|04.20.15 at 10:06 am ET|
|04.20.15 at 9:51 am ET|
After getting the day off Sunday, Dustin Pedroia returns to the Red Sox starting lineup for his team’s series finale against the Orioles. It would seem like an opportune time for the second baseman to re-emerge for the Sox, as he is 14-for-27 (.519) against Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen.
Brock Holt, who carries a six-game hitting streak and a .500 season average (12-for-24), will bat seventh and play third base, with Pablo Sandoval getting his first day off of the season.
“There is no denying he’s earning playing time,” manager John Farrell said. “Versatility aside, he’s swinging the bat well, playing with good energy, running the bases well, we want to keep that involved as much as possible.”
With rain the forecast the team is optimistic they will at least get the game started.
“Everything right now points to us getting it started,” said Farrell. “How deep we get into it remains to be seen. Once the rain starts, every forecast says that it is probably going to be the end of it with how lengthy and the intensity of the rain.”
|04.20.15 at 7:14 am ET|
Following Sunday’s loss to the Orioles, the Red Sox have surrendered sole possession of first place and now are tied with Baltimore for the top spot. Boston has a chance to end its two-game mini-skid in a Marathon Monday series finale when Justin Masterson takes the mound for the Sox and Wei-Yin Chen gets the ball for the O’s.
Masterson got a no-decision after lasting 4 2/3 innings against the Nationals on Tuesday. Though he allowed seven runs, walking three and striking out four, the Red Sox were able to give him run support and edge out Washington in an 8-7 victory.
“Didn’t have his best stuff overall,” said manager John Farrell. “I thought he threw enough strikes early on to keep away from a big inning, and then it seemed like the stuff kind of ran out of gas a little bit with a couple of walks in that fifth inning — where multiple baserunners and a pitch up on the plate, where they’re able to start chipping away.”
Despite the outcome, Masterson is confident in what he brings as a pitcher and knows that his most recent campaign is best viewed as a learning experience.
“We had some close balls. It is all a part of getting better and learning from it,” he said. “I have a lot of things we can continue on, some good, some bad to take into the next one. I think we’ll be just fine.”
When tasked with taking on the Orioles, Masterson has a 6-6 record in 12 starts, appearing in 16 games, with a 5.53 ERA. With 71 2/3 innings against Baltimore under his belt, Masterson is averaging 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings and has a 2.35 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
|04.19.15 at 6:57 pm ET|
Going into the season it was understood the Red Sox wouldn’t have the best starting rotation in the game.
But, the worst starting rotation (by ERA) after two weeks? That wasn’t expected, or accepted.
Following Rick Porcello allowing eight runs in five-plus innings in an 8-3 loss to the Orioles on Sunday, through 12 games the Red Sox‘ starting rotation has a combined ERA of 6.24, the worst in baseball.
Porcello, who had been the best starter to this point in the year, struggled with his command as well as the home run ball, allowing two homers en route to the eight runs in five-plus innings and his first loss. He’s now allowed five home runs in 19 innings so far this season.
“Just pitches up in the zone,” Porcello said. “Good pitches for them to drive. I’ve got to work better at getting the ball down.”
Of the 12 games the Red Sox have played so far this season, Red Sox starters have recorded an out in the seventh inning just three times, gone less than five innings three times, and have allowed more than seven runs four times.
The last stat is particularly alarming — in a third of their games this season, Red Sox starters have allowed seven or more runs.
Clay Buchholz allowed 10 against the Yankees, Porcello eight against the Orioles, and lastly Wade Miley and Justin Masterson seven against the Nationals. (For what it’s worth, Jon Lester and John Lackey combined for four starts allowing seven or more runs all of last season)
Buchholz and Porcello were predicted to lead the rotation, but after the first two weeks the Red Sox have two players in the top-10 for worst ERA’s in the American League among qualifiers — Porcello (sixth, 6.63) and Buchholz (ninth, 6.06).
|04.19.15 at 4:52 pm ET|
Some nights the Red Sox offense will be able to bail a starting pitcher out for not having a good performance, but it’s tough when the starter allows eight runs over five-plus innings.
