How Will the Red Sox Fair in 2020?

We are one week away from the start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season. For teams like the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees, that means getting back into the playoffs. As for the Red Sox, they are not looking like postseason contenders, even with a shorter season. How will the Red Sox fair in 2020? Well, right now, the World Series odds for the 2020 Red Sox are actually worse than what they were back in March. This past offseason saw some big names leave the Red Sox organization, with Rick Porcello signing with the New York Mets, and Mookie Betts and David Price were traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The rival New York Yankees on the other hand, signed the biggest fish in the free agency pond in Gerrit Cole. 

During the offseason, the Red Sox had to rework their system. With the firing of Davered sox fair Dombrowski in September, they needed a new President of Baseball Operations. Near the end of October, the Red Sox got their guy in Chaim Bloom. Prior to joining Boston, Bloom was the Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Tampa Bay Rays. Now the Chief Baseball Officer for the Red Sox, Bloom was tasked with trying to get the Red Sox back into the postseason. From trading catcher Sandy Leon, to signing infielder Jose Peraza and pitcher Martin Perez, fans were left scratching their heads. Key players like Rick Porcello and Brock Holt signed with new teams, and the Red Sox did not look the same prior to Spring Training. 

How the Red Sox Fair in 2020 Is a Matter of Chance

In January of 2020, the Red Sox were hit by the Houston Astros cheating scandal, when former manager Alex Cora was named in the report in regards to Houston’s involvement in cheating during the 2017 season. Cora was the bench coach for Houston at the time, and was one of the main people who was involved in the scandal. This lead to Cora resigning from the Red Sox, and left a hole in the manager position with less than a month before Spring Training. Between finding a new manager, and trading Mookie Betts and David Price, the Red Sox seem to be in rebuilding mode. 

While the rest of the American League East has fallen silent, the New York Yankees keep looking for ways to improve. They brought back veteran outfielder Brett Gardner with a one year contract, and signed Gerrit Cole to a massive nine year, $324 million dollar contract. This contract is the richest contract that has ever been given to a Major League Baseball player. Cole finished the 2019 season 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts. While he didn’t get a ring with the Houston Astros, he did pretty well in the 2019 season. The new ace of the Yankees is looking to improve upon his 2019 season in 2020. While the Yankees are down one starting pitcher with Luis Severino out with Tommy John surgery, they still have plenty of weapons in their arsenal. 

The Difference Between the Red Sox and the Yankees

With Rick Porcello signing with the New York Mets, David Price being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chris Sale having Tommy John surgery in April, the Red Sox only have three reliable starters in Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez and Martin Perez. Granted, the Red Sox did sign starting pitcher Collin McHugh before COVID-19 shut down the season. However, manager Ron Roenicke stated that McHugh might not be ready for the start of the season.  The Yankees on the other hand, have a full five man rotation, plus a few relievers that can start at a moment’s notice. Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox have been scrambling to try and find a few good starting pitchers for the Red Sox, but as of now, there is currently an audition in Boston to see who will be starting this season. While the Red Sox do have a solid starting lineup with JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, pitching, whether it’s from the starting rotation or the bullpen, is what is going to be important in this short season. 

For the Yankees, they too have a solid starting lineup with Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit. Over the past few seasons, the big three of the New York Yankees have been a force in their lineup. Catcher Gary Sanchez has been a force in the Yankees lineup since he came onto the scene in 2015. Last season, despite committing fifteen errors as a catcher, he was named the American League All Star for the second time. Sanchez also hit 34 homeruns with 77 RBI’s. His career fielding percentage is .988% in his four seasons so far with the Yankees. Aaron Judge is the big name around the Big Apple, and last season kept crushing it both defensively and offensively. The 2017 American League Rookie of the Year won the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2019, as well as hit his 100th career home run. In total, he hit .272 with 27 homeruns and 62 RBI’s in the 2019 campaign. Luke Voit, unlike Sanchez and Judge, didn’t start his career with the Yankees. The Yankees acquired him from the St Louis Cardinals prior to the 2018 trade deadline. In 157 games with the Yankees as a first baseman, Voit has 35 homeruns and 95 RBI’s, and he only keeps getting better and better each time he steps up to the plate. 

A few things have been keeping the Yankees apart from the Red Sox over the past few years. The Red Sox have won two World Series Championships since 2010, but the Yankees haven’t won since 2009. The first thing is the Yankees keep looking for ways to improve. The signing of Gerrit Cole this past offseason, as well as the signings of DJ LeMahieu, J.A. Happ, and James Paxton prior to the 2019 season are proof that the Yankees want to add championship number 28 to their circle. In a way, the Yankees keep looking for that new puzzle piece, whereas the Red Sox keep looking to rebuild after winning a championship. 

How Will The Red Sox Fair in 2020?

