|Jackie Bradley Jr. extends hitting streak to 29 games||05.25.16 at 8:38 pm ET|
Jackie Bradley Jr. is still going.
The Red Sox outfielder extended his hitting streak to 29 games with a fourth-inning single against Colorado starter Chad Bettis. The opposite-field single came on the first pitch Bradley saw in his second at-bat.
“I wouldn’t say hard to imagine,” Bradley Jr. said. “It’s pretty cool, definitely excited and hopefully you can just keep it going.”
Bradley’s streak now is the fourth-longest in Red Sox history, surpassing Wade Boggs’ stretch in 1985. The only Sox players ahead of the lefty hitter are Dom DiMaggio (34 in 1949), Nomar Garciaparra (30 in 1997) and Tris Speaker (30 in 1912). He is tied with Johnny Damon, who also managed a streak of 29 in 2005.
In his first at-bat of the night, Bradley grounded out to the pitcher.
Coming into Wednesday night’s game, Bradley had led the majors in batting average (.412), slugging percentage (.784), OPS (1.271), RBI (29), and triples (3) since the streak started on April 24.
He is the first major league player to hit in 29 straight games since Denard Span did it in 2013.
|Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘I’m saying right now Cubs-Red Sox World Series, with Theo [Epstein] breaking the Cubs’ curse’||at 11:41 am ET|
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning and said he is buying into the Red Sox offense, predicting it will carry Boston to a World Series appearance against the Cubs. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
“It is legit,” Schilling said of the Sox bats. “I don’t see a large regression to the mean. Jackie Bradley Jr. is good. I think all the things everyone talked about him when he first came up are the reasons he came to be now. I don’t see a reason he can’t win a batting championship. You look at [Xander Bogaerts] and Mookie [Betts] and you start wondering where is the hole, because Travis Shaw can hit. Is it Christian Vazquez? Because he can pick his spots. This is a lineup with no letup. You are going to see a lot of middle relievers facing the Red Sox this year.
Schilling said the Sox’ hot start is no fluke, and he’s ready to place the Sox in the World Series.
“I’m saying right now Cubs-Red Sox World Series, with Theo [Epstein] breaking the Cubs’ curse,” Schilling said.
The Sox may be in the market for another reliever after losing Carson Smith for the year following Tommy John surgery. Schilling, however, said the Sox should add another dependable starter before they try to add a reliever.
“I think if you want to win a World Series [you need a starter],” Schilling said. “Do you think on any day they can outpitch the Mets? Those are the teams you are going to see in October. I think the back of their bullpen is wonderful, but that is not a matchup you worry about before you worry about starters. … There is probably no team other than the Cubs better positioned to get that guy at the deadline.”
|Closing Time: Jackie Bradley extends streak, David Price wins 7th as Red Sox cruise past Rockies||05.24.16 at 10:08 pm ET|
The Red Sox have made it look easy for a while now, and Tuesday night was no exception.
Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts extended their respective hitting streaks, ageless wonder David Ortiz drove in four more runs, and David Price delivered his third straight solid start to pace an 8-3 rout of the Rockies.
“The offense has been there right from pretty much the first week of the season,” said manager John Farrell. “The way we get out to early leads, if our starters throw strikes, they can manage some big innings and they’re going to have a pretty good chance to be right in the mix if they get into the middle-to-late innings of a game. It’s fun to watch. Our guys are confident and we’re never giving at-bats away.”
Wasting no time getting on the board, the Sox jumped out to a 2-0 lead after four batters, with Ortiz driving in Dustin Pedroia (3 hits) and Bogaerts with one out in the first inning.
The haste did not just come with the scoring, either. Both Bradley (28) and Bogaerts (17) extended their hitting streaks in their first at-bats, while Price struck out four of the first 12 batters he faced.
Price climbed to 7-1 and dropped his ERA from 5.53 to 5.34, giving up three runs and five hits while striking out six over seven innings. Once again, he was the beneficiary of huge run support.
“It’s huge,” he said. “It’s something I’ve gotten I think every start. We’ve done a tremendous job of scoring a lot of runs early, especially in the first inning. To go out there and know you don’t have to be perfect every pitch, it definitely takes a lot of stress off the starting pitcher. It’s huge.”
|Jackie Bradley Jr. extends hitting streak to 26 games||05.21.16 at 6:10 pm ET|
At first, it looked like it might not be Jackie Bradley Jr.’s day.
The first two times at-bat against the Indians, Bradley Jr. drew an intentional walk and four-pitch free pass, in which none of the offerings were close from Indians starter Trevor Bauer.