Red Sox starter Rick Porcello allowed eight runs in five-plus innings, as they fell to the Orioles 8-3 Sunday at Fenway Park. The Orioles have won two straight games in the series after the Red Sox had a walkoff win Friday night.
After throwing 96 pitches through the first five innings, Porcello went back out for the sixth and after hitting Caleb Joseph to lead off the inning, allowed three straight hits, including a bases clearing double to Adam Jones, as the Orioles extended their lead to five runs.
Porcello finished going five-plus innings, allowing eight runs on 12 hits, while walking three and striking out six. The 12 hits allowed tied a career-high and his is ERA through three starts is 6.63.
“I thought early on, a 1-0 sinker or a 0-1 sinker that didn’t have the finish to [Adam] Jones for the two-run dinger,” manger John Farrell said. “There ended up being some pitches left up in the strike zone. He had to fight back in the count at times. Left-handers took some good swings against him.”
Through 12 starts, the Red Sox‘ starting rotation has a collective ERA of 6.24.
Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez went five innings, allowing three runs on five hits to earn the win. Red Sox hitters finished with six total hits in the game, and just four after the first inning. They finished the game 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Jones. Besides the big double in the sixth, Jones hit a monster home run in the first inning and finished 4-for-5 with five RBI. The five RBI and four hits both tie a career-high.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:
|04.19.15 at 11:35 am ET|
Anytime a pitcher visits with Dr. James Andrews the news usually isn’t good.
For Brandon Workman, it could have been much worse as the right-hander avoided surgery and received a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection after visiting with him earlier this week.
Workman will remain in Boston and begin the rehab process.
“He’ll remain here. He’s still probably two or three weeks away from initiating any type of throwing program,” manager John Farrell said. “So he’ll remain here in Boston.”
“There are some changes to the ligament,” he added. “To what extent, or percentage of tear, I don’t have that. But that is why he received the injection he did.”
Farrell said the expectation is he will be able to pitch again this year.
Workman was set to begin the year in Pawtucket’s bullpen, but he had his optioned reversed as the injury first occurred while he was on the major league roster, so he is currently on the major league disabled list.
|04.19.15 at 11:20 am ET|
The right fielder spoke in the clubhouse before the game and said he feels fine after running into the right field wall Friday night. He swung in the cage during Saturday’s game and is ready to go Sunday.
Dustin Pedroia will get his first day off of the season. The second baseman is 0 for his last 7 and has committed two errors over the first 11 games.
“Just a day off. One of the benefits of Brock Holt,” manager John Farrell said.
“No, not a reaction,” to Pedroia’s recent struggles he added. “Planned day knowing we have an early morning game tomorrow and a left-hander on the mound. A chance to give him a spell.”
Holt will lead off with Mookie Betts sliding down to the No. 2 spot. Farrell said that was just a way to break up the left-handers in the order.
Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, as the Red Sox go up against Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez.
For an extensive look at the pitching matchups, click here.
1. Brock Holt, 2B
2. Mookie Betts, CF
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Hanley Ramirez, LF
5. Mike Napoli, 1B
6. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
7. Shane Victorino, RF
8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
9. Sandy Leon, C
Rick Porcello, RHP
|04.19.15 at 8:10 am ET|
Porcello has had two good outings to start the season, which is something that the rest of the Red Sox pitching staff cannot claim. He has given up three runs in each game and has put up a 3.86 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP, 10 strikeouts and three walks. One area of concern is the home run ball, as Porcello has allowed three. Even with the home runs, however, Porcello has been doing a good job of keeping balls in play on the ground. His ground out to air out ratio is 2.09, and opponents are hitting just .185 against him.
Porcello’s last start was the home opener, in which he went eight innings in a victory over the Nationals. He gave up just three earned runs while striking out six and walking one. It was his first start at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox.
“I obviously wanted to go out there and put up a good start,” Porcello said after the game. “The guys swung the bats great and really I didn’t have to do a whole lot but throw strikes and keep the ball down. Definitely had some butterflies early on, I was pretty excited, but it was a lot fun.”
