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. 

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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. 

RECAP: #RedSox bats erupt in ninth to ensure 17-6 series clinching win.

So, after getting their hearts ripped out on Friday night, how did this team respond? Well, all they did was score a combined 28 runs over the next two games. They actually gave Chris Sale a lead before he even the took the mound on Sunday. More on the offense later, for now, let’s talk about the pitching. Unfortunately the Chris Sale vs. Ervin Santana matchup did not live up to the hype it was getting. Sale breezed through the first four innings, striking out seven over that span. The fifth inning would not treat Sale like the first four did, as the Twins crossed the plate four times on three hits, two walks, and a HBP. Sale would reach a milestone in the sixth when he recorded his tenth strikeout of the game, joining Pedro Martinez as the only Red Sox pitcher to record 10+ K’s in six consecutive starts. It goes without saying that this was Sale’s worst start in a Red Sox uniform. If you take away that fifth inning, he probably puts on a much better performance. I believe Sunday’s start is the first time this season Chris Sale has failed to pitch in the seventh inning. Perhaps it was the run support Sale got that threw him off. He’ll make his next start against the Rays next weekend.

Like I said yesterday, Ervin Santana has been a surprise for the Twins this season, with an ERA south of one. On Sunday though, he pitched like the Ervin Santana I know, which is what the Red Sox took advantage of. The scoring started early, with Dustin Pedroia belting a solo home run to left with only one out in the first. Andrew Benintendi would blast another home run later in the inning, scoring Xander Bogaerts along with it. After goind dormant for four innings, Mookie Betts would drive in himself by hitting his third home run of the season. Sandy Leon would stay hot in the sixth, hitting another two-run home run, scoring Hanley Ramirez along with himself. Then, we get to the ninth inning, which was really something else. After the Twins made it a one-run game in the bottom half of the eighth, the Red Sox needed some insurance, and they definitely got more than they needed. Red Sox batters would cross the plate ten times in the ninth, highlighted by Sandy Leon’s second two-run home run of the game and Mitch Moreland’s  2 RBI double, which scored Benintendi and Bogaerts.

After Matt Barnes nearly blew it and Craig Kimbrel had to be used in the eighth to get out of the inning, the Red Sox bats buried the Twins. The offensive output the last two games has been fantastic. An off day Monday provides an opportunity for rest. Interleague play kicks off Monday with the Red Sox visiting the Brewers. I’m excited to see Travis Shaw and Eric Thames, while also waiting to see what Hanley looks like playing first this season. Should be a good series, overall.

17 down, 77 to go. 

RECAP: Chris Young leads the way for #RedSox in 11-1 win.

The day after one of the toughest losses of the season, the Red Sox put on their best offensive perfromance so far in 2017. Rick Porcello was on the bump Saturday, matched up against Nick Tepesch for the Twins. It doesn’t take an expert to know who won this battle. Porcello wasn’t great, wasn’t lights out, but he did his job, limiting the Twins to one run, which came on a Robbie Grossman solo shot in the third inning. Other than this mistake, Porcello managed to scatter six hits over seven innings, all while giving up no walks and striking out seven Twins. With Porcello’s day done after seven innings pitched, Ben Taylor and Fernando Abad would be called on for the eighth and ninth respectively. Combined, the two relievers pitched two shutout innings while just allowing one hit total. This really felt like a 2016 start from Rick Porcello, as he had his way with the Twins lineup most of the time he was pitching. He also got a ton of run support, which is what we’ll dive into next.

With all the scrutiny this offense has received from the fans and media, the Red Sox bats broke out on Saturday. Chris Young got the scoring started with a solo shot off Tepesch in the second, his first of the season. After loading the bases with two outs, Dustin Pedroia would drive in Sandy Leon, Josh Rutledge, and Mookie Betts on a bases-clearing double. Andrew Benintendi would then reach third on a 2 RBI double, which scored Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts. After Tepesch got taken out of the game, Hanley Ramirez would single to left, scoring Benintendi from third. The scoring in the second would conclude after Hanley scored on an RBI double off the bat of Mitchy Two Bags, Mitch Moreland. Chris Young would strike again in the fifth, blasting his second solo shot of the day. In the seventh, the Red Sox would tack on another run with Deven Marrero scoring from second on an RBI double from Josh Rutledge. Sandy Leon would put an exclamation point on the scoring outburst, mashing his second home run of the year to lead off the ninth.

