The Lunch Break Down: Wednesday, June 20, 2018

HOPE EVERYONE HAD A WONDERFUL SALE DAY!

Our beloved Red Sox fell last night to Minnesota to the terrible Twins. Chris Sale(6-4 2.74 ERA), as expected, performed well against the garbage lineup that Minnesota took the field with last night. The Twins had the audacity to put out a starting nine that included a whopping four players who are hitting better than .250 on the year. Sale should have dominated this team, and he left a bit to be desired. Despite a rough 6th inning where he allowed two runs and surrendered the lead that the Sox took in the top of the inning, thanks to Rafael Devers(12) going deep; Sale put up an impressive line of 7 IP 3 H 1 BB and 11 SO. Sale would go out and throw a scoreless 7th, but when he left the game, he was in line to take the loss.

Minnesota’s Jose Berrios (7-5 3.38 ERA) did well enough to keep the Red Sox in check. The only blemish for him was the aforementioned HR he gave up to Devers.  Berrios got himself out of trouble all night, working well with men on base and getting key strike outs when needed. Aside from that small blip, he held the Red Sox scoreless for 6 1/3 innings before the HR and that was that for Berrios. The 8th inning came along and Boston found themselves a stroke of clutch with Sandy Leon’s RBI single off of Zach Duke, scoring Devers.

Of course it would be too easy for the Red Sox to close this game out nice and easy after the jolt from Leon. Everyone’s favorite clown Joe Kelly came into the game and in the bottom of the 8th allowed both Eduardo Escobar and Robbie Grossman to have huge extra-base hits off of him. Of course, the hit by Escobar was aided by Jackie Bradley Jr’s error; but I’m not going to roast Bradley Jr. for that. The guy makes a lot of good plays, and if he makes one rubbish one, so be it. Kelly should’ve been able to regain his composure despite the two-run gaffe. Besides, if Kelly is such an amazing flame-thrower, why would anyone be able to make contact against him in the first place? Kelly followed that play up by allowing an additional base runner and the final nail in the coffin was delivered by Robbie Grossman after he tripled home two more Twins. The Red Sox and their horrible bullpen blew another game, 6-4 Twins win.

Boston’s bullpen continues to show how much of a problem it is. Joe Kelly is showing his true colors, those being horribly mediocre. He couldn’t even record an out last night. Not the performance you need, especially when your “Ace” is starting. Kelly had a few good appearances lately, against the White Sox, Orioles, and Mariners. The last time he faced a good team, Houston, he got knocked around in back to back games. Add Joe Kelly to the list of Red Sox pitchers who only have a shot if the lineup they are facing is of a team actively trying to lose baseball games.

Tonight, the real ace David Price (8-4 3.76 ERA) is going to further his case for AL Cy Young Award winner as well as establish himself as the true leader of the Red Sox pitching staff. Price has been a different animal since the Fortnite Fiasco and his Revenge Tour continues this evening at Target Field.  Price had some interesting Fortnite related comments regarding his chances at this years All-Star Game. The Twins will counter with Lance Lynn (4-5 4.98 ERA), who got roughed up by the Tigers in his last outing. Boston will be able to match the intensity of Price and I expect them to make this series even at one, and pick up their 50th win of the season. David Price is living in his own world and is making the media furious. I didn’t like Price and what he did last season with Eck, but I have completely changed my tune this year. Price is giving it right back to these guys and it is motivating him on the mound.  The Red Sox enter tonight’s game trailing the Yankees by an entire game.

The Patriots news is limited to social media these days. Mike Reiss of ESPN talks about the latest regarding Tom Brady and analyzing his use of emjois on Instagram and how it could hint towards when Brady will retire.

The Boston Celtics are preparing themselves for the upcoming NBA Draft on Thursday. For what it’s worth, Ryen Russilo updated us on what he was hearing:

Felger and Mazz spent a lot of time yesterday discussing the possibility of the Celtics moving up to the top 6 in the draft. They currently sit at the end of the first round, and it would be interesting to see how much they would have to give up in order to jump so much. You would imagine any such move would have to include the Sacramento 2019 pick and Terry Rozier. The additional assets will determine whether or not Danny Ainge pulls the trigger again and makes a big move for this team.

