RECAP: Despite Rick Porcello’s awful start, #RedSox win third consecutive game.

After a rain out on Wednesday, the Red Sox welcomed the Chicago White Sox into town for a four-game series. This was a series I usually looked forward to because of Chris Sale, but now he is on the Red Sox. He was actually supposed to see him pitch on Sunday, but John Farrell switched around the rotation so Sale can pitch against the Yankees more. Even though the White Sox are one of the worst teams in baseball, I was still looking forward to seeing Yoan Moncada, who was one of my favorite Red Sox prospects before he got traded last December.

Anyway, Rick Porcello was on the mound against former Red Sox prospect Miguel Gonzalez, and both were pretty terrible. Porcello could only make it through 5.1 innings while surrendering five earned runs on seven hits, including a two-run home run to Nicky Delmonico in the third inning. This was after he was given a 4-0 lead and then a 7-2 lead to work with, too. This start was certainly discouraging, given the fact that Porcello had a great month of July. You’d figure a team like the White Sox wouldn’t give him much trouble, but here we are talking about how bad his start was. The bullpen did pick him up though, as Fernando Abad, Heath Hembree, Addison Reed, Matt Barnes, and Brandon Workman combined to pitch 3.2 perfect innings while striking out four. It was only a three-run game when Porcello left, so the effort from the bullpen was definitely a boost.

On the other side of things, all nine guys in the starting lineup recorded at least one base hit, and six of nine drove in at least one run. Eduardo Nunez continued his great play by driving in the first run of the game in the first. Hanley Ramirez then drove in Nunez on a double, and Rafael Devers hit his third home run of the season to conclude the scoring in the first.

In the second, Mookie Betts drove in Christian Vazquez along with himself on a two-run home run, his eighteenth on the year. Hanley Ramirez then collected his second RBI of the game, scoring Andrew Benintendi from second on an infield single. This was a great play to watch, the awareness of Andrew Benintendi was off the charts, scoring from second on an INFIELD single. After that, the bats would go silent until the fifth, when Mitch Moreland scored on a Benintendi RBI single. The last run of the game crossed the plate in the sixth, when Moreland drove in Xander Bogaerts on his twenty-third double of the season, giving the Red Sox a 9-5 lead and securing the win.

Red Sox have won three in a row, Yankees have lost three in a row, so the lead in the division stands at two. Eduardo Rodriguez is on the bump today, and he’s looking to rebound from a rough start against the Royals.

60 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Chris Sale strikes out twelve; #RedSox drop Game 1 in Tampa 4-1.

The Red Sox played their first game at the Trop this season, which is uncharacteristic of their typical schedules. Chris Sale got the start, matched up against Rays rookie Jacob Faria, who has made a great first impression with five straight quality starts going into tonight to start his career. Sale was not his usual self to say the least, seven hits in seven innings is not like him. Still, the strikeouts were there, twelve total against the Rays, including striking out the side in the first and third innings. The biggest problem Sale had was with the long ball. The Rays took the southpaw deep twice, in the fifth for one run, and in the sixth for two runs. Logan Morrison and Wilson Ramos were the ones who got to Sale the most, Morrison did not record an out against him, and Ramos drove in three runs against him. Blaine Boyer would come in to pitch the eighth, and he pitched a scoreless frame. For Sale, his next start will come in Miami, pitching for the American League in the All-Star Game. It was one hell of a first half, twelve starts with 10 or more strikeouts is something else. Can’t wait to watch how he pitches down the stretch after the break.

For the second night in a row, the bats could not push across enough runs to keep the game close. Like I said above, Jacob Faria may be the real deal and the Red Sox could not do much against him. Big scare in the first with Xander Bogaerts getting hit by a pitch in the right hand, later being removed from the game because of it. The only run the Red Sox could muster against the Rays came in the top of the third, when Deven Marrero drove in Tzu-Wei Lin on a sacrifice fly, which gave them a 1-0 lead at the time. They had a good amount of opportunities, but could not do anything with them. Jake Odorizzi is pitching tomorrow, and he owns a 5.19 ERA over his last three starts, so the Red Sox should have a good chance to snap out of this two-game rut.

Drew Pomeranz is on the mound tomorrow as well, had a great start last time out int Toronto, could lower that ERA some more in St. Pete.

49 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: David Price pitches seven quality innings; #RedSox take series from Twins in 6-3 win.

