Saturday’s game was described by many as the best Red Sox victory of the season. Brian Johnson threw a complete game shutout and the Red Sox got their sixth straight win. Well, that high didn’t last that long, as Sunday’s loss was filled with plenty of frustrating moments. Rick Porcello was matched up against M’s righty Christian Bergman, and the best pitcher was not who you’d expect. Porcello found himself in jams throughout the game, surrendering 11 hits in only 6.1 IP. The only inning in which Porcello did not allow a hit was the sixth. After allowing two of the first three batters to reach base in the seventh, Porcello was relieved for Robby Scott. Scott got Robinson Cano to fly out to Mookie Betts, and that was the only hitter he faced. Heath Hembree would be used next, and he allowed an inherited runner to score before getting out of the inning. Hembree also pitched the entire eighth inning, and he gave up a solo home run to Guillermo Heredia. Fernando Abad, whose had a quietly good season up to this point, started the eighth, and he only recorded one out while giving up a two-run home run to Robinson Cano. The last pitcher who saw action for the Red Sox was Blaine Boyer, a 35-year-old journeyman reliever who just got called up Sunday morning. Boyer had a fine debut, getting Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager out on a foul out and a line out. Yeah, so, Rick Porcello’s recent performances haven’t been awful, but they haven’t been 2016 Cy Young Award winner performances either. And for as good as the numbers are, this bullpen is far from perfect, I’m just waiting for Carson Smith to come back.
Not much to report on the Red Sox offense. They made Bergman look like an ace Friday afternoon, which is something they have done before this season. Dustin Pedroia was the only batter who reached base more than once. Plenty of opportunities were given to this lineup, but they failed to capitalize on them. Red Sox hitters grounded into four double plays, and Andrew Benintendi grounded into two of them. What I have been paying attention to recently is how Mookie Betts’ average has dipped over the past few weeks. On May 14th, Betts began that day with a BA of .305 and a OBP of .381. After today’s 0-4 performance, Betts’ BA and OPS stand at .269 and .352. You obviously hope this slump is just a blip in Mookie’s season, since for a good part of the season, he has looked like a legit MVP candidate.
David Price pitches in Chicago against the White Sox tomorrow, 2:10 EST is first pitch. Should be interesting to watch, I’m expecting the worst but hoping for the best.
27 down, ? to go.
After his start in Toronto on April 18th, in which he allowed four earned runs in five innings pitched, it didn’t look like Johnson would be back up anytime soon. Well, with the Red Sox looking for one last spot start before David Price is activated, Johnson get another opportunity to prove himself, and that is exactly what he did. Once again, I was at this game and watching Johnson pitch a complete game was quite a treat. Over those nine innings, Johnson scattered five hits and struck out eight, while not walking a single batter. In my opinion, what was most impressive was how Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager, the 3-5 hitters, did not get a single hit off Johnson, going a combined 0-12 with 5 K’s. I’m not trying to exaggerate, but today’s gem from Johnson may be the best pitching performances I’ve ever seen in person. Also, hats off to Jackie Bradley Jr. and his glove, made two outstanding catches Saturday that had a real impact on the outcome of this game. Here’s the one from the ninth:
Credit to Rob Whalen here, I honestly thought that guy wouldn’t make it out of the first inning, but he managed to pitch into the sixth. After leading the bottom half of the first off with a walk, Mookie Betts scored on a Xander Bogaerts single, and X would score on a single from Andrew Benintendi. The last run of the inning would be driven in by Sandy Leon, whose single allowed Benintendi to score from third. The inning could have continued if Hanley Ramirez stopped at third, but he ran through the stop sign and was tagged out at home plate. The Red Sox bats would go silent until the sixth, when Jackie Bradley Jr. launched his fifth home run of the year into the Red Sox bullpen, scoring Mitch Moreland along with him. The scoring wrapped up in the eighth, Mitch Moreland recorded his 26th RBI of the season when he drove Hanley Ramirez in on a single off the Monster.
