RECAP: #RedSox even things up with ChiSox despite Sale’s struggles; win 13-7.

When it was announced that Chris Sale would be matched up against Jose Quintana Tuesday night, fans and analysts everywhere were expecting a pitcher’s duel. Well, that’s about the opposite of went down. Sale got off to a rough start for his standards, giving up a hit and a walk in the first inning. Despite all the base runners, Sale still managed to get all three outs via strikeout. The second inning was even worse for Sale, as he gave up three runs on four hits, and he still got two more strikeouts. After allowing another run in the third, Sale came back out for the fourth. With two outs and a runner on first, Todd Frazier came up for his third AB of the game. Before the game, Frazier talked to the media about he wanted to take his former teammate deep, and that’s exactly what he did, pulling the White Sox within one run. Sale’s day would end after pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth. His worst start with the Red Sox for sure, but I was expecting Sale to be off considering the fact he was playing his first team. Heath Hembree was responsible for the sixth and seventh, and he had a nice bounce back outing, not allowing a hit in either inning. Blaine Boyer struggled in this third appearance out of the Red Sox bullpen, surrendering one run on four hits while only getting through two-thirds of the eighth. With two outs in the eighth, Craig Kimbrel got the call and would have to end the game by getting four outs. Kimbrel recorded his fourteenth save of the season, collecting two strikeouts on the way to the win.

Like I said, with Jose Quintana on the mound for the White Sox, nobody was expecting the Red Sox to score runs at the rate they did last night. After a scoreless first, the Red Sox bats picked things up, crossing the plate seven times over the next two innings. Deven Marrero and Mookie Betts hit back to back jacks in the second, and Marrero went deep again in the fourth, scoring Chris Young and Sam Travis along with him. Three more runs came across in the fifth, all coming on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s sixth home run of the season. Two more home runs would be hit by the Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts hit one in the eighth, and Mitch Moreland hit a two-run home run in the ninth to cap off an incredible offensive night. In total, Red Sox hitters hit six home runs, and more than half the lineup went yard Tuesday night. Deven Marrero and Sam Travis easily had their best games at the Major League Level, with Marrero going deep twice and Travis getting three hits, including two doubles.

After a bit of a lull offensively, it looks like these bats are about to breakout again. Hanley Ramirez and Sandy Leon were the only hitters who failed to get a hit, and both still reached base via a HBP and a walk. Chris Sale stunk last night, he said that himself, but I’m not too worried. With Pablo Sandoval returning from the DL, the infield could get a bit crowded. I like Josh Rutledge, but I don’t think he’s an everyday player. I would expect Marrero to move over to second until Dustin Pedroia returns from his injury. Drew Pomeranz takes the hill today, that could go many different ways.

28 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox get outhit 13-12; still win 11-6.

Just when you thought the hot seat would get hotter for John Farrell, the Red Sox have won two games in a row. Rick Porcello took the mound Tuesday, and he was matched up against Andrew Cashner, whose performance this season has been somewhat of a surprise. For those anticipating a pitcher’s duel, they left disappointed. Porcello’s start was mediocre at best, as he managed to get through 6.2 innings despite allowing 11 hits while surrendering 5 runs (4 earned). Cashner did even worse, as he allowed five hits and five earned runs in five innings pitched. The Red Sox bullpen limited the damage in 2.1 innings, the only run for the Rangers coming on a Joey Gallo home run served up by Robby Scott, surprisingly. On Porcello, he has been a solid number two starter for most of the season, but I have yet to see him in that Cy Young form from last season.

The Red Sox offense was in control all night, as they had the lead every inning after the first. The offense was highlighted by Pedroia, Bogaerts, and Benintendi, who combined for seven hits and 5 RBIs. While it is good to see Benintendi getting back on track, it’s hard not to be disappointed with Xander Bogaert’s power. He has yet to hit a home run this season. He’s primarily been a singles hitter, about 27 percent of his hits this season have gone for extra bases, that’s it.

Also, it’d be nice if this team hit more home runs, it’s not gonna happen, but it’d be nice.

23 to go, ? to go. 

RECAP: Betts and Bradley go yard as #RedSox begin road trip with 6-3 win.

