RECAP: #RedSox loss gets overshadowed by Manny Machado’s late slide.

I’m gonna be honest here when I say that I am not the biggest fan of Manny Machado. I used to like him, and even today I appreciate what he does on the field. But, man, some of the stuff he’s done during games is really questionable. The first time I saw this was in 2014 during a game between the Oakland Athletics and the Orioles.

Then, in the same series, he does this:

The point should be made that this was from three years ago and it does appear that Machado has done some growing up since then. There was another incident last season between Machado and Yordano Ventura (RIP), but I didn’t think Machado was in the wrong for that one, so we’ll move on to the game.

Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz was looking for back to back quality starts on Friday night, facing the Orioles for the second time this season. Pomeranz was not awful, as he kept the Red Sox in the game the entire time he was on the mound, going 5.1 innings and giving up two earned runs and five hits while walking two and striking out four. Again, this was far from a great start, but it certainly wasn’t terrible. With Pomeranz’s ERA currently sitting at 4.60, the type of start we saw on Friday might be his standard. The Red Sox bullpen was able to shut down the Orioles offense, as Joe Kelly went two scoreless while Fernando Abad finished off the bottom of the eighth by getting the last two outs.

The star of the game had to be Orioles starter Dylan Bundy, who pitched seven scoreless, scattering six hits, and only walking one. The Red Sox offense came up short in a game they could have won. The only players that reached base more than once were Marco Hernandez and Dustin Pedroia. Despite leading the league in hits with 162 in 17 games, the Red Sox are only 14th in runs scored, with 69 (nice). This correlation can most likely be attributed to the lack of power in the lineup, since they have only hit 7, which is the worst total in all of baseball. In fact, Brewers first baseman Eric Thames has hit more home runs (8) than the entire Red Sox team. Hopefully, as the weather gets warmer, the balls off the Red Sox bats will travel further, leading to more home runs.

Now, let’s talk about the biggest moment of the game. In the bottom of the eighth, with Manny Machado reaching first on a single, Mark Trumbo grounded out to Marco Hernandez. While Hernandez flipped the ball to Pedroia, Machado slid into the bag. During the slide, Machado’s foot caught the calf of Pedroia, leading to Pedroia being taken out of the game. On Twitter, there was a lot of bickering between Red Sox and Orioles twitter debating if the slide was dirty or not. The beginning of the slide looks fine, but then Machado raises his right leg, which leads to that right cleat going into Pedroia’s left calf.
Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 11.21.53 PM

With Machado’s history, it’s hard to say this was not a dirty slide. After it happened, it looked like Machado was genuinely upset about what he did, as he tried to keep him up on his feet after. Most of the team was not happy with Machado. Joe Kelly was seen yelling at Machado, and then Brian Butterfield got ejected for arguing with the third base umpire. Anyway, my verdict is…dirty slide.  After the game, Pedroia was asked about the slide, and his response was classic Laser Show:

10 down, 84 to go.  

 

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RECAP: Wright, Red Sox split series with Orioles; lose 12-5

The Red Sox were losing the moment they took the field. By the time Steven Wright got out of the first inning, the Orioles had already put 6 runs on the board. In the second inning, Wright gave up another two runs and was taken out after recording only four outs total. The bullpen was not stellar either. Ben Taylor, Fernando Abad (Whoa), Joe Kelly, and Robby Scott gave up a combined 4 earned runs and 9 hits over 7.2 innings. Actually, don’t include Robby Scott in that group because he was the only Red Sox reliever to not give up any runs.

Not much to say about the Red Sox offense. Pablo Sandoval hit his second home run of the season. He’s still batting .133, but the home run is a positive step. Hanley Ramirez and Xander Bogaerts went a combined 5 for 9. I hope and pray that Bogaerts gets moved up in the batting order. Batting him sixth will most likely limit his productivity, and that’s not nice. The Red Sox actually got back in this game, at one point they were down 9-5 with the bases loaded, but could not capitalize. Then, the Orioles tacked on an additional 3 runs in the top of the 7th and that was that. Also, Mitch Moreland hit ANOTHER double, he now has 7 doubles in 8 games, and his 7 doubles account for 70% of his hits.

4 down, 90 to go. 

RECAP: Pomeranz shines in 2017 debut; Red Sox down Orioles 8-1.

Drew Pomeranz took the mound for his first start of the 2017 season on Tuesday night, and he looked dominant. Giving up ony one run and four hits over 6+ innings while recording six strikeouts is quite impressive. Expectations were very low for Pomeranz, as many were expecting the 28 year-old to get shelled by Baltimore’s lineup. I had Pomeranz starting for my fantasy team yesterday, so I was very impressed with the outing. The only run he gave up came in the top of the 7th and that probably should not have happened. After completing six shutout innings, Pomeranz was sent back out to face Chris Davis. Unfortunately for Pomeranz, Davis was able to get a hit off of him, and that was the last batter he faced. I did not see the point in bringing Pomeranz back out for the seventh, especially if he was just going to face Chris Davis no matter what happened. Despite that, it was a good first step for Pomeranz’s 2017 season. After getting hurt in Fort Myers, Pomeranz was able to silence his doubters while picking up his first career victory at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox offense was actually productive last night, and what do you know, Hanley Ramirez and Xander Bogaerts were back in the lineup. It was a big night for Dustin Pedroia, collecting 4 RBI’s while reaching base twice on two singles. The biggest surprise of the night, though, was Christian Vazquez, who went 4 for 4 with a triple and two RBI’s. Vazquez is not known for his offense, so this was certainly not expected. It will be interesting to see how he builds on this performance in the limited role he has behind Sandy Leon.

The offense did most of their damage in the later innings, scoring a combined six runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Orioles starter Dylan Bundy was putting together a solid performance through six innings, only giving up two runs. Things changed in the bottom of the seventh though. After walking Pablo Sandoval with 1 out, Darren O’Day came in to relieve Bundy. Chris Young reached on an error, Vasquez singled, then Pedroia drove in Sandoval and Young with a single. The scoring concluded after Vazquez scored on an Andrew Benintendi single. In the eighth inning, Orioles reliever Oliver Drake, a Massachussetts native, got rocked for three runs on five hits. Vazquez stayed hot by driving in Bogaerts and Young on a triple, and Pedroia stayed hot (7 game hit streak to start the season) by driving in Vazquez on an RBI single. In the top of the ninth, Joe Kelly took the mound and was able to end the game by pitching a shutout inning.

This may be the best overall game from the 2017 Red Sox thus far. Plenty of scoring, capitalizing on the other team’s mistakes, and solid pitching all around make for a feel-good victory. This team can only get better as they get healthier, the flu has nothing on them.

Oh yeah, Mitch Moreland hit another double by the way, now leads the league with six of them. So, shout out to Mitchy Two Bags.

4 down, 90 to go.