The Red Sox, having secured the division, are now aiming at the best record in the AL to ensure home field throughout the playoffs. They took the first step in this game against the Cleveland Indians. Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, Jr., Xander Bogaerts, Mitch Moreland, and Ian Kinsler got some well-earned rest, and their positions were taken by Blake Swihart, Tzu-Wei Lin, Sam Travis, Steve Pearce, Brandon Phillips, and Brock Holt. Different lineup, but a very good result. Chris Sale started for the Sox, once again on a limited schedule, and pitched 3 1/3rd innings. He left in the 4th, having given up 1 run on 5 hits and no walks with 7 strikeouts. One of the hits was a solo bomb by Josh Donaldson. He was charged another run when Yan Gomes hit a 2 run blast off Heath Hembree. In the 5th, Bobby Poyner gave up a double to Francisco Lindor, who subsequently reached 3rd on a single and scored on a sac fly. In the 7th, Drew Pomeranz hit Michael Brantley, who scored on José Ramírez’s double. Indians starter Trevor Bauer, struggling to return after a stint on the DL, lasted just 1 1/3rd innings, and was lifted though he gave up no runs. The Sox picked up single runs in the 3rd and 6th; in the 3rd, Sam Travis hit a solo dinger to right off Cleveland reliever Shane Bieber, and in the 6th Rafael Devers popped his own one run Johnson to right center; still the Sox trailed the Indians 4-2 going into the 7th. But as often happens, even with a substitute lineup, that’s when they rallied. After Brock Holt and Blake Swihart singled, Sam Travis drove them both in with a double to tie the score. Tzu-Wei Lin’s single brought Travis home, and singles by Brandon Phillips and Devers enabled Lin to score. Lin added a solo no-doubter in the 9th to provide some insurance. The bullpen still looks unsteady; Heath Hembree and Dew Pomeranz had a tough time, but Matt Barnes had a solid, and welcome return from the DL, giving hope for the postseason. With this win, the Sox have tied the total wins record achieved by the 1912 team, and they did it in the 154th game (in 1912, the season was 154 games),so it can be compared without complaint. Boston beat Cleveland, 7-5, at Progressive Field. Record: 105-49. Game 154/8.
Tag Archives: Boston
The Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees to become the 2018 American League Eastern Division Champions. Pitching-wise, this was a mess, with both starters getting roughed up. Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez and New York starter Masahiro Tanaka were each charged with 5 runs. For Eduardo, the beating started in the 2nd inning with a 2 run shot by Luke Voit. In the 4th, he got 2 quick outs, then walked the bases loaded, ending his day. On came Heath Hembree, who immediately surrendered a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton. Boston actually started the scoring when Mookie Betts doubled to lead off the game, and scored on a JD Martinez single. In the 2nd, a series of singles by Rafael Devers, Blake Swihart, and Mookie produced two more runs. Brock Holt added another with his solo dinger to right in the 3rd. In the 5th, Betts doubled, reached 3rd on a single by Andrew Benintendi, and scored on a double play to bring the Sox within a run. In the 7th, Jackie Bradley, Jr. homered off Yankee reliever Chad Green to tie the score at 6. Then, Christian Vazquez singled to end Green’s day. Benny doubled off Dellin Betances who then IW’ed JD Martinez. Xander Bogaerts’s sacrifice fly allowed Benny to score, and Martinez came home on a throwing error, to put Boston ahead for good. Mookie’s 3 run bomb in the 8th capped off the game, and they started stapling up the plastic in the visitors’ clubhouse. Betts had an incredible game, going 4-for-5 with a double and home run. Boston beat New York, 11-6, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 104-49. Game 153/9.
The Red Sox need just one game against their probable ALDS opponents, the New York Yankees, to clinch the division, but have stumbled in their effort to get it. They were crushed in this one by the Yankees. Yankee starter Luis Severino owned the Red Sox hitters, except for JD Martinez (who went 3-for-3 in the game) and Eduardo Núñez, who doubled off him (he went 2-for-3 for the game). Luis pitched 7 innings, giving up just 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk with 6 Ks. The one run came when Núñez doubled and scored on Sandy Leon’s single. David Price struggled in this one, hurt further by a key Red Sox error. In the 2nd, he gave up a homer to Miguel Andujar. A single and walk later, two runs scored on an error by Núñez. Things got worse from there. Luke Voit homered in the 4th, and again in the 6th (a 2 run job) when his fly ball bounced straight up off the top of the wall and was caught by a fan, but ruled a homer anyway. Singles by Andrew McCutchen and Aaron Judge off Joe Kelly set up a 2 RBI triple by Aaron Hicks. In the 8th, 3 singles and 2 ground-outs yielded 2 more runs for the Bronx Bombers. If the Red Sox are to have any credibility in the postseason, they need to show they can beat the Yankees at least once. Go Sox! New York beat Boston, 10-1, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 103-49. Game 152/10.
