RECAP: #RedSox nearly pull off ninth inning miracle in 6-3 loss.

It was a lovely night at Fenway on Saturday night. The new 34 plaque looks great, and I was hoping the Red Sox were going to look great as well. David Price was on the mound for the Red Sox, making his sixth start of the 2017 season. The 31-year-old had himself another solid outing, scattering six hits and three earned runs over six quality innings while only walking one and striking out five. The only problem I had with this start was the fact that there were baserunners in all but two of the six innings pitched by Price. The Angels spread out their runs, but Price really wasn’t hit too hard. Despite picking up his second loss, I think more blame deserves to be put on the bullpen for this one. Fernando Abad came in the seventh and made a mess, allowing two runs while failing to get out of the inning. Shout out to Blaine Boyer for getting out of the seventh and being the only reliever to toss a clean inning. Lastly, Matt Barnes put the Red Sox offense in a 5 run hole, meaning it would take more than a grand slam just to tie it.

The bats couldn’t do much damage off of Angels hurler JC Ramirez. The only run he surrendered came on Mitch Moreland’s tenth home run of the season in the second. The Halos bullpen was looking pretty good until Cam Bedrosian came in for the ninth. He got the first two outs, but gave up a run and loaded the bases while doing so. A wild pitch on a Christian Vazquez strike out allowed another run to score, but that’s all the Red Sox would get as Chris Young struck out to end the game.

Rubber match today, headlined by Doug Fister’s first start in a Red Sox uniform.

Oh yeah, how about Manager John getting tossed in the seventh? Gotta love it.

41 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Rick Porcello’s struggles continue as #RedSox drop second game to Astros 7-1.

Losing his last three starts, Rick Porcello came into Saturday’s game looking to end his current slump. Well, to make it short, that is not what happened last night. The 28 year-old got rocked yet again, surrendering six runs in the first three innings he pitched. Jose Altuve and Carlos Beltran both took him deep, and they tacked on another run in the sixth. If there’s any positive from this start, it’s that Porcello was still able to get through six innings, preserving the bullpen a little bit by doing so. The season he had last year is looking more and more like a fluke, as this season has been just as frustrating for Porcello as 2015 was. Another positive from this game was the fact that the Red Sox bullpen extended their scoreless innings streak to 26. Austin Maddox made his Major League debut, and he pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Fernando Abad was responsible for the eighth, and he too pitched a scoreless inning. It looks like Porcello will be making his next start against a mediocre Angels team, so hopefully he can begin to turn around his season then.

Offensively, the Red Sox offense was held in check by David Paulino, who scattered three hits over six innings of one-run ball. That only run came off the bat of Chris Young, who absolutely owns Minute Maid Park. Young mashed his third home run of the season in the fifth.

Rubber match is tonight on ESPN. David Price makes his fourth start of 2017 against Joe Musgrove.

RECAP: #RedSox bats cruise to 11-3 victory with the help of Chris Sale.

 

This game was on national television, mainly because a Cy Young Award winner was pitching against a perennial All-Star. Neither pitcher put on a dominating performance, but they were both good enough to keep their respective teams in the game. Sale outlasted Verlander, as he pitched seven innings while Verlander only pitched five. I was surprised to see Sale come out for the seventh with 100 pitches already thrown, but it only took him like 9 pitches to get through the seventh and lessen the workload for the bullpen. The southpaw struck out seven Tigers all while never walking a single batter. The Tigers scored all their runs in the fifth and sixth, and although he got scored on, Sale really didn’t get hit hard Saturday night. The bullpen did their job once again. Matt Barnes got the Tigers in order in the eighth, and Blaine Boyer got them in order in the ninth. It looked like Craig Kimbrel was going to come in for a save opportunity, but the Red Sox blew the doors open in their half of the eighth. Last note on the pitching pertains to Chris Sale. It looks like he is evening out quite a bit numbers wise. His first few starts were borderline dominant, while the rest have been good, but not great.

Before I start talking about the offense, I just want to say that the Tigers bullpen is downright awful. I mean, I like Alex Wilson (former Red Sox prospect) and KRod, but that group of guys can’t seem to keep a game close.

Anyway, Mitch Moreland was the hero once again, as the veteran first baseman drove in the two go-ahead runs on a double in the seventh. He also drove in the second run of the game in the third on a single that scored Sandy Leon. Moreland was not the only guy in the lineup with multiple RBI’s, Andrew Benintendi drove in three, and Josh Rutledge drove in two. The only batter who did not get a hit last night was Mookie Betts, and he walked three times. It’s funny how this team still lacks power but they can score plenty of runs in different ways.

