|Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘I’m saying right now Cubs-Red Sox World Series, with Theo [Epstein] breaking the Cubs’ curse’||05.25.16 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.”
|Jackie Bradley Jr. extends hitting streak to 28 games on first pitch he sees||05.24.16 at 7:58 pm ET|
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.
|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.”
|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.
|Going, going, gone: Red Sox hitting home runs at record clip||05.12.16 at 11:40 pm ET|
It isn’t just scoring runs at a historic clip for the Red Sox of late, it’s also the number of home runs they’ve hit.
Following the Red Sox’ 11-1 win over the Astros Thursday night where they hit two home runs, they have now homered in 13 straight games and have hit a total of 42 home runs in the first 35 games of the season.
The 13 straight games is the longest active streak in the majors and the team’s longest since the end of the 2007 season carrying into 2008, which was also 13 games. The last time the team homered in more than 13 straight games was the end of the 2001 season carrying into 2002 when they hit home runs in 15 straight.
“We’re in a good stretch,” manager John Farrell said. “That goes without saying. It’s just the relentlessness up and down the lineup. And that’s the one word we try to take pride in, that means you’ve prepared, that means you’ve not given at-bats away or innings away from the mound. The more we can make that customary, we’re probably in pretty good shape.”
Going into Thursday, the Red Sox were fifth in the American League in home runs, but they have 29 home runs in their last 17 games beginning on April 25, which is the most in the majors during that span.
The Red Sox could be on their way to a historic month of May when it comes to home runs.
As of Thursday (May 12), the Red Sox have 23 home runs in the month, which already equals their total for the entire month of May last season. Also, they’ve already surpassed May of 2014’s total of 20. The overall team record for most home runs in a month is July of 2003 when they hit 55, which will be extremely hard to break, but at this current pace who knows what can happen.
Hitting home runs isn’t something the Red Sox have been known for as they haven’t finished in the top five in the American League in homers since 2011 when they were third, but no one is complaining.
“It’s unbelievable, man,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this, to be honest. I wish it could continue, but the chances of that continuing, 10 runs every game, is pretty tough. Hopefully it continues. It’s unbelievable to be part of right now.”
|Closing Time: Red Sox offense continues hot streak, David Price improves in win over Astros||at 10:06 pm ET|
It doesn’t matter who is on the mound against the Red Sox of late, they are going to get to them.
Thursday night it was 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel, as the Red Sox roughed him up for eight runs in six innings as the Red Sox beat the Astros 11-1.
It was the Red Sox’ fifth straight win, which is their longest win streak of the season. They have scored double-digit runs in four straight games, which is the first time any major league team has done so since the Red Sox in 2007.
As has been the case of late, the Red Sox scored twice in the first inning courtesy of a two-run home run into the Monster seats by Xander Bogaerts. It was his third homer of the season. Since April 11, the Red Sox have outscored opponents 40-11 in the first inning.
After the Astros scored a run in the top of the second, the Red Sox responded with a run of their own in the bottom half on a Jackie Bradley Jr. single up the middle. They scored two more in the third inning on back-to-back doubles by David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez then scored on a wall-ball single from Chris Young.
Mookie Betts added a three-run home run in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach and then the Sox added three more in the late innings.
Putting his new mechanics to work for the first time, David Price seemed to find something. Price was reaching the mid-90s consistently with his fastball and most importantly, was getting late action on all of his pitches.
Although it wasn’t dominant by any means, it was a big step in the right direction for the left-hander. Price went 6 2/3 innings and allowed one run on six hits, while walking a batter and striking out 12. He struck out four straight batters at two different points of the game and also recorded the first six outs of the game via strikeout.
“He obviously struck us out a lot,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “We had a hard time making contact against him, even in situations where contact would have benefited us. He was attacking the strike zone very early. He had his fastball and his changeup going. He didn’t throw a ton of breaking balls, he didn’t have to. He was really the aggressor tonight and threw a good game.”
In relief of Price, Junichi Tazawa went 1 1/3 scoreless innings before handing the ball over to Heath Hembree for the ninth.
The Red Sox are now 13-6 when facing former Cy Young Award winners since the start of last season. Those pitchers are a combined 2-11 with a 5.18 ERA in those games.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
|Red Sox lineup: Xander Bogaerts starting after leaving Wednesday’s game with left quad tightness||04.21.16 at 10:13 am ET|
It will be a standard Red Sox lineup in the series finale between the Red Sox and Rays Thursday afternoon at Fenway Park.
