|Closing Time: Buchholz gets crushed, Bradley’s hitting streak ends in loss to Rockies||05.26.16 at 10:04 pm ET|
It became apparent this wouldn’t be the Red Sox’ night on the first Red Sox at-bat of the evening.
Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., looking to extend the longest hitting streak in the majors to 30 games, launched a Jon Gray offering deep to right field. What looked like a surefire homer off the bat instead nestled into the glove of Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez.
Bradley would hit another ball to the base of the center field wall later in the game with the same result, bringing to an end one of the most uplifting stretches of baseball in recent Red Sox history and halting his hitting streak at 29 games.
On the flip side, right-hander Clay Buchholz saw a streak of his own continue, and it might cost him his spot in the rotation. Buchholz allowed a trio of two-run homers and got booed off the field, taking the loss in an 8-2 defeat.
The Red Sox didn’t have a chance in this one because Buchholz didn’t give it to them. After David Ortiz gave the Sox a 2-0 lead with his 12th homer of the season in the first, the Rockies tied it on a Carlos Gonzalez homer in the fourth, and then took control with consecutive two-run homers leading off the fifth as Buchholz saw his ERA climb to 6.35.
The only drama thereafter was whether Bradley could extend his streak. He got his last chance leading off the eighth, but grounded out routinely to second on the first pitch. The game ended with Bradley on deck.
Buchholz has now allowed 28 runs on the 12 home runs he has surrendered. Only two of the 12 have been solo shots.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— David Ortiz stayed smoldering with a two-run homer in the first, his 12th of the year, and he later added his league-leading 22nd double. He also leads the league with 45 RBIs.
— Bradley’s hitting streak may have ended, but shortstop Xander Bogaerts extended a streak of his own with a single in the first. He has now hit in 19 straight.
— Right-hander Heath Hembree gave the Red Sox three innings of one-run (unearned) ball, leaving the bullpen intact for a series that opens in Toronto on Friday.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Ugh. Buchholz. He went five innings, allowing seven hits and six runs. The home run once again proved his undoing, as he allowed three of them, all two-run shots.
— Bradley’s hitting streak ended, even though he crushed the ball twice.
— Third baseman Travis Shaw made his sixth error of the season, leading to an unearned run.
— The rampaging offense was surprisingly silenced by right-hander Jon Gray, who started the night with a 6.75 ERA, but limited the Sox to five hits over 7 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked three.
Say goodbye to Clay Buchholz?
Taking the mound with his spot in the starting rotation on the line, the Red Sox right-hander instead imploded against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, done in by his nemesis — the long ball.
Buchholz allowed three two-run homers in five-plus innings. His final line, not surprisingly, was ugly: 5 IP, 7 hits, 6 runs, all earned. He walked none, struck out two, and saw his ERA climb to 6.35.
With Eduardo Rodriguez nearing a return, Buchholz is easily the odd man out of the rotation based on performance. His only hope was to pitch well and delay E-Rod’s return. Now, barring any physical setbacks for the young left-hander, there’s no point in saving the veteran’s spot.
Buchholz’s night actually started in encouraging fashion. He retired the first nine batters he faced before Charlie Blackmon led off the fourth with a single. And then things got hairy. With two outs, Carlos Gonzalez blasted a game-tying two-run homer to right.
The fifth brought more of the same. Gerardo Parra led off with a single and Trevor Story launched his 13th homer to center to make it 4-2.
Daniel Descalso followed with a single before scoring on the first homer of Dustin Garneau’s career. In the span of four batters, Buchholz allowed two singles and two homers while boos rained down from the very restless fans in attendance.
Manager John Farrell visited the mound with Heath Hembree warming, but not only let Buchholz finish the inning, he sent him back out for the sixth. When Gonzalez led off with an infield single, that was it for Buchholz, who left to a cascade of boos.
Was it his final start for the Red Sox for a while? We’ll find out soon enough, but at this point, there’s no point in arguing he deserves a spot in the rotation.
Jackie Bradley just missed a home run that would’ve extended his hitting streak to 30 games leading off the game and then did so again two at-bats later, halting his hitting streak at 29 games.
Xander Bogaerts, however, extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a sharp single to left field off of Colorado Rockies starter Jon Gray. He then came around to score on David Ortiz’s two-run homer into the bullpen.
While all eyes are on Bradley, who was attempting to become the first Red Sox hitter since Nomar Garciaparra in 1997 to record a hit in 30 straight games, Bogaerts has quietly compiled an impressive streak of his own.
His 19-gamer is the second-longest in the game behind Bradley. The hit raised Bogaerts’ AL-leading average to .353.
Bradley nearly extended his streak leading off the game in place of Mookie Betts, who got a night off. He ripped a Gray offering to deep right, but it fell just short of the fence in right field. He later flew out to the center field fence before grounding out in his final at-bat in the eighth.
