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: #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. 

RECAP: Mitch Moreland and JBJ save the day as #RedSox take game one against Tigers 5-3.

Just a quick Saturday recap for all you readers out there.

Brian Johnson made his first start since Memorial Day Weekend. He did not have the same type of performance he did that Saturday. Johnson only got through 4.1 innings before he was relieved by Heath Hembree. The bullpen was great on Friday night, as Hembree, Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, and Craig Kimbrel pitched a combined 4.2 innings while striking out eight Tigers and not allowing a single run. This is going to sound dumb, but the core of Hembree, Kelly, and Barnes have been one of my favorite things about this Red Sox team. For the most part, they have been outstanding for a group that was supposed to be the weakest link. Obviously, Brian Johnson wasn’t great, but with ERod out for an extended period of time, he’s still the best option.

All the runs the Red Sox scored last night came off the bat of either Mitch Moreland or Jackie Bradley Jr. Moreland had one of his best days in a Red Sox uniform with three hits, including a home run and another double, along with two RBIs, and one of those was the tying run in the eighth. Jackie Bradley had the most important hit of the game, but before that, the center fielder drove in the team’s second run of the night. The Red Sox could’ve gotten more in that fourth inning, but Hanley Ramirez was called out at third to end the inning. Like I said, JBJ had the most important hit of the game, and that came in the bottom of the eighth. With two outs and Mitch Moreland on first, Bradley took Alex Wilson deep, all the way to the seats in right field to give the Red Sox a 5-3 lead. That would be JBJ’s fourth home run over his last 13 games, and it would be all Craig Kimbrel would need to get the Tigers in order.

Big time pitching matchup tonight with Justin Verlander vs. Chris Sale on FOX.

33 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: David Price serves up two home runs; #RedSox drop series to Yanks in 9-1 loss.

Isn’t it ironic that a pitcher getting paid $31 million dollars this season can’t seem to handle the media in the market he decided to play for. To add on to that, the same guy can’t seem to pitch well in a place with another heavy media presence in New York. If you didn’t hear, David Price got in a heated argument with a reporter after Wednesday’s game. He then went on to say that reporters could only talk to him on days he pitches. So, it’s obvious that David Price’s time in Boston hasn’t been as smooth as he thought it would be.

Now, Thurday’s start was only his fifth overall start of 2017, so it’s hard to look at his performace yesterday like it’s a start in August. The 2012 Cy Young Award winner could only make it through five innings while surrendering six runs on eight hits and four walks. Price did not have his usual stuff, and that was easy to see based on the fact Price only struck out four batters. Gary Sanchez was the biggest problem for Price, as he took him deep twice. With what has transpired over the past 36 hours, I’m sure Price was relieved to leave New York last night. I believe he’ll make his next start against the Phillies at Fenway, so if he wants to win these fans over, he’ll have to put on a pretty great performance.

The Red Sox bullpen was kind of awful last night. Fernando Abad and Brandon Workman combined to pitch three innings while giving up five hits and three earned runs. I really didn’t understand why Workman was brought into the game since he hasn’t pitched since the beginning of May. The game was still in reach for the Red Sox, but Workman let it get away. I don’t know if Farrell thought it was mop up duty or if he actually thought Workman could keep them in it, but it didn’t work.

Offensively, the Red Sox scored an unearned run in the fourth, that’s it.

A 5-5 road trip isn’t bad, but it had the potential to be better. A mediocre Tigers team and an awful Phillies team are up next for a five game homestand, so I think this team has to win at least four of those.

32 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Rick Porcello gets rocked; #RedSox fail to score in 8-0 shutout loss.

Nothing like a nice punch to the gut after a three game winning streak, right? You should’ve known things were going to bad when you saw the lineup prior to Wednesday’s game. The two guys who probably should have been in the lineup but weren’t? Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland, who went deep three times total on Tuesday. Benintendi has the better case, especially since it appears he is coming out of that slump, but still.

It didn’t look like Rick Porcello was going to struggle the way he did last night. The New Jersey native only needed like 22 pitches to complete the first two innings, and he didn’t even give up a hit. The third through seventh were a different story, though. Over that stretch, Porcello allowed eight hits (2 HRs), two walks, and six runs (five earned). Blaine Boyer would enter to relieve Porcello with one out in the sixth, and he finished off the inning and pitched the eighth despite surrendering two runs on four hits and a walk. It’s quite clear now that Porcello is not in Cy Young form right now. Adjustments need to be made, I don’t know what else to say.

Nothing to talk about offensively, just the fact that Josh Rutledge completed 50% of hitting for the cycle with a triple and a double. It’s embarrassing that this team got shut out by a 36-year-old CC Sabathia. It’s also embarassing that Chris Carter, batting in the 9 hole, got three hits off Red Sox pitching last night. David Price takes the mound tonight, matched up against Michael Pineda. Can’t take first place from the Yankees, but you can still leave the Bronx with a series win and a 6-4 road trip.

32 down, ? to go.