After a quick weekend series at Fenway against the Rays, the Red Sox hit the road again, starting the road trip against their second opponent from the NL Central in two weeks, that being the St. Louis Cardinals. The game could not have started any better for the Red Sox, with Mookie Betts leading off things in the first with a solo home run, his seventh of the season. With that leadoff homer, Mookie ties Jacoby Ellsbury for most leadoff home runs (10) as a member of the Red Sox. Ever since he got moved up to the leadoff spot last week, Mookie has been killing it at the plate. Over the past seven games, Betts has hit four of his seven home runs, while also being awarded AL Player of the Week. Besides the home run, Mookie also made a great defensive play, throwing out Matt Carpenter at second in the fifth. Jackie Bradley is also getting hot at the right time, collecting two hits, including his third home run of the season.

Eduardo Rodriguez was able to pick up his fifth straight quality start on Tuesday. ERod got off to a good start, pitching the first two innings without allowing a hit. The third inning would be quite different, though. After hitting the pitcher, Lance Lynn, Rodriguez would end up allowing three hits and three runs before getting out of the inning. Other than that, Rodriguez had a great start, finishing up with three shutout innings. The bullpen shut things down after that, Robby Scott, Heath Hembree, and Craig Kimbrel combined to go three innings while only giving up one hit.

This was maybe one of the most complete wins of the season. Sure, they were aided by the Cardinals defensive blunders, and they did only get six hits. But, it really did feel like a solid win, a good start to the six game trip for sure. Also, shout out to Xander Bogaerts for stealing second in the eighth on a very sneaky slide.


Via r/Baseball

20 down, 74 to go. 

 

RECAP: Pomeranz disappoints as #RedSox drop series opener in Milwaukee.

Up until Tuesday night, Drew Pomeranz has been a decent starter at the back-end of the Red Sox rotation. With a decent ERA of 4.00, Pomeranz was looking to put another solid start together against the Milwaukee Brewers. Unfortunately for him, things did not go his away. Pomeranz got rocked in the first inning, surrendering five runs on four hits, including two home runs, one which came off the bat of Eric Thames. The southpaw would settle down after the first though, only giving up one run over the next three innings pitched. Despite limiting the damage after the first, it’s definitely a problem that Pomeranz consistently fails to pitch deep into these games. So far this season, Pomeranz has only pitched six or more innings twice, out of six total starts. I just don’t think he’ll ever live up to any lofty expectations, hopefully Anderson Espinoza doesn’t turn out to be a perennial ace down the road.

The Red Sox bullpen did not help the cause on Tuesday. Fernando Abad, Robby Scott, and Joe Kelly were fine, pitching a combined 2.2 innings while only giving up one hit and zero runs between them. But then you had guys like Heath Hembree and Ben Taylor who sucked last night. Hembree gave up three runs while only recording one out and Ben Taylor gave up two runs while pitching through the seventh. This bullpen is going to need help soon. Other than Craig Kimbrel, it’s been difficult to trust most guys in that bullpen. I don’t know if that help will come in the form of Tyler Thornburg, or Carson Smith, or maybe a mid-season acquisition. I do know that they can’t sustain that level of damage we saw on Tuesday for an extended period of time.

On the bright side of things, the Red Sox offense is actually scoring runs on a consistent basis. Since the game last Friday in Minnesota, the Red Sox are scoring an average of 11.7 runs per game. Mookie Betts continued to get hotter on Tuesday, leading off the game with a solo home run, his fourth of the season. That’s not all Mookie did, though. In the top of the fifth, with Chase d’Arnaud on first, Mookie would double to left, allowing d’Arnaud to score from first. In the eighth, Betts hit another double, this time scoring both Josh Rutledge and Deven Marrero. Since the beginning of the month, Betts is slashing a solid .333/.405/.1.072. Another player who has been impressing recently has to be Andrew Benintendi, who drove in two runs last night, raising his season total to a team-high 22 RBIs. Benintendi actually leads the Red Sox in just about every major offensive stat, pretty crazy for a rookie to do that.

 

17 down, 77 to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox actually get Chris Sale some run support in 5-2 win.

