|07.06.16 at 10:28 pm ET|
On the hottest day of the summer in Boston, it was only fitting the Red Sox had one of their hottest days at the plate, especially early in the game.
The Red Sox scored in each of the first four innings, which was way more than they would ever need as they beat the Rangers, 11-6 Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
They have now won five out of their last eight games and took 2-of-3 from the Rangers.
Recently, the Red Sox have been the ones to fall behind early, but Wednesday they scored early and they scored often. The home team scored two in the first, five in the second, followed by two in both the third and fourth to run away with the win.
David Ortiz hit a two-run home run in the first inning and the five run second inning was keyed by three Rangers errors. Every member of the Red Sox lineup recorded a hit, except Dustin Pedroia who did record an RBI.
Mookie Betts paced the offense going 2-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. Left fielder Bryce Brentz also had a solid game, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
It was another solid start by All-Star Steven Wright. The knuckleballer went six-plus innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits, while walking one and striking out seven. Three of his six runs came in the seventh inning when he couldn’t retire a batter and Tommy Layne couldn’t keep the inherited runner at third base.
In all Layne went 1 1/3 scoreless innings, Matt Barnes went 2/3 scoreless inning before Craig Kimbrel got the ninth inning to close out the win. Kimbrel did walk two straight batters after retiring the first two in the inning.
Wednesday was the 11th time this season the Red Sox have scored 10 or more runs, which is the most in the American League and one fewer than the Cardinals for most in baseball.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
|07.06.16 at 5:17 pm ET|
With his 2.42 ERA entering his start Wednesday, knuckleballer Steven Wright could be viewed as a candidate to start the All-Star Game next Tuesday night in San Diego.
Manager John Farrell said prior to Wednesday’s game he has spoken to American League manager Ned Yost and it doesn’t appear he will start the game, but could see a good amount of action.
“There’s been some communication there, yes,” Farrell said. “I don’t think he’s going to start the game, but they asked if he was able to pitch up to two innings, which he will be given the number of days rest between tonight and next Tuesday.”
With Wright the Red Sox have a total of six All-Stars and could get a seventh if Dustin Pedroia can win the Esurance final vote. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Pedroia was in third place in the American League trailing Michael Saunders and George Springer.
Farrell believes Pedroia deserves to be an All-Star now that he’s healthy for an extended period.
“Most importantly he’s healthy,” Farrell said of Pedroia’s success. “He came into camp in great shape and has continued his performance throughout. Despite what some people might point to as a high number of ground ball double plays, still you’re looking at a guy who is hitting well over .300 and has for the better part of the season. From Day 1, he’s been a leader in our uniform and that means going back to his rookie year. That continues. He’s well-deserving to be in San Diego.”
The six selections are the club’s most since 2008 when they also had six. No Red Sox team has had more seven, which happened in 2002.
“Talented group, guys are performing well,” Farrell said. “The fact that we had four guys voted in the starting lineup I think speaks volumes that their performance is recognized around the country, not just here in Boston or fans of the Red Sox. I think it’s fantastic we have the number of guys we do in the starting lineup and certainly six in total. It’s a very good group to add to and build around.”
For David Ortiz, it will be his 10th All-Star game as well as his last. Farrell said he expects it to be just like the first half of his final season where he’s played loose and free, batting .337 with 19 home runs and 66 RBIs entering Wednesday.
“I would say equal to the way he’s enjoyed this first half of the season,” Farrell said. “We feel like he’s been a different guy in the fact that — we talk about Mookie [Betts] and Jackie [Bradley Jr.] playing free of mind, I think David epitomizes that with the announcement he made last November. The enjoyment he is taking each and every day with his teammates and the success that he’s having and we’re having as a group. Next Tuesday and in the whole All-Star celebration, well-deserved on his part.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
|07.06.16 at 3:46 pm ET|
Red Sox manage John Farrell made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley with Thornton show on Wednesday to discuss Craig Kimbrel’s collapse on Tuesday and the addition of a new pitching coach. To hear the interview, visit the D&H audio on demand page.
Kimbrel, who was named an American League All-Star on Tuesday, failed to record an out in an appearance for the first time in his career. He let up four runs in the ninth inning, ultimately leading to a 7-2 Red Sox loss against the Rangers. Kimbrel has not always been at his best in non-save situations, but Farrell claimed that the closer would still be needed at times in situations like the one on Tuesday.
