Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Nathan Eovaldi To Have Surgery Today On Right Elbow, Out 4-6 Weeks

The Red Sox suffered a major blow to their 2019 pitching rotation yesterday, as it was announced that Nathan Eovaldi would undergo right elbow surgery today. The procedure will be to remove "loose bodies" in his elbow—identical to the surgery he had last season as a member of the Rays. He missed two months of the season after that operation. The Red Sox expect that Eovaldi will miss 4-6 weeks this time—but it's likely to be more like 6-8 weeks. You would think this news would motivate the Red Sox to go out and sign free-agent starter Dallas Keuchel—but so far, there are no indications of that. Stay tuned!

Blake Swihart Traded To D'Backs; Collects An RBI In First Arizona Game

The Red Sox traded away Blake Swihart to 'RedSoxSouthwest' (the Arizona Diamondbacks) yesterday for an unknown outfielder (Marcus Wilson). Both GM Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo are Boston alums. Thus, Swihart—once a highly-touted catching prospect—can likely get some steadier playing time in the desert. Originally from New Mexico, Swihart will also be going home to the region he grew up in. Right on cue, he got an RBI pinch-hit single in his first game with Arizona. As far back as 2013, we were lucky enough to interview Swihart as one of several young Sox catching prospects. When asked about the competition at the backstop position, Swihart stated, "We all just know that we have to go out and play and prove we can do the job—no matter what level we're at. It's a good group, we don't really butt heads with each other. We actually teach each other and talk to each other all the time." Swihart was always a class act and endured multiple setbacks in his young career—most notably injuries from being jerked-around at multiple positions by the Red Sox organization. His "super futility" role is hopefully now a thing of the past. Good luck, Blake!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Red Sox Edge Rays Again, 4-3, Complete Sweep Of AL East Leader Tampa

(Getty Images)
It was another nail-biter, but the Red Sox are starting to win games like they did early last season—decent pitching and scrappy offense. Boston completed a sweep of division-leading Tampa with a 4-3 win in extra innings. As has been the custom recently, Boston coughed-up a late lead—this time when the over-worked Matt Barnes gave up a solo shot in the eighth. The Red Sox offense was paced by Xander Bogaerts (1-5, 2 RBIs) and Mitch Moreland (1-2, RBI, R, HR). Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi chipped in with two hits apiece, and Christian Vazquez knocked in the eventual winning run on a sacrifice fly. The run was also set-up by a near-perfect sacrifice bunt by Jackie Bradley, Jr. David Price hurled five solid innings—giving up just two earned runs. The win puts Boston just four games under .500 and just five back of the Rays. They return home for a 10-game homestand that should offer a golden opportunity to fully right the Good Ship 2019.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Red Sox Blow 5-0 Lead, Come Back To Win First Series Of 2019, 6-5 Over Rays

(Getty Images)
It took a planned pick-off play to end the game, but Boston ended up winning a wacky 6-5 contest over the division-leading Rays on Saturday. After blowing a 5-0 lead, the Red Sox found themselves on the brink of another loss—tied 5-5 in the top of the ninth. Brand new Carmine Hoser Michael Chavis had a huge pinch-hit double in his first MLB at-bat—setting up a sacrifice fly by Andrew Benintendi (who had previously hit a grand slam). Rick Porcello pitched his best game of the year—going 5.2 innings and giving up just two earned runs. Mookie Betts had two more hits on his long, slow climb back to elite status. The win put Boston at five games under .500 and six games back of Tampa in the AL East. Amazingly, this was the team's first series win of 2019.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Eovaldi Goes On The DL, Former Maryland Terp Shawaryn May Take Spot

The Red Sox have placed starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi on the 10-day DL (we refused to call it the "injured list") with loose bodies in his elbow. Eovaldi has a history of this issue and it's unclear if he'll need to undergo surgery. Boston may recall Mike Shawaryn to take Eovaldi's spot in the rotation. The former University of Maryland Terrapin has had another solid season in the minors so far—sporting a 3.12 ERA in 17 innings of work for AAA Pawtucket. Stay tuned!