Brock Holt will start in left field, while Travis Shaw will start at third base as the Rays will send right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the mound. This also means Xander Bogaerts gets the start after leaving Wednesday’s game with left quad tightness.
Christian Vazquez will catch Red Sox starter David Price.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Travis Shaw, 3B
Brock Holt, LF
Christian Vazquez, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
David Price, LHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|Xander Bogaerts optimistic after leaving game with left quad tightness||04.20.16 at 9:09 pm ET|
The Red Sox suffered their second injury in as many days.
A night after Joe Kelly was forced from the game with the Rays with a right shoulder impingement, shortstop Xander Bogaerts had to exit early.
Bogaerts was driven from the Sox’ Wednesday night tilt with left quad tightness, experiencing the injury while scoring from first on David Ortiz’s fifth-inning double.
The good news for Bogaerts and the Red Sox was that after the game the shortstop didn’t feel like the injury would be something that would sideline him for long.
“If I feel the same way I feel right now I probably will,” he said when asked if he planned on playing Thursday. “If John [Farrell] wants to put me in the lineup I’ll be ready to go if I’m feeling the same way I feel right now.”
He was replaced at shortstop to start the sixth inning by Brock Holt, with Chris Young taking over in left.
Bogaerts was attempting a steal of second at the time of Ortiz’s line drive into the right field corner, going on to easily score standing up.
The discomfort first started before his stolen base attempt.
“I probably felt it my first at-bat when I got that base hit and Papi hit the double that I scored on,” said Bogaerts, who noted he has never previously experienced a quad injury. “That’s when I started feeling it and with the cold weather it just didn’t get better. The second time I scored from first I just felt like a little tightness right there, a little grab.”
The Red Sox led the Rays 6-0 at the time Bogaerts was replaced. He had gone 2-for-3 with an RBI.
|Red Sox notes: Christian Vazquez intent on making roster decision tough one||03.14.16 at 10:15 am ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The presumption is that the Red Sox will have Christian Vazquez start the 2016 in Triple-A.
Maybe we should take another look at that narrative. Vazquez certainly thinks so.
While the catcher has been somewhat eased through spring training after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last March, Vazquez sees no reason why he shouldn’t be viewed as a healthy major leaguer when Opening Day rolls around in three weeks.
“I feel good. In these last three weeks I want to show them I’m back,” said Vazquez, who gets the start Monday with Joe Kelly on the mound for the Red Sox. “I’m here. I’m here to help my pitchers, to help my team. We’ll see what happens.
“That’s my goal, to show them I’m healthy and I’m 100 percent so I can play nine innings.”
The fly in the ointment is the overflow of catchers on the major league club right now, with Blake Swihart currently being designated as the starter with Ryan Hanigan serving as the backup.
Things can change, as we were reminded when Swihart was driven from Sunday’s game after being hit in the mask with a foul ball. (Swihart was deemed good to go Monday.) But, so far, the only thing that hasn’t gone as planned might be Vazquez’s advanced progression to date.
|Scott Boras: Dave Dombrowski ‘rather patient’ about contract extensions||12.09.15 at 9:58 pm ET|
NASHVILLE — The time is coming when a conversation would only make sense.
After two full major league seasons, Xander Bogaerts would now seem to be a prime candidate to start negotiating a contract extension.
While not identifying Bogaerts by name, the subject of buying out arbitration years for players like the 23-year-old shortstop — and perhaps outfielder Mookie Betts — was broached by Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski at the winter meetings Wednesday afternoon.
“Well, we have not done anything to date,” Dombrowski said. “Also, that would be one of those things if we did do it, we would keep it to ourselves at the time. We’ve got some good players. I don’t know if this is going to be the time we end up doing it or not. We really haven’t had the time where we’ve sat down and discussed that one very thoroughly and from an internal perspective.
“We’re open minded to that, if you can get that kind of cost-stability with the right players, and of course it takes two to get that done, because they have to be willing, but sure, we’re open-minded to it.”
Prior to Dombrowski’s arrival, the Red Sox had at least discussed the idea of making a run at extending Bogaerts and Betts.
For Bogaerts, however, there is a perception that he might have a hesitation to commit so early in his career due to the track record of his agent, Scott Boras. And while we have an idea of Boras’ approach to such deals — with the majority of his clients finding their way to free agency — it’s also interesting to note how Dombrowski has handled such negotiations.
“Dave is rather patient about that,” Boras told WEEI.com when asked about his experiences with Dombrowski in regard to signing players prior to their free agent years.
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