Opening Day 2020 Has Finally Arrived

Remain calm Red Sox Nation – Opening Day 2020 is finally here! After many months of negotiations, we finally have baseball. The Red Sox open the season against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park starting tonight at 7:30pm. From there, the New York Mets come to town for two games, then the Red Sox head to Citi Field for two games. This is going to be a wild season for sure, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

The 2020 Red Sox will look different, there’s no doubt. With Eduardo Rodriguez stillopening day 2020 recovering from COVID-19, Nathan Eovaldi will take the ball tonight. The Red Sox have a pretty solid team, but the pitching will be the mystery of 2020. How will the Red Sox fair on Opening Day 2020? Well, hopefully better than the Nationals and Giants did last night.

Opening Day 2020 vs The Baltimore Orioles

As mentioned above, Nathan Eovaldi will be getting the start for the Red Sox tonight. The Orioles will be sending Tommy Milone to the mound to face the Red Sox. Originally, the Orioles had John Means making the Opening Day start, however, he will be starting the season on the injured list with shoulder fatigue. Both Eovaldi and Milone will be making their first career Opening Day starts. Both had a solid Spring and Summer training prior to the start of the season.

In 23 games for the Red Sox last season, Eovaldi went 2-1 with a 5.99 ERA in 67.2 innings. After a 2019 that saw him on the injured list, Eovaldi is looking to have a better 2020. His last faced the Orioles on September 27th 2019, going 5 innings giving up 5 earned runs while striking out 3. Tommy Milone came to the Orioles via free agency after spending the 2019 season with the Seattle Mariners. In 23 games, he went 4-10 with a 4.76 ERA in 111.2 innings. Milone last faced the Red Sox in 2014 as a member of the Minnesota Twins.

Tomorrow’s 1:35pm game will have Alex Cobb going up against Martin Perez. The Boston native only pitched in 3 games last season, going 0-2 with a 10.95 ERA. Perez will be making his Red Sox debut after pitching for the Minnesota Twins last season. He was 10-7 in 32 games for the Twins with a 5.12 ERA. Sunday’s final game, also at 1:35pm, will feature Wade LeBlanc against Ryan Weber. LeBlanc, who pitched for the Mariners last season, went 6-7 in 26 games while posting a 5.71 ERA. Weber is looking to make a name for himself in the Red Sox rotation. Last season in 18 games, he went 2-4 with a 5.09 ERA

Welcoming Back Rick Porcello and Eduardo Nunez

The Red Sox will be welcoming back Rick Porcello and Eduardo Nunez when the Mets come to town on Monday. While Red Sox fans won’t be seeing Porcello pitch, they might get to see Nunez play at Fenway. No pitchers have been announced yet for either team,  however, Porcello won’t be one of the two this time around. He will be making his Mets debut against the Braves on Sunday.

Eduardo Nunez last played in July 2019 before the Red Sox designated him for assignment. In the offseason, he signed a minor league deal with the Mets. Rick Porcello, after five seasons with the Red Sox, signed a one-year contract with the Mets this past offseason. The New Jersey native stated in his press conference that he was looking forward to pitching for team he rooted for as a child.

Both home games against the Mets will be at 7:30pm. From there, the Red Sox will travel to Citi Field to take on the Mets on Wednesday and Thursday to start their first road trip of the season. The Red Sox will close out July against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

Last Night’s Games

Opening Day 2020 officially began last night for the Yankees, Nationals, Dodgers and Giants. Both the Yankees and Dodgers got their first wins of the season, and a few hit home runs. The Yankees – Nationals game ended after 5 innings due to rain, and the final was 4-1. The Dodgers and Giants played a full game, which saw the Dodgers beat the Giants 8-1.

Gerrit Cole made his Yankee debut last night, where he struck out 5 batters, and allowing a home run to Adam Eaton. Max Scherzer made the start for the Nationals, striking out 11, but allowing 4 runs in 5.1 innings. Giancarlo Stanton got the offense going for the Yankees, hitting his first home run of 2020 off of Scherzer in the first inning.

Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to make his Opening Day 2020 start against the Giants, but was scratched due to an injury. Dustin May took the ball in game one against Johnny Cueto. May went 4.1 innings, allowing one run and striking out four. Kike Hernandez hit the lone home run for the Dodgers, however, the Dodgers managed to have 12 hits and drove in 8 runs. Even though they got 8 hits, the Giants only managed to get one run across the board thanks to a Pablo Sandoval sacrifice fly in the 3rd inning.

