Every pitcher has an off day now and then, but David Price had his in the worst possible regular season game, against Boston’s key challenger for the AL East, the New York Yankees. He was hammered from the start, and his pitches seemed to either hit their spots, or clear the fence. By the time Alex Cora came to fetch Price with 1 out in the 4th, David had surrendered 8 runs on 9 hits, including home runs by Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Kyle Higashioka, and two by Aaron Hicks (who hit a third dinger off Hector Velázquez later on), and a double by Didi Gregorius. When all was said and done, the Yanks went 16-for-38 for 11 runs. Giancarlo Stanton also doubled in the game. New York starter Luis Severino sailed through his start, going 6 2/3rds shutout innings while giving up 2 hits and 3 walks, with 6 punch-outs. The lone Sox run came in the 9th inning when Sandy Leon doubled off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, reached 3rd on a Blake Swihart single, and scored on a fielder’s choice. The quest for a division title just got a little harder. New York beat Boston, 11-1, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 56-29. Game 85/77.
Category Archives: blog
Brian Johnson returned to the staff as a starter for the first time this year to put in 4 decent innings against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. His only blemish was a solo homer by Andrelton Simmons in the 4th inning. He only pitched 4 innings, not enough to get credit for the win, but encouraging nonetheless. The other Angels run came in the 8th when the usually reliable Joe Kelly seemed a bit shaky, walking the lead off man (Mike Trout) and giving up singles to the first two he faced. Trout scored from 2nd on the second hit. Rafael Devers opened up Red Sox scoring with a solo jack in the 5th off Angels starter Jaime Barria. In the 6th, JD Martinez singled, Mitch Moreland doubled, and Angels reliever José Álvarez intentionally walked Xander Bogaerts to set up a bases loaded situation for Brock Holt, whom Álvarez walked to force in a run. In the 7th, Jackie Bradley, Jr. crushed a 2 run no-doubter to right center to lock down the lead for good. Craig Kimbrel closed out. Now it’s on the the Bronx. Buckle your seatbelts. Boston beat Los Angeles at Anaheim, 4-2, at Fenway Park. Record: 55-27. Game 82/80.
Chris Sale had a great start, going 7 innings, and giving up 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk, while striking out 11 Twins. It should have been good enough for a win, but it wasn’t. The runs he surrendered came on a 2 RBI double by Eduardo Escobar in the 6th inning. The Sox had already scored with a Rafael solo bomb to right center off Minnesota starter José Berríos. Devers tied the score by singling in the 8th, advancing to 2nd on a fielder’s choice, and scoring on a line drive single by Sandy Leon. But in the bottom of the inning, things went very bad very fast. Robby Scott came on in relief of Sale and immediately walked one batter and hit another. After a fly ball out, he left and on came the usually reliable Joe Kelly. Not so reliable this time. Escobar hit a double that drove in one run, and a second scored on a Jackie Bradley, Jr. fielding error. After Brian Dozier walked, Robbie Grossman hit a bases clearing triple, and Joe was done, having allowed 4 runs to score (2 charged to Scott) while retiring no one. This is a game that you just put in the rear view mirror, and press on. Minnesota beat Boston, 6-2, at Target Field. Record: 49-25. Game 74/88.
I don’t know what it is, but whenever David Price starts for the Red Sox, the team finds a way to score enough runs for victory. Price pitched 7 strong innings, giving up 2 runs, and the Boston bats did the rest. The two Chicago White Sox runs came in the very first inning, when Tim Anderson singled, move to 2nd on a subsequent walk, and scored on José Abreu’s double. José Randón, who had walked, scored on a subsequent fielder’s choice. The Sox struck back immediately when off White Sox starter Carlos Rodón walked Andrew Benintendi, who advanced on a subsequent fielding error by Tim Anderson, and scored on another error, this one by our old friend Yoan Moncada. All in all, the White Sox had a pretty sloppy game, with 3 errors and two wild pitches. Jackie Bradley, Jr. tied the score with a solo bomb to dead center in the 2nd, and in the 5th the Sox got all the cushion they would need on a 2 run blast by JD Martinez (his 21st). Price left the game after 6 innings, having given up 2 runs on 5 hits with 3 walks and 6 punch-outs. Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, and Craig Kimbrel then took us home. Yolmer Sánchez, pinch hitting for Randón, tripled off Barnes, but did not score. Boston beat Chicago, 4-2, at Fenway Park. Record: 44-21. Game 65/97.