 

The Boston Bruins will have the honor of witnessing the Washington Capitals hoist their Stanley Cup Champions banner into the rafters on October 3rd, against the Bruins. Tough break.

 

The Lunch Break Down: Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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.

 

The Lunch Break Down: Monday, June 18, 2018

It’s Monday again. Let’s open up today’s Lunch Break Down with the only show in town, the Red Sox.

 

On Friday, Heath Hembree and Matt Barnes combined to give the Red Sox a loss. This was after Rick Porcello (8-3 3.70 ERA) pitched a fantastic game, much better than I anticipated he would. The Red Sox were not considered favorites, to me anyway, headed into this game. Things did not look well as Seattle jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Jean Segura hit his 6th HR of the year, and in the 2nd inning Seattle added on two more runs off of Porcello; who continues to struggle at the start of games.

Historically, Seattle SP James Paxton(6-1 3.44 ERA) performed well against Boston. This came to an abrupt end, as the Red Sox  answered Seattle in a big 3rd inning of their own. Brock Holt had an RBI single, a fielding error by Kyle Seager resulted in a Mitch Moreland at bat scoring two runs for the Red Sox. This inning was capped off after Xander Bogaerts (11) had a 3-run homer to force Paxton out of the game.

 

Porcello would only give up one more run on his way to a decent 6 inning, 9 strikeout performance. He isn’t exactly lighting the league on fire, but he is doing fine for a mid-rotation starter. This game was lost by the Red Sox bullpen. Heath Hembree gave up a homer to Mike Zunino (11) on a 3-2 count, 88 MPH slider. In comes super hero Matt Barnes and he allowed Red Sox ruiner Denard Span to rope a 2 RBI double, giving Seattle the 7-6 lead. Unfortunately Boston tried to muster something in the top of the 9th when JD Martinez and Xander Boaerts got on base, but the rest of the order couldn’t pick up their slack.

 

Saturday may have been even more frustrating for the team, as they fell 1-0. Steven Wright (2-1 1.23 ERA) pitched great yet again, but the Red Sox offense could not get anything going against Wade LeBlanc (3-0 2.63 ERA). Wade LeBlanc has been a major league pitcher for 10 years now, and this may be the best start he has ever had in his career. He had some rough years on some bad teams in San Diego. He had to play with Miami and Houston (before they were good), had a decent stint with the LA Angels, a cup of coffee with the Yankees; and now has bounced between Pittsburgh and Seattle for the last two seasons. Against the Red Sox, though, LeBlanc looked like a stud. This was the first time all season that LeBlanc pitched more than 6 innings. He also set a season high with 9 strike outs, and surrendered only 2 hits. The Red Sox should’ve been able to scrape together at least two runs off of him, but games like this happen sometimes. The offense went cold, as 22 Red Sox in a row were sat down by the lively LeBlanc. The only offense in this game came in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Otherwise it was a knuckleballer and a soft tosser battling it out. Mookie Betts and Eduardo Nunez were the only Red Sox who got hits in this game. Wright had 7 strong innings, 5 hits, 4 K’s and only 2 walks. He is beginning to look like the guy he was before John Farrell made him pinch run against the Dodgers and blow out his shoulder. That’s a positive to take from this overall negative game.

The offense put any questions of a possible slump on Sunday, exploding for 9 runs in a win. The Red Sox salvaged a split with the Mariners, taking the first and final game of this four game series. Boston improved to 49-24 on the year and percentage points behind the Yankees in a virtual tie for first place in the AL East. Eduardo Rodriguez (9-1 3.59 ERA) did give up a home run, but that was the only flaw I would find in this start. He had 9 strikeouts in only 6 innings of work, this was a tremendous start for the lefty. Rodriguez has battled injuries and now finally seems to be coming into his own. He’s another dangerous weapon on the underrated Red Sox starting pitching staff.

