RECAP: Chris Young homers twice, Eduardo Nunez once as #RedSox complete sweep of White Sox.

What a Sunday it was. Got to Fenway early, saw Chris Sale toss a bullpen, and walked all across the park. I’ve been to six games this year, and I’ve seen six different starting pitchers, which is a first. I also got to see Yoan Moncada for the first time on Sunday, which was great as well. Doug Fister made the start, coming off his best start in a Red Sox uniform last Monday. After a 1-2-3 first inning, Fister had a much more difficult time in the second, where the White Sox got four straight hits to start the inning and scored three times by the time the third out was recorded. It was discouraging at the time since Fister just gave up the lead, but he was solid from the fourth on. With one out and a runner on first, Fister was removed and greeted with a standing ovation for his performance. Addison Reed came in to the game, and ended the inning while striking out one. Matt Barnes pitched a shutout eighth, and Craig Kimbrel notched his 27th save of the season while pitching a scoreless ninth. So, the bullpen has looked great lately and Doug Fister definitely earned another start.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox offense got things started early. Eduardo Nunez and Chris Young both hit solo home runs in the first. In the third, Chris Young did it again with an RBI double, scoring Andrew Benintendi and tying the game. After not scoring in the fourth, Chris Young did it AGAIN with a three-run home run, scoring Sandy Leon and Benintendi, untying the game, and securing the win.

The Red Sox finish the home stand with a 7-2 record, including six in a row. After a day off on Monday, Chris Sale makes the start in Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Also… last loss was about a week agoooooo.

63 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: JBJ and Andrew Benintendi both go deep as #RedSox win fifth straight.

The Red Sox have not lost a game since Sunday, which was the last time Drew Pomeranz made a start. On Saturday night, Pomeranz put together another solid performance against an AL Central team. After a leadoff home run, Pomeranz did not allow anything, scattering seven hits and a walk over 6.1 IP while striking out eight. There were times where it looked like the White Sox could score a few, but Pomeranz got out of everything until the seventh, when Blaine Boyer came in with one out in the inning. Boyer finished the inning with a double play, then faced the minimum in the eighth with the help of Andrew Benintendi and Brock Holt. With a three run lead in the ninth, Craig Kimbrel entered the game and was absolutely electric.

So, he hit a guy, did this, struck out two, and got the save, his 26th of the season. Back to Pomeranz, he got his eleventh win, lowered his ERA to 3.36, and looks like a legit number two guy in this rotation.

The lineup only produced five hits on Saturday, but that’s all it takes sometimes to beat bad teams like the White Sox. Old friend James Shields was on the bump for the ChiSox, and he was not all that bad. Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. both hit two-run home runs in the first two innings, giving the Red Sox a 4-0 lead and all they needed to secure the win.

Unfortunately, the Yankees won last night so the division lead remains at three. Still, five straight wins is great, and Doug Fister will look to finish the week undefeated against the White Sox today. I’ll be at Fenway, so I’m excited for it.

62 down, ? to go. 

 

RECAP: Mitch Moreland delivers walk-off home run as #RedSox win fourth straight.

The day after the Red Sox scored nine runs, I was expecting more than three on Friday night. Eduardo Rodriguez made the start, and he looked as good as he has since he returned from the disabled list last month. He ran into some trouble in the fourth, allowing two runs to score, but he limited the damage after that. Finishing with a final line of 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB’s and 5 K’s, Erod will look to maintain this level of success next time out against the Rays or Yankees. In relief, the bullpen was not perfect, but they did not allow a single run again. Addison Reed, Matt Barnes, Craig Kimbrel, Brandon Workman, and Heath Hembree combined to pitch five shutout innings, striking out seven in the process. It looked like Kimbrel was going to give the White Sox the lead in the ninth, but a great play by Christian Vazquez and 100 MPH heat from Kimbrel kept that from happening. It also looked like the White Sox could have taken the lead in the eleventh, but a great effort from both Hembree and Rafael Devers kept that from happening.

Scoring wise, not a lot was going on for the Red Sox against Carlos Rodon. Chris Young drove in Devers in the fifth and Eduardo Nunez left the yard in the sixth, but that’s all they could get off Rodon. It wasn’t until the eleventh when the Red Sox scored again, when Mitch Moreland, who was a defensive replacement, blasted one over the Monster with two outs, giving his team their fourth straight win.

I believe out of their last nine wins, five have been walk-offs, which creates a unique vibe with this team. The funny thing is, the guy who gave up the winning run’s last name is Bummer, so you could say that it was a real bummer for the White Sox last night. The Yankees also lost last night, and they have lost four in a row, giving the Red Sox a three game lead in the division.

Drew Pomeranz is on the mound tonight with the opportunity to take this series before it’s even over.

61 down, ? to go. 

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: Drew Pomeranz pitches seven quality innings; #RedSox take series with 4-1 win.

