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Red Sox 7 Athletics 3
The Red Sox overcome a rough first outing of 2018 from Drew Pomeranz to beat the Oakland Atheltics on Friday night in the first game of a three game series. Pomeranz gave up three earned runs in the first inning and lasted a total of three and two-thirs innings. He walked two batters. He did however strike out seven Athletics which is encouraging.
Jackie Bradley Jr. pushed along the Red Sox offense by knocking in three runs. Hanley Remirez had two hits and Eduardo Nunez ad three hits on the evening.
Red Sox 8 Angels 2
The Red Sox completed the sweep of the LA Angeles on Thursday night to improve to 16-2 on the season. The beat goes on and the winning streak stays alive. Eduardo Rodriguez earned the win for the Red Sox as e went six complete innings and gave up two earned runs. EROD struck out five Angels but did walk three batters as well. He seems to be gradually finding a groove and on an upward trajectory which is great news for fans of the Boston Red Sox.
Rafael Devers added three more hits and knocked in three runs. Andrew Benintendi knocked in three runs with two hits. JD Martinez banged out three hits and Mookie Betts had another 2/5 night as he continues his campaign for AL MVP.
The Red Sox head to Oakland now to face the Athletics. The series against the Atheltics in Oakland could give us a great glimpse into this Red Sox starting rotation. Drew Pomeranz is set to make his 2018 debut on Friday night when he faces Kendall Gravemen. Pomeranz was a huge piece of the success the Red Sox had in 2017 and he can add a ton of depth to this already deep Red Sox pitching staff. Chris Sale goes on Saturday and David Price goes on Sunday. Not too shabby when yor two weekend starters are both Cy Young caliber pitchers that are currently in a very nice groove.
Bogaerts Recovery Tabbed As "Great" By Cora
Perhaps overlooked given the sizzling Red Sox failure to lose a game without him, the rehab progress of shortstop Xander Bogaerts continues unabated. On tuesday of this week prior to the Angels game the shortstop did some running, took infield practice, and took batting practice.
By all accounts it appears as though Bogy's recovery from the ankle injury is going nicely. There is no set time or game for his return to action. The turf surface in Toronto is a factor to definitely consider. Perhaps he will return after the series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Red Sox 9 Angels 0
The Boston Red Sox again mauled the LA Angels en route to a 9-0 beating on Wednesday night to improve to 15-2 on the season. The Red Sox jumped on the Angels early and often and never looked back.
Rick Porcello gave the Red Sox six excellent innings of work. Porcello did not give up a run or walk a batter. He gave up six hits and struck out six Angels. The bullpen took over from there.
Mitch Moreland and Rafael Devers both knocked in four runs on the night. JD Martinez knocked out four hits in the game. Mookie Betts added two more hits to his amazing season he has going thus far.
This game provided another example of the Red Sox strategic plan for their starting rotation working perfectly. This risks sounding like cheerleading but this plan simply could not have gone any better thus far. Red Sox starting pitchers are routinely giving solid, efficient efforts that tend to last no more than six innings. The bullpen takes over from there.
Wait, there's more. The Red Sox still have Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright working their way back to pitching in the major leagues. Neither is a Cy Young caliber pitcher, but both are proven MLB players. This puts the Red Sox in a stnningly excellent position at this point of the season.
Red Sox 10 Angels 1
The Boston Red Sox pounded the LA Angels of Anaheim 10-1 on Tuesday night to improve to 14-2 on the season. The Red Sox offense blasted out 15 hits and jumped on the Angels early in this ballgame and subsequently cruised to an easy victory.
David Price went five innings and only gave up one earned run to earn the victory. Price only gave up three hits but he did walk four batters. David Price struck out six Angels. The four walks is certainly concerning but we already know control is not an issue Price has ever been challeneged with. The main points here from Tuesday night are that Price was helthy, got a win for the team, and he only had to pitch just five innings again.
Mookie Betts sizzled with a 3-3 night and knocked in three runs. Betts blasted three home runs in this game and has now accomplished that feat three times in hs your and burgeoning career. Jackie Bradley Jr. had three hits as well. Brock Holt and Christian Vazquez each chipped in with two hits. Rafael Devers had two more hits and knocked in a run.
Red Sox Angeles Pitching Matchups
The Red Sox start a three game series out West in Anaheim on Tuesday evening. Game 1 features a matchup between David Price of the Red Sox and Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Game 2 squares up Rick Porcello and Tyler Skaggs. Game 3 features Eduardo Rodriguez and Nick Tropeano.
Plenty of folks seem highly cocnerned with what exactly happened to Price the other night in the frigid cold versus the Yankees. There are accusations of Price "tapping out". Who cares! The man felt a tingling and twinge and he got himself out of there. He is set to start Tuesday night so the only thing that matters is if he is healthy and ready to go right now and moving forward. Maybe he doesn't care for the intense cold and if so again . . . . . who cares!
EROD bounced back from a rough outing to toss a nice game his second time out. It will be interesting to see if he can package together some solid spins and that will be on display Thursday in Anaheim.
AL East Standings
1. Boston 13-2
2. Toronto 9-5
3. New York 7-7
4. Baltimore 5-11
5. Tampa 3-12
Don't sleep on the NY Yankees just yet . . . . . or over. Obviously the Boston Red Sox are simply on fire. It seems like they can't lose. A lot of things are working very well for the Red Sox. We don;t expect the Red Sox to tank by any means, but we caution against assuming the Yankees are basically middle of the pack and mediocre.
The NY Yankees are 7-7 currently. Stanton is setting records for strikeouts. Ole Sabathia is injured. If you put yourself in the shoes of a Yankees fan it could actually be a lot worse. the reality however is that it is not. 7-7 is not the end of the world. It's still mid-April and we are still playing baseball in outdoor pond hockey weather, so there is a ton of baseball left in 2018. Stay vigilant.
Betts Captures Essence of Change Of Approach
Just take a look at how Mookie Betts is tearing the cover off of the ball (injury notwithstading which btw benefits from today's rainout). Mookie is clearly more aggressive this season and just up there winging it and having fun. Whatever statistics and algorithms manfufactured and manipulated by data crunching computer techno monsters and relayed to the field last year by the Red Sox seemingly have exited the brains of Red Sox hitters. This is the biggest change and most important change from last season. Was that due to John Farrell or Red Sox Baseball Operations? Who knows and who cares at this point.
Hopefully this approach continues on. Leading the league in number of pitches seen and how deep you work the count has not consistently proven to be a drivig factor in World Series titles. here's to hoping this Red Sox team continues to swing the bats often and aggressively.
Red Sox 3 Orioles 1
The Red Sox outlasted the Orioles on Sunday in a bone chillingly cold game that did manage to avoid the rains and snow. There have been some real doozies this Spring in terms of bad April weather games at Fenway Park, but this one took the cake. This was ridiculously cold for baseball and the attrendance certainly verified that. Freeze at Fenway Park or watch the Celtics and Red Sox from the comfort of your couch? Easy decision.
Chris Sale went five innings giving up one earned run and striking out 8 Orioles. Hembree, Barnes, and Kimbrel cleaned up the remainder of the game.
Tzu-Wei Lin picked up another two hits for the Red Sox. Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland both collected three hits each.
Betts Out, JBJ leads Off, Make It Quick
It looks like they will attempt to get this game in today at Fenway Park. The weather calls for a 40% or more chance of rain starting after 2PM. Chris Sale is on the hill for the Red Sox. Can he zip through a quick game to try and make this game official before any major rain comes through?
Mookie Betts is out with the foot issue we mentioned yesterday. JBJ will lead off for this sizzling hot Red Sox offense.
Healthy Hanley Raking
Whether it is the option year, some TB12 dieting, or whatever it is . . . . . Red Sox just want to see Hanley Ramirez keep raking and remain consistent. Hanley is tearing the cover off the ball so far in 2018. After another monster day on Saturday here are his stats:
.357 BA, 2HR, 12 RBI
AL East Standings
1. Boston 12-2
2. Toronto 9-5
3. New York 7-7
4. Baltimore 5-10
5. Tampa 3-11
Red Sox 10 Orioles 3
The Red Sox buried the Orioles early and often on Saturday at Fenway Park to race out to a 12-2 record and the best start to a season in franchise history. There are games scheduled for Sunday and Monday and both days face some serious weather concerns. Monday looks ugly and Sunday is iffy but certainly possible for a baseball game.
Hector Velazquez gave the Boston Red Sox a solid five innings of baseball today and both Joe Kelly and Walden were excellent out of the bullpen. The bats were rocking again today for the Red Sox.
Hanley Ramirez stayed red hot and blasted a home run among his two hits and three RBI. JD Martinez smacked three hits and knocked in two runs. Tzu-Wei Lin started again at shortstop and got another cuple of hits.
The Red Sox continue to roll along and beat these teams they should beat and rack up wins. Chris Sale goes tomorrow and the Red Sox will look to keep it rolling. Things are going very well so far.
One major potential setback from Saturday was the Mookie Betts injury. Betts jammed up his foot and knee in a collission at home plate in the first inning. Xrays were negative but we may see Betts sitting out the Sunday and Monday game if both are played before hitting the road.
Red Sox 7 Orioles 3
The Red Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioes on Friday night at Fenway Park 7-3 in front of a packed house. The story of the night is Eduardo Rodriguez and a big sign of relief. In EROD's first start back from another injury he struck out the side in the first inning. Everything looked amazing . . . . and then he unraveled.
On Friday night Rodriguez maintained command throughout. He gave the Red Sox six innings of five hit ball while fanning eight Orioles. He walked two and surrendered one run.
Eduardo Nunez knocked in three runs and Rafael Devers stayed hot knocking around three hits on the night.
Rafael Devers Stats: .271 BA, 1 HR, 10 RBI
Red Sox and Orioles Pitching Matchups
The Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles will square off in a four game set at warmer than before but not yet cozy Fenway Park. The series also includes the traditional Monday 11AM game connected to Patriots Day.
The first game of the series on Friday night features a duel between Chris Tillman and Eduardo Rodriguez. EROD came back from injury last weekend and looked like he would cruise right through the Rays. He ended up encountering trouble and walking batters in a short stint. Red Sox fans are likely saying “oh no, here we go again” regarding Rodriguez. He is somewhat of a tease. He’s battled injuries and especially that knee while flashing signs of immense talent. Fans are wondering when is it all going to come together? Down in Florida rehabbing EROD earned rave reviews from teammates and coaches and he was all pumped up about getting back to the big leagues. We will keep you posted on his progress.
The second game of this series matches up Alex Cobb of the Orioles and Hector Velazquez of the Red Sox. Velazquez was an unknown entity coming in but has looked sharp rounding out this plump Red Sox starting pitching staff.
Chris Sale will face Dylan Bundy in the third game of this series on Sunday. Brian Johnson goes for the Red Sox on Monday against Andrew Cashner.
AL East Standings
1. Boston 10-2
2. Toronto 8-5
3. New York 6-7
4. Baltimore 5-8
5. Tampa 3-9
Red Sox 6 Yankees 3
Inside rain soaked Fenway Park the Boston Red Sox held on to defeat the NY Yankees 6-3 and conclude a three game series by taking 2/3 ballgames versus the Bronx Bombers. Rick Porcello got the victory and gave the Red Sox seven strong innings of baseball. Porcello gave up just two hits, walked none, and struck out six Yankee batters in an excellent overall performance.
The Red Sox host the Orioles now and perhaps will experience a warmer Fenway Park. The offense was spread around with Benintendi, Moreland, and Nunez each smacking a couple of hits. Betts nabbed two more RBI.
The four game set with the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park starts Friday night.
At the risk of jinxing him . . . . . it sure looks like Rick Porcello has regained some Cy Young form with that sinker and his confidence and vibe. Yes it is early but check out these numbers. Porcello is 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA so far this season. One win is against the vaunted Yankee lineup. He has merely one walked issued and 17 strikeouts. Very impressive stuff!
