#RedSox Game Summary (September 20) And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air. The Red Sox exploded in Baltimore, and, at the same time, the club’s premier pitcher established another milestone. As if released after a period of restraint, Boston’s batters unleashed a relentless battery upon Baltimore’s starter, our old friend Wade Miley, starting in the 4th inning. In that inning, Andrew Benintendi singled, and scored on a home run by Mookie Betts. Then Hanley Ramírez doubled, setting up a second 2 RBI homer by Deven Marrero. In the 5th, after Miley walked Benny and Mookie Betts in succession, he was relieved for Mike Wright, who gave up a 2 RBI double to Hanley for 2 more Boston runs. In the 8th, after Sam Travis singled and Sandy Leon walked on Orioles reliever Tanner Scott, Dustin Pedroia hit a double for 2 more runs. In the 9th, Mookie Betts tripled off O’s reliever Jimmy Yacabonis, and scored on a Ramírez single. All in all, the Sox went 10-for-37 with 5 extra base hits. Hanley went 3-for-5; a very good sign. Orioles Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander also doubled in the game but did not score. Chris Sale pitched 8 shutout innings while giving up 4 hits and no walks. His 13 strikeouts enabled him to become the 2nd pitcher in Red Sox history to strike out 300 in a single season. The other was Pedro Martínez. The Yankees also won, so Boston has maintained a 3 run lead in the AL East. Boston beat Baltimore, 9-0, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Record: 88-64. Game 152/10. The magic number for the division is now 8.
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#RedSox Game Summary (September 19) The wild one. A long, tense pitchers’ duel ended somewhat fittingly, with a wild pitch by Baltimore’s Brad Brach that allowed Jackie Bradley, Jr. to score the winning run in the 11th inning. Fitting also, because JBJ’s 5th inning grab of a Chris Davis fly prevented a run that could have handed the game to the Orioles. Drew Pomeranz had a great game for Boston, going 6 1/3rd innings while giving up no runs on 5 hits and 2 walks with 5 punch-outs. The Red Sox bullpen came up big in holding the line into extra innings. Oriole starter Kevin Gausman also had a great start, pitching 8 innings, while giving up no runs on just 3 hits and a walk, while whiffing 7. Boston’s Andrew Benintendi doubled for Boston in this game, as did Manny Machado and Austin Hays for Baltimore. The final run came after Brock Holt singled to lead off the 11th, then switched places with JBJ in a fielder’s choice. Jackie reached 2nd and 3rd on walks to Benny and Mookie Betts, and scored on that wild pitch. Rafael Devers struggled at 3rd in this game, and while he was charged for just one (two base error) in the 11th, he had a key miscue earlier as well, but it was not called an error. Still, he has a strong, accurate throw when he is focused, and will be an outstanding infielder in the long run. So, it’s a rookie issue. Boston beat Baltimore, 1-0, in 11 innings at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Record: 87-64. Game 151/11.
#RedSox Game Summary (September 16) Staying in front. The Red Sox maintained their thin lead over the Rays (gained in the 2nd inning on a solo homer by Mookie Betts off Rays starter Alex Cobb) for several innings, thanks to the skillful work of starter Rick Porcello. In ultimately winning this game, they also maintain their thin 3 game lead over the surging New York Yankees. Boston picked up 2 more runs in the 6th inning when Christian Vázquez singled and exchanged places with Andrew Benintendi in a fielder’s choice, Benny then reached 2nd on a balk by Cobb, and stole 3rd, scoring on a Betts single. Betts advanced to 2nd when Mitch Moreland walked, and scored on a Rafael Devers double. Porcello kept the Rays off the scoreboard through 7 with an economical use of pitches, but faltered in the 8th, allowing a double to Adeiny Hechavarria, who reached 3rd when Vázquez allowed a passed ball as Brad Miller walked. Addison Reed came on with 1 out and runners at the corners. When, after putting Kevin Kiermaier out on a force at first, Moreland threw the ball away (it hit the back of Miller), Hechavarria scored what would prove to be Tampa Bay’s only run. Because of the error, the run was unearned. Reed finished off the inning, and Craig Kimbrel closed out without incident. Moreland also doubled in the game, as did the Rays’ Evan Longoria. Boston beat Tampa Bay, 3-1, at Tropicana Field. Record: 85-63. Game 148/14.
