Monday, April 23, 2018

Delayed Price-Adjustment Costs Red Sox Game And Series, Lose To A's, 4-1

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After a shaky first inning, David Price settled down nicely through seven. With a pitch-count in the 80s, manager Alex Cora sent Price back out for the eighth—leaving him in one batter too long in a 4-1 loss to Oakland. In a nano-second, with two outs, a tight 1-1 game became a three-run deficit. Offensively, the Red Sox mustered only six hits—two by the surging Mitch Moreland. Sooner or later, this Boston juggernaut had to hit a few speed bumps, but something about the complete loss of offense in these last two games does not sit well. On to America Lite for the final leg of the road trip.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Jugger-NOT! Red Sox No-Hit By No-Name Oakland Hurler, Fall To A's, 3-0

Chris Sale on the mound, and eight-game win streak behind you, and the Oakland A's your opponent. Slam dunk, right? Wrong Tree Rollins-Breath! The mighty Red Sox offense took the night off on Saturday, allowing the immortal Sean Manaea to no-hit them. No-hit them! The Red Sox haven't been no-hit before this in 25 years. Did anyone see this puppy coming down the lane? Sale was mediocre (for him), giving up three earned runs over seven innings—striking out ten ad giving up a HR. But, it didn't matter, The Carmine Hose did not have their hitting shoes on—in fact, they may have been shoe-less altogether.  Red Sox batters struck out ten times—Jackie Bradley, Jr. 3, Hanley Ramirez 2, J.D. Martinez 2, Rafael Devers 2 and Tzu-Wei Lin 1. The 3-0 loss drops their record to 17-3—still epically good, but efforts like this make you wonder.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

J.D.-Less Red Sox Go The Power Route, Win Eighth Straight, 7-3 Over A's

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They didn't have J.D. Martinez in the line-up and their starting pitcher was not sharp. That didn't stop the streaking Red Sox from winning their eighth straight and seventeenth of their last eighteen, 7-3 over Oakland. Fresh-off the DL Drew Pomeranz was not sharp—going just 3.2 innings and yielding three earned runs. But the Boston bullpen delivered 5.1 innings of shutout relief. The offense was paced by: Jackie Bradley, Jr. (3-run HR to tie the score at three) and Mitch Moreland (who clubbed the team's fifth grand slam of the year). Also chipping in were: Eduardo Nunez (three hits) and Hanley Ramirez (two hits). There is something very special going on with this edition of The Carmine Hose.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Drew Pomeranz Comes Off Disabled List To Start Against Athletics Tonight

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In a somewhat surprising move, the Red Sox activated fifth starter Drew Pomeranz from the 10-day disabled list and designated him to take the hill in tonight's opener at Oakland. During his very first Spring Training start, the lefty suffered a left forearm strain that landed him on the disabled list until today. The 29-year-old had a terrific 2017 season—going 17-6 with a stellar 3.32 ERA. Not to put any pressure on the guy, but he's joining a rotation that has, thus far, posted a ridiculous combined 1.98 ERA in 2018. The Red Sox will be going from one red-hot West Coast team to another—as the A's have won four straight and six of their last 10. One of their key offensive contributors so far is none other than former Carmine Hoser Jed Lowrie (.346, 6 HRs, 21 RBIs). Of course, the Halos were pretty hot before Tuesday, too.

Local Red Sox Hero Harry Agganis Would Have Turned 89 Years Old Today

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Harry Agganis— "The Golden Greek"—was one of the greatest athletes ever to come out of Massachusetts. His tragic death at the young age of 26 shook the Boston community back in 1955. Even today, there are controversies swirling around the circumstances that led to his death. Agganis starred for his hometown football team in Lynn, Massachusetts and then went on to serve as quarterback at Boston University. Agganis Arena graces the Commonwealth Avenue campus today—with a statue of Harry out front. His dream came true when he got to play first base for his hometown Boston Red Sox. He only played in 157 games for The Carmine Hose, but he quickly became a local hero. After being hospitalized for chest pains, he developed pneumonia. Shortly thereafter, he succumbed to a pulmonary embolism. His tragic death stunned the sports world and left a scar on the local community that has taken decades to heal. Had he lived, Harry would have been 89 years old today. We can only speculate as to how great a Red Sox career he would have had.

Anaheim Annihilation: Mookie & Bennie Lead Boston's Sweep On Left Coast

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Well, that debate about who is the best team in the American League has been narrowed from three to two—with the Red Sox clearly on top and the Astros looking up at them. After last night's third straight wipeout of the Angels (8-2), Boston temporarily put to rest Anaheim's claims of parity. Mookie Betts again set the tone with a lead-off HR, and Andrew Benintendi went 2-5 with 3 RBIs and his first HR of 2018. J.D. Martinez (now batting .338) continued his torrid hitting, going 3-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. And, 21-year-old Rafael Devers was 3-4 with 2 RBIs. Once again, Boston's starting pitching was superb. This time, Eduardo Rodriguez went six strong innings—yielding just two runs on only three hits, while striking out five. Now, The Carmine Hose move up the Left Coast to Oakland.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Nephew Of Alex Rodriguez Is Kidnapped In Lamborghini Deal Gone Sour

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Folks, you just can't make this stuff up. Norberto Susini, a 29-year-old nephew of Alex Rodriguez, was kidnapped and held for ransom at a New York City hotel last night. Why, you may ask? Well, because the deal for a $600,000 Lamborghini that he was trying to pull-off went south—way south. His two prospective buyers had second thoughts and wanted their hefty deposit back. When A-Fraud's kin said "no", the bad stuff started happening. The two welshers kept Susini against his will in a midtown hotel room and called some of his "associates" demanding a $35,000 ransom—which we're guessing was the amount of the down-payment (hey, we don't watch Columbo re-runs for nothing). Anyhow, instead of paying the ransom, New York's Finest were summoned and arrested the low-lifes. Just another night in Baghdad-On-The-Hudson.

