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: Porcello pitches into eighth, Betts drives in two as #RedSox take series from Rays with 3-1 win.

After another marathon of a game Friday night/Saturday morning, the Red Sox took care of the Rays in a much more timely fashion tonight. Rick Porcello got the start in this one, and he must have been happy going in because he has been great at Tropicana Field this season. Prior to today’s game, Porcello owned a 1.93 ERA in two starts at The Trop. This trend continued on Saturday, as the righty only gave up one earned run over 7.1 innings pitched. The Rays could only manage to get on base six times over that span, while also striking out three times. He easily could have finished the eighth, but John Farrell pulled him after he walked Mallex Smith. So, with this being the last time he’ll pitch in Tampa Bay this season, let’s look at the numbers. 21.1 IP, 15 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, and 17 K’s. That translates to a 1.71 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 1.26 BB/9, and 7.17 K/9. Obviously, Porcello is not having a great season, but at least his performances against the Rays on the road can be seen as a bright spot.

The Red Sox bullpen was used heavily last night, so it was good to see Porcello go as deep as he did to give them some rest. The only relief pitchers that had to be used were Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel. Reed, who finished the eighth, struck out one, while Kimbrel, who pitched the ninth, struck out two on his way to his 33rd save of the season.

Offensively, the Red Sox bats did need to do much with the way Rick Porcello was dealing against the Rays. Alex Cobb was holding them in check for a good while, and the game could have gone a different way if Mookie Betts hadn’t gone deep to lead off the second, but he did, and it was his 22nd of the season. That was just the beginning for Mookie, who drove in his second RBI of the game in the sixth, scoring Andrew Benintendi from third on an RBI single. Later in the inning, with Cobb out of the game, Rafael Devers ripped a double to left, allowing Betts to score from second. That was all the scoring, but I just want to give a shout out to Brock Holt for this gem in the seventh. It’s been a tough year for Holt, but I still love him.

Eduardo Rodriguez and Jake Odorizzi square off tomorrow at 1:10, right when the Patriots will be playing. Perfect for those multiple televisions, unfortunate for those with only one.

85 down, 9 to go. 

RECAP: The #RedSox trailed by three runs entering the ninth against the Rays; they won 13-6 in fifteen innings.

The Red Sox had themselves a pretty good week before arriving in Tampa on Thursday night. They had an off day on Monday, and that was followed by taking two out of three games from the Oakland Athletics at home. Drew Pomeranz looked great on Thursday, and that had me feeling confident about Chris Sale’s start yesterday. Unfortunately, the lefty was not at the top of his game against the Rays. He only gave up four hits, but two of those hits were home runs. The first was good for two runs off the bat of Wilson Ramos, and the second was good for one off the bat of Adeiny Hechavarria. It did not look like it was going to be like this for Sale, though. After a rough first inning, he settled down for the next two, striking out five straight at one point before allowing that home run to Ramos. His day would end with two outs in the sixth, and it was clear that he was not happy about getting taken out. September has not been too kind to Sale, as this start marks the second time in three starts where the southpaw has failed to pitch at least six innings. It looks like he’ll make his next start in Baltimore next Wednesday, if he pitches on regular rest. This may not be a popular idea, but I may consider giving Sale another day of rest next time around the rotation if I’m Manager John. I think it helped him last time it happened and it could be beneficial for the team along with Sale.

The Red Sox bullpen ended up being tasked with a lot. Austin Maddox, Matt Barnes, Fernando Abad, Craig Kimbrel, Addison Reed, Joe Kelly, Brandon Workman, and Blaine Boyer were responsible for more than nine innings of work. Kelly would be my pick for MVP out of the ‘pen. His three shutout innings were huge from the eleventh to the thirteenth. Matt Barnes gave up a home run in the eighth, and Brandon Workman gave up a home run to Kevin Kiermaier that tied the game in the fourteenth. After the Red Sox went off for seven runs in the top half of the fifteenth, Blaine Boyer locked things down with two strikeouts in a shutout inning.

I don’t know where to begin with the Red Sox offensively. The Rays were doing a pretty good job limiting the Red Sox to two runs, one being a Mitch Moreland home run, over the first eight innings. It wasn’t until the Rays closer, Alex Colome, took the mound when they got back into this game. A walk, an error, and a single closed the gap to two runs with no outs in the inning. A Sandy Leon single made it a one run game, then Kevin Kiermaier made one of the most desperate catches you’ll ever see. The Red Sox win this game sooner if this play is not made.

