RECAP: Drew Pomeranz Gets Rocked as #RedSox Can’t Complete Comeback Against Orioles.

Just a quick recap of last night’s game:

Going into last night, Drew Pomeranz had made five starts for the Red Sox since being activated from the 10-day disabled list back on April 20th. In those five starts, he owned a 5.47 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched. He had not been particularly bad in any of those starts, but he has not been great either. How would he fare against one of the worst teams in the American League? Not great.

In his sixth start of the season, Pomeranz got rocked by the Baltimore Orioles. Right from the start, when he walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, you could pretty much tell it wouldn’t be his night. The Orioles got to the lefty for one run in the first, then tacked on another four runs in the fourth, Pomeranz’s final inning of work. What was even worse was the pitch count, as he needed 81 pitches to get through those four innings.

In relief of Pomeranz, Steven Wright made his second appearance of the season since being activated from the disabled list. He pitched into the ninth inning of this one, while surrendering two runs on three hits and two walks. Heath Hembree came on with two outs in the ninth, and retired the only batter he faced with a strikeout.

Offensively, the Red Sox out-hit the Orioles 13-10, but could not outscore them. Mookie Betts had another great night at the plate, as he launched his 14th homer of the season to put his team on the board in the third.

Two innings later, Betts came through again with an RBI double to score Eduardo Nunez, then Andrew Benintendi scored him from second on an RBI single of his own.

Fast forward to the eighth, and the Red Sox had their best scoring opportunity of the night. Trailing by three runs, Xander Bogaerts, Eduardo Nunez, Brock Holt, and Mitch Moreland all reached base to score a run and load the bases for Mookie Betts with two outs in the inning.

Facing off against O’s righty Brad Brach, Betts came to the plate looking for his fourth hit of the night, but he popped out to first to end the inning and kill the Red Sox rally. The Orioles would tack on an insurance run in the ninth and that would be that.

Up next for the Red Sox is a Dylan Bundy vs. Rick Porcello matchup later tonight. Porcello’s ERA has inflated from 2.14 to 3.28 over his last two starts, so I’m sure he would like to reverse that trend today, if they can get the game in. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET, weather permitting.

Again, sorry this is shorter than usual. Next one should be back to normal.

Advertisements

RECAP: JD Martinez Homers as #RedSox Hold on to Take Series from Blue Jays.

With a ten game road trip coming to a close for the Red Sox today, a victory today would ensure both a series win in Toronto and a winning road trip as well.

Drew Pomeranz got the start for the Red Sox in this one, and he was matched up against Blue Jays righty Joe Biagini. It’s safe to say this matchup was not exactly a pitcher’s duel, because neither starter could make it through the fifth inning.  Despite what the numbers may say, Pomeranz struggled in his fifth start of the season today. Right from the get go, the lefty looked a bit out of sorts. That being said, the Blue Jays did not score their first run of the game until the fifth inning. Up until that point, despite not surrendering any runs, Pomeranz had just one clean inning over the first four. Walks were also an issue for the Tennessee native, as he allowed a season-high five free passes on Sunday.

Like I said though, despite all the baserunners Pomeranz had to deal with early on, he somehow did not give up any runs until his fifth and final frame of work. With some help from Mookie Betts, Pomeranz got out of a fourth inning jam in style. If that ball off the bat of Richard Urena dropped in front of Betts, it more than likely would have plated a run.

The Blue Jays rally was started by the top of their lineup, as three straight hits plated their first two runs of the game. With his pitch count up at 103 already, Pomeranz’s day would come to an end before he could even record an out in the fifth. Since he could not make it through five innings, Pomeranz did not factor into the decision later on. The final line for Pomeranz looks like this: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, and 6 K’s. After the performance he put on in the Bronx last week, the 29-year-old hurler did not have the same type of stuff going for him this time out. He’ll look to rebound in his next start against the Baltimore Orioles next weekend.

Anyway, with no outs in the bottom of the fifth and runners on first and second, Hector Velazquez would get the call first out of the Red Sox bullpen. Inheriting somewhat of a mess, Velazquez did a solid job holding the Blue Jays to just one run while also getting Kendrys Morales to ground into an inning ending double play. The righty also came back out for the sixth inning, and he tossed another scoreless frame to lower his ERA all the way down to 2.10.

After that, the Red Sox bullpen continued to hold the Blue Jays scoreless for the rest of the game. Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, and Joe Kelly combined for three scoreless frames to go along with three strikeouts to wrap this one up. For Hembree, a reassuring performance given the road trip he has had up to this point. And for Kelly, with Craig Kimbrel not available, a shut down ninth inning helped the Red Sox flamethrower notch his second save of the season today.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup had plenty of scoring opportunities against Joe Biagini and the Blue Jays bullpen today. JD Martinez got things started right away in the first, as he launched his 10th home run of the season 386 feet to right field.

