|Red Sox lineup vs. Yankees, plus a candid assessment of left-hander Henry Owens from manager John Farrell||05.06.16 at 6:21 pm ET|
The Red Sox visit the Yankees on Friday to open a three-game series with their reeling rivals. The weather, which the forecast projected could cancel the game, appears to have held off and we’re expected to get this one in.
The first place Red Sox will run their regular lineup out there, with Christian Vazquez catching Rick Porcello as the latter attempts to improve to 6-0.
Before the game, manager John Farrell discussed the demotion of left-hander Henry Owens and the summoning of right-hander Sean O’Sullivan to replace him.
Owens, who walked six in just three innings against the White Sox on Thursday, will head to Pawtucket with a mandate to improve his command and control. He walked 13 in 12 1/3 innings with the Red Sox.
“Henry needs to go back and look to command his fastball with more consistency,” said manager John Farrell. “He’s got an outstanding changeup to get back into some counts and get him away from some damage. The strike-throwing is the priority here.”
Owens has struggled to crack 90 mph with his fastball, but Farrell ruled out the possibility of injury.
“There’s no health issues at play here,” he said. “I think when a pitchers delivery is not in sync, yeah, he’s not maybe getting the most power out of it. And then with the strike throwing, there becomes a confidence factor where I don’t want to say he was tentative or there was a lack of aggressiveness, but I think when you’re feeling for pitches, to try to get the ball in the strike zone a little more, there might be that tentativeness that takes over.”
Farrell was asked if it’s fair to say Owens hasn’t done enough with his opportunity.
“Based on what he showed at this level last year, yes,” Farrell said.
The Red Sox replaced him with O’Sullivan, a journeyman who has discovered the ability to put hitters away in the minors. The 28-year-old owns a 32-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in Triple-A, where he’s 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA. Farrell said he’s a candidate to start on Tuesday, but for now represents bullpen insurance.
O’Sullivan nearly didn’t get the news of his arrival.
“I’m super excited to be here, to be able to put the jersey on for real, instead of just spring training,” O’Sullivan. “It was 1 in the morning and I missed the first 12 phone calls they made to me. We finally got my daughter to sleep, so we were stone-cold out, and I just happened to hear my phone vibrating on the ground for the 13th time, and rolled over and said, ‘Whoa, I’d better pick it up, because my manager has been trying to call me for 20 minutes.'”
Here’s the lineup:
RF Mookie Betts
2B Dustin Pedroia
SS Xander Bogaerts
DH David Ortiz
1B Hanley Ramirez
3B Travis Shaw
LF Brock Holt
CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
C Christian Vazquez
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: David Price vs. Nathan Eovaldi||05.01.16 at 7:55 am ET|
Red Sox ace David Price will get his first taste of the team’s rivalry with the Yankees on Sunday night when he faces off against righty Nathan Eovaldi in the series finale.
Price has had an up-and-down start to the season, but despite some shaky outings he has not suffered a loss. His record sits at 3-0 with a 5.76 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. In his last outing on Tuesday against the Braves he looked sharp, going eight innings and allowing two runs on six hits. He walked two and tied his career high in strikeouts with 14.
“I don’t care about strikeouts,” Price said after the game. “I just want to go out there and pitch as deep as I can into games. … I just executed whenever I was ahead.”
In 31 appearances (30 starts) against the Yankees, Price is 13-7 with a 4.04 ERA and 1.299 WHIP. He has walked 62 and struck out 173 in 191 2/3 innings.
Eovaldi is 1-2 through four starts with a 4.38 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. In his last outing on Monday against the Rangers, however, he was dominant. He went seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits, and even took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning. The 26-year-old Texas native walked two and struck out six as the Yankees went on to win 3-1.
“In the fifth inning. I realized I had [a no-hitter] going on. Once it’s over with, it’s over with,” Eovaldi said following the outing. “And I just want to try to go as deep in the game as I can. … When it was hit, I thought it was an out. But with the shift, the ball made it through.”
Added Mark Teixeira on Eovaldi’s performance: “We saw tonight what we saw toward the end of last year, and we’d love for that to continue. Uncomfortable swings. You can tell how good a guy is and how good his stuff is by the reaction of the hitters. They’re swinging at pitches in the dirt or they’re swinging at pitches over their heads because it’s just an uncomfortable at-bat.”
In three career starts against the Red Sox, Eovaldi is 2-0 with a 4.24 ERA and 1.412 WHIP. He has walked two and struck out seven in 17 innings.
|Saturday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Michael Pineda||04.30.16 at 8:00 am ET|
Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello will look to remain perfect on the season when he goes opposite righty Michael Pineda and the rival Yankees at Fenway Park on Saturday night.
