West Coast Trip Continues Against The Rockies

After taking on the San Diego Padres, the Red Sox continue their West Coast trip in Denver. Unlike in the past, the Red Sox did well this Player’s Weekend, taking 2 of the 3 games from San Diego. Game one was a 11-0 slug fest for Boston, and game 2 saw the Red Sox win 5-4. Sunday’s game, however, ended in a 3-1 loss to the NL East Padres.

They now look to take on the Colorado Rockies in the second part of the west coast trip.West Coast Trip After splitting the two games in Boston back in May, the Red Sox look to take both games in Denver against the Rockies. Prior to welcoming Boston, the Rockies hosted the Atlanta Braves, and won on a walk off. Ryan McMahon hit a 2 run home run in the bottom of the 9th to win it, 3-1. The game was a make up game from earlier in the season.

Players Weekend in San Diego

After a walk off win in the suspended game on Thursday, the Red Sox traveled to San Diego to face the Padres at Petco Park. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched 7 solid innings, allowing only 5 hits, and striking out 6 batters. JD Martinez hit 2 home runs to propel the Red Sox to the 11-0 win over the struggling Padres.

Game 2 was a bit of a challenge for Boston, as the squeezed out a 5-4 win on Saturday. Nathan Eovaldi made the start for Boston, but only lasted 3 innings, allowing two runs off of 4 hits. Matt Barnes picked up the win, and Brandon Workman earned his 8th save of the season. The game was tied 4-4 until Brock Holt’s 3rd home run of the season in the top of the 9th off of Kirby Yates.

The Red Sox were looking for the sweep in game 3. The Padres had other plans. Brian Johnson was the starter, and only pitched 3 innings until turning it over to the bullpen. Manny Machado hit a 2 run home run in the first off of Johnson, and Francisco Mejia hit a run scoring single for the Padres. JD Martinez hit his 31st home run in the fourth, but the offense fell short, as the Red Sox lost 3-1.

Continuing the West Coast Trip in Denver

After splitting the series in Boston 1-1 back in May, the Red Sox look to take both games in Denver. Rick Porcello will be the game one starter in the west coast trip, and Eduardo Rodriguez will be the game two starter. The Rockes haven’t named a game one starter, but Peter Lambert will be going in game two of the series.

The last time the Red Sox faced the Rockies at Coors Field was in September 2013. That west coast trip saw the Red Sox split the series 1-1. For Alex Cora, coming back to Coors Field will bring back some good memories, as he was part of the 2007 World Series team that beat the Rockies 4-0.

It was reported that fellow 2007 World Series Champion, Dustin Pedroia, will join the team in Denver. The last time Red Sox Nation heard from Pedroia was back in May, when he announced that he was taking a leave from baseball. Pedroia has been in touch with Alex Cora and other members of the Red Sox. It’s reported that he has about two more weeks on crutches, as he underwent another surgery not too long ago.

Closing out the Trip in Anaheim

The Red Sox will close out the West Coast trip in Anaheim against the LA Angels. The last time the Red Sox faced the Angels was at Fenway Park in the beginning of August. The four game set was split 2-2, but the Red Sox are looking to take all three games.

X Marks The Spot For The Rising Shortstop

2013 saw a special player come to the Red Sox organization. The Red Sox shortstop, Xander Bogaerts, came to the big leagues looking to be the next big rising shortstop star.

For baseball fans who grew up in the 1990’s, there were three shortstops that were wellrising shortstop known in the baseball world. The names Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez would be mentioned countless times, and many considered them to be the Big Three of shortstops.

Each one’s career went in a different path. For Derek Jeter, he spent his whole career with the New York Yankees. He also had his number 2 retired by the team. Alex Rodriguez started out playing for the Seattle Mariners. From there, he went to the Texas Rangers, and to the New York Yankees as a third baseman. Finally, Nomar Garciaparra, the Red Sox Nation fan favorite, was traded at the 2004 trade deadline to the Chicago Cubs. From there, he also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics.

Before Bogaerts

After the trade of Garciaparra, the Red Sox went through a revolving door of shortstops. Many in Red Sox Nation were looking for the one who could ultimately fill the void at the position for a long time. Maybe a player who can spend his whole career in a Red Sox uniform. Well, look no further than the man we know as X-Man, or Bogey – Xander Bogaerts.