But leading off the sixth inning, against Bauer, Bradley Jr. finally got his chance to hit, and he took advantage of it.
The Red Sox center fielder grounded a 2-2 cutter from Bauer toward the middle, where Indians’ second baseman Jason Kipnis dove and gathered it in. But the subsequent throw from Kipnis drew Carlos Santana off the bag just enough to allow for a Bradley Jr. single.
The hit marked the 26th game Bradley Jr. had collected at least one hit, raising his batting average to .345.
The streak is now just one game shy of David Ortiz’s stretch of 27 straight in 2013. The club record stands at 34, set by Dom DiMaggio in 1949. Second on the list is Nomar Garciaparra’s 30-gamer in ’97.
Others to carry notable hit streaks for the Red Sox include Johnny Damon (29 in 2005), and Manny Ramirez (27 in 2006).
The Red Sox held a 4-0 lead at the time of Bradley Jr.’s single.
|Jackie Bradley Jr. extends hitting streak to 25 games with home run||05.20.16 at 7:51 pm ET|
Jackie Bradley Jr. got the hit streak drama out of the way early Friday night.
Jumping on the second pitch he saw from Cleveland starter Corey Kluber, Bradley Jr. launched a 1-0 slider into the center field bleachers. It marked the 25th straight game the outfielder has collected at least one hit.
“Put a good swing on a pitch low and down the middle and it happened to get into the wind and played the course pretty well today,” Bradley Jr. said.
Bradley Jr. is now nine shy of the Red Sox record, with Dom DiMaggio totaling 34 in a row in 1949.
It was Bradley Jr.’s eighth homer since the streak began on April 24. Coming into Friday night, the stretch had included the lefty hitter managing a .407 batting average and 1.240 OPS.
It was also the 20th straight game the Red Sox have hit at least one home run, snapping the previous club record held by the the 1995 club.
The second-inning homer gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead at the time, with the Sox ultimately dropping a 4-2 decision to the Indians.
Bradley Jr. finished his night going 1-for-2 with two walks, the last coming with two outs in the ninth inning when he worked a 3-2 count against Cleveland closer Cody Allen.
“I just wanted to stay locked in for the last at-bat. I didn’t want to lose,” he said. “In my mind, I was going to give it everything I had. I didn’t want to lose the game. I didn’t want to lose that at-bat.”
|Closing Time: David Price, Jackie Bradley Jr. highlight Red Sox’ Game 2 win over Royals||05.18.16 at 11:21 pm ET|
The developments in Game 2 might not have come as a surprise, but they were notable, nonetheless.
The Red Sox left Kansas City with a split in their Wednesday doubleheader with the Royals, claiming a 5-2 win in Game 2 at Kauffman Stadium. That gave John Farrell’s club its 25th win.
But it was what David Price and Jackie Bradley Jr. did within the win that truly highlighted the victory.
For Price, it marked his second straight standout start, this time allowing just two runs over 7 1/3 innings. The starter mixed in all his pitches while managing five strikeouts (and one walk), with his fastball living between 92-95 mph. He finished throwing 108 pitches.
According to BrooksBaseball.net, Price threw his fastball and cutter both 34 times, while managing to toss 15 of his 19 changeups for strikes. He got eight swings and misses on his cutter, and just one on the heater.
Price has now allowed three runs over 14 innings in his last two starts, dropping his ERA to 5.53.
Offensively, it was Jackie Bradley Jr. who jump-started things with a second-inning home run. The two-out, solo blast also extended the outfielder’s hit streak to 24 games, the longest of any Red Sox hitter since David Ortiz’s 2013 run of 27 in a row.
It didn’t take long for Jackie Bradley Jr. to end the suspense in Game 2 of the Red Sox’ doubleheader with the Royals on Wednesday night.
The Red Sox center fielder extended his hit streak to 24 games with a two-out solo home run in the second inning, launching a high changeup from Kansas City starter Edison Volquez over the left-center field fence.
Bradley had kept his streak going in Game 1, waiting until the ninth inning to rifle a single into right field in the Red Sox’ 3-2 loss.
The last Red Sox player to claim a hit streak as long as Bradley’s was David Ortiz, who managed to hit safely in 27 straight in 2013.
Bradley, who started his streak on April 24, came into Game 2 hitting .398 with a 1.198 OPS during the stretch. It is the highest OPS in baseball during that time period, with David Ortiz coming in second.
|Closing Time: David Ortiz’s 2 clutch hits lift Red Sox over Astros in extra innings||05.14.16 at 5:21 pm ET|
Saturday’s game belonged to David Ortiz.
