RECAP: Eduardo Rodriguez pitches eight solid innings as #RedSox take final game in Oakland, 12-3.

Looking to avoid the sweep against the lowly Athletics, Eduardo Rodriguez took the mound on Sunday afternoon. With the bullpen needing some rest after going five innings Saturday, the Red Sox needed Rodriguez to go pretty deep into the game, and that’s just what he did. Rodriguez went eight innings strong, only running into trouble in the second and fourth innings, where he gave up all three of his runs. The Venezuelan native also fanned an impressive eight batters. With six straight quality starts, Rodriguez has really solidified himself as a legitimate middle of the rotation starter. What I find interesting is how Rodriguez could have started the season in Pawtucket, if David Price never got hurt. But, since Price did get hurt during spring training, Rodriguez has capitalized on a great opportunity. With Rodriguez going deep into this game, the only other pitcher who saw in-game action was Matt Barnes, who struck out one while getting the Athletics in order, in the ninth, to end the game.

Offensively, the Red Sox did just about everything right. With the lack of power that is present in this lineup, it makes sense that they have become more aggressive on the bases. On Sunday, the Red Sox kicked things off early, scoring twice in the first, highlighted by Mookie Betts going from first to home on a Dustin Pedroia single. The scoring would halt until the fifth, when Christian Vazquez and Mookie Betts would both score in the inning. Two more runs would be tacked on in the sixth, with Mitch Moreland hitting his third home run in as many days, also driving in Hanley Ramirez. The eighth was highlighted by Jackie Bradley Jr.’s hustle double, reaching second on what looked like a routine single, and also scoring later in the inning. To wrap things up, the Red Sox bats poured it on in the ninth. Five runners crossed the plate, highlighted by Hanley Ramirez’s line drive, 2 RBI double, which scored Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi. Every batter in the lineup, including Deven Marrero surprisingly, recorded at least one hit. It would be nice to see the Red Sox carry any momentum from this win, but with their inconsistency throughout the season, it’s tough to say if that could happen.

22 down, ? to go. 

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RECAP: Even when he doesn’t suck, Drew Pomeranz still sucks; #RedSox lose to A’s again by a score of 8-3.

That title may be confusing, but, if you look at his final line for the game, Pomeranz only allowed one earned run over four innings and he actually struck out six. The problem here is how many pitches Pomeranz needed to get through 4 innings, or 19 batters. Yes, it took him 97 pitches I believe to get through 4 innings, or get 12 outs. That averages out to 24.3 pitches per inning, or 8.1 pitches per out. In the month of May, Pomeranz’s WHIP sits at 1.78, which is much higher than it should be. After being told by John Farrell his day was over after the fourth, Pomeranz and Farrell exchanged some words, and it got uncomfortable fast.

Look familiar?

Wade Miley and John Farrell had a heated exchange Thursday.

That’s from 2015, but still. It wouldn’t shock me if Farrell downplays this incident, probably just say Pomeranz is competitive, and he likes that. Truth is, Pomeranz might have to move to the bullpen, because he clearly can’t handle being a starter in this rotation. Speaking of the bullpen, how about Ben Taylor! Surprisingly, the Red Sox had a lead in this game, and in the fifth, Ben Taylor came on to protect it. Unfortunately, he did just the opposite. Taylor gave up three earned runs, all of which came on two home runs. Noe Ramirez came in to relieve Taylor, and he too did a poor job. Ramirez allowed two runs on three hits in three innings of work. Pitching wise, this game puts the Red Sox in a bad position. Outside of Sale, Porcello, Rodriguez, Scott, and Kimbrel, there’s no one you can really rely upon in key situations.

Offensively, I don’t have much to say. Hanley Ramirez hit his sixth home run of the season in the second. Josh Rutledge and Dustin Pedroia both drove in runs on separate occasions on Saturday. The Red Sox also managed to leave nine runners on base, after leaving 20 on base Friday. Andrew Benintendi probably should have been rewarded with his sixth home run of the season, but the umpires overruled it in the ninth, saying the ball went foul even though it didn’t. Overall, just a really frustrating game. I don’t have any screen caps but man, just watching Pomeranz pisses me off. Guy has zero confidence, looks like he doesn’t even want to be there. Looks like the type of guy who would tell you that it wasn’t his choice to play for the Red Sox. He belongs in the National League. 

This team isn’t winning 94 games.

RECAP: Sale K’s 10; JBJ makes outstanding catch; #RedSox still lose 3-2 in extras.

