What a Game For Alex Cora

Alex Cora danced around Aaron Boone for the entire wild card game. This was one of his better coached games all season long. For all the hype of a Red Sox and Yankees, winner-take-all game, it turned out to hardly be a contest. And it all started with a near perfectly managed game by Alex Cora.

The Perfect Lineup

Red Sox manager

With J.D. Martinez unavailable with a sprained left ankle, Cora was able to get a better defense-oriented lineup in. It wound up paying huge dividends as Schwarber got the start at DH. He took Gerrit Cole deep in the third, which gave the Sox a three run lead, and sent Fenway into a frenzy. Martinez’s absence also allowing Kike Hernandez to start in center, collecting an assist on the play at the plate with Aaron Judge in the 6th. Both offensively and defensively, Cora’s moves paid off. However, pitching is where Cora’s moves really shined.

Nathan Eovaldi Did More Than Enough

The choice for starting pitcher was perfect. Nathan Eovaldi was nails. He struck out 8 through 5 and a third innings, allowing no walks. He threw one bad pitch to Rizzo and let up an infield hit to Judge. That was enough for Cora. A lot is made in the postseason about a manager’s decision to pull his starter. Just last year in Game 6 of the World Series, Kevin Cash was scrutinized all offseason about his decision to pull Blake Snell too soon. People said Eovaldi needed to go deep because the bullpen hasn’t played well down the stretch. However, you can leave a starter out for too long. Red Sox fans remember the 2003 ALCS Game 7 when Grady Little left Pedro Martinez on the mound against the Yankees a little too long. Cora trusted his bullpen, and it worked as Ryan Brasier got the final two outs of the inning. That wasn’t without a little excitement on the Stanton Single, but it worked out.

All The Right Moves

From then on, Cora was pushing all the right buttons with Tanner Houck in the 7th and Hansel Robles in the 8th both throwing 1-2-3 innings. Houck’s stuff was nasty, collecting 2 strikeouts. Robles came out in the 8th and retired the side quickly, including striking out Anthony Rizzo who had the big hit for the Yankees to that point. The Red Sox bullpen was putting pressure on the Yankees bullpen to remain perfect. That pressure would eventually get to them. After working 5 walks from the Yankees bullpen, the Red Sox offense grinded out 3 more runs late to distance themselves from their rivals.

Cora Sends A Message

Alex Cora called upon Garrett Whitlock to get the final three out of the night. Perhaps a little wink to the Yankees organization, as Whitlock was selected from the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft this past offseason. With the lead being what it was most managers would usually call upon a lesser guy to finish it. Not usually wanting to waste an arm as valuable as Whitlock’s. However, this is the Yankees, and Cora has never shied away from sending a message. Stanton did end up hitting a solo homerun in the 9th, but Whitlock quickly locked it down for the victory. Message sent. It’s now on to Tampa Bay to meet the Rays in the Division Series. But what a game it was for the Sox Manager.

Red Sox Wild Ride Continues vs The Yankees

After a wild finish to the 2021 Major League Baseball season, Boston’s season will continue against the Yankees in the highly anticipated Wild Card game Tuesday night. This sudden death elimination game will determine who will move onto face the American League East Champion Tampa Bay Rays. Sunday afternoon saw both Boston and New York win their respective games in a thrilling fashion. The Yankees won it on a 1-0 walk off in the ninth, while Boston’s come from behind victory sealed the deal in the nation’s capitol. The Red Sox wild ride to the finish isn’t done just yet. It’s just a matter of time before the next big thing happens.

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Sunday’s regular season finale was one for the ages. Not only were the Red Sox fighting for a spot in the postseason, but so were the Yankees, Blue Jays and Mariners. Due to the Yankees and Red Sox winning, both the Jays and Mariners were knocked out of the race. This elimination game Tuesday night is going to be one to remember. Gerrit Cole will be on the mound for the Yankees, and Nathan Eovaldi will have the ball for Boston. Fenway will be electric as Boston experiences their first ever Wild Card elimination game. Last time the Red Sox were in the postseason was in 2018, they won the World Series vs the LA Dodgers. For the Yankees, they are looking to go deep into the postseason. Last season, they were eliminated in the American League Division Series against the Rays.

