RECAP: #RedSox split double doubleheader, series with Yankees.

Alright, I’m kind of in a hurry so I apologize if you wanted a long read.

In the first game, Rick Porcello looked good yet again. 6 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 0 BB, and 6 K’s. Only one of those runs was earned though. Two runs scored in the fourth because of a Xander Bogaerts fielding error, and Didi Gregorious took Porcello deep in the fifth. The defending Cy Young Award winner has put together a nice July, despite the lack of offense from his teammates. There were several occasions where runners were on scoring position, and no one could capitalize. Twenty-one runners were left on base in total, leading to the shutout.

In the second game, David Price looked even better than Porcello. He went eight innings, scattered seven hits, walked none, and struck out eight. He has contributed a lot this season considering he started the year on the DL. It looked like Aaron Judge was going to take him deep to cut the lead to one run in the eighth, but Jackie Bradley Jr. came up huge yet again, robbing Judge in that triangle in center field.

Mookie Betts hit a two-run blast in the third, his seventeenth of the season, and Dustin Pedroia drove in Betts on a RBI single in the sixth. Masahiro Tanaka was good, but David Price was better, giving Craig Kimbrel the chance to redeem himself after Saturday’s blown save, and that’s what Kimbrel did.

A series split against the Yankees is good enough. I expect the Todd Frazier move to be happen soon, as the offense has been disappointing thus far in the second half. Four games against the Blue Jays are on deck, starting with the return of Eduardo Rodriguez tomorrow.

On a personal note, I’ll most likely be unable to watch a ton of baseball over the next week. I may be able to watch the games in Anaheim, but it will be tough for me to blog, so don’t expect a lot until next Monday.

52 down, ? to go. 

RECAP Chris Sale pitches a gem in marathon game as #RedSox lose 4-1.

That was as frustrating as it gets for the Red Sox. Chris Sale was nearly untouchable, and they can only score one run for him. Luis Severino was great too, so it’s unfortunate that this pitcher’s duel could not go the Red Sox’ way. In the 7.2 innings he pitched, Sale scattered five baserunners while striking out thirteen holding the Yankees to nothing in the runs column. With those thirteen K’s, it marks the thirteenth time the lefty has started a game and struck out at least ten batters. It was surprising to see Sale come out for the eighth, and he ended up throwing a season-high 118 pitches. It would have been fun seeing him face Aaron Judge again, but I can understand going to Craig Kimbrel for the four out save in that situation. Kimbrel finished the eighth and had to wait what I though was a decent amount of time before going out to face the Yankees in the ninth. The first batter he faced, Matt Holliday, took him deep, tying the game and handing Craig Kimbrel his first blown save at Fenway Park this season. After Kimbrel, the bullpen was great from the tenth through the thirteenth, as Heath Hembree, Robby Scott, Blaine Boyer, and Brandon Workman combined to hurl four no-hit, scoreless innings. There was some controversey in the eleventh, though. When Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to Mitch Moreland with Matt Holliday at first, Holliday retreated and slid into first base instead of going to second. This move seemingly broke up any chance of a double play since Holliday made it impossible for Moreland to cover first. You would figure interference would be called and there would be a double play, but after a long review, it was not called. Luckily, it had no impact on the result of the game so it is not that relevant. Fernando Abad started the fourteenth, did nothing useful, and Doug Fister came in to finish the inning. It looked like Fister was about to have a great relief outing, but Fister gave up the go-ahead run in the sixteenth, and to more after that. I think the only guy available in the bullpen was Matt Barnes, who pitched two innings yesterday, so leaving Fister in was the only option. To summarize all this, Chris Sale was awesome, the bullpen did their job, and things got away late. Rick Porcello and David Price pitch tomorrow, so there should be an opportunity to win both games.