This was honestly one of the most satisfying games of the season for the Red Sox, in my opinion. They pretty much did everything right, with all the runs scored and Porcello’s solid outing. This game should set the tone for the rest of the season. The Red Sox have the capability to be as good as we saw them on Saturday for the entire season. With the good news coming in about David Price, you’d like to see this team go on a run in the next few weeks. With tomorrow’s game deciding who the series goes to, we should be treated to a pitching delight. Chris Sale vs. Ervin Santana, 3rd in the AL in ERA vs. 1st in the AL in ERA, should be a good one.

16 down, 78 to go. 

RECAP: Joe Mauer hits his first career walk-off home run as #RedSox lose 4-3.

I’ll make this brief. I’m writing this on a Friday night, and I’m gonna be pretty busy the next six days, so, keep that in mind.

It turns out that Eduardo Rodriguez may be a legitimate starter, whoa. After giving up two runs in the first, which weren’t really his fault, ERod limited the Twins to four hits and zero runs over the next four innings. Rodriguez would be taken out in the sixth, failing to record an out while allowing a triple to Eddie Rosario. Joe Kelly would come in to relieve Erod, and he got the first two outs while allowing Rosario to score off a Joe Mauer double. Robby Scott would finish the inning, pitch the eighth, and get the first out in the ninth. Matt Barnes would then record the second out. With Joe Mauer at the plate, Barnes lost the matchup by serving up a nice home run to the veteran first baseman. Instead of going with Kimbrel, John Farrell made the decision to go with Barnes and paid dearly for it.

The Red Sox offense sucked up until the very end on Friday night. Before that, the only run they scored came on Andrew Benintendi’s fourth home run of the season, which came in the top of the third. With one out int the eighth, Chris Young came in the game to pinch hit for Christian Vazquez, and he came up clutch with a game-tying double that drove in Deven Marrero and Josh Rutledge. This offense really stinks, man. They made Phil Hughes look much better then he actually was. They need a spark of some kind. I mean, I’d eventually like to see Chase d’Arnaud play eventually, that would be nice. I’ve already voiced my opinion on acquiring a guy like Mike Moustakas. I don’t know, try offering David Ortiz a stake in ownership if he comes back? What I do know is that Jackie Bradley, Jr. is in a major slump, and should probably sit for a few days.

15 down, 79 to go. 

RECAP: Kyle Kendrick falls short in Red Sox debut; #RedSox drop series finale to Orioles in 8-3 loss.

With Steven Wright opting for season-ending knee surgery on Thursday, the Red Sox had to look at their organizational depth in order to find a fifth starter. Kyle Kendrick got that call, as his contract was purchased prior to Thursday night’s game. I think it’s safe to say that Kendrick is not the long-term option for that fifth starter spot. It certainly didn’t help any case he could make, as Kendrick got absolutely lit up Thursday. The veteran right-hander actually got off to an okay start, only allowing four hits and one run through the first three innings. However, things would turn ugly in the fourth. The scoring for the Orioles would start with the first three batters reaching base. So, with one out and the bases loaded, Seth Smith would deliver for the O’s by hitting a two-run double to left, scoring Jonathan Schoop and Hyun Soo Kim. After getting Adam Jones to strike out, Manny Machado would have his way with Kendrick, mashing a two run bomb over the Monster, scoring JJ Hardy and Seth Smith, making it a 6-3 game, and that’s how the fourth would end. The Orioles would score two more in the top of the fifth, getting to reliever Ben Taylor for four hits and two runs. It was nice to see Brandon Workman make his return to the Red Sox on Thursday, after coming back from Tommy John surgery and rehabbing last season. Despite giving up five hits, Workman did good for his first Major League action since late 2014, pitching three shutout innings and striking out two. Fernando Abad would also see some action in a mop-up role, retiring the Orioles in order in the ninth.

