|Sunday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: David Price vs. R.A. Dickey||05.29.16 at 9:07 am ET|
Looking to avoid a three-game sweep in Toronto, the Red Sox will send out former Blue Jay David Price to square off against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in Sunday afternoon’s series finale.
Price comes in with a 7-1 record, 5.34 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. He leads the league with 76 strikeouts and an average of 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings. After a disappointing first month with the Red Sox, the left-hander is coming off three straight quality starts (all wins). His last outing was last Tuesday against the Rockies, when he pitched seven innings and allowed three runs on five hits and a a walk with six strikeouts, and the Boston offense provided him with plenty of support in an 8-3 win.
“To go out there, knowing you don’t have to be perfect, it’s huge,” Price said afterward. “At some point, we’re going to struggle offensively. That’s when the pitchers are going to have to come together.”
In 22 career starts against Toronto, Price is 17-2 with a 2.42 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. He has more wins against the Jays than any other team he’s faced. Price last faced Toronto on April 16 and gave up two runs on six hits with no walks and nine strikeouts in seven innings as Boston grabbed a 4-2 win.
|Curt Schilling on D&C: No interest in debating ‘racist’ ESPN host Stephen A. Smith||05.18.16 at 10:23 am ET|
Former ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling, making his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane, did not hold back in expressing his opinion of Stephen A. Smith, calling the ESPN “First Take” co-host a “racist” and a “bigot.” To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Smith, appearing on Sirius XM radio earlier in the week, called out Schilling for accusing ESPN of firing him because of his conservative views. Smith said Schilling was fired simply because he did not heed the network’s warning to avoid making political comments, and he challenged the former Red Sox pitcher to debate the issue.
Responded Schilling to D&C: “What am I going to debate about? I have no interest. I’m 49 years old. I have had cancer, I’ve had a heart attack, I’m losing my hair. I’m not going to waste my time with people I don’t respect.
“I don’t respect him. I think he’s a racist, I think he’s a bigot. There’s nothing to debate, No. 1. And No. 2, there’s not a chance in hell that I would do anything that would bring that station another viewer, ever.”
Added Schilling: “I felt like I was back in fifth grade and I was being challenged on the playground at recess. What are we going to debate about? When the debate’s over, he’s not going to be any less racist. So, I don’t get that. He’s a tough guy for calling me out, that’s all.”
Schilling said he only briefly met Smith and has heard good things about him.
“I’m sure he’s a nice guy,” Schilling said. “I’ve met racists before who are really nice people. I’ve met bigots that are nice people. I’m sure he’s a nice guy. I have an issue with someone who walks into [boxer] Floyd Mayweather’s house and tries to tell us what an awesome guy he is. Or a guy who tries to say, ‘Listen, for the most part, ladies, it’s the guy’s fault [in domestic abuse], but let’s talk about provoking them and how you should avoid provoking men to hit women.’ Like, wait, what?”
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: Sean O’Sullivan vs. Chris Devenski||05.15.16 at 7:51 am ET|
Sean O’Sullivan takes the ball for the Red Sox in Sunday’s afternoon game against the Astros and rookie right-hander Chris Devenski.
O’Sullivan (1-0, 6.43 ERA, 2.00 WHIP) will be making his second start of the season since being called up from Triple-A on May 6 to replace Henry Owens. O’Sullivan’s first start on Tuesday resulted in a 13-5 Red Sox win over the visiting Athletics, as he pitched six innings and surrendered 12 hits but managed to limit the damage to four runs. He had no walks and three strikeouts.
The Sox offense scored eight runs in the first three innings to give him a nice cushion, something he appreciated.
“It was nice. The guys go out there and put up a big lead for me,” he said. “It was my job just to keep getting them back in the dugout and keep the bats going.”
The 28-year-old has faced the Astros just once in his seven-year MLB career, as a member of the Phillies on Aug. 7, 2014. He started and pitched six innings, allowing five runs on seven hits (three home runs) with two walks and four strikeouts as Philadelphia took a 6-5 win.
|Saturday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Collin McHugh||05.14.16 at 8:14 am ET|
In a matchup of pitchers who struggled in April but have pitched better in May, Clay Buchholz takes the ball for the Red Sox opposite Astros right-hander Collin McHugh for Saturday’s afternoon game at Fenway Park.
Buchholz (2-3, 5.90 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) went 0-3 with a 6.51 ERA in five April starts — all Boston losses — but he is 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA in two May starts. In his last appearance, Boston’s 14-7 victory over the visiting A’s on Monday, Buchholz pitched five innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts. He surrendered runs in the first three innings before posting zeroes the next two, and he was surprised he didn’t get the chance to start the sixth after throwing just 87 pitches.
“I really didn’t know what was going on,” he said afterward. “I thought I got traded or something. I would have liked to have gone back out.”
He has started against the Astros five times, posting a 3-1 record with a 2.35 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. He last faced the Astros on April 23, an 8-3 Houston win. He pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. The big blow was a fifth-inning grand slam by Colby Rasmus.