Also…

Image result for josh rutledge gif

33 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: David Price pitches into eighth inning; #RedSox avoid O’s late rally with 5-2 win.

Looking to build on his 2017 debut, David Price took the mound to face the Baltimore Orioles for the first time this season. Price was great, while also being very effective with his pitch limit. The 2012 Cy Young Award winner went deeper into the game than he did in Chicago, pitching 7+ innings, surrendering three hits and only one run, while striking out seven Orioles. The only real trouble Price ran into came in the bottom of the seventh, when Manny Machado took the southpaw deep for his twelfth homer of the year. I was surprised to see Price come out for the eighth, but as it turns out, he would only face one batter before his day was over. The funny thing was that Price struck Jonathan Schoop out, but because of a passed ball by Christian Vazquez, Schoop was able to reach first. I think it’s safe to say this is what Red Sox fans wanted to see out of David Price. Through his first two starts, Price’s ERA currently sits at a solid 3.00. Both of his starts have come on the road, so I’m interested to see how he will perform when he makes his first start of the year at Fenway.

John Farrell only needed two other pitchers to secure the win, but Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel were not at the top of their game. Kelly came in to relieve Price in the eighth, and he was able to get J.J. Hardy to hit into a double play right out of the gate. Unfortunately for Kelly, the next two batters he faced reached base, setting up Craig Kimbrel to come into the game with the chance to get a four out save. Kimbrel got out of the inning easy, but the ninth was a different story. I’m not trying to defend Kimbrel too much here, but I really think he was affected by the fact that the Red Sox made it a four-run game in the top of the ninth. Anyway, Kimbrel gave up his first run in forever, but that didn’t stop him from picking up his sixteenth save of the season.

The Red Sox offense didn’t need to score a ton of runs thanks to David Price. Hanley Ramirez was the star of the game, potentially breaking out of a power struggle by going 2 for 3 with a home run, a double, a walk, and three RBIs. It was also nice to see Mookie Betts get two hits and an RBI since he has been struggling recently. Xander Bogaerts also drove in a run Saturday, scoring Mookie Betts from third on a fielder’s choice in the eighth.

Chris Sale gets the start today, looking to rebound from his worst start in a Red Sox uniform that took place in Chicago. With the chance to leave Baltimore with a split, I expect Chris Sale to be lights out Sunday.

Also, shout out to Mitch Moreland for this catch on an awful throw from Pablo Sandoval:

30 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Brian Johnson throws complete game shutout in third career start; #RedSox win 6-0.

After his start in Toronto on April 18th, in which he allowed four earned runs in five innings pitched, it didn’t look like Johnson would be back up anytime soon. Well, with the Red Sox looking for one last spot start before David Price is activated, Johnson get another opportunity to prove himself, and that is exactly what he did. Once again, I was at this game and watching Johnson pitch a complete game was quite a treat. Over those nine innings, Johnson scattered five hits and struck out eight, while not walking a single batter. In my opinion, what was most impressive was how Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager, the 3-5 hitters, did not get a single hit off Johnson, going a combined 0-12 with 5 K’s. I’m not trying to exaggerate, but today’s gem from Johnson may be the best pitching performances I’ve ever seen in person. Also, hats off to Jackie Bradley Jr. and his glove, made two outstanding catches Saturday that had a real impact on the outcome of this game. Here’s the one from the ninth:

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=19480095

Credit to Rob Whalen here, I honestly thought that guy wouldn’t make it out of the first inning, but he managed to pitch into the sixth. After leading the bottom half of the first off with a walk, Mookie Betts scored on a Xander Bogaerts single, and X would score on a single from Andrew Benintendi. The last run of the inning would be driven in by Sandy Leon, whose single allowed Benintendi to score from third. The inning could have continued if Hanley Ramirez stopped at third, but he ran through the stop sign and was tagged out at home plate. The Red Sox bats would go silent until the sixth, when Jackie Bradley Jr. launched his fifth home run of the year into the Red Sox bullpen, scoring Mitch Moreland along with him. The scoring wrapped up in the eighth, Mitch Moreland recorded his 26th RBI of the season when he drove Hanley Ramirez in on a single off the Monster.

Six wins in a row, this team is rolling, got to get the sweep tomorrow. The Mariners haven’t even scored a single run in the series, that’s how bad they have been recently. It stinks that Johnson got optioned back down to Pawtucket after the game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s up sooner rather than later.

27 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Even when he doesn’t suck, Drew Pomeranz still sucks; #RedSox lose to A’s again by a score of 8-3.