#RedSox Game Summary (September 10) No spark. With both Dustin Pedroia and Eduardo Núñez out of the lineup, these Red Sox seemed to lack the juice they needed to get going. They scored just 1 run against Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb, and that came in the 2nd inning, when Mitch Moreland walked, reached 2nd on a fielder’s choice, and scored on a single by Christian Vázquez. All in all, the Sox went 5-for-30 with 3 walks in the game. They only Boston batter with multiple hits was Vázquez, who is making his case for a lucrative contract at the end of the year. Meanwhile, Boston starter Rick Porcello was managing the game pretty well until the 5th, when he surrendered a double to Brad Miller and singles to Wilson Ramos, Kevin Kiermaier, and Evan Longoria for 2 runs. In the 6th, Sox reliever Brandon Workman gave up a solo bomb to Ramos, and in the 8th, the Rays’ Lucas Duda homered off Robby Scott. Duda also had a double in the game. Now they get a day off to consider how to approach the stretch drive, before getting into it with the lowly Oakland A’s. Tampa Bay beat Boston, 4-1, at Fenway Park. Record: 81-62. Game 143/19.
#RedSox Game Summary (August 31) CC sick. The Boston Red Sox have simply not been able to figure out CC Sabathia this year. Once again, the Yankee starter dispatched them with relative ease, giving up just 1 run on 4 hits and 5 walks over 6 innings, with 6 Ks. That one run came in the 3rd inning when Eduardo Núñez singled, went to 3rd on an Andrew Benintendi single, and scored on a fielder’s choice. The other run came in the 9th when New York reliever Ballin Betances walked one and hit two batters to load the bases for Baseball Benny, whom he also walked to force in a run. Eduardo Rodriguez was pretty sharp until the 6th, when it all kind of came apart. In the 3rd, he surrendered a solo dinger to Gary Sanchez. In the 5th, Sanchez struck again with a soft infield hit that scored Brett Gardner. In the 6th, E-Rod gave up 3 straight hits, including a double to Chase Headley, a 2 run bomb to Greg Bird, and a single to Todd Frazier, which ended his night. A subsequent single by Didi Gregorius off Fernando Abad drove in Frazier. The Yanks tacked on one more in the 7th when Heath Hembree surrendered a walk and two successive singles to Headley and Bird. After the game, CC had the temerity to complain about Núñez bunting on him in the 1st inning. CC had been unable to field the bunt, allowing Núñez to reach on the error. Sabathia called the Núñez play “weak”, which has drawn a number of snarky observations on social media regarding CC’s weight (blamed for his lack of mobility) and supposed eating habits. Let’s just settle down and play the games, OK? New York beat Boston, 6-2, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 76-58. Game 134/28.
#RedSox Game Summary (August 13) The rivalry is back. C’mon. Admit it. You miss those white knuckle moments: Red Sox vs. Yankees, everything on the line. We’re not quite there yet, but close. New York has a fine team, and once those guys get a little more experience, they are going to be very scary. Even in this game, the Sox had all they could handle. Boston ace and dead-lock for the Cy Young Award Chris Sale was fantastic in this game, going 7 innings and giving up 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks, with 12 strikeouts. That one run came in the 5th inning, when Mookie Betts, uncharacteristically, muffed a fly ball near the right field fence. It was called a hit, but really, he should have had it. It ended up as a triple, which allowed Chase Headley, who singled, to score. Boston scored off Yankee starter Jordan Montgomery (who also had a fine game) in the top of the 5th when Brock Holt walked, reached 2nd on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by Jackie Bradley, Jr. After Sales was done, Matt Barnes came on in the 8th, and after getting the first man out, allowed a hit and 2 walks to load the bases for Todd Frazier, whose sac fly untied the game, 2-1. In the 9th, it looked like Aroldis Chapman, whose pitchers were AVERAGING over 100 MPH, was going to dispatch the Sox fairly quickly, but no one told that to rookie Rafael Devers, whose solo bomb to left center tied the score. In the bottom of the 9th, Addison Reed walked the leadoff man, but after a sacrifice bunt moved him to 2nd, Reed got a ground out off our old friend Jacoby Ellsbury, and Craig Kimbrel came on to whiff Brett Gardner. In the 10th, Chapman, still on, and now (technically) hitting since his DH (Gary Sánchez) assumed a fielding position (catcher) hit JBJ, walked Eduardo Núñez, and walked Betts to load the bases for Andrew Benintendi who, of course, singled in what would prove to be the winning run. In the bottom of the 10th, Kimbrel dispatched the Yanks in order to pick up the win. Boston beat New York, 3-2 in 10 innings, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 67-50. Game 117/45.
