RECAP: Masahiro Tanaka outpitches Drew Pomeranz as #RedSox drop third game in series 5-1.

I don’t have many words to describe what I just watched. It wasn’t awful by any means, but at no point, did I find myself really getting in to and enjoying this game. That’s the way it was Thursday night too, and those games went about the exact same way. They lost 6-2 on Thursday, and they lost 5-1 today, so the same run differential. Eduardo Rodriguez was okay in the first game, and Drew Pomeranz would’ve been too if it were not for one mistake pitch to Matt Holliday. You could make the case that John Farrell should have removed Pomeranz before he faced Holliday in the sixth, but that was not the case. In the first five innings, the lefty managed to scatter six hits and one walk while surrendering just one run, a home run, and striking out four. Going into the sixth, Pomeranz’s pitch count was in a good place, so there was no problem there. A leadoff walk was not a great sign, then he allowed Chase Headley to reach on a single. This all made way for Matt Holliday, who launched a three-run shot over the left field wall to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead. Pomeranz would strikeout Greg Bird before getting lifted from the game with only one out in the inning. Brandon Workman would come into the game, end the bottom half of the sixth, then allow a run in the seventh before getting lifted in favor of Fernando Abad with one out in the inning. The seldom used Abad would end the inning on a pop out and a fly out, then we got to see Austin Maddox for the first time since July 16th, and he pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Since he got hit with the loss, Pomeranz’s streak of eight straight winning decisions came to an end. Despite a solid month of August, Pomeranz’s ERA is right where it was at the beginning of the month at 3.36. It looks like the southpaw will make his next start Friday against the Rays, a team he has somewhat struggled against this season, so hopefully he can rebound in a positive way.

As the title reads, Masahiro Tanaka was great today against the Red Sox, as he usually is. In the seven innings they saw him, the Red Sox bats could only muster one run off the righty from Japan. That only run came in the sixth inning, when Eduardo Nunez scored from third on a wild pitch with Mookie Betts at the plate. So, not one member of the Red Sox drove in a run today, and only six recorded hits. Andrew Benintendi and Betts were the only ones to reach base more than once, and Jackie Bradley Jr. and Tzu-Wei Lin both recorded hits in their respective returns to the big league club. The run production just has not been there since Thursday, scoring only seven runs in three games and going a combined 0-15 with Runners In Scoring Position. This problem could persist tomorrow, with the ace of the Yankees staff, Luis Severino, on the mound.

To counter Severino. Chris Sale will make the start for the Red Sox in a semi-important game. A win salvages the series with a split and gives the Red Sox a 4.5 game lead over those Yankees with no games left between the two. That game has a special start on ESPN, 7:35 instead of 8:05, should be a good one.

77 down, 18 to go. 

RECAP: Doug Fister stays hot; leads #RedSox to 4-1 win in The Bronx.

First off, I apologize yet again for not blogging Thursday’s loss, that’s on me. The Red Sox lost that game in a pretty depressing fashion, but last night was a whole different story with Doug Fister on the mound. The righty looked great for the third straight time, going back to the start on August 22nd against the Indians. He threw a one hitter in that one, and his performance last night was pretty much on par with that. He got off to a rough start, allowing one run on two straight doubles to start the game, but really settled down after that. In the six innings he pitched after that fiasco, the Yankees reached base a total of three times while not crossing the plate at all and striking out five times. Also, in his first game since August 8th, Dustin Pedroia made a really nice play behind Fister to leadoff the fifth.

That marks his third straight quality start, and over that span, Fister has pitched 23 innings, surrendering only 4 earned runs on 10 hits with 5 walks and 18 K’s to go along with that. Since he arrived in Boston back in June, Fister has gone from end of the rotation starter, to a long relief guy, all the way up to a valuable starter in this rotation. While he’s been on this run, he has made those three starts against three teams that could all be playing playoff baseball in October, the Indians, Yankees, and Orioles. If the Red Sox were to start playing in the ALDS next week, I’d say Fister would have to be the third starter, behind Sale and Pomeranz. He’s been great and he’ll look to continue this success next time out against the Blue Jays back in Boston.

