RECAP: Andrew Benintendi has career day as #RedSox take Game 2 from Rangers 11-4.

Before I get to what Andrew Benintendi did last night, I want to talk about what David Price did. Coming into last night’s game, Price owned an ERA north of seven while pitching at Globe Life Park. With that in mind, I was not expecting his start yesterday to go well, surprisingly, I was wrong. Price managed to pitch into the seventh inning while not allowing a single run. There Were plenty of baserunners, eight in total for Texas, but they could not score a single run off of Price. The southpaw also struck out nine, a new season high. He came out to start the seventh, gave up a walk, and was taken out of the game. It looked like a blister of some sort on his pitching hand was bothering him, and that’s why he was taken out, but Manager John later said that it was because of the pitch count. Blaine Boyer came in to relieve Price, and he ate some innings despite

not pitching all that well. The Rangers scored three times off of Boyer, all in the eighth, and all those runs were driven in on a three-run bomb off the bat of Mike Napoli. Robby Scott would come in to pitch the ninth and end the game, but not before giving up a solo home run to Delino DeShields. Like I said, surprising stuff from Price, it looks like he’ll make his next start in Tampa on Sunday, the last game before the All-Star break.

The bottom half of yesterday’s lineup was responsible for most of the offensive production. The 5-9 hitters, Ramirez, Benintendi, Vazquez, and Lin went a combined 16 for 24 at the plate, scoring 9 times and driving in 10 runs. The biggest star though, is obviously Andrew Benintendi. All the talk about Cody Bellinger and Aaron Judge, but you can’t knock what this Red Sox rookie has done in his first full season. Last night, Benintendi did not record an out, reaching base all five times he was up. He nearly hit for the cycle too, but hit his second home run of the game instead. Going back to Monday night’s game, Benintendi has driven in eight runs in his last six at-bats. He also made one heck of a catch too in the fourth, robbing Mike Napoli of an extra base hit and potentially an RBI.

How about the other rookie who has come out of nowhere, Tzu-Wei Lin? A 23 year-old infielder in Portland surprisingly gets called up about a week and a half ago and he can do no wrong. His second three-hit game last night puts his OPS at .949, meanwhile Pablo Sandoval’s career OPS with the Red Sox is only at .646, makes you think.

Almost forgot to mention that Jackie Bradley Jr. hit his eleventh home run of the season last night as well while raising his BA to .284 on the season, a nice turnaround for sure.

Doug Fister makes his third start for the Red Sox today in the series finale. It could be his last start for a while if Eduardo Rodriguez comes back and pitches like he did before he got hurt.

49 down, ? to go. 

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RECAP: Dustin Pedroia is the difference for #RedSox in 7-5 win.

First off, Happy Independence Day to all the Red Sox fans out there. I’m sure you don’t want to read a long blog on this holiday so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.

Rick Porcello had one of his better starts over the past few weeks, finishing with a line of 6.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, and 3 K’s. Porcello really only made two mistake pitches, both of which resulted in solo home runs. The first came off the bat of Rougned Odor in the fourth, and the second came off the bat of Carlos Gomez in the seventh. That one shouldn’t have even happened, sending your pitcher out for the seventh when he has already thrown like 103 pitches is asinine. Can’t blame a tired Porcello for that one. In relief of Porcello, the bullpen was not at the top of their game. Matt Barnes finished the seventh fine, Robby Scott gave up a run while failing to record an out, Joe Kelly finished off the eighth, Craig Kimbrel blew a save, and Heath Hembree arguably put on the best performance, pitching two shutout innings while notching his first win of the year. It’s unusual to see Kimbrel struggle the way he did last night, but giving up a lead-off home run probably can do that to elite closers.

Offensively and defensively too, the Red Sox do not win this game if Dustin Pedroia was not in the lineup. The veteran second baseman did it all last night, saving runs from being scored while also driving them in. The biggest play he made came in the ninth, after the game had already been tied up.

The way he plays it off that deflection alonf with that flick to Moreland is insane, too. At the plate, Pedroia drove in four of the seven runs the Red Sox scored. He gave them the lead in the second and in the sixth. The guy who drove in the other two runs? Andrew Benintendi. The rookie didn’t get the start last night, but he had the biggest hit. With no outs in the eleventh, Benintendi blooped a single into the outfield, out of reach to anyone. The single scored Tzu-Wei Lin and Mookie Betts, and that was all the Red Sox would need to win their fifth consecutive game.

Five in a row, David Price is on the mound tonight, he got lit up in Arlington last year, happy fourth!

48 down, ? to go.

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz tosses quality start; Mookie Betts drives in EIGHT runs as #RedSox sweep Jays with 15-1 win.

