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Home » Category Listing » June 2015 Game Comments

June 29, 2015

Justin Time

Just when you thought the Red Sox were spiraling into a tailspin they pulled off a series win against the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays. Boston is eight games back as we near the midpoint of the season. I would settle for a less lofty goal than the postseason, like an above .500 winning percentage or not finishing in last place.

Justin Masterson returned to the team and while his pitching wasn’t impressive he turned in a yeoman-like five innings to prevail over Cy Young candidate Chris Archer. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy are certainly happy with Masterson‘s return; with him comes his wife Meryl and with Meryl comes cookies.

Masterson allowed five hits and gave up an unearned run while striking out six with no walks. Masterson’s line looks better on paper than his actual stuff, but then again Joe Kelly’s arsenal was spectacular with poor results.

How much did David Ortiz enjoy smashing a home run off Archer in the fourth inning? This much.

While Ortiz, Pablo Sandoval, and Alejandro De Aza clouted four-baggers one slugger made an early exit. Mike Napoli’s second-inning at bat ended when home plate umpire Tripp Gibson’s called strike against him. The Amica, or as Remy calls it, Ameeker strike zone showed that the pitch grazed the zone’s boundary.

Napoli has been massively frustrated with his hitting this year and this confrontation with Gibson shows the first baseman’s vexation boiling over.

And who wouldn’t be as Napoli was tossed not for arguing the call but for not picking up his bat. “I thought I walked. That’s why I dropped my bat. And I had a conversation with him, told him I thought it was a ball. He said it was a good pitch, so I started taking off my batting gloves and started walking back toward the dugout,'” stated Napoli to Gordon Edes.

“He told me I forgot my bat,” Napoli continued. “I stopped a little bit, and [then] he told me to come back and pick up the bat. I pointed at the bat boy, who picks up our bats, and he tossed me. So then, when he tossed me, I told him how I felt.”

Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli, that’s a rather silly reason to eject someone.

Game 77: June 28, 2015
WinRed Sox
5 W: Justin Masterson (3-2)
H: Junichi Tazawa (12)
S: Koji Uehara (16)
2B: Xander Bogaerts (15), Blake Swihart (8)
HR: Pablo Sandoval (7), Alejandro De Aza (6), David Ortiz (12)
Tampa Bay Rays
3 L: Chris Archer (9-5)
2B: Brad Guyer (9), Asdrubal Cabrera (11), Grady Sizemore (6)

June 28, 2015


Wade Miley was the perfect pitcher to start 70s Night at Tropicana Field. He looks like he could have been relieved by Bill Lee. Miley pitched fairly well: six and one-third innings, five hits, two earned runs, two walks, and eight strikeouts. But he was out-dueled by Matt Andriese, who held Boston scoreless over six stanzas.

Jake Elmore was responsible for the two runs Miley gave up. Elmore’s fifth-inning homer plated Asdrubal Cabrera. I love that the Rays have ersatz throwback uniforms from a decade that didn’t even witness the organization’s existence. But I don’t think the landlords would sign off on the Rays paying tribute to the Pepsi Cola Giants, a Tampa Bay-area Negro League feeder team. I think facing the area’s segregated past should be remembered rather than ignored.

Keep increasing your trade value, Alejandro De Aza!

Game 76: June 27, 2015
Red Sox
1 L: Wade Miley (7-7)
HR: Alejandro De Aza (5)
WinTampa Bay Rays
4 W: Matt Andriese (3-2)
H: Jake McGee (9), Kevin Jepsen (17)
S: Brad Boxberger (20)
2B: Evan Longoria (15), Logan Forsythe (15)
3B: Asdrubal Cabrera (4)
HR: Jake Elmore (2), Rene Rivera (4), Longoria (8)

Last Gasp

While this edition of the Red Sox has been disappointing, at least they don’t play as if there is no hope. In the fourth inning Mike Napoli and Blake Swihart were sent on a double steal. Napoli was safe at home plate but Swihart was out at second. Napoli’s run made the score a tight 3-1 in the visitors’ favor.

That slim margin was shaved to zero in the sixth frame. David DeJesus tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right that plated Joey Butler. On the same play Evan Longoria tagged up to reach third base. Rick Porcello uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Longoria to tie the game.

The Red Sox had a chance to take the lead in the seventh stanza. Jackie Bradley, Jr. led off with a single laced to center field. Mookie Betts reached on a fielder’s choice but then was caught stealing due to indecisiveness.

In the ninth Napoli muscled a ground ball single up the middle but Brad Boxberger got the next three outs without incident.

Betts atoned for his seventh-inning flub in the 10th. He lofted a double to DeJesus. Brock Holt got a hold of Steve Geltz’s fastball and sent it into left. Betts, whom Ben Cherington should definitely not trade, scored what would be the winning run.

Game 75: June 26, 2015 ∙ 10 innings
WinRed Sox
4 W: Alexi Ogando (2-0)
S: Koji Uehara (15)
2B: Alejandro De Aza (8), Mookie Betts (17)
Tampa Bay Rays
3 L: Steve Geltz (1-3)
2B: Marc Krauss (3), Evan Longoria (14), Asdrubal Cabrera (10)

June 27, 2015

Great Britton

Cute kid, huh? Maybe, until you realize what he’s doing is waving goodbye to the Red Sox postseason hopes.