The Red Sox bats went a combined 8-53 tonight, including two walks. They left a combined 21 runners on base, and left much to be desired. Luis Severino was a little more vulnerable than Sale, but the still put together a great performance. The lone run scored came in the third, when Mitch Moreland drove in Mookie Betts on a sac fly, which gave them the lead at the time. Base runners were a plenty and the Red Sox failed to provide more run support for their ace, kind of like they did in April. Andrew Benintendi got three hits, that’s the headline from this one from the offensive side of things. Todd Frazier would be pretty nice right about now…

Double-header tomorrow, will probably be ugly since they basically played two games today. I’ll have one blog covering the whole thing.

51 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: David Price serves up two home runs; #RedSox drop series to Yanks in 9-1 loss.

Isn’t it ironic that a pitcher getting paid $31 million dollars this season can’t seem to handle the media in the market he decided to play for. To add on to that, the same guy can’t seem to pitch well in a place with another heavy media presence in New York. If you didn’t hear, David Price got in a heated argument with a reporter after Wednesday’s game. He then went on to say that reporters could only talk to him on days he pitches. So, it’s obvious that David Price’s time in Boston hasn’t been as smooth as he thought it would be.

Now, Thurday’s start was only his fifth overall start of 2017, so it’s hard to look at his performace yesterday like it’s a start in August. The 2012 Cy Young Award winner could only make it through five innings while surrendering six runs on eight hits and four walks. Price did not have his usual stuff, and that was easy to see based on the fact Price only struck out four batters. Gary Sanchez was the biggest problem for Price, as he took him deep twice. With what has transpired over the past 36 hours, I’m sure Price was relieved to leave New York last night. I believe he’ll make his next start against the Phillies at Fenway, so if he wants to win these fans over, he’ll have to put on a pretty great performance.

The Red Sox bullpen was kind of awful last night. Fernando Abad and Brandon Workman combined to pitch three innings while giving up five hits and three earned runs. I really didn’t understand why Workman was brought into the game since he hasn’t pitched since the beginning of May. The game was still in reach for the Red Sox, but Workman let it get away. I don’t know if Farrell thought it was mop up duty or if he actually thought Workman could keep them in it, but it didn’t work.

Offensively, the Red Sox scored an unearned run in the fourth, that’s it.

A 5-5 road trip isn’t bad, but it had the potential to be better. A mediocre Tigers team and an awful Phillies team are up next for a five game homestand, so I think this team has to win at least four of those.

32 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Rick Porcello gets rocked; #RedSox fail to score in 8-0 shutout loss.

Nothing like a nice punch to the gut after a three game winning streak, right? You should’ve known things were going to bad when you saw the lineup prior to Wednesday’s game. The two guys who probably should have been in the lineup but weren’t? Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland, who went deep three times total on Tuesday. Benintendi has the better case, especially since it appears he is coming out of that slump, but still.

It didn’t look like Rick Porcello was going to struggle the way he did last night. The New Jersey native only needed like 22 pitches to complete the first two innings, and he didn’t even give up a hit. The third through seventh were a different story, though. Over that stretch, Porcello allowed eight hits (2 HRs), two walks, and six runs (five earned). Blaine Boyer would enter to relieve Porcello with one out in the sixth, and he finished off the inning and pitched the eighth despite surrendering two runs on four hits and a walk. It’s quite clear now that Porcello is not in Cy Young form right now. Adjustments need to be made, I don’t know what else to say.

Nothing to talk about offensively, just the fact that Josh Rutledge completed 50% of hitting for the cycle with a triple and a double. It’s embarrassing that this team got shut out by a 36-year-old CC Sabathia. It’s also embarassing that Chris Carter, batting in the 9 hole, got three hits off Red Sox pitching last night. David Price takes the mound tonight, matched up against Michael Pineda. Can’t take first place from the Yankees, but you can still leave the Bronx with a series win and a 6-4 road trip.

32 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Benintendi, Moreland, and Ramirez all go deep; #RedSox take game one in The Bronx 5-4.