In relief of Fister, Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel locked down the win by pitching a scoreless eighth and ninth. Reed retired the Yankees in order in his inning, and Kimbrel did the same with a strike out in his inning, picking up his 32nd save of the season. After an all around bad pitching performance on Thursday, it was refreshing to see a performance like this out of Fister and the ‘pen last night.

On the other side of things, the lineup handled Sonny Gray better than they did when they saw him August 20th at Fenway. It took until the third, but Eduardo Nunez got the scoring started in style, mashing his 12th home run of the season over the left field wall. This is unrelated to the game, but I feel like Nunez is good at showing opposing pitchers and teams up. Back in Cleveland, he got hit in the back by Corey Kluber for taking a big swing. Next time up, Nunez hit a big home run. On Thursday, Nunez bunted against CC Sabathia, and Sabathia took offense to it. How does Nunez respond? He goes deep in his second at-bat of the game, giving the Red Sox the lead.

Love to see it. The other two runs the Red Sox scored were both home runs and both came against Sonny Gray. Andrew Benintendi hit the first of the two, his 19th of the year, in the fifth.

Then Hanley Ramirez hit his third home run since Monday in the seventh, his 22nd.

Like I said up top there, Dustin Pedroia is back, and not only did he make a defensive play, but he also got a base hit in his first game back. The Red Sox are going to ease him back into this thing so he can be ready to go in October, so his playing time will be limited over the next few weeks. I just read that Tzu-Wei Lin will join the team tomorrow, so I’m pretty pumped that Tzunami will be making a comeback because he was great before the arrival of Rafael Devers.

Drew Pomeranz makes the start against Masahiro Tanaka later this afternoon, would be nice to guarantee a split in the series with a win.

77 down, 18 to go.

RECAP: Porcello, Ramirez, and Moreland cap off sweep of Jays as #RedSox win 7-1.

Hey, remember that series over the weekend between the Red Sox and the Orioles with those weird-looking uniforms that had nicknames on them? Yeah, me neither. Honestly, it looked like the Red Sox could have gone into a full collapse, that’s what some fans were actually thinking over the weekend. Luckily, that is now how things transpired in Toronto, instead, the Red Sox won three games against a last place team that they should beat. Pomeranz was okay on Monday, Sale was great on Tuesday, and Porcello was pretty good on Wednesday. Last night, the righty surrendered only one run, a solo home run, while scattering six hits and two walks in 6.2 innings pitched. He also struck out seven Jays and he easily could have allowed more runs to score. In the fourth, after loading the bases with only one out, Porcello proceeded to get the next two batters out, getting out of the jam without giving up anything. It looked like Porcello was going to pitch seven full innings, but he couldn’t finish it off after getting the first two outs. This made way for Robby Scott to come on and finish the inning. With both Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel unavailable, Joe Kelly would be responsible for finishing the game, and that’s exactly what he did with two perfect innings. By finishing a below average on a positive note like this, perhaps Porcello is now set up to go off during this final stretch, considering he will only make five or six more starts.

Offensively, JA Happ was having his way with the Red Sox lineup early on. It wasn’t until the fifth when he gave up a run, which just so happened to be Hanley Ramirez’s 21st home run of the season, his second in his past two games. That tied the game, and the Red Sox did not look back. The onslaught started in the seventh, when in a pinch-hit AB, Mitch Moreland untied the game on one swing, driving in himself along with Hanley Ramirez with his 18th home run of the season.

The Blue Jays bullpen, simply put, is not good. Every Jays starter the past three days have been pretty good, and the bullpen is given away each game. That was the case last night, and the Red Sox put the pedal to the floor in the eighth, scoring a total of four times. Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts each had RBI doubles in the inning, and I think I witnessed the worst double steal that has ever worked out.