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Steven Wright vs. Luis Severino||05.08.16 at 10:52 am ET|
One weekend after sweeping the Yankees at Fenway Park, the Red Sox look to avoid a sweep at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night as Steven Wright takes the ball to oppose right-hander Luis Severino.
Wright is just 2-3 but he carries an impressive 1.67 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. He last pitched Tuesday against the White Sox and suffered the loss despite allowing just two runs on three hits and four walks with six strikeouts in six innings.
“A little frustrated with the walks,” Wright said after Boston’s 4-1 loss. “They earned the first run. I felt I kind of gave them the second run. When I’m there throwing 20 pitches an inning, it’s hard for the defense.”
Wright, who has not allowed more than two runs in a game this season and has pitched at least six innings every time out, has faced the Yankees three times (two starts) in his four-year major league career. The knuckleballer has a 2-1 record, 1.50 ERA and 1.16 WHIP against New York, which he last faced on Aug. 5 of last season, picking up the win after allowing one run in eight innings in Boston’s 2-1 victory. Current members of the Yankees are batting just .146 against him.
|Saturday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: David Price vs. Nathan Eovaldi||05.07.16 at 7:39 am ET|
David Price gets another chance to straighten things out when he starts for the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium opposite Nathan Eovaldi.
While Price is 4-0, he carries a 6.14 ERA and 1.28 WHIP and repeatedly has failed to protect leads provided by the Sox offense. Six days ago against the offensively challenged Yankees, the left-hander allowed three runs in the third and another three-spot in the fifth, but his teammates picked him up by scoring early and often in Boston’s 8-7 win. Price finished with a line of seven innings, eight hits, six runs, one walk and three strikeouts.
Price did show some positive signs, including lasting into the seventh and, with the game tied in that inning, inducing a ground out from Alex Rodriguez, who previously had driven in four runs via a home run and a double.
“David’s not going to say he doesn’t want to face anyone,” manager John Farrell said afterward. “That was a pivotal moment. He’s a big-time performer, despite some of tonight’s outcomes.”
Said Price: “For them to stick with me then, I definitely appreciate it.”
In 32 career appearances (31 starts) against the Yankees, Price is 14-7 with a 4.17 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.
Eovaldi also pitched in that Sunday night showdown. After taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Rangers in his previous start, Eovaldi surrendered hits to the first Sox batters he faced. He ended up going five innings and allowing six runs on 10 hits and three walks with three strikeouts. He did not factor in the decision.
|Friday Red Sox Farm Report: Anderson Espinoza ties Greenville record with 11 K’s in 5 innings||05.06.16 at 10:35 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (13-13): Postponed vs. Rochester (Twins). Next at home vs. Rochester on Friday night.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (9-18): W, 2-1, vs. Binghamton (Mets)
— Rainel Rosario and Tzu-Wei Lin had RBI hits in the seventh inning as the Sea Dogs ended a streak of 14 consecutive losses to Binghamton at Portland’s Hadlock Field that dated back to Sept. 5, 2014.
— Tim Roberson (batting .227) went 3-for-4 and started the winning rally with a leadoff double. Rosario followed with an RBI double, and Lin later hit a single with the bases loaded to score pinch-runner Henry Ramos.
— Starter Aaron Wilkerson pitched six scoreless innings and gave up no runs, two hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. It marked the third time he pitched and did not allow a run, and he lowered his ERA to 2.08.
— Simon Mercedes allowed a run in the seventh but pitched out of jams in the seventh and eighth, stranding a total of three baserunners, and picked up the win. He’s now 2-2 with an 8.56 ERA. Chandler Shepherd (1.88 ERA) pitched a perfect ninth inning for his third save. Of his 13 pitches, only three were balls.
|Friday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Michael Pineda||05.06.16 at 8:55 am ET|
The Red Sox open a three-game series in the Bronx by sending Rick Porcello out against fellow right-hander Michael Pineda in a rematch of their game last Saturday at Fenway Park.
Porcello is off to a stellar 5-0 start with a 2.76 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. He stifled the Yankees six days ago, going seven innings and allowing five hits and one walk with six strikeouts as the Sox rolled to an 8-0 win.
“I felt like my sinker was actually a little sporadic the first two innings,” said Porcello, who has not allowed a run in 13 1/3 innings. “I kind of found a groove with it, settled in.”
With Henry Owens only pitching three-plus innings Thursday night in Chicago, forcing the Red Sox to go to their bullpen early and often (four relievers), Boston could use a long outing from Porcello. Based on his recent history, that shouldn’t be a problem, as Porcello has pitched at least six innings in his last 13 starts, dating back to last August when he returned from a stint on the disabled list. That’s the longest active such streak in the majors, and a personal best for the 27-year-old.
In 12 career starts against the Yankees, Porcello has a 6-4 record, 3.33 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. He faced New York twice last season, going 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA and 0.81 WHIP — far better than his full season totals.
Pineda comes in with a 1-3 record, 6.33 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. In Saturday’s game at Fenway he went five innings and surrendered two runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts as he lost his third straight decision.