That title may be confusing, but, if you look at his final line for the game, Pomeranz only allowed one earned run over four innings and he actually struck out six. The problem here is how many pitches Pomeranz needed to get through 4 innings, or 19 batters. Yes, it took him 97 pitches I believe to get through 4 innings, or get 12 outs. That averages out to 24.3 pitches per inning, or 8.1 pitches per out. In the month of May, Pomeranz’s WHIP sits at 1.78, which is much higher than it should be. After being told by John Farrell his day was over after the fourth, Pomeranz and Farrell exchanged some words, and it got uncomfortable fast.

Look familiar?

Wade Miley and John Farrell had a heated exchange Thursday.

That’s from 2015, but still. It wouldn’t shock me if Farrell downplays this incident, probably just say Pomeranz is competitive, and he likes that. Truth is, Pomeranz might have to move to the bullpen, because he clearly can’t handle being a starter in this rotation. Speaking of the bullpen, how about Ben Taylor! Surprisingly, the Red Sox had a lead in this game, and in the fifth, Ben Taylor came on to protect it. Unfortunately, he did just the opposite. Taylor gave up three earned runs, all of which came on two home runs. Noe Ramirez came in to relieve Taylor, and he too did a poor job. Ramirez allowed two runs on three hits in three innings of work. Pitching wise, this game puts the Red Sox in a bad position. Outside of Sale, Porcello, Rodriguez, Scott, and Kimbrel, there’s no one you can really rely upon in key situations.

Offensively, I don’t have much to say. Hanley Ramirez hit his sixth home run of the season in the second. Josh Rutledge and Dustin Pedroia both drove in runs on separate occasions on Saturday. The Red Sox also managed to leave nine runners on base, after leaving 20 on base Friday. Andrew Benintendi probably should have been rewarded with his sixth home run of the season, but the umpires overruled it in the ninth, saying the ball went foul even though it didn’t. Overall, just a really frustrating game. I don’t have any screen caps but man, just watching Pomeranz pisses me off. Guy has zero confidence, looks like he doesn’t even want to be there. Looks like the type of guy who would tell you that it wasn’t his choice to play for the Red Sox. He belongs in the National League. 

This team isn’t winning 94 games.

RECAP: Chris Sale fans 12 as #RedSox even series with Rays.

After a disappointing loss on Friday night, the Red Sox needed to bounce back to avoid falling to .500. Two southpaws, Chris Sale and Blake Snell, took the mound for their respective teams Saturday afternoon. With this game getting moved up six hours because of incoming rain, I was interested to see if Sale would be affected by it. I really don’t think that was an issue for him though, as he was relatively dominant for most of his start. He only allowed two hits, and those two hits really cost him, as they were both home runs, the first being a solo shot, and the next being a two-run shot. Other than those two hits, Sale was never in any danger, only allowing two other base runners on two walks. Seven straight starts with at least 10 K’s puts Sale in some rare air. Despite his ERA rising over 2 for the first time this season, there’s no doubt he is the workhorse of this rotation. Sale’s day was done after seven, and Joe Kelly would go on to pitch a shutout eighth, consistently reaching 100 MPH on his fastballs. Craig Kimbrel would come in to finish the Rays in the top of the ninth, and that’s what he did. Another shutout inning with two K’s puts Kimbrel’s WHIP at 0.48 and his K/9 at 17.81. We could be witnessing the eliteness Kimbrel had while a member of the Atlanta Braves, which is what this bullpen and team needs.

Scoring wise, this game had a back and forth feel to it in the middle innings. The Rays scored once in the second. The Red Sox would answer back shortly after though, with Mookie Betts blasting his sixth home run of the season, scoring himself along with Sandy Leon, which gave the Red Sox the lead. The Rays would take the lead back in the fifth, scoring twice, but would only have it for a brief period of time. In the bottom of the fifth, the Red Sox would take the lead and wouldn’t look back. Deven Marrero would get the scoring started by driving in Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley on a big double that nearly went over the Monster. Marrero would then score himself, with Mookie Betts driving him in on an RBI double. After Dustin Pedroia moved Betts to third on a sac bunt, Xander Bogaerts would drive him in on an RBI ground out.

It would seem that Chris Sale is finally getting run support from his teammates. In his last 13 IP, the Red Sox offense has scored 12 runs over that span. Hopefully, the lack of run support Sale had is an issue this team can put behind them. Also, shout out to Deven Marrero, made a couple of great plays at third today while also driving in a couple of important runs.