Mitch Moreland capped off the scoring in this one with an RBI single, proving he is one of the best pinch hitters in baseball, and statistically, he has been since 2014. On a contending team, that’s awesome to have. I was also thinking about how the Red Sox might have too many good players once everyone is healthy. The infield will be crowded with Pedroia returning, the outfield with Bradley coming back soon, and Hanley Ramirez might be in the midst of a tear similar to the one we saw at the end of last season. Those are good problems to have though, and I like what I’m seeing now going into a not huge, but still important series in the Bronx. The Yankees lost twice today, so the Red Sox gained a game and a half off of them, totaling 5.5 games.

ERod gets the start against CC Sabathia later on tonight, and it looks like Chris Sale will be pitching on Sunday night against Luis Severino, should be a good four-game series.

Also, see you next year, Toronto, thanks for the eight wins.

Image result for mitch moreland gif

76 down, 19 to go. 

RECAP: Chris Sale records 17th game with at least 10 K’s as #RedSox shutout Jays 3-0.

Last time we saw Chris Sale take the mound, the Cleveland Indians gave him a ton of trouble in his shortest and worst start of the season. On Tuesday, Sale looked to bounce back against a team he has owned this year, and that is exactly what he did. In the seven plus innings the lefty pitched, the Blue Jays reached base a total of three times, and two of those were in the eighth. As the title reads, Sale struck out eleven Blue Jays, and one of those were pretty historic. With one out in the bottom of the second, Kevin Pillar struck out looking on three pitches, giving Sale 1,500 career punch outs. He passes Kerry Wood for the quickest number of innings to reach that milestone with only 1,290 needed.

Oddly enough, Sale has yet to face the Jays at Fenway, but in the three starts he’s made at the Rogers Centre, he has been outstanding. Racking up 22 innings in three starts, Sale did not allow a single run on eleven total hits and 35(!) strikeouts. With the work the bullpen has had to do recently, Sale came out to start the eighth, but could not record an out after facing two batters. This made way for Addison Reed, and he got out of the inning damage free despite giving up a single. With a three run lead going into the bottom half of the ninth, Craig Kimbrel came in the day after allowing two earned runs, but he bounced back from that with a 1-2-3 inning, collecting his 31st save of the season. Reed and Kimbrel have both been used in three straight games, so don’t expect to see them anytime tonight.

Offensively, the Red Sox saw Brett Anderson, a good follow on Twitter, make the start for the Blue Jays. Anderson couldn’t even make it through the sixth inning, but he was far from bad. They could have scored in the top of the first, but Jose Bautista threw out Eduardo Nunez at home plate to end the inning. Nunez would redeem himself later though, driving in Rajai Davis from second on an RBI double in the sixth, scoring the only run the Red Sox needed. In the seventh, Hanley Ramirez launched his team-leading twentieth home run of the season, so at least he has that going for him. That made it 2-0, and Andrew Benintendi tacked on another in the eighth, driving in Rajai Davis on an RBI single, his 72nd of the season. Like I said, the Red Sox only needed one run, but it was nice to see guys like Hanley, Davis, and Benintendi get involved as well.

Two wins in a row after a four-game losing streak, and Rick Porcello will look to complete the sweep later tonight.

Also, he’s been here for like a week but welcome to the Red Sox, Rajai Davis…

75 down, 20 to go. 

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz, Christian Vazquez help #RedSox end losing streak with 6-5 win in Toronto.