Kiermaier did not stop there, though. Oh no, after the Red Sox tied the game in the ninth, he did this in the tenth.

Him, Kevin Pillar, and Jackie Bradley all play in the same division. Anyway in the fourteenth, Rafael Devers drove in the then go-ahead run thanks to another error from Rays second baseman Brad Miller. That allowed Mookie Betts to score, and it looked like the Red Sox were going to win in the next inning. That’s not how things went, but they did score seven times in the fifteenth inning. I wish they did it sooner, but hey, that’s baseball. There were no big hits either, just one double, a few singles, a HBP, and capitalizing on errors. Xander Bogaerts had his best performance in a long time with four hits and two RBIs. In fact, Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, Mitch Moreland, Rafael Devers, and Deven Marrero all drove in 2 RBIs each last night. Honestly, I did not expect Blake Swihart and Deven Marrero to play any kind of role in this game, but the Red Sox probably lose this game if not for their efforts.

Rick Porcello gets the start against Alex Cobb this evening, special 6:10 start for whatever reason. Red Sox are 7-3 in their last 10 and the Yankees are only three games back, time to pick it up and hold onto that lead.

84 down, 10 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: Chris Sale quietly strikes out eight as #RedSox pile on the runs en route to their fourth straight win.

Good morning, the Red Sox have won four consecutive games.

It’s the first football Sunday of this new season, so I’ll keep this light, and I think I can do a good job of that given how last night’s game went.

Chris Sale made his 29th start of 2017 on Saturday, and he didn’t have to pitch to the best of his abilities to get the win in this one. By the time he took the mound for the top of the second, he already had a three run lead, and by the time he came out for the third, he had an eight run lead to work with. He wasn’t great in the six innings he pitched, but he looked very good. No runs on six hits, a HBP, and a walk to go along with eight strikeouts. You may consider this a hot take, but Chris Sale is usually the star on the days he pitches and I honestly don’t think he was last night. That’s not a knock on him, in fact, I like that he was not put back out for the seventh, which could have easily happened back in June or July. Instead, he gets additional rest, after already receiving an extra day this past week. In the 29 starts Sale has made, he has gone at least six while allowing two runs or fewer 62% of the time. Similar to Friday;s game, the Red Sox bullpen was not put under any pressure given a nine run lead when Sale departed after six innings. Carson Smith, Heath Hembree, and Blaine Boyer combined to go for three scoreless innings of relief, with Smith being the only one to give up any hits.

Offensively, Matt Andriese stood no chance. Dustin Pedroia got the scoring started with a two-run home run, his sixth, over the monster in the first. Mitch Moreland drove in another run in the inning, and the onslaught continued into the second. Andrew Benintendi, Moreland, and Hanley Ramirez all drove in runs in the inning. Benintendi wrapped up the scoring in the third with an RBI single in the third. Eduardo Nunez, Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, Andrew Benintendi, Mitch Moreland, and Rafael Devers all recorded multi-hit games. Unfortunately, Nunez had to leave the game in the second after getting a spike off the back while successfully stealing second. Surprisingly, Xander Bogaerts, his replacement, was borderline outstanding. Two hits on three at bats, two runs scored, and some great plays made defensively. Like Jerry Remy said, hopefully this performance Bogaerts was not prepared for will get him going.

With their 81st win of the season, the Red Sox have guaranteed that they will finish the season with a winning percentage north of .500 for the second straight season. Rick Porcello will look to rebound from his last start this afternoon, as the first place Red Sox look for the sweep over the Rays.

81 down, 11 to go. 

RECAP: Mookie Betts dominates the first inning, Drew Pomeranz and #RedSox go on to beat Rays 9-3.

After the Patriots lost on Thursday night, attention began to turn away from the Red Sox, who usually take a back seat to the Patriots once September begins. Well, the Red Sox played a game worth watching last night, as they won their third straight over an AL East opponent. Drew Pomeranz got the start in this one, and he looked levels better than Rays starter Chris Archer. In the six innings the lefty pitched, the Rays only managed two runs on two hits and two walks off of him, all while striking out seven times. It took more than four innings for the Rays to get a hit, but they also scored their only two runs of the game in that inning, on a two-run home run. That was all Pomeranz gave up, but he had to exit after six innings with his pitch count well over 100. I know wins are an overrated stat for pitchers, but Pomeranz picked up his 15th win last night, and I believe that is tied with Chris Sale for the most in the American League. Those two, for the most part, have had amazing seasons. With one of them, you kind of expected it, but with the other, his season performance comes as a total surprise. If you thought Pomeranz was going to be this good before the season started, you’re lying.

