RECAP: #RedSox look lifeless yet again; fail to win one game over Players Weekend.

First off, sorry for not posting a recap blog of the game yesterday. I was getting ready for the fight and I figured it wouldn’t be worth it to blog about a 7-0 loss. Anyway, Doug Fister made the start in this one, coming off his best start in a Red Sox uniform last time out in Cleveland. The righty put together another solid performance on Sunday despite a rough start. The Orioles managed to score twice off of Fister in the first, but couldn’t do anything after that. After getting those two runs on three hits in the first, Fister limited the Orioles to two hits and two walks over the next six innings. There were really no times after the first where Fister found himself in any real trouble, and he also tied a season-best with seven strikeouts on the day. He kept his guys in the game, and so did the bullpen. Even though the Red Sox were trailing, we still saw Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel pitch the eighth and ninth innings, and they both looked good with scoreless innings.

Before today, the Red Sox have scored a combined three runs in eighteen innings against a team that owns the third worst team ERA in all of baseball. Unfortunately, this trend continued Sunday afternoon. Old friend Wade Miley held the Red Sox to only one run, despite allowing seven hits and three walks in the five plus innings he pitched. They loaded the bases in two consecutive innings, the fifth and the sixth, and could only score that one time. I feel the need to single out Mookie Betts here because he struck out to end the sixth on a full count without taking his bat off his shoulders. In total, the Red Sox went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position today. Definitely something that needs improvement as they go on this big seven game road trip in Toronto and New York.  Continue reading “RECAP: #RedSox look lifeless yet again; fail to win one game over Players Weekend.”

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RECAP: Mitch Moreland throws a scoreless ninth in ugly 16-3 loss for #RedSox.

In what is supposed to be a fun weekend for the players and the fans, the Red Sox did just about everything to kick off the weekend in the worst way possible. I’m not going to give you a typical blog because it’s honestly not worth it. Two days after the Red Sox looked like they have finally proven themselves against Corey Kluber, they drop two games in a row in ugly fashion. The Orioles are far worse than the Indians, but they have done the most damage in the past seven days. Rick Porcello made his start, and he was having a pretty good August, winning his last five starts. Well, on Friday night, that version of Porcello was nowhere to be seen. The righty was bad, but he cannot take all the blame. The defense behind him was the sloppiest it has been all season, committing five errors total. Porcello ended up surrendering eleven runs, but only four of them were earned. He did get hit hard though, and that led to him exiting the game with two outs in the fifth inning. The bullpen was atrocious, so bad in fact that MITCH MORELAND and Robby Scott were the only pitchers to throw scoreless innings. Scott pitched the eighth and Moreland the ninth, and he was pretty much the only bright spot of the night. Here he is striking out Caleb Joseph:

Offensively, Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run home run in the second to make it a 5-2 game, and it looked like the Red Sox were about to get back in this game. That’s not what happened though, and the only run the Red Sox scored came in the fifth, when Rafael Devers scored on a Sandy Leon sacrifice fly. Xander might be back, which is a positive, but there is not much good to take away from this one. Eduardo Rodriguez makes the start this afternoon, and the Red Sox need a good one, desperately. 

At least the Yankees lost, though.

73 down, 22 to go. 

How did Dellin Betances not get suspended for throwing at James McCann’s head?

So, in case you somehow haven’t seen or heard about this, there were three major “brawls” in yesterday’s Tigers-Yankees game in Detroit. There were about eight ejections and more discipline was dealt just a few minutes ago. Some notables who got suspended include Miguel Cabrera, Gary Sanchez, and Austin Romine. One player who did not get suspended, who 100% should have been, would be Yankees reliever Dellin Betances.

As you see here, Betances beans James McCann in the head with a 98 MPH fastball. I’m not going to say if it was intentional or not, given the fact the game was tied late. But still, you shouldn’t be able to get away with doing this. If you remember back in April, Matt Barnes threw a ball at Manny Machado’s head in Baltimore, and he was suspended four games.

Like Betances, Barnes said there was no intent behind it. Instead of getting nothing though, Barnes still was punished. That’s in the past, I just wish Betances received some type of suspension for what he did. From a Red Sox fan’s perspective, it’s not a good look for MLB since Joe Torre is the one making these disciplinary decisions.

RECAP: Chris Sale gets rocked as #RedSox drop finale to Indians 13-6.

Even after last night’s loss, the Red Sox still won the season series against the Cleveland Indians. There were a couple nice wins in there, like the Christian Vazquez walk off and the win against Corey Kluber on Wednesday. Unfortunately though, two of those three losses against the Indians came with Chris Sale as the starting pitcher. Throughout his career, the Indians have been the team that has given Sale the most trouble, and that was proven yet again on Thursday night. The lefty could only make it through three full innings before being lifted. The Indians scored a season-high seven runs (six earned) off of Sale in those three innings. In his shortest start of 2017, Sale did not look like himself and may have improved Corey Kluber’s case for the Cy Young Award. I don’t know if the Indians have some exclusive information on Sale, but they seem to have his number. Another concerning statistic is the fact that Sale is known to sort of give out as the season progresses into the later months of August, September, October. I’m not going to say I;m worried about Chris Sale, but it’s something to pay attention to.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen did not do much to keep the lineup in the game. Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman, Blaine Boyer, and Fernando Abad combined to pitch five innings while allowing six runs on eleven hits. Abad, who has only pitched four times this month, and he was the only pitcher to not allow an earned run. So, not the best series for the ‘pen in Cleveland, a place they’re probably going to have to visit in the postseason.

