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: #RedSox bullpen implodes as winning streak comes to an end in The Bronx.

I’m writing this at 11:01 PM so excuse me if this becomes altered in any way. For a team that has had so much going their way, Friday night did not feel quite the same. Eduardo Rodriguez made the start for the Red Sox, and he was solid. Six shutout innings, two hits and two walks, while also striking out seven. A thirty pitch first inning didn’t help things, but it was good to see ERod get through six full with only 107 pitches. He definitely deserved the win, something he hasn’t gotten since May 26th. Unfortunately, the Red Sox bullpen had other plans. Shout out to Matt Barnes for doing his job, pitching a shutout seventh inning while facing four batters. Now, this is where things get messy, starting with Addison Reed. Since that home run he gave up against the Indians, Reed has been used lightly and mostly in the seventh inning, but he’s looked good in those appearances. Friday night was a different story though, as Reed started the inning by hitting Brett Gardner on the foot. The next batter, Aaron Hicks took Reed deep for a cheap Yankee Stadium home run, bringing the Yankees within one run. After giving up a single and a walk, John Farrell went with Joe Kelly, who was not much better. Kelly allowed both the tying run and go-ahead run to score while also allowing a third to score. After facing six batters and getting two outs, Kelly left the game in favor of Fernando Abad, who recorded the final out. So, a bullpen that leads the majors in ERA blew a lead in a pretty important game, a winnable game to say the least. Addison Reed is making the case to not be used in any high leverage situations at all, and Joe Kelly got rocked in his second game off the disabled list. All and all, the Red Sox had a three run lead going into the bottom of the eighth and ended up having nothing to show for it.

On the other side of things, the offense deserves some blame for this loss as well. Before the top of the ninth, the only three runs scored came on home runs. The first, a two-run blast off the bat of Hanley Ramirez in the first, his eighteenth, and the second being a solo shot off the bat of Andrew Benintendi in the fifth, his fourteenth. There were more opportunities to get some runs on the board, but the Red Sox couldn’t capitalize. Yankees starter Jaime Garcia loaded the bases in the top of the third, which led to nothing. If we can fast forward to the ninth, Aroldis Chapman was awful. He walked the first three guys he saw to load the bases again. Things got ugly after Andrew Benintendi hit a sacrifice fly to Aaron Hicks in left. A run did score but the man who was at second, Eduardo Nunez, tried to advance to third.

He failed in doing so, recording the second out in the process, and basically ruined any momentum the Red Sox had. Mitch Moreland then flied out to Jacoby Ellsbury, and the bail out of Chapman was complete.

This could end up being the worst loss of the season, but it might not even matter come October. It all depends on how the rest of the series goes. Drew Pomeranz is pitching later today, and Chris Sale is pitching Sunday night, so the outlook looks good for the remaining two games.

65 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Mitch Moreland delivers walk-off home run as #RedSox win fourth straight.

The day after the Red Sox scored nine runs, I was expecting more than three on Friday night. Eduardo Rodriguez made the start, and he looked as good as he has since he returned from the disabled list last month. He ran into some trouble in the fourth, allowing two runs to score, but he limited the damage after that. Finishing with a final line of 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB’s and 5 K’s, Erod will look to maintain this level of success next time out against the Rays or Yankees. In relief, the bullpen was not perfect, but they did not allow a single run again. Addison Reed, Matt Barnes, Craig Kimbrel, Brandon Workman, and Heath Hembree combined to pitch five shutout innings, striking out seven in the process. It looked like Kimbrel was going to give the White Sox the lead in the ninth, but a great play by Christian Vazquez and 100 MPH heat from Kimbrel kept that from happening. It also looked like the White Sox could have taken the lead in the eleventh, but a great effort from both Hembree and Rafael Devers kept that from happening.

Scoring wise, not a lot was going on for the Red Sox against Carlos Rodon. Chris Young drove in Devers in the fifth and Eduardo Nunez left the yard in the sixth, but that’s all they could get off Rodon. It wasn’t until the eleventh when the Red Sox scored again, when Mitch Moreland, who was a defensive replacement, blasted one over the Monster with two outs, giving his team their fourth straight win.

I believe out of their last nine wins, five have been walk-offs, which creates a unique vibe with this team. The funny thing is, the guy who gave up the winning run’s last name is Bummer, so you could say that it was a real bummer for the White Sox last night. The Yankees also lost last night, and they have lost four in a row, giving the Red Sox a three game lead in the division.

Drew Pomeranz is on the mound tonight with the opportunity to take this series before it’s even over.

61 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Rick Porcello loses fourteenth decision of the season as #RedSox fall out of first place.

