Drew Pomeranz Is Headed to the #RedSox Bullpen, for Now.

Hours before the Red Sox take on the Toronto Blue Jays looking for their seventh consecutive win, Manager Alex Cora announced that left-hander Drew Pomeranz will now assume a reliever role with the club.

This move does not come as a surprise to many, as Pomeranz has not looked quite like himself in the three starts he has made since being activated from the 10-day disabled list on July 24th.

Over that span, the lefty has surrendered eight earned runs on 14 hits and 11 walks in 14.1 innings pitched, good for an ERA of 5.02 and an OPS against of .894. Not great.

The Red Sox are 1-2 in those three Pomeranz starts and 5-6 in his starts dating back to April 20th.

Although this decision may be discouraging for the soon to be free agent, the numbers say that, over his eight-year career between the Rockies, Athletics, Padres, and Red Sox, Pomeranz has actually been more efficient out of the bullpen.

In 59 career appearances as a reliever, Pomeranz owns a 2.10 ERA in 64 innings pitched. Compare that to a 4.04 ERA in 122 career starts, and perhaps this role will benefit the native of Tennessee.

The last time Pomeranz pitched out of the Red Sox bullpen came during the 2016 ALDS, when in two appearances against the Indians, the 29-year-old hurler allowed two earned runs over 4.1 total innings pitched.

There is still a chance that Pomeranz gets designated for assignment though, as roster spots will need to be made available for the likes of Blake Swihart, Ian Kinsler, and Chris Sale in the coming days.

Alex Cora also announced Thursday that Brian Johnson will maintain his spot in the Red Sox rotation.

Chris Sale is still scheduled to start Sunday’s series finale against the Orioles in Baltimore, per The Boston Globe.

RECAP: Five-Run Tenth Inning Rally in Toronto Leads #RedSox to 80th Win of Season.

Coming off a weekend in which they swept the New York Yankees in four games, the Red Sox headed north of the border to Toronto on the first leg of a three-city, nine game road trip looking to become the first team in the majors to reach 80 wins, which is exactly what happened on Tuesday.

Drew Pomeranz made his third start since returning from the 10-day disabled list on July 24th, and despite what the numbers say, was far from proficient in this one.

Pitching into the fifth inning, the lefty surrendered two earned runs on four hits, yet walked FIVE and only struck out one.

Those two runs came on swing of the bat from Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis, a one out, two-run home run in the third inning that put Toronto on the board first.

That may have been the only real damage Pomeranz sustained on the night, but it truly goes deeper than that.

The pitch count, velocity, and what appears to be a lack of motivation or confidence while on the mound all seem to be prevalent in Pomeranz’s case. Bottom line: it does not look like he wants to be there and he rarely ever gives his team a chance to win.

In total, the Tennessee native found himself behind in EIGHT three-ball counts, including the five free passes, which came at a pace of one per inning ending in the fifth.

All and all, it’s difficult to say Pomeranz did not give the Red Sox a chance to win this game, because he left with them trailing by just one run, but how he performed last night was far from encouraging.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 84 (44 strikes), the 29 year-old hurler induced three total swings and misses. That is far from ideal, especially when you’re topping out at 91.8 MPH with your four-seam fastball in a game against big league hitters. Makes for an ugly outing, and Pomeranz may as well consider himself lucky for only giving up two runs.

With Chris Sale set to return from the disabled list this weekend in Baltimore, it will be interesting to see what becomes of the Red Sox rotation. Sale, Porcello, Price, and Eovaldi are all obvious locks. Then it comes down to two lefties: Brian Johnson, who starts on Wednesday, or Pomeranz? Who would you rather have as the fifth starter? My money is on BJ.

In relief of Pomeranz, the Red Sox bullpen certainly had themselves a night to forget starting in the middle of the seventh.

Heath Hembree rebounded from a rough appearance on Sunday night by retiring the only batter he faced in the fifth to make way for Brandon Workman in the sixth.