Nathan Eovaldi had a fine game against the New York Yankees, rebounding from the prior bad starts. He pitched 6 scoreless innings, giving up just 2 hits (including a double by Gleyber Torres) and 2 walks with 5 whiffs. He left with a 1 run lead thanks to Ian Kinsler, who singled in the 3rd off Yankee starter JA Happ, reached 2nd on a balk and 3rd on a wild pitch. JD Martinez drove him in with a sacrifice fly. The Red Sox had a 1-0 lead through 6. But once again, the bullpen failed to hold. In the 7th, Brandon Workman walked two and induced a pop-out before being replaced by Ryan Brasier, who surrendered a 3 run no doubter to Neil Walker. The Sox rallied in the 9th, when Yankee closer Zack Britton walked Brock Holt, who went 1st to 3rd on a Yankee fielding error, and scored on another error. But that was all they got. Xander Bogaerts doubled, and JD Martinez tripled in the game, but to no avail. New York beat Boston, 3-2, at Yankee Stadium. The magic number remains at 2. Record: 103-48. Game 151/11.
Two of the best starting pitchers in the majors play for the New York Mets. Noah Syndegaard dismantled the Red Sox on Friday, but the Sox handled Jacob deGrom on Sunday. The defining moment came in the 3rd inning, when Rafael Devers singled, went 1st to 3rd on a single by Christian Vázquez, and scored on a Mookie Betts sac fly. Then Brock Holt smashed a 2 run bomb to right center, giving Boston a 3-0 cushion. Unfortunately, the Sox would need all of it, as Drew Pomeranz, pitching in the 6th, allowed a single to Austin Jackson and a double to Amed Rosario, putting Jackson on 3rd, from which he scored on a sac fly. Rosario then reached 3rd on a passed ball by Vázquez, and scored on a Michael Conforto double. That was it for Drew, and given his recent performances, I think it a good chance that he is scratched from the postseason roster. Also in that inning, Mookie Betts was lifted from the game after appearing to strain a muscle in his side throwing to the plate. He was replaced by Tzu-Wei Lin. In the next inning, Heath Hembree walked Jay Bruce, who advanced to 2nd when Hembree hit Brandon Nimmo, ending Heath’s day. On came Joe Kelly who, after getting 2 out in rapid succession, allowed a RBI single to Rosario, scoring Bruce to tie the game at 3. In the 8th, Lin doubled off Mets reliever Seth Logo, reached 3rd on a fly out, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Benintendi. Steven Wright finished things off (Craig Kimbrel had pitched the previous night) to gain the save. The Yankees also lost today, so the magic number is now 2. The Red Sox can clinch the AL East if they win just one of the upcoming 3 games at Yankee Stadium. Boston beat New York in interleague play, 4-3, at Fenway Park. Record: 103-47. Game 150/12.
Noah Syndergaard, the New York Mets’ premier starter, was every bit as good as claimed by his fans, who call him “Thor”. He made the Sox hitters look pathetic through 7 scoreless innings, giving up just 3 hits and 3 walks while whiffing 7. The Mets bullpen held the line from there for a shutout of the Olde Towne Team. Of course, it’s easier to pitch well when you have a humongous lead. Hector Velazquez was supposed to start this game, but was scratched due to illness, so this was a bullpen game for Boston. And this bullpen fared badly. William Cuevas started for the Sox, and was charged for 2 runs in 2+ innings, giving up 3 hits, including doubles by Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce, and 1 walk with 4 Ks. When he got in trouble in the 3rd, Robby Scott came on to bail him out, and with 1 on, he hit Conforto and gave up a 3 run blast to Jay Bruce, then walked another hitter and hit two more before coming to his ignominious end. After that, Brian Johnson allowed a solo Johnson to Jeff McNeill in the 4th, and in the 8th, it was time to shift the game from bad to humiliating, as Tyler Thornburg gave up a 2 run bomb to Austin Jackson and a solo dinger to Armed Rosario. The Yankees won, so the magic number remains 6. New York beat Boston in interleague play, 8-0, at Fenway Park. Record: 101-47. Game 148/14.
Xander Bogaerts shattered the Toronto Blue Jays’ attempt to steal away this game in the late innings with a furious 8th inning performance. Prior to that, Eduardo Rodriguez had started the game and had a decent outing, going 5 innings and giving up 1 run on 5 hits and no walks, with 7 Ks. The one run came in the 3rd inning when Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. singled, reached 2nd on a fielder’s choice, and scored on a long single by Justin Smoak. The Red Sox scored single runs in the 2nd and 3rd to give Eduardo the lead. In the second, JD Martinez smacked Number 41 to right center. In the 3rd, Jackie Bradley, Jr. doubled, reached 3rd on a fielder’s choice, and scored on a sac fly. In the 6th, Rafael Devers smacked a solo bomb to right for Boston’s 3rd run.That might have been enough to give Eduardo the win, but then came the 8th inning. Gurriel smacked a solo jack to left off Bobby Poyner. Joe Kelly entered the game to finish off the inning. No such luck. After walking Smoak, he gave up a single to Kendrys Morales, and hit Randal Grichuk to load the bases. He then proceeded to hit Kevin Pillar to force in the tying run, and he was done. Brandon Workman finished the inning with a strikeout. By then, the X-Man had seen enough. In the bottom of the inning, he doubled, stole 3rd, and scored on a throwing error. Craig Kimbrel came on in the 9th to finish the game uneventfully, for his 40th save. The Yankees did not play today. The magic number is now 6. Boston beat Toronto, 4-3, at Fenway Park. Record: 101-46. Game 147/15.
