Sunday, May 19, 2019

Red Sox Fall Behind Early 5-0, Don't Recover In Painful 7-3 Loss To Astros

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In this 'Yin-Yang' Red Sox season, the home town team is currently yang-ing it big time. After being positioned late to beat the Astros Friday (then losing), Boston never really had a chance on Saturday, falling to Houston, 7-3. Two outfield plays that might have been made led to five first-inning runs for Houston—and that's pretty much all she wrote. Starter Hector Velazquez quickly turned into an "opener"—giving up all five runs in just one-third of an inning. Christian Vazquez clouted his sixth homerun (a solo shot), but that was pretty much the sum and substance of the Red Sox offense. After that first inning, The Carmine Hose went down like lambs to the slaughter—on national television, no less. Is this team really getting better, or did they just beat up on crappy opponents over the last two weeks? They certainly can't seem to handle a clearly superior squad like the 'Stros. The loss puts Boston a full five games behind the Rays—and just one game over .500.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Porcello Turns Ugly In Eighth Inning, Yields Lead, Astros Beat Red Sox, 3-1

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Rick Porcello was cruising. His team had given him a slim 1-0 lead, but he had shut down the vaunted Astros offense for seven dominant innings—on a relatively low pitch-count. So, manager Alex Cora understandably let the righty back out for the eighth inning—wrong. A double and homerun later, Boston had squandered the lead and the game to Houston. The yin-yang bullpen coughed up a third run and that was all she wrote for your Red Sox in the eventual 3-1 loss. Frustratingly, Boston left ten runners on base—which, if even half had been cashed in—would have spelled victory. The nine-hit attacked was led by Xander Bogaerts (3-4, R) and Christian Vazquez (3-4, RBI). The loss left the Red Sox 4.5 games behind the new leaders of the division—The Evil Ones.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Red Sox Blow 5-0 Lead, 'Ice Horse' Chavis Walks-Off COL In 10 Innings, 6-5

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This would have been a horrible defeat—especially after the previous night's loss in Chris Sale's masterpiece. After being handed a 5-0 lead, Eduardo Rodriguez was unable to finish the job—going six innings plus and coughing up five earned runs. Despite striking out ten Colorado batters, his ERA jumped to 4.89. Boston's offense was keyed by: J.D. Martinez (2-4, HR, 3 RBIs, R); Andrew Benintendi (2-4, triple, 2 Rs); Mookie Betts (3-5, RBI, 2 Rs) and Michael Chavis (2-5, game-winning walk-off RBI). The "Ice Horse" is now hitting .296 and is unlikely to be moved out of this starting lineup. The Boston bullpen worked four scoreless innings—giving up just two hits. The win keeps the Red Sox four games back in the American League East as they take on the Houston Astros for three games at Fenway starting on Friday.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Red Sox Bullpen Gags Away Chris Sale Masterpiece, Rockies Win 5-4 In 11

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Red Sox ace Chris Sale set a new career mark by striking out 17 batters (in seven innings) last night—and yet Boston's closer-free and lefty-free bullpen managed to blow the game anyway. The lanky lefty departed after seven with a 3-2 lead, but Brandon Workman and Ryan Brasier coughed up three more runs to give the Colorado Rockies a 5-4, 11-inning win. This was a deflating loss—which also included solo homeruns by Michael Chavis, Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez. Championship teams win games when their starter strikes out 17. This team is still in dire need of a real closer—and how about a left-handed reliever? Somehow, Dave Dombrowski thinks he can slip through this season with neither of these essential elements. Craig Kimbrel is still out there and should be signed to a two-year deal now—so that he can be ready to help this team around the All-Star Break and beyond. Do it!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Muddy Chicken Has Yet Another Rehab Setback, Suffers Left Knee Soreness

Dustin Pedroia has encountered another roadblock on his journey to get back into the Red Sox lineup. On Monday, the team announced that The Laser Show was cutting short his rehab assignment because of left knee soreness. The plan was for The Muddy Chicken to play in three more consecutive games at AA Portland before rejoining the major league club. He had played in five games for the Sea Dogs before the knee issues cropped up on Saturday. Pedroia will go back on rehab assignment after a "short delay"—whatever that means. It may be reaching a point where management needs to sit down with Pedroia and realistically look at all of the options. One option might be transitioning to a bench coach role for the remainder of the 2019 season—then re-assessing his career path in the upcoming off-season. It's a very difficult decision, but it might be the best for everyone involved.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Chavis Knocks In Five, J.D. Goes Yard Twice, Sox Sweep Away Mariners, 11-2

