RECAP: Betts and Bradley go yard as #RedSox begin road trip with 6-3 win.

After a quick weekend series at Fenway against the Rays, the Red Sox hit the road again, starting the road trip against their second opponent from the NL Central in two weeks, that being the St. Louis Cardinals. The game could not have started any better for the Red Sox, with Mookie Betts leading off things in the first with a solo home run, his seventh of the season. With that leadoff homer, Mookie ties Jacoby Ellsbury for most leadoff home runs (10) as a member of the Red Sox. Ever since he got moved up to the leadoff spot last week, Mookie has been killing it at the plate. Over the past seven games, Betts has hit four of his seven home runs, while also being awarded AL Player of the Week. Besides the home run, Mookie also made a great defensive play, throwing out Matt Carpenter at second in the fifth. Jackie Bradley is also getting hot at the right time, collecting two hits, including his third home run of the season.

Eduardo Rodriguez was able to pick up his fifth straight quality start on Tuesday. ERod got off to a good start, pitching the first two innings without allowing a hit. The third inning would be quite different, though. After hitting the pitcher, Lance Lynn, Rodriguez would end up allowing three hits and three runs before getting out of the inning. Other than that, Rodriguez had a great start, finishing up with three shutout innings. The bullpen shut things down after that, Robby Scott, Heath Hembree, and Craig Kimbrel combined to go three innings while only giving up one hit.

This was maybe one of the most complete wins of the season. Sure, they were aided by the Cardinals defensive blunders, and they did only get six hits. But, it really did feel like a solid win, a good start to the six game trip for sure. Also, shout out to Xander Bogaerts for stealing second in the eighth on a very sneaky slide.


Via r/Baseball

20 down, 74 to go. 

 

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RECAP: Drew Pomeranz exits early as #RedSox lose ugly one 11-2.

After picking up a win for Chris Sale on Saturday, the Red Sox looked to take the series from the Rays on Mother’s Day Sunday. Drew Pomeranz made his seventh start of the season, and it was his shortest. After allowing two runs through the first three innings, Pomeranz would have to leave the game with tightness in his left triceps. According to Pomeranz, he thinks he will be able to make his next start, which would be in Oakland I believe. This trade really has not looked good for the Red Sox since it happened last July. Pomeranz has been at his most valuable when he came out of the bullpen towards the end of last season and the postseason. What makes it worse is Dace Dombrowski had the opportunity to rescind the trade last year since the Padres disclosed injury information.

With Pomeranz only lasting three innings, John Farrell had to rely on his bullpen for two-thirds of this game. To make it short, the bullpen was pretty awful on Sunday. Ben Taylor, Fernando Abad, Matt Barnes, Robbie Ross, and Heath Hembree combined to pitch six innings, give up 13 hits, 9 runs, and one home run. The performance of the bullpen recently adds to the issues that this team has. The bridge from the starter to Kimbrel is a shaky and unreliable one right now.

The Red Sox offense has been picking things up over the past few days. Hopefully, Sunday’s performance was just an outlier. After Mookie Betts scored on an RBI double from Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox only scored one run over the next eight innings. That run would come in the fifth when Dustin Pedroia drove in Deven Marrero on a RBI single to center. The scoring opportunities were there on several occasions, but the Red Sox failed to capitalize. Andrew Benintendi continues to go through a slump, arguably the first of his young career. Overall, I really never expected this team to be this mediocre. Without Chris Sale, this is a sub .500 team right now. The level at which this team is underperforming is almost unacceptable. With an important road trip coming up this week, including stops in St. Louis, home of the first place Cardinals, and Oakland, which is always an interesting series. Finishing the trip with 3 or more wins will be pretty important for this team.

19 down, 75 to go. 

RECAP: Chris Sale fans 12 as #RedSox even series with Rays.

After a disappointing loss on Friday night, the Red Sox needed to bounce back to avoid falling to .500. Two southpaws, Chris Sale and Blake Snell, took the mound for their respective teams Saturday afternoon. With this game getting moved up six hours because of incoming rain, I was interested to see if Sale would be affected by it. I really don’t think that was an issue for him though, as he was relatively dominant for most of his start. He only allowed two hits, and those two hits really cost him, as they were both home runs, the first being a solo shot, and the next being a two-run shot. Other than those two hits, Sale was never in any danger, only allowing two other base runners on two walks. Seven straight starts with at least 10 K’s puts Sale in some rare air. Despite his ERA rising over 2 for the first time this season, there’s no doubt he is the workhorse of this rotation. Sale’s day was done after seven, and Joe Kelly would go on to pitch a shutout eighth, consistently reaching 100 MPH on his fastballs. Craig Kimbrel would come in to finish the Rays in the top of the ninth, and that’s what he did. Another shutout inning with two K’s puts Kimbrel’s WHIP at 0.48 and his K/9 at 17.81. We could be witnessing the eliteness Kimbrel had while a member of the Atlanta Braves, which is what this bullpen and team needs.

