|Dustin Pedroia: ‘Everybody’s pissed’ about Red Sox’ recent struggles||05.23.15 at 12:06 am ET|
There were no chairs thrown, no yelling or screaming, but the message was clear, the Red Sox not happy with the way things are going.
They are now 8-12 at home, and even with the five runs scored, they are only averaging 2.45 runs per game in May with 13 of the 20 games scoring two runs or fewer.
“Everybody’s pissed. Obviously not playing well,” Dustin Pedroia said.
Overall the Red Sox are 19-23 on the year, 7-13 in the month of May and 10-18 over their last 28 games. They’ve have had a few team meetings over the past few weeks with Pedroia speaking at least one of them. The second baseman seemed like it was past the point of holding another meeting.
“Less talk more play,” he said.
“We’ve all been around long enough to know that doesn’t work,” he added. “You have to show up day in and day out and have the right process. If everybody plays together then we’re winning. Right now all aspects of our game aren’t together and when they aren’t together you’re not going to win.”
On a night where the Red Sox scored more runs than they had in their previous nine games, they didn’t get the performance from the mound they had been accustomed to from Rick Porcello, who allowed seven runs in just 4 1/3 innings after the team had won his last five starts. Red Sox starters had a string of eight straight games going at least five innings and allowing two earned runs or less.
“There’s definite frustration,” manager John Farrell said. “That’s shared by all in our clubhouse and who work day in and day out. We all know and we expect more from ourselves — that is a given, that’s repeatedly discussed and talked about and in the moment we have to go out and execute more consistently and do a better job all the way around.”
|Red Sox lineup: Xander Bogaerts moves up, Rusney Castillo makes season debut||05.22.15 at 6:04 pm ET|
The Red Sox are looking for a spark offensively as they come into their weekend series with the Angels averaging only 2.32 runs per game in 19 games during the month of May.
Looking to create one, the team has called up outfielder Rusney Castillo, who will play right field and bat eighth. They also moved Xander Bogaerts out of the No. 8 spot in the order up to No. 5.
Pablo Sandoval remains out because of his knee after being hit by a pitch Tuesday and Brock Holt will once again play third base, as the Red Sox go against Angels right-hander Garrett Richards.
Blake Swihart will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.
Here’s the complete Red Sox lineup:
|Red Sox-Angels series preview||at 2:05 pm ET|
After hosting the Rangers at Fenway, the Red Sox wrap up a six-game homestand with a series against the Angels this weekend. The Sox have gone 5-5 in their last 10 games and lost the series to the Rangers. While the Red Sox starters have started to improve recently, the offense has continued to sputter.
In their past nine games, the Red Sox have scored more than two runs only once. The Sox sit at 19-22, in fourth place in the AL East. They are 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Rays.
Meanwhile, the Angels are second in the AL West, sitting 5 1/2 games behind the surprise Astros. Los Angeles has a 21-20 record after winning seven of its last 10 games.
The Angels lost Thursday night by an 8-4 score to the Blue Jays but won the series by way of victories in the first two games.
While the Red Sox offense certainly hasn’t been good as of late, it has produced more runs than the Angels. The Angels have scored just 151 runs, ranking 14th in the American League and 27th in the majors. The team batting average of .233 is the third worst in baseball.
The team’s pitching has allowed the Angels to get above .500 despite such an anemic offense. The pitching staff has a 3.57 ERA overall, good for fourth in the American League. With a .232 batting average against, the Angels rank third in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have a .259 batting average against, ranking 21st in baseball. On the season, the Angels have allowed one more run than they have scored, as they have played lots of close games.
“It’s better to win them than lose them, but we’re playing an incredible amount of one- and two-run games and holding our own,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of his team’s performance in close games. “It points to the job our starting pitchers have done keeping us in games while pitching with their backs against the wall, and what Joe Smith and Huston Street have done.”
|Xander Bogaerts can’t get over Red Sox’ terrible luck: ‘Are you kidding me? It’s weird’||05.21.15 at 11:41 pm ET|
The way things are going for the Red Sox they can’t win for losing, even when they try to do the right thing to end their misery with runners on base.
If there’s one play that sums up the perfect storm of bad luck and bad execution of the Red Sox with runners in scoring position this season it’s what happened to Xander Bogaerts in the fifth inning of Thursday’s latest anemic loss, 3-1, to the Rangers at Fenway.
