|With Hanley Ramirez at first, Jackie Bradley Jr. getting his big chance||08.26.15 at 12:38 pm ET|
CHICAGO — The sight of Hanley Ramirez working out at first base Tuesday made it official: Jackie Bradley Jr. has found his way back.
Just a few years ago, the outfielder had made such an impression that the entirety of the 2013 spring training seemed to revolve around controlling Bradley’s service time. He was perceived as a no-doubt piece of the Red Sox‘ future.
Flash forward to the end of the 2014 season and the narrative had moved 180 degrees.
Bradley ventured into last offseason riding a 1-for-36 clip with the Red Sox, officially leaving him out of the conversation for part of the solution for ’15.
“Obviously, especially when you know what you’re capable of doing as a ballplayer,” he said when asked about his frustration. “And as a young ballplayer you want to make that impression right away. Sometimes everybody has a different path, and this is just the way my path has gone.”
Now, Bradley Jr. is back in the Red Sox’ outfield of the near future, and the guy they paid $88 million for is forced to find a new position (and seems OK with it).
“I think with me at first, we’re going to have a better team on the field, competing every day,” Ramirez said.
“We’ve got a guy [new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski] out there, he’s trying to put the best pieces on the field,” Ramirez added. “He was like, ‘If you put this guy over here and put this guy in left field, how would the team look?’ And I was thinking about that, too. I was thinking, ‘Yeah, we’re a way better team with me on first and with Jackie and Mookie [Betts] and Casty [Rusney Castillo] on the field.’ Hopefully, we can do it and they can keep doing what they’re doing — playing great outfield and keep hitting, because we’re going to need that.”
|Jackie Bradley Jr. throws strike to home plate from warning track on bizarre play in bizarre season||08.23.15 at 6:39 pm ET|
In what was one of the most bizarre plays in a bizarre season, Jackie Bradley Jr. misplayed a ball to leadoff the ninth inning which landed on the warning track in left field and then he couldn’t handle it off the bounce, which had Omar Infante thinking inside-the-park home run.
Bradley Jr. picked up the ball and threw a one-hop strike to the plate to get Infante. The Royals challenged the play, but it stayed as called.
“It was hit really well off of the bat,” Bradley Jr. said. “I was playing it like it was going to be off of the wall and got twisted around a little bit. I just wanted to make an accurate throw. The grass was wet. I wanted to give him a chance.”
The play even drew the praise of members of the Royals.
“I thought it was actually a really good send,” third baseman Mike Moustakas said. “It took a phenomenal throw by Jackie out there. He pulled it off. It was an unbelievable throw. A foot to left or a foot to the right, Omar is safe. I thought it was a good send. We ended up being able to cover that up and go out there and win a ball game.”
“You know he’s got a great arm but to do that, that’s something you don’t really see or expect,” he added. “He’s got a cannon. That was probably one of the best throws I’ve seen in a long time, if not ever. Right on the money, throw a guy out at the plate from left-center field.”
The Royals got the last laugh as they scored four ninth inning runs following the play to beat the Red Sox, 8-6.
The adventures of the Red Sox bullpen continue.
With a 6-4 lead in the ninth, Junichi Tazawa blew the save as he allowed four runs in the inning on six hits, as the Royals beat the Red Sox 8-6.
A bases loaded single by Eric Hosmer scored two runs to tie the game and then after a walk, Mike Moustakas hit a two-run double for the last two runs of the inning. Kendrys Morales was thrown out at the plate on the play to end the inning trying to score from first.
The inning started with a very bizarre play as Jackie Bradley Jr. misplayed a ball that landed on the warning track and with Omar Infante trying to extend it to an inside-the-park home run, Bradley Jr. threw a strike to the plate to get Infante for the first out of the ninth. The play was reviewed, but stood.
“They hit some good pitches. It was not a typical [Tazawa] day,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “He has been very consistent for us all year long. We have to give them credit. They are a pretty good team, able to take advantage of mistakes and they did. That’s why they are the best team in the American League right now.”
