RECAP: Rick Porcello and JBJ lead the way for #RedSox in series-clinching 5-1 win.

The Red Sox just took two out of three from the second place New York Yankees. I’m jacked up. Last night was frustrating, but the Red Sox certainly bounced back in the right way today. Rick Porcello was matched up against relatively new Yankee Sonny Gray, so there was a real chance of a pitcher’s duel. Porcello was great in the six innings that he pitched, scattering three hits while only surrendering one run while walking three and striking out four. That only run happened to be a solo home run, which came in the fifth inning off of Brett Gardner. Other than that though, I liked what I saw out of Porcello. The three walks were a bit of an issue, given the fact he easily could have gone deeper into the game, but I’ll take it. This time out makes it three straight quality starts for the righty, and he also has yet to lose a start in the month of August.

The bullpen was also good on Sunday, putting together their second straight scoreless effort. Brandon Workman pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, Addison Reed pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, and even though it wasn’t a save situation, Craig Kimbrel shut the door on the Yankees in the ninth.

Offensively, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Sandy Leon, the eight and nine hitters, carried the load. They drove in all five runs and recorded a third of the team’s hits. Sonny Gray was tough to watch, not because he was bad, but because he took an average of twenty-eight seconds between each pitch. Luckily, his pitch count was pretty high since he had to leave after only throwing five innings. JBJ got the scoring started in the second, driving in Xander Bogaerts and Sandy Leon on a 2 RBI triple. The center fielder picked things up again the sixth, driving in Mitch Moreland on another RBI hit, this one being a single. Later on in the eighth, Sandy Leon essentially put the final nail in the coffin, doubling to right field and driving in two more runs, giving the Red Sox a 5-1 lead.

Big four-game series coming up in Cleveland. The Indians have won eight of their last ten games and will probably go on to win their division. With the way the standings are at currently, I believe the Red Sox would host the Indians in the ALDS. Eduardo Rodriguez makes the start tomorrow, looking forward to it.

71 down, 24 to go. 

RECAP: Chris Sale, Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi come up big as #RedSox take series with 3-2 win.

Friday was a disaster, right? I know I’ve made that point clear, but I want to bring it up again because I, along with a whole lot of other people, was interested to see how the Red Sox would respond to that loss. If they get swept, it’s not a big deal, but that would not have been great. Instead of that possibility, this team ends up taking the series from the Yankees, separating themselves by 5.5 games.

To get there, Chris Sale was at the helm for this primetime matchup. As he usually is, Sale was outstanding. The only run he gave up should not have even been charged to him, but it is what it is. The lefty scattered four hits over seven complete innings, surrendering one earned run while walking two and striking out twelve. That only run came across in the fifth. With Chase Headley on first with two outs, Austin Romine hit what looked like a deep pop up to Mookie Betts in right. Instead of making the catch, which did look routine, Mookie missed it, as the ball hit the heel of his glove and rolled away from him. This allowed Headley to score and that tied the game at one. After that mishap, Sale maintained the shutout and exited after finishing the seventh with his twelfth strikeout, which just so happened to be on his 114th pitch, a 99 MPH fastball. In his 24 starts this season, Sale has struck out 10 or more 16 times, three shy of the record Pedro Martinez set in 1999.

After Sale departed, things got messy. Matt Barnes, who has rather bad numbers pitching away from Fenway Park, was inserted into the game to the start the eighth. He allowed three of the first four hitters he faced to reach, loading the bases. Todd Frazier then hit a sacrifice fly, driving in the then go-ahead run. Robby Scott would come in to end the inning by striking out Didi Gregorius. The bottom of the ninth is where things really got weird, with Addison Reed pitching. Reed walked Chase Headley to start the inning, got Ronald Torreyes out on a sac bunt, then prepared to face Jacoby Ellsbury with one out. I can’t remember how this went specifically, but I believe John Farrell tried to make a pitching change after Reed threw a ball to Ellsbury.

Since Carl Willis had already made a mound visit in the inning, Farrell was sent back to his dugout. Obviosuly, this wasn’t a great look and you could tell it rattled Addison Reed with the way he reacted to being taken out after he got Ellsbury out.

Craig Kimbrel, who should have come in much earlier, came in to finish the ninth, and got the Yankees in order in the tenth as well, picking up his fourth win.

If the Red Sox ended up losing this game, John Farrell would have taken a lot of heat. I mean, he still will, but there should be less since he got bailed out again.

