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. 

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RECAP: Doug Fister gives up leadoff home run, proceeds to pitch complete game as #RedSox take Game 2 9-1.

Tuesday night was pretty emotional in both Boston and Cleveland. Prior to the start of this game, the Celtics made a trade with the Cavaliers, sending the likes of Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas along with others, for Kyrie Irving. Isaiah Thomas was beloved in Boston, and I’m pretty certain Kyrie was beloved in Cleveland, too. With that all transpiring, the attention kind of shifted away from the baseball game taking place at Progressive Field, and it was a great one. After the way Monday night went down, Doug Fister looked to right the ship against the Indians, a team he has faced three times since the start of August. The righty gave up a home run to the first batter he faced, Francisco Lindor, and it looked like the game was about to get away quick. Amazingly though, Fister responded by retiring three of the next four hitters and getting out of the inning. He then went on to pitch eight shutout innings while only allowing two baserunners to reach via a walk and a HBP. Fister was highly effective, keeping his pitch count down in order to pitch all nine innings. He’s had a few good starts while with the Red Sox, but this was certainly the best, and it could end up being the most important. With the way the bullpen collapsed on Monday, Fister provided those guys an opportunity to rest and regroup. That could be big as the final full month of the season approaches. It looks like he’ll make his next start against the Orioles on Sunday, so it should be interesting to see if he build on this start later in the week.

On the other side of things, Carlos Carrasco made the start for The Tribe, and I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I don’t think the Red Sox are a team he has a ton of success against. Hanley Ramirez picked up where he left off Monday, driving in the first run of the game in the first on a RBI single, scoring Andrew Benintendi from third. In the second, Xander Bogaerts, who did record two hits last night, scored from third on a Sandy Leon sacrifice fly. Later on in the fifth, Jackie Bradley Jr. added a run to the Red Sox total by mashing his fourteenth home run of the season 408 feet to center field. Unfortunately for JBJ, he had to leave the game with a hand issue in the seventh, after both he and Sandy Leon scored on a Eduardo Nunez double. Andrew Benintendi drove in Nunez on an RBI double in the seventh, and Nunez would cap this one-off with a three-run home run in the eighth, giving the Red Sox a 9-1 lead. Carrasco still pitched into the seventh inning, but he gave up six home runs, which is something you don’t see too often. It was good to see Nunez break out of his 0 for 13, and Xander Bogaerts seems to be figuring things out as well with his two hits.

Nice rebound performance, hopefully Drew Pomeranz can make his start later tonight.

72 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox surrender lead late as Indians wak it off 5-4 in the ninth.

Yeah, last night was pretty ugly. The Red Sox opened up a four game series in Cleveland on Monday in about the worst way possible. Eduardo Rodriguez made the start, and he was matched up against Indians righty Mike Clevinger. The problem last night did not come from the starting pitching, ERod was fine in the 5.2 innings he pitched. The lefty surrendered three runs, on one home run from Roberto Perez, over that span, while also allowing four hits and two walks with five strikeouts to go along with that. I didn’t necessarily agree with him being lifted with two outs in the sixth inning, but he was, with Joe Kelly coming in to replace him. Kelly had the best night out of anyone in the bullpen, being the only one to throw a complete inning. He finished the sixth, then pitched a scoreless seventh as well. Things turned for the worst when Matt Barnes entered the game in the bottom of the eighth. First off, Matt Barnes is not a good pitcher on the road, as he owns an ERA north of five while pitching away from Fenway Park. Second, I didn’t agree with using Barnes in that high leverage situation, being that the Red Sox were only up by one run when Barnes entered the game. While failing to record an out, Barnes walked the first guy he faced, then proceeded to give up a single. Heath Hembree came in to try and clean up that mess, but he ended up allowing the tying run on an Edwin Encarnacion single. After he only got one out, Robby Scott came through with the clutchest performance out of the bullpen, striking out the only two batters he faced, but it was short-lived. Brandon Workman came in for the ninth, and he too failed to record an out. The first batter he faced, Brandon Guyer doubled to left, and that was followed by a Roberto Perez sacrifice bunt. Brock Holt, who was playing first for what had to be the first time this season, double clutched before throwing the ball to third to try and get Guyer out. Unfortunately, the ball got by Rafael Devers, and that allowed Guyer to score, and the meltdown was complete.