Or perhaps he’s like that kid in the Cam Newton Play 60 commercial. You remember: “And be your mom’s favorite player?” This boy has the makings to go toe to toe with Dustin Pedroia. They are almost eye to eye.

Zach Britton has had six save opportunities against the Red Sox and converted all but one of them. Jackie Bradley, Jr. (welcome back, and if you do well best of luck with your new team) muscled a single off Chris Parmelee to Nolan Reimold in left to start the ninth but Britton got the next three batters, Mookie Betts, Brock Holt, and Xander Bogaerts, out without much difficulty.

The Red Sox put up a half a dozen runs but the Orioles offense figured out Eduardo Rodriguez since they first saw him on June 9, 2015.

Alejandro De Aza has been a welcome addition to the squad. His fourth-inning three-run homer hopefully increased his trade value as the Red Sox are most likely sellers as the trade deadline draws near.

Jonathan Aro made his major league debut in the sixth inning and promptly allowed an inherited runner to score when he surrendered a single to Manny Machado. Not as bad as the Dengue fever Aro contracted, to be sure, but it would have been nice to get an out off the first batter he faced. John Farrell kept him on the mound in the seventh. Aro gave up doubles to Nolan Reimold and Chris Davis, resulting in another run for the Orioles.

But it’s hard not to feel good for Aro. “It’s been a long journey, but I feel like I’ve done my best to go about things the right way all the time,” he told Alex Speier. “It feels that much better that I’m able to fulfill my mom’s dreams of making it to the big leagues one day. That’s a pretty awesome feeling.”

Game 74: June 25, 2015
WinBaltimore Orioles
8 W: Miguel Gonzalez (6-4)
H: T.J. McFarland (3), Tommy Hunter (5)
S: Zach Britton (21)
2B: Chris Parmelee (3), J.J. Hardy (5), Steve Pearce – 2 (5), Nolan Reimold (1), Chris Davis (13)
HR: Matt Wieters (3)
Red Sox
6 L: Eduardo Rodriguez (3-2)
2B: Xander Bogaerts – 2 (14), Mike Napoli (10)
HR: Alejandro De Aza (4)

Pyrrhic Victory

The Red Sox finally came up with a win against their divisional adversaries from Charm City but paid the price. Dustin Pedroia was put on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, or as my friend Scott would call it, his manstring. Pedroia was running out a single to left but came up lame after stepping awkwardly on the first base bag.

At least Pedroia wasn’t stepped on like Alejandro De Aza. The backup outfielder had his hand mashed by Bud Norris’s cleats but incredibly didn’t get injured. De Aza didn’t even get a hit for his pain; the official scorer gave Chris Davis an error because of a bobble.

It wasn’t enough for the bases and opposing players to cause bodily harm. Xander Bogaerts got into the action when his line drive smashed into Hanley Ramirez’s left hand. Take it easy, Xander, Hanley’s not going to be moving back to short and take your spot.

David Ortiz contributed to the offense with a two-run circuit clout in the in the sixth. But it wasn’t as big as a hit as his “Summer Chill” campaign with Rob Gronkowski.

Game 73: June 24, 2015
Baltimore Orioles
1 L: Bud Norris (2-6)
2B: Chris Parmelee (2), John Flaherty (5)
WinRed Sox
5 W: Clay Buchholz (5-6)
HR: David Ortiz (11)

June 26, 2015

How Lough Can You Go?

Joe Kelly didn’t get out of the fourth inning in the series opener against the Baltimore Orioles. He started off the season promisingly enough with a seven-inning victory against the Yankees but since then has struggled mightily. Kelly’s ERA+ is 70, the lowest of his career. Despite his velocity, perhaps he’s a National League pitcher. A Jeff Suppan with stuff.

David Lough, the nine-hole hitter slugging .364 this season, clubbed a three-run homer in the second inning. At that point you could tell John Farrell had a short leash on Kelly. The starter gave up a leadoff single to J.J. Hardy in the fourth but then struck out John Flaherty and stifled Lough with a fielder’s choice. But Manny Machado’s two-out liner to left ended Kelly’s start. But he still has the rest of the season to polish up his resume for the Cy Young award… or does he?

Dustin Pedroia went 1-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk. On the defensive side he sprung on Lough’s sac bunt attempt in the sixth and flipped it from his glove to Mike Napoli for a nifty play. Machado doubled off Alexi Ogando right after that to drive in another run.

In the home half of the sixth Brock Holt struck out looking on a terrible third strike call by home plate umpire Tim Timmons.

Timmons heard Farrell chirping and tossed the Red Sox skipper. Farrell trails Padres manager Bud Black by one ejection and is tied with Clint Hurdle of the Pirates and Lloyd McClendon of the Mariners with three dismissals. We can’t even win in getting thrown off the field.