The Red Sox scored enough runs to pull ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays, then with some extra blows, developed an extra cushion which, as it turned out, they needed. The Sox scored first when Blake Swihart, who played first base in this one (is there any position he can’t play?), singled in the 3rd inning and scored on a double by Jackie Bradley, Jr. off Toronto starter Sam Gaviglio. Eduardo Núñez homered in the 5th to make the score 2-0, but the Jays came back in the top of the 6th when Teoscar Hernández’s 2 run jack tied it up. The Sox took the lead again in the bottom of the inning on JD Martinez’s 2 run bomb to left center. That dinger put JD back in a tie with Mike Trout for the MLB lead in home runs at 18. The Sox got their cushion in the 8th when Núñez doubled with 2 on, scoring one and leaving Martinez at third. Brock Holt drove in Martinez for the 6th Boston run. As it turns out, they needed that cushion, because when Brian Johnson came on in the 9th, he proved utterly ineffective, giving up back-to-back singles by Kevin Pillar and Yangervis Solarte with nobody out. Alex Cora swiftly replaced him with his ace closer, Craig Kimbrel. Unfortunately, Kimbrel walked the first man he faced, then gave up a 2 RBI double to Kendrys Morales. He settled down after that, however, and got 3 straight outs without much trouble. Boston beat Toronto, 6-4, at Fenway Park. Record: 39-17. Game 56/106.
On the day in which we learned that the Red Sox DFAed Hanley Ramirez, the team hammered Atlanta pitching with big hits to win an overwhelming victory. The Braves struck first in the 3rd inning, when Boston starter Eduardo Rodgriguez gave up a pair of singles, and Nick Markakis drove in 2 runs with a double. The Braves succeeded in making Eduardo throw a lot of pitches, but he left the game having given up just those 2 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, with 7 punch-outs. Eduardo lasted 5 2/3rds innings, and threw 101 pitches, 61 for strikes. Meanwhile, the Braves’ starter, Julio Teheran, kept the Red Sox off the scoreboard for the first 3 innings, but the situation changed on the second time through the order. In the 4th, JD Martinez led off with a solo homer to left. Xander Bogaerts followed that with his own no-doubter that flew completely over the Monster seats and fell in Lansdowne Street. In the 5th, Jackie Bradley, Jr. tripled, and scored on a sac fly by Andrew Benintendi. Jesse Biddle relieved Teheran in the 7th, and after a bunt single by Brock Holt, gave way to Matt Wisler, who allowed a 2 run blast to left center by Mookie Betts. the Sox picked up one more run in the 8th with a Mitch Moreland solo dinger. Boston beat Atlanta in interleague play, 6-2, at Fenway Park. Record: 35-16. Game 51/111.
Mookie Betts claimed the lead in the home run race (for now) with his 3 run 3rd inning blast off Tampa Bay Rays starter Jake Faria for his 16th of this young season. That, and Rafael Devers’ solo bomb in the 4th powered the Red Sox to victory. Chris Sale had an excellent start, going 7 2/3rds innings (before his 112 pitches did him in) while giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, with 9 whiffs. Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel took things there. Tampa Bay’s runs came in the 4th, when Willy Adames smacked a solo dinger to left (his first career major league homer), and in the 5th, when Rob Refsnyder doubled, reached 3rd on a passed ball by Sandy Leon, and scored on a sac fly. Brad Miller doubled for the Rays, but did not score. Kimbrel seemed to have some control issues, giving up 2 singles and a walk to load the bases before finishing off the Rays. A whopping 10,642 were on hand to watch the contest, as Tampa Bay continues its decade long position as dead last in major league attendance. Why is there major league baseball in Florida? Both Tampa Bay and Miami have had routinely terrible attendance. Floridians clearly don’t give a crap about baseball. Boston beat Tampa Bay, 4-2, at Tropicana Field. Record: 33-15. Game 48/114.