The Ultimate Matchup

Gerrit Cole, in his second season with the Yankees, will get the ball Tuesday night. In 2021, he went 16-8 with a 3.32 ERA in 181.1 innings. In 30 starts this season, Cole had 243 strikeouts. Cole’s postseason record speaks for itself. The 9 year veteran is 8-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 13 postseason games. He has pitched in 84 innings, and recorded 108 strikeouts. Cole will be looking to carry the Yankees to the American League Division Series tomorrow night at Fenway Park. Against the Red Sox this season, he is 2-2 in 4 starts. Cole will be looking for win number 3 against Boston. The Yankees will be looking to advance and take on the Tampa Bay Rays with their ace on the mound Tuesday.

Nathan Eovaldi will be looking to guide the Red Sox to the American League Division Series. Eovaldi has been a work horse for Boston this season, with an 11-9 record in 32 starts. In 182.1 innings, he had a 3.75 ERA with 195 strikeouts. In just six postseason games, all in 2018, Eovaldi has a 2-1 record with 2 holds. He’s pitched in 22.1 innings, with 16 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.61. In four games versus the Yankees in 2021, Eovaldi has a 2-2 record, and will also be looking for win number 3 against the Yankees. The Red Sox will be looking to Nathan to continue Boston’s wild ride as they head into the postseason.

Can Boston’s Wild Ride Go Deep Into The Postseason?

Following a very strange 2020 season that saw the Red Sox go 24-36 in 60 games, Boston looked to 2021 hopeful of making the playoffs. Bringing back manager Alex Cora, and bolstering the roster definitely did help the Red Sox this season. Players like Kike Hernandez and Hunter Renfroe added some much needed defense to the roster. Can Boston’s wild ride of 2021 continue against the Yankees in the Wild Card? This one game playoff will be one that fans will be talking about for quite some time. The 2021 season started strong for the Red Sox. After loosing to the Orioles in the first series, Boston went on a tear, winning 10 straight before loosing to the White Sox.

Red Sox Nation saw a lot happen this season. From being in first place in the division, to injuries and COVID, this team fought through it all. Now, here we are with one game on the line. Can the Red Sox beat the Yankees and head to Tampa for the Division Series? It’s going to be a tough call because of the way the Red Sox have been playing as of late. Granted, we do have a strong team, and they have proven that they are capable of going far. Now, we need Red Sox Nation to show up to Fenway Park ready to cheer on the Red Sox and push them towards the finish line.

Nathan Eovaldi is the Guy

Boston’s playoff hopes are still alive. Whether the Red Sox will get the first wild card spot, the second, or miss the playoffs entirely nobody knows. With the Yankees, Blue Jays, Mariners and Sox all fighting for two spots and all within a game of each other. It still is anyone’s guess on who takes the remaining two playoff spots in the American League with only two games left for each team. If the Red Sox can hold on to one of those spots, I feel it is clear which pitcher should take the mound to start on Tuesday, October 5. That Pitcher is Nathan Eovaldi.

Why Not Sale?

Eovaldi

As a Red Sox fan, your instinct might be to pick your biggest name if it comes down to one game. Most Red Sox fans will say, ‘Chris Sale should get the ball.’ Well, those people are wrong. Since coming back from surgery this season, Sale has posted a 5-1 record with a 2.90 ERA in 8 starts. He’s also collected 45 strikeouts in 40 inning this season. Those are really good numbers, but it is a small sample size. So, the stats come with a bit of an asterisk when you compare with starters who pitched all year long. However, one could make the argument to go with the hot hand. Sale has been hot since returning to the major leagues. Why not Chris Sale then for a one game playoff? He has a 5.76 career ERA in the playoffs. He has one win in 7 playoff games, including 4 starts. Despite being and “Ace,” Sale hasn’t always been an Ace when the games are at their most important. He’s by no means a bad choice for a big game. Part of why Sale seems to fall off come playoff time is his heavy workload every season. He only threw 40 inning this season. 60 if you count his rehab starts. However, it’s not about Sale not pitching, but more about just having a better choice in the rotation right now.