For the first time in exactly two weeks, the Red Sox have won a series. The Twins came into Boston as a first place team, and they leave as a team that is most likely going to be out of contention by September. That’s not a jab at the Twins, it’s just the truth for a team that has one of the worst Run Differentials in baseball. David Price made his seventh start of the season for the Red Sox, and it was another solid outing for the southpaw. Another quality start, Price’s final line looks like this: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, and 7 K’s. Despite that fourth inning, this was clearly one of his better starts. It wasn’t lights out stuff, but I don’t think the Red Sox need that from Price all the time in order to succeed. He had 100 pitches after 6, so it was surprising to see him come out for the seventh, luckily for Manager John, that decision did not backfire. Joe Kelly got the call for the eighth, and all he did was pitch another scoreless outing, his 22nd in a row, NBD. Lastly, you know the drill. Save situation, Kimbrel available, Kimbrel gets the save, his 22nd of the season, most in the American League.

By the time the Red Sox took their first at bats, they were already trailing. By the time they scored their first run, they came into their half of that inning down by three. Mookie Betts got the scoring started with his thirteenth home run of the season. This home run was important for two reasons, first, it’s the three-year anniversary of when Mookie Betts got called to the bigs by the Red Sox, and it could help get him more votes to start in the All-Star Game. (Check out my roster predictions here) In the fifth, the Red Sox took the lead and did not look back. Jackie Bradley Jr., Deven Marrero, and Mookie Betts drove in a total of three runs. Hanley Ramirez tacked on another run in the six when he launched his eleventh home run of the season over the center field wall. Linsanity struck in the seventh, as Tzu-Wei Lin nearly hit his first career home run. Unfortunately, the ball did not go far enough, but Lin still hit his first career triple. Deven Marrero drove him in on an RBI double, and that was all the Red Sox needed. I mentioned JBJ earlier, but I just want to commend him for his three-hit game and how he has turned around his season at the plate. On June 1st, his BA was only at .226, but after today, it’s all the way up to a solid .272.

Big 10 game road trip ahead before the All-Star break. First up, Toronto and Doug Fister is making his first road start for the Red Sox. The Blue Jays looked like they were going to be a bottom feeder the last time the Red Sox were in Toronto, but they have come back and are now more of a mediocre team.

44 down, ? to go. 

Also, sup?

Feelin' some kind of way. 💪 - #VoteRedSox (@redsox)

RECAP: Chris Sale pitches another gem; #RedSox offense does nothing in 1-0 loss in series finale.

Five out of their last six. That’s how many games the Red Sox have won since Friday. Against a pretty bad team in the Phillies, it was looking like a team led by Chris Sale was about to go into Houston fresh off a four game sweep. Since the beginning of May, Sale has an ERA north of 4, which is unlike him. Thursday’s start was peak Chris Sale, as the southpaw pitched a complete game of one-run ball. He also struck out ten batters for the first time since May 19th. The only damage the Phillies did off of Sale came in the eighth, when pinch hitter Ty Kelly drove in Andrew Knapp on a one out RBI double. Sale only allowed four other hits, so this loss cannot be pinned on him, especially since he almost helped his own cause with a bat in his hand. The greatest takeaway from this start is the fact that Chris Sale gave the bullpen a day of rest before an important series in Houston, in which Drew Pomeranz is pitching in today.

As it has already been said, the Red Sox offense did virtually nothing last night. Tip off the cap to the pitcher Nick Pivetta and Howie Kendrick, who both played huge roles in limiting the Red Sox to zero runs and only five hits over nine innings. They had their chances, but strike outs in key situations and bad base running didn’t do any good. The last good opportunity to score any runs came in the eighth, where Chris Sale lined a double to left to lead off the inning and smiled.

He got to third on a line out, but Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts failed to score him. Another chance presented itself in the ninth, with Jackie Bradley on first with two outs, Pablo Sandoval came to the plate representing the go-ahead run. To nobody’s surprise, Sandoval struck out on three ugly pitches, like the waste of money he is.

Next up, the Red Sox spend the weekend in Houston. A decimated Astros rotation should help the cause, but that lineup is still pretty lethal. Eight o’clock start, Pomeranz on the mound, what could go wrong???

37 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: Eduardo Rodriguez gives up seven runs; #RedSox lose opener in Baltimore 7-5.

