The American League Player of the Week

On Monday, MLB named JD Martinez the American League Player of the week. It’s definitely well deserved, as Boston’s designated hitter is having a great 2021 season so far. 2020 was no friend to our beloved designated hitter, but it looks like JD is turning things around in 2021. The offensive power hitter is currently batting .472 with 5 homeruns and 16 RBI’s through 8 games so far this season.

Near the end of last season, many people doubted JD Martinez’s abilities as a designated hitter. He hit just .213 in 2020, with 45 hits, 27 RBI’s and 7 home runs through 54 games. Many fans thought that he was done, and couldn’t be the same hitter he was for the majority of his career. The doubt did carry over into Spring Training, as he didn’t hit his first homerun until the end of camp. Well, we’re nine games into this season, and JD is proving everyone wrong.

American League Player of the Week

Having only missed one game so far this season, JD Martinez is doing quite well so far in 2021. JD Martinez has had an extra base hit in his first eight games of the season, which ties a Major League record. Martinez is currently tied with Alex Rodriguez and Sandy Alomar Jr. That is some great company to be in. His three homeruns on Sunday’s game against the Orioles allowed him to become just the 5th MLB player to hit three or more home runs in a game for three different teams.

Martinez first did it in June 2015 vs the Yankees as a member of the Tigers. In a game in September 2017, after being traded to the Diamondbacks, he hit 4 homeruns against the Dodgers. Now, he has done it again with three home runs in Sunday’s game.

This is not the first time that JD has been named Player of the Week. He was named Player of the Week 8 other times; four as a member of the Tigers, two as a member of the Diamondbacks, and 2 other times with Boston. Now, he is at nine nominations for the honor.

Martinez is Having A Great 2021 Season

So far, JD has only missed one game for Boston. When he was put back in the lineup for Sunday’s game, JD went off on Baltimore’s pitching staff. He went 4-6 in the game, with 3 home runs. Right now, he is riding an eight game hit streak, and looks to extend that on Tuesday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins. With a stacked lineup, it’s no wonder Alex Cora has JD hitting clean up. His ability to put the ball in play so far this season is one of the reasons why Boston’s offense is rolling.

With the Red Sox starting a 10 game home stand on Friday, it will be interesting to see how Martinez does. We are a few weeks into the season, and so far, he is living up to his expectations. The rest of 2021 will be fun to watch with JD Martinez at the plate. Martinez started this season on a mission to prove people wrong, and to put 2020 behind him. I think he is doing a fine job of that.

The National League Player of the Week

If you’re a baseball fan, you know what happened Saturday night in Texas. For the first time in team history, the San Diego Padres finally got a no- hitter. They are the last team to accomplish this feat. Wait, there’s more. The pitcher who accomplished it, is Joe Musgrove, the former Houston Astro and Pittsburgh Pirate. Prior to the 2021 season, Musgrove was traded to the San Diego Padres. Now, he has pitched his first career no-hitter. This led to Musgrove winning the National League Player of the Week.

For Musgrove, that was definitely a dream come true. Many pitchers dream of pitching no hitters, but how many can say they have done so for their hometown team? After Saturday night, Joe Musgrove can. The 28 year old from El Cajon, California grew up a Padres fan, and attended games at Petco Park dreaming of playing for the Padres. His dream came true when he was traded on January 19th 2021. Musgrove is currently 2-0 on the season, with a 0.00 ERA in 15 innings. The Padres have something special on their hands.

Early Red Sox Success Gets Fans Excited

Our beloved Red Sox are nine games into the new campaign. Boston currently sits at a 6-3 record. They got swept by the Baltimore Orioles to kick off 2021, but they have won six games in a row since then. These victories includes sweeping the defending American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway, then traveling down to Baltimore and sweeping the Orioles. Boston travels out to Minneapolis next to take on the Twins. The Red Sox are currently sitting at the top of the American League East Division.

Red Sox success

Booming offensive production has led the Sox so far this season. They currently have the third-highest team batting average and the second-most runs scored. They also have the third-highest slugging percentage, and are tied for the third-most home runs hit so far this year. The man leading the way at the plate is J.D. Martinez. Martinez is currently hitting .472. He also has a slugging percentage of 1.083, tied for the most home runs with five, and has batted in 16 runs. Martinez has clearly contributed to Red Sox success.