Mediocre Mike Leake (7-4 4.47 ERA) pitched as bland as he always has, 5 runs in 6 innings. Decent enough, but not after this Red Sox was coming off of a shut out. Leake was the sacrificial lamb, and sacrifice him they did. Mitch Moreland got things started in the top of the 3rd with a 2 RBI single. Rafael Devers (11) deposited a ball into the right field seats for a 3-run homerun and the Red Sox found themselves ahead 5-0 quickly. Nelson Cruz(17) took Rodriguez deep in the 4th. This would be the last offense Seattle could muster until garbage time in the 8th inning. The Red Sox added on three more runs in the top of the 7th behind the power of Jackie Bradley Jr (4) and Xander Bogaerts (12). Bradley Jr has looked better with the bat lately, and Bogaerts has been on a tear. Bogaerts is finally finding the power stroke that he was touted to have when he was a youngster coming up in the organization.

Overall, the weekend could’ve been better for the Red Sox. Seattle is a good team, but I would hope that the Red Sox would beat them in a 5 or 7 game series. It would have been nice to see them take 3 of 4 or sweep, but a split isn’t the end of the world. They almost have 50 wins on the season, but the team still has some deficiencies. They need bullpen help and depth on the bench. It’ll be interesting to see if Dombrowski can even do anything. Manny Machado would be nice, but I don’t think he is a necessity at this point. Perhaps for next season he could fit on this club, but Boston needs to solidify the bullpen because once October comes, the management of close games in the postseason will be a lot easier on the teams rookie Manager Alex Cora if they have a can’t-miss bullpen.

The Celtics had a piece of related interesting news this weekend. Mid-afternoon on Friday word got out that Kawhi Leonard wanted out of San Antonio. Reports from ESPN suggest that Leonard is interested in going to Los Angeles. I do not expect any serious transactions to happen until the LeBron domino falls. Once LeBron makes his decision, the rest of the off-season will commence. The Celtics are of course rumored to be interested in the former NBA Finals MVP. They reportedly tried to acquire Leonard at the trade deadline this past season, so it’s no surprise if Danny Ainge continues to pursue the player. Ainge would have to make the money work and also manage to not low-ball the Spurs again like he may have done in February. The Celtics should be able to offer the greatest value for San Antonio in return for Leonard, but would Boston be willing to risk losing out on the prime years of Jaylen Brown, the Sacramento ’19 pick, and possibly the asset of Terry Rozier for only two guaranteed years of Leonard; who is an unrestricted free agent in 2020?

All remained quiet with the Patriots, unless you like Oprah. In which case, you were really excited to watch Super Soul Sunday on the OWN Network where Oprah sat down with Tom Brady to discuss a bunch of things to push his life after football. Brady discussed how he has learned to lose better than before because of his kids; and also mentioned that he sees retirement coming. We all do, Tom. Will it be next year or in four years?

The Bruins continue to court Ilya Kovalchuk. Their biggest roster move over the weekend was re-signing Matt Grzelcyk to a two year extension. The SportsHub is reporting that the team is considering moving on from veteran David Krejci, with some reluctance from Don Sweeney.

This week we can expect the Manny Machado rumors to continue gaining steam, possibly resulting in an old-fashioned Red Sox vs Yankees arm race (that New York would surely win) as well as continued speculation with the Celtics and their future plans involving Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and LeBron James.

 

 

 

 

The Lunch Break Down: Friday, June 15, 2018

Another week in the books, and another week closer to football games. Heading into the weekend, let’s take a look at today’s Lunch Break Down.

David Price has officially established himself as the Ace of the Red Sox. Price (8-4, 3.76 ERA) had a masterful performance last night in Seattle. If you couldn’t stay up for this one, I don’t blame you, but you did miss a great game by Price. He had great command of his pitches and was putting the ball anywhere he wanted to. The Mariners looked helpless against him. In 7 innings, it took Price only 106 pitches to rack up 7 strikeouts to accompany his zero walks on the night. The Mariners find themselves neck and neck with the defending World Champion Houston Astros for the AL West lead and are now 7-3 in their last 10 games.