Will the Red Sox do well in the short 2020 season? Only time can tell that. Right now, it’s not looking good for the nine time World Series Champions. With the schedule being mainly the American and National League East teams, it will be an uphill challenge for the Red Sox, especially with the reigning World Series Champion Washington Nationals in their schedule. The Yankees on the other hand, are out to win. After losing to the Houston Astros in the American League Championship series last postseason, many on the Yankees are looking to climb over that hurdle and make it into the 2020 World Series. Bringing in Cole to their rotation, and having a healthy lineup and bullpen is what will set them apart from the rest of the teams in the American League East. Many might say to not count the Red Sox out of the race, however, statistics don’t lie, and as of right now, the Red Sox have a mountain to climb. 

The Bronx Bombers Come To Fenway

After a road trip that saw the Red Sox go 3-3 against the Orioles and Rays, they come back to Fenway to face the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers are still sitting in first place in the American League East with a record of 66-35. Last time we saw the Yankees was during the 2 game weekend series in London last month.

Right now, the Red Sox are 11 games behind the Yankees, and 1 game behind Tampa Bay after dropping yesterday’s game in Florida. With this 4 game set against the Yankees,

Red Sox vs Yankees Series

Red Sox vs Yankees Series

and the trade deadline around the corner, one can only wonder how this weekend will play out.

The Invasion of the Bronx Bombers

There is a reason why they are called the Bronx Bombers, and have been for many years. For as long as the Yankees have existed, their line up has consisted of hard hitting batters. From Mickey Mantle to Aaron Judge, there is no way to completely stop the bats of the Yankees. That’s the goal in this series for the Red Sox, and let’s hope that they succeed.

The Yankees seem to have everything clicking for them. From their lineup to their rotation, nothing seems to go wrong for them. When the Yankees come to town, they will be without catcher Gary Sanchez. The backstop was put on the injury list on the 24th. Prior to being played on the injury list, he was batting .229 with 24 home runs and 58 RBI’s.

With the trade deadline looming, the Yankees have a wish list as well. For them, it’s starting pitching. Granted, they traded for James Paxton and kept J.A. Happ this off season, but they still need a little bit of help. One name that they have been linked to is Toronto starter and New York native, Marcus Stroman. It will be interesting to see what the Bronx Bombers do before the deadline to try and increase their success. For now, the Red Sox need to keep them away from doing damage in Boston.

The Match-ups…

Game one has Masahiro Tanaka vs Rick Porcello. The last time Porcello faced the Yankees was the first game of the London series, where he went 0.1 innings, allowing 5 hits and 6 earned runs. The same goes for Tanaka, who also started that game, going 0.2 innings, allowing 4 hits and 6 runs. This time, both pitchers have a very important job to do. For Tanaka, it’s continuing his success on the mound this season. For Porcello, it’s to keep his team in the game, and improve his record to 9-7.

Game two has James Paxton vs Andrew Cashner. For Cashner, he will be facing the Yankees for the first time in a Red Sox uniform. Last time Cashner pitched against the Yankees was back on May 20th as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. He went 6 innings in the game, allowing 5 hits and 3 runs. Paxton last faced the Red Sox on April 16th. He went 8 innings in that game, only allowing 2 hits. Cashner looks to get his first win as a member of the Red Sox, while Paxton looks to continue his success against the Red Sox.

Game three has CC Sabathia vs Eduardo Rodriguez.The retiring Sabathia last pitched against Boston on June 2nd. He went 6 innings, allowing 7 hits and 3 runs as well as the loss. Eduardo Rodriguez was the game 2 starter in the London series against the Yankees, going 5.1 innings, allowing 4 hits and 2 runs. Sabathia is looking to grab win number 6 on the season on Saturday. Rodriguez is looking to continue his remarkable season by going 13-4.

Game four has Domingo German vs Chris Sale. The last time German pitched against Boston was on June 1st. He went 3.2 innings, allowing 6 hits and 3 runs. As for Sale, last time out against the Yankees was May 31st. He went 6 innings, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits. German is looking to grab his 13th win of the 2019 season on Sunday in Boston. Chris Sale is looking to continue his hot streak and get his 6th win of the season.

The Red Sox Need To Send A Message

Boston is currently sitting on a 56-47 record, which is kind of keep them afloat in the American League Wild Card race. There is still many games left to play, and for the Red Sox, a bulk of those games are going to be played at Fenway. That sounds great, right? Well, prior to this game, the Red Sox are 24-25 at home this season. That’s not good, but it’s not bad either.

This team needs to send a message to the American League, and to their fan base that they can win games, and be competitive. Yes, it’s tough to repeat as champions. Yes, injuries are a thing that exists. However, when your home record looks like that, and easy to win games aren’t won, people start to worry.

The trade deadline is approaching, and if the Red Sox want to keep climbing this uphill battle, they’re going to need some help. This series, and the next one against Tampa Bay are really important to this team as we roll into August. For right now, the Red Sox need to keep their focus on defeating the Bronx Bombers any way that they can.