Porcello has a sterling 4-0 record through four starts, with a 3.51 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. In his most recent outing Monday against the Braves, he only needed one run of support to get a win for his team. He threw 6 1/3 shutout innings, allowing just four hits. He walked two and struck out six as the Red Sox won the game 1-0. He looked dialed in and comfortable on the mound from the first pitch.
“It feels good that I’m not out there searching for something and trying to make an adjustment during a game,” Porcello said after the win.
In 11 career starts against the Yankees, Porcello is 5-4 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.248 WHIP. He has struck out 48 and walked 16 in 71 1/3 innings pitched.
Pineda is off to a rocky start in 2016, as his record sits at 1-2 through four starts to go with an ugly 6.95 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. His last time out on Sunday against the Rays was his worst start of the season. He allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits, four of which were home runs. He walked one and struck out nine as the Yankees went on to lose 8-1.
“There were some balls that were middle,” Yankees catcher Brian McCann said of Pineda after the game. “He made some pitches, and then he left some out over the plate.”
In seven starts against the Red Sox, Pineda is 4-3 with a 4.86 ERA and 1.081 WHIP. He has 38 strikeouts to go with just three walks in 37 innings of work.
|Friday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Henry Owens vs. Masahiro Tanaka||04.29.16 at 9:24 am ET|
The Red Sox will send young lefty Henry Owens to the hill on Friday as they open a three-game series against the Yankees. He will be opposed by Masahiro Tanaka.
Owens will look to rebound after struggling through his first start of the season with the Red Sox on Sunday against the Astros. After his call-up from the minors, he lasted just 3 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits. The biggest issue he ran into was issuing free passes, something that plagued him in his previous big league stint last year as well. He had four walks to go with four strikeouts and did not factor into the decision. The Red Sox would go onto win 7-5 in 12 innings.
In two career starts against the Yankees, Owens is 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA and 2.100 WHIP. He has struck out seven and walked three in 6 2/3 innings pitched. Coincidentally, both times Owens faced the Yankees, Tanaka was the opposing pitcher. Owens is looking forward to the third matchup.
“It should be fun,” he said. “It’s a rematch. It’s Tanaka again, so that should be good. Hopefully, I get a little redemption.”
Tanaka is off to a solid start in 2016, as he is 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA and 0.97 WHIP through four starts. In his last outing Sunday against the Rays, he went seven strong innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and one walk with strikeouts. He did not factor into the decision, but the Yankees wound up victorious, 3-2.
One interesting note on the 27-year-old Tanaka is that after surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow last season, he has not thrown his four-seam fastball nearly as often. He feels it is still a part of his pitching arsenal moving forward, however.
“Obviously, my four-seam fastball will be used,” Tanaka said recently. “For me, I don’t look at it so differently. There’s not that much velocity difference from the four-seam and the two-seam. But I’m moving the ball with the two-seamer and getting better results, so that’s why I’m leaning toward that way.”
In seven starts against the Red Sox, Tanaka is 4-2 with a 5.13 ERA and 1.240 WHIP. He has walked nine and struck out 32 in 40 1/3 innings of work.
|Alex Rodriguez to retire after 2017 season||03.23.16 at 2:48 pm ET|
According to ESPNNewYork.com, Alex Rodriguez will retire after the 2017 season. The completion of that campaign will mark the end of his current contract, a 10-year, $275 million deal.
The controversial 40-year-old is coming off a solid season with the Yankees, totaling 33 home runs and an .842 OPS while serving as New York’s designated hitter.
In his 21-year major league career, Rodriguez has hit the fourth-most homers (687) in big league history. Rodriguez resides just 27 homers behind Babe Ruth, 68 in back of Hank Aaron, and trails the all-time HR champ, Barry Bonds, by 75.
For his career, Rodriguez boasts a .297 batting average, and .937 OPS. He has won three American League Most Valuable Player awards.
|Takeaways from Red Sox Grapefruit League game No. 14: David Price finding his groove, Hanley Ramirez passes another test||03.16.16 at 1:31 am ET|
FORT MYERS — Curt Schilling hated pitching to American League East rivals in spring training. Why give opposing hitters more looks than they need?
David Price, however, has spent virtually his entire career in the division. He’s a mystery to no one.
Might as well remind everyone what they’re in for.
Price certainly did that on Tuesday night in a 6-3 loss to the Yankees. He allowed one run on two hits in four innings. He walked none and struck out six, despite throwing mainly fastballs.