#RedSox Game Summary (August 12) O rare Ben’s johnsons! (Apologies to English lit majors everywhere) Andrew “Benny” Benintendi accomplished an unusual feat in today’s game, hitting 3 run homers (which Dennis Eckersley likes to call “johnsons”) in two consecutive at-bats, powering the Red Sox to a big win over the Yankees. Sox starter Drew Pomeranz struggled in the first inning against New York, giving up a 2 run jack to Gary Sanchez (it was one of those weak fly balls that just barely made it past the corner of the short porch in right field) to put the Sox in an early hole. He settled down after that, with just one other truly rough patch coming in the 4th, when he gave up 2 singles and a walk to load the bases, allowing one run to score on a fielder’s choice. Pomeranz finished with 3 runs on his record off 7 hits and 2 walks with 5 Ks over 6 2/3rds innings. For the Sox, the fun started in the 3rd when, after Yankee starter Luis Severino walked two with one out, Eduardo Núñez reached base on a throwing error by Todd Frazier to load them up for Mookie Betts, whose line drive to left plated 2 runs. Then came Benny’s first blast, to make it a 5 run inning. In the 5th, after a single by Núñez and double by Betts, Benny did it again. But the Sox weren’t done scoring yet. Mitch Moreland doubled, and an error by Didi Gregorius made it 1st and 3rd for Rafael Devers, who doubled in 2 more. In the 9th, Boston reliever Robby Scott decided to make things a little more interesting by serving up solo home run balls to Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury in succession. But as Craig Kimbrel began warming in the ‘pen, he settled down and got 3 outs in succession to end the game. Boston beat New York, 10-5, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 66-50. Game 116/46.
#RedSox Game Summary (August 4) Star of the day. A million years ago, on Channel 4 (WBZ) in Boston, there was a show called Community Auditions, which opened with Dave Maynard singing (badly) “Star of the day, who will it be?” Well, today, it was Mitch Moreland, who ended an 11 inning struggle against the Chicago White Sox with a dramatic 2 out solo jack clear over the Monster. Eduardo Rodríguez started this one, looking for his first win since coming off the DL. Well, he didn’t get the win, but he did supply 6 solid innings, giving up just 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, while punching out 5. The White Sox struck first, with a double by José and after a walk, a 2 RBI double to Nicky Delmonico. Boston came back in the 5th the with a series of singles by Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and Chris Young that resulted in one run, and in the 6th with a solo bomb over the Monster by Eduardo Núñez. What followed was a display of clutch pitching on both sides, as well as some amazing fielding plays, including a key pick-off by Christian Vazquez of Delmonico in the 11th. Moreland’s 11th inning dinger decided the game, but this was a total team effort. Boston beat Chicago, 3-2 in 11 innings, at Fenway Park. Record: 61-49. Game 110/52.
#RedSox Game Summary (August 3) Batters up. Rick Porcello had a rough game as Red Sox starter today, giving up 5 runs over 5 1/3rd innings, on 7 hits and 2 walks, with just 6 Ks. But Boston hitters bailed him out, big time. Boston scored 7 runs over the first 2 innings, but that was not enough to make a win seem secure. In the 1st, Andrew Benintendi doubled, Eduardo Núñez, singled, Hanley Ramírez doubled, and Rafael Devers homered off White Sox starter Miguel González for 4 runs. In the 2nd, Christian Vazquez singled, and Mookie Betts hit a 2 run “Fenway homer” to left. After Benny got a HBP, he scored on a single by Hanley. But the White Sox kept it close. In the 2nd, Yoan Moncada walked, Nicky Delmonico and Tyler Salandino singled to score Moncada, and Delmonico scored on a fielder’s choice. In the 3rd, Leury Garcia singled, stole 2nd, and scored, along with Moncada, on a 3 run homer by Delmonico. So, after 3 innings, the score was 7-5, and Rick just did not look in control, yet remained in the game. But he held the line after that, and the bullpen held the line from the 6th inning to the end. Meanwhile, Mitch Moreland doubled in the 5th and scored on a Benintendi single. In the 6th, Xander Bogaerts singled and scored on Moreland double, so really, the game was never in any serious doubt. Boston beat Chicago, 9-5, at Fenway Park. Record: 60-49. Game 109/53.
#RedSox Game Summary (July 24) Got Nuthin’. The Red Sox were shut out tonight, and while that could be due to an excellent outing by Mariners’ starting pitcher James Paxton, it looked more like batters without confidence unable to connect. The Sox were unable to get a hit until Mookie Betts singled in the 6th. They had 4 hits in the game altogether, and failed to score. Eduardo Rodriguez showed flashes of his former brilliance, but struggled in the 2nd, when Kyle Seager hit a solo homer, and Ben Gamel tripled and scored on a fielder’s choice. With one on, Jean Segura doubled in Seattle’s third run. The Mariners got their 4th run when Gamel singled and scored on a double by Danny Valencia. This was not just an overpowering performance by Seattle pitching, but a weak series of plate appearances by the Sox. Maybe, in the spirit of Bull Durham, John Farrell needs to throw an armful of bats into the showers. If it were only so simple. Seattle beat Boston, 4-0, at Safeco Field. Record: 55-46. Game 101/61.