RECAP: Eduardo Rodriguez gives up seven runs; #RedSox lose opener in Baltimore 7-5.

As I said yesterday, it would be great if the Red Sox won at least three out of four in Baltimore to maybe gain some ground in the AL East standings. Well, after Thursday’s loss, taking three out of four looks less probable. The Orioles had an awful May, going 12-16, including a season-high 7 game losing streak. Their struggles have been highlighted by Manny Machado, whose BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, and OPS+ are currently the worst they have been since his MLB debut in 2012. With all that in mind, I thought the Red Sox had a good shot at winning this series. Eduardo Rodriguez got the start, and before the game even started, things looked rough. While he was warming up in the bullpen, ERod took a tumble, and stayed down for a few minutes. Being aware of this, John Farrell alerted the home plate umpire that ERod may not be 100%, and I don’t think he was. The 24 year-old Venezuelan southpaw nearly got through six innings, but not before giving up four home runs, which scored all seven runs for the Orioles. Blaine Boyer would come in to relieve Rodriguez with two outs in the sixth, he got all four outs he was responsible for, ending the sixth along with getting the O’s in order in the seventh. Fernando Abad was responsible for the eighth, and despite getting into a jam, he got out of the inning without giving up a run. Rick Porcello, David Price, and Chris Sale are next up in this series, and each start should be exciting to watch.

Offensively, the Red Sox could virtually do nothing against former Red Sox starter Wade Miley. The only run they got off Miley came in the second, when Christian Vazquez drove in Sam Travis on an RBI single. The bats would go silent until the top of the ninth, when the Red Sox got four of their nine hits and four of their five runs. Christian Vazquez would drive in two more runs on another RBI single. Then, Jackie Bradley took Donnie Hart deep for a three-run blast, making it a two-run game. Pablo Sandoval would bat next, with the chance to get the tying run to the plate, but unfortunately for the Red Sox, he grounded out, and that ended the game.

This offense is kind of a head scrather. They seem to score a majority of their runs in bunches, and they can’t seem to score much off mediocre pitchers. Mookie Betts continues to struggle, dropping his BA to .266 after an 0 for 4 performance. It is good to see JBJ heat up with the bat, though, that’s a positive from this loss.

29 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz pitches seven quality innings; #RedSox take series with 4-1 win.

After his awful start in Oakland and an argument with the manager, things weren’t looking all that great for Drew Pomeranz. Ever since he came here last July, it’s been a disappointing experience, riddled with mediocre and pretty bad starts. But, over his past two starts against the Rangers and White Sox, Pomeranz has looked like the guy that made the NL All Star team last season. The 28 year-old southpaw pitched into the seventh inning for the first time this season Wednesday night, going a total of seven innings while scattering seven hits, surrendering one run, and striking out eight. Over his last two outings, Pomeranz has pitched 13 innings, given up 11 hits, 3 earned runs, only walked one batter, all while striking out 19 total batters. With a healthy David Price returning to the rotation along with this version of Drew Pomeranz, this rotation has the potential to be lethal, one of the best in baseball. The Red Sox bullpen didn’t need to do much last night, as Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel finished the White Sox off. Barnes got them in the eighth, and Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth, picking up his fifteenth save of the season.

Offensively, the Red Sox bats couldn’t do anything against journeyman starter Mike Pelfrey Wednesday night. Through the first five innings, the Red Sox reached base a total of four times, that’s it. Apparently Pelfrey has awful numbers when he faces a lineup for a third time, so the White Sox took him out after five. That decision really benefited the Red Sox, as they scored all four of their runs in the sixth. After loading the bases with only one out, Josh Rutledge got his chance to give his team the lead. Unfortunately, he grounded out to short, but the double play was avoided thanks to Rutledge’s speed, and that tied the game at 1. Pablo Sandoval would be next, and he drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single. After getting the lead, Christian Vazquez almost immediately increased that lead, driving in Rutledge and Sandoval on a double to left center. That would conclude the scoring for the Red Sox in Chicago. I mean, it’s not all that encouraging that the Red Sox could only score in one inning, but I’ll take it, especially since they took two out of three from the White Sox.

