RECAP: Velazquez pitches into sixth; JBJ homers; #RedSox drop game one in KC 4-2.

After taking two out of three from a very impressive Houston Astros over the weekend, Hector Velazquez and the Red Sox looked to carry that momentum to Kansas City for a three game series against the Royals. No one was expecting the Mexican native to go more than six innings, so it was good to see him make it into the sixth. Velazquez didn’t dominate, allowing five hits and only striking out three in the 5.1 innings pitched, but he did scatter those hits for the most part. The only real mistake he made came in the bottom of the third. With two outs and a runner on, Eric Hosmer took Velazquez yard, giving the Royals a 2-0 lead. Other than that though, not bad stuff from a spot starter at the end of the rotation.

For the second night in a row, the bullpen was rather iffy. Fernando Abad came in to relieve Velazquez, but he gave up a hit and walked a batter before being removed, having failed to record a single out. Blaine Boyer would come after Abad, and he too was rather bad. After finishing off the sixth, Boyer came back out for the seventh, which was a different story. The Royals reached base three times off Boyer in the seventh, scoring twice, the first run being the go-ahead run. Things could have gone differently, as a one out triple from Drew Butera could have been a single if Jackie Bradley Jr. did not dive and miss, but he did. Robby Scott would come in to try and get out of the seventh, and that’s exactly what he did. Austin Maddox made his second career appearance out of the pen, and he pitched a scoreless eighth.

Offensively, the lineup couldn’t do much against the veteran righty Jason Hammel. Like Velazquez, the only real mistake Hammel made was a home run off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr., his ninth of the season. Speaking of JBJ, he recorded his first three hit game of the year, so it’s good to see him come into his own with the bat again. Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez also had multi-hit games, so those four accounted for 90% of Red Sox hits last night. Those two runs that came off the bat of JBJ were the only runs the Red Sox could score though, as the Royals bullpen shut them down over the last two innings.

Today is Sale Day, which is good. First place was fun while it lasted.

39 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi play key roles for #RedSox in series clinching 6-5 win.

Looking to wrap up Father’s Day with a series win over the Houston Astros, David Price took the mound for his first Sunday Night Baseball start of the season. The southpaw had an okay night, nothing extraordinary. 5+ innings, eight hits, three earned runs, three walks, and three strikeouts. The accuracy wasn’t quite there, but I’m not about to blame Price for the third run he gave up. After a rough fifth, Price came back out for the sixth and gave up another home run immediately. The fact that John Farrell didn’t make a change in between innings is really baffling. It seems like Farrell is really good at leaving a pitcher out there too long and then taking him out the second he makes another mistake. The bullpen got the job done last night, but the streak of 26 scoreless innings was snapped when Heath Hembree gave up a home run in the sixth. The Astros had the chance to tie the game in the eighth. With two outs and bases loaded, Robby Scott gave up a single to Carlos Beltran, which did score a run, but Andrew Benintendi’s cannon of an arm did not let Jose Altuve score the tying run. Great tag by Christian Vazquez too.

The Red Sox offense broke things open early with Xander Bogaerts blasting his first of two home runs in the top of the first. After going scoreless for the next four innings, Bogaerts went deep again, driving in Dustin Pedroia along with himself. Jackie Bradley Jr. also drove in two runs in the inning, lining a double to right that scored Hanley Ramirez and Benintendi. The last run the Red Sox scored came on Bogaert’s third hit of the game, a RBI single that scored Mookie Betts. X was the only guy in the lineup with more than one hit, while also hitting multiple home runs in the same game for the first time in his career.

Injury updates: Dustin Pedroia had to be removed from the game and spent the night at a Houston hospital because a HBP got his ribs. Also, Mookie Betts got roughed up twice last night. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s out of the lineup tonight in Kansas City,

Oh yeah, tied for first place feels pretty good too.

39 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Rick Porcello’s struggles continue as #RedSox drop second game to Astros 7-1.

Losing his last three starts, Rick Porcello came into Saturday’s game looking to end his current slump. Well, to make it short, that is not what happened last night. The 28 year-old got rocked yet again, surrendering six runs in the first three innings he pitched. Jose Altuve and Carlos Beltran both took him deep, and they tacked on another run in the sixth. If there’s any positive from this start, it’s that Porcello was still able to get through six innings, preserving the bullpen a little bit by doing so. The season he had last year is looking more and more like a fluke, as this season has been just as frustrating for Porcello as 2015 was. Another positive from this game was the fact that the Red Sox bullpen extended their scoreless innings streak to 26. Austin Maddox made his Major League debut, and he pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Fernando Abad was responsible for the eighth, and he too pitched a scoreless inning. It looks like Porcello will be making his next start against a mediocre Angels team, so hopefully he can begin to turn around his season then.

Offensively, the Red Sox offense was held in check by David Paulino, who scattered three hits over six innings of one-run ball. That only run came off the bat of Chris Young, who absolutely owns Minute Maid Park. Young mashed his third home run of the season in the fifth.

Rubber match is tonight on ESPN. David Price makes his fourth start of 2017 against Joe Musgrove.

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.