RECAP: Rick Porcello loses fourteenth decision of the season as #RedSox fall out of first place.

It was quite a day for the Red Sox and their fans on Friday. David Price, who was supposed to pitch last night, was placed on the 10-Day Disabled List because of a sore elbow prior to the game. Many suspected this was done so that Price would not have to face the Fenway crowd, as this would be his first home start since the details of his confrontation with Dennis Eckersley were revealed. Dave Dombrowksi had to go in front of the press just to say it was not done for that reason. Manager John said that Price should be throwing by next Tuesday, so the injury doesn’t appear to be too severe. And while this was happening, Dustin Pedroia announced to the media that he is the leader in the clubhouse, so Fenway Park was pretty much a circus earlier Friday.

Anyway, Rick Porcello was matched up against Royals starter Jason Vargas, who is having a bit of a renaissance while coming back from Tommy John surgery. Vargas did out pitch Porcello, and Porcello did give up four runs, but he was really not that bad last night. The righty only gave up six hits and one walk in seven innings pitched, but unfortunately, two of those hits were home runs. Salvador Perez took Porcello deep with a solo shot in the second, and Mike Moustakas took him deep with a three-run shot in the fourth. Other than those two pitches though, I have nothing to complain about when it comes to Porcello’s start. I love the fact that he has consistently ate up innings this season, despite not putting up the best numbers. The last time he failed to pitch at least six innings was back on April 14th, so he has that going for him. It’s a shame the Red Sox offense hates scoring runs for Porcello, because that guy does not deserve fourteen losses.

Let me tell you how the Red Sox did at the plate last night: Seven hits and two runs, that is all. Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez both made their Fenway Park debuts, and both combined to reach base four times. Mookie Betts drove in the first run for the Red Sox in the fifth, scoring Rafael Devers on an RBI single, and Sandy Leon drove in the second run of the game for the Red Sox with an RBI ground out in the seventh, scoring Chris Young from third. They had a chance to perhaps tie things in the ninth with Andrew Benintendi singling to third with two outs, but Rafael Devers grounded out to second and that ended things.

I would have liked to see Devers be more patient, but it didn’t work out that way. This team needs a jolt, in my opinion. They’ve seemed pretty lifeless lately, and I think they’d be much worse if Chris Sale were not on the team. I’ve been pondering the idea of trading for Giancarlo Stanton, but I think I rather wait until the offseason for that. For now though, Xander Bogaerts needs some time off. He’s probably hurt, which has led to him producing next to nothing over the past few weeks.

First time in a month the Red Sox are out of first place, if the Royals sweep, they’ll have the same number of wins, which didn’t seem possible a few months ago.

56 down, ? to go. 

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RECAP: Sale dominates, Devers goes yard, and the #RedSox end their losing streak with a 4-0 win.

I’ll be honest, I don’t feel great today so this is going to be really short, apologies.

Chris Sale looked great, seven shutout innings, eleven strikeouts, great. Blaine Boyer was not great in his first appearance since he got hurt, which led to Craig Kimbrel entering the game in a save situation. He struck out the only two batters he faced. Since the beginning of the road trip last Friday, Sale has held his opponents to zero runs over his last thirteen innings, and the only wins the Red Sox got on this trip came when he was pitching.

Offensively, the Red Sox scored in the second, third, and fourth inning. Mitch Moreland drove in Hanley Ramirez on a sac-fly in the second, Rafael Devers hit his first career home run in the third, and Sandy Leon scored JBJ along with himself with his sixth home run of the season in the fourth. That Devers home run was also his first career hit as well, so it was a special day for the rookie as well. Also, Yoan Moncada and Lewis Brinson got their first career home runs yesterday. The rookies were feeling it yesterday and the Red Sox ended the west coast trip with a win. David Price pitches tomorrow, and I’m interested to see how the fans will react when Price takes the mound.

56 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox drop fourth in a row in another marathon game.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stay up to watch the end of this game. I fell asleep around 2, woke up at 4, realized I missed the end of the game, and checked my phone only to be disappointed with what I saw. The Red Sox love playing long games, it would be better if they won more of them.

Drew Pomeranz was matched up against King Felix, who like James Paxton has had a pretty solid month of July. Pomeranz looked like his old self really, in terms of the pitch count, but he himself did not have a bad start. He made one mistake pitch in the second inning, a pitch that resulted in a three-run shot off the bat of Miguel Heredia. Other than that though, he did not give up any runs. The four walks in five innings weren’t great, but he did manage to strike out seven as well. All and all, not to blame for the loss, that would go on the bullpen. First off, Heath Hembree gave up the tying run in the seventh. Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, and Craig Kimbrel combined to pitch three innings without giving up a run, then came Doug Fister. He got through the eleventh and twelfth without giving up anything, then the thirteenth happened. With two outs, a wild pitch scored the tying run, then Jean Segura drove in the go-ahead run, giving the Mariners the win. Since his solid debut at Fenway, Fister has gotten progressively worst, going from the rotation, to the bullpen, back in the rotation. and back to the bullpen. In a Red Sox uniform, Fister owns an ERA of 7.46, so it may not be much longer until he is Designated For Assignment.

