The Start of the Second Half Was All Right

After the All Star break, the Red Sox returned to Fenway, well rested, and ready to go. With the Dodgers and Blue Jays in town for the second half of the season, you’d think that it’d have motivated this team to win both series. However, that wasn’t the case against the hot blue Dodgers. When it came to facing Toronto though, the team woke up.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions in July. The big question is, what will Davesecond half Dombrowski do before the trade deadline? Before the beginning of the season, MLB implemented new guidelines, including only having one trade deadline. The only major move so far was trading for Baltimore Orioles starter, Andrew Cashner.

Before we get into what’s going through Dombrowski and Company’s mind, let’s take a look at the last homestand.

The Highly Anticipated World Series Rematch at Fenway

When MLB released the schedule last season, I doubt that they knew what they were thinking by scheduling the rematch between the Red Sox and Dodgers. Neither team changed too much, which made for a unique series.

Eduardo Rodriguez had the ball in the first game, and absolutely dominated. His record improved to 10-4 on the season after going seven innings, allowing 5 hits and one earned run. E-Rod also struck out ten while allowing two walks. The offense was on fire as well. Rafael Devers, Christian Vasquez and Xander Bogaerts all hit home runs, which propelled the offense to score eight runs.

Game two, however, was a thing of destruction. The man who closed out the World Series, Chris Sale, only lasted 4.2 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. Despite striking out seven batters, the offense was asleep for the better part of the game. For the Dodgers, the Fenway Faithful got a glimpse of Joe Kelly pitching on the mound in Dodger blue. Kelly pitched one inning of relief, allowing two hits, and one run. The Dodgers took this game, 11-2.

The final game of the series went into extras, and saw the bullpen blow up. In what should have been a Sunday night win for Boston turned into a loss at the hands of David Freese and company. While David Price pitched five solid innings, only allowing one run, the bullpen couldn’t keep it together, even when Boston tied it up in the bottom of the eighth, thanks to back-to-back home runs by Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez. What really stung was when Joe Kelly closed out the bottom of the twelfth inning for the Dodgers.

The Blue Jays Invade Fenway in the Second Half of the Season

After a rough start, Blue Jay Nation came to town, as did Andrew Cashner, the newest member of the Boston rotation. Rick Porcello pitched against the fourth place Blue Jays in game one. Porcello threw six solid innings, only allowing four runs on eight hits. The Red Sox offense went to work early, tagging Blue Jays starter Trent Thornton for five runs in the first inning. Despite the fact that the bullpen allowed six runs in three innings, Porcello got the victory, putting his record at 7-7 on the season.

Andrew Cashner, the newest member of the Red Sox, took the ball in game two. Cashner was pitching in his first game in nine days, and it showed. He went five innings in his Red Sox debut, allowing six runs on eight hits. Despite a first inning home run by Bogaerts, the Red Sox offense was quiet. Jays rookie starter, Jacob Waguespack pitched 4.2 innings, and only allowed the one run in the first inning.

Eduardo Rodriguez, the saving grace of the rotation, took the ball in game three. In 6.1 innings, Rodriguez allowed only two runs off of three hits, while striking out four. Rafael Devers was a contributor in the win by launching his eighteenth home run of the season off of Aaron Sanchez in the third inning. Brandon Workman, who seems to be the savior in the bullpen, earned his fifth save of the season.

In a Thursday afternoon game, Chris Sale had the ball. It should be noted that the real Chris Sale is back. In six innings, Sale only allowed two hits and struck out twelve. The offense tagged Thomas Pannone for four of the five total runs. Both Rafael Devers and Mookie Betts contributed to the runs by launching home runs. Everything seemed to be clicking for Sale in this game, allowing him to get his fourth win of the season, and first at Fenway this season.

First Roadtrip of the Second Half

After going 4-3 in the homestand, the Red Sox head to Baltimore for a three game series, then off to Tropicana Field to take on the second place Tampa Bay Rays. From there, they return home to face the New York Yankees for the first time since the battle in London.