After his awful start in Oakland and an argument with the manager, things weren’t looking all that great for Drew Pomeranz. Ever since he came here last July, it’s been a disappointing experience, riddled with mediocre and pretty bad starts. But, over his past two starts against the Rangers and White Sox, Pomeranz has looked like the guy that made the NL All Star team last season. The 28 year-old southpaw pitched into the seventh inning for the first time this season Wednesday night, going a total of seven innings while scattering seven hits, surrendering one run, and striking out eight. Over his last two outings, Pomeranz has pitched 13 innings, given up 11 hits, 3 earned runs, only walked one batter, all while striking out 19 total batters. With a healthy David Price returning to the rotation along with this version of Drew Pomeranz, this rotation has the potential to be lethal, one of the best in baseball. The Red Sox bullpen didn’t need to do much last night, as Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel finished the White Sox off. Barnes got them in the eighth, and Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth, picking up his fifteenth save of the season.

Offensively, the Red Sox bats couldn’t do anything against journeyman starter Mike Pelfrey Wednesday night. Through the first five innings, the Red Sox reached base a total of four times, that’s it. Apparently Pelfrey has awful numbers when he faces a lineup for a third time, so the White Sox took him out after five. That decision really benefited the Red Sox, as they scored all four of their runs in the sixth. After loading the bases with only one out, Josh Rutledge got his chance to give his team the lead. Unfortunately, he grounded out to short, but the double play was avoided thanks to Rutledge’s speed, and that tied the game at 1. Pablo Sandoval would be next, and he drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single. After getting the lead, Christian Vazquez almost immediately increased that lead, driving in Rutledge and Sandoval on a double to left center. That would conclude the scoring for the Red Sox in Chicago. I mean, it’s not all that encouraging that the Red Sox could only score in one inning, but I’ll take it, especially since they took two out of three from the White Sox.

Next up, the Orioles in Baltimore. Four games against a team that just had an awful May. ERod, Porcello, Price, and Sale are all expected to pitch, so I think 3 out of 4 would be a nice goal to reach.

29 down, ? to go. 

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: David Price makes strong 2017 debut; #RedSox drop tough one in Chicago 5-4.

After winning six in a row, it looked like this Red Sox team had started to find their way as a whole. Well, now the Red Sox have hit another snag, dropping their second consecutive game on Memorial Day. This game had plenty of hype beforehand, and that was because David Price, the $31 million dollar man, was making his first start of the 2017 season. For someone who has not faced Major League batters since last October, Price was mostly good throughout the 5 innings he pitched. Like I said yesterday, I was expecting the worst for Price, and many people were, but I was thoroughly impressed with what I saw from the 2012 Cy Young Award winner. He really only got into trouble in the third inning, when he walked two of the first three hitters he faced. Melky Cabrera would come up to the plate next, and he took full advantage of Price, taking him yard to left center, driving in three, and giving the White Sox a 3-1 lead. Price would go on to pitch two more innings, getting taken out after five full with only 88 pitched because of a pitch limit. So, the bullpen was responsible for the last three innings of the game, and they had a one run lead to work with. Joe Kelly walked one while pitching a shutout sixth, and he was relieved by Matt Barnes, who was awful. Barnes gave up three hits and two earned runs, which gave the White Sox a 5-4 lead, and that would be the final score. Blaine Boyer made his second appearance for the Red Sox, and he retired the White Sox in order to end the eighth inning. The biggest takeaway pitching wise is obviously David Price’s strong return to this rotation. Sale, Price, Porcello, and even Rodriguez could really be something special if they all pitch the way they are capable of. Another thing I took away from this loss is the bullpen. Yesterday it was Hembree, today it was Barnes. Two guys John Farrell relies on heavily in key situations. With the returns of Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg still being question marks, these guys need to pitch on a more consistent basis.

Offensively, the Red Sox were flat for the second game in a row, only recording four hits on the afternoon. They got the first run in this one, which usually results in wins, but that didn’t help on Monday. Xander Bogaerts drove in the first run of the game, hitting a sac fly that allowed Mookie Betts to score from third. After not scoring in the second and third, two more runs crossed the plate in the fourth. The first coming when Hanley Ramirez scored on a Christian Vazquez double, the second coming on a Jackie Bradley Jr. ground out, which scored Sam Travis from third. The final run the Red Sox scored, which was the go-ahead run at the time, came in the fifth, when Mookie Betts drilled one out barely over the left field wall, his fifteenth of the season. Seeing Mookie going 2 for 4 on Monday was definitely encouraging to see. It was kind of a weird game for substitutions, since the Red Sox made plenty of them. Dustin Pedroia had to leave the game early with a wrist issue, and he was replaced by Josh Rutledge. I just saw that he is heading back to Boston for an MRI, so that’s discouraging. Sam Travis only played like the first four or five innings, he was defensively replaced by Mitch Moreland. It was also interesting to see Sandy Leon, a .240 hitter this season, pinch hit for Deven Marrero in the ninth. That move didn’t work, to nobody’s surprise.

If you really want to be an optimist, you can take Price’s performance and say this game was a positive. But, I’m looking at it more like this team is heading back down to earth after that win streak. I wouldn’t be surprised if Farrell’s on the hot seat again in one-two weeks.

27 down, ? to go.