Apparently Addison Reed was not available last night, so that’s why we didn’t see him. It would have been better to see Brandon Workman come in with a lead, but it sounds like Manager John likes using him to start an inning instead of in the middle of one. I don’t know about Craig Kimbrel, but what I do know is that Matt Barnes should stop getting treated like a set-up guy because the numbers prove he isn’t.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox bats definitely could have done more off of Clevinger, given the fact that he walked four in the four and a third innings he pitched. But, it was good to see both Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez go yard in this one. That was it though for the scoring, the Indians bullpen did a nice job despite Andrew Miller getting hurt again.

Doug Fister gets the start tonight, so I’m not expecting much there, maybe the offense can pick him up against Carlos Carrasco, we’ll have to wait and see.

71 down, 24 to go. 

RECAP: Rick Porcello and JBJ lead the way for #RedSox in series-clinching 5-1 win.

The Red Sox just took two out of three from the second place New York Yankees. I’m jacked up. Last night was frustrating, but the Red Sox certainly bounced back in the right way today. Rick Porcello was matched up against relatively new Yankee Sonny Gray, so there was a real chance of a pitcher’s duel. Porcello was great in the six innings that he pitched, scattering three hits while only surrendering one run while walking three and striking out four. That only run happened to be a solo home run, which came in the fifth inning off of Brett Gardner. Other than that though, I liked what I saw out of Porcello. The three walks were a bit of an issue, given the fact he easily could have gone deeper into the game, but I’ll take it. This time out makes it three straight quality starts for the righty, and he also has yet to lose a start in the month of August.

The bullpen was also good on Sunday, putting together their second straight scoreless effort. Brandon Workman pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, Addison Reed pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, and even though it wasn’t a save situation, Craig Kimbrel shut the door on the Yankees in the ninth.

Offensively, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Sandy Leon, the eight and nine hitters, carried the load. They drove in all five runs and recorded a third of the team’s hits. Sonny Gray was tough to watch, not because he was bad, but because he took an average of twenty-eight seconds between each pitch. Luckily, his pitch count was pretty high since he had to leave after only throwing five innings. JBJ got the scoring started in the second, driving in Xander Bogaerts and Sandy Leon on a 2 RBI triple. The center fielder picked things up again the sixth, driving in Mitch Moreland on another RBI hit, this one being a single. Later on in the eighth, Sandy Leon essentially put the final nail in the coffin, doubling to right field and driving in two more runs, giving the Red Sox a 5-1 lead.

Big four-game series coming up in Cleveland. The Indians have won eight of their last ten games and will probably go on to win their division. With the way the standings are at currently, I believe the Red Sox would host the Indians in the ALDS. Eduardo Rodriguez makes the start tomorrow, looking forward to it.

71 down, 24 to go. 

RECAP: CC Sabathia outpitches Chris Sale as #RedSox drop middle game 4-3.

Leading up to this one, I would have guaranteed the Red Sox would be six games up in the division at the conclusion of Saturday night’s game. Unfortunately for me, that prediction did not age well as the Red Sox dropped the second game of this series in a rather frustrating fashion. Chris Sale, making his 25th start of 2017, was matched up against the longest tenured Yankee, CC Sabathia. Sale was not bad, but that means he wasn’t great either. In the seven innings he pitch, the lefty surrendered four earned runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out nine. Two of those hits were home runs, and that is where the Yankees scored all their runs. Tyler Austin took Sale deep for two runs in the second, and Todd Frazier just sneaked one over the Monster in the sixth. We were so close to seeing Sale notch another quality start, but that Frazier home run really sucked. Although he picked up his fifth loss, Sale did reach the 250 strikeout mark for the season as well. With all those K’s. Sale joins both Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers to record 250 or more K’s in 25 or fewer starts in a single season. Elite company for sure for Chris Sale. One thing I want to bring up about Sale though is how up and down he has been in August. In two road starts at Tampa and New York, Sale has been fantastic, allowing a total of one earned run over fifteen innings pitched. But, while pitching at Fenway Park this month, Sale has been well below average, allowing eleven earned runs in only twelve innings pitched. I don’t know if it’s anything to be concerned about, but Sale has been known to pitch worse as the season gets into the later stages.