After Xander Bogaerts singled with two outs in the 11th inning, Ortiz crushed an RBI double off the wall in center field to give the Red Sox a dramatic 6-5 win over the Astros.
It was a questionable decision to pitch to Ortiz with first base open after Bogaerts advanced to second on a wild pitch.
And that wasn’t his only big hit of the game.
Trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth and two outs, Jackie Bradley Jr. was on first and Ortiz at the plate. The slugger ripped a triple to left-center off Astros closer Luke Gregerson to tie the game at five.
But then even more bizarre than Ortiz hitting a triple, Hanley Ramirez tried to bunt with the game-winning run 90 feet away and was out with plenty of room to spare at first base.
“What makes David so good in those spots is, he never comes out of his approach,” manager John Farrell said. “His heart rate I don’t think really elevates that much — maybe at times when a strike is called against him. He’s hitting in those moments with such clarity. He’s done it so often that he’s extremely confident in those key spots.”
Ortiz finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBIs, falling just a single short of the cycle.
With Dustin Pedroia getting the afternoon off, Jackie Bradley Jr. and his 19-game hit streak will slide up in the order to the No. 2 spot against the Astros.
Bradley Jr. has started one game in the No. 2 spot in the order, while playing in four with seven at-bats and is 0-for-7.
“Down day for [Pedroia]. He and I had a chance to talk early in the week and picked this day as the logical one — day game after a night game and the way Jackie has been swinging the bat, obviously speaks for its self,” manager John Farrell said. “So split up the two right-handers at the top of the order and gives us some continuity and some balance throughout.”
Josh Rutledge will get the start at second base against Astros right-hander Collin McHugh. Brock Holt gets his second straight start in left field with another righty going. Christian Vazquez will catch Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, RF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Travis Shaw, 3B
Josh Rutledge, 2B
Brock Holt, LF
Christian Vazquez, C
Clay Buchholz, RHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|Closing Time: Reliever Matt Barnes takes loss as Red Sox’ win streak ends at 5 games||05.13.16 at 10:59 pm ET|
Well, it was going to end sometime.
Coming into the game winners of five straight and scoring double-digit runs in four straight, the Red Sox came back to Earth in a 7-6 defeat to the Astros Friday night.
With the game knotted at five in the sixth, George Springer took his UConn teammate Matt Barnes into the Monster seats for a two-run home run, which proved to be the game-winner.
Barnes allowed two runs in 1 1/3 innings of work to take the loss.
“As strong as he’s been, he’s going through that inning, even with a man on, in pretty good shape,” manager John Farrell said. “He retires [Jose] Altuve and then Springer. The top of their order did a lot of damage tonight. He works the count full and a breaking ball doesn’t get to the spot he’s looking to get to, stays up in the middle of the plate, and he covers it pretty good. Matt has been so good for us in those tight spots in the middle innings. He’s been strong. We’ve been in a in a stretch where we haven’t really taxed bullpen. Thought he was fresh. On the 3-2 pitch, it didn’t really work out.”
Travis Shaw hit his fifth home run of the season in the bottom half of the inning, but the Red Sox couldn’t score again. The Red Sox actually led 5-1 in the game, but the Astros scored six straight runs to take the lead for good.
Astros starter Lance McCullers, who was making his season-debut, walked two straight batters to load the bases with no outs in the second. Ryan Hanigan ripped a two-RBI double to the right-center field gap. Then, Jackie Bradley Jr. had an RBI double of his own to extend his hit streak to 19 games. A wild pitch and a Mookie Betts single played the fourth and fifth runs of the inning.
It was Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright’s worst start of the season as he went a season-low 4 1/3 innings and allowed five runs nine hits, while walking two and striking out three. Four of the five runs came in his last inning — the fifth. He departed with the game tied at five.
The outing snapped Wright’s streak of going at least five innings and allowing two runs or fewer in nine straight starts. The rainy conditions likely didn’t do him any favors.
“Huge factor. Got to a point where I couldn’t keep anything dry and when you’re trying to throw a pitch with your finger tips, it makes it a little slippery, hard to get finger pressure,” he said. “They swung at some good pitches to hit. The ball wasn’t moving much because of the finger pressure issue. We have a five-run lead, I felt like have to be able to hold that and try and get a little deeper into the game and turn it over to the bullpen.”
Added Wright: “It kind of stayed the same. It got to the point I couldn’t keep dry. My pants were wet, my jersey was wet. It was tough to keep anything dry out there. It just makes it a little bit harder to keep feel for the knuckleball.”
The Red Sox have now homered in 14 straight games, which is their longest streak since August of 1996.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:
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