Offensively, the Red Sox did not give their ace that much run support. Jordan Montgomery wasn’t great, but he did surrender only one run. They were hitting the ball hard off the rookie, but most of them resulted in outs. That one run came in the fifth, when Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in Brock Holt on an RBI single. The bats would go quiet until the ninth, when the Red Sox needed a run to tie the game, and that’s what happened. Aroldis Chapman was pitching with one out in the ninth as Rafael Devers stepped up to the plate for his second AB of the game. On a 1-2 pitch, Devers took the Yankees closer deep, tying the game with his fourth career home run.

Chapman got out of the ninth without giving up the go-ahead run, but Tommy Kahnle wasn’t much better in the tenth. The former White Sox reliever loaded the bases after getting the first out, making way for Andrew Benintendi. The less talked about rookie who continues to get talked about more singled to right, allowing Jackie Bradley Jr. to score the eventual winning run.

It was a crazy Sunday night, and that’s the way Red Sox Yankees should feel with this division race. The Red Sox did their job, leaving with a bigger lead than they had going into The Bronx on Friday. After a make-up game against the Yankees and a two-game series against the Cardinals, the Yankees come right back into our lives with a three game series next weekend.

67 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Chris Young homers twice, Eduardo Nunez once as #RedSox complete sweep of White Sox.

What a Sunday it was. Got to Fenway early, saw Chris Sale toss a bullpen, and walked all across the park. I’ve been to six games this year, and I’ve seen six different starting pitchers, which is a first. I also got to see Yoan Moncada for the first time on Sunday, which was great as well. Doug Fister made the start, coming off his best start in a Red Sox uniform last Monday. After a 1-2-3 first inning, Fister had a much more difficult time in the second, where the White Sox got four straight hits to start the inning and scored three times by the time the third out was recorded. It was discouraging at the time since Fister just gave up the lead, but he was solid from the fourth on. With one out and a runner on first, Fister was removed and greeted with a standing ovation for his performance. Addison Reed came in to the game, and ended the inning while striking out one. Matt Barnes pitched a shutout eighth, and Craig Kimbrel notched his 27th save of the season while pitching a scoreless ninth. So, the bullpen has looked great lately and Doug Fister definitely earned another start.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox offense got things started early. Eduardo Nunez and Chris Young both hit solo home runs in the first. In the third, Chris Young did it again with an RBI double, scoring Andrew Benintendi and tying the game. After not scoring in the fourth, Chris Young did it AGAIN with a three-run home run, scoring Sandy Leon and Benintendi, untying the game, and securing the win.

The Red Sox finish the home stand with a 7-2 record, including six in a row. After a day off on Monday, Chris Sale makes the start in Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Also… last loss was about a week agoooooo.

63 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox bullpen wastes a great start for Drew Pomeranz in 5-3 loss.

After a feel good walk-off win last night, the Red Sox got back to the way things were on Sunday, being an extremely frustrating team to watch. Drew Pomeranz was good in the 6.2 innings he pitched. At no point did Pomeranz dominate, but he was able to limit the damage. Seven hits, one earned run, one walk, and four strike outs. In relief of Pomeranz, Brandon Workman got out of the seventh inning while giving up a hit. Matt Barnes started the eighth, and the game went downhill from there. Barnes failed to record an out while allowing three hits and four runs, three of which were earned. Despite the sucky outing for Barnes, I will give him this: that inning could have gone completely different if Xander Bogaerts did not juggle that ground ball that allowed Lorenzo Cain, the first batter, to reach base. Robby Scott came in, gave up a hit, and got the first two outs of the inning, making way for Heath Hembree. Hembree finished the eighth, then went on to pitch a scoreless ninth as well. Like I said earlier today, Addison Reed could help this team. He’s not great, but he could serve as a viable eighth inning guy until Joe Kelly returns.

On the offensive side, Mitch Moreland had one of his best performances in a while. The first baseman drove in the first run of the game in the second, scoring Hanley Ramirez on an RBI single. That would be the first of Moreland’s two hits today, making it the first time since Independence Day that Moreland has recorded more than one hit in a game. The bats would go quiet until the fifth, when the rookie, Rafael Devers barely got the ball over the Green Monster for his second career home run and his first at Fenway Park. That would be it for the Red Sox in terms of runs. After the Royals took the lead in the eighth, they had the chance to win the game in the ninth. Before Mookie Betts came up with two outs, a JBJ walk, a Christian Vazquez single, and a Devers walk loaded the bases. You’d figure Mookie could at least make things interesting with a hard hit ball, but he popped up to Lorenzo Cain instead, ending the game.

Seeing a good amount of guys from the 2007 World Series team was cool, and David Ortiz was great the inning he was in the NESN booth. It’s too bad the Red Sox couldn’t have won on what was a pretty good day.

Also, shout out to Adrian Beltre for 3,000 hits. Miss that guy in a Red Sox uni.

57 down, ? to go. 

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: For second day in a row, #RedSox waste great starting pitching in 5-3 loss.

