Final Fenway Homestand Before The London Series

After going 5-1 on the road trip, the Red Sox head to Fenway to play in the final homestead before the London series against the Yankees. Going into the road trip, the Red Sox won two straight games. In Baltimore, they swept the Orioles, and did some damage at the plate. After Baltimore, they went to the Twin City to take on the first place Minnesota Twins. Although it was a tough series, Boston did pretty well, taking two of three. Slowly, but surely, the Red Sox are going in the right direction.

Now, we head home to Fenway Park to take on the Toronto Blue Jays and the Chicagolondon series White Sox. After two off days, the Red Sox will host the Yankees at London Stadium in the UK for the MLB London Series.

Red Sox Take on the Blue Jays and their Rookies

Yes, that’s plural. The Blue Jays have called up some big names over the past few months. The last time we saw the Jays in Toronto, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was in the big leagues. Now, Cavan Biggio – son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio – is on the scene.

Starting Friday, three rookies – Biggio, Guerrero Jr. and Michael Chavis will be playing at Fenway Park. All three are also battling for the Rookie of the Year Award. It will be interesting to see them play at Fenway this weekend, as this is the first time the Jays rookies will be at Fenway.

Right now, the Jays are in fourth place behind the Red Sox. Their last series against the LA Angels didn’t go as planned – loosing 3 of the 4 games at home in Toronto. The last game had some star power, as Toronto Raptors Kawhi Leonard was in the building after winning the NBA Finals and the Finals MVP Award. After the Red Sox series, the Jays head to New York to face the Yankees.

The White Sox Invasion

After doing some damage in Chicago, the Red Sox face the White Sox in a rematch at Fenway Park. After splitting a two-game series against the Cubs, the White Sox head to Texas to face the Rangers before coming to Boston. They are currently in third place in the AL Central, and are 35-37.

One bright spot for the White Sox is pitcher Lucas Giolito. The 24 year old starter is currently 10-2 with a 2.74 ERA. His first loss came back on April 6th, and his last one was against the Cubs this past week. If things line up, then the Red Sox might be the next team he faces. The Red Sox did face him back on May 2nd in Chicago, getting seven hits and five runs off of him. However, Giolito received the no-decision in the game.

Hoping For a Great Homestand Before the London Series

Following the Blue Jays and White Sox, Boston heads across the pond. There, they play two games against the Yankees at London Stadium. The series should be interesting, especially since both teams haven’t played at London Stadium before.

The Red Sox have their work cut out for them before heading to London. They’re currently seven games behind the first place Yankees. The Yankees will also be at home this weekend and leading up to London. Their first opponent is the first place Houston Astros.

Can The Red Sox Dig Themselves Out of the Hole?

The Red Sox are currently in third place behind the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. It seems as though the shovel that the Red Sox are using to dig the hole that they’re in is never ending at this point. So can the Red Sox dig themselves out?

After going 3-1 against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Red Sox went to Houston looking tored sox dig continue their success. However, that wasn’t the case. Something went wrong during that three game set in Houston. The question is, does this team have what it takes to overcome its struggles? As the Red Sox dig themselves into a hole with no end in sight, can they come back from this setback and head into June on a high note?

So far, the Red Sox have gone 2-6 against the Yankees and Astros, teams the Red Sox defeated in the 2018 postseason. As we head into the last week of May, the Red Sox sit in third place in the AL East. At the rate they’re going, it seems as though the postseason is out of reach.

The Canadian Adventure

The battle of the rookies took center stage at Rogers Centre in Toronto. Both Michael Chavis and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. were great with the bat, and glove in this series. For the most part, the Red Sox offense came alive. It also helped that the bullpen was on point for most of the series in Toronto.

This series also saw a struggling Jackie Bradley Jr. come to life. In the first two games of the series, he hit home runs, raising his batting average a bit. Bradley Jr. still has a lot of work to do to stay hot, but hopefully this is a good sign. Another player to take notice of is Ryan Weber. The 28 year old righty pitched his first start of the season, going six innings against Toronto. Weber got the win in the game, striking out four while allowing one earned run in the 8-2 finale.

Back To The Scene of the ALCS

Think back to October 2018. The Red Sox are playing the defending champions in the ALCS. Remember the catch? The home run? The sweet feeling of going to the World Series yet again? It’s a great feeling, right? I just have one question – What happened? After Houston left Fenway taking two of the three games, they did it yet again. Houston took two of the three again. This time, on their home field.