Game 72: June 23, 2015
WinBaltimore Orioles
6 W: Ubaldo Jimenez (6-3)
H: Brad Brach (5), Chaz Roe (3), Darren O’Day (7)
S: Zach Britton (20)
2B: Chris Parmelee (1), Manny Machado (15)
3B: Parmelee (1)
HR: David Lough (4)
Boston Red Sox
4 L: Joe Kelly (2-5)
2B: Mookie Betts (16), Dustin Pedroia (14)

June 22, 2015

Double Your Fun

Rarer than a Red Sox fan at Kauffman Stadium is a game where the Boston squad scored double digits this season. In fact, this was only the second game in which they scored 10 runs or more this season. When they scored 10 runs against the Blue Jays on June 12 they lost.

Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia contributed to the effort with two doubles each. Xander Bogaerts notched three two-baggers. Mookie Betts only had one, but he also fell just a single short of hitting for the cycle.

Along with Betts’s home run Hanley Ramirez and David Ortiz clobbered circuit clouts. Ramirez’s was significant as it was the highest recorded home run at 180 feet.

With his 476th homer Ortiz surpassed Willie Stargell and Stan Musial on the home run list.

With the Royals’ increasing attendance and revenue you would think they could afford a better toupee for Sluggerrr’s dad.

Game 71: June 21, 2015
WinBoston Red Sox
13 W: Wade Miley (7-6)
2B: Brock Holt – 2 (15), Mookie Betts (15), Dustin Pedroia – 2 (13), Xander Bogaerts – 3 (12)
3B: Betts (4)
HR: Hanley Ramirez (15), David Ortiz (10), Betts (8)
Kansas City Royals
2 L: Chris Young (6-3)
3B: Lorenzo Cain (3)

Pure Dreck

David Ortiz pulled an “…And Justice for All” in the seventh inning. He fell behind 1-2 with two out but got a single up the middle. Despite the hit Ortiz protested against home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman’s two called strikes by flipping his bat in front of home plate and making a dismissive gesture towards Dreckman from first base.

After Dreckman ejected Ortiz the designated hitter mimed throwing the official out of the game. And the Academy Award goes to… David Ortiz for best show of righteous indignation.

“You call two bad pitches on a guy that throws 100, what do you want me to do?” asked Ortiz. “It was pretty obvious that those two pitches were pretty bad. Not only that, I look at you, you look at me, and I tell you the guy doesn’t need help and you keep giving me signals. I finally give up on you and you throw me out of the game for that? I don’t know.”

What I don’t know is why Rick Porcello $82.5 million dollar man turned into a pumpkin. The starter imploded in the fifth inning after his team had scored two runs to cushion its lead. The Royals scored one more run in the fifth than the Red Sox did in the entire game.

Game 70: June 20, 2015
Boston Red Sox
4 L: Rick Porcello (4-8)
2B: Blake Swihart (7), Brock Holt (13)
3B: Alejandro De Aza (3)
HR: Mookie Betts (7)
WinKansas City Royals
7 W: Edinson Volquez (7-4)
H: Franklin Morales (3), Ryan Madson (8), Kelvin Herrera (10), Wade Davis (8)
S: Greg Holland (13)
2B: Mike Moustakas (14)
HR: Salvador Perez (11), Kendry Morales (8)

June 20, 2015

Vote Royals

John Farrell is not shy with his use of challenges. After just one out in the game he asked Tom Hallion’s crew to take a closer look at Mookie Betts’s play at first where the center fielder was called out. The out call was reversed but the Red Sox didn’t capitalize on the call as David Ortiz grounded into an inning-ending double play.

But in the second inning the Red Sox offense came alive. Mike Napoli, Blake Swihart, and Betts all drove in runs to build a five-run lead. Eduardo Rodriguez used that cushion well by holding the Royals to a single run in six and one-third inning of work.

But the Red Sox’s Rodriguez wasn’t the one who made baseball headlines. Instead it was New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez, who homered off Justin Verlander for his 3,000th hit. Zach Hample, the season ticket-holder who caught the milestone piece of memorabilia, said he was keeping it. Hample said he has returned the first home run balls of Mike Trout and Didi Gregorious but that “this is something more special.”

If Trout continues the path he is blazing, perhaps Hample will regret giving up that particular ball.

Even though Major League Baseball cancelled more than 60 million votes the Royals still reign supreme in the All-Star roster voting. The only non-Kansas City squad member on the roster? Mike Trout.

With the Red Sox seemingly on a roll, perhaps Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy might have to break out the Wally doll mojo every game. Or maybe Orsillo needs to keep on expanding his Dontourage.

Game 69: June 19, 2015
WinBoston Red Sox
7 W: Eduardo Rodriguez (3-1)
2B: Pablo Sandoval (11), Blake Swihart (6), Mike Napoli (9)
HR: Hanley Ramirez (14)
Kansas City Royals
3 L: Shelby Miller (5-3)
2B: Omar Infante (14), Alcides Escobar (12), Christian Colon (4), Mike Moustakas (13)
HR: Eric Hosmer (8)

June 19, 2015


Clay Buchholz twirled another gem: seven innings, six hits, two runs (neither earned), one walk, and three strikeouts. Even better for an American League pitcher in a National League park: he didn’t injure himself in his three plate appearances.

