Sunday, May 27, 2018

"Yard"-Sale: Sox Ace Gives Up Three-Run Homer, Boston Falls To Braves, 7-1

(Getty Images)
This was not your typical Chris Sale outing. The lefty went just 4.1 innings, giving up six earned runs in perhaps his worst start of the year. Things did not look good after Sale coughed-up up a three-run shot early on—and, sure enough, it did not get any better in the eventual 7-1 loss. Boston's "offense" was held to just four hits—making Sale's performance kind of moot anyway. This was a stinker of a game, with more bad defense (from the totally unexpected source of Jackie Bradley, Jr.) and a total lack of punch. The fact that both Mookie Betts (slight injury, scratched right before game time) and J.D. Martinez (getting a scheduled rest, we guess) were missing in action didn't help the cause. Of course, The Bronx Embalmers won at The Concrete Bunker On 161st Street—meaning the AL East lead is back down to just one game. Blue Jays in town tomorrow.

POLL: Three-Quarters Support The Red Sox In DFA'ing Hanley Ramirez

Early results to our latest FenwayNation Poll show that fully three-quarters of our readers (75%) favor the decision by the Red Sox to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment. As the chart shows, one-quarter oppose the move. Frankly, given the largely negative reaction to the transaction on social media in the immediate hours after it happened, we were surprised at the results to our poll. Clearly, Red Sox management has the support for most fans. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Benny And Mitchy Team-Up To Move Sox 20 Over .500, Beat Braves, 8-6

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Your 2018 Carmine Hose are now 20 games over the .500 mark and own the best record in baseball at 36-16. Today, Andrew Benintendi (3-4, 3 RBIs, 2 Rs, homerun #6) and Mitch Moreland (2-5, 2 RBIs, 1 R) led the way in Boston's 8-6 victory over the former Boston Braves. The Red Sox overcame a 3-0 deficit—caused by the third straight horrendous performance by starter Drew Pomeranz. The lefty only managed to make it through 3.1 innings—giving up five earned runs. The Boston bullpen again shone (particularly should-be starter Steven Wright)—delivering 5.2 innings, while yielding just one earned run. Ironically, that run came as a HR off closer Craig Kimbrel—who notched his 16th save of 2018. The returning Dustin Pedroia went 0-4 with a walk, scoring a hustle run from second base.

POLL: Do You Favor Or Oppose The Red Sox DFA'ing Hanley Ramirez?

All things considered, do you favor or oppose the Red Sox designating Hanley Ramirez for assignment?
 
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Mookie Clouts MLB-Leading 17th HR, Red Sox Roll Over Solid Bravos, 6-2

(Getty Images)
At some point, the dweebs in Bristol, Connecticut will have to start mentioning the name of Mookie Betts on their telecasts. It will be unavoidable—as Betts continues to demonstrate that he is the best player in baseball this 2018 season. Mookie notched his MLB-leading 17th HR last night in Boston's 6-2 win over the young, talented (formerly Boston) Braves. Eduardo Rodriguez had a decent outing—but, again, his high pitch count (101) forced him out before he could finish six innings. The "domino" effect this created on the bullpen meant Craig Kimbrel was forced to unnecessarily work the ninth. E-Rod went 5.2, giving up six hits and two earned runs—while waking three and striking out seven. The Red Sox powered out four home runs—Betts, J.D. Martinez (his 16th), Mitch Moreland (his 8th) and Xander Bogaerts (his 7th). Mookie's two-run blast padded Boston's lead in the seventh and gave him 37 RBIs on the year. Boston's revamped line-up (minus the DFA'd Hanley Ramirez), has three players who are slugging over .600 (Betts, Martinez, Moreland). Boston maintained its one-game lead in the AL East and will now play three successive day games.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Reflections On The Always Interesting Hanley Ramirez Era With The Red Sox

