Monday, April 19, 2021

Red Sox Bash White Sox on Patriots Day (4/19/21)

Before the game the Boston Red Sox made a roster move. Tanner Houck was sent back to the Alternate Training Site after the doubleheader. Its only a matter of time before an injury or inconsistency takes one of the starters out and we'll see Houck again.
                                                                         OUT

As for the game, welcome back Boston Red Sox offense. After looking completely lifeless in yesterday's doubleheader sweep, the Sox sent a message by making mincemeat of the Chicago White Sox' best pitcher. After the White Sox took a quick 1-0 lead off Nathan Eovaldi (3-1, 2.70 ERA) but the BoSox hammered Lucas Giolito in the bottom of the first for six runs. Kike Hernandez set the tone with a leadoff homer and the Sox bats never let up. JD Martinez and Alex Verdugo both homered as well as the BoSox pounded out 17 hits and 11 runs. Eovaldi pitched into the seventh inning and Garrett "The Lock" Whitlock slammed the door afterwards to get the win. The BoSox bounced back from yesterday to beat the White Sox on Patriots Day 11-4 at Fenway Park.
                                                   Homer Simpson approves of the win

Eovaldi got the ball in the top of the first and naturally Tim Anderson hit the first pitch of the game up the middle for a base hit to start. Adam Eaton struck out swinging and Sox catcher Christian Vazquez' throw beat Anderson on a stolen base attempt but Rafael Devers was out of position. Naturally Luis Robert doubled off the Monster to score Anderson to put Chicago up 3 batters into the game. Jose Abreu was retired on a grounder back to the mound and Yasmani Grandal popped up to Franchy Cordero to end the inning with Chicago up 1-0.
                                                          White Sox strike first

The Sox wasted no time getting to Giolito in the bottom of the first as Kike Hernandez hit a home run off the padding of the Monster Seats to tie the game instantly. Alex Verdugo hit a seeing eye single into left and moved to third on the seeing eye single to right by JD Martinez. Rafael Devers dropped a base hit to right to score Verdugo to give the Sox the lead. Christian Vazquez caught the White Sox asleep with a bunt single to third to load the bases. Marwin Gonzalez lined a base hit to right to score Martinez and Hunter Renfroe grounded out to third but scored Devers with another run. Franchy Cordero dumped a base hit to left that got under the glove of Leury Garcia, both runners scored and Cordero beat the throw to second. Bobby Dalbec walked after a 14 pitch at-bat but Hernandez popped up to second. Verdugo popped up to left to end the inning but the BoSox were up 6-1.
                                                          Hernandez sets the tone

Eovaldi recovered in the top of the second as Yermin Mercedes struck out swinging to start. Jake Lamb nearly beat out a throw to first on a strikeout muffed by Vazquez. Garcia struck out swinging to end the inning. The BoSox struck again immediately in the bottom of the second as Martinez smashed his 6th home run of the season into the Monster Seats to start. Devers walked and White Sox manager Tony La Russa finally pulled the plug on Giolito. Zack Burdi came in and Vazquez lined a base hit to center to move Devers to third but Gonzalez struck out swinging. Renfroe scored Devers with a sac fly to center but Cordero swung at three bad pitches to end the inning with the BoSox ahead 8-1.
                                                             Martinez ices it early

The White Sox struck back in the top of the third as Nick Madrigal tripled into the right field corner to start. Eovaldi did manage to strike out Anderson swinging but Eaton slapped a double down the third base line to score Madrigal. Robert hit a bullet right to Dalbec and Abreu went down hacking to end the inning with the Red Sox ahead 8-2.
                                                      Eaton drives in a run

Dalbec struck out swinging to start the bottom of the third before Hernandez popped up to first. Verdugo then hit a 417 foot home run to right to increase the lead. Martinez grounded out to third to end the inning with the BoSox ahead 9-2.
                                                       Verdugo takes a ride


Eovaldi began the top of the fourth by freezing Grandal for strike three to start. Mercedes grounded out to third and Gonzalex made a GREAT play to rob Lamb of a base hit to end the inning. Devers grounded out to second to start the bottom of the fourth but Vazquez singled up the middle. Gonzalez walked and both runners moved over on the grounder to third by Renfroe. Cordero beat out a grounder to second that scored Vazquez but Gonzalez was thrown out in a rundown to end the inning with Boston ahead 10-2.

The White Sox struck back in the top of the fifth although Garcia grounded out to second to start. Eovaldi snuffed out a bunt by Madrigal but Anderson doubled to the left field wall. Cordero misplayed a fly ball by Eaton for a "double" that scored Anderson. An angry Eovaldi blew away Robert to end the inning with the White Sox down 10-3.
                                                               Eaton does it again

Jose Ruiz came in to pitch the bottom of the fifth and Dalbec whiffed to start. Hernandez took strike three but Verdugo walked. Martinez struck out swinging on a pitch in the other batter's box to end the inning.

Abreu took strike three to start the top of the sixth and Grandal lined out to right. Mercedes slapped a base hit to right but Hernandez dove for a bullet hit by Lamb to end the inning. Devers dropped a base hit to right to start the bottom of the sixth but was forced at second by Vazquez. Christian moved to second on a balk and to third on a Gonzalez grounder to first. Renfroe took strike three right down the middle to end the inning.