In nine career starts against the Orioles, Porcello is 3-5 with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.335 WHIP.
|04.18.15 at 11:37 pm ET|
Clay Buchholz has earned a reputation as one of the slowest pitchers in baseball with runners on base. The Baltimore Orioles felt the Red Sox pitcher Saturday reached a new low – or long – as he slowed the game down to a crawl in the fourth and fifth innings.
Buchholz threw 30 pitches in the fourth, when the Orioles loaded the bases twice but could only score twice. That inning also featured four throws to first and a coaching visit to the mound. It took over 20 minutes to record three outs. But to Buchholz’s credit, he limited damage to two runs by getting of the jam with strikeouts of Alejandro De Aza and Steve Pearce.
In the fifth inning, it was another tedious inning for Buchholz. He loaded the bases with none out. But a 3-2-3 double play sped things along and then Ryan Flaherty struck out. No runs. Amazingly, Buchholz allowed 11 hits over his six innings, taking 102 pitches to complete his day’s work.
But Orioles manager Buck Showalter couldn’t believe that the two half innings by Buchholz took nearly 40 minutes of the three hours, 24 minutes it took to complete the game. More annoying to Showalter was the impact it had on his starter Chris Tillman.
“Let’s put it this way, Chris was good, had good stuff,” Showalter said. “I think he was challenged by the tempo that was set by things out of his control. Wow. I think it kind of froze things up there a little bit.”
Tillman confirmed the observation of his manager when asked how long the delays in between innings felt like with Buchholz on the mound.
“Forever. I couldn’t even tell you how long they felt. They felt like forever,” Tillman said.
“There were a couple of innings there where he’s sitting around for 20, 30 minutes over here,” Showalter said. “It’s cold and we finally found a couple of heaters. It took him a little while to get loose. It’s sad in a way because he had stuff to go deep in that game. We needed at least five or six innings.”
The reason the Orioles felt they needed five or six innings from Tillman was the untimely ejection of Friday starter Ubaldo Jimenez in the fourth inning.
“They had the four-corner stall going there,” Showalter said. “It’s tough to keep concentration. It’s really tough. It seemed like Buchholz had thrown 120 but he had only thrown 80 or 90. It’s all about getting that last base touched and we weren’t able to do it.”
“I wouldn’t say it’s mentally tough,” added Tillman. “It’s more physically challenging. I’ve been in that situation enough to prepare myself in the dugout to go back out to make pitches from the get-go. First couple of times it was tough.”
|04.18.15 at 9:12 pm ET|
There was an understanding that it was going to take time for Hanley Ramirez to grow accustomed to playing his new position, left field. But instances like the one that occurred during the Red Sox‘ 4-1 loss to the Orioles Saturday tests the patience of all involved.
With runners on first and second in the fifth inning, and Clay Buchholz trying to manage a 2-0 deficit against Baltimore, Jimmy Paredes lofted a high fly ball toward the left field wall. With the wind pushing the ball toward the left field line, Ramirez seemed to have the catch lined up.
As the ball arrived at the base of the wall, Ramirez executed what was probably an unnecessary small jump. The outfielder then saw the baseball bounce off the heel of his glove, resulting in a single to load the bases for the Orioles.
This came after Ramirez seemingly pulled up on a ball in the left field corner the inning before (also of Paredes’ bat), ending up as the only extra-base hit allowed by Buchholz. (For video of that play, click here.)
After the game, Ramirez insisted the wall was at least partly to blame.
“It hit the wall and then hit my glove so make sure you see the replay person and ask him about it,’ he said. (Note: After further review, upon Ramirez’s suggestion, the ball never did touch the wall.)
“There was nothing I could do on that play,” he added. “I jumped and the ball just hit the wall. I went back inside and saw the replay.
“You just have to come back tomorrow and win the game. We’re playing pretty good baseball right now. There’s nothing we have to be concerned about.We take everything as a positive Everybody is just happy we’re here, we’re going to keep working and give 100 percent every game. There’s nothing we have to be concerned about right now.”
“We knew it was going to be a transition for him,” he said. “There was going to be work to be done. The wall here is going to be different than what we had the ability to work with in Fort Myers just because of the way it’s constructed. To me, there’s nothing alarming and the more games played, the more comfortable he’s going to get.”
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