Mookie Betts Stats - .370 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI
Shortstop - Who's it Going To Be?
Without being overly negative let's just assume Xander Bogaerts is out longer than the 10-14 days given initially by the team. Who will be getting most of the time at shortstop?
Tzu-Wei Lin was summoned from Pawtucket and the guy most believe is the best middle infielder defensively on the Boston Red Sox (to include the injured Pedroia). The argument of course is that Brock Holt gives the Red Sox more upside offensively, but is that even true? How much more offense does Holt give than Lin? We don't really know for sure. Let's get Lin out there at SS and see what he's got.
David Price Injury Update
A little bit more information is starting to flow out regarding the David Price injury. Some quotes from the lefty starter after the game in the locker room could lead one to believe it isn't that serious.
Price said his arm felt great and he had no pain when he went through all the testing with the doctors in the locker room. he kept emphasizing that he had a numbness and sensation in his fingers that would not go away. He stated that he was confused and didn't know what was going on so exiting the game was the best course of action.
We will remain on alert for any additional updates.
Yankees 10 Red Sox 7
The New York Yankees stood up firnly on Wednesday night and delivered some blows to the Boston Red Sox in what will undoubtedly be a dogged fight the entire season. There was even a bench clearing brawl in this game.
The Yanks mauled David Price imediately in the first inning. Price left with an apparent injury that was tabbed tingling in his hand. We will wait and see where that goes. Price, so dominant thus far in 2018, gave up three hits, two walks, and four earned runs in that one inning. Let's hope it is nothig serious.
JD Martinez clubbed a grand slam so that was nice to see. The reality is that the Yankees simply beat up on the Red Sox in this one. Rick Porcello takes the mound tonight for the third game of this series before the Red Sox hit the road.
Price On Bump Versus Yankees
David Price looks to continue on a roll tonight at Fenway against the sliding Yankees and slumping Giancarlo Stanton. Price probably was hoping for warmer temperatures but it appears that it will still be very chilly at Fenway Park. Gametime temps should be in the upper 30's.
The plan thus far has been to let Price deal as he wishes but keep a lid on his innings and pitches. So far it's been great as Price has simply looked brilliant. Let's see what happens tonight.
Red Sox 14 Yankees 1
The Red Sox absolutely smashed the NY Yankees in the first game of a three game series with the Bronx Bombers. They jumped on them early and never looked back. This was the first game without injured shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Brock Holt took the shortstop duties in this one.
Chris Sale was again sensational and yet again only was needed for six innings. The plan for Sale this season literally is working perfectly so far. Certainly that will change and there will be obstacles along the way but so far so good. Sale fanned eight and gave up one run in six innings. Joe Kelly and Brian Johnson cleaned up flawlessly.
Mookie Betts clobbered a Grand Slam in this one and collected four hits. Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez also had huge nights knocking in a bunch of runs. Overall it was a great night for the Red Sox.
The weather is gradually warming up and the next two against the Yankees should be in warmer temperatures.
Let's check in for a minute on Rafael Devers. Here's a guy that is flying a bit under the radar so far this season, but he could end up being a very important piece of the Boston Red Sox can get into the playoffs and advance. Much of the focus has been on the starting pitching, bullpen blowups and recoveries, Hanley Ramriez' resurgence and health, keeping the innings down for Sale and Price, and of course the recent injury to Xander Bogaerts.
Devers came up last season and immediately provided an offensive jolt to a Red Sox team that desperately needed it. He ended the season hitting .284, with 10 HRs and 30 RBI in 58 games. Those are excellent numbers for a rookie and a young kid.
Through 8 games of 2018 Devers is batting .323 with one HR and 9 RBI. He is rather quenitly just plugging away and getting job done. He could easily, if he stays healthy, ut up some very nice numbers this year. Perhaps 25+ home runs and 90+ RBI . . . . .
Devers was a concern heading in defensively along with the entire infield. So far though he has been solid. He has zero errors and hasn't made any notable blunders or bad decisions.
AL East Standings
1. Boston 8-1
2. Toronto 7-4
3. new York 5-5
4. Baltimore 4-7
5. Tampa 2-8
Red Sox Offense
Batting Average On Balls In Play - 18th
Hits/Game - 4th
Runs/Game - 10th
The Red Sox offense statistically doesn't look all the bad currently. However, they fattened up the stats in those last two games against Tampa when they exploded for ten runs on Saturday and eight more on Sunday. Aside from that the offense has been modest and pitching has been doing all the heavy lifting.
Xander Bogaerts Injury
Xander Bogaerts is headed to the 10-day disabled list. Sunday's injury turned out to be a small crack in the talus bone. The Red Sox are saying that Bogaerts will miss 10-14 days but it is entirely possible he misses more than that.
Red Sox Yankees Pitching Matchups
This early season showdow will undoubtedly be hyped up by the media as all of baseballw ill be checking in on chilly Fenway Park this week. it is still very, very early in the year but nonetheless this is a fascinating series.
The Red Sox have yet to face high caliber MLB competition. This isn't knock against the Florida teams but both are in transition mode and looking for solutions. The New York Yankees made the ALCS last season and expectations are through the roof for this season. Slugger Ginacarlo Stanton is struggling mightily thus fac with 20ks through his first ten games played. On Sunday Stanton whiffed five times in an 0-7 performance.
In the first game Chris Sale will square off against Luis Severino. In Game 2 David Price takes the hill for the Red Sox while Masahiro Tanaka does the same for the NY Yankees. The Red Sox send out Rick Porcello in the third game while the Yankees have yet to name their starter.
Both Sale and Price have been handled with care thus far and we would expect the same this week, especially with the cold weather. Sure it's the Yankees in town but not a reason to push these guys too far and stray from the plan.
Xander Bogaerts Injury
We don't have any additional information at this time. Monday is an off day. After the game on Sunday, Red Sox manager Alex Cora would only say that SS Xander Bogaerts would be evaluated on Monday.
Red Sox 8 Rays 7
The Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the 8th inning and held on to defeat the Rays 8-7 on Sunday afternoon at a cold and blistery Fenway Park. This game had plenty of stories and juicy items so we will get right to it.
Xander Bogaerts, off to his finest start yet as a Red Sox, left the game with what could be a moderate to severe ankle injury. We don’t know yet the details but it looked like it could be fairly serious. This is a huge loss if he misses some time as the starting shortstop.
Eduardo Rodriguez returned to action as well on Sunday. Things started off very nicely as EROD fanned the side in the first inning, but it got ugly after that. Rodriguez saw his pitch count elevate and he only lasted three and two-thirds innings.
The bottom line though is that the Red Sox are 8-1 and off to the best start in MLB and the best start in franchise history. Things will change very quickly however. The Red Sox feasted on the Rays and Marlins and welcome the Bronx Bombers to Fenway Tuesday night.
Red Sox 10 Rays 3
Well the bats certainly came alive on Saturday for the Boston Red Sox. Xander Bogaerts launched an absolute moonshot over the monstah and out of Fenway completely. On the radio call on WEEI Joe Castiglione was crackling about how it likely even cleared Lansdowne Street. Bogy also had a double in the first inning.
Rick Porcello tossed a great game again after a first inning that got a little bit scary. Porcello coughed up two runs in the first but then was absolutely cruising after that. Porcello only gave up a couple more hits in his seven and change innings of work. Porcello had not worked into the 8th inning and record at least one out since July 21st of last season when facing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Porcello left in the 8th leading 10-3 and threw 94 pitches total with 66 for strikes.
The Rays continued with their use of a unique pitching strategy with another “bullpen” day but they ran into problems. They used so many pitchers on Saturday that they could be in quite a jam in terms of filling up nine innings on Sunday.
JD Martinez belted his first home run as a Red Sox hitter. He belted a blast over the left field wall in the bottom of seventh for a solo shot. Rafael Devers also hit his first home run of the season by crushing a ball into the right field bullpen also in the bottom of the seventh. The bats were clearly waking up on Saturday in the blistering cold at Fenway Park.
Brisk But Not Raining or Snowing
The Red Sox and Rays square off at 1PM at Fenway Park today. It is very brisk outside but there are some glimmers of sun. it shouldn't be as miserablea as Thursday but make no mistake it is not comfortable basebell weather.
Rick Porcello takes the mound for the Red Sox to see if the stretch of excellent pitching can continue. Manager Alex Cora should have full use of anyone and everyone in the bullpen after the day off on Friday.
Red Sox Bullpen
Given the lack of Red Sox offense to this point, naturally the focus shifts to the Red Sox bullpen and its challenges. It is very difficult to find flaws currently with the Red Sox starting rotation. Yes the competition has been modest but heck they look like Hall Of Famers so far. So, how bad is the Red Sox bullpen?
We see it as a mixed bag. Obviously there have been major blowups from both Joe Kelly and Carson Smith. kelly has a 10.80 ERA and Smith has a whopping 13.50 ERA. The sample size is small but the main point is that those ballooned ERAs show that they have put the team in a position to lose. They need to improve and they will.
On the flip side in addition to Craig Kimbrel's excellence there have been some major bright spots. Check Heath hembree for example. he's been great. How about a guy like Bobby Poyner? Poyner is learning fast and adapting in some tough spots. Poyner has a 1.93 ERA. Let's give this crew some time. Smith could be nervous and pressing too much to gain acceptance. Kelyl is erratic as we know it. Let's see how it shakes out as this group may be an asset and not an anchor as the year grinds on.
Price Having Fun, Porcello Next On Hill
David Price relished the moment at Fenway Park in the opener on Thursday. He may not state it out loud specifically, but you know he wants to do well and he wants the fans to embrace him. We don't think he cares about the media and all of the "experts" around town that have been ripping him mercilessly. Price wants that respect from the true fans that understand he is busting his butt.
Friday is an off day for the Boston Red Sox. Rick Porcello will take the mound on Saturday in a 1:05PM start at Fenway Park. This game will be another chilly outing for the teams and fans as temperatures are not expected to be much above 45 degress if at all. Thankfully it is a day game.
Red Sox 3 Rays 2
The Red Sox survived and cold and bitter Fenway Park in their home opener to post a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Rays. The Red Sox improve to 6-1 and continue to defeat the teams "they should be beating". Hanley Ramirez had the game winning hit.
David Price was brilliant with seven scoreless innings. He only had to toss 91 pitches. Price has looked near flawless to this point.
Clearly the Red Sox offense is struggling thus far. It's too early to ring the alarm bells on that one though. It is very encouraging to see this team win close games. Another great sign is a healthy Hanley Ramirez that seems to be in a good place mentally. Hanley looks healthy and is swinging the bat well. Red Sox fans definitely hope that continues. Hanley needs to hit certain metrics to kick in an option on next season. Hey, if it helps him get motivated and helps the team win then who cares what the motivation is.
Early Schedule Sets Up Nicely For Red Sox
it is much easier to talk about how amazing this early schedule is for the Red Sox now that they already deposited five wins in the bank. If they were 2-4 this would be more about a panic in Boston and concern about the Yankees coming in and winning the AL East in April . . . . . . . we know how strong reactions are n Red Sox Nation.
The Red Sox start a ten game homestand right here with the Rays. The Yankees are sandwiched in the middle and they are certainly a formidable foe. After the Yankees however is the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles have been struggling so far this year and they were borderline horrible last year.
Then the Red Sox hit the road for three games each against the Angels, Athletics, and the Blue Jays. None of those teams are elite but they certainly are not layups either. This isn't to say the Red Sox are better than these clubs. No, not at all. We don't know yet. This is to say however that with 5-1 already on the board in left field, the Red Sox have a truly great opportunity this April to get off to an excellent start. Oh, their starters have been lightly used so far as well and they are getting back three MLB level starters soon.
AL East Standings
1. Boston 5-1
2. New York 4-2
3. Toronto 4-3
4. Tampa 1-5
5. Baltimore 1-5
No major changes to our earlier reporting on the weather. For today's opener it doesn't look like any rain is coming. The high temp projected is 43 degrees with clouds.