The White Sox knocked out Eovaldi in the top of the seventh as Garcia beat out a bobbled ball by Devers to start. Madrigal struck out swinging but Anderson singled Garcia to third with a base hit to left. That was it for Eovaldi who was charged with 4 runs in 6 1/3 innings. Garrett Whitlock came in and Anderson promptly stole second. Eaton scored Garcia with a groundout to short but Robert grounded out to second to end the inning with the White Sox down 10-4.
                                                          Eovaldi with a strong start

The White Sox made a weird move as Zack Collins came into catch with catcher Yermin Mercedes coming in to pitch the bottom of the seventh. Cordero walked and took second on defensive indifference but was doubled off second on a bullet to short hit by Dalbec. Hernandez doubled to center, Verdugo singled to right and Martinez singled to left to score Hernandez with another run. Devers walked to load the bases but Vazquez flied out to right to end the inning with Boston ahead 11-4.
                                                       Martinez drives in a run

The Lock came back for the top of the eighth and Abreu struck out swinging to start. Collins also went down hacking and Mercedes grounded out to short to end the inning. Another position player, Danny Mendick came in to pitch the bottom of the eighth and drilled Gonzalez in retaliation for Cordero "stealing" second the previous inning. Renfroe singled to left but somehow Cordero went down swinging. Dalbec flied out to right and Hernandez grounded into a force to end the inning.

The Lock returned to finish off the top of the ninth and Lamb grounded out to second to start. Garcia grounded out to third and Madrigal grounded out to short to end the game. The Red Sox had beaten the White Sox on Patriots Day 11-4.
                                                           Sox win


Hero of the Night is a tough choice but I'll go with Kike Hernandez. The Red Sox were reeling after yesterday and his leadoff homer set the tone for the day.
                                                    Hernandez The Hero



The Good:

Alex Verdugo was 3 for 4 with a home run, walk and 2 runs scored.

JD Martinez was 2 for 5 with with a home run, 2 rbis and 2 runs scored.

Rafael Devers was 2 for 3 with 2 walks, an rbi and 2 runs scored.

Christian Vazquez was 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored.

Marwin Gonzalez was 1 for 3 with a walk, hit by pitch, rbi and a run scored.

Franchy Cordero was 2 for 4 with a walk and 2 runs batted in.

Garrett Whitlock tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings.



The Bad:

Bobby Dalbec was 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts but walked.



The Ugly:

Hunter Renfroe was just 1 for 4 but drove in 2 runs.

Nathan Eovaldi got the win but allowed 4 runs in 6 1/3 innings. He allowed 9 hits but struck out 10.




Final Thoughts:

That was a great bounceback win by the Red Sox after looking helpless in yesterday's doubleheader. Not only did they win, they beat Chicago's best pitcher. Giolito had nothing and the Sox made him pay in the first couple of innings, especially when Hernandez set the tone. Eovaldi looked pretty good but he (like everyone) couldn't get Tim Anderson out. Whitlock continues to be devastating with a 97 mph fastball and 95 mph sinker, like Mike Timlin in the "Idiots" days. The entire offense pitched in to win this one and it was much needed after the stinkers yesterday. Its too early to say whether or not the Sox will be good this season but if they can get consistent pitching, at least the games will be interesting to watch again. Better than the production line of bums that was thrown out to pitch last year, that's for sure. The only downers is are Renfroe and Dalbec are really struggling. At least the Red Sox have Jarren Duran waiting in Worcester to be the next outfielder, Dalbec was supposed to be the one to replace Mitch Moreland as a power hitting first basemen. Still, its too early to throw banana peels at Dalbec so let's see how he looks by the end of May. Tomorrow night the Toronto Blue Jays come to town for a brief two game set. Eduardo Rodriguez (2-0, 3.60 ERA) looks to keep momentum going against Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Jays. The game begins at 7:10 PM at Fenway Park.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

White Sox Shut Down Red Sox in Game 2 (4/18/21)

For the first time all season the Boston Red Sox got thoroughly beaten soundly. The Chicago White Sox successfully swept a doubleheader against the Red Sox and put the exclamation point on with a decisive win they controlled from start to finish. Not since the first three games of the year have the Red Sox looked this incompetent on offense and in this game, nothing went right. Old BoSox prospect Michael Kopech and the Chicago bullpen held the Red Sox to just 4 hits and a single run in 7 innings. Martin Perez (0-1, 5.93 ERA) failed to make it out of the fourth inning. Hiro Sawamura gave up his first earned run and the White Sox took Game 2 of the doubleheader 5-1 at Fenway Park.

Just like in Game 1, the White Sox pounced immediately in the top of the first inning. Nick Madrigal singled to right, Luis Robert singled to center and Yoan Moncada singled to left to load the bases with nobody out. Jose Abreu forced Robert at second but Madrigal scored to give the White Sox the lead. Yermin Mercedes took strike three and Leury Garcia lined out to left to end the inning with Chicago up 1-0.
                                                   Madrigal sets the tone

Kopech got the ball and cruised in the bottom of the first as Kike Hernandez led off with a grounder to short. Alex Verdugo struck out swinging and JD Martinez grounded out to second to end the inning.

Perez recovered in the top of the second as Andrew Vaughn took strike three to start. Zack Collins lined out to right and Danny Mendick took strike three to end the inning. Kopech cruised in the bottom of the second as Xander Bogerts hit one up the elevator shaft to start. Rafael Devers struck out swinging and Marwin Gonzalez went down hacking to end the inning.

Perez worked his way out of trouble in the top of the third as Madrigal lined out to left to start. Robert doubled to center and took third on a wild pitch before Moncada was plunked. Abreu banged into a double play to end the inning. Christian Vazquez started the bottom of the third with a grounder to short and Hunter Renfroe took strike three. Franchy Cordero grounded out to first to end the inning.

