The Battle of the East Continues in the ALDS

After the Red Sox took down the Yankees in glorious fashion Tuesday night, the battle of the East continues as the Red Sox head to Tampa Bay to take on the AL East Champion Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay, who led the East with an impressive 100-62 record, will host Boston on Thursday night at the Trop. The other ALDS game will be played at Minute Maid Park, with the Astros hosting the Chicago White Sox. It will make for a very interesting day for baseball. The National League Division Series begins on Friday, with the wild card winning Dodgers facing the Giants, and the Brewers facing the Braves.

Tuesday night was one for the ages, as the Red Sox took down the Yankees, 6-2 at an electric Fenway Park. Nathan Eovaldi and the Red Sox did not disappoint. Eovaldi went 5.1 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, and striking out 8. The Red Sox offense, thanks to Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber home runs, knocked out Gerrit Cole in the third inning. From there, it was smooth sailing for the Red Sox, as they attacked Yankees pitching. Former Yankee prospect, Garrett Whitlock locked down the win in the ninth to seal the deal.

east continues

The Battle of the East Starts at Tropicana Field

Thursday night’s matchup will be one that will define this best of three series. The Red Sox, coming off their epic win on Tuesday night, will have Eduardo Rodriguez starting game one. The AL East Champion Rays will have rookie Shane McClanahan going up against a red hot Red Sox offense. Both teams have faced each other a lot this past season, with the Rays edging out the Red Sox 11-8 in 2021. Boston, who finished with a 92-70 record, hopes to knock out the Rays in the ALDS. Tampa Bay on the other hand, is looking to advance and get back to the World Series after loosing last season against the Dodgers.

Eduardo Rodriguez will have the ball in game one vs the Rays. This season, he was 13-8 with a 4.74 ERA. In 32 games, 31 starts, he pitched in 157.2 innings with 185 strikeouts. Rodriguez is 0-0 with a 8.10 ERA in 8 postseason games. He’s pitched in 10 innings, with 11 strikeouts The rookie, Shane McClanahan will take the ball for the Rays. He was 10-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 25 games, all starts this year. In 123.1 innings, McClanahan had 141 strikeouts. Last postseason, he made his MLB Debut in Game 1 of the ALDS vs the Yankees. He’s 0-0 with a 8.31 ERA in 4 postseason games. In 4.1 innings, he has struck out 4 batters.

Around The Postseason

The Battle of the Lances begins Thursday afternoon as Houston hosts Chicago in the ALDS. Lance Lynn will have the ball for the White Sox. Houston appointed Lance McCullers Jr for the start. In 2021, Lynn went 11-6 with a 2.69 ERA in 28 starts. In 157 innings, he struck out 176 batters. McCullers Jr went 13-5 in 28 starts this season for Houston. He had a 3.16 ERA in162.1 innings, with 185 strikeouts.

The National League Division Series begins on Friday. The Milwaukee Brewers will be hosting the Atlanta Braves, while the San Francisco Giants will be hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers, who beat the St Louis Cardinals in a pitchers duel, won the Wild Card Game on Wednesday night in walk off fashion. With the score tied 1-1, Chris Taylor drove a 2-1 pitch to left field for a 2 run homerun to knock out the Cardinals.

Updating and Predicting the AL Wild Card Race

After going 2-4 in their rigorous series with the Rays and White Sox, the Red Sox now hold the second Wild Card spot in the American League, with Toronto holding the first. Boston now sits just one game ahead of the Yankees for the second Wild Card spot, and three games in front of the Athletics and Mariners. The Red Sox will now travel to Seattle to face-off with the Mariners in a series that could have big playoff implications. 

What’s ahead? 

With the Wild Card narrowed down to just the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Athletics, and Mariners, this is what the remaining schedule looks like for those squads. 

Toronto Blue Jays- vs Rays (3), vs Twins (3), @ Rays (3), @ Twins (4), vs Yankees (3), vs Orioles (3)

Boston Red Sox- @ Mariners (3), vs Orioles (3), vs Mets (2), vs Yankees (3), @ Orioles (3), @ Nationals (3)

New York Yankees- Vs Twins (1), @ Orioles (3), vs Indians (3), vs Rangers (3), @ Red Sox (3), @ Blue Jays (3), vs Rays (3)

Oakland Athletics- @ Royals (3), @ Angels (3), vs Mariners (4), vs Astros (3), @ Mariners (3), @ Houston (3)

Seattle Mariners- vs Red Sox (3), @ Royals (3), @ Athletics (4), @ Angels (3), vs Oakland (3), vs Angels (3)

AL West

The Athletics and Mariners are set to meet each other seven times before the end of the season. With the season series between the two at 7-5, these two very well could knock each other out of the Wild Card race. The two teams have been evenly matched this season, so it is unlikely one dominates the other in their remaining seven games. 

