|Red Sox lineup: Allen Craig starting in right field vs. CC Sabathia, Yankees||05.01.15 at 3:12 pm ET|
Daniel Nava is hitting exclusively from the left side this year, and the other option would be left-handed hitting Brock Holt, so manager John Farrell is going with the righty in Craig with Shane Victorino on the DL.
Otherwise it’s a standard lineup for the Red Sox with Mike Napoli fully recovered from his illness and starting at first base.
Ryan Hanigan will catch Red Sox starter Justin Masterson
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Hanley Ramirez, LF
5. Mike Napoli, 1B
6. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
7. Allen Craig, RF
8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
9. Ryan Hanigan, C
Justin Masterson, RHP
|Closing Time: Red Sox can’t overcome dismal Clay Buchholz start, fall to Blue Jays||04.28.15 at 10:12 pm ET|
If you thought the Red Sox‘ starting rotation had problems going into Tuesday, they just became a whole lot worse.
Handed a four-run lead going into the top of the third, Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz imploded, allowing five runs (four earned) in the frame and was removed after recording just two outs with the Red Sox trailing 5-4.
Edward Mujica came on to allow three more runs in the fourth inning, all on the way to a 11-8 Red Sox loss to the Blue Jays.
“I mean, whenever the team gives you a four-run lead you’re supposed to come out a lot better than that,” Buchholz said. “Went out there with a game plan of throwing strikes, let them put the ball in play and get outs. Walked the first guy. All the contact that they made — they hit the ball hard and it wasn’t at any of our players in the field. I have to do a lot better job than that.”
Buchholz now has an ERA of 5.76 and Red Sox starters now have an ERA of 6.03, the worst in the majors. It’s the eighth time in 21 games the Red Sox’ starter has failed to make it out of the fifth inning. He is the third Red Sox starter to allow five earned runs in fewer than three innings this season. This after they had three such outings all of last season.
Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchinson wasn’t much better than Buchholz, as he allowed six runs in four innings on nine hits, while walking five.
The Red Sox did make a game of it late, as Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run home run just inside Pesky’s Pole in the eighth inning making it a two-run game at the time, but that would be as close as they would get. It was Ramirez’s 200th career homer.
“In our dugout, regardless of the score, there’s always a thought that ‘ even tonight ‘ we feel like we can comeback,” manager John Farrell said. “We did comeback, we answered. It felt like we still had an opportunity to win this game even though you’re down three-four runs in the middle innings. We’ve got to find a way to gain some consistency and, more importantly, maintain to momentum with a shut down inning.”
SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: The entire Blue Jays lineup. Every starter recorded a hit, as they finished with 17 in the game. Six of their nine starters had multiple hits.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:
|Closing Time: Mookie Betts’ walkoff single leads Red Sox to come-from-behind win over Blue Jays||04.27.15 at 9:33 pm ET|
Monday night’s Red Sox game might be a glimpse into what most games will be like for the rest of the season.
The Red Sox got an average start from Joe Kelly but were bailed out by their offense, as they rallied to beat the Blue Jays, 6-5.
After tying the game at 5 in the eighth inning following deficits of 3-0 and 5-2, the Red Sox capped the rally in the ninth with a walkoff base hit by Mookie Betts.
With one out, Xander Bogaerts and Ryan Hanigan singled back-to-back, and moved up a base on a wild pitch. Bogaerts then scored the game-winning run on Betts’ hit.
“Once again, aided by a couple of wild pitches to advance 90 feet, Mookie with a key base hit late,” manager John Farrell said. “There were so many things inside of this game. Bogey [Bogaerts] makes a great play with two outs in the hole on [Devon] Travis when [Alexi] Ogando was on the mound. Two big innings from Ogando. Much more spark from Koji [Uehara] tonight. A number of key contributors here.”
Toronto scored quickly against Kelly with three first inning runs, and forced the Red Sox right-hander to work hard early on.
Despite allowing three first inning runs on 33 pitches, Kelly settled down and made it through six innings. He allowed five runs on five hits while walking three and striking out 10. The 10 strikeouts were a career-high.
“The positive is you’re not going to find better arm strength, better velocity,” Farrell said. “At times he may over throw occasionally and mis-locate such as the 0-2 pitch to [Devon] Travis. It’s electric stuff and as he begins to harness it and understand when he’s most effective and that is when he’s using his secondary pitches as well. He’s got big time stuff.”
Pablo Sandoval paced the Red Sox offense, going 2-for-2 with three RBIs, but was forced from the game in the top of the sixth inning with neck soreness, which likely occurred after making a diving catch on a pop up bunt in the fourth.
It was the Red Sox’ seventh straight series opening win to begin the year and it’s the third time in franchise history it’s been done (1917, 2013).
SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Betts. He gave the Red Sox their second walkoff win of the year. It was his first career walkoff hit. He finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. It was his fourth multi-hit game of the year.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
|Closing Time: Inconsistency continues for Red Sox in latest loss||04.26.15 at 4:50 pm ET|
The Red Sox‘ starting pitching roller coaster keeps on rolling.