The White Sox iced it in the top of the fourth as Mercedes hit a home run all the way into the Indian Ocean to start. Garcia singled past Perez and moved to second on a grounder by Vaughn. Collins took strike three but Mendick singled home Garcia to ice the game and chase Perez. Sox manager Alex Cora has no faith in his starters this season and its going to kill the bullpen, but Perez did himself no favors by allowing 4 runs in 3 2/3 innings. Austin Brice came in and Vazquez had Mendick picked off but threw the ball onto the Mass Pike for an error. Madrigal took advantage by doubling home Mendick to increase the lead. Robert lined out to third to end the inning with the ChiSox ahead 4-0.
                                                 Perez puts the Sox in a hole

The BoSox blew their only rally in the bottom of the fourth as Hernandez walked to start. Verdugo singled Kike to second and that was it for Kopech, he too would be taken out too soon as Matt Foster came in. Martinez put the Sox on the board with a base hit to center to score Hernandez, but Bogaerts flied out to center. Devers popped up to third and Gonzalez flied out to center to end the inning. The Sox only scratched out one run and trailed 4-1.
                                               Martinez drives in a run

Brice walked Moncada to start the top of the fifth but Abreu hit into another double play. Mercedes struck out swinging to end the inning. The BoSox offense was done for the day as they did nothing in the bottom of the fifth. Vazquez and Renfroe both whiffed but Garrett Crochet was brought in to pitch to Cordero. Sox manager Alex Cora countered by having Bobby Dalbec pinch hit for Cordero. Dalbec got a base hit to center but Hernandez struck out swinging to end the inning.

Hiro Sawamura got tagged in the top of the sixth as Garcia singled to short, Vaughn doubled to right and Collins walked to load the bases with nobody out. Mendick popped up to left but Madrigal scored Garcia with a sac fly to wrap up the scoring. Robert flied out to center to end the inning but it was 5-1 Chicago.
                                                  Sac fly by Madrigal

Evan Marshall came in for the bottom of the sixth and Verdugo flied out to left to start. Martinez popped up to second but Bogaerts hit a ground rule double into the right field stands. Devers grounded out to short to end the inning.

Phillips Valdez had worked Game 1 and he came back to work the top of the seventh of Game 2. Moncada struck out swinging, Abreu flied out to left and Mercedes grounded out to second to end the inning. ChiSox closer Liam Hendriks came back to close out the bottom of the seventh and Gonzalez flied out to right to start. Vazquez popped up to second and Renfroe earned a hat trick with a swinging strikeout to end the game. The ChiSox had won it 5-1.
                                                     ChiSox win


Jackass of the Night is Martin Perez. He got rocked for 4 runs in just 3 2/3 innings to take the loss.
                                                     Jackass Martin


The Good:

Alex Verdugo was 1 for 3.

JD Martinez was 1 for 3 with an rbi.

Xander Bogaerts was 1 for 3.

Bobby Dalbec got a base hit as a pinch hitter.

Phillips Valdez tossed a scoreless seventh inning.



The Bad:

Rafael Devers was 0 for 3 with a strikeout.

Marwin Gonzalez was 0 for 3 with a strikeout.

Christian Vazquez was 0 for 3 with a strikeout and an error.

Hunter Renfroe was 0 for 3 with a hat trick of 3 strikeouts.

Franchy Cordero was 0 for 1.

Hiro Sawamura allowed a run in the sixth inning.



The Ugly:

Kike Hernandez was 0 for 2 with a strikeout but walked and scored a run.

Austin Brice allowed an inherited runner to score but none of his own in 1 1/3 innings.




Final Thoughts:

This was the first time since opening weekend that the Red Sox looked completely incompetent. Its easy to see why, their starters are average at best and they didn't swing the bats well today. They only scored 3 runs in 14 innings and that's not going to cut it. The seven inning games can hurt or help and they certainly hurt in game 1 but Game 2 was the first time the Sox got beaten badly since the third game of the season. The nine game winning streak was totally a fluke and unfortunately the REAL team will probably be a .500 team most of the year, especially if they don't hit well. Only Vazquez, Martinez and Bogaerts are hitting above .275 and having 6 out of your 9 hitters swing and miss more often than not is not a recipe for success. Now its one thing for Dalbec and Arroyo to go through growing pains, they KNEW Gonzalez, Hernandez, Renfroe and Cordero were average. The Sox can't rely on Vazquez, Devers, Martinez and Bogaerts every game and if they have to, that's not a good sign for future success. Worse is batters may be starting to figure out Sawamura. With Matt Barnes the only reliable arm in the bullpen, the Sox needed Sawamura, Garrett Whitlock and Darwinzon Hernandez to step up and that may be too much to ask. If this all seems like doom and gloom, that's the vibe they give off. Still, it was only one day and tomorrow is a new one. The BoSox look to bounce back tomorrow morning for their annual Patriots Day game. Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 2.08 ERA) goes for Boston up against Lucas Giolito of Chicago. The game begins at 11 AM at Fenway Park.

ChiSox Edge BoSox in Game 1 (4/18/21)

Before the game the Boston Red Sox made a roster move when Tanner Houck was promoted from the Alternate Training Site to start Game 1 of today's doubleheader. The Sox want to get as many looks as they can at Houck since he's blocked by Garrett Richards in the rotation.
                                                                     IN

As for the game, the Chicago White Sox drew first blood in today's doubleheader by squeaking by with a close win over the Boston Red Sox. Tanner Houck (0-24.35 ERA) was game but received no run support or help from his defense. Tim Anderson set the tone with a leadoff home run and the White Sox took advantage of bad defense to add to the lead. The BoSox heads weren't into it as they made mental errors and hit into double plays. Dallas Keuchel held the BoSox in check for 5 innings and the bullpen slammed the door in the final two to win the game 3-2 at Fenway Park.
                                                      "GET YOUR HEADS IN THE GAME!"