From the errors, to the pitching, who knows what is going on. Some bright spots was the offense, however, it didn’t pan out for the Red Sox this weekend.

The first game was ugly from the beginning. It ended in a 4-3 loss, with the Red Sox committing three errors behind Chris Sale’s start. Despite home runs from Xander Bogaerts, Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez, there was no escape for Boston.

Game 2 seemed to be a bit better. The Astros struck first, and had a 3-1 lead until Vazquez hit a two run single to tie it. However, Carlos Correa and the Astros had other plans, as Correa hit the game winning single in the bottom of the ninth.

Looking to salvage the final game before they head home to Fenway, Eduardo Rodriguez looked to continue his success on the mound. He did just that, going 6 innings, allowing one earned run and striking out five. The bullpen did a great job securing the win, with Marcus Walden getting his first save of the season. A home run by Rafael Devers, and good at-bats by Eduardo Nunez and Andrew Benintendi, allowed the Red Sox to leave Houston with a 4-1 win.

How Deep is This Hole, and Can the Red Sox Dig Themselves Out of it?

As they head back to Fenway, we can only wonder what is going through the players’ minds. Right now, the Red Sox sit in third place in the division. As for the Wild Card, they’re holding their heads above water right now. The question is, can they keep climbing? Can the Red Sox dig themselves out of this hole?

The Red Sox play 162 games, and right now they’re two months into this season. There are so many questions that need to be answered. The big question is, can they survive with what they have? In my opinion, we need pitching help, particularly in the bullpen. Hopefully, something good comes out of this mini homestead against the Cleveland Indians.

David Price Is Key To Red Sox Success

For better or for worse, it seems David Price is always in the spotlight. That tends to happen to someone making 30 million annually. Last year, it was the blow up with the reporters and frequent injuries that left fans wanting more. He returned late in ’17 and after a dominant playoff series against the Astros in relief, fans were excited to see what 2018 would have in store for the southpaw. So far, David Price is earning that money.

The Red Sox need Price. They need him healthy and consistent if they want to keep upPrice with Houston and Cleveland’s rotations. They need him if they want to combat that intimidating Yankee lineup. The X-factor to the Red Sox championship hopes is indeed the starting five. The offense has been there all season. Betts and Martinez continue to wreak havoc in the minds of opposing pitching. Pitching is still key though. The Red Sox were division winners the last two seasons. However, they were outpitched by the Indians in 2016 and the Astros in 2017. In order to have any chance this year they need Sale, Porcello, and Price in peak form.

The Red Sox Need Consistency From Price

Price had a rough start to the year. He missed a start against the Yankees because of a “tingling sensation” in his fingers. The tingling sensation was determined to be a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome. The reasoning for this was because of Price’s love for video games, particularly ‘Fortnite’. The stress the game put on his fingers and his excessive play progressed the tingling. Fans and the media ridiculed this development extensively. After acknowledging the injury, as well as saying he will tone down playing video games, he has since been lights out dominant.

In David Price’s last six outings he has not allowed more than three earned runs, averaging six-plus innings and keeping hitters under seven hits a game. He is earning that hefty paycheck. The Red Sox need him to be the innings horse he was in 2016. With Sale’s dominance, Rodriguez consistency and Porcello’s confidence, the sky is the limit for that quartet.

Heath Hembree Fan Club

The Heath Hembree Fan Club was born in the wee hours of Monday, April 25 after closer Craig Kimbrel blew hist first save against the Houston Astros. But fear not! For a knight in shining armor appeared and mowed down the Astros hitters for the final 3 innings of a 12-inning circus show. That knight who threw 49 pitches (and only 8 were balls) is RHP Heath Hembree.

At first glance, you may think to yourself “wait…is that John Lackey, I thought we traded him?” Fan ClubOthers have compared him to Kenny Powers from the hit HBO show Eastbound and Down. Personally I think he resembles a John Lackey/Craig Hansen with a splash of Bryce Brentz. Regardless, he’s a guy who the Sox have had to rely on early in his call-up and he has welcomed the challenge with open arms.