The Shortstop Of The Future

Since the 2004 trade of Nomar Garciaparra, the Red Sox didn’t really have much for homegrown shortstops. The acquisition of Orlando Cabrera in 2004, then the signings of Edgar Renteria and Julio Lugo made for tough times at Fenway Park. Jose Iglesias, who arrived on scene in 2011, was a bright spot for the organization. However, the Red Sox traded him to the Tigers at the trade deadline in a three team deal that brought Jake Peavy to the Red Sox. About a month later, another name came on scene – Xander Bogaerts.

The young infielder started off at third base, making his major league debut against the San Francisco Giants on August 20th, 2013. From there, Bogaerts went onto leading the Red Sox to their third World Series Championship since 2004.

In 2014, Xander went from wearing #72, to the #2. Bogaerts also was the starting shortstop on Opening Day. He had a great first full season for the Red Sox, playing in 144 games, batting .240 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI’s. He was also on hand when the Red Sox honored his hero, Derek Jeter in his final game at Fenway.

2015 for the X-Man saw him play in 156 games. He also led the Red Sox in batting average, batting .320 with seven home runs and 81 RBI’s. He also finished in second place in the American League batting title to Miguel Cabrera. Bogaerts did however win his first Silver Slugger Award. The last Red Sox shortstop to win a Silver Slugger Award? Nomar Garciaparra in 1997.

In the season that saw David Ortiz play his final season, Bogaerts had another stellar year. Not only did he win his second consecutive Silver Slugger Award, but he also made his first All Star Team in San Diego. He also had a 26 game hit streak that went from May 6th to June 2nd.

The last two seasons for the rising star saw him win another World Series Championship. Although 2017 wasn’t great for Bogaerts, as he was injured due to a hit by pitch to his wrist, 2018 saw his numbers jump. Manager Alex Cora had Bogaerts batting behind JD Martinez, which allowed him to hit a career high 23 home runs. Many of those home runs were grand slams, one of which was the game winner against the Blue Jays.

Rising Shortstop’s New Deal

Prior to his seventh season in a Red Sox uniform, the Red Sox awarded Xander with a six year contract extension worth $120 million. This contract, will see Bogaerts in a Red Sox uniform through at least the 2025 season.

In his press conference, Bogaerts stated that the first person he called after signing the extension was Dustin Pedroia. He also stated that “It’s a very special place to play”, and he wants to keep playing and winning in Boston.

Looking Forward

So far in the 2019 season, Xander has played in 18 games, batting .297 with two home runs. The 26 year old from Aruba is set to be the face of the franchise following his extension. If he keeps having career seasons, we might one day see the #2 in right field next to David Ortiz’s #34.

Chris Sale, the Red Sox Ace of the Future

On Opening Day, the Red Sox ace, Chris Sale, will be on the mound. For Sale, this is the second time that he is opening for Alex Cora and the Red Sox. He currently joins a select group of Red Sox pitchers who have started in Opening Day, from Babe Ruth, to Rick Porcello.

Nearing the end of Spring Training, more good news came for Chris Sale when he signedRed Sox ace a five year contract extension to stay with the Red Sox. Sale, who went 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA in 158 innings last season, deserved this contract extension. So far in his career, he is 103-32 with a 2.89 ERA through 9 seasons.

Red Sox Ace, Chris Sale

The former Chicago White Sox ace has fit in nicely since being acquired by the Red Sox prior to the 2017 season. His resume keeps improving, and in his first season in Boston he started out with a bang. Sale struck out 10 or more batters in a row for eight consecutive games, which is tied for the major league record. He also led the majors with 308 strikeouts. His efforts on the mound have caught the eye of many over the years, and this was no different. Boston finally got its well deserved ace in Sale.

In Chicago, Chris Sale was known to wear the number 49. However, after being traded to Boston, he changed it to number 41, out of respect to former Red Sox pitcher, Tim Wakefield. For those who were fans of the knuckleballer, this was a great display of respect from Sale.

At the rate he is going, one can only wonder if #41 will be up in the rafters alongside other Red Sox greats, and the only other pitcher, Pedro Martinez.

Another Year, Another Sale Day

For those who follow the Boston Red Sox on social media, you’re well aware of the Sale Day hashtag. Now, we get to see it until the end of the 2024 season. The Condor, as he is known, is looking to continue to make history on the mound. Being able to play in Boston is part of that history.

In the 2018 postseason, his second in his career, Sale pitched in Game One of both the ALDS and the ALCS, as well as Game One of the World Series. Sale also did something else remarkable in the World Series as well – closing out Game 5 to seal the deal in LA. Who was the last pitcher to start Game 1 then close out the final game? Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants in the 2014 World Series.