The White Sox wasted no time getting to Houck in the top of the first when Tim Anderson hit the first pitch of the game all the way to Mount Rushmore to put Chicago in the lead. Adam Eaton popped up to third, Yoan Moncada lined out to third and Jose Abreu flied out to the centerfield warning track to end the inning with Chicago up 1-0.
                                                         Anderson homers on the first pitch

Keuchel got the ball in the bottom of the first and Kike Hernandez grounded out to short on the first pitch. Alex Verdugo swung and missed for strike three and JD Martinez grounded out to third to end the inning.

Yermin Mercedes began the top of the second by hitting a routine grounder to Devers who threw the ball into the centerfield bleachers for an error. Yasmani Grandal grounded into a double play and Luis Robert grounded out to third to end the inning. The Sox did nothing in the bottom of the second as Xander Bogaerts flied out to right to start. Rafael Devers grounded back to the mound and Hunter Renfroe grounded out to third to end the inning.

Jake Lamb grounded out to second to start the top of the third and Garcia lined out to a jumping Renfroe. Anderson singled in the hole at short but Eaton grounded out to second on the first pitch to end the inning. Christian Arroyo fouled a ball off his leg and limped down to first on a grounder to third but Bobby Dalbec hit a 420 foot double off the top of the centerfield wall. Kevin Plawecki lined out to Eaton who forgot how many outs there were but Dalbec didn't take advantage. Hernandez grounded out to short to end the inning.

Houck struck out Moncada swinging on a breaking ball to start the top of the fourth but Abreu beat out a bad throw by Bogaerts for a "hit". Although Mercedes struck out swinging, Grandal doubled home Abreu to ice the game. Robert hit one up the elevator shaft to end the inning but it was 2-0 White Sox.
                                                              Grandal adds to the lead

The BoSox blew a rally in the bottom of the fourth as Verdugo hit one up the elevator shaft to start. Martinez got a base hit to center and moved to second on the Bogaerts grounder to third. Devers slashed a base hit to left to put runners at the corners and Renfroe hit a Baltimore chop for a base hit to score Martinez, sending Rafael to third. Renfroe then foolishly got picked off to end the inning with the BoSox down 2-1.
                                                               Yerrrr out!

The ChiSox knocked out Houck in the top of the fifth as Lamb singled to right to start. Garcia blew the bunt by popping up to third but Anderson sent Lamb to third with a base hit to center. That was it for Houck who would be charged with 3 runs in just 4 1/3 innings. Josh Taylor somehow managed to strike out Eaton swinging but naturally Moncada hit a rocket to center to score Lamb. Somehow Taylor got Abreu to ground out to third but it was 3-1 Chicago.
                                                      Houck getting let down by everyone

Keuchel cruised in the bottom of the fifth as Arroyo popped up to first to start. Dalbec singled to center but Plawecki banged into a double play to end the inning.

Phillips Valdez came in to pitch the top of the sixth and Mercedes grounded out to second to start. Grandal grounded out to first and Robert struck out swinging to end the inning. Danny Mendick took over for Lamb in the bottom of the sixth and Boston got a run back when Hernandez sliced a 300 foot home run just around the Pesky Pole to cut the lead. That was it for Keuchel as Aaron Bummer came in and Verdugo greeted him with a base hit to center. Naturally Martinez banged into a double play to kill the rally. Bogaerts whiffed to end the inning but the BoSox cut the lead 3-2.
                                                         Hernandez inches the Sox closer

Valdez returned for the top of the seventh and Mendick lined out to first to start. Garcia took strike three and Anderson swung at a 3-0 pitch and grounded out to third to end the inning. ChiSox closer Liam Hendriks came in for the bottom of the seventh and Devers popped up to short to start. Renfroe grounded out to first but Arroyo got a base hit to left. Dalbec looked at strike three right down the middle to end the game. The White Sox had won it 3-2.
                                                     Dammit


Jackass of the Night is Xander Bogaerts. He was 0 for 3 with a strikeout and his uncalled error led to the second run to score.
                                                            Make the play, Jackass!




The Good:

Kike Hernandez was 1 for 3 with a solo home run.

Alex Verdugo was 1 for 3.

JD Martinez was 1 for 3 with a run scored.

Christian Arroyo was 1 for 3.

Bobby Dalbec was 2 for 3.

Phillips Valdez tossed 2 scoreless innings.



The Bad:

Kevin Plawecki was 0 for 2.

Tanner Houck took the loss by getting charged with 3 runs in 4 1/3 innings.



The Ugly:

Rafael Devers was 1 for 3 but committed an error.

Hunter Renfroe was 1 for 3 with an rbi but got picked off as a crucial runner.

Josh Taylor allowed an inherited runner to score in 2/3 of an inning.




Final Thoughts:

Not the best played game of the year by the Red Sox. The bad defense, Renfroe getting picked off and Taylor not getting Moncada all hurt. Its possible if this were a nine inning game the Sox would have pulled it out but what are you going to do? The game was frustrating but there's no time no bitch too much because there's still Game 2 to be played. The Sox are going to be down Taylor and Valdez and the status of Matt Barnes is up in the air. Cora pulling Houck too early cost them again and how many more times is he going to use "analytics" before it bites him on a consistent basis. Houck didn't pitch that bad but made a rookie mistake and got let down by Taylor. He's going to be a good pitcher in this league, just needs to pull it all together. As mentioned earlier, there's no time to dwell on the loss because Game 2 is soon. The BoSox look to rebound when they send Martin Perez (0-0, 4.50 ERA) against old Sox prospect Michael Kopech in Game 2. The game begins at 5:10 PM at Fenway Park.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Red Sox Outlast White Sox Late (4/17/21)