Earlier we discussed the possibility of snow. That does not look likely now. Rain is expected on Friday. The temperature for the rest of the weekend is projected to be in the low to mid 40's.
Starting Pitching Logjam?
Right now it seems like the starting pitching crew with the Red Sox is overflowing with contributors. The Red Sox have seen Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez make positive contributions already. The Red Sox also have however, the looming presence of Eduardo Rodriguez, Drew Pomeranz, and Steven Wright. All three of those starting pitchers are expected to return fairly soon. EROD may start on Sunday.
Inevitably injuries will happen and the team wast to preserve Chris Sale and David Price. This is a great position to be in.
Fenway Openah - #2 For Price
At least it won't be snowing. or at least as of right now the forecast for Thursday does not show snow. it does show a high of 45 and clouds. That beats Saturday which includes a forecast fo snow.
The Rays can't be too thrilled with thos either as they have been playing in the rain and cold in the Bronx. It will warm up at Fenway . . . . eventually . . . . . we promise.
David Price goes for his second spin of the year on Thursday. Aside from the cold this a great opportunity for Price. He tends to own the Rays and they may not appreciate swinging the bat in the cold. Price has a good chance to stay in a nice groove to start this season.
JD Martinez vs Giancarlo Stanton
An early look, yes we acknowledge this. But, nonetheless . . . . .
Martinez: .200 avg, 0 HR, 2 RBI
Stanton: .211, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Whole lot of season left to be played.
Red Sox 4 Marlins 2
They needed 13 innings to get the job done but the Red Sox defeated the Miami Marlins 4-2 on Tuesday evening. The Red Sox will now head to Fenway Park.
Chris Sale pitched another five strong innings and the bullpen was excellent logging eight innings of work and holding down the fort. Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez both had a couple of hits each for the Boston Red Sox.
Wednesday is an off day and Thursday is the home opener at Fenway Park. David Price will get the start against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Red Sox 7 Marlins 3
The Red Sox received yet another great outing from a starting pitcher en route to their fourth victory on the young season. LHP Brian Johnson got the nod and delivered nicely. Johnson is a very interesting and intriguing player this season. He came up for a game last season and tossed an absolute gem. We distinctly remember being there as the game went so quickly and efficiently. it was also one of those nice 4PM starts on a Saturday.
The bats came alive on Monday night as well. Both Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts went deep with their frst home runs of the season. Devers and Bogaerts both also had a couple of hits.
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 3-1
2. Yankees 2-2
3. Blue Jays 2-2
4. Orioles 1-2
5. Rays 1-3
Obviously it is very, very early in the season but the Boston Red Sox are off to an encouraging start. The Red Sox have not played any home games yet either and they are currently heading into a short, two game set in Miami with the Miami Marlins.
The story thus far has been pitching. The starting pitching has been excellent but let's also forget that the Rays do not have a strong offense. Let's see how the Red Sox rotation does agaist the Houston Astros and New York Yankees. However, it is still very encouraging. More importantly, after an absolute meltdown in the opener, the Red Sox bullpen regained its composure and pitched well in the next three ballgames.
Cora The Fall Guy To Cora The Genius?
The night of the Opening Day loss in the afternoon certainly must have been at least somewhat rough for he new skipper of the Boston Red Sox. the bullpen melted down in the 8th inning and gave up six runs in a loss. A Chris Sale gem was wasted. Fans and media were destroying new manager Alex Cora claiming he should have handled things differently in particular Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly.
Fast forward a week and a lot of noise has subsided. The Red Sox took 3/4 from the Rays and the bullpenw as outstanding in all three wins. So now Cora is a genius? Not so fast. The Red Sox handled the Rays and now get the inept Marlins for two games, but much stiffer challenges lie ahead. Cora is neither a bum nor a genius. He's a new manager and deserves a chance to prove himself.
Red Sox 2 Rays 1
Another game and another great outing from a Red Sox starting pitcher. Hector Velazquez gave the Red Sox five and change of great pitching and the Red Sox captured 3/4 games from the Tampa Rays. Joe Kelly, one of the bullpen guys that was horrible on Opening Day, pitched the ninth and locked down his first career save.
The Red Sox head down to Miami now for a short two game series. Maybe the bats will wake up a bit down near South Beach.
Dustin Pedroia Injury Update
There is noe arth shattering news to report here. The other day the Red Sox placed Pedroia on the 10 day DL. This is merely procedural. There is zero expectation tat Dustin pedroia is back before May. Even then we have to see how things progress.
Pedroia underwent a cartilage restoration procedure in October in that knee and he is 34 years old. Eduardo Nunez will continue to get the most time at 2B along with Brock Holt.
Boston Red Sox Pitching Staff - Management of Innings So far So Good
If you can absorb the Opening Day disaster and move forward as a fan of the Boston Red Sox, there isn't much more you can ask for at this point. Sure, the Red Sox will need more offense as the season goes on. Let's not declare the bats dead just yet as things will even out and let's see what happens after about 25 games and who is and is not swinging the bat effectively.
Down at Spring Training new manager Alex Cora and the club were emphatic about trying to manage the pitching staff and keep people healthy for what hopefully is a long stint in October. Well no way to complain there. In the opener Chris Sale danced through six innings without barely breaking a sweat. In the second game David Price was simply brilliant through seven relatively easy innings and also did not walk a better. The Rays are not the Yankees offensively so let's understand that. But, either way this is very, very encouraging.
Red Sox 3 - Rays 2
The Red Sox another excellent pitching erformance from a starting pitcher ad defeated the Rays 3-2 on Saturday night. Rick Porcello gave the Red Sox a great outing and Craig Kimbrel picked up his second save of the season.
Xander Bogaerts continues to crush the baseball picking up three more hits. Bogaerts hit a home run, double, and a single. JD Martinez broke out with two hits as well.
JD Martinez - Not the Start He Wanted
JD Martinez os off to a rough start. Giancarlo Stanton is hitting rockets left and right for the NY Yankees. Naturally fans are wondering how big of a miss it was to lose out on Stanton and dump a ton of money into Martinez as a backup option.
It's still very early of course but through two games Martinez is struggling. He didn't show much pop down in Florida either. Martinez is 0-6 with three strikeouts through the first two games. He has an up and down career where his producion surged leading into contract scnearios - such as last season. Let's watch closely to see how his season develops.
Very encouraging to see Hanley Ramirez rip the baseball a couple of times in game 2 of the season. Hanley is crucuail to the success of the Red Sox this season.
Red Sox 1 - Rays 0
They broke the ice. After an Opening Day debacle the Red Sox rebounded with a solid win over te Rays. David Price was brilliant. Craig Kimbrel looked great. JD Martinez still doesn't have a hit.
David Price First Outing
David Price was masterful in his first outing n 2018. Price sizzled through seven innings of shutout ball while carving up the Tampa Rays. In five of the innings Price only faced three batters. He didn't walk a batter and struck out five.
Xander Bogaerts Swings Hot Bat
Bogaerts is tearing it up at the plate so far to build on his great spring in Florida. He entered the season with a new approach and commitment to being more aggressive and swinging earlier in the count. So far it is working in a wonderful manner.
Red Sox Bullpen
Obviously the big question after Opening Day was not surrounding the inept Red Sox offense of 2017 and if that looks to carry over into 2018. it was only one game and the Red Sox scored four runs granted a few were gifted via an outfield mishap. The question of course was what in the world happened with the Red Sox bullpen.
Joe Kelly has always been a bit of a tease. A brilliantly gifted natural thrower Kelly has an arm kids would dream to have. At times he can be very shaky with his command and poise at the major league level. Kelly walked three batters in that 8th inning debacle.
Dave Dombrowski traded for Carson Smith prior to the 2017 season and Smith promptly suffered a season ending injury. Now in his first game back he horredously took over from Kelly and even threw a few pitches in the dirt. The rare pitch he got over the plate was smoked off the right field wall with the bases juiced. Just one day, yes. But this bullpen has a lot of answers it needs to come up with.
Then there is Craig Kimbrel. How much will he throw? Will he pitch in the 8th inning or in "non-save" situations? The prior mamager knew he was fighting for his job so he initially used Kimbrel quite iberally. Later he realized that he could be wearing down the star closer and adjusted. It's a delicate balance. Time will tell.
Opening Day Disaster
The Red Sox squandered another brilliant effort by Chris Sale and lost the opener to the 2018 season. The Tampa Rays defeated the Red Sox 6-4.
Sales was sensational and the bullpen imploded in epic fashion in the 8th inning. A tsunami of walks and wild pitching lead to 6 Tampa runs. Xander Bogaerts had three hits incuding two doubles.
Red Sox Opening Day
Opening Day is finally here for Red Sox fans and all of MLB. As expected there is a full slate of games on tap across the league. The Red Sox open up in Tampa Bay. The Yankees face the Blue Jays in AL East action. The Astros face the Rangers in the battle of Texas and the heated rivals Dodgers and Giants face off out west.
Rafael Devers appears to be ok and in the starting lineup on Opening Day. Hanley Ramirez is playing 1B and hitting third. Mookie Betts is the leadoff hitter. Even though Chris Sale typically works with Sandy Leon at catcher, the starter on Opening Day is Christian Vazquez.
Benintendi is mashing the ball down in Florida this spring. Is this his big breakout year? The Boston Red Sox would of course love to see that happen. Andrew Benintendi is hitting .386 in Spring Training with 4 HR and 11 RBI. He has a whopping 1.22 OPS. Yes, we know this is just Spring Training but it is certainly better to see these numbers than to see someone struggle during the spring.
Last year playing his first full season in the bigs Benintendi hit 20 HR and knocked in 90 runs. His average bounced around during the year and he ended up at .271 after hitting .295 in his first MLB stint over a shorter timeframe the year prior.
Drafted 7th overall Red Sox fans have always dreamed of Andrew Benintendi becoming a Red Sox star and perhaps this year will tell us a lot about that. Fans always envisioned him as a .300 type guy with some legit pop in his bat. Last year he had the 20 HR and 26 doubles. The way the spring has gone it certainly seems plausible that he improves at least marginally on last year’s production assuming he is relatively healthy and plays 135+ games. J.D. Martinez will get some time in LF to spot Benintendi rest but Benny should be out there more than 80% of the time.
Who knows, maybe he can pop for 30+ bombs and 35+ doubles. That would be sweet music to the ears of Dombrowski as he is more than well aware it is on him whether this Red Sox team generates the offense necessary to win the AL East and advance in the postseason. If Benny Biceps shows some even gradual improvement that will bring the Red Sox closer to the reality of being a legitimate force in October.
Rafael Devers Injury
Devers injured his knee in a collission at home plate the other day and his status for Opening Day may be in question. On 3/27 Devers offered an encouraging update about Opening Day but we shall see if the rest is enough leading into Thursday. Officially the Red Sox are calling it a right knee contusion.
The Red Sox already have Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz starting the season on the 10-day DL.
David Price has spent plenty of time filling the role of punching bag for all of the “experts” in and around the sports media scene in Boston. It’s safe to assume he is more than past the point of worrying about it and entirely focused on getting back to top form. Who can blame him for just wanting to move forward and focus on baseball.
It is exactly within this type of scenario where we could easily see David Price bounce back with a monstrous year in 2018. Chris Sale has taken most of the spotlight. In fact, Chris Sale’s honeymoon phase is over with his postseason fizzle and late season running out of gas situation in 2017. Now there is extra scrutiny on Sale and not Price. Though not forgotten, it is almost as if Red Sox Nation and the media “experts” have quietly shrugged off David Price and ignored him. This is a perfect scenario for Price to dominate on the mound.
Price is still well within his prime years for a pitcher. Physically, he looks great and by all counts appears to be completely recovered from the elbow issue. Price has never had weight or durability issues and that looks to be the case again this spring. He was absolutely sparkling out of the bullpen last year upon his return from the elbow surgery. Why not? Why not David Price for a Cy Young award in 2018? Just when most people forget about him and toss him aside he rises up to his best. It wouldn’t be the first time that has happened in sports.