Next up, the Orioles in Baltimore. Four games against a team that just had an awful May. ERod, Porcello, Price, and Sale are all expected to pitch, so I think 3 out of 4 would be a nice goal to reach.

29 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox even things up with ChiSox despite Sale’s struggles; win 13-7.

When it was announced that Chris Sale would be matched up against Jose Quintana Tuesday night, fans and analysts everywhere were expecting a pitcher’s duel. Well, that’s about the opposite of went down. Sale got off to a rough start for his standards, giving up a hit and a walk in the first inning. Despite all the base runners, Sale still managed to get all three outs via strikeout. The second inning was even worse for Sale, as he gave up three runs on four hits, and he still got two more strikeouts. After allowing another run in the third, Sale came back out for the fourth. With two outs and a runner on first, Todd Frazier came up for his third AB of the game. Before the game, Frazier talked to the media about he wanted to take his former teammate deep, and that’s exactly what he did, pulling the White Sox within one run. Sale’s day would end after pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth. His worst start with the Red Sox for sure, but I was expecting Sale to be off considering the fact he was playing his first team. Heath Hembree was responsible for the sixth and seventh, and he had a nice bounce back outing, not allowing a hit in either inning. Blaine Boyer struggled in this third appearance out of the Red Sox bullpen, surrendering one run on four hits while only getting through two-thirds of the eighth. With two outs in the eighth, Craig Kimbrel got the call and would have to end the game by getting four outs. Kimbrel recorded his fourteenth save of the season, collecting two strikeouts on the way to the win.

Like I said, with Jose Quintana on the mound for the White Sox, nobody was expecting the Red Sox to score runs at the rate they did last night. After a scoreless first, the Red Sox bats picked things up, crossing the plate seven times over the next two innings. Deven Marrero and Mookie Betts hit back to back jacks in the second, and Marrero went deep again in the fourth, scoring Chris Young and Sam Travis along with him. Three more runs came across in the fifth, all coming on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s sixth home run of the season. Two more home runs would be hit by the Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts hit one in the eighth, and Mitch Moreland hit a two-run home run in the ninth to cap off an incredible offensive night. In total, Red Sox hitters hit six home runs, and more than half the lineup went yard Tuesday night. Deven Marrero and Sam Travis easily had their best games at the Major League Level, with Marrero going deep twice and Travis getting three hits, including two doubles.

After a bit of a lull offensively, it looks like these bats are about to breakout again. Hanley Ramirez and Sandy Leon were the only hitters who failed to get a hit, and both still reached base via a HBP and a walk. Chris Sale stunk last night, he said that himself, but I’m not too worried. With Pablo Sandoval returning from the DL, the infield could get a bit crowded. I like Josh Rutledge, but I don’t think he’s an everyday player. I would expect Marrero to move over to second until Dustin Pedroia returns from his injury. Drew Pomeranz takes the hill today, that could go many different ways.

28 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: David Price makes strong 2017 debut; #RedSox drop tough one in Chicago 5-4.

After winning six in a row, it looked like this Red Sox team had started to find their way as a whole. Well, now the Red Sox have hit another snag, dropping their second consecutive game on Memorial Day. This game had plenty of hype beforehand, and that was because David Price, the $31 million dollar man, was making his first start of the 2017 season. For someone who has not faced Major League batters since last October, Price was mostly good throughout the 5 innings he pitched. Like I said yesterday, I was expecting the worst for Price, and many people were, but I was thoroughly impressed with what I saw from the 2012 Cy Young Award winner. He really only got into trouble in the third inning, when he walked two of the first three hitters he faced. Melky Cabrera would come up to the plate next, and he took full advantage of Price, taking him yard to left center, driving in three, and giving the White Sox a 3-1 lead. Price would go on to pitch two more innings, getting taken out after five full with only 88 pitched because of a pitch limit. So, the bullpen was responsible for the last three innings of the game, and they had a one run lead to work with. Joe Kelly walked one while pitching a shutout sixth, and he was relieved by Matt Barnes, who was awful. Barnes gave up three hits and two earned runs, which gave the White Sox a 5-4 lead, and that would be the final score. Blaine Boyer made his second appearance for the Red Sox, and he retired the White Sox in order to end the eighth inning. The biggest takeaway pitching wise is obviously David Price’s strong return to this rotation. Sale, Price, Porcello, and even Rodriguez could really be something special if they all pitch the way they are capable of. Another thing I took away from this loss is the bullpen. Yesterday it was Hembree, today it was Barnes. Two guys John Farrell relies on heavily in key situations. With the returns of Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg still being question marks, these guys need to pitch on a more consistent basis.