What will this season bring to those glorious Sale Days that we long live for? For many, it’s another chance to watch the strikeout machine at work. At 29 years old, the sky’s the limit for Sale. So far, he has been selected to 7 straight All-Star games, and has led the American League in strikeouts twice. in 2017, Sale became the fastest pitcher to record 1,500 strikeouts, and he is 211 away from 2,000.

Another goal for Red Sox ace Sale – To win another World Series in Boston…

Dustin Pedroia – The Next Comeback Player of the Year?

A certain second baseman is making a comeback for the 2019 campaign. This player is entering his fourteen major league season. He is also currently is the longest serving member of the Boston Red Sox.

Dustin Pedroia made his Major League debut on August 22nd, 2006 against the Loscomeback Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I doubt that Pedroia would think that a year later he would be on his way to not only win the Rookie of the Year award, but also win his first of many World Series championships.

The Man Who Wears #15…

When you look at second base, the player that is usually there wears the number 15. The man many fans know as Pedey, Laser Show and The Muddy Chicken, is making a comeback. When Pedroia came into Spring Training this year, he looked like a whole different person. Pedroia signed an eight year contract extension back on July 23rd 2013. This occurred about three months prior to the Red Sox winning another World Series championship, and about a week after playing in his fourth All Star game.

When you look at Pedroia, he’s not your typical second baseman, however, when he’s on the field, he gives everything he’s got. Many Red Sox fans know about his knee injury, and we also know about the slide seen around the world.

Since then, Pedroia underwent another knee surgery. Due to that, his time on the field in 2018 was limited to three games. One can only hope that this will be the year that Pedroia goes out and seeks revenge. If he does pull it off, he could ultimately win the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Can Pedroia Pull Off The Comeback?

The amount and time that he has given to coming back to play in the 2019 season is great, especially for someone as tough as Pedroia.

It was reported on March 18th that Pedroia will be continuing his rehab assignments, while the team is in Seattle for Opening Day. However, that is not stopping him from continuing to work hard and keep getting stronger. From the looks of it, the Pedroia of old arrived in camp back in February. The lingering question, of course, is how many games he will play once Cora puts him into the Red Sox lineup. Well, only time can really tell. That, and Pedroia, the man on a mission.

David Ross’ Long Path to a World Championship

David Ross

The Red Sox made a number of key transactions prior to the 2013 season. Shane Victornio, Ryan Dempster, and Joel Hanrahan were among the high profile off-season signings. The most underrated sign however was journeymen catcher David Ross.

Many didn’t expect a player that had been with six different teams to be an integral part of the 2013 Red Sox, but Ross was. It has been a long journey for the 13-year veteran.

The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Ross in the 7th round of the 1998 amateur draft out of the University of Florida. He signed and made his major league debut on June 28, 2002. He was with the Dodgers’ organization until 2004.

In 2005, he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Diego Padres. He would only play in a combined 51 games for both teams.

Ross’ big break came in 2006 when was traded from the Padres, to the Cincinnati Reds. In 90 games, Ross would hit .255 with 21 home runs and 52 RBIs. He was the Reds starting catcher until he was designated for assignment in 2008. The Red Sox later signed him to a minor-league contract for the rest of the 2008 season.

From 2009-2012, Ross was the backup catcher for the Atlanta Braves. He often played when the Braves wanted more of a defensive catcher behind the plate.

Ross signed a two-year, $6.2 million deal to return to the Red Sox in 2013. He had previously played for the club back in 2008.

Ross missed 65 games for the Red Sox during the 2013 regular season because he suffered two concussions throughout the season. Some thought he would never play again, but Ross would return just in time for Boston’s Championship run.

Red Sox Manager John Farrell benched starting catcher Jerrod Saltalamacchia after Boston lost games two and three of the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. Saltalamacchia made key errors in both losses and was struggling at the plate as he struck out 19 times in 32 postseason at-bats.

Ross started the rest of the series and was a veteran presence behind the plate. He was an offensive factor in the World Series as well. In Game five, he had two hits and drove in the go-ahead run to win the game 3-1.

Ross is a career .237 hitter, but you can’t measure the importance of what Ross does behind the plate in statistics. The defense, leadership and his veteran presence are intangibles you won’t find on any stat sheet. It’s a good thing the Red Sox know how valuable Ross is to their team.