#RedSox Game Summary (August 14) Fister cuffed. Doug Fister was not on top of his game vs. the Cleveland Indians today, and got hammered. In the 2nd inning, he gave up 2 walks and 2 hits for one run, and then, with the bases loaded, gave up a 2 RBI single to Francisco Lindor. After a couple of scoreless innings, he surrendered a double to José Ramírez, followed by a monster shot by Edwin Encarnación, for a total of 5 earned runs, after which he departed, thankfully. Boston took 3 runs back on a succession of solo home runs off Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings including 2 by wunderkind Rafael Devers, and one by Andrew Benintendi. In the 6th came the back-breaker: José Ramírez reached on an error by Devers, and then Edwin Encarnacion blasted a dinger over the Monster. Despite doubles by Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland, the Sox were unable to respond effectively against Cleveland pitching. Cleveland beat Boston, 7-3, at Fenway Park. Record: 67-51. Game 118/44.
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#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 11) The running of the bulls. The Boston bullpen has been very reliable in shutting down opponents once the Red Sox have a lead. Not this time. The Sox jumped out to an early lead when Hanley Ramirez hit a 2 run jack off Yankee starter Jaime García, and Andrew Benintendi followed with a solo dinger in the 5th. Boston starter Eduardo Rodríguez was excellent, giving up 2 hits and 2 walks, with 7 whiffs over 6 shutout innings, and despite a lead-off walk, Matt Barnes blanked the New Yorkers in the 7th. But then… trouble. After hitting Brett Gardner with a pitch, Boston reliever Addison Reed seemed to have lost his nerve, and after working Aaron Hicks to a full count, threw a weak-ass slider that resulted in a 2 run bomb. Then, after giving up a single to Gary Sanchez, he walked Aaron Judge, to end his night. On came Joe Kelly. Salvation, right? Not so fast. Kelly gave up 2 consecutive singles to Didi Gregorius and Todd Frazier, tying the game and leaving the bases still loaded with nobody out. A sac fly scored Gregorius with the go-ahead run, and another sac fly produced an insurance run. New York 5, Boston 3. In the 9th, Aroldis Chapman walked Jackie Bradley, Jr., Eduardo Núñez, and Mookie Betts, in a row, to load the bases with nobody out. A golden opportunity. Only when Andrew Benintendi flied out to left and JBJ scored on the sacrifice, for some inconceivable reason, Núñez attempted to reach 3rd (on a play from left? Really?), and was cut down. Mitch Moreland then flied out, to end the game. New York beat Boston, 5-4, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 65-50. Game 115/47.
#RedSox Game Summary (August 9) Thank you, thank you very much. Sox fans would like to express their appreciation to the Tampa Bay Rays for all the gift runs and scoring opportunities set up by the 2 errors, 2 wild pitches, and passed ball in this game. Not that the Sox didn’t make enough noise to win anyway, but those blunders sure took the pressure off. This was not a heavy hitting game for Boston, though Andrew “Benny” Benintendi went 3-for-5 with a double, Brock Holt also doubled, and Eduardo Núñez provided a couple of clutch hits. Benny drew first blood with his double, scoring on a fielding error by Rays starter Jake Odirizzi. The 5th was the big inning for Boston, as four hits, two intentional walks, a passed ball, and a wild pitch all contributed to a 5 run explosion. In the 8th, Holt’s double set up a score on a throwing error by Tampa Bay first baseman Trevor Plouffe. Sandy Leone, who had reached on that error, scored on a wild pitch by Rays reliever Sergio Romo. Rick Porcello had a solid start, with his only runs yielded in solo jacks by Adeiny Hechavarria and Brad Miller in the 6th inning. In the end, Rick went 6 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, with 7 Ks. He also had an immaculate inning in the 5th (3 consecutive strikeouts on just 9 pitches total). This game seems to show that when things are going well, they tend to go even better. Boston beat Tampa Bay, 8-2, at Tropicana Field. Record: 65-49. Game 114/48.
