August 22, 2014

G128: Mariners 5, Red Sox 3

Mariners - 000 000 005 - 5  7  0
Red Sox  - 000 003 000 - 3  5  1
With a runner on third and one out in the sixth inning, the Mariners instructed Felix Hernandez to intentionally walk the insanely-hot David Ortiz - who was at that moment 10 for his last 12. Yoenis Cespedes then blasted a 2-2 pitch to deep left field for a three-run homer.

All seemed well as Koji Uehara set down the first batter in the ninth. Then everything went to shit. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with two outs. Austin Jackson doubled home two runs, Dustin Ackley singled in two more, and Robinson Cano singled in the fifth run of the inning. Koji was lifted - after facing eight batters - in favour of Edward Mujica, who recorded the third out.

It's the first time Uehara has allowed more than three earned runs as a reliever and his first game in a Red Sox uniform allowing more than two runs.

Facing Fernando Rodney in the bottom of the ninth, Will Middlebrooks grounded to second and Brock Holt flied to left. Mookie Betts walked - creating a bit of hope - but Christian Vazquez flied to right.

Joe Kelly (5-1-0-3-5, 88) was pulled after what seemed like shoulder stiffness. ... Xander Bogaerts was hit in the helmet by a pitch (changeup/89) and later removed from the game.

The Red Sox are now 44-1 when leading after eight innings.
Example
Felix Hernandez / Joe Kelly
Nava, 1B
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Cespedes, LF
Craig, RF
Middlebrooks, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Betts, CF
Vazquez, C

Red Sox Sign Cuban Outfielder Rusney Castillo

Gordon Edes, ESPNBoston:
The Boston Red Sox landed the services of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, agreeing to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract, a team source told ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes on Friday.

Castillo, 27, will join the team this season, the source added, and is expected to undergo a physical in Boston on Saturday. ...

At 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, Castillo isn't a pure masher in the mold of Jose Abreu or Cespedes. But his power/speed combo has drawn comparisons to Andrew McCutchen and Yasiel Puig.
Alex Speier, WEEI:
The 5-foot-9 Castillo is viewed as a player with elite speed that allows him to be a game-changer on the bases and also permits him considerable range in the outfield, where he can play center or right. He also shows the ability to impact the ball as a line-drive/gap hitter.

Castillo's former teammate Yoenis Cespedes offered the following description of Castillo to WEEI.com earlier this month: "If he's not a five-tool player, he's a least a four-tool player. He's very comparable to Puig. Obviously a different height and size, but very similar qualities."

Puig may be a bit of a stretch as a comparable talent; one evaluator suggested that the Sox signed Castillo more with an eye toward acquiring a player along the lines of a Shane Victorino in his prime — a terrific athlete who has outstanding speed, can play center or right field (more likely center) for the Sox at a high level, and, while not having the power of a Jose Abreu, possesses an ability to impact the baseball that suggests the potential for double-digit home run totals.

August 21, 2014

G127: Angels 2, Red Sox 0

Angels  - 100 000 100 - 2  9  0
Red Sox - 000 000 000 - 0  1  0
The Red Sox had three baserunners:

The Hit: Will Middlebrooks's two-out double in the seventh.

The Walk: Mookie Betts, with two outs in the eighth.

The HBP: Brock Holt, leading off the first.
Example
Matt Shoemaker / Rubby De La Rosa
Holt, 3B
Pedroia, 2B
Nava, RF
Cespedes, LF
Craig, DH
Johnson, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Betts, CF
Vazquez, C
The Angels will try to sweep a four-game series against the Red Sox for the first time in more than 53 years (May 18-20, 1961).

Author Appearance: Professor Thom's, New York City, September 2

I will be signing copies of Don't Let Us Win Tonight at Professor Thom's, a Red Sox bar in Manhattan, on Tuesday evening, September 2.

The Red Sox will be in New York playing the Yankees that night, and I'll be at the bar during the game, which starts at 7 PM.