A Big Game Pitcher

Nathan Eovaldi’s pitching can speak for itself as to why it should be him toeing the rubber on Tuesday night. He’s had a good season for the Sox. He’s won 11 games, struck out 195 batters over 182 innings and put up a 3.75 ERA. Good numbers, and enough to send Eovaldi to his first All-Star game this year. He’s also one of the few starting power pitchers that can consistently touch 99 with his fastball even in the later innings. However, even more than just the pitcher he regularly is, Eovaldi has a way to just turn the dial way up when the games matter more. In the 2018 playoff run Eovaldi has an ERA of 1.61 in 22.1 innings pitched. He collected two wins on two starts and his one loss when he pitched six innings in relief in Game 3 against the Dodgers. Even though Eovaldi got the loss that game, those kinds of gutsy performances are exactly why Nathan needs to take the ball for the wild card game. In that same playoff run he pitched a big Game 3 in the ALCS against the Houston Astros. Going six innings, collecting 4 strikeouts while giving up only two runs for the win. A game that turned the series for the Red Sox and they never looked back. He also pitched Game 3 of the ALDS going seven innings giving up only one run and striking out five against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. The team you’ll probably be playing if you do make the wild card game.

See You Tuesday Night

Maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, but fate is in the Red Sox hands right now to make the wild card game. The thought of who to save has to be in Alex Cora’s head right now. I’d bet anything that he’s going be looking Nathan Eovaldi’s way for the big game. He has to.

Red Sox Make Trade For Kyle Schwarber

After a tough loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at home, the Red Sox got a much anticipated surprise. The Boston Red Sox made a late night trade with the Washington Nationals for Kyle Schwarber. The 28 year old outfielder was traded to Boston in the late hours on Thursday night. This trade came as a surprise to Red Sox Nation, as big names like Anthony Rizzo and Max Scherzer were making headlines of their own.

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With the addition of Kyle Schwarber to Boston’s line up, they gain a much needed lefty bat that can help them in the middle of the line up. So far in 2021, Schwarber is hitting .253 with 25 home runs and 53 RBI’s in 72 games with the Nationals. Now, as a member of the Red Sox, Schwarber will be a key component to the Red Sox line up. With only a few more hours to go before 4pm, will the Red Sox add more names to the roster? Only time will tell.

Kyle Schwarber Will Be Bringing The Big Bat To Boston

If there is one thing that Kyle Schwarber is good at, it is hitting mammoth home runs. In just seven seasons, he has hit 145 career home runs, and 25 so far this season. While playing in the 2016 National League Championship Series against the St Louis Cardinals, Schwarber hit a home run so far that it landed on top of the Wrigley Field scoreboard in right field. Following the game, the ball was encased on top of the scoreboard for quite sometime. Since then, the Ohio native has hit many memorable home runs as a member of the Chicago Cubs, and as a brief member of the Nationals. Just last month, Schwarber hit 12 home runs in 10 games, which tied a MLB modern day record. This led him to win National League Player of the Month for June 2021.

Prior to signing with the Nationals this past offseason, Schwarber played for the Chicago Cubs for six seasons. During his time in Chicago, he hit .230 with 121 home runs and 279 RBI’s. Called up as a catcher in 2015, Schwarber moved to left field in 2016. In 562 career MLB games, Kyle Schwarber has played a number of positions. His most played is left field, at 533. He has played four games in right, one game as a 1st baseman, and 26 as a catcher. He has also been a designated hitter 31 times in his career. With his versatility in the field, he will be a big part of the Red Sox team this season, and hopefully next season as well.

Getting To Know Kyle Schwarber

Drafted in the first round of the 2014 MLB draft, Kyle Schwarber was compared to Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and Matt Stairs in regards to his offense. His hard work paid off a shortly after being drafted. Schwarber made his Major League debut with the Cubs on June 16th 2015 against the Cleveland Indians. He came in as a defensive replacement for catcher Miguel Montero. The 2016 World Series champion recorded his first hit the next day, where he went 4 for 5 in the game. His first major league home run came on the 18th, also against the Indians. His second season didn’t go as planned. Two games in, he was involved in an outfield collision with Dexter Fowler, after which he missed the majority of the season. He was able to play in the 2016 World Series, and help the Cubs win their first Championship in 108 years.