Without a question, Chris Sale has lived up to every expectation that was set upon him before the season. He has been the gold standard of starting pitching, the bona fide ace of this rotation. The only problem with Sale’s starts have been things that he has no control over, like managing and offensive production. On Tuesday though, the Red Sox offense surprisingly helped Sale out by scoring five, count them, five runs. It’s not like Sale needed all those runs, though. Sale set the mood early, striking out seven of the first nine batters he faced. The most dramatic moment of the game came when Sale was on the mound and Manny Machado was at the plate. We all know what’s been going on recently, and Sale continued that trend by zipping a 98 MPH fastball past Machado’s rear end. This caused a warning to be issued to each bench, and Sale actually struck out Machado that same at-bat. Machado would get his revenge though, in the top of the seventh when he took Sale deep to lead off the inning. It was apparent that Machado took his time rounding the bases, and hopefully that doesn’t add any more fuel to this weird fire. Overall, Sale finished with a line of 8 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, and 11 Ks, his fifth consecutive game with 10+ K’s. Craig Kimbrel would come in for the save in the ninth, and that’s exactly what he did, getting the Orioles in order while striking out one.

Like I said, the Red Sox offense actually scored for Chris Sale. The five runs the Red Sox scored in the eight innings Sale pitched is more than they had scored in the previous 38 innings Sale pitched (3). Hanley Ramirez is getting hot, folks. Four home runs in the last four games, including two on Tuesday, is proof that the power is coming back, which is what this offense needs. Mitch Moreland hit another double on Tuesday, giving him his league leading 13th double of the season, so shouts to Mitchy Two Bags. How about JBJ, huh? I love watching him play center field, but he can’t buy a hit right now. Another hitless day has lowered Bradley’s batting average to .184. One of the things I liked about last year’s Red Sox team was the production that came from the bottom of the baiting order. This season though, we got Sandy Leon and JBJ hitting a combined .190, which doesn’t really help this offense. I definitely think Christian Vazquez is capable of taking the reigns of the starting catcher job, but with JBJ, I don’t know if the Red Sox have better options, given the defense he provides.

Now that we’ve talked about the game, let’s talk about what happened after. In the clubhouse, Manny Machado was asked about getting thrown out, and he was not happy about what had happened:

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=19298157

Lot of F bombs in there, and apparently, Machado has lost all respect for the Red Sox organization. So, if you wanted the Red Sox to sign Machado in a few years, I’m sorry, but it’s not going to happen. He’ll probably be wearing pinstripes. When Sale was asked about all this, he responded by saying, “Whatever, man. Not losing sleep tonight.” It will be interesting to see if Buck Showalter, or Machado, or whoever decides to respond to this.

14 down, 80 to go. 

Lastly, it’s not baseball-related but I just wanted to give a shout out to Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas. What he’s been doing in the playoffs has been nothing short of extraordinary, given the circumstances. We just witnessed one of the best playoff performances from a Celtic, 53 points in a double OT win to take a 2-0 series lead over the Wizards. So, keep doing you Isaiah, and stay strong.

Follow @brendan_camp on Twitter

RECAP: Red Sox survive late threat to defeat Blue Jays in series opener.

With Eduardo Rodriguez going on paternity leave for the birth of his first son, 26-year-old lefty Brian Johnson was called up from Pawtucket to make the start today, his first Major League start in nearly two years. Johnson did not get off to a good start, allowing the Blue Jays to score twice in the first. The once prized pitching prospect really never found his rhythm on Tuesday, as the Jays scored off him in the third and once again in the fifth. However, Johnson was able to record his first victory as a Major League pitcher. It’s  been an interesting journey for Johnson, especially in the last year. He spent a lot of time on the disabled list last year with anxiety issues and during one of his starts in Pawtucket this season he was struck in the head with a ball. After winning Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2014, Johnson was able to make his Major League debut with the Red Sox against the Houston Astros in July of 2015. That’s really the last many Red Sox fans have seen of him. After a rough Spring Training in 2017, Johnson started the season with the PawSox yet again. It appears that Johnson won’t be a mainstay in this Red Sox rotation with the eventual return of Eduardo Rodriguez. We’ll have to see how healthy this rotation will stay as I am sure that Johnson or even Kyle Kendrick will be used for spot starts throughout the season.