He was his own worst enemy in the sixth inning. Buchholz got the first two outs in six pitches but then surrendered a single to Cameron Maybin, walked Nick Markakis, and gave up another single to Juan Uribe. With the bases loaded A.J. Pierzynski tapped the ball to Buchholz. The starter gathered it and had to motion to David Ortiz to get to first base. He must have thought he lost too much time even though it was Pierzynski running to first and flipped the ball to Ortiz with his glove. The ball flew beyond Ortiz’s reach and Maybin and Markakis scored.

The visitors prevailed despite Buchholz’s error. No single hitter dominated but nearly everyone played a part in advancing and scoring runners. A ratio of 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position isn’t remarkable but it is a sight better than a goose egg.

Koji Uehara tallied his 14th save with a pristine ninth inning. He struck out former teammate Jonny Gomes to complete the victory. Uehara charmingly covered his mouth, which must have been agape in shock. The Red Sox managed to split a series!

Game 68: June 18, 2015
WinBoston Red Sox
5 W: Clay Buchholz (4-6)
H: Tommy Layne (4)
S: Koji Uehara (14)
2B: Alejandro De Aza (7), Mookie Betts (14)
3B: Brock Holt (3)
Atlanta Braves
2 L: Shelby Miller (5-3)
2B: Jace Peterson (10)

June 18, 2015


John Farrell and Carl Willis weren’t yelling at Pablo Sandoval to get off his smartphone here but rather at Larry Vanover. The first base umpire ruled that Pedro Ciriaco didn’t go around but checked his swing and Farrell strongly expressed his disagreement.

What is more disappointing, hopping onto a social media site during the game or calling a sacrifice bunt with two on, none out, with the eight-hole batter and pitcher coming up in the second inning?

Not to cast a shadow on Joe Kelly’s efforts at the plate, or as the kids say today, “throw shade.” Kelly drove in a run in the fourth inning on an infield single. Jace Peterson didn’t think Kelly was fleet of foot enough to beat out his throw.

The only other run the Red Sox scored came on Mike Napoli’s sixth-inning homer. At one point Napoli got red hot at the plate; perhaps this will light that spark again.

In a Padres uniform Will Middlebrooks’s slash statistics are .233/.264/.403. Sandoval is doing better at .270/.323/.409, but the power numbers are comparable. And Middlebrooks doesn’t tweet at his fiancée Jenny Dell during games. They learned their lesson after tweeting a picture of themselves together on New Year’s Eve.

Game 67: June 17, 2015
Boston Red Sox
2 H: Robbie Ross Jr. (3)
BS: Alexi Ogando (1)
L: Junichi Tazawa (0-3)
HR: Mike Napoli (10)
WinAtlanta Braves
5 W: Nick Masset (2-1)
H: Jim Johnson (16)
S: Jason Grilli (18)
2B: Jace Peterson (9), Pedro Ciriaco (4)

Brock of Ages

I’ve been writing this blog for 10 years and in that span of time the Red Sox have not had a player hit for the cycle. Brock Holt ended that drought on Tuesday. He is the first Red Sox player to accomplish this feat since John Valentin did on June 6, 1996 against the Chicago White Sox. Valentin is the only player to have hit for the cycle, turned an unassisted triple play, and hit three home runs in a game.

If there’s another player on the current Red Sox who could do this it would be Holt.

Two players have hit for the cycle against Boston since 2005: Mark Ellis on June 4, 2007 and Bengie Molina (of all people) on July 16, 2010. When a player hits for the cycle it is often brought up how this exploit is rarer than no-hitters. Two Boston pitchers have thrown no-hitters in the past decade: Clay Buchholz on September 1, 2007 and Jon Lester on May 19, 2008.

If there’s a non-pitcher that could no-hit a team for an inning, I would vote for Holt again.

Major League Baseball’s commissioner Rob Manfred was in attendance to witness Holt’s performance, which also contributed to ending the home squad’s seven-game losing streak. It’s time to have the designated hitter rule for both leagues and stop using the All-Star game to determine the World Series home field already, commish! As for Pete Rose, I have no strong feelings one way or the other as it does not impact the day-to-day game. It was nice of Holt to put on a show for the commissioner.

And luckily for everyone Holt didn’t sing.

Game 66: June 16, 2015
Atlanta Braves
4 L: Julio Teheran (4-3)
2B: Freddie Freeman (20), Juan Uribe (6), Pedro Ciriaco (3), A.J. Pierzynski (9)
WinBoston Red Sox
9 W: Wade Miley (6-6)
H: Junichi Tazawa (11)
2B: Brock Holt (12), Mookie Betts (13), Mike Napoli (8), Alejandro De Aza (6), Pablo Sandoval (10)
3B: Betts (3), De Aza (2), Holt (2)
HR: Holt (2)

June 17, 2015

Gomes Again, Gomes Again, Jiggety-Jig

Raise your hand if you miss Jonny Gomes. His reckless play in the outfield, solid production at the dish, and dynamic clubhouse presence seems to be something lacking in the 2015 Red Sox. I won’t ever forget how he draped the Boston Strong jersey on the 2013 World Series trophy at the Boston Marathon finish line when the duck boat rolling rally paused.