The game ended with Bradley on deck.
|Eduardo Rodriguez waiting in wings with new mechanics as Clay Buchholz makes start that could decide spot in rotation||at 5:33 pm ET|
As we noted today, Clay Buchholz faces a do-or-die start on Thursday against the Rockies. If he pitches well, he likely keeps his spot in the rotation for at least another start. If he doesn’t, get ready for the return of Eduardo Rodriguez.
It really might be that simple, and Rodriguez feels he’s closer than ever to being big league ready, thanks to a change in mechanics inspired by teammate David Price that led to the best start of E-Rod’s rehab on Tuesday in Pawtucket.
Rodriguez went seven innings, allowing four hits and one run, striking out seven and walking none in a win over Lehigh Valley. He didn’t quite have last year’s power, with a 92 mph fastball, but he attributed the Ks to something else.
“I can say it was better command,” Rodriguez said. “Every pitch was where I wanted. I didn’t push too much, force it too much to get more velocity. I was trying to throw the ball exactly where I wanted. Sometimes you need power, but most of the time you need to throw the ball to the right spot.”
Rodriguez has shortened his delivery, a la Price, in an attempt to keep his shoulder in line with home plate. With a longer delivery, he has a tendency to open up, he said, leading to misses high and wide to right-handed hitters.
“A little bit more of a side drop-step versus stepping back towards the shortstop in his case,” manager John Farrell explained. “He feels like it keeps him on line through his intended target with his front shoulder a little bit more consistently. I think if you look at the command of his pitches the last time out, there was some positive effect to that, but it is still kind of new for him. So there’s still, just becoming more second nature for him with that adjustment.”
Rodriguez has been sidelined since a spring training right knee injury. He has been pitching with a brace in an attempt to keep the knee stable. Asked if he could pitch in the big leagues at this point, Rodriguez didn’t hesitate.
“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah,” he said. “Feels good. Everything feels right where it is. I have the knee brace now. Everything feels right with the knee. I can trust more in my knee. I can feel more like I’m pitching. I’m not thinking about the knee.”
Rodriguez believes the adjustments have already benefited his fastball by giving him more power from his base.
“All my other starts before and my bullpens, I was using just my shoulder, my shoulder,” he said. “When you create bad habits, you have to work to get back to your regular mechanics. That’s why I think I don’t have my regular velocity. But that’s going to come. I think with every bullpen and every game, it’s going to come more because I’m going to trust more.”
Rodriguez was scheduled to throw a bullpen on Thursday, but he participated in team-wide pitcher fielding drills instead and will throw on Friday. By that point, we’ll know how Buchholz looked, and whether Rodriguez will be starting Sunday for Pawtucket, or on Tuesday in Baltimore for the Red Sox.
|Eduardo Rodriguez tosses 7 effective innings in 5th rehab start||05.25.16 at 12:31 am ET|
Good news out of Pawtucket, where left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez delivered the best start of his rehab stint.
After failing to top six innings or allow fewer than three runs in any of his first four rehab starts, Rodriguez went seven innings and allowed four hits and a run on a solo homer. He struck out seven and walked none with a low-90s fastball in a 2-1 victory over Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. He did not figure in the decision.
It was his first start since a minor setback in his injured knee caused him to skip his last scheduled rehab start last week.
“Today was a step forward,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles told reporters, including from MiLB.com. “He looks more comfortable, the delivery has better pace and rhythm to it, and it looked like he was more athletic on the mound.”
Rodriguez took the mound after a 29-minute rain delay and retired the side in order in three of his first four innings. His night ended with a strike-’em-out-throw-’em-out in the seventh.
Rodriguez threw 102 pitches and 69 strikes. He still has 10 days remaining on his rehab clock, so the Red Sox don’t have to rush him back to the big leagues. He started the year on the disabled list with an injured right knee.
|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.”
Halfway to Joltin’ Joe.
Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 28 games on Tuesday night with a second-inning double off Jorge De La Rosa of the Rockies on the first pitch he saw.
Bradley tied Wade Boggs, who hit in 28 straight in 1985, and moved within a game of Johnny Damon’s 29-gamer in 2005. Nomar Garciaparra (1997) and Hall of Famer Tris Speaker (1912) recorded 30-game streaks, while Dom DiMaggio holds the franchise record of 34, set in 1949.
Bradley came around to score on a triple by catcher Christian Vazquez as the Red Sox built a 4-1 lead after two innings.
The longest streak in baseball history belongs to Joe DiMaggio (Dom’s brother), who hit in 56 straight games for the Yankees in 1941.
Bradley, who boosted his average to .346, wasn’t the only Red Sox player to extend a hitting streak. Xander Bogaerts ran his streak to 17 games with a double in the first.
|Travis Shaw dealing with minor hand injury, likely will miss Tuesday’s game||05.22.16 at 6:33 pm ET|
Red Sox third baseman Travis Shaw left the park wearing a brace on his left hand Sunday and is unlikely to play Tuesday when the Red Sox return to action because of a minor injury.