Price looked like the guy Red Sox fans thought they were getting when the lefty first agreed to come to Boston, he is absolutely scorching hot right now. In his last 7 games he is 6-0 with a 2.64 ERA in 44.1 innings pitched. During this period, Price has allowed only 13 earned runs, 14 walks, and amassed an impressive 47 strikeouts;adding up to a 1.04 WHIP since May 12 aka after the Yankees missed start and Fortnite Fiasco. Haven’t heard a lot of video game chatter lately regarding Price and his performance. He is an elite starting pitcher and he’s a guy the Red Sox can and should rely on going into the heat of the Summer’s race. Before this season I declared that Price would win the AL Cy Young award. He seems to be on track to at least be in consideration, but there’s a long way to go until September. Besides, my other mortal lock was Comeback Player of the Year Hanley Ramirez (RIP HANLEY).

While Price was the headliner last night, it would be unfair if there was not recognition given to the offense. The team didn’t hit around Felix Hernandez as much as I thought they would, but they definitely did enough to win. Jackie Bradley Jr (.184 3 HR 15 RBI) had an RBI double in the top of the 2nd inning that scored Devers. The game was tied until the 5th inning after a bizarre play involving catcher Christian Vazquez and Kyle Seager which resulted in Seager stealing third base and scoring off of a sacrifice fly by Guillermo Heredia. It was bizarre because Seager was enjoying a large lead for himself off of second base with a runner on first, Vazquez decided to try and pick him off, but Seager just ran to third base once Vazquez threw the ball. In a game where it was obvious runs were going to be hard to come by, I thought this play by Vazquez really could’ve opened the door for Seattle to steal this game against the Sox. However, Price was able to settle down and get them out of it. This was rewarded in the top of the 6th, when Xander Bogaerts (.281 10 HR 36 RBI) crushed a ball over the center field wall, giving the team a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish. Price is the winner, he moved to 8-4, Hernandez the loser falls to 6-6; and Kimbrel secured his 22nd save of the season.

 

Rick Porcello (8-3 3.54 ERA) takes the bump tonight against Mariners lefty James Paxton (6-1 3.02 ERA) at 10:10. Porcello has struggled lately and the Mariners offense has performed well against him generally speaking. Paxton owns the Red Sox. I would expect the team to come up short tonight.

Also, if you didn’t watch the game, you missed an All-Time Jerry Remy moment. Watch the clip below and see for yourself how Jerry enjoyed one of the more exotic menu items Seattle offers:

 

The Patriots are having a quiet week by their standards. Tom Brady has an interview with Oprah that is going to air this weekend. I don’t expect there to be anything juicy there, this is all Tom setting himself up for life after football. Is it possible that Head Coach Bill Belichick heard about this Oprah situation and became enraged? This would be the only valid argument to defend the fact that NFL.com reports that the Patriots hosted former Jets stud Christian Hackenberg  yesterday. I wonder if there was anything left over for him to see from Bill’s football history lessons from the other day. I hope they showed Christian how much fun the team plans to have this year.

 

The Celtics are quiet today as well, other than the now usual local sports media beating the drum of the idea of trading Kyrie. Irving is not the type of personality that is going to feed into the media or give the media what he wants. He knows he is in control of his destination and is playing things smart. Some fans may be upset that Kyrie didn’t explicitly come out and say how much he loves Boston and how he wants to spend his entire career here. I don’t blame him for not going on about the subject. Kyrie understands that this is a business, and he also understands that situations can change sometimes. He has learned from his horrible experience in Cleveland and is rightfully putting up blockers to the media and playing his hand the correct way.

The only way I would agree with Danny Ainge looking to move on from Irving would be if he has discussed the future with Kyrie Irving himself and he said he does not want to stay in Boston, or of course, LeBron James. I think if the Celtics moved on from Kyrie just to move on from him it could give off a bad vibe to the rest of the players in the league regarding stability in the Celtics organization. Would players be as willing to come to Boston in the future if they know that Danny Ainge is going to trade them the moment he is able to?

 

The Bruins do not have anything going on today, it is understood that the pursuit of Ilya Kovalchuk remains one of the top priorities of GM Don Sweeney. There was an interesting somewhat Bruins-related story that came out earlier this week. Former Bruins defenseman Nick Boynton authored an eye-opening piece on the Player’s Tribune about his struggles with personal demons now that his career has ended battling post-concussion symptoms and substance abuse. It is worth your time if you have not yet read it. This subject is one of the most difficult to discuss in all of sports at the moment, but it shouldn’t be. It’s clear there are several retired athletes who participated in violent sports who’s lives now are ruined or are on the verge of being ruined because of what their bodies went through providing entertainment. There is no easy solution.