We all knew what was on the line going into the series. Sweep the Yankees in their house, take over first place in the East. The guy who had to kick things off for the Red Sox was Drew Pomeranz, who is coming off two of his best starts as a member of the Red Sox. The southpaw was effective in the innings he pitched in, unfortunately though, the pitch count was a constant issue. By the time Pomeranz got out of the fifth, he had thrown more than 120 pitches, and I’m pretty sure that’s the most he has thrown in his career. On paper, it looks like Pomeranz was great in those five innings. His final line looks like this: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, and 7 K’s. The biggest mistake Pomeranz made was a fifth inning home run off the bat of Chris Carter, which made it a 5-2 game. It didn’t look like he was going to be able to get through the fifth, but he did and because of that, he picked up his sixth win of the season. Only negative thing I’m gonna say pertaining to Pomeranz is the pitch count. Guy has gotta work on being more aggressive or something, because you can’t be throwing your ninetieth pitch of the game in the fourth.

With Pomeranz only going five deep, the bullpen was going to get a hefty amount of work in. Robby Scott, Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel combined to pitch 4 innings, allow four total baserunners, while surrendering two runs and striking out six. Joe Kelly pitched the seventh, and threw one of the hardest pitches I’ve seen at 103.5 MPH. Last note on the bullpen, Craig Kimbrel is really something else. He must have got over whatever made him struggle here last season, because he has been as dominant as you can get. On Tuesday, Kimbrel was responsible for ending the eighth along with the ninth. After getting out of the eighth, Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth, notching his seventeenth save of the season.

Offensively, the Red Sox bats kicked things off in the first with Mookie Betts scoring the first run of the game on a ground out from Xander Bogaerts. After going scoreless in the second and third, this is how I would describe the Red Sox half of the fourth if I had to use a GIF:

Image result for hanley ramirez mitch moreland gif

Yup, Mitchy Four Bags and Hanley Ramirez went back-to-back in the fourth, driving in three runs in the process. The scoring for the Red Sox would conclude in the fifth, when Andrew Benintendi hit his third home run in the past two games, which was an absolute bomb over that short right field porch at Yankee Stadium.

With the win, the Red Sox have won 11 of their last 15 and have the second most wins in the American League. Rick Porcello gets the start against CC Sabathia today with the chance to even things up with the Yankees in the standings.

32 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox let Chris Sale down yet again; lose 3-0.

Chris Sale has a 1.19 ERA right now, yet he only has one win on the season. Sale continues to prove that he can pitch in this market and get the results. After his start on Thursday, Sale has pitched 37.2 innings. In those, let’s just say, 38 innings Sale has pitched, the Red Sox have scored in three of those innings. I feel for Sale, I really do. I didn’t think he’d be this guy for the Red Sox, but that’s what it feels like. I figured, Sale could win around 20 games because of his skill along with that potent Red Sox offense. Unfortunately, that offense that was so impressive last year still has yet to find themselves in 2017. More on that later. Sale joined some elite company on Thursday night, becoming the fourth Red Sox pitcher, along with Pedro, Lester, and Clemens, to record 10+ strikeouts in four consecutive starts. What we’re seeing from Chris Sale right now is Cy Young type stuff, it would be nice if the Red Sox recognized that and put more effort into scoring runs for him.

Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka deserves a ton of credit for matching Sale inning by inning. Pitching a complete game shutout while only allowing three hits and striking out three. A true pitcher’s duel is the best way to describe Thursday’s game, unfortunately, it did not go the way the Red Sox would have preferred.

After throwing eight shutout innings, Sale took the mound to start the ninth with around 106 pitches, which I was fine with. What I did not like was how long John Farrell waited to take him out. Personally, I would have taken him out after he gave up that single to Headley, which led to there being runners on first and second. Instead, Sale was left out there to face Matt Holliday, who drove in Aaron Hicks on an RBI single. Sale’s day would be over before recording an out in the ninth. Heath Hembree came in to relieve Sale, and he ended up surrendering a run on a Starlin Castro single that scored Chase Headley.

