RECAP: David Price comes through in big spot as #RedSox stave off elimination with 10-3 victory.

Win or go home. That was the mindset the Red Sox had to have coming into today’s game against the Astros. Doug Fister got the start, and there were reasons to be confident given how good his postseason numbers are. Unfortunately, that’s not how things went for Fister as he only lasted 1.1 innings before being taken out. In that span, the Astros scored three times, all in the first inning. Once again, Carlos Correa hit a first inning home run, marking the third straight game the Astros had done so.

Honestly, I thought the game was over after that home run. It just got over the center field wall and the first thing I thought was, “here we go again.” Luckily though, things did not spiral out of control for the Red Sox. Joe Kelly picked up the win by getting out of the second thanks to Mookie Betts…

…and pitching a clean third inning. This made way for David Price to pitch for the first time since Friday, and he was really something else. Four complete innings to go along with four strikeouts in the lefty’s most important performance of the season. We all know about the problems Price has had in the postseason, but he looked like a different guy today. I was surprised they stretched him out for so long, and with 53 pitches today, there’s no way he pitches tomorrow. I do love what he had to say after the game, though:

The remainder of the game was wrapped up by Addison Reed and Carson Smith, who bounced back nicely from Friday’s game with two scoreless innings.

Offensively, the Red Sox showed approximately five times more life then they did in Houston. The funny thing is, all the run production came from the bottom half of the lineup. Batters 1-4 went a combined 3 for 18 with two runs scored while batters 5-9 went a combined 12 for 20 with eight runs scored and all 10 RBIs. In an inning where they easily could have scored more runs, Sandy Leon got the Red Sox scoring started in the second with an RBI single. Hanley Ramirez followed this up with an RBI single next inning, and the lead was cut to one run. After Brad Peacock was taken out of the game in favor of Francisco Liriano, Rafael Devers had a moment. On an 0-1 slider, Devers mashed his first career postseason home run into the bleachers, giving his team the lead.

The bats would take a short break, but they really turned it on in the seventh. Hanley and Devers continued their great days with some more RBI hits, and Jackie Bradley Jr. secured the W with a three-run home run off of Joe Musgrove.

One thing I found interesting was how much Hanley Ramirez was into this game. Over the span of this past season, we’ve rarely seen Hanley this fired up, but it’s been much more noticeable since last Thursday. I mean…look at that intensity.

This is what the Red Sox need. They needed their guys to step up and that is exactly what happened tonight. Rick Porcello faces off against Charlie Morton tomorrow afternoon. Another do or die game, I expect them to play just as they did today.

1 down, 10 to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox end regular season with a 4-3 loss, will face Houston later this week.

After a Saturday night full of celebration, the Red Sox took the field for one last regular season game on Sunday. The lineup did not look great on paper, as was expected. In fact, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Rafael Devers were the only everyday players to play, not including Christian Vazquez. Hector Velazquez got the start, and though his leash was not long he still performed well. Four innings of shutout baseball, three hits, two walks, and four strikeouts. He’s probably not going to see any action in the postseason, but I expect Velazquez to be fighting for a spot on the 25-man roster come February.

We saw the good and bad from the bullpen today. Robby Scott, Matt Barnes, and Joe Kelly all looked good, while Fernando Abad and Brandon Workman were key contributers to the Astros’ four run rally in the seventh. It depends on how many relievers they carry, but I can’t see the Red Sox wasting a playoff roster spot on Abad, he’s been an end of the ‘pen guy all year and has rarely pitched in high leverage situations. As for Workman, I think John Farrell likes him too much not to include him.

Rafael Devers was the star offensively, as the young third baseman drove in the first two runs for the Sox while also scoring the third. That all came in the fourth, and the Red Sox bats could not do much after that. We also saw guys like Rajai Davis, Brock Holt, Chris Young, and Deven Marrero all get the chance to prove themselves. If I had to choose two of them, I think I’d have to go with Davis and Marrero, depending on the health of Eduardo Nunez. Davis provides speed off the bench while Marrero provides great defense late in games (looking at you, Rafael.) I know Young can bring some power and Holt can play anywhere, but with the way the Red Sox have played this season, I think speed and defense are your best options.

As for season totals, Chris Sale led the club with K’s (308), IP (214.1), BAA (.208), WHIP (0.97), ERA (2.90), and W’s (17). All that, and he still won’t win the Cy Young. Sad!

Offensively, Mookie Betts led the Red Sox in nearly every important category except AVG and OBP. 166 H, 24 HR, 102 RBI, .459 SLG, and a .803 OPS to name a few. All this in a down year for the right fielder. If he figures a few things out, he could be back in that MVP form he had in 2016 in no time.