This time the group’s downturn came in the form of Wade Miley’s 2 1/3-inning horror show. This time the lefty second sub-three-inning outing of the season led to a 18-7 Orioles rout of the Red Sox.
Miley was forced from the start in the third inning, in which the hosts put up a six-spot on the scoreboard. The Sox starter was ultimately charged with seven runs (six earned) on five hits and two walks. His ERA now stands at 8.62, having not pitched past 5 2/3 innings in any of his four starts.
It marks the sixth time in 19 games the Red Sox starting pitcher has allowed five or more runs. The rotation carries a 5.94 ERA, worst in the major leagues, with Joe Kelly leading the way with a 4.08 ERA, followed by Clay Buchholz (4.84), Justin Masterson (5.16) and Rick Porcello (6.48).
The loss hands the Red Sox a 2-4 road trip, having won the first game of both their series against the Rays and Orioles before dropping the final two. The Red Sox starters finished the two-series swing with a 5.31 ERA, coming away with three quality starts.
The Red Sox head home out of first-place, standing at 10-9, as Tampa Bay (11-8) holds that top stop, which has won five straight after losing its season opener to the Sox.
Not helping matters was the ineffective work of the bullpen after Miley, with newly-recalled Heath Hembree taking the brunt of the damage, giving up 11 runs in 6 2/3 innings. The righty let the game get out of hand, giving up six runs in 1 1/3 frames.
It marked the fifth straight game the bullpen gave up at least one run. For the road trip, Sox relievers pitched 20 2/3 innings and allowed 17 runs on 31 hits.
SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: The entire Orioles lineup. The group batted around twice, with every starter but one coming away with a multiple hit day.
Here’s what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ latest loss:
|Closing Time: Brock Holt’s 3-run homer snaps tie, leads Red Sox over Orioles||04.24.15 at 10:39 pm ET|
Through the first 16 games of the season, the Red Sox have made it a habit to capitalize on their opponents mistakes.
Friday was no different, as the Red Sox were given an extra out on a Manny Machado error with two outs in the eighth inning and the next batter, Brock Holt, made him pay with a three-run home run. The homer snapped a 4-4 tie and gave the Red Sox an eventual 7-5 win over the Orioles.
Pablo Sandoval worked a two-out walk and then pinch-hitter Allen Craig’s grounder got by Machado at third, which was ruled an error. Holt then stepped in and belted a three-run home run over the wall in right. It was his first homer of the season.
With a three-run lead, Junichi Tazawa allowed a solo home run to Chris Davis in the eighth, but fortunately it was just a solo home run and then Koji Uehara came on for a scoreless ninth to pick up the save.
It was an up-and-down outing for Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, who made it into the seventh inning, but couldn’t record an out. He allowed the first two batters to reach and was pulled in favor of Craig Breslow. Breslow allowed one of the inherited runners to score, which tied the game at four.
Porcello went six-plus innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits. He walked two and struck out seven. For the first time this season he didn’t eclipse the 100-pitch mark, as he was removed after throwing 91 pitches. He was given a two-run lead going into the fifth, but allowed single runs in the fifth and seventh innings to take a no-decision.
The Red Sox have now won all six series openers this season.
SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Holt. His home run snapped the four-all tie in the eighth inning. He finished the game 2-for-4 and is now hitting .424 on the year.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox win:
|Mookie Betts, John Farrell can feel the worm beginning to turn back in his favor||04.20.15 at 11:08 pm ET|
Little by little, Mookie Betts can feel things turning back in his direction. And so, too, can his manager.
Statistically, it was a pretty rough first homestand for the young outfielder, collecting five hits in 25 official at-bats. This after he started like a house on fire in both the season opener and the home openers. Betts homered in Philadelphia on April 6 and against the Nationals on April 13.
On Monday against the Orioles, he singled to right field in his first at-bat. The impact on the rest of the team was immediate and positive. He stole second, advanced to third on a Ryan Lavarnway bad throw and scored on a David Ortiz sacrifice fly to right. His run, unearned, was what the Red Sox envisioned when they put him at the top of the order.
“It’s good. I feel like it’s not just the top,” Betts said. “A couple of games ago, it was the bottom that scored the runs. There’s no difference between the top and the bottom. It’s just a matter of who does it on any given day.”
On Sunday, he drove a ball hard to deep right field, only to have it caught just shy of the warning track. The balls to the opposite field are always a good sign but especially so when you consider teams have made an adjustment after getting burned on fastballs inside to Betts. On Sunday and Monday, it appeared Betts was the one making the adjustment.
In 2012, the Orioles eliminated the Rangers in the AL wild card game, taking the Yankees to the limit in five games before bowing out in the ALDS.
Now, the two AL East rivals appeared poised to battle each other over the long course of the season for supremacy in their division. Entering Monday’s series finale, the two teams stood at 7-5 after the Orioles won two of the first three games.