FenwayNation POLL: Majority Think Red Sox Will Finish Out Of The Playoffs

Results to our latest FenwayNation Poll show that a majority of readers (53%) think the Red Sox will not make the post-season in 2019 due to their dreadful start. As the chart shows, just over one-third of voters (35%) think Boston will secure one of the AL Wild Card spots, while 12% still believe that—despite the poor start—The Carmine Hose will win the American League East pennant. Boston is currently in last place in the division—seven games behind first-place Tampa. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

Mookie And Mitch Homer Late, Red Sox Beat First-Place Rays, 6-4 In Tampa

(Getty Images)
After blowing yet another lead, the Red Sox found themselves tied at four apiece in the top of the eight inning last night at the MostPulpDome in Tampa. Then, Mookie Betts and Mitch Moreland went back-to-back yard—giving Boston the lead again in the eventual 6-4 win. Previously, red-hot Christian Vazquez launched a two-run home run—his fourth of the season. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched OK—going 5.1 innings and giving up four runs (three earned). Brandon Workman, Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier (4th save) worked three scoreless innings in relief. This was an important win for the Red Sox, who—despite residing in the AL East cellar—are just two wins behind the second-place Evil Empire.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Ellen Adair's Rules for Cheering Part IV: Special Interest Cheering

Actress/Baseball Nerd Ellen
by Ellen Adair

At last, it’s spring, and hope has returned to the northern hemisphere: the trees are budding, lambs are gamboling on the verdant green, and no one is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. So, it’s time for you to get your cheering in gear! Particularly because nothing else besides the movement of your own mouth is going to keep you warm for early-season baseball. 

If you haven’t read my first three installments on cheering, you can bring yourself up to speed with my “How Not to Cheer,” outlining basic do’s and don’ts, “How to Cheer Like a Sports Announcer,” and “How to Cheer like a Stat Geek.” And if you doubt my cheering bona fides, just know that I recently brought a sign to cheer for Eloy Jimenez versus the Evil Empire, and he responded by hitting his first--and second--major league home runs. My cheering techniques get results, people. 

So in this, the final installment in my suggestions for sporting event spectators, groups a couple of my personal favorite ways to cheer. The essential principle here is to find an angle, and work it. I’ll give you a couple of my own examples.

FenwayNation POLL: Where Will The Red Sox Finish In The 2019 Season?

The Red Sox are currently 6-13. Which ONE of the following do you think is their MOST likely 2019 finish?
pollcode.com free polls

Thursday, April 18, 2019

'Pen Blows Winnable Game, Sox Lose To Empire 5-3, On Pace For 51 Wins

(Getty Images)
Last night's game looked like a win. Entering the bottom of the seventh inning, Boston had a 3-1 lead after a solid start by Nathan Eovaldi. Ah, but then the bullpen emerged. Sometime closer Ryan Brasier entered for the seventh, after the bases had been loaded by Brandon Workman. A grand slam later, and the Red Sox were behind, 5-3—the eventual final score. Early on, home runs by J.D. Martinez and Christian Vazquez had boosted Boston's edge to 3-0. But this team seems incapable of putting in the dagger. Their 6-13 record is the worst by a World Series champ since the 1998 Marlins (who had been almost completely dismantled after their win). This team is pretty much intact except for Craig Kimbrel—oh, yeah, that closer guy. This situation would be laughable if it weren't so depressing. Something needs to be done soon to shake-up this lethargic group.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

HumiliationNation: Red Sox Get Skunked By Evil Ones, 8-0; Tumble Continues

(Getty Images)
OK, this is starting to get serious. Your 2018 World Series Champions are now 6-12 on the year—and on a treadmill to oblivion (thank you, Somerville, Massachusetts native Fred Allen). Last night, Chris Sale had his velocity up to about 98 MPH, but he still got hit hard. He went just five innings and gave up four earned runs in the eventual 8-0 shellacking. Oh, and the offense took the night off again as well. Boston mustered just three hits in the shutout loss. After Blake Swihart was released, both Sandy Leon and Erasmo Ramirez were elevated from AAA. Ramirez is likely headed back today after going three innings and giving up another four earned runs (all on home runs). This was a true stinker and raises the question of what exactly is wrong with the Red Sox. Is it World Series hangover, lethargic players, inept management/coaching? Maybe all of it. Whatever, it can't go on much longer without some serious changes being made.

