RECAP: Andrew Benintendi drives in SIX runs as #RedSox bounce back with 10-5 win.

After a disastrous Friday night, the Red Sox were in need of a rebound performance, and that’s exactly what happened on Saturday. Making his twenty-third start of 2017, Drew Pomeranz put together yet another solid outing for the Red Sox. The lefty managed to scatter seven hits and two walks over 6.2 innings while racking up five strikeouts. Despite the quality start, there were avoidable moments in this game for Pomeranz. Such as the two-run home run he served up to Gary Sanchez in the first, and loading the bases with no outs in the fourth. Luckily, the Yankees only got one run out of that and none after the fourth. Pomeranz was pulled in favor of Brandon Workman with Aaron Judge coming up and two outs in the bottom half of the seventh. Workman retired Judge, then went on to pitch a scoreless eighth inning as well. Returning from Pawtucket, Robby Scott got the call for the ninth. Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury both took him deep to start the inning, but Scott retired them in order after that.

Everyone in todays lineup reached base at least one time. With ten runs crossing the plate, you would think there’d be enough RBIs to go around but only three guys, Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Rafael Devers, recorded at least two RBIs. The scoring began in the third, with Mookie Betts at the plate. Before that, a critical error committed by Todd Frazier allowed Eduardo Nunez to reach first, which loaded the bases. With the bases loaded, Mookie Betts singled to left, allowing Christian Vazquez to score from third, and Jackie Bradley Jr. to score from second. The next man up was Andrew Benintendi, and he took Luis Severino deep to shallow right, giving the Red Sox a 5-0 lead.

From being down 2-0 to taking a 5-2 lead, all thanks to Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi. Benny Biceps didn’t stop there, though. Moving forward to the fifth, Eduardo Nunez and Mookie Betts started the inning with a single and double. This paved way for Benintendi to take Severino deep AGAIN for another three-run home run.

Later in the inning, with one out, Rafael Devers lined a double to center field, scoring Mitch Moreland from third and Xander Bogaerts from first. With the lead inflating to 10-3, things were kind of on cruise control for the Red Sox after their half of the fifth.

Since the start of August, Andrew Benintendi is slashing an outstanding .484/.540/.968 if I did the math right. He also has four home runs and 11 RBIs this month.  If he keeps up this pace, he’ll for sure win AL Rookie of the Month.

Today is Sunday, the Red Sox are 4.5 games up on the Yankees, and Chris Sale is pitching later tonight. That’s a pretty positive outlook right there.

66 down, ? 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. 

#RedSox get Addison Reed, Yankess get Sonny Gray, and more from Deadline Day.

At 3:06, the Red Sox officially announced the acquisition of Addison Reed via the team’s Twitter account. Reed, a 28-year-old reliever who has been with the Mets since 2015, owns a 2.57 ERA and a WHIP of 1.12 so far this season. The righty has been in the bigs since 2011, racking up 125 saves over that span. This will be Reed’s fourth big league team, and this is most likely the only addition that will be made to the Red Sox bullpen. He does have big game experience, as he pitched in five games during the 2015 World Series. In exchange for Reed, Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox are trading three pitching prospects. Jamie Callahan, Stephen Nogosek, and Gerson Bautista are all part of the deal, Callahan probably being the most well-known out of three. I don’t think there’s enough evidence to really judge this trade yet, but if there was one thing, I would have to say it’s the fact that the Red Sox have traded five pitching prospects in the past week. I know none of them were that highly regarded, but it’s just something to consider. Reed is essentially a rental, but with the uncertainty Tyler Thornburg and Carson Smith will bring going into next season, I wouldn’t be surprised if an extension is considered.

At 3:15, the Yankees officially announced that they have acquired Sonny Gray from the Oakland Athletics. Gray, who was on the trading block for what seemed like an extensive amount of time, finally gets traded. Before David Price and Chris Sale made their way to Boston, Sonny Gray was definitely a pitcher sought out by the Red Sox, fans and executives alike. In return for Gray, the Yankees are giving up three of their best prospects, Dustin Fowler, Jorge Mateo, and James Kaprielian. With Clint Frazier in New York, Fowler was the best outfielder in the Yankees system. The value of both Mateo and Kaprielian has diminished a bit since the start of last season, mainly due to injury and other trades the Yankees made. All and all, the Yankees got a controllable arm and the A’s got three of their top prospects in return. With the additions of Gray and Jaime Garcia, the Yankees look like they have a legit rotation for a pennant race.

This was the biggest move as the day, everything else has been smaller, mostly. Tony Watson is going to the Dodgers, Francisco Liriano is going to the Astros, the Marlins aren’t moving Dan Straily, the Tigers aren’t moving Justin Verlander, the Orioles have yet to trade Zach Brittion, Brad Hand is still a Padre, etc.

I’m pretty positive the Red Sox are done making moves. Trades can still happen after today too, can’t forget that.

It is now 4:09 and nothing big is happening.

UPDATE: The Dodgers got Yu Darvish. A 74 win team has gotten a whole lot better today. Darvish, Tony Cingrani, and Tony Watson. I would say they’re not going to have any trouble getting to the World Series, but they haven’t been in one since 1988.

UPDATE AGAIN: The Nationals got Brandon Kintzler from the Twins. So they go from having a weak bullpen, to now having Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle, and Kintzler, which is not half bad.

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.