Six wins in a row, this team is rolling, got to get the sweep tomorrow. The Mariners haven’t even scored a single run in the series, that’s how bad they have been recently. It stinks that Johnson got optioned back down to Pawtucket after the game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s up sooner rather than later.
27 down, ? to go.
Up to this point in the season, I believe Eduardo Rodriguez can best be described as a solid number three starter out of the Red Sox rotation. He’s not an innings eater, but he is highly capable of limiting opposing teams in terms of hits and runs. Rodriguez gave up exactly one hit in every inning he pitched, except the sixth. He also struck out four while walking three. This performance lowered the 23 year old’s ERA down to a nice looking 2.77 on the year. The Red Sox bullpen didn’t allow any Mariners to cross the plate in a combined three innings of work. Heath Hembree got the seventh, Barnes got the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel recorded his thirteenth save of the season, unfortunately for Kimbrel, he failed to get any strikeouts. Next up for ERod, the Chicago White Sox, in Chicago.
The Red Sox offense managed to leave 19 runners on base Friday night, and they really didn’t have any trouble winning this game. The first run of the game was scored in the second, when Hanley Ramirez scored on a Josh Rutledge ground out. No more runs would score until the sixth, where the Red Sox scored twice without driving in either run. With one out and the bases loaded, Josh Rutledge scored on a wild pitch from M’s starter Yovani Gallardo. Later in the inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. scored on a Mike Zunino passed ball. That would be it in terms of scoring for the Red Sox bats. They had plenty of opportunities to score more runs, but failed to come up big with runners on base.
Like the title says, this team is low-key rolling with five straight wins. I may be too woke, but the Red Sox started this streak the day after Manager John chewed out Drew Pomeranz in front of the cameras, so there’s that.
26 down, ? to go.
Just when you thought Drew Pomeranz was on a short leash, he goes and have his best start of the season. There wasn’t a whole lot of optimism going into Thursday’s game, given the weather and the fact that Pomeranz was pitching. The start of the game was actually delayed by about twenty minutes. It looked like the game was going to start at its regular time, but the managers, umpires, and grounds crew got together, which led to the delay. I was interested to see how Pomeranz would respond to the delay, given the fact that he already warmed up. I don’t think he was bothered by it though, as the 28 year old southpaw tied a career high with 11 strikeouts. Pomeranz pretty much breezed through the first four innings, with the only blip coming on a solo home run off the bat of Elvis Andrus in the fourth. After a scoreless fifth, Pomeranz would allow another run in the sixth, and his day would end after he recorded the final out in that inning. Now, I don’t mean to sound like a hardo, but I mentioned Drew Pomeranz in a tweet where I called him out before the game. He’s one of the few players on this team that can piss me off, but I was thoroughly impressed with what I saw from him Thursday night. Anyway, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the seventh, eighth, and ninth, and they took care of business. Heath Hembree, Robby Scott, Matt Barnes, and Craig Kimbrel combined to go three hitless innings while striking out 9 batters, including FOUR from Craig Kimbrel in the ninth. Guy’s just on another level, sporting a K/9 that is right around an astounding 17.
The Red Sox offense got off to a fast start once again Thursday, scoring two runs on two RBI singles from Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland. Two more runs were scored in the third, those coming on Xander Bogaerts’ first home run of the season (FINALLY), which also scored Dustin Pedroia. That thing was a bullet that barely got over the top of the monster. Looking for some insurance later in the game, Deven Marrero answered the call, blasting another two-run home run over the monster in the eighth, scoring Jackie Bradley Jr. also. I know he doesn’t hit well at all, but it’s hard not to like the way Marrero plays over at the hot corner. He provides stability defensively, and seems like a harder worker than Pablo Sandoval.
With the way the Rangers had been playing, I did not expect a sweep, but here we are. Mariners come into Fenway this weekend, and they are an offensively challenged game, having recently scored one or fewer runs in five straight games.
25 down, ? to go.