Another vintage opposite field home run for Martinez. According to FanGraphs, 60% of the homers the Miami native has hit this year have gone over the wall in right field. That put the Red Sox up by two runs early, and they would have a golden opportunity to tack on some more two innings later.

With Joe Biagini on the mound, Jackie Bradley Jr. led the third off by drawing an eight pitch walk. A single from Mookie Betts moved Bradley up to third. After Andrew Benintendi flew out and JD Martinez reached first on a walk, the bases were loaded for Mitch Moreland. Despite not getting a hit, Moreland had himself  a great at bat against Biagini, as he drew an RBI walk on the tenth pitch of the AB. On the broadcast, they said that Moreland was at the plate for approximately six minutes, so it was a hard-earned RBI to say the least. Unfortunately, that’s all the scoring the Red Sox would do in the third since Xander Bogaerts grounded into a double play in the next at bat.

Fast forward to the fifth, and JD Martinez added on to his great day at the plate with an RBI single to right field. His second hit of the game scored Mookie Betts from third and put the Red Sox up by four runs at the time.

Three innings later, Xander Bogaerts drove in his only run of the game on an RBI groundout. That scored Andrew Benintendi from third after he led the inning off with a walk. For the Red Sox, that run marked their fifth and final run of the day, which was nice, since it provided the bullpen with some insurance late in the game.

Some notes from this one:

After going hitless last night, JD Martinez got back on the board with two hits today. With another three RBI performance, Martinez now has 33 of them on the season, good for fifth in the American League.

Entering today 2 for his last 27 in May, Jackie Bradley Jr. got a hit in his fourth and final at bat today. Maybe now he will have the confidence to heat up for a bit, we’ll see.

With the 5-3 win on Sunday, the Red Sox are now 12-1 in series finales this season. As they head back to Boston, the Oakland Athletics will be first up on a seven game home stand. The two sides kick off a three game set tomorrow night, and it will be Sean Manaea on the mound for the A’s, who, in case you forgot, tossed a no-hitter the last time he saw the Red Sox in Oakland. Looking to keep his perfect season going, Rick Porcello will be taking the mound for the Red Sox. The Athletics are definitely one of the more interesting teams in the American League, so this week should be…interesting. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET on Monday.

 

 

 

RECAP: Giancarlo Stanton Homers Twice as #RedSox Can’t Complete Comeback Against Yankees.

After an off day on Monday, the Red Sox and Yankees began a three-game series at Yankee Stadium for the first time this season last night. With the two best records in all of baseball, this series has some serious potential although it is only the beginning of May.

Drew Pomeranz got the start in this one for the Red Sox, and he was surprisingly good. I’ll be honest, I thought the lefty was going to get shelled by the Yankees lineup last night, especially during the second inning. Giancarlo Stanton hit his first of two home runs of off Pomeranz to lead off the frame, and that was followed by a walk, an injury delay, and then another walk. It appeared that Pomeranz was having an issue with one of the fingernails on his throwing hand last night, and that’s what caused the delay.

Luckily for the Red Sox, Pomeranz was able to deal with any sort of discomfort he was feeling and tossed five innings of one-run ball after that. The Yankees tacked on their second run of the night on another Stanton homer, but that was all Pomeranz gave up. With his pitch count at a season-high 107 (62 strikes) after recording the last out in the bottom of the sixth, Pomeranz’s day would be done. The Tennessee native finished with a pitching line of 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, and 6 K’s. All things considered, not too shabby for Pomeranz, a performance worthy of a win, that’s for sure.

In relief of Pomeranz, it was Heath Hembree who got the call for the seventh. After recording the first out of the inning on two pitches, the righty followed that up by loading the bases on his next 18. With the game tied at two at the time, Alex Cora would turn to Joe Kelly to get out of a very tight situation, and he was greeted by the Yankees faithful with plenty of boos.

Aaron Judge was the first batter Kelly faced, and he ripped a single to left field. That scored Neil Walker from third and it looked like it was going to score Gleyber Torres from second as well. However, a great throw to home and outfield assist from Andrew Benintendi prevented that from happening.

https://www.mlb.com/video/benintendi-nabs-torres-at-home/c-2022043483?tid=6479266

After getting Didi Gregorius to ground out to end the inning, Kelly would come back out for the eighth. A leadoff walk to Giancarlo Stanton, a stolen base, and a wild pitch eventually led to there being one out and a runner at third. Facing Aaron Hicks, the Red Sox flamethrower got the Yankees outfielder out on a fielder’s choice. Thanks to Hanley Ramirez, Stanton was ruled out at the plate.

https://streamable.com/m/2022175183

Carson Smith would be up next from the Red Sox bullpen, and he struck out Miguel Andujar on four pitches, the only batter he faced.