Despite loading the bases on the first three batters he faced, Workman escaped the frame scot-free with the help of some clutch defensive play from Sandy Leon to keep the Red Sox within one run.

From that point on, a combination of Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, Craig Kimbrel, and Tyler Thornburg surrendered five runs over the final four innings of last night’s contest.

Kelly’s run put Toronto up 3-1, Barnes’ run cut the Red Sox lead to 5-4, Kimbrel’s run, a Justin Smoak solo home run, resulted in a blown save and a 5-5 game heading into the tenth, and Thornburg’s two runs broke up the reliever’s streak of six straight scoreless appearances.

Fortunately, the ex-Brewer held things together, recorded the third and final out of the tenth, and locked down his team’s 80th win of the season with the 10-7 victory. Oddly enough, Craig Kimbrel was credited with the winning decision.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Toronto’s “ace” in right-hander Marcus Stroman.

Although he has not pitched much like an ace for the majority of this season, Stroman had his way with Boston on Tuesday.

Tossing seven innings of one run ball, with that lone run coming on a JD Martinez RBI single in the fourth, the thing that really killed the Red Sox while Stroman was on the mound had to be ground ball outs.

The Duke product induced 14 of them on the night, which also resulted in two double plays early on.

With his pitch count at 92, it looked like Stroman was ready for another frame of work in the eighth, but a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand forced his night to come to a close, and that’s where this game turned around in the right direction for Boston.

Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera took over for Stroman in the eighth with a two run lead to protect.

After Bruck Holt struck out to lead off the inning, a Sandy Leon double, Mookie Betts walk, and Andrew Benintendi single loaded the bases with Mitch Moreland due up.

On the second pitch he saw from Tepera, grounded a ball sharply to second base for the force out there, but Leon managed to score without a throw home to make it a 3-2 game with two outs for JD Martinez.

In a 2-0 hitter’s count with Betts at third and Moreland at first, Martinez launched a 95 MPH fastball over the wall in the left field corner for his league-leading 34th big fly and 97th RBI of the year. 5-3 game.

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, that clutch home run would not amount to much a few minutes later when the Blue Jays stormed back to send this thing into extras tied at five runs a piece.

Starting the tenth with the 9-1-2 hitters due up and former Astros closer Ken Giles on the hill for the Blue Jays, Mookie Betts got a five-run rally started with a one out triple.

Two batters and one Andrew Benintendi walk later, Mitch Moreland came through with his 14th homer of the season, another three-run bomb sent 381 feet into the seats in right field to give the Red Sox a 8-5 lead.

After JD Martinez grounded out to short for the second out and Xander Bogaerts reached first on a single up the middle, Jackie Bradley Jr. really put this game out of reach with his ninth long ball of 2018 to put his team up 10-5, which, despite a last-ditch two run rally from the Jays in their half of the tenth, is all they would need to secure this series opening win.

Some notes from this win:

Over his last five appearances, Craig Kimbrel has allowed five runs to score in 5.1 innings pitched. According to @RedSoxStats: Kimbrel’s 3.32 FIP (fielding independent pitching) ranks 64th/157 qualified relievers this year.

From @SoxNotes: The Red Sox are 80-34 (.702), their most wins ever through 114 games.

This is the first time since 2007 the Red Sox are MLB’s first team to reach 80 wins.

Since going 13-13 from April 21-May 18, the Sox are 50-19 (.725).

Boston is 24-5 (.828) in its last 29 games.

As is mentioned above, the Red Sox are 80-34 and the first team in baseball to reach that mark this season. Both statements are insane.

With a potential series win at hand later tonight, it will be a pitching matchup featuring Brian Johnson for Boston and rookie Mike Hauschild for Toronto.

Johnson is coming off an outing in which he got roughed up for five runs in five innings against the Yankees this past Thursday and owns a lifetime 7.47 ERA in five career appearances against the Blue Jays.

