|Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, Jackie Bradley Jr. are Red Sox players named finalists for Gold Glove Awards||10.28.16 at 12:33 am ET|
The Gold Glove finalists were announced in each league on Thursday, and the Red Sox are well-represented.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., and right fielder Mookie Betts were each among three finalists at their respective positions.
Of the three, Pedroia probably has the best chance to win. The four-time recipient finished second in the AL with a .990 fielding percentage, committing just six errors in 613 chances. His .991 lifetime fielding percentage leads all active second baseman. According to Baseball Info Solutions, Pedroia saved 12 runs at second this year.
His competition for the award is two-time winner Robinson Cano of the Mariners, as well as Tigers standout Ian Kinsler, who seeks his first Gold Glove.
In center field, Bradley took a step back this year, particularly on some wild throws. He was still good enough to be a finalist against division rivals Kevin Kiermaier (Rays) and Kevin Pillar (Jays). Kiermaier won the award last year, but Pillar should win it this year — he graded as the third-best defensive player in baseball, according to FanGraphs, trailing only shortstops Brandon Crawford (Giants) and Francisco Lindor (Indians).
As for Betts, he’s up for the award for the first time. He has the misfortune of being matched up with Chicago’s Adam Eaton, the runaway favorite, as well as Houston’s George Springer. Betts is a solid No. 2 choice, but Eaton was worth 22 runs in right field this season, according to Baseball Info Solutions.
Winners will be announced on Nov. 8. For the complete list of nominees, click here.
|Dustin Pedroia becomes longest-tenured Red Sox player after saying goodbye to David Ortiz||10.11.16 at 12:09 am ET|
This is Dustin Pedroia’s team now.
The Red Sox second baseman officially became the team’s longest-tenured member after Monday’s 4-3 season-ending loss to the Indians sent veteran slugger David Ortiz into retirement.
Pedroia debuted in 2006, two years after being drafted out of Arizona State in the second round. He earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2007 en route to his first World Series title, and then won an MVP award in 2008.
He was the youngest member of veteran teams at the time, but now the 33-year-old takes the mantle of leadership from Ortiz.
“It’s a little different,” he admitted. “Obviously it hasn’t sunk in that David won’t be around. But you know, it’s tough. . . . I mean, your mind tells you he’ll be here when the game ends and be here tomorrow. It’s got to end some way. But this is definitely not how we expected it to. It’s going to be tough not having him around.”
Pedroia had no explanation for baseball’s best offense getting shut down in the American League Division Series.
“We just couldn’t find our rhythm,” he said. “We couldn’t string consecutive hits or at-bats or anything. And to be honest with you, it’s more a credit to them. I mean, they were on the corners with good stuff. I mean, they pitched good. They played great. Sometimes, as frustrating as it is, you have to tip your cap. That’s why they’re moving on.”
Pedroia believed the Indians played near-perfect baseball in completing the sweep.
“It’s surprising, but they’re good, too,” he said. “It’s not what we expected to happen, but they played great. They played great. They played flawless, man. There wasn’t one part of their game that was off. They were on, and that’s why they’re winning, moving on.”
Pedroia couldn’t call the season a disappointment, not after the Red Sox went worst-to-first and won the American League East.
“I mean, everybody looks at it different,” he said. “We made a ton of steps forward. Obviously our goal is to win the World Series, and we didn’t do that. But I’m proud of every guy in here. I’m sure nobody in this room can sit back and say they could’ve done something different. We played as hard as we could. They just played better than us.”
And now the Red Sox move on to the next chapter, without Ortiz. Pedroia will have to fill that void.
“We made a ton of steps,” he said. “We’re in good shape. I think, especially what David did leadership-wise with a ton of guys, you know, he’s leaving us in good shape. We’ll be all right.”
|Closing Time: David Ortiz hits 2-run homer in 7th inning to snap tie, give Red Sox win over Blue Jays||09.30.16 at 11:00 pm ET|
You couldn’t have scripted it any better.
In the first game of the final series of the regular season dedicated to honoring David Ortiz in his final season, he hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to snap a 3-3 tie and give the Red Sox a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays snapping a four-game losing streak in the process.
With the win, the Red Sox remain half a game ahead of the Indians for the No. 2 seed in the American League and hold the tiebreaker as well.
For Ortiz, it marked the 39th time he’s hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later with 36 of them coming with the Red Sox.