Scoring wise, this game had a back and forth feel to it in the middle innings. The Rays scored once in the second. The Red Sox would answer back shortly after though, with Mookie Betts blasting his sixth home run of the season, scoring himself along with Sandy Leon, which gave the Red Sox the lead. The Rays would take the lead back in the fifth, scoring twice, but would only have it for a brief period of time. In the bottom of the fifth, the Red Sox would take the lead and wouldn’t look back. Deven Marrero would get the scoring started by driving in Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley on a big double that nearly went over the Monster. Marrero would then score himself, with Mookie Betts driving him in on an RBI double. After Dustin Pedroia moved Betts to third on a sac bunt, Xander Bogaerts would drive him in on an RBI ground out.

It would seem that Chris Sale is finally getting run support from his teammates. In his last 13 IP, the Red Sox offense has scored 12 runs over that span. Hopefully, the lack of run support Sale had is an issue this team can put behind them. Also, shout out to Deven Marrero, made a couple of great plays at third today while also driving in a couple of important runs.

RECAP: #RedSox nearly complete comeback in 5-4 loss to Rays.

Another quick recap of last night’s game with the early start today.

It would appear that Rick Porcello has a Tampa Bay Rays problem. On April 14, Porcello made the start against the Rays in basically the same situation, that being a Friday night home game in the red alternates. In that start, Porcello gave up eight earned runs over 4.1 innings. On Friday night, Porcello was not much better, finishing with a line of 6 IP, 9 H, 5 R (3 ER), and 7 K’s. After getting through the first three innings without giving up a single run, the Rays did all their damage in the fourth and fifth innings. Porcello has been far from awful this season, but we have yet to see him retain that 2016 Cy Young Award winning form. The Red Sox bullpen, which consisted of Robbie Ross, Heath Hembree, and Robby Scott on Friday, did not allow a single run over three innings pitched.

Like the Rays scoring all their runs in two consecutive innings, the Red Sox did all their scoring in only one, that being the bottom of the seventh. After looking lifeless for most of the game, the Red Sox bats nearly took the lead against the Rays. Aided by the Rays sloppy defense, they scored four times in the inning, highlighted by a Sandy Leon double that scored Mitch Moreland and Josh Rutledge. With Jackie Bradley on second with only one out, Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia both had the chance to drive in that run, but failed to do so. They also had a similar opportunity in the next inning, with Xander Bogaerts on third and Andrew Benintendi on first with only one out. Mitch Moreland and Josh Rutledge had their chance to drive in those runs, but they too failed to do so.

It feels like this team needs a shot in their arm to get out of this funk. Although the shaking up of the lineup has helped, it hasn’t helped enough in the wins column. The defense from third base continues to be a problem, as Josh Rutledge committed another error Friday night. I know it’s only May, but today’s game is kind of big. The weather has forced the timing of this game to be moved from 7 to 1. Chris Sale is on the mound, and another loss puts this team right at .500. Need Sale to come through, first pitch in about one hour.

18 down, 76 to go. 

RECAP: Mookie Betts saves the day as #RedSox salvage Game 3 in 4-1 victory.

The Red Sox came into Thursday one loss away from falling to .500 on the season. Luckily for them, there were a few guys who didn’t want that to happen. Let’s start with Eduardo Rodriguez. This guy has really grown on me since the beginning of the season. For a 24-year-old already in the bigs, I think he gets a lot of criticism, guess that’s just what happens here, though. Anyway, ERod had himself a solid outing against a Milwaukee team that can score runs in bunches. Only giving up one run on three hits in six innings is nice to see, especially with the way Pomeranz and Kendrick pitched the past two games. He would have gone out for the seventh, but with a runner on base in the top of the seventh, John Farrell made the decision to pinch hit ERod for Chris Young, which I was fine with. 87 pitches total, and the only real mistake came in the sixth when he gave up a double to Jonathan Villar that allowed Manny Pina to score from second. From the seventh inning on, the bullpen did what they had to do to shut down the Brewers. There was cause for concern in the bottom of the eighth, when there was a man on first with one out. Craig Kimbrel would be inserted into the game earlier than usual, and after giving up an infield single and throwing a wild pitch, Kimbrel struck out Keon Broxton to end the inning. In the ninth, Kimbrel would do something that is rarely done in the game of baseball, toss an immaculate inning. 9 pitches, 9 strikes, 3 K’s. I know we’re only five and a half weeks into the season, but, as of today, Kimbrel’s K/9 of 17.81 is the best it has been throughout his career, based on end of the year stats from 2010-2016. If the Red Sox get elite Kimbrel and he pitches longer outings, then that would be great for this bullpen which can be characterised as unreliable.

