VERY LATE RECAP: Hanley Ramirez’s Go-Ahead 2 RBI Double Gives #RedSox the 4-2 Win in Extras.

Well I am very late with this recap blog. The game ended about 20 hours ago, so my thoughts on the game aren’t that fresh anymore. Instead of breaking down the entire game like I usually do, I guess I’ll just give the SparkNotes version of what went down last night to go along with some videos.

Chris Sale tossed five innings last night and gave up one run.

Jackie Bradley Jr. made a fantastic catch.

JD Martinez drove in the first run of the game in the top of the first for his second RBI of the season.

After the Marlins tied the game in the fourth, the next run of the game was not scored until the top of the eleventh, when Andrew Benintendi drove in Eduardo Nunez from second with a one out RBI single, his first of the season.

Later in that inning, it looked like Matt Barnes was about to get the save for the Red Sox, but he allowed the tying run to score. Luckily, Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts were able to get Justin Bour out at the plate, leaving the game tied heading to the twelfth.

Hanley Ramirez continued his mean streak against his former team, as he finished the game with two hits, including this very clutch two-run double in the top of the thirteenth.

That would all but lock up the victory for the Red Sox in this one. Heath Hembree was rewarded with his first win of the year, thanks to the two shutout innings he pitched. Here’s his last pitch:

Before I forget, JBJ was not the only center fielder to make an impressive catch last night. Marlins rookie Lewis Brinson robbed Mookie Betts of  a potential go-ahead solo blast back in the eleventh.

Impressive to say the least. Good thing the Marlins never got the chance to capitalize on it.

Five straight wins for the Red Sox heading into Opening Day at Fenway Park. I will not be there, but I will be watching. And I will have a normal recap blog to post after, hopefully.

Okay, that will do it for this shortened recap. Shoutout Hanley Ramirez, the real Mr. 305. Dale!

 

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RECAP: Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts Both Go Yard as #RedSox Win Fourth Straight.

Making a quick stop in South Beach, the Red Sox looked to take advantage of their matchup against a Marlins team not expected to do much this season. In the first of their two game set, Brian Johnson was matched up against Trevor Richards, who was making his Major League debut for Miami.

Like Hector Velazquez, Johnson is most likely an injury fill-in in the Red Sox rotation. The former Florida Gator got the job done on Monday, as he allowed one earned run over six full innings pitched, striking out five along the way. There were times where it looked like the Marlins were about to get to Johnson, since they did reach base eight times on him, but the southpaw avoided any major damage. The only run he gave up came on a solo shot off the bat of third baseman Brian Anderson in the second inning, which put the Marlins up 1-0 at the time. When he departed after retiring the side in the sixth, Johnson had thrown 82 pitches, 49 of which went for strikes.

The Red Sox only needed two relief pitchers to wrap up the win last night. Heath Hembree tossed a scoreless seventh inning, and Marcus Walden allowed two runs to score while pitching the last two innings. Not a great look for Walden, honestly. He has got hit pretty hard in the two games he has pitched in, but he was able to finish the game. The Red Sox did not have to go to Craig Kimbrel in this one, that’s always  a good thing when you can save him for more appearances later in the season.

Offensively, the Red Sox lineup had its best day of the season so far. They scored a season high seven runs on 12 hits and three walks. After Trevor Richards held them scoreless through the first three innings, the bats woke up in the fourth. With two outs in the inning, Xander Bogaerts got the rally started with an infield single down the third base line. Eduardo Nunez then drove Bogaerts in from first on an RBI double. A Jackie Bradley Jr. walk set up Christian Vazquez for an ideal RBI opportunity with runners on first and second. On the first pitch he saw, the catcher ripped a line drive down the third base line, scoring both Nunez and Bradley for his first RBIs of the season.

In the very next inning, the Red Sox tacked on two more runs to up their total to five. With one out and Andrew Benintendi at first thanks to his first hit of the season, Hanley Ramirez did some damage. The former Marlin must enjoy playing in Miami, because he looked really comfortable at the plate and at first base last night.

On a 1-1 slider, Ramirez took Richards deep to left field for his first long ball of the season, putting his team up by four runs.

Ramirez guaranteed a 30 HR, 30 SB season earlier in Spring Training, and he’s only 29 home runs and 28 stolen bases away from that now with the performance he put on last night.

Hanley wouldn’t be the only one to hit his first home run of the year. Fast forward to the top of the seventh, and Mookie Betts went yard to left field as well. He golfed it to put the Red Sox up by five at the time.

The last run the Red Sox scored came two innings later. Wanting to add to his team high of four RBI’s, Rafael Devers ripped a double to center for his second hit of the game, scoring Hanley Ramirez from from second after he stole his second base of the season, and all but guaranteeing the win for his club.

That makes four straight wins for the Red Sox, and by all means they should be 5-0. That’s in the past though, so I’ll take 4-1. Through their first go around in the rotation, Red Sox starters own a line of 30 IP, 22 H, 3 ER, 7 BB, and 28 K’s. With two-fifths of their regular starters missing, those are some impressive numbers.