Thom's boasts a 41-foot bar and 17 LCD televisions. It's located at 219 Second Avenue, between 13th and 14th Street. Phone: 212-260-9480.

Feel free to stop by and say hello whether you're buying a book or not.

August 20, 2014

G126: Angels 8, Red Sox 3

Angels  - 000 150 101 - 8 11  2
Red Sox - 111 000 000 - 3 11  0
David Ortiz went 4-for-4 and hit his 30th home run of the year.

Ortiz has reached base four times in each the first three games of the Angels series, the first Boston player to reach base 4+ times in three straight games in 12 years (Johnny Damon, June 3-5, 2002).

Ortiz has hit 30+ home runs in eight seasons for the Red Sox, tying Ted Williams for the most seasons in team history.
Example
Garrett Richards / Clay Buchholz
Holt, 3B
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Cespedes, LF
Nava, RF
Johnson, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Betts, CF
Ross, C
From ESPNBoston:

Highest ERA in a season by a Red Sox pitcher (min. 20 starts)
2011  John Lackey       6.41
2000  Ramon Martinez    6.13
1964  Jack Lamabe       5.89
2014  Clay Buchholz     5.79
2010  Josh Beckett      5.78

August 19, 2014

G125: Angels 4, Red Sox 3

Angels  - 003 000 001 - 4  9  0
Red Sox - 100 011 000 - 3  8  0
Example
Jered Weaver / Allen Webster
Holt, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Nava, LF
Middlebrooks, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Betts, CF
Vazquez, C

August 18, 2014

G124: Angels 4, Red Sox 2

Angels  - 002 000 020 - 4  7  0
Red Sox - 000 100 001 - 2  9  2
Example
C.J. Wilson / Brandon Workman
Holt, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Cespedes, LF
Napoli, 1B
Middlebrooks, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Betts, CF
Vazquez, C
Alex Speier, WEEI: Are The Red Sox Too Dependent On David Ortiz?

Ortiz, from this spring:
I'm 38 years old and I'm still the center of attention in the lineup. It shouldn't be like that. It shouldn't be like that. We should have a couple of studs in their 20s doing more than what I do. ... Guys my age are supposed to be complementary players. Nobody signs guys my age to be 'The Man.' If you look at every team, 'The Man' are guys in their prime.
Ortiz leads all MLB hitters with 91 RBI. ... He leads the Red Sox in slugging, but Mike Napoli has a slightly higher OPS (.845 to .841).

Jackie Bradley Sent To Pawtucket, Mookie Betts Called Up


The Red Sox have sent Jackie Bradley to Pawtucket and called up Mookie Betts.

Although Bradley has played superbly in center field, he has hit only .216/.288/.290, with strikeouts in 28.7% of his plate appearances. Although there was a fourteen-game stretch (June 29 to July 21) in which he batted .375, Bradley has gone 8-for-62 (.129) since then.

In 13 games this season, Betts is hitting .244/.279/.366. ... Betts has hit .386 in his last 10 games with the PawSox.

August 17, 2014

G123: Astros 8, Red Sox 1

Astros  - 061 000 001 - 8 11  0
Red Sox - 001 000 000 - 1  8  0
Joe Kelly (4-7-7-6-3, 91) allowed a career-worst six walks and a career-worst seven runs. He also gave up a grand slam to Jose Altuve (4-for-5). ... Kelly has issued 13 walks in his first three Boston starts.

On the plus side, Jackie Bradley singled twice and walked in three plate appearances. ... Will Middlebrooks also had two hits. ... Daniel Nava hit an RBI-double. ... Steven Wright helped out the bullpen by pitching the last four innings (4-4-1-0-4, 51).
Example
Collin McHugh / Joe Kelly
Holt, 2B
Nava, RF
Ortiz, DH
Cespedes, LF
Johnson, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Middlebrooks, 3B
Bradley, CF
Butler, C
Dustin Pedroia - who turns 31 today - is out with flu-like symptoms.

Steven Wright was called up from Pawtucket, while Corey Brown was designated for assignment.