The bullpen really stepped up to rescue this one, as Drew Pomerantz just could not find his rhythm against the Toronto Blue Jays. Even though the only extra-base hit he surrendered in the first 4 innings was a double to Josh Donaldson in the 1st, he threw a ton of pitches. By the 5th, he seemed out of gas. After surrendering a pair of singles, he gave up a 2 RBI double to Justin Smoak and walked Yangervis Solarte. And that was it. He exited having pitched 4 1/3rd innings, throwing 103 pitches, only 57 for strikes, charged with 3 runs on 5 hits and 5 walks while punching out 6. The third run was Smoak, who scored on a Russell Martin single off reliever Hector Velázquez. But the bullpen, specifically Velázquez, Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, and Joe Kelly, took it from there. Some spectacular plays in the field also kept the game in check, including a breathtaking sliding catch by Mookie Betts. The Red Sox scored first in the game, in the very first inning, when JD Martinez clocked a 2 run opposite field dinger off Jays starter Joe Biangini. Biangini struggled to find the strike zone in the 3rd, walking Jackie Bradley, Jr., and surrendering a single to Betts. He then walked Mitch Moreland with the bases loaded to force in the 3rd Boston run. In the 5th, Betts singled, stole 2nd, and scored on a JD Martinez single. Andrew Benintendi gave the Sox some insurance when he singled in the 8th, stole 2nd, and scored on a fielder’s choice. Not spectacular, but their moms should be proud of this workmanlike win on Mother’s Day. Boston beat Toronto, 5-3, at the Rogers Centre. Record: 28-12. Game 40/122.
The Red Sox looked confident, were hitting and getting on base, and led after 4 innings, 3-2, and then, well, that was it. The Toronto Blue Jays caught up in the 7th, and finally triumphed in the 12th. Boston started the scoring in the 1st, when Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez walked Mookie Betts and gave up a single to Andrew Benintendi. Benny then scored on a fielder’s choice. In the 4th, Xander Bogaerts hit a solo dinger, and after a single by Mitch Moreland and a pair of fielder’s choices that left Brock Holt on first, Sandy Leon struck out swinging, but reached base on a wild pitch. Toronto catcher Luke Maile could not find the ball, and Leon ran all the way to 3rd, while Holt scored. JD Martinez also doubled in the game, but did not score. That was it for Boston for the duration. Chris Sale had a decent start, though he gave up runs in the 1st and 2nd innings. In the 1st, Teoscar Hernandez doubled and scored on a single by Josh Donaldson. Kendrys Morales doubled in the 2nd, and scored on a Luke Maile single in the 2nd. In the 7th, the Jays tied the score with a solo bomb by Luke Maile. Sale remained in the game through 9 innings, throwing 116 pitches, and giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and no walks, while whiffing 15. The game went to the 12th, when Brian Johnson gave up a 2 run blast to Maile (his second of the game), to end it. Toronto beat Boston, 5-3 in 12 innings, at the Rogers Centre. Record: 26-12. Game 38/124.
The Red Sox avoided a sweep by the Yankees when JD Martinez hit a solo bomb in the 8th inning to provide the game winner in this one. The Sox scored first, when Mookie Betts led off the game with a ground-rule double off our old nemesis, CC Sabathia, in the first inning, moved to 2nd on an Andrew Benintendi single, and scored on a fielder’s choice. In the 3rd, Betts singled again, moved to 3rd on a Benny double, and scored on a double by Hanley Ramirez. Benintendi subsequently scored on a force play. In the 5th, Hanley Ramirez hit a solo jack to make the score 4-0. Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez had an excellent start, going 5 innings, giving up no runs on 1 hit and 3 walks, while punching out 8. Matt Barnes similarly held the line in the 6th, and then came the 7th, when Heath Hembree gave up 2 singles and a walk before yielding to Joe Kelly. Joe then walked in a run, gave up a RBI single to Aaron Judge, and another run in a force play. His wild pitch then tied the score at 4. Interestingly enough, Joe remained in the game for the 8th, in which he walked one and gave up one single, but no runs. It was good thing, too, because in the top of the 8th, JD took Dellin Betances deep for what proved to be the winning run for Boston. Once again, the starters proved themselves to be solid, but the bullpen was a bit wanting. Still, a win is a win. Boston beat New York, 5-4, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 26-11. Game 37/125.