After being snowed out (yes, of course I'm serious) of last night's game, the Boston Red Sox continued their winning ways against the Chicago White Sox. Once again in a close game, the BoSox seem to come out on top using tough pitching and timely hitting. BoSox starter Nick Pivetta allowed 2 early runs and was pulled in the top of the fourth inning. The Sox bullpen allowed just two runs the rest of the way to keep them in the game. The BoSox used a couple of sac flies to tie the game and Kike Hernandez put Boston on top. The White Sox tied it due to bad defense in the seventh but Marwin Gonzalez keyed a 4 run Red Sox rally in the bottom of the eighth. Matt Barnes had a little trouble but slammed the door in the ninth and the Sox shook off Thursday's loss by beating the White Sox 7-4 at Fenway Park.
                                                     Ares approves of the win

The White Sox wasted no time scoring against Pivetta in the top of the first inning although Tim Anderson struck out swinging to start. Adam Eaton and Yoan Moncada drew back to back walks and Jose Abreu doubled home Eaton to put Chicago in front. Yermin Mercedes grounded out to short to score Moncada with another run but Zack Collins popped up to third to end the inning with the White Sox up 2-0.
                                                         Abreu puts Chicago on top

The Sox failed to get to White Sox starter Dylan Cease in the bottom of the first although Kike Hernandez singled to second to start. Alex Verdugo struck out swinging and JD Martinez banged into a double play to end the inning.

Pivetta ran into trouble in the top of the second as Luis Robert lined out to center to start. Andrew Vaughn walked and Nick Madrigal singled him to third, but Anderson struck out swinging again. Eaton walked to load the bases but Moncada flied out to center to end the inning. The BoSox blew a rally in the bottom of the second as Xander Bogaerts singled to short to start. Rafael Devers flied out to right and Marwin Gonzalez took strike three, but Christian Arroyo walked. Franchy Cordero walked to load the bases but Kevin Plawecki lined out to right to end the inning.

Abreu singled to left to begin the top of the third but Mercedes flight out to right. Collins struck out swinging but Robert singled to right. Vaughn grounded out to second to end the inning. The BoSox struck back in the bottom of the third as Hernandez doubled to left to start and took third on a passed ball. Verdugo hit a sac fly to score Hernandez to cut the lead in half before Martinez got a base hit to center. Bogaerts moved Martinez to third with a hit to center and Devers scored JD with a sac fly to tie the game. Gonzalez walked but Arroyo took strike three to end the inning with the game tied 2-2.
                                                 Devers ties it up

Madrigal grounded out to short to begin the top of the fourth and Anderson lined out to short. All of a sudden Sox manager Alex Cora removed Pivetta after just 83 pitches and 11 outs recorded. Josh Taylor came in to strike out Eaton swinging to end the inning but he pulled Pivetta way too early and the bullpen had to toss the rest of the game.
                                                   Pivetta didn't last long

The Sox did nothing in the bottom of the fourth as Cordero struck out swinging to start. Plawecki took strike three and Hernandez swung at strike three headed to the backstop to end the inning.

Matt Andriese came in for the top of the fifth inning and Moncada flied out to right to start. Abreu grounded out to short but Mercedes lined a base hit to left. He tried to stretch a double and Cordero gunned him down at second to end the inning. Verdugo grounded out to first to start the bottom of the fifth before Martinez grounded out to second. Bogaerts singled to left to chase Cease and Evan Marshall came in the game. Devers singled to third but Gonzalez struck out swinging to end the inning.

Collins popped up to third to start the top of the sixth but Robert singled to center. Robert swiped second but Vaughn went down hacking. Madrigal flied out to center to end the inning. The Sox struck back in the bottom of the sixth although Arroyo grounded out to second to start. Cordero grounded back to the mound but Plawecki doubled to center. Hernandez stepped up with a base hit to center to score Plawecki with the go-ahead run. Verdugo was retired on a squibber in front of the plate to end the inning with the BoSox ahead 3-2.
                                                        BoSox take the lead

Naturally once the Red Sox took the lead, the White Sox immediately came back in the top of the seventh. Anderson singled to center and then went to steal second. Plawecki's throw came in but Bogaerts muffed it and Anderson took third on the play. Andriese did manage to get Eaton to pop up to left, but Moncada scored Anderson with a sac fly to center. Abreu struck out swinging to end the inning with the game tied 3-3.
                                                         Anderson scores

Codi Heuer came in to pitch the bottom of the seventh and Martinez whiffed badly to start. Bogaerts also swung at a pitch way over his head for strike three and Devers swung at strike three in the dirt to end the inning.

Adam Ottavino came in for the top of the eighth and froze Mercedes for strike three to start. Collins  also took strike three and Robert completed the called strike three trifecta to end the inning. The Sox took the lead instantly in the bottom of the eighth when Gonzalez smashed a home run into the bullpen. Arroyo singled in the hole at short but Cordero took strike three. Plawecki lined out to right but Hernandez got a base hit to center. Jose Ruiz came in to pitch and Verdugo walked to load the bases. Martinez drew a full count walk to score Arroyo with the insurance run. Bogaerts then iced the game with a ground rule double just inside the foul line to score both Hernandez and Verdugo. Devers was intentionally walked to reload the bases but the man who started the inning, Gonzalez, grounded out to third to end the inning with the BoSox ahead 7-3.
                                             Gonzalez keys the rally and pays for it

Matt Barnes was summoned to close out the top of the ninth but Vaughn singled in the hole at second to start. Vaughn moved to second on a grounder by Madrigal and to third on a wild pitch. Anderson took strike three but Eaton doubled home Vaughn to cut the lead. Moncada grounded out to second to end the game. The BoSox had won it 7-4.
                                                        Sox win


Hero of the Night is Marwin Gonzalez. His eighth inning home run proved to be the difference maker.
                                                   Hero Marwin


The Good:

Kike Hernandez was 4 for 5 with an rbi and 2 runs scored.

Xander Bogaerts was 4 for 5 with 2 rbis.

