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John Farrell: Yoenis Cespedes left game due to ‘family medical emergency’

08.21.14 at 11:12 pm ET
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Yoenis Cespedes left Thursday’s game after the third inning due to what the team deemed a “personal matter.”

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

Red Sox manager John Farrell echoed similar sentiments after the game, saying the outfielder was removed from the game because of a “family medical emergency.”

“[It's] a personal matter that he’s dealing with and we’re hopeful he would be back in the lineup tomorrow, but that’s probably the most I can tell you right now,” Farrell said.

Farrell wouldn’t go into further details about Cespedes’ situation, opting to keep the situation private.

“I think at the appropriate time, if there are questions that Yoenis feels like he’s willing to answer — I think at this point we probably need to respect his privacy at this point,” he said.

Cespedes struck out in his lone plate appearance in the Sox’ 2-0 loss to the Angels Thursday. He gunned down Josh Hamilton at the plate in the first with a strike from left field off a single by Howie Kendrick.

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Closing Time: Matt Shoemaker shuts down Red Sox offense as Angels complete sweep

08.21.14 at 10:24 pm ET
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Matt Shoemaker

Matt Shoemaker

Rubby De La Rosa was strong for the Red Sox Thursday night. But he couldn’t match the masterful effort of Angels starter Matt Shoemaker.

Shoemaker outdueled the Red Sox righty with a one-hit shutout over 7 2/3 innings to lead the Angels to a 2-0 win to complete the four-game sweep of the Sox.

Shoemaker worked a no hitter into the seventh inning before Will Middlebrooks broke it up with a two-out double in the seventh. The Sox avoided being no-hit for the first time since April 22, 1993, when Chris Bosio achieved the feat for the Mariners. The last pitcher to come that close was Cubs pitcher Jake Arietta, who lost a no-hitter in the eighth June 30 at Fenway Park. Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman no-hit the Sox through six innings July 26.

It was another tough night offensively for the Red Sox, who managed just three baserunners for the game and were shut out for the 12th time this season. They were outscored 18-8 over the four-game series against the Angels.

Shoemaker dominated a shorthanded Red Sox offense that was without three of its best sluggers for most of the night – David Ortiz had an off day, Mike Napoli continues to be day-to-day with back spasms and Yoenis Cespedes left the game after the third inning for what the team called a “personal matter.” The undrafted pitcher out of Eastern Michigan University walked one and struck out nine. It was the lowest single-game hit total in a major league start for Shoemaker.

It was an especially disappointing outcome for De La Rosa, who bounced back nicely coming off an outing last Saturday in which he gave up six runs over four innings to the Astros. De La Rosa gave up two runs on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings Thursday night. He struck out a season-high eight batters for the third time this season and walked just three. He threw 111 pitches for the game, marking the third time he’s reached the 110-pitch mark in his last five starts.

The loss is the Red Sox’ fifth straight, dropping them to 56-71 for the season.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

– Brock Holt was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the first inning, and the Red Sox didn’t have a hitter reach base over the next 20 plate appearances.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Matt Shoemaker’s wife calls Will Middlebrooks a ‘butthole’ for breaking up no-hitter

08.21.14 at 10:22 pm ET
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While most of Fenway Park was applauding Will Middlebrooks for breaking up Angels starter Matt Shoemaker‘s no-hitter with a two-out double in the seventh, Shoemaker’s wide, Danielle, wasn’t a pleased. She took to Twitter to express her feelings toward the Red Sox third baseman.

Her husband’s effort was impressive nonetheless. The right-hander pitched a one-hit shutout over 7 2/3 with nine strikeouts.

Yoenis Cespedes leaves game due to ‘personal matter’

08.21.14 at 8:20 pm ET
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Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes left Thursday’s game against the Angels after three innings. The Red Sox announced that he left the game on “a personal matter” and was not injured. Before exiting, Cespedes had uncoiled a rocket of a throw to nab a runner (attempting to score from second on a two-out single to left) at the plate and had struck out against Angels starter Matt Shoemaker.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Red Sox pregame notes: David Ortiz finds little satisfaction in milestones; Will Middlebrooks, Mike Napoli day-to-day

08.21.14 at 6:59 pm ET
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It was another impressive night for David Ortiz on Wednesday in the midst of what has been yet another impressive season for the Red Sox‘ slugger.

Ortiz was 4-for-4 with three singles and hit his 30th home run of the season, was set for his fifth at-bat in the Sox’ 8-3 loss to the Angels Wednesday night.

Instead, up came Alex Hassan.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game Ortiz was dealing with some “general soreness” after spending most of his night on the base paths. On Thursday, Farrell said the decision to pinch-hit for Ortiz was meant to “get him off his feet.”

According to Farrell, Ortiz is out of the lineup for Thursday’s series finale against the Angels on a planned off day with the Sox in the midst of a stretch of 17 games in 17 days. He said Ortiz’s removal from Wednesday’s game and his status Thursday is unrelated.