It was quite a day for the Red Sox and their fans on Friday. David Price, who was supposed to pitch last night, was placed on the 10-Day Disabled List because of a sore elbow prior to the game. Many suspected this was done so that Price would not have to face the Fenway crowd, as this would be his first home start since the details of his confrontation with Dennis Eckersley were revealed. Dave Dombrowksi had to go in front of the press just to say it was not done for that reason. Manager John said that Price should be throwing by next Tuesday, so the injury doesn’t appear to be too severe. And while this was happening, Dustin Pedroia announced to the media that he is the leader in the clubhouse, so Fenway Park was pretty much a circus earlier Friday.

Anyway, Rick Porcello was matched up against Royals starter Jason Vargas, who is having a bit of a renaissance while coming back from Tommy John surgery. Vargas did out pitch Porcello, and Porcello did give up four runs, but he was really not that bad last night. The righty only gave up six hits and one walk in seven innings pitched, but unfortunately, two of those hits were home runs. Salvador Perez took Porcello deep with a solo shot in the second, and Mike Moustakas took him deep with a three-run shot in the fourth. Other than those two pitches though, I have nothing to complain about when it comes to Porcello’s start. I love the fact that he has consistently ate up innings this season, despite not putting up the best numbers. The last time he failed to pitch at least six innings was back on April 14th, so he has that going for him. It’s a shame the Red Sox offense hates scoring runs for Porcello, because that guy does not deserve fourteen losses.

Let me tell you how the Red Sox did at the plate last night: Seven hits and two runs, that is all. Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez both made their Fenway Park debuts, and both combined to reach base four times. Mookie Betts drove in the first run for the Red Sox in the fifth, scoring Rafael Devers on an RBI single, and Sandy Leon drove in the second run of the game for the Red Sox with an RBI ground out in the seventh, scoring Chris Young from third. They had a chance to perhaps tie things in the ninth with Andrew Benintendi singling to third with two outs, but Rafael Devers grounded out to second and that ended things.

I would have liked to see Devers be more patient, but it didn’t work out that way. This team needs a jolt, in my opinion. They’ve seemed pretty lifeless lately, and I think they’d be much worse if Chris Sale were not on the team. I’ve been pondering the idea of trading for Giancarlo Stanton, but I think I rather wait until the offseason for that. For now though, Xander Bogaerts needs some time off. He’s probably hurt, which has led to him producing next to nothing over the past few weeks.

First time in a month the Red Sox are out of first place, if the Royals sweep, they’ll have the same number of wins, which didn’t seem possible a few months ago.

56 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox start second half with a walk-off walk from Andrew Benintendi.

Quite the way to kick off the unofficial second half of the season. The second place Yankees come into town with the chance to leave in first place. The Red Sox have their four best starters for this series, and Drew Pomeranz started the first one on Friday. Though he did not toss a quality start, Pomeranz pitched the way you should expect him to, in my opinion. Six innings pitched, six hits, four runs, two walks, and seven strikeouts. He gave up one in the third, and three in the fifth. The biggest mistake pitch came in that fifth inning, when Gary Sanchez took Pomeranz deep and made it a 4-3 game.  A double play started by Sam Travis got the Red Sox out of the inning, and Pomeranz would pitch a scoreless sixth. When I say Pomeranz met expectations, I mean that’s how I think most of his outings will go. There’ll be times where he goes seven while only giving up two runs, but there’ll probably be more starts that look like the one we saw last night. After he was one, Matt Barnes got the call for the seventh, and he was lights out that inning and in the eighth. I don’t know what it is about Barnes, but he clearly has an easier time pitching at Fenway Park than anywhere else on the road, which is concerning, but still interesting. Robby Scott pitched the ninth for the Red Sox, and he also bounced back from a rough end to the first half by getting the Yankees in order. So, shout out to those guys in the bullpen locking things down and allowing the bats to win the game.

Speaking of the bats, there were plenty of missed opportunities while Jordan Montgomery was pitching for the Yankees. In the four innings he pitched, the Red Sox got on base a total of nine times, and could only score three times off of him. Two of those runs came off the bat of Hanley Ramirez, who drilled his fourteenth home run over the monster in the third, which gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead at the time. Dustin Pedroia drove in Sam Travis in the next inning, and they struggled to get anything off the Yankees bullpen until Aroldis Chapman entered the game in the ninth. Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia both singled and stole a base to start the inning. The Yankees defense helped the Red Sox a lot, as what looked like a ground out from Xander Bogaerts resulted in the tying run, Mookie Betts, scoring from third because of a Ronald Torreyes fielding error. After Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked, Andrew Benintendi came up in a huge spot, and Chapman walked him, winning the game without a single ball leaving the infield in that bottom half of the ninth.

A wild way to start the second half to say the least. The Yankees are looking less and less like a contender and Aroldis Chapman is looking like a rattled reliever instead of a dominant closer. The Yankees were 37-23 through 60 games on June 11th. Since then, they have gone 8-19, which has to be one of the worst records in baseball over that span. The Rays could be more legit than the Yankees, only time will tell. But anyway, great way to start the second half, I was pumped up, and it’s Sale Day. Also hearing the Red Sox are trying to get Todd Frazier from the White Sox, so that’s a name to pay close attention to.