Offensively, the Red Sox were flat for the second game in a row, only recording four hits on the afternoon. They got the first run in this one, which usually results in wins, but that didn’t help on Monday. Xander Bogaerts drove in the first run of the game, hitting a sac fly that allowed Mookie Betts to score from third. After not scoring in the second and third, two more runs crossed the plate in the fourth. The first coming when Hanley Ramirez scored on a Christian Vazquez double, the second coming on a Jackie Bradley Jr. ground out, which scored Sam Travis from third. The final run the Red Sox scored, which was the go-ahead run at the time, came in the fifth, when Mookie Betts drilled one out barely over the left field wall, his fifteenth of the season. Seeing Mookie going 2 for 4 on Monday was definitely encouraging to see. It was kind of a weird game for substitutions, since the Red Sox made plenty of them. Dustin Pedroia had to leave the game early with a wrist issue, and he was replaced by Josh Rutledge. I just saw that he is heading back to Boston for an MRI, so that’s discouraging. Sam Travis only played like the first four or five innings, he was defensively replaced by Mitch Moreland. It was also interesting to see Sandy Leon, a .240 hitter this season, pinch hit for Deven Marrero in the ninth. That move didn’t work, to nobody’s surprise.

If you really want to be an optimist, you can take Price’s performance and say this game was a positive. But, I’m looking at it more like this team is heading back down to earth after that win streak. I wouldn’t be surprised if Farrell’s on the hot seat again in one-two weeks.

27 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Rick Porcello struggles as #RedSox drop series finale 5-0.

Saturday’s game was described by many as the best Red Sox victory of the season. Brian Johnson threw a complete game shutout and the Red Sox got their sixth straight win. Well, that high didn’t last that long, as Sunday’s loss was filled with plenty of frustrating moments. Rick Porcello was matched up against M’s righty Christian Bergman, and the best pitcher was not who you’d expect. Porcello found himself in jams throughout the game, surrendering 11 hits in only 6.1 IP. The only inning in which Porcello did not allow a hit was the sixth. After allowing two of the first three batters to reach base in the seventh, Porcello was relieved for Robby Scott. Scott got Robinson Cano to fly out to Mookie Betts, and that was the only hitter he faced. Heath Hembree would be used next, and he allowed an inherited runner to score before getting out of the inning. Hembree also pitched the entire eighth inning, and he gave up a solo home run to Guillermo Heredia. Fernando Abad, whose had a quietly good season up to this point, started the eighth, and he only recorded one out while giving up a two-run home run to Robinson Cano. The last pitcher who saw action for the Red Sox was Blaine Boyer, a 35-year-old journeyman reliever who just got called up Sunday morning. Boyer had a fine debut, getting Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager out on a foul out and a line out. Yeah, so, Rick Porcello’s recent performances haven’t been awful, but they haven’t been 2016 Cy Young Award winner performances either. And for as good as the numbers are, this bullpen is far from perfect, I’m just waiting for Carson Smith to come back.

Not much to report on the Red Sox offense. They made Bergman look like an ace Friday afternoon, which is something they have done before this season. Dustin Pedroia was the only batter who reached base more than once. Plenty of opportunities were given to this lineup, but they failed to capitalize on them. Red Sox hitters grounded into four double plays, and Andrew Benintendi grounded into two of them. What I have been paying attention to recently is how Mookie Betts’ average has dipped over the past few weeks. On May 14th, Betts began that day with a BA of .305 and a OBP of .381. After today’s 0-4 performance, Betts’ BA and OPS stand at .269 and .352. You obviously hope this slump is just a blip in Mookie’s season, since for a good part of the season, he has looked like a legit MVP candidate.