With one out, Xander Bogaerts worked a walk. Then with Daniel Nava up, he took off for second base. Nava swung and hit it right into the hole vacated by the second baseman covering the bag. One problem: The right foot of Bogaerts. Namely, the bottom of his cleat. The ball grazed it just enough to change direction and by rule, instead of first and third with one out, Bogaerts was immediately out and Nava given credit for a single.
Sandy Leon struck out swinging to end the inning and the Red Sox still trailed, 3-1.
When things go bad.
“I guess you could say that,” Bogaerts lamented. “Again another tough loss tonight. Probably the play there when I tried to steal and that ball hit me. That was probably the game-changer. I never was aware that ball even touched me until when I came back down [in dugout tunnel] and I saw it on the video monitor. It just scratched the bottom of my cleat or something like that. I didn’t know that ball hit me at all.
“I could’ve bet anything I never felt that ball touched me at all. I was pretty surprised they called me out because I didn’t feel anything. But when you look at the video, you see the deflection of the ball but I had no clue that ball touched me at all.”
Bogaerts at least maintained his sense of humor and perspective when asked how for answers to how the Red Sox can break out of a 5-for-53 slump with runners in scoring position.
“If the ball stops hitting us,” Bogaerts said. “That was first and third right there. The baseball field is so big. What are the chances the ball is going to hit me on the bottom of my cleat? Are you kidding me? It’s weird.”
The Red Sox are now batting a measly .234 with runners on. Only Seattle (.232) and Cincinnati (.228) are worse in MLB. Put runners on and it’s even worse. The Red Sox are batting .199 in such cases and only the hapless Reds are worse at .189. Certainly, no one could’ve imagined this for a team that had such an offensive overhaul in the offseason. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’re left-handed, grab a glove — you might be able to shut out the Red Sox.
In what easily goes down as the most mystifying facet of a mystifying season, the Red Sox once again on Thursday night illustrated how hopelessly overmatched they are against southpaws of any shape or size.
This time it was Wandy Rodriguez’s turn. The Rangers lefty began the game 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA, but the Red Sox made him look like Lefty Grove. Rodriguez limited the Sox to four hits and a run in 6 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out five in a 3-1 victory.
The Red Sox entered the matchup batting just .199 against lefties, and that number dropped after Rodriguez finished with them. He particularly baffled them with a curveball that he used as a two-strike hammer.
The Red Sox also once again showed an inability to take advantage of what few opportunities they created.
They put runners at second and third leading off the fourth and scored just once on a David Ortiz groundout, squandering another run when Hanley Ramirez swung for the fences and instead dribbled one in front of home plate, allowing Rodriguez to erase Dustin Pedroia at the plate.
An inning later, they had a chance for runners on the corners with one out, but Xander Bogaerts was clipped in the cleat by a hit-and-run Daniel Nava single and called out for interference.
That was about it for the Red Sox, who wasted a gutty start by right-hander Clay Buchholz, who lacked fastball command for most of the night, but nonetheless navigated his way into the eighth inning while allowing just two earned runs.
Buchholz made just one real mistake, an 0-1 cutter that Mitch Moreland ripped into the left field seats for a solo homer in the fourth. Otherwise, the Rangers did very little after scratching out two runs in the first.
Two runs was about all they’d need, though, against an anemic Red Sox offense that isn’t just struggling against lefties, it’s struggling against everyone.
SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME:
Rangers left-hander Wandy Rodriguez toyed with the Red Sox for most of the night, limiting them to four hits and a run in 6 2/3 innings. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid.
|Closing Time: Red Sox can’t get clutch hit, Joe Kelly’s strong start spoiled in loss||05.20.15 at 10:23 pm ET|
Wednesday was Rangers starter Phil Klien’s first major league start, and just fifth professional start, as Texas has converted the reliever into a starter, but you wouldn’t know it by the way the Red Sox made him look.
The home team scored just one run off him in his 5 1/3 innings, and that would be all the runs they would score in the game, as they fell to the Rangers 2-1.
It wasn’t that they didn’t have any chances, as they had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth inning and didn’t score, runners on second and third with two outs in the fourth and didn’t score, runners on first and second for Hanley Ramirez in the seventh and didn’t score, and a runner on second with one out in the ninth and didn’t score.
Simply, the team just couldn’t get a clutch hit.
“There were a number times where we squared a ball up and someone is either running something down in the gap, or someone standing right there,” manger John Farrell said. “Mookie [Betts], five hard hit balls tonight, Hanley [Ramirez] with couple of line outs to end a couple of threats, Bogey [Xander Bogaerts] with a two-out line drive to center field — we’re getting a number of good at-bats, the ball is just not falling right now.”
