Happy 619 Day! Today’s Lunch Break Down should be light enough to still have room for a big dinner later on today.
The Red Sox had the night off, a well earned rest. The Sox’ road trip continues tonight at 8:10 in Minnesota. The man who is allegedly the Ace of the staff, Chris Sale (6-4 2.75 ERA) will get the ball tonight against Jose Berrios (7-5 3.51 ERA). The story that is being pushed around by some is that Sale has been lights-out in his last two starts and that there is nothing to worry about. The fact is, Sale pitched against the White Sox and the Orioles in his last two starts. In fact, Chris Sale has faced mostly garbage teams this entire season.
He’s pitched only once against the Yankees on April 10th (6 IP, 8H, 8 SO), NL East leader Atlanta (4.1 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO), and finally June 1st vs Houston (6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO). Otherwise, Sale has pitched against: Miami (awful), Baltimore (awful), Oakland (awful), Toronto (awful), Kansas City (awful), Texas (awful), Tampa Bay (awful), and the White Sox (yes, they are awful, too). Sale has started 15 games this year, 3 of them against playoff teams. Minnesota is 6 games under .500, sitting at 31-37, good enough for 3rd place in the awful AL Central and only a 5.5 game deficit from the division lead.
Brian Dozier and Logan Morrison are the only guys with success against Sale in a decent enough sample size. Sale has been OK in his career at Target Field (5-3 4.60 ERA), but this Twins team is atrocious and Sale should mow them down.
On the Manny Machado front, NBC Sports via The Atheltic’s Ken Rosenthal does not believe the Red Sox to be a good fit for the Orioles star. According to Rosenthal, Dave Dombrowski believes that Boston and Baltimore “likely do not match up on a trade at this time”. This makes sense considering how early this is in the season relative to the usual trade deadline moves. Washington got things started, acquiring Royals Closer Kelvin Herrera for three prospects, which is reasonable considering how effective Herrera has been in his young career. He is a two time All-Star and currently owns a 1.05 ERA , allowing only 3 runs in 25.2 IP this season. Herrera would’ve been a fantastic addition to the Red Sox bullpen. The problem, as shown in the Machado discussions, is that the Red Sox simply do not have the assets to get these moves done. Boston can hope that the price for Machado dips somehow, but they’re going to be stuck holding the bag at the trade deadline this season. As I mentioned yesterday, the Yankees must be waiting in the wings ready to pounce on yet another Boston mistake and capitalize on it.
Things with The Patriots are finally quiet. The shock from Tom Brady’s interview with Oprah has worn off and the world can be as one. Former Patriots convicted steroid abuser Rodney Harrison had some heart-warming advice for the latest (allegedly) convicted steroid user on the team, Julian Edelman.
The Celtics remain in the news as they are in pursuit of San Antonio star Kawhi Leonard. The latest on the Leonard rumors, courtesy of KSAT12 in San Antonio: Boston remains in the mix, seemingly Jaylen Brown and a 1st round pick would be the Celtics’ starting point. As much as I love Jaylen Brown, I do not think he will ever come close to the type of player Leonard is when he is healthy and committed. If Ainge and the Celtics brass can find a way to assure that Leonard and Irving are both here to stay beyond their current deals, I would hope the team jumps at the chance to get Leonard. San Antonio is going to take the most attractive offer they can find. There were reports yesterday that the Spurs would not consider moving Leonard within the conference, but it appears as if both Phoenix and Sacramento have made their interest in the services of the former Finals MVP. Another interesting nugget from this Leonard scenario is that Cleveland may try to acquire him in hopes it would lure LeBron to stay in Cleveland. As I mentioned yesterday, Leonard is going to be the cog of this NBA off-season. Once he goes, the rest of the dominoes will fall.
Finally, the Bruins are keeping a low-profile. The NHL news of the day yesterday was Washington Head Coach Barry Trotz announcing his resignation from the team only weeks after leading them to their first Stanley Cup victory.