Shaw has been jammed twice recently, resulting in soreness to the webbing on his left hand between the thumb and forefinger, according to a team source.
The young third baseman, who is off to a tremendous start, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Sunday’s win over the Indians and didn’t look entirely comfortable at the plate. His average has dropped from .328 to .305 in the last week, and he’s hitting just .200 (6-for-30) in his last six games.
Asked about the brace while leaving the park, Shaw said he was fine.
Even with the recent minor slump, Shaw is still hitting .305 with six homers, 29 RBIs and a .904 OPS. His injury is not considered serious.
Fenway Park can’t contain David Ortiz. If it could, he might’ve hit for the cycle on Sunday.
Batting in the eighth inning with a single, double and home run already secured, Ortiz drove a would-be triple to the triangle in center, but it took a bad hop into the stands for a ground-rule double, and Ortiz had to settle for a ho-hum 4-for-4 day to lead the Red Sox to a 5-2 victory over the Indians.
“When I went to hit, it wasn’t on my mind but when I went around first base, and I saw everybody going crazy I was like, ‘Oh, I better get it going.’ No, things happen for a reason, you know?” Ortiz said. “If God meant for me to hit a triple, just take a minute, you know? You don’t want to overdo things and all of a sudden something bad happens. I’m happy with the result anyway.”
The Red Sox offense just keeps rolling. Not even one of the best pitchers in the American League could slow it on Sunday.
Indians right-hander Danny Salazar began the afternoon with a 1.80 ERA, but the Red Sox punished him for eight hits and four runs in just 4 1/3 innings. Ortiz, not surprisingly, did most of the damage, briefly tying Seattle’s Robinson Cano for the AL RBI lead with 37 by driving in three.
Had his drive in the eighth not hit the padding in center and hopped sideways into the stands next to the 420 sign in center, he would’ve had the cycle.
The Red Sox actually missed a number of chances, leaving the bases loaded twice, but they did enough to take two of three from the Indians. They scored two in the first on an RBI single by Ortiz and another by Hanley Ramirez off of Salazar’s leg.
|Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts on diving headfirst into first base: ‘I know I shouldn’t be doing that’||05.18.16 at 6:00 pm ET|
KANSAS CITY — Science long ago determined that running straight through the first base bag is faster than diving for it, but that hasn’t stopped countless players from dirtying their uniforms in an attempt to reach base.
Xander Bogaerts knows better, but in the heat of the moment, instinct gets in the way.
Bogaerts was thrown out at first for one of the key outs of the game in the fifth when Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar dove to snare his grounder and then fired across the diamond from his knees.
Bogaerts sprawled for the bag, but the relay clearly beat him.
“I know I shouldn’t be doing that,” Bogaerts said. “It’s just, some of the instincts take over. I don’t know why. As soon as I see a close play, my body tends to go down, but I’ll definitely start working on not doing that as much.”
Manager John Farrell would like to see him be smarter around the bag as a means of self-preservation.
“You can debate whether it’s faster by staying up,” Farrell said. “I hold my breath every time he dives into a bag. And trying to get him to stay on his feet, I’m not going to fault him for the aggressive nature in which he plays, the aggressiveness he gives us every time down the line. But I’m fearful when you dive headfirst, particularly into first base, you’ve got a chance for a finger, a wrist, a hand, or whatever it might be. That’s something that we continue to talk about. But it’s an instinctual play for him. And we’re trying to give him a reason as to why staying on his feet might be better.”
Bogaerts needn’t look far for a cautionary tale. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia played the entire 2013 season with an injured thumb after diving into first on Opening Day in Yankee Stadium. He acknowledged that the Red Sox have talked to him.
“A little bit, yeah,” he said. “It protects me as a player, being able to stay on the field as long as possible.”
Latest from Bleacher Report
- David Ortiz Discusses Retirement from Baseball, Time with Red Sox
- Jackie Bradley Jr. Is Now a Red Sox Star
- Big Papi Cementing His Legend with a Bang
- Ortiz Passes Banks, Mathews for 22nd Place on MLB's HR List
- Red Sox's High-Octane Offense Fueling Rise Back to Prominence
- Red Sox Score Double-Digit Runs for 4th Consecutive Game
- Red Sox 1st Team Since 1999 to Score 13+ Runs in 3 Straight
- Cup of Coffee: Espinoza dominates in mid-week matinee
- Cup of Coffee: Rodriguez fires seven strong innings in rehab start
- Cup of Coffee: Raudes strikes out eight over six scoreless frames
- Weekly Notes: Rodriguez to start tomorrow for Pawtucket
- Cup of Coffee: Ball shines again for Salem
- The Write-Up: Eduardo Rodriguez
- Cup of Coffee: Kemp homers twice, Light hits 101
- Cup of Coffee: Moore comes through in the clutch for Salem
- Cup of Coffee: Moncada wins it in extras
- Cup of Coffee: Elias's career night powers Pawtucket