Monday, May 29, 2017

Price Mixed, Pedey Nixed In Tough 5-4 Red Sox Loss

(AP Photo)
Talk about your mixed bag! David Price gave up just two hits over five innings—unfortunately one was a three-run HR. And, Dustin Pedroia did a circus leap over the Chicago first-baseman and sprained his left wrist—he's headed back to Boston for tests (including an MRI). Add to all this the fact that the bullpen blew a 4-3 lead (gained on another Mookie Betts rocket home run) that ended up in a dismal 5-4 loss to the White Sox. It's the second straight loss for Boston—after reviving their season with six straight wins. So, it's not a "mixed" bag after all. It's a fully un-mixed bag of bad.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Win Streak Comes To Crashing Halt, Red Sox Fall, 5-0

(AP Photo)
Just like that, The Raiders Of The Lost Offense returned to Fenway Park. With five meager hits, the Red Sox limped onto the road with a frustrating 5-0 loss to the Mariners. Rick Porcello was more than matched by some guy named Christian Bergman—who blanked The Carmine Hose through seven innings. In his previous start, he yielded 10 runs on 14 hits. The 2016 Cy Young winner coughed up 11 hits and 2 earned runs through 6.1 innings. Boston hit into almost as many double plays as they got hits. A real stinker of a loss. On to Chicago.

Predator Fan Convinced Red Sox Shirt Fueling Success

(Photo by Adam Bloom-Paicopolos)
The Nashville Predators are in the Stanley Cup Finals. That's right, the place that brings you Jack Daniels and country music is on the verge of ice hockey glory. How is this possible, you may ask? Well, according to one Predator fan, it's all because of a Red Sox jersey. Kevin Brady (hey, we can't make this stuff up) randomly threw on a Red Sox t-shirt to watch the Preds first playoff game. As the team advanced, the superstitious Brady refused to take the now smelly shirt off (much to the consternation of his wife). Said Brady, "This shirt has been next to my body for a long time now and it’s becoming very bad. If we win the Stanley Cup I’m going to have to bury this thing in the backyard somewhere. It could probably stand on its own in the corner." Hey, we get it. Red Sox fans—prior to 2004—cornered the market on superstitions. It finally worked for us, so maybe the Preds will become the new Stanley Cup Champions.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Brian Johnson Shuts Out M's, Sox Win 6th Straight, 6-0

(AP Photo)
Brian Johnson pitched the game of his young life—tossing a complete game shutout against the Mariners in a 6-0 Boston win. The big lefty yielded just five hits, struck out eight and walked none on 109 pitches. The offense came early—with Xander Bogaerts' RBI single in the first inning leading to three runs in the frame. Jackie Bradley, Jr. clouted a 2-run HR to pad the lead—then made three stellar defensive plays to back up Johnson. Mitch Moreland continued his hot hitting, going 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored. The win was Boston's sixth straight and kept them just two games back of The Bronx Embalmers.

Marco Hernandez Out For Season With Shoulder Surgery

Marco Hernandez was turning into a pretty reliable guy off the bench for the Red Sox. Then, on May 4th, he was placed on the disabled list with a "misaligned" left shoulder. On Friday, the team announced that Hernandez underwent shoulder surgery in Boston and will be lost for the season. Hernandez had hit .276 over 21 games this season.

Red Sox 'Weathering Storm', Hanging Tough In AL East

After losing three of four to the lowly Oakland A's, things looked pretty bleak for the 2017 Carmine Hose. Hourly updates rolled through the InterWebs on the imminent firing of manager John Farrell. Then an odd thing started happening. Bats came alive, arms delivered—and wins emerged. No more talk of firings—except on all cylinders. After five straight victories, the Red Sox sit in second place—just two games behind the over-achieving Bronx Embalmers. Things are looking a lot brighter on Yawkey Way—execpt, of course, for the continued mid-April weather. Monday's Memorial Day start by David Price may be the bellwether event of the season—a good result could keep the positive vibes coming and vault this team to the dominance we all expected. Stay tuned!

E-Rod Shines Again, Helps Sox Win Fifth Straight, 3-0

(AP Photo)
Eduardo Rodriguez has reached the point in his career when he can just let his talent show—no matter what his teammates are doing. Last night, his mates did put across three runs—but they also left 11 on the bases. No matter. E-Rod hurled six scoreless innings—giving up just five hits and striking out four in the 3-0 win. He has now pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts. The Boston "offense" was an RBI groundout, along with runs scored via a passed ball and a wild pitch. Not exactly Murderer's Row (although Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez each had two-hit games.). Nonetheless, the Red Sox have won five straight and sit in second place in the AL East—just two games off the pace.

