|Closing Time: Red Sox finish off season with loss, tribute to Don Orsillo||10.04.15 at 6:19 pm ET|
The final out of the Red Sox season will go in the books as a ground out to second base off the bat of Mookie Betts, punctuating a 3-1 loss to the Indians in Cleveland.
The final tribute came just few moments later.
With the Red Sox having just punctuated their season with a 78-84 mark, the entire team and coaching staff stepped in front of the visitors dugout and signaled toward the NESN broadcast booth toward Don Orsillo. It was Orsillo’s last game with the Red Sox television broadcast after serving in the capacity for 15 years.
“I wave to the Red Sox for the final time. Thank you boys,” the announcer said. “Orsillo rounding third and heading home.”
‘ Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) October 4, 2015
Last 30 seconds of Don Orsillo’s farewell on NESN pic.twitter.com/Z0LPMy4kYP
‘ Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) October 4, 2015
“He’s just fun man,” Brock Holt told reporters when asked about Orsillo. “He doesn’t take his job too seriously but he’s really good at it. He loves what he does and he’s really good at it. Just being around him he’s a good person. We’re going to miss him and everyone that watches him on TV is going to miss his voice calling the games for sure.”
|Closing Time: Another home run for David Ortiz, but Indians cruise past Henry Owens, Red Sox||10.02.15 at 10:12 pm ET|
David Ortiz just keeps making history.
The Red Sox designated hitter isn’t letting age slow him, not by a long shot. On Friday night against the Indians, Ortiz blasted his 37th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth that accounted for all of the Red Sox scoring in an 8-2 loss in Cleveland.
Ortiz had already become just the second player ever to hit 30 homers and drive in at least 100 runs at age 39 or later. Barry Bonds, who went 45-101 in 2004, is the other.
He simply added to those totals on Friday, with his season numbers now standing at 37 homers and 107 driven in. If Ortiz can hit three more home runs over the final two games of the season — a tall order, to be sure — he’ll join Bonds and Hank Aaron as the only 39-year-olds to hit 40 homers. He also needs six RBIs to tie Paul Molitor’s record for most RBIs (113) for a player 39 or older.
Ortiz wasn’t even necessarily supposed to play on Friday. A night earlier, interim manager Torey Lovullo had suggested that Ortiz wouldn’t play again this season. He certainly had nothing left to prove. But Ortiz had other ideas.
“It really wasn’t anything pressing, to be honest with you,” Lovullo told reporters in Cleveland before the game. “I just asked him how he felt, he said, ‘I’m ready to go.’ That was really it. Maybe I gave you guys the wrong impression, which I apologize for. All along, we were going to re-evaluate where he was at today and just talk it over and see how he felt.
“Obviously, he wants to play. The best part about David are the things nobody knows about. He wants to play for all the right reasons. He wants to play to win a game. He wants to play to do well. He wants to play to show his younger teammates that this is what a championship-style player does. It speaks volumes about his character, that he is here to play.”
The rest of the game didn’t go so well for the Red Sox or rookie left-hander Henry Owens, who got knocked around before being knocked out in the fifth. Owens allowed 10 hits and seven runs in 4 1/3 innings, walking four, striking out four, and struggling with his command.
Owens finishes his rookie campaign with a 4-4 record and 4.57 ERA.
The Indians put this one away with four in the third and three in the fifth. Carlos Santana struck the big blow, a three-run double with one out in the third.
With the loss, the Red Sox (78-82) are guaranteed to finish the season with a losing record.
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: Brandon Workman vs. Corey Kluber||06.15.14 at 9:48 am ET|
Workman (1-0, 2.86 ERA) was brilliant in his last start against the Orioles on Tuesday, holding Baltimore to just one hit and no runs over 6 2/3 innings. The Texas native had a no-hitter in the works until Ryan Flaherty broke it up with a single in the sixth inning.
“I was not really thinking about it,” Workman said after the game. “I was just trying to stay in the moment and keep executing pitches and keep working each batter. Not getting ahead of myself.”
Workman could have pitched deeper in the game, but two rain delays prompted Boston manager John Farrell to pull him in the seventh after just 67 pitches.
Workman has proven himself to be a more than capable starter at the major league level, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.90 ERA in seven career starts with the Red Sox.
Workman was solid in his last start against the Indians on June 4, giving up four hits and three earned runs in five innings of work. Sunday will mark Workman’s second career appearance against Cleveland.
On most occasions, allowing 11 men to reach base in an outing would spell doom for any starting pitcher.
And yet, in a cruel twist of fate that only a game as unpredictable as baseball can produce, Boston’s normally lockdown bullpen, coupled with an anemic lineup, ultimately could not help deliver Peavy his second win of the season, as the Red Sox fell to the Indians, 3-2, snapping their abrupt two-game winning streak.