Hembree who was one of the pieces acquired from the San Francisco Giants during the summer of 2014 as part of the return for pitcher Jake Peavy, has made three appearances so far this season. In 7 2/3 innings he’s allowed four hits and just one walk to counter his 11 strikes. Over his 3 years with the Sox, Hembree has accumulated a 3.38 ERA while appearing in 30 games. Now I know 30 games over 3 seasons is a very small sample size, but so far in 2016 he’s looking like the real deal.

In a season that has been plagued with injuries so early on and huge pitching woes it’s nice to finally see a pitcher that has not only shown some consistency, but has also been pretty effective. That’s a weapon that John Farrell didn’t have in the beginning of the season and, like they say, sometimes it’s better late than never.

The Heath Hembree fan club will be riding high this week. Twitter will be exploding with Hembree references, jersey sales will be through the roof, and you can bet he’ll be making his way around the late night television circuit. Obviously I am kidding about some of these things, but make no mistake about it: the Red Sox have found what I believe is to be a key piece to this bullpen moving forward. The only question is how long can he keep up this dominance? I’m hoping FOREVER!

Red Sox Lose Seventh Straight Game

The Red Sox continued their losing ways last night, dropping their seventh consecutive game with a 4-2 loss to the Houston Astros. It marked their eighth loss in the last ten games, and further cemented their position in the cellar of the American League.

Since the All-Star break, the Sox have been outscored 34-9, and they have a batting Red Sox Astros July 2015average of an anemic .192. They have one home run in this period, while giving up thirteen. The Sox were shut out in the first two games of this trip, and haven’t even scored in consecutive innings yet. Their four total runs in the series against the Angels were their fewest in a series of four or more games since 1965.  Yes, that’s 50 years.

Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia, who are supposed to be table-setters, can’t even get a seat at the table.  They are a combined 2 for 42.  Betts is 1 for 20, and didn’t even play last night, while Pedroia finally snapped an 0 for 20 drought in the most recent loss.

Also in the throes of repair at the plate is the $19,750,000 per year outfielder Hanley Ramirez. He is 2 for 21 in the last six, with a team-high seven strikeouts.

How about the starting pitching staff?  They haven’t reminded anybody of Cy Young. Since the break, they are 0-5 with an ERA of 7.31. One upside from the pitchers is that Wade Miley had a solid outing last time out, not giving up a hit through six innings. He’ll try to snap this season-high team losing streak tonight.

Miley actually had a perfect game going through 5 1/3 innings against the Angels and ended up allowing just two hits and one walk in seven innings…but still took a no decision.

Where things go from here is anybody’s guess.  We haven’t mentioned Clay Buchholz getting a platelet-rich-plasma injection into his right elbow. Who knows when he’ll be back, but don’t look for him for at least a few weeks, and if by late August the Sox are 20 games out, or 25, is it even worth it to bring him back?

The Lackey Report

John Lackey

Photo by: Matt Stone

John Lackey’s return to the mound proved he’s ready for his return.  With a 6-1 victory over the Houston Astros today he has a lot to be credited for.  Although it took time to find his comfort zone in the first inning, as the Astros scored their one and only run (with two walks and two hits), the top of the fourth arrived and he was aflame.  1, 2, 3, you’re out! Strike out #3.  As the top of the fifth unwound Lackey persevered and retired eleven Astros in a row.  It would be thirteen by the end of the sixth.

By the sixth inning Lackey held the Astros to just two hits in five innings making it a stellar performance. Lackey’s back, everyone, and better than ever; another strong asset to the improved Red Sox team. John Farrell is doing everything right by holding this team accountable and ready for whatever comes their way. I still am in awe by the way they swing their bats and how they run the bases.  At times it may be a little too aggressive, but in general the players are right on point.

The top of the sixth and only sixty-four pitches into the game, Farrell is happy with Lackey’s performance. He remains in the game even though Lackey was only supposed to pitch five innings, but why take a man out when all he does is show results? After all, the pitch count was low and he had retired thirteen Astros consecutively. Okay, if you were counting strike outs, it wasn’t Lackey’s day (by the end of the sixth inning which he fought his way, tooth and nail, out of) he had a total of four strike outs, but in general we couldn’t be more happy with the way things turned out. It was decided to retire Lackey as the sixth inning came to an end. The Astros were left with three men on base (a possible grand slam) but Lackey wasn’t finished. To end the inning, he struck out Astros, Martinez with a curve ball, and allowed a ground ball to Drew to get the last out at second.

What a nice finish for John Lackey.  He looks terrific. I’m glad to have him back.