Chris Sale gets the start an hour earlier than usual tonight. He’ll be squaring off against Marlins “ace” Jose Urena. First pitch is at 6:10 PM.

Also, almost forgot to mention the fact that the greatest Designated Hitter of all time was in attendance for last night’s win.

 

The #RedSox Would Be a Good Fit for Marcell Ozuna.

This might sound bias because I have an odd affection for the Miami Marlins, but I really like Marcell Ozuna. At 27 years old, the Dominican born outfielder is coming off the best season of his career. In 159 games, Ozuna mashed 37 home runs to go along with 124 RBIs and a .924 OPS. It went unnoticed because of Giancarlo Stanton, but Ozuna was something special. In fact, the past two seasons for Ozuna have been more consistent compared to his first three. If he can put up the type of power numbers he had with Marlins Park as his home ballpark, just imagine what he can do with Fenway Park as his home ballpark.

Baseball Reference has Ozuna projected to decline in 2018, which is something to take into account considering he has had consistency issues in the past. If I am Dave Dombrowski though, I want this guy on my team. I would gladly substitute Jackie Bradley Jr. for Ozuna. Ozuna is a few months younger and only has one less year of control than Bradley. The Red Sox would more than likely have to throw in some prospects as well, but I can’t imagine any of them would be well-known anyway.

With this trade, the Red Sox would be sacrificing great defense, but they would be getting a much better hitter in return. Depending on the extent of their offseason plans, Ozuna could play out in the field or DH as well. It’s well-known that the Red Sox are in need of a power bat, pursuing a trade for Ozuna may be a better option than throwing hundreds of millions of dollars for top free agents. I know there are Red Sox fans out there who would want both Ozuna and JD Martinez, but I think I rather just have Ozuna. However, if Dave Dombrowski does not plan on pursuing Bryce Harper next winter, then the best thing to do would probably be to sign Martinez as well. The Red Sox can not just sit and watch as the Yankees make franchise-altering moves, something needs to be done.

What would a potential Giancarlo Stanton trade look like for the #RedSox?

With the MLB season offically ending tonight or tomorrow night, I thought I’d preview something that should get a lot of people talking this winter: Giancarlo Stanton. From what I’ve seen, heard and read, it doesn’t look like the Marlins, led by Derek Jeter, are too keen on retaining Stanton going into 2018. With that said, it has been reported that the Marlins slugger would have several suitors in the trade market. The Giants, Dodgers, Cardinals, Phillies, and Yankees have all been rumored to be interested. The team that has garnered the most interest though, if not the Giants, would be the Boston Red Sox. President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski is notorious for making big moves during the baseball offseason, and acquiring Stanton would be no different.

Stanton would join the likes of Craig Kimbrel and Chris Sale as big name players Dombrowski has acquired via trade just since joining the Red Sox in 2015. If Stanton were to come to Boston, what kind of package would that take to get him here? Since he is under contract until 2028, I would expect him to be here for the duration of that time. He has the option to opt out after 2020, but there is no reason to believe that will happen given how much Stanton will make after that. Up until this point, Stanton has not made more than $14.5 million in one season. Starting in 2018, Stanton will earn at least $25 million a year for the next ten seasons. With all this in mind, let’s go over some potential deals that could bring Stanton to Boston.

Deal #1:
Red Sox acquire:
Giancarlo Stanton
Majority of Stanton’s contract

Marlins acquire:
Andrew Benintendi
Midlevel prospect(s)

If the Marlins are more concerned about cutting payroll instead of reloading their farm system, this trade seems like a good option. The Red Sox take on most if not all of Stanton’s contract while also replacing Andrew Benintendi in the outfield. The Marlins also get a young outfielder who has already proven he can handle a place like Boston while also being a productive player. It’s too early to say if Benny is a guy a team can build around, but he’s a nice piece regardless.

Deal #2:
Red Sox acquire:
Giancarlo Stanton
Responsibility of half of Stanton’s contract

Marlins acquire:
Rafael Devers
Tanner Houck
Daniel Flores

If the Marlins are more concerned about restocking their farm system, then this trade could work. The Red Sox may have to give up more in this scenario, but at least they do not have to take on all of Stanton’s contract. The Marlins are also getting a future stud of  a third baseman to go along with two of the best prospects in the Red Sox farm system.

Deal #3
Red Sox acquire:
Giancarlo Stanton
Justin Bour
JT Realmuto

Marlins acquire:
Andrew Benintendi
Sam Travis
Christian Vazquez
Daniel Flores
Jalen Beeks
Bobby Dalbec

You wanna get nuts? I can get nuts. In this scenario, the Red Sox would be acquiring the three best players on last years Marlins team not named Yelich or Ozuna. Realmuto and Vazquez are essentially a wash, and Bour would take over as the every day first baseman with Travis and Moreland gone. The Red Sox would have to give up a lot more though, and this trade would elevate the Marlins farm system nicely.

Come December, some big moves could be made. On December 1, 2015, the Red Sox agreed to a deal with David Price, then the best starter on the free agent market. On December 6, 2016, the Red Sox acquired Chris Sale from the White Sox in a blockbuster trade. Will more of these big splashes happen in just over a month? We’ll have to wait and see.