It was a disheartening affair for Peavy, as the former Cy Young Award winner labored through two separate bases-loaded situations while stranding seven Cleveland runners in scoring position, only to ultimately come up short.
“Wins and losses are all that matter, and we lost,” Peavy said after the game. “Obviously, there’s disappointment.”
Scanning through most of Peavy’s final stat line was certainly not easy on the eyes: six innings pitched, seven hits, two walks, two hit batters. However, what mattered most was just one earned run allowed – a mark that Peavy has not been able to do since April 25 against the Blue Jays.
“I thought Jake did a great job with making a number of big pitches with men on, men in scoring position,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell after the game. “There were opportunities on both sides that came up empty. You can credit good pitching on both sides to make a key pitch. Jake gave us a quality start.”
While Peavy (1-4, 4.53 ERA) has struggled to find his bearings for most of the 2014 campaign, the Mobile, Ala., native has excelled in navigating through danger in his outings. Batters are hitting just .189 (7-for-37) against Peavy with two outs and runners in scoring position this season.
|Closing Time: Sox bullpen falters, Indians snap Boston’s seven-game home win streak||06.14.14 at 7:31 pm ET|
Entering Saturday’s game, the Red Sox bullpen posted a collective 2.90 ERA – good for sixth lowest in baseball this season.
The loss snaps Boston’s brief two-game win streak and seven-game home winning streak, which originated on May 28 against the Braves.The Red Sox are now 8-15 this season in one-run games this season.
With the Red Sox leading 2-1 going into the seventh, Breslow entered the game and surrendered two-straight singles to Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley, putting runners at the corners with no outs.
Jason Kipnis followed with a groundout to Dustin Pedroia, who proceeded to throw home in an attempt to retire the advancing Cabrera. While the throw was in time, Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski mishandled the ball, allowing Cabrera to score and put runners on first and second.
After walking David Murphy to load the bases, Breslow was pulled for Junichi Tazawa, who proceeded to walk Carlos Santana, forcing in a run and giving Cleveland a 3-2 lead. It was the first time that Tazawa has walked in a run in his major-league career.
|Red Sox pregame notes: Stephen Drew faces ‘biggest test’ in BP; Brock Holt starts in right field||at 2:56 pm ET|
It was going to be judgment day for Stephen Drew. That, however, will have to wait until Sunday.
The beleaguered Red Sox shortstop, who hasn’t appeared in a game since Sunday after suffering a right oblique injury, took part in batting practice before today’s game - an important stepping stone in his eventual return to field.
After the Red Sox‘ 3-2 loss to the Indians, manager John Farrell said Drew would be available Sunday. The shortstop suggested the verdict regarding his availability would be determined after seeing how he feels prior to the series finale.
Speaking to the media after his afternoon workout session, Drew seemed encouraged, albeit vague, on the progress of his injury.
“It’s alright, we’re still working through it. So far, it’s pretty good,” Drew said. “I’m still working through things, I’m going to test some other things out and go from there.”
Drew acknowledged that the BP session went as he thought it would, adding that his return is still a work in progress.
“I mean, I’ve never had this [injury], so I’m just trying to work through it like I said and see where we’re at and we got to do some more things and go through some tests, so we’ll see where we’re at at the end,” Drew said.
Drew added: “To start with, it wasn’t tolerable (when the injury first occurred). These extra days and stuff, it’s obviously I could swing a bat and stuff like that. Like I said, just working through things, trying to get at game speed and go from there.”
|Friday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: John Lackey vs. Justin Masterson||06.13.14 at 8:20 am ET|
Lackey (7-4, 3.18 ERA) was great once again in his last start against the Tigers on Sunday, surrendering just three runs (two earned) over eight innings of work. However, the righty was in line for a loss, as his team trailed 3-2 in the top of the ninth inning.
Lackey’s great performance would be saved by David Ortiz, who crushed an offering from Joba Chamberlain into the right-field bleachers for a three-run home run, giving Boston a 5-3 lead that the team would not relinquish.
“We have that sense pretty much every time he hits,” Lackey said after the game. “He’s special. It’s funny, you almost expect it.”
Lackey received the loss in his last start against the Indians on June 2, despite pitching a complete game. He allowed eight hits and three earned runs over eight innings.
In 18 career starts against Cleveland, Lackey is 7-8 with a 3.93 ERA.
|Closing Time: Jon Lester, Red Sox bats bounce back at Fenway Park in taking series opener against Indians||06.12.14 at 10:19 pm ET|
Thursday night, Jon Lester did what aces are expected to do — get their teams moving in the right direction.