Monday, April 15, 2019

"The Flop Heard 'Round The World", Red Sox Fall To O's On Patriots Day, 8-1

(Getty Images)
Paul Revere would probably be hiding out in Revere. The great American Revolutionary War hero would likely be avoiding Monday's Patriots Day fiasco, an 8-1 Red Sox loss. For some reason, today's starter Hector Velazquez was allowed to pitch an inning in relief a couple of days ago—so, of course, he stunk up the joint today—going just three innings and walking four. The whole Boston effort was lackluster and uninspired—with players out-of-position and hitters flailing at out-of-the-zone pitches. The aggressiveness and grit that characterized the 2018 World Series Champions is nowhere to found on this squad—having ridden off on a "midnight ride" of its own. There are really no highlights in this one—except maybe a nice throw by Mookie Betts to nail a runner at second and a nifty diving catch by left-fielder Steve Pearce (barely avoiding a nasty collision). All in all, another crappy effort—resulting in the now 6-11 record. Bad World Champions—no biscuit!

FenwayNation's International Editor On The Legacy Of Jackie Robinson Day

by Mark Lawrence, FN International Editor

Sydney, Australia—As every red-blooded citizen of Fenway Nation knows, the 2004 season was most definitely One For The Books. That year was choc’ full of baseball history alright with long, tall Randy Johnson tossing the 17th perfect game in MLB history in May and notching his 4000th strikeout just a month later.  Ken Griffey, Junior joined that elite 500 Homer Club in June and Greg Maddux tallied win number 300 in August. And don’t forget Ichiro—securing the Single Season Hits record with 262, snapping George Sisler’s eight-decade record of 257. And of course, there was that underdog team from The Fens who managed to break a little bit of a drought with Boston’s first World Series win in 86 long and tortuous years. It was, to be sure, a wonderful year – but then again, what baseball season isn’t? 2004 was different, though—in March of that year, Commissioner Bud Selig had something to say and I’ll paraphrase it here:

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Bogie And Price Lead The Way As Red Sox Shut Out Orioles, 4-0

(Getty Images)
David Price turned in the best Red Sox starting pitching performance of the year this afternoon, hurling seven shutout innings in Boston's 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Price allowed just three hits and struck out seven while walking none. On the offensive end of things, Xander Bogaerts was pretty much a one-man show—driving in all four runs, including a three-run home run in the eighth inning. J. D. Martinez added two hits to the offense, while Andrew Benintendi had to leave the game after fouling a pitch off his foot. Thankfully, x-rays were negative, but BennyBallgame will probably miss a few starts. In any event, The Carmine Hose have pulled to within four games of the .500 mark (6-10), and will look to take the series tomorrow on Marathon Monday (11 AM Eastern start).

Porcello Continues 'Ugly Ricky' Streak, Gets Pounded By O's, Sox Lose, 9-5

(Getty Images)
The confounding streak of crappy Red Sox starting pitching performances continued on Saturday, as Rick Porcello stunk up the park again. The former Cy Young-winner went just four innings—giving up three earned runs while walking five Orioles in the eventual 9-5 loss. Porcello's ERA is now an astounding 11.12. The Red Sox offense tried to recover again—with Christian Vazquez leading the way (2-4, HR, 4 RBIs). But, alas, the bullpen was also inept—with Colten Brewer alone giving up four earned runs in 0.0 innings of work (nice job!). So, your 2018 World Series Champion Red Sox are now tied for last place again—with a pathetic 5-10 record. David Price, The Nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

