Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cubs Deliver A 'Knuckle' Sandwich To Red Sox, Fall, 7-4

(AP Photo)
The Red Sox led 3-0 and 4-2 in today's game, then the Chicago Cubs figured out Steven Wright's knuckle ball. Aggressively swinging at first pitch floaters, Cub hitters started going deep in an eventual 7-4 win over the Red Sox. The Boston bullpen—which for some unknown reason is considered "good"—was painfully lousy today, giving up two runs, three hits and two walks in just 2.2 innings. One bright spot was Andrew Benintendi's second HR in as many days. However, this was a game that a contending team wins—and wins easily. The Red Sox are not such a team. Pure and simple.

BREAKING: Sox Display Actual Offense, Beat Cubs, 5-4

(AP Photo)
The rumors were true—the 2017 Carmine Hose can actually hit the baseball. Not only that, they scored runs in the first inning—five to be exact. That tally proved to be just enough as the Red Sox outlasted the World Series Champions, 5-4. After falling behind 1-0 on a mammoth Kris Bryant HR (watched from the stands by his Medford-born Dad), Andrew Benintendi tied it with his own solo balst—igniting the five-run uprising. Drew Pomeranz was just good enough to keep things relatively in check—going six solid innings and giving up just two earned runs. The bullpen effort was a bit shaky, but proved just good enough, as Craig Kimbrel struck out the side again in the 9th for his eighth save. Multiple hit games were put in by: Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, Christian Vazquez and Marco Hernandez.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Blue Jays Release Ex-Red Sox C Jarrod Saltalamacchia

(FenwayNation Photo)
The Toronto Blue Jays today designated for assignment former Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. "Salty", now 32 years old, was having a brutal year so far in 2017 (hitting .040). He probably has an outside chance of getting a minor-league deal with somebody—but this could be the end of the road. During his four years in Carmine Hose, Salty hit .243 with 55 HRs and 181 RBIs.

Muddy Chicken Hitting Sixth For First Time In Career

Here is today's Red Sox lineup against the World Series Champion Cubbies: Xander Bogaerts SS, Andrew Benintendi LF, Mookie Betts RF, Hanley Ramirez DH, Mitch Moreland 1B, Dustin Pedroia 2B, Jackie Bradley, Jr. CF, Christian Vazquez C, Marco Hernandez. On the mound tonight for The Carmine Hose is Drew Pomeranz.

Red Sox Add Chase d'Arnaud And Ben Taylor To Roster

The Red Sox made some key roster moves on Friday—adding newly-acquired IF Chase d'Arnaud and RP Ben Taylor. The team also optioned IF/OF Steve Selsky and RP Robbie Ross, Jr. Both new players will be available tonight in the opening game with the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.

Pedro Martinez Weighs In: 'I Would Have Drilled Machado'

Just in case you had any doubt, if Pedro Martinez was still pitching, he would have plunked Manny Machado after the spiking incident with Dustin Pedroia. According to ESPN.com's Scott Lauber (who apparently survived the "Bloodbath In Bristol"), the Hall of Fame pitcher said, "If I was pitching, I was going to drill Machado, as much as I love him. The only thing I would've done differently is probably bring the ball a little bit lower." Did you really have any doubt? Pedro also did not think that Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes was intentionally throwing at Machado's head. Hey, it hit his bat anyway, right? Foul ball.

Curse This! Sox And Cubs Display Trophies For Charity

On Sunday night at Fenway Park, fans will be able to visit and take photos with the two most famous 'curse-busting' trophies in MLB history: the 2004 Red Sox trophy and the 2016 Cubs trophy. We're talking about a combined 194 years of angst here! This terrific idea is all to benefit the Red Sox Foundation and Cubs Charities. The twin trophies will be on display in the Gate K/B concourse at Fenway when gates open starting at 6:35 p.m. ET on Sunday. Proceeds from a slew of weekend events will go to funding scholarships for under-served youth in both cities. It's only fitting that the architect of both historic World Series Championships—Theo Epstein—is in town to enjoy this joint display.

FenwayNation Named One Of Five Best Red Sox Blogs

FenwayNation is honored to have been named one of five "best baseball blogs" covering the Red Sox by OldSportsCards.com. The site, run by Ross Uitts, is a comprehensive resource that provides information about specific baseball cards, sets, shows and other hobby-related topics. They also set out on the monumental task of evaluating the hundreds of baseball blogs on the Web—and picking the best of the best for each team. Again, we are truly honored to be selected in this elite company. You can see the honorees for the Red Sox and every other team HERE.

Are Offense-Free Red Sox Able To Put Butts In Seats?