Yesterday, Rick Porcello pitched eight great innings and got a loss out of it. Today, David Price limited the Rays to two runs and he could not get the win. Price got off to a rough first, allowing the Rays to tie the game after the Red Sox scored once in the first. After that though, the southpaw only allowed one run while scattering  three hits and two walks over the next five innings he pitched. Today’s outing marks the fourth consecutive time Price has gone out and had a quality start. Unfortunately for Price, he got hit with some bad luck, from the Red Sox bats as well as the bullpen. In the first six innings, the Red Sox only scored once, but a two-run seventh which gave them the lead made it look like Price was going to get his fifth win. But in the bottom half of the inning, Matt Barnes allowed a walk, a sac bunt, and a single, putting the tying run at third with only one out. Joe Kelly would come in and he would get the final two outs. In the eighth, Kelly’s streak of scoreless appearances would end as Brad Miller took the righty deep, driving in the go-ahead run as well as himself and giving the Rays the 5-3 lead. Not a good day for the ‘pen, for as good as the numbers look, I still find it hard to have confidence in them in any big game situation. Matt Barnes currently owns a 5.91 ERA in 21.1 IP while pitching on the road. I haven’t heard anything about Carson Smith for a while, so I assume Dave Dombrowski will be on the look out for veteran relievers over the next three weeks.

Surprisingly, the three runs the Red Sox scored all came on home runs. The first one came in the first, as Mookie Betts hit his eleventh career lead-off home run, passing Jacoby Ellsbury for most in Red Sox history. The second home run appeared to be clutch at the time it was hit. Trailing by one in the top of the seventh, Dustin Pedroia took Chris Archer deep for his fourth long ball of the season. There were plenty of times when the Red Sox had runners on base with only one or fewer outs, but nothing could be done with the twenty base runners who were left on base.

A frustrating way to end the first half to say the least. Now the Rays are only 3.5 games out of first place along with the Yankees. No more meaningful games until Friday against those Yankees. Chris Sale and Mookie Betts are starting for the American League on Tuesday, so I’m looking forward to that.

50 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz tosses quality start; Mookie Betts drives in EIGHT runs as #RedSox sweep Jays with 15-1 win.

For the first time since 2011, the Boston Red Sox have swept the Toronto Blue Jays. Drew Pomeranz has become a reliable guy in the rotation, which seemed unlikely two months ago. The southpaw has gone at least 6 innings in three of his last four starts, as he has lowered his ERA from 4,48 to 3.64 over that span. In the six innings he pitched on Sunday, Pomeranz consistently got out of any jam he was in, allowing seven total base runners. The only run he gave up came in the second, when Justin Smoak scored on a sac fly. So, when the only run you allow doesn’t even come on a hit, that’s a pretty solid outing. Since he had already thrown more than 100 pitched by the time he ended the sixth, Fernando Abad came on in relief. Abad notched his first save of the season, pitching three no-hit scoreless innings. Ever since Pomeranz got chewed out by Manager John, he arguably has been the second best starter behind Sale. He’ll make his next start on Friday in Tampa against a surprisingly kinda good Rays team.

Mookie Betts, Mookie Betts, Mookie Betts. That’s who sticks out most after today’s blowout. The now 2x All-Star reached recorded four hits, including two home runs. With all those hits and dingers, Betts drove in a total of eight runs. That’s more runs than the Blue Jays scored this entire series (6). Despite Mookie’s day at the plate, the Red Sox still scored 9 more runs. Every starter except Christian Vazquez got on base two or more times. Hanley Ramirez stayed hot by extending his hitting streak to seven, as the DH blasted his twelfth home run of the season in the seventh, a two-run shot. That homer was part of a very long seventh inning, as eight runners crossed the plate which gave the Red Sox a 15-1 lead. A few surprises today were the days Tzu-Wei Lin and Deven Marrero had. Marrero wasn’t even supposed to start but Xander Bogaerts got scratched from the lineup late. Lin and Marrero went a combined 6-10 with 2 RBIs and 5 Runs Scored. Since he was called up last week, Lin has already hit more triples (2) than Pablo Sandoval has in his three years with the club (1). The 23 year-old also already has a positive WAR with the Red Sox, while Sandoval’s is currently sitting below zero while a member of the team. Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to hit well, raising his BA to .284 with a three hit performance Sunday. Overall, hell of a day for these bats. 17 runs on 21 hits is insane stuff, that seventh inning alone was great. They pretty much put the final nail in the coffin for the 2017 Blue Jays, which is reassuring.

Four wins in a row, the Yankees keep losing, twelve games over .500, undefeated in the second half of the season, things are looking up!

Also, sup?

47 down, ? to go.