51 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz tosses another quality outing; home runs help #RedSox even series with Rays in 8-3 win.

Coming into tonight’s game, it looked like the Red Sox had hit a mini skid. Nothing to get overly concerned about, but still, two straight losses. Making his seventeenth start of the season, Drew Pomeranz had the chance to end the skid, and he capitalized on it. The southpaw didn’t dominate the Rays lineup, but he didn’t need to. The only runs he allowed came in the fourth, when he gave up an RBI double to Wilson Ramos and an RBI single to Brad Miller. The Red Sox defense had a pretty significant role in the way Pomeranz’s outing went, as key double plays in the second and fifth kept the Rays off the board. It wasn’t his best stuff, but today’s start lowered his ERA to 3.60, and it is his fourth quality start since that stinker against Detroit on Sunday Night Baseball. The bullpen would be responsible for the final three innings. Heath Hembree had one of his worst appearances of the season, allowing three hits and one run while only recording one out. Matt Barnes ended the seventh with one pitch which turned into a double play, and he pitched a scoreless eighth as well. In a non save opportunity, Craig Kimbrel made his first appearance since the blown save in Texas, and he had a great rebound, striking out the side in order to end the game and get Drew Pomeranz his ninth win of the season. If you told me that Drew Pomeranz would be the second best pitcher in this rotation before the season started, I would have laughed in your face. Truth is, despite all the early struggles, he has been. All the other injuries and the inconsistency of Rick Porcello has put Pomeranz in that spot. I don’t know what Manager John told him after his awful start in Oakland, but whatever it was, it has been effective up to this point in the season.

Besides Christian Vazquez, every one in the lineup reached base at least one time, and even Vazquez drove in a run. The catalyst of this offensive outpour would have to be Dustin Pedroia. After Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi had already driven in two runs, Pedroia takes Jake Odorizzi deep for his third long ball of the season, making it a 4-0 game at that point. I don’t follow the Rays too closely, but I’d say Odorizzi is their best pitcher behind Chris Archer. Compared to what that Faria kid did last night, Odorizzi was awful. He gave up two home runs in the first four innings and walked three straight to give the Red Sox a run and load the bases. Jackie Bradley hit the second home run in the fourth, his twelfth, and he drove in the first run in the fifth on that walk. Vazquez drove in the second run of the inning in the fifth. To wrap things up, Hanley Ramirez went deep for his thirteenth of the season, all part of his three hit night.

I would just like to point out the fact that Andrew Benintendi has 51 RBIs and we’re not even at the break yet. He’s no Judge, but you can’t ignore what Benintendi has done for this team as a rookie. He just turned 23 yesterday, so happy belated Benny.

The big 50 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Doug Fister has another nice start as #RedSox take game one from Jays 7-4 in extras.

After a quality start last Sunday, Doug Fister made his first road start for the Red Sox, and he put together another solid outing. The Blue Jays scored all their runs off of Fister in the first, but Fister settled in after that. The 33 year-old only allowed two hits total after the first, finishing with a line of 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, and 5 K’s. He didn’t qualify for a quality start since he didn’t pitch six innings, but I’d be dumb to criticize that kind of start from a back-end of the rotation guy. The bullpen pretty much held the Jays in check over the last six innings after Fister departed, as the only real blip was Troy Tulowitzki’s solo home run off of Heath Hembree in the sixth, which tied the game at that point. Other than that though, Matt Barnes looked great with his two shutout innings, Blaine Boyer arguably had his best relief appearance in a Red Sox uniform with his two shutout innings, and Craig Kimbrel did what Craig Kimbrel does by recording his 23rd save of the season by pitching a scoreless frame in the eleventh. Like I said, Hembree made a bad pitch to Tulo, but the bullpen kept the Red Sox in the game, which eventually led to an offensive burst in the eleventh.

Despite the win, the Red Sox bats left a lot to be desired when it came to scoring opportunities. They left a total of 41 runners on base, including 11 alone from Mitch Moreland, who had himself an awful night at the plate. The first runs of the game were scored by Deven Marrero and Mookie Betts, who scored on a Dustin Pedroia double, making it a one run game. The Red Sox would take the lead briefly in the sixth, when Deven Marrero drove in the tying run on a RBI single and Andrew Benintendi scored the go-ahead run with an RBI double. The bats would go silent until the top of the eleventh, until Xander Bogaerts came up clutch with a key RBI single that scored Hanley Ramirez from third and gave the Red Sox the lead. Deven Marrero would continue on the good day he had at the plate by driving in key insurance runs on another RBI single, and that was all Craig Kimbrel needed to shut the lights off on the Blue Jays.

Good way to start the road trip, obviously. Chris Sale is on the mound today, John Farrell will not be managing today, Red Sox should win their third straight game today.

Ten games over .500 for the first time this season, also.

45 down, ? to go.