After playing in Chicago for seven seasons, the Cubs non-tendered Schwarber. This allowed him to be a free agent for the first time in his career. On January 9th, 2021, the Ohio native signed a one year deal with the Washington Nationals. This deal came with a mutual option for the 2022 season. Schwarber was having a career season in DC prior to the trade with Boston. Not only was he named Player of the Month in June, but he was elected to his first All-Star Game. During his time with the Nationals, he became a fan favorite. Schwarber will be looking to make a name for himself here in Boston, as he looks to win another World Series Championship.

What’s Next For Boston

The trade deadline officially ends today at 4pm EST. There are still many players that can be moved. It will be interesting to see what Bloom does next for the team. Right now, Max Scherzer is heading west to either the Dodgers or the Padres. Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo were traded to the Yankees over the course of the past few days. Other players, like Brad Hand and Danny Hudson have also found new homes. The second half of 2021 will be a race to the finish, as teams look to bolster their rosters.

Boston is heading out on the road after a wild homestand. They will be in Tampa Bay taking on the second place Rays starting tonight at 7:10pm. Martin Perez, Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta will be looking to keep the Rays in check during the three game series. After Tampa Bay, Boston heads to Detroit to take on the Tigers for three games. Finally, they will be closing the road trip in Toronto – Yes, Toronto – to take on the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre for the first time since September 19th, 2019.

Should We Be Worried About The Red Sox Struggles?

With last night’s 9-1 loss to the New York Yankees, the Red Sox have lost their last three series. They are now 6-7 in the month of July. The Red Sox have been outscored 47-35 in their last three series and have a record of 3-6 in those games. These numbers certainly raise some eyebrows, but should we be worried about the Red Sox struggles?

Boston Red Sox's bats go quiet in 9-1 loss to Yankees; team has now lost 6  of last 8 games, last 3 series - masslive.com

In short, no we shouldn’t. Prior to going on this mini skid the Red Sox won eight games in a row. The MLB season is 162 games long, so the team is bound to face some adversity over the course of the season. Boston really hasn’t faced any adversity since the opening series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Red Sox Have Plenty Of Chances To Build Division Lead

Relax, The Red Sox still sit on top of the AL East. They also have one of the best records in baseball. With that being said, the Red Sox will need to turn their recent misfortunes around if they want to remain at the top of the AL East. 

The Red Sox also have plenty of opportunities to prove why they are the best team in the AL East. Boston will play AL East teams in 26 out of their next 29 games. Though only three of those games will be against the Tampa Bay Rays, who sit just a half game behind the Red Sox for the division lead, the Red Sox will have opportunities to narrow the race to just them and the Rays. The Red Sox will also see the Rays seven times between August 30th and September 8.

In such a long season, it is inevitable that a team drops a few games. For the Red Sox, the schedule is luckily in their favor for division play. The Sox will have their first test tonight, as they take on the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo.

One More Thing…

All though this article wasn’t necessarily about the Red Sox and Yankees most recent series in New York, I feel this has to be mentioned. The way the fans in Yankees stadium behaved throughout the course of this series was completely unacceptable. First with throwing a ball at Alex Verdugo, then delaying the game by shinning a light in the batter’s eye, then spitting on Jason Varitek’s daughter? Jason Varitek’s daughter is nine years old, and was spit on for wearing her father’s jersey, which is absolutely disgusting.

Heckling at opposing fans is one thing but to throw a baseball at player, and to spit on a nine year is another. These are criminal offenses happening at Yankee’s stadium. It feels like this kind of stuff happens too much at Yankee’s stadium to brush it under the rug. The events from this past series are just another reminder of ignorant their fan base can be.