“I don’t really care who I’m facing whenever I’m out there,” Price said. “A lot of the time, I don’t even know who’s on deck. I don’t look at the hitters on deck next. Sometimes I might not be able to tell you who I’m facing while they’re in there. I don’t look at that stuff. If I can go out there and execute my game, I feel like I can record outs.”
Price had success against a Yankees lineup that included Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, as well as Aaron Hicks, who homered in the third. Price struck out A-Rod twice and Teixeira once. In addition to fastballs, he worked on a changeup and cutter.
“It’s part of the process, continuing to go out there, command my fastball the way that I did today,” Price said. “If I can do that, it just opens up everything that I want to do with all my secondary stuff. That’s always a big emphasis on me, just making sure I’m hitting spots with that fastball — two-seam, four-seam, both sides of the plate, moving it in, up, down. A fastball can turn into a lot of pitches for you — a fastball away looks slower than a fastball in to hitters. Using the knowledge that I have, pitching off my fastball.”
|Closing Time: Rolling Red Sox tee off on Yankees in 11th behind Mookie Betts, Travis Shaw, win sixth straight||09.30.15 at 11:21 pm ET|
The quest for .500 lives. If only there was more season to go along with it.
The winning run came off the bat of rookie Deven Marrero, who sliced a hit-and-run single up the middle to score Travis Shaw from third. Outfielder Mookie Betts later added his second homer of the game, and 18th of the season, to put it away.
The Red Sox improved to 78-80 with four games remaining. If they can win three more, they’ll finish 81-81, an impressive feat for a club that was 14 games under .500 as recently as Aug. 17.
For the second game in a row, a youngster gave the Red Sox an immediate lead. On Tuesday night, it was Blake Swihart mashing a three-run homer. On Wednesday, Shaw turned the trick, ripping a Masahiro Tanaka offering deep into the first section of right field bleachers for a three-run shot of his own.
That looked like it would be more than enough for Wade Miley until the fifth, when the left-hander allowed three runs that tied the game at 4-4, with Carlos Beltran‘s RBI double the big blow.
The game stayed knotted until the sixth, when Alex Rodriguez homered to left off of reliever Matt Barnes to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead. But Mookie Betts got the run right back in the top of the seventh with a two-out solo homer of his own, an impressive blast to left against a 96 mph fastball from indomitable Yankees reliever Delin Betances.
Offensive standouts for the Red Sox included DH David Ortiz, who went 2-for-2 with a double, run, and RBI before being lifted for a pinch runner in the sixth, as well as Swihart and Shaw, who recorded two hits apiece.
But the biggest bat once again belonged to Betts, who has smacked three homers in his last two games and four in his last five. He became the youngest player in Red Sox history (22) to hit two homers in a game at Yankee Stadium. With two more homers, he could become the 16th player in history to hit 20 homers and steal 20 bases in a season before age 23 (5 players — Mike Trout, Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones, Cesar Cedeno, and Vada Pinson — did it twice).
As for Miley, his final start of 2015 pretty much summed up his season. Staked to leads of 3-0 and 4-1, he couldn’t make them stand and left after five innings. He allowed nine hits and four runs, striking out three and walking four, including three in New York’s three-run fifth.
|Closing Time: David Ortiz hits career home run No. 495, Mookie Betts also goes deep to lift Red Sox past Yankees||08.31.15 at 10:55 pm ET|
With the season over from a standings perspective, the Red Sox are left with three reasons to play out the schedule ‘ seeing how young players develop, determining who should be here in 2016, and watching David Ortiz‘s chase for 500 home runs.
Monday night’s 4-3 victory over the Yankees hit on all three categories.
Youngsters Mookie Betts (2-run homer), Jackie Bradley (3 hits, runner thrown out at plate), and even starter Eduardo Rodriguez (5-plus 2-run innings despite subpar command) gave the Red Sox something to feel good about for the present and future. Beleaguered reliever Junichi Tazawa started a beautiful 1-6-3 double play to end the eighth. And Ortiz blasted career homer No. 495.
Add it all together, and not a bad night for a team going nowhere.
Let’s actually start with Ortiz. Forget about 500. At this rate, three years from now we’re going to be talking about homer No. 600.
Continuing a second-half surge that has restored his place among the most feared sluggers in the game, Ortiz’s solo homer to left proved the winner and left him just five long balls shy of becoming the 27th player in history to reach 500. His 29th homer of 2015 also left him one shy of his ninth 30-homer season, which would break a tie with Ted Williams for most in Red Sox history.