What's wrong with this picture? We'll tell you what: your punch-less 2017 Carmine Hose can't even sell out a series with the star-studded World Series Champion Cubs. Jon Lester, Anthony Rizzo, and Theo Epstein are all back in town with rings in tow—yet they're advertising "available tickets" on the morning of Game One? Clearly, with back-to-back non-sellouts against The Evil Empire (around 32,000 on Wednesday and 34,000 on Thursday) and the prospect of the same in the Cubs series, the NOG (New Ownership Group) has to be worried. They're spending a crapload of cash on this squad—and the expectations were for them to be meeting these same Cubbies in the World Series. Not the way these guys are hitting! They can talk all they want about "The Papi Void", but the bottom line is these are professionals—and, by the way, the Red Sox seemed to fare pretty well in the Post-Manny Ramirez Era. The talent is here, they need to be jump-started to reality. If that jump-start doesn't translate into contention, heads will roll. Count on it.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Lock Up The Scissors: Sox 'Fail Sale' Again, Lose, 3-0

(AP Photo)
The Raiders Of The Lost Offense are back again. Shut out in three of their last seven games, the Red Sox cannot convert high OPB and batting averages into runs—thus, they are on the verge of being a .500 ball club (11-10 as of tonight's 3-0 shutout loss). Boston mustered just three hits, while their ace pitched his heart out. Chris Sale went eight innings, giving up just two earned runs on six hits—while striking out ten and walking none. The slim lefty's ERA is 1.19, yet he is 1-2. This team that was supposed to contend is barely ahead of the pathetic Rays. Look for some personnel changes soon—both on the field and off—if this tailspin toward oblivion continues much longer. Tonight's loss was a sprightly 2 hours and 21 minutes—the only good thing.

Sox Claim IF Chase d'Arnaud Off Waivers From Braves

Faced with 'non-deep' infield depth, the Red Sox today grabbed a classic utility-type player off waivers from the Atlanta Braves. Chase d'Arnaud, 30, has the bulk of his MLB experience at shortstop, but can play second and third base—as well as the OF. Last season, he hit .245 in 84 games for the Bravos. We know, we know, try to restrain your excitement.

Laser Show Is Back Atop The Red Sox Lineup Thursday

Dustin Pedroia will be in the Red Sox lineup as they face The Bronx Embalmers tonight at Fenway. This is the first game back for The Muddy Chicken since being spiked by Baltimore's Manny Machado. Clearly, his knee and ankle injuries must have progressed enough—but keeping Pedroia out of the lineup with anything sort of bubonic plague is a tall order anyway.

Red Sox Prospect Critically Injured In Florida Car Crash

A 20-year old Red Sox pitching prospect was seriously injured last night in a Florida car crash. Kevin Steen, who was drafted by Boston in 2014, was driving in a vehicle hit by another car that crossed a median in Lehigh Acres—near Fort Myers. Steen was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital in critical condition. The driver of the other vehicle was killed at the scene. The Tennessee native is in extended Spring Training—and has played in the Gulf Coast League and for the Single-A Lowell Spinners. The Red Sox organization issued the following statement, "The thoughts and prayers of the entire Red Sox organization are with minor league player Kevin Steen, who sustained serious injuries in a car accident in Florida last night. The club will update his condition at the appropriate time," We wish Kevin a speedy recovery.

Cast Your April Dalton Jones Industrial Average Vote!

Well, we're about to finish the initial month of the new season. So, we need to make the first in-season assessment of your 2017 edition of The Carmine HoseFenwayNation's exclusive Dalton Jones Industrial Average offers our readers the chance to "chime in" on the team each month. The DJIA (honoring the Red Sox all-time pinch-hit leader) gathers four key metrics from FN readers scattered around the world. Through the DJIA, readers assess the fortunes of the team on: starting pitchingrelief pitchingoverall offense and overall defenseFenwayNation will publish the DJIA Index Score each month during the season—and the fluctuation up or down from the previous reading. You can now cast your April DJIA vote HERE.

Theo Epstein Admits: 'I Still Root For The Red Sox'

Former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein—arriving at Fenway this weekend with his World Series Champion Cubbies—still has a soft spot for Boston. After all, he grew up here—at least to the small degree that The People's Republic Of Brookline can be representative of the area. In an interview on 98.5's The Baseball Reporters, Epstein waxed nostalgic, "I still consider myself on great terms with the Red Sox. I still root for the Red Sox. I’m really looking forward to this weekend. I’m still a Bostonian, with a new home in Chicago. You can’t ever separate yourself from the team you grew up rooting for, and I spent a decade of my life there." It will be interesting to see what type of reception he gets at Fenway Park. It should be overwhelmingly positive.