Going into Monday night, the Red Sox had not won a game since Drew Pomeranz made his last start in Cleveland. The lefty made his regularly scheduled start last night against Marcus Stroman, and neither were too spectacular. With the way things started, it looked like the Red Sox were going to be in trouble, already being down 2-0 going into the second inning. Luckily, Pomeranz settled down after that, despite having some control issues. He tied his season-high in walks with five, but he still limited the Blue Jays to one run on five hits while striking out five over the next five innings. The pitcher who goes by “Big Smooth” is going to go into September putting together terrific numbers in the month of August, going 4-0 with a 2.28 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP in 27.2 innings pitched. Addison Reed entered the game with a very fresh 6-5 lead in the bottom of the seventh, and he retired the Blue Jays in order. Brandon Workman did the same in the eighth, and that made way for Craig Kimbrel in the ninth. He did walk the first guy he saw, which did lead to a two-run home run, but he was still able to record his 30th save of the season, marking his seventh straight season with at least 30.

Offensively, the Red Sox struggled to do much off of Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman. A throwing error by Blue Jays catcher Raffy Lopez allowed Hanley Ramirez to score from third in the second inning, cutting the deficit in half. Next inning, Eduardo Nunez took Stroman deep for his eleventh home run of the season, which tied the game at that point. Later on in the sixth, Kevin Pillar made one of the best catches you’ll see in Toronto.

And all Mookie can do is laugh…

Once Marcus Stroman was lifted, the Blue Jays bullpen really opened the floodgates. A Hanley Ramirez leadoff single in the seventh  led to the second clutchest Christian Vazquez home run of the season.

The Red Sox were down by one run going into the inning, so that two-run shot, Vazquez’s fourth, gave them a 4-3 lead, and they never looked back. A Mitch Moreland RBI single later in the inning scored Nunez from third, and a Xander Bogaerts walk with the bases loaded scored Andrew Benintendi from third. So, Stroman allowed one earned run in the six innings he pitched, while the Jays bullpen allowed four runs in the three innings he pitched.

Losing streak is over and Chris Sale is on the mound later today to start a WINNING streak. Last time he pitched up north, he disgraced the Blue Jays on Canada Day. In fact, in the two starts he has made at the Rogers Centre in 2017, he has yet to allow a single run in a Red Sox uniform.

74 down, 21 to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox look lifeless yet again; fail to win one game over Players Weekend.

First off, sorry for not posting a recap blog of the game yesterday. I was getting ready for the fight and I figured it wouldn’t be worth it to blog about a 7-0 loss. Anyway, Doug Fister made the start in this one, coming off his best start in a Red Sox uniform last time out in Cleveland. The righty put together another solid performance on Sunday despite a rough start. The Orioles managed to score twice off of Fister in the first, but couldn’t do anything after that. After getting those two runs on three hits in the first, Fister limited the Orioles to two hits and two walks over the next six innings. There were really no times after the first where Fister found himself in any real trouble, and he also tied a season-best with seven strikeouts on the day. He kept his guys in the game, and so did the bullpen. Even though the Red Sox were trailing, we still saw Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel pitch the eighth and ninth innings, and they both looked good with scoreless innings.

Before today, the Red Sox have scored a combined three runs in eighteen innings against a team that owns the third worst team ERA in all of baseball. Unfortunately, this trend continued Sunday afternoon. Old friend Wade Miley held the Red Sox to only one run, despite allowing seven hits and three walks in the five plus innings he pitched. They loaded the bases in two consecutive innings, the fifth and the sixth, and could only score that one time. I feel the need to single out Mookie Betts here because he struck out to end the sixth on a full count without taking his bat off his shoulders. In total, the Red Sox went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position today. Definitely something that needs improvement as they go on this big seven game road trip in Toronto and New York.  Continue reading “RECAP: #RedSox look lifeless yet again; fail to win one game over Players Weekend.”

RECAP: Mitch Moreland throws a scoreless ninth in ugly 16-3 loss for #RedSox.