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Your 2019 Boston Red Sox now sit just three games out of first place in the American League East. This, after Boston mauled the Mariners again, 11-2 on Sunday. On a cold, drizzly Mother's Day at Fenway Park, the offense was hot—with Michael "Ice Horse" Chavis ending a prolonged slump (0-19) with a 3-5 day and five runs batted in. Multiple hit games were also turned in by: J.D. Martinez (2-4, 2 HRs, 3 Rs, 3 RBIs); Rafael Devers (3-5, 2 Rs, RBI); and Christian Vazquez (2-3, now hitting .278). Starter Hector Velazquez went deeper into the game than expected—tossing five stellar innings, giving up just two runs on two hits. Marcus Walden and Josh Smith each delivered two shutout innings of relief. The win moved Boston to three games over .500 and raised their home mark to 11-7.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Red Sox Go All "Dolly Parton" On Mariners, Beat Up On Seattle "9 To 5"

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Remember when the 2018 World Series Champion Red Sox applied their prodigious offense to subjugate foes in lop-sided wins? Well, today Boston fell behind early, 4-0—then scored eight runs in the third inning off "de-throned" King Felix Hernandez, on the way to an eventual 9-5 drubbing of Seattle. Once again, The Carmine Hose used a combination of small ball, the long ball, and plate discipline (11 walks) to gain the victory. Mitch Moreland started the scoring with his 12th home run of 2019, and Sandy Leon clouted a three-run jack into The Monster Seats to power the offense. Rick Porcello gave up four runs and five hits in the first inning, then kept the Mariners hitless for the rest of his outing (6.2 innings). Rafael Devers continued his hot streak—going 3-4, with 2 RBIs and a run scored. The third-baseman is now hitting .326. Jackie Bradley, Jr. also had a clutch two-run single to put Boston ahead for good. The fourth Red Sox win in a row puts them at 21-19.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Red Sox Move Over .500 For The First Time In 2019, Smoke Seattle, 14-1

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It was a classic 'rocking chair' win at Fenway Park tonight—but it was an extremely important win. The victory marks the first time in 2019 that the Red Sox are over the .500 mark (20-19). They have won 14 out of their last 20 games and seem to finally be resembling the team that won the 2018 World Series Championship. Eduardo Rodriguez was stellar on the hill once again—going seven shutout innings form his fourth win of the year in the eventual 14-1 victory. The offense was powered by three homeruns from left-handed batters—most notably a three-run shot by Mitch Moreland that put Boston up early. Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers also went yard. Devers ended the night going 3-5 with 4 RBIs, and is now hitting .314. Benintendi also had three hits, while Xander Bogaerts went 2-5 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. This was a very satisfying blowout win—moving the Red Sox to within just four games of first place in the American League East.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

FenwayNation Readers More Likely To Be Apple Users Than Windows Users

Ever since FenwayNation was founded back in January of 2000, millions of readers have relied on us to track all things Carmine Hose. An analysis of the operating systems used to access FenwayNation indicate that—taken together—our readers are more likely to use Apple platforms over Windows platforms. As the chart shows, while Windows enjoys the largest single share (38.4%), the combined usage of Macintosh, iPhone and iPads total 48.8%. Even if you throw in the 9.1% who use Android devices, the non-Apple share only reaches 47.5%. So, we guess you can say that Steve Jobs edged out Bill Gatesagain.

Red Sox (Or Some Of Them) Are Headed To The White House Today At 3:45PM

The Red Sox organization gave players and coaches the choice of whether or not to attend today's White House ceremony for the 2018 World Series Champions. So far, at least eight—including manager Alex Cora—will not attend the event. Interestingly, team owners John Henry and Tom Werner (not exactly candidates to wear red 'Make America Great Again' hats) will attend. The team has generally downplayed any political divide among the players—and that seems to be genuine. Said Cora, "We’re in a good place. There’s some guys that are going home tonight and some guys are going back home tomorrow night. That’s the way we’re going to do it." An additional seven players have yet to declare their intentions. Until it was fixed, a notice on the official White House website listed the meeting to celebrate the "Red Socks". Not a good start. Stay tuned for our coverage of the event later this afternoon.