The Roller Coaster Ends At Fenway

After going 2-4 on the road trip, the roller coaster ends at Fenway Park. The Red Sox play their final series against the Orioles at home one last time in 2019. At 83-76, this season has been an up and down roller coaster since the beginning. Now, with no postseason, the team is looking to make something of the remaining three games.

Once the final play is made Sunday night, the Red Sox season will be over, and the postseason will begin. Many players on the Red Sox roster may not be in the Boston eduardo rodriguezclubhouse when the 2020 season begins. These next few months will be a strange one for Red Sox Nation, as we see other teams fight for the title of World Series Champions.

The Orioles vs Red Sox Matchup

The final home stand will feature three games. The first game will have Asher Wojciechowski up against Nathan Eovaldi. Last time Wojciechowski faced the Red Sox was back on August 17th. He went 4.1 innings, allowing two runs off of five hits and took the loss in the game. As for Eovaldi, he last pitched against the Orioles on August 18th in his first start since April. He only went two innings, allowing five runs off of three hits.

The second game will feature John Means against Jhoulys Chacin. Last time Means pitched against Boston was back on July 19th. He got the win in the game, going six innings, allowing two runs off of four hits. The Orioles have yet to see Chacin pitch this season. For Chacin, this will be his fifth start for the Red Sox, and he is looking for his fourth win of 2019.

The final game on Sunday will have a player to be named later up against Red Sox ace Eduardo Rodriguez. The Orioles have yet to name a starter in the season finale. The Red Sox will be sending Rodriguez to face his former team one last time in 2019. Rodriguez, who will be looking for win number 20 of the season, last pitched against Baltimore on August 17th., in which he earned the win. He went 7.1 innings in the game, and allowed only four hits.

Will There Be Any Final Farewells?

After the last out on Sunday, many Red Sox players will be free agents. Mitch Moreland, Brock Holt, and a few others may be playing their final games at Fenway Park this weekend. For Rick Porcello, he may have pitched his final game on Wednesday night against the Rangers, in which he picked up his 14th win of 2019.

Another potential free agent is JD Martinez. Sox fans may be wondering why he would be. Well, his contract is set up so he can opt out after this season, as well as next season. If he opts out this offseason, he has a $2.5 million buyout. After this roller coaster of a season, he may test the free agency market again.

Another player is Steve Pearce. Following a great run last season, Dombrowski signed him to a one year deal. Pearce has spent the majority of 2019 on the injury list. The life long Red Sox fan was limited to 29 games this season, with a .180 batting average and only one home run. Last time he played was May 31st against the Yankees.

What a Roller Coaster of a 2019 Season

After winning 108 regular season games, the Red Sox went into 2019 hoping to repeat as World Series Champions. Unfortunately, 2019 didn’t go as planned. Even before the regular season began, there were many questions surrounding the team. The biggest question was the bullpen. We all know how that was answered, or unanswered. The roller coaster kept going into the regular season, as the team headed out to the West Coast, dropping key games against the Mariners, A’s and Diamondbacks.

From there, the ride saw some ups, and some downs. We saw players like Eduardo Nunez leave the team, and we witnessed Dave Dombrowski being let go not too long ago. There were injuries, there were games we should’ve won. The one constant though, is that the fan base was there for the team, no matter what. Now, we have one final series before calling it a season. Then, it’s onto 2020.

Dave Dombrowski’s Firing Comes at a Strange Time

Red Sox Nation knew it was coming eventually. However, following the Red Sox’s loss to the Yankees, social media was buzzing. The Red Sox have fired Dave Dombrowski. With about two weeks left, Dave Dombrowski’s firing comes at a strange time. What was the ownership thinking, and what does this mean for everyone else? Now, this also adds onto the offseason list. The Red Sox need to find a new President of Baseball Operations.

When news of Dave Dombrowski’s firing got to the clubhouse, many players wereDave Dombrowski's firing shocked. During the press conference after the game, Alex Cora stated that he was ‘Surprised. I’m shocked, honestly.” Dombrowski hired him to take the reigns of the Red Sox following the 2017 season, which Cora said he was grateful for.

The Timing of Dave Dombrowski’s Firing is Shocking

The Red Sox are 76-67, and just dropped two key games to the Yankees. The bullpen has been a question mark all season long. Now, here we are in September with two key pitchers injured and nobody to take over for them. Also, the trade deadline came and went, with the Red Sox sitting on their hands. This was not a good look for an organization who was trying to make a push for the postseason.