With the game tied at four in the seventh inning, Ryan Hanigan led off with a single and then came around to score from first on Bradley Jr.’s double down the right field line. Bradley Jr. scored on a Pablo Sandoval two-out dribbler in front of the mound that Royals reliever Franklin Morales over threw first base (although he would have likely beat the throw anyway).
Bradley Jr. finished the game 2-for-4 with two doubles. Before his single in the ninth, he had 11 straight extra-base hits.
Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez didn’t have his best stuff and also didn’t get support from his defense in the fourth inning, but despite all that he was able to keep the Sox in the game. Overall, the left-hander went six innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits, while not walking a batter and only striking out one.
In the fourth inning, Morales hit a ball up the middle which could have been an inning-ending double play, but second baseman Josh Rutledge booted the ball allowing it to go into center field. Mookie Betts’ throw to third base then skipped into the Royals dugout. Morales then scored on a Moustakas double.
Moustakas would later hit a home run in the sixth for the fourth Royals run off Rodriguez.
The Red Sox scored two runs in the second and then tied the game at four in the sixth. David Ortiz had a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3 and then Travis Shaw doubled with two outs and was driven in on a Rusney Castillo single.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:
|Red Sox lineup: Jackie Bradley Jr. back; Brock Holt (left oblique tightness) scratched||08.22.15 at 3:26 pm ET|
Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brock Holt are back in the lineup as the Sox go against Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura. Holt slides down in the order as Pablo Sandoval will hit second for a third straight game.
[UPDATE 6:15 p.m.: Holt has been scratched from the lineup with left oblique tightness. Josh Rutledge will play second base.]
Hanley Ramirez will be in left, Mookie Betts in center and Bradley Jr. in right. Ramirez is hitting sixth, as Travis Shaw slides up to fifth.
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
Here is the complete updated Red Sox lineup:
|Red Sox lineup: Jackie Bradley Jr., Brock Holt out vs. Royals||08.21.15 at 3:48 pm ET|
Going for their fourth straight win, the Red Sox will be without one of their hottest hitters.
Likely keeping with the outfield rotation, Jackie Bradley Jr. will be out of the lineup, as the Red Sox go up against Johnny Cueto in the second game of a weekend set with the Royals.
The outfield will have Hanley Ramirez in left, Mookie Betts in center and Rusney Castillo in right.
Brock Holt will also be out of the lineup for the second straight game and Pablo Sandoval will once again hit second.
Blake Swihart will catch Red Sox starter Henry Owens.
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, CF
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, LF
Travis Shaw, 1B
Rusney Castillo, RF
Blake Swihart, C
Josh Rutledge, 2B
Henry Owens, LHP
|Closing Time: Wade Miley, Travis Shaw lead Red Sox past Royals||08.20.15 at 9:59 pm ET|
Maybe the Red Sox play up to their competition.
They are now 5-2 since Torey Lovullo took over as manager.
Once again, the Red Sox offense was paced by Jackie Bradley Jr. and Travis Shaw. Shaw went 2-for-3, while Bradley Jr. went 1-for-4. Of the last nine hits for Bradley Jr., all of them have gone for extra bases and his on-base streak is now 12 games where he’s batting .413.
Shaw got the scoring started, as he drew a bases loaded walk in the first inning. The Sox would then go on to score three runs in the third inning to take a 4-0 lead at the time. Shaw doubled off the Green Monster with two outs to set up second and third for Ryan Hanigan who came through with a two-RBI single. Bradley Jr. then followed with a RBI-triple to account for the fourth run.
For Shaw, he’s now reached base twice in five straight games. In 24 major league games, he’s hitting .382 with nine extra-base hits.
“I heard him say the other day that things are just clicking and things are moving in a good direction for him,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “He feels like he’s seeing the ball very, very well and those are little runs that every player wants to get on.”