It looked like Felix Hernandez was about to go on and do what James Paxton did the night before, as he only allowed one run in the first four innings, that being Hanley Ramirez’s seventeenth homer of the season. Dustin Pedroia tied things up in the sixth, driving in Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi on a two-run double to left field. Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in Dustin Pedroia who did represent the go-ahead run at that time with an RBI single. It was surprising to see King Felix struggle the way he did, but the Mariners bullpen did a solid job of keeping the Red Sox in check. Hanley Ramirez scored in the thirteenth on a Sandy Leon single. That should have won the game right there, but Doug Fister happened.

A few things to take away from this game are Rafael Dever’s debut and the fact that the Red Sox acquired Eduardo Nunez from the Giants for two pitching prospects. Devers failed to record a hit in his debut, but he did reach base twice and looked like he could handle himself at third. There’s a lot of speculation that Devers will get sent back down now that Nunez is here, but I could see both of them being on the 25-man roster simultaneously since Nunez can play all over the field.

Today just happens to be Sale Day, and the Red Sox have not won a game since his last start Friday in Anaheim.

55 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: James Paxton dominates #RedSox lineup as offensive struggles continue.

What’s up? I’m back from a week-long break. Haven’t watched since last Monday, but I have been paying attention. The David Price / Dennis Eckersley conflict and the promotion of Rafael Devers stand out, obviously. Anyway, let’s get onto the recap…

The Red Sox did not have a great time in Anaheim, and things have not gotten any better thus far in Seattle. On Sunday, it was leaked by The Boston Globe that David Price basically bullied Dennis Eckersley on a team flight last month. That sounds bad, but I think most would tell you the worst part of this story is the fact that there were players applauding Price for what he did. This has led to many calling out this team for being unlikeable and being poorly run.

In the first game since this was leaked, the Red Sox did not do much to provide any sort of distraction. Eduardo Rodriguez was matched up against James Paxton, who has had an outstanding July. ERod was not at his best, but he still managed to keep the Red Sox in the game. 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, and 6 K’s isn’t outstanding, but it’s not awful either. A three run second is what got the Mariners out in front. They tacked on another run in the fourth, and Rodriguez would go on to pitch into the sixth. In relief, the bullpen was solid and also gave the offense a chance to come back. Brandon Workman and Doug Fister combined to pitch 2.2 shutout innings without giving up a hit. Last season, the Red Sox seemed to be capable of coming back from a four-run deficit, but it doesn’t look like they are capable of doing something like that right now.

Four hits. James Paxton only gave up four hits, and the first one did not come until the fifth, off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr. They had a chance to score some runs in the sixth, but that was about it.

This team is in first place, but it wouldn’t seem that way with how things have been going recently. Since returning from the All-Star break, the Red Sox are a lackluster 5-7, losing the last three. They need a jolt, really, and it looks like Rafael Devers could be that spark, we’ll see later tonight.

55 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox split double doubleheader, series with Yankees.

Alright, I’m kind of in a hurry so I apologize if you wanted a long read.

In the first game, Rick Porcello looked good yet again. 6 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 0 BB, and 6 K’s. Only one of those runs was earned though. Two runs scored in the fourth because of a Xander Bogaerts fielding error, and Didi Gregorious took Porcello deep in the fifth. The defending Cy Young Award winner has put together a nice July, despite the lack of offense from his teammates. There were several occasions where runners were on scoring position, and no one could capitalize. Twenty-one runners were left on base in total, leading to the shutout.

In the second game, David Price looked even better than Porcello. He went eight innings, scattered seven hits, walked none, and struck out eight. He has contributed a lot this season considering he started the year on the DL. It looked like Aaron Judge was going to take him deep to cut the lead to one run in the eighth, but Jackie Bradley Jr. came up huge yet again, robbing Judge in that triangle in center field.

Mookie Betts hit a two-run blast in the third, his seventeenth of the season, and Dustin Pedroia drove in Betts on a RBI single in the sixth. Masahiro Tanaka was good, but David Price was better, giving Craig Kimbrel the chance to redeem himself after Saturday’s blown save, and that’s what Kimbrel did.

A series split against the Yankees is good enough. I expect the Todd Frazier move to be happen soon, as the offense has been disappointing thus far in the second half. Four games against the Blue Jays are on deck, starting with the return of Eduardo Rodriguez tomorrow.

On a personal note, I’ll most likely be unable to watch a ton of baseball over the next week. I may be able to watch the games in Anaheim, but it will be tough for me to blog, so don’t expect a lot until next Monday.

52 down, ? to go. 

RECAP Chris Sale pitches a gem in marathon game as #RedSox lose 4-1.