“On a night that begins a weekend celebration, I don’t think you could write a script any better for what David did here tonight offensively,” manager John Farrell said. “A long at-bat in the first inning and takes a pitch on the outside of the plate from [Marco] Estrada for a RBI single. And then in a 2-1 count against Cecil, who had some decent success against him, turned this place upside down given the time of the game, what was needed. Almost a storybook night for David Ortiz.”
Trailing 3-1 in the seventh, the Red Sox scored four times to take the lead. Andrew Benintendi led the inning off with a double and then scored on a Dustin Pedroia tapper in front of the plate as Russell Martin’s throw got past first baseman Justin Smoak and stuck in the tarp.
After a Brock Holt ground out, Mookie Betts tied the game with a RBI single up the middle. The Blue Jays then brought in left-hander Brett Cecil to face Ortiz and he made them pay.
“Focus man,” Ortiz said. “Just want to go out there and do something when I step up to the plate. Be patient and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”
Toronto threatened against Koji Uehara in the eighth with runners on second and third with one out, but he was able to get out of it, retiring Josh Donaldson for the final out of the frame. After his tough outing in New York Wednesday night, it wasn’t the smoothest of ninth innings after walking two, but he got the save.
With his scoreless seventh inning, Brad Ziegler picked up the win.
The Red Sox led 1-0 until the fifth inning and things unraveled a bit for starter Rick Porcello. It started with a Devon Travis double off the Monster then an infield single and a Donaldson sacrifice fly to tie the game at one. Porcello was one out from getting out of the inning, but Jose Bautista crushed a two-run home run over the Monster into a stiff wind and mist.
Porcello wasn’t at his best as he went six innings and allowed three runs on eight hits, while walking two and striking out six. For anyone else this would be considered a decent start, but the right-hander came into the game with a 13-1 record at Fenway Park this year and a 2.88 ERA.
“I thought he’s been throwing the ball as he’s been so many times out for us,” Farrell said.
Ortiz also got the Red Sox on the board with a two-out RBI single to left field in the first inning.
By going 3-for-5, Pedroia now has 201 hits on the season. It is his second career 200-hit season, the other being his MVP year in 2008.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
|Closing Time: Drew Pomeranz struggles, Red Sox can’t get clutch hit in loss to Orioles||09.13.16 at 10:38 pm ET|
Tuesday night went almost the opposite as it did Monday for the Red Sox and Orioles.
On Monday the Red Sox knocked Orioles starter Wade Miley out of the game after 1 1/3 innings, and on Tuesday the Orioles knocked Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz out of the game after two-plus innings.
Unlike the Orioles on Monday, the Red Sox made it a competitive game, but they still fell 6-3.
The Red Sox went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Fortunately for the Red Sox, the Blue Jays also lost, so now both Toronto and Baltimore trail the Sox by two games in the AL East.
After a 1-2-3 first inning, Pomeranz allowed five runs in the second inning, including two home runs. J.J. Hardy started the scoring with a three-run shot and then after a Drew Stubbs walk, No. 9 batter Nolan Reimold hit a two-run homer.
Pomeranz made it out of the inning, but then was pulled after allowing a lead off single in the third. The two-plus innings made it the second-shortest start of his career.
“A very long inning offensively on their part. 45 pitches is a high number,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “A couple of walks mixed in on a couple of 3-2 pitches that were up in the strike zone. Fastball to Hardy, 3-2 curveball to Reimold. Two swings of the bats, as they are very capable of doing at any point in the lineup, is to drive the ball out of the ballpark.”
|Closing Time: Hanley Ramirez, Chris Young lead offense while David Price dominates in Red Sox’ rout of Orioles||09.12.16 at 9:50 pm ET|
You know the Red Sox offense had a good night when David Price allowed two runs over eight innings and he wasn’t the biggest story.
The Red Sox scored early and often against Orioles starter Wade Miley and never looked back in a 12-2 rout where they scored in every inning but the eighth.
With the win, they remain two games up over the Blue Jays and increase their lead to three games over the O’s in the AL East.
Hanley Ramirez and Chris Young led the offense as the two combined to go 6-for-7 in the middle of the Red Sox order. As a team, the Red Sox finished with 16 hits.