On the other side of things, Mitch Moreland carried the offense. After the Indians took a 4-0 lead into the third, Moreland responded by launching his first of two home runs on the day. The Indians tacked on another three runs in their half of the third, but the Red Sox responded again. A Mookie Betts leadoff double and a Rafael Devers walk led to Xander Bogaerts driving in both on an RBI triple. Next batter up, Mitch Moreland, drove in his second RBI of the game on an RBI single, making it a 7-4 game. That would be the only real offense until the eighth, where the Indians extended the lead to 13-4. In that inning, Mitch Moreland blasted another home run, his second of the day and seventeenth of the season.

We also got to see Rajai Davis make his Red Sox debut last night. Mookie Betts had to leave the game with a right knee contusion after slamming his knee into the right field wall while trying to make a catch in the seventh. It was cool to see Davis get a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd for his efforts in the postseason last year.

A series split isn’t the worst thing, and now the Red Sox will look to take care of the Orioles back at Fenway starting tonight. Rick Porcello makes the start in this one to kick off Player’s Weekend.

73 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz bounces back from back spasms by striking out nine; #RedSox defeat Indians 6-1.

Note: Prior to last night’s game, the Red Sox made a couple of moves. The first, placing Jackie Bradley Jr. on the 10-Day Disabled List because of that hand injury he suffered on Tuesday. Secondly, the Red Sox acquired OF Rajai Davis from the Oakland Athletics for an OF prospect. Deven Marrero and Hector Velazquez have also been called up, but with the addition of Davis and Blaine Boyer coming off the DL, they will both be sent back down to Pawtucket.

After Doug Fister’s excellent performance on Tuesday, Drew Pomeranz looked to continue that last night. Despite coming off a case of back spasms, I’d say Pomeranz was pretty impressive given how long he was in the game. The lefty managed to scatter two hits over 5.1 innings, while also striking out nine Indians. Pitch count was an issue, and that was directly related to the four walks he gave up. It didn’t look like Pomeranz was too pleased with being removed before finishing the sixth, but I respect that move by Farrell given the fact he was at 103 pitches and coming off a back injury. The shutout performance lowered Pomeranz’s. ERA down to a season-best 3.18, while also lowering his ERA in August to 1.66.

In relief of Pomeranz, the bullpen got their first action in two days. Joe Kelly got the first call in the sixth, and he finished the inning while also getting the first two outs of the seventh. Next up, Addison Reed, and he served up yet another home run while pitching the rest of the seventh and the eighth inning. That home run by Edwin Encarnacion could have tied the game, but Corey Kluber’s antics prevented that from happening. Craig Kimbrel came out for the ninth, in a non-save situation, for the second time in a row. Kimbrel walked one, but still struck out the side, securing the 6-1 win, and at least a series split.

Offensively, the Red Sox could not do anything against Corey Kluber, who has been the American League’s best pitcher behind Chris Sale this season. It looked like Kluber was on his way to a shutout, until the top of the fifth. With two outs in the inning, Mitch Moreland took Kluber deep to right field, mashing his fifteenth home run of the season, and giving the Red Sox a very important 1-0 lead. Later on in the eighth, things got interesting with Kluber still on the mound. After getting the first two outs of the inning, Brock Holt singled. Then, with Eduardo Nunez up, Kluber took offense to a big swing, which led to him plunking him intentionally, putting runners on first and second. That led to Mookie Betts driving in Holt on an RBI single, extending the lead to 2-0. Kluber would leave the game with his team in a deeper hole, but at least he got his retribution though, right. What an idiot. I’m more mad about this than I’ve written but I don’t think anyone really cares about that. The game really got away from the Indians as soon as the ninth inning started. A passed ball allowed Rafael Devers to score with no outs, then Xander Bogaerts scored on a Brock Holt RBI double. To wrap the scoring up, Eduardo Nunez got the last laugh, taking Bryan Shaw deep to left for his tenth home run of the season. Just when I thought he was going to go cold, Nunez becomes one of my favorite players on the team, who would have thought.

Shoutout to Brock Holt for this celebration, too.

If the starting pitching hasn’t been good enough for you the past two days, Chris Sale gets the start against Trevor Bauer tonight. I’m interested to see if Rajai Davis will be in the lineup.

73 down, 22 to go. 

RECAP: Doug Fister gives up leadoff home run, proceeds to pitch complete game as #RedSox take Game 2 9-1.