Also, shout out to Craig Kimbrel. Unreal year for the best closer in baseball. Career best 126 K’s for Dirty Craig, love to see it.

Red Sox kick off a best of five game series against these Astros in Houston on Thursday. Chris Sale will get the start, and I’m sure the Red Sox will be getting Verlander or Kuechel to start this ALDS.

Should be interesting, time to go on a World Series run.

93 down, 0 to go. 

RECAP: In a game they had no business winning, Mookie Betts delivers clutch performance for #RedSox in 5-4 win.

Going into the eighth inning of today’s game, the Red Sox had only scored one time, on a Rafael Devers home run in the fifth. Jackson Stephens, the starter for the Reds, looked good in the six innings he pitched, but the Reds bullpen has been a different story this season. With an ERA of 4.62 going into this game, they proved again just how unreliable they are. Christian Vazquez got the eighth started with a walk, and that was followed by a Xander Bogaerts single. After a pitching change and a Dustin Pedroia ground out, Andrew Benintendi drew another walk. That set up a one out, bases loaded situation for Mookie Betts, and he pounced on it. On a 2-2 slider, Betts ripped a game-tying, 3 RBI double to center field.

Vazquez, Bogaerts and Benintendi all scored, and we had a tied game, but not for long. The very next batter, Rafael Devers, reached on an infield single, all while Mookie Betts was hauling from second to home, and he reached with ease.

That was the go-ahead run and the winning run, as Craig Kimbrel ended the game with a scoreless ninth.

Doug Fister got the start in this one, and although he was not particularly bad, I still think Eduardo Rodriguez is the frontrunner for the third spot in the playoff rotation right now.

Coming off a great 8-1 road trip, Drew Pomeranz gets the ball tomorrow against the Blue Jays back at Fenway Park. The Patriots also won today in comeback fashion, so it was a pretty good day in Boston and New England.

91 down, 4 to go. Magic number is down to 3.

Happy Sunday!

RECAP: David Price throws two scoreless innings for #RedSox in first appearance since July 22.

Listen, this game was not that blog-worthy, I was more invested in the Patriots anyway. What I can tell you about this game is that the Red Sox almost got no hit. Had Jackie Bradley Jr not hit that bomb in the sixth, who knows how Jake Odorizzi and the Rays bullpen would have pitched. Andrew Benintendi was the only other hitter in the lineup to record a hit today. Eduardo Rodriguez was doing pretty well, but he was left in the game too long. There is no way he should have been facing Sucre, it was just Manager John pushing his luck. ERod exited the game with 110 pitches and two outs in the sixth, and the bullpen did a solid job after that. Austin Maddox ended the sixth by only facing one batter, and David Price ended the game by tossing two perfect innings. We have not seen the lefty in live action since way back in July, so his two strikeout performance was definitely encouraging. I can’t imagine he’ll carry that much of a workload from now to the end of the season, probably more of a depth guy for now, not a weapon. If he is able to pitch in the postseason that would definitely get me excited too.

Quick little recap for you, I’m not too discouraged by this loss. The Red Sox are 8-4 in their last 12, and should be able to take care of an inferior Baltimore Orioles team to start off the week. Doug Fister gets the start tomorrow against the O’s best starter, Dylan Bundy, first pitch is scheduled for 7:05.

85 down, 9 to go. 

 

RECAP: After scoring 18 runs in the first two games, #RedSox can only manage one in 4-1 defeat against the Rays.

The Red Sox looked great in the first two games of this weekend series, not so much on Sunday. Rick Porcello got the start in this one, and he did not look nearly as bad as he did last time out against the Blue Jays on Labor Day. In the five innings the righty pitched, the Rays managed to score twice on five hits and three walks, all to Logan Morrison. They did strike out four times though, and Porcello did not give up his first hit until the fourth. I don’t think his pitch count was that high, but he did not come back out to start the sixth inning. The bullpen struggled a little bit in the four innings they pitched, but I’d still say they kept the Red Sox in the game. Brandon Workman and Robby Scott both allowed a run, but Addison Reed, Fernando Abad, Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel combined to pitch 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. The highlights of this were Fernando Abad’s eephus pitch for a K, and Craig Kimbrel striking out the side in the top of the ninth. In his next start, it looks like Porcello will face the Rays again, this time on the road, but it might not be at Tropicana Field.

On the other side of things, the bats looked lifeless similar to the way they did earlier last week against New York and Toronto. The only run they managed to score off of Alex Cobb came in the second, when Christian Vazquez drove in Mitch Moreland on an RBI single. Vazquez should have scored later in the inning, but was later ruled out after a lengthy, incorrect replay review. The call was so incorrect that the Rays players took the field after seeing the replay for themselves. Anyway, the Red Sox had one legit shot to score a few runs in the sixth, after Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts reached base with no outs, Moreland grounded into a double play and Rafael Devers grounded out to end the inning, stranding Benintendi at third. After Cobb left in that inning, the Rays bullpen did a great job of shutting down the Red Sox over the next three innings, limiting them to only one hit over that span. So, shout out to Falmouth, MA native Steve Cishek for his scoreless inning.

