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.

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 Opening Day is Finally Here

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome back to Fenway Park. After a year of no fans in the stands, 2021 Fenway Park Opening Day will welcome back some fans to America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. The Red Sox hope to kick off the season on the right foot, as they welcome the Baltimore Orioles to Fenway for Opening Day.

2021 Fenway Park Opening Day

Nathan Eovaldi will get the start for Boston on April 1st against the Orioles trusted lefty, John Means. The Orioles, managed by Brandon Hyde, finished fourth in the American League East, while the Red Sox, who were managed by Ron Roenicke, finished fifth in the division. Both teams will be looking for a better season in 2021. First, they have to get through Opening Day.

Opening Day and Series Matchups

As mentioned already, Nathan Eovaldi will be getting the start on Opening Day for Boston. 2020 saw Eovaldi make nine starts, going 4-2 with a 3.72 ERA. The 31 year old righty pitched in 48.2 innings for Boston, allowing 51 hits, 20 runs, while striking out 52 batters. The Orioles will be sending their ace, John Means to the mound to kick off the 2021 season. Last year for Baltimore, Means made 10 starts, going 2-4 with a 4.53 ERA. He allowed 36 hits, 22 runs and stuck out 42 batters in 43.2 innings of work.

Saturday’s match up will feature New England native, Matt Harvey for the Orioles. Alex Cora and the Red Sox have yet to name a starter for the game. Harvey, who pitched for the Kansas City Royals in 2020, pitched in seven games, four for starts. He went 0-3 with an 11.57 ERA in 11.2 innings for the Royals. Harvey allowed 27 hits, 15 runs, and had 10 strikeouts.

The final game on Sunday will feature Boston’s new comer, Garrett Richards and Baltimore’s rookie, Bruce Zimmermann. Richards pitched for the San Diego Padres in 2020, going 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA in 14 games, 10 of which were starts. He allowed 47 hits, 23 runs, and had 46 strikeouts. Zimmermann made his MLB debut for Baltimore on September 17th 2020. He pitched in just two games, one of which was a start. The Baltimore native went 0-0 with a 7.71 ERA in 7 innings. He allowed 6 hits, 6 runs and struck out 7 batters.

In Cora We Trust

Alex Cora returned to the Red Sox this past off season after serving his one year suspension from Major League Baseball. Will 2021 be a challenge for him as he takes the helm? How will the rest of the team do this season? Will the new comers adjust to Fenway Park and the Fenway Faithful? Only time will tell. Following 2020’s short season, MLB will be playing a full 162 game schedule, and Boston’s looking to silence those who doubt them.

With new comers like Kike Hernandez and Matt Andriese joining the Red Sox for 2021, they will be looking to win the hearts of Red Sox Nation. It will be an interesting time in Boston, as they look to battle in a very tough American League East. It will be fun to see how this season plays out, but first, Opening Day awaits.

The Road Ahead

After the Orioles leave on Sunday, the Red Sox will welcome Rich Hill and the Tampa Bay Rays to Fenway for a three game set starting on Monday. The Rays will be starting the season on the road against the Miami Marlins at IoanDepot Park. The Rays’ first home game isn’t until April 9th against the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox will start their first road trip of the 2021 season on April 8th in Baltimore for three games. From there, they will head to Minnesota for a four game series against the 2020 American League Central Champions, the Minnesota Twins. Like the Tampa Bay Rays, the Twins will start the season on the road. They will have their Opening Day ceremony on April 8th against the Seattle Mariners.

Dissecting the 2021 Red Sox outfield

With Opening Day almost upon us, many questions still remain unanswered for the 2021 Boston Red Sox.

Many of these question marks will be erased when the Sox finally take the field, with one of the biggest being what Boston’s outfield will look like. After several departures and changes in the past, the Red Sox will be putting together a new look outfield with a solid amount of options to fill these spots.

Here is the 2021 Red Sox outfield overview:

Alex Verdugo

Verdugo, known for coming over in the Mookie Betts trade, made his Sox debut in 2020’s shortened season. In a season of downs, Alex was one of the few bright spots last year. Verdugo hit .308 with a .844 OPS while also providing a spark in the field and lineup. “Dugie” is known for his high energy, as he commented multiple times on being eager to have fans back in Fenway. Turning 25 in May, Verdugo has a lot of upside and has a chance to show it in his first full season in Boston.

Hunter Renfroe

Being one of the bigger signings of the offseason, Hunter Renfroe could burst onto the Boston scene. Renfroe made a name for himself in San Diego before heading to Tampa Bay in 2020. Hunter has shown off the power in his arsenal, hitting 33 home runs in 2019 for the Padres. Besides the homers, Renfroe’s numbers don’t really jump off the page. Consistency will be key for him to keep his spot in the order to make up for his subpar defense.

J.D. Martinez

An asterisk should go on JD’s name when put on a list of outfielders. Known for his role as a DH, Martinez has barely seen the field during his time in Boston. Now in 2021, Boston’s melting pot of a roster could lead to Martinez seeing more time playing defense. It’s not the ideal move, but it is a big possibility in this upcoming season.

Marwin Gonzalez

Signed for depth and his versatility, Gonzalez could be a much needed handyman for the defensive holes in the Sox’s outfield. A solid hitter that has already smashed some Home Runs in Spring Training can also play almost anywhere in the field. After a spotty tenure in Minnesota, Gonzalez looks to bounce back in his new home. (Kike Hernández could also see time in the outfield, being another versatility guy)

Franchy Cordero

For only being known as the return for Andrew Benintendi, Cordero brings up the most question marks in the outfield. For being injured through most of his career, Franchy could finally show off his full potential for the Sox. Although due to a crowded roster and injury issues in Spring Training, Cordero’s time to shine for Boston might not come in 2021.

Opening Day Prediction: Gonzalez, Verdugo, Renfroe

With plenty of cards in their hand, I think Alex Cora will put out a conservative combination in the outfield for Opening Day. Verdugo and Renfroe will most likely be everyday starters throughout the year with Gonzalez’s consistent defense earning him more time in the lineup.

With the big three of Betts, Benintendi, and Bradley Jr. now all gone, the 2021 season will mark the dawn of a new era for Boston’s outfield.