In what is supposed to be a fun weekend for the players and the fans, the Red Sox did just about everything to kick off the weekend in the worst way possible. I’m not going to give you a typical blog because it’s honestly not worth it. Two days after the Red Sox looked like they have finally proven themselves against Corey Kluber, they drop two games in a row in ugly fashion. The Orioles are far worse than the Indians, but they have done the most damage in the past seven days. Rick Porcello made his start, and he was having a pretty good August, winning his last five starts. Well, on Friday night, that version of Porcello was nowhere to be seen. The righty was bad, but he cannot take all the blame. The defense behind him was the sloppiest it has been all season, committing five errors total. Porcello ended up surrendering eleven runs, but only four of them were earned. He did get hit hard though, and that led to him exiting the game with two outs in the fifth inning. The bullpen was atrocious, so bad in fact that MITCH MORELAND and Robby Scott were the only pitchers to throw scoreless innings. Scott pitched the eighth and Moreland the ninth, and he was pretty much the only bright spot of the night. Here he is striking out Caleb Joseph:

Offensively, Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run home run in the second to make it a 5-2 game, and it looked like the Red Sox were about to get back in this game. That’s not what happened though, and the only run the Red Sox scored came in the fifth, when Rafael Devers scored on a Sandy Leon sacrifice fly. Xander might be back, which is a positive, but there is not much good to take away from this one. Eduardo Rodriguez makes the start this afternoon, and the Red Sox need a good one, desperately. 

At least the Yankees lost, though.

73 down, 22 to go. 

How did Dellin Betances not get suspended for throwing at James McCann’s head?

So, in case you somehow haven’t seen or heard about this, there were three major “brawls” in yesterday’s Tigers-Yankees game in Detroit. There were about eight ejections and more discipline was dealt just a few minutes ago. Some notables who got suspended include Miguel Cabrera, Gary Sanchez, and Austin Romine. One player who did not get suspended, who 100% should have been, would be Yankees reliever Dellin Betances.

As you see here, Betances beans James McCann in the head with a 98 MPH fastball. I’m not going to say if it was intentional or not, given the fact the game was tied late. But still, you shouldn’t be able to get away with doing this. If you remember back in April, Matt Barnes threw a ball at Manny Machado’s head in Baltimore, and he was suspended four games.

Like Betances, Barnes said there was no intent behind it. Instead of getting nothing though, Barnes still was punished. That’s in the past, I just wish Betances received some type of suspension for what he did. From a Red Sox fan’s perspective, it’s not a good look for MLB since Joe Torre is the one making these disciplinary decisions.

RECAP: Chris Sale gets rocked as #RedSox drop finale to Indians 13-6.

Even after last night’s loss, the Red Sox still won the season series against the Cleveland Indians. There were a couple nice wins in there, like the Christian Vazquez walk off and the win against Corey Kluber on Wednesday. Unfortunately though, two of those three losses against the Indians came with Chris Sale as the starting pitcher. Throughout his career, the Indians have been the team that has given Sale the most trouble, and that was proven yet again on Thursday night. The lefty could only make it through three full innings before being lifted. The Indians scored a season-high seven runs (six earned) off of Sale in those three innings. In his shortest start of 2017, Sale did not look like himself and may have improved Corey Kluber’s case for the Cy Young Award. I don’t know if the Indians have some exclusive information on Sale, but they seem to have his number. Another concerning statistic is the fact that Sale is known to sort of give out as the season progresses into the later months of August, September, October. I’m not going to say I;m worried about Chris Sale, but it’s something to pay attention to.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen did not do much to keep the lineup in the game. Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman, Blaine Boyer, and Fernando Abad combined to pitch five innings while allowing six runs on eleven hits. Abad, who has only pitched four times this month, and he was the only pitcher to not allow an earned run. So, not the best series for the ‘pen in Cleveland, a place they’re probably going to have to visit in the postseason.

On the other side of things, Mitch Moreland carried the offense. After the Indians took a 4-0 lead into the third, Moreland responded by launching his first of two home runs on the day. The Indians tacked on another three runs in their half of the third, but the Red Sox responded again. A Mookie Betts leadoff double and a Rafael Devers walk led to Xander Bogaerts driving in both on an RBI triple. Next batter up, Mitch Moreland, drove in his second RBI of the game on an RBI single, making it a 7-4 game. That would be the only real offense until the eighth, where the Indians extended the lead to 13-4. In that inning, Mitch Moreland blasted another home run, his second of the day and seventeenth of the season.