Red Sox Have 13% Chance Of Winning The World Series, Behind Only Astros

According to predictions by fivethirtyeight.com, only the defending champion Houston Astros have a better chance than the Red Sox to win the 2018 World Series. Boston is seen having a 13% chance of emerging victorious in The Fall Classic—compared with 15% for the 'Stros. Moreover, based on the website's simulated regular season, the Red Sox should end up with the most wins in MLB at 102. The Carmine Hose are also viewed as having a 90% chance of making the playoffs and a 69% chance of winning the AL East. By contrast, The Bronx Embalmers are given just a 6% chance of winning it all, a 57% chance of making the post-season and a 19% chance of winning the division.

PawSox Admit Free Those Named 'Joe' Or 'Kelly' To NYY AAA-Affiliate Games

The PawSox—the AAA affiliate of the Red Sox—will admit free-of-charge any fans named "Joe" or "Kelly" to the upcoming games against the AAA affiliate of the Yankees. Moreover, anyone named "Tyler" or "Austin" will be banned from McCoy Stadium during the two-game series (May 5 and 6). This enlightened promotion by the Pawtucket owners—no doubt influenced by the presence of Larry Lucchino—is dubbed "The Evil Empire Weekend". Our favorite part? The contest at Saturday's game, where a fan dressed in his or her best "anti-Yankee" swag will win a free pair of 2018 season tickets. You've got to wonder what players on the "Little Evil Empire" Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders must be thinking.

Former Red Sox 1B Mike Napoli Suffers A "Significant" Knee Injury In Minors

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UPDATE: Napoli injury could be career-ending.
Mike Napoli, a key member of the Bearded Band Of Brothers that brought Boston the 2013 World Series Championship, has suffered a serious knee injury in a minor-league game. According to Indians manager (and former Red Sox skipper) Terry Francona, Napoli "suffered a significant knee injury", while playing for Cleveland's AAA affiliate on Tuesday night. The first-baseman was carted off the diamond in Columbus after attempting to field a foul popup. In February, the 36-year-old signed a minor-league deal with The Tribe. In the 2013 ALCS, Napoli hit .300, with 2 HRs in the six games of the series. We wish Mike a speedy recovery and quick return to play.

Former Marlins Honcho Offered Stanton Or Hanley For Prospect Mookie Betts

Somewhere in vicinity of 2013-14, former Marlins President David Samson made the Red Sox an offer he thought they couldn't refuse. Boston could have either Giancarlo Stanton or Hanley Ramirez for then-prospect Mookie Betts. Wisely, Sox GM Ben Cherington told Samson to go pound sand on South Beach—for which we should erect a statue to Cherington outside of Fenway. Of course, we eventually got Hanley anyway and Stanton is currently whiffing at a world-record pace. Betts, meanwhile, is setting the American League on fire with what is shaping up to be an MVP-calibre season. As a wise baseball man once said: "Sometimes the trades you don't make are the best trades of all." Indeed.

A New 'Selective Aggression' Is Key To Offensive Success Of The '18 Red Sox

Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs.com offers an interesting explanation for the success of this year's Red Sox offense: "selective aggression". The team's new philosophy is not so much an abandonment of their "patient" approach of years past, but the adoption of a more "disciplined" path to the ball. For example, players like Mookie Betts have not really cut down their overall swing rates—just their "out-of-zone" swing rates. As a team, the Red Sox are swinging at fewer bad pitches (i.e., balls out of the zone), and squaring-up more good pitches (also known as strikes). The result has been selecting more "hittable" pitches, and, well, hitting them. For all the sabermetric analysis of baseball these days, it's still pretty much a simple game—see the ball, pick a good pitch, hit the ball.

VIDEO: Rafael Devers' First Career "Salami" Busts Open Sox Win Over Halos

Could Former Red Sox Manager John Farrell Slide Into To Vacated Reds Job?

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He's tanned, rested and ready. Plus, his "media" career isn't exactly setting the world on fire. So, it's completely natural to presume that the Cincinnati Reds—who just fired manager Bryan Price—might look to ex-Sox manager John Farrell to take over the helm in The Queen City. After all, despite the heat he took in Boston, Farrell did: A.) win a World Series Championship in 2013, and B.) win the AL East back-to-back in 2016-17—something never done before in franchise history. At least Farrell would be easy to sell to the fans and media. Plus, with Reds pitching ranked next to last in major league baseball (5.42 team ERA), Farrell's perceived expertise in that part of the game would also be seen as a plus. It makes too much sense not to happen. Stay tuned.

Red Sox Kick Three Field Goals In 9-0 Drubbing Of Halos, Go To 15-2 On Year

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Hey, Red Sox fans, let this sink in: your team is the fifth one since the American League was established (1901) to snare at least 14 wins in their first 17 games. We are looking at historic stuff, here. Last night, Boston laid waste to the over-hyped Angels yet again—a 9-0 drubbing at 'The Big A'. Rick Porcello is quietly putting together a brilliant start—winning his fourth game by going six solid innings, giving up no earned runs, while striking out six and walking none. His ERA is now 1.40. On the offensive side, Mitch Moreland went 3-4 and drove in four runs, while J.D. Martinez raised his average to .313 on his 4-5 night (including his 4th HR). Rafael Devers collected two hits—one of which was his first career Grand Slam. Right now, The Carmine Hose are a juggernaut—on hitting, pitching and defense. As Bill Belichick might say, they are excelling in all three phases of the game.