RECAP: Mookie Betts saves the day; #RedSox defeat Cardinals 5-4.

Tuesday night was fun, last night started out pretty bad, then it got really fun. This game looked like a lost cause going into the ninth, then things got a whole lot better. With all the frustration and excitement, we also got a great ceremonial first pitch out of it.

Eduardo Rodriguez was making the start for the Red Sox, coming off a solid start aginst the Yankees last Friday where he deserved a W. The bullpen let him down in that one, but this time out, the bullpen kept the Red Sox in the game. ERod retired the Cardinals after facing four batters in the fourth, unfortunately, the second inning was nothing like this. With the first four batters all reaching, the Cardinals went on to score all four of their runs in the inning. They could have had five, but Jackie Bradley Jr’s cannon prevented that from happening.

If you look at his final line, 5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 K, and 6 K’s, then you’re probably thinking, “Not great, could’ve been better.” Well, you would be somewhat correct but things could have gotten a whole lot worse. Luckily, ERod rebounded after that second inning and was able to pitch into the sixth.

With one out in the sixth, Matt Barnes was inserted into the game. He struck out the only two batters he faced in the inning, then pitched a scoreless seventh while surrendering one hit. Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel were both used after that, and they both pitched scoreless innings. So, the bullpen definitely did their job keeping the lineup in the game.

On the other side of things, Lance Lynn looked a whole lot better than Mike Leake did the other night. The only runs the Red Sox got off him came in the second, on a Eduardo Nunez RBI single and a sac fly from Mookie Betts, that cut the lead in half. That’s all they got off Lynn though, but they did miss on a good amount of scoring chances. The Cardinals bullpen wasn’t as good though, and that’s where the Red Sox did most of their damage. Seung Hwan Oh and Tyler Lyons both pitched scoreless innings, then things got messy in the Cardinals bullpen. Trevor Rosenthal was first up in the ninth, and he served up a solo home run to Xander Bogaerts and a walk to Mitch Moreland before exiting. Zach Duke would be next, and he allowed another walk, to JBJ, while also striking out Brock Holt. So, he exited the game in favor of John Brebbia, and this is where the momentum shifted. A long pause before pitching to Eduardo Nunez caused an uproar from the Cardinals bench, which led to Mike Matheny getting ejected. A pop out from Nunez paved the way for Mookie Betts. On a 3-2 pitch, which was extremely important to the outcome of this game, Mookie lined a double off the Monster, driving in Chris Young as the tying run and JBJ as the winning run.

A wild win to say the least. I did not expect Xander Bogaerts to go deep in the ninth, and I did not expect the Red Sox to win this game back in the seventh inning. But, they kep finding a way, which is important since the Yankees have won three in a row.

A day off today before welcoming in those Yankees for three games over the weekend. Drew Pomeranz, Chris Sale, and Doug Fister or Rick Porcello are lined up for this series, should be a good one.

69 (NICE) down, 26 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. 

 

RECAP: Sale dominates, Devers goes yard, and the #RedSox end their losing streak with a 4-0 win.

I’ll be honest, I don’t feel great today so this is going to be really short, apologies.

Chris Sale looked great, seven shutout innings, eleven strikeouts, great. Blaine Boyer was not great in his first appearance since he got hurt, which led to Craig Kimbrel entering the game in a save situation. He struck out the only two batters he faced. Since the beginning of the road trip last Friday, Sale has held his opponents to zero runs over his last thirteen innings, and the only wins the Red Sox got on this trip came when he was pitching.

Offensively, the Red Sox scored in the second, third, and fourth inning. Mitch Moreland drove in Hanley Ramirez on a sac-fly in the second, Rafael Devers hit his first career home run in the third, and Sandy Leon scored JBJ along with himself with his sixth home run of the season in the fourth. That Devers home run was also his first career hit as well, so it was a special day for the rookie as well. Also, Yoan Moncada and Lewis Brinson got their first career home runs yesterday. The rookies were feeling it yesterday and the Red Sox ended the west coast trip with a win. David Price pitches tomorrow, and I’m interested to see how the fans will react when Price takes the mound.

56 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: #RedSox drop fourth in a row in another marathon game.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stay up to watch the end of this game. I fell asleep around 2, woke up at 4, realized I missed the end of the game, and checked my phone only to be disappointed with what I saw. The Red Sox love playing long games, it would be better if they won more of them.

Drew Pomeranz was matched up against King Felix, who like James Paxton has had a pretty solid month of July. Pomeranz looked like his old self really, in terms of the pitch count, but he himself did not have a bad start. He made one mistake pitch in the second inning, a pitch that resulted in a three-run shot off the bat of Miguel Heredia. Other than that though, he did not give up any runs. The four walks in five innings weren’t great, but he did manage to strike out seven as well. All and all, not to blame for the loss, that would go on the bullpen. First off, Heath Hembree gave up the tying run in the seventh. Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, and Craig Kimbrel combined to pitch three innings without giving up a run, then came Doug Fister. He got through the eleventh and twelfth without giving up anything, then the thirteenth happened. With two outs, a wild pitch scored the tying run, then Jean Segura drove in the go-ahead run, giving the Mariners the win. Since his solid debut at Fenway, Fister has gotten progressively worst, going from the rotation, to the bullpen, back in the rotation. and back to the bullpen. In a Red Sox uniform, Fister owns an ERA of 7.46, so it may not be much longer until he is Designated For Assignment.

It looked like Felix Hernandez was about to go on and do what James Paxton did the night before, as he only allowed one run in the first four innings, that being Hanley Ramirez’s seventeenth homer of the season. Dustin Pedroia tied things up in the sixth, driving in Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi on a two-run double to left field. Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in Dustin Pedroia who did represent the go-ahead run at that time with an RBI single. It was surprising to see King Felix struggle the way he did, but the Mariners bullpen did a solid job of keeping the Red Sox in check. Hanley Ramirez scored in the thirteenth on a Sandy Leon single. That should have won the game right there, but Doug Fister happened.