As I said yesterday, it would be great if the Red Sox won at least three out of four in Baltimore to maybe gain some ground in the AL East standings. Well, after Thursday’s loss, taking three out of four looks less probable. The Orioles had an awful May, going 12-16, including a season-high 7 game losing streak. Their struggles have been highlighted by Manny Machado, whose BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, and OPS+ are currently the worst they have been since his MLB debut in 2012. With all that in mind, I thought the Red Sox had a good shot at winning this series. Eduardo Rodriguez got the start, and before the game even started, things looked rough. While he was warming up in the bullpen, ERod took a tumble, and stayed down for a few minutes. Being aware of this, John Farrell alerted the home plate umpire that ERod may not be 100%, and I don’t think he was. The 24 year-old Venezuelan southpaw nearly got through six innings, but not before giving up four home runs, which scored all seven runs for the Orioles. Blaine Boyer would come in to relieve Rodriguez with two outs in the sixth, he got all four outs he was responsible for, ending the sixth along with getting the O’s in order in the seventh. Fernando Abad was responsible for the eighth, and despite getting into a jam, he got out of the inning without giving up a run. Rick Porcello, David Price, and Chris Sale are next up in this series, and each start should be exciting to watch.

Offensively, the Red Sox could virtually do nothing against former Red Sox starter Wade Miley. The only run they got off Miley came in the second, when Christian Vazquez drove in Sam Travis on an RBI single. The bats would go silent until the top of the ninth, when the Red Sox got four of their nine hits and four of their five runs. Christian Vazquez would drive in two more runs on another RBI single. Then, Jackie Bradley took Donnie Hart deep for a three-run blast, making it a two-run game. Pablo Sandoval would bat next, with the chance to get the tying run to the plate, but unfortunately for the Red Sox, he grounded out, and that ended the game.

This offense is kind of a head scrather. They seem to score a majority of their runs in bunches, and they can’t seem to score much off mediocre pitchers. Mookie Betts continues to struggle, dropping his BA to .266 after an 0 for 4 performance. It is good to see JBJ heat up with the bat, though, that’s a positive from this loss.

29 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Pomeranz K’s 11; Bogaerts hits first homer; #RedSox win 6-2 to sweep Rangers.

Just when you thought Drew Pomeranz was on a short leash, he goes and have his best start of the season. There wasn’t a whole lot of optimism going into Thursday’s game, given the weather and the fact that Pomeranz was pitching. The start of the game was actually delayed by about twenty minutes. It looked like the game was going to start at its regular time, but the managers, umpires, and grounds crew got together, which led to the delay. I was interested to see how Pomeranz would respond to the delay, given the fact that he already warmed up. I don’t think he was bothered by it though, as the 28 year old southpaw tied a career high with 11 strikeouts. Pomeranz pretty much breezed through the first four innings, with the only blip coming on a solo home run off the bat of Elvis Andrus in the fourth. After a scoreless fifth, Pomeranz would allow another run in the sixth, and his day would end after he recorded the final out in that inning. Now, I don’t mean to sound like a hardo, but I mentioned Drew Pomeranz in a tweet where I called him out before the game. He’s one of the few players on this team that can piss me off, but I was thoroughly impressed with what I saw from him Thursday night. Anyway, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the seventh, eighth, and ninth, and they took care of business. Heath Hembree, Robby Scott, Matt Barnes, and Craig Kimbrel combined to go three hitless innings while striking out 9 batters, including FOUR from Craig Kimbrel in the ninth. Guy’s just on another level, sporting a K/9 that is right around an astounding 17.

The Red Sox offense got off to a fast start once again Thursday, scoring two runs on two RBI singles from Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland. Two more runs were scored in the third, those coming on Xander Bogaerts’ first home run of the season (FINALLY), which also scored Dustin Pedroia. That thing was a bullet that barely got over the top of the monster. Looking for some insurance later in the game, Deven Marrero answered the call, blasting another two-run home run over the monster in the eighth, scoring Jackie Bradley Jr. also. I know he doesn’t hit well at all, but it’s hard not to like the way Marrero plays over at the hot corner. He provides stability defensively, and seems like a harder worker than Pablo Sandoval.

With the way the Rangers had been playing, I did not expect a sweep, but here we are. Mariners come into Fenway this weekend, and they are an offensively challenged game, having recently scored one or fewer runs in five straight games.

25 down, ? to go.