Rafael Devers was 1 for 3 with a walk and an rbi.

Christian Arroyo was 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.

Josh Taylor struck out the only man he faced.

Adam Ottavino got the win with a scoreless eighth inning.



The Bad:

Nick Pivetta allowed 2 runs in just 3 2/3 innings while allowing 4 hits and 4 walks.

Matt Barnes allowed a run in the top of the ninth.



The Ugly:

Franchy Cordero was 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts but walked and threw out a runner at second.

Alex Verdugo was 0 for 3 with a strikeout but walked, drove in a run and scored a run

JD Martinez was just 1 for 4 with a strikeout but walked, drove in a run and scored a run.

Kevin Plawecki was just 1 for 4 with a strikeout but scored a run.

Matt Andriese allowed a run in 3 innings of work but it was unearned.




Final Thoughts:

It was a good win but it proved to be a little costly. Matt Barnes labored in the ninth and he may not have enough gas tomorrow for tomorrow's double-header. The Sox bullpen had to throw the final 5 1/3 innings after Cora pulled Pivetta too early. Still, apart from some bad defense, the Sox bullpen did the job up until Barnes had trouble. Offensively the BoSox was their usual timely selves, getting runs when they had to but not enough to make this easy. With the New York Yankees in a major slump, the BoSox winning as many games as they can would be nice. Winning the division seemed impossible going into the season and it still could be, so enjoy the winning while it lasts. Gonzalez and Hernandez continued to pay dividends by driving in runs and the season is starting to look a little like 2013 a bit in terms of clubhouse character. The more fun these guys seem to have, the better the chances of them coming back to winning a game. Even the Mookie Betts 2019 Sox were something like 5-41 when trailing after 6 innings. All in all it was a good win but the Sox have to keep the momentum going in tomorrow's double header against Chicago. Its rumored Tanner Houck is going to be brought up to pitch Game 1 facing Dallas Keuchel for the White Sox. No matter who pitches, Game 1 begins at 1:10 PM at Fenway Park.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Game Postponed (4/16/21)

Tonight's game between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park has been postponed to Sunday due to snow....yes of course I'm serious. Sunday is now a doubleheader between the two teams because this is what the field looks like today.
                                                         This is the middle of April in Boston


On this day in Basebawful history:


1915 - Sox tie A's













The Sox look to play tomorrow under better weather conditions against the White Sox but who knows what will be pitching. The game begins at 4:05 PM at Fenway Park.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Twins Walkoff Sox (4/15/21)

Before the game the Boston Red Sox made a roster move. Eduard Bazardo was sent back to the Alternate Training Site following yesterday's doubleheader. He looked good in his one inning so when Worcester or Portland starts, he'll be seen again.
                                                                   OUT

As for the game, all good things must come to an end and the Boston Red Sox nine game winning streak came to an end in bitter fashion against the Minnesota Twins. Michael "Pine Tar" Pineda blinded the Sox for 7 innings, allowing no runs and just 2 hits. Garrett Richards was game for 5 innings, holding the Twins to just two runs. Hiro Sawamura allowed his first run on a home run by Miguel Sano. Trailing 3-0 in the top of the eighth, Alex Verdugo hit a bases clearing double to tie the game. Unfortunately they failed to score in the top of the ninth and the Twins walked it off in the bottom of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. The bullpen failed for the first time since opening weekend as the Twins avoided a sweep with a 4-3 victory at Target Field.
                                                         Dammit

Pineda got the ball in the top of the first and Kike Hernandez led off with a base hit to center. Alex Verdugo advanced Hernandez to second with a grounder to first but Xander Bogaerts struck out swinging. Rafael Devers struck out swinging to end the inning. Richards got the ball in the bottom of the first inning and Luis Arraez singled up the middle to start. Jorge Polanco flied out to left, Nelson Cruz struck out swinging and Max Kepler went down hacking to end the inning.

Christian Vazquez appeared to have been hit in the hand while holding the bottom of the bat, the ball traveled to short where Polanco threw to first. The Twins challenged the call and the umpires ruled that it was a fair ball and Vazquez was out. Christian Arroyo grounded out to second and Hunter Renfroe flied out to center to end the inning. Willians Astudillo popped up to first to begin the bottom of the second but Miguel Sano worked a walk. Jake Cave looked to have hit into a force play but once again the Twins challenged the call. It was overturned and everyone was safe. Ryan Jeffers sinmgled to right to load the bases but JT Riddle forced Sano at home. Arraez dumped a base hit to right to score Cave and Jeffers to give the Twins the lead. Polanco walked but Cruz grounded out to second to end the inning with the Twins up 2-0.
                                                        Arraez puts the Twins on top

Pineda cruised in the top of the third as Franchy Cordero popped up to third to open. Bobby Dalbec struck out swinging and Hernandez took strike three to end the inning. Richards settled down in the bottom of the third as Kepler hit one up the elevator shaft to start. Astudillo popped up to first but Bogaerts threw a routine grounder by Sano into Lake Eerie for an error. Richards recovered to strike out Cave swinging to end the inning.

The Sox did nothing in the top of the fourth as Verdugo flied out to center to start. Bogaerts lined out to third and Devers struck out swinging to end the inning. Jeffers popped up to short to begin the bottom of the fourth before Riddle grounded out to second. Arraez singled to left but Polanco grounded out to second to end the inning.