Knowing that we are about a week and a half until the trade deadline, and seeing where we are in the standings, must worry the front office a little bit. With the bullpen seesawing, and the offense slowly picking up speed, a new face in the clubhouse would be a welcoming sign.

A Home Run Derby in Baltimore

After winning the last two games at home, the Red Sox went to Baltimore looking to add onto the win streak. That’s just what they did. The line up in the first game went to work early, and dished out a 13-2 victory. Brock Holt’s two run home run sparked a mini home run derby for Boston. In total, the Red Sox hit six home runs.

Between strong pitching, and heavy hitting, Boston swept Baltimore at Camden Yards.home run derby The line up added onto the home run total, hitting a total of nine home runs. JD Martinez hit three home runs, and overtook the team lead with 16 altogether. With the sweep, the Red Sox have now won five games in a row! They now move onto Target Field and the Twins.

Game One’s Home Run Derby Leads Boston to Victory

After splitting the series against Texas at Fenway, the Red Sox looked to do some damage in Baltimore. After being down 1-0, Brock Holt responded with a two run home run in the second inning. This sparked a great rally by Boston bats. A total of six home runs, and a strong start by Eduardo Rodriguez led Boston to a wild win.

Christian Vazquez hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, while Martinez hit a two run home run shortly after. Jackie Bradley Jr. joined in on the fun in the fifth, with a two run home run. The AL Rookie of the Year hopeful Michael Chavis also hit a two run shot in the same inning. JD Martinez, being JD, hit another home run as well.

Eduardo Rodriguez, looking for his seventh win, went seven innings, allowing six hits and one earned run. He also struck out four. The bullpen did their part as well, with solid innings by Travis Lakins and Josh Smith.

A Pitcher’s Duel in Game Two

Chris Sale got the start for Boston as they were looking to continue their hot streak. After a silent five innings, Boston punched a hole in the runs column, scoring three in the sixth inning. Xander Bogaerts run scoring double put the Sox up 1-0. From there, Brock Holt scored Bogaerts with a single, and a costly error by Baltimore scored Holt. JD Martinez also contributed with his team leading 16th home run in the seventh inning to solidify the home run derby.

With Sale dominating on the mound, Boston’s lead was pretty safe. Sale pitched six innings, allowing two runs while striking out ten. Four more runs by Boston will allow them to win 7-2, and Sale to pick up win number three. Marcus Walden, Matt Barnes and Brandon Workman did great out of the bullpen. The three men pitched the remainder of the game, allowing two hits, and striking out five to seal the deal.

The Sunday Finale vs The Orioles

This win was a little tougher to get, as Boston edged out Baltimore 8-6. The game did go into the tenth, but late inning home runs by Marco Hernandez and Rafael Devers led Boston to victory.

Brian Johnson got the start for the Red Sox on Sunday. He pitched three innings, allowing one run and striking out two. This was his first start off the injured list, so Cora and company didn’t want to push him too much. The bullpen took over from there, with Brandon Workman getting the win, his fifth of the season.

Probably the most impressive part of the game was the five run tenth inning. After Hernandez tied it in the ninth with his first home run of the season, Boston scored five in the tenth. This was led by Devers’ mammoth home run-a 458 foot shot-to lead it off.

Boston Looks to Continue the Streak in Minnesota

Rick Porcello has the ball in game one against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Twins, who are 47-23, took two out of three against the Kansas City Royals at home. Also this past weekend the Twins retired long time catcher Joe Mauer’s number 7. Mauer, who retired after last season, was a home grown Twin. He spent fifteen seasons in the Twin City, winning the AL MVP Award in 2009. Near the end of his career, Mauer played first base and DH’ed.

Alex Cora: “I Will Not Be Going To The White House”

Over the weekend, Alex Cora informed the media that he will not be going to the White House to celebrate their 2018 World Series Championship. Cora, along with several other Red Sox players, will not be going, while others are. Over the past several months, it has been a topic of discussion as to who will be going, and who won’t.