As players were getting ready to leave Fenway Park, many expressed shock and surprise by the news that Cora gave them following the game. When asked about Dave Dombrowski’s firing, players like JD Martinez and Mookie Betts said that they were shocked by the news. As more information rolls in, Red Sox Nation will have a better understanding of the situation.

The Red Sox spokesman, Kevin Gregg said last night that a formal press conference will be held on Monday. From there, hopefully more insight into Dave Dombrowski’s firing will come to light.

What Could Have Led to Dave Dombrowski’s Firing

When Dombrowski came into the organization back in August 2015, he gave us a team that brought us to the postseason three years in a row. In the 2017 off season, he also brought in Alex Cora to take on the role as manager. This past off season, Dombrowski didn’t do much. He allowed Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel to walk away. He also signed Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Sale to long term deals. That looked like a good idea at the time, but now Eovaldi is in the bullpen and struggling, while Sale has been out with an elbow injury.

Dombrowski also had a habit of bringing in veteran players via trade. For example, in July 2017, he traded two minor league pitchers for Eduardo Nunez. While Nunez was good for Boston at first, the rest of the time he was injured. Another would be in the 2016 off season, when he traded for Chris Sale. Dombrowski traded four minor leaguers for Sale. While Sale is a dominating pitcher, he is also injury prone. Case and point, he is on the injury list, and was thought to have needed Tommy John surgery.

Dombrowski didn’t allow the farm system to grow properly. He brought in players, and kept players that were not contributing. He was given a role that he just couldn’t handle. That led to this season, and how the Red Sox will not be in the postseason for the first time since 2015.

How Will This Play Out in the Offseason?

The list of things to do for Boston just got longer. On top of everything else, they need to find a new President of Baseball operations and a General Manager. Dombrowski has been filling the role as General Manager for the past few seasons, as well as doing his job. The Red Sox have a lot of work to do come the end of the postseason. This includes fixing the bullpen, and keeping certain free agents.

The next few weeks will be strange inside the walls of Fenway Park. While many were shocked, including I’m sure Dombrowski, many were not. Dave Dombrowski’s firing may have come at a strange time, but it needed to be done eventually.

Not Saying The Red Sox Need Pedroia, But Maybe?

The early struggles of the 2019 Red Sox derive from multiple departments. Starting at the top, Mookie Betts is 6-for-27 in the batters box, which is equates to a .222 batting average. That’s a problem. The team’s pitchers have allowed a total of 16 home runs in just six games. That tops the American League. The team’s poorest output, offensively speaking, has come from center field and second base. Jackie Bradley Jr., in 23 PAs, has a .174 on-base (OBP) and the combination of Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt looks like this: 23 PAs, 2 hits, an OBP of .130, 2 steals, and 2 strikeouts. I’m not saying the Red Sox need Pedroia back, and I am not saying they don’t. But perhaps his admittance to the 25-man roster could do some good for this team.

Fact: The Red Sox did not need Dustin Pedroia last year to win the World Series.Red Sox need Pedroia

The team occupied Eduardo Nunez, Ian Kinsler, and Brock Holt at the keystone in 2018. Nunez reached base at a .289 clip and Kinsler’s .294 clip was in 143 PAs for the Sox. Holt, on the contrary, posted a .362 clip in 367 PAs.

Pedey played in just 3 games last season and in 2017, he logged 463 PAs in 105 games. He tallied 201 hits in 2016. It was just the second time in his lengthy career that he eclipsed the 200-hit mark.

Now at age 35, he’s on the outside looking in. His recovery from knee surgery has been a long, grueling process. His contract with the Red Sox expires in 2021. It has seemed that all along, he has been to do whatever needs to be done in order to get back to a playing role with this team.

According to Alex Cora, via Ian Browne of MLB.com, Pedroia is set to begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with Low-A Greenville. He is expected to play in back-to-back games Thursday and Friday, have a day off on Saturday, and then play a full nine innings on Sunday.

So, how would Pedroia’s return be helpful? Some may actually view it as a distraction. The thinking is that the team needs to focus on winning games and not become distracted and emotional over the return of the “little leader.”