One of the most impressive things about the start that the Red Sox have had is their ability to accomplish it without a very important piece of the rotation, Chris Sale. Sale has been Boston’s ace for four seasons now. He was placed on the Injured List during Spring Training. Eduardo Rodriguez, who was expected to step up and fill that role, has also had bad luck with injuries to start off this season. Boston’s leader on the mound so far this season has been Nick Pivetta. Pivetta has started two games so far this year, picking up a win in both. He has 11 total innings pitched, 11 strikeouts, and has only allowed four earned runs and one home run.

Red Sox Silence The Critics Early

Many people predicted the Red Sox to be in last place in the American League East Division all season. It is still early, but Boston is currently leading the way. The Red Sox definently have the offensive firepower to be a sleeper team this season, and the rotation will improve with the return of Sale and Rodriguez. This could be a very fun team to watch!

Red Sox Head to Target Field to Face the Twins

After a clean sweep against the Orioles, the Red Sox head to Target Field to face the Twins for the first time since June 2019. Due to COVID-19, the Red Sox were previously not able to play at Target Field. The Twins had a good season in 2020 going 36-24 and finishing first in their division. The Houston Astros, however, swept them in the American League Division Series.

The Red Sox look to do well in the Twin City, and will be facing a familiar foe when they arrive. J.A. Happ, who signed with Minnesota in the off season, played for the Yankees from 2018 – 2020. Happ was also a member of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2012 – 2014, and from 2016 – 2018. Red Sox pitching will be on high alert, as slugger Nelson Cruz will be in the line up for the Twins.

The Bats Broke Out In Baltimore

After sweeping the Rays, the bats stayed hot in the 3 game set in Camden Yards. Homeruns by JD Martinez, Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo propelled the Red Sox to a sweep of the Orioles. The Red Sox outscored the Orioles, 27-16, and the pitching didn’t disappoint either.

Eduardo Rodriguez, who made his first start since September 29th, 2019, got his first win of 2021. Garrett Richards and Nick Pivetta did well in their starts as well. The bullpen has a bit of work to do, but they held it together to help Boston hold down Baltimore. Now, they are off to Target Field with a 6 game winning streak.

Matchups for Target Field

The first game of the series will feature former Twin, Martin Perez for the Red Sox, and the newest Twin, JA Happ. Perez, who pitched for the Twins in 2019, will face his former team for the first time since signing with Boston. He is looking for his first win of the season, after getting the no decision against Tampa Bay last week. Happ, who pitched for the Yankees last season, is also going for his first win of 2021. He last pitched against the Tigers on April 6th.

Game 2’s match up will feature Nathan Eovaldi and the former Dodger, Kenta Maeda. Game 3 will have Eduardo Rodriguez for Boston, and long time Twins pitcher Jose Berrios going head to head. The final game of the series will have Garrett Richards going up against another familiar foe, Michael Pineda. Red Sox fans will remember him for being kicked out of a game in 2014 for having pine tar on his hat when he was with the Yankees.

What’s Next For Boston

After their series in the Twin City, the Red Sox head back to Fenway to open a 10 game home stand. The Chicago White Sox will be coming to Fenway Park for a 4 game series starting on Friday night. They are currently 4-5 on the season, and will be facing the Cleveland Indians at home.. Last time the White Sox were at Fenway, was in June 2019.

Following the series against the White Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays, I mean the Florida Blue Jays will be coming to Fenway for 2 games. Then, the Seattle Mariners will be coming to town for the first time since May 2019. The Red Sox look to do well in this homestand before heading back on the road to Citi Field.

Red Sox Are Bringing The Brooms To Baltimore

After sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox are bringing the brooms to Baltimore. Last time the Red Sox faced the Orioles, they lost three games in a row before turning it around and sweeping the Rays. Baltimore, who were just at Yankee Stadium, went 1-2 against the Yankees. Now, they return home to face Boston, and to avoid being swept by the red hot Red Sox. Boston, on the other hand, looks to seek revenge on Baltimore at Camden Yards.

The Red Sox are on the road for the first time this season, and will partake in Opening Day festivities as the Orioles begin their homestand. Like at Fenway Park, Camden Yards will have fans in the stands at 25% capacity, or 11,000 fans. Matt Harvey will have the ball for Baltimore, and Eduardo Rodriguez will be making his first start of the 2021 season for Boston.