For the first time since 2011, the Boston Red Sox have swept the Toronto Blue Jays. Drew Pomeranz has become a reliable guy in the rotation, which seemed unlikely two months ago. The southpaw has gone at least 6 innings in three of his last four starts, as he has lowered his ERA from 4,48 to 3.64 over that span. In the six innings he pitched on Sunday, Pomeranz consistently got out of any jam he was in, allowing seven total base runners. The only run he gave up came in the second, when Justin Smoak scored on a sac fly. So, when the only run you allow doesn’t even come on a hit, that’s a pretty solid outing. Since he had already thrown more than 100 pitched by the time he ended the sixth, Fernando Abad came on in relief. Abad notched his first save of the season, pitching three no-hit scoreless innings. Ever since Pomeranz got chewed out by Manager John, he arguably has been the second best starter behind Sale. He’ll make his next start on Friday in Tampa against a surprisingly kinda good Rays team.

Mookie Betts, Mookie Betts, Mookie Betts. That’s who sticks out most after today’s blowout. The now 2x All-Star reached recorded four hits, including two home runs. With all those hits and dingers, Betts drove in a total of eight runs. That’s more runs than the Blue Jays scored this entire series (6). Despite Mookie’s day at the plate, the Red Sox still scored 9 more runs. Every starter except Christian Vazquez got on base two or more times. Hanley Ramirez stayed hot by extending his hitting streak to seven, as the DH blasted his twelfth home run of the season in the seventh, a two-run shot. That homer was part of a very long seventh inning, as eight runners crossed the plate which gave the Red Sox a 15-1 lead. A few surprises today were the days Tzu-Wei Lin and Deven Marrero had. Marrero wasn’t even supposed to start but Xander Bogaerts got scratched from the lineup late. Lin and Marrero went a combined 6-10 with 2 RBIs and 5 Runs Scored. Since he was called up last week, Lin has already hit more triples (2) than Pablo Sandoval has in his three years with the club (1). The 23 year-old also already has a positive WAR with the Red Sox, while Sandoval’s is currently sitting below zero while a member of the team. Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to hit well, raising his BA to .284 with a three hit performance Sunday. Overall, hell of a day for these bats. 17 runs on 21 hits is insane stuff, that seventh inning alone was great. They pretty much put the final nail in the coffin for the 2017 Blue Jays, which is reassuring.

Four wins in a row, the Yankees keep losing, twelve games over .500, undefeated in the second half of the season, things are looking up!

Also, sup?

47 down, ? to go.

RECAP: Chris Sale owns the city of Toronto; #RedSox guarantee series win with 7-1 victory.

Remember back in April, when the Red Sox made their first trip to Toronto and Chris Sale threw eight shutout innings? Well, it looks like Toronto has a Chris Sale problem, because Sale has yet to give up a single run north of the border this season. On Saturday, Sale pitched seven innings, allowed seven Blue Jays to reach base, and struck out eleven, yet another double-digit strikeout game. If you look at his numbers when he has pitched in Toronto this season, then you’ll see that he has struck out 24 over 15 IP, a resounding 14.4 K/9. There is no doubt that he is the ace, the guy who would get the ball for an important playoff game, not the guy who is getting paid $31 million dollars per year and can’t handle the media here. When Sale left after the seventh, there was really no pressure on the bullpen since they had a comfortable lead to work with. Blaine Boyer pitched a scoreless eighth, and Robby Scott gave up a solo home run while finishing things up in the ninth.

Offensively, scoring seven runs in back-to-back games looks pretty good. Hanley Ramirez, Chris Young, Sandy Leon, and Deven Marrero all had multi-hit games. Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in the first runs of the game, scoring Mookie Betts and Hanley on an RBI double in the first. Dustin Pedroia drove in another pair of runs in the second on another double, scoring Deven Marrero and Mookie Betts this time around. In the fifth, Mookie Betts scored again on a Xander Bogaerts sac fly. Bogaerts would also drive in the last runs of the game in the ninth, scoring Sandy Leon and Deven Marrero on an RBI single. Looking at the box score, it’s funny to see how Mookie Betts scored three runs without recording a single hit, which does not happen often. It looks like Hanley Ramirez has awoken from his first half slumber. On June 21st, Hanley was batting .239, after today’s game, it’s all the way up to .252. He hit 22 home runs after the All-Star break last season, and it looks like something similar to that could happen this season.

Three wins in a row, season-best eleven games over .500, could end the first half of the season on a hot streak. Drew Pomeranz makes the start for the finale tomorrow, then it’s on to Arlington to face the Rangers.

46 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Doug Fister has another nice start as #RedSox take game one from Jays 7-4 in extras.

After a quality start last Sunday, Doug Fister made his first road start for the Red Sox, and he put together another solid outing. The Blue Jays scored all their runs off of Fister in the first, but Fister settled in after that. The 33 year-old only allowed two hits total after the first, finishing with a line of 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, and 5 K’s. He didn’t qualify for a quality start since he didn’t pitch six innings, but I’d be dumb to criticize that kind of start from a back-end of the rotation guy. The bullpen pretty much held the Jays in check over the last six innings after Fister departed, as the only real blip was Troy Tulowitzki’s solo home run off of Heath Hembree in the sixth, which tied the game at that point. Other than that though, Matt Barnes looked great with his two shutout innings, Blaine Boyer arguably had his best relief appearance in a Red Sox uniform with his two shutout innings, and Craig Kimbrel did what Craig Kimbrel does by recording his 23rd save of the season by pitching a scoreless frame in the eleventh. Like I said, Hembree made a bad pitch to Tulo, but the bullpen kept the Red Sox in the game, which eventually led to an offensive burst in the eleventh.