 

 

The Lunch Break-Down: Thursday, June 14, 2018

Here’s a run-down of what’s happening on today’s Lunch Break-Down

 

The Red Sox finished off their sweep of the Orioles last night behind a decent start by Chris Sale, who’s struggles continue to be annoying yet not enough to be a problem. Sale somewhat bounced back against the diseased birds from Baltimore. Since May 16, over the course of 6 starts, Chris Sale has only pitched more than 6 innings twice (May 22 vs TB and June 8 vs CHW). Over this sample period, Sale has faced: Oakland, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago White Sox, and now Baltimore. He has thrown more than 100 pitches in all but one of those games, May 27 vs Atlanta, when he only lasted 4 1/3 innings after giving up 6 runs. The concern for Chris Sale and his performance is something that needs to be taken seriously. In 3 of those 6 starts, Sale had 3 or more walks in his outing. For a guy who is seen as fragile and needs his pitch count managed, he isn’t doing himself any favors by wasting them with walks. He had 4 last night against Baltimore alone.

 

Tonight at 10:10, the Red Sox will begin a 4 game series with the Mariners in Seattle. David Price (7-4, 4.00) is scheduled to take on Felix Hernandez (6-5, 5.70 ERA) and this is a game where I expect the Red Sox to come away with a win. Price has been on fire lately and has been the true ace of the Red Sox staff. Seattle’s batters collectively do poorly against Price for their career, notably Nelson Cruz (.188 in 16 AB) and Kyle Seager (.200 in 20 AB with 1 HR). Felix Hernandez is not the same pitcher he once was. He’s either hurt or he just doesn’t have it anymore. The Red Sox should feast at the dish this evening at Safeco.

The Patriots continue to enjoy their time off.  Someone who wasn’t going to attend OTA’s anyway decided to spend some of his free time earlier this week working on his golf game. Patriots QB Tom Brady was found hanging out with Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson leading up to this week’s U.S. Open.

 

The Celtics continue to deal with stories surrounding the drama with Kyrie Irving and his dedication to the team for the long-term. Kyrie was being typical Kyrie when he spoke to the media this week at a press conference designed to promote his upcoming film. Kyrie spoke about living in the present and enjoying his time in the present with the Celtics. While this didn’t give media or fans a warm and fuzzy feeling that he was going to stay here forever, I just think that is the way Kyrie handles the media. He doesn’t want to speak in absolutes and seems to be the type of guy who takes life as it goes. I’m not worried about Kyrie and his future in Boston at all. If he is all-in, he will sign. If he isn’t, I have faith in Danny Ainge to pull the trigger on a trade that could still help this core be a competitor with Golden State. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported  that Ainge tried to pry away struggling Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in February. The deal was apparently so awful from the Celtics end that the Spurs did not even bother calling the team back with a counter offer….or, they just had no intention of cutting bait with someone who, when healthy, is a top 10 talent in the NBA.

 

The Bruins came to an agreement on an entry-level deal with their first round selection from 2017, Defensman Urho Vaakanainen; reports the Boston Herald.

There are also rumblings with the Bruins and former New Jersey Devils’ star Ilya Kovalchuk as the 35 year old elder statesman is making his return to the NHL after a 5 year hiatus in Russia. Matt Porter of the Boston Globe reports that GM Don Sweeney is hopeful that the Bruins and Kovalchuk could come to an agreement saying: “I hope he looks at [the Bruins] and says, ‘That’s a team I’d be interested in,’ ” … “He indicated that, but you know, until I get a chance to sit with him, I won’t know that exactly.” It is something to keep an eye on, as Kovalchuk would certainly be an interesting acquisition for the Bruins.

Manaea-cial Athletics Top Sox 6-5, Yankees in First

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Sean Manaea owns the Red Sox.

It was bad enough that the Red Sox had to go up against the same guy who no-hit them a few weeks ago in Oakland, but this game found the Sox in a much different position than they were on April 21st. When Manaea no-hit Boston, the Sox stood at 17-3 and a comfortable 6.5 games ahead of the New York Yankees.

