Red Sox Season On The Brink Of Extinction

After a terrible first half of the Major League season, the Boston Red Sox have not started their second half the way they wanted.  The Sox were swept this past weekend by the Los Angeles Angels, including dropping both games of a double-header.  And now, Sox fans are starting to realize that this season may already be over.

The Sox went into the All-Star break with a little bit of momentum.  Though they hadRed Sox dropped two of three games against the hated New York Yankees directly before the break, they were still playing probably their best baseball of the season.  Before the series against the Yankees, they had won nine of 13 games, and were actually starting to make a small push toward the Wild Card, but now those dreams have quickly been wiped away.

As of yesterday afternoon, the Sox were nine games out of first place in the American League East, and 8.5 games out of a Wild Card spot, heading into a series against the Houston Astros.  The team does not seem to be playing with any sense of urgency, and that is really the only way that a team in their position will have a chance of saving their season.

Throughout the season, there have been few things that have been seen as positive for the team.  Eduardo Rodriguez was showing some signs of being a future ace for the team.  But after having a great couple starts to begin his career, his results have fallen a large amount.  In his most recent start, he gave up six hits and seven earned runs in only 1.2 innings pitched against the Angels.

Even the bigger names on the team have not been delivering.  David Ortiz has only a .236 batting average, and a .327 on base percentage, both are well below his career averages.  And Clay Buchholz has not pitched well all season, and is now on the DL with a right flexor strain.

So far, the only good thing that can be taken out of this season is the play of Brock Holt.  Holt earned his first All-Star selection, and has been solid all season long.  He also is the only player in the league that has hit for the cycle this season.

For all of us Red Sox fans, I think it is finally time to face the reality that our team just isn’t that good this season.  There have been times that they have showed some promise, but just like Sox teams of the past, that is just their way of playing with our heads.  So if for some reason the Sox start playing a bit better over a week or two period, I would say to not get your hopes up, because their play will probably start going back down at some point soon.

Brock Holt Makes Impact At All-Star Game

This year’s Mid-Summer Classic ended with yet another win for the American League.  The game was played at the Great American Ballpark in Cincincatti.  The Boston Red Sox only had one representative, Brock Holt, and he did not disappoint for the Sox.

Coming into the game, nobody was really sure about what type of role Holt would have. Brock Holt He was not seen until the seventh inning when he was subbed in to replace Mike Trout as a pinch-runner.  But right when he came in, he made an immediate positive impact.

Holt stole second base on a breaking ball thrown by pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, after seeing the previous pitch put in the dirt.  He then scored on a double hit by Manny Machado.  This run gave the American League another insurance run which helped them to a 6-3 win over the National League.

After being put into the game, Holt stayed in and played three innings in left field.  In his one at-bat, he struck out against the Cincinatti Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman.

For Holt, this was his first All-Star selection.  As Red Sox fans, we’re all hoping that it is just the first of many.  He may be the most versatile player in the Major League’s, and that showed as he was the first player in history to be selected to the All-Star team who had started at seven positions, every one other than pitcher and catcher.

The Red Sox are starting the second-half of the season in last place in the A.L. East.  Toward the end of the first half, they were starting to turn things around before dropping two of three at Fenway Park to their rival the New York Yankees.  With the American League winning the All-Star Game, this means their World Series representative will have home field advantage.  Let’s hope that Holt’s contributions can help turn the Sox season around and maybe we can see game one of the World Series being played at Fenway.

Brock Holt Named Red Sox Lone All-Star

While the Boston Red Sox have not looked like a great team during the first part of this season, at least they can say they have one great player.  On Sunday afternoon, the Sox outfielder Brock Holt was named the team’s only representative for the 2015 All-Star Game.

Holt has been a great story throughout his career, which started with the Pittsburgh Brock HoltPirates.  He was drafted in the ninth round in the 2009 MLB Draft by Pittsburgh, and now is showing that he deserved to be a much earlier pick.

After a few years in the minors, Holt was called up to the big league’s in 2012.  Though he only played in 24 games that season for the Pirates, he was impressive at the plate, batting .292 in his short time with the team.  The following season, he came to the Red Sox, but not much was expected of the young outfielder.

During the Sox 2013 World Series Championship season, Holt only appeared in 26 games.  The following season, he was not even seen on the Sox opening day roster.  But in a short time, Holt has proven that he is a great all-around player.

When a few players for the Sox got injured, Holt got the call and took full advantage of his opportunity showing that he has a lot to give to the team.  He ended up playing 106 games last season, and while doing so played every position except pitcher and Catcher.  Since coming to the Sox, his batting average as well as games played has gone up every season, and this year he is batting .295 with 15 doubles and 21 RBI, and also hit for the only cycle in the Major League’s this year.

This will be Holt’s first time being selected to the All-Star team.  The game will be played this year at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.  As the only Red Sox representative, this will give Sox fans more incentive to watch the game, and maybe even give more hope to a season that is actually starting to have some promise in Boston.

Pedroia and Ramirez Suffer Injuries In Same Game

The Boston Red Sox just can’t catch a break this season.  The team has not been playing the way that they want all year, and now they have to deal with their two most productive players getting injured in the same game, Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez.