“Yeah and getting regular at-bats obviously helps too,” Shaw added of his confidence. “Coming to the field with a pretty good idea that I’m going to be in the lineup helps your confidence and helps you[ get in a good rhythm with those regular at-bats.”
The Red Sox were able to get to Royals left-hander Danny Duffy for four runs. Going into the game they were batting a MLB-best .305 against lefties since May 23. Before that date they were batting an MLB-worst .197.
Red Sox starter Wade Miley was on his game, as he was able to pick up his second straight win and second straight dominant start. The left-hander went 7 1/3 innings allowing one run on six hits, while striking out six and not walking a batter. It was his 14th quality start of the season, which leads the team.
His only mistake was a solo home run to Mike Moustakas in the fifth inning.
“Great outing for Wade,” Lovullo said. “Just an easy three-pitch mix. Quick, easy outs and for me he deserved the right to go back out there for the eighth inning. Just keep him on a short-leash. Didn’t want to extend him too far. I know his last outing he was [extended a little bit.] He has earned that right to go out there and get those extra outs and tonight was a good night for him.”
Alexi Ogando got the second out of the eighth inning before giving way to Robbie Ross Jr. who struck out Eric Hosmer, who was the tying run.
Junichi Tazawa pitched the ninth to pick up his second save in as many nights.
|Red Sox lineup: Despite hot bat, Jackie Bradley Jr. sits vs. Indians||08.18.15 at 3:31 pm ET|
Despite swinging the hottest bat on the team, Jackie Bradley Jr. will get the night off as the Red Sox go up against right-hander Trevor Bauer in Game 2 of a three-game series with the Indians.
Blake Swihart will catch Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez.
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
Here is a complete look at the Red Sox’ lineup:
|Red Sox-Indians series preview||08.17.15 at 10:16 am ET|
While the Red Sox sit 12 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East and 8 1/2 games back of the wild card, their next opponent, while also last in its division, has a bit of a jump on them. The Indians are farther behind the AL Central-leading Royals than the Sox are the Yankees, but they’re 2 1/2 games closer to a playoff spot than Boston.
The Sox capped off their weekend series with the Mariners on Sunday afternoon, dropping the final game of the set to take two of three from Seattle. In those three days, the Sox scored a total of 45 runs, putting them second in the league for total runs scored since the All-Star break (151) and first in the month of August (95). The team is leading the majors in batting average (.284) since the break with a league-high 284 hits. Boston’s .317 batting average, .374 on-base percentage and .516 slugging percentage this month also are best in the big leagues.
“It’s just a bunch of guys going up, having a great approach, not missing their pitch,” acting manager Torey Lovullo said of the team’s offensive success Saturday. “We were having some really, really loud contact throughout the course of the game and throughout the course of [Friday’s] game. Against arguably one of the best pitchers in baseball [Felix Hernandez], there was no letup by us.”
The Red Sox have gotten some scattered good starts from their pitchers recently, but not nearly enough to keep them on the up and up. Since the break, the Sox’ 5.39 team ERA is second worst in the league and worst in the American League. They’ve also issued the fourth-most walks since then and given up the most home runs.
The Indians have a bit of a different situation going for them. They have the same record as the Sox in their last 10 games, 5-5, but their pitching is significantly better while their offense has struggled at times.
On the year, Cleveland is in the bottom third in the majors for runs scored with 463 while the Red Sox are third with 527. The Indians have collected the 17th-most hits in the majors with 998 compared to the Sox’ fifth-best 1,070. Still, they draw the third-most walks in the majors (397), most in the AL, and have the sixth-fewest strikeouts.
|Jackie Bradley Jr. ‘actually getting the results’ with record-breaking day capping huge week||08.15.15 at 6:19 pm ET|
Last Saturday Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was batting just .121 over 24 games in the majors this season. Fast forward to following Saturday’s game, the 25-year-old is now up to .250 — a .129 increase in a week.