Sale Gem, JBJ Game-Saving Catch, Benny Game-Winning HR, Sox At .500

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After Chris Sale delivered his best performance of 2019 (8 innings, 14 Ks, 3 H, 0 BB), it appeared that the Red Sox would lose the game anyway. Tied at one in the bottom of the 11th inning, Ryan Brasier allowed an 0-2 pitched to be headed over the center-field fence at Camden Yards. Except that offensively-struggling Jackie Bradley, Jr. was manning that position for Boston. JBJ ran to the wall, timed his jump, scaled the wall, and pulled back a sure game-winning home-run. Oriole Trey Mancini tipped his batting helmet in tribute to the game's best defensive outfielder. Next inning, Andrew Benintendi sent a pitch deep into the right-field seats to put Boston ahead to stay—in the eventual 2-1 victory. Earlier, Mookie Betts had gone yard as well. The win finally pulled Boston to the .500 mark on the year (19-19) and gave them a stellar 5-2 mark on the road trip. Once again, the bullpen was bullet-proof—delivering four scoreless innings. The Red Sox return home to start an eight-game homestand against Seattle, Colorado and Houston.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Red Sox Homer Thrice, J.D. Clouts 200th, Red Sox Sail Past Orioles, 8-5

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J.D. Martinez reached a career milestone with his 200th home run, and the Red Sox went on to defeat the hapless O's 8-5 on Tuesday night. Boston homered three times—with Xander Bogaerts (solo shot) and Mitch Moreland (3-run blast) joining in the "yard" play. Christian Vazquez had another solid night at the plate—going 2-4.  Hector Velazquez pitched three innings in Boston's version of an "opener" game—with the bullpen again performing well (with the glaring exception of the suddenly awful Ryan Brasier). Marcus Walden got his fifth win of the year—going three innings and giving up one earned run. Matt Barnes got four outs for his third save of the year. The victory pulled Boston again to within one win of the .500 mark—but they failed to gain any ground on the Rays or Evil Ones.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Regressing Toward The 'Means'—Sox Lose To Barely Major-League Birds, 4-1

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This one was so predicable. Not-Ready-For-MLB starter Josh "Way Back" Smith started last night's game for Boston—and by the second inning he had his baptism-by-fire. A grand slam by the anemic Orioles put the Red Sox in an early hole that they never emerged from in the eventual 4-1 loss. Three measly hits were mustered by Boston—two by Christian Vazquez alone. The bullpen was actually the star of the game—yielding no additional runs for their 4.2 innings of work. Newcomer Ryan Weber pitched four of those frames—giving up no runs, three hits, no walks and four strikeouts. No-name Baltimore starter John Means shut down the previously potent Boston offense—hurling seven strong innings. What's most depressing is that the Red Sox were on a roll—and they basically handed this game to a pathetic Orioles squad.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Red Sox Place Starter David Price On Ten-Day DL With Left Elbow Tendinitis

Ooops! The recent 'Era Of Good Feeling' may recede a little with the news that the Red Sox have placed left-handed starter David Price on the ten-day "injured" list—retroactive to May 3rd (for those of you averse to euphemisms—this is the disabled list). The word is that Price is suffering from left elbow tendinitis—probably the worst diagnosis you can hear. Right-handed pitcher Ryan Weber was called up from AAA Pawtucket to fill Price's roster spot. The impact this will have on the already depleted Red Sox starting rotation is unclear. Stay tuned.

Josh Smith To Start Tonight For Red Sox Against "Quadruple A" Orioles

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If you're going to sacrifice a starter, it might as well be against the Baltimore Orioles—the team tied for the fewest wins in the American League (12). Josh Smith (did you even know he was on the roster?) will take to the hill tonight for Boston at Camden Yards. Say what? In January, Boston invited Smith to Spring Training, and on April 26th they promoted him from AAA Pawtucket. Smith has not started an MLB game since 2016—when he was a member of the Cincinnati Red Legs. Starting Smith allows Red Sox manager Alex Cora to have more flexibility in his use of swing-guy Hector Velazquez. Hold your breath tonight, though—even the pathetic Oriole line-up might be swinging for the fences against Smith.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Ricky And Bogie Lead The Way To Red Sox Series Win Over Pale Hose, 9-2

