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. 

RECAP: #RedSox drop opener in Oakland; still need a 5th starter.

Hector Velazquez made his first career Major League start on Thursday, and the expectations probably weren’t that high. Well, Velazquez was pretty awful in his debut. After taking the mound with a two run lead in the first, Velazquez went on to give up three runs in the bottom half, including a solo home run off the bat of Khris Davis. When the Red Sox tied the game in the fourth, Velazquez followed that with giving up another three runs in the bottom half of that inning. The Mexican League veteran finished with a line of 5 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, and 4 K’s. With rumors circulating that the Red Sox have been scouting different players on the White Sox, like Jose Quintana and Todd Frazier, rotation depth may become less of a problem. More on that later. Back to the game, the Red Sox bullpen basically put the game out of reach. Robbie Ross completed the sixth, but not before giving up two runs on two hits. Matt Barnes pitched the seventh and eighth, and he managed to strike out five. With the back-end of this rotation being a question mark, I’d like to see Brian Johnson get another shot. Personally, I’d rather not give up more prospects to acquire Quintana. I’d be fine with Frazier or Moustakas, since they would require less.

Anyway, the Red Sox offense didn’t do much. In the first, they scored twice. The first run coming when Mookie Betts scored from third on a Hanley Ramirez single. The second run came when Dustin Pedroia scored on a Chris Young sac fly. After not scoring in the second and third, the Red Sox scored their final run of the game when Mitch Moreland hit his third home run of the season to left center. With Chris Sale on the mound tonight, the Red Sox will need to capitalize in Oakland.

RECAP: Mookie Betts saves the day as #RedSox salvage Game 3 in 4-1 victory.

The Red Sox came into Thursday one loss away from falling to .500 on the season. Luckily for them, there were a few guys who didn’t want that to happen. Let’s start with Eduardo Rodriguez. This guy has really grown on me since the beginning of the season. For a 24-year-old already in the bigs, I think he gets a lot of criticism, guess that’s just what happens here, though. Anyway, ERod had himself a solid outing against a Milwaukee team that can score runs in bunches. Only giving up one run on three hits in six innings is nice to see, especially with the way Pomeranz and Kendrick pitched the past two games. He would have gone out for the seventh, but with a runner on base in the top of the seventh, John Farrell made the decision to pinch hit ERod for Chris Young, which I was fine with. 87 pitches total, and the only real mistake came in the sixth when he gave up a double to Jonathan Villar that allowed Manny Pina to score from second. From the seventh inning on, the bullpen did what they had to do to shut down the Brewers. There was cause for concern in the bottom of the eighth, when there was a man on first with one out. Craig Kimbrel would be inserted into the game earlier than usual, and after giving up an infield single and throwing a wild pitch, Kimbrel struck out Keon Broxton to end the inning. In the ninth, Kimbrel would do something that is rarely done in the game of baseball, toss an immaculate inning. 9 pitches, 9 strikes, 3 K’s. I know we’re only five and a half weeks into the season, but, as of today, Kimbrel’s K/9 of 17.81 is the best it has been throughout his career, based on end of the year stats from 2010-2016. If the Red Sox get elite Kimbrel and he pitches longer outings, then that would be great for this bullpen which can be characterised as unreliable.

After Mookie Betts scored in the first because of a fielding error, the Red Sox bats went relatively dormant. They had plenty of chances, like in the eighth, when they loaded the bases with only one out. Jackie Bradley and Josh Rutledge both got their chance to drive in some runs, but they both struck out. It wasn’t until the ninth when the Red Sox took advantage of what was given to them. After Christian Vazquez walked and Deven Marrero reached on a fielder’s choice, Mookie Betts came to the plate looking to take the lead, and that’s exactly what he did. Betts took Neftali Feliz deep to left field, mashing his fifth home run of the season, while also plating three runs, making it a 4-1 game. And that blast would do it.

Mother’s Day Weekend series against the Rays next, Porcello and Sale will be pitching. David Price is rehabbing in Pawtucket on Sunday, Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg are getting healthier, things aren’t looking awful. Just wait until this team has a good few weeks, just you wait.

18 down, 76 to go. 

RECAP: Kyle Kendrick isn’t that good; #RedSox drop game two 7-4.

Just a quick little recap before game three at 1. Kyle Kendrick got his second start for the big league club, and he kind of sucked. Pitching only 4.1 innings, Kendrick allowed ten hits while surrendering six earned runs. The four pitchers that went into the game after him, Hembree, Abad, Barnes, and Scott, did an okay job to finish the game, combining for 3.2 IP, 3 H, and 1 ER. It would appear that Kyle Kendrick is done in Boston, for the time being, with Robbie Ross being recalled from Pawtucket and Kendrick getting optioned to Pawtucket. It also looks like Brian Johnson will get another opportunity start, taking Kendrick’s spot in the rotation.

Offensively, the Red Sox offense did their part by getting on base, but they couldn’t get any good results, scoring only four times. Jackie Bradley was inserted back into the lineup, and he hit his second home run of the season in the second inning. That was pretty much the best thing that happened for the Red Sox on Wednesday.

Game three is about an hour away. Eduardo Rodriguez will be looking to salvage this series by picking up his second win of the season.

17 down, 77 to go.