Bradley Jr. knows what struggling is like more than anyone as after being considered one of the best center fielder’s in baseball, he’s spent virtually the entire season in Triple-A because he’s had difficulty hitting major league pitching.
“You’re going to struggle. You’re going to have struggles,” Bradley Jr. said. “The ones who come out of it and continue to press on are the ones who play the game for a long time. From watching guys like Papi, Pedroia, guys from other teams as well — we all struggle and thankful that I was able to play today.”
He set a Red Sox team-record with five extra-base hits in the game and is only one of two major league players to ever have five extra-base hits at the age of 25 or younger. The other? Larry Twitchell 126 years ago — Aug. 15, 1889.
The South Carolina product is currently on a five-game hit streak where he’s batting .591, slugging 1.364 with 13 RBIs, three home runs and nine extra-base hits.
To put things in perspective, prior to last weekend he had just one extra-base hit on the season and four RBIs.
Bradley Jr. has performed in Triple-A, being named to the International League All-Star team this year and slashing .305/.382/.472, but he just couldn’t get anything going in the limited major league experience he’s been able to have.
What has been the biggest difference this time around after getting called up July 29?
“Actually getting the results,” he said. “Hitting balls hard and having something to show for it. As cliche as it sounds, when you hit the ball hard, you want something to show for it. It’s finally showing.”
Facing former Cy Young Award winner and six-time All-Star Felix Hernandez without Hanley Ramirez, Rusney Castillo and Dustin Pedroia on paper seemed like a pretty daunting task, but that couldn’t have been anymore wrong.
The Red Sox roughed Hernandez up for 10 runs in just 2 1/3 innings, as the Red Sox rolled to a 22-10 win over the Mariners. They’ve now combined to score 37 in the two games so far in the series, which is roughly 45 percent of the 82 total runs they scored in May.
They also finished with 26 hits, which were a season-high. It was the second straight game where they’ve set a season-high in hits as they had 21 Friday night.
“I wish I could tell you. I wish I knew,” acting manager Torey Lovullo said of the offensive outburst. “It’s just a bunch of guys going up having a great approach, not missing their pitch. We’re having some really, really loud contact throughout the course of this game and throughout the course of yesterday’s game. Against arguably one of the best pitchers in baseball. There was no let up by us. I think our guys are very focused. They’re very determined.
“Let me tell you, when you get into a game in the eighth or ninth inning and you have to face a position player, usually your focus kind of goes backwards and everybody laughs and jokes. Just to shoo you where this team is at, what they feel about themselves, they go up and execute against [Mariner’s catcher Jesus Sucre] in the eighth inning and didn’t give away one at-bat. A lot of things happened today, that’s something that I’m most proud of.”
After failing to score in the first inning, they scored five runs in each of the next two innings to chase Hernandez from the game.
The five second inning runs were highlighted by a solo homer from Pablo Sandoval and then a two-run blast for Jackie Bradley Jr. — both to almost the exact same spot in center field. In the third, Alejandro De Aza ripped a two-run homer to right field and they scored two more on a Brock Holt double.
Hernandez’s final line read: 2.1 IP, 12 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. It was a career-high in earned runs, tied a career-high in runs and was the third-shortest start of his career.
The Red Sox batted around four times in the first four innings and added four more runs in the sixth inning when the first four batters of the inning reached, highlighted by a Bradley Jr. double.
They also added four more in the seventh, once again keyed by Bradley Jr — and another three in the eighth as Bradley Jr. hit his second homer of the day.
Bradley Jr. was the biggest offense star, as he went 5-for-6 with three doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs. He now has a five-game hit streak where he’s batting .591 with nine extra-base hits. It was his first career four-hit game. He’s raised his average .129 in a week.
Red Sox starter Wade Miley was solid, as the left-hander went seven innings allowing two runs on four hits, while walking three and striking out eight. It was his 13th quality start, which leads the Red Sox.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox win:
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