David Price pitches in Chicago against the White Sox tomorrow, 2:10 EST is first pitch. Should be interesting to watch, I’m expecting the worst but hoping for the best.

27 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Brian Johnson throws complete game shutout in third career start; #RedSox win 6-0.

After his start in Toronto on April 18th, in which he allowed four earned runs in five innings pitched, it didn’t look like Johnson would be back up anytime soon. Well, with the Red Sox looking for one last spot start before David Price is activated, Johnson get another opportunity to prove himself, and that is exactly what he did. Once again, I was at this game and watching Johnson pitch a complete game was quite a treat. Over those nine innings, Johnson scattered five hits and struck out eight, while not walking a single batter. In my opinion, what was most impressive was how Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager, the 3-5 hitters, did not get a single hit off Johnson, going a combined 0-12 with 5 K’s. I’m not trying to exaggerate, but today’s gem from Johnson may be the best pitching performances I’ve ever seen in person. Also, hats off to Jackie Bradley Jr. and his glove, made two outstanding catches Saturday that had a real impact on the outcome of this game. Here’s the one from the ninth:

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=19480095

Credit to Rob Whalen here, I honestly thought that guy wouldn’t make it out of the first inning, but he managed to pitch into the sixth. After leading the bottom half of the first off with a walk, Mookie Betts scored on a Xander Bogaerts single, and X would score on a single from Andrew Benintendi. The last run of the inning would be driven in by Sandy Leon, whose single allowed Benintendi to score from third. The inning could have continued if Hanley Ramirez stopped at third, but he ran through the stop sign and was tagged out at home plate. The Red Sox bats would go silent until the sixth, when Jackie Bradley Jr. launched his fifth home run of the year into the Red Sox bullpen, scoring Mitch Moreland along with him. The scoring wrapped up in the eighth, Mitch Moreland recorded his 26th RBI of the season when he drove Hanley Ramirez in on a single off the Monster.

Six wins in a row, this team is rolling, got to get the sweep tomorrow. The Mariners haven’t even scored a single run in the series, that’s how bad they have been recently. It stinks that Johnson got optioned back down to Pawtucket after the game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s up sooner rather than later.

27 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Eduardo Rodriguez pitches six scoreless innings; #RedSox beat Mariners 3-0 for fifth win in a row.

Up to this point in the season, I believe Eduardo Rodriguez can best be described as a solid number three starter out of the Red Sox rotation. He’s not an innings eater, but he is highly capable of limiting opposing teams in terms of hits and runs. Rodriguez gave up exactly one hit in every inning he pitched, except the sixth. He also struck out four while walking three. This performance lowered the 23 year old’s ERA down to a nice looking 2.77 on the year. The Red Sox bullpen didn’t allow any Mariners to cross the plate in a combined three innings of work. Heath Hembree got the seventh, Barnes got the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel recorded his thirteenth save of the season, unfortunately for Kimbrel, he failed to get any strikeouts. Next up for ERod, the Chicago White Sox, in Chicago.

The Red Sox offense managed to leave 19 runners on base Friday night, and they really didn’t have any trouble winning this game. The first run of the game was scored in the second, when Hanley Ramirez scored on a Josh Rutledge ground out. No more runs would score until the sixth, where the Red Sox scored twice without driving in either run. With one out and the bases loaded, Josh Rutledge scored on a wild pitch from M’s starter Yovani Gallardo. Later in the inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. scored on a Mike Zunino passed ball. That would be it in terms of scoring for the Red Sox bats. They had plenty of opportunities to score more runs, but failed to come up big with runners on base.

Like the title says, this team is low-key rolling with five straight wins. I may be too woke, but the Red Sox started this streak the day after Manager John chewed out Drew Pomeranz in front of the cameras, so there’s that.

26 down, ? to go.