As a team they were just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and with their two outs with the bases loaded in the sixth, they are now 0 for their last 19 with the bases loaded as a team. Bogaerts provided the Red Sox with their only offense — a line shot that easily cleared the Monster for his second home run of the season in the fifth inning.
The lack of offense spoiled a good start from Joe Kelly. The right-hander went seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, while walking one and striking out seven. It was the seventh straight game the Red Sox starter has gone at least six innings allowing two earned runs or less.
“After the third inning he really settled in,” Farrell said. “He used his curve ball a little bit more, elevated some fastballs for some strikeouts. And on a night where he wasn’t completely healthy in terms of some illness he was dealing with, he threw the ball exceptionally well
The Red Sox are averaging 2.39 runs per game in the month of May, and are now 19-21 after 40 games.
“It’s been a little bit up-and-down,” Farrell said of the season. “Of late we’re getting much more consistent pitching. You’d like to see, and I think we will see, an offense that is certainly going to score more runs than we have over the last eight or 10 games. I like where we are right now.”
SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Napoli, for the second straight game. The first baseman reached base three times, recording two hits. He’s 4-for-8 the past two nights. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:
|Red Sox-Rangers series preview||05.19.15 at 10:45 am ET|
In their first series back from a 10-game road stint, the Red Sox welcome the Rangers to Fenway Park for the next three days. The Sox return home with a 5-5 record against the Blue Jays, A’s and Mariners and are seated third in the AL East, 3 1/2 games back of the first-place Yankees.
The Rangers are fourth in their division, 8 1/2 games behind the Astros, who have the best record in the American League at 25-14. Texas, with its 16-22 mark on the year, is 4-6 in its last 10 games. Most recently, the Rangers nabbed a 5-1 victory over the struggling Indians on Sunday, though they had lost the three games prior.
The biggest problem for the Rangers this season has been, like the Sox until recently, subpar pitching. With a staff ERA, starters and relievers alike, of 4.23, Texas has give up 178 runs, eighth most in the majors. There is a discrepancy between the rotation and the bullpen, though, which is what the team has the most trouble with.
Texas starters have a 3.98 ERA, smack dab in the middle of the league. While that’s not particularly good, there are still teams that have it much worse. The relief arms, on the other hand, have a fourth-worst ERA of 4.68. In addition, Rangers relievers have given up a league-worst 73 runs on 137 hits. They also get the most work of any bullpen staff in the majors, logging 134 2/3 innings. Red Sox relievers are third in that category as they have tossed 131.
To rectify at least part of this issue, some changes were made to the Rangers roster Sunday, including moving starting lefty Ross Detwiler, who is 0-5 on the year with a 6.95 ERA, to the 15-day DL. Detwiler was originally scheduled to get the ball against the Sox on Wednesday, but now Phil Klein is expected to start in his place.
“I think certain guys have put themselves in positions where we’re better when they’re in more high-leverage spots,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said on Sunday after the moves. “With other guys, it’s still up in the air. I think [manager Jeff Banister is] going to utilize them as needed based on who’s throwing well and the matchup and who’s coming up.”
|Closing Time: Justin Masterson struggles with his control, late rally not enough as Red Sox fall to Rays||05.06.15 at 10:32 pm ET|
Justin Masterson didn’t have good numbers against the Rays before the game, and they certainly didn’t get better after the game.
After entering the night 2-7 with a 6.83 ERA against them, Masterson struggled with his control, walking six batters in just 4 1/3 innings, while allowing four runs in the Red Sox‘ 5-3 loss to the Rays Wednesday night. The Rays took 2-of-3 in the three-game series.
The Rays scored single runs in the third and fourth before scoring twice in the fifth leading to his departure. Masterson did allow a solo home run to Evan Longoria in the fourth inning.
The right-hander finished the night going 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with the six walks and striking out one. It was the sixth time in his career he walked six or more batters with his career-high being seven. His outing was the seventh time out of 28 starts where a Red Sox starter has gone less than five innings and allowed more than four runs.
“He contributed with the base on balls in the fourth and then in the fifth inning,” manager John Farrell said. “Still, the final at-bat that he faces, he puts Butler on the ground twice, with the comebacker double play and the groundball to short. He’s the one guy that he’s got the ability to get two outs with one pitch. In the fifth inning, trying to get through that inning and unfortunately those two runs score on the base hit proved to be the difference.
Mookie Betts crushed a solo homer in the eighth inning making it a one-run game, but the Red Sox couldn’t plate the tying run after loading the bases with one out later in the inning. Pinch-hitter Daniel Nava and Brock Holt each grounded out to first to end the threat.