That was as frustrating as it gets for the Red Sox. Chris Sale was nearly untouchable, and they can only score one run for him. Luis Severino was great too, so it’s unfortunate that this pitcher’s duel could not go the Red Sox’ way. In the 7.2 innings he pitched, Sale scattered five baserunners while striking out thirteen holding the Yankees to nothing in the runs column. With those thirteen K’s, it marks the thirteenth time the lefty has started a game and struck out at least ten batters. It was surprising to see Sale come out for the eighth, and he ended up throwing a season-high 118 pitches. It would have been fun seeing him face Aaron Judge again, but I can understand going to Craig Kimbrel for the four out save in that situation. Kimbrel finished the eighth and had to wait what I though was a decent amount of time before going out to face the Yankees in the ninth. The first batter he faced, Matt Holliday, took him deep, tying the game and handing Craig Kimbrel his first blown save at Fenway Park this season. After Kimbrel, the bullpen was great from the tenth through the thirteenth, as Heath Hembree, Robby Scott, Blaine Boyer, and Brandon Workman combined to hurl four no-hit, scoreless innings. There was some controversey in the eleventh, though. When Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to Mitch Moreland with Matt Holliday at first, Holliday retreated and slid into first base instead of going to second. This move seemingly broke up any chance of a double play since Holliday made it impossible for Moreland to cover first. You would figure interference would be called and there would be a double play, but after a long review, it was not called. Luckily, it had no impact on the result of the game so it is not that relevant. Fernando Abad started the fourteenth, did nothing useful, and Doug Fister came in to finish the inning. It looked like Fister was about to have a great relief outing, but Fister gave up the go-ahead run in the sixteenth, and to more after that. I think the only guy available in the bullpen was Matt Barnes, who pitched two innings yesterday, so leaving Fister in was the only option. To summarize all this, Chris Sale was awesome, the bullpen did their job, and things got away late. Rick Porcello and David Price pitch tomorrow, so there should be an opportunity to win both games.

The Red Sox bats went a combined 8-53 tonight, including two walks. They left a combined 21 runners on base, and left much to be desired. Luis Severino was a little more vulnerable than Sale, but the still put together a great performance. The lone run scored came in the third, when Mitch Moreland drove in Mookie Betts on a sac fly, which gave them the lead at the time. Base runners were a plenty and the Red Sox failed to provide more run support for their ace, kind of like they did in April. Andrew Benintendi got three hits, that’s the headline from this one from the offensive side of things. Todd Frazier would be pretty nice right about now…

Double-header tomorrow, will probably be ugly since they basically played two games today. I’ll have one blog covering the whole thing.

51 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox start second half with a walk-off walk from Andrew Benintendi.

Quite the way to kick off the unofficial second half of the season. The second place Yankees come into town with the chance to leave in first place. The Red Sox have their four best starters for this series, and Drew Pomeranz started the first one on Friday. Though he did not toss a quality start, Pomeranz pitched the way you should expect him to, in my opinion. Six innings pitched, six hits, four runs, two walks, and seven strikeouts. He gave up one in the third, and three in the fifth. The biggest mistake pitch came in that fifth inning, when Gary Sanchez took Pomeranz deep and made it a 4-3 game.  A double play started by Sam Travis got the Red Sox out of the inning, and Pomeranz would pitch a scoreless sixth. When I say Pomeranz met expectations, I mean that’s how I think most of his outings will go. There’ll be times where he goes seven while only giving up two runs, but there’ll probably be more starts that look like the one we saw last night. After he was one, Matt Barnes got the call for the seventh, and he was lights out that inning and in the eighth. I don’t know what it is about Barnes, but he clearly has an easier time pitching at Fenway Park than anywhere else on the road, which is concerning, but still interesting. Robby Scott pitched the ninth for the Red Sox, and he also bounced back from a rough end to the first half by getting the Yankees in order. So, shout out to those guys in the bullpen locking things down and allowing the bats to win the game.

Speaking of the bats, there were plenty of missed opportunities while Jordan Montgomery was pitching for the Yankees. In the four innings he pitched, the Red Sox got on base a total of nine times, and could only score three times off of him. Two of those runs came off the bat of Hanley Ramirez, who drilled his fourteenth home run over the monster in the third, which gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead at the time. Dustin Pedroia drove in Sam Travis in the next inning, and they struggled to get anything off the Yankees bullpen until Aroldis Chapman entered the game in the ninth. Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia both singled and stole a base to start the inning. The Yankees defense helped the Red Sox a lot, as what looked like a ground out from Xander Bogaerts resulted in the tying run, Mookie Betts, scoring from third because of a Ronald Torreyes fielding error. After Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked, Andrew Benintendi came up in a huge spot, and Chapman walked him, winning the game without a single ball leaving the infield in that bottom half of the ninth.

A wild way to start the second half to say the least. The Yankees are looking less and less like a contender and Aroldis Chapman is looking like a rattled reliever instead of a dominant closer. The Yankees were 37-23 through 60 games on June 11th. Since then, they have gone 8-19, which has to be one of the worst records in baseball over that span. The Rays could be more legit than the Yankees, only time will tell. But anyway, great way to start the second half, I was pumped up, and it’s Sale Day. Also hearing the Red Sox are trying to get Todd Frazier from the White Sox, so that’s a name to pay close attention to.

51 down, ? to go.