When Gomes and Jon Lester were traded to Oakland in 2014 two players that exemplified the heart and soul of the team left the Hub. Yoenis Cespedes came to the Red Sox only to be traded for Rick Porcello. Procello lasted six and one-third innings with six hits, four earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts. Most troubling was that the ground ball pitcher had three ground outs and five fly ball outs.

Gomes went 0-for-3 with a walk. He struck out twice and flied out to right, so the fence defensive formation never came into play.

In the fourth Gomes made one of his signature “more dramatic than it needed to be” catches. Best of all it was on Dustin Pedroia, who was clearly amused that his former teammate made such a spectacular play. Maybe if Pedroia still had his beard….

Game 65: June 15, 2015
WinAtlanta Braves
4 W: Williams Perez (3-0)
H: Nick Masset (4), Jim Johnson (15)
S: Jason Grilli (17)
No extra base hits
Boston Red Sox
2 L: Rick Porcello (4-7)
2B: Pablo Sandoval – 2 (9)
HR: Xander Bogaerts (3)

June 15, 2015

Blinded by the Plight

Dustin Pedroia’s look of horror as he failed to glove Kevin Pillar’s pop-up in the fourth was reminiscent of Red Sox fans’ rictus of torture throughout the 2015 season thus far. One of the few moments of delight has been Eduardo Rodriguez’s rookie campaign, but he had his first rough outing against the white-hot Blue Jays offense.

Earlier in the fourth Edwin Encarnacion took out Xander Bogaerts with his slide into the keystone sack.

John Farrell came out to argue with second base umpire Jeff Kellogg. Farrell seemed to be trying to get tossed but he failed, continuing the same theme as in so many things around the organization this season.

For more proof of this team’s futility, see Chris Colabello’s fifth-inning RBI single. This increased Toronto’s lead to 7-0. It didn’t stop there, but as far as this game goes I will.

Game 64: June 14, 2015
WinToronto Blue Jays
13 W: Marco Estrada (4-3)
2B: Russell Martin (12), Ryan Goins (8), Jose Reyes (9)
HR: Goins (2), Danny Valencia (2)
Boston Red Sox
5 L: Eduardo Rodriguez (2-1)
3B: Pablo Sandoval (1)
HR: David Ortiz (9)

June 14, 2015

The Grousemartins

Few players remain as annoying after they leave the Yankees. Russell Martin is such an exception. In the eleventh the Blue Jays backstop clobbered Matt Barnes’s fastball. It found the Monster seats to give Toronto a 5-4 lead.

In the bottom of the eleventh the Red Sox were once again stifled by Brett Cecil. The Boston squad couldn’t score late and failed to score early. Rusney Castillo had a home run robbed by Jose Bautista in the third inning.

Despite the loss there are signs of life in the Red Sox lineup. David Ortiz came through in the sixth with a game-tying solo home run. Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. If the time off helped this duo perhaps Mike Napoli will return rejuvenated.

R.A. Dickey didn’t notch the win but his team extended their winning streak to 10 games. He communed with the only other knuckleballer in the major leagues, Steven Wright, before the game. The language knuckleballers speak to one another, it must rarer than Parseltongue.

Game 63: June 13, 2015
WinToronto Blue Jays
5 W: Aaron Loup (2-3)
S: Brett Cecil (4)
HR: Russell Martin (10)
Boston Red Sox
4 L: Matt Barnes (2-2)
2B: Pablo Sandoval (7), Alejandro De Aza (5)
HR: David Ortiz (8)

Nine-Run Ruin

I don’t think these Blue Jays fans are still upset that John Farrell abandoned them.

As the horror in the seventh inning unfurled Farrell tried to bring in pitchers to preserve Joe Kelly’s 8-4 lead. Matt Barnes, Junichi Tazawa, and Tommy Layne all failed; they saw the entire Toronto lineup and all nine batters scored to give the visitors a 13-8 advantage. Perhaps Justin Smoak’s two-run homer snapped Layne out of his stupor as he managed to get three outs to mercifully end the inning.

The Boston Globe’s Eric Wilbur suggested that Farrell is at fault for the team’s poor performance. “Turns out the Red Sox aren’t only missing clutch hitting in their clubhouse,” opined Wilbur. “They’re clearly also lacking any semblance of backbone from their manager. The manager needs to go. That’s now more clear than ever.”

Michael Silverman from the Boston Herald fired back with his own thoughts. Farrell not responding in kind to Wade Miley’s outburst was not an example of a lack of spine but presence of mind, according to Silverman. “That Farrell did not escalate the Miley episode by returning the pitcher’s fire-and-brimstone act with equal ferocity in the sight of the TV cameras is the sign of a manager in control of his faculties,” wrote Silverman.

Since you can’t fire the players the Red Sox may eventually have no option but to jettison Farrell. But even Connie Mack couldn’t have coaxed a win out of a team that gives up nine runs in a frame.

Game 62: June 12, 2015
WinToronto Blue Jays
13 W: Steve Delabar (2-0)
S: Brett Cecil (3)
2B: Ryan Goins – 2 (7)
3B: Justin Smoak (1)
HR: Smoak (5)
Boston Red Sox
10 BS, L: Junichi Tazawa (1, 0-2)
2B: Xander Bogaerts (9), Rusney Castillo (1)
HR: Pablo Sandoval (6), Mookie Betts (6), Dustin Pedroia (9)

June 12, 2015

Wade Rage

Wade Miley was born in 1986. In true Millennial spirit Miley ripped into authority figure John Farrell after he was pulled from the game. Miley lasted four innings with nine hits (three of them home runs) and five earned runs. “But I didn’t walk anyone and I struck out three!” yelled Miley as he stalked Farrell in the dugout.