On the other side of things, Yankees starter Luis Severino put on quite the performance on the mound last night. He held the Red Sox to their only two runs of the game in six-plus innings of quality work.

Andrew Benintendi got the scoring started for the Red Sox in the top half of the fifth. After Eduardo Nunez led off things by striking out and reaching on a wild pitch, Mookie Betts moved him up to second three batters later on a hard hit single to center field. Next up was Andrew Benintendi, and he lined a single of his own to center which allowed Nunez to come around and score from second. One run game.

Fast forward to the seventh, Eduardo Nunez led things off once again, and he reached base yet again, this time on a single. Another three batters later, Mookie Betts scored Nunez on a triple that got by Brett Gardner in left field.

https://www.mlb.com/video/betts-rbi-triple-in-the-7th/c-2021891283?tid=6479266

That knotted things up at two runs a piece, but the tie would not last long, as the Yankees scored the go-ahead run a half inning later. After a scoreless eighth, the Red Sox lineup would have one last chance to make a game out of this one in the ninth against Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman.

In the past, Chapman has looked shaky while facing the Red Sox, but that was not the case last night. He gave them a shot by putting Jackie Bradley Jr. on first after hitting him in the elbow with a 103.3 MPH fastball, the hardest thrown pitch so far this season.

With a runner on first and two outs, Alex Cora stuck with Christian Vazquez in a huge spot. That move did not pay off though, as Vazquez grounded out to Gleyber Torres to end the game.

With that loss, the Red Sox fall to 25-10, and with that win, the Yankees improve to 25-10. David Price was supposed to pitch tonight, but he got sent home because of a finger issue. Instead, it will be Rick Porcello making the start against Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees tonight. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.

RECAP: Mookie Betts Homers Three Times as #RedSox Take Series from Royals with 5-4 Win.

Just over 12 hours after a disappointing extra innings loss at the hands of the Kansas City Royals, the Red Sox took the field early today for the third and final game of this series, as they head out for Texas later tonight.

Drew Pomeranz got the start in this one, and he did not get off to the best of starts. The lefty allowed three runs on four hits and one walk over the first two frames. It was not looking great in the beginning, but a baserunning mishap committed by the Royals Jorge Soler that led to an inning-ending double play certainly helped Pomeranz. After he got out of the second inning, responsible for all three runs the Royals had scored up to that point, the Tennessee native settled down and surrendered just four hits and allowed one walk over the next four innings he pitched. Pomeranz would end his day with three strikeouts to go along with 89 total pitches, 55 of which went for strikes. He’ll look to build on this start next week in New York.

In relief of Pomeranz and with a two run lead to preserve, Joe Kelly made his first appearance in his first game back from suspension. He struck out two while tossing a scoreless frame in the seventh. Matt Barnes got the call for the eighth, and after recording the first two outs of the inning, gave up a solo shot to Chelsor Cuthbert and hit Jon Jay with a pitch. Barnes would get out of the inning by striking out Alcides Escobar on four pitches, but the Red Sox lead had been reduced to just one run.

With the one run lead entering the ninth, that made way for Craig Kimbrel, who was coming off his first blown save of the season last night. Watching what happened last night with Kimbrel on the mound was honestly pretty shocking, quite simply because of the fact it rarely happens. How would he respond in a similar situation a day later? Well, he looked the Craig Kimbrel we know and love because he struck out all three batters he faced on 17 pitches, recording his eighth save of the season, and the 299th of his career.

Offensively, the Red Sox needed just four swings of the bat to lock up this win, and all four of those swings went for home runs. Mookie Betts made history today by becoming the first player in Red Sox history to record four three home run games in his career. He got the scoring for the Red Sox started in the fourth inning. Facing Danny Duffy for the second time to leadoff the inning, Betts ripped a 1-1 84 MPH changeup and sent it over the Monster to make it a one-run game.

Three batters later, JD Martinez tied things up on a home run swing of his own. He took Duffy deep on another 1-1 changeup and sent it to almost the exact same spot Betts did. That evened things up in this one at two runs a piece.

An inning later, Betts did it again against Duffy. This time, he took a 0-2 slider and pulled it a little more to the left. That put the Red Sox up by one.