Tuesday night was pretty emotional in both Boston and Cleveland. Prior to the start of this game, the Celtics made a trade with the Cavaliers, sending the likes of Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas along with others, for Kyrie Irving. Isaiah Thomas was beloved in Boston, and I’m pretty certain Kyrie was beloved in Cleveland, too. With that all transpiring, the attention kind of shifted away from the baseball game taking place at Progressive Field, and it was a great one. After the way Monday night went down, Doug Fister looked to right the ship against the Indians, a team he has faced three times since the start of August. The righty gave up a home run to the first batter he faced, Francisco Lindor, and it looked like the game was about to get away quick. Amazingly though, Fister responded by retiring three of the next four hitters and getting out of the inning. He then went on to pitch eight shutout innings while only allowing two baserunners to reach via a walk and a HBP. Fister was highly effective, keeping his pitch count down in order to pitch all nine innings. He’s had a few good starts while with the Red Sox, but this was certainly the best, and it could end up being the most important. With the way the bullpen collapsed on Monday, Fister provided those guys an opportunity to rest and regroup. That could be big as the final full month of the season approaches. It looks like he’ll make his next start against the Orioles on Sunday, so it should be interesting to see if he build on this start later in the week.

On the other side of things, Carlos Carrasco made the start for The Tribe, and I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I don’t think the Red Sox are a team he has a ton of success against. Hanley Ramirez picked up where he left off Monday, driving in the first run of the game in the first on a RBI single, scoring Andrew Benintendi from third. In the second, Xander Bogaerts, who did record two hits last night, scored from third on a Sandy Leon sacrifice fly. Later on in the fifth, Jackie Bradley Jr. added a run to the Red Sox total by mashing his fourteenth home run of the season 408 feet to center field. Unfortunately for JBJ, he had to leave the game with a hand issue in the seventh, after both he and Sandy Leon scored on a Eduardo Nunez double. Andrew Benintendi drove in Nunez on an RBI double in the seventh, and Nunez would cap this one-off with a three-run home run in the eighth, giving the Red Sox a 9-1 lead. Carrasco still pitched into the seventh inning, but he gave up six home runs, which is something you don’t see too often. It was good to see Nunez break out of his 0 for 13, and Xander Bogaerts seems to be figuring things out as well with his two hits.

Nice rebound performance, hopefully Drew Pomeranz can make his start later tonight.

72 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox surrender lead late as Indians wak it off 5-4 in the ninth.

Yeah, last night was pretty ugly. The Red Sox opened up a four game series in Cleveland on Monday in about the worst way possible. Eduardo Rodriguez made the start, and he was matched up against Indians righty Mike Clevinger. The problem last night did not come from the starting pitching, ERod was fine in the 5.2 innings he pitched. The lefty surrendered three runs, on one home run from Roberto Perez, over that span, while also allowing four hits and two walks with five strikeouts to go along with that. I didn’t necessarily agree with him being lifted with two outs in the sixth inning, but he was, with Joe Kelly coming in to replace him. Kelly had the best night out of anyone in the bullpen, being the only one to throw a complete inning. He finished the sixth, then pitched a scoreless seventh as well. Things turned for the worst when Matt Barnes entered the game in the bottom of the eighth. First off, Matt Barnes is not a good pitcher on the road, as he owns an ERA north of five while pitching away from Fenway Park. Second, I didn’t agree with using Barnes in that high leverage situation, being that the Red Sox were only up by one run when Barnes entered the game. While failing to record an out, Barnes walked the first guy he faced, then proceeded to give up a single. Heath Hembree came in to try and clean up that mess, but he ended up allowing the tying run on an Edwin Encarnacion single. After he only got one out, Robby Scott came through with the clutchest performance out of the bullpen, striking out the only two batters he faced, but it was short-lived. Brandon Workman came in for the ninth, and he too failed to record an out. The first batter he faced, Brandon Guyer doubled to left, and that was followed by a Roberto Perez sacrifice bunt. Brock Holt, who was playing first for what had to be the first time this season, double clutched before throwing the ball to third to try and get Guyer out. Unfortunately, the ball got by Rafael Devers, and that allowed Guyer to score, and the meltdown was complete.

Apparently Addison Reed was not available last night, so that’s why we didn’t see him. It would have been better to see Brandon Workman come in with a lead, but it sounds like Manager John likes using him to start an inning instead of in the middle of one. I don’t know about Craig Kimbrel, but what I do know is that Matt Barnes should stop getting treated like a set-up guy because the numbers prove he isn’t.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox bats definitely could have done more off of Clevinger, given the fact that he walked four in the four and a third innings he pitched. But, it was good to see both Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez go yard in this one. That was it though for the scoring, the Indians bullpen did a nice job despite Andrew Miller getting hurt again.

Doug Fister gets the start tonight, so I’m not expecting much there, maybe the offense can pick him up against Carlos Carrasco, we’ll have to wait and see.

71 down, 24 to go.