After Sale exited, the bullpen did much better than they did on Friday night. Matt Barnes bounced back with a scoreless eighth inning, then Heath Hembree, Robby Scott, and Joe Kelly each got an out in the ninth. It’s too bad the offense couldn’t pick them up, but the bullpen did do their job in keeping the Red Sox in the game.

Offensively, CC Sabathia pretty much had his way with the Red Sox lineup. It wasn’t until the fifth when the Red Sox scored their first runs of the game. Other than that though, I was pretty surprised with what I saw out of Sabathia, who is way past his prime. The first run of the game came off the bat of Sandy Leon, who drove in Xander Bogaerts on an RBI ground out. Jackie Bradley Jr. then drove in Rafael Devers on an RBI single in the same inning. Later on in the seventh, Rafael Devers, playing in his 20th big league game, mashed his eighth home run of the season right over the Red Sox bullpen.

This cut the Yankees lead to one, and Xander Bogaerts had the chance to give his team the lead in the eighth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Bogaerts looked awful against David Robertson, striking out on three pitches. They had another chance to at least tie the game in the ninth, after Sandy Leon reached on a strikeout. Brock Holt came in to pinch run, and he tried to steal second. I don’t know why, but trying to steal on a 2-0 count seems pretty dumb. Betances was struggling to find the strike zone in that at bat and that caught stealing took any momentum away. The fact remains, the Red Sox are awful on the bases, making more outs than any other team. It did not COST them this game, but still, it hurt.

Rick Porcello is on the mound this afternoon against new Yankee Sonny Gray. Time to take this series and go up by five games.

70 down, 25 to go. 

RECAP: Mitch Moreland picks up #RedSox bullpen in exciting 9-6 win over the Yankees.

Last time the Red Sox saw the Yankees, they took two out of three games from them with the help of guys like Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, and Chris Sale. That series began one week ago yesterday, and the Red Sox lost the opener. But yesterday, the Red Sox did the opposite of blowing a lead, they came back from a pretty sizable deficit late in the game. First, I was shocked that the weather did not interfere with this game, even though you’d think so with how long that game took. Second, I hope Drew Pomeranz is okay because over the past few months he’s gone from liability to asset. Pomeranz only lasted 3.1 innings before being removed from the game. While he was warming up for the fourth inning, you could see him grip his back, then on his last pitch, you could see that he couldn’t finish his throwing motion, leading to him being taken out. The diagnosis was back spasms, which doesn’t seem all that bad so we’ll have to wait and see if the lefty can give it a go in Cleveland next week.

In relief of Pomeranz, the bullpen definitely did not put forth their best effort. Despite not being all that sharp, Brandon Workman did manage to finish the fourth while holding the Yankees to nothing in the fifth as well. The Red Sox entered the sixth inning with a 3-0 lead and Matt Barnes served up a two-run home run to Todd Frazier, cutting the lead to just one run. Unable to finish the inning, Joe Kelly came on to do that. The righty started the seventh as well, which was one of the ugliest innings I think I have ever seen. Kelly gave up a home run, then Heath Hembree and Robby Scott allowed an additional three runs to score. So, with four pitchers John Farrell relies on heavily, the Red Sox go from having a 3-0 lead to trailing 6-3. Luckily, Addison Reed stabilized things for the bullpen in the seventh, ending the inning by retiring Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, while tossing a scoreless eighth as well. It was the most impressed I’ve been with Reed since the trade, and he, along with the Red Sox offense, paved the way for Craig Kimbrel to pick up his 29th save of the season, as he made Aroldis Chapman look even worse by striking out the side.