What a difference in quality of starting pitching between Hector Velazquez on Thursday and Chris Sale on Friday. Sale was matched up against Kendall Graveman, and to nobody’s surprise, Sale put in the better performance. He got things started right away, striking out the first batter he saw, Rajai Davis. After going the first four innings without allowing a run, Sale would run into some trouble over the next two innings. In the fifth, the Athletics managed to get one run across the plate, while reaching base twice. In the sixth, they scored another run, while also recording three hits. Those would be the only runs Sale would surrender in the seven innings he pitched. There was a bit of drama in the seventh, when Sale only had eight strikeouts with one out in the inning already. With his streak of starts with at least 10 K’s on the line, Sale struck out the last two batters he faced, getting to 10 strikeouts and extending his streak up to eight consecutive starts. With the way he pitched Friday night, Sale deserves a win for that performance, even when he’s not at his best, he still gives you solid outings, he deserves more in return for his efforts. Before the game went into extras, Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel held things down in terms of giving up any runs. In the ninth, just when it looked like Ryon Healy hit a walk-off home run, Jackie Bradley Jr. made one of the more outstanding home run robbing catches you’ll see.

Absurd, to say the least. Unfortunately, this play really didn’t matter. In the tenth, Mark Canha made sure he got all of one from Heath Hembree, as he put the nail in the coffin with his first career walk off home run, winning the game for the A’s. In the month of May, Hembree has an ERA north of 7, so I don’t have much to say about him.

Offensively, it would be nice if the only runs of the game didn’t come when Mitch Moreland launched a two-run home run to right field in the fourth, which also scored Xander Bogaerts. Kendall Graveman is no scrub, but that A’s bullpen is pretty awful and the Red Sox only managed to scatter four hits against three pitchers, which is disappointing.

Chris Sale obviously makes this team better. Without him, they’re probably under .500. If this the time the Red Sox are going all in to win a World Series, then they need to stop underperforming as much as they have.

21 down, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox drop opener in Oakland; still need a 5th starter.

Hector Velazquez made his first career Major League start on Thursday, and the expectations probably weren’t that high. Well, Velazquez was pretty awful in his debut. After taking the mound with a two run lead in the first, Velazquez went on to give up three runs in the bottom half, including a solo home run off the bat of Khris Davis. When the Red Sox tied the game in the fourth, Velazquez followed that with giving up another three runs in the bottom half of that inning. The Mexican League veteran finished with a line of 5 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, and 4 K’s. With rumors circulating that the Red Sox have been scouting different players on the White Sox, like Jose Quintana and Todd Frazier, rotation depth may become less of a problem. More on that later. Back to the game, the Red Sox bullpen basically put the game out of reach. Robbie Ross completed the sixth, but not before giving up two runs on two hits. Matt Barnes pitched the seventh and eighth, and he managed to strike out five. With the back-end of this rotation being a question mark, I’d like to see Brian Johnson get another shot. Personally, I’d rather not give up more prospects to acquire Quintana. I’d be fine with Frazier or Moustakas, since they would require less.

Anyway, the Red Sox offense didn’t do much. In the first, they scored twice. The first run coming when Mookie Betts scored from third on a Hanley Ramirez single. The second run came when Dustin Pedroia scored on a Chris Young sac fly. After not scoring in the second and third, the Red Sox scored their final run of the game when Mitch Moreland hit his third home run of the season to left center. With Chris Sale on the mound tonight, the Red Sox will need to capitalize in Oakland.

RECAP: Chris Young and #RedSox bullpen comes through in 13 inning victory.

This team might be on the come up. I know it’s only been two games, but the Red Sox have done it all right over that span. On Tuesday, they had maybe their most complete victory of the season, and on Wednesday, they came all the way back from a 4 run lead. Rick Porcello made the start last night, and he got off to a rough start. In the first, Dexter Fowler led things off with a solo home run. In the second, Porcello’s worst inning, the Cardinals managed to cross the plate three times on four hits. Luckily for the Red Sox, Porcello settled down, pitching four shutout innings while scattering four hits. Like the title says, the Red Sox bullpen was borderline incredible on Wednesday night. Robbie Ross, Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, Robby Scott, Craig Kimbrel, Heath Hembree, Fernando Abad, and Ben Taylor combined for a final line of 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, and 6 K’s. This performance by the bullpen was great to see, while also being a key part to this victory. Rick Porcello could have pitched longer, as he only threw 87 pitches through the first six innings, but with his spot in the lineup coming late in the game in the seventh, John Farrell swapped him with Hanley Ramirez, which resulted in nothing.