Fast forward to the seventh, and Betts put the exclamation point on his day by blasting his third home run of the game. This one off of Duffy yet again, on a 1-2 93 MPH fastball. Here’s all three in one video for your convenience.

Today’s performance at the plate puts the 25-year-old outfielder in rarefied air. With those three home runs, Betts has now passed Ted Williams for most three home run games in team history. Keep in mind that this was his first day back in the starting lineup since this past Saturday.

According to manager Alex Cora, Betts is going to be the Red Sox leadoff hitter from here on out, so maybe more of these games can be expected. As I’m writing this, he now leads the majors in home runs with 11 and an OPS of 1.1274. He’s the MVP of this team, no doubt about it.

The other guy who hit a home run for the Red Sox today, JD Martinez, is also having a pretty nice season so far. He is eighth baseball in terms of RBIs with 24 of them on the season. He also has the 13th best OPS in the majors with it currently sitting at .985 after today’s game.

Next up for the Red Sox is another lengthy road trip when it feels like they just came back from one. Anyway, this road trip kicks off tomorrow night in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers own 12-20 record up to this point in the season and have given up the second most runs in the majors with 173 runs scored against them.

David Price gets the ball in the series opener. He’ll be facing off against veteran righty Mike Minor of the Rangers. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM ET.

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz Serves up Three Home Runs as #RedSox Drop Series Opener to Rays at Fenway.

After taking two out of three from the Blue Jays earlier in the week, the Red Sox welcomed the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays into town for a three game weekend set. The Rays, who entered last night’s contest with six straight wins, sent their best starter, Blake Snell to the mound, while Drew Pomeranz got the nod for the Red Sox in what would be his second start of the season.

To be fair, I don’t think Pomeranz was awful last night. Yes, he gave up three home runs, but the only other hits he gave up were three singles, and he only walked two. So really, it was a typical early season Drew Pomeranz start. If all three of those homers were solo shots, then he would have only surrendered three runs in five innings. Not bad, but unfortunately, one of those homers was a two-run blast, and that put the Red Sox down by two runs before they even got their first at bats. Fast forward to Pomeranz’s last inning of work, and Christian Vazquez showed off his cannon behind the plate with this impressive strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play.

The lefty also fanned three and finished with just 81 pitches, 49 of which went for strikes. He’ll look to rebound next time out when he goes up against the Kansas City Royals.

In relief of Pomeranz, the Red Sox bullpen shut the Rays down for the next four innings. In a sort of long-relief role, Hector Velazquez impressed yet again as he held Tampa Bay scoreless in 3.1 innings pitched while walking one and scattering four hits.

After Velazquez walked Denard Span with one out in the ninth, it was Heath Hembree who would get the call to keep the Red Sox within the one run they were trailing by. Well, with some help from Christian Vazquez, who caught Span stealing second, and a five pitch strikeout of Matt Duffy, Hembree got out of the inning unscathed.

Offensively, the Red Sox lineup could not do much against Rays lefty Blake Snell. He held the Sox hitless through the first four innings and scoreless through the first five. It wasn’t until Christian Vazquez led the sixth inning off with a double where the Red Sox finally got some runs on the board. Mookie Betts drove the catcher in on a double to center field, picking up his 18th RBI of the season, and two batters later, JD Martinez did the same thing with a double of his own to right field. That scored Betts from Second and cut the Rays lead in half.

Move ahead to the eighth, and Betts and Martinez came through once again. After a one out double from Betts, Martinez barely got a single through the infield that scored Betts from second. That RBI single put the Miami native at 20 for the season and it cut the Red Sox deficit to just one run.

With one last chance in the ninth, Xander Bogaerts got the inning started by singling off Rays closer Alex Colome. Good start, but Eduardo Nunez and Jackie Bradley Jr. followed that up by popping out and striking out. Andrew Benintendi came on to pinch it for Christian Vazquez, and it was all up to him with two outs. After filling the count at 3-2, Colome got Benintendi looking at a 94 MPH fastball on the outside edge to end things.

No excuses there, that is definitely a pitch you should be swinging at with a full count in the ninth inning.

Anyway, on a more positive note, Xander Bogaerts made his return to the Red Sox lineup for the first time since April 8th and he reached base three times. Solid night, and it could not come at a better time with Brock Holt headed to the disabled list with a hamstring issue.

Next up for the Red Sox is the middle game of this series. David Price will be getting the ball against Rays righty Yonny Chirinos. First pitch is at 4:05 PM. Time to end the Rays winning streak at seven games.

RECAP: Two Swings of the Bat Is All #RedSox Need to Win Eighth Straight.