My expectations were low for Kendrick to begin with, especially after the rough start he has had to begin the season in Pawtucket. I really don’t know where the Red Sox can go from here in terms of starting pitching. David Price appears to be making progress, but there’s still no word on if he’s ready for a rehab assignment or not despite all the simulated games he has been throwing. With the injury history Pomeranz and Rodriguez have, the rotation can be considered the biggest question mark.

Anyway, the Red Sox offense continues to disappoint. They were the team to score first on Thursday, with two runs scoring off a single from Xander Bogaerts. After that, they only scored one run over eight innings, which was actually Dustin Pedroia’s first home run of the season. It will be interesting to see with the Red Sox do at third base. With Hernandez, Sandoval, and Holt out for the foreseeable future, Josh Rutledge is really the only third baseman on the active roster. Some think it may be time to call up #1 prospect, Rafael Devers. Personally, I would not want to rush him. I like the idea of trading for a veteran who will be a free agent after this season, such as Todd Frazier or Mike Moustakas.

Also, these next two series should be interesting. The Minnesota Twins are off to a pretty impressive start. At 14-12, they are only half a game back of first place in the American League Central. After an off day on Monday, the Red Sox travel to Milwaukee for three games. In case you forget, the Red Sox traded Travis Shaw and Mauricio Dubon to the Brewers in exchange for Tyler Thornburg, who has yet to appear in a regular season game for the Red Sox. I think this will be the first time I’ll see the Red Sox play at Miller Park, so I’m looking forward to that.

15 down, 79 to go. 

RECAP: Pomeranz, #RedSox take game three from Orioles in wonky fashion; win 4-2.

After the drama that took place in game two of this series, it kind of persisted on Wednesday night. Drew Pomeranz was on the mound for the Red Sox and he was matched up against Kevin Gausman. After struggling in the first inning despite not giving up any runs, Pomeranz put in another solid performance. Pitching 5.1 innings, giving up five hits, walking two, striking out seven, and giving up earned runs. After that long first inning, Pomeranz pitched four shutout innings until running into trouble after getting the first out in the fifth. Heath Hembree would come in for Pomeranz, with two runners on second and third. Trey Mancini would hit a sacrifice fly to center, which would score Mark Trumbo from third. J.J. Hardy would then single to left, and that would score Jonathan Schoop from third. Hembree would end the inning by striking out Joey Rickard. Matt Barnes came in for the seventh, and got the Orioles 1-2-3. After coming out for the eighth and getting the first two outs while allowing Trey Mancini and J.J. Hardy to reach base on hits, Robby Scott would retire Francisco Pena to end the top half of the inning. To end the game, we got peak Craig Kimbrel, as he striked out the Orioles in order to record his tenth save of the season.

The Red Sox offense obviously outscored the Orioles, even though they got out-hit by them 9-6. Things got testy in the bottom of the second. With Xander Bogaerts at the plate, Kevin Gausman threw a 77 MPH slider that, probably wasn’t intentional, hit Bogaerts. Gausman was immediately tossed from the game by home plate umpire Sam Holbrook, and that was met with an emotional reaction. O’s catcher Caleb Joseph was irate, and he also got tossed for the game, for making contact with Holbrook. After all that, the Red Sox would score their first run of the game on a Josh Rutledge RBI single that scored Xander Bogaerts from third. Forget to mention this earlier, but, Marco Hernandez was starting at third before getting taken out after straining his left shoulder on an Adam Jones ground out in the first inning. That’s why Rutledge was playing. Anyway, the Red Sox didn’t score again until the fourth inning, which began when Xander Bogaerts scored on an RBI double off the bat of Chris Young. Mitch Moreland would then score on a Josh Rutledge fielder’s choice. The scoring would end when Chris Young scored from third on a Dustin Pedroia sacrifice fly. So, you know who the player of the game was? This guy:

Image result for josh rutledge gif

15 down, 79 to go.