During the team’s 5-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, Ramirez wasPedroia and Ramirez struck by a ball running from first base to second base that was hit by Xander Bogaerts.  Not only was Ramirez automatically called out because he was hit, but he was forced to leave the game with a bruised left hand.

To make things even worse, only one inning later, while rounding first base Pedroia suffered a hamstring injury.  After being looked at by team doctors, it was determined that Pedroia will have to go on the 15-day disabled list.

For a team in last place in their division, it is hard enough to have to deal with injuries, especially when it’s the two best offensive players in the lineup this year.  Pedroia and Ramirez have been two of the very few positive parts to the Sox season.  They are the two players who have the best chance at making this years All-Star Game, and they have been improving as the year has gone on.

Ramirez is batting .283 with 15 Home Runs and 38 RBI this year, including a batting average of .341 over the past 24 games.  He was one of the big additions to the team this off season, and it seemed that he was finally starting to become the productive player that Sox fans were hoping to see before the season.  The one good thing about his injury is that he did not have to go on the disabled list, so it is possible that we could see him back on the field sooner than later.

Pedroia is another story though.  His injury seems to be more serious, and all Sox fans know that he is the engine of the team.  He has been a consistent fielder and hitter since he’s been in the league, including this season.  He has a .306 batting average this year with 14 doubles and 33 RBI.

As a positive-thinking Red Sox fan, I still think that there is a little hope for the team this year.  But, it will be tough to make any type of serious run at the playoffs if either of these players is out for a long period of time.  Let’s hope that we see these guys back in action soon, and the Sox begin to make some positive strides towards winning baseball.

Shane Victorino Almost Set For Comeback

After missing much of last season as well as this year, Shane Victorino is finally getting closer to making a comeback for the Red Sox.  Victorino was put on the 15-day disabled list on May 24 with a left calf strain, and hasn’t played since.  The Sox outfielder has also missed some time with a bad right hamstring.  He is expected to play Wednesday night for the Pawtucket Red Sox, and if everything goes as planned, we should see him in a Boston jersey soon.

Victorino’s injury problems started last season when he only played a total of 30 games. Shane Victorino Sox fans were excited to see his name on the opening day roster this season, but were disappointed shortly after when he was yet again sent to the bench with an injury.

Victorino came to the Red Sox in 2013.  During that year, he was one of the best players not only on the Sox, but in the league.  He played 122 games with a .294 batting average, and was also hit by 18 pitches, which led the league.  He even got some consideration for the MVP of the league, coming in twenty second in the voting, and won a Gold Glove for his defensive efforts in the outfield.

He may be remembered most for his play during the Red Sox improbable run to their 2013 World Series title.  He had the two biggest hits of the playoffs that year.  During the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers, Victorino hit a Grand Slam in the eighth inning to put the Sox up two runs, and then followed that up with a three-run double in the World Series clinching game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Sox fans have not seen Victorino play a full season since his first season with the team.    Hopefully, if he can stay healthy he can be the spark that starts the Sox on a positive run.  Because with the way this season is going, everyone knows that something good needs to happen soon.

Pedro Martinez To Have His Number Retired by the Red Sox

Pedro Martinez, one of the greatest pitchers in Red Sox and Major League history, will have his number 45 retired by the Sox this season.  The ceremony will take place on July 28 during a game against the Chicago White Sox.  It is an honor that is seldom given by the Sox, but one that is greatly deserved by one of the all-time greats.

Martinez spent seven seasons with the Sox from 1998-2004, and rarely did he disappoint.Pedro Martinez He was always a fan favorite, including being my favorite Sox player ever, because of his great attitude toward the game, and the city of Boston.  He will always be remembered for his final season with the Sox, when the team won their first World Series title in 86 years, and while doing so came back from down three games to none against the hated New York Yankees.  That comeback will probably be seen as the best comeback in sports history forever.

But it wasn’t just that season that gave Martinez his reputation as being one of the best.  I believe that even if the Sox hadn’t made that great comeback (thank God they did though), Martinez would still be receiving this honor.  He recorded an overall record of 117-37 with an ERA of 2.52 during his time with Boston.  But even with how great of a pitcher he was in the regular season, it seemed that he would always step up his game in the playoffs.

Though Martinez is best-known for his time with the Sox, he played for four other teams (L.A. Dodgers, Montreal Expos, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies) during his 18 year career.  He had an overall record of 219-100 with an ERA of 2.93.  These numbers were good enough to put Martinez into the Baseball Hall Of Fame this year, which was his first time being on the ballot, an honor that is only given to the greatest.

Martinez will be the ninth number that the Sox have retired.  He will be joining other Sox greats Bobby Doer, Joe Cronin, Johnny Pesky, Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, Jim Rice and Carlton Fisk, as well as Jackie Robinson’s number 42 which is retired throughout the entire MLB.  With all the great players that have come through the Sox over the years, it is clearly a high honor to be only the eighth Sox player with his number never to be seen again on another player.  It really should be a memorable ceremony for the great man and pitcher, Pedro Martinez.