RECAP: Mookie Betts comes up clutch for #RedSox in 2-1 win over Astros.

Sorry for posting this so late, I’ll try to make this quick.

In his last start against Detroit, Drew Pomeranz was pretty awful, so awful, he couldn’t even get through five innings. Last night, he had a chance to redeem himself against the best team in the American League. I’m not gonna say he completely redeemed himself, but he definitely made strides towards doing that. The southpaw went the first six innings without giving up a single run. He probably should not have come out to start the seventh after nearly allowing a run, but he did. With one out, Brian McCann took him deep, tying the game and ending Pomeranz’s night. The bullpen continued their scoreless inning streak, upping it to 24 straight innings. Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, and Craig Kimbrel closed the game out, allowing four total base runners over the last 2.1 innings. It looks like Pomeranz will be making his next start in Kansas City, so he’ll look to build on this start against the Royals.

For the second night in a row, the Red Sox did not need to score much to keep themselves in the game. They scored the first run of the game, which came in the third when Mitch Moreland drove in Mookie Betts on an RBI single. Betts would score the only other run for the Red Sox, also. With the Astros just scoring in the previous inning and a new pitcher in the game, Betts swung at the first pitch he saw from Will Harris and he blasted one into the Crawford Boxes. That would be the only runs the Red Sox would need to pick up the win.

With the Yankees dropping their fourth game in a row last night, the Red Sox find themselves only one game back of first place.

Don Orsillo will be calling tonight’s game on Fox at eight, which is something most Red Sox fans have been looking forward to since it was announced a few weeks ago. Rick Porcello, also looking to rebound, makes the start against David Paulino.

 

RECAP: Chris Sale pitches another gem; #RedSox offense does nothing in 1-0 loss in series finale.

Five out of their last six. That’s how many games the Red Sox have won since Friday. Against a pretty bad team in the Phillies, it was looking like a team led by Chris Sale was about to go into Houston fresh off a four game sweep. Since the beginning of May, Sale has an ERA north of 4, which is unlike him. Thursday’s start was peak Chris Sale, as the southpaw pitched a complete game of one-run ball. He also struck out ten batters for the first time since May 19th. The only damage the Phillies did off of Sale came in the eighth, when pinch hitter Ty Kelly drove in Andrew Knapp on a one out RBI double. Sale only allowed four other hits, so this loss cannot be pinned on him, especially since he almost helped his own cause with a bat in his hand. The greatest takeaway from this start is the fact that Chris Sale gave the bullpen a day of rest before an important series in Houston, in which Drew Pomeranz is pitching in today.

As it has already been said, the Red Sox offense did virtually nothing last night. Tip off the cap to the pitcher Nick Pivetta and Howie Kendrick, who both played huge roles in limiting the Red Sox to zero runs and only five hits over nine innings. They had their chances, but strike outs in key situations and bad base running didn’t do any good. The last good opportunity to score any runs came in the eighth, where Chris Sale lined a double to left to lead off the inning and smiled.

He got to third on a line out, but Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts failed to score him. Another chance presented itself in the ninth, with Jackie Bradley on first with two outs, Pablo Sandoval came to the plate representing the go-ahead run. To nobody’s surprise, Sandoval struck out on three ugly pitches, like the waste of money he is.

Next up, the Red Sox spend the weekend in Houston. A decimated Astros rotation should help the cause, but that lineup is still pretty lethal. Eight o’clock start, Pomeranz on the mound, what could go wrong???

37 down, ? to go. 

 

RECAP: Brian Johnson exits early; Mookie Betts homers twice; #RedSox take Game 3 7-3.

After winning the first two games of this home-at-home series, the Red Sox made a visit to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, their first since 2015. Brian Johnson got the start, and Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval were on the field together for the first time in nearly two years. Johnson did not stay in the game long, as the 26 year-old left in the third with left shoulder discomfort. It doesn’t appear to be too severe, but Johnson will be heading back to Boston for more tests anyway. Prior to the game yesterday, Hector Velazquez was recalled from Pawtucket while Deven Marrero was sent down. As it turns out, the Red Sox needed Velazquez to limit the work of the bullpen. The Mexico native finished the third, and then went on to get through the sixth while only surrendering one hit. The bullpen wrapped things up from there, Joe Kelly, Heath Hembree, and Robby Scott pitched three scoreless innings, only allowing three baserunners over that span. With Johnson’s health in question, it looks like Velazquez could make his second start of the season next time Johnson’s spot comes up in the rotation.