David Price Spring Stats
3-0, 2.25 ERA, 13K, Zero walks. There it is right there. Looks like David Price is feeling good and ready to deliver a potentially monstrous season for the Boston Red Sox.
Red Sox Infield
The dazzling display expected again from the Red Sox Outfield defensively may capture the attention of fans and media routinely, but will it overshadow potential problems with the defensive performance of the Red Sox Infield. This is perhaps the biggest question facing the Boston Red Sox as they prepare to break camp and settle in at Fenway Park.
If we assume (no sure thing) that free agent acquisition J.D. Martinez does indeed provide that thump in the middle of the order AND that Hanley Ramirez bounces back this season (another not so sure thing), then the offensive doldrums of 2017 could be a thing of the past. But what about an infield manned by Nunez, Bogaerts, Devers, and the Moreland/Ramirez combo. Moreland s solid at 1B and Bogaerts is fairly solid at short. Nunez is capable but possibly just a stopgap waiting for Pedroia. Devers, is well, not the most slender and mobile of 3B we have ever seen in MLB but nonetheless off a rookie campaign where he certainly got a lot of playing time to learn and improve.
New Red Sox Manager Alex Cora logged more than 3,500 MLB innings in the middle infield positions so we expect him to play a major role here. This should be a fascinating yet nuanced thing to follow this season as a fan of the Boston Red Sox. Home runs and strikeouts are easy to add to highlight reels and Youtube clips, but defense can play a major role over the curse of the full season. Not to mention the impact defense can have on the mental and psychological stability of your pitching staff. Time will tell and we will keep our eyes peeled.
Cora vs The Other Guy
It feels as if most people expect this very dramatic change due to the fring of John Farrell and hiring of Alex Cora. We suppose a huge change is possible, but is it likely? There has been much spoken and written about Alex Cora throughout Spring Training and how the Red Sox need to "just go out and have fun" this year and play loose and enjoy the game. That is all fine and dandy but the realities of an MLB season await.
MLB is hard. It is competitive. Good things happen and bad things happen. Whether you liked John Farrell or not, the truth is that particularly in 2017 many of the key performers on the Boston Red Sox simply did not deliver to their capabilities. When the team is assembled by the GM there is only so much the manager on the field can do. The players still have to play. This isn't to say that the manager doesn't matter or Farrell didn't have his faults and challenges.
This is to say that the players need to go out on the field and deliver on a consistent basis.
Red Sox Update - 3/13
Which Hanley Ramirez will show up in 2018? So far in Spring Training it has been all peaches and cream along with some unicorns regarding Hanley. New skipper Alex Cora can't seem to praise Hanley Ramirez enough and even declared he will be the #3 hitter on the Red Sox lineup on Opening Day.
To us most of this comes down to his physical conditioning and weight. If you look at Hanley's career stats he rarely plays more than 125-130 ballgames per year and even has some seasons well under 100. Everyone knows that baseball is a major grind and grueling sport so we don't expect anyone to play more than say 145 games or so. But, it has been very apparent that Hanley's weight and perhaps lack of conditioning has played a role in his career.
We hear about the right shoulder and how that has been an issue. That is true. But again, it comes down to his weight and his conditioning. Hanley has been talking about hisnew approach and big expectations and his use of the TB12 program making reference to Boston legend Tom Brady. That is fine but we shall see. The truth is the Boston Red Sox can win the World Series . . . . . . if Hanley does what he did in 2016. If he does hwta he did in 2017 again this year, it may be a challenging year even with the addition of JD Martinez.
Red Sox Update - 3/12
Sale sizzles in his debut and tries to learn more about controlling adrenaline and not getting too cranked up too early. David Price has yet to pitch as the Red Sox continue to work their plan of trying to preserve their assets for a late season push. Rick Porcello continues to focus on his first inning challenges with location. Tyler Thornburgh is showing great strides and JD Martinez is ho hum so far.
Thornburgh is a major wild card thos season because the Red Sox have gotten absolutely nothing from him so far. he could play a huge role in the Red Sox bullpen in 2018.
Red Sox Update - 3/6
As we anticipated and hoped for the topic of strategically resting starting pitchers has arisen in this version of Red Sox Spring Training. Clearly last year Chris Sale faded in September and had nothing left in the tank for the playoff series versus Houston. That isn't the reason Houston won. As of this time Houston has a better club and they beat the Red Sox straight up. The issue at hand is trying to put Sale in the best position possible in September and October.
David Price went down early last year so there is that reference point as well. Price in particular has been vocal this spring about supporting the efforts by the Red Sox to strategically rest pitchers and try and enter the late summer and fall with guns a blazing. Time will tell but it is encouraging to see the team hit the issue head on. There is no shame and simply admitting that guys need periods of recovery to perform at their best. No sense in firing all of your best missiles in April and May.
Drew Pomeranz - the Red Sox are stating that Pomeranz has a mild flexor strain at this point. He left the game the other day with soreness in his forearm. Lots of people speculated it was an elbow issue but as of right now the team is saying it is not serious.
JD Martinez - Martinez is finally officially signed and participating in the action. He is aware that critics feel he is a sub paer defender and he says he is out to prove them wrong. he is committed to improving his defense. He also spent some quality time with none other than Big Papi himself - Red Sox legend David Ortiz. Ortize discussed with Martinez the realities of playing in Boston and being in a position to be a leader on the club both on and off the field.
Red Sox Update - 2/27
Pretty low key thus far down in Fort Myers. For a little while the Sox had announced that they acquired free agent slugger J.D. Martinez but they didn't officially present him or have a signed contract. It was a bit odd and speculation swirled but on 2/26 the Red Sox formally introduced J.D. Martinez as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
Red Sox Update – 2/16
Red Sox Spring training is off and running down in sunny Fort Myers, Florida. This is the time of year hopes and dreams of the World Series come to the forefront of every fan base across Major League Baseball while the teams themselves try to see how they will make all the pieces fit together and how they will in any gaps that they have. Red Sox Spring Training Tickets are available now of course.
So far there has been a distinctly different tone with the new manager, Alex Cora, versus prior years with John Farrell. Players claim they can relate to Cora and talk with him easily. We shall see how this translates on the diamond. Core has been emphasizing the need to have fun and be enjoying the baseball season rather than dreading it.
Media members naturally flocked to starting pitcher David Price looking for him to suck up to the media. Price didn’t take the bait and stayed focused on staying healthy and having a great season. Price was sensational when he came back last season in his limited role so hopefully he can stay healthy and lead the rotation.
Mookie Betts was peppered with endless questions about his contract situation but would not discuss it. Boagerts faced inquiries about his health and durability and vehemently maintained he is feeling great and the hand is not an issue.
The Red Sox appear to be on the verge of signing Nunez and getting him back on the team. This is desperately needed as we do not know when Dustin Pedroia will be ready and what he will look like when he does return.
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History of Fenway Park in Boston, MA
Fenway Park is one of the most exciting destinations in Boston, Massachusetts and a remarkable sports center in and around the region. The park is located near Kenmore Square at 4 Yawkey Way. Fenway Park has acted as the home ground for Boston Red Sox, the city’s baseball team in the American League since the year 1912. It has also been the team’s sole MLB – Major League Baseball franchise since the year 1953. Fenway holds its place as the oldest ballpark in MLB and has been renovated and expanded a couple of times.
Red Sox moved from the Huntington Avenue Grounds to the Fenway Park. John Taylor in 1911 bought bordering land which he developed into a more spacious baseball stadium. The park’s first game was held on the 20th of April, 1912 in which Boston triumphed over the New York Yankees 7 – 6 in 11 innings. For some reason, Fenway Park initially recorded low attendance with some seasons recording below 500 attendees. Attendance however rose considerably following the Impossible Dream season of the Red Sox in 1967. Ever since, the Fenway Park has had some rather impressive attendances and on 8th September, 2008, the venue set a major league record for consecutive sellouts, hitting 456. The game was a home against Tampa Bay Rays.
Changes to the Stadium Over the Years / Recent Renovations and Upgrades
Having been around for quite a long time, the Fenway Park has been transformed in several different ways not only to keep it trendy but also to boost its functionality. A manual scoreboard was incorporated into the park in 1934 to indicate strikes and balls.
It was turned into a double tier park, the first one in Boston in 1946 when upper deck seats were installed. Arc lights were installed one years afterwards. Some of the other changes that were made to the Fenway Park include incorporation of metric distances, installation of a glass protected sitting area, addition of auxiliary press boxes and a new video display that was installed in the year 2000. In 2003 and 2004, seats were added to various sections of the stadium. There are several other changes that have been made to Fenway Park since its establishment.
Events Held There
Besides baseball, the Fenway Park is also used for various events. Boxing for instance, has been held at the stadium quite a number of times. The venue hosted Boston’s first open-air boxing event on the 9th of October, 1920. The event was made of four bouts. Other notable boxing events were held at the venue in the years, 1928, 1930, 1932, 1936, 1945 and 1954. Soccer has also been held at the Fenway Park quite often. Other events include Soccer, Hockey, concerts as well as skiing and snowboarding events. The international soccer matches that have been held at the venue include:
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Manager of the Boston Red Sox
Born Jose Alexander Cora on the 18th of October, 1975, Alex Cora is a renowned Puerto Rican professional baseball coach. Prior to his career as a coach, Alex was an infielder. Although he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 1993 Major League Baseball draft’s 12th round, he declined to sign a contract and instead headed to University of Miami where he played collegiate baseball. During his time with Miami, he got named to the College World Series all-tournament for the years 1995 and 1996. He was an amazing player and managed to drive his team to the 1996 title game. They however lost the match to Louisiana State University. His performance was so remarkable that he got named collegiate defensive player by Baseball America.
Alex’s major league debut was with the Los Angeles Dodgers on the 7th of June, 1998. His time with the Dodgers was also pretty successful and he remained a player there for seven years. He made 684 game appearances batting .246. He also made 27 home runs with 173 RBIs. He moved from the Dodgers to Cleveland Indians where he signed in January, 2005 as a free agent. While with the Indians, he made 49 appearances, starting 22 games at shortstop. He also played 14 at second base, batting .205 with 8 RBIs and a Homerun. He was later on traded to Boston Red Sox on July 7th, 2005 for infielder Ramon Vazquez.
Playing Career and Time With Red Sox
For the Boston Red Sox, Alex made his debut on the 7th of July 2005 and played throughout the rest of the season. He made 47 game appearances for his side during which he batted .269, had 2 home runs as well as 16 RBIs. During the 2005 ALDS, a 3-game sweep in which Red Sox lost to Chicago White Sox, Cora made an appearance as a defensive replacement in one game.
The primary intention was to sign Cora as a backup shortstop for Edgar Renteria. This however changed following Renteria’s trade to Atlanta Braves in December of 2005. There were intentions to make him the starting shortstop but this too changed when Alex Gonzalez was acquired by the Boston Red Sox in February of 2006. Alex made 96 game appearances in the 2006 season in which he batted .238 had a home run and 18 RBIs. He was also part of the team that bagged the 2007 World Series. He made 83 game appearances in 2007 regular season and 75 games in the 2008 regular season. He lasted a total of four seasons with the Boston Red Sox, made 301 regular season game appearances and batted .252 with 61 RBIs and 6 home runs.
Experience as a Coach/Getting Chosen as Manager at Red Sox
Alex Cora was interviewed for the position of manager at Boston Red Sox during the 2017 ALCS. On the 22nd of October, 2017, it was officially announced that he had signed a 3 year contract with the Boston Red Sox and that he would lead the team between the years 2018 and 2020. An option for 2021 was also reportedly available. He officially started his role as coach on November 2, 2017.
Mookie Betts – Where To From Here?