Coming off arguably his worst outing of the season, Saturday in Detroit, Lester dominated the Indians through five innings at Fenway Park. The lefty escaped after a pair of runs in the sixth to lead the Red Sox, finishing with a strong 7 2/3-inning outing, and lifting the Red Sox to a 5-2 win over Cleveland.
Lester struck out three of the first four batters he faced and never looked back. He allowed two runs — one earned — on eight hits, with one walk and four strikeouts to improve to 7-7 with a 3.33 ERA this season. He threw 72 of his 109 pitches for strikes.
The Red Sox returned home after an ugly 2-7 road trip, finally showing some life at the plate. The Sox’ five runs were more than they scored in the entire Baltimore series, having scored just once in three games against the Orioles. The hosts collected eight hits off Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin.
David Ortiz hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning for the Sox’ second and third runs of the game. Mike Napoli was 2-for-4 and scored Boston’s first run in the second inning. Daniel Nava was 3-for-5 and is 9 for his last 22 since his return to the Sox June 2.
Brock Holt‘s hitless night Wednesday ended his 10-game hitting streak, but he got a new one started Thursday with a 2-for-4 night that included a two-run double to left field in the sixth to score Jonathan Herrera and Jackie Bradley.
The Red Sox improved to 30-36 for the season with the win. Here is what went right (and wrong) for John Farrell‘s team:
|Tuesday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: Jake Peavy vs. T.J. House||06.03.14 at 9:02 am ET|
Peavy (1-2, 4.50 ERA) was efficient in his last start on May 29 against the Braves, holding Atlanta to three earned runs over a season-high eight innings. It was a return to form for the former Cy Young Award winner, as Peavy had allowed a total of 16 earned runs over his three previous starts.
Despite his solid start, Peavy was in line for the loss, as the Red Sox trailed 3-1 in the eighth inning. Peavy would be saved from a loss in the bottom of the frame, as Boston rallied for two runs to tie the game. The Sox would score again in the bottom of the ninth, as a Xander Bogaerts single and an error from Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella allowed Jackie Bradley Jr. to score, giving Boston the 4-3 victory.
“The boys battled hard,” Peavy said. “Their guy [Braves starter Mike Minor] did a really good job, but we stayed in it, caught some breaks early and got some big hits late and caught some breaks there in the ninth.”
Peavy’s last start against the Indians came on April 14, 2013, when Peavy was still a member of the White Sox. In that appearance, Peavy was dominant, holding Cleveland to just one run over seven innings while striking out 11.
In 11 career starts against the Indians, Peavy is 5-3 with a 3.93 ERA.
|Power Rankings: Rating potential Red Sox postseason opponents||09.17.13 at 9:48 am ET|
“We still have work to do.”
This has become Red Sox manager John Farrell’s mantra leading into the final 11 games. But the reality is that the work to be done isn’t about the regular season, but rather what awaits come Oct. 4. That’s when the Sox will kick off their best-of-five American League Division Series against some yet-to-be-determined team.
So, with the reality of a playoff series looming, let’s take a look at which teams the Red Sox will most want to face, and which ones they’ll probably want to steer clear of:
The A’s have the second-best record in the American League, standing three games in back of the Red Sox. But the reason why they get the nod over the ultra-talented Tigers is for the simple reason that Bob Melvin‘s club is red hot. Sure, they got blown out by the Angels on Monday night, but since Aug. 26 they are 16-5 and had won eight of nine games before their latest loss.
Record vs. Red Sox: 3-3
Why Red Sox won’t want to play them: During the A’s recent run (starting on Aug. 26), they have three pitchers with ERAs under 2.00 — Bartolo Colon (4 starts, 1.13 ERA), Sonny Gray (3 starts, 1.83 ERA) and Dan Straily (4 starts, 1.90 ERA). Colon, in particular, has given the Sox trouble, allowing two runs in 13 2/3 innings this season. The A’s also possess the same kind of opportunistic success that has characterized the Red Sox, carrying a .342 batting average with runners in scoring position over the last 21 games.
Why Red Sox will want to play them: Two of the A’s hottest pitchers (Gray, Straily) are, for all intents and purposes, rookies. They haven’t faced a Red Sox lineup that has fared quite well against newbie hurlers this season. Also, during Oakland’s hot stretch, its bullpen hasn’t exactly been lights out, carrying a 4.81 ERA in that span, with hitters managing a .314 batting average against closer Grant Balfour in the last three weeks of games.
Considered by many as the American League’s most talented team from top to bottom, the American League Central-leading Tigers are one game behind Oakland and four games in back of the Sox. After treading water in recent weeks, Detroit has managed to find something of a groove lately, winning five of their last six games (albeit with three of the wins coming against the Mariners and the White Sox). Read the rest of this entry »
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