#RedSox Game Summary (August 6) The boys are back. And they brought their big bats with them. Ever since the arrival of Rafael Devers and Eduardo Núñez, these Red Sox have been looking like the Bosox of old, swinging the big bats and hitting those homers. Núñez contributed his dinger in the first inning off White Sox starter Mike Pelfry, and Chris Young, who went 3-for-4 in the game, got two: one in the first, and the other, a 3 run job in the 5th; plus he doubled in Andrew Benintendi in the 3rd. Sandy Leon also doubled in the game, and scored on Young’s second bomb. Doug Fister struggled in the second inning on the mound for Boston, giving up 4 hits, including a double to Tyler Saladino, for 3 runs. But he settled down after that, giving up a total of 8 hits and no walks over 6 1/3rd innings, while punching out 7. The bullpen finished things from there, and Craig Kimbrel, with his 27th save an a 1.51 ERA, is entering the rare air for a closer. The Sox are riding the crest of a 6 game winning streak and after a day off, head for St. Petersburg to face the Tampa Bay Rays. Boston beat Chicago, 6-3, at Fenway Park. Record: 63-49. Game 112/50.
#RedSox Game Summary (August 5) Not so scary. James Shields was a terror to Red Sox fans when he was a starter for the Tampa Bay Rays a few years ago, but his fastball has lost about 5-6 MPH, and he is no longer a mystery to Boston’s hitters. Shields, starting for the Chicago White Sox, gave up 4 runs on 5 hits including home runs for Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley, Jr., and doubles by Mitch Moreland and Mookie Betts. Boston starter Drew Pomeranz, meanwhile, looked confident, and even though he got into trouble a few times in his 6 1/3rd innings, he surrendered just one run on a homer by Tim Anderson in the 1st inning. He ended up giving up 7 hits and a walk while whiffing 8. Blaine Boyer provided a solid 1 2/3rd innings, and Craig Kimbrel mopped up from there. Although Kimbrel did hit Chicago’s Leury Garcia with a pitch, he subsequently picked him off, and ended the game with 2 punch-outs. Boston beat Chicago, 4-1, at Fenway Park. Record: 62-49. Game 111/51.
#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 (August 1) Good pitching beats good hitting, and vice-versa (Yogi Berra). This was supposed to be an epic pitchers’ duel between two premier AL pitchers: Boston’s Chris Sale and Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco, who lasted just 1 2/3rds innings, but it turned into a slugfest. The Indians jumped all over Sale in the first inning, scoring 3 runs on 4 hits, including a double by Carlos Santana. They scored 2 more on a 2 run bomb by Brandon Guyer in the 2nd. Faced with a 5-0 deficit, the Sox bounced right back in the bottom of the 2nd, with a Xander Bogaerts double and a 2 run homer by Mitch Moreland. After a double by Christian Vazquez, a walk and a RBI Brock Holt single, a RBI double by Eduardo Núñez tied the score at 5, ending Carrasco’s day. In the 5th, José Ramírez doubled for the Indians, and Edwin Encarnación crushed a 2 run homer off Sale to untie the score. But the slugging Red Sox weren’t done yet. In the 6th, 3 hits, including a double by Mitch Moreland cut the Cleveland lead to 1, and after a HBP to load the bases, Eduardo Núñez doubled in 3 runs to put the Sox in a seemingly comfortable lead. Normally comfortable, but not in this game. Newly acquired ace reliever Addison Reed surrendered a home run to the first hitter he faced, Carlos Santana, cutting the Sox lead in half. In the 9th, the normally lights-out Craig Kimbrel gave up another homer to tie the game, and then with 2 out, gave up 2 singles and a walk to load the bases. Then, stunningly, he threw a wild pitch to hand the lead back to Cleveland, 10-9. But the apparent curse on pitchers in this game also applied to Indians closer Cody Allen. He gave up a Baltimore chop single to Rafael Devers, and later, with 1 on and 2 out, threw a wild pitch that allowed Mitch Moreland to reach on strike three. This set the stage for Vazquez, with 2 on and 2 out, and he did not disappoint. Boom! Of course, a no-doubter to straightaway center field earned him a walk-off shower. Boston beat Cleveland, 12-10. Record: 59-49. Game 108/54. Back in first.