The first three games featured equal parts gamesmanship and respect from Showalter and Red Sox skipper John Farrell. So, when the Red Sox pulled out a 7-1 rain-shortened win to split the series and head to Tampa Bay with some first-place momentum, Farrell was happy to provide some very early season perspective on the Orioles and the rest of the division.
“Big win? “Sure it is. They’re a good team,” Farrell said. “I would imagine we’re going to be neck-and-neck with most everybody in this division throughout. And anytime you can come away in the final game of a series to earn a split, whether it’s home or road, it sends us off on a positive note. We’re going to end up right back there at the end of this week, going up against them for three.
|David Ortiz blasts Jim Palmer over critical tweets: ‘All of sudden, he’s killing me, huh?’||at 4:33 pm ET|
David Ortiz has a bone to pick with Jim Palmer.
The hall of fame pitcher and long time Orioles broadcaster criticized David Ortiz on Twitter Sunday after he flipped his bat and dropped it at the plate after a check-swing that was call strike two by third base umpire Jerry Meals.
Meals yelled at Ortiz long distance and Ortiz returned the favor. When home plate umpire John Tumpane (filling in for Paul Emmel) interceded, Ortiz got in Tumpane’s face and was ejected.
Palmer tweeted: FINALLY Oritz gets tossed with hashtags that included #ZipitOrtiz and #disrespectful. Then, early Monday, Palmer tweeted another not-so thinly veiled shot at Ortiz: O’s fans: Marathon day in Boston. What’s the over under on Ortiz going 9?
Ortiz, asked about Palmer by ESPN’s Gordon Edes after Monday’s rain-shortened 7-1 win, didn’t hold back.
“Actually, I thought he was one of my guys,” Ortiz said. “All of sudden, he’s killing me, huh? I guess anybody who want to get paid, make some noise and come to Papi, right? All right.”
Edes then attempted to provide some perspective and context to the tweet on behalf of Palmer, suggesting Palmer wasn’t hating on Ortiz.
“Oh no?,” Ortiz said, before offering some advice to Palmer, “I don’t need your help. [If] he wants me to respect him, it ain’t going to happen.”
‘ Jim Palmer (@Jim22Palmer) April 19, 2015
‘ Jim Palmer (@Jim22Palmer) April 20, 2015
|Closing Time: Red Sox take advantage of Orioles mistakes in rain-shortened Patriots Day win||at 3:07 pm ET|
The Red Sox lineup is dangerous with the standard three outs. Give them more than three outs is asking for disaster.
Taking full advantage of getting extra outs, the Red Sox rolled to a 7-1 win over the Orioles on Patriots Day at Fenway Park. The game was stopped because of rain the the middle of the seventh inning at 1:25 p.m., and officially called at 3:08 p.m.
Baltimore committed three errors leading to five unearned runs.
The Red Sox batted around in the third inning, scoring five unearned runs, while only recording one hit in the frame. Orioles Starter Wei-Yin Chen misplayed a Mookie Betts come-backer allowing the first run to score, and then later in the inning with two outs, third baseman Manny Machado misplayed a Shane Victorino grounder down the line allowing two more runs to score.
“The errors kid of gift-wrapped or built into the four-run inning along with some base on balls were built into the four-run inning along with some base on balls,” manager John Farrell said. “At this level you get extra outs you’re asking for trouble and it’s happened to us defensively. Hopefully we stay on the positive side of it.”
Chen went 4 1/3 innings, allowing five runs (all unearned) on just three hits, but he walked five.
Red Sox starter Justin Masterson delivered his best start of the season, allowing one run over five innings, while picking up six strikeouts. His fastball averaged in the high-80’s, but he was able to have success with a good slider keeping the Orioles hitters off balance.
“He battled the elements and was able to use his fastball-slider combination effectively,” Farrell said. “I think the most impressive thing was he had a couple of long innings and he was still able to come out and get loose and keep the feel of the baseball on a day where the conditions probably weren’t the greatest.”
The Red Sox improved to 69-51 on Patriots Day and have won 11 of the last 15 since 2001.
SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Betts. The center fielder once again was a spark plug at the top of the order, giving the Red Sox momentum from the start, stealing second, taking third on an error and scoring the first run of the game in the bottom of the first. He went 1-for-4 overall, but reached base twice while scoring two runs.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
|Red Sox starting rotation struggling after first 2 weeks, posting worst ERA in baseball||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).
Latest from Bleacher Report
- November Notes: Prospect rankings and new CBA
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Vazquez belts walk-off home run
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Devers, Hernandez stand out in Dominican winter league
- Podcast Ep. #109: Alex Speier on Ranking the System
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Vazquez debuts, Tavarez, Mars stay hot
- Podcast Ep. #108: 2016 Rankings Special
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Kopech continues to dominate
- October Notes: Fall ball and front office changes
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Moncada sidelined by thumb sprain
- Help Wanted: Web Editors & Social Media Specialists