“There’s going to be times where we need him to pitch in non-save situations, much like in the ninth inning with the game tied,” Farrell said. “If you start to prove the criteria around he’s only going to get a save opportunity, that’s in the ninth inning with a three-run lead or less, who’s going to predict that? So there are days in which one, he’s going to need work. That was a game that was still very much in the balance and on the line. We’re looking at a zero, hopefully, in that spot, with the middle of the order coming, that we feel like with the left-handers against [Rangers relieve Sam Dyson] is a good matchup in our situation. Unfortunately, over the course of a very short period of time, 12 pitches, that game gets out of hand. I don’t think that final score is anywhere reflective of what took place in those first eight innings.”
In other Red Sox news, the team announced that pitching guru Brian Bannister now has a role on the pitching staff. The team’s struggles on the mound have been obvious, and Farrell says that Bannister’s knowledge of PITCHf/x, a system that helps evaluate the speed and trajectory of pitches, will help the Red Sox pitchers better understand what works for them and what doesn’t.
“Many of our pitchers have asked for kind of an overview from very specific data,” Farrell said. “The PITCHf/x has become such an integral part of pitcher evaluations, of performance evaluations, try to get a better read on what makes a pitcher most effective. That comes from pitch sequence, that comes from pitch type, how often do you use that certain type of pitch. That is what Brian’s niche is. … The example is this: If a pitcher thinks that his two-seam fastball is his best pitch, and yet there is very clear data that shows the life and movement of that being less than what it was at one point, we can now more readily and more clearly draw that picture for the pitcher. So when his back is against the wall, what pitch is he going to now vs. what his point of reference has been.”
Added Farrell: “His information has been provided all year long, now it’s a matter of having a direct connection to the pitchers that have previously requested this. To provide that, it’s a different viewpoint, it’s not a opinion of someone, this is factual, data-driven report or feedback given directly to the pitcher.”
|07.06.16 at 3:22 pm ET|
After playing three straight games, Brock Holt will get Wednesday night off as continues to get back to full strength after returning from a concussion last Friday.
Speaking on WEEI’s Dale and Holley earlier in the afternoon, manager John Farrell said it was just part of his progression and nothing his physically wrong.
Bryce Brentz will start in left field in Holt’s place as the Red Sox go up against Rangers left-hander Martin Perez.
Ryan Hanigan will catch Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Bryce Brentz, LF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Ryan Hanigan, C
Steven Wright, RHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|07.06.16 at 2:26 pm ET|
Red Sox president Sam Kennedy joined the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria show on Wednesday to discuss the team’s pitching struggles and the job security of John Farrell. To hear the full interview, visit the OM&F audio on demand page.
The Red Sox are coming off of a 7-2 loss Tuesday night against the Rangers in which David Price and Craig Kimbrel failed to dominate like they have in the past. The Red Sox rank 10th in team ERA (4.51), suggesting that a move for pitching help may be necessary.
“I just walked out of a meeting with [Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski] and [general manager] Mike Hazen and I can tell you the focus is on improving the pitching,” Kennedy said. “From our fourth and fifth spots in the rotation, our ERA is over 7.20, that’s hard to fathom. All that being said, we’re still in the thick of this thing, but it is frustrating to be sure, especially when you lose a game like last night when you’re on a little bit of a roll then you take a step backwards, so it’s frustrating.”
In Tuesday’s loss, Price gave up a home run on the first pitch of the game, and he allowed another run later in the inning. The outing was the latest example of Boston’s first-inning issues, as the team often falls behind and has to play catch-up. Kennedy admits to being frustrated by the first-inning funk but says he is not disappointed in any one player.
“It has been frustrating with these first-inning explosions from the other team,” Kennedy said. “I don’t have an answer for you, I don’t have an explanation other than to say you got to love David Price’s accountability. You got to love the fact that he’s leading all of baseball in innings pitched. … He’s got to be better, we all have to do better, and we believe that’s exactly what’s going to happen as we head to the second half.”
Added Kennedy: “I don’t think we’re disappointed in any one individual player, we’re a few games back, 45-38, not where we want to be. If the season ended today, we’d be in a one game wild card playoff. That’s really not where we want to be, we want to win this division. To say we’re disappointed is a bit of an overstatement, I think we aren’t where we want to be, we want to win this division, let’s be clear. Everybody feels that in the clubhouse and everybody feels that in the office, that’s the goal. So right now, we have our work cut out for us in front of us, and we have the right guys to get it done.”
|07.06.16 at 2:18 pm ET|
Here’s a look at what happened in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (45-41): W, 8-4, at Charlotte (White Sox)
— One night after Henry Ramos hit for the first cycle since 1999 for the PawSox, Chris Marrero was just a home run shy of completing a cycle of his own. Marrero finished the game 4-for-5 with three runs scored. Marrero has been on fire the last two games, going 7-for-10 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and five runs scored. The 28-year-old shortstop is hitting .287/.345/.490 in 80 games for Pawtucket this season.