Mookie Betts is 25 years old and has already appeared in two MLB All Star Games. Fans love him. He seems to have an energy of positivity around him and he plays the game hard every day he’s out there. But baseball is a business and Betts employs one of the most divisive and aggressive agents in all of professional sports.
As Betts comes closer to his first crack at free agency fans and the Red Sox clearly are curious about what might happen. The Yankees are not slowing down and in fact may be headed into another upswing that could last several years. The 2016 season sent fans and media rightfully so into a whirlwind dalliance with Betts envisioning him as an annual candidate for American league MVP. That may very well be the case given his age and the years in front of him but the 2018 season is a crossroads for both Betts personally and the Boston Red Sox.
It’s not so much the amount of an annual salary (given the numbers are just simply insane and silly) but the allocation of resources across a team. How many guys making $25 Million/year can one team handle not named the Yankees or Dodgers? The Red Sox will have to answer this question in the not too distant future and there is more than just Betts involved. Don’t forget about Bogaerts and eventually Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi if they aren’t traded.
Nonetheless, let’s take a peek at Mookie’s production the last three years:
2015 - .291 BA, 18 HR, 77 RBI, 21 SB, 0.820 OPS
2016 - .318 BA, 31 HR, 113 RBI, 26 SB, 0.897 OPS
2017 - .264 BA, 24 HR, 102 RBI, 26 SB, 0.803 OPS
That trajectory looked simply breathtaking until a step back was taken in 2017. Was this due to injury or another physical challenge? Is there a reasonable explanation? Betts was by no means bad in 217 but the Red Sox have to decide whether to give this player a seven or eight year deal which is what he will likely get assuming he performs in 2018 at least as well as he did in 2017.
The question is not if the Red Sox and the fans wants Betts long term. The question is if a monster contract makes sense and if 2017 was a modest blip on a rocket ship trajectory for Mookie’s career that ends up with him making the All Star team every year and winning an MVP or two.
The Hanley and DH Issue
The second half of the 2016 season got many Red Sox fans rightfully fired up about Hanley Ramirez and his impact as a big bat in the middle of the order. Then the 2017 season happened. Hanley Ramirez simply did not produce nearly enough as both the DH and the desperately needed imposing presence in the middle of the lineup.
MLB Ranks for DH Position for 2017 Boston Red Sox:
Slugging – 14th
On Base Percentage – 12th
Wins Above Replacement – 26th
OPS – 12th
As depicted above the Red Sox were at best mediocre at the DH position and they have a long term contract with one of their highest paid players at this position. Ramirez was shuffled around in the lineup for most of the 2017 season for this very reason. He did not produce the way in which the team needs him to for the Red Sox to be a viable threat in the postseason (or to even make the postseason). Look for this to be a highly scrutinized and debated issue all year long.
The Chris Sale Question
Red Sox fans that have been around for a while of course recall the great Pedro Martinez. Pedro electrified Fenway Park every time he took the mound and was must see action. We will never forget his historic moments and contributions to the Red Sox.
One of the things about Pedro Martinez was that he typically took a little break on the DL around the middle of the season each year. Was this intentional? Was he just seeking time off? Who knows for sure but it is possible this was intentional so that he could time things in such a way that he would last the full season and postseason if necessary.
This brings us to the question of Chris Sale. The data is pretty clear that Sale tails off towards the end of each season generally. This happened in Chicago and it happened last year in Boston. It is what it is and it is not a criticism of Sale. Given this, what should the Red Sox do about it? It doesn’t seem logical to try and fight it or force the issue. If this is the way his body is built and functions then why not just accept it and deal with it. Whether that means he starts later or gets an extended break at some point we don’t know the best answer. We know he tailed off and was crushed in the playoffs last year. Let’s see if we can avoid that this season.
Red Sox Offseason – 12/4/2017
The Red Sox are now apparently completely out of the running for the two highest profile free agents of the current offseason. Word is spreading that the Red Sox will not be in the running for superstar power hitter Giancarlo Stanton nor are they in the running for two way Japanese stud Ohtani. This is not a huge surprise by any means. It isn’t entirely clear at this point what big, if any, moves the Boston Red Sox will make prior to Spring Training.
The Red Sox did sign Tyler Thornburg to a one year contract. Thornburg hasn’t really had a chance to get cranked up in Boston due to injuries so this season could be his first full season to show his stuff. Hopefully he can stay healthy and make a big contribution to the team.
The issue still remains how the Red Sox will improve their run production in 2018. One option is to make a large bet that players like Benintendi and Devers will take big steps forward and provide the type of run production that a high profile free agent might provide. Another option is to trade for a big bat in a move that undoubtedly would have to include at least one big piece of young Red Sox talent. Another option is to look beyond Stanton and throw a bunch of money at another option that is attractive but not as juicy as Stanton. Time will tell as we wait to find out.
Red Sox Offseason – 11/27/17
The biggest news and move of the offseason thus far of course has been the removal of John Farrell as manager and replacing him with Alex Cora. Cora comes in as a former Red Sox with a World Series ring and in a position to better connect with the younger players and utilize analytics. There is a trend around MLB where younger managers more intertwined with analytics getting managerial positions. The Red Sox also brought on board Tony LaRussa to mentor Cora in his new role. Time will tell how successful Cora will be.
One thing is for sure and that is we can’t simply lay all the blame on the manager for the back to back quick exits from the postseason. That is simply ridiculous and taking the easy way out. The players need to play better and be in better physical condition. It’s as simple as that. You can’t have your cleanup hitter performing well below average and expect to win the World Series. You also can’t lose the top of your pitching rotation to injury either and expect to win it all.
The focus now is squarely on free agency and any moves the Red Sox can make there. GM Dave Dombrowski has been quite candid about the need for a power bat in the middle of the lineup. The Marlins keep saying they aren’t trying to trade Stanton but we all know that is hogwash. The issue is how much is too much to give up and are you better off waiting for next year’s huge free agent names. We will keep tabs on this and provide updates throughout the offseason.
Well, the season is over for the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees are still alive and may very well head to the World Series. The Red Sox fell to the Houston Astros in the Division round of the playoffs. The Sox won one game but it was clear that Houston was the better team. There is no doubt that the Houston Astros are much better offensively than the Red Sox and have an exciting core of young players.
The Red Sox also proceeded to fire manager John Farrell. Nobody knows for sure how much of the failures of the last two seasons in the postseason fall on Farrell’s shoulders. Several key players simply did not perform at the level they should be performing at under a set of normal and reasonable expectations. Either way the team ownership is always ever mindful of public perception and selling the team to the community to make them buy tickets and tune into NESN for ballgames. Farrell was a logical and easy scapegoat and mechanism to cut bait and move forward in a new era.
There are lots of questions to answer this offseason and we will keep you informed of all of them right here at SeatsForEveryone.com.
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Nothing beats the energy and excitement of a live Boston Red Sox game hearing the crack of the bat and smacking of balls hitting gloves and mitts. Whether you watch the Red Sox at historic and iconic Fenway Park in Boston, MA or at any other MLB park it promises to be a wonderful day and evening with family and friends.
If you are attending a game at Fenway Park make sure you arrive a little early to enjoy all of the entertainment and food and beverage options along Landsdowne Street behind the Monstah and along Yawkey Way. Make sure you walk around the park as well to observe the statues of Red Sox legends like Ted Williams. Don't forget to "take the T" if you want to avoid finding parking and absorb the complete Boston experience.
Will 2017 be the year that the Boston Red Sox win another World Series title? Get out to the games and find out.
Red Sox Update 10/2
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 93-69
2. Yankees 91-71
3. Rays 80-82
4. Blue Jays 76-86
5. Orioles 75-87
Well, they made the playoffs . . . . . barely. It was a mighty struggle until the very end but the Boston Red Sox are the AL East champions and they will be meeting the Houston Astros in the American League Division Series.
Rightly so everyone wants to know about the pitching rotations and who will be facing off against whom. As of right now Red Sox manager John Farrell has NOT announced who will be starting Game 2. We do know that Game 1 will feature a thrilling showdown between Chris Sale of the Red Sox and Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros. The Astros acquired Verlander in a trade and he has been quite solid with the club that brings an explosive offense and slew of young talent into this postseason series.
We can speculate all day long about the Red Sox offense heading into the playoffs but let’s be honest – we have no idea what we will see. This Red Sox offense can score 8-10 runs a night or it can go ice cold. Some key players simply have not played up to their potential as we have pointed out here on numerous occasions throughout the year.
Clearly the biggest keys are Chris Sales and David Price. Sale insists that he is fine but the numbers and history suggest he has shown a pattern of tailing off as the season reaches its conclusion. He had some nice gems at the end of the year but he also had some real stinkers. Now he has to pitch for potentially another month. The best news is he that he gets some great rest and relaxation before Game 1 Thursday. David Price showed some very positive signs taking on that so-called Andrew Miller role as a loaded gun in the middle relief out of the Red Sox bullpen. We have to assume Craig Kimbrel will remain solid in the closer role so Price’s performance from the bullpen could very well determine this series. If he can pitch in three of the games and give the Red Sox bullpen around two innings of solid work holding a lead or a tie in a ballgame that would be monumental.
Should be a very exciting series so we have to see what happens. This Astros team may have trounced a weak Division but by no means does that mean they are not capable. The Astros are more than capable of going a long way in October and the Red Sox are in for a very contentious battle.
Red Sox Update 9/21
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 88-64
2. Yankees 85-67
3. Rays 74-78
4. Orioles 73-80
5. Blue Jays 71-81
The Boston Red Sox are officially in the MLB Playoffs for 2017. As the season winds down we will find out what position they hold and who they will be playing in the first round.
The big issue now is strategic rest and health. Mookie Betts has absolutely been on fire and it seems like he is a guy that might deserve some much needed rest and rejuvenation. The bigger issue though is starting pitcher Chris Sale. Chris Sale really could benefit from a break after logging 300 Ks this season. Sales has been absolutely sensational as documented here but he did seem to run out of gas a little bit over the last two months. Other factors of course include rest for Craig Kimbrel and the health of David Price. The plan currently is to have Price pitch out of the bullpen in the playoffs. There simply isn’t enough time to build his arm strength and stamina back up before the playoffs to return to the rotation. It will be very interesting to see how he does from the bullpen.
Red Sox Update 9/18
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 85-64
2. Yankees 82-67
3. Rays 73-77
4. Orioles 73-77
5. Blue Jays 70-80
This pennant race in the AL East is now reaching its most intense level. The resilient New York Yankees simply won’t give up and they remain just three games back of the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox now have a series with the Baltimore orioles that is extremely critical. The Orioles may not look like a threat given their record and one might assume they have nothing to play for in terms of the playoffs. That would be a mistake. The Red Sox know the Orioles and Red Sox hate each other and there is a lot of bad blood between the teams. Each series tends to unveil some type of controversy, fight, throwing at batters, or a combination of the above. The Baltimore Orioles would like nothing more than to derails the postseason aspirations of the Boston Red Sox. They have done it before so let’s see what happens this week.
Red Sox Update 9/13
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 82-62
2. Yankees 78-66
3. Rays 72-74
4. Orioles 71-74
5. Blue Jays 68-77
The Red Sox are clinging to a modest lead in the AL East as the two biggest stories in MLB currently are the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are making big headlines because they are in an absolute free fall and epic collapse that is very frightening for their fans. They can’t seem to do anything right lately and even win more than one game here and there. The Cleveland Indians are on an historic run and have won 20 consecutive ballgames. Needless to say the Indians are getting very hot just at the right time with the postseason looming. If you recall in 2016 it was the Indians that quickly tossed aside the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the playoffs.
A Red Sox player that might be getting ready to peak just at the right time is Mookie Betts. Betts smashed two homers on 9/12 and is really heating up. The Red Sox desperately need this as they have lost Rafael Devers due to injury for at least a week and perhaps longer. DH Hanley Ramirez continues to just flounder in that DH role and is not providing any offensive punch at all.