The Jarren Duran Era Has Begun

On Wednesday, Red Sox Nation was buzzing. Top prospect Jarren Duran was not in the line up for the Worcester Red Sox, and it was rumored that he was on his way to Yankee Stadium for Thursday’s game. Sure enough, the news broke. The Jarren Duran era has begun in Boston. The 24-year-old outfielder will be making his highly anticipated debut in the series versus the New York Yankees. The last player to make their debut at Yankee Stadium for Boston was Mookie Betts on June 29th, 2014.

jared duran era

Following a crazy ending to the first half of the season, the Red Sox look to bounce back starting tonight against their division rivals. The Red Sox will be at Yankee Stadium for four games, before heading to Buffalo to take on the Blue Jays. Right now, they are tied for the best record in the American League alongside the Houston Astros. It will be interesting to see how Boston fairs as we close in on the end of July. For now, the excitement is with rookie, Jarren Duran and his potential Major League Debut.

The Jarren Duran Era Has Begun in Boston

Boston’s top prospect, Jarren Duran will be looking to turn heads as he makes his highly anticipated Major League debut in the series vs the Yankees. The 24-year-old California native has spent the past few months raking in Triple A Worcester. In 46 games, he is batting .270 with 51 hits and 32 RBI’s. Duran has also hit 15 home runs on the season, and has stolen 12 bases. The Red Sox are hoping he will continue his success in Boston, as the Jarren Duran era has begun. Named one of Boston’s top prospects the past few years, Duran has had quite the path to the big leagues.

After spending three seasons with the California State University Long Beach State Beach baseball team, Duran was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2018. The seventh round draft pick split the 2018 season between the Lowell Spinners and the Greenville Drive. In 2019, Duran found himself playing for the Salem Red Sox until June 3rd, when he was promoted to the Double A Portland Sea Dogs. His success in 2019 granted Duran an invite to Spring Training in 2020. However, due to the pandemic, Duran didn’t get to see any baseball action until the Puerto Rican Winter League.

Duran led his team to the 2020-2021 championship, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the series. The Red Sox extended an invite to Duran for Spring Training 2021. Following Spring Training, Duran started the 2021 season with the Worcester Red Sox. Now, Duran is about to suit up for the big league ball club.

Battle in the Bronx

The Red Sox will be in the Bronx for four games against the Yankees. While all eyes will be on Jarren Duran, Boston will be looking to continue their success against the Yankees. Right now, Boston is 6-0 against the fourth place Yankees. As the Jarren Duran era has begun in Boston, the 55-36 Red Sox will be hoping to keep climbing in the American League. This first series back from the All-Star break will be an important one for both teams as we inch closer to the trade deadline on July 31st.

While the Yankees have yet to name starters for the series, the Red Sox are set and ready to roll. Thursday night’s opener will have Eduardo Rodriguez (6-5, 5.52 ERA) to start things off. Friday’s game will have Martin Perez (7-5, 4.04 ERA). Saturday night will feature All Star Nathan Eovaldi (9-5, 3.66 ERA). Finally, Sunday night baseball at Yankee Stadium will have Nick Pivetta (7-3, 4.09 ERA) to round things off.

The Road Ahead for Boston

Following their four game series vs the Yankees, Boston will be heading a bit north to Buffalo to take on the Toronto Blue Jays. The 45-42 Jays will be hosting the Texas Rangers starting Friday night in Buffalo. The Jays currently are in third place, and will be looking to bounce back in the second half of the season. Vladimir Guerrero Jr and company look to keep climbing in the AL East. This past week was a special one for the Jays. Not only did they have four players in the All-Star Game, but Guerrero Jr. won the All Star MVP Award. With that, he became the youngest player to win the award at age 22.

The Red Sox will be heading home to Fenway following the series in Buffalo. There, they will again take on the Yankees and the Jays. The next few weeks in Boston will be an interesting one for sure. With the trade deadline closing in, it will be interesting to see what Boston does. Also, Chris Sale may be joining the team next month. He is currently scheduled to be pitching in rehab games with the Portland Sea Dogs and the Worcester Red Sox. We are at the half way point of the season, and it is turning into something special for sure.