Hauschild, 28 and a right-hander, will be making his first career start in the majors after five career relief appearances between Houston and Toronto the past two seasons. As you may have guessed, he has never faced the Red Sox in his short stint in the big leagues.

Rafael Devers is expected to be activated from the 10-day disabled list today while infielder Tony Renda, who scored the game-winning run against the Yankees on Monday morning, will be optioned back down to Pawtucket.

Chris Sale, Ian Kinsler, and Blake Swihart are also expected to be activated from the DL in the coming days.

First pitch of the second game of the series in Toronto is scheduled for 7:07 PM ET Tuesday.

 

 

RECAP: #RedSox Held to One Run by Phillies’ Jake Arrieta in 3-1 Series Splitting Loss.

On a day where Chris Sale was placed on the 10-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation, Drew Pomeranz did not put forth his best effort to make Red Sox fans feel a little more comfortable with the fact they will be with out their ace for the time being, although Sale’s injury does not appear to be all that serious.

Anyway, making his 10th start of the season last night, Pomeranz was far from awful against the Philadelphia Phillies, that much is certain, but he was from great as well.

In five full innings, the lefty somehow managed to hold the Phils to just two runs while surrendering four hits, four walks, and two hit batsmen to go along with three punch outs on the night.

It was not pretty by any means, but by the time Pomeranz’s day came to an end in the middle of the fifth with his team trailing by just two runs, it’s difficult to say that he did not give the Red Sox a chance to win this game, because he kept them in it and worked around plenty of traffic on the base paths to hold Philadelphia to two runs.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 95, the 29-year old hurler only threw strikes about 53% of the time on Tuesday night. He also topped out at 92.3 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he went to 30 times, in the third inning while lowering his ERA on the season to an unsightly 6.56.

Due to the fact that Brian Johnson has taken over for Chris Sale while he is on the DL, all signs point to Pomeranz maintaining his spot in the Red Sox rotation. If nothing were to change, the Tennessee native would start again sometime next week against the Toronto Blue Jays.

In relief of Pomeranz, the Red Sox bullpen had themselves another solid night up until the ninth inning.

Joe Kelly, with the help of Blake Swihart’s cannon of an arm, worked his way around a leadoff single to face the minimum three batters in the lone inning he pitched in the sixth.

Heath Hembree too worked his way around a leadoff walk to toss a scoreless seventh and Matt Barnes, despite loading the bases, escaped any damage in the eighth inning with a big time strikeout of Cesar Hernandez.

In the final frame though, with the Red Sox trailing by just one run, Hector Velazquez, who had pitched on Monday, allowed the first two hitters he faced to reach base, which drove in the Phillies’ third and final run of the night to create some distance between them and the Red Sox going into the bottom half of the inning.

On the other side of things, similar to what Aaron Nola did for the Phillies in the series opener, Jake Arrieta had his way with the Red Sox lineup on Tuesday.

Tossing seven innings of one run ball, the ex-Cub held Boston to one lone run on six hits and one HBP with seven strikeouts.

That one run came in the sixth inning on a Xander Bogaerts RBI groundout. That’s all the scoring the Red Sox could manage in this one, although they did have plenty of opportunities.

I won’t break down all of them, but I will highlight the most crucial of these scoring chances that came in the ninth.

With Seranthony Dominguez on the mound for Philadelphia to protect a two run lead, a leadoff walk drawn by JD Martinez appeared to be a step in the right direction for a second walk-off hit in as many nights.

However, that optimism was quickly wiped away when Xander Bogaerts took a 99.1 MPH fastball off his right hand in the very next at bat. The same right hand that impacted Bogaerts’ 2017 campaign when he was hit with a pitch in Tampa Bay right before the All-Star break.

Despite the obvious pain he was in, Bogaerts was able to stay in this game and represent the tying run at first base with no outs.

From that point, Dominguez really buckled down for the Phillies, as he consecutively sat down the next three hitters he saw to pick up the save.