JBJ Becomes SpiderMan, Red Sox Win Second Straight, Beat Orioles, 6-4

(Getty Images)
Jackie Bradley, Jr. made two spectacular defensive pays in center field (one climbing the wall like SpiderMan) and the Red Sox won their second straight game on Friday at Fenway Park, 6-4. Finally combining a potent offense with solid starting pitching, the 2018 World Series champions are starting to replicate the kind of play that fans saw last season. Xander Bogaerts went 3-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Andrew Benintendi started the scoring with his first 2019 home run. Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez also chipped in with two hits apiece. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched 6.2 solid innings—tiring in the seventh and giving up two earned runs. The bullpen was again effective—aside from another bad outing by the benighted Tyler Thornburg. Boston is now just one-half game behind The Evil Ones in third place.

Friday, April 12, 2019

FAA Is Investigating Drone That Flew Over Fenway Park On Thursday Night

It actually slowed down the game a little bit last night—when players noticed the drone flying over the Fenway Park outfield. It was kind of humorous to the players, fans and broadcasters—but not to your Federal Aviation Administration. No, indeed! Said the agency on Friday, "The FAA is investigating a report that a drone flew over Fenway Park during a baseball game last night. Flying drones in and around stadiums is prohibited starting one hour before and ending one hour after the scheduled game." Once they find the perpetrator, he or she could go to jail for up to three years, and be fined anywhere from $32,666 (for civil penalties) to $250,000 (for criminal penalties). So, some loser who likes to play around with toy aircraft might be "droning" their pathetic life away in federal prison soon. Serves them right— you don't screw around with baseball like that!

Rafael Devers Caps-Off A Red Sox Comeback With A Walk-Off Winner, 7-6

(Getty Images)
This is the kind of victory that can jump-start a team. After falling behind 5-0 (thanks to yet another crappy starting pitching performance), the Red Sox made a steady climb back into last night's game—eventually tying up the Blue Jays at 5-5. Falling behind yet again, Boston faced a 6-5 deficit in the bottom of the ninth. An epic at-bat by Mitch Moreland (fouling off multiple high fastballs from the Toronto closer) resulted in a ripped RBI double off the center field wall that tied things again at 6-6. Moreland also had homered earlier. After loading the bases, Rafael Devers collected his first career walk-off hit with a chopping ground ball over the heads of the drawn in infield for the eventual 7-6 win. With that, The Carmine Hose secured their fourth win of the year—and began to finally resemble the 2018 champs. The game was marred by a claim by StatCast that Blue Jay Rowdy Tellez's third-inning home run off Nathan Eovaldi was—at 505 feet—the longest in Fenway Park history. Those of us in the know realize that the blast—though prodigious—was nowhere near the epic Ted Williams 'Red Seat' blast of 502 feet. StatCast has since taken down its estimate, so we shall see. Bring on the Orioles!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires—And Another 'Ringing' Loss For The Sox, 7-5

(Getty Images)
If Red Sox ace Chris Sale ever finishes a nine-inning outing—he will likely give up nine runs. That's where the lanky lefty's ERA stands today—a 'perfect' 9.00. Sale had another command-free outing in Tuesday's Home Opener at Fenway Park—yielding five earned runs in just four innings of work in a 7-5 loss. Inevitably, questions are arising around Sale's health—who averaged just 91.8 MPH on his fastballs yesterday. It's hard to imagine that the Red Sox would have handed over $145 million in their recent five-year contract extension if Sale was damaged goods. Still, something is clearly wrong—no matter how much spin comes out of the Kremlin-like Red Sox front office. In the game itself, Boston collected eight hits—including home runs by Mookie Betts (3) and Mitch Moreland (4). Dustin Pedroia went 1-4 in his first start since last May—and looked perfectly healthy. But this one was pretty much over when it was clear that Sale could not hold yet another lead (2-0). This team may have just gotten their rings for their amazing 2018 season—but things are going decidedly non-amazing so far in this 2019 season.