After completing the three game sweep of the LA Angels on Thursday night, the Red Sox arrived in Oakland on Friday to take on the 9-10 Athletics, who were coming off a sweep of their own.

Drew Pomeranz was activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to this one, and he had an interesting 2018 debut to say the least. The Athletics got to Pomeranz for three runs in the first, and the lefty needed 45 pitches just to get through the inning. After that though, Pomeranz settled down for a bit. The Mississippi native held the A’s to just three hits, one walk, and no runs. After recording the second out of the fourth inning, Pomeranz was given the hook in favor of Hector Velazquez. Finishing with a total of seven strikeouts, the southpaw needed 88 pitches to get through his first start, 58 of which went for strikes. If things go according to plan, I’d assume Pomeranz will make his next start on Thursday in Toronto.

In relief of Pomeranz, the Red Sox bullpen was fantastic yet again. Hector Velazquez tossed three shutout innings while scattering four hits, he departed with runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

Brian Johnson would get the call next, and he gave up a single, that quite honestly, should have been caught by Eduardo Nunez, to Matt Olson, the only batter he faced. That loaded the bases and made way for Matt Barnes to get into some game action for the first time since last Sunday.

Facing Matt Joyce with the bases loaded, Barnes definitely created some angst among Red Sox fans watching this game last night. He loaded the count on the first six pitches of the at-bat, but got Joyce to swing and miss on a 94 MPH fastball, ending the inning and preserving the four run lead the Red Sox had.

Barnes went on to collect one more strikeout while tossing a 1-2-3 eighth inning. That made way for Joe Kelly in the ninth, and he too pitched a perfect inning to lock up the win.

Over the last 24.1 innings they have appeared in, the Red Sox bullpen has given up a grand total of one run. To put it into perspective, that’s a 0.37 ERA.

Offensively, like the title reads, the Red Sox lineup only needed two swings of the bat to beat the Athletics in this series opener. The first swing came in the second, after the Red Sox had just gone down by three runs in the bottom of the first, how would they respond? Well, after Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez both singled with one out in the inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. took a Kendall Graveman 94 MPH cutter and cleared the bases with his second home run of the season. A 436 foot shot over the wall in right field with a 106 MPH exit velocity.

That tied the game at three. Later on in the sixth, after the top third of the lineup began the inning by loading the bases on three straight singles, Mitch Moreland stayed hot. On the first pitch he saw from A’s reliever Emilio Pagan and cleared the bases once again.

That marks the FIFTH grand slam the Red Sox have hit already in just 19 games. With that slam, that would be all the scoring the Red Sox would need to pick up their 17th win of the season.

Some notes from this one:

Since April 11th, Mitch Moreland has raises his slugging percentage more than .350 points. His OPS now sits at 1.015.

Since April 10th, Jackie Bradley Jr. is slashing .324/.425/.559 in 40 plate appearances. He got off to a slow start, but it’s nice to see JBJ picking things up at the plate lately.

Chris Sale will be making his fifth start of the season later tonight, as he faces off against Athletics ace Sean Manaea. First pitch is the earliest its been since the Red Sox embarked on this road trip, 9:05 PM ET.

 

Drew Pomeranz Leaves First Spring Training Start with Left Forearm Tightness.

In his second spring training with the Red Sox,  Drew Pomeranz is once again having problems with his left arm, his money-maker. Going into the last season before he hits free agency, I’m sure Pomeranz would prefer to avoid any setbacks. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen. The injury occurred in the middle of the first at bat of the second inning, on Pomeranz’s 17th pitch. All signs point to this being precautionary, as that is what Pomeranz said himself, but there’s still a reason to be concerned. Just last year, the 29-year-old hurler opened the season on the disabled list, and missed the first six games of the season before making his debut against the Orioles. As it turns out, last season was maybe the best of Pomeranz’s seven-year career, so maybe this is a sign of good things to come.

In the mean time, I would be shocked if the Red Sox go out and sign a free agent starter still on the market. Brian Johnson is probably the best candidate to fill in if Pomeranz does miss an extended period of time, and they still have Hector Velazquez and Roenis Elias after that. Not having Pomeranz on the Opening Day roster would mean that the Red Sox would be without 2/5 of their ideal starting rotation to start the season, that being Eduardo Rodriguez as the other pitcher. That’s not great, but it’s still early, Pomeranz could be fine, tomorrow will be a better indicator of that. On a less somber note, I’ll end this blog with the three home runs Andrew Benintendi and Sam Travis hit today in a 9-6 win over the Cardinals. Have a great weekend.