The Red Sox scored five times in the first inning, four coming before they even recorded an out. The inning started with three straight singles, but could have been even more as Orioles left fielder Steve Pearce misplayed a David Ortiz fly ball and the runners needed to hold.
With the bases loaded and no outs Mookie Betts crushed a two-run double to left field and then Ramirez singled to left field, scoring Ortiz, but that wouldn’t be the only run to score on the play as Betts alertly raced home after Pearce lobbed the ball back into the infield. Aaron Hill would later score on a sacrifice fly for the fifth run of the frame.
They then loaded the bases again in the second inning with one out, but only managed one run coming on a Ramirez walk to set the tone for the game.
On any other night Price would have been the story as the left-hander went eight innings, allowing two runs on just two hits, while not walking a batter and striking out nine to pick up his seventh straight win. Price allowed three base runners all night, two of which came on home runs and the other on an error.
|Red Sox notes: Steven Wright running out of time; why Dustin Pedroia doesn’t take BP anymore||at 5:34 pm ET|
The Red Sox appear to be running out of time with knuckleballer Steven Wright.
Speaking before Monday’s series opener at Fenway Park with the Orioles, manager John Farrell said that Wright hasn’t begun a throwing program since suffering a setback with his injured right shoulder.
“We’re hopeful to get a throwing program initiated,” Farrell said. “I don’t have an exact date when that will take place. He’s showing improvement through the range of motion. The discomfort is diminishing. I also recognize where we are in the calendar, and that’s going to present a challenge here going forward.”
Wright hasn’t even been able to long toss or play catch. With only 20 games remaining in the season, there’s no telling when or if Wright will pitch again this season.
He injured the bursa sac in his right shoulder diving awkwardly into second base as a pinch runner against the Dodgers on Aug. 6. He missed three weeks, made two largely ineffective starts, and was shut down again after allowing four runs in four innings against the Rays on Aug. 31.
“He didn’t play catch on the end of the road trip,” Farrell said. “As we stated the other day, hopefully to get back here, that throwing program would initiate, but that hasn’t begun today.”
NO BP FOR PEDROIA: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that he has stopped taking batting practice for the last two months, because, “I’ve been around long enough to know hitting BP is irrelevant.”
Farrell backed up his second baseman.
“There’s a routine he goes through that’s not on the field,” Farrell said. “It’s not like he’s showing up and just putting his uniform on and walking out for the first pitch. There’s work that goes on that might be condensed, that is condensed. I think he’s confident in his daily work routine that if he doesn’t take X number of swings on the field, he’s not prepared. He’s long past that. He understands his body more than anyone. So while he’s been banged up, he knows where to pick his spots. So the work routine in the cage early in the afternoon and then just prior to the game, he’s more than prepared, and I think his performance has probably reflected that.”
In 29 games since moving to the leadoff spot on Aug. 10, Pedroia is hitting .445. His .329 average ranks second in the American League behind Jose Altuve’s .340.
|Closing Time: David Ortiz victimizes Joaquin Benoit again as Red Sox claim wild win over Blue Jays, open 2-game lead||09.11.16 at 4:56 pm ET|
David Ortiz owns two career home runs against Joaquin Benoit. Red Sox fans will never forget the first. We may look back at the second as the biggest of this season.
Three years after his grand slam off of Benoit saved the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series against the Tigers, Ortiz once again victimized the reliever, this time blasting a three-run homer to erase an 8-7 deficit and propel the Red Sox to an 11-8 victory on Sunday that restored their two-game lead in the American League East.
The Red Sox finished a brutal nine-game road trip with a 6-3 record, including two of three in Toronto. When they left for Oakland last week, they trailed by two games in the division. Now they lead by two games. They begin a seven-game homestand against the Orioles and Yankees on Monday.
“The two things that come to mind, one, we never rolled over,” manager John Farrell told reporters in Toronto. “We kept grinding, kept finding a way to come back. Two, this was about one guy picking up another. Clay [Buchholz] exits early, we go to the bullpen, the offense climbs right back into it. Every out by guys coming out of the bullpen was key, all the way down to Noe Ramirez’s one out to set it up to piece together the fifth inning. Just a dramatic home run again from David, against Benoit, that, you know, a few years ago, there was another memorable one. This might not have been the same stage, but where we are against that team, really no less important.”