We also got to see Rajai Davis make his Red Sox debut last night. Mookie Betts had to leave the game with a right knee contusion after slamming his knee into the right field wall while trying to make a catch in the seventh. It was cool to see Davis get a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd for his efforts in the postseason last year.

A series split isn’t the worst thing, and now the Red Sox will look to take care of the Orioles back at Fenway starting tonight. Rick Porcello makes the start in this one to kick off Player’s Weekend.

73 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz bounces back from back spasms by striking out nine; #RedSox defeat Indians 6-1.

Note: Prior to last night’s game, the Red Sox made a couple of moves. The first, placing Jackie Bradley Jr. on the 10-Day Disabled List because of that hand injury he suffered on Tuesday. Secondly, the Red Sox acquired OF Rajai Davis from the Oakland Athletics for an OF prospect. Deven Marrero and Hector Velazquez have also been called up, but with the addition of Davis and Blaine Boyer coming off the DL, they will both be sent back down to Pawtucket.

After Doug Fister’s excellent performance on Tuesday, Drew Pomeranz looked to continue that last night. Despite coming off a case of back spasms, I’d say Pomeranz was pretty impressive given how long he was in the game. The lefty managed to scatter two hits over 5.1 innings, while also striking out nine Indians. Pitch count was an issue, and that was directly related to the four walks he gave up. It didn’t look like Pomeranz was too pleased with being removed before finishing the sixth, but I respect that move by Farrell given the fact he was at 103 pitches and coming off a back injury. The shutout performance lowered Pomeranz’s. ERA down to a season-best 3.18, while also lowering his ERA in August to 1.66.

In relief of Pomeranz, the bullpen got their first action in two days. Joe Kelly got the first call in the sixth, and he finished the inning while also getting the first two outs of the seventh. Next up, Addison Reed, and he served up yet another home run while pitching the rest of the seventh and the eighth inning. That home run by Edwin Encarnacion could have tied the game, but Corey Kluber’s antics prevented that from happening. Craig Kimbrel came out for the ninth, in a non-save situation, for the second time in a row. Kimbrel walked one, but still struck out the side, securing the 6-1 win, and at least a series split.

Offensively, the Red Sox could not do anything against Corey Kluber, who has been the American League’s best pitcher behind Chris Sale this season. It looked like Kluber was on his way to a shutout, until the top of the fifth. With two outs in the inning, Mitch Moreland took Kluber deep to right field, mashing his fifteenth home run of the season, and giving the Red Sox a very important 1-0 lead. Later on in the eighth, things got interesting with Kluber still on the mound. After getting the first two outs of the inning, Brock Holt singled. Then, with Eduardo Nunez up, Kluber took offense to a big swing, which led to him plunking him intentionally, putting runners on first and second. That led to Mookie Betts driving in Holt on an RBI single, extending the lead to 2-0. Kluber would leave the game with his team in a deeper hole, but at least he got his retribution though, right. What an idiot. I’m more mad about this than I’ve written but I don’t think anyone really cares about that. The game really got away from the Indians as soon as the ninth inning started. A passed ball allowed Rafael Devers to score with no outs, then Xander Bogaerts scored on a Brock Holt RBI double. To wrap the scoring up, Eduardo Nunez got the last laugh, taking Bryan Shaw deep to left for his tenth home run of the season. Just when I thought he was going to go cold, Nunez becomes one of my favorite players on the team, who would have thought.

Shoutout to Brock Holt for this celebration, too.

If the starting pitching hasn’t been good enough for you the past two days, Chris Sale gets the start against Trevor Bauer tonight. I’m interested to see if Rajai Davis will be in the lineup.

73 down, 22 to go.