An off day tomorrow will give this team time to prepare a team very similar to the Rays in the Oakland Athletics. They are a club that strikes out a lot and hits the ball deep a lot. I haven;t watched him play a ton in Milwaukee or Oakland, but I like what Khris Davis has evolved into with the 39 home runs he has this season. ERod gets the first start on Tuesday, facing off against Sean Manaea, who got lit up last time he pitched in Boston last May.

81 down, 11 to go. 

RECAP: The #RedSox only scored twice last night and that wasn’t good enough to beat Luis Severino and the Yankees.

Going into last night, I was pretty excited for this game. Sure, the Red Sox haven’t looked great in this series, but they had the chance to leave New York with a 5.5 game lead without another game against the Yankees on the schedule. Another reason to be excited, we had Chris Sale and Luis Severino facing off against each other on national television. Sale was great last time out in Toronto, and has had a good time facing the Yankees this season. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, the Bronx Bombers did some serious damage off of the southpaw and Severino looked a whole lot better. In the 4.1 innings he pitched, Sale surrendered three earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six Yankees. Honestly, I did not see this coming. Yeah, the pitch count was pretty high, but it looked like Sale was going to get through it. Three of those seven hits were solo home runs, two being back to back in the fourth, where the Yankees got all their runs off of him. That’s the first time in his career that Chris Sale has given up back to back home runs, for what it’s worth. Like I said, the pitch count was up, so by the time Sale exited with one out in the fifth, he had thrown about 109 pitches, probably shouldn’t have come out for the fifth, but that’s whatever.

After Sale, the Red Sox baseball was just a mess. Joe Kelly, Robby Scott, Addison Reed, Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, and Blaine Boyer were all used in just 3.2 innings of work. The game got away from the Red Sox in the sixth, where the Yankees scored six times. The home plate umpire, Scott Holbrook, certainly wasn’t helpful in this one, and he even got Carl Willis tossed from the game. It was clear to see how tight his strike zone is, but what really hurt was his inconsistency. Sale didn’t seem to make a big deal out of it, but Sandy Leon and some in the dugout certainly made their voices heard. All and all, after the final out of the bottom of the sixth, which took about 40 minutes, this one was over.

Offensively, the Red Sox did not do much, which has been a recurring theme since Thursday. They scored in the sixth on a passed ball, which actually made it a 3-1 game at the time. The only other run they scored in the ninth, on a Sandy Leon RBI single, which did not make any difference whatsoever. What that RBI single did do though is end the 0fer they had going with Runners In Scoring Position.

Nine runs, that’s all the runs the Red Sox scored since Thursday. Averaging less than three runs per game, the lineup needs a spark. Hopefully they’ll find it starting tonight back home against the Blue Jays with Rick Porcello on the mound.

77 down, 18 to go.

RECAP: #RedSox look lifeless yet again; fail to win one game over Players Weekend.

First off, sorry for not posting a recap blog of the game yesterday. I was getting ready for the fight and I figured it wouldn’t be worth it to blog about a 7-0 loss. Anyway, Doug Fister made the start in this one, coming off his best start in a Red Sox uniform last time out in Cleveland. The righty put together another solid performance on Sunday despite a rough start. The Orioles managed to score twice off of Fister in the first, but couldn’t do anything after that. After getting those two runs on three hits in the first, Fister limited the Orioles to two hits and two walks over the next six innings. There were really no times after the first where Fister found himself in any real trouble, and he also tied a season-best with seven strikeouts on the day. He kept his guys in the game, and so did the bullpen. Even though the Red Sox were trailing, we still saw Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel pitch the eighth and ninth innings, and they both looked good with scoreless innings.

Before today, the Red Sox have scored a combined three runs in eighteen innings against a team that owns the third worst team ERA in all of baseball. Unfortunately, this trend continued Sunday afternoon. Old friend Wade Miley held the Red Sox to only one run, despite allowing seven hits and three walks in the five plus innings he pitched. They loaded the bases in two consecutive innings, the fifth and the sixth, and could only score that one time. I feel the need to single out Mookie Betts here because he struck out to end the sixth on a full count without taking his bat off his shoulders. In total, the Red Sox went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position today. Definitely something that needs improvement as they go on this big seven game road trip in Toronto and New York.  Continue reading “RECAP: #RedSox look lifeless yet again; fail to win one game over Players Weekend.”