Ortiz’s three-run bomb in the sixth capped a wild back-and-forth contest that was billed as a pitcher’s duel but instead devolved into an old-fashioned Sox-Jays slugfest. It also brought back pleasant memories of 2013, when Ortiz’s Game 2 grand slam off of Benoit kept the Red Sox from returning to Detroit in a 2-0 series hole.
“A little bit, yeah,” Ortiz told reporters when asked if this homer reminded him of that one. “And I thought I was getting a different menu, but he threw me a hittable — I mean, it wasn’t that bad. It was in the bottom of the strike zone, right where the pitcher wanted to make that pitch. I guess I put a good swing on it.”
|Closing Time: Red Sox offense goes silent in close loss to Blue Jays||09.10.16 at 4:09 pm ET|
Now it’s just about winning the series.
Fresh off Friday’s 13-3 demolition of the Blue Jays, the Red Sox took a step back on Saturday afternoon, getting shut down by J.A. Happ and the Toronto bullpen in a 3-2 loss.
One day after recording 18 hits, the Red Sox were no-hit into the fifth and held scoreless until Dustin Pedroia’s homer leading off the sixth. They managed just four hits overall and were outlasted by a Blue Jays squad that had lost four in a row and six of seven, but now finds itself just a game out of first in the AL East.
The Blue Jays took control early against Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in his last start. This time, he allowed his first hit a lot earlier, with leadoff man Devon Travis singling in the first.
The Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead in the second when Russell Martin walked and B.J. Upton launched a two-run homer to left-center.
The Jays pushed their lead to 3-0 in the third when Travis led off with a double before being erased at third on replay review on a Josh Donaldson fielder’s choice. The Red Sox gave that out right back, however, when Edwin Encarnacion reached on an error by third baseman Aaron Hill and Jose Bautista singled to short.
The Red Sox clawed back. Pedroia got one run back with the homer, and the Red Sox added another in the seventh on a Jackie Bradley Jr. sacrifice fly. The Sox might’ve done even more damage, but Bautista made a nice leaping catch before slamming into the wall on Bradley’s sac fly with runners on the corners.
Opponents fell to just 2-for-36 against reliever Matt Barnes with two outs after he ended the seventh by inducing Edwin Encarnacion to line out to right.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who started the day batting .455 out of the leadoff spot, gave the Red Sox their first run with a line drive solo homer to left in the sixth.
— After a slow start that included a two-run homer by B.J. Upton, Rodriguez ended up limiting the Jays to four hits and two earned runs in six innings, striking out five.
— With a walk, right fielder Mookie Betts extended his streak of consecutive games reaching base to 27.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Third baseman Aaron Hill was charged with an error on an Encarnacion grounder in the third, leading to Toronto’s unearned run.
— Rodriguez was drilled in the shin by a comebacker, but remained in the game.
— With Jason Grilli on the mound in the eighth and the top of the order due up, the Red Sox failed to score when Mookie Betts popped out with pinch runner Yoan Moncada on first.
— Speaking of Moncada, the rookie committed an unpardonable sin by losing track of the outs in the eighth and failing to run on Betts’ inning-ending flyout.
|Closing Time: Rick Porcello wins 20th, Hanley Ramirez, Xander Bogaerts homer as Red Sox pummel Blue Jays||09.09.16 at 10:33 pm ET|
TORONTO — The Red Sox visited Toronto on Friday intent on growing their lead in the American League East.
They did so in overwhelming fashion.
Right-hander Rick Porcello won his 20th game and Hanley Ramirez and Xander Bogaerts homered to pace an offensive explosion as the Red Sox destroyed the Blue Jays, 13-3, to open a two-game lead in the AL East.
“It’s definitely a huge honor,” said Porcello, whose first order of business was to call his parents. “It’s hard to win one game in the big leagues let alone 20. I’m very proud of that. At the same time it’s collective. We had to swing the bats and play defense. It’s a complete team effort. Sharing this with all 25 guys. Or 40 now that we’re in September.”
“Well, what Rick has done for a long stretch now, his game-plan that he prepares and he executes it,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “That’s the thing, his execution has been outstanding because he’s pitching with average velocity but his location is tremendous. He knows when to elevate and he’s been able to use breaking balls in certain counts that have worked to his advantage. More than anything, he doesn’t add baserunners by the walk. One walk again here tonight. Like I said, he knows what he’s doing. He’s got complete conviction to each pitch he throws and it’s evident by the bottom-line results.”
