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. 

RECAP: Benintendi, Moreland, and Ramirez all go deep; #RedSox take game one in The Bronx 5-4.

We all knew what was on the line going into the series. Sweep the Yankees in their house, take over first place in the East. The guy who had to kick things off for the Red Sox was Drew Pomeranz, who is coming off two of his best starts as a member of the Red Sox. The southpaw was effective in the innings he pitched in, unfortunately though, the pitch count was a constant issue. By the time Pomeranz got out of the fifth, he had thrown more than 120 pitches, and I’m pretty sure that’s the most he has thrown in his career. On paper, it looks like Pomeranz was great in those five innings. His final line looks like this: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, and 7 K’s. The biggest mistake Pomeranz made was a fifth inning home run off the bat of Chris Carter, which made it a 5-2 game. It didn’t look like he was going to be able to get through the fifth, but he did and because of that, he picked up his sixth win of the season. Only negative thing I’m gonna say pertaining to Pomeranz is the pitch count. Guy has gotta work on being more aggressive or something, because you can’t be throwing your ninetieth pitch of the game in the fourth.

With Pomeranz only going five deep, the bullpen was going to get a hefty amount of work in. Robby Scott, Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel combined to pitch 4 innings, allow four total baserunners, while surrendering two runs and striking out six. Joe Kelly pitched the seventh, and threw one of the hardest pitches I’ve seen at 103.5 MPH. Last note on the bullpen, Craig Kimbrel is really something else. He must have got over whatever made him struggle here last season, because he has been as dominant as you can get. On Tuesday, Kimbrel was responsible for ending the eighth along with the ninth. After getting out of the eighth, Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth, notching his seventeenth save of the season.

Offensively, the Red Sox bats kicked things off in the first with Mookie Betts scoring the first run of the game on a ground out from Xander Bogaerts. After going scoreless in the second and third, this is how I would describe the Red Sox half of the fourth if I had to use a GIF:

Image result for hanley ramirez mitch moreland gif

Yup, Mitchy Four Bags and Hanley Ramirez went back-to-back in the fourth, driving in three runs in the process. The scoring for the Red Sox would conclude in the fifth, when Andrew Benintendi hit his third home run in the past two games, which was an absolute bomb over that short right field porch at Yankee Stadium.

With the win, the Red Sox have won 11 of their last 15 and have the second most wins in the American League. Rick Porcello gets the start against CC Sabathia today with the chance to even things up with the Yankees in the standings.

32 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Chris Sale and Andrew Benintendi help #RedSox split series with O’s in 7-3 win.

Things didn’t look great for the Red Sox on Friday night. The Sox had just dropped their second consecutive game to the Orioles, who seemed to be hitting their stride after a rough May. Luckily for the Red Sox, David Price and Chris Sale were there to salvage the series. Price pitched eight quality innings Saturday, and Sale pitched six solid innings on Sunday. There probably weren’t many people who thought Sale could go six after the first inning he had, but here we are talking about. The southpaw allowed three runs in the first, although I don’t completely blame him for all those runs. With one out in the inning and runners on first and second, the Orioles decided to try a double-steal, and it looked as if Sandy Leon picked off Joey Rickard at third. However, a challenge from Buck Showalter would show that Rickard’s hand touched the bag before Pablo Sandoval tagged him, resulting in runners on second and third with only one out. This play just says everything you need to know about Pablo Sandoval’s tenure as a member of the Red Sox thus far, just about worthless in every aspect of the game. If Deven Marrero was at third, that’s an out and that’s a fact. Instead Chris Sale gives up a double to Chris Davis, which allowed those runners to score. The Orioles would score their last run of the game in the first, when Jonathan Schoop drove in Davis on an RBI double. Sale really grinded his way to another quality start, only allowing three hits over the next five innings while striking out nine total. The Red Sox bullpen held their own on Sunday, as Blaine Boyer, Robby Scott, and Matt Barnes combined to pitch three innings while giving up three hits, zero runs, and striking out two. I saw a stat saying that Sale has like a 4.30 ERA over his past three starts, but I’m not worried about that, no Red Sox fan should.

The Red Sox offense recorded nine hits for the second day in a row Sunday afternoon. Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to break out of his early struggles, as he drove in two runs on a single in the first. Andrew Benintendi had his best game as a Major Leaguer, reaching base four times, including two home runs and a single, which drove in a total of three runs. With those two bombs from Benintendi, not only was it the first multi-home run game of his career, yesterday’s game could be the first step to getting Benintendi out of this slump. The other two runs the Red Sox scored came on a fielding error in the sixth, when Francisco Pena, the catcher, overthrew Manny Machado, and that allowed Mitch Moreland and Jackie Bradley to score.