After Mookie Betts scored in the first because of a fielding error, the Red Sox bats went relatively dormant. They had plenty of chances, like in the eighth, when they loaded the bases with only one out. Jackie Bradley and Josh Rutledge both got their chance to drive in some runs, but they both struck out. It wasn’t until the ninth when the Red Sox took advantage of what was given to them. After Christian Vazquez walked and Deven Marrero reached on a fielder’s choice, Mookie Betts came to the plate looking to take the lead, and that’s exactly what he did. Betts took Neftali Feliz deep to left field, mashing his fifth home run of the season, while also plating three runs, making it a 4-1 game. And that blast would do it.

Mother’s Day Weekend series against the Rays next, Porcello and Sale will be pitching. David Price is rehabbing in Pawtucket on Sunday, Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg are getting healthier, things aren’t looking awful. Just wait until this team has a good few weeks, just you wait.

18 down, 76 to go. 

RECAP: Kyle Kendrick isn’t that good; #RedSox drop game two 7-4.

Just a quick little recap before game three at 1. Kyle Kendrick got his second start for the big league club, and he kind of sucked. Pitching only 4.1 innings, Kendrick allowed ten hits while surrendering six earned runs. The four pitchers that went into the game after him, Hembree, Abad, Barnes, and Scott, did an okay job to finish the game, combining for 3.2 IP, 3 H, and 1 ER. It would appear that Kyle Kendrick is done in Boston, for the time being, with Robbie Ross being recalled from Pawtucket and Kendrick getting optioned to Pawtucket. It also looks like Brian Johnson will get another opportunity start, taking Kendrick’s spot in the rotation.

Offensively, the Red Sox offense did their part by getting on base, but they couldn’t get any good results, scoring only four times. Jackie Bradley was inserted back into the lineup, and he hit his second home run of the season in the second inning. That was pretty much the best thing that happened for the Red Sox on Wednesday.

Game three is about an hour away. Eduardo Rodriguez will be looking to salvage this series by picking up his second win of the season.

17 down, 77 to go. 

RECAP: Pomeranz disappoints as #RedSox drop series opener in Milwaukee.

Up until Tuesday night, Drew Pomeranz has been a decent starter at the back-end of the Red Sox rotation. With a decent ERA of 4.00, Pomeranz was looking to put another solid start together against the Milwaukee Brewers. Unfortunately for him, things did not go his away. Pomeranz got rocked in the first inning, surrendering five runs on four hits, including two home runs, one which came off the bat of Eric Thames. The southpaw would settle down after the first though, only giving up one run over the next three innings pitched. Despite limiting the damage after the first, it’s definitely a problem that Pomeranz consistently fails to pitch deep into these games. So far this season, Pomeranz has only pitched six or more innings twice, out of six total starts. I just don’t think he’ll ever live up to any lofty expectations, hopefully Anderson Espinoza doesn’t turn out to be a perennial ace down the road.

The Red Sox bullpen did not help the cause on Tuesday. Fernando Abad, Robby Scott, and Joe Kelly were fine, pitching a combined 2.2 innings while only giving up one hit and zero runs between them. But then you had guys like Heath Hembree and Ben Taylor who sucked last night. Hembree gave up three runs while only recording one out and Ben Taylor gave up two runs while pitching through the seventh. This bullpen is going to need help soon. Other than Craig Kimbrel, it’s been difficult to trust most guys in that bullpen. I don’t know if that help will come in the form of Tyler Thornburg, or Carson Smith, or maybe a mid-season acquisition. I do know that they can’t sustain that level of damage we saw on Tuesday for an extended period of time.

On the bright side of things, the Red Sox offense is actually scoring runs on a consistent basis. Since the game last Friday in Minnesota, the Red Sox are scoring an average of 11.7 runs per game. Mookie Betts continued to get hotter on Tuesday, leading off the game with a solo home run, his fourth of the season. That’s not all Mookie did, though. In the top of the fifth, with Chase d’Arnaud on first, Mookie would double to left, allowing d’Arnaud to score from first. In the eighth, Betts hit another double, this time scoring both Josh Rutledge and Deven Marrero. Since the beginning of the month, Betts is slashing a solid .333/.405/.1.072. Another player who has been impressing recently has to be Andrew Benintendi, who drove in two runs last night, raising his season total to a team-high 22 RBIs. Benintendi actually leads the Red Sox in just about every major offensive stat, pretty crazy for a rookie to do that.

 

17 down, 77 to go.