The Red Sox offense was stagnant the first six innings. The Cardinals starter, Mike Leake, did a great job on Wednesday night. The first runs of the game for the Red Sox did not come until the seventh, when Jackie Bradley hit his second home run over the past two days, driving in himself along with Mitch Moreland. In the eighth, they tacked on two more runs. With Dustin Pedroia on first, Xander Bogaerts tripled to right, scoring Pedroia. Andrew Benintendi would come up next, despite going another game without getting a hit, Benintendi still found a way to contribute, driving in the tying run on a sacrifice fly. Probably time to move Benintendi down in the order, for what it’s worth. The Red Sox would not score again until the thirteenth, when Chris Young singled to left, scoring Mitch Moreland, giving the Red Sox the lead and ultimately the win.

Besides the first two innings, the Red Sox played another solid game to sweep the Cardinals in St. Louis. With Hector Velazquez making his first start for the Red Sox today in Oakland, it will be interesting to see how short his leash is.

21 down, 73 to go. 

RECAP: Betts and Bradley go yard as #RedSox begin road trip with 6-3 win.

After a quick weekend series at Fenway against the Rays, the Red Sox hit the road again, starting the road trip against their second opponent from the NL Central in two weeks, that being the St. Louis Cardinals. The game could not have started any better for the Red Sox, with Mookie Betts leading off things in the first with a solo home run, his seventh of the season. With that leadoff homer, Mookie ties Jacoby Ellsbury for most leadoff home runs (10) as a member of the Red Sox. Ever since he got moved up to the leadoff spot last week, Mookie has been killing it at the plate. Over the past seven games, Betts has hit four of his seven home runs, while also being awarded AL Player of the Week. Besides the home run, Mookie also made a great defensive play, throwing out Matt Carpenter at second in the fifth. Jackie Bradley is also getting hot at the right time, collecting two hits, including his third home run of the season.

Eduardo Rodriguez was able to pick up his fifth straight quality start on Tuesday. ERod got off to a good start, pitching the first two innings without allowing a hit. The third inning would be quite different, though. After hitting the pitcher, Lance Lynn, Rodriguez would end up allowing three hits and three runs before getting out of the inning. Other than that, Rodriguez had a great start, finishing up with three shutout innings. The bullpen shut things down after that, Robby Scott, Heath Hembree, and Craig Kimbrel combined to go three innings while only giving up one hit.

This was maybe one of the most complete wins of the season. Sure, they were aided by the Cardinals defensive blunders, and they did only get six hits. But, it really did feel like a solid win, a good start to the six game trip for sure. Also, shout out to Xander Bogaerts for stealing second in the eighth on a very sneaky slide.


Via r/Baseball

20 down, 74 to go. 

 

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz exits early as #RedSox lose ugly one 11-2.

After picking up a win for Chris Sale on Saturday, the Red Sox looked to take the series from the Rays on Mother’s Day Sunday. Drew Pomeranz made his seventh start of the season, and it was his shortest. After allowing two runs through the first three innings, Pomeranz would have to leave the game with tightness in his left triceps. According to Pomeranz, he thinks he will be able to make his next start, which would be in Oakland I believe. This trade really has not looked good for the Red Sox since it happened last July. Pomeranz has been at his most valuable when he came out of the bullpen towards the end of last season and the postseason. What makes it worse is Dace Dombrowski had the opportunity to rescind the trade last year since the Padres disclosed injury information.

With Pomeranz only lasting three innings, John Farrell had to rely on his bullpen for two-thirds of this game. To make it short, the bullpen was pretty awful on Sunday. Ben Taylor, Fernando Abad, Matt Barnes, Robbie Ross, and Heath Hembree combined to pitch six innings, give up 13 hits, 9 runs, and one home run. The performance of the bullpen recently adds to the issues that this team has. The bridge from the starter to Kimbrel is a shaky and unreliable one right now.

The Red Sox offense has been picking things up over the past few days. Hopefully, Sunday’s performance was just an outlier. After Mookie Betts scored on an RBI double from Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox only scored one run over the next eight innings. That run would come in the fifth when Dustin Pedroia drove in Deven Marrero on a RBI single to center. The scoring opportunities were there on several occasions, but the Red Sox failed to capitalize. Andrew Benintendi continues to go through a slump, arguably the first of his young career. Overall, I really never expected this team to be this mediocre. Without Chris Sale, this is a sub .500 team right now. The level at which this team is underperforming is almost unacceptable. With an important road trip coming up this week, including stops in St. Louis, home of the first place Cardinals, and Oakland, which is always an interesting series. Finishing the trip with 3 or more wins will be pretty important for this team.

19 down, 75 to go.