The Athletics also draw the unfortunate task of taking on the Houston Astros six times before the end of the season. Houston and Chicago and currently neck and neck to decide who will have home-field advantage for the ALDS. This means there will be no easy games for the Athletics when they see the Astros. 

The Mariners will see their division foe Los Angeles Angels six times before the season ends. In their 12 matchups this season, the Mariners lead the season series 7-5. The Angels have been tough for the Mariners this season, so their six games could be another factor that drops Seattle in the standings. 

The schedule is not in favor of the Mariners and Athletics moving forward. With both teams three games back of the second Wild Card spot, it is unlikely each team can catch up, IF the Red Sox take care of business in their series with the Mariners this week. If the Red Sox can take care of Seattle, Houston will do the rest with Oakland. 

AL East

The AL East is where things get interesting. The Blue Jays have clawed all the way back into things and now hold the number one spot in the Wild Card. Toronto is a team the Red Sox do not want to see. We have seen what the Blue Jays are capable of, beating up the Red Sox by double digit runs a few times this season.

This race will be tight all the way up until playoff time. As I stated in another recent article, the schedule is in the Red Sox favor once again, but they will need to capitalize.

The Blue Jays will play the first place Tampa Bay Rays six times before the end of the season. The Rays are 8-5 against Toronto this season. The Blue Jays will also see the Twins seven times before the end of the season, who have the ability to put up good offensive numbers.

The Yankees will see the Blue Jays and Rays, as well as come to Boston for a three game series. If the Red Sox hold up their end and capitalize on the schedule, they could be shaping up to land that number one spot. The Red Sox will need some help so they don’t have to see Toronto though.

Huge Win For The Red Sox: Opportunity To Split Series Today

What a huge win for the Red Sox last night! Although the team remains in last place in the AL East, the victory snapped their four game losing streak. With the 6-3 victory over Oakland, Boston improved to 2-5 on the season.

The Sox won the game in the 9th inning when Mookie Betts doubled off the third baseHuge win bag. Two runners scored. Andrew Benintendi, next up, scored Betts with a stand up triple. Boston entered the bottom half of the inning with a 3-run lead and handed the ball to Ryan Brasier, who closed the door and gave the Sox their much needed second win of the season.

The game started slowly, as the first 3.5 innings were quite uneventful – one run was scored by the A’s in the 2nd on an infield RBI single by catcher Nick Hundley.

The A’s scored again in the fourth when Ramon Laureano sent a Nathan Eovaldi curveball into orbit. The home run traveled 438 feet, well beyond the center field fence. Other than the Laureano home run and lack of command, 4 walks allowed, Eovaldi pitched decently. He was pulled after five innings. He accumulated 96 pitches, but just 51 strikes.

Swihart, on his 27th birthday, goes 3-for-4 in huge win for the Red Sox

Boston had tallied just one hit before Blake Swihart put them on the board with a solo shot in the fifth. Oakland’s lead was cut to two.

Sox tie it up

Clutch hitting and superb pitching out of the bullpen is what fueled last night’s huge win for the Red Sox. In the 6th inning, Betts led off with a walk. Two batters later, Rafael Devers grounded the ball to A’s second baseman Jurickson Profar for a potential double play. But, Profar overthrew shortstop Marcus Semien. The ball had to be chased down by third baseman Matt Chapman and Betts was able to then advance to third without a throw. Both Betts and Devers were safe.

J.D. Martinez walked on five pitches to load the bases and Mitch Moreland came to the plate. A’s manager Bob Melvin replaced starter Marco Estrada with left-hander Ryan Buchter. Moreland jumped on the first pitch and doubled down the right field line. Two runs scored and the game was tied.

Red Sox relievers Colten Brewer and Matt Barnes pitched the following three innings (6, 7, and 8). They recorded a combined four strikeouts, all of which A’s hitters went down swinging.

After the game, manager Alex Cora’s energy was uplifting. While speaking to reporters, he said, “When we pitch, we have a chance to win the game … The energy was better today, the whole day … We need to start playing clean baseball, better baseball.”

Red Sox activate Pearce ahead of today’s game

Steve Pearce will have a chance to make his 2019 debut now that he was activated off the Injured List today. Sam Travis was sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket.