Ian Kinsler, who was making his Red Sox debut, Mookie Betts, who came on to pinch hit for Eduardo Nunez, and Brock Holt were all retired on just 11 pitches, and that was how last night’s contest would come to a close with a final score of 3-1.

Some notes from this one:

From @EvanDrellich: Right hand contusion for Xander Bogaerts. X Rays negative. Same spot as last year. He sounded worried just because of the similarity but good news again is X Rays are negative.

From @PeteAbe: Dombrowski said Sale was “adamant” he would miss only one start. Suspicion is how he throws his slider could be the cause. Team is being cautious. MRI was not needed.

In his aforementioned Red Sox debut, Ian Kinsler went 1/4 at the plate with two strikeouts batting in the six-hole. He was also solid at second base.

Extending his hitting streak to 11 games with a sixth inning single, Blake Swihart finishes his month of July with an outstanding slash line of .412/.474/.618 in 14 games.

Ending July with a 19-6 record, the Red Sox have Wednesday off before hosting the New York Yankees for a four-game set that begins tomorrow.

With a 4-5 record against the Bombers this season and a five game division lead to protect, you don’t need me to tell you that this upcoming series is meaningful.

Brian Johnson starts in the place of Chris Sale in the opener on Thursday. He’ll be matched up against CC Sabathia for New York, who has both struggled and succeeded against Boston in two separate starts at home this season.

As for Johnson, well, he’s never started against the Yankees, but he has yet to give up a run against them in three relief appearances as well. Should be an interesting matchup of two left-handers.

First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET on Thursday.

RECAP: Four Home Runs Not Enough as Drew Pomeranz Disappoints in Return to #RedSox Rotation.

For the first time since May 31st, Drew Pomeranz started a big league game last night, and surprise, surprise, he was not very good. Yes, he deserves the benefit of the doubt and maybe multiple chances to prove himself again, but it’s understandable why Pomeranz is not exactly a fan favorite.

I mean, he has brought almost nothing to the table this season and looks like he does not want to be out there. But, given the fact Eduardo Rodriguez is on the shelf for the forseeable future, nothing much will change. The good news here, if any, is that once the postseason begins, Pomeranz shouldn’t even be considered to be part of the starting rotation. Watch, now he’ll pitch like he did for most of last season and I’ll look like an idiot.

Anyway, on another rainy night in Baltimore, Drew Pomeranz made his return from the 10-day disabled list to make his ninth start of the season on Tuesday night. While rehabbing from his left bicep injury, Pomeranz made six starts between Double A Portland and Triple A Pawtucket. In those six outings, the lefty posted a 5.04 ERA in 25 innings pitched, but held the opposition to one run on one hit and two walks in his last start against the Charlotte Knights on July 18th.

So, that appeared to give the signal that Pomeranz was ready to rejoin the Red Sox rotation. Alex Cora mentioned how the return of Pomeranz could be somewhat like a trade pickup for the club, and he had a great opportunity to get his feet wet against a team as bad as the Orioles.

Unfortunately, that is not how things worked out, because in less than five innings, Pomeranz got hit decently hard.

In those 4.2 innings pitched, Baltimore got to the Tennessee native for four runs on six hits, including two home runs, while drawing two walks and fanning four times.

The first crucial mistake Pomeranz made came in the third, when with one out and a runner on, the lefty seemingly missed his location on a 0-0 78 MPH knuckle curve and O’s second baseman Jonathan Schoop sent it 414 feet into the left field seats for his second long ball in as many days to give his team an early 2-1 lead.

The second crucial mistake for Pomeranz came in a similar spot later on in the bottom half of the fifth. After walking the leadoff hitter, who also happened to be Baltimore’s number nine hitter in Caleb Joseph, the 29 year-old hurler served up another two-run homer, this one coming off the bat of the other Orioles middle infielder Tim Beckham. This coming a half inning after the Red Sox had just battled back to take a 3-2 lead. Not a great look.

Pomeranz would be unable to finish the frame, as Tyler Thornburg came in and struck out the only batter he faced.