Jeremy Hellickson did not stand a chance against the Red Sox offense last night. Five runs crossed the plate over the first two innings, highlighted by RBI doubles from Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts. Speaking of Betts, what a night he had. In the first four innings, Betts already had three quarters of the cycle down, only needing a triple. No more runs would come until the ninth. With Mookie Betts up with the chance to hit for the cycle, he went deep again, his eleventh of the season, giving the Red Sox a 7-3 lead and essentially the win.

Now a season best nine games over .500, The Red Sox have the best record in Major League Baseball since they won that finale in Oakland. Last year at this time, they actually had the same record as they do now. So, for as frustrating this season has seemed at times, it’s not that bad.

37 down, ? to go. 

 

RECAP: David Price notches quality start; Andrew Benintendi plays hero as #RedSox walk it off in the twelfth.

Who would have thought it would take 23 innings to beat the worst team in baseball twice? Well, that’s the way it has gone over the past two days. In fact, the last three games the Red Sox have played in have taken over 12 hours to complete. They’ve won two of those games, and now, they are a season best eight games over .500.

Let’s get to the game itself. David Price was matched up against Ben Lively, a 25-year-old who has won Minor League Pitcher of the Year in two different organizations. Surprisingly, Lively outpitched Price, going an inning more than the southpaw. The first three innings were interesting, as Price only needed six pitches to get through the first, but needed around 60-70 pitches to get through the next two. The Phillies tacked on their first runs in the third, when Price surrendered a two run home run to Aaron Altherr with one out in the inning. The only other real trouble Price ran into came in the sixth, when the Phillies scored their last run of the game on a fielder’s choice. All and all, not a great start, but certainly better than his last start in New York. Again, the bullpen was basically flawless last night. Robby Scott, Blaine Boyer, Craig Kimbrel, Heath Hembree, and Fernado Abad shut out the Phillies over the last six innings of the game, striking out five over that span. I believe David Price will be making his next start in Houston, on Sunday Night Baseball, which should be interesting to watch.

The Red Sox offense started things out with three runs in the first three innings. Benintendi drove in a run in the first, Christian Vazquez drove in the second run, and Mitch Moreland stayed hot, launching his ninth home run of the year in the third. No more runs would score until the twelfth, but the Red Sox did have their chances. Like in the tenth, Dustin Pedroia was faked out by Maikel Franco, ending the inning by getting tagged out at third base. In the twelfth, Andrew Benintendi came up to the plate with one out and runners on first and third. The rookie walked it off, his first career walk off hit, giving the Red Sox the 4-3 win.

About two years ago, Benintendi was in the process of getting drafted in the first round by the Red Sox, today, he is the every day left fielder and an important member of this Red Sox team.

36 down, ? to go.

RECAP: Porcello struggles; Hanley homers; Pedroia walks it off as #RedSox win 6-5.

With the Phillies in town, there was a sense that the Red Sox needed to take both games in order to stay in striking distance of the hot Yankees. It didn’t look good at first, I mean, the Phillies scored four times in the first. I don’t know what to think about Rick Porcello right now. Statistically, he’s looking like 2015 pre DL Porcello, but when I watch him pitch this season, I have this confidence in him since he won the Cy Young last season. After giving up four in the first, Porcello would go on to pitch five more innings, only giving up one run in that span. After that, the Red Sox bullpen was incredible. Joe Kelly, Roby Scott, Craig Kimbrel, and most importantly Matt Barnes, combined to pitch five innings while only allowing four hits, zero hits, and striking out seven, including five from Barnes. Good stuff from the pen, Porcello makes his next start in Houston, so hopefully he can have a nice rebound start there.