Looking for their third win in a row, Chris Sale was matched up against Martin Perez on Wednesday night. I was actually at this game, and it was pretty exciting being there. The hype behind Sale Day is real, and it is fantastic. Also got a Craig Kimbrel bobble head, which they were giving out for free. Anyway, Sale did not have his most dominant start Wednesday, but he was far from bad. The Rangers failed to record a hit through the first four innings, even though they managed to scored in the fourth. After a two run fifth, Sale was able to get through two more scoreless innings. He was able to get the first out in the eighth, and his day would be over after allowing a double. I’m sure Sale convinced Farrell to put him back in for the eighth, because the Red Sox offense was on the field for an extended period of time in the bottom half of the seventh. Farrell handed things off to Joe Kelly in the eighth, and he finished that inning while also pitching a scoreless ninth. I hate to say it, but, I was a little disappointed Sale wasn’t dominating Rangers hitters on Wednesday. It would’ve been nice to see him strikeout 10, but that streak came to an end.
Offensively, the Red Sox were stagnant to start things off, only scoring once in the first six innings. Martin Perez wasn’t even pitching at his best, but he did limit the damage. Luckily for the Red Sox, the Rangers left Perez out there for way too long. After giving up two hits while only recording one out, Perez was relieved for Sam Dyson, who, luckily for the Red Sox, sucks. Dyson gave up four hits and five runs, including the go-ahead run, which was scored on a wild pitch to Dustin Pedroia. When he left the game, Dyson’s ERA had increased all the way up to 11.93. The crazy thing about that seventh inning was that the Red Sox did not hit a home run, which proves how their power is lacking. After scoring once again in the top of the eighth, the game was pretty much in their hands.
It’s funny how when Farrell’s seat gets its hottest, the Red Sox win three in a row, hopefully Drew Pomeranz doesn’t screw it up today, if they even play with this weather.
Also, shoutout to Sam Travis for getting his first two career hits. Welcome to the show.
24 down, ? to go.
Just when you thought the hot seat would get hotter for John Farrell, the Red Sox have won two games in a row. Rick Porcello took the mound Tuesday, and he was matched up against Andrew Cashner, whose performance this season has been somewhat of a surprise. For those anticipating a pitcher’s duel, they left disappointed. Porcello’s start was mediocre at best, as he managed to get through 6.2 innings despite allowing 11 hits while surrendering 5 runs (4 earned). Cashner did even worse, as he allowed five hits and five earned runs in five innings pitched. The Red Sox bullpen limited the damage in 2.1 innings, the only run for the Rangers coming on a Joey Gallo home run served up by Robby Scott, surprisingly. On Porcello, he has been a solid number two starter for most of the season, but I have yet to see him in that Cy Young form from last season.
The Red Sox offense was in control all night, as they had the lead every inning after the first. The offense was highlighted by Pedroia, Bogaerts, and Benintendi, who combined for seven hits and 5 RBIs. While it is good to see Benintendi getting back on track, it’s hard not to be disappointed with Xander Bogaert’s power. He has yet to hit a home run this season. He’s primarily been a singles hitter, about 27 percent of his hits this season have gone for extra bases, that’s it.
Also, it’d be nice if this team hit more home runs, it’s not gonna happen, but it’d be nice.
23 to go, ? to go.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Boston Red Sox announced via Twitter that, “The today selected 1B Sam Travis to the active ML roster from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned RHP Hector Velázquez to Pawtucket.”
Now, does this move really help the Red Sox logistically? No, because Mitch Moreland is the full-time first baseman and Travis should be getting full time at bats in Pawtucket. But, do I hate this move? Not really. With all this John Farrell on the hot seat talk, it makes sense that the Red Sox would do something like this. I wish it was Rafael Devers, since they need help at third, but he’s probably not ready for Major League at bats yet. Anyway, Travis has hit pretty well at every level he’s played at. In 2017, Travis is hitting a solid .286 while maintaining an OPS of .805. The power has never been there for Travis, as he only has 26 career home runs in 278 career minor league games. I’m interested to see how much playing time Travis gets because I doubt Farrell wants to cut into Moreland’s AB’s. I’m fairly certain he won’t be up too long, probably by the end of the home stand.
By the way, if John Farrell’s managing techniques are causing a toxic environment in the clubhouse, he should probably get the boot, just my opinion.