The Red Sox bullpen did what they had to do until the bottom of the ninth, that’s when things got ugly fast. Heath Hembree came in to relieve Johnson in the sixth and did not allow a run through two innings. Fernando Abad gave up a hit while getting two outs in the eight and Matt Barnes got the last out. With closer Craig Kimbrel being unavailable for today’s game, Barnes would stay out for the ninth. In a 8-4 game, Barnes failed to finish off the Blue Jays. Allowing Russell Martin to score on a Steve Pearce single before giving up a two run home run to pinch-hitter Ezequiel Carrera which made it a 8-7 game. Luckily, Barnes was able to get Devon Travis out on a line drive to Xander Bogaerts. After a strong start to 2017, Barnes had his first hiccup of the season. Hopefully, he can keep those limited with the vital role he has in the bullpen.

We’re a little more than two weeks into the season, and Mookie Betts finally hit his first home run of the season. Mookie’s first bomb of the season did not disappoint as he launched an absolute shot into left field off Blue Jays reliever Joe Smith. Hanley Ramirez almost hit his first home run of the season, unfortunately, it hit the top off the right field wall, but it was an important hit since it drove in Mookie Betts. Mitch Moreland continues to hit the ball at a torrid pace, recording his league leading tenth double of the season. After starting the season 0 for 12 and looking like a flop, Moreland has been tearing the cover off the ball, hitting better than .400 since then. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval arguably had his best game of the season thus far, collecting three hits, including one from the right side of the plate, which is something that rarely happens. Last note on the offense, batters 1-3, Bogaerts, Benintendi, and Betts went a combined 7 for 15 with 3 RBIs and all recording multiple hits. Also, the funniest moment of the game had to be when Hanley made Mitch Moreland wave at the camera in the Red Sox dugout…

9 down, 85 to go. 

RECAP: Pomeranz shines in 2017 debut; Red Sox down Orioles 8-1.

Drew Pomeranz took the mound for his first start of the 2017 season on Tuesday night, and he looked dominant. Giving up ony one run and four hits over 6+ innings while recording six strikeouts is quite impressive. Expectations were very low for Pomeranz, as many were expecting the 28 year-old to get shelled by Baltimore’s lineup. I had Pomeranz starting for my fantasy team yesterday, so I was very impressed with the outing. The only run he gave up came in the top of the 7th and that probably should not have happened. After completing six shutout innings, Pomeranz was sent back out to face Chris Davis. Unfortunately for Pomeranz, Davis was able to get a hit off of him, and that was the last batter he faced. I did not see the point in bringing Pomeranz back out for the seventh, especially if he was just going to face Chris Davis no matter what happened. Despite that, it was a good first step for Pomeranz’s 2017 season. After getting hurt in Fort Myers, Pomeranz was able to silence his doubters while picking up his first career victory at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox offense was actually productive last night, and what do you know, Hanley Ramirez and Xander Bogaerts were back in the lineup. It was a big night for Dustin Pedroia, collecting 4 RBI’s while reaching base twice on two singles. The biggest surprise of the night, though, was Christian Vazquez, who went 4 for 4 with a triple and two RBI’s. Vazquez is not known for his offense, so this was certainly not expected. It will be interesting to see how he builds on this performance in the limited role he has behind Sandy Leon.

The offense did most of their damage in the later innings, scoring a combined six runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Orioles starter Dylan Bundy was putting together a solid performance through six innings, only giving up two runs. Things changed in the bottom of the seventh though. After walking Pablo Sandoval with 1 out, Darren O’Day came in to relieve Bundy. Chris Young reached on an error, Vasquez singled, then Pedroia drove in Sandoval and Young with a single. The scoring concluded after Vazquez scored on an Andrew Benintendi single. In the eighth inning, Orioles reliever Oliver Drake, a Massachussetts native, got rocked for three runs on five hits. Vazquez stayed hot by driving in Bogaerts and Young on a triple, and Pedroia stayed hot (7 game hit streak to start the season) by driving in Vazquez on an RBI single. In the top of the ninth, Joe Kelly took the mound and was able to end the game by pitching a shutout inning.

This may be the best overall game from the 2017 Red Sox thus far. Plenty of scoring, capitalizing on the other team’s mistakes, and solid pitching all around make for a feel-good victory. This team can only get better as they get healthier, the flu has nothing on them.

Oh yeah, Mitch Moreland hit another double by the way, now leads the league with six of them. So, shout out to Mitchy Two Bags.

4 down, 90 to go.