At the plate, the Red Sox had a decent night. Facing Jordan Montgomery for the second time in the past week, they did manage to score more than one run off the lefty this time out. Rafael Devers got the scoring started in the second, blasting his seventh home run of the season into the Monster seats, scoring Xander Bogaerts as well. In the 19 games he has appeared in, Devers is hitting one home run for every 10 AB’s he has. To put that in perspective, Giancarlo Stanton, MLB’s home run leader, has an AB/HR of 10.1 right now. Anyway, Christian Vazquez hit this third home run of the season in the fifth, which seemed important when Matt Barnes gave up those two runs, but the Yankees eventually tacked on more. The four runs the Red Sox scored in the fourth were extremely critical since they were in response to the four the Yankees scored in their half of the inning. In the inning, eight batters were sent to the plate and Mitch Moreland, who was pinch-hitting for Chris Young had the biggest hit in the game. It was a one-run game at that point thanks to Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, and Moreland lined an 0-2 pitch to center, allowing both Eduardo Nunez and Benintendi to score, giving the Red Sox a 7-6 lead. By the way, that seventh inning alone took over an hour to complete. Some insurance runs were tacked on in the eighth, with Jackie Bradley Jr. driving in two off of Aroldis Chapman, who continues to prove he can’t perform against the Red Sox.

After all was said and done, the Red Sox enter today with a five game lead in the division. Chris Sale gets the start today against CC Sabathia, advantage Red Sox. With the chance to go up by six games, today’s game presents a great opportunity for a team to runaway with the division.

70 down, 25 to go. 

RECAP: Mookie Betts saves the day; #RedSox defeat Cardinals 5-4.

Tuesday night was fun, last night started out pretty bad, then it got really fun. This game looked like a lost cause going into the ninth, then things got a whole lot better. With all the frustration and excitement, we also got a great ceremonial first pitch out of it.

Eduardo Rodriguez was making the start for the Red Sox, coming off a solid start aginst the Yankees last Friday where he deserved a W. The bullpen let him down in that one, but this time out, the bullpen kept the Red Sox in the game. ERod retired the Cardinals after facing four batters in the fourth, unfortunately, the second inning was nothing like this. With the first four batters all reaching, the Cardinals went on to score all four of their runs in the inning. They could have had five, but Jackie Bradley Jr’s cannon prevented that from happening.

If you look at his final line, 5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 K, and 6 K’s, then you’re probably thinking, “Not great, could’ve been better.” Well, you would be somewhat correct but things could have gotten a whole lot worse. Luckily, ERod rebounded after that second inning and was able to pitch into the sixth.

With one out in the sixth, Matt Barnes was inserted into the game. He struck out the only two batters he faced in the inning, then pitched a scoreless seventh while surrendering one hit. Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel were both used after that, and they both pitched scoreless innings. So, the bullpen definitely did their job keeping the lineup in the game.

On the other side of things, Lance Lynn looked a whole lot better than Mike Leake did the other night. The only runs the Red Sox got off him came in the second, on a Eduardo Nunez RBI single and a sac fly from Mookie Betts, that cut the lead in half. That’s all they got off Lynn though, but they did miss on a good amount of scoring chances. The Cardinals bullpen wasn’t as good though, and that’s where the Red Sox did most of their damage. Seung Hwan Oh and Tyler Lyons both pitched scoreless innings, then things got messy in the Cardinals bullpen. Trevor Rosenthal was first up in the ninth, and he served up a solo home run to Xander Bogaerts and a walk to Mitch Moreland before exiting. Zach Duke would be next, and he allowed another walk, to JBJ, while also striking out Brock Holt. So, he exited the game in favor of John Brebbia, and this is where the momentum shifted. A long pause before pitching to Eduardo Nunez caused an uproar from the Cardinals bench, which led to Mike Matheny getting ejected. A pop out from Nunez paved the way for Mookie Betts. On a 3-2 pitch, which was extremely important to the outcome of this game, Mookie lined a double off the Monster, driving in Chris Young as the tying run and JBJ as the winning run.

A wild win to say the least. I did not expect Xander Bogaerts to go deep in the ninth, and I did not expect the Red Sox to win this game back in the seventh inning. But, they kep finding a way, which is important since the Yankees have won three in a row.

A day off today before welcoming in those Yankees for three games over the weekend. Drew Pomeranz, Chris Sale, and Doug Fister or Rick Porcello are lined up for this series, should be a good one.

69 (NICE) down, 26 to go.