The Red Sox offense sucks, no way to get around it. Despite getting a good amount of hits and getting on base a lot, they simply are incapable of producing runs at a consistent rate. The only players that got hits were Xander Bogaerts and Hanley Ramirez. The rest of the lineup went 0 for 23 on the night. I think I’m out on Sandy Leon. Another 0-for performance at the plate has his BA at .180. I’m prepared to be all in on Christian Vasquez, he deserves more at bats and he is better than Leon, defensively. Last thing, I’ve been thinking about it and I know it’s early, but I really believe the Red Sox will have to make a move for a guy on an expiring contract like Mike Moustakas. I know it’s early, but I think, with Dombrowski’s history, that could be a real possibility.

11 down, 83 to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox can’t rally in ninth; lose 3-1.

Well, after two whole days of no baseball, the Red Sox offense is still struggling to score runs. Rick Porcello took the mound on Wednesday, and he put together another solid performance. Porcello pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs (two earned), five hits, and four walks. The defending American League Cy Young Award winner also recorded ten strikeouts on the night. Despite the good start, bad luck got to Porcello once again, as the Yankees took advantage of a fielding error from Xander Bogaerts in the second. The Bogaerts error allowed Starlin Castro to reach first on a groundout, which led to Aaron Judge taking Porcello deep right after. Porcello’s day would end in the seventh, after getting the first two outs but giving up a double to Chase Headley and walking Matt Holiday. Robbie Ross Jr. would enter the game, but he failed to record an out and ended up only facing Jacoby Ellsbury and walking him. Joe Kelly would come in to relieve Ross, and he did a good job of that. Recording the last out in the seventh and then recording a shutout inning in the eighth with two strikeouts and only one walk was nice to see. Robby Scott would finish things off for the bullpen by only allowing one baserunner in the top of the ninth and getting all three outs.

Like I said, the Red Sox offense was could not put any runs on the board until the ninth inning. I don’t know if the weather had anything to do with it but they were making Luis Severino, a decent pitcher, look like Felix Hernandez on the mound. Severino was awesome on Wednesday, striking out six and only walking two over seven innings pitched. The most impressive part about this start from Severino has to be that he did not give up a single extra-hit, just three singles. Surprisingly, the only pitcher the Red Sox got to was the flamethrower, Aroldis Chapman. Despite recording his fifth save of the season, Chapman was shaky. Allowing two walks and giving up a run on a groundout from Chris Young. Chapman was able to recover, striking out Jackie Bradley Jr. and Josh Rutledge to end the game.

I don’t know what’s gonna make this Red Sox lineup score more runs at a consistent pace. The lack of home runs is obviously a factor, but I don’t see why the Red Sox still can’t score more often. As of the start of Wednesday’s game, the Red Sox are fourth in the league in hits, first in batting average, and second in on base percentage. Yet, they are nineteenth in runs scored. I know it’s early, but I have a feeling the acquisition of a power-bat will have to be made eventually if the offense continues to produce runs like the way they are.

11 down, 83 to go. 

#RedSox and Yankees series opener gets rained out. Will play double-header on July 16th.

Just when you think it can’t worse. After an off-day on Monday, the Red Sox will have to go another day without baseball. As a fan, it feels weird to not have any Red Sox baseball two days in a row. I mean, we’re used to there being a game pretty much everyday from April until October, and that’s awesome. But, when this happens, with the off-day and then the rain out, that stinks. The players are probably happy to get another day of rest, at least. Rick Porcello and Luis Severino were supposed to pitch today, so we’ll have to wait to see how this rainout affects the rotations. Also, I just got a notification on my phone saying that Dustin Pedroia would have played today, which is great news.

Last but not least, Pablo Sandoval was placed on the 10-day Disabled List because of a right knee sprain. Josh Rutledge will be joining the big league club after being activated from the DL himself. Rutledge has a special place in my heart, mainly because of this GIF. Underrated lettuce IMO.

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