Finishing with 89 pitches, 56 of which went for strikes, Pomeranz relied on his knuckle-curveball 51% of the time on Tuesday and topped out at 89.9 MPH with his four-seamer on his 26th pitch of the game. According to Statcast, the three hardest hit balls last night had exit velocities of 108, 107.7, and 106.9 MPH. They all came off of Pomeranz.

Falling to 1-4 on the season with an ugly 6.91 ERA, Pomeranz will look to rebound in his next time out, which could come against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

As I had previously mentioned, Tyler Thornburg got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen in the fifth and retired the lone batter he faced.

A struggling Joe Kelly was next out of the ‘pen for the sixth, and by the time the inning had concluded, the Orioles had added three runs to their lead to essentially put this game out of reach for the Red Sox. Since the beginning of June, Kelly owns a 9.98 ERA and .920 OPS against in 20 appearances. That’s a problem.

From the middle of the seventh inning on, Hector Velazquez wrapped up a pretty miserable day for Red Sox pitching on a more positive note, as he held the Orioles scoreless in the two frames he tossed to lower his ERA to a solid 2.50 on the season.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a young pitcher for Baltimore who actually made his big league debut against Boston back on June 13th.

Yefry Ramirez, 24, gave up three runs in less than five innings pitched then, and it was a very similar outing for him last night.

JD Martinez got the scoring started right away in the first, as he launched his first of two home runs on the night to put the Red Sox up early.

Fast forward to the fifth with the team trailing by a run, Blake Swihart came through with is first Major League home run in nearly three seasons to tie this thing back up at two runs a piece.

One batter later, Mookie Betts took issue with Ramirez throwing 92 MPH heat up near his head. Although it was more than likely unintentional, Betts made the Orioles rookie pay by mashing his 24th big fly of the season on the very next pitch he saw.

Back-to-back solo homers to retake the lead had me feeling pretty confident to be honest, but Drew Pomeranz let that slip away a few minutes later.

Trailing by four runs heading into the eighth inning, JD Martinez put a dent into that deficit, as he blasted his second home run of the night and 31st of the season, a two-run shot, to retake the Major League lead in that category and make it a 7-5 game.

With one last chance to do something in the ninth, the news that Orioles closer Zach Britton had been traded to the New York Yankees was certainly a blow, but it was also assuring knowing that he would not be available to close this game out for Baltimore.

Facing off against new Orioles closer Brad Brach, Jackie Bradley Jr. led things off with an infield single that essentially turned into a double thanks to some sloppy glove work from Tim Beckham.

After Brock Holt pinch hit for Eduardo Nunez and advanced Bradley from third with one out, Rafael Devers cut the Red Sox deficit to one by collecting his 50th RBI of the season on an infield single. 7-6 game.

Mookie Betts was up next with the chance to complete the comeback, but unexpectedly grounded into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play. Surprising, considering how much damage Betts has done at Camden Yards in his career. With the Yankees winning their game against the Tampa Bay Rays last night, the lead in the AL East currently stands at five games for Boston.

Some notes from this win:

From @SoxNotes: J.D. Martinez is the 10th player to hit 30+ HR in his first season with the Red Sox, the first since David Ortiz did it in 2003.

In 35 career games at Camden Yards, Mookie Betts is slashing .296/.383/.606 with 13 HR and 28 RBI.

Per FanGraphs, 48% of the 31 home runs JD Martinez has hit this season have been hit to the opposite field.

Going for the series win tonight before heading home, David Price gets the ball for the Red Sox in what will be his 21st start of the season. Going up against him is the Orioles’ Dylan Bundy, who has started three times against Boston in 2018 and owns a 2.29 ERA in those starts.

First pitch of the final game is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz Gives up Two-Run Homer in First Inning as #RedSox Fall to Astros in Series Opener.