Pedroia is a true leader

While some may think that way, I believe that the opposing perspective is true. The one constant that has always remained with Pedroia is his leadership. When healthy, he is the first player in the clubhouse. He is all business. I’m not saying the Red Sox need Pedroia and his counsel, but that type of attitude could reflect well on Red Sox players at this juncture. Other than last season, Pedroia is a two-time World Series champion. He won a WS with Alex Cora as his teammate in ’07.

Pedroia is also recognized as a leader while playing the field. Besides being a four-time Gold Glove winner, Pedey helps his pitchers in other ways too. In 2016, while David Price was struggling on the mound during his first season in Boston, Pedroia helped point out issues he was seeing in Price’s arm mechanics.

In addition, Pedroia’s entry could break up some staleness in the Red Sox fielding depth chart. Brock Holt, who is known primarily as a utility man, could start to platoon more all around the diamond, instead of backing up Nunez at second. He could give players like Andrew Benintendi and Bradley Jr. breaks in the outfield on certain days. The same could be said about Nunez, whose must comfortable fielding position is said to be third base. I’m not saying the Red Sox need Pedroia, but more fielding flexibility could help loosen things up.

In 13 seasons, Pedroia owns an on-base percentage of .366. In some thinking, Pedroia could be this season’s version of 2018’s Kinsler, who owns a .339 career OBP along with two gold gloves, including one last year. Pedroia and Kinsler were teammates at Arizona State University in 2002 before Kinsler transferred to University of Missouri in ’03. Both Pedroia and Kinsler are four-time All-Stars as well. I’m not saying the Red Sox need Pedroia, but maybe he could be this team’s missing link.

Red Sox Game 4 Recap

Sunday’s pitching matchup was between Rick Porcello (career-high 190 strikeouts in 2018) vs. Wade LeBlanc (27 starts, 3.72 ERA in 2018). Andrew Benintendi was held out of the lineup for the first time in 2019. Mookie Betts led off for the first time since last year’s World Series Game 5. To begin Boston Red Sox 2019 game-4 recap, let’s see how Rafael Devers scored the Sox’s first run on Sunday.

The Sox scored first in this one. After a ground out by Betts to start the game, Deversgame 4 recap doubled to deep left and J.D. Martinez drove him in with a RBI single up the middle. Eduardo Nunez drove in two more later in the first inning, thanks to an error from third baseman Ryon Healy that loaded the bases.

Porcello breezed through the first with 2 k’s and a flyout. LeBlanc pitched a clean second. Jay Bruce led off the bottom of inning two with a stand up double to right and Omar Narvaez singled right after. Bruce to third. Later in the inning with two outs, Dee Gordon singled in both Bruce and Narvaez. Boston 3, Seattle 2.

Game 4 recap premier moment

In the top of the third, the Red Sox put two men in scoring position (Martinez and Mitch Moreland), but were unable to score. In the bottom half, Mitch Haniger drove a ball to left field and Martinez, who usually DH’s, dropped the ball in the sun. Haniger safe at second. Three batters later, Narvaez belted a three-run home run into the right field bleachers. Seattle 5, Boston 3. Dee Gordon and Mallex Smith added the next two runs via a sacrifice fly and a RBI single. 7-3, Seattle. Porcello was pulled after throwing 73 pitches in 2.2 innings. Brian Johnson came on in relief.

The Mariners still were not done in the third. With two outs, Haniger doubled in two more with a double, past Devers, down the left field line. Domingo Santana flew out to deep center to end the inning after seven runs scored. Seattle 9, Boston 3.

Game 4 recap: Sox strike right back

The Sox struck right back. With two men on (Betts, Devers) and two outs in the top of the fourth, Martinez hammered a ball far and gone, just inside the left field foul pole. The deficit was cut to three.

Jay Bruce responded immediately, though, with a solo shot to right-center off Johnson. The left-hander escaped the inning after allowing another extra-base hit – a double to Healy. Seattle 10, Boston 6.

Betts launched a solo shot in the sixth inning off Mariners reliever Nick Rumbelow to cut the lead back to three. Both teams went scoreless the next two and a half innings.

In the ninth inning with the bases loaded, M’s reliever Chasen Bradford walked pinch-hitter Blake Swihart to score Martinez. The tying run moved to scoring position at second base. Christian Vazquez then struck out and Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded out to end the game. Final score: Seattle 10, Boston 8.