Boston Found Success in the Final Game in New York

After losing the last four games to the New York Yankees, Boston found success in the final game. This makes them 1-4 against the Yankees. The next time Boston faces New York will be at the end of June in London.

Game one against the Yankees was pushed to Friday after a rainout Thursday. The rainboston found out was a much needed break for Boston. Looking to find success in the first game was key, especially since the Yankees are in first place. The Red Sox attempted to seek revenge on New York in game two. However, the Yankees had other plans. In the final game, behind a stellar performance by David Price, the Red Sox won.

Game One Part Two – Welcome Back to the Jungle

The battle of the aces, Chris Sale vs J.A. Happ. Boston started off with a 1-0 lead in the second inning, thanks to Rafael Devers’ solo home run. From there, the Yankees scored four runs – three in the third, and one in the fifth.

Sale took the loss, going six inning, allowing seven hits and four earned runs. He is now 1-7 on the season, with a 4.35 ERA. In the game, however, Sale did strike out ten. It should have been a solid win for Sale, but the Red Sox only managed one run on five hits.

Game Two – Attempting to Take Game Two From New York

Rick Porcello took the ball in the second game of the series vs the Yankees right handed started, Domingo German. This game looked a bit more promising, with the Red Sox managing thre runs off of eleven hits. A home run by Bogaerts off of German and a few clutch hits by Sandy Leon allowed the Red Sox to tie the game 3-3 in the fourth inning.

The Yankees, however, had different plans for the defending World Series Champions. Key hits by DJ LeMahieu and Gio Urshela, and a two run home run by Gary Sanchez led the Yankees to win their second game of the series.

Boston Found Success in the Final Game

A pitching matchup between David Price and CC Sabathia was a highly regarded one. Price, coming off of a great performance against Cleveland, had the ball for Boston. In the game on Sunday, he pitched 6.1 solid innings, allowing two runs and struck out six. Boston’s offense struck first, and kept striking. JD Martinez led it off with a home run in the first, and Bogaerts did the same in the fourth. Even Michael Chavis hit his first career triple, driving in Devers in the eighth inning.

In total, the Red Sox scored eight runs and had thirteen hits. This ruined the retiring Sabathia’s shot of getting win number 250. The bullpen was a bit shaky, but luckily the Red Sox walked away with an 8-5 victory. Boston found success finally!

London Bound

The next time Boston goes up against New York will be June  29th and 30th in London. The two teams were selected to play at London Stadium in a two game match up. It will be interesting to see what happens!

Does Drew Pomeranz Have Anything Left In The Tank?

Drew Pomeranz had another short rough night Sunday. Pomeranz threw 64 pitches in just 3 2/3 innings in a 5-4 Red Sox comeback win. In his outing, he gave up seven hits and four runs, including another homer by Gary Sanchez for a fortunate no-decision. Sunday marked the second consecutive outing in which Pomeranz failed to go four innings.

Going into this year, Pomeranz’s career high for innings pitched was just 96.2. His 2016 Pomeranzinnings pitched total is already up to 164.1. Granted most of his career has been in the bullpen. Add to that the fact that he was injured when the Red Sox traded for him and John Farrell may have himself a problem. Spare Dave Dombrowski though; he didn’t know A.J. Preller was the biggest scumbag in the baseball business. Preller, the Padres GM, was suspended for 30 days for withholding injury information from the Red Sox.

Considering Pomeranz’s last two starts, it is likely that he is experiencing extreme fatigue. Even from a guy who doesn’t throw hard, Pomeranz still does not have much experience starting; let alone in a stressful pennant race. During the month of September, Pomeranz has really struggled with the command of his off-speed pitches. The lack of command has led to short outings with a low-pitch count, highlighted by home runs hit off his mediocre fastball.

Pomeranz’s Role Going Forward

Obviously, Pomeranz is a big part of this starting rotation. If he is beginning to wilt, what can the Red Sox do with him? In a postseason set-up, I don’t think Pomeranz will be a starter. He should be a long guy out of the bullpen, much like Jon Lester was in 2007 and Felix Doubront in 2013. That could limit Pomeranz’s innings and they could use his off-speed stuff against lefties in high leverage situations. Most beneficially, it will keep Fernando Abad off the mound in the postseason.

Against all odds, this may not be a risky move by the Red Sox. I say that because a month ago I couldn’t believe that Clay Buchholz would be a formidable fourth starter in the playoffs. With Buchholz’s last month, excusing that one start in Toronto last weekend, he has been a pleasant surprise. Also, Stephen Wright’s shoulder injury all but ends his season so don’t expect to see him in any capacity come October.

This brings up a frustrating situation for the Red Sox considering what they gave up. Boston shipped out one of the best prospects, Anderson Espinoza, to San Diego to correct the issues with the starting rotation. Pomeranz has been a disappointment and now he really can’t get any better without rest. The real problem with the Red Sox will be finishing off the regular season with a division title if Pomeranz is this ineffective.