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: #RedSox can only muster one run against Twins in frustrating 4-1 loss.

After winning two consecutive games for the first time in about two weeks, the Red Sox failed to get to three straight wins on Wednesday night. Rick Porcello was outpitched by 24 year-old Adalberto Mejia, a rookie pitcher for the Twins who was only making the eleventh start of his career. Porcello did not have himself an awful night, it wasn’t as good as his last start, but he wasn’t getting hit around or anything like that. He went six innings, allowed six hits and four earned while walking two and K’ing six. The first inning was rough, the Twins scored half of their runs on consecutive RBI hits, and that was it until the sixth. Porcello got into a nice rhythm, limiting the Twins to two hits over the next four innings he pitched. Similar to the first, the sixth inning was rough for Porcello, as a lead-off walk resulted in a two-run blast off the bat of Max Kepler, which doubled the deficit to four runs. Porcello’s day would end after he escaped the sixth without giving up anything else. Despite all the struggles he has gone through in 2017, I will give Porcello these two things;First, the run support he got last year was outstanding, and it simply has not been there for him this season, which I’m sure has some psychological effect on him while he’s on the mound. Secondly, he has consistently gone moderately deep into his starts, as in only one of his seventeen starts has Porcello failed to at least pitch six full innings. So, at the very least, he is limiting some of the workload for the bullpen in his starts.

Speaking of the bullpen, the group of guys who got the call tonight kept the Red Sox in the game over the last three innings. Heath Hembree, Robby Scott, and Matt Barnes combined to only allow the Twins to reach base three times total from the seventh to the ninth.

Like I said in the first few sentences, Twins starter Adalberto Mejia was great in the 5.2 innings he pitched. He didn’t allow a run, and the only run the Red Sox scored came off Tyler Duffey in the seventh. They had plenty of opportunities, leaving a total of eleven runners on base Wednesday night. In the one inning they scored a run they had the bases loaded with only one out, but could only score once on a Xander Bogaerts RBI ground out. It even looked like they could have done something in the ninth, but left the tying run on deck when Bogaerts struck out to end the game.

With David Price starting to come into his own and pitching tomorrow, the Red Sox have a legitimate chance to win their first series since two Sundays ago in Houston.

43 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz and Christian Vazquez lead the way for #RedSox in long 9-2 win.

I live about 20 miles away from Fenway Park, so when I turned on my television around 7, I was surprised to see the game was delayed. That first system that rolled through didn’t really affect me, but it affected Boston, as the game did not start until 8 PM. Drew Pomeranz made the start for the Red Sox, and under unusual circumstances, he had a solid night. The southpaw rolled through the first two innings, retiring all six Twins he faced. After another delay that lasted more than an hour, it was surprising to see him come back out for the third. Although not as sharp as before the delay, Pomeranz got the job done, escaping a few jams along the way to his seventh victory of 2017. The only run he gave up came in the fifth, but great defense from Christian Vazquez limited the damage. This is the third outing in a row where Pomeranz has gone more than five innings while allowing two or fewer earned runs. If he keeps this up, the boost he gives this rotation is huge.

The Red Sox bullpen didn’t have to do much to keep the Twins out of the game. By the time Blaine Boyer took the mound in the sixth, the Red Sox had already built a 6-1 lead. Boyer got hit, but he escaped his two innings of work without giving up a run. Fernando Abad was responsible for the eighth and ninth, and he ended the game while giving up the second run of the game for the Twins.

Offensively, the only starter who didn’t get a hit was Andrew Benintendi, but he still reached base with an intentional walk in the fifth. The big stars of the night, in my opinion, were Christian Vazquez and Chris Young, who accounted for five of the seven runs driven in by Red Sox hitters. Vazquez hit his first home run of the season in the second, a two-run shot that gave them the lead. Chris Young also went deep, blasting his fourth home run of the season in the sixth, a three-run shot that secured this win. Dustin Pedroia also had a noteworthy performance at the plate, recording three hits and reaching base in all four of his at-bats. The Twins bullpen is one of the worst in baseball, and the Red Sox took full advantage of that, scoring seven times in the six innings a Twins reliever was on the mound.

This is the first time in nearly two weeks where the Red Sox have won consecutive games. With two more against the Twins, they can complete their first sweep since they swept the Rangers on May 25th.

Also, the Yankees blew a 3-1 lead they had entering the bottom of the eighth against the White Sox, so the Red Sox now have sole possession of first place.

43 down, ? to go. 

 

RECAP: Chris Sale strikes out nine and Mitch Moreland goes yard again as #RedSox defeat Twins 4-1.

Not gonna lie, this team has kinda just been okay over the past week. A nice weekend in Houston resulted in two straight series losses to inferior teams. Now, the first place Twins come to town looking to separate themselves from the AL Central. They didn’t get a good start to the series though, as Chris Sale made his sixteenth start of the season, and he looked really good. The American League strike out leader pitched into the seventh inning, only allowing four hits and one run while striking out nine on his way to his tenth victory of 2017. The only real mistake Sale made was a solo home run in the third off the bat of Chris Gimenez, which cut the Red Sox lead in half at the time. Other than that though, nothing to complain about from the ace. It looks like Sale will be making his next start on Saturday in Toronto, where he has already thrown eight shutout innings earlier in April.