Some things I liked from Sunday’s game were the three runs scored in the first inning, J.D. Martinez knocking in four runs, hitters going 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and the strong finish by Brandon Workman, Colten Brewer, Ryan Brasier in relief. Things I did not like were a costly error by Martinez in the outfield that helped fuel a seven-run inning, hitters leaving ten men stranded on base, and Porcello’s inability to pitch 3 innings.

Game 4 recap: Opening Series takeaway

The Red Sox finished their first series of the season with one win and three losses. Spectacularly, each of their starting pitchers (Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Porcello) allowed at least six runs. Martinez and Devers combined for 13 hits. Andrew Benintendi had just one hit. Martinez had two home runs. The most effective relief pitchers were Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree. Combined, the two allowed 2 hits and 2 walks in 4.1 innings.

Boston starts their next series tonight against the Oakland Athletics. First pitch is at 10:07 PM/ET.

Red Sox Game 3 Recap

First pitch on Saturday night was sixty-three degrees. Pitching matchup: Mike Leake, 34 walks in 2018 – tied for 3rd fewest amongst pitchers to throw at least 180 innings, versus Eduardo Rodriguez, career-bests in wins (13), ERA (3.82), and WHIP (1.27) in 2018. The following is Boston Red Sox game-3 recap.

The game started with an out on a roller from Andrew Benintendi to Dee Gordon. Mookiegame 3 recap Betts then struck out, Rafael Devers hit a single to left, and J.D. Martinez flew out to deep left.

Seattle scored first. Tim Beckham connected on a Rodriguez changeup for a RBI single to center field, and Ryon Healy roped a RBI double to left. Rodriguez escaped the first inning by allowing two runs on 31 pitches.

Game-3 recap: Red Sox lone extra base hit

Mitch Moreland doubled to left-center in the top of the second and Jackie Bradley Jr. singled him in. It was Bradley Jr.’s first RBI of the season. Seattle 2, Boston 1.

In the third, Martinez smoked a line drive to left. Devers came in to score after stealing second base earlier in Martinez’s at-bat. Boston even the score, 2-2.

The next run came in the bottom of the fourth, when Dee Gordon punched a ball over Devers head at third base. Ryon Healy scored.

Game-3 recap: Rodriguez gets roughed up on mound

Seattle scored 3 more in the next inning on a 3-run shot by Jay Bruce. Seattle 6, Boston 2. Eduardo Rodriguez exited the game after pitching 4.1 innings. His pitches by inning were 31, 14, 16, 26, 19. He became the third straight Red Sox starter to allow at least 6 runs.

Meanwhile, Seattle’s Leake pitched a quality start: 6 innings, two earned runs.

Game-3 recap premier moment

The ninth inning was packed with excitement for the second straight night. Sox catcher Christian Vazquez pinch-hit for Blake Swihart and singled to start the frame. Seattle’s Zac Rosscup then got two quick outs, a Jackie Bradley Jr. strike out and an Eduardo Nunez ground out. Andrew Benintendi then walked. Mookie Betts was up next, and hit a screamer to third, where Dylan Moore juggled it, picked the ball up and threw it over Ryon Healy’s head at first. A run scored on the error. Seattle 6, Boston 3. Rafael Devers hit another hot-shot to Moore, and this time it ricocheted off his glove and past the infield dirt. Benintendi scored Boston’s fourth run and Betts was stopped at third.

Mariners skipper Scott Servais then replaced Rosscup with Nick Rumbelow. J.D. Martinez was up next and, sure enough, hit another ball to Moore at third. A third straight error was made! Martinez was safe at first and Betts scored. Seattle 6, Boston 5. Xander Bogaerts was at the plate with the tying run 90-feet away from home plate. He struck out on three straight pitches. Bogaerts went 0-5 Saturday night. Final score: Seattle 6, Boston 5.

It was a tough night for Red Sox hitters. Moreland had the sole extra-base hit. Betts and Bogaerts went a combined 0-10. The team went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Some things I liked were Devers reaching base 3 out of 5 times out of the 3-hole, Benintendi staying in the game after fouling a ball off his leg, the rally put on by Sox hitters for the second straight night, and the bullpen: 3.2 innings, 2 hits, 1 walk, 5 k’s.

The ugly? Rodriguez on the mound, Alex Cora’s decision to keep Rodriguez on the mound into the fifth inning, and Benintendi, Betts, and Bogaerts averaging a combined .200 at the plate. The Sox send Rick Porcello to the mound next for the series finale against Wade LeBlanc.

Next game is Sunday, March 31st at 4:00 PM/ET.