Coming off a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays in Boston, the Red Sox headed down to Houston to kick off a four-game series last night. Although it is still decently early in the season, I had this series circled in my calendar. The Astros are coming off their first World Series championship in franchise history last fall, and they just so happened to beat the Red Sox in the ALDS to get there. With both teams improving over the offseason, I was excited for this matchup.

In his eighth start of the season on Thursday, Drew Pomeranz did not have the best of first innings. After walking Alex Bregman on five pitches in between getting the first two outs, the lefty got taken deep to left by Astros shortstop Carlos Correa.

That 389 foot shot put the Astros up by two runs early and, despite some close moments, they would not have to look back.

After the Red Sox got those two runs back in their half of the third, the Astros struck for another two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Thanks in part to giving up two hits to the first three batters he faced to leadoff the inning, Tony Kemp drove in JD Davis from third to make it a one run game. That was followed by a bunt off the bat of outfielder Jake Marisnick which allowed Davis to score from third.

After Sandy Leon caught Marisnick trying to steal second to end the fourth, Pomeranz would go on to pitch one more inning, a 1-2-3 fifth to end his night.

So far this season, the lefty has only been able to pitch past the fifth inning twice in eight starts, and those came in back to back outings against the Royals and Yankees in early May. All and all, four runs in five innings against a juggernaut like the Houston Astros is not too shabby, so at the very least, he has earned himself another start.

In relief of Pomeranz, Alex Cora only needed to turn to one pitcher, and that pitcher was Steven Wright. The knuckleballer kept the Red Sox in this game while scattering one hit and three walks over three shutout innings pitched thanks to some help from Rafael Devers in the eighth.

With this most recent performance, Wright now owns a 2.25 ERA in 16 innings pitched since being activated from the restricted list on May 14th. Over that stretch, opponents are only hitting .167 off the California native. If Pomeranz’s struggles were to continue, Wright would be my first choise to take over his spot in the rotation.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox were without Mookie Betts for the fifth game in a row due to that left side tightness he has been dealing with. The Red Sox were also without Dustin Pedroia, who was scratched from the original lineup because of soreness in his surgically repaired knee.

So that all happened quickly before the game started. Then in the second inning, it looked like Rafael Devers was going to have to leave the game after colliding with Astros starter Lance McCullers at first base, but he was fine.

An inning later, the Red Sox scored their only two runs of the night off the bat of Xander Bogaerts on an RBI double that scored both Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi on a close play at the plate.

Fast forward to the ninth, trailing by two runs, and the Red Sox made things a little interesting. With Astros closer Ken Giles on the mound, a two out single from Sandy Leon and a walk drawn by Jackie Bradley Jr. brought the go-ahead run to the plate in Blake Swihart. Unfortunately, as was the theme for the Red Sox last night, Swihart appeared to make solid contact with a 88 MPH slider from Giles, but it was hit right at Jake Marisnick in center field. That killed any shot at a rally and ended the winning streak at three games.

Some notes from this one:

According to Statcast, the eight hardest hit balls last night all belonged to the Red Sox. Four of them went for hits, while the other four went for outs.

Andrew Benintendi finished the month with a 2-for-3 day at the plate. In May, he slashed .349/.411/.633 with 6 HR and 23 RBIs.

JD Martinez finished the month with a 0-for-3 day at the plate. In May, he slashed .299/.370/.729 with 13 HR and 25 RBIs. American League Player of the Month right there.


With the series opener out of the way, the Red Sox will look to rebound in the second of four games later tonight. Chris Sale will be getting the start in this one, and he is coming off one of his more disappointing starts of the season last time out against Atlanta. He will be matched up against former Pittsburgh Pirate Gerrit Cole. In his first season in Houston, Cole currently leads the AL in strikeouts with 109 of them on the season. Who is in second you ask? Well, that would be the other starter in tonight’s game, the aforementioned Chris Sale, who has 104 K’s in 2018.

A primetime pitching matchup to kick off the weekend. Couldn’t ask for anything better on a Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 PM ET, time to even this series up.

 

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.

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.