 

Fast forward to less than a month later, and the Red Sox are 1/2 of a game out of first place after losing to Oakland 6-5 on Monday evening. The Yankees had the night off, but the recent stats suggest they probably would have won if they played. Since the Red Sox were no-hit by Manaea, New York has exploded for 123 runs and have gone 18-3 compared to Boston’s paltry 11-9.

 

I’m starting to run out of Red Sox starters to support for Cy Young. My Spring Training pick, David Price, has been dealt a poor hand as of late; and Slick Rick Porcello reverted to his odd-year self and gave up some serious deep balls tonight. He avoided a complete meltdown and kept the Sox in the game considering, but the team really could’ve used another shut down performance from him.

 

Porcello gave up two solo home runs, which is fine in the big picture. He had a tough 3rd inning giving up three runs, including one of his homers given up to former Tampa Bay Ray great Matt Joyce. He got outs when he needed to and aside from this one poor inning, he had a respectable game.

 

The Red Sox bullpen didn’t really have a chance to blow anything this time, so that’s a good sign. Carson Smith managed to give up a run when Khris Davis took him to another planet, but that was the only smudge on the Sox’ bullpen. They threw three innings giving up only two hits and the one run.

 

The good part about this loss? J.D. Martinez is an absolute animal and went deep again tonight for his 11th of the season. Martinez continues to play, on the whole, much better than Giancarlo Stanton has in New York; but that gap is getting closer each time the Yanks take the field. Rafael Devers broke out of his mini slump, too, hitting his 7th dinger of the season against Manaea. Martinez and Devers tried to lead the rally in the 7th and 8th innings, but it was too little too late. The Sox drop the first game of this series with Oakland.

 

The Red Sox look to redeem themselves tomorrow, as they send Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0, 4.58) against Oakland righty Daniel Mengden (2-4, 4.06). Rodriguez hopes to build off of his promising start against Texas, where he showed some electric stuff and finally looked healthy. Mengden, on the other hand, doesn’t strike out a lot of guys, 10 in his last 3 starts and has only five walks all season. The point is, he pitches to contact. This should be a favorable match-up for the Red Sox as they need to bounce back and keep pace with the Yankees.

 

It’s also worth noting that Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia had a decent showing tonight with the PawSox, including a nice defensive snag as well as a base hit. The team also has activated troubled knuckle-baller Steven Wright, following his injury and 15 game suspension; they have sent Hector Velasquez to the 10-day DL to make roster room for him. By the time Velazquez is ready to return, could it mean the end of Blake Swihart in Boston? We’ll see.

Herald: Remy Returning to Sox Booth in ’18

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Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports
Boston Herald FORT MYERS — Jerry Remy returned to the Red Sox broadcast booth this afternoon, and during a brief appearance with Dave O’Brien and Steve Lyons, Remy announced that he’s completed his cancer treatment and expects to be back in the NESN booth on Opening Day.
“You know, it’s tough physically,” Remy said, speaking about his chemotherapy and radiation treatments. “It’s tough emotionally. But the fact is, the doctors are so good. You listen to the doctors and what they have to say, and as long as you’re seeing progress, you know, you feel good about it.”
Remy has been broadcasting for NESN since 1988 following a 10-year career as a Major League second baseman. He stepped away last season after a recurrence of lung cancer. 
“You know, you go to these places where you get the chemo and get the radiation,” Remy said, “and you get people sitting to your left, to your right, in front of you, behind you, all in probably, maybe, worse shape than you are, you know? So, there’s a lot of people with tremendous courage out there that really help you get through things like this. And, you know, one of the things that helps me get through is the thought of coming back and doing some baseball. And I made a promise last year that I’d be back for Opening Day.”
Remy went out of his way to praise the medical experts in and around Boston who have helped him through the process. 
“You get this information, and you gotta do exactly what the doctors say,” he said. “You know, we’re very fortunate that we have some of the best in the world up in our area, and to be able to listen to them, take their instruction. You don’t just battle your way through it. And you get positive signs as you go through it that make you feel good, and you get to a point where you feel things are turning the corner now. You feel a little bit better. But it’s difficult. I’m not going to lie. It’s very difficult to go through, and I don’t wish that on anybody, but I’ll tell ya that if you’re going to have it, the place to get treatment is up in the Boston area. That’s certainly the place.