By the time Pomeranz left, the Red Sox had a 8-2 lead, so the bullpen was not put under any real pressure. Joe Kelly got the first call, but he could only record one out while loading the bases. Addison Reed came in trying to get out of that mess, and that’s what he did as he only allowed one of those runs to score on a force out. He came back out for the eighth as well, and was lifted in favor of Austin Maddox after recording the first out of the inning. Since being recalled on September 1st, Maddox has already appeared in four games and has yet to allow a walk or a run to score in the 5.2 innings he has pitched this month. He got the last five outs of the game, securing the team’s 80th victory of the season.

Offensively, Mookie Betts put the Red Sox on the board in the first, and they never looked back. After making a great defensive play in the top of the inning, Betts took his friend, Chris Archer deep? to right for his 19th home run of the season, his first career opposite field homer at Fenway Park. Here are both of those plays in the same video:

Archer settled down after that for a while, but the Red Sox really got to him in the fourth, scoring five times in total while Arhcer left the game. Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi, and Hanley Ramirez all had RBIs in the inning while Dustin Pedroia and Mitch Moreland drove in two runs without picking up an RBI. Archer was pulled in the fourth inning after failing to record one out, and it shows that pitching in Boston has not treated Archer well. The Red Sox managed to tack one more run off the Rays bullpen in the seventh on a Christian Vazquez RBI double that resulted in this:

Jerry Remy and Dennis Eckersley seemed to take offense to this because of the whole Apple Gate thing, but I don’t think it’s that serious. Anyway, the Red Sox won their third straight game and the Yankees lost last night, they are now 4.5 games back.

Chris Sale gets the start tonight against Matt Andriese as the Red Sox look for their fourth straight win.

80 down, 12 to go. 

RECAP: Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the #RedSox won again.

Yes, those Red Sox won again on Wednesday night. Rick Porcello, making his twenty-fourth start of the season, was matched up against Rays righty Jake Odorizzi. Last time Porcello pitched at the Trop, he had his best start of the season, pitching a complete game in a losing effort. He wasn’t this good last night, but he was good enough, getting through six innings before being lifted in the seventh. In those 6+ IP, Porcello allowed only four hits and two earned runs, both home runs, while walking two and striking out seven. The best part of his start, easily, was the immaculate inning he threw in the fifth. Nine pitches, nine strikes, three strikeouts. Along with Craig Kimbrel, Porcello is the second Red Sox pitcher to accomplish this feat this season.

The only real mistakes Porcello made came in the sixth, when both Adeiny Hechavarria and Brad Miller took him deep. After coming out for the seventh and allowing the first two batters to reach, Matt Barnes would be inserted the game. Barnes would finish the inning without allowing a run to score. Brandon Workman pitched a scoreless eighth, and Joe Kelly secured the win with a 1-2-3 ninth. It was nice to see this start out of Porcello considering how much he struggled against the Indians last time out. It looks like he’ll be making his next start against… the Indians. That’s a makeup game, hopefully Porcello can perform better on Monday then he did last Thursday.

Offensively, the bats gave Porcello a decent amount of run support. Andrew Benintendi scored the first run of the game in the third, scoring on a fielding error by Odorizzi on a Mitch Moreland pop out.  In the fifth, Mookie Betts drove in Eduardo Nunez with an RBI single, his 70th of the season. A passed ball and a wild pitch allowed two more runs to score, then Sandy Leon drove in two more, Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt, on a 2 RBI single. Next time he was up, Leon did it again with another RBI single, this time just scoring Brock Holt. A wild pitch with Eduardo Nunez up allowed Leon to score, and that would be it for the scoring.

The top two guys in the lineup, Eduardo Nunez and Andrew Benintendi, accounted for 55% of the hits, 33% of the runs scored, but 0% of the run production. Despite scoring nine runs, Red Sox hitters were only responsible for three of them, and Sandy Leon drove in two of them.

Another off day today, this one being in New York. First place is not on the line in this three-game weekend series, but you got to think it’s still relatively important against a team like the Yankees. ERod gets the start on Friday, and he’ll be followed by Drew Pomeranz and Chris Sale on Sunday Night Baseball.

65 down, ? to go.