Dennis Eckersley was not impressed by Miley’s behavior.

On the positive side David Ortiz clouted a solo homer in the eighth inning. Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in. If these two ailing bats recover perhaps the season can be salvaged. It wasn’t enough for the Red Sox to avoid a series sweep against a divisional rival. Maybe get a few more Red Sox batters sippin’.

Off the field Tonya Carpenter, the fan who was critically injured by a shattered bat at Fenway, was upgraded to “good” condition.

Game 61: June 11, 2015
Boston Red Sox
5 L: Wade Miley (5-6)
2B: Pablo Sandoval (6), Mookie Betts (12)
HR: David Ortiz (7)
WinBaltimore Orioles
6 W: Chris Tillman (4-7)
H: Brad Bach (4), Chaz Roe (1)
S: Zach Britton (17)
2B: Adam Jones (10), Delmon Young (6)
HR: Jones (10), Nolan Reimold (1), Manny Machado (10)

June 11, 2015

Outstanding in the Field

Adam Jones seemed to have a personal vendetta against Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. In the second he nailed Xander Bogaerts at second base when the shortstop attempted to eke out a double.

Travis Snider had a Jonesian moment in the second inning. Right after Jones’s assist Snider did the same thing to Pablo Sandoval. The feat was somewhat less impressive as Sandoval isn’t a fast runner, but Snider’s throw had to be on the money to eliminate the Red Sox third baseman.

After those two plays the outfield’s theatrics weren’t done. Betts lined what could have been a double in Jones’s direction. Betts was robbed by Jones when the Orioles center fielder made a stretching leap to end the frame.

Jones took away extra bases from Betts again in the fifth inning with a diving snare of a quickly sinking fly ball. According to Don Orsillo, Betts sought out Jones for advice on fielding in center when the Red Sox rookie found out he wasn’t going to be playing the infield. Nice of Jones to give Betts a little refresher; clearly Betts has been forgetting to blow a bubble before making the play.

The Red Sox have the worst record against other AL East teams. It is apparent that the offseason retooling isn’t having the desired impact. How much of Ben Cherington’s work will be undone in the coming weeks? Quick, Jerry, ask Siri!

Game 60: June 10, 2015
Boston Red Sox
2 L: Rick Porcello (4-6)
2B: Brock Holt (11), Dustin Pedroia (11)
WinBaltimore Orioles
5 W: Wei-Yin Chen (2-4)
H: Tommy Hunter (4)
S: Darren O’Day (2)
2B: J.J. Hardy (2), Manny Machado (12)

June 10, 2015


Eduardo Rodriguez had another successful start: six innings pitched, three hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts. But the Red Sox batters were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position for a total of nine strandings as a team. Even more frustrating was that the Orioles’ only run came on Matt Barnes’s wild pitch in the seventh.

But Rodriguez has been a revelation on the mound, one of the few bright spots in a dismal season.

Hanley Ramirez has had his ups and downs but is one of the few offensive standouts. When he went down writhing in agony in the third inning after a foul ball ricocheted against the inside of his left knee it looked like he could be done for the season. But he stayed in the box to work a walk before leaving the game.

Dustin Pedroia’s head was inches away from colliding with Chaz Roe’s 90 MPH fastball. The ball grazed Pedroia’s hand instead of his head but Buck Showalter thought the ball didn’t touch the batter. Pedroia didn’t shake his opposite hand a la Eric Sogard to convince Jeff Nelson. Even if the replay didn’t confirm that Pedroia was grazed by the ball I’d give him first base just for cheating serious injury as he did with his superior reflexes.

Game 59: June 9, 2015
Boston Red Sox
0 L: Matt Barnes (2-1)
2B: Brock Holt (10), Blake Swihart (5)
WinBaltimore Orioles
1 W: Chaz Roe (1-0)
S: Zach Britton (16)
2B: Steve Pearce (2)

June 8, 2015

Seven in Eight for Nine

In this season so far it has taken the Red Sox multiple games to accumulate seven runs. That they did so late in a game down by four runs is remarkable. But which Red Sox team will prevail in the coming months? The team that struggles to string together hits or the squad that explodes for a touchdown in a single frame?

Rusney Castillo kicked off the eighth with a four-bagger into the Monster seats. It was his first home run in 2015. At least the local nine wouldn’t be shut out at Fenway.

Bob Melvin pulled Kendall Graveman in favor of Evan Scribner. Scribner relinquished a string of three singles, failing to get an out. The Red Sox winnowed the lead to two runs and had three outs to work with.

Drew Pomeranz secured an out but it was a sacrifice fly off David Ortiz’s bat that narrowed the gap to a single run. Melvin reached into his bullpen again and summoned Tyler Clippard. Mike Napoli worked the count full but struck out swinging.