Over the past year or so, many championship teams have opted to take the time to dowhite house other things in Washington DC. This usually includes a visit to the Walter Reed Hospital, or charity work, rather than meet President Trump. While I understand fully why Alex Cora, and other players don’t want to go, I believe that Cora should go.

The Red Sox In The White House

In 2005, 2008 and 2014, the Red Sox were honored at the White House. Alex Cora was a player on the 2007 World Series team who was honored in 2008 by President George W. Bush. President Bush was able to honor the Red Sox twice while in office. President Barack Obama did it once in 2014. For Red Sox fans, the most notable player to miss the 2005 and 2008 visit was Manny Ramirez.

This time, it is different. Alex Cora is citing the devastation that hit Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria as the main reason behind his decision. The devastation, and the response from the White House, was uncalled for. Following his hiring as manager, Cora and other members of the Red Sox went to Puerto Rico to assist those who were affected, something that President Trump hasn’t done himself.

A Platform To Help

During Spring Training, Cora was mum on whether or not to go to the White House. Many thought that he would join the team. That was until Sunday, when his decision came out.

Personally, if I was Alex Cora, I would love to have the opportunity to tell President Trump about what is going on over in Puerto Rico. The damage from the hurricane occurred about a year and a half ago. Still the country is not back to 100%.

While I understand his choice, going to the White House is more than meeting the President. It’s a chance to take in history, and see the White House. Cora got a chance to do so as a player back in 2008 with President Bush. A lot can change in eleven years. Granted, in the past, many players have opted against going. This, of course, is their choice. I wonder, however, what Cora will do instead.

Off Day Blues

While Red Sox players such as JD Martinez and Brock Holt will be attending, many will not. One can only wonder what those who won’t be going will do. My hope is that they do what teams have done in the past, such as visit Walter Reed or assist in the community.

Winning the World Series doesn’t happen everyday, and it should be celebrated. This team has accomplished a lot. Therefore, I hope that they keep getting better as the season continues.

Next Up For The Red Sox – The American League East Leading Rays

After facing three out of the four American League East teams this past week, The Red Sox turn to face the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays, who have been red hot since the beginning of the season, are currently 13-4. They also hold a 5.5 game lead over the second place New York Yankees.

Over the past few seasons, the Tampa Bay Rays have given the Red Sox headaches.american league east They have also proven to be a competitive team in the American League East. They have reached the playoffs in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013. Only once did they make it to the World Series. That was in 2008, when they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games.

Last season, the Rays went 90-72, landing in third place behind the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. That team, which saw Blake Snell win his first Cy Young Award, did a lot this past offseason. This led to some believing that they may be in rebuilding mode, especially after they traded hurler Chris Archer at the 2018 trade deadline.

Before I go any further, let’s take a look back at the last three series.

Coming Home to The Toronto Blue Jays

After a long road trip on the West Coast, the Red Sox headed back to Fenway Park. There, they faced the Toronto Blue Jays for a mini two-game series.

Game One saw the World Series Champions get their rings and raise the banner. Although it started off as a magical day for the players and fans alike, it did end in a loss to the Jays. The starter Chris Sale, went four innings, giving up five runs. On the positive side, Mitch Moreland and Mookie Betts homered in the game. Final score: 7-5.

Game Two, and the final game of the series saw the Red Sox win in walk off fashion. After starter Nathan Eovaldi gave up five runs in the third, the Red Sox powered back to win the game. After a walk to Betts, Moreland hit a run scoring double to tie the game. From there,  Moreland was replaced by Eduardo Nunez, who stole third. Their closer, Ken Giles walked both JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts next.

Then up came Rafael Devers. On a 2-1 count, Devers ripped a single to right field, which scored Nunez. This game ended with a score of 7-6, and had the Fenway crowd going wild. This moment, brought to us by some great hitting and a few walks, was a turning point for the Red Sox.

Patriots Day and The Baltimore Orioles

After splitting the series against the Blue Jays, the Red Sox’s attention turned to the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles, who were playing a four-game set at Fenway, took two out of the four from the Red Sox.