Friday, May 26, 2017

David Price's Memorial Day Start Will Be "Memorable"

Price Leaving Bad Start At AAA
Rightly or wrongly, the Red Sox 'brain trust' has decided to throw David Price to the wolves—or at least to the White Sox major-league lineup. On Monday, Price will take to the hill in The Windy City and hope he fares better than in his two AAA rehab starts (the last of which he sped away from in his Sherman Tank-like vehicle, avoiding the media). Either way, his Memorial Day start is guaranteed to be "memorable". But, as ESPN.com's Scott Lauber points out, Red Sox fans will hold their judgement of Price in abeyance until he wins in the post-season. That post-season—if it ever arrives in Boston this year—is a long way off. Of course, there is also another factor at play. After 2018, Price can opt-out of his Red Sox contract. If he pitches well, and also gets off the playoff 'schnide', he could probably see an ever bigger payday somewhere else. Monday's matinee will go a long way toward determining whether the playoffs are a pipe-dream—and whether Price stays in Boston.

MLB Admits Screw-Up On Weird Ninth Inning Replay Call

(AP Photo)
Last night's ninth inning at Fenway was very strange. First, Craig Kimbrel was in the game to pitch in a non-save situation—since he hadn't worked since almost the Obama Administration. Second, Kimbrel logged four strikeouts in the single frame of work. How, you say? Well, thanks to a major screw-up by MLB Replay officials, Nomar 'Don't Call Me Nomar' Mazara was allowed to reach first base after clearly being hit on the foot while swinging and missing on an errant, wild strike three. That's an out according to the rules. Now, the plot thickens. John Farrell rightly challenged the call and asked for replay review. The umpires on the field accepted Farrell's challenge. However, down in Baghdad-By-The-Hudson, the Replay Official and Replay Supervisor "misinterpreted the call on the field and incorrectly deemed the play to be non-reviewable." Say what? In fact—as admitted by MLB—that call on the field is reviewable. So, Mazara stayed at first and Kimbrel struck out the side to get his four strikeout inning. Still, this type of major screw-up by MLB requires more than the lame admission we got.

Pomeranz Shines In Red Sox Fourth Straight Win, 6-2

(AP Photo)
Drew Pomeranz finally got through six innings. The injury-prone lefty was excellent at chilly, rain-soaked Fenway last night in Boston's 6-2 win—it's fourth straight. Pomeranz struck out 11 Rangers, while giving up just two runs on four hits. The bullpen fired three scoreless innings in relief. The night saw first-of-the-season homeruns by Xander Bogaerts and Deven Marrero—as well as multiple-hit performances by Mitch Moreland and Christian Vazquez. Andrew Benintendi contributed a two-out RBI—raising his total to 26 runs knocked in. The win moved The Carmine Hose to within three games of the idle Evil Ones—and just a half-game out of second place in the AL East. The barrage of offense in the last several games has also boosted the team's run differential to +22 (222-200)—which is good enough for fourth-best in the American League. Only the Astros (+57), Pinstriped Posers (+56), and (amazingly) the Rays (+23) have better differentials.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

VIDEO: David Ortiz Interviews Ex-Red Sox Anthony Rizzo

Second Bad Rehab Start Puts Price's Status In Question

After a second disappointing rehab start by David Price, the Red Sox are unclear how to proceed with the left-hander. Reportedly, the team will "huddle" with Price today to discuss the ramifications of his performance for AAA Pawtucket on Wednesday. In that start, Price went 3.2 innings (89 pitches) and gave up six runs (three earned). He did hit 96 MPH on the gun, but his location and command were shaky at best. Assuming there are no lingering physical issues today, Price will probably go on one final rehab assignment before joining the big club (realistically) in early June.

Sox Look To Play Through Tonight's Weather Conditions

In a notification to fans, the Red Sox have offered the following update on tonight's game status: "In an effort to help you prepare for tonight’s game vs. the Texas Rangers, we wanted to give you the latest information on the weather conditions. The current forecast calls for light to moderate rain showers off and on through mid to late afternoon. An extended period of relatively dry weather is expected during the evening hours, and we will make every effort to play tonight’s game at 7:10 pm. We will continue to update fans if there are any changes and look forward to seeing you at Fenway Park tonight."

Red Sox Erupt For Seven In Seventh, Beat Rangers, 9-4

(AP Photo)
Chris Sale did not get his MLB record ninth straight game with ten strikeouts (he ended up with six), but he and his team won, 9-4 over Texas. The lefty ended up going 7.1 innings and giving up just three earned runs for his fifth victory of 2017. The Sox trailed 3-1 before exploding for seven runs in the seventh inning—keyed by Dustin Pedroia's two-run double that got the ball rolling. One out singles by Andrew Benintendi and rookie Sam Travis set the stage, then both Mitch Moreland and Josh Rutledge also singled. The Carmine Hose have now won three straight and look to Drew Pomeranz tonight to keep it going.