Chris Sale had a very sharp outing last out and did not have to throw too many pitches. We continue to stress that Sale’s status and whether or not he is running out of gas is the #1 key to the postseason for the Boston Red Sox. Historically Sale has shown that physically he can tail off at the end of seasons and this is not a criticism of the pitcher. MLB is a marathon, long grind so naturally all players and especially pitchers are worn out. Handling Sale in these last few weeks is crucial. Hopefully the team can get him some rest and relaxation. The schedule favors the Yankees the rest of the month but the Red Sox currently have a four game lead so onward we march.
Red Sox Update 9/7
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 79-61
2. Yankees 74-64
3. Orioles 71-68
4. Rays 70-71
5. Blue Jays 64-76
The Red Sox are officially knee deep in crunch time now with 22 games left to play. The Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros both appear destined for the playoffs and look like the main competition in the American league playoffs. The Indians are playing good baseball at the right time and the Astros traded for starting pitcher Justin Verlander who already gave the club a very solid outing in an Astros uniform.
If the Red Sox hold on and make it into the playoffs the biggest concern is how much momentum the team has or does not have. The iwatch cheating scandal will likely blow over as all MLB teams are constantly stealing signs (which is legal) and looking for an edge. Yes, the inclusion of technology is the big issue here and teams have been doing that with their organic television crews all along. This should blow over which isn’t to say it is not wrong.
What team might appear in the playoffs if they make it? As strong as Rick Porcello looked for about a month stretch he has looked equally horrible since. Chris Sale seems to be teetering on greatness and perhaps running out of gas. Interestingly both Sale and Porcello are numbers 1 and 2 in MLB in number of pitches thrown over the last two seasons. Will the Red Sox find a way to give them a rest before October? That will be very difficult considering how important each game down the stretch is and will be.
The team still lacks power hitting and timely hitting. Bogaerts is hitting .200 since the All Star Break and Hanley Ramirez is hitting .211 since the break as well. Yes this team is in first place but there sure are quite a few concerns to go along with that. The schedule really favors them down the stretch however as they get a bunch of games against inferior opponents that are way outside of the playoff race. Let’s see what happens!
Red Sox Update 9/1
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 76-58
2. Yankees 71-62
3. Orioles 68-66
4. Rays 67-68
5. Blue Jays 62-72
The Red Sox dropped the first game of the four game set with the Yankees 6-2 on Thursday night. Eduardo Rodriguez took the loss and wasn’t able to give the team a good chance to win. Clearly they need to support the pitching more than with two runs. The Red Sox benefitted tremendously earlier in the week when they won their game and the Yankees dropped both games of a double header versus the Indians. That really created a ton more of breathing room heading into this Yankees series.
The series continues on through the beautiful Labor Day Weekend in the Bronx. There is speculation that Dustin Pedroia will return to the lineup this weekend and possible even Friday night. We will have to see how that shakes out but the team desperately needs a new injection of adrenaline. The jolt provided by Nunez and Devers appears to have somewhat faded. There is still a month left in this long season and the Red Sox close it out against Houston. They don’t want the Division on the line having to face the best record in the American League team.
Red Sox Update 8/30
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 75-57
2. Yankees 70-60
3. Orioles 67-65
4. Rays 66-68
5. Blue Jays 61-71
A sense of relief at least temporarily sweeps through Red Sox nation today. The lead in the AL East is back up to four games for now and Chris Sale was masterful again on Tuesday night. Sales sizzled through seven full innings against the Blue Jays. The Red Sox held on to win after Sale started the 8th inning and gave up a couple base runners.
Sale only gave up three hits, didn’t walk a better, and struck out 11 batters. The Blue Jays are indeed struggling but nonetheless this is a very encouraging performance. The Red Sox desperately need Sale to remain on top of his game to make the playoffs and make a deep run in the playoffs.
Red Sox Update 8/28
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 73-57
2. Yankees 70-59
3. Rays 65-65
4. Orioles 65-67
5. Blue Jays 61-69
What a difference a week makes in Major League Baseball. All of the momentum from the 4/6 wins versus the Yankees seems to have fizzled away. Porcello went back to getting rocked. Chris Sale continues to struggle. The Red Sox were swept by the Orioles at Fenway. It feels like everything is caving in on the Boston Red Sox currently.
These things happen in a long season but this is admittedly getting quite concerning. David Price does not appear close to coming back. Hanley Ramirez could very easily be sent to the bench soon. Eduardo Rodriguez was beat up swiftly in his latest start. This Red Sox team desperately needs a jolt of adrenaline and to get back on track.
The Red Sox hit the road for three games at the Blue Jays and then four games at the New York Yankees. Just a week ago plenty of folks thought the Red Sox sent the Yankees packing and that those two series were pressure cookers. That amount of pressure will be nothing compared to this four game series in the Bronx with the division on the line. Let’s see what happens.
Red Sox Update 8/21
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 71-52
2. Yankees 66-57
3. Rays 61-65
4. Orioles 60-64
5. Blue Jays 59-65
Well here we are after the two drama filled weekends featuring matchups between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. The Red Sox managed to take 4 out of 6 games overall and find themselves in quite solid shape with about six weeks to go in the regular season. It really is the Red Sox’ division to lose at this point.
Certain offensive players just simply are not performing up to their capabilities and we have no idea of knowing if they will before October. Perhaps they will shine in the postseason fi the Red Sox manage to hold on to this playoff positioning. The much more critical factor at this point is the injury situation. Dustin Pedroia remains on the DL and starting pitcher David Price is still not back are the two most notable absences.
Pedroia’s situation appears a bit unclear. It appears as though the team is being very cautious (made possible by the play of Devers and acquisition of Nunez) and holding off on Pedroia until he can be brought back and hopefully peak in the postseason. The same may be true of Price or it may be worse. Price has reported stiffness recently when trying to complete his throwing programs. Time will tell if he is able to make it back this season.
This brings us to starting pitcher Rick Porcello. Starters Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz are clearly the anchors of the staff at this point. We don’t know what we will see from Price if anything and Eduardo Rodriguez has a long history of injuries and already dealing with that again this season. Porcello crashed back down to earth hard coming off his Cy Young season. He clearly was not pitching as well and giving up a ton of home runs, but he wasn’t as bad as his win-loss record suggested. The Red Sox gave him putrid run support after giving him extremely generous support last season. That has all changed in the last month or so. Porcello has been fabulous over his last starts. This could literally be the wild card for the postseason. Porcello is healthy and gaining confidence at the right time. If he can stay hot and pitch well that could be the biggest factor in getting the Red Sox back into the World Series.
Red Sox Update 8/14
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 67-50
2. Yankees 61-55
3. Rays 59-60
4. Orioles 58-60
5. Blue Jays 56-61
The Red Sox now have a 5.5 game lead over the NY Yankees after taking two of three games in the Bronx over the weekend. The Red Sox lost Friday night in horrific fashion and then bounced back nicely on Saturday and Sunday.
On Friday night the Red Sox bullpen absolutely imploded. The Sox blew a huge lead in the 8th inning. They came back to almost take the lead only to screw up the outcome with another base running error. It was great for fans to see the team bounce back strongly on Saturday and Sunday.
The Yankees come to Fenway this coming weekend which should be a very intense series. On Sunday night yet again Chris Sale was outstanding delivering seven exceptional innings with another 12 strikeouts. Sale will pitch again in this coming Yankees series.
A lot of the chatter now surrounds the use of the bullpen. It’s critical to realize that the Red Sox bullpen currently leads MLB in ERA. Yes, Friday night was debacle but that happens in professional sports. No player or team is flawless. Addison Reed was yanked again so there may be confusion as to his role after the recent acquisition and strong statements about Reed being the 8th inning guy. Time will tell as the intensity continues to maintain high levels.
Red Sox Update 8/11
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 65-49
2. Yankees 60-53
3. Rays 59-57
4. Orioles 57-58
5. Blue Jays 54-60
The Red Sox and Yankees square off for a weekend series in the Bronx this weekend and then next weekend the Yankees are in Fenway Park. That pretty much sums up the AL East currently. This two series of head to head baseball games could very well determine the outcome of the division. If one team does particularly well it might generate momentum that carries that team through September.
We have to mention Chris Sale again as he will be featured prominently in these games. The Yankees have handled the Red Sox so far this season and Red Sox manager John Farrell is loading his Chris Sale gun for these two series. Sale is now 14-4 with a 2.57 ERA and a mountain of strikeouts in his 229 registered so far this season. Sale’s last start was yet again simply brilliant: 8 IP, 2 hits, zero runs, one walk, and 13 Ks.
Red Sox Update 8/7
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 63-49
2. Yankees 59-51
3. Rays 58-55
4. Orioles 55-56
5. Blue Jays 52-59
As we look at these standings again here on August 7th in the dog days of summer, it is again very apparent that this AL East is an extremely tough division. Not a single team has a truly terrible record. Three teams are above .500 and the Orioles are essentially right at the .500 level. These teams will be looking to spoil things for the others in the division as we head down the home stretch.
Recent acquisitions are the biggest stories around the Boston Red Sox these days. GM Dave Dombrowski made some minor moves at the trade deadline and some say he was under strict orders to not unload any top prospects AND stay under the luxury tax. That handcuffed the GM to a certain extend but he still shook things up a little. The Red Sox are still waiting for Dustin Pedroia to come back from the DL and lefty David Price is again having issues with his pitching arm.
Dombrowski acquired utility infielder Eduardo Nunez at the trade deadline to add depth. So far, this move is looking like a stroke of genius. Nunez has been solid in the field and added a nice jolt of energy to the Red Sox. As a member of the Red Sox, Nunez is batting a torrid .400 and has 4 HRs and 12 RBIs. The Red Sox desperately need this power in their lineup.
Rafael Devers as mentioned previously was called up from the minors to see if he could take over third base. Offensively it certainly appears as though Devers will be in the big leagues for a long time. He is batting .349 and has three homers in his first few weeks in the bigs. He needs to improve on defense and running the bases but this looks like a move that might work out.
The other big acquisition and move was to obtain reliever Addison Reed via a trade. Reed is a middle reliever with a big salary that is very effective. So far Reed has tossed three and two thirds innings and surrendered a solo home run as his only run given up.
Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz are a combined 24-8 and are literally carrying the entire team in terms of starting pitching. Sale continues his march to a CY Young aware with a sparkling 13-4 record, 2.72 ERA, and a whopping 216 Ks.
This division should continue to be very exciting for fans as we approach the last month or so. The bottom line is the Red Sox will go as far as their top players take them. A handful of very important contributors simply are not getting the job done. If they do the Red Sox should get into the playoffs with a great shot to go the distance.
Red Sox Update 7/27
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 56-47
2. Yankees 53-46
3. Rays 53-49
4. Orioles 48-53
5. Blue Jays 47-54
Chris Sale yet again proved why not only is he the leading candidate for AL Cy Young winner, he is also a very legitimate candidate for AL MVP. Facing an ugly swoon where the Red Sox are having trouble getting out of their own way, Chris Sale was phenomenal versus the Seattle Mariners in an effort that snapped a concerning losing streak for the Red Sox. Sale sizzled through seven shutout innings and added another 11 strikeouts to his giant pile of Ks this season.
Rafael Devers did indeed make his MLB debut earlier in the week. He has shown some concerns defensively and he sure looks like he could be in better physical shape, but he also made it clear he has an explosive bat. That power is certainly there and Devers did launch one moonshot for his first career MLB home run.
As you can see above the slumping Red Sox are making these standings in the AL East tighten up sharply.