Porcello, blessed with overwhelming run support all season, was staked to a 1-0 lead in the first, 2-0 in the second and 4-0 in the third. He cruised from there, improving to 20-3 and lowering his ERA to 3.21. He allowed six hits and two runs in seven innings, striking out seven and walking one.
The Red Sox entered the game with the best offense in the American League and they did nothing to dispute that notion.
They struck quickly in the first. Dustin Pedroia led off with a single and scored on Mookie Betts’ two-out double.
They added another run in the second on Pedroia’s RBI single and two more in the third on Travis Shaw’s sacrifice fly and an error by left fielder B.J. Upton.
Devon Travis got two of the runs back with a single in the third, but the Red Sox kept piling on. They scored one in the fourth on a Pedroia sacrifice fly and then exploded for sixth in the seventh to build an 11-2 lead.
Bogaerts and Ramirez both homered in the frame.
But Friday, was Porcello’s day.
“He’s probably the MVP of our team right now,” said Jackie Bradley Jr. of his starting pitcher. “He’s tremendous on the mound.”
The last Red Sox pitcher to win 20 games was Josh Beckett in 2007.
“They do it differently,” said Farrell when asked to compare the two pitchers. “I think Rick is probably more of a four-pitch pitcher where Josh was primarily fastball-curveball and changeup. Might not have the power that Beckett did, but still, when you’re talking about sending a guy to the mound that’s going to go deep in ballgames, the similarity is the wins obviously. Still, they do it a little bit differently in their own way.”
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Porcello was once again on top of his game, easily out-dueling Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada, who was bounced in the third inning.
— Second baseman Dustin Pedroia remained red-hot. He recorded three more singles and drove in four runs.
— First baseman Hanley Ramirez has saved his best baseball for the end of the season. He blasted a three-run homer in the seventh to blow the game open.
— Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, mired in a lengthy slump, stroked two hits, including a solo homer to get things started during a six-run seventh.
— Five members of the starting lineup recorded multiple hits (Pedroia, Bogaerts, Betts, Ramirez, Leon, Jackie Bradley Jr., Ramirez).
— The Red Sox outfielders tried a little something new in their celebration after the win. “We’re mixing it up a little bit. It was the debut of the ski jump today,” said Bradley Jr.
Have only seen vines so here is gif form. pic.twitter.com/XpmrVCxb2E
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) September 10, 2016
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Second baseman Deven Marrero made an error in the eighth, leading to an unearned run.
|Closing Time: Travis Shaw, Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, lead Red Sox to rout of A’s||09.03.16 at 1:37 am ET|
Travis Shaw isn’t giving up his job without a fight.
Marginalized by the arrival of top prospect Yoan Moncada, Shaw responded with his fourth five-RBI game of the season by doubling twice and blasting a three-run homer to lead the Red Sox to a 16-2 victory over the A’s.
Shaw wasn’t the only offensive star of this one. Contributions came from up and down the order. David Ortiz (2-for-2) drove in three runs. Dustin Pedroia (2-for-5, 2 runs), Hanley Ramirez (2-for-4, 3 RBIs), and Sandy Leon (2-for-3) recorded multiple hits as the Red Sox pounded 17 hits total.
Even Moncada got in on the fun, walking in his first big league plate appearance and scoring on Shaw’s second double. He also made a nice play after entering as a defensive replacement at third base in the seventh, making a strong throw across the diamond.
All of that offense supported left-hander David Price, who picked apart the worst lineup in the American League over seven innings to win his fifth straight start and improve to 14-8 while lowering his ERA to 3.92. He allowed four hits and two runs.
Add it all together, and the Red Sox improved to 75-59 with 28 games remaining. They pulled within a game of the Blue Jays in first place in the American League East after Toronto fell to Tampa.
The Red Sox blew the game open in the fifth (4 runs) and sixth (6 runs), with Shaw’s three-run homer the big blow.
Before the game, manager John Farrell made it clear that Moncada will get most of the at-bats against right-handed pitching, with Aaron Hill playing against lefties.
“Where that puts Travis?” Farrell asked. “He’s not a forgotten guy, I can tell you that.”
On Friday night he made sure of it by going 3-for-6 with five RBIs. He also drove in five against the A’s on May 10 in Fenway Park. In the process, the Red Sox scored at least 13 runs against the A’s for the fourth time in four games this year.
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