Despite the win, the Red Sox bats left a lot to be desired when it came to scoring opportunities. They left a total of 41 runners on base, including 11 alone from Mitch Moreland, who had himself an awful night at the plate. The first runs of the game were scored by Deven Marrero and Mookie Betts, who scored on a Dustin Pedroia double, making it a one run game. The Red Sox would take the lead briefly in the sixth, when Deven Marrero drove in the tying run on a RBI single and Andrew Benintendi scored the go-ahead run with an RBI double. The bats would go silent until the top of the eleventh, until Xander Bogaerts came up clutch with a key RBI single that scored Hanley Ramirez from third and gave the Red Sox the lead. Deven Marrero would continue on the good day he had at the plate by driving in key insurance runs on another RBI single, and that was all Craig Kimbrel needed to shut the lights off on the Blue Jays.

Good way to start the road trip, obviously. Chris Sale is on the mound today, John Farrell will not be managing today, Red Sox should win their third straight game today.

Ten games over .500 for the first time this season, also.

45 down, ? to go. 

Here’s who I have in this year’s #ASG on the National League side.

Yesterday, I gave my picks for who I think will be an American League All-Star. Today, I’ll list who I think should represent the National League in this year’s Midsummer Classic in Miami. As I did yesterday, I’ll construct the rosters like the way they were in 2016.

Starting pitchers:
Sale vs. Scherzer

(No particular order)
Pitchers:
Clayton Kershaw
Carlos Martinez
Zack Greinke
Gio Gonzalez
Robbie Ray
Ivan Nova
Stephen Strasburg
Jacob deGrom

Relievers:
Kenley Jansen
Greg Holland
Wade Davis
Corey Knebel
Felipe Rivero

Starters:
C Buster Posey
1B Ryan Zimmerman
2B Daniel Murphy
3B Nolan Arenado
SS Zack Cozart
OF Bryce Harper
OF Marcell Ozuna
OF Charlie Blackmon

Reserves:
C Tyler Flowers
C JT Realmuto
1B Paul Goldschmidt
1B Joey Votto
2B Josh Harrison
3B Travis Shaw
3B Jake Lamb
SS Corey Seager
OF Adam Duvall
OF Giancarlo Stanton
OF Cody Bellinger

Potential snubs/ fan vote candidates:
1B Eric Thames
2B DJ LeMahieu
3B Justin Turner
SS Chris Owings
OF Jay Bruce

I know I left out some teams but, whatever. Let me know if you have any thoughts…

twitter.com/brendan_camp

RECAP: David Price pitches seven quality innings; #RedSox take series from Twins in 6-3 win.

For the first time in exactly two weeks, the Red Sox have won a series. The Twins came into Boston as a first place team, and they leave as a team that is most likely going to be out of contention by September. That’s not a jab at the Twins, it’s just the truth for a team that has one of the worst Run Differentials in baseball. David Price made his seventh start of the season for the Red Sox, and it was another solid outing for the southpaw. Another quality start, Price’s final line looks like this: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, and 7 K’s. Despite that fourth inning, this was clearly one of his better starts. It wasn’t lights out stuff, but I don’t think the Red Sox need that from Price all the time in order to succeed. He had 100 pitches after 6, so it was surprising to see him come out for the seventh, luckily for Manager John, that decision did not backfire. Joe Kelly got the call for the eighth, and all he did was pitch another scoreless outing, his 22nd in a row, NBD. Lastly, you know the drill. Save situation, Kimbrel available, Kimbrel gets the save, his 22nd of the season, most in the American League.

By the time the Red Sox took their first at bats, they were already trailing. By the time they scored their first run, they came into their half of that inning down by three. Mookie Betts got the scoring started with his thirteenth home run of the season. This home run was important for two reasons, first, it’s the three-year anniversary of when Mookie Betts got called to the bigs by the Red Sox, and it could help get him more votes to start in the All-Star Game. (Check out my roster predictions here) In the fifth, the Red Sox took the lead and did not look back. Jackie Bradley Jr., Deven Marrero, and Mookie Betts drove in a total of three runs. Hanley Ramirez tacked on another run in the six when he launched his eleventh home run of the season over the center field wall. Linsanity struck in the seventh, as Tzu-Wei Lin nearly hit his first career home run. Unfortunately, the ball did not go far enough, but Lin still hit his first career triple. Deven Marrero drove him in on an RBI double, and that was all the Red Sox needed. I mentioned JBJ earlier, but I just want to commend him for his three-hit game and how he has turned around his season at the plate. On June 1st, his BA was only at .226, but after today, it’s all the way up to a solid .272.

Big 10 game road trip ahead before the All-Star break. First up, Toronto and Doug Fister is making his first road start for the Red Sox. The Blue Jays looked like they were going to be a bottom feeder the last time the Red Sox were in Toronto, but they have come back and are now more of a mediocre team.

44 down, ? to go. 

Also, sup?

Feelin' some kind of way. 💪 - #VoteRedSox (@redsox)