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This was a close one as late as the eighth inning. Tied at two apiece, the newly invigorated Boston offense kicked in once again. Rafael Devers turned a sharp single into (effectively) a triple—thanks to two stupid White Sox errors. Mitch Moreland then put the Red Sox ahead for good (3-2) with a seeing-eye RBI single through the shift. But the topper was Xander Bogaerts clouting a pitch up around his shoulders out of "New Comiskey" for a grand slam—the fifth "salami" of his career—capping a seven-run eighth inning. Rick Porcello turned in another stellar outing—going six innings, giving up just two runs, striking out seven and walking none. Brandon Workman (who got the win), Marcus Walden and Colten Brewer delivered three scoreless innings out of the bullpen to seal the eventual 9-2 win. The victory places the Red Sox just one game under the .500 mark (17-18)—and they have three more road games against the utterly pathetic Orioles before retuning home to Fenway.

Red Sox Pound Out 20 Hits, 10 Of Them In A Row, Eviscerate Pale Hose, 15-2

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There were two outs in the top of the third inning—with no Carmine Hosers occupying any bases. Then, Boston smacked out ten consecutive hits—scoring nine times in an eventual 15-2 drubbing of the White Sox. The offensive onslaught against former Evil One Manny Banuelos started with an innocent single by Christian Vazquez—then, the deluge. Boston homered three times in the inning—off the bats of Xander Bogaerts, Michael Chavis and Eduardo Nunez. Later in the game rookie phenom Chavis went yard again—his 6th in 14 MLB games. Both Chavis and Vazquez collected four hits apieceEduardo Rodriguez was the beneficiary of all this largesse—going six strong innings and yielding just one earned run. The win puts Boston at just two games under .500 (16-18)—and 5.5 games off the division lead. After today's finale in The Windy City, the Red Sox head to Baltimore for three games against the ridiculously pathetic Orioles.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Sale Returns To ChiTown, Gains First 2019 Win In Stellar Outing, Sox Win, 6-1

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Chris Sale may actually be back. The lanky lefty tossed six spectacular innings on Friday—giving up just three hits and no runs, while striking out ten of his former teammates. The Red Sox offense was jump-started by one of Thursday's goats—Rafael Devers—who launched a monster 3-run home run in the first inning. Rookie Michael Chavis later powered an even more prodigious 2-run blow later in the game. In addition to these two, multi-hit games were delivered by: Andrew Benintendi (2-5); J.D. Martinez (3-5, R); and Xander Bogaerts (2-5, R). The bullpen performed well in the eventual 6-1 win—with three relievers going three innings and giving up just one run. The win pulled Boston to within 6.5 games of the AL East lead with a 15-18 record.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Brasier And Devers Gag Away Sure Win, Red Sox Fall To Pale Hose, 6-4

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This one might have been the worst loss of 2019—with the Red Sox on the verge of winning their fourth straight game. Up 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, "closer" Ryan Brasier fell victim to an error by Rafael Devers, but still only got one out in the inning and gave up a walk-off home run to seal a devastating 6-4 loss to The Pale Hose. The loss wiped out Boston's resilient comebacks through the game—led by Andrew Benintendi's homerun and three-hit games by J. D. Martinez and Mookie Betts. It also wiped out another decent start by David Price—who went six solid innings, giving up three earned runs. Boston is now 14-18—6.5 back of Tampa. Bad loss. No biscuit. Get Craig Kimbrel!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Red Sox Sweep Away Oakland A's, Moreland And Vazquez Homer In 7-3 Win

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Their first series sweep of 2019 saw the Red Sox beat-up on the A's in a 7-3 win at Fenway Park on Wednesday afternoon. After falling behind 1-0, Boston tied things on a few lucky bounces—then pulled away on more home run power. Both Mitch Moreland and Christian Vazquez clouted solo shots, and Boston made the best of other opportunities to cruise to a fairly easy victory. After Hector Velazquez went just two innings, the bullpen was again dominant (with the exception of the pathetic Tyler Thornburg, who gave up another two runs in the ninth). Marcus Walden got his fourth win of the year—going three shutout innings and giving up just one hit. Brandon Workman, Colten Brewer and Heath Hembree also delivered scoreless frames. On the offensive side, other contributors were: Andrew Benintendi (2 RBIs); Rafael Devers (2-4, 2 Rs); and Tzu-Wei Lin (2-4, R, RBI). The win pulled Boston to within just three victories of the .500 mark (14-17)—and places them 5.5 games out of first place. The team now heads on the road—starting in Chicago to face The Pale Hose.