“Michael battled his butt off for five innings,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the game. “We are not hitting.”
The Wall Street Journal noted that while Pineda is throwing as hard as ever (92.8 mph), his fastball command has dropped to 61 percent strikes (down from 68 percent last year and below the MLB average of 65 percent). His efficiency also is poor, with 40 percent of batters seeing at least five pitches per at-bat (up from 33 percent last year) and Pineda getting outs just 42 percent of the time he falls behind on counts of 2-0, 2-1 or 3-0 (a huge drop from 63 percent last year).
In the game against the Red Sox, it took him 77 pitches to get through the first three innings, and he matched his season high with three walks.
Said Pineda: “I’ll continue grinding and fighting every day, and everything can be better.”
Pineda, 27, has started against the Red Sox eight times in his four-year MLB career, compiling a 4-4 record with a 4.71 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Last season he saw the Sox three times, going 2-1 with a 4.34 ERA and 0.96 WHIP.
|Thursday’s Red Sox-White Sox matchups: Henry Owens vs. Erik Johnson||05.05.16 at 9:31 am ET|
The Red Sox close out their series with the White Sox on Thursday by sending lefty Henry Owens out against right-hander Erik Johnson, who was just called up from Triple-A.
Owens (0-0, 4.82 ERA, 1.92 WHIP) has made two starts for the Red Sox since his call-up from Pawtucket, and while he has no record to show for it, Boston won both games. After lasting just 3 1/3 innings and allowing three runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts in an April 24 game against the Astros, Owens faced the Yankees last Friday and went six innings, giving up two runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Owens has not yet faced the White Sox in his 13-game MLB career.
Johnson, a second-round pick of the White Sox in 2011 out of the University of California, was called up this week when the team decided to cut ties with veteran left-hander John Danks.
In four starts this season with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, Johnson is 1-1 with a 3.74 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.
The 26-year-old has started 16 games for the White Sox split almost equally over the last three seasons, compiling a record of 7-4 with a 4.17 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. Last year he went 3-1 with a 3.34 ERA and 1.40 in six starts, covering 35 innings.
His lone appearance against the Red Sox came on April 15, 2014, when he pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed one run on three hits and two walks with nine strikeouts but did not factor in the decision. Chicago eventually walked off with a 2-1 win, with the winning run scoring on a throwing error by Xander Bogaerts with two outs in the ninth inning.
|Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘I think I’m going to be doing stuff with Sirius’ after firing from ESPN||05.04.16 at 11:32 am ET|
Former ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling checked in with Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday and said he is nearing a deal to join Sirius XM satellite radio. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
One day after refuting a Deadspin report that his camp had reached out to Fox Sports about joining that network following his dismissal from ESPN for his political commentary on social media, Schilling said he expects to know more about his future very soon.
“I think I’m going to be doing stuff with Sirius,” Schilling said. “I don’t know anything yet. Stuff’s coming together. There’s still a bunch of kind of irons in the fire that I’m talking with. I’m going to meet with some people today face to face and hopefully come to some sort of resolution over what’s going to happen in the next week or two.”
Schilling indicated the Sirius deal would consist of separate appearances — one to talk sports, the other to discuss “stuff” — and would not be a five-day-a-week gig right off the bat, although it could lead to a regular show.
“I think at some point it would get to that,” he said of doing a daily show. “I think that there needs to be kind of a breaking-in period both ways. I need to see if I actually can do it. I need to see if people care that I can do it, and then go that way. … Talking for four hours is one thing, but talking for four hours about stuff that people are actually interested in and want to talk about is another. It’s work. I think there’s a lot of preparation to it, there’s a lot of time to put into it. Because I’m not going to be talking about just sports. And so there’s a lot of time and effort and energy out into preparing to be good at it. Because I sure as hell don’t want to do it just to do it. I’d want to do it to be better than everybody else that was doing it. So we’ll see.”
ESPN was criticized for editing out Schilling’s Game 6 performance from a documentary about the 2004 Red Sox’ comeback against the Yankees in the American League Championship Series that aired before Sunday night’s Red Sox-Yankees game. While the network claimed the move was made due to time constraints after an afternoon softball game ran long, Schilling is convinced the move was rooted in ESPN’s feelings about him after his controversial departure.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I don’t think that there’s any possible explanation otherwise.”
Added Schilling: “I’m uncomfortable saying, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe they cut me out.’ But when you talk about that series, what do you think about? I think about Dave Roberts’ steal, I think about the walk from [Kevin] Millar off [Mariano] Rivera, [David] Ortiz’s [game-winning home runs] and that Game 6. I don’t know. I was waiting for it, expecting exactly what was said in response, when they issued the response, which was, ‘We had to cut the show down to fit into [the time slot].’ … My thought was, somebody in charge — it wasn’t just some dude saying, ‘OK, I’ll just edit this’ — somebody made that actual order: ‘Cut Game 6 out of this, and be very specific.’
“I think the result was exactly the opposite of what they were hoping would happen.”
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