Pablo Sandoval’s respite seemed to help him. The third baseman kept the rally alive with a liner to left. Mookie Betts pinch ran for Sandoval and represented the go-ahead run.

Xander Bogaerts was more than happy to drive in the tying and go-ahead scores with his wall-dinging double.

Alejandro De Aza tallied his first RBI in a Red Sox uniform. Castillo capped the frame with a line drive to left that had De Aza celebrating his first run for Boston.

Perhaps the batters were inspired to support Steven Wright. The knuckleballer lost his starting job to Joe Kelly but improved his record to 3-2 out of the bullpen.

I had what was a rare feeling in 2015 so far. This little girl sums up my feelings about this series sweep.

Game 58: June 7, 2015
Oakland Athletics
4 H: Drew Pomeranz (1)
BS, L: Tyler Clippart (2, 0-3)
2B: Mark Canha – 2 (6), Josh Reddick (9), Josh Phegley – 2 (5)
WinBoston Red Sox
7 W: Steven Wright (3-2)
S: Tommy Layne (1)
2B: Hanley Ramirez (5), Sandy Leon (1), Xander Bogaerts (8)
HR: Rusney Castillo (1)

Not Your Average Joe

Joe Kelly saved his job in Saturday’s game with his six innings of one-run ball. Just as NFL quarterbacks give their offensive linemen Rolexes Kelly should give opulent presents to Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, and Mike Napoli. The three sluggers drove in all four runs for the Red Sox in the club’s winning endeavor.

Ramirez drove in two runs with his first-inning bomb to the batters’ eye. Ortiz drove in Ramirez in the third. Ortiz then scored on Napoli’s single, a grounder that deflected off Marcus Semien to Ben Zobrist.

With Jessie Chavez toeing the rubber the Athletics replicated the same paltry production of two runs as the series opener. Just as Oakland mimicked the Red Sox’s facial hair last season this season Chavez sports a similar coiffure to Clay Buchholz and Kelly. Whether to improve his luck or his look Chavez might consider a new haircut. He was 2-3 in the month of May and started June off with a loss.

The Red Sox were almost as happy as this Bogaerts fan. He was lucky enough to nab a foul ball off Xander Bogaerts’s bat.

Game 57: June 6, 2015
Oakland Athletics
2 L: Jesse Chavez (2-6)
2B: Josh Reddick (8)
3B: Billy Burns (3)
HR: Mark Canha (7)
BosWinton Red Sox
4 W: Joe Kelly (2-4)
H: Alexi Ogando (6), Tommy Layne (3), Matt Barnes (1)
S: Koji Uehara (13)
2B: David Ortiz (12), Blake Swihart (4), Mike Napoli (7)
HR: Hanley Ramirez (13)

June 7, 2015


The Oakland Athletics reached deep into their bag of tricks in their attempt to win the series opener at Fenway. In the seventh they called upon switch pitcher Pat Venditte to keep Oakland in the game and he pitched two excellent innings, allowing just one hit, walking none, and striking out Blake Swihart.

It was particularly interesting how Venditte faced off against Swihart as the catcher is a switch hitter. Venditte indicated he was going to pitch right-handed which prompted Swihart to bat lefty, requiring a helmet change. Major League Baseball even has Official Baseball Rule 5.07(f) for Venditte:

A pitcher must indicate visually to the umpire-in-chief, the batter and any runners the hand with which he intends to pitch, which may be done by wearing his glove on the other hand while touching the pitcher's plate. The pitcher is not permitted to pitch with the other hand until the batter is retired, the batter becomes a runner, the inning ends, the batter is substituted for by a pinch-hitter or the pitcher incurs an injury. In the event a pitcher switches pitching hands during an at-bat because he has suffered an injury, the pitcher may not, for the remainder of the game, pitch with the hand from which he has switched. The pitcher shall not be given the opportunity to throw any preparatory pitches after switching pitching hands. Any change of pitching hands must be indicated clearly to the umpire-in-chief.

While the Red Sox didn’t score against Venditte they had enough of a lead to win the game. Oakland‘s second baseman tried to decrease the margin in the eighth by any means necessary. That included feigning being hit by a pitch on the right hand when it hit the knob of the bat.

In Sogard’s recoil from the extreme pain of the assault he shook the wrong hand. The umpires reviewed the play and upheld the call that Sogard was hit by Wade Miley’s pitch.

Playing against Oakland was like watching a mirror image of the Red Sox. Both have talented players that have not united into a cohesive team. The Athletics defensive imperfections, like Josh Reddick’s missed catch of Dustin Pedroia’s liner in the fifth, were reminiscent of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez’s recent woes. The Red Sox picked up Alejandro De Aza to spell Ramirez in left. What will it take for the Oakland to click?

Game 56: June 5, 2015
Oakland Athletics
2 L: Scott Kazmir (2-4)
2B: Josh Phegley (3)
HR: Brett Lawrie (5)
BosWinton Red Sox
4 W: Wade Miley (5-5)
H: Junichi Tazawa (10)
S: Koji Uehara (12)
2B: Brock Holt (9), Xander Bogaerts (7), Dustin Pedroia (10)

June 6, 2015

Panda Problems

This should be about Blake Swihart’s first major league home run. I should be writing about how Swihart persevered on the defensive side by wrangling Steven Wright’s knuckleball and help the starter triumph thanks to his third-inning solo shot.