(Michael Ivins Photo-Red Sox)
All indications are that the Hanley Ramirez Era in Boston has come to an end. With today's designation of the 1B/DH by the Red Sox, the team has seven days to either trade him or release him outright. Hopefully, someone will agree to a trade for a useful player—which would mean John Henry will still likely pay the bulk of the $15 million left on Hanley's 2018 contract (but do you really care about Henry's wallet?) Perhaps more importantly, the Red Sox will be out from under any automatic vesting option for next season—for which $22 million would kick-in after he reached 497 at-bats this year. Let's take a look at the fullness of Hanley's Red Sox career. I can vividly remember watching the 21-year-old Hanley (clad in green on St. Patrick's Day) playing in a 2005 Spring Training game for the Red Sox. Aside from a two at-bat "cup of coffee" in the 2005 regular season, all of his meaningful playing time came in the four (plus) years between 2015 and last night. In 431 games in Carmine Hose, Hanley hit .260 with 78 HRs and 255 RBIs. He posted an OBP of .326, with a .450 slugging percentage and a .776 OPS. In the rest of his career (nine seasons with the Marlins and Dodgers), he hit .300 with 191 HRs and 654 RBIs. His non-Red Sox OBP was .373, with a .500 slugging percentage and an .873 OPS. Clearly, as he aged (he's now 34), his production declined. He did, however, bring an energy and spirit to the team that will be missed. Who can forget his gesture on April 2nd of this year in Miami—promising a kid a jersey if he homered, then delivering? We wish you the best, Hanley!

BREAKING NEWS: Red Sox Designate Hanley Ramirez For Assignment

In a shocking move to make room on the roster for Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox have designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment. Stay tuned for more details. By this move, Boston can now walk away from the $15 million or so left on Ramirez’s contract through the rest of the season. The Red Sox have seven days to trade or release Hanley. This transaction also lets the team off the hook for any automatic "re-up" of his $22 million vesting option for 2019 based on getting 497 at-bats in 2018.

'Ugly Ricky' Returns! Has Another Bad Outing, As Red Sox Fall To Rays, 6-3

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Rick Porcello was all over the place last night—missing locations, walking batters, and getting smoked when he did get the ball over the plate. From the very first batter of the night, it was clear that Porcello had nothing. It was another curiously bad outing by the only right-hander on the starting staff—as he went just 3.2 innings, giving up all six Rays runs (four earned). Boston struggled to generate offense all night, finally breaking through in the seventh on an Tampa error. In the ninth, the Red Sox added two more runs—including a homerun by Mitch Moreland (his 7th). The 6-3 loss reduced Boston's lead in the AL East to just one game over the idle Evil Ones. The Red Sox return home tonight against the former Boston Braves—who now reside somewhere in the Old Confederacy.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Rays Error Gift-Wraps 4-1 Victory For Red Sox, Move 1.5 Games Up In Division

(Getty Images)
A tight 1-1 ballgame became a comfortable 4-1 win after a rookie Tampa shortstop made a critical throwing error in the ninth inning. The miscue put J.D. Martinez on second base—and the Red Sox capitalized by plating three runs. After that, Craig Kimbrel delivered a "rocking-chair" ninth inning for his 15th save of the season. The key hit in the ninth was a stinging double to the left-filed corner by Xander Bogaerts that scored Martinez with the eventual winning run. David Price delivered another solid performance in the aftermath of his carpal tunnel diagnosis—going six strong innings, giving up just one run on three hits and striking out nine. The Boston win pushed their division lead in the AL East to 1.5 games—as The Evil Ones blew a 10-5 lead and lost to the Rangers, 12-10.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Mookie, Raffie And Sale Propel Red Sox Into First Place In 4-2 Win Over Rays

(Getty Images)
Mookie Betts clouted a three-run homer, Rafael Devers smacked a solo shot, and Chris Sale pitched 7.2 strong innings as Boston reclaimed sole possession of first place with a 4-2 win over the Rays. Betts' blast was his MLB-leading 16th and he is now hitting .368. Perhaps the rest of baseball (and John Henry's wallet) will begin noticing that this is the best player in the game. Sale got his fifth win of the year, yielding only four hits and one earned run, while striking out nine. Jackie Bradley, Jr. showed signs of breaking out his season-long slump—smacking two hits and scoring a run. Boston's win coupled with a loss by The Evil Ones, shot the Red Sox into first place in the AL East. They own the most wins in baseball—33.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Red Sox Go Yard Three More Times, J.D. Twice, Pummel Lowly Orioles, 5-0