 

Just great news reported today by the Boston Herald.  Beloved Red Sox color-commentator Jerry “RemDawg” Remy is feeling well enough to return to his duties for Opening Day 2018. Not only is Remy feeling well enough to return, but according to the article, has actually finished his cancer treatments.  Remy has had multiple battles with cancer over the past several seasons, and there was a lot of doubt leading into his availability for this season.  Remy promised the fans that he would be back for Opening Day, and it appears as if he is on-track to fulfill that promise he made last September.

 

Remy has been a cultural icon for several years now, but it would be hard to argue that he rose to prominence around the same time the modern-day Red Sox did. Remy, alongside partner Don Orsillo, were the voices of the Boston Red Sox throughout their conquering of the Curse of the Bambino, the sweep of the Colorado Rockies, and the 2013 Boston Strong season where they defeated the Cardinals.  Remy has a large following on the internet, The Remy Report, where he offers his insights on the team and interacts with fans.

 

Of course, anytime Remy is mentioned it is a good excuse to discuss his most famous call: The Pizza.

J.D. Martinez Ready For Boston?

 

Image result for jd martinez red sox

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)(John Minchillo)
Boston Herald FORT MYERS – As far as first impressions on the action front went, J.D. Martinez’ first Red Sox game was little on the slow side: two flyouts and two catches, one a nice, running thigh-high grab.
But as far a first look at Martinez’ feisty attitude, he made it clear that he will not get caught up in the hype surrounding the high expectations and pressure that will surround his arrival as the club’s savior in the power department.
“To me, I feel like you guys have the expectations, the fans and the media,” said Martinez, who played left field and batted fourth. “I’m just going to go out there and play my game and do what I’ve been doing the last four or five years. As far as the pressure and stuff goes, just try and go out there and try to play my game. Obviously ignore it. Playing in Boston, it’s a big market and there’s going to be a lot more but I think it will be a good test of handling it.”
So, it matters not to Martinez that he’s going to face scrums like today’s mid-game, mid-March one that gathered around his locker after that 0-for-2 outing.
“I don’t care,” said Martinez. “Like I said, I’ve done it for the last five years, I have nothing to prove right now in spring training. I just go out there and worry about me getting ready, that’s the way I’m looking at it.”
Martinez’ at-bats came against Minnesota’s Jake Odorizzi, a very good pitcher. He flew out to right field in his first at-bat, and then got jammed some in at-bat No. 2, and lined out on a soft fly to center field.
He said it usually takes him some 60 to 80 at-bats before feeling truly comfortable, but his first two were not bad.
“Good, I felt like I didn’t chase any balls outside of the zone, felt like I swung at some decent pitches,” said Martinez. “The ones I flew out on might have been a little bit up and in but they were close enough and I felt like I did a good enough job just not chasing.”

 

Well, J.D. Martinez is finally in Boston, and he does not seem to be holding back.  Michael Silverman caught up with Martinez in the aforementioned Boston Herald article, and while Spring Training has just begun; Martinez seems to be in mid-season form with handling the media.

 

The Martinez situation this entire off-season was on the radar of the Red Sox and their fans.  After the team failed to make a competitive offer for NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, we saw the rival New York Yankees step up and acquire the player.  Under heavy amounts of pressure from the fans and media alike, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski finally pulled the trigger to bring Martinez into the fold in Boston.

 

Martinez, from most accounts, is a reserved personality.  Under the major media spotlight that is Boston, this seems to be a direct conflict.  With guidance from former teammate and current Red Sox SP David Price, Martinez already has an idea as to what he can expect in Boston.  His encounter with Silverman proves that he is already becoming defensive.

 

“I feel like you guys have the expectations, the fans and the media” shows me that Martinez understands that he is expected to produce a lot in Boston, but he is quick to point out that those expectations are not his own. His only expectations are, as he described later on, as only being worried about “being out there and getting ready”. 

 

Martinez finally arrived to camp after a health-related delay in his official signing, and has handled the situation in stride.  Martinez is well-liked by his teammates, and as today’s article in the Herald proves– he’s ready for Boston.