The series finale is today. After trailing in the each of the first three games, Boston has somehow found a way to win two of the four games. Eduardo Rodriguez takes the mound in an important second start for the southpaw. He is opposed by fellow left-hander Brett Anderson. First pitch is at 3:37 PM/ET this afternoon. Enjoy the day game Sox fans!

Pedro Martinez Hosts Charity Event

Former Boston Red Sox ace and World Series champion Pedro Martinez headlined thePedro Martinez “Rally for 45 fundraisers”, speaking about he and wife, Carolina’s, charity the ‘Pedro Martinez Foundation’. The fundraiser was held at ‘Hurricanes’ bar in Boston, on Sunday, April 15th. All proceeds raised during the event will go towards Pedro’s charity.

The charity benefits children in the Dominican Republic, Pedro’s native country, by providing them with food, getting an education, job training and more. Pedro came to Boston, his “second home”, to speak to the media about his charity, before the Boston Marathon. A tradition Martinez and Carolina hold near to their heart.

“Well, you know, Boston to me is my second home,” said Martinez. “I’m trying to raise money with everything Boston does. The marathon is no exception. I was a runner myself when I was a player. I was a big fan of running. The Boston Marathon is part of the tradition and the culture in Boston.

‘Hurricanes’ had memorabilia at the event that was auctioned off. Notable memorabilia consisted of a signed Lionel Messi jersey, a framed autographed portrait of both Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, a “Boston’s Best” autographed photo of both Tom Brady and David Ortiz and much more.

Pedro Martinez Talks Charity and Baseball

Martinez spoke adamantly of how much Carolina has helped with the charity.

“The biggest reason why we have these kids do well in society, is because of her,” Martinez said. “She is the heart and soul with what we have done. She’s the one that’s always in the middle of it. Its like when you go into a fight in baseball, she’s the catcher. The one who has your back. the one that holds the guy low, so that he doesn’t hit you. That’s my wife.

Pedro spoke on what it’s like working with the kids involved in his charity.

“That’s our reward (on charity work)”, said Pedro. “To see these kids develop into better human beings, better men, better women in society, this is really why you make the effort to go the extra mile. You see them develop and become professionals.”

Martinez Thoughts on Red Sox

“I was glad to see the little fire between the two teams (Red Sox and Yankees), said Martinez. “It brings back memories of my time when I was playing in Boston. It was good to see us stand up in front of the Yankees and actually compete with them the same time.

Pedro seems encouraged with how the Red Sox have done under new manager Alex Cora.

“I’m extremely excited about the team has started. Between working early on in spring training, with all those guys. And to keep them healthy. That has been the biggest reason why we are off to a good start. I think the team has all the tools to compete with any team in the big leagues. And we are confident, if we stay healthy, we are going to be in it with everybody.

To find more information regarding the charity and how to get involved, visit www.pedromartinezcharity.com

Quotes credited to Pedro Martinez foundation “Rally for 45” charity fundraiser

Does Dave Dombrowski get enough credit?

Dave Dombrowski has done what he has had to do, thus far.

Sox fans have been spoiled recently. In November of 2002, Boston eployed the youngest general manager in MLB history in Theo Epstein. After one season, we knew he was gifted. As soon as he got to Beantown, he traded for guys like Curt Schilling, found Kevin Millar and most notably David Ortiz, seemingly out of nowhere. The next season, He broke the “Curse of the Bambino”. He was the first man to construct a roster to the promise land in almost a century. However, are Red Sox fans discrediting Dave Dombrowski’s work thus far, due to Epstein’s brilliance?

Ownership ended up virtually “swapping” Epstein in an agreement with the Chicago Cubs for a player or compensatory piece to be named later (Chris Carpenter), after the 2012 collapse.

In August 2015, after the Ben Cherington experiment, the Red Sox hired Dave Dombrowski, as President of Baseball Operations. Since then, the Red Sox haven’t made it past the first round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, Theo Epstein has broken another curse with the Cubs.

But are we as Red Sox fans losing patience with Dombrowski because of Epstein’s quick success? Let’s hold on just a second.

Epstein built a winner in just two years after a century of futility here in Boston. Dombrowski has constructed a competitive team in his first two seasons as President of Baseball Ops, a team that has won the division twice. Epstein’s glorious first two years were both wild card finishing teams.Dave Dombrowski

When Dombrowski got to Boston in ’15, it was kind of a strange period in time. The Red Sox were just coming off a couple of scrutinized signings in Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez has shown flashes of greatness, but for an annual salary value, many would suggest a bit high for his production.  The Red Sox are still paying parts of Sandoval’s salary, even though he was cut.

