Red Sox Struggles Continue: Shutout Two Nights In A Row

FRANKLIN, Mass. – When Matt Chapman clobbered an 89 MPH fastball off Chris Sale with one out in the top of the first inning last night, Red Sox Nation cringed. The ball did not have much loft to it. Right off the bat, I thought the ball had a chance at staying in the yard. But as it kept carrying, and as I saw the left-center field fence only 367 feet away, my doubts sunk in, and a split-second later, a Red Sox starter had given up its 12th home run. As Chapman rounded the bases, one thought crept into my head: the Red Sox struggles continue.

However, to everyone’s surprise, the Sox pitched phenomenally the rest of the way. SaleRed Sox Struggles Continue pitched 6 innings, walked two, and allowed only two more hits, one of which was an infield single and the other a single to center. He threw 87 total pitches. The Sox only had to tax two relievers as well, Brandon Workman and Ryan Brasier. Workman pitched the 7th and Brasier pitched the 8th; both of them did not allow a run.

Where Boston struggled in this one was at the plate. More specifically, failing to capitalize when runners were in scoring position. Hitters went 0-7 with runners in scoring position (RISP). Mookie Betts reached second base after doubling off Mike Fiers in the 3rd with two outs. Andrew Benintendi then grounded to second to end the inning.

To lead off the 4th, Rafael Devers singled to right-center field. J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts followed with two consecutive flyouts. Devers could not tag up to advance from first base. Mitch Moreland, next up, singled to right field. Devers rounded second and reached third base. Brock Holt then grounded out to end the frame.

In the top of the 6th, Benintendi recorded Boston’s fifth hit of the evening with an infield single. Subsequently, he stole second. Two batters later, Martinez was able to move Benintendi to third. Following that, with two outs, Bogaerts struck out swinging.

An inning later, Christian Vazquez also reached third base, after a double and a stolen base. To end the inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out swinging. My thinking: the Red Sox struggles continue.

Laureano Again?!

Bogaerts came to the plate in the 9th with one out. He launched a deep fly ball to center field. Oakland outfielder Ramon Laureano, who gunned down Bogaerts at home plate the night before, went up for the catch, but missed. The ball ricochetted off the wall and rolled back onto the outfield grass. Laureano picked up the ball and threw a one-hop dart to Chapman at third base. Chapman caught it cleanly, slapped his glove down on Bogaerts’ side, and the call was ‘out’!

From there, even with Moreland coming to the plate, the life had been sucked out of the Red Sox. Holt eventually struck out to end the game.

Alex Cora frustrated, but still satisfied

“Right now nothing’s going our way,” the Sox manager was quoted as saying on NESN.com. “Honestly, after tonight, I feel better. I feel better because it was a game. 1-0, we had a chance. We competed. … I know what the record is, but honestly I can go home and get some sleep.”

The Sox have now lost four games in a row. Almost a full week into the 2019 season, they find themselves solidified into last place in the AL East.

The Red Sox struggles continue into tonight’s third game out of four against the A’s. First pitch is at 10:07 PM/ET.

Manny in Taiwan

Manny

Courtesy of sports.yahoo.com

For Manny Ramirez a different type of D-Day has arrived: Decision Day. He must decide, after a few weeks of deliberation, whether he will play for Taiwan. Yes, Taiwan. According to Mlbtraderumors.com, Ramirez made a verbal agreement on Feb. 26th and needed to make a decision by March 7, 2013.

He has been bouncing around the world like a ping pong ball in a tennis table match the past few years from teams in the Dominican Republic, to triple AAA clubs owned by the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland Athletics. His stats were kind of non-existent for last season because of that 50 game suspension due to those pesky domestic violence charges and alleged history of steroid use. Which leads one to ask did he even play for the Athletics AAA team? It’s okay though, because this is just “manny being manny.” Is he just a media whore or does he really want to play the game he “loves” as he says here about possibly playing in Taiwan,

“It will be a new experience, experience another culture while I keep doing what I love and all I’ve done in my life, playing baseball,” Ramirez said”

(Courtesy of http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/02/manny-ramirez-to-sign-with-taiwanese-team.html)

Taiwan

Courtesy of flags.com

I don’t know. This guy’s life plays out like a telenovella (soap opera) and a pretty entertaining one, too. Between the steroids, the pit stop in the Green Monster, and big personality, I cannot tell whether he wants to be a celeb-utante like Paris Hilton or a professional ballplayer. It seems he will go to any lengths to play the game or get our attention, but cannot seem to execute either reliably. What will the reserved, polite, people of this Chinese republic think of this guy?  At almost 41 years old, I think it is time to hang up the cleats, and find another way to serve baseball. I do not think he will be one of the special guests that John Farrell will bring back to help out new players.  Unless said players are looking to learn how to steal Boston media attention, rather than bases. Let’s face it, Sox fans were lucky to see him run to first base when he singled out.

How have we made it through countless a slow Friday news day without him? Oh, Manny, we hardly knew ye!