“It’s exciting for every once of us,” said interim manager Torey Lovullo. “He’s downplaying it in his typical David humble way to not make a distraction. He doesn’t want to make it about himself. He wants to make it about the team and how we’re playing right now, but it’s exciting for all of us to walk in every day. It’s bigger than a lot of things that are happening right now, and it’ll be fun if he gets that 500th.”
Ortiz’s homer made a winner of Rodriguez, who was lifted after allowing a leadoff single in the sixth. He allowed seven hits and three walks in his five innings, but he continually managed to avoid massive innings.
It helps that he erased one run at the plate on a comebacker, and that Bradley cut down another with yet another tremendous throw, this time from left field on a would-be sacrifice fly to erase Greg Bird at home.
|Dustin Pedroia continues to provide spark in Red Sox lineup||08.04.14 at 8:09 am ET|
Even after putting together a strong performance at the plate Sunday night against the Yankees, Dustin Pedroia — always looking at the big picture — was more focused on the pitch he wasn’t able to capitalize on.
Down by one run with two outs in the ninth, Pedroia stepped up to the dish to face off against Yankee closer David Robertson. After a lengthy battle, Pedroia drove the eighth pitch of the at-bat deep into left field, only for it to hook left of the foul pole before clearing the Green Monster.
“It started out fair and then it kind of hooked foul, it’s just one of those things, and it was kind of up and in, so I hooked it a little bit,” Pedroia said.
Pedroia grounded out on the next pitch to seal the 8-7 Yankees win, giving New York its third series win of the year against Boston.
Despite his frustrating final at-bat, Pedroia compiled another great batting line against New York, finishing the night 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs. It was the fifth multi-hit game in a row for the Red Sox second baseman, tying a career-high mark that Pedroia has already reached seven times in his career.
“I think over the last seven, eight days, you’re seeing much better bat speed, he misses another one there in the ninth inning, just foul,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Just better bat speed and more freedom in the swing.”
“I feel good. I’ve got to build on it and continue to work and try to get better,” Pedroia said.
While the Red Sox‘ chances of continuing their season in October are essentially null at this point, Pedroia has done his part to keep his team in games over the last two weeks, energizing a lineup that has underwhelmed for most of the 2014 campaign.
|Closing Time: Clay Buchholz fails to deliver once again as Yankees take 2 of 3 at Fenway||08.03.14 at 11:51 pm ET|
It was an ideal scenario for Clay Buchholz.
Taking the hill Sunday against the Yankees for the first time as the new de-facto leader of a gutted Red Sox rotation, Buchholz was given seven runs of support from a normally listless Red Sox lineup.
And yet — as its been for most of the 2014 season — Buchholz found a way to hand a win to an opposing team, surrendering seven runs on eight hits while walking five in five innings en route to an 8-7 Yankees victory at Fenway Park.
Buchholz labored throughout his outing, repeatedly failing to hold leads. After Boston jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the first inning, Buchholz responded by giving up three runs of his own in the second to knot the game at 3-3.
A similar scenario occurred in the top of the fifth inning. After the Red Sox tacked on an additional two runs in the bottom of the fourth to push the score to 7-4 in favor of Boston, Buchholz allowed three runs in the next frame to once again tie the score at seven runs apiece.
Buchholz has allowed 14 earned runs over his last 10 innings while his usual strong command has withered — walking 13 batters over his last three outings.
“I think there’s maybe a little bit of a tendency to pitch a little bit too fine that’s caused him to fall behind in the count,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game. “Mechanically, he may be running away from his arm a little bit where it’s causing some pitches to be missed up to the arm side, but still, it’s the overall pitch mix and command to each.”
Buchholz spoiled an impressive showing from a Boston lineup that scored at least seven runs for the first time since the team doled out 14 runs against the Blue Jays on July 21.
“We swung the bats pretty good the last few days, so we’ve got to build on that, we’ve just got to find a way to score more than the other team,” Pedroia said.
While the score tied entering the top of the sixth inning, Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner crushed an offering from Craig Breslow into the seats behind the Red Sox bullpen, giving New York a one-run lead that it would not relinquish.
With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 49-62 on the season and have lost 10 of their last 12 games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
— Buchholz did little to instill confidence in those doubting his ability to take over as ace of the Red Sox rotation going forward, allowing seven earned runs for the second start in a row while walking five batters. After allowing just five runs over 22 1/3 innings from July 1-13, Buchholz has surrendered 23 runs over his last 22 innings of work.
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