|08.01.15 at 7:48 pm ET|
Lucchino reportedly will be replaced by current Red Sox chief operating officer Sam Kennedy. The 42-year-old Kennedy, a Brookline native, is not believed to have a role in player acquisition in the manner Lucchino did since joining the club in 2002.
According to the Boston Herald, which first reported the story, the transition from Lucchino to Kennedy has already begun. A source reports that the move has been in the works since 2012, with Lucchino on board with the decision.
“The truth is Sam is an important part of this puzzle,” Lucchino told the Boston Herald. “He’s been working for me for 20 years, right out of college. He’s certainly my choice, as well as that of [principal owner] John [Henry] and Tom [Werner], to be promoted the position of president.”
“I don’t believe at all that this is the end of Larry’s relationship with the club, but the beginning of a more diverse role — one in which he can begin to enjoy some of the fruits of his labor,” Henry told the Herald. “He almost certainly will continue to mentor and push for excellence internally over upcoming years.”
It has long been rumored that Lucchino would be stepping aside from his current post, with the longtime baseball executive — who will turn 70 next month — seemingly wanting to diminish his workload. The current president/CEO hasn’t been as visible this season, with much of his focus turned to the the purchase of the Pawtucket Red Sox and that organization’s quest to build a new stadium in Providence.
|08.01.15 at 6:51 pm ET|
Listening to Travis Shaw after Saturday’s game you’d never know he went 4-for-4, hitting the first two home runs of his major league career and falling a triple short of the cycle while scoring five runs in the Red Sox‘ 11-7 win over the Rays.
The 25-year-old barely cracked a smile during the roughly five minutes he spoke to the media after the game, but maybe there’s a reason for that.
Shaw’s dad, Jeff, was a reliever who played 12 seasons in the majors and was a two-time All-Star. Growing up, Travis was always at the park shagging fly balls during batting practice and even serving as bat boy during road games. He probably had seen many performances better than his own.
“Son of a major leaguer, maybe that’s why he keeps it in stride. He’s been around it his entire life,” said manager John Farrell, who played with Jeff on the Indians, Jeff’s first three years in the majors.
“Jeff never shut up, Travis is quiet. They both have the last name Shaw, but very different,” he added.
Shaw stepped to the plate a triple shy of the cycle in the eighth inning, but instead of the cycle he crushed a homer to dead center field for his second of the day. He became the first Red Sox player since at least 1914 to record four hits, five runs and 11 total bases in a game.
He admitted he was thinking about the cycle stepping to the plate.
“It’s in your head,” he said. “Everyone is talking about it. If you hit the ball in the gap, everyone is like, ‘Don’t stop running.’ I’ll take the homer.”
His first home run came in the third inning when he took Rays starter Matt Moore deep into the Rays bullpen for his first career home run.
The left-handed hitter who stands 6-foot-4 said he felt some sense of relief as he had played in eight games before recording his first major league hit in his ninth game (back in early July before being sent down) and then in his 10th he was able to hit his first home run.
“It’s about the same,” he said of more weight being off his shoulders after his first homer. “Everyone is looking at me to hit home runs, especially with the type of body that I have. Being able to go out there and do that it takes some weight off your shoulders.”
|08.01.15 at 5:14 pm ET|
After a sluggish start offensively following the All-Star break, the Red Sox offense has turned a corner.
Coming out of the break the Red Sox averaged 1.77 over the first nine games, but since then they have scored at least seven runs in five of their last seven games, including Saturday’s 11-7 win over the Rays.
It was the Red Sox‘ third straight win, their first three-game winning streak since their four-game win streak that ended July 8.
“Just an outstanding day,” manager John Farrell said. “Quality at-bats up and down the lineup. Starts off with Brock [Holt] leading off the game with a base hit and we were able to get on the board early, extend the lead, and enough to hold on.”
The Red Sox scored early and often against Rays left-hander Matt Moore. They scored a run in the first and exploded for four in the second before adding another in the third to make it a 6-0 game after three innings.
Travis Shaw, who was called up Saturday morning, paced the offense, going 4-for-4 with a walk with two home runs, a double and three RBIs — finishing a triple shy of the cycle. He recorded his first career extra-base hit and then he followed with his first career homer. He also scored five runs, which is the most by a Red Sox player since Aug. 12, 2008.
It was his third professional two-homer game, as he had two in the minors.
Boston’s offensive took advantage of going against Moore, who entered with a 7.61 ERA. Moore lasted just three innings and allowed six runs on nine hits.
|08.01.15 at 11:58 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (42-64): L, 2-1 in 13 innings, at Buffalo (Blue Jays)
— The Pawtucket offense continued to struggle, scoring just one run on five hits over 13 innings as the PawSox lost on a walkoff double to finish July with a record of 4-22. Second baseman Marco Hernandez (Boston’s No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) drove in the lone Pawtucket run in the fourth as he scored DH Garin Cecchini (Boston’s No. 14 prospect at MLB.com) who had walked with two outs.