“We’ve got a scheduled off day next Thursday prior to opening up a series in Tampa, so rather than running him a stretch of 17 consecutive, that’s where today comes in,” Farrell said. “But there are some periodic off days throughout September that we’ll have a chance to catch up on.”

Ortiz is 14-for-26 (.538) with five multi-hit games through the first seven games of the Sox’ 11-game homestand. Thursday’s homer marked his eighth 30-home run season, tying him with Ted Williams for the most in Red Sox history. Read the rest of this entry »

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John Farrell: Surgery not ruled out for Allen Craig’s foot

08.21.14 at 5:35 pm ET
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Allen Craig was supposed to be getting his at-bats in Pawtucket Thursday night.

Allen Craig

Allen Craig

However, injuries and other circumstances have opened up a need. So instead, he’ll be the designated hitter in his second-career game with the Red Sox.

Craig, who was acquired by the Red Sox from the Cardinals for John Lackey, injured his ankle Aug. 1 in his Red Sox debut, and hasn’t played since.

The outfielder was scheduled to rehab in Pawtucket at DH Monday and play right field Wednesday and Thursday, but with Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli battling injuries and David Ortiz on a scheduled off day, Red Sox manager John Farrell said it would be just as valuable to give Craig those at-bats with the major league club.

Craig played right field and went 1-for-3 with a two-run single for Pawtucket Wednesday night. Farrell said Craig played with “no hesitations” over his two games with the Triple-A club.

“Went first to second on a base hit and overthrow after a couple RBIs, wasn’t too challenged in right field with many opportunities, but came out of it physically fine with some change in direction to his running and some acceleration to what would be full speed,” Farrell said. “So he’s passed at least two days of the physical test.”

That, at least, is the case with the ankle injury that Craig suffered in his Red Sox debut on Aug. 1, when he tweaked his foot while crossing first base. Still, questions remain about another injury with his foot.

Craig suffered a Lisfranc injury last September that ended his 2013 regular season and kept him out for the early part of the Cardinals’ World Series run. St. Louis and Craig opted to let the injury heal naturally with rest rather than surgery.

“We do know this: the injury he had last year was something that was given rest and recovery rather than a repair, probably as much to do with their stretch and postseason run. I guess it’s debatable whether a repair was needed or recommended, but they chose a conservative path,” said Farrell. “I can’t say, ‘Is there still some involvement?’ That is above me. He turned the ankle and foot here on the base, so what he was feeling wasn’t a result of the actual previous injury. But does the previous injury still give some instability? That’s, again, debatable.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Sox minor league roundup: Breaking down Matt Barnes’ turnaround; Deven Marrero snaps slide; Sean Coyle’s opportunity; Speier streaking

08.21.14 at 12:02 pm ET
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Right-hander Matt Barnes continued his second-half dominance on Wednesday. (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox.)

Right-hander Matt Barnes continued his second-half dominance on Wednesday. (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox.)

A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 9-0 WIN VS. LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES)

(BOX)

– Right-hander Matt Barnes continued his outstanding second half with 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball in which he allowed two hits, walked three and punched out seven. The 24-year-old has allowed two or fewer runs in all six of his second-half starts, pitching at least six innings in all but one of them and pitching into the seventh in four of the six outings. In other words, in his last six outings, he has as many outings of more than six innings (four) as he had in the first 65 games of his professional career, from 2012 through the first half of 2014.

Reports of Barnes’ stuff were positive on Wednesday, consistent with a number of recent evaluations from his second half. He pitched primarily off his fastball — a plus offering that he featured at 92-95 mph and commanded well within the strike zone — while sprinkling in a solid changeup (a major league average offering) and a roughly 80 mph curveball that featured short bite and 12-to-6 shape. One evaluator on hand estimated that he threw about five of 10 curveballs well on the night, suggesting that his first one of the game was usable to steal a strike, and his second one bounced on the grass in front of the dirt at home plate, underscoring the idea that inconsistency remains with the pitch. Still, the curveball showed improvement from previous looks by that evaluator, with a spin and shape that suggested the potential to be a useful third pitch.

Barnes’ fastball remains a standout pitch, still perhaps the best of all of the Sox’ upper levels pitchers. If he complements that with a changeup that grades as average (where it is now) to slightly above, and can get the curveball to the point of being somewhere near average — perhaps even a 45 on the 20-80 scouting scale — there is reason to believe that he has a chance to be a solid starting pitcher in the big leagues, perhaps one with a ceiling above the likes of Anthony Ranaudo and Brandon Workman and, arguably, someone like Allen Webster or even Rubby De La Rosa.

But, the fact that his curveball is still a work in progress, and that he posted a 5.06 ERA with 6.9 strikeouts per nine and 3.7 walks per nine in the first half before his recent six-start run with a 1.63 ERA, 7.4 strikeouts and 3.0 walks per nine underscores the notion that he’s not as polished as those other four, which explains (along with the fact that all of them are on the 40-man roster this year and Barnes is not) why they’ve seen time in the big leagues this year and Barnes has not. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: gabe speier, matt barnes, sam travis, sean coyle
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