A Fine Sweep of the Rays

After being swept by the Orioles, the Red Sox welcomed the Tampa Bay Rays to Fenway for a three game series. The offense didn’t disappoint, as they outscored Tampa 26-9. Home runs by JD Martinez and Christian Vazquez helped the offense in those games, while great pitching by Nick Pivetta and Nathan Eovaldi did the rest. The Red Sox definitely brought the brooms in this series, and look to continue their success in Baltimore.

The first game of the series saw JD Martinez hit his second home run of the season to help the Red Sox win 11-2. Pivetta went 5 strong innings, allowing 2 hits and striking out 4. Game 2 was a walk off in the 12th inning. Christian Vazquez hit a game tying home run in the 9th, and JD hit a 2 out RBI double in the 12th to win it 6-5. Game 3 saw Eovaldi go 7 innings, allowing 3 hits, one run and striking out 7 batters. The Red Sox won 9-2, and Christian Vazquez hit another home run.

The Brooms Have Landed in Baltimore

Opening Day part two will feature Matt Harvey and Eduardo Rodriguez. Harvey last pitched against Boston, going 4.2 innings, allowing 6 hits and 2 runs and striking out 4. Eduardo Rodriguez will be pitching in a real game for the first time since September 29th, 2019. He missed last season due a heart condition and COVID-19. He looks to make an impact in today’s game against his former team.

Game 2 on Saturday will have Bruce Zimmermann going up against Garrett Richards. Zimmermann earned the win last time out against Boston, going 6 innings, allowing 4 hits, 3 runs and striking out 5. This allowed Baltimore to take out the brooms against Boston. Richards will be making his second start for Boston, and looks to do better this time around for the team. He took the loss in the game, only going 2 innings in which he allowed 7 hits, 6 runs and had 2 strikeouts.

The final game will have Jorge Lopez going up against Nick Pivetta. Lopez will be making his first start against Boston. His first outing of 2021 was against the Yankees. He took the loss in the game, going 4.2 innings, allowing 3 hits, 4 runs and had 5 strikeouts. Like Lopez, Pivetta will be making his first start vs Baltimore. His first outing was against the Rays, where he got his first win of the season.

Can The Red Sox Sweep Baltimore?

The Red Sox will be flying high as they head into this series, and will be bringing the brooms with them. After the offense exploded vs Tampa Bay, they look to continue that momentum going forward. The line up seems to be working well for Alex Cora and the Red Sox. With Eduardo Rodriguez healthy, we can only hope that he has a great season like he did in 2019.

After their series in Baltimore, the Red Sox will be heading to Target Field in Minnesota to take on the Twins in a four game series. The last time the Red Sox played the Twins was in the beginning of September 2019. Due to COVID-19, Major League Baseball had to redo the schedule. The Red Sox only played teams in the American League East and the National League East in 2020.

The Red Sox will return back to Fenway Park on April 16th. There, they will welcome the Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners. Boston will finish April on the road, where they will face the New York Mets and the Texas Rangers. The series against the Rangers will allow them to play at the new Globe Life Field. They will also go up against former teammate, Brock Holt.

Welcoming the 2020 American League Champions to Fenway

After going 0-3 against the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox will host the 2020 American League Champions, the Tampa Bay Rays, to Fenway Park for a three game series. The Rays, just off of a three game set against the Miami Marlins, went 2-1 in the series. The Rays end their road series in Boston before heading back to Tropicana Field to face the New York Yankees.

Opening week for Boston hasn’t gone as planned for the Red Sox. Losing three straight to their division rival wasn’t in the plan for Boston. The Orioles outscored them 18-5, and their pitching managed to keep Boston in check throughout the three game set. The Red Sox face the Orioles again later this week in Baltimore, and can hopefully win the three game set.

Boston’s Matchup vs the 2020 American League Champions

Monday night starts game one of the three game set at Fenway Park. Long time St. Louis Cardinal, Michael Wacha, will be making his Rays debut vs Nick Pivetta. After 7 seasons with the Cardinals, Wacha signed a one-year deal with the Mets for the 2020 season. He went 1-4 with a 6.62 ERA in 8 games, 7 of them as starts. Wacha pitched 34 innings, allowing 46 hits, 26 runs and struck out 37 for the Mets. He also signed a one year deal to join the Tampa Bay Rays prior to this season. Pivetta will make his first start of the 2021 season. Wacha pitched in 2 games for Boston, going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 2 starts. Pivetta pitched in 10 innings, allowing 8 hits, 2 runs, and had 13 strikeouts.