First baseman Allen Craig was the only batter with multiple hits for the PawSox, finishing 2-for-6 with three strikeouts.
— RHP Jess Todd, RHP Matt Barnes, and RHP Ronald Belisario combined to pitch 11 innings with just one unearned run crossing the plate, after back-to-back errors from Hernandez in the fifth.
With a runner at first, a slow chopper to second caused confusion as shortstop Deven Marrero cut in front of a charging Hernandez who then couldn’t come up with the ball. The next batter hit a broken-bat grounder to short that could have been a double-play, but Hernandez threw high and wide to first allowing a run to score.
Todd finished with a no-decision line of: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO. Barnes pitched three scoreless, allowing just two hits with a strikeout and Belisario pitched two scoreless with just one hit allowed.
— RHP Noe Ramirez suffered the loss in extra innings (4-1, 2.20 ERA), as after retiring the first five batters he faced he allowed a two-out single and then game-winning double into the corner in left field. The double snuck between the third-base bag and third baseman Mike Miller, who was playing close to the line, and the relay form left fielder Jeff Bianchi to Marrero to catcher Humberto Quintero was not in time.
|08.01.15 at 11:47 am ET|
With the uncertain status of third baseman Pablo Sandoval, the Red Sox were forced to make a move to get some infield depth.
The team recalled first/third baseman Travis Shaw from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned reliever Jonathan Aro back to Triple-A.
Sandoval was hit by a pitch on the wrist/forearm on a strikeout by Chris Sale Thursday night. He was spotted in the clubhouse after Friday’s game wearing a brace.
“With Panda’s situation being day-to-day we needed some infield depth,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s at third base today. Panda is showing some improvement. He’s going to try and swing a bat here a little bit later this morning, but the soreness and swelling still persists. Whether or not he’s available in this series remains to be seen.”
Shaw is 3-for-15 in 18 major league at-bats this season.
Farrell said the team has not set its rotation for the upcoming series with the Yankees beginning Tuesday. There’s a thought Brian Johnson or Henry Owens could be called up to make one of those starts.
|08.01.15 at 11:36 am ET|
Pablo Sandoval will miss his second straight game after taking a fastball to the wrist/forearm area on Thursday.
Ryan Hanigan will catch Red Sox starter Joe Kelly.
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
|08.01.15 at 11:02 am ET|
The 2015 season has not been kind to Kelly, who owns a 2-6 record and 5.94 ERA. His ERA is the second highest in the American League among pitchers with more than 80 innings pitched (behind only Detroit’s Shane Green at 6.97, and narrowly ahead of fellow Red Sox starter Rick Porcello’s 5.81 mark).
Kelly has posted a 1.512 WHIP in his 16 starts this season and opponents have hit a whopping .281 with a .798 OPS against him. Kelly was sent to Triple-A to work on things for about a month before returning July 22. In two starts since reentering the Red Sox rotation, Kelly’s struggles have only continued.
In 8 2/3 innings pitched in two starts, Kelly has surrendered eight earned runs on 13 hits, good for an ERA of 8.31. Opponents have hit .342 and tallied a 1.127 OPS against him while knocking three homers, two doubles and two triples.
His last outing was a loss to the White Sox on Monday. Kelly pitched 3 1/3 innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits. The right-hander allowed back-to-back triples and a double on the game’s first five pitches.
“Rough outing,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of his starter’s performance. “A lot of elevated pitches in the strike zone. There were strikes, but the command within the strike zone was lacking. A lot of hard contact early.”
|07.31.15 at 11:30 pm ET|
Talk about irony.
Mike Napoli spent the week leading up to Friday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline wondering. He was wondering if his hot streak of late meant his days (and games) in the city he’s grown to love were numbered. The Pirates were in need of a right-handed power bat and surely, they could swing a deal with the Red Sox for the power hitter with just two months left on a two-year, $32 million contract.
But 4 p.m. came and went Friday and Napoli never got that call into general manager Ben Cherington’s office.
The first baseman took a deep breath and prepared to play another game for the Red Sox. He went 1-for-2 and that one hit was certainly a memorable one. With the Red Sox trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh and David Ortiz at first after working walk, Napoli swung at a two-strike 97 mph neck-high heater from Tampa Bay lefty reliever Jake McGee and lofted a rain-making fly ball to left that came down on the ledge of the Green Monster and bounced into the seats for a go-ahead two-run homer. The homer was the difference in a 7-5 win over the Rays at Fenway.
What a way to mark staying in Boston. The slugger now has a .326 average, three homers, nine RBIs and seven walks since July 12.
“I was just trying to stay short to the ball. He throws hard. I calmed down my leg kick and just tried to get my barrel to it,” Napoli said.