Vazquez flied out to left to start the top of the fifth before Arroyo grounded out to short. Renfroe walked but Cordero struck out swinging to end the inning. Richards returned for the bottom of the fifth and Cruz flied out to right to start. Kepler took strike three and Astudillo popped up to third to end the inning. Richards got in trouble in the second but limited the damage to keep the Sox in it, going 5 innings and allowing just 2 runs.
                                                    Richards goes 5 strong

Pineda cruised in the top of the sixth as Dalbec flied out to right to start. Hernadez lined out to left and Verdugo grounded out to second to end the inning. Hiro Sawamura was finally scored upon in the bottom of the sixth as Sano blasted a home run into Newfound Lake to increase the lead. Cave grounded out to second, Jeffers took strike three and Riddle grounded out to short to end the inning but the Twins were up 3-0. Sawamura is human after all.
                                                              Sano hits one out

Bogaerts tried to start a rally with an infield single to third but Devers flied out to center and Vazquez grounded into a double play to end the inning. Josh Taylor came in for the bottom of the seventh and Arraez flied out to left to start. Polanco also flied out to left but Cruz singled to left. Kepler flied out to center to end the inning.

The Sox rallied in the top of the eighth with Kyle Garlick in the game for Astudillo and Hansel Robles in to pitch. Arroyo was plunked to start but stole second. Renfroe walked but Cordero flied out to left. Dalbec struck out swinging and Marwin Gonzalez pinch hit for Hernandez, drawing a walk to load the bases. Taylor Rogers was brought in to pitch to Verdugo and Alex stepped up with a bases clearing double to left to tie the game. Bogaerts was intentionally walked but Devers took strike three to end the inning with the game tied 3-3.
                                                      Verdugo gets the job done

Naturally after the Sox came all the way back, Matt Andriese damn near melted down in the bottom of the eighth. Garlick effortlesly doubled to left and Sano walked, both runners moving over on the sacrifice bunt by Cave. Home plate umpire Jordan Baker called a crucial swinging strike a foul tip by Jeffers that wasn't even close and Sox manager Alex Cora had enough. Cora ran out of the dugout with a sickle and had to be restrained and escorted out of the stadium by armed security. Somehow Andriese managed to get Jeffers swinging anyway and Mitch Garver was sent in to pinch hit for Riddle. Red Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie brought in Darwinzon Hernandez to pitch and he got Garver to line out to right to end the inning. If nothing else, this team has serious balls to get out of that jam.
                               "IVE HAD IT UP TO HEREEEEE WITH YOU!" - Cora

Alex Colome came in to pitch the top of the ninth and Vazquez flied out to center to start. Arroyo looked to have hit a double but the Twins challenged that call too. This time the call was upheld and Arroyo got the double. The rally ended as Renfroe and Cordero both struck out swinging to end the inning. Adam Ottavino came in for the bottom of the ninth and Arraez got the rally started with a base hit to right. Polanco was plunked but Cruz went down hacking. Kepler blooped a single to center to score Arraez with the winning run. The Twins had walked it off 4-3.
                                                            Twins win


Jackass of the Night is Adam Ottavino. He served up the walkoff base hit to Kepler to end the game.
                                             Jackass Ottavino




The Good:

Kike Hernandez was 1 for 3.

Marwin Gonzalez walked and scored a run as a pinch hitter.

Xander Bogaerts was 1 for 3 with a walk.

Christian Arroyo was 1 for 3 with a hit by pitch, a stolen base and a run scored.

Hunter Renfroe walked twice in four plate appearances and scored a run.

Garrett Richards allowed 2 unearned runs in 5 innings, striking out 4.

Josh Taylor pitched a scoreless seventh inning.

Darwinzon Hernandez retired the only man he faced.



The Bad:

Rafael Devers was 0 for 4 with a hat trick of 3 strikeouts.

Christian Vazquez was 0 for 4.

Franchy Cordero was 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts.

Bobby Dalbec was 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts and an error.

Hiro Sawamura gave up a solo home run in an inning of work.



The Ugly:

Alex Verdugo was just 1 for 4 but the one hit was a bases clearing double.

Matt Andriese allowed a hit and a walk in only 2/3 of an inning.




Final Thoughts:

Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! That was a tough way for the nine game win streak to end but the Sox fought like hell the whole game. They looked dead for seven innings against Pineda but rallied back to tie the game. They looked like they were going to give up the go-ahead run in the eighth after Cora got tossed but fought their way out of it. The key to the game was Devers failing in the clutch in the eighth then Renfroe and Cordero striking out in the ninth. If the Sox got a few more clutch hits, it wouldn't have come to Ottavino in the ninth. Still, the normally reliable bullpen ended up being the difference with Sawamura giving up the home run and the walkoff on Ottavino. Still, the Sox fought to the final pitch and that's going to go a long way this season if they play every game with that kind of confidence. Richards once again had one bad inning but worked his way out of it. If he can avoid that kind of Dice K Disease he should be more reliable moving forward. The loss stings but the Sox have to move on to the next series. Tomorrow night the Chicago White Sox come to Fenway for a set and the undefeated Nick Pivetta (2-0, 3.27 ERA) is there to greet them. Dylan Cease goes for Chicago and the game begins at 7:10 PM at Fenway Park.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Verdugo, Sox Smash Twins in Game 2 (4/14/21)

Nothing can stop the Boston Red Sox it seems. The Minnesota Twins threw their two best pitchers at the Sox and they beat them both. In Game 2 of the doubleheader, the Sox used a 5th inning rally to stomp Jose Berrios and the Twins into submission. The Sox scored 6 times in that inning with big hits coming from Alex Verdugo and Rafael Devers along with a clutch walk from Franchy Cordero. On the pitching side, Eduardo Rodriguez (2-0, 3.60 ERA) mowed down the Twins by allowing just a run in 5 innings of work. Rookies Garrett Whitlock and Eduard Bazardo slammed the door and the Sox had won their ninth game in a row with a 7-1 victory over the Twins at Target Field.
                                                       Ann Margret approves of the win

Berriosgot the ball in the top of the first inning and Kike Hernandez singled to left to begin. Alex Verdugo banged into a double play and JD Martinez struck out swinging to end the inning. The Twins wasted no time getting to Rodriguez in the bottom of the first although Mitch Garver struck out swinging to start. Josh Donaldson singled to center then took third on the base hit to right by Nelson Cruz. Kyle Garlick scored Donaldson with a sac fly to put the Twins on top. Jorge Polanco singled Cruz to third but Luis Arraez grounded into a force to end the inning with the Twins up 1-0.
                                                     Garlick puts the Twins on top

Berrios cruised in the top of the second as Xander Bogaerts struck out swinging to start the top of the second. Jake Cave reached over the wall to rob Rafael Devers of a home run and Christian Vazquez grounded out to second to end the inning. Rodriguez recovered in the bottom of the second as Miguel Sano popped up to first to start. Max Kepler took strike three and Cave struck out struck out swinging to end the inning.