Tuesday’s game will feature Tyler Glasnow and Martin Perez. Glasnow, Tampa Bay’s Opening Day starter, will be making his second start of the 2021 season. Against the Miami Marlins, he had a no decision, going 6 innings, allowing only 1 hit and struck out 6 batters. In 2020 with the Rays, Glasnow was 5-1 with a 4.08 ERA in 11 starts. In 57.1 innings, Glasnow allowed 43 hits, 26 runs and had 91 strikeouts. Martin Perez will take the ball for Boston as he enters his second year with the club. In his first season with Boston, he was 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 12 starts. He pitched in 62 innings, allowed 55 hits, 33 runs while striking out 46.

The final game of the three game set will feature Ryan Yarbrough and Nathan Eovaldi. This will be Yarbrough’s second start of the season, in which he went 5.2 innings against the Marlins. He allowed 4 hits and had 3 strikeouts in the game, and got the no decision. In 2020, he was 1-4 with a 3.56 ERA in 55.2 innings. He pitched in 11 games, with 9 starts, allowing 54 hits, 22 runs and had 44 strikeouts. Like Yarbrough, Eovaldi will be making his second start of the 2021 season. In his opening day start, he went 5.1 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, and had 4 strikeouts. He took the loss in the game, and has an ERA of 1.69. In 2020, he went 4-2 in 9 starts, and had a 3.72 ERA. In 48.1 innings, Eovaldi allowed 51 hits, 20 runs and struck out 52 batters.

What’s Next For The Red Sox?

The Red Sox will be embarking on a seven game road trip starting Thursday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles. Following that three game set at Camden Yards, they head to Minnesota to face the Twins for four games. The last time the Red Sox played the Minnesota Twins at Target Field was in June 2019. With the pandemic shortened season in 2020, the Red Sox only played American League and National League East opponents. Will Boston be able to do well at Target Field after not playing there for close to two years? We shall find out on April 12th.

Around The League

Opening Day 2021 and the days that have followed have been eventful for Major League Baseball. Fans are back in the stands in a limited capacity, and baseball is being played. COVID protocols postponed the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets series in Washington, DC. Both teams have been cleared to play this week. The Mets will play today against the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Nationals will be playing on Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves.

As of Monday, only three teams are undefeated – The Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies. Hopefully this week will prove better for Boston and the other teams that didn’t win their opening series, like the Oakland A’s and the Atlanta Braves.

2021 Fenway Park Experience

For over a year, COVID-19 has turned life for everyone upside down. Luckily the situation has improved enough for fans to return to Major League Stadiums this season. All 30 clubs allowed fans in the ballpark on opening day. The Texas Rangers immediately allowed full capacity at games, while most teams are staying between 15 and 30 percent of their maximum capacity. On February 25th, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that stadiums could return to hosting fans at 12 percent capacity starting on March 25th. 4,500 fans will get a Fenway Park experience since that’s all the Red Sox will allow into the park for a game, at least for now.

2021 Fenway Park

Prior to entry on game day, all ticket holders have to take a health screening survey. Digital ticketing will also be used to minimize contact. Every fan over the age of two is required to wear a mask or face covering. The only bags that fans can bring into Fenway are bags that contain diapers or medical-related items. Fans can only eat or drink at their seat. One of the biggest changes to the Fenway Park experience is the gate-entry process. Five entry zones now divide Fenway Park. Fans have to enter through their designated zone determined by the location of their seat.

The Fenway Four:

  1. Social Distancing: Tickets are sold in pod-style seating. Additional line-mangement areas will be used at restrooms, shops, concession stands, and security checkpoints. Fenway will use buffer zones around bullpens and dugouts to close off access to player areas, which means no autographs will be allowed.

2. Proper Hygiene: Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Make sure to cover your coughs and sneezes, and be sure to use the sanitation stations around the ballpark.

3. Cleaning And Disinfecting: The Fenway staff will do a great job with keeping high-touch areas clean. Staff wash every seat with a high capacity hose after each game. There will be an increase in ventilation throghout the concourses and other indoor areas.

4. Medical Screening: In addition to the health screening survey fans take upon entry to Fenway, the main first-aid station will be equipped with fully operational testing capabilities.

The staff at Fenway Park has done a phenomenal job of preparing the ballpark to safely welcome fans back. We need to make sure we do our part by properly wearing our masks unless actively eating or drinking, fully adhere to social distancing guidelines, make sure we practice good hygiene, and comply with the health screening protocols. Together, we can safely return to cheering on our beloved Red Sox.