But instead Wright’s four-run lead evaporated in the fifth inning with Torii Hunter’s three-run homer.

Wright notched two outs in the sixth inning but had difficulty nailing down the final out. Pablo Sandoval fielded Eduardo Escobar’s ground ball easily but uncorked a poor throw to allow the Twins shortstop to reach second base. Kurt Suzuki lined a single to right to tie the game.

Koji Uehara wasn’t helped by his fielders, either. Brian Dozier led off the ninth with a single that might have been caught by a more proficient left fielder than Hanley Ramirez. Hunter followed with a single to short.

Joe Mauer bunted and Swihart scooped it up. Swihart fired a low throw to Sandoval but it was catchable. The ball skittered under Sandoval’s glove and Dozier crossed home to give the Twins the lead. Minnesota went on to score three more runs in the last frame, an insurmountable lead for the inconsistent Red Sox offense.

Like his favorite football team the Patriots Brian Butterfield came under heavy fire. His decision to send Mike Napoli home in the seventh inning was roundly criticized, but John Farrell defended the third base coach’s aggressive approach.

Game 55: June 4, 2015
WinMinnesota Twins
8 W: Aaron Thompson (1-1)
2B: Eduardo Escobar (8)
HR: Torii Hunter (8)
Boston Red Sox
4 L: Koji Uehara (2-3)
2B: Dustin Pedroia (11)
HR: Blake Swihart (1), Pedroia (8)

June 4, 2015

Hermann Monster

Rick Porcello recovered from his two recent wretched outings to turn in eight solid innings. His line of five hits, two earned runs, no walks, and five strikeouts would normally be enough for the win, but the Red Sox didn’t carry forward their offensive momentum from the day game into the second leg of the double header.

The Twins got to Porcello in the second inning. Chris Hermann doubled off the Green Monster to plate Eddie Rosario. Hermann then scored on Danny Santana’s sacrifice fly.

There wasn’t much to enjoy in this game from a Red Sox fan’s perspective, but this little tyke had some fun. The child is about two feet tall, representing the two hits the Red Sox tallied.

But even that kid wasn’t as happy as Don Orsillo was when he got a lamp from Jerry Remy.

Game 54: June 3, 2015
WinMinnesota Twins
2 W: Trevor May (4-3)
H: Blaine Boyer (11)
S: Glen Perkins (20)
2B: Brian Dozier (17), Chris Hermann (2)
Boston Red Sox
0 L: Rick Porcello (4-5)
2B: Dustin Pedroia (9)

Exceptional Eduardo

Eduardo Rodriguez displayed his excellence in front of the Fenway faithful for the first time Wednesday afternoon. The rookie almost replicated his major league debut. He didn’t make it into the eighth this time and surrendered a homer to Brian Dozier in the third inning, but otherwise he walked a pair of batters and struck out seven, just as he did in Texas. He’s on his way to becoming the best Venezuelan pitcher in the majors.

Oh wait, Felix Hernandez is from Venezuela? Okay, second best.

Torii Hunter got a foul ball in the back of the thigh when his teammate Shane Robinson was at bat. Kurt Suzuki helped Hunter massage his 39-year old muscle. The unintentional hit didn’t keep Hunter out of the last game of the series, which is unfortunate, as we will see.

The Red Sox bats came to life. Every hitter but Mookie Betts, Sandy Leon, and Rusney Castillo had at least one hit in the game. Dustin Pedroia went 4-for-5 in the leadoff spot, scored two runs, and drove in a run.

Time out of the lineup seemed to help recharge David Ortiz’s batteries. The designated hitter went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

The Boston squad had a chance to return the favor of sweeping the Twins, but they would have to hope that the bats stayed hot and the pitching fresh.

Game 53: June 3, 2015
Minnesota Twins
3 L: Mike Pelfrey (4-2)
HR: Brian Dozier (10), Eduardo Escobar (3)
WinBoston Red Sox
6 W: Eduardo Rodriguez (2-0)
2B: David Ortiz – 2 (11)
HR: Mike Napoli (9)

The Castillo Show

Rusney Castillo was pivotal to this game. Defensively he robbed Aaron Hicks of a home run in the top of the eighth inning.

In the seventh with two outs Xander Bogaerts ricocheted the ball high off the wall below the flagpole in center field, just missing a home run. Sandy Leon worked a five-pitch walk off Mike Pelfrey. Castillo followed with a gutshot single that plated the only run of the game.

Clay Buchholz continued his post-haircut excellence. The slim starter went eight innings giving up just three hits and two walks while striking out eight.

In sync with Buchholz’s jersey number Koji Uehara took over in the ninth to tally his 11th save. Uehara allowed a walk to Trevor Plouffe with two out but induced a fly ball to center for the final out.

Game 52: June 2, 2015
Minnesota Twins
0 L: Mike Pelfrey (4-2)
No extra base hits
WinBoston Red Sox
1 W: Clay Buchholz (3-6)
S: Koji Uehara (11)
2B: Mike Napoli (6), Xander Bogaerts (6)

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