The Red Sox have won 100 games in a single season for the first time since 1946, and in so doing have established a new century season. The win came in part as a fine accomplishment for David Price, who blanked the Toronto Blue Jays, going 7 scoreless innings while giving up just 3 hits and punching out 7. He didn’t walk anybody. Steven Wright’s knuckleball kept the Jays baffled in the 8th, and Craig Kimbrel, despite a walk, closed out. Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez had a very good game as well, but did give up the only run on 3 hits and 3 walks, while whiffing 6. The one run came in the 5th inning, when Mitch Moreland walked and exchanged places with Rafael Devers on a force play; Brock Holt singled, allowing Devers to reach 3rd, and Devers scored on a wild pitch by Sanchez. Not every game is a muscular hit display. Sometimes, a pitching duel does the job. They Yankees also lost to Minnesota, 3-1. The magic number for the division is now 7. Boston beat Toronto, 1-0, at Fenway Park. Record: 100-46. Game 146/16.
After honoring the fallen from 9/11, the Red Sox went to work against the Toronto Blue Jays. You had a sense that someone was going to bust this game open; it just wasn’t clear who that would be until Brock Holt hammered a 3 run jack in the 7th. It was a brief, tenuous outing for newly reactivated Chris Sale in his first start since August 12. He had a little control difficulty with his breaking stuff, but there was nothing wrong with his fastball, as he struck out 2, but also hit a guy and gave up a double to Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. It was a bullpen game after the first inning, and the bullpen kept the Jays off the board until the 6th, when Nathan Eovaldi allowed a double by Devon Travis, who stole 2nd, reached 3rd on a fly ball out, and scored on a double steal. Kevin Pillar drove in another run with a single. Blue Jays starter Ryan Borucki was cruising until the 7th inning, when he walked Xander Bogaerts, who scored on a Steve Pearce triple. After Eduardo Núñez walked, Brock Holt came on, pinch hitting for Sandy León, and powered his 3 run blast to right. Just to be on the safe side, the Sox came back in the 8th and, after a walk and 3 hits, including a double by Andrew Benintendi, scored 2 more runs off reliever Jake Petricka. Taylor Guerrieri came on for Toronto to stop the bleeding, but a wild pitch allowed the 7th Boston run. With this win, the Red Sox ensured themselves of October baseball, but the real goal, of course, is the division. Boston beat Toronto, 7-2, at Fenway Park. Record: 99-46. Game 145/17.
Mitch Moreland’s single earned him a soaking ice water bath, and he didn’t mind at all. The Red Sox struck first, in the first, when Mookie Betts doubled off Houston Astros starter Dallas Keuchel and scored on a Xander Bogaerts single. In the 3rd, Betts doubled again, reached 3rd on a fiedler’s choice, and scored on a JD Martinez sac fly. In the 5th, JD Martinez hit his 40th bomb, a 3 run blast, to give Boston a 5-1 lead. But, once again, the bullpen let our boys down. Rick Porcello had a fine start, but had to leave in the 6th inning when he ran into trouble. Up to that point, he had given up 1 run on 4 hits and a walk to the Houston Astros, with 6 punch-outs. The one run came in a solo bomb by Marwin Gonzalez in the 2nd. But in the 6th, after José Altuve powered a solo dinger to left, a pair of singles ended Rick’s night. But Heath Hembree poured gasoline on the fire, allowing a double to Tyler White that scored 2. Off went Hembree, and on came Brian Johnson, who walked Brian McCann and gave up a RBI double to our old friend Josh Reddick. Finally, Ryan Brasier ended the inning. It looked like another almost, just quite, not enough. Not this time. After Steven Wright, fresh off the DL, kept the ‘Stros scoreless over 2 innings, Craig Kimbrel came on and showed playoff form, taking down 3 successive batters, 2 by strikeout. In the bottom of the 9th, Andrew Benintendi singled, JD switch places with him in a force play, Xander Bogaerts single to put JD in scoring position, Tzu-Wei Lin came in to run for JD, and Mitch Moreland’s looping hit to left brought Lin home. Now that’s more like it. Boston beat Houston, 6-5, at Fenway Park. Record: 98-46. Game 144/18.