Red Sox Update 7/24
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 55-45
2. Yankees 51-46
3. Rays 51-48
4. Orioles 47-51
5. Blue Jays 44-54
The Red Sox called up Rafael Devers from Triple-A Pawtucket and he will be in the starting lineup on Tuesday 7/25. Third base was a huge problem for the club this season and it appears as though GM Dave Dombrowski has set in motion a methodical plan to try and fix that. The media and fans have been screaming about the problems at third while Dombrowski quietly pursues a solution or solutions. Devers will be the youngest player in MLB when he arrives. It sure looks like Dombrowski did indeed pursue any and all trade options only to realize that the trade options for third base for this season were not reasonable or feasible. This looks like he is fully intent on trying to win it all this season. The low risk move with Devers is to let him stay in Pawtucket and develop. Bringing him up signals Dombrowski feels the team can win a championship this season and they need his offense to make that deep run.
Devers has been absolutely mashing the ball in Pawtucket. The book on this youngster is that offensively he appears ready but that his defense at third base is not even close to the MLB level. The Red Sox are taking a calculated risk that his offensive punch could add more to the team than any defensive lapses take from the team.
As the standings above indicate the Red Sox have been in a bit of a funk since the series just before the All Star break. They are lucky the Yankees and Rays have been in a similar funk so they still lead the division. The Yankees have already made a few moves to help their bullpen and defense so the pressure is really picking up as we get set to enter August.
Red Sox Update 7/17
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 52-41
2. Rays 49-44
3. Yankees 47-43
4. Orioles 42-49
5. Blue Jays 42-49
Fresh off a 2-2 split with hated rivals in the NY Yankees at Fenway Park the Red Sox sit on top of the AL East currently with a 3 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. Check out those Rays who are sitting in second place and very much in the thick of this pennant race. This is a testament to what we have been saying all season which is that this division could come down to the very last week with so many teams close to .500 ball or playing above .500 baseball.
The Red Sox continue to kind of muddle along offensively with offense at times that is very lacking. Third Base has also been a concern the entire season. The Sox DFA’ed Pablo Sandoval and it looks like they are finally severing ties with The Panda permanently. The Red Sox have used a couple guys at third in his place and the defense has certainly improved as a result. Offensively however is still a cause of great concern.
The Red Sox appear to be absolutely loaded in their starting rotation. On Saturday 7/15 Chris Sales was just simply sensational yet again fanning 13 Yankees and only giving up three hits. On Sunday 7/16 David Price was yet again extremely solid in his outing and is very quietly having an excellent season on his way back from that elbow injury. Price is now 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA. Many media “experts” were predicting he would miss the entire season and be a total bust but David Price has asserted himself in a very big way. We look for him to be the big Wild Card heading for home along with EROD. Sale by all accounts appears set to continue his dominance but add in price and EROD and things can get very interesting indeed.
Red Sox Update 7/5
AL East Standings
1. Red Sox 49-35
2. Yankees 44-38
3. Rays 44-41
4. Orioles 40-43
5. Blue Jays 38-45
Well things have changed pretty significantly since our last update on the Boston Red Sox. In a nutshell the Red Sox have been on fire and the Yankees have struggled mightily. The Boston Red Sox currently have a 4 game lead in the AL East. Also of note is the consistent grinding and advancing by the Tampa Bay Rays. This is a very dangerous team in the second half of the 2017 MLB season.
The Red Sox are sending three players t represent the American League in the MLB All Star Game this season. Mookie Betts, Chris Sales, and Craig Kimbrel will be members of the AL team. Congratulations goes out to these three outstanding players.
In the last month the Red Sox really started to click together getting both key hitting and pitching performances from key players on a daily basis. Things certainly are not perfect and some players are still performing well below their abilities but the situation is much brighter than it was a month ago. Starting pitching is one area where very quietly and below the radar the Red Sox are really excelling.
David Price continues to work back into peak form and is now 4-2 with a 4.02 ERA. Price has rattled off a few very solid starts in the last two weeks. He is not yet his dominant self but it looks like he is getting past that elbow injury from earlier in the year.
Drew Pomeranz has been a very pleasant surprise. Pomeranz rather quietly now stands at 8-4 with a 3.62 ERA. He rarely gets the team late into the game but he keeps posting quality starts giving a solid effort for 5-6 innings.
Kimbrel is just simply lights out in the bullpen. Also of note is the great effort so far by Joe Kelly. Kelly, much maligned during his time in The Hub, has a miniscule ERA of just 1.00 for the year and is eating batters for lunch. He is a crucial component of that Red Sox bullpen.
And then of course we have Chris Sale. Sale is clearly the frontrunner for AL Cy Young and we feel he is a legitimate AL MVP candidate. Sale is simply sizzling to the tune of 11-3 with a 2.61 ERA and 166 strikeouts. Sale is the most important player on the team and an MVP candidate.
Eduardo Rodriguez recently made an outing in Pawtucket to prepare for a return to the big leagues after dealing with a knee injury. EROD is 4-2 on the year with a 3.54 ERA. Getting EROD back would be an absolutely enormous boost for the team as it tries to stay on track for a postseason run in 2017.
Red Sox Update 6/20
AL East Standings
1. Yankees 38-29
2. Red Sox 39-31
3. Rays 37-36
4. Orioles 34-35
5. Blue Jays 34-35
As the standings above indicate the Boston Red Sox continue to find themselves in the middle of a major battle in the AL East. This is simply the toughest Division in Major League Baseball. Expect this race to literally come down to the last week of the season where the Division and Wild Card spots are on the line.
The Red Sox briefly poked their heads into 1st Place in the AL East as the Yankees endured a very brutal losing streak. The thing that stands out the most overall this season for the Red Sox has to be the bullpen. Generally seen as an area of weakness in recent years, the bullpen has been phenomenal this season and literally saved the Red Sox several times. You can see this with the Red Sox winning so many one run games. Craig Kimbrel has been sensational and guys like Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes are really stepping up.
All of this occurs while the perceived strength of the Red Sox heading in to the season, starting pitching, languishes as the team’s major weakness thus far. Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez are clearly the two best and most consistent starting pitchers so far this season. The problem is that Rodriguez has been on the Disables List for a couple weeks now and will remain there through the All Star Break.
Rick Porcello, the AL Cy Young Award winner in 2016, has yet to get it going. David Price is back in the rotation with mixed results so far. A rookie LH came up and looked fabulous earlier, Brian Johnson, only to encounter injury challenges himself shortly thereafter.
Offensively the Red Sox statistically are certainly well above MLB average except in power output and home runs. The team is kind of cruising along and bound to get hot at some point. Stay tuned in because this will be a wild summer and pennant race in the AL East in 2017.
Another great source for Red Sox News and Updates: http://www.yardbarker.com/
Red Sox Update 6/7
AL East Standings
1. Yankees 32-23
2. Red Sox 32-25
3. Orioles 30-26
4. Rays 29-31
5. Blue Jays 28-31
The Boston Red Sox continue to hang around near the top of the AL East and took the first game of a short series between the Yankees and Red Sox in the Bronx on Tuesday night. The pitching situation is full of questions and very strong performances. Offensively the team has bumped it up a notch but is still below where it could be.
Craig Kimbrel continues to dominate. Drew Pomeranz, once considered a candidate for displacement, is putting together strong outings. Chris Sale pitched a very nice game the other day after a very rough first inning. Most importantly though in the last week, David Price pitched an absolute gem on Saturday in Baltimore facing a tough Os lineup full of mashers. Price was simply excellent and had a lot of zip on his fastball and cutter.
As mentioned previously there is an injury issue with Erod. Eduardo Rodriguez will be out with an injured knee until at least the All Star Break. The break is the target so let’s see how he progresses.
Christian Vazquez is giving the Red Sox some nice offensive punch as Sandy Leon continues to struggle. Mitch Moreland, Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, and Mookie Betts continue to serve as the foundation for the Red Sox offense. It will be interesting to see what this offense looks like if/when more players start performing close to their potential all at the same time.
There were some recent rumors about Big Papi, David Ortiz, returning to action from retirement. These do not appear to have any substance. Pedro Martinez, former Sox ace and legend, teased it via Twitter and it didn’t gain much traction from there.
Red Sox Update 6/2
AL East Standings
1. Yankees 31-20
2. Red Sox 29-24
3. Orioles 28-24
4. Rays 29-27
5. Blue Jays 26-28
Well a whole bunch has transpired before our last update which was leading into the juicy nine games at home stretch for the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox did indeed take advantage of that stretch of games and find themselves in 2nd place in the division currently. The team’s offense has really sprung to life. However, if you look at the standings above what really jumps out is how well all of the teams in the division are playing.
Let’s look at the Blue Jays as an example. The Jays were left for dead three weeks ago and have been on absolute fire since. They are almost back above .500. The Tampa Bay Rays are very competitive and sit just a game or two behind the Red Sox. This is a very tough division which means this summer will be extremely fun and exciting.
One thing to keep an eye on is Chris Sale. Sales, as mentioned here repeatedly, started out this season on a phenomenal run. However, if you look at his last five starts it has been a bit shaky. He has a history of starting fast and then running into some challenges so all eyes will be on Sale. His performance early on elevated the pressure on himself to be The Ace all year and into the playoffs.
David Price returned from the DL and tossed a solid game in five innings for his first start back. This was very encouraging. Eduardo Rodriguez injured his knee on 6/1 in a game and it is unknown what his status will be. He will miss some time but how much time is not yet determined. EROD does have a history of injuries with that knee so we shall see. Rodriguez has been the best all around starter for the Red Sox this season without a doubt. While not brilliant he has been very consistent.
Craig Kimbrel continues to be absolutely sensational. RH hitters have yet to get a hit off of him. So far he has been lights out in every situation.
Red Sox Update 5/22
AL East Standings
1. Yankees 25-16
2. Orioles 25-17
3. Red Sox 22-21
4. Rays 23-23
5. Blue Jays 19-26
As you can see from the standings noted above the Boston Red Sox continue to hover right smack in the middle of the pack in the AL East. Certainly fans are anxious to see this team put it all together and go on a run and there is still plenty of time to do just that. In fact, the upcoming nine games offer a great opportunity. Over the next nine games the Red Sox host the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners and play a three game set at the Chicago White Sox. This is a huge opportunity to win a chunk of these games before facing the Baltimore Orioles again in a crucial division battle.
David Price saw live action with the PawSox this past week and finished the outing with no reported discomfort or pain. Price was roughed up a bit but it is all about conditioning and getting ready to return to MLB action. Chris Sale continues to absolutely dominate even though as expected he cooled down a bit from his ridiculous pace of sheer brilliance. Eduardo Rodriguez has been effective and there is still time for Rick Porcello to get going good.
The offense continues to lack consistency. Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia have been consistent but others have not. Andre Benintendi went into a horrid slump and is well off his earlier pace and Hanley Ramirez has not yet delivered consistent power. This upcoming nine game stretch outlined above is very important and a great chance for the Red Sox to get going.
Red Sox Update 5/15
AL East Standings
1. New York 22-13
2. Baltimore 22-14
3. Boston 19-18
4. Tampa Bay 19-21
5. Toronto 17-21
The Red Sox head out on a road trip starting Tuesday night with two games at the St. Louis Cardinals. After that they play a four game series in Oakland. Following these six games the Red Sox return back to Fenway for a home stretch that takes through the following weekend.
At 19-18 the Red Sox are 4 games out of first place but just a game or so ahead of Tampa Bay nipping at them from behind. The team is just kind of hovering right now and really hasn’t made a definitive move yet in either direction good or bad. There have been stretches where the pitching is great and the offense is lacking and vice versa. The Red Sox have yet to get things clicking together nicely.
We have seen some great individual performances that are very encouraging such as the ones from Sale, Betts, Bogaerts, and of course Benintendi. The issue at 3B remains a large looming over the manager and GM as we just don’t know what we will get from that position or if any potential moves are underway. We will have to see how this tough six game road trip shapes up but as we get closer to Memorial Day the pressure to make a move in the standings will only ratchet higher.
By all accounts starting LHP David Price seems to be progressing nicely. Price continues to report no pain or discomfort in his throwing sessions and is getting ready for live action soon.