“You face guys in your division so much,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “McGee is a guy that likes to elevate his fastball looks to get some chase. Nap was sitting on a pitch up in the zone and did a fantastic job with it. Finally, we had a break go our way.”
Napoli, the guy who had trouble in the clutch all season, the guy who couldn’t seem to catch up to a high fastball all year, clubbed a fly ball that was only a home run because it came at Fenway Park.
“Playing at Fenway to get that homer,” Napoli smiled. “It was just reaction. Just tried to calm my leg kick down. He throws hard.”
As for the relief that comes with the passing of the trade deadline, Napoli said it was just another day.
“I wasn’t worried about it,” Napoli said. “Like I said before, I just came to the park to make myself better. It’s something I can’t control. If it happened, it happened. But I wanted to be a Red Sox. I signed here. I love my teammates and I definitely have fun playing with them on the field.
|07.31.15 at 10:25 pm ET|
Friday night’s Red Sox-Rays game was a battle for the worst record in the majors over the month of July and it certainly looked that way, as it was a sloppy game with the teams combining for five errors and both teams blowing leads late.
In the end, the Red Sox rallied to beat the Rays 7-5 and will finish the month 10-15, while the Rays will finish 9-16.
With two outs in the seventh inning, David Ortiz and Rays reliever Jake McGee battled in an 11-pitch at-bat before the lefty slugger worked a walk to set the stage for Mike Napoli, who hit a towering home run to left field that just barely cleared the wall of the Green Monster. It was his second home run in three games and gave the Sox a 6-5 lead.
“Two fantastic at-bats in the seventh inning,” manager John Farrell said. “David with an outstanding at-bat. Just misses a double, able to work out the walk against probably a premium left-handed reliever and then Nap seemingly tomahawks a pitch that has just enough to get out of here. Sea-saw game back and forth. Great to see us respond with the two-run home run by Nap.”
Blake Swihart scored on a wild pitch in the eighth for an insurance run.
Junichi Tazawa got a double-play in the eighth to end a potential Rays rally and Koji Uehara pitched the ninth to close out the win.
The Red Sox grabbed a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning on Alejandro De Aza’s second RBI of the game, but the bullpen couldn’t hold it.
In the seventh inning Robbie Ross Jr. allowed a walk and hit another batter to set up runners on first and second with two outs before departing from the game. Tazawa couldn’t escape as he allowed a pinch-hit double to John Jaso, which scored two runs and gave the Rays the 5-4 lead.
Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez didn’t have the best command of his fastball, but made up for it with one of his better changeups of the season. The left-hander went five innings and allowed three runs on six hits, while striking out four. The issue was he walked four batters on the way to throwing a career-high 110 pitches.
“On a night where Eddie battled himself, never really got into much of a rhythm, but to his credit made some pitches with runners in scoring position to minimize the damage,” Farrell said.
The Red Sox scored three times in the first inning to take a 3-1 lead early on. De Aza singled home Xander Bogaerts and then Swihart came through with a two-run single to shallow left field.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
|07.31.15 at 8:24 pm ET|
That’s been far from the case as the team has averaged 4.13 runs per game, 16th in the baseball. It’s not just the offense either, as overall the team is 45-58 and 13 games behind the Yankees in the AL East.
There’s plenty of blame to be thrown around, but speaking following the trade deadline pasing Friday, general manager Ben Cherington said he’s the person who should be blamed the most.
“Look, obviously the results are the results and that means the team we built is not as good as what we thought it could be. We’re all responsible. I’m more responsible than anyone for that, but we’re all responsible,” he said. “Players are responsible. The staff is responsible. I’m responsible. I’m more responsible than anyone. That’s how I feel. That said, I still look at the field and see a bunch of guys that are going to be part of a really good team in the near future. I don’t see this as a situation where we have to go and reverse in anyway. We have to keep building. We have to clear areas that need improvement.
“There are solutions out there too and we just have to find more. We have to find a way to get more out of some guys that are here. I think John [Henry] said, they’ll either prove us right or prove us wrong and it’s safe to say at the end of July we were wrong at the beginning of the season as to what this team could do. We’ve got to figure out, we’ve been in the process of trying to figure out why that is and we have to fix it and have to play better baseball.”
Speaking to reporters in Houston about a week before the trade deadline, Cherington was very complimentary of his manager John Farrell, saying, “I fully support John. He’s part of the solution.”
Friday, Cherington was asked if he wanted to see anything different from Farrell during the remaining two months of the season. While Cherington didn’t say anything definitive, it wasn’t the same tone as just over a week ago.
“As I’ve said, I think we are all responsible for being better,” he said. “I don’t think anyone is exempt from that. I know we believe in the people that are here, but we all have to find ways to perform and improve our performance. That’s up to us to work together, to help each other figure out what that is. Beyond that I can’t say anything more specific than that.”
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