Marwin Gonzalez grounded out to short to start the top of the third and Bobby Dalbec struck out swinging. Franchy Cordero struck out swinging to end the inning. The Twins looked to score when Garver led off the bottom of the third with a base hit to right before Donaldson walked. Cruz beat out a double play ball to put runners at the corners but Garlick grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Hernandez flied out to center to start the top of the fourth but Verdugo got a base hit to center. Martinez walked but Verdugo was doubled off of second on a line drive to Berrios by Bogaerts to end the inning. Polanco doubled to left to start the bottom of the fourth but Arraez flied out to left. Sano struck out swinging and Kepler popped up to short to end the inning.

The Sox exploded in the top of the fifth when Devers doubled to center to start and Vazquez walked. Gonzalez took strike three but Dalbec beat out a grounder into the shift to load the bases. Cordero walked to score Devers with the tying run and Tyler Duffey came in to relieve Berrios. Hernandez struck out swinging but Verdugo came through with a base hit to right to score Vazquez and Dalbec. Cordero took third on the throw and he scored on a wild pitch to increase the lead. Martinez and Bogaerts drew back to back walks to reload the bases to chase Duffey. Caleb Thielbar came in to pitch to Devers and Rafael lined a base hit to right to score Verdugo and Martinez to ice the game. Bogaerts took third on the play but Vazquez struck out swinging to end the inning with the Sox ahead 6-1.
                                                       Verdugo puts the Sox on top

Rodriguez cruised in the bottom of the fifth as Cave grounded out to third to start. Garver struck out swinging and Donaldson grounded out to second to end the inning. That was it for Rodriguez who survived the first inning to toss 5 innings of 1 run ball to give the Sox a chance to come back.
                                                             Rodriguez goes 5 strong

Christian Arroyo pinch hit for Gonzalez to open the top of the sixth and he struck out swinging to start. Dalbec struck out swinging and Cordero took strike three to end the inning. Garrett Whitlock came in to pitch the bottom of the sixth and Cruz grounded out to first to start. Alex Kirilloff pinch hit for Garlick and struck out swinging before Polanco lined out to right to end the inning.

The Sox got a run back in the top of the seventh although Hernandez sruck out swinging to start. Verdugo put the exclamation point on his day with a solo home run to right to increase the lead. Martinez lined out to right but Bogaerts got a base hit to center. Devers popped up to third to end the inning with the Sox ahead 7-1.
                                                     Kiss it goodbye!

25 year old rookie Eduard Bazardo made his major league debut on the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning and Arraez grounded out to second to start. Sano walked but Kepler struck out swinging for Bazardo's first big league K. Cave walked but Garver grounded into a force to end the game. The Sox had won it 7-1.
                                                             Sox win


Hero of the Night is Alex Verdugo again. He drove in two big runs to give the Sox the lead and added a home run in the seventh inning.
                                                        Verdugo Doubleheader Hero



The Good:

JD Martinez walked twice in four plate appearances with a run scored.

Xander Bogaerts was 1 for 3 with a walk.

Rafael Devers was 2 for 4 with 2 rbis and a run scored.

Bobby Dalbec was 1 for 3 with a run scored.

Eduardo Rodriguez got the win with 5 innings of 1 run ball. He allowed 5 hits and a walk while striking out 5.

Garrett Whitlock pitched a scoreless sixth inning.

Eduard Bazardo made his ML debut with a scoreless seventh inning.



The Bad:

Marwin Gonzalez was 0 for 2 with a strikeout.

Christian Arroyo struck out as a pinch hitter.



The Ugly:

Kike Hernandez was just 1 for 4 with 2 strikeouts.

Christian Vazquez was 0 for 2 but walked and scored a run.

Franchy Cordero was 0 for 2 but walked home a run and scored a run.




Final Thoughts:

The 2001 Red Sox lost 2 of their first 3 games before winning 11 of their next 12. This year's team lost their first three games but have won 9 in a row. At this point the Sox need to go 3-1 in their next four games to match the 01 Sox. Hopefully they avoid the same fate as that team. The Sox won both games of today's doubleheader in different fashion, grinding out a win in Game 1 and romping in Game 2. Rodriguez pitched a good game while he was in and probably could have gone longer, but why risk it? The New York Yankees are kicking themselves for letting Garrett Whitlock go because he's looked good so far. One of the reasons the Sox have won 9 in a row is the fact Matt Barnes, Whitlock and Hiro Sawamura hasn't allowed a run yet this season. The offense kicked it into high gear after the first three games and hopefully the Sox can keep this up the rest of the season. Kudos to Bazardo to toss a scoreless inning in his debut before he's sent back to the Alternate Training Site. The Sox look to win their tenth in a row tomorrow afternoon against the Twins. Garrett Richards (0-1, 10.29 ERA) takes on Michael "Pine Tar" Pineda of the Twins. The game begins at 1:10 PM Eastern time at Target Field.