The first game saw a mini win streak occur for the Red Sox. After a solid outing by Eduardo Rodriguez, who went 6.2 inning giving up two runs, the bullpen shut down the Orioles. The offense, led by Andrew Benintendi’s third inning home run, exploded, allowing Rodriguez and the pen to hold down the led. Final score: 6-4 Red Sox.

Game Two wasn’t so lucky for the Red Sox. The Saturday afternoon game ended the mini win streak. Rick Porcello, the 2016 Cy Young Award Winner, only lasted four innings, giving up three runs. Probably the most important thing to note about this game is that Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis’ bat woke up. Davis, who had 62 plate appearances without a hit, decided to hit a two run single off of Porcello in the first inning. From there, the Orioles would go on to win the game. Final score: 9-5.

Game Three was a win for the Sox at Fenway Park. led by a stellar performance by David Price and Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox blanked the Orioles. The final score: 4-0 Red Sox.

Game Four, which is the yearly Patriot’s Day game at Fenway Park, didn’t go so well. It found Chris Davis hitting his first home run of the season, and the bullpen being worked quite a bit. The only run scored by the Red Sox came in the fifth inning. Final score: 8-1 Orioles.

Back On The Road to Yankee Stadium

Back to the scene of the crime – The 2018 ALDS, which led the Red Sox to move onto the ALCS and the World Series, took place at Yankee Stadium. Fans can recall those last two games, the last one being the one that crushed the Yankees dreams of moving on. This game, however, was more of a nightmare than anything else. James Paxton, an offseason addition for the Yankees, allowed four hits over eight innings. Final score: 8-0 Yankees.

Game Two started off great for the Red Sox. A first inning solo shot for JD Martinez, and a two run home run for Christian Vazquez, put the Red Sox on top 3-0. Nathan Eovaldi, pitched 6 innings of great baseball, before the bullpen let the lead go. Final score: 5-3 Yankees.

Onto the Trop…

After the mini series in New York, the Red Sox will enjoy an off day on Thursday, before heading to Saint Petersburg, Florida to take on the Rays. After finding themselves near the bottom of the American League East, can the Red Sox play spoiler to the Rays? Let’s hope that they do. Eduardo Rodriguez, Rick Porcello and David Price look to have solid outings down at the Trop.

Boston Red Sox Finally Sign JD Martinez

The Boston Red Sox finally closed a deal to sign JD Martinez. After weeks of speculation and negotiation, Martinez signed a $110 million 5-year deal starting in 2018. The question now is what position will Martinez take and what will his role be with the Red Sox?

Martinez previously played for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers primarily as asign JD martinez designated hitter. Many are assuming Martinez will take the DH role for the 2018 season, which will free up Hanley Ramirez. The Red Sox suffered from a string of injuries from last season while John Farrell’s lackluster performance as manager didn’t strike confidence in the team either. Red Sox Nation is hoping Martinez’s bat will add much needed runs to the scoreboard.

Martinez hit .303 season average with 45 home runs and 104 RBIs last season, numbers that the Sox sorely need. While batters like Andrew Benintendi did well at the plate, others like Xander Bogaerts and Hanley Ramirez struggled. Steven Wright and David Price didn’t get much time on the mound either because of injuries. This combination of injuries and setbacks limited the Red Sox chances of making it to the World Series last season. But with Farrell gone, and Wright and Price healthier now, Martinez’s added bat will certainly increase their chances of winning another AL East title.

The Red Sox Sign JD Martinez, But Will It Be Worth The Price?

The Red Sox are dropping some serious money on Martinez. This amount is making some questions whether Martinez is a good investment, especially after David Price’s underwhelming performance over the last two seasons. The Red Sox signed Price two years ago for $217 million over seven years but his performance on and off the mound though has been less than stellar. While on the DL, Price made unprofessional comments about Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley after Eckersley criticized her performance during a game. But Price recently commented that “I could’ve handled it better last year, absolutely. But I didn’t, and I’ve moved on.”