— Brennan Boesch and Ryan Court gave the PawSox offense a boost by producing a combined six RBIs. Boesch, who came off the disabled list on July 1, was 3-for-5 with a home run and a strikeout. Court went 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
— Henry Ramos hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning to score Mike Miller. It was Ramos’ 20th RBI in the last 13 games. Ramos is hitting .300/.312/.530 in 27 games for Pawtucket this season.
— Backed by a strong offensive showing, PawSox starter William Cuevas was able to pick up his first win since May 7. The 25-year-old right-hander is 5-3 in 14 starts with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.
— In relief of Cuevas, Robby Scott retired six straight batters in the seventh and eighth innings and Chandler Shepard pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
|07.06.16 at 2:15 pm ET|
Sorry, Red Sox fans.
While the Red Sox are in the market for pitching as the trade deadline approaches, it won’t come from the Mets. According to a source, the Mets are not trading any of their starting pitchers.
The Mets have a number of young starters teams would want to acquire, but they will be staying in New York.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|07.06.16 at 12:32 pm ET|
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling questioned the job security of manager John Farrell when he discussed the future of the struggling Sox during his weekly appearance on Wednesday’s Dennis & Callahan with Minihane. To hear the conversation, visit the D&C audio on demand page.
“I don’t see how this staff makes it to the All-Star break. If they don’t right the ship, if they don’t play four, five or six days of, ‘OK, that’s the team we were talking about a month and a half ago,’ I think there’s going to be some big shakeup,” Schilling said. “As much as I hate to say it because I love John [Farrell], he’s a dear friend, I think that there is a possibility they clean house at the All-Star break.”
Added Schilling, “They are playing right now where if it’s not the pitching it’s the hitting, and if it’s not the hitting it’s the pitching. It never reflects poorly or affects the guys that are doing it, it ends up being on the manager.”
If Farrell receives a pink slip, Schilling expects that bench coach Torey Lovullo will get promoted to manager.
“I think that they believe that [Lovullo] is the next manager. What he did last year I think gave them a good feeling about his potential and that’s why the contract is what it is, and I think he ends up being the guy,” Schilling said. ” If he’s not, I wouldn’t be surprised, but I think that’s the move. I think that’s who they end up going with.
Schilling said it’s not a good feeling as a player when you can’t save a manager’s job.
“I didn’t realize until, I think it was 2000, when I got traded to Arizona, we were in contention and I came over and we ended up kind of failing in September. Buck Showalter got fired that winter. And it dawned on me for the first time that my lack of performance cost someone else their job,” Schilling said. “I guarantee there’s a lot of guys that love the guy in that clubhouse. You find a way to fix it and get back on track for the guy because you care about somebody else’s job, or you have a group of guys that say, ‘OK, next guy up.’ I don’t believe that’s the case, I think this team is a group of guys that really does like John and respect him, but at some point something’s going to change.”
|07.06.16 at 10:48 am ET|
In Wednesday night’s finale of a three-game series with the Rangers, the Red Sox will send knuckleballer Steven Wright to the hill to take on southpaw Martin Perez.
In a surprisingly strong year, Wright is 9-5 with a 2.42 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. His is tied for the lead the American League with three complete games, and he ranks second in the AL in ERA and 10th in innings pitched (108). He is 6-1 in his last eight games, with one of those wins coming in his last start, a 5-4 victory over the Angels last Friday. Wright allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings, striking out three and walking three on 93 pitches.
Wright was cruising along until the sixth inning, when it began to rain. He struggled to throw an efficient knuckleball and had to rely too much on his fastball, leading to a grand slam given up in the frame.
“Definitely makes it a little bit harder,” Wright said of the rain. “You can’t get the grip on the ball. It’s one of those things that I’m going to have to figure it out.”
Wright, who on Tuesday was named to the American League All-Star team, has faced the Rangers just twice in his four-year career, going 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA. He pitched against Texas on June 25, letting up eight runs (three earned) and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings in a 10-3 Red Sox loss.
|07.06.16 at 12:31 am ET|
It appears Joe Kelly’s plans have changed a little bit.
Kelly will start his transition to the bullpen on Wednesday by making a rehab start with the Lowell Spinners, not Double-A Portland as was originally thought, according to sources. The Spinners will take on the Auburn Doubledays in Auburn, New York.
The right-hander suffered a groin strain with Triple-A Pawtucket back on June 7 and hasn’t appeared in a game since. Over the weekend it was announced Kelly would return as a reliever with the Red Sox and that could come just after the All-Star break.
He’s pitched out of the bullpen before, just not with the Red Sox. In 30 relief appearances with the Cardinals, he went 2-3 with a 3.23 ERA and had 49 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
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