Offensively, the Red Sox had plenty of work to do right from the start. Andrew Benintendi got the scoring started in the second, mashing his ninth home run of the season to center field. In the third, two more runs were tacked on. The first came on a Dustin Pedroia ground out that scored Mookie Betts. The second came off the bat of Andrew Benintendi again, this time an RBI single that scored Mitch Moreland. Another run would cross the plate in the fourth when Jackie Bradley Jr. scored on a Mookie Betts double. Fast forward to the eighth when the Red Sox trailed by one, Hanley Ramirez came to the plate with the chance to tie, and that’s exactly what he did, blasting a solo shot, his ninth, completely over the Green Monster. The game would stay tied until the eleventh, when Dustin Pedroia drove in the game-winning run on a walk-off single.

A win is a win, and that was definitely fun to watch, but it really shouldn’t take that much to beat the worst team in baseball.

35 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz stinks it up; #RedSox fail to sweep Tigers in 8-3 loss.

Remember when I said that even when Drew Pomeranz doesn’t suck, he still sucks? Well, that’s what it felt like last night. Another game on national television, and this time, the Red Sox could not pick up the win. Daniel Norris vs. Drew Pomeranz is not exactly, a premier pitching match up, but that’s what we got. Both pitchers allowed plenty of hitters to reach base, as the teams combined to leave 47 runners on base. Norris was able to outlast Pomeranz, though, barely, but still. The 28 year-old southpaw only went 4.2 innings, allowing eight hits and loading the bases in consecutive innings. When he was taken out, the Red Sox were only losing 3-2, but Heath Hembree, who came in to relieve Pomeranz, unloaded the bases, serving up a grand slam to Justin Upton. The Tigers would go on to score two more runs in that inning, and that was all the scoring they did. After Hembree, Blaine Boyer and Fernando Abad kept the Red Sox in the game, limiting the Tigers to only three hits in the final four innings. So, after needing 123 pitches to get through five in New York, Pomeranz couldn’t even get through five Sunday. I’d say pit him in the bullpen, but he is better than any starter in Pawtucket, so I think you have to keep him in the rotation for now.

Offensively, the Red Sox scattered three runs, one in the first, one in the third, one in the sixth. I feel like if a team gets 12 hits, they should score more than three runs. Alas, that’s what happened to the Red Sox sunday night. Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, and Christian Vazquez drove in the three runs. Mookie Betts, Pedroia, Hanley, and Jackie Bradley Jr. all had multiple hits. If this team had more power, maybe they could make games more interesting.

34 down, ? to go.

RECAP: #RedSox bats cruise to 11-3 victory with the help of Chris Sale.

 

This game was on national television, mainly because a Cy Young Award winner was pitching against a perennial All-Star. Neither pitcher put on a dominating performance, but they were both good enough to keep their respective teams in the game. Sale outlasted Verlander, as he pitched seven innings while Verlander only pitched five. I was surprised to see Sale come out for the seventh with 100 pitches already thrown, but it only took him like 9 pitches to get through the seventh and lessen the workload for the bullpen. The southpaw struck out seven Tigers all while never walking a single batter. The Tigers scored all their runs in the fifth and sixth, and although he got scored on, Sale really didn’t get hit hard Saturday night. The bullpen did their job once again. Matt Barnes got the Tigers in order in the eighth, and Blaine Boyer got them in order in the ninth. It looked like Craig Kimbrel was going to come in for a save opportunity, but the Red Sox blew the doors open in their half of the eighth. Last note on the pitching pertains to Chris Sale. It looks like he is evening out quite a bit numbers wise. His first few starts were borderline dominant, while the rest have been good, but not great.

Before I start talking about the offense, I just want to say that the Tigers bullpen is downright awful. I mean, I like Alex Wilson (former Red Sox prospect) and KRod, but that group of guys can’t seem to keep a game close.

Anyway, Mitch Moreland was the hero once again, as the veteran first baseman drove in the two go-ahead runs on a double in the seventh. He also drove in the second run of the game in the third on a single that scored Sandy Leon. Moreland was not the only guy in the lineup with multiple RBI’s, Andrew Benintendi drove in three, and Josh Rutledge drove in two. The only batter who did not get a hit last night was Mookie Betts, and he walked three times. It’s funny how this team still lacks power but they can score plenty of runs in different ways.

Also…

Image result for josh rutledge gif

33 down, ? to go.