(Getty Images)
J.D. Martinez launched his 14th and 15th homeruns on Sunday—and Andrew Benintendi hit his fifth—as the Red Sox took three out of four from the struggling Orioles, 5-0. Martinez tucked one around the Pesky Pole and the other into the CF seats to account for three of Boston's runs. Benintendi went 3-4 on the day—including a two-run HR. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched 5.2 solid innings—striking out seven Birds and walking none. The Red Sox stayed in a first-place tie with the win, as The Pinstriped Posers were also victorious. Boston also maintains its position as the team with the most wins in all of baseball—32—two ahead of The Evil Ones and Astros and ten more wins than the Central Division-leading Cleveland Indians.

Almost One-Third Of All Who Wear Sea Dog Laundry Reach "The Show"

Want to make it to the major leagues? Make sure you stop off in Portland, Maine. An analysis by the Portland Press Herald reveals that nearly one-third of all players who reach Boston's AA Portland Sea Dogs (31.8%) make it to the big leagues. And, quite a few of them excel. The paper estimates that by the end of this season, 8.6% will have played in at least 1,000 MLB games. The Portland franchise has been in existence for 25 years now—and became affiliated with the Red Sox in 2003. Thus, 97 of the players who went on to 'The Show' were from the Marlins organization (does Kevin Millar ring a bell?), while the rest (118) were wearing Carmine Hose. Some of the stellar alums from the Red Sox organization are: Dustin PedroiaAndrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr.Mookie Betts, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jonathan Papelbon, Brandon Moss, Jed Lowry, Xander Bogaerts and Hanley Ramirez. So, if you have your heart set on an MLB playing career, ask your travel agent about booking you into Portland. Plus, the seafood is damn good.

Red Sox Go Yard Three Times, Thrash Orioles To Stay In First Place, 6-3

(USAToday Sports)
Mookie Betts clouted his 15th HR—and Andrew Benintendi (4th) and Rafael Devers (8th) also went 'yard', as the Red Sox thrashed the lowly Baltimore Orioles 6-3 On Saturday night. Rick Porcello got himself back on track—going six innings and giving up three earned runs while striking out nine. The bullpen delivered three scoreless innings—including Craig Kimbrel's 13th save. Boston broke the game open in the fifth inning, when Betts and Benintendi hit back-to-back round-trippers. The Red Sox maintained their tie atop the AL East as The Evil Ones also won.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Not The Way The Red Sox "Drew" It Up, As They Fall To Lowly Orioles, 7-4

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Drew Pomeranz can't seem to get out of the fourth inning lately. The lefty last just four last night in a depressing 7-4 loss to perhaps the worst team in baseball—the Baltimore Orioles. The tone was set by the very first Bird batter—who drew a four-pitch walk from Pomeranz. Game. Set. Match. Down 5-1, Boston Battled back, but Steven Wright gave up two more runs in relief and the comeback trail was just to steep. Mookie Betts had another epic night in the loss—clouting his 14th HR and notching two doubles in a 3-5 effort. He is now hitting .371. Boston also got multiple hit games from: J.D. Martinez (2-5), Eduardo Nunez (2-4) and Christian Vazquez (2-3). Luckily, The Evil Ones also lost, so the two teams remain tied atop the AL East.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Non-Discounted Price Fires Complete Game In Sox 6-2 Victory Over Orioles

(Getty Images)
Bring on the carpal tunnel, and give it to the rest of the staff! David Price threw a complete-game five-hitter—striking out eight—in Boston's 6-2 win over the hapless Orioles. The lefty nearly threw a shutout, but that was spoiled by a 9th-inning 2-run HR. The Red Sox were in cruise control for most of this game—gliding through with a 6-0 lead. The offense was again paced by Xander Bogaerts (another 3-run HR), J.D. Martinez (another 2-run HR)—with Hanley Ramirez (2-4, R), Mookie Betts (3-4, BB, 2 Rs) and Sandy Leon (2-4) all contributing multiple-hit games. The win moved the Red Sox back into a tie for first place—and gave them the distinction of being the first MLB team to achieve 30 wins in 2018.