A few things to take away from this game are Rafael Dever’s debut and the fact that the Red Sox acquired Eduardo Nunez from the Giants for two pitching prospects. Devers failed to record a hit in his debut, but he did reach base twice and looked like he could handle himself at third. There’s a lot of speculation that Devers will get sent back down now that Nunez is here, but I could see both of them being on the 25-man roster simultaneously since Nunez can play all over the field.

Today just happens to be Sale Day, and the Red Sox have not won a game since his last start Friday in Anaheim.

55 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Xander Bogaerts makes final case for All-Star selection; #RedSox drop finale in Texas 8-2.

Well, that’s one way to end a winning streak. Doug Fister, who was more than likely making his last start for the Red sox for the forseeable future, had his worst start of his short season. The 33 year-old failed to finish the fourth inning while allowing nine total to reach base. The Rangers scored six times off of Fister, four of those runs being earned. Despite having a great first inning, Fister could not avoid the long ball, giving up a two-run shot in the second and then a solo shot in the third. After loading the bases with no outs, Fister gave up three more runs while getting two outs before Robby Scott would come in as relief. Scott had his second off night in a row, hitting two batters in a row at one point and allowing two runs to score while pitching one and one thirds innings on Wednesday. Fernando Abad, Heath Hembree, and Matt Barnes would finish things up for the pitching staff, each throwing a scoreless inning. In his three starts with the Red Sox, Fister has been okay, but he has also gotten progressively worse. With that in mind, I am interested to see what he can provide out of the bullpen and what Eduardo Rodriguez can do in Fister’s spot after the All-Star break.

The bats could barely do anything off of Andrew Cashner Wednesday night. Their first hit of the game took until the sixth to happen. In his last game before final voting ends, Xander Bogaerts made a lasting impression by mashing his sixth home run of the season, which cut the Rangers lead to six. Surprisingly, the Rangers bullpen needed to pitch two innings to get the win, but the Red Sox could get nothing off of either pitcher. When Tzu-Wei Lin can’t reach base, you know it’s not gonna be your night.

Chris Sale makes the start later today against a team that can hit it out of the park. Last series before the break, good time to build up that division lead. Vote for Xander!

redsox.com/vote

49 down, ? to go. 

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 surprisingly not to blame as #RedSox end road trip with 6-4 loss.

Who would have thought that the Red Sox bullpen, not Drew Pomeranz, would be who to put the blame on for another tough loss? Well, that’s what happened this afternoon. Pomeranz was not half bad, pitching into the seventh inning for the second start in a row. The only runs the Royals scored off of the southpaw were pretty cheap honestly, a GIDP that scored one in the second, and a sac fly that scored the other in the third. Five strikeouts for Pomeranz too, whose ERA is down to 4.07. The silver lining in this loss was probably Pomeranz, who needs to step up with all the injuries within the rotation. It looks like Drew will be making his next start against the Twins next Tuesday, another chance to lower that ERA.

Like the first sentence says, the bullpen was mostly awful today as they blew the lead and the game. Joe Kelly came in to relieve Pomeranz in the seventh, and despite loading the bases, he got out of the inning. Matt Barnes got the ball for the eighth, and he walked the only two batters he faced. Robby Scott came in, gave up a walk, then served up the go-ahead grand slam to Salvador Perez, who hit that ball with Miguel Cabrera’s bat.

Love that guy… Anyway, Heath Hembree would have to be thrown in the game to bail out the bullpen and stop the Royals bats, and that’s what he did in getting all three outs in the inning. Listen, I like Matt Barnes, he’s a pretty good guy to have out of the pen, but I just don’t think his purpose is to be the setup guy, the eighth inning guy. Last year, you had Koji, Tazawa, and Ziegler later on, so Barnes was really never needed in that role. Dave Dombrowski went ahead over the winter and made a trade with the Brewers for one of 2016’s best relievers, Tyler Thornburg. Well, he’s not going to play this season, and that setup man is still a question until we see what Carson Smith can be. Barnes will probably still pitch in those situations, because it seems like Manager John loves seeing him pitch there.

Offensively, the Red Sox only scored in two innings. They could have won the game with just these runs, but still. Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts mashed back to back solo home runs in the fourth, the tenth for Benny and the fifth for X. In the fifth, Christian Vazquez scored on a Mookie Betts sac fly and Deven Marrero scored from third on a failed pick-off attempt with Mitch Moreland at the plate. Not much to say about the offense today, Xander Bogaerts was the only guy in the lineup who reached more than once. Also, I know he only got one PA, but I just want to point out the fact that Hanley Ramirez’s BA has fallen to .239 and his Slugging % is only at .394, compare that to last year when he finished with a Slugging % of .505. He’s obviously not the guy to blame for the loss, but just wanted to put that information out there.

A 4-4 road trip is far from awful, but you can look at some recent losses as games that got away. At this point last year, the Red Sox had the same record as they do now, 40-32. If you visit Red Sox Twitter, many think this team could be better if Torey Lovullo was at the helm with how good the DBacks have been this year. Me? I think it’s tough to compare two teams in different divisions, not to mention different leagues. This Red Sox team could have a better record now, or they could make an impressive run over the summer. No team is running away with this division, patience is key.

To conclude, let me be the first to wish you a happy David Ortiz number retirement ceremony weekend. Three at home after the off day against a Trout-less Angels team, should be easy enough to take at least two out of three.

40 down, ? to go.