Stop me if you have heard this before, but the Red Sox bullpen was great once again last night. Heath Hembree got out of a two on, one out jam in the seventh, Matt Barnes struck out the side in the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel notched his twenty-first save of the season. With that save, Kimbrel has now recorded at least one save against all 30 teams in his excellent career.

The bats got things started quickly on Monday, scoring half their runs in the first. Mookie Betts scored on a Xander Bogaerts double play, and for the third straight game, Mitch Moreland hit a home run in his first plate appearance. Those would be the only Red Sox runs until the seventh. The starter for the Twins, Jose Berrios, got off to a rough start, but calmed down after the first and pitched into the seventh. That kid is going to be a stud, by the way. Has to be the best pitcher to start his Major League career with that organization since Johan Santana. He reminds me a lot of the late, great Jose Fernandez as well.

Anyway, Berrios allowed two of the first three batters to reach in th seventh, and he was relieved for Matt Belisle. The first batter he faced, Dustin Pedroia, drove in Sandy Leon on an RBI single. Xander Bogaerts was intentionally walked, and Buddy Boshers came in for Belisle. The first batter he faced, Mitch Moreland, capped off his night by driving in the last run of the game on a sac fly to center.

Pretty solid night on both sides to at least keep that share of first with the Yankees, who are going to beat the White Sox. Also, shout out to Tzu-Wei Lin for recording his first career Major League hit on a bloop single in his first career at-bat.

42 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Chris Young leads the way for #RedSox in 11-1 win.

The day after one of the toughest losses of the season, the Red Sox put on their best offensive perfromance so far in 2017. Rick Porcello was on the bump Saturday, matched up against Nick Tepesch for the Twins. It doesn’t take an expert to know who won this battle. Porcello wasn’t great, wasn’t lights out, but he did his job, limiting the Twins to one run, which came on a Robbie Grossman solo shot in the third inning. Other than this mistake, Porcello managed to scatter six hits over seven innings, all while giving up no walks and striking out seven Twins. With Porcello’s day done after seven innings pitched, Ben Taylor and Fernando Abad would be called on for the eighth and ninth respectively. Combined, the two relievers pitched two shutout innings while just allowing one hit total. This really felt like a 2016 start from Rick Porcello, as he had his way with the Twins lineup most of the time he was pitching. He also got a ton of run support, which is what we’ll dive into next.

With all the scrutiny this offense has received from the fans and media, the Red Sox bats broke out on Saturday. Chris Young got the scoring started with a solo shot off Tepesch in the second, his first of the season. After loading the bases with two outs, Dustin Pedroia would drive in Sandy Leon, Josh Rutledge, and Mookie Betts on a bases-clearing double. Andrew Benintendi would then reach third on a 2 RBI double, which scored Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts. After Tepesch got taken out of the game, Hanley Ramirez would single to left, scoring Benintendi from third. The scoring in the second would conclude after Hanley scored on an RBI double off the bat of Mitchy Two Bags, Mitch Moreland. Chris Young would strike again in the fifth, blasting his second solo shot of the day. In the seventh, the Red Sox would tack on another run with Deven Marrero scoring from second on an RBI double from Josh Rutledge. Sandy Leon would put an exclamation point on the scoring outburst, mashing his second home run of the year to lead off the ninth.

This was honestly one of the most satisfying games of the season for the Red Sox, in my opinion. They pretty much did everything right, with all the runs scored and Porcello’s solid outing. This game should set the tone for the rest of the season. The Red Sox have the capability to be as good as we saw them on Saturday for the entire season. With the good news coming in about David Price, you’d like to see this team go on a run in the next few weeks. With tomorrow’s game deciding who the series goes to, we should be treated to a pitching delight. Chris Sale vs. Ervin Santana, 3rd in the AL in ERA vs. 1st in the AL in ERA, should be a good one.

16 down, 78 to go. 

RECAP: Joe Mauer hits his first career walk-off home run as #RedSox lose 4-3.

I’ll make this brief. I’m writing this on a Friday night, and I’m gonna be pretty busy the next six days, so, keep that in mind.

It turns out that Eduardo Rodriguez may be a legitimate starter, whoa. After giving up two runs in the first, which weren’t really his fault, ERod limited the Twins to four hits and zero runs over the next four innings. Rodriguez would be taken out in the sixth, failing to record an out while allowing a triple to Eddie Rosario. Joe Kelly would come in to relieve Erod, and he got the first two outs while allowing Rosario to score off a Joe Mauer double. Robby Scott would finish the inning, pitch the eighth, and get the first out in the ninth. Matt Barnes would then record the second out. With Joe Mauer at the plate, Barnes lost the matchup by serving up a nice home run to the veteran first baseman. Instead of going with Kimbrel, John Farrell made the decision to go with Barnes and paid dearly for it.

The Red Sox offense sucked up until the very end on Friday night. Before that, the only run they scored came on Andrew Benintendi’s fourth home run of the season, which came in the top of the third. With one out int the eighth, Chris Young came in the game to pinch hit for Christian Vazquez, and he came up clutch with a game-tying double that drove in Deven Marrero and Josh Rutledge. This offense really stinks, man. They made Phil Hughes look much better then he actually was. They need a spark of some kind. I mean, I’d eventually like to see Chase d’Arnaud play eventually, that would be nice. I’ve already voiced my opinion on acquiring a guy like Mike Moustakas. I don’t know, try offering David Ortiz a stake in ownership if he comes back? What I do know is that Jackie Bradley, Jr. is in a major slump, and should probably sit for a few days.

15 down, 79 to go.