Red Sox Update 5/9
AL East Standings
1. New York 21-9
2. Baltimore 21-10
3. Boston 17-14
4. Tampa Bay 16-18
5. Toronto 12-20
As you can see the Red Sox have their work cut out for them in the AL East. The red hot, younger, and vibrant NY Yankees have recently jumped into 1st place just a hair ahead of the Baltimore Orioles for now.
What plagued the Red Sox for a couple of weeks seemingly sprung to life in the recent series versus the Minnesota Twins. The Red Sox absolutely hammered Twins pitching and put a while bunch of runs on the board to break out of their recent malaise. The Sox even provided ample run support for Chris Sale on a day when Sale actually surrendered four runs in an inning.
Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi have been on fire and leading the Red Sox offense. Bogaerts is currently hitting .340 and Benintendi is hitting .325. these are two huge postitive sings. Xander faded in the second half of last season and Andrew Benintendi is still officially a rookie even though he handles the crucial 3-hole in the Sox batting lineup. If both of these young players can keep it up that bodes very well for the Boston Red Sox.
Red Sox Update 5/3
AL East Standings
1. Baltimore 16-9
2. New York 16-9
3. Boston 14-12
4. Tampa Bay 14-14
5. Toronto 9-18
The Red Sox managed to get through the guantlet of the defending champ Chicago Cubs taking 2/3 games but they now are in a dogfight with the first place Orioles. This series with the Orioles has been filled with tons of drama and controversy and it is very clear these two teams simply do not like each other. Keep an eye on all of the mathcups between Baltimore and Boston and in particular the two series in September that look like they might determine the winner of the AL East.
Two players in particular that really stand out this week are Chris Sale and Hanley Ramirez. We continue to mention Sale here in the blog because frankly he is quite simply awesome. Here are Chris Sale's numbers so far:
63 Ks in 45.2 IP
Hanley Ramirez is really picking up the pace pounding moon shot homers left and right. This is a very much needed boost for the Boston Red Sox as the team has been moaning about the absence of David Ortiz recently. Here are Hanley's numbers so far:
.267 BA. 5 HR, 14 RBI
Red Sox Update 4/28
AL East Standings
1. Orioles 14-6
2. Yankees 13-7
3. Red Sox 11-10
4. Rays 11-12
5. Blue Jays 6-16
The heat in Boston from the fans and media is really starting to crank up as the Boston Red Sox languish in the middle of the pack in the AL East. The main challenge thus far after the early illness issues is the lack of offense. If you take away a recent 6-2 win over the Blue Jays, the Red Sox have scored only three total runs in the four games sandwiched around that Jays game they won.
The Red Sox continue to waste absolutely brilliant pitching performances from Chris Sale. The majority of the pitching to include the bullpen has actually been quite solid. Lack of offense so far is clearly the challenge.
Let’s see how the Red Sox respond this weekend as they host the Chicago Cubs in a very hyped up series that many felt might be a preview of the World Series. The Sox have so many talented players on offense it’s difficult to see them struggling for too much longer. The tough Cubs pitching staff however will have something to say about that.
Red Sox Update 4/21
AL East Standings
1. Orioles 10-4
2. Yankees 10-5
3. Red Sox 10-6
4. Rays 9-8
5. Blue Jays 3-12
On 4/20 it was yet again the Chris Sale and Mookie Betts show. Sale simply was sensational yet again. Sale sizzled through eight innings only walking one and giving up four hits. He struck out 13 Blue Jays. There was controversy surrounding why Sale did not pitch the ninth inning as well given how the number of pitches tossed through eight was quite low.
Kimbrel came on in a tie game and gave up a solo home run to Morales leading off the ninth to tie the game at 1-1. Mookie Betts bailed out Kimbrel and the Red Sox in the tenth inning with a bases clearing double. Betts has been on fire and is now hitting .340.
The Red Sox now travel to Baltimore for a three game set against the first place Orioles. After that they are home against the revamped and youthful New York Yankees and the defending World Series Champion Chicago Cubs. This is a very tough stretch coming up where the pitching staff will certainly be tested as well as the management of bullpen arms and middle relievers stepping up and getting the job done. After this stretch we should have a much better view of exactly who the Red Sox are this season. Moving past the flu epidemic and players missing games into this level of competition will be a great way to evaluate the team and how it looks in early May.
Injury Updates 4/25
The Red Sox placed 3B Pablo Sandoval on the 10-day DL with a sprained knee today. Panda has been struglging both at the plate and in the field essentially this entire season. Hopefully he can get healhty and turn it around but the Red Sox know they made a huge bet on Sandoval heading into this season.
David Price tossed 45 pitches off of a mound again today. Price sounds very optimistic about making a full return this season. The lefty stated he threw 15 pitches in three different sets while sitting for eight minutes between each set. He continues to tell everyone he has no discomfort in that left elbow.
Red Sox Update 4/17
The Boston Red Sox find themselves at 7-5 through 12 games and in 3rd place in the American League East. This far one of the biggest stories of the season was the start of the year and the team losing several players to illness and one key player to bereavement. The flu seemed to sweep through the Red Sox and sideline a handful of players. At this point the Red Sox have everyone back and are operating at close to full strength. Jackie Bradley Jr. and David Price remain on the disabled list.
The main stories on the field are clearly Chris Sale and Mitch Moreland. Chris Sale has been absolutely sensational in his three starts though he only has one win to show for it. Sale is dominating opposing hitters and leading the league in strikeouts. In his last outing Sale was brilliant over eight full innings and striking out twelve.
Mitch Moreland is hitting .356 with 9 doubles. The Red Sox obtained Moreland to fill the void left by David Ortiz by combining his output at first base and DH with that of Hanley Ramirez. It appears that so far that plan is working out nicely.
The pitching to this point has been a bit of a mixed bag. The Red Sox continue to operate without David Price in the rotation and a handful of players have not performed well of late. There are two extremely important pitchers that have been outstanding: Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel. Sale, as mentioned above has been simply breathtaking. Kimbrel, in his role as the heavily scrutinized Sox closer, is pitching wonderfully even with the added drama of him putting men on base in critical situations. Despite a few walks here and there Kimbrel is slamming the door shut in save situations and is a big reason why the Sox are above .500 currently.
Rick Porcello has not looked great yet. The Cy Young Winner from 2016 is off to a tepid start that includes getting roughed up last time out. Steven Wright hasn’t been able to find a groove and Eduardo Rodriguez has been well mediocre and not that inspiring to this point. There is however plenty of time to get the pitchers rolling in the right direction. It’s a long season so hopefully guys can get healthy and stay healthy.
Red Sox Update 4/7
The regular season finally arrived and the Red Sox jumped out to a 2-0 start winning both games at Fenway Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Steady rains arrived on Thursday of that first week and the third game was subsequently rained out.
The biggest highlight of the first week was the sensational debut of Chris Sale. Sale was absolutely brilliant tossing seven scoreless innings and giving up only three hits and one walk. Sale also struck out seven batters. Catcher Sandy Leon won the game in the 12th inning for the Red Sox with a three run homer.
On Opening Day the Red Sox welcomed members of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots out for pregame ceremonies. The Red Sox beat the Pirates 5-3 behind the stellar play of rookie sensation Andrew Benintendi. LF Benintendi is already hitting in the third spot in the order. In addition to making a fabulous catch in tricky left field at Fenway, Benintendi smashed a 3-r homer to lead the Red Sox. Cy Young Winner Rick Porcello started the game and was quite solid.
The Red Sox now head to Detroit for a four game series and then return to Fenway Park for a short series with the Baltimore Orioles. The rained out game with Pittsburgh will take place on Thursday April 13th.
Red Sox Spring Training Update - March 22nd
The Red Sox continue to roll through Spring Training as we get past the phase which includes the World Baseball Classic and the associated distractions. Let’s get caught up on a few key players and happenings:
Chris Sale – By all accounts Chris Sale appears to be gearing up for a very strong performance. On 3/21 Sale went a full six innings and struck out ten New York Yankees. Sale didn’t walk a batter and gave up only four hits. Unfortunately one of those hits was a two run homer.
Mitch Moreland – Mitch continues to make a strong case for himself getting plenty of at bats this season. Moreland is hitting .375 with 12 RBI this spring along with playing some solid defense.
David Price – Things are still somewhat unclear with David Price and his elbow. He has returned to doing some throwing and the team keeps stating that they expect him on the mound before the end of May. This bears careful watching as we simply do not know what will happen at this point with that elbow.
Drew Pomeranz – Pomeranz is another question mark for the Red Sox pitching depth. He continues to tell everyone that he is doing ok yet he consistently reports discomfort in his tricep on his throwing arm. Pomeranz has battled injuries the entire time since his arrival via a trade in 2016 so again this is another that bears close scrutiny.
Red Sox Spring Training Update – March 10th
The Boston Red Sox have been down at Fenway South for a couple weeks now and things seem to be progressing fairly smoothly. Here are the main points of discussion to this point:
David Price – Is his injury serious? There was speculation initially that Price’s elbow injury was leading straight to Tommy John surgery. However, after a visit with Dr. Andrews the pitcher was told to rest for 7-10 days and evaluate again at that point. We will have to wait and see what happens.
Chris Sale – Sales has made one start this spring so far and he was ok. There “news” related to Sale is that there really hasn’t been any news. Sale appears to be preparing for the season as he would any other season. Most importantly he looks healthy.
EROD – Eduardo Rodriguez has made two starts so far and looked pretty solid. This is great news. Erod is crucial to the depth of the Red Sox rotation this season and he needs to bounce back strongly. It’s great news to see Erod healthy and gaining momentum.
Mitch Moreland – To this point it looks like Mitch Moreland can provide some pop in the lineup against RH pitching and spell Hanley Ramirez at 1B. This was a huge question coming in with the retirement of David Ortiz. Moreland has flashed some power. So far so good. Let’s keep our eye on him and hope he is a powerful force in the lineup.
Red Sox Recap
The Red Sox were winners again of the American League East in 2016 but finished the season with a swift and disappointing loss to the Cleveland Indians in the first round of the MLB Playoffs. However, fans have every reason to be very excited about the upcoming 2017 season and attending Red Sox games at Fenway Park and other stadiums around MLB.
In the offseason Red Sox management got to work rapidly and in very aggressive fashion. The biggest move of course was the acquisition of Chris Sale to substantially augment the starting rotation while giving away prized prospect Moncada. Now the Red Sox will hit the season running with three studs leading their rotation David Price, Rick Porcello off his Cy Young, and the aforementioned Chris Sale. In addition to this firepower the Red Sox still have Erod, Steven Wright, Drew Pomeranz, and others.
Let’s take a look at the Red Sox projected lineup:
LF – Andrew Benintendi
CF – JBJ Jr.
RF – Mookie Betts
3B – Pablo Sandoval
SS – Xander Bogaerts
2B – Dustin Pedroia
1B – Mitch Moreland
DH – Hanley Ramirez
C – Sandy Leon
This Boston Red Sox team should continue to score lots of runs and be very effective even with the retirement of David Ortiz. The team didn’t get much from 3B last season so Sandoval could actually be an upgrade. This will also be the first full season for Andrew Benintendi and that could add another full time above .300 hitter to this lineup. This should be a very exciting and fun filled season.
Chris Sale - One of the most intriguing aspects of this coming season will be the performance of Chris Sale. Sale is in what many times is the sweet spot for a pitcher's career arc when they reach maximum output and performance levels. Lots of fans are curious to see how well he can produce with the support of a stronger team behind him. Chris Sale put up very impressive numbers for a teamthat was generally struggling and rebuilding. It will be very exciting to see what Chris Sale can do with a very taleneted supporting cast around him.
Here are the final standings from last season and the odds to win the World Series and season win total assigned by the oddsmakers:
1. Boston Red Sox 93-69
2. Toronto Blue Jays 89-73
3. Baltimore Orioles 89-73
4. New York Yankees 84-78
5. Tampa Bay Rays 68-94
Red Sox Odds to win the World Series: 11/2
Season Win Total: 96.5
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