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.

UK Red Sox Fans Bask in Glory of London Series

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees kicked off the inaugural London Series on June 29th in London, England. In what the MLB plans to be an annual event, the Red Sox and Yankees enthralled almost 60,000 fans at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in London that saw the Yankees win both games. Many American baseball fans made the epic trek across the pond for the series while a large number of UK Red Sox fans came to root for their favorite baseball team.

Little did I know that in the United Kingdom (UK) exists a large UK Red Sox fanbase. They haveUK Red Sox their own Facebook page, and their fans’ love for the Red Sox know no bounds. I spoke with Adam Perry, the moderator of the Boston Red Sox Fans of the UK Facebook page, to learn more about his, and other UK fans’, love for the Red Sox.

“I was a Red Sox fan rather than a baseball fan,” Perry told me in a July 8th Skype interview. “And because of that you kind of get to know the game, the intricacies, the players, the history. So that was the start of it for me. I mean everybody has different reasons for doing it. And when [UK fan club] did start gathering, which was about 20 years ago before the advent of social media, we used to just gather together in a sports bar in London and used to watch the games. We were one of the first sort of supporters or fans of any US sports team that were doing this, which is quite unique.”

Perry wasn’t the only fan that I got to speak with about their love for the Red Sox. After posting a message to their Facebook group asking other fans to talk about how they became fans, I was inundated with dozens of messages, notes, and postings from UK Red Sox fans detailing their love for baseball.

UK Red Sox Fans Love the Game As Much As Americans Do

Janine Pipe stated, “I became a fan after honeymooning in Boston during the famous ALCS in 2004.”

Philip Harris’ love for the Red Sox started with a teacher. “[It was] 1965. I had an American exchange teacher (I was 7-8 years old) who came from Boston and taught me about the Celtics, Bruins, and Sox. Been a fan ever since.”

Sam “Mulldog” Mullan’s love for the Red Sox came from a G.I. his aunt married. “My aunt married a US G.I. after WW2 and moved to Boston. Every time they visited they’d bring something Sox related. One of my baby photos was me in a Red Sox baby grow. Played baseball on the UK for Plymouth Mariners and loved the game! Saw my first game in 2004 and every season I have seen a game at Fenway they have won the World Series.”

Ceri Lewis said, “I’m Welsh. A Celt. So took an interest in the Celtics. Then came the Patriots in 1984. Seemed logical. I was 12 years old. The Red Sox sort of followed but it was baseball I truly fell for. My 25th birthday surprise from my wife was a trip to Fenway. I shook at the sight of the Green Monster. From the outside! I cried. It was wonderful. That was 1997. My fascination became a full blown love affair.”

Christopher Pease’s love began with a baseball movie. “My journey into becoming Sox fan began after seeing The Natural in 1984. It was my first experience of anything baseball and I fell in love with the game at that moment. Following the game was very difficult back then. Two week old copies of USA Today from stores near the American Embassy in London and late night radio broadcasts on Armed Forces Network had to satisfy my growing interest. Luckily British Television broadcast the 1986 [World Series] and I found my team.”

So how did these fans feel about the London Series?

“My Red Sox came to my home town,” Lewis added. “I am still buzzing now. I just wished they brought a feckin bullpen too.”

UK Red Sox Fans A Little Miffed With Team Snub

While most UK Fans were more than thrilled to see the Red Sox come to London, some were disappointed that the Red Sox organization didn’t do more to reach out to its UK Red Sox fans.

“The Yankees came and they did some community stuff,” Perry added. “They brought [some] legends over. But the Red Sox didn’t do anything. We tried to engage and the numbers that we had, I asked if they could send somebody over…to come to our meets on a Saturday.”

It was Major League Baseball, not the Red Sox or Yankees, that oversaw all the operations for the London Series. That fact may explain why the Red Sox did not take on a larger role in reaching out to its UK fanbase; the MLB planned everything. Regardless, Perry thinks the Red Sox could have shown a little more attention to UK Red Sox fans.

“They missed a big opportunity…that’s the one real disappointing thing I think of the whole weekend and beforehand. And I don’t know why that is. I think the Yankees, believe it or not, we’re better at it. They don’t have many fans that they invited some of their fans to meet some of the players on the flight.”

While Pease loved the series, he echoed Perry’s views. “My only gripe was the lack of Red Sox interaction with fans here. Alex Cora did not seem happy to be here either. The Yankees, however, brought over several alumni including Nick Swisher who really had fun meeting fans and young players during the weekend.”

That doesn’t mean, however, that he didn’t have fun.

“We spent several years looking forward to the London Series and it was so amazing, almost dream like,” Pease added. “Next year just isn’t going to be the same even though I will be rooting for Theo’s boys!”