 went a combined 1 for 19 at the plate while also getting walked a total of three times. Batters 7-9, however, went a combined 4 for 7 with two walks mixed in as well.
The Red Sox offense has started this season on a sour note, scoring only in four of forty-eight innings thus far. The flu has made its way around the clubhouse, leading to the extended absences of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogeaerts, Hanley Ramirez, and now Joe Kelly. It was reported today that even the coaching staff has caught the bug. The most bizarre part of all this is how NESN play-by-play man, Dave O’Brien, had to leave during the game because of the symptoms he was experiencing. The absences in the lineup are obviously impacting the offensive output and I expect this lineup to generate more runs and scoring opportunities once fully healthy.
Also, really scary thing happened today involving Jackie Bradley Jr. As he was rounding first base after a fly out, his foot appeared to get caught, which resulted in him tripping over the base. Thankfully, he was able to walk it off afterwards so hopefully he will be good to go for tomorrow. He made two great catches today and you’d hate to see anything happen to him.
2 down, 92 to go.
The Red Sox defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0 in 12 innings on Wednesday night. This game was a true pitcher’s duel, as Chris Sale and Jameson Tailion put on a show for the first seven innings. Sale was dominant in his debut, getting seven strikeouts in seven innings. Tailion also threw for seven innings and recorded six strikeouts. It appears that Chris Sale will fit in just fine here in Boston, as his debut was absolutely electric. There was a lot of hype going into the game and Sale lived up to his debut expectations.
The Red Sox offense was silent for most of the game. They left a lot of runners on base and it took them 11 innings until they finally got a run across, which won them the game. Sandy Leon hit a walk-off, three run homer in the bottom of the twelfth, which was amazing. Sandy has emerged as a legitimate major league catcher since he got called up last season. It’s really not fair how people would rather see Christian Vazquez back there because of his defense. Sure, Vazquez has a better glove, but Leon has a better bat and call a pretty good game, which was made apparent during Sale’s debut last night. Also, shout out to the Red Sox bullpen. Barnes, Kimbrel, Hembree, Scott, and Kelly held it down in a combined five inning effort last night.
2 down, 90something to go.
Defending Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and the Boston Red Sox took care of business against Gerrit Cole and the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, beating them 5-3. I was only able to watch the bottom of the 8th and the top of the 9th since I was in class so this might not be the best analysis. HOWEVA, I was following along on Twitter and my impression is that Porcello was rolling up until the seventh, then he gave up three runs. I find it funny that Pablo Sandoval drove in the first run of the season. I tweeted this out earlier, but I really think Pablo can thrive in the 8th spot to begin the year. This will allow him to not be in a ton of high-pressure situations and I think putting him there could help him like it helped Jackie Bradley Jr. during the early parts of last season. Watching Craig Kimbrel close out the game was interesting. Throughout last season, I got anxious nearly everytime Kimbrel took the mound, and that’s how I felt today. A hit batsman and a double off the monster that I for sure thought was a home run. Plenty of suspense for Opening Day.
1 down, 90something to go.
Tomorrow is Opening Day, one of the best days of the sports year. A true sign that Springtime is upon us. The beer is flowing, the hot dogs are cooking, and every seat is filled. Optimism is present throughout all 30 clubs as the hunt for a playoff spot begins. The Red Sox appear to be favorites in the American League East but health among the team has become quite a concern. With impact players like David Price, Tyler Thornburg, and Carson Smith starting the season on the Disabled List, other pitchers will have to step up. The Red Sox lineup, however, looks to be as dominant as they were last year. The loss of David Ortiz will hurt, but I believe new addition Mitch Moreland will have a nice impact and Pablo Sandoval will have a resurgent year. I also think Chris Sale and Cy Young winner Rick Porcello will be workhorses this season. To summarize, I think the Red Sox will struggle out of the gate, but as the team gets healthier, their performance will improve and I think they are capanle of winning the AL Eeast. Now on to the predictions:
AL ROY: Andrew Benintendi
AL CY: Chris Sale
AL MVP: Mike Trout
NL ROY: Dansby Swanson
NL CY: Noah Syndergaard
NL MVP: Bryce Harper
AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: Indians
AL West: Astros
NL East: Nationals
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Dodgers
AL: Seattle over Toronto
NL: San Francisco over St. Louis
ALDS: Indians over Seattle; Red Sox over Astros
NLDS: Cubs over San Francisco; Dodgers over Nationals
ALCS: Red Sox over Indians
NLCS: Dodgers over Cubs
World Series: Red Sox over Dodgers
You heard it here first, the Boston Red Sox will defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. Clayton Kershaw will get his, but the three headed monster that is Sale, Porcello, and Price will prevail. Chris Sale wins World Series MVP.
Hello, my name is Brendan Campbell. This is Blogging The Red Sox.
I started this blog in 2017 to share my thoughts and opinions on the Boston Red Sox, a team I have been a fan of my whole life.
If you like what you see, feel free to drop a follow on Twitter: @brendan_camp
Thanks for visiting and Go Sox.