To me, it feels weird to say this, but, if the Red Sox sweep the Yankees this week, they could have sole possession of first place going into next weekend’s series against the Tigers. No game today, FWIW, off-day.

31 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: David Price pitches into eighth inning; #RedSox avoid O’s late rally with 5-2 win.

Looking to build on his 2017 debut, David Price took the mound to face the Baltimore Orioles for the first time this season. Price was great, while also being very effective with his pitch limit. The 2012 Cy Young Award winner went deeper into the game than he did in Chicago, pitching 7+ innings, surrendering three hits and only one run, while striking out seven Orioles. The only real trouble Price ran into came in the bottom of the seventh, when Manny Machado took the southpaw deep for his twelfth homer of the year. I was surprised to see Price come out for the eighth, but as it turns out, he would only face one batter before his day was over. The funny thing was that Price struck Jonathan Schoop out, but because of a passed ball by Christian Vazquez, Schoop was able to reach first. I think it’s safe to say this is what Red Sox fans wanted to see out of David Price. Through his first two starts, Price’s ERA currently sits at a solid 3.00. Both of his starts have come on the road, so I’m interested to see how he will perform when he makes his first start of the year at Fenway.

John Farrell only needed two other pitchers to secure the win, but Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel were not at the top of their game. Kelly came in to relieve Price in the eighth, and he was able to get J.J. Hardy to hit into a double play right out of the gate. Unfortunately for Kelly, the next two batters he faced reached base, setting up Craig Kimbrel to come into the game with the chance to get a four out save. Kimbrel got out of the inning easy, but the ninth was a different story. I’m not trying to defend Kimbrel too much here, but I really think he was affected by the fact that the Red Sox made it a four-run game in the top of the ninth. Anyway, Kimbrel gave up his first run in forever, but that didn’t stop him from picking up his sixteenth save of the season.

The Red Sox offense didn’t need to score a ton of runs thanks to David Price. Hanley Ramirez was the star of the game, potentially breaking out of a power struggle by going 2 for 3 with a home run, a double, a walk, and three RBIs. It was also nice to see Mookie Betts get two hits and an RBI since he has been struggling recently. Xander Bogaerts also drove in a run Saturday, scoring Mookie Betts from third on a fielder’s choice in the eighth.

Chris Sale gets the start today, looking to rebound from his worst start in a Red Sox uniform that took place in Chicago. With the chance to leave Baltimore with a split, I expect Chris Sale to be lights out Sunday.

Also, shout out to Mitch Moreland for this catch on an awful throw from Pablo Sandoval:

30 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Rick Porcello shakes off rough first inning; #RedSox drop game two 3-2.

Note: Before this game even started the Red Sox received bad news pertaining to Eduardo Rodriguez. ERod was placed on the 10-Day DL with a right knee injury, which happened while he was warming up for his start yesterday. Brandon Workman getting called up was the corresponding move, but it looks Brian Johnson will get the start in ERod’s slot next time around the rotation.

Doesn’t get much worse for a starting pitcher to give up a leadoff home run to start his outing. Unfortunately for Rick Porcello, that’s exactly what Seth Smith had in mind, taking the 28 year-old RHP deep after a long AB. That wouldn’t be the only damage done in the first, as a scuffling Manny Machado blasted his 11th home run of the season to left field with only one out. This would be the only real trouble Porcello would run into, save the fact the Orioles scored another run in the fourth. If you take away the first inning though, the Orioles only got five hits and one run off Porcello in five innings, which is nothing to be ashamed of against an offensive team like that. The Red Sox bullpen would be responsible for the seventh and eighth innings, and they did not allow a single run in that span. Heath Hembree, Robby Scott, and Joe Kelly combined for only one hit while striking out two Orioles in two innings of work.

This Red Sox offense appears to be stuck in a rut. The fact that they struggle to score runs against mediocre pitchers is kind of embarrassing for a team that had one of, if not the best offense in baseball in 2016. In his first start at third since being activated from the DL, Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the season in the top of the second. The only other run for the Red Sox would come in the seventh, when Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in Xander Bogaerts on a 2 out RBI single. The offensive struggles from the likes of Hanley Ramirez, Andrew Benintendi, and Mookie Betts have become quite evident during this road trip. Alec Asher got the best of this lineup today, hopefully Dylan Bundy doesn’t have the same luck.

By the way, shout out to Mookie for making one of the best catches you’ll see, just sprawled out for this one:

29 down, ? to go. 

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.