Tampa Bay picked up an insurance run in the top of the ninth on another Longoria home run, which proved huge as the Red Sox threatened in the ninth, with runners on first and second, but couldn’t do anything with it.
“I think we’re doing a great job creating opportunities, but still the finishing through, cashing in, hasn’t been there,” Farrell said.
The Red Sox scored their first two runs in the second inning. Xander Bogaerts and Blake Swihart led the inning off with back-to-back doubles. Swihart later scored on a Dustin Pedroia sacrifice fly.
Rays starter Alex Colome, in his second start of the season, went five innings and allowed two runs on four hits to pick up the win.
SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Evan Longoria. Longoria homered in the fourth inning and eighth innings and also walked twice scoring three runs. It was his 14th career multi-homer game. He had gone 90 at-bats without a home run before tonight. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:
|How Xander Bogaerts has helped Mookie Betts: ‘I talk a lot to Mookie’||04.27.15 at 11:36 pm ET|
Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts entered Monday 0 for his last 10, and hitting just .171 after going 2-for-4 on Opening Day.
For a 21-year-old outfielder in his first full big league season, this might be reason to get frustrated and continue to scuffle.
But not Betts, as he went 3-for-4, including a walkoff single, giving the Red Sox a 6-5 comeback win over the Blue Jays Monday night.
Fortunately for Betts, he has a teammate and good friend Xander Bogaerts to help guide him through his first full season in the league, and help him when things get tough.
Bogaerts had many ups and downs in his first year last year, so he knows first-hand what Betts is going through.
“I talk a lot to Mookie,” Bogaerts said. “I’ve kind of been through whatever he’s going through now, and probably a bit more. So I really just pass on my advice and my experience to him for sure.”
“Just a lot of the struggles I’ve been through,” he added on what he’s said to Betts. “It’s a long season. No matter what just keep your head up and don’t lose your confidence.”
Monday’s walkoff hit was the first of Betts’ career, as he lined a Miguel Castro offering up the middle, which scored Bogaerts (evidently) capping the come-from-behind win, snapping a two-game losing streak in the process.
“It was short-lived. It was fun,” said Betts. “I kind of knew how to process it. It was fun.”
In the Red Sox‘ 18-7 loss to the Orioles Sunday, Betts had one of his worst games of the season committing an error in center field and going 0-for-5 at the plate. Instead of hanging his head Monday, he went out and had one of his best games of the season, something that drew the attention of manager John Farrell.
“The one thing we’re seeing in the early going here is after a tough day he’s able to put it behind him,” he said. “Even after getting thrown out in the first inning, which [Russell] Martin makes a great throw on, he’s able to put it behind him and put up quality at-bats.”
Just like his ability to put the previous game behind him like a major league veteran, Betts also spoke like one after the walkoff win, knowing it’s just another win in the standings.
“A win is a win. Anytime we win it’s important, especially with this division,” he said.
|Red Sox pregame notes: Xander Bogaerts ‘ready to go’ following MRI, normal down days for David Ortiz, Pablo Sandoval||04.15.15 at 11:51 am ET|
There was cause for concern with Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts and his knee after missing Tuesday’s game and going for an MRI, but those concerns were lifted with a negative result of the MRI and Bogaerts getting back in the lineup for Wednesday’s series finale against the Nationals.
“The way he presented some of the symptoms, sure there was concern,” manager John Farrell said. “That was why the MRI was taken. It came back clean. He felt a little bit more loose even during the game last night and then reported today with all the stress tests that were given and movements he was put through with no ill affects. Clean bill of health.”
“Bogey is ready to go,” he added. “He went out — not only after getting examined this morning, went out through some running, change in direction, some work on the field, so he is a full go.”
Bogaerts is the team’s best hitter to open the season, as he’s 13-for-30 (.433) with seven RBI.
The news may not be as good for reliever Brandon Workman as it was for Bogaerts.
Workman is seeing Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his right elbow, after being placed on the major league disabled list with a right elbow strain.
“They are actually meeting right now,” Farrell said. “We should have something sometime during the game. I don’t know a definitive update right now.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
— After leaving Tuesday’s game after being hit by a pitch on his left foot, Pablo Sandoval is out of the lineup Wednesday, but not because of the foot — just a down day.
“Panda [Sandoval] is actually ready to go, but felt like this was an opportune time to give him a day off,” said Farrell. “Give us a little bit more of a right-handed lineup even though that puts Brock Holt at third base.”
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