Dombrowski  had to re-solidify a pitching staff deemed World Series caliber. Red Sox fans have grown so accustomed of having elite pitching. He went out and traded for Craig Kimbrel to replace the departing Red Sox great Koji Uehara, then signed David Price, whom many thought was the top pitcher on the market.

Next season, fans wanted more. Boston had just come off a disappointing first round playoff finish against the Cleveland Indians. Pitching, after much regular season success, was again the issue. It seemed fans were also desperate to not move their prized prospect, Andrew Benintendi, especially after losing fan favorite David Ortiz to retirement. Dombrowski managed to trade infielder Yoan Moncada and starting pitcher Michael Kopech to the White Sox, for left-handed ace Chris Sale, while keeping Benintendi.

Fans were adamant for a fresh approach at skipper and pop replacement for Ortiz. Dombrowski let manager John Farrell go and hired former ex Red Sox infielder Alex Cora for the job. Dombrowski played his cards right with notorious great uber agent Scott Boras. He waited until the market dissipated and got his power in J.D. Martinez late February. Martinez is an outfielder/designated hitter who hit more home runs, per at bat, than Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Judge did last season.

Sox fans need to cut Dombrowski some slack.

Red Sox now have the highest payroll and are trying to get another championship. He’s listening. Let’s just be patient.

 

Who Is The Biggest Boston Sports Villain Right Now?

In Boston’s illustrious history, there has always been a villain. Whether it be King George, Roger Goodell or the entire city of New York, there has always been a rival. The recent retirements of guys like Kobe Bryant, A-Rod and Peyton Manning has ushered in a new era for a potential Boston sports villain. It seems like there is one who stands out above all the other athletes marred on the Boston sports scene.

The Patriots’ success in the past decade and a half has made rivals all but obsolete.Boston sports villain InBoston sports villain football, it’s difficult to pinpoint a single player as the villain. The perfect one was Peyton Manning. He was always in the discussion with Brady as the greatest quarterback in the league or even of all time. Also, the Colts were often in high-stake games with the Patriots. Even though Peyton’s brother Eli has beaten the Pats twice in the Super Bowl, they don’t play each other enough to call him a villain.

A blockbuster trade last summer took away the great Bruins villain of this generation. P.K. Subban was the face of the Montreal Canadiens and a bona fide Bruins killer, especially in the playoffs. Now with Subban in Nashville, that position lay void for the time being. I’ve already written about Manny Machado’s rise as the Red Sox villain in place of Alex Rodriguez, so that just leaves one team yet to be covered.

You probably could have guessed this by now, but clearly the biggest Boston sports villain is one LeBron James. This rivalry goes back about a decade now and, like Manning, Boston has always been the thorn in LeBron’s side. He has had his success against the Celtics, sure, but it has never been easy.

The Celtics and LeBron’s teams have always been each other’s main competition. In his first stint with Cleveland, the Celtics knocked out two very promising Cavaliers teams in the second round. In 2008, he bowed out of an epic duel with Paul Pierce in a Game Seven in which both scored over 40 points. It was a vintage showdown with two of the league’s best scorers, and LeBron couldn’t win it.

Not only is he a generational player, he is also one of sports’ biggest dinks. Boston doesn’t like dinks. Everything from “The Decision” to Miami’s super team to the Prodigal Son’s return rubbed Boston and basketball fans the wrong way. The Celtics’ Big Three had one last tango with LeBron’s Heat in the 2012 Conference Finals, where the Celtics lost in seven games. It was LeBron’s 45 points at the TD Garden in Game Six that felt like the dagger in the Celtics fans’ hearts. At least, that’s what we thought.

That summer, LeBron pirated one more star for the World Champion Heat. Celtics sharpshooter Ray Allen took a pay cut to go join LeBron and the Celtics’ chief rival. As we’ve seen in the news the past few weeks, that didn’t sit well with Bostonians or his fellow Celtics. LeBron, of course, was the catalyst of that.

So that’s the villain. LeBron is the Joker, Lex Luther, and the Boogeyman all rolled into one. Luckily for us fans, we get another Celtics-LeBron rodeo this week. It may be quick and it may be another LeBron victory, but we will have to embrace this theatre. In the near future, the Red Sox will have hatred like this again. For now though, we’ll have to settle for this. So bring it on, LeBron, bring it on.